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*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:
*How you can help in Colorado:
*Locate a COVID-19 testing site in Colorado:
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
► As CNN reports, the United States could be facing a new surge of COVID-19 infections:
Health officials have repeatedly warned about a potential fourth surge as state leaders eased restrictions and several lifted mask mandates. The first warning sign came when case numbers, after weeks of steep declines, appeared to level off — with the country still averaging tens of thousands of new cases daily. That kind of plateau previously predicted surges, some experts have said.
Cases of the worrying variants — notably the highly contagious B.1.1.7 variant — have also climbed and are set to become the dominant strain by the end of March or early April…
…Now, as the country inches closer to 30 million reported infections, cases are rising by more than 10% in 14 states this week compared to last week, according to Johns Hopkins University data — with half of those states seeing a rise of more than 20%.
Wear your masks and get your shots, people!
► All three Republican members of Colorado’s Congressional delegation — Reps. Lauren Boebert, Ken Buck, and Doug Lamborn — voted AGAINST reauthorization of the “Violence Against Women Act.” Arizona Republican Rep. Andy Biggs has some nutty thoughts on his opposition to the bill.
Democrats are relentlessly hyping President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill, while Republicans are trying to change the subject to Dr. Seuss, Mr. Potato Head and the Mexican border. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, arguably the shrewdest Republican strategist in Washington, has started floating a half-hearted anti-stimulus message that the coming recovery would have happened anyway…
…It may be an overstated political cliché that if you’re explaining, you’re losing. But you’re almost certainly losing if you’re explaining, ahead of time, why the economic boom you’re expecting on your opponent’s watch shouldn’t be attributed to your opponent. One lesson of the volatility of the past dozen years is that fairly or not, the president’s party tends to get the credit or blame for the economy—or at least for the way people perceive the economy. Biden is visiting swing states this week to sell American Rescue Plan’s focus on giving Americans vaccines and money, but with economists across the ideological spectrum forecasting explosive growth, many veterans of the 2009 stimulus wars believe the economy will be all the sales pitch the bill needs.
Elsewhere, Vox.com examines efforts by Republican Attorneys General to sue the federal government for giving money to local and state governments.
► Let’s get you caught up on the Colorado legislature…
Lawmakers are working on a couple of bills intended to help protect immigrants from being arrested over civil immigration violations.
As the Fort Collins Coloradoan reports, it is now up to the U.S. Department of Education to determine how many restrictions can be granted this year on standardized tests in Colorado.
CBS4 Denver reports on efforts to reduce the cost of prescription drugs in Colorado.
Colorado Newsline reports on legislative efforts to balance the scales between landlords and tenants. The Colorado Sun has more on a proposal to make it easier for municipalities to require the construction of more affordable housing.
9News reports on an idiotic piece of legislation sponsored by House Minority Leader Hugh McKean that carried a $2.7 BILLION price tag.
Efforts to build a fence around parts of the State Capitol have not been well-received.
More political (and coronavirus) news is available right after the jump…
And Now, More Words…
► David Bixenspan of “Mel magazine” takes an exhaustive look into the story of a paternity suit involving a former professional wrestler named Stan Lane who appears to be the father of Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert:
Regardless of what Stan Lane did or didn’t do in July 1990, it’s hard to blame Shawna Bentz and Lauren Boebert for seeing a conspiracy there. Unfortunately, they started seeing them everywhere else, too.
► New reports are coming in about Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert’s first “town hall” meeting this week in Montrose. It would take a bunch of investigative reporters to try to understand most of what Boebert was saying on Monday.
► Colorado Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper have both signed on as co-sponsors of S.1, the “For the People Act” that is the Senate companion legislation to a similar bill that passed through the House of Representatives earlier this month.
► Aurora Mayor “Homeless” Mike Coffman has filed a lawsuit against the City of Aurora for trying to prevent him from funneling money to former Congressional staffer Dustin Zvonek, who is now running for Aurora City Council.
► House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy sent a letter to President Biden urging him to continue construction of Donald Trump’s giant border wall.
► A dozen House Republicans voted NO on a bill honoring law enforcement members who tried to protect the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 attack. Among other complaints, Qaucus members such as Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz and Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie objected to language in the bill labeling the Jan. 6 attacks as an “insurrection.”
► As E.J. Dionne, Jr. writes for The Washington Post, the end of the Senate filibuster is near:
Change is on the way. President Biden has signaled that the days of the Senate filibuster’s stranglehold on majority rule are numbered. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is scared to death that he’s right.
McConnell is particularly worried that Democrats will use their majorities in the House and Senate to enact fundamental reforms to our political system, from protecting voting rights to containing dark money’s influence on elections. That’s why the man who supposedly loves Congress’s upper chamber promised to create “a completely scorched earth Senate” if Democrats try to make it easier to pass legislation.
Biden warming up to the idea of making the filibuster much harder to use is big news, given his reluctance to take this step in the past. He’s responding to reality.
Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute makes some very strong points against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s anti-filibuster threats in this Twitter thread:
Memo to mainstream journalists: Stop treating Mitch McConnell as an institutionalist. No one has blown up more norms. Stop taking everything he says at face value. Do you really think if he employed obstructionist tactics to blow things up that the majority would be helpless?
— Norman Ornstein (@NormOrnstein) March 17, 2021
► POLITICO reports on the new bipartisan “gang” in the U.S. Senate that is trying to seek a middle ground on issues like filibuster reform.
► Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Denver) has some ideas about how to extend the child tax credit portion of the American Rescue Plan.
► As Colorado Newsline reports, the House of Representatives will likely pass legislation to help so-called “DREAMERs,” but Republicans in the U.S. Senate won’t let it get much further.
► Stefanie Tompkins, a researcher at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, is the new director of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
► Russia has recalled its Ambassador to the United States because Russian President Vladimir Putin is sad that President Biden called him a “killer.”
► None of us will ever forget what we were doing during the great Meat War in Colorado.
► Colorado Parks and Wildlife approved a partnership that will make it easier for you to plug in your car while you go hiking.
► The State Supreme Court may have to decide if local municipalities can enforce their own gun safety measures.
► Congressman Ed Perlmutter (D-Jefferson County) reintroduced his SAFE Banking Act.
► Jason Salzman of The Colorado Times Recorder summarizes a growing list of lies from Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle).
Say What, Now?
► This seems…unlikely:
To sum it up: Democratic AGs, green groups and a top Biden environmental regulator are colluding on a plan to impose the Green New Deal on states through a back regulatory door because they know they can’t pass it through the front in Congress. https://t.co/aFuG6DtBdQ
— Congressman Ken Buck (@RepKenBuck) March 18, 2021
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if you joined a playgroup that was full of QAnon conspiracist-loving mothers…well, now you know.
► If monkeys can enjoy Zoom calls, then so can you.
► Republican Congressman Chip Roy of Texas says that a hearing scheduled to address violence against Asian Americans is somehow an assault on free speech:
A House hearing focused on anti-Asian discrimination, just two days after eight people were killed in the Atlanta-area spa shootings, including six Asian women, began with a moment of silence to honor those who were slain on Tuesday…
…While Rep. Chip Roy (R-Tex.) agreed that all Asian Americans deserve protections in the United States, he asserted that the subcommittee’s hearing was aiming to police free speech. He also said that all victims of race-based violence, including Americans being “decimated” by cartels along the southern border, deserve justice.
► The race to become the next Chair of the Colorado Republican Party is in its final days. The crazy narrative driving most of the candidates is far from over.
► The Federal Reserve is painting an unexpectedly rosy picture of the U.S. economy.
► Check out the latest episode of The Get More Smarter Podcast and our new feature, “Legislating With Crayons.”