Get More Smarter on Thursday (August 19)

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

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

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

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

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

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

 

Where is Tina Peters?

That’s the question everybody is asking lately about the Mesa County Clerk and Recorder who is facing multiple investigations over a breach of election security in May. Peters might be hiding out in Texas at the moment, harbored (at least in part) by “MyPillow Guy” Mike Lindell.

In related news, former Republican Secretary of State Wayne Williams thinks Peters should resign from her position, but the State Republican Party in Colorado can’t figure out what to say:

Click here to read more about the weird story of Peters and some of her fellow conspiracy-minded Western Slope cronies.

 

Yahoo! reports on new polling related to the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan:

Amid the swift and sudden collapse of Afghanistan this week — and widespread coverage of the chaos that has engulfed the war-weary country as the Taliban seized control again — support for both the long-planned withdrawal of U.S. forces and for President Biden’s handling of foreign policy has declined significantly, according to a new Yahoo News poll.

At the same time, more Americans still favor the U.S. withdrawal than oppose it — and there are early signs that the political fallout for the president could be limited in the long run. [Pols emphasis]

Biden’s polling slide on foreign policy is largely due to unease from Republican voters.

 

 Colorado organizations are preparing to assist in relocating Afghan refugees to our state.

 

The 2022 election is fast approaching, so why do Colorado Republicans STILL not have serious candidates for most of the major statewide races on the ballot next November?

 

Congressperson Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle) continues to use her campaign account as her own personal slush fund. Federal investigators are looking into some strange reimbursements from her last campaign finance report.

Meanwhile…

 

Let’s not make any effort to come up with new explanations here. There is a term for this already: It’s called “lying.”

 

 

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Get More Smarter on Tuesday (August 17)

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

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

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

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

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

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

 

The big political news continues to revolve around the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan and the swift takeover of that country by the Taliban. While the Taliban takeover was not unexpected, it did happen quicker than many analysts had suggested.

Congressman Jason Crow (D-Aurora), a former Army Ranger who served two tours in Afghanistan, was among those on Monday who were critical about the process of withdrawal. As The Denver Post reports:

“I’m not going to mince my words on this: We didn’t need to be in this position,” the Centennial Democrat said during a news conference. “We didn’t need to be seeing the scenes we’re seeing at Kabul’s airport with our Afghan friends climbing aboard C-17s.”

“We should have started this evacuation months ago,” Crow added. “Had we done that, tens of thousands of folks could have been brought to safety. It could have been done deliberately and methodically. That was a missed opportunity.”

The collapse of Afghanistan’s government over the weekend has left tens of thousands Afghans who translated for or otherwise helped U.S. soldiers desperate for a way out of the country. Those who remain fear they will be killed by the Taliban, a terror group that controls the country.

Compared to Crow’s criticism of the process of the American withdrawal in Afghanistan, other Colorado Republicans have been busy doing their best to blame the very idea of withdrawal on President Bidennevermind that this contradicts everything they themselves have said in the previous couple of months.

Denver7 provides a list of resources for military veterans and families impacted by the unfolding situation in Afghanistan.

 

 If there is a “deep end” to be found in the rhetoric about Afghanistan, you’ll find Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle) frantically trying to be the first to reach the very bottom.

 

Were it not for the situation in Afghanistan, the big story today would be news that the federal government is for the first time requiring mandatory water reductions for some users of the Colorado River. Arizona will be hit hardest, losing 18% of its allocation of Colorado River water beginning in early 2022.

As Colorado Public Radio explains, Monday’s decision comes at the same time that Gov. Jared Polis and other Western Governors are asking the Biden administration for additional federal resources because of severe drought in 99% of western states.

 

ANYONE entering a Jefferson County school will be required to wear a mask after a new decision Monday by the Jefferson County Public Health Department.

9News tries to keep up with the various mask requirements for school districts across the state.

 

Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters had better find herself one hell of a lawyer:

 

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Go Ahead and Ignore Republicans on Afghanistan

President Biden spoke this afternoon from the White House regarding the situation in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of American forces from that country and the subsequent takeover by Taliban forces. As The Washington Post reports:

In remarks at the White House Monday afternoon, President Biden acknowledged that the collapse of Afghanistan’s government and security forces took place more rapidly than expected — but maintained that withdrawing U.S. troops from the country was the correct decision.

“The truth is, this did unfold more quickly than we had anticipated,” Biden said. “So what’s happened? Afghanistan’s political leaders gave up and fled the country. The Afghan military collapsed, some … without trying to fight. If anything, the developments of the past week reinforced that ending U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan now was the right decision.”

He added: “American troops cannot and should not be fighting in a war and dying in a war that Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves.”

Meanwhile, both around the country and here in Colorado, Republicans are crowing about the perceived failures of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. It’s the kind of back seat driving/Monday morning quarterbacking that Republicans have long favored as opposed to offering up any sort of actual policy proposal of their own.

Former President Trump is accusing Biden of having “surrendered” to the Taliban — and even, absurdly, calling on Biden to resign as President — while insisting that he would have handled the withdrawal of military forces differently. Never mind that it was the TRUMP ADMINISTRATION that negotiated the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan back in December 2020

In fact, here was Trump in July 2021 (yes, LAST month):

 

Nobody would argue that the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan is going well, but it’s likely that the swift Taliban takeover in the region was going to happen whenever America finally left Afghanistan. As The Washington Post explains, the complete failure of the Afghan security forces to offer any real resistance to the Taliban was not a huge surprise. 

Yet in their zeal to pin all of the negative effects of the withdrawal on Biden, Republicans are again completely ignoring their own history. For example, here’s Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle):

In that last Tweet, Boebert quotes right-wing talking head Jack Posobiec, whom Reddit users already discredited over the weekend.

Appearing on Fox News over the weekend, Boebert’s Colorado colleague, Congressman Ken Buck (R-Greeley), haughtily condemned the Biden administration over the Afghanistan withdrawal:

We are a strong country with a weak President…

…President Biden was misleading the American people and putting Americans at risk, and foreigners at risk, inside Afghanistan with just a foolhardy plan.

This is interesting, considering that just a few months ago Buck was clamoring for a full withdrawal from Afghanistan by May 1, 2021. Here’s what he wrote in a letter co-signed by Rep. Barbara Lee in March of this year:

“We support your administration’s pledge to advance a negotiated end to this war, and we believe that meeting the May 1 deadline is vital to this effort…But it is long past time for the United States to end its military role in a complex conflict that predates our initial invasion two decades ago.”

Congressman Buck has long been an adherent of taking every side on every issue, so his mealy-mouthed talk on Afghanistan is no huge surprise. This is all illustrative (again) that Republican politicians largely have absolutely nothing useful to add to the problem.

Republicans are going to say something today that is completely different than whatever they said yesterday, and if the situation changes tomorrow…then they’ll say something else. It’s as predictable as it is useless.

The Get More Smarter Podcast (ft. Rep. Ed Perlmutter)

This week on Episode #83 of The Get More Smarter Podcast, hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii talk with Congressman Ed Perlmutter (D-Jefferson County) about all of the work he and his fellow Democratic Members of Congress are doing to bring back federal money to their districts for community projects and infrastructure improvements.

Later, we look into the news that Joe Biden is still the President of the United States despite the efforts of “MyPillow Guy” Mike Lindell, with some bizarre (and probably illegal) help from Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters.

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

Get More Smarter on Friday the 13th

Happy Friday the 13th — the only such day of 2021. Let’s Get More Smarter. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of an audio learner, check out The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

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

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

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

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

 

The U.S. Census Bureau released a trove of new demographic data from the last decade on Thursday. The big national takeaway is that the number of white people in the United States fell for the first time in the country’s recorded history. More specific to Colorado, the Greeley metropolitan area is one of the fastest-growing areas in the country, and the City of Denver is one of the 10 cities in the U.S. with the biggest population gain over the last decade.

The Denver Post elaborates on the Colorado-centric aspects of the data release:

Colorado fits right in with several of the biggest nationwide trends shown by the data, including continued migration south and west, away from the midwest and northeast. The state and country are also less white overall. A record low of about 58% of people nationally now identify as non-Hispanic white, the census reports.

The Washington Post also highlights the growth in Colorado’s northern Metro area.

 

President Biden and Vice President Harris are still in office at this moment and do not appear to be close to resigning their positions. Today, of course, is the day that adherents of “The Big Lie” (including “MyPillow Guy” Mike Lindell) predicted would be the end of the Biden administration.

It has now been 283 days since the November 2020 election. Move it along, people.

For more on how Lindell’s “cyber symposium” worked out, check out Aaron Blake’s column in The Washington Post titled, “The spectacular implosion of Mike Lindell.”

 

 Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters is in some pretty deep doo-doo. As the Colorado Secretary of State’s office outlined on Thursday, it appears that someone in the Mesa County Clerk’s office turned off security cameras at exactly the same time that screenshots from the electronic voting software were captured. As a result, Mesa County will have to go to considerable expense to replace all of its election equipment. Peters, naturally, is invoking “Nazi Germany” in her self-defense. As The Denver Post explains, Peters addressed the issue publicly while attending Mike Lindell’s “cyber symposium” in South Dakota:

“My job looks like it’s on the line but you know what? The people of Mesa County elected me, not the secretary of state,” Peters said.

“If those passwords were compromised, why can’t they just change them? How many of you have had to change your email password before? Is that a big deal? You just change it. We’re not in the middle of an election right now,” she said. “It’s not like some secret people came and did something nefarious.”

Um, well, actually…

Peters repeatedly referred to a search Tuesday — in which secretary of state’s office employees and Mesa County district attorney’s office employees investigated the election equipment, cameras and visitor logs — as a “raid.”

“This is not Nazi Germany. We cooperate together. We have bipartisan judges. Why couldn’t we have bipartisan judges in there in that room when they were raiding my office?” she told the crowd.

Charles Ashby of The Grand Junction Sentinel has more on Peters’ vague comments from Thursday.

 

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We Haz More Census Data

The first race and ethnicity breakdowns from the 2020 U.S. Census were announced on Thursday, part of a larger dataset that will guide the redrawing of Congressional and legislative districts in Colorado and around the country. Click here to download the files and dig through the data yourself.

We haven’t had a chance to explore the numbers in Colorado, but there are a few things we know from a broader perspective. As The Washington Post reports:

The report marks the first time the absolute number of people who identify as White alone has shrunk since a census started being taken in 1790. The White population fell from 223.6 million in 2010 to 204.3 million in 2020, a decrease of 8.6 percent.

The country also passed another milestone on its way to becoming a majority-minority society in the coming decades: For the first time, the portion of White people dipped below 60 percent, slipping from 63.7 percent in 2010 to 57.8 percent in 2020.

As The New York Times explains, the Greeley metro area is the fourth-fastest growing metropolitan area, behind The Villages (Florida); Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown (Texas); and St. George (Utah). Denver is among the 10 cities with the largest population increase over the previous decade.

We’ll update here as more Colorado-specific information becomes available.

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (August 11)

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

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

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

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

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

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

 

Oregon will join Louisiana and Hawaii in instituting a statewide mask mandate as concerns grow over the Delta variant of COVID-19. From The Washington Post:

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) is expected Wednesday to put in place a statewide indoor mask mandate and a vaccination requirement for state employees, citing concerns over growing coronavirus cases due to the more transmissible delta variant.

The indoor mask mandate will make Oregon the third state — following Louisiana and Hawaii — to apply the measures to both vaccinated and unvaccinated people, as bans on mask and vaccine mandates play out in a number of Republican-run states such as Texas and Florida. Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) last month mandated that face coverings be worn indoors in public settings in counties with “substantial or high transmission.”…

…Brown’s decision comes as schools and political leaders battle over masks elsewhere. Florida’s second-largest school system is now threatening legal action to challenge the ban on mask mandates by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and voted Tuesday evening to keep its own requirements in place for students and staff.

The Broward County School Board — which voted 8 to 1 on Tuesday to uphold its mask mandate despite DeSantis’s move to curb such restrictions and subsequent threat to stop paying superintendents and school board members who defy his orders — said in an evening news conference that it told its legal counsel to prepare a challenge.

Local leaders are increasingly rejecting efforts by Republican governors from Florida to Texas to prohibit mask mandates. Private companies are also implementing vaccination requirements despite threats from Republican governors.

Here in Colorado, COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are the worse they have been since May.

 

The U.S. Census Bureau is expected to release final data on Thursday that will guide the process of redistricting. As Colorado Public Radio explains, there are a lot of criticisms for the redistricting commissions to sift through:

When the U.S. Census Bureau releases its final numbers on Thursday, it will start the clock on a mad dash to prepare final congressional and statehouse maps.

Nonpartisan state staffers will have just over three weeks to combine that data with feedback on the state’s draft map and release an updated version for the state’s new Redistricting Commission to consider.

For the past six weeks, Coloradans of all stripes have been weighing in on where the lines should go for the state’s congressional and statehouse districts. The final result could shape the balance of power between the parties, and the level of representation for different interest groups, for the next decade.

Several Latino organizations have raised concerns that preliminary maps dilute the political power of the state’s second-largest ethnic group.

There’s a similar story today from Denver7:

 

Big news for former Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar:

 

 Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters is furiously digging as deep a hole as possible for herself. Following news that Peters may have been involved in a serious breach of election security, she showed up at “MyPillow Guy” Mike Lindell’s lunatic election fraud symposium on Tuesday that is allegedly going to unveil “proof” of fraud in the 2020 Presidential election any day now.

 

 

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Eli Bremer for Senate, Or Whatever

 

Eli Bremer and some dirt

We finally have a notable Republican campaign announcement for 2022 (sorry, Erik Aadland)!

Former El Paso County Republican Party Chairperson Eli Bremer made it official today with a rather silly online ad that he will seek the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in 2022.

As Justin Wingerter reports for The Denver Post:

The 43-year-old Republican competed in the modern pentathlon at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and has worked as an Olympics announcer for NBC since, including during this year’s Games. He also serves on a congressional committee that is studying possible reforms to the U.S. Olympic system.

Bremer has never run for public office but was the El Paso County GOP chairman from 2011-2013 and his family has deep ties to Colorado Springs politics. His father was a county commissioner and his wife currently is. His uncle, Paul Bremer, was a presidential envoy to Iraq in the 2000s.

This is the point where you think to yourself, Oh, THAT’S why I recognize the name ‘Bremer.’ If you have a particularly good memory for Colorado politics, you might also recall that Eli’s father, Duncan Bremer, was one of the six Republican candidates who ran for a vacant seat in Congress in CO-05 in 2006 (that GOP Primary was ultimately won by current Rep. Doug Lamborn). Bremer’s wife, Cami Bremer, is also a first-term commissioner in El Paso County.

Eli Bremer’s most recent political experience included a two year stint as Chair of the El Paso County Republican Party. In 2020, Bremer was involved in a spat with then-State Party Chairman Ken Buck about a district assembly that may have unfairly excluded at least one Republican candidate and might have opened up Buck to charges of perjury.

Bremer competed in the modern pentathlon in the 2008 Olympics, which [checks Wikipedia] involves running, swimming, jumping a horse, shooting a pistol, and fencing (presumably not all at once). Bremer has since done Olympic television commentary for the modern pentathlon, which resulted in this completely bizarre Facebook post from last week about Bremer taking a cautious approach to a story about a coach who may have punched a horse (there’s NO WAY we could make this up).

Via Eli Bremer’s Facebook page

Bremer has long expressed interest in the 2022 Senate race, telling Ernest Luning of the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman in June that he was “very, very, very, very serious” about the idea. Bremer is now the most prominent Republican candidate for U.S. Senate mostly because nobody else in the GOP has been even “very” interested in challenging incumbent Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet.

With former state lawmaker Clarice Navarro apparently backing away from making a Senate run in 2022, that leaves the Republicans with only right-wing radio host/ambulance chasing lawyer Dan Caplis as a potential candidate with an ability to gather any sort of serious resources for a 2022 campaign.

In other words, Eli Bremer is probably the frontrunner for the GOP Senate nomination. That’s good news if your name is Michael Bennet, but less exciting if you are a Colorado Republican.

Get More Smarter on Monday (August 9)

There are 137 shopping days left 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 

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

 

If you hadn’t noticed from the massive wildfires or barely-breathable air, Climate Change is a serious problem. As The Washington Post explains, scientists are pounding the ‘alert’ buttons:

Via The Washington Post (8/9/21)

 

The landmark report, compiled by 234 authors relying on more than 14,000 studies from around the globe, bluntly lays out for policymakers and the public the most up-to-date understanding of the physical science on climate change. Released amid a summer of deadly fires, floods and heat waves, it arrives less than three months before a critical summit this November in Scotland, where world leaders face mounting pressure to move more urgently to slow the Earth’s warming.

Monday’s sprawling assessment states that there is no remaining scientific doubt that humans are fueling climate change. That much is “unequivocal.” The only real uncertainty that remains, its authors say, is whether the world can muster the will to stave off a darker future than the one it already has carved in stone. [Pols emphasis]

U.N. Secretary General António Guterres called the findings “a code red for humanity” and said societies must find ways to embrace the transformational changes necessary to limit warming as much as possible. “We owe this to the entire human family,” he said in a statement. “There is no time for delay and no room for excuses.”

Experts say that the Earth needs a coordinated international effort to combat Climate Change — one that can begin work IMMEDIATELY.

 

As The New York Times reports, Congressional Democrats are close to proposing a $3.5 trillion budget blueprint:

Democrats on Monday launched their push for the most significant expansion of the nation’s social safety net since the Great Society, unveiling a $3.5 trillion budget blueprint that would boost spending on health care, child and elder care, education and climate change while bypassing a promised Republican filibuster.

The blueprint, which the Senate hopes to pass by the end of this week, would allow Senate Democrats to piece together social policy legislation this fall, fully paid for by raising taxes on the wealthy, large inheritances and corporations. And if Democrats and their two independent allies can hold together, that measure could pass the Senate without a Republican vote.

That measure would pass after a separate $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill likely clears the Senate on Tuesday. Together, they would secure the remainder of President Biden’s $4 trillion economic agenda, but the two-step effort will test Mr. Biden’s ability to both work with Republicans and maneuver around them.

Colorado Newsline has more on the separate infrastructure proposal that could be close to making it through the Senate.

 

Colorado Republicans are promoting their legislative priorities for 2022…in August of 2021.

 

There are no words.

In related news, The Colorado Sun notes that Republicans are prioritizing efforts to pass ballot measures because they have proven so inept at winning other elections recently.

 

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It’s Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Big Day In Colorado Springs

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA).

As the Colorado Springs Independent’s Pam Zubeck reports, Republican freshman controversy magnet Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia’s much-balleyhooed appearance as the keynote speaker for the El Paso County Republican Party’s Lincoln Day Dinner fundraiser has finally arrived–and reportedly it’s going to be a capacity crowd:

More than 400 people will crowd into the Hotel Elegante [tonight], Aug. 6, for the El Paso County GOP Lincoln dinner where Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene will speak.

GOP Chair Vickie Tonkins announced the “sold out” crowd in an Aug. 4 news release…

“If you were able to get in, before we sold out, good for you!” Tonkins’ release said. “This is going to be an awesome event and you are in for a great time. How I wish we could have gotten everyone in that wanted to be there. The venue just could not give us anymore tables…I tried.”

She then urges people to “bring your checkbook, cash, or credit card,” because the event is a fundraiser for the party.

She also notes that Greene is “exited [sic]” to attend…

After MTG was announced as the keynote speaker by the El Paso County GOP’s tendentious chairwoman Vickie Tonkins, who has maintained control over the county party with the assistance of the downright creepy FEC United/United American Defense Force quasi-militia group, a substantial number of “respectable” Republicans including Colorado GOP chairwoman Kristi Burton Brown and the area’s congressional representative Doug Lamborn suddenly realized their schedules were conflicted and they couldn’t attend.

A few local Republicans actually worked up the nerve to criticize the choice of MTG to keynote the party’s fundraiser, but a sellout crowd at the three-star Hotel Elegante assuming it materializes this evening is probably all the response Tonkins–and Greene–need for them. Greene may have been stripped of her committee assignments and condemned even by many Republican leaders for her regular embarrassments, but there’s no question MTG retains a large, forgiving, and loyal following among the GOP grassroots.

And tonight, MTG and one of our state’s most radicalized county Republican Party organizations will validate each other.

Boebert Finally Admits Government Good For Something

After unprecedented mudslides last Thursday night wrought havoc on one of Colorado’s greatest engineering marvels, Interstate 70’s partially-elevated route through Glenwood Canyon, effectively severing one of the most important transportation links between Denver and points west for what could be weeks on end, Rep. Lauren Boebert belatedly responded yesterday with something we almost never see: an uncontroversial acknowledgment of the federal government’s role in swiftly repairing the damage.

It’s nice to see Boebert cooperating instead of bloviating. On the other hand, what if she’s got this all wrong?

A wall of mud that God built for free. Maybe we shouldn’t question it?

We’re joking of course, and in all seriousness, it’s not like Boebert could have ignored this crisis forever given the big losses businesses along the I-70 corridor are experiencing each day the highway remains closed. That includes Boebert’s own Shooter’s Grill in Rifle, now an additional four hours from Denver via detour for that perfect militia selfie.

On the bright side for Boebert, when Glenwood Canyon closes, the mileage reimbursement floodgates open.

Endgame: Colorado’s GOP Reps Call For Overturning Roe v. Wade

Ex-Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Joke’s on you).

MSNBC’s Steve Benen writes today:

Last fall, in the wake of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing, and as Republicans scrambled to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the high court, Democrats told voters the future of reproductive rights was on the line in the 2020 elections.

And Republicans, realizing that they’re on the wrong side of public opinion, furiously pretended otherwise.

In one of the presidential debates, for example, after Joe Biden said the Roe v. Wade precedent was on the ballot, Donald Trump immediately pushed back. “Why is it on the ballot?” the Republican asked. “Why is it on the ballot? It’s not on the ballot.”

The same day, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) insisted the likelihood of Roe v. Wade being overturned “is very minimal.” She added, “I don’t see that happening.” Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) used similar rhetoric during his re-election campaign.

Here in Colorado, where voters have overwhelmingly rejected repeated attempts to ban abortion via statewide ballot initiatives, the conventional wisdom that abortion rights were not in serious danger despite mounting evidence to the contrary took a very long time to change. In 2014, the Denver Post infamously told its readers in their endorsement of Cory Gardner in his U.S. Senate bid that “Gardner’s election would pose no threat to abortion rights.” Perennial legislation from minority Republicans to criminalize and impose restrictions on abortion in the Colorado General Assembly was trivialized by the local media, believing as they did with Gardner that the actual threat to abortion rights was remote–or happy to keep up a pretense that just happened to have saved Gardner’s ass in 2014.

In retrospect, this was one of the greatest deceptions in Colorado’s political history.

Gardner went on to participate in the GOP Senate majority’s denial of a fair hearing and vote for Merrick Garland in 2016, then proceeded to help Donald Trump appoint three conservative Justices in only four years. And even though Gardner was soundly defeated in last year’s elections, late last week, Colorado’s Republican congressional minority carried his torch in calling for the 6-3 conservative Supreme Court Gardner left in his wake to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision guaranteeing abortion rights:

U.S. Reps. Ken Buck, Doug Lamborn and Lauren Boebert signed on to an amicus brief in support of Mississippi, which wants to enforce its ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

The brief cites the landmark abortion cases Roe v. Wade, which in 1973 upheld the constitutional right to an abortion, and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which upheld Roe in 1992.

“These precedents should be reconsidered and, where necessary, wholly or partially overruled,” the brief’s authors argue.

Even as abortion rights activists in Colorado have fought off repeated attempts to criminalize abortion, at the federal level abortion rights have been brought to the brink of ruin thanks in no small part to Cory Gardner’s role in reshaping the Supreme Court for the next generation. If Roe v. Wade is overturned and abortion rights become a state-by-state issue, Colorado is expected to become a “haven” for women seeking abortion care from states where abortion is outlawed. And of course, Colorado’s own longstanding and robust protections for abortion rights will truly be only one election away from ending.

We know there are readers who are tired of hearing about Cory Gardner and the “Big Lie” of 2014 in Colorado politics. Even Colorado GOP chairwoman Kristi Burton Brown, who got her start as the face of the “Personhood” abortion ban measures, says her goal today is “not to push one particular issue but to actually win.” A whole class of political pundits, consultants, lackeys, minions, and flunkies would like to move on from this grand yet old deception. After all, Cory Gardner doesn’t need it anymore.

If the Trump Court rules as Trump promised they would, that will be impossible. Just in time for the 2022 election cycle, abortion could be the defining issue it should have been in 2014.

At Least He’s Not Your Pistol-Packing Representative (This Time)

Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC).

The Asheville Citizen Times reports via USA TODAY, it’s a story Colorado political observers know all too well:

U.S. House member Madison Cawthorn had his gun taken by airport police and will likely face a federal fine and loss of a special security status, local and federal officials said.

The Republican congressman representing Western North Carolina’s 11th District was attempting to board a plane Feb. 13 when Transportation Security Administration workers found an unloaded gun in his carry-on bag, along with a loaded magazine, according to Asheville Regional Airport officials.

The weapon was described in a redacted incident report and police radio traffic recordings as a “Glock 9mm handgun.”

Cawthorn, whose spokesman responded to questions July 30 saying he brought the gun by mistake, was not charged with any crime, according to reports and other information on the incident obtained this month through a public records request. That is a normal outcome, said spokeswoman Tina Kinsey.

Freshman GOP Rep. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina, doing his best to keep up with the cavalcade of crazy from his fellow freshman Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert, really loves his guns and makes a big deal about carrying one everywhere–including possibly into the U.S. House on January 6th. Of course, safe and legal gun ownership starts (we assume) with knowing where your gun is at all times, and to just plain forget that you’ve brought one into an airport security line is a lapse that should result in more punishment than it typically does.

“Typically,” you ask? Well, yes readers, if you haven’t followed Colorado politics for as long as we have you might not know that Colorado Republicans have made irresponsibility with their guns a recurring theme. In December of 2017, then-state Rep. Lori Saine was busted at a DIA security checkpoint with a loaded pistol in her bag. And in 2014, former Rep. Jared Wright left a loaded handgun unattended in a House committee hearing room. Both incidents raised questions about the policy at the Colorado Capitol allowing lawmakers to carry concealed weapons in a building where everyone else has to trust the Colorado State Patrol.

The next year Rep. Saine went right back to sponsoring legislation to weaken Colorado’s gun laws like nothing happened, so don’t expect Rep. Cawthorn to suddenly become contrite over gun safety. For the rest of us, though, it’s another chance to learn an important lesson before somebody gets hurt.

Call it leadership by cautionary tale.

Republicans Might Have Backed the Wrong Horse…Again

 

UPDATE #2: And again…

 

—–

UPDATE: To our point…

Via The Washington Post (7/30/21)

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Could become a popular item (the bag).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maybe not.

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

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

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

Devastating CNN Report Exposes Boebert’s Deadly Indifference

Last night on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, reporter Gary Tuchman took an in-depth and extremely unflattering look at how freshman Rep. Lauren Boebert’s vitriolic dismissal of the threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic is playing out on the ground in Boebert’s district as the Delta variant surges and hospitals struggle to cope.

The result is four minutes of video that would under any normal circumstances end Boebert’s career:

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R).

Tuchman starts with a recap of some of Boebert’s more incendiary Tweets on the pandemic, like calling CDC workers “Needle Nazis” and stating that the solution to the Delta variant is to “vote Republican and turn off CNN.” Tuchman tries and fails to get an explanation from Boebert as she’s entering the Capitol. Tuchman then turns his conversation with health workers at Memorial Regional Hospital in Craig, which was forced to reopen its COVID treatment unit due to the recent surge in cases. And that’s where things get very bad for Boebert:

TUCHMAN: How does it make you feel the way Representative Boebert has treated this pandemic, the masks, the vaccine?

ANDY DANIELS, CEO, MEMORIAL REGIONAL HEALTH: You know, I’m embarrassed for Colorado too, quite frankly. I’m embarrassed that she is my representative.

TUCHMAN (on-camera): So you’re the CEO of an important hospital, her district, and you’re willing to go out on a limb and say that?

DANIELS: I am. I think if you’re going to take a stance on health care policy, you might actually want to learn something about health care policy. [Pols emphasis]

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Dr. Matthew Grzegozewski is the hospital’s emergency department chief medical officer.

GRZEGOZEWSKI: She comes from a position of power being our elected official and I think that people are listening to what she’s saying. And a lot of what she’s putting out there is ideology that isn’t fact isn’t medically sound. And it’s putting a lot of people at danger. And it’s quite honestly costing people lives. And it’s frustrating to have to fight against that.

First of all, you have to admire the bravery of these health care workers. Their denunciation of Boebert’s deadly COVID misinformation in this segment is so compelling that it could raise the ire of her radicalized supporters. The willingness of these health workers to speak out in such clear terms against their own congressional representative tells us that Boebert’s popularity even in the heart of her district is tenuous at best–and much like we saw from Politico’s in-depth look at how Boebert plays in Pueblo in June, Boebert has a serious problem that the local media for whatever reason hasn’t yet acknowledged.

It’s time to acknowledge it. Boebert is doing quantifiable harm to the people of her district and the institution of Congress, and her longsuffering constituents are pleading for all of us to look past her diversionary clickbait bombast and see what is actually happening on the ground.

We owe them our gratitude and full attention.

Get More Smarter on Thursday (July 29)

Holy hell! We’re almost done with July already. Let’s Get More Smarter; if you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of an audio learner, check out The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

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

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What a patriot.

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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Witness The Depth Of Republican Depravity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Get More Smarter on Monday (July 26)

Japan has a slight lead over the United States in the Olympic medal count after the first couple of days of competition. Let’s Get More Smarter; if you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of an audio learner, check out The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

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

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Colorado Public Radio has more on Haaland’s visit.

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Get More Smarter on Friday (July 23)

The 2020 2021 Tokyo Olympics are officially underway. Let’s Get More Smarter; if you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of an audio learner, check out The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

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

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vax that thang up, people!

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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Boebert Votes To Let Afghan Allies Die For The Lulz

Rep. Jason Crow (D).

Stars and Stripes’ Sarah Cammarata reports on the passage in the U.S. House today of the Averting Loss of Life and Injury by Expediting SIVs Act, also known as the ALLIES Act, a major legislative priority for Colorado’s Rep. Jason Crow to help get interpreters who served with American forces during the two-decade war in Afghanistan out of the country before the final withdrawal of American troops:

The House on Thursday approved legislation that would increase the number of visas for Afghan interpreters who worked with U.S. personnel, a potential lifeline for thousands waiting for application approvals as Taliban fighters continue to seize more territory in Afghanistan.

The bill from Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo., would streamline the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa program by boosting the number of visa slots by an additional 8,000. It would also speed up the process by removing the requirement that applicants must prove they are under threat as a result of their work with the U.S. government during the nearly 20-year war in Afghanistan.

The measure passed overwhelmingly by a vote of 407-16.

“The phrase life and death gets tossed around a lot in this chamber. But this bill is truly that for thousands of our Afghan friends. The Taliban is intent on hunting down and killing Afghans who have served alongside Americans the past 20 years,” Crow said on the House floor ahead of the vote.

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R).

However you feel about the war in Afghanistan, there’s no question that Afghan citizens who assisted American forces in battling Al-Qaeda and the Taliban deserve to be protected from almost certain death at the hands of the resurgent Taliban after Americans troops are gone. To fail to honor this basic obligation would put all future attempts to obtain cooperation from local populations in a military action in jeopardy.

That’s the polite way of saying it would make us look like complete assholes in the eyes of the entire world.

And yes, you guessed it–that’s Rep. Lauren Boebert’s cue:

Why was Lauren Boebert one of only 16 votes in Congress to let Afghan interpreters die at the hands of the Taliban? We haven’t seen a statement yet. But much like voting against preventing senior scams, carbon monoxide prevention, and bone marrow transplants, this is Boebert at her inexplicable worst. We honestly have no idea who this vote is supposed to appeal to–voters who want America to not be trusted by allies who risk their lives to help us? Even Ken Buck and Doug Lamborn agree we’re better than that.

How many bipartisanly indefensible votes does Boebert get before even her beet-red district has had enough?

Get More Smarter on Thursday (July 22)

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

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

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

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Vaxx that thang up, people!

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

That was then.

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

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

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

 

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Get More Smarter on Wednesday (July 21)

A new study says that Denver is the fourth-fittest city in America. Let’s Get More Smarter; if you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of an audio learner, check out The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

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

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

Words matter, people.

 

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Get More Smarter on Tuesday (July 20)

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

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

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

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

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

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

 

Holy fucking shit, Texas! As The Huffington Post reports:

In a new political low in Texas, the Republican-dominated state Senate has passed a bill to eliminate a requirement that public schools teach that the Ku Klux Klan and its white supremacist campaign of terror are “morally wrong.”

The cut is among some two dozen curriculum requirements dropped in the measure, along with studying Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, the works of United Farm Workers leader Cesar Chavez, Susan B. Anthony’s writings about the women’s suffragist movement, and Native American history…

…Senate Bill 3 — passed last Friday 18-4 — drops most mentions of people of color and women from the state’s required curriculum.

That includes eliminating a requirement that students be taught the “history of white supremacy, including but not limited to the institution of slavery, the eugenics movement, and the Ku Klux Klan, and the ways in which it is morally wrong.”

Honestly…we don’t even know what to say anymore.

 

A federal judge on Monday issued an 8-month jail sentence for Paul Hodgkins, the first person to be sentenced for a felony conviction for his part in the Jan. 6 insurrection.

 

 As Saja Hindi reports for The Denver Post, confusion over DACA is causing very real problems for many people in Colorado:

After a Texas federal judge’s decision late last week, thousands of Coloradans in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program are facing uncertainty — again — about their legal status in the United States.

The Biden administration said it plans to appeal Friday’s ruling that requires the federal government to stop processing new applications for the DACA program, which helps immigrants whose families brought them into the U.S. as young children temporarily avoid deportation and become eligible for work permits and Social Security numbers.

The latest court ruling leaves immigration attorneys scrambling to figure out how best to help clients who planned to apply for DACA. Current DACA recipients — people like 25-year-old Estéfani Peña Figueroa, who says she feels like she’s been on a “roller coaster” since 2017 — worry what this could mean for the program long-term. And advocates say it’s past time for a permanent solution.

Peña Figueroa says that, “I don’t feel like I can plan for my future.”

 

 Colorado Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper announced that Interior Secretary Deb Haaland has accepted their invitation to visit the headquarters of the Bureau of Land Management in Grand Junction on Friday. The BLM is reviewing a decision from 2019 to move the agency’s HQ to Western Colorado. Colorado Public Radio has more on Friday’s visit.

 

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The Get More Smarter Podcast: All-Star Alternate Universes

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

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

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

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

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

Colo Republican Leaders Deny Party Division, Claim Pro-Trumpers Have Won Control

(For if it prosper… – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

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So-called grassroots Republicans have lots of excuses for the party’s diminishing returns in Colorado politics over the past two decades, but they want you to know that the party is united and ready to claim its deserved mantle of victory in 2022.

According to two grassroots members of the Colorado GOP executive committee, the 20-year losing trend is a result of many factors. It’s the media. It’s “Trump derangement syndrome” and ignorant voters. It’s fickle unaffiliated voters. It’s legalized cannabis. It’s Democratic dark money playing in Republican open primaries. It’s ballot harvesting, rigged elections, and voter fraud. It’s Antifa posing as Trump supporters in a false flag operation of violently storming the U.S. Capitol.

For them, the Colorado GOP’s dismal political prospects are definitely NOT due to Trump’s documented sinking popularity, rapidly changing state demographics, GOP policy positions, nor candidates’ tone-deaf messaging.

And it definitely is not due to intraparty power struggles between establishment and “grassroots” or Trump factions of the Republican Party. That is, until their message discipline falls apart and their truth comes out.

Randy Corporon, conservative radio host, GOP National Committeeman, and member of the CO GOP Executive committee appeared from CPAC in March on a conservative podcast hosted by Chuck Bonniwell, also an Executive Committee member, and they agreed that the Republican Party is united, as verified by the optimistic vibe among CPAC attendees.

“Somebody asked a few minutes ago if I had to describe the takeaway so far at CPAC, what would I say in two words,” recounted Corporon. “And I said, ‘Party Unity.’ The swamp has no idea what’s coming. … I was on with Peter Boyles this morning and he talks about a division in the Republican Party. I just don’t see it. This is a sorting, a flushing out of the old guard, you know, four-decade-long establishment Republicans who are at the end of their power and they know it.”

Bonniwell begins his response by agreeing, but changes tack to the more familiar frame that has come to define his confrontational and provocative style. He passive-aggressively slams Republican pollster David Flaherty of Magellan Strategies and sardonically insults former Colorado Republican legislator Lois Landgraf for launching an organization to train candidates and promote an element of reasonableness among conservatives.

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