Omicron is coming. Also, Happy Hanukkah! 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.
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*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:
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Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
President Biden on Monday described the omicron variant of the coronavirus as a “cause for concern, not a cause for panic” as cases continue to emerge around the globe.
In an address from the White House, the president pressed Americans to get the coronavirus vaccines and boosters, calling the shots “the best protection against this new variant or any of the various out there.”
The comments came a day after the variant was detected in Canada, making its first identification in North America. Omicron, designated a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organization, has also been found in countries ranging from Australia to Israel and Botswana to Britain.
Get those booster shots, friends!
If you’re wondering where the new COVID-19 variant name comes from, you’re not alone. As The New York Times explains, it has something to do with the Greek alphabet.
► The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to take up a case on Wednesday that could end legal abortion in this country.
► Congressperson Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert might have finally stuck her own foot too far down her throat.
Boebert is getting drilling by Democratic leaders for public comments in which she basically called Rep. Ilhan Omar a suicide bomber. Omar is among those calling for repercussions for Boebert’s comments after initially responding by pointing out that Boebert had completely invented the story because she won’t even make eye contact with her colleague. House Democratic leaders are expected today to discuss potential sanctions for Boebert. Notable Republicans are even speaking out against Boebert.
Boebert’s comments were absolutely reprehensible but I’m surprised she apologized. One of the cardinal rules of Trumpism is to never take an L, because it makes you look weak. https://t.co/DBbvQFvOY5
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) November 26, 2021
9News reporter/anchor Kyle Clark has been getting national attention for calling out Boebert and her antics. Clark was on CNN on Sunday warning about journalists not covering Boebert’s comments because there is so much to discuss. “When we ignore the bigotry, we normalize the bigotry and we abandon our neighbors who are the targets of the bigotry,” said Clark.
Colorado Republican Party Chair Kristi Burton Brown, meanwhile, is responding by alleging that Clark is sexist. You might recall that KBB was the “policy director” for Boebert’s 2020 campaign.
But wait, there’s more…in the same video in which Boebert compares Rep. Ohan to a suicide bomber, she also makes some blatantly anti-gay comments when the conversation turns to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg. From Business Insider:
Boebert has so far not responded publicly to criticism over comments she made at an event this month about Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg trying to “chest feed” and about Rep. Ilhan Omar, whom she implied was a terrorist.
“Meanwhile, you have Secretary of Transportation, good ol’ Mayor Pete. He wasn’t even put in charge of the supply-chain crisis. Someone else was tapped for that because Mayor Pete is still at home trying to figure out how to chest feed,” Boebert said, to laughs from the crowd.
“Somebody ought to tell him so he can get back to work,” she added.
This is the point where could point out the successful policy or advocacy work that Boebert is doing in Congress, but, you know, there isn’t any.
Click below to keep learning stuff…
And Now, More Words…
► Congressperson Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert is also taking criticism for regularly wearing a pretty awful t-shirt. From Colorado Public Radio:
The video of Rep. Lauren Boebert insinuating that a Muslim member of congress could be a suicide bomber has made news around the country and led to a rare apology from the congresswoman.
But it was another aspect of the video that stood out to Colorado actor Marty Lindsey: The t-shirt Boebert was wearing. The black shirt reads “GUNS DON’T KILL PEOPLE ALEC BALDWIN DOES” and includes the word “RUST” twice in its design. Rust is the Western film whose cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed when Baldwin fired a prop gun he was told was safe.
Lindsey is a member of the cast. He saw a close-up of Rep. Boebert’s t-shirt on a friend’s social media feed and was disgusted. “This is unconscionable,” he said, and shows “complete disregard for Halyna and her family.”
Lindsey had finished filming his scenes in New Mexico and was visiting family in Arvada when the on-set shooting occurred October 21. The movie’s director was also injured.
Lindsey calls Boebert’s behavior “bottom of the barrel.”
► As Conrad Swanson reports for The Denver Post, low snowpack levels in the West are making many water experts very nervous:
With each passing, snowless day, Denver extends its new record of the latest date at which the first measurable snow falls, busting through the old record of Nov. 21, set in 1934.
Climatologists are watching as the record climbs, estimating Denver’s dry spell could last until early December. But that’s not nearly as worrisome as the lagging snowpack levels in southwest Colorado, they say, specifically in the Sangre de Cristo, San Juan and San Miguel mountains.
Colorado needs an above-average snowpack year to start recovering from a dry summer this year and last year, Climatologist Becky Bolinger of Colorado State University said. Without that snowpack, water levels along the parched Colorado River will likely remain low.
The Colorado River and its tributaries already face historically low water levels. For the first time, the federal Bureau of Reclamation this year ordered officials in Colorado and Utah to release water from upstream reservoirs to keep record low levels at Lake Powell from sinking further.
► Colorado Newsline reports on efforts in Congress to get immigration reform measures included in the Build Back Better legislation. In a separate story, Colorado Newsline looks at some of the BBB proposals that could ultimately get axed by the Senate.
► Congressman Joe Neguse (D-Boulderish) is sponsoring legislation to improve access to mental health care.
► President Biden is discussing reforms to oil and gas leasing arrangements in the U.S.
► Colorado Public Radio reports on discussions to save that weird little bird in Western Colorado.
► Colorado lawyers who went forward with an absurd lawsuit about election fraud got dinged by a judge and will have to pay $180,000 in attorney fees as a result.
► Alex Burness of The Denver Post reports on efforts from sex workers in Colorado to decriminalize prostitution in the state.
► Colorado Public Radio reports on the progress of a new state-run retirement plan for non-government workers:
Starting in 2023, hundreds of thousands of workers in Colorado may be automatically enrolled in a new state-run retirement savings program.
The program, called Secure Savings, will provide retirement accounts for people who don’t have a retirement plan through their employer. Eventually, many employees will see money deducted from their paychecks and automatically deposited into the state-run retirement account, unless they opt out.
Secure Savings is meant to prepare people for retirement by nudging them into saving money. Failing to do so could cost the state billions of dollars per year in additional costs to care for the elderly in future years, according to a state report.
► The Colorado Sun explains how the state’s new 8th congressional district will require a change for the University of Colorado Board of Regents.
► New indoor mask requirements in several large Denver Metro area counties are now in effect. Meanwhile, Gov. Jared Polis says that a statewide mask mandate is not something that is currently being considered.
► POLITICO reports on the quickly-growing line for Republicans who want to be Donald Trump’s running mate in 2024.
Say What, Now?
Congressman Ken Buck (R-Greeley) does not understand how oil prices work…nor does he seem to have a good grasp on the concept of cause and effect.
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► There is a $1,000 reward for a long-lost dog collar that once belonged to former President Warren Harding.
► Republicans continue to scramble for former President Donald Trump’s endorsement, even as evidence mounts that Trump’s endorsement isn’t all that useful.
► New leaders in the Aurora City Council are very concerned with something that would affect only about 0.6% of the city’s population.
► Congressperson Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert is finally wading into the controversy surrounding Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters and Boebert’s former campaign manager, Sherronna Bishop.
► This week on The Get More Smarter Podcast, hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii talk with Charles Ashby of The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel about Tina Peters, Lauren Boebert, and other weird happenings on the Western Slope.