At last, we have reached the final month of this wretched year. 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 learner, check out The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter.
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Monday was the first day of the special legislative session. It comes as coronavirus is raging in Colorado and an estimated 1 in 40 people are actively contagious with the disease.
Lawmakers, however, felt it was critical that they return to the Capitol to pass $200-plus million in relief for people who are increasingly feeling the economic effects of the pandemic.
While some Republicans were wearing masks at the Capitol on Monday, others were not. Rep. Larry Liston, R-Colorado Springs, was photographed wearing a mask on the crown of his head, apparently in jest.
Much of the news later in the day was focused on a Republican legislative aide who showed up at the Capitol fresh off of an apparent positive COVID-19 diagnosis. This is particularly bad news for Republican lawmakers who continue to refuse to wear masks.
Charles Ashby of The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel has more on the actual work that took place on Monday:
Not all 100 lawmakers were actually present, but the Colorado Legislature convened its special session Monday in hopes of passing measures designed to provide immediate aid to businesses, individuals and public health workers until a vaccine is widely available…
…On the table are eight main bills to provide tax breaks for businesses most impacted by what the pandemic has done to the economy, help to parents who are having a hard time finding adequate child care services while they try to work, mortgage and rent assistance to those facing foreclosures or eviction because they are unemployed, aid in paying heating bills that will go higher due to the colder temperatures, improving supplies at food banks and providing better broadband access for students who lack it.
► As The Washington Post reports, Congress is again kicking around the idea of another COVID-19 stimulus package, but don’t get your hopes up.
► Colorado set a new record for COVID-19 hospitalizations on Monday as officials continue to worry about another increases in cases following the Thanksgiving holiday.
Meanwhile, Westword takes a look at which areas of Colorado could soon be forced to move from ‘Level Red’ to the maximum ‘Level Purple’ on the COVID-19 emergency scale. The short version: Things are bad everywhere.
► Lawyers for President Trump have tried to challenge election results in six key states…and they’ve now failed in every one of them. As The Washington Post reports:
Wisconsin and Arizona on Monday became the last two of six states where President Trump has contested his defeat to finalize their vote counts, dealing a fresh blow to his quest to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s victory as a chorus of Republicans and Democrats offered support for the election’s integrity.
Trump and his allies vowed to continue pressing legal claims challenging the election results in several states, but such efforts have met with resounding failures in the courts across the country. Monday’s certifications brought to a close a key period in which Trump and his advisers had said they would be able to derail Biden’s win.
Even Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey has disembarked from the Trump train and is touting the accuracy and fairness of his state’s election process.
The Electoral College will meet on Dec. 14 to make it official that Democrat Joe Biden will be the next President of the United States.
► The Big Line 2022 is in the house!
More political (and coronavirus) news is available right after the jump…
And Now, More News…
► Say what now?
State Rep. Richard Holtorf says his aunt died last night of COVID. “Many of us have been wearing masks for months, many of us have been social distancing, … and we’re still gonna die. Our families are still going to be buried.” He says this isn’t a reason for more restrictions.
— Alex Burness (@alex_burness) December 1, 2020
People dying from COVID-19…is NOT a reason for more restrictions?
► The conservative National Review has had enough of President Trump’s election results denierism:
Trump’s most reprehensible tactic has been to attempt, somewhat shamefacedly, to get local Republican officials to block the certification of votes and state legislatures to appoint Trump electors in clear violation of the public will. This has gone nowhere, thanks to the honesty and sense of duty of most of the Republicans involved, but it’s a profoundly undemocratic move that we hope no losing presidential candidate ever even thinks of again.
Getting defeated in a national election is a blow to the ego of even the most thick-skinned politicians and inevitably engenders personal feelings of bitterness and anger. What America has long expected is that losing candidates swallow those feelings and at least pretend to be gracious. If Trump’s not capable of it, he should at least stop waging war on the outcome.
► President Trump isn’t going to go away anytime soon, as Chris Cillizza explains for CNN:
Does Trump actually run again in 2024? Hard to know. The truth is that unless something drastic happens within the base of the GOP over the next few years, it’s very hard to see how anyone could beat Trump in a presidential primary.
But the President has long been his own worst enemy — and he will face a number of legal issues as well as financial complications in the next few years. And at 74 years old and with a decidedly vague medical history, who’s to say what the next few years will bring?
Whether or not Trump ultimately runs, he will spend as long as he can milking the possibility that he might run. He will do this not because it is good for the Republican Party but because it is good for him, politically and personally.
Which is what this has always been about anyway.
The Washington Post has more on the incredible grifting operation that is being dressed up as a legal defense fund for Trump:
Trump has raised more than $150 million pushing his false claims about a rigged election, but a big chunk of the money could wind up as a down payment for the president’s post-White House political operation — another sign the blundering efforts to overturn the election results may not really be about winning at all.
► As Justin Wingerter reports for The Denver Post, Congresswoman-elect Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert continues to support President Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud:
During a brief interview Monday afternoon, conducted during a break in Boebert’s freshman orientation, the congresswoman-elect was asked whether she is convinced Trump beat Biden. She stopped short of making that claim…
…On Saturday and again Monday, Boebert claimed it was “fake news” that Joe Biden received more votes than former President Barack Obama received in 2008, echoing a popular theory among Trump supporters. But Biden did, because there were 25 million more eligible voters this year than in 2008, and because turnout was higher this year than in 2008 — or in any other election in the past century.
On Monday, Boebert also questioned how Biden could have received a record 80 million votes — she refers to them as “his alleged 80 million votes” — in a year when Republicans gained seats in the U.S. House. But House results do not always mirror presidential results; Republicans won the presidency in 2000 and 2016, but Democrats gained congressional seats those years, for example.
Please try not to roll your eyeballs out of your head.
► As The Associated Press reports, President Trump is heading to Georgia to screw things up for Senate Republicans.
► According to a press release from the office of Gov. Jared Polis, the Colorado State Patrol is now accepting “virtual identification”:
The Colorado State Patrol (CSP) announced that troopers will begin accepting the Colorado Digital ID™ within the myColorado™ mobile app as proof of identity, age and address for traffic stops within the state. The contactless Digital ID, downloaded by more than 75,000 Coloradans, provides residents a secure, safe and convenient way to exchange information with troopers. Colorado is the first state in the nation to offer residents the option to electronically transmit digital identification, vehicle registration and proof of insurance to law enforcement.
As of Nov. 30, troopers across Colorado have begun to accept the Digital ID with full adoption to be completed by Dec. 31, 2020. While Colorado State Patrol is the first and only law enforcement agency accepting Digital ID, the state has been actively engaging with local police and sheriff’s offices. Until full acceptance of Colorado Digital ID is available at all local and state jurisdictions, residents should always carry their physical driver license or state identification cards wherever they go.
► Colorado Public Radio has more on a legislative proposal related to food delivery services:
Cities and counties in Colorado would temporarily gain new power over food-delivery services under a bill offered during the state legislature’s special session.
Platforms like UberEats, DoorDash, Postmates and Grubhub offer diners an easy way to order food from various restaurants. But eatery operators complain that the services sometimes charge exorbitant fees that make it hard to balance their books.
“There have been limitations on in-person dining, so business models have had to change on the fly, and really have made restaurants much more dependent upon third-party (delivery) companies,” said Rep. Shannon Bird, the Democrat sponsoring the bill.
In some cases, restaurants are paying fees so high that it wipes out their margins, she said. The fees can total 35 percent of an order, but even a 20 percent fee can result in a loss for the restaurant, said Nick Hoover, manager of government affairs for the Colorado Restaurant Association.
► Denver Mayor Michael Hancock sent an apology email to city employees after he flew out of state last week for Thanksgiving despite urging all residents to avoid holiday travel.
► As The Huffington Post reports, California is on the precipice of a statewide stay-at-home order:
California’s governor said on Monday the state was at a “tipping point” in the COVID-19 pandemic that would soon overwhelm hospitals as political leaders nationwide turn to increasingly aggressive measures to hold back the latest surge.
Governor Gavin Newsom said he may clamp new “stay-at-home” orders on California’s roughly 40 million residents in the face of infections and hospitalizations that are still rising weeks before emergency vaccines are predicted for release.
″(California) has worked hard to prepare for a surge—but we can’t sustain the record high cases we’re seeing,” Newsom said on Twitter. “Current projections show CA will run out of current ICU beds before Christmas Eve.”
The governor told reporters discussions were underway among state health officials over the potential stay-at-home order. He expects to issue a decision in the next day or two.
► POLITICO reports on the legal maneuvering around outcomes for two of the closest Congressional races in the country.
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► Former New York City Mayor and Trump legal mastermind Rudy Giuliani has reportedly discussed receiving a “pre-emptive pardon” from President Trump.
► Check out the latest episode of The Get More Smarter Podcast, featuring an interview with Sulita Sualau and Ron Ruggiero of SEIU Local 105:
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