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December 08, 2016 11:59 AM UTC

Get More Smarter on Thursday (December 8)

  • by: Colorado Pols

Heat Wave! High temperatures should burst into the 20s today! 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.




► Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is among a group of Republicans who are suing the Environmental Protection Agency to stop President Obama’s Clean Power Plan. Naturally, Pruitt has been selected by President-elect Donald Trump to be the next head of the EPA. From the Washington Post:

He is the third of Trump’s nominees who have key philosophical differences with the missions of the agencies they have been tapped to run. Ben Carson, named to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development, has expressed a deep aversion to the social safety net programs and fair housing initiatives that have been central to that agency’s activities. Betsy DeVos, named education secretary, has a passion for private school vouchers that critics say undercut the public school systems at the core of the government’s mission.

Conservation and environmental leaders are obviously not pleased about Pruitt’s appointment.

Meanwhile, concerns are growing about Trump’s over-reliance on military leaders in his cabinet after retired Marine Gen. John Kelly was announced as the new head of the Department of Homeland Security.


► Fast-food executive Andrew Puzder appears to be President-elect Trump’s choice for labor secretary. From Politico:

Puzder is CEO of CKE Restaurants, the parent company for Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s and Green Burrito, and was a senior policy adviser to the Trump campaign. He also served as a presidential trustee to a joint fundraising committee organized between Trump and the Republican National Committee…

…Puzder’s selection would suggest that Trump, despite his strong working-class backing, will favor management over labor at the Labor Department. In 2010, Puzder coauthored a book titled “Job Creation: How It Really Works And Why Government Doesn’t Understand It.”

Indeed, Puzder has been drawing criticism from unions already. A Nov. 29 story posted on the website of the left-leaning American Prospect quoted Kendall Fells, organizing director for the Service Employees International Union-funded Fight for $15, saying, “Puzder as Labor secretary is like putting Bernie Madoff in charge of the Treasury.”

We probably don’t need to tell you how Puzder feels about increasing the minimum wage in the United States.



Get even more smarter after the jump…


► President-elect Donald Trump’s Twitter Account, which may or may not be making autonomous decisions about the free world, attacked a local union leader in Indiana for daring to question Trump’s supposed “deal” with Carrier to keep hundreds of jobs in the state. As Chris Cillizza writes for “The Fix,” Trump is kind of a dick:

Why? Why would the soon-to-be president of the United States use his massive social media following to attack someone in Chuck Jones who almost no one had heard of before last night?

The answer, as almost always with Trump, is a) because he wanted to and b) there is no one around him to stop him from doing what he wants to do.  Trump values unpredictability and he lives it every day; he can be big  and even magnanimous (his new friendship with President Obama, his consideration of Mitt Romney for Secretary of State) in one minute and incredibly small (attacking a union guy, making fun of a disabled reporter) in the next. The high and the low are both Trump; he swings between the two day by day and even hour by hour or minute by minute…

…The lingering question is whether people were fine with a presidential candidate punching down but will be much less fine with their president doing the same. We’ll start finding out that answer in a month or so.

For more insight into Donald Trump’s Twitter Account, check out You’ll find that Trump is a YUGE fan of the word “disgusting.”


► The Aurora City Council is close to legalizing fireworks in the city, for some reason. There must not be anything else important happening in Aurora.


► A big medical-research bill co-sponsored by Denver Rep. Diana DeGette was approved by the Senate on Wednesday, though not everybody is happy about it:

The bill, however, had vocal progressive critics — Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) prime among them — who said the bill’s changes to drug approval processes gave too many concessions to pharmaceutical companies.

Public Citizen, a progressive activist group that opposed the bill, called it “sorely disappointing that Congress gave Big Pharma and the medical device industry an early Christmas present” that “comes at the expense of patient safety by undermining requirements for ensuring safe and effective medications and medical devices.”

But the bill won wide support from Democrats. DeGette and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) negotiated key provisions to boost research funding, and Obama gave the bill a strong statement of support ahead of its passage in the House.

► The Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce is among many groups urging House Speaker Paul Ryan to fast-track legislation dealing with government regulations. Unfortunately, Congress already passed its one bill this month (see previous item).


Don’t hack Colorado Pols. It’s not nice.


► Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman opposes efforts to modernize Colorado’s open records laws.


► Longtime Nevada Sen. Harry Reid strolls off into the horizon with a final editorial in the New York Times.


► Colorado’s newly-passed medical aid in dying law, which should go into effect in the next few weeks, should be put to the test quickly. From the Denver Post:

Coloradans with terminal illness soon can begin making written requests for life-ending prescriptions under the state’s new aid-in-dying law, and authors of the law say multiple people already have inquired.

“I fully expect people to begin requesting prescriptions on the first day that the law is effective,” said Kat West, national director of policy and programs for Compassion & Choices, which ran the end-of-life options campaign in Colorado.


► Colorado legislators plan to crack down on legally-grown but illegally-sold marijuana in the state.


Um, okay. We might be persuaded to vote for the dog, though.


► Colorado Gives Day raised a record amount of money for local nonprofits this week. Like everyone else, we’re just glad the emails have stopped.


► Iowa Rep. Steve King is a class act (not really).


► Coal country Democrats are grinding the U.S. Senate to a halt — not that this is hard to do — as they push for an extension of expiring benefits for coal miners.


► Sulu doesn’t like Donald Trump, and apparently this is a story.


Don’t forget to check out The Get More Smarter Show. You can also Get More Smarter by liking Colorado Pols on Facebook!


2 thoughts on “Get More Smarter on Thursday (December 8)

  1. But the bill won wide support from Democrats. DeGette and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) negotiated key provisions to boost research funding, and Obama gave the bill a strong statement of support ahead of its passage in the House.

    Hmm.  I wonder…

    Rep. DeGette

    Sen. Murray

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