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Situational awareness - January 22, 2019

Good Tuesday morning from Salt Lake City.

Tuesday's news at a glance: Poll shows Utahns are not sold on the legislature's plan to change Medicaid expansion. Mia Love warns Trump could "lose the presidency" if he folds on his demand for wall funding. The government shutdown enters day #32.

I'm back from a quick trip to New York City where I participated in a workshop for local journalists sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations.

I also had the incredibly good fortune to catch some stupendous shows on Broadway. Here are a couple of quick reviews:

  • Network. Bryan Cranston stars in this adaptation of the 1976 film. Despite the source material being more than 40 years old, it's a prophetic look at our media culture and the constant thrum of the media outrage machine. Cranston was incredible as TV anchor Howard Beale. 

  • To Kill a Mockingbird. Aaron Sorkin has masterfully re-written Harper Lee's masterpiece to make it incredibly relevant and vital today. In this version, the trial of Tom Robinson takes center stage in the story. Jeff Daniels is astonishing as Atticus Finch. I was still shaking hours after the performance.

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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 22nd day of the year. There are 343 days remaining in 2019.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

utah economic summit

Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_06.jpgMore Utahns say they oppose legislators making changes to voter-approved Medicaid expansion

A new UtahPolicy.com poll shows Utahns want to keep Prop. 3, Medicaid expansion, even as GOP lawmakers are talking about junking it for a scaled-back alternative....
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_05.jpgBill aims to remove 'gamesmanship' from citizen initiative process

 It's been clear for some time that with three citizen initiatives making the 2018 ballot, and with Count My Vote being knocked off the ballot by a well-organized opposition group, some bills dealing with Utah's citizen initiative process would be filed in the 2019 Legi...
images/Resized_Mugshots/Jenny_Wilson_02.jpgPodcast: A conversation with Salt Lake County Mayor candidate Jenny Wilson

 On Saturday, Salt Lake County Democrats will choose a replacement for Ben McAdams who resigned earlier this month to take his seat in Congress....
images/Resized_Mugshots/Derek_Monson_01.jpegGuest opinion: Amend Medicaid expansion, but we should do so much more

In the runup to the 2019 legislative session, legislative leaders are discussing potential amendments to the Medicaid expansion plan enacted by Proposition 3. As a matter of public policy, they are right to do so, despite the tricky politics of amending a program approved by...
images/Shutterstock_article_photos/Job_Growth_01.jpgUtah's unemployment rate remained unchanged during December at 3.2%

 Utah's nonfarm payroll employment for December 2018 grew by an estimated 3.1 percent, adding 47,200 jobs to the economy since December 2017. Utah's current employment level registers 1,542,600. No revisions were made to November's job growth rate....
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Reader_Survey.jpgGive us your feedback. Take our reader survey

We want to hear from you....
images/1000px_Screenshots/20190121_Love_CNN.jpgMia Love says Trump will 'lose the presidency' if he caves on wall funding

 Former Rep. Mia Love said Sunday President Donald Trump has backed himself into a corner and will "lose the presidency" if he can't get money to build his proposed border wall....
images/1000px_Logos/SL_Chamber_Logo_1000.jpgSalt Lake Chamber announces 2019 legislative priorities at the Utah Economic Outlook & Public Policy Summit

 The Salt Lake Chamber, Utah's largest and longest-standing statewide business association, held the Utah Economic Outlook & Public Policy Summit, in partnership with the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, to preview the business community's priorities for the upcomin...
images/Resized_Logos/ULCT_Logo1.jpgPride and progress - Spanish Fork addresses community growth

 In Spanish Fork, there's an old bell tower that sits atop city hall, one of the oldest buildings in town....
images/1000px_Screenshots/20190120_Mia_Love_CNN.jpgMia Love: Republicans 'torpedo their own' on immigration

 On Sunday's State of the Union with Jake Tapper program, former Utah congresswoman Mia Love said the biggest thing standing in the way of a deal to re-open the government is Republican infighting over immigration....

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Deseret News

Pignanelli and Webb: What ails the federal government - and how to fix it

Rep. John Curtis: This one act could put an end to future shutdowns

Sen. Mike Lee: Let's start working to end this shutdown

Op-ed: You may think I shouldn't be optimistic about Utah's agriculture, but you'd be wrong

Editorial: Trump's commonsense border security plan should spur Congress to act

'Aggravated' Utah Gov. Gary Herbert says he has solution to government shutdowns

Utah jobless rate remains at 3.2 percent

Should Utah taxpayers get a sales tax or income tax cut? Governor and legislative leaders don't agree

Rising costs, aging population threaten Utah's 'healthy state' status

Rep. Ben McAdams rallies with constituents in his first District 4 town hall meeting

Utah delegation follows partisan split in response to Trump border proposal

What if the state of Utah picked up the cost of school fees instead of Utah families?

Utah lawmaker proposes one of nation's strictest abortion laws

How Cottonwood Mall project fight could inspire changes to Utah's local referendum laws

Salt Lake Tribune

Op-ed: Utah farmers want clean water and clear rules

A special kind of crisis: Civil rights complaints allege neglect of special needs students in Utah schools

Lake Powell could become a 'dead pool' as climate change, political wars and unabated growth drain its waters

New County Council Chairman Richard Snelgrove says liberals and conservatives will continue pulling together to steer Salt Lake County government

Utah finished 2018 at No. 4 in job creation

Utah has the third-lowest rate of labor union membership among states

Sen. Mitt Romney tells Weber County leaders the responsibility for ending the shutdown rests with the president and House speaker

Utah's state reptile - the Gila monster?

Who has a bigger supermajority than even Republicans in Utah's Legislature? Latter-day Saints.

UTA has been promising to focus on buses rather than new rail projects. Now it's proposing a $1B TRAX expansion.

Traffic bill being proposed in Utah Legislature could allow drivers to pass through red lights - as long as no one else is around


Romney visits Weber County commissioners to discuss impacts of government shutdown (Standard-Examiner)

Rep. Rob Bishop quiet amid talk he's up for top spot at Department of Interior (Standard-Examiner)

Ogden City Council to hear from public, vote on large $236 million downtown redevelopment project (Standard-Examiner)


Shutdown day #32.

  • Democrats have rejected out of hand President Donald Trump's proposal to extend DACA protections for three years in exchange for $5.7 billion in funding for a border wall. Speaker Nancy Pelosi calls the proposal a "non-starter" - https://cnn.it/2FH29xQ

  • Air travel is suffering. 10% of TSA workers failed to show up for work on Sunday, causing long waits at security checkpoints - https://wapo.st/2FR5R7i
  • Trump's base may be turning. Some of President Trump's supporters are starting to blame him for the shutdown - https://wapo.st/2FI3Mvn

  • Shutdown hitting the vulnerable hard. The government shutdown is unraveling the social safety net, causing pain for low income, homeless, and disabled Americans - https://nyti.ms/2FSNWNB

Rudy Giuliani tries to walk back his startling claim that President Trump was involved in negotiations for a Trump Tower in Moscow through the 2016 election. Giuliani says his comments were "hypothetical" - https://nyti.ms/2FIiB0G

Wait...there are tapes?!! Rudy Giuliani, President Trump's personal lawyer, said during an interview he had reviewed "tapes" following allegations that Trump had instructed Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about the Trump Tower deal. Giuliani quickly walked back that statement - http://bit.ly/2FRQv2k

Democrats lurch to the left ahead of the 2020 election. Democratic presidential hopefuls are embracing every left-wing idea as they try to stake out political territory to attract supporters - http://bit.ly/2FDUkJv

Economic worries grow. The government shutdown in the U.S. and slowing economic growth in China has economists worried that the global economy is headed toward a major slowdown - https://wapo.st/2FGdCOn

President Trump rips the media over coverage of confrontation between Catholic students and a tribal elder. President Trump is claiming media bias after further details about the viral video revealed the initial reporting was incorrect - https://wapo.st/2FIkomq

Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated. "Fox and Friends" apologized for airing a graphic saying Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg had died - http://bit.ly/2FQZdy4

Siren! Iraqi scientist says he helped ISIS make chemical weapons. The scientist, who was captured by ISIS in 2016, says the terrorist group successfully made mustard gas - https://wapo.st/2FJp2AE

U.S. and North Korea have held secret talks for more than a decade. The two countries established a secret communications channel in 2012 - https://on.wsj.com/2FSCeCS

"Absolutely out of control!" A new book from former White House staffer Cliff Sims depicts total chaos in the Trump White House. He claims he helped President Trump draw up an enemies list of suspected leakers inside the administration - https://wapo.st/2FHpwaD

Scary! Greenland's massive ice sheets are melting much faster than previously thought. The melting could be a major factor in rising sea levels. Scientists say it may be "too late" to do anything about it - https://cnn.it/2FGbCFQ

For your radar. A new study says the number of auto accidents is up 6 percent in four states that legalized recreational marijuana - https://wapo.st/2FNVn8V


1901 - Queen Victoria of Britain died at age 82 after a reign of 64 years.

1944 - U.S. troops invaded Italy in World War II, landing at Anzio beach.

1973 - The Supreme Court rules on Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, legalizing elective abortion in all fifty states.

1998 - Theodore Kaczynski, known as the "Unabomber," pleaded guilty to all counts against him. He was sentenced to life in prison.

Policy News

House Republicans of Utah seek access to new, approved life-saving technology for state Medicare recipients with coronary artery disease
Utah's Congressional Republicans, led by Congressman Chris Stewart (R-UT), are seeking to ensure Utah Medicare beneficiaries gain access to a life-saving, non-invasive technology used to diagnose coronary artery disease (CAD), the leading cause of death in the U.S. ...
images/1000px_Logos/SL_Chamber_Logo_1000.jpgSalt Lake Chamber calls on Utah's business community to give back on Martin Luther King Jr. Day
 In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Salt Lake Chamber has released the following statement:...
UAMPS honors key leaders & organizations
Several leaders who have made significant contributions to public power were recently honored at the Utah Associated Municipal Systems (UAMPS) 2018 Member Meeting in Salt Lake City.Jason Norlen, vice chair of the UAMPS board, and Doug Hunter, CEO and general manager of UAMPS...
images/mugs/BenMcAdamsMug.jpegMcAdams assigned to Financial Services Committee
Congressman Ben McAdams has been assigned to the House Financial Services Committee-one of four exclusive committees in the U.S. House of Representatives. The committee has jurisdiction over banking, insurance, housing, securities and exchanges, and other consumer finance ar...

More National Headlines

Failing the Covington Catholic test: Next time there's a viral story, wait for facts to emerge (Atlantic)

BuzzFeed's Trump story latest in long list of Russia bombshells that weren't (Daily Caller)

Journalists and Celebs Rush to Delete Tweets Slamming MAGA-Hat Kids (Mediaite)

A Problem for Kamala Harris: Can a Prosecutor Become President in the Age of Black Lives Matter? (Intercept)

Gillibrand condemns anti-Semitism at Women's March (CNN)

Ocasio-Cortez responds to Aaron Sorkin directing young Dems to 'stop acting like young people' (The Hill)

Dems Who Slammed GOP Over Kavanaugh Attended Puerto Rico Trip with Cardenas (Washington Free Beacon)

The media's 'Gotcha!' hysteria is shameful (New York Post)

What A Weekend for Media Accuracy (Ricochet)

BuzzFeed Reporter Cormier: 'We Can't Get Into, Like, the Details Here' (PJ Media)

That idiotic Gillette ad may have turned the tide on 'toxic masculinity' (New York Post)

Wise Words


"Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy." Dale Carnegie

Lighter Side


"Former New Jersey governor Chris Christie is releasing a memoir later this month titled 'Let Me Finish.' Oh, you haven't seen your approval ratings lately? You're finished." - SETH MEYERS

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