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Situational Analysis - March 2, 2021
Welcome to Wednesday. Today is National Anthem Day. Nearly 117 years passed after Key penned "Defence of Fort M'Henry" before it became the national anthem of the United States of America. "Hail Columbia" and "My Country' Tis of Thee" held honorary places as patriotic songs. But, the United States didn't have an officially declared anthem until a congressional resolution, signed by President Herbert Hoover, until "The Star Spangled Banner" became the national anthem of the United States of America on March 3rd, 1931.
The Utah legislature will spend all day on the floor debating bills. By the time a bill gets to the floor for debate, its chances of passing are pretty good. Still, there are always some surprises. Follow along at le.utah.gov
If you only have time for one thing today: Check out this piece from the Daily Herald about Dr. LaShawn Williams' presentation at UVU on "Latter-day Saints, White Supremacy, and Black Lives Matter." Dr. Williams, an associate professor of social work at UVU, showed a brief timeline of the history of Black members in the LDS church. "Black lives matter is an eternal truth," Williams said, referring to the October talk by President Dallin Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency of the church. She left them with these thoughts, "Choose to be LDS first, before you're white."
2 days to the end of the 2021 Utah Legislature (3/5/21)
42 days until the end of the Cox/Henderson administration's first 100 days (04/14/2021)
58 days until the Biden/Harris administration's first 100 days are up (04/30/2021)
Today At Utah PolicyTweets of the day: #utleg, Utah's tech sector, utility scams and the job market
By Holly Richardson
Today's tweets cover Confucius Institutes, school board elections, the tech sector needs women, the Utah Department of Commerce warns against utility scams and the Utah job market.
Gutting bills, domestic terrorism on the rise and more
By Holly Richardson
Today's random assortment of news articles looks at the Campus Safety bill (gutted), the rise in domestic terrorism, a new female-athlete-focused media company and a rocket attack in Iraq. Happy Wednesday.
Commentary: What if a Utah family borrowed like Utah state government? Or like the federal government?
By LaVarr Webb
The Utah Legislature is debating whether to bond (borrow) $1.4 billion for infrastructure, mostly for big transportation and building projects. Meanwhile, the U.S. Congress is debating whether to approve a nearly $2 trillion pandemic relief package that will add that $2 trillion to the national debt.It's worth considering how these two big proposed expenditures, one at the state level, the other at the federal level, differ. And what if a family emulated these borrowing/spending practices?
- The silenced majority - In red America and blue America, an epidemic of self-censorship is threatening democracy.
- New biography of President Dallin H. Oaks uses his journals, letters to show man behind the talks - The author of a new biography about President Dallin H. Oaks is on a mission to set the record straight about Oaks' stern public image.
- Longing to belong: How RootsTech can help us avoid one of society's greatest threats Isolation, pandemic-induced or otherwise, has created an incredible sense of disconnect. Individuals across the globe are starving to be interconnected with something a little bigger and little greater than themselves.
- He fell victim to a Ponzi scheme. But now this Utah composer has made a 'huge' comeback - The cops and attorneys showed up at the end of the workday. Dark, gloomy faces matched the cold November weather. what had started out as a nondescript day became the day Chance Thomas says he "lost everything." On March 1, after a 23-month long negotiation effort with the courts, he launched a web store, HUGEsound Records.
- Utah affordable housing advocates celebrate $35M earmarked by Legislature - Funding is 'the most money that housing has ever received,' director says.
- Biden says all U.S. adults could get vaccine by end of May; Cox says end of April for Utahns - Take your 'shot' against COVID-19, Salt Lake County residents urged in new campaign.
- Utah Legislature OKs bill pushed by Paris Hilton to regulate 'troubled teen' centers - The Utah House gave final legislative approval to SB127 on Tuesday night, less than a month after Hilton came to Utah's Capitol Hill to give emotional and graphic testimony in front of a panel of Utah senators.
- St. George senator predicts 'Dixie' name will remain on the university campus 'in some fashion' - Sen. Don Ipson, R-St. George, who is now the Senate floor sponsor of the latest version of HB278, predicts the name Dixie will remain on the campus in some capacity.
- Sen. Mike Lee questions how FBI is tracking down people in Capitol riot investigation - Sen. Mike Lee suggested Tuesday that the FBI might be inappropriately interviewing people who were in Washington on Jan. 6 but didn't enter the U.S. Capitol or participate in the violence.
Salt Lake Tribune
- Johnson & Johnson vaccine deepens concerns over racial and geographic inequities (Washington Post) - Decisions to send it to harder-to-reach communities make practical sense, but could drive perceptions of a two-tiered system.
- Biden Says U.S. Will Have Vaccine Supply For All Adults By May, Prioritizes Teachers (NPR) - Biden said his administration is invoking the Defense Production Act to boost production of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration over the weekend.
- Merck will help make Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine as rivals team up to help Biden accelerate shots (Washington Post) - The administration also brokered a commitment to round-the-clock production of the vaccine to speed manufacturing.
- Biden promises enough coronavirus vaccine for 'every adult in America' by the end of May (Washington Post) - But federal officials worry pandemic progress might stall as states nationwide lift restrictions.
- CDC to announce Americans with COVID vaccine can gather indoors without masks: report (Fox News) - Despite that, Dr. Walensky warned Americans not to get complacent amid new variants and tens of thousands of new cases every day.
- Rural Americans in pharmacy deserts hurting for Covid-19 vaccines (CNN) - A recent analysis by the Rural Policy Research Institute found that 111 rural counties, mostly located between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains, have no pharmacy that can give the vaccines.
- The flu killed nearly 200 children last season. This time, 1 has died. (Washington Post) - The obliteration of the flu epidemic tells us that the way that influenza is transmitted from one person to another might really have been impacted by the use of masks, more than anything else.
- 'Worrisome' California and N.Y. coronavirus variants raise specter of new outbreaks (Los Angeles Times) - "It is really risky to say, 'It's over; we're on the way out,'" Fauci said on CNN's "State of the Union." He noted that in past periods of the pandemic, "when we started to pull back prematurely, we saw the rebound. We definitely don't want that to happen."
- It's not yet time to relax the Covid-19 restrictions (CNN) - The US is facing a very real risk of losing all its recent gains in the battle against the virus as highly contagious variants take advantage of Americans getting lax with safety measures.
- This COVID-19 vaccine side effect can be mistaken for cancer (Deseret News) Swollen lymph nodes often occur on the same arm where you received the COVID-19 shot. It can happen when you get other vaccinations for such issues as the flu.
- The Brazil variant may cause reinfection for those who had COVID-19, study says (Deseret News) - The studies said the variant gained the ability to infect some people who had immunity from previous bouts of COVID-19. Laboratory experiments suggest that P.1 could weaken the protective effect of a Chinese vaccine now in use in Brazil.
- Hydroxychloroquine shouldn't be used to prevent COVID-19, WHO experts say (Deseret News) - A panel of WHO experts said the drug had no meaningful impact on deaths or hospitalizations due to the coronavirus, and it could even increase the risk of severe effects.
- Texas Drops Its Virus Restrictions as a Wave of Reopenings Takes Hold (New York Times) - As coronavirus cases fall, states are rescinding mask mandates and reopening businesses and schools, prompting people to emerge after months of isolation despite uncertainty about the pandemic's future.
- Health experts warn lifting COVID-19 mask mandate could create resurgence in Texas cases (CBS Austin) - "There's nothing that can be worse for our health, our safety, and frankly our businesses, then having another surge of COVID," said Travis County Judge Andy Brown.
Policy NewsRep. Curtis introduces bipartisan telehealth bill in House E&C Committee
Today, Representative John Curtis (R-UT), member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, spoke about his telehealth bill, the "COVID-19 Emergency Telehealth Impact Reporting Act" during the House E&C hearing about the future of telehealth care. The recently reintroduced, bipartisan legislation will study the impacts of telehealth during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE). The legislation requires the US Department of Health and Human Services to assess key health care metrics, including utilization rates and hospital readmission rates, for patients who received their health care through expanded telehealth programs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sen. Lee introduces Childcare Worker Opportunity Act
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) today introduced the Childcare Worker Opportunity Act, a bill to repeal burdensome District of Columbia licensing requirements for childcare workers. The bill is cosponsored by Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.), and house companion legislation is sponsored by Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C).In December of 2016, the District of Columbia issued regulations requiring certain childcare workers to have either an associate or bachelor's degree, depending on the type of child care they provide.
Generous Utahns show big support for 35th annual Scouting for Food Drive
When Utah Governor Spencer J. Cox issued a proclamation declaring Jan. 25 Feb. 12, 2021 as Utah's 35th Annual Scouting for Food Drive, generous Utahns heeded the call by donating an estimated 142,000 pounds of food at donation drop off sites across the state.
Gov. Cox, Pamela Atkinson advocate for homeless Utah families by asking Utahns to donate on state tax form
Following a visit today at The Road Home Midvale Family Resource Center with a Utah family who recently experienced homelessness, Gov. Spencer J. Cox encouraged Utahns to give to the Pamela Atkinson Homeless Trust Fund on their 2020 Utah state tax forms. Donations can also easily be made online at jobs.utah.gov/htf.
Romney praises sanctions on Russian officials for Navalny poisoning
U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) today released the following statement after the Biden administration announced sanctions on seven Russian officials in response to the poisoning and imprisonment of opposition leader and anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny. Romney recently introduced the Holding Russia Accountable for Malign Activities Act of 2020, a targeted bill which would impose sanctions on Russian officials complicit in violations of international law, including the poisoning of Navalny.
On This Day In History
- 1820 - Congress passes the Missouri Compromise, granting Missouri statehood as a slave state under the condition that slavery was to be forever prohibited in the rest of the Louisiana Purchase north of the 36th parallel, which runs approximately along the southern border of Missouri.
- 1840 - Hin-mah-too-ya-lat-kekt, or Thunder Rolling Down the Mountain, is born. Later known as Chief Joseph, he became Chief of the Nez Perce in 1871 following the death of his father.
- 1842 - The first US child labor law regulating working hours passes in Massachusetts.
- 1845 - Florida becomes the 27th state of the Union.
- 1847 - The US Post Office Department is authorized to issue postage stamps.
- 1871 - Hiram R. Revels is elected to the US Senate by the Mississippi legislature, becoming the first Black Senator.
- 1879 - Belva Lockwood becomes the first woman admitted to appear before the Supreme Court. She lobbied for six. years.
- 1887 - Helen Keller meets Anne Sullivan for the first time.
- 1902 - Sarah Rector is born. She was an African American member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, best known for being the "richest colored girl in the world." Given her wealth, the Oklahoma Legislature declared her to be a White person, so that she would be allowed to travel in first-class accommodations on the railroad, as befitted her position.
- 1910 - John D. Rockefeller Jr. announces his retirement from managing his businesses so that he can be devoted full time to being a philanthropist.
- 1912 - Isabella Goodwin is the first ever female municipal detective when she is promoted within the New York City police department.
- 1913 - The Women's Suffrage Parade in Washington, D.C. gathered over 8000 women asking for a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to vote.
- 1923 - Time Magazine publishes its first issue.
- 1931 - The Star Spangled Banner becomes official US national anthem.
- 1962 - Jackie Joyner-Kersee is born.
- 1990 - Carole Gist is crowned the first Black Miss USA.
- 1991 - LAPD officers beat Rodney King on camera
- 2017 - Mass grave of 800 children and infants confirmed at a former Catholic care home in Tuam, Ireland.
"We have prayed, we have coaxed, we have begged, for the vote, with the hope that men, out of chivalry, would bestow equal rights upon women and take them into partnership in the affairs of the state. We hoped that their common sense would triumph over prejudices and stupidity. We thought their boasted sense of justice would overcome the errors that so often fetter the human spirit; but we have always gone away empty handed. We shall beg no more."
~Helen Keller, in her speech to the delegates of the New Woman's Party, June 11, 1916, Chicago
Q: Everyone has these on their face. What are they?
Q: What is Spring's favorite kind of pickles?
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