Get More Smarter on Monday (March 15)

You survived #Snowpocalypse2021! here’s a look at snowfall totals around the Denver Metro area. Let’s Get More Smarter; 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 

 

If you live in the Denver Metro area, or anywhere else that was impacted by heavy snowfall, please do not try to drive today. From The Denver Post:

Road and traffic officials are asking people not to drive in the Denver area on Monday if possible.

“Today is the day to stay home,” AAA Colorado spokesman Skyler McKinley said. “I can tell you that for everyone who runs a fleet in Colorado … today is the day we’re worried about…

…The outlook for the roads is, in some ways, worse than it was during this weekend’s blizzard, which dropped 27.1 inches of snow at Denver International Airport to make it the city’s second largest snowstorm in 75 years and the largest since 2003.

Traveling by air is not much of an option today, either; all flights in and out of Denver International Airport were grounded until at least Monday afternoon.

 

► The Colorado legislature is not in session today on account of the snow, but there’s still legislative news to discuss…

Colorado Newsline previews the coming battle over a Public Option health care proposal:

Under the draft bill, the state would first ask private insurance carriers to reduce their premium rates on all three levels of a standardized individual plan by 20% in every zip code in the state.

If, by 2025, insurance carriers hadn’t met those reduction targets — or if fewer than two standard plans were offered on the individual market in any zip code — then the Colorado Option would kick in…

…The proposal’s health-care-industry critics say insurance carriers wouldn’t be able to reduce premiums by 20% from 2021 levels, so if the bill passed, the public option would be inevitable. Though the bill hasn’t been introduced, opponents have already poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into fighting it at the Capitol.

Elsewhere…

The Colorado Sun explains legislation — which could get the Governor’s signature this week — that will change how Colorado handles standardized tests this year.

Pro tip: Before you agree to sponsor legislation, it’s a good idea to take some time to understand your own bill.

Lawmakers are considering a bill that goes after institutions that cover up child sexual abuse.

The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel previews the week ahead at the State Capitol.

 

As The New York Times reports, nationwide Republican efforts to make it harder to vote in 2022 are spurring a new voting rights movement:

State and national voting-rights advocates are waging the most consequential political struggle over access to the ballot since the civil rights era, a fight increasingly focused on a far-reaching federal overhaul of election rules in a last-ditch bid to offset a wave of voting restrictions sweeping Republican-controlled state legislatures.

The federal voting bill, which passed in the House this month with only Democratic support, includes a landmark national expansion of voting rights, an end to partisan gerrymandering of congressional districts and new transparency requirements on the flood of dark money financing elections that would override the rash of new state laws.

The energy in support for it radiates from well-financed veteran organizers to unpaid volunteers, many who were called to political activism after former President Donald J. Trump’s upset win in 2016. It is engaging Democrats in Washington and voting rights activists in crucial states from Georgia to Iowa to West Virginia to Arizona — some facing rollbacks in access to the ballot, some with senators who will play pivotal roles and some with both.

 

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

 

And Now, More Words…

 

Congresswoman Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle) is scheduled to host a town hall meeting in Montrose tonight, but don’t tell anyone.

The Eagle County Republican Party is also hosting a semi-secret digital town hall event with Boebert on Thursday (you must contact the Eagle County GOP for details on how to gain access).

 

The Washington Post reports on the results of a focus group of Republican voters who are skeptical of COVID-19 vaccination efforts:

Be honest that scientists don’t have all the answers. Tout the number of people who got the vaccines in trials. And don’t show pro-vaccine ads with politicians — not even ones with Donald Trump.

That’s what a focus group of vaccine-hesitant Trump voters insisted to politicians and pollsters this weekend, as public health leaders rush to win over the tens of millions of Republicans who say they don’t plan to get a coronavirus shot. If those voters follow through, it would imperil efforts to achieve the high levels of immunity needed to stop the virus’s spread in the United States, experts fear.

“These people represent 30 million Americans. And without these people, you’re not getting herd immunity,” said Frank Luntz, the longtime GOP pollster who convened Saturday’s focus group over Zoom. The group followed what Luntz characterized as a remarkable arc: By the end of the two-hour-plus session, all 19 participants (one dropped out early) said they were more likely to get vaccinated, and Luntz said he had begun nationwide polling to see which messages resonated with a broader population…

…Participants were adamant: They all believed the coronavirus threat was real, with many having contracted it themselves or aware of critically ill friends and family, and they didn’t want to be condemned as “anti-vaxxers” who opposed all vaccines. Instead, they blamed their hesitation on factors like the unknown long-term effects of new vaccines, even though scientists have stressed their confidence in the products. They also accused politicians and government scientists of repeatedly misleading them this past year — often echoing Trump’s charges that Democrats used the virus as an election-year weapon and overhyped its dangers. Several said that recent political appeals to get the shot were only hardening their opposition.

In short, the primary reason many diehard Republican voters are skeptical of the COVID-19 vaccine is because other people are telling them they should get vaccinated. “You’re not the boss of me” is a pretty stupid argument, but that’s where we are.

 

The first meeting of the newly-formed Colorado Independent Congressional Redistricting Committee is scheduled to take place Monday afternoon. Meanwhile, the final six members of the Legislative Redistricting Committee will be selected on Tuesday. Click here for more information on both committees.

 

Federal stimulus money is on the way! The $1.9 trillion relief package signed by President Biden last week includes a child tax credit program championed by Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet.

 

Congressman Jason Crow (D-Aurora) has been named to the high-profile House Intelligence Committee.

 

► Colorado Governor Jared Polis says that the COVID-19 vaccine will be available to all adults by mid-April. In the meantime, as Colorado Public Radio explains, please keep wearing masks and get those vaccinations as soon as you can.

 

 The year 2020 was pretty good by one metric: If you own a home in Colorado.

 

It’s hard to think about fire with so much snow on the ground today, but Colorado officials are already worried about the 2021 wildfire season.

 

 If you vote in Colorado Springs, your municipal ballot is probably in the mail.

 

 Missouri Republicans may have an Eric Greitens problem.

 

Some dude named Gregg Smith is no longer running for Congress in CO-03.

 

Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson REALLY needs to stop talking.

 

As State Rep. Chris Kennedy (D-Lakewood) writes in The Colorado Sun, we should be doing more to make sure that redistricting guidelines apply equally to county commissioner races.

 

Pope Francis says the Catholic church cannot bless gay marriages.

 

As Nicole Hemmer writes for CNN, the party of Abraham Lincoln is now the party of Alex Jones, which is not as good.

 

 

Say What, Now?

 

► Presented without comment:

 

Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

 

► Mushroom-headed Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz is barking at anyone who has been critical of Colorado Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert.

 

Nominees for the 92nd Academy Awards were announced on Monday morning. If you’ve even HEARD of half of the movies nominated for Best Picture, you get a gold star.

 

 

ICYMI

 

► This should surprise absolutely nobody who follows politics:

 

 

► Check out the latest episode of The Get More Smarter Podcast and our new feature, “Legislating With Crayons.”


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