According to President Trump, movie star and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has died…in a metaphorical television ratings sort of way. 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…
► Labor Secretary Alex Acosta has resigned his cabinet post after a failed attempt to deflect blame over his handling of a 2008 plea deal for Jeffrey Epstein. As the Washington Post explains:
President Trump told reporters Friday morning that Acosta had decided to step aside. He called Acosta a “great labor secretary, not a good one” and a “tremendous talent.”
“This was him, not me,” Trump said of the resignation decision, as Acosta stood by his side. “I said to Alex, you don’t have to do this.”
Acosta, the only Hispanic in Trump’s Cabinet, said he had submitted his resignation to take effect in a week.
“I don’t think it’s right or fair to have this administration’s labor department have Epstein be the focus instead of the incredible economy we have today,” Acosta said. “It would be selfish for me to stay in the position and continue talking about a case that is 12 years old.”
Deputy Secretary of Labor Pat Pizzella will replace Acosta. Pizzella will be hitting the ground with his mouth running trying to explain this one:
If this Mariana Islands story sounds familiar, it should: This became a big issue in the 2008 U.S. Senate race for former Rep. Bob Schaffer and his ties to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
► Former special counsel Robert Mueller was set to testify publicly in front on Congress next week, but his appearance may be delayed a week. As Politico reports:
Mueller’s highly-anticipated Capitol Hill testimony will be delayed one week under a tentative arrangement he reached with House Democrats, according to multiple sources briefed on the discussions.
Although it’s unclear why Mueller’s testimony was delayed until July 24, lawmakers familiar with the matter said one reason was an ongoing negotiation about how much time they would have to question the former special counsel.
The House Judiciary and Intelligence committees have been negotiating to give lawmakers more time to question the former special counsel. Under the tentative agreement, which was described to POLITICO by lawmakers briefed on the talks, the Judiciary Committee would be granted an extra hour to question Mueller.
That concern was particularly acute for the 41-member Judiciary Committee. As initially planned, each committee would have had just two hours to question Mueller, and more junior lawmakers on the Judiciary panel — including all of its freshman members — would have been shut out.
Colorado is well-represented on the House Judiciary Committee, which includes Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Lafayette) and Rep. Ken Buck (R-Greeley).
► Freshman Rep. Jason Crow (D-Aurora) announced that his re-election campaign has already surpassed $1 million in contributions. As Ernest Luning reports for the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman:
The Aurora attorney and Army Ranger veteran raised $430,461 for the three-month period ending June 30, according to numbers provided to Colorado Politics.
Added to the $504,317 Crow reported raising in the year’s first quarter and the roughly $90,000 he pulled in between the election and Dec. 31, that puts Crow’s fundraising total at $1,026,000.
His campaign said Crow had about $800,000 in the bank at the end of the most recent quarter.
As we noted in April, Crow’s impressive early fundraising numbers — combined with his 11-point victory over longtime incumbent Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) last November — may very well make CO-6 a safe Democratic seat in 2020. This is remarkable considering that CO-6 had never once been held by a Democrat in its entire existence.
As Luning points out, at least one former lawmaker decided to pass on a run in CO-6:
Former state Rep. Phil Covarrubias, who lost his Adams County-based legislative seat last year in a Republican primary, told Colorado Politics in May he was “about a foot away” from declaring a run against Crow, but in June he filed to run for Adams County commissioner.
Thus far the only Republican candidate in CO-6 is Casper Stockham, who will win a Congressional election just as soon as President Trump starts delivering speeches in Spanish.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► President Trump finally gave up on his efforts to add a citizenship question to the 2020 U.S. Census. From the Washington Post:
President Trump on Thursday backed down from his controversial push to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, effectively conceding defeat in a battle he had revived just last week and promised to continue despite a recent string of legal defeats.
Trump announced that he instead plans to order every federal agency to give records to the Commerce Department that detail the numbers of citizens and noncitizens in the United States…
…The announcement marked the end of a 19-month push by the administration to ask about citizenship status on the decennial survey, which opponents decried as an effort to systematically undercount Latinos and scare immigrant communities from participating in a survey that helps determine congressional districts and the disbursement of some federal funds.
It also followed days of confusion and mixed signals from the administration over how it would proceed following a Supreme Court ruling late last month that the government could not include the question on the census without a solid justification. The court found the administration’s original rationale for the addition “contrived.”
► Municipal leaders in Colorado are bracing for another potential round of raids by ICE agents targeting migrant families. The activist organization Lights for Liberty is planning a vigil tonight outside a detention facility in Aurora.
► Senator Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) helped to create a new nonsense “conservation caucus” so that he can pretend that his record on environmental issues isn’t absolutely terrible.
► Senator Gardner’s re-election campaign says it raised $2 million in Q2 and now sits on $4.9 million cash-on-hand.
► Congressman Jason Crow (D-Aurora) has endorsed Omar Montgomery to be Aurora’s next mayor. Among the other candidates in the race: Former Rep. Mike Coffman, who Crow defeated last November.
► As CBS4 Denver reports, former Senator and Presidential candidate Gary Hart tried to warn former Gov. John Hickenlooper about basing a Presidential bid on a message of bipartisanship. Hart also had this advice for Hick:
“Running for president is not a larger version of running for governor. It’s quantitatively and qualitatively different … as different as night and day.”
► Governor Jared Polis has invited the U.S. Women’s soccer team to visit the Colorado state capitol as part of their post-World Cup victory tour. Two Coloradans are members of the USWNT: Lindsey Horan of Golden and Mallory Pugh of Highlands Ranch.
In other soccer-related news, Denver is making a push to be the host city for the 2026 FIFA Men’s World Cup.
► As Meg Wingerter reports for the Denver Post, Colorado officials heard that they still have a lot of work to do on school safety issues:
Colorado schools have done some good work to keep students safer, but inconsistency and lack of funding could leave gaps in security, multiple people told an interim legislative committee Thursday.
Representatives from law enforcement, research groups and the Colorado School Safety Resource Center pointed to ideas that are producing results in schools, including programs to encourage students to support each other, training on how to handle student threats, and protocols to make sure everyone is on the same page during an emergency.
The interim school safety committee, which met for the first time Thursday, was created in the wake of May’s deadly shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch and the perceived threat that shut down hundreds of Denver-area schools the preceding month.
A previous school safety committee met for only one year and didn’t propose any legislation.
► Colorado still has measurable snowpack in the mountains, which is both rare and very good news for thirsty folks in the Western U.S.
► As Politico reports, President Trump sees his 2020 re-election as being all about that
He pushed back against establishment Washington on Thursday with a one-two punch — first by giving conservative bloggers a space to air their grievances about anti-conservative media bias, then by announcing an executive order to collect data about immigrants after the courts blocked him from adding a citizenship question to the census.
The actions — like so many other policies and events being organized by the Trump White House — aren’t likely to yield substantive policy changes. But they’re designed to appeal to the president’s conservative base as he heads into a tough reelection fight.
► Chinese imports of U.S. goods fell 31% in June as President Trump’s trade war rages ahead.
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States of America! As Politico reports:
President Donald Trump stood before political allies and online personalities at the White House on Thursday to talk about social media bias, but he also wanted people to know: Some 2020 Democratic candidates might be supporting communism, a certain celebrity tanked “The Apprentice” after Trump left the show, and the president’s hair is “real.”
Throughout the afternoon summit, Trump delivered quotes that just as easily could have come from his ranging Twitter feed.
“I call Twitter a typewriter, that’s what I really call Twitter. Because it goes onto Facebook automatically and it goes onto Instagram. And it goes onto television. More so Fox than it does CNN.”
“I’m actually a good speller.”
I. Am. So. Smart. S-M-R-T.
Vox.com has more on Trump’s social media circus on Thursday.
► “There’s a word called ‘Communism.'” — President Donald Trump.
► Send good thoughts toward the Southern United States this weekend as residents of Louisiana and Mississippi prepare for a potentially-powerful hurricane.
► Let’s all remember this picture of Senator Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) posing with Rocky Mountain Gun Owners head honcho Dudley Brown.