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Situational awareness - January 15, 2019

Good Tuesday morning from Salt Lake City. 

Breaking news for my fellow theater nerds: Broadway legend Carol Channing has died at the age of 97 -

Tuesday's news at a glance: The government shutdown enters day #25. Trump denies he worked for Russia. Romney and Stewart say Iowa Rep. Steve King should resign from Congress for making racist remarks.

How are we doing? Send your comments, suggestions, complaints or news tips to us here. We love hearing from our readers.


Today is the 15th day of the year. There are 350 days remaining in 2019.

11 days until Salt Lake County Democrats elect a new County Mayor (1/26/2019)

13 days until the first day of the 2019 Utah Legislature (1/28/2019)

58 days until the final day of the 2019 Utah Legislature (3/14/2019)

109 days to the Utah State Republican Party Organizing Convention (5/4/2019)

139 days until the municipal election filing period opens (6/3/2019)

143 days until the municipal election filing period ends (6/7/2019)

210 days to the 2019 Utah primary elections (8/13/2019)

294 days to the 2019 municipal elections (11/5/2019)

385 days to the 2020 Iowa Caucuses (2/3/2020)

653 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Screenshots/20190114_Stewart_CNN.jpgRep. Chris Stewart calls for Iowa Republican Steve King to resign

 Rep. Chris Stewart joined the growing chorus of Republicans in Congress calling on Iowa Rep. Steve King to resign after making racist remarks in an interview last week. ...
images/1000px_Screenshots/20190114_Romney_CNN.jpgRomney calls on Steve King to resign over racist remarks

 Sen. Mitt Romney says Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King should resign following comments he made questioning why the term "white supremacist" was offensive....
images/1000px_Mugs/Rob_Bishop_03.jpegBishop may face stiff opposition if he's Trump's pick for Interior Secretary

 Rep. Rob Bishop's name keeps surfacing as President Donald Trump's possible nominee to be the next Secretary of the Interior. But, some members of Congress say he might have a difficult time being confirmed....
images/1000px_Screenshots/20190114_Chaffetz_Fox_01.jpgChaffetz: Where were the Democrats when I wanted to investigate Clinton?

 Former House Oversight Committee chairman and current Fox News commentator Jason Chaffetz said Democrats who plan to investigate the Trump administration are being hypocritical because they were MIA during his attempts to investigate Benghazi and the IRS....
images/Resized_Logos/ULCT_Logo.jpgGuest opinion: Local elected leaders plan best for their communities - and the public agrees

 Change makes us uncomfortable.  Whether it's upgrading from an old lounge chair or a laptop, it takes some effort.  Yet, if the right choices are made, the result can be a future of greater ease and efficiency....
images/1000px_Logos/GOED_Logo_1000.pngUtah company, Galileo, expands

 The Utah Governor's Office of Economic Development announced Galileo Processing, Inc. will expand its operations in Utah, adding up to 300 jobs, $12 million in new state revenue and up to $15 million in capital investment over the next seven years....
images/Resized_Logos/Utah_Foundation_Logo_01.jpgUtah Foundation 2019 Annual Luncheon to feature 'the most influential academic in the world'

 Utah Foundation is pleased to announce that renowned Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam will serve as the keynote speaker at our Annual Luncheon on May 21 at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City....
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_03.jpgLawmaker says Legislature, not political parties, should pick replacements in case of U.S. Senate vacancy

 In the unlikely event that one of Utah's U.S. Senators were to not finish their term in office, the party that they belong to gets to nominate three possible replacements, with the final choice up to the governor. One Utah lawmaker says the legislature should play a ro...
images/1000px_Screenshots/20190113_Romney_MSNBC.jpgRomney: Democrats have painted themselves into a corner on border wall funding

Amid the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, Sen. Mitt Romney is blaming Democrats for the budget impasse over funding for President Donald Trump's border wall....
images/1000px_Article_Photos/US_Mexico_Border_Fence_02.jpgWill Trump get funding for his border wall? Our 'Political Insiders' give their thoughts on how the government shutdown will end

 The partial government shutdown is now the longest in history as President Donald Trump and Democrats in Congress continue their standoff over funding for Trump's proposed wall on the southern border....

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Deseret News

Editorial: It's time to exempt Utah from the Antiquities Act

Sen. Mitt Romney, Rep. Chris Stewart call for Iowa Republican congressman to resign over white supremacy comments

Utah officials starting plan for prolonged federal government shutdown

Better Boundaries backers bracing for challenge to voter-approved anti-gerrymandering initiative in Utah

Salt Lake Tribune

Air quality continues to deteriorate, with no relief expected until later this week

Gehrke: Millcreek is turning to the Legislature for help as it fights with Salt Lake City over Brickyard Plaza

The Utah National Guard has built walls along the Mexican border. The job helped shape the immigration views of some soldiers.

Gov. Herbert's budget director says state is in 'decent shape' during federal shutdown, but can't fund programs indefinitely


The government shutdown is entering its 25th day.

President Donald Trump says he never worked for Russia. The president denied reports he was working on behalf of Russia and called FBI officials who launched a counterintelligence investigation to determine if he did "known scoundrels" -

  • The former top Department of Justice official made a startling claim on Monday night - that President Trump is a danger to the security of the United States -

Is there really a crisis at the border? The New York Times digs into the situation at the southern border and found some startling facts. Illegal border crossings are at their lowest point in more than 40 years -

President Trump rejects a plan to end the shutdown. Sen. Lindsey Graham suggested Trump temporarily reopen the government while he negotiates funding for his border wall, but Trump dismissed that idea saying he would not back down from his position -

How long will Republicans stick with Trump? As more federal workers miss paychecks because of the shutdown, pressure is building on Republicans in Congress to buck the president and vote to re-open the government -

The nation's airports are beginning to buckle because of the shutdown, and it's going to get worse. The Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport advised travelers to arrive at least 3 hours early because of longer wait times at security checkpoints. Other airports are preparing for the problem to get worse as TSA agents stay home rather than work without pay -

Trump's Attorney General nominee promises to let Mueller finish his investigation. William Barr said on Monday it's in the best interest to let special counsel Robert Mueller finish his probe into contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia -

Trump wants to leave NATO. President Trump said several times over the last year he wanted to withdraw the U.S. from the military pact, a move Russian President Vladimir Putin would likely welcome -

President Donald Trump's legal team refused a request from special counsel Robert Mueller for an in-person interview. Mueller's team wanted to ask follow-up questions from Trump's written testimony in the Russia probe. Trump's lawyer, Rudy Guiliani, reportedly said the interview would happen "over my dead body" -

The Supreme Court rejected a challenge to Matthew Whitaker's appointment as acting Attorney General. Opponents argued Whitaker was not qualified for the position because he had not faced Senate confirmation. A simliar challenge is pending in federal court in Maryland -

Congress punishes Iowa Republican Steve King. Republicans in the House voted to strip Rep. King of his committee assignments because of racist comments he made in an interview last week -

Brexit vote today. British Ms vote today on Prime Minister Theresa May's plan to leave the European Union. The vote is expected to fail, but that is not set in stone -

Ivanka Trump will help choose the new World Bank President. The president's daughter has been rumored to be a candidate for the job is not in the running according to an administration official -

Most of the U.S. population has a Democrat for a governor. 175 million Americans have a Democratic governor, even though a majority of states still have Republicans leading them -

President Trump fed the Clemson Tigers football team fast food, and the internet couldn't handle it. The national champions were given a feast of McDonald's, Wendy's and Domino's pizza. Trump reportedly paid for the food itself. Twitter users went bananas over pictures from the event -

You're more likely to die from an opioid overdose than a car crash. The National Safety Council says the lifetime odds of an American dying from opioids is 1 in 96, while the odds of dying in a car crash are now 1 in 103 -

Antarctica is melting six times faster than it did in the 1980s. Ice loss at the South Pole is accelerating dramatically. The melting rate is 15 percent higher than last year -

China is the first country to grow plants on the moon. The Chinese lander on the dark side of the moon sprouted seeds taken on the mission -


1844 - The University of Notre Dame receives its charter from the state of Indiana.

1870 - A cartoon by Thomas Nast appeared in Harper's Weekly with a donkey symbolizing the Democratic Party for the first time. 

1889 - The Coca-Cola Company, then known as the Pemberton Medicine Company, is incorporated in Atlanta.

1892 - James Naismith publishes the rules of basketball.

1919 - Great Molasses Flood: A wave of molasses released from an exploding storage tank sweeps through Boston, killing 21 and injuring 150.

1943 - The Pentagon was dedicated.

1967 - The first Super Bowl was played at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The Green Bay Packers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 35-10.

1973 - President Richard Nixon called a halt to U.S. military offensives in Vietnam.

2001 - Wikipedia goes online.

Policy News

Sutherland Institute announces new members on its Board of Trustees
Sutherland Institute President and CEO Rick Larsen announced that both Greg Miller and John Sperry will join the organization's Board of Trustees....
Governor appoints Shawn Newell to the Utah State Board of Education
Gov. Gary R. Herbert has appointed Shawn Newell to represent District 10 on the Utah State School Board of Education. District 10 encompasses the Canyons School District, which has over 34,000 students and includes portions of Cottonwood Heights, Midvale, Sandy and ...
Curtis, Finkenauer introduce bipartisan rural economic development bill
Rep. John Curtis (R-UT) and Rep. Abby Finkenauer (D-IA) released the following statements after introducing H.R. 246, the Stimulating Innovation through Procurement Act of 2019. The bipartisan legislation will bring federal investment to small businesses in ru...
House Republicans of Utah support the PURE Act
On January 10, 2019, Utah Senators Mike Lee & Mitt Romney introduced the Protect Utah's Rural Economy (PURE) Act. The legislation would protect Utah from unilateral intrusion through the Antiquities Act. ...
Bradley J. Cook named 17th president of Snow College
 The Utah Board of Regents has unanimously selected Bradley J. Cook as the seventeenth president of Snow College....
images/1000px_Logos/GOED_ProgramLogos_Color_WTCUtah.pngJoin WTC Utah for a diplomatic luncheon with Italy's Consul General
 World Trade Center Utah, in partnership with the Governor's Office of Economic Development, is delighted to host a diplomatic luncheon welcoming the Honorable Lorenzo Ortona, Consul General of Italy....

More National Headlines

ABC's Jon Karl: People Close to Mueller Say His Report 'Certain to Be Anti-Climactic' (Mediaite)

The FBI's Investigation of Trump as a 'National Security Threat' is Itself a Serious Danger. But J. Edgar Hoover Pioneered the Tactic (The Intercept)

Conservative Groups Targeted in Lois Lerner's IRS Scandal Receive Settlement Checks (Daily Signal)

Both parties aim to woo defectors as shutdown drags on (Politico)

Bernie Sanders to meet with former campaign staffers about 2016 harassment issues (CNN)

Bernie Sanders picks a new fight over a $15 minimum wage as he explores running for president in 2020 (CNBC)

Supreme Court rejects challenge to Trump's appointment of Whitaker as acting attorney general (Washington Examiner)

Tulsi Gabbard under fire for past anti-gay remarks amid 2020 bid, says she has since 'evolved' (FOX News)

Joe Lieberman ramps up feud with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (New York Post)

Obama Border Patrol chief: Agents arrest 'rapists, murderers, gang members every single day' (Washington Examiner)

PG&E Plans To File For Bankruptcy Over Possible Liability In California Wildfires (NPR)

Wise Words


"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better." Albert Einstein

Lighter Side


"Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it." Mark Twain

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