Election 2018: Tuesday was election night here in the U.S. and it went down in many ways as predicted. Democrats took back the majority in the House of Representatives, Republicans picked up even more control in the Senate and a bunch of states flipped from red to blue governors.

There are still some races being counted, but that should hold, barring anything uber bonkers happening in the next couple of weeks.

Of course, it’s 2018. No one can rule out the uber bonkers.

One of the earliest races of moderate-to-high national interest called: Democrat Elwood Caudill Jr. defeated Kim Davis for Rowan County Clerk, says NBC News, USA Today, TIME and NPR.

With 19 precincts reporting, Caudill garnered 54 percent of the vote while Davis brought in 46 percent.

This was the first time Ms. Davis was up for re-election following The Great 2015 Marriage License Debacle, in which she refused to issue marriage licenses following the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of marriage equality.

Another early high-profile Kentucky race: Republican Andy Barr prevailed over Democratic challenger Amy McGrath, says The New Yorker, Salon and The New York Times. The veteran fighter pilot was in a dead heat with Sen. Barr and while she did a little better than expected in Fayette County, she didn’t do quite as well as she needed to in surrounding counties.

I know we don’t often champion grace in defeat anymore, but I thought her concession speech was well done.

If she decides to run for governor, which has been hinted at already, that could be a really interesting race, thinking about all she had to have learned from this one.

And so here we are now with separate majorities for the first time in a little bit, which had me asking, “what’s that mean for us, exactly?”

One thing some reports suggest: Democrats are eager to take on President Trump.

Take this article from The Washington Post: “Newly empowered, House Democrats plan to launch immediate investigations of Trump, but leaders are wary of impeachment.”

Which is like a parent cautioning a ravenous child, “I know you’re hungry — don’t scarf it all down or you’re going to make yourself sick.”

Reasonable. And there’s someone else who agrees, though I doubt he shares the same motivation.

Sen. Mitch McConnell warned the new House majority with what he called presidential harassment, says ABC News, The Washington Post and USA Today. Here’s more on that:

The whole issue of presidential harassment is interesting. The Democrats in the House are going to have to decide just how much presidential harassment they think is good strategy. I’m not so sure it will work for them.

I remember when we tried it in the late ’90s, we impeached President Clinton and his numbers went up, ours went down and we underperformed in the national election. I’m just making a historical observation . . . it might not be a smart strategy, but it’s up to them how they want to handle that.

One of the functions of Congress is oversight of the Executive Branch, though we’ve not seen that in a couple of years, so we can forgive the senator for not recalling the difference between oversight and harassment.

But the point stands. And Democrats want to make sure they’re calling their shots wisely in the early going.

For instance, PBS News Hour says: “Democrats could use House majority to subpoena Trump’s financial records.”

Here’s the response from the news conference on Wednesday:

Look, as I’ve told you, they’re under audit—they have been for a long time—they’re extremely complex, people wouldn’t understand them. They’re done by—among the biggest and best law firms in the country, same with the accounting firms, the accountants are—very, very large, powerful firm from the standpoint of respect—they’re highly respected. Big firm. A great law firm, you know it very well. They do these things. They put them in. But people don’t understand tax returns…

He goes on that way for another minute or so, which is a long way around to “I’ve no intention of doing that.” It’s like a beat poem if you let it wash over you.

President Trump also tweeted:

If the Democrats think they are going to waste Taxpayer Money investigating us at the House level, then we will likewise be forced to consider investigating them for all of the leaks of Classified Information, and much else, at the Senate level. Two can play that game!”

So if we accept his premise that an investigation would be a waste of taxpayer money, and his response is “If you investigate me, I’ll investigate you,” does that make the threat here essentially, “I’ll waste even more taxpayer money?” I mean, I’m just following the logic formula is all, but that seems an odd threat.

Bloomberg also weighed in on what our divided houses might mean: “Here’s How a Divided Congress May Show Up in U.S. Economic Data.” A Harvard University economist says divided government keeps things in balance, so that’s good; an economist from Grant Thornton says with the fiscal stimulus up and a looming trade war with China we’re at greater risk for a full-on recession in 2020. So that clarity’s reassuring.

There’s also the future of Robert Mueller’s investigation regarding interference in the 2016 election alongside the appointment of a new attorney general this week. That’s expected to get interesting. Nancy Pelosi may or may not have the votes to be Speaker once more. We have some times ahead.

Meanwhile, the Republicans’ pickup in the Senate will have “lasting implications for the courts,” says The New York Times, as those confirmations just got much easier.

The Washington Post quotes Sen. McConnell:

You know what my main priority is. I’ve made it very clear it’s the judiciary,” he said. “It will still be my top priority in terms of setting the agenda here in the Senate in the next Congress as well.

Photo courtesy University of Louisville⎢Adam Creech

Nowhere to Go but Up: Your University of Louisville fighting football Cardinals fell to the Tigers of Clemson on Saturday. The score: 77-16, says CBS Sports.

This is the kind of sports abuse we’ve not seen around these parts in ages. Mind you, we’ve been close: the 51 points we gave up to Alabama or maybe the 56 points Wake Forest scored on us or perhaps even the 66 points allowed to Georgia Tech, but no. This 77 points to Clemson, this is the worst.

I suspect the defense has developed a moral objection to the tackling part of tackle football.

Which is admirable. I respect that.

The Post and Courier offered up “7 Takeaways” from the Clemson win. I’m sure they get down to specifics, but I can give you a version of that list:

Reasons 1-7: the Cardinals are not very good this year.

Sports Illustrated puts it more succinctly: “Clemson Shows Louisville Where Rock Bottom Is.”

Padma Lakshmi at Feast ⎢Instagram

Feast!: USA Today’s food and travel guy, Larry Olmsted, paid a visit to Feast in Louisville this week and, by golly, he liked it. His rating: “YUM!,” which is just shy of “OMG!” on his scale, or what would equate to four out of five stars.

He came for the loaded tots, but stayed for the pickles:

…the fried pickles are easily the best I have ever tasted, and I’ve tasted a lot. Fried pickles have become trendy in recent years but they are rarely notable, often slimy spears where the coating comes off with a bite. Not here. They go the pickle chip route, and the breading is perfect, coherent and crispy, served with a ranch dressing dip that has been augmented with Mexican cotija cheese and fresh cilantro. I would go back to Feast just for these, and I would not go to Feast without trying them.

And he concludes:

Whether it’s a serious barbecue meal, a place to dine before visiting the city’s famous Churchill Downs racetrack, or a social group food-and-drink outing while watching a football game on one of the flat-screens, Feast will satisfy just about any appetite, and is also very reasonably priced.

If you’ve always wanted to try the place out but don’t find yourself downtown so much, there’s a new location in Jeffersontown, at 10318 Taylorsville Rd.

This was not meant to be as infomercially as it’s come out, but it’s a good profile on a good restaurant and sometimes that’s all there is to it.

Jennifer Lawrence ⎢ Lubbock Christian University

Coaching Up: All-Heartland Conference Volleyball named Jennifer Lawrence coach of the year this week, says the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.

The Chaparrals of Lubbock Christian University claimed the conference title for the first time since 2009 under the leadership of Ms. Lawrence and the Lady Chaps will enter the tournament as the No. 1 seed.

What?

Fine. Here’s the story this week for the actor  Jennifer Lawrence.

The loathed E! has a new show called “Nightly Pop,” hosted by “E! personalities Morgan Stewart and Nina Parker and influencer Hunter March.”

On election night, while the fate of the free world was up for grabs, another debate raged on “Nightly Pop,” as “Morgan, Nina & Hunter play a game of ‘Excuse me, who are you?’ when discussing the three Jens and their new BFs.”

And then they go on to debate the merits of the new “normal” men in the lives of Jenna Dewan, Jennifer Garner and Jennifer Lawrence.

“Normal” here is really just “not as famous” in this case and setting aside the absurdity of that for a second, the first guy on their list has a Grammy and a Tony.

I’m going to leave you the video here, but it’s just as proof that it’s a thing. It’s not meant for you to click. You should not click that.

And now a brief open letter to Jennifer Lawrence:

I know this yearlong sabbatical is well deserved and a good thing for your emotional and mental health. One could even say it’s brave to take such an extended break in such a competitive industry.

But for the love of creatures big and small, you’ve got to release another movie.

I know it’s my own fault, but I’ve made a commitment to this section and I don’t know how much longer I can hang on. And yes, satire of media and its relation to celebrity has always been a component, but watch that clip up there. Just you — no one else click on that. You see? Now get out there and crank out some films.

The cinematic world needs you back.

Also, if it means anything, I still maintain you were brilliant in “mother!” regardless of commercial reception.

See you next week.

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


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