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Situational Analysis - February 26, 2021

We've made it to Friday and I owe you an apology. I missed a big milestone yesterday! Sean Astin turned 50! I mean, I don't know about you, but the thought that Samwise Gamgee is 50 is mind-boggling.

Breaking news this morning: Latter-day Saint Charities is donating $20 million to support COVAX, a global campaign to provide 2 billion COVID-19 vaccines to low and middle-income countries. It is the biggest private sector donation to the largest immunization campaign in history.

If you only have time for one thing today: Read this inspiring story about aerospace engineer Diana Trujillo who was a flight director on the landing of the Perserverance rover. Her dreams of reaching space and wanting to understand the universe came as a young person in Cali, Colombia. Her parents were divorcing and as 17-year-old, she decided to go to the United States, arriving with only $300 and not speaking any English. She worked housekeeping jobs to pay for her studies and later joined NASA in 2007. "I wanted my - especially the males of my own family - to recognize that women add value," she said, adding, "it came from wanting to prove to them that we matter." 


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

Today At Utah Policy

images/Resized_Capitol_Photos/Utah_State_Capitol_12.JPGBill update, voter access, innovative teens and yikes!
By Holly Richardson
 An update on some Utah bills, Navajo Nation voting access, smart kids and an oh-my-gosh story.
images/Resized_Logos/Tweet.pngTweets of the day: Friday fun
By Holly Richardson
Some pictures that will make you go hmm, or wow!
images/mugs-300/LaVarr_Webb.jpgCommentary: In states vs. federal government, money makes the difference
By LaVarr Webb
 News item: A group called Invest in America Action says Utah will lose $2.5 billion in federal aid if the Biden Administration's $2 trillion COVID relief package fails in the U.S. Senate.I believe (as I've written many times) that one of the nation's biggest problems is that the federal government has gotten too large, too expensive, and is attempting to do far more, in every aspect of society and life, than it is capable of doing effectively. 

Utah Headlines

Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune


COVID Corner

National Headlines

Policy News

images/Resized_Logos/Office_of_Auditor.pngState Auditor releases analysis of NCAA athletics revenue subsidization for Utah's degree-granting public colleges and universities
The Office of the State Auditor (Office) today released its Analysis Report on NCAA Athletics Revenue Subsidization for Utah's Degree-Granting Public Colleges and Universities. This report covers fiscal years ended June 30, 2012 through June 30, 2020.
images/Resized_Logos/Burgess_Owens_logo.pngRep. Owens delivered remarks in response to the Equality Act
 Today, U.S. Rep. Burgess Owens (UT-04) delivered the following statement, as prepared for delivery, on the House Floor in opposition to the Equality Act."I rise today in opposition to the Equality Act. The issues discussed as part of the Equality Act are important amending the Civil Rights Act to include sexual orientation would be a historic step. Unfortunately, without explicit religious exemptions, many questions arise.
images/Resized_Logos/USBE_logo.pngPercentage of Utah students taking and passing AP exams increases over 10 years
 In 2020 a total of 14,271 Utah high school seniors took at least one Advanced Placement (AP) course at some point in their secondary education, up from 13,903 in 2019, according to data released by College Board. That means 37 percent of the graduating class took an AP course, up from 30.5 percent in 2010. And 25.3 percent of seniors or 9,756 students earned college credit by scoring 3 or better on the end-of-course exams, up from 20.7 percent in 2010, College Board noted. Nationally, 38.3 percent of students took an AP course with 24.4 percent earning college credit.
images/Resized_Logos/Stewart_logo.jpgRep. Stewart proposed plan to address national debt
Today, Congressman Chris Stewart (UT-02) introduced the Debt Control Through Budget Reconciliation Act of 2021. This legislation establishes annual debt-to-GDP targets that would gradually reduce the public debt over the next 30 years to approximately 50 percent of GDP (the average annual debt-to-GDP level over the past 30 years).
Sens. Lee, Moran and Braun introduce PROMISE Act to hold Big Tech accountable
 Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), and Mike Braun (R-Ind.) yesterday introduced the Promoting Responsibility Over Moderation In the Social Media Environment (PROMISE) Act, a bill designed to hold Big Tech companies accountable for their promises to not operate their social medial platforms with political bias. "The billionaires who own our nation's Big Tech companies have every right to be partisan political actors," Sen. Lee said. "They do not have the right to tell consumers that they will provide unbiased platforms, and then use those same platforms to discriminate against Americans with opposing religious, philosophical, or political viewpoints."

Business Headlines

On This Day In History

(From History.com)

  • 1802 - Victor Hugo is born.
  • 1829 - Levi Strauss is born.
  • 1852 - John Kellog, of cereal fame, is born.
  • 1859 - Louise DeKoven Bowen is born. She was a philanthropist, civic leader, social reformer and suffragist. For public administration aficionados, she was a key funder of and fundraiser for "Hull House," one of the nation's first settlement houses. 
  • 1869 - The 15th Amendment, guaranteeing the right for men to vote, is sent to the states for ratification.
  • 1919 - Grand Canyon National Park is established.
  • 1921 - Wilma Heide is born. An educator and women's studies pioneer, she served as president of National Organization for Women from 1971-72, and spearheaded gender discrimination charges against AT&T.
  • 1929 - Grand Teton National Park is established.
  • 1932 - Johnny Cash is born.
  • 1935 - Hitler signs a secret decree authorizing the founding of the Reich Luftwaffe.
  • 1944 - Sue Dauser, Director of the Navy Nurse Corps, became the first female Captain in the U.S. Navy.
  • 1958 - Susan Helms is born. In 2001, she became the first military woman in space and performed the longest spacewalk with astronaut James Voss.
  • 1962 - US Supreme court disallows race separation on public transportation
  • 1965 - Jimmie Lee Jackson, civil rights activist, dies of injuries inflicted by officers in Marion, Alabama.
  • 1970 - National Public Radio files articles of incorporation with the District of Columbia Recorder of Deeds. The organization's membership is comprised of independent, private, public U.S. radio stations.
  • 1986 - Robert Pen Warren is named the nation's first Poet Laureate.
  • 1993 - World Trade Center is bombed.
  • 1995 - Selena Quintanilla, "Queen of Tejano Music," performs her last televised concert. She was murdered a few weeks later by the president of her fan club.
  • 2012 - 17-year old Trayvon Martin is shot and killed while wearing a hoodie.
  • 2020 - Ramona Hood becomes FedEx's first Black female president and CEO.

Wise Words

"It is our human right to develop and contribute our talents whatever our race, sex, religion, ancestry, age. Human rights are indivisible! The hand that rocks the cradle should also rock the boat. The pedestal is immobilizing and subtly insulting whether or not some women yet realize it."

~Wilma Heide

Lighter Side

Lighter Side

Getting a job in the Arctic in the winter is great! Why?
When the days get short, you only have to work a 30 minute work week.

Q: Why do seals swim in salt water?
A: Because pepper water makes them sneeze!


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