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The UtahPolicy.com daily newsletter gets you up to speed on the top local and national news about politics and public policy. Send news tips or feedback to bschott@utahpolicy.com, or message us on Twitter.

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Situational awareness - August 3, 2020

Good Monday morning from Salt Lake City. The weather will cool a bit this week, but the COVID-19 crisis and the political scene will be as hot as ever.


92 Days to the 2020 election (11/3/2020)

170 days to inauguration day (01/20/2021)

175 days to the start of the 2021 Utah Legislature (1/25/2021)

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

  • Will the nation be more unified if Trump loses? Not likely, says Publisher LaVarr Webb.
  • Impasse remains on deal for another coronavirus stimulus bill.
  • Mia Love says delaying election would be nuts.
  • NASA astronauts return to earth on SpaceX ship.


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Today At Utah Policy

Post-Trump, will the nation be unified? Don't bet on it
By LaVarr Webb, Publisher
Last Saturday I attended a reunion for extended family members in a beautiful campground up Logan Canyon. It was great to reconnect with many nieces, nephews, cousins, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, aunts, uncles, etc., and get updates on their lives and many challenges.One topic of conversation we generally avoided at the reunion was politics. That's because a really fast way to mess up a reunion and alienate a beloved family member is to bring up Pres. Trump, Nancy Pelosi, Black Lives Matter, measures to mitigate COVID-19 (like wearing masks and socially distancing), and so forth.
Opinion Briefs: Dems will botch running the country if they win . . . debating the debates . . . Trump shenanigans . . . mail-in voting
By LaVarr Webb, Publisher
A little history gives hope. As a mainstream Republican, I could easily get depressed over the drubbing Republicans are likely to take in November. There's a reasonable chance we will lose the presidency, the U.S. Senate, and Democrats will be running the country.However, I have full confidence that Democrats will badly botch their opportunity to rule - like they did last time. Remember the Obama years? In many circles, they conjure up nostalgia and some fondness. But, in reality, Obama was a disaster for the Democratic Party. By the time he left office, Democrats had lost more than 1,000 seats in state legislatures, Congress and governorships.
images/1000px_Mugs/Erin_Mendenhall_03.jpgPodcast: Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall on responding to the coronavirus
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall joins the podcast to discuss how the city and state are responding to the coronavirus pandemic, the toll the virus is taking on the city's west side as well as the overall city budget, and the risks of re-opening public schools. 
images/1000px_Screenshots/20200802_Love_CNN.jpgFormer Rep. Mia Love calls President Trump's suggestion to delay the election 'insane'
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Former Utah Republican congresswoman Mia Love said Sunday that President Donald Trump's suggestion to postpone the November election was "insane."
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_Schott_Cover_01_Small.pngBernick and Schott on politics podcast: Gesturing broadly at everything
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Managing Editor Bryan Schott and Contributing Editor Bob Bernick bring you up to speed on the latest Utah political news.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/20200730_Herbert_Presser.jpgNew Utah guidelines say students exposed to coronavirus can still attend classes
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
The Utah coronavirus website says people who have been exposed to Covid-19 but are not showing symptoms may be asked to quarantine for 14 days to avoid exposing others. That's not the case for Utah schoolchildren.
images/1000px_Mugs/Bernick_Mug_01.jpgBob Bernick's notebook: Come out, come out wherever you are
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, winner of the GOP primary for governor this year, is apparently going into a political turtle shell.
images/1000px_Logos/SL_Chamber_Logo_1000.jpgSalt Lake Chamber honors 2020 Business Champions
By Salt Lake Chamber
The Salt Lake Chamber recognized this year's Business Champions at a virtual awards ceremony held in their honor on July 30, 2020.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Coronavirus_Test_01.jpgWhite House report says Utah is still in the 'red zone' for coronavirus and calls for statewide mask mandate
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Last week, Utah was one of 18 states considered to be in the federal "red zone" for coronavirus according to a report prepared for the White House. The latest version of that report says Utah remains in the red zone and should implement a statewide mask mandate to slow the spread of the virus.

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Trump looks at unilateral action

If Congress can't reach agreement on another coronavirus relief deal, the Trump administration is looking at what it can do itself to provide relief. (Washington Post).

No $600-per week unemployment

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the generous payments, which expired last week, slowed the return of workers to the labor market (The Hill).

COVID-19 update

Epidemic is 'extraordinarily widespread' says Dr. Deborah Birx (New York Times). San Francisco flattened the curve early. But now coronavirus cases are surging (Washington Post). One-third of New York's small businesses may be gone forever (New York Times).

Politics update

Senate GOP is divided over whether they'd fill a Supreme Court vacancy before Trump leaves office (The Hill). 'Squad' member Rashida Tlaib of Detroit faces strong primary challenger who is less divisive (The Hill). Trump's grip on theGOP is slipping (The Cook Political Report). Republicans prep for leadership battle if Trump loses (Politico). Biden short-listers jockey as search enters final round (Politico).

Privatization of outer space

SpaceX capsule and NASA crew make historic splashdown after two-month mission highlighting the commercialization of space exploration (Wall Street Journal).


Day by day, China's Communist Party is squeezing the free breath out of Hong Kong (Wall Street Journal).


Policy News

Facebook is building a data center campus in Eagle Mountain
EDCUtah: Facebook and Eagle Mountain: Five Questions for William Marks of Facebook of FacebookA new EDCUtah investor and a past corporate expansion project, Facebook is building a data center campus in Eagle Mountain, Utah. We caught up with William Marks, Facebook's Community Development Manager in Utah, to ask about project progress, sustainability and solar, and the company's COVID-19 response. Read more.
Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report 7-31-20
Outdoors Report-- KSL.com: 3 tips for being more comfortable while camping-- KSL.com: Groups launch million-dollar campaign to protect Bears Ears artifacts
Fruit Heights City launches community-wide water conservation pilot program
Fruit Heights City, Utah has introduced a first-of-its-kind city-wide pilot program to encourage residential water conservation. 
Hatch Center hosts Senator Tim Scott for symposium on race and civility
The Hatch Center-the policy arm of the Orrin G. Hatch Foundation-hosted a virtual symposium on Race & Civility in America with special guest Senator Tim Scott (R-SC). In his keynote remarks, Senator Scott outlined a path forward for reducing police violence and empowering minority communities through economic opportunity.

More National Headlines


1492 - From the Spanish port of Palos, Italian explorer Christopher Columbus sets said in command of three ships, the Santa Maria, the Pinta and the Nina.

1914 - German and France declare war on each other.

1923 - Calvin Coolidge is sworn in as the 30th president of the U.S., hours after the death of Pres. Warren G. Harding. Coolidge was the son of a village storekeeper.

1949 - The NBA is born when the Basketball Association of America and the National Basketball League merge to form the National Basketball Association.

1958 - The U.S. nuclear submarine Nautilus accomplishes the first undersea voyage to the geographic North Pole, traveling nearly 1,000 miles under the Arctic ice cap.

1996 - "The Macarena" begins its reign atop the U.S. pop charts

Wise Words


"The only foundation of a free Constitution, is pure Virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our People, in a great Measure, than they have it now. They may change their Rulers, and the forms of Government, but they will not obtain a lasting Liberty." John Adams: letter to Zabdiel Adams, June 21, 1776

Lighter Side

Voting Delay

"Americans were like, 'How long a delay are we talking about here? Months, like your response to Covid? Years, like your response to Putin? Or decades, like a hug for Don Jr.? Just give us a hint.'" - JIMMY FALLON

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