Get More Smarter on Wednesday (July 21)

A new study says that Denver is the fourth-fittest city in America. 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

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:
http://covid19.colorado.gov

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

*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, more Republican officials are starting to promote the COVID-19 vaccination before the virus kills off their entire voting base:

A growing number of top Republicans are urging GOP supporters to get vaccinated as the delta coronavirus variant surges across the United States, marking a notable shift away from the anti-vaccine conspiracy theorizing that has gripped much of the party in opposition to the Biden administration’s efforts to combat the virus.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was part of the rising chorus on Tuesday, stressing the need for unvaccinated Americans to receive coronavirus shots and warning that the country could reverse its progress in moving on from the pandemic.

“These shots need to get in everybody’s arm as rapidly as possible, or we’re going to be back in a situation in the fall that we don’t yearn for, that we went through last year,” McConnell said during his weekly news conference. “I want to encourage everybody to do that and to ignore all of these other voices that are giving demonstrably bad advice.” [Pols emphasis]

Republicans such as Rep. Steve Scalise, the #2 person in the GOP House leadership, are now encouraging vaccinations. Even Fox News talking monkey Sean Hannity is now talking up the vaccine…and he once called the COVID-19 pandemic a hoax.

There’s one prominent Republican who is still NOT encouraging Americans to get vaccinated: Former President Donald Trump.

 

Colorado Democrats such as Gov. Jared Polis ran for office in 2018 promising to reduce health care costs for Coloradans. New data shows that these efforts have paid off BIGLY, resulting in significant reductions in health care premiums across the state.

 

As POLITICO reports, “centrist” Republican Senators are trying to lock down support for their watered-down version of a new infrastructure plan as the GOP stymies an effort by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to hold a discussion on the issue today.

 

A right-wing lunatic attacked a couple of reporters at the State Capitol on Tuesday, as Westword explains:

On July 20, a woman who identified herself as homeless physically attacked Colorado Politics reporter Pat Poblete in the press room of the Colorado State Capitol simply because he is a journalist. And while Poblete wasn’t injured and ultimately declined to ask that the woman be charged with assault — or for stealing items belonging to one of his reporting colleagues, Marianne Goodland — he’s troubled that she appears to have acted out because she believes the terrible things said about the media by ex-President Donald Trump, whose rhetoric she spouted during her violent outburst.

“This wasn’t the sort of hyper-online, hyper-partisan, QAnon, deep-dive type of person who’s ingrained in this stuff,” Poblete says. “This was just a woman who’d heard what the former president said about journalists and took that to heart. Even at that level of information and intake, it’s still penetrating the public psyche.”

Poblete, who publicly revealed the attack in a thread on his Twitter account, is the legislative reporter for Colorado Politics, and even though the Colorado Legislature isn’t currently in session, he was at the Capitol to cover an event celebrating a statue of World War II hero General Maurice Rose that will be placed in nearby Lincoln Veterans’ Memorial Park (click to see his article on the topic).

Words matter, people.

 

Click below to keep learning stuff…

 

And Now, More Words…

 

As The Colorado Sun reports, an Aspen man was arrested as part of a federal probe involving the former head of Donald Trump’s 2017 inaugural committee:

The chair of former President Donald Trump’s 2017 inaugural committee was arrested Tuesday on charges alleging that he and two others — including a Colorado man — conspired to influence Trump’s foreign policy positions to benefit the United Arab Emirates.

Thomas Joseph Barrack, 74, of Santa Monica, California, was among three men charged in New York federal court with trying to influence foreign policy while Trump was running in 2016 and later while he was president…

…Barrack was charged with conspiracy, obstruction of justice and making multiple false statements during a June 20, 2019 interview with federal law enforcement agents. Also charged in a seven-count indictment in Brooklyn federal court were Matthew Grimes, 27, of Aspen, Colorado and Rashid Sultan Rashid Al Malik Alshahhi, 43, of the United Arab Emirates.

If you are at all surprised by any of this, then you clearly hadn’t been paying attention to the dumpster fire that was the Trump Presidency.

 

The New York Times reports on COVID outbreaks in largely unvaccinated areas such as Arkansas and Missouri. The scary part is the number of people hospitalized with severe cases of COVID-19 who STILL say that they would not get vaccinated.

 

Colorado State Rep. Ron Hanks (R-Penrose) is now bragging admitting that he was right in the thick of things during the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

 

Local water systems are pushing back on Congressional efforts to regulate “forever chemicals” that could be threatening water supplies.

 

Social media efforts to promote yet another pointless recall attempt of Gov. Jared Polis — as well as a recall of Secretary of State Jena Griswold have been upended because of the group’s inability to stop promoting false information about the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

As CNN reports, Texas Sen. Ted “Cancun” Cruz is being even more of a dick than usual, and it’s pissing off members of both political parties:

An extraordinary effort by Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas to block nominees from being confirmed to vital jobs in the State Department is creating hurdles for the Biden administration and hindering US diplomacy, according to Democrats and Republicans who spoke to CNN.

The Biden administration – with about 60 State Department nominees waiting to be confirmed – is encountering greater roadblocks in securing Senate confirmations at State than at any other agency. Administration officials and Democrats point to Republicans, who admit they’re playing a role. But sources from all three groups say the bulk of the blame should be placed on Cruz.

The junior senator from Texas has become the public face of the State Department’s difficulties, proudly claiming responsibility for blocks on a slew of senior officials. Cruz is trying to pressure the administration on a specific point of Russia policy, a campaign that other Republicans say is fruitless and that triggered a fiery shouting match with Sen. Robert Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat who’s the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Performative obstruction.

 

A longtime donor to the University of Colorado foundation says the organization has been pissing away money for years because of mismanagement and questionable investment decisions.

 

Vox.com tries to understand how America seemingly lost its commitment to protecting the right to vote.

 

According to a new survey from AAA, 77% of Coloradans say that they are now comfortable traveling again.

 

► Justin Wingerter of The Denver Post has more on Interior Secretary Deb Haaland’s pending visit to the Bureau of Land Management headquarters in Grand Junction on Friday:

The fate of the headquarters, which moved from Washington, D.C., to Grand Junction in 2019, rests in the hands of Haaland and Biden. Grand Junction officials seeking to keep it in Colorado had requested that Haaland visit the city…

…In June, Colorado Newsline reported that BLM said of the 328 D.C.-based positions assigned to Grand Junction, three people moved there and 38 others were relocated to “State Offices across the West.” The rest, 287 people, resigned or retired.

“Secretary Haaland should use this visit to admit what is clear for all to see: The Bureau of Land Management needs a functioning headquarters staffed with experienced leaders, and the fastest way to do that is to rebuild the agency in Washington, D.C.,” said Jennifer Rokala, executive director of the Colorado-based environmental group Center for Western Priorities.

 

As The Colorado Sun notes, the partisanship rhetoric coming from Republican lawmakers is not backed up by actual facts. Only 4% of the bills passed during the 2021 legislative session moved ahead on purely partisan lines.

But, you know, “war on rural Colorado” and whatever.

 

Former Army Maj. Gen. Maurice Jones — a highly-decorated soldier from Colorado killed in the latter stages of WWII — is getting a big bronze statue at the State Capitol.

 

As 9News reports, positive cases of COVID-19 in Colorado are on the rise. The good news is that hospitalization numbers are holding steady.

In a related story, CBS4 Denver reports that nearly 150,000 Coloradans have still not received a second COVID-19 vaccination despite getting poked once already.

 

 Colorado is again violating EPA standards for ozone levels, and it doesn’t seem like regulators are doing enough to get the state back on track.

 

Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene— who will address the El Paso County Republican Party in two weeks —  may or may not think that HIPAA is a zoo animal.

 

Some fishing restrictions along the Colorado River have been lifted, but officials warn that they could come back in the near future because of historically-low water levels and high temperatures.

 

 Aurora Mayor “Homeless” Mike Coffman is backing the Tri-County Health Department as one of its partners in Douglas County continues efforts to rid itself of bothersome attempts to keep people from dying of a preventable illness.

 

Say What, Now?

Priorities, baby:

 

 

 

Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

 

The White House hosted the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Tuesday, and Donald Trump’s favorite athlete — quarterback Tom Bradyused the opportunity to mock The Big Orange Guy. D’oh!

 

An Alabama city council member thought it appropriate to use the “N-word” in public comments recently.

 

 

ICYMI

 

As The Huffington Post reports, Texas Republican lawmakers voted to stop requiring that schools teach kids that the Ku Klux Klan is bad. The legislature also wants to limit teaching of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech, as well as women’s suffrage and Native American history.

 

 Dr. Anthony Fauci completed a rhetorical testicle kick on Tuesday in a back-and-forth conversation with Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul.

 

► This week on The Get More Smarter Podcast, we examine the alternate reality that Republicans are trying to establish ahead of the 2022 election cycle:

 

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7 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. MichaelBowman says:

    Atlantis returned to Earth ten years ago this morning, soaring down from a predawn sky to a picture-perfect touchdown.  'Wheels down' marked an end to our nation's 30-year Shuttle program; flights that embodied our American spirit, inspiring millions around the world.  We're a country founded by explorers who's progeny took us to space. 

  2. JohnInDenver says:

    Aspen Times has additional detail on the Aspen connection: “Grimes, who was also detained Tuesday, worked for — and reported directly to, according to the Justice Department — Barrack “in a Los Angeles-based global investment management firm,” the release explains.” … ” Barrack and Grimes, with help from Alshahhi, acquired a dedicated cell phone and installed a secure messaging application specifically for communication between Barrack and UAE officials, it continues.”

  3. MichaelBowman says:

    From today’s Axios:

     

    Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) on Wednesday said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is "playing politics" with the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot by pulling select Republicans off the committee created to investigate the origins of the attack and pursuing a separate investigation

    Why it matters: Cheney said she believes McCarthy's "disgraceful" actions and rhetoric on the insurrection should disqualify him from becoming House speaker if the GOP reclaims the chamber in the 2022 midterms.

    • Cheney, currently the sole Republicanon the Jan. 6 committee, said she agreed with Pelosi's decision to reject McCarthy's naming of Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Jim Banks (R-Ind.) to the committee.

    What she's saying: "At every opportunity, the minority leader has attempted to prevent the American people from understanding what happened, to block this investigation," Cheney said.

    • "Today, the speaker objected to two Republican members. She accepted three others. She objected to two — one of whom may well be a material witness to events that led to that day, that led to January 6, the other who disqualified himself by his comments, in particular, over the last 24 hours demonstrating that he is not taking this seriously," she added.
    • "The idea that anybody would be playing politics with an attack on the United States Capitol is despicable and is disgraceful. I'm absolutely dedicated and committed to making sure this investigation holds those accountable who did this and ensures that it never happens again."

    The big picture: Cheney said she is confident the committee will complete a nonpartisan investigation, though she said the proposed bipartisan, independent commission that McCarthy opposed and Senate Republicans blocked “would have been the best option."

    • Of note: McCarthy opposed the creation of the commission in May because he said it would be “duplicative and potentially counterproductive."
  4. notaskinnycook says:

    ► Former Army Maj. Gen. Maurice Jones — a highly-decorated soldier from Colorado killed in the latter stages of WWII — is getting a big bronze statue at the State Capitol.

    Alva, you goofed. That was Maj. Gen. Maurice ROSE, for whom Rose Medical Center was named. You might want to make a note of that, and I'm surprised no one caught it all day. 

  5. kwtree says:

    Three of our Air Force bases are changing to Space Force bases. Not sure what the implications are: 

    Change in mission?

    change in uniform and insignia?

    change in website and stationery?

    A place to launch rockets from when Cape Canaveral is flooded from global warming? 

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