Boebert Hides From The Denver Post, Too

Lauren Boebert.

This weekend, the Denver Post made their endorsement in the unexpectedly swing CD-3 race, throwing their support behind Democratic candidate Diane Mitsch Bush over Republican upstart nominee Lauren Boebert:

We think Mitsch Bush will be an excellent representative for Congressional District 3. She is ready and willing to listen to her constituents — be they Democrats, Republicans or independents — and she is transparent and open about her decision-making process.

For most of the last decade, the Post repeatedly endorsed incumbent GOP Rep. Scott Tipton for re-election to this seat, based not so much on policy agreement with the editorial board as a presumption that Tipton’s politics were a good fit for the district. In 2018, the Post declined to endorse either Mitsch Bush or Tipton, complaining about Tipton’s standing “idly by while President Donald Trump has repeatedly lied to the American people and stoked hatred and fear.”

That’s no less true in the case of the avowedly MAGA Lauren Boebert, who blew right past MAGA to the unthinking Trump worship necessary to embrace QAnon–but as the Post’s endorsement of Mitsch Bush continues, Boebert did herself no favors in another crucial respect:

Mitsch Bush is facing first-time political candidate Lauren Boebert, a Republican who we know very little about. In part that is because Boebert declined to participate in a video-conference meeting with The Denver Post editorial board. Her campaign spokeswoman said Boebert decided to focus on media in her district, and Boebert did meet with the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel.

We would have liked to ask Boebert, who doesn’t have a single policy position on her website, how she’d vote on a complete repeal of the Affordable Care Act; how she’d weigh legitimate concerns over the growing national debt with the need for additional stimulus funds to keep the economy moving; and what bill she’d introduce her first year to help her district. And yes, we would have asked her if she actually believes there is a deep-state conspiracy to undermine President Donald Trump and how much that theory would guide her work in Congress.

Elected officials work for the people. Part of representatives’ jobs is to explain to voters how they voted and why. If Boebert won’t answer tough questions now, we are skeptical she’ll be accessible to the public as an elected official.

In another very poor decision by Boebert’s not-ready-for-primetime campaign management, Boebert refused to even talk to the Denver Post’s editorial board. Given the Post’s statewide footprint, this excuse about focusing on “local media outlets” is silly–and if the focus is on the locals, why did Boebert skip out on the golden opportunity she had to reach them unopposed at the Club 20 debates?

Once again, the only reasonable conclusion to be made is that Boebert is afraid to appear in any kind of unscripted setting, and it’s because she has inch-deep at best comprehension of the issues she’ll face questions about. It’s not like Scott Tipton wowed the Denver Post with his charm and policy smarts to win their endorsement–it was just a matter of showing up and not making a complete fool of yourself.

That appears to be more than can be expected from “Q*Bert.”

Everybody Should Have the Opportunity to be a National Security Threat to the United States

Trump is broke

Via The New York Times (9/27/20)

Even if you have been living under a rock lately, chances are still pretty good that you’ve already heard about the big news surrounding President Trump’s personal finances — including $421 million in debts (which might be a low estimate) and the $750 that Trump paid in federal income taxes in recent years.

The New York Times dropped a bombshell of a story on Sunday that not only shows that Trump pays less in taxes than the average American family — it also completely demolishes his image/brand of being an ultra-successful businessman and calls into serious question his true motive for running for President in 2016 (and for re-election in 2020). We’d encourage you to read the Times story yourself, or at least take a look at this shorter breakdown of the Times’ key findings.

As Chris Cillizza writes for CNN, these new revelations indicate that Trump’s political ambitions were initially just a branding exercise:

[Trump’s] situation was different in 2015. He was no longer riding high financially or otherwise. He was seen less as a business titan and A-list celebrity — and much more as a a cultural curiosity, a sort of has-been throwback to the 1980s. Flirting with a run for president wasn’t enough; he needed to go further this time as a way to restart a flagging brand…

Running for president was one of the last cards Trump had to play. His candidacy was borne of desperation, not of a desire to serve. Which we kind of always knew.

But with the Times’ tax revelations, we can now say so definitively. [Pols emphasis]

Via Bloomberg News (9/28/20)

Trump probably didn’t expect to make it to the White House when he kicked off his Presidential bid in 2015. But even getting close to winning made him a serious national security threat. As Bloomberg News explains, Trump might actually be facing debts of somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.1 BILLION, which would make him an easy mark for foreign governments to prey upon:

Trump has been bloviating about being worth $10 billion ever since he entered the 2016 presidential race, a figure that simply isn’t true. He’s worth a fraction of that amount, and the larger his indebtedness becomes, the more strain it puts on his assets. The Covid-19 pandemic has taken a particularly brutal toll on the sectors in which the Trump Organization operates — real estate, travel and leisure. If Trump is unable to meet his debt payments, he’s either going to have to sell assets or get bailed out by a friend with funds. Trump has never liked to sell anything, even when it’s hemorrhaging money. So if he’s tempted to save himself by getting a handout, that makes him a mark.

If Trump was still just a reality TV oddity, that wouldn’t be earthshaking. But he’s president, and the trade-offs someone like him would be willing to make to save his face and his wallet taint every public policy decision he makes – including issues around national security.

Trump’s persistent refusal to release his tax returns remained a big issue even after Election Day in 2016. Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) addressed the issue with this ridiculous comment in early 2017 that has certainly not aged well:

GARDNER: The issue of the tax returns, I think everybody should should have the opportunity to, to release their tax returns. [Pols emphasis] And that’s, uh people in the state legislature and people running for Congress. I’ve done that, others have, and I think everyone should. So I think I agree with you there. It shouldn’t just be about President Trump, it ought to be about President Obama, President Bush it ought to be about whoever is running for president, Hillary Clinton, you name it, and they should have done that. So…


Gardner is undoubtedly going to get plenty of opportunities to talk about Trump’s finances in the coming weeks, and he’ll need a better answer than this. Because as Gardner himself said in June 2019, “I think the President is going to continue to do what the President is going to continue to do.” 

In Shift, Gardner Now Says He Blocked Garland Because He ‘Disagreed with the Selection’

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Ever since refusing to meet with Judge Merrick Garland, whom President Obama nominated to replace Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) has insisted his objection to Garland was about the process, not the person. In an interview last week, however, Gardner said his decision to block Garland was because he “disagreed with the selection.”

Watch Gardner here, speaking via video to the 20/20 Growth Cannabis Public Policy Conference III on Sept. 23:

Interviewer: “In February of 2016, you said, ‘The next election is too soon. We shouldn’t appoint a new justice, need to let the American people decide this.’ I can read your exact quote, if you want. But now you’re saying that, it’s September 2020, and it’s not too soon, you’re interested in appointing new justice immediately versus qualified. So I guess my question is, why was February of 2020 — of 2016 — too close to an election but September of 2020 not?

Gardner: Yeah, I think it’s the same standard today that applied in 2016. The Senate majority exercising its advise and consent powers. In 2016, we did not move forward [garbled]. In 2020, I think it’s important we move forward to fill the judge. I disagreed with the selection in 2016. And I’m looking forward to a justice that is qualified, that won’t legislate from the bench, who will uphold the rule of law in the Constitution. So, that kind of a nominee put forward, my advice and consent will be to put that justice in place, just like it would have been in 2016, had that advice and consent been for a justice if admitted, that met and fit that criteria.”

(more…)

Some CO Republicans in Key Races Are Hiding Their Stance on Trump

(Can you blame ’em? – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Multiple Colorado Republicans in swing districts won’t say anything about what’s arguably the most important topic of the November election: Donald Trump.

State House candidate Caroline Cornell is one such Republican.

Asked by the Colorado Times Recorder if she supports Trump, Cornell hung up the phone after saying, “I’m—I don’t—I’m afraid I have to get on another call right now. I’ll have to call you back.”

Cornell, who’s challenging Democrat Tom Sullivan in a swing state House district in the Centennial area, didn’t return the call.

Republican Suzanne Staiert, who faces Democrat Chris Kolker in one of the most competitive state senate races of the year, didn’t want to talk about Trump either–even though her stance on him, like Cornell’s, could not be found in multiple searches.

“What do you say when people ask you whether you support Trump,” I asked Staiert.

“I’ve never been asked,” she replied.

“Do you?” I asked.

“I’m not going to talk to you. I don’t consider you an actual newspaper,” she said, without saying if she thought it was a legitimate question.

(more…)

Gardner Studiously Ignores William Perry Pendley Shitcanning

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

Colorado Public Radio’s Hayley Sanchez reports on the removal late Friday of acting Bureau of Land Management Direct William Perry Pendley from his “temporary” position by a federal judge, weeks after Pendley’s politically self-immolating nomination to formally lead the agency he’s directed for over a year was rescinded by the White House:

Environmentalists are celebrating after the controversial head of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management was forced to stop leading the agency Friday.

A federal judge blocked William Perry Pendley from continuing to serve in that role. Pendley, who is officially deputy director of the BLM but has sat atop the agency’s organizational chart since July 2019, served unlawfully for 424 days without Senate confirmation, U.S. District Judge Brian Morris said. The Trump administration immediately vowed to appeal the decision…

Sen. Michael Bennet, a Colorado Democrat, tweeted Friday that the decision on Pendley was clear from the get-go.

“Someone who’s spent his entire career opposed to the very idea of public lands is unfit to lead a land management agency. Period,” the tweet read. Sen. Cory Gardner, a Colorado Republican, did not publicly respond to the judge’s ruling. [Pols emphasis]

As the Washington Post reports, Pendley is off the job pending appeal–and keep in mind that the Trump administration, up for re-election by the American people in five short weeks, has never had a Senate-confirmed director for the BLM:

The ruling will be immediately appealed, according to Interior Department spokesman Conner Swanson. He called it “an outrageous decision that is well outside the bounds of the law,” and he said the Obama administration had similarly filled key posts at the agency with temporary authorizations.

The agency will abide by the judge’s order while the appeal is pending, officials said. It will also have to confront questions over the legitimacy of all decisions Pendley had made, including his approval of land use plans in Montana that Morris said Pendley was not authorized to make.

One of the biggest changes to the BLM in its history occurred under Pendley’s term as acting director when the agency moved its titular headquarters from Washington, D.C. to Grand Junction–a move fraught with controversy that still hasn’t been fully completed, yet the accomplishment by the BLM most celebrated by Sen. Cory Gardner. Gardner wasn’t the only local politician who backed this change of address to the same literal office building as major oil companies in Grand Junction, but as opinion soured and the “Pendley situation” hurt the credibility of the Trump administration on public lands, Gardner was the one left publicly holding the bag.

Pendley may have been benched, but Cory Gardner is still holding the bag–which explains his lack of comment.

Shaun Boyd, CBS4 Denver Still Missing the Point

CBS4 Disinformation Political Specialist Shaun Boyd, still missing the point.

Over the weekend, CBS4 Denver News Director Tim Wieland took the unusual — but correct –step of removing a story from its website because it was factually inaccurate.

On Sunday, CBS4 Denver and Shaun Boyd published a DIFFERENT story about its own erroneously-reported news from a few days earlier. Look at this headline:

“Colorado’s Secretary Of State Sets The Record Straight On Voter Registration Postcards”

The only “record” that needed to be set straight was the false one created by Boyd on Friday, but Boyd’s new lede doesn’t make that at all clear:

Secretary of State Jena Griswold is trying to clear up any confusion after a story by CBS4 about a voter registration mailing by her office.

This would have been a better lede: Secretary of State Jena Griswold explains why a previous CBS4 Denver story was totally wrong. 

While this new CBS4 story is obviously a sort of mea culpa to the Colorado Secretary of State’s (SOS) office, Boyd’s framing hasn’t changed much from her original nonsense narrative:

The mailing she’s referring to says: “Our records indicate that you or a member of your household may be eligible to vote but do not appear to be registered at your current address.” It goes on to delineate the qualifications to vote: 18 years of age, U.S. citizen and Colorado resident at least 22 days before the election.

As CBS4 reported last week, about a dozen of the postcards — that we know of — went to people who were not citizens or deceased. [Pols emphasis]

Some people got a postcard with information that doesn’t apply to them. So what?

The inference here is that the SOS office is encouraging non-citizens and dead people to vote in the 2020 election, but this is a silly projection that has no factual basis. Encouraging people to register to vote in no way ensures that they will then register to vote or be eligible to do so. Perhaps Boyd is the sort of person who receives a letter from Publishers Clearing House that says “you may have won $1 million dollars” and immediately assumes that she did, in fact, become a millionaire overnight. Alas, receiving a piece of mail — whether you were meant to receive it or not — does not provide you with any special abilities or advantages that you didn’t have before you opened your mailbox.

This vague “voter fraud” inference is, unfortunately, exactly what Republicans such as Donald Trump, Jr. are eager to promote. Take a look at this Tweet from right-wing nonsense provocateur George Brauchler:

Boyd’s false reporting encourages nitwits like Brauchler to break out their Twitter machines and cry out “fraud,” but it doesn’t change the very important fact that NON-CITIZENS AND DEAD PEOPLE CAN’T REGISTER TO VOTE (for that matter, dead people also can’t read a postcard that was erroneously mailed to their former residence). As Ian Silverii of ProgressNow Colorado explained via Twitter:

Voter fraud in Colorado and the rest of the United States is virtually nonexistent (in the 2016 election, there were four documented cases of voter fraud out of about 138 million votes cast, which works out to about 0.00000003 percent). Christopher Wray, the Director of the FBI, testified in front of the Senate Homeland Security Committee LAST WEEK and reaffirmed the safety of our elections:

“Now, we have not seen, historically, any kind of coordinated national voter fraud effort in a major election, whether it’s by mail or otherwise.”

It is nice that CBS4 Denver allowed SOS Jena Griswold the opportunity to correct their own misinformation, but this second story does not fix the original mistake. This is just doubling-down on bad journalism with more bad journalism.

And Now For Some Homegrown Election Dezinformatsiya

UPDATE: CBS4 Denver News Director Tim Wieland says this bit of fake news is coming down:

This comes after the story was picked up by none other than Donald Trump, Jr. himself:

We’re pleased to see this, but coming fully two days after the original story spread far and wide the damage is most likely done. It’s just not possible for a local TV news outlet to spread their correction as widely as the conservative media machine is spreading the original false story.

And that…really sucks.

—–

CBS4 Political Specialist Shaun Boyd.

CBS4 Denver’s longtime “Political Specialist” Shaun Boyd has come under fire many times in her career for regularly–though with some notable exceptions–serving as a go-to for local Republicans looking to see their desired spin imparted to various stories being reportedly accurately “unfairly” by other outlets. Last night, however, Boyd aired a story that went considerably farther than spin–making the ostensibly scandalous and Trump-friendly allegation that the Colorado Secretary of State’s office is “encouraging” noncitizens and dead people to vote:

The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office is defending the accuracy of its voter rolls after CBS4 learned the office mailed postcards urging some non-citizens and dead people to go online and register to vote. Karen Anderson says she opened her mail about a week ago to find one of the postcards. It was addressed to her mom…

“I don’t know where they’re harvesting names from but (they’re) doing it without obviously doing any kind of check,” said Anderson.

There’s the lede, and here’s the end of the story:

Anderson wrote a letter to the Secretary of State’s Office last week asking why it mailed a postcard to her dead mother. She says she still hasn’t heard back, “You hear about them trying to register dead people but I never really thought I’d see it.” [Pols emphasis]

And with that, Shaun Boyd has just wrote a story guaranteed to go viral on conservative media, which it already is this morning–reinforcing an alternate reality promoted by Donald Trump in which Colorado’s mail ballot election system is ripe for/rife with fraud. But is there anything actually problematic happening?

In a word, no–two words, hell no:

The first paragraph of Boyd’s story states that “Colorado Secretary of State’s Office is defending the accuracy of its voter rolls.” The problem with this is that the mailing list for this post card didn’t come from Colorado’s voter rolls at all. It was derived from a variety of public sources of information, intended for people who are not registered to vote, and does not change any of the requirements to register to vote like being a live U.S. citizen. It’s literally the first line of the voter registration form in Colorado:

It’s true that the voter registration form in Colorado does not expressly ask if you are, you know, dead. The presumption here, we believe being reasonable people, is that that dead people can not fill out voter registration forms, therefore anyone attempting to register a dead person to vote is already committing a crime.

This is the sort of garbage mischaracterization of uncontroversial reality that normally gets reported by a right-wing blog or faux news site, makes its way around the conservative media echo chamber, and then is either brushed off or debunked with gusto by responsible media as an example of election misinformation. Unfortunately in this case, the misinformation is being put out under the banner of a major local media outlet. Whatever that means for CBS4 Denver’s credibility in the future, it’s hugely problematic today.

Colorado doesn’t need the Russians. We’ve got Shaun Boyd.

Suzanne Staiert Scrubs Campaign Website of Info About Her Partisan GOP Background

(Must almost be October – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

In an apparent effort to give herself a nonpartisan shine, Suzanne Staiert, who’s running for a critical state senate seat in Arapahoe County, has scrubbed information about her partisan background from her campaign website.

In one notable change in the last month, Staiert removed a statement from her website boasting, “Suzanne is already trying to keep Hickenlooper accountable in her work as the prosecutor on his ethics charge.”

Earlier this year, as director of the Public Trust Institute, a conservative advocacy group, Staiert was the lead attorney in a complaint against Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat running for U.S. Senate, over alleged ethics issues.

The minor allegations, two of which were affirmed, were set in motion by dark-money-funded Republicans and formed the basis for a major TV attack campaign against Hickenlooper by his opponent, Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), and outside groups, including a conservative organization called Unite for Colorado. Staiert is the lawyer for United for Colorado, which also provided money for Staiert’s state senate campaign, triggering a campaign finance complaint against Staiert.

But despite her deep ties to the GOP campaign against Hickenlooper, and its high-profile use in Colorado’s Senate campaign, Staiert scrubbed her campaign website of any mention of her leading role in the effort. There’s now no mention of the name “Hickenlooper” on her entire website.

In place of the Hickenlooper information is content that reads, in part, “Person over party. Suzanne will fight for her constituents, not partisan politics.”

(more…)

Weekend Open Thread

“I know that when people pull apart, they usually employ misunderstanding as a weapon, deliberately getting hold of the stick’s wrong end, impaling themselves on its point in order to prove the perfidy of the other.”

–Salman Rushdie

Trump Picks Amy Coney Barrett For RBG’s SCOTUS Seat

Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

CNN reports, and the American culture wars enter a new and perilous phase:

President Donald Trump intends to choose Amy Coney Barrett to be the new Supreme Court justice, according to multiple senior Republican sources with knowledge of the process…

Barrett has been the leading choice throughout the week, since Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died. She is the only potential nominee known to have met with the President in person, according to two of the sources. One source said Trump was familiar with Barrett already and he met with her since she was a top contender the last time there was a Supreme Court vacancy, when the President chose Justice Brett Kavanaugh instead.

“The machinery is in motion,” one of the sources said. In previous nomination announcements, the White House had multiple rollouts planned in case the President made a last-minute decision to switch to another candidate. But one source said it would be surprising if there were a change since allies are already being told.

At age 48, Barrett is set to join President Donald Trump’s other two youthful Supreme Court Justices in cementing a 6-3 conservative majority just in time for the possible collapse of electoral democracy in November–and a pick now known to the world before Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg could even be buried. And she completes the sea change that puts rights once considered to be settled law in danger:

Amy Coney Barrett, who is expected to be Mr. Trump’s pick, meets the president’s unprecedented anti-abortion rights litmus test. The federal judge has referred to abortion as “always immoral” and offers something a former top candidate, Barbara Lagoa, doesn’t: A clear anti-abortion rights judicial record. During her three years on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, she has already ruled on two abortion-related cases, both times favoring restrictions on access to abortion…

Many believe that overturning Roe v. Wade — the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide — is no longer a hypothetical. [Pols emphasis] The vacancy on the court follows the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was not only liberal but an unequivocal supporter of abortion rights. Though Mr. Trump’s two Supreme Court nominations — Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh — have been against abortion rights, both replaced conservative justices, effectively leaving the balance of the court nearly untouched.

In 2014, when now-Sen. Cory Gardner’s opponents warned as loudly as they could that he would put abortion rights in America in fundamental danger, it wasn’t possible to see then how right they were. We have arrived at a moment in history when the worst fears of 2014, dismissed as a “tired refrain” by Colorado pundits and the political oddsmakers, have been fully realized.

Vote accordingly, but understand that more than a single election will be needed now.

The country is moving one way, and the judiciary is moving the other.

Consensus Forming: Cory Gardner is D-O-N-E

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma)

We’ll preface this opinion with all of the necessary clichés: It’s not over until the fat lady sings. The future isn’t carved in stone. Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.

These are all wise sayings, but Election Day is less than 40 days away. Mail ballots in Colorado start going out in two weeks. And as we enter the final stretch of the 2020 election cycle, a consensus opinion seems to be forming about Colorado’s U.S. Senate race.

As Ella Nilsen writes for Vox.com, Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) is toast, thanks in part to his close association with President Trump. We’d recommend reading the entire article for the full effect, but take a look at some of the opinions provided in the Vox.com story; not one of them is from someone who thinks Gardner is going to beat Democrat John Hickenlooper in November:

Jessica Taylor, Cook Political Report Senate Editor

“Gardner is one of the best incumbents [Republicans] have running; it’s just that he’s running in one of the toughest states for them,” said Cook Political Report Senate editor Jessica Taylor, who recently moved Cook’s Colorado Senate race rating from a toss-up to Lean Democratic.

Dick Wadhams, Republican Strategist and former State GOP Chair:

“I think there will be a slice of the electorate who will vote for Joe Biden over Donald Trump but will vote for Cory Gardner as well if they can be convinced he’s been an effective senator for Colorado,” said Dick Wadhams, a Colorado Republican strategist and former chair of the state GOP. “That’s Cory’s only path for victory.”

“If Trump moves toward losing the state by 10 points, it makes it virtually impossible for Cory to win.”

Dave Flaherty, Republican Pollster (Magellan Strategies)

“He’s twisting himself in knots,” Colorado Republican pollster Dave Flaherty told Vox. “Justice Ginsburg’s death is an example. l think that is going to be hard to get away from; that is going to hurt him.”

“The fact Gardner has to spend hard-earned dollars to do the negative on his own is an interesting observation [of] where outside money is in a very long list of Republicans that need to be defended by Mitch [McConnell].”

Josh Freed of the center-left think tank Third Way

“Cory Gardner, unfortunately he is the example of a Republican Party that has fallen in lockstep behind a maniac,” said Josh Freed, the founder of the Climate and Energy Program at the center-left think tank Third Way. “Gardner is saying to Coloradans, ‘Don’t pay attention to my entire record; pay attention to this one thing.’ Gardner is the neighbor whose willful negligence caused your house to burn down, and he knocks on the door to apologize by bringing you a potted plant.”

Former Colorado House Majority Leader Alice Madden

“I know Cory and I served with him,” said former Colorado House Majority Leader Alice Madden, a Democrat. “He has been the king of trying to make everybody happy without doing a lot.”

Jonathan Houck, Gunnison County Commissioner

“I’ve often had a more difficult time nailing down where his position actually is,” said Jonathan Houck, a commissioner in Colorado’s Gunnison County. “He doesn’t seem to engage at a level that’s easy to discern off the bat, it takes some digging to get there.”

“I’m also supporting [Hickenlooper] because he’s done the work here,” Houck said. “The western and eastern parts of the state are sparsely populated. When John Hickenlooper was governor, he was governor of the whole state and he didn’t forget about rural folks out here.”

As you can see, there is not a lot of confusion on this topic.

Gardner has no real message in 2020, other than trying to convince voters that he’s a better version of Hickenlooper. His ridiculous flip-flop on confirming a new Supreme Court Justice is the latest in a long line of baffling failures that are out of step with the Colorado electorate. Fact checkers regularly demolish his carefully-hewn talking points, and his own television ads are idiotic. His refusal to discuss anything, with reporters or constituents, has become a running joke.

It ain’t over ’til it’s over, but the consensus opinion is that it’s right around the corner.

“Q*Bert” Crosses Up Her Talking Points

Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert, the Republican candidate for Congress in CO-3, is very comfortable in the role of right-wing provocateur. Boebert has the Fox News shtick figured out, and she knows her talking points…but she doesn’t quite seem to understand how those talking points are supposed to fit together.

Boebert was a guest on Fox Business this morning. We know this because Boebert Tweeted out a segment of her interview:

Boebert is obviously pleased with her interview since she is eagerly promoting the content. But there are a couple of “record scratch” moments in this two-minute clip that make Boebert seem like a foreign language student who has memorized many of her vocabulary words but still hasn’t figured out how to fit them into a sentence correctly.

Necesito hacer popó. Donde está la bibiloteca?

For example, Boebert bashes her opponent (Democrat Diane Mitsch Bush) for being a “socialist” and wanting to “bankrupt the country” with The Green New Deal. Boebert actually says that she is not opposed to renewable energy in general, but she gets a bit lost in trying to make her point about energy independence:

“We cannot be energy independent with only renewables, and especially when we are outsourcing to China, to Africa, where we know that they often use child and slave labor.”

Say what, now?

Our best guess here is that Boebert is referring to a talking point that State Sen. Vicki Marble has used before — that the lithium mined for batteries needed for electric cars comes from child labor in Africa (or something). If that is not what Boebert is trying to reference, then we’ve got nothing else to help you here.

Boebert babbles on:

“We have the world’s cleanest coal, right here in Colorado.”

Boebert seems to understand the clean coal process about as well as President Trump, who likes to talk about “clean coal” as though it is a shinier piece of rock. As FactCheck.org wrote in November 2018:

In his rallies, President Donald Trump repeatedly talks about “clean coal,” using the phrase more than a dozen times over the past three months. He also has said in other appearances that clean coal can be exported or “loaded up” on railway cars.

But “clean coal” refers to technologies deployed at power plants that make coal cleaner to burn, not to the fuel itself. Modern definitions require cuts in carbon dioxide emissions, and the only way to do that in a substantial way is through carbon capture. Just two coal power plants in the world use the technique, and it makes up less than 0.1 percent of American coal-fired capacity.

Speaking of things that are “clean,” Boebert then moves along to natural gas and the Jordan Cove Pipeline project:

“Our clean liquid natural gas could be sold to countries all across the world, and get them out of the grips of tyrannical, communist leaders. We can free other countries.”

Purchasing natural gas from the United States = freedom?

We assume the basic gist of this statement is that people might be able to break free from dictatorships if they had access to cheaper sources of energy, which…maybe?

As we’ve written before in this space, it’s fine to support Boebert as long as you understand that there are a LOT of policy issues that Boebert does not seem to understand herself.

Even Now, Cory Gardner Can’t Say Trump’s Name

Donald Trump, Cory Gardner.

Remarks by President Donald Trump this week suggesting he may not accede to a peaceful transfer of power in the event he loses the election in November have sparked outrage, and deepened concerns about an impending constitutional crisis. As Colorado Public Radio’s Michelle Fulcher reports, Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado took to the Senate floor yesterday to condemn the President’s latest comments in the strongest unprofane terms:

Sen. Michael Bennet blasted President Donald Trump Thursday over his refusal to commit to a peaceful transition if he loses in November. The Colorado Democrat also continued to condemn the Senate’s Republican leadership for pushing a fast vote to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court.

In the White House briefing room Wednesday, Trump said “we’re going to have to see what happens” in response to a question about whether he would agree to a peaceful transition of power. The president’s answer rankled Bennet.

“In the history of this country we have never had a president, a Republican or a Democrat, who’s saying the kind of things that Donald Trump is saying at this point,” he said. “He’s become unhinged.” [Pols emphasis]

Even most Republicans were forced against their will yesterday to grudgingly speak up and assure the nation that yes, there will be a peaceful transfer of power no matter the outcome of the election, just as there has been in every American presidential election. The Denver Post’s Alex Burness has Sen. Cory Gardner’s version of the carefully-worded script:

“That’s something I’ve talked about in speeches from my very first days when Nancy Pelosi peacefully handed the gavel over to John Boehner,” Gardner said when asked to comment on Trump’s statement. “It’s a hallmark of our democracy. And I’ve spoken at length about it in the past about the continued need to use that as a symbol of democracy,” according to a pool report from Washington, D.C.

Though Gardner endorsed the concept of a peaceful transfer of power, he did not directly address what the president said, nor did he utter Trump’s name. [Pols emphasis] Trump earlier this week described Gardner as “very, very loyal to the party,” and has previously thanked him for unwavering support.

It’s a similar answer to the one Gardner gave when Trump suggested the 2020 elections might need to be delayed due to Trump’s fictional concerns about mail-in ballots–reassuring in the abstract, without actually addressing the reason we’re even discussing such decidedly un-American ideas as delaying and defying the results of elections.

The reason we are talking about the seemingly unthinkable possibility of delaying and/or defying elections in America is because Donald Trump, the man Cory Gardner has endorsed for re-election as President of the United States, talked about it first. Every time Cory Gardner sidesteps the words of the President he supports without acknowledging why the conversation is happening, he doesn’t actually help himself with either side of the electorate. It’s just enough to hurt Gardner with the GOP base, but not nearly enough save him in November. The cowardice of refusing to name Trump as the cause of all this uncertainty negates any praise Gardner might expect for contradicting Trump on the issue.

When it’s all over–maybe then Cory Gardner will find the courage to say Trump’s name.

Friday Open Thread

“I’ve come to learn there is a virtuous cycle to transparency and a very vicious cycle of obfuscation.”

–Jeff Weiner