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Situational awareness - May 22, 2018

Good Tuesday morning from Salt Lake City.

Hatch not heading to Australia. Kennedy apologizes to a controversial pastor on behalf of all Utahns. The DOJ agrees to look into wrongdoing by the FBI in the Russia investigation.


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A land down under

Sen. Orrin Hatch was reportedly under consideration to be the U.S. Ambassador to Australia, but his office says he's looking forward to "all you can eat buffets and long walks through Costco" in his retirement [Utah Policy].

Raking in the big bucks

A study by the Utah Taxpayers Association shows that 29 of Utah's largest cities have employees who are paid more than Gov. Gary Herbert [Utah Policy].

Medical marijuana fight

The Sutherland Institute's Rick Larsen urges both sides in the fight over the medical marijuana ballot proposal to slow down and reassess their positions before the situation gets nastier than it already is [Utah Policy].




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Today At Utah Policy

Trump reportedly considered Hatch for Ambassador to Australia

Sen. Orrin Hatch, who is retiring at the end of the year, was reportedly under consideration by President Donald Trump to be the next U.S. Ambassador to Australia. But, that change in latitude is not in the cards for Hatch. ...

Guest opinion: Medical marijuana debate in Utah resembles a NASCAR pileup

When accidents occur in auto racing, spectators get so caught up in the carnage and the speed at which it all happens that they have little time to consider what might have set the whole thing in motion. Was it something that happened in the heat of competition? Or was there...

29 of Utah's largest cities have employees paid more than Gov. Gary Herbert

The Utah Taxpayers Association released a report on Monday showing more than half of Utah's largest cities have at least one employee who earns more than Gov. Gary Herbert. ...

Utah Thrives podcast: Air pollution

When we talk about air pollution in Utah, most frequently we mean the particulate pollution that builds up during winter inversions along the Wasatch Front. ...

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Policy News

Sen. Lee commends HUD elimination of costly zoning regulation
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) issued the following statement responding to news that the Department of Housing and Urban Development has withdrawn a computer assessment database that HUD was planning to use to perpetuate national zoning standards....

Fox files 'Infrastructure'
As part of last week's "National Infrastructure Week," our friends at the Salt Lake Chamber invited me to participate on a panel to discuss infrastructure and the vital role it plays in economic development. ...

Governor's Medals for Science and Technology announced
Governor Gary R. Herbert, along with the Utah Science Technology and Research Initiative announced the winners of the 2018 Governor's Medals for Science and Technology. ...

Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Editorial: Utah can't escape responsibility for inmates it has farmed out to county jails

Utahns creating school safety plan feel added urgency after Texas mass shooting

Utah appeals court delays trial of activist accused of trying to harm cattle by closing gate

Gehrke: So Utah's attorney general is going to sue an opioid pusher? It's about time.

From 8% to 93%, Salt Lake County city councils close meetings to the public in a wide range

Utah official says wannabe Russian spy didn't access sensitive data on state computers; no charges sought

A Utah farm saw a video of people stealing its hogs months earlier. It wasn't the first time the activists were accused of livestock larceny.

Sen. Orrin Hatch passes on Australian ambassadorship, longs for buffets and Costco visits

Deseret News

Editorial: Boosting the middle class will spring from local efforts

Campaign seeks to intervene in medical marijuana foes' lawsuit

Mike Kennedy apologizes on behalf of all Utahns for opponent Mitt Romney calling pastor a bigot

5 animal rights activists charged with pilfering pigs in Utah

Meet the latest allies in the fight against rural opioid abuse: the USDA, Utah Farm Bureau

Utah Sen. Lee targeting powers of BLM, Forest Service

Secrecy surrounds Eagle Mountain talks for proposed data center


Weber Co. candidates knocking on doors, seeking voters as primary looms (Standard-Examiner)

Layton consultant hired to help craft Weber County anti-poverty plan (Standard-Examiner)

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National Headlines

The Left And The Right Aren't Hearing The Same Jordan Peterson (Federalist)

As ADHD Diagnoses Increased, So Did Calls to Poison Control (U.S. News & World Report)

Condoms required at Scouts' 24th world jamboree (WND)

Kennedy retirement rumors shift into overdrive (The Hill)

Will the Fervor to Impeach Donald Trump Start a Democratic Civil War? (New Yorker)

CIA Director Gina Haspel sworn in as Trump blasts Obama's CIA director as a 'disgrace' (USA Today)

Ryan facing growing doubts about hold on speakership (POLITICO)

Republican Leaders Will Be Allowed to See Some Information on Russia Investigation (New York Times)

Pence: North Korea will end like Libya only if 'Kim Jong Un doesn't make a deal' (CNN)

Europe's Italian Problem Is Bigger Than Brexit (Bloomberg)

Starbucks employees, customers express concern over new policy: 'I can't see how this will work' (FOX News)

Wise Words


"It is not the oath that makes us believe the man, but the man the oath." Aeschylus

Lighter Side

Smart Jacket

"Levi's just released a smart jacket that lets you know when your Uber arrives. It's great for people who love to have all the latest gadgets - except a phone." Jimmy Fallon

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