Situational awareness – July 19, 2018

Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City. 

Salt Lake City officials end up on opposite sides over the inland port. Lawmakers approve child tax credit for big Utah families. Trump was told that Putin personally ordered the 2016 attack to sway the presidential election shortly before he took office.


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


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Inland port brawl

Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski and the city council end up on opposite sides as lawmakers pass changes to the controversial inland port bill –

Who decides party membership

A new survey finds most Utahns, including an overwhelming number of Republicans, oppose letting party leaders decide who belongs to a political party, and who doesn’t –

Trump criticism was justified

Rep. John Curtis, a member of the House Foreign Relations Committee, says criticism of President Trump following his meeting with Vladimir Putin was entirely justified. Download the podcast of our conversation here –


  • Newly public letters show Speaker Greg Hughes, as a member of the UTA board, might have profited from a development deal near a TRAX station before staffers discovered the conflict and he withdrew from the project [Deseret News].
  • Lawmakers approve a $30 million child tax credit during Wednesday’s special session. The tax break works out to about $170 for a family with five children [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Democrats in Congress want Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman to testify about this week’s Trump-Putin summit [Tribune].
  • Sen. Mike Lee meets with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, says he will support his confirmation later this year [Tribune].
  • Utah cops are preparing for the state’s new 0.05% DUI law which goes into effect next year [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Legislators may consider a proposal requiring gun owners to lock up their firearms when they’re not carrying them [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Lawmakers will once again consider banning the use of hand-held cell phones by Utah drivers [Deseret News, Tribune].


  • Two years ago President Trump was given classified intelligence indicating that Vladimir Putin personally ordered cyberattacks to sway the 2016 election –

  • President Trump said in an interview he holds Russian President Vladimir Putin responsible for attacking the 2016 election –

  • American officials are scrambling to understand what was agreed to as Russian officials say they made “verbal agreements” with President Trump during his meeting with Vladimir Putin –
  • A new poll shows most Americans disapprove of the way Trump handled his press conference with Vladimir Putin, but nearly 80% of Republicans approve of Trump’s interactions with Putin –

  • What? The White House is considering a proposal to allow Russian officials to question several Americans, including the former ambassador to Moscow, about alleged “illegal activities” –

  • A bill in the Senate would kick in fresh sanctions against Russia if the Kremlin attacks the U.S. election system again –

  • Troubling! Most states are not prepared to fend off cyberattacks on their election systems ahead of the 2018 midterms – 

  • President Trump is threatening to impose tariffs on automobile imports to win concessions from trading partners. Auto industry executives and members of congress are uncomfortable with the plan – 

  • President Trump’s tariffs are leading to layoffs for American workers –

  • Donald Jr. and Eric Trump racked up nearly $250,000 in Secret Service costs in one month as they traveled overseas on Trump family business –
  • House Democrats unveil their new election slogan: “For the People” –

  • GOP congressman Jason Lewis made misogynistic comments on his radio show he hosted from 2009 to 2014, including lamenting that women can no longer be called “sluts” –

  • The proposal to split California into three separate states has been kicked off the November ballot by that state’s supreme court –

  • A new study shows air pollution in national parks is nearly as bad as air quality in the 20 largest cities –


  • 1911 – Pennsylvania became the first state to pass laws censoring movies.
  • 1977 – The world’s first Global Positioning System (GPS) signal was transmitted.
  • 1989 – United Airlines Flight 232 crashes in Sioux City, Iowa killing 111.
  • 1993 – President Bill Clinton announced the “don’t ask, don’t tell, don’t pursue” policy toward gays in the military. The policy was lifted in 2011.