That went fast — today is the last Friday of June. 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.
► The search for survivors of a building collapse in Miami, Florida continues, with 159 people still unaccounted for. Among the missing is Cassandra Stratton, wife of longtime Colorado Democratic political consultant Michael Stratton.
Meanwhile, authorities continue to investigate the reasons behind the collapse of the condo building. As USA Today reports, it may very well be an issue related to a changing climate:
A Florida high-rise that collapsed early Thursday was determined to be on unstable land a year ago, according to a researcher at Florida International University.
The building, which was constructed in 1981, has been sinking at an alarming rate since the 1990s, according to a study in 2020 by Shimon Wdowinski, a professor in the Department of Earth and Environment.
When Wdowinski saw the news that the Champlain Towers South condominium in Surfside collapsed, he instantly remembered it from the study, he said.
“I looked at it this morning and said, ‘Oh my god.’ We did detect that,” he said.
Meanwhile, owners of units in the building have already filed a lawsuit against the Champlain Towers South condo complex association.
► As The New York Times reports, the U.S. Justice Department is suing the State of Georgia over a new voting law:
“The rights of all eligible citizens to vote are the central pillars of our democracy,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a news conference at the Justice Department. “They are the rights from which all other rights ultimately flow.”
The lawsuit is among the highest-profile enforcement actions to be brought under the Voting Rights Act since the Supreme Court in 2013 gutted a key provision that allowed the Justice Department to stop states from passing laws viewed as facilitating voter discrimination.
The lawsuit shows that the Justice Department under the Biden administration intends to use the remaining tools it had to aggressively fight state actions that it sees as potentially disenfranchising minority voters. Mr. Garland vowed earlier this month that the department would deploy all of its available law enforcement options to combat voter discrimination.
The lawsuit comes days after congressional Republicans blocked the most ambitious federal voting rights legislation in a generation, dealing a blow to Democrats’ efforts to preserve voting rights. President Biden and Democratic leaders pledged to continue working to steer federal voting rights legislation into law.
► Colorado’s Independent Redistricting Commissions will be touring the state in July and August to elicit feedback on potential new maps for 2022. The first look at a potential Congressional redistricting map came out this week, with an initial version of the legislative redistricting version due out on Monday.
► Vice President Kamala Harris is visiting the U.S.-Mexico border today. Republicans have long complained that Harris didn’t visit the border sooner so that she could…look at stuff, or something.
Click below to keep learning stuff…
And Now, More Words…
► Succeeding in the modern Republican Party requires mastery of a special kind of crazy…one that even Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert may not be able to fully demonstrate.
► As the saying goes, you’re not being paranoid if they are REALLY out to get you.
► As POLITICO reports, President Biden is basking in the glow of a big bipartisan victory on infrastructure:
Standing before the media on Thursday, the president basked in the limelight of a bipartisan infrastructure deal. It wasn’t just the specifics of the package that had him revved up. It was the way it had come together. The longtime creature of the Senate who has boasted endlessly about his mastery of the art of compromise now had proof that this seemingly antiquated form of governance could work.
“This is like the whole primary. People write off Biden and his style and they’ve done it for a long time now, and the guy keeps on winning,” said Greg Schultz, Biden’s former campaign manager. “That’s the part that is personal for Biden, he’s always believed that yeah, it’s broken but it doesn’t have to stay broken. It validates his brand of politics, his style of operating in D.C.”
Biden may not have long to celebrate, however. As Greg Sargent notes for The Washington Post, plenty of Congressional Republicans are still steaming mad that Biden might be close to accomplishing his big infrastructure plan. Congressional Republican leaders such as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are pledging to torpedo the infrastructure deal in any manner possible.
► Colorado Newsline reports on the advancement of a Congressional proposal to clean up toxic chemicals:
The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee has approved major bipartisan legislation that aims to reduce Americans’ exposure to toxic chemicals in air, water and consumer products.
The bill, the PFAS Action Act of 2021, led by Michigan Reps. Debbie Dingell, a Democrat and Fred Upton, a Republican, was approved 33-20 late Wednesday. It would tackle the contamination of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, by designating the chemicals as hazardous substances, which kick-starts federal cleanup standards.
► Congressperson Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert went on a right-wing radio show this week to utter falsehoods about Black Lives Matter being classified as a domestic terror group.
► Here’s some new Colorado laws that you should be aware of:
Heavy air-polluters are now subject to real-time air quality monitoring.
Starting in 2022, Colorado will limit the ability to purchase high-potency marijuana products.
► An ethics committee will look into a complaint about Republican State Sen. Bob Gardner.
► The average life expectancy for Americans fell to its lowest level since WWII thanks in large part to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In related news, Colorado officials are scrambling to contain the rapid spread of the Delta COVID-19 variant in Mesa County. Officials in Aurora are also trying to figure out how to increase vaccination rates beyond the 50% mark.
► The Denver Post has more on an already-busy wildfire season in Colorado.
► A man who reportedly tried to intervene in a shooting in Olde Town Arvada earlier this week was likely shot and killed by a police officer.
► Former President Trump has been removed from his cryostasis at Mar-a-lago and is preparing to venture out on a nationwide airing of grievances tour. From POLITICO:
Having spent months in semi-retirement after his election loss in 2020, Trump is set this weekend to kick off a series of political events. Aides and confidants say the goal is to boost his standing in anticipation of a possible future run and to scratch that never-soothed itch he has for publicity. But it’s also to exact some revenge.
On Saturday, Trump will hold a Make America Great Again rally outside Cleveland, Ohio in support of longtime aide-turned-Republican congressional candidate Max Miller, who is vying for the seat held by Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, a Cleveland native who voted for the second impeachment of Trump after the Jan. 6 riot on Capitol Hill.
Perhaps at some point Trump will figure out how to hold a rally against math, since that was the real culprit behind his 2020 defeat.
Say What, Now?
History definitely shows that millions of people are regularly killed by budgets [insert eyeroll here]:
Rep. Lauren Boebert: “This administration states that climate change is the biggest threat to our national security. I disagree. I would argue Biden’s budget is a greater threat to our national security.” pic.twitter.com/eT93tPxgGQ
— The Hill (@thehill) June 24, 2021
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► Axios breaks down what it calls “the great handshake debate.” Will fist bumps dominate your future interactions?
► Fox News big shots Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson are at war with each other.
► Former Colorado Senator Cory Gardner — the same guy who regularly sponsored legislation to prohibit Members of Congress from walking through the revolving door into lobbying — has himself decided to become a lobbyist. This is easily the least-surprising story of 2021 thus far.
► You can officially mark former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani off of your list of potential defense attorneys.
► 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: