There’s No “Business As Usual” For Lauren Boebert

Lauren Boebert posing with two well-armed militia types in 2020.

Controversy arose this week in the normally sleepy Western Slope town of Dolores, when a surprise appearance at Dolores High School by Rep. Lauren Boebert divided parents and raised both political and safety concerns. Reporter Bailey Duran at the Cortez Journal:

Many parents opted to keep their children home amid concerns for their children’s safety after the announcement that U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert would hold a Q&A with Dolores High School students Wednesday during her trip to Southwest Colorado for water-related meetings…

“Security concerns are being ignored by the principal,” [a parent who requested anomymity] said. “No parents were notified till the last minute by email and only because of rumors circulating. There is no concern over the children’s safety bringing this controversial person to our children’s schools.”

“This was hidden from parents and is very concerning that the school is not taking school shootings serious. This embattled politician could have a crazy person come after her putting our children in the line of fire. Completely irresponsible,” she said.

Boebert pretending to carry a weapon in Washington, D.C.

With respect to the issue of Boebert being proudly armed wherever she is permitted to be, and maybe willing to push that line a little if you bought her fake green-screen video carrying a Glock on the streets of Washington, D.C., Dolores school district officials tried to be reassuring:

Other parents said they were concerned that Boebert would bring a firearm on campus. She is known for conceal carrying.

“We have confirmed and re-confirmed with the Congresswoman’s staff that she will not have a firearm with her while she is on campus,” the district said. [Pols emphasis]

Boebert, for her part, professed to be very upset that her visit with Dolores High students was being “politicized.”

“That’s really unfortunate that they would politicize something like this, and it was certainly an honor for me to be there. I wasn’t making anything political of it. You know, just explaining the basics of civics and government [Pols emphasis] and the way things operate and giving them kind of an insider’s look without a partisan lens. I’m not sure exactly what the safety concern would be. But I think that it was well received and the students were amazing, friendly and welcoming … they were a joy,” the congresswoman told The Journal.

But here’s the problem, reported by Duran in an updated story today–it was Boebert who turned what was supposed to have been a boring civics lecture into a campaign stop:

School officials and Boebert’s office billed the session in the Dolores Schools gymnasium as a kind of civics discussion, but the congresswoman also spoke of her efforts with the Freedom Caucus – a conservative bloc of Republican representatives – the U.S. response to COVID-19, and in response to students’ questions, about her personal and political development…

She also spoke about the start to the 118th Congress and about tactics used in the House during the election of Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy.

“For those who pay attention to politics, it was exciting. Some called it chaos, but as a mom of four boys, I know chaos,” Boebert joked. [Pols emphasis]

We suppose the one saving grace here is that Boebert was talking “civics” and not sex ed.

This morning, the Durango Herald editorial board slammed Boebert for turning her time with Dolores High students into a political pep rally:

We strongly support students engaging in civic matters. But we’re uncomfortable with U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert’s visit on Wednesday to Dolores High School because her talk ventured beyond governance into political territory…

Like her or otherwise, Boebert is a polarizing politician. According to our latest news story, she spoke about “moral decay”; becoming aware of issues that could infringe on students’ rights; the Freedom Caucus, a conservative group of GOP representatives; and liberties infringed on during the pandemic. Apparently, she also told students they should know about those issues and let it motivate them to stand up for their freedom.

Come on! This is Boebert’s brand on stage in front of students without parents present.

What we saw play out this week in Dolores are the natural consequences of Boebert’s controversial national political profile, and how ill-suited that public image is to the district Boebert represents in Congress. Boebert doesn’t represent Marjorie Taylor Greene’s overwhelmingly Republican district, she represents a district that came with 546 votes of ending her career in disgust last November. Try as she might, Boebert can’t carry out the day-to-day responsibilities of her office without her bombastic rhetoric, which she has refused to cast off despite all the good advice in the world, tripping those efforts up.

Boebert is never going to be normal, and that’s a hopeful sign despite the occasional awkwardness.

Banking, Biden, and Boebert Baloney

Lauren Boebert’s daily decision

Congressperson Lauren Boebert (R-ifle) is not a particularly complicated politician. Boebert only has one setting no matter the issue being discussed: Yell at Joe Biden.

It is not uncommon for Boebert to go overboard in her anti-Biden zeal, particularly when the topic being discussed is complicated enough that she might have to stop and do a little reading in order to actually understand the issue. But conducting research or reading memos would take time away from drafting her next Biden rant, so she skips that part and goes straight to the yelling.

It’s fair to say that you could criticize Boebert for many of her comments, whether from social media posts, Congressional committee hearings, or wacky House Floor rants. But sometimes Boebert pushes a narrative that is so completely false that it can be harmful to the country as a whole. This is what Boebert has been doing in response to the failure of two big banks: Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Signature Bank of New York (SBNY).


This rhetoric is particularly dangerous because there are plenty of Boebert followers who will believe — to some extent — that the Biden administration is “bailing out” these two failed banks and picking favorites in deciding which banks get government help. But that isn’t what is actually happening. 

We can quickly dispense with Boebert’s favoritism claim; SBNY was a go-to bank for Donald Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner, and Ivanka Trump sat on SBNY’s board of directors.

Look familiar?

The bigger issue is that the government is not “bailing out” these failed banks. The federal government is instead playing a role it first started in the 1930s to backstop the economy and protect regular depositors. You might be familiar with one of these central concepts: The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which guarantees the money people deposit in a bank up to a certain amount. The FDIC is supposed to protect depositors from a bank failure — that’s why it exists and why you see those little signs about the FDIC whenever you speak with a bank teller.

As White House economics reporter Jeff Stein explains for The Washington Post:

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation will guarantee all deposits at SVB and Signature — even those above the usual $250,000 limit. SVB held roughly $150 billion in uninsured deposits, and Signature Bank held more than $70 billion in uninsured deposits. Those customers will be able to access all their funds now, even though the banks collapsed. This sends the message that customers have no reason to move their money, because they won’t lose it if their bank goes down.

The government also tried to ensure that most banks don’t get close to failing in the first place. So the Federal Reserve announced a new special lending facility with unusually generous terms: It will loan money to banks that put their assets up as collateral, even if those assets are worth less now than what the bank paid for them. Typically, the central bank only lends against the current value for a bank’s assets, according to Todd Phillips, who served as an attorney at FDIC. The move means banks shouldn’t have trouble getting access to cash if customers start withdrawing funds.

The federal government is not going to bring SVB or SBNY “back to life.” Executives at these banks will not keep their jobs. The money used to reimburse depositors will NOT come from taxpayers, but from the Deposit Insurance Fund that U.S. banks HAVE ALREADY BEEN PAYING INTO. 

Caitlyn Kim and Sarah Mulholland have more for Colorado Public Radio:

President Joe Biden on Monday tried to reassure the public and calm the markets over the state of the banking system.

“Look, the bottom line is this: Americans can rest assured that our banking system is safe. Your deposits are safe,” he said…

…The Colorado Bankers Association is also trying to reassure people that the troubles aren’t likely to spread to regional banks here.

Rep. Brittany Pettersen (D-Jefferson County)

Instead of listening to Boebert, let’s go to someone who actually knows what she is talking about: Rep. Brittany Pettersen (D-Jefferson County), who sits on the House Financial Services Committee:

“Right now, it seems that any immediate threats to our financial system caused by the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and New York Signature Bank have been averted,” she said in a statement. “It’s important for people to understand that the actions of the FDIC, the Federal Reserve, and the Treasury Department will not use any taxpayer dollars, and cannot be considered a ‘bailout.’”

Pettersen said she wants to avoid situations like this in the future and joined a letter to key regulators “urging swift action to prevent broader bank failures.” Pettersen and her staff have been involved in multiple briefings with regulators about SVB since Friday. The Financial Services Committee will also be holding a members-only briefing Monday evening, according to a senior advisor with knowledge.

Boebert also had access to a briefing from the Biden administration and the Treasury department, but she came away with a very different understanding:

Say what?


This doesn’t even make sense. But if it lets Boebert boo Biden, then she’s happy.

Boebert narrowly won re-election in 2022 by a 546-vote margin. She said then that it was time to “take the temperature down” in Washington D.C. and prove that Republicans can lead with “strength” and “grace.” That promise was forgotten by Christmas because Boebert doesn’t know any other way forward. She has no operating principle beyond “Biden and Democrats suck.” This is her shtick, and she leans in HARD at every opportunity.

But at some point — and this is one of those points — politicians need to set the rhetoric aside for the good of the country. Suppose Boebert’s anti-Biden screeching helped stoke a run on banks that set the country on the course toward another financial crisis like we saw in 2008? Don’t laugh — bad information often leads to bad decisions and worse outcomes.

Somebody in the GOP caucus needs to explain to Boebert that partisan hackery can eventually be dangerous for all Americans. Let’s just hope that conversation happens before Boebert breaks something that we can’t glue back together.

Lauren Boebert: This Is What Moral Bankruptcy Looks Like

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R).

As the Denver Post’s Bruce Finley and media outlets across the nation have reported this week:

Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., has announced that she will be a grandmother at 36 next month when her 17-year-old son’s partner gives birth to a son.

Boebert revealed this family news at a women’s breakfast during the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland that ended last weekend, where she received a “mothers of influence” award. Boebert addressed women and men at the breakfast after accepting the award.

“I’m going to tell you all for the first time in a public setting that, not only am I a mother of four boys, but, come April, I will be a Gigi to a brand new grandson,” she said.

Boebert’s son, when she talked with him about becoming a grandmother, pointed out that Boebert made her own mother a grandmother at 36 and he suggested it was “hereditary,” Boebert told those at the breakfast.

We approach this subject at all with some trepidation, since it’s not our policy to entertain gossip about the personal lives of elected officials unless the subject matter has a connection both to public policy and hypocrisy on the part of the subject–both factors being necessary at least to warrant us getting into such matters. But as many news outlets have rightfully noted in the context of reporting a story that Rep. Lauren Boebert herself broke, this is a situation so deeply hypocritical and so innately linked to Boebert’s political agenda that the cognitive dissonance is simply untenable. Newsweek:

Boebert was a teen mom herself and had to drop out of high school because of her pregnancy. She has received harsh criticism online this week for blasting sex education classes in schools. She had said that public school students should not be taught about enjoying sex and what LGBTQ people do in bed.

“There are schools that are teaching worse than just gender ideology,” Boebert said this week during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). “I mean they have comprehensive sex-ed. They’re teaching kids how to have and enjoy sex, [Pols emphasis] and even same-sex sex.”

Of course, if you know anything about sex ed curriculum you already know that the point of sex ed is to teach safe sex practices, most importantly the part where they put the condom on the banana (that was our experience) and explained it’s a very good idea to do this before…you know. Because that is how you prevent making babies at age 17, when doing so is statistically proven to mess up your life in all kinds of tangible ways. And if you know that, you understand how it relates directly to Boebert’s 17-year-old son’s predicament.

Added together, it’s one of the most damning self-owns in the history of politics.

And it doesn’t stop there, as Boebert continued to dig while breaking the big news:

“There’s something special about rural conservative communities,” Boebert continued. “They value life. If you look at teen pregnancy rates throughout the nation, well, they’re the same, [in] rural and urban areas. However, abortion rates are higher in urban areas. Teen moms’ rates are higher in rural conservative areas, because they understand the preciousness of a life that it’s about to be born.”

Or maybe the kids in “rural conservative areas” just don’t have good sex ed? Again, when you consider the clear evidence that teenage pregnancy leads to lifelong educational and economic disadvantage, and then compare rural to urban areas of the country by either of those metrics, you realize that Boebert is unwittingly making a case for abortion rights. But Boebert is the last person who will ever realize this. It’s not her own life experience, and Boebert doesn’t comprehend the difference between anecdotes and data.

Much like the tawdry reality-TV experience of following Sarah Palin’s family through their struggles with well-publicized moral hypocrisy, it does seem like we’ll all be obliged to follow along now as these children having children face the challenges of both life and celebrity–the latter stemming from a grandma who has set them up for scrutiny they may someday regret. We had a preview of what that might look like in the Denver Post’s story:

Boebert staffers on Friday confirmed the announcement. Breaking from a meeting for an interview, Boebert verified her son and his girlfriend are not married and declined to reveal the age of the girlfriend, other than to say she’s over 14. [Pols emphasis] (Colorado’s age of consent is 17, with exceptions allowing unmarried consensual sex when partners are within four years of the same age.)

There’s not much left for us to add to this, except to say that we really do wish the best for the kids involved. We have no doubt that Boebert believes her self-immolating spin. But the rest of the world sees the perfect rebuttal, to Boebert’s latest words and everything she claims to stand for, in the same events.

House Republicans Conclude Pointless Filibuster

(For obvious reasons regarding the narrative voice, this post is being published under the name of Jason Bane instead of Colorado Pols.)


So much for that filibuster.

It was at about 2:00 pm on Thursday afternoon when the Republican micro-minority in the State House launched a doomed “filibluster” attempt to delay voting on HB23-1219, a bill that seeks to implement a three-day waiting period for gun purchases. Over the course of more than 12 hours, Republicans babbled about the Second Amendment; read aloud the writings of Dave Kopel and rehashed the Conquistador point of view from Justin Diamond’s classic book “Guns, Germs, and Steel.”  

At roughly 10:30 pm on Thursday night – more than eight hours since their filibuster began – House Republicans rejected a deal to bring their bickering to an end. 

House Republicans accepted that same deal four hours later, finally concluding their pointless stand at 2:30 am on Friday morning. House Bill 23-1219 passed on second reading and moved forward. 


THIS Is Your Great Injustice?

House Republicans drew this invisible line in the sand primarily because the no-compromise gun group Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO) and its Executive Director, Taylor Rhodes, demanded a “circus.And as we’ve already seen before in this legislative session, when RMGO tells Republicans to dance…they f***ing dance

There was no circus on Thursday and Friday. House Republicans could only manage a small, broken-down carnival atmosphere instead:

♦ Representative Ken “Skin” DeGraaf regularly mentioned data he found from a publication of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), but instead of using the full name for maximum time-wasting efficiency, DeGraaf used a shorthand that he kept pronouncing as “pee-nahs.” 

♦ Rep. Richard Holtorf told lawmakers that he cared more about human life than any of them and would also die for any person in the chamber because…???

♦ Republicans took turns trying to one-up another with melodramatic stories about a woman who might have been assaulted if not for her gun…or the time so-and-so heard a weird noise downstairs that they didn’t check because it was probably nothing and it turned out to be nothing but hoo boy it was a good thing I had my Barrett .50 cal rifle under the bed.


As gun safety bills go, HB23-1219 is fairly benign. Implementing a three-day waiting period for gun purchases is a common sense idea borne of lived experiences. It allows for a “cooling off period,” as State Sen. Tom Sullivan so deftly explained a few weeks ago. Marianne Goodland of the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman reported on these real-world examples from a hearing earlier in the week:

Several witnesses recounted the heartbreak they suffered from the death of a loved one, some from suicide, some from homicide, all from guns. 

Kaycie Artus said her daughter, Lindsay, died an hour after buying a gun. She was a language arts teacher in Douglas County who won teaching awards but also battled with depression and anxiety. Lindsay’s children would still have their mom if there had been a waiting period, added her friend, Jenny Gunther.

Kathy Hagan of Erie talked about the death of a friend’s father, who also struggled with mental health issues. He stopped taking his medication and bought a gun. Confronted by his daughter, he locked himself in the bathroom and shot himself.

“It was a cry for help,” Hagan said. A waiting period could have saved his life, she said.

Dr. Maya Haasz, a pediatrician representing the Colorado Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, pleaded with lawmakers to support the bill: “Young people who attempt suicide by firearm do not have the chance to change their minds.” She also pointed out that nine out of 10 children who use a firearm in their suicide attempt will die even though guns are used in only one of 20 suicide attempts.

Okay, fine, said Republicans. We see your real world examples and raise you some entirely theoretical concerns! What if a raccoon needs minigun right away so that it doesn’t get gobbled up by hungry coyotes? What if I get into an argument with a neighbor about the length of their grass lawn and I can’t run to the gun store to pick up something threatening? 

The GOP argument against this legislation is that people should have the right to get a gun RIGHTNOWTHISMINUTE because you never know when the Chupacabra might come through your window and the Chupacabra does NOT respect three-day waiting periods.

But if you really think you need the ability to buy a gun RIGHTNOWTHISMINUTE, then there are two other more pressing concerns that need to be addressed instead:

  1. When people go out and demand a gun RIGHTNOWTHISMINUTE, they have a tendency to use that gun RIGHTNOWTHISMINUTE. And that’s not good for them or the people they love.
  2. If you find yourself in a situation in which you think you need a new gun RIGHTNOWTHISMINUTE, then you are almost certainly in a scenario that requires some very different help. For example, maybe you should be calling the police instead of running around trying to buy a new firearm.




The “Filibluster”

A true filibuster has to have some sort of achievable goal based on opposition to a great injustice, whether that be delaying a vote or preventing one altogether on a controversial piece of legislation. Democrats hold an historically-large majority in the House (46-19), which means Republicans would have needed to flip at least a dozen Democrats in order to achieve a meaningful outcome. 

This was never going to happen, and Republicans knew it. But their filibluster wasn’t about achieving anything. It was just simple angertainment from a caucus that thinks Colorado voters get excited about this sort of thing (spoiler alert: they don’t). 

A true filibuster requires a cause that is just and noble. This is not that cause. Polling continually shows that Coloradans (and Americans, frankly) overwhelmingly support common sense gun safety legislation. 

This bill is so nonthreatening to gun lovers that there weren’t many Republicans who showed up at the Capitol to lend their moral support. If even the gun nuts aren’t excited, then you have to ask for whom this angertainment performance is intended for in the first place.



Get More Smarter on Wednesday (March 8)

Happy International Women’s 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.




Colorado Republicans and their micro-minority in the state legislature are promising a big battle over some very common sense gun safety regulations, mostly because when Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO) tells Republicans to dance

As Seth Klamann reports for The Denver Post:

Republicans have promised to do whatever they can to fight the proposals — which include a ban on the sale of assault weapons, age limits and an expansion of the state’s red flag law — and cast them as ineffective solutions to complex problems.

The first of those bills — to institute a minimum three-day waiting period between a would-be gun buyer initiating a background check and taking ownership of the weapon — came before the House’s State, Civic, Military, & Veterans Affairs committee Monday. Three other gun reform measures will be in committee Wednesday. All are expected to pass committees controlled by Democrats, but they’re also certain to attract hours of testimony from opponents and supporters alike.

Fighting that and other bills, Republican minority leader Rep. Mike Lynch has said, is a top priority for his caucus…

…Lynch said the party is likely to launch hours of filibuster delays — akin to the 24-hour filibuster they undertook last year to fight a marquee abortion bill — to stall the gun legislation.

“It’s a bright, shiny thing that’s easier to approach than attacking the harder issues,” Lynch said of the gun reform bills. “We’re not talking about mental health because we’re going to waste the next three weeks dealing with guns. I’m not sure it’s an effort in the right direction.”

Ah yes, the old “why aren’t we talking about mental health legislation” canard. But here’s the thing: When Democrats propose legislation dealing with mental health as it relates to gun violence, Republicans back away from that, too. Monday’s bill to create a waiting period for firearms passed through a committee hearing despite RMGO’s limp protest.

Regardless, State Sen. Tom Sullivan (D-Aurora), whose son, Alex, was killed in the Aurora Theater Shootings, isn’t backing down:

The discussion over several gun safety bills is expected to last for hours today in committee hearings. Republicans are making it very clear who they are and who they represent.


Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers in Colorado are puffing out their chests in order to be declared the most right-wing of them all!


Senator Michael Bennet (D-Denver) has joined the legislative battle to ban Tik Tok — and potentially other foreign-based technology platforms — because of security concerns. From Colorado Public Radio:

The RESTRICT Act would give the Commerce Secretary new authority to identify and mitigate threats posed by foreign technology products and services in the United States.

“What we’re trying to deal with here is insecure information and communication technology,” explained Virginia Democratic Sen. Mark Warner, the chair of the chamber’s intelligence panel. “These risks are not going away and unfortunately, our tools to date have been relatively limited.”

Warner said the secretary’s new powers would extend “up to and including the opportunity to ban.” He added such decisions would be risk-based, informed by intelligence, and follow a clear process, instead of the current ad hoc approach. The bill would also allow for the declassification of information on how a certain foreign tech might pose undue or unacceptable risks.

Bennet and others noted that while the popular social media app TikTok is the concern now, the threat around foreign tech goes back years, ranging from Russia’s Kaspersky Labs, which produced an antivirus software, to Huawei’s 5G system. digs into Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is hoping to boost his likely Presidential campaign by staging an all-out assault on the First Amendment. 

DeSantis wants to eliminate the First Amendment safeguards that prevent lawsuits seeking to strong-arm the press into silence.

He’s been very clear about this goal: In February, DeSantis led a roundtable discussion brainstorming ideas to weaken the press’s First Amendment protections. Flanked by a panel dominated by defamation plaintiffs and lawyers, the Orbánesque governor attacked the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in New York Times v. Sullivan (1964) for, in his words, empowering a media that will “find a way to smear you.”

Sullivan was a historic decision establishing that the government (and, in many cases, private litigants) may not censor the media, political advocates, and the public at large through defamation suits intended to shut down dissenting voices. The case arose out of a Jim Crow-era official’s attempt to silence civil rights protesters. It established that someone accused of making false claims about a public figure regarding a matter of public concern may not be held liable for defamation, unless the statement was made “with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not.”

Without Sullivan, government officials could potentially use defamation suits to impose financially devastating liability on their political enemies — which is what an Alabama official tried to do in Sullivan itself. And a wealthy individual who disagrees with a newspaper’s coverage could potentially fund lawsuits targeting any false statement made by that newspaper, no matter how minor, until the sheer cost of defending against these suits bankrupts the paper.

New York Times v. Sullivan is a very important ruling that also protects blogs like ours.


Click below to keep learning things…



Boebert Goes All In On January 6th Historical Revisionism

Last night, FOX News host Tucker Carlson released a few select bits of the thousands of hours of video collected during the January 6th, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol his “research team” was controversially given access to by GOP House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, in an attempt to recast the violent attack that day to disrupt the certification of Joe Biden’s victory as “mostly peaceful chaos.” CNN reports that the U.S. Capitol Police are leading the pushback against this audacious attempt to rewrite the history painstakingly reconstructed last year by the House Select Committee:

US Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger on Tuesday ripped into Fox News host Tucker Carlson over his commentary about footage from the January 6, 2021, insurrection that he aired Monday night, saying the host “cherry-picked” from the footage to present “offensive” and “misleading” conclusions about the attack.

“Last night an opinion program aired commentary that was filled with offensive and misleading conclusions about the January 6 attack,” Manger wrote in an internal department memo obtained by CNN, adding that Carlson’s show didn’t reach out to the police department “to provide accurate context.”

“The program conveniently cherry-picked from the calmer moments of our 41,000 hours of video. The commentary fails to provide context about the chaos and violence that happened before or during these less tense moments,” Manger said.

It’s not just the Capitol Police and Democrats denouncing Tucker Carlson’s mischaracterization of the events of January 6th. As NBC News reports, a number of Republican U.S. Senators are not willing to participate:

“I think it’s bullshit,” [Sen. Thom] Tillis told reporters in the Capitol. [Pols emphasis]

“I was here. I was down there and I saw maybe a few tourists, a few people who got caught up in things,” he added. “But when you see police barricades breached, when you see police officers assaulted, all of that … if you were just a tourist you should’ve probably lined up at the visitors’ center and came in on an orderly basis.”

…Republican Sen. Kevin Cramer, a North Dakota conservative, said he was in the Capitol on Jan. 6 and firmly rejected Carlson’s portrayal of that day as “some rowdy peaceful protest of Boy Scouts.”

“I think that breaking through glass windows and doors to get into the United States Capitol against the borders of police is a crime. I think particularly when you come into the chambers, when you start opening the members’ desks, when you stand up in their balcony — to somehow put that in the same category as, you know, permitted peaceful protest is just a lie,” Cramer said.

Sen. Mitt Romney was, as he tends to be, even more blunt:

“It’s a very dangerous thing to do, to suggest that attacking the Capitol of the United States is in any way acceptable and it’s anything other than a serious crime, against democracy and against our country,” Romney said. “And people saw that it was violent and destructive and should never happen again. But trying to normalize that behavior is dangerous and disgusting.” [Pols emphasis]

The best rebuttal to Carlson’s selectively edited clips we can think of is the original Select Committee compilation of video from the insurrection:


Watch this video again, and tell us how Carlson can get away with calling what happened “sightseeing.” A few edited moments of relative calm highlighted by Carlson do not negate the violence and destruction documented exhaustively by the Select Committee. The swift rebuttal from Senate Republicans is a possible sign that Carlson, whose popularity has increasingly hinged on his embrace of the fringe right–including Colorado’s own election conspiracy theorist and indicted ex-county clerk Tina Peters–has finally gone too far.

But the bipartisan chorus of outrage over this attempt to rewrite the history of an event we all watched unfold live just over two years ago does not include…you guessed it, Colorado’s intractable sophomore mayhem multiplier Rep. Lauren Boebert:

In response to Carlson’s report last night, Rep. Boebert exploded in pent-up glee this morning over what she clearly believes is vindication–for the January 6th insurrectionists, and also Republican politicians like herself and Donald Trump who incited the violence by refusing to accept the results of the 2020 presidential election. On January 6th, Boebert threateningly referred to her constituents “outside the building right now” moments before they smashed their way into the Capitol, after announcing “Today is 1776” to her hundreds of thousands of followers that morning. Boebert has every interest today in downplaying the violence on January 6th she helped bring to pass, even as she continues to defend the underlying “Big Lie” that Trump won.

But this isn’t vindication. Too many of Boebert’s fellow Republicans who were shaken to the core by the events of January 6th are refusing to let the truth of what happened that day be whitewashed. It’s a falsehood too far, and Boebert is on the wrong side of bipartisan disgust.

Boebert Politely Tells DeSantis To Wait His Turn

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).

Last November, Colorado’s most Ultra MAGA of-them-all Rep. Lauren Boebert raised eyebrows when she extolled the virtues of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as a potential candidate for President in 2024:

“I love Governor Ron DeSantis. He is America’s governor, and he has the same policies,” she said, adding that 2024 remains “in the far future.”

Yes, Boebert also effusively praised former President Donald Trump in the same November interview, which came just after Trump announced his 2024 re-election campaign. But by allowing for even the possibility of someone other than Trump as the GOP’s presidential nominee in 2024 — after Trump was in the race — Boebert was treading dangerously close to MAGA disloyalty. That disloyalty was further underlined at the beginning of January when Boebert defied Trump’s pleas to end the drama over Kevin McCarthy’s speakership.

In the intervening months, Trump has plowed ahead with his campaign while DeSantis has delayed getting in the race, and Trump seems to be consolidating his position once again as the favorite to win the GOP nomination in 2024. For evidence of this, we turn once again to Rep. Lauren Boebert at this weekend’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC):

Though still effusive with praise for Gov. DeSantis, Boebert announced at this weekend’s CPAC conference that she is “backing Trump all the way.”

I want [DeSantis] to be President someday. He’s an amazing man with a lot of strength and a lot of character, but right now we need President Trump back in the White House. [Pols emphasis]

This years’s CPAC was by all accounts dominated by supporters of the former President, and Trump easily won this year’s straw poll of CPAC attendees. As one of the clearest endorsements of Trump over DeSantis by name offered by any nationally prominent Republican so far, Boebert’s public reaffirmation of loyalty to Trump is a big deal that will carry considerable weight with the Republican base.

It may be the last thing “Never Trump” Republicans want to hear, but the stars are aligning for Trump to walk away with the GOP nomination once again. Whatever that means for America’s future, and that of Colorado Republicans at the brink of total political annihilation, in Colorado you have Lauren Boebert to thank for it.

So Much For Keeping George Santos At Arm’s Length

Reps. Lauren Boebert, George Santos (R).

Reps. Lauren Boebert, George Santos (R).

Bruce Lee of Forbes reports on a new piece of going-nowhere performative legislation introduced by the Republican majority in the U.S. House, cosponsored by Colorado’s most sophomoric sophomore Rep. Lauren Boebert along with a special new friend:

With 647 mass shootings in 2022 and 85 already this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive, guess what Rep. Barry Moore (R-Alabama) wants to do now? Well, on February 17, 2023, Moore introduced a bill, H.R.1095, that would declare the AR-15 style rifle the “National Gun of the United States.” Yep, three days after Valentine’s Day, he introduced this Bill that will be first discussed by the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability. And the bill has a trio of co-sponsors: Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colorado), Rep. George Santos (R-New York), and Rep. Andrew S. Clyde (R-Georgia).

Since the introduction of the bill on February 17th, Boebert’s budding archrival Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene has also signed on as a cosponsor, but that’s it: three far-right deep south Republicans in overwhelmingly Republican safe districts, committee-less serial prevaricator freshman Rep. George Santos, and Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado.

The description of the Bill on the Congressional website currently does not have much more (or Moore) clarification beyond its stated title: “To declare an AR-15 style rifle chambered in a .223 Remington round or a 5.56x45mm NATO round to be the National Gun of the United States.” So it does not elaborate why Moore, Boebert, Santos, and Clyde specifically feel that such legislation is needed at this point or why taxpayer money should be spent deliberating such a legislation.

We can’t say there’s anything surprising about Boebert signing on to a “message bill” with no purpose other than to express her undying love for the AR-15 rifle, which also happens to be the most commonly used weapon in high-casualty mass shootings that have dominated the headlines in recent years. Par for Boebert’s course. But of the handful of cosponsors signed on to this bill, Boebert by far is taking the biggest risk in allying with George Santos for any public-facing purpose. This has been true for years with respect to Boebert’s close relationship with Rep. Matt “Giggity” Gaetz, but to countenance Santos’ free-ranging pathological fabulism is even worse. Boebert’s proven vulnerability should inspire much more caution about who she associates with than any of these other representatives.

Teaming up with Santos is just further evidence that Boebert has learned nothing from nearly losing her seat.

Why Jamie Raskin’s Dismantlement of Lauren Boebert Matters

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R) and the former occupant of the White House.

Some of the most-viewed clips of video from this week in Congress feature a running exchange between Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin and Colorado’s maven of misinformation Rep. Lauren Boebert, beginning when Boebert seized on the “low confidence” assessment by the Energy Department that the COVID-19 pandemic originated in a Chinese lab leak, and proceeded to fictionalize the response by former President Donald Trump to both the pandemic and Chinese leadership. Newsweek’s Ewan Palmer:

In a series of videos that have gained millions of views on Twitter, Raskin used his time during a meeting of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, which both lawmakers are part of, as well as the House floor on Tuesday to launch a series of attacks against Boebert…

Boebert, the indefatigable Donald Trump stan, tried to make the case that Trump had blamed the Chinese for the virus’ still-unknown origin from the beginning. But Rep. Raskin wasn’t having Boebert’s historical revisionism:

Raskin said there are two facts that she “should be alerted to” before trying to defend Trump with regards to how COVID broke out.

“One is that Donald Trump, on more than 20 different occasions defended the performance of Chinese government and specifically President Xi in terms of his treatment of COVID-19 and said he was doing a wonderful job and a great job and they were working closely and they were constantly in touch,” Raskin said. [Pols emphasis]

“So if there’s a problem with the Chinese government unleashing the virus—which has not been proven anywhere, but it certainly could be true—You would have to pin that on your favorite President Donald Trump, not on Joe Biden.”

“The second thing is President Trump’s own special adviser on COVID-19, Deborah Birx, said that the lethal recklessness of Donald Trump’s policies about COVID-19 cost Americans hundreds of thousands of lives.

During the State of the Union address last month, Rep. Boebert Tweeted in all caps “YOU CLOSED THEM” in response to Biden mentioning the closure of schools during the pandemic. The problem was of course that Trump was President when schools were ordered closed during the early vaccineless phase of the pandemic, and it was state officials who made those decisions in any event. Similarly, to praise Trump for blaming China for the pandemic ignores the long period in which he not only refused to do so but extolled Chinese authorities for their cooperation. Only later on the campaign trail did Trump begin to refer to COVID-19 as the “China virus” as a way of shirking blame for his own administration’s mishandling of the crisis.

After Raskin’s effortless dunking on Boebert in committee, the action moved to the House floor the next day, where Raskin schooled Boebert on her impish insistence on dropping the -ic from “Democratic,” and embraced Boebert’s expressed preference to be called “Ultra MAGA” over “MAGA extremist” with a smile–since either work fine for Democratic branding purposes. With Boebert’s higher profile this session resulting from her plum committee assignments–and above all, vulnerability that no one could count on until Boebert almost lost her seat last year–we expect to see Democrats crank up the pressure, publicly challenging Boebert’s easily-disproven falsehoods and forcing her to squirm under the bright lights. That’s the best way to turn Boebert’s higher profile within the GOP caucus into a liability ahead of her next election.

At some point, Boebert might even have to admit who was in charge when all that bad stuff happened.

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (March 1)

If it’s true that the month of March will come in like a lamb and out like a lion (or vice-versa), what do you make of today? Sort of a lamb/lion hybrid? 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.




Here’s a quick look at what’s happening in the Colorado legislature:

♦ House Bill 1215 is targeting excessive and opaque hospital facility fees.

♦ Lawmakers are working on strengthening “Equal Pay for Equal Work” legislation originally passed in 2019.

♦ Legislation to increase auto theft penalties advanced out of a State Senate committee.

♦ 9News reports on proposed legislation to help alleviate a teacher shortage in Colorado that educators say is worse than it has ever been.


 As The Denver Post reports, Colorado food banks are bracing for a rush in demand as some pandemic-era benefits come to an end:

Since March 2020, people who qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps, have received the maximum legal allotment for their household size. Starting Wednesday, the program will revert back to its previous formula, based on household income and certain expenses, such as rent and utilities.

The Colorado Department of Human Services estimated the average person receiving SNAP benefits in the state will lose about $90 in assistance per month, for a roughly $53 million monthly reduction overall. In January, monthly payments averaged about $538 per household in Colorado, and about 553,000 people in more than 291,000 households received food assistance.

The “emergency allotments” were supposed to expire when the federal public health emergency ends in May, but Congress opted to end them early. Nearly 30 million people nationwide will see their food assistance reduced this month. Eighteen states already reduced benefits, affecting about 10 million people.

It sure would have been nice if Congress had renewed Sen. Michael Bennet’schild tax credit” program.


Senator John Hickenlooper (D-Denver) today introduced Phil Washington at a confirmation hearing to become the next head of the Federal Aviation Administration. Washington is currently the CEO of Denver International Airport. Click here to view Hickenlooper’s full remarks. 

Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz is doing his best to get in the way.


Check out the latest episode of the Get More Smarter Podcast with hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii:

Click below to keep learning things…



Debate Diary: The Wacky Race for State Republican Party Chair

A free-ranging debate between six candidates for Colorado Republican Party chair last Saturday was sponsored by the Republican Women of Weld County, a group that does a pretty good job of wrangling Republican candidates for all sorts of different candidate forums. The moderators were Jesse Paul of The Colorado Sun and Ernest Luning of the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman. 

The venue was Ben’s Brick Oven Pizza in Hudson, Colorado, where about two dozen old white people gathered to hear the six candidates for State Republican Party Chair lay out whatever it is that they think can prevent the no-longer-slow death of the Colorado GOP following a 2022 election beatdown of epic proportions.

The candidates are:

♦ Erik Aadland, who ran for U.S. Senate on a platform of election denial in 2022 before switching horses to CO-07, where he was thoroughly dismantled by Democrat Brittany Pettersen.

♦ Casper Stockham, who ran for State GOP Chair in 2021 and lost. Stockham has also run (and failed to win) races in CO-01, CO-06, and CO-07 in recent years. Statistically-speaking, this might be Stockham’s year if only because you’d think he’d have to win something eventually. 

♦ Aaron Wood, who is fairly new to organized politics but is certain that everyone else, especially outgoing party chair Kristi Burton Brown, is doing it wrong.

♦ Tina Peters, the former Mesa County Clerk and Recorder who is a betting favorite to be in prison before the end of this year for a long list of alleged crimes related to breaking into her own election computers in an attempt to find the little ballot-eating smurfs that live inside the server. 

♦ Dave “Let’s Go Brandon” Willams, the far-right “edgelord” former State Representative from Colorado Springs who got his butt kicked by America’s least charismatic Rep. Doug Lamborn in a Republican primary for Congress last summer.

♦ Kevin Lundberg, a former State Representative and State Senator who has won more races himself than the rest of this field combined. Unfortunately for fans of sanity, Lundberg was a right-wing lunatic years before it was popular to be a right-wing lunatic–so it’s not like he’s bringing a different perspective to the race.

Let’s start with the obvious: there are no winners in this pack. As former State Republican Party Chair Dick Wadhams observed recently, “every one of these six candidates would drive the party into deeper oblivion with their conspiratorial, exclusionary and politically naïve agendas that are already repelling a rapidly changing Colorado electorate.”

As you’ll discover, every one of the candidates who participated in this debate proved Wadhams right.

Let’s get to it. Anything not included in direct quotes is paraphrased in the interest of time.


Neguse, Crow Top List of Most Effective Members of Congress

Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Boulderish)

We wrote last week about answering one of the bigger questions from the 2022 election cycle: Are Democrats in Colorado really a lot better than Republicans when it comes to both governing and campaigning, or are Republicans just THAT BAD? The answer, as we discussed, is simple: “Yes.”

Colorado Public Radio reports on another proof point in this regard:

Out of 435 U.S. House members, Colorado Rep. Joe Neguse came in top of the class for the 117th congress, at least when it came to getting bills signed into law, according to the website

The Boulder Democrat had 13 bills passed into law, either as stand-alone legislation or incorporated into larger packages, a record he said is reflective of a Colorado ethos of “rolling up our sleeves, finding ways to build bridges and work with people who might have a different worldview than your own to get things done.”

Neguse added he’s made it a priority to deliver results for the communities he represents, “so that means to me finding ways to get bills across the finish line, onto the president’s desk, [and] to pass laws that ultimately are going to have an impact on people’s lives here at home.”

Colorado Democrats are working hard on governing. Colorado Republicans are…doing other things. Congressman Joe Neguse (D-Boulderish) was responsible for the most success in enacting legislation, but Rep. Jason Crow (D-Aurora) was not far behind.

Here’s how Colorado’s Congressional delegation stacked up in the 117th Congress (2021-22) in terms of “legislation enacted” via

Legislation signed into law by sponsor for 117th Congress (2021-22).


There are a lot of other interesting numbers in the analysis…


Missed Votes

This is a good marker of the degree in which a Member of Congress is living up to the bare minimum of their job responsibilities. Colorado Republicans missed the majority of votes among the state’s Congressional delegation, topped by Rep. Ken Buck (R-Greeley); Buck ranked #29 for the largest percentage of votes missed in the 117th Congress (5.5%). Congressperson Lauren Boebert (R-ifle) ranked #102 (2.4%), and Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs) checked in at #126 (2.0%).

None of the Democratic members of Colorado’s delegation missed even 1% of the total votes in the 117th Congress. Neguse led the way on that metric by missing just 0.1% of all votes.


Bills Introduced

Rep. Lauren Boebert is (probably) #1 in Tweets and near the top in Angertainment, but otherwise proved fairly useless in the last Congress.

Both Neguse (#3, 99 bills) and Crow (#24, 54 bills) ranked in the top quarter of all Members of Congress in terms of number of bills introduced. Boebert checked in at #62 with 41 bills introduced, many of which were silly resolutions attacking President Biden for one thing or another.

The rest of Colorado’s delegation rounds out thusly: Buck (#194, 25 bills); Rep. Ed Perlmutter (274, 18 bills); Rep. Diana DeGette (#303, 16 bills); and at his typical position in the rear, Lamborn (#350, 12 bills).


Bills Passed Out of Commitee

Neguse leads the way here (#5, 20 bills), followed by Crow (#23, 11 bills); Perlmutter (#75, 6 bills); and Lamborn (#93, 5 bills). DeGette and Buck tied at #183, with 3 bills each making it out of committee. Boebert tied for #379 by failing to see a single piece of legislation advance out of a committee hearing. 


Click here to check out the complete report card for the 117th Congress.

Sabato’s Crystal Ball Pegs Colorado’s Top 2024 Races

Lauren Boebert sweating potential defeat on Election Night 2022.

In the battle for the U.S. House majority in 2024, political prognosticator of record Larry Sabato says the initial landscape is a tossup–an easy call to make in a chamber where a tiny majority flipping between the sides is the general rule. Major unknown variables in the presidential race make hard predictions more than a year and a half out from the election speculative at best. But in Colorado, Sabato has the two most competitive congressional races “leaning” toward the incumbents:

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R, CO-3), an in-your-face conservative who only barely won in a clearly GOP-leaning district in western Colorado, has not moderated her behavior at all in the aftermath of her near-loss. [Pols emphasis] But observers on both sides of the aisle think she should be favored anyway because a more engaged and larger 2024 presidential electorate could help her stabilize her vote. This is something we sometimes hear from operatives: Near-miss upsets can occur precisely because a race isn’t heavily engaged with national money, perhaps lulling an incumbent (and maybe even voters themselves) into a false sense of security…

In the respective Leans columns, we gave the benefit of the doubt to a handful of incumbents, including Reps. Don Bacon (R, NE-2) and Tom Kean Jr. (R, NJ-7) on the GOP side and Reps. Yadira Caraveo (D, CO-8) and Gabe Vasquez (D, NM-2) on the Democratic. The former pair will likely have to create some distance between themselves and the GOP presidential nominee in their blue-trending districts, but Bacon has shown the ability to do that and Kean may be able to after knocking off Tom Malinowski (D) last cycle. Caraveo and Vasquez overcame a tricky political environment to each snatch surprising albeit narrow victories. With Democrats likely to carry their districts for president again, we give them an edge to start. [Pols emphasis]

Rep. Yadira Caraveo (D).

Although both Democratic CD-8 Rep. Yadira Caraveo and CD-3 Rep. Lauren Boebert are in districts Sabato considers leaning toward their respective parties, there’s a very big difference between Caraveo’s strength in her closely divided district versus Boebert’s struggles in an ostensibly R+9 partisan leaning CD-3. Boebert has underperformed relative to the district’s partisan breakdown in two consecutive general elections, effectively negating the district’s built-in GOP advantage in the 2022 election decided by only 546 votes. When Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene says Boebert doesn’t have the support in her own district to engage in shenanigans like the scrambling of Kevin McCarthy’s confirmation, this is what she’s talking about.

As for the effect the presidential race in 2024 will have on these down-ballot contests, we’re inclined to agree that Caraveo will be helped by the Democratic presidential leanings in her district. The much greater potential for divisive chaos in the Republican presidential primary–assuming the resurgent Joe “Dark Brandon” Biden runs again as expected–makes predicting the impact of that race on Boebert’s future much more difficult. What we can say is that Boebert’s continuing vulnerability requires a bigger investment than Republicans should have to make to hold this seat. It’s up to not just Boebert’s constituents but also Republican donors to decide whether what they get back from Boebert is worth the investment.

Two races with similar ratings, but under the hood very different dynamics at work.

Biden Rides High While “Luhansk Lauren” Comforts Putin

President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv Monday.

CNN’s Kevin Liptak reports on the aftermath of President Joe Biden’s whirlwind tour of Eastern Europe over the weekend, which included as we discussed yesterday a side trip to Kyiv to visit Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky–and reaffirm the United States’ commitment to helping Ukraine defend itself from Russian aggression that began almost exactly one year ago:

The 72 hours Biden spent on the ground in Ukraine and Poland have been among the most momentous of his presidency, [Pols emphasis] the culmination both of careful, highly secretive planning by White House aides and the president’s singular, decades-held view of America’s role in the world…

“President Putin chose this war,” he declared. “Every day the war continues is his choice. He could end the war with a word.”

A few hours earlier and several hundred miles away, Putin was delivering his own important speech to political and military elite, offering a dramatically different narrative of the war as he accused the West of turning Ukraine into a global confrontation.

The differences between the two speeches were stark, both in content and character. Biden was introduced in Warsaw to a pulsing pop anthem; Putin seemed to put some members of his audience to sleep with his hour-and-45-minute address. On Wednesday, Biden said it was a “big mistake” for Putin to announce that he was suspending his country’s participation in the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty.

The war in Ukraine was never supposed to last as long as it has, and the denial of a quick victory by Ukraine’s stout defense of their country has forced Russia into a devastating war of attrition accompanied by punishing economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation from most of the rest of the world. Western material support for Ukraine in the form of superior weapons and training has made the difference in frustrating the designs of the increasingly erratic Russian President Vladimir Putin.

All told it’s a bleak situation for Russia, who badly miscalculated both their own military capabilities and the resolve of the West to defend the independence of free nations on former Soviet territory. One of the only bright spots left for Putin’s Russia as the war in Ukraine enters its second year? A small faction of Republicans in the United States Congress who claim without evidence their objective is to Make America Great Again:

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R) featured on Russian state television last year.

Much like the small number of Republicans who also happened to be led by Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida and Lauren Boebert of Florida Colorado turned the vote for Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House into an agonizing spectacle of party disunity, Gaetz and Boebert are the face of the 11-member “Ukraine Fatigue” caucus, which is a brand lifted straight from the Russian web brigades. The stand against McCarthy that dwindled down to only Boebert and Gaetz versus the entire exasperated rest of the Republican caucus proved the extent to which their pointless contrarianism could do real damage to their own supposed friends.

Now, they’re giving aid and comfort to what everybody but these 11 members considers to be the enemy:

Sputnik News couldn’t have said it better, except for the small issue that they’ve been kicked off of most Western media networks for being state-owned Russian propaganda mills! If you still want to hear the Russian perspective on the news it’s very easy to find, of course. Whether by common interest or other established channels, Boebert has been repeating Russian talking points since the war in Ukraine began. Given the tiny faction of representatives pushing the idea of “Ukraine Fatigue” in Congress, in effect seeking to punish Ukraine for not losing fast enough, Boebert’s constituents have a right to ask why she’s a part of this fight at all, so far removed from the issues affecting her district–and more importantly, what the endgame is.

There used to be consequences for failing to “leave politics at the water’s edge.” More often than not, especially during the Cold War, it was Republicans who enforced them.

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (Feb. 22)

It’s cold and snowy in much of Colorado, but a massive winter storm sweeping across the United States will focus most of its wrath on the northernmost states. 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.




School districts across the state are dealing today with multiple “swatting” incidents. As The Denver Post explains:

Four more unconfirmed incidents are being reported at Colorado high schools after an unconfirmed report of an active shooter was made at Boulder High School and an “unknown incident” happened near Aspen Schools.

So far, police have not found any victims at any of the schools, and almost all the schools have been cleared of any threat.

Schools in Brighton, Canon City, and Alamosa were among those dealing with “swatting” calls today. “Swatting” is the act of making a “prank” call to emergency services in an attempt to force the dispatch of a large number of armed police officers to a particular address.


A handful of local elections across the country are making political pundits wonder if a strong performance by Democrats in 2022 is a trend that could continue into 2024:


The Washington Post reports on perhaps the most important of these races: The battle for a Supreme Court seat in Wisconsin:

In a race that will determine whether liberals or conservatives control the Wisconsin Supreme Court when it considers the future of the state’s abortion ban, voters narrowed the field to two candidates in a Tuesday primary.

The winners now begin a 42-day sprint to an April 4 general election that is sure to see record spending. If liberals take over the court for the first time in 14 years, they are expected to reverse some GOP policies and could revisit election maps that have given Republicans huge margins in the state legislature.

Milwaukee County Judge Janet Protasiewicz will represent the Democrats in the runoff election, while a bitter fight on the Republican side saw Daniel Kelly emerge as the Republican choice. The election is technically “nonpartisan,” but that doesn’t make it any less of a partisan fight. Democrats are optimistic about winning the runoff election given that the Democrats in the race combined to collect more than 50% of the total votes cast.

For more on all of  these races, check out


The reason that Democrats appear to be continuing their 2022 success is twofold: Democratic candidates and campaigns are pretty good, and Republican candidates and campaigns are really awful. 


Colorado Democrats have unveiled a couple of gun safety proposals. First, as Nick Coltrain reports for The Denver Post:

A proposal to limit all firearm purchases and possession to people 21 and older — including rifles and shotguns — will be the first in a slate of bills Democrats hope will curb gun violence in the state…

…According to the Giffords Law Center, there was a 61% increase in gun suicides among minors between 2011 and 2020 and 18- to 20-year-olds being 17% of known homicide offenders despite being 4% of the general population chief among them. The Giffords Law Center advocates for more stringent gun laws and is named for former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, who was shot in the head at an event.

The Colorado Sun, meanwhile, reports on legislation to enact a three-day waiting period for gun purchases.

This week Democrats will introduce a bill that would enact a three-day waiting period between when someone purchases a gun and when they can access the weapon, mirroring policies that have been adopted in other states.

“It’s giving people the opportunity to take a breath,” said Sen. Tom Sullivan, a Centennial Democrat whose son, Alex, was murdered in the 2012 Aurora theater shooting and who will be a lead sponsor of the legislation. “We know that when people decide to kill themselves with a firearm, sometimes they spend less than 20 minutes making that decision.


Check out the latest episode of the Get More Smarter Podcast, featuring an interview with former Fox 31 reporters and current POLITICO White House Correspondent Eli Stokols:


Click below to keep learning things…



Adam Frisch Raises $500k in Three Days for Boebert Rematch

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Adam Frisch (center) flanked by Boebert’s primary challenger state Sen. Don Coram, and Frisch’s son.

Adam Frisch, the Democrat who came within 546 votes of making Lauren Boebert a one-term Congresswoman, announced an eye-popping fundraising haul of over half a million dollars… since Tuesday, when he announced his intent to run again next year.

As a blue wave rolled across Colorado last November, its high water mark surprised even the most partisan Democratic cheerleaders: the Third Congressional District, a longtime Republican stronghold and newly claimed home of Colorado’s controversial conservative bomb-thrower.

“The outpouring of support we have received this week is a testament to the fact that people in this district and across the nation are ready for Boebert’s angertainment circus to stop,” said Frisch. “The people of Western and Southern Colorado deserve a leader who will focus on the needs of the district to protect our water, create jobs, and achieve energy independence – not one like Boebert who is only focused on herself. I’m more confident than ever that we will defeat Rep. Boebert in 2024.”

The campaign notes it received donations from all 27 counties in CD3 as well as all 50 states.


Rematch: Adam Frisch Will Challenge Boebert In 2024

Once and future CD-3 Democratic candidate Adam Frisch.

That’s the big news today via the Colorado Sun’s Jesse Paul:

Democrat Adam Frisch, a former Aspen city councilman who narrowly lost his bid in November to unseat Republican U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, will run again to represent the 3rd Congressional District in 2024.

“November’s election results show us that Boebert is weak and will be defeated, which is why I have decided to launch my 2024 congressional campaign,” Frisch said in a written statement.

Frisch had already filed paperwork with the Federal Elections Commission to run against Boebert next year. His formal campaign announcement kicks off what’s likely to be one of the nation’s most closely watched congressional contests.

After Adam Frisch’s unexpectedly strong showing against GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert in last November elections, forcing a mandatory recount under state law before Frisch graciously conceded the race, this is a rematch that was fully expected unless Frisch himself opted against it. Since narrowly prevailing over Frisch, Boebert has shown absolutely no sign of changing course to help her perform better in a district that on paper shouldn’t be competitive. Rep. Boebert’s reputation as a “team player” in the GOP caucus despite her immoderate rhetoric was severely damaged during her failed attempt to prevent Kevin McCarthy from becoming Speaker of the House. Boebert’s ongoing public rivalry with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, whose R+22 district is immeasurably more tolerant of far-right whackadoodlery, shows that Boebert still doesn’t understand her own vulnerability.

Even with Boebert unable to get out of her own way, Frisch will still face the challenges he faced–and again, nearly overcame–in 2022. Will the presidential election year help boost Frisch beyond his groundbreaking performance last year? How might the GOP’s expected presidential primary bloodbath affect Boebert’s own campaign? And how much are national Republicans prepared to spend to prop up Boebert in a race Republicans shouldn’t have to worry about?

Lots of moving parts, but the one thing we know for sure is that just a few months ago, Adam Frisch came within 546 votes of making a loser of Lauren Boebert. For that alone, Frisch has earned the right to try again.

Podcast: Please Stop Yelling at the SOTU (feat. Christy Powell)

It’s her.

This week on the Get More Smarter Podcast, the State of our Union is….WEIRD. Ian Silverii back from the worst seats in the House Gallery because Jason Bane wasn’t invited.

Later, the great Christy Powell joins us with a new game where we try and explain the inexplicable, for prizes (metaphorical ones). Overtly racist pro-claymore mine lobby Rocky Mountain Gun Owners flies its overtly-racist flag. There is still no bottom with Representative Scott Bottoms. And our 8th favorite member of Congress from Colorado, Lauren Boebert, has some loud thoughts about WHO TURNED OFF MY TWITTER MACHINE???

Listen to previous episodes of The Get More Smarter Podcast at

Questions? Comments? Complaints? Let us have it at Or send emails to or

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Lauren Boebert Goes Back To The Circus

While Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene arrived at this week’s State of the Union address wearing a bulky white Chinese balloon-style costume and loudly heckled President Joe Biden throughout the event, Greene’s rival and fellow sophomore outrage condenser Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado made her biggest splash on Twitter with the following now-infamous but as-yet undeleted moment of ludicrousness:

Lauren Boebert sweating potential defeat on Election Night 2022.

We expect our astute readers to instantly recognize that this accusation is false, since it was governors and not presidents who made the decision to close schools during the early vaccineless phases of the COVID-19 pandemic–and that doesn’t matter anyway, since Donald Trump was President of the United States when the schools closed, not Joe Biden. Boebert wasn’t just a little bit wrong in this case, and her mindless poo-flinging betrayed a much deeper ignorance than even most Democrats would have presumed.

After barely surviving a re-election campaign she was supposed to win easily and promising afterward to “turn down the temperature” after two years as one of the most visible, least productive members of Congress, since returning to Congress in January Rep. Boebert has shown no sign whatsoever of changing course. Boebert’s calamitous stand against now-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy resulted in MTG severing any remaining public pretense of friendship. But as the Independent’s John Bowden reports, that didn’t stop the two from making themselves the “Q-some Twosome” stars of this week’s hearing of the House Oversight Committee, devoted to uncovering alleged censorship at Twitter before Elon Musk took over:

Reps Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert fumed about supposed shadow bans and censorship of conservatives, which Twitter executives have long denied ever occurred. Ms Greene, in particular, was so incensed that she ranted about how she would not let Twitter’s former head of safety, Yoel Roth, respond to her questions (thereby making it unclear why a hearing was necessary at all)…

Ms Boebert…used her question time to harrangue Mr Roth about whether he personally authorised the “shadowbanning” of her account, @LaurenBoebert; Mr Roth repeatedly stated that he did not, though Ms Boebert would insist otherwise while growing visibly emotional and claiming that “Twitter staff” had informed her “last night” that he had done so.

All in all, it was a chaotic mess that exemplified the tumultuous start of the 118th Congress, which took more than a dozen tries to elect a Speaker of the House and was widely mocked this week in the media and online after Ms Greene and others caused disruptions during the president’s State of the Union address.

After which Boebert more or less went off the deep end of nuttery:

So everyone’s clear, the “poll” Boebert is misquoting is a joke–and as for Boebert’s suggestion that Wednedsay’s Twitter issues were a conspiracy, Musk has had enough problems keeping the lights on that we’d hesitate to go there without very good evidence.

At this point, it doesn’t matter if MTG and Boebert are friends or blood rivals. The competition between these two bombastic figures to occupy the outer limits of the far right of the Republican Party is just another factor preventing Boebert from “turning down the temperature,” not that she would be inclined anyway. Whether it’s Boebert’s messianic conviction about her election to Congress or a simple inability to recognize self-injurious behavior, Boebert is freshly proving her inability to become less of a risk in a district Republicans shouldn’t have to worry about.

From county party turmoil to the halls of Congress, chaos reigns in today’s GOP.

In Colorado, Boebert remains the face at the top of the pile.

Boebert: Speaker McCarthy Is Just Another Demon

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-SATAN).

The Washington Post’s Amy Wang reports via Twitter ubertracker PatriotTakes on Colorado GOP trainwreck por vida Rep. Lauren Boebert, on a speaking tour this past weekend in Dallas–and if you were wondering how Boebert has been processing the battle over now-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s ascension to the post, a battle Boebert lost after fourteen rounds of voting left her and Rep. Matt “Giggity” Gaetz as the last desperate holdouts, Boebert has a lot to say.

Nothing we expect Speaker McCarthy will be pleased to hear, however:

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) suggested that God used her to stand up to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), whom she indirectly referred to as one of her “demons,” while speaking at a women’s conference at a Dallas church over the weekend.

“Ladies … God is using you in mighty ways,” she told a crowd of what appeared to be mostly women, according to clips of her remarks posted by PatriotTakes, a liberal PAC. Boebert was a featured speaker at the SALT Conference at Storehouse Dallas, which aims to provide “spiritual and leadership training to equip an army of women to awaken culture with the truth and love of Jesus.”

“Maybe he’ll have you ball up your fists and stand in front of some demons — maybe a speaker of the House?” Boebert added, to laughter and a standing ovation from those in the audience. [Pols emphasis]

Full stop. Did Rep. Boebert just call Speaker McCarthy a demon? As in an actual according-to-Hoyle Dr. Chapscertified servant of the dark lord himself?

After some of the laughter died down, Boebert joked that she had also stood up to former House speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), “so nobody knows what I really meant there, for the record, when they try to put this in print.”

To be fair, nobody knows what Boebert means at least 20% of the time she speaks. But in this case, we think there was no mistaking in that venue with that audience who Boebert was calling a “demon.” They all certainly agreed with Boebert’s description in the case of Nancy Pelosi, but it was “standing in front of” McCarthy that earned Boebert the standing ovation.

Speaker McCarthy has by all accounts been good to his word regarding the sweeping concessions he made to the far right to buy off opposition–and critically in Boebert’s case, to refrain from retaliation against the engineers of McCarthy’s embarrassing confirmation fight. But one has to wonder how long that largesse can last with Boebert running around the country framing fellow Republican Speaker McCarthy as her demonic opponent.

Neither Jesus nor Ronald Reagan would approve.

The Circle of Strife: Republicans Set Sail in Separate Leaky Boats

MONDAY UPDATE: Republicans in Jefferson County are having their own set of problems, as this Facebook post explains:


UPDATE: Going great!


[Pols Note: This is Part Two of a three-part series]

Oh Captains, My Captains!

In part one of “The Circle of Strife,” we covered the ongoing feud between the El Paso County Republican Party and the State Republican Party. On Tuesday evening, the State GOP voted by a 139-123.8 margin (yes, 123.8) to allow a neutral group of observers to oversee the Feb. 11 election for new officers in El Paso County. The reason for this unprecedented vote is because of concerns that two-term El Paso Chair Vickie Tonkins (who is also seeking re-election) is trying to rig the election in her favor. 

This is not a new accusation – similar charges were made when Tonkins was re-elected in 2021 – but the El Paso GOP is so mad about being bigfooted by its statewide siblings that it filed a lawsuit against the State Party to stop the influence of a “neutral group of observers.” Meanwhile, accusations of election interference are also being made in Adams County regarding Chairperson JoAnn Windholz

While these battles are fascinating on their own, they are also part of a longer trend for Colorado Republicans that goes back more than a decade. It isn’t the GOP’s neverending circular firing squad that is solely responsible for recent election losses; but when you understand the history of these conflicts, it’s easy to wonder how Republicans even have the time or energy to worry about Democrats.

The timeline we reconstructed below begins in January 2019, but Republican leadership problems go much further back. For instance, the “Coffmangate” scandal of 2015 was as wild and ridiculous as anything Colorado Republicans have done since. The short version of “Coffmangate” is that a handful of powerful Republicans – including then-Attorney General Cynthia Coffman – attempted to overthrow State Republican Party Chair Steve House just three months after his election to the post. The scandal included some pretty believable stories of blackmail, which made it national news throughout the summer of 2015.

January 2019 was a pivotal time for the State Republican Party. The 2018 election had been devastating to Republicans both because of the results and because of the shattering of expectations that had grown after Donald Trump’s Presidential election in 2016. Democrat Jared Polis trounced Republican Walker Stapleton in the race for Governor by nearly 11 points; Democrats won all four statewide constitutional offices for the first time in modern history; Republicans lost six seats in the state legislature; and Democratic newcomer Jason Crow ousted longtime Republican Rep. Mike Coffman in CO-06 by an 11-point margin.

The 2022 election was dubbed by one Republican as “an extinction-level event.”

Then-State GOP Chair Jeff Hays was wrapping up a disappointing two-year term by promising not to seek re-election. Colorado Republicans SHOULD have been introspective about their 2018 performance and looking to chart a different path forward ahead of the 2020 election cycle, where they would be trying to re-elect the last remaining well-known Republican in Colorado (Sen. Cory Gardner). Instead, the GOP went with a new leader who only worked at the job of Chair when he had time away from his regular job of serving in Congress. Naturally, a part-time effort generated half-assed results. 

In May 2020, we chronicled Rep. Ken Buck’s disastrous first year as State Chair. In that same spirit, here’s a broader timeline of the many, many, many Republican missteps that brought them to their current “Circle of Strife.” 

As you’ll see below, there is one consistent commonality among all of the personalities involved with the Colorado Republican Party: Regret, rinse, and repeat. Republican leaders keep making the same mistakes by appealing to the right-wing for short-term gains and then finding themselves flummoxed when that same group creates a whole new batch of problems.



Boebert Tells Us How She Really Feels About January 6th

As NBC News reports, the first hearing of the GOP-controlled U.S. House Natural Resources Committee took place yesterday, where the first order of business was an amendment to the committee rules aimed squarely at GOP outrage magnet Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado. Readers will recall that in 2021, then-freshman Rep. Boebert raised eyebrows over a comically awkward stack of guns propped up behind her for a remote meeting of the same committee. 2023’s in-person session kicked off with a similar Boebert-centric spectacle:

The House Natural Resources Committee’s first meeting of the year turned heated Wednesday when a Democratic member offered an amendment that would prohibit lawmakers from carrying guns in its hearing room.

The amendment failed, but not before Boebert had a characteristic moment of pique. After all, she’s the representative who promised to “carry her Glock to Congress.”

“With threats against members of Congress at an all-time high, now is not the time to be stripping members of our constitutional right to defend ourselves,” Boebert said before she recounted several incidents of violence in the Capitol and against lawmakers over the years…

A list that contained one telling omission:

Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., who recently launched a Senate bid, noted Wednesday that Boebert’s list of incidents against lawmakers omitted the riot on Jan. 6, 2021.

Omitted as readers know due to Boebert’s personal role in the events of January 6th, 2021, exhorting her followers on social media that “Today is 1776” and cheering on the rioters outside the capitol in a floor speech just moments before they stormed the building. Yesterday, thanks to Rep. Ruben Gallego, Boebert had a perfect opportunity to redeem herself and repudiate the political violence of January 6, 2021 once and for all.

You already know that didn’t happen.

“Yes, it was awful when Ashli Babbitt was murdered,” Boebert snapped back, [Pols emphasis] referring to a rioter who was shot by a Capitol Police officer as she tried to get through a door leading to where members of Congress were being evacuated.

“And you don’t care about the 100 police officers” who were injured in the attack, Gallego replied.

Boebert went on to explain that the real problem on January 6th is that she wasn’t allowed to carry her weapon at the Capitol, which is very odd indeed since the rioters who stormed the Capitol were on Boebert’s side, and presumably wouldn’t have targeted her in any way. In every other respect Boebert simply effaces the violence on January 6th by focusing exclusively on the death of one of the rioters–killed while ostensibly trying to defend Boebert–instead of the riot itself. It’s reasonable to conclude from this that Boebert believes Ashli Babbitt’s death is the only bad thing that happened on January 6th.

That’s probably not what Boebert will say when asked with any preparation.

But it’s in moments of confrontation like these when how one really feels slips out.

Boebert Silent While Durham Shamvestigation Crumbles

Former Attorney General William Barr.

In 2019, Attorney General William Barr appointed prosecutor John Durham to lead an investigation much desired by then-President Donald Trump, tasked with proving that the Justice Department’s inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election to demoralize Democrats and boost Trump was itself the product of a “Deep State” conspiracy by “Never Trumper” federal officials egged on by Democrats. While Trump has been beset since leaving office by investigations into his role in the violence on January 6th, Trump’s business empire found guilty of criminal tax fraud, and the possibility looming of charges against Trump personally, MAGA loyalists like Rep. Lauren Boebert clung to the Durham inquiry as their impending counterstroke that would “whatabout” everything back into perspective.

But as the New York Times reported a few days ago, the Durham probe has itself become the closest thing to “Deep State” treachery Democrats are accused of in the “Russiagate” investigation that has been proven to actually exist:

Egged on by Mr. Trump, Attorney General William P. Barr set out in 2019 to dig into their shared theory that the Russia investigation likely stemmed from a conspiracy by intelligence or law enforcement agencies. To lead the inquiry, Mr. Barr turned to a hard-nosed prosecutor named John H. Durham, and later granted him special counsel status to carry on after Mr. Trump left office.

But after almost four years — far longer than the Russia investigation itself — Mr. Durham’s work is coming to an end without uncovering anything like the deep state plot alleged by Mr. Trump and suspected by Mr. Barr. [Pols emphasis]

Moreover, a monthslong review by The New York Times found that the main thrust of the Durham inquiry was marked by some of the very same flaws — including a strained justification for opening it and its role in fueling partisan conspiracy theories that would never be charged in court — that Trump allies claim characterized the Russia investigation.

Not only has Durham’s investigation failed to uncover evidence that federal law enforcement officials conspired to persecute Trump over Russia’s admitted efforts to interfere with the 2016 elections on Trump’s behalf, Durham appears to have been presented with further evidence of unrelated criminal activity by Trump–evidence that Durham appears to have never followed up on. Durham lost the only court case brought to trial under the original scope of his investigation, and despite constant hype of shocking revelations just around the corner from Barr then regurgitated by Boebert and other MAGA-bubble distribution channels, there is no dramatic finale coming.

Back in the spring of 2021, Rep. Boebert was so confident that the Durham investigation was going to collect heads, she told an audience in Delta there was a good possibility that Republicans would retake Congress before the 2022 midterm elections:

This is my opinion with that information that I have. I believe we’ll see resignations begin to take place and I think we can take back the majority in the House and the Senate before 2022.

That never happened, and now the Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate has the duty of (stay with us) investigating the Durham investigation of the “Russiagate” investigation. The thing to keep in mind, and of course the thing partisans can never agree upon in the moment, is that not all investigations are created equal. Some are based on evidence, others in pursuit of their own confirmation bias. Still others are simply meant as a distraction from the inquiries that matter. On the House Oversight Committee, Rep. Lauren Boebert is set to be one of the principal mouthpieces of the next two years of tit-for-tat retaliatory investigations of the Biden administration.

If you believed Boebert’s hype about the Durham investigation, you’re about to be sorely disappointed.

In a perfect world, that would make it harder to believe Boebert next time.

Get More Smarter on Tuesday (Jan. 31)

Today is the last day of January, which means you no longer have an excuse for writing “2022” instead of “2023.” 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.




Western states are agreeing to voluntary reductions in use from the Colorado River…except for California, that is. From The Associated Press:

Six western states that rely on water from the Colorado River have agreed on a model to dramatically cut their use, months after the federal government called for action and an initial deadline passed.

California — with the largest allocation of water from the river — is the lone holdout.

The Colorado River and its tributaries pass through seven states and into Mexico, serving 40 million people and a $5 billion-a-year agricultural industry. Some of the largest cities in the country, including Los Angeles, Phoenix, Denver and Las Vegas, two Mexican states, Native American tribes and others depend on the river that’s been severely stressed by drought, demand and overuse.

As The Washington Post adds:

California has so far offered to reduce just 400,000 acre feet. An acre foot is 326,000 gallons, or enough to cover an acre in water one foot deep. JB Hamby, chair of the Colorado River Board of California, told the Associated Press in a statement that the state “remains focused on practical solutions that can be implemented now to protect volumes of water in storage without driving conflict and litigation” and will submit its own plan.

Officials say serious action is needed to prevent the Colorado River from running out of river.


Here’s a look at what’s happening at the state legislature this week:

♦ Democratic lawmakers want a better picture of how much money Uber and Lyft drivers are actually making for their efforts. This is part of a broader effort to better regulate ride-sharing and food-delivery companies that benefit from local labor.

♦ Lawmakers are considering a bill to make all auto thefts in Colorado a felony, regardless of the value of the vehicle.

♦ Marianne Goodland looks at gun safety proposals in a story for the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman.

♦ Denver7 reports on legislation to give physician assistants more leeway in treating patients directly.

♦ Democrats want to make it easier for concertgoers to find tickets to their favorite shows without having to fight the automated bots that snap up the best seats as soon as tickets become available.


The Congressman who claims to be named “George Santos” is stepping aside from his House committee assignments in order to focus on inventing a new story about himself as he deals with numerous ethical issues. From The Associated Press:

Santos told GOP colleagues Tuesday he is temporarily stepping down from his two congressional committees, a move that comes amid a host of ethics issues and a day after he met with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

Santos has faced numerous calls for his resignation and is facing multiple investigations by prosecutors over his personal and campaign finances and lies about his resume and family background.

Santos was assigned to two fairly low-profile panels, the House Committee on Small Business and to the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee.

The latest problem for Santos, as Mother Jones reports, is that many of his top campaign donors don’t appear to be real people:



Check out the latest episode of the Get More Smarter Podcast, featuring an interview with former Republican operative (and now journalist) Tim Miller:


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