How to Sound Smart About Utah Politics for Monday, August 1, 2016

Good Monday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 214th day of the year. There are 152 days left in 2016.

Donald Trump picks a fight with the family of a fallen Muslim-American soldier. Republicans complain about the presidential debate schedule. Is Utah a swing state in 2016?

The clock:

  • 99 days until the 2016 presidential election – (11/8/2016)
  • 175 days until the first day of the 2017 Utah Legislature – (1/23/2017)
  • 220 days until the final day of the 2017 Utah Legislature – (3/9/2017)

Ten talking points for Monday:

  1. Donald Trump got into a very public feud with Khizr and Ghazala Kahn, the parents of a Muslim Army captain killed by a suicide bomber in Iraq. Kahn blasted Trump’s Muslim-baiting during a speech at the Democratic National Convention. Trump fired back over the weekend, making things worse [Associated Press]. Trump’s running mate Mike Pence tried to clean up Trump’s mess [Talking Points Memo]. Kahn said Trump has a “black soul” for his comments [CNN].
  2. During an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Donald Trump said Russian President Vladimir Putin “will not go into Ukraine,” despite the fact that Putin took Crimea from that country two years ago [Time]. Hillary Clinton‘s campaign mocked Trump for not knowing foreign policy facts [The Hill].
  3. Donald Trump and Republican officials are complaining two of the three scheduled presidential debates are set to air opposite NFL games. Trump claims the NFL sent him a letter expressing their worries about the debate schedule, but the NFL said that never happened [Politico]. Some are speculating Trump is just starting to lay the groundwork for skipping the debates this fall [Talking Points Memo]. 
  4. Let’s try to keep things civil. Billionaire Mark Cuban teed off on Donald Trump during a rally for Hillary Clinton. Among other things, Cuban referred to Trump as “bat—- crazy” and a “jagoff” [CNN].
  5. Billionaire Charles Koch says rumors he’s considering supporting Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump are a “blood libel” [The Hill].
  6. Utah Democrats are feeling more confident that Donald Trump‘s unpopularity in Utah could make the state a battleground in 2016 [Tribune, Deseret News].
  7. Some Utah County Republicans are considering voting for a third-party candidate because they’re uncomfortable with Donald Trump as their nominee [Daily Herald].
  8. Rep. Mel Brown, who lost to Logan Wilde by just 8 votes in the GOP primary, is requesting a recount [Tribune].
  9. The new owner of the Salt Lake Tribune, Paul Huntsman, ousts longtime editor Terry Orme and names Jennifer Napier-Pearce in his stead [Tribune, Deseret News].
  10. Officials in charge of picking the site for the new prison are narrowing their focus to a parcel of land near the Great Salt Lake [Utah Policy, Deseret News, Tribune].

On this day in history:

  • 1498 – Explorer Christopher Columbus set foot on the American mainland for the first time, at the Paria Peninsula in present-day Venezuela.
  • 1790 – The first U.S. census showed a population of 3,929,214 people in 17 states.
  • 1981 – MTV premiered with the Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star.”
  • 1988 – Conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh began broadcasting his nationally syndicated radio program.