Get More Smarter on Tuesday (Jan. 17)

Snow is coming tonight — perhaps a lot of snow. 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.

 

FIRST UP…

 

Governor Jared Polis delivered his 2023 “State of the State” speech this morning. Polis spent a lot of time talking about the importance of affordable housing in Colorado; renewable energy advancements; water and drought issues; the high costs of healthcare; and increasing funding for public education. Polis also took a shot at quoting Yoda from “Star Wars”…in a Yoda-ish voice.

 

 We noted last week that ZERO House Republicans in Colorado co-sponsored a resolution to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., something that has not happened before in the state legislature. We had wondered if House Republicans just dropped the ball and made a mistake. As it turns out, this was apparently done on purpose for really stupid reasons:

 

Colorado parents can now apply for free preschool programs — a longtime goal for Gov. Jared Polis dating to his first gubernatorial campaign in 2018. From Chalkbeat Colorado:

The parent application for Colorado’s new free preschool program opened at 8 a.m. on Tuesday — a major milestone in the march toward the program’s launch next summer. The program, funded in part by a voter-approved nicotine tax, will offer 10 to 15 hours a week of tuition-free preschool to 4-year-olds statewide, with some eligible for 30 hours a week. In addition, some 3-year-olds will be eligible for 10 hours a week.

State officials expect about 30,000 children to opt into the universal preschool program in its first year. That’s about half the number that will be eligible.

Click here to apply.

 

 Election denialism took a dangerous turn in New Mexico, as The Associated Press reports:

A failed Republican candidate who authorities said was angry over his defeat in November is facing numerous charges in connection with drive-by shootings targeting the homes of Democratic lawmakers in New Mexico’s largest city.

Solomon Pena, 39, was arrested Monday evening after SWAT officers took him into custody and served search warrants at his home, police said.

Pena, a felon whose criminal past had been a controversial issue during last year’s campaign, repeatedly made baseless claims that the election was “rigged” against him as he posed with “Trump 2024” flags and a “Make America Great Again” hoodie.

“I dissent. I am the MAGA king,” he posted the day after the election. And on Nov. 15, he added: “I never conceded my HD 14 race. Now researching my options.”

He was being held pending an initial court appearance Wednesday on charges including multiple counts of shooting at a home and shooting from a motor vehicle, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, conspiracy and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina described Pena as the “mastermind” of an apparently politically motivated conspiracy leading to shootings at the homes of two county commissioners and two state legislators between early December and early January.

We say it all the time: Words matter. It’s not harmless to pretend that elections are fraudulent.

 

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Check Out All This Other Stuff To Know…

 

Aldo Svaldi writes about Colorado’s real estate market in today’s Denver Post:

After soaring higher and higher through the pandemic, metro Denver’s housing market started losing altitude in the second half of last year. Going into 2023, forecasters disagree on whether the market will pull out of its steep descent and stabilize or be forced to make a hard landing that could wipe out billions of dollars in home equity.

“Overall, my biggest prediction for the market in 2023 is stability,” said Nicole Rueth, a senior vice president of The Rueth Team in Englewood, which is affiliated with One Trust Home Loans. “Q1 will still have slower demand, fewer new listings and lower inventory. Q2 will see the transition to lower rates, more demand and more new listings.”

The Federal Reserve’s efforts to quell rising prices will shape much of what happens this year in the housing market. And keep an eye on labor markets, which have proven resilient so far.

Experts interviewed by Svaldi seem to anticipate more of a “flat” housing market in 2023.

 

The Washington Post examines efforts by lobbyists for fossil fuel industries to reclassify natural gas as a “clean” energy:

When Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) signed a bill this month to legally redefine natural gas as a source of “green energy,” supporters characterized it as the culmination of a grass-roots effort to recognize the Buckeye state’s largest energy source.

“It’s green. It’s clean. And it’s abundant right under our feet, right here in Ohio,” Rep. Troy Balderson (R-Ohio) wrote in an opinion piece in the Columbus Dispatch.

But Ohio’s new law is anything but homegrown, according to documents reviewed by The Washington Post. The Empowerment Alliance, a dark money group with ties to the gas industry, helped Ohio lawmakers push the narrative that the fuel is clean, the documents show. The American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, another anonymously funded group whose donors remain a mystery, assisted in the effort.

ALEC — a network of state lawmakers, businesses and conservative donors — circulated proposed legislation for Ohio lawmakers and has urged other states to follow suit, according to the documents, which were obtained via a public records request by the Energy and Policy Institute, a group that advocates for renewable energy.

“What the emails reveal is just how closely Ohio lawmakers coordinated with a natural gas industry group on the new law that misleadingly defines methane gas as green energy, as the first step of a plan to introduce similar legislation in multiple states,” said Dave Anderson, policy and communications manager for the Energy and Policy Institute.

 

The race to become the next Chairperson of the reeling Colorado Republican Party is picking up lots of new candidates. As The Colorado Sun reports in its “Unaffiliated” newsletter:

Stephen Varela, a Pueblo Republican who ran unsuccessfully last year for a state Senate seat, is the latest person to enter the race to be the next chair of the Colorado GOP, vowing to unify the fractured party, work to boost fundraising, and increase Republican voter registration through messaging that attracts Democratic and unaffiliated voters.

“We don’t have to compromise our platform to engage unaffiliated voters or even engage conservative Democrats,” he said in an exclusive interview with The Unaffiliated. “In order to win some of these races and some of these counties, we’re gonna have to engage the Democrats. It’s … talking to them about what matters. I don’t think we’re doing that right now.”

Varela said as party chair his goal would be to win six state House seats, two state Senate seats and the 8th Congressional District in 2024.

Two Republican activists — Casper Stockham and Aaron Wood — have already declared their intentions to seek the job of State GOP Chair. Failed 2022 congressional (and U.S. Senate) candidate Erik Aadland is also jumping into the race, touting a message of election denialism.

 

As NPR reports, Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is having herself a moment

 

As EJ Dionne, Jr. writes for The Washington Post, Congressional Republicans may have trouble getting much done given that they are again pushing the same tired, failed rhetoric that they have used for years.

 

Republican Rep. Jim Banks will run for Senate in Indiana for the seat being vacated by Republican Sen. Mike Braun

 

New research shows that “Stand Your Ground” laws and others that make it easy for people to carry concealed weapons actually end up causing more gun violence in America. 

 

The biggest election battle in 2023 might not be the race for Denver Mayor — it could be the battle for control in Aurora

 

The New York Times explains why hitting the debt ceiling is really, really bad news. Right-wing Republicans in Congress are leading us to that cliff edge.

Democrats, meanwhile, are confirming that they will NOT negotiate on debt ceiling discussions. Via MSNBC:

Democrats are not just rejecting Republicans’ demands, the party that controls the White House and the Senate are also explicitly rejecting the very idea of negotiations. The Washington Post reported:

Congress must raise the debt limit “without conditions,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Friday, soon after Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen announced that her agency will begin “extraordinary measures” next week to prevent the United States government from defaulting on its payment obligations. “We will not be doing any negotiation over the debt ceiling,” Jean-Pierre said.

In the same press briefing, Jean-Pierre added that the process “should be done without conditions. And that’s how we see this process moving forward.” She again reiterated, “There’s going to be no negotiation over it.”

Jean-Pierre was clearly articulating a position held by all Democratic leaders. Brian Deese, director of the National Economic Council, also said on Friday, “It’s a sacred obligation, the full faith and credit of the United States, and Congress is going to have to deal with the debt limit, and do so without conditions, without games, and without putting our economy at risk.”

 

POLITICO looks at concerns from experts in digital fundraising about the future of this practice for politicians and other political campaigns. 

 

Colorado Public Radio looks at Colorado’s weird practices for establishing local coroners.

 

Sara Wilson of Colorado Newsline looks at proposed legislation in Colorado to make it easier for people to actually understand the language in insurance contracts/proposals.

 

 

Say What, Now?

We’d ask Rep. Lauren Boebert to elaborate, but there’s little chance she could explain:

 

 

Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

 

Via The Washington Post:

Via The Washington Post

 

A group of Republican lawmakers in Wyoming introduced a bill last week urging the legislature to seek to phase out the sale of new electric vehicles by 2035.

Electric vehicles are impractical, and their batteries hog precious resources, the lawmakers said. Fox Business reported that the bill would “protect a state economy largely fueled by gas and oil.” (Wyoming is the country’s eighth largest crude oil producer, according to the federal Energy Information Administration.)

But state Sen. Jim Anderson, who introduced the bill, said he doesn’t actually want electric vehicle sales to be phased out, though the resolution pushes the legislature to seek just that.

“I don’t have a problem with electric vehicles at all,” Anderson said in a phone interview Monday evening. Anyone who wants to buy an electric vehicle should have the freedom to, he said, adding that his friends and family members have them.

Anderson said he just wanted to send a message of disapproval to California regarding that state’s pledge to ban the sale of gas-powered vehicles by 2035. Maybe next time try an Op-Ed instead?

 

► Is Donald Trump really running for President in 2024? He’s certainly going full-blast on the “airing of grievances” tour, as The Huffington Post explains, Trump is very angry at Evangelical Christians for not blindly supporting him anymore.

 

 

ICYMI

 

Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives are fighting over whether or not a document exists that outlines concessions made by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to his lunatic base in order to secure his hold on the gavel. 

 

Check out the latest episode of the Get More Smarter Podcast:

 

 

 

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8 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Dano says:

    "New research shows that “Stand Your Ground” laws and others that make it easy for people to carry concealed weapons actually end up causing more gun violence in America."

    Really? I'm shocked! Shocked I tell you!

  2. Dano says:

    "Is Donald Trump really running for President in 2024? He’s certainly going full-blast on the “airing of grievances” tour, as The Huffington Post explains, Trump is very angry at Evangelical Christians for not blindly supporting him anymore."

    Darth Tweeter is just ahead of the curve on this one. He has skipped the election entirely and gone straight to be the sore loser.

    • Lauren Boebert is a Worthless POS says:

      I love it! They got what they wanted from him (Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Aunt Lydia Coney Barrett) and now they will have no further part of him!

      Now Donald knows how all those women he has bedded over the years have felt.

  3. MichaelBowman says:

    Trump Junior is having a nervous breakdown. Live. On Twitter. For free.

    It's delicious. 

  4. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    Stephen Varela left one major item out of his goals if he becomes Colorado Republican chair. That would be to hold the 3rd congressional district.

  5. kwtree says:

    Stephen Varela can’t run for COGOP Chair- he just accepted an appointment to represent CD3 on the State Board of Education.

    He is the quittingest , switchingest , candidate around- Just in the last year, he switched to Republican for like the 10th time in a decade, ran ( maybe?) for County Commissioner, was on a charter school board for a minute, ran and lost for SD3, and who knows what else? 

    The only consistent motif for Mr. Varela has been finances that don’t pass the smell test.

    Varela’s Twitter feed reveals a fairly traditional GOP refrain: Lower taxes, get rid of regulations, “criminalize fentanyl”. ?, lock up “repeat offenders” . Support 2nd Amendment. His education policy criticizes school lockdowns and COVID policy. The Chieftain’s Ed Perry gave Varela some MAGA sheen. 

    I think the State Board of Education has themselves a stealth Trumper on board , replacing Joyce Rankin who actually was moderate, and knew and cared about education. 

     

    If Varela dumps the Board of Education job and somehow lands the COGOP job, they should hide the petty cash box.

    • JohnInDenver says:

      Varela seems to have the gift of creating clear and powerful impressions — quickly. In an article posted August 12, 2022, Colorado Times Recorder reported

      Tempers flared during Tuesday’s meeting of Pueblo’s Chávez Huerta Preparatory Academy (CHPA) Board. Of the 13 speakers who addressed the board during the public comment period, eight called for the resignation of board president — and Republican Colorado Senate candidate — Stephen Varela….

      During the April board meeting, then CHPA board vice president Stephen Varela expressed the board’s commitment to rebuild the trust lost with the CHPA staff and community. Since that time, actions and decisions being made have not led to any avenues to rebuild that trust that was lost. Therefore, I call for the immediate resignation of current board president Steven Varela.”

      reminds me of the joke from M*A*S*H, recycled and applied to others: 

      (Insider joke: Why do his senate colleagues take an instant disliking to Cruz?

      Answer: It saves time)

      variations in application in a paywalled WaPo article here.

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