‘The Rundown’: More restrictions as Utah’s drought worsens

Your Thursday morning Utah political cheat sheet

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Good Thursday morning Utah!

Thanks for reading “The Rundown”.

📬 My inbox is open to you! Got a news tip or interesting political gossip to share? Feedback about this newsletter? Maybe you want to chat about politics? Send me an email or find me on Twitter @SchottHappens.

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What are you listening to?

There are over 2 million podcasts right now, and it’s often difficult to find new things to listen to.

I am an avid podcast listener. They accompany me every morning when I’m walking my dog, when I’m doing yard work, cooking, cleaning up, or just puttering around the house.

As you might guess, my subscription list leans a bit heavy to the political genre. I tend to gravitate toward “newsy” shows rather than the narrative long-form storytelling (but there are a few of those in my subscription list too).

Here are some of my current faves:

  • The Bulwark podcast with Charlie Sykes. My current “must listen.” Top-notch guests and great analysis from a rational conservative perspective. Plus, it’s daily.

  • Skulduggery. Hosted by Yahoo News’ Michael Isikoff and Daniel Klaidman. The hosts have a wealth of experience, having covered Washington for decades.

  • Politicology. Ron Steslow, a former founder of the Lincoln Project, is a great host and his weekly news roundup episodes are top-notch.

  • All the Presidents’ Lawyers. Hosted by KCRW’s Josh Barro and former federal prosecutor Ken White (who you may know as @Popehat on Twitter), the show examines current political news from a legal perspective. Plus, you’ll learn what does and does not constitute a RICO charge.

  • The Lincoln Project. Hosted by longtime politico (and Park City resident) Reed Galen.

  • How it happened. A narrative podcast based on reporting from Axios. The first season was a behind-the-scenes look at the final months of the Trump administration, as reported by the incredible Jonathan Swan.

  • The Next Level. A weekly political discussion from The Bulwark hosted by Jonathan V. Last, Tim Miller, and Sarah Longwell. You have to be a paying subscriber to The Bulwark to listen, but it’s definitely worth it.

Now it’s your turn. Let me know what you’re listening to. Send me an email at bschott@sltrib.com. I’ll share your recommendations with our readers.

Here’s what you need to know for Thursday morning

Utah news

  • Utah’s members of congress are asking to meet with President Joe Biden before he makes a final decision on whether to restore or even expand, Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante National Monuments. [Tribune]

  • The University of Utah medical school received a historic $110 million donation to address a shortage of doctors in Utah’s remote and rural areas. [Tribune]

  • Gov. Spencer Cox is banning fireworks on state and unincorporated lands to reduce wildfire risk as the state faces a worsening drought. Cox also said state entities would reduce grass watering to twice per week. [Tribune]

  • Utah County will reduce water usage at parks by 40% on average to combat severe drought conditions. [Tribune]

National news

  • The U.S. will buy and donate 500 million doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to other countries. [CNN]

  • A government watchdog says police did not clear Lafayette Park last summer so former President Donald Trump could hold a photo-op n front of St. John’s Church. [ABC News]

  • Meat supplier JBS paid an $11 million ransom to cybercriminals who knocked out operations at many of its plants. [WSJ]

  • Experts say criminals may have stolen as much as half of the unemployment benefits paid out over the past year. Many states weren’t prepared for the wave of unemployment claims, which may have led to payments to people who weren’t eligible. [Axios]

  • The Keystone XL oil pipeline is officially dead. [CNN]

  • Attorney General Merrick Garland says investigating who turned over tax records that led to a blockbuster report about billionaires paying few taxes will be a top priority. [CNBC]

  • Congress is grappling about taxing the super-rich after a ProPublica report revealed many pay almost no taxes. [NYT]

  • CNN waged a court battle with the Trump Justice Department over demands they turn over reporters’ emails and phone records as part of an investigation into who was leaking classified information. [WaPo]

  • Jewish members of Congress are considering condemning Minnesota Democrat Ilhan Omar after she compared Israel and the U.S. to Hamas. [Jewish Telegraphic Agency]

  • An effort to craft gun control legislation has fallen apart in the U.S. Senate. [Politico]

  • About 4 million Americans quit their jobs in April, which is a 20-year record. [Insider]

Thursday’s Utah news roundup


  • Jazz guard part of outpouring of support for family whose food truck was painted with racist graffiti. [Tribune]

  • Gov. Cox and Jazz owner Ryan Smith: Utah poised to be a global powerhouse. [DNews]

  • New data collection van helping survey hundreds of miles of roads in Salt Lake County. [KUTV]

  • Four-time Olympian will chair committee to bring games back to Utah. [FOX13]

  • Utah court system relaxes COVID-19 restrictions, clearing path for bottlenecked murder cases. [Standard Examiner]


  • More than 17,000 Utahns have been hospitalized with COVID-19. [Tribune]


  • Why Mitt Romney says Vice President Kamala Harris’ trip won’t solve border crisis. [DNews]

Local Government

  • Shortages of all kinds affecting Orem city projects. [Daily Herald]

  • American Fork considering 10-year tax to fund cultural, recreational facilities. [Daily Herald]

  • Ogden City Council pushing idea to spend $1M on water conservation program. [Standard Examiner]


  • Harrisville declares drought emergency, other cities debate new water rules. [Standard Examiner]


  • Workers who can’t buy homes in Summit County ‘getting worse’. [KUTV]

  • Counties with the lowest home prices in Utah. [ABC4]

On the Opinion Pages

  • Tom Huckin: Are we witnessing the death of American democracy? [Tribune]

— Tribune reporter Connor Sanders contributed to this report.

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