Get More Smarter on Wednesday (April 10)

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TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► Attorney General William Barr continues to toss his credibility out the window. As CNN reports:

Attorney General William Barr told lawmakers Wednesday that he will be looking to the “genesis” of the the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into potential ties between members of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and the Russian government began in 2016, saying, “I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal” — echoing some of the more inflammatory claims lobbed by President Donald Trump for months, but declining to elaborate on his concerns [Pols emphasis]

…”For the same reason we’re worried about foreign influence in elections, I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal,” Barr said. I’m not suggesting those rules were violated but I think it’s important to look at. . . . I think it’s my obligation.” [Pols emphasis]

He added that he’s not launching a full blown investigation to the FBI, and does not view it as a problem that is “endemic” to the FBI, but has in mind some colleagues to help him “pull all this information together, and letting me know if there are some areas that should be looked at.”

Barr isn’t saying that it happened, but it could have happened, and maybe it did happen. But then again, maybe it didn’t…

As Paul Waldman writes for the Washington Post, Barr is very much the good clapping monkey that Trump was searching for when he hired a new Attorney General.

 

► The Denver Post reports on the advancement of paid family leave legislation in Colorado:

The proposed insurance program, five years in the making, cleared a key Senate committee on a party-line vote Tuesday afternoon after the sponsors amended the bill to allow businesses that already offer identical benefits and local governments to opt out, increase the share employees must contribute, and push back the rollout of the program to 2023.

The committee also reduced the amount of available time off to 12 weeks. The previous version allowed up to 16 weeks in some instances.

The bill still provides wage-replacement benefits and job protections for all employees who work at least 680 hours during a year and contribute to the state fund. Seasonal workers are not covered.

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…

 

► The Associated Press reports on the latest “Space Force” discussions — newsworthy here because of a week-long space symposium taking place in Colorado Springs:

Sharpening his argument for a Space Force, the acting Pentagon chief on Tuesday called it a “low cost, low bureaucracy” way to stay ahead of China, Russia and other nations seeking to erase American military advantages in space.

The Pentagon and Congress have discussed for years the possibility of establishing a military service for space, but some key lawmakers remain skeptical of the need and wary of the cost. The debate enters a new phase this week with the Senate Armed Services Committee holding its first hearing Thursday on the administration’s proposal to phase in a Space Force over five years and establish a space warfighting command this year.

As the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman reports, Colorado Springs appears to be well-positioned to be the center of the space force universe:

Congressional sources at the symposium confirmed that three bases in Colorado Springs — half of the six being considered — are finalists to house the new U.S. Space Command, the nerve center of the Space Force now under congressional consideration. Space Force would become a new service under the Air Force rather than a separate branch of the armed services under current plans.

A contract issued late Monday will pay for $9 million in work to establish the command, work to be done at Peterson and Schriever Air Force bases, making the Space Command’s home here an even better bet.

The military’s evaluating criteria, including cost, also make Colorado Springs look like the top contender, according to documents obtained by The Gazette.

 

► The Grand Junction Sentinel reports on the next steps in efforts to fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which includes a strong push from Colorado’s two U.S. Senators.

 

► As Colorado Public Radio reports, there is at least one federal institution where marijuana use remains strictly verboten: The U.S. military.

 

► Earlier this week, New York City declared a public health crisis and began instituting vaccination requirements in an effort to halt the spread of measles. Here in Colorado, as 9News reports, legislation to spur higher vaccination rates is on the move.

 

Colorado Public Radio reports on the continuing battle over so-called “red flag” legislation — even after its passage in the Colorado legislature.

 

Governor Jared Polis signed into law new legislation that requires Colorado doctors to submit opioid prescriptions via electronic means rather than traditional paper prescriptions. 

 

If fundraising numbers are any indication, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock should have little trouble winning re-election next month.

 

Is former Gov. John Hickenlooper or Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet more likely to win the Democratic Presidential nomination? According to Colorado Pols readers, it’s more of a draw.

 

► Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders needs to work on his talking points when it comes to questions about his personal wealth and tax returns.

 

► The Colorado Independent has more on the rantings of a crazed Congressman who is also now the Chairman of the Colorado Republican Party.

 

 

Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

 

► Colorado Senate Republicans apparently find their own obstructionism to be quite hilarious.

 

President Trump is baffled that George Washington didn’t name Mount Vernon after himself, because that’s what Trump would have done. From Politico:

During a guided tour of Mount Vernon last April with French president Emmanuel Macron, Trump learned that Washington was one of the major real-estate speculators of his era. So, he couldn’t understand why America’s first president didn’t name his historic Virginia compound or any of the other property he acquired after himself.

“If he was smart, he would’ve put his name on it,” Trump said, according to three sources briefed on the exchange. “You’ve got to put your name on stuff or no one remembers you.”

The VIPs’ tour guide for the evening, Mount Vernon president and CEO Doug Bradburn, told the president that Washington did, after all, succeed in getting the nation’s capital named after him. Good point, Trump said with a laugh.

Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States of America…

 

ICYMI

 

► Yes, really:

 
► There is a semi-secret MAGA society in Washington D.C., which is not at all very creepy.

 

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One Community Comment, Facebook Comments

  1. JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

    One other element of Barr's testimony.  

    Toward the end of his testimony, Barr appeared to walk back his statement, saying: “I am not saying that improper surveillance occurred. I am saying that I am concerned about it and I’m looking into it,” according to NPR reporter Carrie Johnson in a tweet.

    Barr said he wants to make clear that he isn’t launching an investigation into the FBI, and he plans to work closely with FBI Director Christopher Wray if it becomes necessary to look at the activities of former officials.

    “Frankly, to the extent that there were any issues at the FBI, I do not view it as a problem that’s endemic to the FBI. I think there was probably a failure among a group of leaders there in the upper echelon,” Barr said.

    The upper echelon chosen by Mr. Comey…

    And if Barr is finding "failure," it is a different than what AG Sessions had in his briefing of the Gang of Eight.

    Maybe they can blame it all on John McCain.  He's unlikely to protest.

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