The United States Men’s soccer team takes on Iran today at Noon for a chance to advance to the knockout stage of the World Cup. Now, 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.
► One of the big questions from the Club Q mass shooting in Colorado Springs revolves around the refusal of local elected officials to use so-called “Red Flag” laws that were intended to help prevent such a tragedy. Governor Jared Polis says he wants to expand the law, as 9News reports:
Polis on Monday called for the expansion of the “red flag” law in Colorado that gives loved ones and law enforcement the ability to take guns away from people who appear to be dangerous.
A roommate, relative or law enforcement officer can ask a judge to remove firearms from someone the court deems to be a “significant risk” to themselves or others. In a statement to 9Wants to Know, Polis’ spokesman said the governor supports expanding the list of those who can request a red flag order – officially known as an “extreme risk protection order” – to include district attorneys and possibly others…
…Despite having the second-most red flag cases in the state, El Paso County has the lowest approval rate in the state among the large Front Range counties. There was an approval in 23% of the county’s 53 cases.
El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder has repeatedly made it clear that he opposes the law. In 2019, the county passed a resolution declaring itself a sanctuary from the enforcement of the red flag law. The sheriff has not filed an application for a red flag order, according to court records.
The Colorado Springs Independent has more on questions about why “Red Flag” laws weren’t used by local officials.
Meanwhile, as The Colorado Sun reports in it’s “Unaffiliated” newsletter:
Pressure is building on Democrats in the Colorado legislature to act — once again — after the state’s latest mass shooting. And preliminary conversations are already underway in the House and Senate Democratic caucuses about what gun control steps to take next year…
…Senate President Steve Fenberg said there are already discussions happening around tweaking Colorado’s red flag law, raising the minimum age to purchase certain firearms, enacting waiting periods between when someone purchases a weapon and can access it and improving the background check process.
► The U.S. Senate will vote today on a same-sex marriage measure. From NBC News:
The Senate is scheduled to vote Tuesday afternoon on legislation to codify federal protections for marriages between same-sex and interracial couples.
Unless some Republican supporters of the bill flip, the Respect For Marriage Act is expected to pass, one day after it cleared another procedural hurdle by a vote of 61 to 35, receiving unanimous support from Senate Democrats and 12 GOP votes, enough to break a filibuster.
“We’re making a really positive difference in people’s lives by creating the certainty that their ability to protect their families will be lasting,” Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., the author of the bill and first openly gay American elected to the Senate, told NBC News.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Tuesday he’s wearing the same tie he wore to the wedding of his daughter and her wife. “It’s personal to me,” he told reporters.
► The Washington Post ponders when the “recession” that so many economists predicted might actually arrive:
The overwhelming view among economists and Fed watchers is that the country is barreling toward a recession. And experts have good reason for the doom and gloom: The Fed is in the middle of an all-out effort to bring down dangerously high inflation, hiking interest rates at the most aggressive pace in decades. On Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell will speak at the Brookings Institution, where he’s expected to set the stage for smaller rate hikes in the coming weeks and months while reinforcing the Fed’s commitment to taming inflation.
Yet the feared recession still hasn’t arrived. Ever since the Fed started aggressively hiking interest rates in March, crucial pillars of the economy have stayed remarkably strong. The economy grew in the third quarter after shrinking in the first half of the year. Gas prices are ticking down. Companies are still eager to hire workers. And for many businesses and households planning for the future, a slowdown just doesn’t seem imminent.
Powell and his colleagues say they will be guided by the economic data, and this week will offer plenty to analyze. New government figures on October job openings come out on Wednesday, and the November jobs report comes out on Friday. But for months, the Fed’s resounding message has made clear that officials will not stop until prices come back down to normal levels, and as a result, the chances of avoiding a recession are slimming.
► If you thought Republican leaders in one of Colorado’s largest counties might have learned a lesson from the 2022 election…think again.
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Check Out All This Other Stuff To Know…
► Jennifer Rubin of The Washington Post wonders why the FBI isn’t doing more to address issues of domestic terrorism:
Earlier this month, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee released a largely overlooked — yet damning — report detailing the failures of national security agencies on this front.
“Over the past two decades, acts of domestic terrorism have dramatically increased,” the committee reports. “National security agencies now identify domestic terrorism as the most persistent and lethal terrorist threat to the homeland.” The uptick is predominately attributable to “white supremacist and anti-government extremist individuals and groups.” Yet “without better data, it is difficult to evaluate whether federal agencies are appropriately allocating resources and setting priorities.”..
…Although FBI Director Christopher A. Wray testified about the threat of domestic terrorism in March 2021 and pledged to work with the Senate committee on reporting, his agency has done little to address it. The committee reports, “the federal government — specifically FBI and [the Department of Homeland Security] — has failed to systematically track and report data on domestic terrorism as required by federal law, has not appropriately allocated its resources to match the current threat, and has not aligned its definitions to make its investigations consistent and its actions proportional to the threat of domestic terrorism.” And even when the feds have accumulated data, “DHS and FBI have not appropriately allocated their resources to match the current threat, despite recent increased investments and efforts.”
► California Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the man who wants to be the next Speaker of the House, is not particularly brave when it comes to speaking out against injustices within his own Republican Party. Via POLITICO:
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday became the latest top Republican to condemn Donald Trump’s dinner with white supremacist Nick Fuentes — while declining to condemn the former president himself.
Making his first comments on Trump’s dinner with Fuentes and the rapper Ye, both of whom have publicly engaged in antisemitism, McCarthy falsely asserted that the former president had already condemned Fuentes. Trump has said multiple times that he did not know who Fuentes was when the white nationalist attended dinner with him as a guest of Ye, formerly known as Kanye West.
“I don’t think anybody should have a meeting with Nick Fuentes, and his views are nowhere within the Republican Party or within this country itself,” McCarthy said following a meeting at the White House with President Joe Biden and congressional leaders. The California Republican added that “I don’t think [Trump] should have associated with [Ye] as well.”
McCarthy’s comments echo those of most other congressional Republicans, who have criticized Trump’s actions but refrained from criticizing the former president himself. Trump’s former vice president, Mike Pence, departed from that norm on Monday by asking Trump to apologize for associating with Fuentes. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is expected to address the matter later on Tuesday.
None of the three Republican members of Colorado’s congressional delegation have said anything at all about Trump’s lunch with white supremacists.
► Conrad Swanson of The Denver Post tries to get to the bottom of a cow-killing mystery near Meeker.
Something killed dozens of cattle around White River National Forest lands in northwest Colorado and state wildlife officials don’t know what it is.
A rancher in the area first reported the death of about 18 calves early last month and Colorado Parks and Wildlife investigators initially thought wolves might be responsible. That estimation was significant because the site sits a considerable distance away from North Park, where the state’s only confirmed pack lives, meaning that if wolves had killed the calves, Colorado likely had a new and previously unreported pack.
By now, the death toll has increased to about 40, CPW Northwest Region Manager Travis Black told the state’s Parks and Wildlife Commission on Nov. 17 and over the past few weeks investigators have found no evidence that wolves are responsible.
“It’s perplexing,” Black said. “We’re scratching our heads a little bit. We don’t know exactly what has occurred up there.”
► Kim Cordova, President of UFCW Local 7, which represents grocery workers in Colorado, is in Washington D.C. for discussions about a potential massive merger between grocery giants Kroger and Albertsons.
► Allen Best of Colorado Newsline wonders about the future of Tri-State Generation and Transmission, Colorado’s second-largest utility company.
► The Colorado Sun looks at some numbers related to Rep. Lauren Boebert’s narrow re-election victory in CO-03 — numbers that look particularly bad for former GOP gubernatorial candidate
Hiedi Heidi Ganahl:
All but one GOP candidate for major statewide office outperformed Republican U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District this year, according to a Colorado Sun analysis of election results.
The Sun compared the votes cast in Boebert’s race with the result of five major statewide contests in 26 of the 27 counties in the 3rd District, which spans the Western Slope into Pueblo and southeast Colorado.
The Sun didn’t analyze the votes cast in Eagle County because just a sliver of the county — an area in the Roaring Fork Valley where roughly 6,000 voters live — is in the 3rd District.
In the 26 counties whose election results were analyzed by The Sun, Boebert beat her Democratic challenger, former Aspen City Councilman Adam Frisch, by 2,375 votes, or 0.7 percentage points. The only Republican candidate for major statewide office who fared worse than Boebert in those counties was Heidi Ganahl, who lost to Democratic Gov. Jared Polis by 1.62 percentage points, or roughly 5,000 votes. [Pols emphasis]
Ganahl lost to Polis statewide by about 20 percentage points in the worst showing by a Republican gubernatorial candidate in two decades. Boebert’s overall margin of victory is expected to be about 550 votes, pending the results of a mandatory recount in the coming weeks. Frisch has already conceded because of the extremely slim chance the recount will change the outcome of the contest.
► RTD has hired its first-ever homeless outreach coordinator.
► A Republican vacancy committee selected Ron Weinberg to fill the seat vacated by the death of Hugh McKean. Meanwhile, McKean’s longtime partner, Amy Parks, was sworn-in to fill the remainder of McKean’s current term, which expires in January.
► The Denver Post looks at the two finalists for a police oversight position in Denver that has been unfilled for two years.
► There are now at least 20 candidates hoping to become Denver’s next Mayor.
► As The New York Times reports, Congressional leaders say they will act to prevent a potential nationwide rail strike.
► As Axios Denver reports, voter turnout in Colorado dropped slightly in 2022 compared to 2018. Turnout in Colorado dropped to 58.5% of the voting-eligible population, down from 61.4% in 2018.
► Colorado Public Radio reports on concerns over stagnant wages among many employees at Colorado State University.
Say What, Now?
Good thing Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is back on Twitter!
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► Republican Congressional leaders are really excited about launching a bunch of silly investigations into things that happened years ago.
► One Republican-led county in Arizona continues to refuse to certify election results…which could end up helping Democrats.
► Lindsay Datko, the nutball leader of the “Jeffco Kids First” organization that played a significant role in promoting the widely-discredited nonsense about “furries” in schools (which GOP gubernatorial candidate
Hiedi Heidi Ganahl talked about incessantly) is now pushing a new lie via Facebook. The message below is complete nonsense; Colorado Community Media is NOT considering a retraction of this October story from reporter Rylee Dunn.
Here’s what the Arvada Press says in response:
Editor’s note: Lindsay Datko contacted Colorado Community Media after online publication of this story to seek a retraction, stating that she sought “anonymous verbal statements from children.” Datko disagreed with the article’s sentence, “Datko urged the nearly 6,000 members of Jeffco Kids First to have their kids secretly record their classmates.” Screenshots from the group show she made that request. Datko confirmed to Colorado Community Media that she received pictures of students but indicated to the group that she has not used them.
► “Gaslighting” is the word of the year.
► Don’t miss the latest episode of The Get More Smarter Podcast, featuring an interview with Congresswoman-elect Brittany Pettersen providing a look behind the curtain about how newly-elected Members of Congress get acclimated to Washington D.C..