Get More Smarter on Tuesday (December 4)

Did you know that today is Colorado Gives Day? If you have an email account or an electronic device of any kind, you might have noticed already. 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 CNN reports, Robert Mueller’s investigation into potential collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign could take a YUGE step forward this week:

America may get its most intimate look yet inside Robert Mueller’s secretive Russia investigation in the next four days, with a series of disclosures that have the potential to be greatly damaging for President Donald Trump.

Court filings focusing on Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, on Tuesday and his ex-campaign chairman Paul Manafort on Friday could offer tantalizing new details of Mueller’s deep dive into the 2016 campaign.

If the special counsel lives up to his reputation, his filings will feature surprising revelations and rich texture to color the picture he has already painted in indictments and witness testimony of a culture of endemic dishonesty in Trump’s orbit about multiple, so far unexplainable, ties with Russians…

…Stepping up the pace of his probe since the midterm elections, Mueller has moved in a direction that appears increasingly threatening to the President, including his crossing of Trump’s red line by showing interest in his family real estate empire.

 

President Trump’s Twitter habit may be crossing new lines in relation to Mueller’s special investigation. From the Washington Post:

Norman Eisen, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, said that the most striking thing about Monday was that there were two statements in proximity.

“It comes very close to the statutory definition of witness tampering,” he said. “It’s a mirror image of the first tweet, only he’s praising a witness for not cooperating with the implication of reward,” he said, adding that Trump has pardon power over Stone.

“We’re so used to President Trump transgressing norms in his public declarations,” Eisen said, “but he may have crossed the legal line.”

This begs the question: Which social media platform is the most effective for witness tampering?

 

► Nic Garcia of the Denver Post manages to write an entire story about a Democratic majority in the state legislature without actually quoting any, you know, Democrats.

 

► Republicans are challenging election results in HD-47 (Pueblo), where Democrat Brianna Buentello defeated Republican candidate “Deadbeat” Don Bendell by a margin of a few hundred votes.

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…

 

► The Colorado Supreme Court declined a request from outgoing Gov. John Hickenlooper to clarify the impact on property taxes that result from TABOR and the Gallagher Amendment.

 

► Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) will likely receive an updated briefing on the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi today. Gardner has backed up President Trump’s argument that U.S. intelligence agencies may not be accurate in claiming that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince was directly involved in Khashoggi’s death.

 

► The Washington Post has the latest on an important election fraud case in North Carolina in which a Republican operative is being accused of collecting absentee ballots and only submitting those that included a vote for his preferred Republican candidate:

The possibility that November’s vote will be tossed out has prompted an eruption of partisan accusations. The case is politically fraught for Republicans, who in North Carolina and across the country have pushed for voter-identification laws and other restrictions while warning without evidence about the threat of rampant voter fraud, particularly by immigrants in the country illegally…

…Investigators with the bipartisan state elections board — which last week voted unanimously to delay certifying the race — have identified hundreds of potential witnesses to interview, many of them voters whose absentee ballots were never turned in, according to the people familiar with the probe. That raises the possibility of a weeks-long investigation and an uncertain start date for the next congressman from the 9th District.

 

► The Durango Herald wonders how acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker might impact Colorado’s legal marijuana industry.

 

Former Vice President Joe Biden appears to be moving closer to announcing a bid for the 2020 Democratic Presidential nomination. 

 

► The Washington Post details Republican efforts to weaken Democratic power in states where the GOP lost important races in November:

Outgoing Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker…is working with Republicans in the legislature to rush through a bill, which could come to the floor as early as today, that would significantly reduce the power of Gov.-elect Tony Evers (D), as well as the incoming Democratic attorney general. It would also ratchet back early voting, which has increased minority participation and benefited Democrats. Hundreds protested at the State Capitol in Madison last night as a committee markup dragged on until midnight…

It’s not the only arrow being shot this autumn into the notion of an orderly transfer of power. In Michigan, for example, the Republican-controlled legislature is considering measures in its lame-duck session to limit the power of incoming Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Attorney General Dana Nessel and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. One proposal would let the legislature intervene in legal cases when the AG won’t. Social conservatives complain that Nessel pledged on the campaign trail that she would not defend a 2015 state law that allows adoption agencies to discriminate against same-sex couples.

Another bill under consideration would take oversight power over campaign finance matters away from the independently elected secretary of state and put it under a commission where each party would get to pick three members, according to the Detroit News. It is no coincidence that the GOP is pursuing this only after Michigan elected its first Democratic secretary of state since 1994.

As the Post notes, what Republicans are doing is akin to changing the rules of a game after a loss in order to make it easier to win the next round.

 

Some dude from Grand Junction says he will run for U.S. Senate in 2020 as a Democrat.

 

► Will Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) attempt to move toward the middle as he approaches his 2020 re-election? Is it even possible for Gardner to make such an attempt?

 

► Senator Michael Bennet (D-Denver) is apparently interested in running for President.

 

Colorado Senate Democrats announced committee assignments for their new majority.

 

► Republicans in Congress will do what they do best regarding a new federal spending agreement: Punt.

 

► Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith won a special runoff election in Mississippi last week, but as Matthew Rozsa writes for Salon, Democrats may have learned some important lessons for running candidates in the Southern U.S.

 

Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

 

Eric Trump decided to make some public statements about White House advisor Kellyanne Conway’s marriage.

 

President Trump has received assurances that nobody will be mean to him when he attends a Wednesday memorial service for former President George H.W. Bush.

 

ICYMI

 

► Lawmakers in Florida have solved the problem of school shootings by passing a bill that would place “In God We Trust” signs outside of public schools.

 

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2 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

    Effective take-down of a Centennial Institute report on the effects of legalization of pot on REASON's website  The conclusion:

    [Centennial Institute Director Jeff] Hunt claims the report is "fair" and takes "a conservative approach to calculating the costs and fees associated with increased marijuana use." In reality, it does not even attempt to calculate the costs associated with increased marijuana use. At best, it calculates the costs associated with marijuana use, period, and the manner in which it does that will not seem fair to anyone who does not already agree with Hunt that legalization is a huge mistake.

  2. PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

    Here’s a Better Name for No Labels: Republicans

    a group called No Labels has embodied a particular approach to politics and policy in Washington, D.C.; it’s one that insists the real problems are partisanship, divisiveness, and incivility, and that if only sensible centrists from both parties could be brought together under the right conditions, the halcyon days of the past will return.

    Yet curiously, the sensible solutions so often proposed by No Labels and its ilk have an uncanny likelihood of benefiting one particular element of our nation’s political economy: the superrich, or more precisely, the finance industry.

    A new report on Monday from the Daily Beast adds a sweeping array of details to what many long knew or suspected about this movement, which allegedly wants to remain above the fray: It’s funded by the barons of hedge funds and private equity.

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