Smoke ’em if you got ’em. 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…
► Attorney General Jeff Sessions kicked off a new wave of confusion over the debate about legal marijuana by rescinding an Obama-era policy that instructed law enforcement officials to ease up on states that voted in favor of legal weed. Colorado politicians, including Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma), reacted swiftly in condemning the move from Sessions. Gardner says that Sessions promised him in a meeting prior to his confirmation as Attorney General that he would not push for changes in federal enforcement of marijuana in states that have voted to legalize — which puts Gardner in a tough spot since he supported Sessions’ confirmation.
Colorado Rep. Jared Polis (D-Boulderish), the leader of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, also had strong words for Sessions. But our favorite response to the news comes from the Twitter account of the Colorado Senate Democrats:
We’ll give Jeff Sessions our legal pot when he pries it from our warm, extremely interesting to look at hands. https://t.co/LF0RpdCiHG
— Colorado Senate Dems (@COSenDem) January 4, 2018
In 2016, Donald Trump promised in an interview with Brandon Rittiman of 9News that he would not crack down on legal marijuana if elected President…but then again, Trump says a lot of things. Sessions is expected to formally announce his decision on Thursday afternoon. Just this week recreational marijuana sales became legal in California, which may have something to do with the timing of Sessions’ move.
► For someone who considers himself to be a media genius, President Trump isn’t responding well to a new tell-all book about his first months in the White House. As the Washington Post reports:
A lawyer representing President Trump sought Thursday to stop the publication of a new behind-the-scenes book about the White House that has already led Trump to angrily decry his former chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon.
The legal notice — addressed to author Michael Wolff and the president of the book’s publisher — said Trump’s lawyers were pursuing possible charges including libel in connection with the forthcoming book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.”
The letter by Beverly Hills-based attorney Charles J. Harder demanded the publisher, Henry Holt and Co., “immediately cease and desist from any further publication, release or dissemination of the book” or excerpts and summaries of its contents. The lawyers also seek a full copy of the book as part of their investigation.
The only thing that this lawsuit threat will likely accomplish is to provide a new wave of free media coverage for “Fire and Fury,” which rose to the top of Amazon.com’s bestseller list on Wednesday after Trump attacked former Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, whose juicy quotations have been used as a teaser for the book’s release next week.
► So much for that Trump-directed “Voter Fraud Commission,” as the Associated Press reports:
President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday disbanding his controversial voter fraud commission amid infighting, lawsuits and state officials’ refusal to cooperate.
Trump convened the commission to investigate the 2016 presidential election, after alleging repeatedly and without evidence that voting fraud cost him the popular vote. Trump won the electoral college.
The White House blamed the decision to end the panel on more than a dozen states that have refused to comply with the commission’s demand for reams of personal voter data, including names, partial Social Security numbers, voting histories and party affiliations.
The decision to disband the commission helps to bail out Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, among others.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► Congressman Jared Polis announced today that he will go through the state assembly/caucus process in order to get his name on the Democratic ballot for Governor. Fellow Democrat Cary Kennedy had previously indicated that she will seek ballot access through the caucus process, as has Republican Tom Tancredo.
► Could President Trump ultimately be kicked out of the White House because of the 25th Amendment? As Politico reports, it’s more than just a theory now:
Lawmakers concerned about President Donald Trump’s mental state summoned Yale University psychiatry professor Dr. Bandy X. Lee to Capitol Hill last month for two days of briefings about his recent behavior.
In private meetings with more than a dozen members of Congress held on Dec. 5 and 6, Lee briefed lawmakers — all Democrats except for one Republican senator, whom Lee declined to identify. Her professional warning to Capitol Hill: “He’s going to unravel, and we are seeing the signs.”…
…Lee, editor of “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump,” which includes testimonials from 27 psychiatrists and mental health experts assessing the president’s level of “dangerousness,” said that she was surprised by the interest in her findings during her two days in Washington. “One senator said that it was the meeting he most looked forward to in 11 years,” Lee recalled. “Their level of concern about the president’s dangerousness was surprisingly high.”
► Many Coloradans rushed to pre-pay their property tax bills before the end of 2017 in an effort to get ahead of increases that will take effect as a result of the Republican tax plan that was passed just before Christmas.
► The enrollment deadline to participate in the State Health Exchange is January 12, but many Coloradans have already signed up. From the Durango Herald:
Enrollment in the state health exchange is strong regionally and statewide, despite federal efforts in 2017 to roll back the Affordable Care Act, including the recent elimination of a tax penalty assessed to uninsured individuals.
“It seemed like the prospect of losing the Affordable Care Act actually got people more interested in buying Affordable Care Act coverage,” said Joe Hanel, a spokesman for the Colorado Health Institute…
…By mid-December, more than 149,000 Coloradans signed up for health insurance through the exchange representing a 7 percent increase compared with the same period last year, according to Connect for Health.
► The Greeley Tribune previews the transportation funding fight gearing up in the state legislature.
► This week we’re wrapping up our list of the Top Ten political stories of 2017. Coming in at #5: The #MeToo Movement Hits #COLeg. Yes, that is a lot of hashtags in one headline.
► Members of the right-wing Freedom Caucus are calling on Sessions to resign as Attorney General as part of a growing defense of President Trump. As Politico reports:
Republican Reps. Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan said Thursday that Attorney General Jeff Sessions should step aside “now,” citing the Justice Department’s handling of the investigation into President Donald Trump’s campaign ties to Russian operatives and intelligence leaks to media as key concerns with his performance.
In a joint opinion piece published in the Washington Examiner, Meadows (R-N.C.) and Jordan (R-Ohio), the chairman and former chairman, respectively, of the influential conservative House Freedom Caucus, decried the “manufactured hysteria” over the probe into Russian election interference, faulting Sessions — who has recused himself from the inquiry — for allowing revelations about the investigation to reach the press…
…Republicans in Congress have grown more vocal about their irritation with the FBI and Justice Department’s handling of the probe, scrutinizing at least one FBI official’s contacts with reporters, but many of them defended Sessions when he came under Trump’s criticism last year. The president’s frustration has seemed only to increase, however, and he tweeted about the “Deep State Justice Dept” earlier this week.
► A worker who was badly injured in an explosion at an oil and gas extraction facility in Windsor in late December is talking to the media for the first time.
► Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper talked with CNBC about efforts to convince Amazon.com to open a second headquarters in the Denver metro area.
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► Republicans in the Virginia House of Delegates will have a 51-49 majority after the GOP candidate’s name was drawn out of a hat. No, really. From CNN:
GOP incumbent David Yancey won a “lot draw” in the race for Virginia’s House of Delegates Thursday, giving Republicans control of the chamber.
The quirk of democracy came as the Virginia Board of Elections used the procedure laid out in a 1705 law to settle the 11,608-to-11,608 tie between Yancey and Democrat Shelly Simonds for the seat.
James Alcorn, the chairman of the board of elections, drew a film canister with Yancey’s name out of a blue and white ceramic bowl made by Virginia artist Steven Glass.
Simonds is not yet conceding the race, and Democrats are still considering asking for a second recount. Or maybe a game of rock-paper-scissors.
► There is still no decision on whether a convicted felon elected to the Greeley City Council can be allowed to take his seat; The Greeley City Charter prohibits convicted felons from serving on City Council.
► Global warming? More like Global Cooling, amiright? Der…
► White House officials have banned the use of personal cellphones in the West Wing until people start leaking more nice things about President Trump.