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► The historic second impeachment trial against former President Trump began on Tuesday with some impressive arguments from House impeachment managers and a bunch of meandering nonsense from Trump’s lawyers. As The Washington Post reports:
Several Republican senators on Tuesday criticized the performance of lawyers representing former president Donald Trump at his impeachment trial, with at least one saying that the “disorganized, random” arguments by Trump’s attorneys were what motivated him to change his mind and vote with Democrats.
After listening to opening statements, the Senate voted 56 to 44 to move forward with the impeachment trial, rejecting Trump’s legal team’s arguments that it was unconstitutional to do so. The vote mostly split along party lines and was almost identical to a similar one that was held last month.
Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), the only Republican senator to switch his vote to support moving forward with Trump’s impeachment trial, blasted the meandering opening statements by Trump’s attorneys as incoherent and ineffective.
As The Washington Post reports in a separate story, Trump was apparently very upset with the performance of his legal team on Tuesday…but at least it gave him something to talk about:
He has recently gloated about falling ratings at Fox News, the conservative-leaning news channel that he abandoned in recent months in favor of rivals Newsmax and One America News. One person who spoke with the former president described him as sounding “bored out of his mind” and pressing for gossip: “What are you hearing? What are they saying?” Trump queried. [Pols emphasis]
“He’s still licking his wounds to some extent, and he’s also waiting for this to be behind him,” said one Republican in Trump’s orbit, adding dryly, “and then he’ll relaunch himself as the savior of the Republican Party.”
POLITICO has more on Trump’s reaction to Tuesday’s opening day of impeachment discussions.
► The second impeachment trial against Trump is making a star out of Colorado Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Boulderish), who took a lead role on Tuesday and again today. Late Tuesday, Chris Cillizza of CNN echoed what many national outlets and pundits were saying about the performance of Neguse:
Neguse has the makings of a future face of the national Democratic Party — and he showed why on Tuesday.
Justin Wingerter of The Denver Post has more on Neguse.
► Democrat Kerry Donovan raised more than $100,000 in less than five days after announcing that she will run against Republican Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert in 2022.
► Colorado Public Radio examines how Democrats plan to push for a “public option” health care reform plan when the state legislature reconvenes next week:
Democratic lawmakers have a new message for the health care industry: bring down patient costs by 2024, or face competition from a government-controlled plan.
That’s the gist of a “public option” bill some lawmakers plan to introduce in this year’s legislative session.
“I think it’s important to bring back the public option this year, and to continue to work on lowering the cost of health care, no matter how we can do that, because it’s still one of the top issues I hear from the people that I represent,” said state Sen. Kerry Donovan, who will sponsor the bill alongside Rep. Dylan Roberts.
The proposal was set to be a top priority for Democrats last year, only to be derailed by the pandemic. This year, a new version will include some changes intended to ease opposition from the health care industry.
The 2021 Colorado legislative session begins in earnest on Feb. 16.
► Colorado is expected to see an increase in the number of COVID-19 vaccines made available to the state.
More political (and coronavirus) news is available right after the jump…
As Promised, More Words…
► Several longtime Republican political consultants don’t see a particularly bright future for Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle).
► You know that dinner guest who you are relieved to be rid of because he chewed with his mouth open, drank too much wine, and pissed on your toilet seat? That’s Cory Gardner.
► The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports on a meeting between Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-Denver) and Interior Secretary nominee Deb Haaland.
► The Colorado Springs Independent reports on continuing efforts to convince the Department of Defense to keep the HQ for “Space Force” in Colorado.
► If anybody has seen former Trump attorney Sidney Powell, Dominion Voting Services would like to have a word.
► The New York Times has more on a criminal investigation in Georgia related to former President Trump’s attempts to convince SOS Brad Raffensberger to “find” enough votes to give Trump a victory over Joe Biden:
Prosecutors in Fulton County have initiated a criminal investigation into former President Donald J. Trump’s attempts to overturn Georgia’s election results, including a phone call he made to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which Mr. Trump pressured him to “find” enough votes to help him reverse his loss.
On Wednesday, Fani Willis, the recently elected Democratic prosecutor in Fulton County, sent a letter to numerous officials in state government, including Mr. Raffensperger, requesting that they preserve documents related to “an investigation into attempts to influence the administration of the 2020 Georgia General Election.”
While the letter does not mention Mr. Trump by name, it is related to his intervention in Georgia’s election, according to a state official with knowledge of the matter. A copy of the letter was obtained by The New York Times.
► We wrote earlier this week about a dumb, gross, and logically-ridiculous argument from Rep. Ken Buck (R-Greeley). Buck eventually deleted the social media post in question, but then doubled-down on the nonsense on Tuesday.
► Colorado lawmakers will make a renewed push to ban plastic bags and styrofoam containers.
► As The Colorado Sun reports, a potential effort to reduce the potency of legal marijuana in Colorado is running into all sorts of problems.
► Denver7 reports on an interesting tool to assist with redistricting/reapportionment.
► The Colorado Springs Independent has more on the internal battle taking place among El Paso County Republicans. We discussed the weird power-grabbing attempts in the conservative county in a post on Tuesday.
► POLITICO reports on House Republican efforts to take back majority control in 2022:
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and congressional Republicans are just five seats away from seizing back the House, following an unexpectedly successful election cycle, when they netted a dozen seats. The GOP also controls the redistricting process in several key states, giving them the ability to draw favorable new maps. And further fueling hopes of a Republican takeover, the president’s party has lost an average of 22 House seats in midterms going back over the past 40 years.
In an exclusive interview with POLITICO on Tuesday, NRCC Chair Tom Emmer charted out his road map for the 2022 midterms, which includes a list of 47 Democratic seats to target and a messaging blueprint: Tag Democrats as jobs-killing socialists and stress the GOP’s commitment to reopening schools and protecting the gas and energy sector.
The GOP’s 2022 plan also includes a strategy for dealing with the January 6 terrorist attack on the U.S. Capitol: Pretend it didn’t happen.
► As Dylan Matthews writes for Vox.com, “the debt ceiling is ridiculous.”
Say What, Now?
► Um, okay:
There’s one line from President Trump’s speech that the Democrats left out of their video today:
“Peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) February 9, 2021
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► The Wisconsin Supreme Court is being asked to strike down a mask mandate from Gov. Tony Evers, which comes less than a week after Republican lawmakers struck down a previous mask order from the Democratic Governor.
► For Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle), her legal and ethical troubles are going to get worse before they get better.
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