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TOP OF MIND TODAY…
► The House of Representatives is voting today on impeachment hearing procedures. As The Washington Post reports:
A divided House approved a resolution Thursday formally authorizing and articulating guidelines for the next phase of its impeachment inquiry, a move that signaled Democrats are on course to bring charges against President Trump later this year.
The 232-to-196 vote, which hewed closely to party lines, was expected to fuel the partisan fighting that has accompanied every stage of the impeachment probe and much of the Trump presidency. Nearly all Democrats backed the resolution, and House Republicans, who spent weeks clamoring for such a vote, opposed it…
…The House’s resolution clears the way for nationally televised hearings as Democrats look to make their case to the American people that Trump should be impeached.
In other words, Republicans are going to need some new talking points.
Colorado Public Radio explains how each member of Colorado’s Congressional delegation has responded to impeachment investigations thus far; you can probably guess who lines up where.
As Joshua C. Huder writes for the New York Times, today’s vote puts the House on a path that will almost certainly end in Trump’s impeachment.
► Another witness, another round of damning testimony. As Politico reports:
President Donald Trump’s top Russia aide corroborated aspects of a key U.S. diplomat’s testimony connecting the president to a quid pro quo with Ukraine, according to people familiar with the aide’s testimony to House impeachment investigators.
Tim Morrison, the Europe and Russia chief for the National Security Council, was cited more than a dozen times in William Taylor’s opening statement to investigators last week. Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, said he was told that Trump sought to withhold military aid to Ukraine and refuse a White House meeting with the country’s president until it launched investigations into Trump’s political rivals…
…Morrison was set to resign his post imminently, people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday. He became the second current White House official to testify to impeachment investigators, two days after Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a Ukraine and Russia expert on the NSC, testified he believed Trump’s overtures to Ukraine undermined U.S. national security.
► Quid Pro Cory: Say it three times fast. Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) can’t abandon President Trump because he needs the campaign cash that the Big Orange Guy can provide.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► It’s almost time for Americans to be able to delve into the health insurance marketplace once more. As Politico reports, Obamacare is working well…so of course Republicans are still trying to kill it off:
Millions of people buying coverage during the enrollment period starting Friday will find that average premiums have dropped across the country. When consumers go to HealthCare.gov, they’ll be paying 4 percent less on average for the most popular health plans — with six states reporting a double-digit decline.
The years of huge rate hikes and insurers abandoning the markets appear to be a thing of the past as the 10th anniversary of the law approaches next spring. Predictions of the Affordable Care Act’s demise — made by President Donald Trump himself and Democrats who criticized administration policies undermining the law — haven’t materialized.
To be clear, Obamacare still faces potential extinction in the judiciary, as a lawsuit pending in federal court could deal a death blow to the law. On top of that, Republicans remain hostile to the law…
…But if you separate the politics from the policy, it’s clear that the Affordable Care Act is maturing. Premiums have moderated, even if plans are still pricey for people not receiving government help. And it is deeply embedded in the American health care system, with over 10 million enrolled in Obamacare plans and millions more benefiting from expanded Medicaid in roughly two-thirds of states.
Meanwhile, Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner keeps saying the right things about protecting coverage for pre-existing medical conditions, but his votes don’t follow his rhetoric.
► Anardarko may be facing new penalties for a deadly explosion in Firestone two years ago. From The Denver Post:
As state regulators prepare for public hearings on new oil and gas flow line regulations, they’re also preparing to issue a notice of an alleged violation to the company whose well and uncapped flow line are blamed for a deadly home explosion in 2017 in Firestone.
Jeff Robbins, director of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, said Wednesday that his staff expects to issue a notice to Kerr McGee Oil and Gas, a subsidiary of Anadarko Petroleum Corp…
…The COGCC staff will identify which specific rules were allegedly violated and consider fines and other penalties. Robbins said the staff was waiting for a final report on the Firestone explosion from the National Transportation Safety Board, which issued a decision Tuesday.
The NTSB said the probable cause of the April 17, 2017, explosion that killed Mark Martinez and Joey Irwin was gas leaking from a 1-inch diameter line running from an Anadarko well near the house. The line had been severed but wasn’t capped when a gas tank battery was moved before the subdivision was built.
► A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that President Trump isn’t getting an approval ratings bump after the announced death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
According to a separate poll from AP-NORC, Trump’s approval ratings are holding steady…which isn’t good news for him.
► Congressman Jason Crow (D-Aurora) is pushing legislation that he hopes will help Syrian Kurdish allies of the United States.
► Colorado Latino voters are excited to cast ballots in 2020…but not for Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma).
► The Colorado Springs Independent updates the news on the SAFE Banking Bill, a Congressional effort meant to allow legal marijuana businesses to access banking services.
► The Colorado Sun reports on door-to-door outreach efforts by supporters of Proposition CC.
► CBS4 Denver is basically the Cory Gardner channel:
— Marianne Goodland (@MGoodland) October 30, 2019
► As the Colorado Independent reports, state lawmakers are looking to make big cuts to the private prison industry in Colorado.
► The House of Representatives has approved the CORE Act, a Colorado-specific piece of conservation legislation that has widespread support within the state. Now the legislation heads to the Senate, where all good things die.
► Democratic U.S. Senate frontrunner John Hickenlooper announced a bunch of new staff positions.
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► Sometimes Twitter really gets it right:
She’s a representative, you barely sentient dipshit.
— Ethan Grey (@_EthanGrey) October 31, 2019
► Congratulations, Attorney General William Barr! You have been selected as the worst cabinet member in the Trump administration.
► Molson Coors will move its North America HQ from Denver to Chicago, cutting 500 jobs in the process.
► Don’t miss this week’s episode of The Get More Smarter Podcast: