Get More Smarter on Thursday (June 25)

MoreSmarterLogo-300x218Happy belated St. Jean-Baptiste Day to our Canadian friends. 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).


► The United States Supreme Court has ruled to uphold federal subsidies related to Obamacare. As Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the 6-3 majority decision:

Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them.

This is a win-win decision politically — for both parties. The decision is obviously beneficial for Democrats who supported Obamacare, but it also allows Republicans to continue to crow about the horrors of health care legislation — which they are doing already — without having to do any actual governing on their own.

Turnover among staff in the Jefferson County School District is up 50% over the previous year, attributable almost entirely to the antics of the right-wing majority and (not so) Superintendent Dan McMinimee.

► Colorado Pols continues to be your home for the latest news on The Coffmangate Scandal. We’re still baffled that Attorney General Cynthia Coffman would put her career on the line to help former state Sen. Ted Harvey get a real job. Elsewhere, a group of conservative talk-radio hosts have resigned from KLZ-560 AM, claiming that station management is interfering with their “coverage” of the coup attempt against State Party Chair Steve House. “I guess they didn’t realize they don’t own the radio station,” said Crawford Broadcasting President Don Crawford, Jr.

Get even more smarter after the jump…


► President Obama’s legacy is now assured, says the New York Times in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling upholding federal subsidies for Obamacare.

The U.S. Supreme Court may soon decide on the fate of a lawsuit challenging Colorado’s TABOR amendments, as the Colorado Statesman reports:

The U.S. Supreme Court isn’t considering the merits of a 2011 lawsuit, brought by a group of current and former elected officials, including state Sen. Andy Kerr, D-Lakewood, and House Speaker Dickey Lee Hullinghorst, D-Boulder. Instead, the court is expected to announce whether justices are granting certiorari and will hear the case or whether they’re sending it back to a lower court.

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in May 2011. Attorneys for the State of Colorado filed a motion to dismiss at that time, claiming the plaintiffs lack standing to file the lawsuit and arguing that the case itself is a political question, which federal courts typically avoid.

The District Court denied the motion and the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals then denied a request by the state for a rehearing, leaving the Supreme Court to decide.

“We’re not yet at the point where (the Supreme Court) could be asked the merits of the case,” said David Skaggs, an attorney for the group that filed the suit.

Certiorari! Certiorari! Certiorari! It’s fun to say!

► Republican Presidential candidate Rand Paul is coming to Colorado next week, but not for the Western Conservative Summit.

Chris Myklebust has been appointed as Colorado’s State Bank Commissioner. In other news, Colorado apparently has something called a State Bank Commissioner.

► Wednesday was “Bike to Work Day” in Denver. As Jesse Paul reports for the Denver Post, the event attracted participants…who don’t even have a commute:

Beth Teitell works from home, but Wednesday she wasn’t about to let a technicality leave her feeling left out of Denver’s massive Bike to Work Day.

“I got up at 4:30 this morning and wondered why I was doing it since I don’t even have to commute,” Teitell, of Littleton, said while taking in the scene at Civic Center Park downtown. “In the end, it was well worth it.”

 Okay, then.



► Gov. John Hickenlooper has appointed appellate court judge Richard Gabriel to succeed retiring Justice Gregory Hobbs.

► The Western Governor’s Association is meeting to discuss drought problems in the Western U.S. Things are getting pretty dire in Nevada, where Lake Mead has dropped to its lowest level in history.



Planned Parenthood held a “bake sale” on Monday to call attention to the failure by Senate Republicans to reauthorize funding for the state’s highly successful IUD contraception program.


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6 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Zappatero says:

    Political machinations and bipartisan buggery in the United States Senate

    On the Democratic side, because three senators didn't show up to vote, the pro-TPP forces needed 13 Democrats to join with Republicans to defeat the filibuster. And surprise — 13 Democrats showed up:

    Michael Bennet (D-CO) 

    Maria Cantwell (D-WA)

    Tom Carper (D-DE)

    Chris Coons (D-DE)

    Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)

    Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)

    Tim Kaine (D-VA)

    Claire McCaskill (D-MO)

    Patty Murray (D-WA)

    Bill Nelson (D-FL)

    Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)

    Mark Warner (D-VA)

    Ron Wyden (D-OR)

    There's actually a 14th pro-TPP Democrat who was too afraid to vote until the 60th vote was cast:  Ben Cardin (MD)

     Huff Post explains:

    Senate Gives Obama Huge Win On Trade … Still, the razor-thin margin of the final vote count masks the fact that McConnell had slightly broader support at his disposal. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) stood by the table in the well of the Senate for most of the vote, waiting for the measure to get across the threshold of 60. As soon as it did, with a vote by Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Cardin voted no, suggesting he had been willing to vote yes if needed.

    Ben Cardin voted Yes on Fast Track on May 22, once the filibuster was broken, a vote that helped send the Fast Track–and–Trade Assistance bill to the House. So Cardin's preferences are clear. He's a quiet Yes — he just doesn't want people to know that if he can help it. If you care, Cardin's up for reelection in 2018. 

    After the vote, McConnell announced that of the three absent senators, Corker, a Republican, was a Yes. Sherrod Brown then announced that the other two absent senators, Lee (R-UT) and Menendez (D-NJ), were both No votes.

    Let's all praise Bipartisanship!

     Much of the Beltway press is beside itself because, no matter how destructive to individual American economies this lemon might be, it will be passed in a bipartisan fashion, which is all that matters.

    Lost in all of that was the fact that Obama was desperately in need of a major second-term accomplishment after watching gun control and immigration reform collapse in Congress. And that McConnell and Boehner were equally desperate to prove that they could govern and not simply obstruct. Now, there's still plenty that could go wrong. This is not the trade deal itself but rather the parameters by which Obama can negotiate the TPP. But it's a whole hell of a lot further than most people would have thought Obama and Republicans might get on … well … anything. Politics is a strange and totally fascinating business. This trade deal proves it. Again.

    There is one thing that Barack Obama, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi and Chris Cillizza have in common. None of their jobs ever will be outsourced to a 12-year old Southeast Asian child making 85 cents a month. A real breakthrough, this is.

    Michael Bennet will be patting himself on the back any minute now for this historic act of bipartisanship.

    • Moderatus says:

      Where's your thank you to Ken Buck? He stuck his neck out to oppose Obamatrade too.

      • DawnPatrol says:

        I've got a fuck you to Ken Buck. Will that suffice? Hope so. And take one for yourself while you’re at it.

      • mamajama55 says:

        That makes less than 10 votes Buck has made that align with the interests of most people in his District. Including this  "No" vote on the TPP, Buck also has voted for funding for industrial hemp, medical hemp,  and biomass research, for research in general, for funding a commercial space program, for veterans employment, for funding the Defense program.

        That's ten out of hundreds of bills he's voted on this year. There are probably more votes he's made that I would support, on water, etc. The list of bills he's sponsored or co-sposored read pretty much like giveaways to the fossil fuels people and gun manufacturers. There are a few symbolic feel good bills in there like designing Fed Reserve notes with Harriet Tubman 's picture on them.

        He's especially bad on climate and environmental law, having painted himself into a corner with whacko Jim Imhofe. Buck praised Imhofe, called climate change a "great hoax", and now says maybe it's happening but not caused by humans, denies funding for any kind of climate or environmental research, or just skips out of the Chamber during those EPA votes so that he's not on record either way.

        Hardly a profile in courage. But yes, as a polite nice lady (usually), I will say "Thank you" to Ken Buck for his TPP vote. In fact, I already have. I think that his long-suffering staffers have me on speed dial now.

  2. Diogenesdemar says:

    Sorry Luddite bobble heads, but you might want to take some time to look at Krugman and Friedman on TPP.

    BTW if you ever wake up one morning to find yourself in bed with Moddy — that might just be a clue that you need to reexamine your position …

    … quickly!

    PS. Thrurston still sucks!!!

  3. BlueCat says:

    Love that Scalia uses words like "jiggery pokery" and "applesauce" in a formal dissent which, among other things, claims words have lost their meaning. Sounds more like a certain justice has lost his marbles.

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