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Situational Analysis - February 6, 2021

Well hello, Monday! Over the weekend, we passed Ronald Reagan's 110th birthday and the 69th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth ascending to the throne. We lost Christopher Plummer, age 91 on Friday and George Shultz, age 100 and President Reagan's Secretary of State on Sunday. Sadly, we also lost 4 skiers in their 20's to a killer avalanche in Millcreek Canyon. RIP. 

Oh, and Utah was trending across social media sites, but not in a good way as a school in North Ogden first allowed and then disallowed parents from opting their kids out of learning about Black History this month. Congressman Blake Moore weighed in, expressing his disappointment and saying that "it is crucial that we embrace our shared history." 

If you only have time for one thing today: Watch this Toyota ad about Jessica Long, double amputee, winner of 23 Olympic medals and adoptee from Russia. All the feels.

Jessica Long ad




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

Today At Utah Policy

images/Resized_Mugshots/Deidre_H_inauguration.pngThe status of women in Utah politics
By Holly Richardson
The status of women in Utah politics: A 2021 update - Dr. Susan Madsen and other researchers with the Utah Women and Leadership Project first reported on the status of women in Utah politics in 2014, updated that report in 2017 and just released their latest iteration. In a nutshell, Utah still has lots of room for improvement. Utah is one of only 11 states that has no women in their federal delegation. With the election of Deidre Henderson as Lt. Governor, we have one woman serving in statewide office and she is only the second woman to ever serve as Lt. Governor.
images/mugs-300/Tony_Graf.pngGuest opinion: A house divided can not stand.
By Tony Graf
"A house divided cannot stand." Our house, the Republican Party, is divided and is falling apart.Jon Meacham, a Pulitzer Prizewinning historian, described the current condition of our party well even though he was speaking of the country. He said "[this] country is torn between conflicting visions of reality and identity." 
images/Resized_Logos/Envision_Utah_Logo_01.jpgSolving the teacher shortage when the world is on fire
By Envision Utah
Utah has been grappling with a teacher shortage for over a decade-but, as with almost everything else, the COVID-19 pandemic has only heightened the problem.As K12 schools navigate coronavirus testing, hybrid teaching and learning, and the stress of a global health crisis, teachers are leaving the classroom in even greater numbers than they have in previous years. And with all this stress and uncertainty, it's likely that fewer and fewer college students will decide to pursue careers in education. At the same time, though, it has become even more critical that our classrooms are led by the best, brightest, and most adaptable people Utah has to offer.

Utah Headlines

Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune


COVID Corner

National Headlines


Policy News

images/mugs-300/Rep_Blake_Moore.pngRep. Blake Moore on the importance of Black History Month
Congressman Moore weighed in on the news over the weekend that a school in North Ogden was allowing parents to opt their children out of learning about Black History Month. "I share the disappointment and sadness at the news that some in the Ogden area community sought to opt out of Black History Month lessons and events. I am heartened that our local school reversed its decision under the guidance of strong leadership. While I have not reviewed the curriculum myself, I strongly believe we cannot learn American history without learning Black history," he said. 
images/Resized_Logos/Mike_Lee_logo.pngSen. Lee statement on 'Vote-a-Rama' and passage of HSA Amendment
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) today commented on last night's Senate budget "vote-a-rama" session, during which three Lee amendments were voted on, including passage of his amendment expanding Americans' access to Health Savings Accounts."Last night was what the Senate should look like all the time," Sen. Lee said. "We debated and voted up-or-down on dozens of amendments offered by Senators from both parties."
images/Resized_Logos/Smiths_logo.gifSmith's Pharmacies in Utah to provide first doses of COVID-19 vaccine to seniors on Feb 11
Smith's Food & Drug, a division of The Kroger Co., announces that it has obtained a limited supply of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and will begin administering inoculations to senior citizens 70 years and older at selected Smith's Pharmacies starting on February 11, 2021. Initially the vaccinations will only be available to senior citizens 70 years and older, as part of Utah's COVID-19 vaccine distribution timeline.  Smith's is following the CDC's phased distribution schedule for administering the COVID-19 vaccine and will strictly follow guidelines from the state/local health department on their vaccine distribution plan.
images/mugs-300/Rep_Blake_Moore.pngRep. Moore releases statement on his subcommittee assignments
 Today, Congressman Blake Moore issued the following statement on his assignments to the House Armed Services Subcommittees on Readiness and Cyber, Innovative Technologies, and Information Systems for the 117th Congress.
images/Resized_Logos/Mike_Lee_logo.pngSen. Lee introduces Working Families Flexibility Act
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) today introduced the Working Families Flexibility Act, a bill that would give employees more flexibility on how to use their overtime benefits. Sen. Lee was joined by Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), along with eleven of their colleagues.

Business Headlines


On This Day In History

(From History.com)

  • 1587 - Mary, Queen of Scots, is beheaded for treason.
  • 1725 - Peter the Great, emperor of Russia, dies.
  • 1894 - Congress repeals the Enforcement Act which makes it easier for some states to disenfranchise Black voters. 
  • 1910 - The Boy Scouts are founded.
  • 1915 - "The Birth of a Nation," opens, glorifying the KKK.
  • 1943 - Americans secure Guadalcanal.
  • 1944 - Harry S. McAlphin becomes the first Black journalist accredited to attend White House press conferences. 
  • 1968 - Actor Gary Coleman is born.
  • 1968 - Officers kill 3 Black students protesting segregation of a bowling alley.
  • 1986 - Oprah Winfrey becomes the first Black woman to host a nationally syndicated talk show. 
  • 1990 - Surfer Bethany Hamilton is born.
  • 2002 - The U.S. Winter Olympics open in Salt Lake City.

Wise Words

"Courage doesn't mean you don't get afraid. Courage means you don't let fear stop you."

~Bethany Hamilton

Lighter Side

Lighter Side

A COVID test nurse asked me if I'd had a sudden loss of taste. I said, no, I've dressed this way for quite a while.

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