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Situational awareness - December 28, 2017

Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City. This is our final newsletter of 2017. Thank you for an incredible year. We look forward to what awaits us in 2018.

The top Utah political news stories of 2017. Curtis says Utahns will warm up to the GOP tax overhaul plan. Robert Mueller expands his investigation of Russian interference. 

Tick tock:

Utah headlines

The top-10 Utah political news stories from the past year

We asked our "Political Insiders" and readers to pick the top stories in Utah politics from 2017. Not surprisingly, Donald Trump's visit to Utah to slash nearly 2 million acres from the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments topped the list, but check out the other nine stories that made the cut [Utah Policy].

2018 Candidate Tracker is online

The 2018 election is just around the corner. We have our running list of declared and rumored candidates online. The Congressional races are here. Check out the Utah Senate seats up for election here. The list of all 75 Utah House seats is here.

Quick links:

National headlines

On this day in history:

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Today At Utah Policy

'Political Insiders' pick the top Utah political stories of 2017

2017 was quite an eventful year in Utah politics. Here's what our "Political Insiders" and readers voted as the top-10 political news stories from the past year....

2018 Utah candidate tracker - Congress

There's a U.S. Senate seat up for election in 2018 as well as all four U.S. House seats. Here's our list of rumored and declared candidates....

2018 Utah candidate tracker - Utah Senate

2018 means another election cycle is upon us. Half of the Utah Senate seats are up for election this year, including an unexpected one because of a retirement. Here's our running list of candidates for those seats....

2018 Utah candidate tracker - Utah House

Next week candidates can start gathering signatures to get on the 2018 ballot. All 75 Utah House seats are up for election this year. Here's our running list of who's in, who's out and who's challenging....

2017 word cloud reveals depressing, yet hilarious, existential truth

Everyone likes being able to close the book on the year gone by, put it on the shelf, and then take an admiring look at the library of their life thus far. It gives us a sense of accomplishment, progression, and purpose....

Weekly survey: Utah political New Year's resolutions

2018 is almost upon us. Give us your New Year's resolutions for someone in Utah politics....

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Policy News

Consumer attitudes regarding the present state of the economy at all-time high, future expectations dip
After consecutive record-setting highs in October and November, the Zions Bank Utah Consumer Attitude Index (CAI) dipped slightly, decreasing from 124.4 in November to 118.7 in December....

Utah State Legislature launches redesigned website
In anticipation of the 2018 General Session, the Utah State Legislature is excited to launch the newly redesigned version of the legislative website, le.utah.gov. ...

Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Editorial: Time for Utah to set the rules for special elections

'If Utah isn't enforcing current DUI laws, why is it passing controversial new ones?' national group asks

Proposed $70 national park fee would hurt rural businesses, Utah governor tells Interior Department

As snowmobiles lose popularity in Utah, retrofitted UTVs and motorcycles gain more traction

That infamous Moscow dinner where Michael Flynn and Jill Stein sat with Putin? Utah's Rocky Anderson was there, too.

Will giving the state control of historic Hole in the Rock Road pave the way for crowds and development?

For his role in the shrinking of Bears Ears and the passage of a tax bill, Sen. Orrin Hatch is The Tribune's Utahn of the Year

Big Cottonwood Canyon town on the horizon? Brighton residents seek incorporation, local control.

Hatch office dismisses scathing Tribune editorial as click bait

Unless Utah lawmakers allow stronger beer in grocery stores, beer drinkers might soon have fewer options, Anheuser-Busch says

Will Utah legislators answer new call to ban phone use while driving?

CBD oil is seized amid Utah investigation into legality of cannabis products

Deseret News

Frank R. Pignanelli and LaVarr Webb: Kindergarten politicians reveal wish lists

Sen. Mike Lee: The tax bill will help, but don't take my word for it

Op-ed: How to forever resolve national monument controversies

Op-ed: Utah's public lands are more complicated than we think

Editorial: High-density growth highlights tensions between planners and residents

Editorial: Time to erase the vocational training stigma

Rio Grande politics: Speaker Greg Hughes discusses his 'unusual' step into homeless issue

Ranchers, agencies work to improve northern Utah rangeland

Deal aims to help sage grouse, ranching survive

State parks slated for face lift from money that came from park patrons

Washington Post writer explains why people leave Wyoming but love Idaho

Utah lawmaker's revisions to DUI law may include self-defense weapons exemption

Rep. John Curtis confident Utahns will like new tax bill - eventually


Editorial: County risks losing valuable employees and services unless it tackles funding in 2018 (Daily Herald)

Two candidates file to fill in Dean Sanpei's empty seat in Utah Legislature (Daily Herald)

National Headlines

Pew: Trump media three times more negative than for Obama, just 5 percent positive (Washington Examiner)

The Insufferable Nostalgia of a Lying Press (Spectator)

China halts oil product exports to North Korea in November as sanctions bite (CNBC)

Ridley Scott Defends Republican Tax Bill: Clever Business Owners Will Reinvest, Generate Economic Growth (Free Beacon)

Trump has scored some successes in foreign policy (CNN)

House Intel panel subpoenas McCain associate over Trump dossier (The Hill)

Democrats Are Headed for a Major Clash over Impeachment (Vanity Fair)

Liberal outrage erupts after Vanity Fair pokes fun at Hillary Clinton (FOX News)

'The Office' Star Jenna Fischer Apologizes For Getting Detail Of GOP Tax Bill Wrong (HuffPost)

Pot Stocks Soar as California Gets Ready to Get High (Bloomberg)

U.S. consumer confidence remains near 17-year high (CNNMoney)

Wise Words


"Our fatigue is often caused not by work, but by worry, frustration and resentment." Dale Carnegie

Lighter Side

University of Pennsylvania

"The University of Pennsylvania, which is Trump's alma mater, says the tax bill will add 2.2 trillion dollars to the national debt. Trump was like, "Come on - are you really gonna believe a school that let ME graduate? Gimme a break!" Jimmy Fallon

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