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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Best of Utah 2016 logoSalt Lake City Weekly highlighted Managing Editor Bryan Schott in their annual "Best of Utah" edition as "Best Political Schott in the Dark."

The editors said "If you have even one iota of interest in how this state and its cities are run, you should subscribe to or at least visit Utah Policy's site, where Schott curates local news and headlines five days a week in the Morning Must Reads. He also weighs in on the issues of the day with longtime political reporter Bob Bernick in more than 300 "Bernick and Schott on Politics" videos."

Local News Highlights: Daily Briefing

Morning Must Reads for Thursday, December 15, 2015

Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 350th day of the year. There are 16 days remaining in 2016.

College tuition costs have skyrocketed in Utah over the past two decades. U.S. intelligence says they're convinced Vladimir Putin had a personal role in the hacking of the 2016 presidential election. Electors are getting pressure to dump Donald Trump.

The clock:

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

Ten talking points for Thursday:

  1. Expensive education. College tuition costs in Utah have risen 214% over the past two decades [Utah Policy].

  2. Countdown continues. The purchase of the Salt Lake Tribune by Paul Huntsman is our #9 Utah political news story from 2016 [Utah Policy].

  3. Earth shattering, if true. U.S. intelligence officials say they have a "high level of confidence" that Russian President Vladimir Putin was personally involved in the Russian plan to interfere with the 2016 presidential election [NBC News]. The White House suggests Donald Trump may have known Russia was trying to influence the election in his favor [Politico]. Meanwhile, the opinion of Putin among Republicans has skyrocketed since 2014 [Huffington Post].

  4. Boring but important. The Federal Reserve announced they would nudge interest rates up a quarter percent [Wall Street Journal].

  5. Rumors flying. Members of Utah's congressional delegation address rumors that President Obama will declare a Bears Ears monument, possibly on Dec. 23 [Deseret News].

  6. Hypocrisy much? Michael Flynn, Donald Trump's national security advisor, "inappropriately shared" classified information with foreign military officers in Afghanistan. Flynn was an outspoken critic of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while secretary of state [Washington Post].

  7. Electoral follies. Utah's presidential electors say they are getting more pressure to not vote for Donald Trump on Monday [Tribune, Deseret News]. A number of celebrities are joining the chorus calling for electors to dump Trump [Huffington Post]. Don't expect that pressure to pay off. Republican electors say they're not in the mood to launch an insurrection against Trump [Associated Press].

  8. A big no-no. Sen. Orrin Hatch releases a report criticizing the IRS for spending extravagantly on employee travel [The Hill].

  9. The Hill weighs in. Utah lawmakers say they plan to hold hearings on a proposed income tax hike for public schools [Tribune].

  10. Sabre rattling. China warns Donald Trump to not abandon the "One China" policy when it comes to Taiwan [World Post]. Military analysts say China is installing weapons on artificial islands in a disputed area in the South China Sea [Wall Street Journal].

On this day in history:

  • 1791 - The Bill of Rights took effect.
  • 1938 - Ground was broken for the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C.
  • 2003 - The late Sen. Strom Thurmond's family acknowledged Essie Mae Washington-Williams' claim that she was Thurmond's illegitimate mixed-race daughter.

Today At Utah Policy

Utah Tuition Costs Have Risen 214% Over the Last 20 Years

Over the last 20 years, state funding increases for Utah’s colleges and universities has basically kept pace with the Consumer Price Index....

Bernick and Schott on Politics: The Top-10 Utah Political News Stories of 2016 - #9

After years of turmoil and budget cuts, the Salt Lake Tribune finally found a local champion in Paul Huntsman....

Thought Leader Symposium: Utah's Economy Under Trump

How will Utah’s economy fare under a Trump administration? No one knows for sure, but key Utah leaders from different economic sectors are cautiously optimistic – with some reservations....

Podcast: The Top-10 Utah Political News Stories of 2016 - #9

Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott continue our countdown of the top-10 Utah political news stories of 2016....

Chaffetz Faces a Crossroads on Trump

Rep.Jason Chaffetz rose to national prominence by conducting relentless inquiries intothe conduct of officials in the Obama administration, especially the sloppy email habits offormer secretary of state Hillary Clinton. Anticipating a Democratic presidential victory, Chaffet...

Pro-Trump Group Blew by Basic Campaign Finance Laws

A group that gave more money to one of President-elect Trump's fundraising efforts than any other political action committee failed to disclose its donors before Election Day and exceeded caps on contribution amounts....

Weekly Survey: Did Russian Hacking Tip the Election?

It has been reported that the CIA concluded Russian intelligence agencies tried to influence the presidential election in favor of Donald Trump. Do you think that is a possibility? Vote now in our weekly survey....

Lee Calls on White House Not to Designate Monument Next Week

On Wednesday night, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) took to Facebook Live to address rumors that President Obama could unilaterally declare a Bears Ears National Monument southeast Utah as early as next week....

Policy News

Sutherland Institute Condemns Imminent Bears Ears National Monument Designation
According to multiple sources, President Barack Obama will designate 1.4 to 1.9 million acres in San Juan County as the Bears Ears National Monument next week....

Hatch Report Details Wasteful Spending at IRS on Long-Term Travel
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) released a new majority staff report highlighting wasteful spending at the Internal Revenue Service relating to long-term travel....

Gov. Herbert, Legislature Laud UESP on 20th Anniversary
The Utah Educational Savings Plan will celebrate 20 years of helping families save for higher education at two events in southern Utah on December 16, 2016. UESP’s milestone was praised by the Utah Legislature and Gov. Gary Herbert earlier this year....

Lee, Klobuchar Call for 'Careful Consideration' of Three Agribusiness Mergers
Senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rights, sent a letter to Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Edith Ramirez and Department of Justi...

Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Editorial: At last, a plan to help Salt Lake City's homeless

Trump's choice to head Interior opposes GOP's effort to sell public lands

Sugar House favored for women's or families' facility

Pressure ramping up on Utah electors to ditch Trump; voters like Electoral College

Judge breaks 17 Bundy defendants into three groups for series of trials over 2014 standoff

Utah lawmakers feel compelled to respond to push for education tax hike

Utah Supreme Court says environmentalists' refinery fight feels like deja vu

Some residents say they'll move away from shelter sites, a few embrace them

Salt Lake City officials get earful over homeless shelter distribution

Deseret News

Dan Liljenquist: The hottest Christmas ticket in town

Op-ed: Global warming fact vs. fiction

Jay Evensen: How teachers might have gotten a raise

Editorial: Homeless shelter selection: an arduous and complicated process

Presidential electors pressed to dump Trump; Utahns favor keeping Electoral College

Utah GOP continues SB54 appeal as lawmakers try to work out fix

Oil company says BLM's inaction cost company $47 million

UTA board adopts $387M budget

Analysts say Trump trade policies could be challenging for Utah

Rumors and rumblings over Bears Ears monument run rampant

Utahns flocking to Obamacare despite uncertain future


Utah thought leaders cautiously optimistic on future of Utah business under Trump administration (Daily Herald)

National Headlines

How Clinton lost Michigan - and blew the election (Politico)

Trump sits down with top Silicon Valley execs (CNN)

Fed hikes rates for second time in a decade (The Hill)

WikiLeaks operative claims Russia did NOT provide Clinton emails (Daily Mail)

Google extends conservative outreach as Trump calls tech meeting (Reuters)

NYPD: Muslim teenager who reported harassment by Trump supporters made the story up (Business Insider)

Trump Puts Ronna Romney McDaniel In Line To Be Next RNC Chairwoman (NPR)

Feds say it's 'premature' to judge lease for Trump's D.C. hotel (Washington Post)

Obama administration bars states from defunding Planned Parenthood (CBS News)

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards' LGBT rights order thrown out by judge (CBS News)

Trump doesn't threaten only President Obama's legacy. He could ruin Michelle Obama's, too. (Washington Post)

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