Morning must reads for Thursday, July 6, 2017

Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 187th day of the year. There are 178 days remaining in 2017. Today is the 167th day of Donald Trump’s presidency.

Utahns don’t think Trump’s campaign colluded with the Russians. Hughes suggests the state should deal with the homeless crisis in Salt Lake City. Trump set to meet with Putin.

The clock:

  • 19 days until ballots for the August primary are mailed to voters (7/25/2017)
  • 40 days until the 2017 Utah primary election (8/15/2017)
  • 124 days until the 2017 election (11/7/2017)
  • 200 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)
  • 245 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
  • 488 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1,216 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR –

  • NEW POLL: Most Utahns do not think the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 campaign [Utah Policy].
  • House Speaker Greg Hughes suggests the national guard could be used to quell the violence around the downtown homeless shelter or, at least, a “homeless czar” who would be responsible for the situation [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Troubled Salt Lake County Recorder Gary Ott is in the custody of his family after he was discovered sitting alone in a pickup truck in a parking lot in Harrisville [Deseret News].
  • The three candidates in the August 15 GOP primary will debate next week [Daily Herald].
  • Utah Jazz fans are piling on Tanner Ainge after Gordon Hayward decided to leave Utah for Boston [Deseret News].
  • Gov. Gary Herbert‘s office says there will be no statewide fireworks ban despite numerous fires sparked over the July Fourth holiday [Fox 13].
  • Sen. Mike Lee will hold a virtual town hall on health care reform later this month. However, a group of Utah residents is pushing Lee to oppose the GOP plan [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman is still waiting to be nominated as ambassador to Russia even as President Donald Trump is set to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Germany [Deseret News].
  • Air pollution from July Fourth fireworks spiked in Weber County to extremely unhealthy levels [Tribune].
  • The Our Schools Now group will hold a series of hearings about their proposed ballot initiative to boost taxes to provide more funding for public schools [Deseret News].
  • Amazon confirms they will build a distribution center in Salt Lake City, bringing 1,500 jobs to the city [Deseret News].
  • The Outdoor Retailers show will officially announce they’re moving to Denver on Thursday morning [Denver Post].
  • The BLM is considering opening up Recapture Canyon, which contains numerous priceless Native American artifacts, for oil and gas exploration [Tribune].
  • Annette Moore, the former Secretary of the Utah Senate, passed away this week [Senate Site].

National headlines:

  • Buzzy headline of the day: “The time I got recruited to collude with the Russians” [Lawfare].
  • President Donald Trump, speaking in Warsaw Thursday, said North Korea is facing “severe” consequences for their test of an apparent ICBM this week [Washington Post].
  • The U.S. and South Korea conducted a joint missile exercise following the North Korean test of what they say is an ICBM this week [Associated Press].
  • U.S. defenses are not yet ready to deal with a possible missile strike from North Korea, and time is running out [Associated Press].
  • A preemptive strike against North Korea to stop their nuclear program would most likely lead to hundreds of thousands of casualties in South Korea, including U.S. military personnel [New York Times].
  • President Donald Trump is set to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the G20 meetings in Germany this week. Several of his aides are worried about that meeting because of the looming investigation into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election [New York Times].
  • President Trump acknowledged that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, but he laid most of the blame at the feet of his predecessor, Barack Obama, who he said “did nothing” to stop the Russian meddling [Associated Press].
  • Sen. Ted Cruz‘s proposed alternative to the GOP health care plan, which would allow insurers to sell coverage that does not comply with Obamacare regulations as long as they still have ACA-compliant plans available, is causing friction in the Senate GOP [The Hill].
  • House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, who was injured during a gun attack on a GOP baseball practice last month, has been readmitted to the intensive care unit due to “new concerns for infection” during his recovery [CNN].
  • President Donald Trump‘s commission to study the mostly non-existent voter fraud problem in the U.S. may have violated federal law when it asked states to turn over voter data. Most states, including Utah, are refusing to comply with the request [The Hill].
  • The GOP is struggling to recruit candidates for U.S. Senate in next year’s elections [Wall Street Journal].
  • The gender pay gap in the Trump White House is more than 3x what it was in the final year of the Obama administration. Female staffers earn, on average, just 63% of what their male counterparts do [Washington Post].
  • You can’t fix stupid. Some Donald Trump supporters were outraged that NPR tweeted the Declaration of Independence on over the July Fourth holiday, thinking the document was an anti-Trump screed [Gizmodo].
  • Volvo will sell only electric or hybrid cars starting in 2019 [New York Times].

On this day in history:

  • 1483 – England’s King Richard III was crowned.
  • 1777 – British forces captured Fort Ticonderoga during the American Revolution.
  • 1854 – The first official meeting of the Republican Party took place in Jackson, Mich.
  • 1957 – John Lennon and Paul McCartney met for the first time as teenagers at a church in their native Liverpool, England, following a performance by Lennon’s band, the Quarrymen.
  • 2003 – Former ambassador Joseph Wilson, in a New York Times op-ed, disputed President George W. Bush’s statement that Iraq had sought uranium in Africa, saying he had found no evidence to support the claim when the CIA asked him to investigate.