Morning must reads for Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Good Tuesday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 220th day of the year. There are 145 days remaining in 2017.

Negative campaigning takes center stage in a 3rd CD GOP debate. A new report on climate change says we’re already feeling the effects of a changing climate. North Korea threatens to use nuclear weapons against the United States.

The clock:

  • 7 days until the 2017 Utah primary election (8/15/2017)
  • 91 days until the 2017 election (11/7/2017)
  • 167 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)
  • 212 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
  • 455 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1,183 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR –

  • NEW POLL: Nearly half (49%) of Utahns say that the controversies surrounding Donald Trump‘s White House make them nervous for the future of the U.S. The same number say they’re not bothered by those controversies [Utah Policy].
  • Sen. Orrin Hatch caused some pearl clutching when he said the GOP “shot their wad” on health care, and it was time to move on to tax reform. Hatch’s office pointed out that the colorful phrase had origins in the Civil War [Utah Policy].
  • Former Rep. Jason Chaffetz apparently does not understand irony. He is blasting Congress for leaving town early for their August recess, completely ignoring the fact that he himself left Congress early [Utah Policy].
  • LaVarr Webb argues that Democrats are hurting their chances to make electoral gains by drifting leftward [Utah Policy].
  • The three candidates in the GOP 3rd CD primary, John Curtis, Chris Herrod, and Tanner Ainge, get feisty over negative campaigning during their latest debate [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Gov. Gary Herbert records a radio ad supporting John Curtis in the 3rd CD GOP race. The commercial praises Curtis for taking the “high road” in the face of negative advertising from outside groups [Deseret News].
  • When Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams spent time as a homeless person in downtown Salt Lake City, what he saw there so moved Draper Mayor Troy Walker that Walker offered to host one of four homeless shelters proposed for Salt Lake County. That offer fell through after Draper residents protested the idea [Deseret News].
  • Sen. Daniel Thatcher wants to turn hundreds of crimes in Utah into simple infractions, removing the threat of jail time for the minor offenses [Fox 13].
  • Utah lawmakers will consider a number of proposals during the 2018 session to crack down on fireworks, including a total ban [Tribune].
  • A national term limits group has opened a local office in Utah [Tribune].
  • The Huntsman family says they haven’t had any contact with the University of Utah about a new agreement for the Huntsman Cancer Institute since a dispute over governance and funding of the organization erupted in April [Tribune].
  • The Utah Transit Authority is changing bus and train schedules this Sunday [Tribune].

National headlines:

  • A draft report on climate change says the past few decades have been the hottest in 1,500 years and humans are already starting to feel the effects of climate change. The report is awaiting approval by the Trump administration but was leaked by scientists who are worried the White House would suppress its findings [New York Times].
  • North Korea continues to lash out against harsh new economic sanctions. The regime threatened to use nuclear weapons against the United States, and would not negotiate on its nuclear weapons programs [Wall Street Journal].
  • New polling shows Donald Trump’s support is starting to slip, even among his most loyal supporters [Associated Press].
  • Here’s a fascinating play-by-play of the plane ride where President Donald Trump decided to fire White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus [New York Post].
  • A group of anti-Trump independent candidates is banding together to possibly launch 2018 campaigns to take on Trump supporters in Washington. The group includes former presidential candidate Evan McMullin, who is mulling an independent bid against Sen. Orrin Hatch next year [Politico].
  • Those in glass houses…Trump White House adviser Stephen Miller, who blasted a reporter for being “cosmopolitan” actually lives in a million-dollar condominium in one of the most upscale areas of Washington, D.C. [Washington Post].
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture is censoring the use of the phrase “climate change” among staffers [The Guardian]. 
  • Google has fired the employee who authored a controversial 3,300-word memo railing against diversity hiring in the tech industry [Recode].

On this day in history:

  • 1844 – Brigham Young was chosen to lead the Mormons following the killing of Joseph Smith.
  • 1876 – Thomas A. Edison received a patent for the mimeograph.
  • 1945 – President Harry S. Truman signed the United Nations Charter.
  • 1974 – President Richard M. Nixon announced he would resign following damaging revelations in the Watergate scandal.