Today's Situational Awareness

Good Monday 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:

  • More than half of Utah voters disapprove of President Trump's job performance.
  • Utahns are divided on whether Congress should hold impeachment hearings.
  • President Trump orders U.S. forces out of northern Syria.

Trivial winners

Congratulations to subscriber Sandy Tenney who was the first to identify Howard Jarvis as the former Utah Republican Party Executive Director who appeared on the cover of Time Magazine and was in the classic comedy movie "Airplane!"

Jarvis was one of the authors of California's Prop. 13, which slashed property taxes. In the film, he was left in a Taxi at the curb at the airport.

Because she was first, Tenney gets to submit this Friday's trivia question.

Stay tuned.


TICK TOCK

Days to the 2019 Utah municipal elections: 22 (11/5/2019)

Days to the first day of the 2020 Utah Legislature: 105 (1/27/2020)

Days to the Utah presidential primaries: 141 (3/3/2020)

Days to the 2020 Utah primary elections: 260 (6/23/2020)

Days to the 2020 election: 386 (11/3/2020)



National Briefing

Syria

President Donald Trump is doubling down and ordering all remaining US forces out of northern Syria. The move comes after a week of battling with his advisors [Washington Post].

Syrian Kurds announced they had reached a deal with the Iranian- and Russian-backed government of Syria, an American foe, following the pullout of US troops [New York Times].


Impeachment

Congress returns to Washington this week as the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump heats up [AP].

Gordon Sonland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, plans to testify this week that President Trump told him to deny any quid pro quo involving Ukraine [Washington Post].

The former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine testified to Congress on Friday that President Trump pressured the State Department to oust her [AP].

President Trump tried to hire former Rep. Trey Gowdy to be a part of his impeachment defense team, but that plan quickly fell apart [New York Times].

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said Sunday he was committed to protecting the identity of the anonymous whistleblower who sparked the impeachment inquiry into President Trump [Washington Post].

President Trump, who has a long history of threatening lawsuits then not following through, suggested he could sue Democrats Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff as a counter to the impeachment inquiry [CNN].

Senate Republicans are bracing for a brawl over impeachment as they return to Washington [The Hill].


China

President Donald Trump announced Friday the first phase of a deal to end the trade war with China. However, both sides said there is much more ground to cover before a deal could be reached [Reuters].


Giuliani

President Trump is defending Rudy Giuliani, his personal lawyer, amid reports federal prosecutors are investigating whether the former New York Mayor broke federal lobbying laws [Washington Post].


Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.

A video showing a fake President Trump shooting, stabbing and assaulting members of the media and his political opponents was shown at a conference for Trump supporters at his Miami resort last week. Media organizations are demanding Trump denounce the video [New York Times].



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Lighter Side

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Donald Trump “is responding the only way he knows how: by being petty as hell”. In a press conference on Thursday, Trump defended his decision by saying that the Kurds did not help the US in the second world war. (They did, in fact, assist the Allies). The argument is ridiculous, Noah said,...

Wise Words

Courage

"Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees the others." Aristotle