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Situational awareness - January 17, 2019

Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City.

Thursday's news at a glance: Most Utahns say President Trump is to blame for the government shutdown. Utah Lawmaker proposes outlawing abortions after 15 weeks. Stewart says Mueller report won't be a political bomb.

Talk to us! Send us your news tips, suggestions, complaints or feedback here

The UtahPolicy.com daily newsletter gets you up to speed on the top local and national news about politics and public policy. Our news is curated by Managing Editor Bryan Schott, along with help from Golden Webb. ((Click here to subscribe))


Today is the 17th day of the year. There are 348 days remaining in 2019.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Article_Photos/Government_Shutdown_01.jpgMost Utahns say President Trump is to blame for the government shutdown

 Congressional Republicans are getting a bye from Utahns on who is most responsible for the current federal government shutdown, which is now the longest in U.S. history....
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_04.jpgUtah Lawmaker proposes outlawing abortions after 15 weeks

 A Utah lawmaker is proposing an abortion bill for the upcoming legislative session that would see the state join Mississippi with some of the toughest abortion restrictions in the country....
images/1000px_Screenshots/20190116_Stewart_CNN.jpgStewart says Mueller report won't be a 'political bomb'

 Rep. Chris Stewart says expects the final report by special counsel Robert Mueller to be a whimper rather than a "political bomb." He also said Speaker Nancy Pelosi was trying to silence President Donald Trump by rescheduling the State of the Union Address....
images/1000px_Logos/USTAR_1000.pngUSTAR-supported companies bring deep tech jobs to Utah's rural economy

 While Utah's economy is booming on the Wasatch Front, the lingering effects of the Great Recession and technological changes in heavy industries, like mining, are still posing economic challenges for Utah's rural counties....
images/1000px_Logos/SL_Chamber_Logo_1000.jpgHealth care is a business issue

 About 61%, or approximately 2 million Utahns, purchase health insurance through employers....
images/1000px_Screenshots/20190116_Feldblum_CSPAN.jpgEEOC commissioner blocked by Sen. Mike Lee says his objections are not based in reality

 At the end of December, Sen. Mike Lee blocked the reappointment of Equal Employment Opportunity Commissioner Chai Feldblum because of her "radical views on marriage." On Tuesday, Feldblum said Lee was describing a person she "did not recognize."...
images/1000px_Screenshots/20190116_Stewart_CSPAN.jpgStewart on anti-white nationalist vote: We need to reject all types of racial intolerance, not just shame one party

 On Tuesday the House voted 424 to 1 in favor of a resolution rejecting white supremacy and white nationalism following racist comments made by Iowa Republican Steve King....
images/1000px_Mugs/Donald_Trump_Phone.jpgTrump makes pitch for border wall funding to Utah lawmakers

 President Donald Trump made his pitch for building a wall on the southern border directly to local elected officials in the western U.S. today. Several Utah lawmakers joined the Tuesday afternoon conference call....
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Utah_County_Commission_Building.jpgGOP leader who made a Nazi joke on Facebook hired as top deputy in Utah County Clerk's office

 The Utah County GOP leader who was caught making a Nazi-themed joke on a private Facebook page has been appointed as a top deputy to new Utah County Clerk Amelia Powers....
images/1000px_Screenshots/20190115_Hatch_Barr.jpgFormer Sen. Orrin Hatch says William Barr was 'known as the law and order Attorney General'

 Former Sen. Orrin Hatch introduced William Barr, President Trump's nominee to be Attorney General, during his confirmation hearing on Tuesday morning. Hatch said Barr, who served as AG during the Bush administration, was known as the "law and order Attorney General."...

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Deseret News

Jay Evensen: Shutdown could make Utah less prepared for a recession

Editorial: A solution to end the shutdown and give both Republicans and Democrats a win

Editorial: Utah's gang violence needs correction from the state

McAdams reschedules town hall meetings while Curtis plans to attend his virtually

Some Utah IRS workers called back; courts postponing cases as shutdown continues

Utah city appoints new mayor who pleaded guilty last year to DUI

Utah official: Downtown homeless shelter won't meet June closing deadline

Shutdown putting food assistance in peril for some needy Utah families

Salt Lake Tribune

Salt Lake City Council to hold public hearing on renaming Hidden Hollow 'Ty's Garden' after noted conservationist

A medical cannabis advocate argues that a Utah Gun Exchange co-owner facing a drug charge deserves leniency. Here's why.

Brent Taylor, killed in Afghanistan, had fought to cut UTA exec perks. The new UTA board just erased them.

Food-stamp recipients in Utah will receive February's benefits weeks early, and state officials are urging careful rationing

Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox says he doesn't expect voter-approved Medicaid expansion to be delayed

Standing-room only crowd rallies to seek extension of big-rig ban on Legacy Parkway

Utah gun rights advocate files lawsuit against federal bump stock ban


Reps Curtis, McAdams change town hall plans following Congressional scheduling changes (Daily Herald)

Scott Freitag rebounds after 2018 DUI arrest, tabbed mayor of Layton (Standard-Examiner)


The government shutdown is entering day #26.

The economic damage from the shutdown may be far higher than estimated. White House economists said the economic loss from the shutdown might be double what they first thought, which could push the economy into a retraction - https://nyti.ms/2FDpnnW

A group of centrist Democrats turned down an invitation by the White House for a meeting on ending the shutdown. President Donald Trump invited the Democrats to undermine support for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and force Democrats back to the negotiating table - http://bit.ly/2FBUSys

No vote on funding bills. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell once again blocked a vote on a House package to reopen the federal government - http://bit.ly/2FD9RbF

Recess canceled. House leaders said they would cancel next week's Martin Luther King Day recess unless the government shutdown is suddenly resolved before then - http://bit.ly/2FA1ygK

The Trump administration orders government workers back on the job without pay. The administration is calling 50,000 employees back to fill critical roles like airline and food safety - https://wapo.st/2FB17CI

The U.S. Coast Guard missed a paycheck Tuesday. It was the first time ever American military service members have not been paid during a shutdown - http://bit.ly/2FBNMtQ

William Barr said he would allow Robert Mueller to finish his investigation, but the final report may not be made public. President Trump's Attorney General nominee said the final report of the investigation into links between the Trump campaign and Russia may not be released publicly - https://wapo.st/2FA2EsC

Wait...what?!! Fox News analyst Gregg Jarrett said the FBI should be disbanded to protect President Trump - http://bit.ly/2FtRiap

Russia backs up Trump. The Russian government dismissed claims that President Donald Trump has been working on behalf of the Kremlin - https://bloom.bg/2FvgkGc

No citizenship question on the 2020 census. A federal judge blocked the Commerce Department from adding a question about citizenship status to the 2020 census. Critics argued the question was designed to boost Republican political fortunes in the next redistricting cycle - https://nyti.ms/2FGg8mZ

Soaking the rich. A poll shows most Americans support raising the top tax rate to 70% - http://bit.ly/2FGyFPI

British Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit plan was voted down by MPs in the biggest defeat for any UK government in the modern era. May will now likely face a vote of no confidence - https://cnn.it/2FzoCMB


1773 - Captain James Cook commands the first expedition to sail south of the Antarctic Circle.

1899 - The United States takes possession of Wake Island in the Pacific Ocean.

1917 - The United States pays Denmark $25 million for the Virgin Islands.

1946 - The UN Security Council holds its first session.

1950 - The Great Brink's Robbery: Eleven thieves steal more than $2 million from an armored car company's offices in Boston.

1961 - President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivers a televised farewell address to the nation three days before leaving office, in which he warns against the accumulation of power by the "military-industrial complex" as well as the dangers of massive spending, especially deficit spending.

1977 - Capital punishment in the U.S. resumes after a ten-year hiatus, as convicted murderer Gary Gilmore is executed by firing squad in Utah.

1991 - Operation Desert Storm begins as aircraft strike positions across Iraq.

1998 - Matt Drudge breaks the story of the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky affair on his Drudge Report website.

Policy News

Curtis, GOP representatives introduce bill to prevent government shutdowns
Congressman John Curtis (R-UT) released the following statement after he introduced The Government Shutdown Prevention Act with Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-PA)....
Sen. Lee delivers remarks on March for Life
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) spoke on the Senate floor regarding the 46th annual March for Life, to be held in Washington, D.C. this Friday. ...
images/1000px_Logos/GOED_ProgramLogos_Color_WTCUtah.pngJoin WTC Utah for a seminar on market access for medical devices
 What executives need to know to successfully register and commercialize medical products in Australia and Asia Pacific....
Utah maintains AAA credit rating from all major rating agencies, saves taxpayer dollars on transportation projects
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and Treasurer David Damschen today announced that S&P Global, Moody's Investors Service and Fitch Ratings have reaffirmed the State's AAA credit rating the highest rating a state can receive....

More National Headlines

Immigration group demands SPLC revoke 'hate' label (Washington Times)

Amid internal investigation over leaks to media, the Center for American Progress fires two staffers (Intercept)

L.A. teachers bask in support for strike, but pressure grows to settle amid financial losses (Los Angeles Times)

Beto O'Rourke mocked after offering few answers in wide-ranging policy interview (FOX News)

CNN analyst Areva Martin accused radio host David Webb of 'white privilege.' Webb is black (USA Today)

Ruth Bader Ginsburg unable to attend February speaking event in NYC, organizers say (FOX News)

Ocasio-Cortez vows to 'run train' on progressive agenda in bizarre turn of phrase (FOX News)

Ocasio-Cortez to train fellow members of Congress on Twitter (CNN)

Hawaii Congressman Claims He's An 'Asian Trapped In A White Body' (HuffPost)

Man in Georgia wanted to attack the White House, federal officials say (CNN)

Most users are unaware Facebook compiles lists of their interests for advertisers: poll (The Hill)

Wise Words


"Do you want to know who you are? Don't ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you." Thomas Jefferson

Lighter Side


"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt." Abraham Lincoln

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