Happy International Nurses Day, which should probably just be every day from here on out. Now, 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/visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show or The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter.
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► The big political and coronavirus story in Colorado yesterday involved a Castle Rock restaurant called C&C Breakfast and Korean Kitchen, which opened its doors to swarms of people on Sunday in defiance of local and state orders to please not make it easier for people to die from COVID-19. On Monday afternoon, Gov. Jared Polis pulled the restaurant’s business license indefinitely for creating a public health hazard.
As Kyle Clark reports for 9News, this was not the plan for anti-social distancing activists:
► The Denver Post explains the latest Colorado coronavirus update from Gov. Jared Polis:
State parks will once again allow camping beginning Tuesday, Polis said, while a decision on whether ski resorts, restaurants and summer camps can reopen will be made May 25.
Additional steps in the state’s ongoing “safer at home” plan to gradually restart businesses and ease some social distancing will be considered after June 1, the governor added.
Those dates were chosen based on the availability of data on the novel coronavirus in Colorado, Polis said, which lags about 10 to 14 days behind the actual spread of the virus in the state.
► Dr. Anthony Fauci is testifying before a Senate committee today on the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He is not mincing words, saying: “We don’t have the coronavirus outbreak under control.”
► No, it’s not just you: We have no idea what President Trump is talking about when he throws out the word “Obamagate.” As MSNBC reports:
The president has recently been issuing tweets about something he’s calling ‘Obamagate,’ which he declined to discuss in further detail when asked Monday during a White House briefing.
Trump says that “Obamagate” is “the biggest political crime in American history.” Republican Senators seem as perplexed by this as everyone else, as POLITICO explains:
President Donald Trump’s aggressive campaign to encourage sweeping investigations of his predecessor Barack Obama met a unanimous response from Senate Republicans: No thanks. [Pols emphasis]
Trump’s Senate allies on Monday stopped short of echoing Trump’s claim that Obama acted illegally when the Justice Department began probing incoming national security adviser Michael Flynn in late 2016. And they indicated that the Senate would pass on investigating the former president as they conduct their own investigations that could soon ensnare other senior Obama administration officials.
Trump mentioned “Obamagate” in a bizarre press conference on Monday that ended with The Big Orange Guy storming off in anger because he didn’t like questions being posed by reporters.
► Arguments in Colorado’s “faithless electors” case will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court tomorrow. According to a press release from the Colorado Secretary of State’s office:
On Wednesday, May 13, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Colorado Department of State v. Baca. The case will be heard at 9 a.m. Mountain Time and for the first time, audio will be streamed live at www.supremecourt.gov and on CSPAN…
…Attorney General Phil Weiser will make the arguments on behalf of the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office. Of 20 cases that the Supreme Court was scheduled to hear, due to COVID-19, it will only hear ten. Colorado Department of State v. Baca is one of them.
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…
► The federal government continues to get poor marks on its coronavirus response, according to a new poll from CNN. A separate Washington Post-Ipsos poll finds that Americans are much more enthusiastic about governors who did not move quickly to re-open their states.
► As The Associated Press reports, governors and other elected officials in five Western states are asking the federal government for $1 trillion in relief funding:
Officials from California, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington said in a letter to leaders of both parties in the U.S. House and Senate that they will have to make deep budgets cuts without more federal aid. That could include to services such as health programs and job training designed to help those hit hard by the virus.
“Without federal support, states and cities will be forced to make impossible decisions — like whether to fund critical public healthcare that will help us recover, or prevent layoffs of teachers, police officers, firefighters and other first responders,” the letter stated.
The governors and officials said $1 trillion in direct, flexible payments to state and local governments will not make up for the big hits their budgets are expected to take, but “it will make a meaningful difference” in their ability to keep services running. The Assembly minority leader in California was the lone Republican to sign the letter.
Governor Jared Polis will be in Washington D.C. on Wednesday to advocate for relief funds in a meeting with President Trump.
► As The Colorado Sun reports, rural hospitals in Colorado say they have been saved — at least temporarily — by federal relief funding.
► Senator Michael Bennet (D-Denver) is pushing for legislation to provide $100 billion in housing assistance to renters — particularly those on the lower end of the income scale.
► Senator Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) is back to taking credit for 100 ventilators that Colorado received after the federal government stopped the state from filling an order for 500 of the machines.
► Republican congressional candidate Lauren “Yosemite Samantha” Boebert says that nobody’s going to tell her she isn’t allowed to open her restaurant — at least not as long as there is a chance she might be able to pick up some free press for herself while the subject is hot.
► White House officials are requiring that staffers wear masks in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. This directive does not apply to President Trump, of course, because nothing applies to President Trump.
► Alex Burness of The Denver Post has the latest on the grim process of dealing with massive budget shortfalls in Colorado:
The public will find out just how big the immediate problem is Tuesday, as state analysts release an updated economic forecast for the 2020-21 fiscal year. The state could be short $3 billion — roughly 10% of the state budget overall, and closer to 25% of the budget’s general fund, which covers core services.
Lawmakers are constitutionally obligated to pass a balanced budget, so by the beginning of June, one way or another, some significant percentage of spending will be cut. The state’s Joint Budget Committee has already spent seven days rewriting, nearly line-by-line, the budget for the next fiscal year, and it’s been a painful exercise.
Tears have been shed on multiple occasions. The committee’s chair, Rep. Daneya Esgar, D-Pueblo, said weighing cuts to services for adults with severe disabilities “broke all of our hearts.” Also difficult were discussions on cutting Colorado’s tourism marketing budget and nixing a plan to give state employees pay raises. Those employees could soon face furloughs or layoffs.
This kind of hacking likely won’t be a one-time exercise.
It’s just just the coronavirus that is causing so much pain. You can place equal blame on TABOR.
AT LAST: POLITICAL NEWS THAT IS (MOSTLY) NOT ABOUT CORONAVIRUS…
► The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing arguments related to whether or not President Trump must disclose his tax returns to investigators. As Elie Honig writes for CNN, you know them stakes is high:
The court will decide by the end of its current term not only whether Trump’s tax returns ever see light of day, but also whether the President stands so far above the law that he cannot meaningfully be held accountable to other branches of government and the American public…
…Legally, this shouldn’t be particularly close or difficult. Exhibit A: In total, six different federal courts — three district courts and three courts of appeals panels — have heard these cases, and all six have ruled against Trump. It’s no fluke that Trump has a batting average of exactly .000 thus far in trying to block disclosure of his tax returns, and it would take a stunning reversal by the Supreme Court — essentially deciding that all six lower courts got it wrong — to save Trump’s cause now.
► The Colorado legislature adjusted its return date for Tuesday, May 26.
► Example #4,537 of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell being a total dick.
► Still waiting for that tax refund? It could be awhile.
► As CBS4 Denver reports, members of Colorado’s Congressional delegation are being swamped with emails and phone calls:
Congresswoman Diana DeGette, who’s served for more than 20 years, says she’s never seen so many emails, letters and calls.
“It has been overwhelming.”
She says before COVID-19, her town halls averaged 250 people. Now, her telephone town halls draw 8,000.
► Paul Waldman of The Washington Post reads the tea leaves and sees a future where Republicans have essentially conceded that President Trump is toast in 2020.
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► This is not a good time to be in the pants business.
► Senator Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) made his political bed. Now it’s on fire.
► E.J. Dionne Jr. of The Washington Post thinks that Democrats have the edge in taking control of the U.S. Senate in 2020. Dionne’s story includes this powerful quote from Democrat John Hickenlooper:
Colorado’s former governor John Hickenlooper, a Democrat with a good chance of ousting incumbent Republican Sen. Cory Gardner, expresses a sense of gravity about this campaign that he never felt in his races for mayor of Denver or governor.
“I will never forgive myself if I lose it,” Hickenlooper told me, “and I will do everything in my power, I will work as hard as humanly possible, to make sure that I win this, just because I feel in my bones that our democracy has been so weakened by this relentless partisanship, the constant division.”
► What the Buck? Check out this week’s episode of The Get More Smarter Podcast:
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