Get More Smarter on Thursday (December 7)

A date which will live in infamy. It’s time to 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 a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.

 

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

President Trump is trying to preemptively blame Democrats in the event of a government shutdown this weekend, once again banking on media outlets to pretend that Republicans don’t already have majorities in both the House and Senate. As the Washington Post reports, a potential government shutdown would be YUGELY costly to the American economy:

America could lose billions of dollars in economic activity if the federal government shuts down this December, a new report says.

On Wednesday, S&P Global analysts said a shutdown would cost the economy about $6.5 billion per week, or about 0.2 percent of gross domestic product growth in the fourth quarter of 2017, as the impact of furloughing federal employees ripples across the country.

“If a shutdown were to take place so far into the quarter, fourth-quarter GDP would not have time to bounce back, which could shake investors and consumers and, as a result, possibly snuff out any economic momentum,” the report says. “The timing could not be worse.”

Lawmakers have until the end of Friday to reach an agreement to avert the shutdown. The House is slated to vote Thursday on a short-term deal to keep the government open while a longer spending agreement is negotiated, but the risk of shutdown looms.

 

► The tax plan that Senate Republicans rushed through in a floor vote early Saturday is apparently chock full of conflicting and confusing proposals that may actually make things worse for corporations in the United States.

Dylan Scott of Vox.com explains how Senate Republicans apparently screwed up language about the corporate alternative minimum tax.

 

President Trump on Wednesday announced plans to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem — a decision that has significant foreign policy repercussions. Protests quickly broke out in Jerusalem following the announcement.

 

► Minnesota Democratic Sen. Al Franken will resign his seat in the coming weeks in the wake of more sexual harassment accusations.

From Franken’s pending resignation, to Alabama’s Senate election and a decision by former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen to seek an open seat in Tennessee, there’s already a lot of movement to consider for 2018. Chris Cillizza and Eric Bradner take a look at the shifting Senate landscape in a story for CNN.

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…

 

► The Washington Post revisits the strange tale of a neighbor-on-neighbor attack that seriously injured Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul in November:

Rene Boucher’s attorney said in an interview his client attacked Paul over long-simmering disagreements between the two about the care of grass, trees and other landscaping on their adjacent properties in an exclusive gated community.

The account marks the first time either side has offered a reason for one of the nation’s most talked-about political mysteries: What sparked the worst attack on a sitting senator in decades?…

…Intrigue has deepened in the weeks since the Nov. 3 assault as Paul and Boucher have remained largely quiet about what prompted it. Neither would comment for this article.

 

► The strange story of Republican state Rep. Lori Saine trying to take a loaded gun through airport security at Denver International Airport seems to be far from over.

 

► Outdoor retailer Patagonia is joining a lawsuit in response to a decision by the Trump administration to roll back protections for several national monuments. As NBC News reports:

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and outdoor retail giant Patagonia traded harsh words over the Trump administration’s plans to shrink several national monuments, an opening salvo in an imminent legal battle that could be waged for years.

A barrage of lawsuits is expected by groups looking to block President Donald Trump’s order on Monday drastically reducing Utah’s Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments. Three lawsuits had been filed by Tuesday night, with more expected Wednesday.

Trump said he was reversing federal overreach by drastically cutting the sprawling monuments named by Democratic presidents. But tribal leaders, environmentalists and others argue the president doesn’t have that authority and his move jeopardizes a wealth of Native American artifacts, dinosaur fossils and rugged spaces.

On Wednesday, Patagonia changed the front page of its website with this direct message: “The President Stole Your Land.”

 

► If you think Congressman Ken Buck (R-Greeley) is changing his mind on access to firearms — think again.

 

9News reports on the status of efforts to get legislation about the DREAM Act passed in Congress before the end of the year.

 

► Governor John Hickenlooper joined Oregon Gov. Kate Brown in a telephone news conference to decry the lack of Congressional action on funding CHIP.

 

► Grand Junction City Council Member Chris Kennedy will no longer pursue the Democratic nomination for Congress in CD-3.

 

Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

 

As Bruce Finley reports for the Denver Post:

At least a dozen explosions have occurred on Colorado oil and gas industry facilities in the eight months since two men were killed when a home blew up in Firestone, a Denver Post review of state records found. Two of those explosions killed workers.

The state has not taken any enforcement action in the April 17 Firestone deaths, saying there is no rule — and none is proposed — covering oil and gas industry accidents that lead to fatalities.

Colorado oil and gas industry regulators have responded to the Firestone disaster by proposing modifications of existing rules — to be hashed out in meetings next month — for pipelines under well pads that they call “flowlines.”

But none of the changes deals with industrial accidents that result in deaths. The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, set up by lawmakers to ensure orderly extraction of oil and gas consistent with environmental protection and public safety, lacks the authority to punish companies for fatal explosions, agency spokesman Todd Hartman said.

 

► Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) was mocked in Jimmy Fallon’s monologue for the “Tonight Show” on Monday.

ICYMI

► The editorial board of the Denver Post slams the Trump administration for considering a move that would impose tariffs on imports of solar panels.

 

 

 

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6 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Diogenesdemar says:

    Terrorist . . . 

    either elect more Republican Senators in 2018 or change the rules now to 51%. Our country needs a good "shutdown" in September to fix mess.

    @realdonaldtrump  May 2017

    . . . or senile dotard???

    • Given his recent international decisions, I'm leaning back toward terrorist – or, more likely, treasonous bastard who, thwarted ofvremoving Russian sanctions, has been effective at removing the US from its position of respect. From TPP to the Paris Accord to the UN agreement on Migration, and now recognizing Jerusalem he is systemically isolating us and destroying the leadership role that has justified American Exceptionalism.

      • DavieDavie says:

        Thomas L. Friedman sums it up nicely in this column:

        Trump, Israel and the Art of the Giveaway

        Trump is susceptible to such giveaways, not only because he is ignorant, but because he does not see himself as the president of the United States. He sees himself as the president of his base. And because that’s the only support he has left, he feels the need to keep feeding his base by fulfilling crude, ill-conceived promises he threw out to them during the campaign. Today, again, he put another one of those promises ahead of United States’ national interest.

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      A longer story on how democracies die . . . 

      . . . [punchline] they’re strangled by autocrats. 

      https://newrepublic.com/article/145916/democracy-dies-donald-trump-contempt-for-american-political-institutions

      But wait, there’s more . . . 

      . . . hold onto you sploding’ head parts:

      The reason no extremist demagogue won the presidency before 2016 is not the absence of contenders for such a role. To the contrary, extremist figures have long dotted the landscape of American politics, from Henry Ford and Huey Long to Joseph McCarthy and George Wallace. An important protection against would-be authoritarians has not just been the country’s firm commitment to democracy but, rather, our political parties, democracy’s gatekeepers.

      . . . 

      If constitutional rules alone do not secure democracy, then what does? Much of the answer lies in the development of strong democratic norms. Two norms stand out: mutual toleration, or accepting one’s partisan rivals as legitimate (not treating them as dangerous enemies or traitors); and forbearance, or deploying one’s institutional prerogatives with restraint—in other words, not using the letter of the Constitution to undermine its spirit (what legal scholar Mark Tushnet calls “constitutional hardball”).

      Sometime – maybe – not being a-both-side’s-do-it person means, just because the other side always acts like fucking reprehensible dicks doesn’t mean we have too, also?

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