Mitch McConnell and Elaine Chao

Mitch McConnell and Elaine Chao

Once More Into the Breach: The primary isn’t until next week, but as we’ve discussed of late, the McConnell campaign is already gazing toward November and the general election opponent, Alison Lundergan Grimes.

And according to an in-depth feature in The New York Times, the senator is about to employ his most powerful and not-so-secret weapon: his wife, former Secretary of Labor under George W. Bush, Elaine Chao.

NewsMax has a less detailed rundown of the same story.

According to the Times, Chao is shrewd, brilliant, on top of every detail of the campaign, and could be a huge asset in deflecting attacks from the Grimes campaign that Sen. McConnell is anti-woman.

She’s also, by the Times profile, eager and ready for a fight.

Neither Chao nor Sen. McConnell were available to speak, but they did get a quote from Rand Paul regarding Chao’s import to the race:

“She is someone who I say is really great for Senator McConnell and needs to be out there really all the time,” said Rand Paul, the junior senator from Kentucky and a possible presidential aspirant who has forged a working, if wary, relationship with Mr. McConnell. “Because I think we need more strong women who have been successful in their careers out there.”

Gawker covers the article and quotes this section: 

The McConnell campaign said that Ms. Chao, 61, would be a key surrogate in ads and at speaking events, especially if his Democratic opponent, Alison Lundergan Grimes, “runs a campaign that tries to paint a picture of Mitch McConnell as having some kind of a blind spot for women’s issues,” said Josh Holmes, Mr. McConnell’s former chief of staff and a senior adviser. “Obviously we have a pretty strong firsthand testimonial from somebody who can speak to how untrue that is.”

And I can’t believe I’m saying this, but let’s stick with Gawker, who gives us his voting record:

In 2008, he voted against the Equal Pay Bill. In 2009, he voted against the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. In 2010, he voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act. In 2012, he again voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act as well as the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act. In 2013, he again voted against the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act and this past April, just for good measure, he voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act one more time.

So basically they’re saying there could be something to those Grimes assertions he’s trying to deflect.

While we’re here, my pal Karin sent me this last bit over from John Oliver’s new HBO show, “Last Week Tonight.” Oliver thinks these attack ads have gone just a bit too far and accuses both the McConnell and Grimes of being snollygosters. Both are running ridiculous ads without substance—and need we say, the primary hasn’t even happened yet—and both (as we’ve talked about in this very column) are having their campaigns funded from out of state donors.

Oliver notes Kentucky has five huge problems neither candidate is talking about:

  1. Kentucky has the fifth highest percentage of adults living below the poverty line.
  2. Kentucky ranks ninth in obesity
  3. The fifth highest unemployment rate
  4. One in 10 adults lacks basic literacy skills
  5. Kentucky has the highest cancer rates in the country

But he posits things will not get any better until we hit rock bottom, so he’s produced two of the most vile political ads imaginable. The video is so NSFW, I can’t even tell you. I mean, it’s HBO and he’s using that for all it’s worth here. I’m not going to post it here as this is mostly a family show and the extra couple of steps help curb the temptation of the squeamish and easily offended. But if you go to Medialite, you can watch it there.

But I’m telling you, it’s not for the faint of heart. There’s plenty of coarse language, blood, and naked old man parts.

You’ve been advised. I’ll entertain no complaints. About that, anyway.

Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater

Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater

Epilogue: A footnote of sorts to last week’s coverage of Mr. Awesome, former University of Louisville fighting football Cardinals quarterback Teddy Bridgewater’s place in the 2014 NFL Draft.

You may recall, the Minnesota Vikings drafted Bridgewater with pick 32, the final selection in the first round.

But on Monday a story surfaced of what might have been: Teddy Bridgewater, Cleveland Brown. That story from ESPN Cleveland.

It says the Browns actually had a draft card turned in with Bridgewater’s name on it, but owner Jimmy Haslam demanded a change to Johnny Manziel out of Texas A & M.

The Browns deny this, of course, because it’s what you do with these stories.

And for Bridgewater’s part, he says he didn’t want to play in Cleveland even had they selected him at 22, says USA Today, ESPN, The Huffington Post, NBC Sports, Sports Illustrated,, and pretty much everyone else.

And no kidding, really. The Browns have 52 players already who don’t want to play there; they don’t need to draft one more. The Browns finished 4-12 last year.

Meanwhile, Sports on Earth examines why the Vikings felt good with Bridgewater as their guy, despite his fall in the rankings.

Atherton High School

Atherton High School

Hall Pass: Atherton High School gave an early go-ahead to a transgender anti-discrimination policy. USA Today picked up The Courier-Journal’s story.

Earlier this week, reports out of Atherton that a freshmen student, born male but identifying as female, had received permission from the school’s administration to use the girls’ facilities. And then the school got a few calls.

Debate on fairness ensued.

On Thursday, Atherton adopted a policy similar to the existing district policy, which bars discrimination based on a wide range of things, but adds gender identity to the protected list.

The policy still needs a second reading to be fully instated, so we’ll see how it goes. And as we talked about earlier, we get worked up over things like where we can go to the potty more than cancer rates, literacy and obesity, so this will probably be a fight.

And unless things have changed radically in lavatory methodology and technique since I was a lad, we should really only be interacting in there when we’re fully clothed and washing up at the sink anyway.

I mean, I can only speak for the men’s side of the operation with any real expertise, but we tend to like to pretend no one’s even in there with us. No eye contact. No talking. Certainly no talking. Maybe if you’re friends with a guy, you can do the manly head nod on your way to your station, but that’s it. That’s all you get. And you forget you’ve seen that person until your back in the public domain, so to speak.

Anyway. I’m betting this one comes back around.

Your 15 Minutes Are Up: Seems like just last month we talked about Kitty Jay, the woman profiled on Nightline for spending $25,000 to vaguely look kind of like someone who might resemble a relative of Jennifer Lawrence.

To prove the old adage that there’s someone out there for everyone, other celebrities have these almost-but-not-quite lookalikes too. There’s one for Justin Bieber, for instance. And it goes without saying Madonna has one.

And let’s say, for hypotheticals, we put those three together. What would they do, these three, do you think? I’m not saying this would happen, because that would be just too much. We’re just talking here. What do you think they’d do?

They might swap horror stories about the pain of the seemingly never-ending surgeries, maybe. That’s reasonable. Or they could tell tales about being stopped in the grocery for looking vaguely familiar. Maybe the person what did the stopping thought they went to the same high school. That’s plausible—dare I say—probable. Or they could form a band, call themselves The Plastics, and record a song of the same name with an accompanying video.

The last one, dear God in Heaven, is the correct answer.

I can prove it by posting the video. And I’m going to post the video.

But I implore you: do not watch the video. I’m only posting as proof it exists. I’ve done the watching for you, and if you watch it, my suffering will have been in vain.

Here’s the video:

If you’re still tempted to watch in the same way Brad Pitt was compelled to open the box at the end of the movie “Se7en,” I’ll give you the opening “lyric.” It goes something like: “Are you one of the boring people who doesn’t want to be beautiful? Because everyone can be beautiful when they’re made of plastic!”

I don’t know. That’s really close and I’m not watching again to verify. It only gets worse from there.

Listen, regular visitors to the mighty “In Other News…” column know that while the snark is in full supply, we’re just about all out of mean, and I don’t intend to restock. And I’ve no intention of using the little I have left on people with these kinds of problems.

But there’s just no way this sort of thing should have happened in a just and virtuous world. And if there’s one thing I can’t abide, it’s injustice. And this is just toddler beauty pageant upsetting.


Will someone just give these people a hug and tell them it’s going to be OK? Sometimes that’s all you need. And then you don’t have to act out through ill-conceived rap videos with a track composed of Cakewalk loops.

Don’t make me write about you again, is all I’m asking. Because next time…OK?

For the love of…

And my source on this story? TIME. TIME Magazine.

There are others, of course. E! and all the others that make me so irrationally angry it’s as though I’ve just received my Manchurian Candidate activation phrase. But I just want to let it sink in that TIME is my primary on this one.

The real Jennifer Lawrence is out promoting “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” which opens next week, and she made a run on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” She and Jimmy play “Box of Lies.” Clip below. This one is OK to watch.

See you next week.