Remember that old joke about how your (grand)parents had to walk 10 miles a day to school in the snow, and it was uphill both ways? Yeah, well, your kids won’t be able to use that one. It’s time to 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 2020 “Thanks for Covering Up for Me on Impeachment” tour is coming to Colorado. President Trump will stump for himself (mostly) and Sen. Cory Gardner in Colorado Springs on February 20. If you’ve always wanted to see the Big Orange Guy bloviate in person, this could be your last chance; Colorado isn’t what you’d call a “winnable state” for Trump in 2020, so he may not be back.
Gardner could use all the help he can get for his re-election bid; he’s getting absolutely hammered in Colorado for his inept explanations about why he supported Trump’s acquittal. As the editorial board of The Denver Post writes: “Coloradans deserve better than Cory Gardner.”
► President Trump held court in front of a microphone at the White House on Thursday for an airing of grievances related to his impeachment acquittal. As Chris Cillizza of CNN explains, everyone who was in attendance should be ashamed of themselves:
Less than 24 hours after formally being acquitted by the Senate, President Donald Trump riffed for over an hour from inside the White House — a vengeful, angry, fact-challenged spew of score-settling that even for this most unorthodox of presidents was eye-opening in its tone and jaw-dropping in its boundary busting…
…It felt like watching a bully beat up a helpless kid. Sure, the bully is to blame. But the crowd of people surrounding the beating and either cheering or doing nothing at all are far worse.
Trump is Trump. While he stepped beyond where has gone before in many respects during Thursday’s “celebration,” it hard to say that no one saw this coming.
But the complicity of those in attendance — the most powerful people within the Republican Party — is what was truly astounding. Yes, the Republican Party threw in its lot with Trump (and his forced takeover of it) long ago. But to sit by or even celebrate while Trump used the White House as a combination of a campaign venue, or a bathroom wall on which to write his darkest thoughts about those who oppose him, was beyond unforgivable. [Pols emphasis]
Interestingly, Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner did not warrant a special shout-out from President Trump:
Gardner didn’t get a mention among the 30 GOP lawmakers name-checked by Trump in his victory lap today: https://t.co/Q8SS1CKBHt
— Jon Murray (@JonMurray) February 6, 2020
Meanwhile, President Trump is working on ousting all dissidents — the honest people on payroll — from his administration, as The Washington Post reports.
► Surrogates for Democratic Presidential candidates are scheduled to tool around in Colorado this weekend. Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro is stumping for Elizabeth Warren today and tomorrow. Former “Law & Order” actor Sam Waterston will help open new field offices this weekend for Mike Bloomberg.
Elsewhere in Democratic Presidential candidate news, the campaign for Bernie Sanders is hiring more staff in Colorado and increasing its advertising budget; and State Sen. Julie Gonzales is endorsing Elizabeth Warren.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► As The Atlantic explains in a longform story, the 2020 election will be a war of disinformation unlike any we’ve ever seen. Writes McKay Coppins:
After the 2016 election, much was made of the threats posed to American democracy by foreign disinformation. Stories of Russian troll farms and Macedonian fake-news mills loomed in the national imagination. But while these shadowy outside forces preoccupied politicians and journalists, Trump and his domestic allies were beginning to adopt the same tactics of information warfare that have kept the world’s demagogues and strongmen in power.
Every presidential campaign sees its share of spin and misdirection, but this year’s contest promises to be different. In conversations with political strategists and other experts, a dystopian picture of the general election comes into view—one shaped by coordinated bot attacks, Potemkin local-news sites, micro-targeted fearmongering, and anonymous mass texting. Both parties will have these tools at their disposal. But in the hands of a president who lies constantly, who traffics in conspiracy theories, and who readily manipulates the levers of government for his own gain, their potential to wreak havoc is enormous.
The Trump campaign is planning to spend more than $1 billion, and it will be aided by a vast coalition of partisan media, outside political groups, and enterprising freelance operatives. These pro-Trump forces are poised to wage what could be the most extensive disinformation campaign in U.S. history. Whether or not it succeeds in reelecting the president, the wreckage it leaves behind could be irreparable.
► It’s possible that Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) is starting to fall off of the top-tier list of targeted Republican incumbents in 2020, given that his poll numbers in Colorado are garbage. Take a look at this story from The Washington Post and note which familiar name is missing:
Two of the largest Democratic super PACs said they are preparing to target three vulnerable Republican senators days after they each voted to acquit Trump on impeachment charges.
Priorities USA and Senate Majority PAC said they are launching a “multimillion-dollar digital partnership” this spring against Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Martha McSally (Ariz.) and Thom Tillis (N.C.).
Senate Majority PAC, the largest Democratic super PAC solely focused on Senate races, is run by J.B. Poersch, a former executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and has close ties to the party leadership. It raised $164 million for the 2018 midterm cycle.
Priorities USA, which raised more than $190 million in 2016, is expected to focus its energies on the presidential race, but it also raised $44 million for the 2018 midterms, spending most of it on Senate races.
► Ernest Luning of the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman runs down campaign finance numbers from Q4 2019, including this note about the U.S. Senate race:
John Hickenlooper, who served two terms as governor and two terms as mayor of Denver before that, raised more for the quarter than the 10 other Senate candidates combined, including Gardner, and he raised more than six times as much as all the other Democrats.
► This headline from the Pueblo Chieftain should make for a compelling television ad for Sen. Cory Gardner:
► Governor Jared Polis continues to push for private prison reforms in Colorado.
Democrats are fuming that it took a full day for Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez to issue a statement on the caucus debacle in Iowa — and three full days for him to go before national viewers to explain what’s going on…
…On Thursday, however, the relationship between the Iowa state party and the DNC took another turn as Perez stunned Iowa Democrats by publicly calling for a recanvass of the Iowa caucuses while they were still trying to finish counting votes.
“Enough is enough,” he tweeted. “In light of the problems that have emerged in the implementation of the delegate selection plan and in order to assure public confidence in the results, I am calling on the Iowa Democratic Party to immediately begin a recanvass.”
► Fear not: Wolves are not going to be attacking skiers and hikers anytime soon.
► The death of a four-year-old child in Colorado is making national headlines for anti-vaxxer reasons. As NBC News, anti-vaxxer groups on Facebook convinced a mother to not accept a prescription for her son for Tamiflu; the boy eventually died from complications from the flu virus.
► The handful of Republican lawmakers still functioning at the State Capitol decided to do a photo op on the House floor Thursday to celebrate the impeachment acquittal of President Trump.
► Congressman Scott Tipton (R-Cortez) keeps taking incoming fire from GOP Primary hopeful Lauren “Yosemite Samantha” Boebert.
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs) is very excited about the possibility of making cuts to Social Security and Medicare.
► The Trump administration continues to gouge American taxpayers for expenses related to his Secret Service protection.
► Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Denver) appears to view New Hampshire as a “meak-or-break” moment in his struggling campaign for the Democratic Presidential nomination. That’s one way to put it.
► Don’t miss this week’s episode of The Get More Smarter Podcast, featuring another legislative update from House Majority Leader Alec Garnett.