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Situational awareness - January 27, 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:

  • Bolton bombshell rocks impeachment.
  • Romney says he will likely vote to allow witnesses in the impeachment trial.
  • Utah lawmakers set to start the 2020 session.



Lots of readers knew Governor Simon Bamberger built the first passenger rail system on the Wasatch Front in 1908, and he built Lagoon as an attraction along the line.

The third person with the correct answer was Tom Love, who now has the honor of asking this Friday's trivia question.



The first day of the 2020 Utah Legislature is today (1/27/2020)

Days to the 2020 Iowa Caucuses: 7 (2/3/2020)

Days to the New Hampshire primaries: 15 (2/11/2020) 

Days to the Utah presidential primaries: 36 (3/3/2020)

Days to the final day of the 2020 Utah Legislature: 45 (3/12/2020)

Days to the 2020 Utah primary elections: 155 (6/30/2020)

Days to the 2020 election: 281 (11/3/2020)

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Mugs/Michael_Christensen_01.jpgImpeachment: An Historical Overview
By Michael E. Christensen, Ph.D.
Editor's Note: This is the first of a four-part series by renowned public policy scholar Michael Christensen placing the impeachment of Donald Trump into historical context. Part 1 provides an introduction and an overview of the Andrew Johnson impeachment. Part 2 will focus on the impeachment of Richard Nixon; Part 3 will focus on the impeachment of Bill Clinton. Part 4 will provide observations and describe what history teaches about the Trump impeachment.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_11.jpgLawmakers eyeing changes to start date for annual legislative session
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
The 2020 Utah Legislature gets underway on Monday, the date mandated by the Utah Constitution. Lawmakers are eyeing a constitutional amendment that would allow them to move the date to another day in January if they choose.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/20200126_Jobs_Report.jpgUtah's unemployment rate hit an all-time low in December
By News release
Utah's nonfarm payroll employment for December 2019 grew by an estimated 3.3%, adding 50,400 jobs to the economy since December 2018. Utah's current employment level registers 1,599,500. November's year-over job growth is revised upward two-tenths of a percentage point to 3.5%. 
images/1000px_Mugs/Mitt__Romney_06.jpgRomney says he will 'very likely' vote to call witnesses in impeachment trial
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Sen. Mitt Romney said it's "very likely" he will be in favor of calling witnesses in the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, but he'll hold off making a final decision until after opening arguments are finished. 
images/1000px_Screenshots/20200125_Lee_Fox.jpgLee says he sees no need to call additional witnesses in impeachment trial
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Sen. Mike Lee said Saturday that there's no need to call witnesses in the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump because it won't make a difference in the outcome.
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgWiggling fingers - Bernick and Schott on politics podcast
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott get you up to speed on the latest Utah political news.
images/1000px_Mugs/Bernick_Mug_01.jpgBob Bernick's notebook: Tax reform failure a painful lesson for Republicans
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
So, is Utah's food tax exemption really safe, now that GOP lawmakers and Gov. Gary Herbert plan to repeal the new, huge tax reform bill passed just over a month ago?My guess is -- Yes.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Tax_referendum_01.jpgPoll shows most Utahns supported the referendum effort to overturn tax reform
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
On Thursday Governor Gary Herbert and legislative leaders announced they planned to repeal the controversial tax reform in the face of a referendum effort to overturn the bill at the ballot box. A new poll shows that referendum effort would have likely succeeded.
images/1000px_Mugs/Gary_Herbert_06.jpgGovernor Herbert and legislative leaders announce they will repeal controversial tax reform law (Updated)
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
 Republicans on Capitol Hill threw in the towel Thursday, saying next Monday they will repeal the just-passed tax reform package.

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



Bolton bombshell

Former national security adviser John Bolton claims in a forthcoming book that President Donald Trump told him he wanted to continue freezing military aid to Ukraine until officials there conducted investigations into his political rivals. Bolton's claim directly contradicts President Trump's impeachment defense that the holdup in aid was to combat corruption [New York Times].

President Trump raged on Twitter early Monday, claiming he "never told John Bolton that aid to Ukraine was tied to investigations into the Bidens or Democrats" and Bolton was lying to sell books [Washington Post].

Democrats pounced on the Bolton story, demanding that Republicans call him to testify in President Trump's impeachment trial [Washington Post].

Bolton's lawyers say the White House has had the manuscript for the book since late December [Twitter].

"Take her out"

A recording from 2018 appears to capture President Trump telling associates he wanted then U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch fired [ABC News].


Chinese officials are warning the deadly new coronavirus is likely to spread as people who are infected can spread the disease to others before they start showing symptoms [NBC News].

U.S. officials have confirmed five cases of the virus [Washington Post].

Stocks around the globe tumbled Monday amid worry about how the virus might affect the global economy [New York Times].


Sen. Bernie Sanders is surging in early voting state polls while former Vice President Joe Biden leads nationally [Bloomberg].


Policy News

images/1000px_Logos/WTC_Utah_Logo.pngThere's still time to learn how to expand your business in the Middle East
World Trade Center Utah, in partnership with the Governor's Office of Economic Development, invites you to attend a seminar to learn about opportunities and challenges of doing business with Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E.
images/1000px_Logos/CYBER_24_Logo.jpgCYBER 24 Episode 67: Penetration testing and vulnerability scans
We've talked about what happens to a business when it becomes the victim of a cybersecurity incident. We've talked about the importance of having proper security in place. But how exactly are you supposed to know if your security is up to the task? And if there's a vulnerability, how do you know the nature and extent of the problem? 
Governor Herbert proclaims Jan. 26-Feb. 1 'Utah School Choice Week'
Gov. Gary Herbert has issued a proclamation declaring Jan. 26-Feb. 1 Utah School Choice Week.  In doing so, he joins more than a dozen other governors and hundreds of city and county leaders nationwide who have issued similar proclamations.
Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report
Outdoors Report--Salt Lake Tribune:Feds propose oil and gas leasing on Moab's famed Slickrock bike trail--Salt Lake Tribune: Feds overrule nomination of Moab-area rock art sites to National Register--KSL.com:Desolation Canyon float trips: What they might cost and why that matters--KSL.com: Utah cougar harvest quotas increased as wildlife officials seek to combat deer declineConcerts-- 20th Annual WSU Gospel Music Festival, Friday, 7:30 p.m., Val A. Browning Center, 3850 University Circle, Weber State University, Ogden, free, non-perishable food item donation greatly appreciated-- Brassworks, Friday, 7:30 p.m., Madsen Recital Hall, Franklin S. Harris Fine Arts Center, Brigham Young University, Campus Drive and Heritage Drive, Provo, free-- "Off The Map: Kun Canada's Global Orchestra," Friday, 7:30 p.m., Pardoe Drama Theatre, Franklin S. Harris Fine Arts Center, Brigham Young University, Drive & Heritage Drive, Provo, $20-$35-- "In Accord: An Evening of Dance and Music," Tanner Dance, Friday and Saturday, 5:30 and 7:30 p.m., University of Utah, Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts & Education Complex, 1720 Campus Center Drive, Salt Lake City, $8-$10-- "Swan Lake," Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m., also Saturday, 2 p.m., De Jong Concert Hall, Franklin S. Harris Fine Arts Center, Brigham Young University, Campus Drive & Heritage Drive, Provo, $9-$16
images/1000px_Logos/WTC_Utah_Logo.pngCome network with a delegation from the Hangzhou Province
World Trade Center Utah, in partnership with the Governor's Office of Economic Development, invites you to a roundtable discussion about the opportunities and challenges of doing business in the Hangzhou Province. This networking event will give Utah companies a chance to connect with companies from the Hangzhou Province.

More National Headlines


1785 - The first public university in the United States was founded as the University of Georgia.

1880 - Thomas Edison was granted a patent for an electric incandescent lamp.

1945 - Soviet troops liberated the Nazi concentration camps Auschwitz and Birkenau in Poland.

1951 - The era of atomic testing in the Nevada desert began.

1967 - Astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee are killed in a fire during a test of their Apollo 1 spacecraft at the Kennedy Space Center.

1973 - The United States and North Vietnam signed a cease-fire agreement following lengthy Paris talks between U.S. national security adviser Henry Kissinger and Vietnamese negotiator Le Duc Tho. The same day, the United States announced an end to the military draft. Although the U.S.combat mission officially ended in 1973, the Vietnam War would not be over until April of 1975.

Wise Words


"A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves."Lao Tzu

Lighter Side

Impeachment Derangement

"By law, senators are supposed to sit quietly and pay attention, but today, according to reporters in the gallery, Senator Burr has a fidget spinner, Rand Paul has quite the sketch of the Capitol going, and Marsha Blackburn is reading a book. That book? 'Chicken Soup for When You've Sold Your Soul.'"- STEPHEN COLBERT

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