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► As The Denver Post reports, Colorado hit a big COVID-19 vaccination milestone:
More than 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered to Coloradans to date as public health officials are nearing their goal of inoculating 70% of all people 70 and older, state representatives said Thursday.
So far, 748,151 people have received their first vaccine dose and 333,859 people have received their second shot, Kate McIntire, deputy director of the state’s Vaccine Task Force, said during a news briefing. And 337,124 people 70 and up have received at least one vaccine shot — 56,276 vaccinations short of meeting the goal Gov. Jared Polis set for the end of February.
In a separate story for The Denver Post, Bruce Finley explains new research indicating a direct correlation between poor air quality and an increase in infections and deaths from COVID-19.
► President Biden said in a speech to the G-7 Munich Security Conference that “the trans-Atlantic alliance is back” and the “America first” policies of former President Trump are no longer in effect.
► Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz is back in the United States after an incredibly bad decision to fly with his family to Cancun, Mexico while his fellow Texans are freezing at home. Cruz’s latest explanation for why he jetted to another country in the midst of a massive crisis is…not good.
The editorial board of The Houston Chronicle is among many voices calling on Cruz to resign from the Senate.
► Congressman Ken Buck (R-Greeley), who also moonlights as the State Republican Party Chair (or vice-versa) has a lot of opinions about natural gas and the relation to electric grid problems in Texas. Unfortunately, Buck has NO FRIGGIN’ IDEA what he is talking about.
More political (and coronavirus) news is available right after the jump…
As Promised, More Words…
► Jennifer Rubin of The Washington Post ponders the extreme unpopularity of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz:
The total disregard for voters, the willingness to lie, the elite mentality (as Cruz feigns to be a man of the people) and his unwillingness to take responsibility for an appalling lack of judgment were all peak Ted Cruz. It is not for nothing that Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) once wisecracked, “If you killed Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, and the trial was in the Senate, nobody would convict you.” The former disgraced president dubbed him “Lyin’ Ted,” as apt a description of him as any. And this is what Republicans say about him.
► Colorado U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn, who announced his resignation effective at the end of the month, talks to “The Unaffiliated” newsletter (via The Colorado Sun) about his view on claims of election fraud and a couple other issues. Dunn is a potential Republican candidate for State Attorney General in 2022, and interviews like this make that ambition pretty obvious.
► State Rep. Richard Holtorf (R-Akron) is a special kind of asshole.
► The Washington Post reports on an expanded investigation into the “Oath Keepers” militia group — an organization with strong ties to Colorado:
► Congresswoman Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle) is under criticism for displaying her silly gun fetish during a House Natural Resources Committee hearing on Thursday. Boebert’s actions have inspired plenty of ridicule:
Just showing you personality traits. https://t.co/bZ9qqqrbnc pic.twitter.com/KaXO6usEwa
— Jeremy Jojola (@jeremyjojola) February 19, 2021
► If you want to run for Congress in 2022 against Boebert, you’ll need to get in line.
► Republican lawmakers in Colorado want to make abortion a felony, even though Colorado voters have repeatedly made it clear that they do not support restrictions on abortion.
► Senator John Hickenlooper (D-Denver) will chair a new Senate subcommittee on science and space.
► Congressional Democrats introduced a new immigration overhaul bill on Thursday that is being pushed by President Biden. Senator Hickenlooper has signed on as a co-sponsor.
► Colorado school districts are considering an earlier start to the 2021-22 school year.
► As POLITICO explains, Texas Republicans are having trouble explaining why their “go-it-alone” strategies toward policymaking are still a good idea:
The brutal winter storm that turned Texas roads to ice, burst pipes across the state and left millions of residents shivering and without power has also damaged the reputations of three of the state’s leading Republicans.
Sen. Ted Cruz was discovered to have slipped off to Mexico on Wednesday night, only to announce his return when he was caught in the act. Gov. Greg Abbott came under fire over his leadership and misleading claims about the causes of the power outages. And former Gov. Rick Perry suggested Texans preferred power failures to federal regulation, a callous note in a moment of widespread suffering.
It’s more than just a public relations crisis for the three politicians. The storm has also battered the swaggering, Texas brand of free-market governance that’s central to the state’s political identity on the national stage.
“Texans are angry and they have every right to be. Failed power, water and communications surely took some lives,” JoAnn Fleming, a Texas conservative activist and executive director of a group called Grassroots America, said in a text message exchange with POLITICO.
► Vox.com digs into more details on President Biden’s economic stimulus plan.
Say What, Now?
► In other words, Congress can fix the free market economy by enforcing stronger regulations…on big corporations. Great logic, Congressman!
The biggest threat to the free market economy is Big Tech.
Potential legislation should be fairly tightly focused on that. https://t.co/Kuu60mqyUM
— Congressman Ken Buck (@RepKenBuck) February 19, 2021
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► The New York Times asked crisis communications experts to give some advice to Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz in the wake of his idiotic decision to fly to Cancun while his constituents were freezing. These PR experts were basically stumped.
Elsewhere, Fox News talking head Sean Hannity tried to defend Cruz…only to be contradicted by Cruz himself.
► South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham is going to Florida to play golf with former President Trump in a doomed effort to help mend fences between Trump and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
► Raise your hand if you are surprised!
The campaign to make Weld County into Wyoming’s nubbin isn’t going well. https://t.co/t4inc15FrW
— Kyle Clark (@KyleClark) February 19, 2021
► Republican State Sen. Paul Lundeen is pushing legislation to intentionally make it harder for people to vote.
► Don’t miss the latest episode of The Get More Smarter Podcast, Trumplectric Trumpaloo!
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All of this crazy news today, plus Kimye is over. I can’t go on.
Did you notice Cruz wife’s reference to the “security” at the Cancun Ritz Carlton when she was encouraging her friends to join them? That’s code for Fox viewers who are constantly told how dangerous it is in Mexico. So, she had to calm the nerves of her friends that it would be perfectly safe at the Ritz Carlton, even though it is in Mexico.
Does the name Brian Sicknick ring a bell, #PewPew?
Maybe hang the Confederate flag at half-mast while you’re gritting at Mar-a-Lago this weekend ?
Half-mast for this?!?!?