Get More Smarter on Monday (July 17)

Today is 7/17/17. Seems like a good date. 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…

► President Trump is consistent in one regard: His approval ratings are reliably awful. As the Washington Post reports:

President Trump is not Teflon, and the conventional wisdom that “nothing matters” is wrong.

fresh Washington Post/ABC News poll underscores the softness of Trump’s support as he prepares to mark six months in the White House on Thursday.

It also highlights a growing intensity gap. Support for the president is more tepid, but opposition is increasingly inflamed.

The president’s overall approval rating has slipped to 36 percent from 42 percent in April. For context, George W. Bush and Barack Obama both held 59 percent approval ratings in Post/ABC polls conducted around their six-month anniversaries.

Media coverage often focuses on how rank-and-file Republicans, as well as elected officials, continue to stand behind Trump. While true, a close examination of the results suggests that no more than 1 in 4 Americans believe passionately in him or his presidency at this juncture.

Trump’s Russia problems are also breaking through to a broader populace; just 3 in 10 voters still don’t think the Russian government tried to influence the outcome of the 2016 election. Overall, Trump’s disapproval rating has risen to 58%.

 

► Campaign finance reports for the second quarter fundraising period should all be available today (barring technical difficulties, which tends to happen with the FEC). We’ll have a separate story later breaking down all of the fundraising winners and losers from Q2.

 

► Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has delayed a potential vote on the Senate GOP healthcare bill on account of…health reasons. As CNN reports:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Saturday that the Senate will delay consideration of the Republican health care bill while Sen. John McCain recovers from surgery for a blood clot.

McConnell tweeted that the Senate will work on other legislative issues and nominations next week and “will defer consideration of the Better Care Act” while McCain is recovering. McCain’s absence would have imperiled the bill, which needs the support of 50 of 52 GOP senators to advance.

Two Republican senators — Susan Collins of Maine and Rand Paul of Kentucky — have already said they will not support a motion to proceed to floor debate on the legislation.

McCain is in Arizona recovering from surgery and has been advised by doctors to rest at home for the entire week. As Politico explains, there is no good estimate for when Trumpcare may be back on the agenda:

Privately, Republicans said the delay could be as little as a week as McCain recovers in Arizona, though others worried it could stretch for several weeks and jeopardize the entire repeal effort. Clouding the timetable further, a new Congressional Budget Office estimate for the bill that was expected on Monday has also been delayed, Republicans said. It could come as early as Tuesday.

Whether the bill would advance even if McCain were in Washington is another question altogether, as the Arizona senator is one of more than half a dozen undecided Republicans, any one of whom could tank the bill.

Notably, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval is still opposing the GOP healthcare legislation…which is a strong indication that Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) would be the third “no vote” should a vote be held anytime soon.

 

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…

 

► The Trump administration appears to be searching for primary opponents to take out Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, a Republican who is up for re-election in 2018. As Politico reports:

The White House has met with at least three actual or prospective primary challengers to Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake in recent weeks, a reflection of Donald Trump’s strained relations with the senator and the latest sign of the president’s willingness to play hardball with lawmakers who cross him — even Republican incumbents.

Flake, a longtime Trump critic who refused to endorse the president during the 2016 campaign, is one of a handful of undecided Republican votes on the Obamacare repeal effort. He’s also one of the most vulnerable Republicans up for reelection in 2018.

Since taking office, Trump has spoken with Arizona state Treasurer Jeff DeWit, a top official on his 2016 campaign, on at least two occasions, according to two sources familiar with the talks. More recently, since June, White House officials have also had discussions with former state Sen. Kelli Ward, who has announced her bid, and former Arizona GOP Chairman Robert Graham, who like DeWit is exploring a campaign.

At a Republican National Committee meeting outside of San Diego in May, David Bossie, Trump’s deputy campaign manager and the president of the influential conservative outside group Citizens United, told Graham that either he or DeWit would likely get substantial backing from conservatives should either enter the contest, according to three people familiar with the conversation.

That sound you hear is the rumbling indigestion of Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma), who is in charge of GOP efforts to maintain their majority in the U.S. Senate as the head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC).

 

► A potential retrial for the Shirtless Sheriff carries all sorts of negative political implications for Colorado Republicans. As Lance Benzel writes for the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman:

In failing to resolve the criminal case against ex-El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa, a District Court jury forced a dilemma on a candidate for governor.

A veteran political observer says the decision on whether to retry the embattled lawman on four remaining counts could have political costs for Republican gubernatorial candidate George Brauchler, who leads the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, which prosecuted the case.

If Brauchler’s office decides to drop Maketa’s charges, Brauchler could be accused of letting a fellow Republican skate on sweeping allegations of corruption.

If his office pushes for a new trial, he could alienate parts of the Republican base in El Paso County, where Maketa has his sympathizers.

“It’s a media disaster,” said Bob Loevy, a retired Colorado College political science professor and longtime political analyst in El Paso County. “To have this stretch into the gubernatorial primary and then possibly the general election in 2018, the Republican Party doesn’t need that at all, not in its most significant county.”

Last week prosecutors from the 18th Judicial District — where George Brauchler serves as district attorney — were widely panned for failing to get a conviction on any of the seven charges facing former El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa. The lead prosecutor on the Maketa case, Mark Hurlbert, says that Brauchler will be personally involved in the decision on whether to retry the Shirtless Sheriff.

 

► The American Legislative Exchange Council — better known under their acronym, ALEC — hosts its annual meeting in Denver this week. Colorado Common Cause and the Common Cause Education Fund have released a report on everything you need to know about the shadowy right-wing group and its policy goals.

 

 Fundraising for three Democrats running to succeed Rep. Ed Perlmutter in CD-7 got off to a slow start in large part because all three candidates are sitting legislators.

 

► The Denver Post examines the ridiculous amount of money being spent by the oil and gas industry on Colorado elections:

The oil and gas industry in the past four years has poured more than $80 million into Colorado to shape public opinion and influence campaigns and ballot initiatives, creating a political force that has had broad implications throughout the state.

Environmentalists and industry officials alike call the effort one of the best-financed operations advocating for drilling in any state. Just two months ago, that political muscle came into play when the industry successfully lobbied Republican legislators to kill legislation tightening regulation in the wake of a fatal home explosion in Firestone that investigators have blamed on a severed gas pipeline.

Energy interests also have helped elect local city council candidates more favorable to allowing drilling near housing and blunted efforts across the Front Range to restrict drilling rights. Last year, industry forces played a role in keeping the state Senate in Republican hands. They spent heavily last year to convince voters across the state to make it harder to amend the state constitution, dealing a blow to anti-fracking activists’ hopes to curtail drilling through a statewide ballot initiative.

 

Darryl Glenn is officially a candidate in CD-5, despite the fact that incumbent Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs) has long been able to hold off challengers from either party. State Sen. Owen Hill is also seeking the GOP nomination.

 

► Six of the Republican candidates for Governor in Colorado got together to talk about…stuff. Jesse Paul of the Denver Post reports on a gathering at Pinehurst Country Club in which none of the candidates seemed to say much of anything.

 

► Officials in Greeley are trying to figure out where they are going to find the water to accommodate a growing population.

 

► There is some concern that Sen. John McCain’s recent surgery may be more serious than initially thought.

 

President Trump continues to lash out about allegations regarding campaign collusion with Russia, even as more and more reporting points to probably collusion with Russia. Trump is not hiding his anxiety well

 

OTHER LINKS YOU SHOULD CLICK

 

► Former Republican Congressman Joe Scarborough thinks Donald Trump is killing the Republican Party…if it isn’t dead already.

 

Ann Coulter makes a fool of herself on social media.

ICYMI

► If the U.S. Senate is broken, it is because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is doing everything he can to destroy the institution.

 

Click here for The Get More Smarter Show. You can also Get More Smarter by liking Colorado Pols on Facebook!

 

28 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. itlduso says:

    Apparently, I wasn't missing the Democrats' message.  We don't have one:

    House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley (D-NY) hesitated when asked about his party’s core message to voters, the AP reports.

    Said Crowley: “That message is being worked on. We’re doing everything we can to simplify it, but at the same time provide the meat behind it as well. So that’s coming together now.”

    “The admission from the No. 4 House Democrat — that his party lacks a clear, core message even amid Republican disarray — highlights the Democrats’ dilemma eight months after President Donald Trump and the GOP dominated last fall’s elections, in part, because Democrats lacked a consistent message.”

     

    I would suggest offering middle class tax cuts.  A family of four with $60,000 of gross income pays about $1,800 in federal income taxes.  I say cut that to zero.  The refund would be spent by that family and multiply throughout the economy, thereby costing the Treasury a fraction of the tax cut.  Do you agree?

    • DavieDavie says:

      Nice, but small ball sounding to me.  Why not a little more visionary as in, Reducing and Preventing Student Debt?   

      I do believe public post-secondary education costs have gotten way out of control, and is doing lasting damage to the future of anyone under 40 that is struggling to start a family and buy a home.

      To grow our economy and stay competitive with the world, we need an educated, skilled workforce.  The problem is, they can't afford to get it in too many cases.  Whether that is trade school, community college, STEM degrees, and yes, even liberal arts, our publicly-supported post secondary schools need to be affordable.  Whether that means public service, public/private scholarships, or direct underwriting by tax dollars, we must do that.

      I earned 3 degrees in the course of my career without going into debt.  If  I were 45 years younger, that choice would not be available to me today.

       

      • itlduso says:

        I like helping out on student loans, as well.  But, not everyone in the middle class goes to college (including their kids).  Everyone, though, files a Form 1040, and tax relief for the middle class would benefit everyone in that bracket.

        • ZappateroZappatero says:

          maybe………

          In 2009, the health care fight was not between Republicans and Democrats: It was between progressive Democrats and corporatist establishment Democrats.

          (That applies to both Bennet and Udall,who both triangulated against Obama, who was also triangulating against a huge revitalized Democratic base that just elected him.-z)

          Had all Democrats worked in the interest of the middle class and the poor by using their once-in-a generation political power to pass the only mathematically plausible and affordable health care program, single-payer Medicare for all, Americans would never have voted for the false promises of market-based health insurance again.

          Had all Democrats told the truth—that taxpayer dollars are responsible for most of the research and development for drugs that are later marketed by pharmaceutical companies at obscenely escalated prices—it would have made it possible to curtail pricing and forced pharmaceutical companies to share their unearned windfall profitswith the Treasury. That would have been the fair thing to do.

          Had Democrats instituted pay-it-forward, tuition-free college, they would have owned the young vote. Had Democrats established a national daycare plan that allowed all who wanted to work the opportunity to do so, they would have possessed the votes of those who wanted children.

          Instead, we have Michael Bennet campaigning on refinancing your SLM APR. His is the corrupted kind of Democrat that is keeping things status quo while claiming "both sides do it" which enables liars like Gardner and Trump and prevents the voices true Coloradans to drive America's policies.

          Just to be clear, and I've said this before: Michael Bennet is corrupt and he has no business being Colorado's lone Democratic senator.

          • ZappateroZappatero says:

            so pols fucked up the comments again……………jesus would you guys hire someone to fix it rather than putting on your "Between 2 Ferns" production?

            • Colorado PolsColorado Pols says:

              Hey, Zap. In order to compensate you for your troubles, Colorado Pols will now be twice as free for you to use. 

              • VoyageurVoyageur says:

                Ok, but only if you offset the cost by tripling the charge to Duke.   He can afford it!

              • Diogenesdemar says:

                Not so fast, cowboy.  There's gotta' be some sorta' catch here . . . 

                . . . Before I switch from my current plan:

                1. Will I have to sign any sort of new long-term contract to get into this new plan?

                2. What about my sock puppets?

                3.  Will my monthly checks from Soros double also?

              • ZappateroZappatero says:

                Please don't tell me you're doing this completely in the spirit of Community and your generous Idealism towards the People.  

                Money must be changing hands for this to have continued as it has been these many years.  

        • DavieDavie says:

          itlduso — I included trade schools and community colleges above because I understand not everyone wants to go to college.  I was 17 and burned out on high school, and spent the summer after graduation wondering if I'd even go to college — I wound up going to the nearby community college which turned my thinking completely around thanks to a couple of inspiring instructors that helped me find the keys to my thirst for knowledge. We need an all-of-the-above strategy.

           

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      We the people . . . 

      Maybe instead of trying to constantly re-message and re-image, maybe, just maybe someone could remember ???

      How depressing is it that we don't have a political party in this country that can figure that out???

    • Offering a single proposal isn't messaging. Messaging is "ensuring that everyone who works full time can afford to live without government support and even have some savings afterward." Broad, aspirational stuff.

  2. DavieDavie says:

    In other news, the Buffoon-in-Thief and his Band of Bozos had the bright idea of a theme week of "Made In America".  Hilarious, given all the products the Trump Crime family import from overseas.

    My favorite tweet in response:

    Jessica‏ @somebrunette

    The only thing the Trumps have made in America is a big fucking mess. #MadeInAmericaWeek

  3. DawnPatrol says:

    The cascade of horribly depressing (for them) news about the Republicreep Party continues unabated — actually gaining momentum, if anything.

    So place your bets: What will be CarnHolio's next pathetic, extremely weak, very lame, utterly transparent attempt to divert attention from the Dark Side party's and the trump crime family's self-induced meltdown/implosion?

  4. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    Pols – the font size displayed on the comments on here is teensy.

  5. ZappateroZappatero says:

    Watch out DenverPols, there's an entire state of voters that our Denver-centric party continues to ignore:

    In Grand Junction, people wanted Trump to accomplish certain things with the pragmatism of a businessman, but they also wanted him to make them feel a certain way. The assumption has always been that, while emotional appeal might have mattered during the campaign, the practical impact of a Trump Presidency would prove more important. Liberals claimed that Trump would fail because his policies would hurt the people who had voted for him.

    But the lack of legislative accomplishment seems only to make supporters take more satisfaction in Trump’s behavior. And thus far the President’s tone, rather than his policies, has had the greatest impact on Grand Junction. This was evident even before the election, with the behavior of supporters at the candidate’s rally, the conflicts within the local Republican Party, and an increased distrust of anything having to do with government. Sheila Reiner, a Republican who serves as the county clerk, said that during the campaign she had dealt with many allegations of fraud following Trump’s claims that the election could be rigged. “People came in and said, ‘I want to see where you’re tearing up the ballots!’ ” Reiner told me. Reiner and her staff gave at least twenty impromptu tours of their office, in an attempt to convince voters that the Republican county clerk wasn’t trying to throw the election to Clinton.

    Step 1: REMOVE.HEAD.FROM.ASS. 

  6. Looks like conservative Senators are lining up to kill the Republican NoCare Bill. Not sufficiently generous to the wealthy, nor sure enough at killing Medicaid. Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) announced that he and Sen. Moran will be no votes after Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) "confirmed" that Sen. McConnel was telling moderates that a future President would not allow Medicaid cuts to stand.

    • FrankUnderwood says:

      So waiting for McCain does them no good. They might as well vote on it this week. Then they can tell their base they tried but those big bad Democrats (and a couple of RINOs) stopped them. Then move on to tax reform. Or building the transparent wall with solar panels.

      BTW, I wonder if Two Scoops ran that solar panels idea by the Crotch Brothers and the rest of the fossilonians. 

      • Yes, but they have so much else to work on… Besides, if tgey wait for McCain and a few more redesign sessions, they can cancel the rest of summer break and get straight on toward the fall debt ceiling and budget government shutdown plans.

      • Diogenesdemar says:

        Forget the transparent wall of solar panels — cripes!  Build the damn thing outta' fucking coal for gawdsakes — coal miners get to dig, we don't have to burn the shit and add CO2 to the atmosphere, everybody wins wins wins — what could go wrong, huh?   (Sometimes I wonder why I've gotta' do all the thinking for everyone ??? . . . )

  7. FrankUnderwood says:

    Maybe now that McConnell's bill is dying on the vine, Gardner can get some kind of special dispensation (like Mike Coffman received) so he can vote "No" and tell voters he was against it all along despite what those mean people at ColoradoPols kept saying about him.

    • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

      That's a great idea, Frank. CG's going to piss off people either way, but in Colorado, he will piss off more voters with a Yes vote.

      So, keep most of Obamacare, since they can't pass their lame-ass bill anyway, call it "Trumpcare", proclaim to the world that they repealed the black guy's signature legislation, Cunning Cory gets to vote No with no penalty attached, people on Medicaid get to keep their home health aides and schools get to keep vision and hearing screenings. Our rural hospitals stay open. Win-win.

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