It was two months ago today that President Trump declared a national emergency because of the coronavirus pandemic (on Friday the 13th, no less). 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.
*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website
*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:
*How you can help in Colorado:
► House Democrats are pushing for a massive new coronavirus relief bill that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell flatly opposes. On Wednesday, Democrats found a new ally in Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, who warned in no uncertain terms that more stimulus funding is a necessity for the American economy. From The Washington Post:
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell gave a dire warning Wednesday that the U.S. economy could become stuck in a painful multi-year recession if Congress and the White House do not approve more aid to address the coronavirus pandemic’s economic fallout. [Pols emphasis]
“Additional fiscal support could be costly, but worth it if it helps avoid long-term economic damage and leaves us with a stronger recovery,” Powell said in a videoconference with the Peterson Institute for International Economics…
…The Fed chair urged Congress to remember that the longer people remain out of work, the deeper the scarring becomes on the U.S. economy. There is a domino effect where consumers lose jobs and sharply cut spending, and that can cause more businesses to close, hurting more jobs. Companies that go out of business also stop paying their suppliers, which can drag down other firms.
Central banks across the country are also encouraging Congress to hurry up and pass another big relief bill, as are bipartisan leaders of the National Governors Association.
Governor Jared Polis is meeting personally with President Trump at the White House today to lobby for more relief for state and local governments. Polis is scheduled to take questions from the media following his afternoon meeting.
► Forecasts for Colorado’s state budget are worse than anticipated, as The Denver Post reports:
At least a tenth of Colorado’s state budget for next year must be cut, lawmakers were advised Tuesday morning.
For weeks, economists and lawmakers have been preparing for a hard hit, but now they have a specific number to work with: The total shortfall for this year and the fiscal year that begins July 1 is about $3.3 billion — including just shy of a $900 million reduction for 2019-20 — according to nonpartisan legislative analysts.
“Colorado is facing what may be the most dire budget situation in our state’s history, but I know that we will join together and meet this challenge,” said state Rep. Daneya Esgar, D-Pueblo, chair of the bipartisan Joint Budget Committee.
The projected loss will eat about 10% of the overall state budget and 25% of the state’s general fund, which covers core services such as education and transportation. The governor’s budget director, Lauren Larson, described this decline in revenue as “precipitous and alarming.”
As we’ve mentioned before, you can blame the coronavirus here so long as you spend equal time complaining about TABOR.
Colorado’s budgetary problems are about to get even worse, as 9News reports:
The pandemic has already slowed Colorado’s economy to a crawl. But now the state’s complicated tax laws are promising to cut residential property taxes by 18% according to a new forecast presented to the Joint Budget Committee on Tuesday. That would be one of the biggest drops in state history.
While it may be welcome news to homeowners, the projection shows the cuts could cost school districts $491 million and county governments, which fund services including libraries and fire departments with that tax revenue, more than $200 million when the new tax rates are set in 2022.
You can blame The Gallagher Amendment for this one.
► Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, gave a somber warning about re-opening the country too soon during his Senate testimony on Tuesday.
► At least he’s not your law-breaking state party chair…well, unless you are a Republican in Colorado.
► Arguments in Colorado’s “faithless electors” case are being by the U.S. Supreme Court today.
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…
► As Kevin Roose writes for The New York Times, it’s not too early to prep for the coronavirus vaccine misinformation war:
What if we get a Covid-19 vaccine and half the country refuses to take it?
It occurred to me that all the misinformation we’ve seen so far — the false rumors that 5G cellphone towers fuel the coronavirus, that drinking bleach or injecting UV rays can cure it, that Dr. Anthony Fauci is part of an anti-Trump conspiracy — may be just the warm-up act for a much bigger information war when an effective vaccine becomes available to the public. This war could pit public health officials and politicians against an anti-vaccination movement that floods social media with misinformation, conspiracy theories and propaganda aimed at convincing people that the vaccine is a menace rather than a lifesaving, economy-rescuing miracle.
Scariest of all? It could actually work.
► The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which blocked Colorado’s efforts to get 500 ventilators last month, has struck again in Colorado:
A dozen people have died of coronavirus at a nursing home in the small Colorado town of Brush.
After the home bought $15,000 in PPE — wipes, gowns, masks — FEMA forced the medical supplier to send it somewhere else. https://t.co/sLnLfGAk2T
— Justin Wingerter (@JustinWingerter) May 12, 2020
► Senator Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) and Vice President Mike Pence loudly proclaimed last month that they had secured COVID-19 tests for workers at the JBS meatpacking plant in Greeley. So why is that plant workers are just now being tested?
► As Colorado Public Radio reports, many of the coronavirus prevention measures being taken everywhere are going to be hard to duplicate once the state legislature reconvenes on May 26.
► Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser is pushing for new worker protections at meat packaging plants in Colorado.
► C&C Breakfast and Korean Kitchen in Castle Rock — which closed on Tuesday after violating multiple health orders related to COVID-19 — actually received a coronavirus small business grant late last month.
► Meanwhile, a new poll from The Washington Post and the University of Maryland shows once more than the vast majority of Americans are not comfortable opening up the country until at least July.
Another poll from POLITICO/Morning Consult shows that Republican voters are moving more toward the idea of prioritizing the economy over public health.
► The Colorado Tourism Office would like out-of-state visitors to maybe not come to Colorado for awhile.
AT LAST: POLITICAL NEWS THAT IS (MOSTLY) NOT ABOUT CORONAVIRUS…
► First son-in-law Jared Kushner should really just stop talking. As Chris Cillizza explains for CNN:
Jared Kushner is very good at making news. The bad kind. For the Trump White House, that is.
In a video interview with Time magazine released Tuesday, Kushner, the presidential son-in-law and jack of all trades at the White House, was asked whether there was any scenario he could imagine where the November 3 election would be postponed.
“That’s too far in the future to tell,” Kushner responded. “Nothing that I’m aware of now, but again, our focus right now is just on getting the country –.”
Why is Kushner talking about the potential for changing Election Day — which is something he cannot influence whatsoever?
► We’ll stick with Chris Cillizza for a moment — this time about the likelihood that we will see President Trump’s tax returns before the November election.
► Thanks in part to Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Jefferson County) the massive new stimulus package being touted by House Democrats includes a provision to give legal marijuana companies access to banking resources. Senate Republicans jumped to criticize the idea before realizing that they should probably be quiet:
LOL. Today @SenateGOP tweeted criticism of House Democrats putting marijuana banking in the new coronavirus bill.
They deleted it shortly after I reminded them that vulnerable Republican Sen. Cory Gardner is champion of the idea & needs a win before Nov.https://t.co/Cq0Yu0EQAU pic.twitter.com/KkD7Cg8gip
— Tom Angell 🌳📰ⓥ (@tomangell) May 12, 2020
► Colorado’s insurance commissioner wants the federal government to approve a nationwide re-insurance program similar to what state lawmakers approved in 2019.
► Political analysts tell The Colorado Times-Recorder that Sen. Cory Gardner is screwed in 2020.
► Antisemitic incidents in Colorado reached an all-time high last year.
► El Paso County Commissioner Mark Waller, a former state lawmaker, is facing questions about his residency in advance of the 2020 election.
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► You may now go camping again in Colorado, with some restrictions.
► Colorado Pols, quote thyself:
There’s no downside for Lauren Boebert, other than the obvious issue of exposing herself, her employees, and the community she would like to represent in Congress to a deadly pandemic.
► Via Vox.com:
► What the Buck? Check out this week’s episode of The Get More Smarter Podcast:
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.
Your local news outlets need you!
Consider making a donation to help fund continuing operations at Westword or The Aurora Sentinel
Meanwhile over at the SCOTUS (irony alert):
There’s No Way for the Supreme Court to Escape Clinton v. Jonesin Trump v. Vance
Meanwhile the turtle comes out of his shell and speaks (falsely) (again). Mitch might take his own advice and just stop talking?
Fact check: McConnell claims Obama didn’t leave Trump a pandemic ‘game plan.’ Obama left a 69-page playbook