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May 09, 2017 11:16 AM UTC

Get More Smarter on Tuesday (May 9)

  • by: Colorado Pols

Golfball-sized hail is just God cleaning out his ice maker. It’s time to Get More Smarter! 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.


► Legislation introduced last week that would seek to compel oil and gas companies to provide public records of “flowlines” — pipelines that carry natural gas from wellheads to a collection point — has been defeated in the state legislature after a Republican filibuster. House Bill 17-1372, sponsored by Reps. Mike Foote (D-Lafayetter) and Steve Lebsock (D-Thornton), was essentially killed when House Republicans extended their arguments toward a midnight deadline for the bill to move along to the State Senate.


► State Sen. Jim Smallwood (R-Parker) officially killed his own legislation intended to eliminate the Colorado Health Exchange. As Ed Sealover reports for the Denver Business Journal:

The move was met by applause from Democrats on the Senate floor and groans from Republicans.

Smallwood said afterward that he wanted to spend the summer working on the bill in ways that could bring meaningful change to the state-chartered exchange, which has struggled financially. That could mean finding a way to garner bipartisan support for the measure, or it could mean finding a way for Connect for Health to attract more insurers and to make more significant steps in slowing the growth of health-care costs in Colorado, he said.

Senate Bill 3 was introduced early in the 2017 legislative session as a priority for Senate Republicans, but the GOP made little effort to actually move forward with the bill after encountering still opposition from vocal Coloradans amid Congressional blundering on repealing Obamacare.


► The Director of the FBI, James Comey, has apparently stepped in the mud (again). As CNN reports:

FBI Director James Comey erroneously told Congress last week that former Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin “forwarded hundreds and thousands” of emails to her husband’s laptop — and the bureau is looking for a way to clean up his error, according to officials familiar with the matter.

According to Comey, Clinton’s emails had been forwarded to the computer of Abedin’s husband, former New York Rep. Anthony Weiner. But US officials told CNN last fall the majority of the thousands of emails reviewed by the FBI got to Weiner’s computer via a backup system for Abedin’s phone.

In Comey’s testimony, however, he suggested “hundreds and thousands” of emails had been deliberately sent directly from Abedin to Weiner’s computer. While some of those emails may have been sent directly from Huma in order to be printed, officials told CNN, the number was far fewer than the amount Comey described.



Get even more smarter after the jump…


► A Boulder judge has tossed a lawsuit attempt by Attorney General Cynthia Coffman aimed at trying to stop Boulder County from enforcing restrictions on oil and gas drilling in the area. As the Longmont Times-Call reports:

Boulder County’s moratorium on accepting and processing new applications for oil and gas development in unincorporated parts of the county— the latest in a series of moratoriums the county originally imposed in February 2012 — expired May 1.

The Boulder County Attorney’s Office then filed a motion to dismiss the complaints that the Attorney General’s Office, the Colorado Oil and Gas Association and the American Petroleum Institute had made in their challenges of the legality of the county’s moratorium.

Boulder County stated in its filing that since the moratorium had “expired by its own terms” on May 1, “the case is moot” and the district court therefore “lacks subject matter jurisdiction.” The county said it had conferred with the attorneys for the state and the trade organizations and that they did not object to the dismissal.

On May 2, Boulder District Judge Norma Sierra issued an order granting the county’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit that Attorney General Cynthia Coffman and her staff originally filed on Feb. 14 and that the Oil and Gas Association and the Petroleum Institute had joined as intervenors on Feb. 24.


► State Sen. Don Coram (R-Montrose) is making a last-minute legislative push to convince Colorado officials to sue the Environmental Protection Agency over the Gold King Mine Spill.


► Legislation intended to implement 2016 ballot measures giving Unaffiliated voters the ability to vote in partisan primaries continues to advance before the end of the 2017 legislative session on Wednesday. Brian Eason reports on the compromise for the Denver Post:

With the changes, the path now seems clear for Senate Bill 305 to become law. But it would retain a few key, disputed pieces from the original measure: unaffiliated voters still will be asked before the election if they prefer one party’s ballot to the other, and the party primary they choose to vote in still will be a matter of public record…

…Under the amendment adopted Monday, voters still would be asked if they wanted to vote in one party’s primary or the other, said Sen. Steve Fenberg, D-Boulder, one of the bill’s sponsors. But unlike the original bill, that preference would last only for a single election cycle, a concession to opponents who felt that the initial process amounted to “de facto affiliation” of unaffiliated voters.

Under the changes, unaffiliated voters would be offered their choice of ballots again prior to each new primary election. Those who don’t indicate a preference will be sent one ballot for each party and be instructed to vote in only one. [Pols emphasis]

We’d by lying if we said we understood the point of this “compromise.”


► State Senate Republicans are still struggling to explain why they rejected the re-appointment of an LGBTQ advocate to the Colorado Civil Rights Commission.


► Colorado’s Canyon of the Ancients National Monument could lose its federal designation thanks to an executive order signed by President Trump.


► President Trump says that he reserves the right to ignore a provision in a spending bill he signed on Friday. From the Associated Press:

President Donald Trump signed his first piece of major legislation on Friday, a $1 trillion spending bill to keep the government operating through September.

The bill cleared both houses of Congress this week and Trump signed it into law behind closed doors at his home in central New Jersey, well ahead of a midnight Friday deadline for some government operations to begin shutting down.

Trump signed the bill despite his objections to numerous provisions included in the measure. One such provision prohibits the Justice Department from using any funds to block implementation of medical marijuana laws by states and U.S. territories. In a signing statement that accompanied the bill and that laid out his objections, Trump said he reserved the right to ignore the provision. He held out the possibility that the administration could pursue legal action against states and territories that legalize marijuana for medical use.


► The U.S. Senate faces a deadline this week on whether or not to overturn a Bureau of Land Management rule regulating methane emissions from oil and gas development. Senator Michael Bennet (D-Denver) opposes efforts to roll back the regulations, while Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) continues to avoid making public comments one way or the other.


► Republican gubernatorial candidate Victor Mitchell is accusing fellow GOP contender George Brauchler of using the death penalty for “political purposes.”


► President Trump sent out a bunch of Tweets regarding the Senate testimony of former acting Attorney General Sally Yates on Monday. You won’t be surprised to hear that none of his Tweets were factually accurate.



► North Korea says that Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) does not have much body hair, or something.


Iowa Congressman Rod Blum demonstrates how not to react to criticism from constituents and questions from local media.



► Colorado Republicans are getting lots of oil and gas money at a questionable time.


Click here for The Get More Smarter Show. You can also Get More Smarter by liking Colorado Pols on Facebook!


8 thoughts on “Get More Smarter on Tuesday (May 9)

    1. Good one V'ger!  That sounds like something the late, great George Carlin might say.

      Here is one of his that I hadn't heard before.  Wouldn't it be great if we lived in a universe where time ran backwards? 🙂

      “The most unfair thing about life is the way it ends. I mean, life is tough. It takes up a lot of your time. What do you get at the end of it? A Death! What’s that, a bonus? I think the life cycle is all backwards. You should die first, get it out of the way. Then you live in an old age home. You get kicked out when you’re too young, you get a gold watch, you go to work. You work forty years until you’re young enough to enjoy your retirement. You do drugs, alcohol, you party, you get ready for high school. You go to grade school, you become a kid, you play, you have no responsibilities, you become a little baby, you go back into the womb, you spend your last nine months floating …and you finish off as an orgasm.” 
      ― George Carlin

  1. My regular public service blog posts:

    1) Both sides don't "do" "it".

    Even at the highest level of federal appointments, the Republican appointee has been impulsive and irresponsible. The Bush appointed Republican FBI Director is a liar who may end up making J Edgar look like a saint:

    FBI director James Comey generated national headlines last week with his dramatic testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, explaining his “incredibly painful” decision to go public about the Hillary Clinton emails found on Anthony Weiner’s laptop.

    Perhaps Comey’s most surprising revelation was that Huma Abedin — Weiner’s wife and a top Clinton deputy — had made “a regular practice” of forwarding “hundreds and thousands” of Clinton messages to her husband, “some of which contain classified information.” Comey testified that Abedin had done this so that the disgraced former congressman could print them out for her boss.

    The problem: Much of what Comey said about this was inaccurate. Now the FBI is trying to figure out what to do about it.

    And the Obama appointed Justice Department official is honest, above-board, tough, and professional every step of the way: 

    With all that build-up, Sally Yates’s testimony might have been anti-climactic. It was not. She described two in-person meetings with Trump White House Counsel Donald McGahn. Both meetings were attended by one of McGahn’s associates and a Justice Department career civil servant from the national security division. In other words, there were plenty of witnesses. Yates testified that she told McGahn on Jan. 26 that Justice was aware that what Flynn was telling Vice President Pence about contacts with the Russians was untrue. She explained the “underlying conduct was problematic in and of itself,” and that it set up the potential for Flynn to be “compromised.” McGahn called her back to the White House on Jan. 27 when he asked questions including what was the concern about one White House official lying to another, whether Flynn might be criminally prosecuted, whether taking action would compromise the investigation and whether the administration could see the underlying data. On Jan. 30, Yates told McGahn the intelligence could in fact be reviewed.

    2) D's need to hammer Republicans' anti-social and anti-democratic behavior every chance they get. They can't rely on Stoopid R's to keep them in office by default. They have to stand for something clear and different than Death Panel Republicans like Cory Gardner and explain to voters in simple terms what the difference is.

    Atrios, for the kajillionth time:

    My concern about 2018 is that Dems will just try to ride a perceived Trump backlash into office. "Vote for the Dems because they are not Trump."

    I hope I am wrong, and that the health care votes at least give them an opening they're willing to be aggressive about, but even then it isn't enough to say "Republicans did a bad thing."

    "Vote for us and we will do a good thing" is what's needed.

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