President Biden issued a A Proclamation on Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance for today, marking the 22nd anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Governor Jared Polis ordered all flags to be lowered to half-staff today in memoriam of those who lost their lives that day. 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 learner, check out The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter.
► Congress is back in session after the August recess, and the big topic on everyone’s mind is whether or not there might be another government shutdown at the end of the month. As POLITICO explains, Colorado Rep. Ken Buck (R-Greeley) is at the heart of the brewing tornado:
There’s a “perfect storm” brewing in the House in the coming weeks, and it could pose a threat to Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s speakership, Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) said Sunday.
“On the one hand, we’ve got to pass a continuing resolution,” Buck said during an interview on MSNBC’s “Inside with Jen Psaki.” “We also have the impeachment issue. And we also have members of the House, led by my good friend, Chip Roy, who are concerned about policy issues. They want riders in the appropriations bills, amendments in the appropriations bills that guarantee some type of security on our Southern border.
“So you take those things put together, and Kevin McCarthy, the speaker, has made promises on each of those issues to different groups. And now it is all coming due at the same time,” Buck said.
Buck has also been vocal about his opposition to efforts by folks such as Rep. Lauren Boebert to push forward with an impeachment vote against President Biden that would serve no purpose other than to placate a few MAGA nuts.
In a separate story from Ian Ward of POLITICO, a former Republican leader is warning House Speaker Kevin McCarthy NOT to allow a government shutdown to happen:
In October 2013, the Republican-led House of Representatives failed to pass a last-ditch spending bill for the first time in 17 years, forcing the federal government into a costly and controversial 16-day shutdown. Now, as Congress once again careens toward a potential shutdown on Oct. 1, one of the Republican leaders at the center of the fight 10 years ago — former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor — has some advice for his colleagues in the GOP.
Don’t do it again.
“Unless there is a plausible way to execute a plan of a shutdown — meaning [Republicans] can actually win when you come out of it — I’m not sure there is a win there,” Cantor told me when I spoke to him. That judgment, Cantor said, is largely informed by what happened a decade ago, when Republicans in the House tried — and failed — to block the implementation of Obamacare by shuttering the government. What they got instead, Cantor told me, was a major political headache that did little to stymie the rollout of Obama’s health care program.
“A lot of people were just fine with being able to vent their anger and frustration, go into the shutdown and leave it to leaders to figure out how to get out of it,” said Cantor, who lost his seat in a shocking upset to a conservative primary challenger in 2014 and now works for the investment bank Moelis & Company.
“I think that politically, that’s not a winner.” [Pols emphasis]
No, but that doesn’t mean that right-wing voices, including the Freedom Caucus, won’t do it anyway. During a Chamber of Commerce luncheon in August, Buck said that he expects that a shutdown will happen because of the insistence from him and others that the government reduce spending.
► As The Associated Press reports, attorneys for Donald Trump have succeeded (thus far) in moving a case about his eligibility for the 2024 ballots from state to federal court:
The liberal group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed the initial lawsuit on Wednesday in state court, arguing a Civil War-era clause prohibiting higher office for those who once swore an oath to the Constitution and then engaged in “insurrection” prevents Trump from running in 2024…
…CREW’s case is the first of what’s expected to be many challenges filed in various states by the group and Free Speech for People, another liberal nonprofit. Activists in other states have filed lawsuits in which they represent themselves, but legal observers contend the more robust complaints by the nonprofits are more likely to end up at the nation’s highest court, which has never ruled on the clause.
CREW can still petition to move the case back to state court.
► Colorado Senate Democrats elected new leadership on Friday. Senator Robert Rodriguez will serve as Senate Majority Leader after defeating Sen. Rachel Zenzinger. Rodriguez replaces Dominick Moreno, who resigned from the Senate to take a job with Denver Mayor Mike Johnston. Senator Faith Winter was elected to serve as assistant majority leader.
Click below to keep learning things…
Check Out All This Other Stuff To Know…
► President Biden returns to Washington D.C. today following a four day trip to Asia. As The Washington Post reports:
President Biden met with Vietnamese officials here on Monday, continuing to build on stronger diplomatic ties between the United States and Vietnam at the conclusion of a whirlwind foreign trip.
His final stop was at a memorial for John McCain, a longtime friend and colleague who was held as a prisoner of war for five years during the Vietnam War. Biden touched a wreath of red, white, and blue flowers that was at the memorial, and bowed his head. He dropped a commemorative coin and saluted before leaving.
“I miss him, I miss him,” Biden said. “He was a good friend.”
McCain had done significant work throughout his career to normalize relations between the two countries, and Biden’s arrival here on Sunday helped solidify a further strengthening of that relationship.
► If it seems like everybody you know is getting stabbed and/or seeing their car get stolen…well, one part of that is true: It only seems that way. As Colorado Newsline explains:
Though little notice has been taken by leading political figures and the media, Colorado’s reported crime rates appear to have peaked in 2022, and are now trending downward again.
Through the first six months of 2023, Colorado was on pace to record its lowest number of homicides since 2019, according to a Newsline analysis of CBI data. Rates of violent crime and property crime, two key aggregate metrics reported by Colorado law enforcement to state and federal databases, saw year-over-year declines during the same period. More recent data published by police departments in Colorado’s three largest cities — Denver, Colorado Springs and Aurora — show those trends continuing through July and August.
Mirroring national trends, reported crime levels in Colorado remain elevated above the near-historic lows recorded in the 2010s. But as in most states around the country, crime rates in its largest cities have entered a slow but steady decline after the increase that began in 2020 — a wave that criminologists attribute in large part to the unprecedented social and economic disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
► “MyPillow Guy” Mike Lindell seems totally normal 😐 . As Jesse Paul reports for The Colorado Sun:
MYPillow CEO Mike Lindell, one of the nation’s most outspoken election conspiracy theorists, has been “vulgar, threatening, loud (and) disrespectful” during three depositions in a federal defamation lawsuit brought by Eric Coomer, a Coloradan and former executive at Denver-based Dominion Voting Systems.
That’s according to a motion filed Thursday by Coomer’s attorneys seeking compensation for the depositions and an order requiring Lindell to appear in federal court in Denver to complete the sworn testimony.
Coomer is suing Lindell in his personal capacity, as well as in his capacity as the CEO of both MyPillow and FrankSpeech, a conservative website founded by Lindell.
As part of the motion, Coomer’s lawyers included deposition transcripts and video clips, including one in which Lindell calls one of Coomer’s attorneys an “ambulance-chasing asshole.” Lindell also referred to Coomer as a “scumbag” and blasted U.S. District Judge Nina Wang, who is overseeing the case.
“Mr. Lindell refused to provide a direct answer to virtually every question asked, instead opting to shout over Dr. Coomer’s counsel and then provide lengthy, meandering filibusters that each consumed substantial amounts of time and several pages of transcript,” the motion said. “Counsel objected to these non-sequiturs as non-responsive no less than 33 times.” [Pols emphasis]
Kyle Clark of 9News has more on Lindell’s loose marbles:
Mike Lindell, the MyPillow election denier guy, could end up testifying in court in Colorado because he keeps losing his cool during depositions. These videos were sent to the judge. pic.twitter.com/pRvYUPy7eE
— Next with Kyle Clark (@nexton9news) September 9, 2023
► We say it all the time: If you want better representation in local government, you need to pay people better to serve. Hannah Metzger and Marianne Goodland have a big story on this problem for the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman.
► 9News breaks down Proposition HH, which will be on the ballot in November, as well as who supports and opposes this statewide measure.
► As Andrew Kenney reports for Colorado Public Radio, a statewide cap on property taxes could be coming to the 2024 ballot:
The proposed cap would kick in whenever property tax revenues are expected to grow faster than 4 percent per year for the entire state. That growth rate is driven higher when property values increase, but also as a result of new construction, as well as when local voters approve tax hikes for things like schools and public safety.
Critics say the cap would make a mess: While it’s triggered by the total amount of property taxes paid statewide, property tax rates vary from city to city and county to county.
So when property tax collections grow faster than 4 percent, the state and local governments will have to collectively make changes, although the proposal doesn’t detail exactly how they would do that. Some local governments could grant tax refunds, for example. Or the legislature could approve discounts in some or all of the state.
“If [revenues] are projected to go up over four percent, this gives the legislatures and local governments the ability to figure out how to stay under that four percent,” said Michael Fields, who heads Advance Colorado Action, the group behind the campaign.
Advance Colorado is known as a “dark money” group — a political nonprofit that, like many other groups on the left and right, will not say who its donors are.
A statewide cap on property taxes, which pay for local services such as firefighters, police, and libraries, would be DEVASTATING for Colorado.
It’s also interesting to note that a plurality of American voters now want government to do MORE, not less. You can’t do more WITH less.
► Colorado Congressperson Lauren Boebert continues to get hammered over her refusal to vote for legislation that would help veterans in her district:
While @RepBoebert was home all month for August recess, we tried to find her at her offices in Pueblo, Grand Junction and Durango. She wasn’t there. So we took a different approach… ✈️
— Rocky Mountain Values (@MountainValues) September 11, 2023
► The 2017 Trump Tax Cuts proved to be wildly unpopular, but Trump wants to double down on those cuts should he make it back to the White House in 2024. From The Washington Post:
Trump and his advisers have discussed deeper cuts to both individual and corporate tax rates that would build on his controversial 2017 tax law, which they see as a major accomplishment worth expanding, according to interviews with a half-dozen people close to the former president, some of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private conversations. The cuts could be paid for, at least in theory, with a new 10 percent tariff on all imports to the United States that Trump has called for, which could raise hundreds of billions in revenue. The sharp new tax cuts would help offset higher consumer costs caused by the tariffs…
…Democrats, including President Biden, have criticized the Trump tax cuts as a giveaway for the wealthy. Democrats included a new 15 percent corporate minimum tax as part of the Inflation Reduction Act they passed with no Republican votes last year.
Trump’s advisers, though, have discussed proposals to make deeper cuts to the overall corporate tax rate, potentially to as low as 15 percent, or to use the revenue from the proposed tariffs to pay a dividend to U.S. households. Further cutting corporate taxes, which would primarily benefit large firms, would contrast with the GOP’s increasing antagonism against publicly traded companies that many Republicans accuse of siding with liberals on cultural issues.
Trickle-up economics, baby! Help the rich get richer and don’t worry about everybody else.
► New data shows that nearly 30 percent of abortions performed in Colorado in 2022 were for people who traveled from out of state in order to receive care.
► Gunnison County Republicans are auctioning off an $1,800 “hunting rifle” at an event also serving as a meet-and-greet for local school board candidates.
► Colorado now has a seventh pointless minor political party: The Center Party.
► COVID cases continue to rise in Colorado. Talk to your doctor about when to get that booster shot.
► The Fort Collins Coloradoan breaks down the November Mayoral race.
► A jury could soon begin to decide the fate of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton as his impeachment trial wraps up this week.
► Republican Presidential candidate Nikki Haley is wading into the battle between the Department of Defense and Sen. Tommy Tuberville, who continues to hold up military promotions because of concerns about abortion and white supremacists not being allowed into the armed services. Haley’s take is to blame the DoD?
Say What, Now?
The great lotion theft of 2023 has been stopped in its tracks, or something:
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Denver Broncos lose 16-17 to Raiders in first game of 2023 season. In first game of 2022 season, Denver lost to Seattle by a score of…wait for it…16-17. #nfl #Broncos #BroncosCountry #LVvsDEN pic.twitter.com/2ygX7y8vz5
— Jason Bane (@jason_bane) September 10, 2023
► As the Huffington Post explains, Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson continues to make his case as America’s dumbest senator. Johnson is promoting the debunked nonsense that windmills are killing whales:
This false claim has proliferated among opponents to offshore wind farms, so much so that the Department of Energy had to set the record straight in an April post that declared “there is no evidence to support speculation that noise resulting from wind development-related site characterization surveys could potentially cause mortality of whales.”
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration also said there are “no known links between recent large whale mortalities and ongoing offshore wind surveys.”
Johnson also says that Climate Change is being overstated as a threat, in part because scientists are “Completely ignoring the impact of clouds to basically be a heat sink.”
► Kroger and Albertsons agreed to sell 50 stores across the country, including some in Colorado, as part of a proposed grocery merger. Some local grocery stores might see name changes, but the stores should stay open.
► Check out the latest episode of the Get More Smarter Podcast, featuring an interview with Juan Marcano, a candidate for Aurora Mayor who has some new information about incumbent Mayor Mike Coffman’s boneheaded “strong mayor” proposal: