Get More Smarter on Thursday (Aug. 13)

Get More SmarterYou’re not the only one who fell asleep before the meteor shower last night. 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).



Gina McCarthy, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), visited Durango on Wednesday to take arrows over a massive minewater spill in the Animas River. Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, joined by her counterparts from New Mexico and Utah, is making not-so-subtle threats to sue the EPA over the the spill.

The river seems to be returning to pre-contamination levels, however. Colorado’s top gross-water tester, Gov. John Hickenlooper, drank directly from the Animas River on Wednesday to prove that the water is safe, contacting the Durango Herald 24 hours later to prove that he wasn’t dead.

► The Colorado Court of Appeals ruled — unanimously — that business owners do not have the right to discriminate at will. The court says that a Lakewood bakery that refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple violated state anti-discrimination laws. We still need a court to make it illegal to put disgusting fruit filling between cake layers.


Get even more smarter after the jump…


► A U.S. District Court judge tossed a lawsuit from Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO), which was attempting to sue Colorado Ethics Watch for pointing out RMGO’s own ethics violations. From the Denver Post:

Rocky Mountain Gun Owners and Colorado Campaign for Life won’t be able to sue watchdog group Colorado Ethics Watch in a fight over campaign spending during the 2014 Republican primary. In a decision dated Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Robert Blackburn tossed out the groups’ lawsuit that alleged Ethics Watch violated the their First Amendment rights and had a pattern of targeting conservative groups.

Ethics Watch’s complaint against the two nonprofits can’t be labeled as frivolous because they succeeded, Blackburn said. In December both groups were fined $8,500 each for failing to disclose spending on campaign mailers sent to voters in two state Senate races during the Republican primary last year.

Colorado Campaign for Life and RMGO tried to claim that Ethics Watch was infringing on their free speech rights when it filed a complaint that the groups had violated campaign finance laws.

► The Longmont City Council can’t seem to locate the homeless man who was appointed to the city’s housing authority board. With no hint of irony, Longmont officials say they don’t know how to get in touch with Josh Canvasser.

► Former lobbyist Steve Durham was elected chairman of the State Board of Education on Wednesday. As the Denver Post reports, Durham also led a discussion about lowering graduation standards:

Discussions this year had sparked controversy that the revised set of requirements — including eliminating the need to prove competency in two subject areas, lowering the necessary score on certain tests and providing more local control on others — would be lowering the bar.

“How does that line up with what we are telling students?” asked board member Jane Goff. She was concerned the revisions were a lowering of expectations and asked to clarify just how much each student would do to earn the diploma.

► The editorial board of the Denver Post decries stonewalling on public records requests in Adams County. We can’t say we disagree.

► Will Vice President Joe Biden seek the Democratic Presidential nomination? The rumor mill is heating up.

Another public poll conducted in Iowa shows that famous rich person Donald Trump
remains comfortably ahead in the Republican field for President.

► Crazy person Ted Nugent is helping to raise money for Congressman Ken Buck (R-Greeley).



► There is a new gold standard for campaign advertisements, and it’s Canadian.

► Republican Presidential candidate Ben Carson has reportedly conducted his own research on fetal tissue.



The Perseid Meteor Shower.


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24 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Zappatero says:

    I sure hope someone on Bennet's staff is compiling my comments and suggestions for his nascent candidacy for 6 more years at $170K+. He'll need them to win, or at least to review why he lost after next year’s election. 

    Social Security: well-liked, well-functioning program that doesn't need to be "saved" by killing it:

    This week marks Social Security's 80th birthday, something the Beltway press is marking with headlines like this one, from The Hill"Poll: Majority not confident in future of Social Security." That's how ingrained the narrative that Social Security is in mortal danger has become and papers like The Hill are happy to keep repeating.

    But when you actually look at the survey resultsfrom AARP, which commissioned the poll, you get a very different story. The core themes they identify coming out of their poll are these:

    Social Security remains a core part of Americans’ retirement security
    Four in five adults (80%) rely on Social Security, or plan to rely on it, in the future as a source of retirement income. In fact, a third (33%) say it is the source of income that they rely on or plan to rely on most during their retirement. […]

    Social Security continues to be popular across generations
    The majority of Americans (66%) view Social Security as one of the most important government programs; and this view has remained consistent over time (i.e., in 1995, 2005, 2010 and 2015). The vast majority of Americans (82%) also believes it is important to contribute to Social Security for the common good. […]

    Americans want to live independently
    Four in five adults (83%) say it is extremely important for them to be able to live independently in their home for as long as they want. […]

    Challenges with saving for retirement underscore the importance of the program for future generations
    While Americans recognize the importance of financial planning, many often find it difficult to save for retirement. Obstacles to saving include having to focus on current financial needs (69%), and not having enough money left over after paying their bills (47%). Three in five Americans (64%) have concerns that they won’t be able to live independently as they age. Three in five also express concern that Social Security won’t be enough to get by on (65%) and won’t be there for them when they retire (64%). Top concerns also include having a major health care expense that could wipe them out financially (69%) and not having enough savings to last their lifetime (68%).

    My 401K went to a 201K and now a 101K in the few shorts years of the economic meltdown. After decades in a certain well-paid though easily outsourced profession, the only thing I have to show for it is my Social Security printout (that just started coming in the mail once again).

    Mark Udall wanted to kill Social Security in order to "save" it. He said "let's put everything on the table." Mighty white of him….

    Bennet has the same inclinations, though, being the political wimp and liar he is, is less conspicuous about it. The birthday celebration of Social Security would be the perfect time to shore up Bennet's Democratic bona fides (yeah, a joke, as if he has any bona fides) and support one of the most successful and popular Democratic Socialist programs ever. One that was only passed with the unwavering support of our greatest Democratic president (FDR, you can google it) and one that has survived because of the dedication and perserverance of Democrats and Liberals and Progressives of every stripe from every era.

    Hey Mike, buy a clue, big guy!

      • Zappatero says:

        That quote is more of Bennet's bipartisan bullshit. Udall said the same kind of things as he was cuddling up to Larry Kudlow and steeling himself to vote for cuts to SS. The easiest reform to Social Security is to raise the income limit for contributions. 

        Find me Bennet’s quote supporting that and I might dampen my criticism. Might…

        • BlueCat says:

          Show me Bennet votes to cut or privatize social security. Do agree that the fix is obvious. Raise or eliminate the cap. You're still unhinged about Bennet, though.devil

          • mamajama55 says:

            Zap, are you a former or current DPS teacher? Those are the only other folks who, like me, are "unhinged about Bennet".

            Because, before Bennet, we had a working system, we were making progress over time in student achievement using free or paid-for programs like 6 traits of writing, Title 1 programs that gave extra help to kids scoring in the lower quartiles. But Bennet decided to bring in "Studio Literacy", a college prep program which cost the district millions for the curriculum and all of the inservicing, made seasoned teachers teach to a vapid script, and in the end did not result in substantial score increases.

            That's not even including the deal making Bennet did around the DPS and PERA retirement merger. Something needed to happen to make sure DPS teachers' retirements were portable to other districts, but this one borrowed big money, setting up the PERA "crisis" today.

            I did vote for him twice, will almost certainly do it again, and the fucker knows that and counts on "disenchanted Dems" like me staying more or less loyal.

            He takes Democratic voters for granted – so he's at liberty to make all kinds of pandering votes on Keystone, stupid-ass statements about how he supports coal mining, bla bla – he knows that we'll always vote him in, absent a better alternative. I haven't followed his social security votes, but I'm sure that they're well within the moderate / centrist camp.

  2. flatiron says:

    Geologist Predicted EPA Would Intentionally Poison Animas River A Week Before Toxic Spill in letter to Silverton newspaper


  3. FrankUnderwood says:

    Oh my, Dr. Carson and fetal tissue research. How will this sit with the right-to-life folk?

  4. mamajama55 says:

    Klingenschmitt says Obama's legacy will be nuclear holocaust. Of course. Nagasaki Atomic Blast

    Because he hasn't been in the headlines for saying anything outrageous for…what, a day?

    Chaps' tweet:


  5. BlueCat says:

    OK. On a lighter note… probably not terribly significant but something nice, for a change:

    Georgia's 80th State House District ought to be safely Republican. Mitt Romney carried it by a 56-43 margin, and in a special election, when Democratic turnout almost always suffers, the GOP shouldn't have had to flex a muscle to keep this seat in their hands.

    But on Tuesday night, Democrat Taylor Bennett not only won, he crushed his Republican opponent, former Brookhaven Mayor Max Davis, by a 55-45 spread—despite getting outspent 2-to-1. And not only that, Bennett rode to victory by explicitly running on his opposition to a proposed "religious freedom restoration act," citing his mother and sister, both of whom are gay.

  6. notaskinnycook says:

    That's great, B.C. I wish I'd seen this yesterday. That'll teach me to skip Pols on my birthday.

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