Sine Hi-ya? The traditional final legislative day is called “Sine Die,” but we don’t know what the equivalent term is for the first day of session. We’ll just go with this. 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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► LET’S GET READY TO STUMBLLLEEE…
The 2022 Colorado legislative session formally kicks off today. Colorado Republicans have been using their time this week mostly to kick themselves in the ass.
House Minority Leader Hugh McKean thought it would be a good idea to compare Democratic policies to actual rape as a guest on a right-wing talk show.
Democratic Rep. Matt Gray says he walked out of House chamber in protest of McKean, a Republican who on a recent radio program said Democrats have been “raping” Coloradans with new fees. https://t.co/Vk4MRlGm3u
— Alex Burness (@alex_burness) January 12, 2022
McKean’s rape comments after he and other Republicans tried really, really hard to pretend that Democratic priorities laid out on Monday were all just ideas that had been stolen from Republicans, or something. In other words, as soon as Republicans start voting against Democratic bills, they’re going to have to explain why they are opposing what they claim are their own ideas.
As for the policies expected to be tacked in the legislative session, here’s a good primer from Colorado Public Radio.
► President Joe Biden on Tuesday used a major speech to call for changes to the Senate filibuster rules in order to pass election reform legislation. From The Washington Post:
Biden threw his full support Tuesday behind changing the Senate filibuster to ease passage of voting rights bills, using a major speech in Atlanta to endorse an idea increasingly backed by Democrats and civil rights activists seeking momentum on what has been an intractable issue.
The remarks from Biden, who was a senator for 36 years, amounted to his strongest endorsement yet of changes he had resisted for most of his career. The president made clear that he, like many others in his party, now believes the filibuster is being abused to block legislation that is fundamental to democracy.
“The United States Senate, designed to be the world’s greatest deliberative body, has been rendered a shell of its former self,” Biden told hundreds of college students, civil rights activists and elected officials at the Atlanta University Center. “I believe that the threat to our democracy is so grave that we must find a way to pass these voting rights bills.”
Whether or not this new push to change the filibuster will succeed depends in part (again) on West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, who is not making very good arguments in opposition.
► Grocery workers at King Soopers stores in Colorado are on strike after failing to reach agreement on fixing what the employees call “unfair labor practices.” Fortunately, you have plenty of other options for grocery shopping if you want to support the workers. The Denver Post has more details in a handy “need to know” story.
► Democratic State Sen. Brittany Pettersen jumped into the now-open race in CO-07 on Tuesday. Pettersen is the early favorite to succeed retiring Rep. Ed Perlmutter.
► Former President Trump cut short an interview with National Public Radio after being asked to defend his “Big Lie” nonsense.
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► Colorado Republicans build a new straw man.
► Republican State Rep.Mark Baisley, who is an honest-to-goodness “cyber security expert,” had this ridiculous idea for making Colorado voting machines more “secure”:
► Republican Senate candidate Ron Hanks says he’s training election workers to be “bulldogs,” whatever that means.
► Teague Bohlen of Westword has a fun perspective on an upcoming book “written” by Rep.Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert:
There’s a lot that you might say about a book written by Colorado 3rd Congressional District Representative Lauren Boebert. The first thing that comes to mind: Now there’s a book I’d like to read fewer than zero times. Or maybe you’d like to share the late Christopher Hitchens quote about writing: “Everybody does have a book in them, but in most cases that’s where it should stay.”
But a book is exactly what Boebert is birthing this coming July, titled My American Life. It’ll be a 224-page advertisement for her brand, most likely in large font and with wide margins to pad it out. The book’s promotional text foretells its barrel-bottom level of both accuracy (it references “the success of Shooters Grill,” which lost a quarter-million dollars in 2018, did not report as legally required in 2019 and was in part being illegally financed using campaign money) and class (it ends with a line about the “crazy liberals” and “all their bullcrap”). It’s not every day that you see attack language in book-jacket flap text.
But as wordsmith Boebert once said: “There enlies the problem.”
We can all agree that there is ZERO chance that Boebert wrote this book by herself. We’re more interested to know if she plans to actually read it.
► Colorado’s teacher shortage could become a significant issue in the upcoming legislative session.
► One of the smarter things you can do in Colorado is to never attend a GOP function in El Paso County. Seriously.
► As POLITICO reports, Republican gubernatorial candidates in states lost by Donald Trump in 2020 are emulating the former President anyway.
► Environmental groups are making a big push to convince Gov. Jared Polis to take action on abandoned oil and gas wells in Colorado.
► State election officials are trying to figure out a way to allow Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters to oversee the 2022 election without breaking any laws.
► Mandy Lindsay, a former legislative aide to former Rep. Dominique Jackson of Aurora (who was appointed to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) won a vacancy committee appointment to complete the remainder of Jackson’s legislative term. Eric Nelson, thankfully, went nowhere.
► If, for some reason, you actually WANT to get infected with COVID-19, here’s where to go looking for the virus: The Denver Post has more on a study from researchers at the University of Colorado about hotspots in our state.
In a related story, Colorado universities are mandating COVID-19 booster shots for students and staff.
► The second half of 2021 was the warmest period in Colorado history. That’s…not good.
Say What, Now?
Nope, still hasn’t “sunk in” yet:
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► Another right-wing conspiracy theory about the Jan. 6 insurrection bites the dust.
► Increased murder rates seem to have a strong correlation to increased gun purchases. Whouda thunk it?
► Congressperson Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert is going to need a different strategy than this one if she wants to discredit Republican Primary challenger Don Coram.