There was only one instance of “Friday the 13th” in 2022; it will happen again in 2023 in October. 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 learner, check out The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

FIRST UP…

 

► Tax cuts do NOT pay for themselves.

Don’t take our word for it: The House Rules Committee, overseen by Republicans, just inadvertently acknowledged as much. As Catherine Rampell writes for The Washington Post:

Via The Washington Post (1/12/23)

Congress sets rules for what kinds of budgetary changes it can pass under what circumstances, including what kinds of programs must be “paid for” by nipping and tucking elsewhere in the budget. Often, lawmakers want to change the law in a way that would cost money (i.e., increase deficits), either by reducing tax revenue or increasing spending. In recent Congresses, when lawmakers made that kind of change, they were generally supposed to find something to offset the cost so that long-term deficits didn’t grow…

…This GOP-led House has done something a bit different.

Under the new rules package, the budgetary requirements are more one-sided — in favor of tax cuts. Going forward, tax cuts do not need to be offset with any sort of savings elsewhere in the budget. They can add trillions to the debt. No problem.

But this is not true of spending programs. Spending program increases still have to be paid for.

Not only that, but the savings to offset expansions of mandatory programs have to come from cuts to other spending programs. They cannot be offset by tax revenue increases. In practical terms: An expansion of food stamps can’t be paid for by raising taxes on the rich — only by cutting, say, Medicaid or disability benefits. So basically any attempt to provide more support for poor or middle-income people is likely to come from other programs that help those same groups.

In related news, POLITICO reports that House Republicans are setting up a government shutdown this fall by implementing impossible spending requirements:

House Republicans are vowing to put Don Quixote to shame by tilting at a huge windmill: slashing federal spending by at least $130 billion without cutting defense.

It’s a proposition that’s severely unlikely on its face, before factoring in a Democratic Senate and White House that would never accept such cuts. Even the GOP’s fallback plan for avoiding a shutdown later this year — passing a short-term funding patch that would trigger reductions as an incentive for lawmakers to finish comprehensive spending bills — is inconceivable this term…

…that funding work is one of the few items Congress has to accomplish this year as part of basic governing. While lawmakers had always expected appropriations would be a struggle this term, the spending concessions negotiated by Speaker Kevin McCarthy and his conservative foes have raised members’ blood pressure. Those House GOP demands could set the stage for a government shutdown, unless conservatives relent or enough moderate Democrats come to other Republicans’ rescue.

“I don’t think we’ve had a really good full-throated discussion and debate about what is politically doable,” said Rep. Steve Womack of Arkansas, a Republican appropriator.

 

The New York Times digs into some clearly-problematic and probably illegal campaign finance issues related to the Congressional campaign of the New York Republican who claims to be named George SantosMeanwhile, four Republican Members of Congress are calling for Santos to resign. In a separate story from The New York Times, Colorado Rep. Ken Buck BLAMES DEMOCRATS for the existence of Rep. Santos:

Representative Ken Buck, Republican of Colorado, said he believed Mr. Santos’s actions were wrong. But he blamed Democrats for failing to raise concerns about Mr. Santos before his election and said there was little chance of removing him from Congress now.

“If the Democrats had done their research and exposed things, the voters would have had more information,” Mr. Buck said. “I think what he did was wrong, but whether he gets a committee assignment is up to Kevin,” he said, referring to Mr. McCarthy.

Mr. Santos’s committee assignment remained unclear on Wednesday, but he did not receive a spot he coveted on the House Committee on Financial Services. Mr. McCarthy had said earlier in the day that Mr. Santos would not get a spot on choice committees.

What a schmuck.

 

The Colorado Sun reports on the swearing-in of Attorney General Phil Weiser for his second term in office. 

 

Click below to keep learning things…

 

 

Check Out All This Other Stuff To Know…

 

Qanon House Speaker Kevin McCarthy says he is open to expunging at least one of former President Donald Trump’s impeachment convictions in the House. From The Washington Post:

Trump — now a 2024 candidate — was impeached twice during his four-year presidency: in 2019, for withholding military aid from Ukraine in exchange for political favors, and in 2021, for inciting the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

In the previous Congress, groups of Republicans floated resolutions to expunge both impeachments. Supporters of the latter included Rep. Elise Stefanik (N.Y.), the Republican conference chairwoman.

Asked at a news conference about the prospect of an expungement now that Republicans control the House, McCarthy said, “I would understand why members would want to bring that forward…I understand why individuals want to do it, and we’d look at it.”

He wasn’t explicit about whether the House might consider expunging one or both impeachments but expressed sympathy for Trump regarding allegations of colluding with Russians in his 2016 campaign and other things Trump “went through.”

Trump was acquitted in Senate trials following both impeachments, but the impeachments by the House remain part of the historical record and an indictment of the former president.

Ladies and gentlemen, your Republican majority in the House of Representatives.

 

► Saja Hindi of The Denver Post tries to understand why so many migrants have ended up in Denver in recent weeks:

Immigration advocates, city and state officials, and experts speculate the laws that govern the city of Denver and state of Colorado may have attracted the migrants fleeing economic and political violence in Venezuela and other Central American countries. Colorado nonprofit groups’ relationships with border nonprofits also likely contributed to people coming to Denver.

Migrants have also said that Denver’s proximity to El Paso, Texas, via bus doesn’t hurt, especially as a temporary stop before continuing their journeys to other states. Officials have said the migrants have come on their own and were not sent by other states’ governors.

 

Colorado House Republicans already have an historic micro-minority, with only 19 seats compared to 46 for Democrats. Somehow, this small caucus is still completely unorganized and downright paranoid about being coerced into accomplishing things. 

 

Colorado Public Radio reports on social studies standards adopted by the Woodland Park community in Douglas County despite being rejected by the State Board of Education:

The board of a small school district in Teller County passed a resolution Wednesday night to use the conservative American Birthright social studies standards that emphasize patriotism and American exceptionalism, just a month after the state board of education rejected them.

The standards were championed by the district’s new interim superintendent, Ken Witt, a former Jefferson County board president. He was recalled along with two other board members in 2015 after they tried to inject patriotism into the history curriculum.

“In all honesty, in my opinion… the proposed American Birthright standard is better aligned with the Woodland Park School District purpose and core beliefs,” said Witt, who was hired by the board of education on Dec. 21, despite opposition from community members and a student-led petition.

That statement prompted several loud “no’s” from the audience. At one point the meeting was adjourned after a man yelled out “this is a joke” and the board president threatened to call the police in the small mountainous community northwest of Colorado Springs.

Ken Witt is a scourge on public education.

 

Officials at Denver Public Schools anticipate a budget deficit through at least the 2025-26 school year because of forecasts of shrinking enrollment numbers. 

 

The Trump Organization has been fined $1.6 million in a tax fraud case. 

 

The Associated Press looks at the differences in the classified document cases of former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden

 

► Kelly Sloan offers a wacky revisionist history of Republican Scott McInnis in a column for the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman. McInnis, who recently completed his second term as a Mesa County Commissioner, is also a former Congressman who ran for Governor in 2010 and lost the Republican Primary after a widely-discussed plagiarism scandal:

He would have made an exceptional Governor, were it not for the commission of a deeply regrettable mistake on the part of Colorado Republican primary voters.

Yeah, um, no.

 

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland is creating an office to oversee the capping of orphaned oil and gas wells. 

 

House Republicans want to defund the IRS. If you’ve ever had to call the IRS to get a question answered, you understand why this is such a terrible idea

 

Colorado tribal leaders say they were left out of discussions about a sports betting law that passed through the state legislature in [checks notes] 2019.

 

 

Say What, Now?

Congressman Doug Lamborn of Colorado Springs leans in on the abortion rights issue:

 

 

Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

 

Remember the “No Pants Pastor“? Corey Seulean was an on-again, off-again candidate for the state legislature in the 2020 election cycle who preached that women should wear skirts or “modest culottes” in public.

A similar issue has popped up in Missouri, where one conservative Republican lawmaker is proposing a dress code…but only for women. From The Washington Post:

The changes were spearheaded by state Rep. Ann Kelley (R), a co-sponsor who was among the Republicans seeking to require women to wear a blazer when in the chamber. She was met by swift opposition from Democrats who called it “ridiculous.”

The state House eventually approved a modified version of Kelley’s proposal, which allows for cardigans as well as jackets, but still requires women’s arms to be concealed. Missouri Democrats tore into Republicans for pushing the new restrictions on what women in the chamber could wear.

“We are fighting — again — for a woman’s right to choose for something. This time, it’s how she covers herself — and the interpretation of someone who has no background in fashion,” state Rep. Raychel Proudie (D) said in a speech on the floor. “I spent $1,200 on a suit, and I can’t wear it in the People’s House because someone who doesn’t have the range tells me that it’s inappropriate.”

Oh, snap!

 

► Officials in Sweden plan to get rid of a restriction that has prevented dancing in some restaurants and nightclubs.

 

 

ICYMI

 

This is one of many reasons why you don’t put Republicans in charge of important things.  

 

Let’s end the week the same way we started: With Republican Rep. Ken DeGraaf missing the point of his own quote:

 

 

Don’t forget to give Colorado Pols a thumbs up on Facebook and Twitter. Check out The Get More Smarter Podcast at GetMoreSmarter.com

 

 





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