After a slow start to the week, things are heating up quickly in Political Land. Let’s 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 an audio/visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show or The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us Facebook and Twitter.
TOP OF MIND TODAY…
He poked another U.S. ally in the eye, questioned the loyalty of American Jews, backpedaled on gun legislation and undercut the denials of his advisers on the economy. It was just another normal day in the Trump administration.
Take this quartet case collectively and it portrays an administration and White House in chaos, lacking in systematic policymaking. It portrays a president who changes his mind whenever it suits him, whose statements change with the moment, and who uses words carelessly and sometimes destructively. It forms a pattern of dissembling, of deliberate or unknowing falsehoods as well as efforts to divide already divided Americans from one another.
Trump is spending part of his day today slinging barbs at Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, whom he says said “nasty” things about his dumbass idea to try to buy Greenland. As Chris Cillizza writes for CNN, this Greenland nonsense is the perfect metaphor for Trump’s Presidency.
Trump is also further inflaming his comments about Jewish voters, as USA Today explains:
Speaking to press on Wednesday, Donald Trump reiterated his earlier comments on Israel, saying “In my opinion, if you vote for a Democrat you’re being very disloyal to Jewish people and you’re being very disloyal to Israel.”
“I have been responsible for a lot of great things for Israel,” Trump said.
This is the second time Trump has expressed this sentiment, which prompted backlash on Tuesday from Jewish Americans. Trump, though, said his assertions are not anti-Semitic.
The Chair of the Colorado Democratic Party, Morgan Carroll, had harsh words for Trump on Tuesday.
► Cardboard Cory is getting a lot of love around the state during the August recess. The same can not be said of the real guy, Sen. Cory Gardner. Here’s more on the “Since You’ve Been Gone” tour from the Ft. Collins Coloradoan and the Greeley Tribune.
Gardner, meanwhile, continues to avoid public events in Colorado. At a posh fundraiser in the Denver area earlier this week (hosted by former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley) Gardner spoke to reporters and it did not go very well.
► You can mark this down in the category of “Completely Unsurprising Political News.” As 9News reports:
The group trying to recall Democratic Governor Jared Polis could choose not to turn in the signatures they’ve gathered. And that might be a smart strategy.
The poorly-funded effort to recall Polis is declining whether to say if organizers are even approaching the 631,266 signatures needed as they approach a September 6th deadline.
No petition signature-gathering effort in Colorado history has needed so many signatures. The amount represents 25% of the votes cast in the last election….
…[Dismiss Polis spokeswoman Karen Kataline] confirmed that recall organizers will not submit the gathered signatures to the Secretary of State for verification if they believe they will fall short of the required 631,266 valid signatures.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► As the Colorado political world awaits a formal decision from John Hickenlooper on a potential U.S. Senate run, one of the Democrats already in the race is trying desperately to convince Democrats that he has a shot. As the Colorado Sun reports:
His potential rival in the Democratic primary, former state Sen. Mike Johnston, released an internal poll Tuesday showing that Hickenlooper isn’t the only candidate who can beat Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner.
The poll is a shot across the bow designed to refute the notion that Hickenlooper is the only Democrat who can help the party retake the seat and potentially the U.S. Senate in 2020. It’s also a clear indication that Johnston plans to stay in the race and not clear the way for the former governor and Denver mayor. Other rivals have vowed to do the same.
First of all, we don’t agree that releasing some numbers from an internal poll is a “clear indicator” of anything — least of all Johnston’s intentions should Hickenlooper indeed join the race in the coming weeks.
Johnston’s argument here is also not particularly strong because he has to do a lot more work to get anywhere near the favorability numbers currently enjoyed by Hickenlooper. Johnston is saying that his poll numbers increase significantly once voters learn more about him. Well…yeah. They should.
But the bottom line from this poll is that the eventual Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate is well-positioned to defeat incumbent Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma):
The poll from Johnston’s campaign — first reported Tuesday in The Unaffiliated, the Colorado Sun’s political newsletter — shows that Hickenlooper fares no better against Gardner than a generic Democrat. Among likely 2020 voters, an unnamed Demoratic candidate receives 48% support compared to 38% for Gardner.
The survey was conducted online on Aug. 13 and 14 — before Hickenlooper exited the presidential race and expressed interest in the Senate contest. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.
Its findings essentially mirror what Republican pollster Magellan Strategies found a month ago in a separate survey: Colorado’s blueward shift and the unpopularity of President Donald Trump will make it hard for Republicans to win.
CLICK HERE to read the full polling memo.
Johnston’s poll results come on the heels of another new poll showing that Hickenlooper would easily defeat Gardner in a potential head-to-head matchup. That poll also showed Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders leading the way in Colorado in the race for the Democratic Presidential nomination.
► Marshall Zelinger of 9News reports on an interim legislative committee looking into potential school safety reforms.
► State Sen. Brittany Pettersen (D-Lakewood) will become the first sitting Senator to give birth during the legislative session early next year. As the Denver Post reports:
Pettersen, 37, is due at the end of January with her first child, a baby boy who will make her the first Colorado state senator to give birth in office and the first state lawmaker to do so during a legislative session.
“I think this goes in the bad planning column,” Pettersen joked.
► As the Associated Press reports, high levels of plutonium near the old Rocky Flats nuclear site could have a significant impact on a proposed toll-road expansion in Jefferson County:
Elevated levels of plutonium were found in the soil near a former nuclear weapons plant west of Denver, while a second test showed far lower levels, health officials said Tuesday.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said it is trying to sort out the conflicting results of tests done near the Rocky Flats plant, which made plutonium triggers for nuclear warheads from 1952 until 1989…
…The sample was taken from a former buffer zone east of the plant in the path of a proposed toll road.
The testing was done by the Jefferson Parkway Public Highway Authority, which hopes to build the road to complete a belt route around the Denver metro area, Opila said.
► “Fiscal conservative.” Yeah, right. From the Washington Post:
America’s federal deficit will expand by about $800 billion more than previously expected over 10 years due primarily to two legislative packages approved this year, pushing the nation further into levels of debt unseen since the end of World War II, the Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday.
The CBO also said that the impact of higher trade barriers, primarily President Trump’s trade war, could hurt economic growth amid widespread fears of a recession.
The United States was already expected to hit about $1 trillion in annual deficits next year, an unusually high number particularly given that deficits normally contract during sustained periods of economic growth.
But that shortfall will expand by $1.9 trillion in new spending over the next decade due to a budget deal to avoid the spending cliff reached by congressional Democrats and Trump and an emergency spending package for the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.
► Too many people, too little water.
► President Trump thinks that tariffs will spark manufacturing growth in the United States. Economists do not agree.
► Oh, but President Trump is sure that he is “the chosen one.”
► What America really needs is more fake tax cuts, amiright?
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► Republican Greg Lopez announced that he is running for Governor…in 2022.
► But where do you stand on the “issue” of women wearing pants?
► Of course.
► Senator Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) loves to talk about his “Lugar Rating,” which is a nonsensical attempt to quantify “bipartisanship” that mostly just forces Gardner to contradict himself whenever he brings it up.
► Don’t forget to listen to the latest episode of The Get More Smarter Podcast, featuring an interview with Democratic Presidential candidate Tom Steyer. You can also read the full transcript of the interview here.
► House Minority Leader Patrick Neville is backpedaling on his own claims to have dissuaded President Trump from supporting so-called “red flag” legislation.