Situational awareness – February 6, 2018

Good Tuesday morning from Salt Lake City.

ALERT! THIS IS NOT A DRILL! Tickets for the Salt Lake City run of Hamilton go on sale on Friday morning.  I’ve seen the show twice already, but I’m ready to fistfight someone to get tickets for when the tour stops here.

Bad blood between the NRA and Utah lawmakers means no “constitutional carry” bill this year. Sen. Orrin Hatch says he recruited Mitt Romney because he didn’t want a “dud” to replace him. The stock market has lost nearly $4 trillion in value since Friday.

Tick Tock:

  • 30 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
  • 33 days until the filing period for candidates in the 2018 election opens (3/9/2018)
  • 37 days until the filing deadline for the 2018 elections (3/15/2018)
  • 42 days until the statewide caucus meetings for Utah Republicans and Democrats (3/20/2018)
  • 74 days until the Utah GOP State Convention (4/21/2018)
  • 81 days until the Utah Democratic State Convention (4/28/2018)
  • 140 days until the 2018 Primary Election (6/26/2018)
  • 273 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 356 days until the first day of the 2019 Utah Legislature (1/28/2019)
  • 1,001 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

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Here’s what’s driving the day:

No “constitutional carry” gun bill this year

Gun rights groups have been pushing Utah lawmakers to adopt a bill allowing gun owners to carry a concealed weapon without a permit, but lawmakers in Utah aren’t too keen on the idea, and they’re blaming the NRA for hurting the legislation’s chances [Utah Policy].

Hatch: “I don’t want some dud to replace me”

Sen. Orrin Hatch says he recruited Mitt Romney to run to replace him in the U.S. Senate because he was worried a “dud” would follow him [Utah Policy].

“If Philo was a woman, we wouldn’t be having this conversation”

Rep. Mike Noel is blocking a resolution to replace a statue in Washington, D.C. of television inventor Philo Farnsworth with one of Martha Hughes Cannon, the first female state senator elected in the U.S. [Utah Policy].

Utah lawmakers want a power equal to the governor

Legislators push to put a constitutional amendment on the 2018 ballot that would allow the Legislature to call itself into a special session. RIght now only the governor can do that [Utah Policy].

Herbert is one of the most popular governors in the U.S.

Gov. Gary Herbert’s approval rating in Utah is the seventh-highest in the country according to a new national poll [Utah Policy].

Other Utah headlines:

  • State leaders say “Operation Rio Grande” is making good progress after six months, but there’s still progress to be made [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • The House passed a bill to ban abortions when the sole reason is that the child would be born with Down syndrome, but legislative attorneys say the measure would likely be found unconstitutional [Deseret NewsTribune].
  • The Utah House approved a $1.7 million annual tax break for EnergySolutions. The radioactive waste management firm is one of the top donors to lawmakers [Tribune].
  • A Senate committee approved a bill that includes a provision to raise fees on electric and hybrid vehicles [Deseret NewsTribune].
  • Sen. President Wayne Niederhauser’s proposal to impose tolls on cars traveling through Little Cottonwood Canyon won initial support in the Senate on Monday [Deseret News].
  • Lawmakers propose blocking statewide non-federal office holders from fundraising while the Legislature is in session [Deseret News].
  • Sen. Todd Weiler’s bill to set a process for transgendered Utahns seeking to legally change their gender moved out of a Senate committee on Monday, but not without some questions [Deseret News].
  • Sen. Jake Anderegg wants to pump up to $1 million of state money into an effort to expand the Silicon Slopes Tech Summit [Deseret News].
  • The House Education Committee approved a measure to help schools increase the number of counselors in elementary schools [Deseret News].
  • The DABC will start a trial glass recycling program at one of their wine stores [Deseret News].

National headlines:

  • The Dow fell 1,175 points on Monday, the largest single-day point decline in history. The index actually fell 1,600 points at one point before rebounding slightly. The markets lost nearly 2,100 since Friday, which has wiped out all of the gains made since the GOP tax bill passed at the end of 2017. The losses could continue Tuesday as markets in Asia and Europe trended sharply downward [CNN Money].
  • President Trump has tied his administration tightly to the soaring stock market, despite warnings from others that it was a rookie mistake. If the losses continue, it could turn into what was a completely avoidable self-own [Washington Post].
  • The government runs out of money on Friday. Republicans in Congress are trying to tie long-term funding for defense with a short-term spending bill, essentially daring Democrats to block the measure [The Hill].
  • President Donald Trump’s lawyers have advised him against sitting down for an interview with special counsel Robert Mueller [New York Times].
  • Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is probably further along, and much larger than you realize. In fact, there are likely five separate investigations underway by the special counsel’s office [Wired].
  • The House Intelligence Panel votes to release the Democratic rebuttal to the GOP-authored memo on alleged intelligence abuses. President Trump now has five days to decide whether to make the document public [Washington Post].
  • Former White House strategist Steve Bannon has been subpoenaed to appear before the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, but he is not expected to appear [CNN].
  • The New York Times has taken the unusual step of asking the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to unseal secret documents related to the wiretapping of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page [New York Times].
  • The attacks by Republicans and their supporters on the FBI and DOJ are taking hold with GOP voters. A new poll shows most Republicans believe those two law enforcement agencies are trying to “delegitimize” President Trump [Reuters].
  • President Donald Trump accused Democrats who did not applaud him during the State of the Union address of treason during a rally in Ohio [Politico].
  • Seattle says Facebook is violating local election laws which require disclosure of who pays for election-related advertising [Reuters].

On this day in history:

  • 1778 – In Paris, the Treaty of Alliance and the Treaty of Amity and Commerce are signed by the United States and France signaling official recognition of the new republic.
  • 1788 – Massachusetts becomes the sixth state to ratify the Constitution.
  • 1862 – Forces under the command of Ulysses S. Grant and Andrew H. Foote give the Union its first victory of the war, capturing Fort Henry, Tennessee.
  • 1865 – Gen. Robert El Lee was appointed the commander in chief of the armies of the Confederacy.
  • 1899 – The Treaty of Paris, a peace treaty between the United States and Spain, is ratified by the U.S. Senate.
  • 1959 – Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments files the first patent for an integrated circuit.