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Rand Paul

Paul on Syria: Two things driving the news this week: Syria and Miley Cyrus.

Goodness.  Let just let that sit out there for a second.

Anyway. No way I’m leading with Miley, if it’s all the same to you.

If you’re looking for a good primer on what’s happening in Syria and where we are, The Washington Post has a pretty good distillation. This is a fast moving story and just about anything I write on Syria is going to be woefully out-of-date before I can finish the paragraph.

So this is an important event. Which means, if you’re a guy planning a 2016 presidential  run, you’re likely going to feel the need to weigh in.

So as of right now, early Friday morning, there are 9,000 hits on Rand Paul and this story; I’ll give you a few links: The Washington Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and NBC News, and Politico.

Here’s his statement:

“The United States should condemn the use of chemical weapons. We should ascertain who used the weapons and we should have an open debate in Congress over whether the situation warrants U.S. involvement. The Constitution grants the power to declare war to Congress not the President.

The war in Syria has no clear national security connection to the United States and victory by either side will not necessarily bring in to power people friendly to the United States.”

Slate accuses Senator Paul of being a little noncommittal there, but most sites describe it as a hands off approach, which U.S. News & World Report suggests is a representation between the new wave of conservatives and the older, more hawkish establishment.

And it’s with his ideas on foreign policy that lead The Washington Post to suggest that he should never, ever be president.

Miles Apart: So I’d worked out a loose enough Kentucky (not so much Louisville) connection to talk about the whole Miley Cyrus VMA thing (her dad), but it’s a stretch and you’re probably over the whole thing by now.

And really, my take is pretty concise anyway: more silly than shocking, more odd than alarming.

I dated a performance artist for a minute in college and she had a similar “I’m going to confront you with your own ideas about sexuality and morality and you’ll be forced to face the hypocrisy of societal norms” period to her work.

And that’s fine. There’s a lot to explore there and that’s a time in one’s life when those ideas and experimentation come to the fore. The art wants to be good for the statement to carry, maybe. And that assumes the statement was intentional, which is anyone’s guess.

I will say that one of the more interesting things that arose from all of this: the reminder of the levels and subjective nature of art interpretation and consumption, that our own experience and values are still a key player in processing. That’s not the same as saying there’s no such thing as good or bad art—there most certainly is—merely that we’ll view both good and bad art with our own standards and practices in mind.

Now that all may have been an episode of  “Stating the Obvious, with your host, Kyle” just now, but this seems to get lost in the shuffle all the same. Our lines are different.

I wouldn’t have expected such a discussion framework could come from Miley Cyrus and the MTV Video Music Awards, but that’s the beauty of life’s little surprises.

So here’s the spectrum of reaction, far and wide: it was too raunchy; it was too sexually charged; it was sexually confused; it was racist; it was odd; it was just a girl having fun; it was just what you do at the VMAs; the guy (Robin Thicke) isn’t being criticized the same way; it tried too hard to be something it wasn’t; it didn’t try hard enough; it was brave; it was a cry for help; it just wasn’t terribly good or successful on any level.

I may have missed a few.

But how one reacted in this case was less important so long as one had a reaction; better if that reaction was strong enough to talk about. And talk, people did.  Look, I’ve even done over 300 words on it so far after saying I wasn’t going to talk about it. That’s more to do with my particular verbal compulsion than any perceived controversy, but the point remains. A week later, she’s still a conversation and in this media climate that’s a success.

So no matter where you land on the love/hate meter—her management team couldn’t be happier, according to The Huffington Post.

Which is the far more interesting discussion, at least for me.

And that thing at the beginning—I didn’t mean to make an assumption on your behalf. We can talk about anything you want; that’s what my e-mail and twitter link are doing down there, not to mention the comments section.  I’m not exactly what I’d call a quick responder, but I’m around.

The Once and Future King: I tell you what we didn’t talk about last week, and that’s University of Louisville athletics. That may be a first for the column, and since I’m on phase six of my plan to convince Insider Louisville I could be enough of a football writer to send me to Cardinal games, that omission could not have come at a worse time.

Speaking of…

Football: Your Sugar Bowl Champions, the University of Louisville’s fighting football Cardinals, haven’t hit the field yet in 2013, but the sports world is already focusing on the season opener in 2015.

The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game has turned into quite a big deal since its debut in 2008. According to USA Today, ratings and attendance are excellent and the organizers have built the “big game” feel, like a bowl game, only at the beginning of the season.

This year, Alabama will go against Virginia Tech; in 2014 Ole Miss plays Boise State and Alabama takes on West Virginia; and in 2015, the Auburn Tigers  have the unenviable task of facing your hometown Louisville Cardinals, as reported by ESPN, Sporting News, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Bleacher Report, SB Nation, and NBC Sports

So yet another honor bestowed upon the best college football program in the land.

Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game. I tell you what: I will sell you naming rights to this column. Technically, Insider Louisville has naming rights, but I bet we can get around that. It can be, “In Other News…by Kyle Ware, powered by Subway” or whatever. Or why not, “Powered by…Insert Your Company Name Here?”

The KFC YUM! Kyle, if you will.

Speaking of…

Basketball: Peyton Siva, a Louisville favorite and guard on last year’s NCAA National Championship team, talked to ESPN this week about the state of Cardinals this year. The verdict: they’ll be even better.

Siva, now a rookie with the Detroit Pistons, says:

“They are loaded. Even more so than last year. I think they have all the pieces to win another championship.”

Bleacher Report takes a detailed look at Siva’s evaluation.

In a related story, also from ESPN, Lindy’s 2013-2014 preview guide released its September cover and top 10 teams; Louisville ranks #7.  So.

In related news, In Other News… recently ranked its basketball preview guides, and gave Lindy’s 8th place, just behind E-mails From Kyle’s Friends Who Are Really Into College Basketball.

Congratulations, Lindy’s.

I ♥ Huckabees: The last couple of weeks, we’ve talked about some endorsements Rand Paul has picked up (Sarah Palin, Julian Assange). This week, it’s Mitch McConnell’s turn, as former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee says he’s standing with the senator, says The Hill and The Washington Post.

Huckabee released a praise-filled statement with his endorsement yesterday, but The Post suggests there may be more to it, namely Huckabees issues with conservative Tea Party group, Club For Growth, stating on his radio show:

“I kind of have a standing philosophy: If the Club for Growth hates you, I like you.”

So we can reverse engineer that logic problem to understand how Club for Growth feels about McConnell. The organization has not officially endorsed either McConnell or his party challenger Matt Bevin, but they have been giving McConnell a hard time over the Affordable Care Act, along with The Senate Conservatives Fund, according to The Huffington Post; they just launched a $50,000 TV spot saying McConnell isn’t doing enough to fight the bill.

Speaking of Bevin, The Hill says he’s picked up a new endorsement of his own: Louisville Tea Party President Wendy Caswell.

Finally, going to The Hill one more time, the McConnell campaign is expected to announce “Women for Team Mitch” today, because:

Alison Lundergan Grimes.
Alison Lundergan Grimes.

You Can Say That Again: We spent a few columns talking about The Great Gatsby and Louisville when Baz Luhrmann’s film came out this past spring. Now that it’s on DVD, the folks at Tribeca Films have put together a supercut video of every instance someone says “old sport” in the film. Total: 59 times.

Ford Tough: The economy’s showing signs of improvement, but it’s still rough out there: USA Today reports 5,569 people came out to apply for what turned out to be 50 jobs at the Ford plant on Fern Valley Road in Louisville. Ford will use a lottery system to help select applicants.

Girl Crush: I’ve used that title for the Jennifer Lawrence section before, but I’ve got a reason to recycle.

You have a girl crush on Jennifer Lawrence—you’ve made peace with that—but the problem is, it would be so much easier if you could only understand it; to really get into your head about why you want to make her breakfast or take her to the movies.

For the answer, we go all the way to Australia’s Daily Life and their aptly titled article: Understanding Your Girl Crush on Jennifer Lawrence. In it, you learn why you can’t get her off your mind and why you maybe don’t feel the same way about Anne Hathaway.

On the off chance you are not already in love with Jennifer Lawrence, Yahoo OMG! steps in to give you 5 reasons why you should.

Reason number 4: she suits all hair tones.

OMG, indeed.

See you next week.
[email protected]
@Kyle_Ware

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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.

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