Morning Must Reads for Friday, December 16, 2016

Good Friday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 351st day of the year. There are 15 days remaining in 2016.

Utah officials urge President Obama to not declare a Bears Ears monument. Sen. Mike Lee meets with Donald Trump. President Obama vows to strike back against Russian hacking into the election.

The clock:

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

Ten talking points for Friday:

  1. Monumental opposition. Gov. Gary Herbert and Reps. Jason Chaffetz and Rob Bishop are urging President Barack Obama to not declare a Bears Ears National Monument [Utah Policy, Tribune].
  2. News roundup. Here’s our rundown of the “what” and “why” of the last week in Utah politics [Utah Policy].
  3. Power outage. It was a very bad electoral year for Utah’s Democrats which is why it’s our #8 Utah political story from 2016 [Utah Policy].
  4. Lee goes to Trump Tower. Sen Mike Lee met with President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday in New York City [Deseret News, Tribune].
  5. Russian hacking latest. President Barack Obama is vowing retaliation against Russia for interfering with the 2016 election [CNN]. The Russian attempt to hack the Republican National Committee was thwarted mostly because they didn’t try as hard as they did to breach the Democratic National Committee [Wall Street Journal]. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said there was no “technical interference” from Russia into the election system [RealClear Politics]. The White House did not do more about the Russian attempt to hack the 2016 election because they didn’t want to appear overly partisan and they thought Hillary Clinton was going to win [NBC News]. 
  6. Pentagon hacking. A 2015 Russian cyber attack on the Pentagon nearly crippled the U.S. military within hours [CBS News].
  7. Electoral ad. is running an ad featuring Texas Republican elector Christopher Suprin who says he will not vote for Donald Trump when the Electoral College meets on Monday [YouTube].
  8. Interior dance. Utah officials say they’re confident Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke, Donald Trump’s pick to head up the Interior Department, will work with them despite his opposition to turning control of federal lands over to the states [Deseret News, Tribune]. Zinke reportedly got the job because he’s tight with Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr. [Wall Street Journal].
  9. Homeless fallout. The Salt Lake City Council says the decision to create four new homeless shelters around the city must have a low impact on residents and businesses around the new facilities [Deseret News]. Some of the current homeless service providers plan to stay in downtown Salt Lake City [Tribune]. The parents at a daycare center slated to become one of the new shelters say they were taken by surprise by the announcement [Tribune].
  10. Power grab. The North Carolina legislature is moving to strip new Governor Roy Cooper of many of his powers before he takes office in January. Cooper is a Democrat while the North Carolina legislature is dominated by Republicans [New York Times]. Governor-elect Cooper vows to take the legislature to court if the proposed limits to his power are passed [Politico].

On this day in history:

  • 1773 – The Boston Tea Party took place as American colonists boarded a British ship and dumped more than 300 chests of tea overboard to protest tea taxes.
  • 1944 – Germany launched a counteroffensive in World War II that became known as “The Battle of the Bulge.”
  • 1978 – Cleveland, Ohio defaulted on its financial obligations, the first American city to do so since the Great Depression.