Superstitions like “Friday the 13th” seem like they belong in a simpler time — when reality wasn’t so scary. 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…
►As the Obamacare repeal-and-we-swear-we-have-a-plan-for-replacement debate rages on in Congress, Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) is finally getting a bit more attention from local media outlets. Gardner is fully onboard with plans to repeal Obamacare – replacement be damned — and is doing his best to pretend that his constituents in Colorado actually want this mess…nevermind the fact that constituents are not able to get through to Gardner’s office at all. As the Associated Press reports today, Senate Republicans still seem to be no closer to even having a plan for replacement.
Polling results are continually showing that repealing Obamacare without a replacement in place is HUGELY UNPOPULAR with Americans. From The Hill:
Another 47 percent said only some of ObamaCare should be repealed, while 31 percent said it should be left untouched.
According to a separate poll from NPR/Ipsos, only 14% of Americans support repealing Obamacare without a replacement plan in place.
► When President-elect Donald Trump is inaugurated next week, he will assume office as the most unpopular incoming President in modern history. From “The Fix”:
Just four in ten people polled by Gallup say they approve of the way Trump is handling his transition — a stand-in for presidential approval in this odd three-month interregnum. Those are the lowest marks ever measured by Gallup for an incoming president. They are also half — yes HALF — as high as the 83 percent of people who approved of how then President-elect Barack Obama handled his own transition in late 2008/early 2009. And Trump’s numbers even track well below those of George W. Bush, whose transition was cut short by an extended recount that left lots of the country unconvinced that he had actually won! [Pols emphasis]
Wow. Worse than Dubya?
The Colorado Springs Independent has a handy list of local events related to the January 20th Inauguration.
► In his State of the State address on Thursday, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper called on the legislature to ask voters to approve a tax hike for transportation and infrastructure needs.
“We’ve had this debate for too long. If talk could fill potholes, we’d have the best roads in the country.”
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► President Obama surprised Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday by awarding Biden the Presidential Medal of Freedom (with Distinction). This was a nice moment.
► Colorado Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) is a big fan of taking multiple sides on a variety of issues, so it’s not a huge surprise — though still a disappointment — to see Coffman defending Donald Trump regarding recent stories about Russian interference in the 2016 election.
► Speaking, er, writing of Coffman’s penchant for obfuscation, he is sponsoring new legislation on immigration reform. From the Colorado Springs Gazette:
U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman introduced a bill Thursday to protect undocumented young people brought to the United States as children from being deported, if the Trump administration discontinues the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
► Get caught up on the state of the 2018 Governor’s race in Colorado.
► Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees are doing a fine job of contradicting the President-elect on a number of major issues. As the Washington Post explains:
Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees, in their first round of confirmation hearings on Capitol Hill, have one after another contradicted the president-elect on key issues, promising to trim back or disregard some of the signature promises on which he campaigned.
A fresh set of examples came Thursday, the third day of hearings…
“We are in such uncharted territory with this guy,” said Elaine Kamarck, director of the Brookings Institution’s Center for Effective Public Management. “The interesting thing will be, does Trump pay attention to what his government does?”…
…That Trump’s nominees would air their disagreements with the president-elect at their confirmation hearings is “extraordinarily unusual,” Kamarck said. “The first thing a president and a transition team does is make sure the president and his Cabinet are on the same page.”
► Dr. Chaps is back to doing what he does best, writes Jason Salzman.
► Ed Sealover of the Denver Business Journal highlights some notable bills from the opening few days in the Colorado legislative session.
► State Senate President Kevin Grantham (R-Colorado Springs) is championing legislation to repeal Colorado’s state health exchange. From the Pueblo Chieftain:
On the Senate Republicans’ website, the party noted “Senate Bill 03 will repeal Connect for Health Colorado, the state-sponsored health exchange which was implemented as a result of the Affordable Care Act.
“With any taxpayer-funded organization there is an expectation of efficiency, accountability and successes. The failures of Connect for Health Colorado are obvious as premiums are skyrocketing while consumer choices continue to dramatically decline.”
Sen. Jim Smallwood, R-Parker, will be the main sponsor of SB3.
If you’re wondering what Republicans would do about the hundreds of thousands of Coloradans who would lose health insurance coverage…well, so is everyone else.
► That ridiculous effort to squeeze oil out of sand in Utah (near the Western Colorado border) just won’t die. From the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel:
US Oil Sands has closed on a $7.5 million loan with its largest shareholder, allowing it to bring employees and contractors back on the job to get back to work on a Utah tar sands project north of Interstate 70 and just across the Colorado border.
The Calgary-based company said in a news release Thursday that it will resume work this month on commissioning its plant at PR Spring, and expects to move into commercial operations during the first quarter of this year, using a solvent to process tar sands and produce oil.
► Elections don’t end. They just change dates.
OTHER LINKS YOU SHOULD CLICK
► Even Republican Governors are fighting back against Congressional efforts to eliminated Obamacare without finding a replacement option first.
► The musical entertainment announced for Donald Trump’s Inauguration next week is…not particularly impressive.
► We have the best NBA team that played a game in London this season!