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News roundup: Behind the scenes with a candid Obama

Published January 21, 2014 7:13 am
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Behind the scenes with President Obama. Snow to shutter D.C., again. Mitt premiers at Sundance.

Happy Tuesday. The New Yorker's David Remnick spent quite some time with President Barack Obama, looking at the difficulties his White House has faced and its accomplishments that may take some time to realize. It's a long read but worth it for several tidbits: If he had a son, Obama wouldn't let him play pro football. The president plans to write his memoirs after leaving office and could fetch upwards of $20 million for it (Michelle Obama is already working on her memoirs). Obama talks about race, about legalizing marijuana and comparing himself to fictional presidents and real ones that he admires.

-> Best quote, from Obama, referencing the Godfather: "It turns out Marlon Brando had it easy, because, when it comes to Congress, there is no such thing as an offer they can't refuse." [NewYorker]

Topping the news: "Mitt," an intimate portrait of the behind the scenes moments of Mitt Romney's two presidential campaigns, premiered at Sundance, and Romney himself attended the opening. [Trib] [WaPost] [DNews] [Herald] [Fox13] [KUTV] [ABC4]

-> Romney also answered questions after the premiere about the same-sex marriage ruling in Utah, Chris Christie's bridge scandal and what Romney had wished he'd done differently in 2012. [WaPost]

-> Some 60 percent of Utahns support adopting legal protections against discrimination of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in housing and the workplace, a Tribune poll finds. [Trib]

Tweet of the day: From @Timodc: "'Mitt' is absolutely agonizing. Can't imagine what it'd be like for one of the kids to watch."

From @NickKristof: "Best part of the Bob Gates memoir so far is the revelation that a new SecDef has to pee in a cup for a drug test, like other new hires."

Happy Birthday: To Shelley Hatch.

Attention D.C.'s federal workers: From the Office of Personnel Management: "FEDERAL OFFICES in the Washington, DC, area are CLOSED. Emergency and telework-ready employees required to work must follow their agency's policies, including written telework agreements." Up to 8 inches of snow possible in the D.C. region and a winter storm warning is in effect.

Opinion section: Alan Matheson, Gov. Gary Herbert's senior environmental adviser, outlines the steps the governor is taking to help clean Utah's air. [Trib]

-> The president of Sevier Citizens for Clean Air and Water Dick Cumiskey says rural Utah has dirty air too. [Trib]

-> Paul Rolly argues Judge Robert Shelby's ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in Utah will save the LDS Church some flak. [Trib]

-> Rolly also says state Sen. Sen. Howard Stephenson may be a little too interested in his iPad. [Trib]

-> Former state senator Scott D. McCoy says legalizing same-sex marriage will not jeopardize anyone's freedom of religion. [Trib]

-> Kelly D. Patterson, a professor of political science at Brigham Young University, argues that the LDS Church shouldn't adjust to "modern," popular attitudes just because they are modern. Modern does not always mean better. [Trib]

-> Jason Stevenson and Rachel Jackson from the Utah Health Policy Project argue that the Affordable Care Act is not all about healthcare.gov and is actually helping Utahns. [Trib]

-> George Pyle says Utah's caucus system ignores the will of most Utahs and even most Utah Republicans. [Trib]

-> Sen. Curt Bramble says the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership will benefit Utah, but U.S. negotiators need to fight for strong intellectual property protections. [Trib]

-> David Nimkin, the southwest senior regional director for the National Parks Conservation Association, argues Master Lease Plans will help create a balance between conservation and recreation and oil and gas production. [Trib]

-> Pat Bagley pokes fun at West Virginia's trickle-down water. [Trib]

-> A sampling of the best reader comments from last week. [Trib]

-> Frank Pignanelli and LaVarr Webb discuss the War on Poverty's 50th anniversary. [DNews]

-> Former Sen. Bob Bennett reviews the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence's report on the attacks in Benghazi. [DNews]

Weekend in review: Utah asked for a 10 day extension on the deadline to submit initial arguments in defense of its same-sex marriage ban. [Trib] [DNews] [Herald]

-> A proposed bill in Congress would prevent the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages performed in Utah. [Trib]

-> A new poll shows that a majority of Utahns oppose same-sex marriage and believe marriage should be a state's rights issue. A majority also believe if same-sex marriage were legal there should be laws in place to protect places of worship from being forced to perform same-sex marriages. [DNews]

-> The group Mormons Building Bridges will hold meetings across the Wasatch Front in order to answer questions about a bill to ban workplace and housing discrimination based on sexual orientation. [KUTV]

-> The ACLU is set a announce its lawsuit challenging Utah's decision to not recognize same-sex marriages performed in the state. [DNews]

-> Supporters of same-sex marriage held a reception at Sundance. [DNews] [Fox13] [KUTV]

-> George Takei, who played Sulu in the original "Star Trek" and is now a social media activist, spoke out at Sundance against Gov. Herbert's decision to not recognize same-sex marriages performed in Utah. [Trib] [Fox13] [ABC4]

-> The battle over the War on Poverty is still going 50 years after it started How has it helped Utah's poor? [Trib]

-> Speaker Becky Lockhart says she was mistaken for an intern when she was first elected. That doesn't happen anymore. [Herald]

-> Sen. Jim Dabakis is proposing a $10,000 cap on campaign contributions from a single person or organization to statewide candidates and a $5,000 cap to legislative candidates. [KUTV]

-> A majority of Utahns say they would favor stricter regulations on industries that pollute the air and changing their driving habits in order to improve air quality, according to a new poll. [Trib]

-> The Salt Lake City Council will consider whether to regulate wood burning year-round after new evidence shows that wood smoke is more detrimental to air quality than previously thought. [Trib] [Fox13]

-> An environmental activist says Salt Lake City should look to Mexico City for ways to clean up the polluted air. [KUTV]

-> State Rep. Marie Poulson is proposing a bill that would give an income tax break to those who buy a UTA monthly pass in January, February or July. Those are the month that often have the worst air quality. [KUTV]

-> Sen. Mike Madsen wants to make sure emissions inspection laws are fair towards those who are trying to save money by driving older cars. [KUER]

-> Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker met with two White House aides about climate change challenges unique to Salt Lake City. [DNews] [KUER]

-> Game developers at the U. are working on a game to encourage people to change their habits in order to clean the air during an inversion. [Herald] [KUER]

-> Northern Utah already has a bad start for air quality this week. [Trib]

-> Rocky Mountain Power requested a rate hike and also a new fee for those who produce their own power and put the excess on the grid. [DNews]

-> The Millcreek Township Planning Commission voted to encourage the Salt Lake County Council to continue its protest of a proposed annexation of 3,600 residents into Holladay. [Trib]

-> Goldman-Sachs would pay the upfront costs for SL Co. Mayor Ben McAdams' proposed plan to send poor children with low test scores to preschool. Taxpayers would only pay the bank back for every child that avoids special education programs by third grade. [KUTV]

-> A man, a family and his snakes find a new home after his collection of boa constrictors caused a venomous controversy in his neighborhood. [Trib]

-> State prosecutors say Utah's grand jury law needs to be rewritten to provide clear standards as to when a grand jury should be called. [Trib]

-> Americans have been misled about the attacks in Benghazi, Rep. Jason Chaffetz tells a Hinckley Institute crowd. [DNews]

-> The members of the conservative Eagle Forum discussed the proposed anti-discrimination law and Common Core education standards at their annual pre-Legislature meeting. [Fox13]

-> A Utah World War II veteran on his 100th birthday offered this advice to Mayor McAdams: "Take lots of pills and stay active." [Trib]

-> Wasatch County planners recommended preliminary approval for a vacation resort near the south shore of Strawberry Reservoir. [Trib]

-> Animal rights activists are going to lobby for tougher animal cruelty laws after the death of a young horse found frozen to the ground in Southern Utah. [Fox13]

-> Giant military balloons are moving from the West Desert to Maryland to see if they can detect incoming missiles and other threats. [Trib]

Nationally: President Barack Obama called for changes in the NSA's spying programs such as keeping meta-data from all American's phone calls out of the hands of the government and requiring a court order to look at such information. [Trib] [ABC4]

-> The New Yorker's David Remnick goes on the road with Obama. [NewYorker]

-> Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer said two senior members of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's administration warned that Hoboken would be cut off from Sandy relief funds unless she approved a redevelopment project Christie favored. [NBC]

-> A study by the Rand Corp. found that allowing people to keep their existing health insurance plans, even if the don't meet the Affordable Care Act's requirements, will only have a minimal effect on the heath insurance marketplace. [WaPost]

Where are they?

Rep. Jason Chaffetz speaks at the Linn County Caucus meetings in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Rep. Chris Stewart goes on the Doug Wright Show, meets with The Tribune editorial board, goes on the Rod Arquette Show on KNRS and announces his bid for re-election.

Gov. Gary Herbert attends the Utah Education Excellence Committee meeting, participates in a conference call with the Western Governor's Association and attends the Outdoor Industry Award Dinner.

Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox also hits the Utah Education Excellence Committee meeting, and tours and meets with the Utah Department of Public Safety.

SL Co. Mayor Ben McAdams hits the Unified Fire Authority board meeting, gives blood at the Red Cross Blood Drive, holds a Twitter chat and then heads to the launch of a new after school program in Sandy.

President Barack Obama meets with the President's Commission on Election Administration and with Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.

Got a tip? A birthday, wedding or anniversary to announce? Email us at cornflakes@sltrib.com. If you haven't already, sign up for our weekday email and get this sent directly to your inbox. [Trib]

— Thomas Burr and Topher Webb Twitter.com/thomaswburr and Twitter.com/topherjwebb






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