Morning must reads for Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Good Tuesday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 234th day of the year. There are 131 days remaining in 2017.

The clock:

  • 56 days until ballots for the 2017 general election are mailed to voters (10/17/2017)
  • 77 days until the 2017 election (11/7/2017)
  • 153 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)
  • 198 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
  • 441 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1,169 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR –

  • Danny Laub, campaign manager for John Curtis, discusses how they were able to overcome an onslaught of negative advertising to secure the GOP nomination in CD3 [Utah Policy].
  • Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke will make public the results of his review of 27 national monuments on Thursday. The review could have big implications for Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante [Utah Policy].
  • Rep. Rob Bishop announces he will hold three town hall meetings this week [Utah Policy].
  • Former Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt says letting Obamacare “fail,” as President Donald Trump has suggested, without a replacement could lead to a crisis [Tribune].
  • Speaker Greg Hughes says they still can’t put a price tag on the law enforcement surge as part of Operation Rio Grande because a large number of jurisdictions were involved [Deseret News].
  • Half of Utah’s largest colleges and universities are under federal investigation for their handling of sexual assault allegations [Tribune].

National headlines:

  • Breaking Tuesday morning: Divers have found the remains of missing American sailors on the Navy destroyer John S. McCain. That ship collided with an oil tanker off the coast of Singapore on Monday [New York Times].
  • President Donald Trump does an about-face on Afghanistan, announcing a strategy that would require thousands of more troops without setting a timeline for withdrawal. Trump also said the U.S. would no longer engage in “nation building” in that country. The decision is a polar opposite from rhetoric he used on his campaign [New York Times, Washington Post, Politico].
  • President Trump is set to hold a campaign-style rally in Pheonix on Tuesday night. Many in the GOP are worried Trump will attack Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake who has become an outspoken critic of Trump. Congressional leaders have warned Trump against attacking Flake because it could lead to a bigger rift in his already testy relationship with Congress [Politico]. 
  • President Trump has suggested he could issue a pardon to Joe Arpaio, the controversial former sheriff of Maricopa County. Arpaio was convicted in July for criminal contempt in a racial profiling case [Politico].
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says there’s “zero chance” Congress won’t raise the debt ceiling when they get back to work. The Congressional Budget Office says the Treasury will hit that limit sometime in September or October [The Hill].
  • Speaker of the House Paul Ryan says President Donald Trump’s response to the right-wing terrorist attack in Charlottesville could have been better, saying Trump “messed up” [The Hill].
  • A new poll shows most Americans disapprove of Trump’s response to the violence in Charlottesville [Washington Post].
  • Trump and congressional leaders are pushing forward on a possible tax reform package, reportedly reaching a broad consensus on how to make good on the legislative plan [Politico].
  • President Donald Trump‘s aides are pushing him toward a possible immigration deal with Congress to protect children who were brought into the country illegally as children, the so-called “Dreamers,” in exchange for a larger immigration deal down the road. If Trump takes that path, he would be breaking a big campaign vow [McClatchy].

On this day in history:

  • 1846 – The United States annexed New Mexico.
  • 1902 – Theodore Roosevelt becomes the first president to make a public appearance in an automobile.
  • 1941 – German troops begin the Siege of Leningrad in World War II.
  • 1992 – On the second day of the Ruby Ridge siege in Idaho, an FBI sharpshooter killed Vicki Weaver, the wife of white separatist Randy Weaver.
  • 1996 – President Bill Clinton signed welfare legislation ending guaranteed cash payments for the poor and demanding work from recipients.
  • 2003 – Alabama’s chief justice, Roy Moore, was suspended for his refusal to obey a federal court order to remove his Ten Commandments monument from the rotunda of his courthouse.