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Situational Analysis - February 2, 2021

Happy Tuesday! It's Groundhog Day - and doesn't it kind of feel we've been living in the 1993 movie since, oh, last March?? Did you know that Punxsutawney has been celebrating GroundHog Day since 1887?? It was the brainchild of local newspaper editor Clymer Freas, who sold a group of businessmen and groundhog hunters-known collectively as the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club-on the idea. Spoiler alert: This year we're looking at six more weeks of winter.  

If you only have time for one thing today, you've got to check out this story from CNN. Some of those who attacked the Capitol, yelling that they were there to "Stop the Steal" did not even vote in the election. "One was Donovan Crowl, an ex-Marine who charged toward a Capitol entrance in paramilitary garb on January 6 as the Pro-Trump crowd chanted "who's our President?" Federal authorities later identified Crowl, 50, as a member of a self-styled militia organization in his home state of Ohio and affiliated with the extremist group the Oath Keepers. His mother told CNN that he previously told her 'they were going to overtake the government if they...tried to take Trump's presidency from him.'" And there's more, including a 65-year-old Georgia man was found in his van with a fully-loaded pistol and ammunition, and a Louisiana man who publicly bragged about spending nearly two hours inside the Capitol after attending Trump's "Stop the Steal" rally.....


31 days to the end of the 2021 Utah Legislature (3/5/21)
71 days until the end of the Cox/Henderson administration's first 100 days (04/14/2021)
87 days until the Biden/Harris administration's first 100 days are up (04/30/2021)

Today At Utah Policy

images/mugs-300/LaVarr_Webb.jpgCommentary: The serendipity of running for political office
By LaVarr Webb
For a lot of years I've been watching a group of talented, successful, young (compared to me) Republicans who I've thought would make excellent high-level elected officials. I've expected at least a few of them would be elected to a top office.But the reality is that most of them, while being plenty ambitious, may never win political office.
images/Resized_Logos/ULCT_Logo1.jpgLocal leaders' efforts to address affordable housing and growth
By Utah League of Cities and Towns
 Cities don't control market factors or build houses. But our Utah cities do work diligently and creatively to manage and foster smart growth. This benefits our own communities and our state as a whole.  Cities create master plans, and we manage and oversee appropriate uses of land in our communities according to those plans. Cities provide the framework for unique communities-- places that knit together housing, transportation, jobs, and community. 
images/Resized_Logos/Tweet.pngTweets of the day
By Holly Richardson
Today's round-up includes a shout-out to the nation's first female self-made millionaire, the people of the Department of Workforce Services, McConnell is just done, some of the rioters in DC didn't even vote, a Utah school board member is making xenophobic remarks and Hawkeye Pierce from M*A*S*H has a message.

Utah Headlines

COVID Corner

Salt Lake Tribune


Deseret News

National Headlines

Policy News

images/Resized_Logos/USBE_logo.pngState Board of Ed. responds to requests for member removal
 In response to recent inquiries regarding Board Member removal, Utah State Board of Education leadership, consisting of Chair Mark Huntsman, and Vice Chairs Laura Belnap and Cindy Davis,  issued the following statement:
images/Logos/AFP_Utah_Logo.pngAFP-Utah applauds transparency to taxpayers on appropriations requests
Americans for Prosperity-Utah (AFP-Utah) today praises the launch of the new Legislator Requests for Appropriations webpage where Utahns can now see who, what, and how much legislators are requesting of their hard-earned tax dollars. 
images/Logos/utah-democrats-logo-300.jpgUtah Democratic Party unhappy with GOP appts to the independent redistricting commission
The Utah Democratic Party today responded to the appointments to Utah's independent redistricting committee made by the governor and leadership of the Legislature, stating a strong optimism at many of the commission appointments and disappointment at the politically-motivated appointments made by Senate Pres. J. Stuart Adams and Speaker Brad Wilson.
images/Resized_Logos/Clear_the_air_logo.pngThe 2021 Clear the Air challenge kicks off
The Salt Lake Chamber, along with its partners UCAIR and TravelWise, kicked off the 12th Annual Clear the Air Challenge today. Issued by business, government and community leaders, the Challenge is a month-long competition designed to encourage Utahns to reduce their vehicle emissions by choosing alternatives to driving alone.
images/Resized_Logos/Office_of_Auditor.pngState Auditor announces key recommendations from the Commission on Protecting Privacy and Preventing Discrimination
The Office of the State Auditor (Office) announces the release of two documents from the Commission on Protecting Privacy and Preventing Discrimination (Commission). The Commission was formed by State Auditor John Dougall in June 2020 to review the Attorney General's contract with Banjo and its public safety application that posed several complex technical and societal issues, including issues of privacy and potential algorithmic bias.

Business Headlines

On This Day In History

(From History.com)

  • 1812 - Russians establish Fort Ross in California.
  • 1839 - Black inventor Edmond Berger patented the spark plug.
  • 1847 - The first member of the Donner Party dies.
  • 1848 - The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo is signed, ending the Mexican-American war.
  • 1862 - District of Columbia abolishes slavery. 
  • 1876 - The National League of baseball is founded.
  • 1882 - James Joyce is born.
  • 1887 - Groundhog Day is celebrated for the first time at Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.
  • 1897 - Black inventor Alfred Cralle patents the ice cream scooper.
  • 1905 - Ayn Rand is born in St. Petersburg, Russia. She is the author of "Atlas Shrugged." 
  • 1913 - Grand Central Terminal opens in New York City.
  • 1915 - Ernest E. Just receives the Spingarn medal for his pioneering work in cell division and fertilization. Despite having a PhD, he could not find work in the US as a Black scientist so he moved to Europe to continue his research. He was held as a prisoner--of-war by Nazis after their invasion of France. 
  • 1935 - Raven Wilkinson is born. At the age of 20, she became the first Black woman to receive a contract to dance full time with a major ballet company. 
  • 1943 - The Battle of Stalingrad ends as the last German troops surrender to the Red Army.
  • 1971 - Idi Amin takes power in Uganda
  • 2014 - Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman dies of an accidental overdose at age 46.

Wise Words

The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me.

~Ayn Rand

Lighter Side

Lighter Side

Knock knock.
Who's there?
Pun who?
Punxsutawney Phil.

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