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Situational Analysis - March 29, 2021
Happy Monday! A big drop in temperature is coming today. My daffodils are wimpering at the weather whiplash. Today is World Piano Day - the 88th day of the year. Clever.
Also, chag sameach to all our friends observing Passover this week.
5 things you need to know
- The Salt Lake County GOP chair resigned Sunday morning..
- The military and police forces in Myanmar continue to kill protestors.
- Iran and China signed a strategic cooperation agreement outlining their economic, political and trade relations for the next 25 years.
- Fox News was hit with a $1.6 B defamation lawsuit from Dominion Voting, arguing that Fox "sold a false story of election fraud in order to serve its own commercial purposes."
- The boat is afloat. The bow has been dislodged and engineers are hopeful that the Suez Canal will reopen to other traffic today.
16 days until the end of the Cox/Henderson administration's first 100 days (04/14/2021)
26 days until the United Utah Party Organizing Convention (04/24/2021)
32 days until the Biden/Harris administration's first 100 days are up (04/30/2021)
33 days until the in-person Utah GOP Organizing Convention (05/01/2021)
166 days until half-way through the Cox/Henderson's administration's 500-day plan (09/11/2021)
Today At Utah PolicyTweets of the day: Weekend SLCo GOP roundup
By Holly Richardson
A lot happened on Twitter over the weekend. Here's a recap.
What happened in the Salt Lake County GOP over the weekend??
By Holly Richardson
What happened in the Salt Lake County GOP this weekend?? Here's a brief timeline:
Utah's economy needs a 'rural renaissance'
By Holly Richardson
Originally published in the Deseret NewsWhile regular attention is paid to Utah's cityscapes, including recent recognition of three of the top 10 economic metro areas in the country, the state has much to offer with its rural opportunity and talent. That talent is already on display with our new Sanpete County-born-and-bred governor, but this is only the tip of the iceberg. I believe the private sector, working with community leaders, can help usher in a rural renaissance for our state and the Intermountain region.
Salt Lake Tribune
- Redfield says he thinks COVID-19 began spreading in Wuhan in September or October (The Hill) - The former CDC director went on to say that he thinks COVID-19 emerged from a lab in China, a theory a World Health Organization official has called "extremely unlikely."
- What the Covid-19 war was really like in Trump's White House (CNN) - No longer working under the Trump administration, six leading US health officials now reveal to CNN the real challenges they faced during the nation's fight against Covid-19 over the past year: death threats, mixed messages and in some cases, being kept from sharing information with national audiences.
- Birx says COVID death toll in U.S. would have been mitigated with earlier action (Reuters) - Birx became sidelined in the final months of Trump's administration, and White House briefings about the pandemic largely ceased.
- 'I can't believe this is happening': Travelers recount tales of getting stuck in Mexico after positive COVID-19 tests (USA Today) - Some travelers have few complaints about how the hotel handled the situation but don't recommend taking the risk of testing positive on an international trip.
- Birx recalls 'very difficult' call with Trump, says hundreds of thousands of Covid deaths were preventable (NBC News) - "I look at it this way: The first time, we have an excuse," Birx said about the initial surge of deaths. "All of the rest of them, in my mind, could have been mitigated or decreased substantially."
- Getting to Yes: A Nursing Home's Mission to Vaccinate Its Hesitant Staff (New York Times) - "Beliefs change with time or new knowledge, so we have to ride it out. Listen hard, don't judge and let them move at their own pace."
- COVID-19 rates of infection surge in New Jersey, New York (Axios) - In New Jersey, the number of new infections over the past month has risen by 37%, according to AP.
- Luck is essential for any successful coronavirus variant, study shows (Medical Xpress) - There are a lot of narrow windows and a lot of high hurdles, and the likelihood that a new variant will clear all of those obstacles is actually pretty slim, the researchers concluded. And that should offer humans a bit of hope. But then there's reality: At least five new "variants of concern" have apparently overcome these forbidding odds in the span of about six months.
- Amish community may have reached COVID 'herd immunity,' health official says (New York Post) - Some experts are more skeptical that a large outbreak has led to widespread immunity in the community.
- Coronavirus Cases Are on the Rise Again (Slate) - Over the past week, the U.S. has reported an average of 61,583 new COVID-19 cases a day, which represents a 12% increase from two weeks ago.
- Dr. Scott Gottlieb: Vaccinating One-Fourth Of US Will Be Virus Backstop (Newsmax) - "What we're seeing around the nation right now, which is worrisome, are outbreaks in certain states...I think what we need to do is try to continue to vaccinate, surge vaccine into those parts of the country... that look hot right now."
- A Republican strategist says GOP voting reform bills are about 'providing cotton candy' to the Trump-obsessed wing of the party (Business Insider) - "These 20 some voter reform laws being proposed in all of these states are all about providing cotton candy to the far-right base that believed the Donald Trump big lie about the election being fraudulent," Cardenas, the leader of the American Conservative Union from 2011 to 2014, said.
- Georgia Republicans made two big mistakes when they attacked voting rights (CNN) - By attacking voting rights Georgia Republicans have abandoned a GOP political strategy that helped them win close elections. And they have angered a powerful bloc of Black voters in Georgia who have already mobilized against them.
- Biden says he's optimistic about passing gun control through divided Senate (New York Post) - The impetus for more gun control was raised in the last few weeks as two separate mass shootings took place at Atlanta-area spas and a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado.
- Fauci says he and Birx had 'bad cop,' 'good cop' roles on Trump coronavirus task force (The Hill) - "I was the bad cop," Fauci responded. "She was the good cop."
- The Biden do-over: Democrats get a chance to try again on Obama defeats (Washington Post) - During his first formal news conference Thursday, Biden repeatedly returned to a theme of getting things done, approaching the office almost like a general contractor on a construction project.
- Biden to unveil major new spending plans as Democrats eye bigger role for government (Washington Post) - The president is set to tout key components of an infrastructure overhaul and the early contours of his 2022 budget.
- How 2 Legislative Tacticians Scored Big Wins on Child Poverty in the Stimulus (New York Times) - After working for decades on the issue, Senator Patty Murray and Representative Rosa DeLauro teamed up to ensure that the stimulus law included a lifeline to the nation's poorest families.
- N.Y. congressman: Border crisis due to decades of bad U.S. behavior (Politico) - "We have disrupted the political, social, and economic systems in Central America for over a century," Rep. Jamaal Bowman said.
- Buttigieg charms Washington with his accessibility (The Hill) - As the only millennial serving in Biden's Cabinet, Buttigieg has continued to be the young, reliable and sharp advocate for the administration.
Policy NewsSens. Lee, Crapo, and Risch introduce MORE PILT Act
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) on Thursday introduced the Making Obligations Right by Enlarging Payments in Lieu of Taxes Act, or MORE PILT Act. Sens. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Jim Risch (R-Idaho) joined as original cosponsors of the bill.
Sen. Lee, colleagues urge HHS to expand ethical sources of fetal tissue
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) on Friday led 15 of his colleagues in sending a letter to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) requesting that the agency evaluate its ability to expand the existing organ donation network to include preterm and stillborn infant donors, so as to provide an ethical alternative to aborted fetal tissue. Under no circumstance should scientific research and experimentation use cells or tissues derived from abortion.
Sen. Lee reintroduces Poverty Improvement Act
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) today reintroduced the Poverty Measurement Improvement Act, a bill that would improve the accuracy of poverty measurement in the United States by requiring the Census Bureau to supplement its existing poverty data with additional data from other federal agencies.
2020 a standout year for home sale price escalation
Utah Foundation's 2020 Utah Priorities Project found that housing affordability is a top issue to Utah voters. This is due in part to increasing housing prices.Based on data collected by Redfin (a real estate brokerage that publishes national housing data), Utah's housing prices skyrocketed in 2020.
Citizens' Climate Lobby holding virtual townhall Mon. March 29
All faiths, all ages, and people all across the political spectrum are invited to an online Town Hall with Citizens' Climate Lobby (CCL) Monday March 29th from 6-7:30pm. We'll be continuing discussions about local solutions to our clean air problems here in Utah. You will hear presentations from local leaders including BYU Professor Ben Abbott, Representatives Kera Bierkeland (HD 53) and Mike Kohler (HD 54), Mayor Celeste Johnson of Midway, and Mayor Kelleen Potter of Heber City. Our panel will be moderated by Utah high school and college students.
On This Day In History
- 1806 - Construction is authorized for the Great National Pike, better known as the Cumberland Road, which became the first United States federal highway.
- 1848 - Niagara Falls stops flowing for 30 hours due to an ice jam
- 1865 - Appomattox, the final campaign in the Civil War, begins.
- 1885 - Frances Bolton is born. She created an endowment to build a school of nursing at Case Western Reserve in 1923 after working with the Visiting Nurse Association and seeing the homes of the desperately poor. She helped remove color lines in nursing, and as a Republican Congresswoman from Ohio, she worked for racial equality and equal pay. She also is the only woman to have served in Congress simultaneously with her son, who represented a district to the east of his mother's.
- 1929 - President Herbert Hoover has a phone installed at his desk in the Oval Office of the White House, the first president to do so.
- 1951 - Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are convicted of espionage for their role in passing atomic secrets to the Soviets. They were executed on June 19, 1953 in Sing Sing Prison in New York. Both maintained their innocence to the end.
- 1973 - The last US soldiers leave Vietnam.
- 1974 - Chinese farmers discover the Terracotta Army near Xi'an, 8,000 clay warrior statues buried to guard the tomb of China's 1st emperor, Qin Shi Huang.
- 1993 - Catherine Callbeck becomes the first woman in Canada to be elected as premier.
"Prejudice [must be put down] wherever it raises its head, whether we are victims or not. [An] attack on any group endangers everyone's freedom."
~Congresswoman Frances Bolton in an address before the UN General Assembly regarding the practices of apartheid in South Africa.
Spring cleaning never killed anyone but why take a chance??
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