Happy “International Museum Day.” Please celebrate without actually going to a museum. 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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*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:
*How you can help in Colorado:
► A new edition of The Rocky Mountaineer — a polling and messaging project of Global Strategy Group and ProgressNow Colorado — is now available. From a press release:
President Trump’s approval rating has slid and he trails Joe Biden by double digits while he gets poor marks for his COVID response. Governor Jared Polis, on the other hand, has seen his ratings surge as voters reward his steady response to the crisis.
Finally, Colorado voters strongly support changing TABOR to allow higher taxes on the wealthy to close the state’s budget gap, and give high favorability marks to legislative and congressional Democrats while Trump drags down Republicans up and down the ticket heading into the summer.
Biden leads Trump in Colorado by 13 points, which is not as bad as Trump’s numbers in two recent polls but still not good news for the GOP. We broke down the horrible numbers for Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) in a separate post. Gardner’s numbers have been consistently brutal for several years now, and they keep trending downward.
On the Democratic Primary side, the race for the U.S. Senate nomination between former Gov. John Hickenlooper and Andrew Romanoff is not looking good for the latter:
The same poll, conducted by Global Strategy Group for @ProgressNowCO, has a big blaring warning sign for @Romanoff2020 in the D Sen primary: Just 41% of registered voters know enough about him to have an opinion, versus 84% for Hick.
— Jon Murray (@JonMurray) May 18, 2020
► As The Washington Post reports, a $500 billion fund created for the Treasury department to assist American businesses isn’t doing much of anything.
► New polling numbers from Gallup show that Congress is rated better by Americans than it has been in more than 10 years. As it turns out, Americans actually like when Congress does its job. This should be a bit of a wakeup call for the likes of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is trying to slow-walk any further legislation through the end of the year.
► It’s fun to pretend that everything is a conspiracy, but Colorado’s decision to change the way it reports COVID-19 deaths does NOT mean that the state was exaggerating earlier numbers. From The Denver Post:
How COVID-19 deaths are counted has become politically divisive, with critics claiming the numbers are inflated and medical experts saying deaths may actually be undercounted. Still, the number of deaths is a crucial data point that informs public understanding of the pandemic’s severity and health officials’ response to the crisis.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is now clarifying that its death tally includes the total number of fatalities among people who had COVID-19, including those deaths in which the respiratory disease was not the cause of death listed on the death certificate.
By the agency’s count, there were 1,150 people who had died with COVID-19 in their systems as of Thursday.
► The New York Times has more on the firing of yet another inspector general late Friday:
The State Department inspector general fired by President Trump on Friday was investigating whether the administration had unlawfully declared an “emergency” last year to allow the resumption of weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for their war in Yemen, according to a Democratic member of Congress who asked for the inquiry.
The chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Representative Eliot L. Engel of New York, said that investigation might have been “another reason” for the firing of the inspector general, Steve A. Linick. The White House announced the firing Friday night, and officials said the recommendation to remove Mr. Linick had come from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Mr. Linick’s office, which has hundreds of employees assigned to look into fraud and waste at the State Department, was also examining the potential misuse by Mr. Pompeo of a political appointee to do personal errands for him and his wife, Susan Pompeo.
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 editor of The Aurora Sentinel has an excellent rant about “sadistic pandemic deniers.”
► Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson connects the dots between a jump in COVID-19 cases in Texas and the decision to reopen businesses so quickly:
“This is more than likely connected… to the opening of restaurants and movie theaters and retail and our malls up to 25% occupancy a couple weeks ago.” – Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson on Texas reporting its biggest single-day jump in coronavirus caseshttps://t.co/i9e9S4NQP6 pic.twitter.com/UhgyHqavVn
— New Day (@NewDay) May 18, 2020
► Anti-lockdown protests that have fizzled in and out throughout the country appear to be largely attended by out-of-state activists. From The Guardian:
Cellphone location data suggests that demonstrators at anti-lockdown protests – some of which have been connected with Covid-19 cases – are often traveling hundreds of miles to events, returning to all parts of their states, and even crossing into neighboring ones.
The data, provided to the Guardian by the progressive campaign group the Committee to Protect Medicare, raises the prospect that the protests will play a role in spreading the coronavirus epidemic to areas which have, so far, experienced relatively few infections.
The anonymized location data was captured from opt-in cellphone apps, and data scientists at the firm VoteMap used it to determine the movements of devices present at protests in late April and early May in five states: Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Colorado and Florida.
► An eighth worker from the JBS meatpacking plant in Greeley has died from COVID-19.
► As CBS4 Denver reports, Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Boulderish) is a key driver for efforts to get stimulus money to state and local governments:
Rep. Joe Neguse, a Democrat who represents Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District, came up with provisions to help Colorado towns and counties. The provisions are part of the “Heroes Act,” another coronavirus relief bill worth $3 trillion…
…Neguse added $375 for direct aid to small ciites, a 15% increase to the SNAP program and hazard pay for front-line workers.
Neguse discussed these proposals on The Get More Smarter Podcast in late April.
► Census workers will be back in the field in Colorado next week.
► Governor Jared Polis ordered essential workers in Colorado to continue wearing masks through at least mid-June. Polis also said over the weekend that he expects most Colorado schools to open in the fall, but with significant changes. From The Denver Post:
Polis told “Fox News Sunday” that Colorado schools will likely run in a “hybrid” fashion that limits social interactions in hallways and during lunchtime, and has up to 20% of kids continue with online classes at home if that’s their parents’ preference.
The Democratic governor says schools also may close periodically when “there’s an inevitable outbreak.”
President Donald Trump has urged K-12 schools to reopen, but Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, told Congress last week it may be reckless to rush kids back before doctors have a better sense of the dangers.
► State Sen. Brittany Pettersen helped a local organization to collect new PPE resources.
► Hundreds of motorcyclists shook their fists at the State Capitol building on Sunday in protest that the government is trying to prevent them from being killed by a deadly virus.
► You can only park for free in Denver for another two weeks.
AT LAST: POLITICAL NEWS THAT IS (MOSTLY) NOT ABOUT CORONAVIRUS…
There is a better — and more responsible — way to reopen a restaurant in Colorado.
► The Governor of Kansas is baffled that Republicans are proposing new tax cuts in the midst of a global pandemic. From KSHB Kansas City:
Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly said Wednesday that a proposed tax relief bill would be a U-turn for Kansas, leading the state in the wrong direction as it continues to work to recover from financial issues.
Tax cuts under former Gov. Sam Brownback left the state cash-strapped.
“I have said consistently for a year now, we need to let the dust settle on our revenue situation,” Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly told 41 Action News.
A big part of the reason that the Democratic Kelly was elected Governor in Kansas in 2018 was because a spasm of tax cuts from the previous Governor left the state nearly broke.
► Denver Post columnist Ian Silverii writes about a progressive tax strategy that could save Colorado’s bacon:
This week’s economic forecast was nothing short of devastating for Colorado’s short-term future. The economists who work for the Joint Budget Committee in the state legislature delivered the worst revenue forecast in decades, and lawmakers are now faced with previously unthinkable choices in order to cut $3.3 billion out of our state budget — about three times what we faced during the Great Recession.
It’s a terrible situation, but there is hope in a proposal that would recalibrate Colorado’s tax system by cutting taxes for the 95% of Colorado’s families and businesses who make less than $250,000 per year and raising them on the 5% of Coloradans who make more than that. The proposal would close at least half of that devastating budget gap in one fell swoop.
It’s what’s commonly known as a progressive income tax, and 32 states already have it.
► You are almost certainly smarter than Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs).
► Colorado will be the home to the new U.S. Space Command for at least six more years.
► Jill Biden, wife of Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden, will appear at a couple of events in Colorado on Tuesday…well, virtually, anyway.
► You can add Attorney General William Barr to the list of politicians who want nothing to do with “Obamagate” — whatever it is.
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► Idaho’s Lt. Governor is publicly bashing the state’s Governor.
► This story gets weirder and weirder with every paragraph:
Spokane Valley Rep. Matt Shea is being billed $4,700 for the cleanup of olive oil he poured on the steps of the domed Legislative Building in early March, part of a Christian group’s response to an earlier demonstration by Satanists who had marched around the building.
► Change our mind: Donald Trump, Jr. is a 12-year-old in a man’s body.
► Check out the new episode of The Get More Smarter Podcast, featuring an in-depth interview with Rep. Daneya Esgar (D-Pueblo), the Chairwoman of the Joint Budget Committee.
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