Get More Smarter on Thursday (May 11)

Humpty Dumpty done fell off the wall. 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.


President Trump and White House officials are falling all over themselves trying to explain away Tuesday’s surprise firing of FBI Director Jim Comey. As Greg Sargent writes for the Washington Post:

For all the talk about the unusual nature of President Trump’s decision to fire James Comey, it actually fits comfortably into a well-established pattern that has defined this presidency from its very first day. Trump makes an emotional, impulsive assertion or decision — and then his underlings are forced into a wild scramble to produce a rationale or justification for it.

In this pattern, the decision or assertion often originated in the same place — deep in the recesses of Trump’s entangled megalomania and sneaking dread of the illegitimacy of his presidency. And the Comey firing, it turns out, may not be an exception to this.

This conclusion is bolstered by some great new reporting this morning on the Trumpian thought processes (if you can call them that) leading to the firing of the FBI director. The reporting reduces the White House’s original spin on the firing — that Trump decided to fire Comey after Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his deputy, Rod J. Rosenstein, presented a case rooted in his handling of Hillary Clinton’s emails — to a pile of smoking rubble. [Pols emphasis]

Meanwhile, media accounts are increasingly portraying President Trump as isolated and trapped in his own “cable TV news bubble,” which is probably not good.

Here’s another indication of how bad this thing has become: Press Secretary Sean Spicer is literally hiding in the bushes outside of the White House.


► Arizona Sen. John McCain said after the Comey firing that he expected “more shoes to drop,” and the footwear indeed appears to be falling. As Politico and other news outlets are reporting, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein made a surprise appearance on Capitol Hill today:

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was seen arriving at the Senate Intelligence Committee’s secure office spaces Thursday afternoon. Sources told POLITICO Rosenstein had requested to meet with the Intelligence Committee leaders, Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Vice Chairman Mark Warner (D-Va.), who both hastily left an open, televised committee hearing for what Burr said was a meeting “we can’t push off.”

Rosenstein’s request for the meeting came after President Donald Trump unceremoniously fired FBI Director James Comey, citing a three-page letter from Rosenstein questioning the director’s fitness to serve. It also came amid reports that Rosenstein, a well-regarded federal prosecutor, was furious over the White House’s characterization of his apparent recommendation and even threatened to quit.

That sound you hear is the collective tightening of sphincters at the White House. It’s hard to see how this entire situation doesn’t get worse for Trump and defenders like Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma). At the very least, Comey’s firing has sucked all of the oxygen out of the room for Republicans trying to talk about anything else.


► The 2017 Colorado legislative session is complete. Er, finished. You know what we mean. As John Frank and Brian Eason report for the Denver Post:

The bipartisan agreements included measures to preserve the hospital provider fee program, avert potentially catastrophic cuts to rural hospitals, find new money for highway construction, increase per-pupil education spending, and make it harder to sue for construction defects.

For each bill, the final result is less than what lawmakers hoped to accomplish but represented significant progress after failing to reach accords for years.


Get even more smarter after the jump…


► Frontline agents with the FBI are not at all happy about how and why President Trump fired FBI Director Jim Comey.


► Colorado set a new record for marijuana sales in March 2017.


► Ernest Luning of the Colorado Statesman considers the idea that Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) is once again in a “toss-up” race in CD-6.


► State Rep. Lois Landgraf (R-Fountain) faces the reality that doing her job as a legislator may earn her a Republican Primary in 2018. Ed Sealover of the Denver Business Journal reports on fallout from passage of a bill to reclassify the Hospital Provider Fee:

But a number of other Republicans, who largely represent rural areas or are considered more moderate members of their caucus, said they backed the measure because the spending recipients needed the boost. They echoed arguments from the Colorado Hospital Association that between six and 12 rural hospitals could close if they lost the money originally projected to be taken from them in order to balance the budget next year.

And several blasted conservative organizations who have criticized them for going along with the plan, saying they are out of touch with constituents’ needs and are making the Legislature a place that is run by fear.

“I know by the time I get back to my desk, the Facebook posts will start. We’ve heard them already: ‘Squish, RINO,’” said Rep. Lois Landgraf, R-Fountain, referring to the acronym some groups give to elected officials they consider to be Republican In Name Only.

“What’s not OK is that by the time I walk out of here, I will have earned myself a primary. But I am happy to be a ‘yes’ vote.”


► The Ft. Collins Coloradoan ponders the successes and failures of the 2017 Colorado legislative session.


► Colorado lawmakers managed to protect public school funding from decreasing with a late-session agreement. A compromise on charter school funding played a significant role.


► Legislators failed to come up with an agreement on funding for the Colorado Energy Office, which will likely lead to nearly-catastrophic cuts this summer.


► Lawmakers approved a bill to require public documents to be released in digital formats — rather than being reduced to printouts — which is good news for the public.


► The City of Denver finally has a Twitter account.

We repeat: The City of Denver just launched an official Twitter account this week.


► Congressman Ken Buck (R-Greeley) sure hopes that Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign did NOT collude with Russia.



► Ruh-roh, Jeff Sessions.


FBI agents around the country are quite upset at the firing of Director James Comey.



► President Trump believes he just recently invented the phrase, “priming the pump.” Seriously.


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18 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

    Who knew this idea would rise from the ashes? (IOKIYAR)

    This happened: 

    "President Trump has somewhat inexplicably claimed to have invented the phrase “priming the pump.”

    In an interview with the Economist published Thursday, Trump took credit for the common saying while explaining his economic philosophy. He was arguing that it’s all right for a tax plan to increase the national deficit in the short term if it spurs economic growth in the long term (my emphasis).

    Trump asked the magazine’s editors if they understood what he meant by “we have to prime the pump.” Then he asked if they had ever heard of the phrase while claiming to have thought it up earlier this week.

    “Have you heard that expression used before? Because I haven’t heard it. I mean, I just… I came up with it a couple of days ago and I thought it was good. It’s what you have to do,” Trump said.""

    • DavieDavie says:

      Wow!  A truly infantile narcissistic personality.  Like a 2 year old, nothing exists outside of his vision, hearing or touch.  Nothing happened before he came into existence, and the world will vanish when he is gone.

      Bet it is a riot when he plays his favorite game of Peek-a-boo!

      But come on Michael, admit it, I bet you didn't know Lincoln was a Republican, did you? 

      • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

        What?!?!?! Are you sure?!? Let me confirm that with my good friend Frederick Douglass when I'm in Bowling Green next week. 

        • PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

          In use in this context from the time of FDR.

          It dates to before Mr. Trump was born. It was in wide use by 1933, when President Roosevelt fought the Great Depression with pump-priming stimulus. For example, a 1933 cartoon assailing the Roosevelt administration’s spending practices was titled “What we need is another pump” and showed a desperate Roosevelt, with billions already spent, pouring more water into a pump, fruitlessly.


          • DavieDavie says:

            The irony of Trump's "invention" of this metaphor is that he probably has never seen, much less operated, a pump that needs priming.  He's not a farm boy from the mid-20th century.

            • VoyageurVoyageur says:

              I is definitely such a farm boy andI primed many a pump.   But we didn't6 call it that.  We called it , "making America Great Again."

              • DavieDavie says:

                We had one on my dad's property in rural Austell, Georgia back in the '50's.

                Back before WWII he also ran a little Standard Oil gas station/post office with the hand-cranked gas pumps that used gravity to fill up your tank (10 gallons at a time).

                And I remember the hand-cranked ringer my mother used to dry our clothes before hanging them on the clothes line. 🙂

                Simpler, but not necessarily better, times (speaking as an admitted member of the lucky sperm club)

              • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

                Ah, the days of siphon tubes and ditch irrigation…

    • ParkHill says:

      Trump validates on a daily basis the Dunning-Kruger effect:

      Trump: I find the job very natural for me. I find–it’s a very big job obviously, there’s no job big like this. No job is important like this. But I think some of the–I just think it’s something that works for me, it feels very natural to me.

      And all I said, the job, it is, it’s a difficult job but it’s a job that I find to be–I love doing it. I love helping people. Mike [Pence] is doing a fantastic job. He fits it so well. I mean we have a great team, he and I guess, they say we’re somewhat opposite and that works to be a very good combination.

      Or this one about launching planes from aircraft carriers:

      Trump: You know the catapult is quite important. So I said what is this? Sir, this is our digital catapult system. He said well, we’re going to this because we wanted to keep up with modern [technology]. I said you don’t use steam anymore for catapult? No sir. I said, “Ah, how is it working?” “Sir, not good. Not good. Doesn’t have the power. You know the steam is just brutal. You see that sucker going and steam’s going all over the place, there’s planes thrown in the air.”

      It sounded bad to me. Digital. They have digital. What is digital? And it’s very complicated, you have to be Albert Einstein to figure it out. And I said–and now they want to buy more aircraft carriers. I said what system are you going to be–”Sir, we’re staying with digital.” I said no you’re not. You going to goddamned steam, the digital costs hundreds of millions of dollars more money and it’s no good.

  2. RepealAndReplace says:

    Nixon 's the one!

    He's tanned, rested and ready!

  3. PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

    Looks like the mainstream of the Democratic Party has found someone to counter Joe Salazar in the bid to run for Colorado AG.  With an assist from Ken Salazar, no less.

    Phil Weiser announces bid for Colorado attorney general with big-time endorsement

  4. MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

    Can I just say the picture of Donald Milhaus is creepy as €^+#?? (kudos to your graphics team)

  5. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    Coffman called for an independent investigation, although not for a  special prosecutor to  investigate Trump / Russia connections. Now, if we could just get Ken Buck and Cory Gardner on board.  Lamborn would jump on if all the cool kids were doing it.



  6. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    Small victories: Jeanette Vizguerra and Arturo Garcia were granted Stays of Removal, and will finally be able to leave the Unitarian Church of Denver without fear of immediate deportation. Public pressure works.  Per 9News

  7. Gray in Mountains says:

    Locally, Leadville, 2 years ago a gentleman and his wife showed up at our community meals program for lunch and a box of food. He is a preacher from El Salvador. He had been preaching anti-gang and his and wife's lives had been realistically threatened. Since arrival he has become a leader in our Latino community. About 2 months ago ICE began threatening deportation. A group of us Egan a letter writing campaign. He and wife were notified this week that they have 2 years to pursue a claim for political asylum

  8. Genghis says:

    As the Comey thing continues to unfold, let us spare a sympathetic thought for the president's lawyers, who have to watch as their client sprays subpoena fuel all over the internet in real time.

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