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► Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will remotely address a joint session of Congress this week as Russian troops move ever closer the the Ukrainian capitol of Kyiv. Zelensky will likely renew his ask that the United States commit fighter jets to the conflict.
President Biden, meanwhile, is considering a trip to Europe in order to help demonstrate America’s support for Ukraine.
► Marshall Zelinger of 9News reports on the dueling election reform banjos this week in the state legislature:
Coincidentally (sarcasm), Republican House Rep. @HanksUSSenate has his election overhaul bill in committee today. It would, among other changes, require in-person voting, counting of results within 24 hours, ‘anti-fraud’ paper ballots. Spoiler: it will die. #copolitics #coleg
— Marshall Zelinger (@Marshall9News) March 14, 2022
► Colorado’s economy continues to perform well as we get further away from the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a press release from the Governor’s office:
Governor Jared Polis and the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment announced today that Colorado’s unemployment rate has declined to 4.1%, the lowest rate reported since February 2020. Under the Polis administration’s leadership, Colorado’s economic recovery has benefited from consecutive months of declining unemployment rates, and job growth over the past year reached 5.5%, compared to the U.S. rate of 4.6%…
…January’s increase of 6,300 private sector jobs has led to a full recovery of jobs lost since February 2020. Job recovery rates across the private sector in Colorado reached 103.1%, exceeding the U.S. rate of 89.8%, with no private sector industries experiencing significant over-the-month declines. Additionally, Colorado’s total nonfarm employment is only 6,100 jobs from hitting pre-pandemic levels.
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► As Nate Cohn reports for The New York Times, Americans are liking them some Ukraine:
As recently as a year ago, many Americans did not know what to make of Ukraine — if they knew anything about it at all. One-third of voters couldn’t say whether it was friendly or unfriendly to the U.S.
In a striking — if perhaps not surprising — shift over the last year and since Russia’s invasion, an overwhelming majority of Americans now say Ukraine is a friendly country. In a new YouGov survey, 81 percent of Americans say Ukraine is either friendly or an ally, a figure that rivals or even exceeds that of many longtime U.S. allies like France or Japan. Only Britain, Canada and Australia earned more favorable ratings from voters.
► The Colorado Times Recorder has more on last week’s Republican gubernatorial debate in Douglas County. We also chronicled the entire affair in a “Debate Diary.”
► As Jennifer Rubin writes for The Washington Post, be wary of poll numbers about complex issues that the average American voter might have a tough time grasping:
ABC News reports: “According to ABC News/Ipsos data, 70% of Americans disapprove of [President] Biden’s handling of gas prices, though even more respondents — 77% — support his proposal to ban Russian oil, even if it means paying more at the pump.” Umm. It’s hard to see how those two sentiments are consistent.
Many voters, of course, want to have their cake and eat it, too. Morning Consult’s poll found, “49% … say the United States should sanction Russian oil and natural gas exports, compared with 28% who say that these penalties should only be imposed if they do not affect costs.” Do they really imagine it’s possible to ban Russian oil and not affect prices?
Here’s our breakdown from earlier this month on the truth about why gas prices have been rising so sharply (HINT: It has virtually nothing to do with politicians in either political party).
► For more on the true story of the rising cost of gasoline, read this Denver Post opinion column from Ian Silverii:
At the end of 2021, BP, Exxon Mobil, Shell, and Chevron all reported the highest profits they’ve seen since 2014, and every single company attributed those record profits to surging oil prices as post-pandemic demand increased and supply had not yet met that demand.
Republican politicians and their backers are doing absolutely everything they can to help these unscrupulous corporations bilk us for every penny while the gettin’s good, and disingenuously trying to lay the blame for the rising price of gasoline at the feet of President Joe Biden and Democrats everywhere, claiming that progressive policies are holding the industry back from unleashing American energy to the world.
Last week, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki pointed out that U.S. oil companies are sitting on over 9,000 federal drilling permits, claiming that these should be tapped before additional leases are granted. The industry balked, arguing that “developing a lease takes years and substantial effort to determine whether the underlying geology holds commercial quantities of oil and/or gas,” undermining their own point while they’re making it: if it takes so long to produce oil from a new lease, how on earth would issuing new leases have any discernible effect on gas prices today?
► The Denver Post reports on a Friday visit to Colorado by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.
► Charles Ashby of The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports on last week’s work by Congressperson Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert:
U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert voted against bills last week to provide aid to Ukraine and to ban oil imports from Russia, but then introduced a bill that calls for both.
It’s almost like Boebert isn’t paying attention to what’s happening in Congress.
While we’re on the subject, Boebert is very angry that she is being connected to embattled Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters…even though Boebert maintained those connections herself.
And finally, Peters and her attorney, former Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler, have filed a strange lawsuit against Mesa County.
► The Denver Post reports on the good that came from a two-year suspension of federal student loan payments. The suspension is set to expire on May 1 unless President Biden opts to extend the moratorium.
► Republican Jan Kulmann (CO-08) and Democrat Alex Walker (CO-03) collected enough petition signatures to qualify for the June Primary ballot.
► Colorado Republicans spent 23 hours debating an abortion rights bill for no practical reason.
► Colorado Public Radio reports on the first steps toward implementing universal Pre-K education in Colorado.
► CBS4 Denver has more on another legislative attempt to change Colorado’s participation in Daylight Saving Time. BTW, if you didn’t set your clock an hour forward on Sunday, you should probably do that now.
► Axios Denver reports on where things stand in the Colorado legislature at the halfway mark of the 2022 session.
► Members of the Douglas County School Board are split over how to respond to lawsuits.
Say What, Now?
This is the same person who blames President Biden for something multiple times per day:
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► If you donate money to anything with Donald Trump’s name on it because you think you might win some sort of prize involving The Big Orange Guy, then this Washington Post story will make you sad.
► “Stealth omicron.” That sounds…not good.
► Republican Senate candidates around the country are spending a lot of time bashing each other. If nothing else, appreciate this POLITICO story for the “Thunderdome” reference.
► Kyle Clark of 9News tells it like it is: Republicans are “the party of law and order…until the law gave them an order.”
— Kyle Clark (@KyleClark) March 11, 2022
► Don’t miss our interview with Secretary of State Jena Griswold on The Get More Smarter Podcast: