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Situational Analysis - February 24, 2021

We've made it to mid-week! It's National Tortilla Chip Day. Tortilla chips were first mass-produced in Los Angeles in the late 1940's. Now, they're ubiquitous in pantries across America. Enjoy a plate of nachos today in their honor. 

Yesterday, Utah's legislative leaders in the House began calling out their Senate colleagues for refusing to act on changing the name of Dixie State University, the resolution on racism as a public health crisis passed out of committee while the bill to prevent discrimination based on natural hair and culturally appropriate hair styles is dead for the year. 

And big news this morning - the one-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine is highly effective against severe forms of COVID-19 in the US and South Africa. 

If you only have time for one thing today: Take a minute to watch this heart-warming story about preschoolers and their socially-distanced Mardi Gras parade for senior citizens.

Mardi Gras



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

Today At Utah Policy

images/Resized_Logos/Tweet.pngTweets of the day: #utleg roundup
By Holly Richardson
A couple of tweets about COVID-19, the discriminatory past of the Hotel Utah, racism as a public health crisis, restorative justice, killing a bill that would prevent discrimination based on "natural hair," Dixie State students highly invested in changing the name of their university while the Utah Senate sits on the bill and are you afraid of Black History Month?
images/Resized_Article_Images/Trojan_horse.pngAre Confucius Institutes modern-day Trojan horses? The US State Department thinks so.
By Holly Richardson
What's the first thing you think of when you think of China? The Great Wall? Ming vases? Terra cotta warriors? Inexpensive goods to buy at Walmart? How about espionage, military build-up in the South China Sea, production (and thus control) of 90% of U.S. antibiotics, active propaganda campaigns and genocide? It's all of those.
images/Resized_Logos/Democrats_GOP_Combined_01.jpgDid 'lots' of Democrats change party affiliation? A Princeton study says no.
By Jeremy Gruber
A new report from the Electoral Innovation Lab at Princeton University has found that very few Democrats changed their party registration to vote in the Utah Republican primary in 2020. House Bill  197, sponsored by Rep. Jordan Teuscher (R-South Jordan), is moving through the Utah state legislature, having recently narrowly passed the House. The bill is an attempt to prevent voters from changing party registration within approximately 80 days of the primary election. The bill's sponsors have argued  that a "significant number" of Democratic Party voters "raided" the Republican primary in 2020.  

Utah Headlines


Salt Lake Tribune

Deseret News

COVID Corner

National Headlines

Policy News

images/Resized_Logos/Romney_Senate_logo.pngRomney, Rubio, Grassley, Portman urge president to implement rule on Confucius Institutes
 U.S. Senators Mitt Romney (R-UT), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and Rob Portman (R-OH) today urged the Biden Administration to implement the proposed rule requiring U.S. academic institutions disclose their relationships with Confucius Institutes, which are funded by the Chinese Communist Party. The letter reflects a similar effort in the House of Representatives. 
images/Resized_Article_Images/Mattress.pngCommentary: Will Biden 'go to the mattresses' on trade policy?
(Originally published in The Hill)It is becoming clearer the Biden administration will maintain many of former President Trump's trade priorities, including taking a hard stance toward China and pursuing trade policies that protect U.S. workers. Americans should welcome policies that support free and fair trade, but we should not allow these policies to creep toward counterproductive protectionist measures.
images/Resized_Logos/Romney_Senate_logo.pngSen Romney: Biden's stimulus bill is a $1.9 trillion clunker
(Originally published in the Wall Street Journal)Democrats are anxious for any excuse to blow up the Senate filibuster, the last procedural hurdle to one-party government. Their latest is that Republicans oppose the president's $1.9 trillion stimulus package. Despite having passed five bipartisan Covid-19 relief bills to date-including one barely seven weeks ago-they claim our opposition demonstrates historic intransigence.  
images/Resized_Logos/Romney_Senate_logo.pngRomney, Cotton plan would raise minimum wage, protect jobs for legal workers
U.S. Senators Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Tom Cotton (R-AR) today announced plans to introduce the Higher Wages for American Workers Act, legislation which would gradually raise the federal minimum wage to $10 and mandate E-Verify to ensure the wage increase only goes to legal workers. The bill will also index future minimum wage increases to inflation and includes protections for small businesses. A summary of the legislation, which they plan to introduce in the coming days, can be found here.
images/Resized_Logos/Cox_seal.pngGov. Cox signs a joint letter to President Biden on the oil and gas ban
The following joint letter signed by Gov. Spencer Cox and 16 other Republican governors was sent to President Biden opposing the oil and gas leasing ban.Gov. Cox joined Gov. Mark Gordon, Wyoming; Gov. Kay Ivey, Alabama; Gov. Mike Dunleavy, Alaska; Gov. Doug Ducey, Arizona; Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Arkansas; Gov. Brad Little, Idaho; Gov. Eric Holcomb, Indiana; Gov. Tate Reeves, Mississippi;  Gov. Mike Parson, Missouri; Gov. Greg Gianforte, Montana; Gov. Pete Ricketts, Nebraska, Gov. Doug Burgum, North Dakota; Gov. Kevin Stitt, Oklahoma; Gov. Kristi Noem, South Dakota; Gov. Bill Lee, Tennessee; and Gov. Greg Abbot, Texas in signing the letter.

Business Headlines

On This Day In History

(From History.com)

  • 1803 - Marbury v. Madison confirms the legal principle of judicial review.
  • 1864 - Rebecca Lee Crumpler becomes the first Black woman to receive an M.D. degree.
  • 1868 - President Andrew Johnson impeached on 11 articles of impeachment.
  • 1912 - Henrietta Szold founds Hadassah, the largest Jewish organization in American history, focusing on healthcare and education in Israel and the U.S.
  • 1946 - Juan Pern elected in Argentina.
  • 1955 - Steve Jobs is born.
  • 1967 - Jocelyn Bell Burnell makes the first discovery of a pulsar, a rapidly rotating neutron star.
  • 1977 - US President Jimmy Carter announces US foreign aid will consider human rights.
  • 1984 - Prince Charles gets engaged to Lady Diana Spencer. 
  • 1988 - Supreme Court defends right to satirize public figures
  • 1991 - Gulf War ground offensive begins
  • 2020 - Katherine G. Johnson, the groundbreaking NASA mathematician featured in Hidden Figures, dies at age 101.

Wise Words

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition."

~Steve Jobs

Lighter Side

Lighter Side

What do skis and the Earth have in common?
They both come with two poles!

What happens when a baby snowman has a temper tantrum?
He has a meltdown.

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