GOP Lawmaker Fresh From D.C. Riots Has “Laryngitis?”

Rep. Ron Hanks (R).

The Colorado Springs Gazette reported Friday on a mystery that emerged last week surrounding newly sworn-in Republican Rep. Ron Hanks, who disappeared after the first day of last week’s abbreviated opening of the Colorado General Assembly and hasn’t been seen since:

The Penrose Republican missed every vote on all seven bills that went through the General Assembly in the first week, including being gone when some of those bills went through a committee he’s assigned to: House State, Civic, Military and Veterans Affairs…

It’s beyond unusual for a first-term lawmaker to miss so many days early on, and Hanks has not returned phone calls or emails from the press about his whereabouts.

Curiously, this story makes no mention of what Rep. Hanks was doing before being sworn in to the state legislature last week–as we discussed in this space, and the Denver Post’s Saja Hindi reports in her own story this past weekend on Hanks’ absence from the legislature:

A newly elected Colorado Republican lawmaker who attended the president’s Jan. 6 rally [Pols emphasis] has been absent for the majority of the three-day legislative session that started Wednesday…

House Minority Whip Rod Pelton, a Cheyenne Wells Republican, said Hanks informed him he had a “prior commitment” Wednesday. Members are expected to inform the whip of any absences.

House Minority Leader Hugh McKean, R-Loveland, said he reached out to Hanks on Thursday. On Friday morning, Hanks texted him and told him he was feeling “under the weather.” McKean did not ask for further details.

Let’s review: Rep. Ron Hanks traveled to Washington, D.C. to attend the January 6th rally that degenerated into a violent insurrection attempt and deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol. Our readers know this, but apparently it was news to the Gazette. Hanks then appeared at the Colorado state capitol to be sworn in one week later, only to disappear after being sworn in. Hanks was then absent through the legislature’s temporary month-long adjournment Friday to avoid the COVID-19 pandemic. And only after a good deal of sleuthing by reporters, we find out that Hanks texted GOP Minority Leader Hugh McKean that he’s “under the weather?”

Folks, if every epidemiological alarm bell is not going off in your head right now, 2020 must have passed by without you noticing.

But it’s okay, because as the Gazette continues in their story that somehow managed to forget that Hank had just returned from Washington, D.C., where literally thousands of maskless Trump supporters had exchanged clouds of droplets with one another while protesting/rioting/insurrecting against Donald Trump’s election defeat:

However, as it turns out, there’s a good explanation. According to several sources, including Rick Castor, chair of the Fremont County GOP, Hanks has laryngitis. [Pols emphasis] While he notified Minority Whip Rep. Rod Pelton, R-Cheyenne Wells, that he wasn’t well on Wednesday, he didn’t know he was supposed to check in each day to let people know he wasn’t coming and to be excused, an easy slip-up for a first-term legislator to make.

And then in a final gobsmacking moment of unintended irony:

Minority Leader Hugh McKean, R-Loveland, is glad that Hanks is taking care of himself. If people have learned anything from COVID, it’s that you don’t come to work sick, [Pols emphasis] McKean told Colorado Politics, and he confirmed that he knew Hanks was under the weather.

Rep. Hanks was at the Capitol on Wednesday. That means he did “come to work sick,” or at least by any reasonable COVID-19 pandemic standard in a state where he may well have been contagious. After traveling to Washington D.C., Hanks should have quarantined himself simply out of preventative caution–but obviously, following COVID-19 best practices was very far down the priority list for these people.

It is legitimately shocking that the connection between Hanks’ recent travel and his coming down with any kind of upper respiratory symptom a week later is being idly dismissed as “laryngitis” with some bogus platitudes about how it’s good he didn’t “come to work sick.” With such an obvious transmission vector, why is anyone taking Hanks’ self-diagnosis of “laryngitis” at face value? Who was in close contact with Hanks when he was at the Capitol on Wednesday? Has Rep. Hanks even had a COVID-19 test since he returned from Washington? Why are we the only outlet asking these questions?

The one thing we can say is it’s a big relief the legislature has adjourned until everybody who has to be there as part of their job has been vaccinated. Prevention, after all, is only as strong as its weakest link. Not only is Rep. Ron Hanks kicking off his legislative career with an embarrassing display of COVIDiocy, it’s clear there’s nobody in charge on the right side of the aisle looking out for the health of fellow lawmakers and the public.

Until you’ve had your jabs, keep a safe distance from all such people.

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Get More Smarter on Tuesday (January 19)

Donald Trump will cease to be President of the United States at 10:00 MST tomorrow. Please celebrate responsibly. 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.

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:
http://covid19.colorado.gov

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

*Locate a COVID-19 testing site in Colorado:
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment 

 

► Today is the last full day for Donald Trump to play President of the United States. The Big Orange guy is setting a new record on his way out of the White House, as CNN reports:

Trump ends his term with the lowest average job approval rating — 41% — of any president in the last seven-plus decades, according to Gallup. That’s four points worse than the next, uh, worst — Harry Truman, who averaged a 45% job approval score throughout his time in office. Barack Obama averaged 47.9% job approval in his eight years, while George W. Bush averaged 49.4.

There are other “firsts” for Trump in the Gallup data. Trump is the first president to never break 50% job approval in any single poll conducted by the organization over his term. (The final Gallup poll pegged Trump’s job approval at a dismal 34%.) Trump is also the most polarizing president as measured by Gallup; the average gap between his job approval ratings among Republicans and Democrats was a whopping 81 points — 11 points higher than Obama’s partisan gap, which is now the second-highest ever. (Trump’s average job approval rating among Democrats for his term was 7%.)

President Trump is planning to pardon a whole bunch of people today before he leaves office; thus far, that list does not include pre-emptive pardons for family members.

 

► As The New York Times reports, several of President-elect Joe Biden’s cabinet nominees are getting started on their confirmation hearings today:

The Senate has a jam-packed schedule of hearings on Tuesday to begin considering President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s nominees for his Cabinet, but the process has been badly delayed, likely making Mr. Biden the first president in decades to take office without his national security team in place on Day 1.

The delay by congressional Republicans in recognizing Mr. Biden’s election victory, coupled with two Georgia runoff elections that left the Senate majority up in the air until Jan. 5, held up confirmation hearings for Mr. Biden’s team. That has made it impossible for the Senate to move quickly to fill top national security posts, including the secretary of defense, a job normally filled immediately after the president takes office to illustrate continuity of American power.

Hearings for five nominees — Lloyd J. Austin III to be secretary of defense; Antony J. Blinken to be secretary of state; Janet Yellen to be Treasury secretary; Alejandro N. Mayorkas to be secretary of homeland security; and Avril D. Haines to be director of national intelligence — are scheduled for Tuesday. But it will be difficult for them to get floor votes by Wednesday, after Mr. Biden is sworn in at the Capitol.

 

► Pro-Trump protestors hinted at doing something over the weekend, but not much happened. Nevertheless, some high-profile Denver buildings will be operating much differently ahead of Wednesday’s Presidential inauguration.

 

► Colorado’s COVID-19 numbers are still moving in the right direction, but as Meg Wingerter writes for The Denver Post, it’s not yet clear if we have reason to feel more optimistic about the pandemic locally.

 

More political (and coronavirus) news is available right after the jump…

 

(more…)

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BREAKING: Did Boebert Lie About Capitol Tours?

UPDATE #2: Rep. Lauren Boebert denies Rep. Steve Cohen’s allegation that he saw Boebert with a “large group” in the tunnels under the Capitol, expanding her previous denials to say flatly “I did not give any tours between Jan 3rd and 6th.”

Only one of them is telling the truth, and there is an investigation underway.

—–

UPDATE: The video of Rep. Steve Cohen alleging he saw Rep. Lauren Boebert with a “large group” at the Capitol:

—–

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Scaring the hell out of people).

Two days ago, Ernest Luning of the Colorado Springs Gazette reported that Rep. Lauren Boebert had denied allegations she had conducted tours for individuals who later stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, angrily disputing supposed suggestions otherwise made by some of her new House colleagues:

U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert rebuked a Democratic colleague for making “false and baseless conspiracy claims,” which she said suggested she gave Capitol tours to “insurrectionists” and have led to death threats, but U.S. Rep. Sean Maloney responded that he was talking about another House Republican.

In a press release and a formal letter demanding a correction from Maloney, the Rifle Republican said the “extremely offensive, shameful and dangerous” comments made on national television by the New York congressman “implied” that Boebert was the member of Congress who had been showing people around the day before a mob of Donald Trump supporters stormed the Capitol to stop certification of Joe Biden’s election victory.

Rep. Boebert’s press release on the matter was characteristically bellicose and unequivocal:

Rep. Boebert did not conspire with criminals that attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6th. Congresswoman Boebert never gave a tour of the U.S. Capitol to any outside group or “insurrectionists.” [Pols emphasis] In fact, the only people she ever had in the Capitol with her were her young children, husband, mom, aunt and uncle. Her mother was the only one of those family members in Washington D.C. on the 6th. During the riots, the Congresswoman’s mother was locked in a secure location, not in the U.S. Capitol, with her staff and never left their sight.

As it turns out, the Democratic member of Congress Boebert complained about wasn’t even talking about Boebert herself–a mistake for which Boebert later offered “a thousand apologies.” But it did provide Boebert with an opportunity to go on the record with a number of details about her pre-insurrection activities that were not known before.

And, well folks, the breaking word today is that what Boebert told us about tours at the Capitol is not true:

Note that this is not what we’d call confirmed information, aired on CNN a short while ago in an interview of Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen. But we now have a situation in which only one member of Congress can be telling the truth. We’ll be watching closely for confirmation, and for a development this potentially earth-shattering we expect that is urgently underway right now.

If Boebert gave an intelligence-gathering tour to the insurrectionists, it’s absolutely the last straw and she’s got to go.

If she lied about it, she’s got to go and there’s no claiming ignorance of her crime.

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Forecast Colorado Trump Protests Fizzle, So Far…

Ad for a “50 state march” yesterday denounced as “a trap” by local militia groups.

Colorado Public Radio’s Megan Verlee reports that despite what you may have been told to expect, the revolution did not begin yesterday either:

A smattering of people collected on the steps of Colorado’s Capitol on Sunday, a far cry from the massive, potentially violent protests federal and state authorities had braced for.

A woman held her position steadily before cameras, displaying a small American flag and a sign accusing Congress of negligence. Nearby, a man with a white beard poking out from his ‘Trump 2020’ mask chatted with reporters. Around them, on the yellow grass and stone pathways, clumps of bundled-up people stood around under cloudy skies, waiting to see if anything would happen.

By far the largest group on hand were members of the media, brought out by an FBI bulletin warning of potential armed protests at all 50 state capitols leading up to the presidential inauguration on Wednesday. But in Denver, nothing like that has occurred so far.

FOX 31:

Larry Woodall, a supporter of President Donald Trump, says he was surprised by how few people showed up. “I thought there would be at least 100 people. I feel like the lone wolf,” said Woodall.

Some businesses in the area boarded up their stores to prevent damage if things were to get violent. A gate was put up around the perimeter of the Capitol building.

Pro-Trump protest at the Colorado Capitol, 1/17/2021.

Although warnings to all 50 state capitols went out urgently in the wake of the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol that more violent and potentially armed protests would take place in the days before Joe Biden’s inauguration this coming Wednesday, the weekend passed without any major disturbances–and miniscule turnout to the publicly announced protest events around the country. Part of this we assume can be attributed to the high alert of local police across the nation beginning last Friday and expected to continue through Inauguration Day.

But that doesn’t appear to be the whole story. Last week, the local hard-right organizing group FEC United, affiliated Sinn Fein-style with one of the state’s more public-facing militia groups United American Defense Force (UADF), put out a brief statement last week disavowing the forecast protests to all 50 state capitols Sunday:

The events being planned to March on Capitols across the country are NOT being organized by Patriots. We are urging every one of our members and followers to avoid the Capitols and areas around them if at all possible. Be cautious and be aware.

Speaking to the Colorado Springs Gazette, UADF militia leader John Tiegen appeared to swear off protests ahead of Inauguration Day entirely, saving their metaphorical and literal powder for “the next administration.”

FEC United and UADF said in statement Wednesday morning that events at the U.S. Capitol were “unacceptable and should be condemned by all…”

“We cannot stoop down to the leftist’s level of chaos and anarchy,” Tiegen said in the Wednesday morning statement. “We must hold strong to our morals and stand tall to ensure we don’t lose sight of the bigger picture — which is to hold our officials accountable to their duty to the people who voted for them. UADF is an organization that stands to defend and protect what is ours in the face of concern for the action, or rather, lack of action, the next administration will take to quell violence from left-wing, militia organizations. We have to be ready to protect ourselves and our neighborhoods.”

After such dire warnings issued after the January 6th assault on the U.S. Capitol, the failure of pro-Trump protests to materialize in general across the nation this weekend is a curious anticlimax to say the least. To be sure, there is still plenty of time for something consistent with warnings of a “50 state uprising” to take place. It’s very possible that by Wednesday any false sense of security we might feel today will be a sad memory.

Or, maybe the events of January 6th forced a reckoning, if not moral then at least practical, on the far right? After a shocking success against an unexpectedly soft target that in retrospect most believe could have been prevented, every law enforcement agency in the country is on maximum alert this week. 25,000 National Guard troops in Washington D.C. and security measures that should have been in place on January 6th are now in place to prevent what happened on that day from happening again. The determination with which federal law enforcement is pursuing U.S. Capitol insurrectionists cannot help but give those who might try something like that again pause.

And after Donald Trump disowned the rioters he sent to the Capitol with orders to “fight like hell” and showered with praise initially, it’s a fair question–why would anybody risk their life and freedom for this guy again?

If there is anything we hate it’s writing a post that doesn’t age well, and we acknowledge this one may not. But if we didn’t at least consider the possibility of a less dramatic end to the most chaotic election in American history that didn’t directly result in a war (knock on wood), that too would be a disservice to our readers.

We’re steeling ourselves to be wrong, but we’ll be elated in the event we’re right.

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MLK Day Open Thread

“We are now faced with the fact, my friends, that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now.”

–Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Boebert Under The Bus…By The New York Post?

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R) and her husband Jayson Boebert.

We awoke this morning to another hard-hitting story targeting Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado in national media, the cantankerous freshman from Rifle who has in less than two weeks in office managed to scare the hell out of her new colleagues and deepen urgent questions about security at the U.S. Capitol. A lot of the details in this story about Boebert’s lengthy criminal record readers have seen before–but it’s the source today, the conservative-leaning New York Post, that’s turning heads:

The 34-year-old lawmaker, who beat her district’s very conservative Rep. Scott Tipton in a primary upset last June, has a rap sheet unusually long for a member of Congress.

And her track record of thumbing her nose at law continued this week after she tussled with Capitol Police officers over her refusal to walk through newly installed House metal detectors… [Pols emphasis]

While the lawmaker was eventually allowed to enter the House chambers, she is facing growing questions about her role in assisting the deadly riot on Capitol Hill Jan. 6. Just hours before the violence, she tweeted, “today is 1776.” In the days leading up to the unrest, Boebert made a spectacle of her intention to remain armed in the Capitol, earning another rebuke from local law enforcement.

The link between Boebert’s criminal record, generally small-scale misconduct and failures to appear but still betraying a good deal of disregard for the law, with the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6th and Boebert’s refusal to submit to metal detectors installed outside the House chambers in its aftermath, is not one we’ve seen explicitly made in major media.

But it’s a very good point, don’t you think?

There is a damning parallel to be drawn between Boebert’s demonstrated contempt for the legal system on a small scale–like failing to appear in court for minor cases, or thumbing her nose at the Garfield County public health department–and the lawless mob that believed storming the U.S. Capitol was an acceptable way to resolve their dispute over the 2020 elections. Boebert’s case recalls the controversial law enforcement “broken window theory,” where an environment of minor infractions creates a climate ripe for greater ones. Or to employ another common law enforcement analogy, Boebert’s petty lawlessness is a “gateway drug” to something worse.

Either way, revisiting Boebert’s criminal history in light of the violence at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, violence Boebert stands accused of helping incite with her bellicose rhetoric on social media and baseless challenges of the electoral slate as her first act in Congress, is absolutely fair and needs to happen.

As for why the East Coast’s most notorious pro-GOP tabloid is going there, that’s anybody’s guess.

Perhaps Boebert offended a powerful New Yorker’s sensibilities.

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Weekend Open Thread

“Those who invoke history will certainly be heard by history. And they will have to accept its verdict.”

–Dag Hammarskjold

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Get More Smarter on Friday (January 15)

Happy “National Booch Day.” Please celebrate responsibly. 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.

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:
http://covid19.colorado.gov

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

*Locate a COVID-19 testing site in Colorado:
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment 

 

► Operation Warp Speed WTF:

Via The Washington Post (1/15/21)

As The Washington Post reports:

When Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced this week that the federal government would begin releasing coronavirus vaccine doses held in reserve for second shots, no such reserve existed, according to state and federal officials briefed on distribution plans. The Trump administration had already begun shipping out what was available beginning at the end of December, taking second doses directly off the manufacturing line.

Now, health officials across the country who had anticipated their extremely limited vaccine supply as much as doubling beginning next week are confronting the reality that their allocations will not immediately increase, dashing hopes of dramatically expanding access for millions of elderly people and those with high-risk medical conditions. Health officials in some cities and states were informed in recent days about the reality of the situation, while others are still in the dark…

…These officials were told that Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration’s initiative to speed the development of vaccines and therapeutics, stopped stockpiling second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at the end of last year, instead taking second doses directly off the manufacturing line. The last shots held in reserve of Moderna’s supply, meanwhile, began shipping out over the weekend.

As The Washington Post reports in a separate story, expect more problems with the rollout of a COVID-19 vaccine because Trump administration officials are literally REFUSING TO CONSULT with staff for President-elect Joe Biden.

Click here for more on the response to this news from Gov. Jared Polis.

Also worth noting: The global death toll from COVID-19 has surpassed 2 million.

 

► As The New York Times reports, Vice President Mike Pence is doing his best to pretend to be President since Donald Trump is no longer interested in the work:

Vice President Mike Pence telephoned Vice President-elect Kamala Harris Thursday to congratulate her and offer his belated assistance — filling a leadership role all but abdicated by President Trump, who is planning to fly out of the capital shortly before Joseph R. Biden Jr. is sworn in next week.

The Pence-Harris conversation, relayed by two officials briefed on the call, was described as gracious and pleasant. The discussion is the first time Mr. Pence and Ms. Harris have spoken since they debated each other last fall.

It also represents the only one-on-one interaction between the dueling 2020 presidential tickets: Mr. Trump has refused to call President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. and has not even fully conceded defeat.

As for Trump, he plans to leave Washington D.C. the morning before Joe Biden’s inauguration because he has the emotional stability of a toddler.

 

► Senator Michael Bennet (D-Denver) says that the U.S. Senate can “walk and chew gum at the same time” in response to questions about handling both President Trump’s impeachment and confirmation of President-elect Joe Biden’s top appointees.

 

► The Aurora Sentinel reports on how the Colorado legislature is wrapping up a brief return to the State Capitol before taking a recess until February 16.

 

► Federal prosecutors say that a number of terrorists who attacked the Capitol last week planned to “capture and assassinate” elected officials.

 

 

More political (and coronavirus) news is available right after the jump…

 

(more…)

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Trump Admin Fumbles Vaccine Distribution Again

President Trump and Gov. Jared Polis.

The Washington Post reports today, the word from the Trump administration earlier in the week that a “reserve” of COVID-19 vaccine doses would be released to the states under expedited new guidelines designed to get more Americans vaccinated faster, which had spurred hopes that the vaccine logjam would finally ease up, was in error:

When Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced this week that the federal government would begin releasing coronavirus vaccine doses held in reserve for second shots, no such reserve existed, according to state and federal officials briefed on distribution plans. The Trump administration had already begun shipping out what was available beginning at the end of December, taking second doses directly off the manufacturing line.

Now, health officials across the country who had anticipated their extremely limited vaccine supply as much as doubling beginning next week are confronting the reality that their allocations will not immediately increase, dashing hopes of dramatically expanding access for millions of elderly people and those with high-risk medical conditions. Health officials in some cities and states were informed in recent days about the reality of the situation, while others are still in the dark.

Gov. Jared Polis of Colorado is not happy:

Though it looks to be more a matter of miscommunication and ineptitude than outright treachery, it’s just the latest broken promise from the Trump administration on what should be the highest priority in the nation–the race to vaccinate Americans against COVID-19 as the daily death toll hits an unthinkable 4,000. The US ended 2020 with fewer than 3 million people vaccinated despite a goal set by the administration of 20 million. This is a failure compounding with each passing day, with a direct cost in preventable deaths.

Truly, January 20 cannot come fast enough.

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TRANSCRIPT: Rep. Jason Crow on The Get More Smarter Podcast

Earlier this week we noted an interview for The Get More Smarter Podcast with Rep. Jason Crow (D-Aurora).

In the interview with hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii, Crow discussed the events of January 6; his confrontation with a fellow House Member the morning before the attack; how Crow explains last week’s events to his children; and why impeaching President Trump was unavoidable after he incited an insurrection.

You can listen to the full 15-minute interview below. After the jump, we have included a transcription of Crow’s comments.

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | TuneIn

 

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Un-Squelched Lauren Boebert Has Learned No Lessons

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Scaring the hell out of people).

The Denver Post’s Conrad Swanson follows up on yesterday’s odd suspension and then un-suspension of Rep. Lauren Boebert’s Twitter account, reported by Boebert herself via Instagram to be a week-long suspension but mysteriously lifted by the afternoon:

Twitter officials temporarily barred Colorado’s newly elected Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert on Wednesday from tweeting after she spread false information about the presidential election, a Twitter spokesperson confirmed to The Denver Post.

However, after a review, the social media platform’s staff determined they had ruled in error and instead flagged as disputed Boebert’s Jan. 9 tweet that falsely accused Democrats of rigging the 2020 election.

“In this instance, our teams took the incorrect enforcement action,” the spokesperson said in an email. “The Tweet will not be required to be removed and the account will not be temporarily locked.”

“[S]tanding up for the Constitution, not just in word BUT IN DEED!” – Rep. Lauren Boebert (R).

In the absence of an explanation from Twitter about what specific rules Boebert violated to earn her suspension, many including ourselves speculated that it was in response to Tweets during the storming of the U.S. Capitol last week that could arguably be considered valuable intelligence provided to the insurrectionists. But Swanson reports that Twitter had instead flagged a Tweet in which Boebert accused Hillary Clinton of “rigging the election,” and after subsequent evaluation Twitter apparently decided to lock that particular Tweet and restore Boebert’s access.

Our purpose today is not to second-guess the Twitter Rules or how they are enforced by that private company, though obviously in the wake of what seems to be a capriciously-applied policy readers are likely to have some reasonable questions about that. But based on what Boebert has been Tweeting since her account was restored, we can say pretty confidently that Boebert has in no way been chastened by the experience:

Boebert Tweeted this today, on the morning of January 14th, but the language seems more like a Tweet from before the insurrection, when the incitement to violence flowed freely. When Rep. Boebert says today a week after the U.S. Capitol was attacked that Republicans need to stand up for the Constitution “not just in word BUT IN DEED” (emphasis hers), what exactly does she mean by that? Does the next sentence “Donald Trump gave us the model for how to lead” provide any clues? Hopefully not, since Trump was just impeached yesterday for inciting a violent insurrection that killed five people.

It’s Boebert’s “1776”, folks. Like Twitter moderators, Boebert’s increasingly nervous colleagues in Congress, and the FBI itself, we’re just trying to sort out the bellicose rhetoric from the bonafide threats to public safety.

Rep. Boebert is not making that easy, and it’s discomforting to say the least.

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Get More Smarter on Thursday (January 14)

Happy “Feast of the Ass.” Please celebrate responsibly. 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.

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:
http://covid19.colorado.gov

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

*Locate a COVID-19 testing site in Colorado:
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment 

 

► We witnessed history on Wednesday when Donald Trump became the first President in American history to be impeached TWICE — thereby cementing his place as the worst President we’ve ever had.

Congress has voted to impeach three different Presidents, but none with as bipartisan a vote as occurred on Wednesday. Chris Cillizza of CNN looks at one of the more surprising YES votes from the GOP caucus:

When Tom Rice voted “yes” on the impeachment of Donald Trump over the President’s role in inciting the riot that led to the storming of the US Capitol, most close congressional watchers assumed he had made a mistake.

After all, there was little to indicate that the reliably conservative South Carolina Republican would join nine other colleagues in breaking with the President (and the party) to back impeaching Trump. Unlike Reps. Liz Cheney (Wyoming) and Adam Kinzinger (Illinois), Rice hadn’t been an outspoken critic of Trump. And unlike Reps. John Katko (New York) and David Valadao (California), Rice doesn’t represent a swing district.

“Compared to the often raucous members of the state’s congressional delegation, Rice has been more low-profile and focused on his legislative work,” wrote the Almanac of American Politics of Rice, who has represented eastern South Carolina’s 7th district since 2012.

But Rice hadn’t made a mistake or accidentally pressed the wrong button. His vote to impeach was real — and without question, the most surprising of the 10 Republicans who bucked the President.

Dana Milbank of The Washington Post ponders the thought process of the 10 Republicans who voted in favor of impeachment.

You probably don’t need us to tell you how Colorado’s Congressional delegation voted on impeachment. The four Democrats voted YES, while the three Republicans voted NO. We double-checked that Rep. Ken Buck (R-Greeley) voted NO, since he seems to change his mind on a topic at least once every 24 hours.

 

► Trump’s impeachment trial now moves to the U.S. Senate, where it won’t likely be taken up until late next week at the earliest. As The Washington Post and others have reported, outgoing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has signaled that he might support impeachment, if only to expedite the process of removing Trump’s presence from the Republican Party.

 

9News reports on local law enforcement efforts to secure the area around the State Capitol building in advance of planned “protests” in the next week.

 

► If you thought Colorado Republicans might have learned a lesson from their second consecutive drubbing at the polls in 2020…well, they didn’t. Led by new House Minority Leader Hugh McKean, House Republicans tried a bunch of pointless shenanigans on Wednesday as the state legislature briefly gaveled into session before a recess until Feb. 16 for coronavirus safety precautions.

As Alex Burness of The Denver Post notes:

 

 

More political (and coronavirus) news is available right after the jump…

 

(more…)

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Gold Medalist, Armed Psycho From Colorado Charged By Feds

Olympic gold medalist and alleged pro-Trump insurrectionist Klete Keller.

As the investigation into last week’s deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol continues, two Colorado residents have been arrested and charged with federal crimes in relation to the violence. One is a gold medal Olympian relay swimmer living in Colorado Springs, and as the Denver Post’s Sam Tabachnik reports, he’s done selling houses too:

Klete Keller, an Olympic gold-medalist swimmer with ties to Colorado Springs, was charged Wednesday for his alleged participation in last week’s deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol, court records show.

The 38-year-old, who won medals at three Olympic games as a relay partner of Michael Phelps, was charged in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia with three counts relating to obstructing law enforcement, entering a restricted building without permission and “violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds,” according to his criminal complaint…

A native of Las Vegas, Nevada, Keller in recent years worked as a real estate agent in Colorado Springs. The agency, Hoff & Leigh, announced Tuesday night that Keller had resigned “effective immediately.”

Always sad to see a once-great athlete turn to crime–but as with all of the people who either smashed their way into the U.S. Capitol or followed those who did, you have to ask what they expected would happen. Did Klete Keller think Donald Trump would bail him out? We’ll be watching to see how Trump’s incitement factors into Keller’s legal defense.

Another individual from Colorado now facing federal charges for his actions surrounding last week’s violence is, fair to say and Colorado Newsline reports, undeserving of sympathy:

“The defendant … drove his truck and an attached trailer to Washington D.C, arriving in Washington, D.C. late on January 6, 2021,” the filing alleges. “At the time of his arrest … the defendant was in possession of two firearms; a Glock nine millimeter G19 and a Tavor X95 rifle equipped with a telescopic sight. The defendant was also in possession of several high capacity magazines and approximately 2,500 rounds of ammunition of various caliber, including at least 320 rounds of ‘armor-piercing’ 5.56 rounds.”

…Investigators say that [Cleveland Grover] Meredith’s trip from Colorado to D.C. was slowed by car trouble; he stopped in Ohio to fix a set of broken tail lights on the trailer he was using to transport his arsenal, according to text messages reviewed by the FBI agents who arrested him. Meredith arrived in D.C. several hours after order had been restored at the Capitol, and checked in to a hotel just south of the National Mall.

”Staying one more day since I got here late, need to FK with these commies,” Meredith wrote in a text message, according to the filing.

“Thinking about heading over to (Pelosi’s) speech and putting a bullet in her noggin on Live TV,” he wrote later, prosecutors allege.

We can all agree that we’re better off with this one in federal custody. The delay that Cleveland Grover Meredith had in driving from Colorado to D.C. with enough ammunition to kill hundreds of people seems to be another example of, despite the damage and loss of life inflicted a week ago, how things could have been much worse.

Like the disproportionate number of Coloradans who assisted Trump’s dozens of failed legal challenges to the election results, the regrettably large number of locals who traveled to Washington to defy the reality of Trump’s election less is a disgrace we are obliged to bear. And with the investigation continuing to sort through hours of self-incriminating video so many of these idiots posted of themselves committing federal crimes, it’s entirely likely that more Coloradans will be facing charges soon.

The consequences are necessary. If the book isn’t thrown at these people, someone will do this again.

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BREAKING: Lauren Boebert’s Twitter Wings Clipped

UPDATE #2: We are duty bound to report that the once-weeklong suspension of Rep. Lauren Boebert’s Twitter account has been lifted:

Un-sound the all clear, folks.

—–

UPDATE: KRDO-TV’s Zachary Aedo:

Rep. Lauren Boebert says Twitter has locked her account for nearly a week until the end of Inauguration Day…

Boebert has been in the hot seat online after defending President Donald Trump’s claims of election fraud and also saying he did not incite any of the violence seen when pro-Trump supporters stormed the Capitol.

Critics have also accused her for inciting the violent mob on Jan. 6 through her Twitter posts.

Thousands of people online and across Colorado have asked for the newly elected congresswoman to resign. But she fired back on Monday saying Democrats and “Hollywood elites” are hypocrites and also to blame for escalating political division.

—–

That’s the circuitous word from Rep. Lauren Boebert’s Instagram page:

As it turns out, live-Tweeting security details during an insurrection violates the Twitter Rules!

We’re comfortable with that. Watch this space for updates.

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History is Made: Trump is Only President Twice Impeached

UPDATE #2: Here’s the total:

Via C-SPAN


UPDATE: And here’s another first.

—–

President Trump impeached. Again.

The House of Representatives has voted to impeach President Donald Trump on the charge of “willful incitement of insurrection.” Trump is now the first and only President in the history of the United States to be impeached twice.

At least 10 Republicans joined Democrats in voting to impeach Trump (no House Republicans voted in favor of impeachment in December 2019). All of the Democrats in Colorado’s Congressional delegation  — Reps. Diana DeGette, Joe Neguse, Jason Crow, and Ed Perlmutter — voted YES on impeachment. The three Republicans from Colorado — Reps. Lauren Boebert, Ken Buck, and Doug Lamborn — each voted NO on the question of impeachment.

Final votes are still being counted, but the House has already passed the 217 votes needed to confirm impeachment.

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Cory Gardner’s Last Con Falls Apart

UPDATE: Politico reports that the Colorado delegation isn’t taking this adverse decision lying down:

“This last-minute decision, based entirely on political expediency, will devastate our space capabilities,” [Rep. Doug] Lamborn wrote. “I call on you to use your authority upon taking office as our nation’s commoner-in-chief to reverse this foolish and hastily made decision.”

Separately, Colorado Democrats Sens. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper released a statement saying they will “ensure the Biden administration reviews this purported decision.”

“Just as President Trump is leaving office, Colorado was not selected despite reports that it was the Air Force’s top choice,” the senators wrote. “We believe a process based on the merits will keep Space Command in Colorado. There is no role for politics when it comes to our national security.”

The Pentagon named six finalists to host the headquarters in November after a politically charged search that spanned two dozen states and lasted more than a year. Officials then winnowed it to the bases in Colorado Springs and Huntsville.

Rep. Doug Lamborn condemning President Donald Trump’s announcement as “political expediency” could be the most pointed disagreement Lamborn has ever worked up the nerve to vocalize with Trump–a sign that perhaps Lamborn too has realized the future is not on the Trump Train.

Might this decision be reversed by incoming President Joe Biden? We’ll have to see, but the worm may be turning even as the announcement is made.

—–

Apparently the reverse is also true.

Colorado Public Radio reports:

The U.S. Space Command will be calling Alabama home permanently — and not Colorado.

Petersen Air Force Base in Colorado Springs was named the temporary headquarters for the combatant command in May 2019 — and it looks like that status won’t have a chance to establish Centennial State roots…

In a statement, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis called the decision “misguided” and said the state’s aerospace security, military heritage, and quality of life makes it the “epicenter of national security space and the only permanent home for U.S. Space Command.”

“Reports that the in-depth military process found Colorado Springs to be the best location for military readiness and cost and recommended Colorado to the President only to be overruled for politically motivated reasons are deeply concerning,” Polis added. [Pols emphasis]

Donald Trump, Cory Gardner at a campaign rally in Colorado Springs last February.

News that the U.S. Space Command’s permanent headquarters would be moving to Huntsville, Alabama instead of bringing jobs and construction money to the Colorado Springs area is a significant blow to the southern Front Range’s economy, which is heavily dependent on the region’s major military installations. During Sen. Cory Gardner’s unsuccessful re-election campaign last year, the prospect of Space Command being permanently located in Colorado was touted by the campaign one of Gardner’s biggest “accomplishments,” and was dangled by President Donald Trump himself at a campaign rally in Colorado Springs last February:

“You are being very strongly considered for the space command, very strongly,” Trump told a capacity crowd of 10,000 inside The Broadmoor World Arena and hundreds more who stood outside in the cold to watch him on a screen set up for the event.

Trump said he will decide where to house the command by the end of 2020, possibly after the November election. The decision was originally due last summer, and the delay has gone unexplained by the Pentagon.

Trump’s implied personal involvement in the decision is a rarity for the White House, which in the past two administrations has steered clear of basing decisions which are generally settled in the Pentagon. [Pols emphasis]

Despite this, as AL.com reports jubilantly, the Air Force insists they didn’t play political favorites:

The Air Force studied sites in numerous states including Alabama and Colorado, where the headquarters is temporarily located. A report in Politico today said Huntsville ranked higher than Colorado in each category of the evaluation. That included cost of living and housing availability off base.

With that said,

The Politico story also quoted a top Air Force official saying the choice was “made in consultation with the White House, [Pols emphasis] senior military commanders, the congressional defense committees and others.”

Either way, at least one local Republican operative couldn’t conceal his glee at seeing Colorado lose out:

Obviously, for everyone in Colorado who wanted this major command permanently located in Colorado Springs with all the economic benefits that entails, this sucks. But it’s clear at this point the promise that a “vote for Cory Gardner is a vote for Space Command” was woefully empty. At best it was a political carrot dangled by Trump to a state his campaign quickly realized was not competitive–and no such largesse could save Gardner, who was all but written off by national Republicans early on in the 2020 cycle.

As for Alabama, we’re inclined to agree that to whatever extent Trump did have sway over this decision, he would certainly try to reward Mo Brooks and Tommy Tuberville for their unwavering loyalty right to the bitter end of Trump’s presidency. With Gardner’s loyalty to Trump there was also “no waver,” but the voters of Colorado rendered the question of Gardner’s loyalty moot. He was useless to Trump in defeat. The only caveat to this we feel obliged to add is some presumption of the best when it comes to the Air Force’s political impartiality, and readers can debate that for themselves.

Perhaps the one upside is Gardner doesn’t have to make excuses about losing Space Command now, and that’s good because we’re pretty sure nobody in Colorado would want to hear them. So long, Cory Gardner, and thanks for even closer to nothing than we thought.

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Another Nonsensical Floor Speech from Lauren Boebert

Congresswoman Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-Rifle) delivered her first speech on the House floor a week ago today, just minutes before Trump-inspired terrorists stormed the U.S. Capitol. That speech was filled with ominous and threatening language, including her statement that, “I have constituents outside this building right now,” and another quote that should be repeated back at Boebert every time she speaks: “Either we have laws, or we do not.”

Today, Q*Bert took to the House floor again for a short, rambling diatribe about her opposition to impeachment (she’d say more on Twitter, but she can’t). You can watch the full clip below, or read the transcription that follows:

 

REP. LAUREN BOEBERT: Glory to God. Madam Speaker, I rise today to oppose this impeachment and denounce the recent violence at the Capitol, just as I opposed the previous impeachment and the violence that we’ve all witnessed, all summer long across our great country.

Make no mistake here [wagging her right finger]. The hypocrisy of the left is on full display. 

Quote: ‘Go to the Hill. Get in the face of some congresspeople. We’ve got to fight in Congress. Fight in the courts. Fight in the streets. Take him behind the gym and beat the hell out of him. Take him…go and take Trump out tonight.’ Sound familiar?

What about the gentlewoman from New York, who defended the looting by saying looters just wanted loaves of bread? Well, the last I checked Best Buy and Teslas and stores of the like do not produce baked goods. Where is the accountability for the left, after encouraging and normalizing violence? Rather than actually helping American people in this time, we start impeachments that further divide our country.

I call, ‘bullcrap’ when I hear the Democrats demanding unity. Sadly, they are only unified in hate. This… [UNIDENTIFIED VOICE: Your time has expired]

What is Boebert “quoting” above? She never says. “Take him behind the gym and beat the hell out of him” is something Boebert saw somewhere at some point and she is pretty sure it is relevant to today’s debate.

We should also note the absurdity of Boebert claiming that impeachment discussions are a waste of time when she was delivering a speech last week about overturning the results of the electoral college.

“Glory to God,” indeed.

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Buckpedaling Shifts Into Third Gear

Can this bike go sideways?

Congressman Ken Buck (R-Greeley) is not known as a man of firm convictions. This is primarily because it is genuinely impossible to know where Buck stands on certain issues at any one time.

You can generally count on Buck, who also serves as the Colorado Republican Party Chairman, to voice at least one idiotic opinion on a particular topic. But three different opinions? That’s a rare treat.

Last week, in a span of 24 hours, Buck went from saying, “I don’t blame the President at all for this” regarding the attack on the U.S. Capitol building, to saying, “I think he’s partly to blame.”

Today, Buck showed up on CNN and offered a THIRD explanation for last week’s terrorist attack:

“What I’m trying to suggest to you is that both sides are at fault,” says Buck in an interview with CNN’s John Berman, who is understandably confounded by Buck’s proposal.

We’re not even going to bother with using a lot of words to explain why Buck’s suggestion that “both sides are at fault” is complete rubbish. There were not two different groups of people laying siege to the Capitol last Wednesday. Period.

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EXCLUSIVE: Rep. Jason Crow on The Get More Smarter Podcast

Rep. Jason Crow comforts a fellow House Member during last Wednesday’s attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Our first podcast episode of 2021 is a big one: We have an EXCLUSIVE interview with Rep. Jason Crow (D-Aurora), detailing the harrowing moments surrounding last week’s siege of the U.S. Capitol.

Hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii talk with Rep. Crow about the events of January 6; his confrontation with a fellow House Member the morning before the attack; how Crow explains last week’s events to his children; and why impeaching President Trump was unavoidable after he incited an insurrection.

Catch up on previous episodes of The Get More Smarter Podcast at GetMoreSmarter.com.

Questions? Comments? Complaints? Hit us up at AngryRants@getmoresmarter.com.

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | TuneIn

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