Republicans Might Have Backed the Wrong Horse…Again

 

UPDATE #2: And again…

 

—–

UPDATE: To our point…

Via The Washington Post (7/30/21)

—–

Could become a popular item (the bag).

Philip Bump of The Washington Post has an interesting new column out today that prodded us to take a new look at a question we’ve long pondered: Are Republicans SURE that following Donald Trump is their best option in 2022? 

Bump notes that Trump is no longer able to drive a national conversation like he once could — in part because of his banishment from major social media sites — and points out that Trump’s favorability ratings among Republicans have been steadily dropping since the Jan. 6 insurrection. Add in the fact that Trump’s endorsement hasn’t been all that effective lately (more on this in a moment), and it leads Bump to conclude the following:

It’s hard to overstate how important it is for Trump to be seen as decisive. It’s why when a political action committee associated with Trump nemesis John Bolton published a poll suggesting that Trump’s grip had weakened, Trump’s team did a full-court press to rebut the insinuation. His then-spokesman Jason Miller sent a flurry of rejoinders insisting that Trump was still as strong as he liked the world to think. (Incidentally, Miller’s replacement by Liz Harrington is in its own way a diminishment of Trump’s ability to hold the party in his grip.) Trump needs people to think he can make or break their careers.

It’s probably true that, for many, he still can. But this week has been a good reminder that such bullying can very quickly fall apart under the right conditions. At some point next year, as primaries unfold, Trump may see his power collapse and see a bunch of Republicans he opposed headed back to Washington — shaking their heads at him as they go, amazed that they had ever feared him. [Pols emphasis]

On Monday, Trump endorsed Susan Wright ahead of a special election in Texas to fill the remainder of her late husband’s term in Congress (Rep. Ron Wright died earlier this year after being infected with COVID-19). Susan Wright went on to lose to fellow Republican Jake Ellzey by about seven points. 

As POLITICO reports, the outcome in Texas’ 6th Congressional District had Trump lackeys running scared:

[Wright’s] loss Tuesday night sent shockwaves through the former president’s inner circle. Many privately concede the pressure is on them to win another special election next week in Ohio, where a Trump-backed candidate is locked in a close primary.

Advisers worry that a second embarrassing loss would raise questions about the power of Trump’s endorsement — his most prized political commodity, which candidates from Ohio to Wyoming are scrambling to earn before next year’s midterms. [Pols emphasis] More broadly, losses could undermine his standing in the Republican Party, where his popularity and influence has protected Trump’s relevance even as a former president barred from his social media megaphones.

A bit later, POLITICO noters that Trump didn’t do much for Wright aside from his generic endorsement rhetoric:

Some Republicans, however, pin partial blame for Wright’s loss on Trump. While the former president sent out statements reiterating his support for Wright and hosted a late tele-rally for her, he did little to help her build her campaign war chest — something he could have done using his vast small donor network. Recently released finance reports showed Ellzey significantly outraising Wright.

Trump has backed Mike Carey for Congress in a special election in Ohio next week, where the story is much the same. Carey is being vastly outspent by a different Republican candidate, former state lawmaker Ron Hood, who is backed by Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and other conservative Super PACs. Trump advisers are right to worry about what it will say for The Big Orange Guy’s influence if his preferred candidate loses what is essentially a Republican primary for the second time in a week.

These are not the only signs that Trump’s influence might not be as strong as his supporters — including Colorado Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert — would like to believe. 

In late Spring, Trump rolled out a new blog called “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump” that lasted all of 29 days after proving to be less popular than even lesser-known pet-adoption and recipe websites. Organizers of a proposed winter tour headlined by Trump and former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly are having a hard time selling tickets; consumers are apparently much more interested in paying money to see the likes of comedian Katt Williams or podcast host Joe Rogan

Republicans across the country have stuck with Trump even after his departure from the White House in January, but doubts are growing. Colorado Republican Party Chair Kristi Burton Brown, who earlier this year declared that the State GOP would “never” go back to “the pre-Trump era,” has been walking back those declarations in recent interviews. 

Cool, you’ve got these voters. What about everybody else?

Republicans have been basing their entire 2022 political strategy around support for “The Big Lie,” either because they truly believe that the 2020 Presidential Election was fraudulent or (more likely) because they are terrified that Trump could derail their political careers by supporting a GOP challenger. Congressman Ken Buck (R-Greeley) is so frightened of receiving a primary challenge that he recently started inventing his own ridiculous election conspiracy theories. After waffling for months on whether or not the 2020 election was legitimate, Buck dove headfirst down the rabbit hole in July to prove his fealty to falsehoods. Was it worth it, politically-speaking, for Buck to avoid the ire of Trump? 

Maybe not.

Politicians such as Buck, Boebert, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy have staked their 2022 election hopes on the power of Trump’s influence, an allegiance that has compelled them to speak up more forcefully ON THE SIDE OF THE INSURRECTIONISTS. Historically it has not generally been a good political strategy to openly support terrorists; the upside of remaining on Trump’s Christmas card list might not prove to be a fair trade in 18 months. 

Trump is still the overwhelming favorite to be the Republican nominee for President in 2024, so there’s still reason to believe that keeping your nose in Trump’s butt will be a (politically) rewarding strategy.

But it’s tough to argue that Trump’s influence isn’t trending in the wrong direction…and that should make a lot of Republicans very, very nervous.

So Much For “Needle Nazis”–Who’s Going Door To Door Now?

Rep. Ron Hanks (R) in Phoenix observing the Arizona election “audit.”

As The Dispatch in York, Pennsylvania reports, local police are on alert for activists going door to door as part of a so-called “Election Integrity Project,” approaching voters to question them about how they voted in 2020 and who they voted for:

Various local officials say they have received reports that the group is visiting residents’ homes and questioning how the homeowner voted and who they voted for. The questioning comes as county officials weigh whether to comply with a “forensic audit” of the 2020 election spearheaded by state Sen. Doug Mastriano, R-Franklin County.

“There is an intimidation factor, and that’s what their intent is,” said Chad Baker, chair of the Democratic Party of York County. “The timing of this doesn’t seem suspect given the recent request of the audit by Sen. Mastriano.”

The individuals claiming to be a part of the committee seem to be targeting Democrats in an attempt to seek out voter fraud, a baseless claim that has cemented itself as a rallying cry for supporters of former President Donald Trump, Baker said.

Despite the thorough process of counting, auditing, and in several swing state recounting the 2020 vote which found no irregularities on a scale that could change the outcome of the election, Republicans continue to pursue baseless theories of election fraud in multiple states. In Arizona, the GOP-controlled State Senate authorized an open-ended fishing expedition by a dubious private contractor which months later has produced nothing but easily-debunked misinformation. Undeterred, other states with dead-ender Trump contingents holding the power to do so are preparing their own so-called audits, because, well, they can.

Going from endlessly recounting the same ballots over and over to accosting Democratic voters in their homes about their vote, however, represents a significant and disturbing escalation–not to mention hypocritical after Republicans lost their minds over misinformation regarding door to door promotion of COVID vaccines. In Pennsylvania, voters targeted were confused, perhaps by design, about whether the “election integrity committee” they claim to work for was in some way official.

The self-proclaimed committee touring southern York County used tactics that were nearly identical to a forensic audit being conducted by a company hired by state Senate Republicans in Arizona. The U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, in a May 5 letter obtained by The York Dispatch, accused the firm Cyber Ninjas of voter intimidation because of its door-knocking practice.

You’re probably asking by now–why are we talking about this in Colorado? Unfortunately, there’s a pressing reason. Last weekend, an organization calling itself the U.S. Election Integrity Project with ties to freshman election conspiracy theorist of note GOP Rep. Ron Hanks allegedly began its own door to door “canvass” of voters in the Colorado Springs area:

(more…)

Get More Smarter on Thursday (July 29)

Holy hell! We’re almost done with July already. 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 

*Coloradans can now get a COVID-19 vaccine at one of six locations without a prior appointment. 

 

As POLITICO reports, it might finally be time to kick off “infrastructure week”:

President Joe Biden moved significantly closer Wednesday to achieving his massive infrastructure overhaul — the type of bipartisan win he’s dreamed about since launching his campaign for the presidency.

Seventeen Republican senators voted with Democrats to advance a roughly $1 trillion deal that would spend heavily on roads, bridges, broadband and public transit. And though it was a vote merely to start debate, Democrats expressed cautious optimism that a bill would eventually reach Biden’s desk. It was, the White House stressed, a testament to the president’s political skill and persistence. Despite constant fits and starts, grumbling from many in his party, and predictions that negotiations would fall apart, Biden refused to give up on working with Republicans.

Colorado Newsline has more on the details of the infrastructure efforts.

Even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is getting out of the way on this (for now, anyway). But as The Washington Post reports, former President Donald Trump is trying to get Republicans to scuttle any deal because he’s sad that he couldn’t accomplish something similar during his administration:

Trump warned the GOP last night against cutting a deal, in his latest rhetorical barrage against bipartisan cooperation on a proposal to shore up or upgrade the country’s roads, bridges, ports, access to the Internet and clean water.

“This will be a victory for the Biden Administration and Democrats, and will be heavily used in the 2022 election,” he warned in a statement. “It is a loser for the USA, a terrible deal, and makes the Republicans look weak, foolish, and dumb.”

The former president also explicitly threatened any Republicans inclined to support the notional deal that “lots of primaries will be coming your way!”

What a patriot.

 

Colorado is not announcing new guidelines for wearing masks indoors, but Denver7 points out all of the areas in the state where you probably SHOULD be wearing a mask just to be safe. Not included is anywhere that Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert happens to be at a given moment.

In a related story, 9News looks at how the Delta variant of COVID-19 appears to be circulating more rapidly in Latino communities.

 

 The Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (CIRC) is speaking up about concerns related to rhetoric heard from one member of Colorado’s Independent Congressional Redistricting Commission. As The Colorado Times Recorder explains:

The Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (CIRC), an immigration advocacy group, condemned comments about undocumented workers made by Congressional Redistricting commissioner Bill Leone.

The comments were made last week at a Joint Independent Redistricting meeting in Englewood in response to witness testimony about how the commission would count imprisoned populations when redrawing Colorado’s congressional districts. Leone then asked if undocumented workers should be reallocated when looking at population data.

Christie Donner, executive director of the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition (CCJRC), testified to the importance of the commission including imprisoned populations in their home districts, rather than the districts in which they are imprisoned.

 

As The Washington Post reports, right-wing cult leader Charlie Kirk and his “Turning Point USA” group is working hard to stop people from getting vaccinated and/or wearing masks to protect themselves and others from COVID-19:

…the communications by Turning Point USA and its affiliate, Turning Point Action, reflect the increasingly hard line taken by the group, which describes itself as the “largest and fastest-growing youth organization in America” and claims a presence on more than 2,500 college and high school campuses. Its dire warnings about a government-backed inoculation program — now a major theme of its Facebook ads, which have been viewed millions of times — illustrate how the Trump-allied group is capitalizing on the stark polarization around vaccine policy.

Experts say the messages, many of which steer online audiences to donation pages, threaten to undermine vaccine confidence among young people, who have already proved particularly reluctant to roll up their sleeves. And they could incite conflict over vaccine requirements as students return to campuses wrestling with how to safely reopen this fall, with some battling in court to require vaccination.

Not-so-fun fact: Bill Montgomery, who co-founded “Turning Point USA” with Kirk, RECENTLY DIED AFTER CONTRACTING COVID-19.

 

Click below to keep learning stuff…

 

(more…)

Witness The Depth Of Republican Depravity

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik.

Today, the U.S. House select committee investigating the deadly pro-Trump assault on the U.S. Capitol on January 6th is holding its first hearings, taking witness testimony from U.S. Capitol Police officers who defended the building and helped lawmakers flee to secure areas as insurrectionists stormed through smashed windows and doors.

Outside the hearing, as Fox News reports, Republicans who tried desperately to stop this investigation from taking place at all offered their latest spin on the events of January 6th. We had to read this twice to make sure it wasn’t a parody:

House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and other House GOP leaders blasted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Tuesday morning, accusing her of being ultimately responsible for security failures at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6…

“Dec. 14, the leadership knew there was a problem,” McCarthy said. “Even prior to that, an Inspector General report told us there was failed leadership at the top of the police for the training.” The minority leader noted that no hearing was held to address that report.

House Republican Conference Chair Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., echoed this, claiming that in December 2020 Pelosi “was made aware of potential security threats to the Capitol and she failed to act.”

Insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, January 6th 2021.

The New York Daily News has the quote from Rep. Elise Stefanik today that has jaws agape from coast to coast:

“The truth (is) that Nancy Pelosi bears responsibility as Speaker of the House for the tragedy that occurred on Jan. 6,” said Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), the No. 3 House Republican. [Pols emphasis]

On January 13th, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy stated unequivocally that “the president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters.” The insurrectionists who smashed their way into the U.S. Capitol on January 6th were not random tourists, they were there with the expressed purpose of disrupting the certification of the 2020 presidential election in hope that might somehow help defeated Republican President Donald Trump cling to power.

You know that. We know that. Kevin McCarthy and Elise Stefanik know it too.

So what’s going on here? It’s simple, really: the GOP is a party completely given over to post-truth reinvention of history, so turning the story of January 6th on its head to recast the victims as guilty for the attack is as natural for them as it is outrageous to everyone else. By giving voice to the utterly outlandish idea that Democrats somehow brought this violence on themselves, Republican leaders have given Republican voters desperate to reconcile these events with their own values will something–anything–to cling to. And that’s all it takes.

In the end, what “post-truth” Republicans say doesn’t have to make sense. If you’re outraged, you’re just not the target audience for it. Republicans who know what their leaders are saying is preposterous fiction, and they most certainly do exist, cannot say anything for fear of ending up the next Liz Cheney.

Whatever happens next, today marks another low moment: for Kevin McCarthy and Elise Stefanik, for the GOP, and for American democracy as a whole. Unless American voters stop rewarding Republicans’ increasingly diabolical behavior in the era of Trump, we are all debased with them.

More Things That Won’t Happen on August 13

Pillow enthusiast and amateur political scientist Mike Lindell

The “MyPillow Guy,” company CEO Mike Lindell, has been one of the most outspoken of the Donald Trump supporters in terms of his belief that Trump will yet be “reinstated” as President, or something. Lindell has spent millions of dollars of his own money to create a complicated Excel spreadsheet that “proves” widespread voter fraud stole the 2020 Presidential election for Joe Biden. Lindell will reportedly make that data public at some sort of event in mid-August.

Lindell has claimed for months that Trump would be back in the White House in August 2021 (of course, Lindell has also said that Trump “won” the 2020 election, so it’s unclear why Trump would need to be reinstated as President if he was already President). Earlier this month, Lindell even put a date on it; he said that The United States Supreme Court would reinstate Trump as President on Friday, August 13 (yes, Friday the 13th). Nevermind that the U.S. Supreme Court does not have this authority.

But as Raw Story reports, Lindell has a new, updated theory that still involves August 13:

Lindell speculated this week that President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will resign on the morning of August 13. [Pols emphasis]

Lindell told Real America’s Voice host Steve Bannon that he came to this conclusion after speaking with three Democrats who regretted voting for Biden. The MyPillow CEO claimed that he had convinced the Biden voters that the 2020 election had been stolen from former President Donald Trump…

…”There’s three of them that voted [for Biden] that feel terrible about it,” he continued. “I said you know what? I said you didn’t know about this but you thought you were voting for something. I said you didn’t get to vote. I said China did our vote.”

According to the “MyPillow Guy,” Biden and Harris will resign for the good of the country on Friday the 13th after seeing all of the data that he has accumulated proving that their administration is illegitimate. Don’t tell Lindell, but if this were to happen, the person who would become President is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and not The Big Orange Guy in Mar-a-lago.

Lindell is quite obviously a few sheets short of a made bed, but we’re telling you this so that there can be no confusion that August 13 is THE DAY that the Biden Presidency comes to an end. When that does not happen, and August 13 is just like any other day, then Lindell will probably shift to a new deadline — which is what people who predict the end of the world tend to do on a regular basis.

If you are one of the people who still believe that the 2020 Presidential election was fraudulent and that Trump is — or should still be — President of the United States…well, just understand that you and the “MyPillow Guy” are essentially on the same team. And then maybe reconsider your position.

Get More Smarter on Monday (July 26)

Japan has a slight lead over the United States in the Olympic medal count after the first couple of days of competition. 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 

*Coloradans can now get a COVID-19 vaccine at one of six locations without a prior appointment. 

 

Last week, Alabama Republican Gov. Kay Ivey made it clear that she was sick of unvaccinated Americans preventing the rest of the country from ending the COVID-19 pandemic, saying, “It’s time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks…it’s the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down.”

As Dr. Anthony Fauci is warning, new restrictions may be just around the corner BECAUSE so many people are unvaccinated. From The Washington Post:

Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, said Sunday that the United States is in an “unnecessary predicament” at this point in the pandemic.

“We’re going in the wrong direction,” Fauci said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

The latest surge in infections is driven by the highly virulent delta variant, which continues to spread rapidly around the country. Although official guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not changed, Fauci hinted that a return to indoor mask mandates for vaccinated people and booster shots may be necessary to once again curb the spread of the virus.

Doctors, nurses, and other health groups are now calling for vaccine mandates for all health care workers. New York City will require all city workers to either receive COVID-19 vaccinations or take weekly COVID-19 tests. But as The Washington Post reports in a separate story, Republican leaders around the country are actively working against public health guidelines:

GOP lawmakers are rallying around the cause of individual freedom to counter community-based disease mitigation methods, moves experts say leave the country ill-equipped to counter the resurgent coronavirus and a future, unknown outbreak.

In some states, anger at perceived overreach by health officials has prompted legislative attempts to limit their authority, including new state laws that prevent the closure of businesses or allow lawmakers to rescind mask mandates. Some state courts have reined in the emergency and regulatory powers governors have wielded against the virus. And in its recent rulings and analysis, the U.S. Supreme Court has signaled its willingness to limit disease mitigation in the name of religious freedom…

…At least 15 state legislatures have passed or are considering measures to limit the legal authority of public health agencies, according to the Network for Public Health Law, which partnered with the National Association of County and City Health Officials to document the legislative counterpunches. Lawmakers in at least 46 states have introduced hundreds of bills relating to legislative oversight of gubernatorial or executive actions during coronavirus or other emergencies, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The answer, friends, is remarkably simple: Vax, That. Thang. Up.

 

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock delivers his “State of the City” address today.

 

Colorado Newsline reports on Friday’s meeting in Grand Junction with BLM officials and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland:

During her first official visit to Grand Junction, the nation’s first Native American secretary of the interior, Deb Haaland, wouldn’t say whether the Bureau of Land Management headquarters will remain in the city or return to Washington, D.C.

“It’s an open question, but needs to be known soon,” she said.

Haaland was joined on Friday by Gov. Jared Polis, Sens. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper, and Reps. Joe Neguse and Lauren Boebert, who represents the district that encompasses Grand Junction. The Colorado delegation hopes to persuade Haaland to keep the BLM headquarters in Grand Junction, where, in a controversial move, the Trump administration relocated the federal agency from Washington, D.C., in 2019…

…Haaland said she will consider the impact on BLM employees when making her decision whether to keep the headquarters on the Western Slope. Employees were significantly impacted the way the move was implemented, she said. And institutional knowledge was lost after nearly 300 BLM employees left their jobs rather than leave their homes in Washington to come to Colorado.

Colorado Public Radio has more on Haaland’s visit.

If you didn’t yet get a chance, take a moment to caption this photo of Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert flanked by other Colorado Members of Congress during a press conference in Grand Junction.

 

As Colorado Public Radio reports, Lake Powell has reached its lowest water level IN RECORDED HISTORY:

Lake Powell, the second-largest reservoir in the U.S., has dropped to its lowest level on record. The water and power produced by the system supplies millions of people in the West.

On July 23, the reservoir’s level fell to 3,555.09 feet. The previous record low was set in April 2005.

A 20-year megadrought and hotter temperatures with climate change have contributed to shrinking water supplies in the Colorado River.

The Bureau of Reclamation had announced last week that it was likely this weekend that the reservoir would hit its lowest level since first being filled in the 1960s with water from the Colorado River.

The low water levels on Lake Powell are a big issue for Colorado because of a century-long water-sharing agreement.

 

Click below to keep learning stuff…

 

(more…)

Get More Smarter on Friday (July 23)

The 2020 2021 Tokyo Olympics are officially underway. 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 

*Coloradans can now get a COVID-19 vaccine at one of six locations without a prior appointment. 

 

More and more Republicans are speaking out about the importance of receiving your COVID-19 vaccinations. One such Republican, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, is even starting to get a little salty about it. From CNN:

Alabama Republican Gov. Kay Ivey on Thursday called out “the unvaccinated folks” for the rise in Covid-19 cases in her state, a remarkable plea at a time when many GOP leaders are refusing to urge people to get vaccinated even as Covid-19 cases surge in many parts of the country.

“Folks are supposed to have common sense. But it’s time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks. It’s the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down,” Ivey told reporters in Birmingham. [Pols emphasis]

Alabama is the least vaccinated state in the country, with roughly 33.9% of residents fully vaccinated, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Average daily Covid-19 cases in Alabama are nearly double what they were a week ago, and more than four times higher than they were two weeks ago…

…The unvaccinated, Ivey said, are “choosing a horrible lifestyle of self-inflicted pain.”

“We’ve got to get folks to take the shot,” she continued, calling the vaccine “the greatest weapon we have to fight Covid.”

Greg Sargent of The Washington Post has a similar response for the anti-vaxxer Republican crowd: He calls it “Snowflake Syndrome.” Texas Republican Rep. Ronny Jackson appears to have a bad case of “Snowflake Syndrome.”

Vax that thang up, people!

 

The Denver Post reports on the Front Range stop for Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, who will be in Grand Junction today for discussions about the future of the HQ of the Bureau of Land Management:

The federal government intends to provide immediate assistance to water users impacted by the West’s historic drought and develop longer-term strategies to respond to climate change, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland pledged Thursday during a visit to Denver.

Haaland — flanked by Assistant Interior Secretary for Water and Science Tanya Trujillo, U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Denver, and Denver Water CEO Jim Lochhead — spoke to the press after meeting with state and local officials at the Denver Water Administration building to discuss collaborating on addressing climate change and water-related issues in the West.

Haaland said the Bureau of Reclamation is working to identify and disperse “immediate financial and technical assistance for impacted irrigators and Indian tribes” while also tackling longer-term climate change responses, including building more resilient communities and protecting the natural environment.

“Being from New Mexico, I know how much climate change impacts our communities, from extended fire seasons to intense drought and water shortages, and I know how important the Colorado River Basin is to these discussions,” Haaland said.

 

The House of Representatives approved a measure — by wide margins — sponsored by Rep. Jason Crow (D-Aurora) that seeks to help Afghan interpreters who assisted U.S. forces in Afghanistan in obtaining visas to come to the United States; the Taliban has pledged to hunt down and kill interpreters who remain in that country.

Crow’s legislation passed the House by a vote of 407-16. Colorado Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert was the ONLY member of Colorado’s delegation to vote “NO.”

 

Colorado Newsline reports on passage of legislation in the House of Representatives that would regulate “forever chemicals” also known as PFAS, which can cause serious health problems when circulating through water supplies.

 

Click below to keep learning stuff…

 

(more…)

Sympathy For The “QAnon Shaman?”

Jacob Chansley, the so-called “QAnon Shaman” (center).

One of the more recognizable figures among the 550+ suspects arrested for alleged crimes committed during the January 6th insurrection at the U.S. Capitol attempt to disrupt the certification of Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election is the man who’s become known as the “QAnon Shaman” for his bizarre buffalo headdress costume and Mel Gibson-style cries of “freeeeedooooom” that echoed through the halls of the Capitol that day. Two weeks ago, Jacob Chansley was transferred to the FCI Englewood federal prison in Denver’s southwest suburbs for a psychological evaluation in order to determine his fitness for trial after months of pre-trial detention since his arrest in January.

As Reuters reports today, the “Qanon Shaman” is a deeply disturbed individual:

The participant in the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riots nicknamed the “QAnon Shaman” is negotiating a possible plea deal with prosecutors, after prison psychologists found he suffers from a variety of mental illnesses, his attorney said.

In an interview, defense lawyer Albert Watkins said that officials at the federal Bureau of Prisons, or BOP, have diagnosed his client Jacob Chansley with transient schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety.

The BOP’s findings, which have not yet been made public, suggest Chansley’s mental condition deteriorated due to the stress of being held in solitary confinement at a jail in Alexandria, Virginia, Watkins said.

“As he spent more time in solitary confinement … the decline in his acuity was noticeable, even to an untrained eye,” Watkins said in an interview on Thursday.

First and foremost: confirmation that this individual suspect in an insurrection thousands of people participated in urged on by then-President Donald Trump is seriously mentally ill does not excuse the actions of anyone else. The thorough and unsparing investigation to hold everyone who broke the law on January 6th accountable reflects the seriousness of the crimes committed that day, and is supported by an overwhelming majority of Americans.

The presence of a person suffering from severe mental illness in this crowd of agitated criminal extremists cannot be considered unexpected. Furthermore, the psychological harm done by solitary confinement is very well known here in Colorado, where corrections officials in recent years have eliminated long-term solitary confinement entirely.

Even in a case of insurrection, what makes America great is how we treat even the least deserving of sympathy fairly. The “QAnon Shaman” should be punished, and it does appear that he has been. What he may need more at the end of the day, though, is treatment.

“QAnon Shaman” himself may go down in history as more of a sad mascot than a bonafide threat, but that doesn’t mean we should get complacent about the very real and enduring threat of more violence from Trump dead-enders. It’s the sound of mind who smashed their way into the Capitol, and the man who incited them to violence in the first place, who should not walk free.

Get More Smarter on Thursday (July 22)

Happy Pi Approximation Day; please celebrate approximately. 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 

*Coloradans can now get a COVID-19 vaccine at one of six locations without a prior appointment. 

 

As The New York Times reports, the head of the CDC is warning that America is at a “pivotal point” in the battle to end the COVID-19 pandemic:

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention struck a new tone of urgency on Thursday about the coronavirus pandemic, warning that the United States is “not out of the woods yet” and is once again at a “another pivotal point in this pandemic” as the highly infectious Delta variant rips through communities with low rates of vaccination.

The warning from the director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, during a briefing by members of the White House Covid-19 response team, was a marked shift from just weeks ago, when President Biden threw a big Fourth of July party on the South Lawn of the White House to declare independence from the virus.

It reflects a growing concern among administration officials that the gains they appeared to have made are being erased — and that the current surge in cases will overwhelm health systems in parts of the country where vaccination rates are low and hospitalizations are high. Still, new cases, hospitalizations and deaths remain at a fraction of their previous devastating peaks. Vaccines remain effective against the worst outcomes of Covid-19, including from the Delta variant.

Vaxx that thang up, people!

 

Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland is in Denver today ahead of a visit to Grand Junction on Friday in which the future of the headquarters location for the Bureau of Land Management will be discussed.

 

As The Denver Post reports, Colorado is part of a MASSIVE settlement agreement with several major drug companies regarding their role in the opioid epidemic:

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser on Wednesday unveiled a historic $26 billion multistate settlement with the nation’s three largest drug distribution companies and the drugmaker Johnson & Johnson designed to address the nationwide opioid addiction and overdose crisis.

“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity,” Weiser said during a virtual news conference Wednesday afternoon. “We need to make the most of it.”

The settlement between more than 40 states, thousands of municipalities and AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, McKesson and Johnson & Johnson would bring $300 million to Colorado, the attorney general said.

That, combined with a previous settlement with Purdue Pharma, would total $400 million in funding to address what Weiser called an “American tragedy.”

 

Remember when several big corporations spoke out against new restrictive voter laws passed in Georgia this Spring? The Washington Post has an unfortunate update:

Three months ago, Comcast responded to the passage of Georgia’s sweeping voting law by saying, “Efforts to limit or impede access to this vital constitutional right for any citizen are not consistent with our values.”

That was then.

On June 30, the telecommunications giant contributed $2,500 to Georgia’s attorney general, Chris Carr, who has vigorously defended the law, which critics say will curtail voting access, including by limiting use of drop boxes for absentee ballots and making it a crime for third-party groups to hand out food and water to voters standing in line…

…Comcast was one of several companies that raised alarm about the voting restrictions but then contributed more than $20,000 collectively between April and June of this year to Georgia politicians who voted for or publicly defended the legislation, according to an examination by Advance Democracy, a nonprofit research group headed by Daniel J. Jones, a former FBI analyst who led the Senate investigation into the CIA’s use of torture after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

If only Comcast’s customer service was this reliable. Amirite?

 

Click below to keep learning stuff…

 

(more…)

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (July 21)

A new study says that Denver is the fourth-fittest city in America. 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 

*Coloradans can now get a COVID-19 vaccine at one of six locations without a prior appointment. 

 

As The Washington Post reports, more Republican officials are starting to promote the COVID-19 vaccination before the virus kills off their entire voting base:

A growing number of top Republicans are urging GOP supporters to get vaccinated as the delta coronavirus variant surges across the United States, marking a notable shift away from the anti-vaccine conspiracy theorizing that has gripped much of the party in opposition to the Biden administration’s efforts to combat the virus.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was part of the rising chorus on Tuesday, stressing the need for unvaccinated Americans to receive coronavirus shots and warning that the country could reverse its progress in moving on from the pandemic.

“These shots need to get in everybody’s arm as rapidly as possible, or we’re going to be back in a situation in the fall that we don’t yearn for, that we went through last year,” McConnell said during his weekly news conference. “I want to encourage everybody to do that and to ignore all of these other voices that are giving demonstrably bad advice.” [Pols emphasis]

Republicans such as Rep. Steve Scalise, the #2 person in the GOP House leadership, are now encouraging vaccinations. Even Fox News talking monkey Sean Hannity is now talking up the vaccine…and he once called the COVID-19 pandemic a hoax.

There’s one prominent Republican who is still NOT encouraging Americans to get vaccinated: Former President Donald Trump.

 

Colorado Democrats such as Gov. Jared Polis ran for office in 2018 promising to reduce health care costs for Coloradans. New data shows that these efforts have paid off BIGLY, resulting in significant reductions in health care premiums across the state.

 

As POLITICO reports, “centrist” Republican Senators are trying to lock down support for their watered-down version of a new infrastructure plan as the GOP stymies an effort by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to hold a discussion on the issue today.

 

A right-wing lunatic attacked a couple of reporters at the State Capitol on Tuesday, as Westword explains:

On July 20, a woman who identified herself as homeless physically attacked Colorado Politics reporter Pat Poblete in the press room of the Colorado State Capitol simply because he is a journalist. And while Poblete wasn’t injured and ultimately declined to ask that the woman be charged with assault — or for stealing items belonging to one of his reporting colleagues, Marianne Goodland — he’s troubled that she appears to have acted out because she believes the terrible things said about the media by ex-President Donald Trump, whose rhetoric she spouted during her violent outburst.

“This wasn’t the sort of hyper-online, hyper-partisan, QAnon, deep-dive type of person who’s ingrained in this stuff,” Poblete says. “This was just a woman who’d heard what the former president said about journalists and took that to heart. Even at that level of information and intake, it’s still penetrating the public psyche.”

Poblete, who publicly revealed the attack in a thread on his Twitter account, is the legislative reporter for Colorado Politics, and even though the Colorado Legislature isn’t currently in session, he was at the Capitol to cover an event celebrating a statue of World War II hero General Maurice Rose that will be placed in nearby Lincoln Veterans’ Memorial Park (click to see his article on the topic).

Words matter, people.

 

Click below to keep learning stuff…

 

(more…)

The Get More Smarter Podcast: All-Star Alternate Universes

This week on Episode #81 of The Get More Smarter Podcast, hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii introduce our new intern, Taleen Sample, with a new segment answering her questions about politics.

But first, we dive into the very nature of reality itself…sort of. Mostly it’s just us talking about how the Republican Party is setting up the 2022 election cycle to be a battle over conflicting versions of truth. Get ready for another 18 months of “alternate facts.”

Catch up on previous episodes of The Get More Smarter Podcast at GetMoreSmarter.com.

Questions? Comments? Complaints? Hit us up at AngryRants@getmoresmarter.com.

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

Nobody Wants to be Near MTG in El Paso County

Lots of Republicans are going to be out of town on this day…whatever day it is.

We noted last week that the El Paso County Republican Party has not exactly gotten an enthusiastic response about its decision to bring in Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (MTG) as the keynote speaker for its annual fundraising event next month. Colorado Republicans are distancing themselves from the El Paso County “Lincoln Day Dinner” like it was a COVID-19 vaccination drive, with State Party Chairperson Kristi Burton Brown (KBB) the latest to have found something else to do on August 6.

Brown was the featured subject in a recent saccharine interview on KOAA News in Colorado Springs, in which third-person point of view enthusiast Rob Quirk uncovered this unintentionally-hilarious “oops” moment:

News 5 Anchor Rob Quirk asked Burton-Brown if she supports the Taylor-Greene announcement, she did not give him a yes or no answer, saying she is focused on what serves Colorado best, so News 5 asked does this move serve the party best, to invite her?

“I think one thing we have to make sure we do is get away from making politics so much the world of personalities, and take it back to the world of ideas,” said Burton-Brown.

Burton-Brown told News 5 she would not be attending the fundraiser in August, saying her schedule is full, and she has other commitments that day. [Pols emphasis]

Remember that we’re talking about the actual Chairperson of the Colorado Republican Party, who hails from Colorado Springs, admitting that she has no intention of attending the big annual fundraising dinner in the most heavily-populated Republican county in Colorado. This isn’t like KBB being unable to work into her schedule a meeting of the La Plata County Republicans. The El Paso County GOP dinner is one of those events that the State GOP Chair normally makes time to attend, but in this case, KBB doesn’t want to be anywhere near MTG.

Greene has said on at least one occasion that she is really excited to speak to the El Paso County Republicans. Literally dozens of Colorado Republicans appear to share that enthusiasm.

Get More Smarter on Monday (July 19)

Today is the 200th day of 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 

*Coloradans can now get a COVID-19 vaccine at one of six locations without a prior appointment. 

 

With the Delta variant of COVID-19 continuing to surge and the same anti-vax lines being drawn around the country, there is a new push to restrict vaccine disinformation online. As The Washington Post explains:

In the latest salvo of the social media wars, a coalition of liberal individuals and groups has written to Facebook and Twitter urging them to ban 12 people who, one study found, spread the bulk of disinformation about coronavirus vaccines.

“People are quite literally dying because disinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic, the vaccine, and public health leaders is spreading,” they wrote to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. The Daily 202 obtained an advance copy of the letter…

…Among the better-known signatories were UltraViolet, the Center for Countering Digital Hate, Alianza for Progress, GLAAD, Media Matters for America, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and the Women’s March.

Oh, and on the subject of vaccination levels differing by political affiliation, here’s another depressing chart that reiterates what we’ve been seeing for months:

 

As Megan Schrader opines for The Denver Post, Republicans such as Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert are doing Coloradans a disservice by continuing to stoke anti-vaxxer paranoia.

On the subject of Boebert and inaccurate information, her crusade to validate “The Big Lie” in Arizona has been swiftly debunked.

 

Colorado Democrats are pushing Congress to act on immigration reform, as Colorado Public Radio reports:

This push comes as some Senate Democrats are considering whether to try to include immigration reform in the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package they’re currently drafting. The idea being floated would include funding for a pathway to legal status for certain groups, like DREAMers or immigrants with temporary protected status.

“I have always been a strong believer that we are a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants. That is why we must build an immigration system that is humane and orderly and rooted in justice and enforceability,” Gov. Jared Polis wrote. “To ensure that, I urge you to act now on comprehensive immigration reform including a pathway to earn citizenship through the reconciliation process.”

On Friday, a federal judge in Texas ruled that former President Barack Obama acted beyond his authority in setting up DACA, the program that protects eligible young undocumented immigrants from deportation, and ordered the government to stop approving new applications. The case is expected to be appealed, but the ruling adds new urgency to the question of whether the Senate will move forward with something.

Even before the ruling, Polis wasn’t the only one seeing an opportunity at this moment. The Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (or CIRC) also supports this push.

 

Click below to keep learning stuff…

 

(more…)

Boebert Tees Up Big Lie, Fact-Checkers Knock It Down–Again

On Friday, Colorado’s biggest “alternative facts” bullhorn in Congress, Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert, broadcast the following misinformation coming out of the dubious so-called “audit” of the 2020 presidential election in Arizona, the partisan adventure in confirmation bias grinding on to some manner of conclusion at some unspecified point in the future:

Of course, if Boebert was even a little bit interested in disseminating accurate information to her 600,000+ followers on Twitter she might have checked with Maricopa County, Arizona for a perfectly reasonable if somewhat less conspiratorial answer to the question:

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R).

Yesterday, CNN took a look at the basis for this latest morsel of 2020 election conspiracy bombast, and found Boebert as usual “went further” than her questionable source material:

[Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug] Logan made clear that this wasn’t necessarily a case of fraud, saying it could be a “clerical issue.” But his claim about an unexplained 74,000-plus ballot gap between the county’s list of mail-in ballots received and its list of mail-in ballots sent out was amplified on Twitter by Liz Harrington, the spokeswoman for former President Donald Trump, and by numerous other Trump supporters, such as Republican Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert. Some of them, including Boebert, went further than Logan did.

“In Arizona, 74,000 ballots were counted with no record of being sent in. That’s not normal. That’s not right. That’s not safe nor is it secure,” Boebert wrote.

On Friday, Trump himself went further than Logan. In a written statement, he claimed that the Thursday Senate briefing showed “74,000 mail in ballots received that were never mailed (magically appearing ballots).”

Facts First: There is no evidence of either fraud or any significant error with these ballots, and certainly not “magically appearing ballots.” Both Maricopa County and outside experts say there is a simple explanation for the gap Logan claimed had not been explained: the existence of in-person early voting. Contrary to Logan’s claims, the ballot lists he was talking about include not only mail-in ballots but also ballots cast early in person.

Much like when Boebert falsely claims that hammers kill more people than guns or that no one died of COVID in Texas after the mask mandate in that state was rescinded, it’s another case of mindlessly repeating a falsehood that she has no intention of either verifying to be factual or correcting if it isn’t. It happens so often that we find it necessary to ignore many such examples so as not to become a blog wholly devoted to fact-checking a single member of Congress.

In this case, however, with Boebert directly spreading misinformation suggesting fraud in the 2020 presidential elections, there’s another wrinkle that bears mentioning. Responding to the complaint filed with the House Ethics Committee by Rep. Pramila Jayapal accusing Boebert of “instigating and aiding the violent riot at the Capitol Building on January 6, 2021,” Boebert very specifically stated that her objections to certifying the election results in swing states were not related to election fraud.

To be clear, I was not involved in instigating and aiding the riots that took place on January 6th at the U.S. Capitol and there is no evidence that would support further investigation of these unjustified, politically motivated claims. As previously mentioned, my objections to the counting of Electoral College votes in Arizona and Pennsylvania were based on the Constitution and changes to state law that were not made by the state legislature, not election fraud. [Pols emphasis]

Apparently this distinction was important to Boebert’s defense before the Ethics Committee? After all, the insurrectionists who stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6th most certainly did believe that election fraud happened, and Boebert doesn’t want to be blamed for inciting them. It’s ridiculous, of course, since Boebert repeatedly told her army of followers the 2020 election was fraudulent in the weeks leading up to January 6th:

Successful as it was, Boebert makes a mockery of her defense to the Ethics Committee every chance she gets.

Sorry Trump, Showerhead Rules Are Coming Back

2.5 gallons per minute total, not each.

The Hill reports on the latest rollback by the President Joe Biden’s administration of bad policy instituted by his predecessor Donald Trump–this time a water conservation rule that irked Trump to an unusual degree:

The Biden administration is moving forward with a plan to drop a Trump-era rule that sought to loosen restrictions on showerhead water flow — something the former president was known to complain about.

The Energy Department announced on Friday that it is taking a step toward reversing the Trump administration’s move in order to tighten showerhead efficiency regulations.

Officials said they will propose a rule reinstating the 2013 definition of “showerhead,” which the Trump administration changed. The Trump rule from late last year sought to bypass a requirement allowing no more than 2.5 gallons to flow through a showerhead per minute.

The short version is that rather than allowing for a total flow of 2.5 gallons per minute in your shower, Trump changed the rule to allow each individual showerhead to have that amount of flow–meaning the dual and multi-head showers that everyone builds these days could use many times the original limit, defeating and even reversing the goal of conserving water.

Here in the West, where water unlike at Mar-a-Lago is a precious and dwindling resource, Trump’s obsession with wasting water to rinse the gel out of his combover never went over very well even though he regularly invoked the issue in stump speeches. It was a strange, vain pursuit–words that describe Trump himself very well.

Anyway, we’re going to save some water in the shower again. Tyranny it’s not.

Deja Vu: GOP Recycles Debunked Lies About Colorado Elections

Sad trombone.

Last April in the immediate aftermath of the decision by Major League Baseball to pull the All-Star Game from Georgia and a few days later award the game to Colorado in response to Georgia’s passage of controversial vote suppression legislation, Republicans were on the defensive to explain why Georgia suddenly needed to crack down on voting rights after Donald Trump’s narrow but trebly-verified loss in the state in last November’s presidential election–besides the obvious explanation, of course.

Republicans defending Georgia’s legislation and decrying MLB’s decision to move the All-Star Game asserted at this time that Colorado’s voting laws were somehow more restrictive than Georgia’s, thereby questioning the whole basis of the move to Colorado. The problem is that this suggestion is completely untrue, since Colorado sends mail ballots to every active voter and allows for same-day voter registration–a system that gives Colorado one of the highest rates of voter participation in the nation. National Public Radio, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and local media outlets absolutely destroyed this claim in comprehensive fact-checking pieces when the decision was announced in April.

So obviously, after being smacked down by every credible media outlet in the land, Republicans apologized for getting the facts as wrong as they can possibly be gotten and promised to tell the truth next time–right?

You already know we’re joking:

There it is, folks! Either the Republican National Committee figures you’ve forgotten how this exact same false claim was debunked with prejudice months ago, or they just don’t care about being fact-checked when their base is so well insulated from mainstream sources of information. We don’t believe the RNC simply forgot that this had been so widely debunked, therefore it must be yet another example of Republicans willfully disregarding reality in order to keep their political narrative intact.

The Big Lie has an entourage of Little Lies. It seems Republicans refuse to part with even the least of them.

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (July 14)

It was fun while it lasted; now we can go back to not having professional baseball in Colorado. 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 

*Coloradans can now get a COVID-19 vaccine at one of six locations without a prior appointment. 

 

 President Biden used a speech on Tuesday to make the case that Republicans are attempting an all-out assault on voting rights in this country. As The Washington Post explains:

President Biden on Tuesday delivered his most forceful condemnation yet of the wave of voting restrictions proposed in Republican-led states nationwide — efforts the president argued are the biggest threat to American democracy since the Civil War.

Biden’s speech was an attempt to inject new life into flagging efforts to pass federal legislation addressing the issue. But while he intensified his explanation of the stakes, his speech did not include a call for the Senate to change the filibuster, which is seen by advocates as the best, and perhaps only, way to usher in the kinds of changes Biden is seeking.

At the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, in a room filled with images of Benjamin Franklin and quotes from Daniel Webster and Theodore Roosevelt, Biden compared the new laws to voter suppression by the KKK and to the Jim Crow laws that disenfranchised nearly all voters who were not White or male. He railed against laws that restrict access — calling them “raw and sustained election subversion” — and said that the 2022 midterm elections could highlight the damaging impacts of the new laws.

But as The Washington Post reports in a separate story, many progressives aren’t particularly pleased with the fact that Biden left out a very key point in his speech:

“On voting rights, President Joe Biden is failing to meet the moment,” said Adam Jentleson, who worked for former Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and now heads the Battle Born Collective, a progressive group.

The problem isn’t how Biden describes the threat he perceives from Republican efforts to roll back electoral practices they blame for their 2020 White House loss, partly by empowering their partisans to oversee and overrule the results.

It’s that he hasn’t sided with the left in calling for an end, or a significant change, to the parliamentary tactic thwarting Democratic legislation in the 50-50 Senate — the filibuster, which requires 60 votes to get bills to passage.

These are legitimate criticisms. The Senate can move forward with passing a big voting rights package that has already made it through the House of Representatives, but it probably can’t happen unless the filibuster or the 60-vote threshold is changed.

 

As The Denver Post reports, a whole bunch of restaurants in Colorado got big money from COVID relief funds:

This spring and summer, 1,762 restaurants, bars, breweries, wineries and caterers in Colorado received a combined $480 million in grants from the federal government — money that doesn’t need to be repaid and can be spent on a wide array of business expenses.

Four Colorado businesses received $10 million each, the largest amount possible: Mission Yogurt, based in Westminster; The Kitchen American Bistros in Boulder, which has four restaurants and is owned by Elon Musk’s brother; Breckenridge-Wynkoop breweries in the Denver metro; and Illegal Pete’s, according to data released Monday by the U.S. Small Business Administration under the Freedom of Information Act.

Among the 75 largest beneficiaries in the state – which received a combined $191 million – 74 are along the Front Range (the other is in Aspen). In Denver, 423 companies received $183 million. In Boulder, 97 took in $47 million. In Colorado Springs, 139 businesses received $33 million.

 

As CNN’s Chris Cillizza explains, the final days of the Trump Presidency were even worse than you thought:

This is, in sum, a man deeply unfit for the presidency. (That is not a partisan statement. It is a statement of fact based on the clear portrait we have of how Trump behaved while in the most powerful office in the country.) A man who, by his inability to understand the sanctity of the office he held, threatened to destroy that sanctity for those who would follow him into the White House. And a man who was, without any question, an active danger for every single American – whether they supported or opposed him.

 

Colorado Independent Redistricting Commissioners heard from constituents at a public hearing in Arvada on Tuesday…and much of what they heard was not positive toward the initial new maps presented last month.

 

Click below to keep learning stuff…

 

(more…)

America First or Burn It Down: Jenna Ellis Bails From GOP

Sidney Powell, Rudy Giuliani, Jenna Ellis.

USA TODAY’s David Jackson reports–while of the of three people in the photo at right are facing sanctions up to and including the loss of their law license, ex-Trump couptorney Jenna Ellis of Colorado continues her high-profile transformation from lawyer with all those pesky strict ethical obligations to Newsmax pundit where…well, don’t be silly:

A lawyer who worked on Donald Trump’s election challenges says she is leaving the Republican Party in the wake of reports that an RNC official described her election fraud claims as “a joke.”

“The Republican Party has failed Donald Trump and true conservatives under swamp leadership,” attorney Jenna Ellis tweeted Monday about the latest dispute between Trump loyalists and GOP leadership, particularly the Republican National Committee.

In a November email, RNC chief counsel Justin Riemer said Ellis and fellow Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani were pushing nonsensical conspiracy theories about election procedures in President Joe Biden’s victory, according to a new book by author Michael Wolff.

“What Rudy and Jenna are doing is a joke and they are getting laughed out of court,” Riemer said in an email. “They are misleading millions of people who have wishful thinking that the president is going to somehow win this thing.”

Naturally, Ellis sees things…a bit differently:

Ellis claims further that the Republican National Committee under Ronna Romney McDaniel has possession of some $200 million raised by ex-President Donald Trump for the purpose of overturning the 2020 elections, which is obviously not being used for that right now and most self-interested Republicans should be fine with that. Don’t look for Ellis’ departure from the GOP to be permanent, either–in fact, there’s a groundswell on the MAGA right forming right now that could topple the current RNC leadership rather than let resistance to the “Big Lie” live on even in the closet. In a few months Ellis may well announce her triumphant return to a fully purged MAGA-owned GOP.

Even while her lawyer colleagues in Trump’s attempted overturning of democracy suffer the consequences, Ellis is reaping benefits beyond anything she could have hoped for as a low-level right-wing sort-of-lawyer with a grossly inflated resume. Riding Trump’s maleficient resurgence instead of mourning her career’s ignominious end is a fate Ellis should be grateful for–and we assume she is, just for all the wrong reasons.

Get More Smarter on Tuesday (July 13)

Don’t believe the rumors you might have heard: The Home Run Derby actually did come to an end. 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 

*Coloradans can now get a COVID-19 vaccine at one of six locations without a prior appointment. 

 

The New York Times reports on the first child tax credit payments going out this week, a big victory for Democrats — including longtime champion Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Denver):

With all but the most affluent families eligible to receive up to $300 a month per child, the United States will join many other rich countries that provide a guaranteed income for children, a goal that has long animated progressives. Experts estimate the payments will cut child poverty by nearly half, an achievement with no precedent…

…While the government has increased many aid programs during the coronavirus pandemic, supporters say the payments from an expanded Child Tax Credit, at a one-year cost of about $105 billion, are unique in their potential to stabilize both poor and middle-class families.

“It’s the most transformative policy coming out of Washington since the days of F.D.R.,” said Senator Cory Booker, Democrat of New Jersey. “America is dramatically behind its industrial peers in investing in our children. We have some of the highest child poverty rates, but even families that are not poor are struggling, as the cost of raising children goes higher and higher.”

Among America’s 74 million children, nearly nine in 10 will qualify for the new monthly payments — up to $250 a child, or $300 for those under six — which are scheduled to start on Thursday. Those payments, most of which will be sent to bank accounts through direct deposit, will total half of the year’s subsidy, with the rest to come as a tax refund next year.

Colorado Newsline has more on how the program will work. Democrats are trying to make the child tax credit a permanent policy.

 

At least you don’t live in Mesa County…unless you do, in which case, that sucks and we are very sorry.

 

 Voting rights are still a top issue as the Major League Baseball All-Star Game kicks off on Tuesday night. The Denver Post has more on an unusually-political meaningless baseball game.

 

Texas Republicans are once again trying to restrict voting rights, which has forced Democratic lawmakers to flee the state in a last-ditch effort to preserve election integrity.

 

Click below to keep learning stuff…

 

(more…)

Voting Rights Drives Lit All-Star Week In Colorado

It’s a big-ticket week in Colorado, as the not long- but highly- anticipated Major League Baseball All-Star Game’s week of events leading up to tomorrow’s big game draw thousands of spectators and millions of dollars to lower downtown Denver. Despite a sporting willingness by Colorado’s Democratic elected leadership to downplay the politics of the All-Star Game’s relocation from Georgia to Colorado, politics is unavoidably front and center in this week’s celebrations after Republicans outside of Colorado wept, wailed, and ultimately sued to stop MLB’s decision to not reward Georgia’s passage of vote suppression legislation earlier this year.

With that said, as Denver Post’s Justin Wingerter recapped the story of the 2021 All-Star Game’s move to Denver, it wasn’t just Colorado’s model accessible and secure elections that lured the All-Star Game to Coors Field, but also quick work by Gov. Jared Polis and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock to freshen an existing proposal to host the game in future years:

Denver’s city government had spent five years polishing and presenting a plan for an All-Star Game at Coors Field. It first tried for 2022, then 2024. But here was a more immediate option. State and city officials went to work.

Gov. Jared Polis, a baseball fan, called MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, Rockies owner Dick Monfort and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. The opportunity was so unexpected that the city’s marketing arm, Visit Denver, didn’t have time to update its proposal. Instead, it began sending messages to MLB that Denver’s hotels and convention center were available in July.

Obviously, without Colorado’s model accessible and secure election system we would not have been worthy of landing the All-Star Game after MLB pulled the game out of Georgia in the first place. But it was being serendipitously ready with a plan to execute the event on short notice, and political leaders keen to jump on the opportunity presented by the decision to pull out of Georgia, that made this week’s multimillion-dollar economic boon for Colorado as easy call.

As for Colorado Republicans? It depends on who you ask, but it’s awkward:

“People watch sports to be entertained, not to be lectured about politics,” U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, a Silt Republican, said in a news release. “… I’ve lost trust in the MLB, the American people have lost trust in the MLB and now this organization must be subject to the same antitrust laws as everyone else. Let me be clear, if you go woke, you go broke.”

Next came a lawsuit by a conservative group, the Job Creators Network, that would have forced MLB to play the game in Georgia. Its lawyer was Howard Kleinhendler, who had tried and failed to overturn the 2020 presidential election on behalf of Donald Trump. The lawsuit was criticized almost immediately by a judge who called it “weak and muddled.” It was later dropped entirely.

The Job Creators Network, as readers know, seemed to have an awful lot of ties to Colorado Republican politics right up until this half-baked lawsuit was filed. Heidi Ganahl, whose announcement to (probably) run for governor is considered imminent, is the former director of the Job Creators Network–but when asked by 9NEWS about the lawsuit she insisted she had nothing to do with it. Ganahl claimed further to be happy about the All-Star Game having moved to Denver…but also said it was “not fair” to Georgia. This is what’s known in politics as “flopping like a fish,” and it was not a good sign for Ganahl’s incipient campaign.

Others, like Rep. Lauren Boebert as you can see, could care less about Colorado’s economy! For Boebert, choosing Republican sour grapes over Colorado jobs comes naturally.

Look folks, we get it. Republicans like baseball just like Democrats, and everyone wants Republicans to spend their money boosting Denver’s economy. Unfortunately for Republican baseball fans, a major Republican political mistake is inextricably linked to the game’s presence in Denver this week. That’s just the way it is. Much like acknowledging the fact that kids need to learn the truth about racism, they’re going to have to suck it up and admit that Georgia made a mistake passing vote suppression legislation to appease Donald Trump’s ego–and the market can respond how it wants.

In the long run, there’s no question how this all will be judged by history.

Trump: Insurrectionists Were Great People

Following the deadly protests in Charlottesville, VA in August 2017, then-President Trump infamously said that “there are very fine people on both sides” in reference to a violent confrontation spurred by white supremacists who were angry about the potential removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee. Trump was roundly condemned for those comments by Democrats and Republicans alike; hell, even former Sen. Cory Gardner found a conscience and spoke out against Trump’s statement (which was basically the last time Gardner publicly criticized Trump).

On Sunday, Trump took what was probably the inevitable next step in his journey toward normalizing white supremacy and insurrection. As POLITICO reports:

Former President Donald Trump on Sunday widely praised those who attended the Jan. 6 rally that preceded the insurrection at the Capitol, repeatedly using the word “love” to describe the tone of the event…

…Speaking on “Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo” on the Fox News Channel, he also said the rally participants were patriots, that some of them were unjustly arrested and jailed, and that a woman who was shot and killed by law enforcement during the insurrection was a great hero.

The remarks reflected recent efforts by Trump and his supporters to cast themselves as the aggrieved parties from the Jan. 6 riot, which left five people dead and others injured — and, for a brief time, halted the wheels of democracy as President-elect Joe Biden’s victory over Trump in the Electoral College was being confirmed by Congress.

Here’s exactly what Trump said to Fox News talking muppet Maria Bartiromo on Sunday:

You had over a million people there. They were there for one reason, the rigged election. They felt the election was rigged. That’s why they were there. And they were peaceful people. These were great people.

The crowd was unbelievable. And I mentioned the word love. The love — the love in the air, I have never seen anything like it.

And that’s why they went to Washington…

…And they’re tremendous, in many cases, tremendous people, tremendous people.

Capitol Police officers bar the door to the House Chambers on Jan. 6 to keep out the “love.”

As Philip Bump writes for The Washington Post, the rubicon has been crossed:

It was obvious on Jan. 6 that Trump was sympathetic to the rioters, as he made clear in his public comments on that day. Both because he was quickly muted by social media companies and, apparently, during a period of political temperature-taking, he largely didn’t wave away the rioters’ actions in the months that followed the violence. But he’s slowly been moving back to his original position, the one he reportedly articulated to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in a mid-riot call that day: that the rioters simply loved their country…

…So now the Capitol rioters are tremendous, blue-collar folks battling an unfair system. They were simply in Washington to have their voices heard on the false belief that Trump and allies, including Bartiromo, fostered. They were the allies of law enforcement, not a mob that was seen on video attacking and abusing Capitol Police officers.

Trump’s comments on Sunday are more than just his typical airing of grievances and conspiracy theories. With this one interview, Trump has officially and unequivocally placed himself — and all those who continue to follow him, including Colorado Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert — 100% ON THE SIDE OF THE INSURRECTIONISTS WHO BROKE INTO THE CAPITOL.

Trump isn’t even bothering with the “both sides are great” bullshit anymore. If you forced your way into the Capitol in hopes of kidnapping Nancy Pelosi, killing Mike Pence, and/or overthrowing the Electoral College on Jan. 6, then you are Trump’s kind of person. None of this should come as much of a surprise to anyone with a functioning brain, but it’s still jarring to see the former President of the United States of America completely embrace an insurrection.

To what extend it was ever possible, politicians can no longer stand with Trump and condemn the Jan. 6 insurrection. The line is clear.

From “Always Trump” to “Maybe Not So Much Trump”

Colorado Republicans are having a heck of a time trying to figure out how to prepare for the 2022 election with the specter of 2020 and Donald Trump still looming large behind them.

Earlier this week, former Colorado Republican Party Chairman and current Congressman Ken Buck (R-Greeley) performed his signature “Buckpedal” move by diving into a new conspiracy theory about how the 2020 Presidential election was somehow rigged by Google. This was quite the turnabout for Buck, who had previously vociferously defended the handling of the 2020 election as perfectly safe and aboveboard. What changed for Buck? It’s hard to say for sure, since Buck has a history of contradicting himself, but the smart money says that Buck is worried enough about avoiding a Primary in 2022 that he feels compelled to make it clear that he can out-crazy any other potential Republican challenger.

Buck’s successor as State GOP Chair, Kristi Burton Brown (KBB), is running into this same conundrum — but in the opposite direction. Brown was elected Party Chair earlier this year in part because of her consistent defense of “The Big Lie.” Indeed, all but one of the candidates for State Party Chair regularly expressed doubts about the validity of the 2020 election results (the only one who didn’t, Jonathan Lockwood, was never a serious contender for the job). But while KBB told the GOP faithful what they wanted to hear in order to get elected Party Chair, she’s coming to realize that the job of actually winning seats in a General Election is going to require a different approach.

As The Colorado Sun reports in its “Unaffiliated” newsletter, KBB spoke Thursday to the Foothills Republican club and sounded a lot different than she did just a few months ago:

Burton Brown was peppered with concerns about election integrity during the question and answer portion of Thursday’s event.

“The biggest issue for me is voter cheating and this whole national election, as we all know, was a set up. I just would like to know if you know about … what was done here,” a man asked.

Burton Brown said it’s a question that she is getting “all around the state,” and that the Colorado GOP is encouraging people to “get involved” and “get your eyes in the room” by becoming poll watchers and election judges. But she said there has been no proof of mass fraud in Colorado and that the only sure way for Republicans to lose in 2022 is for the party’s voters not to show up on Election Day because they think their vote won’t count. [Pols emphasis]

(There is no proof of widespread election problems in Colorado or across the country that would have changed the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.)

Burton Brown encouraged Republicans to move on from 2020. “The more we talk about the past, the more we talk about what happened instead of what we are going to do in 2022, the more our candidates are put at a disadvantage,” she said. “Because we are focusing on something we cannot control.”

At least one-third of the 700+ Republicans who have filed to run for Congress in 2022 (U.S. House or U.S. Senate) have been very clear about their belief that the 2020 Presidential election was fraudulent. Many of these Republicans are no doubt making the same calculation that Buck is making — that they’ll worry first about winning a Republican Primary before they concern themselves with re-positioning ahead of a General Election.

Now that she’s been GOP Chair for a few months, KBB obviously sees the math differently. Her mission is to help Republicans win races in a General Election — not to concern herself with getting candidates through a Republican Primary. In order to fulfill that goal, KBB is realizing that re-litigating the 2020 election nearly two years later isn’t something that Colorado voters are going to be particularly interested in doing.

The problem for KBB, of course, is that her new message doesn’t match her old rhetoric, and the GOP faithful doesn’t seem to be all that interested in shifting gears. Trump remains the overwhelming favorite to be the 2024 Republican Presidential nominee, and there’s ZERO chance that he’s going to stop talking about the 2020 election anytime soon.

You could argue that KBB is telling Colorado Republicans what they need to hear, but Buckpedaling on her concerns about the 2020 election results won’t endear her to the Republican base in our state. This is a problem that Republicans created themselves; we’re just happy that we don’t have to try to find the solution.

VIEW PAC Disowns “Carnival Barkers” Greene, Boebert

Rep. Lauren Boebert and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.

The Hill reporting on the decision by a Republican political action committee specifically devoted to increasing the number of Republican women in Congress to not endorse for re-election in 2022 the “Q-Some Twosome” freshmen: Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Lauren Boebert of Colorado:

“While we rightfully celebrate the number of GOP women serving in the House, I’ve always professed quality over quantity,” VIEWPAC Executive Director Julie Conway told the outlet…

“Our women have fought too hard for too long to be respected and taken seriously as legislators, policy makers and thought leaders. We cannot let this work be erased by individuals who chose to be shameless self promoters and carnival barkers.” [Pols emphasis]

VIEW PAC, which has raised more than $20 million for Republican female candidates since 2010, said it will not be endorsing the Greene or Boebert in the 2022 midterm elections, when both lawmakers will be seeking a second term in Congress.

This is by far the most overt condemnation of Boebert we’ve yet seen from any national Republican interest group, and it’s a sign that Boebert’s Trump-style strategy of dragging the news cycle from one relentless outrage to another may be wearing thin with the GOP establishment–especially with MTG and Boebert now one-upping each other in daily validation of Godwin’s Law.

The problem, of course, is that MTG and Boebert are tapped into the same base of pro-Trump support over which whatever the GOP “mainstream” consists of in 2021 has less control over today than ever before. For all practical purposes, MTG and Boebert under a resurgent ex-President Donald Trump are the party now.

With that said, even in this scathing expression of no confidence from fellow Republican women, Boebert plays second fiddle:

“I think that they would rather draw attention to themselves, and really Marjorie Taylor Greene more than Boebert, but they’re cut from the same cloth,” Conway said, according to Insider.

We’re not sure what’s worse for Boebert–being disavowed by a leading PAC devoted to electing Republican women, or still being merely MTG’s understudy in loathsomeness while it happens? Even in scorn, Boebert just doesn’t measure up to her more bombastic peers.

As for Republicans actually holding Boebert accountable? We’ll see once the 2022 primary (if any) is over.

Get More Smarter on Thursday (July 8)

It’s really hot today. It’s going to be really hot tomorrow, too. Don’t skimp on the sunscreen. 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 

*Coloradans can now get a COVID-19 vaccine at one of six locations without a prior appointment. 

 

Western Colorado is very dry and in significant danger of suffering serious wildfires. As Colorado Public Radio reports, the federal government is trying to help:

There’s a confluence of events happening in the West this summer: extreme heat, extreme drought and the possibility of another record-breaking wildfire season, all driven by a long-term drying trend worsened by climate change. It’s so serious that President Joe Biden convened a meeting last week with Western governors to talk about wildfire preparedness and response.

“This is an area that has been under-resourced. But that’s going to change, if we have anything to do with it,” Biden said. “We can’t cut corners when it comes to managing our wildfires or supporting our firefighters.”

Members of Colorado’s Congressional delegation have their own ideas for how to deal with the twin problems of drought and wildfires.

[Cattle rancher Mark] Roeber says he’s talked to Democratic Sens. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper, as well as his local representative, Republican Lauren Boebert, about the need for financial assistance for the ag industry, in particular flexibility in some existing programs, as well as better water efficiency policies and water infrastructure — from storage to piping.

Western Slope leaders probably shouldn’t count on much help from Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert, who remains more interested in scoring political points than policy victories:

Boebert backs increasing water storage capacity, something she hit on during a recent hearing.

“I support efforts to streamline cumbersome and bureaucratic policies in order to allow the construction of new water storage projects,” she said.

Boebert sits on a water subcommittee in the House, but when it held a public hearing on the subject, she did not ask any drought-related questions. Instead, she focused on potential conflicts of interest by Elizabeth Klein, the Interior official testifying at the hearing.

As CPR notes, supporting more water storage isn’t an idea that’s going to do much to help with severe drought conditions NOW.

 

Congressman Ken Buck (R-Greeley) is worried enough about a potential Republican Primary opponent that he’s gone full “election truther.” Buck is spinning a strange tale about Google somehow manipulating search engine results to allow Democrat Joe Biden to defeat Republican Donald Trump, or something like that. This doesn’t make a lot of sense, but then, that isn’t the point, is it?

 

The Denver Post reports on a law signed by Gov. Jared Polis — inspired by the death of Elijah McClain in Aurora — that restricts the use of ketamine by first responders.

 

New data again shows the importance of receiving both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine in order to protect against rising strains of the “Delta Variant.” The “Delta Variant” is overwhelming medical response teams in unvaccinated areas such as Southwest Missouri. As POLITICO reports, the “Delta Variant” is probably much more widespread than federal officials can even estimate.

In related news, a Colorado mother of four is the final winner of a $1 million lottery for receiving her COVID-19 vaccination.

 

Click below to keep learning stuff…

 

(more…)

The Big Lie, Ken Buck Style

President Donald Trump, Rep. Ken Buck.

Colorado’s Rep. Ken Buck has been in a real predicament over the past few months. As a Republican who conceded that Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election relatively quickly, and by that we still mean taking over a month, Buck has emerged as a major problem for adherents of what’s become known as the “Big Lie” that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump. Buck, in his former position as chairman of the Colorado Republican Party, organized an event last December with Republican county clerks to explain to the party faithful that even though Colorado uses Dominion Voting Systems hardware and sends “unsolicited” mail ballots to all active voters, our elections are secure and accurate.

Because debunking the Big Lie here in Colorado effectively debunks it everywhere else, this has had the effect of making Buck considerably less popular with his fellow Republicans–a problem that only got worse after Buck publicly defended Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming while Cheney was being excommunicated for her own refusal to back the Big Lie. This was originally taking place amid speculation that Buck might retire from Congress, but in April Buck announced that he would run again for re-election in 2022.

Which leads to the next logical question: how does Ken Buck intend to stave off a pro-Trump primary challenge? Today, courtesy Lauren Windsor of the Undercurrent, we got the answer:

As you can see in the clip above, Ken Buck now says the 2020 election was “stolen”–not by rigging the actual votes, but because Google supposedly changed their search algorithms to “disadvantage” Donald Trump and advantage Joe Biden. Buck asserts that fully 15 million votes for Trump were “moved” to Biden due to this action by Google, though probably not members of his audience since they “Google in a more sophisticated way.” Under questioning Buck admits that the 15 million number is speculative, but he insists that the downranking of conservative media outlets in search results was all by itself enough to flip the 2020 elections. And since Americans are “so upset with boys playing girl sports, Critical Race Theory, and all the other things that are going on,” Buck says, Republicans will win back the House in 2022 and immediately hold hearings to prevent “the algorithms” from happening again in 2024.

And with that, yes, Buck probably avoids a MAGA primary. Democrats who found themselves in the odd position of praising Ken Buck for his honesty immediately after the election can stop now, because Buck has given the faithful a replacement conspiracy theory for the thoroughly debunked Big Lie that can truly live on forever. This was never about trust-busting for Buck, but an ideological quest to force internet companies to abandon their high-profile struggle against the spread of dangerous misinformation–which (there’s no nice way to say this) fully explains any downranking of right-wing “news” sites in search results by Google.

In the end, Buck came crawling back to Trump–like the whole Republican Party has.