The UtahPolicy.com daily newsletter gets you up to speed on the top local and national news about politics and public policy. Send news tips or feedback to [email protected],.
Situational Analysis - February 9, 2021
Today is Tuesday and National Pizza Day. You can get some sweet deals at Einstein Bros. Bagels, Papa John's, Domino's, Pizza Hut, Little Caesars and Olive Garden (which seems random since it doesn't sell pizza but hey - I don't make the rules.)
Oh, and the second impeachment trial of former President Trump begins in the US Senate today.
If you only have time for one thing today: Check out this online gallery of the Utah Senate Visual Arts scholarship winners. Their work is stunning. Here is one example by artist Jane Wilson:
24 days to the end of the 2021 Utah Legislature (3/5/21)
64 days until the end of the Cox/Henderson administration's first 100 days (04/14/2021)
80 days until the Biden/Harris administration's first 100 days are up (04/30/2021)
Today At Utah PolicyGut-wrenching testimony on SB 127, which would put 'guardrails' on residential treatment centers
By Holly Richardson
Paris Hilton is using her platform and status as a celebrity to shed light on reprehensible practices occurring in some of Utah's residential treatment centers for "troubled kids." Senator Mike McKell is running SB 127 to address some of those egregious and disturbing practices. His bill was up yesterday in the Senate Judiciary, Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice committee and was discussed in an emotional hour-long hearing.
Tweets of the day: RTC "guardrails," 2nd impeachment trial
By Holly Richardson
Today's tweets fall into two categories - legislative "guardrails" placed on residential treatment centers and the 2nd impeachment trial of former President Trump. We're barely skimming the surface of what's out there in the Twitterverse on these two topics.
Opinion Briefs: Trump trial is waste of time . . . Romney family program makes sense . . . Don't emasculate Electoral College . . . Chinese coercion defeats COVID
By Holly Richardson
The Trump Trial: Pure Political Theater. In ever-dysfunctional Washington, D.C., the big agenda item this week is the Senate impeachment trial (or, as some call it, the Senate harassment trial). Like much that happens in Congress, it will be pure political theater -- a waste of time and effort. The outcome is a foregone conclusion. It won't change any minds. It won't unify the country. It will simply be an opportunity for Trump-obsessed Democrats to pursue more vengeance and vindictiveness against the hated former president. It's the dumbing-down of impeachment.
- Life in a gold mining town - In northern Nevada, the gold mining industry has dominated for decades. Now Nevada lawmakers want to tap into that vein of wealth to ease the pandemic-induced budget crunch.
- As a white mom of Black children, I've learned being 'colorblind' is problematic - From yours truly - I'm still learning. I still make mistakes. But I'm committed to the ongoing journey of becoming a better ally of people in all their beautiful colors.
- Paris Hilton backs Utah bill to regulate troubled teen centers: 'You can't silence me' - "I tell my story not so that anyone feels bad for me," Hilton said. "But to shine a light on the reality of what happened then, and is still happening now."
- What to know about former President Donald Trump's 2nd impeachment trial - Former President Donald Trump was impeached for 'incitement of insurrection,' but his defense attorneys say it was free speech.
- 22 Utah legislative staffers got early access to COVID-19 vaccine - Nearly two dozen Utah legislative staffers were deemed "critical" workers and received early access to COVID-19 vaccinations before the 2021 legislative session started.
- Utah lawmakers nix idea requiring 'consent' as part of sex education - HB177, sponsored by Rep. Carol Spackman Moss, D-Holladay, also would have required instruction on coercion, sexual violence behavior deterrence, and sexual assault mitigation as part of sex education instruction for students in grades 7-12.
- Sundance had its largest-ever audience this year. Here's why - The festival estimates between all screenings and events offered, there were more than 600,000 total views for the 2021 edition - 168% higher than 2020.
- George Shultz: A long life with a long view - One of America's most notable public servants quietly died on Saturday shortly following his 100th birthday. Vigorous to the end, George P. Shultz was as agile as he was brilliant, as trusted as he was persistent, and as farsighted as he was indifferent to political calculations.
Salt Lake Tribune
- Religious Freedom Day declared in West Jordan (West Jordan Journal) - Jan. 16, 1786, the first law in the United States to protect freedom of religion was passed. In 1992, National Religious Freedom Day was approved by the United States Congress. This day is celebrated on Jan. 16 each year. Now, West Jordan passed its own resolution recognizing National Religious Freedom day, also on Jan. 16.
- COVID-19 vaccine registration in Salt Lake County, who is eligible? (ABC 4) - Nicholas Rupp, Spokesperson for the Salt Lake County Health Department said the county expects to open registration for those now eligible in the last week of February but those 65 and older will not get vaccinated until those 70 and older have made it through the line.
- Coronavirus Likely Came From Animal, Not Laboratory, WHO Says (Wall Street Journal) - The virus that causes Covid-19 most likely entered the human population through an intermediate animal and is highly unlikely to have leaked from a laboratory, a leader of a WHO investigative team said at a news conference in Wuhan.
- Rep. Ron Wright has died after battle with COVID-19 (Washington Post) - Wright announced Jan. 21 that he tested positive for the coronavirus and spent the last 2 weeks in the hospital. He is the first sitting member of Congress to die of COVID-19.
- Officials hoping Utahns avoided Super Bowl super spreader events as COVID-19 cases drop to 514 (Deseret News) - Also Monday, there's a new push for vaccinations to be made available to jurors and others in Utah courtrooms.
- Pfizer hopes to cut vaccine manufacturing time by almost half (NBC News) - By ramping up production and being more efficient, the company expects to reduce the time it takes to produce a batch of vaccine from 110 days to around 60.
- Fauci says we risk creating more powerful COVID-19 variants if we delay 2nd shots of the vaccine (Business Insider) - Two shots of either Pfizer's or Moderna's vaccine, when administered on schedule, can provide "tenfold" the immune protection of one shot, Fauci said.
- S Africa seeks new vaccine plan after halting AstraZeneca (Associated Press) - The results of the first clinical trials were disappointing enough that South African officials decided to postpone the rollout of the vaccine, which was supposed to be given to front-line healthcare workers starting in mid-February.
- Can You Spread COVID-19 After Getting the Vaccine? Experts Say the Answer Isn't Simple (Prevention.com) - There's still one big question that researchers are trying to answer: Can you still spread COVID-19 to others even after you're fully vaccinated?
- Half Of Los Angeles Covid-19 Samples Analyzed Show Mutant "West Coast Variant," As Region Runs Out Of First-Dose Vaccine Appointments (Deadline) - Dubbed variously B.1.429 and B.1.427, the West Coast Variant or sometimes called CAL.20C, the new strains are still a mystery.
- Got the COVID-19 vaccine? You still need to wear a mask, Dr. Fauci says (Deseret News) - "Currently, we do not have enough data to be able to say with confidence that the vaccines can prevent transmission. So even if vaccinated, you may still be able to spread the virus to vulnerable people."
- United States in the 'eye of the hurricane' when it comes to COVID-19, expert says (Deseret News) - "The big wall is about to hit us again and these are the new variants," said Dr. Peter Hotez.
- Back pain is another COVID-19 symptom to remember (Deseret News) - "The joint pain in the back and legs is due to the body's inflammatory response to the virus...These viral infections cause shaking, chills, body aches, and difficult mobility."
- Why Democrats Want a Trump Trial (Wall Street Journal) - They already know the result, but they think it will hurt the GOP.
- The Constitution Doesn't Bar Trump's Impeachment Trial (Wall Street Journal) - Removal from office is best understood as akin to a 'mandatory minimum' sentence for a crime.
- MAGA is already over Trump's impeachment trial (Politico) - MAGA has moved on to different pursuits: President Joe Biden's agenda, the $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill, China, the GameStop controversy, and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) among them.
- Schumer, McConnell reach deal on Trump impeachment trial (The Hill) - "All parties have agreed to a structure that will ensure a fair and honest Senate impeachment trial of the former president," Schumer said.
- Law prof claims Trump lawyers 'badly' misrepresented his views when citing impeachment article (Fox News) - A Michigan State University law professor claims that former President Donald Trump's legal team took him out of context when citing his work in their impeachment trial memorandum.
- House Democrats' stimulus check plan would exclude families earning more than $200,000 (CNN) - The full payment would go to individuals earning less than $75,000 a year and married couples earning less than $150,000.
- Georgia Officials Review Trump Phone Call as Scrutiny Intensifies (New York Times) - The office of Georgia's secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, has initiated a fact-finding inquiry into Donald Trump's January phone call to Mr. Raffensperger pressuring him to "find" votes.
- Democrats set to introduce bill that provides $3,600 per child for some families: report (Fox News) - Under the plan, families with children under six would receive $3,600 per child from the Internal Revenue Service; families with older children could receive $3,000. The amount depends on last year's earnings.
- How soon new $1,400 stimulus checks and other coronavirus relief could arrive (CNBC) - "We're looking at an early March timetable of getting something signed into law, if everything works correctly."
- Biden's Justice Department to ask nearly all Trump-era U.S. attorneys to resign (NBC News) - U.S. attorneys are the top federal prosecutors of their districts and are political appointees.
- Trump's Impeachment Trial Offers a Chance to Seize the Initiative on the Future of Free Speech (The New Yorker) - As a defense against the House's impeachment charge, however, the legal protections afforded by the First Amendment are largely irrelevant. The Constitution has designed impeachment as a political process, not a judicial one.
- Congressman Ron Wright dies after contracting COVID-19 (CBS News) - The first sitting member of Congress to die of the virus, Wright had also been undergoing treatment for cancer for years, according to a statement released by his office.
- It's not a typical trial. Lawyers in the Trump impeachment case will argue big constitutional questions. (Washington Post) - A First Amendment defense of his fiery speech ahead of the violent Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and a challenge to the legality of putting a former president on trial.
- Biden works hard to suggest he's not paying attention to Trump's impeachment trial (Washington Post) - No sitting president has ever had to contend with the impeachment trial of his predecessor unfolding during his own presidency, let alone in the crucial opening weeks that often present the best opening for getting things done.
- What the Super Bowl taught us about the Trump, Biden voters next door (Deseret News) - Only a small fraction of Super Bowl viewers were staunch supporters of either team - just like most 2020 voters weren't 'Biden supporters' or 'Trump supporters.'
Policy NewsOwens, Allen reintroduce the Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act
U.S. Rep. Burgess Owens (UT-04) and Rep. Rick Allen (GA-12) this week introduced the Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act. The bill expands quality elementary, secondary, and career and technical education opportunities for students by providing a federal tax credit to encourage individuals and businesses to donate to nonprofit scholarship funds. Last week, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) introduced the companion bill in the Senate.
Sen. McKell sponsors legislation to address congregate care programs
S.B. 127 Human Services Program Amendments, sponsored by Sen. Mike McKell (RDistinct 7, Utah County), received a favorable recommendation in the Senate Judiciary, Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee on Monday, February 8, 2021. The legislation increases transparency and proposes to end abusive practices in Utah's congregate care programs.
Sen. Lee introduces resolution to protect D.C. parents' rights, children's health
U.S. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) today introduced a congressional Joint Resolution disapproving of the District of Columbia government's recently passed "Minor Consent for Vaccinations Amendments Act of 2020." The law would allow children as young as 11-years old to consent to vaccinations without their parents' knowledge a dangerous violation of parental rights and children's health.
Rep. Owens named ranking member on House Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Ed. Subcommittee
U.S. Rep. Burgess Owens (UT-04) issued the following statement after being selected as Ranking Member of the House Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education Subcommittee for the 117th Congress:"As the son of an educator and a grandfather to 16 school-aged children, I'm thrilled for the opportunity to lead the Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education Subcommittee for the 117th Congress."
Policy leaders and writers express support for Sen. Romney's 'Family Security Act'
Policy leaders and writers expressed support for U.S. Senator Mitt Romney's (R-UT) newly unveiled Family Security Act, which would provide greater financial security for American families by modernizing antiquated federal policies into a monthly cash benefit. "The plan has some very considerable virtues, starting with the one that Romney highlights: It would substantially reduce poverty and drastically reduce extreme poverty, especially among children. It would simplify government programs and probably make them easier to administerIt would also make it easier for people to start and expand their families." Ramesh Ponnuru, Visiting Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute
On This Day In History
- 1773 - William Henry Harrison is born. Harrison went on to serve as the ninth U.S. president for a brief 32 days in 1841, the shortest term ever served. Harrison is also credited with the record for the longest inaugural address in history. Delivered on a bitterly cold March morning, it clocked in at one hour and 45 minutes. He contracted pneumonia after his inaugural speech and died in April.
- 1825 - The Presidential election is decided in the US House, as no candidate received the majority of electoral votes. John Quincy Adams came out on top.
- 1874 - American poet Amy Lowell is born.
- 1942 - Daylight Savings Time is instituted during World War II. It was repealed in 1945, then standardized again in 1966.
- 1944 - Alice Walker is born. In 1983, she became the first Black woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for her book, "The Color Purple."
- 1950 - Senator McCarthy says there are over 200 communists in the State Department.
- 1960 - Joanne Woodward earns the very first star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
- 1964 - The Beatles appear on the Ed Sullivan show
- 1971 - Leroy "Satchel" Paige becomes the first Negro League veteran to be nominated for the Baseball Hall of Fame.
- 1995 - Bernard Harris becomes the first Black astronaut to take a space walk.
The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any.
George Clooney, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Matthew McConaughey get together to make a movie.
Clooney says, "I'll direct."
DiCaprio says, "I'll act."
McConaughey says, "I'll write, I'll write, I'll write."
Subscribers may receive special messages with information about new features, special offers, or public policy messages from clients and advertisers.
Advertise With Us