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► President Trump and Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) are getting rightfully hammered after gloating about delivering 100 ventilators to Colorado just days after the federal government prevented 500 ventilators from getting to our state.
The editorial board of The Denver Post comes in HOT on the subject today:
President Donald Trump is treating life-saving medical equipment as emoluments he can dole out as favors to loyalists. It’s the worst imaginable form of corruption — playing political games with lives. For the good of this nation during what should be a time of unity, he must stop.
The Post is referring to yesterday’s big news in Colorado, in which Trump and Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) patted each other on the back over 100 ventilators being delivered to Colorado…just a few days after FEMA blocked Colorado’s order for 500 ventilators.
Trump had only days before prevented Colorado Gov. Jared Polis from securing 500 ventilators from a private company, instead, taking the ventilators for the federal government. Polis sent a formal letter pleading for medical equipment, but the president took the time to make clear he was responding to a request from Gardner. We are left to believe that if Colorado didn’t have a Republican senator in office, our state would not be getting these 100 ventilators. How many ventilators would we be getting if we had a Republican governor and a second Republican senator? Would that indicate we had more Republican lives in our state worth saving for Trump and resources would start flowing? Should Utah be concerned that Sen. Mitt Romney voted to remove the president from office?
This behavior comes, of course, weeks after Trump informed states they would have to compete against one another in the procurement of medical supplies at a time of global shortages due to the coronavirus pandemic.
As news outlets across the state (and country) reported, people were aghast at Trump and Gardner for using ventilators as a political tool. Here’s The Grand Junction Sentinel; 9News; CBS4 Denver; CNN; and The Denver Post, to name just a few.
Jeremy Jojola of 9News had a similar reaction:
Yes. We are talking about human lives.
I hope people realize this beyond their political loyalties and their personal political leanings.
This was a political maneuver.
I’m a reporter who calls it how he sees it.
It was straight garbage.
There’s your answer. https://t.co/4aNZb6LjH4
— Jeremy Jojola (@jeremyjojola) April 9, 2020
► The U.S. Senate has reached an early impasse in discussions on a fourth spending bill related to coronavirus relief.
► Another 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment assistance last week, bringing the total number of claims to 17 million. The unemployment rate in the United States is now estimated to be about 13%, the highest figure since the Great Depression.
The news isn’t all bad, thankfully: There’s more evidence that social distancing efforts are working to flatten/smash/crush “the curve.”
► CNN checks the facts on President Trump’s latest coronavirus briefing. The Washington Post notes that all of our problems are miraculously solved when Trump is at the podium every afternoon, while Politico points out that Trump’s briefings are NOT helping his image with Americans.
As part of Wednesday’s briefing, Trump again claimed — without evidence — that increasing mail-in voting is a recipe for rampant corruption. Questions about mail-in balloting came after Trump earlier encouraged Republicans to “fight very hard” against expanding mail-in voting because Republicans will have a harder time winning elections if more Americans cast ballots. Seriously…that’s really what he said.
As 9News points out, Colorado is lucky that it moved to all-mail balloting years ago.
Former Gov. John Hickenlooper makes the case for voting by mail in an Op-Ed for The Washington Post.
► How do you run a U.S. Senate campaign during a coronavirus lockdown? What’s it like to be in charge during a time of crisis? How will you get your hair cut? We ask former Gov. John Hickenlooper these questions and more in the latest episode of The Get More Smarter Podcast.
If you’re looking for political news that isn’t about Coronavirus, it’s available right after the jump…
SERIOUSLY, THERE WILL BE NON-CORONAVIRUS NEWS MOMENTARILY…
► A bunch of new polls show that Americans are unhappy with the federal government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak and particularly concerned about President Trump’s crisis leadership. Here’s polling results from CNN; Navigator Research; and Quinnipiac University.
Quinnipiac also has new numbers on the now-certain Presidential race matchup between Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden. Biden leads Trump 49-41 in a head-to-head matchup, and check out these comparisons on crisis leadership:
When asked who would do a better job handling a crisis, voters say 51 – 42 percent that Biden would do a better job than Trump. Biden tops Trump by a similar margin on health care, as voters say 53 – 40 percent that he would do a better job than Trump at handling the issue.
As we’ve noted before, the 2020 election is going to be “The Coronavirus Election.”
► Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, whose state was at the forefront of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, talks with The Washington Post about where problems persist in receiving federal government resources:
The overarching issue, Inslee told me, is “an inadequate supply chain” that’s “grossly inadequate to the demand.”
► Nearly one-third of Americans did not/could not pay rent this month.
► The Federal Reserve is injecting another $2.3 trillion into the economy via a new loan program with a cool name. From CNN:
The Fed said Thursday that it is creating a Municipal Liquidity Facility with up to $500 billion in loans and $35 billion in credit protection in order to “help state and local governments manage cash flow stresses caused by the coronavirus pandemic.”
Through this lending program, the Fed said it will buy short-term debt from states and Washington D.C., counties with at least 2 million people and cities with a population of 1 million and above.
“The Fed’s role is to provide as much relief and stability as we can during this period of constrained economic activity, and our actions today will help ensure that the eventual recovery is as vigorous as possible,” said Fed chair Jerome Powell in a statement.
The Fed also said Thursday that it will supply financing to banks taking part in the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program.
We give credit when credit is due; “Municipal Liquidity Facility” does sound pretty cool.
► Congressman Jason Crow (D-Aurora) is holding a live Facebook Q&A today at 2:00 to discuss stimulus relief money and individual rebates. Go to facebook.com/RepJasonCrow to participate.
► The coronavirus may put a permanent end to the practice of shaking hands, which would be quite a change for most politicians. Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the country’s foremost experts in combating the coronavirus outbreak, believes that we should all stop shaking hands once and for all.
► A case study on a coronavirus outbreak in Chicago from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) demonstrates why Americans SHOULD NOT gather for religious services at the moment — even for Easter.
► Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-Denver) is furious at President Trump for pimping an unproven coronavirus treatment that is causing problems for constituents who need the medication for other underlying conditions.
► The coronavirus may have been in Colorado as early as January, but as we all know, it wasn’t possible to test for the virus at that point because the Trump administration hadn’t yet taken the issue seriously. As CBS4 Denver reports, Colorado doctors “have been begging for tests.”
HERE IT IS: POLITICAL NEWS THAT IS (MOSTLY) NOT ABOUT CORONAVIRUS…
► Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants you to know that nothing will stop him from his primary duty to…approve more federal judges. Alexandra Petri of The Washington Post takes a very sarcastic look at Leader McConnell’s single-minded leadership:
The whole landscape was barren, and the fires burned everywhere. And in the smoldering remains of the Senate, Mitch McConnell sat on a throne of skulls making preparations to confirm his 8,999th judge. Mitch McConnell would leave no vacancy behind.
The people were long gone. The streets were empty, and some old scraps of burned newspaper tossed on the hot, sulfurous wind. And Mitch McConnell was still confirming judges.
The sky was a dark, angry red. The sun was not visible and had not been visible for a long time. There were no longer any rhinoceroses whatsoever. There were exactly three birds. The halls of Congress were empty except for John Quincy Adams’s ghost and one hoarse buzzard perched on a cracked torso in Statuary Hall. And Mitch McConnell was still confirming judges.
► As The Denver Post reports, efforts to get several proposals on the 2020 ballot may come up short in part because of the coronavirus outbreak:
This was going to be a big year for citizen-led democracy in Colorado, with dozens of initiatives aiming to make the November ballot, but the virus’ spread has created uncertainty about many of them. Among those that have not yet qualified for the ballot are an effort to create a paid family and medical leave program, a proposal to raise billions by hiking taxes on the wealthy and an initiative to raise cigarette taxes and create a new tax on vaping products.
In fact, only three initiatives made it onto the ballot before the statewide stay-at-home order and social distancing measures kicked in — ones seeking to reintroduce gray wolves in the state, repeal Colorado’s support for the National Popular Vote, and reiterate that only citizens may vote.
Eight others were approved to gather signatures. A ballot initiative calling for a ban on abortions past 22 weeks was granted an emergency motion by a judge last week to resume signature-gathering after the state’s stay-at-home order is lifted. “Due Date Too Late’s” initial signature collection fell short of the state’s requirement for 124,632 valid signatures, so the group will have a 15-day cure period to collect more.
In the case of “Due Date Too Late,” that group failed to gather enough signatures for ballot access well before the coronavirus outbreak would have had a significant impact.
► Colorado’s oil and gas industry is looking at a long road to financial recovery. Again, NOT because of SB-181.
► Colorado officials look at next steps after President Trump rolled back Obama-era fuel efficiency standards for vehicles.
► There were a bunch of municipal elections in Colorado on Tuesday. Here are some of the results.
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► Stop being so stupid, Boulderites.
► Some reports about police impersonators have turned out to be false, but experts still caution people to be wary of fake badges.
► There’s probably no way you missed this, but just in case (TPNWYMIBJIC?): Sen. Bernie Sanders dropped out of the race for the Democratic Presidential nomination on Wednesday.
► Can a pandemic remake society for the better? It’s happened before.
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