Situational awareness – April 25, 2018

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City. 

Mitchell Vice says Utah is ready for progressive policies. Lee says Congress can’t stop Trump from firing Mueller. More trouble for Trump’s VA nominee.

I was fortunate to attend a press screening of Avengers: Infinity War on Tuesday. All I can say is WOW!  I don’t want to spoil anything, but the movie is everything you want from a summer blockbuster and then some!

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  Tick Tock  

  • 3 days until the Utah Democratic State Convention (4/28/2018)
  • 34 days until the last day to register to vote by mail for the 2018 primary election (5/29/2018)
  • 35 days until the last day to change your party affiliation before the primary election (5/30/2018)
  • 41 days until primary election mail-in ballots are sent to voters (6/5/2018)
  • 48 days until in-person early primary voting begins (6/12/2018)
  • 55 days until the final day to register to vote online or in person before the primary election (6/19/2018)
  • 58 days until in-person early primary voting ends (6/22/2018)
  • 62 days until the 2018 Primary Election (6/26/2018)
  • 195 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 278 days until the first day of the 2019 Utah Legislature (1/28/2019)
  • 923 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

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  Here are the news stories driving Wednesday  

Progressive politics in Utah

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Mitchell Vice says he can help Utahns break out of their apathy, which would lead to better policies that can benefit everybody [Utah Policy].

Here’s a podcast of our conversation with Vice [Utah Policy].

Utah leads the nation in employer-provided healthcare

A new study says Utah is tops in the country for workers getting healthcare through their employers, but premiums have doubled over the last decade [Utah Policy].

Can millennial voters make a difference?

Legislative candidate Nikki Cunard argues that millennial voters don’t fit the stereotypes that many believe, and this group is ready to take the lead politically [Utah Policy].

  Other Utah headlines  

  • Sen. Mike Lee argues in an op-ed that legislation to prevent President Trump from firing special counsel Robert Mueller is unconstitutional [USA Today].
  • Financial disclosures show Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mike Kennedy has a personal wealth of between $1.1 million and $2.6 million [Tribune].
  • The rematch between Rep. John Curtis and Chris Herrod in Utah’s 3rd CD is overshadowed by the U.S. Senate primary [Deseret News].
  • Salt Lake County will revive a sales tax hike for transit if enough cities get on board with the effort [Deseret News].
  • Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman says President Trump wants to establish “detente” with Russian President Vladimir Putin [Deseret News].
  • Sandy Police Chief Kevin Thacker was fired for “inappropriate touching” of employees [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • An audit found the DABC overcharged some customers because it incorrectly marked up the price on several items [Deseret News].
  • A new study says Utah is having trouble keeping high-tech degree holders in the state because they find better employment elsewhere [Deseret News].
  • The company that owns the Provo Daily Herald is purchasing the Ogden Standard-Examiner [Associated Press].

  National headlines  

  • Adm. Rony Jackson, President Trump’s nominee to head the VA, reportedly was drunk and banged on the hotel room door of a female employee during an overseas trip in 2015 [CNN].
  • Iran is warning if the U.S. pulls out of the nuclear deal, they will likely abandon it as well and re-start their nuclear program [Associated Press].
  • Republicans hold on to a House seat in Arizona following Tuesday’s special election. Republican Debbie Lesko won the race by 6 points. President Trump won the district by 21 points in 2016 [The Hill].
  • Support for Republicans has nosedived in every special election since Donald Trump took office [New York Times].
  • A third judge has ruled against President Trump’s move to end the DACA program, saying the administration’s reasons for ending the program was flimsy [Politico].
  • The Supreme Court will hear arguments on President Trump’s travel ban as one of their last cases of the current term [Associated Press].
  • The Department of Homeland Security is preparing to end the temporary residency permits of 9,000 Nepalis living in the U.S. [Washington Post].
  • The White House is pushing hard to strike a deal on a re-write of the NAFTA treaty by early May with an eye toward having Congress vote on the pact by the end of 2018 [Los Angeles Times].
  • There could be 50 Democrats running for president in 2020 [Washington Examiner].
  • Former Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid says talk of impeaching President Trump is premature and could hurt Democrats chances in the 2018 midterms [NBC News].
  • The National Rifle Association broke a fundraising record in March, pulling in more than $2 million [McClatchy].

  On this day in history  

  • 1846 – Open conflict begins over the disputed border of Texas, triggering the Mexican-American War.
  • 1862 – Forces under Admiral David Farragut demand the surrender of the Confederate city of New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • 1898 – Spanish-American War: The United States declares war on Spain.
  • 1901 – New York becomes the first state to require automobile license plates.
  • 1945 – Founding negotiations for the United Nations begin in San Francisco.
  • 1953 – Francis Crick and James Watson published their paper describing the double helix structure of DNA.
  • 1967 – The first law legalizing abortion in the U.S. was signed into law by Colorado Gov. John Love.
  • 1983 – Pioneer 10 travels beyond Pluto’s orbit.