Morning must reads for Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Good Tuesday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 255th day of the year. There are 110 days remaining in 2017.

The clock:

  • 35 days until ballots for the 2017 general election are mailed to voters (10/17/2017)
  • 56 days until the 2017 election (11/7/2017)
  • 132 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)
  • 177 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
  • 420 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1,148 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR –

  • SCOOP: The new “Count My Vote” ballot initiative will send any primary where a candidate does not get at least 35% of the vote to a vote-by-mail runoff between the top two vote getters. Backers say they still have not decided whether to re-launch their effort to do away with the caucus/convention system for nominating candidates [Utah Policy].
  • Mitt Romney could become the first person in more than a century to be elected governor of one state and win a U.S. Senate seat in another [Utah Policy].
  • The Park City School District adopts a resolution to ensure schools will not be disrupted by visits from immigration enforcement agents in the wake of President Trump’s decision to end DACA [Deseret News].
  • The Trump administration has halted a plan to implement new pollution controls at coal fired power plants in Utah [Associated Press].
  • A shortage of social workers is hampering the substance abuse treatment part of Operation Rio Grande [Fox 13].
  • 35 people arrested during the first phase of Operation Rio Grande qualify for a new “specialty court.” The program will drop drug charges against the accused if they complete drug abuse treatment [Deseret News].
  • Homeless people have scattered across the Salt Lake Valley following the Operation Rio Grande crackdown in downtown Salt Lake City [Tribune].
  • Five Utahns have filed a $5 billion suit against Equifax in the wake of the massive data breach that put the personal information of more than 140 million Americans at risk [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Standardized SAGE scores for Utah students dropped slightly last year [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Three human cases of West Nile Virus have been confirmed in Utah County [Deseret News].
  • A Roy High School teacher has been suspended for giving students a questionnaire that asked students about their sexual history and possible substance abuse [Tribune].

National headlines:

  • President Donald Trump is continuing his outreach to Congressional Democrats. This time he’s hoping to find votes for his tax reform package [Politico].
  • Thousands of federal offices and courthouses have yet to hang pictures of President Donald Trump, as is the custom. The reason? The White House still hasn’t given the pictures to the Government Publishing Office, which starts the whole process [Washington Post].
  • Lawyers for White House staffers are warning their clients that the president can’t protect them from perjury charges if they lie to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators [Politico].
  • President Trump’s legal team wanted Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, to step down from the White House in June because of the scrutiny he was under as part of the probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election [Axios].
  • What?!! A Russian politician said on live TV that U.S. “intelligence missed it when Russian intelligence stole the President of the United States” [The Hill].
  • Russian operatives used Facebook to organize anti-immigrant rallies, including an anti-Muslim rally in Idaho, as part of their push to boost Donald Trump‘s presidential campaign [Daily Beast].
  • The United Nations approved harsher sanctions against North Korea, but did not move to restrict oil imports [Associated Press].
  • Russian smugglers are increasing their efforts to get around U.N. sanctions against North Korea, undermining the economic pressure designed to punish Kim Jong Un’s regime [Washington Post].
  • President Donald Trump is reportedly weighing a more aggressive strategy toward Iran’s support for militant groups [Reuters].
  • Florida officials are trying to gauge the impact of the destruction from Hurricane Irma [Associated Press].
  • Here’s how forecasters got the potential damage from Hurricane Irma so wrong [Bloomberg].
  • Apple will announce 3 new iPhones today, including a 10th-anniversary model that will reportedly cost $1,000 [Recode].

On this day in history:

  • 1609 – English explorer Henry Hudson sailed into the river that now bears his name.
  • 1938 – Adolf Hitler demands autonomy and self-determination for Germans living in the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia.
  • 1962 – President John F. Kennedy, at a speech at Rice University, says the U.S. will put a man on the moon by the end of the decade.
  • 1964 – Canyonlands National Park is designated as a National Park.
  • 2002 – President George W. Bush told the United Nations to confront the “grave and gathering danger” of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq or stand aside as the United States acted.