Today is the Grand Duke’s Official Birthday in Luxembourg, so send him a Starbucks gift card or something. 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.
► As The Washington Post reports, Senate Republicans have killed a massive voting rights bill proposed by Congressional Democrats:
Senate Republicans banded together Tuesday to block a sweeping Democratic bill that would revamp the architecture of American democracy, dealing a grave blow to efforts to federally override dozens of GOP-passed state voting laws.
The test vote, which would have cleared the way to start debate on voting legislation, failed 50-50 on straight party lines — 10 votes short of the supermajority needed to advance legislation in the Senate.
It came after a succession of Democrats delivered warnings about what they said was the dire state of American democracy, accusing former president Donald Trump of undermining the country’s democratic system by challenging the results of the 2020 election in a campaign that prompted his supporters in numerous state legislatures to pass laws rolling back ballot access.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell had long ago promised to torpedo S.1 (the “For the People Act“), so Tuesday’s actions weren’t a huge surprise…but a disappointment to many nevertheless.
► Colorado’s Independent Redistricting Commissions will be touring the state in July and August to elicit feedback on potential new maps for 2022. Things will get a LOT more interesting on the redistricting front this afternoon, when nonpartisan staffers will introduce the first look at a potential new map of Colorado’s Congressional districts.
Click here for more on the redistricting commissions.
► The El Paso County Republican Party announced that Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene will be the featured speaker at its big annual fundraising dinner in August. Yes, really.
► As Colorado Newsline reports, President Biden will soon meet with Western Governors to talk wildfires — which are already exploding in Colorado — and he’s taking up the cause of firefighters as well:
Biden said Tuesday that he will host a meeting next week of Western governors, Cabinet members and Federal Emergency Management Agency officials “to prepare for heat, drought and wildfires in the West.”
Biden at a White House FEMA briefing also sharply criticized the low salaries paid to federal wildland firefighters.
“There’s an old expression: God made man. Then he made a few firefighters. They have a higher incidence of severe injuries than police officers do. They are incredibly, incredibly brave at what they do…. And I just realized — I didn’t realize this, I admit — that federal firefighters get paid 13 dollars an hour,” Biden said.
“That’s gonna end in my administration,” he said, banging the table for emphasis, according to a pool report. “That’s a ridiculously low salary to pay federal firefighters.”
Meanwhile, 9News is tracking the status of various wildfires in Colorado. The smoke from some of these fires is now visible (and smellable) in the Denver Metro Area.
► Governor Jared Polis will sign 14 different pieces of legislation into law at various stops in Colorado today.
► An Indiana woman will today become the first person to be sentenced for taking part in the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
Click below to keep learning stuff…
And Now, More Words…
► Suppose we told you that former Colorado Senator Cory Gardner — the same guy who once sponsored legislation to prohibit Members of Congress from walking through the revolving door into lobbying — had himself decided to become a lobbyist. Would that surprise you?
Of course it wouldn’t. The only thing more eye-rolling than Gardner’s crap is that he remains so utterly predictable.
► Democratic Sen. John Hickenlooper is doing a lot of things that you would very much expect from a Democratic Senator.
► Pro tip as you consider your summer travel plans: Maybe DON’T visit Mesa County or Grand Junction.
► The manufactured outrage about “Critical Race Theory” has found its way to Colorado.
As Dana Milbank writes for The Washington Post, Republicans this week inadvertently made the case for why CRT lessons are probably a GOOD idea:
The irony, of course, is that Republicans are now proving that systemic racism exists — and they, along with Fox News, are the primary offenders. With their united stand against the voting-rights bill and their united votes against Ahuja on the bogus justification of critical race theory, they’re the ones reducing Americans “to their racial identity alone,” as Hawley put it. The Proud Boys who attacked the Capitol must be filled with pride anew.
► You’ve no doubt heard a lot of news about Republican efforts across the country to restrict voter access. Here’s the other side of that coin, from The Washington Post:
More than half of U.S. states have lowered some barriers to voting since the 2020 election, making permanent practices that helped produce record voter turnout during the coronavirus pandemic — a striking countertrend to the passage of new restrictions in key Republican-controlled states this year.
The newly enacted laws in states from Vermont to California expand access to the voting process on a number of fronts, such as offering more early and mail voting options, protecting mail ballots from being improperly rejected and making it easier to register to vote.
► Andrew Yang will not be the next Mayor of New York City. Who will? Probably Eric Adams, the Brooklyn borough president, though official results from NYC’s first experience with ranked-choice voting won’t likely be available for another week or two.
► Senator Michael Bennet (D-Denver) will be doing a lot of talking in the next few weeks about the expanded Child Tax Credit, of which he has long been a champion. The first payments from the expanded tax credit will be distributed in mid-July.
► Former El Paso County Republican Party Chair Eli Bremer is so serious about challenging Sen. Bennet in 2022 that he needed to say “very” FOUR times.
► Rural broadband in Colorado has reached 91% coverage, so we had better start seeing a lot more visitors to Colorado Pols.
► The Colorado Supreme Court rejected a potential ballot initiative that would have added livestock to animal cruelty prevention laws in Colorado.
► Congressperson Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert recently talked about perhaps becoming Speaker of the House one day. But it seems that her current focus is on somehow securing that job for former President Donald Trump.
► The Denver Post looks at new domestic violence laws in Colorado.
► Alcohol take-out and delivery services in Colorado — first approved during the COVID-19 pandemic — will continue for another four years at least.
► As POLITICO reports, the White House is trying to find a balance between police reform and addressing new levels of violence in many American cities.
For a White House that has been intensely focused on stamping out Covid-19 and shepherding trillions of dollars in spending on infrastructure and social-welfare programs through Congress, the violence presents a host of challenges that administration officials have so far struggled to get their arms around. First and foremost: determining how to stanch the bloodshed without exacerbating existing tensions on policing or hampering criminal justice reform efforts — a top Democratic priority.
For now, the White House’s main response is to focus on the weapons doing most of the killing.
The Washington Post has more on Biden’s plans for dealing with the increase in violent crime.
► Round and round and round we go. What position is Rep. Ken Buck (R-Greeley) taking this week on election fraud?
Say What, Now?
► Please clap, or whatever:
Congratulations to my colleague @RepSpartz for her Merger Filing Fees Modernization Act, which just passed out of House Judiciary by a bipartisan vote of 29-12.
— Rep. Ken Buck (@RepKenBuck) June 23, 2021
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► An honest-to-goodness socialist pulled a surprise upset in the race for Mayor of Buffalo, New York.
► Donald Trump is apparently on board with the idea of former NFL running back Herschel Walker running for U.S. Senate in Georgia.
► “Deep Thoughts with Lauren Boebert.” Indeed.
► Former President Trump suggested moving Americans infected with COVID-19 TO GUANTANAMO BAY in Cuba. Read more from The Washington Post.
► Whatever you do, DO NOT MISS this week’s episode of The Get More Smarter Podcast, featuring a legislative session recap with House Speaker Alec Garnett: