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WaPost columnist: Give Lee another chance. Lee says GOP infighting is good for party. No tax increase in SL Co. budget.

Happy Wednesday. The Washington Post's conservative blogger Jennifer Rubin says Sen. Mike Lee deserves a second chance after blasting him over the shutdown controversy. "He has until now had the luxury of voting no on just about every bargain in Congress, leaving more responsible figures (whose votes he bitterly decries) to take the hard votes," Rubin writes. "He won't be able to keep that up and simultaneously claim grown-up status with a serious, affirmative agenda. Lee, like most of us, deserves a second chance - and this is it." [WaPost]

Topping the news: Meanwhile, Lee says the infighting between the Republican establishment and tea party conservatives should be encouraged. Lee argues that without the rift, the GOP party will not create a new agenda and will likely lose to Democrats in future elections. [Trib] [BuzzFeed] [DNews] [DailyCaller] [TownHall]

-> Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams is asking for no tax increases in the 2014 budget proposal, which also includes a 2.5 percent pay increase for all county employees. [Trib] [DNews] [KUTV] [ABC4]

-> A state senator wants to create a hotline for youth to call if they're feeling suicidal or need some help, or for others to raise concerns anonymously. [Herald]

Tweet of the day: From @kkondik: "The past few weeks of American politics is like a tennis match with each side exchanging successive double faults"

Happy birthday: To Jill "Whiskey Mittens" Poe.

In other news: Leaders across the Wasatch Front are discussing how to handle the estimated 67 percent population growth in the next 30 years, and proposing more high-density town centers around mass-transit stations. Gov. Gary Herbert also suggested a similar idea for all of Utah, not just the Wasatch Front, called "Your Utah, Your Future." [Trib] [Fox13]

-> The Governor's Office of Management and Budget estimated the government shutdown cost the Utah tourism industry upwards of $30 million. Utahns' consumer confidence dropped by a record-low 14.6 percent according to the Zions Bank Consumer Attitude Index. [Trib]

-> Salt Lake City is considering restricting on-street parking during snowstorms, and is asking residents to offer their opinion at the "Open City Hall" on the city's website. [Trib] [Fox13]

-> Paul Rolly says tea party politics and Mormon theology are entering city council races in the state. [Trib]

-> The Utah Pride Center has cut two employees, slashed pay for other employees and is looking for an internal review after a surprise budget shortfall. [Trib]

-> Pat Bagley gives his take on how the GOP is handling the Obamacare rollout disaster. [Trib]

-> Gov. Herbert's chief of staff, Derek Miller, says putting people above politics will help create better outcomes. [UtahPolicy]

Nationally: Marilyn Tavenner, head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, testified before the House Ways and Means Committee, apologizing to Americans for the problematic rollout of the website Tavenner said the problems are fixable and improvements are being made. [WaPost] [Politico] [CNN] [NYTimes]

-> Hundreds of thousands of Americans are receiving notices that their health insurance policies will be canceled at the end of the year, even after President Barack Obama promised they wouldn't. Obama administration officials say that the canceled insurance will be replace with a better plan. [WaPost] [NYTimes]

-> The main contractor in charge of building, CGI, warned the Obama administration a month before it launched that it wasn't ready to go live. CGI reported that serious risks and key issues were at hand and performance testing wasn't give highest priority. [CNN]

-> Army Gen. Keith Alexander, director of the NSA, testified before a House committee, denying the reports that his agency collected phone records of millions of Europeans citizens. [WaPost] [Politico] [NYTimes] [CNN]

Where are they?

Rep. Jason Chaffetz attends an Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing regarding waste at Veterans Administration and meets with Internet Association Member Council officials regarding a patent bill.

Gov. Gary Herbert attends the Utah Water Summit and talks to Kirk Jowers, head of the University of Utah Hinckley Institute of Politics.

SL Co. Mayor Ben McAdams hits the send off for Utah WWII veterans headed on their Honor Flight to Washington, has breakfast with state Rep. Jim Dunnigan and attends the Art is 100 launch party.

SLC Mayor Ralph Becker meets with Zions Bank CEO Scott Anderson, attends the Wellness Council Kick-off and holds his open-door constituent meetings.

WVC Mayor Mike Winder gets a flu shot, meets with leadership from UDOT and attends the court of honor for Boy Scout Troop 343.

President Barack Obama sits downs with Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, travels to Boston to give remarks about getting affordable healthcare and speaks at DCCC event before heading back to Washington.

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

— Thomas Burr and Jordan Bailey