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December 11, 2020 10:55 AM UTC

Get More Smarter on Friday (December 11)

  • by: Colorado Pols

Happy “National Tango Day.” Please celebrate in an obvious manner. 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.



*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:

*How you can help in Colorado:

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


► The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is on track to approve a COVID-19 vaccine by Saturday (The New York Times reports it could be as soon as tonight). As The Washington Post reports:

The Food and Drug Administration said early Friday that it “will rapidly work toward” authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine on an emergency basis, an action that would kick off an unprecedented effort to inoculate enough Americans to stop a rampaging pandemic.

That decision was expected later Friday or early Saturday, according to two people familiar with the situation, who did not have the authority to talk about the timing and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The rapidly unfolding developments came hours after federal advisers endorsed the vaccine. The agency said in its statement that it has also notified the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Operation Warp Speed, “so they can execute their plans for timely vaccine distribution.”

The United States set another record for daily COVID-19 deaths on Thursday with 3,347. If this current death rate continues, we will surpass the 300,000 mark sometime next week. is devoting its entire front page to the pandemic today.

The United States is not alone in its struggles with the pandemic, as CNN reports:

Europe is in meltdown again as daily Covid death tolls reach record highs and countries scramble to expand testing and rescue hospital systems that are buckling under the pressure.

Russia and Germany reported record daily Covid-19 deaths on Friday, and October was Russia’s deadliest month in a decade. Stockholm’s intensive care units hit 99% capacity as Sweden proposed a spring “pandemic law” to potentially force closures of certain public spaces. And France said its lockdown would not be eased as planned on Tuesday after daily case numbers rose on Thursday compared with last week.

Germany tallied 598 fatalities in a span of 24 hours, according to the country’s center for disease control, the Robert Koch Institute.


Here in Colorado, it appears that we may have dodged a significant increase in COVID-19 cases as a result of Thanksgiving travel. As Meg Wingerter reports for The Denver Post:

Two weeks after Thanksgiving, Colorado hasn’t seen a spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, though health officials aren’t ready to breathe easy yet.

Dr. Rachel Herlihy, the state epidemiologist, said it’s possible an increase still could show up in the next few days, as happened following the Independence Day and Labor Day weekends. But it could be that any increase from holiday travel was offset by decreases in other settings, she said at a meeting of a governor’s advisory committee on Thursday morning.

“So far, we’re not seeing an increased trend associated with Thanksgiving,” she said. “Either it’s too soon, or all the things we did in the state really made a difference.”

The Colorado Springs Independent has more on what (and when) to expect vaccinations in Colorado.


► The U.S. Supreme Court is discussing whether or not to even entertain a ridiculous lawsuit from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton that seeks to overturn the results of the Presidential election in four key states (Colorado has some unfortunate connections to this lawsuit). On the other side, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser is among many voices urging SCOTUS to reject this last-minute attempt at keeping President Trump in the White House.

Meanwhile, more than 100 Republican lawmakers signed onto an Amicus brief related to the suit, including Colorado Reps. Ken Buck (R-Greeley) and Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs). The editorial board of The Orlando Sentinel is not happy that one of its Members of Congress joined the circus:

Via The Orlando Sentinel (12/11/20)

We had no idea, had no way of knowing at the time, that Waltz was not committed to democracy.

During our endorsement interview with the incumbent congressman, we didn’t think to ask, “Would you support an effort to throw out the votes of tens of millions of Americans in four states in order to overturn a presidential election and hand it to the person who lost, Donald Trump?”

Our bad.

Trust us, some variation of that question will be asked of anyone running for Congress in the future, particularly Republican candidates whose party is attempting to upend the way we choose a president.


As The Aurora Sentinel reports, Colorado counties are moving quickly to distribute what little COVID-19 relief money is available before an end-of-month deadline. Congress does not appear to be close to reaching an agreement on another COVID-19 stimulus package.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch “Scrooge” McConnell scuttled recent hopes for a new financial package, and it’s now possible that the federal government could shut down altogether for want of any sort of agreement. As POLITICO explains:

On Wednesday, McConnell’s staff informed House and Senate leadership staffers that the bipartisan group’s attempts to marry $160 billion in state and local aid and a temporary liability shield — major sticking points in the ongoing talks — probably won’t fly with most of the GOP, according to a senior Democrat familiar with the discussion.

It marked a major blow to ongoing bipartisan discussions. And Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), a leader of those talks, suggested Congress may need to punt disagreements on liability and local government aid until next year.


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


As Promised, More Words…


Archbishop Samuel Aquila, of the Archdiocese of Denver, Colorado, says that President-elect Joe Biden (a practicing Catholic) should not receive communion from the Catholic Church because Biden doesn’t oppose abortion. It must be pretty lonely up there on that pedestal.


California Sen. Dianne Feinstein is defending herself amid new attacks centered around her competency and age — at 87 years old, Feinstein is the oldest U.S. Senator — but is not committing to completing her current term, which expires in 2025.


University of Denver political science professor Seth Masket has some harsh words for the federal government in a new Op-Ed published in The Denver Post:

The year 2020 will stand out in American history for a number of reasons, possibly and most importantly because it included one of the greatest failures of government in American history. This was not simply a miscalculation or some wrong-headed initiative, which all governments may make from time to time. Rather, the U.S. government’s approach to the COVID-19 pandemic was to give up on the central purpose of government in the first place — overcoming collective action dilemmas.

Without getting too technical, let me explain what that means. A collective action dilemma exists when everyone would benefit by working together, but individual self-interest prevents that cooperation from happening, and everyone ends up worse off as a result.


The City of Denver will spend $4 million on COVID-19 relief efforts targeting small businesses, workers, and renters.


Congresswoman-elect Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert was interviewed by Ryan Warner of Colorado Public Radio. She managed to cram both feet into her mouth at once.


Marianne Goodland of the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman has more on next week’s political stunt Legislative Audit Committee hearing that will be chaired by Rep. Lori Saine (R-Firestone) in a feeble effort to uncover nonexistent election fraud.


House and Senate Democrats at the state legislature announced new committee assignments for the session that will begin next month.


The University of Colorado will begin its Spring semester with virtual classes as COVID-19 cases continue to rise. As Erica Meltzer reports for Chalkbeat Colorado, COVID cases nearly doubled in K-12 public schools in November.


As The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports, Garfield County is declaring local restaurants and businesses as “essential services” despite the fact that it has moved to Level Red on the COVID-19 danger scale.


Marijuana sales in Colorado are setting new records.


On Monday, the Electoral College will formally confirm Democrat Joe Biden as our next President.


As The Huffington Post reports, the Speaker of the House in New Hampshire has died from COVID-19 after overseeing a recent gathering of maskless lawmakers:

New Hampshire Attorney General Gordon MacDonald announced Sick Hinch’s cause of death, as determined by an autopsy, with the consent of the speaker’s family. Hinch died Wednesday, just a week after the 71-year-old Republican was sworn in as speaker. The GOP took over control of the 400-member House from Democrats in November’s elections…

…Though it’s unclear how Hinch contracted the virus, health officials confirmed earlier this month that an outbreak of coronavirus cases occurred among Republican members of New Hampshire’s House following an indoor caucus gathering they held late last month at which many attendees were not wearing masks.

It bears repeating, again and again and again: The coronavirus doesn’t care about your politics.



Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 


► Former Democratic Presidential candidate Andrew Yang may be running to become the next Mayor of New York City.


Some poor schlub in North Carolina is getting hammered for having the same name as Colorado Rep. Ken Buck.


R.I.P., Deebo.




President Trump has scheduled more federal executions than any outgoing President in at least a century.


Check out the latest episode of The Get More Smarter Podcast, featuring an interview with House Speaker KC Becker as she breaks down last week’s special legislative session.

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


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3 thoughts on “Get More Smarter on Friday (December 11)

  1. The 5-year-old in the WH just threw a temper tantrum, so it does appear that the approval will be rushed through heedless of any oversights or errors

    White House orders FDA chief to authorize Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine Friday or submit his resignation

    The message from White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows came as the Food and Drug Administration prepared to clear the nation’s first coronavirus vaccine, according to three people familiar with the situation who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss what happened.
    The warning came on the same day President Trump tweeted that the FDA is “a big, old, slow turtle,” while exhorting Commissioner Stephen Hahn to “get the dam vaccines out NOW.”

    1. From what I heard, the approval was expected to come on Saturday.  This is just bizarre.  And I suspect that there's no effect on shipment coordination or timing regardless.  It's time for the trump enablers to go away now.  


      1. It was supposed to be targeted for next week, then pulled into Saturday, and now of course, it will be tonight.  I just hope whatever steps had to be rushed or skipped don't result in further mistakes down the road with supplies and distribution, costing unnecessary suffering or deaths.

        This is not something that flying by the seat of the pants will help.

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