Yet Another Sad Trombone for Heidi Ganahl

Re-enactment of Heidi Ganahl’s Q4 fundraising period.

As readers of this blog are well aware, we have regularly labeled the gubernatorial campaign of Republican Hiedi Heidi Ganahl as the worst campaign for governor in the entire country. For her part, Ganahl has been very helpful in cementing that argument through her own campaign #FAILs.

Ganahl’s gubernatorial campaign quietly filed its Q4 2021 fundraising report over the weekend. We say “quietly” because we wouldn’t want anybody to know these numbers, either.

In the last three months of 2021, Ganahl raised $267,000 and wrote herself a check for $200,000, leaving her fledgling campaign with $351,430 in the bank to start 2022.

If you’re wondering how these numbers compare to previous Republican candidates for governor — none of whom were ultimately elected to the position — we did the research for you.

It’s not good.

 

We include Dan Maes here because he did (improbably) go on to win the Republican Party nomination for governor after Scott McInnis imploded in a plagiarism scandal. Other than Maes, however, no legitimate Republican candidate for governor has started an election year in the last decade-plus with less money in the bank than Ganahl. And it’s not like fundraising dollars are being split among multiple Republican candidates in 2022. Ganahl is bombing despite being the clear frontrunner for the GOP nomination.

The only thing that saved Ganahl from a Maes-like fundraising quarter is her own $200,000 contribution to the campaign. Ganahl burned through $239,000 in Q4, largely to pay salaries and fees for various consultants. Had she not written herself that check, she would have only added $28,224 to her campaign coffers in the final months of 2021.

Perhaps Ganahl is able and/or willing to self-fund her campaign to the tune of many millions of dollars. If not, there is no realistic scenario whereby she ends up being the next governor of Colorado.

Get More Smarter on Thursday (Jan. 13)

Governor Jared Polis delivers his “State of the State” speech today. In Iowa, they call it the “Condition of the State.” See, you’re already More Smarter. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of an audio learner, check out The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

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

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

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

 

 

The Denver Post updates on the first day of Colorado’s legislative session, which (as always) was mostly about the speechifying:

Colorado’s 2022 legislative session started Wednesday under the shadow of a still critical pandemic, and with party leaders primed to spend months debating how to apportion a historically flush state budget, and make the state safer and more affordable.

The parties identify many of the same pressing problems, but present largely opposing ideas to address them. For the fourth straight year, however, Democrats control both the state House and Senate, plus the governor’s office, so they can always claim final say if they want it.

It’s evident once again that the COVID-19 pandemic is one subject area with little common ground. The politicization of the pandemic was clear as Democrats in both chambers donned masks and all but a couple of Republicans did not. Health care workers administered rapid virus tests outside the Capitol, and guests — unlike lawmakers — were required to mask up indoors. However, partitions between lawmakers’ desks that were taken down at the end of last year’s session did not go back up.

“Health care and public health will continue to guide many of the decisions we make in this building,” House Speaker Alec Garnett of Denver said. “Despite our exhaustion and fatigue, COVID has not relented yet.”

As the Post points out, this will be the last legislative session for many familiar names who are term-limited in 2022, including House Speaker Alec Garnett, House Majority Leader Daneya Esgar, Senate President Leroy Garcia, and Senate Minority Leader Chris Holbert.

Elsewhere, 9News previews today’s “State of the State” speech from Gov. Jared Polis.

 

As The Washington Post reports, Arizona Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema once again confirmed that the United States Senate is dumb:

Democrats’ hopes of finally pushing through voting rights legislation after months of Republican opposition appeared to be fatally wounded Thursday after Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) announced she would not support changing Senate rules that have long allowed a minority of senators to block legislation.

Sinema’s position, outlined in a midday floor speech, echoed her previous public statements where she defended the filibuster, the Senate’s 60-vote supermajority rule, as a tool to facilitate bipartisan cooperation and guard against wild swings in federal policy.

But the circumstances in which she reiterated it — as Senate Democratic leaders prepared to launch a decisive floor debate and less than an hour before President Biden was scheduled to arrive on Capitol Hill to deliver a final, forceful appeal for action — put an exclamation point on her party’s long and fruitless effort to counter restrictive Republican-passed state voting laws.

“While I continue to support these bills, I will not support separate actions that worsen the underlying disease of division infecting our country,” Sinema said.

What, exactly, is Sinema’s suggestion instead? We’ll let you know when we hear it. But at least West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin approves!

 

Grocery workers at King Soopers stores in Colorado are on strike after failing to reach agreement on fixing what the employees call “unfair labor practices.” As Axios Denver reports, the picketing could go on for several weeks at minimum. 

 

The case of Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters and her efforts to tamper with voting equipment following the 2020 election is headed to a grand jury. And, as The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel’s Charles Ashby reports:

Peters rejected the state’s offer of a settlement agreement that would allow her access back into her own Elections Division, but only under strict supervision.

Peters said in a press release Wednesday that the “deal” the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office offered her wasn’t much of a deal, in part, because it called for her to repudiate some of her statements about election integrity.

 

Senator Michael Bennet (D-Denver) continues to raise big bucks in his bid for re-election. As Ernest Luning reports for the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman:

Bennet raked in more than $2.1 million in the final three months of 2021, surpassing the Colorado Democrat’s own record for an off-year quarterly haul and boosting his re-election war chest to more than $4.7 million, his campaign said Wednesday.

The sum brings Bennet’s fundraising total for the 2022 midterm cycle to roughly $8.7 million as the primary field of his potential Republican challengers is still taking shape.

Meanwhile, Republican candidate/aspiring motivational speaker Gino Campana reported about $950,000 in receipts for Q4 — $500,000 of which came from himself.

 

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Heidi Ganahl “Kicking Off” Campaign for Governor (Again)

This time, it’s really, really personal!

We’ve written over and over again in this space that Republican Hiedi Heidi Ganahl is running the worst gubernatorial campaign in the entire country in 2022.

We’re not wrong, and here’s more proof: Ganahl is planning a big “2022 Kickoff” for her campaign…nevermind that she already did that back in September.

As we wrote last month, Ganahl’s September 2021 kickoff was legitimately one of the saddest statewide campaign launches that we’ve ever seen. She completely botched efforts at building even a modicum of suspense; presented herself as a bumbling idiot in multiple media interviews; didn’t even bother to offer even a basic platform of ideas; and ended up cutting a planned two-week launch tour in half because nobody was showing up to any of her events. Fellow Republicans were publicly stating that her campaign was a disaster before it was even a month old.

We can’t blame Ganahl for WANTING a do-over for her campaign, but that’s not how any of this works. You can’t just shake the old Etch-a-Sketch and start again; ask 2018 Republican gubernatorial candidate Walker Stapleton how well that worked out. Or Mitt Romney, circa 2012.

Ganahl’s re-kickoff campaign reminds us of this spoof trailer from the “Back to the Future” trilogy of movies teasing a future “Jaws 19” with the tagline, “This time, it’s really, really personal.” Perhaps Ganahl will follow a similar formula and “kick off” her 2022 campaign once a month for the rest of the year.

Joe Biden Heads For Colorado Disaster Zone

 

9NEWS reports, President Joe Biden accompanied by Gov. Jared Polis, Rep. Joe Neguse of Boulder, and both of Colorado’s U.S. Senators will visit Louisville and Superior this afternoon to assess the damage from devastating wind-driven wildfires that destroyed nearly 1,000 homes one week ago:

Biden will be joined by Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) and Neguse (D-Colorado) on Friday’s tour. It was announced Friday morning that Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colorado) and Sen. John Hickenlooper will also join them. Both will travel with the president on Air Force One before touring fire damage and visiting with survivors…

Once in the area, the officials, also including First Lady Jill Biden, will tour an area of Louisville that was damaged by the Marshall Fire. Following the damage tour the president will meet with survivors at the Louisville Recreation & Senior Center and deliver brief remarks about the federal response to the fire.

“This week, many in the Boulder County community – throughout Superior and Louisville – are beginning the long road to recovery in the wake of the unprecedented and terrible Marshall Fire,” Neguse said in a statement.

Traffic through the Denver metro area is not expected to be disrupted, with the President taking a helicopter from Buckley Air Force Base across town to Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport in Jeffco. President Biden’s remarks are scheduled for 5:15PM local time (video will stream above).

All we can say is, it’s refreshing to have a presidential President in these moments of need.

The GOP “Crimenado” Narrative Hits a Snag

It has been three months since Republican Hiedi Heidi Ganahl officially launched her campaign for governor. Nobody would argue with a straight face that things are going well for the last remaining statewide elected official in Colorado (Ganahl is currently a CU Regent). In fact, Ganahl appears to be running the worst gubernatorial campaign in the entire country in 2022, which is almost impressive when you consider that 36 states will be holding elections for governor.

Ganahl has had trouble finding staffers, supporters, donors, or spellcheckers, which is at least consistent with a campaign that also has no policy ideas. As she struggles to find purchase in the 2022 election cycle, Ganahl has focused her attention on one particularly dubious narrative: “Crimenado!”

“Crimenado” is Ganahl’s attempt to shift the election away from questions about her own ability to govern. Instead, she wants Colorado voters to believe that the single most important issue of 2022 is that our streets are teeming with criminals. To hear Ganahl tell it, the City of Denver has burned to the ground two or three times in 2021 alone.

Ganahl’s Twitter account is a perfect reflection of the narrative that she hopes to land in order to get her elected Governor next November. Ganahl basically tweets about two things: University of Colorado athletics and stories about crime in Colorado. As of this writing, six of her last 10 tweets are about criminal malfeasance. She is practically gleeful in retweeting stories about murder, including this montage from Dec. 6 prefaced with this commentary: “It breaks my heart to continue seeing crime increasing in our state day after day, week after week. Colorado is a place people run TO, not FROM. As your governor, I will make fighting crime a priority.”

In her zeal to exploit the idea of criminals rampaging through the streets with impunity, you can see how events this week seemed irresistible to Ganahl. But here, she is already running into her own sort of trouble. Roughly 12 hours after news broke of a shooting spree in Denver and Lakewood, Ganahl jumped at the opportunity to blame Gov. Jared Polis:

 

 

If you have been following the reporting on this story, you’ll probably recognize the problem with Ganahl’s finger-pointing. It now appears that the suspected gunman was a right-wing extremist acting out his own violent fantasy.

Via Chase Woodruff of Colorado Newsline

 

Ganahl was eager to try to shoehorn a mass tragedy into her narrative against Gov. Polis, yet new reporting on the shooter suggests that he was exactly the sort of alt-right lunatic that experts on domestic extremism have warned about for years and have manifested multiple times since Donald Trump descended the escalator in 2015.

 

Via Heidi Beedle of The Colorado Springs Independent

 

More about the shooter’s motives will no doubt become known over the course of the investigation, but if the immediate picture we’re seeing continues to come into focus, then Ganahl’s eagerness to politicize a horrific tragedy as an issue of street crime instead of say, violent extremism, certainly raises questions about her judgment as a candidate for governor and her own moral sensibilities about the lives affected. And more to the point, these violent movements are exactly the problem with winking and nodding to the most fringe elements of the Trump base, which has been a quieter theme since Ganahl first announced her campaign. 

The truth about crime, in Colorado and elsewhere, is much more complicated than Ganahl and friends would have you believe. As Alex Burness of The Denver Post noted this week, gun violence has been a problem FOR DECADES, not merely since Polis took office in January 2019. And while there is some data indicating that violent crime rates have increased over the last 25 years, that information needs to contain the appropriate perspective; as Alayna Alvarez noted for Axios Denver in September, “The rate of some violent crimes, like murder, remains far lower in Colorado than those recorded throughout the 1980s and ’90s.”

Via Newsweek (12/29/21)

The problem with extremists armed to the teeth who are egged on by the irresponsible rhetoric of right-wing Republicans…well, that is also a very real trend that needs attention from leaders without ideological blinders.

The next time you see Ganahl or one of her surrogates yammering about Colorado’s “Crimenado,” remember this story.

Top Ten Stories of 2021 #7: Polis and the Crucible of COVID-19

Gov. Jared Polis (right).

Despite the hope as 2021 began that the world would finally see relief from the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re ending the year with a new variant of the virus tearing at record speeds through the population. As of today almost 820,000 Americans have died from COVID-19, a number that includes just over 10,000 dead here in Colorado. Across the nation, differing responses by state governments have led to a stark disparity in death rates from the pandemic, ranging from an extreme of 348 per 100,000 in Mississippi to very low rates of 75 and 71 deaths per 100,000 people in Hawaii and Vermont respectively.

In Colorado, we’ve done better on the whole than most states through the pandemic’s successive waves: 40th out of 50 states in COVID-19 deaths, a rate of 170 per 100,000. Economically, Colorado has bounced back well along with the rest of the country from the economic shock of 2020’s virus-imposed shutdowns, and many of the worst fears such as a massive revenue shortfall for the state and an eviction crisis as rental assistance phased out did not materialize.

Politically, the pandemic has represented a challenge for Colorado’s majority Democrats beyond the scope of anything imaginable before. The need for swift action to prevent the flooding of hospitals with sick and dying COVID patients in the spring of 2020 before vaccines and (credible) therapies were available met a wave of political resistance that, while always comprising a small noisy minority, succeeded in disrupting enforcement of restrictions since then–even as the harshest measures were dropped as quickly as possible.

Debate continues on how effectively this strategy was for Republicans at the polls, but the effect has been devastating in human terms. It is not hyperbole to argue that the politicization by Republicans of the response to COVID-19 is a principal cause of the United States having the most COVID-19 deaths of any nation on Earth. It is a transgression of a magnitude that most Americans, let alone most Republicans, are unable to fully process contemporaneously. That will be the job of historians.

Gov. Jared Polis is a progressive Democrat on the preponderance of issues, but he also has a well-known libertarian streak that has manifested itself to the consternation of some of his liberal colleagues like his call to replace income taxes with a range of new taxes that would better “capture wealth.” It’s fair to say that Gov. Polis was sensitive to the criticism he received over the lockdown and subsequent mask statewide public health orders, and that’s in part why he has been reticent to re-impose a statewide mask mandate during the current surge of cases caused by the Omicron variant. At the same time, however, the growing vaccinated population and therapeutics that have been proven to work have mitigated death and hospitalization rates even as case numbers spike once again.

Republicans have tried desperately to paint Gov. Polis as some kind of authoritarian dictator imposing his will by fiat, but the reality is that Polis has been very cautious and measured about imposing public health restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic–to the point of drawing criticism from his left on several occasions. That reality just doesn’t fit with the right’s breathless narrative, and public polling shows that a majority of voters still trust Polis and the Democratic majority despite a year and a half of attacks from the right. Gov. Polis’ approval has “narrowed” to around +12, and at this point that looks like Polis’ floor going into next year’s elections. Fostering resentment against Colorado Democrats over necessary COVID restrictions didn’t work in 2020 when the lockdowns were much fresher in voters’ minds, and it’s not going to work to unseat Gov. Polis in 2022.

History will record that Jared Polis threaded a very difficult needle in a moment of historic crisis.

And at least with respect to COVID-19, history will be much less kind to Polis’ Republican critics.

Top Ten Stories of 2021 #8: Heidi Ganahl Fails Miserably

Heidi Ganahl prepares to (not) answer a question from a reporter.

The office of Governor was an open seat in 2018, which prompted several candidates on both sides of the political aisle to take a shot at the top job in the state. After a fairly anticlimactic Primary Election — on both sides — Democrat Jared Polis went on to defeat listless Republican Walker Stapleton by an 11 point margin in November 2018.

Republicans were hoping for a better outcome in 2020 with incumbent Sen. Cory Gardner; but after an uninspiring re-election campaign, Gardner was trounced by Democrat John Hickenlooper (53-44) in a race that never even seemed to be that close. Gardner’s loss left the Republican Party with one — one! — remaining statewide elected official in Colorado, University of Colorado Regent Hiedi Heidi Ganahl.

With a depleted bench of potential candidates small enough to fit inside a phone booth, Republicans had few options as they looked ahead to 2022…so they turned to the “last Republican standing” in an effort to break their string of recent top-of-ticket failures. But barring some sort of miracle in the months ahead, Ganahl is destined for an electoral disaster of Stapleton/Gardner proportions. 

—–

Ganahl expressed early interest in running for Governor and set out on a statewide “podcast tour” that was clearly designed to raise her profile in advance of an official campaign launch. Ganahl and her advisers eventually ditched the podcast nonsense and kicked off a formal campaign for governor in September that demonstrated less potential than a backup quarterback for the Denver Broncos.

Ganahl’s campaign launch began with a bungled effort at generating suspense in advance of a formal announcement in an ominous location. Once things got going, Ganahl proved completely unprepared to answer even basic questions from reporters and struggled to elaborate on a nonexistent platform of ideas. Ganahl’s campaign ended up cutting its 2-week statewide tour in half when it became clear that nobody, anywhere, wanted to listen to her speak.

Ganahl’s gubernatorial kickoff was legitimately one of the saddest efforts we’ve seen in recent Colorado political history. Before the month was out, multiple REPUBLICAN political experts were publicly acknowledging that her campaign would have to improve just to reach “dumpster fire” status.

And then things GOT WORSE.

“HIEDI”

In early October, Ganahl hosted a speaking event featuring right-wing nutjob Dennis Prager in which she and her guest both chuckled at the idea that Prager was legitimately TRYING to get infected with COVID-19 (making the entire thing even more ridiculous, listeners who could not attend the event in person were asked to text questions to “HIEDI,” which is not how Ganahl actually spells her first name). A few days later, Prager indeed tested positive for COVID-19, which resulted in Ganahl getting media coverage for hosting a superspreader event.

Ganahl dumped her campaign manager after one month on the job, right around the time that her campaign was reporting a brutal batch of initial fundraising numbers; were it not for a $50,000 loan from the candidate herself, Ganahl’s campaign would have finished Q3 with a measly five figures in the bank.

As we enter 2022, Ganahl has been alternating between trying to appeal to fringe right-wing militia groups and almost gleefully spreading news reports of violent criminal acts in Colorado. It is no exaggeration to say that Ganahl is running the worst gubernatorial campaign in the entire country.

Clear-headed Colorado Republicans might not have truly believed that they could defeat Polis in 2022, but down-ballot candidates were surely hoping to ride the coattails of their gubernatorial nominee for a few extra votes next fall. The fact that Ganahl is as good as it gets for the GOP tells you everything you need to know about the current state of the Colorado Republican Party.

Get More Smarter on Thursday (Dec. 9)

On this day in 1979, smallpox was officially declared to have been eradicated. 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 

 

 Congressperson Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle) may have done significant damage to her political future with her recent anti-Muslim rhetoric. On Wednesday, the editorial board of The Durango Herald straight up called for Boebert to be defeated in 2022, using some of the strongest and most direct language we can recall from a local media outlet. This came just days after Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw blasted members of the House Freedom Caucus, which includes Boebert, as “performance artists” with no interest in doing the hard work of governing. 

“The woman is an embarrassment – to her district and her party…Boebert is not representing Western Colorado. Nor does she seem interested in doing so. Enough is enough.”

     — Editorial in The Durango Herald (12/8/21)

 

The publisher of the Montrose Daily Press and the Delta County Independent also recently called for Boebert’s ouster in 2022, for the same basic reasons. Writes Dennis Anderson: “She’s become a national embarrassment, but, more importantly, she’s become an embarrassment to western Colorado.”

For her part, Boebert responded to the latest criticism in a very predictable manner: She set herself up as the victim in this saga.

 

Meanwhile, The Associated Press reports that progressive Democrats continue to push House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to take some sort of punitive action against Boebert. A resolution was introduced on Wednesday to remove Boebert from her House committee assignments.

 

We say it all the time in this space: Elections matter.

Look no further than Aurora for the latest example.

 

 As Colorado Public Radio reports, we may get a better look at a prominent “dark money” group that has been operating in Colorado:

The Colorado Secretary of State’s office on Tuesday ordered a nonprofit organization to reveal its donors and pay a $40,000 fine, saying it violated Colorado law by contributing millions of dollars to conservative causes in the 2020 election.

The group, Unite for Colorado, paid for signature gathering and digital advertisements related to several ballot initiatives last year, according to documents in a complaint that prompted the fine. As is common with “dark money” nonprofits, it did not disclose where its funding came from.

Critics of the group argued that Unite for Colorado crossed the line between nonprofits and political groups. A complaint filed in August 2020 argued that the group was spending so heavily — and was so closely involved in politics — that it should have registered as a political issue committee and reported more detail on its financial activities.

 

 

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The GMS Podcast: Boebert Finds a New Low (ft. Sara Loflin)

Sara Loflin, Executive Director at ProgressNow Colorado

This week in episode 93 of the Get More Smarter Podcast, hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii discuss the persistent problems for Republican gubernatorial candidate Hiedi Heidi Ganahl; a new low for Congressperson Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle); and more weirdness from Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters.

Later, we talk with Sara Loflin, the new Executive Director of ProgressNow Colorado, about her perspective on Ganahl — and the idea that Colorado should elect a woman as Governor — as well as her thoughts on Boebert’s awfulness and her vision for leading ProgressNow Colorado into 2022.

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

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

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

‘Stretch that rope’: Colorado conservative leader suggests Gov. Polis should be hanged

A prominent right-wing activist with ties to many Colorado Republicans on Friday called for the mass executions of politicians he said were “traitors” to the country, including Gov. Jared Polis and many U.S. senators.

Joe Oltmann, founder and president of the activist group FEC United and host of the “Conservative Daily” podcast, made a series of comments about the hanging of political opponents on his show throughout the week.

On Friday, Oltmann listened as his co-host, Max McGuire, read aloud the names of the 19 Senate Republicans who this week voted with Democrats to approve an 11-week stopgap spending bill, amid far-right demands to force a government shutdown over federal vaccine mandates for employers.

“There’s your list of 19 traitors to the American people, along with all the other traitors to the American people,” Oltmann said in response. “I want people to go out there and get some wood. The gallows are getting wider and longer. We should be able to build gallows all the way from Washington, D.C., to California.”

“We just have a line of executions of traitors through the United States of America,” Oltmann continued. “If you guys don’t think that’s funny — I think it’s kind of funny, actually.”

“This talk makes me incredibly nervous,” replied McGuire.

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Get More Smarter on Wednesday (Dec. 1)

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

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

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

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

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

 

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

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

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

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

Elections matter.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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Polis/Griswold Recall Update: A Whole Lot of Sad

We’ve been doing our best to keep an eye on the latest efforts by right-wing grifters to “recall” Gov. Jared Polis and/or Secretary of State Jena Griswold. When last we checked — on August 31 — “lead organizer” Lori Cutunilli was promising the Facebook faithful that recall petitions were just a few weeks away from circulation!

However, Recallpalooza seemed to be gasping for air by the time California Gov. Gavin Newsom easily turned back an attempt to oust him from office in September. According to the latest campaign finance report for the “Recall Polis – Griswold 2021” committee, momentum remains elusive:

 

You’re reading that correctly. The recall committee raised $12 in the last month — all of which came from Cutunilli herself. Things are so bad, in fact, that they would need to raise $1,307 just to be able to report that they have no money.

The grift may be strong among Colorado Republicans, but it is apparently not without end.

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (Nov. 10)

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

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

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

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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Republicans Still Not Optimistic About Governor’s Race

State Senate Minority Leader Chris Holbert was the featured speaker last week at a meeting of the Jefferson County Republican Men’s Club, where he basically acknowledged the sentiment that Republican gubernatorial candidate Hiedi Heidi Ganahl is not going to defeat Democratic incumbent Gov. Jared Polis next year. Holbert was more diplomatic about his opinion than fellow Republican State Sen. John Cooke, who admitted in August that Polis was unbeatable for the GOP, but nobody listening to Holbert speak would feel very optimistic about Republican hopes for the top race in the state in 2022.

Near the end of his presentation on Nov. 1, Holbert responded to a question about running for future office by saying that he has been approached several times in the past about potentially running for Governor in 2022. Holbert dismissed the idea, in large part because Polis has the ability to self-fund his re-election campaign; according to Holbert, Polis can and will regularly write $25 million checks to his campaign.

You can watch the full video at the Jeffco Republican Men’s Club website, which is hilariously titled “Ken Hulbert.” We excerpted the key part below and transcribed the relevant remarks:

 

Senate Minority Leader Chris Holbert:

So, I’ve told people who say, ‘Chris, run for Governor! Chris, run for Governor, you’d be great!’ I was like, ‘No, but if you bring me 25,000 checks from individuals like you, for $1,050 [the maximum contribution limit for Governor in Colorado], that would at least cover the first $25 million check that he [Polis] can write to his own campaign.

Am I saying that it’s hopeless? No. And people will say, ‘Well, money isn’t everything.’ Well, money is the gasoline that this engine runs off of. And it’s like being in NASCAR for a 500-mile race and not having any gasoline in the tank…or having a few gallons, and the competitor has more than 500 miles worth of gas.

I’m not going to stand here and tell you that a Republican can’t win. Um, I’ve seen news that some have said that Heidi [Ganahl] can’t win — I’m not going to stand here and say that. [Pols emphasis]

Got that? Holbert is NOT going to say that a Republican cannot win the race for Governor in Colorado…but he IS going to say that he thinks your money would be better spent on trying to win back seats in the state senate:

I believe that Ms. Ganahl can write a check to her own campaign for, I don’t know, six figures? Seven figures? I don’t know. I’d be really surprised if she can get up to the $25 million level. But the reason that I bring this up is not to point to something that I think is hopeless, but to point to something that…she needs money. [Pols emphasis] Whether it’s Heidi or somebody else, how many of you are willing to write a check for $1,050? Or for a couple, $2,100?

[Holbert pauses and looks around the room]

Not a lot of hands going up. Do you know anybody who could? We need as many of those for the account as possible, and I would say, in increments of $25 million for one seat…does that make more sense, or winning a net of three seats in the state senate for an average of about $1 million apiece? [Pols emphasis] If we have a majority in the state senate, we can stop any bill we want to.

Heidi Ganahl for Governor! Or, whatever.

Colorado Dems Celebrate As Biden Gets Part One Done

(Clockwise from top left): Diana DeGette, Joe Neguse, Ed Perlmutter, and Jason Crow

Denver7’s Robert Garrison reports on the final and narrow passage last night of a bipartisan roads and bridges bill by the U.S. House, a vote made possible by 13 Republicans who crossed party lines to offset “no” votes from a handful of progressive Democrats led by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez–handing President Joe Biden a major and much-needed victory that will have voter-visible effects in the near term, but also putting the onus squarely on Democratic Senate holdouts to ensure the much larger Build Back Better reconciliation package actually gets passed:

Colorado leaders hailed the passage of the $1 trillion infrastructure package as more details as to what it will mean for the state comes to light. But not everyone was in a celebratory mood.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act with bipartisan support late Friday.

Gov. Jared Polis said in a statement the bill is a “win” for the state.

“Let’s fix the roads and reduce traffic! This is a win for our country and a win for Colorado! I’m thrilled that Congress has passed with bipartisan support this once-in-a-generation opportunity to improve our roads, create new jobs, improve our drinking water, and tackle climate change,” Polis said in a statement. “Paired with our state’s historic bipartisan infrastructure plan that I signed this summer, Colorado will see a transformation across all four corners of our state to make our roads safer and better for all Coloradans. Thank you, President Biden and Congress for your bipartisan work to bring real change across our country’s entire infrastructure system.”

Rep. Joe Neguse, who serves as a vice-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), is ebullient and tallying up the wins for Colorado this morning:

Although passage of the bipartisan roads and bridges bill is making some progressives nervous about the fate of the larger Build Back Better plan (more on that in a moment), this morning the big story is the red-on-red rage from conservative Republicans including Colorado’s own Rep. Lauren Boebert, vowing retribution against the “fake Republicans” who enabled passage of the bill in the House last night:

While Republicans busy themselves eating their own for a few news cycles and President Biden enjoys a major win after an undeniably difficult few months, it is necessary to acknowledge the real concerns raised by the six dissenting Democrats, who say they voted no because it had been previously assured that the bipartisan roads and bridges bill and the larger “human infrastructure” Build Back Better plan would pass as a package deal. As of now, Speaker Nancy Pelosi is operating on a promise by moderate House Democrats to support the larger bill once the Congressional Budget Office completes its necessary scoring–the same thing America’s Most Important Senator® Sen. Joe Manchin claims to be waiting for.

In exchange for accolades today, the stakes are now higher to pass the larger bill Democrats still very much need to deliver ahead of the 2022 midterms. Colorado Democrats have not at any point been part of the problem here, in fact both Sens. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper have seen their own priorities threatened and even cut from the bill at Manchin’s whim. It’s a major test of discipline for the razor-thin Democratic majority in Congress–and as Will Rogers famously observed in 1935, organization has never been the Democratic Party’s strong suit.

When there’s a deal, Colorado Democrats will be on the right side of it.

Beyond that, pray and/or bet according to your preference.

Get More Smarter on Thursday (Nov. 4)

There are exactly 50 days until Christmas. 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 

 

Colorado hospitals are straining to deal with a consistent influx of COVID-19 cases. As The Colorado Sun explains:

The Colorado Hospital Association announced Wednesday that it is activating Tier 3 of the state’s Combined Hospital Transfer Center.

How bad is that? Hospitals didn’t have to activate Tier 3, the highest level, during even the busiest months of last winter’s COVID surge. But what the hospital association calls “monumental strain” on the health care system caused by the most recent spike in coronavirus cases has led to the unprecedented activation.

The new level means the transfer center, or CHTC, which helps move patients around from crowded hospitals to less-crowded ones, will operate on a statewide basis. Previously, it had operated regionally or within big health systems. But, as COVID hospitalizations continue to climb in Colorado, that’s no longer enough.

“This is an extraordinary step taken by the state’s hospitals and health systems,” Dr. Darlene Tad-y, the hospital association’s vice president of clinical affairs, said in a statement. “… Activating Tier 3 of the CHTC should send a clear message to Coloradans: our health care system is in jeopardy of being overwhelmed.”

 

The Washington Post reports on details about a COVID-19 vaccine requirement from the Biden administration:

Companies with more than 100 employees will now be mandated to require coronavirus vaccinations for their workers or do regular testing by Jan. 4 under the terms of a new federal rule that will be released Friday by the Biden administration after weeks of deliberation, senior government officials said.

The hotly anticipated rule, which is being implemented on an emergency basis by the Department of Labor, is one of the White House’s most strenuous attempts to increase vaccination rates across the country to address the lingering public health crisis. The policy is already being contested by Republicans and the small but vocal anti-vaccine factions that have proved so disruptive politically over the past year.

It would require weekly testing and mandatory face-masking for workers who choose not to get vaccinated. It also specifies that employers must provide paid time for workers to get vaccinated or recover from any side effects — something critics have been asking for months. But companies are able to require employees to foot the bill for tests, officials said.

Companies with 100 or more employees will have until Jan. 4 to have all staff either fully vaccinated or implementing the testing requirements, pushing the deadline beyond the holiday season amid concerns about labor shortages.

 

 Congressman Joe Neguse is introducing new gun safety legislation spurred by a mass shooting at a Boulder King Soopers earlier this year. From The Denver Post:

Neguse will introduce legislation in the House Thursday to prohibit people convicted of violent misdemeanors from purchasing a firearm for five years, a measure the Lafayette Democrat said could help prevent tragedies like the Boulder King Soopers massacre from happening again…

…That suspect in the March 22 King Soopers mass shooting that left 10 people dead was convicted of misdemeanor assault in 2018 after attacking a classmate at Arvada West High School the previous year. Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, then 18, punched the classmate in the head without warning, and when the boy fell to the ground, continued to punch him, according to an affidavit in the case.

Alissa was sentenced to probation and 48 hours of community service. But that didn’t stop him from purchasing a gun at an Arvada gunshop days before his deadly assault at the Boulder grocery store, Neguse said.

 

Are you anti-mask? Anti-vaccine? A believer in the “Big Lie”? Then the majority of Colorado voters are not very happy with you.

 

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Get More Smarter on Friday (Oct. 22)

You only have a few more days to vote and stick your ballot in the mail, so get to it. Visit GoVoteColorado.com to check on the status of your mail ballot for 2021. Let’s Get More Smarter. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of an audio learner, check out The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

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

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

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

 

The refusal of Senate Republicans to even debate a new election integrity bill SHOULD be the last straw for Democrats such as Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia. As Paul Waldman and Greg Sargent write for The Washington Post:

On Wednesday, all 50 Republicans in the Senate — including supposed moderates such as Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine — voted to filibuster the Freedom to Vote Act. That’s a stripped-down version of sweeping voting rights legislation Democrats have advocated.

If Manchin (or anyone else) needed more proof that Republicans will never partner with Democrats to secure voting rights and democracy, this was it.The Freedom to Vote Act was, for all intents and purposes, Manchin’s own bill. He demanded the changes that made it less ambitious than the For the People Act championed by progressives.

It was redesigned to his specifications. So instead of requiring nonpartisan redistricting commissions, it allows states to determine the mode of redistricting while establishing standards of fairness that would be enforced by courts. It also creates national standards for early voting and mail voting, but also allows voter ID requirements, albeit with some protections.

No Republican voted for this.

Waldman and Sargent note that two prominent voices are growing louder about the need to reform the filibuster: Angus King of Maine and Jon Tester of Montana. Says King:
“I’ve concluded that democracy itself is more important than any Senate rule.”

President Biden is also signaling that he would be open to changing Senate filibuster rules in order to pass voting rights legislation.

 

Colorado Republican candidates continue to struggle to come up with a decent answer about the “Big Lie.” Many of the top statewide candidates seem to have coalesced around the shaky narrative that Joe Biden is the President and that the election was not fraudulent in Colorado…but maybe it was everywhere else.

The latest attempt by a statewide Republican candidate to answer this question came from Senate hopeful Gino Campana; check out the transcript of this BRUTAL back-and-forth with right-wing radio host Peter Boyles. The interview contains a line that could go down in infamy: “Don’t 9News me!”

 

Hospitalizations from COVID-19 in Colorado are trending in the wrong direction compared to the rest of the country, as Colorado Newsline explains:

There are 1,130 people in the hospital with COVID-19 as of Oct. 21, Gov. Jared Polis said during a news briefing Thursday, and 893 of those cases, or about 80%, are unvaccinated individuals.

“This is a very stark reminder to anyone who thought this pandemic was over and that they could slip by without getting vaccinated,” Polis said. “This is a wake up call. If you haven’t been vaccinated, you’re facing a grave threat.”Polis said that crisis standards of care are “ready to be implemented if needed, potentially tweaked or improved.” Idaho and New Mexico both recently implemented crisis standards of care.

Hospitalizations are increasing among all age groups, but more rapidly in older populations. State epidemiologist Rachel Herlihy said during the briefing that could be due to waning immunity in older people who got a vaccine earlier this year.

As Denver7 reports, 93% of Colorado ICU beds are currently in use. Governor Jared Polis says Colorado may need to ask for help from the National Guard if these trends continue.

 

And now, some good COVID-19 news: Boosters for everyone! As The Washington Post reports:

Tens of millions of Americans can sign up to get Moderna and Johnson & Johnson boosters beginning Friday after the nation’s top public health official endorsed recommendations from expert advisers that the shots are safe and effective at bolstering protection against the coronavirus.

The green light from Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, means that eligible Americans at risk of severe disease can choose any of the three boosters now authorized in the United States regardless of their original shot.

“The evidence shows that all three COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States are safe — as demonstrated by the over 400 million vaccine doses already given,” Walensky said in a statement Thursday night, several hours after receiving unanimous recommendations from the expert panel, called the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. “And, they are all highly effective in reducing the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death, even in the midst of the widely circulating delta variant.”

Get moving, folks. Boost that thang up!

 

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Get More Smarter on Wednesday (Oct. 20)

Fill out that ballot and get it returned, people! Visit GoVoteColorado.com to check on the status of your mail ballot for 2021. Let’s Get More Smarter. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of an audio learner, check out The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

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

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

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

 

The Washington Post has the latest on efforts by Congressional Democrats to get some sort of big infrastructure deal passed:

President Biden is set to head to Scranton, Pa., on Wednesday to pitch his retooled vision for overhauling federal health care, education, climate and tax laws, even as the future of his signature economic package remains unsettled among Democrats on Capitol Hill.

For Biden and his allies in Congress, the next few days could be critical: Democratic leaders hope they can finally broker a truce to end the public feuding between the party’s ambitious liberals and spending-weary moderates. Some now hope they can reach a deal this week, putting them on track to adopt the full tranche of spending perhaps before the end of the month.

“I think it’s very possible,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said after meeting with House Democratic lawmakers.

A day before the speech, Biden huddled again with the two warring factions and presented the rough outlines for a compromise package that could total between $1.75 and $1.9 trillion over 10 years. The still-fluid price tag is far less than the $3.5 trillion that some Democrats initially envisioned, as the White House seeks to strike a balance between preserving its priorities and cutting costs to satisfy two centrist holdouts, Sens. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.).

In other words, the path forward is still as clear as mud…as is a proposal to advance some sort of carbon tax.

 

As CNN reports, Senate Republicans are expected to once again vote against new voting rights legislation:

Senate Republicans are expected to block another voting rights bill Wednesday, as some on the left call to change the chamber’s rules to allow the Democratic Party to unilaterally change federal election law.

The Democratic bill, known as the Freedom to Vote Act, would make it easier to register to vote, make Election Day a public holiday, ensure states have early voting for federal elections and allow all voters to request mail-in ballots. The measure would also bolster security on voting systems, overhaul how congressional districts are redrawn and impose new disclosures on donations to outside groups active in political campaigns.

But Republicans have blocked a number of voting rights legislation since Democrats took the House and Senate the past two election cycles.

 

What in the holy hell is going on in Western Colorado?

 

Axios Denver looks at the field of candidates seeking the Republican U.S. Senate nomination in 2022. The story includes a quote from a well-known Republican that is, shall we say, less than inspiring:

“There is no Cory Gardner sitting out there waiting to get in,” said Greg Brophy, a former Republican state senator and lobbyist. “So you have a whole bunch of people, and we are going to see what kind of campaign they can put together.”

Good luck figuring out how to use THAT statement on a campaign mailer.

 

 

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Get More Smarter on Monday (Oct. 11)

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

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

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

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

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

 

The Associated Press looks ahead to how Congress may finish out the year on the big issue regarding the debt ceiling:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., blinked last week. And then he said he wouldn’t blink again.

McConnell said since summer that Republicans wouldn’t supply the votes majority Democrats needed to extend the federal debt limit. But Thursday night, 11 Republicans including McConnell joined Democrats in narrowly overcoming a procedural hurdle so the Senate could subsequently approve $480 billion in fresh borrowing.

House passage, expected Tuesday, would stave off until December a first-ever federal default that could disrupt the global economy, delay government checks to Social Security recipients and others and unleash voters’ wrath on lawmakers.

But the partisan dispute will resume in two months.

Republicans want Democrats to raise the debt ceiling on their own to underscore their argument that Biden’s multitrillion-dollar social and environment agenda is unaffordable. Democrats want Republicans to put their imprint on the borrowing limit increase, noting that the $28 trillion national debt is for unpaid bills already incurred, including $7 trillion under former President Donald Trump.

By enabling a two-month reprieve on the fight, McConnell angered Republicans who wanted a tougher stance against Democrats including Trump, still an intimidating force in the GOP. Even usual McConnell ally Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., called it “complete capitulation.”

Everybody loves alliteration.

 

Republican gubernatorial candidate Hiedi Heidi Ganahl held some sort of online interview thing with wacko right-wing bluster machine Dennis Prager over the weekend (if you’re not familiar with Prager, this will give you some idea of what to expect). Ganahl’s campaign is still having trouble with some of the important details of a statewide contest, such as SPELLING YOUR CANDIDATE’S NAME CORRECTLY:

 

The Colorado Democratic Party sent out a press release today with more information on Ganahl’s Prager event:

A few short weeks before the widely expected CDC approval of the COVID vaccine for 5-11 year-olds, Ganahl gave Prager the platform of her gubernatorial campaign to spread dangerous rhetoric about the COVID-19 vaccine. Heidi Ganahl personally kicked off the event by giving Prager the microphone and allowing him to claim it was “child abuse” to give children the COVID-19 vaccine, despite CDC recommendations. Prager also told people in the audience the vaccine was “not good for you” if you had already been infected with COVID-19, disregarding the advice of public health experts, again. The U.S. Surgeon General described COVID misinformation an “urgent threat” and its proliferation a major hindrance towards ending the pandemic.

Prager went on to call schools “poison factories” and praise failed California Republican gubernatorial nominee, Larry Elder. Giving right wing extremists a platform for dangerous misinformation is not new for Ganahl. Prager is yet another addition to the growing list of extremists Ganahl has surrounded herself with such as John Eastman and Lauren Boebert — and we can expect to see more as her campaign continues. [Pols emphasis]

In other Ganahl-related news, the GOP gubernatorial hopeful is trying to distance herself from Republican Party Chair Kristi Burton Brown, whose leadership of a militia group is getting a lot of attention. Check out “The Daily” podcast from The New York Times for more on KBB and right-wing conspiracist Joe Oltmann.

 

Colorado Newsline reports on efforts by Rep. Jason Crow (D-Aurora) to overhaul how we conduct background checks for gun purchases.

 

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A Few Dozen Anti-Vaxxers Anti-Vaxx With Themselves

The much-ballyhooed Colorado Freedom of Choice Rally yesterday, a protest against COVID-19 vaccine mandates becoming increasingly prevalent throughout society from employers to entertainment venues, attracted a crowd that–sorry to say–will not be sufficient to launch the glorious anti-vaxxer revolution. But even in a state where a solid majority support vaccine mandates for health care and public-facing government workers, the noisy minority has the opportunity to make their allotment of noise:

“Our DNA is sacred.” What can you say to that except you betcha?

The GMS Podcast: Map Madness! (Feat. Evan Wyloge)

Evan Wyloge of The Colorado Springs Gazette/Colorado Politics

This week on Episode #88 of The Get More Smarter Podcast, hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii talk redistricting maps with Evan Wyloge of The Colorado Springs Gazette and ColoradoPolitics.com. Wyloge covered the redistricting process in Arizona in 2001 and has been closely following Colorado’s map-making extravaganza; there are few, if any, people in Colorado who understand redistricting better than he does.

But the discussion this week isn’t all about maps. We also dig into the big Ron Hanks problem now facing Colorado Republicans; the State GOP’s misunderstanding of the first rule of “Fight Club”; and more ridiculous commentary from Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert.

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

Today’s Fake COVID Controversy: Want A Transplant? Get Vaxxed

Rep. Tim Geitner (R-Colorado Springs).

9NEWS reports on a policy instituted by the UCHealth system over the summer that should be uncontroversial, but in this age where medicine has been hopelessly politicized–especially where it concerns the COVID-19 pandemic–that just doesn’t happen anymore:

UCHealth confirmed Tuesday that organ transplant recipients and living donors must be vaccinated against COVID-19 “in almost all situations.”

In a statement, the hospital system said studies indicate the mortality rate for transplant recipients who test positive for COVID ranges from 18% to 32%, compared to a 1.6% mortality rate among all people who have tested positive. [Pols emphasis]

UCHealth said the policy change was driven by the significantly higher mortality rate, as well as the concern that living donors could still pass on a COVID infection after testing negative.

Clarification of this policy came after Republican state representative Tim Geitner threw a fit on social media, predictably looking to blame Gov. Jared Polis personally for UCHealth’s policy of requiring transplant candidates to be vaccinated–not just against COVID-19, but a host of other conditions along with numerous other rules transplant candidates follow out of medical necessity. From UCHealth’s statement yesterday in response to Geitner’s antics:

Transplant centers across the nation, including the UCHealth Transplant Center, have specific requirements in place to protect patients both during and after surgery. For example, patients may be required to receive vaccinations including hepatitis B, MMR and others. Patients may also be required to avoid alcohol, stop smoking, or prove they will be able to continue taking their anti-rejection medications long after their transplant surgery. These requirements increase the likelihood that a transplant will be successful and the patient will avoid rejection.

As for the objections from the patient and donor against being vaccinated before the kidney transplant can proceed? All we can ask is for readers to assess the legitimacy of these objections yourselves:

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No Excuses: Get Your Free COVID-19 Rapid Tests Now

FOX 31 reports on a score of two million rapid COVID-19 tests by Gov. Jared Polis to be distributed free to all Colorado residents just in time for cold, flu, and worse season:

It’s part of Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s growing program to deliver COVID-19 tests to parents or guardians to test school-aged children at home.

“You can sign up to receive eight free tests, which should arrive within 4-6 days. We also have a small backlog of people who requested tests when there weren’t any. They will be getting them automatically,” Polis said. “We’re very excited we will be able to take hundreds and thousands of new signups for this for frontline essential workers, for parents who want to test their children at home.”

“If we go through these tests in three, four, five weeks, we will absolutely look into seeing how we can continue the at-home BinaxNOW program,” Polis said. “Right now, I’m just excited to get demand going because I know if the tests are in the field, being used, people are getting results back, isolated earlier, spreading the virus less, it will save lives and help end the pandemic in Colorado.”

Early detection is crucial to limiting the spread of COVID-19 as well as seeking treatments like monoclonal antibodies which are most effective when administered within the first few days of infection. Last year, now ex-Sen. Cory Gardner told the press he expected COVID-19 tests so ubiquitous that when Coloradans “go buy your Big Gulp at 7-Eleven…you can get your COVID-19 test at the same time.” Gardner never came close to making good on that promise, and in fact dropped the ball spectacularly on COVID-19 testing for “essential” meatpacking plant workers last summer–but Gov. Polis is helping get us a little closer to Gardner’s goal.

Seriously folks, if you don’t already qualify for free regular COVID-19 testing through your job or school, get some free tests. It could be of life-saving importance to know whether that sniffle you wake up with at some point this fall is something worse.

Get More Smarter on Friday (Sept. 17)

On this day in 1985, hockey player Alexander Ovechkin was born. 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 

 

Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters returned from a long self-imposed exile and resurfaced finally in Grand Junction on Thursday. As The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports:

Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters appeared at an event in Grand Junction on Thursday night, vowing to fight investigations into her office, chastising the Colorado Secretary of State and asking supporters for donations to fund her legal defense.

“I’m so happy to be home. This is where my heart is and this is where we’re going to take back America,” Peters told a crowd gathered at Appleton Christian Church.

The event, which was livestreamed on the Stand For The Constitution Grand Junction Facebook Page, was billed as a “Stand With Tina” rally and featured a handful of speakers. It was Peters’ first public appearance in Grand Junction after an investigation into her office was announced in August….

…In addition to detailing a website where supporters could contribute to her defense fund, standwithtina.org, Peters also explained some of the events that led the clerk to allegedly tamper with county voting machines, prompting an investigation by the Secretary of State’s Office as well as the District Attorney.

Peters said after the 2020 election, she received calls and emails from hundreds of residents who believed the election was illegitimate, and she began investigating those claims on their behalf.

That’s right. Despite being under investigation by the Colorado Secretary of State’s office, the Mesa County DA, the Colorado Attorney General, and the FBI, Peters is back in town and soliciting donations to assist her legal defense for a crime she willingly committed.

CLICK HERE to read more about Peters.

 

Republican gubernatorial candidate Heidi Ganahl doesn’t want to answer questions about whether the 2020 election was legitimate (SPOILER ALERT: It was), but as she is learning, every major media outlet in Colorado absolutely DOES consider this to be a litmus choice sort of question for candidates seeking public office in 2022.

Headline from The Denver Post (9/16/21)

 

 

As Jason Salzman of The Colorado Times Recorder writes, the ongoing Republican civil war in Colorado could have major implications as soon as this weekend. Colorado Republicans may vote to opt out of Colorado’s open Primary system so that right-wing activists can more easily control who wins the GOP nomination for any particular office. Many more moderate and rational Colorado Republicans are pleading with their base to not commit what many believe would be political suicide. Here’s more on what might happen Saturday from Axios Denver and The Colorado Sun.

 

 Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman is facing calls for his resignation following a report from the Colorado Attorney General’s office outlining significant longstanding racial biases and excessive force allegations surrounding the Aurora Police Department.

Fox 31 News has more on the response to the AG’s report from the Aurora police officers’ union. The Aurora Sentinel, meanwhile, details the problematic staffing troubles facing the APD:

A record number of Aurora police officers have left the department so far this year, surpassing the number of departures in all of 2020 and further straining an increasingly lean agency, according to data presented to Aurora city council members this week.

A total of 96 officers have parted ways with the Aurora Police Department so far in 2021, with another two staffers expected to split by week’s end, Deputy Chief Darin Parker told members of the council’s public safety policy committee Sept. 16…

…The number of exits among APD ranks through the middle of September already dwarfs totals from last year, when 87 officials left Aurora police — a 61% increase over 2019.

 

 

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