Get More Smarter on Thursday (September 6)

Do you know what happened on this day in history? Not much, apparently. 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…

► President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is in his third day of Senate hearings, and things in Washington D.C. are getting pretty heated. Kavanaugh has generally refused to offer answers on consequential questions: he won’t say whether he believes the President is obligated to respond to a subpoena or could be legally indicted for a crime; he won’t divulge his opinion on Roe v. Wade; and he won’t say how he might deal with the question of pre-existing conditions as it relates to the Affordable Care Act (the Washington Post has a detailed list of important questions Kavanaugh is dodging).

Today’s hearings took a new turn when Democrats — led by New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker — started to push back on the lack of available information on Kavanaugh. From Politico:

Democrats have fumed for weeks over the withholding of hundreds of thousands of pages of documents from Kavanaugh’s years in the George W. Bush White House, including a massive tranche of records that lawyers working for Bush had limited only to Judiciary Committee senators. That secrecy collapsed in dramatic fashion Thursday as Democratic senators vowed to begin releasing records they said were unfairly shrouded and highly relevant to the confirmation.

One of those confidential documents, obtained by POLITICO, shows Kavanaugh leaving the door open to the high court overturning Roe v. Wade. “I am not sure that all legal scholars refer to Roe as the settled law of the land at the Supreme Court level since [the] Court can always overrule its precedent, and three current Justices on the Court would do so,” President Donald Trump’s nominee wrote in 2003.

That characterization is a distinct contrast with the more measured view of Roe as precedent that Kavanaugh offered on Wednesday. But the day before the document leaked, Kavanaugh was asked on about the exact sentiment he shared back in 2003 and portrayed it as merely a restatement of legal scholars’ opinion, “different from … my position as a judge.”

Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin and Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) are publicly backing up Booker’s decision to release the documents in question.

 

► President Trump is in full “witch hunt” mode as the White House struggles to contain damning information indicating that Trump is not in contact with all of his marbles. The New York Times on Wednesday afternoon published an anonymous Op-Ed reportedly written by a “senior official in the Trump administration” that reveals an internal “resistance” working diligently to try to prevent Trump from destroying us all. Trump is characterizing the anonymous Op-Ed as “treason” and is reportedly stalking the White House looking for scalps.

As Aaron Blake writes for the Washington Post, it’s hard to argue that we are NOT dealing with a serious threat to Democracy. Stephen Collinson of CNN believes we have crossed a new threshold with Trump:

It’s impossible to know in the moment when a presidency begins to dissolve. But after a devastating 48 hours, it’s already clear that Donald Trump’s will never be the same. [Pols emphasis]

Whatever your view of Trump, his behavior and his presidency, Washington is watching the opening act of a stunning attempt to topple the elected leader of the nation.
Damaging twin portraits of the President in a New York Times op-ed and Bob Woodward’s new book are using the words of current top officials to fracture the mythology of vanity and bombast, conmanship and intimidation of Trump’s personality cult.

In an attack from an enemy within, top officials who see Trump up close, including one calling the band of renegades the “resistance,” are finally daring to say — albeit under Washington’s invisibility cloak of anonymity — what outside critics have long believed.

They warn the President of the United States is not only unfit to be the most powerful man in the world, but is a venal mix of ignorance and ego, pettiness, malignancy and recklessness that is putting the republic and the world itself at risk.

The most popular parlor game in Washington D.C. is trying to figure out the identity of the anonymous Op-Ed author (Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo say they didn’t do it). As Politico reports, this is just the beginning.

 

President Trump is touting the support of…wait, what?

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…

 

► The Republican candidate for State House in HD-12 (Louisville/Longmont) is absolutely, positively bananas.

 

► How bad is the campaign of Republican gubernatorial candidate Walker Stapleton? It’s so bad that we don’t even have enough space to cover every gaffe.

 

As 9News reports, local DACA recipients are learning how to become more politically involved.

 

► Thousands of people in Arkansas may be losing their health care coverage…and not even realize what’s happening.

 

► There was another deadly shooting today, this time in Cincinnati.

 

► The lede in this Washington Post story tells you everything you need to know about White House economic policies:

Flat wage growth continues to dog the Trump administration, confounding the president’s claims that his economic program is unleashing widespread prosperity. So the administration on Wednesday released a report challenging the federal government’s own statistics to make the case that wages are rising faster than the official scorekeeping reflects.

 

This is why you don’t pick fights with media outlets.

 

The Colorado Independent breaks down the latest campaign finance data related to the race for Governor.

 

► What’s really killing the coal industry? Simple economics.

 

Amway co-founder Richard DeVos has died at the age of 92. The DeVos family are major donors to Republican candidates and causes; Richard was the father-in-law of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

 

 

Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

 

President Trump apparently considers himself to be “the Hemingway of Twitter.”

 

 

► These peaches taste like a conspiracy theory.

 

ICYMI

 

► Colorado Republicans are desperately trying to hold on to their one-seat majority in the State Senate, but you wouldn’t know it from the latest fundraising numbers.

 

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15 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. MichaelBowman says:

    #MAGA, be-aches

    Things Are Not Going to Plan in Trump’s U.S. Trade Deficit Wars

    New data out Wednesday showed the U.S. trade deficit in July widening at its fastest rate since 2015 as monthly deficits with China and the European Union both hit new records. In the year so far, the U.S.’s overall goods and services deficit is up by $22 billion, or 7 percent, versus the same period last year.

  2. Zappatero says:

    If Dems win back the House, then PAYGO must go.

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      What is wrong with PAYGO?  I'm starting to be a Pelosi defender if she is for fiscal responsibility.

    • JohnInDenver says:

      I'm all for having PAYGO go away — I see no reason to only look at new spending that must be off-set or paid for.

      But there ought to be some approach to develop a budget discipline where the OVERALL deficit must be addressed.  I'm not any sort of economist to suggest the best way of doing it and know the simple ways that have been recommended (the "balanced budget amendments" that do not have an ability to do counter-cyclical spending) wouldn't work the way I'd endorse.

      So, anyone have a source that would provide approaches that could work in our real world of politics?

      • RepealAndReplace says:

        But there ought to be some approach to develop a budget discipline where the OVERALL deficit must be addressed

        Ah, if only we hadn't laughed at Andrew Romanoff when he was pushing his balanced budget amendment.

        • JohnInDenver says:

          I don't recall — which version of a balanced budget amendment was Romanoff pushing? Something simplistic like copying the Colorado Constitution's requirement to avoid debt? Or something more complex? Or did he just use the buzz words and not specify?

          • Voyageur says:

            I think mostly the latter.  I am totally against balanced budget amendments.  They are tools for scoundrels.

            But the fact remains, over the economic cycle, debt should be approximately stable as a share of the gross domestic product.  That means right now we should run big surpluses, like Clinton did, and bring the debt down.

            • Davie says:

              Some form of zero based budgeting might work.  Make budget managers from the bottom up at least try to reconsider, prioritize and justify each of their line items.  Legacy spending is the problem.  We tend to forget about why we spent the old money, and only focus on why we need additional money for current issues. It all adds up pretty quickly.

              • Voyageur says:

                Yes on zero base budgeting.  But we are an aging population with major infrastructure needs.  The real need is for more tax revenue, about $1 trillion a year. The only hope I see is a value added tax married to a medicare for all plan, plus a hefty motor fuel tax, the closest we're likely to get to a carbon tax.

          • RepealAndReplace says:

            I was being facetious. Andrew got panned for kicking off his congressional race against shorter Coffman by talking about the need for a balanced budget amendment. (And the panning was warranted.)

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