Morning must reads for Monday, March 10, 2017

Good Monday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 100th day of the year. There are 265 days remaining in 2017.

Utahns want Jon Huntsman to run for Senate in 2018. Bernie Sanders is coming back to Utah this month. The Trump administration reverses course on Syria.

The clock:

  • 40 days until the Utah Republican State Convention (5/20/2017)
  • 68 days until the Utah Democratic State Convention at Weber State University (6/17/2017)
  • 211 days until the 2017 municipal elections (11/7/2017)
  • 287 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)
  • 332 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
  • 575 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1,303 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR – 

  • NEW POLL: Most Utahns want former Gov. Jon Huntsman to run for U.S. Senate in 2018, but they’re not sure if he should run as a Republican or an independent [Utah Policy].
  • Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and newly elected Democratic National Party Chairman Tom Perez will visit Utah the week of April 17 as part of a national “unity tour” [Utah Policy].
  • Our “Political Insiders” think Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams will be hurt politically by the process to find a location for a new homeless shelter [Utah Policy].
  • Sen. Mike Lee wants President Trump to detail his long-term plans for Syria following last week’s military strike [Deseret News].
  • Policy shift. US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley says removing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from power is now a priority [CNN].
  • Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says Russia was “incompetent” for allowing Syria to retain possession of chemical weapons [New York Times].
  • Palace intrigue. The tension between Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner is roiling the White House, and President Donald Trump wants it to stop [New York Times].
  • Reboot again. White House staffers are desperately trying to salvage something positive from President Trump’s first 100 days in office [Politico].
  • Show of force. A US naval strike force is headed toward the Korean Peninsula in response to recent military actions by North Korea [CNN].
  • Congressional Democrats are already pushing back against President Trump’s plan for tax reform, claiming it represents a massive conflict of interest for the President [New York Times]. 
  • Funding for the government runs out on April 28, meaning members of Congress will face an urgent deadline when they return from recess later this month [Bloomberg].
  • President Donald Trump’s federal hiring freeze is taking a toll on many vital government agencies [Wall Street Journal].
  • Democrats in the Senate are not sorry they forced Mitch McConnell to use the “nuclear option” to confirm Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, reasoning it was going to happen one way or another [Politico].
  • Deputy national security adviser K.T. McFarland has been pushed out of that job. The former Fox News talking head will now become the ambassador to Singapore [Wall Street Journal].
  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions is making moves that could bring back the “war on drugs” [Washington Post].
  • Democrats are moving staff and resources to Southern California to flip some congressional seats held by Republicans [Los Angeles Times].
  • The investigation into alleged misconduct at the Daggett County Jail has run up a tab of more than $200,000 so far [Deseret News].
  • Utah’s teacher shortage is getting so bad that schools are trying to recruit teachers from all over the United States [Deseret News].
  • Boring but important. The housing market will be very tight for buyers this spring. The supply of available houses for sale hasn’t been this thin in the past 20 years [Associated Press].

On this day in history:

  • 1866 – The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was incorporated.
  • 1912 – The luxury liner Titanic set sail from Southampton, England, on its ill-fated maiden voyage. It stopped first in Cherbourg, France, and then Queenstown, Ireland, the next day to pick up additional passengers before heading out into the open sea.
  • 1947 – Brooklyn Dodgers president Branch Rickey announced he had purchased the contract of Jackie Robinson from the Montreal Royals, paving the way for Robinson to become the first black to play in the major leagues.
  • 1992 – Financier Charles Keating Jr. was sentenced in Los Angeles to nine years in prison for swindling investors when his Lincoln Savings and Loan collapsed. (The convictions were later overturned).