Get More Smarter on Halloween (October 31)

Nothing’s scarier than not voting. Visit to find out where to drop off your ballot before next Tuesday. 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.


► 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…




► 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, 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:

► 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:

► 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:


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



9 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

    I wonder if Hickenlooper tried to recruit someone as a liaison to the liberal Democratic organizations?  'Cause I think he's got his prior staff and the Bennet campaign staff on board.

  2. RepealAndReplace says:

    Warren has figured out how to pay for MFA…..

    And only rich people will pay for it!

    This is for the left what Trump's promise that "Mexico will pay for the wall" was to his moronic supporters.

    Bernie, who has been thinking about this for a lot longer than Lizzy has, came to the conclusion it cannot be done without middle class tax increases.

    • VoyageurVoyageur says:

      Among other things, she doubles her "wealth tax" on net worth over $1 billion to 6 pct.  Remember, that's an annual levy, so in 17 years, it would total 102 pct of net worth.  Over a relatively short time, Taxahontas is proposing capitalism without capitalists.

      I just sent Amy another check.  She looks like our last best hope for rational policies.

      Meanwhile NyT /Sienna College poll in Iowa has Warren 1, 22 pct, Sanders 19, the guy with those Edgy boots 18 pct and Biden 17 pct. Amy is fifth with 4 pct.

      Stay tuned!

      • JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

        Warren's wealth tax isn't my favorite, but V is exaggerating its impact.

        First of all, it would not apply to fortunes under a billion, so the rich would need to scrape by on "only" a billion of wealth.  And it would not apply to income — other taxes get a part of that. 

        Next, the 6% x17 years = 102% is a simple multiplication of the takings.  I'm not enough of an economist (or mathematician) to figure out the growth dynamics of a capital nest egg of over $1 billion — but I'll bet most billionaires are not putting into a vault so it doesn't disappear.


        • Diogenesdemar says:

          Yeah, and over half their lifetime they’ll be forced to pay over 300% of their wealth, and they’ll still be left with only a billion for groceries?  . . . 

          . . . we’ll be up to our armpits in homeless billionaires everywhere, that’s what’s gonna happen. The horror, the horror . . .

          . . . “exaggerating”???  Nah!

        • VoyageurVoyageur says:

          How do you exaggerate a tax that has already doubled  before the first primary?  Lets say some billionaire has been earning 7 per cent on investments, starting at age 50.  By 70, that would quadruple, to 4 billion.

          But under Taxohauntus' plan, that return drops to 1 pct — behind the rate of inflation.  

          Obviously, our billionaire doesn't starve.  But he or she also doesn't make any net investment, make new jobs, etc.  Over time, it is capitalism without capital.  

          How'd that work out in Greece?

          By comparison, Bernie wants to tax income, not net worth.  He'd go to 70 pct, but he does much less damage to business since he doesn't tax investment per se, his modest stock transfer tax not withstanding.

          How are you going to build the next Apple if investment is capped at $1 billion?

          By comparison, Bernie Sanders is much more moderate and pro growth than Taxohauntus.

          How do you like them pomegranates?

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