Don’t forget to get those Primary ballots in the mail or deliver them to a nearby ballot drop (the latter option is probably better at this point). Check GoVoteColorado.com for more information. 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…
► The Trump administration policy to separate innocent children from their families as part of a crackdown on illegal immigration is quickly becoming one of the biggest issues of 2018, with media outlets descending on Southern U.S. border areas to report on a sickening crisis. As the Washington Post reports, pushback from all sides has been swift:
President Trump doubled down Monday on his insistence that Democrats are to blame for the administration’s forced separation of migrant children from their families at the border, even as some Republicans urged him to reverse course…
…Contrary to Trump’s claims, the separations largely stem from a “zero-tolerance” policy announced with fanfare last month by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. As more families are stopped for illegally crossing the border, adults are taken to detention facilities that are effectively jails, and children are sent elsewhere.
The White House also has interpreted a 1997 legal agreement and a 2008 bipartisan human trafficking bill as requiring the separation of families — a posture not taken by the George W. Bush or Obama administrations. [Pols emphasis]…
…“The President should immediately end this family separation policy,” Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) said in a lengthy Facebook post Monday. He said Trump doesn’t need Congress to change course on “the horrors of family separation.”
“The administration’s decision to separate families is a new, discretionary choice,” Sasse wrote. “Anyone saying that their hands are tied or that the only conceivable way to fix the problem of catch-and-release is to rip families apart is flat wrong.”
President Trump is trying hard to maintain his line that this hardline policy is somehow the fault of Congressional Democrats, but it is indisputably true that these enhanced enforcement measures began under the Trump administration. Here’s the New York Times:
President Trump remained resistant on Monday in the face of growing public outcry over his administration’s policy of separating children from their parents at the border, repeating the false assertion that Democrats were the ones to blame for it, and suggesting that criminals — not parents — were toting juveniles to the United States…
…In a series of tweets and speeches on Monday, Mr. Trump instead relied on fear to curry support for a “zero tolerance” policy that refers for criminal prosecution all immigrants apprehended crossing the border without authorization. The president used the threat of gang violence and other crime, and a change in the fabric of American culture as a means to stoke support among supporters and push Congress into figuring out a way to drum up funding for his long-promised border wall.
Former First Lady Laura Bush is among the notable Republicans condemning the Trump policies, which she blasted in a harsh editorial published on Sunday. Meanwhile, Dara Lind explains for Vox.com why Trump’s strategy of blaming Democrats doesn’t work in this case:
As a matter of policy, the US government is separating families who seek asylum in the US by crossing the border illegally.
To be clear, there is no official Trump policy stating that every family entering the US without papers has to be separated. What there is is a policy that all adults caught crossing into the US illegally are supposed to be criminally prosecuted — and when that happens to a parent, separation is inevitable.
Still unconvinced that this policy actually comes from the Trump administration? Try this CBS News story.
► Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen today refused to apologize for the Trump administration policies — sparking calls for her resignation. Stephen Collinson and Lauren Fox of CNN wonder how long the White House can sustain this policy. NBC News takes a detailed look at life inside the chain-link fences at an immigration processing center in Texas.
► Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper today joined Governors from across the country in refusing to use state resources for the Trump administration’s family-separation enforcement methods :
— Brandon Rittiman (@BrandonRittiman) June 18, 2018
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► President Trump is directing the Pentagon to create a “Space Force.” From Politico:
President Donald Trump on Monday ordered the Pentagon to establish a standalone Space Force as a new branch of the armed forces.
“We are going to have the Air Force, and we are going to have the Space Force, separate but equal,” Trump said at a meeting of the National Space Council at the White House…
…He also asked Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford to carry out the process of standing up the new military service.
We are probably just a few months away from President Trump ordering “The Avengers” to assemble.
► It looks increasingly unlikely that State Sen. Owen Hill (R-Colorado Springs) will be able to knock off incumbent Congressman Doug Lamborn in next Tuesday’s Primary Election in CD-5. You don’t throw “Hail Mary” passes if you think you’re winning.
► Former Republican political operative — and Trump supporter — Roger Stone apparently has dislodged a memory of meeting with Russians about the 2016 election. From NBC News:
Two longtime associates of President Donald Trump are now acknowledging a previously undisclosed contact in May 2016 with a Russian who they say offered dirt on Hillary Clinton.
Roger Stone and Michael Caputo say they forgot to tell investigators about their contact with a Russian national who goes by the name Henry Greenberg — even though they say Greenberg offered to sell incriminating information to the Trump campaign for $2 million.
“I flatly rejected his proposal in what was a 20-minute meeting and never mentioned it to Trump or the Trump campaign because the idea was so ludicrous,” Stone told NBC News in an email. The contact was first reported by The Washington Post.
He said his recollection was refreshed when Caputo mentioned it to him, after Caputo was confronted with text messages under questioning by special counsel Robert Mueller’s office. Stone had texted with Caputo about the meeting, which Caputo had set up, after Greenberg approached Caputo’s Russian-born business partner.
“Caputo brought it to my attention, it having arisen in his interview” with Mueller’s team, Stone said.
Oh, you meant those meetings with Russians!
► Republican gubernatorial candidate Victor Mitchell uses a police investigation from his own past to support his “Deep State” theories.
► 9News reports on how local businesses in Colorado are suffering from a dearth of potential employees.
► The Denver Post reports on the annual PrideFest parade in Denver over the weekend.
► Mark Matthews of the Denver Post takes a look at the business acumen of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jared Polis.
► A Republican Primary for a State House seat in South Jefferson County is getting ugly.
► Governor John Hickenlooper made a rare late endorsement in a Democratic Primary by announcing his support of Phil Weiser for Attorney General.
► Colorado’s first foray into allowing Unaffiliated voters to participate in partisan Primary Elections is causing no shortage of confusion.
► There’s another candidate for Pueblo Mayor — an election that won’t take place until 2019.
► There are five finalists to be the next Denver police chief.
► Westword has more on a new media outlet in Colorado called “The Colorado Sun”:
This weekend brought the unveiling of The Colorado Sun, a new, ad-free journalism project being launched by a handful of former writers and editors for The Denver Post, which has been decimated by layoffs ordered by Alden Global Capital, its short-term-profits-over-long-term-survival hedge fund owner. The Sun is expected to launch in July or August with help from an unusual blockchain funding mechanism, but it will need financial support from readers in order to dodge the fate suffered by myriad failed online ventures launched following the 2009 closure of the Rocky Mountain News, the Post‘s longtime print competitor.
At 9 a.m. this morning, the Sun crew, including editors Larry Ryckman and Dana Coffield, are scheduled to hold a news conference at Civic Center Park. But in advance of this appearance, the folks behind the project orchestrated a media roll-out that included stories from Colorado Public Radio and the New York Times.
The “Sun” will reportedly be funded initially by blockchain venture capitalists.
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► Former White House strategist Steve Bannon says — out loud — that President Trump has never lied.
► In the market for an AR-15 assault rifle? You might want to start attending Republican fundraisers in Colorado.