Get More Smarter on Wednesday (Jan. 11)

Good luck trying to catch a flight today anywhere in the country. 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.




Qanon House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has his caucus running on full grievance mode in his first week since slogging through 15 different votes before he officially claimed the Speaker’s gavel.

The House will vote today on two abortion-related issues, as The Washington Post explains:

One would condemn attacks “on pro-life facilities, groups, and churches,” while the other would force medical practitioners to provide care to infants who survive an abortion — a very rare occurrence. Neither is expected to advance in the Senate, but the measures underscore a marked change in messaging on the issue now that Republicans control the chamber.

Republicans damn near failed to take the majority in the House of Representatives in 2022 in large part because of voter fears about abortion restrictions stemming from the Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade. It makes absolutely zero sense to kick off their first full week in control by voting on two fairly-obscure anti-abortion measures — as opposed to talking about the economy and inflation — but that’s what happens when you give the “Freedom Caucus” control over everything.


That’s not all that House Republicans are doing this week. From The Washington Post:

The subcommittee, approved on a party-line 221-211 vote, will be empowered to investigate any federal agency that collects information about Americans, even in cases of an ongoing criminal investigation — a carve-out at odds with the Justice Department’s long-standing practice of not providing information about ongoing investigations.

The subcommittee, which will be housed under the Judiciary Committee and led by that panel’s chairman, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), is expected to have resources akin to the House select committee that investigated the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol — a concession extracted last week from GOP leaders by hard-line detractors of Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in exchange for the votes necessary to make him the new speaker.

The broad resolution also explicitly authorizes the select committee to seek access to highly classified information provided by intelligence agencies to the House Intelligence Committee. Members of that panel are often briefed on extremely sensitive information with contents that, if widely shared, could damage national security and endanger the lives of American intelligence officers and their assets.

“Its mandate is whatever Jim Jordan wants to do,” said one congressional investigator who works on oversight issues and who, like others in this report, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal discussions and plans.

Maybe the American people will be really happy to hear that Republicans are sticking their noses into any federal investigation they choose.

The more likely outcome is that this goes completely awry, classified information ends up leaking, and evidence in important investigations is tainted by Rep. Jim Jordan’sPolice Squad.”


Governor Jared Polis was formally sworn-in to a second term on Tuesday. Here’s coverage from The Denver Post; Colorado Newsline; The Colorado Sun; and 9News.

The headline of the day, however, comes from Colorado Public Radio in reference to a loud cannon salute:


 Denver7 has more on the legal threats from gun nuts in the wake of news of several new gun safety measures from the state legislature and local municipalities. 

In related news, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker signed an assault weapons ban into law on Tuesday evening.


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Denver7 provides an update on President Biden’s student loan forgiveness plans:

The repayment plan was first announced in August, but was formally proposed by Education Department officials Tuesday.

Under existing plans, monthly payments are capped at 10% of a borrower’s discretionary income, and those earning less than $20,400 a year aren’t required to make payments, the Associated Press reports. The new proposal would cap payments for undergraduate loans at 5% of borrowers’ discretionary pay and require payments only for those who earn more than about $30,000 a year, according to the AP.

As long as borrowers make their monthly payments, any unpaid interest would not be charged, according to the Associated Press.

Borrowers who make less than $30,500 per year wouldn’t be required to make monthly payments.


► Conrad Swanson of The Denver Post looks at what Congressperson Lauren Boebert claims to have “won” from participating in last week’s protracted House Speaker fight:

“We changed the way bills will be passed,” Boebert said in a release. “We changed the way the government will be funded. We changed the ways committees will be formed. We secured votes on term limits, the fair tax, the Texas Border Plan, and so much more.”

McCarthy offered these changes as concessions in exchange for Boebert’s support. Or, rather, Boebert merely voted “present” during the final House vote for speaker rather than actively voting against McCarthy.

The concessions are largely symbolic, though, Justin Gollob, a political scientist with Colorado Mesa University, said.


Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has been feuding with Boebert recently, dismissed Boebert’s claims that she helped to earn any sort of concessions with her opposition to Kevin McCarthy.


Colorado Springs Republican Congressman Doug Lamborn announced that he has hired a new district director: Former State Sen. Dennis Hisey, who is still under investigation for questionable voting and residency issues during his failed 2022 State Senate campaign against Democrat Tony Exum


Colorado Newsline looks at some of the first handful of bills in the 2023 legislative session. 

In the House, the first five bills center on education investments, health care costs, mental health, language accessibility and water efficiency…

…In the Senate, the first five bills introduced involve housing, health care costs, education and workforce development for mental health and forestry professionals.


Colorado lawmakers are considering legislation to make EpiPens cheaper for Coloradans


Westword is tracking the weed news from the Colorado legislature. 


► Jesse Paul of The Colorado Sun reports on a proposal to increase funding for education:

The Colorado legislature will debate a bill this year that would ask voters in November to waive their future Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights refunds and earmark the money, potentially billions of dollars each year, to public education.

The forthcoming measure, sponsored by state Rep. Cathy Kipp, a Fort Collins Democrat and former Poudre School District board member, and state Sen. Rachel Zenzinger, an Arvada Democrat who has worked as a teacher, is sure to face pushback from Republicans, who are fierce defenders of TABOR refunds. There could also possibly be opposition from some fellow Democrats, including Gov. Jared Polis, who would like to see the money spent elsewhere.

“We need to pay our teachers,” Kipp said. “We need to fund our schools. We do not fund our public schools adequately. TABOR is a part of that.”…

…“This is not long-term sustainable funding,” Kipp said. “But I joined the legislature so we could figure out how to properly fund our public schools. I am looking for solutions. And this is one of them — potentially.”


The Colorado Supreme Court may not wait for the legislature to offer legal reforms, as The Denver Post explains:

The Colorado Supreme Court might not wait for a legislative reform effort to finish before changing how justices are disciplined for unprofessional behavior.

During a public hearing Wednesday, the justices will consider creating a new process for disciplinary cases that involve the Supreme Court bench. That’s one of several reforms proposed by state lawmakers in a package of potential bills last summer.

But the justices are poised to act without waiting for the legislative process to play out — a move that one now-former lawmaker criticized in a Dec. 27 letter addressed to them.


Republican leaders in New York are calling for Rep. George Santos to resign from Congress on account of the fact that the details of his entire life might be fabricated


The first hearing about Hunter Biden’s laptop may take place in early February


A conservative activist named Aaron Wood has formally joined the field of candidates to be the next Chairperson of the Colorado Republican Party.



Say What, Now?

Yeah, we got nothin’:




Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 


No, we definitely did not predict a feud between Dr. Dre and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene


► Republicans truly love nothing better than attacking other Republicans.





Supporters of Congressperson Lauren Boebert in Colorado really, really wish she would dial back the nonsense


Former State Rep. Dave Williams of Colorado Springs, who lost a Republican Primary for Congress in 2022 to Doug Lamborn, is still hanging around the State Capitol as a legislative aide to Rep. Brandi Bradley

Yes, that’s weird.



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One Community Comment, Facebook Comments

  1. Chickenheed says:

    The more time the Republican Party representatives spend "investigating" the less time they spend trying to pass any legislation. Part of me wants to say "Go all out! `Investigate` all the things!"

    They say they're gonna "investigate" everything about anyone halfway associated with President Biden but they're also gonna pass appropriation bills in reasonable ways. I feel like the right hand has no idea what the far-right hand is doing and vice versa and they need to prioritize one thing or the other. I gotta feeling they're gonna focus on the pointless investigations.


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