Can Ben Carson say something ridiculously stupid every day this week? He’s sure trying. It’s time to Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example).
TOP OF MIND TODAY…
► Congress has spent a lot of time doing very little since they returned from the August recess, and they may have to put in some overtime this weekend. As Mark Matthews reports for the Denver Post, lawmakers are calling on House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to get a little tougher with his gavel:
Colorado’s three U.S. House Democrats joined with about 120 of their party colleagues this week in asking that Speaker John Boehner keep the lower chamber in session — every day — until a deal is reached to avert a government shutdown.
The request from Reps. Diana DeGette, Ed Perlmutter and Jared Polis comes just days before an Oct. 1 deadline in which Congress and the White House must agree to a stopgap spending bill or else close down federal agencies.
Elsewhere, Politico is reporting that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is preparing his “final strategy” for avoiding the second federal government shutdown in three years:
It’s make or break time for Republicans to avoid a government shutdown.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Thursday afternoon is expected to set up his end-game to avoid a politically disastrous lapse in government funding. He will likely make his move immediately after an attempt to defund Planned Parenthood fails in the face of Democratic opposition, according to sources briefed on his plans.
McConnell can also box out Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) from attempting a filibuster if the GOP leader acts quickly after the failed vote; otherwise Cruz could try to delay McConnell’s plans to jam House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) with a do-or-die vote on a clean stopgap spending bill, or continuing resolution. But Senate GOP leadership is confident they can rebuff any Cruz maneuvering.
We’ve probably said it before, but it deserves repeating: How can Sen. Ted Cruz simultaneously run for President while doing everything in his power to shut down the federal government? Ted Cruz for President: Because the Government Should Just Stop Altogether.
► Pope Francis addressed a joint session of Congress on Thursday, telling lawmakers that “Legislative activity is always based on care for the people.” The Pope also spoke passionately about acting on climate change, welcoming immigrants, ending the death penalty, and fixing the widening gap between the lower and middle class and the richest 1% of Americans. The Washington Post has an annotated copy of the Pope’s speech available online.
► Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith is taking a serious look at running for U.S. Senate in 2016. The Republican sheriff is getting some good press out of D.C., particularly from National Journal and its daily “Hotline” political briefing. Smith is the first story in this morning’s “Hotline,” which notes that he has “a team of consultants already lined up.”
Get even more smarter after the jump…