The Louisville School Bus Mess Is Terrifying

Steve Beshear’s tax reform plan is gathering dust alongside eight previous proposals. Yet another we-told-you-so moment, Kentucky. All Jerry Abramson and Steve Beshear did was waste taxpayer dollars traveling the state to do absolutely nothing. [John Cheves]

October’s jobs report was sorta confusing, wasn’t it? We had a big jump in jobs, but unemployment rose, too. The Labor Department declared the government shutdown meant federal workers were employed, but also not employed, like Schrödinger’s Cat. [HuffPo]

As of Friday: 33,561 new Medicaid enrollments in KY, just 7,011 in qualified health plans. 16K+ eligible for subsidies. 41% under 35 years, 32% are 18-35. [Press Release]

UNESCO has suspended the voting rights of the United States and Israel, two years after both countries stopped paying dues to the U.N.’s cultural arm in protest over its granting full membership to the Palestinians. [Reuters]

At the DHL Global Mail plant in Hebron, Kentucky, 24 Muslim workers took a break to pray. They say it cost them their jobs. The company denies any wrongdoing. [WAVE3]

When major figures in the education world debate policy, they usually start out with a gauzy declaration that it’s all about the children. Then they begin hurling insults. [Politico]

You read Joe Arnold’s version of the story and were horrified. Now read the paper’s version and get horrified again. The bus that crashed June 11, injuring Waggener High School students returning from a college scouting trip, had tires taken from a scrap bin, had not undergone required inspections and its maintenance and inspection records had been burned, according to portions of a federal safety report. [C-J/AKN]

The Medicaid expansion field is tentatively set for 2014, and the nation is split down the middle: 25 states (plus D.C.) are expanding, and 25 states are not, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. [TPM]

Apparently, the College Republicrats endorsed Mitch McConnell over Matt Bevin. It’s cute watching children pretend to know what “conservative principles” are. [News-Enterprise]

The Obama administration announced new rules on Friday that will require insurers to cover the treatment of mental health and substance abuse in the same manner they would physical maladies. [HuffPo]

It’s entertaining watching Alison Grimes try to tiptoe her way back into the good graces of Kentucky journalists. [H-L]

Here is how little the Republicans care about the increasingly harrowing situation of the poor: they can’t even be roused to blame President Obama for it—because to do so they’d have to acknowledge that it matters. [The Nation]

Wanna roll your eyes a little bit this morning? In his Lexington office, surrounded by the memories of his previous life, former Congressman Ben Chandler, isn’t missing the nine years he spent in Washington. [WKYT]

If you’re wondering why Sen. Rand Paul is doing Democrats’ dirty work for them, attacking Gov. Chris Christie’s self-promoting $25 million post-Sandy advertising campaign, it’s simple. He’s hoping he can get reporters to cover the intra-party feud as an early sign of GOP titans warming up for 2016, so they stop Googling his old speeches and columns and books for more evidence of plagiarism. [Salon]

Woah, U.S. Senate Candidate Has A Novel Idea

Ed Marksberry has a novel idea:

Here is my challenge to both Alison, Mitch and Matt; let’s meet at a soup kitchen, we all go around the room and get to know those that are receiving the meal. I want each of us to ask three questions and listen intently to the response – how are you doing, how did this happen to you and what could we do to help you? And one more thing, while your asking these question, remind yourself that we are the worlds richest nation.

Just pick the date and I’ll happily abide.

Such a shame that it’ll never happen.

Here’s why:

Alison grew up wealthy, flying on private jets, hanging out with presidents and governors. She has no idea what it’s like to live paycheck to paycheck. She’s never been in a position where she’s had to give part of her meager earnings to a disabled veteran neighbor so he won’t starve. Because she’s never lived in a neighborhood with people who make less than a million dollars per month. She can’t even empathize – it’s not entirely her fault (it doesn’t make her a bad person) but she can’t.

Mitch McConnell believes poor people should be hung out to dry, they shouldn’t have access to health care, there should be no safety net for the elderly who can’t afford to eat. He’s never stood in line behind an elderly woman at Kroger who can only afford to buy a couple cans of preserved salmon and a bag of flour. He has never – in his entire life – had to contemplate what will happen if his paycheck is a day late.

And Matt Bevin lives in the Rand Paul world of delusion, bootstraps, yadda yadda. He has no idea there are children living in cars just a few miles from his home(s) with drug-addled parents. No clue some of those kids are only alive because they know how to open a jar of peanut butter donated by Dare to Care. No, being able to afford to adopt a dozen children like Angelina Jolie does not give him a free pass. Doesn’t mean he’s not a great guy but let’s get real for a moment.

Sadly, or perhaps expected, none of these candidates have the guts to admit they have no idea how to relate to the way the average Kentuckian lives. They are not and have never been representative of the average Kentuckian.

Hal Heiner Can Win Louisville But Not Statewide

Stanford banker Jess Correll said he’s urging former Louisville councilman Hal Heiner to enter the race as Republicans look to wrest the governorship from Democrats in 2015. [H-L]

There’s been a lot of excitement over the Senate’s likely passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) since the bill cleared its first hurdle, with 61 votes for cloture, on Monday. [HuffPo]

Fifty years ago last week, President John F. Kennedy signed the Community Mental Health Act. The law signaled a shift in thinking about how we care for the mentally ill: instead of confining them into institutions, the act was supposed to create community mental health centers to provide support. [ProPublica]

Papaw Beshear and Granny Hal Rogers are absolutely freaking out over coal layoffs in Eastern Kentucky. [WYMT]

The FCC is putting its foot down in response to what it says is an increase in the use of false emergency alert system tones used on air. Yesterday, the commission announced it took action against both Turner Broadcasting and Bowling Green, KY, NBC and CBS duopoly WNKY “for apparent misuse of the actual Emergency Alert System (EAS) tones or close simulations of those sounds.” [Media Bistro]

On the same day Gov. Steve Beshear touted the Commonwealth’s rank as ninth best economic climate in the country as being “proof that Kentucky’s economy is heading in the right direction,” according to The Lane Report, the Eastern Kentucky coalfields felt the pain of yet another round of job cuts in the region. [Hazard Herald]

Watching Sannie Overly try to sweep things under the rug should alarm you. Legislative leaders heard proposals from two groups Wednesday for conducting a performance audit of the legislative staff but deferred selecting either group until next month. [C-J/AKN]

The C.I.A. is paying AT&T more than $10 million a year to assist with overseas counterterrorism investigations by exploiting the company’s vast database of phone records, which includes Americans’ international calls, according to government officials. [NY Times]

A Halloween day argument between Mayor Brenda Powers and City Clerk Shari Lane has resulted in the clerk filing an ethics complaint. [H-L]

More than a million Americans will lose unemployment insurance at the end of the year unless Congress takes action, according to a worker advocacy group. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin knows he’s considered an underdog to win the Republican nomination for United States Senate against incumbent Mitch McConnell, but the perception doesn’t bother him. [McCreary County Record]

U.S. economic growth is likely languishing in the second half of 2013, held back by federal policies and a slowdown in hiring that has kept consumers from stepping up spending. [AP]

Ashland finally has its next city manager. After meeting in executive session for 90 minutes on Wednesday, the Board of City Commissioners voted 4-1 to hire Benjamin Bitter, a senior management analyst with the city of Casa Grande, Ariz., to the $110,00-a-year position. [Ashland Independent]

The HHS has awarded $2,500,001 in Affordable Care Act funds to Kentucky health centers to expand access to care. In Burkesville, Beattyville, Gray, Hopkinsville and Providence. [Press Release]

Matt Bevin Discovered Kentucky Has Mountains

Steve Beshear said Monday he has no interest in replacing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius should she choose to step down following the battle over President Barack Obama’s health care law. [Bluegrass Politics]

The most troubling part of the Humana case is that the company was pushing customers into a Humana insurance plan that was more expensive than the plan Humana was selling on the Obamacare marketplace, without the financial help available under Obamcare. [TPM]

A new executive director has been chosen to lead the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council. Leslie Gannon, a former Kentucky State Police lieutenant colonel, began serving in her new position [yesterday], Nov. 4, 2013, at the KLEC office in Richmond. [Press Release]

Starvation, poverty, flooding, heat waves, droughts, war and disease already lead to human tragedies. They’re likely to worsen as the world warms from man-made climate change, a leaked draft of an international scientific report forecasts. [Weather]

Just a reminder that folks in Morgan County who know something should call the state police. Two were killed in a hit-and-run accident on Ky. 1010 in Morgan County around 7 p.m. Saturday. [Ashland Independent]

Over the last week, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has been accused of multiple counts of plagiarism — both in speeches he gave and in a book he wrote. So what has happened, and what does it mean going forward? [Aaron Blake]

Wait, are they really revisiting the Alison Grimes campaign finance story? Again? [C-J/AKN]

Here in the United States, we’re united by a fundamental principle: we’re all created equal and every single American deserves to be treated equally in the eyes of the law. [HuffPo]

A panel tasked with reviewing child deaths and near deaths from abuse will ask the legislature for $420,000 for staff and other overhead costs to help it review and make recommendations on how to improve the state’s child protection system. [H-L]

The Pew-Arnold campaign to undermine America’s retirement security and leave the taxpayers with the bill. [David Sirota]

Senate candidate Matt Bevin, who is challenging Senator Mitch McConnell in the Republican Primary next year, visited the mountains on Monday. [WKYT]

The White House wanted to invite congressional leaders to Camp David to improve relations among top officials, but the first lady’s East Wing staff shot down the idea, according to a new book. And it was because of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. [The Hill]

Now Those Dems Don’t Like Their Own Points

Bevin has taken some fierce jabs from McConnell in recent days as the state’s senior senator accused him of being a liar and possible criminal. [H-L]

It’s been an expensive few months for JPMorgan Chase. The bank is in talks—which could still fall through—to pay a record $13 billion to the Department of Justice and other agencies over several probes into alleged mortgage misconduct during the run-up to the financial crisis. [ProPublica]

Sunrise Children’s Services may open employment to gays and lesbians in what would be a dramatic shift from a practice that the Baptist-affiliated agency had defended during a court battle lasting more than dozen years. [C-J/AKN]

Talk about surprising — Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren did a far better job than CBS News at explaining one of those stories about how mean old Barack Obama won’t let people keep their crappy insurance plans that don’t “insure” much of anything. [Wonkette]

Legislation to change how Valley View Ferry captains are licensed took another step forward Tuesday when a Kentucky congressman testified about the importance of the link between Jessamine and Madison counties. U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, R-Sixth District, spoke before the House Transportation Committee Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation in Washington, D.C. [Richmond Register]

There has been a lot of confusion about some recent notices to consumers from insurance companies that sell coverage in the individual insurance market, and I’d like to clear up the facts. [Kathleen Sebelius]

Remember 2010 and 2011 when Jennifer Moore and all of those folks she pals around with were attacking Alison Grimes because of the sins of her father? Now they’re freaking out because – get this – people are criticizing and questioning Alison because of the sins of her father. [KDRP Hypocrisy]

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) touted a bill he and Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) introduced Wednesday that would allow more U.S. workers to flexibly use comp time. [The Hill]

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway talked to Bowling Green rotarians and students Wednesday about the threat that prescription pill abuse poses to the state. [BGDN]

Kentucky’s governor Steve Beshear (D) recently told WKU Public Radio (October 31, 2013) why he is supporting the state’s adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards. [NCSE]

Lawerence Hodge was already serving a 15 and a half year sentence on federal charges, and despite being indicted several years ago, his state case hadn’t been resolved, until today. [WKYT]

Fewer Americans now support the death penalty than at any point in 40 years, according to a new Gallup poll. But the level of support still remains at 60 percent, with just over half of Americans — 52 percent — believing that the death penalty is applied fairly. [Think Progress]

Quick, Let’s All Freak Out Over Gambling!!!1!

Developers of the long-delayed CentrePointe development say they hope to announce a date for a groundbreaking soon even though the development hasn’t received key approvals from city or federal officials. [H-L]

For all their fury, most of the House Republicans who had demanded their own closed-door briefing from the administration on President Barack Obama’s struggling health care rollout were no-shows on Wednesday. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin thinks it’s 1950 and that the radio still matters with people who vote in primaries (or anyone). [C-J/AKN]

Republicans are outraged that some Americans must give up their current insurance plans because they don’t satisfy Obamacare’s new regulations for benefits and pricing. [New Republic]

Kentucky’s Attorney General continues to say he’s strongly considering a run for governor. [WKYU]

A conservative super PAC is pending $332K on independent expenditure against Sen. Mitch McConnell in his 2014 re-election race in Kentucky. But $332,000 is chump change in that race. Alison grimes spent half that on travel in a single quarter. [Roll Call]

Of course Alison Grimes is talking out of both sides of her mouth. Democrat Alison Grimes has joined Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell in urging the Tennessee Valley Authority to keep a coal-fired generating plant operating in western Kentucky. [No Surprise At All]

A jailed Lexington attorney who helped collect a judgment for victims sickened by the diet drug fen-phen pleaded guilty Wednesday to six federal charges. The gubmint took his horse, a restaurant and a bar. [H-L]

Rand Paul now says he gave credit from stealing his speech like a petulant child. [HuffPo]

A new gambling opportunity for Kentuckians debuts Monday. [WKYT]

It’s quite a time to become an American ambassador in Europe. When Matthew Barzun took up his post as the American Ambassador to the UK, he could hardly have known how quickly he would be thrown in the arena. [CNN]

This is just what Louisville needs to happen in one of it’s poorest neighborhoods – for a grocery store to close. [WDRB]

Google has expressed outrage following a report that the US National Security Agency (NSA) has hacked its data links. [BBC]

Boring U.S. Senate Race FEC Report Highlights

Rather than do a really in-depth analysis on the U.S. Senate race campaign finance mess (it’s pointless for 2014), let’s just stick to highlights.

Notable McConnell Contributions

  • Donald Rumsfeld $5,200
  • His wife, Joyce $5,200
  • Todd P’Pool $500
  • Bruton Smith $2,600
  • Hal Heiner $1,000
  • Vincent McMahon $5,100
  • His wife, Linda $5,100
  • Matt Thornton $5,200
  • Mira Ball $5,200
  • Don Ball $5,200
  • Hank Paulson $5,200
  • Jeff Wilke $5,200 (Amazon)
  • Jim Host $1,500
  • Bill Stone $3,500 (the glass one)
  • Brian France $5,100 (NASCAR)
  • Jennifer Bates $4,800
  • Hilda Legg $500
  • Jesse Benton $1,000
  • Larry Bisig $1,000
  • Jack Ditty $500
  • Damon Thayer $350
  • Jeff Reetz $600
  • Janet Ashcroft $5,200
  • Steve Poe $1,000
  • Michael Roth $5,200 (Amazon)
  • Ed Glasscock $5,200
  • Morgan Stanley PAC $5,500
  • St. Jude Medical PAC $10,000
  • The Charles Schwab Corp. PAC $2,500
  • Sony Pictures Entertainment, Inc. PAC $10,000
  • The Dow Chemical Co. Employee PAC $10,000
  • Amazon PAC $9,000
  • Halliburton Co. PAC $7,500
  • COALPAC $7,500
  • Deutsche Bank Americas PAC $10,000
  • EBay Inc. Cmt. for RIC $5,000
  • Bank of America Corp. PAC $10,000
  • Haley Barbour $2,500
  • Sheldon Adelson $5,200
  • Miriam Adelson $5,200 (Sheldon’s wife)
  • Dan Senor $2,600
  • Susan Hertog $2,300

Notable McConnell Expenditures

  • JRB Consulting (Jesse Benton) $42,200

Notable Bevin Contributions

  • Jeffrey True $2,600 (Bevin Bells)
  • Avery Bevin $1,200
  • Chris Bevin $1,000
  • Timothy Bevin $2,600
  • Eva Smith $2,250 (campaign treasurer)
  • Joe Kelley $2,600
  • Bobby Alexander $500
  • Gloria Alexander $500

45 of the itemized contributions were from out-of-state with a total exceeding $56,000. That’s 41% of contributions.

66 of the itemized contributions were from Kentucky with a total of more than $80,000. That’s 59% of contributions.

Notable Bevin Expenditures

  • KY State Fair $850
  • Grace by Design $477
  • National Corvette Museum $287.50

See the Grimes highlights – including what it cost her to raise what she pulled in – after the jump…

Read moreBoring U.S. Senate Race FEC Report Highlights