Morning must reads for Friday, April 28, 2017

Good Friday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 118th day of the year. There are 247 days remaining in 2017. Today is the 99th day of Donald Trump’s presidency.

Herbert won’t call a special session to address Congressional vacancies. Trump warns of conflict with North Korea. Republicans are racing to keep the government running for another week.

The clock:

  • 22 days until the Utah Republican State Convention (5/20/2017)
  • 50 days until the Utah Democratic State Convention at Weber State University (6/17/2017)
  • 193 days until the 2017 municipal elections (11/7/2017)
  • 269 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)
  • 314 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
  • 557 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1,285 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR –

  • Bob Bernick looks at the implications from a tumultuous week in Utah politics [Utah Policy].
  • Understand what happened in Utah politics with our video week-in-review [Utah Policy].
  • Gov. Gary Herbert is worried letting lawmakers set the rules on how to hold a special election for a Congressional vacancy could lead to “gaming the system” by legislators who want to run for the open seat [Tribune].
  • Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke met with Utah’s Congressional delegation to plot the next steps on Bears Ears following President Trump’s executive order calling for a review of national monuments [Deseret News].
  • The Utah Transit Authority adopts a tougher anti-nepotism rule, prohibiting anyone related to current board members from holding employment with the agency [Tribune].
  • State records are unclear on how much water Utahns use every year [Tribune].
  • The fight over control of the Huntsman Cancer Institute now means Dr. Vivian Lee will be facing some serious challenges moving forward [Tribune].
  • Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski has ordered the city’s longtime Utah Transit Authority trustee to resign [Deseret News].
  • Rep. Jason Chaffetz is “resting comfortably” after having surgery on his foot [Deseret News].
  • Friday’s big deal: In an interview, President Donald Trump said “There is a chance we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea” if diplomatic measures fail [Reuters]. Trump also said he thought being president would be “easier” than his previous life as a businessman [Politico].
  • President Donald Trump says he was set to announce the U.S. would withdraw from NAFTA on his 100th day in office but changed his mind after his team was able to change his mind [Washington Post].
  • President Trump hasn’t accomplished much during his first 100 days in office [Roll Call].
  • Congress will vote Friday on a stopgap bill to keep the government running for another week [Wall Street Journal]. Congressional Democrats say they’ll withhold support for the spending measure if they can’t get agreement from Republican on some other measures [Politico].
  • Congressional Republicans will not vote on a renewed effort to repeal Obamacare. President Trump was pushing hard for the vote during his 100 days in office [New York Times].
  • The Pentagon has opened an investigation into former national security advisor Michael Flynn‘s dealings with foreign governments. Flynn was warned in 2014 not to take foreign money without approval [Wall Street Journal].
  • Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski‘s firm appears to be offering in-person meetings with President Trump and other top officials to foreign politicians [Politico]. Meanwhile, White House spokesperson Sean Spicer tries to lay the blame for Flynn’s troubles at the feet of the Obama administration [Politico].
  • Democrats in the Senate are exploring a lawsuit against President Trump, claiming his business conflicts of interest violate the constitution [The Hill].
  • This is kinda weird. Rep. Jason Chaffetz has become a major source of Washington news for internet gossip website TMZ. In fact, the outlet has broken stories on some subjects Chaffetz’s Oversight Committee was investigating [Huffington Post].
  • Home prices along the Wasatch Front are skyrocketing as supply dwindles [Tribune].

On this day in history:

  • 1788 – Maryland became the seventh state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
  • 1789 – The crew of the British ship Bounty mutinied, setting Captain William Bligh and 18 sailors adrift in a launch in the South Pacific.
  • 1945 – Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and his mistress, Clara Petacci, were executed.
  • 1967 – Heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali refused to be inducted into the Army.
  • 1996 – President Bill Clinton gave 4 1/2 hours of videotaped testimony as a defense witness in the criminal trial of his former Whitewater business partners.
  • 2004 – The first photos of the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal were shown on CBS’ “60 Minutes II.”