Morning must reads for Friday, September 15, 2017

Good Friday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 258th day of the year. There are 107 days remaining in 2017.

The clock:

  • 32 days until ballots for the 2017 general election are mailed to voters (10/17/2017)
  • 53 days until the 2017 election (11/7/2017)
  • 129 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)
  • 174 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
  • 417 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1,145 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR –

  • SCOOP #1: Count My Vote will re-launch their ballot initiative next week, possibly as early as Wednesday. If voters approve the measure in 2018, it would make signature gathering the exclusive method that candidates get on the ballot [Utah Policy].
  • SCOOP #2: A group of hardline Republicans threatens to oust Utah GOP Chair Rob Anderson if he decides to end the party’s lawsuit against SB54 [Utah Policy].
  • Bob Bernick says Mitt Romney has a chance to shape the future of the Republican party if he decides to run for U.S. Senate in 2018 [Utah Policy].
  • Get caught up on a crazy week in politics quickly with our week-in-review. Mitt RomneyOrrin Hatch, the 3rd CD race, medical marijuana and Donald Trump all in one compact news analysis [Utah Policy]. Here’s a podcast of our conversation if that’s what you prefer [Utah Policy].
  • Gov. Gary Herbert says he will veto any attempt by Republican lawmakers to repeal the SB54 compromise [Utah Policy, Deseret NewsTribune].
  • Herbert suggests that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke could split the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument into three smaller monuments [Deseret News].
  • Herbert also says any changes to Utah’s controversial lowest-in-the-nation DUI law will have to wait until the 2018 Legislature [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Jon Huntsman Jr. will appear before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee next week as part of the confirmation process to become the next ambassador to Russia [Tribune].
  • Attorney General Sean Reyes also signed onto a letter of support for a Colorado baker who refused to make a cake for a same-sex wedding [Deseret News].
  • The Provo Municipal Council is not saying much about their investigation into whether mayoral candidate Odell Miner offered fellow candidate Larry Walters a job to drop out of the mayor’s race. Both men failed to advance beyond the primary election [Daily Herald].
  • A new campaign in Utah aims to target protect kids from pornography, particularly through technology [Tribune].

National headlines: 

  • While you were sleeping: A fire on a London train has been deemed a terrorist attack [Associated Press]. 
  • President Donald Trump took to Twitter Friday morning saying the terrorist attack in London demonstrates the need for his travel ban, and that political correctness is why the ban is facing so much opposition [Axios].
  • North Korea launched another missile that flew through Japanese airspace [Associated Press].
  • President Donald Trump berated and “humiliated” Attorney General Jeff Sessions shortly after learning that Robert Mueller had been hired as special counsel to investigate Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election. Trump also said Sessions should resign because of the appointment [New York Times].
  • Drip…drip…drip…Paul Manafort‘s spokesperson is set to testify in front of a federal grand jury on Friday as part of the Russia probe [Politico].
  • Roger Stone, a confidante of President Donald Trump, will testify in front of the House Intelligence Committee later this month [CNN].
  • President Trump is facing some blowback from his most ardent supporters for having the temerity to cut a deal with Democrats on immigration [Washington Post].
  • Why is Trump warming up to Democrats? Aides say he just has a better relationship with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi than he does with their Republican counterparts [Politico, New York Times].
  • But, it’s not all rainbows and unicorns on the left now that Trump seems to be on a bipartisan tear. Pelosi and Schumer are facing blowback from fellow Democrats and immigration activists for cutting a deal with Trump [Politico].
  • Alabama Senate Candidate Roy Moore suggested just this year that the 9/11 terrorist attacks were punishment for the United States turning away from God [CNN].
  • Harvard University rescinds an invite to Chelsea Manning to serve as a visiting fellow at the Kennedy School of Government [Boston Globe].

On this day in history:

  • 1776 – British forces occupied New York City during the American Revolution.
  • 1789 – The United States “Department of Foreign Affairs” is renamed the Department of State.
  • 1835 – The HMS Beagle, with Charles Darwin aboard, reaches the Galapagos Islands.
  • 1916 – Tanks are used for the first time in combat at the Battle of the Somme during World War I.
  • 1959 – Nikita Khrushchev becomes the first Soviet leader to visit the United States.
  • 1981 – The Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approves Sandra Day O’Connor to become the first female justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
  • 2008 – Lehman Brothers files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the largest bankruptcy filing in U.S. history.