On this day in history…not a whole lot happened, really. 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…
► The Colorado political world is still buzzing about Republican Walker Stapleton’s surprise request to have his name removed from the GOP gubernatorial ballot so that he could try to get his name back on the ballot at the State Republican Convention on Saturday. 9News has more on a crazy political day that also saw Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs) succeeding in a court hearing to keep his name on the June Primary ballot. But as Ernest Luning reports for the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman, Lamborn isn’t out of the woods yet; an attorney for a group of Republicans who challenged Lamborn’s petitions says he plans to file an appeal with the Colorado Supreme Court by the end of the week.
► A fuming President Trump may fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein as part of a plan to dump special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Congressional leaders are warning Trump not to attempt to fire Mueller, and the Senate could approve legislation designed to proactively protect the special counsel.
► The Washington Post reports on President Trump’s latest Twitter spasm in which the big orange guy pokes Russia and Syria with missile threats:
President Trump warned Wednesday that missiles “will be coming” toward Syria in response to a suspected chemical attack, and he taunted Russia for vowing to shoot down any incoming strikes.
“Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and ‘smart!’” the president wrote on Twitter, referring to missile strikes that have appeared likely since the weekend deaths of more than 40 Syrian civilians, including children.
Trump’s taunt was the first explicit U.S. statement that a military response is in the offing, and it marked a turnabout for a president who ridiculed his predecessor, Barack Obama, for allegedly telegraphing military strategy.
Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner insists that everything is fine. Just fine.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► As Chris Cillizza writes for CNN, House Speaker Paul Ryan’s decision not to seek re-election is a sign that Donald Trump fully controls the heart of the Republican Party:
The reality for Ryan was — and is — this: He had hoped that the election of Trump would be a seminal moment for the rise of his ideas on taxes, deficit reduction and everything else under the sun. While he got the tax cuts he has long coveted, it became clear over the past 15 months that Trump simply didn’t see the world the same way that Ryan did.
And not just that: It also became clear that the rank and file in the Republican party — inside and outside of Congress — were more aligned with Trump’s vision of the party and the country than Ryan’s…
…Ryan will live to fight another day. But make no mistake: His vision of the GOP has taken a backseat to Trump’s.
► Sadly, this is not much of a surprise:
JUST IN: Colorado’s sexual harassment scandal will linger into the 2019 legislative session, as leaders decided Wednesday not to take any action this session to address major problems. The background: https://t.co/nfnv3oYuOD#copolitics #cogov #coleg
— John Frank (@ByJohnFrank) April 11, 2018
► Rachel Riley of the Colorado Springs Gazette wonders how Kennedy Enterprises — the petition-gathering firm for candidates like Walker Stapleton and Doug Lamborn — could have ever been hired in 2018 after its poor track record:
But this isn’t the first time officials have questioned the work of the firm hired to collect signatures to win spots on the June 26 Republican primary ballot for U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn and state Treasurer Walker Stapleton, the GOP frontrunner in the governor’s race.
The company, run by Dan Kennedy, has come under fire before amid concerns that its petition circulators have forged signatures and that those working for it have criminal backgrounds.
► Congress is again grilling Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg over the company’s data collection practices. Hopefully today’s Q&A will go better than it did on Tuesday, when a panel of U.S. Senators demonstrated that they really have no idea how to actually use Facebook.
Meanwhile, concerns continue to mount about illegal data collection in Colorado via the shady firm Cambridge Analytica.
► A group of Colorado business interests supports a legislative plan to put $5 billion into infrastructure improvements, but it’s unclear if the bill has the support to make it out of the State Capitol.
► Colorado House Democrats are pushing legislation designed to close the wage gap in our state.
► CBS4 Denver reports on proposed legislation intended to make it easier for foster children to remain in the same school despite changes in their living arrangements.
► Teachers in Arizona are speaking out for better wages, but they aren’t yet walking out like their brethren in Oklahoma and Kentucky.
► President Trump signed an executive order about “welfare” that probably won’t actually have any affect on “welfare.”
► The editorial board of the New York Times ponders the next stage of trouble for President Trump:
Mr. Trump has spent his career in the company of developers and celebrities, and also of grifters, cons, sharks, goons and crooks. He cuts corners, he lies, he cheats, he brags about it, and for the most part, he’s gotten away with it, protected by threats of litigation, hush money and his own bravado. Those methods may be proving to have their limits when they are applied from the Oval Office. Though Republican leaders in Congress still keep a cowardly silence, Mr. Trump now has real reason to be afraid. A raid on a lawyer’s office doesn’t happen every day; it means that multiple government officials, and a federal judge, had reason to believe they’d find evidence of a crime there and that they didn’t trust the lawyer not to destroy that evidence…
…Mr. Trump also railed against the authorities who, he said, “broke into” Mr. Cohen’s office. “Attorney-client privilege is dead!” the president tweeted early Tuesday morning, during what was presumably his executive time. He was wrong. The privilege is one of the most sacrosanct in the American legal system, but it does not protect communications in furtherance of a crime. Anyway, one might ask, if this is all a big witch hunt and Mr. Trump has nothing illegal or untoward to hide, why does he care about the privilege in the first place?
The answer, of course, is that he has a lot to hide.
► Friday is your last day to go skiing with elected officials in Eagle County.
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► The annual Western Conservative Summit, sponsored by the Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University, made its first announcement of featured speakers for this year’s event. The big name for the June 8-9 gathering is…Kirk Cameron. Yes, that Kirk Cameron. Scott Baio must have had another engagement.
► The knives have come out for Attorney General Cynthia Coffman. This website URL is connected to an independent expenditure committee that has a stated purpose “TO OPPOSE CYNTHIA COFFMAN AND EVERY DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR.” You know they’re serious because they use all caps.