Senator Mitch McConnell

Be That Guy: Last week, we looked at reports suggesting Sen. Mitch McConnell might threaten another government shutdown if a Republican majority should be reached come November, as implied in an interview with Politico.

This past Wednesday, the senator talked to CNN, denying any such reports:

“Of course not. Remember me? I am the guy that gets us out of shutdowns,” McConnell told CNN in an exclusive interview Wednesday.

“It’s a failed policy,” he said of shutdowns.

“I’m the guy that’s gotten us out of the shutdowns that some of our members have pushed us into in the past,” said McConnell.

But he also cautioned, “That does not mean that you should send the president a total blank check with no restrictions at all on how the money is spent.”

And he goes on to say he’s going to force the issue on things like the EPA and the Affordable Care Act. So maybe there’s a subtle distinction there, or a fine line between opposing the president and shutting down the government he believes he’ll be able to walk, or he’s talking out of both sides of his mouth, as politicians may do on occasion. Maybe a little bit from Column A, a bit from Column B and a bit from Column C.

Many of his constituents dislike President Obama and just as many oppose a government shutdown, so the guy is bound to have a tough time knowing just what to say to straddle the line between the two.

Here’s how The Huffington Post calls it:

In claiming that he’s the “guy that gets us out of shutdowns,” McConnell is presenting himself as an experienced tactician with the chops to ably navigate a legislative body known for constant gridlock. That pitch may be aimed at assuaging anxious supporters during a heated re-election fight in Kentucky, but it conveniently ignores some of the events that led up to last year’s shutdown in October. McConnell’s inability to keep the conservative wing of his party at bay led to a quixotic effort to defund the Affordable Care Act that cost the party severely in public opinion polls. Only after 16 days and $24 billion in lost productivity did he join Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) in a deal to reopen the government.

So. You know. That’s a thing.

Meanwhile, late Tuesday night, The Nation released a recording of Sen. McConnell speaking at a big Republican strategy shindig hosted by the Koch brothers, as reported by The Hill, U.S. News and World Report, The New York Times, and Think Progress.

You may recall the last time there was a secret recording of the senator, it turned into quite the thing.

But his comments at The Nation sound eerily similar to those he made to Politico last week. The same comments he made this week don’t mean what people think they mean unless you like what you think they mean, in which case then they might.

But listen, if you don’t know the guy feels this way about things by now, I don’t know what to tell you. I mean, I understand hating said comments and finding them a bit gross; just not the outrage or surprise. So it’s brilliant or vile, depending on one’s side of the aisle, but it’s not new even a little.

CNN looks at McConnell’s secret tape and the infamous Mitt Romney “47 percent” recording from the last presidential election and makes that exact distinction: Romney’s private remarks sunk him because he would have never said any of that in public; Mitch McConnell has said all of this in public and said it often. No scandal because it’s a known quantity. Or it should be anyway.

And finally, The Week tells the tale of the time the senator became so excited he believed he would wet himself. Because that’s an image we all need to carry with us through the day.

Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater
Teddy Bridgewater

Put Me In Coach: Bleacher Report says former University of Louisville quarterback, Mr. All-Everything, #5, Teddy Bridgewater, may get the nod in Minnesota sooner than later. The Vikings rookie continues to play well in preseason, throwing for 283 yards, 5 touchdowns, no interceptions, and a QB rating of 111.2.

Translation for our sports-impaired readers: that’s really good.

The Vikings have veteran quarterback Matt Cassel on the roster; he’s the current starter and also playing very well, so Minnesota is in the enviable position of having an NFL-ready rookie who they can develop slowly without throwing him to the linebackers right away.

Says Bleacher Report:

Now, the Vikings can play the veteran quarterback while grooming and preparing the rookie to play when the franchise wants him to, not when they need him to. That’s a rare luxury for a team capable of winning this season but one that isn’t exactly in win-it-all-now mode.

Cheerleader Danielle Cogswell: Danielle Cogswell, the University of Louisville cheerleader found dead in Cardinal Towne in late July, died of an “overdose of heroin, amphetamines and Xanax,” according to an AP story picked up by The Seattle Times.

Cogswell was originally from Sammamish, Wash.

University of Louisville information director Kenny Klein says all cheerleaders will be subject to the same drug testing as other university athletes.

Our sympathies to the family and friends of Ms. Cogswell. Godspeed.

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