Kentucky Senate Seat up for Grabs in 2014?

Kentucky has gotten a lot of attention recently because of Mitch McConnell’s freak out at the rumors of Ashley Judd running against him in 2014. Honestly, the entire debacle has been very amusing to me. Though, in the past couple of weeks, there has been a lot of backlash from Democrats inside and outside of the state. Their reaction can be summed up like this:

“Seriously, Kentucky? For the first time Mitch McConnell is worried about reelection, and you’ve chosen an actress to run against him? You’re making fools out of yourself–be serious!”

And that annoys me.

No, we haven’t chosen an actress to run against the heretofore impossible-to-beat incumbent. You’re taking it as seriously as Mitch McConnell, and you’re taking all the fun out of this situation.

Pay attention: McConnell has been the heretofore impossible-to-beat incumbent, and he’s freaking the fuck out right now. McConnell has been a pain in the country’s ass for years now–can you step back for a second and try to imagine how it might be to have this PITA as one of your Senators? Just imagine for a few seconds, I’ll wait.

Got it? Okay.

Now. Stay with me here. Basketball is a really big deal in Kentucky. The NCAA basketball tournament is like a month-long holiday in Kentucky. In Kentucky, you’re either a Cardinals fan, or a Wildcats fan. You’re either Blue, or Red. Ashley Judd is a Wildcats fan. That’s a big deal. A celebrity, or anyone who is a Big Deal jumps into the UK vs UL fandom becomes part of the family. They’ve become one of us. Judd regularly attends UK games. So, the UK half of Kentucky kind of loves Ashley Judd. She’s a Big Deal, and she Gets It. Validation and all that.

Now.

A member of the Kentucky collective, messing with the head of the likes of Mitch McConnell, a guy who holds a lot of power, but does nothing for Kentucky? Who has embarrassed us on the national and international stage? We love it. Think of it as a grown-up pranking that mean old guy in the neighborhood who’s constantly harassing all of the neighborhood kids, while all of the kids are there to see. It’s hilarious. Vindication. It kind of makes your year.

Will Ashley Judd actually run? Don’t know. We don’t really care at the moment. We’re too busy soaking up the glory that is McConnell realizing he could lose his job, his power, and his gravy train, that he’s been milking at Kentucky’s expense.

So, naysayers. Be quiet for a moment. We’ve been waiting a long time for this. Don’t ruin the moment.

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McConnell Needs to Go in 2014

“The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” –Senator Mitch McConnell, 23 October 2010

With this statement, Senator McConnell rewrote his own job description from that of a United States Senator representing the people of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, to a hard-nosed ideologue intent on a solitary goal of ending another man’s political career.

Two years and hundreds of filibusters later, the President wins his bid for reelection, by a landslide.

What does Senator “one-term” McConnell have to say about that?

“The American people did two things: they gave President Obama a second chance to fix the problems that even he admits he failed to solve during his first four years in office, and they preserved Republican control of the House of Representatives,” McConnell said in a statement. “The voters have not endorsed the failures or excesses of the President’s first term, they have simply given him more time to finish the job they asked him to do together with a Congress that restored balance to Washington after two years of one-party control.” –Senator McConnell

You see what he did there? Senator McConnell is pretending that the record number of filibusters he and his party orchestrated, even on legislation that they agreed with, is a personal failure of President Barack Obama.

The lack of productivity in the Senate for the past four years is a failure of Mitch McConnell and the Republican Party, not President Barack Obama.

Take a look at this handy chart, that lays out exactly who has filibustered in the Senate the most, by number and by percentage. At the top of the chart? Republican after Republican, after Republican. If your Senators are on the top half of this list, you should be angry. Very angry.

Filibustering is refusing to debate. It is refusing to vote. It is refusing to allow anyone to debate or vote–per Senate rules, sixty Senators must vote to overrule a single, anonymous Senator who may filibuster a bill, then waltz out of the Chamber, off into the city. A filibuster, under current rules, does not require a Senator to hold the floor. It does not require that one, single Senator to even be in the building.

If one or both of your Senators are on the top half of this list, your hired representatives are refusing to do their jobs.

Just think a second: what would happen if you decided you left an anonymous note on your boss’ desk saying that you didn’t feel like working that day, then walked out? I’d be written up, docked points, and fired.

There hasn’t been balance in Congress since President Obama was elected in 2008, and that’s because the vast majority of the Republican Party has been refusing to do their jobs.

Mitch McConnell is the orchestrator of this collective tantrum, and as a resident of Kentucky, I am angry. Rand Paul, my other Senator, has refused to work over eighty percent of his short time in the Capital. I am very angry. My state has no voice in the Senate. None. Kentucky’s representatives in the Senate anonymously protest, then run off into the city to do whatever it is old white men do in Washington D.C.

Kentucky, we have two more years until Mitch McConnell is up for reelection. And you know what? I’m angry enough that I’d consider running against him myself–but I don’t meet the minimum age requirement, and I won’t meet it in two years, either. So to anyone considering running against Mitch in 2014? Consider this as my letter of interest.

President Obama Has Evolved

President Obama announced that he is in favor of equal marriage rights yesterday.

You know, I wish I could say that I’m happy, or excited, or even relieved. When I heard the news, my reaction was basically “Really? Finally. Now, where’s my kindle?”

I am glad he’s come out in support of equality. It does make me happy for my LGBT friends, loved ones, and allies.

It doesn’t ring hollow to me, as it has for some. I don’t believe this will negatively affect his reelection chances. Nor does it strike me as a political gambit, as it has for some.

I just feel as if he should have done this years ago. At the very least, he should have done this before North Carolina voted on Amendment One.

So, President Obama is in favor of marriage equality for LGBT Americans. Good. Now let’s get to work.

Beemer’s Rants: White People: STFU.

I keep seeing white people express shock at John Derbyshire’s blatantly racist “article.” Like, they know that there are a bunch of racist white people out there, but ohmigoodness, they can’t believe he just out and said it! No dog whistles! Shock! How can this be?

For fucking real, people?

Did you really think that racism was over? Did you really think that you’ve been such good allies, calling out racism everywhere, every time, that these people were shamed into the closet?

Give me a fucking break.

Look. I’m white. And I cannot tell you, how many fucking times that other white people, whether or not they know me, have felt perfectly comfortable making a racist comment, going off on a tangent even, saying the most vile, disgusting things to me about people of color.

This ain’t rare. Blatant racism of the Derbyshire-variety happens every day, everywhere. Don’t you fucking dare pretend that it doesn’t.

So. Shut the fuck up about how shocking this is. Get off your fucking fainting couch and call out racism, blatant or covert, wherever-the-fuck you see it.

Edit: And go read Renee’s post.

ADA Suits Crippling Your Business? Let’s Repeal the Law!

I guess it never occurred to Dianne Feinstein or these mysterious small businesses to comply with state and federal law in the first place.

But for real, ya’ll. It’s not that we want equal access or anything. We just want to sue you for money! That’s why we’re disabled, after all.

We’re special, dammit! Cater to our special needs or PAY.

As Liss from Shakesville would say, it was either this, or a 2,000 words screed riddled with profanity.

An Observation on Zimmerman’s Defenders

Trayvon Martin had an empty baggie with weed particles at school, and he spray painted a couple of walls.

George Zimmerman has a domestic violence charge, a charge for resisting arrest, and a charge for resisting arrest with violence (assault on a cop).

Tell me, why is Trayvon the do-no-gooder here, and Zimmerman isn’t?

 

Racism.

The same people who were condemning Occupiers for civil disobedience, i.e. with no violence involved, are the same people deliberately ignoring Zimmerman’s history of violence. Or playing the “no conviction” card. The same people are also ignoring that Trayvon was not arrested for possessing this empty baggie, but are so busy condemning him with a plethora of racially charged dog whistle terms.

Self-Defense: Not Just for Gun Owners

I’m seeing a lot of babbling about George Zimmerman defending himself.

What I’m hearing very little of is Trayvon Martin’s right to self defense.

Trayvon didn’t know Zimmerman. He didn’t know why Zimmerman was following him. He didn’t know why Zimmerman had a gun. All he knew, was that this strange man was following him, for God knows what reason, to do who knows what.

From what I can piece together, this seventeen year old boy tried to deescalate the situation. “Why are you following me?”

When that didn’t work, he tried to remove himself from the situation and get to safety. He tried to run away.

Zimmerman followed.

Trayvon was backed into a metaphorical corner here. Deescalation didn’t work. Flight* didn’t work. All that he had left was Fight*. Self-defense.

(Fight or Flight, you know, the two instinctual responses to a threat?)

Trayvon showed more sense than this grown-ass man. He waited to use physical confrontation until the very last, after all other options were exhausted.

Now, I don’t believe for a second Zimmerman’s accounting. I don’t believe for a second that Trayvon attacked him. I believe Trayvon fought back. To defend himself, from this strange, grown-ass man that was following him home in the dark. With a gun.

Zimmerman should not own a gun. He has shown that he has no sense. He has no respect for his weapon, and no respect and caution in the face of the power a gun gave him.

The power to take a life.

Responsible gun owners know that the mere presence of a gun escalates a situation. Responsible gun owners know that you don’t exhibit threatening behavior to another (perceived, in this case. Zimmerman thought Trayvon was carrying.) gun owner. That’s a good way to start a shootout. Responsible gun owners don’t look for a fight. Responsible gun owners avoid it. Responsible gun owners don’t want to use their weapon. At all.

When Trayvon tried to deescalate the situation, Zimmerman kept escalating it.

Zimmerman was the threat. Zimmerman was the instigator. Zimmerman was the attacker.

Trayvon was exercising his right to self-defense.

Zimmerman is a murderer.