Morning must reads for Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 130th day of the year. There are 235 days remaining in 2017. Today is the 111th day of Donald Trump’s presidency.

Trump fires Comey. DeVos touts school choice in Utah. Utah Republicans want to change their rules for a special election to fill a vacancy in Congress.

The clock:

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • 1,273 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR –

  • The Utah GOP wants to change party rules on what should be done in the case of a special election to fill a vacancy in Congress [Utah Policy].
  • Sen. Orrin Hatch says repealing Obamacare will be difficult because once Americans are “on the dole, they’ll take every dime they can” [Utah Policy].
  • The indications a “wave election” may be coming in 2018 are starting to stack up [Utah Policy].
  • Paging Archibald Cox. President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, which could upend the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election [New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Washington Post, Politico].
  • The New York Times editorial board railed against Trump’s firing of Comey, saying the move raises the specter of political interference into an active investigation by a sitting president [New York Times].
  • Comey’s firing is bringing calls for an independent investigation into Trump’s ties to Russia from both sides of the aisle [New York Times].
  • Trump has now fired three people who were actively involved in investigations into dealings with Russia [Axios].
  • A grand jury has issued subpoenas to associates of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn as part of the FBI’s investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election [CNN].
  • Education Secretary Betsy DeVos touts school choice during a visit to Utah [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke wraps up his tour of public lands in Utah [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Senate leaders are preparing for a months-long process to come up with their own health care reform bill [Bloomberg].
  • President Donald Trump is pushing for an $800 billion cut in entitlement programs over the next decade [Roll Call].
  • The U.S. Census director has resigned because of inadequate funding for the 2020 count [Washington Post].
  • Here’s a fascinating look into how French officials were able to beat back hackers who tried to influence their presidential election [New York Times].
  • Utah Mormons say the LDS Church has less political clout than other sectors like teachers and Utah’s tourism industry [Tribune].
  • Some Utah County residents want a commission to look into alleged misconduct in the county attorney’s office [Tribune].
  • Bars and restaurants in Utah now must post signs informing customers about what kind of liquor license they hold under new liquor laws that went into effect this week [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Utahns are feeling some pain at the pump as gasoline prices are the 11th highest in the country [Deseret News].

On this day in history:

  • 1775 – Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys captured the British-held fortress at Ticonderoga, N.Y.
  • 1865 – Confederate President Jefferson Davis was captured by Union troops. He spent the next two years in prison.
  • 1869 – A golden spike was driven at Promontory, Utah, marking the completion of the first transcontinental railroad in the United States.
  • 1924 – J. Edgar Hoover was appointed director of the federal Bureau of Investigation – the forerunner of the FBI – a job he held until his death in 1972.
  • 1933 – The Nazis staged massive public book burnings in Germany.
  • 1984 – A federal judge in Utah found the U.S. government negligent in above-ground Nevada nuclear tests from 1951 to 1962 that exposed downwind residents to radiation.