Thanks to President Trump, no American was eaten by zombies in 2017. 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…
► Steve Bannon is now using the “T-word” in discussing Trump contacts with Russia. From CNN:
Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon called the 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Trump campaign officials and a Russian lawyer purportedly offering damaging information about Hillary Clinton “treasonous,” according to a new book obtained by The Guardian.
The book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” by Michael Wolff, is based on hundreds of interviews, including ones with President Donald Trump and his inner circle. According to the Guardian, Bannon addressed the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Donald Trump Jr., then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner and Russian operatives that was arranged when Trump Jr. agreed to meet a “Russian government attorney” after receiving an email offering him “very high level and sensitive information” that would “incriminate” Clinton.
Bannon was particularly pointed in discussing the role played by Donald Trump, Jr. in these discussions, saying, “They’re going to crack Don Junior like an egg on national TV.”
You won’t be surprised to hear that President Trump is absolutely furious with Bannon over these comments.
► Democrat Doug Jones is now officially the newest Senator from Alabama after his swearing-in ceremony this morning. To the dismay of Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, Jones did not immediately declare loyalty to the Republican party.
Minnesota Democrat Tina Smith was also sworn-in today to fill the remainder of the term vacated by the resignation of Sen. Al Franken in December.
► Don’t expect the Colorado legislature to do much about gun safety in the aftermath of a weekend shooting in Douglas County that killed sheriff’s deputy Zachary Parrish. As Fox 31 reports, House Republican leader Patrick Neville thinks that we shouldn’t try to act on gun safety because previous attempts haven’t stopped gun violence:
“We oppose this law,” it said. “This tragedy is another example of why thousands of gun laws passed in the last several decades don’t work.”
We also have laws prohibiting things like murder and robbery, but those haven’t stopped either crime from being committed. Let’s just change Colorado to Thunderdome!
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► President Trump really, really, really wanted Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch to run for re-election in 2018, in large part because he really, really, really doesn’t like Mitt Romney, the frontrunner to succeed Hatch in the U.S. Senate.
► Colorado Public Radio runs down some of the new laws on the books in 2018. A minimum wage hike approved by voters in 2016 is among the new requirements; the Colorado Fiscal Institute explains why the change is so important in this story from Vail Daily:
Colorado’s average low-wage worker is not a teenager flipping burgers in a fast-food joint, as we might have thought, says the Colorado Fiscal Institute.
The average age of all Coloradans working low-wage jobs is 34 years old. Many are female minorities…
…The percentage of Colorado’s low-wage workers has been increasing since 2010. At the same time, real wages (adjusted for inflation) for the median wage worker in Colorado are lower today than they were in 2000, Stiffler said.
► Governor John Hickenlooper has chosen a former health care executive as the new executive director of the office of Health Care Policy and Financing.
► President Trump remains coy about whether or not he might fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller, but protests are already being organized just in case.
► At least we don’t have to worry about the “bombogenesis” here in Colorado.
► Get ready for more stories about a potential government shutdown. As Politico reports:
Congressional leaders from both parties will sit down with top White House officials on Wednesday to haggle over the basics of a budget deal they were supposed to settle last spring. And while aides say the talks will stick to spending, a fight over immigration looms, along with a host of other thorny policy disputes that will shape the 2018 legislative agenda…
…Whether the parties can reach a deal on immigration is still unclear, but one certainty is that they need to come together by Jan. 19 to avoid a shutdown.
The key players meeting Wednesday afternoon at the Capitol are Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, White House legislative director Marc Short and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney.
Republicans are eager to separate a debate on Dreamers from the latest budget fight, with White House officials saying Tuesday that the meeting’s focus will be on raising stiff budget caps for defense and domestic programs over the next two years — not on immigration.
► This week we’re wrapping up our list of the Top Ten political stories of 2017. Coming in at #6: A New Wave of Race-Baiting Idiots in the GOP Caucus.
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► As just about every media outlet in the country can confirm, President Trump is not responsible for the fact that there were no deaths from commercial airline crashes in 2017.
► President Trump fired off 16 Tweets on Tuesday, commenting on every issue from the size of his nuclear button to his endless complaints about media coverage of the White House. Trump is particularly obsessed with the “size” of things.
► Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler is taking some unusual steps in order to hide documents from the media that should normally be accessible under the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA).