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Situational awareness - January 3, 2019

Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City.

Executive summary: Republicans punch back at Romney. Democrats take control of the House. President Trump and Democrats dig in after negotiations to reopen the government go nowhere.

Thanks for subscribing to Utah's must-read daily political news roundup. Please add info@utahpolicy.com to your contacts in order to ensure delivery.

How are we doing? Send us your feedback, suggestions, complaints or news tips. You can email us anytime here.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • 306 days to the 2019 municipal elections (11/5/2019)

  • 396 days to the 2020 Iowa Caucuses (2/3/2020)

  • 665 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

  • Dan Clark Speak Like a Pro

    Today At Utah Policy

    images/Screenshots/20190102_Chaffetz_Ingraham.jpgChaffetz calls Romney's criticism of Trump 'selfish' (with video)

    Former Utah Rep. and current Fox News personality Jason Chaffetz weighed in on the furor surrounding Mitt Romney's op-ed denouncing President Trump's lack of character, calling Romney's comments "selfish."...
    images/Screenshots/20190102_Dobbs_Fox_Business.jpgLou Dobbs blasts Romney: 'I can't believe the people of Utah elected this creep'

    Fox Business Network host Lou Dobbs, who is one of the most ardent supporters of President Trump in the media, went "scorched Earth" on incoming Sen. Mitt Romney for his op-ed decrying Trump's lack of character....
    images/Screenshots/20190102_Romney_CNN_02.jpgWatch: Romney on government shutdown - 'I would vote for the wall'

    Incoming Sen. Mitt Romney reaffirmed his support for President Trump's wall on the U.S.-Mexico border on Wednesday afternoon....
    images/Screenshots/20190102_Romney_CNN_01.jpgWatch: Romney on endorsing Trump in 2020 - 'I want to see what the alternatives are'

    Incoming Utah Sen. Mitt Romney says he hasn't decided whether or not he will endorse President Donald Trump for re-election in 2020, as he wants to see what alternatives there may be....
    images/Screenshots/20190102_Trump_CNN.jpgWatch: Trump says 'If Romney fought Obama like he does against me, he would have won'

    During a televised Q&A with reporters on Wednesday, President Donald Trump punched back at Mitt Romney saying if he had fought Barack Obama in 2012 with the same effort he's fighting now, he would have won the election....
    images/Resized_Mugshots/Romney-Trump_04.jpgWeekly survey: Mitt Romney vs. President Trump

    Incoming Sen. Mitt Romney is beginning his Congressional career with a harsh critique of President Trump. Do you believe Romney will continue to be a leading critic of Trump, or will he mostly support Trump in the Senate? Vote now in our weekly survey....
    images/Resized_Logos/USTAR_Logo_2018.jpgUtah rises to no. 5 in nation for science and technology capabilities

    Utah moved up three spots, from no. 8 to no. 5, in the Milken Institute's 2018 State Technology and Science Index, a biannual report that measures states' science and technology capabilities and competitiveness that contribute to high-skills job creation and economic growth....
    images/Resized_Mugshots/Trump_Romney_03.jpgWatch: A history of Mitt Romney and Donald Trump blasting each other

    The long-simmering feud between Mitt Romney and Donald Trump flared up again after Romney penned a blistering op-ed slamming Trump's character. ...
    images/Resized_Mugshots-300/Mitt_Romney_05.jpgWatch: Reaction to Romney's op-ed from Washington and the media (updated)

    Incoming Sen. Mitt Romney threw a verbal grenade ahead of his official arrival in Washington as the newest Senator from Utah on Tuesday night, penning an op-ed blasting President Trump's character....

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    Deseret News

    Jay Evensen: What if plans for the homeless in 2019 don't work?

    Editorial: Bring back the deficit hawks

    PacifiCorp study prompts review of coal-fired power plants in six states, including Utah

    UHP makes first .05 DUI arrest since new Utah law began

    Utah's role in 2020 presidential race includes speculation Mitt Romney will run again

    Emigration Canyon and groundwater pumping in Utah: What's at risk?

    Utah adopts new pollution control plan, but will it work?

    Utah's senators, Mike Lee and Mitt Romney, plant political flags in different spots when it comes to President Trump

    How will your school fare? Utah's new school report cards to be released tomorrow

    Salt Lake Tribune

    A 21-year-old arrested as he drove home to Wyoming on New Year's Day may be the first prosecuted under Utah's strict new DUI law

    Witness against brothers from polygamous Kingston Group offered to help Utah attorney general raise money

    How Utah federal workers cope with the government shutdown, from delayed engagements to cutting back on groceries

    One tiny Utah county is an economic basket case, causing some to wonder if it should be absorbed by a neighbor

    Gehrke: Who wields the power in Utah politics? Some familiar faces and some new ones make the 2019 list.

    'I won big, and he didn't': Trump and others - including Mitt Romney's niece - respond to critical Romney op-ed

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    • Democrats assume the majority in the House of Representatives on Thursday for the first time in eight years. They are expected to quickly push an ambitious legislative agenda as well as launch aggressive oversight of the Trump administration - https://politi.co/2F4x1rI 

    • Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says a Democratic-controlled House will mean a 'different world" for President Trump. "No more rubber stamp" vowed Pelosi - http://bit.ly/2F7pk4n 

    • President Trump and Democrats are digging in after talks to reopen the government went nowhere on Wednesday. Nancy Pelosi said Trump "will get nothing' for his proposed border wall - https://nyti.ms/2F3sV3l

    • President Donald Trump reportedly told lawmakers, he could not accept the Democratic-backed plan to re-open the government, which does not include any funding for a border wall because it would make him "look foolish" - https://cnn.it/2F5htnN 

    • During a Q&A with reporters on Wednesday President Trump claimed the border wall he shut down the government to secure funding for is mostly already built - http://bit.ly/2F7LXWa

    • The partial government shutdown is taking a huge toll on America's immigration system - https://wapo.st/2F7mnQY

    • Several women who worked on Sen. Bernie Sanders' 2016 presidential campaign claim they were sexually harassed by male employees. They also say they were paid far less than their male co-workers - https://nyti.ms/2F7K1wS

    • Mitt Romney's pointed criticism of President Trump has the president's supporters worried it's the first move in a potential 2020 challenge - https://politi.co/2F4BeM8 

    • Democrats in the House plan to push a bill requiring presidential and vice presidential nominees to disclose 10 years worth of tax returns and post them online - https://cnn.it/2F3saHx

    • Uh oh! Apple reduced their revenue forecasts for the first time in 16 years because of slowing iPhone sales in China. The announcement is fueling fears of a global economic slowdown - https://nyti.ms/2F7pYPl 

    • President Trump says North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sent him a "great letter" hoping for a second meeting between the two men. Trump also claimed there would be a "big fat war in Asia" if he had not met with Kim last year - http://bit.ly/2F47EXg 

    • U.S. ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman Jr. met with Michigan resident Paul Whelan who had been arrested by the Russian government on espionage charges - http://bit.ly/2F5odC3 

    • Donald Trump Jr. mocked Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren for her Instagram live video during which she drank a beer and took questions from supporters. "So woke and genuine...SAID NO ONE EVER!!!" tweeted Trump Jr. - http://bit.ly/2F3K24T

    • China landed a vehicle on the far side of the moon, the first such landing in history - https://nyti.ms/2F3f393


    • 1749 - Benning Wentworth issues the first of the New Hampshire Grants, leading to the establishment of Vermont.

    • 1777 - American General George Washington defeats British General Lord Cornwallis at the Battle of Princeton.

    • 1861 - Delaware votes not to secede from the United States.

    • 1925 - Benito Mussolini announces he is taking dictatorial powers over Italy.

    • 1933 - Minnie D. Craig becomes the first woman elected as Speaker of the North Dakota House of Representatives, the first woman to hold a Speaker position anywhere in the United States.

    • 1947 - Congress is televised for the first time.

    • 1953 - Frances P. Bolton and her son, Oliver from Ohio, become the first mother and son to serve simultaneously in Congress.

    • 1959 - Alaska is admitted as the 49th state.

    • 1961 - The United States severed diplomatic relations with Cuba after Fidel Castro announced he was a communist.

    • 1990 - Manuel Noriega, former leader of Panama, surrenders to American forces. He was taken to Florida to face narcotics trafficking charges.

    Policy News

    Nominees announced for Board of Pardons and Parole vacancy
     The Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice has selected nominees for a vacancy on the Board of Pardons and Parole. ...

    More National Headlines

    Former NY Times editor rips Trump coverage as biased (FOX News)

    Five Weeks After The Guardian's Viral Blockbuster Assange-Manafort Scoop, No Evidence Has Emerged (The Intercept)

    It's war: Rand Paul hits 'Big Government' Romney, calls Trump an 'actual conservative' (Washington Examiner)

    'Seattle-ization'? American cities fear what's happened here (Seattle Times)

    RNC chair McDaniel sides with Trump over uncle Mitt Romney (Politico)

    House Dems formalize climate committee plans without Green New Deal language (The Hill)

    Pelosi will 'cut your head off and you won't even know you're bleeding,' daughter says (FOX News)

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez already has plans to defy Pelosi (New York Post)

    Warren hires top Iowa talent (Politico)

    Wise Words

    Be a Friend

    "The most I can do for my friend is simply be his friend." Henry David Thoreau


    Lighter Side

    Group Names

    A pride of lions, a gaggle of geese and here's how we might classify these groups:
    A brat of boys
    A giggle of girls
    A stagger of drunks
    A tedium of accountants
    A stitch of doctors
    A whine of losers
    A jerk of politicians

    Readers Digest


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