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Situational Analysis - March 25, 2021
It's Thursday, March 25 and snow is in the forecast, Just another spring day in Utah. It's also National Tolkien Reading Day, a day to spend some time with the Lord of the Rings (or any of his 30-some books). This particular date was chosen because March 25 is the day that Sauron fell after the One Ring was destroyed in the fires of Mt. Doom.
5 things you need to know
- The state GOP Organizing convention is just over a month away. So far, there are three people who have filed to run for chair: Scott Miller, current SL County GOP chair, Stewart Peay, current Utah County GOP Chair and Carson Jorgensen. Three have also filed for vice-chair: Jordan Hess, Ryan Davis and Austin Cox, who is running with Peay. The filing deadline is next Thursday, April 1 at 5 pm.
- Utah Rep. Jon Hawkins had to relearn how to swallow, walk, talk, eat and breathe after COVID-19 almost killed him. Watch his story here.
- The Boulder, Colorado shooting suspect appears in court for the first time today. You can watch it if you want to.
- Brazil is in rough shape with COVID-19 raging. And, it's young people who are now gettng severely ill and dying.
- There's a giant ship blocking the Suez Canal, snarling global shipping and spawning all manner of memes. Here's just one example. There are so, so many more.
20 days until the end of the Cox/Henderson administration's first 100 days (04/14/2021)
30 days until the United Utah Party Organizing Convention (04/24/2021)
36 days until the Biden/Harris administration's first 100 days are up (04/30/2021)
37 days until the Utah GOP Organizing Convention (05/01/2021)
170 days until half-way through the Cox/Henderson's administration's 500-day plan (09/11/2021)
Today At Utah PolicyTweets of the day
By Holly Richardson
Harmful toxins in the Virgin River, national jobless claims down, reproductive problems and super bugs
Commentary: A speech I wish a new president would deliver
By LaVarr Webb
"As I begin my new administration, I pledge to address the challenges facing our nation. For that reason, today I'm announcing an historic federalism summit. I invite the nation's governors and top legislative leaders from every state to meet with me and the leaders of Congress so that we can forge a close partnership to jointly solve America's most difficult problems.
Letter to the editor: GA killings not racially motivated
By Lt. Colonel Raymond Takashi Swenson
As a Japanese American, I frankly do not see the massage parlors that were attacked recently by a violent wacko as in any way representative of the Asian American community. I was a prosecutor for five years in the Air Force, including three years in Japan, and I roundly condemn murder of any human being. But trying to use that murderer's actions as a reason to indict other Americans, to claim that he is somehow a thought leader for a movement of Americans who hate people of Asian descent, is disgusting and engenders hatred toward the vast number of honest and good Americans.
- Religious disaffiliation is rising. Is there a path back to the fold? - What's driving religiously unaffiliated Americans away from organized religion? And what can bring them back?
- We can't talk about shootings without tackling our void in values - Change will only be brought about when the values of acceptance, understanding, self-control, empathy and valuing the differences in others become part of the moral fabric of our society.
- Salt Lake County mayor in 'wait-and-see' mode on continuing mask mandate - 'What I don't want to do is stir things up,' Mayor Jenny Wilson says.
- National surveys suggest Americans are having less sex. Here's why - or if - it matters to the future - A U professor says there's not a long enough timeline on the available data, which "should lead us to hold on a second before we make pronouncements about the death of sex."
- You're vaccinated. So can you travel for spring break? - The "CDC recommends that you do not travel at this time. Delay travel and stay home to protect yourself and others from COVID-19," the agency suggests on its website.
- Salt Lake family seeking asylum has been in its own type of quarantine for three years - Vicky Chavez is suing U.S. immigration officials, along with three other women in Ohio, Texas and Virginia.
- Mitt Romney: Science, not teachers unions, should dictate schools reopening - The data is in - k-12 schools are not super-spreaders. Schools that can re-open safely should do so.
- Striped vs. solid crosswalk lines: Knowing the difference could save you a ticket - A crosswalk that has a pattern of wide striped lines running from curb to curb - like a ladder - is a designated school crosswalk. According to state law, a motorist must wait for a pedestrian to walk all the way across the street to the opposite sidewalk before proceeding, whether school is in session or not.
Salt Lake Tribune
- Newsom swats away Democratic challengers. Will his party live to regret it? (Politico) - Gov. Gavin Newsom's camp has one message for Democrats considering a California recall bid: Don't even think about it.
- Biden's closest Senate ally emerges as a shadow secretary of state (Politico) - The president dispatched Sen. Chris Coons to Ethiopia recently for an urgent diplomatic mission.
- North Korea launched two ballistic missiles, U.S., Japanese officials say (NBC News) - News of the launch comes after it was reported that the country fired at least one missile over the weekend, an action the U.S. downplayed.
- White House Weighs Executive Orders on Gun Control (New York Times) - A day after President Biden called on Congress to pass a new assault weapons ban and tougher background checks, the administration was considering steps it could take without legislation.
- Top health officials told to prioritize COVID testing for Cuomo's relatives (Albany Times Union) - High-level associates also benefited from program in early days of pandemic.
- Colorado Democrats Consider Ban On Assault Weapons After Mass Shooting (NPR) - "There's no question that the real solution has to come from the federal government. A patchwork of laws is better than nothing, but clearly, if someone is intent on causing harm and we have strict regulations in Colorado, somebody can drive an hour and a half to Wyoming.
- Biden taps Harris to handle border crisis (Washington Post) - "It's not her full-responsibility job, but she is leading the effort because I think the best thing to do is to put someone who, when he or she speaks, they don't have to wonder about, is that where the president is," Biden said. "When she speaks, she speaks for me."
- Rob Bonta nominated to be California attorney general, would be first Filipino in role (NBC News) - His nomination comes amid push for more Asian American and Pacific Islander representation in positions of power in the wake of racist incidents.
- Rachel Levine, Biden's pick for health post, is first openly transgender official to be confirmed by Senate. (New York Times) - Two Republicans, Senators Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine, crossed party lines to vote for Dr. Levine.
- Cuomo's Family Is Said to Have Received Special Access to Virus Tests (New York Times) - Top health officials tested Chris Cuomo, the governor's brother, when testing was not widely available, two people with knowledge of the matter said.
- Democrats Begin Push for Biggest Expansion of Voting Since 1960s (New York Times) - Democrats characterized the far-reaching elections overhaul as the civil rights battle of modern times. Republicans called it a power grab that would put their party at a permanent disadvantage.
- Republicans Aim to Seize More Power Over How Elections Are Run (New York Times) - G.O.P. lawmakers in at least eight states controlled by the party are trying to gain broad influence over the mechanics of voting, in an effort that could further undermine the country's democratic norms.
- Biden faces a flurry of new challenges ahead of first White House news conference (Washington Post) - Nine days are often more like dog years in the life of a president, and somewhere between planning and execution, reality intruded.
- Prosecutors allege 'alliance' between Proud Boys and Oath Keepers on Jan. 6 (Washington Post) - Investigators say members of the two groups coordinated beforehand, preparing for violence.
- House Democrats express alarm over slow stimulus checks (The Hill) - Many people who are elderly, disabled or veterans are facing delays in receiving the $1,400 stimulus checks as part of the most recent COVID-19 relief package.
Policy NewsRowland Hall hires NYU's Dr. Chandani Patel as Director of Equity and Inclusion
After a summer of unprecedented discussions on diversity and inclusion, Rowland Hall leaders felt it wasn't enough for students to talk about these events in class. The institution decided to apply these discussions and find resources to invest in a new director of equity and inclusion position.
Utah Foundation: Measuring the miles - road usage charges in Utah
Utah has joined about a dozen states in exploring a new kind of revenue for road maintenance that charges drivers for miles driven, rather than fuel consumed. While many states have conducted research and pilot projects on road usage charges, Utah and Oregon are the only two states with currently operating programs.
Sen. Lee, colleagues introduce US-UK free trade resolution
Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), and Rick Scott (R-Fla.) today introduced a resolution recognizing the mutual history and special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom, and expressing the Sense of the Senate that the United States President should lay the groundwork for a mutually advantageous future trade agreement between the U.S. and the U.K.
Utah County Chair Stewart Peay, Austin Cox announce campaign for Utah Republican Party Chair, Vice Chair
Today, Utah County Republican Party Chair Stewart Peay announced his intent to run for Chair of the Utah Republican Party, while Republican campaign strategist Austin Cox announced he would run to serve as Peay's Vice Chair.
Romney, colleagues condemn China's human rights abuses against Uyghurs
U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT), Ranking Member of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, today joined Senators Chris Coons (D-DE), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Edward Markey (D-MA), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), and Tim Kaine (D-VA), in introducing a resolution condemning the government of the People's Republic of China (PRC) for its treatment of the Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang and calling for an international investigation into the abuses and crimes committed there.
On This Day In History
- 1634 - The first colonists arrive at Maryland's western shore and establish the first settlement of St. Mary's. Last week, archeologists announced that they had found the ruins of St. Mary's.
- 1807 - The British Parliament passed the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act making the slave trade illegal in the British colonies. However, trade continued in the Caribbean until 1811. Watch the 2007 movie Amazing Grace for a look at the work William Wilberforce put into the effort.
- 1862 - George Sutherland is born. He was a Utah Senator, a U.S. Senator and the only Supreme Court Justice to come from Utah. He was a strong proponent of women's political rights for his entire life. Conservative Utah think tank Sutherland Institute is named for George.
- 1911 - The Triangle Shirtwaist Company factory sweatshop in New York City burns down, killing 146 workers, almost all of them women.
- 1931 - Ida B. Wells Barnett dies of kidney failure at age 68.
- 1934 - Gloria Steinem is born.
- 1949 - Lillian E. Fishburne is born. She became the first African-American female to hold the rank of Rear Admiral (RDML) in the United States Navy (1998).
- 1967 - Debi Thomas is born. In 1988, she became the first Black athlete to ever win a medal in the Olympic Winter Games when she won the bronze in figure skating.
"To my mind the right of women to vote is as obvious as my own right."
"Do you know how stressful it is to parallel-park when there's someone behind you? Imagine blocking a whole hemisphere."
- JIMMY FALLON
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