Morning must reads for Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 270th day of the year. There are 95 days remaining in 2017.

The clock:

  • 20 days until ballots for the 2017 general election are mailed to voters (10/17/2017)
  • 41 days until the 2017 election (11/7/2017)
  • 117 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)
  • 162 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
  • 405 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1,133 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR –

  • Two researchers from BYU found that, even though Donald Trump is one of the most prolific flip-floppers in modern political history, his supporters don’t care and will mostly fall in line behind whatever position he takes on an issue [Utah Policy].
  • Jon Huntsman‘s nomination to be ambassador to Russia wins unanimous support from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The full Senate will now vote on Huntsman’s nomination [Utah Policy].
  • Republican congressional candidate John Curtis yanks a series of anti-immigrant Facebook ads after public outcry [Tribune].
  • Mitt Romney says another Olympic bid for Salt Lake City may have to take a back seat to making sure Los Angeles hosts successful Summer games in 2028 [Deseret News].
  • Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox says President Donald Trump‘s attack on NFL players who kneel during the national anthem was an attempt to feed red meat to his base supporters [Associated Press, Tribune].
  • The Utah State Auditor’s office says this year’s primary election in Utah’s 3rd District had some problems in how ballots were distributed and the security for those ballots was lacking. There were also problems with how votes were counted [Utah Policy, Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Preliminary designs for two homeless resource centers are unveiled during a public forum in Salt Lake City Tuesday evening [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • The Utah alcohol commission shut down a liquor store in Tremonton after the package store reported thousands of dollars in financial shortages [Deseret News].
  • More Utah high school students are taking and passing advanced placement tests to earn college credit [Utah Policy, Deseret News, Tribune].

National headlines:

  • Congressional Republicans admit defeat again and decide not to vote on the latest effort to repeal Obamacare [New York Times].
  • Alabama Slamma! Roy Moore wins the GOP Senate primary in Alabama, crushing President Donald Trump‘s chosen candidate, Luther Strange, by 10 points [Washington Post].
  • Moore’s win could spell trouble for establishment Republicans as the dissident wing of the party is emboldened and could lead to a wave of costly primary elections in 2018 [Politico].
  • Following Strange’s defeat, President Donald Trump deleted a series of tweets he sent supporting Luther Strange’s candidacy [Politico].
  • President Donald Trump will unveil his tax reform proposal on Wednesday. The plan drops the top tax rate from 39.6 to 35 percent. The bottom tax rate will increase slightly from 10 to 12 percent, while nearly doubling the standard deduction. Trump also wants to drop the corporate tax rate [New York Times].
  • President Trump is backing off his plan to have government partner with the private sector on his $1 billion infrastructure package. Now, Trump wants state and local governments to foot most of that bill [Washington Post].
  • Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker will retire from Congress in 2018 [CNN].
  • Poll: Most Americans disagree with President Donald Trump‘s attack on NFL athletes who kneel during the national anthem [Reuters].
  • White House sources say President Trump deliberately launched his attack on Colin Kaepernick‘s national anthem protest in order to gin up support among his base [New York Times].
  • Russia investigation:
    • The IRS is now sharing tax data about key Trump campaign officials with special counsel Robert Mueller [CNN].
    • Special counsel Robert Mueller could start interviewing current and former White House staffers as soon as this week [CNN].
    • Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal says he’s “99 percent sure” criminal indictments against former Trump advisers Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort are on the way [Politico].
    • Some of the Russian-funded facebook ads were designed to boost Jill Stein, Bernie Sanders, and Donald Trump at the expense of Democrat Hillary Clinton [Politico].
  • Drain the swamp? On at least two occasions HHS Secretary Tom Price used a private jet when he traveled to places where he owns property and combined official trips with meetings with family members [Politico].
  • Nothing suspicious here. The EPA is spending $25,000 to install a secure, soundproof booth in the office of Administrator Scott Pruitt that he can use to communicate privately [Washington Post].
  • The acting head of the DEA will resign at the end of the week in protest of the Trump administration. Chuck Rosenberg says he is leaving his post because he’s convinced President Trump has little respect for the law [New York Times].

On this day in history:

  • 1777 – Lancaster, Pennsylvania becomes the capital of the United States for one day during the Revolutionary War after the Second Continental Congress evacuates Philadelphia to avoid invading British forces.
  • 1908 – The first production of the Ford Model T automobile was completed in Detroit.
  • 1964 – The Warren Commission report on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy was released. The report concluded there was no conspiracy and that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.
  • 1979 – The United States Department of Education receives approval from Congress to become the 13th Cabinet agency.