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Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
*Coloradans can now get a COVID-19 vaccine at one of six locations without a prior appointment.
► It has been 198 days since Election Day in 2020. So much time has passed since the 2020 election that we are much closer to November 2021 than we are to 2020. But as The Washington Post reports, the concept of time is irrelevant if you are a true believer in The Big Lie:
At a public meeting last week in Cheboygan County, Mich., a lawyer from Detroit told county commissioners that the voting machines they used in 2020 could “flip” votes and throw an election. She offered to send in a “forensic team,” at no charge to the county, to inspect ballots and scanners.
In Windham, N.H., supporters of former president Donald Trump showed up to a town meeting this month chanting “Stop the Steal!” and demanding that officials choose their preferred auditor to scrutinize a 400-vote discrepancy in a state representative race.
And at a board of supervisors meeting May 4 in San Luis Obispo County, on California’s Central Coast, scores of residents questioned whether election machines had properly counted their votes, with many demanding a “forensic audit.”
The ramifications of Trump’s ceaseless attacks on the 2020 election are increasingly visible throughout the country: In emails, phone calls and public meetings, his supporters are questioning how their elections are administered and pressing public officials to revisit the vote count — wrongly insisting that Trump won the presidential race.
Why are Trumpians only concerned about the 2020 election? If time isn’t relevant, then why not demand a recount of Barack Obama’s 2008 victory? Hell, Jimmy Carter in 1976 — let’s start that one all over again!
Americans voted. Your guy lost. No matter how many times you count the ballots, your guy will have still lost. Move on.
► Fighting continues to rage in Israel, though as The Associated Press reports, there is some hope for a cease-fire:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pushed back against calls from the U.S. to wind down the Gaza offensive, appearing determined to inflict maximum damage on Hamas in a war that could help save his political career. Still, officials close to the negotiations say they expect a truce to be announced in the next 24 hours…
…With hundreds already killed in the worst fighting since Israel and Hamas’ 2014 war, U.S. President Joe Biden told Israel on Wednesday that he expected “a significant de-escalation today on the path to a cease-fire” — but Netanyahu pushed back, saying he was “determined to continue this operation until its aim is met.” It marked the first public rift between the two close allies since the fighting began and poses a difficult test of the U.S.-Israel relationship early in Biden’s presidency.
Still, an Egyptian intelligence official said a cease-fire was likely late Thursday or early Friday, after the U.S. appeal bolstered Cairo’s own efforts to halt the fighting. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the delicate talks.
► As The Colorado Sun reports, the artist formerly known as the “Colorado Option” is still moving along through the state legislature:
The bill would require the state to create a standard health insurance plan that companies would be required to offer at rates eventually 18% less than the plans they currently offer. If the 18% price reduction targets aren’t met by 2025, the state could dictate prices that hospitals and doctors charge to patients covered by the standard plan. The bill would require hospitals and doctors to accept the plan, resulting in fines and possible sanction on their licenses if they do not.
The goal is to make coverage cheaper for several hundred thousand Coloradans and also to chip away at Democrats’ long-held goal of reducing the underlying costs of health care.
Insurance companies are countering that they already have extremely thin profit margins — an argument that nobody with a functioning brain actually believes. It’s hard to believe that when you consider that Colorado Hospitals have the highest profit margins in the entire country.
► Let’s get caught up on more news from the state legislature, which has just a few weeks left in the 2021 session…
The Colorado Times Recorder reports on bipartisan legislation dealing with information sharing between ICE and state agencies.
Colorado Newsline looks at potential new restrictions for medical marijuana patients.
The State House advanced legislation seeking to fund a transition program for coal miners.
Charles Ashby of The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports on the latest regarding a bill that would alter the timing of bond hearings.
Colorado could become just the second state in the country to cap prices for insulin.
More political (and coronavirus) news is available right after the jump…
And Now, More Words…
► Colorado will pay unemployed residents to encourage them to get back to work, as The Denver Post reports:
The state of Colorado will pay unemployed Coloradans up to $1,600 to get them to go back to work full-time, the governor’s office announced Wednesday.
Gov. Jared Polis signed an executive order to create the “Colorado Jumpstart” incentive program. Those who have been unemployed for at least a week between between March 28 and May 16 (among other stipulations) but return to work full time before May 29 could receive up to $1,600 to help with the transition. If a person returns to work full time between May 30 and June 26, they can get $1,200.
There will be two payments, one after a full month of employment and the other after two months of employment. If a person loses their job during the eight-week period, they forfeit the rest of the payment.
Colorado will spend $500,000 in the first month, and will move the funding from the Coronavirus Relief Fund within the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. Additional money will be allocated from the fund through FEMA reimbursements of public health expenses, according to CDLE.
► Senator Michael Bennet (D-Denver) talks about the child tax credit with Fox 31 News.
► CU Regent Heidi Ganahl is the last remaining statewide Republican elected official. She wants to run for Governor in 2022. On Wednesday, she shot herself in both feet with a ridiculous comment on the $1.3 million golden parachute deployed for outgoing CU President Mark Kennedy.
► As Aaron Blake writes for The Washington Post, the cult that is the modern Republican Party pays no mind to any slight or slander from its forever leader:
On Jan. 6, supporters of President Donald Trump broke into the Capitol in an effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election. While doing so, some of them chanted “Hang Mike Pence,” citing the vice president whose support for their plot was deemed insufficient. And they got dangerously close to being able to make good on that threat.
As they were marauding through the Capitol, Trump offered his first thoughts on the siege. He took to Twitter not to call off the dogs, but to attack Pence. It’s a tweet that, we’ve come to find out, came despite Trump apparently having been apprised of the danger Pence and others faced.
Despite all of this, Pence’s brother, Rep. Greg Pence (R-Ind.), on Wednesday voted against a bipartisan commission to look into what transpired that day.
And not only did he do that, he also suggested it was actually House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) who was planning a “hanging.” A political one. Of Trump.
Donald Trump infamously said that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue in New York and he’d get away with it. We’ve advanced to a new stage now; Trump could shoot a Republican Member of Congress on Fifth Avenue, and they’d STILL remain loyal to him even as they were bleeding out on the pavement.
► The New York Times reports on one of the most restrictive state abortion bans in the entire country:
Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas signed into law on Wednesday one of the nation’s most restrictive abortion measures, banning the procedure after six weeks of pregnancy and thrusting the state into the advancing national debate over reproductive rights.
The legislation, also known as the “heartbeat law,” amounts to an outright ban on abortion, as many women are not aware they are pregnant at the six-week mark. It also would allow any private citizen to sue doctors or abortion clinic employees who would perform or help arrange for the procedure.
The Texas law arrives at a potentially pivotal moment in the long fight over abortion rights. This week the Supreme Court announced it would consider a case from Mississippi that could undermine Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that established a constitutional right to abortion.
The case will be the first on abortion under the court’s new 6-3 conservative majority, giving anti-abortion activists hope that their strategy of passing restrictive laws in state legislatures and creating a long pipeline of new cases will pay off. Texas is among at least a dozen states to recently adopt restrictive measures.
► House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was unable to stop 35 Republicans from voting in favor of creating a commission to investigate the January 6 insurrection. The proposal has a tougher road in the Senate, however, as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has vowed to stop it from advancing.
For more on the local angle of this ridiculousness, check out this story from Colorado Pols.
In a related story, Ohio Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan went OFF on his insurrection-ignoring colleagues on the House floor on Wednesday:
► As The Denver Post reports, Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Boulderish) is helping with efforts to keep the HQ of the Bureau of Land Management in Grand Junction.
► Senator John Hickenlooper (D-Denver) has drafted his first bill as a Senator. As Colorado Public Radio reports, the legislation is an ode to his small businessman roots.
► Congressperson Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert doesn’t exactly try to blend in when she goes out in Washington D.C.
► Democrats in Colorado’s Congressional delegation are working on securing hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funds to help advance transportation projects in the state. Republicans are refusing to play with earmarks, which really only hurts everybody else, as Colorado Newsline reports.
► Conservation easement tax credits…something, something.
► Colorado’s Title Board rejected an effort to run a ballot measure seeking to overturn vote by mail.
► If you take public transportation, you still need to wear a mask.
Say What, Now?
► Congressperson Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-file) scoffs at your attempts to create laws and rules and stuff.
How it started vs how it’s going: pic.twitter.com/wSSseeryV2
— Rep. Lauren Boebert (@RepBoebert) May 19, 2021
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► As secession efforts go, this one isn’t as terrible as most.
► Firing squads are making a comeback in America. Wait, what?
► In America, you should be free to be a racist asshole!
► 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: