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In Possibly Satiric “#EarthDay” Message, Andy Barr Butchers Teddy Roosevelt Quote, Calls for Deregulation of Environment

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April 22, 2014
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“Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance. The World and the Future and your very children shall judge you according as you deal with this Sacred Trust.”

–Andy Barr (R-KY), trying to quote Teddy Roosevelt

Four hours after Louisville Congressman John Yarmuth posted an Earth Day message about Republican efforts to make it even easier for companies to dump toxic waste into our drinking water, Lexington Congressman Garland H. Barr IV posted an Earth Day message of his own — absolutely butchering a quote from Teddy Roosevelt while calling for increased privatization and deregulation... as his supporters called for the destruction of the National Parks system Roosevelt created.

First off, here’s Yarmuth’s message, which was titled “A reminder of who we’re fighting for” and went on to link to a March 24th release from his office:

SBZ floor pic

 

WASHINGTON – Holding up a bottle of Eastern Kentucky well water turned orange by mine waste contamination, Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3) implored his colleagues to address the public health crisis in mining communities in a speech on the House floor this afternoon.

Yarmuth’s speech came during debate of H.R. 2824, legislation to weaken federal standards that help prevent mining companies from dumping toxic mine waste into nearby streams and valleys. The House approved the bill 229-192 on a largely party-line vote.

Under this legislation, the 1983 Reagan Administration Stream Buffer Zone rule – which prohibits mining activities within 100 feet of perennial or intermittent streams – would be replaced by a 2008 Bush Administration policy that eliminates the prohibition. That policy was vacated by a federal court last month. The bill would also delay any attempts to strengthen Stream Buffer Zones rules for at least five years. The Obama Administration is currently drafting a revised Stream Buffer Zone rule.

Andy Barr, of course, voted in favor of HR 2824 in his ongoing effort to poison Kentucky voters. A pro-pollution 6th District congressman, Barr has fought over and over to protect the toxic policies of private industry rather than the people of his home state.

Where Yarmuth used Earth Day to make a serious point, Barr’s own Earth Day message veered wildly into a land of satire — or a land where irony, satire, history and intelligence have been strip-mined away leaving only a series of randomized words that create some semblance of a statement:

BarrEarthDay

Barr’s satiric Earth Day message begins with a Teddy Roosevelt quote:

“Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children’s children.”

You can sort of see how Barr and his people thought that quote might be innocuous enough an expression of care for the environment without implying any actual intention to protect or preserve the environment. And because Barr apparently believes the mass of his supporters are ahistorical buffoons, quoting T.R. just seems manly… rather than laughable.

The quote Barr’s butchered is from Theodore Roosevelt’s speech at the Grand Canyon. And it doesn’t end with “your children’s children.”

The full quote, including the section Barr lopped off like a mountaintop, is:

“Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children’s children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance. The World and the Future and your very children shall judge you according as you deal with this Sacred Trust.

Which is likely not the message Garland H. Barr IV wants to send, given the fact his career is heavily underwritten by the greedy interests that skin the country of its beauty, its riches and poison the water people have to drink.

Underneath his butchered T.R. quote, Barr includes a message of his own:

Happy #EarthDay & #NationalParksWeek! We can protect our environment while responsibly developing our natural resources. Going forward, we must focus on promoting private sector solutions to ensure Americans have affordable energy with the least impact on the environment for decades to come.

You can almost hear Teddy vomiting as you read it.

Oh — and then there’s the first comment, a Barr supporter who writes: “Take the land back that belongs to the states , not the feds ………..”

Which is a really beautiful way for the Barr campaign to commemorate Earth Day, National Parks Week, and Teddy Roosevelt.

Congressman_Andy_Barr

NYT: With Andy Barr’s Help, Banks Cling to Bundles Holding Risk (and move toward even riskier bundles)

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April 20, 2014
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In the New York Times this weekend, Gretchen Morgenson takes a closer look at the Volcker Rule, the Dodd Frank law and the financial industry’s desperate attempt to save their risky C.L.O. market profits:

What are collateralized loan obligations, or C.L.O.s? Translated into simple English, they are bundles of mostly commercial loans that are sold in various pieces to investors. They are similar to collateralized debt obligations, or C.D.O.s — those instruments that imperiled so many institutions in 2008 — but C.L.O.s are simpler and in some cases less risky. The loans in C.L.O.s provide money to companies, many of them subject to leveraged buyouts, that might not receive bank funding.

The C.L.O. market is vast, much of it controlled by the Too Big To Fail banks that, if the Volcker Rule were to stand, would have to divest themselves of the market — the risk the C.L.O.s present to the financial system being too great, like the C.D.O.s that already felled ‘em.

The Volcker Rule is part of the Wall Street Reform Law and it is intended to re-instate some of the fiscal protections that keep taxpayers from footing the bill when Wall Street’s unbridled investment strategies crater south.

This — as we’ve discussed at some length here at B&P over the past few months — is where Andy Barr comes in… as Morgenson now reports in the Times:

[T]he big bank crowd contends that regulators have overreached. At a January hearing convened by the House Financial Services Committee, Jeb Hensarling, a Texas Republican who is its chairman, called the Volcker Rule a job destroyer that “will harm numerous of our capital markets: equity, joint ventures, C.D.O., venture capital and especially the C.L.O. market.”

Last month, that House committee passed a bill introduced by Andy Barr, a Kentucky Republican, containing a provision that would allow banks to own riskier types of C.L.O.s. Mr. Barr contended that small banks in his state would suffer layoffs if they had to divest those assets.

In responding to the New York Times story, Andy Barr will likely invoke the feigned stupidity that is the cornerstone of his political career. An Ernie Fletcher Republican who once insisted to me that George W. Bush would go down in the history books as one of America’s all time greatest Presidents, Garland H. Barr IV is now parading around the 6th District as a Tea Party reformer.

Thus, Barr will say of the Times piece some variation on, if not exactly, this: “When the New York Times is attacking you, you know you’re doing something right.”

That sort of stupidity can only be called “feigned” for so long. Barr is clearly under the influence of Jeb Hensarling — as we discussed at length in February. Hensarling, the chair of the House Financial Services committee is the acolyte of Phil Gramm and Phil Gramm, of course, is one of the key architects of the the financial deregulation that led to the economic collapse of 2008.

After that collapse, Dodd Frank was passed and with it the Volcker Rule. Now, Hensarling and his acolytes are working hard to re-de-regulate the financial system. Andy Barr, who sits on Hensarling’s Financial Services Committee and the Financial Services Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, is at the forefront of the erroneous arguments against the post-2008 collapse taxpayer and consumer safeguards. 

Barr claims that regulating the C.L.O. market will destroy small community banks. As is the case with much of what Andy says, that’s just not true. Morgenson explains:

And what of the argument that small banks will incur crippling losses when forced to sell their C.L.O. holdings under the Volcker Rule? Not true. Small banks simply don’t own large amounts of this paper.

Their big bank brethren do, however. Regulatory filings from year-end 2013 show that 52 banks held an estimated $81 billion in C.L.O.s. Small institutions, those with less than $50 billion in assets, held only $5.4 billion, the filings show. By contrast, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Citibank held almost $60 billion altogether, or three-quarters of the total.

A month after Barr pushed his C.L.O. legislation to let the Too Big To Fails engage in even riskier C.L.O. trading, the very groups that had come before Barr’s committee asking for Barr’s help rewarded him with a Wall Street fundraiser.

That sort of quid pro quo legislating is nothing new, and the brazen openness of the timing (Barr pushed the legislation in early March, by late March he was in lower Manhattan picking up checks) isn’t at all surprising: Andy Barr represents the financial industry, he oversees the financial industry, he pushes legislation to help the financial industry and the financial industry pays him to do that. In 2014, that’s just how politics works.

None of this will come as much surprise if you’ve been reading along here at B&P. Andy Barr’s political debt to Hensarling, his political indebebteness to the shady players in the financial system and its more legitimate Too Big To Fail failures, and the financial industry’s inverse debt to Andy Barr when taken together and bundled up create the toxic asset that is Kentucky’s 6th District Congressman.

Previously:

Congressman_Andy_Barr

Andy Barr Raises More $$$ from Financial Industry He Oversees than from the Major City He Represents

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April 17, 2014
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Sixth District Congressman Garland H. Barr IV raised $361,000 for his campaign in the 1st Quarter of 2014. Barr raised more money in the past month from the financial industry he oversees than he was able to raise over the entire quarter from Lexington, KY — the largest city in his district.

Andy Barr sits on the House Financial Services Committee, the Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee and the Financial Services Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee. Since going to Washington, the financial services industry has showered Andy Barr with cash. [link]

Cash from Too Big To Fail Banks. Cash from bailed out institutions, hedge fund profiteers, mortgage pirateers, payday lenders and… other captains of industry and masterminds of economic destruction. 

Last month, we posted about a Wall Street fundraiser for the Barr Campaign in Lower Manhattan [link, link]. The fundraiser was to be hosted by Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft — a firm with deep ties to America’s Too Big To Fail financial system, and a firm that’s taken a special interest in the Dodd Frank Wall Street reform law, the Volcker Rule and something called Collateralized Loan Obligations — a way of bundling debt that’s not dissimilar to the Collateralized Debt Obligations that collapsed the American economy. 

Through mid-to-late February and into early March, Congressman Andy Barr was hard at work pushing legislation to protect Wall Street from regulation and their penchant for the largely unregulated C.L.O. market — 70% of which is controlled by the Too Big To Fail Banks that Cadwalader often represents.

In thanks for Barr’s hard work, Cadwalader planned to fete Congressman Andy at their headquarters:

Wall Street Eatin’ Andy for Lunch

That fundraiser, as you see on the invite, was scheduled for March 24th, 2014. On March 22nd, we posted Cadwalader’s invite, the fundraiser details and the background relationship of Cadwalader to Barr.

With the Barr Campaign’s 1Q financials now available, the question is now: How’d Garland Barr do? At first glance, not so great.

BarrFinancial1

Andy Barr flew all the way to NYC, stayed in the Doubletree… and all he got was five grand? That doesn’t seem a very profitable venture. Perhaps the publicity of Cadwalader’s fundraiser for Barr depressed the turnout. Maybe some of the Cadwalader team had second thoughts about pouring money into the Barr campaign so soon after Barr’s push to undo parts of the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform Act. Perhaps they were worried about an appearance of quid pro quo campaign giving.

Or… perhaps that five grand is only part of the story.

Combing through the rest of the disclosure, other details of the trip begin to emerge.

There’s a Peter J. Williams of Connecticut who gave $250 on March 24th. His occupation is listed by the FEC as “Information Requested” but there is a Peter J. Williams at Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft.

And then… well, what about other monied interests in the tri-state area around the time of his visit?

BarrFinancial2

Pfizer PAC wrote a big check just days after Barr’s visit. It’s not Barr’s only check from Big PhRMA, but it did come within his NYC window. LSTA, Oakcliff Capital, Berkley Capital, Citi and CVC Credit Partners all have an interest in seeing Barr returned to DC to continue to ‘oversee’ their industry. CIT Group is a leading commercial lender and Morgan Stanley, of course, is Morgan Stanley — their check came in earlier in the month, closer to when Barr was overseeing his latest efforts to re-de-regulate the financial system.

Taking a still wider look at Barr’s 1Q reporting, we find a host of financial interests giving heavily to the Barr campaign — almost half of them in the window around Barr’s Wall Street campaign fundraiser:

BarrFinancial3

The Barr campaign filing does mark a bit of a change for Andy, a sort of financial mainstreaming of his campaign cash. Last summer Barr joined five other Congressmen — all of them on the Financial Services Committee, and all but one of them on the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee — in a Joint Committee that raised nearly $45,000 for the Barr Campaign from a handful of Texas-based payday lenders, hedge funders and the like. [link]

Barr’s 2014 1Q report shows that Texas payday lending spigot hasn’t yet dried up. Cash America International PAC from Fort Worth, TX gave Barr $2,500 on February 13th.

In all — the Barr Campaign brought in at least $62,450 from his Wall Street fundraiser and the financial services industry. All but the $2,500 from Cash America came within the last month. And that total doesn’t include individual donors outside the NYC area — just the Cadwalader folks, their associates, and the financial PACs.

Andy Barr’s Wall Street haul over just the past month is considerably more than Barr was able to raise (just $51,000) over the entire quarter in Lexington, KY — his hometown and the largest city in Kentucky’s 6th District.

With more money flowing from the folks Andy Barr oversees than the ones Andy Barr represents, one has to wonder: Who’s being represented, and who’s being overlooked?

Anthany Beatty: Running for Mayor… or just running interference?

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April 16, 2014
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Anthany Beatty kicked off his campaign for Mayor last night in grand fashion: there was a mostly empty grand ballroom, a campaign platform copied from another candidate, and a giant banner on the side of a giant campaign RV with the candidate’s own name misspelled.

Oh… and Jim Newberry was there like an anchor to hold the whole campaign ship down.

The event took place at the Embassy Suites. Here’s Beatty’s RV parked outside:

That’s a purty nice RV! When you run a campaign in, say, Iowa or for, like, Governor of Kentucky and you really need to get all around a state, a nice big campaign RV is a great thing. To get around New Circle Road? Even better!

Anthany Beatty is an AnthAny. Like “Any.”

But his awesome RV is adorned (or should I say, “ordorned”) with an awesome banner that features Anthany’s face, the office he’s running for and his campaign website: www.AnthOnyBeattyforMayor.com:

The scene inside the ballroom wasn’t much better — giant space, nobody home:

Oh wait… there’s 20 or so people over in the corner!

Not a great turnout right? Nope! Former Mayor Jim Newberry says that turnout is just terrific!

As for the content of Beatty’s event — what his campaign is all about — Beatty has pegged PR exec Phil Osborne as his campaign manager. Osborne, another Newberry ally, is perhaps most famous for his work as the head of the fake grassroots/astroturf “Faces of Coal” campaign [link].

So to recap so far: Lots of money spent on empty ballroom; lots of money spent on RV; lots of money spent on erroneous banner; lots of money spent on the guy who’s in charge of all that.

Beatty’s platform is also interesting. He says that he wants to be the “Mayor of ALL Lexington”, he says that the interest in downtown development is “elitist” and, in the apparent cornerstone of his campaign,  Beatty says, “Lexington is more than downtown.”

Which is funny because if you visit his website — you know, if you can navigate around his campaign’s attempt to keep you from finding his website, you’ll be greeted by this:

And here’s a screenshot of AnthOnyBeattyForMayor.com:

Osborne’s messaging for Beatty is fascinating. First of all, the notion that Mayor Gray has ignored the rest of Lexington and focused only on downtown Lexington is silly. Either it’s the best Osborne/Beatty/Newberry can do… or it’s a placeholder as they figure out how to run a compelling campaign. Either way — the notion’s easy enough to knock down and is a laughable starting point.

More importantly, the Osborne/Beatty/Newberry campaign platform appears to be simply co-opting the platform of another Mayoral candidate — Danny Mayer. (Note to the Beatty compaign: That’s Mayer with an “e” not an “o”.)

The Mayer for Mayor campaign unveiled its platform two full weeks ago and apparently Beatty and Osborne have been reading up on it — which means they can at least spell one campaign web address correctly: http://lfucmayer.com.

If you read the Herald Leader’s coverage of Beatty’s event last night, and if you’re at all familiar with Mayer’s platform, you can clearly see that Osborne’s chosen campaign strategy hews very closely to the platform of Danny Mayer — the elitism of downtown development, the opposition to Rupp and the convention center, etc.

This morning, the Mayer campaign noted the Beatty campaign’s carbon copying:

So what’s happening here?

For starters, the primary is a month a way. There are three men running: Gray, Mayer, and Beatty. Gray maintains a serious advantage in recognition, popularity, experience, record, expertise and money.

Danny Mayer and Antho/any Beatty will have to run absolutely flawless campaigns in order to win in November, let alone win next month.

The Beatty for Mayor campaign was something of an afterthought. He jumped into the race at the last minute after a months long deliberation that also included former Vice Mayor Mike Scanlon weighing the scales. But to call that a “deliberation” is untrue… it was more like a game of chicken. No one was actually rushing into this decision.

Plenty of people knew that defeating Gray would be a very, very long shot. That’s why no one rushed to enter the race, and that’s why a month from the primary, the most ‘mainstream’ opposition campaign is disorganized. Phil Osborne knows the score and Jim Newberry just wants to settle one. In fact, that’s mostly what the Beatty campaign appears to be about… a cabal of people who lost power trying, in vain, to get it back.

Does Anthany Beatty realize this? Is he one of them, or have they convinced him to use his good name and whatever political power he does have on this race? Is Beatty running for Mayor or simply running interference?

His disorganized and sloppy campaign launch certainly raises that question. And it also raises the question of whether the money Phil Osbarne’s wasted so far should inspire Beatty to keep giving him more of it.

Team Newberry failed miserably while in office and failed miserably on the campaign trail. It’s good to see they’re getting the team back together… but it’s also worth noting that at this point, Danny Mayer’s a far more interesting opposition candidate than Anthany Beatty… in large part because at this point, Anthany Beatty’s just parroting Danny Mayer.

That, friends, is the primary question.

Andy Barr’s $6.7 Billion Vote to Balance Budget on Backs of Kentucky’s Seniors

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April 10, 2014
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The House of Representatives passed Paul Ryan’s budget this afternoon — barely. Twelve Republicans voted against it (mostly Conservatives who felt Ryan’s cuts weren’t extreme enough). Seven more and it would’ve failed.

6th District Republican Rep. Garland H. Barr IV voted with Ryan and most of the GOP. The budget would get 69% of its ‘savings’ from slashing programs — health care, Medicare, education, etc. — aimed at low and middle income Americans.

The Ryan budget is a gift to Democrats in tight races, and Elisabeth Jensen — Barr’s Democratic opponent here in the 6th — wasted no time:

“It should surprise no one that today Andy Barr once again supported a reckless budget that throws Kentucky’s working families and seniors under the bus. Andy Barr’s budget is a slap in the face that would actually end the Medicare guarantee, turn it into a voucher program, reopen the prescription drug donut hole and make seniors pay more for health care – while lining the pockets of their special interest donors. Kentuckians deserve someone who will fight for their jobs, cut spending the right way and reduce our deficit – but not on the backs of seniors and the middle class,” said Elisabeth Jensen.

Barr’s vote for the Ryan budget is a vote for slashing $6.7 Billion in existing benefits for Kentucky’s seniors.

The AARP says it will “simply increase costs for beneficiaries while removing Medicare’s promise of secure health coverage.”

Balancing the budget by shifting the costs of government to senior citizens on fixed incomes is, essentially, not that much different from a massive tax increase on these Kentuckians. The difference, of course, is that you have to pay your taxes, but with this approach, your grandmother has the “free market choice” to simply not pay for her prescriptions that she can longer afford and then possibly die… which, Andy Barr and Paul Ryan must realize, is also an effective way of lowering the cost of America’s “entitlement” programs.

 

In Video, McConnell Calls for Aggregate Limits & End to PACs

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April 9, 2014
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Last week the Supreme Court threw open the doors to even more money in politics. The McCutcheon decision eliminates aggregate campaign donation limits (previously set at $123,000). It builds on the Citizens United decision making it still easier for super wealthy individuals and interests to purchase elected offices.

The lawyers representing McCutheon cited, among the top reasons for their victory, the amicus brief of Mitch McConnell, which they called “extraordinarily helpful.” [link]

McConnell has a long history with campaign finance — early in his career he began to focus on the issue and once in the Senate made it his central expertise. (He’s led 20 filibusters to stop various campaign finance bills). This work to loosen the bowels of the big money sphincter helped propel McConnell to the Republican minority leadership. Last week’s Supreme Court decision has been hailed as “McConnell’s Triumph.” [link]

Over his now almost 30 year Senate career, McConnell’s views on campaign finance have changed in some considerable ways.

  • Once upon a time, McConnell was opposed to “dark money.”
  • Once upon a time, McConnell was in favor of shutting out Super PACs.
  • Once upon a time, McConnell was even in favor of aggregate limits.

As McConnell’s views have ‘evolved’, so too have the dynamics of the American electorate — and looking forward, those changes are likely to continue. As demographics swing, voting patterns are likely to go with them, making massive amounts of campaign money even more important to controlling elections. We all have one vote, but we don’t all have a million (or a billion) dollars.

In the video below, Mitch McConnell says, “He who crafts the rules, controls the game.” And right now, Mitch McConnell is clearly crafting the rules.

See Also:

By the Numbers:
  • Mitch McConnell currently trails his Democratic opponent, with a new poll affirming the previous ones, putting Grimes 1% point ahead. [link]
  • Mitch McConnell is less popular than President Obama in the state of Kentucky. [link]
  • Eight in ten of voters were opposed to the Citizens United decision — 85% of Democrats, 76% of Republicans and 81% of independents. [link]
  • Just 16% of Americans believe limits on total contributions to candidates are a violation of free speech rights, and 64% say they are not. [link]
  • Half of all Americans support publicly financed elections. [link]
  • 58% of Americans says we need new campaign finance laws. [link]
  • 60% of Americans wouls support “a federal law that imposes tough, new campaign finance laws for politicians, lobbyists and super PACs.” And 72% would support “tough, new anti-corruption laws.” [link]

***

“I’ve worked in the private sector and I’ve worked in the government, and the most honest, most intelligent, most hard working people I’ve ever met, have been people here. Politicians.” –Mitch McConnell. [link]

Cock Fight: Horse Torturing McConnell crew celebrates Humane Society’s Bevin statement?

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April 4, 2014
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Team Mitch is in an excited tizzy because the Humane Society has called on Matt Bevin to quit the race for attending a cockfight… one day after the Humane Society blasted McConnell for defending horse torturers. And then both Bevin and McConnell used the exact same rationale to defend their defense of animal torture. Here’s how it happened:

Kentucky Republican Senate candidate Matt Bevin went to a States’ Rights rally that was also a cockfighting event — beefy men adorn hapless birds with stick-on metal nails and hollar while them birds claw each other to death — and that got Matt Bevin in trouble.

The Humane Society put out this statement.

Organized criminals want to repeal Kentucky’s already weak anti-cockfighting statute. We have plenty of evidence that they are brazenly breaking the law, strapping razor-sharp knives and icepick-like gaffs to the legs of roosters, throwing them into a pit and forcing them to hack each other to pieces—just so they can shout out bets and be titillated by the violence and bloodletting.

Bevin’s claims about not knowing ring hollow, as he is now parroting the language of anyone who defends animal cruelty but masks their true intent by speaking of “states’ rights.” His campaign spokesperson told the Lexington Herald-Leader his position on cockfighting: “Matt doesn’t believe this is a federal issue, and the state government can handle it.”

The Humane Society went on to call for Bevin’s withdrawal from the race. That got the McConnell camp very excited.

Here are a couple tweets from McConnell adviser Josh Holmes and one from his spokeswoman, Allison Moore:

Problem is… Team Mitch’s sudden interest in protecting helpless animals is disingenuous at best.

One day before the Humane Society addressed Bevin’s fowl transgression, the exact same Humane Society blasted McConnell for sponsoring legislation that will codify — and make worse — horse torture and put horse torturers in charge of torturing more helpless horses.

Since Holmes, Moore and the rest of the McConnell camp failed to tweet it out, here’s that statement from the Humane Society:

Federal legislation introduced by Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-TN, with Sens. Mitch McConnell, R-KY, Rand Paul, R–KY, and Johnny Isakson, R-GA, as original cosponsors, would weaken protections for horses under the federal Horse Protection Act by placing enforcement authority in the hands of individuals with ties to the Tennessee walking horse industry. This would codify – and actually make worse – a scheme of self-regulation that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of the Inspector General called a failure and recommended be abolished. The bill, S. 2193, is intended as a companion to H.R. 4098, which was introduced in February by Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-TN, and has been widely condemned by the horse industry, veterinary community and animal welfare groups.

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, said: “[McConnell's] new bill will do nothing to end soring of Tennessee walking horses. It amounts to a prescription for continued abuse of horses by the ‘Big Lick’ faction of trainers who seek to gain an advantage in competitive shows by intentionally injuring the animals. It puts a criminal faction of the industry in control of oversight.”

So… for those of you keeping score:

  • Team Mitch is endorsing the views of the Humane Society.
  • The Humane Society says Matt Bevin is courting an animal cruelty industry run by “organized criminals”
  • The Humane Society says Mitch McConnell is seeking to defend and protect an animal cruelty industry run by “a criminal faction.”
  • In defending his defense of cockfighting, Matt Bevin said it was part of our heritage because the founding fathers did it. [link]
  • In defending his defense of horse soring, Mitch McConnell said it was “a century-old tradition.” [link]

***Note to Matt & Mitch: One century ago, women couldn’t vote. Our founding fathers were active participants in slavery.***

If we’re going by the views of the Humane Society, it seems like both these men should quit the race.

 

#MitchTake: Mitch McConnell reacts to Duke’s Christian Laettner hitting “The Shot” (Video)

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March 27, 2014
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Last night on the Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon jabbed Mitch McConnell over his Duke-themed campaign ad (see it here). The far larger problem for the McConnell campaign has come from another late night source, The Daily Show.

The Daily Show the other night added to their quiver of #McConnelling videos with #MeConnelling, #MitchTakes and #McConnellhey videos. Watch:

So… Mitch McConnell’s #MitchTake reaction to his beloved Duke Blue Devils and Christian Laettner hitting “The Shot” over the Kentucky Wildcats:

And here’s Matthew McConaughey explaining that from the fourth dimension, Mitch McConnell — viewed here in 3D — is actually a flat circle (or a crushed beer can):

And if you missed it earlier this week, the first #McConnelling Duke video:

Sen. Stivers Tells KSR He’s Blocking Rupp Arena Because He Hasn’t Read Documents He’s Had for Days

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March 26, 2014
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The Republicans in the Kentucky State Senate, led by Senate Prez Robert Stivers, have blocked the Rupp Arena renovation project. They passed a budget that didn’t include the money for Rupp putting the plans to remake Rupp in serious jeopardy.

The Senate and House will enter negotiations and there is still a chance the funding will be restored — however…

On the state’s most powerful political radio show this morning, Kentucky Sports Radio, Matt Jones and Ryan Lemond gave Bobby Stivers a call to discuss the issue, and if you listen to Stivers, it doesn’t much sound like he has any intention of letting his Senate Republicans move forward on Rupp financing.

In fact… from start to finish, it sounds like an amateur trying to play politics. As Matt Jones tells Stivers at the end of the call, “This was not your finest hour”

Some highlights:

  • Stivers says he didn’t get the financing documents until two weeks ago, implying that he hasn’t had time to read them.
  • Stivers says he didn’t get the bill until Monday, implying that he hasn’t had time to fully understand that either.
  • He says that because the city of Lexington is using millions of dollars it does have to fund police, fire and low-income housing initiatives, he and his fellow Republicans Senators don’t think they need to pass Rupp financing — which implies that Stivers believes the cops and the fire department and the poor are less important than a basketball arena.
  • He says people haven’t given him information on how it will be funded, apparently forgetting he’s already blamed his opposition on the fact that he only got the documents two weeks ago.
  • Then he blames the Mayor for not giving them a funding package at all… because whatever Stivers got two weeks ago and was unable to comprehend after two weeks doesn’t count and neither does the fact that he had two weeks to clarify his problems but apparently failed to do so.
  • Then Stivers blames the House for getting the bill to him five days ago… at which point you have to wonder about Bob’s reading comprehension abilities… has he been sitting in his office for the last five days slowing dragging his finger across the page and trying to mouth out the words? Was no one in his office available to help? Did he graduate from the University of North Carolina?

Finally, Matt Jones asks Stivers if the Rupp financing doesn’t happen, will he accept the responsibility for that. Stivers again claims he never recieved the documents he already claimed he did receive but was unable to read them in time in part, it seems, because he never received them.

After that, Stivers bombs a question about who he’s supporting in Friday night’s UK/UofL basketball game. But at least he didn’t say he’s rooting for Duke.

 

One of the sticking points for Senate Republicans is the hotel tax plan. It’s the same basic plan as the one in Louisville, except that it’s already in place in Louisville, and state Republicans are worried that if they approve the money for Rupp they’ll hurt their chances of retaking the House because they voted for a “tax increase”. So Stivers and his Republicans in the Senate appear to be gambling that a vote against the University of Kentucky Wildcats and the will of the Big Blue Nation is the safer bet.

#McConnelling: Duke Blue Devils Fight Song & Mitch McConnell

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March 25, 2014
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Die-hard Louisville Cardinals fan & UK Wildcat snubber Mitch McConnell posted a new campaign video this morning. As our founding father Joe Sonka immediately noted, the McConnell campaign used footage of the 2010 Duke Blue Devils celebrating a championship rather than the 2012 Kentucky Wildcats. Theories for the FUBAR vary:

1) No one on his campaign is from Kentucky and they don’t give two dookies about Kentucky.

2) Someone on his campaign did it on purpose just to wojo Mitch.

3) Mitch McConnell is a Louisville Cardinals fan and it was his way of yet again snubbing the obviously superior program and team, a/k/a, the Kentucky Wildcats.

Whatever happened, it seemed time for Mitch and Duke to let their freak flag fly:

***Earlier***
If you missed this video like Mitch McConnell missed the UK Wildcats trip to the White House, here it is again: Mitch McConnell — Louisville Cardinals fan, UK Snubber, Tom Jurich lover, and YUM! Center boondoggle defender:

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