Get More Smarter on Wednesday (July 15)

MoreSmarterLogo-300x218Bartels!!! 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…

► Veteran political reporter Lynn Bartels is taking a buyout offer and leaving the Denver Post and journalism after 35 years. Colorado is better off because of her dedication to political reporting.

► The Aurora Theater Shooting Trial concluded on Tuesday after 49 days. The 12-person jury begins deliberations today on whether or not they agree with the defense’s argument that alleged killer James Holmes should be declared not guilty be reason of insanity. If the jury agrees with the insanity plea, then Holmes will be remanded to a state mental hospital; if the jury finds Holmes to be guilty, the case moves to a sentencing phase where jurors will discuss the death penalty.

Colorado’s Republican Congressional delegation is going bananas over a foreign policy deal between the U.S., Iran and five other nations. Many, many Republicans immediately jumped to condemn the Iran deal — even if they admittedly hadn’t even read it yet.

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

 

IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…

Congressman Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) is going to have to address the Coffmangate elephant in his room at some point

► The Pueblo County Republican Party is firing on no cylinders. Embattled Party Chair Becky Mizel, a key figure in the Coffmangate Scandal, resigned late Monday because of internal disputes over the finances of the Pueblo GOP. As KRDO Pueblo reports, the Pueblo GOP is bouncing checks and has launched an investigation into potential financial improprieties:

Several Pueblo County Republican leaders have ordered an audit of the party’s finances amidst allegations that the party’s former treasurer, Jeff Fogg, mishandled the party’s money.

Acting party chair Victor Head announced during the GOP’s monthly meeting on Tuesday that the party’s bank transactions and accounting records have been submitted to an independent auditor. Last week, party leaders said financial irregularities surfaced after a check bounced. Brian Mater, a member of the party’s advisory committee, along with Head investigated the incident and found several discrepancies.

Party leaders said they uncovered several other returned checks, large cash withdrawals and deposits, and expenses that didn’t appear to be connected to party business. They also found the county’s bank account had been moved among multiple banks and found bank transactions that had not appeared in financial reports.

Those are some pretty fancy "garages."

Those must be some pretty fancy “garages.”

Surprise! According to a new cost estimate, construction costs for three parking complexes at the still-under-construction Aurora VA Hospital will cost three times more than expected: A whopping $180 million for a bunch of car holes.

► As expected, state Senator Lucia Guzman (D-Denver) was unanimously approved by the Democratic caucus to replace Sen. Morgan Carroll as Senate Minority Leader. Carroll resigned her leadership post earlier this month in order to focus on her campaign for Congress in CD-6.

► Vice President Joe Biden will visit Colorado on July 21 to discuss the economy.

► Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-Denver) is getting national praise for her work to move legislation called the 21st Century Cures Act.

► The Pentagon is getting closer to open acceptance of transgender soldiers, which is big news for one particular service member at Fort Carson.

 

OTHER LINKS YOU SHOULD CLICK

► Conspiracy theorists in Texas — including Gov. Greg Abbott — are worried that the U.S. military is out to get them. Or perhaps the United Nations. Or maybe NATO.

► If you should ever have the misfortune of spending time in a Mexican prison, you might ask for the same cell that once held escaped narco boss Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán. Just take care not to fall into the giant hole in the shower.

► Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is threatening to take Congress hostage once again unless he gets what he wants (aside from more attention). From Politico:

Sen. Ted Cruz on Wednesday raised the prospect of blocking a must-pass highway bill because the measure could be used to revive the Export-Import Bank, which expired at the end of June.

Cruz, who is running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, vigorously opposes the bank, which helps some U.S. exporters sell their goods overseas. At a news conference with other conservative GOP lawmakers and outside groups Wednesday, Cruz vowed to use “any and all procedural tools” to stop an Ex-Im reauthorization, particularly if it were attached to the highway bill later this month.

Remember the good old days, when Senators drafted legislation to tackle their pet issues rather than hijack everything else?

 

ICYMI

► Famous person Donald Trump is meeting with Republican Sen. Ted Cruz today so that they can discuss what it will be like to not be elected President.

 

 

Get More Smarter by liking Colorado Pols on Facebook!

12 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Diogenesdemar says:

    Ok, GOPers, in 200 words:

    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/07/15/world/middleeast/100000003801254.app.html

    Bonus — some of you may not require the services of Bartels, or Limbaugh, to get through it!

     

  2. mamajama55 says:

    The Pueblo Chieftain gave a sweet farewell to Chair Mizel, but neglected to mention the financial improprieties. At all. Wouldn't want to dry up donations to the Party.

    • FrankUnderwood says:

      And this is the same Mizel who alleged personal improprieties against Steve House?

      • mamajama55 says:

        Yup. Apparently, Mizel was so busy scheming and trying to blackmail her own way into the chairmanship that she neglected to keep tabs on her own treasurer's antics back in Pueblo.

        The audit and investigation will hopefully reveal if she had any personal involvement with the missing and misspent funds.

  3. yameniye says:

    Buyout and into the public sector.  Good move.  8 hr jobs are a strange deal after spending years working all sorts of hours that had a schedule as screwy as some of the politicos you covered.

  4. Zappatero says:

    Bowles-Simpson lives, despite its own self-defined failure, the economic reality that proved its assumptions completely wrong, the defeat of most of the politicians who dared to speak its name, and the larger principle that austerity (shrinking an economy to make it grow) has failed miserably nearly everywhere and is a moral abomination on top of that.

    In a column praising Lindsay Graham, the B-S proposal gets a name check:

    Let us begin with Ruth Marcus, who found herself "refreshed" by Graham, this plain-spoken Man of the South.

    But he speaks with near-equal passion about a domestic issue that has all but disappeared from the campaign conversation: entitlement reform, and the importance of a balanced approach to achieving it.

    Oh, you mean it's not about deficits? It's about those lecherous seniors.

    This is The Washington Post, so you know what's coming, right?

    Here Graham is the only candidate willing to say two words that have become ideological poison for both sides: Simpson-Bowles. That debt-reduction proposal has become anathema for Republicans because it calls for trillions in new tax revenue and, equally, anathema for Democrats because it calls for entitlement changes such as raising the Medicare eligibility age and changing the method for calculating Social Security cost-of-living increases.

    Jesus H. Christ on the moons of Pluto, there is no "proposal." The gathering of the useless in question couldn't come to a majority opinion on anything, so the two cranks with their names hung on this futile wankery threw something out there that gets treated like gospel by all of the wrong people. Of all the failures of the Obama Administration, this masturbatory attempt to energize the nation's Green Rooms is right at the top. But, as we said, this is Fred Hiatt's Chronic Ward, so…

    Among Republican presidential candidates, the discussion of entitlement veers from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who would take on entitlements but is silent on the new revenue front, to Mike Huckabee, who termed such means-testing proposals "absolutely ridiculous" and vowed "to protect Social Security and Medicare. Period." Among Democrats, the entitlement conversation ranges from irresponsibly absent (Hillary Clinton, who launched her 2008 bid citing "the deficits that threaten Social Security and Medicare," scarcely mentioned the issue in her economic speech) to even more irresponsibly overpromising (Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley are pressing to expand Social Security benefits).

    Yes, O'Malley and Sanders both have proposed this idea, but there isn't a damned thing irresponsible about it.

    The amount of earnings that are subject to the payroll tax each year is capped, however, at $118,500. Income above that level is not subject to the tax, which means an individual who makes more than $11 million a year, for example, would only pay into the fund on the first $118,500 of income. "That is patently unfair," Sanders said. "If we apply the Social Security payroll tax to income above $250,000, we could immediately bring in enough revenue to the Social Security trust fund to extend it for decades and also be able to increase benefits.

    This is "irresponsible" only if you have combined deficit-fetishism and runaway-entitlements into a kind of fundamentalist faith. 

    That last sentence applies to everyone who still treats Bowles-Simpson as anything but a joke, and in that way it's bipartisan, God help us.

    • Republican 36 says:

      I do have a question "Z."  What would you recommend to reduce the deficit?

      I agree that the Social Security tax should be applied on income above the present ceiling of $105,000. That could very well solve the financial problems of the system but what about the remainder of the budget? Even though the deficit has steadily decreased over the last several years to about one-third of what it was, it is still unsustainable at $490 billion each year. If the Fed increases interest rates, our annual debt service payments will soar which will undermine and disrupt all other budget categories regardless of which ones anyone favors or dislikes.

      I think raising taxes will be part of the equation and I agree with you that severe budget cuts would undermine the economy in some sectors but budget restraint will probably be part of the equation too. What do you think?

      • Davie says:

        My 2 cents worth is, if you want to put more money into the Social Security trust fund, you need to boost wages, starting at the bottom where the need and willingness to spend those earnings is strongest.  It'll boost tax receipts and lower the deficit in a highly optimized virtuous circle.  So passing Living Wage legislation is the smart, economically efficient answer.

        Cutting out all the tax breaks targeted for the ultra wealthy would enhance fairness in the tax code to a significant degree as well (e.g. carried interest, and why is passive income taxed so much less than earned income?)

         

  5. flatiron says:

    re jeffco

    Word is negotiations falling apart as board insists on only giving teachers a 10 month contract, ie work more but for no more pay. The board already required their administrators to work two additional weeks for no more compensation, basically a salary reduction imposed on administrators. They want to do the same to teachers (never mind a lot of teachers have other jobs over the summer to pay their bills as teacher salaries don't cut it, and Jeffco never made up for the 5 yr salary freezes. they basically want more teachers to leave so they can bully the newbies

    • flatiron says:

      Okay, turns out a lot was lost in translation : update is that board refuses to any contract longer than 10 months, instead of the usual 3 years. Teacher negotiators are volunteers btw

      the part about administrators is correct I'm told

Leave a Reply

Comment from your Facebook account


You may comment with your Colorado Pols account above (click here to register), or via Facebook below.