Friday Open Thread

“In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.”

–Yogi Berra

Colo GOP Leaders Hosting Vaccine Summit at Capitol With National Anti-Vaxx Group

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Two Colorado Republican legislative leaders are hosting an all-day “Vaccine & Health Summit” at the state capitol on Monday, Oct. 28. The event features representatives from the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), which says it’s “dedicated to preventing vaccine injuries and death,” and has been described as “the most powerful anti-vaccine organization in America.” NVIC promotes the debunked claim that vaccines cause autism.

Monday’s summit is the third and final “Vaccines & Health Choice” event hosted at the state capitol by Saine and Marble. The last one, on Sept. 20, featured an anti-vaccine doctor from Colorado Springs. He suggested that families could send samples of their children’s blood to schools to prove their “natural immunity” in place of required vaccinations. That event also included NVIC Executive Director Theresa Wrangham of Boulder, who will also participate in Monday’s panel.

NVIC has received criticism for spreading dangerous misinformation about vaccines, including via a billboard in New York City’s Times Square. NVIC has also continued to push a discredited academic research paper that has since been determined to be fraudulent.

(more…)

Buck Says Democrats Should Join Him on the High Road and Oppose Impeachment

(“The high road?” — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

At a political moment when even the most somnolent people are wondering why more Republicans aren’t ripping Trump, Colorado Congressman Ken Buck was repeatedly attacked by KNUS host Randy Corporon yesterday for not supporting Trump sufficiently because, among other things, he didn’t cosponsor the resolution censoring Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) for his satirical comments about Trump.

Buck, a Republican, said the Schiff’s alleged lapse didn’t rise to the level required for censure.

The radio host sharply disagreed–and so did another KNUS host, Chuck Bonniwell, who called Buck’s response to Corporon “pathetic.”

But the strangest part of the Buck’s KNUS interview came later when, in an oh-my-god-crazy false equivalency, Buck told Corporon he’d use his “principled” stance on the Schiff censure to shame Democrats into joining him later in not voting for impeachment, which is based, among other things, on blackmailing a foreign power to investigate political opponents.

“I have gone to Democratic colleagues,” said Buck on air, “and I’ve said to those Democratic colleagues, ‘Listen, I didn’t co-sponsor this censure motion because this is not censurable conduct. The president, and you know it, has not engaged in impeachable conduct. And I hope you remember the principled people on our side of the aisle who did not support this censure motion when it comes time to vote on impeachment, because impeachment is something that is far greater — in significance — to the integrity of this country and the process and frankly, historically significant, that any censure motion.’
“And I will continue to take the high road. And I will continue to talk to my Democrat colleagues and appeal. Now, not all of them. There are some of them that are gone, and, you know, they talked about impeachment before this president ever signed a single bill into law. But many of them are having a lot of doubts about this process. And frankly, the American people are having a lot of doubts about the impeachment process, the way the Democrats are going about it, as well as the substance of what they’re bringing out.”

At the end of the interview, Corporon essentially told Buck to toss civility, rationality and principles out the window and back Trump, no matter what.

“What Republican leadership is doing is trying to change the president when in fact, the message that should be garnered from the president’s victory and the president’s success so far is that you can’t do politics as usual anymore,” advised Corporon. “You can’t try and play to the middle in order to win elections. Being polite and civil in these debates, when you’ve got an Alinsky-fueled left that is so crazed right now, because they just can’t believe that Hillary Clinton is not the president of the United States — neither can she.  Are Republicans learning the message that Donald Trump is providing on what it takes to actually win in the 21st century?”

Buck Protests “Closed” Hearing He Should Have Just Attended


Colorado GOP chairman Rep. Ken Buck (R).

The dust has barely settled on yesterday’s bizarre stunt pulled by some two dozen House Republicans, in which members barged into a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) in the basement of the Capitol and refused to leave–delaying the testimony of a Defense Department official in the continuing impeachment hearings against President Donald Trump for five hours and creating a media spectacle in hope of squelching explosive testimony the day before from the acting ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor.

There was some confusion yesterday about who among the Colorado Republican congressional delegation took part in the protest. Rep. Doug Lamborn of Colorado Springs was reportedly part of a “relief supply” operation, bringing pizza and Chick-fil-A sandwiches to keep the protesting congressmen fat and happy during their five-hour occupation. And after this Tweet from Rep. Ken Buck of Greeley, who moonlights as the chairman of the Colorado Republican Party, many assumed that Buck was inside the SCIF as well:

But as it turns out:

A representative for Rep. Ken Buck, who’s on the Foreign Affairs Committee and was listed as a lawmaker who planned to attend, told BuzzFeed News that Buck did not attend but tweeted criticism of the closed testimony.

This confirmation that Rep. Buck was not part of the group who “stormed” the SCIF does settle some of the questions about consequences he might have faced for barging into a secure area of the Capitol, which many Republican members apparently did carrying their unsecured personal electronics with them in a big no-no violation of the rules. As a former assistant U.S. Attorney and county prosecutor, Buck better than most of his colleagues should know and be respectful of security protocols.

But there’s a more rudimentary problem with Buck’s blasting of the “behind closed doors” impeachment hearings going on in the secure basement of the Capitol. Because Rep. Buck currently sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee–one of the three committees jointly holding the impeachment hearings–Buck is allowed to attend the hearings along with all of the other Republicans who serve on those committees. Every Republican member of the House Intelligence, Oversight, and Foreign Affairs committees is just as able to participate as the Democrats who serve on those committees. The letter from the committee Republicans Buck links to complains about lack of access to hearing transcripts after the fact, which Democrats say they will provide in due course–but that’s a red herring anyway because Buck is allowed to participate in the hearings.

The fact that Buck not just could have been there but should have been as part of his job, and instead chose to throw the digital equivalent of spitwads via Twitter, only proves that yesterday’s protest was a sham.

With that, once again Rep. Buck becomes an unintentional Democratic asset.

Gardner May Not Have a Breaking Point with Trump


♦ Soliciting foreign governments to interfere in our elections:

♦ Comparing impeachment investigations to a “lynching“:

♦ Proposing to build a wall around Colorado:

Taking money from Colorado military projects for border wall funding:

♦ Using the White House for personal financial gain:

♦ Pulling U.S. troops out of Syria, all but handing the region to Russia:

 

Senator Cory Gardner is going down with the ship.

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) has plenty of reasons to bail on his support of President Trump. The list grows longer every week. Yet Gardner remains unflinchingly loyal to a President who would toss him under the bus without a second thought should it benefit him in even the smallest of ways.

How much more Trump can Gardner swallow without finally heaving? On Wednesday, CNN’s Chris Cillizza pondered this question for Republicans in general:

It’s worth remembering that fact at this moment as congressional Republicans find themselves confronted with a cavalcade of troubling news stories about President Donald Trump and his conduct in office. Because while elected GOP officials have almost totally capitulated to Trump’s hostile takeover of their party, there is always a point at which you simply cannot look even quasi-objectively at the actions of this president and conclude that standing behind him remains the right (or even defensible) thing to do…

…The vast majority of congressional Republicans continue to stand behind Trump — due in no small part to their fear that stepping out on a limb to say he needs to go (or even that the impeachment inquiry is the right thing to do) will lead to the President singling them out and ending their political careers.

Remember, however: Everyone — everyone — has a breaking point. And it’s hard to see how at least some congressional Republicans aren’t very near theirs after this week.

Cillizza is correct in saying that everyone has a breaking point, but what about Gardner? We’ve pondered this question on several occasions, half-joking that President Trump might not even lose Gardner’s support if he gave the order to bomb the Senator’s hometown of Yuma, Colorado. Gardner is now approaching his personal Maginot Line, closing in on a meaningless vote of support for Trump that he won’t ever be able to take back.

Of course, Gardner isn’t the only Colorado Republican to have cast his lot with Trump. Congressmen Scott Tipton (R-Cortez) and Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs) are co-chairs of Trump’s re-election campaign in Colorado. State Republican Party Chairman/Congressman Ken Buck (R-Greeley) has been a reliable Trumpian who supported House Republicans storming the gates of a secure hearing room in protest of impeachment investigations.

But Tipton, Lamborn, and Buck all represent fairly conservative districts in which blind support for Trump is politically more beneficial than harmful. By any statewide measure, this is not equally true for Gardner, and even conservative Colorado voices agree:

This sort of advice made a lot of sense a long time ago, but it’s too late for Gardner to change course now; he’s cast too many terrible votes and shamelessly defended Trump too often to suddenly pretend to have gained a conscience. Gardner has shown, repeatedly, that he is willing to commit political suicide in order to remain in good standing with Trump. The only way out for Gardner is to hope beyond hope that Trump is somehow vindicated in the next 12 months and can limp his way to re-election in 2020. Any Trump turnaround probably won’t be enough to get Gardner re-elected as well, but Colorado’s Senator would undoubtedly try to cash in on his Trump loyalty with some sort of cabinet-level position.

Gardner has had numerous chances to take a meaningful stand in opposition to Trump. He has let each of them pass without challenge. There’s no reason to believe this going to change now.

Cory Gardner Faces First Impeachment Vote He Can’t Take Back


President Trump and Sen. Cory Gardner.

Politico:

Senate Republicans are moving to denounce the House’s impeachment inquiry, with Sen. Lindsey Graham set to introduce a resolution on Thursday condemning the Democrat-led effort.

The South Carolina Republican, a close ally of President Donald Trump, has attacked Democrats for their handling of the impeachment process. His resolution — backed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — criticizes the House for its “closed-door, illegitimate impeachment inquiry,” according to a press release…

The Graham resolution could put pressure on Republicans who have appeared open to considering the evidence in the House impeachment inquiry. But even Republicans who have declined to offer predictions on how the inquiry might end have attacked Democrats for how they’ve handled impeachment.

Sen. Cory Gardner is technically one of the Senate Republicans who has claimed to support “a serious investigation” of the allegations against President Donald Trump, while hewing to the contradictory party line of slamming House Democrats for actually carrying out such an investigation. At the same time, Gardner’s continued close association with Trump including headlining major Trump fundraising events belie Gardner’s pretense of impartiality to the point of ridiculousness. It’s therefore all but a foregone conclusion that Gardner will join with Lindsey Graham and diehard Senate Trump apologists in voting to condemn the House impeachment inquiry.

The question then becomes how many Senate Republicans refuse to pre-emptively step on their responsibility as potential jurors in an impeachment trial by condemning the entirely legal process that will put the case before them. The more Republicans who demonstrate bravery in this vote, the worse Gardner will look in the probable event he fails to do so.

And if he proves us wrong? Well, that will be newsworthy.

“We’re Building a Wall in Colorado,” Says President Trump


THURSDAY UPDATE: President Trump insists that his statement about “building a wall in Colorado” was just part of some hilarious joke that everybody else is too stupid to understand.

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UPDATE: Governor Jared Polis, for the win:

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The actual President of the United States of America declared today that our great nation is building a wall in Colorado in order to…keep out New Mexico, or something.

President Trump was giving a speech in Pittsburgh at the Shale Insight Conference when he said the following (via CBS4 Denver):

“And we’re building a wall on the border of New Mexico and we’re building a wall in Colorado, we’re building a beautiful wall, a big one that really works that you can’t get over, you can’t get under and we’re building a wall in Texas. We’re not building a wall in Kansas but they get the benefit of the walls we just mentioned,” said Trump.

We’re assuming that Trump misspoke here, though there is a non-zero chance that the President of the United States believes Colorado shares a border with another country.

Trump actually isn’t the first Republican to suggest that Colorado wall itself off from the rest of America. In April 2018, a SuperPAC aligned with Republican gubernatorial candidate Walker Stapleton ran a television ad that implied that Stapleton supported building a wall here (the ad aired a few months after Stapleton’s campaign surveyed voters about the issue). Apparently we even made a “sharks in a moat” joke at the time — well before President Trump floated the idea of an alligator-infested moat at the border:

Do we start by walling off Wyoming and cutting the supply of illegal fireworks into Colorado? If we wall off New Mexico, can we add in a tunnel so that the flow of green chile is not interrupted? Do we need a little corner-sized piece of wall between Colorado and Arizona? Should plans for a wall include a moat with sharks in the water? (nevermind on that last one — obviously we need a shark-infested moat).

Trump’s “building a wall in Colorado” statement is getting a LOT of national press at the moment. So, yay for us!

Attention Colorado Republicans: You Are “Human Scum”


Donald Trump in Colorado Springs.

And gentle readers, don’t take our word for it–The Hill:

President Trump on Wednesday excoriated so-called Never Trump Republicans as “human scum” as he seeks to solidify Republican support of him amid an ongoing impeachment inquiry.

He singled out his administration’s special envoy to Ukraine, William Taylor, who a day earlier sat for closed door testimony with those lawmakers the impeachment inquiry and delivered damaging testimony about the White House’s efforts to pressure Ukraine for political purposes.

“The Never Trumper Republicans, though on respirators with not many left, are in certain ways worse and more dangerous for our Country than the Do Nothing Democrats,” Trump tweeted. “Watch out for them, they are human scum!” [Pols emphasis]

At the mere mention of “Never Trump” Republicans, here’s a Tweet from President Donald Trump that should have sent a chill down the spines of Colorado Republicans. Longtime readers will recall why:

After Colorado Republicans elected a slate of Ted Cruz delegates to the Republican National Convention in 2016 as a protest against what was by that point close to a foregone conclusion, “Never Trump” briefly became an involuntary battle cry for Colorado Republicans. Somebody with access to the Colorado GOP’s official Twitter account fired off the above jubilant message shortly after Cruz’s big win here, and even though it was deleted moments later nobody ever forgot it–including, by all accounts, President Trump.

The good news for Colorado Never Trumpers, and you know who you are, is that a second chance at redemption is coming.

GOP Congressmen Storm, Shut Down Impeachment Hearing


UPDATE #4: This publicity stunt has apparently been on the GOP calendar for at least a week, per CNN.

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UPDATE #3: You knew this was coming:

Rep. Doug Lamborn says it’s all the fault of those pesky brown women:

Schiff & Pelosi, who’ve given into the radical leftwing SQUAD, are holding their Faux Impeachment proceedings in secret because they know, if the facts are made public, the American people will see this inquiry for what it is, a sham.

Wherever there is Republican treachery afoot, you’ll find Rep. Lamborn with a bag of Chick-fil-A.

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UPDATE #2: Rep. Ken Buck was reportedly not in the group that stormed the Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) in the basement of the Capitol today, but he was with them in spirit:

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UPDATE: Today’s Republican stunt is a serious security breach:

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Republican Reps. Matt Gaetz and Steve Scalise.

Politico reports, things got heated this morning on Capitol Hill as impeachment hearings against President Donald Trump continue to deliver a daily stream of damning information that Republicans really, really don’t want you to hear:

Dozens of House Republicans on Wednesday stormed the secure facility inside the Capitol where impeachment investigators have been deposing witnesses, forcing a delay to the proceedings…

According to people familiar with the matter, some GOP lawmakers brought their cell phones into the secure area — a significant violation of House rules. Another person said the room had to be fully swept for potential security breaches.

…The GOP-led stunt, led by House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), comes as President Donald Trump has demanded that Republicans “get tough and fight” for him in the impeachment probe. But Republicans have struggled to defend Trump on the substance of the allegations against him, [Pols emphasis] and have instead focused on hammering Democrats over what they see as an illegitimate impeachment process.

We’re trying to get more information about Colorado members of Congress who may of participated in today’s confrontation (here’s looking at you, Doug Lamborn), but this incident represents a major escalation in the conflict over impeachment–signaling that the parliamentary rules that protect the impeachment process may be disregarded by the GOP. That would, fair to say, be a bad thing for the country.

Headline from Raw Story (10/23/19)

Republicans who serve on the committee concede that Democrats are within their rights to depose witnesses in Congress’ secure basement hearing rooms, but the disruption Republicans successfully pulled off today is what will dominate the evening news–not the witness testimony, which turned explosive yesterday when acting ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor confirmed the damning substance of the case against Trump.

What happens next? We’ll have to wait and see– but the last “Brooks Brothers Riot” didn’t end well.

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (October 23)


The Denver Nuggets open the 2019-20 NBA season tonight in Portland. Now, let’s 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 an audio/visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show or The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us Facebook and Twitter.

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

 Congressional Republicans understand that they don’t have much of a substance argument in opposition to impeachment proceedings against President Trump, so they’ve increasingly been focusing their attacks on the “process” aspect of the investigations. On Wednesday, House Republicans — led by members of the so-called “Freedom Caucus” — stormed into a secure committee room and temporarily delayed testimony from Pentagon official Laura Cooper.

These Republicans, led by Trump attack dog and Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, are not allowed in the committee hearings BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE. As the New York Times explains:

The lawmakers — most of whom do not sit on the committees conducting the inquiry and are therefore not entitled to attend its hearings — said they were protesting the closed-door nature of the proceedings, which have been open to members of both parties who sit on the committees. The private question-and-answer sessions have produced a stream of compelling testimony from government witnesses, much of it confirming and expanding on the intelligence whistle-blower complaint that touched off the impeachment inquiry.

Republicans are hammering Democrats for limiting attendance at the hearings to members of the Intelligence, Judiciary and Foreign Affairs Committees. It is common practice for sensitive congressional investigations to be conducted behind closed doors, at least in their preliminary stages. House Republicans did just that when they controlled the chamber and opened an inquiry into the 2012 attack on the United States embassy in Benghazi, Libya. [Pols emphasis]

Democrats have said they plan to hold open hearings after the committees finish deposing witnesses, and that they intend to make public complete transcripts of witness testimony after they have been reviewed to determine whether they contain any classified material. Democrats argue that, lacking any defense of the substance of Mr. Trump’s actions, Republicans are attacking them over process.

The facts do not seem to support the argument of Congressional Republicans, including Rep. Ken Buck (R-Greeley).

 

► As The Washington Post reports, Republicans may be taking extreme measures in attacking the impeachment “process” because recent testimony looks very ominous for President Trump:

The impeachment inquiry into President Trump took an ominous turn for the president yesterday with the explosive testimony on Capitol Hill of a career civil servant.

William B. Taylor Jr. — a lifelong diplomat under both Republican and Democratic administrations who came out of retirement to take the acting chief diplomatic role in Ukraine — appears to have inflicted grave wounds to Trump’s claims there was no quid pro quo in holding back U.S. military assistance from Ukraine in exchange for help from that government in investigating the president’s political rivals.

“It is no longer a question of whether this happened. It is now a question of how the president explains it and how lawmakers — especially Republicans — choose to respond to it,” as my colleague Dan Balz put it. “Taylor’s prepared testimony documents with precision and clarity what he heard, saw, wrote and was asked to respond to over a period of weeks. In his telling, the squeeze on Ukraine, and Trump’s role in it, goes well beyond a single phone call July 25 between the U.S. president and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Trump’s long-standing characterization that there was no quid pro quo runs smack into evidence to the contrary.”

Politico has more on the Republican realization that they don’t have much left to stand on in the battle against impeachment.

 

► As Colorado Public Radio reports, lawmakers agree that Colorado needs to change how it funds public schools…but they don’t agree on how to get there. 

 

 As the New York Times reports, more than a million lower-income children have been dropped from the rolls of Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in the last 18 months.

 

 

Get even more smarter after the jump… (more…)

FACT CHECK: Ballot Measure Prop CC Won’t Take Away Your Personal Tax Refund

(Like we said, please tell your friends – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Courtesy of ColoradoPols

Last week, 9News anchor Kyle Clark answered questions from viewers about his station’s story about Proposition CC, which would allow Colorado to keep already-collected taxes that otherwise would have been refunded under TABOR.

9News viewers wanted to know if it were true that, under Prop CC, the state of Colorado would not keep the money you get when you overpay state taxes.

“Absolutely correct,” was Clark’s response, due to the fact that Colorado would only keep TABOR refunds. You still get your personal refund, if one is owed to you.

Clark said on air that he appreciated viewers who ask for information that’s unclear or incomplete in the station’s reporting.

In this case, however, it appears that the source of confusion about Prop CC refunds could well be misinformation from the opponents of the ballot measure.

For example, State Rep. Kimmi Lewis wrote on her Facebook page that Prop CC “takes away your right to receive your tax refund.” She made no mention of TABOR at all, much less any effort to distinguish between TABOR refunds and personal tax refunds.

That’s seriously misleading.

Over the past 14 years, taxpayers received exactly one refund under TABOR rules, in 2015. The checks ranged from $13 to $41. This year, the refund is estimated to be around $60, and the state wants this money for roads and schools.

On its Facebook page, the Arapahoe County Republican Party weighed in with its own version of the same misinformation, stating, “If the government keeps our refund $$$, that IS a tax increase.”

Anti-Prop CC advertisements are taking the same approach.

As first reported by ColoradoPols yesterday, opponents of Prop CC are mailing advertisements warning that the measure will let the state “keep your tax refunds forever.”

That’s seriously misleading.

Over the past 14 years, taxpayers received exactly one refund under TABOR rules, in 2015. The checks ranged from $13 to $41. This year, the refund is estimated to be around $60, and the state wants this money for roads and schools.

Will Tancredo’s Inflammatory Facebook Posts Help Candidates He Endorses?

(Stay classy, Tom Tancredo – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Tom Tancredo FB post mocking Rep. Elijah Cummings' death

Just three days after the death of his former congressional colleague U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD7), Tom Tancredo posted an meme mocking the man’s death and calling him a liar.

Tancredo routinely posts inflammatory images and statements on social media, but this meme, attacking a fellow Member of Congress less than 72 hours after his death, was particularly extreme, especially considering that Tancredo and Cummings served together in the House for a decade.

Since his brief gubernatorial run last year, the former congressman has spent much of his time working with fellow immigration hardliners Kris Kobach and Steve Bannon promoting private border wall construction.

It was at one of those “We Build The Wall” events that Kobach announced his candidacy for the 2020 Kansas U.S. Senate election, as well as Tancredo’s endorsement of his campaign. The Kobach campaign did not immediately respond to a emailed request for comment on Tancredo’s Facebook post.

Considering that both Kobach’s 2018 gubernatorial campaign and his current U.S. Senate campaign have come under scrutiny for hiring white nationalists, it’s possible an endorser’s Facebook post may not raise much of a concern.

However, Tancredo’s presence is still impactful here in Colorado, and he’s lending his influence to state political races as well.

(more…)

Get More Smarter on Tuesday (October 22)


The NBA is back, baby! Now, let’s 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 an audio/visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show or The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us Facebook and Twitter.

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

 The senior U.S. diplomat in Ukraine sat before a Congressional committee on Tuesday and apparently provided “damning” testimony as part of an impeachment investigation into President Trump. From the Associated Press:

Former U.S. Ambassador William Taylor, a diplomat who has sharply questioned President Donald Trump’s policy on Ukraine, has provided lawmakers with a “disturbing” account of events at the center of the impeachment probe , Democrats said Tuesday.

Lawmakers emerging after the early hours of the private deposition said Taylor had given a lengthy opening statement, with a recall of events that filled in gaps from the testimony of other witnesses. They said Taylor kept records at the time of conversations and documents.

“The testimony is very disturbing,” said New York Rep. Carolyn Maloney. Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn., used the same word. Asked why, he said, “Because it’s becoming more distinct.”

Taylor’s appearance is among the most watched because of a text message, released by House investigators earlier in the probe, in which he called Trump’s attempt to leverage military aid to Ukraine in return for a political investigation “crazy.”

Meanwhile, President Trump is now comparing impeachment proceedings to a “lynching,” and Republican elected officials such as Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina are even defending the statement. Trump’s history of racist remarks leaves little doubt that he knew exactly what he was doing in using the word “lynching” today. 

As Aaron Blake writes for The Washington Post, it’s now “every man for himself” in terms of Republicans and their continued support for President Trump.

 

► Some Democrats think that impeachment proceedings might take longer than initially expected — in large part because witness testimony continues to reveal new concerns. From CNN:

“Every time we have a deposition, it leads us in a slightly different direction,” Rep. Gerry Connolly, a Virginia Democrat who sits on the House Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees, two of the three panels leading the investigation, said Monday. “We don’t know how many additional pieces of testimony we may need. We just don’t know.”

The challenge facing Democrats: They want to conduct a thorough investigation, but prolonging the probe will continue to consume Washington — and risks bumping into the presidential election season if proceedings drag into the new year.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, a California Democrat who is leading the probe, both have refused to put a specific timeframe on the investigation.

 

► The editorial board of the Pueblo Chieftain smashed a failed effort to recall Senate President Leroy Garcia:

Dave DeCenzo, a volunteer for the recall effort, said more signatures were collected, but the group didn’t want to reveal them for fear the signers might be “doxxed” — that is, have their private information revealed on the internet.

To butcher Shakespeare, wethinks he dox protest too much. If the group had produced enough signatures to qualify a recall for the ballot, then those names would have become a matter of public record, anyway. So this alleged concern for the privacy of the petitioners sounds suspiciously like a convenient cover story to mask the group’s failure.

And we’re glad the group’s efforts not only failed, but failed so spectacularly. We can laugh about this now that it’s over, but what the anti-Garcia group was attempting to do was no joke.

Garcia was elected to a new term in office just last year with a commanding three-fourths of the total votes cast. Between the time he was re-elected and the recall campaign was launched, he did nothing that was inconsistent with his stated beliefs or campaign promises.

An editorial in the Colorado Springs Gazette on Monday opened with a familiar lede: “No money could buy for Colorado Democrats the gift Republicans handed them in 2019.”

As Jason Salzman writes for the Colorado Times-Recorder, media outlets should take a lesson from recall mania and act more skeptical of unsubstantiated claims in the future.

 

► Senator Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) has always said that he would not take positions on state issues because of his status as a federal elected official. So, naturally, Gardner wrote an Op-Ed opposing Proposition CC that ran in the Colorado Springs Gazette.

 

► Don’t miss the latest episode of The Get More Smarter Podcast and find out if you can do better at “Duke or Donald” than our guest contestant.

 

Get even more smarter after the jump… (more…)

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