Morning must reads for Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 235th day of the year. There are 130 days remaining in 2017.

The clock:

  • 55 days until ballots for the 2017 general election are mailed to voters (10/17/2017)
  • 76 days until the 2017 election (11/7/2017)
  • 152 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)
  • 197 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
  • 440 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1,168 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR –

  • SCOOP: State leaders expect Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to recommend a drastic reduction in the size of the Bears Ears National Monument, possibly going so far as to shrink the protected area to just 160,000 acres [Utah Policy].
  • Officials are shifting to “Phase two” of Operation Rio Grande, which will focus on treatment for substance abusers, but the funding for the program is still uncertain [Utah Policy, Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Rep. Mia Love, the only Republican member of the Congressional Black Caucus, says she would not support that group’s push for the impeachment of President Donald Trump [Utah Policy].
  • Updated primary election results push Sherrie Hall Everett into second place in the race for Provo mayor by 18 votes over Odell Miner [Deseret News].
  • Rep. Chris Stewart says President Donald Trump’s plan to send more troops to Afghanistan could help end the 16-year-old war there [Tribune].
  • A legislative audit says a turf battle between the State Bureau of Investigation and the attorney general’s Investigations Division is hurting cooperation between the two entities [Tribune].
  • The state forester says there have been 397 human-caused fires on state and private land this year, most are the result of “stupid human tricks.” The cost to fight those fires has surged to $18 million [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • The Canyons School District board will put a $283 million bond to voters in order to pay for school construction [Deseret News].
  • The commander of Hill Air Force Base says that facility has a $3.4 billion economic impact on Utah [Deseret News].
  • The Utah County Commission is moving toward establishing a committee to ensure ethical behavior from prosecutors [Tribune].
  • Tech leaders are pushing toward taking a bigger role in guiding public education in Utah [Tribune].
  • The feds want Utah to prove the state can pay more than $1 billion for the proposed Lake Powell Pipeline [Tribune].

National headlines:

  • President Donald Trump holds a campaign rally in Arizona where he unleashed a number of divisive and dishonest attacks against the media and members of congress. He blamed the media for racial tensions in America and accused them of being anti-American. At one point he lied about CNN turning off the live feed of the rally (they didn’t). He also threatened to shut down the government over funding for his proposed border wall and hinted he was going to pardon controversial sheriff Joe Arpaio [Washington Post, New York Times, Politico, Fox News].
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Donald Trump haven’t spoken to each other in weeks as their relationship continues to disintegrate. McConnell privately doubts President Donald Trump will be able to salvage his presidency following the failure of the healthcare bill. Trump also reportedly blames McConnel for not protecting him enough from the probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election [New York Times].
  • Another poll, another low point for President Trump’s approval ratings. After his disastrous response to the Charlottesville violence, only 39% of Americans approve of the job Trump is doing [Politico].
  • The first excerpts from Hillary Clinton‘s book about why she lost the 2016 election to Donald Trump are out. In the tome she says Donald Trump‘s attempts to intimidate her during the presidential debates “made her skin crawl” [Axios].
  • President Trump is getting behind an NRA-backed bill to restrict the National Park Service from regulating hunting and fishing within national park boundaries [McClatchy].
  • Louise Linton, the wife of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, is taking fire for shaming a woman for being poor on social media after she was criticized for posting pictures of her lavish lifestyle on Instagram [New York Times].
  • Military leaders are taking a more prominent role in the Trump White House and helping to keep the president in check [Washington Post].
  • President Donald Trump has proposed creating a joint U.S.-Russia cyber security unit, but proposed legislation would not let that happen without congressional approval [Reuters].

On this day in history:

  • 79 – Mount Vesuvius began stirring on the feast day of Vulcan, the Roman god of fire.
  • 1775 – Britain’s King George II proclaimed the American colonies in a state of open rebellion.
  • 1927 – Italian-born anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were executed in Boston for the murders of two men during a 1920 robbery.
  • 1939 – Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union signed a non-aggression treaty, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.
  • 1966 – Lunar Orbiter 1 takes the first photograph of Earth from orbit around the moon.
  • 1990 – West and East Germany announce they will reunite on October 3.
  • 1991 – The World Wide Web is opened to the public.