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February 14, 2024 12:04 PM UTC

Get More Smarter on Valentine's Day (Feb. 14)

  • 1 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

Roses are red, violets are blue; we enjoy GMS updates, we hope you do also. 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…

Democrats picked up an early 2024 election victory on Tuesday by taking the seat vacated by the resignation of the politician who called himself “George Santos.” From The New York Times:

In the heart of Long Island, where Republicans have won every major election in the last three years, Tom Suozzi fought through ripping political headwinds to claim victory on Tuesday in a special House election, seizing a coveted swing district that had been held by George Santos.

The outcome flipped one of the five House seats Democrats need to retake the majority in November, giving the party a badly needed shot of optimism. But Mr. Suozzi’s campaign also provided something that may prove more valuable, a playbook for candidates across the country competing on turf where President Biden and his party remain deeply unpopular.

The strategy went something like this: Challenge Republicans on issues that they usually monopolize, like crime, taxes and, above all, immigration. Flash an independent streak. And fire up the Democratic base with attacks — in this case, nearly $10 million in ads — on the abortion issue and former President Donald J. Trump, the likely Republican nominee for the White House.

“It’s a very interesting lesson to Democrats that you can escape your opponent’s attacks on immigration by not only leaning into the issue, but doubling down on it,” said Steve Israel, a former congressman from the district who once led the House Democrats’ campaign arm.

“Instead of trying to pivot around the issue, he charged into it,” Mr. Israel added.

 

House Speaker “MAGA” Mike Johnson finally got his caucus to do a thing on Tuesday, though it was not a very impressive feat. As The Washington Post explains:

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas became the first sitting Cabinet secretary to be impeached Tuesday — with House Republicans succeeding in the public rebuke of the Biden administration’s immigration policies. The impeachment passed by a single vote.It was House Republicans’ second attempt to impeach Mayorkas, after a similar vote narrowly failed last week.

Democrats and some scholars have voiced concern about impeachment — the most serious tool the U.S. Constitution provides to rein in a public official — being used as a partisan weapon…

…House Republicans voted to impeach Mayorkas on counts of “willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law” and “breach of public trust” related to his handling of immigration and security at the U.S.-Mexico border. All Democrats present opposed the move — together with Republican Reps. Mike Gallagher (Wis.), Ken Buck (Colo.) and Tom McClintock (Calif.), who also voted against last week’s attempt, saying the case doesn’t meet the bar for impeachment.

This is a fairly pointless thing to do, since both Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. Senate have been clear that they have no interest in wasting time on a silly impeachment trial.

House Republicans would rather do this nonsense than discuss an actual immigration reform bill, because fixing the immigration problem would mean that they wouldn’t be able to keep talking about it during the 2024 election cycle.

 

Colorado College is out with its 14th Annual “State of the Rockies” poll. From a press release:

The poll, which surveyed the views of voters in eight Mountain West states (Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming), found 67 percent of voters are worried about the future of land, water and wildlife. Majorities of voters view issues like loss of habitats and declining fish and wildlife populations, inadequate and polluted water supplies, microplastics, uncontrollable wildfires, air pollution, loss of pollinators, and loss of natural spaces as extremely or very serious problems in their state. 66 percent of voters think the effects of climate change in their state over the past 10 years are significant. The levels of concern about climate change, wildlife habitats, water supplies, pollution, and the loss of natural areas are at all time highs over the poll’s history.

Against that backdrop, conservation is top of mind with Westerners ahead of the 2024 elections. Compared to other issues like the economy, health care and education, 85 percent of voters in the West – including 74 percent of Republicans, 87 percent of Independents, and 96 percent of Democrats – say issues involving clean water, clean air, wildlife and public lands are important in deciding whether to support an elected official. 37 percent of voters describe those issues as “very important” and the “primary factor in deciding whether to support an elected official.” Conservation issues are especially important among many swing voter groups which could help decide close elections, including voters under 35 (91 percent), moms (87 percent), Latinos (89 percent), voters who are new to their state (91 percent), and moderates (89 percent).

Click here to see the poll results.

 

Check out the latest episode of the Get More Smarter Podcast, featuring an interview with pollster Andrew Baumann:

 

Click below to keep learning things…

 

 

Check Out All This Other Stuff To Know…

 

The “Republican Caucus Curse” is very real. Since 2010, there have been 14 sitting Republican legislators who have sought higher office. None of those 14 have succeeded, and only two — Barbara Kirkmeyer (2022) and Lang Sias (2018) — even made it to a General Election. There are four Republican legislators trying to break the curse and move up the political ladder in 2024: Reps. Richard Holtorf and Mike Lynch (CO-04); State Sen. Bob Gardner (CO-05); and State Rep. Gabe-ish Evans (CO-08).

The “Republican Caucus Curse”

 

Donald Trump badgered Republican National Committee Chairperson Ronna McDaniel long enough that she finally quit. Trump is now trying to install his daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, as the new Co-Chair of the RNC. As “The Hill” newspaper reports, this would not be ideal for anyone in the Republican Party not named Trump:

Lara Trump doubled down on her support for her father-in-law, former President Trump, vowing Tuesday to spend “every single penny” of Republican National Committee (RNC) funds to reelect him to the White House.

Asked by Newsmax host Rob Schmitt what needs to change to make the RNC more competitive, Lara Trump said Tuesday: “The RNC needs to be the leanest, most lethal political fighting machine we’ve ever seen in American history.”

“That is the goal over the next nine-and-a-half months. If I am elected to this position, I can assure you, there will not be any more $70,000 — or whatever exorbitant amount of money it was — spent on flowers,” she continued. “Every single penny will go to the No. 1 and the only job of the RNC — that is elected Donald J. Trump as president of the United States and saving this country.”

The pledge comes just days after the former president threw his support behind his daughter-in-law to serve as co-chair of the RNC. Donald Trump called her “an extremely talented communicator who is dedicated to all that MAGA stands for” while also endorsing North Carolina GOP Party Chair Michael Whatley to serve as RNC chair.

Lara Trump is married to Eric Trump, so you know she makes smart decisions in general. McDaniel is expected to step down as RNC Chair following the South Carolina Presidential Primary on Feb. 24.

 

Some Democrats in the state legislature are pushing a bill to severely restrict oil and gas drilling in Colorado. From The Colorado Sun:

Democratic senators say they will introduce a bill banning new oil and gas drilling in Colorado by 2030 and demanding companies pay more to seal up old wells, bringing into the Capitol a fight that has previously played out in statewide ballot petitions and fall elections.

Environmental groups have been moving to get a similar ban on the November 2024 ballot, but are strongly backing the legislative effort by Sens. Sonya Jaquez Lewis of Boulder County and Kevin Priola of Henderson. They say the ban on new drilling would be phased in to first protect minority and lower-income residents in disproportionately impacted communities, before becoming complete in 2030.

The ban would allow for continued pumping from existing wells, but would also phase out modifications to those thousands of wells through redrilling or deepening. Unused drilling permits would expire. Previous operators of orphaned wells would have to pay more to hasten state cleanup efforts.

Opponents of this legislation will certainly say that this legislation will destroy the oil and gas industry in Colorado. Too bad that already cried to that wolf in 2019 over SB-181.

 

Colorado Public Radio reports on the return of an Assault Weapons Ban in the state legislature:

As introduced, [the] bill would ban the sale and transfer of assault weapons, but not the possession of them, so people who already own these types of firearms would be allowed to keep them.

It would define an assault weapon as a “semiautomatic rifle” that uses detachable magazines and has one of a number of features, these include a pistol grip, a folding stock, a barrel shroud, a threaded barrel, among others. The draft also would ban certain .50 caliber rifles, semi automatic pistols, shotguns with revolving cylinders and semiautomatic shotguns.

The bill includes some exemptions, including for police and military members who keep these weapons for work. It would still allow banned firearms to be used at firing ranges.

Meanwhile, a separate bill seeking to increase requirements for receiving a concealed carry permit passed out of its first committee this week.

 

If you are surprised that Colorado Republican Party Chair Dave Williams is using his position to advance his own political aspirations in CO-05…well, then you really haven’t been paying attention.

 

► Ann Schimke of Chalkbeat Colorado reports on legislation to prevent ridiculous book banning efforts:

Some Colorado lawmakers want to make it harder to pull books from the shelves of public libraries and school libraries, especially when the challenges come from people who live outside the community.

Sen. Bill 24-49 would create a standard process through which books or other library materials could be challenged and outlines the makeup of school district committees that would have the authority to remove books from school libraries. The bill also spells out who can submit a book challenge. At a school library, challengers could be an enrolled student or the parent of a student. At a public library, a resident of the local library district could challenge a book.

The bill, which will be heard by the Senate Education Committee on Feb. 22, comes at a time when book bans and challenges are more prevalent than they’ve been in decades. Often, those challenging books raise objections about how subjects like race, racism, or LGBTQ issues are handled. In some cases, dozens of challenges originate with one person.

Idiotic book bans in places such as Florida have resulted in scary tomes such as dictionaries being removed from shelves.

 

Protestors calling for a ceasefire in Gaza succeeded this week in disrupting a Denver City Council meeting — again — but gained absolutely zero ground in achieving their ultimate goal. You know, because the Denver City Council HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH FOREIGN POLICY WHATSOEVER.

 

Huge local political scandal! Well, not really “huge.”

 

The lunatic right-wing majority on the Douglas County School Board continues to demonstrate why they shouldn’t be leading so much as a parade. From The Denver Post:

Douglas County school board President Christy Williams on Tuesday selected Timothy Moore, a former sheriff’s deputy who was disciplined for political campaigning, to fill a vacant seat on the Board of Education.

State law required Williams to decide who would replace President Mike Peterson after board members repeatedly split 3-3 each time they voted on two finalists for the job.

Peterson resigned last year. Moore, who previously worked as a Douglas County Sheriff’s Office deputy, will serve the remainder of Peterson’s term, which was set to expire in November 2025…

…A 2020 internal investigation determined Moore violated Douglas County Sheriff’s Office policies, including participating in election campaigns, after he sent a statement “pledging his support to help get Republican candidates elected,” according to a disciplinary report obtained by The Denver Post through an open records request.

Moore drafted the statement after a Douglas County Republican Party leader contacted him following then-Sheriff Tony Spurlock’s endorsement of a Democratic candidate for county commissioner and requested statements from command staff pledging to only support Republican candidates in the election, according to the report.

WCGW?

 

As POLITICO reports, House Republicans are feeling quite a bit of regret over ousting former Speaker Kevin McCarthy and selecting a new leader who has no earthly idea what he’s doing:

For nine months in his speakership, Kevin McCarthy seemed like a man with a title but no power — desperately improvising to keep his job amid factions ready to turn on him in an instant.

Now, in his fourth month in alleged power, Speaker Mike Johnson has accomplished what once seemed unthinkable: making McCarthy seem like a skilled strategist and master of the House.

Interviews with multiple Republicans over the last few days across multiple House factions — people who consider themselves on Johnson’s team, as well as those who were never enthusiastic about his rise — describe a speaker who seems to be winging it on major questions of strategy, messaging and basic vote-counting. [Pols emphasis]

Dismay over Johnson’s seemingly limp grasp on the speaker’s gavel has even produced a new trend of sorts: McCarthy nostalgia.

Who could have possibly seen this coming — aside from everyone?

 

A new poll shows that about one-third of Republicans nationwide believe that recording artist Taylor Swift is part of a “covert government effort” to re-elect President Biden.

 

The Independent Presidential campaign of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is not going well. At all.

 

Cheese crisis!

 

Pueblo has enacted a camping ban on city property. 

 

 

Say What, Now?

Um, no…

Congressperson Lauren Boebert is mad about this joke tweet from President Biden that followed the Kansas City Chiefs beating the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl on Sunday. The original post from the Biden account has NOTHING to do with any political issue:

 

 

 

 

Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

 

The Associated Press reports on a creepy new use of AI technology:

Joaquin “Guac” Oliver died in the 2018 Parkland, Florida, high school massacre, but federal lawmakers who oppose tighter gun regulations began getting phone calls in his voice on Wednesday, lambasting them for their position.

The families of Oliver and five others killed with guns are using artificial intelligence to create messages in their loved ones’ voices and robocalling them to senators and House members who support the National Rifle Association and oppose tougher gun laws. The protest is being run through The Shotline website, where visitors select which offices receive calls.

The campaign launched on Valentine’s Day because it’s the sixth anniversary of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, which left the 17-year-old Oliver, 13 other students and three staff members dead. Oliver was murdered as he lay wounded on the floor, the fatal bullet blasting through the hand he raised as the 19-year-old killer leveled his AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle…

…To make the recordings, the Olivers and other families gave an AI company audio of their loved ones and it re-created their voices, changing tone and pattern based on relatives’ suggestions.

Joaquin’s AI voice identifies him and then says, “Many students and teachers were murdered on Valentine’s Day … by a person using an AR-15, but you don’t care. You never did. It’s been six years and you’ve done nothing.”

 

A Republican candidate for Governor in Missouri is letting some dumb words come out of his mouth. Via MediasTouch:

Republican Missouri State Senator Bill Eigel (R-Weldon Spring), who is running for Governor of that state, claimed that Democrats were trying to make it legal for 1-year-olds to get abortions during debate on Missouri’s draconian anti-choice law.

The comment came during debate over an amendment to the state abortion ban written by Sen. Doug Beck (D-St. Louis), which would legalize abortion for children 12 and under who have been victims of rape or incest. The amendment was in response to the headline-making story of a 10-year-old in Ohio who was forced to flee the state to get an abortion after being raped. “You want to bring back the institution of abortion so that kids can get abortions in the state of Missouri. A 1-year-old could get an abortion under this,” Eigel said to Beck during debate.

“I don’t know that a 1-year-old could get pregnant, Senator,” Beck responded.

Darn! Foiled by facts!

 

ICYMI

 

Utah Republicans Sen. Mitt Romney is making a lot of sense these days:

 

Post by @acynig
View on Threads

 

► Presidential Primary ballots started hitting mailboxes this week. Head over to GoVoteColorado.com for more information.

 

 

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

One thought on “Get More Smarter on Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14)

  1. Pols wrote:

    Trump is now trying to install his daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, as the new Co-Chair of the DNC.

    While I'm certain TFG would love that, I'm pretty sure you meant to say the RNC ( Republican National Committee).

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