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May 31, 2017 09:55 AM UTC

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (May 31)

  • 26 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

And that’s that for the month of May. Hope it was good to you. 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.

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► President Trump is expected to withdraw the United States from participating in the Paris Climate Agreement. As CNN reports, this is not good:

The decision, which will be announced this week, would put the US at odds with nearly every other nation on earth. It would reflect a major reversal of the Obama administration’s efforts on climate change. And it could trigger further efforts to erode the landmark climate agreement.

The precise mechanism for withdrawal hasn’t yet been determined, and White House officials cautioned the plans could change until Trump makes his decision public. But in conversations over the past week, Trump has made clear he plans to fulfill his campaign promises to withdraw.

The administration’s decision comes after months of internal debate and speculation about what Trump, who campaigned on leaving the deal, would do once he took office. Trump faced intense pressure on both sides, including from his senior advisers and family.

The White House was initially slated to make a final decision on the climate accord earlier this month, but delayed the decision until the G7 meeting in Sicily. At the summit, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters the climate debate was “controversial” and that the leaders of the other G7 nations — France, Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom and Italy — all urged Trump to remain a part of the 2015 agreement.

As the Washington Post notes, a decision on the Paris Climate Agreement will not make everyone happy in Trump’s administration:

The decision over the Paris climate agreement has deeply divided the Administration, with Ivanka Trump and the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urging the president to remain in the deal and White House strategist Steve Bannon and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt pushing for a withdrawal.

 

► Senator Michael Bennet (D-Denver) will hold a town hall meeting tonight in La Junta, Colorado. On Tuesday, Bennet toured a research facility at Colorado State University in Ft. Collins.

Meanwhile, Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) held a town-hall meeting of his own…in South Korea.

 

► As Politico reports, the investigation into Russian ties to the Trump administration is making it difficult for the White House to fill out its staff roster:

Potential hires are paying close attention to the expanding investigations, which have now begun to touch senior Trump aides, with some questioning whether they want to join the administration.

Four people who work closely with prospective nominees told POLITICO that some potential hires are having second thoughts about trying to land executive branch appointments as federal and congressional investigations threaten to pose a serious distraction to Trump’s agenda.

“It’s an additional factor that makes what was an already complicated process of staffing the government even harder,” said Max Stier, head of the Partnership for Public Service, which has advised the Trump transition on hiring.

According to the nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service, the White House has announced nominees for just 117 of the 559 most important Senate-confirmed positions.

That trails the records of Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, who had each nominated about twice as many people by this point in the first year of their first terms.

Apparently the prospect of jail time is not an attractive benefit option. Perhaps Reince Priebus would be better off without a job.

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…

► Yeah, well, get in line.

Pueblo County officials want Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs) to just go away. From the Pueblo Chieftain:

Pueblo County officials bristled upon learning that Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., is lobbying the Environmental Protection Agency to drop its water quality lawsuit against Colorado Springs.

Pueblo County Commission Chairman Terry Hart said Lamborn has played no role in the years of negotiations between Colorado Springs and county officials over stormwater controls, adding: “He should stay the heck out of it.”

Lamborn, from Colorado Springs, told a Denver newspaper last week that he’s spoken to new EPA Director Scott Pruitt twice about dropping the agency’s 2016 lawsuit that claims the city isn’t adequately monitoring Fountain Creek for contaminated stormwater runoff.

If it makes you feel any better, Pueblo, we’re still just talking about Doug Lamborn here.

 

► Congressman Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) is speaking out over the suicide of a Colorado Springs Marine who may have been denied appropriate mental health care from the Veteran’s Administration.

 

► The U.S. Supreme Court once again passed on a case involving a Lakewood cake shop owner who refused to bake a cake for a gay wedding. From the Denver Post:

The case was excluded from an order list released by the high court; making it the ninth time the justices have postponed a decision on the petition by Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips, according to court watchers at SCOTUSblog.

Tuesday’s move isn’t the final word, however. The Supreme Court could decide as soon as next month whether it wants to referee a case the Colorado Supreme Court declined to hear last year.

 

► White House staffers are learning that the best way to keep their jobs is to heap praise — deserved or not — upon President Trump.

 

Donald Trump’s Twitter account, which may or may not be making autonomous decisions about the fate of the free world, is no longer worried about using actual words. From CNN:

At 12:06 a.m. ET, the President of the United States tweeted this: “Despite the constant negative press covfefe.”

By 6 a.m., that tweet had been deleted. Shortly after, Trump tweeted this: “Who can figure out the true meaning of “covfefe” ??? Enjoy!”

Yes, this is fairly inane, but as Chris Cillizza writes for CNN, it is instructive nevertheless:

While spending time trying, as Trump suggested, to figure out what “covfefe” means is a waste, it’s far more worthwhile to take a big step back and look at the situation that leads to the President of the United States tweeting, poorly, at 12:06 a.m. about the bad press he gets.

What we have today — and, really, what we have had since the day Trump came into the White House — is a deeply isolated President who spends lots of time, particularly at night and in the early morning, watching TV and tweeting.
That lack of discipline reveals that there is simply no one who can tell Trump “no.” Or at least no one whom he will listen to.

 

► As Ernest Luning reports for the Colorado Statesman, Democrat Levi Tillemann maintains that he is still just window shopping when it comes to considering a run for Congress in CD-6.

 

► Governor John Hickenlooper has signed a bill marking what was perhaps the biggest legislative victory of the 2017 session. As John Frank explains for the Denver Post:

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper on Tuesday signed into a law a far-reaching spending bill that averts a $528 million cut in payments to hospitals, generates $1.9 billion for transportation projects by mortgaging state buildings and lowers the state’s spending cap by $200 million.

The measure became the capstone of the 2017 legislation session and won approval just before the General Assembly adjourned May 10.

The Democratic governor signed the legislation at a high school in Fowler, one of the Eastern Plains communities expected to benefit from provisions that earmark 25 percent of the transportation spending and $30 million in new money for classrooms in rural areas.

 

► The NATIONAL archives of the Libertarian Party are now being held in Colorado.

 

► As Cathy Proctor reports for the Denver Business Journal, oil and gas companies are facing a deadline today to report results of safety inspections on wells throughout the state.

 

► We don’t need to worry about Climate Change. Michigan Republican Rep. Tim Walberg says that “God” will take care of us if Climate Change turns out to be a real threat.

 

OTHER LINKS YOU SHOULD CLICK

► President Trump is mad at Germany now.

 

► Here’s more news on the status of the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument in Colorado. 

ICYMI

 If we don’t talk about the Colorado Rockies, we can’t possibly jinx their season.

 

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

Comments

26 thoughts on “Get More Smarter on Wednesday (May 31)

  1. It's "May", Pols……..let's not go all Trump on your dedicated readers and commenters.

    Wait, we might use this time warp to our advantage!

  2. Smarter or Business as Usual at the DNC?

    The DNC claims:

    • the charter authorizes them to pick a candidate in a proverbial cigar smoke-filled backroom.
    • “impartiality” is so vague a concept that DNC officials can, with impunity, take actions to favor whichever candidate they wish.
    • impartiality is a “political promise”, and we all know those are worth squat amiright?

    What then, is the purpose of the entire primary charade?

    To give Democrats the illusion that they have an actual say in who heads the ticket? To lull us into believing Democrats actually stand for democracy?

    Does anyone at the DNC understand what calls for “unity” look like in this light?

    Does anyone at the DNC understand what this argument does to their credibility in the future?

    Does anyone at the DNC understand what happens when politicians break a “political promise”?

    This is how you react when lawyers, accountants and soulless DNC Chairs wield the power given to them by citizens, voters, and activists. And all it will lead to is more losses to a vile and destructive Republican party. 

    1. At ground level, at the county offices, Democrats are good, moral people with whom I share goals. When I think they're wrong, we can talk about it. There are a lot of good progressive candidates in training now, idealists wanting to run for office. So I'll work with Dems locally. I'll register voters, even though most people are too scared of being sued to do that now.

      At the national level, I just don't trust the DNC's decisions. I can't get over their keeping the Wasserman-Schultz rollback on corporate contributions and lobbyist superdelegates. Obama banned that shit in his first year in office…and Debbie W/S put in back in as soon as she could.

      Then, in a year when all the talk was of billionaires and economic inequality, when DNC officials knew how important this was to the very voters they wanted to motivate – the DNC got rid of the Obama policies and rolled out the welcome mat for corporations and lobbyists. But the DNC wants to tell me that my little vote is just as important as a corporate "person" who can contribute $400,000 on the down-low, or bundle a bunch of donors together. Yeah, right. We're all equal, comrades, but some are more equal than others.

      I wish we had a real alternative. Most young people these days choose to be unaffiliated. They rallied for Bernie, but then many of them either didn't vote, or were prevented from voting by intentional voter suppression.

      The planet's at a tipping point. Democracy's endangered. Our government is in a Trumpsterfire. So we don't have an alternative. We have to register voters, keep on marching, keep writing letters and blog posts, keep resisting. If a third party or independent / unaffiliated candidate comes along that can catch fire with the masses of disenchanted voters, than we could start to turn this around.Otherwise, we're kind of stuck with the corporations influencing the Democratic party.

  3. So we're standing strong on climate; alone on the world stage with Syria and Nicaragua. Winning. Bigly. Believe me.

    PS: Nicaragua refused to sign the Accord because they wanted a more stringent agreement. 

    1. Michael, So that means our sole ally is Assad's Syria? The country we recently launched 59 Tomahawk missiles at for using WMD's (Sarin gas) on its own people. I'm sure we can count on them.

    2. I have no idea how withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement makes America great again.  It is basically surrender of the great economic innovations of the future.

      1. Withdrawing totally from the TPP turned over economic leadership in the Western Pacific to China. That doesn't make the US great again either. Assuming of course that we've always been great and saying we're not is just a Trump lie.

      2. I think we can partly thank our Governor, who through his overt (and unnecessary) sympathy for Colorado's Poor Put-upon Gas and Oil Extractors, enabled and encouraged Republicans' antagonism to progress and the environment, new technology and jobs created by the new economy. Hick encouraged their atavism and fear mongering so he could look reasonable and be praised by the likes of Chris Cilizza, (now we know why CPols quotes CC all the time).

        But triangulation has proved to be a failed strategy and philosophy of governing, and siding with corporate hegemony over the democratic citizenry is a formula for defeat for Democrats.

          1. and Kennedy and FDR.  Every Democrat who has ever been involved with the party is indicted by Zap.  Damn them for not being free radicals with no responsibilities.

              1. Why – because you disagree with him, he must not be real? You disagree with me – Am I "real"?

                There are many ways to marginalize people, many ways not to listen. "All or nothing" thinking is one of the easiest (and laziest) ways.

                To answer your point, Zap's critique of Democratic institutions and politicians is to push them to be more democratic, more responsive to people's needs.

                Carnegie's critique is to push readers to become disgusted, cynical, say, "They're all the same lying hypocrites", and give up on change.

                When you conflate the two, it serves Carnegie's agenda more than Zap's.

                 

                1. Not serving Zap's agenda is a good thing.  In college, we called it "governing."

                  But he's a zealot.  Carnholio is a shill.  By comparison, Zappy is at least honest.

                2. The old CPols blogging tool allowed a signature line.  I'd love to use your excellent comment:

                  Carnegie's critique is to push readers to become disgusted, cynical, say, "They're all the same lying hypocrites", and give up on change.

      1. C.H.B. – Nicaragua is on course to be 90% renewables by 2020. They didn't believe the PA was aggressive enough. I just saw a story in my Twittter feed that reports there is now pressure on the Nicaraguan gov't to sign the accord as they don't want to be on the same side as Trump on this issue. Who says TwoScoops isn't a uniter?!?

  4. Shareholders force ExxonMobil to come clean on cost of climate change

    Some 62% of shareholders voted for the resolution and against Exxon’s management at the company’s annual meeting in Dallas, Texas. The vote to more clearly report how climate change impacts Exxon’s business comes as investors are increasingly demanding companies disclose the likely impact of global warming and follows the passing of similar proposals at two smaller energy companies earlier this month.

    Edward Mason, head of responsible investment at Church Commissioners for England, which led the vote, said shareholders were showing how out of step the Trump administration had become on climate change. “Trump is acting contrary to Wall Street and the world’s largest investors,” he said. “Climate change is a material financial risk and shareholders want to know how companies will manage the change to a low carbon economy.”

  5. I can't   say I blame anyone who says "Thanks but no." to a White House job offer. I wouldn't touch this Sad-ministration with a 10-foot Pole or a 5-foot Irishman.   

    1. WTC?  How the covfefe is Drumpf supposed to be taken seriously (as the bigliest charlatan poser of forever in history) without a regal stable of gilded toad-eaters???

      ("Get me Scott Baio, NOW, Pencey . . . !")

  6. Paul Ryan has a challenger, perhaps one of many. David Yankovich is a regular guy, in real estate, a blogger and writer, has no governing experience. He announced today.

    Yankovich has a compelling personal story about why he decided to take on Ryan. Like our own Cowardly Cory, Petrified Paul refuses to meet with his constituents, but is promoting policies which will make his constituent's lives much harder.

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