Get More Smarter on Thursday (October 3)

It’s finally time to celebrate Fullmetal Alchemist day. Now, 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…

President Trump is now publicly calling on China to investigate various Bidens for some sort of invented transgression. As NBC News reports:

“China should start an investigation into the Bidens because what happened in China is just about as bad as what happened with Ukraine,” Trump told reporters outside the White House.

While Trump said he hasn’t requested Chinese President Xi Jinping investigate the Bidens, the public call mirrors the private behavior on which Democrats are partially basing their impeachment inquiry— using the office of the presidency to press a foreign leader to investigate a political rival.

It is “certainly something we can start thinking about, because I’m sure that President Xi does not like being on that kind of scrutiny, where billions of dollars is taken out of his country by a guy that just got kicked out of the Navy,” Trump said Thursday of asking China to probe the Bidens. “He got kicked out of the Navy, all of the sudden he’s getting billions of dollars. You know what they call that? They call that a payoff.”

Now it’s “billions” of dollars. By this time next week, Trump will be alleging that the Bidens pocketed trillions.

In a related story, CNN’s Chris Cillizza takes us through the transcript of Trump’s bananas press conference on Wednesday alongside the President of Finland.

 

► Welcome to the shitshow, Vice President Mike Pence. From the Washington Post:

President Trump repeatedly involved Vice President Pence in efforts to exert pressure on the leader of Ukraine at a time when the president was using other channels to solicit information that he hoped would be damaging to a Democratic rival, current and former U.S. officials said.

Trump instructed Pence not to attend the inauguration of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in May — an event White House officials had pushed to put on the vice president’s calendar — at a time when Ukraine’s new leader was seeking recognition and support from Washington, the officials said.]]
Months later, the president used Pence to tell Zelensky that U.S. aid was still being withheld while demanding more aggressive action on corruption, officials said. At that time — following Trump’s July 25 phone call with Zelenksy — the Ukrainians probably understood action on corruption to include the investigation of former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.

Pence is trying to claim ignorance about the whole Ukraine scandal, but as the Post reports, officials say that “one of Pence’s top advisers was on the July 25 call and the vice president should have had access to the transcript within hours.”

Have fun with this one, Mr. Vice President.

 

 The battle has been joined! The “YES” on Proposition CC campaign kicked off on Wednesday with the support of Gov. Jared Polis (D-Boulderish).

 

► Check out the latest episode of The Get More Smarter Podcast, featuring an interview with Los Angeles Times White House reporter Eli Stokols.

Get even more smarter after the jump…

IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…

 

 Public lands issues in Colorado will continue to be a motivating force for voters in 2020, according to a new poll commissioned by Center for Western Priorities. From a press release:

A new Winning the West 2020 poll released today by the Center for Western Priorities shows an “Outdoor Voting Bloc” in the Rocky Mountain West has cemented itself as an influential factor in election outcomes. The Winning the West poll and accompanying presentation—conducted for the third consecutive election cycle in Colorado, Montana, and Nevada, and for the second time in Arizona and New Mexico—reveal how issues involving public lands, parks, and wildlife play an outsized role in moving Western voters to the polls and influence how voters choose candidates.

Overwhelming majorities of voters in the Mountain West can be considered committed outdoor enthusiasts. 93 percent agree the mountains and outdoors are what makes living in their state special. They not only use public lands but care about how they are protected, with 51 percent of Western voters labeling themselves as “conservationists” and 61 percent who believe the U.S. needs to protect new deserving public lands. When it comes to voting priorities, 78 percent of voters in the West consider issues involving public lands, waters, and wildlife to be important when deciding whether to support a candidate for public office, outpacing climate change as a top concern.

“We continue to see the rise of public lands and the outdoors as an important issue in competitive races in the Mountain West,” said Jennifer Rokala, executive director of the Center for Western Priorities. “Westerners care deeply about our public lands and we vote on them. Against the backdrop of the current administration’s unpopular agenda on public lands, it will be worth watching to see if more candidates highlight an agenda of protecting the West’s outdoor way of life in their strategies to win.”

 

► As CNN reports, plenty of Republican Senators previously agreed with former Vice President Joe Biden’s efforts to help Ukraine stamp out corruption.

 

 Congressman Ken Buck (R-Greeley), who moonlights as the State Republican Party Chairman (or perhaps we have it backward) insists that he will be running for re-election in 2020.

 

► Congressman Scott Tipton (R-Cortez) dips the tip of his little toe into impeachment waters.

 

► Senator Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) has taken his refusal to comment on issues to the next level — he won’t even discuss visiting an Amazon.com office in Colorado.

 

► Senator Michael Bennet (D-Denver) failed to make the cut for another debate among candidates seeking the Democratic Presidential nomination, but he’s going to keep on keeping on. Bennet’s Presidential campaign raised a fairly-paltry $2.1 million in Q3.

 

► The Colorado legislature will take up the issue of compensation for college athletes when lawmakers reconvene in January 2020.

 

► State Rep. Chris Hansenwill run for the Denver State Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Lois Court.

 

► Former State House Speaker Ruben Valdez has died.

 

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo got on the wrong bandwagon. Via Politico:

Just a few weeks ago, the secretary of state was widely being described as the most powerful person in the president’s Cabinet – a strong, ambitious figure who has survived even as other top officials, most notably national security adviser John Bolton, have either quit or been pushed out.

But his ascent has come with a cost: Pompeo is now at the center of the Ukraine-related impeachment storm consuming Trump. Democrats accuse him of witness intimidation, diplomats feel as if he’s betrayed them, and investigators are wondering if he’s misled them.

If it’s any consolation, Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner can commiserate.

 

► The Trump administration is moving to privatize the detention of migrant children.

 

Students in Estes Park talked about the importance of addressing Climate Change in a meeting with local and state elected officials.

 

 

Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

 

This is so dumb.

 

So, uh, the Approval Voting Party is now a real thing in Colorado.

 

ICYMI

 

Make America Moatier.

 

► Now that you’re done reading, you can start listening:

 

 

For more political learnings, check out The Get More Smarter Show or The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to give Colorado Pols a thumbs up on Facebook and Twitter

 

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  1. PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

    "Class warfare"

    IRS: Sorry, but It’s Just Easier and Cheaper to Audit the Poor: Congress asked the IRS to report on why it audits the poor more than the affluent. Its response is that it doesn’t have enough money and people to audit the wealthy properly. So it’s not going to.

    Last month, Rettig replied with a report, but it said the IRS has no plan and won’t have one until Congress agrees to restore the funding it slashed from the agency over the past nine years — something lawmakers have shown little inclination to do.

    On the one hand, the IRS said, auditing poor taxpayers is a lot easier: The agency uses relatively low-level employees to audit returns for low-income taxpayers who claim the earned income tax credit. The audits — of which there were about 380,000 last year, accounting for 39% of the total the IRS conducted — are done by mail and don’t take too much staff time, either. They are “the most efficient use of available IRS examination resources,” Rettig’s report says.

    On the other hand, auditing the rich is hard. It takes senior auditors hours upon hours to complete an exam. What’s more, the letter says, “the rate of attrition is significantly higher among these more experienced examiners.” As a result, the budget cuts have hit this part of the IRS particularly hard.

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