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Situational awareness - March 29, 2019

Good morning from Salt Lake City and TGIF!

Here's what is driving the day:

  • Utah is still waiting on Medicaid waivers from the Trump administration ahead of Monday's deadline to begin a limited Medicaid expansion.
  • Romney would beat Trump in Utah in a hypothetical presidential primary.
  • Mueller's report is more than 300 pages, raising questions about AG Barr's 4-page summary.
  • Trump lied about his financial situation so much his accountants repeatedly issued disclaimers on documents to lenders.

Friday political trivia.

Today's guest quizmaster is Ron Fox, who submits this trivia tidbit:

What native-born Utahn was the first woman to serve on a state supreme court? She was also the first woman to serve as a United States federal judge.

Send your guesses via email to me at The first three readers to provide a correct answer will be recognized in Monday's newsletter.

Stump Mike Mower: If Ron's question flummoxes Mike Mower, he wins a $25 Amazon gift card. If you have a question you think Mower cannot answer, send it along.

Political bracket face-off rolls on

We are down to the "Sweet 16" in our 2019 political bracket face-off. Check out the brackets here.

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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 88th day of the year. There are 277 days remaining in 2019.

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

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

36 days to the United Utah Party state convention (5/4/2019)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_31.jpgUtah still waiting for first Medicaid waiver from Trump administration ahead of April 1 deadline

Monday is the April 1 deadline for the Trump administration to give Utah a waiver so 12,000 or more low-income folks can be moved over from a subsidized private health insurance plan to the state's "expanded" Medicaid program.
images/Shutterstock_Mugshots/Mitt_Romney_Donald_Trump_01.jpgPoll: Romney tops Trump in Utah

Utah Sen. Mitt Romney would beat President Donald Trump in a hypothetical presidential primary matchup in Utah according to a new poll.
images/1000px_Mugs/Bernick_Mug_01.jpgBob Bernick's notebook: Herbert keeps his promise

Congratulations to GOP Gov. Gary Herbert for vetoing this week SB123, a bill that would have set up a special election process in a U.S. House vacancy that bans candidate signature gathering.
images/1000px_Logos/Political_Bracket_Challenge_2019.jpgThursday's political bracket face-off winners

The "Sweet 16" in our 2019 bracket face-off is set after Thursday's final second-round contests.
images/Shutterstock_article_photos/Congressional_News_01.jpgStewart asks for Chairman Schiff's resignation

Congressman Stewart joined fellow GOP Members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in calling for the panel's chairman, Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, to step down.s
images/1000px_Logos/WTC_Utah_Logo.pngQatari delegation visits Utah to identify trade and investment opportunities

A Qatari delegation, led by His Excellency Sheikh Meshal Bin Hamad Al-Thani, Ambassador Anne Patterson and Ambassador Khalid Bin Yousef Al-Sada, visited Utah on March 21 and 22 and was hosted by World Trade Center Utah. As part of their inbound trade mission to the state, the diplomats met with Gov. Gary R. Herbert and nearly 30 Utah companies to explore opportunities to expand trade and investment between Utah and Qatar.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/ straw poll - Utah GOP Chair and Salt Lake City Mayor

Who do you think is most likely to win the elections for Utah GOP Chair and Salt Lake City Mayor? Vote now in our straw poll.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_15.jpgProspects for a veto override session are dim say legislative sources

Legislative sources indicate to that the Utah House has enough support to override Gov. Gary Herbert's veto of a bill setting rules for special elections, but the Senate is likely where any override runs into a brick wall.
images/1000px_Logos/Political_Bracket_Challenge_2019.jpgPolitical bracket face-off: 2nd round final matchups

The last four spots in next week's "Sweet 16" are up for grabs today. Cast your votes below.
images/1000px_Screenshots/20190328_Colbert_Jar_Jar.jpgColbert roasts Sen. Mike Lee: 'You, sir, are the Jar-Jar Binks of the Senate'

Sen. Mike Lee set the internet abuzz this week with a prop comedy speech on the Senate floor mocking the Green New Deal climate policy. CBS late-night host Stephen Colbert roundly mocked Lee for the address.
images/1000px_Logos/Political_Bracket_Challenge_2019.jpgWednesday's political bracket face-off winners

Four more Utah politicos punched their ticket to next week's "Sweet 16" in our bracket on Wednesday. Check out the winners below.
images/1000px_Logos/USTAR_1000.pngUtah Technology Innovation Summit to highlight new technologies, innovation trends across the state

The second annual Utah Technology Innovation Summit will showcase new technologies from across the state of Utah on Monday, Apr. 1 at the Little America Hotel.
images/1000px_Logos/SL_Chamber_Logo_1000.jpgKeeping Utah business safe from cyber attacks

Nearly 300 people attended the Salt Lake Chamber's third annual Cybersecurity Conference at the Salt Lake Marriott Downtown at City Creek. The conference was designed to help small and mid-size businesses develop, evaluate and strengthen their cybersecurity programs.

salt lake chamber cyber security conference


Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



Mueller report is more than 300 pages with hundreds of footnotes. The size of special counsel Robert Mueller's final document is raising questions about Attorney General Bob Barr's summary, which quotes fewer than 50 words from the report -

Democrats mock "scaredy cat" GOP over refusal to make Mueller report public. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said they do not need Attorney General Barr's summary, and want to make their own conclusions -

How did President Trump dodge an interview in the Mueller probe? Trump's legal advisers conducted a pressure campaign to prevent the president from taking part in a face-to-face interview with investigators -

Trump takes a victory lap at a raucous rally in Michigan. The president claimed "total vindication" in the "Russia hoax." He also teed off on his critics in the first rally since special counsel Robert Mueller filed his report -

Trump loves to tout the economy, but there are signs it's beginning to sour. Economic data is pointing more and more toward a downturn, which could damage one of the president's favorite talking points -

Trump lied so much on financial statements to lenders, his accountants issued disclaimers with the documents. In one document, Trump falsely added 10 stories to Trump Tower. In another, he overstated the number of home lots he had to sell at one California property by 31, which boosted the value by $72 million -

Trump says Congress is working on a replacement for Obamacare, but Republicans want the White House to go first. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell punted the issue, saying he "looks forward" to seeing what the administration works out with Speaker Pelosi -

A federal judge struck down a Trump administration plan allowing health insurers to offer "skinny" plans. The judge said the effort was "clearly an end-run" around the Affordable Care Act -

Trump flip-flops on Special Olympics. President Trump said Thursday he was reversing a decision to defund the Special Olympics in his budget proposal -

Homeland Security plans to ask Congress for authority to deport unaccompanied migrant children more quickly. The agency wants the new authority to deal with a spike in the number of border crossings -


1886 - John Pemberton brews the first batch of Coca-Cola in a backyard in Atlanta.

1951 - Ethel and Julius Rosenberg are convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage.

1961 - The Twenty-third Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is ratified, allowing residents of Washington, D.C. to vote in presidential elections.

1973 - The last U.S. combat soldiers leave South Vietnam.

1999 - The Dow Jones industrial average closed at more than 10,000 for the first time at the height of the dot-com bubble.

Policy News

Hatch Foundation names Matt Sandgren as Executive Director
The Orrin G. Hatch Foundation released the following statements after announcing Matt Sandgren would take the helm as executive director of the organization.
Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report
Weekend Event
Innovator, inventor, disruptor and designer to speak at SLCC's 2019 commencement
Disruptive innovation expert Luke Williams will be the keynote speaker at Salt Lake Community College's 2019 Commencement, scheduled for 9:30 a.m., May 3, at the Maverik Center in West Valley City.
Mayor Biskupski welcomes United Nations Under-Secretary General Alison Smale and announces theme for 68th United Nations Civil Society Conference
Mayor Jackie Biskupski, along with representatives from Utah Valley University, welcomed Alison Smale, Under Secretary General for Global Communications, United Nations, on her first visit to Salt Lake City since the announcement was made last November that the city was chosen to host the 68th United Nations Civil Society Conference.
Utah Technology Council unites with Silicon Slopes
The Utah Technology Council has joined forces with Silicon Slopes to unite Utah's startup and tech community.
Salt Lake County to host open house to discuss new regional park in South Jordan
The public is invited to an open house to learn more about the updated master plan for Bingham Creek Regional Park on Thursday, March 28 from 6-8 pm.  

More National Headlines

Wise Words

Keep Moving

"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving." Albert Einstein

Lighter Side

New Kid

"The race for the Democratic nomination has barely started, and it's already getting crazy. Listen to this: Former Democratic Senator Mike Gravel is thinking about running at 88 years old. Eighty-eight. When they heard that, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden were like, 'Hey, who's the new kid?'" - JIMMY FALLON

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