Morning must reads for Thursday, July 13, 2017

Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 194th day of the year. There are 171 days remaining in 2017.

A new poll Utahns support the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election. A pro-liquor group publishes an offensive ad targeting Utah’s strict new DUI law. Republicans are set to roll out their latest Trumpcare proposal. 

The clock:

  • 12 days until ballots for the August primary are mailed to voters (7/25/2017)
  • 33 days until the 2017 Utah primary election (8/15/2017)
  • 117 days until the 2017 election (11/7/2017)
  • 193 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)
  • 238 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
  • 481 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1,209 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR –

  • NEW POLL: Most Utahns support the appointment of Robert Meuller as a special counsel to investigate Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election [Utah Policy].
  • The conservative think tank Sutherland Institute authored the anti-Bears Ears resolution that lawmakers fast-tracked through the 2017 Utah Legislature [Utah Policy].
  • Sen. Mike Lee told a tele-town hall on health care that he still hasn’t seen the latest Obamacare repeal bill [Tribune].
  • While his colleagues pressed Donald Trump‘s nominee to head the FBI about the growing Russia scandal, Sen. Orrin Hatch used his time during Christopher Wray‘s confirmation hearing to ask him about Hillary Clinton‘s emails and DNA testing [Deseret News].
  • A pro-liquor group is publishing a controversial ad critical of Utah’s .05 DUI law. The ads use pictures of Utah lawmakers who are over the age of 65 and suggest that elderly drivers are more dangerous than those who have a BAC of .05 [Tribune].
  • Salt Lake City is backing off a plan to publicly call out building owners who don’t use renewable energy after business leaders, lawmakers and a business arm of the LDS Church pushed back on the proposal [Tribune].
  • Cottonwood Heights has banned aerial fireworks hoping the Utah Legislature takes notice [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Rep. Raymond Ward is planning legislation to cover the costs of birth control for poor women who aren’t covered by Medicaid [Associated Press].
  • Two studies say Utah state government is in great financial shape [Tribune].
  • Utah’s largest teachers union is suing the state school board over a new website that allows the public to review disciplinary actions taken against teachers [Associated Press].
  • The Utah Transit Authority is working on a new mission statement [Tribune].

National headlines:

  • Bombshell: in 2015, U.S. intelligence intercepted conversations from Russian government officials discussing associates of Donald Trump. This was before Trump became a candidate for president [Wall Street Journal].
  • President Donald Trump says he does not fault his son, Donald Trump Jr., for taking a meeting with a Russian lawyer who was offering dirt on Hillary Clinton. The elder Trump also says he was not aware of the meeting until a few days ago [Reuters].
  • Buried in the Trumpcare proposal is a provision that would bar some immigrants from buying health insurance on the federal exchanges [Washington Post].
  • The Trump White House is working on a proposal to dramatically cut legal immigration into the country [Politico].
  • Education Secretary Betsy DeVos will re-examine Obama-era guidelines on how colleges and universities investigate sexual violence as many victims say the current rules make it too hard for those accused of crimes [New York Times].
  • The State Department spent more than $15,000 to book 19 rooms at the new Trump hotel in Vancouver when members of Trump’s family were on hand to open the hotel earlier this year [Washington Post].
  • Democrat Rep. Brad Sherman has introduced an article of impeachment against President Donald Trump, accusing the president of obstructing justice [The Hill].
  • An iceberg the size of Delaware broke away from Antarctica this week. It’s one of the largest icebergs ever observed and is raising worries about the effect of global warming [New York Times].

On this day in history:

  • 1863 – Rioting against the Civil War military draft erupted in New York City; about 1,000 people died over three days.
  • 1923 – A sign consisting of 50-foot-tall letters spelling out “HOLLYWOODLAND” was dedicated in the Hollywood Hills to promote a subdivision (the last four letters were removed in 1949).
  • 1967 – Race-related rioting broke out in Newark, N.J.; 27 people died in four days of violence.
  • 1977 – A 25-hour blackout hit the New York City area after lightning struck upstate power lines.
  • 1985 – Live Aid, a concert to raise money for Africa’s starving people, was held in London, Philadelphia, Moscow and Sydney, Australia.