In these times of escalating partisan rancor, it’s nice to know that we can all come together in a shared dislike of Tom Brady. 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…
► Congress this morning gave final approval to a $15 billion disaster relief package in the wake of Hurricane Harvey…just as Hurricane Irma prepares to throttle Florida. President Trump is apparently quite excited that his show of “bipartisanship” this week has attracted so much positive media coverage. As NBC News reports:
Trump expressed that he was thrilled with the positive news coverage the debt limit deal had received, a senior Democratic aide told NBC News.
“The people of the United States want to see a coming together, at least to an extent. We’re different parties, we have different thoughts, different feelings, different ideas. But I think you’re coming to see a much stronger coming together,” Trump told reporters at the White House Thursday.
Earlier in the day he said he looks forward to working with both Republicans and Democrats.
You’re a good wittle President, aren’t you? Yes, you are!
► Anyway, back to the hurricane news…As the New York Times reports, nearly the entire state of Florida is in danger from one of the strongest hurricanes ever recorded:
One of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes ever recorded crescendoed over the Caribbean on Thursday, crumpling islands better known as beach paradises into half-habitable emergency zones and sideswiping Puerto Rico before churning north. It is expected to hit the Florida Keys and South Florida by Saturday night…
…Gov. Rick Scott of Florida urged extreme caution in the face of a powerful storm that could quickly change course. “Every Florida family must prepare to evacuate regardless of the coast you live on,” he said.
Hurricane Irma is the size of France — like, the entire country. Miami could take a near-direct hit by Sunday morning.
► Congressman Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) has already dropped his plans to push a discharge petition for a House vote on DACA. As The Hill reports:
Coffman said he made an agreement with Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to hold off on gathering support for his discharge petition for the bill, which would extend protections under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for three years.
Coffman filed the discharge petition on Tuesday, which would need 218 signatures to trigger a House floor vote. Discharge petitions are typically used by the House minority party to bring attention to legislation ignored by the majority-party leadership — but are rarely successful.
For a member of the House majority like Coffman to file a discharge petition was an exceedingly rare move.
If you were cynical about Coffman’s newfound commitment to DACA, well, go ahead and say, “I told you so.”
Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman — Mike Coffman’s former spouse — doesn’t want any part of the controversy surrounding President Trump’s decision to end the DACA program for children of undocumented immigrants. Elsewhere, a group of 11 Democratic Governors are urging Congress to take swift action to assist DREAMERS.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► This was not a particularly good week for the GOP, as Chris Cillizza writes for CNN:
Amid the wall-to-wall coverage of Hurricane Irma and President Donald Trump’s stunning debt ceiling deal with Democrats, you almost certainly never heard these two names: Charlie Dent and Dave Reichert.
And, chances are, if you are a semi-normal person who doesn’t follow politics obsessively, you don’t recognize either man’s name.
But the retirement announcements of these two moderate Republican House members from competitive swing districts is, without question, the most important political development of the week — with potentially long-lasting consequences on Washington.
Why? Because both men represent an increasing abandonment of the current GOP by politicians in the ideological middle — or, as Dent put it in a statement released Thursday night announcing his retirement, the “governing wing” of the Republican Party.
The Washington Post has more on the strong words in Dent’s retirement announcement.
The infighting among Congressional Republicans is no doubt playing a significant role in Rep. Ken Buck’s looming announcement that he will leave his seat in CD-4 in order to run for Attorney General in 2018.
► Texas Rep. Mike McCaul appears to be a top candidate for the still-vacant post of Secretary of Homeland Security.
► The Trump administration on Thursday voiced its support for a Lakewood man who is taking his “gay wedding cake” case all the way to the Supreme Court.
► Colorado Lieutenant Gov. Donna Lynne announced on Thursday that she will indeed run for Governor in 2018. As John Frank of the Denver Post notes, there was a noticeable lack of excitement in the air:
— John Frank (@ByJohnFrank) September 7, 2017
► Colorado business leaders are looking at a 2018 ballot measure to fund much-needed transportation infrastructure upgrades. Right-wing conservatives in Colorado responded with their rote screaming about how we already have plenty of money, or something.
► The Colorado Supreme Court will soon hear arguments about its first case involving embryos.
► As Denver7 reports, Thornton residents are a bit concerned that an oil and gas company is planning to drill underneath Horizon High School:
“Oil and gas is something that used to happen far away from any homes and schools so we have concerns,” said school board president Kathy Plomer.
But they can’t say no. Despite owning the rights to the minerals underneath, oil and gas companies in Colorado have mineral rights if they can obtain them legally.
The line between the school and the site is just over a mile and the school board has no choice but take the leasing offer.
Sure, this makes lots of sense.
► Health insurance rates in Colorado are going up, and you can thank Congressional Republicans and President Trump for the uptick.
Republicans have managed to cause quite a bit of damage to Obamacare despite their inability to make any legislative progress on healthcare.
► Dan Elliott of the Associated Press examines why everything in the Western United States is on fire.
► Come on! Get fired up! Donate money to the State GOP like you’re not angry about Donald Trump.
OTHER LINKS YOU SHOULD CLICK
► Should redistricting/reapportionment be reconsidered in Colorado?
► Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos confirmed in an interview on Thursday that she will roll back Title IX guidelines.
► Recall? No thanks, say residents of Frederick, Colorado.