Morning must reads for Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Good Tuesday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 269th day of the year. There are 96 days remaining in 2017.

The clock:

  • 21 days until ballots for the 2017 general election are mailed to voters (10/17/2017)
  • 42 days until the 2017 election (11/7/2017)
  • 118 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)
  • 163 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
  • 406 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1,134 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR –

  • POLL: Most Utahns say they support the proposed ballot initiative to establish an independent redistricting commission to assist in the drawing of legislative boundaries every 10 years [Utah Policy].
  • Senate President Wayne Niederhauser says lawmakers are resigned to the fact that they can’t do much to stop the effort to boost school funding through an income and sales tax hike from getting on the 2018 ballot [Utah Policy].
  • Mitt Romney says lawmakers in Washington, D.C. need to “put aside controversies” and focus on relief efforts for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands following Hurricane Maria [Utah Policy].
  • The Utah GOP took their fight against the SB54 compromise to a federal appeals court in Denver on Monday [Associated Press].
  • A group of students at the Univerisity of Utah is claiming they were blocked from securing tickets to a speech by conservative commentator Ben Shapiro because they were mostly ethnic minorities. University officials say the students exploited the rules and jumped the line ahead of others who wanted tickets [Tribune].
  • After the apparent collapse of the latest Republican effort to repeal Obamacare, Sen. Orrin Hatch says it may be impossible to find a replacement for the health care law [Tribune].
  • Sen. Orrin Hatch joined a Republican led-effort to allow the children of undocumented immigrants to stay in the U.S. The proposal comes after President Donald Trump announced he was ending the DACA program [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • The Bureau of Land Management is moving forward on opening up oil and gas leases in some areas of southeastern Utah [Tribune].
  • Grades for individual Utah schools dropped across the board last year [Utah Policy, Deseret NewsTribune].
  • The Salt Lake City Council is considering a proposal to rename Columbus Day as “Indigenous People’s Day” [Fox 13].
  • The Salt Lake Police Association says the way the city has handled the investigation into the arrest of a University Hospital nurse has turned the officers involved in the incident “pariahs” [Deseret News].
  • US Olympic leaders say Salt Lake City would face stiff competition from other cities around the globe if they decide to bid to host the 2026 Winter Games [Deseret News].

National headlines:

  • Welp! North Korea’s foreign minister says President Donald Trump’s tweets threatening that country were “a declaration of war” and they had the right to protect themselves. He also said they could shoot down American warplanes, even if they weren’t over North Korean airspace [New York Times].
  • Twitter says President Donald Trump‘s tweets threatening North Korea may have violated their terms of service, but Twitter hasn’t deleted them because they are “newsworthy” [Recode].
  • The latest attempt to repeal Obamacare is apparently dead as Republican Sen. Susan Collins announced she will vote against the measure [New York Times].
  • Republicans may not be done trying to kill Obamacare. GOP Senators are now considering tying the repeal to the upcoming tax reform push [Politico].
  • Hmmm…At least six top advisers in the Trump White House have used personal email accounts to conduct personal business [New York Times]. In fact, the use of personal devices is fairly widespread among west wing staffers, despite efforts to quell the practice [Politico].
  • The Facebook ads purchased by Russian intelligence operatives to taint the 2016 presidential election were designed to stoke racial and cultural tensions. The ads also sought to sow discord among religious groups [Washington Post].
  • The FEC is considering new disclosure rules for online campaign ads [Axios].
  • Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says nearly one-third of the department’s employees are not loyal to him or President Donald Trump. He also says he’s working to change the department’s culture to be more friendly to business [Associated Press].
  • Puerto Rico’s governor is warning that the island is on the brink of a “humanitarian crisis” as most residents still don’t have power and clean water nearly a week after Hurricane Maria roared through the Caribbean [New York Times].
  • The devastation in Puerto Rico has a technological aspect. Residents there are desperately seeking wifi or phone signals to reach out to the rest of the world [Associated Press].
  • Former Congressman Anthony Weiner was sentenced to 21 months in prison for sending sexually explicit messages to a minor [New York Times].
  • Former White House strategist Steve Bannon said Monday night that NFL players should “take a knee every night and thank God in heaven Donald Trump is president” [Fox News].

On this day in history:

  • 1580 – Sir Francis Drake finishes his circumnavigation of the Earth.
  • 1777 – British troops occupied Philadelphia.
  • 1789 – Thomas Jefferson is appointed the first Secretary of State. John Jay is appointed the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
  • 1905 – Albert Einstein publishes his first paper on the special theory of relativity.
  • 1960 – In Chicago, the first televised debate takes place between presidential candidates Richard M. Nixon and John F. Kennedy.
  • 1969 – Abbey Road, the last recorded album by The Beatles, is released.