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Wednesday, November 23, 2016 will not publish a newsletter on Thursday and Friday of this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

We will return to your phones, tablets, computers and inboxes on Monday, November 28.

Have a safe and happy holiday.

Local News Highlights: Daily Briefing

Morning Must Reads for Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 328th day of the year. There are 38 days left in 2016.

LaVar Christensen keeps his Utah House seat by the thinnest of margins. Donald Trump fills another cabinet slot. Trump disavows the racist alt-right movement.

The clock:

  • 26 days until the Electoral College meets to cast their votes for president and vice president (12/19/2016)
  • 58 days until Donald Trump is inaugurated as the 45th President (1/20/2017)
  • 61 days until the first day of the 2017 Utah Legislature (1/23/2017)
  • 106 days until the final day of the 2017 Utah Legislature (3/9/2017)
  • 349 days until the 2017 municipal elections (11/7/2017)
  • 713 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)

Ten talking points for Wednesday:

  1. Rep. LaVar Christensen retains his seat in the Utah House by a razor-thin three-vote margin. There will be a recount. Democrats end up with a net gain of one seat in the Legislature following the final vote totals [Utah Policy, Tribune, Deseret News].

  2. What does President-Elect Donald Trump's vow to scrap the Trans-Pacific Partnership mean for Utah's international trade? Check out our interview with Derek Miller from the World Trade Center Utah [Utah Policy].

  3. Cabinet Picks: Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is moving closer to becoming Donald Trump's selection as Secretary of State [Utah Policy]. Trump picks South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley to be Ambassador to the United Nations [CNN]. Former Democratic Rep. Harold Ford, Jr. is rapidly rising to the top of Trump's list for Secretary of Transportation [Politico]. Dr. Ben Carson is reportedly under consideration to head up Housing and Urban Development [CBS News].

  4. Donald Trump has flip-flopped on 15 campaign promises in the last 15 days [Politico].

  5. President-elect Trump meets journalists and executives at the New York Times [Wall Street Journal]. During that meeting, Trump disavowed the racist alt-right movement saying he doesn't "want to energize the group" [BuzzFeed]. 

  6. Donald Trump is giving more indications he does not intend to untangle himself from his vast business empire before taking office in January [Wall Street Journal]. Trump seemingly suggests there would be no conflict of interest with his business entities simply because he would be the president [Politico]. Liberals say an obscure line in the Constitution would be enough to sink Trump if he does not divest himself from his businesses [Politico].

  7. Voter turnout in some Utah counties was near record levels. Overall turnout in 2016 slightly exceeded 2012 levels when Mitt Romney was on the ballot [Deseret News].

  8. Utah's high school graduation rate rises to 85% [Utah Policy, Tribune].

  9. More than 48 million Americans are expected to hit the road for Thanksgiving this year [CBS News]. 53% of Americans say they don't plan to discuss politics at the Thanksgiving table [Huffington Post].

  10. Congratulations to Matt Canham and Robert Gehrke from the Salt Lake Tribune on a pair of well-deserved promotions. Canham becomes managing editor of the paper while Gehrke will write a political column [Tribune].

On this day in history:

  • 1889 - The jukebox made its debut, at the Palais Royale Saloon in San Francisco.
  • 1954 - The Dow Jones industrial average finally surpassed it's pre-crash high - 25 years after Black Tuesday - when it closed at 382.74.

Today At Utah Policy

Christensen Retains his Legislative Seat by Three Votes

Just call him “Landslide LaVar.”...

What Does the End of the TPP Mean for Utah (with video)

In this edition of "I Have Questions with Bryan Schott," we talk with Derek Miller, president and CEO of the World Trade Center Utah....

Podcast: What Does the End of the TPP Mean for Utah?

In this edition of "I Have Questions with Bryan Schott," we talk with Derek Miller, president and CEO of the World Trade Center Utah....

Trump Closing in on Choosing Romney for Secy. of State Job

President-elect Donald Trump is reportedly zeroing in on Mitt Romney as his Secretary of State....

Weekly Survey: What are You Thankful For in Politics?

Following a long, divisive and sometimes nasty election season, it's time to flip the script. Tell us what you're thankful for in politics heading into this holiday season....

Policy News

The Point of the Mountain Development Commission Asks: What's Your Big Idea for the Point of the Mountain?
The Point of the Mountain Development Commission, with the assistance of Envision Utah, will begin the Legislature-funded process to create a long-range plan for the Point of the Mountain area by asking the public a simple question: What’s your big idea for the area?...

Utah's High School Graduation Rate Rises to 85 Percent in 2016
A total of 38,326 students graduated from Utah’s public high schools in 2016 bringing the total high school graduation rate to 85 percent, an increase of 1 percentage point over 2014, according to data released by the Utah State Board of Education....

Pre-Holiday Show of Unity Planned at Capitol
Local and state elected officials, faith leaders, members of the business community and other Utahns will stand together on the steps of the Utah Capitol at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday morning as a show of support and unity among all residents....

Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Editorial: Time for Chaffetz to start checking into Trump's finances

New coalition of Utah businesses, conservatives seeks immigration reform

Obama commutes the sentence of two more Utah drug offenders

Rep. Lavar Christensen wins by three votes

Deseret News

Editorial: A coal revival still a stretch

Court hearing for Latino community advocate continued until Dec. 20

Volunteers survey hundreds of homeless people on their needs

Romney still seen as top contender for secretary of state under Trump

Canvass: Rep. Lavar Christensen wins race by 3 votes, but recount looms

Some Utah counties had record-breaking voter turnout


Op-ed: Free trade is a job-creation machine, even in landlocked Utah (Standard-Examiner)

Weber County finalizes vote tallies, sees 86 percent turnout (Standard-Examiner)

National Headlines

Biden not interested in leading DNC (The Hill)

Trump signals softer approach in Times meeting (The Hill)

Trump Inches Toward Naming Domestic Cabinet Members (New York Times)

Obama grants 79 more commutations to federal inmates, pushing the total past 1,000 (Washington Post)

How Nancy Pelosi is trying to reassure anxious Democrats about her leadership (Washington Post)

Tommy Hilfiger thinks designers 'should be proud' to dress Melania Trump (Los Angeles Times)

Texas court blocks overtime rule (Politico)

Trump's Day One Vow Can Alter Energy Rules But Not Market Forces (Bloomberg)

Trump wants to lift restrictions on 'clean coal' (Washington Post)

Trump Foundation's 'self-dealing' unlikely to expose Trump to legal liability (Politico)

Silicon Valley scrambles for a seat at Trump's table (Mercury News)

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Wise Words

Joy in Sorrow
"Life has never been easy. Nor is it meant to be. It is a matter of being joyous in the face of sorrow." Dirk Benedict

Lighter Side

The Next guy
"During President Obama's visit to Greece, . . . . huge anti-Obama protests broke out. However, Obama was able to quiet down the crowd by saying, "Wait till you see the next guy." Conan O'Brien

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