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January 17, 2024 11:50 AM UTC

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (Jan. 17)

  • 2 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

We swear we’re going to get back to doing these updates more regularly. 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…

Former President Donald Trump had no trouble cruising to victory in the Iowa caucuses on Monday. If new results from a Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll are any indication, Trump is well on his way to another Republican Presidential nomination:

The Colorado Republican Party recently joined the Ohio Republican Party in officially endorsing Trump for the GOP nomination well before each state even has a chance to vote.

Meanwhile, both CNN and ABC News have cancelled planned Republican Presidential debates after also-ran candidate Nikki Haley said she would no longer participate if Trump continued to duck the debates. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis helpfully offered to debate himself, but the networks weren’t interested.

 

We’ve long noted in this space that the American economy is performing amazingly well in general, but that many Americans don’t seem to be feeling that success personally. 

That might be changing, as Axios reports:

Americans overall have a surprising degree of satisfaction with their economic situation, according to findings from the Axios Vibes survey by The Harris Poll…

…GDP growth is the highest in the developed world, inflation is headed back down to optimal levels, and consumer spending keeps on growing.

By the numbers: 63% of Americans rate their current financial situation as being “good,” including 19% of us who say it’s “very good.” [Pols emphasis]

Check out the Axios story for more details, including these eye-popping results:

Americans’ outlooks for the future are also rosy. 66% think that 2024 will be better than 2023, and 85% of us feel we could change our personal financial situation for the better this year.

That’s in line with Wall Street estimates, which have penciled in continued growth in both GDP and real wages for the rest of the year.

Stunning stat: 77% of Americans are happy with where they’re living — including renters, who have seen their housing costs surge over the last few years and are far more likely than homeowners to describe their financial situation as poor. [Pols emphasis]

Here’s the closer:

The bottom line: Americans who believe their community’s economy is strong outnumber those who think it’s weak. They’re right.

If Americans are generally feeling good about the economy when they head to the polls in October/November, then Democrats should be in pretty good shape.

 

The American economy will be doing even better if House Republicans can get off their asses and help pass a new extension to the provably-effective Child Tax Credit.

 

► Seth Klamann of The Denver Post has more on where the state legislature is focusing its efforts in a week shortened by the MLK Holiday and the closure of offices due to frigid temperatures, including discussions on expanding the earned income tax credit and property taxes.

 

 

 

Click below to keep learning things…

 

 

Check Out All This Other Stuff To Know…

 

You can count the staff at the Arkansas Valley Voice among the Coloradans annoyed with the neverending political obstructionism from the Republican micro-minority in the state legislature:

The winter session of the 74th Colorado General Assembly only began last Wednesday, but by Friday, January 12, the calls for respect, and a cooperative approach forward to pass bipartisan legislation dissolved into a Republican filibuster; brief, but pointed, led by Republican Scott Bottoms (Colorado Springs)…

…Recently released data from Colorado Democrats indicates that last session, Republicans – despite their historically small minority, holding only 19 of 65 seats in the House, or 29.2 percent– used Washington, D.C.-style obstruction tactics to take up nearly 60 percent of the legislative discussion time on the floor during the 2023 session.

That adds up to nearly 130 hours — or more than 5 days — of Republicans taking up floor time to obstruct progress.

Bottoms is already suing House Speaker Julie McCluskie and Colorado Governor Jared Polis over the tax relief passed during the special session because he was not allowed to read out loud his lengthy written objection during that session.

Coloradans can only hope that the calls for more civil behavior during this session are heard.

There’s a reason we call him Scott “There is No” Bottoms.

 

Civility in the state legislature is also hard to come by when some Republican lawmakers — including Rep. Scott Bottoms’s buddy, Rep. Ken DeGraaf — are openly supporting the idea of LITERALLY KILLING Democrats.

 

Congressperson Lauren Boebert (R-Somewhere in Colorado) continues to be little more than a walking, talking MAGA MadLib:

 

Boebert was rightly blasted for this tweet by the folks over at “The Grio.”

From a more strategic perspective, Boebert clearly didn’t get the memo that even Republican voters don’t care about “wokeism.” Focusing on wokeness didn’t exactly help Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in his bid to become the Republican Presidential nominee in 2024.

 

On the subject of Boebert, she continues to run into entrenched opposition in her misguided attempt to win the Republican nomination in CO-04 instead of running for re-election in her home district of CO-03. As former state lawmaker and onetime temporary State Treasurer Mark Hillman writes for the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman:

I’m not a frequent Boebert critic, but this decision reveals an irresponsibly self-centered approach to a serious job. Too many politicians of both parties now confuse serving in Congress with starring in a reality TV show.

Boebert’s transition to celebrity-politician was manifest by her disgraceful behavior during a September date night at a Denver theater where she engaged in an extended groping session with her date, quarreled with others in the audience when asked to sit down and stop vaping, and displayed the trademark slogan of self-importance (“do you know who I am?”) upon being escorted from the theater…

…She justified her plans to jump districts by claiming she doesn’t want to risk Republicans losing CD3. But that horse has already left the barn, thanks entirely to Boebert. Her leading Democrat opponent has more than $5 million in the bank — a massive head start against any Republican.

If she’s squandered the GOP advantage in CD3, why would CD4 Republicans want to import her baggage — and the Democrat money it attracts? [Pols emphasis]

Obviously, Boebert is making this switch because being in Congress is the best job she’s ever had.

Oof.

Hillman does make a point that we’ve long thought was being missed: Why would “Hollywood” donors suddenly stop writing checks to Boebert opponents just because she changed districts?

 

Colorado’s Lieutenant Governor is in Fort Collins today spreading the good news. From a press release:

Lieutenant Governor Dianne Primavera will visit Coyote Ridge Elementary School in Fort Collins to highlight the important work Colorado AmeriCorps members are leading and to celebrate the recent success of the Reading Corps program.

Reading Corps launched in 2003 and uses AmeriCorps members as literacy tutors. The program has been replicated in 13 states and is backed by a large body of research, including rigorous third-party randomized control trials. The program consists of daily 20-minute one-on-one or small group literacy interventions with students in kindergarten through third grade identified as needing extra support in reading. Colorado Youth for a Change implements the program in Colorado and served 2,682 students through the program last year.

A recent evaluation of Colorado’s Reading Corps program has revealed an average student growth equivalent to several months of additional instruction. Student growth was even more significant among English-language learners (ELL), equating to nearly 16 extra weeks for ELL. Cost-benefit analyses show that the program provides a strong return on investment, exceeding $5 for every $1 invested.

 

Denver Mayor Mike Johnston is in Washington D.C. this week to ask for more federal help dealing with the migrant crisis.

 

The White House has been working for months on trying to reduce or outlaw so-called “junk fees” that show up on consumer bills for everything from cellular service to plane tickets. Here in Colorado, a new lawsuit is targeting landlords. As Sara Wilson reports for Colorado Newsline:

A Colorado resident brought a proposed class-action lawsuit against the corporate apartment management company Greystar last week, alleging that the company charges unnecessary hidden fees on top of monthly rent to pad their bottom line.

The lawsuit alleges that these fees “operate as a hidden tax” on tenants.

“Late disclosure of junk fees is particularly problematic in apartment rental contracts, where tenants may not learn of the fees (or see a copy of their lease) until shortly before move-in, after they have given notice to a prior landlord or invested significant moving expenses,” the lawsuit reads.It was filed in Denver District Court on behalf of Nichole Collins, who lived in a Greystar building until April 2023, after they doubled the rent of her unit.

“Greystar acquired management of Nichole’s apartment complex after she’d already moved in,” Jason Legg, lead attorney from Justice for the People Legal Center, said in a statement. “Greystar sent her a lease renewal offer that only disclosed the headline rent, she accepted the offer, then learned of the mandatory fees later when they sent their form lease — analogous to the experience of new tenants provided a ‘welcome home letter’ that doesn’t include the fees and then, after they’re locked in, the form lease that imposes them.”

 

State lawmakers are considering a ban on sodium nitrate, a food preservative that is becoming a popular method for suicide attempts.

 

Elizabeth Hernandez reports for The Denver Post on options Colorado families can pursue in order to lower the cost of college tuition.

 

 House Speaker “MAGA” Mike Johnson has apparently caved — again — to extremists in his party over the issue of aid to Ukraine. As The New York Times reports:

Speaker Mike Johnson on Wednesday threw cold water on the idea of striking an immigration deal with Democrats that could revive stalled legislation to send aid to Ukraine, hours before a meeting in which President Biden planned to make a renewed push for the plan.

“I don’t think now is the time for comprehensive immigration reform because we know how complicated that is,” Mr. Johnson said Wednesday morning ahead of an afternoon meeting at the White House. “You can’t do that quickly. I do think it’s past time to secure the border.” [Pols emphasis]

Mr. Johnson said he told Mr. Biden on Thursday during a 30-minute phone call that he was dug in on the matter, and would deliver the same message face to face later Wednesday. Mr. Biden has summoned Mr. Johnson and other congressional leaders as well as the top-ranking national security committee lawmakers in Congress, in an urgent bid to break a monthslong logjam over military assistance for Ukraine and the border security policies Republicans have insisted are a requirement for the aid.

Johnson needs some work on his messaging. We don’t want to work on comprehensive immigration reform because we need to secure the border really doesn’t make a lot of sense.

 

Governor Jared Polis announced $3.5 million in new grant money available for land and water conservation projects.

 

POLITICO ponders the question of who will succeed former Senator John Kerry as the next special presidential envoy for climate change. 

 

Vox.com takes a look at how Donald Trump’s various legal troubles will intersect with key 2024 election dates. 

 

 

Say What, Now?

The Colorado Republican Party is now REALLY excited about former Republican Presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy…now that he has dropped out of the race and endorsed Donald Trump.

 

 

 

 

Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

 

E.T. phone…Kentucky?

As The Associated Press explains:

The Lexington Convention and Visitors Bureau used an infrared laser to beam a message into space to invite extraterrestrial travelers.

“The first thing you’ll notice as you descend through Earth’s atmosphere above Central Kentucky is the lush green countryside that surrounds Lexington’s vibrant city center. That’s our famous bluegrass,” the message begins. It goes on to describe gentle rolling hills, horse farms and bourbon before suggesting places to stay and eat and shop.

The idea for the campaign came from recent UFO revelations and advances in deep space imaging that have fueled the belief that we are not alone in the universe, the visitors bureau said in a statement this month announcing the move.

 

Republican Presidential candidate Nikki Haley can’t even offer up a legitimate comment on questions about Donald Trump’s sexual abuse and harassment charges. From HuffPost:

Nikki Haley claimed she hasn’t been paying attention to the many legal cases involving her political opponent Donald Trump, and critics were incredulous.

The GOP presidential candidate was asked by CNN’s Dana Bash on Tuesday, “You’re the only woman in this race. How do you feel about your party’s front-runner being held liable for sexual abuse?”

Haley replied: “I haven’t paid attention to his cases, and I’m not a lawyer. All I know is he’s innocent until proven guilty.” [Pols emphasis]

Bash tried again, noting that many Republicans dismiss the cases against the former president as witch hunts.

Haley argued that “some of the cases have been political,” but “this one I haven’t looked at.”

If Haley can’t even criticize Trump for his well-known sexual harassment issues, then she might as well just pack it in.

 

 

ICYMI

 

► Legislative Republicans who continue to whine about being in a micro-minority don’t have a leg to stand on in their accusations against Democrats in the majority. The numbers clearly show that Republicans DOMINATED speaking time in the 2023 legislative session, despite having very little substance to offer.

 

► Republican State Rep. Scott “There is No” Bottoms was the only Republican lawmaker in Colorado to oppose a resolution honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

 

 

Don’t forget to give Colorado Pols a thumbs up on Facebook and Twitter. Check out The Get More Smarter Podcast at GetMoreSmarter.com

 

 

Comments

2 thoughts on “Get More Smarter on Wednesday (Jan. 17)

  1. If Haley’s answer on the sexual abuse case is sincere, then she’s a moron.  Trump has already been found liable, it’s just a damages trial now.  So, at least civilly, he is no longer “innocent”.  

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