Situational awareness – August 24, 2018

Good morning from Salt Lake City and TGIF!

The LDS Church jumps into the medical marijuana issue. National Enquirer publisher gets immunity in the Cohen case. President Trump decries “flipping.”


  • 46 days until the last day to register to vote by mail (10/9/2018)
  • 53 days until mail-in ballots are sent to voters (10/16/2018)
  • 60 days until in-person early voting begins (10/23/2018)
  • 67 days until the last day to register to vote in person or by mail (10/30/2018)
  • 69 days until in-person early voting ends (11/2/2018)
  • 74 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 157 days until the first day of the 2019 Utah Legislature (1/28/2019)
  • 202 days until the final day of the 2019 Utah Legislature (3/14/2019)
  • 802 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)


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Church vs. state

Bob Bernick says the LDS Church’s unusual move to intervene in the fight over the medical marijuana ballot initiative puts voters in a bind –

What a week!

Count My Vote, Gary Herbert vs. Jackie Biskupski, Utah’s members of Congress defend Trump, plus the GOP is choosing short-term wins over long-term growth. Plus, Utah Democrats are jacked up to vote in November. We break down the week in Utah political news –

You can also subscribe to our week-in-review podcast if you prefer to get our news rundown that way – 



Deseret News

Jay Evensen: Young people may not be the ruin of us, after all

A. Scott Anderson: How this landlocked state became a surprising global competitor

Editorial: Marijuana initiative needs real solutions, not smoke and mirrors

Salt Lake County rolls out a program to help more Utah residents to become U.S. citizens

Some staunch advocates of Utah medical marijuana initiative have change of heart

Utah’s ‘most exclusive club’: Governor celebrates state’s centenarians

Church sends email to Utah Latter-day Saints urging them to vote no on marijuana initiative

Utah Inland Port board to discuss opening closed-door subcommittee meetings after backlash

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints joins Utah coalition saying no to marijuana initiative, but yes to medical marijuana

Utah public safety commissioner stepping down

FCC chairman, Rep. Mia Love say it’s time for Congress to act on net neutrality

Salt Lake Tribune

With cameras and steel doors that slam shut in seconds, this is ‘arguably one of the safest schools in Utah.’ But will lawmakers fund more like it?

Gehrke: Medical marijuana opponents are having a hard time getting their act together, but LDS Church involvement could be a game changer

Navajo officials urge Utah attorney general to investigate officials who took activist Willie Grayeyes off the ballot

Utah’s top cop is retiring; governor picks Highway Patrol major to replace him

LDS Church announces opposition to Utah medical marijuana initiative – but says it does not object to medical pot with proper safeguards

Salt Lake County mayor launches citizenship initiative to help 22,000 eligible residents in the county gain U.S. citizenship

In Utah visit, FCC chairman says Congress – not his agency – should pass rules on ‘net neutrality’

Fate of official rests in Salt Lake County GOP’s hands after LGBTQ suicide remark

Who is on Drug Safe Utah’s list opposing the medical marijuana initiative – and who’s not?

Officials OK plan on $4 billion in transportation projects in the next five years along the Wasatch Front


Editorial: Provo airport needs to expand to meet growing demand (Daily Herald)

New Ogden water plan in place, aged system will require new work and more funds (Standard-Examiner)


  • The publisher of the National Enquirer, David Pecker, has been granted immunity in the federal investigation into President Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen –
  • The National Enquirer reportedly had a safe filled with documents and other information about damaging stories it killed to help Donald Trump –
  • The Manhattan D.A. is considering criminal charges against the Trump organization in connection with Michael Cohen’s hush money payment to an adult film actress –
  • President Trump said during an interview with Fox News that “flipping” in legal cases, should be illegal –
  • President Trump says the stock market would crash if he were to be impeached. Experts say that’s not true –

  • President Trump reportedly asked his lawyers about possibly pardoning Paul Manafort, but they cautioned against granting clemency until special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe was finished –
  • The lone juror who prevented the conviction of Paul Manafort on all 18 criminal charges did not trust any of the government’s witnesses and frustrated other jurors with her reasoning –
  • The feud between President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions is heating up with Sessions saying the Justice Department will not be “improperly influenced by political considerations” –
  • Republicans in Congress say they would be open to President Trump replacing Attorney General Jeff Sessions following the midterm elections –
  • Critics fear President Trump’s attacks on the justice system are doing lasting damage –
  • Rep. Duncan Hunter, who was indicted for misusing $250,000 in campaign funds, threw his wife under the bus on Thursday after pleading not guilty to federal charges –

  • The attempted hack on the Democratic National Committee’s voter database was actually a false alarm –
  • The White House is signaling an effort to overhaul the nation’s criminal justice system will be delayed until after the November election –

  • Critics are hammering President Trump for promoting a white nationalist conspiracy theory involving farm seizures in South Africa –
  • The White House blocked a bill to shore up the nation’s defenses against foreign interference in elections –

  • The Senate passed a massive $857 billion spending package to avoid a government shutdown in September –


  • 79 – Thousands died and the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum were buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.
  • 1682 – William Penn receives the area that is now the state of Delaware, and adds it to his colony of Pennsylvania.
  • 1814 – British troops invade Washington, D.C. and burn the White House and Capitol building.
  • 1857 – The Panic of 1857 begins, setting off one of the most severe economic crises in United States history.
  • 1891 – Thomas Edison patents the motion picture camera.
  • 1932 – Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly across the United States non-stop.
  • 1949 – The treaty creating the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) goes into effect.
  • 1950 – Edith Sampson becomes the first black U.S. delegate to the United Nations.
  • 1954 – The Communist Control Act goes into effect, outlawing the American Communist Party.
  • 1981 – Mark David Chapman is sentenced to 20 years to life in prison for murdering John Lennon.
  • 1989 – Cincinnati Reds manager Pete Rose is banned from baseball for gambling.
  • 2006 – Pluto was demoted to “dwarf planet” status when the International Astronomical Union adopted a new definition of “planet.”


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