Two weeks from today, you had better be done with your Christmas shopping. 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…
► We can stop wondering about the motive of Robert Dear, the man accused of killing three people during a terrorist attack at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs. Dear leapt to his feet during an arraignment hearing yesterday to declare that he is guilty of the accused crimes, saying “I’m a warrior for the babies,” in reference to debunked claims that Planned Parenthood is in the business of “selling baby parts.” To those who screamed that the media and others were “politicizing” the Planned Parenthood shooting, you can be quiet now, too; the accused shooter “politicized” this story from the beginning.
► Colorado Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) is taking some much-deserved criticism over his wordy “non-response response” to comments from Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump that the United States should temporarily ban all Muslims from entering the country. We took note yesterday that Coffman swung and missed — twice — in responding to Trump’s comments with statements that don’t actually address Trump’s comments. The Aurora Sentinel seems to have noticed as well:
Aurora Congressman Mike Coffman remains firmly on Santa’s list of good boys after making sure he said nothing that could be remotely construed as cross about the fascist Donald Trump. Whereas a cadre of his fellow Republicans on the congressional delegation had plenty of nasty things to say about the poll-leading presidential candidate, Coffman observed Ronald Reagan’s Eleventh Commandment in speaking no direct ill of the Donald nor his plan to ban all Muslims from entering the country…
…[The Sentinel] admires the congressman’s willingness to be so tremendously wishy-washy and non-combative when everyone and their mother has free rein to smack talk America’s pre-eminent smack-talker. It just goes to show that while there may be no atheists in foxholes, there’s plenty of room to remain relatively agnostic when it comes to public officials opining on unconstitutional, un-American policies.
► Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) signed his name to another letter critical of President Obama’s foreign policy plan for dealing with ISIS. It’s not clear what Gardner and his fellow Republican Senators don’t like (other than Obama himself), because Obama is already doing everything the GOP suggests in their letter.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► There may be no accounting for taste, as the saying goes, but what about decency? Nope, not in Texas, as CBS News reports:
Gun-rights groups that wanted to stage a mock mass shooting at the University of Texas agreed to move their event off-campus after a warning from the school that they could be arrested.
The groups Come and Take It Texas and Dontcomply.com announced plans for the Saturday event that would include cardboard guns and fake blood, as well as gunshot audio played on a megaphone, reports CBS Austin affiliate KEYE-TV.
The Austin campus is the site of one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history: Sniper Charles Whitman killed 16 people in 1966, shooting dozens of victims from a perch atop the central clock tower.
KEYE says students are concerned about the groups’ plans. [Pols emphasis]
Concerned? Yeah, no shit. Are there really people out there who are on the fence about mass shootings? Is someone going to watch this demonstration and think, “Oh, my, that is terrible”?
Now here’s a rally that everyone should get behind…er, maybe near the front. In response to this horrible idea, groups are organizing a “Mass Farting (and dildos)” rally at the same time. You can say whatever you want about the farting dildo rally; anybody who backs the idea of a “mock mass shooting” has already staked claim to the moral low ground.
► Republicans continue to hope against hope that Trump will somehow disappear, but there seems little chance of that happening. Polling and research expert Frank Lutz thinks Trump “has created or found the magic formula,” because focus groups show that Trump maintains overwhelming support no matter what he does.
Even if focus groups didn’t like him, Trump himself says “I. Will. Never. Leave. This. Race.”
According to Fox News, Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric appears to be helping with voters in South Carolina. Trump continues to grow his lead in national polls, including the latest from The New York Times (though most of the Times questions were asked before Trump’s anti-Muslim comments on Monday); Trump is attracting the support of 35% of Republican voters, with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz his closest competitor at 16%.
► Colorado Planned Parenthood contacted Fountain police this week after receiving a phone call from a woman who suggested that she might attack Colorado Republicans in the wake of the Planned Parenthood terrorist attack. Police responded to the threats, and the woman is currently being held in the El Paso County jail. Note to Rep. JoAnn Windholz: Violence is not the answer to any question…no “but” required.
► Round and round and round we go. Congressional Republicans are calling for a new independent investigation into the Gold King Mine wastewater spill in southwest Colorado last August. Of course, this has already been investigated at length, but Republicans won’t stop asking questions until somebody gives them the answer they want to hear. From the Denver Post:
The Bureau of Reclamation, an agency within the Interior Department, released a report in October that examined the blowout, but Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) and other lawmakers said the Interior investigation brought little accountability to the Environmental Protection Agency, which has taken the blame for the spill it caused while trying to clear away debris at the polluted Gold King Mine as it evaluated the site for future cleanup.
“The Department of the Interior’s stonewalling the committee’s repeated requests for information on the agency’s report reached a disturbing level today when Secretary Jewell effectively refused to answer Congress’ concerns about the report’s objectivity and scope,” Bishop said in a statement.
He demanded a new inquiry by the Government Accountability Office, which functions as the investigative arm of Congress, into the Interior report itself. This new examination would be in addition to work being done by the the EPA’s Office of Inspector General, which serves as the agency’s internal watchdog.
At this stage, no one at the EPA has faced disciplinary action for the Aug. 5 accident. EPA spokeswoman Nancy Grantham said in a statement that “there is no one individual responsible.”
While Congressional Republicans search for someone to shake their fists at, La Plata County Commissioners may soon make a formal decision on exploring potential Superfund status for the Upper Animas watershed.
► Jefferson County Commissioner Don Rosier will formally kick-off his campaign to not win election to the U.S. Senate today. We’re not saying that Rosier won’t defeat incumbent Democrat Michael Bennet (D-Denver) in 2016; we’re saying that Rosier has no chance of even making it out of a Republican Primary in June.
► Former Cal-ee-forn-ee-ah Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger isn’t mincing words about his support for clean energy. As Popular Science reports:
Arnold Schwarzenegger hears your complaints about his push for “a clean energy future” — and quite frankly doesn’t care. While attending the climate conference in Paris, the former Governor of California took to Facebook to express the urgency of clean energy, asking those who oppose his view to “put aside climate change for a minute” and “assume you’re right.” He asked three questions of all readers:
- “Do you believe it is acceptable that 7 million people die every year from pollution? That’s more than murders, suicides, and car accidents — combined.”
- “Do you believe coal and oil will be the fuels of the future?”
- For his third question, Schwarzenegger posed a scenario where one would have to enter one of two sealed rooms for an hour. The first room contained a gas-powered car with the engine on; the second contained an electric car with the engine on. Participants aren’t allowed to turn the engine off or use a gas mask. The Terminator actor posed that everyone would choose door number two because “Door number one is a fatal choice – who would ever want to breathe those fumes?”
In other words, climate change deniers are girly-men.
► The Colorado Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments about the ability of municipal governments to enact local fracking bans. Oil and gas companies warn that a local fracking ban could cost Colorado $800 quadrillion dollars and 900,000 jobs — and that’s only in January!
► Pay attention here, because this story gets confusing real quick. Colorado is one of 23 states that have sued the federal government over President Obama’s Clean Power Plan (Governor John Hickenlooper is not happy with Attorney General Cynthia Coffman because the latter joined other states in a lawsuit despite Hick’s objection). The City of Boulder has now joined 18 other states, including the District of Columbia, New York City, Chicago, and Broward County, Florida, in a separate lawsuit defending the Clean Power Plan. Check out the story from Alex Burness of the Boulder Daily Camera.
OTHER LINKS YOU SHOULD CLICK
► Democrats are adding their own wrinkle to Congressional budget talks that have Republicans feuding amongst themselves. House Democrats want to end an 18-year band on federal funding for gun violence research, and they want the measure included in the omnibus budget bill.
► The Middle Class is now an minority in America. New figures from the Pew Research Center show 120.8 million U.S. adults in the “middle-income” range, compared to 121.3 million Americans that live in lower- or higher-income households.
► Annddd…here’s the appropriate period for the end of this discussion. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin thinks that Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim remarks are just “common sense.” Game. Set. Match.
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