State House Is Within Reach For Republicans

Fewer than half of the 100 seats in the Kentucky House will be contested in this year’s General Election as Democrats and Republicans battle for control of the chamber. [H-L]

The polls say that President Barack Obama is at a low point, but you couldn’t tell it from the tour de force of his State of the Union speech. [HuffPo]

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway filed a complaint Tuesday in Franklin Circuit Court against a Kentucky propane gas provider for allegedly violating the state’s Consumer Protection Act, according to a release from his office. [C-J/AKN & Press Releases]

President Barack Obama on Wednesday will highlight the theme of income disparity by visiting a Maryland big-box wholesaler and a steel plant in a depressed corner of Pennsylvania a day after launching a renewed push to raise the federal minimum wage. [Reuters]

A former Carter County high school principal and basketball coach has filed a lawsuit against the school system in which he alleges he was wrongfully terminated. [Ashland Independent]

A small but significant caveat in a new agreement brokered between the Obama administration and Google, Facebook, Yahoo and Microsoft could cast a long shadow over America’s technology start-ups. [NY Times]

Here is the tea lady trying to run against Jody Richards. We can only imagine the kind of hilarity that would go down if they were forced to debate. [Click the Clicky]

A new right-wing media narrative is brandishing out-of-context statistics on inherited wealth to argue that lower-income Americans are disproportionately benefiting from inherited wealth transfers, unlike the wealthiest Americans who earn their wealth with hard work. [Media Matters]

President Barack Obama on Tuesday night hailed Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear for implementing the president’s health care law in Kentucky, praising the governor who attended as Obama’s guest. [Sam Youngman]

President Barack Obama sought during his State of the Union address Tuesday night to link his 4-year-old health care reform law to his broader agenda to address widening income inequality and promote financial security. [HuffPo]

In an effort to change the leadership of the Kentucky House of Representatives for the first time in almost a century, Hal Heiner announced this morning the formation of New Direction Kentucky, a political organization that will focus on House races in the 2014 election cycle. Folks involved include: Bill Bishop, Darrell Brock, Doug Cobb, Jess Correll, Larry Cox, Terry Forcht, Bob Gable, Rich Gimmel, David Jones, Sr., Hilda Legg, Todd P’Pool, Bill Stone, Alecia Webb-Edgington and Mike Whitaker. [Press Release]

There was no unified opposition at the conclusion of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night. Instead, four different Republicans — representing, in some ways, four different factions of the Republican party — had something to say to the nation. [TPM]

Frankfort Works To Keep Kentucky’s Poor Poor

The Attorney General’s office has ruled that the Blue Grass Area Development District is not a state agency and, therefore, has to follow local zoning regulations. [H-L]

Dollars for Docs mints a millionaire. Dr. Jon W. Draud, the medical director of psychiatric and addiction medicine at two Tennessee hospitals, pursues some eclectic passions. [ProPublica]

It took four years but Gov. Steve Beshear and Rep. Jeff Greer, D-Brandenburg, Monday got their wish to raise the high school dropout age to 18. [Ronnie Ellis]

The American public is split over whom to trust on gun laws — President Barack Obama or congressional Republicans — but supports a variety of gun control measures pushed by Democrats, according to a poll released Tuesday. [Politico]

Still wondering why Cathy Bailey will never be governor of the Commonwealth? No, planting a story about herself raising money for Rand Paul at her home in Florida isn’t the primary reason. But it helps solidify, you know, the reality that it’s never happening for her. Cathy Bailey, the former U.S. ambassador to Latvia under President George W. Bush, held a “meet and greet” for Kentucky U.S. Sen. Rand Paul at her Palm Beach, Fla., home over the weekend. [CN|2]

The Securities and Exchange Commission is experimenting with punishments that more closely fit the wrongdoing at issue in a bid to give its enforcement cases more bite. [Reuters]

This is Greg Stumbo’s fault just as it was Jody Richards’ fault before him. Followers of the Kentucky General Assembly might have a hard time guessing that of the body’s 122 rank-and-file members, Rep. Dennis Horlander was — by far — the highest-paid in 2012. [C-J/AKN]

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) complained Monday she was subject to a very uncomfortable screening by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). [The Hill]

Come on, folks, keep meemaw at home after she’s had a sip or two! Frankfort Police arrested a 70-year old woman who they say was driving drunk the wrong way down Interstate 64. [WKYT]

The United States has expelled two Venezuelan diplomats, following the expulsion of US attaches from Caracas. The Venezuelans were asked to leave a day after President Hugo Chavez’s funeral, US officials said on Monday. [BBC]

A measure to regulate hemp farming in Kentucky might not be dead yet. House Speaker Greg Stumbo said Tuesday morning that people were working on modifications to Senate Bill 50, which has stalled in the House. [H-L]

Obama team stops saying ‘Global War On Terror’ but doesn’t stop waging it. After the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, President George W. Bush often made a provocative claim: He argued that the U.S. was fighting a war without a typical battlefield. In effect, he said, this war is everywhere. [NPR]

Devastating and cruel — those are words being used to describe cuts to Kentucky’s Childcare Assistance Program. Supporters of the program are racing the clock to try and stop the cuts. [WDRB]

Jody Richards Knows Shenanigans Are Underway

Tomorrow at 11:00 A.M., Jamie Comer and Adam Edelen will make an announcement at the Department of Agriculture. It’s billed as being “important” and you can only imagine what it may be. [Media Fun Times Are Ahead]

Jody Richards and Rick Nelson voted no on House Bill 2. And Greg Stumbo’s redistricting map passed along party lines to the State Senate, where it will die. [Deep Frankfort Failures]

Allowing Kentucky school buses to be moving billboards seems silly. The Kentucky Department of Education wouldn’t be hurting so badly if so much cash wasn’t wasted on frivolous crap. There’s no reason Kentucky schools need to be paying for teachers to take their spouses on conference trips. Absolutely no reason. And that’s just scratching the surface. Adam Edelen needs to sack up and audit that mess RIGHT NOW. [CN|2]

Rick “The Froth” Santorum will allow you to own one of his armpit-aerating sartorial staples – a necessity for anyone with anger management issues, because anger causes sweat – for the low, low price of $100. Snatch up your sweater vest today. [Wonkette]

It’s time for a reality check on the meth problem in Kentucky. If we’re gonna get a handle on this issue, we at least need to keep the facts straight. [Page One]

Andy Barr released a statement about House Bill 2 today and tried to tie Ben Chandler into it in the weirdest way possible. We keep waiting for Barr to hit hard and will continue to do so. Surely he can start digging in where Republicans and Democrats want to pay attention. [Press Release]

Are Super PACs the WMDs of campaign finance? Yep. And it’s highly entertaining watching Republicans reap what they sewed in the form of “free speech.” [The Atlantic]

Wait, Rick Perry is still a thing? [Politico]

The State House Education Committee approved HB40, which authorizes a statewide teacher evaluation system. [H-L]

Ron Paul got really mad at CNN again. Just after he finished complaining about how nobody paid attention to him or whatever. [The Hill]

Following the Metro Sewer District shenanigans in Louisville? Then keep your eye on this latest project and make sure nothing nefarious goes down. [C-J/AKN]

The honeymoon is officially over for Greg Fischer. Mr. Buzz Words is being forced to face reality and no longer gets to enjoy the free ride. [The ‘Ville Voice]

The Pope says gay marriage is a threat to the future of humanity. Funny, we thought Brown Coats were the real threat. [HuffPo]

First Day Of Session Drove Everyone Crazy, Kinda

What a crazy day. Here’s your round-up a little bit late.

Want to win tickets to the Actors Theatre-Second City production of It Takes A ‘Ville!? Here’s your final chance. [Page One]

You know how I said Jody Richards is a TERRIBLE vote counter? He’s a terrible vote counter. [Bluegrass Politics]

Dear Jim Gray: You’re taking a dangerous risk with your new administration. Hiring Jane Driskell? REALLY? Have you not read about ANY of the problems in Louisville? Wow. [H-L & The ‘Ville Voice]

R.J. Palmer beat Julian Carroll to become leader of the Democrats in the State Senate. Julian says people are afraid of him. No shiz. [Ruh Ro?]

This bit from yesterday’s Kentucky Democratic Party press release is still cracking us up today: “I can’t overstate the hard work that went into creating this application and how pleased we are with the outcome,” said Logsdon. “We’re a party that believes in inclusiveness and transparency and this application goes a long way in achieving both. Now our party’s leaders, our events, our elected officials and a host of other information are literally one click away; that’s something we’re very proud to be providing.” [Press Release]

Mitch McConnell is a master manipulator, strategist and strict obstructionist. That’s his way. And that picture is terrifying. [The Atlantic]

State House Republicans elected their new leadership: Jeff Hoover remains as Minority Leader for his sixth term. Bob DeWeese will serve as Caucus Chair. Danny Ford is Minority Whip. [Press Release]

Tomorrow, State Rep. and Chicken Lady Susan Westrom, Clark County Health Department Public Health Director Scott Lockard and Danny McGoldrick, Vice President for Research at the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids will make announcements regarding a new poll showing widespread support for a statewide smoke-free law in Kentucky. [Press Release]

Steve Nunn’s attorneys are expected to try to use the mental defect defense. That trial is going to be unbelievable. [WLEX]

The University Press of Kentucky announced today that Albert Schmid was named the winner of the Gourmand World Cookbook Award for the U.S. in the category of cooking with beer/wine/spirits for The Kentucky Bourbon Cookbook. A well-deserved award! [Buy It For $25 To Celebrate & More]

The Houston Chronicle says Kentucky’s gubernatorial race is one to watch in 2011. That may be because there are very few big races around the country. [Houston Chronicle]

Sorry, Bowling Green, but pretending that Steve Beshear and David Williams would leave politics aside until after the legislative session is completely juvenile. [BGDN]