You’ve probably noticed that the air quality along the Front Range is less than optimal. But on the plus side, it will be a lot harder for anyone to notice that you haven’t showered since Monday. 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.
*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website
*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:
*How you can help in Colorado:
*Locate a COVID-19 testing site in Colorado:
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
► You have more than one reason to wear a mask in Colorado this weekend. As 9News reports:
Governor Jared Polis (D-Colorado) visited the Incident Command Center for the Grizzly Creek Fire Friday morning where he said getting it under control was the top priority in the nation.
He was at the fairgrounds in Eagle at 8 a.m. That is the command center for the fire which has now burned more than 14,000 acres near Glenwood Springs since it was first reported Monday afternoon…
…As of Thursday night, it had burned 69,135 acres and was 7% contained.
► If you’re wondering about the latest on another coronavirus stimulus bill, we have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that you can stop speculating on a potential deal, because the bad news is that the U.S. Senate has adjourned UNTIL MID-SEPTEMBER. As The Hill newspaper reports:
The Senate left Washington, D.C., on Thursday until September — the latest sign that a deal on a fifth coronavirus relief package is, at least, weeks away.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) had kept the chamber in session this week, which was technically the first in its August recess, as a last-ditch attempt to create space for the administration and congressional Democrats to get an agreement.
But with talks stalemated, senators argue there is little reason for them to keep holding daily, roughly 1 1/2-hour sessions.
McConnell continues to blame Democrats for a lack of progress on coronavirus relief, nevermind that the United States Senate is controlled by Republicans.
► Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) appears to be panicking about his re-election chances. Gardner is running fundraising ads around the country touting his “achievements” alongside President Trump — but you can’t find those ads here because Gardner is still trying to convince Colorado voters that he’s not a Trump toadie.
Oh, and don’t be surprised to see a Gardner ad in Colorado soon that touts his “work” on protecting people with pre-existing medical conditions. Gardner has repeatedly sought to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which already DOES protect people with pre-existing conditions, but he is now the sole sponsor of a bill title (sans the actual bill text) he calls the “Pre-Existing Conditions Protection Act.” No, really.
► Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold is pushing back against President Trump’s baseless claims that mail balloting is rife with fraud. As Colorado Public Radio reports:
“He’s trying to affect turnout in November by undermining a system that we know works, and works well for Democrats and Republicans and, of course, independents,” Griswold said…
…Colorado is one of several all-mail ballot states to receive letters from the Postal Service indicating that ballots, usually sent by clerks via “marketing mail” but treated like first class, will no longer get that treatment and could be slower to make it to people’s mailboxes.
Griswold said the Colorado election model is “safeguarded” from a possible delivery slow down. Ballots are sent out weeks ahead of time and voters are asked to mail in them back at least eight days before Election Day.
Colorado also has a new law in place this year that requires replacement ballots to be sent via first-class mail.
Trump made it clear on Thursday that he opposes additional funding for the Postal Service because he doesn’t want more people voting for Democrat Joe Biden in November. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said on Friday that his caucus is committed to providing sufficient funding for the USPS despite Trump’s objections.
More political (and coronavirus) news is available right after the jump…
Now Only Partially Coronavirus-Related…
► New polling data shows that Congressional district 3 in Colorado — which includes Western and Southern Colorado — is basically a tossup in 2020. That’s not good news for Republicans, since they’ve largely been in control of this seat for decades.
► President Trump is promoting another nonsense birther conspiracy, this one targeted at
scary brown person Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Kamala Harris. As Chris Cillizza writes for CNN, Trump is only harming his own party with this crap:
The real story at this point, then, is not necessarily Trump’s willingness to engage in baseless speculation about an untrue storyline. The real story is the silence that has — and will continue — to greet Trump’s ridiculous remark from the Republican establishment and its elected leaders.
Because it’s that silence, and the tacit acceptance that “Trump is Trump,” that will define the GOP long after Trump leaves office — whether involuntarily in 2021 or four years later. The willingness to simply swallow known falsehoods or dismiss them with a “I didn’t see the President’s remarks” or “I’m sorry, I have to get to a meeting” is what will, ultimately, do the lasting damage for a Republicans…
…The breaking of principles — like, you know, truth — is how party and movements die, or at least badly injure themselves. If a political party abandons what it believes in order to follow a single person who openly mocks what the party once stood for, then what is holding the party together? It’s a cult of personality, not a gathering of like-minded people all working toward a common set of goals.
And time and again during the Trump candidacy and presidency, we’ve seen the GOP walk away from long-held principles.
Speaking of Republicans who dodge reporters by claiming to be late for meetings…
► As POLITICO reports, two top Trump administration officials have jobs that they…should not have:
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf and Acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli were invalidly appointed to their positions and are ineligible to serve, a congressional watchdog determined Friday.
The Government Accountability Office — Congress’ independent investigative arm — concluded that after the resignation of Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen in April 2019, an improper succession occurred, with Kevin McAleenan taking on the position. McAleenan then altered the order of succession for other officials to succeed him after his departure…
…GAO has referred the matter to the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security for further review and potential action. The office also urged the inspector general to consider the consequences of actions taken by invalidly appointed officials.
The GAO has “referred the matter to the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security.” In other words, another inspector general is about to be fired.
► House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy could soon find himself with a smaller title, as The Washington Post explains:
Discontent with Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is on the rise in the House, as Republicans increasingly fearful of a loss by President Trump on Election Day gear up for an intraparty war over the future of the GOP.
A cluster of GOP lawmakers is starting to privately question whether the California Republican is putting loyalty to the president over the good of the conference. And a small group of members is discussing whether someone should challenge him for minority leader if Trump is defeated Nov. 3.
The matter bubbled to the surface this week with the primary election of Marjorie Taylor Greene, a fringe House candidate in Georgia who espouses the QAnon conspiracy theory and has made numerous racist comments. Multiple Republicans implored McCarthy to help defeat her by supporting her primary opponent. But McCarthy refused, phoning the candidate in an apparent peace accord before the primary, while Trump embraced her on Twitter this week as a “future Republican Star.”
► Colorado will extend unemployment benefits an additional 13 weeks, but the state may be looking to FEMA for funding help because Colorado’s unemployment trust fund is about to run out of money.
► New national polling from Marist shows Democrat Joe Biden leading President Trump by 11 points among registered voters.
► As Colorado Newsline reports, Republican congressional candidate Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert may have trouble getting her massive ego through the doorway; according to a police report from 2015, Boebert responded to a disorderly conduct complaint by threatening law enforcement officials with Fox News:
“Lauren began yelling that we did not read her her Miranda Rights and the arrest was illegal,” the deputy said. “Lauren said multiple times that she had friends at Fox News and that the arrest would be national news.”
► Jacy Marmaduke of the Ft. Collins Coloradoan profiles freshman Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Boulderish).
► The Colorado Times Recorder reports on a weird QAnon conspiracy theory coming to Denver today, which includes a guy in a gorilla (“Q-rilla?”) costume.
► Westword looks at why many Colorado communities are seeing new outbreaks of coronavirus.
► Ernest Luning of the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman has more on a Telluride meeting between first son-in-law Jared Kushner and “presidential” candidate Kanye West.
► As POLITICO reports, COVID-19 testing in Texas is truly horked.
► As The Aurora Sentinel reports, fire officials in Aurora want you to know that it isn’t just City Hall and the police department making the city look like a bunch of assholes:
Fire officials received 1,987 complaints of fireworks between July 1 and July 4, 2020, which marked a roughly 120% increase from the 901 such complaints received over the same time frame last year, according to Deputy Fire Chief Caine Hills.
However, firefighters only responded to 151 of those calls this year, a monumental drop from the 1,613 responses in 2017, data show.
The steep decline in responses was due largely to a large demonstration in front of a north Aurora police station that began in the early evening on July 3 and lasted until the early morning hours of July 4. The event scrambled police resources for hours and prevented officers from responding on one of the busier nights of the year for non-emergency calls, officials said.
“I think the critical piece this year and what drove these complaints up in comparison to responses was the incident that occurred on July 3 and I believe on July 4,” Hills said. “We didn’t plan for that.”
Only three fireworks summons were issued around the July 4 holiday, compared to 20 in 2016. Aurora fire officials want it known that this is probably because of Elijah McClain protests. So…yeah.
Your Daily Dose Of ¯_(ツ)_/¯
► The Democratic National Convention kicks off in a virtual format on Monday. Today the host committee issued a press release about the musicians who will be performing (somehow):
The 2020 Democratic National Convention stage is shaping up to be the most creative, innovative and engaging program in history, featuring musical performances from some of the most popular artists in the nation, convention organizers announced today. The performers join a line-up of popular leaders, rising stars and inspiring Americans announced earlier this week as Democrats design a program to unite the country behind Joe Biden’s vision for a better America for all.
Viewers can expect inspiring performances from artists including Leon Bridges, The Chicks, Common, Billie Eilish, Jennifer Hudson, John Legend, Billy Porter, Maggie Rogers, Prince Royce, Stephen Stills and more. The musical acts will be featured across all four nights of the convention, which will air August 17-20, 2020.
You can watch the official live stream of the DNC at DemConvention.com.
► As The New York Times reports:
► This feels like a good place for this. As Michael Roberts reports for Westword:
► At least she isn’t your Republican state house candidate…unless she is (sorry, Denver).
► It’s Deja Vu all over again (again) on this week’s episode of The Get More Smarter Podcast:
Your local news outlets need you!
Consider making a donation to help fund continuing operations at Westword or The Aurora Sentinel