Could Omarosa be Donald Trump’s downfall? If God has a sense of humor, it just might happen. 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…
► Republican Rep. Devin Nunes of California — the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee — may have spoken a little too openly about the 2018 election in a speech to donors recently. From the Washington Post:
It was in private, at a closed-door fundraiser for a Republican colleague, that Nunes took the new step of tying the investigation to the midterm elections this fall. In comments captured in an audio recording aired Wednesday by “The Rachel Maddow Show,” Nunes laid out in stark terms the rationale for preserving the GOP majority in Congress.
“If Sessions won’t unrecuse and Mueller won’t clear the president, we’re the only ones, which is really the danger,” Nunes said at an event for Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, referring to Jeff Sessions, the attorney general, and Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel. Sessions said last year that he would keep his distance from inquiries related to the 2016 election, owing to his role in Trump’s campaign — a move that has frustrated the president, leading him to blame his own attorney general for the “Russian Witch Hunt Hoax.”
“I mean, we have to keep all these seats,” Nunes added. “We have to keep the majority. If we do not keep the majority, all of this goes away.”
“All of this goes away” probably sounds pretty good to a lot of voters right now. “Must protect Trump?” Not so much.
► We’ve talked before in this space about mystifying Republican efforts at making “California” a centerpiece of their narrative against Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jared Polis. Fox 31 Denver fact-checks the latest ad using this approach from from the Republican Governor’s Association. It doesn’t turn out well.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► New York Republican Rep. Chris Collins was the first sitting member of Congress to endorse Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign. On Wednesday, the Justice Department announced that Collins is being indicted on insider trading charges.
As the Washington Post reports, Collins just guaranteed that ethics questions will be a major election issue this fall:
The first member of Congress to endorse Donald Trump’s presidential campaign allegedly committed felony insider trading while standing on the White House lawn.
Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) pleaded not guilty in the Big Apple on Wednesday as the president’s former deputy campaign chairman, Rick Gates, testified for a third consecutive day against Paul Manafort, his former chairman, in a Virginia courtroom.
The congressman’s announcement last night that he will stand for reelection this fall helps guarantee that a bucket of ethics issues will be on the front burner during the run-up to the midterm elections.
After being released on a $500,000 bond, and ordered to give up his passport and firearms, Collins held a brief news conference in Buffalo. Calling the charges “meritless,” he said: “I look forward to being fully vindicated and exonerated. … I will mount a vigorous defense to clear my name.” He took no questions.
Collins’ indictment could also be bad news for Colorado Springs Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn, who apparently bought shares in the same company.
► Republican Attorney General nominee George Brauchler is one magnificent putz. His latest foot-in-mouth problem: Trying to make the case that it was a good thing that Aurora Theater Shooter James Holmes had access to assault weapons with 100-round magazines.
► West Virginia’s legislature is attempting to impeach the entire State Supreme Court. From NPR:
West Virginia’s House Judiciary Committee has adopted articles of impeachment against all four justices on the state’s Supreme Court of Appeals, accusing the judges of a range of crimes and throwing the court’s immediate future into disarray.
Approved on Tuesday afternoon, the articles of impeachment recommend that the entire bench — Chief Justice Margaret Workman, Justice Allen Loughry, Justice Robin Davis and Justice Elizabeth Walker – be impeached “for maladministration, corruption, incompetency, neglect of duty, and certain high crimes and misdemeanors.”…
…The timing of Tuesday’s vote to approve the impeachment articles — after a month of hearings, and one week before the Aug. 14 deadline — was quickly criticized by Democrats.
► Right-wing radio hosts aren’t doing Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) any favors by bringing up his past comments relating Social Security to a “ponzi scheme.”
► Discussions about Walker Stapleton’s family ties to the Ku Klux Klan aren’t going away anytime soon.
As we explained recently here at The Health 202, instituting work requirements in non-expansion states means the absolute poorest Americans, who are largely single mothers, would be caught in a catch-22 where working could earn them too much money to qualify for Medicaid, but not working would also make them ineligible for the benefits.
► Republican gubernatorial candidate Walker Stapleton continues to be haunted by his baffling incompetence in selecting a Lieutenant Governor running mate.
► Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson is warning that Russian hackers may have broken into voter registration systems in advance of the 2018 election.
► Summit County officials want more federal government help for fire suppression efforts.
► The National Rifle Association (NRA) has “declared war” on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo — which probably only helps him in his bid for re-election.
► A Republican Party vacancy committee has selected a new candidate in House District 18 in Colorado Springs.
► Charles Ashby of the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports on a long list of new laws that went into effect on Wednesday.
► Republicans are growing increasingly pessimistic about their chances of defeating incumbent West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin. As Politico reports:
On paper, Manchin should be an easy mark in November: an incumbent Democrat in a state where President Donald Trump won two-thirds of the vote in 2016 and remains overwhelmingly popular. Yet Manchin holds a comfortable lead in public and private polling, and interviews with multiple Republican operatives involved in or closely following the race indicate it has slipped out of the top tier of Senate contests.
Republicans are worried that Manchin’s opponent, state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, has failed to close the gap since he emerged from a nasty primary in May. Morrisey has been blistered by ads from Democrats but has yet to hit the airwaves himself during the general election, and has less than $900,000 in the bank compared to Manchin’s $6.2 million war chest.
Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) is the Chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) in 2018.
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► Walker Stapleton’s gubernatorial campaign is opening two new offices this weekend, and they’ve come up with an incredibly-tortured phrase to explain the events: “Victory Office Day of Action.”
► This ridiculous oil and gas industry “fact checking” website is just one bad idea after another.
► Results from Tuesday’s Primary Elections in five states provided more indication that 2018 is going to be a very bad year for Republicans such as Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora).