Morning must reads for Friday, July 28, 2017

Good Friday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 209th day of the year. There are 156 days remaining in 2017.

State leaders vow to crack down on the homeless problem in downtown Salt Lake City. Orrin Hatch breaks with President Trump on the issue of transgendered soldiers. The Senate fails again to pass an Obamacare repeal measure.

The clock:

  • 18 days until the 2017 Utah primary election (8/15/2017)
  • 102 days until the 2017 election (11/7/2017)
  • 178 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)
  • 223 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
  • 466 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1,194 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR –

  • Get the skinny on what happened this week in Utah politics and, more importantly, why with our week in review video [Utah Policy]. Here’s a podcast of the program if you prefer that medium [Utah Policy].
  • Gov. Gary Herbert reiterates his commitment to ending the violence and lawlessness surrounding the homeless population in downtown Salt Lake City [Utah Policy].
  • Bob Bernick explains why Gov. Gary Herbert decided to endorse John Curtis in the 3rd District GOP primary. Herbert is also showing his commitment to the SB54 compromise despite constant attacks against the law by GOP hardliners [Utah Policy].
  • Rep. Chris Stewart introduces a bill to crack down on leaks of classified information to the press [Utah Policy].
  • The League of Women Voters files suit to keep Utah from handing over voter information to President Trump’s election integrity commission [Utah Policy].
  • Sen. Howard Stephenson explains what he meant when he said we might have to wait for teachers who are reluctant to adopt classroom technology “to die off” [Utah Policy].
  • Gov. Gary Herbert says he opposes President Trump’s plan to bar transgendered individuals from serving in the armed forces [Tribune].
  • Sen. Jake Anderegg says he decided to vote for Tanner Ainge in the 3rd District GOP primary because Ainge admitted he made a mistake by not going through the delegate/convention route to get to the ballot. Ainge has reportedly committed to using the delegate/convention route in the future [KUTV].
  • Nearly 70,000 ballots were sent to unaffiliated voters in Utah County for next month’s GOP 3rd District primary. Only registered Republicans are allowed to vote in the election, so it will cost the county up to $20,000 to sort out that mistake [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Oof! 64 local governments are proposing property tax increases this year as valuation notices start arriving in Utahns mailboxes [Tribune].
  • Outdoor enthusiasts and advocates rally at the Utah State Capitol in support of public lands [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Eagle Mountain Mayor Christopher Pengra is stepping down early to take a job with Rocky Mountain Power [Tribune].

National headlines:

  • Here’s what everybody is talking about. Incoming White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci called reporter Ryan Lizza and went on a profanity-laced tirade against White House “leakers” and other staff members including Reince Priebus and Steve Bannon. He also threatened to fire the entire White House communications staff unless Lizza gave up a source [New Yorker].
  • Repeal and replace crashes and burns. The Senate failed to pass their last-gasp effort to repeal and replace Obamacare on Thursday night. Sen. John McCain was the deciding vote against the so-called “skinny repeal” [Washington Post].
  • After the failure of the health care fight, Republicans are hoping the Senate returns to normal as they turn their attention to tax reform [Time].
  • President Donald Trump‘s tax reform proposal would mean Americans making between $150,000 and $300,000 per year could see a tax hike of $3,000 to $4,000 per year [Wall Street Journal].
  • Russia has retaliated against new economic sanctions approved by Congress by ordering the U.S. to cut diplomatic staff in Russia. The Russian government also seized some property used by U.S. diplomatic staff in Moscow [Reuters]. 
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin is growing tired of constant criticism saying he could not “put up forever with this boorishness,” referring to the investigations and sanctions against his country [New York Times].
  • Here’s how special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election could reveal some of Donald Trump’s business dealings with that country [USA Today].
  • Senate Republicans are moving to block President Donald Trump from ousting Attorney General Jeff Sessions [Wall Street Journal]. 
  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions stands by his decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation despite an onslaught of criticism from President Donald Trump [Fox News].
  • Build the wall? Prototypes of Donald Trump‘s proposed border wall, which are set to be unveiled in San Diego, may be delayed until this winter [Los Angeles Times].
  • The U.S. ordered family members of employees at its embassy in Venezuela to leave the country amid escalating violence and unrest in that country [Reuters].
  • Boring but important #1. Japan is imposing a 50% tariff on some frozen beef from the U.S. and other countries, which some are worrying could spark a trade war [Wall Street Journal].
  • Boring but important #2. Rents across the U.S. are at an all-time high. Not surprisingly, the number of Americans between the age of 18-34 living with their parents is also at an all-time high [ZeroHedge].

On this day in history:

  • 1794 – Maximilien Robespierre, a leading figure of the French Revolution, was sent to the guillotine.

  • 1868 – The Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, guaranteeing due process and the equal protection of the laws to former slaves, was declared in effect.

  • 1914 – World War I began as Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia.

  • 1945 – A U.S. Army bomber crashed into the 79th floor of New York City’s Empire State Building, killing 14 people.

  • 1965 – President Lyndon B. Johnson announced he was increasing the number of American troops in South Vietnam from 75,000 to 125,000.