Republicans Might Have Backed the Wrong Horse…Again

 

UPDATE #2: And again…

 

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UPDATE: To our point…

Via The Washington Post (7/30/21)

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Could become a popular item (the bag).

Philip Bump of The Washington Post has an interesting new column out today that prodded us to take a new look at a question we’ve long pondered: Are Republicans SURE that following Donald Trump is their best option in 2022? 

Bump notes that Trump is no longer able to drive a national conversation like he once could — in part because of his banishment from major social media sites — and points out that Trump’s favorability ratings among Republicans have been steadily dropping since the Jan. 6 insurrection. Add in the fact that Trump’s endorsement hasn’t been all that effective lately (more on this in a moment), and it leads Bump to conclude the following:

It’s hard to overstate how important it is for Trump to be seen as decisive. It’s why when a political action committee associated with Trump nemesis John Bolton published a poll suggesting that Trump’s grip had weakened, Trump’s team did a full-court press to rebut the insinuation. His then-spokesman Jason Miller sent a flurry of rejoinders insisting that Trump was still as strong as he liked the world to think. (Incidentally, Miller’s replacement by Liz Harrington is in its own way a diminishment of Trump’s ability to hold the party in his grip.) Trump needs people to think he can make or break their careers.

It’s probably true that, for many, he still can. But this week has been a good reminder that such bullying can very quickly fall apart under the right conditions. At some point next year, as primaries unfold, Trump may see his power collapse and see a bunch of Republicans he opposed headed back to Washington — shaking their heads at him as they go, amazed that they had ever feared him. [Pols emphasis]

On Monday, Trump endorsed Susan Wright ahead of a special election in Texas to fill the remainder of her late husband’s term in Congress (Rep. Ron Wright died earlier this year after being infected with COVID-19). Susan Wright went on to lose to fellow Republican Jake Ellzey by about seven points. 

As POLITICO reports, the outcome in Texas’ 6th Congressional District had Trump lackeys running scared:

[Wright’s] loss Tuesday night sent shockwaves through the former president’s inner circle. Many privately concede the pressure is on them to win another special election next week in Ohio, where a Trump-backed candidate is locked in a close primary.

Advisers worry that a second embarrassing loss would raise questions about the power of Trump’s endorsement — his most prized political commodity, which candidates from Ohio to Wyoming are scrambling to earn before next year’s midterms. [Pols emphasis] More broadly, losses could undermine his standing in the Republican Party, where his popularity and influence has protected Trump’s relevance even as a former president barred from his social media megaphones.

A bit later, POLITICO noters that Trump didn’t do much for Wright aside from his generic endorsement rhetoric:

Some Republicans, however, pin partial blame for Wright’s loss on Trump. While the former president sent out statements reiterating his support for Wright and hosted a late tele-rally for her, he did little to help her build her campaign war chest — something he could have done using his vast small donor network. Recently released finance reports showed Ellzey significantly outraising Wright.

Trump has backed Mike Carey for Congress in a special election in Ohio next week, where the story is much the same. Carey is being vastly outspent by a different Republican candidate, former state lawmaker Ron Hood, who is backed by Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and other conservative Super PACs. Trump advisers are right to worry about what it will say for The Big Orange Guy’s influence if his preferred candidate loses what is essentially a Republican primary for the second time in a week.

These are not the only signs that Trump’s influence might not be as strong as his supporters — including Colorado Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert — would like to believe. 

In late Spring, Trump rolled out a new blog called “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump” that lasted all of 29 days after proving to be less popular than even lesser-known pet-adoption and recipe websites. Organizers of a proposed winter tour headlined by Trump and former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly are having a hard time selling tickets; consumers are apparently much more interested in paying money to see the likes of comedian Katt Williams or podcast host Joe Rogan

Republicans across the country have stuck with Trump even after his departure from the White House in January, but doubts are growing. Colorado Republican Party Chair Kristi Burton Brown, who earlier this year declared that the State GOP would “never” go back to “the pre-Trump era,” has been walking back those declarations in recent interviews. 

Cool, you’ve got these voters. What about everybody else?

Republicans have been basing their entire 2022 political strategy around support for “The Big Lie,” either because they truly believe that the 2020 Presidential Election was fraudulent or (more likely) because they are terrified that Trump could derail their political careers by supporting a GOP challenger. Congressman Ken Buck (R-Greeley) is so frightened of receiving a primary challenge that he recently started inventing his own ridiculous election conspiracy theories. After waffling for months on whether or not the 2020 election was legitimate, Buck dove headfirst down the rabbit hole in July to prove his fealty to falsehoods. Was it worth it, politically-speaking, for Buck to avoid the ire of Trump? 

Maybe not.

Politicians such as Buck, Boebert, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy have staked their 2022 election hopes on the power of Trump’s influence, an allegiance that has compelled them to speak up more forcefully ON THE SIDE OF THE INSURRECTIONISTS. Historically it has not generally been a good political strategy to openly support terrorists; the upside of remaining on Trump’s Christmas card list might not prove to be a fair trade in 18 months. 

Trump is still the overwhelming favorite to be the Republican nominee for President in 2024, so there’s still reason to believe that keeping your nose in Trump’s butt will be a (politically) rewarding strategy.

But it’s tough to argue that Trump’s influence isn’t trending in the wrong direction…and that should make a lot of Republicans very, very nervous.

Devastating CNN Report Exposes Boebert’s Deadly Indifference

Last night on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, reporter Gary Tuchman took an in-depth and extremely unflattering look at how freshman Rep. Lauren Boebert’s vitriolic dismissal of the threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic is playing out on the ground in Boebert’s district as the Delta variant surges and hospitals struggle to cope.

The result is four minutes of video that would under any normal circumstances end Boebert’s career:

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R).

Tuchman starts with a recap of some of Boebert’s more incendiary Tweets on the pandemic, like calling CDC workers “Needle Nazis” and stating that the solution to the Delta variant is to “vote Republican and turn off CNN.” Tuchman tries and fails to get an explanation from Boebert as she’s entering the Capitol. Tuchman then turns his conversation with health workers at Memorial Regional Hospital in Craig, which was forced to reopen its COVID treatment unit due to the recent surge in cases. And that’s where things get very bad for Boebert:

TUCHMAN: How does it make you feel the way Representative Boebert has treated this pandemic, the masks, the vaccine?

ANDY DANIELS, CEO, MEMORIAL REGIONAL HEALTH: You know, I’m embarrassed for Colorado too, quite frankly. I’m embarrassed that she is my representative.

TUCHMAN (on-camera): So you’re the CEO of an important hospital, her district, and you’re willing to go out on a limb and say that?

DANIELS: I am. I think if you’re going to take a stance on health care policy, you might actually want to learn something about health care policy. [Pols emphasis]

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Dr. Matthew Grzegozewski is the hospital’s emergency department chief medical officer.

GRZEGOZEWSKI: She comes from a position of power being our elected official and I think that people are listening to what she’s saying. And a lot of what she’s putting out there is ideology that isn’t fact isn’t medically sound. And it’s putting a lot of people at danger. And it’s quite honestly costing people lives. And it’s frustrating to have to fight against that.

First of all, you have to admire the bravery of these health care workers. Their denunciation of Boebert’s deadly COVID misinformation in this segment is so compelling that it could raise the ire of her radicalized supporters. The willingness of these health workers to speak out in such clear terms against their own congressional representative tells us that Boebert’s popularity even in the heart of her district is tenuous at best–and much like we saw from Politico’s in-depth look at how Boebert plays in Pueblo in June, Boebert has a serious problem that the local media for whatever reason hasn’t yet acknowledged.

It’s time to acknowledge it. Boebert is doing quantifiable harm to the people of her district and the institution of Congress, and her longsuffering constituents are pleading for all of us to look past her diversionary clickbait bombast and see what is actually happening on the ground.

We owe them our gratitude and full attention.

Get More Smarter on Thursday (July 29)

Holy hell! We’re almost done with July already. 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

 

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 

*Coloradans can now get a COVID-19 vaccine at one of six locations without a prior appointment. 

 

As POLITICO reports, it might finally be time to kick off “infrastructure week”:

President Joe Biden moved significantly closer Wednesday to achieving his massive infrastructure overhaul — the type of bipartisan win he’s dreamed about since launching his campaign for the presidency.

Seventeen Republican senators voted with Democrats to advance a roughly $1 trillion deal that would spend heavily on roads, bridges, broadband and public transit. And though it was a vote merely to start debate, Democrats expressed cautious optimism that a bill would eventually reach Biden’s desk. It was, the White House stressed, a testament to the president’s political skill and persistence. Despite constant fits and starts, grumbling from many in his party, and predictions that negotiations would fall apart, Biden refused to give up on working with Republicans.

Colorado Newsline has more on the details of the infrastructure efforts.

Even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is getting out of the way on this (for now, anyway). But as The Washington Post reports, former President Donald Trump is trying to get Republicans to scuttle any deal because he’s sad that he couldn’t accomplish something similar during his administration:

Trump warned the GOP last night against cutting a deal, in his latest rhetorical barrage against bipartisan cooperation on a proposal to shore up or upgrade the country’s roads, bridges, ports, access to the Internet and clean water.

“This will be a victory for the Biden Administration and Democrats, and will be heavily used in the 2022 election,” he warned in a statement. “It is a loser for the USA, a terrible deal, and makes the Republicans look weak, foolish, and dumb.”

The former president also explicitly threatened any Republicans inclined to support the notional deal that “lots of primaries will be coming your way!”

What a patriot.

 

Colorado is not announcing new guidelines for wearing masks indoors, but Denver7 points out all of the areas in the state where you probably SHOULD be wearing a mask just to be safe. Not included is anywhere that Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert happens to be at a given moment.

In a related story, 9News looks at how the Delta variant of COVID-19 appears to be circulating more rapidly in Latino communities.

 

 The Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (CIRC) is speaking up about concerns related to rhetoric heard from one member of Colorado’s Independent Congressional Redistricting Commission. As The Colorado Times Recorder explains:

The Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (CIRC), an immigration advocacy group, condemned comments about undocumented workers made by Congressional Redistricting commissioner Bill Leone.

The comments were made last week at a Joint Independent Redistricting meeting in Englewood in response to witness testimony about how the commission would count imprisoned populations when redrawing Colorado’s congressional districts. Leone then asked if undocumented workers should be reallocated when looking at population data.

Christie Donner, executive director of the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition (CCJRC), testified to the importance of the commission including imprisoned populations in their home districts, rather than the districts in which they are imprisoned.

 

As The Washington Post reports, right-wing cult leader Charlie Kirk and his “Turning Point USA” group is working hard to stop people from getting vaccinated and/or wearing masks to protect themselves and others from COVID-19:

…the communications by Turning Point USA and its affiliate, Turning Point Action, reflect the increasingly hard line taken by the group, which describes itself as the “largest and fastest-growing youth organization in America” and claims a presence on more than 2,500 college and high school campuses. Its dire warnings about a government-backed inoculation program — now a major theme of its Facebook ads, which have been viewed millions of times — illustrate how the Trump-allied group is capitalizing on the stark polarization around vaccine policy.

Experts say the messages, many of which steer online audiences to donation pages, threaten to undermine vaccine confidence among young people, who have already proved particularly reluctant to roll up their sleeves. And they could incite conflict over vaccine requirements as students return to campuses wrestling with how to safely reopen this fall, with some battling in court to require vaccination.

Not-so-fun fact: Bill Montgomery, who co-founded “Turning Point USA” with Kirk, RECENTLY DIED AFTER CONTRACTING COVID-19.

 

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Masks Are Back, And Lauren Boebert Is Raging

Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert shows the world what tyranny looks like.

As the Denver Post’s Megan Wingerter reports, hope you didn’t throw all of yours away:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended Tuesday that vaccinated people wear masks in indoor public places in counties with “high” or “substantial” spread of COVID-19 — which includes the majority of Colorado.

New coronavirus infections have increased in Colorado in recent weeks, and hospitalizations are trending up, though significantly more slowly than they did during the state’s four previous waves of cases.

The CDC defines substantial transmission as 50 or more COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people over the last week. About 60% of U.S. counties are above that threshold, officials said.

As of this writing, Gov. Jared Polis of Colorado is not planning on reinstating the state’s mask mandate. At least for now, increasing case rates in Colorado are not putting as much strain on hospitals–a sign that vulnerable populations are better protected today than in previous COVID-19 infection waves. In Congress, however, it’s a different story after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi re-imposed a mask requirement on the chamber effective today.

Take a guess how that’s going:

In response to the mask mandate returning to the House, in addition to childishly taking her frustrations with Pelosi’s mask mandate out on a staffer, Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert launched into a Twitter tirade this morning about the “anti-science, totalitarian mask mandate” and went full-on conspiratorial on the so-called “Perma-demic’s” non-medical motives:

Permanent masking. Permanent state of emergency. Permanent control. This will go on until the American people just say enough is enough. The tyrants aren’t giving this up!

So folks, we don’t like wearing masks. We don’t know anyone who does. We don’t want or expect to live in a world of “permanent masking.” As for the emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, at least here in the U.S. this has become a crisis almost entirely affecting the unvaccinated population. Boebert has been openly discouraging her supporters from accepting the “experimental vaccine” from the very beginning, even as Mesa County in her district became the state’s epicenter for continuing spread of the virus.

In short, Boebert is doing everything she can to make this emergency permanent. By encouraging her supporters to go unvaccinated and resist mask wearing–the two most effective steps we can take to reduce the spread of COVID-19–Boebert is helping make her own dark prophecy come true. Except for the nefarious motives, of course, though fortunately for Boebert she never has to prove that part.

If the goal is really to end the pandemic, Boebert is her own worst enemy.  She either doesn’t know that or doesn’t care. Either way, Boebert represents the worst-case scenario for leadership at a moment when leadership is desperately needed.

Boebert Hates Bicycles, But CD-3 Sure Doesn’t

At first glance, it just seems like another serving of talk-radio red meat from Colorado’s favorite Republican train wreck Rep. Lauren “Q*bert” Boebert–a presumably dead-on-arrival appropriations amendment striking a blow against that most un-Godly of communist contraptions, the bicycle:

Communists, obviously.

On the one hand, it’s easy to understand: Boebert is a big fan of oil and gas, the kind of devoted fan you can really only be if you don’t think about it too much “Drill Baby Drill” style. Naturally, ICE-loving (internal combustion engine, though we assume either works) red-blooded Americans like Boebert don’t ride stinking bicycles.

The thing is, though, a lot of people in Boebert’s district do ride bicycles. In fact, the Colorado Tourism Office says some of the greatest cycling destinations are in Boebert’s own Western Slope district:

Colorado has more gold- or platinum-rated bicycle communities than any other state, according to the League of American Bicyclists. Boulder and Fort Collins are ranked platinum, while Breckenridge, Durango, Crested Butte and Steamboat Springs are gold. Silver status goes to Aspen, Colorado Springs, Denver, Gunnison and Longmont, while Arvada, Carbondale, Castle Rock, Golden, Greeley, Lakewood, Summit County and Vail make the podium with bronze.

Boebert may not value bicycling as a means of getting around, but a whole bunch of tourism-reliant communities in her district value the hell out of bicycles and the visitors Colorado’s magnificent bike trails bring. That’s in addition to the fact that people who ride bicycles are statistically much healthier, and bicycles and emit neither carbon nor coal-roll soot.

In short, Boebert just insulted a big economic stakeholder in her district for the shallow gratification of another.

We can’t see how that makes Boebert, you know, any new friends.

Grand Junction GOP Event Featuring Reps Lauren Boebert & Jim Jordan Draws Opposing Groups

(“You better stand back – I’m not vaccinated” – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Progressives protest outside Mesa County GOP event headlined by US Reps. Boebert and Jim Jordan

By Sharon Sullivan for the Colorado Times Recorder

U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) and U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) attended a Mesa County Republicans fundraiser, Saturday, July 24, at the Grand Junction Convention Center, where both were slated to speak at the annual Lincoln Day Dinner that evening. Boebert was also invited to speak at Faith Heights Church the following morning during its Sunday service.

Both Members of Congress voted against certifying the Presidential election results on January 6, the day insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol. Plus, Jordan has been accused of aiding and abetting a cover-up, while he was an Ohio State University assistant wrestling coach, of accusations against a university physician for sexually abusing student wrestlers from 1979 to 1997.

Approximately 50 Mesa County Democrats protested Jordan’s presence, as well as their opposition to Boebert, outside the convention center during the fundraising dinner.

Grand Junction resident Bill Richardson protests outside the Mesa GOP fundraiser, headlined by U.S. Reps Lauren Boebert & Jim Jordan. Photo: Sharon Sullivan

Bill Richardson, a retired Grand Junction criminal defense lawyer, carried a sign saying “Gym Jordan Not Welcome in Mesa County.” He said he was compelled to attend the protest “because (Boebert) is doing absolutely nothing for the 3rd District” – a sentiment echoed by many of those who were present. “She’s into performative tweets, Facebook posts, videos, and stunts,” he said.

In addition to claims Jordan failed to protect student athletes from a sexual predator, Richardson’s sign stated Jordan aided the attempted overthrow of the U.S. government – a claim also voiced by Republican congresswoman Liz Cheney, of Wyoming.

Protesters yelled “shame, shame,” as those attending the event walked past to enter the building.

While most attendees chose not to engage the protesters, some hurled insults, one man made obscene gestures, and a few stopped to photograph the group. One woman wearing a blue dress and cowgirl boots approached the protesters, taunting them with, “You better stand back – I’m not vaccinated.”

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Get More Smarter on Monday (July 26)

Japan has a slight lead over the United States in the Olympic medal count after the first couple of days of competition. 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

 

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 

*Coloradans can now get a COVID-19 vaccine at one of six locations without a prior appointment. 

 

Last week, Alabama Republican Gov. Kay Ivey made it clear that she was sick of unvaccinated Americans preventing the rest of the country from ending the COVID-19 pandemic, saying, “It’s time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks…it’s the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down.”

As Dr. Anthony Fauci is warning, new restrictions may be just around the corner BECAUSE so many people are unvaccinated. From The Washington Post:

Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, said Sunday that the United States is in an “unnecessary predicament” at this point in the pandemic.

“We’re going in the wrong direction,” Fauci said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

The latest surge in infections is driven by the highly virulent delta variant, which continues to spread rapidly around the country. Although official guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not changed, Fauci hinted that a return to indoor mask mandates for vaccinated people and booster shots may be necessary to once again curb the spread of the virus.

Doctors, nurses, and other health groups are now calling for vaccine mandates for all health care workers. New York City will require all city workers to either receive COVID-19 vaccinations or take weekly COVID-19 tests. But as The Washington Post reports in a separate story, Republican leaders around the country are actively working against public health guidelines:

GOP lawmakers are rallying around the cause of individual freedom to counter community-based disease mitigation methods, moves experts say leave the country ill-equipped to counter the resurgent coronavirus and a future, unknown outbreak.

In some states, anger at perceived overreach by health officials has prompted legislative attempts to limit their authority, including new state laws that prevent the closure of businesses or allow lawmakers to rescind mask mandates. Some state courts have reined in the emergency and regulatory powers governors have wielded against the virus. And in its recent rulings and analysis, the U.S. Supreme Court has signaled its willingness to limit disease mitigation in the name of religious freedom…

…At least 15 state legislatures have passed or are considering measures to limit the legal authority of public health agencies, according to the Network for Public Health Law, which partnered with the National Association of County and City Health Officials to document the legislative counterpunches. Lawmakers in at least 46 states have introduced hundreds of bills relating to legislative oversight of gubernatorial or executive actions during coronavirus or other emergencies, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The answer, friends, is remarkably simple: Vax, That. Thang. Up.

 

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock delivers his “State of the City” address today.

 

Colorado Newsline reports on Friday’s meeting in Grand Junction with BLM officials and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland:

During her first official visit to Grand Junction, the nation’s first Native American secretary of the interior, Deb Haaland, wouldn’t say whether the Bureau of Land Management headquarters will remain in the city or return to Washington, D.C.

“It’s an open question, but needs to be known soon,” she said.

Haaland was joined on Friday by Gov. Jared Polis, Sens. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper, and Reps. Joe Neguse and Lauren Boebert, who represents the district that encompasses Grand Junction. The Colorado delegation hopes to persuade Haaland to keep the BLM headquarters in Grand Junction, where, in a controversial move, the Trump administration relocated the federal agency from Washington, D.C., in 2019…

…Haaland said she will consider the impact on BLM employees when making her decision whether to keep the headquarters on the Western Slope. Employees were significantly impacted the way the move was implemented, she said. And institutional knowledge was lost after nearly 300 BLM employees left their jobs rather than leave their homes in Washington to come to Colorado.

Colorado Public Radio has more on Haaland’s visit.

If you didn’t yet get a chance, take a moment to caption this photo of Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert flanked by other Colorado Members of Congress during a press conference in Grand Junction.

 

As Colorado Public Radio reports, Lake Powell has reached its lowest water level IN RECORDED HISTORY:

Lake Powell, the second-largest reservoir in the U.S., has dropped to its lowest level on record. The water and power produced by the system supplies millions of people in the West.

On July 23, the reservoir’s level fell to 3,555.09 feet. The previous record low was set in April 2005.

A 20-year megadrought and hotter temperatures with climate change have contributed to shrinking water supplies in the Colorado River.

The Bureau of Reclamation had announced last week that it was likely this weekend that the reservoir would hit its lowest level since first being filled in the 1960s with water from the Colorado River.

The low water levels on Lake Powell are a big issue for Colorado because of a century-long water-sharing agreement.

 

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So Many Captions For One Awkward Photo

Committed to the public domain by Rep. Lauren Boebert’s official Twitter account, from yesterday’s visit by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland (center) to Grand Junction accompanied by (from left) Sen. Michael Bennet, Rep. Joe Neguse, Gov. Jared Polis, and Sen. John Hickenlooper:

There’s a lot going on here, and 90% of it doesn’t need to be said.

Take care of the other 10%, gentle readers.

Get More Smarter on Friday (July 23)

The 2020 2021 Tokyo Olympics are officially underway. 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

 

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 

*Coloradans can now get a COVID-19 vaccine at one of six locations without a prior appointment. 

 

More and more Republicans are speaking out about the importance of receiving your COVID-19 vaccinations. One such Republican, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, is even starting to get a little salty about it. From CNN:

Alabama Republican Gov. Kay Ivey on Thursday called out “the unvaccinated folks” for the rise in Covid-19 cases in her state, a remarkable plea at a time when many GOP leaders are refusing to urge people to get vaccinated even as Covid-19 cases surge in many parts of the country.

“Folks are supposed to have common sense. But it’s time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks. It’s the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down,” Ivey told reporters in Birmingham. [Pols emphasis]

Alabama is the least vaccinated state in the country, with roughly 33.9% of residents fully vaccinated, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Average daily Covid-19 cases in Alabama are nearly double what they were a week ago, and more than four times higher than they were two weeks ago…

…The unvaccinated, Ivey said, are “choosing a horrible lifestyle of self-inflicted pain.”

“We’ve got to get folks to take the shot,” she continued, calling the vaccine “the greatest weapon we have to fight Covid.”

Greg Sargent of The Washington Post has a similar response for the anti-vaxxer Republican crowd: He calls it “Snowflake Syndrome.” Texas Republican Rep. Ronny Jackson appears to have a bad case of “Snowflake Syndrome.”

Vax that thang up, people!

 

The Denver Post reports on the Front Range stop for Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, who will be in Grand Junction today for discussions about the future of the HQ of the Bureau of Land Management:

The federal government intends to provide immediate assistance to water users impacted by the West’s historic drought and develop longer-term strategies to respond to climate change, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland pledged Thursday during a visit to Denver.

Haaland — flanked by Assistant Interior Secretary for Water and Science Tanya Trujillo, U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Denver, and Denver Water CEO Jim Lochhead — spoke to the press after meeting with state and local officials at the Denver Water Administration building to discuss collaborating on addressing climate change and water-related issues in the West.

Haaland said the Bureau of Reclamation is working to identify and disperse “immediate financial and technical assistance for impacted irrigators and Indian tribes” while also tackling longer-term climate change responses, including building more resilient communities and protecting the natural environment.

“Being from New Mexico, I know how much climate change impacts our communities, from extended fire seasons to intense drought and water shortages, and I know how important the Colorado River Basin is to these discussions,” Haaland said.

 

The House of Representatives approved a measure — by wide margins — sponsored by Rep. Jason Crow (D-Aurora) that seeks to help Afghan interpreters who assisted U.S. forces in Afghanistan in obtaining visas to come to the United States; the Taliban has pledged to hunt down and kill interpreters who remain in that country.

Crow’s legislation passed the House by a vote of 407-16. Colorado Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert was the ONLY member of Colorado’s delegation to vote “NO.”

 

Colorado Newsline reports on passage of legislation in the House of Representatives that would regulate “forever chemicals” also known as PFAS, which can cause serious health problems when circulating through water supplies.

 

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Boebert Votes To Let Afghan Allies Die For The Lulz

Rep. Jason Crow (D).

Stars and Stripes’ Sarah Cammarata reports on the passage in the U.S. House today of the Averting Loss of Life and Injury by Expediting SIVs Act, also known as the ALLIES Act, a major legislative priority for Colorado’s Rep. Jason Crow to help get interpreters who served with American forces during the two-decade war in Afghanistan out of the country before the final withdrawal of American troops:

The House on Thursday approved legislation that would increase the number of visas for Afghan interpreters who worked with U.S. personnel, a potential lifeline for thousands waiting for application approvals as Taliban fighters continue to seize more territory in Afghanistan.

The bill from Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo., would streamline the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa program by boosting the number of visa slots by an additional 8,000. It would also speed up the process by removing the requirement that applicants must prove they are under threat as a result of their work with the U.S. government during the nearly 20-year war in Afghanistan.

The measure passed overwhelmingly by a vote of 407-16.

“The phrase life and death gets tossed around a lot in this chamber. But this bill is truly that for thousands of our Afghan friends. The Taliban is intent on hunting down and killing Afghans who have served alongside Americans the past 20 years,” Crow said on the House floor ahead of the vote.

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R).

However you feel about the war in Afghanistan, there’s no question that Afghan citizens who assisted American forces in battling Al-Qaeda and the Taliban deserve to be protected from almost certain death at the hands of the resurgent Taliban after Americans troops are gone. To fail to honor this basic obligation would put all future attempts to obtain cooperation from local populations in a military action in jeopardy.

That’s the polite way of saying it would make us look like complete assholes in the eyes of the entire world.

And yes, you guessed it–that’s Rep. Lauren Boebert’s cue:

Why was Lauren Boebert one of only 16 votes in Congress to let Afghan interpreters die at the hands of the Taliban? We haven’t seen a statement yet. But much like voting against preventing senior scams, carbon monoxide prevention, and bone marrow transplants, this is Boebert at her inexplicable worst. We honestly have no idea who this vote is supposed to appeal to–voters who want America to not be trusted by allies who risk their lives to help us? Even Ken Buck and Doug Lamborn agree we’re better than that.

How many bipartisanly indefensible votes does Boebert get before even her beet-red district has had enough?

Get More Smarter on Thursday (July 22)

Happy Pi Approximation Day; please celebrate approximately. 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

 

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 

*Coloradans can now get a COVID-19 vaccine at one of six locations without a prior appointment. 

 

As The New York Times reports, the head of the CDC is warning that America is at a “pivotal point” in the battle to end the COVID-19 pandemic:

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention struck a new tone of urgency on Thursday about the coronavirus pandemic, warning that the United States is “not out of the woods yet” and is once again at a “another pivotal point in this pandemic” as the highly infectious Delta variant rips through communities with low rates of vaccination.

The warning from the director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, during a briefing by members of the White House Covid-19 response team, was a marked shift from just weeks ago, when President Biden threw a big Fourth of July party on the South Lawn of the White House to declare independence from the virus.

It reflects a growing concern among administration officials that the gains they appeared to have made are being erased — and that the current surge in cases will overwhelm health systems in parts of the country where vaccination rates are low and hospitalizations are high. Still, new cases, hospitalizations and deaths remain at a fraction of their previous devastating peaks. Vaccines remain effective against the worst outcomes of Covid-19, including from the Delta variant.

Vaxx that thang up, people!

 

Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland is in Denver today ahead of a visit to Grand Junction on Friday in which the future of the headquarters location for the Bureau of Land Management will be discussed.

 

As The Denver Post reports, Colorado is part of a MASSIVE settlement agreement with several major drug companies regarding their role in the opioid epidemic:

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser on Wednesday unveiled a historic $26 billion multistate settlement with the nation’s three largest drug distribution companies and the drugmaker Johnson & Johnson designed to address the nationwide opioid addiction and overdose crisis.

“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity,” Weiser said during a virtual news conference Wednesday afternoon. “We need to make the most of it.”

The settlement between more than 40 states, thousands of municipalities and AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, McKesson and Johnson & Johnson would bring $300 million to Colorado, the attorney general said.

That, combined with a previous settlement with Purdue Pharma, would total $400 million in funding to address what Weiser called an “American tragedy.”

 

Remember when several big corporations spoke out against new restrictive voter laws passed in Georgia this Spring? The Washington Post has an unfortunate update:

Three months ago, Comcast responded to the passage of Georgia’s sweeping voting law by saying, “Efforts to limit or impede access to this vital constitutional right for any citizen are not consistent with our values.”

That was then.

On June 30, the telecommunications giant contributed $2,500 to Georgia’s attorney general, Chris Carr, who has vigorously defended the law, which critics say will curtail voting access, including by limiting use of drop boxes for absentee ballots and making it a crime for third-party groups to hand out food and water to voters standing in line…

…Comcast was one of several companies that raised alarm about the voting restrictions but then contributed more than $20,000 collectively between April and June of this year to Georgia politicians who voted for or publicly defended the legislation, according to an examination by Advance Democracy, a nonprofit research group headed by Daniel J. Jones, a former FBI analyst who led the Senate investigation into the CIA’s use of torture after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

If only Comcast’s customer service was this reliable. Amirite?

 

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Lauren Boebert, Call The Mesa County Health Department

An email went out yesterday notifying Mesa County residents of their chance to win big bucks with the only requirement being fully vaccinated against COVID-19, something as we’ve unfortunately been witnessing recently is not happening in great enough numbers to ward off spread of the deadly Delta variant:

In conjunction with the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) announces a community vaccination effort in the form of a cash incentive campaign. Cash prizes, including (2) $500 weekly prizes and a grand prize that could build up to $90,000, are up for grabs!

Here’s how it works–as the percentage of Mesa County residents gets vaccinated (currently at a problematically low 42%), a jackpot that could reach $90,000 by the July 31 deadline grows. As of today, the “Big Shot” jackpot is sitting at $56,264. This is in addition to weekly $500 cash prizes given to two lucky vaccinated Mesa County residents:

All entries will be eligible for the Grand Prize, which starts at $45,000, and builds based on the number of vaccinated residents…

Grand Prize will be determined based on the total number of fully vaccinated Mesa County Residents according to Colorado Immunization Information System data on July 31, 2021. One dollar ($1) will be awarded for each Mesa County Resident the system reflects as fully vaccinated (defined as receiving a second dose in a two-dose series or single dose vaccine) against COVID-19. For example, if the records indicate 85,242 people are fully vaccinated, the Grand Prize would be $85,242.

It’s necessary for vaccinated Mesa County residents to register for the prize and also provide proof of vaccination if they’re selected as a winner. The requirement to register to win cuts down on the pool of entrants enough provide much better odds of winning than the now-concluded statewide vaccine lottery, and growing the jackpot based on the county’s vaccine percentage is a clever incentive. Whether or not this contest persuades excitable Mesa County residents who haven’t taken advantage of widely available free vaccines for months now to get their shots is anybody’s guess, but credit to Mesa County should be awarded for doing something to improve their dangerously poor vaccination rate.

Based on her response to the statewide vaccine lottery in June, though, Mesa County’s representative in Congress Rep. Lauren Boebert is not going to approve:

What a golden opportunity this would be for Mesa County’s GOP commissioners to finally stand up to Boebert’s relentless onslaught of deadly COVID-19 misinformation–at a moment when doing so could literally save the lives of their mutual constituents. That’s not going to happen, of course, and cowardice before the 800-pound gorilla in the room more than subtracts any points awarded for a clever promotional gimmick.

It’s all pretty sad, really.

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (July 21)

A new study says that Denver is the fourth-fittest city in America. 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

 

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 

*Coloradans can now get a COVID-19 vaccine at one of six locations without a prior appointment. 

 

As The Washington Post reports, more Republican officials are starting to promote the COVID-19 vaccination before the virus kills off their entire voting base:

A growing number of top Republicans are urging GOP supporters to get vaccinated as the delta coronavirus variant surges across the United States, marking a notable shift away from the anti-vaccine conspiracy theorizing that has gripped much of the party in opposition to the Biden administration’s efforts to combat the virus.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was part of the rising chorus on Tuesday, stressing the need for unvaccinated Americans to receive coronavirus shots and warning that the country could reverse its progress in moving on from the pandemic.

“These shots need to get in everybody’s arm as rapidly as possible, or we’re going to be back in a situation in the fall that we don’t yearn for, that we went through last year,” McConnell said during his weekly news conference. “I want to encourage everybody to do that and to ignore all of these other voices that are giving demonstrably bad advice.” [Pols emphasis]

Republicans such as Rep. Steve Scalise, the #2 person in the GOP House leadership, are now encouraging vaccinations. Even Fox News talking monkey Sean Hannity is now talking up the vaccine…and he once called the COVID-19 pandemic a hoax.

There’s one prominent Republican who is still NOT encouraging Americans to get vaccinated: Former President Donald Trump.

 

Colorado Democrats such as Gov. Jared Polis ran for office in 2018 promising to reduce health care costs for Coloradans. New data shows that these efforts have paid off BIGLY, resulting in significant reductions in health care premiums across the state.

 

As POLITICO reports, “centrist” Republican Senators are trying to lock down support for their watered-down version of a new infrastructure plan as the GOP stymies an effort by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to hold a discussion on the issue today.

 

A right-wing lunatic attacked a couple of reporters at the State Capitol on Tuesday, as Westword explains:

On July 20, a woman who identified herself as homeless physically attacked Colorado Politics reporter Pat Poblete in the press room of the Colorado State Capitol simply because he is a journalist. And while Poblete wasn’t injured and ultimately declined to ask that the woman be charged with assault — or for stealing items belonging to one of his reporting colleagues, Marianne Goodland — he’s troubled that she appears to have acted out because she believes the terrible things said about the media by ex-President Donald Trump, whose rhetoric she spouted during her violent outburst.

“This wasn’t the sort of hyper-online, hyper-partisan, QAnon, deep-dive type of person who’s ingrained in this stuff,” Poblete says. “This was just a woman who’d heard what the former president said about journalists and took that to heart. Even at that level of information and intake, it’s still penetrating the public psyche.”

Poblete, who publicly revealed the attack in a thread on his Twitter account, is the legislative reporter for Colorado Politics, and even though the Colorado Legislature isn’t currently in session, he was at the Capitol to cover an event celebrating a statue of World War II hero General Maurice Rose that will be placed in nearby Lincoln Veterans’ Memorial Park (click to see his article on the topic).

Words matter, people.

 

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Get More Smarter on Tuesday (July 20)

Bucks in six? 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

 

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 

*Coloradans can now get a COVID-19 vaccine at one of six locations without a prior appointment. 

 

Holy fucking shit, Texas! As The Huffington Post reports:

In a new political low in Texas, the Republican-dominated state Senate has passed a bill to eliminate a requirement that public schools teach that the Ku Klux Klan and its white supremacist campaign of terror are “morally wrong.”

The cut is among some two dozen curriculum requirements dropped in the measure, along with studying Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, the works of United Farm Workers leader Cesar Chavez, Susan B. Anthony’s writings about the women’s suffragist movement, and Native American history…

…Senate Bill 3 — passed last Friday 18-4 — drops most mentions of people of color and women from the state’s required curriculum.

That includes eliminating a requirement that students be taught the “history of white supremacy, including but not limited to the institution of slavery, the eugenics movement, and the Ku Klux Klan, and the ways in which it is morally wrong.”

Honestly…we don’t even know what to say anymore.

 

A federal judge on Monday issued an 8-month jail sentence for Paul Hodgkins, the first person to be sentenced for a felony conviction for his part in the Jan. 6 insurrection.

 

 As Saja Hindi reports for The Denver Post, confusion over DACA is causing very real problems for many people in Colorado:

After a Texas federal judge’s decision late last week, thousands of Coloradans in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program are facing uncertainty — again — about their legal status in the United States.

The Biden administration said it plans to appeal Friday’s ruling that requires the federal government to stop processing new applications for the DACA program, which helps immigrants whose families brought them into the U.S. as young children temporarily avoid deportation and become eligible for work permits and Social Security numbers.

The latest court ruling leaves immigration attorneys scrambling to figure out how best to help clients who planned to apply for DACA. Current DACA recipients — people like 25-year-old Estéfani Peña Figueroa, who says she feels like she’s been on a “roller coaster” since 2017 — worry what this could mean for the program long-term. And advocates say it’s past time for a permanent solution.

Peña Figueroa says that, “I don’t feel like I can plan for my future.”

 

 Colorado Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper announced that Interior Secretary Deb Haaland has accepted their invitation to visit the headquarters of the Bureau of Land Management in Grand Junction on Friday. The BLM is reviewing a decision from 2019 to move the agency’s HQ to Western Colorado. Colorado Public Radio has more on Friday’s visit.

 

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The Get More Smarter Podcast: All-Star Alternate Universes

This week on Episode #81 of The Get More Smarter Podcast, hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii introduce our new intern, Taleen Sample, with a new segment answering her questions about politics.

But first, we dive into the very nature of reality itself…sort of. Mostly it’s just us talking about how the Republican Party is setting up the 2022 election cycle to be a battle over conflicting versions of truth. Get ready for another 18 months of “alternate facts.”

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

Ick Factor 10: Boebert Bringing “Gym” Jordan To Grand Junction

Reps. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert and Jim Jordan.

While Republicans in El Paso County reckon with the upcoming keynote speaker for their county party’s annual Lincoln Day fundraising dinner, the Q-believing, mass-shooting denying, Jewish space laser early warning system Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, over in Colorado’s other conservative stronghold of Mesa County, freshman Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert is doing her level best as usual to keep things just as exciting. In addition to bringing her always-colorful “carnival barker” self, Boebert found a second special guest for the Mesa County Lincoln Day dinner–and folks, you’re going to want to keep the kids close for this one!

Western Slope blogger Anne Landman reports, and we mean it. Don’t let the kids out of your sight:

The Mesa County Republican Party is hosting an event this coming Saturday, July 24, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. the Grand Junction Convention Center that features House Reps. Lauren Boebert and Jim Jordan (Ohio). The event starts at 6:00 p.m. Tickets are $125-$225.

Several groups, including the Mesa County Democrats, are asking people to turn out to protest the event.

Rep. Jordan is a former wrestling coach at Ohio State University (OSU) who former university students accuse of helping cover up sexual abuse by the team doctor, Richard Strauss. A multi-million dollar investigation by OSU revealed Strauss had molested “at least 177 males students” between 1979 and 1996. Jordan worked at the university during that time, from 1987-1995. Six former wrestlers say Jordan knew about the molestation and didn’t do anything. A wrestling referee said he reported the abuse to Jordan but Jordan didn’t do anything to help the victims. Some students report that Jordan asked them to help cover up the abuse. The whistleblower who first exposed the abuse said he got a phone call from Jordan “begging” and “crying” to him not to corroborate accounts of the abuse.

Jordan is also a staunch ally of former President Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election…

For believers (and “familiars” like Boebert) in the “QAnon” conspiracy theory, which to refresh everyone’s memory alleges that global pedophile elites are trafficking babies to harvest youth elixir from their blood, Reps. Jim Jordan and ally of both MTG and Boebert Matt Gaetz present the complication of being actually accused of either sex crimes involving kids or complicity in covering such crimes up. It’s always been curious to us how believers in a global pedophile conspiracy overlook this stuff where it concerns the political leaders most closely aligned with their movement.

And yes, it’s curious that it doesn’t faze Rep. Lauren Boebert now that she is one of those leaders.

If you’ve got $125, or a protest sign for outside, maybe you’ll get to pose the question.

Get More Smarter on Monday (July 19)

Today is the 200th day of 2021. 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

 

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 

*Coloradans can now get a COVID-19 vaccine at one of six locations without a prior appointment. 

 

With the Delta variant of COVID-19 continuing to surge and the same anti-vax lines being drawn around the country, there is a new push to restrict vaccine disinformation online. As The Washington Post explains:

In the latest salvo of the social media wars, a coalition of liberal individuals and groups has written to Facebook and Twitter urging them to ban 12 people who, one study found, spread the bulk of disinformation about coronavirus vaccines.

“People are quite literally dying because disinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic, the vaccine, and public health leaders is spreading,” they wrote to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. The Daily 202 obtained an advance copy of the letter…

…Among the better-known signatories were UltraViolet, the Center for Countering Digital Hate, Alianza for Progress, GLAAD, Media Matters for America, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and the Women’s March.

Oh, and on the subject of vaccination levels differing by political affiliation, here’s another depressing chart that reiterates what we’ve been seeing for months:

 

As Megan Schrader opines for The Denver Post, Republicans such as Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert are doing Coloradans a disservice by continuing to stoke anti-vaxxer paranoia.

On the subject of Boebert and inaccurate information, her crusade to validate “The Big Lie” in Arizona has been swiftly debunked.

 

Colorado Democrats are pushing Congress to act on immigration reform, as Colorado Public Radio reports:

This push comes as some Senate Democrats are considering whether to try to include immigration reform in the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package they’re currently drafting. The idea being floated would include funding for a pathway to legal status for certain groups, like DREAMers or immigrants with temporary protected status.

“I have always been a strong believer that we are a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants. That is why we must build an immigration system that is humane and orderly and rooted in justice and enforceability,” Gov. Jared Polis wrote. “To ensure that, I urge you to act now on comprehensive immigration reform including a pathway to earn citizenship through the reconciliation process.”

On Friday, a federal judge in Texas ruled that former President Barack Obama acted beyond his authority in setting up DACA, the program that protects eligible young undocumented immigrants from deportation, and ordered the government to stop approving new applications. The case is expected to be appealed, but the ruling adds new urgency to the question of whether the Senate will move forward with something.

Even before the ruling, Polis wasn’t the only one seeing an opportunity at this moment. The Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (or CIRC) also supports this push.

 

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Boebert Tees Up Big Lie, Fact-Checkers Knock It Down–Again

On Friday, Colorado’s biggest “alternative facts” bullhorn in Congress, Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert, broadcast the following misinformation coming out of the dubious so-called “audit” of the 2020 presidential election in Arizona, the partisan adventure in confirmation bias grinding on to some manner of conclusion at some unspecified point in the future:

Of course, if Boebert was even a little bit interested in disseminating accurate information to her 600,000+ followers on Twitter she might have checked with Maricopa County, Arizona for a perfectly reasonable if somewhat less conspiratorial answer to the question:

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R).

Yesterday, CNN took a look at the basis for this latest morsel of 2020 election conspiracy bombast, and found Boebert as usual “went further” than her questionable source material:

[Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug] Logan made clear that this wasn’t necessarily a case of fraud, saying it could be a “clerical issue.” But his claim about an unexplained 74,000-plus ballot gap between the county’s list of mail-in ballots received and its list of mail-in ballots sent out was amplified on Twitter by Liz Harrington, the spokeswoman for former President Donald Trump, and by numerous other Trump supporters, such as Republican Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert. Some of them, including Boebert, went further than Logan did.

“In Arizona, 74,000 ballots were counted with no record of being sent in. That’s not normal. That’s not right. That’s not safe nor is it secure,” Boebert wrote.

On Friday, Trump himself went further than Logan. In a written statement, he claimed that the Thursday Senate briefing showed “74,000 mail in ballots received that were never mailed (magically appearing ballots).”

Facts First: There is no evidence of either fraud or any significant error with these ballots, and certainly not “magically appearing ballots.” Both Maricopa County and outside experts say there is a simple explanation for the gap Logan claimed had not been explained: the existence of in-person early voting. Contrary to Logan’s claims, the ballot lists he was talking about include not only mail-in ballots but also ballots cast early in person.

Much like when Boebert falsely claims that hammers kill more people than guns or that no one died of COVID in Texas after the mask mandate in that state was rescinded, it’s another case of mindlessly repeating a falsehood that she has no intention of either verifying to be factual or correcting if it isn’t. It happens so often that we find it necessary to ignore many such examples so as not to become a blog wholly devoted to fact-checking a single member of Congress.

In this case, however, with Boebert directly spreading misinformation suggesting fraud in the 2020 presidential elections, there’s another wrinkle that bears mentioning. Responding to the complaint filed with the House Ethics Committee by Rep. Pramila Jayapal accusing Boebert of “instigating and aiding the violent riot at the Capitol Building on January 6, 2021,” Boebert very specifically stated that her objections to certifying the election results in swing states were not related to election fraud.

To be clear, I was not involved in instigating and aiding the riots that took place on January 6th at the U.S. Capitol and there is no evidence that would support further investigation of these unjustified, politically motivated claims. As previously mentioned, my objections to the counting of Electoral College votes in Arizona and Pennsylvania were based on the Constitution and changes to state law that were not made by the state legislature, not election fraud. [Pols emphasis]

Apparently this distinction was important to Boebert’s defense before the Ethics Committee? After all, the insurrectionists who stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6th most certainly did believe that election fraud happened, and Boebert doesn’t want to be blamed for inciting them. It’s ridiculous, of course, since Boebert repeatedly told her army of followers the 2020 election was fraudulent in the weeks leading up to January 6th:

Successful as it was, Boebert makes a mockery of her defense to the Ethics Committee every chance she gets.

Grifters Gonna Grift: Lauren Boebert’s Slush Fund

Bling Bling

Here’s an interesting note in a Colorado Sun story about fundraising numbers from Q2 involving Congressperson Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle):

Boebert also made four payments through her campaign account to Venmo totaling $6,650, each one described as a “personal expense of Lauren Boebert billed to campaign account in error.” The campaign made two payments on May 3 for $2,000 and $1,325, and two payments in the same amounts on June 3. All four state the “expense has been reimbursed,” but her report doesn’t list the reimbursements.

Need a little extra walking around money? Just Venmo campaign donations straight into your pocket!

We’re long past the point where we might suggest that this activity is “suspicious.” As we first noted back in December 2020, Boebert appears to use her official campaign account as her own personal checking account, inventing implausible reimbursement amounts so that she can pay off non-campaign related debts (over a period of just 9 months last year, Boebert claimed to have driven enough miles to have traveled one and a half times around the Earth).

Siphoning money from your campaign account into your own pockets is not legal, of course, but Boebert is no doubt counting on the fact that it’s a hard transgression to prove (though it does happen from time to time, as former California Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter can attest).

The more immediate repercussions for this sort of shameless grifting can come at the ballot box, though in this case the type of supporters that Boebert attracts are probably more apt to be amused by how she lines her own pockets with donations from others.

Get More Smarter on Friday (July 16)

It’s gonna be another sunny, but very hot, weekend. 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

 

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 

*Coloradans can now get a COVID-19 vaccine at one of six locations without a prior appointment. 

 

The editorial board of The Washington Post marvels (and not in a good way) at renewed efforts from right-wing voices to attack COVID-19 vaccinations:

By slowing the uptake of lifesaving vaccines, anti-vaccination voices give the delta variant time and space to claim new victims. This is a threat to everyone because it will prolong the pandemic. Infections are on the rise in the United States. A stark scenario is unfolding in southwestern Missouri, where hospitals are beginning to surpass the level of covid-19 patients seen in December 2020. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Tuesday that new cases in St. Louis County had skyrocketed 63 percent in the past two weeks. Missouri is among several states with vaccination rates well below the national average.

Across the country, those getting sick and being hospitalized are almost exclusively the unvaccinated. For Fox News and conservative politicians to be frightening people about vaccines with words like “creepy,” “scandal” and the conspiratorial “let’s talk, comrade” is not mere pandering. It can be fatal.

Here in Colorado, we’ve noted the continued problem with low vaccination rates in Mesa County. Heath officials in Larimer County, meanwhile, are sounding the alarm about rising COVID-19 cases in Northern Colorado.

Please, people: Just get your vaccines.

 

Fox 31 Denver reports on the continuation of a troubling trend for Colorado Republicans:

There are now about 22,000 fewer registered Republicans in Colorado in July, than there were on January 1, 2021. During that same time, Democrats lost about 100 voters. Meanwhile, unaffiliated voter registrations increased by about 85,000.

Republicans have lost about 40,000 registered voters in Colorado since 2016. But yeah, stick with Trumpism!

 

We say it a lot here, but it’s always worth repeating: Elections matter. Local areas with Democratic Members of Congress in Colorado are getting a lot of federal money to assist with transportation and other community programs. If your Congressperson is a Republican…not so much.

 

This has been a good week for Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Denver). The child tax credit policy that he has long championed is now being instituted, and on Thursday, Bennet’s re-election campaign reported raising $1.7 million in Q2, increasing its cash-on-hand numbers to $2.3 million.

Colorado Newsline has more on the rollout of the child tax credit.

 

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What Does Blue Do For You?

Back in May, we wrote in this space about reporting from The Colorado Sun related to how Members of Colorado’s Congressional Delegation were going about trying to secure federal funding for important local infrastructure and community projects in the wake of relaxed rules on “earmarks” in the new Congress.

Colorado Republicans in the House of Representatives have insisted that they will NOT participate in “member designated projects” or “community project funding requests” as part of some sort of narrow-minded protest against the earmark process in general. In March, Rep. Ken Buck (R-Greeley) even penned an Op-Ed for Newsweek in which he stated that “earmarks go hand-in-hand with corruption.”

Perhaps realizing that not supporting local projects is a bad look, Buck has since “Buckpedaled” on his opposition to earmarks with mealy-mouthed language about how he “supports” efforts by the City of Greeley to obtain funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation for the Greeley Regional Interchange Project. Of course, Buck could have just made the funding request himself, but that would have conflicted with his efforts to pretend that he is ethically superior to other Members of Congress.

The point here is that while Colorado Republicans are shaking their fists at some mythical “Earmark Goblin,” Democrats in the House of Representatives are doing a LOT of work to move along important infrastructure and community projects in their home districts.

 

Perlmutter

Congressman Ed Perlmutter (D-Jefferson County), for example, helped to push through federal funding that will assist in making roadway and bike lane improvements on Federal Parkway; removing and replacing the I-70 Eastbound and Westbound bridges over 32nd Avenue; widening State Highway 72 (Indiana Street); and improvements to Wadsworth Blvd. and Colfax Ave. If you live in Arvada, Golden, Wheat Ridge, or Lakewood, you know how significant these improvements will be for your daily commute. Perlmutter also secured funding for 10 community projects (CPF) in CO-07, including body cameras for the Thornton Police Department; improvements to Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport; multimodal improvements to State Highway 93; and renovations for a new pediatric health clinic in Commerce City.

Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-Denver) promoted infrastructure projects that will revitalize the 16th Street Mall in Downtown Denver and replace miles of decades-old light-rail track, switches, and concrete flatwork throughout Denver’s light-rail system. DeGette’s CPF requests includes money to help the City of Denver convert an old hotel into lodging for homeless residents; the creation of more affordable housing in Montbello; and assistance for Urban Peak in building a homeless shelter for children.

Crow

Congressman Jason Crow (D-Aurora) secured money to improve the Interchange at I-25 and Belleview; the intersection at Easter and Havana in Centennial; and the expansion of Gun Club Road in Aurora. His CPF requests include expanding services to domestic violence victims in Adams County; renovating the Village Exchange Center Facility;  funding for at-risk intervention and mentoring projects; and money for the Aurora Comprehensive Community Mental Health Center.

Congressman Joe Neguse (D-Boulderish) helped push through funding for improvements to the Frisco Transit Center; State Highway 119; State Highway 52; State Highway 14; US 36; and the Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnel on I-70 that a good number of Coloradans will travel through at least once this year. His CPF requests include funding for domestic violence services in Adams County; support for a mechanical engineering partnership between Colorado State University and Adams State University; emergency operations in Gilpin County; wildfire risk reduction throughout CO-02; and a rural outreach partnership program run by the University of Colorado.

By comparison, Republican Members of Colorado’s Congressional Delegation made sure that local communities in their districts RECEIVED ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

Zip. Zilch. Nada.

Reps. Ken Buck, Doug Lamborn, and Lauren Boebert have brought $0 federal dollars back to their districts and local communities in 2021.

 

Guess who loses when Reps. Ken Buck, Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle), and Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs) refuse to participate in the process of procuring federal funding for local and community projects? The people who live in their district, that’s who.

(In Lamborn’s case, we’re not including any money that was spent on allowing his adult son to live in a storage room in the basement of the U.S. Capitol).

And who benefits from this refusal? Nobody, really, other than a couple of conservative grouches who work for anti-spending think tanks somewhere. Certainly nobody in Colorado is gaining anything from the inaction of these three Republicans. The constituents of CO-03, CO-04, and CO-05 should just be glad that Colorado has two Democratic U.S. Senators who are endeavoring to help fund other projects around the state.

If you want your elected officials to Tweet and gripe about social issues while ignoring their responsibilities to constituents, then you’re probably thrilled with Buck, Boebert, and Lamborn.

For everyone else, we’ll say it again: Elections matter.

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (July 14)

It was fun while it lasted; now we can go back to not having professional baseball in Colorado. 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

 

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 

*Coloradans can now get a COVID-19 vaccine at one of six locations without a prior appointment. 

 

 President Biden used a speech on Tuesday to make the case that Republicans are attempting an all-out assault on voting rights in this country. As The Washington Post explains:

President Biden on Tuesday delivered his most forceful condemnation yet of the wave of voting restrictions proposed in Republican-led states nationwide — efforts the president argued are the biggest threat to American democracy since the Civil War.

Biden’s speech was an attempt to inject new life into flagging efforts to pass federal legislation addressing the issue. But while he intensified his explanation of the stakes, his speech did not include a call for the Senate to change the filibuster, which is seen by advocates as the best, and perhaps only, way to usher in the kinds of changes Biden is seeking.

At the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, in a room filled with images of Benjamin Franklin and quotes from Daniel Webster and Theodore Roosevelt, Biden compared the new laws to voter suppression by the KKK and to the Jim Crow laws that disenfranchised nearly all voters who were not White or male. He railed against laws that restrict access — calling them “raw and sustained election subversion” — and said that the 2022 midterm elections could highlight the damaging impacts of the new laws.

But as The Washington Post reports in a separate story, many progressives aren’t particularly pleased with the fact that Biden left out a very key point in his speech:

“On voting rights, President Joe Biden is failing to meet the moment,” said Adam Jentleson, who worked for former Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and now heads the Battle Born Collective, a progressive group.

The problem isn’t how Biden describes the threat he perceives from Republican efforts to roll back electoral practices they blame for their 2020 White House loss, partly by empowering their partisans to oversee and overrule the results.

It’s that he hasn’t sided with the left in calling for an end, or a significant change, to the parliamentary tactic thwarting Democratic legislation in the 50-50 Senate — the filibuster, which requires 60 votes to get bills to passage.

These are legitimate criticisms. The Senate can move forward with passing a big voting rights package that has already made it through the House of Representatives, but it probably can’t happen unless the filibuster or the 60-vote threshold is changed.

 

As The Denver Post reports, a whole bunch of restaurants in Colorado got big money from COVID relief funds:

This spring and summer, 1,762 restaurants, bars, breweries, wineries and caterers in Colorado received a combined $480 million in grants from the federal government — money that doesn’t need to be repaid and can be spent on a wide array of business expenses.

Four Colorado businesses received $10 million each, the largest amount possible: Mission Yogurt, based in Westminster; The Kitchen American Bistros in Boulder, which has four restaurants and is owned by Elon Musk’s brother; Breckenridge-Wynkoop breweries in the Denver metro; and Illegal Pete’s, according to data released Monday by the U.S. Small Business Administration under the Freedom of Information Act.

Among the 75 largest beneficiaries in the state – which received a combined $191 million – 74 are along the Front Range (the other is in Aspen). In Denver, 423 companies received $183 million. In Boulder, 97 took in $47 million. In Colorado Springs, 139 businesses received $33 million.

 

As CNN’s Chris Cillizza explains, the final days of the Trump Presidency were even worse than you thought:

This is, in sum, a man deeply unfit for the presidency. (That is not a partisan statement. It is a statement of fact based on the clear portrait we have of how Trump behaved while in the most powerful office in the country.) A man who, by his inability to understand the sanctity of the office he held, threatened to destroy that sanctity for those who would follow him into the White House. And a man who was, without any question, an active danger for every single American – whether they supported or opposed him.

 

Colorado Independent Redistricting Commissioners heard from constituents at a public hearing in Arvada on Tuesday…and much of what they heard was not positive toward the initial new maps presented last month.

 

Click below to keep learning stuff…

 

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Get More Smarter on Tuesday (July 13)

Don’t believe the rumors you might have heard: The Home Run Derby actually did come to an end. 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

 

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 

*Coloradans can now get a COVID-19 vaccine at one of six locations without a prior appointment. 

 

The New York Times reports on the first child tax credit payments going out this week, a big victory for Democrats — including longtime champion Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Denver):

With all but the most affluent families eligible to receive up to $300 a month per child, the United States will join many other rich countries that provide a guaranteed income for children, a goal that has long animated progressives. Experts estimate the payments will cut child poverty by nearly half, an achievement with no precedent…

…While the government has increased many aid programs during the coronavirus pandemic, supporters say the payments from an expanded Child Tax Credit, at a one-year cost of about $105 billion, are unique in their potential to stabilize both poor and middle-class families.

“It’s the most transformative policy coming out of Washington since the days of F.D.R.,” said Senator Cory Booker, Democrat of New Jersey. “America is dramatically behind its industrial peers in investing in our children. We have some of the highest child poverty rates, but even families that are not poor are struggling, as the cost of raising children goes higher and higher.”

Among America’s 74 million children, nearly nine in 10 will qualify for the new monthly payments — up to $250 a child, or $300 for those under six — which are scheduled to start on Thursday. Those payments, most of which will be sent to bank accounts through direct deposit, will total half of the year’s subsidy, with the rest to come as a tax refund next year.

Colorado Newsline has more on how the program will work. Democrats are trying to make the child tax credit a permanent policy.

 

At least you don’t live in Mesa County…unless you do, in which case, that sucks and we are very sorry.

 

 Voting rights are still a top issue as the Major League Baseball All-Star Game kicks off on Tuesday night. The Denver Post has more on an unusually-political meaningless baseball game.

 

Texas Republicans are once again trying to restrict voting rights, which has forced Democratic lawmakers to flee the state in a last-ditch effort to preserve election integrity.

 

Click below to keep learning stuff…

 

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Voting Rights Drives Lit All-Star Week In Colorado

It’s a big-ticket week in Colorado, as the not long- but highly- anticipated Major League Baseball All-Star Game’s week of events leading up to tomorrow’s big game draw thousands of spectators and millions of dollars to lower downtown Denver. Despite a sporting willingness by Colorado’s Democratic elected leadership to downplay the politics of the All-Star Game’s relocation from Georgia to Colorado, politics is unavoidably front and center in this week’s celebrations after Republicans outside of Colorado wept, wailed, and ultimately sued to stop MLB’s decision to not reward Georgia’s passage of vote suppression legislation earlier this year.

With that said, as Denver Post’s Justin Wingerter recapped the story of the 2021 All-Star Game’s move to Denver, it wasn’t just Colorado’s model accessible and secure elections that lured the All-Star Game to Coors Field, but also quick work by Gov. Jared Polis and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock to freshen an existing proposal to host the game in future years:

Denver’s city government had spent five years polishing and presenting a plan for an All-Star Game at Coors Field. It first tried for 2022, then 2024. But here was a more immediate option. State and city officials went to work.

Gov. Jared Polis, a baseball fan, called MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, Rockies owner Dick Monfort and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. The opportunity was so unexpected that the city’s marketing arm, Visit Denver, didn’t have time to update its proposal. Instead, it began sending messages to MLB that Denver’s hotels and convention center were available in July.

Obviously, without Colorado’s model accessible and secure election system we would not have been worthy of landing the All-Star Game after MLB pulled the game out of Georgia in the first place. But it was being serendipitously ready with a plan to execute the event on short notice, and political leaders keen to jump on the opportunity presented by the decision to pull out of Georgia, that made this week’s multimillion-dollar economic boon for Colorado as easy call.

As for Colorado Republicans? It depends on who you ask, but it’s awkward:

“People watch sports to be entertained, not to be lectured about politics,” U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, a Silt Republican, said in a news release. “… I’ve lost trust in the MLB, the American people have lost trust in the MLB and now this organization must be subject to the same antitrust laws as everyone else. Let me be clear, if you go woke, you go broke.”

Next came a lawsuit by a conservative group, the Job Creators Network, that would have forced MLB to play the game in Georgia. Its lawyer was Howard Kleinhendler, who had tried and failed to overturn the 2020 presidential election on behalf of Donald Trump. The lawsuit was criticized almost immediately by a judge who called it “weak and muddled.” It was later dropped entirely.

The Job Creators Network, as readers know, seemed to have an awful lot of ties to Colorado Republican politics right up until this half-baked lawsuit was filed. Heidi Ganahl, whose announcement to (probably) run for governor is considered imminent, is the former director of the Job Creators Network–but when asked by 9NEWS about the lawsuit she insisted she had nothing to do with it. Ganahl claimed further to be happy about the All-Star Game having moved to Denver…but also said it was “not fair” to Georgia. This is what’s known in politics as “flopping like a fish,” and it was not a good sign for Ganahl’s incipient campaign.

Others, like Rep. Lauren Boebert as you can see, could care less about Colorado’s economy! For Boebert, choosing Republican sour grapes over Colorado jobs comes naturally.

Look folks, we get it. Republicans like baseball just like Democrats, and everyone wants Republicans to spend their money boosting Denver’s economy. Unfortunately for Republican baseball fans, a major Republican political mistake is inextricably linked to the game’s presence in Denver this week. That’s just the way it is. Much like acknowledging the fact that kids need to learn the truth about racism, they’re going to have to suck it up and admit that Georgia made a mistake passing vote suppression legislation to appease Donald Trump’s ego–and the market can respond how it wants.

In the long run, there’s no question how this all will be judged by history.

VIEW PAC Disowns “Carnival Barkers” Greene, Boebert

Rep. Lauren Boebert and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.

The Hill reporting on the decision by a Republican political action committee specifically devoted to increasing the number of Republican women in Congress to not endorse for re-election in 2022 the “Q-Some Twosome” freshmen: Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Lauren Boebert of Colorado:

“While we rightfully celebrate the number of GOP women serving in the House, I’ve always professed quality over quantity,” VIEWPAC Executive Director Julie Conway told the outlet…

“Our women have fought too hard for too long to be respected and taken seriously as legislators, policy makers and thought leaders. We cannot let this work be erased by individuals who chose to be shameless self promoters and carnival barkers.” [Pols emphasis]

VIEW PAC, which has raised more than $20 million for Republican female candidates since 2010, said it will not be endorsing the Greene or Boebert in the 2022 midterm elections, when both lawmakers will be seeking a second term in Congress.

This is by far the most overt condemnation of Boebert we’ve yet seen from any national Republican interest group, and it’s a sign that Boebert’s Trump-style strategy of dragging the news cycle from one relentless outrage to another may be wearing thin with the GOP establishment–especially with MTG and Boebert now one-upping each other in daily validation of Godwin’s Law.

The problem, of course, is that MTG and Boebert are tapped into the same base of pro-Trump support over which whatever the GOP “mainstream” consists of in 2021 has less control over today than ever before. For all practical purposes, MTG and Boebert under a resurgent ex-President Donald Trump are the party now.

With that said, even in this scathing expression of no confidence from fellow Republican women, Boebert plays second fiddle:

“I think that they would rather draw attention to themselves, and really Marjorie Taylor Greene more than Boebert, but they’re cut from the same cloth,” Conway said, according to Insider.

We’re not sure what’s worse for Boebert–being disavowed by a leading PAC devoted to electing Republican women, or still being merely MTG’s understudy in loathsomeness while it happens? Even in scorn, Boebert just doesn’t measure up to her more bombastic peers.

As for Republicans actually holding Boebert accountable? We’ll see once the 2022 primary (if any) is over.