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TOP OF MIND TODAY…
► First things first: DO NOT MAIL YOUR BALLOT! Ballots must be received by 7:00 pm tonight — the postmarked date is irrelevant — so you need to take your ballot to a suitable drop-off location TODAY. Go to GoVoteColorado.com for more information.
If you already cast your ballot and had voted for one of the candidates who has since dropped out (Pete Buttigieg, Tom Steyer, and Amy Klobuchar in just the last few days), then you’re just out of luck. There is no option for you to cast another ballot this year, though state lawmakers are discussing potential remedies in future elections. If this makes you salty, then complain to the campaign instead of the people trying to handle gazillions of ballots today.
The Denver Post has more on how Colorado voters are viewing their ballots today.
9News also breaks down what you need to know for Super Tuesday.
► We could be in for a wild night as votes are counted in 14 states and one U.S. territory (American Samoa) today. The race for the Democratic Presidential nomination looks significantly different than it did just one week ago. Steyer, Buttigieg, and Klobuchar are out, and former Vice President Joe Biden is surging at the moment.
Fun fact: With Buttigieg and Klobuchar out of the race, the average age of the field of candidates seeking the Democratic Presidential nomination jumped from 68 to 75. At age 70, Elizabeth Warren is now the baby of the bunch. At age 77, Biden is now the youngest male candidate still in the Democratic field (Bernie Sanders and Michael Bloomberg are both 78 years old).
From a national perspective, CNN’s Chris Cillizza lays out his vision of the 5 most likely Super Tuesday scenarios. National Public Radio has a simple guide for each state casting votes today. Philip Bump of The Washington Post looks at how moderate Democrats are doing what moderate Republicans could not (or would not) do in 2016.
► President Trump is plainly terrified about the political ramifications for him related to market instability and the COVID-19 virus. Here’s but one more example, via The Washington Post:
The Federal Reserve made an emergency interest rate cut Tuesday, slashing the benchmark U.S. interest rate by half a percentage point, the biggest cut since the financial crisis.
The U.S. central bank has not made an emergency move like this since late 2008, and Fed leaders said it was done to protect the U.S. economy and financial markets as the coronavirus spreads.
“We saw a risk to the outlook of the economy and we chose to act,” Fed Chair Jerome H. Powell said at a press conference shortly after the rate cut announcement.
The Fed’s action reduces the U.S. interest rate to just below 1.25 percent, down from 1.75 percent. Fed leaders voted unanimously in favor of the rate reduction, and Powell tried to project a sense of calm during short 13-minute press conference. He said repeatedly that the U.S. economic fundamentals still look healthy, but he said “sentiment” had shifted.
The highly unusual Fed action comes on the heels of other central banks around the world lowering their interest rates and calls by President Trump for a “big” rate cut. [Pols emphasis]
The stock market responded to news about the interest rate cut with quite the spasm.
And before you wag your finger about “politicizing” the COVID-19 virus, read this.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► Politico reports on another questionable move in King Trump’s administration:
A White House lawyer and former counsel to the House Intelligence Committee under Devin Nunes has been named senior director for intelligence on the National Security Council, the latest instance of President Donald Trump elevating a trusted loyalist to control the intelligence community.
Michael Ellis, a deputy to White House lawyer John Eisenberg, started in the role on Monday, according to a senior administration official and a former national security official. Ellis left the counsel’s office so won’t be dual-hatted with his new job.
Ellis figured prominently in the Trump/Ukraine scandal and refused to testify about impeachment charges before the House Intelligence Committee last year. It has been widely reported that the White House tried to hide the infamous July 25, 2019 Ukraine phone call by storing it on a private server…at the suggestion of people such as Ellis.
► Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Denver) doesn’t come out very well in this story from Westword about his thoughts on his failed Presidential bid.
► Former Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords will be in Aurora on March 9 for a rally in support of the Senate campaign of John Hickenlooper.
► “Mill Levy Equalization” could be the cool new phrase of the 2020 legislative session, at least as it pertains to education funding.
► As Meghan Lopez reports for Denver7, the Colorado legislature is making it safer to be a bicyclist:
Senate Bill 61 defines bike lanes in Colorado law, and requires drivers to yield to cyclists in bike lanes and allows law enforcement to ticket people who block bike lanes. It’s the only bike-specific bill to be introduced so far this legislative session to address the number of injuries and deaths happening on Colorado roads.
“It’s a pretty straightforward bill. It basically says that if the cyclist is riding in the bike lane and gets hit by a car, it’s not the cyclist’s fault,” said Senator Mike Foote, D-Boulder, one of the bill’s co-sponsors.
Under current Colorado law, cyclists must follow the same rules as vehicles. They can also receive citations for breaking the law and be fined.
The bill has made it out of the legislature and is awaiting a signature from Gov. Jared Polis.
► Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser talks about the most common consumer complaints in Colorado. Alliteration for the win!
► Colorado’s “Title Board” will consider the fate of more than two dozen potential 2020 ballot measures when it convenes on Wednesday.
► Colorado health officials have the ability to test for COVID-19.
► A 9News reporter filed a restraining order against a white supremacist.
► Enjoy this new digital ad that is part of a six-figure ad buy from the local group Rocky Mountain Values:
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► The actual President of the United States of America.
► Vice President Mike Pence is patient zero!
► Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) has been a vocal supporter of legal attempts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. Now that the Supreme Court has indicated when they’ll review these cases, it’s going to get a bit harder for Gardner to be so enthusiastic about cutting health care access for millions of Americans.
► If you have already read this…well, just read it again.
► Don’t miss the latest episode of The Get More Smarter Podcast.