Get More Smarter on Friday (May 8)

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*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:

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The unemployment rate in the United States has reached a level not seen since the Great Depression. As reports:

The US shed 20.5 million jobs, and the unemployment rate surged to 14.7 percent in April, according to preliminary data released by the US Department of Labor Friday morning — worse than any unemployment rate on record in modern data, and higher than anything experienced since the Great Depression.

To make matters even worse, this figure almost certainly understates the true situation. April unemployment numbers are released in May based on surveys that took place during the week that contained April 12. And since April 12 in the US, things have only gotten worse: The initial unemployment insurance claims figures released in the final two weeks of April indicate that the labor market continued to deteriorate at a rapid pace, albeit slightly less rapidly than in the first weeks.

Ernie Tedeschi, a labor market economist, projected Thursday based on real-time data that the current unemployment rate is actually 20 percent. And in the jobs report, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said it believes murky classification of temporary unemployment in the household survey caused the official number to be about 5 percentage points lower.

As Denver7 reports, about 420,000 Coloradans have filed unemployment claims in the last seven weeks.


►  Don’t worry too much about the current state of affairs, because The Economy Fairy is here to save us! From Greg Sargent at The Washington Post:

President Trump’s campaign has already telegraphed its argument along these lines. And at its core is one of Trump’s biggest and most insulting lies yet.

The claim is that, having once created the most spectacular economy in the known universe, he will now do so a second time.

“We built the greatest economy the world has ever seen,” Trump intones in a major new ad campaign. “And we’re going to do it again.” That ad heralds “the greatest comeback story,” which in truth signals an extraordinarily audacious and propagandistic rewriting of recent history.

For all of you who already understand full well that Trump had virtually nothing to do with the pre-coronavirus economy, this is your stop:

Trump didn’t build the pre-coronavirus economy he hails as his own. He inherited its major trends. This is true by just about every major metric, such as job growth and the decline in the unemployment rate, both of which had been steady during the Obama years and carried over into Trump’s presidency.


The Donald Trump Justice Department announced on Thursday afternoon that it was DROPPING ITS CASE against former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn…even though Flynn has repeatedly admitted guilt for his crimes. Jennifer Rubin of The Washington Post calls it “another corrupt act by the most corrupt attorney general ever,” in reference to AG William Barr. National Public Radio tries to understand how this is even happening, while Charlie Savage of The New York Times sums things up with a single lede:

The Justice Department’s decision to drop the criminal case against Michael T. Flynn, President Trump’s former national security adviser, even though he had twice pleaded guilty to lying to investigators, was extraordinary and had no obvious precedent, a range of criminal law specialists said on Thursday. [Pols emphasis]

The New York Times reportedly separately on Thursday that the White House had been preparing for President Trump to issue a pardon for Flynn, but advisers urged Trump to let the Justice Department do it for him wait a little longer.


 Congressman Ken Buck (R-Greeley), who moonlights as the State Republican Party Chair (or vice-versa) is caught trying to force a local Republican official to put a candidate on the Primary ballot who failed to qualify through the caucus/assembly process. Conrad Swanson of The Denver Post updates a story that is quickly going from worse to worser for Buck:

Kris Cook, chair of the Denver Republican Party, found out about it Wednesday only to hear hours later that Buck canceled a committee meeting that had been scheduled for Friday.

“We’re touching on something here that’s not quite clean, and it’s not quite the image I have of what the party ought to be,” Cook said, later adding: “I think it’s worth questioning whether him in that role is going to have a negative effect on the rest of this cycle.” [Pols emphasis]

We’ll go ahead and answer that one now: Yes.



If you’re looking for political news that isn’t about Coronavirus, it’s available right after the jump…




► Catherine Rampell of The Washington Post marvels at the Trump administration’s not-so-new idea for boosting the economy:

According to the White House, the real coronavirus cure is even more magical: tax cuts.

At least the GOP is consistent.

To today’s Republicans, who long ago abandoned any pretense of fiscal responsibility, tax cuts are the all-purpose remedy for whatever ails the country (or doesn’t). When the economy is good, cut taxes. When the economy is bad, cut taxes. When the deficit is high, cut taxes; when the deficit is low, or has even flipped to surplus, cut taxes then, too.

Even so, the tax proposals the Trump administration is floating appear especially irrelevant to today’s problems. Consider the four most frequently offered up by administration officials.

As Rampell explains, many experts believe that cutting taxes will actually do nothing at all to stimulate the economy. But it WILL benefit rich people, so there’s that.


Senator Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) doesn’t want to talk about the fact that the JBS meatpacking plant in Greeley never actually conducted widespread COVID-19 testing despite Gardner’s boasts that he helped deliver test kits to the plant.


► Kyle Clark of 9News talks with Vice President Mike Pence about efforts to battle the coronavirus outbreak and Colorado’s all-mail ballot system:


► Colorado Democrats, including Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Boulderish), continue to push their Congressional colleagues to support a massive federal stimulus bill to assist local and state governments.


► Coloradans can soon use SNAP benefits to buy groceries online.


As 9News reports, Colorado has some more crazy:

The man behind a threat of “shooting” and a “Civil War” if Tri-County Health doesn’t lift a stay home order also emailed a veiled shooting threat to an elected official in Broomfield. Police say neither threat was specific enough to be a crime.

The man who acknowledged to Next with Kyle Clark that he sent the threats was unapologetic and called them “warning signals to elected officials.”

Governor Jared Polis responded to this “civil war” threat:

“Threatening a civil war over decals on the floor of the store that tell you where to stand in the takeout line, is really offensive to anybody who supports the freedom and liberty that we enjoy in this country.”


► Colorado hasn’t yet needed to use new temporary hospital facilities in dealing with the coronavirus outbreak, but the state isn’t ready to shutter them just yet.


► The Tri-County Health Department, which covers Adams, Arapahoe, and Douglas counties, provides a detailed look at the coronavirus threat among its 1.5 million residents.


The new epicenter of the coronavirus in Colorado is in Morgan County, which is represented by State Senator and stay-at-home denier Jerry Sonnenberg. Morgan County has had to bring in a refrigerated truck to store the bodies of COVID-19 victims.




Of course Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will do everything in his power to ram through another Supreme Court Justice if given the chance. Via POLITICO:

Via POLITICO (5/8/20)


Taking their cues from President Trump, Colorado Republicans continue to assail the state’s mail balloting system because of fears that “more voters” = “fewer Republican elected officials.”


The Colorado legislature’s Joint Budget Committee has a lot of painful cuts to make. First on the block: Higher education.


The State Supreme Court ruled earlier this week that Democrat Lorena Garcia did not “substantially comply” with requirements that would give her access to the ballot for the June U.S. Senate Primary. Perennial candidate Erik Underwood thought he might have a chance, for some reason, but he was also denied.

There’s another argument taking place over whether a local school board can announce that there is only one finalist for its superintendent position.


 University of Colorado President Mark Kennedy needed to hear outrage from faculty and staff before he realized that accepting a $200,000 bonus was not a good look.



Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 


► “Now serving number 120,000” is a phrase nobody will be hearing anytime soon.


► District Attorney George Brauchler is truly one magnificent putz.




This is some quality satire right here:

Commencing at the siren, any and all white-collar crimes — including bribery, extortion, conspiracy and lying to the FBI — will be legal for a minimum of eight continuous months, provided it is undertaken for the benefit of Trump.

The Justice Department will not be available to make any case against you. It will see its way clear to letting you go. It will say that it can’t muster proof even if you have literally admitted to the crime in court. Please let the department know whether there is anything further it can do to help you or, through you, the president! That is why the Justice Department is there. (Thank you, Leaders, for this clear reinterpretation of the attorney general’s function!)


 Senator Cory Gardner is well and truly hosed in 2020.


If you already caught this week’s episode of The Get More Smarter Podcast, well, listen again:


For more political learnings, check out The Get More Smarter Show or The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to give Colorado Pols a thumbs up on Facebook and Twitter


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