Morning must reads for Thursday, September 14, 2017

Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 257th day of the year. There are 108 days remaining in 2017.

The clock:

  • 33 days until ballots for the 2017 general election are mailed to voters (10/17/2017)
  • 54 days until the 2017 election (11/7/2017)
  • 130 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)
  • 175 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
  • 418 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1,146 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR –

  • Democrat Kathie Allen‘s 19% support in the latest 3rd District poll looks even worse when you dig into the numbers. Her campaign is in real trouble [Utah Policy].
  • Sen. Orrin Hatch introduces legislation to remove barriers to studying the benefits of medical marijuana [Utah Policy, Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Democrats are starting to win big in districts that went heavily for Donald Trump in 2016. Democrats have flipped 25% of the Republican-held seats up for election this year while Republicans haven’t grabbed a single Democrat-held seat [Utah Policy].
  • Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski says an internal investigation into two Salt Lake City police officers who arrested a nurse at University Hospital finds that they violated several department policies [Tribune].
  • The West Jordan City Council approves a resolution supporting a hate crimes bill pushed by Sen. Daniel Thatcher [Tribune].
  • Legislators make a fact-finding trip to Utah lake to learn whether it would be worth it to spend money rehabilitating that particular body of water [Tribune].
  • New Census numbers show incomes are on the rise in Utah while the number of residents living below the poverty line is decreasing [Tribune].
  • A study shows a third of Utah Transit Authority riders are university students using passes provided by their schools [Tribune].
  • The number of Utahns with health insurance is growing as the uninsured rate drops to 8.8% [Tribune].

National headlines:

  • Is there a deal or not? Following a dinner at the White House, Democrats Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi announced they had made a deal with President Donald Trump to pass a legislative fix to the DACA. They also say they will come up with more funding for border security without providing funding for Trump’s border wall [Washington Post].
  • But wait! President Trump tweeted early Thursday morning that there was no deal on DACA [The Hill].
  • Some of President Donald Trump‘s most ardent supporters are fuming after news of the possible deal on immigration [Washington Post].
  • Bottom line: Congress is nowhere near finding a legislative fix to protect Dreamers from deportation when the program ends in March [Politico].
  • Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election has a “red hot” focus on how Russians used social media networks like Facebook to spread fake news [Bloomberg].
  • Former national security adviser Susan Rice says she “unmasked” the identities of senior Trump campaign officials because she was trying to understand why the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates was in New York City without telling U.S. authorities about his trip. The crown prince’s trip was part of an effort to set up back-channel communications with the incoming Trump administration [CNN].
  • The Trump administration is launching a new program to warn federal employees about the consequences of leaking information [BuzzFeed].
  • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin requested a taxpayer funded plane to take him and his wife on their honeymoon to Europe. The jet would have cost taxpayers $25,000 per hour. The request was later deemed unnecessary. Mnuchin has a personal wealth somewhere in the neighborhood of half-a-billion dollars [ABC News].
  • The U.S. government bans the use of security software from Kaspersky Labs on federal computers over fears of cyber espionage. Federal officials are worried about ties between Kaspersky and the Russian government [Washington Post].
  • The White House calls for the firing of ESPN anchor Jemele Hill after Hill posted a series of tweets calling President Donald Trump a racist. Hill has been reprimanded by the network [Washington Post].

On this day in history:

  • 1901 – President William McKinley dies after an assassination attempt. He is succeeded by Theodore Roosevelt.
  • 1960 – The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is founded.
  • 1994 – The Major League Baseball season is canceled because of a strike.
  • 2001 – The FBI released the names of the 19 hijackers who took part in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.