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Situational awareness - September 10, 2019

Good Tuesday morning from Salt Lake City

Thanks for reading Utah's must-read daily political news rundown. Please encourage your friends and colleagues to sign up for our emails.

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

  • The changes to Utah's medical cannabis law could lead to delays in implementing the program.
  • Most Utahns say gun violence is a "serious" problem, according to our new poll.
  • The CIA pulled a top spy out of Russia in 2017 out of fears that President Trump would expose their identity


Days to the 2019 Utah municipal elections: 56 (11/5/2019)

Days to the first day of the 2020 Utah Legislature: 139 (1/27/2020)

Days to the Utah presidential primaries: 175 (3/3/2020)

Days to the 2020 Utah primary elections: 287 (6/23/2020)

Days to the 2020 election: 420 (11/3/2020)

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Article_Photos/Medical_Marijuana_02.jpgChanges to Utah's medical cannabis law could push implementation past March 1 deadline
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
The changes to Utah's new medical marijuana law were unveiled Monday during a public hearing on Capitol Hill.
images/1000px_Mugs/Orrin_Hatch_02.jpgGuest opinion: Civility can restore our institutions
By Orrin G. Hatch
(Note: This excerpt from an opinion article by former Sen. Orrin Hatch was first published in the Washington Times. To read the complete article, click here.)
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Gun_Violence_01.jpgMost Utahns agree gun violence is a 'serious problem'
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
In the wake of several high-profile mass shootings, more than of Utahns say gun violence is a serious problem in the United States.
images/1000px_Mugs/Stan_Summers.jpgBox Elder Commissioner Stan Summers considering run for congress in 2020
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Add one more name to the list of Republicans considering jumping into the race to replace Rep. Rob Bishop in Utah's 1st Congressional District. Box Elder County Commissioner Stan Summers tells UtahPolicy.com he's thinking about making a run for Congress next year.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Personal_economy.jpgMost Utahns say they are better off today than they were four years ago, but there's a huge difference in opinion between men and women
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Just over half of all Utahns say they are better off today than they were four years ago, a new UtahPolicy.com/Y2 Analytics poll shows.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_27.jpgLawmakers did not consult the LDS Church on proposed medical cannabis changes
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
UtahPolicy.com has confirmed that proposed changes to the new state medical marijuana law -- to be decided in a special legislative session -- have not been approved by leaders of the LDS Church.
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgAlabama Sharpie elegy - Bernick and Schott on politics
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
There's a special session slated for later this month for lawmakers to tweak the state's medical cannabis laws and make changes to the 2020 caucus and convention schedule.
images/1000px_Mugs/John_Swallow_02.jpgLawmakers will be asked to sign off on $1.5 million legal settlement with former Attorney General John Swallow
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
The long legal saga of former Attorney General John Swallow may be finally coming to an end as lawmakers will be asked to approve a settlement to pay Swallow's legal fees during the special legislative session later this month.

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



American intelligence agencies extracted a top spy from inside Russia in 2017 because they were worried President Donald Trump and his administration repeatedly mishandled classified information and could expose the asset as a spy. The extraction took place after President Trump discussed highly classified information with Russian officials in the oval office [CNN].

The CIA informant pulled out of Russia had sent Russian secrets to the U.S. for decades. They also confirmed the Russian interference in the 2016 election was personally ordered by Vladimir Putin [NYT].

Pay attention to this

A special election for a North Carolina congressional seat could be an early barometer for the 2020 midterms. Both Democrats and Republicans are spending heavily to win the Republican-leaning district [CNN].

President Trump held a rally for the Republican candidate on Monday night, claiming a Democratic victory would lead to a nation overrun with crime, poverty and immigrants [AP].


The Trump organization had a partnership with a local airport near his golf resort in Scotland. The resort is coming under scrutiny after it was revealed U.S. military personnel stayed at Trump's resort while their plane refueled at the private airport [NYT].

Air Force crews have stayed at President Trump's Scottish golf resort at least four times since 2018 [Politico].


Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross reportedly threatened to fire top employees at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration after the agency contradicted President Trump's claim that Hurricane Dorian might hit Alabama [NYT].

NOAA's chief scientist says he will investigate why the agency sided with President Trump over their own scientists [WaPo].


Six in 10 Americans expect a recession to hit within the next year according to a new national survey. The same survey shows President Trump's approval rating falling to 38 percent, which is down from 44 percent in June [WaPo].

Trump's 2020 playbook

President Trump's re-election campaign is trying to expand the 2020 electoral map, targeting several blue states where a Republican hasn't won for decades [Time].


President Trump declared peace talks with the Taliban "dead" after he canceled secret meetings with the organization at Camp David [NYT].

North Korea

Just hours after proposing re-opening talks on denuclearization, North Korea launched two more unidentified projectiles. The weapons test was the 8th since July [NYT].

For your radar

For the first time, most new working-age hires in the U.S. are people of color [WaPo].


Policy News

images/1000px_Logos/20190909_German_US_Logo.pngInsightDeutschland community town hall: A conversation with Utahns on the German-American relationship
On behalf of the American Council on Germany, World Trade Center Utah invites you to attend the InsightDeutschland Community Town Hall: A Conversation with Utahns on the German-American Relationship!
images/1000px_Logos/Hatch_Foundation_Logo.jpgHatch Foundation to host discussion with Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch
The Hatch Center-the policy arm of the Orrin G. Hatch Foundation-announced it will be hosting "A Discussion On Civility" with Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch on Friday, September 20 at 7 p.m. at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. 
images/Resized_Logos/Utah_Foundation_Logo_01.jpgUtah Foundation announces board leadership changes
Utah Foundation announces several changes to its board leadership. Chair Elizabeth Hitch is retiring from her position with the Utah System of Higher Education and is departing Utah Foundation's board.
images/1000px_Logos/WTC_Utah_Logo.pngJoin WTC Utah for a business luncheon with Belgium
World Trade Center Utah, in partnership with the Governor's Office of Economic Development and the Salt Lake Chamber, is delighted to host a diplomatic luncheon welcoming His Excellency Dirk Wouters, Ambassador from the Kingdom of Belgium to the United States.
images/1000px_Logos/CYBER_24_Logo.jpgCYBER24 podcast: Ransomware breakout in Texas
As the federal and state governments have worked to enhance their cybersecurity infrastructure, cybercriminals have now seemingly set their sights on a new and, evidently, far more vulnerable target: cities and towns. 
Treasurer Damschen, local officials work to reunite $2 million in lost property with Carbon County residents
After watching a story about Utah's Unclaimed Property Division on the local news, Helper resident Trinnaty Barnes' stepmom visited mycash.utah.gov. She discovered that the State was safeguarding a significant sum of money for her stepdaughter.

More National Headlines


1813 - Oliver Perry sent the message, "We have met the enemy, and they are ours," after an American naval force defeated the British in the Battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812.

1846 - Elias Howe received a patent for the sewing machine.

1963 - 20 black students entered the white public schools of Birmingham, Tuskegee and Mobile in Alabama after President John. F. Kennedy federalized the state's National Guard.

1989 - Hungary stopped enforcing East German visa restrictions and opened its borders, beginning a flood of emigration that led to the fall of the Berlin Wall two months later.

2009 - U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) shouted "You lie!" during President Barack Obama's address on healthcare reform to a joint session of Congress.

Wise Words


"Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do."Pele

Lighter Side

Storm Map

No one was apologizing, [Stephen] Colbert said, because the map proved nothing; first of all, it was not from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration but from the South Florida water management district. "That's like getting your MRI at Glamour Shots," Colbert joked.

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