Morning must reads for Friday, September 1, 2017

Good Friday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 244th day of the year. There are 121 days remaining in 2017.

The clock:

  • 46 days until ballots for the 2017 general election are mailed to voters (10/17/2017)
  • 67 days until the 2017 election (11/7/2017)
  • 143 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)
  • 188 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
  • 431 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1,159 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR –

  • Get smart fast! Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott pick through the rubble of an explosive week in Utah politics to help you understand what happened and why [Utah Policy]. Here’s a podcast of the conversation if you prefer [Utah Policy].
  • Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski bows under pressure and agrees to close part of Rio Grande Street temporarily [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Bob Bernick says Jackie Biskupski has been listening to the wrong people about the homeless problem, and that has contributed to her inability to address the problem without state help [Utah Policy].
  • Rep. Chris Stewart says it would be “silly” and a waste of time to have President Trump testify before Congress about newly discovered emails showing his businesses sought the help of Russian President Vladimir Putin to build a Trump Tower in Moscow during the 2016 presidential campaign [Utah Policy].
  • United Utah Party candidate Jim Bennett is pushing for inclusion in a televised debate ahead of November’s special congressional election [Deseret News].
  • Vote by mail boosted turnout dramatically in Salt Lake County for the August primary election [Tribune].
  • A federal judge has struck down a Utah law prohibiting the serving of alcohol during films that show simulated sex acts or full nudity. The Brewvies movie theater was fined by state alcohol regulators for serving alcohol during a showing of “Deadpool” [Associated Press, Tribune].
  • About 200 people rally at the state capitol in support of an Obama-era program that shielded the children of undocumented immigrants from deportation. President Trump is poised to end the program [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Outrage builds after video surfaces showing a nurse at University hospital being arrested for refusing to provide blood to a police detective who did not have the necessary warrants [Deseret News, Tribune].

National headlines:

  • Bombshell! Special counsel Robert Mueller is working with the IRS’ Criminal Investigation unit as part of his probe into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. The CI would have access to President Donald Trump‘s tax returns, which he has steadfastly refused to make public [Daily Beast].
  • The Republican controlled congress is aiming to approve a multi-billion dollar relief package for the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey as soon as next week [Politico].
  • The devastation from Hurricane Harvey will put additional pressure on Republicans in Congress who are looking for ways to cut the budget while they’re staring down deadlines to raise the federal debt ceiling and funding the government. Oh, yeah…they also want to tackle tax reform as well [New York Times].
  • President Donald Trump is reportedly bristling at the restrictions placed on him by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly. Kelly is reportedly cracking down on visitors to the Oval Office and limiting what information makes it to Trump’s desk [Washington Post].
  • President Donald Trump is poised to end the DACA program, which shielded the children of undocumented immigrants from deportation, as soon as Friday. However, the plan reportedly would let some of the so-called “dreamers” stay in the country temporarily [McClatchy].
  • Two Republican Senators say newly released transcripts suggest former FBI director James Comey decided to exonerate Hillary Clinton before the investigation into whether she mishandled classified information was complete [The Hill].
  • The Trump administration has slashed the advertising budget to encourage sign ups for the Affordable Care Act by a whopping 90% [Politico].
  • Worth noting. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis says he and President Donald Trump are of the same mind when it comes to dealing with North Korea despite a public disagreement earlier this week [New York Times].
  • The U.S. ordered Russia to close its consulate in San Francisco and offices in New York and Washington in retaliation for the expulsion of more than 700 diplomats in August [Associated Press].

On this day in history:

  • 1878 – Emma Nutt becomes the world’s first female telephone operator when she is recruited by Alexander Graham Bell to the Boston Telephone Dispatch Company.
  • 1914 – The last known passenger pigeon, a female named Martha, dies in captivity in the Cincinnati Zoo.
  • 1939 – Nazi Germany invades Poland, beginning World War II.
  • 1939 – Adolf Hitler signs an order to begin the systematic euthanasia of mentally ill and disabled people.
  • 1972 – American Bobby Fischer won the World Chess Championship in Reykjavik, Iceland when he defeated Boris Spassky of the Soviet Union.
  • 1983 – Korean Air Lines Flight 007 is shot down by a Soviet Union fighter jet when the commercial aircraft enters Soviet airspace, killing all 269 on board.