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Situational awareness - June 16, 2020

Good Tuesday morning from Salt Lake City


14 days to the 2020 Utah primary elections (6/30/2020)

140 Days to the 2020 election (11/3/2020)

218 days to inauguration day (01/20/2021)

223 days to the start of the 2021 Utah Legislature (1/25/2021)

Here are the stories you need to pay attention to this morning:

  • The Supreme Court delivered a landmark case for LGBTQ+ rights.
  • President Trump will sign an executive order on police reforms today.
  • Jon Huntsman takes a small lead in the Republican race for governor according to a new poll.


If like me, you're a fan of James Joyce, you know that June 16th is "Bloomsday," a celebration of the author's life and legacy. His novel Ulysses follows Leopold Bloom on an ordinary day in Dublin on June 16, 1904.

"Every life is in many days, day after day. We walk through ourselves, meeting robbers, ghosts, giants, old men, young men, wives, widows, brother-in-love, but always meeting ourselves." - James Joyce, Ulysses.

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Mugs/Donald_Trump_01.jpgAnalysis: Support for Trump could be political Kryptonite for Republican congressional candidates in Utah
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
You may recall that when former GOP 4th District Rep. Mia Love lost a really close race to Democrat Ben McAdams two years ago, President Donald Trump tweeted out that Love had not shown him much love, and that was the reason she lost.Well, Trump was likely wrong.
images/1000px_Mugs/Jon_Huntsman_02.jpgHuntsman grabs narrow lead over Cox in new poll
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Former Gov. Jon Huntsman has pulled ahead of current Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox by the narrowest of margins according to a new poll of likely Republican primary voters.
images/1000px_Mugs/Ray_Suarez_01.jpgPodcast: The revolution will be televised - A conversation with Ray Suarez
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Veteran journalist Ray Suarez joins us for a conversation about race relations and the nationwide protests that have broken out following the murder of George Floyd.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/coronavirus_smartphone.jpgUtah's multi-million dollar contact tracing app still can't track person-to-person contacts
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
It's been more than a month since Utah officials rolled out the "Healthy Together" app, which was supposed to assist in tracking the movements of people infected with the coronavirus and who they might have come in contact with. Even though the state has spent more than $2 million on the app so far, it still lacks the technology needed to perform the promised robust contact tracing.
images/1000px_Mugs/Donald_Trump_06.jpgAnalysis: Trump support in Utah lagging among moderate Republicans and faithful members of the LDS Church
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
GOP President Donald Trump is not very popular in Utah -- a statistic that is amazing in and of itself.
images/1000px_Mugs/Spencer_Cox_02.jpgCox reels in campaign donation from nation's largest teacher's union
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Spencer Cox's campaign nabbed a $75,000 donation from the National Education Association according to financial disclosures. 
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgBernick and Schott on politics podcast: 'We watched some terrible debates so you don't have to'
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Time for our Friday look at the stories driving Utah politics with Managing Editor Bryan Schott and Contributing Editor Bob Bernick.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/20200611_Herbert_Presser.jpgHerbert says he'll call a special session next week for budget cuts, but he wants to preserve education funding
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Gov. Gary Herbert said Thursday he would call a special session of the legislature next week to address the effect the economic downturn will have on Utah's budget. However, he said he believes lawmakers will be able to avoid cutting the public education budget.
images/1000px_Mugs/Bernick_Mug_01.jpgBob Bernick's notebook: Utah's non-boring politics
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Sometimes, when you are in the midst of some really crazy stuff, you don't realize that you are, indeed, in the midst of some really crazy stuff.Like the 2020 primary election season in Utah.
images/1000px_Mugs/Dave_Robinson_01.jpgGuest opinion: Spencer Cox: Protecting Utah's 'Most Vulnerable'?
By Dave Robinson
In last week's interview with Equality Utah's Troy Williams, I was struck by a comment Lt. Governor Spencer Cox made.  In particular, Cox stated the reason he is a Republican and belongs to the Party of Lincoln, is because he cares about "protecting those who are the most vulnerable".

sl chamber task force 10


 Deseret News

 Salt Lake Tribune




The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that federal employment law safeguards gay and transgender employees from discrimination in the workplace [Reuters].

The Court declined to hear 10 Second Amendment cases on Monday [Route 50].

The Justices rejected eight cases involving qualified immunity which shields government officials from lawsuits, including seven involving police accused of excessive force or other misconduct [Reuters].

The Court also refused to hear a case over whether local governments can declare themselves sanctuary cities [NBC News].

Police reform

President Donald Trump will sign an executive order on police reform Tuesday. The order will reportedly focus on police certification, creating a database to track officers accused of misconduct and sending out social workers on law enforcement calls involving people suspected of having mental health issues [NPR].

Infrastructure week

The Trump administration is considering a $1 trillion infrastructure spending proposal [Bloomberg].

Bolton's book

President Trump said former national security adviser John Bolton will have "criminal problems" if he moves forward with publishing his tell-all book from his time in the White House [Washington Post].

Little Rocket Man

North Korea blew up an office used to hold talks between that country and South Korea. The move is North Korea's most serious provocation in years [Bloomberg].


An updated forecasting model projects 200,000 Covid-19 related deaths in the U.S. by October [CNN].

The FDA pulled the emergency use authorization for hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid-19 [NBC News].

New Zealand's boasts that they were coronavirus-free ended as two new cases popped up, caused by travelers from the UK [Guardian].

China is expanding their new lockdown in Beijing as the number of new cases has climbed above 100 [AP].


India says three soldiers were killed during a skirmish with Chinese troops [AP].

This is an insane story

Prosecutors allege former eBay employees harassed a couple who wrote critical stories about the online retailer in their newsletter. The harassment included mailing live spiders, a pig fetus and a box of live cockroaches to the couple. The employees then allegedly offered to help the couple stop the harassment that the employees created [NBC News].

Back to normal?

The Oscars have been bushed back to April 25, 2021 [Variety].

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred says he's "not confident" there will be a 2020 baseball season [ESPN].


Inflation in Zimbabwe jumped to 785.55% in May [Bloomberg].


Policy News

'Elder Abuse Awareness Day' highlights investment fraud risk for seniors due to COVID-19 isolation
On World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the Utah Department of Commerce urges Utahns to be alert to the dangers to seniors from investment fraud during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Salt Lake Chamber honors Governor Gary Herbert as a Giant in our City
Governor Gary R. Herbert was recognized for his contributions and service to the State of Utah at the 41st Giant in our City. The award, presented by the Salt Lake Chamber Thursday night at the historic Redwood Drive-In Theatre, is given for exceptional and distinguished public service, as well as extraordinary professional achievement, and is widely recognized as the most prestigious business award in the state of Utah.
Salt Lake County creates $40 million Small Business Impact Grant program for those hit hardest
Mayor Jenny Wilson announced that Salt Lake County will be launching a new Small Business Impact Grant (SBIG) program, with the application opening June 16. 

More National Headlines


1858 - Accepting the Illinois Republican Party's nomination for the U.S. Senate, Abraham Lincoln said the slavery issue had to be resolved, declaring, "A house divided against itself cannot stand."

1897 - The United States signed a treaty of annexation with Hawaii.

1903 - The Ford Motor Company is incorporated.

1963 - The Soviet Union launched the first female space traveler, Valentina Tereshkova, into orbit aboard Vostok 6.

1987 - A jury in New York acquitted Bernhard Goetz of attempted murder in the subway shooting of four young blacks he said were going to rob him; he was convicted of illegal weapons possession.

2011 - Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., announced his resignation from Congress, bowing to the furor caused by his sexually charged online dalliances with a former porn actress and other women.

Wise Words

Go For Great

"Don't be afraid to give up the good to go for the great." John D. Rockefeller

Lighter Side


"But Trump's defending bringing everyone together for a big-time spittle-fest. His advisers say that the recent Black Lives Matter protests in metropolitan areas will make it harder for liberals to criticize him. Nah, it's still easy to criticize him. Here, watch!" - STEPHEN COLBERT

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