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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 7, 2020

Good Friday morning from Salt Lake City. You made it to the weekend. Go somewhere remote, where you can take off your mask.


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

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

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

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

Webb says we should cut our leaders a little slack as they fight COVID-10.

Gov. Herbert announces new goal in Utah's fight against coronavirus

Podcast: Mapping out the 2020 elections with Nathan Gonzales of InsideElections.com

Coronavirus relief talks on life support as sides dig in.

Biden search for a running mate still highly fluid.

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Today At Utah Policy

images/mugs-300/LaVarr_Webb.jpgOpinion brief: Let's cut our political leaders a little slack
By LaVarr Webb, Publisher
These are difficult, frustrating, stressful times and everyone is on edge. The angst has ratcheted up several notches as decisions are made about schools opening - or not -- and under what conditions. Public opinion is divided on just about everything related to the coronavirus, and some folks are looking for someone to blame. One easy target, of course, is Gov. Gary Herbert. He's either too prescriptive or not prescriptive enough. He's opening up the economy too soon or too late. He's either pushing schools too hard to open, or he's not dictating to them enough.
images/1000px_Mugs/Nathan_Gonzales_01.pngPodcast: Mapping out the 2020 elections with Nathan Gonzales of InsideElections.com
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
We're less than three months toward election day, and some of the trends that will shape the November vote are coming into focus. To map out what the next three months could look like, we speak with Nathan Gonzales of InsideElections.com.
images/1000px_Mugs/20200617_Herbert_Presser.pngHerbert announces new goal in Utah's fight against coronavirus
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Gov. Gary Herbert put forward Thursday a new goal in the state's fight against the coronavirus -- new cases down below 400 on average by Sept. 1.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Classroom_01.jpgCall to delay return to classrooms led to tense meeting between governor, legislative leaders and education stakeholders
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
One day after the state's largest teachers union called for a delay to the push for Utah students to return to the classroom this fall, education stakeholders were summoned to a meeting with Gov. Gary Herbert and legislative leadership to discuss the situation. Sources with knowledge of that meeting say the ensuing talks were tense, but it was made clear that Utah schools would re-open for in-person learning this fall.
images/Maps/House_District_10.jpgWeber County's lone Democratic legislator faces an uphill battle to hang on to her seat in November
By Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott
Editor's Note: UtahPolicy.com is reviewing several Utah legislative races this general election, with an eye toward those which have been close in the past in final vote counts.Democratic Utah House Rep. Lou Shurtliff, D-Ogden, is hoping for another "blue wave" vote this year as the veteran lawmaker tries to hold on to her old Ogden City seat she won back in 2018.
images/1000px_Mugs/Ben_McAdams_02.jpgMcAdams' campaign hits the airwaves in crucial 4th Congressional District
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Democrat Ben McAdams is the first out of the gate with television advertising in what is expected to be a hotly contested race in Utah's 4th Congressional District.

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Coronavirus relief talks on life support as two sides dig in.

--The White House and congressional Democrats warned Thursday night that they remain far apart on coronavirus relief, raising doubts that they can reach consensus (The Hill).
--Trump preparing "aggressive" executive actions if negotiations with Congress fail (The Hill).

Cornavirus Update

--Fauci says the nation can survive COVID-19 without another shutdown, but Americans will need to band together and follow health guidelines like wearing masks and social distancing (Politico).

2020 election update

--The Commission on Presidential Debates rejected the Trump campaign's request for an early-September debate between Trump and Biden before early voting begins (Politico).
--Biden VP race is highly fluid days before expected pick. Different candidates are gaining or losing momentum (The Hill).
--Biden has to clarify comments after saying the Latino community is "incredibly diverse," "unlike the African American community . . ." (The Hill).
--Trump takes 2020 pitch to Ohio as Biden gains ground from afar (Politico).

National Rifle Association

New York Attorney General Letitia James sues the NRA and seeks to dissolve it (Politico), (New York Times).


Lockdowns fuel inequality. Politicians deplore the wealth disparities their policies create (Wall Street Journal Editorial Board)


Policy News

How Utahns view the national masquerade
While Provo, Utah, made national news in July as the location of a protest against masks, does it really reflect a majority of Utah voters? Should there be a state mandate for masks?In a Utah Foundation blog post see what Utahns think and how it breaks down along urban/rural and ideological divides.
Herbert announces statewide effort to train and certify 5,000 students for cloud careers with Amazon Web Services
The Talent Ready Utah Center, housed in the Governor's Office of Economic Development, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced a new initiative to provide AWS cloud computing courses and learning resources to 5,000 students in Utah by June 2022.
Romney, Tester, King Lead Legislation to Extend Loan Support to Small Businesses
WASHINGTON-U.S. Senators Mitt Romney (R-UT), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Angus King (I-ME) today introduced legislation which would enhance support for rural communities, family farms, and small businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak. The Rural Equal Aid Act would provide relief to rural small businesses by expanding assistance Congress previously provided for certain existing Small Business Administration (SBA) loans to Rural Development (RD) program loans within the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The Rural Equity Aid Act expands subsidies to the following USDA RD loan programs:
Community Facilities - These loans are provided to public and nonprofit organizations for essential community facilities like hospitals, libraries, child care and community centers, and public facilities like fire stations or town halls.Business and Industry - These loans are provided to businesses, cooperatives, and nonprofits to develop and expand businesses in rural areas.
Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report 8-7-20
 Outdoors Report-- KSL.com: Looking for a new Utah hike? Try Grandstaff Canyon Utah hike? Try Grandstaff Canyon-- KSL.com: New Draper-Lehi connection, White City Canal path links 30 miles of trails along Wasatch Front-- KSL.com: Home where the buffalo roam: Half-mile hike to Antelope Island's Frary family homestead-- KSL.com: Toxic bloom still plaguing waters in Zion National Park

More National Headlines


1782 - General George Washington, the commander in chief of the Continental Army, creates the "Badge for Military Merit," a decoration consisting of a purple, heart-shaped piece of silk, edged with a narrow binding of silver. It later becomes known as the Purple Heart, awarded to soldiers who have been killed or wounded in action.

1912 - Teddy Roosevelt, the Bull Moose candidate, is nominated for the presidency by the Progressive Party.

1959 - The first U.S. satellite to photograph the earth is launched from Cape Canaveral into an orbit around the earth. The unmanned spacecraft Explorer 6 features a photocell scanner which transmitted a crude picture of the earth's surface and cloud cover from a distance of 17,000 miles. The photo took nearly 40 minutes to transmit.

1964 - Congress passes the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, giving Pres. Lyndon Johnson nearly unlimited power to oppose "communist aggression" in Southeast Asia. It expanded the U.S. military role in Vietnam.

1990 - Pres. George Herbert Walker Bush orders the organization of Operation Desert Shield in response to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. The order prepared American troops to become part of an international coalition in the war against Iraq.

1998 - Massive truck bombs explode outside U.S. embassies and Nairobi, Kenya, and in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. 224 people are killed.

Wise Words


"Courage, then, my countrymen, our contest is not only whether we ourselves shall be free, but whether there shall be left to mankind an asylum on earth for civil and religious liberty." Samuel Adams: Speech at the State House, Philadelphia, August 1, 1776

Lighter Side


"When they saw Trump's tweet, JetBlue was like, 'Trust us - when he says delayed, he means canceled.'" - JIMMY FALLON

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