Snow! Sorta. 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). If you are more of a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.
TOP OF MIND TODAY…
► President-elect Donald Trump is preparing to meet his first world leader today when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrives in New York. As CNN reports, Trump’s team is already making it clear to world leaders such as Abe that his campaign rhetoric was only that — rhetoric:
It’s not hard to see why Prime Minister Abe wants to get first word with Trump.
The Japanese government was concerned by remarks made by Trump during his campaign about relations between the two countries. In particular, officials were rattled by Trump’s suggestions that Japan, which until last year had a pacifist constitution, should obtain nuclear weapons to protect itself from North Korea…
…A special adviser sent in advance by Abe to meet with members of Trump’s transition team said he was told Japan shouldn’t take Trump’s campaign talk literally. [Pols emphasis]
“All the people shared the same opinion — that we don’t need to be nervous about every single word and phrase said during Mr Trump’s campaign,” Katsuyuki Kawai told Japanese broadcaster NHK.
Sorry, Trump supporters: It’s beginning to look like everything His Hairness said during the campaign was just…words.
Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports on concerns that Trump’s meeting with Abe is taking place before the President-elect has even been briefed on Japanese-American relations:
The 5 p.m. session with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Trump’s first with a foreign leader since the election, has raised questions among some in Washington’s foreign policy community because Trump has apparently not been briefed by the State Department. Officials said Wednesday that the transition team has not reached out to State.
A former State Department official said such a meeting with a foreign leader would normally be preceded by numerous briefings from key diplomats…
Welp. Here we go…
Oh, never mind. Trump says everything is going “so smoothly.”
► President-elect Trump met with Members of Congress on Thursday and apparently received promises for a short-term spending bill that the Republican caucus doesn’t like at all. From the Washington Post:
House Republicans bowed to his wishes and announced plans to extend government funding through March, despite warnings from top GOP senators that such a spending strategy could wreak havoc on the first several months of his presidency. [Pols emphasis]
The House Appropriations Committee chairman, Harold Rogers (R-Ky.), said Thursday that his staff would immediately begin work on a stopgap spending bill that would keep the government open through March 31 after consultation with Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence.
► The Colorado Secretary of State’s office has released ballot return data with breakdowns for party, age, and gender. This will be the last ballot return update issued by the SOS until election results are certified on December 8.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► Students at Wheat Ridge High School in Wheat Ridge, Colorado will get a chance to speak to astronauts at the International Space Station on Friday. From a press release via the office of Congressman Ed Perlmutter (D-Jefferson County):
On Friday, November 18, students from Wheat Ridge High School will have the opportunity to speak with Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough, a NASA astronaut currently living and working aboard the International Space Station. The 20-minute call will take place at 10:40 a.m. MT and will air live on NASA Televisionand NASA’s website. Commander Kimbrough launched to the station on October 19 and will return home in February.
Representative Ed Perlmutter (CO-07) will open the downlink with a voice check call-up to the station. In Congress, Rep. Perlmutter serves on the Science, Space and Technology Committee to help advocate for Colorado’s aerospace industry, STEM education, and research universities across Colorado. He’s also committed to securing a long-term plan from NASA to ensure it has the funding and resources necessary to land humans on Mars by 2033.
Rep. Perlmutter is a strong advocate for NASA and space exploration in general; check out this August interview from The Get More Smarter Show to hear more about Perlmutter’s support of a manned mission to Mars.
► That didn’t take long. Congressman Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) is already sniffing at Donald Trump’s behind in an effort to make amends for completely abandoning the GOP nominee for President during the election. As the Denver Post reports, Coffman is more than happy to support Trump’s plan to cut off federal funding for so-called “sanctuary cities”:
In Colorado, Trump’s policy has at least one supporter: U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Aurora.
After disowning Trump during the campaign — and touting his own reversal on immigration issues — Coffman this week expressed enthusiasm in working with the president-elect and voiced support for Trump’s pledge to target cities such as Aurora.
Remember those campaign ads from Coffman that said Coffman was “one of us” and “not a typical Republican” and implied that all members of the CD-6 community were represented by the Congressman? Yeah, that was bullshit.
Although, it was obvious bullshit:
— MissingPundit (@MissingPundit) November 17, 2016
► Meanwhile, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock is pushing back against “sanctuary city” charges from Trump supporters.
► Still trying to figure out what happened in last week’s election? Here’s our attempt at breaking things down for The Get More Smarter Show.
► Perhaps Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton would have performed better during the 2016 election if she had articulated a memorable economic message. Though, as the Huffington Post reports, a lack of a clear economic message was just one of many problems with Clinton’s campaign:
In the closing weeks of the presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton’s staff in key Midwest states sent out alarms to their headquarters in Brooklyn. They were facing a problematic shortage of paid canvassers to help turn out the vote.
For months, the Clinton campaign had banked on a wide army of volunteer organizers to help corral independents and Democratic leaners and re-energize a base not particularly enthused about the election. But they were volunteers. And as anecdotal data came back to offices in key battlegrounds, concern mounted that leadership had skimped on a critical campaign function.
“It was arrogance, arrogance that they were going to win. That this was all wrapped up,” a senior battleground state operative told The Huffington Post.
Several theories have been proffered to explain just what went wrong for the Clinton campaign in an election that virtually everyone expected the Democratic nominee to win. But lost in the discussion is a simple explanation, one that was re-emphasized to HuffPost in interviews with several high-ranking officials and state-based organizers: The Clinton campaign was harmed by its own neglect.
► Denver residents are working together to clean up pro-Trump hate speech.
► There’s at least one group of people who are thrilled that we elected Donald Trump as President: Bankers.
► President-elect Trump is going to need a portrait to hang in the Colorado State Capitol. This may not be a pretty picture.
► Republican strategists may be happy about the 2016 election results, but there is plenty of concern that the wrong lessons are being learned from those outcomes. From Politico:
Republican operatives spent four years warning that the party needed to diversify — or risk a blowout at the ballot box. Donald Trump spent the campaign trafficking in divisive racial rhetoric — and he won anyway.
Now, those who pushed for a more inclusive GOP fear that their party will absorb the wrong takeaways from Trump’s win, and that the momentum behind efforts to expand the Republican tent to include more minorities and young people has evaporated.
► Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has submitted his resignation.
OTHER LINKS YOU SHOULD CLICK
► Senator Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) is officially in charge of Republican efforts to maintain a Senate majority in 2018.
► A recount could be on the horizon for Amendment T, the ballot measure that intended to remove a slavery reference from the Colorado Constitution.
► Coloradans continue to validate decisions to legalize marijuana in our state.