Get More Smarter on Tuesday (April 2)

At least you don’t have to worry about lame April Fool’s Day jokes for another year. 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…

► The Trump administration may or may not have an actual plan for health care reform, but the answer to that question won’t be settled anytime soon. President Trump is heeding Republican worries about picking another health care reform fight ahead of the 2020 election cycle, as CNN reports:

President Donald Trump on Monday night backed away from his push for a vote on an Obamacare replacement until after the 2020 elections, bowing to the political reality that major health care legislation cannot pass in the current Congress.

Trump’s statements come a week after his administration announced that it now agreed with a judge’s ruling that the entire Affordable Care Act should be scrapped. The opinion was a dramatic reversal from the administration’s previous stance that only portions of the act could not be defended…

…”The Republicans are developing a really great HealthCare Plan with far lower premiums (cost) & deductibles than ObamaCare. In other words it will be far less expensive & much more usable than ObamaCare. Vote will be taken right after the Election when Republicans hold the Senate & win back the House. It will be truly great HealthCare that will work for America,” Trump declared in a series of tweets. “Also, Republicans will always support Pre-Existing Conditions. The Republican Party will be known as the Party of Great HealtCare. Meantime, the USA is doing better than ever & is respected again!”

Trump’s decision comes at a good time for White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, who has been getting hammered by media outlets for nonsensical health care statements he made on the talk show circuit last weekend.

 

► Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) says that he opposes President Trump’s latest threats to close the U.S.-Mexico border. Of course, Gardner says a lot of stuff that he doesn’t mean, like his “opposition” to Trump’s “emergency declaration” for border wall money.

 

► The Associated Press reports on the advancement of some significant legislation at the State Capitol:

A House committee on Monday advanced a bill to ask Colorado voters if the state can retain excess tax revenue and a companion bill that would spend that revenue on roads and schools.

The House Finance Committee votes came after Democratic Speaker KC Becker argued the state should do all it can — especially at a time of sustained economic growth — to address Colorado’s chronically underfunded transportation and education needs…

…One bill would ask voters in November if the state can keep excess revenue that would otherwise be refunded under the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights. The other would allocate that excess revenue in equal parts to K-12 schools, higher education and transportation.

Even some of the most staunch defenders of TABOR are admitting that the spending restrictions need to be changed — and soon.

 

► So-called “red flag” gun safety legislation has officially made it through the state legislature and is now on its way to the desk of Gov. Jared Polis. From 9News:

The bill would allow the seizure of weapons from persons the court deems to pose a significant risk to themselves or others.

The 38-25 passing vote included two Democrats who voted against it: Rep. Bri Buentello (D-Pueblo) and Rep. Donald Valdez (D-La Jara)…

…Colorado Republicans defeated a similar bill last year, insisting it infringed on citizens’ Second Amendment rights. But Democrats won both statehouse chambers in November, and Polis called for a “red flag” law while campaigning last year.

It would allow family or law enforcement to seek a court order to have guns seized if they believe the owner is a threat. If approved, a subsequent court hearing would be held to determine whether to extend the seizure, up to 364 days.

Polis is expected to sign the legislation, which is overwhelmingly popular among most Colorado voters.

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…

 

► Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-Denver) is introducing legislation intended to reduce the price of insulin medication. From CBS4 Denver:

The bill would make permanent a new FDA policy which would speed up the approval of generic version of certain drugs…

…DeGette’s congressional panel is scheduled to hold the first of two major oversight hearings on the rising price of the life-saving drug in the coming days.

 

► Colorado Republicans decided over the weekend that right-wing rhetoric still beats rational campaign strategies. Congressman Ken Buck (R-Greeley) is the new State Republican Party Chairman, which means former GOP Chair Steve House will be running the day-to-day operations of the Party. The last time Colorado Republicans were led by House, things didn’t turn out very well.

 

► As Politico reports, lawmakers in Washington D.C. are growing increasingly concerned that President Trump may soon steer the country toward another fiscal cliff:

Some top Democrats have begun quietly pushing for a grand bargain to simultaneously raise the debt ceiling and Congress’ stiff budget caps — avoiding market turmoil and staving off harsh cuts to domestic and defense programs, according to multiple lawmakers and aides.

But the White House, focused on Trump’s reelection bid, is resisting talk of another massive deal that could cost as much as $350 billion over two years. Administration officials, led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, are instead pushing for a “clean” debt ceiling hike that extends the federal borrowing limit without making any other policy changes.

The fiscal fights will reach a boiling point this fall — around the same time that Congress must pass its annual funding bills, which is guaranteed to dredge up the same border wall fight between Trump and Democrats that sent the government sputtering into a five-week shutdown.

By September, lawmakers could be faced with a fiscal cliff rivaling that of 2011, when another divided government nearly defaulted on its debt.

 

► Democrat Mike Johnston announced today that his campaign for U.S. Senate raised $1.8 million in Q1, which the campaign says is a record amount for a “non-incumbent in their initial quarter.”

 

► Democrat Stephany Rose Spaulding, who lost a General Election race to Rep. Doug Lamborn in CO-5, announced that she is seeking the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in 2020.

 

► Efforts by Republicans in some Colorado counties to create “sanctuary counties” that would refuse to enforce so-called “red flag” legislation have roots in White Supremacist organizations.

 

► The City of New Orleans is suing major oil and gas companies for inflicting damage on wetlands areas that once served as a buffer for damage from major storms.

 

As the Denver Post reports, some observers are expressing concern about late amendments added to the discussion about SB-181, a major oil and gas reform bill:

…some of the amendments worry those who want cities and counties to have more say over oil and gas development within their borders. Of particular concern are changes and additions that say state and local regulations must be “necessary and reasonable.”

The bill originally said the state couldn’t act “arbitrarily and capriciously” when imposing regulations, which would be a higher legal hurdle for companies if they challenge the rules.

“It’s a much higher threshold of scrutiny, and we feel a lot of local governments will not want to try to regulate for fear of litigation,” Anne Lee Foster of Colorado Rising, a community advocacy group, said in an email Monday. “The industry regularly uses the threat of a lawsuit to intimidate and coerce for their gain. Many threatened communities have already experienced that.”

Sara Loflin, executive director of the League of Oil and Gas Impacted Coloradans, said in an email that while her organization would have preferred the original language, the ability of state and local governments to protect public health, safety and environment remains intact.

 

► The Presidential campaign of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is raising a shitload of money.

 

► Jon Murray of the Denver Post recaps a Monday debate between candidates for Denver Mayor.

 

Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

 

► Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States of America:

Senator Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) applauds recall mania from Colorado Republicans.

 

ICYMI

 

► As the Huffington Post reports, the measles outbreak is growing:

The number of measles cases continues to skyrocket, with more confirmed infections of the highly contagious virus in the first three months of this year than in all of 2018, health officials said.

As of Thursday, there had been 387 cases of measles this year in 15 states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, citing preliminary findings. That already eclipses last year’s 12-month total of 372. The 15 states with outbreaks are Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas, and Washington.

“This is the second-greatest number of cases reported in the U.S. since measles was eliminated in 2000,” the CDC said. The highest post-2000 number was in 2014, with 667 confirmed cases.

 

► The editorial board of the Greeley Tribune says Colorado Republicans should stop threatening recall elections in favor of focusing on the elections we already have in place.

 

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7 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. gertie97 says:

    Good news about DeBrucing state revenues. It's about time. It'll take a big-time effort to get state voters to go for it.

  2. Diogenesdemar says:

    If you believe Mangoman’s got, ever had, or ever will have, any kind of health care “plan,” you probably got paid for a PhD from tRump University?? . . . 

    . . . and bought your tractor in Yuma??

    . . . and reside in Windsor??

    . . . or are constantly referred to here as “Fluffy”??

  3. Pseudonymous says:

    RIP death penalty bill.

  4. JohnInDenver says:

    I'm a bit confused.  If measles were eliminated in 2000, how do we get 387 cases in 15 states this year?

    Am I missing some specialized meaning of "eliminated"?

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