Get More Smarter on Friday (March 27)

Get More Smarter

Stop telling your out of state friends and family about our perfect weather, they’re moving here too fast! It’s time again to Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example).


► Former Taliban prisoner Bowe Bergdahl charged with desertion, but the story has some twists that could complicate things quite a bit if true:

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl told the military he left his unit in eastern Afghanistan in July 2009 intending to walk to the nearest U.S. military outpost to report wrongdoing, believing he could not trust his own commanders to deal with his concerns, according to sources familiar with the Army investigation. It is the clearest indication yet of the motive behind his decision to leave his post.

Bergdahl was planning to report what he believed to be problems with “order and discipline” in his unit, a senior Defense official tells CNN. A second official says Bergdahl had “concerns about leadership issues at his base.”

This information is part of the report presented to General Mark Milley who this week decided to charge Bergdahl with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. This information outlines what could be a key part of Bergdahl’s defense, which the army is already aware of.

► In Washington, D.C. political news, iconic Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada will retire in 2016.

► Early 2016 states may be giving Ted Cruz the stink eye.

► Turning to Colorado, Rep. Gordon “Dr. Chaps” Klingenschmitt’s latest outrageous–possibly most outrageous everremarks about the horrific fetal abduction case in Longmont last week are sending his fellow Republicans running for cover.

Get even more smarter after the jump…


► A new story about Mike Coffman’s 60th birthday seems to downplay U.S. Senate bid scuttlebutt, with much talk about holding CD-6 in 2016.

► Colorado responds today to the lawsuit filed by Oklahoma and Nebraska seeking to impose their puritanical flatland buzzkill on us. Toke up and exhale eastward if that’s your thing.

► A bill making life easier on our trangendered neighbors passed its first House committee with bipartisan support.

► The Senate Education Committee voted 8-1 to allow students to opt out of “required” assessment tests.


► Google Fiber files to do business in Colorado–but don’t hold your breath for your own connection just yet.

► A Fort Collins traffic signal is awfully rude.

► And the latest on the Germanwings air disaster.

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5 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Zappatero says:

    Fast tracking the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) trade bill will get you this:

    Elizabeth Warren on “Investor-State Dispute Settlement”

    The legal phrase for what this chapter covers — the right of companies to sue countries for “lost” profit” — is “investor-state dispute settlement” (ISDS). ISDS documents like this one establish “tribunals” where companies (and only them) can sue government entities (and only them). Here’s Elizabeth Warren on how bad that idea is:

    Warren’s examples are stunning:

    “A French company sued Egypt because Egypt raised its minimum wage.”

    “A Swedish company sued Germany because Germany decided to phase out nuclear power after the Fukushima disaster.”

    “A Dutch company sued the Czech Republic because the Czech Republic didn’t bail out a bank that the Dutch company partially owned.”I discussed this at greater length here, and included a look at the damage done by the recent KORUS (Korea–U.S.) trade agreement. As usual, that one too promised “more jobs, bigger trade surplus,” a promise that was, quelle surprise, 180 degrees wrong.

    Democrat Ron Wyden & TPP

    Right now, Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden (Ore.) holds the key to Fast Track and TPP. If it can’t get out of the Finance Committee (he’s the Ranking Member), it can’t get to the floor. If Wyden won’t support it, Senate corporatists will find it hard to break a filibuster, which is promised.

    But if Wyden says Yes to Fast Track and TPP, it’s likely to head to the House for a vote there. And we know Obama’s just dying to sign it; a TPP-friendly industry trade publication quotes Sen. Orrin Hatch calling this an Obama “legacy” item (subscription required):

    In remarks to the American Apparel and Footwear Association, the Finance chairman [Sen. Orrin Hatch] said President Obama desperately needs a “legacy” issue. The two trade deals that the Administration is negotiating – the TPP and the TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – could be that legacy.

    Ron Wyden’s contact information:

    Senator Ron Wyden221 Dirksen Senate Office Bldg.Washington, D.C., 20510tel (202) 224-5244fax (202) 228-2717

    As the commenter at the link, Lambert Strether, notes, “a letter is better than a phone call, a phone call is better than email.”

    Democratic Senator Ron Wyden wants it. I don’t. Obama is dying to sign this NAFTA on Steroids. Bennet seems to want it as well. Can we trust him either way?

    • BlueCat says:

      Thanks Zap.  I called both Wyden and Bennet and politely expressed my concerns, thanks to you and Elizabeth Warren with this specific factual information.  Both aides said that their respective Senators had not yet made a final decision though I’d be shocked if Bennet isn’t completely on board with this. I expressed my opposition to the included ISDS that would make more travesties like the ones cited possible and expressed my view that the ISDS  is just one example of something that needs to be looked into further.

      You’d think all those freedom fry loving Rs would be the first to protest foreign companies (especially French) being able to sue our government if they don’t like laws we pass or aren’t happy with whether we rescue a bank or not. On the other hand, they do think corporations, not governments, should be ruling the world so I guess it’s not a problem for them. It should be a problem for all those, R and Dem, who believe that we and other nations shouldn’t be sued every time some company thinks one of our policies concerning our domestic affairs might adversely affect their bottom line.

      Suing Egypt for raising the minimum wage? Suing to make sure another countries’ people remain as poor and cheap as possible? Seriously?

    • DaninDen says:

      Public Citizen, with Lori Wallach tirelessly leading the Push back against the horrendous corporate power grab by stealth. Every citizen should reject the very premise that a trade bill negotiated in secret should ever see the light of day in a democracy. The penalty for revealing the inner workings of this trade deal is (correctly identified as NAFTA on steroids), is jail. It has with little to do with tariffs, more so with solidifying multinationals strangle holds over mere sovereign countries. If passed, and this should have raised the ire of constitutional waving, free trade loving, rule of law demagogues, it by bypasses US courts, and directly challenges public interest policies before extrajudicial tribunals. (Appointed by multinationals themselves.) Goodbye ABC, always buy Colo, as this would be in violation of the deal. Forget food standards, unless those set half way around the world suffice for shrimp inspection.

       Those polls who are “dunno, wait & see” are shills, liars, waiting to climb aboard at the last minute for their corporate task masters.  this topic deserves its own diary.

  2. mamajama55 says:

    Michael Bowman to be spokesperson for Willie Nelson’s cannabis venture.

    At least, he can never run for office now, just like Hickenlooper, Tancredo, Degette, Perlmutter, Ted Cruz, and every other politiian who has ever endorssed legal marijuana. Game over, right?

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