The Groundhog saw his shadow on Friday, which is bad news; but the Philadelphia Eagles beat the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, so the weekend ended on a high note. 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…
► A new bipartisan immigration plan may soon be debated in the U.S. Senate. As the Washington Post reports:
Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Christopher A. Coons (D-Del.) formally introduced a bill that would grant permanent legal status to undocumented immigrants known as “dreamers” and start bolstering security along the U.S.-Mexico border. But the measure would not immediately authorize spending the $25 billion President Trump is seeking to fortify the border with new wall and fence construction. Some Republicans are seeking at least $30 billion.
The McCain-Coons plan also would grant legal status to dreamers who have been in the country since 2013 — a larger pool of undocumented immigrants than the 1.8 million Trump supports legalizing.
The bill says nothing about curbing family-based legal migration or making changes to the diversity lottery program — two other priorities for Trump and conservative Republicans.
► Congressional Democrats are planning to push for a vote today on releasing their “rebuttal” of the controversial “Nunes memo,” prompting President Trump to delve into his shallow bag of stupid nicknames. From CNN:
President Donald Trump accused the House Intelligence Committee’s top Democrat Monday of criminally leaking sensitive information.
“Little Adam Schiff, who is desperate to run for higher office, is one of the biggest liars and leakers in Washington, right up there with Comey, Warner, Brennan and Clapper! Adam leaves closed committee hearings to illegally leak confidential information. Must be stopped!” Trump tweeted.
In case you were wondering, Trump did NOT provide any evidence whatsoever to indicate that Schiff was leaking sensitive information.
► It’s government shutdown time again for Congressional Republicans, as Politico explains:
With government funding running out Thursday night and bipartisan deals on budget caps and immigration still out of reach, House GOP leaders will meet with their members Monday night to decide how to avoid another federal shutdown. A vote to fund the government could come as soon as Tuesday.
Speaker Paul Ryan and House GOP leaders are considering whether to attach additional funding for the Pentagon to a continuing resolution to keep the government operating into late March, according to Republican lawmakers and aides. House leaders hope that will placate GOP defense hawks, who are upset that there has not been a big increase in Pentagon spending as they had hoped when President Donald Trump was elected.
But House Democrats — who want an equal increase in defense and nondefense spending — will not support such a move on the stopgap. That means Ryan and Republicans may have to pass a short-term funding bill on their own — even if the Senate may end up stripping the extra defense money later.
This is also scheduled to be a short work week for Congress, which may only have through Wednesday to figure out how not to shut down the federal government.
► House Speaker Paul Ryan had himself an absolutely brutal Twitter moment over the weekend that opens new wounds over the Republican tax plan passed in late December.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
On Tuesday morning—the day after the House Intelligence Committee voted along partisan lines to send Rep. Devin Nunes’ memo, alleging abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, to President Donald Trump for declassification—presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway was confronted with the idea that Russian trolls were promoting the #releasethememo hashtag online. She was offended. Russian trolls, she told a television interviewer, “have nothing to do with releasing the memo—that was a vote of the intelligence committee.” But her assertion is incorrect. The vote marked the culmination of a targeted, 11-day information operation that was amplified by computational propaganda techniques and aimed to change both public perceptions and the behavior of American lawmakers…
…Whether it is Republican or Russian or “Macedonian teenagers”—it doesn’t really matter. It is computational propaganda—meaning artificially amplified and targeted for a specific purpose—and it dominated political discussions in the United States for days. The #releasethememo campaign came out of nowhere. Its movement from social media to fringe/far-right media to mainstream media so swift that both the speed and the story itself became impossible to ignore. The frenzy of activity spurred lawmakers and the White House to release the Nunes memo, which critics say is a purposeful misrepresentation of classified intelligence meant to discredit the Russia probe and protect the president.
The Denver Post has more reaction on the “Nunes memo” from Colorado’s Congressional delegation.
► Senator Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) is pushing back on proposals from the Interior Department to significantly increase fees for national park visits.
► Democrat Phil Weiser moves closer to his party’s nomination for Attorney General now that Democrat Michael Dougherty has suspended his campaign to focus on securing the Boulder District Attorney position.
► Republican State Treasurer candidate Kevin Lundberg says that caucusing can “change the world.” That’s a bit much.
► If you’re still waiting to hear whether Senate President Kevin Grantham will actually do something in response to allegations of sexual harassment against several of his Republican colleagues…well, keep waiting:
In our weekly avail @SenatorGrantham was asked whether he would commit to making the final determination on Baumgardner public so people would know what happened. “I can’t say one way or the other on that.”#coleg #copolitics #cogov
— Bente Birkeland (@BenteBirkeland) February 5, 2018
► Governor John Hickenlooper has selected a former Molson Coors executive as the new head of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.
► Pueblo will probably remain the home of the Colorado State Fair…at least for now.
► It’s good to be a business executive in the land of Trump — at the expense of everyone else. As Reuters reports:
Mick Mulvaney, head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, has pulled back from a full-scale probe of how Equifax Inc failed to protect the personal data of millions of consumers, according to people familiar with the matter.
Equifax said in September that hackers stole personal data it had collected on some 143 million Americans. Richard Cordray, then the CFPB director, authorized an investigation that month, said former officials familiar with the probe.
But Cordray resigned in November and was replaced by Mulvaney, President Donald Trump’s budget chief. The CFPB effort against Equifax has sputtered since then, said several government and industry sources, raising questions about how Mulvaney will police a data-warehousing industry that has enormous sway over how much consumers pay to borrow money…
…Three sources say, though, Mulvaney, the new CFPB chief, has not ordered subpoenas against Equifax or sought sworn testimony from executives, routine steps when launching a full-scale probe. Meanwhile, the CFPB has shelved plans for on-the-ground tests of how Equifax protects data, an idea backed by Cordray.
► The Republican candidate for a Congressional seat in Illinois is an actual Nazi.
► Democratic challengers outraised more than 40 incumbent House Republicans in Q4 of 2017. More than 80 Democratic challengers reported having more than $250,000 cash-on-hand as of December 31, 2017.
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► Alec Baldwin brought his Donald Trump impersonation back to “Saturday Night Live” for another classic opening segment. Our favorite line is Baldwin’s Trump character boasting that his “State of the Union” speech was ‘better than Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Dream of Jeannie” speech.'”
► It’s a good thing that Republican Walker Stapleton is running for Governor instead of Sheriff.
► Congressman Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) says that the American public should judge the merits of the “Nunes memo” through their own reading of the document. This is the same Coffman who called for an investigation of the FBI last February, long before this memo was even a thought in anyone’s mind.