BREAKING: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Has Died

UPDATE #3: FOX 31 has local reactions to the day’s heartbreaking news:

Gov. Jared Polis:

“Today Coloradans and our nation mourn the loss of a titan. We have lost a fearless advocate for women and families and someone who never stopped working toward greater equality for all in the eyes of the law. I am deeply saddened by the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She spent her incredible career giving a voice to the voiceless and standing up for what is right. Her words and her legacy will live on in all those she has inspired. We will forever be grateful for her contributions to making our country a better place.”

Sen. Michael Bennet:

“Few Americans have done as much as Ruth Bader Ginsburg to pull America closer to its ideals. Her tenacity, brilliance, and moral compass will be deeply missed, especially at this fraught moment. My thoughts are with her family and loved ones.”


UPDATE #2: As a reminder, here’s Senator Cory Gardner in February 2016 — nearly 9 months before Election Day — regarding a Supreme Court vacancy following the death of Antonin Scalia:

Asked his opinion about the high court vacancy, Gardner said the successor to the recently deceased Antonin Scalia “ought be chosen by the American people through the election of the next president.” [Pols emphasis]

Pressed…on what he would say to the argument that he should wait to see who the president nominates, Gardner responded: “Again, I think we’re too close to the election. The president who is elected in November should be the one who makes this decision.” [Pols emphasis]


UPDATE: From Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s final statement:

“My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new President is installed.”

The nation mourns. The political implications are staggering. Watch this space for updates.


Fact Checkers are Demolishing Gardner Talking Points

Via Politifact (9/18/20)

Politifact is out with a new fact check on legislation being promoted by Senator Cory Gardner’s campaign that has already been blown to bits by local fact checkers.

Despite spending his entire career railing (and voting) against the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Gardner is campaigning on a 117-word bill that he introduced in late July that is intended to give the impression that he is doing something serious about protecting pre-existing medical conditions. The reason is simple: Protecting pre-existing medical conditions is popular with voters, and Gardner is not.

Rather than concentrate on a TV spot from Gardner’s campaign about his legislation regarding pre-existing medical conditions, Politifact instead skips straight to the meat of the discussion: Does Gardner’s bill do what he says it would do?

A campaign spokesperson reiterated in an email that Gardner’s goal is “to guarantee coverage for individuals with preexisting conditions and ensure they cannot be charged more as a result of their underlying medical conditions.”

Thomas Miller, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a think tank in Washington, D.C., quipped that the main goal might be something else entirely.

“It’s probably about 100 words too long,” Miller said. “It could have said, ‘I’m running for election. I’ll do whatever is necessary.’” [Pols emphasis]

Politifact’s ultimate ruling is consistent with what other news outlets have discovered: Gardner’s bill is crap.

Because protecting people with medical conditions requires many moving parts, the brevity of Gardner’s proposal makes it appear to be a fig leaf for a political problem rather than a means to guarantee protections for people with preexisting conditions. [Pols emphasis]

The legislation is unclear on whether it guarantees that people with health problems will be able to buy insurance in the first place. And, even if they can, they may well find it priced out of reach because the legislation does not bar insurers from varying premiums widely on the basis of age, gender or occupation.

Viewed in its most favorable light, Gardner’s 117-word proposal would only serve as a place holder for larger legislation, upon which more protections would have to be layered to bolster the effectiveness of its guarantee.

In an effort to defend Gardner, his campaign spokespeople have been working really hard to move the goalposts in describing “things that are true.” A spokesperson tells Politifact above that Gardner’s “goal” is to “guarantee coverage for individuals with preexisting conditions and ensure they cannot be charged more as a result of their underlying medical conditions.” That’s a cute bit of wordplay about a “goal” that skips past the fact that this is not what Gardner’s legislation would actually accomplish.

Responding to a Fox 31 News “truth check“, a Gardner spokesperson said, “Insurers would be required to take on and cover individuals with pre-existing conditions no matter what happens to Obamacare.” That’s not what health policy experts say. But our favorite Gardner campaign narrative came in response to a 9News “Truth Test” about his pre-existing conditions TV spot:

In an email, Gardner’s campaign spokeswoman defended the bill.

“One thing is 100% true: Cory Gardner authored the bill and he says it guarantees coverage, which means insurers would be required to cover and take on individuals with pre-existing conditions,” wrote spokeswoman Meghan Graf.

It is 100% true that Gardner authored the bill! It is 100% true that Gardner “says” it guarantees coverage! It is 100% true that Gardner is an actual U.S. Senator!

Here’s one more thing that is true: Gardner’s pre-existing medical conditions stunt is not working.


Just How Unqualified Is Lauren Boebert, Really?

GOP CD-3 candidate Lauren Boebert, pork sliders.

The Grand Junction Sentinel’s Charles Ashby has up today one of the more thorough bio pieces we’ve seen so far on Lauren Boebert, the upstart QAnon-curious Republican nominee for red-leaning CD-3 who shook Republican politics in western Colorado hard by handily defeating longtime incumbent Rep. Scott Tipton in the June 30th Republican primary. Ashby tries to substantiate Boebert’s backstory as she tells it to voters, a Democratic “welfare state” child who learned later in life once she moved to the Western Slope to pull herself up by her own bootstraps and serve tainted pork sliders earn her own piece of the American Dream. But stuff doesn’t appear to always add up:

Lauren Boebert, the Republican candidate for the 3rd Congressional District, may not have grown up in the downtrodden Democratic household that she’s so often been claiming…

We’ve already commented on Boebert’s story about eating “government cheese” as a child as pretty substantially off her message, so to find out it’s probably fictional just makes it all the more inexplicable. A hardscrabble upbringing is not a political disadvantage, of course, but it’s always better to go with the real story instead of making stuff up–even if the real story is, you know, boring. In Boebert’s case, her mother was actually a Republican when she was a kid, though she appears to have switched parties after (and back again, reports Ashby). Boebert claims she grew up under “complete control that the government had over us,” and it’s relief to know that this was made up since we all live in the same America.

There’s a lot to unpack in this feature-length story, from Boebert’s various arrest and court records to her history operating the Shooters Grill and the “Smokehouse 1776” food service operation blamed for sickening dozens of rodeo patrons in 2017–make sure you click through and read everything. There is one part of Boebert’s bio that merits a little additional discussion:

She said she later got her GED, a high school equivalency degree, but never has said when…

According to two Pueblo retired military veterans who have formed a political action committee opposing Boebert’s candidacy, the congressional candidate didn’t actually get her GED degree until May of this year, [Pols emphasis] about a month before the June primaries and five months after entering the race.

That group,, says it’s been looking into Boebert’s background and is troubled by what it sees. The group was formed by Pueblo residents George Autobee and Stephen Varela, who describe themselves as combat veterans.

“Nothing about Lauren’s story is true,” Autobee said in an email. “She is not who she says she is. She has had multiple failed businesses, doesn’t pay her taxes, breaks the law frequently, and will do or say anything to get in the spotlight. She has told countless lies on the campaign trail, and we cannot afford this circus in Congress.”

This is where the conversation gets a little delicate, since no one wants to unfairly denigrate people who haven’t enjoyed a traditional path to adulthood. In Lauren Boebert’s case, she dropped out of high school to have a child. That’s hardly a unique experience, and not in itself disgraceful in any way. But if it’s true that Boebert only went back for her GED this past May, months after getting into the race for Congress, and has been deceptively vague about this, it is undeniably damaging to Boebert’s credibility. It’s not unheard of for people to be elected to Congress without a college degree–but when you lump this lack of educational achievement in with Boebert’s wacky political curiosities, shallow policy prescriptions, marginal legal history, and refusal to engage in unscripted debate, it adds up to a plainly unqualified candidate for Congress in any objective sense.

Most people, including most liberals, want to see leaders from all walks of life.

But minimum standards apply.


In Which Ken Buck Gets to the Bottom of Antifa

It’s true because I said it.

Ken Buck has it all figured out. Mostly.

The Republican Congressman from Greeley, who also serves as the Chairman of the Colorado Republican Party, was a guest this week on the “Brian Kilmeade Show” on Fox News Radio. Buck told the talking muppet from Fox & Friends — whom Fox bills as “America’s receptive voice,” whatever that means — that he knows that “Antifa” has a well-funded leadership structure and that local law enforcement officials are not cooperating with the Department of Justice in making arrests and trying to topple “Antifa.”

Of course, Buck eventually acknowledges that he doesn’t have any specific information about any of this, but because he was a prosecutor for 25 years, he sees the bigger picture unlike the rest of the saps in Congress.

We transcribed Buck’s interview with Kilmeade so that you can get the full experience of Buck’s fearmongering nonsense:

KILMEADE: Why are you the one who has to lead the charge into finding out who’s behind Antifa, and what is their role in places like Portland, Seattle, Chicago, and New York?

BUCK: Well, I tell you, I had the privilege of prosecuting for 25 years, and so I think I look at crime a little bit differently. I think a lot of Members of Congress see individual acts of crime, and I see the organization, the money behind the crimes. [Pols emphasis] Who is funding the folks that are traveling from the West Coast to the East Coast to engage in these violent acts — to commit arson, to beat up people who they don’t agree with? And so, I am really interested in going after the funders as a way to shut down the violence.

SPOILER ALERT: Don’t hold your breath waiting for Buck to mention the 17-year-old man who traveled from his home in Illinois to Kenosha, WI and ended up killing two people and wounding another with his AR-15 rifle. What we really need to figure out is this: Who is supplying the bricks?

KILMEADE: Over in Colorado, Congressman Buck, we’re seeing Antifa everywhere. They seem organized. Some of them have radios. They seem somewhat rehearsed. We watch what they did in New York after George Floyd was killed. We saw bricks being dropped off, bats being dropped off. They have a plan.

BUCK: Absolutely. And I write about it in my book and talk about the fact that the left can’t get to their socialist utopia with our constitution in the way and with our history in the way, and with our values. And so, what they have to do is, they have to try to cancel our culture. They have to try to rewrite history and have teachers ignore history, and adopt the terrible curriculum that was written by The New York Times and try to push this, this…this really, lie, about America out to the public.

Serious journalist person Brian Kilmeade (right)

How did we get from “Antifa” to The New York Times and its “1619 Project“? Get us back on topic, Kilmeade!

SPOILER ALERT #2: Buck doesn’t actually KNOW anything about any of this.

KILMEADE: So, you have this group…who are they? Who finances them, from what you know right now?

BUCK: Sure, well, I don’t know specific donors and I won’t speculate about specific donors, but it’s clear to me that there is, a…while it appears to be a loosely-knit organization, there’s also a leadership structure that is very tightly-knit and is, uh, well-funded. [Pols emphasis] And I think that, if you look at who is funding the Left when it comes to other activities, I think undoubtedly there are the same people who are funding a lot of this activity. And I think they’re trying to disrupt President Trump’s agenda, and I think they’re doing everything they can to scare people. I think it will backfire. What I see in Colorado is that voters are concerned about this and are looking for a strong, steady hand to lead the country. 

Just a few minutes ago, Buck said he was absolutely sure that “Antifa” is a well-funded organization. When pressed for details, Buck has…bupkis. It’s frightening to remember that Buck was the freakin’ district attorney in Weld County for 10 years.

Kilmeade then asks Buck to respond to an unspecified report that a former justice department official is saying that there is some sort of “proof” that these protests are actually organized violence and not just organic actions by a few bad actors. Kilmeade compares “Antifa” to Al Qaeda and ISIS; to Buck’s credit, he at least doesn’t perpetuate this nonsense: 

BUCK: Well, I think there’s a difference between foreign terrorists and domestic terrorists, and I think what we need to do, and I think what the Department of Justice is doing, is conducting a grand jury investigation. I think they are doing their best to gather bank records and other records to determine where this funding is coming from. 

But before we can injure ourselves patting Buck on the back, he crosses a pretty important line. This is where Buck moves from red meat posturing to more dangerous (and highly irresponsible) territory: Accusing local law enforcement officials of ignoring “Antifa”:

BUCK: Really, what it depends on, when you deal with major drug organizations and cartels from outside the country, and other organized crime efforts, like the mafia, you need to make sure that you have state and local officials who are arresting at the local level and then using those folks at the local level to gather information on the organization. The problem here is that we don’t have officials in Portland and other areas who are cooperating with the federal government, oftentimes because of sanctuary city policies and other policies that prohibit that kind of cooperation. And so, I think that the Department of Justice has a more difficult problem than it has in the past. [Pols emphasis]

What is Buck’s suggestion here? That local law enforcement officials should arrest more people on suspicion of being part of something that as far as anyone can tell HAS NO STRUCTURED ORGANIZATION? What would the paperwork say? This warrant is based on the belief that suspect is affiliated with an organization that we can find no evidence of existing?

Buck’s comments are at odds with what actual law enforcement officials are saying about “Antifa.” On Thursday, FBI Director Christopher Wray testified before the House Homeland Security Committee and told lawmakers that “Antifa” is an ideology and not an organization. From The Associated Press:

Wray did not dispute in his testimony Thursday that antifa activists were a serious concern, saying that antifa was a “real thing” and that the FBI had undertaken “any number of properly predicated investigations into what we would describe as violent anarchist extremists,” including into individuals who identify with antifa.

But, he said, “It’s not a group or an organization. It’s a movement or an ideology.” [Pols emphasis]

Clearly, the FBI Director has not been talking to supercop Ken Buck, who believes that the Department of Justice is collecting bank account information that it can use to tie people to an ideology and prove that George Soros is the mastermind of our discontent.

Does Buck actually believe this crap, or is he just playing a role that serves him well politically? It’s tough to say which is worse: That he would knowingly tout misinformation or that he has completely bought into this baloney. Either way, it says a lot about both Ken Buck the Congressman and Ken Buck the GOP Chairman.


Recall Polis 2020: Few Signs Of Life

The first bonafide photograph of a place where Colorado voters can sign a petition to recall Gov. Jared Polis–not requiring a time machine back to 2019, mind you, the 2020 Recall Polis campaign–was sent to us today from a street corner in Loveland:

That’s the only hard proof we’ve seen of any actual organizing for this latest effort, and the clock is ticking–every day these very fine people don’t collect at least 10,500 signatures (that’s 631,266 divided by 60 days), they’re falling behind the mark. We assume if there were thousands of people lining up in Loveland to sign the petition, they’d send a photo of that instead. And that’s not the worst part: a look at the Recall Polis 2020 “Find a Signing Location” page this afternoon contains a whole lot of nothing in terms of information for such populated places as Jefferson County:

Or Denver:

The good news is, you can sign at the Otero County GOP office, conveniently located 180 miles from Denver:

We just looked through the entire “directory” of signing locations, and the only two listings in the entire state direct potential recall petition signers to the La Junta GOP office and a “Save the Republic” rally Saturday in Colorado Springs. If this campaign was serious, they would have been ready with signing locations across the state to follow up the press they received this week that their petition was approved for circulation–thus capitalizing on the less critical media attention these campaigns enjoy at the outset.

But much like the last Recall Polis campaign, we’re making a mistake if we’re presuming this is a serious effort. Any thinking Republican, of course, has no time to waste organizing a futile recall during the height of election season, when every available hand and resource needs to be focused on saving Republican candidates from another impending Democratic wave. If you’re working on this recall instead of helping Republicans who are on the ballot in November, you might as well be helping Democrats.

We’re pretty sure that doesn’t matter to them. So enjoy the distraction while it lasts.


Cory Gardner Can Run and He Can Hide

Can’t talk now. I have a phone.

Whoever said, “you can run, but you can’t hide,” has obviously never met Sen. Cory Gardner.

Labor Day has come and gone, and Gardner has made no attempt to distance himself from President Trump. Dropping Trump’s electoral anchor is about the only thing that Gardner hasn’t tried to do in order to win re-election in 2020. We’ve argued that it’s too late for Gardner to even try to dump Trump at this point, and it seems that the Yuma Republican has come to the same conclusion.

To get around this problem, Gardner does what he always does: He runs.

As CNN reports today, can’t-talk-itis seems to be contagious:

As Election Day draws near, Trump’s controversies have grown — and so has the Republican indifference to them. For much of Trump’s presidency, Republicans have rarely pushed back at Trump’s self-inflicted controversies and scandals, knowing that doing so would prompt a Twitter attack from the President and a revolt from his vocal supporters — something that GOP lawmakers, particularly in difficult reelection races, can ill-afford.

And with polls showing Trump commands the support of an overwhelming number of Republican voters, GOP lawmakers are in a bind as they try to court swing voters put off by Trump while avoiding criticizing a President who demands total loyalty from his party.

“In a bind,” you say? Here’s how Gardner navigates such a bind:

The White House this week wasn’t full of controversies, given the historic accords between two Gulf nations and Israel — a move that relieved Republicans and earned Trump bipartisan praise. But such moments have been overshadowed by more than three years of controversies and offensive tweets — and Republicans have grown weary of answering questions about them.

This way I don’t have to listen to the dial tone.

Many in difficult reelection races avoid answering questions from reporters, taking back staircases and entrances to avoid areas where the press congregates.

Sen. Cory Gardner, who faces a tough reelection bid in Colorado, was spotted on the phone four times between Tuesday and Wednesday as he entered and exited the Senate through a back staircase, declining to answer questions.

Asked if he could stop and take questions as he left the Capitol after the final vote Tuesday, Gardner said no: “I’m on the phone,” he responded as he headed to a car that pulled up the moment he walked out, a move that kept reporters from approaching him. A spokesperson didn’t respond to a request for comment. [Pols emphasis]

This leads us back, as it always does, to that infamous commercial from Gardner’s 2014 U.S. Senate campaign:

And when I’m pretending to be on the phone, don’t talk to me.


Get More Smarter on Thursday (September 17)

Today is Constitution Day in the United States; or as President Trump would say “The What?” 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.



*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:

*How you can help in Colorado:

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

*Register to vote or get other election-related information:


► We’re just a few weeks into the 2020-21 school year, and the coronavirus pandemic is overruling well-made plans for safe student instruction. Three days before the nation’s largest school district was set to bring kids back to class, New York Mayor Bill deBlasio — for the second time — delayed in-person classroom instruction.

Here in Colorado, administrators are trying to get a handle on significant outbreaks at universities and colleges. Jefferson Junior/Senior High School in Jefferson County is moving to online instruction after three students tested positive for COVID-19. Half of the students at Cherry Creek High School in Denver are now doing remote learning after an outbreak believed to be related to a weekend party. New data from the State of Colorado shows infection rates trending upward in Colorado.


Two new television ads from Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) are being picked apart by fact-checkers and generally not holding up well. The fact that KDVR calls Gardner’s anti-Hickenlooper ad “Gardner’s Maserati Ad” proves exactly what we were saying about the spot when we first saw it last week.


► The Federal Reserve says a quick economic recovery won’t happen unless Congress acts on another stimulus bill. On Wednesday, President Trump endorsed a bigger stimulus package than what Senate Republicans have discussed.


A new poll shows the race in CO-3 between Democrat Diane Mitsch Bush and Republican Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert to be a neck-and-neck battle:


As The Washington Post reports…just read it for yourself:

Hours before law enforcement forcibly cleared protesters from Lafayette Square in early June amid protests over the police killing of George Floyd, federal officials began to stockpile ammunition and seek devices that could emit deafening sounds and make anyone within range feel like their skin is on fire, according to an Army National Guard major who was there.

D.C. National Guard Maj. Adam D. DeMarco told lawmakers that defense officials were searching for crowd control technology deemed too unpredictable to use in war zones and had authorized the transfer of about 7,000 rounds of ammunition to the D.C. Armory as protests against police use of force and racial injustice roiled Washington.

In sworn testimony, shared this week with The Washington Post, DeMarco provided his account as part of an ongoing investigation into law enforcement and military officers’ use of force against D.C. protesters…

…But DeMarco’s account contradicts the administration’s claims that protesters were violent, tear gas was never used and demonstrators were given ample warning to disperse — a legal requirement before police move to clear a crowd. His testimony also offers a glimpse into the equipment and weaponry federal forces had — and others that they sought — during the early days of protests that have continued for more than 100 days in the nation’s capital.

There’s a decent chance someone actually uttered the phrase, “Bring me the heat ray.” This year is so weird.


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




Fact-Checkers Shred Cory Gardner’s Latest Two Ads

We’ve discussed at length in this space two TV spots running in heavy circulation across Colorado from Sen. Cory Gardner’s re-election campaign–the first released a week ago featuring Gardner meme-worthily washing a Maserati while he makes exaggerated claims about travel expenses incurred by John Hickenlooper as governor, and the second released Tuesday featuring Sen. Gardner’s mother in an especially distasteful attempt to whitewash Gardner’s record on protecting patients with pre-existing conditions.

Last night, 9NEWS and FOX 31 in Denver Truth Tested and Checked respectively these two ads, 9NEWS taking the ad featuring Gardner’s mother and FOX 31 tackling the Maserati carwash spot. And in both cases the ads did not hold up well under scrutiny.

9NEWS’ Marshall Zelinger says this may have been his “most difficult” Truth Test ever, because it involved debunking claims made by Sen. Cory Gardner’s mother, a cancer survivor and neither a political nor public figure. The reticence by Zelinger to be impolite to Gardner’s mom shows the by-design difficulty of taking on Gardner’s false claims when made through what amounts to a human shield. Nonetheless, Zelinger soldiers on:

…[W]hat Gardner’s mom doesn’t say in the ad is that Gardner’s bill isn’t necessary at this point because Obamacare — the Affordable Care Act — is still the law. The Affordable Care Act prevents insurance companies from denying you coverage because of preexisting conditions.

It’s not accurate to say “forever.” The Affordable Care Act currently covers people with preexisting conditions and if it’s repealed, a new bill requiring it would need to be signed into law. There’s no guarantee that would happen. Even if Gardner’s bill was needed and signed into law, it could be repealed later. Saying forever is not true.

AD/CLAIM: “No matter what happens to Obamacare.”

VERDICT: This is also not true.

If Obamacare — the Affordable Care Act — were to be repealed, insurance companies wouldn’t necessarily be required to take you on in the first place.

This Truth Test is commendable for a number of reasons, not least being the dignified but thorough rebuttal of the claims about Gardner’s latest bill, and explanation of Gardner’s long record of disregarding protections for patients with pre-existing conditions in his many votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Rather than focus on the emotionally manipulative aspects of this ad, or fall into the trap of disparaging a highly sympathetic figure, Zelinger just lays out the facts of why the claims are false.

From there, viewers can draw their own conclusions about Gardner’s tactics.

FOX 31’s Truth Check takedown of Gardner’s Maserati ad doesn’t have the same emotional subtext, but it’s no less thorough. Four out of 5 claims in this ad were rated misleading or outright false, including the inflation of a ride from the airport in a Maserati to “touring Europe in a Maserati” in the one claim they marked as “true.” In this case, the subject matter is so obscure and the ad is so downright goofy that it backfires every time somebody watches it–especially with the volume down. It just looks like Cory Gardner loves his Maserati.

The combined impression these two unequivocal fact-checks is that Gardner’s ads are not just deceptive, but weak and desperate–and demonstrative of a completely befuddled re-election message. After six years in office, gimmicks to conceal his record and fact-free cheap shots are all Cory Gardner has to offer Colorado voters.

The Truth Tests don’t lie, and neither do the polls.


Thursday Open Thread

“To a superior race of being the pretensions of mankind to extraordinary sanctity and virtue must seem ridiculous.”

–William Hazlitt


Everything Old and Dumb is New Again (And Still Dumb)

Hey, Wyoming, you’ve got a thing hanging from the bottom of your border.

As we learned last month during the Republican National Convention, the GOP does not have a party platform in 2020. This is at least consistent with a Republican President who does not have a plan — for anything — and it seems to be inspiring Colorado Republicans to ignore plotting for the future in favor of embracing failures from the past.

Earlier this week, we learned that a group of Republican activists received approval from the Colorado Secretary of State’s office to begin collecting signatures for another attempt at recalling Gov. Jared Polis. Republicans tried to recall Polis and a bunch of other Democrats in 2019; the end result of all of this effort turned out to be four signatures in a Budweiser box.

But if recalls aren’t your thing, perhaps you could be enticed to join another secession movement.

Recent post from the “Weld County, WY” Facebook page.

There are apparently some folks in Weld County who are working on trying to figure out a way to get adopted by Wyoming. This is not going to happen, but there are 3,390 people who like the idea on Facebook enough to convince “organizers” to start the process of collecting signatures to petition the Weld County Commissioners to bail on Colorado. We can’t tell you why this group thinks the Weld County Commissioners have the authority or ability to move the county into Wyoming, but that seems to be the plan for now.

(Also, doesn’t Wyoming get a say in this transaction? Or do they just have to agree to whatever the Weld County Commissioners command?)

You might be asking WHY Weld County would want to secede from Colorado. That’s a tough question to answer, though there are several reasons listed on the Weld County, Wyoming (WCW) Facebook page:

♦ The (WCW) group links to this video — originally posted to YouTube by Colorado Pols — of the Independence Institute’s Dave Kopel saying that the passage of Senate Bill 181 would “destroy” Weld County by making it economically-unviable. Senate Bill 181 did in fact become law, and as far as we can tell, Weld County still exists. The oil and gas industry isn’t doing great in Weld County or anywhere else, but you can’t blame any Colorado legislation for that problem.

♦ Wyoming is “more conservative” and “elects more Republicans” than Colorado. This is undoubtedly true. Weld County is also not inhabited entirely by conservative Republicans, but, whatever.

♦ Wyoming has a lower cost of living than Colorado. This is also true. Unfortunately, the cost of living isn’t going to change just because you put “WY” after “Weld County.” You could change your address to “Weld County, Indonesia,” but your landlord isn’t suddenly going to lower the rent.

Back in 2013, 11 rural Colorado counties — representing about 2% of Colorado voters — actually voted on a question about seceding from Colorado and forming a new state. That proposal failed miserably, with less than 41,000 people voting “YES.” Perhaps Weld County residents will be more excited about the idea of joining Wyoming instead of creating a 51st state.

It’s not clear why secession is bubbling back to the surface now. Senator Cory Gardner seems to think that secession makes for a good talking point, but any actual attempt at seceding from Colorado is not politically-helpful for the Yuma Republican because it means that his supporters are doing something other than helping him get re-elected.

Recall Polis! Secede from Colorado! Re-elect Cory Gardner! 

In that order.


Trump’s Service Slurs: If El Paso County Believes, It’s Bad

Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs) with President Donald Trump.

Pam Zubeck at the Colorado Springs Independent has a must-read story up today expounding on a question we’ve been wondering ourselves: will alleged remarks by President Donald Trump in 2018 disparaging fallen American soldiers as “losers” shake up the vote in El Paso County, home to the bulk of the state’s military bases and personnel?

The answer is a definite maybe–depending on where you get your news:

Several other news organizations, including Trump’s favored Fox News, have since substantiated portions of the report. But Trump and his allies labeled the report false, including Congressman Doug Lamborn, R-Colorado Springs, who called the magazine article “more ‘fake news’ such as we have seen many times from the Left.”

Colorado Springs City Councilor Andy Pico, a Navy veteran who’s running for State House District 16, predicts “zero impact” on election results here.

“An ugly, baseless and blatant smear by ‘anonymous’ gutless cowards that has been thoroughly refuted by a dozen witnesses who were there at the time, two years ago, is seen for the unethically dishonest fabrication that it is,” Pico says via email…

The short version is, if you’re of a mind to pre-emptively dismiss any negative information about Trump as “fake news,” you’re likely to do that once again in this case. But for at least some retired generals along the Ronald Reagan Highway, these comments are all too believable:

Retired Brig. Gen. Martin France, a 41-year veteran and lifelong Republican, and Democrat retired Major Gen. Irv Halter, who ran against Lamborn in 2014, had plenty to say, however.

“The comments are consistent with past offensive comments about Senator [John] McCain and others,” France notes. “Plus, I think the corroboration has been strong enough to remove any doubt from all but the most committed members of Trump’s cult of personality.” [Pols emphasis]

That said, France says Trump’s comments likely won’t move the needle locally for two reasons: Few voters remain undecided, and many “less conservative” officers and enlisted personnel cast absentee ballots in home states outside Colorado.

A Military Times poll released just a few days before Trump’s alleged remarks about dead American servicemen were reported by The Atlantic showed that support for the president has dramatically weakened from the huge majority of military support he enjoyed in the 2016 elections. It remains to be seen how much this shift in support will register in the election in El Paso County, in the presidential race itself or–perhaps more importantly given the likely statewide result–down the ballot.

In the end, it depends on whether individual voters are in the loop for any negative news about Trump.

If they are, and they believe it, the presidential race for them is over.


Get More Smarter on Wednesday (September 16)

The Denver Nuggets are in the Western Conference Finals after becoming the first team in NBA history to come back from consecutive 3-1 series deficits. 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.



*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:

*How you can help in Colorado:

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

*Register to vote or get other election-related information:


► President Trump is disputing — despite recordings of his own voice — that he downplayed the coronavirus pandemic by inventing himself a new word: “Up-played.” As NBC News reports:

President Donald Trump told a voter that he did not downplay the coronavirus in the early days of his administration’s Covid-19 response — even though he has been heard on tape saying he did — during an ABC News town hall Tuesday.

“If you believe it’s the president’s responsibility to protect America, why would you downplay a pandemic that is known to disproportionately harm low-income families and minority communities?” a voter asked Trump.

Trump responded: “Yeah, well, I didn’t downplay it. I actually, in many ways, I up-played it in terms of action.” [Pols emphasis] The voter appeared to try to follow up and remind the president that he acknowledged having downplayed the threat of the coronavirus in a taped interview with journalist Bob Woodward earlier this year.

During the town hall, Trump said that many people don’t want to wear masks and claimed that “there are a lot of people think that masks are not good.”

Asked who those people are, the president said, “Waiters. They come over and they serve you, and they have a mask. And I saw it the other day where they were serving me, and they’re playing with the mask. I’m not blaming them. I’m just saying what happens. They’re playing with the mask, so the mask is over, and they’re touching it, and then they’re touching the plate. That can’t be good.”

As The Hill reports, Trump also came up with a new turn-of-phrase regarding one potential approach to combating the pandemic:

President Trump defended his assertion that the novel coronavirus would “disappear” with or without a vaccine on Tuesday, saying the United States would develop what he called “herd mentality.”

“With time it goes away,” Trump said during an ABC News town hall in Pennsylvania when pressed by host George Stephanopoulos on his public comments about the virus. “You’ll develop, you’ll develop herd — like a herd mentality. It’s going to be, it’s going to be herd-developed, and that’s going to happen. That will all happen. But with a vaccine, I think it will go away very quickly.”

Trump was (probably) referencing “herd immunity,” which is a different thing than “herd mentality” (you’re on your own trying to explain “herd-developed.”) Medical experts say that “herd immunity” would require both a vaccine and at least one million coronavirus deaths in the United States; “herd immunity” is thus more of a consequence than a strategy.

The Washington Post fact-checked Trump’s ABC News appearance and might have run out of ‘Pinocchios.’


 Roughly half of the students at Cherry Creek High School near Denver have been moved to remote learning because of a COVID-19 outbreak being blamed on a weekend party.


► The Colorado Springs Independent looks at the potential election fallout from President Trump’s persistent denigration of the military.


As The Durango Herald reports, Republican Congressional candidate Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert is having trouble keeping her origin story straight. This may be partially because her talking points don’t make a ton of logical sense.


 Tuesday’s Primary Election in Delaware was the last Primary of the 2020 election season.


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




Lauren Boebert: Welfare Fed Me. Screw Welfare!

A Tweet this morning from Republican CD-3 nominee Lauren Boebert is freshly baking noodles:

CD-3 GOP nominee Lauren Boebert.

This is Boebert explaining to the world that she received some manner of public assistance when she was a child, “standing in line for government cheese” as she colloquially puts it, “to now running for Congress”–the “American dream!” And by voting for Boebert, you can help make sure nobody has to stand in line for “government cheese” like Lauren Boebert did.

There are…all kinds of problems with this, of course. If Lauren Boebert’s family needed “government cheese” when she was a child, and got it, that would seem to indicate something good happened involving the government–which if you haven’t heard is very much off Boebert’s message. And since “running for Congress” is competing for a taxpayer-funded job, couldn’t one argue that Boebert is still waiting in line for her “government cheese?”

This is why, before you begin to say a thing, you want to know what the point at the end is going to be.


Cory Gardner’s Latest Ad Is So Much Worse Than It Looks

UPDATE: Gardner is getting crushed by national media outlets who clearly see the contradictions:

And as NBC News reports:

Gardner campaign spokesman Meghan Graf didn’t respond when asked if Gardner still favors ACA repeal, or why his bill doesn’t include the guaranteed issue provision. She wouldn’t say whether Gardner supports a lawsuit backed by the Trump administration to invalidate the ACA.


Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

This morning, embattled GOP incumbent Sen. Cory Gardner released a new TV spot you can watch above. The ad features Sen. Gardner emoting very strongly over his mother’s cancer diagnosis, and his mother is present in the ad to talk favorably about Gardner’s recent 117-word bill meant to redeem a decade of votes by Gardner to repeal the Affordable Care Act without any protections for patients with pre-existing conditions–a bill panned as “horse excrement,” with none of the details in the ACA that actually protect patients, and loopholes big enough to drive an ambulance through. Gardner promises with what look a lot like tears in his eyes to protect people with pre-existing conditions “no matter what happens to Obamacare.”

If you are a Colorado voter not aware of Sen. Cory Gardner’s literally dozens of votes in the U.S. House and Senate over the years to repeal protection for patients with pre-existing conditions as part of repealing the Affordable Care Act, this ad might not immediately send whatever beverage you’re holding flying toward the screen unlucky enough to be showing it. But if you do know that Cory Gardner’s entire career in federal office going back to his original run for Congress in 2010 has been centered on repealing the Affordable Care Act, and in most cases his votes to repeal “Obamacare” made no attempt to protect anyone who has benefitted from the law in any way, you understand as you watch this ad that it is truly one of the most deceptive and outrageous messages ever conveyed to Colorado voters on any subject.

Everyone knows why this is happening. Although Gardner built his career around fact-free attacks on “Obamacare,” going back to his fictitious claims of hundreds of thousands of Coloradans “losing their coverage” while the law in truth drove the rate of uninsured in Colorado to record lows, in 2020 the Affordable Care Act is polling better than it did during all those years of single-minded Republican opposition. Despite the imperfections in the law that Republicans in Congress refused to allow anyone to address in their desire to see the ACA fail, and kicks at the underpinnings of the law like zeroing out the individual mandate, millions of people continue to benefit every year. In 2020, the global pandemic has refocused Americans’ attention on access to health care, and the ACA’s opponents are the ones who look dreadfully out of touch.

After so much of Gardner’s career has been spent trying to undo the very thing he tearfully promises to protect in this ad, all this ad proves is how little Gardner has actually delivered for the voters of Colorado–and how the state’s voters have been poorly served by Gardner’s right-wing agenda.

What Cory Gardner is promising, at long last, is to protect us from Cory Gardner.


GOP Mail Ballot Scare Tactics Continue To Backfire

One of the principal unintended consequences we’ve been watching for from President Donald Trump’s low-information crusade against mail ballots is potentially damaging mistrust in the election system instilled in Republican voters, which could impact turnout in an election all polls already show Republicans set to lose badly.

This alert from Gunnison County Republicans late last week shows it’s a real concern:

Of course, Donald Trump is very much down on drop boxes for mail ballots too, so it’s possible this advice will be updated at some point. A large percentage of Colorado voters already utilized drop boxes before this election, out of convenience not paranoia–but despite the ongoing chicanery from the Trump-appointed postmaster general of the United States Postal Service, we do believe our local postal workers will get your properly postage-paid mail ballot to your clerk within the specified timeframes if you select that option. And new for 2020, every voter in Colorado can track their mail ballot from start to finish to make sure it happens.

So take heart, Gunnison County Republicans–mail it in, drop it off, or vote in person as long as you don’t give each other COVID! Just make sure you don’t get so caught up fearmongering about voting that your own voters decide not to bother.


The Most Important Election Ever!

The 2020 election is the most important election ever. We know this to be true, because everybody says so.

Of course, “everybody” said the same thing in 2018, and 2016, and 2014…

We need to get to the bottom of this, so click after the jump to cast your vote.



Get More Smarter on Tuesday (September 15)

By this time one month from now, you may have a 2020 ballot on your kitchen table. 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.



*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:

*How you can help in Colorado:

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

*Register to vote or get other election-related information:


Vulgarity. That’s the difference between President Trump and Sen. Cory Gardner. Both Republicans are shameless opportunists who will seek to exploit any issue for their own political gain; Gardner just doesn’t directly say as many awful things as Trump.

Why do we bring this up? Because Gardner is out with a new television ad that is beyond despicable. Gardner is sitting at a table with his mother, who is a cancer survivor, and talking about his legislation to protect pre-existing medical conditions — legislation that doesn’t do anything and is anathema to everything Gardner has always espoused about government health care. But Gardner is trailing Democrat John Hickenlooper in the 2020 Senate race, so he’s flipping his own script.

As NBC News reported over the weekend:

Sen. Cory Gardner ran his first Senate campaign railing against the newly enacted Affordable Care Act, but six years later, the once-maligned law is getting little mention in his bid for re-election.

The Colorado Republican isn’t alone.

After years of campaigning against Obamacare, Republicans trying to retain control of the Senate appear to be conceding that attacking the ACA is no longer politically advantageous, a shift compounded by the millions of people who now depend on the law for their coverage, including protections for pre-existing conditions.

“Now with Obamacare being entrenched into people’s daily lives, they just don’t want their health care messed with, and so it becomes hard for Republicans to articulate on that point,” said Doug Heye, who worked on repeal efforts in 2014 as deputy chief of staff to then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va.



A group of Colorado Republicans are AGAIN trying to recall Gov. Jared Polis, and their timing couldn’t be worse for the rest of the GOP. Instead of spending the next two months trying to get Republicans elected, these recall folks are instead going to be chasing a Nov. 13 petition signature deadline that they cannot possibly meet.


Chris Cillizza of CNN has more on the continuing fallout regarding President Trump’s comments to Bob Woodward that he intentionally played down the coronavirus pandemic — including Trump’s insistence in March/April that everything “re-opens” before Easter:

This timeline is brutal for Trump. It makes clear that he knew, even as he was urging the country to reopen and for churches to be packed on Easter Sunday, that the virus was incredibly easy to pass from person to person.

For Trump to say that his entire strategy was to avoid panicking the public by “downplaying” the virus is bad enough.

But to actively encourage the reopening of the country when he knew that the virus was extremely contagious is, in a word, irresponsible. And in two words, dangerously irresponsible.


Haze from multiple wildfires in the Western United States is now visible in New York City.


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




Trump: Support Our (Russian) Troops

Last week, it was President Donald Trump’s nomination for something his campaign called the “Noble Prize?” This week, the president’s digital campaign advertising campaign gives the world another unintentional meme, this one positively dripping with irony:

The image used in this ad for Trump’s re-election campaign is available on Shutterstock:

And yes, diligent planespotters, as Politico reports:

“That’s definitely a MiG-29,” [Pols emphasis] said Pierre Sprey, who helped design both the F-16 and A-10 planes for the U.S. Air Force. “I’m glad to see it’s supporting our troops.”

…Ruslan Pukhov, director of the Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies in Moscow, confirmed that the planes are Russian MiG-29s, and also said the soldier on the far right in the ad carries an AK-74 assault rifle.

Once again, it’s such a manifold hilarious mistake that it seems like sabotage–like somebody in the bowels of the Trump re-election campaign is deliberately sabotaging ads by making them hilarious in the worst possible way for Trump.

It’s funny, to paraphrase the old saying, because it might as well be true.


Of Course There is Another Polis Recall Effort

This calls for the “Quad Facepalm.”

Polling data continues to indicate that Colorado Republicans are in big trouble in 2020. But instead of organizing phone banks or fundraisers in the 50 days left before Election Day, a group of GOP activists have decided to hunker down and focus instead on trying to recall Gov. Jared Polis.


You may recall that in 2019, Republicans tried to recall a half-dozen different Democrats in Colorado. All of the recall attempts failed miserably — and we do mean miserably. The Colorado Republican Party supported these efforts to varying degrees before eventually calling for a full evacuation from Hurricane Recall. That message was apparently not received by some activists, as Jesse Paul reports for The Colorado Sun:

The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office on Monday approved the petition drafted by “Recall Polis 2020,” which is tied to at least one of the people behind the failed efforts last year to remove the Democrat from office.

The organization has 60 days — or until Nov. 13 — to collect 631,266 signatures to force a special election to decide whether or not Polis, who is halfway through his first term in office, should be recalled.

Thus far, the Recall Polis 2020 issue committee, formed on June 10, reports raising only about $4,000 in cash. Organizer Lori Ann Cutunelli, of Summit County, reported donating more than $7,300 to pay for drafting the petition wording and to make a downpayment on printing costs. Additionally, a GoFundMe campaign has raised about $7,600 from 275 donors.

If you’re still worried that this new Polis recall effort might be successful, go ahead and read this paragraph:

Greg Merschel, one of the people behind Resist Polis PAC — which Coloradans Against Polis was formerly known as — is listed as one of the organizing members of Recall Polis 2020.

We’d love to explain this better, but we’d need an entire office wall and two rolls of red string to map out the lunacy in full.

Efforts at recalling Polis in 2019 did not end well, unless you measure success based on how many people you trick into writing you a check; in fact, you could make a strong argument that the primary purpose of trying to oust Polis was so that a couple of people could earn some extra cash. There were at least two separate groups claiming to be the “real” recall effort in 2019. “Resist Polis” and “Official Recall Jared Polis” sniped back and forth for months, and by the end of their “campaigns” they were openly rooting for each other to fail.

Before she was “Q*Bert,” Lauren Boebert collected Recall Polis petitions at her Rifle restaurant.

The “Resist Polis” campaign eventually held a comical press conference outside of the State Capitol in Denver, where several plastic boxes full of “petition signatures” were piled up on the West Steps as proof that “Resist Polis” did a thing. Organizers claimed to have collected more than 300,000 signatures, though they refused to submit their bounty to the Colorado Secretary of State’s office for verification. We can at least confirm that some of the boxes definitely contained pieces of paper.

Confusion about the recall Polis efforts persisted until the very end. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert, now the Republican nominee for Congress in CO-3, literally drove across the state so that she could be there in person when the recall petitions were (not) submitted.

When Senator Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) was asked about the recall efforts last summer, he was perplexed that Republicans would be spending time and resources focusing on work that was completely unrelated to the upcoming 2020 election. As The Denver Post reported in July 2019:

Even the state’s highest-ranking Republican officeholder, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, danced around the question when asked about the Polis recall.

“You know what, we gotta focus all we can on winning in 2020; getting our congressional seats back, getting our state legislature back … ,” Gardner said at a recent Republican Party event in El Paso County. “That’s where I’m at. You may agree or disagree, but boy I think we gotta get our nuts and bolts together so that we can win.”

Gardner wasn’t necessarily opposed to the idea of trying to recall Polis; he was more concerned that organizers were diverting the attention of volunteers and donors when the GOP really needed them for the actual upcoming election. This was definitely a problem for Republicans in 2019, but in 2020 it’s an outright disaster.


Did You Get Your Mail Ballot Misinformation Mailer?

U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.

Denver7’s Robert Garrison reports on the latest attempt by the Trump-addled United States Postal Service, deliberately and/or by sheer incompetence, to screw up mail balloting that has worked flawlessly for years in Colorado elections:

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold announced Saturday her office filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Postal Service over a pre-election mailer being mailed out to every postal customer.

Griswold contends that the USPS mailer is misleading and will cause confusion for Colorado voters.

“The mailer incorrectly asks that voters request a mail ballot 15 days before the election and return their ballots by mail at least seven days before the election. In Colorado, every registered voter is sent a ballot without having to make a request and voters are urged to return ballots by mail sooner than seven days before the election,” Griswold wrote in a statement released Saturday.

The postcard in question.

AP’s Jim Anderson reports that after a temporary restraining order was granted halting the delivery of these postcards containing incorrect and incomplete information about mail ballots in Colorado, USPS had the effrontery to argue it’s too much work to stop them:

The USPS mailer tells voters they must request a mail-in ballot for the November elections. In Colorado, every registered voter receives a mail ballot.

The mailer also recommends that voters mail back their ballots at least a week before the Nov. 3 Election Day. Griswold argued that could make people believe they must mail their ballot in but voters in Colorado can mail their ballots, drop them off at drop boxes or voting service centers, or vote in person…

The postal service asked Martinez on Sunday to reconsider, arguing that more than 200,000 postcards were in the process of being delivered. It said the judge’s order would be “extremely burdensome, requiring examination of mail by thousands of postal employees.” It added it had ceased processing of other Colorado-bound postcards.

Given that these postcards have apparently already been delivered in many states, we suppose it’s possible their delivery in some cases can’t be physically prevented to Colorado households despite the restraining order. But if they can be recalled at any expense, they should be. If delivered, the errors in this postcard with respect to how mail ballot elections in Colorado work are very likely to result in a flood of erroneous calls to the Secretary of State’s office requesting mail ballots that will already be mailed, taking staff time and resources away from their actual jobs. While maybe not as egregious as telling voters to get their ballots in by Election Wednesday, it’s another example of incompetence, indifference, or both from a vital government service provider Americans counted on for generations before Donald Trump became President.

Call it another case of those who say “government doesn’t work” proving it’s true–when they’re the government.


GSG: Trump Down 11, Gardner Down 10

Sen. Cory Gardner and John Hickenlooper.

As the Denver Post’s Alex Burness reports as the usual mid-September anxiety sets in over the usual mid-September election year question in Colorado–“sure Democrats are ahead, but is it close?”

After a couple of polls inspired speculation that in Colorado, the race for President and our state’s U.S. Senate seat was “narrowing,” a new survey out today from Global Strategy Group for liberal group ProgressNow Colorado once again shows the Democratic candidates in both these races with the double-digit leads we’ve been accustomed to for months now:

The findings were released by the liberal advocacy group ProgressNow Colorado, which contracted with Democratic firm Global Strategy Group to conduct the survey. The pollsters surveyed 800 likely Colorado voters between Aug. 28 and Sept. 1, with a breakdown of party affiliations — 43% unaffiliated voters, 27% Republicans and 30% Democrats — that roughly mirrors the latest statewide breakdown reported by the Secretary of State’s Office. The poll has a 3.5% margin of error.

The poll finds Joe Biden leading Trump by 11 points in the presidential race. Kanye West will be on the state’s ballot in that race, too, and he received 1% support.

The poll finds that in the U.S. Senate race, Republican incumbent Gardner is down 10 points to Democratic challenger Hickenlooper, the former governor. Other recent polls have shown Gardner within single digits of Hickenlooper, including one released last week that put Gardner just five points behind. Many view Gardner as the most vulnerable Republican incumbent in the Senate, and the outcome of this race could be a deciding factor in whether Democrats can gain control of the chamber.

Read the details here. It’s a poll loaded with good news for Democrats and fans of recent Democratic policy accomplishments like the Senate Bill 217 police accountability law, which is favored by 69% of respondents, and a solid 58% approval of Gov. Jared Polis’ handling of the COVID-19 pandemic with 36% disapproving. President Donald Trump’s approval on handling the pandemic is stuck at 40% with 58% of Coloradans disapproving–and in tough news for CD-3 GOP nominee Lauren Boebert, only 8% of Coloradans have a positive view of the “QAnon” conspiracy theory.

Individual polls aren’t gospel, for anyone seeking a clear picture of any race or question polling is about informing averages. But these numbers feel pretty close to reality to us, and they’ll provide some comfort to Democrats riding out the September of their discontent.