Get More Smarter on Monday (Dec. 13)

On this day in 2003, former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was captured by U.S. troops near his hometown of Tikrit. 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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If you haven’t yet read Alex Burness’s weekend story about the Colorado Republican Party for The Denver Post…well, just stop what you’re doing and read it now.

Via The Denver Post (12/13/21)

There’s a LOT to unpack in Burness’s story, including the fact that State Republican Party Chair Kristi Burton Brown was heading up an actual militia before being elected to her position earlier this year:

Much more than signing on to a loyalty pledge, Burton Brown, the Republican party chair, actually led FEC United last year. In sworn court depositions this fall, Oltmann and another leader of the group, Stewart Butler, testified about it, and Burton Brown has confirmed it in statements to the press. Oltmann characterized her work as “basically the foundation of what we’re doing as an organization.”

In a three-minute interview with The Post, [Pols emphasis] Burton Brown said her time with the group was “very brief” but declined to say when exactly it began and ended. She said she only had a “verbal understanding” and that she never signed a contract with FEC United.


Congressperson Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle) may have finally vomited out enough nonsense to convince Republicans to challenge her in a Primary Election. Charles Ashby of The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel has more on a potential campaign from State Sen. Don Coram (R-Montrose).

Meanwhile, Colorado Public Radio reports on the more pressing question about what Congress might do about its Boebert problem. Democrats remain frustrated that Republican leadership seems to have no interest in engaging on the subject of Boebert’s recent anti-Muslim rhetoric.


More than 800,000 Americans have now died from COVID-19 — more deaths than any country in the world. As The New York Times reports, that figure includes 1 out of every 100 elderly Americans:

All along, older people have been known to be more vulnerable, but the scale of loss is only now coming into full view.

Seventy-five percent of people who have died of the virus in the United States — or about 600,000 of the nearly 800,000 who have perished so far — have been 65 or older. One in 100 older Americans has died from the virus. For people younger than 65, that ratio is closer to 1 in 1,400…

…Since vaccines first became available a year ago, older Americans have been vaccinated at a much higher rate than younger age groups and yet the brutal toll on them has persisted. The share of younger people among all virus deaths in the United States increased this year, but, in the last two months, the portion of older people has risen once again, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 1,200 people in the United States are dying from Covid-19 each day, most of them 65 or older.

The death toll in the U.S. went from 700,000 to 800,000 over the course of just 74 days. The total number of U.S. deaths from COVID-19 could reach 1 million by spring 2022.

Here in Colorado, we’re seeing a decline in the number of COVID-19 cases being recorded…but experts point to other data indicating that the state is experiencing far more positive cases than are being officially reported.



Click below to keep learning stuff…


And Now, More Words…


The Washington Post takes note of Gov. Jared Polis’s interview last week with Colorado Public Radio:

When it comes to Americans who refuse to get coronavirus vaccines, President Biden hasn’t been shy about expressing frustration. But he can’t hold a candle to a fellow Democrat, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, who recently declared “it’s your fault” if you’re unvaccinated and hospitalized.

It’s not the first time Polis has delivered a blunt message about the pandemic, but it’s notable for the timing. The surge of the delta variant has filled hospitals coast to coast and still swells the American death toll by more than 1,000 people daily. And there are growing signs of public exhaustion with strict responses: Parental anger at school closures helped Republican Glenn Youngkin win Virginia’s gubernatorial race. American politics may increasingly be defined by how candidates and elected leaders channel those frustrations…

…Polis’s latest frank comments came in an interview Friday with Colorado Public Radio’s Ryan Warner, host of Colorado Matters, in which the former congressman said widespread access to effective vaccines means “the end of the medical emergency” posed by the pandemic.

“Everybody had more than enough opportunity to get vaccinated,” Polis told Warner, adding: “At this point, if you haven’t been vaccinated, it’s really your own darn fault.” And “those who get sick, it’s almost entirely their own darn fault.”


In an email to supporters, Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder George Stern — a Democrat — announced that he will not seek re-election in 2022. Here’s a snippet from that email:

I want you to be among the first to know that I have decided not to run for re-election next year. While this decision was one of the toughest I have made, it was ultimately straightforward: By the end of my term, we will not only have achieved everything I promised the voters we would – we will have done far more. It’s time, then, for fresh leadership to bring new ideas, and for me to move on to the next challenge (don’t know yet!), and to being a more present dad and husband for our growing family.

Stern’s 2018 victory over longtime Jeffco official Faye Griffin ended decades of control of the Clerk and Recorder’s office by Republicans.


CongressmanEd Perlmutter(D-Jefferson County) is co-sponsoring legislation to help local news outlets survive and thrive.


Greg Sargent of The Washington Post notes that former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is not succeeding at trying to cover up a literal coup attempt:

The House select committee examining Jan. 6 has just released its report recommending contempt charges against Meadows for defying its subpoena. It blows a big hole in Meadows’s pleasing little propaganda piece.

More broadly, the report will render the various GOP whitewashing devices we’ve heard — Trump didn’t really want to overturn the election, Trump never countenanced the violence, the violence was no biggie anyway, and so on — much harder to sustain.

The report reads like a blueprint for a coup — not just for the attempt that just happened, but also for a future one. [Pols emphasis] It provides a glimpse into the story the committee is piecing together about this effort to thwart a legitimately elected government from taking power, first through almost unimaginably corrupt pressure on many government actors, and then through mob violence.


► State Sen. Barbara Kirkmeyer announced her campaign team as she seeks the Republican nomination for Congress in CO-08. It includes longtime GOP operative Alan Philp as General Consultant.


Eric Maulbetsch of The Colorado Times Recorder digs into the flailing fundraising efforts of the “Recall Polis/Griswold” committee.


Democratic leaders in Colorado are warning that the state is approaching a “fiscal cliff” despite recent good fortune with state funds. From The Colorado Sun:

They’re not worried so much about a downturn, but the potential for spending on critical services like education and health care to run up against constitutional limits on how much tax revenue lawmakers can use.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis is asking state lawmakers to set aside $1.8 billion to cover key spending for future years and help stave off what his budget chief described as a looming “structural deficit.”

By prepaying for certain government functions now, much of it with federal money, the governor aims to avoid spending more state revenue than TABOR allows in future years.


► Colorado Public Radio catches up on the latest news regarding how Colorado plans to spend COVID-19 stimulus money.


► If Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs) is in the news, it’s usually not for something good. This is no exception.


The Aurora Sentinel provides more reporting on Colorado’s efforts to increase access and availability to mental health services.


 POLITICO reports on Democratic concerns that the successful child tax credit could come to an abrupt end:

Democrats are hoping a year-end cliff with 35 million families on the line can finally shake a deal loose on President Joe Biden’s marquee bill.

Preserving the party’s expanded child tax credit, which delivers monthly checks to most families with children, has been a central tenet of Biden’s social safety net bill from the start. But months of grueling negotiations have forced Democrats right up against the Dec. 31 deadline that could blot out one of their biggest political wins this year.

Still, Democrats are hopeful that if anything can unify the party — and convince their chief skeptic, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), to vote for the legislation when it comes to the floor as soon as this week — it would be a historic anti-poverty effort for kids.

The child tax credit is one of the signature accomplishments of Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Denver).


A long-running legal effort to invalidate TABOR in Colorado has been dismissed by the 10th circuit court of appeals.




The New York Attorney General will subpoena Donald Trump to testify in a civil fraud investigation.



Say What, Now?

Classy re-tweet from GOP Congressional hopeful Lori Saine:





Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 


Republican U.S. Senate candidate Eli Bremer thinks being an early-ish supporter of Donald Trump will pay dividends for him in 2022.


The Washington Post gives you another reason never to live in Missouri:

A county in rural Missouri will halt almost all of its pandemic measures following an order from the state’s attorney general to drop mask mandates and quarantine rules, among other preventive policies that aim to curb coronavirus infections.

The move by Laclede County, home to about 36,000 people, means health officials will stop investigating covid-19 cases, contact tracing and issuing quarantine orders. “While this is a huge concern … we have no other options but to follow the orders of the Missouri Attorney General at this time,” the county’s health department reportedly said.

Laclede County has seen a rise in new infections since last month, according to figures compiled by Missouri’s state health department. Missouri overall has also been recording an increase in cases, Washington Post figures show…

…Eric Schmitt, the Republican attorney general, has been vigorously pushing school districts and health agencies in the state to drop coronavirus prevention measures that have been adopted globally during the nearly two-year-long pandemic, such as mask-wearing and quarantining.


The whereabouts of a Republican state lawmaker from Washington state are unknown after the vocal COVID-19 denier began treatments for a COVID-19 infection in Florida.



 Congressman Ken Buck (R-Greeley) is more troll than lawmaker


We say it all the time in this space: Elections matter.

Look no further than Aurora for the latest example.


► This week on The Get More Smarter Podcast, hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii talk with ProgressNow Colorado Executive Director Sara Loflin and dig into more troubles for Republican gubernatorial candidate Hiedi Heidi Ganahl and Congressperson Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert.


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