Daily Briefing 11-1-17

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 305th day of the year. There are 60 days remaining in 2017.

The clock:

  • 6 days until the 2017 election (11/7/2017)
  • 82 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)
  • 127 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
  • 370 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1,098 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR –

  • A new nationwide poll shows both Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee‘s approval ratings have dipped in Utah. Hatch’s disapproval rating is one of the highest in the Senate [Utah Policy].
  • Gov. Gary Herbert has fallen out of the ranks of “most popular” governors in the nation after his approval rating took a slight hit in Utah [Utah Policy].
  • Sen. Orrin Hatch says the views about gays and Muslims held by controversial Alabama Republican Roy Moore give him pause, but Hatch will support Moore if he wins the special election in Alabama [Utah Policy].
  • Former Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz says he’s “disappointed” with comments made about him by former Speaker of the House John Boehner [Utah Policy].
  • Police arrest the suspected gunman in the murder of a University of Utah student on Monday night. The shooting prompted a lockdown on the campus and a massive manhunt [Deseret NewsTribune].
  • Gov. Gary Herbert nominates Paige Petersen to fill the spot on the Utah Supreme Court being vacated by the retirement of Justice Christine Durham [Utah PolicyDeseret NewsTribune].
  • Rep. Rob Bishop recently visited Puerto Rico to take stock of the devastation following Hurricane Maria [Tribune].
  • The University Hospital nurse who was arrested for refusing to draw blood from an unconscious patient has reached a financial settlement with Salt Lake City and the University of Utah over the incident [Tribune].
  • Enrollment in Utah’s charter schools is slowing down, while overall enrollment in public schools is now more than 650,000 students [Tribune].
  • Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox picks Kirsten Rappleye as his new chief of staff and Justin Lee to head up the state elections office [Utah PolicyDeseret NewsTribune].
  • A new report shows alcohol use by Utah high school seniors is on the rise [Deseret News].

National headlines:

  • Terror in New York. A man plowed a pickup truck down a bike path in Manhattan, killing eight people and wounding 11. The driver, who came to the U.S. from Uzbekistan, shouted “Allahu akbar” after exiting the vehicle [New York Times].
  • President Donald Trump says George Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty this week to lying to federal agents investigating Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election, was a “low-level volunteer” in the Trump campaign. However, documents show Papadopoulos was in regular contact with the most senior officials in the Trump campaign [Washington Post].
  • Papadopoulos claimed in an email that top Trump campaign officials agreed to a pre-election meeting with representatives of Russian President Vladimir Putin [Bloomberg].
  • Court documents show former Trump campaign head Paul Manafort holds three passports, each under a separate number, and has traveled to other countries using a phone and email account registered under a fake name [ABC News].
  • President Donald Trump is getting increasing pressure from his political advisers to aggressively push back against special counsel Robert Muller‘s investigation [Washington Post].
  • Top staffers from tech giants Google, Facebook, and Twitter testified before Congress on Tuesday. Here’s what they said [Axios].
  • Thousands of people attended a protest in New York City against President Donald Trump organized by Russian operatives on Facebook [The Hill].
  • Employees of Fox News are reportedly embarrassed about how their network is covering the growing Russia scandal [CNN Money].
  • Despite President Trump’s assertion that diplomacy with North Korea is a waste of time, the U.S. is pursuing direct talks with Kim Jong Un‘s regime [Reuters].
  • House Republicans are postponing the rollout of their tax reform proposal to iron out some last-minute disagreements [Politico].
  • The GOP reportedly will propose keeping the tax rate for top earners at 39.6% instead of dropping it to 35% in a bid to get moderates to support the proposal [Washington Post].
  • NPR’s top editor has been placed on leave after two women allege he made unwanted physical contact with them when he was with another news organization [Washington Post].

On this day in history:

  • 1512 – The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, painted by Michelangelo, is exhibited to the public for the first time.
  • 1520 – The Strait of Magellan is first discovered and navigated by European explorer Ferdinand Magellan.
  • 1604 – William Shakespeare’s tragedy Othello is performed for the first time at Whitehall Palace in London.
  • 1611 – William Shakespeare’s play The Tempest is performed for the first time.
  • 1765 – The British Parliament enacts the Stamp Act on the Thirteen Colonies to help pay for British military operations in North America.
  • 1800 – John Adams becomes the first president to live in the White House.
  • 1938 – Seabiscuit beat War Admiral in horse racing’s “match of the century.”
  • 1950 – Two Puerto Rican nationalists tried to force their way into the Blair House in Washington in an attempt to assassinate President Harry Truman.