Morning Must Reads for Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 349th day of the year. There are 17 days remaining in 2016.

Utahns want to keep the Electoral College. The number of bills proposed for the 2017 legislature is ahead of last year’s pace. Salt Lake City names four sites for new homeless shelters.

The clock:

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

Ten talking points for Wednesday:

  1. Keep the Electoral College. A new poll shows most Utahns think the Electoral College is worth keeping [Utah Policy].
  2. Legislative overload. The number of bills already proposed for the 2017 legislature is ahead of 2016’s record-breaking pace [Utah Policy].
  3. Countdown continues. Our #10 Utah political story from 2016 is Utah’s deal with Amazon to collect sales taxes on internet purchases [Utah Policy].
  4. Shelter Shuffle. Salt Lake City names four sites as future sites for homeless shelters [Tribune, Deseret News]. The Road Home shelter in downtown Salt Lake City will close once the new facilities come online [Tribune]. 
  5. Faithless. Harvard law professor Larry Lessig, claims 20 Republican electors are considering voting against Donald Trump. It would take 38 members to flip to stop Trump from winning [Politico].
  6. Zinke to Interior. Donald Trump picks Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke to head up the Interior Department [Wall Street Journal].
  7. Hacking remains at the forefront. The Russian hacking issue will not go away quietly. Sen. Bob Corker says the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold hearings [Politico]. The FBI tried to warn the Democratic National Committee about hacking attempts in 2015 [New York Times].
  8. What will Chaffetz do now? The House Oversight Committee, headed up by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, seemingly lacks a clear target now that Republicans control both the White House and Congress [Roll Call].
  9. Data dump. Climate scientists are frantically copying a massive amount of government climate science data because they are fearful it could be whitewashed under a Donald Trump administration [Washington Post]. On that subject, a new report says the Arctic is heating up twice as fast as the rest of the globe [CNN].
  10. The struggle continues. Utah Republicans file a federal appeal over SB54 while, at the same time, the party is pursuing a compromise with Utah lawmakers to fix the plurality issue that could allow a nominee to win without a majority of the vote [Tribune].

On this day in history:

  • 1799 – George Washington died at his Mount Vernon home in Virginia.
  • 1911 – Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen became the first person to reach the South Pole. 
  • 2008 – An Iraqi journalist threw his shoes at President George W. Bush during a news conference in Baghdad; Bush was not hit.
  • 2012 – A gunman killed 26 people, including 20 children, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., then committed suicide.