Get More Smarter on Monday (December 19)

Don’t everybody go rogue all at once, now. It’s time to Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols. 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…

► Weeks of huffing and puffing from so-called “Rogue Electors” or “Hamilton Electors” should come to a close today when the 538 members of the electoral college meet in states across the country today to officially cast their votes for President. Colorado’s nine Presidential electors will gather at the State Capitol today at noon for a ceremony that may or may not see Secretary of State Wayne Williams start punching people.

As Brian Eason reports for the Denver Post:

The “Never Trump” movement has sparked lawsuits in Colorado and elsewhere, and anti-Trump protests are planned at all 50 state capitols. Colorado’s protest is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The state’s delegates are scheduled to vote at noon at the state Capitol in Denver.

The odds of success seem vanishingly small. The Associated Press last week reported that it had interviewed more than 330 of the 538 electors and found little appetite — even among Democrats — for an Electoral College revolt.

And it’s not Democrats that the movement needs: it’s 37 Republicans from the 30 states in which Trump won the popular vote. That makes Colorado’s rogue Democratic electors irrelevant, aside from the symbolic value of solidarity with their Republican counterparts.

Colorado remains a focal point of electoral college dissent today — though protests are taking place all over the country — but it doesn’t seem likely that a Trump challenge will succeed. Of course, it didn’t seem all that likely that Donald Trump could get elected President in the first place, so maybe we’re in for another 2016 surprise. Here’s a look at what could happen if enough electoral college members actually do go rogue today.

Meanwhile, Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) is speaking out against any effort from Hamilton Electors to avoid choosing Trump today. Ironically, we still don’t know if Gardner himself actually voted for Trump after calling on the GOP nominee to drop out of the race in early October.

 

► A bipartisan group of Senators continues to push for a quicker investigation into allegations that Russia influenced the 2016 election in the U.S. As Politico recaps:

Four influential Democratic and GOP senators on Sunday amplified their call for a special investigation into foreign cyberwarfare, defying Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has already ruled out a select panel to probe Russian interference in the U.S. election.

Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.) urged McConnell in a new letter to create a Senate select committee on cyber, a panel that Schumer said would focus not only on Russian meddling but also potential threats from other countries, including China and Iran…

…McCain had previously called for a select committee specifically examining the Russian involvement into the election. But the Sunday call — amplified through Sunday show appearances, a news conference and finally, a joint letter — renews the scrutiny of the Russian interference that President-elect Donald Trump has dismissed as “ridiculous” and “just another excuse” from Democrats who lost on Nov. 8.

President-elect Donald Trump, meanwhile, indicated over the weekend that maybe Russian interference in the 2016 election was a good thing.

 

► You have until Midnight tonight to sign up for health insurance under Obamacare — for coverage beginning Jan. 1 — after Thursday’s deadline was extended to account for a heavy volume of interest.

 

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…

► What happens when “populism” moves from campaigning to actual governing? In Poland, it hasn’t turned out well. From the Washington Post:

The Law and Justice Party rode to power on a pledge to drain the swamp of Polish politics and roll back the legacy of the previous administration. One year later, its patriotic revolution, the party proclaims, has cleaned house and brought God and country back to Poland.

Opponents, however, see the birth of a neo-Dark Age — one that, as President-elect Donald Trump prepares to move into the White House, is a harbinger of the power of populism to upend a Western society. In merely a year, critics say, the nationalists have transformed Poland into a surreal and insular place — one where state-sponsored conspiracy theories and de facto propaganda distract the public as democracy erodes.

In the land of Law and Justice, anti-intellectualism is king. Polish scientists are aghast at proposed curriculum changes in a new education bill that would downplay evolution theory and climate change and add hours for “patriotic” history lessons. In a Facebook chat, a top equal rights official mused that Polish hotels should not be forced to provide service to black or gay customers. After the official stepped down for unrelated reasons, his successor rejected an international convention to combat violence against women because it appeared to argue against traditional gender roles.

Over the weekend, Warsaw convulsed in street protests amid allegations that the Law and Justice party had illegally forced through a budget bill even as it sought to restrict media access to Parliament.

If you just threw up in your mouth a little bit, you’re not alone.

 

Donald Trump’s Twitter Account, which may or may not be making autonomous decisions about the free world, seems hell-bent on pissing off China.

 

► There is still plenty of jostling within President-elect Donald Trump’s closest circles about who is going to run the political arm of Trumpland. From Politico:

Donald Trump’s top advisers are jousting over control of the new political group they are forming to help press the president-elect’s agenda, as rival camps have formed with repercussions for who ends up as senior staff at the White House.

The issue came to a head last Wednesday, in a glass-walled conference room on the 14th floor of Trump Tower, where about a dozen members of Trump’s inner circle gathered to plot the future of the still-unformed nonprofit.

At the head of the table sat Brad Parscale, Trump’s digital director, and Kellyanne Conway, his campaign manager, with top aides scattered all around, among them Trump’s longtime attorney Michael Cohen, Trump’s deputy campaign manager David Bossie, senior Trump communications adviser Jason Miller, Vice President-elect Mike Pence’s senior adviser Marc Short, and Rebekah Mercer, the most influential donor in Trump’s orbit.

“That group that met in that room is going to be the nucleus,” one senior Trump adviser said.

 

► Say what you will about the Colorado legislature, but at least we aren’t in North Carolina.

 

► Opponents of North Carolina’s infamous transgender “bathroom bill” continue to chip away at a repeal of the legislation. Incoming Gov. Roy Cooper says the N.C. legislature will repeal HB-2 in a special session on Tuesday.

 

► Donald Trump has selected Florida Panthers (it’s an NHL hockey franchise) owner Vincent Viola to become Secretary of the Army.

 

► Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has some advice for other states dealing with the legalization of marijuana.

 

► First Lady Michelle Obama says many Americans are feeling “what not having hope feels like.” President-elect Donald Trump is pretty sure that Mrs. Obama isn’t talking about him (but she is).

Not everyone is in the dumps over Trump, however; Saturday Night Live is practically writing itself these days.

 

► A decline in cattle prices has led to a significant drop in agricultural incomes in Colorado. As the Durango Herald explains:

Statewide income from farms and ranches is projected to fall to $444 million in 2016 from about $1.3 billion in 2015.

It’s a level that Colorado agriculture hasn’t seen since 1986, according to a report from the University of Colorado Boulder.

The fall can be largely attributed to the decline in cattle prices because the industry accounts for the largest portion of the state’s agriculture economy, said Stephen Koontz, a professor at Colorado State University.

He expects prices for cattle will not level off until 2018, and producers will likely not see the gains that the Trans-Pacific Partnership could have fueled because President-elect Donald Trump does not support it.

 

► The New York Times considers the Department of Housing and Urban Development under the “leadership” of Ben Carson. It’s not good.

 

► Leave it to the Colorado Springs Gazette to use the term “gay agenda.”

 

OTHER LINKS YOU SHOULD CLICK

Russia’s ambassador to Turkey was shot and killed at an art exhibition in Ankara on Monday.

 

► President-elect Donald Trump continues to maintain an unprecedented level of private security despite the availability of Secret Service protection.

 

ICYMI

► The Denver Broncos are probably not going to make the playoffs after a frustrating loss to New England on Sunday moved the team to 8-6 with two regular season games remaining.

 

Don’t forget to check out The Get More Smarter Show. You can also Get More Smarter by liking Colorado Pols on Facebook!

14 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Pseudonymous says:

    You have until Midnight tonight to sign up for health insurance under Obamacare — for coverage beginning Jan. 1…and ending on Jan. 21. [snark mine]

    • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

      Did you vote for Trump, Negev?

      • Negev says:

        I voted against Hillary. Hope you are well, mama!

        • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

          Negev, I'm not even going to give you shit about that. Hope you like your new Prezzy. He's not a big fan of your religion, though.

          Another FYI: He won't hold the second amendment any more sacred than he holds the first. The moment it gets in the way of his self-enrichment or his "ratings", it too will be undermined – probably with some kind of racial or religious or political test for who gets their full gunnie rights.

          As for me, I'm well enough.

          • Negev says:

            I am no fan of the new "prezzy". It could have been a steaming pile of poo (which is not far from actuality) with a sign that said "Not Hillary" and it would have gotten my vote. Not sure if you are suggesting I am a Nazi or a Jew, which I am neither, but the link in and of itself implies you are giving me shit;-)

            I have no doubts he will sell out the second amendment the moment it gets in the way of his ratings, but the reality of the matter is that it has only improved his self-enrichment and supporting it has helped his ratings, which, while a bitter pill to swallow, is better than knowing that an eminent attack from Hillary was a stated policy. If its undermined based racial or religious/political tests my guess is that my racial/religious profile will be at the top of the list for those that would get full "gunnie" rights, which would be less likely with Hillary. It is unfortunate, however undisputable. 

            Glad you are well. I wish you and all the best this holiday season. 

            • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

              I misremembered that you were Jewish. Or it was your name. I guess that's just a gun name, which does show where your priorities lie. And now I really am giving you shit. So I'll take your good wishes and return them. Adios.

  2. itlduso says:

    Daily Kos proposes a plan to confirm Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court.

    https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/12/6/1606610/-With-Biden-in-the-chair-on-Jan-3-the-Senate-can-confirm-a-renominated-Merrick-Garland-Here-s-how

    Sounds good to me.  Elections matter, don't they? Like the one in November, 2012.  Or, does that just start on 11/8/16?

     

    • VoyageurVoyageur says:

      Not anew idea, Duke was flacking it weeksago.   But by law, the Senate needs 51 members present for a quorum.   If enough Repubs walk out, and the remainder asks for  quorum call,  This dumbass move fails.

      • itlduso says:

        a) I didn't say it was a new idea. 

        b) You reference something called, "by law".  The Senate rules establish that law.  At noon, 1/3/17, there are only 66 sitting senators, of which 34 are Dems plus 2 Independents (Dem-lites).  Only 30 are GOP senators.  With, admittedly fancy maneuvering, the article (that you apparently didn't read), suggests that Garland could be confirmed by the Senate.

        • VoyageurVoyageur says:

          The article ignores the fact that the Senate needs 51 membersntohave a quorum.   If you try your dumbass coup, The Republicans can have 17 members walk out, while one of the remaining asks fora quorum call,   No quorum, no legal action by Senate.   Normally, it often operates with less than 51, because a quorum is presumed present unless a quorum call is made.  Trust me, if this dumbass coup attempt is made, it will fail for lack of a quorum,  And Senate rules aren't law, either, they are, like Senate rules.

          You can't change the rules without a quorum.

          As I say, Duke floated this idea weeks ago.   It sounds very clever for people who don't know what a quorum is and are too lazy to look it up.

          And I did read the article, confirming that its dumbass author was unaware of the quorum rule.

          Did I mention that this was a dumbass idea?

          I did?

          Well, it is.

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