Ten Things You Need to Know Today – Friday, January 22, 2016

Good Friday morning from Salt Lake City. There are 344 days left in 2016.

Herbert makes a questionable remark when discussing medical marijuana. Republican infighting about Trump and Cruz intensifies. Mike Lee and Orrin Hatch see their approval ratings rise.

The clock:

  • Three days to the opening day of the 2016 Utah Legislature – (1/25/2016)
  • 10 days to the 2016 Iowa Caucus – (2/1/2016)
  • 18 days to the 2016 New Hampshire Primary – (2/9/2016)
  • 48 days to the final day of the 2016 Utah Legislature – (3/10/2016)
  • 60 days to the Utah Republican and Democratic caucus meetings (3/22/2016)
  • 92 days to the Utah Republican and Democratic State Conventions (4/23/2016)
  • 158 days to the 2016 Utah primary election – (6/28/2016)
  • 291 days until the 2016 presidential election – (11/8/2016)

 Friday’s top-10 headlines:

  1. Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump open up solid leads in Iowa polls less than two weeks before the state’s caucuses [New York Times].
  2. Former GOP presidential candidate Lindsey Graham said of the two men leading the GOP field, Trump and Ted Cruz, that choosing between the two is like picking between being “shot or poisoned” [Roll Call, New York Times].
  3. Conservative publication National Review has been removed as a sponsor of a Republican presidential debate in February because the magazine devoted an entire issue to reasons why voters should not cast a ballot for Trump [Washington Post, BuzzFeed]. Check out the money quote from editor Rich Lowry: “Donald Trump is a menace to American conservatism who would take the work of generations and trample it underfoot on behalf of a populism as heedless and crude as The Donald himself,” [New York Times].
  4. Gov. Gary Herbert, while discussing the issue of medical marijuana, used the phrase “Que pasa, here’s your doobie for the day.” Reaction ranged from mocking to accusations of racism to confusion [Utah Policy, 2 News, Fox 13, ABC 4, Deseret News, Tribune].
  5. A new poll shows both Sens. Mike Lee and Orrin Hatch see their approval ratings rise dramatically from July of 2015 [Utah Policy].
  6. Hatch joins a growing chorus of Republicans warning of electoral disaster if Cruz wins the GOP presidential nomination [CNN].
  7. Former Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt pens an op-ed urging President Barack Obama to create a new national monument in Utah, protecting the Bear Ears area [Los Angeles Times].
  8. As UtahPolicy.com first reported a few days ago, businessman Michael Weinholtz is set to launch a bid for governor on the Democratic ticket [Tribune].
  9. The Utah Attorney General’s Office is investigating a complaint against Utah County Commissioner Larry Ellerton who reportedly accepted and took a trip to Switzerland on a jet provided by the Snowbird ski resort [Daily Herald].
  10. Those lower oil prices aren’t doing much to boost the economy because consumers are not spending the money they’re saving from cheaper gasoline prices [New York Times].

On this day in history:

  • 1924 – Senators investigating the Teapot Dome lease scandal declared they would use all the legal powers of the government to get to the truth.
  • 1973 – In its historic Roe v. Wade decision, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down state bans and made abortion legal.
  • 1997 – The Senate confirmed Madeleine Albright as the nation’s first female secretary of state.
  • 1998 – Theodore Kaczynski, known as the “Unabomber,” accused of sending bombs that killed and wounded people, pleaded guilty to all counts against him in California and New Jersey. He was sentenced to life in prison.