Get More Smarter on Friday (December 4)

There are 47 days left until Democrat Joe Biden takes the keys to the White House. 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.

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:
http://covid19.colorado.gov

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

*Locate a COVID-19 testing site in Colorado:
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment 

 

As Denver7 reports, the first batch of COVID-19 vaccinations in Colorado could arrive by late next week:

Denver Public Health and the Tri-County Health Department have been told to expect their first shipments of COVID-19 vaccine by the end of next week.

Colorado’s first allotment will amount to 46,800 doses.

No specific timeline has been announced as to when the vaccine will be administered to various groups, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending that healthcare workers be vaccinated first, and then elderly residents at long-term care facilities.

Meanwhile, new polling data suggests that just 60% of Coloradans are willing to take a COVID-19 vaccine. As The Denver Post explains:

Only 60% of surveyed Colorado voters in the November election plan to take the COVID-19 vaccine once it becomes available, according to poll results released by Healthier Colorado on Thursday.

To reach herd immunity, that percent needs to be closer to 70, according to Healthier Colorado…

…The survey asked participants whether they would plan to receive an FDA-approved vaccine for the coronavirus at no cost to them when it became available. Of those who responded, 21% said they would not take the vaccine and 19% said they were unsure. The responses were different across party lines — 3 out of 4 Democratic voter participants, 76%, said they would take the vaccine, compared with 42% of Republican voter participants. Although 38% of Republican voters said they would not get the vaccine, 20% indicated they were still unsure. It was 15% for Democrats.

“It’s going to be up to us here in Colorado to set the record straight on COVID-19 vaccines,” said Jake Williams, executive director of Healthier Colorado, in a release. “The polling shows that we have work to do in building confidence in these vaccines, and our economic recovery depends upon our ability to do so. Fake news is a pandemic in itself, and we need to fight it for the sake of people’s health and our economy.”

State health data indicates that more than 2,000 more Coloradans may die from COVID-19 before the end of the year.

 

Colorado Newsline updates an important discussion from this week’s special legislative session:

The original bill stipulated that only businesses located in counties that are complying with the state’s COVID-19 restrictions under the so-called “red level” would be eligible for relief. That would have made businesses in Weld County — where commissioners have said they won’t enforce capacity restrictions and an indoor dining ban — ineligible for financial assistance of up to $7,000 cash.

The bill was changed first to allow compliant cities within non-compliant counties to still receive aid for businesses, and then on the House floor, sponsor Herod introduced an amendment extending that exemption to certain businesses in unincorporated areas of non-compliant counties. To qualify, they must be within a mile of a city or town that’s complying with the state’s COVID-19 restrictions.

Local government compliance means “good-faith efforts to enforce or promote” COVID-19 orders from the governor and the state Department of Public Health and Environment, within the scope of a city or county’s authority and “in consideration of available resources, including engaging law enforcement,” the bill says.

This would have been a lot easier if local governments would just, you know, follow safety guidelines.

Meanwhile, a quarantined Gov. Jared Polis is still making sure approved legislation moves along quickly:

 

The New York Times reports on a disturbing story involving the Trump administration and anti-immigrant goober Stephen Miller:

The Trump administration is rolling out sweeping changes to the test immigrants must take to become United States citizens, injecting hints of conservative philosophy and making the test harder for many learners of the English language.

The new citizenship test that went into effect on Tuesday is longer than before, with applicants now required to answer 12 out of 20 questions correctly instead of six out of 10. It is also more complex, eliminating simple geography and adding dozens of possible questions, some nuanced and involving complex phrasing, that could trip up applicants who do not consider them carefully…

One test question that has drawn particular scrutiny provides a new answer to the question, “Who does a U.S. Senator represent?” Previously, the answer was “all people of the state”; on the new test, it is “citizens” in the state. [Pols emphasis]

In other words, the new citizenship test requires applicants to know the incorrect answer to some very important questions. A U.S. Senator represents ALL of the people in a particular state.

CLICK HERE to try out the test yourself, via the NY Times.

 

 

More political (and coronavirus) news is available right after the jump…

 

And Now, More Stuff to Read…

 

Justin Wingerter of The Denver Post takes a look at the current status of The CORE Act, a significant public lands bill for Colorado:

The Colorado Democrats’ bill currently has two paths to passage. The most immediate, and simplest, is for it to be attached to the final version of the National Defense Authorization Act, an annual must-pass military bill. A conference committee is currently reworking the defense legislation…

…If it is dropped from this year’s defense bill, the CORE Act can be reintroduced next year. It already received a Senate hearing and likely won’t face a veto threat from President-elect Joe Biden. Colorado’s senators, Bennet and Sen.-elect John Hickenlooper, will both be pushing it.

Still, it will require either Senate Republican support or filibuster reform to pass the upper chamber, unless it is attached to a larger bill, such as next year’s NDAA.

Outgoing Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) refused to support The CORE Act for reasons that he never fully explained.

 

One of the Trump campaigns “top legal minds” — who has deep connections to Colorado — is finding that even a cursory check of her background shows that she does not have the experience she claims to have.

 

Some Colorado Republicans, including State GOP Chair Ken Buck, are now insisting that Colorado’s elections are totally safe and secure. This was not at all what Buck was saying just a few weeks ago.

 

As The Denver Post explains, the Paycheck Protection Program targeted at helping businesses make it through the pandemic has delivered in…different ways:

When Jeff Zepp, owner of American 3D Printing in Evergreen, received his loan under the Paycheck Protection Program this spring, his first reaction was, “Is that all they gave me?” followed by, “Why did I bother?”

“It was a slap in the face. Why did I go through all the hoops,” he remembers asking himself after seeing only $100 deposited into his business account.

The CARES Act provided $659 billion for emergency small-business loans, administered through the U.S. Small Business Administration. The loans were designed to keep workers employed and relieve the pressure on state unemployment insurance programs. If used primarily to cover payroll expenses, the loans were forgivable.

Given the tax dollars involved, the SBA normally makes loan information public. But it withheld identifying information on borrowers of PPP loans of under $150,000, only releasing the data this week following a court order. The database named names, including Zepp, one of nine Colorado borrowers who received $100 or less. [Pols emphasis]

Well, look, if everybody got the money they needed, then we would have less money to give to companies that do business with the Trump family.

 

The Colorado Sun and Chalkbeat Colorado report on some worrisome trends regarding public school teachers and administrators:

Young students are struggling to learn to read, and teachers are burning out as Colorado schools slog through the ninth month of the pandemic.

Those issues emerged as top concerns in a survey of 140 superintendents conducted by the nonprofit Colorado Education Initiative and the Colorado Department of Education. The needs assessment updates a similar survey conducted in the spring and reflects the challenges of educating students learning both in person and remotely while managing conflicting health and safety guidance and frequent quarantines…

…“Our teachers and staff are stretched thin, and we can’t offer them any relief,” one superintendent in northwest Colorado wrote. “We don’t have enough subs, and I fear we will begin to lose teachers and other staff. The emotional stress our teachers and especially our leaders are under is vast, and I don’t know how long we can endure.”

 

As The Ft. Collins Coloradoan reports, some northern Colorado businesses that were refusing to follow COVID-19 safety guidelines are changing their tune:

More than a week after dozens of Loveland businesses announced they would defy Larimer County’s increased COVID-19 restrictions and stay open, several have changed course in what they’re calling a good-faith effort.

“I am closing my doors as an olive branch to the governor,” Clay Caldwell, owner of Loveland restaurant Betta Gumbo, announced in a news release Wednesday. “Our local officials have heard us, and are working night and day to get a plan in place to help us not have to fully shutter our doors forever.”

Caldwell was one of the more than 65 Loveland business owners who initially announced they would openly defy Larimer County’s increased COVID-19 restrictions starting Nov. 25.

The announcement came a day after Larimer County moved from Level Yellow to Level Red on the state’s COVID-19 dial on Nov. 24 — a move that banned personal gatherings of any size, closed restaurants to indoor dining, limited office capacity to 10% and canceled indoor entertainment events.

 

Unemployment claims in Colorado rose by 12.5%.

 

The City of Denver updated rules for last call at bars and other relevant establishments because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

► As POLITICO reports, Republicans are growing more and more nervous about the “MAGA civil war” brewing in Georgia.

New polling data from Georgia suggests that Republicans have good reason to be worried.

 

Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

 

► No, no, no: It should be “First Dude.”

 

► At least for now, this is a satirical story from The Onion:

Via The Onion (12/4/20)

 

 

ICYMI

 

 Some Colorado Republicans, including State GOP Chair Ken Buck, are now insisting that Colorado’s elections are totally safe and secure. This was not at all what Buck was saying just a few weeks ago.

 

Check out the latest episode of The Get More Smarter Podcast, featuring an interview with Sulita Sualau and Ron Ruggiero of SEIU Local 105:

 

Don’t forget to give Colorado Pols a thumbs up on Facebook and Twitter

 

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15 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. JohnInDenver says:

    Sen. Gardner actually WAS using his name for good, apparently.  WAPO today said

    The bill mandates that devices must meet minimum cybersecurity standards from the Commerce Department. Providers must also immediately notify agencies if their devices have a cybersecurity vulnerability under the law.

    The bill passed the House and Senate unanimously.

    “The bipartisan Internet of Things Cybersecurity Improvement Act will ensure that the U.S. government purchases secure devices,” said Rep. Robin L. Kelly (D-Ill.), who sponsored the bill.

    Hurd also sponsored the bill in the House, and Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) sponsored the Senate version.

    Apparently it is just fine if consumers have insecure devices and don't know about it — the bill only requires action from the Federal Govt.

  2. MichaelBowman says:

    This is worth the read:

    This Is Your Brain on Newsmax

    The demand side of the conservative media curve was speaking. They want Coup Theatre News and they want it now.

  3. spaceman65 says:

    "Look!  I signed a bill for pandemic relief."  "Also, I'm going to ignore the scientists and make sure prisons remain superspreader incubators."  

  4. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    The Colorado Wilderness Act was attached to the NDAA, along with the CORE Act. There is very little overlap between the two. Even a national conservative conservation group supported these bills.

    After all, "to conserve is conservative."

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      After all, "to pretend to conserve is today's conservative."

      FIFY

      • Conserv. Head Banger says:

        Nice try, Dio. There are many more of us than you might think. The ones I’m thinking of are not in Colorado and probably wouldn’t hang out on a progressive/liberal message board if they were. So, without doing some research, you haven’t fixed anything. Have a nice weekend.

        • Diogenesdemar says:

          If you really believe there’s nothing there that needs to be fixed as it relates to today’s “conserving” conservatives. . . 
           


           

          . . . perhaps it’s possible you’re just another part of the problem?

          But, I will admit, you’re right about you having plenty of good company . . .

          Have a good weekend.

           

           

           

      • Duke Cox says:

        👍👍

        Seldom has a word been misconstrued like " conservative" is abused by the modern version of the specie. Our self-identified conservatives seem not to want to answer a question I have repeatedly asked.

        How do you plan to "take back your party"? It is clear the Republican party does not exist outside the sphere of the ODs' influence. Who is the Republican leader? Who is going to challenge the Orange King?

        Mittens? Sasse? Flake? 

        I will believe there is a conservative movement when I see it. All I see is a loose collection of helpless, flailing,  "conservatives" who have lost control of their party. In fact, I do not see a future for the GOP. Ask Denver Riggleman from Virginia.

         

         

         

        • Conserv. Head Banger says:

          Trying to be respectful here, Duke…….you're not a good example of an informed person who can say with any knowledge that there are no "real conservatives."

          You keep asking your question. But, considering your overall attitude, why would you think you're entitled to an answer to the question you keep asking? All you do is criticize. Some progressives I know try to arrive at reasonable and potential solutions. But, like I said about criticizing……. 

          • Duke Cox says:

            Please don’t try so hard to be respectful. I’m not. Your phony “conservatism” is nothing new. As clever and glib as you are, you cannot separate the inherent selfishness and cruelty associated with “conservative” philosophy and policies. 

            “Conservative” no longer has any political meaning. The GOP abandoned any pretense of “conservative” when they allowed the Evangelical Christians, the NRA, and the White Nationalists to take over and allowed that crime family into the White House to give them what they want.

            Who is a “real” conservative then, CHB? Newt Gingrich, hiding out in Rome? Jeff Flake, hiding out in Arizona…which ” conservative” is leading the GOP in a different direction? One of the Bush boys? Mittens?
            I guess we will find out where you stand on Jan. 6th.

            I know you don’t like me and I obviously don’t care. But I’ll wager there are more than a couple other readers here that would appreciate answers to those questions. Perhaps not. 

            Instead of trying to convince everyone that I am not experienced, educated, or informed enough to deserve an answer, why don’t you answer the questions for everyone?

            Could it be you don’t have any answers?

             

             

             

  5. Diogenesdemar says:

    On a serious note here, regarding "herd immunity" and those comments about the vaccinations coming out — I've read a few articles and interviews, including one recently from one of the heads of Pfizer which gave me the impression that the current vaccines should not be considered as necessarily preventing individuals from acquiring and spreading the coronavirus, but were instead a measure of protection from the Covid-19 disease for the vaccinated individual?

    There is apparently an important distinction between the virus that causes the disease (coronavirus), and the disease itself (Covid 19)

    I could be mistaken, but I thought the gist of these reports was that the vaccines appear to prevent symptomatic infection, but it is still unknown as to their efficacy against asymptotic infection?

  6. kwtree says:

    When would you get the vaccine? 
    I’m 28th out of 100  in order, according to the Times. 

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