Morning Must Reads for Thursday, December 1, 2016

Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 336th day of the year. There are 30 days remaining in 2016.

Senate leaders urge Orrin Hatch to run for another term in 2018. Nearly half of Americans don’t want Obamacare repealed. Mitt Romney may have to wait until next week for Donald Trump to make his pick for Secretary of State.

The clock:

  • 18 days until the Electoral College meets to cast their votes for president and vice president (12/19/2016)
  • 50 days until Donald Trump is inaugurated as the 45th President (1/20/2017)
  • 53 days until the first day of the 2017 Utah Legislature (1/23/2017)
  • 98 days until the final day of the 2017 Utah Legislature (3/9/2017)
  • 341 days until the 2017 municipal elections (11/7/2017)
  • 705 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)

Ten talking points for Thursday:

  1. A number of prominent Senators, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, are basically pleading with Sen. Orrin Hatch to run for another term in 2018 [Utah Policy].
  2. The group that wants to put a tax hike for public schools directly on the 2018 ballot has a very good reason they went around Gov. Herbert and Utah lawmakers [Utah Policy].
  3. Well, that’s kinda awkward. A new national survey finds nearly half of Americans want President-Elect Donald Trump and Congress to either keep or expand Obamacare, while just 26% want to see the law repealed [CNN Money]. Congressional Republicans hope to repeal Obamacare early in 2017, but they may delay the effective date of that repeal for maybe three years [Politico]. More Utahns have signed up for health insurance through Obamacare this year than in 2015 [Tribune]. 
  4. Carrier Corp’s decision to keep hundreds of jobs in Indiana is mostly about access to federal contracts in a Donald Trump administration. Trump is touting the deal as a political win for his administration [Indianapolis Star].
  5. Donald Trump is putting together the wealthiest Cabinet in history. His picks include several multi-millionaires and a couple of billionaires [Washington Post]. Trump is also assembling his Cabinet faster than any president in the last 40 years [Daily Signal].
  6. Mitt Romney may have to wait a while to see if he’s offered the Secretary of State post. Sources say the pick may not come until sometime next week [CBS News]. Along with Romney, Donald Trump is reportedly considering three other candidates for the job: former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, retired Gen. David Petraeus and Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker [Wall Street Journal].
  7. Steven Mnuchin, Donald Trump‘s pick for Treasury Secretary, says there will be no “absolute tax cut” for wealthy Americans. That means any tax cuts for the rich will be offset by fewer deductions. Instead, he says the biggest tax cuts will go to the middle class [Wall Street Journal].
  8. Former half-term Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is reportedly lobbying for a slot in a Donald Trump administration, possibly as VA Secretary [NBC News].
  9. A federal judge’s decision to block President Barack Obama‘s overtime rule, which would require companies to pay more to some salaried workers who work more than 40 hours a week, is leaving a number of Utah companies and workers “in limbo” [Deseret News].
  10. The Bureau of Land Management is opening up oil and gas leases in Nine Mile Canyon, which is drawing sharp criticism from environmental groups [Deseret News, Tribune]. Kane and Garfield counties file a lawsuit against the BLM over a moratorium over new coal leases on federal lands [Tribune].

On this day in history:

  • 1824 – The House of Representatives convened to decide the presidential election because no candidate had received a majority in the Electoral College. (John Quincy Adams was eventually chosen the winner over Andrew Jackson and Henry Clay.)
  • 1891 – The game of basketball was invented when James Naismith, a physical education teacher at the International YMCA Training School in Springfield, Mass., put peach baskets at the opposite ends of a gym and gave students soccer balls to toss into them.
  • 1943 – Ending a “Big Three” meeting in Tehran, U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Russian Premier Josef Stalin pledged a concerted effort to defeat Nazi Germany.
  • 1955 – Rosa Parks, a black seamstress, defied the law by refusing to give up her seat to a white man aboard a Montgomery, Ala., city bus. Parks was arrested, sparking a year-long boycott of the buses by blacks.
  • 1963 – The Beatles’ first single, “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” was released in the United States.