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Situational Analysis - February 10, 2021
Welcome to Wednesday. Today is National Cream Cheese Brownie Day and National Umbrella Day. Celebrate accordingly.
Most of the national news yesterday focused on the Senate trial of Donald Trump, impeached for a second time in January. The US Senate voted that the trial could proceed, with 56 Senators voting aye and 44 - all Republican - voting no. Here at home, the state legislature is in full swing here at the mid-point of the legislative session. As a reminder, if you want to watch any of the committee hearings or floor debate, go to le.utah.gov to tune in.
If you only have time for one thing today: Laughter is the best medicine, they say, and so, you simply must watch this video of an attorney presenting to the court as a cat. A sad kitten, to be precise. "I'm here live," he says, as the kitten's mouth moves. "I'm not a cat." I laughed until I cried.
23 days to the end of the 2021 Utah Legislature (3/5/21)
63 days until the end of the Cox/Henderson administration's first 100 days (04/14/2021)
79 days until the Biden/Harris administration's first 100 days are up (04/30/2021)
Today At Utah PolicyGuest opinion: Reaching 'equity, diversity and inclusion' needs more than signing a compact
By Kate Pavlovna
I turned up the volume on my laptop and sat in shock as I listened to a state Senator tell three highly educated presenters attorneys, professors, CEOs that they were beautiful, that Black kids were adorable, and that he did not believe there was any discrimination in Utah.
Tweets of the day: Impeachment, Mars, Ida and Shirley, cultural norms and vaccine websites
By Holly Richardson
There are many - so, so many tweets about the impeachment trial underway that it was hard to stop at two, but here you go. Also, saying hello to Mars, Ida B Wells and Shirley Chisolm have something to say, Whitewashing history, requiring ties and creating a working vaccine website for $50.
Gobo Fango and Julia Chinn: their stories are worth knowing
By Holly Richardson
The Gobo Fango story - Gobo Fango died in Idaho on this day in 1886. Born in what is now South Africa around 1855, he was a member of a Xhosa tribe embroiled in war against British and Boer settlers.. As a result of those wars and a concurrent famine, his young mother was forced to flee with three-year-old Gobo and a baby daughter. Unable to travel with both children, she put Gobo in the crotch of a tree, out of reach of wild animals, on the farm of Henry and Ruth Talbot. The sons of Ruth and Henry took him home with them, where the family kept him as an indentured servant. (Did I mention he was three??)
- Mitt Romney's child allowance plan: Love it or hate it, it's hard to ignore - The anti-poverty proposal for children has ignited a discussion among politicians and policy experts on both the left and the right about the merits of a child allowance.
- We must replace cancel culture with 'forgiveness culture' - We can't wait decades before apologies are extended and forgiveness is given and accepted. Choosing to cancel someone instead of forgiving does not remedy, it only hurts - both sides. Instead, we can model the practice of forgiveness now, and we need look only as far as Dr. King for this modeling.
- High school science project reiterates what experts have been telling us for years - Pandemic offers detailed look at how fewer cars has helped Utah's air.
- Outlook dismal for Utah water supply with snowpack at just 62% of normal - Coming storms won't be able to lift state out of drought conditions.
- 'Sarah's Bill' targeting DUI suspects poised to pass after emotional Senate testimony - Suspected drunken drivers are normally allowed to be released on bail to await their trial. But HB47, also called Sarah's Bill, would let a judge deny bail and hold them until trial.
- With tens of thousands of kids without insurance, Utah lawmakers want state to step up - SB158 would create a Children's Coverage Outreach Pilot Program to reach underserved populations, offer application assistance and run a media campaign to raise awareness for insurance plans available to Utah children.
- Mike Lee, Mitt Romney have different approaches to Trump impeachment trial - "The Senate has the power to try all impeachments, and it is particularly clear in this case -where the House impeached the president while he was in office - that this trial is constitutional," Romney said in a statement after the vote.
Salt Lake Tribune
- J&J CEO says people may need annual Covid vaccine shots for the next several years (CNBC) - Just like the annual flu shot that is needed for mutations, the Covid vaccine may be needed annually as well.
- 117 year old beats COVID-19 just before her birthday (The Hill) - The second-oldest living person in the world has survived a bout with the coronavirus just in time for her 117th birthday. She's lived through two global pandemics and both World Wars!
- Variants mean the coronavirus is here to stay - but perhaps as a lesser threat (Washington Post) - The illusion - or, as one scientist puts it, the delusion - that science had bested the virus crumbled as mutation-ridden variants with concerning new characteristics were detected.
- At least 36 people may have developed a rare blood disorder after covid vaccination: report (Fox News) - At least 36 people may have developed a rare blood disorder, known as immune thrombocytopenia (ITP), after taking either Pfizer and BioNTech or Moderna's COVID-19 vaccines, according to a report by the New York Times.
- Biden Team Fears: No COVID Herd Immunity Until Thanksgiving (The Daily Beast) - Dr. Fauci is still "cautiously optimistic" that life can return to normal by the beginning of the fall. But others worry that we may not get there until the early winter.
- What If We Never Reach Herd Immunity? (The Atlantic) -Hitting the threshold might actually be impossible. But vaccines can still help end the pandemic.
- COVID-19 vaccines may give false positives in breast cancer screenings (Deseret News) - Women are now being advised to either get their annual mammograms before being vaccinated against COVID-19, or wait at least a month after their final dose to avoid a mistaken breast cancer or other cancer diagnosis due to a side effect from the shots.
- Jana Riess: Mormons, submit your COVID-19 stories (Salt Lake Tribune) - Members of various Mormon traditions are being asked to upload their stories, photos and social media posts about what life was like during the pandemic.
- Walmart to distribute COVID-19 vaccines across 19 states, including Utah (DSN) - Walmart and Sam's Club pharmacies will be receiving limited allocation from the federal government, but not until next week at the earliest.
- The latest on former President Donald Trump's impeachment trial (Deseret News) - After previously voting against the constitutionality of Trump's second impeachment trial on Jan. 26, Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy changed his mind Tuesday and joined five other Senate Republicans who'd previously supported the trial of the former president. The Republican senator said the House impeachment managers "had much stronger constitutional arguments" than Trump's defense lawyers.
- Trump plans a reemergence and some retribution after impeachment (Politico) - The former president is confident both of his acquittal and that he'll come out of the trial with an iron grip on the GOP.
- 'He just rambled': Republicans unimpressed by Trump's impeachment lawyers (The Guardian) - The performance of Donald Trump's legal team on the first day of his second impeachment trial has drawn sharp criticism from Republican senators and other onlookers, many of whom appeared unimpressed by the at times rambling and incoherent opening statements.
- Trump unhappy with his impeachment attorney's performance, sources say (CNN) - Trump was almost screaming as Castor struggled to get at the heart of his defense team's argument, which is supposed to be over the constitutionality of holding a trial for a president no longer in office.
- Opinion: Why Democrats must make the full case against Trump (Washington Post) - Citizens need testimony and documentation that painstakingly lays out the theory of the case. They need to see all of it.
- Sen. Ted Cruz: Should the Senate exercise jurisdiction over Trump's impeachment trial? Why the answer matters (Fox News) - "I believe that the better constitutional argument is that a former president can be impeached and tried-that is, that the Senate has jurisdiction to hold a trial. However, nothing in the text of the Constitution requires the Senate to choose to exercise jurisdiction.
- Trump's impeachment can answer a lot about the Capitol riot. But not who funded it. (NBC News) - Financial anonymity is now as American as apple pie - and illicit finance has raced to the U.S. over the past few decades.
- Manchin pens letter to Biden asking him to reverse termination of Keystone XL pipeline (Fox News) - Pipelines 'support thousands of high-paying, American union jobs,' the Democratic Senator wrote.
- Biden backs House Democrats' proposed threshold for COVID-19 checks (The Hill) - The proposal is to begin phasing out the next round of direct coronavirus relief payments to Americans who make more than $75,000, a key sticking point among some in the party.
- Opinion: My fellow Republicans, convicting Trump is necessary to save America (Washington Post) - Rep. Adam Kinzinger writes that if the GOP doesn't take a stand, the chaos of the past few months, and the past four years, could quickly return. The future of our party and our country depends on confronting what happened - so it doesn't happen again.
- Trump lawyer presses for former President's full-time Mar-a-Lago residency (CNN) - Trump bought the former estate of Marjorie Merriweather Post in 1985 and turned it into a members-only club in 1993. To do so, he had to agree that he would not live at the club for more than 21 days a year. Now he wants to change that.
- Do you qualify for the $1,400 stimulus after the recent proposed change? (Deseret News) - The threshold for receiving a check would cut off for those earning $100,000 or more, and couples who earn more than $200,000.
Policy NewsGov. Cox's office chillin' on Fridays
The Cox/Henderson administration has some chill. At least on Fridays. :) In an "official" declaration, Gov. Cox noted that "Casual Friday" began in Hawaii in the 1950's and gained traction on the mainland in the 1990's, and "Whereas, Fridays signify the beginning of the weekend and should be considered a fun, productive day at work; and Whereas the Office of the Governor is a fun and productive work environment and should have a fun, productive day at work" no ties and no high heels should be worn on Casual Friday. Blue jeans are permissable.
Chamber supports liability protection for businesses
The Salt Lake Chamber joined business leaders across America to call for liability protection as part of any new coronavirus relief package. According to Derek Miller, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber, "A temporary and targeted approach to ensuring protection against liability associated with working to sustain the economy throughout COVID-19 is needed to prevent valiant businesses from coming under legal assault through frivolous lawsuits."
Webinar, Feb 10: Developing an effective COVID-19 vaccination policy
REMINDER: This webinar is tomorrow, Feb. 10!Mark your calendars! The Salt Lake Chamber's Roadmap to Recovery Coalition is sponsoring a webinar on Developing an Effective COVID-19 Vaccination Policy.Throughout the past year many businesses have focused on preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. Now that vaccines have been developed, employers are faced with new questions. Can employees be required to be vaccinated? And do businesses need a formal vaccine policy?
Rep. Stewart introduces bill to combat global gender-based violence
Congressman Chris Stewart (UT-02) joined Reps. Meng (D-NY), Frankel (D-FL), Diaz-Balart (R-FL), and Houlahan (D-PA) in introducing the Safe from the Start Act. This bipartisan bill would help improve U.S. efforts to combat gender-based violence in humanitarian emergencies across the globe. Following the bill's introduction, Congressman Stewart issued the following statement:
Owens, Allen reintroduce the Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act
U.S. Rep. Burgess Owens (UT-04) and Rep. Rick Allen (GA-12) this week introduced the Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act. The bill expands quality elementary, secondary, and career and technical education opportunities for students by providing a federal tax credit to encourage individuals and businesses to donate to nonprofit scholarship funds. Last week, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) introduced the companion bill in the Senate.
On This Day In History
- 1763 - The French and Indian War ends.
- 1846 - Mormon exodus begins, leaving Nauvoo and heading to the Rocky Mountains.
- 1870 - The Utah Territorial Legislature passes a bill allowing women to vote and they do it unanimously. Go, Utah!
- 1883 - Edith Clarke is born. She became the first woman to earn an M.S. in electrical engineering from MIT (1919), first woman professor of electrical engineering (1947), and she invented the Clarke Calculator, a graphical device for solving power transmission line equations.
- 1886 - Gobo Fango dies in Idaho. And boy, is there a story.
- 1907 - Grace Hamilton is born. She was the first African-American in the Deep South's state government, serving in the Georgia General Assembly from 1966-84 and is credited with Andrew Young's victory in Georgia's Congressional election in 1980.
- 1940 - Roberta Flack is born.
- 1957 - Laura Ingalls Wilder died
- 1957 - The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) is founded. Martin Luther King Jr. invited about 60 black ministers and leaders to Ebenezer Church in Atlanta where they organized the SCLC. King served as the first president.
- 1989 - Attorney Ron Brown was elected chairman of the DNC, the first Black person to hold the post. He later became the Secretary of Commerce. He died in 1996 when the plane he and 32 others were in crashed while on a diplomatic mission in Croatia.
- 1992 - Famed author Alex Haley dies.
- 1996 - Garry Kasparov loses the first game of a six-game match against Deep Blue, an IBM computer. However, he ended up winning overall, with 3 wins and 2 ties.
- 2011 - Jerry Sloan resigns as head coach of the Jazz.
- 2014 - Shirley Temple dies at age 85.
"In all of us there is a hunger, marrow-deep, to know our heritage - to know who we are and where we have come from. Without this enriching knowledge, there is a hollow yearning...In every conceivable manner, the family is link to our past, bridge to our future."
Did you hear about the cheese factory that exploded in France?
There was nothing left but de Brie.
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