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]

Mitch Is A Horrible Person For Ruining Bourbon

As lawmakers debate the Obama administration’s commitment to immigration enforcement, a report released last week shows that 2 million people will be deported by 2014 — more than the total number of deportations before 1997 — if they continue at the current rate. [HuffPo]

With state and federal funds dropping and various expenses rising, the Madison County School Board is set to “roll up their sleeves” to prepare a 2013-14 budget that would avoid dipping deep into its contingency fund. [Richmond Register]

The White House on Thursday disbanded President Barack Obama’s jobs council, a group of high-profile chief executives who gave advice on how to spur employment growth, even as 12 million Americans remain out of work. [Reuters]

Eight members of the family of U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell’s wife Elaine Chao each gave $10,000 to the Kentucky Republican Party in the final weeks of 2012, according to a report the party filed with the Federal Election Commission. [Tom Loftus]

There’s a funny joke that liberals tell each other (okay, I lie, liberals are never funny because they are too busy being offended by non-lesbians) about how if Obama came out against Nazis, conservatives would find a way to defend them. Well, guess what, libtards? JOKE NO MORE. [Wonkette]

Changes in sentencing and probation made in 2011 have saved Kentucky’s corrections system millions of dollars, but lawmakers said Thursday it’s too soon to know if the reforms will have the sweeping long-term effects that legislators intended. [CN|2]

Conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh lashed out at Mexican immigrants Wednesday in a radio rant that portrayed them as lazy and government-dependent — the latest in a series of anti-Mexican statements spouted off by far-right conservatives angered by the possibility of a deal to pass a bipartisan immigration reform. [HuffPo]

Comment on Kentucky may or may not be worth watching tonight. Ronnie Ellis should be on each week no matter what. Scheduled guests: Linda Blackford, Kenny Coleslaw, Greg Hall. [KET]

There are nearly 300 million firearms in the US – which is almost as many guns as there are people. It is, in fact, the most heavily armed country per capita in the world. [AJ]

The glaring issue with this Mitch McConnell interview has nothing to do with politics or government. It’s the way he ruins bourbon! [Yahoo]

In May of 1999, under intense pressure following the Columbine High School massacre, National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre told Congress that the gun lobby supported instant background checks at gun shows. On Wednesday, back before the Senate Judiciary Committee following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, LaPierre uncomfortably withdrew his support for universal background checks. [HuffPo]

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]