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March 14, 2017 11:15 AM UTC

Get More Smarter on Tuesday (March 14)

  • by: Colorado Pols

If you’re having trouble reading today’s edition of Get More Smarter, note that we are also sending it out via microwave ovens. 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.


► Republicans from Capitol Hill to the White House may publicly insist that Monday’s CBO score of Trumpcare is bogus, but reality is likely to intervene. As the Washington Post reports:

The worse-than-expected Congressional Budget Office forecast seems certain to force meaningful changes to the Obamacare repeal bill now under consideration in the House.

An alarm bell for GOP leadership: Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.) is exactly the kind of mainstream conservative whose support House Speaker Paul Ryan needs to secure passage of his pending legislation. After reading the CBO report last night, he came out against the plan…

…Senate Republicans are making it increasingly clear that the House bill, as presently constituted, will be dead on arrival in their chamber.

The Congressional Budget Office estimate that Trumpcare would leave 24 million Americans without health insurance might have actually been generous compared to a separate analysis from the White House. As Politico reports:

A White House analysis of the GOP plan to repeal and replace Obamacare shows even steeper coverage losses than the projections by the Congressional Budget Office, according to a document viewed by POLITICO on Monday.

The preliminary analysis from the Office of Management and Budget forecast that 26 million people would lose coverage over the next decade, versus the 24 million CBO estimates. [Pols emphasis] The White House has made efforts to discredit the forecasts from the nonpartisan CBO.


► An increasing number of prominent Republicans are backing away from Trumpcare in the wake of Monday’s news (“Let’s say the CBO is half-right; that should be cause for concern,’’ said Sen. Lindsey Graham), but Congressional leaders are still trying to convince members to choke down this shit sandwich. The Republican-aligned “American Action Network” is running advertisements praising Congressional Republicans — including Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) — for committing to support the Trumpcare disaster. On Monday, Coffman said that he supports the GOP healthcare bill “in its current form.”


► Conversations at the State Capitol about a potential sales tax increase for road construction are getting more convoluted as conservative Republicans balk at the idea. From the Denver Post:

How troubled is the much-acclaimed deal at the Capitol to spend $3.5 billion on Colorado roads to relieve traffic congestion?

Here’s the best indication to date: The No. 2 Republican in the state Senate said Monday he is proposing an alternative to the measure unveiled last week by the Senate’s No. 1 Republican.

Senate President Pro Tem Jerry Sonnenberg calls his effort “supplemental” but the proposal is a clear alternative to the one put forward by Senate President Kevin Grantham and House Speaker Crisanta Duran.

Sonnenberg, R-Sterling, said his draft bill would not increase taxes and would use $100 million in existing state dollars to cover a much smaller $1.3 billion bond, which is only enough to improve small local roads. [Pols emphasis]

Way to get a handle on your caucus, Sen. Grantham.



Get even more smarter after the jump…


► State lawmakers are making changes to Colorado’s “grow-your-own marijuana” laws. As the Greeley Tribune reports:

The nation’s most generous grow-your-own marijuana laws came closer Monday to being curbed in Colorado, where the state House advanced a pair of bills aimed at cracking down on people who grow weed outside the commercial, taxed system.

One bill would set a statewide limit of 16 marijuana plants per house, down from a current limit of 99 plants before registering with state health authorities…

…The other bill makes it a crime to grow recreational pot for someone else, effectively ending Colorado’s marijuana co-ops.

Both bill still need to make it through the State Senate before moving on to the desk of Gov. John Hickenlooper.


► Attorney General Jeff Sessions remains coy about whether or not the government will enforce federal marijuana regulations.


► When President Trump accused former President Obama of secretly “wiretapping” his 2016 campaign, he was speaking…metaphorically, or something.  As CNN reports, the White House continues to walk back Trump’s baseless accusations:

The White House on Monday walked back a key point of President Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated allegation that President Barack Obama wiretapped his phones in Trump Tower during the 2016 election.

Namely, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Trump wasn’t referring to wiretapping when he tweeted about wiretapping.

“I think there’s no question that the Obama administration, that there were actions about surveillance and other activities that occurred in the 2016 election,” Spicer said. “The President used the word wiretaps in quotes to mean, broadly, surveillance and other activities.”…

…Spicer’s comments came on the same day as the deadline for the Justice Department to provide evidence to the House Intelligence Committee to back up Trump’s claim. The White House has so far refused to provide any evidence, and numerous former officials have denied the existence of any warrant to wiretap Trump Tower.

A week earlier, Spicer said Trump’s tweet “speaks for itself” and declined to provide any further explanation.

Ladies and gentlemen, the office of the President of the United States. [sigh]


► Congratulations to Marshall Zelinger, now at 9News, for winning a Walter Cronkite Award because of his work on the Jon Keyser signature fraud stories last spring and summer.


► Congressman Jared Polis (D-Boulderish) deftly displays the proper way to conduct town hall events with constituents (Step One: Show Up).


► U.S. Attorneys offices around the country are scrambling after Friday’s surprise announcement from the Trump administration that every single U.S. Attorney is being pushed out of office.


Construction defects reform just gets more and more complicated every day.


► State Rep. Mike Foote (D-Lafayette) is proposing a legislative change that would increase the minimum setback distance from schools for oil and gas drilling operations.


► The Republican-controlled State Senate vetoed legislation aimed at preventing corporal punishment in Colorado public schools and daycare centers. From the Denver Post:

The Senate Judiciary Committee, on a party-line vote, defeated House Bill 1038, sponsored by state Sen. Rachel Zenzinger, an Arvada Democrat.

Republican members didn’t explain their vote.


► A State House committee axed a proposal that intended to make Daylight Saving Time permanent in Colorado.


► Get those NCAA Tournament brackets filled out…and please learn how to correctly pronounce the word “tournament.”

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


10 thoughts on “Get More Smarter on Tuesday (March 14)

  1. Way to get a handle on your caucus, Sen. Grantham.

    How do you expect him to get a handle on his caucus when he's trying to prevent all his folks from playing with their own?

    1. Not that much new information from Trump's 2005 tax returns.  It's possible that DJT leaked the returns himself to distract from, for example, trying to get rid of all regulatory agencies, or depriving 24 million people of healthcare.

      Sean Spicer, in today's press conference, touted a Colorado Republican operative, Carrie Couey. According to Spicer,

       Carrie Couey from Colorado, a mother of six whose youngest son is autistic, saw her family's yearly insurance go from $1,700* [$17,000] to $52,000 for a lower-quality plan.

      The LA Times has another take on this: they say that the issue is not the ACA, but that Couey's workmen's comp premiums for the employees of her business increased from $17K to $70K.

      I'll leave this here for someone else to investigate – just know that Tweeterdumb has found a willing accomplice from Colorado to push his healthcare agenda.


      1. Is is so much more fun if left wing whack jobs get worked up about it and it turns out to be a nothing burger.  Great reporting by Rachel.  I didn't know Sanders paid at a lower rate than Trump.

    1. According to one of your own, CornHolio, Trump leaked the documents to take the focus away from Russia.  Make Google your friend. #JoeScarborough 

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