In Other News…McConnell vs. Bannon, Jurich vs. UofL, Kim Davis vs. Romania, best diner in the state, Farris on Lawrence

You’re Tearing Me Apart!: Factions in the Republican Party are declaring war on one another, as the GOP establishment attempts to head off the anti-establishment surging in the wake of President Trump.

CNN reported last week former White House senior adviser Steve Bannon declared “war” on the GOP establishment while speaking at this year’s “Values Voters Summit.”

Mr. Bannon said:

“It’s not my war, this is our war and y’all didn’t start it, the establishment started it,” Bannon said. He also said, “Right now, it’s a season of war against a GOP establishment.”

And he had special words for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in particular:

“Mitch, I don’t know if you’re watching today…I have been getting calls. It’s like before the Ides of March, right? The only question is — and this is just an analogy or metaphor or whatever you want to call it — they’re just looking to find out who’s going to be Brutus to your Julius Caesar.”

And in a strange turn of events, “Julius Caesar,” written around 1599, is the most misunderstood and misquoted play of 2017.
Not for nothing, Mr. Bannon helped fund a really bad adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Titus Andronicus” back in 1999. If you’d like to a good adaptation, why, come see Kentucky Shakespeare’s “Titus Andronicus” now playing at Louisville Visual Art. Last weekend. Tickets on sale now.

Spoiler: It’s a tragedy; I don’t last too long. Photo: Bill Brymer

Sen. McConnell responded to Mr. Bannon on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“Well, you know, this element has been out there for a while. They cost us five Senate seats in 2010 and 2012 by nominating people who couldn’t win in November.”

He’s talking about the Tea Party, which is a comparison we’ve made to the current movement in these pages a few times.

You can watch the whole thing here:


The Washington Post reports this week that the tables may turn as “McConnell allies declare open warfare on Bannon.”

“You can’t declare war on me; I declare war on you.”
“You can’t declare war on me; I declared war on you last week.”
“But I was already at war with you, you just didn’t know it.”
“Oh I knew, because I was already at war with you.”
“Ok. Fine. We’re at war.”
“Fine. But I said it first.”

As the congressional races of 2018 come into focus, a McConnell-aligned super PAC, Senate Leadership Fund, revealed plans to go after Mr. Bannon personally to keep what they see as more electable candidates on the ballot. It’s also seen as an attempt to keep more traditional politicians in place to help keep the president — and the president’s conduct — in check.

They know they can’t go after the president directly — he’s still too popular with likely Republican voters, God help us — but they feel confident taking on Mr. Bannon and those whom he supports.

Another salvo comes from Josh Holmes, a former chief of staff to Sen. McConnell, says The Hill. Said Mr. Holmes:

“When you’re facing voters, I’d take one of the most successful majority leaders in history over a white supremacist any day.”

Andy Surabian, a senior adviser to the Great America Alliance super PAC and Bannon’s former deputy at the White House, sees it the other way:

“Do we need any further evidence than Mitch McConnell and his cronies reducing themselves to using left-wing talking points to attack Steve? It’s pathetic to watch. Every poll shows Mitch McConnell is an albatross on the Republican candidates. If McConnell truly cared about our Republican majority in the Senate more than he cares about his own power, then he would step down as Senate majority leader today.”

So look for this one to stretch on into November of next year.


Cardinal Sin, Week 5: ESPN reports interim University of Louisville president Gregory Postel sent former athletic director Tom Jurich a letter, alleging misconduct.

The board of trustees fired Mr. Jurich on Oct. 18 in a 10-3 vote just days following the dismissal of coach Rick Pitino.

In the October 20 letter, Dr. Postel says:

“The effect of your willful refusal to supervise and discipline the individuals who report to you — in the face of nationally publicized transgressions — has been to create a culture of tolerance within University Athletics for behavior that falls far short of NCAA, ACC, and University expectations.”

“Your deliberate dereliction of duties, unprofessional conduct, bullying, and breach of your fiduciary obligations cannot be considered isolated events. Instead, they are illustrative of a pattern and practice of willful misconduct resulting in substantial detriment to the University.”

You can read the letter in full at ESPN and you can stop by over this way for Insider’s coverage.

That is not a nice letter.

Frost Brown Todd Attorneys, representing Mr. Jurich, also have a letter. It says:

“Tom Jurich unequivocally denies all the allegations and implications emanating from those allegations. The letter of termination is an after-the-fact effort to justify an unwarranted termination ‘for cause’ that the Board of Trustees voted without specifying any charges, at all.”

They go on to say Dr. Postel’s letter is designed “to smear the reputation” of Mr. Jurich, “reciting untrue, unproven allegations.”

Deadspin says the battle between Mr. Jurich and the university is about to get ugly, which, yeah. Where you been, Deadspin?

And while all that’s going on, Sporting News says new interim head coach David Padgett is trying to get his team ready to play. They have an exhibition game coming up versus Kentucky Wesleyan in just a few days and take the court against the Patriots of George Mason on November 12. So we’ll find out how he’s doing pretty soon.


And She’s Back: It’s been awhile since Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis has popped up, but we have a couple of things of late.

In 2015, citing her Apostolic beliefs, Ms. Davis refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples following the U.S. Supreme Court decision in favor of marriage equality. The courts would go on to say she should do her job, she continued to deny couples licenses and ultimately spent a few days in jail for contempt.

Eight of the couples who were denied licenses sued Ms. Davis and the state of Kentucky. In July, U.S. District Judge David Bunning ruled in the couples favor and as NBC News and Courthouse News report, he just reaffirmed that ruling on Monday.

The kicker: the state is on the hook for the $225,000 in legal fees rather than Ms. Davis.

Judge Bunning wrote in his 14-page decision:

“The Commonwealth of Kentucky is liable for plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees and costs because defendant Kim Davis acted on behalf of the Commonwealth when she refused to issue marriage licenses.”

Gov. Matt Bevin and Terry Manuel, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for the Libraries and Archives, listed as third-party defendants in the case, appealed the July ruling. They said Ms. Davis should pay because she did not represent Kentucky, but as noted, the judge was not persuaded.

I wonder why that is…

That’s probably not admissible, but it does make the argument a little suspect.

Meanwhile, The New York Times, The Guardian and USA Today say Ms. Davis spent nine days in Romania in early October. Same-sex marriage isn’t legal in Romania, but conservatives there are pushing for a constitutional amendment to explicitly prohibit it.

Liberty Counsel, the same group that repped Ms. Davis in her case here, sent her over to Romania to help drum up support for the referendum.

Said Ms. Davis of her trip:

“I want to give Romanians hope that they can stand strong and they can stand for something without being against a group of people or whatever. You can be for something and not be against something else.”

Which is surprisingly well said, actually. Egalitarian, even. It’s almost like she’s saying you can hold onto your personal beliefs without feeling the need to impose those beliefs on others or actively work to legislate love and deny rights to your fellow citizens.

Probably not what she meant. But if she would have acted on that belief in 2015, she could have saved us all $225,000.


Greasy Spoon: MSN picked up PureWow’s list, “The Best Diner in Every State (Plus Washington, D.C.).” Their pick for Kentucky: Sparetime Belly & Soul in Alexandria.

They say:

This ’50s-style diner has been serving happy customers for decades and even featured in the 2014 Oscar-winning flick Carol.

So they don’t say a lot, really.

Sparetime’s website says the diner just reopened last year, but has over five decades of history in Northern Kentucky. They also don’t spell their name the same way on any platform.

On the website and Yelp, it’s Sparetime Body & Soul, but in the page’s text, it’s Sparetime’s Body and Soul. On Facebook, it’s Sparetime’s Belly & Soul too. But on Twitter, it’s SpareTime Belly Soul and Instagram, it’s Spare Time Belly & Soul.

I’m going to say they’re too busy cooking to worry about brand consistency and it clearly hasn’t hurt them.

If you want to stay closer to home, Yelp users have chosen The Goose Creek Diner as the No. 1 spot in Louisville, with Old Louisville’s Burger Boy Diner — formerly Juanita’s Burger Boy — coming in second.

Unqualified: In her new memoir, “Unqualified,” Anna Farris writes of the stress she felt when former husband, Chris Pratt, worked with Jennifer Lawrence, says Glamour, InStyle, HuffPost and the loathed E!

Mr. Pratt and Ms. Lawrence starred in 2016’s “Passengers.” Filming began in 2015 and it didn’t take long for rumors of an affair to circulate.

From “Unqualified”:

“Even before they met in person, my publicist, out of the blue, pulled me aside: ‘Anna listen, there are going to be paparazzi all over them. There are going to be shots of them laughing together on their way to set. There are going to be stories circulating and you have to brace yourself for this.'”

“I’d always taken pride in our relationship, and the coverage, even though it was just false rumors, was making me feel insecure. Jennifer and I really are friendly, and she was apologetic even though she didn’t need to be, because she hadn’t done anything wrong. She’s awesome, but of course it’s hurtful and also embarrassing when people are saying your husband is cheating on you—even if it’s patently untrue. You still feel, and look, like a fool. But that’s something I have had to learn to handle in stride.”

CNN quotes Ms. Farris saying she and Mr. Pratt remain great friends. He even wrote the foreword for her memoir, which Slate says is as sweet and as awkward as you might expect.

See you next week.