Get More Smarter on Thursday (Oct. 21)

Vote early, not often. Visit GoVoteColorado.com to check on the status of your mail ballot for 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 

 

As expected, Senate Republicans again voted down new voting rights legislation on Wednesday. From Colorado Newsline:

Senate Republicans blocked the advance of voting rights legislation Wednesday, the second time this year — thwarting again Democrats’ attempts to pass federal protections for voters amid a slew of new state elections laws.

“When we are faced with a coordinated effort across our country to limit the freedom to vote, we must stand up and do what is right,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), who sponsored the bill, said on the Senate floor just before the party-line vote.

The Freedom to Vote Act would make Election Day a national holiday and set minimum standards each state must have for elections, including two weeks of early voting and an option for same-day voter registration…

…Even after moderate Democrats made concessions, no Republicans were willing to let the bill advance and for now it is stalled.

So, um, about that filibuster rule…

 

As The New York Times reports, efforts by Congressional Democrats to curtail rising prescription drug costs are are getting mucked up by Republicans with help from some familiar Democratic names:

Senior Democrats insist that they have not given up the push to grant Medicare broad powers to negotiate lower drug prices as part of a once-ambitious climate change and social safety net bill that is slowly shrinking in scope. They know that the loss of the provision, promoted by President Biden on the campaign trail and in the White House, could be a particularly embarrassing defeat for the package, since it has been central to Democratic congressional campaigns for nearly three decades…

…But with at least three House Democrats opposing the toughest version of the measure, and at least one Senate Democrat, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, against it, government negotiating power appears almost certain to be curtailed, if not jettisoned. The loss would be akin to Republicans’ failure under Mr. Trump to repeal the Affordable Care Act, after solemn pledges for eight years to dismantle the health law “root and branch.”

 

 As Jesse Paul reports for The Colorado Sun, Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters — and her attorney Scott Gessler — got a stiff-arm to the facemask from the State Supreme Court:

The Colorado Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to hear Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters’ appeal of a ruling last week barring her from having a role in the upcoming 2021 election.

Peters’ appeal argued that Mesa County District Court Judge Valerie J. Robison didn’t have the authority to remove her as the county’s designated election official and, thus, prevent her from having a role in the Nov. 2 contest…

…The Colorado Supreme Court’s decision not to hear the appeal means former Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, a Republican, will serve as Mesa County’s designated election official for the Nov. 2 contest. County Treasurer Sheila Reiner, who is also a Republican, will serve as the elections director.

 

Douglas County Commissioners decided to opt the county out of a contract with the Tri-County Health Department in large part because they were angry about mask mandates. As The Denver Post reports, the Board of Commissioners is now SUING ITS OWN HEALTH DEPARTMENT for pushing guidelines that make mask-wearing OPTIONAL. Maybe next they can file a lawsuit against “science” in general.

For more on this bizarre story, check out Colorado Public Radio; The Colorado Sun; and Denver7. Westword takes a step back to examine how COVID-19 politics are turning the Tri-County Health Department into just plain “Health Department.”

In related news, an indoor face mask requirement is now underway in Larimer County.

 

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Get More Smarter on Wednesday (Oct. 20)

Fill out that ballot and get it returned, people! Visit GoVoteColorado.com to check on the status of your mail ballot for 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 

 

The Washington Post has the latest on efforts by Congressional Democrats to get some sort of big infrastructure deal passed:

President Biden is set to head to Scranton, Pa., on Wednesday to pitch his retooled vision for overhauling federal health care, education, climate and tax laws, even as the future of his signature economic package remains unsettled among Democrats on Capitol Hill.

For Biden and his allies in Congress, the next few days could be critical: Democratic leaders hope they can finally broker a truce to end the public feuding between the party’s ambitious liberals and spending-weary moderates. Some now hope they can reach a deal this week, putting them on track to adopt the full tranche of spending perhaps before the end of the month.

“I think it’s very possible,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said after meeting with House Democratic lawmakers.

A day before the speech, Biden huddled again with the two warring factions and presented the rough outlines for a compromise package that could total between $1.75 and $1.9 trillion over 10 years. The still-fluid price tag is far less than the $3.5 trillion that some Democrats initially envisioned, as the White House seeks to strike a balance between preserving its priorities and cutting costs to satisfy two centrist holdouts, Sens. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.).

In other words, the path forward is still as clear as mud…as is a proposal to advance some sort of carbon tax.

 

As CNN reports, Senate Republicans are expected to once again vote against new voting rights legislation:

Senate Republicans are expected to block another voting rights bill Wednesday, as some on the left call to change the chamber’s rules to allow the Democratic Party to unilaterally change federal election law.

The Democratic bill, known as the Freedom to Vote Act, would make it easier to register to vote, make Election Day a public holiday, ensure states have early voting for federal elections and allow all voters to request mail-in ballots. The measure would also bolster security on voting systems, overhaul how congressional districts are redrawn and impose new disclosures on donations to outside groups active in political campaigns.

But Republicans have blocked a number of voting rights legislation since Democrats took the House and Senate the past two election cycles.

 

What in the holy hell is going on in Western Colorado?

 

Axios Denver looks at the field of candidates seeking the Republican U.S. Senate nomination in 2022. The story includes a quote from a well-known Republican that is, shall we say, less than inspiring:

“There is no Cory Gardner sitting out there waiting to get in,” said Greg Brophy, a former Republican state senator and lobbyist. “So you have a whole bunch of people, and we are going to see what kind of campaign they can put together.”

Good luck figuring out how to use THAT statement on a campaign mailer.

 

 

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Get More Smarter on Tuesday (Oct. 19)

Return those ballots, people! Visit GoVoteColorado.com to check on the status of your mail ballot for 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 

 

Republican gubernatorial candidate Hiedi Heidi Ganahl is running the worst gubernatorial campaign in the entire country. She’s making national headlines today for another bad reason: Hosting an in-person event with a conservative speaker who was literally TRYING to get infected with COVID-19. We wrote about this story on Monday, but here’s more from The Washington Post:

Days before he announced he had tested positive, Prager was in Colorado, where he spoke at a campaign event for Heidi Ganahl, a Republican running for governor. Officials with her campaign told KUSA they were not aware of Prager’s plan to get infected with the coronavirus.

“We are reaching out to all those who attended to make sure they are informed,” Ganahl’s campaign told the station in a statement. “We encourage those who attended … to get tested and follow CDC guidelines if they experience any Covid-like symptoms.”

The problem with this response from the Ganahl campaign is this: There is video evidence of Prager flat-out telling Ganahl that he was hoping to get infected with COVID-19.

Here’s more from 9News:

 

The Denver Post updates the latest COVID-19 numbers in Colorado:

Colorado’s COVID-19 hospitalizations continued to rise over the weekend, but it’s difficult to predict whether that trend will continue.

On Friday, more people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in Colorado than at any point since late December. The number of hospitalizations continued to increase, reaching 1,101 people with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 on Monday afternoon.

New cases appeared to fall last week, however. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reported 12,885 cases in the week ending Sunday — a decrease of roughly 2,500, if it stands. The state’s data has lagged in recent months, though, with late reports sometimes erasing any signs of progress.

“We’ve been in a period of uncertainty with the trends in the data,” said Talia Quandelacy, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the Colorado School of Public Health. “It’s hard to tell what some of these trends are showing.”

The bottom line seems to be the same as it has been: We’re still not yet getting a handle on turning back the coronavirus pandemic as too many Coloradans continue to refuse to get vaccinated. Westword has more on Colorado’s COVID numbers.

In related news, Larimer County is reinstating a mask requirement for residents in indoor public areas. As Colorado Public Radio reports, one of the safest places to be in Colorado, in terms of a high-percentage of people who are vaccinated, is on college campuses.

 

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection plans to move forward today with holding former Trump adviser Steve Bannon in contempt for refusing to respond to a Congressional subpoena.

 

As The Associated Press reports, Texas has approved a new gerrymandered congressional map that dilutes minority representation.

 

 

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Get More Smarter on Friday (Oct. 15)

Have you voted yet? Visit GoVoteColorado.com to check on the status of your mail ballot for 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 

 

We’re just going to say it: Republican gubernatorial candidate Hiedi Heidi Ganahl is running the worst gubernatorial campaign in the entire country. Ganahl has officially been in the 2022 race for about a month…and it’s already time to start the campaign death watch.

Ganahl started the week by hosting an ill-advised forum with right-wing lunatic Dennis Prager, in which her campaign embarrassingly misspelled her first name for people interested in calling in with questions. On Wednesday, her campaign announced anemic fundraising numbers for someone who is supposed to be the frontrunner for the GOP nomination. And on Thursday, news broke that Ganahl’s campaign manager is leaving the campaign after only a month on the job, which is not something that you can even attempt to legitimately spin as being okay.

This is basically what Ganahl’s campaign looks like at the moment:

 

 

A defamation lawsuit filed by a former employee of Dominion Voting Services in Denver is basically de-pantsing “The Big Lie.” For more on this story, check out Axios Denver, The Colorado Sun, Colorado Public Radio, and 9News, among others.

 

If you’re interested in running for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination in Colorado, you had better hurry up. Pretty much every Republican with a heartbeat is jumping into the field. Charles Ashby of The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel has more on the seventh Republican now running for U.S. Senate in Colorado.

 

The Department of Justice is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene in the case of a controversial new abortion law in Texas. From The Associated Press:

The Biden administration said Friday it will turn next to the U.S. Supreme Court in another attempt to halt a Texas law that has banned most abortions since September.

It comes as the Texas clinics are running out of avenues to stop the GOP-engineered law that bans abortions once cardiac activity is detected, which is usually around six weeks. It amounts to the nation’s biggest curb to abortion in nearly 50 years.

The latest defeat for clinics came Thursday night when a federal appeals panel in New Orleans, in a 2-1 decision, allowed the restrictions to remain in place for a third time in the last several weeks alone.

Justice Department spokesman Anthony Coley said the federal government will now ask the Supreme Court to reverse that decision but did not say how quickly.

 

 Check out these 2021 voter guides from Colorado Newsline and The Denver Post.

 

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Get More Smarter on Thursday (Oct. 14)

Happy Belarussian Mother’s Day! 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 

 

Former President Trump on Wednesday made a very strange threat about Republican voters walking away if the 2020 election isn’t overturned:

Greg Sargent of The Washington Post has a fascinating column that is worth reading that has some new insight into the Trumpism phenomenon:

Republicans recognize that continuing to pander to those lies may be absolutely essential to keeping Republican voters engaged without Trump on the ballot doing it instead.

Trump’s statement has been analyzed as either the latest projectile vomiting to issue from his disordered mind or as a genuine political problem for Republicans. But few have paused to ask whether it might actually be true that energy among GOP voters turns on keeping alive the idea that the 2020 outcome was dubious or illegitimate, and what that might mean.

Sargent also links to this CNN story about how many House Republicans seem to be openly embracing the possibility of a Trump presidential campaign in 2024.

 

9News reports on a lawsuit filed by a former Dominion Voting Services employee related to “The Big Lie” that may have originated here in Colorado:

Eric Coomer, a former Dominion Voting Systems employee living in Colorado, has sued 16 people or groups for defamation. Those being sued include Donald J. Trump for President, Joe Oltmann, the leader of local conservative group FEC United, Colorado conservative commentator Michelle Malkin, attorney Rudy Giuliani, former Trump campaign attorney Sidney Powell, Newsmax Media and The Gateway Pundit.

Coomer went into hiding after Oltmann claimed, without proof, that he heard a conference call where Dominion was plotting with Antifa to give the election to President Biden.

That call was not recorded and no one besides Oltmann has said they heard the call.

 

What’s this? Oh, just Republican State Rep. Richard Holtorf literally THREATENING the board of directors of the Prowers Medical Center for trying to abide by COVID-19 vaccination requirements.

 

Grim milestone: COVID-19 deaths in Colorado cross the 8,000 mark as hospitalizations continue to increase.

 

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Get More Smarter on Wednesday (Oct. 13)

Today is International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction, which doesn’t seem like something that should be limited to a once-a-year deal. 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 

 

Colorado’s 2021 redistricting process is complete. Almost.

As Alex Burness of The Denver Post reports:

It was not immediately clear what the projected split would be on the Senate map, approved Tuesday, since the version the commissioned adopted was drawn on the fly during a live Zoom meeting. That version made slight changes to a previous drafted map that projected 22 districts leaning in Democrats’ favor, to 13 for Republicans.

But both the House and Senate maps would have many potentially competitive seats, which was one of the goals of this commission. Recent election results suggest margins of 3.1% or under in nine House districts, and margins of 3.8% or under in seven Senate districts.

The Colorado Supreme Court will now have to approve both maps by November 15. We’ll likely have more analysis later. For additional reporting, check out Colorado Public Radio and The Colorado Sun. In the meantime, be wary of the misleading narrative that these two maps will allow Democrats to remain control of the State Legislature; if Democrats do maintain majorities in both chambers, it won’t be because of these maps.

CLICK HERE to see the approved map for the State Senate.

CLICK HERE to see the approved map for the State House.

Elsewhere, 9News has more on the Supreme Court hearings for the new Congressional redistricting map approved last week.

 

Colorado Public Radio reports on efforts by Trump-aligned forces to get a favorable court ruling in Colorado. CBS4 Denver has more on a two-day hearing beginning today that may include several notable figures from the “Stop the Steal” crowd. Business Insider also looks at the story from a national perspective, with credit to The Colorado Times Recorder.

 

Colorado Newsline reports on a big announcement in Colorado:

Colorado has become the first state in the nation to require comprehensive gender-affirming care as part of minimum, or “benchmark,” health care plans sold on the individual and small group markets, which accounts for about a quarter of the state’s health care customers.

The gender-affirming care element was announced during a Tuesday news conference that included speakers Gov. Jared Polis and Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, administrator of the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Brooks-LaSure, whose agency had to approve additional benchmark items, called the move “momentous” and said “gender-affirming care can be life-saving.”…

…The gender-affirming care will be included in plans sold in Colorado on the individual and small group markets starting in 2023. It does apply to insurance obtained through large employers. New benchmark items also include an expansion of behavioral health care, including an annual mental health exam, and more options for substance abuse treatment, which were required as part of this year’s House Bill 21-1276.

John Frank of Axios Denver includes some important — and largely overlooked — key points about this announcement. This is not something that is solely about transgender care; for example, “gender-affirming care” also includes procedures such as breast reconstruction following a mastectomy.

 

 As Westword notes, COVID-19 hospitalizations in Colorado are at their worst level since 2020. Please get vaccinated.

 

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Get More Smarter on Tuesday (Oct. 12)

Able to leap both genders in a single bound! 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 

 

The Colorado Supreme Court will hear arguments today about whether to approve a Congressional redistricting map in Colorado. As Colorado Public Radio reports:

The court will hear oral arguments on Tuesday from the commission and from groups who say the commission failed to meet constitutional requirements. In total, fifteen organizations, local governments and individuals have filed briefs supporting or opposing the final map.

Justices will either approve the map, setting it in stone for the next decade, or they will send it back to the commission with guidelines for revisions. The state must have its final map no later than December 15th, which will give Congressional candidates adequate time to prepare ahead of the November 2022 election.

Elsewhere in redistricting news, The Colorado Sun reports on the latest progress on creating new legislative maps:

Democrats would likely maintain control of the Colorado House under a new map of the chamber’s 65 districts headed to the state Supreme Court for final review.

The Independent Legislative Redistricting Commission voted 11-1 Monday night to approve the map, with Commissioner Gary Horvath, a Democrat from Broomfield, casting the lone “no” vote.

The Colorado Supreme Court now has until Nov. 15 to approve the map or send it back to the commission for revisions. Legal challenges are likely.

Democrats have such a sizable advantage in the State House (41-24) that it would have been all but impossible to draw a map that would change this dynamic.

 

Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters held a bananas press conference on Monday in which no new information was presented and someone in the crowd was falsely accused of assault. You can watch the entire event or read our diary about the blow-by-blow here.

Charles Ashby of The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel has more on Monday’s lunacy:

What began as a press conference Monday, to which no member of the press was actually invited, turned into a brief melee between supporters of Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters and those who, well, don’t.

At the morning press conference on the steps of the Old Mesa County Courthouse, Peters and Sherronna Bishop, a Garfield County resident who has been side-by-side with the embattled clerk, supporting her in claiming there was election fraud, again presented nothing new to prove their claims.

Instead, they repeated the same “evidence” of problems with Dominion Voting System tabulation machines, repeating claims that computer files were erased, but failing to say whether any of the files had anything to do with previous elections.

Ashby also has more details about Roxanne Lewis, the woman who pretended to be assaulted at the event:

Lewis pleaded guilty in 2016 to stealing money over several months from vending machines at the Canyon View car wash at the corner of Broadway and Redlands Parkway, a business she had sold months earlier to John Pugliese, the then-husband of former Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese.

It was reported that Lewis is a member of the local Stand for the Constitution group that has called on local governments to declare the city and county “constitutional sanctuaries.”

B-A-N-A-N-A-S.

 

The Denver Post has the latest on Colorado’s COVID-19 hospitalization rates:

Colorado’s COVID-19 hospitalizations, cases and deaths all moved in the wrong direction over the last week, making it appear increasingly unlikely that the worst of the state’s fifth wave is over.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reported 1,012 people were hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 as of Monday afternoon, up from a recent low of 907 on Oct. 2. On Friday, state health officials raised concerns about the increase in hospitalizations, which had been slowly falling since late September, and urged eligible people who haven’t gotten vaccinated to do so quickly.

New coronavirus infections also were up, with 13,621 cases recorded in the week ending Sunday, though that’s within the range where the numbers have bounced since early September. The percentage of tests coming back positive also rose over the last week, though, raising concerns that the state could be missing infections.

Vax that thang up, people!

 

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Get More Smarter on Monday (Oct. 11)

Happy Columbus Day Indigenous Peoples’ Day! 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 

 

The Associated Press looks ahead to how Congress may finish out the year on the big issue regarding the debt ceiling:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., blinked last week. And then he said he wouldn’t blink again.

McConnell said since summer that Republicans wouldn’t supply the votes majority Democrats needed to extend the federal debt limit. But Thursday night, 11 Republicans including McConnell joined Democrats in narrowly overcoming a procedural hurdle so the Senate could subsequently approve $480 billion in fresh borrowing.

House passage, expected Tuesday, would stave off until December a first-ever federal default that could disrupt the global economy, delay government checks to Social Security recipients and others and unleash voters’ wrath on lawmakers.

But the partisan dispute will resume in two months.

Republicans want Democrats to raise the debt ceiling on their own to underscore their argument that Biden’s multitrillion-dollar social and environment agenda is unaffordable. Democrats want Republicans to put their imprint on the borrowing limit increase, noting that the $28 trillion national debt is for unpaid bills already incurred, including $7 trillion under former President Donald Trump.

By enabling a two-month reprieve on the fight, McConnell angered Republicans who wanted a tougher stance against Democrats including Trump, still an intimidating force in the GOP. Even usual McConnell ally Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., called it “complete capitulation.”

Everybody loves alliteration.

 

Republican gubernatorial candidate Hiedi Heidi Ganahl held some sort of online interview thing with wacko right-wing bluster machine Dennis Prager over the weekend (if you’re not familiar with Prager, this will give you some idea of what to expect). Ganahl’s campaign is still having trouble with some of the important details of a statewide contest, such as SPELLING YOUR CANDIDATE’S NAME CORRECTLY:

 

The Colorado Democratic Party sent out a press release today with more information on Ganahl’s Prager event:

A few short weeks before the widely expected CDC approval of the COVID vaccine for 5-11 year-olds, Ganahl gave Prager the platform of her gubernatorial campaign to spread dangerous rhetoric about the COVID-19 vaccine. Heidi Ganahl personally kicked off the event by giving Prager the microphone and allowing him to claim it was “child abuse” to give children the COVID-19 vaccine, despite CDC recommendations. Prager also told people in the audience the vaccine was “not good for you” if you had already been infected with COVID-19, disregarding the advice of public health experts, again. The U.S. Surgeon General described COVID misinformation an “urgent threat” and its proliferation a major hindrance towards ending the pandemic.

Prager went on to call schools “poison factories” and praise failed California Republican gubernatorial nominee, Larry Elder. Giving right wing extremists a platform for dangerous misinformation is not new for Ganahl. Prager is yet another addition to the growing list of extremists Ganahl has surrounded herself with such as John Eastman and Lauren Boebert — and we can expect to see more as her campaign continues. [Pols emphasis]

In other Ganahl-related news, the GOP gubernatorial hopeful is trying to distance herself from Republican Party Chair Kristi Burton Brown, whose leadership of a militia group is getting a lot of attention. Check out “The Daily” podcast from The New York Times for more on KBB and right-wing conspiracist Joe Oltmann.

 

Colorado Newsline reports on efforts by Rep. Jason Crow (D-Aurora) to overhaul how we conduct background checks for gun purchases.

 

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The GMS Podcast: Map Madness! (Feat. Evan Wyloge)

Evan Wyloge of The Colorado Springs Gazette/Colorado Politics

This week on Episode #88 of The Get More Smarter Podcast, hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii talk redistricting maps with Evan Wyloge of The Colorado Springs Gazette and ColoradoPolitics.com. Wyloge covered the redistricting process in Arizona in 2001 and has been closely following Colorado’s map-making extravaganza; there are few, if any, people in Colorado who understand redistricting better than he does.

But the discussion this week isn’t all about maps. We also dig into the big Ron Hanks problem now facing Colorado Republicans; the State GOP’s misunderstanding of the first rule of “Fight Club”; and more ridiculous commentary from Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert.

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

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (Oct. 6)

Today is National Noodle Day and National Coaches Day. If you can figure out how to celebrate those together, we’re all ears. 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 

 

As The Washington Post reports, Senate Republicans are hell-bent on driving the United States right off the fiscal cliff:

Senate Republicans on Wednesday plan to block Democrats from raising the country’s debt ceiling, daring President Biden and his party’s top lawmakers to devise another path forward just 12 days before the U.S. government could run out of flexibility to pay its bills.

For the third time in as many weeks, Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) is set to hold a vote on a measure that would suspend the borrowing limit into next year, aiming to act before Congress blows past an Oct. 18 deadline that could catapult the country into an economic recession.

But the proposal is likely to be as doomed as the two that preceded it. Democrats for the moment cannot advance in the debate over the debt ceiling unless 10 GOP lawmakers join them — and Republicans once again are refusing to supply the votes as part of their broader campaign to oppose Biden’s economic agenda.

“They basically want us to be aiders and abettors to their reckless spending and tax policies, and we just aren’t going to do it,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.). [Pols emphasis]

Now, remember that raising the debt limit is necessary in part to help pay for expensive policies ENACTED UNDER THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION.

Earlier this week, Chris Cillizza of CNN broke down the dangerous game that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is playing:

McConnell knows — he’s a very smart dude — that his party’s current stance on the debt limit is utterly hypocritical.

But what he’s betting on is this: Democrats control the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives. Knowing that, voters will put blame on Democrats if the debt ceiling isn’t raised.

That’s the calculation McConnell is making — that complete opposition to anything and everything that happens in Washington between now and November 2022 will best position Republicans to retake the House and Senate majorities.

As for what’s best for the country? That’s not relevant to McConnell or Senate Republicans.

Meanwhile, polling data continues to show that McConnell’s gambit could be the wrong play. New info from Quinnipiac University indicates widespread support for President Biden’s spending proposals in Congress:

Americans say 62 – 34 percent that they support a roughly $1 trillion spending bill to improve the nation’s roads, bridges, broadband, and other infrastructure projects. This compares to 65 – 28 percent support in August. In today’s poll, Democrats support the bill 85 – 11 percent, independents support it 62 – 35 percent, and Republicans oppose it 58 – 38 percent.

Americans say 57 – 40 percent that they support a $3.5 trillion spending bill on social programs such as child care, education, family tax breaks, and expanding Medicare for seniors, compared to 62 – 32 percent support in August. In today’s poll, Democrats support the bill 92 – 5 percent, independents are split with 50 percent supporting it and 48 percent opposing it, and Republicans oppose it 68 – 28 percent.

The Associated Press has more on a pared-down spending bill that is now being discussed. As The New York Times reports, Republican refusal to budge on the debt limit might be moving more Democrats toward supporting changes to the filibuster,

 

We haz more maps!

As Chase Woodruff reports for Colorado Newsline:

One week ahead of a deadline to submit its plan for new statehouse districts to the Colorado Supreme Court for review, the state’s Independent Legislative Redistricting Commission on Tuesday received details of a third and final plan proposed by nonpartisan state staff.

The maps released ahead of the commission’s Tuesday night meeting draw new boundaries for 65 Colorado House of Representatives districts and 35 state Senate seats, as proposed by state staff based on previous feedback from the commission’s 12 appointed members. Any further changes to the two maps must be approved by a two-thirds vote of the panel, which consists of four registered Democrats, four Republicans and four unaffiliated voters.

The deadline for the commission to submit its maps to the Supreme Court is Oct. 15. If commissioners can’t approve a final plan with at least eight votes by then, the third staff plan will be submitted.

 

Colorado Republicans remain committed to the political strategy of complaining about mask and vaccine requirements, even when that message makes no sense whatsoever. State Rep. Tim Geitner (R-Colorado Springs) is all worked up about the idea that kidney transplant patients might first be required to get vaccinated against COVID-19, which to most rational people would seem to be a very logical and obvious request.

 

Colorado Republican Party Chairperson Kristi Burton Brown has some serious explaining to do after court documents revealed that KBB was the leader of FEC United, a far-right conspiracy group, right up until the point in which she started running for the job of GOP Chair. 9News has more on this story:

Burton Brown and the Colorado Republican Party did not respond to 9NEWS’ questions about FEC United, an election rigging conspiracy theory group, and its affiliated militia, the United American Defense Force.

The extent of Burton Brown’s involvement with FEC United was revealed by the group’s founder Joe Oltmann and current president, Stuart Butler, in sworn depositions in September and August, respectively…

…Oltmann testified that Burton Brown was president of FEC United in November 2020 while serving as vice-chair of the Colorado Republican Party and left FEC United to run for state party chair. She was elected to lead the state party in March 2021.

FEC United and the United American Defense Force are extreme right-wing groups with violent histories.

 

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Get More Smarter on Monday (Oct. 4)

Happy Mother Cabrini Day, the first state holiday named for a woman in American history. 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 

 

Is COVID-19 in retreat? We’ve learned not to get overly excited about a drop in COVID cases, but as The New York Times reports:

The reasons remain somewhat unclear, and there is no guarantee that the decline in caseloads will continue. But the turnaround is now large enough — and been going on long enough — to deserve attention.

The number of new daily cases in the U.S. has fallen 35 percent since Sept. 1.

Worldwide, cases have also dropped more than 30 percent since late August. “This is as good as the world has looked in many months,” Dr. Eric Topol of Scripps Research wrote last week.

As the Times notes, COVID-19 has a curious habit of showing rapid increases for two months followed by significant decreases in case numbers…for two months.

 

The 2022 U.S. Senate race in Colorado got a bit more interesting last week, with two new Republican candidates joining the field: Ft. Collins developer Gino Campana and State Rep. Ron Hanks (R-Penrose). Hanks immediately lays claim to the far-right wing in a Republican Primary — he is a full-on election fraud truther who has been outspoken in his defense of Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters — who will force Republican candidates up and down the ballot to respond to whatever absurd position he decides to take in a given week.

For more on Hanks’ surprise U.S. Senate candidacy, check out Colorado Newsline, The Colorado Sun, and Denver7.

 

Via The New York Times (10/2/21)

The editorial board of The New York Times voices new concerns about the “Eastman Memo” and its author, former University of Colorado visiting professor John Eastman:

However horrifying the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol appeared in the moment, we know now that it was far worse.

The country was hours away from a full-blown constitutional crisis — not primarily because of the violence and mayhem inflicted by hundreds of President Donald Trump’s supporters but because of the actions of Mr. Trump himself.

In the days before the mob descended on the Capitol, a corollary attack — this one bloodless and legalistic — was playing out down the street in the White House, where Mr. Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and a lawyer named John Eastman huddled in the Oval Office, scheming to subvert the will of the American people by using legal sleight-of-hand.

Mr. Eastman’s unusual visit was reported at the time, but a new book by the Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa provides the details of his proposed six-point plan. It involved Mr. Pence rejecting dozens of already certified electoral votes representing tens of millions of legally cast ballots, thus allowing Congress to install Mr. Trump in a second term.

If you’re not familiar with the “Eastman Memo,” click here to get started on learning more.

 

Colorado Public Radio reports on big local rallies on Saturday in protest of a new anti-abortion law in Texas. The Associated Press has more on the Women’s March that drew hundreds of people to the State Capitol in Denver. The Ft. Collins Coloradoan reports on rallies in Larimer County, while The Pueblo Chieftain does the same for Southern Colorado.

 

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Get More Smarter on Friday (Oct. 1)

Happy “World Vegetarian Day.” Try the grilled cheese. 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 

 

As Colorado Newsline reports, a debt limit disaster has been averted for the time being:

Congress made a last-minute dash to avert a government shutdown on Thursday, with the U.S. Senate and House approving a short-term spending bill just hours ahead of a midnight deadline.

Every Democratic and independent senator and 15 Republicans supported the bill in the 65-35 vote. The GOP senators in the “aye” tally included Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy of Louisiana; Susan Collins of Maine; Roy Blunt of Missouri; and Richard Burr and Thom Tillis of North Carolina. Both of Colorado’s senators — Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper — are Democrats.

The House later passed the federal spending bill — which will keep government agencies funded at current levels through Dec. 3, and provide $28.6 billion in aid for regions struck by extreme weather — on a vote of 254-175.

All three Republican members of Colorado’s Congressional delegation — Lauren Boebert, Ken Buck, and Doug Lamborn — voted ‘NO.’

 

…But the slog continues. The Associated Press updates on efforts by Congressional Democrats to work out an infrastructure deal while avoiding a debt ceiling disaster that Republicans refuse to even discuss:

Democrats were back at it Friday, doggedly determined to rescue a scaled-back version of President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion government overhaul and salvage a related public works bill after a long night of frantic negotiations that resulted in no deal.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was gathering the party’s lawmakers for a private morning session to assess the path forward. She vowed there would be a “vote today” on the companion $1 trillion infrastructure bill that is popular but has become snared in the broader debate. But the situation was highly uncertain, and no schedule was set.

Holdout Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia sank hopes for a compromise late Thursday, despite hours of shuttle diplomacy with White House aides on Capitol Hill, when he refused to budge on his demands for a smaller overall package, around $1.5 trillion. That’s too meager for progressive lawmakers who are refusing to vote on the public works measure without a commitment to Biden’s broader framework on the bigger bill.

Meanwhile, Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson again said the quiet part out loud regarding discussions on an infrastructure deal in Congress: The only Republican policy idea is performative obstruction:

 

If you could use a primer on all the drama in Congress, this rundown from The New York Times might be helpful:

 

 

State Republican Party Chair Kristi Burton Brown has been advising Colorado Republican candidates to avoid talking about Mesa C0unty Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters. This seems like perfectly reasonable advice, but KBB is doing it quietly because Republicans are still terrified of upsetting a base that believes deeply in “The Big Lie.”

 

If you’re not familiar with the “Eastman Memo,” then you should really get acquainted with the specifics.

 

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Get More Smarter on Wednesday (Sept. 29)

Today is “National Coffee Day,” which means you might be able to score some free coffee from your favorite retailers. 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 

 

We haz a map!

After months and months of meetings and discussions, Colorado’s Independent Congressional Redistricting Committee approved a new Congressional map late Tuesday night. Now we just need the State Supreme Court to approve the new boundaries…

As Colorado Public Radio reports:

Colorado’s Independent Redistricting Commission agreed on a congressional map at its final meeting Tuesday, just minutes before a midnight deadline. It will now go to the Colorado Supreme Court for approval.

The new map is largely modeled after Colorado’s current congressional boundaries, while making room for the state’s new 8th congressional district which will sit along the I-25 corridor north of Denver.

Politically, the map creates four Democratic seats, three Republican ones and a swing district — the new eighth — that leans slightly to the left. The boundaries give all of Colorado’s current members of Congress a strong chance of holding on to their seats.
This final map was a Democratic amendment to a plan drawn by nonpartisan staff based on public feedback. In the end, it was supported by eleven of the panel’s twelve commissioners, with just Democrat Simon Tafoya voting against it.

You can view the approved map below. Visit the Colorado Redistricting website for more details, or check out reporting from Alex Burness in The Denver Post.

The map!

 

 

Business groups and Republican leaders are working to secure GOP votes in the House of Representatives for an infrastructure vote scheduled to take place on Thursday. From The New York Times:

Although the measure is the product of a compromise among moderates in both parties, House Republican leaders are leaning on their members to reject the $1 trillion infrastructure bill by disparaging its contents and arguing that it will only pave the way for Democrats to push through their far larger climate change and social policy bill.

Their opposition has ratcheted up pressure on Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has the more progressive members of her Democratic caucus threatening to withhold their support for the infrastructure package until Congress acts on that broader bill. If Republicans unite in opposition, Ms. Pelosi can afford to lose as few as three Democrats on the bill.

But some Republican senators who helped write the bill, along with influential business groups who support it — including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable — have started a countereffort to try to persuade House Republicans to back the legislation.

Across the aisle, Democrats are still working to secure support for President Biden’s economic agenda. From a separate New York Times story:

President Biden and his aides mounted an all-out effort on Wednesday to salvage Mr. Biden’s economic agenda in Congress, attempting to forge even the beginnings of a compromise between moderates and progressives on a pair of bills that would spend trillions to rebuild infrastructure, expand access to education, fight climate change and more.

Mr. Biden canceled a scheduled trip to Chicago, where he was planning to promote Covid-19 vaccinations, in order to continue talking with lawmakers during a critical week of deadlines in the House. One crucial holdout vote in the Senate, Kyrsten Sinema, a centrist from Arizona, was set to visit the White House on Wednesday morning, a person familiar with the meeting said.

Ms. Sinema was one of the Democratic champions of a bipartisan bill, brokered by Mr. Biden, to spend more than $1 trillion over the next several years on physical infrastructure like water pipes, roads, bridges, electric vehicle charging stations and broadband internet. That bill passed the Senate this summer. It is set for a vote this week in the House. But progressive Democrats have threatened to block it unless it is coupled with a more expansive bill that contains much of the rest of Mr. Biden’s domestic agenda, like universal prekindergarten and free community college, a host of efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and tax breaks for workers and families that are meant to fight poverty and boost labor force participation.

New polling from Colorado shows that voters in our state remain overwhelmingly supportive of President Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan. Biden’s plan has the support of 80% of Democrats and 60% of Unaffiliated voters; 27% of Republican voters agree with the proposal.

 

Colorado will use $500 million in federal COVID relief funding to boost child care resources throughout the state. Money from the American Rescue Plan amounts to more than double what Colorado’s Office of Early Childhood is normally able to spend in a given year.

 

 Republicans such as Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert aren’t even pretending to couch their beliefs about “replacement theory” in a less-overtly racist tone.

 

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Get More Smarter on Tuesday (Sept. 28)

Happy “World Rabies Day.” Please don’t celebrate by getting rabies. 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 

 

Senate Republicans, as promised, blocked efforts to avoid a government shutdown on Monday. Today, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen issued a dire warning:

Yellen on Tuesday told Congress that the U.S. will run out of flexibility to avoid breaching the debt limit on Oct. 18, setting a new deadline for lawmakers to avoid a catastrophic default on its payment obligations…

…Yellen’s letter came less than 24 hours after Senate Republicans blocked a bill that would suspend the debt ceiling and prevent a government shutdown on Friday. Senate Republicans have said they would support a stand-alone measure to prevent the shutdown but they largely have opposed efforts by Democrats to suspend the debt ceiling.

The U.S. government runs a large budget deficit, spending far more than it brings in through tax revenue. To address this imbalance, the government borrows money by issuing debt. But it can only issue debt up to a limit set by Congress. That limit is repeatedly raised or suspended, and lawmakers are now up against another cap.

House Democrats huddle over simmering tensions about budget and agenda.

If Congress doesn’t raise the limit, the Treasury Department will not have the capability to pay all of its bills. Yellen’s new letter lays out that this crunch will really tighten after Oct. 18. She called on Congress to act as swiftly as possible, an overture she has tried for weeks without much success.

Greg Sargent of The Washington Post recommends that Democrats respond to Republican obstruction in a manner that could stop some of this nonsense:

Democrats appear likely to opt for Plan B, which is to raise the debt limit in the reconciliation process. But if so, they have another option: They can try to use reconciliation to effectively nullify the debt limit, which if it works would end this nonsense for good.

Can President Biden get a deal done to avoid a government shutdown. As Chris Cillizza of CNN writes, Biden has spent his entire life preparing for this moment.

Colorado Newsline has more on this story with a local perspective.

 

Maps, maps, maps!

Sandra Fish and Thy Vo of The Colorado Sun explain — as much as anyone can — how Colorado’s redistricting process is nearing its conclusion:

Eight of the 12 members of Colorado’s Independent Congressional Redistricting Commission must agree on a map by the end of Tuesday to prevent a staff-drawn proposal from being sent to the state Supreme Court for final approval.

There are about 30 different maps commissioners can consider at a 2 p.m. meeting Monday or another meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

By this time tomorrow, we might know what Congressional map we are going to be arguing about. The final step could still involve a decision by the State Supreme Court.

The process for approving new legislative maps, meanwhile, seems likely to go smoother:

The latest draft state House and Senate maps released last week appear to each have the support of at least eight members of the Independent Legislative Redistricting Commission.

While commissioners have discussed changes they’d like to see to the maps, an informal straw poll last week indicated a supermajority of commissioners would, if the latest drafts were the final maps for consideration, vote for the proposals.

In related news, Evan Wyloge of the publication formerly known as The Colorado Statesman reports on new interactions related to a redistricting lobbying complaint against several Republican operatives, including Alan Philp, Frank McNulty, and Greg Brophy.

 

Colorado Republicans are not shy about offering their opinion that GOP gubernatorial candidate Heidi Ganahl is going to get positively pummeled by incumbent Democrat Jared Polis in 2022. 

 

► David Leonhardt of The New York Times suggests a new moniker for the pandemic in the United States:

Via The New York Times (9/27/21)

 

New data from Gallup backs up this assertion. Roughly 92% of Democrats say that they have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, compared to 56% of Republicans.

 

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Get More Smarter on Monday (Sept. 27)

The Denver Broncos have started the season 3-0 for the first time since 2016. We won’t remind you how that season ended. 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 

 

A government shutdown in the middle of a pandemic that already has the nation’s economy on thin ice? That seems like a horrible idea, but Senate Republicans are hell bent on making it happen. From The Washington Post:

Senate Republicans on Monday prepared to block a bill that would fund the government, provide billions of dollars in hurricane relief and stave off a default in U.S. debts, part of the party’s renewed campaign to undermine President Biden’s broader economic agenda. [Pols emphasis]

The GOP’s expected opposition is sure to deal a death blow to the measure, which had passed the House last week, and threatens to add to the pressure on Democrats to devise their own path forward ahead of a series of urgent fiscal deadlines. A failure to address the issues could cause severe financial calamity, the White House has warned, potentially plunging the United States into another recession.

Ahead of the planned Monday vote, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) staked his party’s position — that Republicans are not willing to vote for any measure that raises or suspends the debt ceiling, even if they have no intentions of shutting down the government in the process. GOP lawmakers feel that raising the borrowing limit, which allows the country to pay its bills, would enable Biden and his Democratic allies to pursue trillions in additional spending and other policy changes they do not support.

The Republican Party platform in 2020 was basically just “do whatever Donald Trump wants.” In 2022, the platform appears to be, “oppose everything.”

 

Maps, maps, maps!

Colorado’s Independent Redistricting Commissions COULD finalize at least one proposed map today. Fox 31 Denver notes some late comments considered by commissioners on Friday, and Megan Verlee of Colorado Public Radio ponders the next steps in the process. John Aguilar of The Denver Post, meanwhile, focuses in on what the new CO-08 might look like when the lines are drawn in pen.

 

On Sunday, The Washington Post published an in-depth story on Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters and her election-denying law breaking. Emma Brown’s story begins with a strange office requirement from Peters last spring:

In April, employees in the office that runs elections in western Colorado’s Mesa County received an unusual calendar invitation for an after-hours work event, a gathering at a hotel in Grand Junction. “Expectations are that all will be at the Doubletree by 5:30,” said the invite sent by a deputy to Tina Peters, the county’s chief elections official.

Speaking at the DoubleTree was Douglas Frank, a physics teacher and scientist who was rapidly becoming famous among election deniers for claiming to have discovered secret algorithms used to rig the 2020 contest against Donald Trump. Frank led the crowd in a rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and spent the next 90 minutes alleging an elaborate conspiracy involving inflated voter rolls, fraudulent ballots and a “sixth-order polynomial,” video of the event shows. He was working for MyPillow chief executive Mike Lindell, he said, and their efforts could overturn President Biden’s victory.

Being told to sit through a presentation of wild, debunked claims was “a huge slap in the face,” one Mesa County elections-division employee said of the previously unreported episode. “We put so much time and effort into making sure that everything’s done accurately,” the employee told The Washington Post, speaking on the condition of anonymity out of fear of retaliation. Peters, the elected county clerk, had expressed sympathy for such theories in the past, the employee said.

And ICYMI, former Secretary of State Scott Gessler is representing Peters in court…but we don’t yet know who is paying for his services. Charles Ashby of The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel has more on the intersection of Peters and QAnon.

 

The recently-concluded Arizona election audit confirmed what all rational people already knew: Joe Biden won the 2020 election for President. But now, a handful of nutty lawmakers from around the country are calling for NEW audits of the 2020 election in every state.

Colorado’s, uh, contributions to this letter include State Reps. Ron Hanks, Dave Williams, and Stephanie Luck.

 

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The GMS Podcast: Operation Naptime/ Tina Peters Returns

This week on Episode #87 of The Get More Smarter Podcast, hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii break down the worst Colorado campaign kickoff this century (take a bow, Heidi Ganahl!) Elsewhere, Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters returns to Colorado and immediately starts begging for money in order to help pay off what are sure to be MASSIVE legal bills related to breaking into her own office computers in order to prove voter fraud that doesn’t exist.

Further down the metaphorical road, we explain how the Colorado Republican Party found itself in a place in which everybody thinks everybody else is always out to get them. As if things weren’t bad enough for the GOP, new polling shows that they are absolutely on the wrong side of the bus when it comes to COVID-19 vaccines and mask mandates.

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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Get More Smarter on Friday (Sept. 24)

The Denver Broncos could be [squints] 3-0 after this weekend. Let’s Get More Smarter. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of an audio learner, check out The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

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

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

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

 

The Big Lie is getting increasingly difficult to sustain. The shady Arizona election audit that was supposed to show that Donald Trump actually received more votes than Joe Biden in the 2020 election turned out to be a complete bust.

Trump, of course, is blaming the media somehow:

“Huge findings in Arizona! However, the Fake News Media is already trying to ‘call it’ again for Biden before actually looking at the facts—just like they did in November!” Trump said, invoking once again his baseless claim that the 2020 election had been stolen from him.

As a reminder, the Arizona audit was initiated by  the Republican-controlled State Senate and overseen by a Florida company called “Cyber Ninjas” with longstanding ties to proponents of The Big Lie. This audit couldn’t have been more friendly toward Trump if it had allowed Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner to count the votes personally.

 

Maps, maps, maps!

Colorado’s Independent Redistricting Commissions released new drafts of legislative and congressional maps on Thursday. As Alex Burness reports for The Denver Post:

The independent panel tasked with redrawing Colorado’s new congressional lines has until Tuesday to make up its mind. And the panel doing the same for state House and Senate districts isn’t far behind, with an Oct. 11 deadline looming.

Both commissions released new proposals Thursday. The congressional map, which includes the new 8th District in the suburbs north of Denver, would give Democrats an edge of at least seven points in four districts, according to aggregated results from recent elections. Republicans would control three districts, and the 8th District would essentially be a tossup — though elections since 2016 suggest a 1.3% advantage for Democrats.

Visit the Colorado Redistricting website to get a look at all the map proposals.

 

Frontline workers, people over the age of 65, and anyone with underlying health conditions who have already received the Pfizer vaccines are being encouraged to get a third booster shot.

 

A third, and perhaps final, version of a Congressional redistricting map is expected to be introduced today by nonpartisan staff of the Colorado Independent Redistricting Commission. A new draft version of a legislative redistricting map is also supposed to arrive today. As The Associated Press reports:

Colorado’s independent congressional redistricting commission has entered the final stretch in fashioning a map for the next decade that incorporates a new eighth district and tries to keep intact communities of interest, such as Hispanic and Latino voters and urban and rural economic interests. That and avoiding splitting cities and counties into separate districts headlined commission discussions Wednesday…

…Commissioners have a Sept. 28 deadline to approve a map and must submit it to the state Supreme Court by Oct. 1.

Final approval by the 12-member commission requires at least eight “yes” votes, including two unaffiliated commissioners. If the commission fails to submit a final map next week, a staff map must be submitted, without amendments, for judicial review. The court must approve a congressional redistricting map by Dec. 15, 2021.

 

Congressperson Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert continues to make national news for all the wrong reasons. We wrote earlier this week about ongoing questions about her campaign finance practices. The Washington Post finally figured out a cryptic part of her most recent filing correction:

A report her campaign submitted to the FEC on Tuesday specified that Boebert had made those four payments — two each of $2,000 and two each of $1,325 — to John Pacheco, and described them as rent and utilities “billed to [the] campaign via Venmo in error.” The report also noted that Boebert had reimbursed her campaign for those expenses, and that those reimbursements would be reported in the next FEC filing period.

In the report, Boebert’s campaign listed Pacheco’s address as 120 E. 3rd St. in Rifle, Colo. — the same address as Shooters Grill, a restaurant Boebert and her husband own, as well as a former marijuana dispensary next door that was converted into Boebert’s campaign office. However, no public records show Pacheco affiliated with that address. A deed shows Pacheco as the owner of a two-bedroom townhouse on Capitol Hill, and interior pictures from a Zillow listing for that townhouse show elements that match the background from recent interviews Boebert has given from home.

Reached by phone Thursday, Pacheco confirmed Boebert was his tenant in Washington but said he had “no idea” whether her rent money had been paid through her campaign or about anything regarding the amended FEC reports.

Who hasn’t at one time or another accidentally listed their Washington D.C. landlord as living at their Rifle, Colorado restaurant? Amirite?

There’s more on the story from 9News, CBS4 Denver, and The Pueblo Chieftain.

 

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Get More Smarter on Thursday (Sept. 23)

Happy “Kyrgyz Language Day.” Please celebrate responsibly…and without vowels. 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 

 

As The Washington Post reports, Congressional Republicans’ insistence on refusing to extend the debt ceiling means a government shutdown could be right around the corner:

The White House budget office will tell federal agencies on Thursday to begin preparations for the first shutdown of the U.S. government since the pandemic began, as lawmakers on Capitol Hill struggle to reach a funding agreement.

Administration officials stress the request is in line with traditional procedures seven days ahead of a shutdown and not a commentary on the likelihood of a congressional deal. Both Democrats and Republicans have made clear they intend to fund the government before its funding expires on Sept. 30, but time is running out and lawmakers are aiming to resolve an enormous set of tasks to in a matter of weeks.

House Democrats earlier this week approved a measure to fund the government, suspend the debt ceiling, and approve emergency aid such as disaster relief. But that plan is expected to die in the Senate amid GOP refusal to support Democratic attempts to lift the debt ceiling.

 

Congressperson Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert has been using her campaign account as a personal slush fund since she was elected in November 2020. As The Denver Post reports, she’s doing it AGAIN:

Republican U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert paid rent and utility bills with campaign funds in violation of federal campaign finance laws, new filings with the Federal Election Commision show.

The filings, submitted to the FEC on Tuesday, also indicate that Boebert reimbursed her campaign for the $6,650 worth of payments. Representatives for the congresswoman could not immediately be reached for comment.

Each of the four payments in question (two for $2,000 each and another two for $1,325 each) were amended to show payments for the same amount, description and on the same days to John Pacheco, whose address is the same as Shooters Grill in Rifle, which Boebert owns. Pacheco’s relationship to Boebert was not immediately clear.

The latest discrepancy appeared in a July campaign finance report for the committee Lauren Boebert for Congress. Payments to Venmo were described as “Personal expense of Lauren Boebert billed to campaign account in error. Expense has been reimbursed.”

This is NOT LEGAL, as we’ve been explaining for months in this space.

 

 Since we’re on the subject of Boebert, here’s more about her potential involvement in efforts by former President Trump to overturn the 2020 election and, well, initiate a coup attempt.

 

A third, and perhaps final, version of a Congressional redistricting map is expected to be introduced today by nonpartisan staff of the Colorado Independent Redistricting Commission. A new draft version of a legislative redistricting map is also supposed to arrive today. As The Associated Press reports:

Colorado’s independent congressional redistricting commission has entered the final stretch in fashioning a map for the next decade that incorporates a new eighth district and tries to keep intact communities of interest, such as Hispanic and Latino voters and urban and rural economic interests. That and avoiding splitting cities and counties into separate districts headlined commission discussions Wednesday…

…Commissioners have a Sept. 28 deadline to approve a map and must submit it to the state Supreme Court by Oct. 1.

Final approval by the 12-member commission requires at least eight “yes” votes, including two unaffiliated commissioners. If the commission fails to submit a final map next week, a staff map must be submitted, without amendments, for judicial review. The court must approve a congressional redistricting map by Dec. 15, 2021.

 

The FDA has authorized COVID-19 booster shots for older Americans who have already received the Pfizer vaccines. Here in Colorado, you can get free at-home COVID-19 tests with a quick signup online.

 

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Get More Smarter on Wednesday (September 22)

Welcome to Fall. 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 

 

 As multiple media outlets are reporting, the Trump campaign knew full well that their attacks on Denver-based Dominion Voting Services were complete nonsense. From The New York Times:

Two weeks after the 2020 election, a team of lawyers closely allied with Donald J. Trump held a widely watched news conference at the Republican Party’s headquarters in Washington. At the event, they laid out a bizarre conspiracy theory claiming that a voting machine company had worked with an election software firm, the financier George Soros and Venezuela to steal the presidential contest from Mr. Trump.

But there was a problem for the Trump team, according to court documents released on Monday evening.

By the time the news conference occurred on Nov. 19, Mr. Trump’s campaign had already prepared an internal memo on many of the outlandish claims about the company, Dominion Voting Systems, and the separate software company, Smartmatic. The memo had determined that those allegations were untrue.

The court papers, which were initially filed late last week as a motion in a defamation lawsuit brought against the campaign and others by a former Dominion employee, Eric Coomer, contain evidence that officials in the Trump campaign were aware early on that many of the claims against the companies were baseless. [Pols emphasis]

In related news, newly released emails indicate that right-wing provocateur Joe Oltmann was corresponding with Trump attorney Sidney Powell and telling her that several Colorado Clerks were helping to unveil nonexistent voter fraud.

 

Colorado Republicans managed to avoid voting to opt-out of the 2022 primary election in a vote last Saturday, but the finger-pointing that emerged before the vote shows that the State GOP is now just one giant conspiracy in which everyone thinks everyone else is out to get them.

Jason Salzman makes a similar point for The Colorado Times Recorder.

 

The Denver Post reports on the ongoing battle between Jeffco Public Health and a handful of Christian schools in Jefferson County that continue to resist efforts to prevent more COVID-19 infections.

 

As Chris Cillizza writes for CNN, lots of new polling shows that Americans absolutely despise the new Texas abortion law:

Texas Republicans’ decision to pass the nation’s most restrictive abortion law earlier this month has landed like a lead balloon with voters nationally.

At the core of the law is the empowerment of private citizens to bring lawsuits against people who assist someone in getting an abortion after the state’s six-week window. It also provides monetary rewards of up to $10,000 for those who bring the suits.

People really don’t like either of those provisions, according to new national polling from Monmouth University.

Fully 70% of Americans disagree with the idea of allowing private citizens to bring lawsuits against abortion providers. That numbers includes 9 in 10 Democrats, yes, but also more than 4 in 10 Republicans.

Opposition to paying off these complainants is even higher in the poll, with 81% disapproving of the idea — including 2 in 3 (67%) of self-identified Republicans.

We’ve said it before in this space, but it bears repeating: Republicans may have created a big 2022 campaign problem by forcing through such a ridiculous law.

 

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Get More Smarter on Tuesday (September 21)

There are 101 days left until 2022. 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 

 

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says that Republicans will vote for the United States to default on its debt obligations. As The New York Times reports:

The House is expected on Tuesday to pass legislation that would keep the government funded through early December, lift the limit on federal borrowing through the end of 2022 and provide about $35 billion in emergency money for Afghan refugees and natural disaster recovery, setting up a clash with Republicans who have warned they will oppose the measure.

The bill, which Democrats released on Tuesday just hours before a planned vote, is needed to avert a government shutdown when funding lapses next week and avoid a first-ever debt default when the Treasury Department reaches the limit of its borrowing authority within weeks. But it has become ensnared in partisan politics, with Republicans refusing to allow a debt ceiling increase at a time when Democrats control Congress and the White House.

In pairing the debt limit raise with the spending package, Democrats hoped to pressure Republicans into dropping their opposition. But few, if any, Republicans are expected to support it.

And the prospects for passage in the 50-50 Senate appeared dim amid widespread opposition by Republicans, who have said they will neither vote for the legislation nor allow it to advance in the chamber, where 60 votes are needed to move forward.

This is the part in our story where you might say, But Democrats voted to prevent a government shutdown when Donald Trump was President. If you’re saying that, then we would remind you that Mitch McConnell DGAF.

 

President Biden took the stage in front of the U.N. General Assembly today for the first time as President. As NBC News reports:

Biden used his biggest moment so far on the international stage at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday to call on global leaders to take stronger action on Covid-19 and climate change, as he sought to re-establish America’s alliances and role in the international community.

Looking to signal a break from his predecessor’s isolationism, “America first” policies, he repeatedly pledged to work with other nations and to establish the United States as a leader in tackling the challenges facing the planet.

“We will lead, we will lead on all the greatest challenges of our time from Covid to climate, peace and security, human dignity and human rights, but we will not go it alone,” Biden said. “We will lead together with our allies and partners and in cooperation with all those who believe, as we do, that it is within our power to meet these challenges, to build a future that lifts all of our people to preserve this planet.”

The speech, his first as president at the meeting, was at a gathering very different than those in the past, with many world leaders opting to deliver their remarks virtually.

 

With a deadline to finish drawing new district boundaries just around the corner, The Colorado Sun looks at where things stand with Colorado’s independent redistricting commissions.

Meanwhile, it appears that Republican redistricting lobbyists are throwing caution (and the rules) to the wind in a last-ditch effort to influence the drawing of districts in GOP favor.

 

A new book on the end of the Donald Trump administration lays out some damning information about the degree to which former CU visiting professor John Eastman plotted to literally overthrow American democracy in order to keep Trump in the White House. This is likely to become a significant issue for CU Regent Heidi Ganahl as she campaigns for the Republican gubernatorial nomination.

 

 Attorney General? Nope. State Treasurer? Nada. Secretary of State? Crickets.

Colorado Republicans don’t have any potential candidates for three of the four major statewide races that will be on the ballot in 2022. History suggests that they should already have several campaigns in operation by now.

 

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The GMS Podcast: Heidi Ga-Not-Gonna-Be-Governor

This week on Episode #86 of The Get More Smarter Podcast, hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii marvel at the bizarre pre-announcement announcement for Heidi Ganahl’s gubernatorial campaign; Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters gets her own segment jingle; we applaud President Biden’s vaccination requirements; and we discuss the horrible COVID-19 conditions in Idaho that have led to the creation of actual “death panels.”

Looking ahead to the 2022 election, Jason and Ian also explain the three “must answer” questions for any major candidate running for office.

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

Get More Smarter on Friday (Sept. 17)

On this day in 1985, hockey player Alexander Ovechkin was born. 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 

 

Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters returned from a long self-imposed exile and resurfaced finally in Grand Junction on Thursday. As The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports:

Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters appeared at an event in Grand Junction on Thursday night, vowing to fight investigations into her office, chastising the Colorado Secretary of State and asking supporters for donations to fund her legal defense.

“I’m so happy to be home. This is where my heart is and this is where we’re going to take back America,” Peters told a crowd gathered at Appleton Christian Church.

The event, which was livestreamed on the Stand For The Constitution Grand Junction Facebook Page, was billed as a “Stand With Tina” rally and featured a handful of speakers. It was Peters’ first public appearance in Grand Junction after an investigation into her office was announced in August….

…In addition to detailing a website where supporters could contribute to her defense fund, standwithtina.org, Peters also explained some of the events that led the clerk to allegedly tamper with county voting machines, prompting an investigation by the Secretary of State’s Office as well as the District Attorney.

Peters said after the 2020 election, she received calls and emails from hundreds of residents who believed the election was illegitimate, and she began investigating those claims on their behalf.

That’s right. Despite being under investigation by the Colorado Secretary of State’s office, the Mesa County DA, the Colorado Attorney General, and the FBI, Peters is back in town and soliciting donations to assist her legal defense for a crime she willingly committed.

CLICK HERE to read more about Peters.

 

Republican gubernatorial candidate Heidi Ganahl doesn’t want to answer questions about whether the 2020 election was legitimate (SPOILER ALERT: It was), but as she is learning, every major media outlet in Colorado absolutely DOES consider this to be a litmus choice sort of question for candidates seeking public office in 2022.

Headline from The Denver Post (9/16/21)

 

 

As Jason Salzman of The Colorado Times Recorder writes, the ongoing Republican civil war in Colorado could have major implications as soon as this weekend. Colorado Republicans may vote to opt out of Colorado’s open Primary system so that right-wing activists can more easily control who wins the GOP nomination for any particular office. Many more moderate and rational Colorado Republicans are pleading with their base to not commit what many believe would be political suicide. Here’s more on what might happen Saturday from Axios Denver and The Colorado Sun.

 

 Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman is facing calls for his resignation following a report from the Colorado Attorney General’s office outlining significant longstanding racial biases and excessive force allegations surrounding the Aurora Police Department.

Fox 31 News has more on the response to the AG’s report from the Aurora police officers’ union. The Aurora Sentinel, meanwhile, details the problematic staffing troubles facing the APD:

A record number of Aurora police officers have left the department so far this year, surpassing the number of departures in all of 2020 and further straining an increasingly lean agency, according to data presented to Aurora city council members this week.

A total of 96 officers have parted ways with the Aurora Police Department so far in 2021, with another two staffers expected to split by week’s end, Deputy Chief Darin Parker told members of the council’s public safety policy committee Sept. 16…

…The number of exits among APD ranks through the middle of September already dwarfs totals from last year, when 87 officials left Aurora police — a 61% increase over 2019.

 

 

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Get More Smarter on Thursday (Sept. 16)

Happy Mexican Independence 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 

 

As The Colorado Sun reports, there’s a new proposed congressional redistricting map out for discussion:

The latest draft of Colorado’s congressional map avoids putting the state’s current U.S. House members into the same district, while creating a sweeping district across most of the Western Slope and southern Colorado. The new 8th Congressional District in the north Denver metro region would be nearly 39% Hispanic.

The new map released Wednesday groups most of the Western Slope and southern Colorado into a single, L-shaped 3rd Congressional District. Northwest high-country counties including Routt, Jackson, Eagle, Summit and Grand are grouped with Larimer and Boulder into a proposed 2nd Congressional District. And the new districts would no longer pit Garfield County Republican U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert against Democratic U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse of Lafayette.

And the proposed 7th District, now centered in the north and west metro area, would include much of Jefferson County but stretch to South Park in the central Rocky Mountains.

This new map is not without problems, as The Sun notes:

Morgan Carroll, chair of the Colorado Democratic Party, disputed the congressional commission’s formula for determining the political competitiveness of a district.

“Measuring competitiveness by focusing on strong years for one party and ignoring 2014 — which was a strong year for the other party — is simply wrong,” Carroll said in a statement. “As a result, this could very likely end up a 4-4 map after the midterms, which is in no way reflective of Colorado voters.”

The Independent Congressional Redistricting Commission will debate this new map tonight. If at least eight votes can’t be garnered, the nonpartisan staff will produce a third proposed map on Sept. 23. CLICK HERE to see Congressional Map #2.

In other redistricting news, the Colorado Secretary of State’s office is investigating potential illegal lobbying activity committed by a handful of well-known Republican operatives. The Colorado Times Recorder also has the full video of a ham-handed presentation that Republican Rep. Matt Soper gave to several Republicans in July.

 

Republican Heidi Ganahl announced her campaign for Governor on Tuesday and is off to the worst start for a statewide candidate in recent memory.

Former State Republican Party Chairman Dick Wadhams has some biting criticism that applies to Ganahl, as The Colorado Times Recorder reports:

A day after Heidi Ganahl, the newly minted GOP gubernatorial candidate, refused to tell reporters whether she thought the last year’s presidential election was legitimate, Wadhams said Republicans won’t be “credible in a general election” unless they say the election was not stolen.

“I think candidates ought to look at the reporter and say, ‘I do not believe the election was stolen. I do not believe we should ban 1.6 million unaffiliated voters from voting in the primary.’ And I think we just ought to take a stand on this because it’s defining our party,” Wadhams told Peter Boyles.

“I honestly think we’ve got to have strong candidates who were willing to say, no, the election was not stolen because that’s the only way they can be credible in a general election.”

You know Republicans are worried about Ganahl’s campaign when they immediately start blaming the media for her troubles.

 

The Denver Post reports on a significant new finding from the Colorado Attorney General’s office:

Colorado’s attorney general will require the Aurora Police Department to make sweeping reforms after a year-long investigation found officers’ pattern of racially biased policing and use of excessive force routinely violated state and federal law.

The department’s officers persistently arrested and injured Black individuals and other people of color at higher rates than white residents, according to the investigation released Wednesday.

Officers also routinely used excessive force against people unnecessarily, failed to de-escalate encounters and failed to properly document information about individuals they stopped as required by state law, the investigation found.

The department’s training and accountability structures are inadequate and create a culture of violence, according to investigators’ 112-page report.

Anyone who has been paying any attention to Aurora in the last couple of years will not likely be surprised by this report. Attorney General Phil Weiser wants to create a consent decree to allow his office to work with the Aurora PD on making widespread reforms.

 

As Denver7 reports, ICU capacity in Colorado hospitals has reached its lowest levels of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

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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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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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