Situational awareness – July 3, 2018

Good Tuesday morning from Salt Lake City.

Hatch, Lee get favorable approval ratings from Utahns. Lee no longer on Trump’s SCOTUS list. GOP lawmakers are growing impatient with Trump’s trade war.


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


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Lee/Hatch get good job approval ratings

Utahns mostly approve of the job performance of Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee according to our latest public opinion poll –

Lee no longer on SCOTUS list

Sen. Mike Lee is reportedly no longer under consideration for the Supreme Court opening. Some were worried the closely divided Senate would force him to vote for his own nomination, which would be a bad visual ahead of the 2018 midterms –

More Romney/Trump drama

Mitt Romney says “It’s a little early” for him to support the re-election of President Trump in 2020 –

“I’d like to kill ’em”

Sen. Orrin Hatch and other Republican Senators are fed up with President Trump’s trade war, saying it could hurt the GOP’s chances in the midterm elections. Hatch said he’d “like to kill ’em,” referring to Trump’s growing list of tariffs on foreign goods –


  • Opponents of the medical marijuana ballot initiative drop their lawsuit to keep the measure off the ballot, but they may re-file before the election [KUTV, KSL, Fox 13, Tribune].
  • Here’s what Utah County is giving up, and getting from the Facebook data center that will be built in Eagle Mountain [Daily Herald].


  • President Trump has interviewed four possible Supreme Court nominees to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, with more interviews to come before Trump names his pick on July 9 –
  • The Defense Intelligence Agency believes North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has no intention of entirely giving up his nuclear arsenal despite pledges to denuclearization –
  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is heading to North Korea this week to continue talks about denuclearization –
  • President Trump is again warning NATO allies to spend more on defense, saying the U.S. is losing patience with what he says is their failure to meet their financial obligations under the treaty –
  • The number of people receiving visas to permanently immigrate to the United States legally is on pace to drop 12-percent during President Trump’s first two years in office –
  • The Trump administration is struggling to reunite migrant families separated at the border ahead of a court-imposed deadline –
  • President Trump is lashing out at calls from Democrats to abolish ICE –
  • A former top aide to EPA head Scott Pruitt told a congressional committee that he asked her to help his wife find a job as a fundraiser at the Republican Attorneys General Association. The allegation is just the latest report that Pruitt used subordinates to perform personal duties –
  • Federal Reserve officials cut a deal with Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to help those firms avoid failing annual financial stress tests. To avoid an outright fail, the feds told the companies they would have to cut in half the $16 billion they hoped to pay out to shareholders –
  • Department of Justice investigators have reconstructed papers found in a shredder belonging to President Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen –
  • Prosecutors now have 1.3 million files seized from Cohen’s home and office during the federal raid in April –
  • President Trump promised to “drain the swamp” when he ran for president. Instead, it appears he is embracing the world of big-money political donors –

  • The FBI, SEC and Federal Trade Commission have joined the Department of Justice in the investigation into Facebook’s sharing of information with data firm Cambridge Analytica –

  • Weird story. News organizations unwittingly paid Meliana Trump thousands of dollars in royalties to use photos of the Trump family through a licensing agreement with Getty Images. The licensing deal mandated that the images could only be used in “positive stories” about the family –

  • The FBI has foiled a planned 4th of July terror attack in downtown Cleveland –
  • Vermont has become the 9th state to legalize recreational marijuana –

  • The proposal to split California into three separate states is gaining steam ahead of the November vote –


  • 1775 – George Washington takes command of the Continental Army at Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  • 1819 – The Bank for Savings in the City of New-York, the first savings bank in the United States, opens.
  • 1863 – The final day of the Battle of Gettysburg culminates with Pickett’s Charge.
  • 1890 – Idaho is admitted as the 43rd state.
  • 1979 – President Jimmy Carter signs the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul.
  • 2009 – Sarah Palin announced she was resigning as governor of Alaska with 17 months to go in her term.