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► Governor Jared Polis on Thursday unveiled his housing and transportation “roadmap” for the rest of his term in office. As Seth Klamann reports for The Denver Post:
The “Roadmap to Colorado’s Future: 2026” lays out six broad objectives, largely targeted at increasing housing supply and affordability while seeking to dovetail those efforts with improved access to transit and the state’s climate goals. Polis unveiled the plan at an affordable apartment complex near a transit stop in Lakewood, highlighting the connection he’s made in developing more transit and more housing.
Though the governor repeatedly stressed the roadmap as a vision for the state to pursue, the 34-page document further cemented Polis’ broader desire to reform land use and zoning across Colorado, along with calls for more strategic growth to maximize resources, prepare for wildfires and protect the state’s outdoor areas…
…“We have too many obstructions that get in the way of building more homes, especially starter homes — homes in the 200 (thousand), 300 (thousand) range, multifamily and apartments,” Polis said in an interview. His office previously released similar roadmaps to address climate change. “What we’re really seeking to do is create a vision, a compelling vision, for Colorado’s future that’s more livable, more affordable, protects our water and our open space.”
► House Republicans are apparently really going to go forward with trying to
imeach impeach President Biden for…something. As Dana Milbank writes for The Washington Post, much of this seems to be because House leaders really don’t know what else to do with their time:
They have become the Three Stooges of the House’s Biden investigations: Jim, Jason and James, stepping on rakes and getting hit by falling flowerpots as they try to make a case for their predetermined outcome of impeaching the president. Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan is Moe, thundering and blundering in his repeated failures to prove Biden’s “weaponization” of the government. Jason Smith, the in-over-his-head chairman of Ways and Means, is Larry, brainlessly reciting whatever script is in front of him. And Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer is Curly, perpetually getting a pie in the face when the “evidence” he produces is immediately debunked.
“BREAKING,” Comer announced on social media this week, with two siren emojis. “Hunter Biden’s business entity, Owasco PC, made direct monthly payments to Joe Biden.” This was evidence that the president “knew & benefitted from his family’s business schemes.” But it turned out the payments, for all of $1,380 each, were repayments for a 2018 Ford Raptor truck Biden helped his son Hunter buy at a time when the younger Biden was broke because of his drug addiction.
Their act is so weak that these stooges have already gone into reruns. Last week, Jordan’s “weaponization” panel held a hearing on supposed censorship at Twitter — the same topic of a hearing he had in March, with two of the same witnesses. This week, Smith’s committee had a hearing with the same two IRS “whistleblowers” who already testified about the Hunter Biden case before that panel, as well as before the Oversight Committee, earlier this year.
► Not all recent economic news is ideal, however. As The New York Times reports:
The U.S. economy continued to pump out jobs in November, suggesting there is still juice left in a labor market that has been slowing almost imperceptibly since last year’s pandemic rebound.
Employers added 199,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department reported Friday, while the unemployment rate dropped to 3.7 percent, from 3.9 percent. The increase in employment includes tens of thousands of autoworkers and actors who returned to their jobs after strikes, and others in related businesses that had been stalled by the walkouts, meaning underlying job growth is slightly weaker.
Even so, the report signals that the economy remains far from recession territory despite a year and a half of interest rate increases that have weighed on consumer spending and business investment. Reinforcing the picture of energetic labor demand, wages jumped 0.4 percent over the month, more than expected, and the workweek lengthened slightly.
Regardless, the White House is feeling good about economic news as a whole.
► Congressperson Lauren Boebert (R-ifle) is carrying legislation in the House of Representatives that would allow oil and gas companies off the hook for not bothering to clean up drilling sites or cap so-called “orphan wells.”
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► The Washington Post does a great job breaking down why the Electoral College has turned Presidential campaigning into a battle over persuading only about 400,000 Americans:
The 2024 presidential campaign is likely to target a smaller share of Americans than at any point in the modern era, despite massive increases in spending due to online fundraising, a Washington Post analysis found.
During the last election, just 10 states and two congressional districts were targeted by Republican or Democratic nominees’ campaigns. It was a precipitous drop from the 26 states on average that were targeted each year between 1952 and 1980, according to a forthcoming book by political scientists Daron R. Shaw, Scott Althaus and Costas Panagopoulos. The research is based on internal campaign documents, interviews with campaign leaders and media reports.
The Washington Post’s analysis found that just 1 in 4 Americans lived in such areas in 2020, down from roughly 3 in 4 in the earlier period. If the major parties do not contest Florida in 2024, as is widely expected, only 18 percent of Americans would live in battlegrounds…
…“It’s now getting to the point where you are probably talking about 400,000 people in three or four states. That is what it is getting down to,” said Joe Trippi, a Democratic strategist who has worked on presidential campaigns since 1980. “It does mean that more and more people feel that they don’t have a say.”
There was a time early in American history where the Electoral College probably made a lot of sense. That time has certainly passed.
► As The Colorado Sun reports in its “Unaffiliated” newsletter, education funding in Colorado is in a remarkably good place for a change:
Today, Colorado budget writers face a situation unheard of since voters created the fund in 2000. The Joint Budget Committee’s dilemma is no longer how to scrape together money to keep the education fund solvent, but how much money they should spend out of its growing pot.
The account, funded by a 0.33% state income tax, is expected to end this budget year with $1.6 billion in the bank, even after sending $870 million to school districts. That would already be the largest State Education Fund balance in Colorado’s history, and it’s only expected to grow from there.
State lawmakers could eliminate the school funding shortfall next year as planned, and the education fund would still balloon to $3 billion by 2028, Joint Budget Committee staff analysts told lawmakers this week.
“Those (numbers) are unlike anything I’ve ever seen,” said Craig Harper, the JBC’s staff director.
► Trying to make sense of the quickly-expanding field of candidates seeking the Republican nomination for Congress in CO-04? We’ve got you covered with this handy update!
Among the Republicans running to replace the retiring Rep. Ken Buck is former State Senator Jerry Sonnenberg, who is probably going to have some ‘splaining to do about personal financial matters. Sonnenberg’s financial questions are at least probably not as troublesome as those of former State Sen. Ted Harvey, who also joined the race this week.
► Efforts by Colorado officials to lower prescription drug prices by importing RX from Canada are being slowed by Big Pharmaceutical with some assistance from the federal government.
► Governor Jared Polis whipped out the giant novelty scissors for a ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the official opening of the Northern Express Lanes on I-25 from Berthoud to Fort Collins.
► Democratic State Rep. Elisabeth Epps has earned herself a second Democratic Primary opponent. As Colorado Newsline reports:
Two Democrats are now challenging Rep. Elisabeth Epps in the primary next year for House District 6 as lawyer Sean Camacho announced his candidacy on Wednesday.
“Too many politicians have lost focus of why they were elected to the legislature and instead grandstand their personal politics instead of representing their district. Good policy comes from working with people and building a coalition, something I have done my entire life,” Camacho wrote on his website.
Camacho filed to run in both 2020 and 2022, but dropped out before the primary election both times. The Denver-based district includes Capitol Hill, Congress Park and Lowry. It is a solidly safe Democratic seat, so whoever wins the primary is likely to win easily in the general election.
► It’s that time of year for open enrollment if you need health insurance or want to change what you have now. The Colorado Sun helps walk you through the process. Remember to get everything sorted out before Friday, Dec. 15.
► Tuberculosis cases are on the rise in Colorado.
► Former Denver Mayor Michael Hancock is doing what former Denver Mayors often do: Hancock is opening a consulting business with the word “global” in the title.
► Westword examines the continuing migrant crisis in Colorado.
► The Denver Post looks at how Colorado used early childhood money during the COVID pandemic to push some interesting innovations.
► Congressperson Lauren Boebert and Texas Republican Rep. Chip Roy are really mad that the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) won’t include a bunch of stuff that has nothing to do with national defense:
► On the subject of Boebert, the hits keep on coming…even from across the pond. As The Daily Mail reports:
Republican firebrand Lauren Boebert spent hundreds of dollars of campaign donations to watch a sporting event in which the man she was secretly dating was competing, DailyMail.com can reveal.
Images obtained by DailyMail.com show the Colorado congresswoman cheering Aspen bar owner, Quinn Gallagher, 46, over the finish line at the Leadville Trail 100 MTB on August 12…
…According to the race’s website Gallagher finished 774th of the 1,788 competitors, finishing in a time of 9 hours, 58 minutes and 40 seconds – an average pace of just over 10 miles per hour.
He was photographed crossing the finish line. Caught in the corner of the frame, Boebert appears ecstatic as she cheers him on.
Gallagher, you may recall, was Boebert’s date when the infamous “Beetlebert” scandal took off.
Congressman Doug Lamborn is also fighting the “woke” battle over the NDAA so that we can get back to focusing on “lethality.” Too bad the acronym isn’t as catchy for “Make America Kill People Better.”
► Do yourself a favor and watch this video about Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis from “The Daily Show.”
► Here’s proof from The Associated Press that people will pay big money for all sorts of bizarre collectibles:
An official menu for a state banquet that bears the signature of former Chinese leader Mao Zedong has been auctioned for $275,000.Boston-based RR Auction said the menu auctioned Wednesday was for a banquet held in Beijing on October 19, 1956, and commemorated the first state visit to China by Pakistan’s Prime Minister Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy.
The menu was signed in fountain pen by six influential Chinese statesmen, including Mao and Premier Zhou Enlai. The banquet featured foods from both nations and included delicacies such as “Consommé of Swallow Nest and White Agaric,” “Shark’s Fin in Brown Sauce,” and “Roast Peking Duck.”
► As The Washington Post reports, Republicans are significantly more likely than Democrats to believe that white people experience racism MORE than Black people:
In July, Yahoo News commissioned polling from YouGov looking at the extent to which different racial groups were seen as targets of racism. About three-quarters of Americans said that racism was at least a small problem for Black people. Fewer than half said the same of White Americans.
White Americans, meanwhile, were more likely to say that racism was at least a small problem for them. But among Republicans? A third said that racism against White people was a big problem and 7 in 10 said it was at least a small problem — a higher level than Republicans felt was the case for any of the other racial groups included in the poll. [Pols emphasis]
► The Associated Press reports on growing worries about authoritarianism after comments this week from likely Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump that he would only act like a dictator “on day one” of another term in the White House.
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