It’s gonna be another sunny, but very hot, weekend. 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 editorial board of The Washington Post marvels (and not in a good way) at renewed efforts from right-wing voices to attack COVID-19 vaccinations:
By slowing the uptake of lifesaving vaccines, anti-vaccination voices give the delta variant time and space to claim new victims. This is a threat to everyone because it will prolong the pandemic. Infections are on the rise in the United States. A stark scenario is unfolding in southwestern Missouri, where hospitals are beginning to surpass the level of covid-19 patients seen in December 2020. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Tuesday that new cases in St. Louis County had skyrocketed 63 percent in the past two weeks. Missouri is among several states with vaccination rates well below the national average.
Across the country, those getting sick and being hospitalized are almost exclusively the unvaccinated. For Fox News and conservative politicians to be frightening people about vaccines with words like “creepy,” “scandal” and the conspiratorial “let’s talk, comrade” is not mere pandering. It can be fatal.
Here in Colorado, we’ve noted the continued problem with low vaccination rates in Mesa County. Heath officials in Larimer County, meanwhile, are sounding the alarm about rising COVID-19 cases in Northern Colorado.
Please, people: Just get your vaccines.
► Fox 31 Denver reports on the continuation of a troubling trend for Colorado Republicans:
There are now about 22,000 fewer registered Republicans in Colorado in July, than there were on January 1, 2021. During that same time, Democrats lost about 100 voters. Meanwhile, unaffiliated voter registrations increased by about 85,000.
Republicans have lost about 40,000 registered voters in Colorado since 2016. But yeah, stick with Trumpism!
► We say it a lot here, but it’s always worth repeating: Elections matter. Local areas with Democratic Members of Congress in Colorado are getting a lot of federal money to assist with transportation and other community programs. If your Congressperson is a Republican…not so much.
► This has been a good week for Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Denver). The child tax credit policy that he has long championed is now being instituted, and on Thursday, Bennet’s re-election campaign reported raising $1.7 million in Q2, increasing its cash-on-hand numbers to $2.3 million.
Colorado Newsline has more on the rollout of the child tax credit.
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► Former DaVita CEO Kent Thiry is in big trouble, as Colorado Public Radio explains:
A massive Denver-based dialysis provider and its former CEO were indicted Thursday on charges that they colluded with a competitor and agreed not to recruit each other’s top executives.
The indictment names both Davita Inc. and former CEO Kent Thiry, along with competitor Surgical Care Affiliates and a related entity. Davita and Thiry are charged with “participation in two separate conspiracies to suppress competition for the services of certain employees,” according to a release from the U.S. Department of Justice.
“These charges show a disturbing pattern of behavior among health care company executives to conspire to limit the opportunities of workers,” said Steven M. D’Antuono, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office. “The FBI is dedicated to working with our partners to hold those accountable who would engage in labor market collusion to the detriment of their employees.”
The indictment charges that two schemes that are the subject of the indictment began in 2012 and lasted until 2019. Thiry and the companies all denied wrongdoing and vowed to fight the charges.
Thiry has dipped his toes into Colorado politics in recent years, mostly as a Republican masquerading as an Independent.
► Looney tunes Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene is coming to El Paso County next month to speak at their big fundraising dinner. It’s not easy to find Colorado Republicans who are even willing to discuss MTG’s pending visit.
► Lora McLucas will take the oath of 0ffice today to become Denver’s 36th Postmaster — and the first woman to hold that title.
► Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge says that it is time for eviction moratoriums — enacted during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic — to come to an end.
► Ernest Luning of the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman expects a mad rush of candidates for Congressional races in our state.
► As Colorado Public Radio reports, a Grand Junction company is challenging a directive to provide paid time off for its employees:
The conservative non-profit, the Public Trust Institute, filed a lawsuit in Denver District Court alleging that the policy is unconstitutional because the fee workers and employers must pay to fund it is not applied evenly.
“This is just an income tax by another name,” said Dan Burrows, the legal director with the Public Trust Institute. “The state constitution is clear that if government wants to fund a new program by taxing wages, it has to treat everyone the same, no matter how attractive the aims of that program might be.”
Burrows filed the lawsuit on behalf of a small building company in Grand Junction that claims the paid leave program will limit its ability to hire more workers because companies with 10 or more employees pay more into the system.
Starting in 2024, the state-run program allows people to take up to 12 weeks of leave for childbirth, adoption, family medical emergencies, a family member’s active-duty military service, and reasons related to abuse and sexual assault, and have a portion of their wages reimbursed during that time.
The Public Trust Institute is the same nonsense organization founded by former Republican House Speaker Frank McNulty.
► Former State Sen. Tim Neville would like it to be known that he is just as nucking futs as Jenna Ellis.
► Colorado’s Independent Congressional Redistricting Commission is asking the State Supreme Court for more time to complete the redrawing of new maps given the delays in receiving accurate Census data.
► The Associated Press reports on efforts to further divert the Colorado River despite widespread drought across the West:
Farmers, environmentalists and small-town business owners gathered at the Hoover Dam on Thursday to call for a moratorium on pipelines and dams along the Colorado River that they said jeopardizes the 40 million people who rely on it as a water source.
They’re pushing for the moratoriums as parts of the U.S. West are gripped by historic drought and hotter temperatures and dry vegetation provide fuel for wildfires sweeping the region. Federal officials expect to make the first-ever water shortage declaration in the Colorado River basin next month, prompting cuts in Arizona, Nevada and Mexico [Pols emphasis]…
…Hot temperatures and less snowpack have decreased the amount of water that flows from the Rocky Mountains down through the arid deserts of the Southwest into the Gulf of California.
Scientists attribute the extreme conditions to a combination of natural weather patterns and human-caused climate change, which has made the West warmer and drier in the past 30 years.
Meanwhile, CBS4 Denver reports on WORSENING drought conditions in Western Colorado.
► Denver’s Clerk and Recorder is recommending to the Denver City Council a change to ranked-choice voting in municipal elections.
► Vaccinated travelers might get to go to Canada by September.
► A Colorado Springs police officer disciplined for yelling “kill them all” during a racial injustice rally is (not surprisingly) being sued for use of excessive force.
► House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy took another trip to grovel at the feet of Dear Leader Trump on Thursday.
Say What, Now?
Not exactly what you’d call our “best and brightest”:
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► Donald Trump is planning a big speaking tour alongside former Fox News shithead Bill O’Reilly, but ticket sales are not particularly brisk.
► Donald Trump is not necessarily PRO-coup, though he’s not exactly an opponent of the idea.
► Conservative columnist and think-tanker Krista Kafer is seeking a seat on the Littleton City Council.
► This week on The Get More Smarter Podcast, Andrew Baumann of Global Strategies Group stops by to give us the details on new polling data that looks really, really good for Colorado Democrats.