Hatfield Screen

Dumb and Dumber: The Washington Times, Gawker, Mic, Opposing Views and Fire Chief report that a Bullitt County Fire Chief landed in some hot water this week with two—count ‘em—two taped incidents of racism and one seemingly unnoticed incident of misogyny.

Video from a deputy’s body camera provides footage of idiot and future-former fire chief Julius Hatfield and the Southeast Bullitt County Fire Department responding to an accident back in September, involving two cars on I-65 near Clermont.

Car No. 1: white guy; car No. 2: black family of four. And we see where this is going.

Backwoods McGee offers Loren Dicken—the white guy—roadside assistance.

“You got a jack, ain’t you? If you show me where them things is at, I’ll get my guys to start changing the tire for you. It will save you a bill.”

And that’s not me doing the thing I do; that’s the quote. “You got a jack, ain’t you?” is the quote.

In car No. 2, we have a black family of four, who receive no love from Redneck Reggie. Chege Mwangi was told to call AAA to get help for himself, his wife and two kids. He weren’t worried whether they got no jack or ain’t they.

That one was me.

But then it gets worse.

Here’s the exchange between Hopeless Hatfield and the Bullitt County Deputy:

Deputy: Well, I’ve got a family of four from Cincinnati I got to do something with.

Hatfield: We ain’t taking no [racial expletive] here.

And then they both giggle. Those are the people looking out for your safety. I know I feel better.

But then it gets worse.

WDRB reporter and badass Valerie Chin caught up Hillbilly Harold at a public meeting and asked him about empty firehouses and the financials and this is how it goes, from the Times:

“Why are there so many firehouses that are empty?” WDRB’s Valerie Chinn asked Hatfield at the meeting.

“Do you understand English darling?” Hatfield replied. “Do you understand English?”

Hatfield tried to have Chinn and her photographer removed from the public meeting.

“Turn that camera off,” Hatfield ordered. “I’ve asked you that in a nice way. Buddy, call the cops and get them here.”

“I asked you once tonight if you understand English,” he added. “I’m speaking English.”

Chinn is Asian American. Cletus has since apologized and says he doesn’t remember racist slur number one, claiming “sometimes there’s a slip of the tongue.”

Which is not at all what that means.

Here’s the report from WDRB:

Two upsides to stories like this: You get a new fire chief, Bullitt County, I assume; and you learn there’s such a thing as firechief.com.

Mitch McConnell

Fallout Shelter: We’re still looking at some of the fallout and ripples from the election a couple of weeks back.

The first big change, sort of: The Senate will work on Friday, according to The Hill and Bloomberg. They say McConnell just released the 2015 Senate schedule and low and behold, there it is, those screwy lawmakers won’t be leaving early anymore.

The “sort of” is to do with the outgoing Majority Leader, Harry Reid, who also had Fridays on the calendar, but didn’t really observe them. The Hill says time will tell if McConnell will bow to the same peer pressure.

Sometimes covering American politics feels like taking minutes for a high school class officer’s meeting, where I anticipate a vote on tater tots to be the very next thing we talk about.

I will say, while almost exclusively coming down on the healthier end of the nutritional spectrum, I am decidedly and irrevocably pro-tot.

CNN, The Washington Times and Politico report that McConnell delivered a “forceful” response to President Obama’s immigration reform plan. McConnell says phones continue to ring off the hook in his office from Kentuckians upset about the plan on the table.

From Politico:

“He needs to understand something. If President Obama acts in defiance of the people and imposes his will on the country, Congress will act. We’re considering a variety of options. But make no mistake. When the newly elected representatives of the people take their seats, they will act.”

So let me filter that through the McConnell Turbo Translator 3000™ (patent pending): We’ve no idea what we’ll do or if we’ll submit an alternative plan, but if it’s Obama’s idea, we do not like it. No, sir. We like it not at all, and we will hold no fewer than 12 press conferences that say just that.

That move was so 2008. And 2009. And 2010. And…well. I’m normally the last one on board the cynic train, but if you thought next year was going to look any different…

Speaking of cynics and trains, NPR looks at a new book chronicling the political journey of one Addison Mitchell McConnell Jr. entitled, “The Cynic.” It chronicles the senator’s Kentucky drift from moderate to conservative. Author Alec MacGillis talked with Terry Gross of “Fresh Air.”

“In his first elected office in Louisville, Ky., as county executive in Louisville, he repeatedly snuffed out anti-abortion bills that were coming through his office — didn’t even let them come up for a vote or a hearing,” he says.

But in 1984, McConnell barely won his seat in the Senate — by fewer than 5,000 votes.

“There was no question what had happened — that McConnell had won basically on the coattails of Ronald Reagan,” MacGillis says. “And McConnell looked at that very, very close result and basically thought to himself, ‘You know what? I don’t want it to ever be this close again. I see where the Republican Party is heading; I see where my state is heading; I see where the South is heading politically — and I need to get on that train.’ “

Kyle Ware
Kyle Ware is a Louisville-based actor, artist, educator and writer. His column, In Other News, appears at Insider Louisville every Friday.