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Situational awareness

Welcome to Monday another hot week ahead. (But the dog days of summer will soon be the cooler days of autumn.)

Top of the news:

  • Horrific mass shootings focus attention on guns and white supremacist terrorism.
  • UtahPolicy.com/Y2Analytics poll reveals Utahns like to get their news on-line.
  • Webb column: Hard work will win mayoral primary; can an unknown win the governor's race?

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Today is the 217th day of the year. There are 148 days remaining in 2019.

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

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

150 days until candidates can begin to gather signatures to get on the 2020 ballot (1/2/2020)

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

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

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

220 days to the final day of the 2020 Utah Legislature (3/12/2020)

221 days to the opening of candidate filing for the 2020 election (3/13/2020)

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Today At Utah Policy

images/Charts/upd-chart-8-5-19.pngWhere do Utahns get their news? Mostly from on-line sources

 Most Utahns are now getting their news from online content, a UtahPolicy.com/Y2 Analytics survey finds.The newest Utah Political Trends poll asked about 2,400 registered voters where they learn about current events.And their answers should worry any traditional news source that is not making great efforts to get its news product online, and attract online readers.
images/mugs-300/LaVarr_Webb.jpgOpinion briefs: Mayoral race down to wire . . . can an unknown candidate win governorship?

Mayoral race: a real test of candidate capabilities. The SLC mayoral race is tightening, according to a Salt Lake Tribune poll . Luz Escamilla is within the margin of error of frontrunner James Dabakis, and Erin Mendenhall isn't far behind Escamilla.But polls have a hard time predicting who's going to vote. There could be a surprise in the primary election. It's hard to predict which candidates will be most effective in getting their supporters to mail in their ballots or go to the polls.
images/articles/us-job-creation-8-5.pngZions economic outlook: July job gains solid, but trade war weighs heavy

The U.S. labor market added a respectable 164,000 jobs in July. This was roughly in line with consensus estimates and shows that employers are still willing to hire despite growing uncertainty in the economy. The official unemployment rate remained near historical lows at 3.7 percent and the broader measure of underemployment declined to the lowest level since 2000 of 7.0 percent. The low levels of unemployment and underemployment came even as more individuals entered the labor force in search of a job. The labor force participation rate, which measures those working or looking for work, rose from 62.9 percent to 63.0 percent marking the second consecutive month of gains. Annual wage growth, which was expected to register at 3.1 percent, rose to 3.2 percent
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Climate_Change_01.jpgUtah Republicans, Democrats have wildly differing views on changing weather patterns and climate change

 The newest Utah Political Trends survey asked Utahns about changing weather patterns in the state and whether those changes are due to human-caused climate change, or just normal year-to-year variations in weather patterns.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Kyrene_Gibb_01.jpgPollcast: A conversation about public opinion polling with Kyrene Gibb of Y2 Analytics

 UtahPolicy.com is partnering with Y2 Analytics to launch the Utah Political Trends project to measure public attitudes of Utahns on several issues.
images/1000px_Mugs/Bernick_Mug_01.jpgBob Bernick's notebook: Remembering Norma Matheson

 Many fine testimonials this past week for former Utah First Lady Norma Matheson upon her passing last Sunday.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Tariffs_01.jpgJust over half of Utahns say tariffs are a good foreign policy tool

 A slim majority of Utahns says they think the use of tariffs on goods imported from other countries as a foreign policy tool is a good idea.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Polling_Vector_01.jpgSo, about our job approval polls...

  "What's up with your new approval rating polls? They seem lower than most past polls," is a common refrain we've heard from several Utah politicos since we unveiled the first batch of results in July.

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



Impeachment. More than half of House Democrats now support opening an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump [Politico].

Heading for the exits. Texas Rep. Will Hurd, the only black Republican in the House, announced he would not run for re-election in 2020. Hurd is the only Republican to represent a district along the southwestern border. Hurd's retirement is the ninth House Republican to announce his retirement this year [NYT].

  • Hurd's announcement has Republicans in Texas worried about holding on to a district Democrats are desperate to flip in 2020 [Texas Tribune].

More tariffs. China is threatening retaliation if President Trump goes through with a new round of tariffs he announced on Thursday afternoon. Global markets tumbled on the news of the potential renewed trade war between the two nations [AP].

  • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin wanted to give China a heads up about Trump's new tariffs but was overruled [Bloomberg].

Comey. The Justice Department declined to prosecute former FBI director James Comey after determining he mishandled two memos he wrote about his interactions with President Trump that contained classified information [AP].

2020. When will the Democratic field start to shrink? There are still 24 Democrats running for president following the first two rounds of debates [NYT].

  • The Nevada GOP will use a poll of the party's state central committee to re-nominate President Trump instead of the usual caucus process next year [LVRJ].

Budget deal. The Senate passed the massive budget deal that raises the debt ceiling, sending the measure to President Trump's desk [CNN].

A stark warning. The FBI is warning fringe conspiracy theories now present a domestic terrorism threat [Yahoo!].

Hmmm. Rep. John Ratcliffe, President Trump's pick to be the next Director of National Intelligence, is considered to be "relatively disengaged" from his work on the House Intelligence Committee and is little known by rank-and-file workers in the various spy agencies he may potentially head up [WaPo].

  • Ratcliffe has claimed he led a massive roundup of immigrant workers in 2008 when he was a federal prosecutor. Court documents show that's not true [WaPo].

Russia. As expected, the U.S. is exiting a three-decade-old arms control treaty with Russia and plans to test a new missile in the coming weeks which would have been prohibited under the pact [AP].

Climate. July may have been the hottest month ever recorded in human history [CNN]. 


1858  First telegraph line across the Atlantic Ocean is completed, led by U.S. businessman Cyrus West Field.

1914  German assault on Liege, Belgium begins first battle of WW1.

1914  World's first electric traffic signal is installed in Cleveland.

1962  Actress Marilyn Monroe is found dead in her L.A. home of apparent drug overdose.

1976  NBA merges with rival American Basketball Association.

1981  Pres. Ronald Reagan fires 11,359 air-traffic controllers after they go on strike.

Policy News

Strata creates new initiative called Stratasphere
The free-market think tank Strata, based in Logan, has embarked on a new initiative called The Stratasphere, which publishes short articles and seeks to find common ground with critics.Randy Simmons, president and co-founder of Strata, issued this statement:
Ambassador to China praises Utah's efforts on trade relations
While participating in the National Governors Association Summer Meeting held in Salt Lake City, U.S. ambassador to China Terry Branstad met with WTC Utah as well as local business leaders and legislators with strong ties to China. The luncheon provided a forum for the group to discuss the importance of engaging with China on a state level despite international trade disputes.
Press release: American Dreams Ideas Challenge seeks innovative policy ideas
 The University of Utah, in partnership with Schmidt Futures, a philanthropic initiative founded by Eric and Wendy Schmidt, is sponsoring the American Dream Ideas Challenge. The challenge calls for innovative policy ideas or investable concepts that have the potential to increase net income for 10,000 middle-class households in Utah by 10 percent by 2022. 
Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report
Outdoors Report-- Salt Lake Tribune: Utah wants more people to hunt cougars, but some say losing big cats will pose big problems

More National Headlines

Wise Words

True Leader

"A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves." Lao Tzu

Lighter Side

Dem Debate

"Of course, last night [Aug 2] was the second straight night of Democratic debates on CNN. Which means last night, we all watched a bunch of randos try to score points and move on in the competition - or if you didn't watch 'Love Island,' you could have watched the debate." - JAMES CORDEN

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