Get More Smarter on Tuesday (November 22)

MoreSmarter-ThanksgivingWe’re dreaming…of a sleeting…Thanksgiving… It’s time to Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols. 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…

► “Lock her up!” Nah, that was just talk, says Donald Trump. From the Washington Post:

President-elect Donald Trump has decided that he won’t seek criminal investigations related to former rival Hillary Clinton’s private email server or her family foundation, a senior Trump adviser said Tuesday

Trump’s apparent decision, conveyed by former campaign manager Kellyanne Conway in an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,’’ is a change from his campaign rhetoric, in which he issued incendiary calls for a special prosecutor to reopen the FBI’s closed investigation of Clinton’s use of a private server while serving as secretary of state and had also urged investigations of allegations of corruption at the Clinton Foundation. He nicknamed the Democratic nominee “Crooked Hillary” and encouraged chants of “Lock her up!” at his rallies.

Trump’s decision to pursue or not pursue a criminal investigation from the Oval Office would be an extraordinary break with political and legal protocol, which holds that the attorney general and FBI make decisions on whether to conduct investigations and file charges, free of pressure from the president.

For all of those Trump supporters out there who are upset that their candidate is backing away from this particular campaign pledge…well, get used to it (you, too, Breitbarters).

Perhaps Trump realized that it wouldn’t look good to go after Clinton when his own Trump Foundation had just admitted to breaking IRS rules on “self-dealing.”

 

► Elsewhere, Trump presided over a bizarre meeting with top executives and journalists from several media outlets on Monday. As The New York Post reports, the meeting did not go well:

“Trump kept saying, ‘We’re in a room of liars, the deceitful dishonest media who got it all wrong.’ He addressed everyone in the room calling the media dishonest, deceitful liars. He called out Jeff Zucker by name and said everyone at CNN was a liar, and CNN was [a] network of liars,” the source said…

…The meeting was off the record, meaning the participants agreed not to talk about the substance of the conversations.

The hour-long session included top execs from network and cable news channels. Among the attendees were NBC’s Deborah Turness, Lester Holt and Chuck Todd, ABC’s James Goldston, George Stephanopoulos, David Muir and Martha Raddatz.

And that was just yesterday. As the Washington Post explains, Trump’s media tirade continued on Tuesday:

President-elect Donald Trump escalated his long-standing battle with the media on Tuesday, canceling a meeting at the New York Times and blasting the publication on Twitter hours after he criticized TV journalists at another contentious sit-down. But as mercurial as he has been known to be, he later changed his mind and agreed to the meeting.

Trump had scheduled two meetings with the publisher and journalists from the Times on Tuesday, including one on-the-record session. But the president-elect, who frequently attacked the paper during his campaign, suddenly canceled the events in a series of tweets.

“I cancelled today’s meeting with the failing @nytimes when the terms and conditions of the meeting were changed at the last moment. Not nice,’’ Trump wrote to his nearly 16 million followers on the micro-blogging site. “Perhaps a new meeting will be set up with the @nytimes,’’ he continued. “In the meantime they continue to cover me inaccurately and with a nasty tone!’’

Ladies and gentlemen, the next President of the United States!

 

► Former Congressman and two-time gubernatorial loser Bob Beauprez is reportedly being considered for Interior Secretary in Donald Trump’s administration. This is the same Bob Beauprez who once said that his plan for dealing with wildlife and oil and gas drilling was to teach elk to learn to migrate somewhere else.

 

 

Get even more smarter after the jump… (more…)

Pueblo Republicans see reporters doing “anything and everything” to make Trump look bad

Trump today called respected journalists “liars,” continuing an unprecedented attack on journalism that’s reflected in GOP circles across the country.

In an email last week citing an NBC story about Trump dodging reporters, the Pueblo County Republican Party claimed that the “liberal news media” tried to “submarine” Trump during the election, and it urged Republicans to “be even more skeptical” of the news in the coming years, because reporters are doing “anything and everything to try to make [Trump] look bad.”

“A word to fellow Republicans,” wrote Pueblo Republicans. ” A leopard doesn’t change its spots.  The liberal news media did everything they could to submarine President Elect Donald Trump’s campaign.  Now they continue to do anything and everything to try to make him look bad even if it’s a lame report on going to a steak dinner without notifying them.  We have been skeptical of the liberal news media, both printed and televised, in the past but especially during the election.  We should be even more skeptical for the next four (eight) years.”

Reached by phone to discuss the comment, Pueblo County Republican Chair George Rivera said he believes news consumers should “always follow up” and “do background reseaarch” to make sure what they are reading or hearing is accurate, “whether it be on CNN or Fox News.”

Rivera, who served briefly as Colorado state senator after a Democrat was recalled in 2013, said he believes that media are often biased against the “conservative side,” based his own observations.

Melissa’s Story

MELISSA’S STORY

In early October we were treated to Melissa’s Story. A story posted by ProgressNow Colorado and promoted by Colorado Pols. The story claims to have gone viral with 60,000 views is 48 hours. A story with that much interest deserves to be revisited in light of the November 8, election results.

Coloradans, heart broken by the plight of Melissa’s story came together and passed an increase in the minimum wage effective January 1, 2017. That increase raises the minimum wage from $8.31 to $9.30 per hour.

If you remember, Melissa is a single mother with two children. A son, age 19 and a daughter 10. They live in a shelter with the children bunkbeds in one room and Melissa’s bed in the living room. Melissa recognizes that she is not the only mother suffering this plight and laments that “we cannot survive of $8.31 per hour”.

So how is Melissa doing? Have the economics of the new minimum wage legislation changed Melissa’s plight? It is doubtful ProgressNow Colorado will check in with Melissa to see the amazing difference this change will make so we will have to do some basic arithmetic to see the impact.

A standard work week contains 2080 hours in a year, at $9.30 per hour equals an annual income of $19,344 gross wages before payroll taxes. This is an increase of $2059.20 annually. On a weekly basis, at 40 hours per week her wage is $372.00, an increase of $39.60 per week. Of course this assumes that a person can find a full time job that has not been destroyed by Obama Care. Let’s further assume that Melissa’s tax situation is that she only pay SS and Medicare, which will put her at approximately $347.82 net income per week.

The question is, can a family of three survive on $347 per week with the new and improved minimum wage? Absent other financial support from government or private agencies it is doubtful.

What has been accomplished? Liberals and Democrats get to pat themselves on the back for being caring for the disadvantaged, unions get to use the delta difference between minimum wage and their current wage to demand more compensation. The impetus to increase automation is accelerated. Fewer job opportunities for low skilled workers. More demands to spend on welfare, higher taxes, and more government employees to manage programs. And Melissa’s plight has not changed!

The cruelty of the minimum wage hoax perpetrated on Melissa by ProgressNow Colorado is egregious. Melissa is the victim ProgressNow wants her to be to advance their political agenda. Melissa through her own words fully owns her victim status, “you should be able to do the extra stuff you want to do for the betterment of your family”. The fact is, if you work for minimum wage you will live a minimum lifestyle and not get to do the “extra stuff”. Nothing will change for Melissa until she breaks the victim cycle and obtains a skill set that will make her more valuable than minimum wage.

Melissa would have been better served if ProgressNow Colorado had solicited $1 from each of the 60,000 viewers of the viral video and given that money outright to Melissa. She could have used it to obtain a skill in demand or she could have gone to Blackhawk, at least she would have had a choice.

Will Colorado public officials be more careful about spreading fake news?

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Colorado Republicans did their part in spreading fake news and/or falsehoods on Facebook during the election, as Charles Buchanan has been pointing out on the Colorado Times Recorder.

Below, I’ve pulled together a few examples from Buchanan’s posts (See more here.), and they raise the question of whether public officials, as well as partisan entities, will be more careful, going forward, about fact checking information before they post it on Facebook.

Before and after the election, reporters have been spotlighting fake news and its possible impact on Clinton. Fake news appears to be especially popular among conservative audiences.

In the coming months, I’ll check in with public officials, Republican or Democrat, if they’ve posted or shared fake news or falsehoods on Facebook.

We’ll see if they have sufficient respect for public discourse to remove their inaccurate information, once it’s been proven false.

Here are recent examples, from Buchanan’s work:

In August, Colorado State Sen. Laura Woods (R-Arvada), who lost her seat to Democrat Rachel Zenzinger, shared a false meme that vaccines causes autism.

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Tim Ryan Challenging Nancy Pelosi for Minority Leader

Ohio Rep. Tim RyanAs Politico reports:

Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan will challenge House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi for the top Democratic leadership post, the first real test of her leadership since Democrats lost the House in 2010.

“Vote for me and I will dedicate all of my energy to lead us back into the majority. Our constituents deserve nothing less,” Ryan, 43, wrote in a letter to colleagues Thursday afternoon.

“Under our current leadership, Democrats have been reduced to our smallest congressional minority since 1929. This should indicate to all of us that keeping our leadership team completely unchanged will simply lead to more disappointment in future elections,” he added.

There’s significant unrest within the caucus after Democrats’ poor showing on Election Day, but it’s unclear if that will translate into significant support for Ryan. Pelosi’s leadership has clearly been shaken but the longtime leader has a loyal following in her caucus and many think it would take a near-miracle to unseat her.

The 76-year-old Pelosi has helmed the Democratic Congressional caucus for 14 years, and while it would be considered an upset for Ryan to defeat her, a series of disappointing election results certainly help strengthen his argument.

Jon Keyser’s Failed Senate Campaign Is Back in the News

As Marshall Zelinger of Denver7 tweets:

Jon Keyser is the former half-term state legislator whose brief foray into federal politics earlier this year ended in disaster when questions emerged about the validity of petition signatures used to get his name on the Republican Primary ballot for U.S. Senate. Petition gatherer Maureen Moss got tossed under the bus and Keyser managed to keep his name on the ballot, only to get soundly defeated by eventual GOP Senate nominee Darryl Glenn.

We haven’t heard much of anything about Keyser since he all but vanished just before the June 28th Primary; based on what just transpired with Moss, we’d say things could have turned out worse for Keyser and his dog.

Get More Smarter on Thursday (November 17)

GetMoreSmarter-SnowSnow! Sorta. It’s time to Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols. 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-elect Donald Trump is preparing to meet his first world leader today when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrives in New York. As CNN reports, Trump’s team is already making it clear to world leaders such as Abe that his campaign rhetoric was only that — rhetoric:

It’s not hard to see why Prime Minister Abe wants to get first word with Trump.

The Japanese government was concerned by remarks made by Trump during his campaign about relations between the two countries. In particular, officials were rattled by Trump’s suggestions that Japan, which until last year had a pacifist constitution, should obtain nuclear weapons to protect itself from North Korea…

A special adviser sent in advance by Abe to meet with members of Trump’s transition team said he was told Japan shouldn’t take Trump’s campaign talk literally. [Pols emphasis]

“All the people shared the same opinion — that we don’t need to be nervous about every single word and phrase said during Mr Trump’s campaign,” Katsuyuki Kawai told Japanese broadcaster NHK.

Sorry, Trump supporters: It’s beginning to look like everything His Hairness said during the campaign was just…words.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports on concerns that Trump’s meeting with Abe is taking place before the President-elect has even been briefed on Japanese-American relations:

The 5 p.m. session with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Trump’s first with a foreign leader since the election, has raised questions among some in Washington’s foreign policy community because Trump has apparently not been briefed by the State Department. Officials said Wednesday that the transition team has not reached out to State.

A former State Department official said such a meeting with a foreign leader would normally be preceded by numerous briefings from key diplomats…

Welp. Here we go…

Oh, never mind. Trump says everything is going “so smoothly.”

 

► President-elect Trump met with Members of Congress on Thursday and apparently received promises for a short-term spending bill that the Republican caucus doesn’t like at all. From the Washington Post:

House Republicans bowed to his wishes and announced plans to extend government funding through March, despite warnings from top GOP senators that such a spending strategy could wreak havoc on the first several months of his presidency. [Pols emphasis]

The House Appropriations Committee chairman, Harold Rogers (R-Ky.), said Thursday that his staff would immediately begin work on a stopgap spending bill that would keep the government open through March 31 after consultation with Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence.

 

► The Colorado Secretary of State’s office has released ballot return data with breakdowns for party, age, and gender. This will be the last ballot return update issued by the SOS until election results are certified on December 8.

 

Get even more smarter after the jump… (more…)

Congressional Democrats Must Resist Trump

I’ve given a lot of thought to this, and I need to say what I think.  Democrats in Congress should do everything in their power to resist and subvert everything Donald Trump wants to do as President of the United States.  No reaching across the aisle.  No bipartisanship.  No compromise on anything, no matter how good it may seem on the surface.  And here’s why.

First of all, that is exactly what congressional Republicans did to President Obama for eight years. And while I didn’t always agree with all of his decisions and positions on issues, I always knew him to be a good and decent man who always had the best interests of our country first and foremost in his mind and, more importantly, in his heart. Yet, according to the PBS program, “Frontline,” on the night of President Obama’s first inauguration in January of 2009 a group of Republican leaders, including now-Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, met in a Washington steakhouse to discuss how to deal with the new Obama administration.  After three hours of strategizing, they decided they needed to fight Obama on everything.  Their goal was clear, to delegitimize the first African-American President, ensure his failure, and limit him to one term.

I believe Donald Trump is not only unfit to be our President, but that, at his core, he is a bad person.  I don’t believe for one minute that he has the best interests of our country in mind, but that he puts his own personal interests, and those of his family first and foremost.  His ideas are vague for a reason.  He wants to be able to change them at will if it serves his own purpose.  I don’t believe he has the best interests of our country in his heart because I don’t believe he listens to his heart.  He appears to me to be a greedy sociopath who will stop at nothing to get what he wants regardless of who he steps on in the process.

Beginning today and continuing for the next four years, I plan to be contacting my members of Congress on a regular basis, in writing, by phone and in person to urge them to resist everything that Mr. Trump and his allies in Congress, Republican and Democrat, want to do.  Compromising with him in the spirit of “bipartisanship” will only serve to legitimize his Presidency.  He doesn’t deserve that kind of recognition.  As I said before, I believe him to be a fraud and a fundamentally bad person.

I have one last point to make.  I believe that sometime in the near future, Mr. Trump will do something so flagrant that constitutes an “impeachable offense.”  When that happens, I hope that Democrats in Congress refrain from getting on the impeachment train and, instead, put the onus of charging him, trying him, and removing him from office strictly on the backs of the Republican members of Congress.  The Republican Party created Donald Trump.  They nominated Donald Trump.  They elected Donald Trump.  And it should be on them to take responsibility for the damage that he inevitably creates without any help from their “friends across the aisle.”

Patrick Neville, who equated a doctor who performed abortions to the Devil, is GOP state house minority leader

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Patrick Neville (R).

Rep. Patrick Neville (R).

State Rep. Patrick Neville (R-Castle Rock), whose voice is familiar to listeners of conservative talk radio, was elected state house minority leader Thursday.

Asked if he could see anything beyond gridlock coming out of next year’s legislative session, Neville said he had a “decent” and “productive” lunch with Gov. John Hickenlooper, leading him to think there is “common ground” to be found on some issues, like on regulatory reform.

On the radio, Neville talks frequently about guns, and he’s widely known as one of the most ardent opponents of gun safety laws in the state.

But his conservative positions go beyond firearms, and The Denver Post described him last week as a “conservative ideologue.”

The Women’s Lobby of Colorado scorecard rates Neville, an early Trump supporter, at or near the bottom among state legislators on votes related to women’s issues.

“I’m pro-life, and I don’t make any bones about it,” he told me last week.

In fact, Neville is a hero among anti-choice activists in Colorado for, among other things, his sponsorship this year of the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would step up licensing requirements at clinics where abortions are performed.

Colorado Campaign for Life activist Christy Rodriquez cited this bill as a reason her organization gave Neville its 2016 Pro-Life Legislator of the Year Award in September.

“I’m truly humbled.… It doesn’t get better than this,” said Neville, after being introduced by Rodriquez.

During his speech (at 7 minutes) at the award ceremony, Neville described testimony on his bill by a doctor who performs abortions, saying that after he greeted her he felt like he’d “shaken the devil’s hand and smiled at him.”

Neville: This one person, I didn’t recognize her name, she comes up. And I went to shake her hand, and I’ve got to tell you, I’ve never had this feeling in my whole entire life. I had this crazy feeling of impending doom that came over the whole room. I came over me. And it was crazy. I don’t know how to explain it. But the best way to explain it is, I felt like I had just shaken the devil’s hand and smiled at him.  It was something else. And as testimony proceeded, we came to find out that that person was an abortionist… That feeling stuck with me for the longest time….

Let’s recognize what’s going on in this country. We’re supposed to be the most civilized nation in the history of the world. Yet, babies can be torn apart and their hearts sold for profit. We got to recognize that that’s wrong.

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Get More Smarter on Monday (November 14)

Get More SmarterYes, that was a very big moon. It’s time to Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols. 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…

► Well, shit: Donald Trump has selected well-known white nationalist Steve Bannon to be his top advisor in the White House.

 

► What will a Donald Trump White House mean for Colorado? The Denver Post tries to answer that question:

The impacts on Colorado are likely to be felt in key industries in the state such as energy, health care, transportation and recreational marijuana, and on social issues including the environment and immigration.

In those areas, Colorado leaders are anxious about the changes to come. Trump could wipe away hallmarks of the Obama administration, from the Clean Power Plan to the Affordable Care Act, while emphasizing fossil fuel production over environmental protection and regulatory oversight.

Dennis Webb of the Grand Junction Sentinel considers this question from a Western Slope perspective.

 

► The Colorado Secretary of State’s office continues to tabulate ballot return figures for the 2016 election.

 

Get even more smarter after the jump… (more…)

I’ve Had Enough of the Colorado Democratic Party

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Last Wednesday I changed my party affiliation from Democrat to Unaffiliated.  I did my best to stick with them in spite of my many misgivings about the positions that our state Democratic leaders staked out on a number of issues.  A few years ago I circulated an online petition which gathered over 5000 signatures asking Gov. Hickenlooper to intervene in the dispute between the Douglas County Board of Education and the Douglas County Federation of Teachers.  And in spite of the fact that all I got for that effort was the sound of crickets, I stayed with the Colorado Democrats.  For more than a year I made calls and wrote letters to Sen. Michael Bennet pleading with him to oppose the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.  He not only voted for it, he had the nerve to vote to override President Obama’s veto of that bill.  But I stayed with the Colorado Democrats.  I also wrote and called Senator Bennet’s office asking that he publicly state his opposition to a lameduck vote on the Trans Pacific Partnership.  I got no response whatsoever.  But I stayed with the Colorado Democrats.  This spring I attended my local Democratic caucus and proudly gave my support to Senator Bernie Sanders’ candidacy for President.  And I was elated when he won our state by a hefty margin.  Then the Colorado Democratic Party threw its support behind Hillary Clinton.  I was angry with what they did, but did my part by voting for Secretary Clinton.

Then last Tuesday happened and I finally had enough.  I’m tired of the elitist, centrist, corporate-friendly, anti-labor arrogance of people like Michael Bennet, John Hickenlooper, Rick Palacio and others who look down their noses at people like me, people who have gone along with their schtick, telling myself that it’s better to let them have my vote than letting the other side win.

Not anymore.  I’ve also had enough with this website and the people who run it.  If you see your mission as one of propping up the positions of the people I’ve mentioned here, I guess you should feel good about yourselves.  But if you measure your success by how much you move the needle in favor of progressive ideas and values, you have certainly fallen short.

There is a lot of talk in the media right now about an effort being formulated to redefine and remake the Democratic Party.  Part of that effort could involve finding state party leaders who are more in tune with the plight of average Americans rather than with Wall Street, big banks, big agriculture, pharmaceutical and insurance companies, and the rest of corporate America.  I hope that movement happens and that it happens very soon.  The 2018 congressional election is right around the corner.  In the meantime, I will remain unaffiliated.  That is, unless the Colorado Democratic Party changes its tune or until something better comes along.

Political Trivia Question of the Day

(Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and… – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Most historians list 7 specific people as our founding fathers. Who are they?

Interesting note – several because of their background and/or experience during the revolutionary war, came to see themselves as citizens of the country more than citizen of a specific colony/state. That was rare at that time.

Rolly Fischer, whose honesty and integrity helped sink a Republican gubernatorial candidate, dies

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rolly Fischer, who bravely fought off 2010 GOP gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis’ attempts to blame him for McInnis’ plagiarized water articles, died last week in Glenwood Springs.

Fischer went from “irascible” water nerd to cult hero in Colorado political circles after some of McInnis’ articles, commissioned by the Hasan Family Foundation, on Colorado water issues turned out to be substantially lifted from the writings of then Colorado Supreme Court Judge Gregory Hobbs.

After the plagiarism came to light, McInnis blamed Fischer, who was 82 years old at the time.

“I had staff assistance, I had research, and as you know, the research – that’s where the problem is here,” McInnis told Denver 7 at the time. McInnis added on the radio that his assistant felt “very remorseful” and “sick about it.”

But, oops, Fischer soon told the Glenwood Springs Post-Independent, “Scott’s responsible for it.”

The piano fell through the floor when Fischer spoke with then Denver 7 reporter John Ferrugia in one of Colorado’s greatest political TV-news moments.

Ferrugia asked, “Rolly, is Scott McInnis lying to us?”

After some thought Fischer said, “Yes.”

The 82-year-old said, “I never knew about the foundation or any foundation Scott was associated with.”

“Did you know how he was using these?” Ferrugia asked, referring to the articles.

“No. I had this sophomoric assumption that he wanted them for his own inventory,” said Fischer.

Turned out, McInnis even tried to get Fischer to sign a letter saying the plagiarism was Fischer’s fault.

After the Ferrugia interview, McInnis sort of took responsibility for the plagiarism, telling The Denver Post, “I made a mistake. . . . I immediately owned up to it. It’s my responsibility. I’ve got to fix it. I’ve told my side of the story. So that’s where we are on that. I’d love to talk to you on jobs and some of these other things.”

He gave his two-year stipend of $300,000 back to the foundation. (He’d paid Fischer a few hundred dollars per water article.)

But in 2014, McInnis appeared to throw Fischer under the bus again, telling the Grand Junction Sentinel that he “didn’t plagiarize, period” and that he’d “used ghost writers my whole career” and “didn’t make the mistake.”

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Veterans Day

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Thank you to my fellow brothers and sisters in arms. Less than 2% of Americans will serve in the military. That 2% has offered to sacrifice their lives to protect our nation its freedom and liberty. Many return from service with physical and mental injuries. Some that may not be apparent for many years. Twenty plus veterans end their lives each day.

As you go about your activities, if you see a bumper sticker, license plate, hat or some other recognition of a veteran think of this. This person may have experienced the pain of physical injury, the loneliness of being apart from loved ones, the horror of a silent battlefield, the imagines of a family being beheaded, killing a man in hand to hand combat, watching a friend die in your arms, the cold of Korea, heat of the desert, an oppressive jungle, the stench of combat. By all means thank that person, then marvel that there are men and women who will face these burdens for the love of country and their fellow man.

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