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.

With only hours left before fundraising deadline, McConnell & Barr make their statements on Rape & Birth Control

It was the worst of times, it was the even more worst of times. Such was the weekend message from Mitch McConnell and Andy Barr.

Mitch McConnell, with Andy Barr right by his side, rallied with folks who’d use the big hand of government to force rape survivors to carry a rape or incest-induced pregnancy to term, while Alison Lundergan Grimes rallied with a woman who’d help real live actual kids pay back their student loans. If you can’t tell, one of those rallies considers itself “pro life.” 

On forcing raped women to have their rapist’s children, limiting a woman’s right to choose, questioning the need and morality of birth control and rolling back three decades of individual liberty, McConnell told the National Right to Life Convention:

“For six years, the president has been isolated from this growing movement,” McConnell said. “He will be forced to listen to the cause that’s brought us all here this morning.” 

The convention was held in Louisville and was sponsored by the Kentucky Right to Life Association — an association so extreme it refuses to endorse any candidate who supports an abortion exemption for survivors of rape and incest. Congressman Andy Barr has received the Kentucky Right to Life Association’s “even in cases of rape and incest” endorsement.

If that was unclear, let’s state it again: Congressman Garland H. Barr IV believes that no exception should be made even in cases of rape and incest. If a young girl is raped and impregnated by her uncle, Andy Barr says, “Tough shit.”

In the past, Andy Barr has claimed to support only one exception to his hard-line and heartless stance: if the mother’s life is endangered. However, over the weekend, Barr questioned even that exception. Addressing the National Right to Life Convention, Barr said that concerns about the life of the mother are simply “cover for late-term abortions on demand and infanticide.”

Per his Kentucky Right to Life Association endorsement, Barr would even oppose abortions when they aren’t even abortions — such is the case with the morning after pill which is commonly administered after a rape when no one can know if the rapist impregnated the woman. Andy Barr opposes that pill.

Andy Barr also lashed out at Planned Parenthood. He called the group “an abortion factory” that has “nothing to do with planned parenthood.”

First of all… what would the point of an “abortion factory” be? What are they manufacturing? Do they count as blue collar workers? If Andy Barr were to shut Planned Parenthood down, would that be part of his war on American manufacturing jobs? Or is this just some sort of moronic dog whistle to suggest that there’s a secret leftist plot to kill babies because leftists hate babies and delight in killing them?

Either way, Planned Parenthood is hardly an “abortion factory” and contrary to Andy Barr’s mixed up beliefs has pretty much everything to do with planning parenthood:

  • Planned Parenthood provides 585,000 Pap tests and nearly 640,000 breast exams each year, critical services in detecting cancer.
  • Planned Parenthood provides nearly 4.5 million tests and treatments for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.
  • Three percent of all Planned Parenthood health services are abortion services.
  • Planned Parenthood affiliates provide educational programs to more than one million young people and adults each year.

Scary stuff! Educational programs! Oooooooooo!

Nothing’s worse than an educated woman, right, Garland?

And speaking of education! Elizabeth Warren came to town to support Alison Lundergan Grimes in her race against Mitch McConnell. Warren was there to attack McConnell for his ongoing War on American Students and Young People.

McConnell recently doubled down on his war on our young people by blocking student loan reform. McConnell firebombed the bill’s chances, choosing to keep millions of young Americans locked up in secret government debt camps rather than ask a few millionaires to pay their fair share of taxes.

So Warren came to Kentucky — and a lot of people showed up:

I don’t have the official headcount but based on photos I’ve seen, it’s quite possible more people showed up for Warren & Grimes Student Loan Extravaganza than showed up for McConnell and Barr’s Rape & Incestpalooza.

But never fear! The McConnell folks were not deterred and loudly protested the Grimes/Warren event:

Including this absolutely devastating attack on the Grimes campaign, as captured by Mr. Sonka:

That’s right, folks, Grimes supports UK.

Now… today is the last day of the Fundraising Quarter.

The campaigns need big numbers. Grimes is getting some great national and local support. Getting rid of Mitch McConnell is a pretty hot topic.

But there’s another way to help Ditch Mitch.

Elisabeth Jensen.

She’s running against Andy Barr. Her race has begun to get national attention as more and more people realize that the 6th District Congressional Race is not only winnable, it’s actually a vital component to winning the Kentucky Senate race.

As such, for lots of people who’ve already donated to the Grimes campaign, now is a really good opportunity to donate to the Jensen campaign:

Basically, the way the dynamics break down is this: The DCCC and other groups who can help push the 6th District race over the top have begun to take note of Jensen’s campaign against Barr. One of the things that determines how much they’ll be willing to help is how much help Jensen gets at home. For Grimes to win the Senate race, she’ll need a huge turnout in the 6th District. The stronger Jensen’s campaign is, the more it’s on the airwaves, the more Kentucky voters will hear about the McConnell/Barr agenda to, among other things, force women to have their rapist’s baby and severely limit access to perfectly reasonable forms of birth control.

So the clock’s ticking. Today’s the last day of the quarter, and there are a lot of folks waiting for the numbers from the Grimes and Jensen campaigns. If you’ve already done a lot to support the Grimes campaign, here’s a chance to do a little bit more. And if you’re just tired of Andy Barr, Jensen’s you’re chance to get rid of him.

If, on the other hand, you think rapists should be entitled and empowered to impregnate women and that the government should punish rape survivors who’ve had abortions with prison sentencences, then you’ll want to throw your money behind Andy Barr. You can do that here.

Or… you know…

Mitch McConnell’s statement on Hobby Lobby:

“Today’s Supreme Court decision makes clear that the Obama administration cannot trample on the religious freedoms that American Corporations hold dear.”

Andy Barr’s statement on Hobby Lobby:

“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 which the Founders clearly intended to mean that you are not allowed to make your own decisions about your body.”

Elisabeth Jensen’s statement on Hobby Lobby:

Your statement on Hobby Lobby?:

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Rape, Incest and Strained Bedfellows — Mitch McConnell & Andy Barr at the National “Right to Life” Convention

“There is a ‘War on Women’ but it’s not being waged by us. It’s coming from the pit of Hell!”

And with that, the 44th Annual National Right to Life Convention got underway yesterday morning at the Galt House in Louisville. Mitch McConnell will keynote the convention’s big Saturday schedule. Sixth District Congressman Andy Barr will also address the conference, which is being hosted by the Kentucky Right to Life Association. From the NRLC’s press release:

Saturday morning, the Bluegrass State’s own Sen. Mitch McConnell will rally attendees at a general session. Kentucky Congressmen Brett Guthrie (R-KY2) and Andy Barr (R-KY6) will also speak Saturday morning.

This is the first time that the annual gathering has come to Louisville. The Kentucky Right to Life Association (www.krla.org), the Bluegrass State’s National Right to Life affiliate, is serving as host for this year’s convention.

The National Right to Life Commission has done some work in recent years to try to distance the Right to Life movement from its “even in cases of rape and incest” position that’s just toxic to even most opponents of abortion. The NRLC hasn’t really abandoned its goal of forcing women and girls impregnated by a rapist to have the child whether they like it or not, they’ve just tried to shove the issue aside and pretend its not central to their mission… even though it clearly is.

The Kentucky Right to Life association, which is hosting this years NRLC Convention has no such qualms. The KRLA remains all in on the question of rape or incest. If you were raped by your uncle, in the eyes of the KRLA, you must be forced by the government and law enforcement to give birth.

Andy Barr apparently agrees.

 

Every election cycle, the Kentucky Right to Life Association puts out a questionnaire to candidates. Then, they endorse or recommend the candidates who represent their twisted “right to life” viewpoint. This is a coveted endorsement because most voters don’t realize that the KRLA will only endorse a candidate who opposes all abortions, even those conducted in the case of rape or incest.

That is, in fact, the key difference between being an “ENDORSED” Kentucky Right to Life Candidate and simply being “RECOMMENDED” by them.

Andy Barr has been ENDORSED by the Kentucky Right to Life Association.

krlcbarr

In their 2014 Primary voter guide, the KRLA lists Barr as “ENDORSED” while McConnell is only “RECOMMENDED” (albeit, with a whole extra page explaining that Matt Bevin’s pure evil… and we’ll get to that below) — you can view the full PDF here.

If you’re unclear about how one gets “ENDORSED” by the Kentucky Right to Life Association, the story of Rand Paul will help you understand.

As they did in the 2014 Republican Primary, the KRLA went out its way to try to sway the 2010 Republican Senate Race. They made a huge play in support of Trey Grayson and got in a very public spat with Rand Paul. Rand was sending out campaign mailers claiming he’d scored 100% on the KRLA questionnaire. The Kentucky Right to Life Association pushed back — publicly releasing Rand Paul’s questionnaire [PDF] to demonstrate that while he had answered every question correctly (including that he was opposed to any exception for rape or incest), Rand Paul hadn’t actually answered every question. Rand had failed to answer question #9 regarding stem cells. As such, Rand Paul had not scored 100% on their survey and because of he did not score 100% on their survey, they could not endorse him.

“Rand Paul filled out, signed and faxed the KRLA PAC survey to the KRLA PAC office on February 11th at 10:29 am. Rand Paul did not score 100% on the questionnaire,” the group says. “This is one reason why Rand Paul was not eligible for the Kentucky Right to Life PAC Endorsement for the U.S. Senate seat.”

If you don’t score 100% on their survey, you are not eligible for the Kentucky Right to Life’s endorsement.

Here are two questions from the KRLA survey (pdf):

RapeIncestRape-BarrPaul

2. Do you oppose abortion in cases of rape and incest?

3. 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 (implantation)?

You will note that to get a 100% rating and the endorsement of the Kentucky Right to Life Association, you will not only have to be in favor of forcing against their will women to carry to term a child conceived via rape and incest, you also must be opposed to the morning after pill, a pill routinely given to women after they’ve been raped and before anyone can know whether or not they are in fact pregnant.

That’s simply heartless. And that, friends, is Garland H. Barr IV:

krlcbarrAs KRLA itself has stated, if you do not score 100% on their survey you are not eligible for their endorsement. The Kentucky Right to Life Association, host of this year’s annual National Right to Life Conference, endorsed Andy Barr and therefore Andy Barr received a 100% rating from them based on his survey response which means Andy Barr is makes no exception for cases of rape and incest.

The only exception Andy Barr will make is if the life of the mother is in endangered — and the Kentucky Right to Life Association is okay with that… in fact, it’s not one of their questions on their survey. But if you’ve been raped, tough luck: Andy Barr and the KRLA think the government should control your body.

The Republican Party (and the NRLC) have worked very hard since 2012 to put their “no exception for rape and incest” politicians in the closet. They don’t want to talk about it, they don’t want you to ask about it, and they don’t want you to know where they stand. Almost like being in favor of forcing rape victims to have the rapists baby is something to be ashamed of… but it’s not Andy. Embrace it.

KRLA-endorserules

“We will not endorse any candidate with a rape/incest exception. We may ‘recommend’ him/her if KRLA PAC believes that candidate would advance the cause of life more so than his/her opponent.”

The Kentucky Right to Life Association’s approach to Mitch McConnell is quite different.

KRLA-McConnell

In their 2014 Voter Guide, the Kentucky Right to Life Association lists McConnell only as “Highly Recommended.” They do include an entire page dedicated to making the case for why they support McConnell instead of the more rabidly pro-life Matt Bevin. The reasons include [PDF] that Mitch McConnell is the “single greatest obstacle in the US Senate” to passing any legislation and that McConnell:

  • is the Senate’s chief defender of the First Amendment right of citizen groups to communicate with the public about the positions and voting records of those who hold or seek public office, and a courageous foe of at- tempts to curb that right under the guise of “campaign finance reform.”

That’s right. While the KRLA cannot endorse Mitch McConnell they do “highly recommend” him because of his work to subvert democracy by allowing and encouraging the takeover of our political process by billionaires and multinational corporations.

The KRLA’s decision to back McConnell with the “highly recommended” label in the Primary vs. Matt Bevin enraged another anti-choice group, Northern Kentucky Right to Life. Unaffiliated from either the KRLA or the National Right to Life Conference that is this weekend holding its annual convention in Louisville, the Northern Kentucky Right to Life group endorsed Bevin and attacked both McConnell and KRLA for being soft on abortion (apparently Mitch, unlike Andy Barr, thinks abortion is a-okay in cases of rape, which makes him soft on the issue and thus precludes the KRLA from actually endorsing him). This led to some entertaining infighting about who really stands up for the right of government to micromanage women’s bodies.

And that infighting is part of a larger battle that is going on in the right to life movement — and that will be playing out this weekend at their annual convention. In honoring Mitch McConnell and trying to help shove him toward victory, the NRLC is creating some strange and strained bedfellows.

Their affiliated group in Georgia recently lashed back over what they perceived as the National Right to Life Committee’s softening stance on rape and incest abortions. While the NRLC has tried to quiet the issue down in the wake of disastrous results in 2012 campaigns across the country, some groups like the Northern Kentucky Right to Life and the NRLC’s Georgia affiliate have fought back.

In Georgia, this lead to the NRLC cutting all ties with its affiliate and setting up a new relationship with a new anti-choice group, this one run by conservative pundit Erick Erickson.

In a statement released Saturday, the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) announced that Georgia Right to Life would no longer represent them as their Georgia state affiliate, despite their massive pro-life successes over the past 12 years.

National Right to Life welcomed the Georgia Life Alliance as its new affiliate in the state. Georgia Life Alliance is backed by RedState.com’s Erick Erickson and others who hold that legislative exceptions for rape and incest are acceptable political compromises. Last summer, Erickson called Georgia Right to Life the “Westboro Baptist Church” of the pro-life movement because they encouraged their Georgia representatives in Congress to withdraw support for the federal Fetal Pain Act once exceptions for rape and incest were included by Rep. Eric Cantor.

Erick Erickson has spent the past two years trying to oust Mitch McConnell from office. He did everything in his power to push ‘true conservatives’ to oppose McConnell in the primary because McConnell is a career politician who’s been in Washington for 30 years and though Mitch claims to be a conservative, votes time and again to balloon the deficit and raise the national debt limit.

But this weekend, at least, McConnell and Erickson will be on the same side of the bed, spooning if you will.

The National Right to Life Convention, hosted by “even in cases of rape and incest” Kentucky Right to Life Association is going on now. Here’s the program:

Mitch-McConnell-web

GENERAL SESSION
9:00 – 11:00 AM

Challenging the Nation to Respect Life: Winning in 2014! with Sen. Mitch McConnell, Carol Tobias, Karen Cross, and David N. O’Steen, Ph.D.MC: Darla St. Martin, NRL Co-Executive Director

 

Here’s a preview of McConnell’s panel discussion from Life News:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will address the convention during a Saturday morning session focused on winning in the 2014 elections. Throughout his time in public service, Senator McConnell has championed numerous pro-life initiatives, including the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, and fought against the pro-abortion Obama healthcare law. Kentucky Congressmen Andy Barr and Brett Guthrie will also address the convention.

 

Obama’s “Soviet Style” EPA Regulations Will Force Kentucky to Increase Carbon Emissions

Three weeks ago, the Environmental Protection Agency unveiled its new carbon emissions rules, a staggered sort of regulation meant to help move the country toward renewable and cleaner energy production. Rather than try to understand the new rules, many of Kentucky’s politicians immediately attacked them, purposefully misunderstanding the ‘staggered’ approach and pretending it was a ‘staggering’ one.

The rules, which provide for wide locally determined flexibility on how state’s will meet new requirements, won’t be finalized until next year and their ultimate effect remains unclear.

But that didn’t stop 6th District Congressman Andy Barr from accusing President Obama of an act of treason. No, Barr rushing to claim that the rules were President Obama’s latest salvo in the “War on Coal.”

“Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them…”

 

Senator Mitch McConnell was similarly quick triggered. McConnell blasted Obama’s “War on Coal” and called the new EPA regs “a dagger in the heart of the American middle class, and to representative democracy itself.”

Even McConnell’s challenger, Alison Lundergan Grimes, jumped on the bandwagon: “When I’m in the U.S. Senate, I will fiercely oppose the president’s attack on Kentucky’s coal industry, because protecting our jobs will be my No. 1 priority.”

Congressman John Yarmuth was the outlier. Rather than rush to accuse the President of a treasonous and violent terroristic attack on Kentucky, Yarmuth told LEO’s Joe Sonka that he supported the EPA’s rules because the EPA is simply enforcing the Clean Air Act.

Yarmuth said, “I think anybody who makes a claim like Sen. McConnell did today is basically just using scare tactics, because there’s no way yet to judge how it’s going to impact Kentucky.”

Two weeks ago, the Communist propaganda media outlet BusinessWeek reported that they’d done an analysis of the new EPA rules and that based on that analysis, the EPA’s flexible rules would mean that while some states would have to do more to reduce their emission others — like Kentucky — would actually be able to increase their output:

Why Some States May Get to Increase Carbon Emissions Under New EPA Rules

The analysts at Bloomberg New Energy Finance dug into the formula the EPA used to determine the state goals and have come up with a scenario in which eight states—California, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Kentucky, and Rhode Island—can all increase their CO2emissions.

According to the EPA’s formula, it seems that McConnell’s “dagger to the heart” may be more of a silver spoon. And despite what Garland H. Barr IV has claimed, it seems as though the only thing the Obama administration has “doubled down” on is letting Kentucky continue to produce coal while the natural gas industry booms nationwide in what is the real war on Kentucky’s coal jobs.

Here’s what the analysts envision for Kentucky under Obama’s draconian new rules:

Kentucky, on the other hand, may be able to boost its emissions for the opposite reason, according to the BNEF calculations. The state currently has the dirtiest power mix in the country. Almost all its electricity comes from coal. With very little renewable energy capacity, its ability to switch that coal to natural gas or other cleaner fuels is, currently, about zero. The EPA’s rules can order states with gas plants to use them more, but it can’t order a state to build them. As a result, the EPA goes easy on Kentucky. If energy demands increase in the state, as expected, the state could burn more coal, and put more carbon into the air, without raising eyebrows at the EPA.

Shocking as it may seem, the EPA is not waging a “War on Coal.” In fact, the EPA seems set to let Kentucky increase its carbon emissions, a gift from Commandant Obama to the Commonwealth. The EPA did not dispute the BusinessWeek analysis and though everyone in the Kentucky political world has likely read this story, it hasn’t gotten much play around the state (though Gov. Beshear did give it a cautious thumbs up).

Part of why you won’t see this fact in a political ad anytime soon is that it disrupts the ongoing US Senate campaign narrative. The “War on Coal” isn’t just a myth, it’s a lie — that’s an unfortunate reality for the campaigns and they’ll likely continue to ignore reality as they churn out more “War on Coal” ads as we move toward November.

Even worse, the fact that the EPA rules would let Kentucky increase its emissions isn’t even the main reason why these campaigns should stop using the moronic “War on Coal” moniker. Last winter, Gov. Beshear and Congressman Hal Rogers — a Democrat and a Republican who’ve spent years touting this “war on coal” language — got together and launched SOAR, an initiative to move past the rhetoric and begin planning for the very real realities of the future and the Eastern Kentucky economy. The coal jobs lost in Eastern Kentucky are unlikely to come back, and Beshear and Rogers are acknowledging that — while Obama’s new EPA regs may actually encourage more hiring in Kentucky’s coal fields, the reality is that coal extraction is cheaper in other parts of the country and that the cheap price of natural gas has driven free marketeers to abandon coal, leading to a bleeding out of coal jobs in Appalachia.

But don’t tell Andy Barr that!

On WKYT’s Kentucky Newsmakers with Bill Bryant a week and a half ago, Garland H. Barr IV called Obama’s new regulations which seem poised to let Kentucky increase its carbon emissions “ruthless and heartless.”

Ratcheting up his violent rhetoric, Barr even claimed Obama’s regulations were “Soviet style” — it’s not the first time he’s invoked Joe Stalin in talking about the President of the United States, and apparently he doesn’t understand that Soviet style regulations involved rounding up scores of dissidents and Eastern Europeans, putting them on trains and then forcing them into indentured servitude in Siberian mines. Barr also doesn’t seem to understand that Soviet style regulations meant massive taxes that were then used to underwrite heavy mining industries.

But Andy Barr isn’t a history scholar. No, Garland claims to be a constitutional expert, which makes the back half of his attack even more unfortunate. Barr claims that Obama’s EPA is unconstitutionally “circumventing Congress” via “unilateral, administrative action.”

Sadly for Andy Barr, the most dangerous weapon in Barack Obama’s ruthless, heartless “War on Coal” is rabidly conservative Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia:

EPA’s Winning Streak Extended as High Court Backs Greenhouse Permits

Bloomberg News / June 24, 2014

The Obama administration added to a series of environmental court wins, as the Environmental Protection Agency retained the right to curb greenhouse gases from power plants, refineries and chemical factories.

The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday upheld the EPA’s requirement that such facilities address the emissions as part of permits for expansion. The court said the agency couldn’t apply the rule to smaller emitters such as apartment buildings, schools or restaurants. After the decision, facilities responsible for 83 percent of emissions still need a permit.

….In each of the earlier cases the court deferred to the agency in figuring out how to apply complex statutory language. Justice Antonin Scalia, a frequent EPA critic who wrote the majority opinion, did that in the decision yesterday.

“EPA is getting almost everything it wanted in this case,” Scalia said in announcing the ruling.

Even if the above analysis of these new EPA rules is ultimately not quite as rosy as predicted, Andy Barr’s over-the-top, vitriolic attacks do nothing to protect Kentucky jobs or Kentucky’s economy. In fact, Andy Barr’s violent rhetoric creates no jobs and does nothing to help create a new Eastern Kentucky economy. While Andy Barr calls Richard Nixon’s Clean Air Act a “Soviet-style” regulation and suggests the President of the United States is guilty of treason, he offers no plan for the future of Kentucky’s dramatically changing economy.

Barr’s opponent, on the other hand, hasn’t yet bought into the counter-productive “War on Coal” nonsense. Instead, Elisabeth Jensen has laid out a platform that seeks to protect coal jobs, coal communities and coal miners – while also siding emphatically with Hal Rogers and Steve Beshear in their bipartisan effort to move past the current unproductive debate being pushed by people like Garland H. Barr IV and instead focus on finding real solutions:

JensenSOARs

I urge all of you, who share my concern for the future of Eastern and Central Kentucky, to join me in following the important work of Governor Steve Beshear and Rep. Hal Rogers. SOAR is a public-private endeavor to improve the overall economy and quality of life for Kentucky’s Appalachia region http://www.soar-ky.org/