A couple of inches of snow in June? Sure, why not; this won’t even crack the Top 10 on unusual events in 2020. 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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► Pundits often argue that America is a deeply-divided country at the moment, but as The Washington Post reports, we seem to agree on some of that division:
Americans overwhelmingly support the nationwide protests that have taken place since the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis, and they say police forces have not done enough to ensure that blacks are treated equally to whites, according to a Washington Post-Schar School poll.
President Trump receives negative marks for his handling of the protests, with 61 percent saying they disapprove and 35 percent saying they approve. Much of the opposition to Trump is vehement, as 47 percent of Americans say they strongly disapprove of the way the president has responded to the protests.
The poll highlights how attitudes about police treatment of black Americans are changing dramatically. More than 2 in 3 Americans (69 percent) say the killing of Floyd represents a broader problem within law enforcement, compared with fewer than 1 in 3 (29 percent) who say the Minneapolis killing is an isolated incident.
Annnndd…then there’s President Trump. As CNN’s Chris Cillizza reports, Trump has latched onto a conspiracy theory that a 75-year-old man thrown to the pavement by police in Buffalo is Antifa, or something:
In a country on high alert for incidents of unnecessary use of force by police against those protesting in the wake of the death of George Floyd, the video sparked outrage. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called the episode “wholly unjustified and utterly disgraceful.” The two officers involved in the incident were suspended.
But on Tuesday morning, the President of the United States suggested — without offering a shred of evidence — that the entire episode was the result of a broad scam involving Antifa, a protest organization “whose political beliefs lean toward the left — often the far left — but do not conform with the Democratic Party platform.”…
…Trump appears to have developed this, uh, theory from watching a clip on the One America News Network, the Fox News of Fox News.
Ladies and gentlemen, the actual President of the United States of America:
Buffalo protester shoved by Police could be an ANTIFA provocateur. 75 year old Martin Gugino was pushed away after appearing to scan police communications in order to black out the equipment. @OANN I watched, he fell harder than was pushed. Was aiming scanner. Could be a set up?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 9, 2020
► As The Denver Post reports, social justice protests in Colorado are spreading to smaller communities outside of the Denver Metro area:
The social justice uprisings in major American cities sparked by the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd have been spreading peacefully out from Denver, up and down the Front Range and into isolated rural communities across Colorado…
…Over the past five days, Colorado residents have demonstrated on the streets of at least 18 towns and cities from Aspen to Westcliffe, according to local press reports and photos and video shared on social media. An initial focus on police abuse was broadening to encompass wider justice concerns.
The demonstrations have been largely peaceful — Colorado Springs officers fired tear gas, Alamosa police are investigating a shooting — following the initial violent standoffs in Denver with police in riot gear who used chemical agents and pepper balls.
As Westword reports, the Denver Police Department is saying all the right things about a commitment to reform and transparency in the wake of protests.
► As 9News reports, a funny thing is happening at the State Capitol on Monday: Senate Republicans are supporting meaningful legislation.
NOW: Police reform bill passes the Colorado Senate. 32 in favor. One Senator opposed (@JerrySonnenberg). Two Senators were excused. The bill moves to the House next. Public hearing tomorrow, floor debate on Thursday. #copolitics #9News
— Marshall Zelinger (@Marshall9News) June 9, 2020
► The ballots are coming! The ballots are coming!
If you’re looking for political news that isn’t about Coronavirus, it’s available right after the jump…
NOW ONLY PARTIALLY CORONAVIRUS-RELATED…
► An initiative seeking to prohibit abortions after 22 weeks will be on the 2020 ballot after all, which isn’t good news for Colorado Republicans. Abortion measures in Colorado have failed miserably over the last 20 years:
► Damn you, SB-181! The controversial oil and gas regulation measure passed by the Colorado legislature in 2019 has now forced British Petroleum (BP) to cut 10,000 jobs!
Okay, that may not be the reason, as CNN Business reports:
CEO Bernard Looney told employees on Monday that the oil giant would reduce its global workforce by nearly 15% this year. Most of the cuts will affect office jobs.
The company said in February that it would reorganize its business to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 or sooner. The coronavirus pandemic, which caused oil prices to plunge as people hunkered down at home, has only accelerated the need to reduce costs, Looney said.
Brent crude futures, the global benchmark for oil prices, hit their lowest level in decades in April, falling below $20 per barrel. They’ve since staged a comeback and were last trading above $42 per barrel. But that’s still well below where prices started the year.
► As The Denver Post reports, Gov. Jared Polis is making an early ask of the federal government for assistance with the next flu season:
Polis on Monday asked federal health officials for help as Coloradans prepare for the flu season that will arrive later this year, including by making sure there is widespread access to flu vaccines and that health care workers have enough personal protective equipment.
While Colorado has taken steps to reopen businesses, churches and restaurants in recent weeks, the approaching flu season has the ability to strain the health care system as hospitals will have to treat patients with both influenza and COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus, Polis said in a letter to the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“My administration has been working diligently to increase our vaccination rates,” Polis wrote in the letter dated June 8. “But we need to do even more this coming flu season, especially among older Coloradans and our vulnerable residents, to reduce the number of flu victims in need of hospitalization and free up those beds for COVID-19 patients if needed.”
► Former Gov. John Hickenlooper and former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff will face off in a Democratic Primary debate tonight on 9News.
Elsewhere, Hickenlooper was one of 11 candidates included in an initial round of endorsements from Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund.
► President Trump says that Republicans need a new location for the 2020 Republican National Convention because the governor of North Carolina isn’t keen on ignoring safety precautions aimed at preventing another coronavirus outbreak.
► Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) doesn’t have a lot of options when it comes to garnering support for his re-election campaign, so he’s relying mostly on fear-mongering.
► Colorado Public Radio looks at how the state legislature might wrap things up in its final week or so.
► Republican Cory Gardner was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2014, the first year that Colorado rolled out an all-mail ballot election. You’d think he would be less hostile to all-mail voting, but there’s no way Gardner is going to defy President Trump on demonizing alternate voting options.
► If you listen to House Minority Leader Patrick Neville — and you shouldn’t — you might believe that Colorado cities are literally burning to the ground.
► Raise your hand if you were unaware that it is offensive to use the term “colored people.”
► This may well be the moment of no return for President Trump’s re-election hopes.
Meanwhile, as POLITICO reports, Trump is getting the 2016 band back together as he struggles to figure out a way to rebound from plummeting poll numbers.
► What did Sen. Cory Gardner have to say about President Trump’s wacky conspiracy Tweet regarding a 75-year-old man in Buffalo?
Sen. Gardner has not seen the tweet and didn’t want to look at it. Says he’s focused on his outdoors bill on the Senate floor and was in a rush to get up there
— Burgess Everett (@burgessev) June 9, 2020
► George Floyd will be laid to rest today in Houston, Texas.
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► As The Grand Junction Sentinel reports, cartoon villain William Perry Pendley will remain the “acting” director of the Bureau of Land Management probably forever (or at least until President Trump is out of office):
Pendley will remain in charge of the Bureau of Land Management after the Interior Department took a different approach to extending Pendley’s time at the helm of the agency, possibly due to a pending lawsuit.
“The leadership of the BLM will not change,” Interior spokesman Conner Swanson said Friday.
Pendley has been serving as BLM acting director since last July, based on orders by Interior Secretary David Bernhardt delegating the authority to run the agency to Pendley, and then repeatedly issuing orders extending that delegation. Pendley’s latest, monthlong extension ran through Friday.
► POLITICO recounts a 2016 visit to Colorado Springs by Vice President Mike Pence in which he dutifully sidestepped the issue of police brutality and systemic reform.
► Voters in Nevada will cast ballots in a Primary Election today. The big races to watch are two Congressional battles in which Republicans are cheering for the leftiest candidates to win.
Meanwhile, a Primary Election in Georgia isn’t going very well thus far.
► Check out the latest episode of The Get More Smarter Podcast for a double helping of people named Jason Bane:
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