Worried that people don’t like you? Your approval ratings can’t be worse than those of Cory Gardner. 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 a model of consistency when it comes to low approval ratings. As CNN explains:
Six months into his presidency, Donald Trump’s overall approval rating stands at its lowest point in CNN polling, while three-quarters of Americans say they can’t trust most of what they hear from the White House.
Overall, 38% say they approve of Trump’s handling of the presidency, according to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS, with 56% saying they disapprove. Just one other newly-elected president has held an approval rating below 50% at this point in his presidency since modern polling began: Bill Clinton, whose approval rating stood at 44% at this point in 1993.
Enthusiasm breaks against Trump by a 2-to-1 margin. Nearly half in the new poll say they strongly disapprove of Trump’s handling of the job (47%), while just a quarter say they feel strongly positive about Trump’s performance (24%).
Trump has been President for 200 days already? Covfefe!
Back in March, Gardner’s approval ratings were at a miserable 39%. At the rate he’s going, Gardner’s approval ratings will be in the single digits by Christmas.
► An in-depth Climate Change study compiled by a slew of federal agencies tells a story that President Trump may not want to hear. From the New York Times:
The average temperature in the United States has risen rapidly and drastically since 1980, and recent decades have been the warmest of the past 1,500 years, according to a sweeping federal climate change report awaiting approval by the Trump administration.
The draft report by scientists from 13 federal agencies, which has not yet been made public, concludes that Americans are feeling the effects of climate change right now. It directly contradicts claims by President Trump and members of his cabinet who say that the human contribution to climate change is uncertain, and that the ability to predict the effects is limited…
…The report was completed this year and is a special science section of the National Climate Assessment, which is congressionally mandated every four years. The National Academy of Sciences has signed off on the draft report, and the authors are awaiting permission from the Trump administration to release it.
One government scientist who worked on the report, Katharine Hayhoe, a professor of political science at Texas Tech University, called the conclusions among “the most comprehensive climate science reports” to be published. Another scientist involved in the process, who spoke to The New York Times on the condition of anonymity, said he and others were concerned that it would be suppressed.
Each one of 13 federal agencies — including the EPA — is supposed to “approve” the report for distribution by August 18. Scientists are worried that the Trump administration will dismiss this report entirely.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► Legal entanglements are holding up damage claims from the Gold King Mine spill. As the Associated Press reports:
Days after the Environmental Protection Agency pledged to reconsider damage claims it previously rejected after a mine spill, the agency said Monday it could not review multimillion-dollar requests from the state of New Mexico and the Navajo Nation because both have sued the agency.
In a written statement, the EPA said the law prevents it from reconsidering claims from anyone who has filed suit.
That could rule out a review of the two largest claims from the 2015 spill in southwestern Colorado, which the EPA inadvertently triggered.
More than 70 governments, businesses and individuals sought about $420 million in damages under the Federal Tort Claims Act, which is a way to settle without a lawsuit. The Navajos filed claims for $162 million and New Mexico for $130 million.
► Senator Michael Bennet (D-Denver) is holding 2 town hall meetings in Colorado this week. If you’re keeping track at home, that’s 2 more town hall meetings than Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) has held in 18 months.
During a town hall event in Greeley on Monday, Bennet did not mince words in his concerns over how Senate Republicans are dealing with healthcare legislation:
Sen. Michael Bennet on Monday said he couldn’t have designed a bill less responsive to criticisms of the Affordable Care Act than what Republicans have put forth in the past few months, and Bennet expressed hope that a recently announced bipartisan effort to repair the individual marketplace will be met with success…
…Bennet took a variety of questions from a sympathetic audience of about 150 people, but health care was a recurring theme.
“It’s crazy to me that they wrote a bill like that,” Bennet said, before sympathizing with Republicans to dramatic effect. “Can you imagine how hard it would be to say you’re going to repeal ACA for eight years, then you find yourself on the floor of the Senate and you can’t repeal it?”
► The Department of Interior unveiled a new “sage grouse protection plan” on Monday that opens up more land for mining, logging, and drilling. Perhaps the Trump administration confused this with their plan to kill off the sage grouse.
► Colorado House Minority Leader Patrick Neville says that Democrats have a secret plan to make Colorado roads “terrible” in order to convince voters to approve a tax increase. House Speaker Crisanta Duran was not pleased with Neville’s comments.
► United States intelligence officials believe that North Korea has figured out a way to attach a miniaturized nuclear warhead to one of its missiles. From the Washington Post:
North Korea has successfully produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can fit inside its missiles, crossing a key threshold on the path to becoming a full-fledged nuclear power, U.S. intelligence officials have concluded in a confidential assessment.
The new analysis completed last month by the Defense Intelligence Agency comes on the heels of another intelligence assessment that sharply raises the official estimate for the total number of bombs in the communist country’s atomic arsenal. The U.S. calculated last month that up to 60 nuclear weapons are now controlled by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Some independent experts believe the number of bombs is much smaller.
The findings are likely to deepen concerns about an evolving North Korean military threat that appears to be advancing far more rapidly than many experts had predicted. U.S. officials last month concluded that Pyongyang is also outpacing expectations in its effort to build an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of striking cities on the American mainland.
In a related story, Gardner requested that the Denver District Attorney’s office drop charges against protestors with disabilities who were arrested at Gardner’s previous Denver office in late June.
► Anti-Trump Independents are forming their own club. Politico ponders whether this might be the start of a viable third party in the U.S.
► A bunch of new laws in Colorado take effect on Wednesday. Blair Miller of Denver7 breaks down some of the most important to know.
► A big new natural gas deposit has been found in Southern Colorado.
► The unemployment rate in Colorado has reached an historic low mark.
► The Department of Justice has reversed itself on a decision regarding how states can remove people from voter rolls. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the case in its next term.
OTHER LINKS YOU SHOULD CLICK
► Remember when Donald Trump promised big infrastructure spending when he was a candidate for President? The exact opposite has been happening under President Trump.
► President Trump is now re-tweeting classified information. Swell.
► Nevada Sen. Dean Heller is widely considered to be the most vulnerable Republican incumbent in 2018. He now has a Primary challenger to worry about. Tark!