By the time you return to your desk on Monday, January will finally be over. Probably. 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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► Democrats in Congress are moving ahead with a broad coronavirus stimulus package while Republicans disingenuously complain about “bipartisanship.” As Greg Sargent explains for The Washington Post:
Republicans have settled on the story they’re going to tell about the current moment: If President Biden and Democrats act ambitiously and use their power to address these crises and the mass suffering they are causing, then it’s a personal affront to them.
Republicans are now fanning out en masse to claim that if Democrats use the “reconciliation” process to move all or parts of Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion economic rescue package by a simple Senate majority, then it will constitute a “betrayal” of his promise to seek “unity.”
Two new reports — one from the New York Times, and the other from Politico — neatly capture the absurdity of this spin. As the Times notes, Biden is reaching out to Republicans for support for his rescue package, which includes $1,400 stimulus checks, extended unemployment insurance and large expenditures to scale up a national coronavirus response, among many other things…
…Until we know that 10 GOP senators are willing to support something remotely close to what Biden and Democrats want, there simply isn’t anything to talk about. What’s the Republican plan? There isn’t one. With whom are Democrats supposed to negotiate? Over what, exactly? [Pols emphasis]
► As The New York Times reports:
It’s no surprise that hostilities between Democrats and Republicans in Congress are reaching new heights. As House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday:
“The enemy is within the House of Representatives, a threat that members are concerned about, in addition to what is happening outside.”
► Denver will host a couple of mass COVID-19 vaccination events this weekend, but you’ll still need an appointment. The City of Denver, meanwhile, is reopening its emergency operations center in order to better facilitate the distribution of vaccinations.
More political (and coronavirus) news is available right after the jump…
As Promised, More Words…
► As Vox.com reports, things aren’t looking positive for the future of the Republican Party:
Donald Trump’s departure from the White House left a giant question mark hanging over American democracy: Would the GOP reckon with its embrace of Trumpism, or would it continue down the extremist path it has been traveling for years?
The evidence from the past few weeks has not been promising. But one of the most disturbing signs — and one of the most underappreciated — has been the wild behavior of certain state-level Republican parties in recent days. Three examples — in Oregon, Hawaii, and Arizona — really stick out…
…It’s obvious that some of the party’s national leaders, like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, don’t actually believe in these conspiracy theories. But for too long, the party has been comfortable letting their rank-and-file supporters believe them because it’s politically advantageous. Now, true believers are rising up and capturing the leadership of state parties and local activist groups — putting pressure on national politicians to conform to extreme ideas or risk a serious primary threat.
This makes the GOP’s post-Trump trajectory look even scarier. No one person or organization is in charge of the party, in a position to fix the root causes of its continuing turn toward extremism. Reforming the party requires a fight on multiple levels and in multiple arenas: reforms to the local and national party, transformations of both the party and adjacent institutions like Fox News.
It’s no coincidence that the two main candidates running to be the next Chair of the Colorado Republican Party are both insisting that the 2020 election was fraudulent.
As Jesse Paul reports for The Colorado Sun, Colorado Republicans really have no idea who might be able to mount a serious challenge to Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Denver).
► Chris Cillizza of CNN tries to understand why Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan decided against running for an open U.S. Senate seat in 2022.
► A new report suggests that half of Colorado’s prison population has been infected with COVID-19.
► As The Washington Post reports, more than 87 percent of staff members at the Bureau of Land Management quit their jobs rather than move to a new office in Grand Junction. Of course, that was always the point behind the headquarters move championed by former Sen. Cory Gardner: To cripple another federal agency.
► Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is crazier than…we can’t even think of a good analogy. She’s just fucking nuts.
► As The Aurora Sentinel reports, executive orders by President Joe Biden are already having a significant local impact.
► Justin Wingerter of The Denver Post has more on Sen. John Hickenlooper’s big role in coronavirus relief negotiations.
► Congressman Jason Crow (D-Aurora) wants President Biden to make moves to prevent private prisons from detaining undocumented immigrants.
► Colorado will open a special period of access for enrollment on the health insurance exchange after an executive order from President Biden.
► A new model suggests that 1 in 115 Coloradans are infected with coronavirus.
► Colorado will begin its first phase of extended federal unemployment benefits this weekend.
Say What, Now?
► Sorry, Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-Fox News), but that’s not really how this worked:
Our Founding Fathers weren’t born heroes or legends.
They were everyday people that grew sick of government overreach and instead chose freedom.
Never forget that the Constitution ensures all power is vested in and derived from the people.
— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) January 29, 2021
As History.com notes in its first paragraph about the Founding Fathers, they were “a group of predominantly wealthy plantation owners and businessmen.” They were not “everyday people,” and that’s okay; we can still acknowledge that they did a great thing without pretending that they were something they were not.
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► As Chris Cillizza notes for CNN, if you want to run for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2024, you had better be prepared to contradict yourself repeatedly:
The ability to hold two contradictory ideas in one’s head has become a necessity for ambitious Republicans politicians over the last four years. There’s what they know to be true (there’s absolutely no evidence of any widespread voter fraud or rigging of the 2020 election) and what they have to say in order to preserve their own political futures in a party that has spent the last several years being led by a pied piper of prevarication.
What [South Dakota Gov. Kristi] Noem’s reversal on the election — congrats President Biden! → Many people say the election wasn’t fair! — suggests is that the price of admission for Republicans wanting to be major players in the 2024 race (and Noem absolutely wants to be one) is refusing to acknowledge that Trump actually lost in 2020.
Of course, this brings up an interesting philosophical question that we saw play out in the Georgia Senate runoff earlier this month: How do you oppose President Biden AND refuse to acknowledge that Donald Trump isn’t still President?
► POLITICO follows Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz on a trek to Wyoming to complain about fellow Republican Rep. Liz Cheney.
► The oil and gas industry isn’t in trouble because of Democrats. It’s in trouble because the market is changing — as evidenced by General Motors’ announcement that it will stop making gasoline-powered vehicles altogether.
► We’re going to keep this here for another day: As POLITICO reports, big investors are trying to get through to Congressional lawmakers about the fallacy of worrying over the national debt.
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