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► Colorado Republicans and their micro-minority in the state legislature are promising a big battle over some very common sense gun safety regulations, mostly because when Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO) tells Republicans to dance…
As Seth Klamann reports for The Denver Post:
Republicans have promised to do whatever they can to fight the proposals — which include a ban on the sale of assault weapons, age limits and an expansion of the state’s red flag law — and cast them as ineffective solutions to complex problems.
The first of those bills — to institute a minimum three-day waiting period between a would-be gun buyer initiating a background check and taking ownership of the weapon — came before the House’s State, Civic, Military, & Veterans Affairs committee Monday. Three other gun reform measures will be in committee Wednesday. All are expected to pass committees controlled by Democrats, but they’re also certain to attract hours of testimony from opponents and supporters alike.
Fighting that and other bills, Republican minority leader Rep. Mike Lynch has said, is a top priority for his caucus…
…Lynch said the party is likely to launch hours of filibuster delays — akin to the 24-hour filibuster they undertook last year to fight a marquee abortion bill — to stall the gun legislation.
“It’s a bright, shiny thing that’s easier to approach than attacking the harder issues,” Lynch said of the gun reform bills. “We’re not talking about mental health because we’re going to waste the next three weeks dealing with guns. I’m not sure it’s an effort in the right direction.”
Ah yes, the old “why aren’t we talking about mental health legislation” canard. But here’s the thing: When Democrats propose legislation dealing with mental health as it relates to gun violence, Republicans back away from that, too. Monday’s bill to create a waiting period for firearms passed through a committee hearing despite RMGO’s limp protest.
Regardless, State Sen. Tom Sullivan (D-Aurora), whose son, Alex, was killed in the Aurora Theater Shootings, isn’t backing down:
Woah. @Sully_720 just told committee (#SB170, red flag upgrade) that activist (pro gun) told him they would turn Capitol into a circus. Sullivan said he’s going outside to look for the clown car. Not taking prisoners today. @colo_politics
— Marianne Goodland 📰 (@MGoodland) March 8, 2023
The discussion over several gun safety bills is expected to last for hours today in committee hearings. Republicans are making it very clear who they are and who they represent.
► Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers in Colorado are puffing out their chests in order to be declared the most right-wing of them all!
► Senator Michael Bennet (D-Denver) has joined the legislative battle to ban Tik Tok — and potentially other foreign-based technology platforms — because of security concerns. From Colorado Public Radio:
The RESTRICT Act would give the Commerce Secretary new authority to identify and mitigate threats posed by foreign technology products and services in the United States.
“What we’re trying to deal with here is insecure information and communication technology,” explained Virginia Democratic Sen. Mark Warner, the chair of the chamber’s intelligence panel. “These risks are not going away and unfortunately, our tools to date have been relatively limited.”
Warner said the secretary’s new powers would extend “up to and including the opportunity to ban.” He added such decisions would be risk-based, informed by intelligence, and follow a clear process, instead of the current ad hoc approach. The bill would also allow for the declassification of information on how a certain foreign tech might pose undue or unacceptable risks.
Bennet and others noted that while the popular social media app TikTok is the concern now, the threat around foreign tech goes back years, ranging from Russia’s Kaspersky Labs, which produced an antivirus software, to Huawei’s 5G system.
► Vox.com digs into Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is hoping to boost his likely Presidential campaign by staging an all-out assault on the First Amendment.
DeSantis wants to eliminate the First Amendment safeguards that prevent lawsuits seeking to strong-arm the press into silence.
He’s been very clear about this goal: In February, DeSantis led a roundtable discussion brainstorming ideas to weaken the press’s First Amendment protections. Flanked by a panel dominated by defamation plaintiffs and lawyers, the Orbánesque governor attacked the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in New York Times v. Sullivan (1964) for, in his words, empowering a media that will “find a way to smear you.”
Sullivan was a historic decision establishing that the government (and, in many cases, private litigants) may not censor the media, political advocates, and the public at large through defamation suits intended to shut down dissenting voices. The case arose out of a Jim Crow-era official’s attempt to silence civil rights protesters. It established that someone accused of making false claims about a public figure regarding a matter of public concern may not be held liable for defamation, unless the statement was made “with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not.”
Without Sullivan, government officials could potentially use defamation suits to impose financially devastating liability on their political enemies — which is what an Alabama official tried to do in Sullivan itself. And a wealthy individual who disagrees with a newspaper’s coverage could potentially fund lawsuits targeting any false statement made by that newspaper, no matter how minor, until the sheer cost of defending against these suits bankrupts the paper.
New York Times v. Sullivan is a very important ruling that also protects blogs like ours.
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Check Out All This Other Stuff To Know…
► To the surprise of absolutely nobody, Rep. Lauren Boebert is totally onboard with Tucker Carlson’s revisionist history of the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection.
► Fox News is worse than you thought, as Jonathan Last writes for Bulwark.
► The Associated Press has more on another batch of documents made public through the Dominion Voting Services lawsuit against Fox News:
Fox Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch said under oath that he believes the 2020 presidential election was free, fair and not stolen, according to court filings released Tuesday in a voting machine company’s defamation lawsuit over Fox News’ coverage of former President Donald Trump’s false election fraud claims.
In sworn questioning in January by lawyers for Dominion Voting Systems, Murdoch was asked, “Do you believe that the 2020 presidential election was free and fair?”
“Yes,” he replied, according to a transcript.
“The election was not stolen,” he said later.
The transcript and other material released Tuesday expand on earlier disclosures that paint a portrait of behind-the-scenes doubt — or outright dismissals — of Trump’s voting fraud claims, even as the network gave them airtime. In excerpts of Murdoch’s questioning released earlier, he acknowledged that he didn’t stop various Fox News commentators from promoting baseless claims from Trump allies that the election was stolen, even though he could have.
He also acknowledged that some of the network’s hosts — Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo, Jeanine Pirro and Sean Hannity — at times endorsed the false claims.
► Heidi Beedle of The Colorado Times Recorder reports on the Christian anti-abortion movement trying to gain traction throughout the country.
► Judith Kohler of The Denver Post reports on the first meeting of a select committee created to look into excessive energy bills from Xcel Energy. 9News and Denver7 have more on meeting number one.
► Jennifer Rubin of The Washington Post explains how Republican elected officials are gaslighting their own supporters on COVID:
You would think that politicians who trafficked in conspiracy theories and misled Americans about the danger of covid-19 and the effectiveness of vaccines wouldn’t want to dwell on their record. Well, you would be wrong. Among the most brazen lies MAGA Republicans propagate is that compared with those “elite” blue states, red states responded to covid in a superior way that demonstrated the excellence of the right-wing approach to governance. In fact, when it comes to covid and other polices, red states have little to brag about.
► Democratic lawmakers and Gov. Jared Polis are working on legislation to increase funding for math tutoring for K-12 students.
► Colorado Republicans will vote on Saturday to select a new State Party Chair. Former Mesa County GOP Chair Kevin McCarney apparently thinks this is a fine time to launch HIS candidacy for the job. McCarney lost a campaign for State Chair in 2017, when he told Republicans that the Western Slope would secede from Colorado if a Democrat were elected Governor in 2018.
Needless to say, this didn’t happen (though a Democrat WAS elected Governor in Jared Polis).
► A Woodland Park man pled guilty to charges related to his participation in the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection.
► Colorado political leaders, including Gov. Jared Polis, are making a last-minute plea to President Biden to keep the Space Command headquarters in Colorado rather than move it to Alabama.
► Oil and gas companies are making a half-assed pledge to cap orphan wells in Colorado…eventually.
► This is yet another weird bill for Colorado Reps. Lauren Boebert and Ken Buck to vote “NO”:
The House is back & yesterday passed H. R. 1123, Understanding Cybersecurity of Mobile Networks Act, 393-22. Colorado Reps voted:
YES – Caraveo, Crow, DeGette, Lamborn, Neguse & Perlmutter
NO – Boebert & Buck.#copolitics pic.twitter.com/oLNDZNVio3
— Caitlyn Kim (@caitlynkim) March 8, 2023
Also, Kim meant to write “Pettersen” instead of “Perlmutter,”
► Former Colorado Senator Cory Gardner is all-in on supporting South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott for President in 2024. It probably has nothing to do with the fact that Gardner was hired to run a Scott-related Super PAC.
Gardner’s track record here is not particularly good, anyway; just ask former President Marco Rubio.
Say What, Now?
Whatever you say, all-time losingest Colorado Republican Party Chairperson:
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will likely run for President in 2024, and he’ll do it by touting a message that the rest of the country should be more like Florida.
Good luck with THAT message.
► Law enforcement officials say Virginia Republican Del. Matt Farriss intentionally tried to hit a woman with his car after an argument before driving away. Maybe he’s just really mad about his gross mustache.
► Denver Mayoral candidate Leslie Herod is about to find out whether voters are concerned about her checkered history when it comes to working with staffers.
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re: Jennifer Rubin on COVID.
We all know what is being peddled by Republican Governors.
But things are even worse than what Rubin is saying.
1. Democratic states had illness, hospitalization and death surge early in the pandemic. A head-to-head comparison of the ENTIRE time frame skews things to make Republicans and Democrats look similar. Start the measurements from when vaccinations were approved and differences skew the other way.
2. No matter which party convention the Governors go to, much of the day-to-day work around the COVID pandemic was done by county public health agencies. That moves the scale from 57 states, a district, and territories to a much more granular assessment of 3,243 counties and county equivalents in the United States. Charles Gaba has correlated partisan lean (based on county margins in 2020 for Trump), reported vaccinations, and deaths. His most current analysis (and perhaps his last) is on Daily Kos.
My cynical answer to these statistics is that we can stop wondering about how to reduce the MAGAt population and get our country back on track. They're taking care of that all by themselves.
Sure, Cook. Darwin predicted it.
Perhaps the folks in those reddest of red counties are waiting for an old man with a long white beard to show up with a big boat on which he is collecting two of every species of animal.