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Situational Analysis - January 27, 2021
Happy Wednesday. The legislature is in full swing, there are impeachment discussions on the state and national level, more vaccines are coming, and no one better diss "Spida." On a somber note, it's also International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the day the survivors of Auschwitz were liberated.
If you only have time for one thing: Don't miss this piece by Anne Applebaum writing in The Atlantic: Coexistence is the only option. In it, she writes about the path forward for our country, drawing on peace-building and conflict resolution practices. The answer? "Drop the argument and change the subject." Whether it's Rwanda, post World War II Germany, South Africa, Northern Ireland or today's deeply divided United States, the answer it not to convince people to drop deeply held beliefs - it's to find some commonality and work on a project together. "Make the problem narrow, specific, even boring, not existential or exciting. 'Who won the 2020 election?' is, for these purposes, a bad topic. 'How do we fix the potholes in our roads?' is, in contrast, superb." This approach is not accidental. It's deliberately "built on the idea that people should do something constructive-something that benefits everybody, lessens inequality, and makes people work alongside people they hate. That doesn't mean they will then get to like one another, just that they are less likely to kill one another on the following day."
37 days to the end of the 2021 Utah Legislature (3/5/21)
77 days until the end of the Cox/Henderson administration's first 100 days (04/14/2021)
93 days until the Biden/Harris administration's first 100 days are up (04/30/2021)
Today At Utah PolicyNational Holocaust Remembrance Day
By Holly Richardson
On January 27, 1945, the Red Army, on their march across Poland, came upon the compound of 40+ concentration and extermination camps that composed the Auschwitz complex. Of the 1.3 million people sent to Auschwitz, 1.1 million died. 1.1 million in 3 years. General Vasily Petrenko, commander of the 107th Infantry Division, remarked, "I who saw people dying every day was shocked by the Nazis' indescribable hatred toward the inmates who had turned into living skeletons. I read about the Nazis' treatment of Jews in various leaflets, but there was nothing about the Nazis' treatment of women, children, and old men. It was in Auschwitz that I found out about the fate of the Jews."
Tweets of the Day: Utah Legislature round-up
By Holly Richardson
The daily Utah Legislative update, in tweets: open carry, impeachment (no, not the former President), Spida, no-knock warrants, cheaper meds, domestic violence penalties, contraception, abortion and a "girl crush."
Analysis: Anderegg says exploding growth means he can't wait years and year for transportation funding
By LaVarr Webb
Utah Sen. Jacob Anderegg is a man on an ambitious and hurried mission. He has the privilege (or burden) of representing Utah's fastest growing Senate district parts of southwestern Salt Lake County and northern Utah County. His district is literally exploding in growth, and his constituents face daily commuting nightmares.Anderegg is gravely worried that current transportation development plans, along with scheduled funding, simply won't be enough for his district to avoid transportation gridlock. For him, this issue is an emergency. The house is on fire. Immediate action is needed. There are no alternatives except to quickly ramp up needed highway and public transit projects.
- Can young conservatives save the GOP? - These next-generation conservatives are charting a more diverse, more inclusive path for the Republican Party. The GOP needs to follow.
- Biden orders boost in food benefits as part of economic response to COVID-19 - Experts say food stamps directly help the economy because people spend them.
- Is the silencing of Donald Trump a free market consequence or cancel culture? - Analysts say a person hasn't been canceled if they still have a megaphone, and that we ought to worry more about the cancelation of ordinary people than presidents and celebrities.
- Mitt Romney to Republicans: Stop perpetuating 'big lie' that Biden stole election from Trump - Romney said elected Republicans need to go on Fox News and say, "You know what, I was a big Trump supporter, I was really pulling for Donald Trump, but he lost fair and square."
- Mendenhall seeks to close 'stunning gaps' in race, income illuminated in pandemic - Salt Lake City mayor calls on state, other cities to do more to address homelessness 'crisis' in State of the City address.
- Utah moves to drop concealed carry gun permit requirement with House OK of bill - Sponsor Walt Brooks said that "legal and law-abiding citizens [are] careful, and they're responsible, and they don't need the government to force them to do something that they would do on their own anyway. I trust the people of Utah."
- Commissioner decides not to appeal decision allowing BYU to keep its police force - Commissioner Jess Anderson said he now looks forward to working with state lawmakers to address the issues raised in Judge Catten's decision.
- Lawmaker opens bill file to impeach Utah A.G. Sean Reyes over election challenges - Rep. Andrew Stoddard, D-Sandy, said Reyes has worked "shamelessly" over the past few months to undermine the country's election results.
Salt Lake Tribune
- California Health Secretary On Lifting Stay-At-Home Orders And Vaccinations (NPR) - The state is now returning to a color-coded tier system, which specifies varying restrictions based on case rates and test positivity in a particular county. Almost all residents will be in the strictest tier.
- As Virus Grows Stealthier, Vaccine Makers Reconsider Battle Plans (New York Times) - Vaccines by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech effectively protect recipients. But in a worrying sign, they are slightly less effective against a variant found in South Africa.
- Dr. Deborah Birx's shocking interview is way too late (CNN) - After nearly a year of supposedly coordinating the Trump White House's coronavirus response, Dr. Deborah Birx went public about the mishandling of a pandemic that has left more than 400,000 Americans dead.
- Vice President Harris receives second dose of COVID-19 vaccine (The Hill) - "These scientists, these medical professionals ... created something that will save your life, and the life of your family and the community," she said.
- Childhood COVID-19 complication study launched; Utah reports 1,411 new cases, 17 deaths (Deseret News) - While COVID-19 is mild in most young people, those who develop multisystem inflammatory syndrome, or MIS-C, can suffer severe illness involving the heart, lungs, blood, kidneys or brain that require hospitalization, often in intensive care. There are currently no vaccines approved for use in children.
- We need to 'upgrade' the COVID-19 vaccine, Dr. Fauci says (Deseret News) - "I don't want people to think that the vaccines are not effective against them - they are. However, we really need to make sure that we begin, and we already have, to prepare, if it's necessary, to upgrade the vaccines."
- Dr. Fauci says he was worried people would 'start doing dangerous and foolish things' after this one Trump comment (Deseret News) - Dr. Fauci said former President Trump's comments about disinfectant would lead to bad results.
- Sen. Patrick Leahy home from brief hospitalization after presiding over opening of Trump's impeachment trial (CNN) - Leahy's hospitalization came soon after the impeachment trial began Tuesday afternoon with his swearing in.
- Rand Paul calls impeachment 'dead on arrival' after most Republicans signal that trial is unconstitutional (CNN) - 95% of the caucus voted that the whole proceeding was unconstitutional. "This is a big victory for us," says Paul. "Democrats can beat this partisan horse as long as they want -- this vote indicates it's over, the trial is all over."
- Forty-five Republicans vote against proceeding with Senate impeachment trial (Fox News) - Five GOP senators voted not to dismiss the impeachment trial of President Trump: Susan Collins, Maine, Lisa Murkowski, Alaska, Ben Sasse, Neb., and Pat Toomey, Pa., and Mitt Romney, Utah.
- Impeaching Trump gets more divisive by the minute: Goodwin (New York Post) - Tempers over the Jan.6 Capitol riot are cooling and reality is setting in about the pitfalls of a trial and the need to get on with governing during the twin public-health and economic crises.
- Returning to a bipartisan approach to end human trafficking (The Hill) - Knowledge inspires action. The time has never been more important for a bipartisan focus on this issue.
- Biden Team to Buy 200 Million More Doses, Speed Up Vaccinations (Bloomberg) - Delivering a minimum 10 million doses to states would represent about a 16% increase from the current weekly pace.
- Democrats stunned by briefing on Capitol's security before insurrection: 'It was only by pure dumb luck' more weren't killed (CNN) - Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA) said his theory of why there was not enough action to prepare was "that people were more worried about optics more than they were worried about security."
- Why Biden Thinks McConnell Could Join His War on Malarkey (Slate) - Biden and McConnell have a decades long relationship, both as fellow senators and as deal-makers (and -breakers) during the Obama administration.
- Retirements shake up 2022 map as Republican senators eye exits (CNN) - Republicans will have to defend 20 of their Senate seats in 2022, while Democrats only have to defend 14 seats. The retirements give Dems greater hope of winning those seats and retaining their slim Senate majority.
- Federal Judge Blocks Biden's 100-Day Deportation Moratorium (NPR) - Jorge Loweree, policy director at the American Immigration Council, said the 14-day moratorium would give the Biden administration time to look at each detainee's case individually.
- In first call with Putin, Biden marks a return to skepticism from the top (Washington Post) - President Biden laid out a bill of complaint against Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, airing allegations of human rights abuses, cyberspying and more while making a hard pivot away from the deference that former president Donald Trump often displayed toward Russia.
Policy NewsGov. Spencer Cox welcomes the transfer of vaccines from pharmacy partners, Biden announcement
Gov. Spencer Cox applauded a decision by two providers in the federal pharmacy partnership, CVS and Walgreens, to transfer extra doses the pharmacies have to other vaccine providers in Utah. The governor and his team have been working closely with Walgreens and CVS to transfer a portion of their allocated doses to other vaccine providers in the state. Today, the two pharmacies agreed to provide 28,275 doses to the Utah Department of Health for distribution throughout the state. The state received an initial shipment of 8,775 doses this week with the remaining 19,500 doses ordered this week and shipped to Utah next week.
Webinar, Jan. 27: Child homelessness in Utah with Senator Kathleen Riebe
Wednesday, Jan. 27 from 1:00 - 1:30 pm, Rev. Kimal James from First United Methodist Church of Ogden and Pastor Christine Myers-Tegeder of First Presbyterian Church of Salt Lake City will be hosting a conversation on Zoom with Senator Riebe about the ways the Utah Legislature can reduce child homelessness.
PODCAST: Utah Thrives - Local economic development incentives
Are Utah's Local Governments Optimizing their Use of Tax Incentives?In this edition of Utah Thrives" by Utah Foundation, they discuss the findings of Utah Foundation's December 2020 report: Insights on Incentives: Optimizing Local Approaches to Tax Incentives in Utah.Listen here.
Webinar, Jan 28: Addressing mental wellness and resilience in an changing education environment
The education environment has not been the same since the cancellation of in-classroom learning over 10 months ago. We've watched schools "ping-pong" from online to in person and back again. Students who have stayed online all school year struggle academically thereby causing stress for them, educators, and working parents trying to balance their job, school and family from under one roof.
Chris Winter named Cole West Division president
Chris L. Winter has been named the new Division President of Cole West Home and Cole West Development in St. George, Utah. He will oversee all real estate and construction activities of the Southern Utah operation for the CW Group.
On This Day In History
- 1302 - Dante Alighieri is exiled from Florence.
- 1756 - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is born.
- 1832 - Lewis Carroll is born.
- 1880 - Thomas Edison patents electric incandescent lamp.
- 1888 - National Geographic Society is founded in Washington, D.C.
- 1898 - Georgia Neese Clark is born. In 1949, President Harry S. Truman nominated Georgia Neese Clark Gray to the United States Treasury. She was the first woman to hold the position.
- 1924 - Lenin placed in Mausoleum in Red Square.
- 1944 - Siege of Leningrad lifted by the Soviets after 880 days and more than 2 million Russians killed.
- 1945 - Auschwitz and Birkenau are liberated.
- 1948 - Mikhail Baryshnikov is born.
- 1967 - 3 astronauts die in launch pad fire.
- 1973 - Paris Peace Accords are signed, ending the war in Vietnam.
- 1976 - "Laverne & Shirley" premieres on ABC.
- 1993 - Andre the Giant dies of congestive heart failure at age 49.
- 2008 - Gordon B. Hinckley dies
- 2017 - Donald Trump issues executive order banning travel to the US from 7 mostly Muslim countries and suspending admission for refugees.
"We should challenge the relativism that tells us there is no right or wrong, when every instinct of our mind knows it is not so, and is a mere excuse to allow us to indulge in what we believe we can get away with. A world without values quickly becomes a world without value."
"Not all of us have power, but we all have influence. That is why we can each be leaders. The most important forms of leadership come not with position, title or robes of office, not with prestige and power, but with the willingness to work with others to achieve what we cannot do alone Always choose influence rather than power. It helps change people into people who can change the world."
~Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
A bit dated but still funny:
Coming to a hard drive near you, the worst computer viruses yet:
AT&T Virus: Every three minutes it tells you what great service you're getting.
MCI Virus: Every three minutes it reminds you that you're paying too much for the AT&T virus.
Paul Revere Virus: Warns of impending hard disk attack-once if by LAN, twice if by C:>.
Politically Correct Virus: Never calls itself a "virus." Instead, it's an "electronic microorganism."
Government Spokesman Virus: Nothing works, but all your diagnostic software says everything is fine.
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