There are 24 shopping days until Christmas. 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 continues to talk in vague terms about separating himself from his business affairs once he is sworn-in as President in January. Trump Tweeted on Wednesday that documents “are being crafted which take me completely out of business operations.” Uh, ok.
► Remember Donald Trump’s promises to “drain the swamps” of political patronage in Washington D.C.? This is probably not what you had in mind. Even when he does go a different direction with top political appointments, Trump ends up filling his own swamp with strange creatures. From the Associated Press:
President-elect Donald Trump has filled more top posts on his economic team — picking former Goldman Sachs executive Steven Mnuchin as treasury secretary and financier Wilbur Ross to lead the Commerce Department.
Mnuchin is confirming that he and Ross are joining Trump’s Cabinet, pending confirmation by the Senate.
Mnuchin was Trump’s top fundraiser during his Presidential campaign.
► House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi had little trouble winning re-election to her post as head of the Congressional Democrats. From the Washington Post:
Pelosi easily toppled Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), a seven-term lawmaker who launched an upstart bid to lead House Democrats two weeks ago in response to the party’s disappointing November election results…
…Pelosi vowed to expand the number of seats at the leadership table to stave off defections and leave her firmly in charge of a caucus ruled by an “iron fist,” as Senate counterpart, Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) once described her leadership style.
There are 194 members of the House Democratic caucus, and four nonvoting delegates are allowed to vote in caucus elections. On Wednesday, 197 of the 198 members showed up. Pelosi won with 134 votes, compared with 63 votes for Ryan in a secret-ballot election held in the committee room of the House Ways and Means Committee.
Colorado Democrats had been split on their choice for Minority Leader. Congressman Ed Perlmutter (D-Jefferson County) publicly backed challenger Tim Ryan, while Reps. Diana DeGette (D-Denver) and Jared Polis (D-Boulderish) remained quiet on their choices and presumably backed Pelosi for re-election.
► Former Congressional candidate and outgoing state Senator Morgan Carroll plans to make a bid to lead the Colorado Democratic Party.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump supporter and former Congressional candidate George Athansopoulos is pushing to become the next head of the State Republican Party. Current State GOP Chair Steve House has not yet decided whether or not he will seek re-election early next year.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► Is Mitt Romney unable to resist the siren call to service…or is it just about power? Chris Cillizza of “The Fix” ponders Romney’s motivations for continuing to discuss a potential appointment as President-elect Donald Trump’s Secretary of State.
While you’re at it, take a moment to Caption This Photo of Trump and Romney having dinner on Tuesday.
► You know you’ve gone overboard on claims of voter fraud when even Newt Gingrich publicly criticizes your unsubstantiated whines.
► If you’re wondering about the status of those recall efforts in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, Politico answers a couple of your theoretical questions:
But even if recounts in Michigan and Wisconsin, the two closest states, flipped those states to Clinton, the Democrat would still need the 20 electoral votes from Pennsylvania to overtake Trump. And Clinton trails Trump by nearly 71,000 votes in Pennsylvania.
The size of those battleground-state tallies will almost certainly withstand any recount or audit — despite Clinton’s overall lead in the national popular vote, which is approaching 2 percentage points.
► Anti-Muslim bigotry is alive and well, sadly, on conservative Colorado radio stations.
► Donald Trump’s selection for Treasury Secretary has ambitious plans for reforming America’s tax laws. As CNN reports:
President-elect Donald Trump’s selection for Treasury secretary says tax reform will be his top priority and promises the largest tax overhaul since the Reagan administration.
Steven Mnuchin made the pledge in an interview with CNBC on Tuesday.
Mnuchin, a former Wall Street insider who ran an eclectic series of businesses before becoming a Hollywood producer, confirmed that he was Trump’s pick for the Treasury job, which has vast responsibility for regulating the financial industry and oversees the IRS.
► Who are you calling a “lesser prairie chicken?”
► As the Associated Press reports, Colorado lawmakers will have their hands full dealing with the state’s aging population:
Colorado needs to create a top executive-level position in state government to help public and private groups handle the needs of the state’s rapidly-growing population of those 65 and older, a task force reported Tuesday.
The population of those 65 and older in Colorado is expected to double to 1.3 million by 2030 — representing about 20 percent of the state’s total projected population, according to the Strategic Action Planning Group on Aging report.
One of the most pressing issues is finding ways to fund a growing Medicaid program that already totals $25 billion, panel members said.
Don’t forget to read up on some important facts and fictions about Medicaid in Colorado.
► The City of Denver has its first felony DUI conviction after a jury handed down a verdict against Matthew Allen, who was arrested last March on his fourth offense of driving while impaired. Allen could be facing to up to 6 years in prison when he is sentenced in January.
OTHER LINKS YOU SHOULD CLICK
► Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren thinks math is the key to stopping Trumpism.
► Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has expanded her popular vote lead over Republican Donald Trump to 2.3 million votes.