Today's Situational Awareness
Good morning from Salt Lake City and TGIF!
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Here are the stories you need to pay attention to this morning:
- Utah voters support raising the age to buy a gun to 21.
- A mysterious whistleblower complaint is said to involve President Trump's interactions with the leader of Ukraine.
- The House votes to fund the government through late November.
We've started a discussion group on Facebook dedicated to Utah politics.
Here's an obscure head-scratcher to start your Friday, submitted by reader Gordon Jones:
What former House member from Utah became the ambassador to the Malagasy Republic following their defeat?
Days to the 2019 Utah municipal elections: 46 (11/5/2019)
Days to the first day of the 2020 Utah Legislature: 129 (1/27/2020)
Days to the Utah presidential primaries: 165 (3/3/2020)
Days to the 2020 Utah primary elections: 277 (6/23/2020)
Days to the 2020 election: 410 (11/3/2020)
A potentially explosive complaint from a whistleblower in the intelligence committee is said to involve President Donald Trump and his communications with the leader of Ukraine. The complaint, which the Trump administration is withholding from Congress, involves an alleged promise made by President Trump made to a foreign leader and other actions [NYT].
In an insane interview, Rudy Giuliani, President Trump's lawyer, denied asking Ukraine to investigate former president Joe Biden, then 30 seconds later reversed himself and admitted he did so [WaPo].
Iran's foreign minister vows "all-out war" in the region in the case of a military strike by the U.S. or Saudi Arabia against that country [NYT].
The Pentagon will present President Trump with several options for responding to what the administration claims is an Iranian attack on a Saudi Arabian oil field [AP].
Shutdown averted...for now
The House passed a short-term spending bill to keep the government open through late November. The stopgap measure sets up a potentially massive fight over funding for President Trump's border wall before Thanksgiving [WaPo].
President Trump's lawyers sued in federal court to block a subpoena seeking his tax returns. They claim it is unconstitutional to investigate a sitting president [NYT].
A federal judge blocked a California law requiring presidential candidates to release their tax returns to appear on the ballot in that state [Politico].
A new Fox News poll shows President Trump losing to every top Democratic candidate [Fox News].
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio ended his bid for the 2020 Democratic nomination [WaPo].
Build the wall
The Trump administration is considering a plan to once again divert billions of dollars in military funding to pay for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border [WaPo].
A new study says the number of birds in the U.S. and Canada has dropped by nearly 30 percent over the past 50 years [NYT].
Overwhelming majority of Utah voters support denying gun sales to those who have been reported as a danger to law enforcement
“Trudeau came out to apologize for one blackface and ended up admitting to more. He’s like: ‘I did brownface for “Aladdin” and I did blackface when I sang the song “Day-O.” And now if you’ll excuse me, daylight’s coming and me wan’ go home.’” — TREVOR NOAH