This is an archived article that was published on in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Despite the campaign rhetoric, America is doing pretty great. GOP leaders criticize Obama's gun plans. LDS Church statement causing rift in Utah independent party.

Happy Wednesday. If you listen to the presidential candidates, America is on its last leg, limping toward the end — or at least it seems that way. But, actually, things in the United States are pretty good overall. Gas is barely $2 a gallon. About 17 million uninsured Americans have gotten coverage in the past few years. The federal deficit has plunged from $1.4 trillion in 2009 to under $500 billion, while the dollar has gained strength against foreign currencies. Unemployment has dropped from 10 percent during the worst of the Great Recession to 5 percent today, thanks to a record 69 consecutive months of private-sector employment growth that has produced 13.7 million new jobs. The past two years have been the best two years for job creation in the 21st century. [" target="_blank">Politico]

-> A Utah mother stood behind Obama during his press conference yesterday and said her daughter would still be alive if his proposed regulations had been implicated sooner. [" target="_blank">Trib] [" target="_blank">KUTV]

-> The stance announced Monday by LDS Church authorities disapproving the Oregon militia occupation is causing a rift in the small Utah-born Independent American Party, which counts Cliven Bundy as a member. [" target="_blank">Trib]

Tweets of the day: From" target="_blank">@mtaibbi: "Can we propose that at least one of the inevitable Hillary-Trump debates be replaced by a knockout Texas Hold'em game?"

From">@mattyglesias: "Sanders and Clinton arguing about which laws they will ask the House to not pass doesn't strike me as the best use of time."

Happy birthday: To The Tribune's Benjamin Wood.

Tune in: Clark Aposhian of Utah Shooting Sports Council, Trolley Square shooting survivor Carolyn Tuft, Tribune Washington correspondent Thomas Burr and others join Jennifer Napier-Pearce to discuss guns and public reaction to President Obama's executive order. Watch Trib Talk live at 12:15 p.m. MT on" target="_blank"> 

In other news: Pat Bagley gives his take on Obama's big idea for gun control. [" target="_blank">Trib]

-> Utah gun salesmen are unsure what exactly would change business-wise under Obama's orders on gun sales, but they foresee an influx of customers in response. [" target="_blank">DNews] Gun rights activists are criticizing the move, [" target="_blank">KUTV] and gun owners are worried. [" target="_blank">ABC4]

-> The Bundy family has a history of fighting the federal government. [" target="_blank">KUTV]

-> With a crush of bills expected this coming legislative session in Utah, leaders are hoping to get a quick move on some measures in the first weeks. [" target="_blank">UtahPolicy]

-> While Utahns may support increased background checks on gun sales, some 81 percent don't believe tighter gun laws will prevent terrorist attacks. [" target="_blank">UtahPolicy]

-> Some wonder whether rumors about Mitt Romney joining the presidential race are true or whether they show desperation from the GOP. [" target="_blank">Fox13]

-> James Rogers was named chairman of the new Salt Lake City Council yesterday. [" target="_blank">Trib] [" target="_blank">DNews]

-> The SL Co. Council named Max Burdick as their new chairman [" target="_blank">DNews] and voted to encourage the UTA to expand neighborhood bus service. [" target="_blank">DNews]

-> A bill proposed by lawmakers would allow 17 year olds to vote in primary elections if they turn 18 before the general election. [" target="_blank">Trib]

-> A proposed bill would give Utah veterans tax exemption. [" target="_blank">KUER] [" target="_blank">Fox13]

-> Tuesday was online entrepreneur and indicted businessman Jeremy Johnson's first day representing himself in court. [" target="_blank">Trib] [" target="_blank">DNews] [" target="_blank">Fox13]

-> State environmental regulators have resolved to increase support from the public for air and water quality after it released its annual report. [" target="_blank">Trib] [" target="_blank">DNews]

-> A national study shows a stark difference between production struggles in Western states and those in other regions. [" target="_blank">DNews]

-> The recycling industry has been hurting since oil prices have dropped. [" target="_blank">KUTV]

-> Utah's ratio of school counselors to students is slowly improving but remains high. [" target="_blank">DNews]

-> The state auditor is hoping to crack down on the misuse of a food stamp card program after finding that people are using the cards out of state, making large purchases or getting a new one after losing the first. [" target="_blank">KUTV] [" target="_blank">ABC4] [" target="_blank">KUER]

-> An investigation has found more cases of hepatitis C at two Utah hospitals. [" target="_blank">DNews]

-> Pet owners are generally in better health than people without pets, a new report says. [" target="_blank">Fox13]

-> Peirpoint artisans and shopkeepers are being forced out because of higher rents and increased fees. [" target="_blank">Trib]

-> Paul Rolly explains what happened in South Jordan's emergency meeting just before Christmas, the grand finale to a bizarre year in local politics. [" target="_blank">Trib]

Nationally: President Barack Obama was emotional as he announced his plan to reform gun control, calling for more thorough background checks and more specific record keeping. [" target="_blank">Politico] [" target="_blank">CNN]

-> Some believe GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump will not win the GOP nomination because his supporters are not typical voters. [" target="_blank">TIME]

->After a petition in Great Britain yielded more than 550,000 signatures of people asking to ban Trump from the region, the Parliament is set to debate it later this month. [" target="_blank">TheHill]

-> Democrat Hillary Clinton holds a significant lead over fellow presidential candidate Bernie Sanders with the primaries less than a month away. [" target="_blank">NBC]

-> Potential allies of the Oregon militia that has occupied federal property since the weekend say the activists chose the wrong battle. [" target="_blank">Yahoo!]

-> North Korea claims it conducted a successful test of a hydrogen bomb, which was developed as a defense weapon against the United States. [" target="_blank">WaPost]

Where are they?

  • Rep. Jason" target="_blank">Chaffetz attends an Oversight Subcommittee hearing on the Army Fee Assistance Program and accepts the Conservative Achievement Award from American Conservative Union.
  • Rep. Mia" target="_blank">Love votes and sits down for meetings with the Congressional Black Caucus, House GOP leadership and constituents.
  • Gov. Gary" target="_blank">Herbert heads to the NGA Executive Committee Meeting, meets with Speaker Paul Ryan and House Republican leadership and holds another meeting with House Democratic leadership.
  • Lt. Gov. Spencer" target="_blank">Cox attends a Women's Leadership Institute Board meeting, interviews with Bryan Schott, discusses intergenerational poverty and joins Snow College Republicans for a meeting.
  • President Barack" target="_blank">Obama receives his daily briefing, eats lunch with Vice President Joe Biden and joins Secretary of State John Kerry for a meeting.
  • Got a tip? A birthday, wedding or anniversary to announce? Email us at" target="_blank"> If you haven't already, sign up for our weekday email and get this sent directly to your inbox. [" target="_blank">Trib]

    — Thomas Burr and Mariah Noble" target="_blank"> and" target="_blank">