Get More Smarter on Thursday (July 9)

MoreSmarterLogo-300x218This is not turning out to be a very good month for makers of the Confederate Flag. Let’s 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).

 

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► As expected, State Senator Lucia Guzman (D-Denver) will become the new Senate Minority Leader when Democrats meet next week to vote for a replacement for Sen. Morgan Carroll, who is giving up her leadership post because of the rigors associated with her campaign for Congress in CD-6.

► Thousands of people ignored drenching rains on Wednesday to attend the kickoff rally for the recall effort of three right-wing members of the Jefferson County Board of Education. The petition drive for the recall of Ken Witt, Julie Williams, and John Newkirk was officially launched at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds. Information about signing and carrying petitions is available at Jeffco United for Action

► Former Colorado Solicitor General Dan Domenico is being courted by Republicans to run for U.S. Senate in 2016. Domenico is not the GOP’s top choice — we’ve stopped counting how far down the list we’ve gotten at this point — but he might be the best option left available to mount a serious challenge to Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet.

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

 

IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…

Please stop talking, Ellen Roberts. Our “cringe” muscles are getting tired.

Congressional Republicans are proposing that future forest fires in the U.S. are treated more like federal disasters. As Kevin Freking reports for the Associated Press, this looks like a case of trying to solve a problem by creating another problem:

Some Democratic lawmakers and environmental groups have been critical of the bill because they say it would erode key environmental safeguards.

The federal disaster language was something the Obama administration first proposed early last year, but GOP lawmakers have made some key differences.

Under current policy, the agencies fighting wildfires divert money toward firefighting from other programs during particularly busy years. But that practice delays the very efforts designed to prevent fires in the first place, such as the thinning of dead trees and the removal of thick underbrush. Supporters say that letting federal agencies tap into a disaster fund will prevent such borrowing and lessen the risk of catastrophic forest fires in the coming years.

► It looks like Fort Carson near Colorado Springs will be spared from the 40,000-soldier reduction being planned by the Pentagon. Fewer than 1,000 soldiers at Fort Carson are expected to be impacted by the proposed cuts. 

► Quick: How many new laws took effect in Colorado on July 1? Here’s your answer.

► And we were just about to ask if there were more polling results about legal marijuana in Denver. 

► The ridiculously-named ColoWyo coal mine in Northwest Colorado has until September 6 to address environmental concerns about a proposed expansion. As Cathy Proctor writes for the Denver Business Journal:

[U.S. District Judge R. Brooke Jackson] ruled that the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement had 120 days to take a “hard look” at the environmental impact of expanding the ColoWyo coal mine near Craig and burning the coal that’s taken from the mine, and also gather public opinion on the issue, or he might shut down the mine.

► Colorado’s biggest electric cooperative is proposing a new “tariff” plan to help the company recover lost revenue from customers who dare to use solar power for some of their energy needs.

 

OTHER LINKS YOU SHOULD CLICK

► Health insurance companies want to raise rates for Obamacare coverage in 2016. Here in Colorado, local advocacy groups are pushing back on the industry’s claim that a 30% rate increase is necessary.

► If the 2016 election was about trying to find the next “President of God,” then these right-wing religious fanatics might have more of an argument.

► Famous person Donald Trump is becoming a royal pain in the ass for Republicans as he seeks the GOP Presidential nomination in 2016.

 

ICYMI

► It would be easier to find a real hair on Trump’s head than it is to uncover details on a new bailout proposal from Greece.

Republican infighting is not a new story, but the intensity of the disagreements appears to be emboldening a challenge to Speaker of the House John Boehner.

► South Carolina will officially remove the Confederate Flag from the state capitol grounds on Friday after both chambers of the state legislature approved its demise. Union Army forces can finally claim victory in the other Carolina.

 

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8 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Zappatero says:

    The headline says it all: Athens accepts harsh austerity as bailout deal nears

    The Greek government capitulated on Thursday to demands from its creditors for severe austerity measures in return for a modest debt write-off, raising hopes that a rescue deal could be signed at an emergency meeting of EU leaders on Sunday.

    Athens is understood to have put forward a package of reforms and public spending cuts worth €13bn (£9.3bn) to secure a third bailout from creditors that could raise $50bn and allow it to stay inside the currency union.

    A cabinet meeting signed off the reform package after ministers agreed that the dire state of the economy and the debilitating closure of the country’s banks meant it had no option but to agree to almost all the creditors terms.

    Parliament is expected to endorse the package after a frantic few days of negotiation that followed a landmark referendum last Sunday in which Greek voters backed the radical leftist Syriza government’s call for debt relief.

    The bankers shall not be denied in today's world.

    On Thursday, the German finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble said the possibility of some kind of debt relief would be discussed over coming days, although he cautioned it may not provide much help.

    “The room for manoeuvre through debt reprofiling or restructuring is very small,” he said.

    Greece has long argued its debt is too high to be paid back and that the country requires some form of debt relief. The IMF agrees, but key European states such as Germany have resisted the idea.

    This is the same Germany who has had its debts cleansed after both WWI and WWII by a sympathetic and forgiving Europe, as Economist Thomas Piketty reminds German PM Merkel:
     

    To Chancellor Merkel our message is clear; we urge you to take this vital action of leadership for Greece and Germany, and also for the world. History will remember you for your actions this week. We expect and count on you to provide the bold and generous steps towards Greece that will serve Europe for generations to come.

  2. MichaelBowman says:

    House Republicans say no to allowing federal studies of medical marijuana

    But House Republicans have so far declined to keep pace with shifting public opinion. They did so again late Wednesday, when a rare bipartisan pot proposal died a quiet death in the House that would have reclassified marijuana so that national laboratories could conduct “credible research on its safety and efficacy as a medical treatment.”

    <sigh> 

    • BlueCat says:

      On this evening’s news there was a report on the danger of heart damage resulting from classes of drugs in common pain medication such as Motrin (ibuprofen) Aleve, and many others, even when taken in doses no more than the max recommended and when taken in quite moderate doses but over long periods. Acetaminophen appears to be safer but just last week I read a report that it's pretty ineffective as a pain med.  If marijauna could be proved by research to be an effective low risk pain med that sure would be nice. In the meantime I know several people who use it for occasional relief from back and joint is issues and I'm convinced it's a better choice than the prescription pain meds that have caused so much damage to so many lives. Why not do the research?

      • MichaelBowman says:

        In the article it states that if research proved the plant effective Republicans would be embarrassed by their long-standing support of Prohibition; they'd be called out on 'The Big Lie'.  Ending Prohibition isn't the 'Great Social Experiement'.  Prohibition was the experiment.  It failed.  Miserably.  I have a family member that has, for the first time in two decades, relief from IBS; another whose severe arthritis is now bearable. Yet another who no longer suffers from migraines.  I could give you four more examples of close friends and family that are having similar responses.  For me, this issue has become very personal.  We're way beyond 'anecdotal'.   As Willie quips, "the only way that plant can hurt you is if you let a bale of it fall on you."

        • mamajama55 says:

          My understanding is that big PhRma is lobbying against medical marijuana use and research. At the same time, supposedly there are tobacco manufacturers gearing up to market the get-high product, buying up domain names like "purple haze", etc.

          The article you linked to indicates that while marijuana is still a Schedule 1 "dangerous drug", there will not likely be any loosening of Federal restrictions. What's the latest word on that now that Leonhart has resigned?

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