On this day in 1796, the first person was inoculated against smallpox. 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.
► Get vaccinated and you can get back to normal. As The New York Times explains:
“We have all longed for this moment,” Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said as she announced the shift at a White House news conference on Thursday. “If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic.”
Fully vaccinated people are still told to cover their faces when flying or taking public transit, when visiting health care facilities, and in congregate settings like prisons and homeless shelters.
The recommendations came as a surprise to many people in public health. They offered a stark contrast with the views of a large majority of epidemiologists surveyed in the last two weeks by The New York Times, who said that until many more Americans were vaccinated, there would be too many chances for vaccines, which are not 100 percent effective, to fail…
…On Thursday, the governors of New Jersey, New York, North Carolina and Virginia, and the mayors of New York City and Washington, D.C., all Democrats, said that they were taking the new guidance under advisement before adopting it. Los Angeles County also said that it and the State of California were reviewing the new guidelines. In deference to local authorities, the C.D.C. said vaccinated people must continue to abide by existing state, local or tribal laws and regulations, and to follow local rules for businesses and workplaces.
The Denver Post reports on how Colorado is reacting to the new CDC guidance:
Colorado’s mask mandate is going to change in the near future to align with new federal guidance that says vaccinated people can safely go without masks in most indoor settings, a spokeswoman for Gov. Jared Polis said Thursday afternoon…
…The new guidance issued Thursday doesn’t have the force of law, so states, counties and other governments will have to decide how they want to respond. It also doesn’t suggest policies for public settings, where vaccinated and unvaccinated people mix.
Meanwhile, Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle) says that receiving a COVID-19 vaccine is equivalent to the “mark of the beast” from Revelations.
In a related story, CNN reports that Congressional Democrats have a 100% vaccination rate.
► Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs) is being sued by a former staffer and Marine Corps veteran for promoting an unsafe working environment and forcing staffers to run personal errands for he and his wife. The lawsuit also claims that Lamborn has been allowing his son to live in a utility closet in the basement of the U.S. Capitol.
POLITICO has more on what is shaping up to be a serious problem for Lamborn:
“Well, I don’t care about you guys getting it.” That’s what Rep. Doug Lamborn (R–Colo.) allegedly told a staffer in October 2020, right after discovering that his Capitol Hill office was turning into a hotbed of Covid-19 infections.
It’s one of the many eye-popping accusations in a new lawsuit filed Thursday afternoon in the District Court for the District of Columbia by Brandon Pope, a former Lamborn staffer who says he vocally pushed back on what he called the congressman’s “reckless and dangerous approach” to the pandemic — and was fired for it.
The lawsuit claims that Lamborn ignored congressional pandemic protocols and endangered his own staff, mocked aides who wanted to wear masks, forced staffers to show up for work in person and dismissed social-distancing guidelines. Eventually, those actions resulted in “widespread transmission of the virus throughout both the district and Washington DC offices,” the lawsuit states, leading both offices to shutter for a time.
► Colorado lawmakers are continuing debate on SB-200, legislation that would lay out specific guidelines for meeting emissions-reduction goals, despite a veto threat from Gov. Jared Polis. As Judith Kohler reports for The Denver Post, a new report should make it harder for Polis to justify a potential veto:
A new report says Colorado will fall drastically short of its goals for cutting greenhouse-gas emissions without more ambitious targets and enforceable limits on pollution, a feature of a bill in the legislature that has Gov. Jared Polis threatening a veto. [Pols emphasis]
The analysis released Friday by Energy Innovation and RMI, formerly Rocky Mountain Institute, says their modeling projects Colorado’s overall emissions will drop from 2005 levels by just 3.4% by 2030 and only 18% by 2050. That’s a long way from the goals of at least 50% by 2030 and 90% by 2050 set by a 2019 law and in the “Colorado Greenhouse Gas Pollution Reduction Roadmap” issued by Polis in January.
The state law includes the near-term goal of a 26% decline in emissions by 2025. Supporters of Senate Bill 21-200 say the specific limits on emissions in the new bill are intended to build upon the objectives set by previous legislation and the governor’s road map.
“Our climate goals are only as strong as our plans to execute them. This bill takes Gov. Polis’ climate goals and works to ensure that his plan happens,” said Kelly Nordini, executive director of Conservation Colorado. “If the governor’s team has another way of building more certainty into their road map, we’d love to hear that.”
► Let’s get caught up on more news from the state legislature, which has about one month left in the 2021 session…
The Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition is calling on Gov. Polis to veto HB-1051.
Colorado Public Radio looks at a long list of transgressions included in new legislation aimed at reforming Colorado’s misdemeanor offenses.
RealVail.com updates on the progress of legislation to fund much-needed transportation infrastructure repairs in Colorado.
The Colorado Sun reports on the advancement of legislation aimed at helping immigrants. In a separate story, the Sun looks at a bill that seeks to require more transparency in how companies track their employees.
The Pueblo Chieftain reports on a positive reception for a media literacy bill in Colorado.
More political (and coronavirus) news is available right after the jump…
And Now, More Words…
► According to “The Unaffiliated” newsletter from The Colorado Sun, House Republicans have put together a list of “friendly” and “unfriendly” news outlets:
House Minority Leader Hugh McKean, who has trouble with things like “words” and “leadership,” tried to defend the existence of this list:
“We just wanted to make sure that as they’re pushing stories out that they know what to expect out of those different media organizations,” McKean said. “If I have a story that I want to push out that deals with Republican principles, with free market, with fiscal conservatism — with kind of a libertarian mentality — I probably don’t push that story to The Atlantic monthly. I probably push it to The Weekly Standard. Those are just different markets — and different takes on things.”
McKean said the list was “absolutely not” meant to be a “blacklist” of outlets. Nor is it to encourage lawmakers to avoid talking to certain reporters. He pointed out that the list contained only media outlet titles and not the names of specific reporters.
► As The Washington Post reports, the Israel-Palestinian conflict is moving ever closer to all-out war:
Israel dramatically escalated its assault on the Gaza Strip early Friday with a combined air and artillery barrage aimed at destroying Hamas’s tunnel system, marking the addition of ground forces for the first time in the five-day battle and tipping the conflict closer to all-out war. The conflict, which shows no sign of abating, has so far resulted in the deaths of 119 people in Gaza and nine in Israel, with hundreds more injured.
The 40-minute midnight assault, which forced hundreds of civilians in northern Gaza to flee their homes, involved 160 Israeli warplanes and three brigades of ground forces, including tanks, according to a spokesman for the Israeli military.
Although ground forces were involved, they did not enter Gaza, said Lt. Jonathan Conricus, contradicting a statement the night before that a ground assault on the enclave was underway.
► Denver’s former elections director, Amber McReynolds, was officially approved by the U.S. Senate to join the Board of Governors of the U.S. Postal Service.
► There will be no shortage of challengers to Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney in 2022.
In related news, POLITICO reports on Cheney’s replacement in the leadership ranks of the House GOP:
Elise Stefanik cruised to victory in a Friday vote to replace Liz Cheney as House Republicans’ third-ranked leader, capping off a tumultuous month in the GOP conference sparked by its bitter divisions over Donald Trump.
Stefanik won in a 134-46 secret-ballot vote, defeating her sole challenger Rep. Chip Roy of Texas — an unsurprising outcome after she aggressively campaigned for the No. 3 spot, scooping up endorsements from top party leaders and Trump.
► As The New York Times reports:
► As Erik Maulbetsch reports for The Colorado Times Recorder, El Paso County Republicans recently hosted a fundraiser for Florida Congresswoman Kat Cammack, who was one of the Republican Members of Congress who voted NOT to certify the 2020 Presidential election results.
► A man suspected of entering the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol was arrested this week in Denver.
During a February 2019 visit to congressional offices at the US Capitol with associates who include a man who would later enter the Capitol during the January 6 insurrection, Greene — then a conservative activist — can be seen taunting Ocasio-Cortez’s staff outside the congresswoman’s locked office by talking through a mailbox slot urging her to come out.
In the video, from a since-deleted Facebook Live of Greene’s that was saved by CNN’s KFile, Greene tells Ocasio-Cortez to “get rid of your diaper,” referring to the congresswoman’s office as a “day care.” Greene repeatedly indicates throughout her stream that security has been called on them.
“We’re going to go see, we’re going to visit, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Crazy eyes. Crazy eyes. Nutty. Cortez,” Greene says to the camera on the way to the congresswoman’s office, mispronouncing “Ocasio.”
Both MTG and Colorado Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert have long had a bizarre obsession with Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
► It turns out that former President Trump did not, in fact, broker peace in the Middle East.
► Congress has reportedly reached a deal to create a bipartisan commission to examine the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, though House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has not yet agreed to the proposal.
Say What, Now?
On John Kerry’s upcoming trip to London, Rome and Berlin, will he being flying maskless or on a private jet while spuing his hypocrital climate change rhetoric?
— Rep. Lauren Boebert (@RepBoebert) May 14, 2021
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► It’s not just you — it really does seem like every reported example of ACTUAL election fraud comes from a Republican.
► Read these wise words from longtime Pols reader and commenter Michael Bowman.
► Don’t miss the latest episode of The Get More Smarter Podcast, featuring an interview with Jake Williams, Executive Director of Healthier Colorado, on why you should be excited about the big health care bill moving through the state legislature: