Morning must reads for Monday, May 15, 2017

Good Monday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 135th day of the year. There are 230 days remaining in 2017. Today is the 116th day of Donald Trump’s presidency.

McAdams’ favorability ratings take a hit. Chaffetz is telling colleagues he’s heading to Fox News. North Korea conducts a successful missile test.

The clock:

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • 1,268 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR –

  • NEW POLL: Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams gets good, but not great, favorable ratings from voters inside Salt Lake County. However, he has some work ahead of him if he wants to run for a statewide office down the road [Utah Policy].
  • was the first to report that Rep. Jason Chaffetz may be looking at taking a job with Fox News Channel once he steps down from Congress. Now, Chaffetz is reportedly telling colleagues in Washington that he indeed is on the verge of jumping to a television gig [Utah Policy].
  • Sen. Mike Lee says President Trump is “fully cooperating” with the FBI probe into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election [Utah Policy].
  • LaVarr Webb argues that the media has been unfair to President Donald Trump, but the president has also committed a number of unforced errors [Utah Policy].
  • Our “Political Insiders” say the race to be the next Utah GOP Chairman is a toss up between James Evans and Rob Anderson [Utah Policy].
  • President Donald Trump is reportedly considering a huge shakeup of the West Wing staff, which could include firing chief strategist Steve Bannon, chief of staff Reince Priebus and press secretary Sean Spicer [Utah Policy].
  • North Korea conducted their most successful missile launch in recent years, testing a rocket they claim can reach the United States. Experts say the new missile represents a significant step up of North Korea’s technical capabilities [Politico]. North Korea has rapidly accelerated their missile program significantly over the past three years [Wall Street Journal].
  • President Donald Trump is racing to find a replacement for fired FBI Director James Comey [Wall Street Journal]. At least eight candidates for the job were interviewed over the weekend [CNN].
  • Democrats in Congress smell blood in the aftermath of Trump’s firing of Comey. They plan to use the controversy to slow down Trump’s political agenda, and could go so far as to shut down the government unless a special prosecutor is appointed to head up the Russia investigation [Axios].
  • Former director of national intelligence James Clapper said Trump’s dismissal of Comey is “eroding” the system of checks and balances in Washington [Associated Press].
  • President Donald Trump threatened James Comey over Twitter, insinuating he may have secretly taped his conversations with the former FBI Director. That may well have happened as former employees of Donald Trump say he routinely taped conversations before he became president [Wall Street Journal]. Several Republicans and Democrats say if Trump does have tapes of his conversations with Comey, he should turn them over to Congress [Washington Post].
  • Republican Senators are considering massive cuts to Medicaid [Wall Street Journal]. Republicans in the House are weighing slashing food stamps, welfare and even making big reductions in veterans’ benefits [Politico].
  • Following Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke‘s visit to Utah to discuss public lands issues, many Native Americans say they feel marginalized [Washington Post].
  • The massive ransomware attack that crippled hospitals and government agencies in 150 countries is expected to spread even more as the world gets back to work on Monday [New York Times]. 
  • Rep. Chris Stewart holds a town hall meeting in Richfield. His reception there was markedly different from a previous public event in Salt Lake City [City WeeklyTribune].
  • Rep. Adam Gardiner wants to raise the minimum age to get married in Utah from 15 to 16 [Associated Press].
  • Whether to continue or end the Utah GOP’s lawsuit over SB54 is center stage in the race to be the next chairman of the state party [Deseret News]. 
  • Rob Craig, the newly elected chairman of the Utah County GOP promises to bring a new management style to the job [Daily Herald].
  • Jon Huntsman Sr. said in a two-page newspaper ad that the University of Utah “instigated” the trouble with the Huntsman Cancer Institute, and that the University still owes the HCI $54 million [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Whoops! A basic accounting error exposed excessive compensation for two Kane County employees, which has now spiraled into a criminal investigation [Tribune].
  • Utah is one of two states still not complying with federal guidelines to prevent prison rape [Tribune].
  • For the fourth straight year Mormons Building Bridges, which aims to foster better relations between Mormons and the LGBTQ community, has been denied a spot in the annual Days of ’47 Parade [Tribune].

On this day in history:

  • 1911 – The Supreme Court ordered the dissolution of Standard Oil Co., ruling it violated the Sherman Antitrust Act.
  • 1969 – Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas resigned amid a controversy over his past legal fees.
  • 1972 – Alabama Gov. George Wallace was shot while campaigning for the Democratic presidential nomination in Laurel, Md., and left permanently paralyzed below the waist.
  • 2006 – Saddam Hussein refused to enter a plea at his trial in Iraq for crimes against humanity, insisting he was still the country’s president.