Elephants are for sale (this is not a metaphor, though it certainly works as one). 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…
► Former Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller has agreed to testify before Congress — and the rest of the American public — regarding his investigation into President Trump and friends. As the Washington Post explains:
The House Judiciary and Intelligence committees, in an announcement late Tuesday, said that “pursuant to a subpoena,” Mueller has agreed to appear before both panels on July 17. Mueller, who oversaw the 22-month inquiry, is perhaps the one person lawmakers and the nation have been wanting to hear from the most…
…Mueller will testify in back-to-back hearings before the House Judiciary Committee, led by Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), and the House Intelligence Committee, led by Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.).
The long-awaited testimony comes as nearly 80 House Democrats have called for opening impeachment proceedings against Trump, arguing that he has ignored the Constitution that he took an oath to defend while repeatedly refusing to cooperate with congressional investigations.
President Trump is quite clearly worried about this news, as he demonstrated in a rambling interview with Fox Business on Wednesday morning. Vox.com recaps the madness:
…hours after news broke that special counsel Robert Mueller will testify before Congress in a public setting on July 17, President Donald Trump called in to Maria Bartiromo’s Fox Business show for a lengthy phone interview that was especially unhinged, even by his standards.
It was a surreal affair from start to finish. But even during its wildest moments, Bartiromo pretended to understand what Trump was talking about and acted as though he was making profound points. In that respect, it illustrated how Trump-friendly media — Fox News and Fox Business in particular — normalize an obviously abnormal president.
The tone was set immediately, as Trump conspiratorially ranted about “people [from the FBI] spying on my campaign” over Bartiromo’s attempts to get a question in.
The look on Maria Bartiromo’s face after her phone interview with Trump finally wraps up says it all pic.twitter.com/xNLbjM3FpV
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 26, 2019
► The National Rifle Association (NRA) has been hemorrhaging money in recent years because of questionable spending habits and equally-questionable leadership tactics, and now its flagship television program is going off the air. As the New York Times reports:
The National Rifle Association has shut down production at NRATV.
The N.R.A. on Tuesday also severed all business with its estranged advertising firm, Ackerman McQueen, which operates NRATV, the N.R.A.’s live broadcasting media arm, according to interviews and documents reviewed by The New York Times.
While NRATV may continue to air past content, its live broadcasting will end and its on-air personalities — Ackerman employees including Dana Loesch — will no longer be the public faces of the N.R.A. It remained unclear whether the N.R.A. might try to hire some of those employees, but there was no indication it was negotiating to do so.
The move comes amid a flurry of lawsuits between the N.R.A. and Ackerman, and increasing acrimony that surfaced after two prominent N.R.A. board members first criticized NRATV in an article in The Times in March. The separation had become inevitable: The two sides said last month that they were ending their three-decade-plus partnership.
NRATV did not have a particularly large audience, but it did often provide airtime to Colorado gun “enthusiasts.”
► The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill late Tuesday intended to provide relief to a rapidly-deteriorating situation along the Mexico border. From the Washington Post:
The House passed a $4.5 billion emergency border aid bill Tuesday, one containing provisions for the treatment of migrant children in U.S. custody that Democratic leaders added amid widespread anger in their ranks over President Trump’s handling of the crisis.
The 230-to-195 vote, largely along party lines, followed a flurry of last-minute negotiations among Democrats who said they have been horrified by reports of poor conditions at overcrowded U.S. Customs and Border Protection facilities where unaccompanied children have been kept. The bill’s passage sets up a high-stakes negotiation with Trump and Senate Republicans to deliver aid days before a looming deadline.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► White House adviser Kellyanne Conway has earned herself a subpoena, as CNN reports:
The House Oversight Committee voted on Wednesday to subpoena testimony from White House counselor Kellyanne Conway after a federal agency recommended that she should be fired for repeatedly violating a law that limits the political activities of federal employees.
Chairman Elijah Cummings, Democrat of Maryland, has warned that his panel would vote to hold Conway in contempt if she ignores the subpoena. Conway did not appear on Wednesday on the advice of White House counsel for the committee’s scheduled hearing.
The vote — 25 to 16, with Democrats and Rep. Justin Amash, Republican of Michigan, voting in favor — could set up another challenge in court between Congress and the Trump administration, which has consistently stymied Democrats’ oversight efforts since they took control of the House earlier this year.
► This is an actual quote from Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma):
“I think the President is going to continue to do what the President is going to continue to do.”
► President Trump doesn’t seem to think he needs Congressional approval to do anything, and that extends to a potential military conflict with Iran. As CNN reports:
President Donald Trump doesn’t believe he needs congressional approval to make a military strike against Iran, but he likes “the idea of keeping Congress abreast.”
“I do like keeping them — they have ideas, they’re intelligent people, they’ll have some thoughts. I actually learned a couple of things the other day when we had our meeting with Congress, but I do like keeping them abreast, but I don’t have to do it legally,” the President said Monday in an interview with The Hill, a CNN affiliate.
The question of Trump’s authority to approve a military strike without congressional approval has been hotly debated among members of Congress in recent days amid escalating tensions with Iran.
► Congressman Ken Buck (R-Greeley), who moonlights as the Chair of the Colorado Republican Party (or perhaps it’s the other way around), has apparently dispatched minions to voice disapproval for ongoing recall grifting in Colorado.
► Congressman Joe Neguse (D-Lafayette) is pushing for official hearings into a controversial ICE detention facility in Aurora.
► The Colorado Times Recorder reports on another very-Gardneresque moment from Colorado’s junior Senator:
Last month, Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) attended a fundraiser for and received monetary support from the Annual Unity Fund (AUF) – a conservative LGBTQ rights group.
But that didn’t stop Gardner from approving lifetime terms for three judges with anti-LGBTQ records last week.
► The first round of Democratic Presidential debates kicks off tonight in Miami, but you’ll have to wait until Thursday to see former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Denver) take the stage. Here’s a preview of tonight’s debate from the New York Times.
► Former State Sen. Mike Johnston picked up the endorsement of State Rep. Tom Sullivan in his bid for the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination in Colorado.
► The Grand Junction Sentinel reports on the memorial service for former state lawmaker Tillie Bishop.
► The Colorado State Board of Education has approved $400 million worth of construction projects for Colorado public schools.
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs) took time out from whatever the hell he does on a daily basis to rant about PBS and its nefarious children’s programming.
► The Huffington Post reports on another Trump administration resignation that
nobody everybody saw coming:
Bill Wehrum, the Environmental Protection Agency’s air pollution chief who oversaw key rollbacks of Obama-era climate regulations, is stepping down amid an ethics probe into his ties to former industry clients.
The EPA announced the departure of its powerful assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation in an abrupt press release on Wednesday, indicating that Wehrum had long planned to leave the agency…
…But it comes two months after the House Committee on Energy & Commerce launched an investigation into allegations that Wehrum and a top deputy used their posts in the administration to help utilities they worked for at their former law firm, Hunton & Williams, now known as Hunton Andrews Kurth.
► A Republican Congressman from Texas doesn’t understand why immigrant children don’t just get up and leave detention facilities and return home. From CNN:
A Texas Republican congressman suggested Monday night that migrant children are able to leave a children’s facility in Texas “at any time” but don’t because they’re well cared for.
“There’s not a lock on the door. Any child is free to leave at any time but they don’t,” Rep. Michael Burgess said in an interview with MSNBC. “And you know why? Because they’re well taken care of.”
Burgess was referring to the Casa Padre shelter in Brownsville, Texas, that’s become one of the largest facilities housing unaccompanied migrant children in the United State. The former Walmart superstore houses migrant boys, ages 10 to 17.
Yes, it’s SO weird that 10-year-old kids don’t just wander off on their own.
► This isn’t complicated:
A #copolitics ❤️ tale from two of Colorado’s Republican congressmen blaming Dems for the border situation. The GOP did not pass a major immigration bill in 2017-18 when they had full power. https://t.co/tiCLSGmhbx pic.twitter.com/5fPCAGCG5U
— Blair Miller (@blairmiller) June 26, 2019