Morning must reads for Friday, May 5, 2017

Good Friday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 125th day of the year. There are 240 days remaining in 2017. Today is the 106th day of Donald Trump’s presidency.

Trumpcare passes the House. The LDS Church says they’ll remain politically neutral despite Trump’s executive order relaxing restrictions on political activity by churches. Vivian Lee gets a big golden parachute.

The clock:

  • 15 days until the Utah Republican State Convention (5/20/2017)

  • 43 days until the Utah Democratic State Convention at Weber State University (6/17/2017)

  • 186 days until the 2017 municipal elections (11/7/2017)

  • 262 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)

  • 307 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)

  • 550 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)

  • 1,278 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR –

  • Bob Bernick says it’s clear that the days of SB54, which provides for a dual-track path to the ballot for candidates, are numbered. Gov. Gary Herbert is the last bulwark standing against the repeal of the law [Utah Policy].
  • Healthcare, special election rules and turmoil at the University of Utah. Understand the “what” and “why” from the last week in Utah politics with our week-in-review [Utah Policy].
  • House Republicans barely got enough votes to pass their Trumpcare measure [Politico].
  • Utah’s Congressional delegation toes the party line, providing four votes for the Trumpcare measure [Deseret News, Tribune],
  • There’s still a long way to go with Trumpcare. Senators hate the House bill so much that they’re vowing to start from scratch. It could take months, if not until the end of the year, before a Trumpcare bill reaches the president’s desk [The Hill].
  • Worth your time. Here are a couple of deep dives on how the House finally got to “yes” on Trumpcare after the previous failure [Politico, Washington Post].
  • Sen. Orrin Hatch will play a huge role as the Senate takes up the Trumpcare measure passed by the House [Utah Policy].
  • President Donald Trump signed an executive order relaxing restrictions on churches engaging in political activity. The LDS Church says they will continue their policy of political neutrality despite the new leniency from Washington [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • How bad was political polling during the 2016 election? A new report says the national polls were mostly right, but state-level polls were way off [Washington Post].
  • North Korea is accusing the U.S. of hatching a “biochemical” plot to assassinate Kim Jong Un [CNN].
  • The Justice Department is launching a criminal investigation into Uber’s use of software to avoid the authorities in areas where the ride-sharing service was not banned or not allowed [Washington Post].
  • Former House Majority Leader Kevin Garn‘s company won a construction contract from the Utah Transit Authority after he formed a separate company with then Rep. Greg Hughes, who was UTA board chairman at the time [Tribune].
  • The White House is moving forward with their plan for tougher vetting of foreign visa applicants [Wall Street Journal].
  • Dr. Vivian Lee, who stepped down as the head of University of Utah healthcare, gets to keep her $1 million salary for a year [Deseret News].
  • Rep. Mike Winder wants to turn the Jordan River into a state park [Deseret News].

On this day in history:

  • 1893 – Panic hit the New York Stock Exchange; by year’s end, the country was in the throes of a severe depression.
  • 1925 – John T. Scopes was arrested in Tennessee for teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution.
  • 1985 – President Ronald Reagan attended a wreath-laying ceremony at a military cemetery in Bitburg, West Germany. The visit drew worldwide condemnation because 49 members of the Waffen SS were buried there.
  • 1961 – Astronaut Alan B. Shepard Jr. became America’s first space traveler as he made a 15-minute suborbital flight in a capsule launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla.