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Situational awareness - March 25, 2019

Good Monday morning from Salt Lake City.

Here's what is driving the day:

  • Mueller report shows no evidence of collusion with Russia but does not exonerate President Trump on obstruction of justice charges.
  • Utah's GOP members of Congress hail the Mueller report's findings.

Political bracket face-off rolls on

The second round matchups in our 2019 political bracket are live. You can vote on our website, Twitter or Facebook. Check out the brackets here.

Political trivia winners:

Several readers knew "Big" Bill Haywood was the answer to our Friday question: Which native Utahn is buried in the wall of the Kremlin and was tried (but acquitted) for blowing up the Governor of Idaho?

The first three who responded with the correct answer were:

  • Natalie Gordon (who admitted she used Google to get the answer)
  • Doug DeVore
  • Ronald Fox

Mike Mower did submit the correct answer, so the $25 Amazon gift card remains unclaimed. If you have a political trivia question you think can stump him, send it to me at

Conversation BubbleWhat do you think?

We always welcome your feedback, questions, story suggestions, news tips, etc... Send us an email at this link.



The 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 84th day of the year. There are 281 days remaining in 2019.

26 days to the Utah Libertarian Party state convention (4/20/2019)

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

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

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

89 days to the Utah State Democratic Party Organizing Convention (6/22/2019)

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

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

308 days to the first day of the 2020 Utah Legislature (1/27/2020)

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

344 days to the 2020 Utah presidential primary (3/3/2020)

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

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Today At Utah Policy

Political Bracket Face-Off Second Round - Day 1

We're moving into the second round of our 2019 Political Bracket Face-Off. We have four matchups for you to vote on today.
images/mugs-300/LaVarr_Webb.jpgApologies owed on Trump collusion assertions

 Bombshell! Bombshell! Bombshell!That word has been used thousands of time in the last two years to describe leaks or revelations in the lengthy Mueller probe into purported collusion with Russia by Pres. Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign.
images/Congress_B_W_01.jpgUtah's GOP members of Congress hail Mueller report summary saying Trump did not collude with Russians

Several Republican members of Utah's Congressional delegation took to Twitter on Sunday to hail the four-page summary from Attorney General Bob Barr which says special counsel Robert Mueller's report did not find a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia in 2016.
images/Shutterstock_Icons/Economy_Icon.pngEmployment in Utah grew by 2.8 percent over the last year. Unemployment remains below national average

Utah's nonfarm payroll employment for February 2019 grew by an estimated 2.8 percent, adding 42,400 jobs to the economy since February 2018. Utah's current employment level registers 1,536,300. No revisions were made to January's job growth rate. 
images/1000px_Screenshots/20190324_Stewart_CNN.jpgStewart: 'I don't think we'll be terribly surprised' by what's in Mueller's report

Rep. Chris Stewart said on CNN Saturday morning that he was "relieved" that special counsel Robert Mueller has finished his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
images/1000px_Logos/Political_Bracket_Challenge_2019.jpg2019 Utah Political Bracket Face-Off results - Day 4

The final first-round matchups from our 2019 Political Bracket Face-Off are done. Results are below:
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgInheriting a mess - Bernick and Schott on politics

Veteran reporters Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott analyze the latest Utah political news.
images/1000px_Mugs/Derek_Brown_01.jpgFormer Rep. Derek Brown running for Utah GOP Chair

Former State Rep. Derek Brown says he is joining the race to be the next chairman of the Utah Republican Party.
images/1000px_Logos/Political_Bracket_Challenge_2019.jpg2019 Political Bracket Face-Off Day Four

The final eight matchups for the first round of our "Bracket Face-Off" are live. Pick your favorites below:
images/1000px_Mugs/Bernick_Mug_01.jpgBob Bernick's notebook: The coming fight for the soul of the Utah GOP

Over the next six weeks, the fate of the Utah State Republican Party will be decided for the next two years, if not well beyond that.
images/1000px_Logos/Political_Bracket_Challenge_2019.jpg2019 Utah Political Bracket Face-Off results - Day 3

Day two of our 2019 Political Bracket Face-Off is done. It was a very good day for local elected officials on Thursday. Results are below:
images/Resized_Logos/ULCT_Logo1.jpgGuest opinion: Sine Die is not goodbye

In 45 days, there is a lot of ground to cover at the Utah State Capitol.  133 miles to be more precise.  With some simple step-tracking, we figure our ULCT legislative team each took about 244,000 total steps over those 45 days.  And, just like a marathon with an occasional water station to take a break, we're lacing up our shoes and gearing up for another segment of the run.  
images/Shutterstock_article_photos/Congressional_News_02.jpgPresident signs Major Brent Taylor bill

On Thursday, March 21, 2019, President Donald Trump signed S.49, which designates the outstation of the Department of Veterans Affairs in North Ogden, UT as the Major Brent Taylor Vet Center Outstation. Rep. Rob Bishop (UT-01) introduced the legislation in the House of Representatives and delivered the remarks below honoring the late Major Taylor:
images/Shutterstock_article_photos/Congressional_News_01.jpgSen. Lee elected as chair of Joint Economic Committee

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), newly elected Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee (JEC), released a statement following the committee's formation and leadership election: 

kued hinckley report


Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



No conspiracy with Russia. Attorney General Bob Barr wrote in a four-page summary of Robert Mueller's final report on his investigation into Russian interference into the 2016 election that President Donald Trump or his associates conspired with Russia -

Trump not exonerated on charges of obstruction of justice. Attorney General Bob Barr's letter said Mueller's report did not conclude that President Trump committed a crime by obstructing justice, but the report did not exonerate him, either -

Democrats call for the release of Mueller's full report. Democrats in Congress are vowing to press for the release of the report and may call Attorney General Barr to testify -

Trump takes a victory lap, calls for an investigation into Democrats. Predictably, President Trump and his allies claimed "complete and total exoneration" following Barr's letter. Trump also called for investigations into misdeeds by Democrats -

Trumpworld to declare war on the media. CNN's Jim Acosta says Trump advisors are telling him the president and his allies will "slam and shame the media" in the coming days -

Trump is not out of the legal woods yet. There are still about a dozen other investigations that spun out of Mueller's investigation, mostly focusing on President Trump or his family business -

Democrats freezing out Republicans in Congress. Republicans say Democrats are playing political games in the House by shutting them out of the legislative process by refusing to work on bipartisan legislation. House Republicans allege Democrats are working to deny vulnerable members any legislative victories ahead of the 2020 election -

Migrant numbers are surging. Numbers from the Department of Homeland Security show the number of immigrants arrested or turned away at the southern border has climbed to levels not seen for years -

President Trump asks a court to allow him to block people on Twitter. A federal judge ruled last year Trump couldn't block users on the social network because it's a public forum. Trump is arguing the account is not owned by the government, so he should be allowed to block his critics -


1584 - Sir Walter Raleigh is granted a patent to colonize Virginia.

1807 - The English Parliament abolished the slave trade.

1911 - A fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City killed 146 people. The tragedy led to the eventual enactment of many state and national workplace safety laws.

1994 - U.S. forces completed a withdrawal from Mogadishu, Somalia, except for a small number of soldiers left behind to provide support for U.N. peacekeepers.

Policy News

The Colorado River is a reliable source of water for Utah, says the Utah Division of Water Resources
Falling storage levels at both lakes Powell and Mead have highlighted the potential effects of climate change on the Colorado River, causing some to question its future viability as a reliable water supply source for the state of Utah.
Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report
Weekend EventOutdoors Report-- Salt Lake Tribune: Lake Powell's mercury contamination worse in side canyons, study shows-- Salt Lake Tribune: A key slice of Summit County's farm heritage can be saved, but the public needs to kick in last $535K -- Salt Lake Tribune: Plan for reservation system at southern Utah's Arches National Park is out - for now
images/1000px_Logos/WTC_Utah_Logo.pngThere is still time to apply for the Governor-led trade mission to Europe
On behalf of Governor Gary R. Herbert, World Trade Center Utah and the Governor's Office of Economic Development, we would like to invite you to join the State of Utah's trade mission to Switzerland, France and Italy in June 2019. This trade mission will also be incorporated with the Paris Air Show!
County and community partners launch 'On the River's Edge' ideas competition
Salt Lake County and the Jordan River Foundation are coming together to encourage big ideas for how more families, businesses, and visitors can access and enjoy the Jordan River and its surrounding areas.
Salt Lake City hosting public safety job fair
On Saturday, Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski and Salt Lake City Corporation will host a public safety job fair at Horizonte High School. The City of Salt Lake is looking to hire people of diverse backgrounds to match its growing population.

More National Headlines

Wise Words

Getting Ahead

"The secret of getting ahead is getting started." Mark Twain

Lighter Side

Enough Already

"According to The Wall Street Journal, former Vice President Joe Biden has told several supporters that he intends to run for president in 2020. Oh my God, just announce already. It's like going to a Lou Bega concert and wondering if he's going to play 'Mambo No. 5.' He's going to." - SETH MEYERS

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