‘Tis a mighty blustery day outside, and it’s going to get blusterier: Denver could set a new record low temperature today in advance of a snowstorm that is forecasted to drop 8-14 inches of snow in the 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.
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Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Despite rising cases of COVID-19, many Colorado counties eased pandemic-related restrictions on Friday.
► Governor Jared Polis will officially sign two gun safety bills today — one dealing with safe storage of firearms and the other about mandatory reporting of lost or stolen firearms. The Colorado Sun has more background on the legislation.
Now, let’s get you caught up on more legislative news. Thursday is Earth Day, which makes this week a great time to use the social media hashtags #CoClimateWeek and #ClimateJusticeNow. It also means this could be your best chance to see a giant ice globe in person:
🚨Bookmark this thread for our live launch of a ***two-ton globe ice sculpture*** at Colorado’s Capitol at 1PM MT. We’re celebrating #CoClimateWeek and the 3 bills that’ll be unveiled this week to save Co’s environment + to institute climate justice reforms. #ClimateJusticeNow
— ProgressNow Colorado (@ProgressNowCO) April 19, 2021
Saja Hindi of The Denver Post looks at the week(s) ahead in the fight over a “Colorado Option” healthcare proposal. Last week we outlined how opponents of the legislation are doing a pretty terrible job of arguing their case.
Lawmakers are considering setting aside a significant amount of money in the state budget to help law enforcement purchase more body cameras.
CBS4 Denver looks at legislation that could restrict public access to arrest records.
Fox 31 Denver discusses a bill that would provide free mental health services to Colorado children.
Marianne Goodland of the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman previews the legislative week ahead.
► Closing arguments are being made today in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who is accused of several crimes in connection with the May 2020 death of George Floyd. Is is expected that the case will be in the hands of a jury by the end of the day. Minneapolis is bracing for news of a verdict.
► CNN reports on a violent weekend across the United States:
Americans awoke Friday to news of yet another mass shooting, this time at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, where eight people were killed late Thursday.
By the end of the weekend, at least nine more people had died from gun violence in back-to-back shootings across the country — in Illinois, Texas, Wisconsin, Ohio, Nebraska and Louisiana. At least 10 more were wounded.
Since March 16, when eight people were killed and one wounded in shootings at three Atlanta-area spas, at least 50 mass shootings have been reported in the United States. CNN defines a mass shooting as a shooting with four or more casualties — dead or wounded — excluding the shooter.
Some of the shootings this weekend fell short of that definition. But together, they underscored the fact the United States faces not just the Covid-19 pandemic, but a gun violence epidemic, as well.
Call it what you will. Just don’t call it normal.
More political (and coronavirus) news is available right after the jump…
And Now, More Words…
► A new study from AAA confirms something that you probably already pieced together on your own:
Those who choose to use both alcohol and cannabis are among the most dangerous drivers on the road – even when they use the substances separately. That’s the takeaway from new AAA research that found people who drink and get high are more likely to speed, text, intentionally run red lights, and drive aggressively than those who don’t.
► As Ian Silverii writes for The Denver Post, Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle) is what she is:
Boebert has no legislative accomplishments to tout; she doesn’t even seem interested in making laws. Among the bills she has sponsored are three doomed efforts on immigration, a 25-word-long prohibition on federal mask mandates, and a resolution declaring “Antifa” a “domestic terrorist organization.” Boebert is not interested in labeling “Oath Keepers” or “Three Percenters” as such, despite their well-publicized roles in the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol for which several of their members have been arrested. It’s probably no coincidence that Boebert has been pictured with members of both militia groups.
To be fair, Boebert is also sponsoring three pieces of legislation that, at first glance, appear to be relevant to her district. One addresses water rights, the second concerns the management of federal lands, and a third is called the “Protecting American Energy Jobs Act.” Those sure sound good, so long as you stop reading after the title — the water rights bill has no legislative text whatsoever. The other two contain fewer words than this column. In fact, she’s the lead sponsor on five bills that contain no text, at all.
All hat and no cattle? Boebert is all title and no text.
► Earth Day is Thursday, April 22. Center for Western Priorities is running this ad online as part of its “Road to 30 Campaign“:
► As The Washington Post reports, fake coronavirus vaccine cards are apparently becoming a thing:
American ingenuity in 2021 means being able to go online and listen to wind gusts on the surface of Mars while you buy a counterfeit paper coronavirus vaccination card, without ever getting an actual jab in the arm and the protections it brings.
The pandemic appears to have turned sizeable swaths of the public into nervous teenagers eagerly chasing rumors of easily obtained fake IDs, passports to a world otherwise closed to them for (hotly debated) reasons of public health.
Now, with the prospects businesses or states might require digital “vaccine passports” certifying the bearer has been inoculated against a virus that has killed nearly 570,000 Americans, some people apparently want to make sure refusing to get the shot(s) doesn’t come with any consequences for their shopping or travel.
So, we have a question…
If you are one of those people who still think that the COVID-19 pandemic is fake, what does it mean if you then obtain a fake vaccine card? Aren’t you acknowledging the reality of the pandemic just by considering a falsified vaccine card?
► An expanded child tax credit plan that is the brainchild of Sen.Michael Bennet(D-Denver) is getting lots of attention for what it can do for Colorado.
► Justin Wingerter of The Denver Post finds that Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert’s Twitter habits are both a help and a hindrance when it comes to fundraising. Boebert’s inexplicable voting record, which we highlighted last week, also plays a big role.
► As Colorado Newsline reports, a Congressional panel is split on what to do about regulating orphaned oil and gas wells.
► Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia may or may not be trying to create a plainly-racist “America First” caucus.
► A Colorado man involved in the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol remains in jail, as The Colorado Sun reports.
► Campaign finance reports show that beer magnate and former U.S. Senate candidate Pete Coors made a sizable donation to the re-election campaign of Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert literally four days after the Jan. 6 insurrection.
► Colorado lawmakers on Friday bid farewell to Rep. Jeni Arndt, who is resigning after winning the race to become the next Mayor of Ft. Collins.
► The Denver Post profiles a leftist, anarchist alpaca ranch commune for queer people. That is, indeed, a real sentence.
► Ohio Republican Rep. Steve Stivers is resigning from Congress in order to take a job heading up the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.
Say What, Now?
► Congressman Ken Buck (R-Greeley) tweeted this on Saturday afternoon:
🚨 Announcement coming Monday, stay tuned.
— Ken Buck (@BuckForColorado) April 17, 2021
Can you guess what the big announcement was? Buck tweeted on Monday that he is planning to run for re-election in 2022.
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► Useful? No. Entertaining? Absolutely.
An attempt to gerrymander Colorado in 8 equally populous, contiguous districts, such that the district map resembles the flag of Colorado. pic.twitter.com/mnUwUGlhYD
— John Macke (@JohnPMacke) April 7, 2021
► This was the front page of CNN.com on Sunday, April 18. You may notice a theme:
► Republican State Rep. Ron Hanks made local headlines last week for his absurd comments about slavery. He gained enough attention to make it into The Associated Press:
Democrats in Colorado have condemned a Republican lawmaker for joking about lynching before saying an 18th century policy designating a slave as three-fifths of a person “was not impugning anybody’s humanity.”
State Rep. Ron Hanks was speaking on the House floor Thursday about legislation aimed at strengthening civics education. He was accidentally introduced as fellow Rep. Mike Lynch.
“Being called Mr. Lynch might be a good thing for what I’m about to say. No, just kidding,” Hanks said.
Hanks, who is white, then spoke about the Three-Fifths Compromise, which was made during the nation’s Constitutional Convention in 1787 and classified a slave as three-fifths of a person when apportioning taxes and states’ representation in Congress.
► Hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii discuss Rep. Lauren Boebert’s views on the “spirit realm” in this week’s episode of The Get More Smarter Podcast: