Today marks the approximate “midpoint” of summer, but don’t tell that to your kids as they prepare to head back to school. 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…
► National Security Adviser John Bolton says President Trump’s good buddy Kim Jong Un isn’t actually following up on any promises made during a summit meeting in June. From the Washington Post:
National security adviser John Bolton said Tuesday that North Korea has not made progress toward denuclearization in a dismal acknowledgment that comes nearly two months after President Trump held a historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore.
“The United States has lived up to the Singapore declaration. It’s just North Korea that has not taken the steps we feel are necessary to denuclearize,” Bolton said in an interview on Fox News Channel on Tuesday morning…
…The Trump administration has consistently sought to reassure critics Kim will make good on his pledges to denuclearize. Last month, Trump tweeted he had “confidence that Kim Jong Un will honor the contract we signed &, even more importantly, our handshake” in Singapore.
“Well, that’s a surprise,” said absolutely nobody.
► Colorado is joining 18 other states in suing the federal government over plans to permit the distribution of blueprints for untraceable 3D-printed firearms. Local libraries and school districts are taking their own precautions to prevent the printing of these weapons.
► It’s Primary Day in a bunch of states across the country, with most eyes on a special election for a Congressional seat in Ohio. Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, and Washington also hold Primary Elections today. The New York Times lays out what to watch for today, including this confusing Democratic Primary in Washington:
In the solidly Democratic Ninth District, Representative Adam Smith, a longtime congressman with a top position on the House Armed Services Committee, is facing a primary challenge from Sarah Smith, a democratic socialist. On the surface, this looks a lot like New York’s 14th District, where another democratic socialist, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, beat Joseph Crowley, a longtime congressman with a powerful leadership position. Ms. Smith has encouraged the comparison, while Mr. Smith has emphasized the differences between the two races — including the fact that Ms. Ocasio-Cortez was born and raised in her district, while Ms. Smith lives just outside this one.
As the Washington Post reports, 2018 is a bad year for Republican Lieutenant Governors to be seeking higher office.
► Climate Change is very real, and we could be reaching a dangerous tipping point. From CNN:
Scientists are warning that a domino effect will kick in if global temperatures rise more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels, leading to “hothouse” conditions and higher sea levels, making some areas on Earth uninhabitable…
…Hotter temperatures could result in sea level rise up to 60 meters (197 ft) from today’s shorelines, swamping coastal populations and forcing communities inland. This summer dozens of people have died in wildfires and heat waves from the US to Asia, giving the world an insight into what could lie ahead.
The report says that if the “threshold” — a theoretical point-of-no-return — is crossed, this “would lead to a much higher global average temperature than any interglacial in the past 1.2 million years and to sea levels significantly higher than at any time in the Holocene,” referring to the geological age which began at the end of the last ice age, around 12,000 years ago.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► Donald Trump, Jr. tried on a new explanation of the infamous “Trump Tower meeting” from 2016. It did not go well, as the Washington Post reports:
On Monday, Donald Trump Jr. offered his first defense of the Trump Tower meeting in months. Appearing on Fox News host Laura Ingraham’s radio show, Trump Jr. responded to new questions raised by a tweet in which President Trump conceded explicitly for the first time that the purpose of the meeting with a Kremlin-aligned Russian lawyer was opposition research on Democrats.
Most have focused on the fact that Trump Jr. claimed his line cut out when he was asked about the Trump team’s contradictions. But buried within his answers were some worthwhile nuggets — and questionable claims — about how he’s defending the meeting today, more than one year after it was first revealed. Trump Jr. reiterated that the meeting was primarily about adoption, as his misleading first statement about it claimed, and said the oppo research promise was merely a “bait and switch.” He also compared his decision to take the meeting to members of Congress meeting with the lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, without noting the key difference — that he took the meeting seeking information that very likely would have been illegal to accept.
► As NBC News reports, the Trump administration is now moving to restrict legal immigration.
► Christine Hellquist of Vermont could soon become the nation’s first transgender Governor.
► Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler is the Republican nominee for Attorney General. Over the weekend Brauchler crapped all over Pueblo.
► Denver Democrat James Coleman has a lot of explaining to do after heavily praising the oil and gas industry just a few days after pumping his fist over support from Conservation Colorado.
► Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is in Colorado for photo ops with local Republicans.
► State Rep. Judy Reyher (R-Pueblo) says Republican Don Bendell — who defeated her in a June Primary — cannot win the November election because of serious concerns about ignoring child support responsibilities.
► Senator Michael Bennet (D-Denver) is holding a town hall event in Steamboat Springs on Tuesday afternoon.
► The Associated Press reports on the submission of petition signatures to get several citizen initiatives on the November ballot. As the Colorado Independent reports, one signature-gathering firm was fired by the Denver Chamber of Commerce for collecting signatures for a competing ballot measure:
The Chamber retained a firm called FieldWorks to gather signatures for an unrelated transportation funding measure. FieldWorks subcontracted that work to a company called Petition Connection, which, it turns out, was also gathering signatures for Colorado Rising, the group backing Initiative 97, a measure to increase by five-fold setbacks on oil and gas activity. The measure would require 2,500-foot setbacks between oil and gas operations and houses and schools.
Chamber President and CEO Kelly Brough told The Independent Friday that when her group learned Petition Connection was also gathering signatures for Colorado Rising, it told FieldWorks to stop using Petition Connection to gather signatures for its proposed transportation measure. That measure seeks a 0.62 percent statewide sales tax to pay for transportation and transit.
► Meghan Lopez of Denver7 reports on dozens of new education-related laws that recently went into effect in Colorado.
► Oh, good — there’s another new license plate in Colorado.
► Eagle River Fire crews worked to clean up yet another oil spill, this time in Eagle County.
► The Greeley Tribune reports on a dozen new solar energy projects in Colorado.
► Corey Hutchins runs down a myriad of changes to how politics will be covered by local news outlets in Colorado.
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Trump tweeted Monday that California “Governor Jerry Brown must allow the Free Flow of the vast amounts of water coming from the North and foolishly being diverted into the Pacific Ocean. Can be used for fires, farming and everything else. Think of California with plenty of Water – Nice! Fast Federal govt. approvals.”
That tweet — on the heels of a Sunday tweet that referenced California’s “bad environmental laws” as a cause of the state’s current raging wildfires — drew an immediate reaction from veteran California GOP strategist Rob Stutzman, who responded via Twitter: “This is nuts’’ and also “low water IQ.” Stutzman has advised former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and a host of national and state GOP candidates.
Trump’s comments may be referencing an unrelated dispute between Brown’s administration and California Republicans over how much of the state’s water can be diverted to Southern California farms and cities and how much must be allowed to flow naturally to benefit endangered and threatened fish species.
Wildfires around California have killed nine people, but firefighters have not raised concerns about the available water supplies.
Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States.
► Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort tried to pin his legal troubles on former employee Rick Gates. This strategy appears to be a spectacular failure.