Daily Briefing 11-13-17

Good Monday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 317th day of the year. There are 48 days remaining in 2017.

The clock:

  • 70 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)
  • 115 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
  • 358 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1,086 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR –

  • POLL: A slight majority of Utahns agree with President Trump when he claimed “both sides” were to blame for the violence at a neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia this summer [Utah Policy].
  • National Democrats add Rep. Mia Love‘s seat to the list of their targeted seats in next year’s election [Utah Policy].
  • Our “Political Insiders” are divided along party lines whether there should be a law requiring social media companies to remove “fake news” posts [Utah Policy].
  • Sen. Mike Lee pulls his support for Roy Moore, the GOP nominee for Senate in Alabama, after a report that he had a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl [Tribune].
  • Gov. Gary Herbert is rapidly changing Utah’s judiciary because he’s been able to fill a high number of vacancies on the bench [Fox 13].
  • Backers of the ballot initiative to legalize medical marijuana say they hope to have all of the signatures they need to get on the ballot by January. Lawmakers could see the first results of state-mandated research into the efficacy of medical marijuana during the 2018 session [Deseret News].
  • Voters approved hundreds of millions of dollars in public school bonds on election day this year. Backers of the Our Schools Now ballot initiative say that gives them hope voters will approve another tax hike next year to boost school funding [Tribune].
  • Provo is moving to fill the vacancy left by Mayor John Curtis as he leaves to take a seat in Congress [Tribune].
  • Pleasant Grove Mayor Mike Daniels is accused of violating state law after he penned an op-ed in the city’s newsletter urging residents to vote against a proposition that appeared on November’s ballot [KSL].
  • The state says their Express Pass website is back online after they fixed a security flaw that potentially exposed the personal information of thousands of Utahns [Deseret NewsTribune].
  • A group of Republican members of Congress wants President Trump to either shrink or completely eliminate the 27 national monuments under review by the Interior Department, including Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante [Tribune].
  • LaVarr Webb says Congress should take a hard look at eliminating the tax exemption given to credit unions [Utah Policy].
  • Conservative Thomas Dyches explains why he has soured on the death penalty [Utah Policy].

National headlines:

  • Republicans in Congress say they’re confident the tax reform package will pass the House later this week [Politico].
  • President Donald Trump got loose on Twitter on Sunday attacking those who are investigating his campaign’s alleged ties to Russia as “haters and fools.” He also called North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un “short and fat” [New York Times].
  • A powerful 7.3 magnitude earthquake on the Iran-Iraq border has killed more than 300 people [Associated Press].
  • President Donald Trump says he will make a “major” announcement on trade this week after he returns to the U.S. from his trip to Asia [Politico].
  • Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore is trying to get his campaign back on track following a blockbuster report that he initiated an inappropriate relationship with a 14-year-old girl in the 1970’s [Washington Post]. Moore has promised to sue the Washington Post for publishing the report [Associated Press].
  • President Donald Trump now says he believes the conclusions from U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election. He also says he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin is sincere when he denied that Russia interfered in the election [ABC News].
  • Despite big wins in last week’s elections, Democrats should probably temper their enthusiasm about next year’s midterm elections. Partisan gerrymandering will likely minimize any gains they make in 2018 [New York Times].
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden is still playing coy about whether he’ll run for president in 2020, saying he’s not sure it’s an appropriate thing for him to do [Yahoo].
  • A 12-year-old Colorado girl is suing Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Drug Enforcement Agency seeking to legalize medical marijuana nationwide. The girl suffers from epilepsy and uses cannabis to alleviate her condition [ABC News].
  • The Army has lifted a ban on recruits who have a history of some mental disorders, including bipolar disorder and depression [USA Today].

On this day in history:

  • 1002 – English king Æthelred II orders the killing of all Danes in England, known today as the St. Brice’s Day massacre.
  • 1927 – The Holland Tunnel opens to traffic as the first Hudson River vehicle tunnel linking New Jersey to New York City.
  • 1956 – The Supreme Court declares Alabama laws requiring segregated buses illegal.
  • 1982 – The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is dedicated in Washington, D.C.