Get More Smarter on Thursday (Dec. 2)

On this day in 1954, the U.S. Senate voted to censure Republican Sen. Joseph McCarthy for accusing pretty much everyone of being a communist. Let’s Get More Smarter. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of an audio learner, check out The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:
http://covid19.colorado.gov

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

*Locate a COVID-19 testing site in Colorado:
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment 

 

The U.S. Supreme Court appears likely to deal a significant blow to abortion rights after a hearing on Wednesday related to a case in Mississippi. Opponents of abortion rights in Colorado seem to be confident that the Supreme Court will act in the favor, but as The Denver Post reports, Colorado Democrats are prepared to take action in the upcoming legislative session:

Democratic state lawmakers want to ensure abortion access remains legal in Colorado even if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.

On the day the Supreme Court heard arguments over a Mississippi law that bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, a group of state legislators signed a proclamation to uphold Coloradans’ rights to abortion. They plan to introduce a bill next year codifying abortion rights into state law.

“Coloradans have affirmed over and over again that politics has no place in private medical decisions that belong between a pregnant person, their family and their provider,” Rep. Meg Froelich, a Democrat from Englewood, said in a news release. “Four times we have rejected political attempts to ban abortion on the ballot. It’s time to stop playing defense and move Colorado beyond the bans.”

You can read more on Wednesday’s announcement at Colorado Newsline, Colorado Public Radio, and CBS4 Denver.

 

Congressional leaders say that they may have a deal that would avert a government shutdown. From The Washington Post:

House and Senate leaders on Thursday announced they had reached a deal on a bill to fund the government into mid-February, opening the door for lawmakers to narrowly avoid a shutdown entering this weekend.

The agreement on a new stopgap spending measure set the House on a path to vote before the end of the day, though swift action still seemed uncertain in the Senate, where some Republicans have threatened to grind the government to a halt as they protest President Biden’s vaccine and testing mandates.

Both chambers must pass identical bills by midnight on Friday to avert a shutdown. Lawmakers from both parties have warned that a failure to fund the government could be disruptive, especially at a time when the country is responding to a new, potentially more dangerous variant of the coronavirus.

“If there is a shutdown, it will be a Republican, anti-vaccine shutdown,” Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on the chamber floor, touting the fact that the new funding deal carries broad bipartisan support.

 

Supporters of Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters and right-wing activist Sherronna Bishop held a rally of some sort in Grand Junction to air the same old grievances about how they should have a right to break the law. As Charles Ashby explains for The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel:

A rally in support of embattled Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters on Wednesday was more about bashing the media and government institutions, with speakers saying the American public isn’t being told the truth and their leaders are helping to destroy the nation.

But while the event was a peaceful one, many of the speakers repeated numerous falsehoods, such as the claim that the U.S. Constitution made sheriffs the ultimate authority in their counties.

The word “sheriff” doesn’t appear anywhere in the Constitution.

Those speakers, which included Peters, also repeated claims that they have proof of election fraud, but repeated the same debunked evidence, such as that 29,000 election files were deleted during a computer upgrade of election machines.

The Colorado Times Recorder has more on Wednesday’s nonsense. 

 

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Pelosi: If McCarthy Won’t Deal With Boebert, Dems Will

As ABC News’ Mariam Khan reports, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi does not appear to be interested in allowing freshman Colorado GOP Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert’s outlandish attacks and retracted apology to fellow Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota to slip down the memory hole–despite fellow Republicans’ increasingly strained refusal to comment:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday that GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert’s faith-based attacks on Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar, who is Muslim, are “indecent” and “dangerous” and suggested it is a publicity ploy.

“To see a member of Congress attacking another member is not a good thing. Right? Under any circumstance. Whether it’s ethnic, generational, gender, or gender ID, whatever. But to see the supposed people of faith denouncing other people’s faith…it’s indecent. It’s indecent,” Pelosi said to House Democrats during a closed-door meeting, according to a source familiar with her remarks.

“So, this is hard because these people are doing it for the publicity. There’s a judgment that has to be made about how we contribute to their fundraising and their publicity on how obnoxious and disgusting they can be. But I do think it has to be clear that there is no place for that,” Pelosi said.

“These people do not respect the House that they serve in. We have to make sure that the public understands that we do,” Pelosi said. [Pols emphasis]

In contrast to the handling of fellow embarrassments Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar, the initial response from House Democratic leadership was a call for Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to take unilateral action against Boebert–the theory being that Boebert’s behavior was so bad that attempting to defend it would be self-injurious for fellow Republicans. McCarthy initially seemed to understand the need to take action, having arranged the call that took place Monday between Boebert and Omar that ended in further acrimony after Boebert turned the chance to apologize into another airing of talk-radio grievances. Since that attempt at diplomacy blew up in McCarthy’s face he’s been completely silent on the matter.

Democrats do have the power to take action against Boebert in the same manner as MTG and Gosar. Giving McCarthy a chance to act in this clear case of misconduct is not weakness, but rather a chance for Republicans to demonstrate that decency in the most basic sense has not become a question of partisanship.

If McCarthy does not take it, a full House vote to free up Boebert’s schedule is in order.

Ex-Senator Cheers Increasingly Dangerous Mesa County Fringe

Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters with Western Slope right-wing activist Cory Anderson.

As the Grand Junction Sentinel’s Charles Ashby reports today, the criminal investigation into Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters and several associates for wire fraud after a breach of election system security that resulted in the leak of proprietary data to far-right conspiracy theorists continues following FBI search warrants executed last month. While we await the results of that investigation, the uneasy calm in Mesa County has been punctuated by further escalation of the rhetoric employed by Peters’ defenders.

It’s getting close enough to overt threats of violence that Mesa County’s all-GOP Board of Commissioners is “beefing up” security at county offices:

As a result of threats uttered in a recent Zoom meeting between several of them, including Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters and Garfield County resident Sherronna Bishop, the county is in the process of beefing up its security just in case.

Some of the conspiracy theorists who where on the call said that if the government doesn’t back off on its “tyrannical” approach to investigating Peters, Bishop and others allegedly involved in breaches of election security protocols, violence may ensue.

“I have no desire whatsoever for violence, but I promise you the people in the country are not going to go down,” [Pols emphasis] said retired Air Force Col. Shawn Smith, who has been working with Bishop, Peters and others in pointing out alleged voter fraud, to which they continue to offer no solid evidence.

“They’ll either recognize their limits under the law and this will be walked back, or it’s going to get very dangerous, and it’s going to be dangerous all around,” Smith added. “I hope it doesn’t come to that, but if they think this is going to end in surrender from the people, they’re all wrong about that.”

Sherronna Bishop, Lauren Boebert’s former campaign manager who expressed heartbreak late last month when Boebert gave the investigation into Peters a carefully-worded thumbs up, is strongly giving off that B-movie last stand vibe:

“We will come to our senses and defend our constitutional republic, or we will go down fighting against a communist regime,” Bishop added. “But I definitely will not live on my knees and I know none of you will either and I will never be intimidated no matter what Gestapo tactics they are using.”

In response to this increasingly bellicose rhetoric, which can only be expected to get worse if and when criminal charges are brought against Peters and her co-conspirators, the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office has been working with the Board of Commissioners to improve security. Those efforts may get stress tested today by a “Truth and Justice Rally” at the county courthouse. This rally could become a bit awkward for the county sheriff’s office, since as Ashby reports, Peters’ supporters intend to ask the Mesa County Sheriff to arrest District Attorney Dan Rubenstein as one of their boxes checked off before starting the revolution.

Ex-Sen. Kevin Lundberg (R).

We of course fervently hope that none of this threatened violence actually takes place. We’re obliged to note, however, Peters’ misguided cause has now gained the support of former Colorado Sen. Kevin Lundberg, the highest-ranking Colorado Republican yet to validate this alleged criminal conspiracy:

Former state Sen. Kevin Lundberg, a Loveland Republican known for his far-right beliefs who also was on the call, told participants they are not alone in their efforts.

“This sort of thing is happening in a lot of states,” he said. “It ought to be happening in all 50. Keep on pressing forward and recognize that this is a momentum that’s building across this nation.”

Where does it end? Most likely in court, where all of this unfounded nonsense evaporates upon arrival like that teensy bit of snow Denver got a week ago. Unfortunately, the “reality-based community” that you and we and the courts all live in is now not just untrustworthy to the “dead-enders” who will not accept that Donald Trump lost the election, but their sworn enemy.

The question is how bad it gets before the end we can all see coming.

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (Dec. 1)

Yeah, we know there isn’t much snow right now in Colorado; we’re trying to suggest it into existence. Let’s Get More Smarter. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of an audio learner, check out The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:
http://covid19.colorado.gov

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

*Locate a COVID-19 testing site in Colorado:
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment 

 

All eyes are on the U.S. Supreme Court as the nation’s top judges debate, potentially, the fate of legal abortion in the United States. From The New York Times:

The Supreme Court seemed poised on Wednesday to uphold a Mississippi law that bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, based on sometimes tense and heated questioning at a momentous argument in the most important abortion case in decades.

Such a ruling would be flatly at odds with what the court has said was the central holding of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that established a constitutional right to abortion and prohibited states from banning the procedure before fetal viability, or around 23 weeks.

But the court’s six-member conservative majority seemed divided about whether to stop at 15 weeks, for now at least, or whether to overrule Roe entirely, allowing states to ban abortions at any time or entirely.

Elections matter.

 

Congressperson Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle) has become a YUGE story nationwide. Consistent with her brand, however, Boebert is making headlines for the wrong reasons.

Boebert continues to generate news coverage for her disgusting comments suggesting that Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar is a terrorist/suicide bomber. The Denver Post editorial board felt compelled to apologize for Boebert’s behavior, while former President Donald Trump decided to see if he could say things about Omar that were even WORSE.

Boebert inspired TWO separate columns from Chris Cillizza of CNN, one on Tuesday and another on Wednesday. Today, Cillizza ultimately comes to a conclusion that we’ve discussed for years in this space:

As ugly and unsavory as Boebert’s actions are, they do provide insight into just how radically the mission of serving in Congress has changed — particularly for those, like Boebert, who have come into politics in the age of Donald Trump…

…Gone is the idea that politics is about making the country (and its people) better through compromise. Or even that passing any sort of legislation — or sponsoring any — matters at all.

In its place is politics as performance. Running for office and being in office are about promoting your personal #brand (barf). The best way to show “effectiveness” is not in bills passed but in appearances on Fox News…

…The unfortunate thing for our politics is that there are a whole lot of Republican politicians like Boebert in the pipeline. She’s the rule, not the exception, in the modern Republican party.

Performative Obstruction. That’s what this is. That’s what it has always been with Boebert. Whether or not she actually believes the crap that comes out of her mouth is secondary to the overall goal of just being the center of the discussion. Boebert also doesn’t seem to care that her persistent lies about Rep. Omar might literally be life-threatening accusations.

Republicans aren’t universally thrilled with Boebert, either. Here’s former Republican State Representative Cole Wist:

 

Congressional Republicans, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, are doing NOTHING in response to Boebert’s hateful rhetoric. McCarthy is instead trying to prevent GOP caucus members from tearing each other apart over Boebert’s horribleness.

Elsewhere, Robin Givhan of The Washington Post weighs in on The exhausting, soul-sapping meanness of Lauren Boebert.

Dana Milbank of The Washington Post writes that Boebert “is what George W. Bush called ‘the worst of humankind.'”

 

 As Jason Salzman writes for The Colorado Times Recorder, Boebert is throwing everything she can imagine at Rep. Omar — including completely unsupported claims that Omar denigrated Jews when she moved into her congressional office.

 

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Trump Defends Boebert The Only Way He Knows How

Lauren Boebert and HWSNBN.

Yesterday, a call brokered by Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy between Reps. Lauren Boebert and Ilhan Omar, ostensibly for Boebert to apologize directly to Omar for suggesting on video that Omar is a terrorist threat–smearing Omar and by extension a group of Democratic lawmakers who both do and do not happen to be Muslim as the “Jihad Squad”–broke down into further acrimony as Boebert demanded a laundry-list apology from Rep. Omar–prompting Omar to hang up the phone in disgust.

This morning, the Denver Post editorial board apologized the right way on behalf of all of Colorado:

Boebert is intentionally using her platform to peddle a gross and false narrative about Muslim Americans. We cannot fathom what evil intent drives this behavior, but after first apologizing, Boebert now has made matters worse….

Rep. Ilhan Omar deserved nothing short of a full apology. Instead, Boebert used the phone call as a publicity stunt and further insulted Omar. Boebert is clearly incapable of remorse or reflection, so as her fellow Coloradans — a beautiful place of tolerance and respect, diversity and freedom — we will help her.

We apologize to the Congresswoman and to the Muslim community for Boebert’s insensitive remarks. Such remarks, no matter how innocently intended, have no place in American discourse. Boebert should not have fabricated an encounter with the Congresswoman and she most certainly should not have suggested she or any Muslim should be suspected of terrorism based on their religion.

For those who thought Boebert had finally been forced to back down after innumerable occasions in which an apology was not just in order but the very least Boebert could do, yesterday’s antics proved once again that she is incapable of acting like a well-adjusted adult–even when it’s in Boebert’s compelling self-interest to do so. As of this morning, the onus was squarely on House Minority Leader McCarthy to take further disciplinary action after Boebert essentially burned his trust as well.

But then, a little after 11:00AM, Boebert’s real boss decided to get in the ring:

For the ex-President, it’s the perfect grenade to throw into this already volatile situation–doubling down on some of the most offensive (and factually false) slurs from Boebert about Rep. Omar in order to deflect anger at Boebert from House Republican colleagues. After all, lots of Republicans would like to make the former President Speaker of the House if Republicans win the chamber back in the 2022 midterms, which we assume means they’re comfortable with his standard of conduct.

If the courage we held out enough hope to imagine last weekend among Republicans to finally stand up to Boebert dissipates now that the Offender-in-Chief has waded in to normalize Boebert’s slurs against Rep. Omar, you’ll know their time-honored strategy has worked once again. In addition to a loyal supporter, Boebert has been a faithful student of the ex-President’s strategy of fresh daily outrages to confound and overwhelm her critics.

As always, this is another chance for McCarthy (or any Republicans with a conscience left ) to prove us wrong.

But we at this point have no reason to expect it. The lowest common denominator is in charge now.

Hot Mic Damnation: Heidi Ganahl Winks, Nods To “Divisive” Fringe

UPDATE: Longtime Colorado election official with bipartisan street cred Amber McReynolds deplores Heidi Ganahl trucking with the vote fraud fringe:

—–

Heidi Ganahl.

Since launching her campaign for governor in September, CU Regent Heidi Ganahl has been hammered from both sides of the aisle for her inability to answer what she calls “divisive questions” about whether Joe Biden was the rightful winner of the 2020 elections. Because this is the most salient political question in American politics today, and also because it’s human nature to demand answers about the subjects public figures least want to discuss, Ganahl’s refusal to go off script and provide a satisfactory answer to what should be a very simple question exploded into a crippling liability as she rolled out her campaign.

Last night, 9NEWS’ Marshall Zelinger released an audio recording of Ganahl speaking to an audience of Republican faithful in Durango on November 18th. This audio-only recording captures Ganahl telling Republicans that the way to deal with supposed election fraud, which Ganahl in no way disputes is a thing, is to win by “such a red tsunami that there’s no question” of the results–like Donald Trump did, Ganahl says, presumably in 2016 when Trump “won by such a big margin, that there was no way that they could make it — fix, fix it, right?”

Riiiiight. That’s a pretty strong if still implicit embrace of the “Big Lie.” But then, Ganahl goes even further to assure the party faithful that she’s on board with…well, everything they’re on board with, which is an awfully broad sweeping statement:

In Ganahl’s answers from September, she mentioned kids, crime and cost of living.

In the tracker audio provided to Next with Kyle Clark from the Nov. 18 event, Ganahl explained that those are her talking points to win over unaffiliated voters. [Pols emphasis]

“So, you’re going to see me talk about things that the unaffiliated voter cares about, and you might be like, ‘Heidi, get feistier, talk about different, you know, things that we care about.’ Y’all, I care about everything that you care about. [Pols emphasis] You hear me talking here, right now. But in the media and on my ads, [Pols emphasis] I’m going to talk about crime and kids and the cost of living because that’s what’s going to win us the 7% of unaffiliated voters. We’ve got to be so disciplined about that. So disciplined,” Ganahl said at the Durango Meet and Greet on Nov. 18.

Back in 2012, longtime readers will recall, Republican presidential loser Mitt Romney came under intense criticism after a video leaked of Romney speaking to campaign donors about the “the 5 to 6 or 7 percent that we have to bring onto our side,” essentially writing off the 47% of the electorate on either side as predictably for or against him. Here is Heidi Ganahl saying basically the same thing, but this time in order to assure a far-right audience she cares about “everything that you care about.” Given that at least some of the people in that room statistically believe Democrats drink the blood of children and JFK, Jr. is about to magically reappear, that is not a blanket statement we would feel comfortable making.

Ganahl’s much-too-frank acknowledgment of a fundamentally duplicitous campaign message is another major disaster for her struggling campaign, as it was for Mitt Romney when his campaign manager cracked about “shaking the Etch-a-Sketch” to reset from a Republican primary to a general election message. Instead of moving past these “divisive questions,” Ganahl has just ensured they will remain front and center after embracing the far-right fringe when Ganahl thought it was safe to do so. This is audio Ganahl will dearly wish as time goes on had never been made public.

Like Mitt Romney discovered in 2012, two-facedness is how you lose the trust of all sides.

MyPillow CEO Hires Colorado Conspiracists to Jet Around Country Pushing Big Lie

(“Big Pillow” money in action — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Colorado election fraud conspiracists pose with their new employer Mike Lindell in front of his jet on Nov. 29

Mike Lindell isn’t just paying Colorado election fraud conspiracists to push the Big Lie locally, he’s also flying them around the country on his private jet.

Last night, Dr. Douglas Frank, a statistician and teacher from Ohio, posted a photo to his Telegram channel of Lindell and a group he called the “FrankSpeech team” on the tarmac in front of a private jet, “after 96 hours in Tennessee.”

The group included U.S. Election Integrity Plan (USEIP) conspiracists Ashley Epp, Holly Kasun, and Shawn Smith– along with Congresswoman Lauren Boebert’s former campaign manager Sherronna Bishop, who is currently under federal investigation for wire fraud. The FBI searched Bishop’s house last week as part of the ongoing investigation into the leak of confidential Mesa County election data by QAnon blogger Ron Watkins.

Sherronna Bishop & Mike Lindell

Bishop also posted photos and video of her with Lindell at his television studio to her Facebook page.

Yesterday Lindell also confirmed that he has hired Epp, Kasun, and Smith to run a new national group called Cause Of America, the launch of which was first reported by Colorado Newsline last week, interviewing the trio on his podcast.

Lindell says he’s hired them to work full-time on promoting the Big Lie because “they need to focus because the country needs them.”

As Kasun explains the origin of USEIP, Lindell interjects about how it was a volunteer operation.

“I ran into them and said who’s financing this and they said, ‘Oh no, we’re not getting paid we have other jobs we work night and day,” said Lindell. “So I say, we’ve got to put this together, and they’re getting paid for now. I said, you guys need to focus, the country needs you. So they’ve left jobs they’ve had for a long time.”

Epp and Bishop appeared in another FrankSpeech segment in which they shared numerous videos of various Big Lie organizing efforts both in Colorado and in several other states around the country, all using the USEIP election fraud conspiracy template of alleging the existence of phantom votes and then recruiting teams of volunteers to knock on voters’ doors to find so-called proof of said fraud. One video highlighted the efforts of another Mesa County group, Stand For The Constitution to elect Congresswoman Boebert. After the election that group worked with USEIP to “find voter fraud,” though presumably not in Boebert’s own race.

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Get More Smarter on Monday (Nov. 29)

Omicron is coming. Also, Happy Hanukkah! Let’s Get More Smarter. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of an audio learner, check out The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:
http://covid19.colorado.gov

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

*Locate a COVID-19 testing site in Colorado:
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment 

 

The Omicron variant of COVID-19 is causing great concern worldwide. As The Washington Post reports:

President Biden on Monday described the omicron variant of the coronavirus as a “cause for concern, not a cause for panic” as cases continue to emerge around the globe.

In an address from the White House, the president pressed Americans to get the coronavirus vaccines and boosters, calling the shots “the best protection against this new variant or any of the various out there.”

The comments came a day after the variant was detected in Canada, making its first identification in North America. Omicron, designated a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organization, has also been found in countries ranging from Australia to Israel and Botswana to Britain.

Get those booster shots, friends!

If you’re wondering where the new COVID-19 variant name comes from, you’re not alone. As The New York Times explains, it has something to do with the Greek alphabet.

 

 The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to take up a case on Wednesday that could end legal abortion in this country.

 

Congressperson Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert might have finally stuck her own foot too far down her throat. 

Boebert is getting drilling by Democratic leaders for public comments in which she basically called Rep. Ilhan Omar a suicide bomber. Omar is among those calling for repercussions for Boebert’s comments after initially responding by pointing out that Boebert had completely invented the story because she won’t even make eye contact with her colleague. House Democratic leaders are expected today to discuss potential sanctions for Boebert. Notable Republicans are even speaking out against Boebert.

9News reporter/anchor Kyle Clark has been getting national attention for calling out Boebert and her antics. Clark was on CNN on Sunday warning about journalists not covering Boebert’s comments because there is so much to discuss. “When we ignore the bigotry, we normalize the bigotry and we abandon our neighbors who are the targets of the bigotry,” said Clark.

Colorado Republican Party Chair Kristi Burton Brown, meanwhile, is responding by alleging that Clark is sexist. You might recall that KBB was the “policy director” for Boebert’s 2020 campaign.

But wait, there’s more…in the same video in which Boebert compares Rep. Ohan to a suicide bomber, she also makes some blatantly anti-gay comments when the conversation turns to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg. From Business Insider:

Boebert has so far not responded publicly to criticism over comments she made at an event this month about Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg trying to “chest feed” and about Rep. Ilhan Omar, whom she implied was a terrorist.

“Meanwhile, you have Secretary of Transportation, good ol’ Mayor Pete. He wasn’t even put in charge of the supply-chain crisis. Someone else was tapped for that because Mayor Pete is still at home trying to figure out how to chest feed,” Boebert said, to laughs from the crowd.

“Somebody ought to tell him so he can get back to work,” she added.

Classy.

This is the point where could point out the successful policy or advocacy work that Boebert is doing in Congress, but, you know, there isn’t any.

 

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Election Fraud Conspiracists Still Knocking on Colorado Voters’ Doors

(STILL coming to your town — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

It’s over a year since the 2020 election, but teams of election fraud conspiracists are still going door-to-door in counties all over Colorado, searching for so-called “phantom votes” that they remain convinced — without evidence— actually exist.

Late last month, U.S. Election Integrity Project (USEIP) representative James Peabody, updated the Jefferson County Republican Men’s Club on the group’s field efforts in counties all over the state.

“I was instrumental in getting walk lists [of voters] put together for counties all across the Eastern Plains, from Otero up to Larimer,” says Peabody. “El Paso & Douglas Counties are done. In Jefferson County we through one precinct, we have four precincts we’re targeting. Weld is done. In Boulder, I think they’re wrapping up as well. We’ve got a really good cross-section of the population of Colorado already covered. Then they’re going to start generating reports from their intelligence gathering uh in the next month or two. So we can see some progress there”

The “intelligence gathering” Peabody mentions is the canvassing effort. Volunteers wear homemade badges, which identify them as being part of an official-sounding group such as the “Voter Integrity Committee,” and tell people election fraud was committed in their name or using their address, thus promoting a conspiracy that election officials and experts say simply isn’t true.

USEIP’s own documents and internal chat logs reveal that at least some of the door-knockers are armed, and, furthermore, they show that at one point the group had at least two volunteers who were sex criminals.

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The GMS Podcast: What the Hell Is Going on in Mesa County? (ft. Charles Ashby)

For this week’s 92nd episode of the Get More Smarter Podcast, a whole episode dedicated to Mesa County Madness! Jason Bane and Ian Silverii welcome Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reporter Charles Ashby back to the show who gives us the definitive rundown of the continuing scandal surrounding Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters and what role Lauren Boebert’s former campaign manager Sherronna Bishop has in it all.

There are too many wild stories to link in this episode description, but you can scroll through Charles’ recent articles here.

Listen to previous episodes of The Get More Smarter Podcast at GetMoreSmarter.com.

Questions? Comments? Complaints? Let us have it at AngryRants@getmoresmarter.com.

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | TuneIn

Backup? Backstab? Boebert Belatedly Wades Into “MesaGate”

UPDATE: In a Facebook post this morning, a ‘heartbroken’ Sherronna Bishop responds to Rep. Lauren Boebert’s praise for the Mesa County DA:

The Mesa County DA overseeing this Warrant
“Acted in a professional and responsible way”
Says Congresswoman Lauren Boebert
Huh. Unprecedented action busting a door down, guns drawn, handcuffing a mother in front of her children then going through my home and taking my electronics.
I have ZERO criminal history
I have ZERO violent history.
All things the use of force by the FBI are reserved for.
I have also not spoken with or been interviewed by the Congresswoman.
Breaks my heart.

The faithful are greatly dismayed:

Folks, they’re talking about Lauren Boebert. Let that sink in.

This is a fateful moment in Boebert’s short political career.

—–

Rep. Lauren Boebert with 2020 primary campaign manager Sherronna Bishop.

The Grand Junction Sentinel’s Dale Shrull updating with a significant development in the ongoing federal criminal investigation into the “MesaGate” election systems data breach, allegedly committed by Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters with assistance from Rep. Lauren Boebert’s former campaign manager Sherronna Bishop and a range of far-right players including “MyPillow Guy” Mike Lindell and the man believed to be behind the “QAnon” conspiracy theory–easily the craziest story in Colorado politics this year, which is no mean feat.

After months of stone-cold silence while these friends and close political allies of Boebert have come under criminal investigation, fled into hiding and re-appeared, defending themselves by claiming as Boebert has herself said innumerable times that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump and every law they broke was to prove it (even though they did not prove any such thing), yesterday Rep. Boebert announced they she had received a “briefing” from Mesa County DA Dan Rubenstein about the case:

“Many of the constituents I represent have expressed concern about the ongoing investigation into Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters. At my request, I recently received a briefing from District Attorney Dan Rubinstein,” the statement said. “He addressed my concerns about the involvement of the FBI and the absolute necessity for the presumption of innocence to be extended to all of those being investigated.”

Boebert said she has been an opponent of the “overreach and targeted nature of the FBI’s activities on a national level” in the past, and that was one reason she spoke to Rubinstein.

“It was clear from our conversation that the District Attorney is being responsible in his approach and conducting his work in as timely and professional a manner as possible, as well as providing local oversight of the FBI’s role,” her statement said.

Tine Peters supporters rally in Grand Junction.

Given Boebert’s close ties to at least one of the individuals whose homes were searched by the FBI and local law enforcement last week, her former campaign manager Sherronna Bishop, this “briefing” Boebert received from DA Dan Rubenstein could be considered highly inappropriate–for Boebert to request and for DA Rubenstein to grant. Boebert’s trashing of the FBI for its “targeted activities” is a clear shot at the investigations into the January 6th insurrection and far-right militia groups for which Boebert has a well-known affinity.

But interestingly, as you can read above Boebert came away from her meeting with nothing but praise for DA Rubenstein and an affirmation of his methods in the investigation so far–seemingly a huge blow to her erstwhile friends complaining about “large teams of heavily armed federal agents” smashing their way into the homes of any American who dares to oppose critical race theory and sex ed. Also and perhaps just as noteworthy is how Boebert doesn’t even touch the underlying question once central to her message, which is the belief despite any evidence that the 2020 elections were stolen from Donald Trump.

Boebert’s roaring silence as the scandal in her backyard involving some of her closest political allies has grown into national news has always struck us as indicative of a bigger story behind the scenes. Wading into the scandal via the politically-friendly district attorney in the case could be yet another serious ethics problem for Boebert.

On the other hand, if Boebert really is cutting her old friends loose…that’s huge news too. After all, we’re talking about Boebert’s core base of support in CD-3. If Boebert demoralizes the hard-right Republican base by leaving Clerk Peters and her alleged co-conspirators to twist in the wind, who does Boebert have left in her corner to stave off a primary challenge?

Watch this space for updates. We expect them.

“MesaGate” Scandal Gets A New Handle: Alleged Wire Fraud

 

Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters with Western Slop right-wing activist Cory Anderson.

As the Glenwood Springs Post-Independent’s Ray Erku reports, the former campaign manager of freshman GOP controversy aggregator Rep. Lauren Boebert, “America’s Mom” Sherronna Bishop, is complaining loudly about the FBI’s pre-dawn visit to her and Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters’ homes last week–and in the process disclosing new details about the criminal investigation into the leak of Dominion Voting Systems election machines data to fringe conspiracy theorists, in a half-baked and failed (emphasis ours) attempt to prove fraud in the 2020 presidential election:

Bishop confirmed Thursday that law enforcement searched her home earlier this week.

“While homeschooling my youngest children, the FBI along with Mesa County Investigator Matthew Struwe decided it was necessary to bust open my front door with a battering ram and put me in handcuffs while they trampled through my home terrifying my family,” she said. “My daughter was pulled around by her hoodie by one of the FBI agents.”

Bishop said she repeatedly asked authorities during this time what prompted the search but received no explanation… [Pols emphasis]

Rep. Lauren Boebert with 2020 primary campaign manager Sherronna Bishop.

This is not what Bishop told CBS4’s Rick Sallinger, who reports that Bishop was told the search was related to potential federal wire fraud charges–for the first time clarifying the FBI’s interest in the case:

Bishop recalled, “Just as we were about to open the door it flew open. They had used a ram to bust down the door.”

She says the door wasn’t locked. Bishop, a former campaign manager for Rep. Lauren Boebert, says she was told the search was part of a wire fraud investigation. [Pols emphasis]

The same day, Republican Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters‘ home was searched…

But as Colorado Newsline reports, “America’s Mom” sees more afoot here than mere wire fraud:

Bishop, a former campaign manager for Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert, said law enforcement officers busted through her door during the search of her home, and she compared them to Nazis.

She said the search warrant was related to a charge of “conspiracy to commit wire fraud.”

…She said the investigation is part of pushback against people who question election integrity, critical race theory being taught in schools, “comprehensive sex education” and mask mandates in schools.

“It’s a new day, for sure,” she said.

To summarize, “America’s Mom” wants you to believe that she and Clerk Tina Peters are being persecuted by the FBI as part of an ongoing campaign to oppress opponents of critical race theory, sex ed, and kids wearing masks–not to mention “hickerbillies” (a word Bishop herself gifted to us and we’re eternally grateful for it) who believe despite the lack of any actual evidence that the 2020 presidential election was not legitimate.

So, maybe that. Or maybe it’s a federal crime to send stolen data across the internets.

We’ll update when we know for sure, but the latter makes a bit more sense.

Colorado’s “Election Truthers” File DOA Crazypants Lawsuit

As Colorado Newsline reports, Colorado’s “Insurrectionist Man of Mystery” Rep. Ron Hanks has teamed up with one of the (literally) most interesting names in Colorado politics, Douglas County Clerk Merlin Klotz, to file suit demanding that Dominion Voting Systems machines across the state be summarily executed–preferably by packing them with large quantities of explosives and shooting them at a safe distance.

We’re joking, of course. It’s yet another frivolous lawsuit demanding an audit of the 2020 elections:

The lawsuit claims that election system software used in Colorado’s 64 counties in 2020 was improperly certified, that the secretary of state’s office illegally destroyed election records, and that Griswold exceeded her authority when in the summer she adopted emergency rules to prevent the kind of election audit then occurring in Arizona, which she deemed illegitimate.

Also named as plaintiffs are Merlin Klotz, the Douglas County clerk and recorder; two of the three Rio Blanco County commissioners, Gary Moyer and Jeff Rector; and Park County Commissioner Amy Mitchell.

Douglas County Clerk Merlin Klotz (R).

Rep. Hanks’ participation in a lawsuit against Secretary of State Jena Griswold to force an Arizona-style “fraudit” of Colorado’s already counted, audited, and certified 2020 election results–which is almost certain to end up in the court’s “circular file” as quickly as that can be arranged–is not in itself surprising. But the enlistment of arch-conservative Douglas County Clerk Merlin Klotz in support of Hanks’ hare-brained lawsuit is a development worth noting. Back in December of 2020, as Colorado Community Media reported at the time, Clerk Klotz publicly urged Vice President Mike Pence to carry out essentially ex-CU professor John Eastman’s plot to overturn the election results on January 6th:

“Pence has plenary authority on January 6 and can declare AZ, GA, MI, NM, NV, WI and PA elections illegal, not following state and general election processes,” Merlin Klotz said in a Dec. 28 Facebook post. “Contact/encourage Pence.”

The concept Klotz — a Republican elected clerk and recorder in 2014 — was referring to is a long-shot effort for Congress to challenge the electoral tally on Jan. 6. In the post, Klotz further commented that declaring the states’ elections illegal would result in 232 electoral votes for Trump and 222 for Joe Biden…

“I think it is important that if I’ve got a knowledge base that I share that knowledge base,” he said. “If you don’t like what you hear I’m sorry but this is a possibility.”

With that said, and relevant to today’s story, back in December of 2020, Clerk Klotz had nothing but praise for how the 2020 elections were carried out in Colorado:

Klotz said he believes Colorado has an “amazingly secure” election system [Pols emphasis] but that it is “well substantiated” that other states didn’t follow the same stringent election protocols.

When asked about specific claims of election fraud that Klotz found credible he said “nothing in particular stood out.”

“It’s a matter of saying this election may or may not be over but we did a great job in this state, the state as a whole,” he said. “It’s unfortunate that they (other states) didn’t follow the same protocols that we have.”

What changed between last December, when Clerk Klotz praised Colorado’s “amazingly secure” election system, to today joining Ron Hanks’ crackpot quest to find what no other investigation for court battle among dozens has ever found? In the absence of a better explanation, we’ll have to chalk it up to a combination of shamelessness and an irresistible desire to be in the news. For Republicans like Heidi Ganahl who would prefer to ride the fence on the 2020 election in order to win a GOP primary without antagonizing general election swing voters, this lawsuit presents an unworkable contradiction.

Unfortunately for Ganahl, the contradictions, and even the inevitable outcome of this latest lawsuit, are not the plaintiffs’ problem. In Donald Trump’s GOP, Hanks and Clerk Klotz have an audience of one.

Get More Smarter on Friday (Nov. 19)

Today is the greatest news dump day of the entire year, so keep your eyes peeled. Let’s Get More Smarter. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of an audio learner, check out The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:
http://covid19.colorado.gov

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

*Locate a COVID-19 testing site in Colorado:
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment 

 

President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan passed out of the House of Representatives on Friday, and there was much rejoicing:

From The Washington Post:

House Democrats delivered on that promise, voting to approve more than $2 trillion in spending initiatives that would overhaul federal health care, education, climate, immigration and tax laws.

The measure adopted Friday amounts to a dramatic re-envisioning of the role of government in Americans’ daily lives. It sets aside in some cases historic sums to aid workers, families and businesses, seeking to rewire the very fabric of an economy still recovering from the financial devastation wrought by the coronavirus pandemic.

In bearing the name of the president’s 2020 campaign slogan, the successful 220-to-213 House vote on the Build Back Better Act marks the second legislative milestone for Democrats this month. It comes about two weeks after they joined with Republicans to finalize a separate, sweeping bill to improve the nation’s roads, bridges, pipes, ports and Internet connections, delivering long-sought infrastructure investments that Biden signed into law Monday.

The bill still needs to get through the U.S. Senate, where West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin will hem and haw for awhile.

As Jonathan Weisman writes for The New York Times, the combination of income inequality, economic stagnation and a pandemic helped Democrats muscle through a big social spending effort more easily than former President Barack Obama was able to finish off The Affordable Care Act in 2010. As POLITICO notes, Democrats say they learned plenty of important lessons from 2010.

 

Vice President Kamala Harris makes history (again) today when she becomes the first woman in U.S. history to officially take the top job in the country. As CNN reports:

President Joe Biden on Friday will temporarily transfer power to Vice President Kamala Harris while he is under anesthesia for a routine colonoscopy, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters.

The nation’s first female, first Black and first South Asian vice president will break yet another barrier when she temporarily steps into the acting role. Harris will work from her office in the West Wing while Biden is under anesthesia, Psaki said in a statement.

Biden, who turns 79 on Saturday, arrived Friday morning at Walter Reed Medical Center to undergo his first routine annual physical since taking office.

It’s routine for a vice president to assume presidential powers while the president undergoes a medical procedure that requires anesthesia. Then-Vice President Dick Cheney did so on multiple occasions when then-President George W. Bush underwent routine colonoscopies.

Just remember us when you win a trivia contest with this answer 20 years from now.

 

Governor Jared Polis will provide an update on the state’s COVID-19 response this afternoon. You can watch the 1:00 livestream on the Governor’s Facebook page.

 

The Denver Post reports on an historic agreement between Gov. Jared Polis and the state’s employee union, Colorado WINS:

Colorado’s state employees’ union and Gov. Jared Polis have agreed on a new contract that promises the more than 30,000 people who work for state government across-the-board raises, a minimum-wage hike and more paid time off.

This is a first for the state, as the union, Colorado WINS, only recently won collective bargaining rights. That was a result of a 2020 bill Polis signed after scuttling a similar proposal the year prior.

The union, Colorado WINS, said that over 99% of members voted to ratify the contract. Polis supported it, too, and the two sides held a press conference Thursday at the Governor’s Mansion in Denver to mark the agreement.

“Every Coloradan should be able to live (in) and enjoy our great state of Colorado,” Polis said Thursday, flanked by union leaders. “We aren’t just saying that we value our workers; we’re showing it.”

Colorado state employees have generally been significantly underpaid compared to private sector counterparts.

 

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Colorado Republicans Can’t Get A Little Bit Militia

United American Defense Force (UADF).

Colorado GOP chairwoman Kristi Burton Brown.

Erik Maulbetch of the Colorado Times Recorder reported earlier this week about a presentation by Colorado Republican Party vice-chairwoman Priscilla Rahn to the infamous local far-right organizing group FEC United–founded by election conspiracy theorist Joe Oltmann and featuring its own armed militia wing calling itself the United American Defense Force (UADF). The full story is here and worth reading, but we wanted to take a moment to focus on the response by vice-chair Rahn when questioned about her decision to present on any subject before the state’s leading armed militia group:

“Being new to this position, I’m trying to build relationships with people and groups- I talk to everybody, or at least I try to,” said Rahn. “As a woman of color who’s a full-time teacher, I’ve been asked to talk often about schools and CRT by many different groups. I go where I’m invited. So it hurt me to be associated with something some people consider negative.” [Pols emphasis]

The thing is, if Priscilla Rahn wanted to know why FEC United and UADF are “considered negative” before she decided to speak at their event about the horrors of teaching children that racism is a thing, she didn’t have to go far. Last month, court documents revealed that Rahn’s boss and Colorado Republican Party chairwoman Kristi Burton Brown was herself the President of FEC United during its formative period. Burton issued a nervous statement the next morning to the Colorado Sun stating the “only priorities” she shared with FEC despite serving as president of the organization are “choice in schools and helping Colorado small businesses to reopen.” We assume this means “no” on the question of UADF starting a civil war over the 2020 elections, but KBB was not specific.

In short, the vice-chair of the Colorado Republican Party just re-legitimized an armed militia group the chair of the same party was obliged to disavow a few weeks previously. Either there’s a serious lack of discipline in the Colorado GOP’s senior leadership, or it’s time to accept FEC United/UADF at their current face value: as the beating heart of today’s Republican Party.

If that’s wrong, it’s necessary for all the party’s leadership to say so. Together.

FBI, Mesa DA Execute Warrants On Clerk Tina Peters

UPDATE: The Colorado Springs Gazette’s Ernest Luning reports that former Lauren Boebert campaign manager Sherronna Bishop’s Garfield County home was among those raided by authorities yesterday, according to “MyPillow Guy” Mike Lindell:

Lindell said one of the homes raided by law enforcement authorities belongs to Sherronna Bishop, a Garfield County resident and former campaign manager for U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert.

——

Right to left: Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, Mike Lindell, mystery rando Gerald Wood.

As the Grand Junction Sentinel’s Charles Ashby reports, yesterday was a big day in the joint local and federal criminal investigation against Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, suspected of presiding over a serious breach of election system security and subsequent leak of proprietary data in a half-baked and (let us be redundantly clear) failed attempt to prove the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump:

Federal agents executed four search warrants in Mesa County on Tuesday in pursuit of evidence related to investigations surrounding potential criminal matters related to Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters and others involved in possible breaches of election security protocols, The Daily Sentinel has learned.

While Mesa County District Attorney Dan Rubinstein said state and federal laws bar him from disclosing details about the searches, he said the warrants, which he called “federally authorized operations,” were executed sometime Tuesday morning.

Heidi Ganahl and Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters.

Although authorities are characteristically tight-lipped as their investigation continues, Clerk Peters rushed once again into the arms of “MyPillow Guy” Mike Lindell to complain about the horrors of being the subject of a lawfully-executed search warrant:

On Lindell’s internet TV blog late Tuesday, Peters responded to the “raids,” continuing to defend her actions, asking for more donations to a legal defense fund that she and others have created to help defend her against any pending criminal charges.

Although it is not known on whom the operations were conducted, Peters, her deputy, Belinda Knisley, and one of her elections managers, Sandra Brown, have been implicated in possible wrongdoings involving numerous counts of election security breaches, all of which could lead to state and federal felony charges and possible time in prison.

We’re watching for more information on all of the individuals who may have had search warrants executed on them yesterday, including Rep. Lauren Boebert’s former campaign manager Sherronna Bishop and a mysterious rando named Gerald Wood who we can’t help but notice bears more than a passing resemblance to D.B. Cooper (see photo top). Since the revelation that Peters had either herself stolen or facilitated the theft and subsequent leak of data from Dominion Voting Systems machines in her custody, Peters and the Trump dead-enders who immediately took her in as a heroic figure have made no real attempt to deny the allegations–simply arguing they were justified by a larger obligation to “election integrity” that somehow trumped (pun intended) Peters’ obligation to obey the law.

Except, as we know now with certainty months after the data was stolen, leaked, and found to contain no evidence to substantiate any of the baseless contentions made in the wake of last November’s elections about Dominion Voting Systems, there’s no “whistleblower” justification for anything Peters did. The breach of security in Peters’ office that exposed the entire operating system of a Dominion computer to public scrutiny was the only crime committed. In fact, the security risk created by exposing this data publicly is likely to result in actual attempts at election tampering in the future. Dominion at the very least will be forced to spend a lot of money to prevent that.

As we’re seeing in the civil suit alleging defamation against Trump lawyers and right-wing media figures who platformed and repeated local crank Joe Oltmann’s fictional story of a call by a Dominion employee promising to steal the election, the defense that would naturally work best–that anything alleged was actually true–is dead on arrival once the judicial system becomes the forum. Tina Peters’s discredited conspiracy theories simply carry no weight with criminal investigators, prosecutors, and judges who know better.

Agitating the faithful through uncritical venues like “Lindell TV” is all Peters has now, and that won’t help Peters once the search warrants become arrest warrants.

“KNAZI” Host Next On 2020 Defamation Revenge Tour

Randy Corporon.

As the Colorado Sun’s Daniel Ducassi reports:

A former executive at Denver-based Dominion Voting Systems filed a defamation lawsuit against conservative Colorado media figure Randy Corporon and conservative broadcaster Salem Media Group, which owns Denver radio station 710 KNUS, where Corporon hosts a show.

The legal action by Eric Coomer over the weekend is similar to a previous lawsuit Coomer filed against former President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign, Trump-associated lawyers, conservative Colorado commentator Joe Oltmann and various conservative media outlets.

The new lawsuit alleges Corporon and Denver-based 710 KNUS “elevated Dr. Coomer into the national spotlight, invaded his privacy, threatened his security, and fundamentally defamed his reputation through a relentless election fraud campaign.”

710 KNUS is not Denver’s highest-rated AM radio station, but in recent years the station has become by far the most overtly far-right political of Denver’s slowly declining community of once-legendary talk radio outlets. Scandal at KNUS has been at a steady boil for some years now after a producer at the station was fired in 2019 after being exposed as a straight-up Hitler-adoring Nazi in his spare time. The firing of Steffan Tubbs’ producer took place just after another host was fired for daring to criticize then-President Donald Trump and yet another host got fired for wishing for a “nice school shooting” to distract from Trump impeachment news then dominating the headlines.

Despite all of these very good incentives for Republicans who don’t want to be associated with far-right extremism in order to preserve their electability with the general nonradicalized public to stay away, KNUS remains a regular friendly forum for Colorado Republicans to directly connect with some of their most ardent supporters–and for some reason escape the stigma associated with legitimizing a forum for repulsive cranks and literal Nazis.

Or in this case, a chief proponent of the “Big Lie” that the 2020 election was stolen. 9NEWS:

The lawsuit also said Salem Media and its hosts were “enthusiastic and consistent” pushers of voter fraud claims, though they did not provide evidence.

Coomer’s attorneys name several hosts in the suit. They include Corporon, who is Colorado’s Republican National committeeman, Peter Boyles, Deborah Flora, who is running for Colorado’s U.S. Senate seat in 2022, and George Brauchler, the former district attorney in the 18th Judicial District who is a legal analyst for 9NEWS. Corporon is the only individual named as a defendant.

As we’ve seen in previous court action on Eric Coomer’s quest to hold the principal agents of the “Big Lie” accountable for driving him into hiding and severely damaging his and his company’s reputation, don’t look for Randy Corporon or anyone else named above to defend the substance of their previous claims about the 2020 elections. Despite all the talk radio bravado from Corporon, they’re past that now. Corporon apparently doesn’t mind being in court or at least threatening to go to court, since he’s representing leading coup planner John Eastman’s threat to sue the University of Colorado–which hasn’t gone anywhere yet. But once in court, these defendants seek only to prove they didn’t maliciously invent the “Big Lie”–not that the “Big Lie” was actually true.

The massive disconnect between the bubble of “Big Lie” believers and everyone else, to include the inhabitants of every courtroom in America, cannot be reconciled without the Randy Corporons of the world finally admitting what they seem only willing to imply in court to save their own asses: and none of these lies are true, that Donald Trump lost the 2020 elections, and the assault on the democratic process that ensued from Trump’s refusal to accept the result is one of the greatest crimes ever perpetrated against American democracy.

Which would make Coomer’s charge of defamation true, but also by far the lesser crime.

Like the Scopes Monkey Trial itself, much more than defamation is in the balance.

Get More Smarter on Monday (Nov. 15)

Happy National Recycling Day. Please do some recycling. Let’s Get More Smarter. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of an audio learner, check out The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:
http://covid19.colorado.gov

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

*Locate a COVID-19 testing site in Colorado:
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment 

 

Several Colorado politicians — including Gov. Jared Polis, Sen. John Hickenlooper, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, and Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Boulderish) — will be at the White House today to witness President Biden sign his name to the recently-passed infrastructure bill

The editorial board of The Denver Post, meanwhile, is very happy about the infrastructure bill:

To put it lightly, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will address some of Colorado’s largest needs if the money is used wisely.

Samantha Silverberg, special assistant to the president for transportation and infrastructure, told reporters on a call last week that Biden’s administration learned a lot of lessons from the American Recovery Act of 2009, which pumped about $800 billion into the economy between 2009 and 2019 in an attempt to prevent economic disaster from the 2008 financial crisis.

“We are going to really rigorously track in a very transparent way with dashboards and online documents how every dollar is being spent,” Silverberg said. “We want to make sure every dollar is spent efficiently, transparently.”

 

The Colorado Supreme Court has approved redistricting maps for the State House and State Senate.

 

 Governor Jared Polis is warning that Colorado’s rising COVID-19 cases present an unsustainable problem. Other news outlets, including The Colorado Sun, are wondering why Polis is still reluctant to issue a mask mandate. Polis avoided the question during a Sunday appearance on “Face the Nation.”

Meanwhile, 6 Denver Metro counties will require proof of vaccination at large indoor events.

 

 State Sen. Barbara Kirkmeyer made the long-expected announcement that she plans to seek the Republican nomination for Congress in CO-08.

In related news, Congressman Ed Perlmutter (D-Jefferson County) tells Colorado Public Radio that he plans to seek re-election in the newly-drawn CO-07.

 

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Move Over Eastman Memo, Here’s The Ellis Memo

Rudy Giuliani, Colorado attorney Jenna Ellis.

As readers know, the U.S. House Select Committee investigating the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th of this year has subpoenaed ex-University of Colorado “visiting conservative scholar” John Eastman to testify about his allegedly central role in the planning of a last-ditch attempt to overturn the results on the 2020 presidential election on that day. Eastman, a key player in the “war room” organized in Washington D.C. to coordinate what could in the worst case have been a combined strategy of procedural chicanery and violence to flip the election, committed all of these actions while holding his position at Colorado’s flagship university with the enthusiastic support of Republican gubernatorial candidate Heidi Ganahl.

But as ABC News reported Sunday, Eastman wasn’t the only member of Trump’s legal team–or for that matter the only Colorado-connected lawyer for Trump’s legal team–drawing up plans to flip an election won by Joe Biden by over seven million total popular votes. In addition to Eastman, Colorado lawyer Jenna Ellis, whose “constitutional law” credentials have turned out to be rather flimsy, had her own plan for sowing one last desperate bit of parliamentary chaos on January 6th:

The memo, written by former President Donald Trump’s campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis, is reported for the first time in Karl’s upcoming book, “Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show” — demonstrating how Pence was under even more pressure than previously known to overturn the results of the 2020 election…

Ellis, in the memo, outlined a multi-step strategy: On Jan. 6, the day Congress was to certify the 2020 election results, Pence was to send back the electoral votes from six battleground states that Trump falsely claimed he had won.

The memo said that Pence would give the states a deadline of “7pm eastern standard time on January 15th” to send back a new set of votes, according to Karl.

Then, Ellis wrote, if any state legislature missed that deadline, “no electoral votes can be opened and counted from that state.”

The endgame here would be to throw the election to the U.S. House, where the rule of one vote per state would allow the possibility that a majority of Republican state delegations could hand the election to Trump. It’s no less of a longshot strategy than Eastman’s own, which Eastman himself makes no effort to defend except when he thinks he’s talking to the party faithful.  Jenna Ellis’ memo, like Eastman’s, was as much about giving Trump rhetorical ammunition to rally the rioters on January 6th as a serious proposal for Mike Pence to consider. They both serve the secondary objective identified early on by Steve Bannon: perpetuating the myth of the stolen 2020 election to “kill [the Biden] administration in the crib.”

While John Eastman, Rudy Giuliani, and other members of Trump’s legal team who filed contemptibly baseless lawsuits have paid with sanctions against their law licenses, Jenna Ellis has not been punished by Colorado’s attorney oversight body the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel. In fact, while Giuliani had his license suspended and Eastman is a pariah in the academic world, Ellis has a new show on Newsmax and seems blissfully unaffected by the disgrace suffered by her peers.

Perhaps news that Ellis was doing everything she could to keep up with John Eastman will change that.

Get More Smarter on Friday (Nov. 12)

There are only 49 days left in 2021. Let’s Get More Smarter. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of an audio learner, check out The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:
http://covid19.colorado.gov

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

*Locate a COVID-19 testing site in Colorado:
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment 

 

Could Colorado be forced to start rationing health care as it battles against a surge of COVID-19 infections? We could be close to that point, as The Denver Post reports:

If the current acceleration in COVID-19 hospitalizations continues, the state could run out of hospital beds by the end of December, though Gov. Jared Polis has called on facilities to find space for 300 to 500 more patients. It’s not clear how hospitals would find enough staff for those additional beds, though.

State officials have estimated Colorado has 2,000 to 2,200 beds that could potentially be used for COVID-19 patients, and as of Thursday afternoon, 1,466 of them were full. If all of those beds were filled with people who have the virus, it would leave very little room for anything else to go wrong, from a bad flu season to traffic injuries during a snowstorm.

Dr. Eric France, the state’s chief medical officer, said at a Thursday meeting of the Governor’s Expert Emergency Epidemic Response Committee that it’s possible Colorado will need to activate its hospital crisis standards of care, which allow for rationing, in the next few weeks. [Pols emphasis]

It doesn’t need to be this way — just get vaccinated, people!

Colorado Public Radio takes a deeper look at why COVID-19 cases in Colorado have gotten so bad lately. Governor Jared Polis is providing a live COVID-19 update at noon on Friday.

 

This is a totally normal thing for a former President of the United States to say out loud. From The Washington Post:

Former president Donald Trump said he considered it “common sense” for his supporters to chant “Hang Mike Pence!” during the Jan. 6 insurrection but that he never feared for his vice president’s safety. [Pols emphasis]

Audio of Trump’s comments to ABC News’s Jonathan Karl were published Friday by Axios in advance of a forthcoming book by Karl.

In the exchange, Trump again took issue with Pence for not intervening to change the results as he presided over the count of electoral college votes by Congress. The count was ultimately interrupted after rioters breached the Capitol and Pence was whisked out of the chamber amid threats on his life.

Asked by Karl if he was worried about Pence’s safety, Trump said: “No, I thought he was well-protected.”

In related news, former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows failed to appear for a deposition on Friday in front of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection.

 

The Aurora Sentinel digs into the story of the pending breakup of the Tri-County Health Department:

After more than seven decades of collaboration, the Tri-County Health Department is disbanding over increasingly difficult to reconcile approaches to public health, leaving Aurora — a city of almost 400,000 people with land in Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas county — in an awkward position.

As the three counties prepare to go their own separate ways, Aurora will either have to navigate being served by three public health agencies or embark on the ambitious task of forming its own health department, similar to Denver and Broomfield, which each operate as both cities and counties.

Local elected and public health officials have mixed feelings on the best approach…

…Douglas County voted to leave Tri-County in September after clashing with other members of the department over public health measures during the pandemic. Things came to a head in August, when the other board of health members overruled Douglas County’s representatives to impose a mask mandate in all K-12 schools.

A month later, Adams County voted to leave the department as well, a decision that left the Arapahoe County’s board of commissioners in the lurch.

 

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Get More Smarter on Veterans Day (Nov. 11)

Go thank a Veteran today. Let’s Get More Smarter. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of an audio learner, check out The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:
http://covid19.colorado.gov

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

*Locate a COVID-19 testing site in Colorado:
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment 

 

Declaring the state to be at high risk of COVID-19 exposure, Gov. Jared Polis signed an Executive Order ensuring that every Colorado adult can receive a COVID-19 booster shot six months after their last dose. The Colorado Sun and Colorado Public Radio wonder why Polis is still resisting another mask mandate, though vaccine requirements for large indoor events could be just around the corner. 

The New York Times, meanwhile, looks at the research and data about waning COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness:

As tens of millions who are eligible in the United States consider signing up for a Covid-19 booster shot, a growing body of early global research shows that the vaccines authorized in the United States remain highly protective against the disease’s worst outcomes over time, with some exceptions among older people and those with weakened immune systems.

But while the vaccines’ effectiveness against severe disease and hospitalization has mostly held steady, even through the summer surge of the highly transmissible Delta variant, a number of published studies show that their protection against infection, with or without symptoms, has fallen.

Public health experts say this decline does not mean that the vaccines are not working. [Pols emphasis] 

 

The Colorado Sun looks at how the big infrastructure deal in Congress will help speed up the process of increasing broadband internet access in Colorado:

Colorado’s efforts to end its rural digital divide could finally happen with the $1 trillion U.S. infrastructure bill, currently awaiting President Joe Biden’s signature.

At least $100 million for broadband infrastructure will end up in Colorado, but it could be much more, said Tony Neal-Graves, chief information officer and executive director of the Colorado Office of Information Technology.

“When we go through it and try to estimate how much money could potentially flow to the state of Colorado, directly or indirectly depending on the type of grant program it is, it could be north of a billion dollars,” Neal-Graves said.Congress passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act this week. In it, $65 billion has been set aside to pay for the cost to extend broadband service to those who still don’t have it in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and U.S. territories.

President Biden, meanwhile, is promising that the infrastructure deal will start to ease a growing pressure on the economy.

 

 The Washington Post examines two figures defining the economy in the Biden administration: Inflation and job-creation numbers.

The Associated Press explains the inflation problem:

Much of it is the flipside of very good news. Slammed by COVID-19, the U.S. economy collapsed in the spring of 2020 as lockdowns took effect, businesses closed or cut hours and consumers stayed home as a health precaution. Employers slashed 22 million jobs. Economic output plunged at a record-shattering 31% annual rate in last year’s April-June quarter.

Everyone braced for more misery. Companies cut investment. Restocking was put off. And a brutal recession ensued.

Yet instead of sinking into a prolonged downturn, the economy staged an unexpectedly rousing recovery, fueled by massive government spending and a bevy of emergency moves by the Fed. By spring, the rollout of vaccines had emboldened consumers to return to restaurants, bars and shops.Suddenly, businesses had to scramble to meet demand. They couldn’t hire fast enough to plug job openings — a near record 10.4 million in August — or buy enough supplies to fill customer orders. As business roared back, ports and freight yards couldn’t handle the traffic. Global supply chains became snarled.

Costs rose. And companies found that they could pass along those higher costs in the form of higher prices to consumers, many of whom had managed to sock away a ton of savings during the pandemic.

 

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Get More Smarter on Wednesday (Nov. 10)

On this day in 1775, the United States Marine Corps was established. Let’s Get More Smarter. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of an audio learner, check out The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:
http://covid19.colorado.gov

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

*Locate a COVID-19 testing site in Colorado:
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment 

 

The Washington Post catches up on the COVID-19 problems spreading in the Mountain West:

At the foot of the Rocky Mountains, Tom Gonzales, director of public health in Colorado’s sixth-largest county, made a decision in mid-October that felt like a dismaying retreat in the battle against the coronavirus. He reinstated an indoor mask mandate.

It was not a popular move, but Gonzales felt he had no choice. In Larimer County, which stretches eastward from the Continental Divide to the high plains and encompasses the city of Fort Collins, hospitals were overwhelmed by a surge of covid-19 patients that began slowly in August, plateaued for a while — and then exploded unexpectedly once the leaves began to turn.

By the end of last week, the number of covid-19 patients in the county’s hospitals matched the peak in December 2020.

“Everyone was like, ‘No, not again, please,’ ” Gonzales said. “There’ve been lots of twists and turns in this pandemic where we’re really surprised — and this is the biggest surprise for me.”

Colorado’s current COVID-19 rates are trending upward even as the rest of the country is slowing down on the rate of infections. As The Denver Post reports, emergency measures are being reactivated in the state:

Colorado health officials reinstated “crisis standards of care” for hospital staffing Tuesday amid a surge in new COVID-19 infections and patients, a day after declaring the entire state at high risk from the virus.

The crisis standards, previously activated from April 2020 to February 2021, give hospitals and other providers a framework for stretching limited personnel, including how and when National Guard troops and even family members and volunteers can be used to free up medical staff.

They also provide legal cover if the care that hospitals can provide under the crisis standards isn’t what usually would be acceptable.

On Monday night, Colorado health officials declared the entire state a high-risk environment for COVID-19, saying all vaccinated adults now qualify for booster shots once enough time has elapsed since their original inoculation.

Vax (or boost) that thang up, people! All Colorado adults now qualify for a COVID-19 booster shot.

 

Colorado Republican candidates either believe the 2020 election was fraudulent or they are too afraid of the GOP base to admit the truth. Either way, refusing to answer perhaps the most important question of 2022 is disqualifying

 

 Colorado Newsline and Colorado Public Radio explain how Colorado could benefit from billions of dollars through the new infrastructure deal.

 

If you’re not sure where your beliefs might place you on the current political spectrum, you can take this Pew Research Study for more insight into yourself.

 

 

 

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Nope, Try Again

As we wrote in this space a few weeks ago, Colorado Republican candidates still can’t figure out how to talk about the “Big Lie” with a straightforward answer that actually addresses the central question within the question about the 2020 Presidential election: Was the 2020 Presidential election fair and accurate, or was it “stolen” from former President Donald Trump?

Some Republican candidates have started responding to this question by saying that they think the election in Colorado was fine, but it might have been fraudulent elsewhere. Or they’ll say, “Joe Biden won the election,” which is not really an answer at all. As Axios Denver reported today, these very obvious questions (that include very obvious answers) are still of critical importance to voters; Republican gubernatorial candidate Hiedi Heidi Ganahl is still struggling with how to respond:

The topics are quickly emerging as divergent litmus tests for party primary voters who want to see unyielding loyalty to Trump and independents who disfavor the ex-president…

…In Ganahl’s campaign launch and a recent interview with Axios, she refused to say whether she supports Trump. “I’d rather look forward than backward,” she told us, adding, “Donald Trump is not running; I am.”

She declined to say multiple times whether President Biden was legitimately elected or whether fraud colored the 2020 election because it was a “divisive question.”

And she would not specify whether she considered the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol an “insurrection,” or discuss the events at length.

She offered: “It was a bad day for our country.”

Ugh.

Heidi Ganahl

Ganahl had another shot today during an appearance on KNOW radio with Ross Kaminsky. Despite having lots of time to marinate on these topics, she’s still flailing away at pitch after pitch:

KAMINSKY: My question to you is not who won the election in 2020. My question is, what are you doing as a candidate to prepare for being bombarded with questions like that, questions about abortion, questions about January 6, and all of the gotcha questions …some fraction of which might be legit questions, but some aren’t.

GANAHL: Yeah, Ross. I think some days it feels like as Republicans we’re running against the media [awkward laugh]. No disrespect to you — I think you do a great job. But I want to talk about the things that the people of Colorado talk about as I’m out in the field. And that is: Our kids’ education, the mental health crisis, it’s the cost of living, and it’s crime. Those are the problems that the people of Colorado want solved, and they want to know how we’re going to solve those problems, and I’m going to try to keep my focus on.

KAMINSKY: So, if Jared Polis turns to you in a debate and says, ‘Heidi, who won the election in 2020,’ you will say what?

GANAHL: Joe Biden is our President and let’s do all we can to change that in 2024.

Nope!

You could argue as to what degree this response might be better or worse than how Ganahl handled these questions in August, but she’s not being graded on a sliding scale here. If you’re not talking about the legitimacy of the 2020 election, you’re doing it wrong.

If Ganahl — or any Colorado Republican candidate — wants to stop these questions, all they need to do is to provide a straightforward response about whether the 2020 election was legitimate. Refusing to answer is disqualifying for a candidate seeking public office in 2022.

Repeatedly refusing to answer the question is, well, repeatedly disqualifying.

Boebert Appears in Disgusting Gosar “Anime” Video

UPDATE: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is calling for an investigation into the video, as The Washington Post reports in a separate story:

Pelosi’s statement echoed one issued earlier by the House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, which also called for an ethics investigation.

“In any other job in America, if a coworker made a video killing another coworker, that person would be fired,” the group’s co-chairs — Reps. Matthew Cartwright (Pa.), Debbie Dingell (Mich.), Ted Lieu (Calif.) and Joe Neguse (Colo.) — said in a joint statement.

“Mr. McCarthy needs to decide whether he will finally stand with the American people on the side of law and order or he will continue to support violence and chaos,” the Democratic lawmakers added.

—–

Rep. Lauren Boebert depicted as a “hero” in video from Rep. Paul Gosar.

As The Washington Post reports:

Rep. Paul A. Gosar (R-Ariz.) shared an altered, animated video that depicts him killing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and swinging two swords at President Biden, prompting condemnation and calls for his Twitter and Instagram accounts to be suspended.

Ocasio-Cortez responded Monday night after arriving in Glasgow, Scotland, as part of a congressional delegation. Gosar, she said, will probably “face no consequences” because House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) “cheers him on with excuses.”…

…A Twitter spokesperson said late Monday that a “public interest notice” had been placed on Gosar’s tweet because it violates the company’s policy against hateful conduct.

The “anime” video also features Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Colorado’s own Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert as “heroes” in the story, presumably partners in Gosar’s killing of AOC and Biden. You can see the full video here, but be forewarned: Watching the video won’t necessarily help you make any sense out of the content.

Colorado Rep. Jason Crow (D-Aurora) was one of many Members of Congress who are justifiably furious at Gosar’s video:


As far as we know, it’s probably not Boebert’s fault that she appears in Gosar’s gross video. Of course, Boebert also hasn’t commented on her cameo; if she objected to the content, she’s had PLENTY of time to speak out about taking it down.

Get More Smarter on Monday (Nov. 8)

Happy International Day of Radiology. Please celebrate responsibly. Let’s Get More Smarter. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of an audio learner, check out The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:
http://covid19.colorado.gov

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

*Locate a COVID-19 testing site in Colorado:
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment 

 

It’s infrastructure week! For real, this time! As Olivier Knox writes for The Washington Post:

Get ready to hear a lot more about roads, bridges, ports, rail, broadband Internet access and the potential new jobs that come from upgrading and expanding them.

President Biden is planning a national communications blitz to sell Americans on his most consequential legislative achievement to date, a $1.2 trillion infrastructure package — a bipartisan investment that eluded his two immediate predecessors.

White House officials know the traditional knock on Democrats is they can’t ever seem to take credit for their achievements, failing to win over voters even with policies that are broadly popular.

Democrats also know they can’t let that happen this time: Heading into the 2022 midterm elections, Biden’s job approval ratings have sagged below 50 percent as he has struggled to fulfill his campaign promises to tame the pandemic and revive the economy. Independents are running away from him in dramatic numbers. Disappointed Democrats risk staying home.

We wrote over the weekend about the big infrastructure vote and how Colorado’s delegation voted on the matter. Congressman Joe Neguse (D-Boulderish) is getting a lot of love for his role in finalizing the deal, including this re-tweet from White House Chief of Staff Ronald Klain:

 

Meanwhile, many right-wing Republicans are REALLY mad at some of their colleagues for daring to vote for something that might help the American people. Colorado Republican Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert wants to name names! As Ernest Luning reports for the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman, only one Republican U.S. Senate candidate is in agreement with the infrastructure passage: Joe O’Dea.

 

For more on what the big infrastructure bill will mean for Colorado, check out Axios Denver; Fox 31 news; and The Denver Channel. Michael Booth of The Colorado Sun has more details on what the bill will mean for climate and water projects in the West.

 

 Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is now publicly attacking Big Bird, because of course he is.

 

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