Morning must reads for Friday, September 8, 2017

Good Friday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 251st day of the year. There are 114 days remaining in 2017.

The clock:

  • 39 days until ballots for the 2017 general election are mailed to voters (10/17/2017)
  • 60 days until the 2017 election (11/7/2017)
  • 136 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)
  • 181 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
  • 424 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1,152 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR –

  • POLL: Most Utahns say the University of Utah will have the best college football season this year [Utah Policy].
  • Hillary Clinton says she thought Jason Chaffetz was actually Reince Priebus when she shook his hand at Donald Trump‘s inauguration [Utah Policy].
  • Gov. Gary Herbert joins a bipartisan group of governors in Washington, D.C. urging Congress to give states more control of health insurance, which would help control costs and improve coverage [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Officials say they have made more than 1,000 arrests related to Operation Rio Grande [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Sen. Orrin Hatch votes in favor of a $15 billion aid package for victims of Hurricane Harvey while Sen. Mike Lee cast a “no” vote because the deal was tied to an increase in the debt limit without any spending cuts [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • A Senate committee gives the thumbs up to Sen. Orrin Hatch‘s bill designed to improve child safety [Deseret News].
  • Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski signs the lease agreement closing Rio Grande Street for two years [Tribune].
  • Amazon says they will build a second headquarters somewhere in the U.S., and Utah officials want to build to host the facility [Deseret News, Tribune].

National headlines:

  • While you were sleeping. A massive 8.1 earthquake hit off Mexico’s southern coast, killing at least 5 people. It was the biggest earthquake to hit that country in a century [Associated Press].
  • Republicans are reeling from President Donald Trump‘s sudden decision to side with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on raising the debt limit [Washington Post].
  • Here’s a deep dive into how Russian intelligence operatives created thousands of fake profiles on Facebook in order to push damaging information about Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election [New York Times].
  • Donald Trump Jr. told Senate investigators on Thursday that he only took a meeting with a Russian lawyer in 2016 to learn whether Hillary Clinton was fit to be president [New York Times].
  • Special counsel Robert Mueller wants to interview White House staffers about the statement about Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 election. The statement, which turned out to be false, was reportedly crafted by President Donald Trump himself [CNN].
  • The Democratic National Committee is launching a major cyber security effort to make sure they are ready for any outside attacks in 2018 and beyond [BuzzFeed].
  • House conservatives are mulling a plot to oust Paul Ryan as speaker, possibly replacing him with former speaker Newt Gingrich or former Sen. Rick Santorum in order to help advance their hard-line agenda that has, at least so far, been stalled [Washington Post].
  • Here’s a great profile of White House staff secretary Rob Porter. The former chief of staff to Sen. Orrin Hatch has one of the most important jobs in the Trump administration [Business Insider].
  • Former White House strategist Steve Bannon blasts Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, saying their opposition to President Trump’s agenda is an attempt to “nullify” the 2016 election [The Hill]. Bannon also says the Catholic church “needs illegal aliens to fill the churches” [CBS News].
  • Democrats are growing increasingly annoyed by attacks from Bernie Sanders supporters who are demanding ideological purity from Democratic candidates [Politico].
  • A federal appeals court blocked an effort by the Trump administration to temporarily bar most refugees from entering the U.S. [Reuters].
  • The personal data of 143 million Americans, including social security numbers, was exposed during a major data breach at credit reporting agency Equifax [Washington Post]. Three of Equifax’s top managers sold stock worth at least $1.8 million prior to the disclosure of the breach, which sent shares tumbling [Bloomberg].
  • South Korean officials are preparing for another possible missile test by North Korea [Associated Press].

On this day in history:

  • 1504 – Michelangelo’s David is unveiled in Florence.
  • 1565 – St. Augustine, Florida was founded by Spanish admiral Pedro Menendez de Aviles.
  • 1892 – The Pledge of Allegiance is first recited.
  • 1900 – A powerful hurricane hits Galveston, Texas killing about 8,000 people.
  • 1974 – President Gerald Ford pardons former President Richard Nixon for any crimes Nixon may have committed while in office.