New PPP poll provides roadmap for Grimes to kick McConnell’s #ACA

New Public Policy Polling data out today:

ppp81214Vote

McConnell leads Grimes by 4%, with newly minted Libertarian candidate David Patterson pulling in 7% (without Patterson, McConnell leads Grimes 47-42).

In PPP’s previous poll, Grimes was up 1% but that was in early April and since then McConnell’s navigated out of his Primary and presumably absorbed many of those Bevin voters who are no longer ideologically determined to remove Mitch from office because, you know, principles shrinciples.

PPP reports:

All said the race remains close and McConnell remains unpopular- and among the undecided voters McConnell has just a 10% approval rating to 66% of voters who disapprove of him. So Grimes should at least have a chance with those folks.

So Grimes is down 4%, with 9% undecided and the vast majority of them disliking Mitch.

Still… Grimes needs to find a way to turn this race, and to grab the undecideds and move ‘em. Tactically, it may be the case that their steady-as-she-goes approach employed so far may need to kick it up a notch and make some waves.

One possible route… Kynect.

Joe Sonka’s new gig at INSIDER LOUISVILLE starts today with a very Sonka take on the Kentucky Senate race and how both Grimes and McConnell doing everything in their power to avoid talking about the great success of Kentucky’s Obamacare-implemented initiative. Sonka writes:

What wasn’t mentioned by either candidate in their speeches before laid-off coal miners was the fact that they both were located in counties that have seen the most dramatic decrease in the percentage of residents without health insurance in Kentucky — all thanks to the landmark legislation of the unpopular president they were there to roast.

By now, you (and most certainly Addison and Alison) have seen the maps that show how Kynect/ACA have totally transformed the Commonwealth, spreading insurance coverage to the deeply Red corners of the state and giving half-a-million Kentuckians health insurance coverage (75% of whom didn’t have any before).

Obama-Cares

It doesn’t take a political scientist, or a DC campaign strategist for that matter, to figure out that map offers a compelling argument for Grimes to follow the example of 6th District Congressional Candidate Elisabeth Jensen and 3rd District Congressman John Yarmuth, not to mention Governor Beshear, and to finally turn Kynect’s great success into powerful argument for the difference between the parties — and perhaps a winning strategy for November.

The PPP poll looked at the ACA and Kynect and found interesting numbers. For Obamacare, which Mitch McConnell wants to destroy, 41% believe it’s been rolled out well while 54% believe it hasn’t.

But when asked instead about Kynect, Kentucky voters have a very different read: 45% of Kentuckians approve of the Kynect roll out with just 29% disapproving.

ppp81214Kynect

Mitch McConnell wants to destroy Kynect as surely as he wants to destroy the ACA — they are one in the same, literally kynected.

Half a million Kentuckians have now gotten insurance through Kynect and Mitch McConnell is campaigning on taking that insurance away and kicking all those voters and their kids back out to the curb.

In the heart of coal country where Grimes desperately needs to pick up voters, the effects of Kynect have been the most impressive — and by continuing to not communicate the simple message that Mitch McConnell wants to take away their health insurance, Grimes is so far giving up these votes and with them, possibly the election.

Bt0ARukIcAA_ZCx

Times a-wastin’.

Andy Barr Blocks B&P?

Over the weekend, the Herald Leader‘s Larry Dale Keeling wrote (again) about Andy Barr’s abuse of taxpayer money to conduct political activities, using his Congressional office as a guise to spam 6th District voters with campaign style mailers and the like.

It was the second time in three weeks that Larry Dale had turned his pen on Andy’s abuse of power, this time dubbing Garland “Congressman Frankingstein.” In just his first 15 months in office, Andy Barr spent nearly $200,000 “communicating” (or “Franking” as it’s officially known) with his constituents via telephone “town halls” and glossy self-congratulatory mailers — Barr spent 10 times more money than any other member of Kentucky’s D.C. delegation.

Keeling’s well made point is that Andy Barr is abusing his power, abusing taxpayers, and abusing voters — but he had another point that’s worth highlighting. Keeling writes:

If you were Rep. Andy Barr and got called out for sucking up “welfare for politicians” by a curmudgeonly old newspaper columnist, wouldn’t you make darn sure the curmudgeonly old columnist’s household got removed from your franked calling and mailing lists immediately rather than give said curmudgeonly old columnist the further ammunition (and time) it took for an aging brain to settle on the “Congressman Frankingstein” label?

Sure, you would. But Barr didn’t. Enough said about paying attention to detail.

You see, days after Keeling’s first column he was then subjected to an Andy Barr “telephone town hall” invite and another piece of taxpayer funded mail. Rather than remove him from his target list, Andy hit Keeling twice more with his wasteful spending.

It’s amusing that Barr didn’t bother to block Larry Dale because at the same time, Andy Barr took to twitter to block B&P.

It began like this: a little over a week ago, Kentucky Congressman Andy Barr served as a central part of the extremist wing of the Republican Party’s effort to drag a border bill so far to the Right that its passage, which does literally not one thing to actually address the humanitarian crisis on America’s southern border, will prove toxic to that Party’s long-term hopes of ever winning over Hispanic voters.

As debate over this bill came to a late-Friday night vote, Andy Barr joined some of the GOP’s most extreme members on the House floor to defend the pointless bill’s merits. On such an important bill, the House Republican leadership had yet again yielded to their insurgent Tea Party membership and there was Andy Barr out front alongside the House’s craziest contingent, including Ted Poe, Michelle Bachman, and Marsha Blackburn.

Andy Barr (far left) desperate for guidance from Michelle Bachman.

Andy Barr (far left, so to speak) looking desperately to Michelle Bachman for guidance.

This was the face of the Republican Party as Blackburn spoke on the House floor just minutes before the House voted along party lines to pass the GOP’s extremist bill.

After the vote, Andy tweeted out his glee at having helped lead the GOP in passing its extremist bill that did not one single thing to advance his own cause nor help those helpless kids on the border:

BarrBorderRTAnd I tried to retweet Andy’s message, without any commentary, from the B&P twitter account.

But something strange happened – that simple retweet of Barr’s message wouldn’t go through.

Something was amiss, some foolishness afoot, so I dug a little deeper and lo did I discover, @RepAndyBarr had blocked @BarefootKY on twitter.

How intensely pointless. Almost as pointless as Andy’s border bill.

BarrBlockedBandP

“You have been blocked from following this account at the request of the user.”

It’s unclear what exactly blocking B&P accomplishes. B&P can no longer retweet without commentary Andy’s almost universally uninteresting tweets (though we can retweet his messages if we insert commentary, which I suppose is a good wrinkle; Thanks, Garland!), and I gather that on his end, he can’t see B&P’s tweets when the B&P account mentions him — though there’s nothing stopping us from mentioning him, and we can still read all his posts and… yeah, I don’t get it.

Like most other things about Garland H. Barr IV, it’s just absurd.

And keep in mind, this is his official Congressional twitter account, not his personal or campaign account. So taxpayers paid to block B&P. (You could also look at it this way: Taxpayers were paying his staff to read B&P and Andy decided he didn’t need his staff reading this website or its tweets.)

Larry Dale Keeling can take some solace in the fact that while he may not have been exempted from Congressman Frankingstein’s taxpayer-funded campaigning, Andy Barr did take the time to block B&P on Twitter, an action that seems to have served as much purpose as the pointless border bill Andy helped shape and pass.

You can try to block this, Garland, but I’m not sure it will do you much good.

No, no, no... can't block this.

No, no, no… can’t block this.

McConnell is mobbed by supporters, calls Rand Paul the “most credible presidential candidate since Henry Clay”

Mitch McConnell is like the Beatles. When he shows up, it’s literally like Paul McCartney’s come to town. Look!

With crowds like that turning out for him everywhere he goes, it’s easy to see why Mitch McConnell’s staff and hangers on are overconfident about this race — it’s not because they’re overpaid, it’s because this race is over!

If that seems like empty Karl Rove-style bluster, for comparison just check out this photo of an Alison Grimes event in Owensboro just a week ago:

Same town, totally different results. Literally no one shows up for Alison but look back up at that photo of Mitch — it’s like the whole town is there.

Public Policy Polling will have new poll numbers for the race out tomorrow, but after looking at those two photos, it’s clear who in this race has the Mitchmentom.

In one result PPP already released, they asked Kentucky voters who their favorite current Kentucky Senator is, and Rand Paul beat Mitch McConnell by 18 points — that, friends, is just more Mitchmentum.

And it explains this hilarious argument from McConnell, courtesy of the splendid Mr. Ellis:

Now the amusing observation: McConnell belittles the qualifications of Grimes by comparing her experience to the first-term Illinois senator who ran for president. The same day he says first-term Sen. Rand Paul is the “most credible presidential candidate since Henry Clay.”

Of course, all three had more government experience than Abraham Lincoln did when he was elected president.

Mitch McConnell says Rand Paul is the “most credible presidential candidate since Henry Clay.”

Eat it, Ronald Reagan!

Some might say that Mitch McConnell is clearly pandering to a Republican base that can’t stand him and/or is too stupid to figure out he’s pandering to them. Others might say Mitch McConnell is just flat out lying. Still others believe Mitch McConnell’s argument is a steaming pile of B.S.

mitch-benton-nose

Ship shape operation over there with Mitchmentum pulsing through its every organ.

House Energy Chair Ed Whitfield defies Jay Leno, holds fundraiser at boycotted Beverly Hills Hotel

As we noted on Tuesday, Ed Whitfield is headed to Los Angeles this weekend for a swanky Beverly Hills fundraiser at the Beverly Hills Hotel — here’s the invite:

Weekend in Beverly Hills

Festivities get under way tonight, and for a just $1,500 you can get yourself a reserved cabana by the pool.

But about that pool…

WhitfieldBrunei2

WhitfieldBrunei1

Yesterday afternoon, both the Hollywood Reporter and Variety reported on planned protests of Whitfield’s fundraiser.

The Beverly Hills Hotel where Whitfield’s Thoroughbred PAC chose to host the Whitfield weekend is owned by the Sultan of Brunei and the Hotel has been subject to a boycott since mid-April after the sultan implemented Sharia law in Brunei, punishing homosexuals and adulterers with stoning — among other things.

Ed whitfield at Fancy Farm

Whitfield spent last weekend at Fancy Farm shilling for Mitch McConnell and will spend this weekend in Hollywood propping up the Sultan of Brunei. As Frontiers LA notes, Whitfield’s leadership PAC, the Thoroughbred PAC, has already paid out $35,000 to the Beverly Hills Hotel this campaign cycle — which is a nice and welcome chunk of change for the hotel at a time when people like Jay Leno are telling everyday Americans to boycott the place. The hotel has lost more than $1.5 Million in bookings since the boycott began — so it’s good to see Whitfield standing by them.

Of course, Whitfield may have an ulterior motive in holding his event at the Sultan’s Beverly Hills Hotel.

Back in March, a month before the boycott of the Sultan began, the US government’s ExIm bank (which is helmed by an openly gay man) signed an agreement with the government of Brunei to “unlock” up to $1 Billion in US investment in Brunei’s energy sector.

Ed Whitfield is the Chairman of the powerful House Energy and Power subcommittee. Over his career, Whitfield has taken over $1.6 Million in contributions from the energy and natural resources sector.

But certainly that could not be related.

For more on Brunei, watch this mysteriously unembeddable YouTube clip of HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

Mitch vs. “Them”: Paranoid Mitch McConnell satirizes himself

The end of Mitch McConnell’s speech in Middlesboro today was a doozy.

In a minute and a half, Mitch McConnell insults our European allies, then glowingly quotes one of them insulting us, before explaining that his last six years in office have been a total failure and voters should give him six more.

Mitch McConnell essentially ended his speech with a screaming anti-American rant, telling supporters they were wrong to vote for him.

It’s a dizzying argument that preys upon the unhappy and tries to stoke fear in the “other” with no clear explanation of who the other is, other than that it is everyone. Everyone is out to get us. No one understands what we’re up against and they are all coming to destroy our way of life.

Can you follow along?

“So here’s the deal my friends, this is the year we begin to take back America. If you’re unhappy with what they’ve done to our country, the way they’re turning us into a Western European country, the way they question our values, the way they question the way we live, these are people who do not understand us and do no respect us. And this is the year we get to begin to take America back. 

Winston Churchill, who’s probably the most quotable person who ever lived, has said this about the Americans, about all of us, he said, ‘You know, the Americans, they always do the right thing, after they’ve tried everything else first.’ And my friends we’ve been trying everything else first for the last six years and in November 2014 we’re gonna take back America and it begins by changing the Senate and making me the leader of a new majority to take us in a new direction. 

The whole slurring, paranoid mess of it all right down to the Winston Churchill quote that begins “Ya know” as if that’s the way the old codger talked is like some beautifully constructed diatribe from Drunken History.

Winston Churhill was a Western European. Winston Churchill is the reason the United Kingdom has the National Health Service. Churchill believed that for the country to succeed, its citizens needed affordable education and the ability to live healthy lives without going bankrupt or dying for lack of care. When he was told that the NHS needed more money to run even more efficiently and thus make for an even more productive population — Winston Churchill gave the NHS more money. [link, link]

Then we have the quote. This quote is proof that Mitch McConnell hates America and our way of life.

  • Why does Mitch McConnell think that a Western European is the most quotable person who’s ever lived? Shouldn’t it be an American? Why does Mitch McConnell hate our way of life? 
  • Why does Mitch McConnell refer to “the Americans” as if he is not one of them? He says Churchill had “this to say about the Americans” and then quickly corrects himself by adding “about all of us.” Does Mitch McConnell not consider himself one of us? Is Mitch McConnell actually one of them!?
  • The quote is insulting. It’s a backhanded compliment. And it’s a strong backhand. Basically, Americans are blundering idiots who run headlong into any quagmire and then foolishly try to punch their way out until eventually they arrive at some victory which they then claim was the only possible result. That’s the meaning of the quote Mitch McConell is reciting. Why does Mitch McConnell hate America so much? Why does he question our values?

If you thought it was weird that Winston Churchill would’ve started that quote, or any quote, with the phrase “You know” then you probably won’t be surprised to learn that this particular Churchill quote isn’t actually a Churchill quote at all. It’s just some insulting statement about how Americans are too stupid to realize they’re wrong until they finally figure out their problem and Mitch McConnell thinks it’s great.

And finally — setting aside all the paranoid “Theys” and “Thems” who get so increasingly defined as to encapsulate basically anyone who’s not inside that room with Mitch — his argument boils down to this:

Americans do the wrong thing over and over until they finally figure out they’ve been doing it wrong and ultimately learn to try something else.

And then the five term US Senator who’s been living off taxpayer money since 1984 asks for a sixth term in office.

Amazing! It’s like Mitch McConnell got tired of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert and John Oliver and everyone else satirizing his campaign, he decided to just go out there and do it for them.

***

If you’d like to learn more about “these people” who are destroying everything, Ronnie Ellis has excellent coverage of the day in Mitch at the Glasgow Times.

If, on the other hand, you’ve had just about enough of Mitch, here’s a song:

Paging Tom Petty: Mitch McConnell “won’t back down”

One day after Bill Clinton came to town to campaign for Alison Lundergan Grimes, Mitch McConnell was out on the campaign trail himself and because he has the charisma of Flat Stanley, his campaign staff was trying to get the handful of supporters fired up so they played Tom Petty’s “Won’t Back Down.”

That could be a problem.

Tom Petty has a long history of telling Republicans to stop using his songs. In 2000, Petty sent a cease and desist to the George W. Bush campaign for their use of “Won’t Back Down” and after a brief bit of whining, Team Bush backed down.

More recently, Petty went after crazy Tea Partier Michelle Bachman for using his “American Girl” song.

Tom Petty doesn’t object to everyone using his song. In 2012, Tom Petty said he “got chills” when “Won’t Back Down” was played as Bill Clinton introduced Barack Obama at the Democratic Convention, a moment which considerably helped Obama win his re-election.

On the campaign trail today, McConnell’s apparently telling supporters “Come on back, Bill!” as if Clinton’s going to hurt Grimes. But if Mitch were smart, he’d back down. Or at least cease and desist — before he’s forced to.

If we may be so bold, if Team Mitch needs a campaign song and they wanna rip off Tom Petty, here’s one:

“I’m gonna free fall out into nothing, I’m gonna leave this world for a while.” –New Mitch McConnell campaign slogan.