We have reached the teens! There are only 19 days remaining in 2018. 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 tried to film an episode of “The Apprentice” in the Oval Office on Tuesday, and it did not go well at all. As the Washington Post explains, Trump got his first taste of divided government on Tuesday:
In his first two years in office, President Trump operated without a clear check on his power. With his party controlling both houses of Congress, he issued demands from his bedroom in the form of early-morning tweets, and legislative leaders got in line. He rarely was personally confronted about his untruths and misstatements. And he mostly ignored congressional Democrats, choosing to spar instead with journalists.
That all came to a crashing halt Tuesday. In an extraordinarily heated public fight with the nation’s top two Democratic leaders, the combustible president confronted for the first time the enormity of the challenge he will face over the next two years: divided government…
…With Democrats sweeping into power in the House in January, Trump for the first time will be forced to work with the opposition party to govern. And if Tuesday’s spectacle is any indication, Pelosi and Schumer intend to be tough adversaries. They showed an eagerness to challenge the president by using some of his own tactics against him. They tried not only to debate him on policy, but also to hold him accountable for his fact-challenged bluster and to paint him as weak and inept.
► President Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, was sentenced to three years in prison today as a result of illegal activities he allegedly performed at the behest of Trump.
► Another poll, another bad set of numbers for Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma). According to a survey conducted this month by Change Research, Gardner is wildly unpopular heading into the last two years of his Senate term:
The poll also found that 50% have unfavorable feelings towards Senator Gardner compared with 38% who are favorable and if the election were held today, he would lose to ‘the Democratic candidate’ 47% to 41%.
Given their size in the state, independent voters who do not identify with one of the two major political parties are particularly important. Senator Gardner’s net unfavorables are 14 points higher than his favorables among this group and he loses them by 13 points in a head-to-head with a generic Democrat.
Gardner’s numbers in Colorado have been positively brutal for more than two years now.
► Britain’s Conservative Party has called for a vote to oust Prime Minister Theresa May, which could be a precursor to a sea-change election in Old England.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► Four former U.S. Senators from Colorado — Ben “Nighthorse” Campbell, Tim Wirth, Gary Hart, and Mark Udall — were among 44 former Senators signing on to a letter published in the Washington Post on Tuesday encouraging Congress to defend the special investigation of Robert Mueller.
► Outgoing Congressman Mike Coffman talks with Jon Murray of the Denver Post in something of an “exit interview” as he finishes his final few weeks in Congress. Coffman claims he is being asked to run for Mayor of Aurora, but generally sounds like he’s at peace with losing in November to Democrat Jason Crow:
“Well, I’m glad I had the experience. I worked hard to get re-elected. It didn’t happen, but I’m just ready to move on. It’s odd: I think that for members who are there for a shorter period of time, and they don’t get re-elected, it’s hard on them. But 10 years is longer than I’ve been in any office.”…
…“I’m just not eager for another two years. If they gave it to me … no, I’m not going to say that. I think 10 years has been a great experience. I got things done that were important to me and, I think, important to the country. But you know, I don’t want to go back.”
► On the subject of departing Coffman’s, Attorney General Cynthia Coffman is making one last decision before she ends her term in a few weeks. From Colorado Public Radio:
Outgoing Attorney General Cynthia Coffman launched a non-profit victim fund on Tuesday to help Coloradans affected by mass tragedy.
Coffman, a Republican who leaves her office in January, is seeding the effort with $1 million earned from consumer fraud settlements out of her office, and hopes the group will raise more money going forward…
…The money will be designated for victims of terrorist attacks or mass tragedies sparked by a criminal act, but not from natural disasters.
► Late night television had a lot of fun with Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday night following his wallflower performance during a heated Oval Office meeting earlier in the day. Social media users also made the most of a new meme:
This holiday season who needs ‘Elf on the Shelf’ when you have ‘Pence on a Chair’ pic.twitter.com/kY2BqZolQU
— Roland Scahill (@rolandscahill) December 12, 2018
► Oil and gas activists aren’t waiting for new leadership to take over at the State Capitol in order to voice their concerns about prioritizing the health and safety of Coloradans.
► Here’s an important reminder that the economy isn’t booming for everyone in Colorado.
► State elected officials in Colorado are getting a pay raise for the first time in several years. Salaries for Colorado’s top elected offices are generally significantly lower than most other states.
► A Boulder man was among a group of activists who laughed out loud at a Trump administration presentation on coal and natural gas that took place at a Climate Change conference in Poland.
► The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is considering changes to classifications for bodies of water that can be governed by the Clean Water Act.
► Marianne Goodland updates the latest news on the progress of a new federal farm bill.
► Colorado Public Radio takes a look at proposed changes to Title IX regulations regarding sexual assault on college campuses.
► “Moms Demand Automatics.” Sigh.
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► If you want to be President Trump’s next Chief of Staff (and most people don’t), you’re going to need the approval of first daughter Ivanka Trump and first son-in-law Jared Kushner.
► A Facebook page for the Rocky Mountain Black Conservatives posted a link to a story in the “Daily Stormer,” one of the most notorious websites for white supremacists.
► Colorado statute clearly states that you must live within the legislative district you seek to represent in an election. Somehow, Republican Rep-elect Matt Soper is getting away with ignoring this fairly important requirement.
► Did you know that Denver was the birthplace of the disability rights movement?