For many of you, this is the last weekend before the start of the new school year. Please act accordingly. 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…
► Politico breaks down the numbers from Tuesday’s special congressional election in Ohio, and finds even badder news for Republicans this fall:
Deep suburban antipathy toward President Donald Trump has turned the old GOP electoral coalition inside-out in many areas in 2017 and 2018 — like Ohio’s 12th District, which for two decades sent former Rep. Pat Tiberi to Congress on the back of his popularity in the Columbus suburbs. His anointed successor, Republican Troy Balderson, took a different path to a small special-election lead, instead building on Trump’s rural strength while Democrat Danny O’Connor cut deeply into Tiberi’s old base.
In Columbus’ Franklin County, where Tiberi regularly received more than 55 percent support, O’Connor held Balderson to just one-third of the special election vote. In Delaware County — a wealthier, whiter bedroom community to the north — Balderson scraped together a majority where Tiberi used to win 70-plus percent. But the further Balderson got from the city, the better he performed compared to Tiberi’s baselines, taking up to 71 percent of the vote in further-flung counties.
It’s a shift that was underway before Trump arrived on the political scene — but the president accelerated it. In 2016, Tiberi and some other Republicans even combined their traditional suburban power with growing rural strength on Trump’s ticket. But that combination has proven unattainable in elections during the president’s tumultuous first term, and Republicans across the country will have to confront the full force of that change in the November elections.
► Fox News is all in on embracing white anxiety, as CNN reports:
It wasn’t so much a dog whistle as it was an airhorn. Or perhaps a primal scream. But whatever it was, Laura Ingraham’s forceful denunciation of “massive demographic changes” served as another raw example of a Fox News host echoing white nationalist language…
…The Fox News audience is almost 100% white, according to Nielsen. And on the channel’s highest-rated shows, the politics of white anxiety play out practically every day, as hosts and guests warn about the impacts of immigration and minimize or mock the perspectives of people of color. The talk show segments are clearly intended to appeal to people who perceive they are losing their grip on power.
In 2018, Tucker Carlson, at 8 p.m., and Ingraham, at 10 p.m., spend the most time on this subject. (The host in between, Sean Hannity, concentrates more on defending Trump.)
“The America we know and love doesn’t exist anymore,” Ingraham said Wednesday night. “Massive demographic changes have been foisted on the American people, and they are changes that none of us ever voted for, and most of us don’t like.”
In related news, former Congressman Tom Tancredo was his familiar racist self in a recent talk with the Jefferson County Republican Men’s Club. This is the same Tancredo who formally nominated Walker Stapleton for the Republican gubernatorial nomination last spring.
► In his never-ending quest to antagonize every other country on Earth, President Trump is now targeting Turkey with new tariffs (say that three times fast!) From the Washington Post:
President Trump said Friday that he told his administration to double steel and aluminum tariffs against Turkey, reflecting the rapidly deteriorating state of relations between the two countries.
The announcement would mark a major policy shift, but it was made in a Twitter post with little context. [Pols emphasis] Trump remarked that Turkey’s currency, the lira, was weakening against the U.S. dollar, a phenomenon that had made existing tariffs less effective.
Doubling the tariffs to 20 percent for aluminum and 50 percent for steel would magnify the impact of the trade restrictions.
Trump is mad at Turkey and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in part over the country’s refusal to release an American pastor charged with espionage.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► Jefferson County Republicans selected a replacement candidate for Rep. Tim Leonard in HD-25 (Evergreen).
► Wage growth in the United States is being all but wiped out by inflation, as the Washington Post reports:
U.S. workers’ paychecks are worth less than they were a year ago, the labor department reported Friday, as modest wage gains have failed to keep pace with inflation.
The lack of real wage gains comes despite a strong economy, with sustained growth and an unemployment rate of 3.9 percent — one of the lowest levels in decades.
The Labor Department tracks average hourly pay adjusted for inflation, which is known as the “real wage.” According to the federal government, the real average hourly wage was $10.78 in July 2017 and $10.76 in July 2018. Real wages have been on a sharp decline since the start of the year.
► Senator Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) agreed on Thursday to something that has become an increasingly-rare occurrence: He actually gave an extended an interview to a local news outlet. From the Greeley Tribune:
Sen. Gardner, R-Colo., on Thursday said he doesn’t like or support the various tariffs President Donald Trump has imposed on goods from a variety of countries.
“I think the President is right to focus on China and China’s unfair trade practices, but I am worried about a tariff strategy. … I think they’re a tax on the American consumer. I think they’re something that can have the opposite effect of what they’re intended to do.”…
…Gardner, in an interview after an appearance at the USDA-ARS Water Management and Systems Research Unit Field Day north of Greeley, said Colorado exports a lot of beef and wheat, and said it’s important the U.S. not hurt itself in the process of negotiating for better trade deals.
Gardner agrees with President Trump about sticking it to China…except for those stupid details. Got it.
► An education-funding measure called Amendment 73 is officially on the ballot in November. Consider the bar raised.
► Signature-gatherers who worked on the campaign to get an oil and gas setback measure on the ballot are still waiting to be paid.
► Another “Independent” candidate in Colorado failed to meet the relatively-easy threshold required for ballot access in November.
► According to a new study, DUI arrests in Colorado have not been significantly increased because of marijuana consumption.
► Good news for both of you who still watch Channel 2 News: The station won’t become a right-wing media amplifier after all.
► Best wishes to Larimer County Commissioner Lew Gaiter, who made an unsuccessful bid for the Republican gubernatorial nomination last spring. Gaiter’s battle with multiple myeloma has taken a turn for the worse.
► The Ft. Collins Coloradoan reports on a new study into a fracking spill that threatened to contaminate the Poudre River.
► The White House is going after Omarosa for what it is calling a “disgruntled” new memoir.
► A former aide to Trump adviser Roger Stone is defying a federal subpoena from special counsel Robert Mueller.
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► Vice President Mike Pence outlined President Trump’s plans for a new U.S. “Space Force” on Thursday. Naturally, Trump’s campaign then asked supporters for thoughts on a new “Space Force” logo. The Russian Embassy is (rightly) making fun of the Trump administration’s proposal.
► Voters in Missouri overwhelmingly rejected a deceptively-named “Right to Work” policy meant to destroy the power of labor unions in the state.
► A group of U.S. officials quietly saved a deal with NATO without the involvement of President Trump.