Get More Smarter on Thursday (June 18)

MoreSmarterLogo-300x218We’ll take the heat over the rain, thank you very much. It’s time 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).



► Attorney General Cynthia Coffman has moved back to the “denial stage” of her controversy surrounding a coup attempt against State Republican Party Chair Steve House. It’s a little late to go that route, however; denial will not make Cynthia-gate go away. Here’s a good visual representation of Coffman’s problems.

► Former Congressman Tom Tancredo, meanwhile, appears to be feeling a little lonely sitting underneath the proverbial bus with Coffman and Pueblo County GOP Chair Becky Mizel. Tancredo says now that there were numerous Republican lawmakers who were aware of the plot to overthrow House, just three months into his tenure as Party Chair.

Police have a suspect in custody following the killing of 9 people at a church in Charleston, SC on Wednesday. The attack claimed the life of a state senator, among others, and appears to be racially-motivated. President Obama made some emotional remarks about the shootings and about gun violence in general.

The president said that the FBI is on the ground and will send more agents to assist with the investigation. He cited a statement by Attorney General Loretta Lynch classifying the effort as a hate crime investigation. But though he acknowledged many facts are not yet known, he also said that insufficient gun laws were partially to blame.

“We don’t have all the facts, but we do know that once again innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun,” he continued. “Now is the time for mourning and for healing, but let’s be clear: At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency.” [Pols emphasis]

Get even more smarter after the jump…


Janet Buckner, the widow of former Rep. John Buckner, says she will run for House District 40 because that’s what her husband would have wanted. Janet Buckner’s candidacy all but ensures that Democrats will not have to deal with a primary battle next June. A Democratic vacancy will meet on June 25th to make the move official.

Pope Francis says that God is not happy about climate change and global warming. As the New York Times reports:

Pope Francis on Thursday called for a radical transformation of politics, economics and individual lifestyles to confront environmental degradation and climate change, as his much-awaited papal encyclical blended a biting critique of consumerism and irresponsible development with a plea for swift and unified global action.

The vision that Francis outlined in the 184-page encyclical is sweeping in ambition and scope: He described a relentless exploitation and destruction of the environment, for which he blamed apathy, the reckless pursuit of profits, excessive faith in technology and political shortsightedness. The most vulnerable victims are the world’s poorest people, he declared, who are being dislocated and disregarded.

The first pope from the developing world, Francis, an Argentine, used the encyclical — titled “Laudato Si’,” or “Praise Be to You” — to highlight the crisis posed by climate change. He placed most of the blame on fossil fuels and human activity while warning of an “unprecedented destruction of ecosystems, with serious consequence for all of us” if swift action is not taken. Developed, industrialized countries were mostly responsible, he said, and were obligated to help poorer nations confront the crisis.

Okay, climate change deniers. Your move.

► A Senate subcommittee gave initial approval for additional funding to fight wildfires.

► A coalition of Republicans business groups are lobbying Gov. John Hickenlooper to not choose University of Colorado law professor Melissa Hart to fill a Colorado Supreme Court vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Gregory Hobbs.

► So long, Alexander Hamilton. The U.S. Treasury Department announced that Hamilton’s mug will no longer appear on the $10 bill in 2020; the Treasury Department is seeking public input about swapping Hamilton with a likeness of a prominent American woman.

► Congressional Republicans are frantically trying to figure out how to respond if the Supreme Court invalidates significant sections of Obamacare. A ruling on King v. Burwell could come as soon as today.



President Obama’s trade proposal has been resurrected by Republicans in the U.S. House.

Layoffs are coming to the Wall Street Journal.



► Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is the bizarro Robin Hood of our time.

► Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams is promoting a new initiative aimed at trying to solve a problem that doesn’t exist


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16 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Moderatus says:

    Prayers for the victims in Charleston. Please don't politicize this tragedy, President Obama.

    • OrangeFree says:

      How's the cognitive dissonance working out for you?

    • The response is the same as it was after Newtown: prayers now, but we have to talk about this…

      President Obama has now given 14 unhappily similar speeches following violent atttacks. When do we acknowledge that we as a nation have a problem and that it isn't being solved by more guns?

      On the other hand, I've already had an "if the pastor had only had a gun, this could have been prevented" meme show up in my FB feed. Nevermind that the perp had been sitting among the victims for an hour prior to his attack; that he had already killed two people before anyone understood what was going on; that at no point was it apparently possible to disarm the shooter despite his having to reload 5 times; that the church had a history of supporting non-violence and church members would not likely have been armed regardless of gun policies…

  2. debbielynnepaint says:

    I am paraphrasing but the Governor of South Carolina said if people go to a church to pray, then we have more praying to do.  I hate to burst her bubble but more praying isn't going to take the guns of a nut's hands.

    • mamajama55 says:

       Haley's response to the shooting seems reasonable:

      We woke up today and the heart and soul of South Carolina was broken,” Gov. Nikki Haley said after Roof’s capture. “So we have some grieving to do. And we have some pain to go through. Parents are having to explain to their kids how they can go to church and feel safe, and that’s not something we ever thought we’d have to deal with.”

      But you're right in that Haley will never vote for anything to limit who gets their hands on guns, including clearly mentally ill violent people like Roof.



  3. MapMaker says:

    The script for climate change deniers was developed by the tobacco companies years ago.

    1} It isn't happening. {It snowed in my back yard this winter}.

    2} It's not my fault. (Plants like CO2).

    3} We can't do anything about it anyway. {If your island is sinking or drought is forcing you to move, f*ck 'em, they're brown}.

    The only real addition to the script is:


    It doesn't matter if we screw things up. It'll all be gone anyway.

    • Denver Yankee says:

      The only real addition to the script is:


      It doesn't matter if we screw things up. It'll all be gone anyway.

      That's not new.  Anyone remember James Watt?

      • MapMaker says:

        Yes, I do. Pine trees cause smog and all. I don't think climate change was much of a subject back then. Of course, before Regan some Republicans actually cared about the environment and our impact on it. There used to be an attitude of "we're all in this together". There could be disagreement about methods, now it's just "I got mine". Could you even imagine how Brown v Board of Education would go down in today's court?

        Anyway, with the end times coming from gay marriage, Obamacare, etc. etc. How is it that God's Own Party is against these things?



        • Denver Yankee says:

          Don't have time right now to look up Watt's exact logic, but as I recall it had to do with mankind having some sort of moral responsibility to not let any natural resources go to waste by not using them up before the end times.  Sorry if I'm way off, but that's the gist of what I remember.

          But you are right that climate change was not an issue. Were we still discussing “nuclear winter” then?

      • FrankUnderwood says:

        Whatever happened to him? I remember him saying something to extent that we don't know how many more generations there will be so we need to use up all our resources.

        • MapMaker says:

          Wow! He's still alive. From Wiki:


          In 1995, Watt was indicted on 25 counts of felony perjury and obstruction of justice by a federal grand jury, accused of making false statements before the grand jury investigating influence peddling at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which he had lobbied in the 1980s.[25] On January 2, 1996, Watt pleaded guilty to one count of misdemeanor of withholding documents from the grand jury. On March 12, 1996, he was sentenced to five years' probation, and ordered to pay a fine of $5,000 and perform 500 hours of community service.[26]

          In a 2001 interview, Watt applauded the energy policy of the Bush administration, stating that its preference of oil drilling and coal mining to conservation was just what he recommended in the early 1980s.[27] "Everything Cheney's saying, everything the president's saying – they're saying exactly what we were saying 20 years ago, precisely … Twenty years later, it sounds like they've just dusted off the old work."

          I’m sure his long life is due to all the fracking fluid he drinks. A nasty piece of work.


  4. doremi says:

    The Interfaith Alliance of Colorado is holding a prayer vigil tonight (6/18) for the victims of Emanuel AME in Charleston, S.C. at Shorter AME church from 9 p.m. – 12 a.m.  Shorter is at the corner of Martin Luther King Blvd. and Colorado Blvd.

  5. mamajama55 says:

    Randy Corporon's piece in the Statesman: As the House Turns. From his commentary:

    Still, in spite of elation over the change in leadership, it has become clear as we approach the proverbial first hundred days, that Steve is not the man to unite the state party and boldly grasp the future. Steve made express promises about the team he would build in exchange for the vocal and active support of skeptical but influential Liberty leaders. He has come down on both sides of issues, including gun magazine limits and whether Colorado should hold a presidential primary.

    Finally, a statement from the right wing that is slightly more informative than, "Oooh, House did something awful, but I can't tell you what . He should resign before it all comes out."

    Although Corporon is still asking House to resign – not a surprise, considering that Corporon was one of the first to post Mizel's announcement of House's resignation. Corporon is a KLZ talk show radio host, frequent contributor to Complete Colorado, chairman of the Arapahoe County Tea Party, and a member of the "Liberty Movement" in Colorado. The "Liberty People" are often credited with pushing House out, on Facebook pages I've seen lately. As far as I can tell as an outsider, the "Liberty Movement" are hard-right Tea Party / libertarian folks who want more charter schools, fewer gun restrictions, etc. They call themselves "Constitutional Conservatives". Some of their posts and  affiliated sites border on secessionist.

    To answer Frank's question about which legislators were calling for House to resign, we would have to know which legislators are allied with this "Liberty Movement". The 2013 legislative scorecard (pdf file) of Richard Bratten's "Principles of Liberty" page lists State Senators having scores greater than 75%: Lundberg, Cadman, Lambert, Marble, and Renfroe. In the House, Everett, Saine, Holbert, Humphrey, and Buck took the honors.

    And then there is Jack Stansberry's piece The Godfather: Part Deaux, also in The Statesman, also about what I call "ChairGate".  Stansberry seems to be supporting House, and encouraging him to stay on as Chair.

    Ultimately, few are shocked that politics includes a lot of fastballs high and inside. But inside baseball at this level usually involves a cost-benefit analysis. These actions by Coffman seem to come at a personal, professional and political cost. Ironically, Steve House may be the only one to have benefitted from this in the long run by showing a little intestinal fortitude when he had to. Regardless of any individual opinions of Steve House, it is in our collective best interest as Republicans to see him succeed.

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