Happy first day of public impeachment hearings…day. Please celebrate responsibly. 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 on Facebook and Twitter.
TOP OF MIND TODAY…
► The headline and subhead in every media outlet in the country is all about public impeachment hearings beginning today on Capitol Hill. William B. Taylor Jr., acting ambassador to Ukraine, dropped a bombshell piece of news in his testimony this morning when he revealed that an aide overheard a damning phone call between President Trump and EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland that took place on July 26, one day after Trump’s infamous “perfect” phone call with the Ukrainian President.
You can get live updates of today’s impeachment hearings via The Washington Post, CNN, The New York Times, and just about anywhere else on the Internet. Heck, you could probably find live updates on PornHub, but we’re not going to check that one for ourselves. For more information, go to The Washington Post for initial reactions to today’s testimony and for fact-checking on the spin machine.
We’ll end this section with some advice for Republicans from the editorial board at The Washington Post:
► Congressman Jason Crow (D-Aurora) writes an Op-Ed for The Hill newspaper about honoring the service of those who are testifying on impeachment hearings:
The American people will soon hear the testimony of veterans, career foreign service officers, and dedicated public servants. As both a combat veteran and member of Congress, I have one request of my colleagues: do not question the patriotism of these decorated veterans and public servants.
We can and will debate the merits of the testimony, but baseless smears against those who have dedicated their lives to our country are beneath our nation’s dignity. Unfortunately, we have seen these attacks before.
► It’s been one week since the polls closed on the 2019 Election, and Aurora still doesn’t know who will be the city’s mayor. As The Denver Post reports:
The votes cast in the five-way race, which appeared to be in former U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman’s favor Nov. 5, ended up being too close to call when the three counties involved finished their main ballot counts Thursday.
Coffman was leading Omar Montgomery, the NAACP chapter president, by fewer than 300 votes.
And there were still about 2,300 votes out in Arapahoe, Adams and Douglas counties combined — all counties that can claim part of Aurora — that needed signature and identification verification before they could be counted. There were also additional military and overseas ballots that needed to be counted as well as ballots that were transferred from various county offices. However, many of the uncounted ballots are probably not from Aurora.
So Montgomery volunteers started knocking on doors again, trying to cure, or correct, signature and identification discrepancies, on hundreds of ballots that weren’t counted.
► DACA recipients in Denver are anxiously awaiting a ruling from the Supreme Court as to whether or not President Trump can lawfully cancel the Obama-era program. As NBC News reports, observers expect the court to side with Trump on ending DACA, but as the New York Times explains, a ruling favorable to President Trump might actually be the worse outcome for the White House.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► As The Colorado Sun reports in its “Unaffiliated” newsletter, former Gov. John Hickenlooper has no intention of swiping at fellow Democratic Senate candidate Andrew Romanoff:
Hickenlooper rarely reacts beyond a chuckle when Romanoff, the former Colorado House speaker, goes on the offensive with accusations that Hickenlooper is demonizing progressive priorities as being the discredited ideas of socialists like Joseph Stalin or Karl Marx…
…And Hickenlooper says he has no plans to battle back. “He wants me, of course, to get in a big fight with him,” Hickenlooper said this week. “I don’t benefit from getting into a fight with anybody because what ends up happening is I end up alienating their supporters. We’re going to need all hands on deck” in 2020.
Hickenlooper, however, pushes back on the notion that he ever directly called progressive policies socialist, saying he was trying on the presidential campaign trail to caution Democrats against falling into Republican attack lines and therefore dashing his party’s hopes of winning states like Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania. He said Democrats need to openly reject and denounce socialism.
“I was careful — at least I hope I was careful,” Hickenlooper said, adding that he never used the word “Marxist” to describe progressive policy ideas. “I don’t think I ever said that Medicare for All was socialist.”
► President Trump will officially be on the ballot for President in Colorado in 2020.
► Governor Jared Polis is rolling out a new plan to help make higher education more affordable for Coloradans. From a press release:
The Roadmap to Containing College Costs and Making College Affordable outlines near, medium- and long-term strategies to contain costs and put higher education in reach for all Coloradans. Among the 18 solutions, the state suggests improving access to concurrent enrollment, providing debt relief for students, and lowering health care costs.
“We know that when Coloradans have more access to affordable educational opportunities, they thrive, and the benefits ripple across our state and help our economy,” said Gov. Jared Polis. “This roadmap lays out ways we can lower costs while maintaining high standards. We must work together to help bring down college and community college costs, encourage innovation, and support the next generation of students.”
To help implement the plan, the Colorado Commission on Higher Education established a cost containment subcommittee led by Commissioners Sarah Kendall Hughes and Charlotte Olena, who were appointed by Gov. Polis this July.
The Denver Post has more on the Polis proposal.
► Ukraine isn’t just for impeachment. A former key Republican donor in Colorado, Alex Cranberg, faces serious questions about what appears to be a sweetheart deal for oil extraction that he helped to get with the support of soon-to-be-departing Energy Secretary Rick Perry.
► As former Republican Congressman Charlie Dent writes for CNN, the GOP’s fealty to President Trump has cost them the support of suburban America:
While much of the 2019 election discussion focused on the Kentucky and Mississippi gubernatorial contests and the Virginia state legislative races, there were pivotal countywide races in Pennsylvania that provide a much clearer view of the political realignment we have been slowly witnessing for many years in my home state.
The lesson learned from Pennsylvania, which went for Donald Trump in 2016, is the same as for the rest of the country. As a result of his election and performance in office, the suburbs are nearly completely gone for the Republican Party.
► We mentioned this headline yesterday, but it’s worth repeating:
The Colorado Democratic Party is pushing for Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) to do something about this new report. From a press statement:
Following a New York Times report that President Trump’s EPA will begin retroactively ignoring scientific data that has been used for decades, making it easier for the agency to dismantle protections for public health, clean air and clean water — including rollbacks Senator Cory Gardner has voted for — the House Committee on Science is holding a hearing today on the dangerous policy.
But no hearing has been called in the Senate, where Gardner chairs the subcommittee with oversight power.
As chair of the Subcommittee on Science, Gardner touts his role overseeing federal science policy and even produced a campaign video earlier this year saying science should not be “driven by politicians” and we need to be “letting science determine the science.”
But Gardner has not said a word on the stunning news that the Trump administration will “undermine the scientific underpinnings of government policymaking.” Gardner’s committee has ignored dozens of Trump’s attempts to censor or minimize science, and Gardner has also voted to confirm the industry-backed EPA heads who crafted the measure — Scott Pruitt and Andrew Wheeler.
► The ACLU of Colorado is suing a private prison company over a death at a facility in Aurora.
► Activists in Colorado Springs are pushing Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) to take bolder action on Climate Change.
► State Rep. Daneya Esgar (D-Pueblo) is the new chair of the powerful Joint Budget Committee.
► President Trump is hosting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the White House today, where he has been his usual confounding self:
Trump, with Erdogan next to him, on Syria: “We are keeping the oil. We have the oil. The oil is secure. We left troops behind only for the oil.” pic.twitter.com/9svW3ehwp5
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) November 13, 2019
► If you’re sad that Republican recall efforts are over and you still want to find a way to light more of your money on fire, here’s how you can do that.
► White House adviser Stephen Miller is an unabashed racist according to hundreds of his own emails.
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► Please go away, Hillary Clinton.
► Don’t tell Steve House, but the Salvation Army is not a branch of the U.S. military.
► What does Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) think about today’s impeachment hearings? SQUIRREL!
Inbox: In the middle of impeachment hearings Senator Cory Gardner sends out a press release….about reevaluating the US Olympic Committee pic.twitter.com/GF0qW5zf04
— Joe St. George (@JoeStGeorge) November 13, 2019
► The Supreme Court will allow a civil lawsuit against a gun manufacturer to go forward, as National Public Radio reports:
The Supreme Court has denied Remington Arms Co.’s bid to block a lawsuit filed by families of victims of the Sandy Hook school massacre. The families say Remington should be held liable, as the maker and promoter of the AR-15-style rifle used in the 2012 killings.
The court opted not to hear the gun-maker’s appeal, in a decision that was announced Tuesday morning. The justices did not include any comment about the case, Remington Arms Co. v. Soto, as they turned it away.
Remington had appealed to the highest federal court after the Connecticut Supreme Court allowed the Sandy Hook lawsuit to proceed in March. In recent court filings, Remington says the case “presents a nationally important question” about U.S. gun laws — namely, how to interpret the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which grants broad immunity to gun-makers and dealers from prosecution over crimes committed with their products.
► Check out this week’s episode of The Get More Smarter Podcast for more post-election analysis and other political jabberings: