Have a nice President’s Day Weekend; try the meatloaf. Now, let’s see if we can’t 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…
► As the Associated Press reported this morning, President Trump is considering mobilizing the National Guard — as many as 100,000 troops — to undertake mass deportation efforts across the country. Colorado is one of the states listed in the draft memo obtained by the AP.
Again: The President of the United States of America is considering deploying the military to conduct mass roundups and deportations across the country. This is all kinds of wrong.
► A “shit sandwich.” That’s how Vice Admiral Robert Harward viewed an offer from President Trump to become the next National Security Adviser — an offer Harward publicly declined — which leaves the Trump administration scrambling to find another candidate for one of the most important jobs in the White House. The resignation of former NSA Michael Flynn highlights a massive credibility problem among national security experts, as the Washington Post explains:
Multiple former national security experts conjectured that the hang-up specifically was Trump’s deputy national security adviser, KT McFarland, a TV commentator who has not served in government since the Reagan era. Few foreign policy professionals consider her qualified for the job. [Pols emphasis]…
…Harward certainly knows the struggles that Defense Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson have had hiring their own staff — neither has an announced deputy; Harward was not about to subject himself to the same micromanaging from the White House. Former State Department official and vocal Trump critic Eliot Cohen says, “It makes it very difficult for any serious person to take the job under less reasonable conditions than Harward seems to have demanded, i.e., control of staffing.” He explains, “No sane person would take this extremely important and difficult job without (a) control of staffing, and (b) eliminating or neutering Bannon’s shadow NSC staff.” …
…Harward’s decision reflects how far the president and this administration have fallen in the eyes of esteemed national security experts, including current and former officials. The White House is without an experienced chief of staff or normal internal decision-making procedures. [Pols emphasis]
► Congress is preparing for its annual President’s Day recess, which will keep lawmakers out of the nation’s capitol until February 27. Before he skipped out of town, Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) released a video in which he declares that he will not support a repeal of Obamacare without a concurrent replacement plan. The New York Times on Thursday reported on a potential new GOP healthcare plan that would redirect money from the lower- and middle-class to the benefit of the wealthy in America.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► Among the many crazy things that President Trump said Thursday in his first solo press conference was a claim that Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Maryland) was refusing to meet with the leader of the free world. As the Washington Post explains, Cummings hasn’t a clue where this story originated:
“I have no idea why President Trump would make up a story about me like he did today. Of course, Senator Schumer never told me to skip a meeting with the President,” Cummings said in a statement.
Trump said Cummings “was all excited and then he said, ‘Well, I can’t move, it might be bad for me politically. I can’t have that meeting.’ ”
Trump continued: “But he probably was told by Schumer or somebody like that — some other lightweight. . . . He was probably told: ‘Don’t meet with Trump. It’s bad politics.’ And that’s part of the problem with this country.”
Cummings added that he was “excited” to meet with Trump.
► President Trump’s rambling press conference on Thursday was widely viewed as a complete disaster — but that’s not how the big orange man saw it. Yesterday may have been Trump’s favorite day as President thus far.
► As the New York Times reports, the Trump administration is creating a dangerous culture of distrust and opposition throughout the federal government.
► President Trump is giving new meaning to the term “control freak.” Check out this crazy tidbit from the Washington Post:
When Chris Christie came to the White House to discuss the opioid epidemic earlier this week, Trump made him order the meatloaf. [Pols emphasis]
“This is what it’s like to be with Trump,” the governor of New Jersey recalled afterward. “He says, ‘There’s the menu, you guys order whatever you want.’ And then he says, ‘Chris, you and I are going to have the meatloaf. … I’m telling you, the meatloaf is fabulous.’”
► State Treasurer Walker Stapleton — a near-certain Republican candidate for governor in 2018 — has long been on a personal quest to turn over PERA investments to Wall Street honchos. Now, the animosity between the PERA board and the Treasurer’s office is reaching new lows. As 9News reports, Deputy Treasurer Jon Forbes is out of a job after telling the PERA board on Friday to “go f*** themselves.”
► Senate hearings for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch are expected to begin on March 20. Check out the latest episode of the “Get More Smarter Show” to learn more about Gorsuch and whether his Colorado roots could come into play should he make it to the highest bench in the land.
► President Trump’s lavish lifestyle and travel habits could ultimately cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.
► Democratic legislators are pushing back against plans by Attorney General Cynthia Coffman to attempt to force Boulder County to open up more land for oil and gas exploration. From the Denver Post:
The extraordinary 44-20 vote against a routine $316,000 spending measure came two days after the state’s attorney general filed a lawsuitagainst Boulder County regarding its moratorium on oil and gas drilling.
The budget bill provided no money directly related to the legal challenge, but Democratic lawmakers used it to voice their objections against Coffman, a potential candidate for governor in 2018. The other 17 supplemental budget bills easily won approval.
“It’s virtually unheard-of for the state to sue on behalf of a private industry,” House Democratic leader KC Becker of Boulder said in a statement before the vote. “The attorney general has decided to wield the power of her office for the benefit of private companies at the expense of local communities.”
► The story of an immigrant woman seeking sanctuary in a Denver church is generating worldwide attention.
► The legislature continues to discuss a construction defects bill that may very well be the most, uh, defective version of this policy idea in many years.
OTHER LINKS YOU SHOULD CLICK
► Hack the planet! Okay, well, hack data about the planet, anyway.
► Scott Pruitt appears likely to be confirmed as the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency.
► The formation of a “Cannabis Caucus” was probably inevitable.