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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Kentucky coal miners who were dismissed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are now appearing in an ad for Democrat Amy McGrath, who is running to replace him.

“Ten hours on the bus, and we got to see him for all of one minute,” says Kentucky coal miner Jimmy Moore in the ad, which was released Friday. Moore explains in the video that his stepfather and grandfather died from black lung disease and notes that his son is suffering from the malady.

“Mitch McConnell let the coal companies walk away from us, then after one minute, he did too,” Moore concludes.

In a tweet promoting the video, McGrath wrote, “My question for McConnell: Which side are you on?”

In July, the miners traveled to Washington, D.C. from several coal states to push Congress to reinstate the taxes on coal companies that fund the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund.

McConnell’s office had said before the meeting that he was concerned about the issue, but once the miners and their family members arrived, McConnell posed for photos with them but did not stay to listen to a discussion of their concerns.

The group did meet with Democratic senators who held a round table discussion and pushed Congress to pass the legislation.

The fund is $4 billion in debt but the tax was cut by 50 percent while Republicans had full control of the government. The drop in funding is a direct outgrowth of Trump’s decision to shut down the government.

McConnell has gleefully called himself the “Grim Reaper” of popular legislation, refusing to act on bills like gun control, health care, raising the minimum wage, and a host of other bills that have passed the House and have broad support.

Coal miners in McConnell’s home state are the latest in a growing group of Americans who are finding themselves shut out by the most unpopular senator in the country.

Published with permission of The American Independent.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

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Just over year before her untimely death on Friday, the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg appeared as a guest lecturer for the Clinton School of Public Service in Little Rock, AR with National Public Radio correspondent Nina Totenberg. The crowd that signed up to see "Notorious RBG" live was so large that the event had to be moved to a major sports arena – and they weren't disappointed by the wide-ranging, hour-long interview.

Witty, charming, brilliant, principled, Ginsburg represented the very best of American liberalism and modern feminism. Listen to her and you'll feel even more deeply what former President Bill Clinton says in his poignant introduction: "Only one of us in this room appointed her…but all of us hope that she will stay on that court forever."