Get More Smarter on Tuesday (Aug. 18)

Get More Smarter

At least we’re not in Virginia. 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).

 

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► Discussion over the Gold King mine spill into the Animas River continues to generate an overflow of nonsense political rhetoric. Make room on the grandstand!

Congressman Scott Tipton (R-Cortez) promised a congressional investigation into the minewater spill during an editorial board meeting with the Durango Herald. Elsewhere, Republican Presidential candidate Ben Carson is scheduled to visit Durango today to shake his fist at the EPA and the federal government in general. Carson will tour the Animas River by helicopter before holding a “town hall” meeting at 2:00 pm. Perhaps someone can convince Carson to explain his position on abortion in some sort of logical answer.

► School is back in session in Jefferson County, and so is the awful management of the school district that prompted a November recall of three right-wing school board members.

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…

► Fracking’s back for the 2016 election season. As the Denver Post reports:

After failing to gather enough signatures last summer, Coloradans for Community Rights said Monday it will try again to get a statewide initiative giving communities control over oil and gas exploration on the ballot.

Spokesman Anthony Maine said the group will begin circulating petitions early next year to get the Colorado Community Rights Amendment to the state Constitution on the November 2016 ballot.

“This is about communities being allowed to decide for themselves,” Maine said at a press conference in Denver.

He said the oil and gas industry and their supporters are expected to pump in millions of dollars to fight the proposed amendment.

The Colorado Supreme Court may soon hear arguments on the a couple of local fracking bans in Colorado as debate continues over local control.

► As Bernie Sanders continues to generate big crowds for his campaign for President, Democrats are beginning to wonder whether or not Hillary Clinton just isn’t a very good candidate. This storyline was inevitable at some point, of course.

Colorado Springs has plummeted in a survey of cities ranked according to their friendliness to small businesses. People who own and operate small businesses don’t like potholes, apparently.

Woods/Zenginger, the Rematch: Democrat Rachel Zenzinger will run again for the Arvada senate seat (SD-19) that she lost in 2014 to Republican Laura Waters Woods.

► Former Republican Secretary of State Scott Gessler continues to spend taxpayer money — even though he’s been out of office since January. From the Colorado Independent:

Former Secretary of State Scott Gessler’s fight with the Independent Ethics Commission over how he spent $1396.89 in office has already cost Coloradans $343,473, and the bills keep racking up.

The public first paid his legal bills in 2012 when the commission reviewed the case, then the next year when he appealed that ruling in Denver District Court, and then again when that failed and he took it to the Colorado Court of Appeals.

He lost both appeals. Now, Gessler is asking the state Supreme Court to take up his case. And a spokesperson from his former office has told The Colorado Independent that state funds will continue to support him even though he has been out of office since 2014.

► As John Frank reports for the Denver Post, it remains unclear as to who is behind a $3 million TV ad campaign in Colorado and Ohio that seeks to convince people that Republicans aren’t as bad as they think.

► Colorado Campaign for Life is refusing to file campaign finance reports in Colorado and has racked up $8,450 in fines.

 

OTHER LINKS YOU SHOULD CLICK

► Famous rich person Donald Trump maintains a hefty lead over the rest of the field in the race for the Republican Presidential nomination. A new CNN/ORC poll of Republicans and right-leaning Independents shows Trump with the support of 24% of respondents; former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is a distant second with 13 percent. 

Here’s a neat map that offers a state-by-state look at the most common jobs held by immigrants. If you guessed “middle management” as the top job in Colorado…guess again.

 

ICYMI

► This is stupid: The City of Aurora has a poet laureate, apparently, and there is a brewing controversy about some of his poetry

 

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5 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Zappatero says:

    The Customer is Always Right, unless you are a big banker or insurance advisor – in which case you should be able to promote your own well-being over your customers':

    A new ad by "Secure Families" suggests that a poor couple won't be able to get financial advice from their very trusted stockbroker because of the mean, mean government.

    Michael Hiltzik at the LA Times debunks this lie:

    The new campaign is sponsored by Americans to Protect Family Security, a front for the life insurance and financial advisory industries. Its target is a proposed new Department of Labor regulation to simply require that the sellers of annuities, life insurance, IRAs, 401(k) investments and other such retirement products place their clients' interest first.

    The clients' interest must come before that of the salespeople, or the firms paying them salaries or commissions to steer clients to investments that may not be right for them. That means they must act as "fiduciaries," to use the legal term. The idea is to ensure that the advice customers seek will come unadorned by the self-interest of the seller.

    The explosion in self-directed retirement savings has made this a big deal. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez says that conflicts of interest in the retirement security industry cost IRA investors $17 billion a year. (The Department of Labor's fact sheet on the proposal, which it hopes to implement by the end of the year, is here.)

    These conflicts, Perez told a Senate committee last month, "reduce returns for affected savers by about 1 percentage point per year"–which could reduce the victims' retirement nest eggs by more than a quarter over 35 years of savings. And this happens out of the victims' eyesight, because the industry relies on confusion and opaqueness to conceal its conflicts from the public. Under the DOL regulation, the department and aggrieved customers alike would have the right to enforce the rules.

    So big banks and insurers and money managers don't make enough, aren't protected enough, and don't have enough leeway in their daily operations. We should give them more. The fact that many of them who should be in jail aren't and that they got away with robbing us blind last time means that should be status quo.  And surely everyone agrees that the customer can't be right in this instance, and the banks want to make sure it's put into law, and there's nothing anyone, not even a U.S. Senator, could or should do in this instance.

    It’s bipartisan heaven!

  2. doremi says:

    Gun enthusiasts claim the forests as their own….others be damned (or shot)

    Jack Healy of the New York Times reports on increasing tensions between hikers/bicyclists and shooters.  Too often, gun enthusiasts take their recreational shooting about anywhere in the national forests, resulting in endangered lives for other recreational users. 

    Colorado accounts for 1/4 of the reported shooting violations.  The Pike and San Isabel forests have a whoppingly higher number than other national forests around the country. 

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/19/us/a-culture-clash-over-guns-infiltrates-the-backcountry.html?smid=nytcore-iphone-share&smprod=nytcore-iphone

  3. mamajama55 says:

    Oh hell no. George Zimmerman paints Confederate flags to raise funds for "Muslim-free zone" gun store.

    Nothing racist to see there, move along.

     

    • MichaelBowman says:

      Here's the yin for these maroons yang

      Muslim Leaders Issue Declaration of Climate Change

      They called on the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims to protect the world’s equilibrium, or mīzān, in line with religious teaching.

      That meant phasing out greenhouse gas emissions “as soon as possible”, they said, shifting away from fossil fuels to clean sources of energy.

      In a pointed message to the Islamic petropowers of the Middle East, they added well-off and oil producing nations should lead the way.

      Drawing on Islamic texts, the declaration highlights the duty of Muslims to act as stewards of Allah’s creation.

      It ends with a quote from the Qur’an.  

      • mamajama55 says:

        The Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change was indeed good to see. I like this quote:

        Corruption has appeared on land and sea

        Because of what people’s own hands have wrought,

        So that they may taste something of what they have done;

        So that hopefully they will turn back.

        Qur’an 30: 41

        That's right, bigots who read this blog to find out what those sneaky libs are up to, I am quoting from the Qur'an.  (the real one)

        Muslims are among those most impacted by climate change, especially droughts.  Thomas Friedman talked about this at AREDAY. *He memorably said that environmentalism is one of the few "isms" left that don't divide the Arab world (I'm paraphrasing). I understand that this was a factor in OPEC's deciding not to cut production.  The video was freely available, but now you have to log in to livestream to watch it. Still worth it.

        * and yes, I did notice that there was this Bowman guy as one of the speakers.

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