Get More Smarter on Wednesday (June 30)

Peace out, June. 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. 

 

We’re not done with the coronavirus just yet, friends. As The Washington Post reports:

Los Angeles County public health authorities are urging unvaccinated and vaccinated people alike to don masks again inside restaurants, stores and other public indoor spaces because of the growing threat posed by the more contagious delta variant of the novel coronavirus.

The high-profile move by the county of 10 million marks an abrupt shift in tone after states and localities have dropped most mask mandates and social distancing requirements in recent weeks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in mid-May rescinded almost all masking recommendations for fully vaccinated people.

But the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health cited a growing share of new cases linked to the delta variant, which was first detected during India’s catastrophic surge of infections and has upended reopening plans across the globe, in “strongly recommending” a return to masking. Los Angeles dropped its mask mandate for vaccinated people with the rest of California on June 15, with limited exceptions for public transportation, hospitals and schools.

Here in Colorado, 35 counties are still below a vaccination rate of 50%. Axios looks at how Colorado is adjusting its vaccination rollout.

 

As Colorado Newsline reports, President Biden will announce new resources for fighting Western wildfires:

President Joe Biden will announce measures to expand the federal government’s wildfire response and mitigation efforts and increase pay for wildland firefighters during a meeting with Western governors and Cabinet officials on Wednesday, a senior administration official said.

Fueled by climate change, extreme heat and drought across much of the West have led to a highly active start to the 2021 wildfire season, with more than 1 million acres already burned across 12 states, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. In Arizona, the Telegraph Fire has burned more than 193,000 acres since igniting on June 4, while officials in northern California on Tuesday issued evacuation orders amid the rapid growth of several fires in the Mount Shasta area.

Biden will meet virtually on Wednesday with governors from Western states, who are gathering for the annual meeting of the bipartisan Western Governors’ Association, based in Denver. He is expected to announce a series of actions aimed at expanding the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s wildfire response capabilities, as well as “critical new investments” in federal grant programs that help communities mitigate fire risks, a senior administration official said in a call with reporters Tuesday.

 

Multiple news outlets are reporting that the Trump organization will be charged with tax-related crimes as soon as this week. From The Huffington Post:

News of the looming criminal charges, reported by NBC News and The Wall Street Journal, come after prosecutors reportedly gave former President Donald Trump’s attorneys until this past Monday to convince them not to file the charges over the company’s financial dealings.

It has been previously reported that the investigation relates to non-monetary corporate perks and gifts awarded to the company’s longtime chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg. The WSJ and The Associated Press reported he is also expected to be charged.

 

Nonpartisan staff from Colorado’s Independent Legislative Redistricting Commission released a PRELIMINARY set of maps for redrawing State House and Senate districts. Justin Wingerter of The Denver Post has more on the map release, including this very important quote:

The proposed maps are only preliminary and are certain to change.

“These will never be approved by anyone,” Jessika Shipley, the legislative redistricting commission’s staff director, told commissioners. “They are merely a baseline starting point for conversations across the state.”

 

The New York Times published an exhaustive look into the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

 

Click below to keep learning stuff…

 

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Lauren Boebert Pushes January 6 Hypocrisy To The Max

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R).

As Politico reports, U.S. House Democrats are proceeding with the establishment of a select committee to investigate the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump seeking to prevent the certification of Joe Biden’s victory by the Congress. This comes after Republicans scuttled a bipartisan commission to investigate the events of that day, revise history to downplay what happened, and cheer while Trump’s political comeback rallies get underway:

Only 10 House Republicans voted to impeach the former president for his role in the Jan. 6 riot, and most have said little since on the matter. There is close to zero appetite within their party now to break with Trump.

And Trump is once again the GOP’s undisputed kingmaker, holding rallies and flexing his grassroots fundraising might as he seeks to influence Republican primary campaigns. House Democrats are likely to take full advantage of that political reality as they move ahead with a select committee to examine the siege on Congress.

Which leaves Republicans with a big challenge: how to discredit and distance themselves from that investigation — which moderates and conservatives alike are criticizing as a partisan setup — and retake the House in 2022, a tantalizingly close possibility that would doom President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who condemned the violence on January 6th and for at least a few days afterward was willing to assign blame where it belonged with Trump personally, is now in a situation where all those words have come back to bite him. Although January 6th broke the back of Trump’s resistance to leaving office two weeks later, at length it has failed to dislodge Trump’s personal grip on the Republican Party. A new Morning Consult poll released yesterday shows more Republicans actually blame Joe Biden and Democrats for the January 6th insurrection than blame Trump and fellow Republicans. And fully 68% of Republicans polled in this survey say the January 6th riot has received “too much attention.”

A majority of Republicans probably do want to stop talking about January 6th, which we would assume does not mean helping increase the profile of the select committee. But fascinatingly, some of the Republican members of Congress who should be most interested in keeping their heads down are instead hoping to turn the committee into a circus of hypocrisy:

Already some of the GOP’s biggest firebrands are asking McCarthy to join the panel, with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia publicly pushing to be seated on the panel. Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida is also openly expressing his interest. And Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado is also seeking to land a spot, according to GOP conference sources.

The latest word is the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is reserving the right to refuse McCarthy’s committee picks, and we’d say if any of these three are actually put forward Pelosi has an obligation to not let them near this investigation. Rep. Lauren Boebert, a proud leader in the campaign of social media incitement that led to the violence on January 6th, absolutely must not be part of any investigation into that day. It’s literally like saying Al Capone should serve on his own grand jury. This was the case when Democrats were trying to get Republicans on board with a bipartisan commission, and it’s just as true today.

It’s become a predictable formula: the greater the hypocrisy, the more Lauren Boebert leans in.

Boebert obviously believes this works for her, but it’s a strategy that need only fail once.

Get More Smarter on Monday (June 28)

Happy Tau Day, which is like “Pi Day,” but different. 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. 

 

Oh, look: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is trying to derail an infrastructure bill because…um…well…as POLITICO reports:

Mitch McConnell is pressuring President Joe Biden and congressional Democratic leaders to further weaken the link between a bipartisan infrastructure deal and a bigger liberal-leaning spending bill, warning Monday that Biden’s party wants to “hold a bipartisan bill hostage over a separate and partisan process.”

The Senate GOP leader called on Biden to request that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Speaker Nancy Pelosi decouple passage of the bipartisan bill from a second, Democrats-only effort set to raise corporate taxes while spending on education, child care and fighting climate change. Biden on Saturday reversed a vow to not sign the bipartisan bill until he also has the separate, more progressive bill in hand.

McConnell’s gambit raises fresh doubts about whether the Senate minority leader will ultimately support the package negotiated by five of his rank-and-file members.

Performative obstruction. This is the Republican brand. There is no broader goal — just getting in the way of anything supported by Congressional Democrats.

 

The Associated Press reports on the passage of new methane rules as part of legislation sponsored by Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Denver):

Congressional Democrats have approved a measure reinstating rules aimed at limiting climate-warming greenhouse gas emissions from oil and gas drilling, a rare effort by Democrats to use the legislative branch to overturn a regulatory rollback under President Donald Trump.

The House gave final legislative approval Friday to a resolution that would undo a Trump-era environmental rule that relaxed requirements of a 2016 Obama administration rule targeting methane emissions from leaks and flares in oil and gas wells.

The resolution was approved, 229-191, and now goes to President Joe Biden, who is expected to sign it. Twelve Republicans joined 217 Democrats to support the measure.

Democrats and environmentalists called the methane rule one of the Trump administration’s most egregious actions to deregulate U.S. businesses and said its removal would help launch a broader effort by the Biden administration and Congress to tackle climate change. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming, packing a stronger punch in the short term than carbon dioxide.

 

Nonpartisan staff from Colorado’s Independent Legislative Redistricting Commission will release a first look at potential new maps for state house and senate districts on Tuesday — a day later than planned. These maps were originally slated for release today.

 

As CNN explains, the U.S. Supreme Court essentially ruled in favor of a transgender student who just wanted to use the bathroom:

The Supreme Court on Monday left in place a decision that allowed a transgender student to use the bathroom that corresponded to his gender identity, a victory for the LGBTQ community that has been fearful the high court would take up the case and reverse a lower court opinion.

The case concerns the scope of Title IX that prohibits schools from discriminating “on the basis of sex.” It began when Gavin Grimm, a transgender male who was then a high-school student, challenged the local school board’s decision to require him to use either a unisex restroom or a restroom that corresponds to the sex, female, he was assigned at birth.

 

Click below to keep learning stuff…

 

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The Get More Smarter Podcast: Libertarians (ft. Jon Murray of The Denver Post)

This week on Episode #79 of The Get More Smarter Podcast, hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii talk with Jon Murray of The Denver Post about his profile of the Libertarian Party and its roots in Colorado.

Later on, we talk about the one person on the Republican bench in 2022; we do some prognosticating on the statewide races this cycle; and we introduce a new segment called “Stuff We Tweeted.”

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

Lauren Boebert Can’t Keep Up With More Flamboyant Crazies

Rep. Lauren Boebert and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.

The Washington Post’s eminent columnist Dana Milbank turns his rapier-like wit on Colorado’s most outrageous Republican freshman member of Congress ever, Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert, and Milbank’s conclusion in his latest column is similar to what we’ve been warning about for some months now. Boebert, despite a willingness to say absolutely any wacky thing that comes to mind if it keeps her in the headlines, is losing the charisma competition to the more experienced or, failing that, just plain more outrageously crazy conservative fringe luminaries she shares the congressional spotlight with:

[S]he has languished as a poor man’s Sarah Palin and a third-rate Josh Hawley, [Pols emphasis] as others seize the spotlight with superior antics. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), another QAnon aficionado, inflamed the House with her antisemitic talk of Jewish “space lasers” and likening public health guidelines to the . Rep. Louie Gohmert at a confab of QAnon types where the violent overthrow of the U.S. government was contemplated. Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.) compared the Jan. 6 insurrection to a “normal tourist visit.”

Boebert had to raise her game. And on Wednesday, she gave it her best shot. She assembled 10 colleagues in the House TV studio to announce her new resolution to censure Biden — a reprimand that a chamber of Congress has delivered only once in U.S. history, to Andrew Jackson — over Biden’s border policy. “The Biden regime has punched our Border Patrol agents in the face!” she shouted, after calling Vice President Harris “Cackling Kamala.”

Not bad. But Boebert was immediately overshadowed by her colleagues, who put on a clinic in crazy talk…

Reps. Marjorie Taylor-Greene, Lauren Boebert.

Like fellow freshman low-info bombthrower Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert is constantly in a race to eclipse her last controversy by instigating a fresh one–the classic Donald Trump strategy by which individual events that could become major political catastrophes are continuously subsumed by the next jaw-dropper, thus reducing the harm done by any of them. This constant drumbeat of partisan hyperbole also in theory is what keeps the campaign coffers full of grassroots cash, but as we’ve seen so far this year Boebert has not been able to turn her fringe-right persona into cash with nearly the efficiency of MTG or Rep. Madison Cawthorn.

And why is that? Well, Dana Milbank thinks Boebert just isn’t as good at staying in control of her message:

Fox News’s Chad Pergram asked Boebert — twice — to contrast her Biden censure with the Jackson censure, in 1834. Both times, Boebert’s answer betrayed no indication that she knew who Andrew Jackson was.

While Boebert struggled, Greene used the questions to deliver unrelated rants about socialism, Fauci, antifa, BLM and defund the police. “This is systematic destruction to our country,” she said. “We have many members in the Democrat Party that you could definitely look at … and you could call them communist.”

Boebert stood silently, hands clasped. She was in the presence of a master.

It’s not that MTG knows more about American history or any other subject than Boebert. The difference is that MTG makes no attempt to respond to questions she does not understand, pivoting seamlessly her own list of talking points that need have nothing to do with the question. Boebert on the other hand doesn’t have the self-awareness to know when she’s providing a clueless answer, and doesn’t have the stage presence to bridge the obvious gaps in her comprehension of the issues.

At a certain level, it’s not about the politics, fringe or otherwise. This is about stagecraft, charisma, and the ability to stay on message under pressure. There are public figures who do this well, and others who despite their initial buzz simply do not.

“Boring Boebert” made a splash in Colorado’s hinterlands, but she’s not keeping up in the big pond.

“Communities of DISinterest” Rule in First Congressional Map

Via “Axios” (6/24/21)

On Wednesday, the nonpartisan staff of the Colorado Independent Congressional Redistricting Commission released its first look at a potential new map for 2022. Colorado Pols readers had a lot to say about the new proposed map (click here for a better browsing version), and with good reason.

After spending more time looking at the new map and the associated data, we thought it might be helpful to publish a short Q&A in which we provide both the questions and the answers. Let’s get to it…

 

Q: This map seems like it might cause a lot of chaos for Congressional races, amirite?

A: Well, sort of. But before we go any further, you must understand that this is a PRELIMINARY map drawn by the nonpartisan staff of Colorado’s Independent Congressional Redistricting Commission. Every redistricting process eventually has to start somewhere, and that’s what we have here — a start. The final map approved for the 2022 election cycle will look different than this; the question is more about HOW different it will be.

This initial map has not been endorsed or rejected by the Redistricting Commission, members of which will travel around the state in July and August to hear comments and concerns about various options for re-drawing the districts. If members of the public, especially ones waking up to see Golden/Lakewood and Douglas County in the same district (see below) have a chance to weigh in on some of these proposals, it’s hard to imagine how this map doesn’t change.

 

Q: At first glance, which political party comes out ahead in this map?

A: Oh, the Republicans, and it’s not even close. As Kyle Clark explained Wednesday evening on 9News (“Next with Kyle Clark”):

“The preliminary map for eight congressional districts in Colorado is a dream for Republicans.”

This map would essentially create four seats that lean toward Democrats and four seats that lean toward Republicans even in the most neutral electoral climate.

 

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Giuliani’s Law License Suspended While Jenna Ellis Moves Up

UPDATE: In response to this post, it was brought to our attention that Donald Trump’s attorney in partnership with Rudy Giuliani Jenna Ellis is in fact licensed to practice law in Colorado under a different name, Jenna Lynn Rives:

We’ve edited our post below, and in case anyone may be interested the Colorado Supreme Court’s Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel’s complaint page may be found here. Thanks as always to our loyal readers for helping us keep the record straight.

—–

 

Rudy Giuliani, Colorado’s Jenna Ellis.

CNBC reporting today on more bad news for America’s ex-Mayor Rudy Giuliani, whose perspiratory campaign to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential elections on behalf of his now ex-client Donald Trump has pretty much obliterated whatever was left of the man’s credibility–which after the release of the Borat sequel last December we’ll concede wasn’t much to lose:

A New York court on Thursday suspended Rudy Giuliani from practicing law in New York state due to making “false and misleading statements” about the election loss of former President Donald Trump, his client.

The suspension, which takes effect immediately, is a stunning blow to Giuliani, the former New York City mayor who previously served as a top Justice Department official, and as the U.S. Attorney in Manhattan…

Giuliani’s suspension, which came a day short of his 52nd anniversary as a licensed lawyer in New York, was sought by the Attorney Grievance Committee for the First Judicial Department, which encompasses Manhattan. The suspension was granted by the Appellate Division for that same department of state Supreme Court.

“We conclude that there is uncontroverted evidence that respondent communicated demonstrably false and misleading statements to courts, lawmakers and the public at large in his capacity as lawyer for former President Donald J. Trump and the Trump campaign in connection with Trump’s failed effort at reelection in 2020,” the court’s order said.

It’s been a mixed bag for Trump’s legal team since the complete failure of their strategy to overturn the results of the presidential election in key competitive states, which was revealed at length to not be a legal strategy at all but merely delay tactics to enable a political overturning of the election either by state legislatures or by the Congress when they convened to certify the results of the election on the fateful day of January 6th. Giuliani has faced a widening criminal investigation into his attempts to strong-arm Ukraine into helping smear Joe Biden ahead of the 2020 elections. Sidney Powell along with Giuliani faces a billion-dollar lawsuit from Denver-based Dominion Voting Systems over their promulgation of baseless conspiracy theories about the company that severely damaged their business.

As for Jenna Ellis, the Colorado-based (load-bearing quotes) “constitutional law attorney” who stood with Giuliani and repeated the same lies that just got Giuliani’s law license suspended? As The Hill reported this week, things are going…a little better for Ellis:

Newsmax has hired former President Trump’s campaign’s legal adviser Jenna Ellis and former Trump campaign spokesperson and deputy White House press secretary Hogan Gidley as contributors, the network announced Monday.

Ellis will comment on the 2022 and 2024 elections from a legal and faith-based standpoint, according to the announcement, while Gidley will be a political analyst.

Ironically, it’s the lack of qualifications uncovered by the New York Times last December in their damaging profile on Jenna Ellis that could help her escape accountability. Although Ellis was front-and-center with Giuliani in publicly spreading the fictional narrative of a stolen election that led to the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, her name reportedly does not actually appear on any of the filings for the dozens of worthless court cases filed around the country challenging the 2020 election results. Although we should all be able to agree that lying is always bad, from a professional misconduct point of view it’s worse to lie in writing than merely to lie on television, which Ellis is about to get plenty of practice at working for Newsmax.

In any moral sense, Jenna Ellis is every bit as guilty as Giuliani of lying about the results of the election. But in Jenna Ellis’ case, the same misconduct is being handsomely rewarded.

In the end, the only moral of the story may be that it sucks to be Rudy Giuliani.

‘It’s Not a Pipe Dream:’ Boebert Wants Trump To Be Speaker of the House in 2022

(It’s more of a “bong dream” – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Congresswoman Boebert with former President Trump on June 10.

By James O’Rourke, Colorado Times Recorder

U.S. Rep Lauren Boebert (R-CO) appeared on the Steffan Tubbs Show Monday. There, she chatted with radio host and conspiracy theorist Randy Corporon about the problems Republicans face in today’s political sphere.

During the interview, Boebert spoke on her hopes for the future of the Republican party. In her mind, the path is clear: “We will take the House back in 2022.”

Many fractures have formed in the Republican Party, following the January 6 insurrection and Donald Trump’s continued lies that he won the 2020 presidential election. The GOP’s removal of U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), an outspoken critic of Trump, shows how deeply troubled the party will be as it tries to regain power during midterm elections next year.

Boebert, however, was full of optimism, saying that “I think the Republican party is stronger than ever, and it’s very obvious that President Trump is still the leading voice of the Republican party.”

Just two weeks ago Boebert and nine other members of the Republican Study Committee met with Trump at his county club in New Jersey.

“I’m just ready for [Trump] to announce that he’ll be speaker of the House, and then we can really live in the minds of those crazy left wing lunatics,” she continued.

Technically, there is no congressional rule dictating that the speaker of the House must be a sitting member of Congress. To date, all speakers have been chosen from current congresspeople, but in theory any willing U.S. citizen could be chosen for the role. 

The crucial key word there is ‘willing’. According to a spokesman for the ex-president, Trump has “zero desire” to be speaker of the House.

Still, Republicans can dream of a comeback with Trump’s leadership renewed. Corporon expressed his wish for Trump, as speaker, to “call for the impeachment of Kamala, and Zombie Joe, especially … for all of his China connections.”

Since the early months of his presidency, Biden has repeatedly made his enmity for China clear. His American Jobs Plan claims that China is a threat on par with the climate crisis.

Breaking into laughter, Boebert agreed with Corporon. “I like the order that you put that in,” she said, “because it probably would be Kamala [who gets impeached first].” 

This statement paid homage to a prolific right-wing conspiracy theory, that Vice President Harris is the true U.S. president. According to this theory, the Democrats have secretly planned for Joe Biden to step down due to health issues, so that Harris can take the presidency in his stead.

Democratic officials have decried this theory and others like it. They attribute the dearth of accusations targeting Harris to her status as a Black woman in a position of power. 

Boebert showed no expectation of good faith from her Democratic colleagues.

“Democrats aren’t afraid to lie,” she said. “They will take a lie and run with it. And [Republicans] are the party of the truth, we are the party of values and principles, and that’s what I’m running on.”

This comes after Boebert has put so much stock in the spurious conspiracy theories surrounding the 2020 election. She, like so many of her Republican colleagues, has taken the lie in her hands, and she shows no intent to stop running with it any time soon.

Get More Smarter on Monday (June 21)

Happy Summer Solstice; 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 

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

 

As John Ingold writes for The Colorado Sun, the Delta coronavirus variant is exploding in Colorado…which is bad news for anyone who is still unvaccinated against COVID-19:

The Delta variant, which is believed to have originated in India and is also known as the B.1.617.2 variant, was first identified in Colorado in late April. By the first week of this month — a period of about six weeks — it had grown to account for an estimated 40% of all new infections in Colorado.

For comparison, it took eight weeks for the Alpha variant — also known as the B.1.1.7 or United Kingdom variant — to reach 40% of the state’s total cases. As of early June, that variant made up an estimated 48% of total cases in Colorado, but its share is falling as Delta’s rises.

Nationwide, the Delta variant is believed to account for about 10% of new cases.

Dr. Rachel Herlihy, the state epidemiologist, said the Delta variant is believed to be about 50% more transmissible than the Alpha variant, which itself was 50% more transmissible than the original form of the virus.

Fully-vaccinated people don’t have to worry much about contracting the new variant.

Meanwhile, Westword looks at how the COVID-19 pandemic is still raging in Mesa County, Colorado, thanks primarily to a stubborn reluctance from many to get vaccinated.

 

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in favor of student athletes in the debate over whether athletes should be compensated for the revenue they help generate for their respective universities.

 

New polling data from Colorado-based conservative pollster Magellan Strategies shows that 60% of Coloradans approve of the way that Gov. Jared Polis has handled the COVID-19 pandemic. The Colorado Sun has more on the Magellan poll, and so does Colorado Pols.

 

According to an account published in a new book, former President Trump suggested moving Americans infected with COVID-19 TO GUANTANAMO BAY in Cuba. From The Washington Post:

In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, as White House officials debated whether to bring infected Americans home for care, President Donald Trump suggested his own plan for where to send them, eager to suppress the numbers on U.S. soil.

“Don’t we have an island that we own?” the president reportedly asked those assembled in the Situation Room in February 2020, before the U.S. outbreak would explode. “What about Guantánamo?”

“We import goods,” Trump specified, lecturing his staff. “We are not going to import a virus.”

Aides were stunned, and when Trump brought it up a second time, they quickly scuttled the idea, worried about a backlash over quarantining American tourists on the same Caribbean base where the United States holds terrorism suspects.

Read those paragraphs one more time.

 

 

Click below to keep learning stuff…

 

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SoS Griswold Shuts Down AZ-Style Ballot Goose Chase

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

A press release yesterday afternoon from Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold announces new emergency rules to prevent unqualified, unsupervised partisan hacks from gaining custody of Colorado’s voting equipment and ballots records to engage in the shenanigans presently underway in the state of Arizona:

“Colorado’s elections are considered the safest in the nation, and we must remain steadfast in our dedication to security,” said Secretary of State Jena Griswold. “Along those lines, no third-party person or vendor will be permitted access to voting equipment in our state. We will not risk the state’s election security nor perpetuate The Big Lie. Sham audits have no place in Colorado.”

The new and amended rules, which have been implemented immediately, reinforce who can access state-certified voting systems. In order to access any component of a county’s voting system, a person must have passed a comprehensive criminal background check and be either an employee of the county clerk, an employee of the voting system provider, an employee of the Secretary of State’s Office, or an appointed election judge.

The rules further enable the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office to limit or prohibit the use of, as well as decertify, any voting systems component in the event of a break in its chain-of-custody or other hardware security compromises, such that its security and integrity can no longer be verified.

A third-party vendor with no election experience is currently performing a faulty, unsecure election audit in Arizona and calls for such sham audits have been spreading in other states. Several Colorado counties have been contacted by third parties offering to conduct audits. Colorado already administers post-election Risk Limiting Audits after every statewide election, which gives a statistical level of confidence that the outcome of an election is correct.

Last week after the Colorado General Assembly adjourned for the year, highly imaginative election denier GOP Rep. Ron Hanks reportedly drove straight to Phoenix to observe the so-called “audit” taking place there, after the GOP-controlled Arizona Senate seized the ballots and counting hardware from the 2020 election and handed them to a shady outfit calling itself Cyber Ninjas for what they’re calling an audit but in fact has none of the procedures and safeguards against abuse that the official recounts that already took place did. It was reported that a number of ballots from the Arizona audit have been transported to rural Montana for unknown purposes, and at this point the chain of custody over these ballots has been broken, run over, and peed on to the point they can never be trusted. None of which really matters since the 2020 election is over, and ballots have been officially counted, recounted, and certified all they need to be.

In truth, by keeping Colorado’s election systems and ballots out of the hands of partisan prevaricators with shady methods and confirmation bias, Griswold is the one upholding election integrity. It’s not even close. And if you don’t want to believe a Democratic Secretary of State, in Colorado it was Republican county clerks who took point last November and December in refuting the misinformation about Colorado’s elections systems–which just happened to also refute the Big Lie that the election was rigged in the swing states that decided the presidential race, since Colorado uses Dominion Voting Systems hardware and mail ballots sent “unsolicited” to all active voters.

Griswold, like the GOP clerks in Colorado and Secretaries of State across the country in both parties, is fighting a running battle against a determined campaign of misinformation that, as long as Donald Trump and the enablers of his political afterlife refuse to put a stop to it, will probably never be fully extinguished. It’s therefore even more important for the majority of Americans who believe the 2020 election was not stolen to remain as energetic in their defense of our democratic process as Trump dead-enders are in their assault on it.

Don’t even crack the door for these people.

Least Interesting WCS In Years Could Nonetheless Get “Wild”

This weekend the 2021 Western Conservative Summit kicks convenes at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Denver, featuring an unusually low-luminescence lineup of conservative speakers: with Rep. Lauren Boebert on the top line of invited guest stars along with such decidedly B-list conserva-celebs as Victor Davis Hanson, Frank Gaffney, and Rick “What’s That Smell” Santorum:

It’s quite a step down from the WCS’s glory days of hosting Donald Trump, Sarah Palin, now-ex Rep. Steve King of Iowa, or international far-right politicos like anti-Muslim Dutch demagogue Geert Wilders. Maybe the once-prestigious Centennial Institute needs another year to get their act together after failing to pray the COVID-19 pandemic away, or maybe Western Republicans are getting tired of conferencing in a state Republicans lose?

Either way, a press release today from a coalition of far-left groups we guess you could refer to collectively as “Antifa” suggests that events outside the Hyatt could be more newsworthy than anything going on inside:

Join the Denver Communists, Front Range Mutual Aid Network, WITCH Denver, Front Range Community Defense Collective, Anon Resistance Movements, Anti-Repression Colorado, Denver Action Network, and friends for The Western BLM-Antifa Summit—two days of fiercely jubilant opposition to the Western Conservative Summit!

The Western Conservative Summit, organized by The Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University, is a semi-annual far-right gathering and blight on Denver—and our community has a proud history of opposing this breeding ground of fascist networking & propanganda that riles up their reactionary base…

As various politicians and affiliates face lawsuits from Dominion Voting and face trials for deadly violence on January 6, 2021, the move across the street to the smaller venue of the Hyatt Regency from the much larger Colorado Convention Center makes clear that their numbers, popularity, and name-brand speakers are dwindling. This year, big names have been replaced by lesser losers like local grifter and professional victim Lauren Boebert, Lakewood’s anti-gay cake-maker Jack Phillips, Portland’s right-wing provocateur and infamous milkshake-wearer Andy Ngo, among various other d-list culture-war reactionaries.

We’ve heard that the possibility of a lefty counterprotest outside this year’s Western Conservative Summit has greatly alarmed the event’s organizers, and we of course do not condone any violence or illegal activity that might occur on either side of any confrontation. It’s interesting with that said to see the left-wing groups specifically invoke the January 6th insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, which is something of a pre-emptive moral gut punch to any Republican who wants to complain about anybody’s “wild protest.”

In short, Republicans are now terrified that what Trump’s minions did to the U.S. Capitol…might happen at the Hyatt. Two wrongs do not make a right, of course, so lefties would not be doing themselves or their movement any favors by live-action role playing the January 6th insurrection at the Hyatt Regency Denver this weekend. In fact a peaceful protest outside the venue would serve as a much more effective contrast and statement. There’s nothing “Antifa” stands to gain from stooping to the level of a Trump supporter in the U.S. Capitol on January 6th.

For us it’s enough to note the hypothetical irony, which is very rich indeed, and leave it at that.

Lauren Boebert Laughs At Accountability For January 6th

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R).

Yesterday, the U.S. House voted by an overwhelming 406-21 margin to award the Congressional Gold Medal to U.S. Capitol Police officers who attempted to hold back pro-Donald Trump rioters bent on storming the Capitol and halting the certification of now-President Joe Biden’s victory on January 6th. After several months of Republicans struggling to manage their message as the party directly responsible for the January 6th insurrection while still maintaining a pretense of support for “law and order,” this vote is one of the most bipartisan acknowledgements we’ve seen of what actually happened that day.

Of Colorado’s seven members of Congress, four Democrats and three Republicans, only one voted against awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to Capitol Police. And as the Denver Post’s Justin Wingerter reports, you already know who it was:

Republican U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado voted against a bill Tuesday that will award the Congressional Gold Medal to all U.S. Capitol police and Washington, D.C., police for defending the Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot…

“Once again Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats prove that there is no level they won’t stoop to. Using the death of an officer in April to try and score cheap political points is shameful,” Boebert said in a statement after the vote, referring to the bill’s mention of Officer Billy Evans, who was killed in April 2 when a driver ran into him at a Capitol barricade.

“I’m not here to play their partisan games,” said Boebert, who has quickly established a reputation in Congress for eye-catching remarks and votes.

The 21 “no” votes against this resolution include the worst of the “Deplorables Caucus,” including Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Matt Gaetz, Paul Gosar, and Andy Biggs–also some of the most vociferous deniers of the results of the 2020 elections and promoters of the January 6th “Save America” rally that devolved into the insurrection. MTG put a finer point on her “no” vote than Boebert:

Rep. Boebert didn’t call it an insurrection either, at least not at the time:

In the days before the riot, Boebert tweeted “Remember these next 48 hours. These are some of the most important days in American history.”

On the day of the riot, the congresswoman tweeted, “Today is 1776,” and later said during debate on the House floor, “Madam Speaker, I have constituents outside the building right now.”

In the end, however, these 21 Republicans who voted against awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to Capitol Police were left hanging in the breeze by 188 of their Republican colleagues who voted in favor. This was an attempt by some of the most culpable Republicans in Congress to downplay the events of January 6th that they in many cases helped incite–but thanks to even Doug Lamborn being smart enough to vote the right way, Boebert and her 20 hard-right friends came out looking like a small fringe of villains trying and failing to cover up their own crimes.

After the House Ethics Committee decided not to proceed this week with an inquiry requested into Boebert’s involvement in the January 6th insurrection, Boebert no doubt felt completely empowered to vote against recognizing the valor of police officers who tried to stop it. She apparently doesn’t understand how this vote is not just an admission of guilt, but an implicit affirmation of support for the terrible events of January 6th.

Or she does know, and she knows you know, and she doesn’t care. That’s what this vote tells us.

Updating “The Big Line: 2022” and Statewide Colorado Races

The Republican bench in Colorado can fit inside a phone booth, which is a big reason why 2022 has been such a difficult election cycle to predict for the GOP. That doesn’t mean we won’t give it a try.

Last week, Ernest Luning of the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman updated the rumor mill on potential statewide Republican candidates in 2022. That gives us as good of a news peg as any to update “The Big Line: 2022.” Here’s how things look for the five statewide races that will be on the ballot in Colorado…

 

U.S. SENATE

Sen. Michael Bennet

Incumbent Democrat Michael Bennet is the first U.S. Senator from Colorado to even seek a third term in office since Gordon Allott in 1966 (remember to credit Colorado Pols when you get this question right while playing “Obscure Colorado Trivia Pursuit”). Bennet dispatched then-District Attorney Ken Buck in 2010 before lucking out with Darryl Glenn as his Republican opponent in 2016, and the trend toward terrible GOP opponents seems likely to continue. 

A few Republicans have officially filed paperwork to run in 2022, including people named Juli Henry, Peter Yu, and Erik Aadland. Since Donald Trump will be “re-appointed” as President before any of these names are likely to end up in the U.S. Senate, let’s just move along…

Former El Paso County GOP Chairman Eli Bremer indicated his interest in a Senate run back in February (as first reported by Luning); that trial balloon was met with a collective shrug from Republicans, but Bremer hasn’t given up on this dream just yet. Aside from Bremer, two names seem to be popping up more than others for Republicans: Clarice Navarro and Dan Caplis (no, seriously). 

Navarro is a former State Representative from Pueblo who resigned her seat in 2017 to take a job in the Trump administration as the Colorado Farm Service Agency’s state executive director. Navarro currently works as Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert’s District Director, which appears to be a fairly irrelevant position. Boebert political advisers like Laura Carno are advising Navarro on making a bid for Senate, and Navarro is taking a close look at running from what we hear.

Caplis is a silly right-wing radio host and ambulance-chasing defense lawyer who has been threatening to run for one office or another for more than a decade. Last fall, Caplis was talking about challenging Gov. Jared Polis in 2022, but he seems to have since changed his focus to the U.S. Senate. Normally we’d just ignore Caplis, but from what we hear, he is actively trying to put together a staff and is willing to front the money for salaries, which is more than can be said for any other potential Republican candidate at this point.

Bottom Line: After Democrat John Hickenlooper’s convincing 2020 Senate win, national Republicans aren’t going to target Bennet in 2022. Whoever emerges as the Republican nominee will have to do most of the work themselves. Bennet is safe here.

 

 

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Get More Smarter on Tuesday (June 15)

Happy Global Wind Day; 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 

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

 

New information is emerging showing the depths to which former President Trump and his minions sank in their efforts to overturn the 2020 election results. As The Washington Post explains:

President Donald Trump’s staff began sending emails to Jeffrey Rosen, the No. 2 at the Justice Department, asking him to embrace Trump’s claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election at least 10 days before Rosen assumed the role of acting attorney general, according to new emails disclosed by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform in advance of a hearing to probe the causes of the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

On the same day as the electoral college met to certify the election results — which was also the day Trump announced that William P. Barr would be stepping down as attorney general — his assistant sent Rosen an email with a list of complaints concerning the way the election had been carried out in Antrim County, Mich.

The file included a forensic analysis of the Dominion Voting Systems machines the county employed, alleging they were “intentionally and purposefully” calibrated to create fraudulent results, and “talking points” that could be used to counter any arguments “against us.”…

…The claims were false.

The email — one of several previously undisclosed records released by the Oversight Committee Tuesday morning — sheds light on the type of pressure Trump was putting on the Justice Department to take up his crusade against Joe Biden’s 2020 victory.

The good news here is that DOJ official seem to have responded to Trump’s demands with the appropriate level of dismissal:

 

As The New York Times reports, the Biden administration is putting together plans for combatting domestic extremism:

The Biden administration is aiming to bolster information sharing with technology companies, potentially expand hiring of intelligence analysts and improve screening of government employees for ties to domestic terrorism as part of a much-anticipated plan expected to be released on Tuesday detailing how the federal government should combat extremism.

President Biden ordered the review of how federal agencies addressed domestic extremism soon after coming into office, part of an effort to more aggressively acknowledge a national security threat that has grown since the Capitol riot on Jan. 6.

The 32-page plan synthesizes steps that have been recommended by national security officials — including bolstering relationships with social media companies and improving information sharing among law enforcement agencies — into one blueprint on how to more effectively identify extremists in the country after years of heightened focus on foreign terrorists.

 

Things are getting weird(er) in Grand Junction, as COVIDiots come out to yell at the Mesa County Commissioners.

 

Governor Jared Polis is holding bill signing ceremonies in Northern Colorado today, with stops in Longmont, Greeley, and Ft. Collins on the schedule.

 

Click below to keep learning stuff…

 

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Boebert Among Republican Study Committee Leaders Who Met With Trump

(Holding coup oops sorry court – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Congresswoman Lauren Boebert (R-CO) and members of the Republican Study Committee (RSC) met with former President Trump last Thursday at his county club in New Jersey.

Boebert’s presence at Bedminster hasn’t been made public, but her mother Shawn Bentz posted pictures of Trump calling her while standing next to her daughter.

Boebert’s office did not immediately return a call requesting comment. This article will be updated with any response received.

According to the New York Post, RSC leaders discussed their policy agenda and political strategy for the 2022 midterm elections:

Ten of the RSC’s members, including task force chairs and members of the group’s steering committee, attended the gathering, where Banks said they laid out their policy vision, which was modeled after Trump’s agenda while he was in office.

New York Post, June 10, 2021

Formed in 1973, the RSC is the House’s oldest conservative caucus. Along with fellow Coloradan Doug Lamborn, Boebert is an ex officio member of the group’s Steering Committee. She is also a member of the even more conservative Freedom Caucus, which Tea Party created in 2015 because they believed the RSC was too cozy with House Republicans’ establishment leadership.

Prior to the Jan. 6 insurrection, Boebert’s mother Shawn Bentz was very active on social media, posting QAnon conspiracies and videos. Boebert herself said she first heard of QAnon from her mother, whom she described as “a little fringe.” Bentz has since deleted those posts and instead largely shares pictures of her famous child.

UPDATE: Boebert has since tweeted a photo of her and Trump, but didn’t explain any context about the meeting.

 

The Get More Smarter Podcast: Stop Trying to Make “Gerrymandering” Happen

This week on Episode #77 of The Get More Smarter Podcast, hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii explain why Republicans aren’t going to get “Gerrymandering” to stick in Colorado; we bid farewell to Donald Trump’s sad blog; and we revisit two popular segments in “Legislating With Crayons” and “The Boebert Report.”

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

And Now For A REAL “Throwback Thursday”

Newly-elected Colorado Republican Party chairwoman Kristi Burton Brown is on a tour to visit all the vast expanses of dirt where Republicans reside from corner to corner of our rectangular state–and gentle readers, check out the fossil she dug up in Yuma!

We honestly do appreciate the periodic welfare check on Colorado’s most recently defeated former U.S. Senator Cory Gardner, mostly because we hear so little from him these days. Where many former U.S. Senators parlay their experience in that august body into a whole new career of bigger and better things, Gardner’s achievements since losing his Senate seat by nine points last November have consisted of co-chairing a new PAC and…well, whatever Gardner was doing yesterday at his family tractor shop we guess.

As for all the amazing things Cory Gardner “delivered for Colorado” during his term, you bet! Much of that is an expected by-product of six years as a Senator, so let’s give first-year Sen. John Hickenlooper a chance to catch up. What we can say is that when Colorado needed Gardner to “deliver” most, be it for JBS meatpacking workers who didn’t get tested for COVID or ventilators Colorado had seen swiped by the federal government, all Gardner had was excuses–and loyalty to Donald Trump that outlasted Gardner’s own defeat.

For good or ill, seeing Cory Gardner’s indestructible smile once again conjures up a lot of memories.

We don’t think they are memories a majority of Colorado voters want to relive.

The Big Lie is Still the Only Truth for Republicans

Not Donald Trump at work in The Oval Office.

It has been 216 days since the last Presidential election…unless you are a Republican candidate for public office in 2022. Republican politicians exist in an alternate reality from everyone else; they can’t discuss the future because they’re still obsessed with re-writing the past. For them, the Big Lie is still the only truth that matters.

As The New York Times explains:

Across the country, a rising class of Republican challengers has embraced the fiction that the 2020 election was illegitimate, marred by fraud and inconsistencies. Aggressively pushing Mr. Trump’s baseless claims that he was robbed of re-election, these candidates represent the next generation of aspiring G.O.P. leaders, who would bring to Congress the real possibility that the party’s assault on the legitimacy of elections, a bedrock principle of American democracy, could continue through the 2024 contests.

Dozens of Republican candidates have sown doubts about the election as they seek to join the ranks of the 147 Republicans in Congress who voted against certifying President Biden’s victory. There are degrees of denial: Some bluntly declare they must repair a rigged system that produced a flawed result, while others speak in the language of “election integrity,” promoting Republican re-examinations of the vote counts in Arizona and Georgia and backing new voting restrictions introduced by Republicans in battleground states.

They are united by a near-universal reluctance to state outright that Mr. Biden is the legitimately elected leader of the country… 

…But Republicans’ unwavering fealty to the voter fraud myth underscores an emerging dynamic of party politics: To build a campaign in the modern G.O.P., most candidates must embrace — or at least not openly deny — conspiracy theories and election lies, and they must commit to a mission of imposing greater voting restrictions and making it easier to challenge or even overturn an election’s results. The prevalence of such candidates in the nascent stages of the party primaries highlights how Mr. Trump’s willingness to embrace far-flung falsehoods has elevated fringe ideas to the mainstream of his party. [Pols emphasis]

Multiple news outlets — including the Times — reported last week that former President Trump remains completely consumed by the idea that the 2020 election was somehow stolen from him. These aren’t just the bitter ramblings of a fragile ego; Trump actually believes that he is going to end up back in the White House within a matter of months. As Charles Cooke of the conservative National Journal writes:

I can attest, from speaking to an array of different sources, that Donald Trump does indeed believe quite genuinely that he — along with former senators David Perdue and Martha McSally — will be “reinstated” to office this summer after “audits” of the 2020 elections in Arizona, Georgia, and a handful of other states have been completed. [Pols emphasis] I can attest, too, that Trump is trying hard to recruit journalists, politicians, and other influential figures to promulgate this belief — not as a fundraising tool or an infantile bit of trolling or a trial balloon, but as a fact…

…The scale of Trump’s delusion is quite startling. This is not merely an eccentric interpretation of the facts or an interesting foible, nor is it an irrelevant example of anguished post-presidency chatter. It is a rejection of reality, a rejection of law, and, ultimately, a rejection of the entire system of American government.

Cool pants

As Cooke continues, even if there were irrefutable proof that the 2020 election was rigged against Trump, there is absolutely nothing that can change the fact that Joe Biden is the current President of the United States.

None of this apparently matters to many Republicans, who continue to insist that their ideal 2022 candidates look and act like Trump. This is a real problem for the GOP, because the majority of Americans prefer to see 2022 candidates who are as ideologically different from Trump as possible. This devotion to The Big Lie also prevents Republicans from even pondering their next steps. As The Associated Press reports:

Republicans are fighting to seize control of Congress. Just don’t ask what they’d do if they win.

Look no further for evidence of the GOP’s muddled governing agenda than battleground North Carolina, where party leaders packed into a convention hall Saturday night to cheer former President Donald Trump. Even with a high-stakes U.S. Senate election looming, the Republicans there were united not by any consistent set of conservative policies or principles, but by Trump’s groundless grievances about the 2020 election and his attacks against critics in both parties…

…“I’m unaware of a GOP agenda. I would love to see one,” said Texas-based conservative activist and former tea party leader Mark Meckler. [Pols emphasis]

How do Republicans in Colorado move forward in 2022 when they are so chained to 2020? How can someone like Heidi Ganahl seek the GOP nomination for Governor when she risks losing the support of her base just by answering the question, “Is Joe Biden the President?”

Insisting that Biden is not really the President might still work for the likes of Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle) or Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs), but it’s not going to win much support outside of deep-red districts. Colorado will gain an eighth Congressional seat in 2022; it’s likely that the winner of an eventual GOP Primary will be someone who declares that 2020 never happened. Good luck explaining that in a General Election.

There’s an old saying about how those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat the same mistakes in the future. This still applies even if you pretend the past never happened.

Will Colorado Republicans Come Along As Trump Loses His Mind?

The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman kicked off the abbreviated news week with a scoop that has driven the discussion in the MAGA universe since then–rumors that ex-President Donald Trump now believes he will be “reinstated” President by late summer after some manner of sweeping turnabout (or maybe just a coup):

This guy again?

And lest you think this is a one-off crackpot rumor getting undue attention, the National Review’s Charles Cooke says this is what Trump actually believes will happen:

I can attest, from speaking to an array of different sources, that Donald Trump does indeed believe quite genuinely that he — along with former senators David Perdue and Martha McSally — will be “reinstated” to office this summer after “audits” of the 2020 elections in Arizona, Georgia, and a handful of other states have been completed. I can attest, too, that Trump is trying hard to recruit journalists, politicians, and other influential figures to promulgate this belief — not as a fundraising tool or an infantile bit of trolling or a trial balloon, but as a fact.

It will be tempting for weary conservatives to dismiss this information as “old news” or as “an irrelevance.” It will be tempting, too, to downplay the enormity of what is being claimed, or to change the subject, or to attack the messengers by implying that they must “hate” Trump and his voters. But such temptations should be assiduously avoided. We are not talking here about a fringe figure within the Republican tent, but about a man who hopes to make support for his outlandish claims “a litmus test of sorts as he decides whom to endorse for state and federal contests in 2022 and 2024.”

AP is also confirming that this is now Trump’s comeback strategy, despite the lack of any constitutional mechanism for doing so:

Trump continues to push Republicans to embrace his election lies. He’s criticized his former vice president, Mike Pence, for fulfilling his constitutional duty to preside over the congressional certification of Biden’s victory. And Trump has gone a step further recently by giving credence to a bizarre conspiracy theory that he could somehow be reinstated into the presidency in August, according to a longtime Trump ally who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.

There’s no constitutional or legal mechanism for Trump to return to the presidency absent winning another election in 2024. [Pols emphasis] Trump’s argument that the last election was tainted has been roundly rejected by federal and state officials, including his own attorney general and Republican election leaders. Judges, including those appointed by Trump, also dismissed his claims.

Official counts and recounts of all the contested states in the 2020 presidential elections have found no irregularities, but the decidedly unofficial and dubious “audit” of ballots in Arizona being conducted by partisan operatives is widely expected to come away with some kind of narrative that keeps the Big Lie that the election was stolen from Trump alive. Any other conclusion would be devastating for anyone still clinging to the fantasy that Trump was the rightful winner, and a process as sloppy as the one by all accounts taking place in Phoenix right now is almost certain to produce results that deviate from the official count simply due to their own incompetence.

With that said, don’t expect reality to slow this crazy train even a little bit. The charade of the Arizona “audit” will serve as a pretext for others elsewhere, and over the next few weeks the official record of the 2020 election, counted, recounted, and re-recounted for the history books though it may be, will be second-guessed by Trump’s diehard supporters until no one even remembers that the results haven’t been found irregular by a single impartial source or court.

This continuing assault on the integrity of the 2020 elections puts Colorado Republicans in a difficult situation. As we’ve discussed in this space many times, Colorado’s election system incorporates just about every feature that Trump’s conspiracy theorists cite as problematic, from same-day registration to mail-in ballots counted almost entirely by Dominion Voting Systems hardware. The cognitive dissonance required to agree with Colorado’s GOP county clerks (and former GOP chairman Ken Buck) that Colorado’s elections work, but then also support Trump’s claims that the 2020 elections were stolen via all these same systems that worked fine in Colorado, is simply too much for a reasonable person to accept.

This contradiction can’t last forever, and local Republicans will have to choose at some point between what they can see with their eyes and the national party line. The worse it gets, the harder it will get for them. Which is why we’re asking, once again, how Colorado Republicans plan to navigate what’s turning out to not be a post-Trump landscape after all.

Get More Smarter on Friday (June 4)

The Denver Nuggets have advanced to Round 2 of the Western Conference Playoffs after dispatching the Portland Trailblazers on Thursday; Game One is scheduled for Monday evening in Phoenix. 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, Congressional Democrats unveiled an ambitious new transportation funding plan:

Democrats on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee unveiled a $547 billion transportation funding package Friday that would ramp up spending on rail and transit, while encouraging states to repair existing roads rather than build new ones.

The biggest chunk of the bill is $343 billion for road and bridge construction, as well as highway safety, a boost of more than 50 percent over the last transportation bill Congress passed in 2015. It also calls for $109 billion for transit and $95 billion for rail — including a tripling of funding to Amtrak.

Rep. Peter A. DeFazio (D-Ore.), chairman of the committee, said the proposed legislation embodies a core piece of President Biden’s infrastructure plans, “seizing this once-in-a-generation opportunity to move our transportation planning out of the 1950s and toward our clean energy future.”

 

As The Associated Press reports, COVID-19 is still very much a danger to Coloradans — particularly those who refuse to get vaccinated:

About 500 people remain hospitalized in Colorado with COVID-19 even though the pandemic seems to be receding, and health officials say almost all of the patients share a common trait: They’re unvaccinated.

“We’ve taken a deep look at this,” Dr. JP Valin, chief clinical officer at SCL Health, told Colorado Public Radio. “Ninety-five percent of the patients who have been hospitalized since February are unvaccinated.”

After more than a year of dealing with the pandemic, the near-constant churn of unvaccinated patients is wearing on front-line doctors and nurses, and their frustration arises in part because at least some of the cases may have been avoidable.

“We are tired,” said Dr. Sandeep Vijan of Parkview Medical Center in Pueblo. “We’ve been doing this for a year. We are emotionally tired; tired of seeing people die. We are physically tired.”

The CDC is again encouraging teenagers to get vaccinated quickly.

Get your damn shot, people. Help our first responders out.

 

The 2021 legislative session needs to end by June 12, though lawmakers are hoping to gavel out sometime next week. In the meantime, Democrats keep passing major pieces of legislation that will positively impact nearly everyone in Colorado. Here’s what’s happening in the last few days of the session…

Women in the Colorado legislature are focusing their efforts on ending discrimination in the workplace, as The Denver Post reports. CBS4 Denver has more on how Sen. Faith Winter is working on sexual harassment changes that are guided in part by her own experiences.

House Bill 1325 seeks to provide more resources for the education of higher-needs students.

As Colorado Public Radio reports, legislative Democrats think they have reached a deal with Gov. Jared Polis that will allow a significant climate change bill to move forward.

A massive transportation funding bill is on its way to the desk of Gov. Polis.

Legislation that allows local governments to make their own gun control measures is headed to the desk of Gov. Polis. It will be joined by a bill that prevents HOAs from getting all up in your business, and legislation that bans the use of Native American mascots.

Fox 31 reports on the passage of five economic stimulus bills.

Marianne Goodland of the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman reports on the progress of a late bill dealing with property tax changes.

Westword has the latest on potential changes related to Colorado’s legal marijuana industry.

 

More political (and coronavirus) news is available right after the jump…

 

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Scam Big: Michael Flynn, Lin Wood…And Ted Harvey?

Ex-Sen. Ted Harvey (R).

Media Matters for America tips us off to a wild conservative political conference kicking off tomorrow in South Carolina, featuring some of the biggest names in conservative crazymaking today along with a few people who might someday regret the association:

Thomas Homan, a Fox News contributor and former U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement acting director, is scheduled to speak at a conference this week that will feature QAnon conspiracy theorists Michael Flynn and Lin Wood, who both have a history of endorsing political violence. South Carolina State Treasurer Curtis Loftis (R) is also set to speak at the event.

The United Patriots Alliance will host Rock the Red 2021 on June 4 and 5 at Embassy Suites by Hilton in Greeneville, South Carolina. General admission tickets are $167 and adult VIP tickets are $347. The conference describes itself as “the premier event in SC that educates, motivates, and activates citizens and patriots from around the country to get involved in the affairs of their local, state, and national governments.”

One of the keynote speakers is Flynn, a disgraced former Trump national security adviser and QAnon supporter. He recently spoke at a QAnon-themed conference and endorsed a Myanmar-like military coup in the United States…

“Lunatic Lin” Wood (left).

Michael Flynn and Lin Wood are by any estimate two of the most flamboyantly heinous figures in conservative politics today. Gen. Flynn’s open embrace of the “QAnon” conspiracy theory despite having held a position in government that without question gave him knowledge to know better is disgraceful on its own–but to share top billing with someone like Lin Wood, who called for the execution of Vice President Mike Pence, accused Chief Justice John Roberts of running a pedophilia ring, and claimed among a long list of other outrageous things that Jeffrey Epstein is not dead, is something else entirely.

And who else will be speaking at this weekend’s “Rock the Red” rally? A Colorado local who fits right in:

Former State Senator Ted [Harvey], at the age of 22, received a political appointment to serve in the White House of President Ronald Reagan. After returning home, Ted quickly became involved in Colorado politics and secured a staff position in the Colorado House of Representatives as the House Reading Clerk. After two years, Ted became the Program Director at the Independence Institute—a conservative/libertarian leaning think tank.

In December of 2001, through a vacancy election, Ted was elected to the Colorado House of Representatives. He was re-elected in both 2002 and 2004, and was then elected to the State Senate in 2006 and 2010.

In 2013 Ted helped start and was Chairman of the Stop Hillary PAC. Following the 2016 election they renamed the organization to the Committee to Defend the President. It quickly became one of the largest pro-Trump PAC in the country. As of January 20th, they changed the name again to the Committee to DEFEAT the President. You can learn more about it at StopJoe.com.

That’s right, folks–former state Sen. Ted Harvey of Highlands Ranch, who for years now has been associated with a series of what’s known as “ScamPACs” raising big money off small-change vitriol first against Hillary Clinton and then Democrats generally after Trump came to power, will be giving a major address Friday on the subject of “Cancelling the Cancel Culture.” Harvey’s oft-rebranded “ScamPAC” became infamous a few years ago after a Politico investigation found a number of related groups that seemed to exist to spend money on salaries and offices rather than on actual political program work.

But forget all that! A 45-minute speaking slot before some of the most gullible idiots in politics today, which has got to include anybody willing to spend money to hear from Lin Wood and Michael Flynn, should be a gold mine for Ted Harvey’s operation. At this point, these are some of the most reality-detached political donors to be found anywhere outside North Korea. If anything Harvey should call his PAC something other than “Committee to Defeat the President,” since these folks actually think Donald Trump is still the President.

A sucker is born every minute. Assembling so many in one room is priceless.

Say what you will about Ted Harvey, he knows how to get paid.

BREAKING: Ganahl Front Group Sues Over Denver All-Star Game

WEDNESDAY UPDATE: 9NEWS’ Kyle Clark got a statement from Heidi Ganahl as local partners of the so-called “Job Creators Network” run away from their lawsuit against Denver:

CLARK: Several Colorado organizations are listed as partners on the Job Creators Network website. As you can imagine they did not love getting asked about it today. CU Regent and possible Republican candidate for governor Heidi Ganahl is the Network’s former chairperson. She told us she’s off the board and wasn’t involved in this lawsuit. She said that she wants the All-Star Game in Denver, but said that how it played out was not fair to business owners in Georgia…

So…Heidi Ganahl “wants” the All-Star Game in Denver, but agrees with the basis of lawsuit against the All-Star Game in Denver? That’s a convoluted position to say the least. Other organizations including the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce were apparently taken by surprise by this lawsuit and are trying to get their names as far from the embarrassment as possible.

Safe bet: this won’t be Ganahl’s last contradiction.

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Heidi Ganahl throws the first pitch by video at this season’s Colorado Rockies home opener.

As the Denver Post’s Justin Wingerter reports, an organization billing itself as the Job Creators Network is filing suit against Major League Baseball over the decision earlier this year to relocate the All-Star Game from Atlanta, Georgia to Colorado after Georgia’s passage of controversial vote suppression laws to console themselves over Donald Trump’s election defeat there last November:

A conservative business group is suing Major League Baseball over its decision to move the 2021 All-Star Game to Denver, alleging the league conspired with the players’ union to intimidate the state government of Georgia over a new voting law and to harm Georgia businesses.

The Job Creators Network filed a lawsuit in a New York federal court Monday, asking for Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association to pay $100 million to make up for lost business revenues in Georgia. It also seeks $1 billion in punitive damages for their “unprecedented cruelty and hostility” toward Georgia.

“MLB robbed the small businesses of Atlanta — many of them minority-owned — of $100 million,” Job Creators Network CEO Alfredo Ortiz said in a news release. “We want the game back where it belongs.” The organization supports small businesses, including in Colorado and Georgia, and was started in part by the CEO of Home Depot, which is based in Atlanta.

Now first of all, “unprecedented cruelty and hostility” toward Georgia? Didn’t the Union burn Atlanta to the ground during the Civil War? It seems to us like they’re pouring the outrage over losing the All-Star Game on a little thick here.

More relevant to our purposes though we haven’t seen it mentioned yet, the so-called “Job Creators Network” has counted University of Colorado Regent and expected 2022 Republican candidate for something Heidi Ganahl among one of its principals for as far back as we can find records. Ganahl was at one point reportedly the executive chair of the board of Job Creators Network, and co-chaired the JNC’s “National Women’s Coalition” with GOP ex-presidential candidate Carly Fiorina. Ganahl’s association with this group goes back at least as far as 2015.

So now, the question that has to be asked: was Heidi Ganahl, who lobbed the ceremonial first pitch at this year’s Colorado Rockies home opener, involved in the decision to sue Major League Baseball against Colorado’s best interests? Does Ganahl support JCN’s lawsuit seeking $100 million compensation for Georgia over Colorado winning the All-Star Game due to Georgia’s vote suppression laws? If not, why specifically not?

Her answer may tell us a lot, including in which state Heidi Ganahl should be running for office.

Eat Your Heart Out Hugh McKean: Texas Dems Obstruct Like Bosses…and For a Purpose

Texas. It’s a whole other country.

As the Austin American Statesman reports, the Texas House of Representatives was brought to a standstill by the Democratic majority this weekend, employing a tactic to (temporarily) kill a highly controversial vote suppression bill that GOP Gov. Greg Abbott says he will sign:

Amid national attention over Republican efforts to rewrite Texas election laws, House Democrats killed Senate Bill 7 late Sunday by walking off the floor in the middle of debate, breaking quorum and forcing the House to adjourn.

The unusual move not only blocked passage of the elections bill, it also meant the demise of legislation to change the state’s bail system — bringing the hammer down on two legislative priorities of Gov. Greg Abbott, who quickly vowed to bring lawmakers back to handle both items in a special session…

With most Democrats uniting to break quorum, the Republican majority was blocked from passing SB 7 before the midnight Sunday deadline to approve legislation.

“I’m proud to be one of the Democrats who walked off the floor to kill the voter suppression bill,” Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, D-Austin, said via Twitter. “When we are outnumbered, we have to use every tool to block this attempt to scare and suppress Black and Brown Texas voters. We made good trouble tonight.”

Unfortunately for Colorado Republican minority representatives and Senators, the rules for establishing a quorum to do business are different here than in Texas. In Colorado, the majority needed to pass the bill is all that’s needed to be present for a quorum, which means a walkout by the minority in our state would only speed passage of the legislation in question. Back in 2003, as our most senior readers will recall, Colorado Democrats traveled to New Mexico to provide aid and comfort to Texas Democrats fleeing to slow a nakedly partisan redistricting process–but had no power to stop a similarly corrupt scheme from being attempted in our state.

Colorado Republicans rushed through a redistricting plan during the last three days of the [2003 legislative session], suspending legislative rules that could have allowed Democrats in Colorado to block it.

The Colorado Democrats did not have the option to flee because legislative rules allowed Republicans, who have an 18-17 edge in the state Senate and a 38-27 majority in the House, to pass legislation with a simple majority. Senate Democrats walked out during the vote on redistricting, but the plan was approved anyway.

“We had a terrible experience here in Colorado, and that’s what awaits them if they return to the Capitol,” Fitz-Gerald said of the Texas lawmakers.

In Colorado, the shady attempt by Republicans to redraw congressional districts in mid-decade known as the “Midnight Gerrymander” went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court where local Republicans finally lost their case in 2007. But in the Colorado legislature, walking out had no effect on stopping the bill.

Given Colorado’s recent experience with Republican obstruction tactics on a wide variety of bills in the legislature you may say thank goodness for Colorado’s rules here and Texas’ rules there, considering the relative moral value of “good trouble” obstruction against vote suppression legislation to prop up Donald Trump’s election theft fantasies versus Colorado Republicans slowing much less controversial legislation to a crawl just because they can. The equivalence is false because the issues justify the tactics. Or not.

We’ll try to have pity if Colorado Republicans are made to suffer through another lucrative event relocating here.

Get More Smarter on Tuesday (June 1)

One year ago today, then-President Trump ordered peaceful protestors to be tear-gassed so that he could do a photo op with an upside-down Bible. 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. 

 

Texas Democrats did their part in trying to stop the latest Republican effort to severely restrict voting rights. Now they’re calling on Congress to join the battle, as The Washington Post reports:

Texas Democrats who defeated a Republican effort to pass a suite of new voting restrictions with a dramatic late-night walkout from the state House chamber on Sunday have a message for President Biden and his allies in Congress: If we can protect voting rights, you can, too.

The surprise move by roughly 60 Democratic lawmakers headed off the expected passage of S.B. 7, a voting measure that would have been one of the most stringent in the nation, by denying Republicans a required quorum and forcing them to abruptly adjourn without taking a vote.

The coordinated walkout just after 10:30 p.m. Central time jolted the national debate on voting rights, putting the spotlight on Democratic-backed federal legislation that has been stalled in the Senate all spring, even as state Republicans move to enact new voting rules…

…Republicans control every branch of Texas government and hold firm majorities in both the House and Senate. While Gov. Greg Abbott (R) vowed late Sunday to bring the voting measure back at a special legislative session for redistricting later this year — and threatened to defund the legislature in a tweet on Monday — the walkout represented an unmistakable and shocking defeat for Republican leaders who had assumed the bill would pass ahead of the House’s midnight deadline to finish its 2021 business.

 

We’ve seen and heard the conspiracy theories — including from the “MyPillow Guy” — but this is the first time we’ve seen a real reporter confirming that Donald Trump actually buys into this crap. As Maggie Haberman reports for The New York Times, Trump apparently REALLY BELIEVES that he will be “reinstated” as President in August.

 

The Denver Post reports on changes to health restrictions related to COVID-19:

Planners of large indoor events will no longer need the state’s approval to host more than 500 people according to a public health order issued Monday by Colorado’s state health department.

The amended order from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment goes into effect on Tuesday as transmission of COVID-19 and hospitalizations due to the disease level off. The order is scheduled to expire July 1.

“Individuals are encouraged to remain at least 6 feet away from non-household contacts, wash their hands, and wear a face covering to reduce the likelihood of disease transmission,” the order states. “As we continue to combat COVID-19 in our communities, continuing some limited requirements to mitigate disease spread remain appropriate.”

In related news, you may want to double-check that your name is included for a $1 million COVID vaccination award drawing.

 

Let’s catch you up on state legislative news…

Colorado Public Radio looks at how Democrats are moving forward with important new programs for Coloradans.

Colorado could become just the third state in the country to pass a data privacy law.

A bill that would give Colorado more power in restricting charter schools was voted down in a committee hearing.

Denver7 ponders what might happen to the 200 bills still on the legislative calendar with less than two weeks left in the 2021 session.

Republican lawmakers call vaccine requirements “discrimination,” because of course they do.

Democrats are working on legislation that could cut the cost of prescription drugs by as much as 40% in Colorado. This includes a bill that would fix a hole in Colorado’s insulin price cap.

Lawmakers are pushing ahead with a bill that would tell HOAs to stop being so damn bossy.

 

 

More political (and coronavirus) news is available right after the jump…

 

(more…)

Crow Calls Out Republicans Blocking January 6 Commission

FRIDAY UPDATE: Politico reporting the expected, accountability for January 6th has been kicked down the road despite six Republican Senators who broke ranks and voted to get the facts:

The 54-35 vote, with six Republicans breaking ranks to join every Democrat in favor, came after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell lobbied his members forcefully against the House-passed commission measure. The vote was delayed through the night by a handful of Senate Republicans who obstructed China competitiveness legislation, though Democrats decided to punt that bill until after the Memorial Day recess week in order to push forward on the commission bill…

The six Republican senators who voted to advance the commission proposal were Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Mitt Romney of Utah and Rob Portman of Ohio. All but one of them also voted to convict former President Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial earlier this year. All six received public thanks from Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), evicted from her party’s House leadership 16 days ago after vocal criticism of Trump and his role in the riot.

A seventh GOP senator who also voted to convict Trump this year, retiring Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, would have supported advancing the House-passed commission bill had he not been called away from Washington for a family commitment, a spokesperson said.

Both Colorado Sens. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper were present and voted yes today, and spoke to NBC News’ Chuck Todd on the way to the airport about getting rid of the filibuster after today’s vote:

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Rep. Jason Crow (D).

CNN reports after an appearance by Rep. Jason Crow of Colorado on Don Lemon Tonight last night, blasting Republicans for their attempts to obstruct a bipartisan commission to investigate the January 6th, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol that attempted to thwart the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory by Congress:

Rep. Jason Crow, a Colorado Democrat and veteran who helped comfort other lawmakers during the US Capitol insurrection, said Wednesday evening there’s a “domestic terror movement” in the US as he sought to highlight the risk of not investigating the January 6 riot.

“We have a domestic terror movement in America. It has been enabled, it has been furthered, it has been legitimized by leaders at the highest levels of our country, starting with Donald Trump,” Crow told CNN’s Don Lemon on “Don Lemon Tonight.”

“That’s the sad reality. If we are not honest about what it is we’re dealing with, if we’re not honest about the dangers of that movement, we will not address it in a way that we need to and we will be at risk. This is not just an exercise in history and making sure that the history books accurately reflect on January 6. We have a current problem we have to address and we have to be honest about that and we have to do what is necessary to keep ourselves safe.”

Rep. Jason Crow comforts a fellow House Member during the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6th.

Since the violence at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, Rep. Crow has been at the forefront of lawmakers demanding accountability for what happened all the way to the top. Crow has compared the assault on the Capitol by supporters of now ex-President Donald Trump to his own experiences in combat as an Army Ranger in Afghanistan, and a photo of Crow trying to comfort a fellow representative as rioters stormed through the building has become one of the iconic images of this terrible day in American history.

The vote in the U.S. Senate on the January 6th commission bill passed by the House is by all accounts a foregone conclusion, with Republicans led by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell having locked down around a demand for false equivalence between the events of that day and unrelated recent protests such as the Black Lives Matter movement as their pretext to vote against. Despite the fact that McConnell, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and some other Republican leaders were in the immediate aftermath willing to assign blame for the January 6th insurrection where it belongs, with Trump personally, their courage in this regard has since evaporated. Which restores their complicity, assuming it was ever lost:

No matter what Republicans said in shock following the attack on the Capitol, covering it up now is all that matters in terms of their legacy. Trump, who once boasted he could shoot a man in the street and not lose support, has proven himself correct beyond what even most of his critics could have anticipated. The normalization of what happened on January 6th by Republicans refusing to hold Trump accountable, perhaps more than any other factor, is setting the stage for the next round of political violence.

And that, readers, is why Rep. Crow is angry. You should be too.

At the end of the day, it may simply be too much to ask the guilty to convict themselves.