On this day in 1954, the U.S. Senate voted to censure Republican Sen. Joseph McCarthy for accusing pretty much everyone of being a communist. 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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► The U.S. Supreme Court appears likely to deal a significant blow to abortion rights after a hearing on Wednesday related to a case in Mississippi. Opponents of abortion rights in Colorado seem to be confident that the Supreme Court will act in the favor, but as The Denver Post reports, Colorado Democrats are prepared to take action in the upcoming legislative session:
Democratic state lawmakers want to ensure abortion access remains legal in Colorado even if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.
On the day the Supreme Court heard arguments over a Mississippi law that bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, a group of state legislators signed a proclamation to uphold Coloradans’ rights to abortion. They plan to introduce a bill next year codifying abortion rights into state law.
“Coloradans have affirmed over and over again that politics has no place in private medical decisions that belong between a pregnant person, their family and their provider,” Rep. Meg Froelich, a Democrat from Englewood, said in a news release. “Four times we have rejected political attempts to ban abortion on the ballot. It’s time to stop playing defense and move Colorado beyond the bans.”
► Congressional leaders say that they may have a deal that would avert a government shutdown. From The Washington Post:
House and Senate leaders on Thursday announced they had reached a deal on a bill to fund the government into mid-February, opening the door for lawmakers to narrowly avoid a shutdown entering this weekend.
The agreement on a new stopgap spending measure set the House on a path to vote before the end of the day, though swift action still seemed uncertain in the Senate, where some Republicans have threatened to grind the government to a halt as they protest President Biden’s vaccine and testing mandates.
Both chambers must pass identical bills by midnight on Friday to avert a shutdown. Lawmakers from both parties have warned that a failure to fund the government could be disruptive, especially at a time when the country is responding to a new, potentially more dangerous variant of the coronavirus.
“If there is a shutdown, it will be a Republican, anti-vaccine shutdown,” Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on the chamber floor, touting the fact that the new funding deal carries broad bipartisan support.
► Supporters of Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters and right-wing activist Sherronna Bishop held a rally of some sort in Grand Junction to air the same old grievances about how they should have a right to break the law. As Charles Ashby explains for The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel:
A rally in support of embattled Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters on Wednesday was more about bashing the media and government institutions, with speakers saying the American public isn’t being told the truth and their leaders are helping to destroy the nation.
But while the event was a peaceful one, many of the speakers repeated numerous falsehoods, such as the claim that the U.S. Constitution made sheriffs the ultimate authority in their counties.
The word “sheriff” doesn’t appear anywhere in the Constitution.
Those speakers, which included Peters, also repeated claims that they have proof of election fraud, but repeated the same debunked evidence, such as that 29,000 election files were deleted during a computer upgrade of election machines.
The Colorado Times Recorder has more on Wednesday’s nonsense.
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And Now, More Words…
► The Pueblo Chieftain takes a look back at the anti-Muslim comments from Congressperson Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle) that became a YUGE story this week.
Democrats in Colorado’s Congressional delegation are speaking out against Boebert’s vile comments. Congressional Republicans, meanwhile, seem content to let Boebert slide; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Wednesday that she’ll take action if House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy won’t pull his head out of the sand.
► Former Colorado Lt. Gov. Jane Norton is endorsing Deborah Flora for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination, which may be a bad omen (for Flora).
► We get it, Lori Saine: You’re the craziest of the crazy.
► Colorado Public Radio has more on the Congressional candidacy in CO-08 of someone named Johnny Humphrey.
► Nine of the Republican candidates running for Governor in 2022 will meet at a candidate forum in Ft. Collins in January. In other news, there are apparently nine Republican candidates running for Governor in Colorado.
► Alex Burness of The Denver Post looks at an important upcoming decision involving PERA, the retirement account that affects millions of Coloradans:
Colorado’s legislature made a $225 million annual promise to itself as well as the 630,000 members of the state pension fund and now, having broken that promise in 2020, lawmakers say they’re prepared to make things right.
Legislators have different ideas for how to do that, though, and their decision will affect not only the members of the Public Employees’ Retirement Association (PERA), but everyone else in Colorado who relies at any level on state government services and programs.
Alec Garnett, the speaker of the Colorado House, said “I think my jaw dropped and hit the ground” after seeing the price tag on a proposed 2022 bill that the legislative subcommittee overseeing the state pension fund wrote to make up for last year’s nonpayment.
The amount, in excess of $300 million, is a major outlier among the couple dozen proposals on a wide range of topics that lawmakers have crafted and given initial support to ahead of the next legislative session, which begins Jan. 12. That money would go toward paying down the more than $30 billion in unfunded debt to PERA retirees…
…“There are few opportunities the legislature has to keep its word,” House Minority Leader Hugh McKean, a Loveland Republican, said at a hearing last month on bills written by interim committees this summer and fall. “We make decisions on the fly when we need to, … but now we can look back and say, nope, we didn’t need to do that, let’s make (PERA) whole.”
► The New York Times reports on President Biden’s winter plans for beating back the COVID-19 pandemic. Here in Colorado, Gov. Jared Polis will provide an update on the state’s COVID-19 response this afternoon.
► A Colorado militia leader with ties to the State Republican Party says he thinks a civil war is brewing. From Chase Woodruff at Colorado Newsline:
A prominent Colorado Republican activist on Tuesday urged fellow conservatives to reject political violence and extremism, even as he claimed that the country is under threat from communist tyranny and on a path towards “civil war.”
John Tiegen, a Marine veteran from Colorado Springs and founder of the United American Defense Force, made the comments on a “Giving Tuesday” livestream hosted by FEC United, the fringe activist group with which the UADF is affiliated.
Speaking to an audience of fellow conservatives, Tiegen acknowledged the support for extremist violence that exists among some on the right, and warned of the dangers of such views…
…But Tiegen, who urged conservatives to set aside their “minor differences” and unite to oppose government overreach in schools and the economy, also predicted that violence will erupt if conservatives aren’t victorious.
“I see a war coming, if we don’t stand together,” Tiegen said. “And trust me, you don’t want to see it. A lot of veterans — I’ve seen it — there are some veterans that pray for it here in the U.S., which is stupid.”
Violence is bad…but I hope we have violence!
► Sports betting in Colorado continues to rake in record amounts of money.
► As NPR reports, prosecutors in Michigan are considering charging the parents of an alleged school shooter:
The parents of a teenager accused of killing four students and wounding seven others at a high school in Michigan this week could themselves face charges.
Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said she is considering charges against the parents of 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley, the suspect in Tuesday’s mass shooting at Oxford High School in suburban Detroit.
Prosecutors allege the 9mm handgun Crumbley used in the shooting had been bought by his father days before the massacre.
“We know that owning a gun means securing it properly and locking it and keeping the ammunition separate and not allowing access to other individuals, particularly minors,” McDonald said at a Wednesday news conference, according to Detroit Free Press.
“We have to hold individuals accountable who don’t do that,” she said.
Gun safety advocates have long argued that this sort of approach could be a key to reducing gun violence in the U.S.
► Former President Trump is getting excited about a Senate Primary in Ohio, but mostly because he doesn’t like some of the ads that he thinks make him look bad.
► Lawmakers in Texas are cutting off all avenues of access for women’s reproductive services.
► RIP former Colorado Supreme Court Justice Gregory Hobbs.
Say What, Now?
Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs) exists in his own little world:
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► As CNBC reports, the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, a former associate of Jeffrey Epstein, is including some testimony that does not reflect well on former President Donald Trump.
Marcus Lamb, a co-founder and the CEO of the conservative Christian Daystar Television Network who vocally opposed Covid-19 vaccines, has died at 64, weeks after he contracted Covid-19, the network said.
The Daystar Television Network has regularly devoted hours of content to anti-vaccination messages.
► How are things going in the mythical land of right-wing recalls? This sentence sums things up pretty well: The “Recall Polis – Griswold 2021” committee would need to raise $1,307 just to be able to report that they have no money.
► This is why you don’t keep wild animals as pets.
► 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.