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March 31, 2021 09:59 AM UTC

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (March 31)

  • 1 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

Today is the last day of the Q1 fundraising period for most elected officials and candidates. If you’ve opened your email in the last few days, you probably already knew this. 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 

 

What time is it? Infrastructure time!

As The New York Times reports:

President Biden will unveil an infrastructure plan on Wednesday whose $2 trillion price tag would translate into 20,000 miles of rebuilt roads, repairs to the 10 most economically important bridges in the country, the elimination of lead pipes and service lines from the nation’s water supplies and a long list of other projects intended to create millions of jobs in the short run and strengthen American competitiveness in the long run.

Biden administration officials said the proposal, which they detailed in a 25-page briefing paper and which Mr. Biden will discuss in an afternoon speech in Pittsburgh, would also accelerate the fight against climate change by hastening the shift to new, cleaner energy sources, and would help promote racial equity in the economy…

…the scale of the proposal underscores how fully Mr. Biden has embraced the opportunity to use federal spending to address longstanding social and economic challenges in a way not seen in half a century. Officials said that, if approved, the spending in the plan would end decades of stagnation in federal investment in research and infrastructure — and would return government investment in those areas, as a share of the economy, to its highest levels since the 1960s.

The Washington Post has more on how Biden’s proposal breaks down into specific buckets, from highways and road maintenance to boosting U.S. manufacturing and fixing problems with the electric grid and clean drinking water systems.

 

► To vaccinate, or to vacillate? As Colorado Newsline reports, many Members of Congress are still not vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus:

Members of Congress were among the first people in the U.S. to have access to the sought-after COVID-19 vaccine when the initial doses became available in December.

Three months later, a States Newsroom survey across 22 states — making up a large swath of Congress — found at least 155 members of the U.S. House and Senate have been vaccinated, based on a tally of responses from their offices and other public statements. Most, but not all, are Democrats, even as pollsters find greater hesitancy and even disinterest among Republicans in the broader U.S. adult population when it comes to the vaccine.

At least 14 legislators say they have not been vaccinated, either because they have been waiting to do so or because they don’t plan to at all. All but but one are Republicans. Dozens of others among the 237 surveyed declined to share their vaccination status.

Colorado Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-Denver) has been vaccinated (twice) and has publicly acknowledged as much. Yet many elected officials, most of them Republicans, have avoided vaccines despite the obvious risks:

With the average age for House members at 58 and senators averaging 64, many lawmakers also were at increased risk of severe complications or even death if they contracted the virus. (One member of Congress, Rep. Ron Wright (R-Texas) died in February after being diagnosed with COVID-19, and Luke Letlow, who was elected to represent a Louisiana district in December, passed away from complications of the virus before he could be sworn in.)

As for Colorado’s Congressional delegation, all six Democrats have been fully vaccinated. On the Republican side, Rep. Ken Buck (R-Greeley) has said he will not get the vaccine. Congressperson Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle) said in December that she didn’t need to get the vaccine, though her office did not confirm one way or the other. Likewise, Colorado Newsline could not confirm if Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs) had been vaccinated or planned on being vaccinated (Lamborn also tested positive for COVID-19 in November 2020).

Since we’re on the subject of COVID-19 and public officials…

 

► Republican Danny Moore, the chairperson of Colorado’s Independent Congressional Redistricting Commission, is a full-on believer that the 2020 Presidential election was fraudulent. Maybe he’s not the best person to be leading a redistricting commission. Evan Wyloge has more on this story for the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman.

 

► It might be Spring Break for you, but not for the state legislature…

Governor Jared Polis does not agree with parts of a proposed bill that seeks to implement more specific markers for greenhouse gas emissions restrictions. The Colorado Sun has more on the discussion.

Colorado is poised to become the first state to offer public housing benefits to people regardless of their immigration status. Meanwhile, a bill to create an immigration legal defense fund is advancing in the State House.

Marianne Goodland reports on a legislation regarding actuarial review of health benefit mandates, which is a phrase we only partially understand.

Legislation is moving along that seeks to ensure that county commissioner districts are accurately redrawn every 10 years.

A bill ending the statute of limitations on lawsuits for child sex abusers has made it out of the legislature and is on the way to the desk of Gov. Polis.

The Colorado Springs Independent takes a look at several new and pending pieces of legislation.

State lawmakers have halted a proposal to build a fence around parts of the State Capitol.

 

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

 

And Now, More Words…

 

Free speech for me…but not for thee. As The Glenwood Springs Post Independent reports:

After being sued in federal court for allegedly violating free-speech rights, Rifle business owner Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., argues through her attorney the motion be denied because the allegations ignore the distinction between personal and private Twitter accounts…

…Bri Buentello, a former Democratic state representative based in Pueblo, brought legal action in January against Boebert after the Rifle Republican blocked her from accessing her Twitter account…

…Buentello’s attorney, David Lane, argued that Boebert cannot legally bar constituents from access to her Twitter feed since she shares official policy on it.

IOKILBDI (It’s Okay if Lauren Boebert Does It).

 

We continue to learn more details about just how badly the Trump administration botched the federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As The Washington Post reports:

A top adviser privately urged President Donald Trump to acquire critical medical supplies in the early days of the coronavirus outbreak — and after the warning was ignored, pursued his own ad hoc strategy that committed more than $1 billion in federal funds and has since prompted multiple probes, according to newly released documents from congressional investigators.

Peter Navarro, who served as Trump’s trade adviser, warned the president on March 1, 2020, to “MOVE IN ‘TRUMP TIME’” to invest in ingredients for drugs, handheld coronavirus tests and other supplies to fight the virus, according to a memo obtained by the House’s select subcommittee on the coronavirus outbreak. Navarro also said that he’d been trying to acquire more protective gear like masks, critiquing the administration’s pace…

…But after Trump ignored Navarro’s recommendations, the trade adviser embarked on his own strategy to acquire supplies with little oversight, Democrats said. Navarro subsequently steered a $765 million loan to Eastman Kodak to produce ingredients for generic drugs, a $354 million sole-source contract for pharmaceutical ingredients to a start-up called Phlow, and a $96 million sole-source contract for powered respirators and filters from AirBoss Defense Group.

 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has dismissed dozens of “science advisers” appointed by former President Trump.

 

The Associated Press reports on the first batch of judicial nominees from President Biden, which includes filling a key post in Colorado.

 

New polling suggests that California Gov. Gavin Newsom is popular enough to survive an attempt to recall him from office.

 

The Denver Post reports on some disturbing news related to air quality regulations:

Colorado officials responsible for controlling air pollution this month ordered employees to stop measuring surges of harmful sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and particulates, according to a whistleblower complaint filed Tuesday alleging a culture of approving permits for industrial polluters “at all costs” that sacrifices public health.

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment air pollution control director Garry Kaufman on March 15 directed employees who conduct required modeling to estimate emissions of these gases to cease their work at scores of facilities where companies apply for and receive state permits, the three Air Pollution Control Division whistleblowers contend.

The pollution contributes to the unhealthy levels of ground-level ozone for which Colorado has been deemed a serious violator of federal health standards.

Among the allegations in the complaint filed by the Maryland-based Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility on behalf of the three state employees: managers told a Colorado health department modeler to falsify data from a Teller County gold mine “to ensure that no modeled violation would be reported.”

 

Two Capitol Police officers are filing suit against former President Trump for inciting the January 6 attack on the Capitol in Washington D.C.

 

If it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck

 

► Local municipalities are taking more control over potential COVID-19 restrictions. In related news, the State of Colorado is offering prison staffers $500 to get vaccinated.

 

The Colorado Springs Independent offers its endorsements for a bunch of offices up for grabs in this spring’s municipal election.

 

Vox.com takes a shot at explaining the ins and outs of the debate over vaccine passports. 

 

 

 

Say What, Now?

 

► Here’s your latest evidence that the Twitter account of Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert is really just a bot:

 

Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

 

You might call this the “Boebertization” of Republican politics.

 

Admit it: You had your suspicions…

 

ICYMI

 

Vaccines for everyone!

 

► Don’t miss this bonus episode of The Get More Smarter Podcast, featuring an interview with Senator John Hickenlooper (D-Denver) in which he refers to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell as a “schlub”:

 

 

 

 

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

 

Comments

One thought on “Get More Smarter on Wednesday (March 31)

  1. Just what exactly did Melania and Vanky do to make them think they have Superhero status? 

    WONDER WOMAN SNUBS MELANIA, IVANKA TRUMP

    AT&T, Warner Media, DC Comics, and Wonder Woman have snubbed First Lady Melania Trump as well as the president's daughter, Ivanka.

    DC Comics has announced it is publishing a Wonder Woman of Historygraphic novel in December that will "be presenting tales of the real-world heroes who take up Diana’s mantle and work in the fields of science, social justice activism, diplomacy and more!"

    Making up the list of DC and Wonder Woman's "real-world heroes" includes Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), former presidential candidate, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), President Clinton-appointed Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, tennis star Serena Williams, singer Beyonce, alternative comedian Tig Notaro, and more; however, both Melania Trump and Ivanka Trump are not included.

    Meanwhile at Faux…

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