On this day in 1954, Roger Bannister became the first person to run a mile in under four minutes. 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.
*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website
*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
*Coloradans can now get a COVID-19 vaccine at one of six locations without a prior appointment.
► Consistent with much of the COVID-19 related news over the last several months, there’s good news and bad news to report. The good news, as The Washington Post reports, is that we can finally see a post-COVID world on the horizon:
Coronavirus infections could be driven to low levels and the pandemic at least temporarily throttled in the United States by July if the vast majority of people get vaccinated and continue with precautions against viral transmission, according to a strikingly optimistic paper released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The report comes as administration officials and leaders in many states are sounding more confident that the country can return to a degree of normalcy relatively soon. President Biden on Tuesday announced a new vaccination goal, saying he wants 70 percent of adults to have had at least one dose by July 4.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said Wednesday the modeling results give Americans a road map out of the pandemic — so long as they continue to get vaccinated and maintain certain mitigation strategies until a “critical mass of people” get the shots.
For this to happen, of course, more Americans would need to move forward with getting vaccinated against COVID-19. As POLITICO reports, health experts are concerned that the virus could mutate into more dangerous variants if vaccination rates continue to decline in certain parts of the country. As The New York Times reports, a new survey suggests that we might be reaching the limit of Americans who still plan to get vaccinated.
► Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis continues his Donald Trump impersonation. As The New York Times explains, DeSantis signed into law new voting restrictions in Florida with all the pomp of a campaign rally:
Mr. DeSantis enacted the legislation even after he had promoted Florida’s handling of the November elections. Mr. Trump won the state by three percentage points.
The governor gave Fox News, his preferred major cable news outlet — and Mr. Trump’s — an exclusive to broadcast the bill signing ceremony from West Palm Beach on Thursday morning, in an event that resembled a campaign rally as much as an official act of state government.
Supporters of Mr. DeSantis gathered inside a Hilton near the airport, donning DeSantis and Trump campaign gear. Before they entered, some people waved Trump-DeSantis and DeSantis 2024 banners, according to photos on social media shared by journalists locked outside the doors.
“Right now, I have what we think is the strongest election integrity measures in the country,” a seated Mr. DeSantis told Fox as a rowdy crowd cheered behind him.
In a separate story, the Times details Florida’s new restrictions:
The new bill would limit the use of drop boxes; add more identification requirements for those requesting absentee ballots; require voters to request an absentee ballot for each election, rather than receive them automatically through an absentee voting list; limit who could collect and drop off ballots; and further empower partisan observers during the ballot-counting process. The legislation would also expand a current rule that prohibits outside groups from providing items “with the intent to influence” voters within a 150-foot radius of a polling location.
► People who regularly say racist things are called racists. At the State Capitol, they are also called “Republicans”. Republican State Rep. Richard Holtorf caused a delay in proceedings on the House floor on Wednesday after he referred to a fellow lawmaker as “Buckwheat.” This came just a few weeks after Republican State Rep. Ron Hanks made a joke about lynching and lectured his colleagues on why their historical understanding of the 3/5ths compromise was inaccurate.
House Speaker Alec Garnett (D-Denver) opened today’s legislative work with a call for decency and decorum from his Republican colleagues.
Let’s dig into more news from the state legislature…
Jesse Paul of The Colorado Sun reports on legislation to create a new office of early education to streamline services and oversee programs such as Colorado’s universal preschool program. Alex Burness has more for The Denver Post, including a proposal to create universal pre-K education in Colorado by 2023.
Dave Perry of The Aurora Sentinel likes the idea of empowering local governments to make their own gun safety regulations.
Legislation to close a loophole in background checks for firearms cleared its first hurdle in the House Judiciary Committee.
Legislation intended to speed up bond hearings is moving along.
More political (and coronavirus) news is available right after the jump…
And Now, More Words…
► The White House is starting to roll out plans to protect 30 percent of America’s land and water by the year 2030. As The Washington Post reports:
The new 22-page document from the Commerce, Interior and Agriculture Departments highlights one of the Biden administration’s central challenges: having committed to bold environmental goals during their early days in power, officials now face the more uncertain and contentious task of figuring out how to follow through on those ambitions.
The “America the Beautiful” report outlines steps the U.S. could take to safeguard key areas on land and in the sea to restore biodiversity, tackle climate change and make natural spaces more accessible to all Americans…
…But the new report doesn’t identify specific places for enhanced protection, define what level of conservation would be required for an area to count toward the administration’s 30 percent goal or indicate how much federal funding would be needed to make Biden’s vision a reality.
This ambiguity is partly by design. Some environmentalists said it would be impractical to make that assessment at this point, and that it will take time to muster the kind of grassroots support needed to achieve such a sweeping conservation goal.
Okay, so it’s more of a plan FOR a plan, but it’s something. Here’s what the document looks like.
► Kristi Burton Brown, the new Chair of the Colorado Republican Party, tries (and fails) to explain her vision for moving the GOP forward in a rambling interview with Colorado Public Radio. Kudos to CPR’s Ryan Warner for trying to get some actual answers from KBB.
Since we’re on the subject, KBB also attempted to offer praise for the House passage of a bill to increase teen access to mental health services…ignoring the fact that 2 out of 3 House Republicans actually voted “NO.”
► Listen to the muppets, people:
► Facebook is very good at punting, apparently, though the end result is still a ban for former President Donald Trump. News that Facebook was upholding the Trump ban caused much consternation among Colorado Republicans who very clearly do not understand the First Amendment whatsoever. This includes Rep. Ken Buck (R-Greeley), who is an actual attorney.
► Senator John Hickenlooper is traveling around Colorado to push infrastructure improvements. As CBS4 Denver reports:
On Wednesday, Sen. John Hickenlooper was looking at all the changes going on at the country’s fifth busiest airport.
“We want to come out (of the pandemic) stronger than we were before. And a big part of that is getting our mobility, our transportation in gear, not just immediately but for the next 25 years, the next 50 years,” Hickenlooper said…
…He’s using part of his May recess from Washington to spread the message around Colorado of how President Joe Biden’s American Infrastructure Plan can help the Centennial State. On Thursday, a meeting is planned between many officials in Pueblo to discuss Front Range Passenger Rail.
► Colorado Public Radio examines the list of Coloradans who have been charged with various crimes for their involvement in storming the U.S. Capitol on January 6.
► University of Colorado Regent Heidi Ganahl OPPOSES President Biden’s efforts to make it easier for Americans to attend community college.
► As Denver7 reports, a new study shows that increased access to contraception has led to an increase in high school graduation rates in Colorado.
► April was a wet month in Colorado, but experts are still warning about another bad wildfire season.
► NIMBYs in Arvada are pushing back against a proposal from Amazon to build a big warehouse in the area.
► The knives have come out — everywhere — for Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney.
► The latest effort to recall Gov. Jared Polispromises to be 400% less ridiculous.
Say What, Now?
► Today in tortured metaphors…
Fauci says we’re in the bottom of the sixth inning when it comes to fighting COVID-19.
I say three strikes and he’s out, and we all saw his pitching skills.
— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) May 5, 2021
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► He’s not wrong:
Story of the GOP, through Joe Biden’s eyes:
“You’ll see an epiphany occur” (May 14, 2019)
“We need an opposition that’s principled and strong” (Jan 9, 2021)
“I have no idea if there will be a Republican Party. Do you?” (March 25)
“I don’t understand the Republicans” (May 5)
— Matt Viser (@mviser) May 5, 2021
► Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s financial troubles are becoming more apparent judging by his shrinking entourage.
► You are more likely to be severely punished for trying to rig an election for homecoming queen than for interfering in an ACTUAL election.
► Vox.com examines the glorious silence that occurred after Donald Trump was banned from the big social media platforms.
► Check out the latest episode of The Get More Smarter Podcast, including an interview with Grand Junction Daily Sentinel politics reporter Charles Ashby. Click here for a separate look at what it’s like to get Ghosted by Lauren Boebert’s office.