Make The Adult Abuse Registry Happen, Frankfort

You know what the mainstreamers are missing? Alison Lundergan Grimes could run for U.S. Senate, beat Ashley Judd and give Mitch McConnell a run for his money. Regardless of what her folks say publicly, she wants to and is talking about it. Pay close attention to discussions when Bill Clinton is in Kentucky. And pay close attention to the politicos around her – their moves are telling. [Deep Senate Thoughts]

The Kentucky Board of Education on Wednesday rescued a small southern school district from the brink of closure, voting to allow emergency funds to be used to pay the bills in what members called an unprecedented move by the state. [H-L]

National Rifle Association President David Keene on Wednesday told an unfriendly audience at Harvard University the assault weapons ban proposed by a leading congressional gun control advocate was a “feel-good” measure that would do nothing to stop violence. [Politico]

People who are in dating relationships, but who have never lived together, could seek protection with a domestic violence order under a bill passed from the House Wednesday afternoon. [C-J/AKN]

More than half of U.S. citizens believe that most or all of the country’s 11 million illegal immigrants should be deported, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Wednesday that highlights the difficulties facing lawmakers trying to reform the U.S. immigration system. [Reuters]

A drunk guy in Louisville allegedly broke into a fire house and masturbated on uniforms. We couldn’t make this up if we tried. [WHAS11]

Signaling an attempt to break an impasse, President Barack Obama on Thursday placed calls to House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell about the looming spending cuts set to kick in on March 1. Neither side reported progress, however, and aides taunted each other with Twitter messages. [HuffPo]

Make this happen, Frankfort! A bill that would place those who have been convicted of adult abuse on a state-wide registry now heads to the full House for a vote. [Bluegrass Politics]

So remember how Al Gore, Green Hitler, up and sold his near-imaginary teevee station to the Qatari government, in the shape of Al Jazeera? And the conservatives, they did not like that all but could not quite put their finger on “why” besides just “Muslims”? [Wonkette]

Changing Kentucky’s tax code to squeeze out more revenue is the only way to restore funding to a program that helps low income families pay for child care, Gov. Steve Beshear said Thursday. [Ryan Alessi]

Under pressure from the health care industry and consumer advocates, seven Republican governors are cautiously moving to expand Medicaid, giving an unexpected boost to President Obama’s plan to insure some 30 million more Americans. [NY Times]

Day 89385298 Of Pension Disaster, Frankfort Blinks

McKee Mayor John Tompkins said Wednesday that he is resigning his second job as a Jackson County school bus driver because he unknowingly left a 5-year-old student on a bus. Tompkins said he did not see the child, who had curled up in a seat and fallen asleep, before Tompkins ended his route for the day. [H-L]

The National Rifle Association’s political action committee raised $1.1 million in January, according to the committee’s latest filing with the Federal Election Commission. [Politico]

Do-nothing Republicans and Democrats in Frankfort continue to act like these little stunts will help the pension disaster. Future state legislators would get no state-funded pensions under a bill approved by the Senate State and Local Government Committee on Wednesday. [C-J/AKN]

More than half of Congress has turned over since the last time the House and Senate tried to move legislation to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws. [The Hill]

When Jamie Teabagger was running for office, he was terrified of Louisville Metro Animal Services and said he’d never get involved in a mess like that. Interesting turn of events. [WDRB]

More Americans than expected filed new claims for jobless aid last week and consumer prices were flat in January, supporting the argument for the Federal Reserve to maintain its very accommodative monetary policy stance. [Reuters]

On February 11, 2013, U.S. Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) and Governor Steve Beshear joined federal, state and local officials to announce a unique $29.3 million funding effort to help Morgan County rebuild from the disastrous storm and tornado damage suffered in March 2012. [Salyersville Independent]

The White House has vowed to fight foreign theft of US trade secrets, a day after a report linked China’s military to prolific cyber-theft. The administration’s strategy document warned that such activity threatened US economic and national security. [BBC]

Rand Paul isn’t sure if Louisville businessman Matthew Bevin would pose a problem for Mitch McConnell in a primary election. [WFPL]

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has warned that the automatic spending cuts due to hit the Pentagon and other branches of government next week will damage U.S. national security. In a letter to Congress, he said those cuts would put the military on a path toward a “hollow force.” But the warnings don’t appear to be moving the needle with lawmakers or the American public. [NPR]

Eastern Kentucky University President Doug Whitlock made an unsuccessful attempt to persuade Madison County’s legislative delegation to support rewriting of legislation that funded the $37 million facility and continues to provide $200,000 annually in operating funds. [Richmond Register]

Republicans would bear more of the blame for a failure to reach a deal on the looming federal spending cuts known as the sequester, but most Americans are tuned out of the debate and many don’t oppose allowing the cuts to go into effect. [WaPo]

Another Failed Opportunity For A Gambling Bill

Anyone have a favorite web developer/graphic designer? Send them our way. Hiring folks for a new project. [Jake]

Legalizing casino gambling in Kentucky appears to be off the table for this year’s legislative session. Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, said Friday there was little desire among the Republican caucus to pursue the issue. [Bluegrass Politics]

It would seem like a Republican fantasy: a famous actress, who has been described by her own grandmother as a Hollywood liberal, is floated as a Senate candidate in one of the country’s most conservative states, where she does not even live. [NY Times]

The Energy and Environment Cabinet on Friday announced that it was reorganizing its Division of Forestry by consolidating offices and cutting staffing to eliminate a $1.2 million budget shortfall. [C-J/AKN]

Outgoing Social Security Commissioner Michael J. Astrue has some parting shots for Congress, the White House and advocates for seniors. They have all “really walked away from Social Security,” he says, leaving the program “fraying because of inattention to its problems.” [MSN Money]

Some double-talk in Frankfort. Jamie Comer, Julie Denton, Steve Beshear and Greg Stumbo all get chapped. I’d like to say I’m prescient, but in reality I simply wrote a column last week about the funny, ironic and sometimes hypocritical things people say a week too early. [Ronnie Ellis]

New York Sen. Chuck Schumer on Sunday brushed off a leaked immigration proposal by the White House, which Sen. Marco Rubio has called “dead on arrival” in the Senate as the chamber cobbles together a bipartisan bill. [Politico]

U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, R-Lexington, will hold an open house for constituents on Monday at his district office in Lexington from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. [Bluegrass Politics]

In Tuesday’s State of the Union address, President Obama again called for Congress to take quick action on gun control. “These proposals deserve a vote,” he said. [ProPublica]

More than 100 people gathered at the State Capitol Saturday afternoon in support of gun rights. They wanted to get their message across as new bills are introduced concerning gun control. [WLEX18]

A draft of a White House immigration proposal would allow illegal immigrants to become legal permanent residents within eight years, USA Today reported on Saturday. [Reuters]

Maker’s Mark finally realized it was doing something stupid. [Maker’s Mark]

Julian Carroll Must Be Tripping On Columbian Coke And Mary Lou Marzian Must Have Been Drunk

Corrupt old codger Julian Carroll strikes again. The state could pay for 2 percent raises for state workers through a designated pool of money funded by doubling fines for traffic violations and other misdemeanors, said state Sen. Julian Carroll, D-Frankfort. [Ryan Alessi]

President Obama reiterated his call for Congress to pass an immigration reform bill in his State of the Union address Tuesday, something both chambers are already working on. A bipartisan band of senators announced plans to tackle the issue two weeks ago, and a bipartisan House of Representatives effort, long cloaked in secrecy, is also in the works. [ProPublica]

Steve Beshear says Kentucky’s horse breeding farms have been added to the ventures eligible to seek certain federal relief from disasters affecting agriculture. [H-L]

The dramatic recent decline in Arctic sea-ice cover is illustrated in new data from Europe’s Cryosat mission. The spacecraft, which uses radar to estimate the thickness of marine floes, has observed a deep reduction in the volume of ice during autumn months. [BBC]

Steve Beshear is continuing his push for a statewide smoking ban in public places, calling on lawmakers Thursday to pass it without delay. [WKYT]

Jack Lew, President Barack Obama’s pick to be U.S. treasury secretary, on Wednesday defused heated questions from lawmakers about his work at Citigroup and managed to find common ground with critics over the need for tax reform. [Reuters]

Melinda Elkins Dawson’s mother was murdered and her 6-year-old niece brutally raped in 1998 in Canton, Ohio. [Ronnie Ellis]

After more than five years of recession and painfully slow recovery, President Obama has sent a powerful signal that he thinks the U.S. economy is now in much better shape — good enough, at least, to provide workers with raises. [NPR]

Was Mary Lou Marzian drinking when she wrote this piece of legislation? Because we all know you should have to be considered guilty until proven innocent. The negatives far outweigh the positives. A House panel approved a measure Wednesday that would allow police to collect DNA swabs from people arrested for felony crimes without getting a court’s permission. [H-L]

The National Rifle Association may have tried out a softer tone this week in an online video criticizing the President’s gun proposals, but the underlying message represents a longstanding view of the gun rights group that the Obama administration insisted Wednesday is just plain wrong. [TPM]

A bill that would maintain the state’s prohibition on sales of wine and liquor in grocery stores and ban sales in new pharmacies passed the House Licensing and Occupations Committee on Thursday. [C-J/AKN]

Is Hemp Happening In Kentucky Or Not, Meemaws?

Yesterday, House Bill 105 passed 87 to 9 in the State House. It’s kind of a major deal. Allows for bench trials to determine competency for guardianship. Maybe some of the most important legislation to hit this decade. When you have a loved one who is aging or dying and your drug-addled family is ruining things? You’ll discover just how important this is. Joni Jenkins has outdone herself with a piece of legislation yet again. [Pass It, Senate!]

With a unanimous vote, the Senate Agriculture Committee on Monday approved legislation to license Kentucky farmers to grow hemp. Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, who has pushed for the issue, said afterward that he was very excited about the vote. [H-L]

Guns, immigration, support for diplomats abroad, and the nation’s financial situation. These are key issues facing President Obama as he delivers the first State of the Union address of his second term on Tuesday night, Feb. 12. Surprisingly, these were also key issues facing President George Washington some 223 years ago, when he gave the very first state of the union speech. [NPR]

Nursing home companies have ramped up their public advertising in support of a state Senate bill that would set up a medical review panel to screen malpractice lawsuits against long-term care facilities. [Ryan Alessi]

U.S. President Barack Obama will travel to three states over three days after giving his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, going on the road to drum up support for his economic and other policy proposals, the White House said on Sunday. Of course, he’s still afraid to come back to Kentucky. [Reuters]

For most of these politicians, though, running for president in 2016 would be complicated — specifically, it would be complicated by their day jobs. Just about all of them will either be up for reelection in 2016 or will be in the middle of their terms as governors, which is hardly ideal for launching a presidential campaign. [WaPo]

The trial of two parents accused of sex-trafficking their teenage daughters has been pushed back to June because of new evidence recently uncovered in the case. [Richmond Register]

John Boehner has put Michele Bachmann on the House Intelligence Committee again. Everybody needs a delusional beard, duh. [Wonkette]

White-nose syndrome, a disease deadly to bats, has been confirmed at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. [H-L]

From the sparks lit at the Stonewall Inn in 1969 to the whirl of same-sex marriage laws, the gay rights movement has made a lot of advances. But has it now reached a plateau? [NPR]

The state legislature is tackling tough issues like soft drinks and beer chese. It’s good to know the Kentucky House of Representatives is keeping its eye on the ball. [C-J/AKN]

Advocates for the legalization of marijuana plan to step up their political giving and lobbying efforts now that members of Congress are taking an interest in changing federal drug laws. [The Hill]

Will Crit Luallen Finally Run For Something???

Standard & Poor’s said it expects to be the target of a U.S. Department of Justice civil lawsuit over its mortgage bond ratings, the first federal enforcement action against a credit rating agency over alleged illegal behavior tied to the recent financial crisis. [Reuters]

Here’s your duh moment about Crit Luallen considering a run for governor. Though, the story doesn’t mention that she wants to run with Jack Conway. Remember that Crit is notorious for flirting with higher office like this. She does it every single time there’s a race. [H-L]

After President Obama won reelection, Fox News headlined that Obama’s reelection triggered “mass layoffs” in the coal industry. So far, the facts defy the war on coal hype. [Think Progress]

The Richmond Chamber of Commerce is organizing a mob. However, the mobsters will be armed with $5 and $10 bills, instead of torches or pitchforks as they often are portrayed in movie cliches. [Richmond Register]

The European Commission has proposed that member states restrict the use of certain classes of pesticide that are believed to be harmful to bees. Sprays that use neonicotinoid chemicals should only be used on crops that are not attractive to the insects they said. [BBC]

Just how serious about sustainability is Louisville? Will Greg Fischer take it seriously enough to consider the pension disaster? [The ‘Ville Voice]

Why is consumer financial protection necessary? Because fraud and abuse happen. [NY Times]

Republican U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie said he respects the tough job U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell has in the U.S. Senate but stopped short of saying whether he wants to see tea party groups back off their threats of challenging McConnell in a GOP primary next year. [Ryan Alessi]

Remember the racist Republican and his strange Trayvon Martin tweets? You’ll want to un-remember him after you check this mess out. Hint: wiener. [Wonkette]

Of course Laurel County deserves the awful award this week. Police have arrested a man who they say shot his girlfriend in the town of Keavy on Sunday morning. [WKYT]

Congress has a lot on its plate these days. Immigration reform and gun control have taken center stage in the Senate, and House Republican leaders are ramping up their calls for a balanced budget. But the one issue that Americans routinely say matters the most appears to have taken a back seat: jobs. [HuffPo]

If you missed it earlier this morning, a progressive group is hitting Mitch McConnell on guns with a new television ad campaign. [Page One]

Gambling Treatment In Kentucky? About That

Just 8 percent of part-time workers are enrolled in their company health insurance plans, according to a report released Monday that underscores the reasons for and the challenges created by President Barack Obama’s health care reform law. [HuffPo]

The push to create a treatment program for problem gamblers faces long odds in Kentucky. Steve Beshear should be on this like white on rice since he wants expanded gambling so badly. [H-L]

After years of anticipation, all of the nation’s drug and medical device makers must soon begin publicly reporting payments they make to U.S. physicians, according to final regulations announced this afternoon by the federal government. [ProPublica]

If state workers, teachers, advocates for health and social programs, and others think the cuts they’ve endured in recent years will be restored in the next state budget, they may need to do some more thinking. [C-J/AKN]

Iraq veteran and ex-US Navy seal Chris Kyle, known as the deadliest sniper in US history, has been shot dead on a Texas shooting range, reports say. [BBC]

LG&E has another problem with that cave in Trimble County that’s been holding up construction of a coal ash landfill. It may have been a hiding place for the Underground Railroad, a network that helped slaves move from the South to freedom in Northern states in the 1800s. [C-J/AKN]

There are an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States, and it’s a number you might have heard a lot about this week from Washington lawmakers. [NPR]

In 1981, the Lexington Leader newspaper published a list of the most influential Lexingtonians. It was a collection of white men — smart, business-savvy, opinionated white men. [H-L]

Oh, look, another racist Republican tweets something racist. This time it’s a South Carolina wingnut tweeting similarities between Trayvon Martin and the Super Bowl. [Wonkette]

Hemp, perhaps Kentucky’s biggest cash crop in the 19th century, could be commercially viable for the state’s farmers in the 21th century. [Richmond Register]

Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch angrily defended the inclusion of a controversial provision in the fiscal cliff deal that will pay major dividends to a single biopharmaceutical company, Amgen. [HuffPo]

A motion by King’s Daughters Medical Center to join a federal lawsuit against one of Kentucky’s managed care Medicaid providers is now being considered by the presiding judge in the case. [Ashland Independent]

Candy Crawdad strikes again! CNN’s Candy Crowley asked Sunday if President Obama pursued immigration reform “at the risk of not focusing on the economy,” ignoring the fact that experts agree immigration reform will strengthen the economy, leading to higher wages, more jobs, and more tax revenue. [Media Matters]