Get More Smarter on Tuesday (October 3)

Nothing shows compassion more than stupid budget jokes. 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…

► Colorado Senate Republicans pledged not to do their jobs when the legislature convened for a brief session to fix an unintentional error in SB-267, and that’s exactly what happened on Monday. The editorial board of the Denver Post blasted Republicans for their petty response to a fixable problem:

Colorado’s Republican lawmakers blew off responsibility on the first day of a special legislative session Monday, when three GOP lawmakers cast a spiteful, obstructionist vote to score political points and punish innocent government entities with small but significant erroneous budget cuts.

Clearly, the three Republican senators who cast that very vote on Monday, signaling the end to the October special session just as it began, don’t have an answer for their scorn-worthy actions…

..Certainly, Republicans were entitled to complain about how Gov. John Hickenlooper failed to consult with many GOP leaders before calling a rare special session. Hickenlooper even provided them with additional fodder, floating an ill-conceived proposal that the special districts hurt by the error pay for the $25,000 a day it would cost to bring lawmakers back early.

But once gathered in the Capitol for the work of the people, none of that background noise justifies blocking the simple-fix legislation. [Pols emphasis]

Blair Miller of Denver7 has more on the partisan bickering from Monday. The special session could essentially come to an end today when Senate Republicans kill a House-sponsored fix to SB-267.

 

Colorado lawmakers reacted to the shooting massacre in Las Vegas, with Rep. Jared Polis (D-Boulderish) calling on Congress to react swiftly to the deadliest mass shooting in American history. As Ernest Luning writes for the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman:

U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, a Boulder Democrat, on Monday urged Congress to pass stricter gun control measures in the wake of a mass shooting overnight in Las Vegas that left at least 58 people dead and more than 500 injured.

“I am devastated and horrified, but not shocked,” said Polis in a statement. “Mass shootings must not become the new normal. While I am praying for the victims and everyone affected, I am also calling on my fellow members of Congress to act. If not now, when? We can save lives while protecting our Second Amendment rights.”

Polis’ comments echo those of Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy, who previously served as a Congressman in the district where the Sandy Hook shootings took place in 2012. Said Murphy on Monday:

“It is positively infuriating that my colleagues in Congress are so afraid of the gun industry that they pretend there aren’t public policy responses to this epidemic. There are, and the thoughts and prayers of politicians are cruelly hollow if they are paired with continued legislative indifference. It’s time for Congress to get off its ass and do something.” [Pols emphasis]

Elsewhere, Las Vegas native Jimmy Kimmel delivered an emotional monologue on Monday to open his Jimmy Kimmel Live! television show.

On a more positive note, blood donations in Colorado saw a huge increase in response to the Las Vegas shooting.

 

► President Trump is in Puerto Rico today and is mighty proud of himself for responding to calls for help in the wake of Hurricane Maria. As the Washington Post explains:

President Trump praised himself for the “great job” he claims his administration has done in responding to the hurricane that decimated Puerto Rico last month, speaking as he prepared to depart for his first visit to the devastated island territory.

But Trump’s comments — and his trip to Puerto Rico — come nearly two weeks after Hurricane Maria first ravaged the island, and the president will touch down in San Juan amid harsh criticism of the administration’s slow response to the natural disaster.

Trump’s highly scripted visit will include a briefing on relief efforts, a meeting with senior military personnel — as well as with Govs. Ricardo Rosselló of Puerto Rico and Kenneth Mapp of the U.S. Virgin Islands — and an opportunity to visit with people impacted by the storm and the Navy and Marine Corps.

The president, who will be accompanied by the first lady, is not expected to stray far from San Juan, Puerto Rico’s capital and largest city, where recovery is furthest along.

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…

 

► Between the news coverage of the chaos in Puerto Rico and the mass shooting in Las Vegas, you might have missed this disheartening news out of Washington D.C.: Congress has allowed federal funding for CHIP to lapse. As the Denver Post reports:

Congress just let expire federal funding for a program that provides low-cost health insurance to 9 million children, at least 75,000 of whom live in Colorado.

Colorado officials said they still have enough unspent federal aid to continue the program through the end of January, but if the program is not renewed by then many children will not be able to see their doctor or get their immunizations. The Children’s Health Insurance Program also currently provides insurance to 800 pregnant women in Colorado, state officials said.

In a letter to Colorado’s congressional delegation, nearly 80 advocates of the program, including the Colorado Hospital Association, urged renewal of the program.

“CHIP, partnered with Medicaid, has given Colorado the two-pronged approach it needed to help increase coverage for kids, driving the percent of uninsured Colorado kids to an all-time low of only 2.5 percent,” their letter states.

That letter also warns that if the federal program isn’t renewed, Colorado would lose out on $254 million in annual federal funding. “That’s a hole in the state budget that Colorado won’t be able to close due to constitutionally imposed tax and spending limitations,” it continues.

 

► House Speaker Paul Ryan says that there are no plans (currently) to bring to the floor legislation that would legalize silencers for guns and rifles.

 

► Lawmakers can do more to help prevent the kind of massacre that took place in Las Vegas on Sunday night…they just aren’t doing it.

 

► The Supreme Court takes up the case of gerrymandering in a redistricting case centered around map-drawing in Wisconsin.

 

► As the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports, President Trump’s choice to lead the government’s mine safety agency is a former executive with a mining company — wait for it — that was often criticized for poor mine safety.

 

► Democratic candidates for Attorney General in Colorado responded to news of the Las Vegas shooting.

 

► Speaking of Attorney General candidates, Democrat Phil Wiser continues to rake in money at a record pace:

Weiser broke a record he set in the last fundraising quarter, raking in $368,000 for the quarter that ended Sept. 30, his campaign announced Tuesday. It’s more money than any attorney general candidate has raised in a quarter since the imposition of strict campaign finance limits on Colorado races following the 2002 election cycle.

The former CU Law School dean and one-time Obama administration official plans to report roughly $679,000 cash on hand, his campaign said. Campaign finance reports are due to the Colorado secretary of state Oct. 16.

Weiser set the previous off-year fundraising record in the last quarter, ending June 30, when he reported just under $360,000 in contributions. He also reported raising more in the 2nd Quarter than any other statewide candidate, including candidates running in both parties’ primaries for governor.

Those are impressive numbers for a statewide race with contribution limits of just $1,150 per person.

 

The first payouts from a settlement over health and safety concerns related to the former Rocky Flats nuclear weapons site are being distributed this month. 

 

 Facebook says that Russian-generated ads in the 2016 election cycle reached an estimated 10 million Americans.

 

► Colorado Springs officials are proposing a higher budget in 2018 because of an increase in sales tax collections.

 

► Maine Senator Susan Collins, a Republican whose opposition to draconian healthcare cuts helped stop recent Obamacare repeals in Congress, is considering a run for Governor in 2020.

 

Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

 

► Like most every proposal that comes out of the White House, President Trump’s tax reform policy would be particularly harmful to residents of states that backed Trump in 2016.

 

► The U.S. State Department is expelling 15 Cuban diplomats in response to a bizarre string of unexplained injuries to Americans in Cuba over the last several months.

 

► Oh, look! More personal email accounts are being uncovered that are used for official business by Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump.

ICYMI

► Some high-profile Colorado Republicans are pushing for Arapahoe District Attorney George Brauchler to resign from office while he seeks the Republican gubernatorial nomination in 2018.

 

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