Welcome to November! 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…
► Finger-Pointer-In-Chief Trump is blaming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer for a deadly attack in New York on Tuesday. From the Washington Post:
As details emerged about the incident, prominent right-wing commentators and news outlets seized on a report from New York’s ABC7 that the alleged attacker, Sayfullo Saipov, had come to the United States from Uzbekistan under a State Department program known as the Diversity Visa Lottery.
Long before government officials publicly confirmed that report, Trump slammed the program and said he’ll ask Congress to “immediately” begin work to end it…
…In news interviews, blog posts and tweets, conservatives blamed the Democrat, saying he was responsible for allowing the 29-year-old man’s entry into the country.
Trump joined the criticism early Wednesday, hours before declaring that he would ask Congress to terminate the program.
Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, meanwhile, has a different memory of immigration reform efforts in Congress.
► The open enrollment period for Colorado’s health insurance exchange begins today. Blair Miller of Denver7 has the details.
As John Ingold notes for the Denver Post, some health insurance customers could be in for a nice surprise:
While underlying premiums will climb more than 30 percent, in part because of a Trump administration decision to end key payments to insurers, what many people will actually end up paying is expected to drop. That’s because the amount available in federal tax credits to help pay premiums is also rising.
The state Division of Insurance estimates that for people whose incomes are low enough to make them eligible for tax credits, the net cost of premiums will decline by 20 percent this year.
As a result, the leaders of Connect for Health Colorado — the state’s online exchange for people shopping for their own health insurance plan — say they are expecting enrollment this year to remain steady.
Only Coloradans who make up to 400% of the federal poverty line are eligible for the bigger tax credits. For most middle class families, rates could increase dramatically because of efforts by Congressional Republicans and President Trump to de-stabilize the marketplace.
► Congressional Republicans are delaying tax reform legislation because they can’t agree on any of the details in the various proposals.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► Greg Sargent of the Washington Post thinks the Trump administration is setting the stage for another “Saturday night massacre”:
Let’s be clear on what’s happening in our politics right now. President Trump and his media allies are currently creating a vast, multi-tentacled, largely-fictional alternate media reality that casts large swaths of our government as irredeemably corrupt — with the explicitly declared purpose of laying the rationale for Trump to pardon his close associates or shut down the Russia probe, should he deem either necessary.
We often hear that Trump and his allies are trying to “distract” from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s intensifying investigation. That’s true, but this characterization inadequately casts this in terms ordinarily applied to conventional politics. Instead, Trump’s trafficking in this stuff should be seen as another sign of his fundamental unfitness to serve as president. Similar efforts by his media allies should be labeled as a deliberate effort to goad Trump into sliding into full-blown authoritarianism, and to provide the air cover for him if he does do so.
The Associated Press reports that people who have spoken to Trump say that he has recently revisited the idea of trying to remove Mueller, now that Mueller appears to be digging into Trump’s finances. Meanwhile, CNN reports that former Trump strategist Stephen K. Bannon is privately urging Trump to try to get Republicans to defund Mueller’s probe.
► A number of FOX News employees are reportedly disgusted with the manner in which their network covered the indictment of Paul Manafort and friends.
► Senator Cory Gardner’s approval ratings are this close to being upside-down. According to polling data gathered by Morning Consult, Gardner is the eighth least-popular Senator in the entire country.
► Some 53,000 women in Colorado could lose access to prescription birth control because of a decision by President Trump to allow more employers to remove reproductive care from their list of provided benefits.
► Here are the latest ballot return numbers for the 2017 election. Remember to put your ballot in the mail ASAP, or take it to a ballot drop location in your county.
► Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper joined his counterparts from Wyoming and Montana, respectively, at Colorado State University’s 21st Century Energy Transition Symposium. The Ft. Collins Coloradoan has more details on the event.
► NBC News breaks down the timeline on alleged Russian election interference and the use of social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
► Former Congressman Tom Tancredo is officially running for Governor in 2018. Tancredo’s decision was covered by virtually every Colorado media outlet, and the Tanc made himself available for interviews with just about all of them. Tancredo’s talk with Marshall Zelinger of 9News is particularly interesting, in part because of this statement:
“I know who I am, and I am not a white supremacist. I am not a KKK supporter. I have no animus, zero, against any human being on this planet because of their skin color or because of their ethnicity,” said Tancredo.
► John Frank of the Denver Post reports on the outcome of meetings by a bipartisan legislative panel investigating options for dealing with the opioid crisis.
► It’s about that time — a Governor’s final year in office — when staff members start bolting for other jobs outside of the administration.
► Democratic state Rep. Dave Young is joining the race for State Treasurer.
► Republicans are trying hard to push the story that Tony Podesta could be indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller. As Slate points out, this wouldn’t hurt Democrats as much as Republicans want you to believe.
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► The City of Aurora has bestowed a friendly award upon itself. As the Aurora Sentinel explains:
In a statement brimming with pride, Aurora police and city officials announced last week that Aurora is once again, “the safest large city in Colorado.”
The moniker means that when compared to the state’s two larger cities of Denver and Colorado Springs, Aurora saw less crime per-capita in 2016, same as it did in 2015, 2014 and 2013.
When compared to other cities around the nation with at least 250,000 people, Aurora, with 366,477 people, ranked No. 25…
…The “safest large city” designation announced last week doesn’t come from some outside agency. Instead, it is bestowed on Aurora by Aurora officials based on statistics from the FBI and calculations by Aurora police crime analysts. [Pols emphasis]
► It kinda seems like Sen. Cory Gardner’s office has just stopped trying altogether.
► Check out the newest episode of The Get More Smarter Show, featuring an interview with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Cary Kennedy.