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Situational Analysis - March 10, 2021
Welcome to Wednesday and a big change in weather from Monday's warmth. Today is National Blueberry Popover Day and National Registered Dietician Nutritionist Day. Coincidence?
Don't miss today's request for nominations for the Common Ground Leader Award! We are looking for those leaders who are bridge builders, not bridge burners.
If you only have time for one thing: Read this longer piece about the "viral tsumani" of COVID-19. New Year's Eve 2019: Ian Lipkin, a famed Columbia University epidemiologist, is having dinner with his wife and a fellow scientist. He gets a confidential phone call from a highly placed source in China: There's a cluster of pneumonia-like illnesses in the city of Wuhan caused by a novel coronavirus. The source says it's not that big a deal: It doesn't look very transmissible. "I was told not to worry about it," Lipkin recalls. It was something to worry about.....More than a year into this global health emergency, Maria Van Kerkhove, an epidemiologist with the World Health Organization, says simply, "We are humbled by this virus."
35 days until the end of the Cox/Henderson administration's first 100 days (04/14/2021)
51 days until the Biden/Harris administration's first 100 days are up (04/30/2021)
Today At Utah PolicySeeking nominations for this year's Common Ground Leader Award!
By Holly Richardson
We hear a lot about the anger and the rancor that some elected officials and other leaders engage in. Their behavior might make headlines but it doesn't usually make for good policy. What does make for good policy is a willingness to come to the table, to listen, to examine and to learn from multiple perspectives. Then, doing the heavy lifting of solving complex problems that need addressing. Many times, those efforts happen in the background and can easily be overlooked. We want to change that.
Tweets of the day
By Holly Richardson
Some COVID-19 news, the death of a whistle-blower, losing ground on voting rights and Google doodles.
Guest opinion: Is Mike Lee strong enough to slay the Silicon Monster?
By Jared Whitley
A chorus of international voices slammed Silicon Valley's overlords when they silenced President Donald Trump on social media in January, including heads of state from France, Germany, Mexico, and Australia. To stave off similar political manipulation, Uganda blocked Facebook ahead of its election and India threatened to jail Twitter employees who got out of line. The European Union has threatened fines in the billions for Silicon Valley's tacit support of terrorists. Poland and Hungary are realizing Big Tech is the biggest threat to their national sovereignty since the Soviet Union.
Salt Lake Tribune
- Standing in the shadow of Zion - The Wright family uses a love of rodeo to keep their other passion, a ranching operation in southern Utah, afloat.
- What Latter-day Saint history experts thought of 'Murder Among the Mormons' - New Netflix docuseries recounts the story of Mark Hofmann, the Salt Lake City forger and murderer.
- What's on a mask? Politicians send messages with face coverings - Though face masks might be on the way out in the near future, they're readily used for political and fashion statements alike among politicians.
- From J.K. Rowling to Josh Hawley, writers with unpopular beliefs are under siege. Now Amazon is on the battlefield - Publishers once wanted conservative books because they make money, but they're pulling back at the first whiff of controversy.
- Salt Lake County boy is state's first COVID-19 child death - He was between 1 and 14 years old and was hospitalized at the time of his death.
- Former Utah parks manager awarded bids to his own company, charges say -
- Kaysville man also charged with billing state for work that was never completed.
- Bay Area property management startup Belong to open HQ2 in Utah - Belong's home rental platform has some similarity to the short-term services offered by Airbnb and VRBO, but is focused on long-term rental homes and picks up all of the property management responsibilities, including handling repairs, for a portion of the monthly rent.
- COVID-19 surge reinstates restrictions in Garfield County; ages 50 and over eligible for vaccine next week (St. George News) - Garfield and much of Southern Utah has seen new infections get worse or plateau in the last two weeks.
- Alaska will be first in U.S. to offer COVID-19 vaccines to all adults (Alaska Public Media) - Anyone who lives or works in Alaska, age 16 and older, is now eligible.
- What the next CDC guidelines for the fully vaccinated could look like (CNN) - The next version of the guidelines, Slavitt said, will instead describe activities as being more in a low, medium or high risk category.
- Biden $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill nears finish line in Congress (The Washington Post) - Democrats touted the breadth of the legislation, which they have begun to frame not just as a bill to attack the coronavirus pandemic and economic downturn but as a generational anti-poverty measure.
- A viral tsunami: How the underestimated coronavirus took over the world (The Washington Post) - More than a year into this global health emergency, Maria Van Kerkhove, an epidemiologist with the World Health Organization, says simply, "We are humbled by this virus."
- How America's Vaccine System Makes People With Health Problems Fight for a Place in Line (The Washington Post) - At least 37 states, as well as Washington, D.C., are now allowing some residents with certain health problems to receive vaccines, according to a New York Times survey. But the health issues granted higher priority differ from state to state, and even county to county.
- Hunting for a Leftover Vaccine? This Site Will Match You With a Clinic. (The New York Times) - More than half a million people have signed up for Dr. B, a service that promises to match them with clinics struggling to equitably dole out extra doses before they expire.
- Democrats spar over COVID-19 vaccine strategy (The Hill) - Behind the scenes, Democratic leaders and rank-and-file members are at odds over their strategy, a disagreement rooted in growing concerns that the new, slightly less effective one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine might be sent disproportionately to vulnerable minority communities.
- There's some encouraging data about the COVID-19 vaccine in Israel (Deseret News) - "Out of those who were tested for the coronavirus at least a week after their second shot, less than 1% tested positive, and less than 0.2% developed COVID-19 symptoms."
- 3 things you can do once you've been vaccinated (Deseret News) - Visiting with other fully vaccinated people indoors without masks or physical distancing, visiting unvaccinated people who are low risk for severe COVID-19 symptoms, skipping quarantine and testing if you've been exposed to COVID-19 and remain asymptomatic.
- 'Moderna arm' is the latest vaccine reaction worrying people (Deseret News) - One woman described the reaction as looking like someone ripped a bandage off of your arm.
- 7 tips for fully vaccinated Americans (Deseret News) - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has 7 tips for those who recently got the full vaccination against COVID-19.
- Can you spread coronavirus after you got the vaccine? (Deseret News) - The research is still out on that.
- No link between COVID-19 vaccine and 4 Utahns who died after shots, medical examiner says (Salt Lake Tribune) - National database has not shown patterns 'that would indicate a safety problem with COVID-19 vaccines,' federal officials report.
- Long-haul Covid patients can experience 'waves of symptoms,' early research suggests (NBC News) - When Lambert analyzed symptom onset specifically, distinct patterns emerged.
- Biden picks 2 antitrust crusaders. But his biggest choices come next. (Politico) - The president's selection of Silicon Valley critics for key posts at the White House and the Federal Trade Commission could be a sign of a new direction - or a sop to progressives.
- Biden's signature won't appear on third stimulus check, White House says (CNN) - Physical stimulus checks sent to American households last year included a note on the bottom left with then-President Donald Trump's name. Individuals receiving electronic stimulus payments also received a letter signed by the President.
- House Passes Labor Rights Expansion, but Senate Chances Are Slim (The New York Times) - The House approved the most significant enhancement of labor rights since the New Deal, but the measure appeared headed for a Senate filibuster amid widespread Republican opposition.
- Pentagon to extend National Guard troops at US Capitol through May (Fox News) - Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said he will be extending the National Guard troops stationed at the U.S. Capitol until May 28.
- Nancy Pelosi hails 'historic' Covid relief bill as House prepares to vote (The Guardian) - The House vote on the bill, which includes checks for most American households, comes after the Senate passed a modestly reworked version of the package on Saturday and will clinch Biden's most significant early legislative achievement.
- Dozens of Capitol rioters were turned in by childhood friends, family members, colleagues and ex-lovers who watched them storm the building (CBS News) - According to court documents, the FBI has arrested many based on tips from family members, work colleagues, childhood friends and ex-lovers who called authorities after watching their acquaintances participate in the siege on TV or, in some cases, on the rioters' own social media accounts.
- Hannity accuses White House of trying to 'buy time' for 'cognitively struggling' Biden (Fox News) - Hannity asked why White House staff is "continuing to hide President Biden? What do they know? You, we have a right to know."
- Move Over, Nerds. It's the Politicians' Economy Now. (The New York Times) - Leaders of both parties have become willing to act directly to extract the nation from economic crisis, taking that role back from the central bank.
- Biden to review Trump's 'due process' policy on campus sexual assault allegations (Deseret News) - Administration officials have 100 days to review policy that allows those alleged sexual assault offenders to cross-examine their accusers in nonjudicial hearings.
Policy NewsSen. Lee reintroduces One Agency Act to streamline and improve antitrust enforcement
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) reintroduced the One Agency Act Tuesday, legislation that would improve antitrust enforcement by putting all antitrust enforcement under one roof, at the Department of Justice. The updated bill will also prohibit the Federal Communications Commission from undertaking duplicative competitive analyses of deals under its purview. It is co-sponsored by Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), and supported by several outside groups.
Sen. Lee and bipartisan coalition continue to push for larger universal charitable deduction
Today, Senators Mike Lee (R-Utah), Chris Coons (D-Del.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) introduced the Universal Giving Pandemic Response and Recovery Act, a bipartisan proposal to extend and expand the universal charitable deduction. The bill would ensure that Americans who donate to non-profits such as charitable and religious organizations are able to deduct their giving from their federal tax liability at a higher level than the $300 deduction instituted temporarily through two of the COVID-19 relief packages.
Rep. Owens rejects pro-union boss, anti-worker legislation
U.S. Rep. Burgess Owens (UT-04) released the following statement in opposition to H.R. 842, The "Protecting the Right to Organize" Act, a sweeping piece of legislation that will harm workers, discourage business, and aid union bosses.
Utah wildlife habitat, migration corridor permanently protected
Nearly 4,900 acres of prime elk habitat in northcentral Utah is now forever protected thanks to a conservation-minded landowner, the USDA Forest Service, Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands (FFSL), and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
Congressmen Blake Moore and Marc Veasey ntroduce the National Medal of Honor Monument Act
On Monday, Congressmen Blake Moore (UT-01) and Marc Veasey (TX-33) introduced the National Medal of Honor Monument Act, bipartisan legislation to pave the way for the creation of a monument in our nation's capital recognizing the Medal of Honor and its fewer than 4,000 recipients.
- Asian stocks bounce off two-month low as bonds, China markets steady (Reuters) - Tuesday's wild moves in big U.S. tech underscored how volatile markets, increasingly dominated by super-sized passive funds, are likely to be this year as the world tries to reset after the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Los Angeles Movie Theaters Could Reopen In One Week (Deadline) - If Los Angeles can maintain its Covid-19 numbers at the current level for just one more week, several sectors would be able to reopen - including cinemas at a 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is less.
- With congressional approval imminent, Biden prepares to send checks, but big stimulus challenges loom (Washington Post) - The IRS must craft rules for new advance payments of the expanded child tax credits; stand up a system to pay them out, perhaps on a monthly basis; and process other changes under the rescue plan, including fresh help to unemployed Americans.
- The difference between the Trump tax cuts and the Biden relief bill, in one chart (Washington Post) - There are some big differences for the top 1%.
On This Day In History
- 1452 - Ferdinand II of Aragon is born. He and his wife Isabella funded Columbus' journey in 1492.
- 1867 - Lillian Wald is born. A pioneering nurse and social activist, she started American community nursing when she established the Henry Street Settlement in NYC.
- 1876 - The first discernible speech is transmitted over a telephone system when inventor Alexander Graham Bell summons his assistant in another room by saying, "Mr. Watson, come here; I want you."
- 1898 - Josephine Grove Holloway is born. She founded the first unofficial Girl Scout troop for African American girls and worked for two decades to have her troops recognized by the Nashville Girl Scout Council.
- 1903 - Clare Booth Luce, playwright and politician, is born.
- 1906 - An explosion in a complex series of mines kills 1,060 in France.
- 1913 - Harriet Tubman dies of pneumonia at about age 91. She earned the nickname "Moses" for her role as a conductor on the Underground Railroad. During the American Civil War, Tubman volunteered as a cook and nurse but quickly became a scout and spy for the Union. In this role, she freed hundreds of slaves. She was buried with military honors at Fort Hill Cemetery in Auburn.
- 1917 - Turkish troops begin evacuation of Baghdad.
- 1928 - James Earl Ray is born.
- 1940 - Chuck Norris is born. I hear it was the doctor who cried.
- 1951 - FBI director J. Edgar Hoover declines post of baseball commissioner.
- 1959 - Tibetans surround the summer palace of the Dalai Lama in defiance of Chinese occupation forces.
- 1964 - Simon and Garfunkel record the first version of "The Sound of Silence."
- 1969 - James Earl Ray pleads guilty to killing Martin Luther King, Jr.
- 1972 - 3000 delegates and 5000 observers attend the first Black political convention in Gary, Indiana.
- 1982 - President Ronald Reagan declares sanctions against Libya.
- 1983 - Carrie Underwood is born.
- 1988 - Disco sensation Andy Gibb dies at age 30.
- 1997 - The PalmPilot is released.
- 2019 - Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302 crashes just after take-off from Addis Ababa, killing all 157 on board.
"Because I am a woman, I must make unusual efforts to succeed. If I fail, no one will say, 'She doesn't have what it takes. They will say, 'Women don't have what it takes.'"
~Clare Boothe Luce
Butter bring an umbrella, it's raining!
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