Pee Alert: Jerry Abramson Thinks About Running

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Wednesday that Republicans must “evolve” on immigration while preventing America from becoming a magnet for immigrants to come and get benefits. [Politico]

Jerry Abramson will not be governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. He can dream, though. [WBKO]

When President Obama told supporters that he would morph his campaign into a new nonprofit that would accept unlimited corporate donations, the announcement set off a familiar round of griping from campaign finance reformers. [ProPublica]

At least three death row inmates could be nearing execution as Kentucky moves toward a new lethal injection method, with the governor’s office already having requests to set dates for two and a third man out of direct appeals in his case. [WKYT]

Since Mitch McConnell is so bent out of shape over spending… maybe he should do something about stopping waste, fraud and abuse? Until then, he’s just a whiny ass titty baby without a leg to stand on. [WATB]

Kentucky Republicans and business leaders are promoting an unlikely way to boost the state’s economic development: Grow cannabis. Kentucky leaders want their state to become the king of hemp, a plant that comes from the same species as marijuana, though doesn’t contain enough of the intoxicating ingredient to cause a high. [Bloomberg]

Mitch McConnell raised $715,000 in the last three months of 2012 for his re-election campaign, bringing his campaign total to $7.4 million. [Bluegrass Politics]

After more than a year’s delay, American schools will soon see new U.S. government rules targeting the kinds of snacks sold to students, a move nutritionists say could play an important role in fighting childhood obesity. [Reuters]

Could Mitch McConnell be about to announce support for industrial hemp in Kentucky? He met with Rand Paul to discuss it. [Stay Tuned]

The Obama administration took new steps Wednesday toward implementing the individual mandate in its signature healthcare law, downplaying the scope of the unpopular provision by stressing rules that allow exemptions from the requirement to purchase insurance. [The Hill]

Some families could get priced out of health insurance due to what’s being called a glitch in President Barack Obama’s overhaul law. IRS regulations issued Wednesday failed to fix the problem as liberal backers of the president’s plan had hoped. [HuffPo]

Hey, did you guys hear this not at all completely hypothetical and fictional and made up (that is what “fictional” means) story about how Barack Obama is personally going to tear down Ronald Reagan’s childhood home with his bare black hands? [Wonkette]

Thought The Economy Was Puppies & Rainbows

U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, R-Lexington, called the efforts of a bipartisan group of U.S. senators to bring about immigration reform “a sign of progress on a broken system.” Not sure how it’s progress, really, as it’s the same plan Barack Obama has been pushing for years while Republicans foamed at the mouth. Guess Republicans will be in for a rude awakening when they discover non-whites still won’t be voting for them. [H-L]

Haha, teabagger logic is hilarious. Two Tea Party lawmakers in Mississippi have proposed legislation to create a permanent committee charged with nullifying federal laws the state does not want to follow. [HuffPo]

Kentucky’s homeless population and those at risk of homelessness can be hard to find. Beginning at midnight, volunteers and workers will spread out across the state in attempt to get a one-day count of those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless in the next 14 days. [Ashland Independent]

You can expect Jerry Lundergan to be deeply involved in this effort. Terry McAuliffe has added two top strategists to his campaign for governor of Virginia, bulking up his team for what has essentially become a nine-month general election race. [Politico]

A southeastern Kentucky school district is considering a request to allow high school students to bring their own technology, such as smartphones or tablets, into the classroom to work on assignments. [WLEX18]

President Barack Obama’s approval rating current sits at a three year high, according to the latest polling data. [WaPo]

The old historic buildings that make up Whiskey Row in the 100 block of West Main Street in downtown Louisville are no longer in danger of falling down. [WDRB]

Israeli forces attacked a convoy on the Syrian-Lebanese border overnight, a Western diplomat and regional security sources said on Wednesday, as concern has grown in the Jewish state over the fate of Syrian chemical and advanced conventional weapons. [Reuters]

The US economy unexpectedly shrank at an annualised rate of 0.1% in the fourth quarter of 2012, initial official estimates indicate. If confirmed, it would be the first contraction logged by the US economy since the 2009 global recession. [BBC]

You can’t even go to the mall in Lexington these days without getting your face slashed. [H-L]

It sure is fun watching all of this anti-gay craziness in Tennessee. [Wonkette]

Instead of working on issues like this, one well-known gay organization in Louisville is wasting money on having its folks get arrested for refusing to leave a court house and for passing a fairness ordinance in a tiny town that isn’t even, well, a town. Woo, well done. Money wisely spent. Meanwhile, kids like this are killing themselves every day. [HuffPo]

Jack Coicidentally Ramps Up “Press Conferences”

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Hunters killed 92 sandhill cranes in Kentucky’s second hunting season for the bird. That’s 42 more than were killed in the previous season. [H-L]

One month after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., the National Rifle Association has released a new game for iPhone and iPad that is being billed as appropriate for ages 4 and up. [HuffPo]

Mandy Connell’s “apology” was almost as absurd as her Anti-Semitic “Yellow Star” remarks to Congressman John Yarmuth. [The ‘Ville Voice]

Despite Bahrain’s bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, the U.S. has continued to provide weapons and maintenance to the small Mideast nation. [ProPublica]

Here’s what Congressman Hal Rogers had to say yesterday about the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013. [Click the Clicky]

The gun lobby has weathered this before. It has faced public outrage over gun massacres many times. And it has its playbook ready. First, attack those who want to end gun violence by saying they “exploit” the grief of those who lost children at the Newtown massacre. [Politico]

Mouth-breathers are absolutely going to freak out over this one. Creating a third vacancy on the federal bench in the Western District of Kentucky, Judge Charles R. Simpson III has announced he is taking senior status Feb. 1. [C-J/AKN]

The U.S. Postal Service’s Board of Governors has directed the cash-strapped agency to speed up cost-cutting and revenue-boosting measures, as legislation to restructure the mail carrier remains stalled. [HuffPo]

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested 39 men over the weekend who were in Lexington illegally. The men were targeted primarily because of criminal convictions. [H-L]

Sen. Mitch McConnell (Ky.) will probably not face a credible primary challenger in 2014, giving the Republican leader more leeway to strike a deal on the deficit. [The Hill]

Tomorrow at 11:00 A.M., Jack Conway says he will “announce a major development” in his investigation of some for-profit colleges. [Press Release]

Every Kentucky School District Should Do That

The number of coal miners killed on the job in Kentucky fell to four in 2012, down from eight the previous year, when the state led the nation in fatalities. [H-L]

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) lit into House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Republicans Wednesday for not holding a vote on a Hurricane Sandy relief bill. [HuffPo]

This is kind of a big deal. The Tennessee Valley Authority has paid a Kentucky school district a little more than $37,000 for producing electricity. [C-J/AKN]

Ten states kicked off the new year with a minimum wage rise of between 10 and 35 cents, modestly boosting the incomes of nearly 1 million low-paid workers. [Reuters]

For at least the third time in as many years a national fiscal crisis was averted at the last minute by a deal cobbled together by Kentucky U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Louisville, and Vice President Joe Biden. [Ronnie Ellis]

As the sixth year of the foreclosure crisis comes to an end, the percentage of loans in foreclosure remains a staggering eight times higher than it was in 2005. About 5.3 million homeowners — about 11 percent of all borrowers — are behind on their payments. [ProPublica]

Students and staff at one Harlan County elementary returned to school Wednesday morning with heavy hearts. [WKYT]

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell pivoted Wednesday from the “fiscal cliff” to the fight over raising the debt ceiling. [The Hill]

A man who was accused in November of duct-taping a woman to a pole for nine hours was indicted last week by a Madison grand jury. [Richmond Register]

Remember way back before Christmas, which is now aeons ago, when Hillary faked her concussion to get out of testifying about the greatest loss of American life since ever, aka BENGHAAAAAZIIIII? [Wonkette]

Local and state education officials have begun discussions about merging the Monticello Independent school district and its 850 students into the Wayne County school system. [H-L]

Despite a bruising fiscal cliff battle that managed to set the stage for an even more heated showdown that will likely take place in a matter of months, President Barack Obama is planning to move full steam ahead with the rest of his domestic policy agenda. [HuffPo]

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Mitch Still Fighting Against Campaign Finance Law

Some Kentucky board of education members asked Wednesday whether the goals set by the state are high enough to lift up low-performing schools. Since test scores were released in November, critics have questioned why low-performing schools only have to move up one point next year to be considered improving. [H-L]

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) is working to build a firewall in the House against new campaign finance reforms in the face of possible defections within his own caucus. [The Hill]

Changing the high school dropout age from 16 to 18 is a legislative priority once again for the Kentucky Board of Education. During the board’s regular meeting Wednesday, board members approved a legislative agenda for the upcoming session that starts in January. [WFPL]

Health care reform rules aimed at pressuring health insurance companies to become more efficient saved consumers nearly $1.5 billion last year, according to a study released by the Commonwealth Fund on Wednesday. [HuffPo]

The conservative polling group Resurgent Republic is out with a great new graphic this morning breaking down turnout among key demographic groups in the 2012 election. [WaPo]

Now that the father of 17-year-old Jordan Davis has buried his son, he is turning his grief and anger over the high school student’s shooting death into a crusade against guns and Florida’s controversial Stand Your Ground law. [Reuters]

If you’ve been laid off, there’s a good chance state government will pay your mortgage until you get back on your feet. But Kentucky and Indiana have spent only a fraction of $371 million the federal government awarded them last year to help struggling borrowers. [C-J/AKN]

Oscar and Jennifer Cruz knew that crossing the border would be the easy part. The Salvadoran brother and sister made their way over the international line between Guatemala and Mexico with the help of a smuggler who guided them through the jungle. [ProPublica]

A federal appeals court on Wednesday rejected the government’s request for the full court to hear a case on the Food and Drug Administration’s graphic tobacco warning labels, setting up a potential Supreme Court showdown with Big Tobacco. [Politico]

A group of students from the University of Kentucky are trying to raise awareness for hunger through their art. Students in this semester’s “Pathways To Creativity” class, part of UK’s required core curriculum, worked together to design and paint murals with the theme of hunger. [H-L]

After spending close to $270,000 of his savings on a nursing home and around-the-clock care for his wife, John McCann was horrified to learn that doctors discovered 57 maggots had hatched in her ear. [HuffPo]

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Flood Of Awful Awfulness Flowing From Frankfort

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Yesterday, Jamie Comer hyped hemp support from Christian County Sheriff Livy Leavell Jr. in a press release as being a surprise. Only… Comer’s staff have been talking about it for ages on Facebook. So, maybe not such a surprise? Or something that even matters, since hemp isn’t happening any time soon. John Yarmuth supporting the legalization of hemp in Kentucky doesn’t make it any more likely to occur. Remember, this is Kentucky. [Press Release]

A single word comes to Paul Krugman’s mind when trying to describe the U.S. political system: “dysfunctional.” [HuffPo]

Yes, remove him. The law is the flipping law. Steve Beshear is weighing whether a Republican on the state Board of Elections should be removed for possibly violating state law that says members cannot run for public office. [H-L]

The traditionally hard-line stance American officials have held against marijuana is relaxing in some places — but don’t expect Kentucky law enforcement to follow along. [WFPL]

The Mittens Romney campaign did great, right? Yes, says a man who ran Mittens’ campaign. [Wonkette]

Some lawmakers Wednesday indicated they want special taxing districts to get approval of tax rates from fiscal courts, but that might not be the best idea, according to the man who started the conversation about Kentucky’s myriad special tax districts. [Ronnie Ellis]

Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad announced Wednesday that his department was revising its pursuit policy to reduce the risk from collisions in car chases that have killed eight people and injured at least 77 since 2007. [C-J/AKN]

Former Rep. Geoff Davis, R-Ky., is joining with veteran lobbyist Hunter Bates in forming Republic Consulting, a lobbying and consulting venture. [Roll Call]

Get a load of these “experts” they talked to who think something is going to change for Eastern Kentucky now that Stivers has taken over Williams’ job. [WKYT]

The Obama administration announced on Wednesday its opposition to the latest House Republican effort on immigration: a bill that would expand visas to certain holders of advanced degrees by eliminating another visa program entirely. [HuffPo]

Two former RPD officers are appealing several rulings in a federal civil suit that accused local prosecutors and law enforcement officers of malicious prosecution in an attempt to convict them of witness tampering. [Richmond Register]

Federal prosecutors in West Virginia charged the highest-ranking executive to date on Wednesday in a broad investigation stemming from the 2010 explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine that killed 29 miners, a move that suggests more senior executives at Massey Energy, the mine’s operator, are likely to be prosecuted. [NY Times]

No Wonder Republicans Are Confused And Lost

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A southern Kentucky sheriff facing federal civil rights violations charges has been indicted on two additional counts. [H-L]

Republican presidential nominee Mittens Romney is telling top donors that President Barack Obama won re-election because of the “gifts” he had already provided to blacks, Hispanics and young voters and because of the president’s effort to paint Romney as anti-immigrant. [HuffPo]

Fortunately, Bobby Jindal isn’t as delusional as Mittens Romney. Lousiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) rebuffed Mittens Romney’s claim that President Obama won reelection because of “gifts” to minorities and young voters, calling the statement “wrong.” [More HuffPo]

As part of a proposed settlement with environmental groups, St. Louis-based Patriot Coal has agreed to phase out mountaintop removal mining at several of its mines in West Virginia, saying the controversial mining practice isn’t in the company’s best interest. [WFPL]

Seems the Red Cross response to Sandy has failed to met expectations. [Reuters]

Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) said Tuesday that there is probably a ”zero percent” chance of congressional leaders reaching a grand bargain on the looming fiscal cliff. [Politico]

Roughly 1,500 people are living on the streets of Lexington today. The growing problem has prompted the city to join an ongoing effort to raise awareness about homelessness. [WLEX18]

Was Patraeus Borked? In 1987, when Judge Robert Bork was enmeshed in a partisan struggle over his Supreme Court nomination, a reporter for an alternative weekly in Washington, D.C., got a tip that the judge was a patron of a local video store. [ProPublica]

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway is reaching out to thousands of homeowners who might be eligible for help with their mortgage. Conway has begun a public service campaign to alert people before a Jan. 18 deadline to apply for money from the $25 billion national mortgage foreclosure settlement reached this spring. [H-L]

Mittens Romney’s top strategists don’t have to look very far to see where things went terribly wrong. All they have to do is check the bottom line. According to Kantar Media’s post-election tally of 2012 spending, the Romney campaign spent an average of $666 per television spot—$72 more than its Democratic rival. [Mother Jones]

Marco Rubio, who we have been told is the New Face of the Republican party, has a brilliant take on solving the so-called fiscal cliff: let’s just go ahead and let rich people do whatever they want because they’ll hire a bunch of lawyers and do what they want no matter what so we might as well go with it. [Wonkette]