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Situational awareness - December 5, 2018

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City.

Today is a national day of mourning to honor former President George W. Bush. Several government offices and agencies will be closed today to pay tribute to the former president. Here's a list. News networks will be wall-to-wall with coverage today. Here's a schedule of what to expect.

Happy "Repeal Day"! On this day in 1933, Utah became the 36th state to ratify the 21st Amendment, which abolished prohibition in the U.S.

Thanks for reading Utah's most complete and comprehensive daily political newsletter. We help get you up to speed on the most important local and national political stories of the day. Follow our social media feeds on Twitter and Facebook

Talk to us! If you have any news tips, suggestions, complaints or just want to give us some feedback, feel free to drop us an email.

Executive summary: Wilson taps a Democrat for a key Utah House post. Stewart defends Trump's reaction to Khashoggi killing. Mueller says Flynn should get no jail time for his cooperation in the Russia investigation.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • utah economic outlook public policy summit

    Today At Utah Policy

    images/Shutterstock_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_22.jpgWilson appoints longtime Democrat to key House committee post

    There have been some early indications that newly-elected Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville, was going to do a few things differently....
    images/Shutterstock_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_15.jpgUtah House and Senate announce new committee assignments for 2019 session

    The Utah House and Senate announced their committee assignments for the 2019 session that starts in January. Among the appointments were a few surprises....
    images/Shutterstock_article_photos/Supreme_Court_02.jpgReply requested: The Supreme Court asks Utah to respond in case challenging SB54

    The U.S. Supreme Court asked the state of Utah to submit a response to the Utah Republican Party's lawsuit challenging the state's dual-track system for candidates to get on the ballot. But, don't use that to try and divine what the court might do....
    images/Screenshots/20181204_Stewart_CNN.jpgStewart backs Trump on murder of journalist saying 'journalists disappear' all the time (with video)

    Rep. Chris Stewart delivered a jaw-dropping defense of Donald Trump's reaction the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi Tuesday afternoon, suggesting that sort of thing is commonplace....
    images/Shutterstock_article_photos/Utah_Money.pngWeekly survey - Utah's budget surplus

    Utah lawmakers will have a 1.3 billion dollar budget surplus next year. What do you think they should do with that money? Let us know in our weekly survey....

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    Deseret News

    Op-ed: The more personal side of George H.W. Bush

    Op-ed: Work together to protect Emery County lands

    Editorial: China tariff concessions temporarily vindicate Trump's economic pressure

    D.A. says he has no workable hate crimes laws in his arsenal

    Utah's growth slows a bit, but population nears 3.2 million

    Court battles, stalled legislation, new plans mark year since Trump slashed Utah monuments

    Groups at Utah conference tout need for investment in tech innovation

    Department of Public Safety vows to ensure 'rights are upheld' for medical marijuana patients

    Utah posts 87 percent high school graduation rate in 6th consecutive year of growth

    Salt Lake Tribune

    Editorial: Medical cannabis is just beginning in Utah

    New Salt Lake County recorder, part of a national blue wave of women, will take over an office rocked by scandal and dizzying turnover

    Utah adds 52K new residents in 2018 - but growth is slowing as fewer people have babies, and fewer immigrants move here

    In defending Trump's reaction to the murder of a U.S.-based columnist, Utah Rep. Stewart says 'journalists disappear' all the time

    U.S. Supreme Court orders state of Utah to respond to GOP lawsuit challenging election law

    Salt Lake County Council passes 1.5 billion dollar 2019 budget they say prioritizes public safety without a tax increase

    Salt Lake City Council passes rules aimed at regulating the inland port, a massive development planned for the west side


    North Ogden call for mayoral applicants draws 5 hopefuls (Standard-Examiner)

    Cache residents weigh in on state's proposed Roadless Rule changes (Logan Herald Journal)


    • Special counsel Robert Mueller recommended no prison time for former national security adviser Michael Flynn, citing his "substantial assistance" in several investigations. The sentencing memo was heavily redacted. Flynn participated in 19 interviews with federal prosecutors and is cooperating in a separate, unidentified criminal investigation - https://nyti.ms/2G2lVVz

    • A bipartisan group of senators said a classified briefing on Tuesday from CIA director Gina Haspel solidified their belief Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi - https://nyti.ms/2FZiY85 

    • President Donald Trump used a stretch limo and an eight-vehicle motorcade to travel 250 yards to meet former President George W. Bush at Blair House - https://wapo.st/2FY2XPK

    • Emails from the campaign committee for House Republicans were hacked and stolen by a "foreign entity" during the 2018 election - https://nyti.ms/2G0soR1 

    • At least 30, and maybe more, Democrats who are thinking about running for president in 2020 - http://bit.ly/2FY5V73

    • Michael Avenatti says he will not run for president in 2020 - https://cnn.it/2FXNiQA 

    • President Trump's trips to more than 40 campaign rallies ahead of the 2018 midterm elections cost taxpayers at least 17 million dollars - http://bit.ly/2G0J62E 

    • House Democrats say they won't seat the winner of the race in North Carolina's 9th Congressional District until the allegations of election fraud in that contest are cleared up - http://bit.ly/2G1stnv

    • The attorneys general for Maryland and the District of Columbia are seeking financial records and other documents from as many as 13 of President Trump's private companies as part of a lawsuit alleging his business interests violate a constitutional ban on payments from foreign governments - https://wapo.st/2G0I7zu

    • President Trump dubbed himself a "Tariff Man" in a tweet on Tuesday, warning China to make good on their trade promises or the U.S. would impose additional tariffs. In response, the Dow plunged nearly 800 points - https://cnn.it/2FZ1c51 

    • President Trump met with German automakers on Tuesday and told them he had no immediate plans to impose tariffs on their cars - https://nyti.ms/2FYntzZ 

    • Boring but important: Bank stocks got crushed in Tuesday's market drop. That usually is an early indicator an economic slowdown may be on the way - https://cnn.it/2G2CqAU 

    • The conservative Weekly Standard is in danger of shutting down after owners said they were "exploring a number of possibilities" for the longtime right-leaning publication - https://politi.co/2FXNXl2

    • The NYPD announced they will use a fleet of 14 drones in hostage situations and search and rescue operations. Civil rights groups are worried the new technology could be used to violate privacy - https://cnn.it/2G2avBc


    • 1492 - Christopher Columbus becomes the first European to set foot on the island of Hispaniola.

    • 1831 - Former President John Quincy Adams takes his seat in the House of Representatives.

    • 1848 - President James Polk confirmed the discovery of gold in California, leading to the "gold rush" of 1848 and '49.

    • 1933 - Prohibition of liquor in the U.S. was repealed when Utah became the 36th state to ratify the 21st Amendment.

    • 1955 - African Americans declared a boycott of city buses in Montgomery, Alabama, following the arrest of Rosa Parks.

    • 2008 - Former NFL star O.J. Simpson was sentenced up to 33 years in prison for holding up two sports memorabilia dealers at gunpoint in Las Vegas. He was released in October 2017.

    Policy News

    Central Wasatch Commission announces advisory stakeholder council membership
    At its regular public meeting on December 3rd, 2018, The Central Wasatch Commission took action to appoint the initial members of the CWC Stakeholder Council....
    images/Logos/EDCUtah_454X417.pngForbes: Utah second best state for business
    Utah moves up one place to finish second....
    images/Resized_Logos/CYBER24_season_2_logo.jpgCYBER 24 Episode 38 - Cybersecurity expert panel - Part II
    The world of cybersecurity faces some significant challenges over the next several years. In this week's episode of CYBER24, we bring you the second part of a two-part series from the panel discussion we led at a recent cybersecurity summit hosted by VLCM....

    More National Headlines

    Les Moonves Obstructed Investigation Into Misconduct Claims, Report Says (New York Times)

    Joe Biden: 'I'm the most qualified person in the country to be president' (NBC News)

    US citizen charged in worldwide fraud conspiracy discovered by Panama Papers investigation (USA Today)

    Jeffrey Epstein apology deprives accusers of day in court (BBC News)

    At 95, Bob Dole stands up from wheelchair to salute fellow WWII hero George H.W. Bush (Business Insider)

    Volkswagen CEO: Trump 'has a point,' so we may make cars at Ford plants (USA Today)

    Wise Words

    Still Becoming

    "I do not look upon these United States as a finished product. We are still in the making." Franklin D. Roosevelt

    Lighter Side

    Starbucks and Dunkin D

    "Starbucks is going to start blocking adult websites from their Wi-Fi network. They said there's a time and a place for that type of behavior, and it's all day at Dunkin' Donuts." -JIMMY FALLON


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