Ousted Head of Bailout King AIG Gives Big $$$ to McConnell (or: It’s not Tom Hanks, but…)

There was Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, fresh from his easy primary win in Kentucky, who said in his keynote remarks that the time had come for the G.O.P. to stop being the handmaiden to Wall Street and instead attend to the anxieties of the middle class. “Our average voter is not John Galt,” McConnell said, referring to the visionary hero of Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged,” that sacred text of the libertarian right. “Hymns to entrepreneurialism are, as a practical matter, largely irrelevant.”

Sam Tanenhaus, “Can the GOP Be the Party of Ideas,” July 6th, 2014 , The New York Times

 

The McConnell campaign’s been busy working to tie Alison Lundergan Grimes to universally hated American pop-culture figures such as the despicable America-hating actor Tom Hanks in an effort to show that she’s out of touch with regular Tom Hanks-hating voters.

Mitch McConnell on the other hand is a man very much in touch.

Last Monday after five of the six men on the Supreme Court delivered their 5-4 Hobby Lobby decision, the High Court dealt with other business — or, in the case of former AIG chieftain Maurice Greenberg, declined to deal with other business.

Greenberg was ousted as CEO of insurance giant AIG in 2005 because of a billion dollar accounting scandal and is now trying to take on the federal government for an ‘unlawful bailout’ of AIG (he thinks its unlawful for different reasons than you might) — but the Supreme Court rejected Greenberg’s arguments and let the lower court’s ruling stand. (As of 2009, Greenberg remained AIG’s second largest shareholder; the largest was the US government.)

The AIG bailout is the largest in US history and Greenberg, of course, says he had nothing to do with what led to the the trillion dollar company’s implosion. After his ouster at AIG and the company’s subsequent collapse, Greenberg has busied himself building up a new insurance giant, C.V. Starr, which has been described by those in the big money insurance biz as “A.I.G. 2

Greenberg and Starr set about poaching AIG execs to his new company which set up shop in an abandoned Lehman Brothers office space — and business has been going swell ever since. In February of this year, for example, Greenberg and C.V. Starr took control of a Chinese insurance company – the first foreign “takeover” of a state-backed insurer in China. Good for them.

Between 2007 and 2009 — the time leading up to and immediately after the government’s bailout of AIG — AIG bundled at least $40,000 in campaign contributions for Mitch McConnell and now it seems “AIG 2″ is continuing to support their old friend.

Maurice “Hank” Greenberg has directly given Mitch McConnell $10,300 between May 2012 and March 2013. Over the same period, Hank’s wife Corinne and their son Lawrence threw in another $6,600. The company, Starr Insurance Holdings, gave Mitch $10,000 in May of 2012 and Starr associates tossed in an extra $4,875.

In total, former AIG chief Maurice Greenberg and his company CV Starr have given Mitch McConnell at least $31,775.

Greenberg’s argument, in its simplest sense, in the AIG case is that the government shouldn’t have bailed the company out as he lost a lot of money in the deal and it had no right to do so. The Supreme Court apparently didn’t see it that way. Neither did Mitch McConnell. The AIG bailout was part of the TARP agreement and when TARP passed, McConnell said: “This has been the Senate at its finest.”

Perhaps Hank Greenberg wants to see more of the same.

Federal 2013-03-15 $2,700.00 GREENBERG, MAURICE NEW YORK, NY CV Starr & Co McConnell Victory Kentucky
Federal 2013-03-31 $2,600.00 GREENBERG, MAURICE NEW YORK, NY CV Starr & Co Mitch McConnell (R)
Federal 2013-11-12 $2,500.00 GREENBERG, CORINNE NEW YORK, NY CV Starr & Co Mitch McConnell (R)
Federal 2013-09-26 $1,600.00 BLOCH, JULIA MRS WASHINGTON, DC Starr Senior Fellow Mitch McConnell (R)
Federal 2013-11-12 $625.00 MATTHEWS, EDWARD PRINCETON, NJ CV Starr & Co Mitch McConnell (R)
Federal 2013-11-12 $625.00 LUNDQVIST, BERTIL NEW YORK, NY CV Starr & Co Mitch McConnell (R)
Federal 2013-11-12 $625.00 SMITH, HOWARD NEW YORK, NY CV Starr & Co Mitch McConnell (R)
Federal 2013-11-12 $625.00 GREENBERG, LAWRENCE NEW YORK, NY CV Starr & Co Mitch McConnell (R)
Federal 2012-05-02 $5,000.00 Starr Insurance Holdings Starr Insurance Holdings Mitch McConnell (R)
Federal 2012-05-02 $5,000.00 Starr Insurance Holdings Starr Insurance Holdings Mitch McConnell (R)
Federal 2012-03-16 $2,500.00 BLOCH, JULIA MRS WASHINGTON, DC Starr Senior Fellow Mitch McConnell (R)
Federal 2012-09-30 $2,500.00 GREENBERG, CORRINE NEW YORK, NY CV Starr & Co Mitch McConnell (R)
Federal 2012-05-10 $2,500.00 GREENBERG, MAURICE NEW YORK, NY CV Starr & Co Mitch McConnell (R)
Federal 2012-06-11 $1,000.00 STARR, KENNETH MR WACO, TX Baylor University Mitch McConnell (R)
Federal 2012-03-16 $1,000.00 BLOCH, JULIA MRS WASHINGTON, DC Starr Senior Fellow Mitch McConnell (R)
Federal 2012-05-10 $1,000.00 MATTHEWS, EDWARD PRINCETON, NJ CV Starr & Co Mitch McConnell (R)
Federal 2012-05-10 $1,000.00 SMITH, HOWARD NEW YORK, NY CV Starr & Co Mitch McConnell (R)
Federal 2012-05-10 $1,000.00 LUNDQUIST, BERTIL NEW YORK, NY CV Starr & Co Mitch McConnell (R)
Federal 2012-05-10 $1,000.00 GREENBERG, LAWRENCE NEW YORK, NY CV Starr & Co Mitch McConnell (R)

Mitch McConnell’s China Problem (or: Happy Independence Day!)

“I could be entirely wrong but I think we’re not likely to see something like the coup in the Soviet Union last August I think it’s just going to happen. It’s gonna evolve. To the point where you wake up one day and look around and you can’t find a Communist with a flashlight.”

–Mitch McConnell, on China, in 1992.

***

It’s July 4th Weekend! Let’s celebrate America and American Independence by celebrating Mitch McConnell and all he’s done to help… China.

Those pants are a red menace, Chairman Mitch.

Two months ago, the Beatyville Enterprise asked Mitch McConnell what he would do to bring jobs to Lee County. McConnell’s response was simple and to the point: “That is not my job.”

Appearing in Beattyville, McConnell was asked by The Beattyville Enterprise what he was going to do to bring jobs to Lee County.

“Economic development is a Frankfort issue,” McConnell said. “That is not my job. It is the primary responsibility of the state Commerce Cabinet.”

Economic development, according to Mitch McConnell, is not one of his responsibilities as a United States Senator. Creating jobs in Kentucky is the duty of folks in Frankfort, not Mitch McConnell. Creating jobs in another country, on the other hand…

When the issue of Mitch McConnell and China comes up, many people make the mistake of conflating Mitch’s problem with Mitch’s wife, Elaine Chao, and this has led to racist and stupid attacks that serve only to distract from the actual issue of Mitch McConnell’s China problem. The fact that Ms. Chao’s family hails from a country that could, at any moment, be invaded by its Communist neighbor has nothing to do with Mitch’s China problem — and indeed if you came here hoping to read such an attack, you’ll be sorely disappointed.

When the Obama administration announced its new EPA rules on carbon emissions at the beginning of June, Mitch McConnell said: “This is the single worst blow to Kentucky’s economy in modern times.”

McConnellWorstBlowModernTimes

Even if we ignore reports that under the EPA’s new rules Kentucky could actually expand its carbon output, Mitch McConnell’s claim is not just false, it’s foolish.

In backing up his claim that the new EPA regs would be “the single worst blow to Kentucky’s economy in modern times,” Mitch said, “We’ve lost 7,000 coal mining jobs so far in Kentucky during the Obama years.” 

Mitch McConnell has served as Kentucky’s Senator for the past 30 years. When Mitch McConnell took office three decades ago, there were 36,814 coal mining jobs. By 2012, there were 14,083 coal mining jobs. [link, link]

To be more clear:

We’ve lost over 22,700 coal mining jobs so far in Kentucky during the McConnell years.

While Mitch McConnell seems perturbed that over the past six years — his own most recent term in office — 7,000 jobs have been lost, that’s nothing compared to what happened under Ronald Reagan. Between 1980 and 1988, Kentucky lost almost 16,000 coal mining jobs.

That’s not all. Under George H. W. Bush  – a period spanning McConnell’s 1st and 2nd terms in office — Kentucky lost another 6,000 jobs in just four years.  During McConnell’s 2nd and 3rd terms, or the Clinton years, Kentucky lost another 8,000 coal jobs.

In fact, the only time during Mitch McConnell’s entire career as Kentucky’s Senator that coal mining jobs increased was under George W. Bush and even then, it was only an increase of about 1,500 jobs. [link]

Judging by these numbers and based on Mitch McConnell’s own reasoning, the single worst blow to Kentucky’s economy came under Ronald Reagan.

But even that — because it’s still based on Mitch McConnell’s own reasoning — is false. If you were to judge “the single worst blow to Kentucky’s economy” by the number of jobs lost, one clear culprit is China and Mitch McConnell has long served as one of Communist China’s chief champions.


 JULY 4th FUN FACT:

The bulk of U.S. fireworks are imported from China to the tune of $203.6 million in 2013. [link]


In 2001, China entered the World Trade Organization. Throughout the 1990s, Mitch McConnell was a leading voice advocating for normalized trade relations with China.

From 2001 to 2011, the state of Kentucky lost 44,100 jobs, many of them in manufacturing, to China. At the same time, the free trade Mitch McConnell pushed for with the promise that it would help our economy has created just 8,400 jobs over the same period. The total number of Kentucky jobs lost to China due to the opening of trade between 2001 and 2011 was 35,700. [link]

Thanks to policies pushed directly by Mitch McConnell, Kentucky’s lost more jobs to China in just the past 10 years than it’s lost in the declining coal market over the last three decades.

KENTUCKY COAL JOBS LOST

IN THE McCONNELL YEARS (1984-2012)

22,700

vs.

KENTUCKY JOBS LOST TO TRADE WITH CHINA

IN THE McCONNELL YEARS (2001-2011)

35,700

If you were looking for the single worst blow to Kentucky’s economy in modern times, it’s likely that the China free trade deal Mitch McConnell spent the 1990s pushing for is it. While McConnell waves his arms about the 7,000 coal jobs lost in the past six years, his advocacy of trade with China has cost Kentucky five times as many jobs in just four more years.

This is Mitch McConnell’s record — and yet, he seems ashamed to run on it.

Attacking Mitch McConnell over the jobs Kentucky has lost due to his push for unconditional free trade with China is nothing new. The DSCC hit Mitch over it, and other trade agreements, in a TV ad in 2008:

And the Grimes campaign is already going after Mitch on the issue as well. In her jobs plan released in January, Grimes lashes Mitch over jobs lost to China [link]:

I believe we can do more to ensure that Kentucky businesses and workers can compete successfully with China. Mitch McConnell does not think that the growing trade deficit with China is a problem. I couldn’t disagree more. Between 2001 and 2011, the U.S. trade deficit with China alone displaced or eliminated 35,700 Kentucky jobs.

During the same period, this trade deficit cost the U.S. 2.1 million manufacturing jobs, more than half of all manufacturing jobs lost.

The McConnell folks are obviously worried about such attacks. Their totally non-allied Super PAC, Kentuckians for Strong Leadership responded to some of Grimes’ claims with a research document and web video that pitted Grimes against Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear. Their point was a muddy one — basically, Grimes says Kentucky’s lost lots of jobs while McConnell’s been in the US Senate (which is true) and yet, according to Kentuckians for Strong Leadership, what Grimes says can’t be true because Steve Beshear has simultaneously touted the creation and repatriation of jobs to Kentucky.

How this argument helps the McConnell campaign is unclear. It is not just possible that Kentucky lost tremendous numbers of jobs under Mitch McConnell’s 30 years in office yet has gained some jobs under Steve Beshear’s last few, it is also accurate.

More to the point: The jobs Beshear touts and that Kentuckians for Strong Leadership trots out as a rebuttal to Grimes were created in Frankfort, not by Mitch McConnell. As you will recall, creating jobs in Kentucky is not actually Mitch McConnell’s job.

“Economic development is a Frankfort issue,” McConnell said. “That is not my job. It is the primary responsibility of the state Commerce Cabinet.”

So when Grimes says Kentucky lost jobs under McConnell’s “strong leadership” that has little to do, by Mitch’s own argument, with the fact that Beshear has been able to bring some jobs back.


FUN FACTS ABOUT “KENTUCKIANS FOR STRONG LEADERSHIP”

Kentuckians for Strong Leadership was founded by Scott Jennings, longtime Karl Rove deputy and a former McConnell aide.

Three quarters of the money Kentuckians for Strong Leadership raised in the first half of last year came from the same people who fund Karl Rove’s American Crossroads Super PAC. [link]

Just 2% of the money Kentuckians for Strong Leadership raised in the first half of 2013 actually came from people in Kentucky. [link]

And in the second half of 2013, none of the money raised by Kentuckians for Strong Leadership came from people in Kentucky. [link]


In her jobs plan, Alison Lundergan Grimes promises that as Senator she would address China’s currency manipulation. Citing an Economic Policy Institute study, the Grimes jobs plan argues that correcting China’s manipulation would create 4.7 million jobs.

Indeed, China’s currency manipulation is one of the major causes of the ballooning of the US trade deficit with China since 2001 and thus a major cause of the 35,700 jobs Kentucky has lost thanks to the policies Mitch McConnell has spent two decades advocating. EPI explains:

While the value of its currency should have increased as China exported more and more goods, it has instead remained artificially low, and China has aggressively acquired dollars to further depress the value of its own currency. China has tightly pegged its currency to the U.S. dollar at a rate that encourages a large bilateral surplus with the United States. China had to purchase $453 billion in U.S. treasury bills and other securities between December 2008 and December 2009, alone, to maintain this peg. China has acquired a total of $2.4 trillion in foreign exchange reserves as of December 2009. About 70% of these reserves are held in U.S. dollars. This intervention makes the yuan artificially cheap relative to the dollar, effectively subsidizing Chinese exports. The best estimates place this effective subsidy at roughly 40% of the U.S. dollar, even after recent appreciation in the yuan. Currency intervention also artificially raises the cost of U.S. exports to China by a similar amount, making U.S. goods less competitive in that country.

In a fascinating window into the inner-thoughts of the McConnell campaign, Team Mitch this past February put out an “infographic” titled “Follow the Leader” in which they suggested that Alison Lundergan Grimes was ripping off the ideas of Mitch McConnell.

Here’s how they put it on the Team Mitch Facebook page:

Alison Grimes is playing “follow the leader” because she knows that Mitch’s proven leadership is working for all Kentuckians. But don’t just take our word for it, check out this infographic which highlights the difference between leadership and campaign rhetoric.

The logic in the argument is interesting. Alison knows Mitch’s leadership is working and that’s why she’s copying him and so if you look at their info graphic you’ll see the difference between them. According to Mitch, Grimes is unfit for office because she shares his policy platforms.

The Facebook post itself links to a page that no longer exists – http://www.teammitch.com/follow_the_leader – and thus the infographic they teased also seems to have been disappeared from the McConnell site:

MM-FollowTheLeader

 

But were Mitch’s info graphic still on Mitch’s site, you’d be able to see that it ended with Mitch’s take on China and how Alison had supposedly copied it, and that Mitch — according to Mitch — has already lead the way on curbing China’s currency manipulation:

Mitch McConnell sponsored legislation in 2012 that protected over 1,150 Kentucky jobs that would have otherwise been negatively affected by Chinese trade practices. Mitch McConnell cosponsored legislation that would have required the Secretary of the Treasury to take action against countries engaging in currency manipulation.

MM_EG_Follow_the_Leader_Infographic_3_V2

Again: The McConnell campaign’s argument against Grimes is that she’s just like him and thus you shouldn’t vote for her.

While you ponder that, ponder this: The McConnell campaign claims that in 2012, the Kentucky Senator sponsored legislation that protected 1,150 jobs that would be affected by Chinese trade practices and that he co-sponsored legislation that would have required the Secretary of the Treasury to take action against countries engaging in currency manipulation.

Sounds promising. McConnell did help pass a bill in 2012 that was signed into law by President Barack Obama and which helped save jobs across the country and in Kentucky. Barack Obama said of the bill:

“I just signed a bill to help American companies that are facing unfair foreign competition,” the president said. “These companies employ tens of thousands of Americans in nearly 40 states. Because of subsidies from foreign governments, some of their foreign competitors are selling products at an artificially low price. That needs to stop.”

That’s a good achievement, and Mitch has a right to be proud of it… but it’s 1,100 jobs saved against his own record of exporting over 35,000 jobs to China.

McConnell further contention, that he pushed for a bill to take action against countries involved in currency manipulation, is more troubling. In 2011, Mitch McConnell actually tried to block legislation that would target China’s currency manipulation.

McConnell’s reputation as the “Guardian of Gridlock” is so well known, that’s what he calls himself.

“Some of the proudest moments in my own career that I can think of are thing’s that I’ve stopped.” –Mitch McConnell.

Mitch McConnell’s filibustered so many bills over the past three decades that in 2012 he finally filibustered himself. So it’s not surprising that when the US Senate got close to passing a bill on China’s currency manipulation, Mitch McConnell was out front trying to filibuster it.

But on this occasion, Mitch got stymied. McConnell’s attempt to filibuster the bill that would’ve force the US Treasury to address China’s currency manipulation was broken by his fellow Republican, Lindsey Graham.

Graham had harsh words for McConnell’s fixation on blocking legislation rather than focusing on the primary job of a US Senator, protecting America’s workforce:

Graham punctured a hole in McConnell’s strategy by shaming any lawmaker that would vote against moving forward on the China bill.

“Enough is enough,” Graham said. “I am sorry the amendment process around this place is so screwed up.

“I try to be a team player where I can be, because I believe Senator McConnell is doing a very good job. Senator Reid has got his agenda [but] it is not about Harry Reid or Mitch McConnell. It is about people in my state who will lose their job if we don’t do something,” Graham said.

Graham said he is tired of partisan squabbles over procedure, and urged his colleagues to act.

“The institution I need to be protecting is the American workforce, who is having their clock cleaned by a communist dictatorship who cheats,” Graham said.

Days later, the bill Mitch couldn’t stop passed the United States Senate over McConnell’s vehement objection:

On Tuesday, the Senate passed a bill that would require the Treasury Department to order the Commerce Department to impose tough tariffs on certain Chinese goods in the event of a finding by the Treasury that China was improperly valuing its currency to gain an economic advantage.

The measure passed 63 to 35, with 16 Republican votes, an unusual dynamic in the Democrat-controlled Senate. It enjoyed rare support from members of both parties despite the strong disapproval of Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, who pressed his party colleagues to vote against it.

Lindsey Graham blasted McConnell for not standing up to “a communist dictatorship who cheats” but he shouldn’t be surprised. McConnell’s never really stood up to China’s communist dictatorship – and that’s Mitch McConnell’s China problem.


 JULY 4th FUN FACT

The United States imported $4 million in U.S. flags last year, 97 percent of which came from China. [link]


Mitch McConnell spent most of the 1990s fighting for ‘permanent normal trade relation status’ with Communist China. In 2000, McConnell voted for that status and China was finally granted the PNTR. That helped pave the way for the WTO, the following year, to admit China into its ranks.

Of course, Mitch McConnell is hardly alone working to outsource the US economy to China. Lots of politicians on both sides of the aisle have done so, working together to deliver us to this place where the US trade deficit with China has grown from $10 Billion in 1990 to over $300 Billion today. [link]

“It’s not a huge problem,” Mitch McConnell told the Kentucky Post in 2006 in response to a question about the US trade deficit with China. “If you want to hold inflation down and if American consumers want high-quality goods at low prices, then the global economy is for you.”

And then McConnell hinted at his problem:

“The flip side of that is we want the Chinese market to be open … we want the global economy to be a two-way winner.”

Mitch McConnell’s China Problem isn’t just that he’s been complicit in making today’s complete imbalance happen. And Mitch McConnell’s China Problem isn’t only that his policies have lead to a lost of over 35,000 jobs in Kentucky. No, Mitch McConnell’s problem is bigger than that.

Not only does Mitch McConnell seem to unable to understand what’s happening, he’s been horrifically wrong about China and the effect of Free Trade from the beginning.

In 1992, McConnell argued that opening up trade with China would engage the Communist giant and lead to political reforms.

And McConnell went even further. Mitch McConnell said that America’s opening of trade with China would lead to a dramatic moment where “one day you wake up and you can’t find a Communist with a flashlight.”

Mitch McConnell’s China Problem is that he was wrong on China in 1992, and he’s been wrong about it ever since. McConnell’s justification for growing China’s economy was that it would help our own (it’s cost three million jobs) and that it would topple China’s Communist government (it hasn’t).

Two decades after Mitch said that and three decades after he took office, China’s Communist Party maintains its hold on that country and now, thanks to Mitch McConnell’s three decades of effort to grow China’s economy, they maintain a level of control over ours.

Happy Independence Day!

Mitch McConnell says it’s “not my job” to bring jobs to Kentucky and he says the trade deficit with China that’s led to over 35,000 jobs leaving Kentucky is “not a huge problem.”

Mitch McConnell also says, “I could be entirely wrong” and, unfortunately, he was.

“Again I could be entirely wrong but I think we’re not likely to see something like the coup in the Soviet Union last August I think it’s just going to happen. It’s gonna evolve. To the point where you wake up one day and look around and you can’t find a Communist with a flashlight.”

George Wallace vs. Steve Beshear: You Decide.

Rev. Blanchard, Yesterday:

Asked about Beshear’s decision to keep defending the ban, Rev. Blanchard denounced the governor, likening him to Alabama Gov. “George Wallace standing in the schoolhouse door blocking black children from coming inside.”

Steve Beshear, Today:

[Beshear] said his sole purpose for filing the appeal is that “every Kentuckian deserves to get an answer on this very difficult and controversial issue.”

He recalled that 74 percent of Kentuckians voted for a constitutional amendment in 2004 to ban same-sex marriages in the state.

….Told that some of his critics are comparing his actions to that of the late Alabama Gov. George Wallace, who tried to block integration at the University of Alabama in June 1963, Beshear said that “people on both sides of this issue are very passionate and very emotional, and I understand that.”

George Wallace, Back in the Day:

I stand before you here today in place of thousands of other Alabamians whose presence would have confronted you had I been derelict and neglected to fulfill the responsibilities of my office. It is the right of every citizen, however humble he may be, through his chosen officials of representative government to stand courageously against whatever he believes to be the exercise of power beyond the Constitutional rights conferred upon our Federal Government. It is this right which I assert for the people of Alabama by my presence here today.

WallaceVsBeshear

Barr Dodges Rape/Incest Question; McConnell targets discrimination of unborn girls via “sex education abortion”

Sonka has a must read report at the LEO on this past weekend’s National Right to Life Convention held in Louisville and hosted by the “no exceptions even in case of rape and incest” Kentucky Right to Life Association. As discussed here over the last few days, Mitch McConnell and Andy Barr addressed the convention and Sonka has the details.

A coupld tidbits to whet your appetite: Andy Barr is co-sponsoring legislation that would ban all abortion in America — with no exemptions for rape, incest nor the health of the mother — and also ban many forms of conventional birth control.

Sonka reports:

At the convention, Barr decried Democrats for not having “empathy for” or respecting the “privacy of” women going through an unplanned pregnancy, calling Planned Parenthood “an abortion factory in disguise that has nothing to do with planning or parenthood.” Barr added that Democratic concerns for the life and health of the mother “has become a cover for late-term abortion on demand and the even greater horror of infanticide.”

After his speech, Barr told reporters that the only two issues related to abortion before Congress are bills limiting abortion to 20 weeks and defunding Planned Parenthood. Asked by LEO about his sponsorship of the Life at Conception Act and its lack of exemption for rape victims, Barr replied, “The Life at Conception Act makes sure that unborn children have 14th Amendment protections. So thank you all very much, I have another meeting,” and walked away. According to a questionnaire Barr filled out from Kentucky Right to Life, he does not support an exemption for rape victims and supports banning birth control preventing fertilized eggs from attaching to the uterus.

In the past, Andy Barr has claimed the only exception he accepts is when the life of the mother is at risk, but in his address in Louisville, Congressman Andy “Even in cases of Rape and Incest” Barr is apparently moving further into nutville and no longer cares about the well-being of the mother-to-be.

And if that wasn’t enough to get you over to the LEO, here’s a deep thought from Mitch McConnell:

“Kentuckians who want to do something to fight back against the growing discrimination we’ve seen against unborn girls in this country, through sex education abortion, aren’t even being allowed to vote on this issue in the U.S. Senate,” said McConnell.

Sex Education Abortion, huh. Okay, Mitch. There’s much more where that came from.

 

Karl Rove-Linked Super PAC Releases Pro-Andy Barr Hobby Lobby Ad (“Every Andy’s Sacred”)

When he was running for office two years ago, Andy Barr used his newborn daughter in a campaign mailer attacking Ben Chandler for not being tough enough on abortion.

To put that in some perspective: Ben Chandler voted to slash all funding to international organizations that provide assistance to starving women and children suffering from HIV/AIDS if they even mentioned the word “abortion”… and that is not extreme enough for Andy Barr.

Chandler also voted for the Stupak Amendment to the Affordable Care Act which, aside from being blasted as a giant setback to the women’s movement, blocked any federal funding of abortions except in the case of rape, incest or if the mother’s life was at stake… and that is not extreme enough for Andy Barr.

Barr’s mailer highlighting his hardline stance on women’s rights featured a photo of his newborn daughter with the possibly serious and soul-searching question asked in a brief moment of self-awareness: “WHO’LL BE ON HER SIDE?”:

Now, it’s generally uncouth to get all personal on topics like these, but for some insane reason Andy Barr already went there, so…

Andy Barr is approaching his 41st birthday. He did not have a child until he was 38ish. Being generous, that means for twenty-odd years, Andy Barr somehow magically managed to not father a child (that we know about). There are a few options:

1. He saved himself for marriage.

2. He used some form of birth control.

3. Gross. Enough.

Andy Barr yesterday praised the Hobby Lobby decision by the Supreme Court. The decision protects the rights of private companies to have religious beliefs which trump the individual liberties of American citizens.

Among those beliefs is that emergency contraception — like the kind administered after a woman is raped, for example — and certain types of widely used and highly effective birth control (the IUD) are actually types of abortion.

This is a political and moral stance shared by Andy Barr. Barr has received the endorsement of the Kentucky Right to Life Association but the KRLA only endorses candidates who score 100% on their questionnaire. Here are two questions Andy Barr would have answered affirmatively:

RapeIncestRape-BarrPaul

“Are you morally and/or medically opposed to chemical abortions, such as RU-486, the abortion pill and other drugs known to prevent the newly created human being from attaching to his/her mother’s womb?”

The IUD is a form of birth control used by 10% American women, so far, and which has significantly higher rates of effectiveness than even the pill. Hobby Lobby and Andy Barr object to the IUD because they believe it prevents “the newly created human being” from attaching to the womb.

While some believe the science behind these beliefs is highly questionable — and the hypocrisy of them is quite clear — the simple fact is this: This is basic human biology.

Now, bear with us as the following discussion is highly technical and may be hard to follow if you have not extensively studied science, science things and other science based studies to which we include biology and sweeping conjecture.

If the objection to the IUD or to emergency contraception given to women after surviving a rape is that it prevents implantation then it is hypocritical to use any type of birth control.

The very point of the Pill is to prevent a sperm-laden egg from attaching to a mother’s womb. That’s why they call it “birth control.” The point is to let the sperm do their swimming and let the egg do its thing and then prevent anything from happening. Shocking, scary stuff.

Andy Barr must be opposed to all forms of birth control. If he is not, Andy Barr is a hypocrite. Birth Control is murder.

Another thing that’s murder? Condoms.

Condoms are murder. One of the central purposes, as Andy may already know, is to prevent sperm from getting to an egg and thereby prevent fertilization and thus prevent implantation. Condoms are murder.

This is not hyperbole.

It’s not conjecture.

This is science. Pure and simple.

And that brings us to the new ad from the Karl Rove linked Super PAC “Andy Barr’s Rising” which celebrates the Hobby Lobby decision, science, and our 6th District Congressman’s hard line stance against birth control. It’s a rousing rallying cry for like-minded central Kentucky voters to get out and lend Andy a hand:

Takeaways in Hobby Lobby vs. 6th District Women — Barr & Jensen Statements + Barr/McConnell supporters

Some world-view takeaways from the competing statements on the SCOTUS Hobby Lobby decision from our 6th District Congressional Candidates.

1. Andy Barr touts the decision as a victory for the “Corporations Are People” worldview.

In Andy’s view of the world, the Founding Fathers intended for private corporations to enjoy their own pursuit of happiness protections at the cost of the individual freedoms of those who work for such companies.

2. Andy Barr Doubles Down on his War on Kentucky’s Insured Voters.

Andy uses his Hobby Lobby statement to reiterate the fact that it is his mission in life to kick over 400,000 Kentuckians off the health insurance plans they now have. Andy’s unrelenting war on Kentucky’s newly insured targets young people, mothers and young families. They suddenly have insurance through Kynect, the Kentucky health insurance exchange created by Obamacare, and Andy Barr will rip their insurance cards right out of their hands. Three quarters of these folks didn’t previously have insurance and half of them are under the age of 35.

Andy Barr will save them from the tyranny of finally being able to afford health care by repealing Kynect and putting all those Kentucky voters — 1 out of every 10 Kentuckians — back in the position of being one bad accident or illness away from bankruptcy. Or death.

3. Unlike Andy Barr, Elisabeth Jensen Doesn’t Think Birth Control is Evil (and unlike Andy Barr, Jensen has empathy for rape survivors).

If you’re Andy Barr, you think birth control is amoral, unnatural and just plain evil. In earning a 100% score from the Kentucky Right to Life Association and thus their endorsement, Andy Barr would have answered affirmatively that he is morally opposed to the IUD, a form of birth control used by about 9% of American women and much more effective than the Pill. Barr also, as we’ve discussed, is opposed to emergency contraception in part because Andy Barr believes survivors of rape and incest who’ve been impregnated by their attacker should be forced by government (and apparently private corporations) to carry that pregnancy.

Elisabeth Jensen, on the other hand, clearly thinks that’s insane. It’s the 21st Century. We’re talking about birth control, women’s rights and family planning, and we live in a little place called, Reality, where corporations are not people.


Here’s the statement from Republican candidate in Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District, Andy Barr:

“Today, the U.S. Supreme Court has delivered a historic victory for religious freedom in America. I applaud Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood for taking a stand against Obamacare’s attack on religious liberty and complete disregard for our First Amendment rights.

I remain committed to repealing and replacing Obamacare with real healthcare reforms that will actually lower the cost of care for Kentucky families without infringing on their constitutional rights.”

And here’s the statement from Democratic candidate in Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District, Elisabeth Jensen:

“This Supreme Court decision in Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby is bad for women and bad for hard working Kentucky families.  Women in some Kentucky companies just lost contraception and family planning benefits provided by KYnect.

It’s no wonder all three of the women justices were opposed to this decision and it’s another reason why we need more women in Congress and more women on the Supreme Court.  Doesn’t the Court understand corporations are not people and should not be entitled to the protections afforded individuals?”


Who’s side are you on?

It wasn’t just the candidate’s responses that were interesting. As you may have heard, Mitch McConnell supporter Erick Erickson (new to Mitch cause but welcomed heartily by the McConnell campaign) put out this egregiously sexist tweet after the ruling was announced. Mitch McConnell’s wife celebrated the Court’s ruling by telling his wife to get back in the kitchen:

Misogyny+Mitch

Similarly charming was a tweet directed at Andy Barr. The tweet came from central Kentucky Pastor Jeff Fugate and said simply, “Thank you, Andy Barr, for standing with Hobby Lobby and religious freedom!”

What’s strange is that Fugate later deleted the tweet. After retweeting Fugate’s support of Barr and pointing out that Fugate’s the head of a church where entertainment is defined as white people donning black face, Fugate’s original tweet went sayonara.

Barr+Fugate

Fugate — whose antics B&P has monitored before (go here if you’d like for him to yell at you and make a mixed metaphor how America needs to act like a used car salesman) — is renowned locally for his extreme views and fire and brimstone views which trend always toward the “Burn in Hell!” variety. I couldn’t tell you why Fugate chose to delete his tweet (perhaps he’s ashamed of his black face incident) but what’s even stranger is that he didn’t bother to delete his exact same tweet made in support of Mitch McConnell.

Fugate+Mitch

It’s no great surprise that Barr and McConnell have these types of allies. That’s just the kind of guys they are.