National Journal August 20, 2014 Only one week after Sen. Mitch McConnell took the CEO of Delta Air Lines to breakfast in the exclusive Senate Dining Room last month, the airline executive and his wife wrote $10,000 worth of checks to help fund McConnell's political operation. Read more.
When a Mitch McConnell public town hall meeting, in Leitchfield, KY. August 21, 2014, was advertised on the Grayson County Chamber of Commerce website as being a town hall meeting for the public I didn’t believe it. So I called the Grayson County Chamber of Commerce and they told me it was open to the public and there would be room for about 200 people.
I was happy to hear that because I wanted to attend, with my camera/camcorder, and ask some questions. I arrived there early, after driving 40 miles. I waked in the Grayson County Chamber of Commerce office and asked the lady working there if the event was open to the public and she told me it was. I asked her if I would be allowed to shoot photos and video at the event and she told me she didn’t know.
The town hall meeting was going to be held at the Centre on Main directly behind the Grayson County Chamber of Commerce. It’s actually part of the same building and some folks were already going in. I noticed a young man going in with a tripod and camcorder and within a few minutes he came back out. I asked him if he was going to shoot video of the town hall meeting and he told me Leitchfield Mayor William H. Thomason told him it was a private meeting. I noticed other people leaving and they were saying the same thing, that Leitchfield Mayor William H. Thomason had told them that this was a private meeting.
Now I’m getting confused and a little frustrated. So I walk back to the Grayson County Chamber of Commerce office, that’s now full of folks waiting for Senator Mitch McConnell, to try and find out what’s going on and they told me that it is a private event sponsored by the mayor. Really, I thought Senator Mitch McConnell was sponsoring this. In any event see the uncut and unedited video below of us tracking down Mayor William H. Thomason. The video is unedited except for a screenshot of the public invitation.
After talking with Leitchfield Mayor William H. Thomason I decided to try and capture (see the video below) Senator Mitch McConnell arriving at the public/private (snark) town hall meeting he is hosting, and Leitchfield Mayor William H. Thomason is sponsoring and all the time I’m thinking no wonder Washington, D.C. is screwed up.
Senator Mitch McConnell arriving at the public/private town hall meeting.
To be honest the day wasn’t a total waste, because there were folks outside protesting Mitch McConnell and Mitch saw them when he pulled in. Click here to view photos of the protesters
A major change occurred in Kentucky just a few years ago. For 350 years the population had been rural, the change came when city and environs populations out numbered others. Often we long for a return to simpler times, times when neighbors were neighborly and all were alike in eking a living from farming. Forgotten are the callouses, sweat and blisters. Farm folks knew animals quite well, even the smallest tyke knew the difference between a donkey and a jack. Girls knew from experience that an old jack was likely to bite or kick them. They little understood the vendetta the jack showed in singling them out. Times change but old jacks, such as the one we send to Washington,continue to bite and kick females. Just ask Ms. Ashley.
The old jack has an affinity for coal, we have his word on that. Unfortunately he does not share this affinity equally with miners and mine owners. He cozies up to the Kentucky Coal Association—a group of twenty two coal mine owner members such as Peabody Energy, Alliance, and Patriot---it is not surprising that there are no coal miners in their list of members as annual dues are as much as $12,000. This is the bunch who has foisted on Kentuckians the impression that they somehow represent miners. The results are 50,000 license plates with the motto “FRIENDS of COAL” when it should read “FRIENDS OF COAL BIG MONEY.” We have really been snookered. Miners deserve better.
The old jack has been a denier or negligent or an idiot to have sat on his rump in D.C. eating carrots fed to him by big money. Two decades of forecasts for diminished coal use, mining and burning with an attendant residual effects that are clearly harmful to children and other living things are not state secrets. A powerful jack could have used his influence to legislate retraining, education, and job opportunities for displaced miners. A diligent jack would have made an all out push to make “clean coal” clean. The exact opposite of concern for miners has been reported by Kentucky.com in pointing out the “tag team” nature seemingly existed between the old jack and his jenny. Any undesired coal action that got by the jenny could be buttonholed by the jack or simply kicked clean out of the pasture.
As chief overseer of for mine safety and health the jenny took a “relaxed” attitude in regulating coal mines according to reports per Kentucky.com. The old jack denied any interface with the jenny concerning mine oversight---what a horrible admission for an imitation champion of coal miners to make. Why did he not get out the buggy whip and get after the jenny to do the utmost to protect miners?
The old jack is now like all old jacks, crafty, sly, self aggrandizing, and often will bite and kick without purpose. He should be harnessed to a farm wagon, replete with a license plate reading”BIG COAL MONEY'S BEST FRIEND”, and confined to roam around the pasture, not needing to be “fixed” because he has done this to himself as reparation for his misdeeds to Kentuckians and especially miners. Unfortunately he will not be around to witness the misery, mayhem, and suffering that will come, the fruit of the seeds sown by a jack who once wore the chief obstructionist crown.
The topic for this week's Sunday Train was brought to my mind when I listened to the Energy Gang podcast. They were discussing the question of whether "CSP (that is, concentrated thermal solar power) is dead", and the always entertaining, but not uniformly informative, "energy futurist" Jigar Shah declared that "CSP is dead" (segment starts 30:29), backing the claim up with a set of bullet points that fell far short of supporting the claim. And listening to the set of bullet points, it seemed to me that he was talking in the context of the phase of the transition to renewable energy that we are presently in, and ignoring the phase of the transition that we will have to pass through if we are to survive as a national economy and national economy.
In short, he seemed to be talking more as an energy presentist than an energy futurist, claiming that there was no plausible position for solar CSP power based on both the technology currently rolled out for a technology that is experiencing rapid development, and on context of renewable energy being added to an energy system which is untenable over the long term.
But I do not mean to single out Jigar Shah, since as I have recently been exploring various discussion spaces talking about various issues in the roll-out of renewable energy, cross-talk between the different phases of the transition to renewable energy seems to be commonplace. So what I wish to write about this Sunday afternoon is the "Two Transitions" to renewable energy: the Current Transition and the Next Transition.
"Mitch McConnell's a guy who's made a cottage industry out of hatred for the president of the United States," says Kentucky State Treasurer Todd Hollenbach, a Democrat.
A lot of Kentuckians buy what the senator is selling.
Many of them are white folks who still can’t get over the fact that the country elected, then re-elected, an African American president. More than a few of these white folks live a long way from Easy Street.
McConnell is a millionaire whose politics are calculated to make the rich richer.
He despises unions. He’s for keeping tax breaks for American companies that move factories to cheap labor countries.
He loathes government programs that help anybody who needs help. He’d love to gut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and, of course, deep six the Affordable Care Act.
He hates laws that do things like protect workers’ lives and limbs on the job, shield the environment against polluters and ensure the products we consume are safe.
At the same time, McConnell is all for lavishing hefty tax breaks on rich people like himself and on big corporations while tossing tax crumbs to working stiffs like me.
McConnell wins elections largely by making political hay off multitudes of my fellow Kentuckians who are of modest means and who benefit from the very government programs he wants to wipe out.
New York Times AUSTIN, Tex. — A grand jury indicted Gov. Rick Perry on two felony counts on Friday, charging that he abused his power last year when he attempted to pressure the district attorney here, a Democrat, to step down by threatening to cut off state financing to her office. Read more.
Remember Mitch McConnell proudly posting this YouTube video of Rick Perry endorsing him?
Don’t be surprised when Team Mitch takes the video down.