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February 28, 2024 01:07 PM UTC

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (Feb. 28)

  • by: Colorado Pols

Holy crap! There is so much happening in the political world today that there’s no possible way for us to get to everything without returning to this Get More Smarter format. So let’s do that. 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.



The Turtle is exiting the race! As The Washington Post explains, longtime Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell will stop, uh, leading in November as the longest-serving Senate leader in American history:

The announcement marks the beginning of the end of an era in American politics. McConnell has been a towering force over his decades in the Senate, enraging Democrats by reshaping the federal judiciary and later serving as an occasional voice of rebuke to former president Donald Trump, who he excoriated publicly for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Recently, McConnell has been the loudest voice in his party pushing for the United States to aid Ukraine in its fight against Russia, and has faced sharp criticism from some in his conference more closely aligned with Trump.

McConnell announced his intention to leave his leadership position in an introspective speech on the Senate floor Wednesday, saying it had been a difficult time for his family after the loss of his wife’s younger sister.

McConnell’s announcement was apparently a surprise to even Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. But Yurtle the Turtle says the current Republican Party is no longer a group that he believes he can corral:

McConnell said in his speech that he was leaving the chamber with “total clarity and peace” about the role he played furthering his ideals.

“I know the politics within my party at this particular moment in time,” he said. “I have many faults. Misunderstanding politics is not one of them. [Pols emphasis] That said, I believe more strongly than ever that America’s global leadership is essential to preserving the shining city on a hill that Ronald Reagan discussed.”

Aides to McConnell say his decision is unrelated to his recent health problems. McConnell just turned 82 last week; presumably he will not seek re-election in 2026.


Four government agencies will lose funding at the end of the day on Friday if House Speaker “MAGA” Mike Johnson can’t get his caucus to agree to a way to keep the government running. Eight more funding packages, which cover 80% of the federal government, will run out on March 8. As The Washington Post reports:

The conference is split almost down the middle on two pressing issues that Senate leaders and President Biden largely agree on: how to fund the government and sending aid to foreign democracies, particularly Ukraine.

As he faces two government shutdown deadlines over the next 10 days and pressure from all corners to aid Ukraine, Johnson has to weigh warring factors to either find consensus with bipartisan Senate leaders and the White House or cave to the far-right’s wishes to walk away from negotiations. The former could cost him his job.

But the lack of unity among House Republicans, whose first year in the majority was defined by their inability to agree on must-address issues, has weakened Johnson’s hand as he negotiates without a cohesive message of conservative demands. And many GOP lawmakers and aides said Johnson’s thinking is further complicated as he struggles to marry his own hard line conservative ideology with his desire to govern…

“I have no confidence this ends well for House GOP,” said one House Republican, who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak candidly about feelings within the conference. 

Well, yeah. We’ve been watching this movie again and again for years.

Things are SO BAD, however, that European leaders are now begging Johnson to get his shit together. Via POLITICO:

The leaders of 23 European parliaments are imploring Speaker Mike Johnson to take up and pass additional assistance for Ukraine amid its ongoing war with Russia.

“We believe that thanks to your personal leadership, the Congress will demonstrate historic bipartisan unity in support of the collective effort to assist Ukraine,” they wrote in an open letter. Supporting passage of further aid would “provide Ukraine with the necessary funds to continue its fight,” the leaders added.

The plea comes as Ukraine has repeatedly indicated it’s running low on ammunition amid the ongoing war with Russia. Senate lawmakers have passed a bill providing tens of billions in support for the country, but Johnson has not committed to bringing it up for a vote.

As Newsweek reports, some House Republicans are threatening to move a discharge petition in an effort to FORCE a House vote on Ukraine funding because of Johnson’s endless diddling.


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Republican Presidential candidate Nikki Haley was in Colorado on Tuesday for some reason. Hours later, she was crushed by Donald Trump in Michigan’s Republican Primary

Haley says that America is “committing suicide” by potentially sending Trump to the White House for a second time. She’s not wrong, but her last hope to gain any sort of momentum comes on “Super Tuesday” on March 5…which is also the deadline for Colorado voters to return their Primary Election ballots. Visit for more information.


 Weld County Commissioner Scott James has pulled out of the race for Congress in CO-08. As The Colorado Sun reports:

James on Tuesday abruptly exited the Republican primary in Colorado’s highly competitive 8th Congressional District, making it more likely that state Rep. Gabe Evans will be the GOP nominee in the toss-up district come November.

“I decided I could best be of service and have the highest degree of impact by staying at home in Johnstown, continuing to serve and lift my voice for the people I love in the county and state that I love,” James wrote in a Facebook post announcing his decision.

James had picked up some decent endorsements in recent months but was having trouble raising money for his campaign.


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Congressperson Lauren Boebert submitted her petition signatures for ballot access in CO-04 — the Eastern Plains district that she is seeking to represent after bailing on her home district of CO-03. This is the lone good news in what is shaping up to be another bad week for Boebert and her family. As Colorado Public Radio reports:

Tyler Boebert, the 18-year-old son of U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, was arrested by Rifle police officers Tuesday, in connection with a “recent string of vehicle trespass and property thefts” in the town.

While officials have yet to release details, Colorado Bureau of Investigation records indicate Tyler Boebert was breaking into vehicles to steal credit cards and other identification documents, such as driver’s licenses and passports. According to CBI documents released Tuesday night, Tyler Boebert faces multiple felony charges, including criminal possession of multiple stolen financial devices and criminal possession of identification documents. Both crimes are classified as class 6 felonies, which is punishable by 12 to 18 months in prison and fines up to $100,000. Tyler Boebert also faces over “15 additional misdemeanor and petty offenses,” according to Rifle police.

Garfield County jail records show Tyler Boebert remained in custody overnight. No bond information is listed.

As we wrote in a separate post, it’s past time for Boebert to give up her infatuation with being a D-list celebrity in order to focus on her own family.


Gee, maybe Donald Trump isn’t the gazillionaire that he claims to be. From The New York Times:

Donald J. Trump offered a New York appeals court on Wednesday a bond of only $100 million to pause the more than $450 million judgment he faces in his civil fraud case, saying that he might need to sell some of his properties unless he gets relief.

It was a stunning acknowledgment that Mr. Trump, who is racing the clock to either secure a bond from a company or produce the full amount himself, lacks the resources to do so. Without a bond, the New York attorney general’s office, which brought the fraud case, could seek to collect from Mr. Trump at any moment.

Mr. Trump’s lawyers also asked the court to delay a wide range of other punishments the judge in the fraud case levied in his decision earlier this month. They include a prohibition on obtaining a loan from a New York bank for three years and a ban on running a company in the state during that same period.

One appellate court judge was hearing the request from Mr. Trump on Wednesday afternoon and was expected to issue a decision shortly after. If the judge were to grant the pause, it would be only temporary; Mr. Trump would still have to persuade a larger panel of appellate judges to keep the judgment on hold.

Republicans are concerned that Trump may try to tap the Republican National Committee to pay his legal bills, but campaign officials say that won’t be the case.



The Centennial Institute, the conservative “think tank” at Colorado Christian University, seems to be sinking fast. It’s former leader, Jeff Hunt, is out and CCU says that it won’t host its annual Western Conservative Summit in 2024.


Colorado legislators killed another dumb legislative attempt by Republican Rep. Ken DeGraaf to hand-count votes in every election — which would have cost local counties and businesses tens of millions of dollars.


Congressman Ken Buck may be retiring from his work on Capitol Hill, but that doesn’t mean he plans to stop taking every possible position on every issue.


Senator John Hickenlooper is sponsoring the Access to Family Building Act to protect in-vitro fertilization access in light of a recent State Supreme Court ruling in Alabama:

Hickenlooper cosponsored the Access to Family Building Act, legislation that would establish a statutory right to access in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and other assisted reproductive technology (ART) services and ensure no hopeful parent or doctor is punished for trying to start or grow a family.

“Like so many others, my wife and I wouldn’t have our beautiful baby son without IVF,” said Hickenlooper. “Alabama’s extreme ruling is the next MAGA Republican attempt to roll back reproductive freedoms. Attacks like this will only become more frequent unless Congress passes new protections.”


Lawmakers are trying to make it harder for extremists to try to ban books in Colorado. From Colorado Public Radio:

Dozens of librarians, educators, and community members testified in front of the Colorado Senate Education Committee on Tuesday over SB24-049.

As introduced, the Democratic legislation would require school districts and public library districts to create a process that allows students, parents, or community members to formally object to materials, such as books, available in a school library or public library. Whether those items are removed would be decided by a committee named by either the local superintendent or a library director, using specific standards outlined in the bill.

Florida lawmakers approved an ill-advised book banning process last year that ended up removing the Bible and dictionaries from public schools and libraries.


Get ready to hear a lot more about “ADUs.” The legislative fight over “accessory dwelling units” is underway.


The legislature is also proposing a bill to increase compensation for lawmakers — something that is easy for critics to sound off about but is actually really important if Colorado wants to have competent people making important decisions.



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Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 


Congressperson Lauren Boebert picked the wrong time to use the phrase “Biden crime family.” As HuffPost reports:

Hours after posting her tweet attacking the Bidens for alleged corruption — accusations that are still unsubstantiated — Boebert’s son, Tyler Jay Boebert, was arrested on 22 separate charges, including four felony counts of criminal possession of ID documents, one felony count of conspiracy to commit a felony and 15 misdemeanor and petty offenses.

Boebert’s estranged husband, Jayson Boebert, was arrested in January for third-degree criminal trespass, obstruction and disorderly conduct in connection with an altercation between the couple at a Colorado restaurant.

Boebert released a statement about her son’s arrest to HuffPost, but didn’t comment about the timing of her “Biden Crime Family” post.

Again: Boebert needs to go do something else.


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Dara Horn of The Atlantic tries to understand why so many otherwise intelligent Americans continue to fall for “anti-semitic lies.”


► Don’t miss the latest episode of the Get More Smarter Podcast. Both 5280 magazine and The Denver Post have called GMS one of the best podcasts in Colorado:


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