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Situational Analysis - February 3, 2021
Made it to the middle of the week! Today is National Missing Persons Day. Approximately 2,300 people are reported missing every day? Everyone of those missing persons has people who love them and are desperate to find them.
If you only have time for one thing today: If you've ever been a non-traditional student, or thought about becoming a non-traditional student, well, the Lt. Governor has a message for you: Do it. LG Deidre Henderson is interning in the LG's office as she finishes up her degree in history. She felt some shame and imposter syndrome about not having a degree, but then she realized that there are many people in her situation. "I just decided to be open about it and to be transparent about it and to hopefully encourage other women or men who are in a similar situation, where they're wanting to go back, but maybe feeling awkward about it, too, to help inspire them to just do it," she told NPR. Read or listen to the entire article here.
30 days to the end of the 2021 Utah Legislature (3/5/21)
70 days until the end of the Cox/Henderson administration's first 100 days (04/14/2021)
86 days until the Biden/Harris administration's first 100 days are up (04/30/2021)
Today At Utah PolicyVaccine czar, more Biden cabinet confirmations, bills on Utah's Capitol hill and women-owned businesses being left out.
By Holly Richardson
Mitt Romney as vaccine czar? - Hal Boyd writes in the Deseret News that while "Romney may have missed his opportunity to become president of the United States...he could still help heal the nation" by overseeing efforts to get hundreds of millions of vaccines into hundreds of millions of arms? Why? Because of Romney's many years of jumping in and solving big problems, from his years at Bain to the 2002 Winter Olympics. His colleagues have described him as a guy who thrives when solving a big problem, writes Boyd, and "well, we currently have a big one - American lives are hanging in the balance."
Tweets of the day: Actions have consequences, and more
By Holly Richardson
Today's tweets start with two centarian's experiences with COVID, what powerhouse Astrid Tuminez is up to, some actions and some maybe consequences and then some news will leave you scratching your head.
Guest opinion: We must stop playing politics like chess
By Ammon Gruwell
Have you ever tried playing chess without taking any of your opponent's pieces? This question is ridiculous to anyone who has the slightest notion of how chess is played. Chess isn't a collaborative effort or even a race to a goal, but rather a zero-sum systematic dismantling and entrapment of your opponent. The rules of the game dictate this behavior, and playing any other way leads to swift and utter defeat. Successful players are ruthless because the incentives are overwhelming. No amount of encouraging opponents to "play nice" will ever change the game.
- A new report says social media doesn't censor conservatives. Comedian Steven Crowder would like a word - The conservative pundit is suing Facebook even as NYU report says claims of censorship are unfounded.
- These policy solutions could close gaps faced by Black Americans and other racial groups -
- A Brookings Institution panel dissected the value of reparations, police reform and revamping housing, lending, education and employment policies
- Dixie State's name change isn't about the past. It's about students' future - Students, faculty and alumni of the university in southern Utah say the name Dixie is hurting their prospects for a bright future.
- Biden signs disaster declaration to help Navajo Nation with COVID-19 response - Sens. Romney, Sinema also introduce legislation to expand access to drinking water on tribal nations.
- Protesting outside an official's home targeted by Utah lawmaker - 'There's a major difference between petitioning the government and harassing a family,' Rep. Wilcox says.
- Why Sen. Mike Lee says nuking the filibuster would be a disaster for Democrats, Republicans - The point of the filibuster and the Senate itself is to provide for deliberative debate and forge compromise among a diverse and divided nation.
- For some forced out of work by pandemic, tax time may be another harsh reality - While the extra money from unemployment compensation was certainly welcome by those who were left idle, soon they will be faced with the task of paying Uncle Sam his "fair share" come tax time.
- How Trump's impeachment defense could impact GOP's chances in 2022 -
- "If they run in 2022 on the stolen election, the Democrats will pick up seats in the Senate," predicts Jeremi Suri.
Salt Lake Tribune
- Video visitation now available for most inmates in Draper (FOX 13) - Inmates are allowed one video visit session per scheduled day. The sessions must be scheduled at least two business days in advance with a pre-approved visitor.
- Executive order requires masks on all methods of public transportation in the United States (FOX 13) - The order requires passengers on all public conveyances (airplanes, ships, ferries, trains, buses, subways, taxis, ride-shares) traveling into, within, or out of the United States, to wear a mask over both the nose and mouth.
- Utah's COVID-19 positivity rate is holding steady (SL Trib) - It's about 16%, which is more than three times what state officials are hoping to see.
- WHO investigators visit Wuhan lab at heart of China Covid-19 conspiracy claims (The Guardian) - The team, led by WHO virus expert Peter Ben Embarek, arrived at the heavily guarded Wuhan Institute of Virology at about 9.30am on Wednesday.
- Covid vaccine will be administered in 'safe and appropriate places,' assures Walgreens executive (CNBC) - "We'll make sure our health care professionals are there to give them the vaccine and monitor them appropriately," said Rick Gates, senior vice president of pharmacy and healthcare at Walgreens.
- Coronavirus strain in UK picks up mutation that could impact vaccines, experts say (KSL-TV) - The mutation, called E484K, was already part of the genetic signature of variants linked to South Africa and Brazil.
- COVID-19 vaccine distribution hits hurdle at nursing homes with staff refusing shots, CDC report finds (FOX News) - Nearly 78% of residents at these facilities received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. But among staff members, estimates plummeted to 37.5%
- Former CIA officer: Treat domestic extremism as an insurgency (NPR) - That means using counterinsurgency tactics - similar in some ways to those used in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
- Top House Republican demands Psaki apologize over 'disgraceful' Space Force quip (Politico) - "It's concerning to see the Biden administration's press secretary blatantly diminish an entire branch of our military as the punchline of a joke, which I'm sure China would find funny," said Rep. Mike Rogers.
- House Republicans weigh stripping Greene from committee assignments as GOP senators repudiate her views (CNN) - In relaying how the meeting with Greene went, the officials said that McCarthy gave no indication that Greene showed any remorse or contrition for her comments.
- Greene's future on House committees in limbo after GOP meeting (The Hill) - The meeting, which lasted more than an hour, happened shortly after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) met with Greene as pressure ramps up for the GOP to take action to condemn her embrace of conspiracy theories and the emergence of violent and racist remarks made in recent years.
- Why Mitch McConnell chose *this* moment to condemn Marjorie Taylor Greene (CNN) - McConnell knows that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California) is set to meet with Greene this week to talk about her views -- and, likely, to dole out some sort of punishment.
- Opinion: Rob Portman has done more damage to America than Marjorie Taylor Greene (Washington Post) - Why? Because he "did not lift a finger to stop the takeover of [his] party by the lunatic fringe."
- Schumer says Dems could censure Trump if impeachment trial ends in acquittal (FOX News) - But the Democratic leader asserts Trump 'deserves conviction, nothing less."
- Biden joins Capitol Police, leaders of Congress to honor Officer Brian Sicknick (Washington Post) - "He cared about his job, didn't get political. He was a man who did his job to the fullest," said a K-9 Capitol Police officer. "Seeing him now is tough."
- What Myanmar's coup could mean for the Rohingya and other persecuted minorities (Vox) - The takeover is terrible for Myanmar. It may be worse for the country's most vulnerable. The refugees who fled a genocide won't be going back anytime soon.
- Biden tells Democratic senators to pass a 'big, bold' relief package 'quickly' (Yahoo News) -0 Biden told the Democrats he let the Republicans know "that the $600 billion that they proposed was way too small."
- Lindsey Graham Joins Mitch McConnell in Defending Liz Cheney (Newsweek) - Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has defended Congresswoman Liz Cheney amid a push to remove her as chair of the House Republican Conference following her vote to impeach former President Donald Trump.
- Missouri lawmaker indicted for allegedly selling fake stem cell treatments for Covid-19 (NBC News) - Patricia Derges charged patients for "regenerative" stem cell treatments, but instead gave them amniotic fluid that didn't contain stem cells, an indictment said.
- Secretary of State Blinken condemns Russia for Navalny sentencing (CNBC) - "We reiterate our call for the Russian government to immediately and unconditionally release Mr. Navalny, as well as hundreds of other Russian citizens wrongfully detained in recent weeks for exercising their rights," said Blinken.
Policy NewsWebinar, Feb 10: Developing an effective COVID-19 vaccination policy
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?
Romney and Sinema reintroduce legislation to support Navajo Nation during pandemic
U.S. Senators Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) reintroduced bipartisan legislation which would invest $1.3 billion in strengthening the Sanitation Facilities Construction Program to support water and sanitation projects for tribal communities."With some of the highest COVID-19 infection rates in the country, the Navajo Nation faces a dire situation-due in large part to a lack of water infrastructure and sanitation facilities," Senator Romney said.
Sen. Lee votes no on budget resolution
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) issued the following statement Tuesday after voting against the motion to proceed on a budget resolution:"The $2 trillion dollar Biden stimulus package that the Democrats are starting to ram through this week has nothing to do with recovery from COVID and everything to do with bailing out and rewarding interest groups. A $15 minimum wage is great for Big Tech companies like Amazon, but it is a job killer for small businesses. According to the Congressional Budget Office, a $15 minimum wage would force 1.3 million people out of work. How does killing jobs help the economy?
Sandy City Council member Kris Nicholl announces her candidacy for mayor
Kris Nicholl announced her candidacy for Sandy City Mayor. Kris Nicholl has served on the Sandy City Council since 2012. Prior to her time on the Council, she served on the Planning Commission for 3 years.
State 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:
On This Day In History
- 1821 - Elizabeth Blackwell is born. She became the first fully accredited female doctor in the U.S. (1849)
- 1870 - The 15th Amendment passes and is sent to the states for ratification. It grants suffrage to Black men upon ratification.
- 1874 - Gertrude Stein is born. You probably know her as the poet with the phrase "A rose is a rose is a rose is a rose.
- 1874 - Blanche Kelso Bruce, born a slave, is elected to a full six-year term in the U.S. Senate by the Mississippi legislature. He is the first Black senator to serve a full term.
- 1878 - Hattie Wyatt Caraway is born. She was the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate (1932, D-AR) and the first woman to preside over the Senate (1943).
- 1889 - Belle Starr, the "Bandit Queen" outlaw, is killed with two shotgun blasts to the back..
- 1920 - The Negro Baseball League is founded.
- 1924 - Woodrow Wilson dies at the age of 67.
- 1930 - Ruth Ross is born. She became a magazine editor and helped found "Essence" (1970), the first magazine to celebrate the intellect and beauty of Black women and published articles from leading Black scholars and writers. However the magazine feared advertising losses and fired her so the magazine could become "less black."
- 1944 - U.S. troops capture the Marshall Islands.
- 1953 - Jacques Cousteau's "The Silent World" is published.
- 1956 - Autherine Lucy becomes the first Black American to attend the University of Alabama. By Lucy's 3rd day, she had been threatened by angry white mobs and had to lock herself in a classroom. The University eventually expelled her. In 1988, they apologized.
- 1959 - "The Day the Music Died," when Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P Richardson are killed in a plane crash in Iowa.
- 1964 - School officials reported that 464,361 Black and Puerto Rican students - about 45% - boycotted New York City public schools after civil rights leaders called for a one-day boycott to protest segregation and over-crowding of non-White schools.
- 1981 - The US Air Force Academy drops its ban on applicants with sickle cell trait, following class action lawsuits by cadets who were forced to resign or who were not admitted based on that trait alone. Sickle cell trait is more common in certain ethnic groups, predominately Black but also Hispanic people, people from South Asia and the Middle East and Caucasians from southern Europe.
- 1994 - President Clinton ends trade embargo with Vietnam.
- 1998 - A U.S. Marine jet severed a ski-lift cable, sending a tram crashing to the ground and killing 20.
- 1988 - Thomas Reed, president of the Alabama chapter of the NAACP was arrested after and and 11 others attempted to strike a Confederate flag from the top of the state capitol.
- 2002 - New England Patriots defeat the heavily favored St. Louis Rams in their first Super Bowl win.
- 2005 - Alberto Gonzales becomes the first Hispanic U.S. Attorney General.
"Let me tell you something about the truth: the truth exonerates and it convicts. It disinfects and it galvanizes. The truth has always been and will always be our shield against corruption, our shield against greed and despair. The truth is our saving grace. Not only are you here...to tell it, to write it, to proclaim it, to speak it, but to be it. Be the truth! Be the truth!"
~Oprah Winfrey at USC Annenberg Commencement, 2018
Q: Where did the storm tropper go to warm up during the arctic blast of cold weather?
A: The Darth Mall.
Q: How do you search Google on freezing cold days?
A: The Winternet.
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