Grimes Still Glaringly Wishy-Washy On The ACA

This is apparently newsworthy. A Kentucky woman whose van is plastered with political signs and trinkets has won a costly fight to have a $56 traffic ticket tossed in New Jersey. [H-L]

Matt Bevin stood beneath Kentucky’s Capitol dome and tore into all the things wrong with Congress, starting with the state’s U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell. [LA Times]

Curtis, a retired stockbroker, signed a plea agreement last year that would require him to serve 27 months in prison for stealing from U.S.A. Harvest. But Cox told reporters last month that Curtis now “doesn’t understand what a plea bargain is.” [C-J/AKN]

Mitch McConnell’s reelection campaign has signed up a former Mitt Romney fundraiser to lead a women’s fundraising effort for him in Kentucky. [The Hill]

What has been said to be the oldest building on Main Street is getting a new lease on life after recent renovations have attracted new businesses there, helping to preserve the past and future of downtown. [Hazard Herald]

Nearly a million fish are dying annually, and thousands of others are being deformed, by coal ash in Sutton Lake outside Wilmington, North Carolina, according to a new study. [Click the Clicky]

A number of workers and union representatives met with U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes Monday to share their worries about the impending closure of American Electric Power’s Big Sandy Power Plant and its effect on the region. [Ashland Independent]

As House-Senate talks resume Wednesday, the bad blood among rival commodity groups is becoming an embarrassment for farm bill advocates and a threat to getting legislation through Congress this winter. [Politico]

The United States Department of Justice has released more information, including a victim’s name, following an incident at a federal prison. [WYMT]

For Missouri public radio reporter Harum Helmy, the Affordable Care Act is more than just a story she covers. It is also a story she’s living. [ProPublica]

The owner of a controversial canopy tour business has filed applications for a zoning change and other permits with Lexington city planners in hopes of opening the now-shuttered operation. [H-L]

For the first time in 40 years, a majority of Americans say the US plays a less important and powerful role in the world than it did a decade ago. [BBC]

What the heck are the folks in Louisville even thinking when it comes to women in leadership roles? [The ‘Ville Voice]

The U.S. trade deficit narrowed in October as exports hit a record high, pointing to a pick-up in global demand that should help to support domestic growth in the fourth quarter. [Reuters]

Yes, another mind-numbing story of outrage involving Montgomery County Schools. This one will send you into a rage. [Page One]

Illinois lawmakers have approved a sweeping plan to close a $100 billion shortfall in the state’s pension system, which would cut retirees’ benefits. But the legislation faces promised legal challenges from public employee unions. [NPR]

Gooch To Eat More Coconut Cakes On Your $

A judge dismissed some of the charges against Bell County Clerk Rebecca Blevins on Monday but allowed one charge to stand, according to Circuit Clerk Colby Slusher’s office. [H-L]

Illinois union leaders on Friday criticized the details of a controversial deal to reform the state’s woefully under-funded public pensions, as legislative leaders revealed more specifics of the deal they reached on Wednesday. [Reuters]

Lorinda Fox of New Albany, Ind., hasn’t been to a doctor since her last child was born 21 years ago. Poor and uninsured, she treats her illnesses with over-the-counter remedies. [C-J/AKN]

The Founding Fathers weren’t big on texting. Courts have long struggled to deal with key questions at the intersection of individual privacy and ever-advancing technology with little guidance from the Constitution or from prior cases – now judges and experts are hoping that’s about to change. [Poltiico]

We’re sitting on probably the largest McConnell research database in existence. What should we do with the data? [Page One]

Rand Paul’s black friend, Allen West, is a plagiarist just like him. [Wonkette]

This article says Matt Bevin refuses to be ignored. You can imagine our surprise, then, at everyone ignoring him. [Ashland Independent]

The housing industry and consumer advocates are preparing for a frantic eleventh-hour push to save struggling homeowners from a hefty tax bill next year. [The Hill]

While the federal government races to meet deadlines for repairing healthcare.gov, Kentucky’s health insurance exchange is receiving a boost. [WUKY]

The Moon could be a “beautiful” source of minerals and energy, a top Chinese scientist has told the BBC. Exotic materials including helium-3 and the potential for solar power could prove invaluable for humankind, he says. [BBC]

The worst politician in the Commonwealth re-filed for his office. [SoS]

Fox News incited Islamophobic fears in its reporting on a weekly swim class at a YMCA facility that ensures the privacy of Muslim girls learning to swim, framing it as evidence that “Sharia law is now changing everything.” [Media Matters]

The Perry County Fiscal Court voted last month to approve the 2014 budget for the Perry County Clerk’s office, even after some controversy arose due to raises being added into the budget. [Hazard Herald]

At least 35 states have criminal laws that punish HIV-positive people for exposing others to the virus, even if they take precautions such as using a condom. [ProPublica]

Brenda Powers, who was removed from office as Lancaster’s mayor last month by unanimous vote of the city council, filed an appeal Monday in Garrard Circuit Court, seeking to void the council’s action. [H-L]

The UN’s senior counter-terrorism official is to launch an investigation into the surveillance powers of American and British intelligence agencies following Edward Snowden’s revelations that they are using secret programmes to store and analyse billions of emails, phone calls and text messages. [The Guardian]

Everybody Is Now Really Anxious About Alison

Kateena Haynes thought her job would be about helping kids with homework, playing games and providing a positive environment as director of the Harlan County Boys and Girls Club. [H-L]

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) smacked down a segment of conservatives, calling for establishment Republicans to stand their ground. [HuffPo]

Joe Gerth is right that a roll of toilet paper became the iconic image of Alison Grimes’ flawed campaign roll-out. And her campaign folks put it there. [C-J/AKN]

The White House is nearing a decision on splitting up the eavesdropping National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command, which conducts cyber warfare, a proposed reform prompted in part by revelations of NSA’s widespread snooping, individuals briefed on the matter said on Wednesday. [Reuters]

When Republican Agriculture Commissioner James Comer went to Republican U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers’ hometown to say, “The days of party bosses hand-picking candidates must end,” people noticed. [Ronnie Ellis]

Enrolling in HealthCare.gov is not easy, and it’s been particularly difficult in Alaska. Just 53 people enrolled in the first month. [NPR]

It is time to check in on Matt Bevin. Remember him? He is the multi-millionaire tea party-type Connecticut transplant who, instead of taking on liberal Louisville Democrat John Yarmuth for the House of Representatives, wants to oust Republican leader Mitch McConnell and his 90 percent lifetime American Conservative Union rating from the Senate. [BGDN]

It isn’t just words. The White House has been barring news photographers from all sorts of opportunities to ply their craft. [ProPublica]

Created by impounding a local creek in the early 1960s, Guist Creek Lake borders neighborhoods, rolling farmland and a ribbon of U.S. 60 east of Shelbyville. [WDRB]

Weatherizing homes and using more renewable energy could be part of Kentucky’s program to lower carbon-dioxide pollution, but the model the state favors also would preserve a role for coal in electricity production. [H-L]

The law establishing Obamacare was officially titled the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. And the “affordable” bit wasn’t just about subsidizing premiums. It was also supposed to be about “bending the curve” — slowing the seemingly inexorable rise in health costs. [NY Times]

The support for giving local cities and counties the option to impose a sales tax is long and lofty — Gov. Steve Beshear, Louisville and Lexington mayors Greg Fisher and Jim Gray and various state legislators, not to mention Kentucky’s Chamber of Commerce, League of Cities and the Association of Counties. [C-J/AKN]

Alison Grimes’s campaign for McConnell’s Senate seat has gotten this far for one reason: she’s not McConnell. Now she needs to say who she is and what she stands for. [The Daily Beast]

Former Dayton Independent School District superintendent William “Gary” Rye was convicted Monday of federal charges for stealing from the school district he ran for more than a decade. [Cincinnasti.com]

Former Senate President David Williams has filed candidacy papers to seek election to the judicial seat Gov. Steve Beshear appointed him to last year. [AP]

We Hope Your Friday Is Extremely Black

Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday will recommend next week to the Kentucky Board of Education that the Fleming County school district — deemed to be in “financial crisis” — be placed under state assistance, spokeswoman Nancy Rodriguez said Wednesday. [H-L]

He’s the Democratic governor in mostly Republican Kentucky, but Steve Beshear took a political risk and fully embraced Obamacare. He had the state build its own health care exchange, which, at 60,000 enrollees, is among the nation’s most successful. [CBS]

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matthew Bevin said Wednesday that Sen. Mitch McConnell is too insulated to see the wave of GOP voters he believes is ready to sweep the five-term incumbent from office, despite McConnell’s assurances that he will win. [C-J/AKN]

Maybe it’s time to admit that whatever comes out of the great Farm Bill Wars in Congress will be — an experiment. [Politico]

The 2014 U.S. Senate race for the seat now held by Republican Mitch McConnell may be the most important in the nation, but it might be the second-most important election inside the state. [Ronnie Ellis]

The 2013 holiday shopping season may end up being remembered for its ugly sweaters and, for many retailers, even uglier discounts. [Reuters]

A federal judge has cleared the way for former Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner to travel to Florida for five days to watch his son play basketball. [WLKY]

Seahorses may appear slow and awkward but they are ferocious and ingenious predators, according to a new study. [BBC]

Way to go, Lexington, you’re catching up with all the fun in Louisville these days. Three people were shot in a home invasion-robbery Thursday night, but one of those injured may be also be a suspect in the case. [WLEX18]

Take a look inside the company that bungled the Obamacare website. [Newsweek]

Richmond resident and EKU student Jessica Turner approached the commission during the public comments portion of the meeting and asked for advice on how to make a “fairness ordinance” prohibiting discrimination against people based on gender identity or sexual orientation, a reality. When none of the commissioners said anything, Barnes said, “No comment, thank you.” [Richmond Register]

Steve Beshear doesn’t want you to hear about this story. Last week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau took a big step toward reining in irresponsible, predatory lenders by taking its first enforcement action against a large payday loan operation accused of robo-signing court documents related to debt-collection lawsuits, illegally overcharging military servicemembers and their families, and trying to cover these actions up by destroying documents before the CFPB could investigate. [Consumerist]

Hazardous wastes from a glass-manufacturing plant in Danville endangered the health of employees and neighbors over a period of decades, federal lawsuits have charged. [H-L]

The Obama administration has proposed new campaign finance rules that, through the Treasury Department and the IRS, would limit the amount of political advocacy “social welfare” nonprofits—otherwise known as 501(c)(4) groups—would be able to undertake and keep their tax-exempt status. Some of these groups have flirted with the line between being a “social welfare” organization and a political campaign nonprofit with unlimited spending capability. [Slate]

KY Women Deserve Better But Won’t Get It

Kentucky women deserve far better than the pandering they will face over the next year. But since they represent almost 53 percent of the vote in the commonwealth, they should probably go ahead and put on their hip waders. [H-L]

In an effort to protect their record profits, banks might soon charge you for the privilege of having a savings account. [HuffPo]

A mom-and-pop slaughterhouse in northern Kentucky has landed in the cross-hairs of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and animal welfare advocates after government inspectors witnessed repeated examples of workers failing to quickly kill cattle and pigs for market. [C-J/AKN]

The recent revelation that the National Security Agency was able to eavesdrop on the communications of Google and Yahoo users without breaking into either companies’ data centers sounded like something pulled from a Robert Ludlum spy thriller. [NY Times]

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin is blasting the Obama administration’s deal with Iran to curb its nuclear program in exchange for lifting certain economic sanctions. Pro-tip: McConnell did speak out against the Iran deal in Bowling Green. We linked readers to it this morning. [WFPL]

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to decide whether two U.S. Secret Service agents can be sued for allegedly treating protesters gathered in support of former President George W. Bush more favorably than protesters critical of him. [Reuters]

When Kentucky’s lawmakers two years ago reformed some non-violent, drug-related sentencing the goal was to reduce jail and prison populations while saving the state money. [Ronnie Ellis]

The White House says the Affordable Care Act has saved Kentucky seniors $180,902,076 on prescription drugs. [Press Release]

We hear Barry Bernson’s working on a documentary about Kentucky history that’s set to air on KET sometime in 2014. [The ‘Ville Voice]

Whaaat? The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary knew about its pastor’s child sexual abuse and turned a blind eye? Surely not! Surely Al Mohler’s crew wouldn’t have done something like that while kicking out gay students, discriminating against women and living high on the hog tax-free. The seminary’s also lying about how students get in and how some are researched prior to admission. [HuffPo]

The U.S. Senate race would be much more exciting if endorsements that weren’t expected would happen. Unfortunately, they won’t. [WLEX18]

On its 2012 tax return, GOP strategist Karl Rove’s dark money behemoth Crossroads GPS justified its status as a tax-exempt social welfare group in part by citing its grants of $35 million to other similarly aligned nonprofits. [ProPublica]

Rare: Steve Beshear Is Making Us Proud Of Him

James Comer returns $1.65 million to state from program Richie Farmer had started. [Sam Youngman]

The Obama administration on Friday came out strongly in support of extending long-term unemployment insurance past its current expiration date. [HuffPo]

Ugh, we all wish we could just quit talking about this. When you think of it, Geveden has only done what everyone else in the Beshear Administration has done. That’s coming from us and you know how we (especially Jake) pops a vein over the Beshear crew. The Kentucky Attorney General’s Office continues to investigate former Beshear administration official Charles Geveden Sr. over his alleged efforts to raise campaign contributions from state employees for Beshear’s 2011 re-election, according to Geveden’s attorney. [C-J/AKN]

Earlier this year, Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin drew scrutiny for a special arrangement that allowed her to work part time at the State Department while simultaneously maintaining a side gig working for a corporate consulting firm. [ProPublica]

Wait for it… wait for it… Greg Stumbo says the upcoming session is going to suck and the budget will suck even harder. [CN|2]

Yes, Kentucky is still a racist state. Democrats still vote on the basis of race. But let’s get real: they’ll be Alison if hr daddy continues to call the shots. [MSNBC]

Matt Bevin, the Louisville investment manager who’s trying to lead a Republican primary insurgency to topple incumbent U.S. Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, said Friday those seeking change in the Washington must change who they vote to send there. [Ronnie Ellis]

Capitalists, not just greens, are now questioning how significant the benefits of shale gas and oil will be for America. [The Economist]

Does McConnell really want seniors to have to choose between medicine and food? What does he have against the 3 million young adults who have gained health insurance through their parents’ plans? [H-L]

Fears that insurance exchanges that are the linchpin of President Barack Obama’s federal health care overhaul wouldn’t attract the young, healthy people needed to make them financially viable are being heightened by the early results of signups in several states. [HuffPo]

At some point – perhaps before the Derby – she’ll need to take it to the next level. She can only run on the “I’m not Mitch” strategy for so long; eventually Grimes will need to give Kentuckians a reason to cast votes for her instead of against McConnell. [Amanda Van Benschoten]

Gov. Steve Beshear has accepted a recommendation from the state’s adjutant general to allow spouses of gay National Guard members to apply for federal marriage benefits, a newspaper reported Saturday. [AP]

Despite Kentucky’s ban on gay marriages, Gov. Steve Beshear has decided to allow spouses of gay National Guard members to apply for federal marriage benefits. [More C-J/AKN]