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Situational awareness - December 6, 2018

Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City.

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, corrections or just want to give us some feedback, feel free to drop us an email.

Executive summary: Fixing Utah's housing crisis. Trump says the national debt will be someone else's problem. Mike Pence may be kicked off the 2020 presidential ticket.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • utah economic outlook public policy summit

    Today At Utah Policy

    images/Shutterstock_article_photos/Housing_construction_01.jpgPodcast: Addressing Utah's growing housing crisis

    Utah's population along the Wasatch Front is expected to double within the next 20 years. Policymakers are working to come up with a plan to house all of those people. ...
    images/Resized_Logos/USTAR_Logo_2018.jpgBiotechnology startup Applied Biosensors gets a leg up from USTAR

    For Applied Biosensors, the Utah Science Technology and Research Initiative (USTAR) has played a critical role in helping to accelerate the company's technology development plans....
    images/Shutterstock_article_photos/Utah_Money.pngWeekly survey - Utah's budget surplus

    Utah lawmakers will have a $1.3 billion 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

    Jay Evensen: Medical marijuana and the elusive will of the people

    Editorial: On medical cannabis, compassion is wholly compatible with sensible laws

    At home and online: Utah households among the most connected, census shows

    Puerto Rico is open for business with Utah, secretary says

    U.S. Supreme Court wants Utah to weigh in on state GOP petition to toss election law

    Salt Lake Tribune

    Michelle Quist: America is dividing itself into political tribes

    High school graduation rates are up again in Utah - thanks to minority students

    Yet another twist in San Juan cattle gate clash

    Gehrke: Despite some legitimate gripes, there are some things to like about Utah's medical marijuana law

    Sen. Gene Davis draws the ire of Prop 2 supporters as the only Democrat to vote yes on the cannabis replacement bill

    Utah and its insurance company are suing a Salt Lake City accounting firm to recover $860K lost to embezzlement

    Lawsuit claims medical marijuana law was weakened by unconstitutional 'domination and interference' by Mormon church


    Utah County Commission delays vote on property tax increase (Daily Herald)

    Weber, Davis counties ink accord to pursue joint economic development efforts (Standard-Examiner)


    • President Donald Trump has repeatedly told advisers he doesn't have to worry about the exploding national debt because he won't be around to shoulder the blame when the problem becomes a crisis - https://thebea.st/2rnVhML

    • President Trump and his allies are reportedly considering jettisoning Vice Pence from the 2020 presidential ticket as polling shows he does not expand Trump's base of support - http://bit.ly/2rpU1Zz 

    • Congress is still facing a partial government shutdown later this month if they can't approve a spending bill. Republicans and Democrats can't come to an agreement on funding for President Trump's border wall - https://politi.co/2rqkfLf

    • The nation bid farewell to former President George H.W. Bush during a funeral in the nation's capital on Wednesday - https://nyti.ms/2rpXlny

    • Former President George H.W. Bush will be carried to his final resting place via train on Thursday. It will be the first presidential funeral train in nearly 50 years - http://bit.ly/2roSgM1

    • "We are in deep trouble." Scientists say global emissions of carbon dioxide are reaching the highest levels on record, and are rising at a rapid rate - https://nyti.ms/2rpXgAg

    • A bipartisan group of Senators filed a resolution on Wednesday condemning Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as responsible for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi - https://wapo.st/2rpRiPU

    • Hmm. A Saudi government funded lobbyist reserved 500 rooms at President Trump's Washington, D.C. hotel within a month of Trump's election in 2016. The rooms were part of a campaign that offered U.S. military veterans a free trip to Washington where they would lobby against a law the Saudi's opposed - https://wapo.st/2rmu90z 

    • A top White House appointee at the Department of Veterans Affairs warned that agency's chief diversity officer not to condemn white nationalists following last year's racially charged violence in Charlottesville, Virginia - https://wapo.st/2rjKS4K

    • President Donald Trump is preparing to unilaterally cancel the North American Free Trade Agreement to put pressure on Congress to approve a revamped agreement - https://cnn.it/2rmvN2p 

    • New satellite images show North Korea has significantly expanded a long-range missile base. The activity stands in contrast to a promise from Kim Jong Un to pause his pursuit of a nuclear arsenal - https://cnn.it/2rn0Rim

    • Republican women are warning the party is facing a gender crisis after the 2018 midterms decimated their ranks in Congress - http://bit.ly/2rmY8FC 

    • Senators on both sides of the aisle say they would welcome a debate about ending lifetime appointments for Supreme Court justices following Brett Kavanaugh's bruising confirmation battle and a recent health scare for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The change would require a constitutional amendment - http://bit.ly/2rmYj3K

    • Facebook used the massive amount of data it harvested from users to give advantages to companies it was partnering with while using that information to punish rival companies according to internal documents released by British lawmakers - https://nyti.ms/2rjLojc 

    • A new study concluded more than 24 million Americans do not have access to broadband internet. The problem is particularly acute in rural areas - https://nyti.ms/2rnuPCM

    • Volkswagen says they will produce their final generation of gasoline-powered vehicles in 2026 - https://nbcnews.to/2rmEXfh


    • 1768 - Encyclopedia Britannica was first published.

    • 1790 - Congress moves from New York City to Philadelphia.

    • 1865 - The 13th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, abolishing slavery in the U.S.

    • 1877 - The first edition of The Washington Post is published.

    • 1884 - The Washington Monument is completed.

    • 1967 - Adrian Kantrowitz performs the first human heart transplant in the U.S.

    • 1973 - Gerald Ford was confirmed as vice president under Richard Nixon, replacing Spiro Agnew, who had resigned in the face of income tax-evasion charges.

    • 1975 - The U.S. Senate authorized a $2.3 billion emergency loan to save New York City from bankruptcy.

    • 2017 - The Trump administration officially announces the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

    Policy News

    images/Logos/WTC--400x331.pngGoing global: Sno-Go
    Combine cycling with skiing and what do you get? Sno-Go, the ultimate, all-mountain "snow bike" that's perfect for groomed trails, snow parks or powder....
    Larry H. Miller Charities and Salt Lake County announce plans to rebuild softball complexes
    Salt Lake County's softball complexes in Holladay and Taylorsville cities will soon see major improvements thanks to a $5 million contribution from Larry H. Miller Charities....

    More National Headlines

    Is this it?: A Trump-hater's guide to Mueller skepticism (Vanity Fair)

    House Democrats plan a witch hunt against Trump (FOX News)

    I called George Bush a 'wimp' on the cover of Newsweek. Why I was wrong. (Yahoo News)

    Democrats really do love Republicans - when they're dead (New York Post)

    France's Macron scraps fuel tax after protests (Associated Press)

    France's protesters are part of a global backlash against climate change taxes (Washington Post)

    Michael Bloomberg backtracks on ethanol, slams Trump in Iowa (New York Post)

    Possible 2020 candidate Joe Biden says he 'may be a gaffe machine' but he's 'the most qualified person' to be president (CNBC)

    Florida Democrat Andrew Gillum meets with Obama amid 2020 speculation (CNN)

    George W. Bush's emotional eulogy for his father marks a first in U.S. history (CBS News)

    Facebook Board Backs Sheryl Sandberg's Handling of Research on Investor George Soros (Wall Street Journal)

    Wise Words


    "Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company." George Washington

    Lighter Side

    Not Right

    "Payless opened a fake luxury store, selling customers $20 shoes for $600! That is not right. Payless isn't where you buy $20 shoes for $600, it's where you buy $2 shoes for $20." - STEPHEN COLBERT


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