Yo! Kentucky! Pleaaassse . . Ditch Mitch

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Well it must be an election year for Senate Satrap and Most Valuable Obstructor, Mitch McConnell (R-KY), because he’s starting to surround himself with military veterans and cancer survivors once again.  And campaign manager Jesse Benton has been spotted going around sporting a chip clip on his nose . . .

Back in November, for Veteran’s Day:

McConnell spoke to a group of his supporters at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in a room decorated with American flags and ‘Veterans for Team Mitch’ signs.

 

This little beauty also appeared . . .

And:

Two retired service members — Col. William Betson and Brigadier Gen. Norman Arflack — praised McConnell for his time in the Senate, including his work with the Wounded Warriors Project and support of the Iraq troop surge in 2007.

Those fellas must have been up all night digging for that stuff.  Here’s how Mitch actually feels about vets and their problems:

The Veterans Job Corps Bill of 2012?  Mitch and 39 of his minions [no Democrats] killed it.

Bipartisan Plan to Reduce Veteran’s Administration Backlog? killed it.

In a speech this morning, McConnell called the VA backlog a “national disgrace,” but failed to mention that he actually voted against a bipartisan ten point plan to reduce the backlog problem. A majority of Republicans on the Appropriations Committee opposed McConnell and supported the proposal.

21st Century GI Bill? killed it.

Just days before Memorial Day, Mitch McConnell today voted against the bipartisan 21st Century GI bill, sponsored by Virginia Senators Jim Webb and John Warner, which would provide a college education for today’s veterans modeled after the GI bill for veterans of World War II. With the rising cost of college a major impediment against obtaining a higher education, the bill McConnell fought against would ensure that all of the nation’s men and women in uniform have the opportunity to get a college degree.

2010 Bill to Aid Homeless Veterans? killed it

And he would have killed this one, too, if it hadn’t been satire . . .
Guantanamo Prisoners To Receive GI Bill Benefits

McConnell flew into action on that one . . .

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And the latest?  When an unemployed veteran delivering 60,000 petitions to resume emergency unemployment aid to McConnell’s office wondered what people like her were supposed to do, she received this empathetic response from McConnell’s spokesman:

I can only tell you what we can do here in the Senate.  I have no control over your life.

That was after the guy had tried to blame it all on Harry Reid.

Yep, vets! Mitch has your back!

A slightly odder feature of McConnell’s campaign was his first ad of 2014 which casts the senator as a crusader for fair health care? who is willing to move heaven and Earth to make sure his constituents are adequately cared for when health crises arise?

Seriously?  See for yourself . . .

The new “Mitch cares about cancer patients” ad is being billed by Team Mitch as proof that:

Mitch McConnell is a caring and powerful voice for Kentucky’s families, and having a strong voice matters.

The ad is awfully similar to the 2008 campaign ad—a few of the same faces—from the last time Mitch needed to goose his approval ratings.

What nobody here is saying is that it took nearly 20 years, people dying and The Washington Post getting involved before Valiant Mitch, patron saint of government health care rode to the rescue as Huffington Post reported last summer:

It was not until The Washington Post reported in August 1999—19 years after Harding’s death and five years after the Superfund listing—that thousands of plant workers “were unwittingly exposed to plutonium and other highly radioactive metals,” turning the plant’s problems into a national scandal, that McConnell finally sprang into action. He called for hearings into the contamination outside the plant and rushed to Paducah for a tour of the facility.

McConnell and [former Sen. Jim] Bunning requested a Government Accountability Office report on the situation at the plant, but the agency returned a scathing indictment of the senators’ own inaction. Since 1993, McConnell had served on the Senate Appropriations Committee—the panel responsible for the government’s final funding decisions—but according to the GAO, the Department of Energy hadn’t been given the money it had requested to clean up the Paducah site.

With a wave of press coverage focused on the Paducah plant, McConnell did something that few in Washington would expect from the fierce Obamacare opponent: He worked to pass what amounted to a new entitlement that allowed plant workers over age 50 access to free body scans and free health care. The program also provided $150,000 lump sum payments to workers who developed cancers or other illnesses from radiation exposures, and up to $250,000 in compensation for medical problems caused by other toxins. Spouses and children were also eligible for the program, which cost the federal government more than $9.5 billion.

So I guess that Mitch thinks that if any of us are diagnosed with cancer we should contact our senators who will then see that we are compensated, that we get mobile CAT scanners and free health care for life.  That’s what he did for the folks in the ad . . . I think if I lived in Kentucky and had “low profile cancer” that didn’t attract Mitch’s attention, I’d be sort of pissed . . .

And, in an age of instantly available information, I think if I were a member of Team Mitch, I’d leave the whole Paducah thing buried.

When asked what he would do about “Obamacare” if his party is able to regain control of the Senate for the first time since 2006, McConnell explained that he is currently the “defensive coordinator” for his party. If he got promoted to “offensive coordinator,” the senator said, he would move to “pull it out root and branch and start over.”

Then what? as Brian Beutler asks:

What will Republicans propose to do about the X million people who will be newly insured by the end of March. They dedicated the entire final quarter of calendar year 2013 to effusing sympathy for people whose insurance policies were canceled because of Obamacare. It would be incredibly conspicuous for them to introduce legislation that would then kick millions more people off of their plans, particularly given the unlikelihood that they intend to create a similarly generous parallel system.

But, actually, all of this would be pretty consistent with the schizoid way McConnell has operated for some 30 years . . .

Up until the tea party-led ban on earmarks a few years ago, McConnell played out this dichotomy across Kentucky. In Washington, he voted against a health care program for poor children. In Kentucky, he funneled money to provide innovative health services for pregnant women. In Washington, he railed against Obamacare. In Kentucky, he supported free health care and prevention programs paid for by the federal government without the hassle of a private-insurance middleman. This policy ping-pong may not suggest a coherent belief system, but it has led to loyalty among the GOP in Washington and something close to fealty in Kentucky. It has advanced McConnell’s highest ideal: his own political survival.

I really wish this old dinosaur would just retire with dignity but I think he’s absolutely convinced that he’ll be filling Harry Reid’s oxfords in a year.  I’m sure that McConnell can’t even begin to wrap his brain around losing to a “lady opponent” and I’m equally sure that he’s confident enough of the win that he can do lazy, half-assed things like recycle old campaign ads and put up fluff websites with zero substance, policy statements, or anything even resembling new ideas.

Take a look and see who you think might be the better candidate.  McConnell or Grimes?  Please, Kentucky, you know you’re better than this.

And, when you have the time, Jason Cherkis and Zach Carter, of the Huffington Post, have written the long-form lowdown on McConnell’s thirty years which is an amazing piece of work.

Posted by Bette Noir on 01/22/14 at 01:47 PM • Permalink

Categories: PoliticsElection '14NuttersTeabaggery

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I sure hope he gets a bruising in his primary.

Getting rid of this guy would do so, so much to help make the senate somewhat functional again.  May his primary be a thing better suited to a MMA slugfest.

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