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?:


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.


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):


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.


“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.


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:


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:


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/


2014 Kentucky Senate Race Debate Biathlon Challenge at Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot

The McConnell and Grimes campaigns have been dancing around a debate schedule. Each has challenged the other to a series of debates but so far each of the debates the one campaign wants to do the other one refuses.

For instance, the McConnell people were willing to do a debate with WDRB in Louisville but only if the debate was done on Mitch’s terms, which the Grimes folks — of course, because they’re not stupid — refused. It didn’t help that the guy hoping to set up the debate for McConnell on McConnell’s terms was WDRB’s president, a registered Republican.

Meanwhile, the Grimes people agreed to a debate with the Beattyville Enterprise but the McConnell folks are dodging the Enterprise’s inquiries because McConnell’s still angry at the paper for running the story about how Mitch told them “It’s not my job” to help bring jobs to Kentucky so that people can find work and feed their families.

Because the two campaigns seem to be having trouble agreeing on the time and the place to debate, it seems like it may be up to the rest of us to help. To that end, B&P humbly proposes:

The first ever Biathlon Debate, a contest in which the two candidates must answer questions and then turn around and fire guns.



Modeled after the Winter Olympic sport in which cross country skiers must ski for miles then stop and shoot tiny targets at a distance, the Grimes/McConnell Biathlon Debate would pit the two candidates against each other in a test of fortitude, stamina, general knowledge and gun shootin’ abilities.

The historic event could take place at this year’s Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot which takes place October 10-12th in West Point, KY.

The debate would not be without some precedent. Rand Paul went to Knob Creek while he was campaigning and while he didn’t debate anyone he did do some shooting:

And last November after the NRA endorsed Mitch McConnell in their Senate race, Alison Lundergan Grimes invited Mitch to go shooting with her.


Mitch wimped out on the invitation and refused to hang out with Grimes for a little Alison v. Addison game time. Instead, the Kentucky Republican Party attacked Alison for shooting a rifle without wearing ear protection which proved that Alison was out of touch with real Kentuckians… because real Kentuckians always wear goggles and muffs when they do their shootin.

Perhaps in response to that Nanny State criticism (I’m sorry, but where in the 2nd Amendment does it say the militia has to wear plastic goggles?), when Alison went shooting this past Friday, she was fully decked out in protective pink gear:


Addison Mitchell McConnell, on the other hand, despite having the NRA’s endorsement doesn’t appear to be getting much gunplay in during his campaign… other than at this year’s CPAC conference. Mitch, who’s pretty much despised by actual conservatives, showed up at the conservative cosplay event daintily carrying a gun… as if desperately trying to prove himself relevant to something.

And yes, Addison Mitch McConnell came out to Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer.”

Many observers who watched McConnell handle his firearm commented on how uncomfortable he looked, as if he’d never actually held one before and wasn’t quite sure what to do with it. And in fact, from a really brief poke around the internet, I’m not sure Addison Mitchell McConnell has ever fired a gun…


He has three and a half months to bone up on his skills before the big ADDISON V. ALISON FIRST EVER BIATHLON DEBATE!

Here’s how it would work. Someone would moderate. Let’s say it’s Gerth, Goodman or Perino. Doesn’t matter. The two candidates stand at podiums in front of a large audience. The moderator asks Addison and Alison a question, the candidate’s respond and then they turn around and fire their weapons at targets.

This is then repeated over and over, with questions covering coal, the economy, coal, student loans, coal, equal pay, the minimum wage, coal, Kynect, coal, etc.

The Biathlon Debate will show Kentucky voters how the two candidates perform under extreme pressure and will determine which one is the more able markswoman.

Grimes will agree to this because she’s already offered to go shooting with Mitch and McConnell will agree to it because obviously any real Kentuckian wouldn’t run away from a shoot-out.

Time to hit the books…

LexArts CEO Search Committee Public Meeting, 6PM Tonight! [UPDATE: Job Posting Details]

As mentioned here back in early May, the umbrella organization for Lexington’s arts organizations and Lexington’s arts scene is seeking a new CEO.

The search committee will hold a public meeting today [Monday, June 23] at 6PM at ArtsPlace, 161 North Mill Street. All are welcome to attend and to share thoughts. The panel will feature three of the search committee members and will be moderated by the splendid and talented Bianca Spriggs. 

[If you can't be there in person, they'll be tweeting live and you can join the discussion by tweet @lexarts and using the hashtag #lexartsceosearch.]

Here are the details on the event:

After LexArts President & CEO Jim Clark announced his retirement from said position effective June 30, 2014, the Board of Directors has taken steps to recruit a new leader for the organization. The Board’s Search Committee is comprised of LexArts Board Members, representatives of the Mayor’s Office and our Partner Agencies, as well as an individual artist/educator. The members are J. David Smith, Jr. (Chair), Virginia Underwood, John Long, Georgia Henkle, Stephanie Hong, Lori Houlihan, Allison Kaiser (Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra), Larry Snipes (Lexington Children’s Theatre) and Lexington poet Bianca Spriggs.

The Committee has retained the services of Management Consultants for the Arts to conduct the search. David Mallette and Louise Kane (MCA) visited Lexington on April 21 and 22 to conduct an initial round of interviews with the Search Committee, Board Members, staff and directors of our Partner Agencies.

An integral part of the search process is determining what role the new leader will play. As such, the Search Committee and MCA have determined that a public discussion is in order. Moderated by Bianca Spriggs, panelists will include J. David Smith, Jr., Chair of LexArts’ Grants Committee and Chair of the Search Committee, John Long, Chairman of the Board, and Allison Kaiser, Executive Director of the Lexington Philharmonic.

The public meeting will be held at ArtsPlace, 161 North Mill Street, at 6pm on Monday, June 23. All interested parties are encouraged to attend.

Should the CEO be a bridge builder? An ambassador? A gatekeeper? A fundraiser? A ringmaster?

Should she have a broad sweep of skills that cut across all those categories? Should he just be really good at one of those with the others not really part of the job description?

Could, perhaps, the existing CEO salary be given to two people to double the output at a still healthy rate, or should it just be one powerhouse?

Most important — should the person be home grown or an outsider? Do you bring in a ‘proven leader’ from some other mid-major city or do you look around Lexington and recognize that the best interests of the arts community and the best interests of strengthening our network of local, homegrown artists — and bringing in artists and projects from outside who will truly connect with this community — is best served by someone already here, already in it, already known and already proven within  Lexington?

Lotta options and the Search Committee  is clearly taking their time, being judicious, weighing options, hearing what’s worked and what hasn’t in the past and what could and what will work in the future.

So they want to hear from you and tonight’s the night. Go get ‘em, Lexington!


As you’re getting pumped up for the meeting and thinking about what Lexington needs, here’s the Job Posting and Job Description from Management Consultants for the Arts:

The Future

LexArts will continue to offer primary leadership in the Lexington arts community, serving advocacy, strategy and communication roles. In many ways, LexArts is and must continue to be the principal voice for the arts community. Over the past decade, much progress has been made in strengthening and professionalizing the operations of many LexArts-funded organizations, and deserved credit is given to Jim Clark, the outgoing President/CEO. Building on this strong foundation, the next LexArts leader will continue to challenge its constituents to provide increasingly effective programming and services and to do so with recognized and measurable best practices.

Like most cities of this size, Lexington is a tightly integrated community. LexArts’ role is a vital one in this ecosystem, and effectively navigating the relationships in Lexington – perhaps most notably with City government, LexArts’ largest financial supporter – will be key to the future success of the organization and the greater arts community. Efforts are underway to develop a broad arts strategic plan for the city, and LexArts will – in fact, must – play a central role in the development of that plan.

Position Scope, Expectations and Responsibilities

The next President/CEO will be a dynamic and visionary leader with the skills to coalesce the creative and cultural assets of Lexington (and the Bluegrass Region) and ensure a strong role for the arts in the future of the region. The new leader will design a path forward that builds on the considerable success the region has achieved to ensure the arts continue to be a viable resource for the community.

Click on to read it all…

McConnell Campaign has found Alison Lundergan Grimes’ Secret Weakness! (Hint: It’s Tom Hanks)

McConnell’s campaign people are pushing out a report from the Washington Post about famous people who’ve given money to the Grimes campaign. The story’s a funny one… since it’s already been written months ago in plenty of other outlets. My favorite part of the WaPo article is this:

A quick look through the OpenSecrets.org database found these A-listers have donated directly to Grimes as of the end of March:

You can almost see them hunting through all the financial disclosures, painstakingly weeding out the names of famous people, can’t you?

The names the Washington Post dug up — which are largely all names reported elsewhere already by other outlets and by the McConnell campaign itself which probably keeps a list just like this on file — include such hated-by-all-Americans celebrities as Leonardo DiCaprio, Danny DeVito, Bryan Cranston and Jerry Seinfeld. Scary out-of-touch stuff!

Leonardo DiCaprio – $5,200

Danny Devito – $2,600

Tom Hanks – $5,200

Bryan Cranston – $2,500

Jerry Seinfield – $5,200


The McConnell people are celebrating this list because they claim it shows that Alison Lundergan Grimes is “out of touch” with Kentucky voters and that she’s “wallowing in Hollywood cash” and that names like, oh, Tom Hanks will “raise eyebrows” with Kentucky voters.

Wait a second.

Tom Hanks?

Yes, that’s right. The McConnell campaign seems to think Kentucky voters hate Tom Hanks.

The star of such universally despised Hollywood bombs like Big, Forrest Gump or Sleepless in Seattle gave Alison Lundergan Grimes $5,200. This is a guy who made Apollo 13, a movie that celebrated the failure of the American space program. He made the anti-American polemic Saving Private Ryan. And he made Captain Phillips, which celebrates the capture of a US vessel by Somali pirates. This is the type of person who supports Alison Lundergan Grimes? You can tell a lot about a person by the people they call friends, and clearly this tells us that we simply can’t trust Alison Lundergan Grimes.

This is sure to be a turning point for Team Mitch. You can clearly see why they’re so excited to push out the news that Grimes has the support of the most hated man in all of American pop culture, Tom Hanks.

Tom Hanks Tops Our List Of The Most Trustworthy Celebrities


Hanks is the most trustworthy celebrity in Hollywood, according to our most recent Forbes/E-Score list. For its E-Score Celebrity service, E-Poll Research ranks more than 6,600 bold-faced names on 46 attributes through public opinion polling. Hanks’ trustworthy score is 25 and his appeal is 81, putting him ahead of all other celebrities with a combined score of 106.

Wait a second! FORBES magazine, the go-to-spot for all your big business news, says that Tom Hanks is the most trustworthy celebrity in America? That can’t be right. Mitch McConnell’s campaign insists that Americans actually hate Tom Hanks.

Or… maybe the McConnell people are confused about how to read poll numbers. After all, Mitch McConnell is consistently ranked nationally as one of the top three most disliked politicians in all of America. By many reports, he’s the most disliked Senator. In Kentucky, Mitch McConnell has a lower job approval rating than Barack Obama!

The McConnell campaign can’t do anything about the fact that their candidate is tied irrevocably to Mitch McConnell… so their response is to try to tie Alison Lundergan Grimes to Tom Hanks.

But so what if Americans love Tom Hanks. So what if he’s beloved in part because of the work he’s done to honor America’s veterans.

Two can play at that game! Sure… Americans may not love Mitch McConnell. Heck, Kentuckians may not love Mitch McConnell. But at least Mitch McConnell stands up for veterans!

Or… wait a second…

Bqlbp5zCAAAytQy.png-large Oh… and while the McConnell people are so focused on trying to paint Alison Lundergan Grimes as “out of touch” because she has the support of the most trustworthy person in American pop culture, Mitch McConnell is on the floor of the US Senate claiming to stand up for working people just days after partying it up in California raising money off a shadowy group of billionaires.

Three Days After Speaking at a Koch Summit, McConnell Says He’s For the Little Guy

Senator Mitch McConnell was a featured speaker on Sunday at the Koch brothers’ secretive conference for billionaire Republican donors at a swanky California resort. McConnell reportedly held a “strategy discussion” with Koch legal operative Mark Holden on his favorite topic: freeing up unlimited and unchecked campaign contributions and spending from America’s wealthiest donors, which is what the First Amendment intended. According to an attendee, part of that strategy is a goal to raise $500 million for Republicans to take control of the Senate in the 2014 midterms, and $500 million more to take the White House in 2016.

This background, as well as McConnell’s voting record, made his statements on the Senate floor this morning all the more remarkable.

In his speech, McConnell said that despite the “political theater” of Senate Democrats, Republicans are actually the ones out there fighting for the little guy—the underpaid middle class, working moms and college students—and fighting against the “well-off” and “well-connected” interests who attempt to rig the political system in their favor.

Read on for more from Sonka at The Nation…