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February 05, 2021 09:57 AM UTC

Get More Smarter on Friday (February 5)

  • 7 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

With any luck, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will lose to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, thus sparing us many more weeks months of fawning stories about Tom Brady. 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 

 

► Senate Republicans did their best to delay and derail a badly-needed coronavirus relief plan, but Democrats stood firm as the adults in the room and got the package moving anyway. As The Washington Post reports:

The House of Representatives is poised to approve a budget plan on Friday that directs committees to start working on the details underlying President Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package to shore up the ailing economy and strengthen vaccine distribution.

The Senate, in the early-morning hours Friday, approved the budget bill through a narrow partisan vote, by a 51-to-50 margin, with Vice President Harris (D) casting the tiebreaking vote in the chamber after more than 15 hours of debate.

The stimulus package would include checks up to $1,400 for low- and moderate-income families, extended jobless benefits and $160 billion to strengthen the public health response to the pandemic, improving the vaccine distribution and increased testing, among other measures.

The Friday votes signal a more partisan effort is underway in pursuing final passage of Biden’s relief package through a narrow majority. Top Democrats in both chambers say they are moving with an increased sense of urgency. The economic recovery — highlighted by a report on Friday — continues to show anemic jobs growth and scarring of the labor market.

Senate Republicans held up passage of the relief bill out of political spite more than anything — they never presented a reasonable plan of their own from which to negotiate a final version of the legislation. President Biden has apparently learned his lesson from watching Republicans obstruct good-faith efforts from Democrats when Barack Obama was President:

As Ezra Klein explains for The New York Times, the deliberations around the relief bill demonstrates once more that the Senate filibuster has outlived its usefulness:

“Democrats have an opportunity to restore our democracy and deliver on the promises they campaigned on,” the Rev. Dr. Stephany Rose Spaulding, founder of Truth and Conciliation, told me by email. “But they can’t do that without breaking down structural barriers to progress — that starts with eliminating the filibuster. If we allow the filibuster to block voting rights, gun violence prevention, Covid relief and more, we’re sending a clear message to millions of voters that their votes and voices don’t count in our democracy.”

To be clear, if Democrats will not get rid of the filibuster, it is better that they use budget reconciliation than that they fail the American people totally. But the fact that Democrats are using budget reconciliation at all is evidence that even Sinema and Manchin know the filibuster has gone too far, that the chamber cannot operate under supermajority rules, all of the time.

This is a terrible way to legislate. Enough with kludges. End the filibuster, and make the Senate great again.

 

Colorado Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle) now faces an official Congressional Ethics complaint related to her questionable campaign expenditures to herself for $22,000 of “mileage” reimbursements. Boebert’s troubles in this regard could be just beginning; it sure looks like she might have used these curious reimbursements to help her pay off liens related to her restaurant in Rifle, Colorado.

In related news, Boebert picked up her first serious Democratic challenger for 2022 when State Sen. Kerry Donovan (D-Vail) formally announced her CO-3 campaign.

 

Colorado College released its annual State of the Rockies conservation polling data. Check out this press release for some of the topline numbers. The Denver Post summarizes the data:

A 61% majority of voters across Colorado and seven other western states are more worried than hopeful about nature, pointing to climate change impacts, and 57% plan to get outdoors more often when the COVID-19 pandemic abates, a new opinion poll has found.

Uncontrollable wildfires, loss of pollinators, and low water in rivers ranked among top concerns, according to results unveiled Thursday from the Colorado College State of the Rockies Project poll.

The poll also found strong support for protecting nature — 85% favor restoring Clean Water Act coverage for smaller streams and wetlands and 93% support requiring oil and gas companies to pay all costs of cleanup and land restoration. The results show 84% of respondents want the government to create new national parks, monuments, wildlife refuges, tribal protected areas at historic sites and other recreation areas.

“We’re seeing strong voter concern for nature, which is translating into calls for bold action on public lands in the West,” said State of the Rockies Project director Katrina Miller-Stevens, a Colorado College economics professor. “If federal and state policy leaders are looking for direction on public lands, the view from the West is clear.”

TL;DR: Pollution is not popular.

 

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

 

As Promised, More Words…

 

Eleven House Republicans voted with Democrats on Thursday to oust Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene from her committee assignments on account of her being a complete lunatic. There are many Democrats (and some Republicans) who think Greene should be expelled from Congress altogether for her hateful and dangerous rhetoric.

Greene expressed some weird, half-assed regrets in a House floor speech on Thursday before the vote to strip her of her committee assignments. But if you thought Greene might emerge from Thursday’s vote with a new perspective…okay, of course you didn’t. As The Washington Post reports:

One day after the House voted to strip her of her committee assignments, a defiant Greene lashed out at Democrats and the media in Capitol Hill remarks in which she called the government tyrannical, said committee seats are a “waste of time,” and declared it her mission to push the Republicans further to the right.

The Georgia Republican called it “freeing” to admit that she’d been wrong in the past, but didn’t directly apologize for the dangerous rhetoric she’d used in recent years until pressed by a reporter to do so.

Lecturing and then sparring with reporters, Greene stepped into the role of Trump advocate, ensuring the former president’s mark on the Republican Party will continue to be felt in Washington.

“The party is his,” she said of the former president, “it doesn’t belong to anybody else.”

As Stephen Collinson and Maeve Reston write for CNN, the 2021 Republican Party is pretty much the same as the 2020 version:

After four years of refusing to hold Donald Trump accountable for his lies, conspiracy theories and hateful rhetoric, Republicans passed up another chance to purge those forces from their ranks Thursday when they overwhelmingly opposed Democrats’ efforts to rebuke Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.

The GOP is complaining that Democratic leaders are not only overreaching but also setting a dangerous precedent in both punishing Greene and pursuing a doomed-to-fail impeachment trial for an ex-President in the Senate next week…

…The furor over Trump and Greene shows that even with the ex-President out of office, most of the Washington GOP is not willing to take issue with the radical fringe that festers among its most loyal voters.

By backing Greene and refusing to take action against her reprehensible rhetoric, [House Minority Leader Kevin] McCarthy has made clear that he believes the path to victory in the midterm elections lies in the support of those who manage to keep extremist voters within their ranks.

 

The Aurora Sentinel reports on another broadside attack against a controversial education-focused political group:

The small donor committee of the Aurora Education Association passed a resolution that it will not endorse or support any candidates that accept donation money from Democrats for Education Reform or similar groups.

Democrats for Education Reform is a political action committee that advocates for expanding access to charter schools and stricter teacher evaluations, among other policies. It has chapters in eight states, including Colorado.

The Colorado chapter has faced increasing opposition from the Democratic Party over the past several years. At the 2018 Colorado state Democratic assembly, the party voted to amend its platform to oppose DFER’s policies and called for it to remove the word “Democrat” from its name, according to reporting from Chalkbeat.

A statement released by the AEA, the teacher’s union for educators in Aurora Public Schools, said that DFER promotes policy that is “directly opposed to policy supported by the AEA” and it can “no longer support candidates who try to play both sides” by claiming to support the union and accepting money from DFER.

 

Senator John Hickenlooper irritated some immigration advocates with a vote during Thursday’s reconciliation vote-a-rama.

 

Congress is still digging for answers as to why so many workers at the JBS meatpacking plant in Greeley died from COVID-19.

 

Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-Denver) has reintroduced her “Colorado Wilderness Act,” which seeks permanent protections for 600,000 acres of wilderness in our state.

 

 Governor Jared Polis is urging President Biden to keep the Bureau of Land Management headquarters in Grand Junction, Colorado, AND to change a Trump decision to move Space Force HQ to Huntsville, AL.

 

You can file this POLITICO headline under, “No Shit, Sherlock”:

Via POLITICO (2/5/21)

 
 
► One candidate seeking to become the next State Republican Party Chair is challenging his opponents to a debate.

 

Of course Governor Polis and his spouse should receive the COVID-19 vaccine — if nothing else because it helps protect other people who come into contact with a couple that can’t exactly work from home. 9News has more on Colorado government officials who were prioritized to receive the vaccine.

 

► House impeachment managers, which include Colorado Reps. Diana DeGette (D-Denver) and Joe Neguse (D-Boulderish), invited former President Trump to testify himself at next week’s Senate impeachment trial. Trump refused.

 

Say What, Now?

 

► Oh, just former FEMA Director Michael Brown — now a talk radio host in Colorado –endorsing a ridiculous conspiracy theory that the people who attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 were probably “Antifa”:

Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

 

We’re really stretching the definition of “celebrity” here.

 

► You can’t fire me; I quit! Donald Trump is still very much a child.

 

► Just…don’t make this comparison, please.

 

ICYMI

 

Agreed:

Via POLITICO (2/5/21)

 

Now that you’re done reading, adjust your ears and check out the newest episode of The Get More Smarter Podcast, featuring an interview with House Speaker Alec Garnett.

 

 

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

 

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Comments

7 thoughts on “Get More Smarter on Friday (February 5)

  1. I find it interesting that a blog dedicated to progressive values has not said one thing about now Senator Hickenlooper’s vote on the Young amendment to covid relief last night. Yes, in the newest Senator’s very brief tenure in the Senate, he voted with Republicans to deny aid to our undocumented members of society. Many of whom have in the front lines of delivering vital services to Coloradans. And you can bet as a restaurateur, he more then likely employed many undocumented folks in his restaurants.

    This very blog worked very hard to convince us that Hickenlooper was the only to beat Gardner in the Senate race. The truth was that Gardner was so unpopular with Coloradans that we could have run a yellow dog against him and turned that seat blue. But instead of working to put a progressive candidate on the Democratic ticket, we were forced to believe that this tired old white dude was our savior. And he buckled under the slightest pressure. Shame on Colorado Pols for forcing Hickenlooper down our throats. 

    1. Huh?  Colorado Pols is many things but neither they nor the Get More Smarter feature shove anything down throats.

      Hick wasn't my favorite candidate (for President OR Senator), but he seems to have won the primary and general election.  Tough to prove how an alternative candidate would have done against Gardner.

      And if you want more about Hickenlooper and his vote to "deny aid" …. which was not in the Biden plan to begin with.  Nor was Hickenlooper a deciding vote.  As Common Dreams reported

      Biden's $1.9 American Rescue Plan—which does not include relief checks for undocumented immigrants.

      Given the limits of Biden's plan, the amendment introduced by Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) was seen as largely symbolic. Still, Democrats who voted for it—Sens. Maggie Hassan (N.H.), John Hickenlooper (Colo.), Mark Kelly (Ariz.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Gary Peters (Mich.), Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.), Debbie Stabenow (Mich.), Jon Tester (Mont.)

       

    2. we were forced to believe that this tired old white dude was our savior

      I would be straight up shocked if anyone here believed Hick would be some sort of "savior." I voted for Romanoff and encouraged others to do likewise. When Romanoff got his ass handed to him in the Dem primary, I voted for Hick in the general because (a) only two candidates had any chance of winning and (b) Hick wasn't Gardner. With the specter of a second Trump term hanging over our goddamn heads, we needed a senator who would opposing putting another Rapey Alcoholic Manbaby on SCOTUS. I doubt anyone had any illusions about Hick becoming a lefty upon arriving in D.C.

  2. It’s literally so small, I missed it. And it’s way more than just advocates for immigration that are angry. So way to trivialize literally every progressive upset about Hickenlooper’s vote.

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