Morning Must Reads for Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Good Tuesday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 3rd day of the year. There are 362 days remaining in 2016.

Utahns want Donald Trump to curtail his use of Twitter. The fight over Bears Ears is just beginning. House Republicans move to gut an independent ethics office. 

The clock:

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

Ten talking points for Tuesday:

  1. Utahns want fewer Trump tweets. A new survey shows most Utahns either want President-elect Donald Trump to either stop using Twitter altogether or cut back on his use of the social media platform [Utah Policy].
  2. Bears Ears latest. Utah GOP Chairman James Evans says he’s reached out to Donald Trump‘s team to suggest that Donald Trump could move to lease the Bears Ears area back to Utah for $1/year for 99 years and let the state manage the new national monument [Utah Policy]. Utah AG Sean Reyes says he plans to file a lawsuit over the new monument designation [The Hill]. Supporters of Bears Ears are gearing up for a fight over the monument’s future [Tribune]. Rep. Jason Chaffetz wants to see White House documents and communications about the decision to protect Bears Ears [Deseret News]. Here’s a deep-dive into how Bears Ears became a monument [Tribune].
  3. Drain the swamp? In a surprise move, House Republicans vote to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics. The move, if approved by the full Congress, would give lawmakers more control over ethics investigations [New York Times].
  4. Happy New Congress! The new Congress gets underway today. House Speaker Paul Ryan is expected to easily win re-election to that post [Wall Street Journal]. Republicans are expected to move quickly on implementing a conservative agenda [Wall Street Journal].
  5. Let’s get ready to ruuummmble! Republicans in Congress are expected to move quickly to repeal Obamacare, but getting rid of the law may prove trickier than their rhetoric seems [Politico]. Democrats are planning to aggressively defend the health care law [CBS News].
  6. Swearing in. Even though the inaugural celebration is scheduled for Wednesday, all of Utah’s constitutional officers took their oath of office on Monday [Tribune].
  7. Drunk driving crackdown. Rep. Norm Thurston says he wants to lower the blood alcohol level to determine whether a driver is impaired from .08 to .05. The move would make Utah the first state to lower the threshold [Utah Policy, Deseret News, Tribune].
  8. Targeting smut peddlers. Sen. Todd Weiler is planning legislation that would allow Utahns to sue the producers of pornography [Tribune].
  9. School funding fight. The group pushing a tax hike to better fund Utah’s schools are pushing forward with their plan in the face of opposition by lawmakers [Tribune].
  10. Tragedy averted. Former Utah lawmaker and Salt Lake County GOP Chairman Chad Bennion is safe after going missing for a few days in southern Utah. Bennion was reported missing after going for a run on Saturday. His car became stuck, and he didn’t have cell phone service to call for help [Tribune, Deseret News].

On this day in history:

  • 1777 – The Continental Army commanded by Gen. George Washington defeated the British at Princeton, N.J.
  • 1933 – Minnie Craig becomes the first female Speaker of the North Dakota House of Representatives. Craig was the first woman to hold a speakership in the United States.
  • 1959 – Alaska became the 49th state.
  • 1967 – Jack Ruby, the man who fatally shot accused presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, died in a Dallas hospital.
  • 1990 – Ousted Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega surrendered to U.S. forces, 10 days after taking refuge in the Vatican’s diplomatic mission in Panama City.