If you didn’t blind yourself by staring at the eclipse on Monday, enjoy these words. 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…
► The dust is settling in Jefferson County following Monday’s news — first reported by Colorado Pols — that Rep. Ed Perlmutter has decided to seek re-election in 2018 after initially saying he would not be a candidate for any office next year. Democratic candidates Andy Kerr, Brittany Pettersen, and Dominick Moreno have all publicly announced that they are ending their campaigns in CD-7 and endorsing Perlmutter for re-election.
► President Trump will be in Phoenix, Arizona tonight for a campaign-style rally that has Republicans nervous for a whole host of reasons. As A.J. Vicens (formerly of the Columbine Courier) writes for Mother Jones, there’s a lot of buzz that Trump might use the occasion of his speech in Phoenix to pardon Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio:
Arpaio was recently convicted of contempt of court for disregarding a judge’s order to stop his discriminatory anti-immigration patrols, and he now faces up to six months in jail, with sentencing scheduled for October.
The president told Fox News on August 14 that he was “seriously considering” pardoning Arpaio…
…The White House didn’t respond to a question about whether Trump was planning to issue the pardon, and Arpaio said he hasn’t heard about an impending pardon but would be “honored by the potential pardon” and would accept it, according to the New York Times. Arpaio told Politico that he’d be available for the Tuesday night rally if called upon.
Republicans are also concerned that Trump may be planning to use his Phoenix trip to continue his aggressive attacks on Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, who is up for re-election in 2018. As Politico reports:
President Donald Trump faces a decision on Tuesday evening with profound implications for his already strained relationship with the GOP: whether to attack a vulnerable Republican senator on his home turf.
White House officials won’t say exactly what’s on Trump’s agenda when he holds a campaign-style rally here. But it’s widely expected he will go after GOP Sen. Jeff Flake, a loud critic of the president who recently published an anti-Trump manifesto, “Conscience of a Conservative.”…
…In the days leading up to Trump’s Arizona trip, Senate GOP leaders have implicitly warned Trump that attacking Flake, who faces a treacherous path to reelection, would only serve to further rupture his relationship with a congressional GOP wing that he’s grown increasingly isolated from in recent weeks. It came after Trump, in a tweet after the Phoenix event was announced, called Flake “toxic.” The president had earlier threatened to spend as much as $10 million to take out the incumbent Republican.
Flake has received full public support from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and National Republican Senatorial Committee Chair Cory Gardner. It’s hard to say if this is good news for Flake, since McConnell is sporting some amazingly-low approval ratings (with Gardner not far away).
► Governor John Hickenlooper announced plans for a state response to dealing with oil and gas companies following a home explosion in Firestone in late April. Cathy Proctor of the Denver Business Journal has the details on Hick’s 7-point plan.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► Senator Michael Bennet (D-Denver) had some strong words on the departure of White House senior adviser Steve Bannon. As the Denver Post reports, Bennet believes that Bannon should never have had a job at the White House in the first place.
Bennet is holding a town-hall event in Steamboat Springs on Wednesday.
► Things are getting back to normal in Wyoming as people depart the state following Monday’s solar eclipse. It was expected that Wyoming would essentially double its population thanks to visitors hoping to get a good view of a total solar eclipse.
► As the Durango Herald reports, there is plenty of concern in Colorado over the fate of a federal program designed to provide healthcare access to at-risk children:
A 20-year federal health program that benefits children in low-income families could lose funding in December, officials report.
The Children’s Health Insurance Program provides health insurance for 74,000 low-income kids in Colorado and almost 1,000 pregnant women living below the poverty level…
…The federal program began in 1998 and is typically reauthorized every two years, with a deadline for renewal of Sept. 30. But this time around, CHIP funding has not shown up in the budget, and that has alarmed health advocates, said Jeff Bontrager of the Colorado Health Institute.
► Denver is preparing to license its first “pot clubs,” but there isn’t a huge demand for prospective business owners who are wary of negotiating the red tape.
► The Denver Post calls it the “Colorado Obamacare Lie.”
► Congressman Scott Tipton (R-Cortez) seems to be reluctant to say much of anything negative about white supremacists.
► If you live anywhere near Boulder, you probably already know that this is “move-in week” for University of Colorado students.
► President Trump on Monday announced a troop increase in Afghanistan. As the Washington Post explains:
President Trump outlined a revised vision for the U.S. war in Afghanistan on Monday, pledging to end a strategy of “nation-building” and instead institute a policy aimed more squarely at addressing the terrorist threat that emanates from the region…
…But Trump provided few specifics about his policy and how much the U.S. military commitment in the region would increase as a result, insisting that conditions on the ground would determine troop levels and strategy.
Trump’s decision to further commit to the nation’s longest war, rather than withdraw, reflects a significant shift in his approach to Afghanistan since taking office and marks a new willingness to take greater ownership of a protracted conflict that he had long dismissed as a waste of time and resources. As a candidate, Trump denounced Afghanistan as a “total disaster” and railed that the costly conflict in Central Asia drained enormous resources at a time of more pressing needs at home for American taxpayers.
As the New York Times explains, U.S. military brass convinced Trump to support an Afghanistan strategy that is at odds with Trump’s campaign promises.
Meanwhile, “Breitbart News” — with former Trump adviser Steve Bannon back at the helm — did not have kind words to say about Trump’s speech.
► Westword takes a look at Democrat Jason Crow and his bid to unseat Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) in CD-6.
OTHER LINKS YOU SHOULD CLICK
► The Department of Interior is halting a study intended to better understand the health effects of a common mining technique in the Appalachia region of the U.S.
► Treasury Secretary Steve Mnunchin’s wife seems to think that government service is the U.S. is akin to royalty.
► The Denver Broncos have settled on Trevor Siemian at starting quarterback for the second consecutive year.