Morning Must Reads for Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 363rd day of the year. There are three days remaining in 2016.

The Obama administration says they are close to announcing their response to Russian election hacking. Rep. Jason Chaffetz is cleared of charges he misused campaign funds. Utah alcohol sales hit a new high this year.

The clock:

  • 23 days until Donald Trump is inaugurated as the 45th President (1/20/2017)
  • 26 days until the first day of the 2017 Utah Legislature (1/23/2017)
  • 71 days until the final day of the 2017 Utah Legislature (3/9/2017)
  • 314 days until the 2017 municipal elections (11/7/2017)
  • 678 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)

Ten talking points for Wednesday:

  1. Interesting times. LaVarr Webb says after a remarkable 2016 presidential election, the political chaos could continue well into 2017 [Utah Policy].
  2. Countdown continues. Gov. Gary Herbert winning a third election for governor in Utah is our #2 Utah political news story from 2016 [Utah Policy].
  3. Punishing election hacks. The Obama administration is close to announcing how they plan on retaliating against Russia for interfering with the 2016 presidential election [Washington Post]. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, says Russian attempts to influence the election are “unprecedented,” and Republicans are ignoring the evidence [The Atlantic].
  4. Middle-East peace. Secretary of State John Kerry plans to outline a last-ditch plan for peace between Israel and Palestine before a new administration takes the reins in Washington [New York Times].
  5. Supermajority looming? Republicans could realistically win a supermajority in the U.S. Senate in 2018 [Washington Post].
  6. A new gilded age? Even though a populist wave swept across the globe in 2016, the richest people in the world increased their fortunes by nearly $250 billion [Bloomberg].
  7. Inauguration protests. The planners of for Donald Trump‘s inauguration next month say they’re bracing for a wave of protests because Americans are still deeply divided over the results of the election [New York Times].
  8. Chaffetz cleared. Rep. Jason Chaffetz has been exonerated of any wrongdoing stemming from a complaint that he misused campaign funds [Tribune].
  9. Booze news. Alcohol sales in Utah this year hit a new high of $406 million, which is a 7.8 percent jump [Tribune, Deseret News]. Sen. Jerry Stevenson hints that lawmakers may take a look at dumping “Zion Curtains” from restaurants in Utah [Fox 13].
  10. Are you listening Utah? Colorado voters approved two measures to change their presidential nominating process. The first dumps their presidential caucus for primary elections while the second allows any registered voter to participate in any presidential primary they choose regardless of party affiliation [The Hill]. 

On this day in history:

  • 1832 – John C. Calhoun became the first vice president of the United States to resign, stepping down over differences with President Andrew Jackson.
  • 1864 – Iowa was admitted as the 29th state.
  • 1945 – Congress officially recognized the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of the United States.