Morning Must Reads for Thursday, January 29, 2016

Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 364th day of the year. There are two days remaining in 2016.

President Obama creates a new National Monument in Utah. Utahns are split on whether Donald Trump should reverse the Bears Ears Monument when he takes office. Congressional Republicans plan to repeal Obamacare as their first major act next year. 

The clock:

  • 22 days until Donald Trump is inaugurated as the 45th President (1/20/2017)
  • 25 days until the first day of the 2017 Utah Legislature (1/23/2017)
  • 70 days until the final day of the 2017 Utah Legislature (3/9/2017)
  • 313 days until the 2017 municipal elections (11/7/2017)
  • 677 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)

Ten talking points for Thursday:

  1. Monumental decision. President Barack Obama creates the new Bears Ears National Monument in southern Utah. The decision drew a sharp rebuke from Utah Republicans who vowed to fight the 1.35 million acre monument [Utah Policy, Deseret News, Tribune, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post].
  2. Should Trump nix Bears Ears? Some Utah Republicans have suggested President-elect Donald Trump could undo the Bears Ears Monument once he takes office in January. Utahns are divided on the issue, according to a new poll. A plurality of Utahns says Trump should not reverse the decision [Utah Policy].
  3. Countdown ends. The shocking election of Donald Trump is our #1 Utah political news story from the past year [Utah Policy].
  4. Obamacare vote. The first major thing Congressional Republicans plan to do in 2017 is vote to repeal Obamacare, but they’re not sure what to put in the law’s place [Bloomberg]. Jonathan Cohn argues House Speaker Paul Ryan is in such a rush to repeal Obamacare because he’s afraid people will realize the damage undoing the law could create [Huffington Post].
  5. Hacking retaliation. The White House could announce as early as Thursday measures to retaliate against Russia for interfering in the 2016 presidential election [Wall Street Journal]. Donald Trump has had enough with the talk about Russian interference in the election saying everyone should “get on with our lives” [Washington Post]. President Barack Obama is under pressure to deliver evidence on claims that Russia tried to influence the election [The Hill].
  6. Syrian truce. Russia announces they’ve been able to broker an agreement for a cease-fire between the Syrian government and rebel forces. Both Russia and Turkey will guarantee the truce [CBS News].
  7. Progress or pandering? Donald Trump is reportedly making a last-ditch effort to add a Hispanic official to serve in his Cabinet [Politico].
  8. No rush to investigate. Rep. Jason Chaffetz says he won’t rule out having the House Oversight Committee investigate Donald Trump once he takes office but, for now, he’s reserving judgment [Deseret News].
  9. Polygamy appeal. The Utah Attorney General’s office says the U.S. Supreme Court should not review a lawsuit challenging Utah’s bigamy statute [Tribune].
  10. Election attention. Cable TV audiences had their biggest audiences ever in 2016, mostly because of the presidential election. However, audiences for entertainment programming dropped [LA Times].

On this day in history:

  • 1170 – Anglican churchman/politician Thomas Becket was killed at Britain’s Canterbury Cathedral.
  • 1845 – Texas was admitted to the union as the 28th state.
  • 1890 – U.S. troops killed as many as 400 Sioux Indians at Wounded Knee, S.D.
  • 1916 – Gregory Rasputin, the monk who had wielded powerful influence over the Russian court, was murdered by a group of noblemen.