Today's Situational Awareness

Good Tuesday morning from Salt Lake City

Thanks for reading Utah's must-read daily political news rundown. Please encourage your friends and colleagues to sign up for our emails.

Here are the stories you need to pay attention to this morning:

  • National Democrats think Rep. Chris Stewart could be vulnerable in 2020.
  • Rep. Greg Hughes raises big bucks ahead of the launch of his expected gubernatorial bid.
  • Pence coming to Utah this week.
  • The White House moves to blunt the impact of an economic slowdown.


Days to the 2019 Utah municipal elections: 77 (11/5/2019)

Days to the first day of the 2020 Utah Legislature: 160 (1/27/2020)

Days to the Utah presidential primaries: 196 (3/3/2020)

Days to the 2020 Utah primary elections: 308 (6/23/2020)

Days to the 2020 election: 441 (11/3/2020)

National Briefing

The White House makes moves to soften the effects of a recession. Trump administration officials are eyeing a payroll tax cut to counter an economic downturn [WaPo].

  • J.P. Morgan estimates Trump's tariffs will cost the average American household $1,000 per year [CNBC].
  • Trump tweeted Monday that the Federal Reserve should cut interest rates by "at least 100 basis points" in order to boost the economy [Axios].
  • The Federal Reserve is making a series of changes to regulatory requirements put in place to prevent a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis [NYT].
  • RV shipments are slipping, which could be another sign of a looming recession [WSJ].

Trump retreats on gun restrictions. After initially sounding open to expanding background checks following mass shootings in Ohio and Texas, President Donald Trump appears to have softened that stance significantly [WaPo].

Impeachment. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, the No. 4 House Democrat, announced support for an impeachment investigation against President Trump [Politico].

  • Lujan is the 124th House Democrat to come out in favor of launching an impeachment inquiry [Axios].

Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot. President Trump claimed, without any proof, that Google "manipulated" millions of votes leading to his loss in the popular vote in 2016 [TechCrunch].

Planned Parenthood. The organization is withdrawing from a federal family planning program that provides birth control and other health services to poor women rather than comply with a new Trump administration rule barring referrals to doctors who perform abortions [NYT].

2020. Democrats are spending big on down-ballot races to boost their chances of retaking control of several statehouses [AP].

Uh Oh. Facebook and Twitter say China is spreading disinformation online targeting protesters in Hong Kong [NYT].

China. A new study says the U.S. military is no longer the primary force in Asia, and China could overwhelm American forces within hours if a conflict were to break out [CNN].

Today at Utah Policy

CEO Success Stories with University of Utah President Ruth Watkins

by Salt Lake Chamber
In the latest episode of the Salt Lake Chamber podcast “CEO Success Stories,” Derek…

Utah's unemployment rate remains below the national average

by Press release
Utah’s nonfarm payroll employment for July 2019 grew by an estimated 3.6 percent, adding…

You are not good at Twitter - Bernick and Schott on politics

by Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Luz Escamilla leapfrogs Jim Dabakis to apparently secure a spot in November's SLC mayoral…

Rep. Ken Ivory announces he's resigning

by Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Rep. Ken Ivory The Utah House is losing one of its archconservative constitutional…

Bob Bernick's notebook: When will I learn my lesson?

by Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Bob Bernick Well, I don’t learn very well.

Escamilla overtakes Dabakis in SLC mayor race as Mendenhall widens lead

by Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
In a stunning reversal from election night, State Sen. Luz Escamilla erased a 109 vote…

Lighter Side

Teleprompter Sympathy
“Of course, we all know by now that when Trump reads something from a teleprompter, he doesn’t actually mean it. More often than not, it’s the first time he’s even seeing it." Seth Meyers 

Wise Words


"Education is the movement from darkness to light." Allan Bloom