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*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 New York Times reports, the head of the CDC is warning that America is at a “pivotal point” in the battle to end the COVID-19 pandemic:
The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention struck a new tone of urgency on Thursday about the coronavirus pandemic, warning that the United States is “not out of the woods yet” and is once again at a “another pivotal point in this pandemic” as the highly infectious Delta variant rips through communities with low rates of vaccination.
The warning from the director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, during a briefing by members of the White House Covid-19 response team, was a marked shift from just weeks ago, when President Biden threw a big Fourth of July party on the South Lawn of the White House to declare independence from the virus.
It reflects a growing concern among administration officials that the gains they appeared to have made are being erased — and that the current surge in cases will overwhelm health systems in parts of the country where vaccination rates are low and hospitalizations are high. Still, new cases, hospitalizations and deaths remain at a fraction of their previous devastating peaks. Vaccines remain effective against the worst outcomes of Covid-19, including from the Delta variant.
Vaxx that thang up, people!
► Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland is in Denver today ahead of a visit to Grand Junction on Friday in which the future of the headquarters location for the Bureau of Land Management will be discussed.
At @DenverWater where Interior Secretary Deb Haaland is meeting with state officials and Rep. Diana DeGette to discuss the impacts of the severe drought gripping the Western U.S. pic.twitter.com/MiHNuJQ7k0
— Chase Woodruff (@dcwoodruff) July 22, 2021
► As The Denver Post reports, Colorado is part of a MASSIVE settlement agreement with several major drug companies regarding their role in the opioid epidemic:
Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser on Wednesday unveiled a historic $26 billion multistate settlement with the nation’s three largest drug distribution companies and the drugmaker Johnson & Johnson designed to address the nationwide opioid addiction and overdose crisis.
“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity,” Weiser said during a virtual news conference Wednesday afternoon. “We need to make the most of it.”
The settlement between more than 40 states, thousands of municipalities and AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, McKesson and Johnson & Johnson would bring $300 million to Colorado, the attorney general said.
That, combined with a previous settlement with Purdue Pharma, would total $400 million in funding to address what Weiser called an “American tragedy.”
► Remember when several big corporations spoke out against new restrictive voter laws passed in Georgia this Spring? The Washington Post has an unfortunate update:
Three months ago, Comcast responded to the passage of Georgia’s sweeping voting law by saying, “Efforts to limit or impede access to this vital constitutional right for any citizen are not consistent with our values.”
That was then.
On June 30, the telecommunications giant contributed $2,500 to Georgia’s attorney general, Chris Carr, who has vigorously defended the law, which critics say will curtail voting access, including by limiting use of drop boxes for absentee ballots and making it a crime for third-party groups to hand out food and water to voters standing in line…
…Comcast was one of several companies that raised alarm about the voting restrictions but then contributed more than $20,000 collectively between April and June of this year to Georgia politicians who voted for or publicly defended the legislation, according to an examination by Advance Democracy, a nonprofit research group headed by Daniel J. Jones, a former FBI analyst who led the Senate investigation into the CIA’s use of torture after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
If only Comcast’s customer service was this reliable. Amirite?
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And Now, More Words…
► Congressman Joe Neguse (D-Boulderish) is one of several Democrats promoting a new “climate corps” idea. As Colorado Newsline explains:
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer pledged on Tuesday to include a Civilian Climate Corps in a $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill later this year, as a broad swath of Democrats rallied around a framework of employing thousands of young people to do conservation work.
Schumer (D-N.Y.) appeared with a handful of congressional Democrats, led by U.S. Rep Joe Neguse of Colorado and spanning the ideological spectrum from moderate Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware to liberal firebrand Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.
They said they were united behind the idea of an expansive youthful workforce to address climate issues.
The speakers were among more than 80 Democrats from both chambers who signed a letter to Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) Tuesday calling for the creation of a climate corps and outlining basic principles.
► Congressman Jason Crow (D-Aurora) is pushing for Afghan translators to be awarded visas as the United States completes its military withdrawal from Afghanistan.
► Ernest Luning of the publication formerly known as The Colorado Statesman reports on proposed legislation co-sponsored by Colorado Reps. Joe Neguse (D-Boulderish) and Ken Buck (R-Greeley):
[Buck and Neguse] introduced bipartisan legislation to let irrigation, reservoir and water companies improve their infrastructure without raising rates or jeopardizing their tax-exempt states…
…The Water and Agriculture Tax Reform Act — dubbed the WATER Act — passed the House unanimously in 2018 but stalled in the Senate. This year, U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet, a Colorado Democrat, and Mike Crapo, an Idaho Republican, are introducing companion legislation in the Senate.
Under current law, if more than 15% of certain rural water companies’ revenue comes from sources other than members — like recreational leases or crossing fees — the companies risk losing tax-exempt status, the lawmakers said. If that happens, farmers, ranchers and communities must cover costs with higher assessments.
The bill would exclude some types of revenue from the threshold if the revenue is used for operations and maintenance.
► Federal data shows that states are still lagging behind in getting assistance to people who may be close to getting evicted from their homes.
► As The Colorado Times Recorder reports, Republicans want to screw up their own elections as much as they do for everyone else:
Just four years after Colorado’s first open primary, a faction of Republican leaders are attempting to opt-out of the laws approved by voters in 2016 which allowed unaffiliated voters to cast votes in partisan primaries. If successful, the largest group of Colorado voters, those without affiliation to a political party who represent nearly 40% of the state’s 4 million voters, will lose their voice in determining Republican nominees for U.S. president and state office races.
Chuck Bonniwell, one of a few dozen members of the Colorado Republican Party Executive Committee and host of a conservative podcast focused on state politics, is traveling the state in an effort backed by a contingent of grassroots Republicans to garner enough votes among county GOP officers to opt out of the open primaries.
As with other issues, Colorado Republicans are divided on opting out of open primaries along the now-familiar fault lines of grassroots conservatives who generally support former President Trump, his statements, and his policies, versus more traditional, so-called “establishment” party members who are generally more moderate and centrist. Control over the party and regaining political standing for the GOP in Colorado are at stake.
Leave it to Colorado Republicans to devote time and energy to the wrong fight. Maybe chasing ghosts is in the GOP bylaws or something.
► The Title Board in Colorado approved language for a ballot measure that seeks to reduce the state sales and use tax and LOWER state revenue.
► The Colorado AFL-CIO says it has stopped donating money to Democratic candidates because of a disagreement over mutual interests.
► A power struggle among two Colorado agencies has been settled that should allow the state’s long-term mental health program to continue.
► POLITICO has the latest on discussions about the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection:
Speaker Nancy Pelosi is considering adding another anti-Trump House Republican to the select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, with Rep. Adam Kinzinger as a leading contender.
Pelosi suggested Thursday that she would consider appointing more Republicans to the Jan. 6 probe, less than 24 hours after she nixed two vocally pro-Trump GOP lawmakers for the select panel. The current sole GOP member of the panel, Rep. Liz Cheney, separately made clear that she would support two well-known additions to the committee: Kinzinger (R-Ill.), Cheney’s partner in conservative opposition to Donald Trump, and former Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-Va.), a possible pick as Cheney’s outside adviser in the investigation.
“We’ll see,” Pelosi told reporters when asked if she’d appoint more Republicans to serve alongside Cheney. “It’s not even bipartisan; it’s nonpartisan. It’s about seeking the truth and that’s what we owe the American people.”
Kinzinger discussed his desire to join the select panel with other lawmakers before Pelosi chose Cheney earlier this month, according to a person familiar with the conversations. He declined to comment Thursday when asked about his potential addition to the select panel, which is set to hold its first hearing next week with law enforcement responders during the siege of the Capitol by supporters of the former president.
Meanwhile, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is “threatening” — we use that word in quotes, because it’s not much of a threat — to retract all of his selections for members of the Jan. 6 commission.
► These are not great times for Trumpworld lobbyists, who are finding that nobody has much use for their skillset anymore.
► Governor Jared Polis is again refusing calls from some Republicans to end expanded unemployment benefits.
► Hey, look: An anti-Doug Lamborn ad!
► Nicki Gonzales is the first Latino to serve as Colorado’s State Historian. Also, Colorado apparently has a State Historian.
► As Vox.com explains, you really needn’t worry that much about inflation despite those “sky is falling” rants from Republicans.
► Congressperson Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert finds once again that her past rhetoric is going to cause new problems for her constituents.
Say What, Now?
Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs) almost made a funny today. His joke would make more sense if we were talking about “illegal immigration” FROM the United States, but this is really about as good as it gets from Lamborn:
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► Congressgeniuses Ken Buck (R-Greeley) and Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle) have been busy repeating everything they can find that has been reported by the ridiculous “news” publication “The Epoch Times.”
► Lawmakers in Missouri held a hearing about how best to teach students about issues of race. Naturally, they “forgot” to even INVITE teachers, parents, or experts who are Black.
► A silly — and expensive — attempt to recall a Westminster city council member just a few months before a regular election failed BIGLY…unless your name is Scott Gessler.
► 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: