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October 30, 2017 12:13 PM UTC

Get More Smarter on Monday (October 30)

  • 3 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

It’s not too late to change your Halloween costume to a “frog march.” 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…

► There’s no bigger story today than the news surrounding Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into potential collusion between Russia and the Donald Trump campaign. As the Washington Post reports:

Special prosecutor Robert S. Mueller III on Monday revealed charges against three former Trump campaign officials — including onetime campaign chairman Paul Manafort — marking the first criminal allegations to come from probes into possible Russian influence in U.S. political affairs.

One of the three men charged, former Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, pleaded guilty earlier this month to making a false statement to FBI investigators who asked about his contacts with a foreigner who claimed to have high-level Russian connections. The agreement was unsealed Monday…

…The third person charged was Manafort’s longtime business partner, Rick Gates.

The charges collectively show how Mueller is aggressively probing the lives of those in President Trump’s orbit — digging into their personal finances while also exploring whether they might have coordinated, or tried to coordinate, with Russia to influence the 2016 election.

The White House is reeling from the first formal charges against individuals associated with the Trump campaign, with the President himself using all caps in Tweeting out “NO COLLUSION!”

The Washington Post explains why we are not, in fact, talking about Hillary Clinton and Democrats instead:

While the charges did not reference Manafort and Gates’s work on the Trump campaign, separate court documents unsealed Monday detailed connections between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. Those documents show that George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy adviser to Trump’s campaign, pleaded guilty to making a false statement to the FBI about his contacts with a foreign professor connected to Russian officials.

Manafort, who served as Trump’s campaign chairman for several months in mid-2016, and Gates, who was Manafort’s top deputy on the campaign, were longtime business partners and were charged Monday with conspiracy to launder money, making false statements and other counts stemming from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into Russia’s influence in the 2016 election and possible coordination with the Trump campaign.

But…but…BENGHAZI!!!

 

► As Nicholas Kristof writes for the New York Times, Manafort’s level of cooperation with investigators may start to unravel a Presidency:

Manafort may now be facing the prospect of years in prison, and the indictment seems meticulously rooted in facts and evidence that Robert Mueller accumulated; if I were Manafort, I’d be very worried. Presumably that was the intention, and one purpose of the indictment is to gain leverage to persuade Manafort to testify against others in exchange for leniency.

If Manafort pursues his self-interest, my bet is that he’ll sing. That then can become a cascade: He testifies against others, who in turn are pressured to testify against still others. And all this makes it more difficult to protect the man at the center if indeed he has violated the law…

…Any firing of Mueller would lead many fair-minded people to assume that Trump is hiding criminal behavior, perhaps treason. There would be a push for impeachment, a boost to Congressional investigations, and the presidency would be hobbled—along with the United States itself—for years to come. Trump set in motion today’s actions when he fired James Comey, and I hope he understands that firing Mueller would probably also set in motion the complete unraveling of his presidency.

Congressional Democrats are pro-actively increasing pressure on Republicans to promise to continue to support Mueller’s investigation.

If you need a refresher on what Mueller’s probe entails, here’s a handy guide from the New York Times.

 

► Chris Cillizza of CNN makes the argument that George Papadopoulos may actually be more problematic for the White House than Manafort or his business partner. The Huffington Post comes to a similar conclusion.

 

► House Speaker Paul Ryan says charges brought against members of Trump’s Presidential campaign won’t have any effect on the ability of Congress to do its job, which seems like a fairly obvious statement to make given the fact that Congress hasn’t been able to do its job to this point anyway. Via Talking Points Memo:

“I really don’t have anything to add, other than: Nothing is going to derail what we’re doing in Congress,” Ryan said on conservative Wisconsin talk radio station WTAQ.

In Ryan’s defense, you can’t derail a train that was never on the tracks in the first place.

 

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…

 

► This is not turning out to be a very good Monday for the White House. As CNN reports, a federal judge in Washington has blocked the Trump administration from enforcing parts of its transgender military plan.

 

► Remember that story last week — which you first saw on Colorado Pols — about strange yard signs appearing in Northglenn that encouraged people to call police if someone comes to their door for GOTV purposes? Marshall Zelinger of 9News picks up the thread and finds that the husband of Northglenn Mayoral candidate Carol Dodge is indeed behind the signage. From 9News:

“I talked to Wayne, and I said, ‘You don’t know anything about this sign correct?’ And he’s like, ‘Yeah, no, I did the signs.’ And I thought, ‘Yeah, it was a big issue.’ He and I fought about it. I said, ‘What are you doing to me, I’m running in an election,’” said Carol Dodge. “Total blind side, and believe me, we’ve talked, so it’s an issue…”

He said the reason he printed the signs is that a few of his senior-aged friends complained to him about recent visits by canvassers at their doors…

“I should have had it, ‘if you feel intimidated while they’re asking about your vote and stuff,’” said Wayne Dodge.

“I don’t feel bad about what I did, even though I know I could have done something different, but I felt bad that I messed with her election and I can never take that back.”

As you can read in our follow-up story, there are several people associated with this nonsense that come out looking more than a little ridiculous.

 

► Here are the latest ballot return numbers for the 2017 election. If you still have a mail ballot sitting on your kitchen table, get that sucker turned in already!

 

The Associated Press explains why the upcoming open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act is less problematic in Colorado:

A dozen states operate their own health insurance marketplaces, maintaining control over advertising and the help they can offer consumers. That will create a striking difference when open enrollment begins Wednesday between those states and the others that rely on the federal marketplace, essentially creating a tale of two countries.

For the individual health insurance market in much of the country, the Trump administration has slashed spending on advertising by 90 percent and drastically reduced budgets for the groups that help consumers choose a plan.

It cut the open enrollment period in half, to six weeks. Shortening the sign-up window further, the federal government will shut down its online marketplace, healthcare.gov, for 12 hours of maintenance nearly every Sunday during open enrollment.

The 12 states with their own exchanges are free to chart their own course and make it easier on consumers.

Meanwhile, here’s a good explanation for why healthcare doesn’t actually work as a “free market” endeavor.

 

Vice President Mike Pence pointedly ignored the presence of Congressman Ken Buck (R-Greeley) during an appearance in Denver last week. 

 

► The Trump administration is getting more aggressive about rolling back restrictions on oil and gas drilling on public lands.

 

► Congressman Jared Polis (D-Boulderish) is pushing back against a plan to raise the entrance fee at national parks. 

 

► Congressman Ed Perlmutter (D-Jefferson County) is co-sponsoring legislation that would restrict gun purchases for people who are involuntarily committed to mental health facilities on an outpatient basis.

 

► 9News political analysts debate the future of partisan politics.

 

► Democrats elected Dylan Roberts to fill the remainder of the State House term of Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush, who announced her retirement from the legislature last month. Roberts officially takes over the HD-26 seat in the Steamboat Springs area on November 2.

 

We can’t even really explain this story about emailed accusations in a state Senate primary race in the Loveland area.

 

 

Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

 

#ManafortMonday is now a thing on Twitter.

 

► So is “Meanwhile on Fox News.” And with good reason

 

ICYMI

 

 Bonus points if you can remember the name of the show that made this actress famous:

Click here for The Get More Smarter Show. You can also Get More Smarter by liking Colorado Pols on Facebook!

 

Comments

3 thoughts on “Get More Smarter on Monday (October 30)

  1. Regarding the link explaining how buying a TV compares with getting healthcare:

    His example to refute that argument includes walking through how a person would have to purchase a TV if it was sold in the same manner as health care.

    He says the consumer wouldn’t know how much the TV would cost, — which could vary greatly depending on where it is bought and can bankrupt the shopper. The consumer would get a bill a month after taking home the TV, and the store decides which TV the person would actually receive.

    “How do you apply free-market principles to something that works like this,

    I think the answer any good Republican free-market businessman would support goes something like:

    Whenever you go to the emergency room, say to get your arm reattached, first insist on interviewing at least 3 qualified doctors, then issue an RFP soliciting competitive bids.  Then you can be assured of getting the most value for the least cost.

    The fact that you'll either be dead or at the least, minus a working arm is only a minor consideration in support of the healthcare free market.  Amirite Moldy?

  2. The biggest news of the day isn't the arrest of Manafort, it's the surprise announcement that Papadopoulos has pled guilty to dealing with Russia and lying about it to the FBI. Brilliant strategy from the Mueller investigation to head-fake a financial scandal at dawn, and then at noon, just as the Trump team was getting their talking points pushed out to Fox  news, plop onto the table a big, fat Russian collusion cake with a cherry on top.

    The timeline of the Papadopoulos trajectory is laid out in the guilty plea. In addition, the following Daily Kos story from Mark Sumner adds other important  activities to the timeline.

    Josh Marshall at TPM adds a lovely photograph of the March 31, 2016 security meeting in which Papadopoulos offers up Russian connections to the Trump Campaign. All the perps, indicted or un-indicted are shown at the meeting, including the evil Keebler Elf himself, Jeff Sessions!

    No wonder Sessions had to recuse himself.

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