The Get More Smarter Podcast: Libertarians (ft. Jon Murray of The Denver Post)

This week on Episode #79 of The Get More Smarter Podcast, hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii talk with Jon Murray of The Denver Post about his profile of the Libertarian Party and its roots in Colorado.

Later on, we talk about the one person on the Republican bench in 2022; we do some prognosticating on the statewide races this cycle; and we introduce a new segment called “Stuff We Tweeted.”

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

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

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Judge Sides With Boebert On Cancelling Constituents

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R).

As the Denver Post’s Justin Wingerter reports, a federal judge ruled Friday that freshman Rep. Lauren Boebert is not obligated to “unblock” a dissenting constituent from her personal Twitter account, rejecting the argument that Boebert uses both personal and “official” Twitter accounts interchangeably:

“The First Amendment’s protection of the people’s right to free speech, like other rights protected by the Constitution, is implicated only when the government, not a private entity or individual, regulates speech,” wrote the judge, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump.

Buentello, a Democrat, sued Boebert, a Republican, in January and sought a preliminary injunction that would have forced Boebert to unblock Buentello. She cited cases in which courts found that elected officials, including Trump, cannot block constituents. Buentello, who lives in Pueblo, is a Boebert constituent.

Boebert, who was represented by congressional lawyers, argued that Buentello failed to distinguish between Boebert’s personal account, @laurenboebert, and her government account, @repboebert. Buentello is only blocked from viewing and interacting with Boebert’s personal account.

Rep. Boebert’s “personal” Twitter account has the vastly larger following (616k vs. 142k), and is certainly the better-known of the two accounts. Neither account contains a link to the other in the description, and an ordinary person running across one of these accounts would have no reason to assume the other exists at all. In her lawsuit, former state Rep. Bri Buentello argued that because Boebert uses her primary account for a wide array of presumably official communications, the distinction between a “personal” and official account was meaningless.

Although Boebert obtained a favorable ruling affirming her right to block constituents whose opinions she doesn’t like from her ostensibly “personal” account, optically this of course cannot be considered any kind of win. It reinforces the image of Boebert as a paper tiger who can’t back up her tough Tweets when challenged. Coming from the side of the contemporary political debate over “cancel culture” which is demanding that dissenting political voices not ever be deplatformed, celebrating Boebert’s right to block people who disagree with her on Twitter is counterintuitive to say the least.

Apparently, not all “cancel culture” is created equal.

Get More Smarter on Friday (June 25)

That went fast — today is the last Friday of June. 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 search for survivors of a building collapse in Miami, Florida continues, with 159 people still unaccounted for. Among the missing is Cassandra Stratton, wife of longtime Colorado Democratic political consultant Michael Stratton.

Meanwhile, authorities continue to investigate the reasons behind the collapse of the condo building. As USA Today reports, it may very well be an issue related to a changing climate:

A Florida high-rise that collapsed early Thursday was determined to be on unstable land a year ago, according to a researcher at Florida International University.

The building, which was constructed in 1981, has been sinking at an alarming rate since the 1990s, according to a study in 2020 by Shimon Wdowinski, a professor in the Department of Earth and Environment.

When Wdowinski saw the news that the Champlain Towers South condominium in Surfside collapsed, he instantly remembered it from the study, he said.

“I looked at it this morning and said, ‘Oh my god.’ We did detect that,” he said.

Meanwhile, owners of units in the building have already filed a lawsuit against the Champlain Towers South condo complex association.

 

As The New York Times reports, the U.S. Justice Department is suing the State of Georgia over a new voting law:

“The rights of all eligible citizens to vote are the central pillars of our democracy,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a news conference at the Justice Department. “They are the rights from which all other rights ultimately flow.”

The lawsuit is among the highest-profile enforcement actions to be brought under the Voting Rights Act since the Supreme Court in 2013 gutted a key provision that allowed the Justice Department to stop states from passing laws viewed as facilitating voter discrimination.

The lawsuit shows that the Justice Department under the Biden administration intends to use the remaining tools it had to aggressively fight state actions that it sees as potentially disenfranchising minority voters. Mr. Garland vowed earlier this month that the department would deploy all of its available law enforcement options to combat voter discrimination.

The lawsuit comes days after congressional Republicans blocked the most ambitious federal voting rights legislation in a generation, dealing a blow to Democrats’ efforts to preserve voting rights. President Biden and Democratic leaders pledged to continue working to steer federal voting rights legislation into law.

 

Colorado’s Independent Redistricting Commissions will be touring the state in July and August to elicit feedback on potential new maps for 2022. The first look at a potential Congressional redistricting map came out this week, with an initial version of the legislative redistricting version due out on Monday.

Here’s what you need to know about the PRELIMINARY first map released this week. Justin Wingerter of The Denver Post has more on a first map that appears to be very favorable for Republicans.

 

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s request for a new trial in the killing of George Floyd was rejected by a judge. Chauvin is expected to be sentenced for his crimes today.

 

Vice President Kamala Harris is visiting the U.S.-Mexico border today. Republicans have long complained that Harris didn’t visit the border sooner so that she could…look at stuff, or something.

 

Click below to keep learning stuff…

 

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Lauren Boebert Can’t Keep Up With More Flamboyant Crazies

Rep. Lauren Boebert and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.

The Washington Post’s eminent columnist Dana Milbank turns his rapier-like wit on Colorado’s most outrageous Republican freshman member of Congress ever, Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert, and Milbank’s conclusion in his latest column is similar to what we’ve been warning about for some months now. Boebert, despite a willingness to say absolutely any wacky thing that comes to mind if it keeps her in the headlines, is losing the charisma competition to the more experienced or, failing that, just plain more outrageously crazy conservative fringe luminaries she shares the congressional spotlight with:

[S]he has languished as a poor man’s Sarah Palin and a third-rate Josh Hawley, [Pols emphasis] as others seize the spotlight with superior antics. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), another QAnon aficionado, inflamed the House with her antisemitic talk of Jewish “space lasers” and likening public health guidelines to the . Rep. Louie Gohmert at a confab of QAnon types where the violent overthrow of the U.S. government was contemplated. Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.) compared the Jan. 6 insurrection to a “normal tourist visit.”

Boebert had to raise her game. And on Wednesday, she gave it her best shot. She assembled 10 colleagues in the House TV studio to announce her new resolution to censure Biden — a reprimand that a chamber of Congress has delivered only once in U.S. history, to Andrew Jackson — over Biden’s border policy. “The Biden regime has punched our Border Patrol agents in the face!” she shouted, after calling Vice President Harris “Cackling Kamala.”

Not bad. But Boebert was immediately overshadowed by her colleagues, who put on a clinic in crazy talk…

Reps. Marjorie Taylor-Greene, Lauren Boebert.

Like fellow freshman low-info bombthrower Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert is constantly in a race to eclipse her last controversy by instigating a fresh one–the classic Donald Trump strategy by which individual events that could become major political catastrophes are continuously subsumed by the next jaw-dropper, thus reducing the harm done by any of them. This constant drumbeat of partisan hyperbole also in theory is what keeps the campaign coffers full of grassroots cash, but as we’ve seen so far this year Boebert has not been able to turn her fringe-right persona into cash with nearly the efficiency of MTG or Rep. Madison Cawthorn.

And why is that? Well, Dana Milbank thinks Boebert just isn’t as good at staying in control of her message:

Fox News’s Chad Pergram asked Boebert — twice — to contrast her Biden censure with the Jackson censure, in 1834. Both times, Boebert’s answer betrayed no indication that she knew who Andrew Jackson was.

While Boebert struggled, Greene used the questions to deliver unrelated rants about socialism, Fauci, antifa, BLM and defund the police. “This is systematic destruction to our country,” she said. “We have many members in the Democrat Party that you could definitely look at … and you could call them communist.”

Boebert stood silently, hands clasped. She was in the presence of a master.

It’s not that MTG knows more about American history or any other subject than Boebert. The difference is that MTG makes no attempt to respond to questions she does not understand, pivoting seamlessly her own list of talking points that need have nothing to do with the question. Boebert on the other hand doesn’t have the self-awareness to know when she’s providing a clueless answer, and doesn’t have the stage presence to bridge the obvious gaps in her comprehension of the issues.

At a certain level, it’s not about the politics, fringe or otherwise. This is about stagecraft, charisma, and the ability to stay on message under pressure. There are public figures who do this well, and others who despite their initial buzz simply do not.

“Boring Boebert” made a splash in Colorado’s hinterlands, but she’s not keeping up in the big pond.

‘It’s Not a Pipe Dream:’ Boebert Wants Trump To Be Speaker of the House in 2022

(It’s more of a “bong dream” – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Congresswoman Boebert with former President Trump on June 10.

By James O’Rourke, Colorado Times Recorder

U.S. Rep Lauren Boebert (R-CO) appeared on the Steffan Tubbs Show Monday. There, she chatted with radio host and conspiracy theorist Randy Corporon about the problems Republicans face in today’s political sphere.

During the interview, Boebert spoke on her hopes for the future of the Republican party. In her mind, the path is clear: “We will take the House back in 2022.”

Many fractures have formed in the Republican Party, following the January 6 insurrection and Donald Trump’s continued lies that he won the 2020 presidential election. The GOP’s removal of U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), an outspoken critic of Trump, shows how deeply troubled the party will be as it tries to regain power during midterm elections next year.

Boebert, however, was full of optimism, saying that “I think the Republican party is stronger than ever, and it’s very obvious that President Trump is still the leading voice of the Republican party.”

Just two weeks ago Boebert and nine other members of the Republican Study Committee met with Trump at his county club in New Jersey.

“I’m just ready for [Trump] to announce that he’ll be speaker of the House, and then we can really live in the minds of those crazy left wing lunatics,” she continued.

Technically, there is no congressional rule dictating that the speaker of the House must be a sitting member of Congress. To date, all speakers have been chosen from current congresspeople, but in theory any willing U.S. citizen could be chosen for the role. 

The crucial key word there is ‘willing’. According to a spokesman for the ex-president, Trump has “zero desire” to be speaker of the House.

Still, Republicans can dream of a comeback with Trump’s leadership renewed. Corporon expressed his wish for Trump, as speaker, to “call for the impeachment of Kamala, and Zombie Joe, especially … for all of his China connections.”

Since the early months of his presidency, Biden has repeatedly made his enmity for China clear. His American Jobs Plan claims that China is a threat on par with the climate crisis.

Breaking into laughter, Boebert agreed with Corporon. “I like the order that you put that in,” she said, “because it probably would be Kamala [who gets impeached first].” 

This statement paid homage to a prolific right-wing conspiracy theory, that Vice President Harris is the true U.S. president. According to this theory, the Democrats have secretly planned for Joe Biden to step down due to health issues, so that Harris can take the presidency in his stead.

Democratic officials have decried this theory and others like it. They attribute the dearth of accusations targeting Harris to her status as a Black woman in a position of power. 

Boebert showed no expectation of good faith from her Democratic colleagues.

“Democrats aren’t afraid to lie,” she said. “They will take a lie and run with it. And [Republicans] are the party of the truth, we are the party of values and principles, and that’s what I’m running on.”

This comes after Boebert has put so much stock in the spurious conspiracy theories surrounding the 2020 election. She, like so many of her Republican colleagues, has taken the lie in her hands, and she shows no intent to stop running with it any time soon.

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (June 23)

Today is the Grand Duke’s Official Birthday in Luxembourg, so send him a Starbucks gift card or something. 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, Senate Republicans have killed a massive voting rights bill proposed by Congressional Democrats:

Senate Republicans banded together Tuesday to block a sweeping Democratic bill that would revamp the architecture of American democracy, dealing a grave blow to efforts to federally override dozens of GOP-passed state voting laws.

The test vote, which would have cleared the way to start debate on voting legislation, failed 50-50 on straight party lines — 10 votes short of the supermajority needed to advance legislation in the Senate.

It came after a succession of Democrats delivered warnings about what they said was the dire state of American democracy, accusing former president Donald Trump of undermining the country’s democratic system by challenging the results of the 2020 election in a campaign that prompted his supporters in numerous state legislatures to pass laws rolling back ballot access.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell had long ago promised to torpedo S.1 (the “For the People Act“), so Tuesday’s actions weren’t a huge surprise…but a disappointment to many nevertheless.

 

Colorado’s Independent Redistricting Commissions will be touring the state in July and August to elicit feedback on potential new maps for 2022. Things will get a LOT more interesting on the redistricting front this afternoon, when nonpartisan staffers will introduce the first look at a potential new map of Colorado’s Congressional districts.

Click here for more on the redistricting commissions.

 

The El Paso County Republican Party announced that Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene will be the featured speaker at its big annual fundraising dinner in August. Yes, really.

 

As Colorado Newsline reports, President Biden will soon meet with Western Governors to talk wildfires — which are already exploding in Colorado — and he’s taking up the cause of firefighters as well:

Biden said Tuesday that he will host a meeting next week of Western governors, Cabinet members and Federal Emergency Management Agency officials “to prepare for heat, drought and wildfires in the West.”

Biden at a White House FEMA briefing also sharply criticized the low salaries paid to federal wildland firefighters.

“There’s an old expression: God made man. Then he made a few firefighters. They have a higher incidence of severe injuries than police officers do. They are incredibly, incredibly brave at what they do…. And I just realized — I didn’t realize this, I admit — that federal firefighters get paid 13 dollars an hour,” Biden said.

“That’s gonna end in my administration,” he said, banging the table for emphasis, according to a pool report. “That’s a ridiculously low salary to pay federal firefighters.”

Meanwhile, 9News is tracking the status of various wildfires in Colorado. The smoke from some of these fires is now visible (and smellable) in the Denver Metro Area.

 

 Governor Jared Polis will sign 14 different pieces of legislation into law at various stops in Colorado today.

 

 An Indiana woman will today become the first person to be sentenced for taking part in the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

 

 

Click below to keep learning stuff…

 

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Deep Thoughts By Lauren Boebert: Theocracy!

Drinking from the daily firehose of crazy that is Rep. Lauren Boebert’s Twitter feed, let’s take a moment to subject the Tweet you can read above to a few moments of critical analysis. What we have here is Boebert claiming that there have been two nations “created for God’s glory,” presumably in all of history, and those two nations are the United States and Israel.

For starters, let’s establish that we’re talking about the Christian God and the Jewish God respectively, which means this is a “People of the Book” thing–and that means we’re talking about the Muslim God too because, and this is going to come as a rude shock to Lauren Boebert, it’s the same God. You see, the way that Christians distinguish their God in the literally eternal game of “my God’s better than your god” is the Holy Trinity, which neither Jews nor Muslims believe in. So if one gets to be in on “God’s glory,” they both do.

Sorry, we don’t make the rules–especially these rules.

So with that in mind, we turn to the next question: just how wrong is Lauren Boebert this time? How many nations “created for God’s glory” have existed throughout human history? Let’s humor Boebert and leave out Islamic theocracies, because there are still plenty of Christian examples to choose from. There are the easy guesses like the Holy Roman Empire and the sovereign capitol of Catholicism in Vatican City, but then there are a whole slew of countries like the United Kingdom that, unlike the United States, actually have a state-sponsored religion. In the United States, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion” is the first sentence of the First Amendment of the Constitution’s Bill of Rights.

In short, if Boebert wants to live in a nation “created for God’s glory,” that can be arranged (here’s some light reading for the trip)! What we learned in civics class is that the United States of America was created “to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.”

That’s everything we need, thanks.

Get More Smarter on Monday (June 21)

Happy Summer Solstice; please celebrate 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 John Ingold writes for The Colorado Sun, the Delta coronavirus variant is exploding in Colorado…which is bad news for anyone who is still unvaccinated against COVID-19:

The Delta variant, which is believed to have originated in India and is also known as the B.1.617.2 variant, was first identified in Colorado in late April. By the first week of this month — a period of about six weeks — it had grown to account for an estimated 40% of all new infections in Colorado.

For comparison, it took eight weeks for the Alpha variant — also known as the B.1.1.7 or United Kingdom variant — to reach 40% of the state’s total cases. As of early June, that variant made up an estimated 48% of total cases in Colorado, but its share is falling as Delta’s rises.

Nationwide, the Delta variant is believed to account for about 10% of new cases.

Dr. Rachel Herlihy, the state epidemiologist, said the Delta variant is believed to be about 50% more transmissible than the Alpha variant, which itself was 50% more transmissible than the original form of the virus.

Fully-vaccinated people don’t have to worry much about contracting the new variant.

Meanwhile, Westword looks at how the COVID-19 pandemic is still raging in Mesa County, Colorado, thanks primarily to a stubborn reluctance from many to get vaccinated.

 

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in favor of student athletes in the debate over whether athletes should be compensated for the revenue they help generate for their respective universities.

 

New polling data from Colorado-based conservative pollster Magellan Strategies shows that 60% of Coloradans approve of the way that Gov. Jared Polis has handled the COVID-19 pandemic. The Colorado Sun has more on the Magellan poll, and so does Colorado Pols.

 

According to an account published in a new book, former President Trump suggested moving Americans infected with COVID-19 TO GUANTANAMO BAY in Cuba. From The Washington Post:

In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, as White House officials debated whether to bring infected Americans home for care, President Donald Trump suggested his own plan for where to send them, eager to suppress the numbers on U.S. soil.

“Don’t we have an island that we own?” the president reportedly asked those assembled in the Situation Room in February 2020, before the U.S. outbreak would explode. “What about Guantánamo?”

“We import goods,” Trump specified, lecturing his staff. “We are not going to import a virus.”

Aides were stunned, and when Trump brought it up a second time, they quickly scuttled the idea, worried about a backlash over quarantining American tourists on the same Caribbean base where the United States holds terrorism suspects.

Read those paragraphs one more time.

 

 

Click below to keep learning stuff…

 

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SoS Griswold Shuts Down AZ-Style Ballot Goose Chase

Rep. Ron Hanks (R) in Phoenix observing the Arizona election “audit” last week.

A press release yesterday afternoon from Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold announces new emergency rules to prevent unqualified, unsupervised partisan hacks from gaining custody of Colorado’s voting equipment and ballots records to engage in the shenanigans presently underway in the state of Arizona:

“Colorado’s elections are considered the safest in the nation, and we must remain steadfast in our dedication to security,” said Secretary of State Jena Griswold. “Along those lines, no third-party person or vendor will be permitted access to voting equipment in our state. We will not risk the state’s election security nor perpetuate The Big Lie. Sham audits have no place in Colorado.”

The new and amended rules, which have been implemented immediately, reinforce who can access state-certified voting systems. In order to access any component of a county’s voting system, a person must have passed a comprehensive criminal background check and be either an employee of the county clerk, an employee of the voting system provider, an employee of the Secretary of State’s Office, or an appointed election judge.

The rules further enable the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office to limit or prohibit the use of, as well as decertify, any voting systems component in the event of a break in its chain-of-custody or other hardware security compromises, such that its security and integrity can no longer be verified.

A third-party vendor with no election experience is currently performing a faulty, unsecure election audit in Arizona and calls for such sham audits have been spreading in other states. Several Colorado counties have been contacted by third parties offering to conduct audits. Colorado already administers post-election Risk Limiting Audits after every statewide election, which gives a statistical level of confidence that the outcome of an election is correct.

Last week after the Colorado General Assembly adjourned for the year, highly imaginative election denier GOP Rep. Ron Hanks reportedly drove straight to Phoenix to observe the so-called “audit” taking place there, after the GOP-controlled Arizona Senate seized the ballots and counting hardware from the 2020 election and handed them to a shady outfit calling itself Cyber Ninjas for what they’re calling an audit but in fact has none of the procedures and safeguards against abuse that the official recounts that already took place did. It was reported that a number of ballots from the Arizona audit have been transported to rural Montana for unknown purposes, and at this point the chain of custody over these ballots has been broken, run over, and peed on to the point they can never be trusted. None of which really matters since the 2020 election is over, and ballots have been officially counted, recounted, and certified all they need to be.

In truth, by keeping Colorado’s election systems and ballots out of the hands of partisan prevaricators with shady methods and confirmation bias, Griswold is the one upholding election integrity. It’s not even close. And if you don’t want to believe a Democratic Secretary of State, in Colorado it was Republican county clerks who took point last November and December in refuting the misinformation about Colorado’s elections systems–which just happened to also refute the Big Lie that the election was rigged in the swing states that decided the presidential race, since Colorado uses Dominion Voting Systems hardware and mail ballots sent “unsolicited” to all active voters.

Griswold, like the GOP clerks in Colorado and Secretaries of State across the country in both parties, is fighting a running battle against a determined campaign of misinformation that, as long as Donald Trump and the enablers of his political afterlife refuse to put a stop to it, will probably never be fully extinguished. It’s therefore even more important for the majority of Americans who believe the 2020 election was not stolen to remain as energetic in their defense of our democratic process as Trump dead-enders are in their assault on it.

Don’t even crack the door for these people.

Boebert Hovers Above CO GOP Leader’s Effort To “Brand” Republicans As Caring

(One of these things is not like the other – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

You have to agree with the leader of Colorado’s Republican Party when she says people think Republicans are white and mean–and this creates problems for them when it comes to winning elections.

“People have a misconception, I think [about Republicans],” Burton Brown said on KHOW last week at 24 minutes, saying it’s her job to re-brand the Republican Party. “They’ve put us in a box. ‘Here’s what Republicans are. They are old. They are white. They are men. They do not care. They only want to give the rich people money.’

Kristi Burton Brown

Yet Burton Brown can’t say enough good things about U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), whose meanness continues to shock even people like me who listen to her all the time.

For example, back in April, when the humanitarian crisis on the border was ramping up and officials were struggling to find ways to help children who crossed the border, Boebert showed no sympathy at all.

With images of destitute kids all over the news, Boebert was asked on conservative radio, what’s the “biggest problem at the border right now that could be addressed right away if you could only do one thing and do it first? What would Representative Bobert recommend doing?”

“Continue construction on the wall. That’s exactly what needs to happen,” Boebert told a KHOW radio host, acting as if the kids in the news didn’t exist. “On day one, Biden issued an executive order to halt construction at our southern border. We need to get the wall built.”

Even if you believe the wall could work, which serious people don’t, you still have the kids, right here right now, who need care that border security, especially a wall, won’t give them.

Then, and now, all Boebert can do is repeatedly mock their plight and offer no help or ideas or anything but…a wall of meanness.

Just this week on Flashpoint, a Christian right podcast, Boebert offered not a word of love or compassion toward immigrant children but instead degraded them with language that served her need for a political attack line but had no basis in reality.

Thousands of migrant children are “wrapped and stacked like baked potatoes” at the border, she said.

Like baked potatoes, because some, at some point, had mylar blankets?

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Lauren Boebert Laughs At Accountability For January 6th

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R).

Yesterday, the U.S. House voted by an overwhelming 406-21 margin to award the Congressional Gold Medal to U.S. Capitol Police officers who attempted to hold back pro-Donald Trump rioters bent on storming the Capitol and halting the certification of now-President Joe Biden’s victory on January 6th. After several months of Republicans struggling to manage their message as the party directly responsible for the January 6th insurrection while still maintaining a pretense of support for “law and order,” this vote is one of the most bipartisan acknowledgements we’ve seen of what actually happened that day.

Of Colorado’s seven members of Congress, four Democrats and three Republicans, only one voted against awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to Capitol Police. And as the Denver Post’s Justin Wingerter reports, you already know who it was:

Republican U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado voted against a bill Tuesday that will award the Congressional Gold Medal to all U.S. Capitol police and Washington, D.C., police for defending the Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot…

“Once again Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats prove that there is no level they won’t stoop to. Using the death of an officer in April to try and score cheap political points is shameful,” Boebert said in a statement after the vote, referring to the bill’s mention of Officer Billy Evans, who was killed in April 2 when a driver ran into him at a Capitol barricade.

“I’m not here to play their partisan games,” said Boebert, who has quickly established a reputation in Congress for eye-catching remarks and votes.

The 21 “no” votes against this resolution include the worst of the “Deplorables Caucus,” including Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Matt Gaetz, Paul Gosar, and Andy Biggs–also some of the most vociferous deniers of the results of the 2020 elections and promoters of the January 6th “Save America” rally that devolved into the insurrection. MTG put a finer point on her “no” vote than Boebert:

Rep. Boebert didn’t call it an insurrection either, at least not at the time:

In the days before the riot, Boebert tweeted “Remember these next 48 hours. These are some of the most important days in American history.”

On the day of the riot, the congresswoman tweeted, “Today is 1776,” and later said during debate on the House floor, “Madam Speaker, I have constituents outside the building right now.”

In the end, however, these 21 Republicans who voted against awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to Capitol Police were left hanging in the breeze by 188 of their Republican colleagues who voted in favor. This was an attempt by some of the most culpable Republicans in Congress to downplay the events of January 6th that they in many cases helped incite–but thanks to even Doug Lamborn being smart enough to vote the right way, Boebert and her 20 hard-right friends came out looking like a small fringe of villains trying and failing to cover up their own crimes.

After the House Ethics Committee decided not to proceed this week with an inquiry requested into Boebert’s involvement in the January 6th insurrection, Boebert no doubt felt completely empowered to vote against recognizing the valor of police officers who tried to stop it. She apparently doesn’t understand how this vote is not just an admission of guilt, but an implicit affirmation of support for the terrible events of January 6th.

Or she does know, and she knows you know, and she doesn’t care. That’s what this vote tells us.

Updating “The Big Line: 2022” and Statewide Colorado Races

The Republican bench in Colorado can fit inside a phone booth, which is a big reason why 2022 has been such a difficult election cycle to predict for the GOP. That doesn’t mean we won’t give it a try.

Last week, Ernest Luning of the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman updated the rumor mill on potential statewide Republican candidates in 2022. That gives us as good of a news peg as any to update “The Big Line: 2022.” Here’s how things look for the five statewide races that will be on the ballot in Colorado…

 

U.S. SENATE

Sen. Michael Bennet

Incumbent Democrat Michael Bennet is the first U.S. Senator from Colorado to even seek a third term in office since Gordon Allott in 1966 (remember to credit Colorado Pols when you get this question right while playing “Obscure Colorado Trivia Pursuit”). Bennet dispatched then-District Attorney Ken Buck in 2010 before lucking out with Darryl Glenn as his Republican opponent in 2016, and the trend toward terrible GOP opponents seems likely to continue. 

A few Republicans have officially filed paperwork to run in 2022, including people named Juli Henry, Peter Yu, and Erik Aadland. Since Donald Trump will be “re-appointed” as President before any of these names are likely to end up in the U.S. Senate, let’s just move along…

Former El Paso County GOP Chairman Eli Bremer indicated his interest in a Senate run back in February (as first reported by Luning); that trial balloon was met with a collective shrug from Republicans, but Bremer hasn’t given up on this dream just yet. Aside from Bremer, two names seem to be popping up more than others for Republicans: Clarice Navarro and Dan Caplis (no, seriously). 

Navarro is a former State Representative from Pueblo who resigned her seat in 2017 to take a job in the Trump administration as the Colorado Farm Service Agency’s state executive director. Navarro currently works as Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert’s District Director, which appears to be a fairly irrelevant position. Boebert political advisers like Laura Carno are advising Navarro on making a bid for Senate, and Navarro is taking a close look at running from what we hear.

Caplis is a silly right-wing radio host and ambulance-chasing defense lawyer who has been threatening to run for one office or another for more than a decade. Last fall, Caplis was talking about challenging Gov. Jared Polis in 2022, but he seems to have since changed his focus to the U.S. Senate. Normally we’d just ignore Caplis, but from what we hear, he is actively trying to put together a staff and is willing to front the money for salaries, which is more than can be said for any other potential Republican candidate at this point.

Bottom Line: After Democrat John Hickenlooper’s convincing 2020 Senate win, national Republicans aren’t going to target Bennet in 2022. Whoever emerges as the Republican nominee will have to do most of the work themselves. Bennet is safe here.

 

 

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Get More Smarter on Tuesday (June 15)

Happy Global Wind Day; please celebrate 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. 

 

New information is emerging showing the depths to which former President Trump and his minions sank in their efforts to overturn the 2020 election results. As The Washington Post explains:

President Donald Trump’s staff began sending emails to Jeffrey Rosen, the No. 2 at the Justice Department, asking him to embrace Trump’s claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election at least 10 days before Rosen assumed the role of acting attorney general, according to new emails disclosed by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform in advance of a hearing to probe the causes of the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

On the same day as the electoral college met to certify the election results — which was also the day Trump announced that William P. Barr would be stepping down as attorney general — his assistant sent Rosen an email with a list of complaints concerning the way the election had been carried out in Antrim County, Mich.

The file included a forensic analysis of the Dominion Voting Systems machines the county employed, alleging they were “intentionally and purposefully” calibrated to create fraudulent results, and “talking points” that could be used to counter any arguments “against us.”…

…The claims were false.

The email — one of several previously undisclosed records released by the Oversight Committee Tuesday morning — sheds light on the type of pressure Trump was putting on the Justice Department to take up his crusade against Joe Biden’s 2020 victory.

The good news here is that DOJ official seem to have responded to Trump’s demands with the appropriate level of dismissal:

 

As The New York Times reports, the Biden administration is putting together plans for combatting domestic extremism:

The Biden administration is aiming to bolster information sharing with technology companies, potentially expand hiring of intelligence analysts and improve screening of government employees for ties to domestic terrorism as part of a much-anticipated plan expected to be released on Tuesday detailing how the federal government should combat extremism.

President Biden ordered the review of how federal agencies addressed domestic extremism soon after coming into office, part of an effort to more aggressively acknowledge a national security threat that has grown since the Capitol riot on Jan. 6.

The 32-page plan synthesizes steps that have been recommended by national security officials — including bolstering relationships with social media companies and improving information sharing among law enforcement agencies — into one blueprint on how to more effectively identify extremists in the country after years of heightened focus on foreign terrorists.

 

Things are getting weird(er) in Grand Junction, as COVIDiots come out to yell at the Mesa County Commissioners.

 

Governor Jared Polis is holding bill signing ceremonies in Northern Colorado today, with stops in Longmont, Greeley, and Ft. Collins on the schedule.

 

Click below to keep learning stuff…

 

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How Is Hurting The Unemployed A Winning Strategy?

Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs).

As the Grand Junction Sentinel’s Charles Ashby reports, late last week Gov. Jared Polis rejected a call from Colorado’s three Republican members of Congress to cut off supplemental federal unemployment funds based on the incorrect assumption that those funds are operating as a disincentive for workers to return to their their pre-pandemic jobs:

U.S. Reps. Lauren Boebert of Silt, Doug Lamborn of Colorado Springs and Ken Buck of Windsor said in a joint letter to Polis on Friday that the added benefit is prompting some people to prefer to stay on unemployment, a stance that is not supported by state labor officials.

That money is part of the $1.2 trillion COVID-19 relief plan that Congress approved in March, which provided direct aid to state and local governments and extended unemployment benefits to those who don’t qualify for regular state aid or have exhausted their state benefits…

Since May, the Republican governors in at least 25 other states, including Utah, Wyoming and Nebraska, have discontinued giving out that money, with some also ending other state or federal benefits in an effort to encourage people to return to work.

Polis and Democratic governors around the nation, however, have resisted that. Instead, Polis instituted a Colorado Jumpstart Incentive Program last month offering those still receiving unemployment insurance money a one-time benefit of up to $1,600 if they ended receiving that aid and returned to work by the end of this month.

Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle).

Last month as Republican governors began to swear off the federal supplemental unemployment benefit, Rep. Lauren Boebert chimed in by suggesting that if we just “take away unemployment bonuses” the economy would quickly reopen. And as Ernest Luning at the Colorado Springs Gazette’s political blog reports, Boebert along with Reps. Ken Buck and Doug Lamborn are unanimous today that it’s time to financially flog those deadbeat American workers back to their shifts:

“We must get Coloradans back to work,” Lamborn said in a statement. “I am extremely concerned that what was meant to be a temporary supplemental to help Americans through forced lockdowns has now been weaponized by Democrats in an attempt to raise the minimum wage.”

As we wrote in May, Republicans are relying on mistaken and meanspirited assumptions about the American workforce in order to justify cutting off the expanded unemployment benefits for their own constituents. The reality is that there is no evidence the additional unemployment funds are keeping workers from rejoining the labor pool. The biggest reason, going back to the Grand Junction Sentinel’s report Friday, is that it’s against the law:

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Boebert Among Republican Study Committee Leaders Who Met With Trump

(Holding coup oops sorry court – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Congresswoman Lauren Boebert (R-CO) and members of the Republican Study Committee (RSC) met with former President Trump last Thursday at his county club in New Jersey.

Boebert’s presence at Bedminster hasn’t been made public, but her mother Shawn Bentz posted pictures of Trump calling her while standing next to her daughter.

Boebert’s office did not immediately return a call requesting comment. This article will be updated with any response received.

According to the New York Post, RSC leaders discussed their policy agenda and political strategy for the 2022 midterm elections:

Ten of the RSC’s members, including task force chairs and members of the group’s steering committee, attended the gathering, where Banks said they laid out their policy vision, which was modeled after Trump’s agenda while he was in office.

New York Post, June 10, 2021

Formed in 1973, the RSC is the House’s oldest conservative caucus. Along with fellow Coloradan Doug Lamborn, Boebert is an ex officio member of the group’s Steering Committee. She is also a member of the even more conservative Freedom Caucus, which Tea Party created in 2015 because they believed the RSC was too cozy with House Republicans’ establishment leadership.

Prior to the Jan. 6 insurrection, Boebert’s mother Shawn Bentz was very active on social media, posting QAnon conspiracies and videos. Boebert herself said she first heard of QAnon from her mother, whom she described as “a little fringe.” Bentz has since deleted those posts and instead largely shares pictures of her famous child.

UPDATE: Boebert has since tweeted a photo of her and Trump, but didn’t explain any context about the meeting.

 

No Surprise: Lauren Boebert Plays Poorly In Pueblo

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R).

A feature-length story today from Politico’s Jennifer Oldham has one of the more comprehensive recent examinations of what may be the hardest region of Colorado to nail down politically: Pueblo, the diverse working-class southern Colorado population center that might (load-bearing “might” here) play a major role in ousting freshman Rep. Lauren Boebert in 2022:

Since her election last November, in a district that sprawls across a huge swath of the mountains and ranch lands that make up the western half of Colorado, Boebert, 34, has become known as one of Donald Trump’s most outspoken acolytes in Congress. A restaurant owner who had never run for office before she declared her candidacy in late 2019, Boebert tried to stop the certification of the 2020 presidential election and made a show of carrying a gun inside the U.S. Capitol in her early days in Congress. On Twitter, she frequently attacks Biden and other Democrats; during the January 6 insurrection, she tweeted out House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s location to her hundreds of thousands of followers.

Among voters in Pueblo—the largest and most politically unpredictable city in Boebert’s vast district—there is a growing sense of exasperation with the freshman representative not yet six months into her tenure.

Pueblo County, located on Colorado’s dusty, windswept plains two hours south of Denver, is the swingiest part of Boebert’s district—making it a key test of her staying power. The county is nothing like the conservative, government-skeptical towns west of the Continental Divide, where Boebert is from, or the glitzy, liberal ski areas in Aspen and Telluride, which she also represents. While Boebert’s district overall is purple—about 32 percent Republican, 26 percent Democratic and 40 percent unaffiliated, among registered voters—the Pueblo County electorate flips this dynamic, with about 36 percent of voters registered as Democrats, 25 percent as Republicans and 37 percent unaffiliated. Still, big-money donors here often give to candidates from opposing parties, independents regularly vote Republican, and blue-dog Democrats skew conservative. Boebert’s Democratic opponent in the 2020 race won the county by just 204 votes. Biden won by 1,520 votes in November, after Trump had claimed victory by 390 votes in 2016.

In the last decade, Pueblo County has played host to some of the most intense political battles in the state, including the controversial recall of Sen. Angela Giron in 2013 and the pitched battle over a swing state house district that has changed hands repeatedly. Although Pueblo has many of the characteristics of a Democratic stronghold, blue votes run conservative enough in these parts that unsuspecting liberals can make significant and costly messaging errors. In the legislature, Pueblo Democrats have an independent streak on certain issues like gun control that, as annoying as it may be in Denver, represents their constituents faithfully. There’s no way we can do justice to the rich detail in this story about one of Colorado’s trickiest political locks to pick, so please do click through to read it all.

Lauren Boebert, in short, is not the kind of Republican who can appeal broadly to voters in the Steel City. Boebert’s overtly race-baiting virulent anti-immigration platform is thoroughly toxic in this diverse community, and Boebert simply doesn’t understand the issues that matter in Pueblo well enough to speak to them. Boebert’s votes against economic relief in a hard-hit community like Pueblo are a far greater liability than other parts of her district.

The big unresolved question in all of this, of course, is what Boebert’s district is going to look like on the other side of this year’s redistricting process. Colorado’s new CD-8 will result in big changes that will at least need to be rebalanced by alterations to the state’s two large rural districts, CDs 3 and 4. One new map proposed this week by the Colorado Hispanic Chamber of Commerce would move Pueblo County out of CD-3 and into safely red CD-4. However Republicans may feel about that map in general, Boebert would greatly benefit from that change in particular.

CD-3 as we’ve known it for the past decade has been a GOP-leaning district with Pueblo as the anchor of Democratic competitiveness. Boebert’s extreme partisan polarization, as this article explains well, increases Pueblo’s importance in any Democratic strategy to unseat her based on the current map. As long as Boebert must answer to the voters of Pueblo, it’s a pretty safe bet what that answer is going to be.

Buh bye, Boebert.

The Get More Smarter Podcast: Stop Trying to Make “Gerrymandering” Happen

This week on Episode #77 of The Get More Smarter Podcast, hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii explain why Republicans aren’t going to get “Gerrymandering” to stick in Colorado; we bid farewell to Donald Trump’s sad blog; and we revisit two popular segments in “Legislating With Crayons” and “The Boebert Report.”

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

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

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Court Records Show Boebert Hasn’t Paid Off Lien Resulting From Her Refusal to Garnish Wages

(You know what that means…road trip!!! — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Just before she was elected to Congress last year, U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) finished paying off the state of Colorado nearly $20,000 in back taxes owed by her restaurant, Shooters Grill, located in Rifle.

The debt took the form of eight tax liens assessed since 2016 for failing to pay unemployment insurance.

But a ninth lien, assessed by the Garfield County Court after Boebert refused to garnish an employee’s wages, remains unpaid, according to the Garfield County Court, in a response last week to a records request by the Colorado Times Recorder.

The outstanding lien of $2,578 was assessed against Shooters Grill after Boebert and an employee, who’d been sued by a debt collector, failed to respond to the court and the lawyers involved.

Boebert not only failed to respond to written requests to deal with the matter, but she also skipped two hearings arranged by the court. In one case, she’d received and ignored a summons to appear.

Garfield Court Judge Jonathan Pototsky eventually issued a default judgment that required Shooters Grill to pay the $2,578, which included the initial debt of the employee, plus attorney’s fees, court costs, and interest.

The debt collector, Professional Finance Company Inc., that sued Shooters Grill is representing a nonprofit organization in the case, according to court documents.

It’s possible that Boebert has paid off the debt, according to a Garfield County Court spokesperson, and Professional Finance Company Inc. has failed to notify the court that payment was received.

Multiple calls to Professional Finance Company Inc. were not returned.

Boebert’s office likewise didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Boebert’s failure to respond to the Garfield County Court in this garnishment case is part of a pattern of not showing up for court hearings.

During the past five years, she failed to appear for court hearings in two minor, easy-to-deal-with criminal matters, resulting first in arrest warrants and then two actual arrests, which left a trail of fingerprints and mugshots that have been spotlighted by her opponents.

Boebert after a 2017 arrest.

Now Boebert mocks her arrest record, saying, “I even got a pretty mugshot out of it.”

RELATEDBoebert’s Defenders Say Let Her Grow Up. But Read the Report of Her Arresting Officers and See What You Think

Boring Boebert Makes Fool of Herself at Border

Don’t bother watching. This is the whole schtick.

Congressperson Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle) has become little more than a living, breathing cliche. Boebert’s brand of politics is “Performative Obstruction,” which largely entails two things: 1) Being opposed to anything that Democrats suggest, and 2) Yelling about any one of a handful of predictable social issues of which she has little to no understanding.

Boebert defeated incumbent Rep. Scott Tipton in a 2020 Primary because she presented a new, more interesting caricature of a politician at the same time that Tipton had basically stopped trying to appeal to voters in CO-03. Her gun-toting, smack-talking persona did enough to convince voters in a heavily-Republican district to support her in the General Election, and she has continued that simple shtick into Congress.

On Tuesday, Boebert released a new video on social media that follows a familiar formula. She struts around near an unfinished section of wall along the U.S./Mexico border firing off silly one-liner attacks about how the Joe Biden administration somehow created an immigration crisis out of thin air (nevermind that immigration has been a significant issue for every Presidential administration of her lifetime). Then comes the “big reveal”: Boebert is shown carrying a cardboard cutout (SO CREATIVE!) of Vice President Kamala Harris. The message is that Harris — and therefore the Biden administration — is not doing enough to address the issue of undocumented immigrants because Harris is not standing around at the border pointing at stuff.

So what exactly is the Vice President doing at the moment? As The New York Times reports:

During her first foreign trip as vice president, Kamala Harris said the United States would bolster investigations into corruption and human trafficking in Guatemala, while also delivering a clear, blunt message to undocumented migrants hoping to reach the United States: “Do not come.”

Ms. Harris issued the warning during a trip that was an early yet pivotal test for a vice president currently tasked with the complex challenge of breaking a cycle of migration from Central America by investing in a region plagued by corruption, violence and poverty.

While President Biden campaigned on unwinding some of the Trump administration’s border restrictions, allowing migrants to apply for asylum at the U.S. border, Ms. Harris amplified the White House’s current stance that most of those who crossed the border would be turned away and would instead need to find legal pathways or protection closer to their home countries.

Vice President Harris was in Guatemala on Monday, where she met with President Alejandro Giammattei. Today, Harris is in Mexico to meet with President Andrés Manuel López ObradorAs CNN reports, Harris is actually working on the immigration issue in a manner that seems more likely to produce results than merely taking a field trip to a fence:

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The Big Lie is Still the Only Truth for Republicans

Not Donald Trump at work in The Oval Office.

It has been 216 days since the last Presidential election…unless you are a Republican candidate for public office in 2022. Republican politicians exist in an alternate reality from everyone else; they can’t discuss the future because they’re still obsessed with re-writing the past. For them, the Big Lie is still the only truth that matters.

As The New York Times explains:

Across the country, a rising class of Republican challengers has embraced the fiction that the 2020 election was illegitimate, marred by fraud and inconsistencies. Aggressively pushing Mr. Trump’s baseless claims that he was robbed of re-election, these candidates represent the next generation of aspiring G.O.P. leaders, who would bring to Congress the real possibility that the party’s assault on the legitimacy of elections, a bedrock principle of American democracy, could continue through the 2024 contests.

Dozens of Republican candidates have sown doubts about the election as they seek to join the ranks of the 147 Republicans in Congress who voted against certifying President Biden’s victory. There are degrees of denial: Some bluntly declare they must repair a rigged system that produced a flawed result, while others speak in the language of “election integrity,” promoting Republican re-examinations of the vote counts in Arizona and Georgia and backing new voting restrictions introduced by Republicans in battleground states.

They are united by a near-universal reluctance to state outright that Mr. Biden is the legitimately elected leader of the country… 

…But Republicans’ unwavering fealty to the voter fraud myth underscores an emerging dynamic of party politics: To build a campaign in the modern G.O.P., most candidates must embrace — or at least not openly deny — conspiracy theories and election lies, and they must commit to a mission of imposing greater voting restrictions and making it easier to challenge or even overturn an election’s results. The prevalence of such candidates in the nascent stages of the party primaries highlights how Mr. Trump’s willingness to embrace far-flung falsehoods has elevated fringe ideas to the mainstream of his party. [Pols emphasis]

Multiple news outlets — including the Times — reported last week that former President Trump remains completely consumed by the idea that the 2020 election was somehow stolen from him. These aren’t just the bitter ramblings of a fragile ego; Trump actually believes that he is going to end up back in the White House within a matter of months. As Charles Cooke of the conservative National Journal writes:

I can attest, from speaking to an array of different sources, that Donald Trump does indeed believe quite genuinely that he — along with former senators David Perdue and Martha McSally — will be “reinstated” to office this summer after “audits” of the 2020 elections in Arizona, Georgia, and a handful of other states have been completed. [Pols emphasis] I can attest, too, that Trump is trying hard to recruit journalists, politicians, and other influential figures to promulgate this belief — not as a fundraising tool or an infantile bit of trolling or a trial balloon, but as a fact…

…The scale of Trump’s delusion is quite startling. This is not merely an eccentric interpretation of the facts or an interesting foible, nor is it an irrelevant example of anguished post-presidency chatter. It is a rejection of reality, a rejection of law, and, ultimately, a rejection of the entire system of American government.

Cool pants

As Cooke continues, even if there were irrefutable proof that the 2020 election was rigged against Trump, there is absolutely nothing that can change the fact that Joe Biden is the current President of the United States.

None of this apparently matters to many Republicans, who continue to insist that their ideal 2022 candidates look and act like Trump. This is a real problem for the GOP, because the majority of Americans prefer to see 2022 candidates who are as ideologically different from Trump as possible. This devotion to The Big Lie also prevents Republicans from even pondering their next steps. As The Associated Press reports:

Republicans are fighting to seize control of Congress. Just don’t ask what they’d do if they win.

Look no further for evidence of the GOP’s muddled governing agenda than battleground North Carolina, where party leaders packed into a convention hall Saturday night to cheer former President Donald Trump. Even with a high-stakes U.S. Senate election looming, the Republicans there were united not by any consistent set of conservative policies or principles, but by Trump’s groundless grievances about the 2020 election and his attacks against critics in both parties…

…“I’m unaware of a GOP agenda. I would love to see one,” said Texas-based conservative activist and former tea party leader Mark Meckler. [Pols emphasis]

How do Republicans in Colorado move forward in 2022 when they are so chained to 2020? How can someone like Heidi Ganahl seek the GOP nomination for Governor when she risks losing the support of her base just by answering the question, “Is Joe Biden the President?”

Insisting that Biden is not really the President might still work for the likes of Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle) or Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs), but it’s not going to win much support outside of deep-red districts. Colorado will gain an eighth Congressional seat in 2022; it’s likely that the winner of an eventual GOP Primary will be someone who declares that 2020 never happened. Good luck explaining that in a General Election.

There’s an old saying about how those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat the same mistakes in the future. This still applies even if you pretend the past never happened.

Boebert Useless On Water As Historic Drought Rages

Denver7’s Blair Miller reported late last week about the growing disparity between an unusually wet spring’s worth of rain along the Front Range of Colorado and on the Eastern Plains, while areas of the state west of the Continental Divide remain in historic drought:

Colorado’s drought situation continues to be a tale of two halves of the state, with the eastern half nearly entirely drought-free as of this week and the western half under moderate-to-exceptional drought conditions…

Denver is already up to 10.49 inches of precipitation so far this year – 4.77 inches above normal and already nearly 2 inches above what the city got in all of 2020. Grand Junction, meanwhile, has still only received 2.04 inches of precipitation all year, which is 1.74 inches below normal. After 0.4 inches of precipitation fell on May 3, Grand Junction saw only 0.02 inches for the rest of the month of May, according to the National Weather Service.

As such, the drought conditions have remained relatively unchanged on the Western Slope all month. Sixteen percent of Colorado – all in the western third of the state – is experiencing exceptional drought, the most severe on the drought scale. In total, 43% of the state is experiencing moderate drought or worse conditions.

Because the area of the state suffering from drought is almost entirely west of the Continental Divide, most of the affected area is represented in Congress by freshman GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert, who sits on the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee. At a hearing late last month on the drought crisis affecting much of the western United States including western Colorado, Boebert had a chance to contribute intelligently to the discussion–or at least keep focused on the subject, which was the drought.

As Gizmodo’s Molly Taft reported Friday, Boebert didn’t take it. Instead, Boebert spent her allotted question time berating an Interior Department official for her supposed “ethics problems” due to environmental advocacy work before the Biden administration–an axe Boebert is grinding along with two of the hardest-right western Republicans in Congress:

E&E News reported that Boebert joined fellow Republican extremists Rep. Bruce Westerman and Rep. Paul Gosar in sending a letter Thursday complaining about Elizabeth Klein, the senior counselor to Interior Secretary Deb Haaland. The letter concerns Klein’s previous role at New York University’s State Energy and Environmental Impact Center, which placed legal fellows at state attorneys general’s offices to help work on climate litigation. Several right-wing outlets, including the oil-and-gas-funded Western Wire, have been worrying at this issue for years, accusing Michael Bloomberg, via his donations to NYU, of footing the bill to attack poor, defenseless oil and gas companies…

As Boebert demonstrated in last month’s committee hearing, uncovering Elizabeth Klein’s supposedly nefarious agenda to be a big meanie in court to the oil and gas industry is the more pressing issue than the drought gripping almost all of Boebert’s district:

After Klein’s testimony, which mostly covered the scientific facts of the water shitstorm the West is in right now, Boebert used her five minutes of questioning to badger Klein about her ethics obligations, including accusing her of “help[ing] infiltrate state governments with Green New Deal extremists for the sole purposes of suing the federal government on environmental policies you all disagreed with.” Boebert was chastised by the hearing’s chairman, Rep. Jared Huffman, for not sticking to the issue (you know, the catastrophic drought that we all need to figure out a way to deal with), but she nevertheless used her closing arguments to accuse Klein of “slither[ing] her way into a high-level position at the department that doesn’t require the scrutiny of a public confirmation process” while calling her an “extremist partisan hack,” which is honestly pretty incredible coming from Boebert.

After Boebert appeared at a virtual hearing of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee with numerous firearms precariously jumbled together on the shelves behind her back in February, it became evident that her work on the committee would not be substantive as much as, you know, performative. As for staying on the issue, it looks like even on a matter of dire importance to Boebert’s constituents she cannot be expected to remain on task. Because Boebert knows nothing about the issues, she simply has nothing useful to contribute. The off-topic bombast is a deflection from Boebert’s lack of comprehension.

On a practical level beyond her long record of pre-congressional outrages, this is why Marjorie Taylor Greene lost her committee posts in a vote by the House earlier this year. It was an easy guess that every committee meeting in which MTG participated would devolve into a circus. If Lauren Boebert can’t participate in a single hearing without making a distraction of herself and embarrassing the voters who put her in office, maybe it’s time for Boebert to join MTG on the light duty roster?

It doesn’t seem like CD-3 would be losing much.

Get More Smarter on Friday (June 4)

The Denver Nuggets have advanced to Round 2 of the Western Conference Playoffs after dispatching the Portland Trailblazers on Thursday; Game One is scheduled for Monday evening in Phoenix. 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, Congressional Democrats unveiled an ambitious new transportation funding plan:

Democrats on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee unveiled a $547 billion transportation funding package Friday that would ramp up spending on rail and transit, while encouraging states to repair existing roads rather than build new ones.

The biggest chunk of the bill is $343 billion for road and bridge construction, as well as highway safety, a boost of more than 50 percent over the last transportation bill Congress passed in 2015. It also calls for $109 billion for transit and $95 billion for rail — including a tripling of funding to Amtrak.

Rep. Peter A. DeFazio (D-Ore.), chairman of the committee, said the proposed legislation embodies a core piece of President Biden’s infrastructure plans, “seizing this once-in-a-generation opportunity to move our transportation planning out of the 1950s and toward our clean energy future.”

 

As The Associated Press reports, COVID-19 is still very much a danger to Coloradans — particularly those who refuse to get vaccinated:

About 500 people remain hospitalized in Colorado with COVID-19 even though the pandemic seems to be receding, and health officials say almost all of the patients share a common trait: They’re unvaccinated.

“We’ve taken a deep look at this,” Dr. JP Valin, chief clinical officer at SCL Health, told Colorado Public Radio. “Ninety-five percent of the patients who have been hospitalized since February are unvaccinated.”

After more than a year of dealing with the pandemic, the near-constant churn of unvaccinated patients is wearing on front-line doctors and nurses, and their frustration arises in part because at least some of the cases may have been avoidable.

“We are tired,” said Dr. Sandeep Vijan of Parkview Medical Center in Pueblo. “We’ve been doing this for a year. We are emotionally tired; tired of seeing people die. We are physically tired.”

The CDC is again encouraging teenagers to get vaccinated quickly.

Get your damn shot, people. Help our first responders out.

 

The 2021 legislative session needs to end by June 12, though lawmakers are hoping to gavel out sometime next week. In the meantime, Democrats keep passing major pieces of legislation that will positively impact nearly everyone in Colorado. Here’s what’s happening in the last few days of the session…

Women in the Colorado legislature are focusing their efforts on ending discrimination in the workplace, as The Denver Post reports. CBS4 Denver has more on how Sen. Faith Winter is working on sexual harassment changes that are guided in part by her own experiences.

House Bill 1325 seeks to provide more resources for the education of higher-needs students.

As Colorado Public Radio reports, legislative Democrats think they have reached a deal with Gov. Jared Polis that will allow a significant climate change bill to move forward.

A massive transportation funding bill is on its way to the desk of Gov. Polis.

Legislation that allows local governments to make their own gun control measures is headed to the desk of Gov. Polis. It will be joined by a bill that prevents HOAs from getting all up in your business, and legislation that bans the use of Native American mascots.

Fox 31 reports on the passage of five economic stimulus bills.

Marianne Goodland of the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman reports on the progress of a late bill dealing with property tax changes.

Westword has the latest on potential changes related to Colorado’s legal marijuana industry.

 

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

 

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No Laughing Matter: Boebert Calls For Dr. Fauci’s Execution

In the daily firehose of offense that is Rep. Lauren Boebert’s Twitter feed, from which we drink only when absolutely necessary so as to balance our duty to report with an obligation to not participate in a feedback loop of rewarding bad behavior with attention, comes a missive this morning equal parts ridiculous and chilling:

Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (center).

The first issue of course is that Rep. Boebert refuses to refer to Dr. Anthony Fauci as “a doctor,” as if Boebert is a superior authority to Cornell Medical School, which awarded Fauci his M.D. almost two decades before Lauren Boebert was born. This is yet another situation where Boebert’s critics have to consciously pull back from the indignation caused by Boebert’s extreme impertinence, which is only possible as the result of Boebert’s (there’s no nice way to say this) exceptional ignorance. Getting specific on this point is considered “elitist” bad form, a perception Boebert’s defenders have worked hard to reinforce.

But then Boebert’s defenders need to reckon with Boebert’s next assertion that “no penalty is stiff enough” for Dr. Fauci for having “betrayed America.” As you may know, treason is historically always been punishable by death. Therefore if Boebert is saying “no penalty is stiff enough” for Fauci having “betrayed America,” we’re pretty sure we can logically conclude that Rep. Lauren Boebert just called for Dr. Anthony Fauci to be executed.

With that we are definitely no longer concerned with Boebert’s ridiculous impudence.

Lauren Boebert just became dangerous. Again.

If you’re a Republican in Colorado, anywhere in Colorado–how can you ignore this?

The Get More Smarter Podcast: Legislating With Lunatics

Rep. Ron Hanks (R-Crazytown)

This week on Episode #76 of The Get More Smarter Podcast, hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii try to understand what it means that so many Republicans think Donald Trump is still President; we explain why Rep. Ken Buck (R-Greeley) is full of crap; and we hear firsthand why Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs) will have a hard time making a case for re-election. Also, our popular segment “Legislating With Crayons” gets its own mini-segment called “Legislating With Lunatics.”

This episode of The Get More Smarter Podcast won’t get you all the way through your Memorial Day Weekend road trip, but it’s a start…

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

‘I’m Having the Time of My Life’ in DC, Says Boebert; Gets to Troll Liberals Every Single Day

(“Are you not entertained? Is this not why you are here?” – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) made an appearance at the Fremont County GOP Lincoln Day Dinner last Saturday, and delivered her rehearsed and flippant quip to the friendly crowd:

“I’m having the time of my life there [in Congress], because every single day I get to troll liberals.”

Apparently, she read the room fairly well. Her message resonated somewhat, as her audience chortled and snickered after the briefest delay in responding to Boebert’s cue, a pause to wait for the laughter.

It was a very “meta” moment, since her glib comment about trolling liberals could effectively serve to actually troll liberals.

Trolling can be defined as commentary which is designed to stir contention and emotional response for fun or entertainment, and which doesn’t propose or promote specific platform ideas or positions.

Fact checking Boebert’s statement to the Fremont County Republicans, it appears that on Twitter — arguably the most popular social media platform for trolls — her statement can be rated as “mostly true.”

In an anecdotal survey, scrolling through the past week of tweets from Boebert’s two Twitter accounts — @laurenboebert and @RepBoebert — it was determined that, using narrow criteria to identify trolling tweets*, Boebert averaged nearly 2 per day, or about 1/3 of all her tweets.

But with more liberal criteria (pardon the expression), Boebert’s trolling tweets could account for half or a slight majority of her posts.

Political content rates among the highest of categories in terms of where trolling is observed.

With the rise of divisive and oppositional partisan politics, 24-hour cable infotainment channels, and a broadening of the social media landscape, trolling in the political realm has become a popular device to engage audiences and fortify a base of followers who are ideological allies. But its efficacy as an electoral strategy of persuasion and coalition building is harder to calculate.

Boebert’s propensity for trolling was obvious even before she launched her campaign for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District seat, representing southern and western parts of the state, when she drove from Rifle to Denver with her Glock strapped to her hip to troll Beto O’Rourke on the campaign trail.

And she hasn’t slowed down since.

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