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June 19, 2017 12:31 PM UTC

Get More Smarter on Monday (June 19)

  • by: Colorado Pols

For those of you who insist that summer doesn’t really begin until the Summer Solstice, enjoy your last day of Spring. 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.



► The Supreme Court announced on Monday that it will consider a partisan gerrymandering case that could have significant repercussions on future elections. From the Washington Post:

The justices regularly are called to invalidate state electoral maps that have been illegally drawn to reduce the influence of racial minorities by depressing the impact of their votes.

But the Supreme Court has never found a plan unconstitutional because of partisan gerrymandering. If it does, it would have a revolutionary impact on the reapportionment that comes after the 2020 election and could come at the expense of Republicans, who control the process in the majority of states.

The court accepted a case from Wisconsin, where a divided panel of three federal judges last year ruled last year that the state’s Republican leadership in 2011 pushed through a plan so partisan that it violated the Constitution’s First Amendment and equal rights protections.

There’s plenty of analysis on the news available throughout the Internet tubes. Here’s a particularly-helpful piece from The Atlantic.

Gill v. Whitford is the name of the case your kids may someday read about in history books.


► Senate Republicans continue to secretly debate their own Trumpcare bill, and while the news about pending votes has been conflicting, the data is piling up in opposition. According to a new report from the Center for American Progress:

Republican health care plans, including the House-passed American Health Care Act (AHCA), would repeal taxes on the wealthy, including the Net Investment Income Tax (NIIT)—a tax on combined capital gain, dividend, and interest income applicable to individuals making more than $200,000 or couples filing jointly making more than $250,000 in adjusted gross income. This tax cut is paid for by eliminating health insurance coverage for millions of low- and moderate-income Americans. Approximately 90 percent of the benefit of repealing this tax goes to the top 1 percent of households.

The Center for American Progress estimates that 271,500 Coloradans would lose healthcare coverage by 2026 under current Republican plans — while anyone earning more than $1 million per year would see an average tax cut of $38,341. These figures are one of many reasons why a bipartisan group of Governors is asking Congress to scrap the Republican healthcare bill.


►Meanwhile, Politico reports that Senate Democrats are getting more aggressive in pushing back against Trumpcare plans:

Democrats will grind Senate business to a halt in a protest against Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare.

Beginning Monday night, Democrats will start objecting to all unanimous consent requests in the Senate, according to a Democratic aide. They plan to control the floor of the chamber Monday night and try to force the House-passed health care bill to committee in a bid to further delay it.

Without the votes to block Obamacare repeal, Democrats are turning to procedural moves they believe will underscore their most powerful argument: Republicans are hiding their repeal plan from the public and using Senate procedures to keep it a secret.

The bell tolls for theeCory Gardner. As a headline from Denver7 succinctly explains: “Gardner reneges on transparency concerns as Colo. Dems, bipartisan governors call for AHCA changes.”

It’s also a fair question to ask whether or not Gardner even understands whatever secret legislation the Senate is crafting.


► The seemingly-interminable special election for a House seat in Georgia will finally come to a conclusion on Tuesday. As the Washington Post reports, last week’s shooting at a Congressional baseball game in Washington D.C. has further complicated an already perplexing situation.



Get even more smarter after the jump…


► “Protect Our Care Colorado” is organizing large-scale Trumpcare protests for June 22 at local offices of Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma).


► President Trump’s announcement on Friday that he plans to tighten interactions with Cuba was met with differing opinions from Colorado lawmakers.


► Political observers have a new acronym to remember: NACB.


► Local officials have received assurances from federal honchos that funding for a Superfund site in Southwest Colorado will continue. From the Durango Herald:

Officials from La Plata and San Juan counties and Durango were assured last week during meetings in the nation’s Capitol that funding for the Superfund site near Silverton would continue.

The group met with elected delegates and Environmental Protection Agency officials because President Donald Trump cut the budget for Superfund, a nationwide environmental cleanup program, by 25 percent.

Durango City Councilor Dean Brookie said the meeting was successful and that everyone was on board for the continued financial support of the project to clean the Animas River watershed.

“We wanted to make sure the EPA continued to provide a revenue stream for this particular Superfund,” Brookie said. “It was great to talk to each one of those folks and get a resounding yes.”


► Republican state Sen. Kevin Lundberg says he is not considering another run for Congress in CD-2, but he is contemplating joining the ever-growing list of Republicans who want to be the GOP nominee for State Treasurer.


► Republican Attorney General Cynthia Coffman was a very visible presence at Denver’s annual PrideFest parade. As Ernest Luning reports for the publication formally known as the Colorado Statesman:

Coffman, the lone Republican on a stage filled with Democratic elected officials and candidates, told the crowd she could also be the only Republican attorney general in the country taking part in an LGBT pride event.

“I’m not positive — I need to research this — but I think I may be the only Republican attorney general in the country who walks in a Pride parade, and if that is true, I’m going to be challenging all of my colleagues to do this, because there’s no reason why we all shouldn’t be out here,” Coffman said at a rally at the state Capitol after marching down East Colfax Avenue in the annual PrideFest Parade.


► President Trump seems like he really wants to duke it out over allegations of collusion involving the Russians and his 2016 Presidential campaign.




► The Trump administration rescinded an Obama-era rule last week that would have been good news for thousands of people living in Colorado. From the Denver Post:

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly on Thursday ended Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA. The program that would have protected from deportation the parents of citizens and other legal permanent residents, never took effect because of court challenges.

The Migration Policy Institute, a nonprofit Washington-based think tank that studies immigration, estimated that in 2013 Denver County had 14,000 people eligible for the program. The organization estimated 22,000 were eligible across the metro area.

Participants had to meet conditions, including a history free of serious crimes, to be eligible.


► Just read the lede in this story from The Huffington Post on Senate healthcare discussions:

Senate Republicans are hurling themselves toward passing an incredibly unpopular set of health care reforms that even they don’t understand, haven’t seen and likely won’t see until just before it hits the floor.


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



12 thoughts on “Get More Smarter on Monday (June 19)

  1. A Republican contractor’s database of nearly every voter was left exposed on the Internet for 12 days, researcher says

    A Republican analytics firm's database of nearly every registered American voter was left vulnerable to theft on a public server for 12 days this month, according to a cybersecurity researcher who found and downloaded the trove of data.

    The lapse in security was striking for putting at risk the identities, voting histories and views of voters across the political spectrum, with data drawn from a wide range of sources including social media, public government records and proprietary polling by political groups.

    1. When it mentions voter history it doesn't mean that it tells who you vote for. It just states when your ballot was received if you voted. No one is disclosing your vote.

      1. No, that information is basically contained in the rest of the database through its vast wealth of voter preference data. They might not know what your ballot said, but they know how often you voted in Republican primaries, who you paid money to support, what issues you might have chatted up in public on Facebook or here at CP, and how you answered that phone survey last year…

        The data is supposedly a compilation of many different Republican and public sources of data; it's most of what the GOP knows about every voter in the country. Conveniently available for whatever enterprising group might want to micro-target political propaganda. Something the FBI wants to know… how did the Russians get such accurate targeting data for their interference last year?

  2. For Colorado, you can go to the Secretary of State and get the same information for a fee. Both parties do it. That's how you get those wonderful robo calls and emails for donations. Not a big deal, really.

    1. Well, except what you said isn't quite true.  The data that were available contained considerable amounts of modeled data as well.  Now, the accuracy of those data rely on the quality of the Republican models, of course, and included models of issue positions, racial and ethic affiliations, and, yes, who they think you voted for.

      Calculated for 198 million potential voters, this adds up to a spreadsheet of 9.5 billion modeled probabilities, for questions ranging from how likely it is the individual voted for Obama in 2012, to whether they agree with the Trump foreign policy of “America First,” to how likely they are to be concerned with auto manufacturing as an issue, among others.


      The spreadsheet is an impressive deployment of analytical might. However, while each potential voter is signified by their 32-character RNC internal ID, it is a one-step process to determine the real name associated with the modeled policy preferences, as the aforementioned “Contact File” also exposed in the database links the RNC ID to the potential voter’s actual identity.

  3. Regarding the Georgia CD6 election — this article places the race in an interesting context:

    The 15 Best-Educated Districts in the U.S., and Why It Matters in the Georgia Race

    Nate Cohn @Nate_Cohn JUNE 19, 2017

    Across the country, there are only 15 congressional districts where at least half of adults have a college degree.

    The list includes plenty of caricatures of the liberal elite: “limousine liberals”; “Hollywood liberals”; “latte liberals”; “San Francisco liberals”; “Massachusetts liberals”; and the “D.C. establishment.”

    It also includes Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District, where a special election on Tuesday has been held up as the first big litmus test of Democratic strength in the Trump era. Education explains why the race is competitive at all.

    [Trump's]  losses — the voters who switched from Mr. Romney to Hillary Clinton — were largest in well-educated but traditionally Republican areas like Georgia’s Sixth.

  4. Was his legislative assistant whispering into his ear advice on how to answer her question? Did he not already know that the committee he chaired was not holding hearings on the McConnell Care bill?

    I wonder if Orin has stayed too long at the fair…. Maybe it's a good thing the Utah Republicans are grooming Mittens to run for Hatch's seat.


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