Today is Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. 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…
► Ah, diplomacy. President Trump is on a brief visit to Europe this week, with the main focus being a stop in England so that he can have tea with the Queen and insult a bunch of Brits. From the Washington Post:
President Trump met Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace on Monday, beginning three days of royal feting and carefully calibrated diplomacy. The royals had lunch and a tea with Trump. They showed him old paintings of George Washington and an honor guard in scarlet tunics.
But first, Trump mocked the relatively popular London mayor as a “stone cold loser” — and short in stature. And then Trump complained at length on Twitter about CNN news coverage of his trip, which had only just begun. [Pols emphasis]
Before he had even landed in England, Trump was already tossing barbs at the Royal Family; in an interview with the Sun, Trump called Megan Markle “nasty” in response to remarks Markle made long before she became Duchess of Sussex. During the 2016 Presidential campaign, Markle called Trump “misogynistic” and “divisive” — descriptions that Trump essentially affirmed in his comments to the Sun.
It’s no wonder that 2 in 3 Britons have
unfavorable unfavourable opinions of Trump. Large anti-Trump demonstrations are planned for Tuesday, and the Trump baby balloon (see image at right) is expected to make another appearance.
► Congress is back in session after a long Memorial Day weekend. As the New York Times reports, budget and debt issues loom large for Congressional leaders:
A Congress that has struggled all year to legislate returned Monday to face two urgent deadlines that, if not met, could lead to a disastrous default on the federal debt and to automatic spending cuts that would sweep like a scythe through the military, federal health care and other popular programs.
In October or early November, fiscal analysts predict that the Treasury will run out of room to borrow money to keep the government operating, a catastrophe that could damage the stability of the United States economy and force the government to default on its debt.
That is about the same time that back-to-back budget deals would expire and strict spending caps enacted in 2011 would come back into force, automatically cutting military and domestic spending across the board by $125 billion. Lawmakers say they need to act now, before recesses in July and August, to avert a crisis. But so far, a divided Congress has found even usually easy things hard — like passing disaster relief…
…“We don’t have a lot of people in government right now who know how to govern or who want to govern,” said Representative John Yarmuth, Democrat of Kentucky and the chairman of the House Budget Committee. [Pols emphasis]
Elsewhere, Colorado Public Radio looks at the damage to Colorado businesses from Trump’s economic policies.
► The recall effort targeting Rep. Tom Sullivan (D-Aurora) is full of more shady characters than a Quentin Tarantino flick.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► A vacancy committee selected Mary Young as the new State Representative in HD-50. The seat was vacated last month by the resignation of Rochelle Galindo. Young’s husband, Dave Young, is Colorado’s State Treasurer.
► President Trump is trying a new tactic in his long-running feud with “fake news” CNN. As the Washington Post explains:
President Trump raised a familiar complaint — “unfair” coverage by CNN — in a pair of Monday morning tweets. But this time he took the unusual step of calling on supporters to boycott the cable news network’s corporate parent, AT&T, to drive his point home.
“I believe that if people stoped [sic] using or subscribing to AT&T, they would be forced to make big changes at CNN, which is dying in the ratings anyway,” Trump tweeted. “It is so unfair with such bad, Fake News!”
Investors don’t seem particularly concerned about Trump’s rhetoric; shares of AT&T were trading HIGHER on the stock market on Monday.
► A contentious runoff election in Denver finally comes to an end on Tuesday night. We asked Colorado Pols readers to weigh in on who was most likely to win the marquee race for Denver Mayor. If your prognosticating is accurate, then it’s good news for incumbent Michael Hancock. The Denver Post, meanwhile, takes a look at the runoff battles in several City Council districts.
► Governor Jared Polis signed into law a needlessly-controversial bill to make changes to sex education in Colorado. Polis also signed legislation that bans so-called “conversion therapy” in Colorado.
The Colorado Times Recorder explains more about the realities of the sex education bill.
► White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney had an absolutely ridiculous answer when pressed about reports — now confirmed by the U.S. Navy — that the White House made sure to hide the U.S.S. John McCain from President Trump during last month’s visit to Japan. From CNN:
“An advance team is hundreds of people,” said Mulvaney. “The fact that some 23- or 24-year-old person on the advance team went to that site and said, ‘Oh my goodness, there’s the John McCain. We all know how the President feels about the former senator. Maybe that’s not the best backdrop. Could somebody look into moving it?’ That’s not an unreasonable thing to ask.”…
…To be clear on what Mulvaney is arguing: It is totally reasonable for someone on the White House staff to ask if a battleship could be moved because one of its namesakes is someone who, in life, the President didn’t get along with. Sure! Fine!
Mulvaney’s argument comes on the heels of a week of scrambling and story-changing by the White House about the ship and the President. After The Wall Street Journal first reported the requested move, Trump took to Twitter to say this: “I was not informed about anything having to do with the Navy Ship USS John S. McCain during my recent visit to Japan. Nevertheless, @FLOTUS and I loved being with our great Military Men and Women – what a spectacular job they do!”
But then, later in the week, Trump said this: “I was not a big fan of John McCain in any shape or form. Now, somebody did it because they thought I didn’t like him, okay? And they were well-meaning.”
► As the Associated Press reports, Congress has finally sent a disaster relief bill to the desk of President Trump after multiple Republicans took turns kicking the legislation down the street:
The House is approving the measure in the first significant action as it returns from a 10-day recess. It is slated for a Monday evening vote in which Republicans whose home districts have been hit by hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and fires are set to join with majority Democrats to deliver a big vote for the measure.
Conservative Republicans had held up the bill during the recess, objecting on three occasions to efforts by Democratic leaders to pass the bill by a voice vote requiring unanimity. They say the legislation — which reflects an increasingly permissive attitude in Washington on spending to address disasters that sooner or later hit every region of the country — shouldn’t be rushed through without a recorded vote.
Rural Americans are the hardest-hit victims of Trump’s “good and easy to win” trade war. Trump’s tariffs on steel, aluminum, and other Chinese goods were answered by retaliatory tariffs on crops and livestock, delivering another blow to those who have already been devastated by low commodity prices and climate-change-induced unpredictable weather — Colorado’s farmers and ranchers.
And costs aren’t the only thing going up for Americans working the land. Farmers and ranchers now have the highest rate of suicide among any occupational group — including veterans returning from war.
► Colorado’s air quality sucks, but as the Colorado Sun reports, there are signs of improvement on the horizon.
► As Greg Sargent writes for the Washington Post, digging into polling numbers about former President Richard Nixon’s impeachment offers some interesting insights into the potential for a change in public opinion over booting President Trump from office.
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► President Trump is suing everybody.
► Lawmakers in Louisiana rejected an effort to set a minimum age for marriage in the state, with conservatives arguing that such a regulation would unfairly punish “mature” 16-year-old girls.
► It would be difficult to lose as often as Republican Bob Beauprez.
Check out the latest episode of The Get More Smarter Show, featuring an in-depth interview with Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser. You can also Get More Smarter by liking Colorado Pols on Facebook!