Go away, (Hurricane) Jose. 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…
► Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is introducing a “Medicare for All” healthcare plan today with significant support from well-known Senate Democrats. As the Washington Post reports:
Sanders’s bill, the Medicare for All Act of 2017, has no chance of passage in a Republican-run Congress. But after months of behind-the-scenes meetings and a public pressure campaign, the bill is already backed by most of the senators seen as likely 2020 Democratic candidates — if not by most senators facing tough reelection battles in 2018.
The bill would revolutionize America’s health-care system, replacing it with a public system that would be paid for by higher taxes. Everything from emergency surgery to prescription drugs, from mental health to eye care, would be covered, with no co-payments. Americans younger than 18 would immediately obtain “universal Medicare cards,” while Americans not currently eligible for Medicare would be phased into the program over four years. Employer-provided health care would be replaced, with the employers paying higher taxes but no longer on the hook for insurance.
Private insurers would remain, with fewer customers, to pay for elective treatments such as cosmetic surgery — a system similar to that in Australia, which President Trump has praised for having a “much better” insurance regimen than the United States.
Republicans will immediately point to projections showing big tax increases under such a plan, but Americans might actually end up saving money in this scenario because of the reduction or elimination of copays, premiums, and deductibles.
On Tuesday, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Cary Kennedy announced her support for a “Medicaid for All” proposal in Colorado.
► Jefferson County Republicans are mad as hell (at Republicans) and they’re not above issuing toothless threats to prove it! As Ernest Luning writes for the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman:
The Jefferson County Republican Party is demanding Congress immediately repeal the Affordable Care Act or, if it can’t, to elect new congressional leadership.
A strongly worded resolution adopted unanimously by the county party’s executive committee Monday night maintains that the failure of congressional Republicans to overturn the sweeping health care legislation known as Obamacare “has caused great consternation and angst among registered Republicans in Jefferson County” and put GOP candidates “in great election peril.”
The county party is giving Congress until Nov. 1 to “repeal the abominable legislation,” but if Republicans “fail to meet our demand … and continue in their deceit of the voters,” the Jefferson County GOP want different Republicans in charge of the House and Senate…
…“[I]t is imperative that we differentiate ourselves from the National GOP,” the county party wrote on Facebook Tuesday. “Otherwise, our local and state candidates will be painted with the same brush as the GOP in Washington. Those in Washington are not doing what they promised, and we intend to hold their feet to the fire.”
The irony is strong with this one. By unanimously demanding that Congress immediately repeal Obamacare, the Jefferson County Republican Party has painted every one of its 2018 candidates into a tight little corner.
► Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is in Colorado today touring schools, and will finish her visit with a visit to the Air Force Academy this afternoon.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► Democrats hoping that 2018 will be something of a “wave” election year have more reason to get excited after a couple of noteworthy election results yesterday. As Chris Cillizza writes for CNN:
On Tuesday night, Democrats flipped two Republican-held state legislative seats — one in Oklahoma, one in New Hampshire — that Donald Trump carried in the 2016 election.
That makes six turnovers from Republican to Democrat in contested state House and Senate races so far in 2017 — and 26 out of 35 races (at the state legislative and congressional level) in which the Democratic nominee has overperformed Hillary Clinton’s showing last November. (Worth noting: Republicans have yet to flip a Democratic-controlled seat so far this year.)…
…Republicans are doing all they can right now to convince wavering members to stick around for another term.
But, combine Trump’s unpopularity, historic midterm patterns for the president’s party and the early-warning signs in state legislative seat and that is looking like a tougher and tougher sell.
Here’s another interesting graphic on the number of open house seats for Republicans in 2018:
— Nate Cohn (@Nate_Cohn) September 12, 2017
► America faces many difficult questions these days, what with the hurricanes and the racism and the North Koreans. Congressional Republicans feel your pain, which is why they…want to make it easier to buy silencers for firearms?
As Politico reports:
Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) is renewing his controversial push to make it easier to buy gun silencers, a debate that had been postponed following the shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) in June.
Duncan included the silencer provision in a broader bill, the “Sportsmen Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act,” or SHARE Act. There are several gun-related items in the package, which is being marked up by the Natural Resources Committee this week…
…Under the 1934 National Firearms Act, silencers — also known as suppressors — are treated similarly to machine guns or explosives. The waiting time to purchase such devices is far longer than for handguns or other weapons, as much as nine months or more. Buyers must submit fingerprints and a photograph in order to purchase a silencer, and federal law enforcement agencies keep a record of who buys the devices. There is also a $200 transfer tax on silencers.
Duncan’s proposal would eliminate those requirements, as well as refunding the $200 transfer tax to anyone who has purchased a silencer since October 2015.
Silencers are already legal, but they require a longer waiting period because life isn’t a f***ing spy novel.
Colorado Rep. Scott Tipton (R-Cortez) is a co-sponsor of this absurd legislation.
► Congressman Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) is a walking contradiction on immigration issues, so it’s no surprise to see that he’s demonizing Democrats over DACA.
► Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos will be in Colorado this week as part of her first major tour of schools, and she’ll bring plenty of controversy along. As Chalkbeat reports:
The Education Department declined to identify which Colorado schools — public or private — DeVos will visit, saying that announcement will come Tuesday. Multiple school districts, charter school networks and education advocates contacted by Chalkbeat said they were unaware of any pending visit by DeVos.
The tour — which begins Tuesday in Wyoming and will include stops in Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri and Indiana in addition to Colorado — aims to highlight “groundbreaking work happening in schools across America.”
DeVos is facing widespread criticism for many of her proposals, including a recent plan to scrap Title IX.
► It’s a good thing that you must be at least 18-years-old to vote in Michigan. Potential Senate candidate Kid Rock’s vulgar speechifying would not be appropriate for children.
► Elected officials in Colorado are turning on the charm in an effort to convince Amazon.com to build a “second headquarters” in the Denver Metro area.
► The Board of Trustees for the town of Erie voted on Tuesday to require oil and gas companies to map flowlines for pipelines in the area. As the Boulder Daily Camera reports:
It will require operators to provide maps of existing and new flow lines — a process similar to how traditional development is proposed, allowing for municipalities to eventually file injunctions on operating wells if operators were unwilling to provide maps, according to attorneys specializing in oil and gas matters.
Because the ordinance falls within the town’s land-use code, it was required to filter through the town’s typical development procedures, officials say. Erie’s Planning Commission approved an early draft of the ordinance last month.
Some tweaks were made to the ordinance prior to the vote, which followed a roughly a 1 ½ -hour executive session held specifically for the ordinance. The date to enact the measure was changed to Oct. 31, and will give operators until that date to remove flow lines in violation “if such a removal is practicable” by that date, officials said.
► The Supreme Court handed President Trump a partial victory on his Muslim Travel Ban policy. The Supremes blocked a lower court ruling that would have exempted about 24,000 refugees from the travel ban.
► President Trump doesn’t offer any real specifics in regards to his desire to overhaul the tax system, but that doesn’t mean he won’t get mad at Congress for not moving fast enough on the issue.
► Lieutenant Governor
Facepalm Donna Lynne continues to have trouble articulating much of anything when it comes to her campaign for Governor. As the Colorado Independent reports:
In an interview, she pushed back gently against her candidacy as Hick 2.0, a third-term extension of the current governor’s two-term reign, but she wasn’t defensive about it.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity he gave me, but I do think there’s some issues that we have got to tackle and that are going to get harder and harder as we go through the next couple of years,” she said.
When asked if the two ever diverged on policy, she said, “I can’t think of an issue that we’ve differed on, honestly.”
If you’re trying to convince Democratic voters that you are not just an extension of current Gov. John Hickenlooper, it would probably help to be able to explain some sort of difference. Alas, this was not the only FAIL from her interview with the Independent:
…she said she could not recall who she voted for in the 2004 presidential primary, but thinks it was probably John Edwards. She said she couldn’t recall whether she voted for Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton in the 2008 primary.
The 2008 Democratic Primary was historic, with the chance to nominate either the first woman or the first African-American to top the ticket for President. Surely Lynne remembers who she supported.
► Recreational marijuana sales in Colorado surpassed $100 million for the month of July.