Situational awareness – June 28, 2018

Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City.

Two Utahns are on Trump’s Supreme Court shortlist. Utahns say public school teachers are underpaid. Trump plans to announce details of his summit meeting with Putin on Thursday.



  • 131 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 214 days until the first day of the 2019 Utah Legislature (1/28/2019)
  • 859 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)


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Yuuuge GOP turnout

The number of Republicans who voted in Tuesday’s GOP U.S. Senate primary was more than the two statewide primary elections from 2016 combined. That big turnout could help Republican candidates down the ballot in November [Utah Policy].

Lee to SCOTUS?

Sen. Mike Lee and his brother Thomas (a Utah Supreme Court Justice) are on President Trump’s shortlist to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court [Utah Policy].

LaVarr Webb makes a case for Mike Lee’s nomination to the high court [Utah Policy].

Teacher pay

Utahns overwhelmingly say public school teachers in the state are not paid enough according to our latest poll [Utah Policy].

“Pragmatic” PAC

A new political action committee seeks to boost pragmatic candidates for office in Utah [Utah Policy].


  • Utah’s four U.S. House members say they’re disappointed that body could not pass a compromise immigration bill [Deseret News].
  • Mitt Romney’s drubbing of Mike Kennedy on Tuesday could spell big trouble for Utah’s traditional caucus/convention system [Deseret News].
  • Mitt Romney and Jenny Wilson hit the campaign trail ahead of their November matchup [Fox 13].
  • The new board overseeing development of the Point of the Mountain gets down to work [Deseret News].
  • Utah counties will get nearly $41 million from the feds this year for untaxed public lands, but critics say they’re not paying their fair share [Tribune].
  • Washington County officials say they’ve reduced water use there by a billion gallons over five years [KSL].


  • President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin are expected to announce their first formal summit meeting to take place next month [New York Times].
  • Republicans have promised to confirm a replacement for the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy before the midterm elections. The plan has enraged Democrats [Washington Post].
  • Anti-abortion groups say Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement gives them the best chance to overturn Roe v. Wade in decades [The Hill].
  • It’s not just abortion. There are several issues that will be affected by the retirement of Kennedy from the Supreme Court [Politico].
  • The Supreme Court dealt a big blow to labor unions, ruling non-members cannot be required to pay for collective bargaining [New York Times].
  • The House failed to pass a compromise immigration bill on Wednesday, despite last-minute urging from President Trump [New York Times].
  • Despite promising President Donald Trump they would abandon their nuclear weapons program, North Korea is rapidly upgrading a facility they have used to create fissile material for weapons [NBC News].
  • President Trump has rattled several traditional allies of the U.S. by trashing NATO, reportedly telling leaders at the G7 summit that the military alliance is “worse than NAFTA” [Axios].
  • Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin was able to stop President Trump from blocking China from acquiring U.S. technology companies [Bloomberg].
  • Former Fox News co-president Bill Shine has accepted a job in the White House as deputy chief of staff for communications [ABC News].
  • President Trump has seen 75-percent of his senior staffers leave the White House since his inauguration [Brookings].
  • The Justice Department has approved Disney’s $71 billion bid for the entertainment assets of 21st Century Fox [New York Times].
  • Oil prices in the US. are at their highest level since 2014 [MarketWatch].


  • 1778 – American Revolutionary War: The Continental Army engages the British in the Battle of Monmouth Courthouse resulting in a stalemate and British withdrawal under cover of darkness.
  • 1894 – Labor Day becomes an official US holiday.
  • 1902 – Congress passes the Spooner Act, authorizing President Theodore Roosevelt to acquire rights from Colombia for the Panama Canal.
  • 1914 – Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife Sophie are assassinated in Sarajevo, sparking the start of World War I.
  • 1919 – The Treaty of Versailles is signed, ending World War I.
  • 1969 – The Stonewall riots begin in New York City, marking the start of the Gay Rights Movement.
  • 1971 – The Supreme Court ruled the use of public funds for parochial schools was unconstitutional.
  • 1978 – The Supreme Court, in Regents of the University of California v. Bakke bars quota systems in college admissions.