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Situational Analysis - January 22, 2021
Here we are, at Friday already. It is the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade as well as National Sanctity of Life Day.
In the last two days, we heard two very good speeches (and one amazing poem). Those speeches had some notable similarities: aspirational, forward-looking, not shying away from difficult issues we face and - they both spoke on unity. One was given by a Democrat, President Joe Biden and the other by a Republican, Governor Spencer Cox. What is interesting to me (in a sad sort of way) is the pushback against unity from members of the other party. Some Republicans immediately decried the President's speech, including Senator Rand Paul who said it was "thinly-veiled innuendo, calling us White supremacists, calling us racists..." (Note: He must have listened to a different speech than I did.) Democrats had strong words against the "unity" being asked for by Republicans after the events of Jan. 6. I don't believe that "unity" means acting in lockstep, or that we must have identical ideology and approaches. Rather, we can be unified in eradicating contempt, in committing to civil dialogue, in broadening opportunity and in love of country. Can't we?
42 days to the end of the 2021 Utah Legislature (3/5/21) 82 days until the end of the Cox/Henderson administration's first 100 days (04/14/2021) 98 days until the Biden/Harris administration's first 100 days are up (04/30/2021)
Today At Utah Policy
Us v Them, working together and a new license plate! By Holly Richardson Us vs. Them - Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright wrote last week that the "two most dangerous words in the human vocabulary are: 'us' and 'them.'" Choosing sides is a common impulse, a way to stay safe by fitting in. But now, we are far from tapping into our better angels. "Political rallies have devolved into exhibitions of hate. Public figures are threatened and harassed, their homes vandalized. Debates have been supplanted by shouting matches...Commentary: We're hearing lots about unity but little about compromise By LaVarr Webb I'm all for unity and healing. I like to get along with people. Pres. Joe Biden spent most of his inaugural speech Wednesday calling for unity. He repeated it over and over again. He said he will be president for all Americans, not just those who voted for him.But I honestly don't know what politicians mean when they call for unity. Personally, I don't talk much about political unity because it's generally unrealistic. I fear most politicians define unity as the other side giving in and agreeing with them.Tweets of the day: Friday fun By Holly Richardson Fun Friday - gotta go with Bernie. He stole the meme show, for sure.
Future of the Utah GOP 'without Trump' (FOX 13) - As many Utah delegates in Washington D.C. call for unification, Utah County Commissioner Tanner Ainge said Republicans need to forget about former President Donald Trump and the past four years.
State Auditor John Dougall releases updated "Transparent Utah" website The Office of the State Auditor (Office) today announces the upgrade of the new Transparent Utah website. This new financial transparency site makes state and local governemnt financial data readily available and is extremely responsive with easy access to powerful searches, charts, graphs, and detailed transaction browsing.Cox, Henderson, Congressional delegation and state officials criticize Biden's halt to energy leases Utah Gov. Spencer Cox, Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson, Utah Sens. Mike Lee and Mitt Romney, Reps. John Curtis, Blake Moore, Chris Stewart and Burgess Owens, Senate President Stuart Adams, House Speaker Brad Wilson and Attorney General Sean Reyes issued the following joint statement in response to the Biden administration's action to suspend oil and gas leases on public lands:Business community releases new economic dashboard to track recovery as vaccine rollout begins The Salt Lake Chamber's Roadmap to Recovery Coalition, in partnership with the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, has updated the Economic Dashboard for January to help business leaders know where Utah sits in the overall recovery. This tool tracks the state's path to a full and complete economic recovery from the pandemic recession and provides context to decision makers. Curtis, colleagues introduce bill to help Americans purchase face masks and more Today marks the one-year anniversary of the first case of COVID-19 in the United States. Representatives John Curtis (R-UT), Ami Bera, M.D. (D-CA), and Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ) have reintroduced the bipartisan Protecting Individuals and Families Act, which permits millions of Americans to use their health savings accounts or flexible spending accounts to purchase face masks to protect against COVID-19. The legislation would also permit individuals to purchase hand sanitizers to stop the spread of the virus using these tax-advantaged savings accounts.Jon M. Huntsman Jr. elected chair of World Trade Center Utah Jon M. Huntsman Jr. is the new chair of World Trade Center Utah (WTC Utah). With members and partners across the state, including the Governor's Office of Economic Development, WTC Utah accelerates growth for Utah companies and elevates Utah's global status to promote prosperity and build economic resilience.
1871 - Justina Laurena Carter Ford is born. Shortly after earning her medical degree from Hering Medical School in Chicago, Ford became the first African American woman to obtain a medical license in Colorado. However, since all the hospitals in Denver denied her privileges, she opened her own practice.
1877 - Rosa Ponselle is born. She was a soprano who debuted with Enrico Caruso in 1918, sang with Baltimore Civic Opera after 1950 and mentored Beverly Sill.
1901 Queen Victoria dies after a 63-year reign.
1905 - Bloody Sunday Massacre in St. Petersburg, Russia, as a group of workers marched to the tsar's winter palace and imperial forces gunned them down.
1906 - Willa Brown is born. She became the first African American woman to earn a pilot's license in the United States (1938) - 17 years after Bessie Coleman earned hers in France.
1938 - Thornton Wilder's "Our Town" premieres
1946 - President Harry Truman signs a directive creating the Central Intelligence Group, the predecessor to today's CIA.
1953 - Arthur Miller's play "Crucible" premieres
1970 - First commercial Boeing 747 flight goes from New York City to London in 6 hours.
1973 - Former U.S. President Lyndon Johnson dies at age 64.
1973 - The U.S. Supreme Court rules in Roe v. Wade.
"The last foundational crack I want to address is that of contempt, tribalism and discord that has rocked our nation over the past few weeks. I have spoken of it often, but tonight only offer up a reminder of the oaths which those of us in this room have taken - to uphold the Constitution of the United States.
The Preamble of that sacred document announces that the purpose of the Constitution is "to form a more perfect Union." Judge Thomas Griffith has wisely stated that, 'When politicians and judges like us take an oath to uphold the Constitution, we commit to work for unity; we make a solemn pledge that we will not be agents of division. This vow to work for unity," he concluded, "is more than gauzy sentimentality or merely a call for civility in our public discourse. Instead, it is a studied and determined choice to work at union.'"