Morning must reads for Thursday, April 13, 2017

Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 103rd day of the year. There are 262 days remaining in 2017.

Most Utahns want Congress to repeal Obamacare. Misty Snow launches another bid for Congress. Trump flip flops on some big campaign promises.

The clock:

  • 37 days until the Utah Republican State Convention (5/20/2017)
  • 65 days until the Utah Democratic State Convention at Weber State University (6/17/2017)
  • 208 days until the 2017 municipal elections (11/7/2017)
  • 284 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)
  • 329 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
  • 572 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1,300 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR – 

  • NEW POLL: Most Utahns still want Congress to repeal Obamacare [Utah Policy].
  • Misty Snow, the transgender woman who lost to Sen. Mike Lee in 2016, plans to challenge Rep. Chris Stewart in Utah’s 2nd Congressional District in 2018 [Utah Policy].
  • Lawmakers make some big changes to their interim meetings schedule [Utah Policy].
  • Analysis: It’s going to take a lot more than a few gaffes for Rep. Jason Chaffetz to lose his seat in 2018 [Utah Policy].
  • Rep. Paul Ray plans to push legislation next year to allow the state to take over failing county jails [KSL].
  • Supporters of Provo Mayor John Curtis have launched a fundraising page to encourage him to challenge Rep. Jason Chaffetz in 2018 [Deseret News].
  • President Donald Trump flip flops on two big issues from his campaign:
    • After suggesting NATO was obsolete, Trump pledged his full support for the organization [Washington Post].
    • Trump will not label China a currency manipulator after pledging to do so during the 2016 campaign [Bloomberg].
  • Warning sign! Conservative voters in some of the most reliably Republican districts are becoming disillusioned with the GOP after a number of stumbles in Congress [New York Times].
  • White House chief strategist Steve Bannon‘s days in the Trump administration appear to be numbered. Bannon’s supporters appear to be preparing for his inevitable ouster from the White House [Washington Post, New York Times].
  • U.S. intelligence intercepted Syrian military officials preparing to conduct the chemical weapons attack that led to last week’s airstrike by American military forces [CNN].
  • Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says relations between the U.S. and Russia are at a “low point” following his meeting with President Vladimir Putin [Wall Street Journal].
  • Uh oh! North Korea is reportedly “primed and ready” to conduct another nuclear test [CNN]. 
    • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says North Korea may already have the ability to arm missles with sarin nerve agent [CNN].
  • President Trump threatens to withhold payments to health insurers in order to force Democrats to the negotiating table in order to repeal and replace Obamacare [Wall Street Journal].
  • The Trump administration is moving quickly to form the nationwide deportation force he promised on the campaign trail [Washington Post].
  • This seems weird…After he left Trump’s presidential campaign, Paul Manafort created a shell company that borrowed $13 million from companies with ties to Donald Trump [New York Times].
  • Utah taxpayers will be on the hook to fix the septic system in a subdivision in Roosevelt [Tribune].
  • North Ogden Mayor Brent Taylor, a member of the UTA board, wants the organization to “seize the opportunity” to increase their oversight following a federal investigation [Deseret News].

On this day in history:

  • 1861 – At the start of the Civil War, Fort Sumter in South Carolina fell to Confederate forces as the Union commander, Maj. Robert Anderson, agreed to surrender in the face of relentless bombardment.
  • 1964 – Sidney Poitier became the first black performer in a leading role to win an Academy Award, for “Lilies of the Field.”
  • 1970 – Apollo 13, four-fifths of the way to the moon, was crippled when a tank containing liquid oxygen burst.