Forget sanctions — we should just threaten Iran with more letters from Congress. 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…
► The United States and a handful of other world powers have agreed on a plan regarding sanctions on Iran and its nuclear weapons program. From Politico:
The United States and five other world powers have reached a deal with Iran that would place strict limits on Tehran’s nuclear program in return for ending sanctions on its economy, the culmination of years of delicate diplomacy pursued by President Barack Obama despite warnings the agreement could strengthen Iran’s Islamist regime and leave it dangerously close to a nuclear bomb.
The historic accord, reached by Secretary of State John Kerry and his international counterparts in Vienna on Tuesday after 18 days of intense negotiations, now faces review from a hostile Republican-led Congress, opposition from every GOP presidential candidate, from Israel’s government and from Sunni Arab monarchs. The deal’s long and complex implementation process also leaves it vulnerable to unraveling.
Warm up the printers! Congressional Republicans should be busy drafting new letters to send to Iran.
► It should come as little surprise that former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush was the top overall fundraiser among Republican Presidential contenders during the first six months of 2015, but you’ll never guess who checked in at number two: Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is the top non-Bush fundraiser in the GOP field.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► Senator Michael Bennet (D-Denver) raised another $2 million in Q2 and how has more than $4.3 million in his campaign warchest.
► “No Child Left Behind,” one of the most memorable domestic policies enacted by President George W. Bush, may soon be replaced. The Durango Herald reports on the unimaginatively-named “Every Child Achieves Act” being discussed in the U.S. Senate:
Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., a former superintendent of Denver Public Schools, filed the most amendments to the bill and helped shape it as part of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.
“This bill is a good starting point. It eliminates (No Child Left Behind’s) one-size-fits-all approach to education, but importantly, it includes the requirement for annual assessments,” Bennet said. “Testing is not popular, and we are over-testing our kids. We need to reduce testing by streamlining assessments required at state and local levels. And we should think differently about the testing we are doing for teaching and learning. It should be continuous, ongoing, inform a teacher’s instruction, and provide the necessary data to help principals lead our schools.”
The Senate may vote on the ECAA as soon as this week.
► Senator Bennet and Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) are teaming up to push forward legislation that would allow marijuana businesses in Colorado to finally gain access to banking services otherwise denied by federal laws.
► Colorado State Treasurer Walker “Buy Gold!” Stapleton has made a personal cause of attacking the Public Employees’ Retirement Association (PERA) — even though he sometimes forgets which side he is on — but as Charles Ashby reports for the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, Stapleton may be barking up the wrong tree:
For the second year in a row, state auditors said the Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement Association was doing a good job.
The audit, presented to the Legislative Audit Committee on Monday, said the state’s largest public employee retirement system, which serves more than 512,000 active government workers and retirees, had “no significant deficiencies or material weakness.”…
…Stapleton has long argued that the expected rate should be even lower, and other reforms should be made, though he rarely says what those reforms should be.
► TABOR daddy Doug Bruce was in court on Monday defending himself against charges that he violated his probation resulting from a prior tax evasion conviction. A judge continued Bruce’s hearing until August 31, which may bring new fireworks; prosecutors indicated on Monday that they have received several new complaints about the noted slumlord.
► A federal appeals court told a right-wing “litigation group” to go jump in a lake in rejecting a lawsuit claiming that Colorado’s renewable energy standard violates the U.S. Constitution. Yeah, Benjamin Franklin flew a kite with a key attached in order to study electricity, but that was only because he ran out of fossil fuels to burn.
► Newly-tightened laws on cyberbullying took effect in Colorado on July 1. The Denver Post takes a look at the details of the tougher penalties.
OTHER LINKS YOU SHOULD CLICK
► Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams is the recipient of the 2015 IDEAS award presented by the National Association of Secretaries of State. The award is for Colorado’s “Go Gode Colorado” program, which was started as a joint project between former Secretary of State Scott Gessler and the Governor’s Information Technology Office. Interestingly-enough, Gessler received the IDEAS award in 2014.
► Frackapalooza may be coming back to Colorado in 2016.
► The NASA “New Horizons” spacecraft made a flyby over Pluto, coming just 7,800 miles of the surface. This would have sounded even more impressive if Pluto was still considered a planet.
► Have we turned a corner on the “public lands seizure” trend?
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