Always stretch your brain prior to thinking. 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 signed his name to legislation dealing with sanctions on Russia, but he isn’t happy about it. As the Washington Post reports:
President Trump has signed a bill imposing new sanctions on Russia, ending immediate hopes of a reset of U.S. relations with the Kremlin and marking a defeat for his administration, which had expressed concerns that the legislation infringed upon executive power.
In a statement outlining his concerns, Trump called the bill “seriously flawed,” primarily because it limits his ability to negotiate sanctions without congressional approval.
“By limiting the Executive’s flexibility, this bill makes it harder for the United States to strike good deals for the American people, and will drive China, Russia, and North Korea much closer together,” Trump said in a statement on Wednesday morning. “The Framers of our Constitution put foreign affairs in the hands of the President.”
“This bill will prove the wisdom of that choice,” he added.
White House officials said that the president signed the measure on Wednesday morning, nearly a week after it was passed by the Senate with a veto-proof majority. The bill was also approved in the House last week by an overwhelming bipartisan majority.
It is entirely possible that Trump just signed the bill because he is so desperate to put pen to paper on something from Congress. This only furthers our belief that Trump would sign a napkin if you put it in on his desk.
► Congressman Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) held a town hall meeting in Henderson, Colo. on Tuesday night. As CPR reports, Coffman’s staff patted itself on the back for not throwing constituents out of the event:
At the end of an hour of taking questions, Coffman’s press assistant tried to end the town hall. The congressman waved him off and said he wanted to keep going. An aide said after it was over that no one was kicked out, despite strict rules on being considerate. [Pols emphasis]
Congratulations to Mike Coffman’s office for not removing constituents from a public venue where they were invited to discuss issues with their elected Representative! The Associated Press and the Denver Post have more on Coffman’s town hall meeting, in which healthcare continued to be the prime topic on the minds of voters.
Elsewhere, Senator Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) is holding a town hall meeting…nah, just kidding. But Gardner is doing another telephone town hall tonight. Here’s how to sign up for the call.
► The White House is acknowledging that President Trump “weighed in” on a statement from his son, Donald Trump, Jr., related to a controversial meeting with Russian bigwigs last July. This comes after a Washington Post story that the President himself dictated the entire statement while traveling on Air Force One. As Paul Waldman writes in a separate story for the Washington Post, Trump appears to have directly implicated himself in allegations that his 2016 campaign colluded with Russia.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► Routt County Treasurer Brita Horn, one of 47 Republicans seeking the GOP nomination for State Treasurer, is not responding well to accusations of problems in her office. From Steamboat Today:
A recent mistake by the Routt County Treasurer’s Office deprived schools, libraries and dozens of other local taxing districts of nearly $6 million worth of their property tax revenue for more than two months.
Treasurer Brita Horn said the problem occurred in early May after the tax recipients received property tax payments for April 21 to April 30 instead of for the entire month…
…Horn, who is currently campaigning to become the state’s treasurer, took responsibility for the mistake and the late payments in a letter she sent July 20 to the more than 100 tax recipients that were affected.
But she declined Tuesday to explain how the mistake occurred other than to make references to a software vendor and a personnel issue she said she couldn’t discuss in public.
Wait, what? How is it “taking responsibility” for the problem when you lay blame on unnamed software vendors and personnel?
► President Trump conducted a secretive 45-minute interview with the Wall Street Journal in late July. As CNN’s Chris Cillizza explains, Trump’s comments were predictably strange.
► The New York Times catches up with the latest lobbying business moves of former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. It’s not at all shady:
About a week after leaving his old firm, Mr. Lewandowski started a new consulting business, according to corporate filings. And now, as he takes on an increasingly broad role as an unofficial White House adviser, he is building a roster of clients with major interests before the Trump administration, including an Ohio-based payday lender seeking to block or overturn new federal financial regulations.
Mr. Lewandowski appears to be positioning his new firm as an “advisory” business, part of a growing cohort of Washington influencers who advise companies on how to navigate the government but do not register as lobbyists or disclose their clients. A draft contract obtained by The New York Times stipulates that Mr. Lewandowski’s firm “cannot and will not engage in any lobbying or advocacy services.”
But his new firm once again puts Mr. Lewandowski at the center of the ethical quandaries surrounding the Trump White House, where the president has given significant access and power to friends and loyalists who are not on the government payroll but work as lobbyists or retain significant outside business interests.
► President Trump thinks the White House is “a real dump,” according to reports. At least there is plenty of ice cream available.
► Doug Robinson should consider just changing his name to “Mitt Romney’s Nephew.”
► There’s another Democrat running for Congress in CD-7. Dan Baer’s first interview about his campaign did not go well at all.
► Speaking, er, writing, of terrible interviews about campaigns, Lieutenant Governor Donna Lynne says she is maybe-sorta-kinda running for Governor in 2018.
► There are three Democrats running for Congress in CD-4, and two of them are veterinarians. Former CD-4 Representative and U.S. Senator Wayne Allard would be proud.
► Congressional Republicans continue to pretend to be working on some sort of viable healthcare legislation. President Trump’s Twitter threats to cut off subsidies for healthcare — which would include Congress and its staff — are generally being ignored.
► Denver Mayor Michael Hancock is drafting an executive order to push back against the immigration policies of President Trump.
► Democrat Jason Crow received the endorsement of former Governor Bill Ritter in his bid for the Party’s nomination in CD-6.
► The owners of a big-game hunting ranch near Grand Junction are suing an oil and gas company over a pipeline leak that is alleged to have contaminated the property.
OTHER LINKS YOU SHOULD CLICK
► Colorado’s largest privately-held company, CH2M, is being sold to Jacobs Engineering Group of Dallas for $3.27 billion.
► This headline about a new White House proposal targeting affirmative action policies is spot-on.
► Check out the latest episode of the Get More Smarter Show and find out what Republican gubernatorial candidate Victor Mitchell thinks about the possibility of campaigning with President Trump in 2018.