Get More Smarter on Wednesday (October 23)

The Denver Nuggets open the 2019-20 NBA season tonight in Portland. 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…

 Congressional Republicans understand that they don’t have much of a substance argument in opposition to impeachment proceedings against President Trump, so they’ve increasingly been focusing their attacks on the “process” aspect of the investigations. On Wednesday, House Republicans — led by members of the so-called “Freedom Caucus” — stormed into a secure committee room and temporarily delayed testimony from Pentagon official Laura Cooper.

These Republicans, led by Trump attack dog and Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, are not allowed in the committee hearings BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE. As the New York Times explains:

The lawmakers — most of whom do not sit on the committees conducting the inquiry and are therefore not entitled to attend its hearings — said they were protesting the closed-door nature of the proceedings, which have been open to members of both parties who sit on the committees. The private question-and-answer sessions have produced a stream of compelling testimony from government witnesses, much of it confirming and expanding on the intelligence whistle-blower complaint that touched off the impeachment inquiry.

Republicans are hammering Democrats for limiting attendance at the hearings to members of the Intelligence, Judiciary and Foreign Affairs Committees. It is common practice for sensitive congressional investigations to be conducted behind closed doors, at least in their preliminary stages. House Republicans did just that when they controlled the chamber and opened an inquiry into the 2012 attack on the United States embassy in Benghazi, Libya. [Pols emphasis]

Democrats have said they plan to hold open hearings after the committees finish deposing witnesses, and that they intend to make public complete transcripts of witness testimony after they have been reviewed to determine whether they contain any classified material. Democrats argue that, lacking any defense of the substance of Mr. Trump’s actions, Republicans are attacking them over process.

The facts do not seem to support the argument of Congressional Republicans, including Rep. Ken Buck (R-Greeley).

 

► As The Washington Post reports, Republicans may be taking extreme measures in attacking the impeachment “process” because recent testimony looks very ominous for President Trump:

The impeachment inquiry into President Trump took an ominous turn for the president yesterday with the explosive testimony on Capitol Hill of a career civil servant.

William B. Taylor Jr. — a lifelong diplomat under both Republican and Democratic administrations who came out of retirement to take the acting chief diplomatic role in Ukraine — appears to have inflicted grave wounds to Trump’s claims there was no quid pro quo in holding back U.S. military assistance from Ukraine in exchange for help from that government in investigating the president’s political rivals.

“It is no longer a question of whether this happened. It is now a question of how the president explains it and how lawmakers — especially Republicans — choose to respond to it,” as my colleague Dan Balz put it. “Taylor’s prepared testimony documents with precision and clarity what he heard, saw, wrote and was asked to respond to over a period of weeks. In his telling, the squeeze on Ukraine, and Trump’s role in it, goes well beyond a single phone call July 25 between the U.S. president and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Trump’s long-standing characterization that there was no quid pro quo runs smack into evidence to the contrary.”

Politico has more on the Republican realization that they don’t have much left to stand on in the battle against impeachment.

 

► As Colorado Public Radio reports, lawmakers agree that Colorado needs to change how it funds public schools…but they don’t agree on how to get there. 

 

 As the New York Times reports, more than a million lower-income children have been dropped from the rolls of Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in the last 18 months.

 

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

 

IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…

 

President Trump famously said that he was so popular that he could “stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody” and it wouldn’t cost him any support. On Wednesday, a Trump attorney actually made this argument in a courtroom. From The Washington Post:

President Trump’s private attorney said Wednesday that the president could not be investigated or prosecuted as long as he is in the White House, even for shooting someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue.

The claim of “temporary presidential immunity” from Trump’s private attorney William S. Consovoy came in court in response to a judge’s question that invoked the president’s own hypothetical scenario. As a candidate in 2016, Trump said his support was so strong he could “stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody” and not “lose any voters.”

The president’s lawyer was asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit to block a subpoena for Trump’s private financial records from New York prosecutors investigating hush-money payments made before the 2016 election. The judges seemed skeptical of the president’s sweeping claims of immunity not just from prosecution, but also from investigation…

…“Local authorities couldn’t investigate? They couldn’t do anything about it?” asked Judge Denny Chin, adding, “Nothing could be done? That is your position?”

“That is correct,” Consovoy answered emphasizing that the immunity applied only while Trump is in office.

You don’t need to be an attorney to understand the absurdity of this argument.

 

► As Chris Cillizza writes for CNN, only seven Republican Senators will admit that they have already made up their mind to protect President Trump from impeachment proceedings:

Earlier this week, the conservative Daily Caller website asked the offices of each of the 53 Republican senators whether they opposed the impeachment and removal of President Donald Trump. Just seven of them said yes.

Which is, well, verrrrrrry interesting…

…The seven who did confirm they oppose impeachment to the Caller are: Sens. James Inhofe (Oklahoma), Cindy Hyde-Smith (Mississippi), Thom Tillis (North Carolina), Roger Wicker (Mississippi), Mike Rounds (South Dakota), Rob Portman (Ohio) and Jerry Moran (Kansas)…

…Of the 46 Republican senators who didn’t expressly reject impeachment, almost half — 22 — simply declined to comment to the Caller. Which, in and of itself, is telling! Many of the others criticized House Democrats for their impeachment inquiry but failed to rule out the possibility of voting to remove him from office if it came to that.

 

A new CNN/SSRS poll shows former Vice President Joe Biden with a solid lead among the candidates seeking the 2020 Democratic Presidential nomination. The poll shows Biden with 34% support from Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters, followed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (19%) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (16%); no other Democratic candidate breaks double-digits. The CNN poll should probably be taken with a grain of salt, however, since it is significantly different from other recent national polls

 

► Senator Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) is raising money for his re-election campaign today with the help of South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott

 

 

► All together now: Proposition CC will not take away your personal tax refund!

 

Charles Ashby of the Grand Junction Sentinel reports on Western Slope visits by Democratic Senate candidates John Hickenlooper and Andrew Romanoff.

 

 Colorado Public Radio reports a “culture war” rally in Ft. Collins on Tuesday led by Donald Trump, Jr. 

 

 Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan spoke at the University of Colorado on Tuesday and tried to make the case that the court is not as partisan as it might appear.

 

► A special legislative committee failed to come up with concrete ideas for increasing Colorado’s abysmal recycling rates. 

 

► State Rep. Daneya Esgar (D-Pueblo) announced plans to run for a fourth and final term in the legislature.

 

► Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division appears poised to ban three vaping additives that are believed to be related to a nationwide outbreak of lung ailments.

 

As John Aguilar reports for The Denver Post, there is much disagreement among transit leaders about how to deal with an RTD driver shortage:

Regional Transportation District leaders on Tuesday made it clear that before any reductions are made to bus and train service in metro Denver — a possible response to a worsening transit worker shortage — the agency will need to first meet with communities in the district to elicit their input on any potential route cuts.

“We have to reach out to the stakeholders — this is not just an RTD problem, this is a regional problem,” said Director Judy Lubow, who represents Longmont.

Her colleague, Director Angie Rivera-Malpiede, said the prospect of nixed routes in the 2,342-square-mile transit district centering on Denver is dire.

“In my opinion, RTD is in crisis,” she said Tuesday night.

Labor shortages for transit services have been a growing problem across the country in recent years.

 

President Trump says that he is totally winning Syria.

 

 

Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

 

► Former Rep. Tom Tancredo believes that there is never a wrong time to say a terrible thing.

 

► This is what Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) thinks passes for “leadership” on the issue of addressing gun violence in America:

 

ICYMI

 

► Don’t miss the latest episode of The Get More Smarter Podcast and find out if you can do better at “Duke or Donald” than our guest contestant.


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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23 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

    When the facts are against you, argue law. When the law is against you, argue the facts. When the law and the facts are against you pound like hell on the table and scream like a madman  call a Freedumb Cockus meeting and storm the committee room!!

  2. doremi says:

    Sorry…Guess you missed it…(Intentionally????)

    In a Montrose debate, US Senate candidates were asked to raise their hands if they believed Trump has committed an impeachable offense.  John Hickenlooper was quite hesitant, had to look and see how the others voted before raising his hand.

     What???

    The Colorado Sun carried it:

    https://coloradsosun.com/2019/10/22/john-hickenlooper-donald-trump-impeachment-video/

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      I'm guessing Hick is trying to maintain the appearance of being an impartial juror to attract unaffiliated voters and anti-Trump Republicans.

      Should Hick win next year, and Trump gets re-elected and re-impeached after January 2021, Hick could find himself serving as a juror.

      • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

        …while the Majority Leader uses it as a fundraising tool. <sigh>

      • Diogenesdemar says:

        Nah, that just ‘Hick bring ‘Hick . , . 
         

        . . . drag you feet, check and recheck and recheck again where the voters are going; join them reluctantly (thinking . . . “I really should probably just recheck this at least one more time, shouldn’t I?); claim it was a merely a recognition of the inevitable, if challenged by anyone; and then if nothing goes south a while later, you declare your strong leadership on the question.

        • RepealAndReplace says:

          If he is such a squishy milk toast, why is he running about 50% ahead of his closest primary opponent?

          • Diogenesdemar says:

            Why, indeed? . . .

            . . . but, as the DSCC would say here, . . .

            “Yours is not to wonder why, yours is but to; ‘Hick’s your guy.”

          • doremi says:

            Name recognition.

            He's funny.  But he's not a great leader.

            By the way, the question was whether Trump has committed impeachable offenses. The question before the senate would be whether he should be removed from office. Hopefully, that will all be resolved before 2021.

            Lots of things to be unhappy with.   Climate change/O&G/Death Penalty/Apologizing to the sheriffs for a gun bill he signed ("my staff made me do it."

             

            Also, the first Supreme Court appointment he made was a Republican! After Dems worked so hard to get him elected, he turns around and makes that appt. Our Colorado Supreme Court now has 2 Dems, 3 U’s and 2 R’s….after 12 years of Democratic Governorships? How’s he gonna be on US Supremes? Capitulate to R-choices?

             

            • RepealAndReplace says:

              Nam recognition?

              So Hick has name recognition. But Andrew Romanoff has name recognition too. He's run (and lost) one statewide race. He's run (and lost) on congressional district race.

              Now Lorna Garcia and Trish Zorno have name recognition problems.

          • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

            Remind me of the poll that determined that, please?

            Thank you

            • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

              Still waiting for someone to drag out that discredited poll to try and justify your numbers again. I would enjoy watching kwtree disassemble your arguments again.

              Ashbys' story is good, though bland. A bit early for verbal fisticuffs yet. They both stayed positive. 

              There was a time when Andrew was considered by many to be the most popular Democrat in Colorado. I don't think that has changed, though Governor Polis may be giving him a run for his money nowadays.😊

              • RepealAndReplace says:

                A slanted poll showed Hick in the lead?

                Wow, maybe if you candidate could raise some money, he could afford to commission a slanted poll of his own.

                 

              • VoyageurVoyageur says:

                If Andrew was such a popular Democrat, how come he lost the Democratic primary to Bennet?  And there were TWO polls showing Hick about 50 points ahead ofAndrew.  The kiwi fruit fulminated and hurled billingsgate but refudiated notsmiley

                • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

                  Thank you both for your predictable and impertinent responses.

                  I remember a poll of Dem party chairs early on in the last go 'round. Andrew was far and away their preference for the senate. At that time I was actively involved in the Dem party. Andrew was well known and very popular.

                  His refusal to play ball with OFA and Bennets' connections to Obama sank his candidacy. You may recall he was a pioneer in refusing PAC money…for which he was excoriated on these pages. 

                  With Obamas', thus the DNCs', collective thumbs on the scale, Andrews' grassroots campaign couldn't compete. Maybe I remember it wrong, but we have seen this before.   

                  Hick is running to protect his powerful friends and his fragile ego. A genuine commitment to serving the people and environment of this state, I do not see in him. It is waaaay too early for you to predict that name recognition and BigMoney will prevail here. When you have a name like Frackenlooper, it may be hard to live down.

                  • VoyageurVoyageur says:

                    Hick is running for the sole purpose of pissing you off, Duke.  Boy, is it working.  Even your friend kiwifruit is backing Angela Williams.

                    my heart was with Alice Madden.  But my money is on Hick.

                    romo was and is a fine man.  But as far as names go, Romanov isn't the best choice to appeal to the dominant Bolshevik wing on pols!

                  • kwtreekwtree says:

                    Happy to oblige, Duke. 

                    The very first poll, which Pols breathlessly reported, citing Wingerter’s Post piece, supposedly showed Hick crushing all rivals by 51%!. One catch – to this day, no one has actually seen this poll. Not Alva, not Wingerter, nadie.

                    Two more polls were promoted , and those polls, while carried out by a reputable pollster (PPP),  were commissioned by 314 Action, the same organization that ran the “Draft Hick!” ads, and promoted his 1980 geology degree as showing him to be a scientist while simultaneously ignoring a real woman scientist ( Trish Zornio ), along with any other candidate who wasn’t white and male.

                    The second PPP poll was an obvious “push poll”, with questions like these: 

                    Now that you know Hickenlooper is a real climate hero, are you more or less likely to vote for him?
                     

                    The 3rd PPP poll was also commissioned by 314 Action, but at least, finally, acknowledged the existence of the other Senate candidates in head to head matchups with Hick. Romanoff was 17% to Hick’s 66% in that poll.

                    It still shows mainly name recognition. Once one has said the name “Hickenlooper” a few times, it sticks in the mind.

                    Hick was a terrible Presidential candidate whose main schtick was “I’m not a socialist.” He had to loan his campaign $7500 to clear the books. He was publicly reluctant and doubtful of his ability to be a good Senator. Of course, Cory Gardner will run ads with those clips of Hick saying, “I’m not cut out to be a Senator.” Of course he will. If Hick is the Democratic nominee.
                     

                    In spite of the DSCC, 314 Action, and Pols all celebrating “Mr. Inevitable “, it’s not at all clear to me that will be the case. Angela Williams is likely to have at least 15% of delegates sufficient to run at Assembly. Romanoff will, and he’ll likely clear the 30% threshold to be on the ballot. I don’t think Hick will get 70% at assembly. There are plenty of Bernie folks pissed at Hick for mocking Bernie, or for Hicks oil and gas shilling, and they are active in the Party.
                     

                    We may all yet be spared a mediocre Frackenlooper near the top of the 2020 ticket.
                     

                    • VoyageurVoyageur says:

                      You willing to put money on that?  A C-note says Hick is our nominee.  You c an have the field.

                       

                    • RepealAndReplace says:

                      Romanoff's only chance is the caucus/assembly route because he doesn't have the money to collect signature. And the others have even less to work with.

                    • kwtreekwtree says:

                      Put money on it? Well, not all of us have C notes to throw around….but we could have a little wager, on the model of the 2020 Madness Presidential nominee site that neon nurse promoted. 

                      The principle is that one “votes” for one’s preference- buying more credits as desired. All proceeds go through ActBlue to the eventual nominee.

                      We could do that on here through a post with a poll in it- and people would be on the honor system to put their money where their mouth is, and eventually donate a matching amount to the nominee. I’d grit my teeth and send a few bucks to Hick if he wins the nom.

                  • RepealAndReplace says:

                    “With Obamas’, thus the DNCs’, collective thumbs on the scale, Andrews’ grassroots campaign couldn’t compete.”

                    Altogether now:

                    Andrew lost in 2010 because the system was rigged!

                    • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

                      Tossing away the truth with a vapid cliche is all you got? Perhaps you were one of the privileged " superdelegates. That would certainly explain your attitude.

                      I went entirely through the caucus process that year. I was in the room. Call it what you want.

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