Morning must reads for Friday, October 6, 2017


Good Friday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 279th day of the year. There are 86 days remaining in 2017.

The clock:

  • 11 days until ballots for the 2017 general election are mailed to voters (10/17/2017)
  • 32 days until the 2017 election (11/7/2017)
  • 108 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)
  • 153 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
  • 396 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1,124 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR –

  • Rep. Mia LoveBen McAdams, gun control, Gov. Gary Herbert, Sen. Orrin Hatch, Puerto Rico and Tom Petty all get discussed in our week-in-review. Get smart fast! [Utah Policy]. Here’s a podcast version if you prefer that [Utah Policy].
  • Bob Bernick explains why he thinks Ben McAdams won’t run for Congress against Mia Love next year [Utah Policy].
  • Utah’s members of Congress say they would be open to considering a ban on so-called “bump stocks” which can turn semi-automatic weapons into nearly fully automatic ones [Deseret NewsTribune].
  • Wanna know how much money your member of Congress took from the gun lobby [Deseret News].
  • A legislative task force are considering a handful of options for the future of the Utah Transit Authority, including making the group a part of the Utah Department of Transportation. None of the possible changes included leaving the UTA as-is [Deseret NewsTribune].
  • 3rd Congressional District candidates are campaigning hard as they head into the home stretch [Daily Herald].
  • 36 more people were given spots in the new “specialty court” as part of Operation Rio Grande. Additionally, more treatment beds opened up for homeless people struggling with addiction [Deseret News].
  • University of Utah trustees approved a new agreement with the Huntsman Cancer Foundation following the upheaval that led to the resignation of University of Utah President David Pershing [Deseret NewsTribune].
  • Air travel is going to get a little more difficult because of new security screening measures set to go into effect at Salt Lake City’s airport [Deseret NewsTribune].

National headlines:

  • President Donald Trump abruptly summoned Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to the White House following news reports that Tillerson threatened to resign and called the president a “moron” [NBC News].
  • Ominous message. President Donald Trump gave a cryptic message to the media during a photo shoot with military leaders on Thursday night at the White House. Trump said the tableau might be “the calm before the storm.” When the media asked what he was referring to, Trump replied, “we’ll see” [Associated Press].
  • The NRA says they support restrictions on “bump stocks” following the shooting rampage in Las Vegas that left nearly 60 people dead [New York Times].
  • NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre says any new gun laws won’t prevent future mass shootings [Politico].
  • Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, and Defense Secretary Jim Mattishave reportedly forged a “suicide pact” wherein all three would resign if one of them became the target of President Donald Trump‘s ire [Washington Examiner].
  • A Democratic civil war in Congress? Democratic Rep. Linda Sanchez says it’s time for longtime Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and the rest of her team to step down from leadership in order to give others a chance [Politico].
  • White House chief of staff John Kelly‘s cell phone was possibly breached by hackers while he was Secretary of Homeland Security. The breach was only discovered this summer after he moved to White House [Politico].
  • Republicans in Congress are worried they’ve lost control of the party’s grassroots. They’re also afraid if they are unable to pass tax reform it will put their majorities in both houses in jeopardy [New York Times].
  • Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin took flights on military aircraft, including a round-trip flight to New York City to meet with President Trump, costing taxpayers around $800,000 [New York Times].
  • Russia investigation:
    • Special counsel Robert Mueller met with Christopher Steele, the former British spy who assembled a dossier detailing possible incriminating information the Russians allegedly complied on Donald Trump while he was doing business in Russia [CNN].
    • Staffers on the Senate Judiciary Committee say the body isn’t really doing a robust investigation into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election [Daily Beast].
  • President Donald Trump plans to “decertify” the nuclear agreement the Obama administration made with Iran, saying it’s not in the national interest. The move could eventually lead to the reinstatement of sanctions against Iran [Washington Post].
  • President Trump tweeted Thursday night that Ralph Northam, the Democratic candidate in Virginia’s gubernatorial race, is “fighting for the violent MS-13 killer gangs.” Trump finished the social media message urging people to vote for Republican Ed Gillespie [The Hill].

On this day in history:

  • 1723 – Benjamin Franklin arrives in Philadelphia at the age of 17.
  • 1889 – Thomas Edison debuts his first motion picture.
  • 1927 – The Jazz Singer starring Al Jolson, Hollywood’s first “talkie” premiered in New York.