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Situational awareness - June 4, 2020

Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City


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

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

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

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

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

  • Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis rips President Trump as a threat to the Constitution.
  • Trump denies he sheltered in the White House bunker, instead claiming he was there for an inspection.
  • Utahns give Gov. Gary Herbert high job approval marks.

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Mugs/Gary_Herbert_05.jpgNearly 7 in 10 Utahns approve of Gov. Gary Herbert's job performance
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
GOP Gov. Gary Herbert's job approval ratings have shot through the roof, a new poll shows, no doubt because of his leadership in the state's fight against the coronavirus.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Republican_Convention_01.jpgThe Republican National Convention is moving out of North Carolina, but Utah officials aren't angling to host
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Could the Republican National Convention be split between two cities this summer? Utah GOP Chairman Derek Brown says it's a distinct possibility. 
images/1000px_Mugs/Mitt__Romney_06.jpgRomney's job approval rating climbs in Utah according to new poll
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Utahns have apparently moved past Sen. Mitt Romney's vote to impeach President Donald Trump as his job approval ratings have rebounded significantly.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/20200602_CD1_Debate.jpgFirst District Republicans offer up few policy details during televised debate
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
The four Republicans vying to replace Rob Bishop in Congress took part in a debate on Tuesday afternoon that was woefully short on specifics, but long on rhetoric, with a spat over pickleball thrown in for good measure.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/20200602_AG_debate.jpgReyes and Leavitt trade verbal blows in fiery AG debate
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Wow. If you want to see how a real political debate can go, back and forth, blow to blow, you need to watch Tuesday's televised debate between Republican attorney general candidates Sean Reyes and David Leavitt.
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgBernick and Schott on politics podcast: 'A bunker of bad debates'
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Managing Editor Bryan Schott and Contributing Editor Bob Bernick are back to give perspective and context to the top Utah political news from the last few days.
images/1000px_Mugs/Ben_McAdams_03.jpgMcAdams' job approval rating rebounds into positive territory following impeachment drama
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Rep. Ben McAdams is seemingly in a good position with voters in his 4th Congressional District as he aims for another term in Washington according to a new survey.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/20200601_GOV_Debate.jpgRepublican candidates face off in competent, yet tepid debate
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Monday night's big televised debate between the four Republican gubernatorial candidates came off without a hitch -- no big gaffes by any of the four, no home runs hit out of the park, either.
images/1000px_Mugs/Rich_Cunningham_01.jpgGOP Senate candidate blocked from using party resources for taking signature route
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Telling UtahPolicy.com "this crap has got to stop," former GOP state House member Rich Cunningham says he's "frustrated" that the Utah Republican Party won't allow him to use the party's non-profit mailing status to send out brochures in his intra-party challenge to Sen. Lincoln Fillmore, R-South Jordan.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/20200601_UT04_Debate.jpg4th District Republicans debate economy, COVID-19 ahead of June primary election
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Largely absent from the debate among the four Republicans hoping to win the nomination in the 4th Congressional District was any discussion of their potential opponent in November, Democrat Ben McAdams. Instead, the four spent most of their time on Monday trying to burnish their conservative bona fides, cozying up to President Donald Trump and attacking Marxists, socialists, Antifa and other perceived threats to America.

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune




Former Defense Secretary Gen. James Mattis ripped President Trump on Wednesday evening, calling him a threat to the Constitution and someone who "does not try to unite the American people" [Atlantic].

President Trump responded to Mattis on Twitter, calling the retired general "overrated" [The Hill].

Martial law?

In a stunning op-ed, Sen. Tom Cotton says America should use the military to quell violent protests across the country [NYT].


President Trump denied he sheltered in the White House bunker on Friday amid violent protests in Washington, D.C. Instead he claimed he was there to "inspect" the facility [Politico].

Defense Secretary Mark Esper irked the White House when he broke with President Trump to state his opposition to using active-duty troops to respond to protests [Politico].

Splitting hairs. The White House is insisting that police didn't use tear gas and rubber bullets in the incident that cleared out protesters near the White House on Monday [Vox].

All four of the former police officers involved in George Floyd's killing now face charges [CNN].

The House Judiciary Committee will hold hearings on police brutality next week [Politico].

The Los Angeles Police Department's budget could be cut by $150 million, with that money going to programs designed to assist communities of color [Los Angeles Times].


Dr. Anthony Fauci says it's time for some communities to start thinking about re-opening public schools in the fall [CNN].

The Senate passed a bill to make fixes to the Paycheck Protection Program to assist small businesses hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic [CNN].

2020 election

President Trump's re-election team's private polling shows him losing badly to presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden in several states key to Trump winning a second term [NYT].

President Trump tried to register to vote in Florida using his White House address [WaPo].

Snapchat says they will no longer promote President Trump's account on its "Discover" page [Axios].


The White House deleted a tweet that falsely claimed Antifa had placed bricks and stones on sidewalks to incite violence. The video actually showed a security barrier designed to protect against car attacks [Twitter].

Return to play

The NBA is considering returning to play at Disney World next month [SB Nation].

MLS players approved a plan to restart the 2020 season, beginning with a tournament in Orlando [CBS Sports].


Policy News

Public Health and Economic Emergency Commission recommends most of Utah transitions to a smart green risk level
On June 2, the Public Health and Economic Emergency Commission unanimously voted to recommend, after reviewing current, real-time data, adopting modified yellow and a smart green risk phases in the state's phasedguidelines in the Utah Leads Together Plan. The new phases will allow nearly all Utah businesses the opportunity to activate a plan to open safely and help the economy move forward. 
images/1000px_Logos/SL_Chamber_Logo_1000.jpgWebinar: PPP loan forgiveness
The good news is that Bloomberg ranked Utah first in the nation for SBA loans awarded as a percent of eligible payroll at 97.5% meaning those eligible have been receiving those loans.
images/Resized_Logos/Utah_Foundation_Logo_01.jpgUtah housing permits plummet in April
Utah housing building permits decreased from 3,070 in March to 2,089 in April, a 32% decrease. Interestingly, this came just after a March in which the greater Salt Lake City area (MSA) saw the highest number of housing permits in decades, and perhaps ever over 1,500. The next month, they plummeted: April saw a decrease to just over 800.

More National Headlines


1784 - Elisabeth Thible becomes the first woman to fly an untethered hot air balloon.

1812 - The Louisiana Territory was renamed the Missouri Territory to avoid confusion with the recently admitted state of Louisiana.

1896 Henry Ford test-drives his "Quadricycle", the first automobile he designed or drove.

1912 - Massachusetts becomes the first state to set a minimum wage.

1919 Congress passes the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing women the right to vote and sends it to the states for ratification.

1942 Battle of Midway begins, one of the most decisive U.S. victories against Japan in WWII.

1989 The Tiananmen Square massacre takes place in Beijing, China. Chinese troops kill and arrest thousands of pro-democracy protestors.

Wise Words


"Be not simply good - be good for something." Henry David Thoreau

Lighter Side


"Michigan isn't sending out ballots, they're sending out mail-in ballot applications, just like a bunch of Republican states are also doing. So clearly Trump is just looking for an excuse to avoid losing. As the election gets closer, Trump is going to get crazier. He's going to be like one of those second-graders playing sports. [imitating Trump] 'The results from Wisconsin don't count. I didn't say I was ready. Didn't say I was ready. OK, I'm ready now - Florida, I win!'" - TREVOR NOAH

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