On this day in 2016, Hillary Clinton became the first female candidate to receive a major party’s nomination for President; things kinda went downhill from there. 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…
► Congressional Republicans, led by the (ahem) “Freedom Caucus,” introduced a resolution late Wednesday to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on account of Rosenstein being mean to President Trump. As the Washington Post explains:
The effort, led by Reps. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), also sets up a showdown with House Republican leaders, who have distanced themselves from calls to remove Rosenstein from office. But Meadows and Jordan stopped short of forcing an immediate vote on the measure, sparing Republican lawmakers for now from a potential dilemma.
“We’re tired of the Justice Department giving us the finger and not giving us the information we’re entitled to to do our constitutional duty,” Jordan said Wednesday night in a Fox News Channel appearance alongside Meadows. “More importantly, the American people are sick of it. That’s why we filed the resolution.”
Justice Department officials have said they have provided the vast majority of information sought in subpoenas from two key House committees — and are nearly done with providing all the outstanding information requested in those subpoenas. Democrats have said that House Republicans’ clashes with Rosenstein are little more than a pretext to weaken Mueller’s efforts.
House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters today that he opposes the impeachment effort, saying “I don’t think we should be cavalier with this process or this term. I don’t think this rises to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors.”
It’s unclear how this effort will move forward, given that the House is wrapping up business today before leaving for the August recess. It’s also unclear why conservative Republicans would leave this turd in the punchbowl just before heading to their home districts for the next month, though Rep. Jordan’s ambition to become the next House Speaker is likely related.
► The word of the day is “emoluments,” as the New York Times reports:
A lawsuit accusing President Trump of violating the Constitution by maintaining a financial interest in his company’s Washington hotel cleared a critical hurdle on Wednesday when a federal judge allowed the case to move forward.
In the first judicial opinion to define how the meaning of the Constitution’s anticorruption clauses should apply to a president, Judge Peter J. Messitte of the United States District Court in Greenbelt, Md., said the framers’ language should be broadly construed as an effort to protect against influence-peddling by state and foreign governments.
He ruled that the lawsuit should proceed to the evidence-gathering stage, which could clear the way for an examination of financial records that the president has consistently refused to disclose. The Justice Department is expected to forestall that by seeking an emergency stay and appealing the ruling.
The two constitutional clauses at issue restrict a president’s ability to accept financial benefits or “emoluments” from domestic or foreign governments, other than his official salary. No federal judge before has ever interpreted what those bans mean for the president.
This is most assuredly NOT good news for President Trump.
► You can add Colorado farmers to the long — and growing — list of Americans who are suffering from President Trump’s disastrous trade policies. Congressional Republicans are growing increasingly concerned about Trump’s tariff bloodlust, which may have played a role in Trump dialing back trade rhetoric with the European Union.
Trump is in Iowa and Illinois today, where he is likely to hear plenty of disagreement over his trade wars.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► And here’s the snap…President Trump drops back…and he punts! Per the Washington Post:
Responding to the pleas of Republican congressional leaders, President Trump appeared willing on Wednesday to temporarily back off three of his top priorities in a bid to save GOP majorities in the midterms.
The president moved to de-escalate his unpopular trade war, signaled that he’s no longer committed to shut down the federal government in October if the border wall isn’t fully funded and reluctantly relented on his rapprochement with Russia. After inviting Vladimir Putin to visit Washington in the fall with fanfare last week, the White House announced yesterday that he won’t come until 2019.
Taken together, these developments reflect the degree to which official Washington has begun shifting into full-on campaign mode with just over 100 days left until the fall elections and the palpable fear among top Republicans that they will lose the House unless the current trajectory changes.
Trump is apparently worried enough about Republicans losing a Congressional majority in November that he is directing his re-election campaign to funnel contributions to 100 Republican candidates for House and Senate.
► Colorado Republicans think they have a messaging winner with their cry that Democrats want to “turn Colorado into California.” We’re much less confident that this is going to be effective.
Marshall Zelinger of 9News breaks down a new ad from the Republican Governor’s Association that uses this message, and the results aren’t good for the RGA:
Next with Kyle Clark reached out to the Republican Governors Association for supporting information about the claims made in the ad. A spokesman provided an eight-page pdf with articles from California, that have nothing to do with Polis, as well as legislation introduced by Polis and articles written about him as a Congressman and candidate for Governor.
Sitting at home, however, you don’t have access to these documents. Based on the content of the ad alone, the details are flimsy and unsupported.
► Governor John Hickenlooper is traveling to New Hampshire, with plans to visit Iowa next month, as he moves ever closer to making a run for President. As Fox 31 Denver reports:
As for his viability? It’s clear he has work to do.
“The average Granite Stater has no clue who John Hickenlooper is,” New Hampshire political reporter Paul Steinhauser said…
…The big questions in Hickenlooper’s mind are can he raise the money, does he have a clear path or message, does his family want to do it and does he think he can win?
Those are some pretty
big obvious questions. We’d be surprised at this point if Hickenlooper did not attempt a Presidential run, though his path to a potential Democratic nomination is much less clear.
► Secretary of State Mike Pompeo testified in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday, where he primarily discussed relations with Russia and North Korea. As Peter Roper reports for the Pueblo Chieftain, Pompeo told the committee that North Korea continues to make “fissionable material” for its nuclear weapons — nevermind what President Trump says about ending the nuclear threat from the rogue nation — but also told Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) that he preferred to discuss details behind closed doors. Hooray, transparency!
► Colorado Senators Michael Bennet (D-Denver) and Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) are among a bipartisan group in the Senate who are supporting permanent authorization for the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
► Grand Junction is flirting hard with the Bureau of Land Management in hopes that the department will decide to move its national headquarters to Colorado’s Western Slope.
► Sad trombone for Donald Trump supporters in Colorado, as Fox 31 reports:
President Donald Trump has been in office for more than a year and a half. There is still no presidential portrait of Trump at the Colorado state Capitol.
While it took more than three years for President Barack Obama’s portrait to appear inside the third floor’s Gallery of Presidents, there have been zero donations to help commission a portrait so far of Trump.
Not. One. Donation.
Presidential portraits in the state capitol are funded by private donations; for comparison’s sake, President Obama’s portrait was fully funded within the first year of his Presidency.
You heard that right folks….there have been zero donations for President Trump’s Portrait at Colorado State Capitol. Zero. Trump supporters aren’t happy #copolitics #coleg #kdvr #kwgn pic.twitter.com/pIT5AMW6bJ
— Joe St. George (@JoeStGeorge) July 26, 2018
► August 6 is the deadline to submit petition signatures for campaigns looking to get ballot measures in front of voters in the fall.
► No, we should absolutely NOT lower the voting age to 16. This is stupid.
► Imran Khan, a staunch critic of America’s anti-terrorism efforts, appears likely to become the next prime minister of Pakistan.
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► A Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Missouri is raffling off a machine that purportedly builds “untraceable” AR-15 rifles. You can’t make this stuff up.
► Oh, karma, please don’t fail us now. Special counsel Robert Mueller is reportedly looking at President Trump’s Twitter account as part of his investigation into potential obstruction of justice charges.
► Republican gubernatorial nominee Walker Stapleton really doesn’t know how to respond to questions about his grandfather Ben Stapleton, the former Mayor of Denver who maintained close ties with the Ku Klux Klan.