For those of you who fell asleep before Monday’s late game was over, the Denver Broncos are now 1-0 on the season. 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…
► Things were very good economically for the American middle class in 2016 (thanks,
Donald Obama!) As the Washington Post reports:
America’s middle class had its highest-earning year ever in 2016, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Tuesday…
…America’s poverty rate fell to 12.7 percent, the lowest since 2007, the year before the financial crisis hit. The percent of Americans without health insurance for the entire year also dropped in 2016 to just 8.8 percent, largely thanks to expanding coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
Economists hailed the news as evidence the recovery is finally taking hold after years of frustration for the middle class, which watched the stock market soar while the average American’s income barely budged.
► Don’t stop us if you’ve heard this before (because you have): Congressional Republicans are eager to get to work on tax reform issues, but they’re a bit perplexed by the absence of anything resembling a specific proposal. As Politico reports:
“This time around there is no room for error. This has got to be a home run,” Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.) said, recalling the GOP’s Obamacare fiasco. “I would hope everyone wants to know what’s in it before you vote on it. That’s the old [Nancy] Pelosi joke on health care, it turned into a colossal joke. ‘You’ll find out what’s in it after we pass it.’”
A member of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, speaking on condition of anonymity to speak freely said, “It is frustrating and concerning that we don’t have the details and yet we’re going to be asked in 60 days to vote on something,”
The member suggested that congressional and administration leaders negotiating a plan are holding back information either to avoid leaks or because they haven’t found enough common ground yet to share anything. [Pols emphasis]
Or…and we’re just spitballing here…perhaps not having a plan really is the plan. After all, you can’t oppose something that doesn’t exist.
► Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler is seeking the Republican nomination for governor in 2018. Brauchler should also be seeking some advice on how to talk about water policy in Colorado. HINT: Don’t say that you are surprised that water is a big issue here.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► Rogue staffer alert! Rogue staffer alert!
One of our all-time favorite political excuses — blaming something on the work of an unnamed “rogue staff member” — is being deployed by Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in response to news reports that his official Twitter account seems to like porn. As Chris Cillizza explains for CNN:
Late Monday night, Sen. Ted Cruz’s official Twitter account liked a pornographic video from an account with the handle “Sexuall Posts.” That, um, drew some attention.
Hours after the “like,” a spokeswoman for Cruz tweeted that “The offensive tweet posted on @tedcruz account earlier has been removed by staff and reported to Twitter.” Then, just after 11 a.m. ET today, Cruz himself told The Washington Post that “a staffing issue” led to the pornographic tweet being liked from his account.
So far, so bad!
The only thing anyone wants to know in the wake of something like this happening is whether or not Cruz had ANYTHING to do with it. That’s it. Literally, nothing else.
Which is why Cruz needed to — and still needs to — issue a statement ASAP saying: “I had nothing to do with this and was not aware it had even been posted until it was brought to my attention.”
He hasn’t done that. Instead, we’ve gotten very mixed messages about how this all happened.
► President Trump loves him some attention…except when he doesn’t. Here’s Trump bragging about how inaccessible he is to the media:
Fascinating to watch people writing books and major articles about me and yet they know nothing about me & have zero access. #FAKE NEWS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 12, 2017
► Tom Tancredo, the former Republican congressman and two-time gubernatorial candidate, doesn’t mince words in calling for someone to run against Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) in a Republican primary. Tancredo preceded Coffman in CD-6, where he served for six terms (1998-2008).
► Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos will be in Colorado this week as part of her first major tour of schools, and she’ll bring plenty of controversy along. As Chalkbeat reports:
The Education Department declined to identify which Colorado schools — public or private — DeVos will visit, saying that announcement will come Tuesday. Multiple school districts, charter school networks and education advocates contacted by Chalkbeat said they were unaware of any pending visit by DeVos.
The tour — which begins Tuesday in Wyoming and will include stops in Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri and Indiana in addition to Colorado — aims to highlight “groundbreaking work happening in schools across America.”
DeVos is facing widespread criticism for many of her proposals, including a recent plan to scrap Title IX.
► Now would be a good time to invest in an umbrella company.
► Employment and immigration attorneys in Denver are counseling businesses not to make any rash decisions regarding employees who might be affected by President Trump’s decent decision on DACA.
► The Grand Junction Sentinel profiles Republican gubernatorial candidate Victor Mitchell.
► For some reason, the Pueblo Chieftain writes about
longshot no-shot GOP gubernatorial candidate Greg Lopez, who also made a brief and unspirited run for U.S. Senate in 2016.
► This story from the Denver Post will make you feel old:
Born two years after the World Trade Center towers crumbled, Tachia Gentry was one of 350 ninth-graders who participated in a day of service Monday at George Washington High School to commemorate the 16th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
The nonprofit 9/11 Day launched the National Day of Service and Remembrance in 2002 to inspire people to engage in charitable service each Sept. 11 as a tribute to victims, survivors and those who responded to the terrorist attacks.
Representatives of the Wounded Warrior Project, Food Bank of the Rockies, Children’s Hospital and other nonprofits were on hand Monday to provide information to the students and help them get involved in service projects.
OTHER LINKS YOU SHOULD CLICK
► What does Republican gubernatorial candidate George Brauchler think about the controversy surrounding President Trump’s decision to end DACA? He’s against it. And also in favor of it.
► Ernest Luning of the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman has some news on Colorado’s “Unity Party”:
Henceforth, members of the Unity Party of America shall be known as Uniters.
That was the overwhelming winner in a Facebook poll conducted last week by Bill Hammons, the party’s founder and national and state chairman, beating out Unis and UPAs — “that one sounds like we’re at a Greek wedding,” quipped Facebook user Paul Lewis, who suggested the winning moniker.
So, uh, there you go. There are slightly more than 1,000 registered “Unity Party” members in Colorado.
► What would you do — and where would you go — if you needed to evacuate from the Denver area in an emergency? Marshall Zelinger of 9News provides some answers.