News roundup: Obama, Dems butt of more late-night jokes than GOP
Late-night comedians skewer Obama, Dems. Herbert backs modular nuke power. No Utah firms in running for House legal counsel.
Happy Monday. President Barack Obama and Democrats were the butt of more jokes in the first part of this year than their Republican counterparts, an abrupt change from last year when Mitt Romney and the GOP provided fodder for late-night comedians. A new study shows Obama and NYC mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner leading the monologues of Leno and Letterman. [AP]
Topping the news: Utah Gov. Gary Herbert is backing a bid by Oregon company NuScale Power LLC to build small, modular nuclear reactors. [Trib]
-> The 61 law firms vying to take on the job of legal counsel to the House committee investigating AG John Swallow have been narrowed down to ten. No Utah firms made the cut. The final choice will be announce on August 9th. [Trib] [DNews]
-> Nine Latino candidates are running in SL Co. municipal elections this year - more than in previous years. However, this is still only 6 percent of the candidates in a county where Latino's make up 17.5 percent of the population. [Trib]
-> Utah's rich are getting richer but the state's poor are getting poorer, too. [UtahPolicy]
Tweet of the day: From @pourmecoffee: "Oversimplify last year for me, The Newsroom. I am ready."
Opinion Section: Paul Rolly welcomes Sen. Aaron Osmond's intention to discuss compulsory education with those on all sides of the debate, but suggests his ties to Eagle Forum make him more inclined toward one side. [Trib]
-> An SLC resident and former school district board member extols the virtues of a compulsory education program in the wake of state Osmond's suggestion that Utah should make education voluntary. [Trib]
-> John Florez says it is not compulsory education that is the problem but the outdated organizational structure of education. [DNews]
-> Rolly discusses a loophole in the law related to the Citizens United case that is allowing an organization to solicit money under Republican Congressional candidate Mia Love's name with no intention of using the funds to support her. [Trib]
-> A BYU political science professor counters Ed Firmage Jr.'s column on Mormon culture from last Sunday's Trib, arguing it is not family values that have failed society. [Trib]
-> George Pyle says the $394,000 penalty slapped on Chevron for violating EPA air quality regulations will not make enough of an impact on the multi-billion-dollar company to act as a real deterrent. [Trib]
-> The president of Utah Physicians for a Healthy Society says that despite the majority of Utahns recognizing that poor air quality is a serious health hazard, few are vocal enough in their protests for lawmakers to sit up and take note. [Trib]
-> The founder of the Alliance for a Better UTAH says the problem with Sen. Mike Lee's plan to defund Obamacare or shut down federal government is doomed to fail because it doesn't take into account the compromises at the heart of the Obamacare legislation. [Trib]
-> SLC Mayor Ralph Becker argues an increase in funding for the UTA - an agency known for completing projects on time and under budget - would help to alleviate transportation issues and air pollution problems. [Trib]
-> Frank Pignanelli and LaVarr Webb discuss the August 13th primary municipal elections. [DNews]
-> Columnist Michelle Malkin argues the part of Glenn Beck's exhibition containing Nazi artifacts served to remind visitors of the horrific legacies of certain historical events and regimes, and demonstrated Beck's vehement objection to fascism and tyranny. [Trib]
-> Pat Bagley gives his take on the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control's proposed rule that restaurant-goers must show intent to buy food in order to purchase alcohol. [Trib]
-> Former Sen. Bob Bennett says Detroit failed when it lost control to unions and an appointed manager instead of elected officials. [DNews]
Weekend in Review: After a report by the Interior Department's inspector general revealed that hundreds of weapons were unaccounted for, U.S. Park Police has claimed it has tabs on 98 percent of its firearms. Several congressmen, including Utah Reps. Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz, have raised serious concerns that the Park Police does not hold itself accountable. [Trib]
-> After failing to meet a deadline outlined by Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, and Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, last month, the EPA has been hit with a subpoena for data from pollution studies on which the agency is basing its new and proposed legislation. [Trib]
-> Serious overcrowding in the female correctional facility has led to dozens of women being released early by the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole. The board and the Department of Corrections are considering alternative solutions to ease the problem of chronic overcrowding. [Trib]
-> This week the Utah Public Service Commission will discuss alternative-energy funding, including a piece of legislation expanding Utah's network for natural gas vehicles, aimed at cutting air pollution. However, it's not clear that this legislation - due to be bankrolled by gas ratepayers - will actually have a significant effect on air quality. [Trib]
-> Eleven community health centers across Utah plan to split $1.3 million in federal grants to help residents enroll in health insurance, a requirement under the Affordable Care Act. "Marketplace navigators" will advise on public programs and private insurance. [Trib]
-> North Salt Lake medical incinerator Stericycle has an additional 30 days to negotiate fines it incurred for violating pollution and record-keeping standards with the Utah Division of Air Quality. [Trib]
-> Holladay City Council members have written a letter to the SL Co. Council urging it to block a rezoning of 47 acres at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon for the mixed-use Tavaci development because of potential adverse effects on the city, its residents and its businesses. [Trib]
-> Utah's lawmakers, business leaders and public health experts are locked in a battle over the state's liquor laws, with some advocating for fewer restrictions and others championing tighter controls. [DNews]
-> Around 100 people took part in a demonstration outside the State Office of Education on Friday against the Common Core. Inside the office, the State School Board heard parents' concerns as part of the public comment section of its board meeting. [DNews]
-> Activists gathered outside the Matheson Courthouse on Sunday to protest the NSA's surveillance programs as part of the national Restore the Fourth movement, which designated August 4th as "1984 Day." [ABC4] [Fox13]
-> The State School Board voted Friday to request lawmakers to transfer control of Utah's $1.6 billion school trust fund from the treasurer's office to an independent board of investment professionals. [DNews]
Nationally: Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., thinks President Barack Obama should cancel his trip to Moscow next month in protest over Russia offering temporary asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden. [TheHill] [Politico]
-> Newsmax lists the top 25 Republican women in politics and includes Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love as one of the rising stars. [Newsmax]
-> Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., sparred with Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes at the 133rd annual Fancy Farm Picnic in his home state. Grimes took direct aim at McConnell, while McConnell took a more circuitous route. [WaPost] [Politico]
-> Officials say that other federal intelligence agencies want to get their hands on the NSA's surveillance tools for their own investigations, but are often turned down because their needs are not deemed a high enough priority. [NYTimes]
-> A handful of lawmakers, including Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., are arguing the NSA program is proving its worth after the weekend terror threat which prompted the State Department to close more than 20 diplomatic posts and issue a worldwide travel alert. [TheHill]
Where are they?
SLC Mayor Ralph Becker meets with city engineer Jeff Snelling and attends a Wasatch Summit meeting.
President Barack Obama meets with former Negro League baseball players at the White House.
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Thomas Burr and Isobel MarkhamTwitter.com/thomaswburr and Twitter.com/i_markham
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