There are 123 days remaining in 2018, in case you haven’t been keeping track. 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…
► Supporters of President Trump are growing increasingly worried that he is completely unprepared to deal with a potential Democratic majority in the House of Representatives. From the Washington Post:
President Trump’s advisers and allies are increasingly worried that he has neither the staff nor the strategy to protect himself from a possible Democratic takeover of the House, which would empower the opposition party to shower the administration with subpoenas or even pursue impeachment charges.
Within Trump’s orbit, there is consensus that his current legal team is not equipped to effectively navigate an onslaught of congressional demands, and there has been broad discussion about bringing on new lawyers experienced in white-collar defense and political scandals…
…“Winter is coming,” said one Trump ally in close communication with the White House. [Pols emphasis] “Assuming Democrats win the House, which we all believe is a very strong likelihood, the White House will be under siege. But it’s like tumbleweeds rolling down the halls over there. Nobody’s prepared for war.”
► As CNN reports, top Republicans are privately pleading with President Trump to not fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions before the midterm elections:
Trump has been very public about his frustration with Sessions and has been venting to Republican members of the Senate and House for months now, according to several Senate Republican sources with direct knowledge of the conversations.
The President regularly goes on tangents about how Sessions is not serving him well — specifically Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation. The probe has formed a cloud over the White House, and the President believes it is bogging down his time in office…
…Trump is also dismissive of Sessions’ personality, temperament and diminutive stature.
According to Politico, aides have said Trump complains that Sessions “talks like he has marbles in his mouth.”
Never one to listen to advice, Trump is apparently personally lobbying Congressional Republicans for their assent in firing Sessions.
► Senator Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) is taking a strange gamble in saying that he “will not allow the United States to be fooled again” regarding North Korean denuclearization talks. Gardner has generally been parroting President Trump on North Korea since he screwed up with his public statements back in June.
It is true that on two occasions Stapleton missed PERA meetings to lunch with individuals who would eventually donate to his campaigns. The Truth Check believes Stapleton would have better served the state on those occasions by attending the PERA meeting…
Republicans are now trying to hit back at Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jared Polis over missed votes in Congress, but this is not a winning strategy; Stapleton’s record on this subject is considerably more problematic.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► President Trump is now insisting that a May 2017 interview with NBC’s Lester Holt was somehow “doctored” or edited in order to make Trump look bad. As CNN explains, this is particularly strange since NBC long ago released the transcripts and the entire unedited video of the interview:
It’s almost as if Trump, having convinced his supporters that everyone but him is a liar, is now trying to push the envelope even further: To persuade them that what they see and hear with their own eyes and ears isn’t true.
What else could explain an attempt to discredit actual video evidence? Video/audio of you saying or doing things feels like the last frontier in Trump’s assault on truth. It seems insane to argue that what you can see and hear is wrong or has been doctored in some meaningful way. It seems doubly insane to make that case when you offer zero proof other than vague references to how the tape was changed…
…Questioning the legitimacy of video proof of his own mistakes is the logical next step of the weaponizing of untruth that Trump has pursued since he became a candidate for president in 2015. (And, in truth, long before he was an actual, announced candidate for president.) No one should be surprised. Everyone should be concerned.
Trump tweeted about this “fake” interview on Thursday morning…some 15 months after the interview aired on television.
In his Thursday Tweetstorm, Trump may have also admitted that he already tried to fire special counsel Robert Mueller and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
► Maybe you don’t think Trump’s war with the media is dangerous for democracy. But you can’t argue that his rhetoric isn’t a danger to people’s actual lives. From CNN Money:
A California man allegedly made a series of threats to Boston Globe employees in which he echoed President Trump’s anti-press language. [Pols emphasis]
Robert D. Chain of Encino, California has been charged with one count of making threatening communications in interstate commerce, the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts said in a press release Thursday. Chain, 68, is due to appear in federal court in Los Angeles Thursday afternoon.
The US Attorney’s Office said Chain will be transferred to Boston “at a later date.”
Chain is accused of making several threatening phone calls to the Globe beginning almost immediately after the paper announced on August 10 that it was calling on newspapers across the country to publish editorials the following week standing up to Trump for referring to the press as “fake news” and “enemies of the people.”
► Amendment 74, the ballot measure formerly known as Initiative 108, is officially on the ballot in November. You need to understand the potential economic catastrophe facing Colorado if Amendment 74 passes.
ICYMI, a measure mandating setbacks for oil and gas development has officially made it onto the ballot.
► It has been widely reported that White House Counsel Don McGahn will leave his post this fall. But in true Trump fashion, the President is now vacillating between insinuating that he fired McGahn and insisting that it was a “mutual decision” for McGahn to depart the White House.
► New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and challenger (and actress) Cynthia Nixon participated in a much-watched debate on Wednesday evening that featured an aggressive style from the incumbent. At least it wasn’t 76 degrees inside the studio.
► CBS4 Denver reports on a paperwork problem that is slowing deportation proceedings for undocumented immigrants in Colorado.
► Senator Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) says he is “confident” that President Trump won’t try to interfere with Colorado’s legal marijuana industry. In other words, you should probably be worried that Trump might throw rocks at Colorado’s marijuana laws.
► The names of three Colorado Republicans in Congress are curiously absent from a letter supporting full funding for the Land and Wildlife Conservation Fund (LWCF).
► The Justice Department is helping out with a lawsuit about admissions standards for Harvard. From the New York Times:
The Justice Department lent its support on Thursday to students who are suing Harvard University over affirmative action policies that they claim discriminate against Asian-American applicants, in a case that could have far-reaching consequences for the use of affirmative action in college admissions.
In a so-called statement of interest, the department supported the claims of the plaintiffs, a group of Asian-Americans rejected by Harvard. They contend that Harvard has systematically discriminated against them by artificially capping the number of qualified Asian-Americans from attending the school in order to advance less qualified students of other races.
“Harvard has failed to carry its demanding burden to show that its use of race does not inflict unlawful racial discrimination on Asian-Americans,” the Justice Department said in its filing.
► Candidates for Colorado State Treasurer — Republican Brian Watson and Democrat Dave Young — sat down for a discussion about the race and the issues with Aaron Harber.
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► What the world needs now: More Russia puns.
It’s easy to make mistakes when you’re Russian through a task. pic.twitter.com/HvZE1bkvrc
— Next with Kyle Clark (@nexton9news) August 30, 2018
► Experts are wondering why the Trump administration is bending over backward for Saudi Arabia.
► Former Trump adviser Roger Stone expects that he will be formally charged at some point by special prosecutor Robert Mueller.
► Republican gubernatorial candidate Walker Stapleton is making a strong case to be considered among the worst statewide candidates in Colorado history.