Did anybody see what happened to June? Anyone? 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…
► President Trump became the first American President to set foot in North Korea over the weekend. As the Washington Post reports, Trump’s photo op handshake with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un isn’t indicative of progress in denuclearization talks:
What we do have, though, is a potential moving of the goal posts — away from a fully denuclearized Korean Peninsula.
As Trump returned, the New York Times reported that his administration is entertaining the idea of a deal with North Korea that includes a “freeze” in its nuclear program, rather than the complete and total denuclearization the administration has demanded. The reported deal feels a whole lot like a trial balloon for a diluted deal. [Pols emphasis]
National security adviser John Bolton, it bears emphasizing, called the report into question Monday morning. He tweeted that, “Neither the [National Security Council] staff nor I have discussed or heard of any desire to ‘settle for a nuclear freeze by NK,’” Bolton said.
But note a couple things. First, Bolton isn’t quite saying that such a proposal isn’t on the table; he’s merely saying he and the NSC haven’t talked about it. Bolton also was a curious omission from the delegation that traveled to North Korea, and if there’s anything we know about this administration, it’s that the left hand isn’t always talking to the right.
What an amazing negotiator, this Trump guy.
This is also yet another egg on the face for Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma), who has long touted the idea that he has Trump’s ear on North Korea.
► Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate in Colorado are announcing fundraising results from the second quarter of 2019. The campaign for former State Sen. Mike Johnston says it raised $1.6 million in Q2, which leads to a total of $3.4 million raised since Johnston first entered the race earlier this year. Democrat Dan Baer, meanwhile, says he raised $1.1 million in Q2 after first entering the race in mid-April.
► Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser wants a court to dismiss a silly lawsuit led by Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO) challenging Colorado’s new “red flag” law on piddling procedural grounds.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► Iran has breached its limit on stockpiles of uranium, as the Associated Press reports. ICYMI on Friday, the U.S. Senate failed to place any sort of limits on President Trump’s ability to initiate military action against Iran.
► Trump offspring were more visible than normal last weekend. As CNN’s Chris Cillizza writes, this is very strange:
Within a few days, then, you had two children of the President of the United States making huge plays on the national and international stage — one acting as a sort-of diplomat and the other as the chief driver of what could be a second attempt to paint a black Democratic candidate for president as exotic and other.
None of that is normal. Nor is it at all appropriate.
The seeds of this sort of weekend have been growing for a while now — ever since the President found a loophole in the Federal Anti-Nepotism Act that allowed him to appoint both Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, to senior roles in the White House. (Ivanka, Jared and Don Jr. were all officials on Trump’s presidential transition team, too.) The law, put into place after John Kennedy named his brother, Bobby, as attorney general, has been interpreted to only apply to federal agencies, which the White House is not. And in truth, the roots were even growing before that — when Trump refused to put his assets in a blind trust — instead delegating Don Jr. (and another son, Eric) to run the company in his stead. (It’s not at all clear that the President avoids talking about the health of his business with his two sons.)
► A new study shows that immigrants contribute billions of dollars — yes, that’s “billions” with a “B” — to Colorado’s economy.
► As the Associated Press reports, some 16,000 immigrants in Colorado remain in legal limbo after a Supreme Court decision about a decision on DACA:
The fate of some 16,000 young immigrants in Colorado who are shielded from deportation by an Obama-era program was again thrown into limbo on Friday after the U.S. Supreme Court announced it will decide whether the protections can be unraveled by President Donald Trump.
The justices’ order sets up legal arguments for late fall or early winter, with a decision likely by June 2020 as Trump campaigns for reelection. The president in 2017 ordered an end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, sparking protests and a congressional effort to salvage it.
That effort failed, but federal courts in California, New York, Virginia and Washington, D.C., have blocked him from ending it immediately. A federal judge in Texas has declared the program is illegal, but also refused to order its end.
Colorado is among the states that have sued to prevent the program from being undone. Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser on Friday said he was confident the coalition of his Democratic colleagues fighting to protect DACA will be successful.
► State Rep. Don Valdez (D-Alamosa) announced that he will seek the Democratic nomination for Congress in CO-3 for the right to challenge Republican Rep. Scott Tipton in November 2020.
► Colorado Public Radio reports on new regulations regarding vaping and smoking in public:
A change to the Colorado Indoor Clean Air Act, effective on July 1, adds vaping to the longstanding prohibition of traditional smoking in most indoor public spaces. The new law also increases the distance from doorways that individuals are able to smoke or vape from 15 to 25 feet.
Alison Reidmohr, the tobacco communications specialist for Colorado’s Department of Health and Public Environment, said changing the law aligns the state with best practices according to health studies.
“That’s because the best studies have shown that drifting secondhand smoke can still have an impact on people up to 25 feet away,” Reidhmor said.
Here’s more on a bunch of new laws that take effect starting today.
► Boulder County has placed a 9-month moratorium on new oil and gas drilling operations in the area.
► Try not to breathe so much. if you live in the Denver area.
► As Greg Sargent writes for the Washington Post, new Republican efforts to defend President Trump in advance of Robert Mueller’s planned Congressional testimony could backfire spectacularly.
► California Sen. Kamala Harris appears to be surging in national polls after a strong debate performance last week.
► Democratic Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg raised an impressive $24.8 million in Q2.
► The Washington Post reports on President Trump’s knowledge gap:
Asked at a news conference in Japan on Saturday whether he agrees with Vladimir Putin’s claim that “Western-style liberalism” is in decline, President Trump responded by criticizing the cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco, which he said are “sad to look at” because they are “run by liberal people.”
…“In another portion of the news conference, he was asked about an exchange in Thursday night’s portion of the first Democratic presidential debate over busing. Trump, yet again, didn’t seem to understand what the term meant,” Aaron Blake reports.
This is part of a pattern: Standing on the world stage as the face of the United States, Trump has routinely fumbled basic facts about history, foreign policy and economics.
Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States of America!
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► President Trump really needs to brush up on his Japanese history.
► What’s the difference between Fox News and North Korea’s state-run media outlets? Not much, apparently.
► This video from one of the many “Recall Jared Polis” groups is so awful that it is kinda great.