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December 28, 2015 11:49 AM UTC

Get More Smarter on Monday (Dec. 28)

  • by: Colorado Pols

Get More SmarterThe Brockweiler rides again tonight as the Broncos host the Bengals. 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).


► As Kristen Wyatt reports for the Associated Press, the marijuana banking discussion heats up today:

A marijuana banking case set for arguments Monday is testing the federal government’s stated goal of addressing the cash-only nature of the quasi-legal pot industry.

But should pot sellers be able to use the nation’s banking system as long as marijuana is an illegal drug? It’s a question before a federal judge trying to weigh a Colorado-chartered bank’s attempt to force the U.S. Federal Reserve to let those pot shops access the nation’s banking system.

The case involves Fourth Corner Credit Union, which Colorado set up last year to serve the marijuana industry.

Federal banking regulators have issued guidelines for how banks can accept money from pot sales, but banks frequently say those guidelines are unwieldy. That leaves many pot shops stuck trying to pay bills and taxes in cash.

Regardless of your opinion on marijuana, it is in nobody’s best interest to force pot shops to deal exclusively in cash.


► Remember, friends: If you want to participate in party caucuses coming to Colorado in March, you must declare your party affiliation by January 4th, 2016 (we’ll keep this reminder near the top of the list for the next two weeks). For a complete list of election-year deadlines, check out this handy guide from the Colorado Secretary of State’s office.


Get even more smarter after the jump…


► The issue of fracking in Colorado made fewer headlines in 2015 than in prior years, but that doesn’t mean residents are any less interested in keeping oil and gas drilling operations away from their homes and schools. The 2016 ballot could be chock-full of fracking questions, as the Denver Post reported last week:

A Boulder County-based citizens group opposed to fracking filed a package of ballot initiatives Tuesday that would circumvent a compromise sought by Gov. John Hickenlooper and U.S. Rep. Jared Polis of Boulder.

Coloradans Resisting Extreme Energy Development submitted paperwork for 11 potential ballot questions to provide mandatory setbacks for wells from homes and schools, more local control on drilling decisions or an outright ban on the process of hydraulic fracturing.

Eight of the 11 are variations of proposals for mandatory setbacks. Each of the constitutional amendments would need signatures from 98,492 registered Colorado voters to get on November’s ballot.

A review-and-comment hearing on the language of the ballot questions is set for at 1:30 p.m. Jan. 5 in Room 109 at the Capitol.

In response, the oil and gas industry warned that any drilling restrictions would result in the loss of every job in Colorado. All of them.

Meanwhile, a Colorado Pols diarist wonders if the oil and gas industry has learned any lessons from pushback in Colorado.


► Can we please stop using that ridiculous line about “running the government like a business”? We’ve tried that. It doesn’t work.


► The abortion issue looks like it will remain front and center in American politics for awhile — particularly among Republicans as they battle for the GOP Presidential nomination.


► Republican Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump says that wages in the United States are “too low.” As reports:

After previously saying wages were “too high,” Trump instead stressed Monday that they were actually “too low.”

In the Monday-morning tweet, Trump also said that good jobs were “too few” and that people had “lost faith in our leaders.”

The apparent shift came after Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), a Democratic presidential candidate, said in a Sunday interview that his message would resonate among Trump’s working-class supporters.

“Look, many of Trump’s supporters are a working-class people, and they’re angry,” Sanders said on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” according to the show’s transcript. “And they’re angry because they’re working longer hours for lower wages. They’re angry because their jobs have left this country and gone to China or other low-wage countries.”

Sanders added: “In fact, he has said that he thinks wages in America are too high.”

We get that Trump is continuing to stir the political pot and keep his name front and center, but practically-speaking, this should be a pretty obvious strategy: Why would anyone campaign on a premise that wages are too high in America?


► The first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses are just a few weeks away (Feb. 1), but as Eli Stokols writes for Politico, it is the Feb. 9 New Hampshire Primary that may be the real turning point of the 2016 election:

Forget Iowa, which Cruz appears to be locking up. It’s New Hampshire that will cull this field. And with Christie, Bush and John Kasich making the Granite State the singular focus of their campaigns, and Rubio, should he lose Iowa, needing a top-tier finish, the fight to be the mainstream alternative to Cruz or Trump could end here.

“At the beginning of the year, we seemed to have an embarrassment of riches, and I thought it was a sign of strength of the party. And then Trump gets in and all of the sudden that strength has worked itself into something of a weakness,” said Drew Cline, the former editorial page editor of the New Hampshire Union Leader, the state’s biggest newspaper. “He has left all of the candidates in his shadow for months. And it’s trickier for a Trump alternative to emerge when the field is just so crowded.”

If Trump wins the Feb. 9 primary a week after Cruz wins Iowa, only one or two candidates finishing behind him will likely have the momentum to carry on. If four or even five candidates split the vote of an establishment electorate that never coalesces behind one standard-bearer, there may be only hollow victories to declare on primary night because none will have the firepower to challenge Cruz or Trump in South Carolina.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz, the favorite to win the Iowa caucuses, believes that Florida Sen. Marco Rubio could be at the end of his political rope after New Hampshire.


► As we say sayonara to 2015, we’re wrapping up a busy “off-year” with our annual Top 10 Stories of the Year. Make your suggestions here.


► If you are a Virginia resident and you’d like to participate in the March 1 Republican Presidential Primary, you must first sign a pledge of allegiance to the Republican Party. What. The. F***?


► A tip of the cap for Meadowlark LemonThe “Clown Prince of Basketball” died on Sunday at the age of 83.


Get More Smarter by liking Colorado Pols on Facebook!


29 thoughts on “Get More Smarter on Monday (Dec. 28)

  1. A Washington Post reporter today noted that many Trump supporters she spoke with at Iowa Trump rallies did not sound like they would actually show up for the caucus.

    Let's all remember that Trump has not received a single vote yet.

    1. Unlike primaries, caucuses do take some effort, sophistication and endurance which people who are only marginally interested in politics (i.e., the opposite of we poli sci geeks who hang out on this site) lack.

      It is an open question how that will work out for the Donald. Does he have experienced organizers running his operation on the ground? Or is this simply the Donald going cross country blowing off steam as he sees fit and hoping that his mass following will turn out on caucus night on their own initiative?

          1. Wait a minute — I started this thing! laugh

            Here is the link to the Washington Post story about whether Trump's Iowa rally attendees will actually show up for the Iowa caucus.  It's really funny, particularly knowing something about caucuses from the Obama Iowa and Colorado 2008 campaigns.


            1. It'll be nearly impossible to get the Trump supporters out to the caucuses …

              … particularly if there's a new episode of "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" airing …

              1. Maybe the Donald can tweet to his flock that at least one member of the Kardashian or the Jenner family will at their precinct site on caucus night.  

    2. This is why Iowa will be telling. Not because the winner of Iowa will necessarily be the winner of the nomination or even close but because it will show whether Trump is building a real boots on the ground, GOTV political structure or simply playing at being a political rock star. If his fans only show up for the concerts but not for the nitty gritty work of getting their candidate elected, it could all start to disintegrate for him in Iowa. His entire shtick is being the biggest winner. Coming in at number two or three in the first couple of highly publicized caucus events would be more damaging to Trump than to any other contender.

        1. I think your hope is in vain.  The reality is that the folks who love Trump believe that the conspiracy has been underway for some time.  That the party apparatus has been stacked against them, the real, "real Americans," and that nobody in or of that power structure (I'm looking at you, Imam Paul Ryan) can be trusted.

          Trump doesn't need to spin a loss, it will spin itself throughout the half of the party that thinks the president is a Muslim, Kenyan-born agent of the UN, here to execute Agenda 21 on behalf of the ZOG and Illuminati.  These folks are nuts, y'all.  Straight up nuts.  And most of the other half (CHB and some others, excepted of course) aren't far behind them.

          1. Except that if he doesn't get the nomination he's certainly not going to win third party and he knows it.  No candidate has ever won the nomination without solid political organization. I don't think Trump has it. I don't think he's going to get the nomination. I don't think he's going to waste his time on a spoiler third party run if he doesn't. I think a significant portion (not most) of his fans will just stay home wthout The Donald in the general because they'll think it's all fixed so why bother? He might keep the show going for them with a third party run but I doubt it because it would involve losing which he isn't fond of.

            1. I'd rather see Trump as the winner in Iowa than Cruz, since neither Kasich nor Christie, people that have actually governed (wow…… governing, what a concept!) have much of a chance. Cruz is a danger to the Constitution and the American way of life. The acorn doesn't fall far from the oak; Cruz mirrors his old man's fruitcake religious views.

              1. In recent times, the Republican winner of the Iowa caucus has been too far wacko rght to win the nomination, much less the general. If you'd really prefer Trump to be your nominee I don't see it happenng for you. Or for us Dems either. We  sure wouldn't mind a candidate so loathed by the growing percentage of Latino voters not to mention African Americans, women, reasonably decent human beings, etc. 

                1. Trump has the all-important Tancredo endorsement, as well as those from Becky Mizel and Tom Ready. All according to their Facebook posts.

                  So Republican has-beens, who were voted out of office and pissed everybody off, are lining up to support Trump. Good times!

                  1. I thought Tank recently left the GOP to become an Indie, and said he was going to help Ted Cruz organize unaffiliated voters. Tancredo has come out in support of the Donald?

                    I realize Trump is a natural fit for Tank what with building the damn wall and whipping up Islamophobia, but I swear I saw something about him supporting Cruz.

                    1. It's called The Tancredo Prerogative . . .

                      . . . your mistake was paying attention to anything that fool has said.

                    2. Tancredo did endorse Cruz, my bad. Tank thought Trump was a little too wimpy on taking in Syrian refugees. So the days of the Tank-Trump bromance are over, alas.

                      However, Becky Mizel is doing all she can to give Tancredo credit for influencing Trump on the "immigtration" issue.Tom Ready is a Trumpkin.

                      And remember this?


                      I got curious (famous last words for me) about how other Republicans involved in the OutHouse scandal were faring, and whom they had endorsed. Marilyn Marks moved to South Carolina, where she is exercising her patented "watchdog" schtick in the SC Presidential primary. Before she moved, her FB page vigorously defended Trump against the supposed machinations of Steve House and the Colorado GOP.

                      Julie Naye has moved to Texas. Her FB page is under the name "Julie Margaret" now, and she's not posting any Presidential favorites.

                      Cynthia Coffman and Steve House are not advertising a presidential candidate preference, although House did take a picture with Carly Fiorina (and apparently had an interview with Chris Matthews at one of the debates).

                      Enough snooping for today.

      1. The Virginia "loyalty oath" is  a fairly sensible precaution against Virginia's 'open primary" rules, in which anyone can vote in any primary.

        However, it's yet another way to disenfranchise voters. All of this supports BC's contention that Trump does not know how to work the regular political grind, including GOTV. He's an evil genius with media and working the crowd's basest emotions – but unless he starts making nice with the GOP party stalwarts, his campaign will fizzle. Knock wood.




        1. And of course changing his tune on the GOP establishment would ruin his rock star status with his government hating, GOP establishment hating, Mexican hating, Muslim hating, media hating, librul hating, fill in the blank hating fan base. And that's all he's got.

          He's got none of the nuts and bolts necessary to winning elections. Just celebratory rallies and shiny polls that still don't amount to more than a minority of a minority.

          No matter what Trump calls himself, his is essentially an independent run anyway. He's the party of Trump. Getting hysterical over the fact that the Virginia GOP would like those who vote in the Republican primary to be actual Republicans makes that pretty clear. And that's the way his fans like it. But the two party system makes politics a team sport. You can't win if you don't pick a team and the last thing Trump is ever going to be is any kind of team player. A year from now he'll be a kind of funny, kind of terrifying footnote.

  2. I imagine that if he doesn't do well in Iowa and New Hampshire, he'll declare victory and go home. But where his disciples will go is the more interesting question to me. Will they gravitate to the right-most candidate left standing or will they shout "we was robbed!" and drop out for the rest of the cycle?

    1. Profits from and jobs in O&G are down, but there were never as many high-paying jobs as Hickenlooper promised. Regular oilfield workers are collecting unemployent, moving back to their home states, or training to work at Vestas. The welding/ manual labor/outside worker skills transfer well – this is what I'm hearing anecdotally. Guys that want to stay in Weld County are finding work.

      The "boutique" drillers are being priced out of financing for close-in projects. If setback initiatives pass in 2016, both the small and larger companies will have to spend more money to access the resource from farther away, with longer horizontal runs underground. And they're crying about that, and pulling out all the propaganda stops.

      It's up to us to make sure that the fossil industries downsize without wrecking the environment even more, and to promote the renewable industries, as well as the old standbys of finance, insurance, agriculture, and education that have always been the economic drivers of Weld County.


      1. Fossil fuel economies naturally create booms and busts. No need for help from  tree huggers or regulators to devastate communities with job loss. It's as natural to the fossil fuel economy as breathing in…. and breathing out. Always was, is and ever will be.

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