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Situational awareness - January 13, 2020

Good Monday morning from Salt Lake City

Thanks for subscribing to Utah's must-read daily political news rundown.

If you know of friends or colleagues who would benefit from our daily news roundup, please encourage them to sign up for our emails.

Here are the stories you need to pay attention to this morning:

  • Utah voters favor curbs on insulin co-payments.
  • Sen. Mike Lee contradicts Trump administration officials on Iran intelligence.
  • President Trump is urging Senate Republicans to dismiss the impeachment charges against him.

Trivia winners

An impressive number of our readers knew that Porter Rockwell was a deputy marshal of Great Salt Lake City and was the owner and operator of the Hot Springs Hotel and Brewery at the Point of the Mountain.

Our winner (and the third person to submit the correct answer) was Kenneth Sizemore. He gets to ask this Friday's trivia question.

Congratulations to everyone who got the correct answer!


Days to the first day of the 2020 Utah Legislature: 14 (1/27/2020)

Days to the 2020 Iowa Caucuses: 21 (2/3/2020)

Days to the New Hampshire primaries: 29 (2/11/2020) 

Days to the Utah presidential primaries: 50 (3/3/2020)

Days to the final day of the 2020 Utah Legislature: 59 (3/12/2020)

Days to the 2020 Utah primary elections: 169 (6/30/2020)

Days to the 2020 election: 295 (11/3/2020)

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Article_Photos/Insulin_01.jpgUtah voters want limits on insulin co-payments
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Utah voters overwhelmingly want the Utah Legislature to pass a law similar to Colorado's, which would cap medical insurance co-payments for insulin at $100 per prescription, a new UtahPolicy.com/Y2 Analytics survey finds.
images/mugs/LaVarr_Webb.jpgGovernor's race shows SB54 is working great
By LaVarr Webb, Publisher
The current multi-candidate gubernatorial campaign shows the value of SB54 and the Count My Vote effort. We would not have such a large and diverse field of candidates if candidates were unable to gather signatures to get on the primary election ballot. 
images/1000px_Screenshots/20200112_Lee_CNN.jpgLee contradicts Trump administration on intelligence showing imminent attack on U.S. embassies
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Sen. Mike Lee said Sunday he had seen no evidence of an imminent attack on four U.S. embassies, which President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed as justification for the strike that killed one of Iran's top military leaders.
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgBob needs a lozenge - Bernick and Schott on politics podcast
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott get you caught up on the latest Utah political headlines.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_18.jpgLawmakers frustrated by efforts to find new way to fund schools
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
If the Utah Education Association, and other public education advocates, don't come to the table to have "honest discussions" about finding a long-term, stable education funding source, then another state income tax rate cut is coming, for sure, Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson told UtahPolicy.com on Thursday.
images/1000px_Screenshots/20200109_Lee_Fox.jpgLee: 'We are in a position where we easily could get into a war with Iran'
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Sen. Mike Lee caused a stir on Wednesday when he erupted after a closed-door briefing about the attack that killed Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani.
images/1000px_Logos/Cities_Work_Logo.jpgCities Work podcast: Big City/ Little Town- Similarities in spite of differences
By Utah League of Cities and Towns
From rural Colorado to metro Maryland, there are many differences in local landscapes across the nation. Yet, more often than not, local leaders wrestle with similar issues.
images/1000px_Screenshots/20200108_Lee_Fox_02.jpgLee says Trump administration officials refused to answer his questions about strike on Iranian military leader
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Sen. Mike Lee caused serious waves when he ripped a military briefing about the attack that killed Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, saying it was "insulting" and the worst he's ever seen. Lee took to Fox News Wednesday night to explain why he was so angry.

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune




President Donald Trump authorized the killing of Iranian Maj. Gen Qassem Soleimani last August if Iran's aggression resulted in the killing of an American, but Trump would have the final sign-off on any operation to kill him [NBC News].

Defense Secretary Mike Esper said Sunday he "didn't see" evidence of an Iranian plot to attack four U.S. embassies. President Trump made the claim during an interview on Friday [Washington Post].

Esper said bigger attacks against the U.S. were just "days away" when Soleimani was killed but did not offer evidence to back up his claims [Bloomberg].


President Trump is urging Republicans in the Senate to dismiss the House impeachment charges against him without a trial [New York Times].

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday that President Trump is "impeached for life" while accusing Senate Republicans of a "coverup" [Washington Post].

Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer is planning to force a series of votes during the forthcoming impeachment trial of President Trump to put pressure on vulnerable Republicans who are facing tough re-elections in November [Politico].

Bloomberg vs. Trump

Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg said he's prepared to spend much of his fortune to oust President Donald Trump from office [Reuters].


The U.S. and China will sign phase one of a trade deal on Wednesday. The deal hinges on Chinese commitments to respect American intellectual property and not manipulate currency [Bloomberg].

Try, try again

The White House tells North Korea hey want to resume negotiations after the two countries broke off talks in October [CNN].


Women held more jobs than Men in the U.S. for the first time in a decade last month. Men still make up a larger share of the U.S. workforce [Wall Street Journal].


Policy News

images/1000px_Logos/Congressional_News_03.jpgCurtis designates 'Martha Hughes Canon' Day; Establishes women's advisory council
Rep. John Curtis (R-UT),  spoke on the House Floor after introducing a bipartisan resolution to designate January 11, 2020 as "National Martha Hughes Cannon Day." The legislation also recognizes the value that women bring to good governance and encourages them to become involved in Federal, State, and local government.
images/1000px_Logos/Congressional_News_02.jpgSen. Lee introduces abortion is not healthcare act
 Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) today introduced the Abortion is Not Healthcare Act, a bill that would prevent the tax deductibility of abortions.
Real Women Run gears up for 2020
2020 is a milestone year for both women and civic engagement across the country, with 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment and 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. With several high profile electoral campaigns and over half of all legislative seats and countless county level positions up for election in 2020, civic engagement is crucial. Women's participation in the political process is essential, and attending a Real Women Run event is a great way to start to this milestone year.
images/1000px_Logos/Congressional_News_01.jpgRomney, colleagues introduce legislation to improve broadband access for Utah's rural schools
U.S. Senators Mitt Romney (R-UT), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), John Boozman (R-AR), and Joe Manchin (D-WV) introduced the Connected Rural Schools Act to help close the digital disconnect for rural students. The legislation will ensure that broadband and other internet accessibility technologies are eligible for funding from the existing Secure Rural Schools (SRS) Program.
Utah students to be honored for winning investment strategies at January 10 awards banquet
Students, teachers, government officials and local business leaders will celebrate the 32 winning students and teachers of the Stock Market Game fall 2019 statewide competition during an awards banquet on January 10. The banquet, hosted by Utah State Treasurer David Damschen, will feature student speeches, information about the competition and opportunities to learn more about financial responsibility.
Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report
Outdoors Report--Salt Lake Tribune: More animals are being killed illegally in Utah, DWR says--KSL.com:Salt mounds forming at Great Salt Lake are 'rare,' 'unique' geologists sayNew Films-- 1917: Tribune reviewConcerts-- Guest Artist Double Reed Roundup, Friday, 7:30 p.m., Madsen Recital Hall, Harris Fine Arts Center,Brigham Young University, Campus Drive and Heritage Drive, Provo, free-- "Erica Hansen presents: Women of Country Music" Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Grand Theatre, 1575 South State Street, Salt Lake City, $12-$23-- "Isabel Leonard sings Mozart," Utah Symphony, Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Abravanel Hall, 123 West South Temple, Salt Lake City, $10-$92-- Vocal Point, Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m., de Jong Concert Hall, Harris Fine Arts Center,Brigham Young University, Campus Drive and Heritage Drive, Provo, $11-$13

More National Headlines


1794 - President George Washington approved a measure adding two stars and two stripes to the American flag, following the admission of Vermont and Kentucky to the union.

1888 - The National Geographic Society is founded in Washington, D.C.

1966 - Robert C. Weaver became the first African American Cabinet member as he was appointed Secretary of Housing and Urban Development by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

1968 - Johnny Cash performs live at Folsom State Prison.

1990 - Douglas Wilder becomes the first elected African American governor as he takes office in Virginia.

1999 - Michael Jordan announced his retirement.

2012 - The Italian luxury liner Costa Concordia ran aground off the Tuscan island of Giglio and flipped onto its side. 32 people were killed. 

2018 - A false emergency alert warning of an impending missile strike in Hawaii caused widespread panic in the state.

Wise Words

Work Worth Doing

"Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing."Theodore Roosevelt

Lighter Side

Worst Threat Briefing Ever

"Lee says that not only was the briefing horrible, the portions were so small," Colbert said on Thursday. "Seventy-five minutes is shorter than the opening credits of 'The Irishman.'" Stephen Colbert

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