Morning must reads for Friday, June 30, 2017

Good Friday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 181st day of the year. There are 184 days remaining in 2017. Today is the 162nd day of Donald Trump’s presidency.

Chaffetz says farewell. Trump’s tweet draws outrage. Trump looking at starting a trade war.

The clock:

  • 25 days until ballots for the August primary are mailed to voters (7/25/2017)
  • 46 days until the 2017 Utah primary election (8/15/2017)
  • 130 days until the 2017 election (11/7/2017)
  • 206 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)
  • 251 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
  • 494 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1,223 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR –

  • The Utah A.G.’s office refuses an open records request related to the legality of the special election process set up by Gov. Gary Herbert [Utah Policy].
  • Jason Chaffetz bids farewell to his famous cot [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Chaffetz says he plans to write a book about the “deep state” and how it affects Washington [Deseret News].
  • Sen. Orrin Hatch decries incivility in Washington, saying he’s been guilty of the same thing [Tribune]. 
  • Even though the Trump administration’s travel ban is now in effect, refugees who are already in process will continue to arrive in Utah [Tribune].
  • Former presidential candidate Evan McMullin says Republicans are in danger of becoming the “party of Vladimir Putin.” Rep. Chris Stewart shot back that McMullin is “factually wrong” [Tribune].
  • The price of booze in Utah goes up on Saturday when a new law increasing the markup on liquor goes into effect [Tribune].
  • Some members of the Utah Transit Authority board are taking issue with a survey that showed a different result about public impressions of the agency’s favorability than a poll commissioned by the group [Tribune].
  • Very few members of the Utah Transit Authority board actually use public transit [Fox 13].
  • The Sutherland Institute’s Matthew Anderson argues future wildfires like the Brian Head blaze could be prevented with multi-use land policies [Utah Policy].
  • Kim Burningham says the lawsuit challenging partisan school board elections is necessary because schools should be free from partisan politics [Utah Policy].
  • A judge has ordered the NSA to turn over documents related to “blanket” surveillance of Salt Lake City during the 2002 Olympics [Tribune].
  • Utah renames the Workforce Services building after former Gov. Olene Walker [Tribune].
  • Salt Lake City is refusing to sell part of Sunnyside Park to the University of Utah for a new baseball stadium [Tribune].

National headlines:

  • Bombshell #1: A longtime Republican opposition researcher mounted an independent campaign in 2016 to see if Russian hackers had emails from Hillary Clinton‘s private email server. He implied he was working with Trump campaign senior adviser Michael Flynn [Wall Street Journal].
  • Bombshell #2: President Donald Trump tweeted early Friday morning that Congress should immediately repeal the Affordable Care Act if they can’t strike a deal on replacing the health care law [Axios].
  • Bombshell #3: President Donald Trump seems hellbent on imposing a tariff on steel and other imports, which would set off a trade war with potentially damaging effects on the economy [Axios].
  • Childish. President Donald Trump draws a rebuke from both sides of the aisle after a vulgar tweet targeting cable host Mika Brzezinski [New York Times]. Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough respond in their column saying the president is “not well” [Washington Post]. Sen. Orrin Hatch shrugged off Trump’s tweet as a “dipsy doodle” [Bustle].
  • The Trump administration is moving swiftly to enact the partial travel ban reinstated by the Supreme Court [New York Times].
  • President Donald Trump will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin next week [Reuters].
  • President Trump’s commission studying the (nonexistent) problem of voter fraud wants a ton of data on every single registered voter in the U.S. [Washington Post].
  • The U.S. fertility rate just hit a historic low [Washington Post].

On this day in history:

  • 1859 – French acrobat Blondin crossed Niagara Falls on a tightrope as 5,000 spectators watched.
  • 1908 – An asteroid exploded above Tunguska in Siberia, leaving 800 square miles of scorched or blown-down trees.
  • 1934 – Adolf Hitler began his “blood purge” of political and military leaders in Germany in what came to be known as “The Night of the Long Knives.”
  • 1971 – The 26th Amendment to the Constitution, lowering the minimum voting age to 18, was ratified as Ohio became the 38th state to approve it.
  • 1994 – The U.S. Figure Skating Association stripped Tonya Harding of the national championship and banned her from the organization for life for an attack on rival Nancy Kerrigan.