Just be glad your name isn’t Paul Manafort. 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…
► We’re barely two months into the 2019 legislative session, and Republicans are already plowing ahead with recall efforts and threatening (again) to secede from Colorado. House Minority Leader Patrick Neville and his brother, political consultant Joe Neville, are apparently behind a seemingly ill-advised recall attempt in South Denver targeting State Sen. Jeff Bridges and State Rep. Meg Froehlich.
► As the Washington Post reports, President Trump can’t seem to make progress on any of his signature issues. Naturally, he’s blaming others for his problems:
Trump is losing ground on top priorities to curb illegal immigration, cut the trade deficit and blunt North Korea’s nuclear threat — setbacks that complicate his planned reelection message as a can-do president who is making historic progress.
Late last week, Trump flew home empty-handed from a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi — and, within days, new satellite images appeared to show that the North was secretly rebuilding a rocket-launching site.
On Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security announced that unauthorized border crossings have spiked to the highest pace in 12 years — despite Trump’s hard-line rhetoric and new policies aimed at deterring migrants.
And on Wednesday, the Commerce Department said that the nation’s trade deficit is at a record high — in part due to punitive tariffs Trump imposed on allies and adversaries. Trump vowed throughout his 2016 campaign and during his presidency to shrink the trade deficit, which he views as a measure of other nations taking advantage of the United States.
So much not winning should concern Trump supporters, but it probably won’t.
► Colorado’s oil and gas industry is still making a lot of noise about Senate Bill 181, though it’s not clear that anybody is listening. In fact, there are more supporters turning out to testify on SB-181 than opponents.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► A federal judge on Wednesday blocked the Trump administration from adding a citizenship question to the 2020 Census questionnaire. As the Washington Post reports, the judge made it clear that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross had broken the law in trying to make the Census change:
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross acted in “bad faith,” broke several laws and violated the constitutional underpinning of representative democracy when he added a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
In finding a breach of the Constitution’s enumeration clause, which requires a census every 10 years to determine each state’s representation in Congress, the 126-page ruling by U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg in San Francisco went further than a similar decision on Jan. 15 by Judge Jesse Furman in New York…
…Unable to find any expert in the Census Bureau who approved of his plan to add the citizenship question, Seeborg wrote, Ross engaged in a “cynical search to find some reason, any reason” to justify the decision.
He was fully aware that the question would produce a census undercount, particularly among Latinos, the judge said.
Ross is scheduled to testify in front of the House Oversight Committee next week; his request to postpone that hearing was rejected by Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings.
► Several recent polls are pointing to the same general conclusion: President Trump is going to have a hard time winning re-election in 2020 because of the fact that he’s Donald Trump.
► Governor Jared Polis is encouraging high school-aged girls to participate in a cybersecurity competition called the Girls Go CyberStart challenge.
► Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser and Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop agreed to stand down over a legal battle over gay wedding cakes. As Ryan Warner reports for Colorado Public Radio, the broader legal fights are just beginning.
► Detainees at an an immigrant detention center in Aurora have launched a hunger strike in protest of unsafe conditions.
► If you like your air to have a chemical aftertaste, then you’ll be thrilled with Denver’s air quality lately. From StreetsBlog Denver:
At six p.m. [Wednesday], Denver’s air quality index measured 162, an unhealthy level more than three times worse than the moderate rating of 51 now in Beijing. The pollution triggered health warnings across the northern Front Range.
Colorado’s “brown cloud” is an increasingly frequent reminder of the Denver-Boulder metro’s car dependency and the impact of the state’s oil and gas production, which the industry projects will generate $12.5 billion in revenue this year.
► Officials estimate that cleaning up and protecting contaminated drinking water in parts of the United States could cost tens of billions of dollars.
► Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown announced that he will NOT seek the Democratic nomination for President in 2020.
► As the Denver Post reports, the Trump administration will soon remove gray wolves from the endangered species list.
► Senator Michael Bennet (D-Denver) is pushing legislation to increase the child tax credit.
► Former Gov. John Hickenlooper met with the media on Wednesday at his old stomping grounds (Wynkoop Brewery) as he works his way through his Presidential kickoff week. Hickenlooper’s Presidential campaign will hold its first big event today at 5:00 at Civic Center Park in downtown Denver.
► Colorado lawmakers are moving ahead with legislation to abolish the death penalty, which is rarely used in our state anyway.
► Legislation to extend the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse crimes has made it to the desk of Gov. Jared Polis.
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen says that the
cages detention facilities holding immigrant children are totally different from dog cages because they’re bigger.
► A judge in Texas is in trouble after telling a jury that he knew a defendant in a human trafficking case to be innocent because that’s what God told him.
► “There are no walls that are too high for you to overcome.” This is an actual quote from Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma), who also happens to be waffling about whether or not he’ll support President Trump’s “emergency declaration” to build…a giant wall.