Lauren Boebert: The Sublime And Not So Much

Rep. Lauren Boebert, Andrew Wommack.

The Colorado Springs Gazette’s Debbie Kelly reports from controversial evangelical Christian minister Andrew Wommack’s “Truth & Liberty Conference,” held last weekend at Wommack’s superspreader church campus in Woodland Park, at which Rep. Lauren Boebert waxed spiritual about her unlikely ascension to Congress, and what she sees as a divinely ordained mission to effect supernatural change right here on the Earth plane:

“God wants us to be involved in the affairs of government,” said U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, a Republican from the Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District and a keynote speaker.

“There are some things that are unjust that are taking place that God wants to make right,” she said. “He’s going to use his church, his children to infiltrate these people. … [Pols emphasis] They just don’t know they are being deceived…”

“It’s time we take what we know about the word of God and run with it,” said Boebert, who has become controversial for her outspoken conservative stances. “We don’t need to sit back and ask God, ‘Why is Nancy Pelosi being so mean today?’ We need to take the word of God and the promises he provides for us and go forward.”

To that end,

Boebert said she’s working on presenting articles of impeachment on President Joe Biden and wants to remove Pelosi, a Democrat from California, from her position as U.S. House Speaker, saying they aren’t doing their jobs properly.

None of that is going to happen, of course, though Boebert’s choice of words in describing herself as an “infiltrator” in Congress do make a strange–and by that we mean more than a little unsettling–kind of sense.

Reps. Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib (D).

But as the Staten Island Advance’s Paul Liotta reports from another event headlined by Rep. Boebert on September 2 in New York City’s coziest (and most conservative) borough, all that religious talk has an ugly side depending on the audience:

After characterizing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Queens/the Bronx) as a person who is wrong but has a heart filled with “rainbows and unicorns,” she described Rep. Rashida Tlaib and Rep. Ilhan Omar as “black-hearted, evil women who want to destroy our country” [Pols emphasis] — an opinion some members of the crowd greeted with applause…

Boebert suggested that she, the staffer, and Omar were alone in an elevator together. She didn’t press the emergency break, as a member of the Sept. 2 audience suggested, but said she looked over at Omar to make a disparaging remark.

“Look it there. It’s the ‘jihad squad,’” she said she told her staffer.

As you can see, Rep. Boebert’s spiritual journey is not focused on interfaith dialogue.

Referring to colleagues of color as “black-hearted evil women” puts a stop to…well, any dialogue.

It’s difficult to argue that Lauren Boebert is doing what Jesus would do.

It’s Playtime In Lauren Boebert’s House!

Salon reports, but most of what you need to know is in the annotated photo above:

In a video reviewed by Salon and apparently recorded on July 25, the 8-year-old son of Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., can be seen singing, dancing and playing with cigarette lighters — while left alone in a room a few feet away from a high-capacity rifle. This would appear to violate a new Colorado state law, under which gun owners are required to store their deadly weapons in a gun safe, with a trigger or cable lock, whenever the owner is aware, or should reasonably be aware, that a “juvenile or a resident who is ineligible to possess a firearm can gain access to the firearm.”

Freshman GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert launched her bid for public office as a then-unknown owner of a gun-themed restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, by traveling 200 miles to Denver to call out Democratic Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke over banning assault weapons. Boebert campaigned with a Glock pistol on her hip everywhere it was legal to openly carry one, which is everywhere in CD-3 but not in Washington, D.C.–giving Boebert another opportunity to go viral with her gun on green-screen display.

In February, Boebert inexplicably appeared in a virtual hearing of the House Natural Resources Committee with an over-the-top number of firearms awkwardly stacked up on shelves behind her, revolting her colleagues but earning lots of adoring pro-gun press:

Everybody remembers Rep. Boebert’s pithy rejoinder to critics about those weapons being “safely stored,” right?

Salon reports that several now-deleted Tiktok videos shot over the course of a month or more this past July and August by Boebert’s eight-year-old in show firearms which can be readily seen in the background, including a long rifle that apparently didn’t move between videos. While the child filming doesn’t pick up the guns in view, he was apparently doing the next best thing for unattended children–playing with lighters!

In one video, Boebert’s son says that Donald Trump “is the real president, not Joe Biden — Joe Biden sucks.” Then he explains, “My mom is Lauren Boebert” before describing a red cigarette lighter as Biden and a green lighter as Trump. In several other videos, Boebert’s son lights and relights the lighters, tossing them on the floor behind him towards the rifle…

The videos are all gone now, but this must have been the most heartwarming child talent performance since Balloon Boy’s 2009 Youtube single “Not Pussified.” Which you can’t watch either, because sometime between 2009 and the present day Balloon Boy realized it was not casting him in the most auspicious light.

In 2021, Colorado passed House Bill 1106 requiring firearms in homes with either minor children or adults legally prohibited from possessing firearms to be safely stored via at minimum a lock on the weapon’s action if not locking them up in a gun safe. That law took effect on July 1, so if these videos were shot when claimed they could be direct evidence of a crime. In addition to plainly unsafe storage of firearms, we have to think child protective services in Garfield County might want to look into eight-year-olds playing with fire unsupervised. You’d hate for that to become an issue that the fire department (or God forbid the Forest Service) has to deal with.

Because Lauren Boebert’s public image is more or less a continuous rolling provocation constantly being piled on with fresh outrages for the express purpose of keeping her critics off-balance, what should be career-ending or at least severely damaging incidents don’t register like they should. But stop and think for a moment about someone who has so fervently pushed gun rights as a defining issue, making a big deal about carrying one with her everywhere she goes, stacking up so many guns to show off in an official hearing that it looked like they were going to fall on her, daring her critics to complain–being this irresponsible with guns and her own children.

It’s nothing short of abominable, and Boebert’s fellow gun owners should be among the most angry.

She’s making fools of them too.

Get More Smarter on Friday (Sept. 10)

It’s going to be really, really hot outside in Colorado…unusually hot, in fact. 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 on Thursday announced new COVID-19 vaccine requirements for all federal workers and a choice for for companies with more than 100 employees to require either vaccines or weekly testing procedures. As The New York Times reports:

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University, said the policy was necessary, and likened it to military service in a time of war.

“To date, we have relied on a volunteer army,” Dr. Schaffner said. “But particularly with the Delta variant, the enemy has been reinforced, and now a volunteer army is not sufficient. We need to institute a draft.”

Amazon, which will be shipping Covid-19 testing kits at cost, said it was proud to help with the plan.

“We know vaccines, coupled with widespread and convenient testing, serve as powerful tools to help slow the spread of Covid-19 in our communities, keeping the U.S. economy open, and protecting America’s work force,” said Brian Huseman, vice president of public policy for the retailer.

Biden’s vaccination requirement plan comes amid new reports from the CDC that unvaccinated people are 11 times more likely to die of COVID-19 than their vaccinated counterparts. That didn’t stop the Colorado Republican Party from going all “freedumb”:

 

President Biden is telling Republicans complaining about a vaccine requirement to “have at it.

 

Denver7 has more on how the new vaccine mandates might affect Colorado companies.

 

 The movement by Colorado Republicans to opt-out of an open primary in Colorado gained more momentum. As The Colorado Sun reports in its “Unaffiliated” newsletter:

Two of the Colorado GOP’s three officers now support forgoing the party’s 2022 primaries to prevent unaffiliated voters from helping to pick Republicans’ general election candidates.

Secretary Marilyn Harris joined Vice Chair Priscilla Rahn in calling for the Colorado GOP’s executive committee to vote Sept. 18 to cancel the primaries and let candidates go through the caucus and assembly process instead.

“After studying all the facts and considering both sides, it is clear that the best option for Colorado Republicans is to opt out of the corrupt open primary system that dishonest Democrats unfairly administer,” Harris wrote in a letter last week. “If we opt out, we ensure election integrity by stopping crooked Democrats from corrupting our nomination elections.”

This is really not a good idea for the GOP, as many more moderate Republicans have pointed out recently. And as The Sun notes:

Republicans cannot win in Colorado without the support of unaffiliated voters, as we’ve written before, who at the end of July represented 43% of registered voters in the state. Republicans, meanwhile, made up just 26% of registered voters.

The vote that could end Republican participation in an open primary system is scheduled for next Saturday, Sept. 18. Those who seek to get out of the open primary process could get some dubious “discounted” legal advice.

 

 As a CU Regent, Heidi Ganahl is currently the sole statewide elected official for the Republican Party. After months of trying to raise her name ID and pondering different campaign scenarios, Ganahl appears to at last be nearing a formal announcement that she will run for Governor in 2022.

 

 President Biden will visit Denver on Monday as part of his “Build Back Better” tour. Details on Biden’s specific destination are still being finalized.

 

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Biden’s “Build Back Better” Barnstorm Bucks Boebert’s Blather

President Joe Biden (D).

The Colorado Sun’s Jesse Paul:

President Joe Biden will make a stop in Denver on Monday as he travels to three Western states…

On Monday, Biden will also travel to Boise, Idaho, where he will visit the National Interagency Fire Center; Sacramento, California, to survey wildfire damage; and Long Beach, California, to participate in an event with Gov. Gavin Newsom. Newsom is facing a recall election.

We’ll update with details on President Joe Biden’s first trip to Denver as POTUS once they’re available, just one stop on what looks like a busy itinerary next week. Biden touring the West on presidential business should also be welcome news to Rep. Lauren Boebert, who today expressed some affected concern about President Biden’s wellbeing:

Looks to us like Biden is most certainly “in charge,” and a majority of Colorado voters will be glad to see him next Monday just like they were glad to vote for him last November. Don’t look for Boebert’s firehose of vitriol to slacken in the meantime, but the contrast between Biden being presidential and Colorado’s silliest carnival barker spouting nonsense could not be plainer.

Boebert Calls Her Own Bluff on 2022

When we wrote in this space on Tuesday about the new proposed Congressional maps in Colorado, we noted that for all of Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert’s tough talk about taking on Democratic Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Boulderish) in 2022, the truth was that Boebert wanted nothing to do with this potential matchup.

As we noted at the time:

This is a good time to remind you that Members of Congress DO NOT need to actually live within the boundaries of the district they represent. The chances are probably pretty good that Boebert would just run in CO-03 instead of challenging Neguse in a district with a slight Democratic lean in terms of registered voters.

At roughly the same time on Friday that the Redistricting Commission staff were presenting the new proposed map to the Redistricting Commissioners, Boebert was Tweeting out a completely false accusation against the Commission Staff that was full of false bravado:

 

Less than a week later, Boebert was singing a much different tune. Here’s what she Tweeted out today:

 

Given that the newest proposed redistricting map is NOT final and could still change significantly in the coming weeks, there was no real need for Boebert to call her own bluff so soon. But like most bullies and blowhards, Boebert is more comfortable pretending to be a “fighter” in a district in which she already has a built-in advantage.

If you draw a line in the sand with Boebert, she’ll raise her voice and puff out her chest…and then she’ll just step back and draw a different line.

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (Sept. 8)

Happy “International Literacy Day.” Please read responsibly. 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 Meg Wingerter reports for The Denver Post, COVID-19 hospitalizations in Colorado have reached their highest levels since January and are approaching the peak levels of Spring 2020:

Data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment showed 12,877 people tested positive for COVID-19 in the week ending Sunday.

As of Tuesday afternoon, 957 people were hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID-19. The last time more people infected with the virus were receiving hospital care was Jan. 6, when the state was still recovering from the massive winter spike.

Counting only people with confirmed infections, 862 were hospitalized, which is only 26 fewer than on the worst day in April 2020, said Beth Carlton, an associate professor of environmental and occupational health at Colorado School of Public Health. The state’s COVID-19 trackers generally focus on hospitalizations where the person has tested positive, because of volatility in the number of people being evaluated for the virus from day to day.

“The number of people in the hospital is high, and poised to exceed the April 2020 peak,” she said.

Think about this for a moment: Hospitalizations in Colorado could soon surpass levels from the very first month in which COVID-19 was spreading through our state. Hospitalizations over Labor Day Weekend were worse this year than in 2020.

Vax that thang up, people! And lock up the mindless assholes who are trying to prevent other people from getting vaccinated. And stop listening to these people.

Cases of COVID-19 are on the rise everywhere, it seems, with doctors growing more concerned about an uptick in pediatric cases. Some school districts in Texas are moving to mandatory mask requirements after the death of two middle school teachers.

 

The Washington Post reports on a big solar energy announcement from President Biden:

The Biden administration announced a blueprint Wednesday outlining how solar energy could produce nearly half of the nation’s electricity by mid-century, part of its ambitious bid to address climate change.

The new Energy Department analysis shows how the United States can scale up production of solar panels, which now provide 3 percent of the nation’s electricity, to 45 percent over the next three decades.

The move, which would transform the nation’s energy industry and infrastructure, shows how President Biden is determined to reshape the economy and cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in the face of staunch political opposition.

While the administration has not set a specific solar energy target, the president has called for 100 percent of the nation’s electricity to come from clean energy by 2035.

Remember when we had a President who was so anti-renewable energy that he believed wind turbines caused cancer? Elections matter.

 

The Denver Post reports on the 169 new laws that took effect in Colorado on Tuesday.

 

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So, About that New Congressional Redistricting Map…

If you were paying attention to Colorado politics over the weekend, you might have noticed a lot of people running around like they were on fire.

On Friday, Colorado’s Independent Congressional Redistricting Commission released a new proposed map of Colorado’s eight Congressional districts (officially called “First Staff Plan”). As Thy Vo and Sandra Fish report for The Colorado Sun today, there is much wringing of hands and discussions of viewpoints considering some pretty significant new district lines being proposed:

The dozen members of Colorado’s Independent Congressional Redistricting Commission questioned nonpartisan staff Monday about the latest draft map of the state’s U.S. House districts as they prepare to hear from the public about the plan this week.

The map, introduced Friday based on 2020 census data and which has thrown Colorado’s political world into a tizzy, is markedly different from an initial proposal based on 2019 population estimates.

Before we go any further, we should point out that the map introduced on Friday is not necessarily the map that will determine Congressional boundaries for 2022. The Redistricting Commission will hold four public hearings this week for comment on the First Staff Plan (FSP) Map, which can be confirmed with a ‘YES’ vote from 8 of the 12 Commission members. If this map is NOT approved, the nonpartisan redistricting staff can present as many as two additional proposals before the Sept. 28 deadline to finalize redistricting boundaries.

But if the “FSP Map” ends up being close to a final version of what we can expect for the next decade, then there is plenty to talk about. Here’s what that map looks like (CLICK HERE for a bigger version):

 

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The Get More Smarter Podcast: Come Home Tina Peters!

This week on Episode #85 of The Get More Smarter Podcast, hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii discuss the whereabouts of Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters; we get ready for a Republican campaign for Governor; we wonder (and not for the first time) what in the hell Rep. Ken Buck (R-Greeley) is trying to say; and we ponder the never-ending list of troubles for Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle)

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

Boebert Bumbles Threat To Telecom Companies

Rep. Lauren Boebert and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.

We took note late last week of Georgia GOP freshman freakshow Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s threat to “shut down” telecommunications companies who comply with records preservation requests from the U.S. House Select Committee investigating violence at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th. The Select Committee issued a request for records to be preserved pertaining to a number of members of Congress who may have been in contact with insurrectionists plotting the attack or on the scene that day–including Colorado’s own freshman Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert. MTG’s threats echoed but were ominously more sweeping than a similar warning issued last week by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

And as HuffPo reports today, Boebert is sure enough busy making threats of her own:

The lawmakers, including Reps. Mo Brooks (of Alabama), Madison Cawthorn (N.C), Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.), Paul Gosar (Ariz.) and Lauren Boebert (Colo.), sent letters to 13 businesses telling them not to comply with requests from the House select committee investigating the events of Jan. 6.

The committee requested that certain phone and social media companies preserve the records of individuals not publicly identified as linked to the insurrection as well as those involved in the “Stop the Steal” rally. The House probe is attempting to determine who was actively involved in planning the violence aimed at overturning the presidential election. Some of the relevant subjects could involve Republican lawmakers, including some of those who sent the letters…

In the letters, the GOP lawmakers reportedly threatened the companies, saying they would use “all legal remedies” to go after them if they comply with the committee’s requests.

Unfortunately, in the case of at least one of those telecom companies, their contact information was more than a little outdated:

The letter that was addressed to Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, which was obtained by Forbes, revealed some of the Republican Party’s strong-arm tactics being used against businesses to persuade them to obstruct justice, critics said. Except Mayer departed from Yahoo in 2017. [Pols emphasis] Yahoo’s current CEO is Guru Gowrappan.

We’ll confess that we didn’t know who Yahoo’s CEO is either, mostly because we don’t remember the last time we visited Yahoo. But we shouldn’t lose sight in schadenfreude over Boebert’s bumbled threats against telecom companies of the troubling nature of these threats and what they represent. Despite their angry denial, these lawmakers including Boebert played a direct role in inciting the violence that occurred at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th. We know about Boebert’s public-facing agitation for some kind of extraordinary event on January 6th, including her infamous “Today is 1776” message on the morning of the riots and stupendously ill-advised Tweet about Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s location as rioters stormed the Capitol.

There’s a lot more we need to know about what Boebert was expecting to happen on January 6th, and her phone records leading up to and on that day could be the key to uncovering the full extent of her complicity in the violence. Given the certainty of litigation to resolve the question of access to these records, Boebert’s pre-emptive threats against telecom companies look an awful lot like witness intimidation.

No one is asking, “what has Boebert got to hide?” Because it’s obvious.

Adams Family Misquotes, Lauren Boebert Edition

UPDATE: D’oh!

—–

From the “nothing is ever really deleted” files, Politiwoops caught another short-lived arrow of flaming untruth from Rep. Lauren Boebert this morning:

Although there’s nothing amiss in the caption, Twitter denizens grabbed the offending graphic for posterity:

The problem is that the quote “for true patriots to be silent is dangerous” was not uttered by John Adams, the second President of the United States, but rather John Adams’ second cousin, 4th Massachusetts Gov. Samuel Adams. And to be clear, as Mathew Helman points out, Gov. Samuel Adams has no historical relationship to the Boston Beer Company (founded in 1984) that produces the beer by which most people know the same Sam Adams.

All fun facts for those who know their history to trade at parties! We’re going to go out on a limb and suggest, hopefully without overmuch condescension, that mastery of historical trivia is not a top-line job requirement for Rep. Boebert’s staff.

Ordinarily a few roastings on Twitter would inspire better quality control from the social media graphics department, but that’s not how “America Firsters” roll. So it’s up to you, discerning reader, to always keep in mind the immortal words of President Abraham Lincoln:

That’s good advice no matter who said it first.

Get More Smarter on Friday (September 3)

Enjoy the last big weekend of summer. 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. 

 

Extended unemployment benefits for thousands of Coloradans will run out on Saturday, as CBS4 Denver reports:

Standard UI benefits are only available for 26 weeks. But with the pandemic came enhanced benefits, providing a temporary boost. That boost is over on Sept. 4.

Claimants on regular state unemployment will still receive their weekly benefits, but the extra $300 provided by Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation every week will end.

About 107,000 Coloradans had come to rely on those extended benefits, though some employers struggling to find workers have claimed that the benefits were preventing many people from applying for jobs. Research has shown that extended UI benefits had no impact on job growth.

As The New York Times explains, the real threat to the American economy is still the COVID-19 pandemic:

The American economy slowed abruptly last month, adding 235,000 jobs, a sharp drop from the huge gains recorded earlier in the summer and an indication that the Delta variant of the coronavirus is putting a damper on hiring.

The Labor Department report on Friday follows a sharp increase in coronavirus cases and deaths that has undermined hopes that restrictions on daily activities were nearing an end.

The unemployment rate was 5.2 percent, compared with 5.4 percent in July. Economists polled by Bloomberg has been looking for gain of 725,000 jobs.

Here in Colorado, the economy is stable enough that residents can actually expect the largest tax refunds in two decades. From The Denver Post:

The savings are split among three categories: a sales tax refund, a temporary cut to the state’s flat income tax rate (in this case, from 4.55% to 4.5%), and reimbursements to local governments.

For the sales tax refund, the average single filer is expected to get $69 on average, the state controller estimates, and joint filers on average should see refunds of $166. Those would be the largest TABOR refunds in 20 years.

 

Republicans across the country are now facing the flip-side of the story related to the draconian new abortion ban in Texas. Republican candidates for 2022 and 2024 won’t be able to avoid answering questions about whether or not they support the Texas law, which is a particular problem in places (such as Colorado) where voters are overwhelmingly pro-choice. Here in Colorado, GOP U.S. Senate candidate Eli Bremer responded to an inquiry on the subject by saying that he “wasn’t comfortable” answering questions about the Texas law.

In related news, Denver7 reports on how the Texas abortion ban is likely to impact Colorado:

Already, Planned Parenthood in Texas is encouraging women to travel to Colorado and other surrounding states to have their abortions after six weeks. Colorado for Life exists to protect and defend every unborn life, which includes ending “abortion tourism” in Colorado.

Karen Middleton is the president of Cobalt, a pro-choice group, that, in part, helps women financially come from more conservative states to Colorado.

“We are already starting to get calls. What will happen is if they can’t get legal access to abortions in Texas, they will go to another state and legally access that elsewhere. Colorado’s doors are open,” Middleton said.

Upwards of 15% of the abortions in Colorado are for women coming from other states, according to Middleton. Many fly in to get the procedure and fly right back the same day.

 

The all-Republican Mesa County Board of Commissioners allowed right-wing activist Sherronna Bishop to present her “proof” of 2020 election fraud this week. Bishop, who was Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert’s campaign manager in 2020, sat down in front of the Mesa County Commissioners and offered ABSOLUTELY NOTHING that would even begin to corroborate her election fraud clams.

 

As Charles Ashby reports for The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters is insisting that she is doing her job remotely…from wherever she is at the moment:

There is nothing wrong with working remotely, whether it’s from her home office or at some undisclosed location in the nation, according to an email Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters sent to several county officials Wednesday evening.

In a response to the Mesa County Attorney’s Office over a Colorado Open Records Act request from a county resident, Peters scolded Commissioners Janet Rowland and Scott McInnis for implying that she’s not doing her job.

“For the others copied in to this email, I am working starting at 7 a.m. everyday with stand ups and direction for my staff as well as during the day,” Peters wrote. “Regarding the ‘rudderless’ office Scott has asserted, and me being accused by Janet of being ‘MIA,’ I can assure everyone, that is not the case.”

You’ll forgive us if we aren’t inclined to take the word of someone who is hiding out in an unknown location and is currently under investigation by the Colorado Secretary of State’s office, the Mesa County District Attorney, the Colorado Attorney General’s office, and the FBI.

 

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MTG Sweating January 6th Phone Records–What About Boebert?

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA).

Reporter Graig Graziosi writes for the UK Independent about one very upset freshman firebreathing Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, freely throwing the threats around against telecommunications companies who might be considering cooperation with the Select Committee investigating the violence at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th by retaining phone records of a number of Donald Trump dead-ender congresspeople including herself:

Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene has threatened telecom companies, claiming they would be “shut down” if they handed over Republicans’ phone data to the January 6 commission being conducted by the US House.

The commission is investigating the circumstances that led to the Capitol riot, and have request the phone records of several Republican lawmakers, including Representatives Lauren Boebert, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Jim Jordan, Madison Cawthorn, Matt Gaetz, Louie Gohmert, Mo Brooks, Jody Hice, Scott Perry, Andy Biggs and Paul Gosar…

“If these telecommunications companies, if they go along with this, they will be shut down. And that’s a promise,” Ms Greene told Fox News host Tucker Carlson.

Random observation made for no particular reason whatsoever.

As usual there’s no legal mechanism by which MTG could follow through on such a grandiose (not to mention anti-free market) threat, but keep in mind that in her campaign commercials from last year’s elections, Greene proposed to solve a variety of problems besetting the nation with the one-size-fits-all prescription of shooting them with a large black rifle.

So the nation’s telecommunications companies, or at least their security departments, can interpret that as needed.

Although Rep. Greene is loudly pushing back against retaining records that could tie members of Congress to culpable figures in the violence on January 6th, Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado has been far less vocal about it even though Boebert is subject to the same request. Boebert certainly isn’t above making absurd threats she couldn’t possibly carry out, but Boebert’s relative silence on this matter while MTG rages invites the question of which of them has more to worry about in those phone records.

One protests too much, the other not enough. But we strongly suspect it’s top of mind for both.

#MesaGate Vote Fraud Allegations Collapse In Heap Of Nonsense

Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, “MyPillow Guy” Mike Lindell.

The controversy raging in Mesa County over a breach of election systems security currently the subject of local and federal criminal investigations, as readers know, has its origins in the fervent belief by a substantial percentage of Republican voters across the nation that the 2020 elections were stolen from ex-President Donald Trump. In an attempt to prove this occurred despite all of the counts, recounts, certifications, and litigation surrounding last year’s elections establishing clearly that no election fraud on any scale that could change the outcome of the election took place, Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters stands accused of allowing an unauthorized individual access to secure Dominion Voting Systems computers, from which copies were made of proprietary software and then distributed to far-right conspiracy theorists including possible “QAnon” movement progenitor Ron Watkins.

Just days after this breach was publicized on the conservative blog Gateway Pundit and investigations began, Clerk Peters jetted off to a conference in South Dakota hosted by “MyPillow Guy” Mike Lindell, billed as a “Cyber Symposium” that Lindell claimed would produce “absolute proof” so compelling that Joe Biden himself would willingly step down. We still don’t know if this bombshell evidence was supposed to come from “packet captures” that Lindell insisted proved fraud, which turned out to be completely indecipherable gibberish, or the data stolen from Mesa County. Either way, no such “absolute proof” emerged from Lindell’s “Cyber Symposium” or any other source. Since that event, Clerk Peters has been in hiding in an undisclosed location at Lindell’s expense while the FBI and the local DA continue to investigate the data breach in her office.

Rep. Lauren Boebert with 2020 primary campaign manager Sherronna Bishop.

One of the passengers on Lindell’s private jet flying Clerk Peters to South Dakota last month was Sherronna Bishop, who served as now-Rep. Lauren Boebert’s campaign manager during the Republican CD-3 congressional primary in 2020. Boebert has been oddly silent about the controversy in Mesa County involving so many of her known associates, but Bishop is well-known on the Western Slope as a thought leader among an unhinged and increasingly militant regional far-right movement that believes COVID is a hoax, the 2020 elections were rigged, and civil war is right around the corner. As the Grand Junction Sentinel’s Charles Ashby reports in a story that everyone who doubts the outcome of the 2020 elections should read, Bishop was given a wide-open chance yesterday to prove something–anything–consequential about the data that was stolen. This would, among other things, be very helpful in a defense for Clerk Peters from potential felony charges.

“If you and Tina have these images, why didn’t you go to law enforcement,” Commissioner Janet Rowland asked at the meeting. “If you cared about election integrity, wouldn’t you go straight to the district attorney?”

Neither Bishop, nor her experts, could answer other than to repeat unproven accusations and calls for a forensic audit of the machines.

“The centralizing of our voting systems has been a major contributor to this, what we think is a lot of fraud,” Bishop said. “So, when you’re asking us to trust and go to people who are not willing to admit there’s even a potential for fraud in Colorado, that’s just not accurate.

“Those (elections) companies have far more manpower and money, have tech-savvy people to protect their systems, and yet you guys would try to have us believe, us dimwitted little hickerbillies, that there’s no fraud here in our machines,” Bishop added. “It is possible. It has happened.”

This reportedly went on for over an hour and a half, with Mesa County’s Republican commissioners and former GOP Secretary of State Wayne Williams repeatedly asking for the evidence these people say is irrefutable, only to be told that the “evidence” is part of the criminal investigation so it can’t be disclosed–as if that mattered when they stole it–and that it’s the state with the burden to disprove allegations that the accusers can’t even themselves credibly lay out.

We’ve been critical of Williams in this space, but it’s hard to argue with his sentiments after yesterday’s meeting:

“Your parents promise you toys for Christmas,” Williams told The Daily Sentinel after the 1 1/2-hourlong session ended.

“Excited, you arise early in the morning to see what might be under the tree,” he added. “There is nothing. You ask your parents what happened, and they explain how there was a theoretical possibility there could have been something.” [Pols emphasis]

Like Mike Lindell’s “Cyber Symposium” but with less media coverage, here was a golden opportunity for the election 2020 “truthers” to finally make their case–to lay out once and for all their theory of how the election was rigged, and how the data they’ve stolen and otherwise aggregated proves that–or for that matter, anything nefarious whatsoever.

And there. Is. Nothing.

Millions of Americans, some sincerely misguided and others who simply don’t want to play the game of democracy after they lose, insist the 2020 election was stolen with absolutely no rational basis for that belief. A growing number are openly threatening violence based on conjecture that breaks down every time it is subjected to critical analysis. When given the microphone and a the unhindered chance to make their case, we learn the simple truth: they have no case. Rarely in history has the nation’s time been so preposterously wasted, yet also so dangerously.

Indeed there is a very important lesson to be learned in Mesa County.

But it’s not the lesson Sherronna Bishop thinks she’s teaching.

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (September 1)

Welcome to September. 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. 

 

There’s good news and bad news on the COVID-19 front, as The Aurora Sentinel explains:

As of Tuesday 75% of Colorado adults have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, but for children who are too young to be vaccinated, their risk from the virus is as high as it has been since the pandemic started.

At a Tuesday news conference to discuss the coronavirus, state epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy said that Colorado has seen a “pretty rapid rise in pediatric cases” beginning in July.

“This is the first time in the pandemic that we’re really seeing this high rate in children,” she said…

…Unvaccinated people make up the majority of hospitalizations, said Scott Bookman, Colorado’s COVID-19 incident commander. The hospitalization rate of the unvaccinated is seven times that or people who are fully vaccinated.

CNN has more on the concerning rise of COVID cases among children:

Contrary to research early in the pandemic, children are just as likely to become infected as adults. According to the CDC, Covid-19 infection rates for adolescents aged 5 to 17 were as high as in adults 18 to 49, and higher than rates in adults over 50.

There have been 4.8 million cases of Covid-19 in children since April 2020, according to the American Association of Pediatrics, making up about 15% of all documented cases in the United States. In the last month, the number of new weekly cases has surged to near-peak levels.

Areas across the country with lower than average vaccination rates are experiencing higher increases in Covid-19 cases among children. In Mississippi, where only 37.7% of residents are fully vaccinated, there has been a 29% increase in cumulative Covid-19 cases in children over the past two weeks.

 

The United States military presence in Afghanistan officially came to an end this week. Colorado Public Radio has reaction from some of the members of Colorado’s congressional delegation. As Axios reports, Denver ranks among the most popular locations for Afghan refugees relocating to the United States.

While boots may be off the ground in Afghanistan, the political infighting continues — driven in large part by a wave of misinformation propagated by Republicans.

Meanwhile, President Biden previewed a new foreign policy goal in a speech defending the withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan. As The New York Times reports, Biden’s speech points to the end of a long era of attempts at nation-building.
 

Congressperson Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle) almost seems determined to find a way to get herself into legal trouble. As The Colorado Sun reports:

Boebert has removed her name from business paperwork linked to the oil and gas consulting firm run by her husband, Jayson, after drawing scrutiny for nearly $1 million in payments it received from Terra Energy, a drilling company operating in her district…

…The changes, made after The Colorado Sun reported the congresswoman’s ties to Boebert Consulting, distance Boebert from the two companies, which are registered to the couple’s home in Silt. But it’s not clear what ownership or stake, if any, Lauren Boebert has in either company.

A spokesperson for Boebert’s congressional office did not answer a question last month about whether the congresswoman is an owner of Boebert Consulting, and did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday.

This sure seems like an admission of wrongdoing on Boebert’s part regarding the mysterious new wealth she recently reported from her husband, Jayson. This comes at a time when her various scandals are piling up quickly and attracting a new level of national attention.

As if Boebert didn’t have enough problems, she learned this week that she is among the Republican Members of Congress who are being investigated for their role in the January 6th insurrection.

 

National Public Radio reports on a new abortion ban in Texas that went into effect today:

With the U.S. Supreme Court mum, a new law went into effect in Texas that bans abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy. That’s well before many women even know they are pregnant.

The law allows private citizens to sue abortion providers and anyone else who helps a woman obtain an abortion — including those who give a woman a ride to a clinic or provide financial assistance to obtain an abortion. Private citizens who bring these suits don’t need to show any connection to those they are suing.

The law makes no exceptions for cases involving rape or incest.

If federal courts allow the Texas abortion ban to stand, other states around the country will likely move swiftly to enact similar bans of their own. As The Daily Beast notes, this is a hugely significant moment for reproductive rights in America.

 

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Lauren Boebert’s Mountain of Baggage Finally Going National

Lauren and Jayson Boebert.

Salon’s Zachary Petrizzo shines a national spotlight on one of the many troubling stories that locals have been exchanging about freshman GOP controversy magnet Rep. Lauren Boebert of Rifle, Colorado for years now–the 2004 conviction of Rep. Boebert’s spouse Jayson Boebert on charges of public indecency and lewd exposure stemming from an incident at a bowling alley involving underage girls:

Jayson Steven Boebert, the husband of Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., has complicated his wife’s political career recently, after reports that the right-wing congresswoman failed to disclose Jayson’s highly-paid work in the natural gas industry while she was serving on the House Natural Resources Committee, which directly oversees regulation of that business.

It appears that might not be the only thing about Jayson that Rep. Boebert doesn’t want the public to know. In January 2004, when Jayson Boebert was 24, he was arrested for exposing himself to two young women at a Colorado bowling alley. His future wife Lauren Roberts (as she was then known), who was 17 at the time, was also present and was told she was no longer welcome at the bowling alley.

Jayson Boebert pled guilty to “public indecency and lewd exposure” after that incident, according to The New York Post, and was sentenced to four days in jail with a subsequent two years on probation…

It’s a faithful retelling of the story our readers know, right down to the joke about Jayson’s six-inch…thumb:

When Garfield County sheriff’s deputies arrived, McCown told them that he had repeatedly asked Jayson Boebert to leave the bowling alley but that Boebert had “refused to leave and became belligerent.” Boebert told deputies he had not exposed his penis, but had stuck his thumb through the fly of his pants as a prank. Trisha Walies disputed that in her account, writing: “I know that wasn’t a thumb because thumbs aren’t 6 inches long.” [Pols emphasis] Lauren Roberts told deputies she had not seen Jayson Boebert expose himself.

Because local audiences here in Colorado are already quite familiar with the Boeberts’ lengthy sordid history, the question for us for some time has been just how long Lauren Boebert, with all of her own baggage, can keep blasting away at Democrats on matters of personal misconduct before somebody with an even larger audience that Boebert’s social media following points it out. In her brief time in the public spotlight, Rep. Boebert has refined a Donald Trump-style strategy of leaning into her scandals–engaging in such obviously hypocritical fingerpointing that it can have the effect of confounding her critics with respect to Boebert’s own record.

But just like with Trump, it’s only a matter of time before this audacious ploy stops working. Boebert knows all of this information is in the public record waiting to be “resurfaced.” The more national media looks into Boebert’s background, the more eye-popping hypocrisy they’re going to find.

Trying to out-clamor one’s shady past is a fundamentally bad idea. It’s a positive feedback loop of disgrace.

Lauren Boebert seems to be proving this before our eyes.

Lauren Boebert Posts Unmasked Video Inside Denver Airport in Violation of Federal Law

(Superspreading the love – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Colorado Congresswoman Lauren Boebert posted a video from inside Denver’s airport on Monday morning. During the video she is not wearing a mask, in violation of federal law, which states that masks are to be worn at all times on airport property.

The Transportation Security Administration, charged with keeping people safe at airports, is responsible for enforcing the mask law. Denver International Airport’s website explains the law on its COVID safety page:

“While face masks have been required at DEN since May 2020, federal law now requires anyone over the age of 2, to wear a mask at all times in and on airport property. Failure to comply may result in removal from airport property and denial of re-entry. Refusing to wear a mask in or on the airport is a violation of federal law and individuals may be subject to penalties under federal law.”

Of the dozens of people walking past Boebert during her 40-second video, everyone who is close enough to have the front of their head visible appears to be wearing a mask.

In July Boebert gleefully tweeted that the Texas statehouse Democrats who were seen flying without masks “will now be known as #FugitiveSuperspreaders

She has called out Speaker Nancy Pelosi for failing to wear a mask in public.

Boebert’s press office did not immediately return an email request for comment. This article will be updated with any response received.

This article first appeared in the Colorado Times Recorder.

It’s Official: January 6th Investigation Eyeing Lauren Boebert

Rep. Lauren Boebert at the January 6th “Stop the Steal” rally.

CNN kicking off the news week with a bang, exclusive word that the select committee investigating the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th will request that telecom companies preserve phone records of a number of Republican members of Congress who were involved in the “Stop the Steal” rally preceding the violence:

It is unclear what means the committee will use to compel the telecommunications companies to cooperate with their request. The committee does have subpoena power, but requesting the information — especially from members of Congress — could lead to a lengthy legal battle.

The committee decided against making public the names of the lawmakers whose records they are targeting, three sources told CNN. But multiple sources familiar with the committee’s work have confirmed for CNN at least part of list including many of the members of Congress included in the request…

It’s a list of names you know, and it’s not hard to understand why they’re on it:

The list is said to be evolving and could be added to as the investigation steps up. As of now it includes Republican Reps. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, [Pols emphasis] Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Jim Jordan of Ohio, Andy Biggs of Arizona, Paul Gosar also of Arizona, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina, Matt Gaetz of Florida, Louie Gohmert of Texas, Jody Hice of Georgia and Scott Perry of Pennsylvania.

This is, we believe, the first time that Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert’s name has specifically arisen in the select committee’s requests for information. In Boebert’s case, phone records of communications in between her early-morning Tweet on January 6th that “Today is 1776,” her presence for at least part of the “Stop the Steal” rally, followed by Boebert’s highly ill-advised Tweets about Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s location while the rioters were flooding into the Capitol could prove highly informative. Who else was Boebert communicating with that day, and what was she telling them?

Given the credulity-straining attempts these members of Congress have already made to distance themselves from the violence on January 6th, there’s little doubt an attempt to compel phone records from telecommunications companies will be met with furious Godwin’s Law-validating resistance. But there’s a huge disconnect between the continuing promotion of the “Big Lie” that directly incited the violence on January 6th by these same members and their denial of any responsibility for the events of that day. That’s at least in part because depending on who the audience is, the message about January 6th from these members is very different.

It should be evident by now, if nothing else, that the idea of appointing any of these people who are now targets of the investigation to the committee doing the investigating was absurd. Plug in your noise-canceling headphones and stay tuned.

The Get More Smarter Podcast: Boebert’s Big Bogus Bonus Bribe

This week on Episode #84 of The Get More Smarter Podcast, hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii dig deep into the ever-expanding weirdness in Mesa County and its on-the-lam Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters.

We also dive into two BIG problems for Congressperson Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle), who is accumulating serious problems at astonishing speed. Later, we try to understand the karmic significance of running across a chicken strolling down (but not across) the road in front of you.

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

The Real Boebert Question: Election Day or Indictment Day?

Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert and husband Jayson Boebert.

Given all of the problems facing Colorado Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle), we thought it might be time to start asking a more longer-term question…

Which will come first for Boebert: Election Day 2022 or “Indictment Day” for any number of potential crimes?

Click below to cast your vote in another one of our completely nonscientific polls. As always in these polls, we want to know what you THINK is going to happen, not what you might prefer personally.

Which Will Happen First for Rep. Lauren "Q*Bert" Boebert?

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We’ll re-run this poll regularly to get a sense for how the winds might be shifting in Boebertland.

Get More Smarter on Friday (August 27)

We’re almost three-quarters of the way through 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. 

 

 One day after a bombing at an airport in Afghanistan that claimed the lives of 13 U.S. service members, Marine Gen. Kenneth “Frank” McKenzie, head of U.S. Central Command, indicated that more attacks are expected to come from “ISIS-K.” The New York Times explains everything you need to know about “ISIS-K,” the different flavor of ISIS that is responsible for the attack in Kabul.

On Thursday, President Biden promised that the U.S. would retaliate against ISIS-K for the suicide bombing attack that killed more than 100 people in total. From The Washington Post:

In emotional comments at the White House, Biden made clear that the attack would not cause him to rethink his strategy. Rather, he said, it reinforced his belief that the war must end and that the evacuation must proceed. He framed the deaths as the sacrifice of heroes performing a noble mission, and he suggested that any move to cut short the evacuation of Americans and their Afghan supporters would amount to caving to the terrorists.

“I bear responsibility for, fundamentally, all that has happened,” Biden said, addressing the nation hours after the deadly attack. His voice broke as he invoked Scripture, history and personal loss to decry the double suicide bombing at the entrance to the Kabul airport, which stands as the last small acreage controlled by the United States in Afghanistan nearly 20 years after the war began.

Biden promised to track down the killers responsible for the massacre, who he suggested were members of the terrorist group ISIS-K. “To those who carried out this attack: We will not forgive,” he said. “We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay.”

 

Congressman Jason Crow (D-Aurora) addressed Thursday’s attack in Kabul in an interview with MSNBC. The former Army Ranger who served in Afghanistan reaffirmed his belief that the withdrawal of U.S. forces was the correct decision, but stressed that the U.S. must remember its obligation to Afghanistan allies.

 

 As The Associated Press reports, the U.S. Supreme court ruled that evictions may resume in this country after a long COVID-related moratorium.

In related news, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell indicated that it might be time to start thinking about scaling back stimulus efforts as the economy continues to show signs of improvement even amidst another surge of COVID-19 cases.

 

As The Colorado Sun reports in its “Unaffiliated” newsletter, the Vice Chair of the Colorado Republican Party, Priscilla Rahn, has come out in support of efforts to cancel the GOP Primary Elections in order to help ensure that only the most strident right-wing candidates can win the Republican nomination for basically every elected office. This is a terrible idea for Republicans that is opposed by many moderates, but supporters such as Rahn believe that the only way forward for the GOP is to lurch ever rightward.

 

 The Denver Post asks the same question that has been top of mind for many Colorado politicos lately: WHERE IS TINA PETERS?

The Mesa County Clerk and Recorder has been hiding in an undisclosed location for weeks since being investigated for helping to break in to election computers in order to prove some sort of cockamamie argument about 2020 election fraud. Peters and her supporters have insisted that she is on the lam because of concerns for her personal safety, but a recent review of emails received by the Mesa Clerk’s office indicates that this is complete nonsense.

 

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Get More Smarter on Thursday (August 26)

Teddy! 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. 

 

Now that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has received full approval from the FDA, Republicans are having a hard time trying to figure out where to stand on the issue of mandatory vaccinations. As The Washington Post explains:

In the days since the FDA’s authorization and Biden’s call, Republicans who have otherwise fought tooth and nail against vaccine mandates have been surprisingly quiet about the prospect of employer mandates. And the few who have spoken out have generally said employers should be allowed to implement them.

The issue has played out in recent weeks and months in a number of states, with some lawmakers pushing for bans on mandates. But unlike the party’s posture toward school mask mandates, government vaccine mandates and vaccine passports, there is little cohesion on this subject. So far, only one state bans employer vaccine mandates: Montana…

…[South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem] essentially said conservatives should give businesses the freedom to take this step. And that’s going to be a tough pill to swallow for a Republican base that has been spoon-fed anti-mandate rhetoric — often tinged with conspiracy theories — by its leaders for so long.

Supporting pre-emptive bans on vaccine mandates doesn’t really jibe with “conservative” ideals to leave private businesses alone to make their own decisions. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, however, is plowing ahead anyway.

 

Congressperson Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle) is facing new calls for investigations related to her bizarre disclosure last week in which she apparently remembered that her husband, Jayson, gets paid a half-million dollars a year to “consult” for an oil and gas company.

 

The redistricting process in Colorado is (finally) nearing its final stages. This is bad news for Republicans, who picked a terrible time to get caught breaking the law on lobbying disclosures.

In related news, Bente Birkland of Colorado Public Radio looks at how a supposedly nonpartisan redistricting process is being corrupted by partisanship:

Colorado’s new redistricting process was intended to replace politicians with independent commissioners, and party interests with public input. But recent developments show there are still plenty of ways for partisans to try to influence the process.

On Tuesday, Democratic attorney Mark Grueskin filed a complaint against three prominent Colorado Republicans — former state sen. Greg Brophy, former state House Speaker Frank McNulty, and Alan Philp with the Colorado Neighborhood Coalition — alleging that they have been trying to influence the state’s redistricting process without properly disclosing their efforts.

The complaint filed on behalf of a voter in Larimer county, alleges the men either failed to properly register as lobbyists while conducting meetings related to redistricting and proposing ideas for maps, or they didn’t disclose income.

Colorado Republicans are trying to convince Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters to end her time on the lam and return to Colorado to face the music for allegedly compromising election security in a ham-handed attempt to prove some sort of 2020 election fraud. The Washington Post has more on how a nutty conspiracy theory is causing real-world security problems in Mesa County.

The office of Colorado’s Attorney General has joined in the investigation of Peters. The Colorado Secretary of State’s office, the Mesa County District Attorney, and the FBI are already looking into Peters’ misdeeds.

 

Senator Michael Bennet (D-Denver) is touring Colorado and getting an earful from residents about Climate Change worries.

Meanwhile, Colorado Newsline’s Chase Woodruff reports that Bennet’s 2022 re-election campaign is cruising along with solid fundraising and little Republican opposition.

 

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Complaint Filed Over Boebert’s Suddenly Big Bucks

Lauren and Jayson Boebert.

As Ernest Luning of the Colorado Springs Gazette reports, the grassroots organizing group Rural Colorado United is pressing the case against freshman GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert, filing a complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics following up on their call for Boebert to release her tax returns–all in response to Rep. Boebert’s still-mysterious disclosure last week of almost $1 million allegedly paid to the Boebert family’s sole proprietorship by Terra Energy Partners in 2019 and 2020:

Former state Rep. Bri Buentello, D-Pueblo, a persistent Boebert critic, alleges in the complaint that the payments — first revealed in a personal financial disclosure form filed last week by Boebert — could run afoul of federal bribery statutes and a House rule that forbids influence trading, pointing to legislation Boebert has introduced this year to boost the oil and gas industry, a major economic driver in her district…

Buentello alleges in her complaint that the large payments are “inconsistent with Mr. Boebert’s qualifications relative to that level of compensation,” citing employment compensation data that show oil and gas workers in similar positions typically make $41,000-$84,000, with top earners pulling in $174,000 annually. She also notes that Jayson Boebert’s compensation went up from 2019 to 2020, despite a pronounced nationwide slump in drilling activity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The disproportionate size and belated disclosure of this compensation raises questions about when these funds were actually paid to Jayson Boebert, and whether this compensation was made in exchange for actions taken by Rep. Lauren Boebert since being sworn into Congress in January,” Buentello wrote. [Pols emphasis]

In other words, bribery.

With respect to the continuing questions about disclosure requirements, it’s possible that Boebert’s staff made an error in disclosing the amounts allegedly paid by Terra Energy Partners to the Boebert family LLC–although this is disputed by at least one experienced ethics attorney, who has examined the case and contends that the joint nature of that LLC obligated Boebert to disclose years before she did:

“The disclosure laws require lawmakers to reveal the source of all earned income, ownership interests, and certain affiliations with LLCs. Rep. Boebert’s reports raise red flags regarding her compliance with the law,” [senior counsel and director of ethics for the Campaign Legal Center Kedric] Payne said.

But disclosure is not the main focus of Rural Colorado United’s complaint. As serious a matter as failing to disclose a blatant conflict of interest may be, if this questionably large sum of money was paid after Lauren Boebert was elected to Congress and falsely attested in whole or part to be income from before she was elected to Congress, a much more straightforward crime has been committed.

There’s plenty here for the Ethics Committee to ponder, though we could see a prosecutor getting there first.

The one thing that’s increasingly clear is that this newest scandal, which sprang to life one week ago on the heels of a separate investigation into thousands of dollars in “mistaken” personal charges to Boebert’s campaign account, is not going away. For a political neophyte who carved out a precarious niche by outraging her way into the headlines, these are the wrong kinds of headlines.

Get More Smarter on Tuesday (August 24)

Happy “International Strange Music Day.” Please celebrate strangely. 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. 

 

Here’s an unfortunate headline about Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert from Salon.com:

Via Salon.com (8/24/21)

 

On the subject of Boebert’s, uh, gas problem, the activist group Rural Colorado United is calling on the freshman Member of Congress to release her tax returns in the interest of transparency so that her constituents can see any potential conflicts with her elected job.

 

If you ever find yourself hiding from investigators for whatever reason, our only advice to you would be that you NOT tell “MyPillow Guy” Mike Lindell about your whereabouts. Lindell can’t seem to keep his mouth shut about “missing” Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters, who is being investigated by the Colorado Secretary of State, the Mesa County District Attorney, and the FBI for her role in a serious security breach of the Mesa County election systems.

Meanwhile, someone might want to tell the small band of Peters’ supporters about the bill they’re about to get stuck with:

 

Charles Ashby of The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel has the latest on the Peters saga, which includes the first known public comments from the Mesa County Clerk:

In her first public comments since going into hiding nearly two weeks ago, Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters said “a liberal” has been named to replace her as the county’s designated election official.

Naming her predecessor, now Mesa County Treasurer Sheila Reiner, the embattled Republican told My Pillow guy and voter-fraud conspiracy theorist Mike Lindell on his online show on Sunday that she didn’t trust her to take over elections in Mesa County.

Peters either didn’t know, or didn’t say, that the Mesa County Board of Commissioners had named former Secretary of State Wayne Williams, a Republican, instead…

…“I am the designated election official (but) I’ve been replaced with a liberal designated election official, and my staff and I are not even allowed into my elections office,” Peters told Lindell when she appeared on his online show, “The Lindell Report,” which can be seen at lindelltv.com. “That’s how bad this has gotten.”

Peters is playing the only card she and her fellow Trumpians know to play: Victimhood.

 

The COVID-19 pandemic is back atop the list of concerns for Americans, as a new poll from Gallup explains:

Two months ago, amid positive news about the state of the pandemic in the U.S. and optimism about the future, COVID-19 had fallen to its lowest point (8%) since the beginning of the pandemic. By July, with cases on the rise and concerns about the delta variant growing, 12% of U.S. adults named COVID-19 as the nation’s top problem. Since then, COVID-19 mentions have risen 14 points to today’s 26%.

 

Democratic State Rep. Yadira Caraveo is the first established politician to announce a bid for Congress in the as-yet-undrawn Eighth Congressional District.

In a related story, The Colorado Sun has the latest updates on the redistricting process.

 

 

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Rural Colorado United To Boeberts: Release Your Tax Returns

Lauren and Jayson Boebert.

A press release from the activist group Rural Colorado United is calling for freshman GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert to release her tax returns from 2018 to the present, after a still-mysterious disclosure by Boebert late last week of almost $1 million in compensation paid to Rep. Boebert’s spouse by a Texas-based oil and gas company:

After news reports revealed that Rep. Lauren Boebert submitted false financial disclosures omitting nearly one million dollars of income allegedly paid to Boebert’s husband in 2019 and 2020, the Western Slope civic organizing group Rural Colorado United is calling on Boebert to immediately release her federal tax returns from 2018 to the present, and other documentation of this previously undisclosed income.

“Lauren Boebert’s failure to disclose almost a million dollars paid to her husband by an oil and gas company while she was running for office as a regular working mom is a shameful breach of the public trust,” said Hon. Bri Buentello of Rural Colorado United. “The whole purpose of financial disclosure is to give voters the opportunity to know who a candidate is beholden to. It’s outrageous that Jayson Boebert was being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars per year by the oil and gas industry, many times what Rep. Boebert earns serving in Congress, while the residents of the Third Congressional District were kept in the dark.”

And here’s where RCU drills down (pun intended) to the big question raised by Boebert’s belated disclosure of all this wealth that rained down, allegedly at the same time they were unable to make their unemployment insurance payments for the Shooters’ Grill and questionably reimbursing themselves huge sums for mileage expenses:

“The failure to properly disclose this income over the past two years while Boebert ran and serves in Congress raises questions about the timing of the payments to Jayson Boebert, and what specific work he performed for Terra Energy Productions to earn this million-dollar payout,” said Hon. Bri Buentello. “Given Rep. Lauren Boebert’s position on the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee, this shady arrangement and the failure to disclose it up to now could be the tip of an iceberg of corruption. The people of CD-3 deserve to know if our representative in Congress has been purchased by a Texas oil company. We need to know when exactly Jayson Boebert was paid this million dollars, and for what work, in order to have any confidence that Boebert is telling the truth.”

“We’re calling on the Boeberts to immediately release their full unredacted federal tax returns from 2018 to the present,” said Buentello, “but that’s not all. Lauren Boebert must fully cooperate with any investigation that results from this belated disclosure of her husband’s newfound wealth. ‘No-show jobs’ and other corrupt payoffs by special interests are for The Sopranos, not Western Colorado.”

To be clear, it did come out since this release last Friday that Jayson Boebert has been a contractor for Terra Energy Partners since 2017. The problem is that nobody in an equivalent position to Jayson Boebert makes the kind of money Boebert claims he was paid in 2019 and 2020. What’s more, Jayson Boebert’s income is reported to have actually increased from $460,000 in 2019 to $478,000 in 2020, even as drilling came to a virtual halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In short, nothing about this belated disclosure of big bucks paid to the Boebert family’s sole proprietorship makes sense based on what we know about the Boeberts’ financial history at that time, or the type of work Jayson Boebert is engaged in. What would make sense, however, would be Terra Energy Partners feeling motivated to put an end to the Boeberts’ financial problems, you know, retroactively now that Lauren Boebert is in Congress.

If that’s not what Boebert wants the voters of CD-3 believing, tax returns showing this money was actually paid in the years the disclosure claims it was paid would be a good place to start. If Jayson Boebert really did make $460,000 in 2019 and $478,000 in 2020, before Lauren Boebert was elected to Congress, drilling rig workers across the state want to know how he did it so they can too.

At this point, the criminal scenario is the only one that adds up.