Get More Smarter on Monday (June 10)

If this were 2020, we’d be two weeks away from the Primary Election. 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.


President Trump is lobbying tariff threats…again. As Greg Sargent writes for the Washington Post:

President Trump has spent the last half day frantically retweeting his propagandists, who are pushing the absurd deception that Trump’s new deal with Mexico is a massive and historic victory. In reality, the agreement — which averts Trump’s threatened tariffs — consisted mostly of things Mexico already agreed tomonths ago.

Trump is in a rage over this — he repeatedly fumed at the New York Times for reporting it — and now he’s amplifying the notion that he won enormous concessions from Mexico by claiming that Mexico has secretly agreed to another major provision that will be revealed at some unspecified future time.

This has come packaged with a threat: Trump just tweeted that if Mexico does not soon take formal steps to ratify that secret provision, “Tariffs will be reinstated!” [Pols emphasis]

The White House called off tariff threats against Mexico over the weekend after pretending that its crack negotiatin’ resulted in a capitulation that — in reality — had already been agreed upon. Or maybe it was all because of Sen. Cory Gardner’s (R-Yuma) breathtaking “dear colleague” letter on Friday.

From a local perspective, Aldo Svaldi of the Denver Post explains why Colorado farmers and business owners stand to lose Bigly because of Trump’s trade war.


The U.S. Senate isn’t doing much of anything these days, and Republicans are now pretending to be concerned. As Politico reports:

The Senate is going to get back to good old-fashioned legislating any day now. Republicans swear it.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s Senate has been almost entirely focused on confirming President Donald Trump’s personnel and judges and has had little in the way of recent legislative victories…

…The paltry list of accomplishments has given Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer an opening to portray the GOP as devoid of any agenda and could endanger Republicans at risk in a tough election cycle. And there’s a growing recognition within the GOP that it needs to do more.


 The Justice Department has reached a deal with Congressional leaders on turning over evidence from the Mueller investigation. From the New York Times:

The Justice Department, after weeks of tense negotiations, has agreed to provide Congress with key evidence collected by Robert S. Mueller III that could shed light on possible obstruction of justice and abuse of power by President Trump, the House Judiciary Committee said on Monday.

The exact scope of the material the Justice Department has agreed to provide was not immediately clear, but the committee signaled that it was a breakthrough after weeks of wrangling over those materials and others that the Judiciary panel demanded under subpoena.

The announcement appeared to provide a rationale for House Democrats’ choice, announced last week, to back away from threats to hold Attorney General William P. Barr in contempt of Congress. The House will still proceed on Tuesday with a vote to empower the Judiciary Committee to take Mr. Barr to court to fully enforce its subpoena, but even that may no longer be necessary, the panel’s leader said…

…House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler said he expected the department to begin sharing some of the material Monday afternoon and that all members of the committee would be able to view it privately.


Get even more smarter after the jump…



► If you really “drained the swamp” in Washington D.C., you might find Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at the very bottom. As Politico reports:

The Transportation Department under Secretary Elaine Chao designated a special liaison to help with grant applications and other priorities from her husband Mitch McConnell’s state of Kentucky, paving the way for grants totaling at least $78 million for favored projects as McConnell prepared to campaign for reelection.

Chao’s aide Todd Inman, who stated in an email to McConnell’s Senate office that Chao had personally asked him to serve as an intermediary, helped advise the senator and local Kentucky officials on grants with special significance for McConnell — including a highway-improvement project in a McConnell political stronghold that had been twice rejected for previous grant applications…

…The circumstances surrounding the Owensboro grant and another, more lucrative grant to Boone County, highlight the ethical conflicts in having a powerful Cabinet secretary married to the Senate’s leader and in a position to help him politically. McConnell has long touted his ability to bring federal resources to his state, which his wife is now in a position to assist.

Chao’s designation of Inman as a special intermediary for Kentucky — a privilege other states did not enjoy — gave a special advantage to projects favored by her husband, which could in turn benefit his political interests. In such situations, ethicists say, each member of a couple benefits personally from the success of the other.


► The Denver Post profiles Shannon Watts, the founder of the gun safety advocacy group “Moms Demand Action.”


► Anti-choice advocates in Colorado have filed language to push a ballot measure that would ban abortions later in pregnancy — which are largely fictional anyway.


President Trump called into CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Monday morning and said a whole lot of nonsense.


Colorado Public Radio reports on a Sunday gathering of the (many) Democratic candidates seeking to unseat Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) in 2020.


► Governor Jared Polis has been more outspoken about President Trump’s trade war than Sen. Cory Gardner.


► The Washington Post reports on the surprise retirement from a top Homeland Security official:

John V. Kelly, the acting inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security, announced his retirement Monday following revelations that he directed his staff to whitewash audits of the agency’s performance after federal disasters.

Kelly, 64, a career auditor who rose to the top job in 2017, announced his retirement in a brief email Monday morning to hundreds of DHS employees and contractors…

…Kelly’s announcement follows The Post’s report last week that an internal review found that Kelly overrode auditors who had found problems with the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s response to various disasters.

When teams of auditors flew to local communities to assess how well FEMA was helping residents recover, Kelly — then in charge of the emergency management auditing staff — directed them to ignore most problems, according to the internal review and interviews. Instead, he told them to produce what the staff dubbed “feel good” reports.


► Education Secretary Betsy DeVos will be in Colorado Springs later this month to attend an invitation-only luncheon for an education organization founded by prominent Republican Steve Schuck.


As CBS4 Denver reports, Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Lafayette) is working on federal gun safety legislation after meeting with advocates in Colorado.

► Congressman Jason Crow (D-Aurora) jumped out of a plane over the weekend.


► Governor Jared Polis thinks the Bureau of Land Management is more likely to choose Denver than Grand Junction for its new headquarters location.


► The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Monday that firearm “silencers” are not protected by the Second Amendment.




Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 


The news just never really gets better for Republican Bob Beauprez.


► Mmm…salad frosting.




► If you’re still looking to make sense of last week’s runoff election for Denver Mayor, we have you covered.


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!



20 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

    "If this were 2020, we’d be two weeks away from the Primary Election."

    You need to specify — that would be Primary Election (part 2).  Colorado is slated to have the Presidential primary on March 3.


  2. DawnPatrol says:

    The dickhead drumpf, thought by the trump-cultist zombies to be the gop's long-sought racist/fascistic/authoritarian salvation, is proving/will continue to prove to be the cause of the extreme right-wing criminal enterprise's (i.e. the gop's) inevitable demise.


  3. Genghis says:

    ► The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Monday that firearm “silencers” are not protected by the Second Amendment.

    That's incorrect. The substantive ruling came from a federal court of appeals. SCOTUS simply refused to hear the case, and it's well established that the Supreme Court's refusal to hear an appeal is not an ruling on the merits of the underlying decision.

    • VoyageurVoyageur says:

      Not quite, Genghis.  SCOTUS inaction means the Court of Appeals ruling becomes mandatory precedent in the Circuit involved, and persuasive precedent in all other circuits.  Of more consequence, the Screaming Yam administration joined in urging that the lower court ruling not be overturned.  The NRA was not amused.

      • notaskinnycooknotaskinnycook says:

        Be still, my heart! Yammie-pie's minions did something right? I hope they don't let it go to their heads.

        • Genghis says:

          Yes indeed! The brief of the Yammatollah Administration's Justice Department arguing that the Second Amendment doesn't protect silencers or short barreled rifles is available here

      • Genghis says:

        Well … no. It's the court of appeals opinion that's binding authority in-circuit and persuasive authority elsewhere. That happens as soon as a court of appeals issues an opinion for publication, and is in no way dependent on SCOTUS inaction. The only ways such an opinion can lose its precedential effect are reversal or vacatur by the court of appeals in an en banc review proceeding, or reversal or vacatur by SCOTUS. The mere fact that the losing party in the court of appeals petitioned for cert. has no effect at all the court of appeals ruling. Unless the court of appeals or SCOTUS stays the court of appeals opinion pending review (whether sua sponte or on motion of a party), the opinion remains precedent and the judgment remains binding on the parties throughout the certiorari process.

        In any event, the original point stands. The statement that SCOTUS "ruled on Monday that firearm 'silencers' are not protected by the Second Amendment" is incorrect as a simple matter of fact. See Missouri v. Jenkins, 515 U.S. 70 (1995) (denial of cert. is not a ruling on the case's merits); Maryland v. Baltimore Radio Show, Inc., 338 U.S. 912 (1950) (denial of cert. means nothing except that fewer than four justices considered the case worthy of SCOTUS review). 

        To me, the silencer thing wasn't even the most interesting part of the Tenth Circuit decision. That honor belongs to the holding that short-barreled rifles don't qualify for Second Amendment protection. 

        • VoyageurVoyageur says:

          You're splitting hairs — And wrong.  Obviously, denial of cert strenghens at least the persuasive precedent weight — which granting cert would somewhat weaken.

          You are on stronger ground with the short barrel observation.

          • Denial of cert only means that the Court does not see any immediate need to intervene. In this case, though, the Court has developed an extensive track record of denying cert to cases involving state restrictions on firearms that aren't de facto bans on ownership; it's not surprising they denied the petition.

            So, no, the Court didn't set a precedent here. But it doesn't take a lot to read between the lines: SCOTUS is okay with state-based 2nd Amendment restrictions so long as they're reasonable. This is in line with even the "screw the part about the militia" rulings from the Court.

            • RepealAndReplace says:

              Perhaps, but it is still a good occasion for RMGO and NRA to send out a fundraising letter squealing about Obama and his judges coming for everyone's guns.

              Remember, the Deep State is the gift that just keeps giving.

          • Genghis says:

            You're splitting hairs — And wrong.


            You imply that a published federal court of appeals opinion doesn't "become[]" precedent until after "SCOTUS inaction," but I'm wrong. laugh Whatever you say, chief. cheeky

            Obviously, …


            Lacking any actual authority for a contention, the next best thing is positing incontestability by leading with the adverb "obviously." laugh Surely no one will notice!

            You are on stronger ground with the short barrel observation.

            You known, come to think of it, there were at least two legal issues in that case that are more interesting than the silencer thing. One was short barreled rifles being outside the scope of the Second Amendment, and the other had to do with the interplay between the National Firearms Act and that silly-assed Kansas Second Amendment Protection Act (lol "SAPA").

            Yet the media blabbers on about silencers, and all too many sources (Colorado Pols included) falsely state that SCOTUS "ruled" the Second Amendment doesn't apply to silencers. The state of reporting on legal issues is, as always, trash. And I am a dumbass for hoping that'll ever change. 

            • VoyageurVoyageur says:

              You implied that failure to grant cert is meaningless.  I nailed you on the fact that the lack of review locked down the mandatory within the circuit and persuasive elsewhere status.  I was right.  You were wrong.  It's not arguable.

              You aren't a dumbass,just an egomaniac who refuses to admit he overlooked the obvious.

              Hey, it happens.  When you dry your tears, take a bow for flagging the follow up points.


              unlike your efforts at pettifoggery, those were important.

              And any day I get to use the word pettifoggery” is a good day.

              • Genghis says:

                You implied that failure to grant cert is meaningless. 

                Well … no. I said (not implied) "it's well established that the Supreme Court's refusal to hear an appeal is not an ruling on the merits of the underlying decision." That's s true statement. 

                I also said (not implied) that denial of a cert petition means only that fewer than four justices voted in favor of hearing the case. Also true. See Maryland v. Baltimore Radio Show, Inc., 338 U.S. 912 (1950). Thus, a cert denial is not "meaningless," but the meaning it has is quite limited. 

                I nailed you on the fact that the lack of review locked down the mandatory within the circuit and persuasive elsewhere status. 


                The judges of the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado will be surprised (many of them pleasantly, I suspect) to learn that they're free to disregard published opinions of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit if there's a petition for writ of certiorari pending in the Supreme Court. You should give those poor trial court judges a heads-up. smiley

                And any day I get to use the word ["]pettifoggery” is a good day.

                Oh, hell yeah. On that point there is no room for debate or discussion.  

                • VoyageurVoyageur says:

                  You just can't quit while you're behind, can you?  The hole is if cert is granted, then the possibility exists of overturning the whole case — or upholding it, either way setting national precedent.

                  1–It's not unusual in such a case to see several cases in other venues delayed until Scotus gives guidance.

                  2.  In the real world, persuasive precedent has whatever value a judge gives it.  Obviously, it bears less weight if SCOTUS is reviewing the case.  How.much less, who knows.  In many cases, probably a lot less. Appellate courts are horribly overworked and, where possible, some will just be put on hold until Scotus rules.  

                  3.  Do you even know what the word "persuasive" means?  It's Greek for Genghis is a dickhead who won't quit digging when he's in a hole.

                  Now goeth now to the land of the pettifoggers.  You have amused the adults with your foolishness long enough.


                  • Genghis says:

                    The hole is if cert is granted, then the possibility exists of overturning the whole case — or, conversely, setting national precedent.


                    Yep, that's what the hole is, all right. laugh Also, lmao@"overturning the whole case" being a converse of "setting national precedent." This is ripping good stuff!

                    But hey, much love to your viewpoint that a published U.S. Court of Appeals opinion doesn't "become[]" precedent if a cert petition is pending. The viewpoint is false, of course, but that matters nary a whit here in 2019 Amerikka. If you close your eyes and wish really really hard, maybe phlogiston theory will make a comeback as well. cheeky

                    • VoyageurVoyageur says:

                      I hate to be the one to tell you, but there are multiple circuit courts.  Without cert, an opinion from, say, the 10th, is only what is known as "persuasive" precedent on all oth er jurisdictions. Only if scotus grants cert and rules on the case does it become binding precedent nationwide in all 12 circuits.

                      Now that you know that, I'm sure you see how stupid you sound to argue that granting cert –or conversely denying it, is inconsequential.  Either way, it's a highly consequential a ction.

                      so we're agreed.  I was right.  You were wrong.  

                      glad we settled that

                    • PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

                      I'm only watching half this conversation, but the pattern is familiar.  I can only offer this in support:

                      "im not owned! im not owned!!", i continue to insist as i slowly shrink and transform into a corn cob

                      — wint (@dril) November 11, 2011

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      Has anyone gone out on a welfare check on Negev?

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