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August 21, 2018 10:32 AM UTC

Get More Smarter on Tuesday (August 21)

  • 15 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

If you are mean to President Trump, you’re going to lose your security clearance. Trump isn’t even pretending otherwise. 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… 

► As the Washington Post reports, Russian hacking attempts are picking up ahead of the 2018 election:

A group affiliated with the Russian government created phony versions of six websites — including some related to public policy and to the U.S. Senate — with the apparent goal of hacking into the computers of people who were tricked into visiting, according to Microsoft, which said Monday night that it discovered and disabled the fake sites.

The effort by the notorious APT28 hacking group, which has been publicly linked to a Russian intelligence agency and actively interfered in the 2016 presidential election, underscores the aggressive role that Russian operatives are playing ahead of the midterm elections in the United States. U.S. officials have repeatedly warned that the November vote is a major focus for interference efforts. Microsoft said the sites were created over the past several months and that the company was able to catch them early, as they were being set up. It did not go into more specifics.

On Monday, Trump talked with Reuters about his concerns with the investigation into potential collusion between his campaign and the Russian government, suggesting that special counsel Robert Mueller might come down hard on him because he is friends with former FBI Director James Comey. Trump also questioned the assessment of U.S. intelligence officials that Russia interfered in the 2016 election:

“So if I say something and he (Comey) says something, and it’s my word against his, and he’s best friends with Mueller, so Mueller might say: ‘Well, I believe Comey,’ and even if I’m telling the truth, that makes me a liar. That’s no good.”…

…He again neglected to blame Russia for interfering in the 2016 election, a conclusion reached by the U.S. intelligence community.

The probe, he said, “played right into the Russians – if it was Russia – they played right into the Russians’ hands.” [Pols emphasis]

“If it was Russia.”

For more news related to Trump and Russia, check out “The Daily D’oh.”

 

President Trump is apparently pretty unnerved about the 30+ hours of interviews between White House Attorney Don McGahn and Robert Mueller’s team of special prosecutors. From CNN:

White House counsel Don McGahn’s 30 hours of conversations with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team have unnerved President Donald Trump, who didn’t know the full extent of McGahn’s discussions, two people familiar with his thinking said…

…The President was unsettled by the notion that he didn’t know everything McGahn said to the special counsel during their interviews, the sources said. And while he had approved the cooperation, Trump did not know the conversations stretched for 30 hours or that his legal team didn’t conduct a full debriefing with McGahn after the fact.

Trump remained agitated for the rest of the weekend, the people said, believing the revelation made him look weak.

‘Tis better to be thought crazy than weak — it’s not exactly Machiavellian.

 

Via the New York Times, Aug. 21, 2018

► The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is rolling back Obama-era restrictions on coal emissions. As the New York Times reports, the Trump administration acknowledges that the move will probably kill some people:

The Trump administration on Tuesday made public the details of its new pollution rules governing coal-burning power plants, and the fine print includes an acknowledgment that the plan would increase carbon emissions and lead to up to 1,400 premature deaths annually.

The proposal, the Affordable Clean Energy rule, is a replacement for the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, which was an aggressive effort to speed up the closures of coal-burning plants, one of the main producers of greenhouse gases, by setting national targets for cutting carbon dioxide emissions and encouraging utilities to use cleaner energy sources like wind and solar.

The new proposal, issued by the Environmental Protection Agency, instead seeks to make minor on-site efficiency improvements at individual plants and would also let states relax pollution rules for power plants that need upgrades, keeping them active longer.

In other environment-related news, Coloradans are speaking out in hopes that Congress will renew funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…

 

► The Associated Press reports on the latest news on efforts to restrict the distribution of blueprints for 3D-printed weapons:

A federal judge in Seattle is scheduled to hear arguments Tuesday on whether to block a settlement the U.S. State Department reached with a company that would allow it to post blueprints for printing 3D weapons on the internet.

The federal agency had tried to stop a Texas company from releasing the plans online, arguing it violated export regulations. But the agency reversed itself in April and entered an agreement with the company that would allow it to post the plans. The company is owned by a self-described “crypto-anarchist” who opposes restrictions on gun ownership.

Nineteen states and the District of Columbia sued and last month secured a restraining order to stop that process, and now they want to make that permanent by having the judge convert the restraining order into an injunction. They fear the plans, if disseminated online, could be used by people who are not legally permitted to buy or possess guns. Critics add that because the weapons aren’t made of metal, they would be undetectable.

Colorado is among the 19 states filing suit to stop 3D-printed guns.

 

► A statewide effort to change the redistricting process in Colorado kicked off its campaign on Monday.

 

► The City of Lafayette may extend its moratorium on new oil and gas drilling operations until voters decide on a ballot measure creating 2,500-foot setbacks.

 

► If you had difficulty breathing in the Denver Metro area on Monday, you’re not alone. Hundreds of wildfires across the Western United States are mucking up the air quality in Colorado.

 

Colorado is getting a spaceport, as 9News reports. Or “Space Port.” Either way.

 

► An effort to recall Weld County Commissioner Barbara Kirkmeyer has fizzled out.

 

► Republicans are trying to win back a Senate seat in North Dakota without the help of two major GOP donors.

 

The threat of a “Blue Wave” in November is making Republican Congressional incumbents very nervous.

 

► The first and last alphabetical states in the U.S. — Alaska and Wyoming — are holding Primary Elections today.

 

 Interested in Republican gubernatorial candidate Walker Stapleton’s health care policies? Good luck trying to understand them.

 

► According to readers of Colorado Pols, Democrat Jared Polis is the runaway favorite to become Colorado’s next Governor.

 

Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

 

► Republican Congressman David Joyce of Ohio is running a television ad touting his vote AGAINST dismantling the Affordable Care Act (nevermind the dozens of YES votes that came before his opposition). From the Washington Post:

In a year that finds Republicans largely ceding health care as a talking point to Democrats, Rep. David Joyce (R-Ohio) has taken a different approach. Rather than ignore the issue, Joyce released a television ad that ran in his northeast Ohio district touting his opposition to his party’s attempt to kill the Affordable Care Act last year. 

“When Republican leaders in Congress tried to take away protections for pre-existing conditions, I said no,” Joyce says in the ad.

Yet Joyce, a three-term congressman in Ohio’s 14th district, previously voted 31 times to repeal the ACA — something that until this year was bulleted on his campaign website. Now, his site doesn’t mention Obamacare at all. But the campaign hasn’t publicized the ad either, and it does not appear anywhere across Joyce’s social media.

This delicate dance represents the dynamic for Republicans in vulnerable districts as they attempt to balance their past disdain for the ACA with its present popularity. 

 

Don’t buy gold. This is a good enough news peg for a “Throwback Tuesday.”

 

ICYMI

 

► Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is working hard to ease restrictions on for-profit colleges so that they may continue to exchange worthless degrees for mountains of college debt.

 

Click here for The Get More Smarter Show. You can also Get More Smarter by liking Colorado Pols on Facebook!

 

Comments

15 thoughts on “Get More Smarter on Tuesday (August 21)

  1. Just saw my first anti-Polis commercial. The scrabble board telling the horrors of what Jared would do to oil & gas jobs, turn Colorado into California, yadda, yadda, yadda.

      1. I saw it on MSNBC. It is a complete waste of their money running that ad on that station. It's like Tom Steyer running a pro-impeach Trump commercial on Fox.

      1. It's possible, but that would mean they have unanimous not-guilty sentiment on 17 counts where there's substantial evidence of wrongdoing.  So, at least one of them would have to be sitting there saying, "oh, I think he did this one, but none of the others."  I didn't see the case as having a single charge that stood out from the others that way, where you could say "He did x," without also saying, "and therefore a, b, c, e, f…"  Of course, OJ was acquitted, so…

        A not-guilty-but-one scenario is possible, but based on the counts and other questions from the jury, it seems more likely that they found one count where they can't agree if he acted knowingly or out of ignorance, or they just think the government charged him unfairly (the prosecutors being nit-picky, or the like).

    1. Oooh, crowd control barricades are up at Cohen's courthouse.  Looks like things may be getting ready to pop.

      Edit: Ah, a proceeding is scheduled for 2:00 our time

  2. This is like Oprah handing out cars.  Looks like it's Tony Podesta's turn on the rack.  We'll have to see if charges result.

    Exclusive: Mueller refers foreign agent inquiries to New York prosecutors

    Since the spring, Mueller has referred matters to SDNY involving longtime Democratic lobbyist Tony Podesta and his work for his former firm, the Podesta Group, and former Minnesota Republican Rep. Vin Weber and his work for Mercury Public Affairs, the sources said.

    One source said that former Obama White House counsel Greg Craig, a former partner at law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, is also part of the inquiry.

  3. Just read that article about the redistricting process. It seems, at least in outline, to be fair and reasonable. Weird. I halfway expected some sort of semi-obvious Trojan Horse or political malware.

  4. Holy shit.  Duncan Hunter (R-CA 50) down!

    In other huge news, Republican congressman Duncan Hunter and his wife have been indicted by DOJ for allegedly using $250,000 in campaign money for their own personal expenses, including trips to Italy and Hawaii, and dental work.

    — Mike Levine (@MLevineReports) August 21, 2018

    Hunter and Chris Collins (R-Rikers) were the first two congresspeople to endorse Trump.

    1. Duncan Hunter … arraignment Thursday.

      Seems like it could make a re-election campaign a bit tougher.  And if the "wrong card" excuse falls apart, we could have a new meme: " Among the most mocked charges was airfare for a pet rabbit to fly with the family,"

       

        1. With California's jungle primary I wonder how a resignation plays out at this juncture? Does #3 move up? Does the party name a vacancy candidate? The guy with the funny last name who couldn't possibly be an American in his heart gets to claim the prize and starts legislating in January? 

          1. This line in the LA Times seems to say, like Keyser, Hunter is "on the ballot."

            Hunter’s legal troubles could provide major ammunition to Campa-Najjar, who recently received an endorsement from Barack Obama and hired veteran national strategist Joe Trippi. California election law does not provide a way for Republicans to replace Hunter with another GOP candidate and the only way to remove Hunter’s name from the ballot is by court order.

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