Connect with us

News

If the Senate’s filibuster is lifted, McConnell threatens a “scorched earth” policy.

Published

on

If the Senate's filibuster is lifted, McConnell threatens a "scorched earth" policy.
If the Senate's filibuster is lifted, McConnell threatens a "scorched earth" policy.

If the Senate’s filibuster is lifted, McConnell threatens a “scorched earth” policy.

 

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell predicted a “scorched earth” scenario if Democrats use their current majority to end the Senate filibuster in the hopes of ramming legislation endorsing President Joe Biden’s agenda through the chamber.

McConnell unleashed a grim prediction of a Senate that would all but cease to work, meaning that Republicans would grind business to a halt by refusing to give consent for routine operations such as session start times, reading of lengthy legislative texts, and quorum call votes.

In a Senate address, McConnell said, “Let me say this very plainly for all 99 of my colleagues: Nobody serving in this chamber can even begin — can even begin to imagine — what a truly scorched earth Senate will look like.”

The partisan gridlock of the Trump and Obama administrations will seem to be “child’s play” in contrast to what’s to come, according to McConnell.

The Republican leader’s harsh words came as the Biden administration was celebrating the passage of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Bill, the huge COVID-19 relief package that passed Congress without a single Republican vote. As the GOP focuses on potential wars, Republicans have admitted privately that they are trying to divert attention away from the bill, which appears to be common among Americans benefiting from $1,400 cash payments, vaccine distribution, and other assistance.

With the Senate split 50-50, the majority of Biden’s priorities will face a more daunting path in Congress. While the Democratic-controlled House can quickly pass a long list of potentially successful bills — such as expanding voting rights, extending background checks for weapons purchases, and other reforms — the Senate’s rules are more complicated. To end a filibuster, most legislation needs 60 votes.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer dismissed McConnell’s comments as a “diversion,” saying he wants to cooperate with Republicans on the pending legislation, but that all filibuster reform options are on the table.

“I don’t think you have to remove the filibuster; you have to do it the way it was when I first got to the Senate back in the old days,” Biden told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday. You had to get up and take charge of the room, and you had to keep talking.”

Senate Democrats are privately discussing changing the filibuster’s decades-old rules, which allow a single senator to obstruct a bill by objecting. Senators would take the floor in previous eras, speaking for hours about their objections, as depicted in the Hollywood film “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” In the mid-twentieth century, they have used it to stall civil rights legislation.

Supporters of the mechanism claim that it safeguards the interests of the opposition party, while critics argue that it is being used to stifle common legislation.

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said Tuesday that “the filibuster is now making a mockery of American democracy” nearly 65 years after South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond’s record-setting 24-hour-plus filibuster over the 1957 Civil Rights Act.

It takes 51 votes to amend Senate rules and remove the filibuster, and Democrats do not seem to have the votes to do so, even with Vice President Kamala Harris acting as a tiebreaker. At least two Democratic senators, West Virginia’s Joe Manchin and Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema, have expressed opposition, but there may be more.

In the coming weeks, the Senate will be put to the test. As senators begin to consider the bills passed by the House, Democrats will bring the Republican ability to engage in the democratic process to the test by amending the bills in the hopes of passing them.

Democrats are likely to lean in more aggressively to try and amend the rules if Republicans simply filibuster the bills.

Some Democrats want filibustering senators to be forced to hold the floor, as Jimmy Stewart did in the movie “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” Senators will now actually signal their filibuster, dubbed “Mr. Smith Phones it In” by Durbin.

Durbin said, “We must change the rules.”

McConnell warned Democrats not to move any further, exposing the retaliatory steps he might take.

“To switch the lights on before noon, to start with a garden-variety floor address, to dispense with the reading of a lengthy legislative document, to schedule committee business, to transfer even non-controversial candidates at something other than a snail’s pace,” he explained.

Changes to the filibuster have been in the works for a decade, part of an escalating procedural arms race that has coincided with the rise of partisanship in the United States.

To address Republican obstruction of President Barack Obama’s executive branch and judicial nominees, Democrats repealed the filibustering law.

Republicans and McConnell then accelerated the process by abolishing the filibuster for Supreme Court justices, enabling President Donald Trump’s three high court nominations to be confirmed without delay.

News

Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater participating in practice for second straight day

Published

on

Broncos’ Teddy Bridgewater returns to team meetings, weight room following concussion last Sunday against Ravens

Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was back on the practice field Friday for the second consecutive day, making it more likely he will start Sunday at Pittsburgh.

Bridgewater sustained a concussion late in the first half of the Broncos’ loss to Baltimore. He observed practice Wednesday and was listed as a limited participant Thursday.

The only player not accounted for was tight end Albert Okwuegbunam, who injured his hamstring Wednesday and sat out Thursday.

Cornerback Ronald Darby (hamstring) and running back Mike Boone (quad) have practiced all week. They remain on injured reserve so the Broncos would have to make two corresponding roster moves to activate them.

Respect for Watt. Despite missing the Week 3 loss to Cincinnati, Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt is tied for second in the NFL with five sacks.

Against Green Bay last week, Watt got two sacks when he might have purposely tripped quarterback Aaron Rodgers and when Rodgers slid behind the line of scrimmage and Watt was the nearest defender.

Watt mostly lined up against Packers right tackle Billy Turner, which means Broncos right tackle Bobby Massie could get the regular assignment.

“Really good player,” Fangio said of Watt, who led the league last year with 15 sacks. “The thing that stands out besides the obvious — and his production is very obvious — is his instincts for the game are top-notch. That helps him make all those plays. He’s a highly talented guy with a high level of instincts and that produces a great player.”

Watt had 2 1/2 sacks in last year’s win over the Broncos.

“I respect his relentless pursuit to the ball,” outside linebacker Von Miller said. “I remember seeing a couple of plays, I think two years ago, when it wasn’t even about the pass rush or getting tackles for loss. He would chase the ball 20 yards down the field and cause a fumble.”

Tuszka a Steeler. Outside linebacker Derrek Tuszka was a seventh-round pick by the Broncos in 2020 and played in nine games (six tackles). But he was cut after this year’s preseason, passed on the depth chart by rookies Jonathon Cooper and Andre Mintze.

Tuszka signed with Pittsburgh’s practice squad and has played 35 snaps in two games (two tackles).

“He’s a quick learner,” Tomlin said. “He’s been able to get on the moving train — I describe this process in that way when you’re not with us at the beginning (of camp). He’s done a good job fitting in with the group and getting a sense of this environment, this culture and finding his space in it. We’ve been pleased with his addition.’

Continue Reading

News

Rare-early evening Draconid meteor shower peaks Friday night

Published

on

Rare-early evening Draconid meteor shower peaks Friday night

ST. LOUIS– Stargazers are in for a treat tomorrow night as the Draconid meteor shower will peak Friday evening across the Northern Hemisphere.

The St. Louis area is anticipating clear skies for tomorrow night. You can find the cloud cover for a different region on the 7-day Cloud Cover Forecast.

EarthSky reports that unlike many meteor showers, the Draconids are short-lived. October 8 is the peak but you may be able to catch some meteors on the days surrounding Friday.

EarthSky suggests use the Big Dipper to star-hop to the star Polaris. Polaris marks the end star in the handle of the Little Dipper. 

NASA says the Draconid meteors are caused when Earth collides with bits of debris shed by periodic comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner (and that’s why this shower used to be called the Giacobinids). 

The Draconid does not usually produce a rich meteor shower. EarthSky says you can expect about 5 to 10 meteors per hour.

Continue Reading

News

In Steamboat, Alpine Mountain Ranch & Club sees its custom sites sell rapidly as buyers seek splendor, privacy

Published

on

In Steamboat, Alpine Mountain Ranch & Club sees its custom sites sell rapidly as buyers seek splendor, privacy

What began as a blip in the mountain resort market as the pandemic arrived in 2020 has now become a full-blown trend—as buyers make changes in their lives, rethinking where they want to live, opting for the peace and majesty you can see this weekend a few minutes from the ski lifts in Steamboat.

Alpine Mountain Ranch & Club, with 5-acre homesites that have transcendent views of the ski resort and Yampa Valley, was selling well coming into the pandemic, but 2021 has seen an avalanche of new buyers making that choice. Already this year, the ranch has had 17 sales, placing it well past the halfway point of its 63 total sites.

“People choose us to build their forever mountain home for its nearness to the ski area and downtown Steamboat, but also its tranquility,” says William P. Butler, developer.

“It’s a lifestyle equal to that in the mature resort markets, but at much greater value. Building a home in Aspen, Vail, or Park City is twice to three times more expensive and not truly comparable for the investment for that level of home here,” he adds.

Butler salutes his team for seeing the community’s vision through a 10-year recession, to a moment when Alpine Mountain Ranch & Club is earning a national reputation as one of the most sought-after places to own.

Those choice sites (they’re priced now from $1.75M) are increasingly luring buyers that see Steamboat as a year-round home (some 40% are full-timers).

“Buyers are telling us that someday has become now,” says Suzanne Schlicht, Senior Vice President and Director of Sales. To that end, Alpine Mountain Ranch’s affiliated Alpine Master Builders has two custom market homes underway for early 2022 delivery that you could own from $5.695 million.

Continue Reading

News

Westminster city manager resigns a day after police chief’s exit

Published

on

Westminster city manager resigns a day after police chief’s exit

Provided by the City of Westminster

Westminster City Manager Donald M. Tripp resigned from the job on Oct. 8, 2021.

Westminster City Manager Donald M. Tripp has resigned, stepping down a day after the city announced the retirement of its police chief amid a workplace review that found policy violations under his watch.

Police Chief Tim Carlson retired Wednesday after spending nearly three months on paid leave during the outside review. Tripp, who had overseen the administration of Colorado’s eighth-largest city for nearly seven years, did not cite the problems in the police department as a factor in his resignation but said in a news release Thursday that the issue did affect the timing of his announcement.

“I have for some time now believed that we needed a change — a new voice to guide city staff — but I wanted to support our police department and ensure our officers have leadership in place before I stepped down,” Tripp said. “While there is never a perfect time to let go of the reins, I am thankful to have a strong executive team, and I am confident the city will have a smooth transition.”

This week’s leadership changes mean Westminster is looking to fill two top positions simultaneously. Norm Haubert is in place as interim police chief, and Jody Andrews, one of Tripp’s deputy managers, will serve as acting city manager.

“Don is a dynamic, solution-oriented leader and he has built a strong executive team who will continue to ensure our city services and infrastructure are delivered equitably, sustainably and effectively,”  Mayor Anita Seitz said in the news release.

Tripp was Westminster’s director of parks, recreation and libraries for about three years before being appointed city manager in 2015. He named Carlson, a Westminster police veteran, as chief the next year.

Continue Reading

News

Lions at Vikings picks: Does Mike Zimmer need a win Sunday to keep his job?

Published

on

Lions at Vikings picks: Does Mike Zimmer need a win Sunday to keep his job?

Pioneer Press reporters who cover the Vikings forecast Sunday’s home game against the Detroit Lions:

DANE MIZUTANI

Vikings 28, Lions 17: There’s no chance Mike Zimmer is losing to the lowly Lions. Not when his job could be on the line.

BOB SANSEVERE

Lions 24, Vikings 23: You just can’t trust the Vikings, and despite their 0-4 record the Lions aren’t the pushovers they once were.

JOHN SHIPLEY

Vikings 29, Lions 10: Already reeling, Detroit has injury issues on both lines. Vikings have the depth to fill potential holes in backfield and defensive line — and are eager to prove cynics and critics wrong.

CHRIS TOMASSON

Vikings 27, Lions 16: How lopsided has the Vikings-Lions series been? Even Mike Tice went 8-0 against Detroit when he was Minnesota’s coach from 2002-05. Expect the Vikings to roll to an eighth straight win in the series.

CHARLEY WALTERS

Vikings 24, Lions 13: Winless Detroit has several injured offensive linemen and last week put star center Frank Ragnow from Chanhassen on injured reserve. If Minnesota doesn’t win this game, coach Mike Zimmer could be gone by Monday.

Continue Reading

News

Vikings’ Dalvin Cook questionable for Sunday; Michael Pierce ruled out

Published

on

Vikings’ Dalvin Cook does some work in practice; Michael Pierce still out

After missing two days of practice due his sprained right ankle, Vikings running back Dalvin Cook returned to the field Friday and was listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against Detroit at U.S. Bank Stadium.

The Vikings listed nose tackle Michael Pierce (elbow) and wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette (toe) as out. Linebacker Anthony Barr was not on the injury report after missing the first four games of the season due to a knee injury, and is expected to play against the Lions.

Cook was hurt Sept. 19 at Arizona and missed the Sept. 26 game against Seattle. He returned last Sunday against Cleveland, but was hampered by the injury and rushed for just 34 yards on nine carries.

“He had a good week (of practice). We’ll see,” said Vikings coach Mike Zimmer, adding that Cook could be a game-time decision.

Pierce, who was lost in the third quarter of the 14-7 loss to the Browns, is expected to be replaced in the lineup by Armon Watts. The Vikings also could use three-technique Dalvin Tomlinson some at nose tackle.

Smith-Marsette, who was hurt against Seattle, will miss his second straight game.

Continue Reading

News

Coronavirus Friday update: 3,611 new infections and 20 more deaths

Published

on

Coronavirus Friday update: Thirteen more deaths and 2,645 more infections

Minnesota recorded 20 more COVID-19 fatalities Friday and 3,611 new coronavirus infections, according to the state Department of Health.

Those deaths reported Friday were for Minnesotans who ranged in age from their early 50s to their late 90s with three residing in long-term care and 17 in private homes. Four of the deaths occurred in September and 16 in October.

The state’s death toll from the virus is now 8,295 with 4,671 fatalities in long-term care. Another 113 fatalities are suspected to have been caused by COVID-19, but the person never had a positive coronavirus test.

The 3,611 new cases reported Friday were the result of about 54,650 tests, pushing the state’s case total to 735,646 since the pandemic began.

Nearly all of Minnesota’s 5.8 million residents has been screened at least once for COVID-19 and the state has conducted more than 12.8 million coronavirus tests overall.

The state’s cumulative test-positivity rate is about 5.7 percent and the current seven-day rolling average is above 7 percent. Health officials say anything over 5 percent is a sign the pandemic is not under control.

There are 871 patients hospitalized including 236 in critical condition. Hospital leaders say staffing shortages have tightened hospital capacity.

Health officials say vaccines are the best way to avoid a severe illness and to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Breakthrough cases are becoming more common, but of the 3.1 million Minnesotans who are fully vaccinated roughly 99 percent have not reported a breakthrough infections.

Minnesota has administered 6.5 million doses of vaccine and 3.4 million residents have gotten at least one dose. Of the vaccine eligible population, age 12 and older, about 73 percent have gotten at least one shot.

Continue Reading

News

Vikings’ Dalvin Cook does some work in practice; Michael Pierce still out

Published

on

Vikings’ Dalvin Cook does some work in practice; Michael Pierce still out

After not practicing Wednesday and Thursday due to his sprained right ankle, Vikings running back Dalvin Cook did some work in Friday’s practice during the portion that was open to the media.

Cook was hurt Sept. 19 at Arizona and missed the Sept. 26 game against Seattle. He returned last Sunday against Cleveland, but was hampered by the injury and rushed for just 34 yards on nine carries.

The Vikings will provide an update on Friday afternoon on Cook’s status for Sunday’s game against Detroit at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Nose tackle Michael Pierce did not practice Friday, meaning he missed the entire week of workouts with his elbow injury. His chances of playing against the Lions do not look good.

Wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette, who suffered a toe injury against Seattle and sat out against Cleveland, also did not practice all week. It is unlikely he will play against Detroit.

Continue Reading

News

Vikings broadcaster, former player Greg Coleman says this season could turn good or bad, starting Sunday

Published

on

Vikings broadcaster, former player Greg Coleman says this season could turn good or bad, starting Sunday

Greg Coleman has been involved with the Vikings most of his adult life.

After a distinguished career as a punter and holder with them, Coleman has spent more than two decades as a sideline reporter for the team’s radio network.

His pregame remarks and postgame interviews are highlights of every broadcast.

Coleman knows the Vikings as well as anyone, and the Pioneer Press chatted with him about what he has seen through four games and a 1-3 record.

I think they’re a team that’s on the cusp of either moving forward or taking three steps back. When you’re so close and you don’t find a way to win, it could become a habit. That could either be a positive habit or one that’s negative.

Now, hopefully, they’ll get some other players back from injuries — and a healthy Dalvin Cook. Maybe even our first taste of Christian Darrisaw. Maybe even a taste of Anthony Barr. That would be a shot in the arm for any team.

It doesn’t hurt you that you’re playing the Detroit Lions. That’s not to say that it’s a cakewalk or a pushover, because as you well know, on any given Sunday, somebody can jump up and bite you in the hind parts.

This team is loaded with talent. It’s loaded with potential. That’s what makes it so disappointing. You say you’re one, two, three plays away from being 3-1 or 4-0. Well, the good teams find a way to win. You don’t want to get into a place where the habits that you’re creating, you’re always coming up one or two plays short.

The last great Vikings team would have to be that Randall Cunningham, that Chris Carter, that Randy Moss team. That team was, from top to bottom, one of the most complete teams — offense, defense and special teams. Now, I don’t want to take anything away from (former coach Brad Childress) Chili’s year with Brett Favre when they went to the NFC championship game. That was a damn good team as well.

And we were pretty damn good (in 1987 when the Vikings lost to Washington in the NFC title game). You’re one or two plays away, but again, that’s the difference between a good team and a great team. We didn’t play our best football in Washington, but we played great against San Francisco (in the divisional round). We played great against New Orleans (in the wild-card round). We just didn’t have that edge that we needed when we played Washington. Not taking anything away from them because they were a good football team as well. As you know, they went on to win the Super Bowl. They smacked Denver. Again, I will go back to saying at any given time, the great teams find a way to win.

To beat Detroit, they need to duplicate what they did and how they played against Seattle. Because Seattle, one of the upper-echelon teams in the National Football League, with Russell Wilson and that defense, the Vikings dominated the game.

They dominated the second half. Although they didn’t score touchdowns, they dominated the time of possession and they kept the ball out of Russell’s hand. When he got the ball, they beat him up pretty good. They put the pressure on him. That kind of pressure is going to be needed against the Detroit Lions. Now, don’t get me wrong, Detroit has some players that are pretty darn good, but collectively they’re not there yet.

You need to kick a team when it’s down. As my old coach down at Florida A & M, Jake Gaither, used to say, kill a mosquito with an ax. That’s what they’ve got to do for Detroit.

I will try and paraphrase what Mike Zimmer said after the Arizona loss. Yes, the kick did not win the game, but we had opportunities to put that game away early in the third quarter, early in the fourth quarter, and didn’t. The same thing happened in Cincinnati. You had an opportunity to put a team away — and you didn’t. Zim always talks about being able to finish. That’s what this team has not been able to do. They finished pretty good against Seattle. That’s a telltale sign.

When you have an opportunity to put a team away with touchdowns instead of field goals (you do it), because sometimes those field goals are going to come back and bite you in the hind parts. But this team, the team last year, when you have those opportunities to finish, you have got to finish because those create habits.

You talk about when preparation meets opportunity, it’s going to equal success. Well, how do you know you’re totally prepared because, let’s face it, this is just the way that the National Football League is: They don’t practice hard. They don’t hit any more during the course of the week. You hope that you can duplicate what you did in practice against another team. It’s hard to do. It’s hard to do because you can’t simulate. There’s nothing that takes the place of hitting.

It’s hard to say (if Zimmer’s job is safe). I think if they turn this thing around, he’ll be OK. But let’s face it, you have an ownership who will say that we have given you everything you have asked for for years on offense, defense, special teams, what else do you want? Like Bud said, when you don’t win, changes are made. It depends on how much tolerance they have. But again, they are so close. They are so close to really turning this thing around.

They’ve had a hell of an investment, not only in the team, but in the TCO Performance Center, they’ve got the top of the line in everything in equipment and you name it. The practice facility is second to none. U.S. Bank Stadium is the cat’s meow in the National Football League. They have had an outlay of cash in their investment and they want to see a return. They probably want to see that return on investment pretty soon.

Kirk Cousins? I hope you can understand what I’m about to say. I am a guy for whoever’s in the purple uniform — whether it’s Kirk Cousins, Case Keenum, Teddy Bridgewater, whomever is under center — that’s who I’m for, because there ain’t many great quarterbacks out on the street. You have to ride the horse that you brought to the dance.

Absolutely, the first three weeks, Kirk played phenomenal. This past week, I think, was a game of chess. It was grasshopper (Kevin Stefanski) against sensei (Zimmer). I think grasshopper played a few moves, chess moves, where he took your bishop, he took your queen, and then you had to crown him because it was a game of chess. There were a lot of people on the other side of the field that were very, very familiar with the players of Minnesota, with the systems of Minnesota, with the mentality of Minnesota. I think they used that to their advantage.

Yeah. I think the beauty (of doing the broadcast) was that I developed relationships early doing OTAs and training camp prior to COVID. Some of the young players that I’ve not developed relationships with, they don’t know me. They don’t know if I’m going to burn them, especially after a loss. Some of the veteran players like Adam Thielen, he knows that I’m not going to burn him. Zim knows that I’m not going to burn him. I’m not going to ask a stupid question. I just say that I’m the warmup, I’m batting practice for when he comes in there with you (media) guys. I will never burn a coach with what I know and what I’ve observed over the years. I’ll never do that to a player because I wouldn’t want that done to me. I think relationships are critical.

Guys I loved watching play over the years? That’s a very interesting question. Bo Jackson was one. Walter Payton. On our own sideline, Ahmad Rashad.. Ahmad was one of the most gifted receivers. Obviously, Chris Carter was special, Randy Moss was special. Anthony Carter, absolutely.

Absolutely, Lawrence Taylor was one of them. Adrian Peterson in his prime. Keith Millard. I would also put Chris Doleman in that group. When he was in his prime, there was nobody better. I caught Carl Eller and Jim Marshall at the end of their careers. But man, during their prime, they were awesome. You talk about Chuck Foreman. When we were little, in high school and stuff, Chuck Foreman was the guy. And Billy “White Shoes” Johnson. He was phenomenal. There’s a ton, man. There’s a ton.

Continue Reading

News

Breaking the price barrier: Oakwood’s new Porchlight series at Reunion has single-family homes from low $4s

Published

on

Breaking the price barrier: Oakwood’s new Porchlight series at Reunion has single-family homes from low $4s

If you’re trapped in an older townhome or apartment now, and single-family living seems to be getting further away instead of closer, Oakwood Homes has some new models taking shape near Reunion that can change that picture.

This weekend you can take a preview-peek inside Oakwood’s new Porchlight Collection of single-family homes, on view near E. 104th Avenue at Vaughn Way, about two miles west of Reunion’s other model homes,

That includes a chance to see the ‘Amory’ plan—a 3-bedroom/2-1/2-bath single-family design with  over 2,000 sq. feet of finished space; including an added ‘flex space’ that could work for a home office, plus a 2-car garage and an oversized patio.

That home is priced from just $450,000—a real price that can deliver a home and site in Oakwood’s new neighborhood. That’s around $125,000 less than the median-priced single-family resale home was selling for around Denver last month.

Oakwood keeps the prices in check on these new single-family designs by clustering four homes together on a mini-cul-de-sac; and provides them with landscaping that’s maintained for a monthly fee of $65. Porchlight owners will also pay a quarterly HOA fee of $109 for use of Reunion’s two rec centers, along with other new amenities.

Cassie Curlee, who along with Amber Youngers can arrange for you to peek inside the new models, says that the Porchlight Series has no competitors for its sizing, features, and single-family design.  They’ve already taken 30 sales of these prior to this weekend’s preview; many of them to buyers who have struggled to find value in the resale home market.

“We’re still hearing from people about bidding wars for resale homes, about people offering to bring cash to cover an appraisal gap, or offering to waive the inspection,” she says.

In contrast, no bidding is necessary on these brand-new designs, with Oakwood’s energy and water conservation features, new appliances, and new HVAC systems including air conditioning.

What you WILL have to do is wait for completion into next spring—a chance to get your townhouse in shape for sale.

Continue Reading

Trending