Get More Smarter on Wednesday (January 30)

At least you don’t live anywhere East of Kansas, where temperatures are cooler than a penguin’s refrigerator. Let’s warm up with “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 is taking another crap on U.S. Intelligence agencies, as the Washington Post reports:

President Trump lashed out at U.S. intelligence officials Wednesday, calling them “extremely passive and naive” about the nuclear danger posed by Iran and pushing back on their assessments of the Islamic State and North Korea during a congressional hearing.

In tweets, Trump offered what amounted to a rebuttal of testimony on an array of global threats provided to the Senate on Tuesday by a panel of top officials from his administration.

Trump was most pointed in his pushback on the assessment of Iran. During testimony, officials said that Iran was not trying to build a nuclear weapon and was in compliance with an agreement forged during the Obama administration from which Trump subsequently withdrew the United States…

…“Perhaps Intelligence should go back to school!” the president added.

Panelists at the Senate hearing included Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats, CIA Director Gina Haspel, and FBI Director Christopher A. Wray, so this wasn’t exactly the “C” team doing the talking.

 

► According to a new poll of Colorado voters, most people don’t support a border wall, President Trump, or Sen. Cory Gardner.

As Politico notes in a new poll about another potential government shutdown, voters have no appetite to support President Trump’s threats:

Only 31 percent of voters support shutting the government down again to force Congress to appropriate money for the wall, while nearly twice that many, 58 percent, oppose another shutdown. If the government does shut down again, a combined 54 percent would blame Trump and congressional Republicans, while just 33 percent would blame Democrats in Congress.

Trump has suggested that he could declare a “national emergency” to avert a shutdown but still build the wall — but that, too, is unpopular. A narrow, 51 percent majority opposes declaring an emergency, which is supported by 38 percent.

 

► Contract negotiations between Denver Public Schools and the teacher’s union are expected to resume on Thursday.

 

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…

 

► Surely a company with the name “Trump” on its masthead would be careful about hiring illegal immigrants, right? As the Washington Post reports:

President Trump’s company plans to institute E-Verify, a federal program that allows employers to check whether new hires are legally eligible to work in the United States, in every one of its golf clubs, hotels and resorts, following a Washington Post report that its club in Westchester County, N.Y., employed undocumented immigrants for years.

“We are instituting E-Verify on all of our properties as soon as possible,” Eric Trump, one of the president’s sons and executive vice president of the Trump Organization, said Tuesday, acknowledging that the company currently uses the program only at some locations. “We’re starting with the golf properties, and we are going to be doing all of them.”

The move is the first acknowledgment by the president’s private business that it has failed to fully check the work status of all its employees, despite Trump’s claims during the 2016 campaign that he used E-Verify across his properties. At the time, he called for the program to be mandatory for all employers. [Pols emphasis]

 

► Whenever the temperature drops, some idiot is ready to fire off a stupid line about “global warming.” And sometimes, that idiot lives at the White House. CNN’s Chris Cillizza debunks the nonsense.

 

► Sufferers of chronic pain are protesting the idea of too-strict regulations on opioid medications, urging lawmakers to consider a different side of the issue.

 

► California Sen. Kamala Harris seems to be picking up support among Democratic voters.

 

► As The Hill reports, a full one-third of Republican voters want someone NOT named Donald Trump at the top of their ballot in 2020:

One-third of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents would prefer someone other than President Trump to be party’s 2020 presidential nominee, according to a poll released Tuesday.

According to the Washington Post–ABC News survey, 65 percent of Republican and Republican-leaning voters want Trump to run for another term.

Overall, 56 percent of Americans surveyed said they would “definitely not vote for” Trump if he is the GOP nominee.

 

► As the Aurora Sentinel explains, the City of Aurora decided not to make it illegal to smoke or vape at bus and transit stops:

Smoking and vaping at bus and transit stops will not be a crime in Aurora, like it is in several other cities along the Front Range. A measure to ban the acts failed among Aurora City Council members 3-6 Monday night. 

The measure, which was sponsored by Councilman Charlie Richardson, originally carried a fine of up to $2,650 and up to one year in jail. Richardson attempted to lower that to just a maximum $500 fine with no jail time, but that failed, with council members Bob Roth, Angela Lawson, Crystal Murillo and Nicole Johnston voting against the proposal. 

“It’s a confined space… and I don’t think we should have our smoking activities taking place there,” Richardson said of the bus stops and train platforms throughout the city.

Some members who voted against the measure cited problems with enforcing the proposed law. Lawson said police officers have told her they already have a hefty workload. 

 

Colorado Public Radio looks at how national parks in Colorado are trying to get things back to normal following the government shutdown.

 

► State Rep. Hugh McKean (R-Loveland) will have to kill his own bill because it would violate federal law if passed. That probably wasn’t likely, since McKean’s idea was to reverse the order of stoplight signals.

 

► State Sen. Vicki “Just One” Marble is back to babbling on the Senate floor about issues she clearly doesn’t understand. Marble is misinterpreting the data from citizenship records in Texas to back up her fears that tens of thousands of illegal immigrants are voting every two years (hey, that rhymed!) Despite Marble’s protestations, the State Senate passed legislation that would mandate Colorado’s electoral votes go to the winner of the national popular vote in the race for President.

 

► Colorado Public Radio tries to understand how former Gov. John Hickenlooper can use an image of a political moderate in a field of Democratic Presidential candidates moving increasingly leftward.

 

► Colorado lawmakers are once again looking at legislation that would theoretically make it easier for convicted felons to find work upon their release from prison.

 

Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

 

Indeed, they go great with whey.

 

► Environmental Racism, y’all!

ICYMI

 

No shit, Sherlock.

 

$3 Billion dollars. That’s what the #TrumpShutdown cost the American economy. 

 

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

 

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6 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. DavieDavie says:

    It's no wonder that Tinpot dictator wannabe *rump didn't appreciate what his top intelligence experts had to say.  

    April F. Doss, a former associate general counsel at the National Security Agency, said it is not surprising for the intelligence community to stake out facts at odds with the administration view, given that the most recent National Intelligence Strategy noted the spy agencies’ responsibility to “speak truth to power.”

    The intelligence chiefs emphasized “the commitment to analyzing intelligence in a manner tied to objective facts, not domestic partisan agendas,” said Ms. Doss, now a partner at the law firm Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr.

  2. PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

    LMFAO

    Pseudonymous says:

    January 29, 2019 at 10:25 AM MST

    That's an interesting statement.  I'd need to see more to feel like she meant it, but it would let me immediately exclude any Dem candidate who didn't agree…

    Calling for Medicare for All, Kamala Harris says of private insurance: ”Let’s eliminate all of that. Let’s move on.” pic.twitter.com/xT2I5IZDfT

    — Shane Goldmacher (@ShaneGoldmacher) January 29, 2019

    #BREAKING: Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) changes her stance on healthcare in under 24 hours after her CNN town hall

    "As the furor grew," a Harris adviser said "she would also be open to the more moderate health reform plans, which would preserve the industry"

    — Jesse Marioneaux (@jesse_marioneau) January 30, 2019

    • DavieDavie says:

      I'm glad she pulled back from the precipice.  Medicare-for-Everyone-That-Wants-It is more to my liking.  David Leonhardt of the New York Times explains:

      A couple of weeks ago, one of the country’s most respected health care pollsters — Kaiser Family Foundation — conducted a survey on “Medicare for All.” And the top-line results looked great for advocates of the idea, like Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris.

      Some 56 percent of respondents said they favored “a national plan called Medicare for All in which all Americans would get their insurance through a single government plan.” A large majority of Democrats backed the idea. Almost a quarter of Republicans did, too.

      The poll’s details, however, were a lot of less positive about Medicare for All. In fact, they showed why single-payer health care may turn out to be one of the few problematic issues for Democrats heading into 2020 — if the party isn’t careful. Harris has highlighted the tensions this week, saying on Monday night that she supported the most aggressive version of Medicare for All before moderating her position, via aides, late yesterday.

      When Kaiser pollsters were putting together their survey, they understood that not all Americans thought of “Medicare for All” as meaning the same thing. So the poll asked people whether they believed that they would be allowed to keep their private insurance plan under such a system. Almost 60 percent of respondent said yes. “In reality,” as HuffPost’s Jonathan Cohn wrote, in an analysis of the poll, “the whole point of Medicare for All would be to wipe away current insurance arrangements and replace them with a new public plan.”

      Not only that, but when the pollsters described a version of Medicare for All in which private insurance was wiped away, support plummeted. The idea flipped from being popular to unpopular: 37 percent of respondents favored it, and 58 percent opposed it.

      I understand the arguments in favor of mandatory Medicare for All. It could reduce bureaucratic waste and insurance-company profit skimming. It could help the United States lower its world-leading medical costs. And I’m thrilled to see presidential candidates willing to offer bold economic ideas.

      But I think this particular plan is an unforced error. It comes with huge political vulnerabilities — and a less problematic, but still bold, alternative exists: A vastly expanded version of Medicare that allows people to buy in voluntarily. That plan could also be called Medicare for All. 

      • RepealAndReplace says:

        I too am glad she's walking this bad. I like her but I don't think she gave this issue a lot of thought before answering that question.

        Someday there may be Medicare for All. But there will need to be a transition period. Like the public option to compete with private insurance. If the government is successful in running it, nobody will want to use Anthem or Cigna or Kaiser and the health insurance industry will die a natural death. 

    • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

      That's a red flag for me –  that Harris reversed herself so quickly, apparently at the urging of campaign staff or handlers. If she's prone to making big, expansive statements that she then has to walk back or qualify, it may just be new-candidate missteps – or it may point to a fundamental lack of core values. She does seem to have a habit of blurting things out, or her staff says things that she is "shocked" to hear about- like the infamous quote that "Prisons would lose an important labor pool". Harris disavowed that argument, and said her lawyers were wrong to make it. 

      I expect right wing media to be running those above two contradictory statements back to back if she is the nominee.

      I actually agree with a more gradual and market driven approach to phasing out private insurance.  If Harris would have just advocated for that, there wouldn't be a problem. It doesn't necessarily make for flashy sound bites on cable shows, though.

      So maybe it's just inexperience on the national stage, or maybe she really is that changeable. I hope it's the former.  No in the primary, yes in the general – if I must.

       

  3. JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

    CBO estimate of $11 Billion impact, with $8 Billion ameliorated when federal workers get their pay, is incomplete. An article about interviewing the House members who requested the estimate concluded

    CBO’s estimate is based on the loss of furloughed federal workers’ contributions to GDP, the delay in federal spending on goods and services, and the reduction In aggregate demand. It does not incorporate more indirect negatives effects of the shutdown, such as small businesses facing reduced access to loans and postponements in hiring and investment decisions. 

    Once data replaces estimates (ironically, the shutdown stopped data gathering on the economy), there will be additional estimates.

    Nor does the "cost" take economic externalities into account.  What is the "cost" of a sawed down Joshua tree? Or graffiti damaging thousand year old Indian art? Or ATV damage to designated areas of national parks and monuments?

    How many additional people will resign their federal jobs (or retire "early"), forcing costs for replacement, training, and the slow accumulation of experience?

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