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Situational Analysis - March 8, 2021
Welcome to Monday and the start of a brand-new week. Today is International Women's Day. Will you #ChooseToChallenge gender bias and inequities??
Over the weekend, the U.S. Senate passed the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill on a party-line vote of 50-49. It goes back to the House for concurrence and is expected to be on the president's desk this week.
In Utah, the 2021 legislative wrapped up Friday night. Lots of news coverage in today's newsletter.
If you only have time for one thing today: Read about "Bloody Sunday," March 7th, 1965. On that day, 600 people were marching towards Selma, Alabama when they were attacked on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, named for a Confederate brigadier general, Grand Dragon of the Alabama Ku Klux Klan, and U.S. senator who stood against Black rights. Law enforcement officers beat the unarmed marchers with billy clubs and sprayed them with tear gas. The late John Lewis had his skull cracked and 54-year-old Amelia Boynton was left unconsious. President Lyndon B. Johnson stepped in and by August, he signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
37 days until the end of the Cox/Henderson administration's first 100 days (04/14/2021)
53 days until the Biden/Harris administration's first 100 days are up (04/30/2021)
Today At Utah PolicyTweets of the day: Final #utleg general session roundup
By Holly Richardson
Wrapping up the 2021 legislative session.
International Women's Day
By Holly Richardson
Today is International Women's Day. It has been observed for more than a century since it began in the United States in 1909. The observance went international in 1911 and the date was moved to March 8 in 1913, where it remains today.
Analysis: GOP hopefuls are testing the water against Mike Lee in 2022
By LaVarr Webb
Sen. Mike Lee is clearly favored to win re-election next year. But he's going to have competition, not just from a Democratic opponent, but also for the Republican nomination. The field is certainly not set, but indications are that Lee will face more than just token opposition.For example, Ally Isom, a Republican from the party's more moderate wing, is seriously considering challenging Lee. She has an impressive resume and a strong array of relationships and contacts. Former state Rep. Becky Edwards, North Salt Lake, who served five terms in the Utah House, is also said to be considering the race.
- The forever family - How the new science of genealogy (DNA testing) is helping the lost become found.
- Our election system needs reform, and most Americans agree - Just 1 out of 4 voters (26%) are confident that the right person was declared the winner in each of the last two presidential elections.
- Tech winners in Utah's 2021 legislative session: Cellphone porn filters, new rules for social media platforms and personal privacy protections - Utahns are set to see some new protections of their personal digital data and how it is gathered, stored and shared by online companies and government agencies thanks to a handful of bills passed in the 2021 Utah legislative session.
- This International Women's Day, #ChooseToChallenge - #ChooseToChallenge - challenge inequities, challenge bias, challenge assumptions, challenge stereotypes, challenge the status quo, challenge the gender pay gap and challenge sexism, both hostile and benevolent.
- Salt Lake's homeless have hard time getting to court, so court's coming to them - Initiative is part of broader push to bring services to encampments before sweeps take place.
- They're finally making electric school buses and some are on their way to Utah - "It's such new technology for the school bus industry. We're gonna be the first to have one, even in Utah," said Ken Martinez of the Salt Lake City School District.
- Utah Legislature made sweeping changes to homeless system, record investment in housing - Tara Rollins, executive director of the Utah Housing Coalition, described the $35 million investment into affordable housing as a record in the state that's critically needed as many who work in industries like tourism and hospitality are unable to find affordable living situations.
- Pandemic created optimal conditions for Utah organ transplant patients - Intermountain Healthcare experiences record number of transplants in 2020
- The 'unbelievable' story of forgiveness Netflix doesn't tell in 'Murder Among the Mormons' - Mark Hofmann's ex-wife, Dorie Olds, tells the true story of how a well-known Utah family of one of his victims stepped up to help her son
Salt Lake Tribune
- Utah reports fewest COVID-19 deaths since October (Salt Lake Tribune) - The state health department tallies 412 new cases, one more death, and 12,631 more vaccinations.
- Local blood drive also tests for COVID-19 antibodies (FOX 13) - The test results will let donors know if they may have had the virus but were asymptomatic.
- U.S. sees Pfizer's and other Western COVID-19 vaccines becoming latest target of Russian disinformation (MarketWatch) - One false Russian claim: that the U.S. rushed the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine through the regulatory process.
- Fauci predicts high schoolers will receive coronavirus vaccinations this fall (The Hill) - The nation's leading infectious disease expert also predicted that younger students in elementary schools will "likely be able to get vaccinated by the very first quarter of 2022."
- 'Hassle Factor' and Distrust Shadow Wide U.S. Vaccine Hesitancy (Bloomberg) - Willingness to be vaccinated is lower in the U.S than in many countries. Hesitancy is especially prevalent in minority communities.
- The CDC just warned of 3 new coronavirus vaccine side effects (BGR) - Redness at the injection site, muscle pain and nausea bring the list of common side effects to 9.
- Spring Breakers Take Over Florida amid COVID Pandemic: 'We're Very Concerned,' Miami Beach Mayor Says (People magazine) - "I'm not opposed to college kids having fun - just not in the middle of a pandemic," Broward County Mayor Steve Geller said.
- More than a quarter of Utahns have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine (Deseret News) - About 10% of Utahns are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with two doses of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines. Nearly 12% of the population has had confirmed diagnoses of COVID-19.
- Senate passes the COVID-19 relief bill. So how much money do you get? (Deseret News) - The bill will provide direct payments of up to $1,400 for most Americans. People who make $80,000 and couples making $160,000 will not receive a stimulus payment.
- World on brink of fourth wave of coronavirus (The Hill) - Total reported cases rose across the globe in the last week of February after six weeks of decline, driven in part by new, more virulent variants.
- Blinken offers plan to bolster Afghan peace process, report indicates (Politico) - His letter calls for a conference facilitated by the United Nations.
- Afghanistan conflict: US warns of new Taliban 'spring offensive' (Politico) - In a letter to the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Mr Blinken called for a 90-day reduction in violence and a transitional government formed from both sides.
- US and South Korea agree on new cost-sharing deal for troops (Associated Press) - The State Department's Bureau of Political-Military Affairs said Sunday the deal includes a "negotiated increase" in Seoul's share of the cost.
- Manchin Expresses Openness to Making Filibuster Harder to Use (New York Times) - The moderate Democrat said he would not support killing off the procedural tool that requires bipartisan support for most bills, but signaled a willingness to advance some party-line votes.
- French politician Olivier Dassault dies in helicopter crash (CNN) - "Captain of industry, deputy, local elected official, reserve commander in the air force: during his life, he never ceased to serve our country, to enhance its assets," said French president Macron.
- What happens next with the Covid relief bill (and when you could see another stimulus check) (CNN) - People could start seeing the $1,400 stimulus payments hit their bank accounts within days of Biden signing the bill -- which is expected to happen soon after the House votes on Tuesday.
- Opinion: Biden's historic victory for America -- no thanks to GOP (CNN) - Given the scale and scope of this measure, it is an accomplishment that will cement Biden's historic role in overseeing the country's recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
- New York State Senate Leader Calls For Cuomo's Resignation (NPR) - The top Democratic lawmaker in New York, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, called for the resignation of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
- How Trump and Obama's continued campaigning is changing the post-presidency (Deseret News) - After leaving the White House, most recent ex-presidents hang up the stump speech, but Trump and Obama are staying involved.
Policy NewsSen. Romney on his no vote for the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 package
Senator Mitt Romney spoke about the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 spending package and wondered why the U.S. is sending money to states that have seen a rise in revenue during the past year.
Sen. Lee announces committee assignments for the 117th Congress
U.S. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) announced his committee assignments for the 117th Congress last week."I am proud to once again serve the people of Utah on committees with such a wide range of responsibilities. With the First Amendment under attack, a new immigration crisis threatening stability along our border, and monopolistic technology corporations dominating the economy and even our politics, the work of the Senate Judiciary Committee has never been more important.
Sen. Lee introduces bills on Government Spectrum Valuation, Drone Integration and Zoning Act
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced the Government Spectrum Valuation Act, a bill designed to estimate the value of electromagnetic spectrum assigned to each federal agency as a first step towards meeting the nation's spectrum needs."So much of the technology we depend on in modern life depends on radio frequency spectrum," said Sen. Lee. "Unfortunately, this fixed resource is becoming increasingly in demand and congested; and we do not currently have a way of making sure that federal spectrum is being efficiently allocated and managed. This bill will provide us with data that we need to better manage federal spectrum, and to better facilitate a strategy for operating our current technologies and future innovations."
Sen. Lee statement on passage of COVID-19 package
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) issued the following statement on the passage of the COVID spending package in the Senate:"For more than a year now, Congress has fought back against the COVID pandemic the same way the American people have: together.
Romney, 10 other GOP Senators push for targeted $650 billion COVID-19 relief plan
A group of 11 Republican Senators introduced a $650 billion COVID-19 relief plan as a substitute amendment to the $1.9 trillion budget reconciliation bill. The amendment, which was built on the COVID-19 relief plan that was unveiled last month by a group of Republican Senators, was not adopted by a vote of 48-51.
- Bernie's $15 Wage Goes Down Hard (Wall Street Journal) - Eight Democrats opposed his push to bulldoze Senate rules.
- Dow futures rise more than 100 points after Senate passes $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill (CNBC) - The benchmark 10-year yield has risen sharply in recent weeks in anticipation of more stimulus on top of a booming economic recovery.
- Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, Ex-Wife of Jeff Bezos, Marries Seattle School Teacher (Wall Street Journal) - Ms. Scott, one of the world's wealthiest women, has married Dan Jewett, a science teacher at a private school.
- Oregon grocery union says Gov. Brown 'cut in line' to get vaccine (KATU 2) - Currently, those in Group 1A, educators, and people ages 65 and older are eligible for the vaccine. Brown, who is 60 years old, does not appear to be eligible based on the state guidelines.
On This Day In History
- 1841 - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. is born. He served on the US Supreme Court justice from 1902-1932.
- 1884 - Susan B. Anthony addresses the U.S. House Judiciary Committee arguing for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution granting women the right to vote.
- 1915 - Selma Fraiberg is born. She pursued groundbreaking studies of infant psychiatry and normal child development, and wrote The Magic Years, a classic translated into 10 languages.
- 1917 - February Revolution begins, leading to the end of czarist rule in Russia.
- 1917 - US Senate introduces the Cloture Rule, requiring a two-thirds majority to end debate, at the urging of Woodrow Wilson.
- 1930 - William Howard Taft, 27th US President (Republican: 1909-13) and Chief Justice, dies at 72.
- 1934 - Edwin Hubble photo shows as many galaxies as Milky Way has stars.
- 1945 - Phyllis Mae Daley, the first of four Black nurses to serve active duty in WWII, receives her commission as an ensign in the Navy Nurse Corps.
- 1945 - Lilia Ann Abron is born. An entrepreneur and chemical engineer, she was the country's first Black woman to earn a PhD in chemical engineering.
- 1950 - The iconic VW bus goes into production.
- 1951 - Monica Helms is born. She became a transgender activist, author, veteran of the United States Navy and creator of the Trans Pride Flag.
- 1957 - Egypt opens the Suez Canal.
- 1958 - Author William Faulkner says US schools have degenerated and become babysitters.
- 1978 - The first-ever radio episode of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams, is transmitted on BBC Radio 4.
- 1993 - MTV's highest rated series premieres. The show? Beavis and Butt-Head.
- 1999 - The US Supreme Court upholds the murder convictions of Timothy McVeigh. The same day, Joe DiMaggio dies of lung cancer at age 84.
- 2014 - Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 vanishes with more than 200 people aboard.
- 2017 - Fearless Girl sculpture is revealed across from the Charging Bull statue on Wall Street.
"Our survival as a human community may depend as much upon our nurture of love in infancy and childhood as upon the protection of our society from external threats."
What do you get if you cross poison ivy with a four-leaf clover?
A rash of good luck!
Why would you never iron a four-leaf clover?
Because you shouldn't press your luck!
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