Day 89385298 Of Pension Disaster, Frankfort Blinks

McKee Mayor John Tompkins said Wednesday that he is resigning his second job as a Jackson County school bus driver because he unknowingly left a 5-year-old student on a bus. Tompkins said he did not see the child, who had curled up in a seat and fallen asleep, before Tompkins ended his route for the day. [H-L]

The National Rifle Association’s political action committee raised $1.1 million in January, according to the committee’s latest filing with the Federal Election Commission. [Politico]

Do-nothing Republicans and Democrats in Frankfort continue to act like these little stunts will help the pension disaster. Future state legislators would get no state-funded pensions under a bill approved by the Senate State and Local Government Committee on Wednesday. [C-J/AKN]

More than half of Congress has turned over since the last time the House and Senate tried to move legislation to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws. [The Hill]

When Jamie Teabagger was running for office, he was terrified of Louisville Metro Animal Services and said he’d never get involved in a mess like that. Interesting turn of events. [WDRB]

More Americans than expected filed new claims for jobless aid last week and consumer prices were flat in January, supporting the argument for the Federal Reserve to maintain its very accommodative monetary policy stance. [Reuters]

On February 11, 2013, U.S. Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) and Governor Steve Beshear joined federal, state and local officials to announce a unique $29.3 million funding effort to help Morgan County rebuild from the disastrous storm and tornado damage suffered in March 2012. [Salyersville Independent]

The White House has vowed to fight foreign theft of US trade secrets, a day after a report linked China’s military to prolific cyber-theft. The administration’s strategy document warned that such activity threatened US economic and national security. [BBC]

Rand Paul isn’t sure if Louisville businessman Matthew Bevin would pose a problem for Mitch McConnell in a primary election. [WFPL]

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has warned that the automatic spending cuts due to hit the Pentagon and other branches of government next week will damage U.S. national security. In a letter to Congress, he said those cuts would put the military on a path toward a “hollow force.” But the warnings don’t appear to be moving the needle with lawmakers or the American public. [NPR]

Eastern Kentucky University President Doug Whitlock made an unsuccessful attempt to persuade Madison County’s legislative delegation to support rewriting of legislation that funded the $37 million facility and continues to provide $200,000 annually in operating funds. [Richmond Register]

Republicans would bear more of the blame for a failure to reach a deal on the looming federal spending cuts known as the sequester, but most Americans are tuned out of the debate and many don’t oppose allowing the cuts to go into effect. [WaPo]

Frankfort Can’t Even Help Our Military Folks Vote

Police changed the investigation into the death of a former eastern Kentucky mayor whose body was found inside his burned home to murder after preliminary autopsy results indicated he died of a single gunshot wound. [H-L]

In his State of the Union address, President Obama returned to a point he’d made on election night: The need to do something about long voting lines. Obama announced his plan for a commission to “improve the voting experience in America.” [ProPublica]

A dispute over emailing completed ballots has fractured the bipartisan support behind a bill designed to simplify voting for Kentucky military personnel overseas. [C-J/AKN]

President Barack Obama intends to nominate air quality expert Gina McCarthy to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and nuclear physicist Ernest Moniz to head the Department of Energy as early as this week, according to a source familiar with the process. [Reuters]

Former Lexington Police Chief Anthany Beatty says he is considering a mayoral run. He’d have a super-tough time beating Jim Gray. [WKYT]

You know who won’t be too serious a challenger to Mitch McConnell? Matt Bevin. The real tea party spent about five minutes googling him – something teevee people couldn’t do (they were too busy being excited about Ashley Judd on Twitter) – and discovered the whole being an investment banker, a former prep schooler, someone who takes state and federal funds to rebuild his business thing. [Not In His Dreams]

Hemp, subject of much speculation in Kentucky and nationally, got only a passing mention in a five-year strategic plan for agriculture that was announced Tuesday. But it probably will get much more attention next week in the House Agriculture and Small Business Committee. [H-L]

Whine whine whine bitch bitch bitch it is Fox Nation, and they are never going to get over the SHOCKING MALFEASANCE that was Candy Crowley’s LIEBRUL LYING LIES in the presidential debate — you remember the one? [Wonkette]

Kentucky’s fen-phen scandal, the state’s biggest legal fraud case, has taken another sordid turn. A lawyer who was hired to help collect a $42 million judgment for the victims injured by the diet drug has been indicted for conspiring to distribute synthetic marijuana and bankrolling the operation to the tune of $100,000. [C-J/AKN]

The prospects of passing an important part of President Barack Obama’s gun control agenda improved a bit on Tuesday when a House Republican announced his support for universal background checks for firearm purchases. [HuffPo]

Papaw Is Pretending To Be Flat-Earther For Votes

According to the White House, 81,005 Kentuckians stand to lose unemployment benefits. [Press Release (Warning: External PDF)]

Giant Pussy Ben Chandler says Kentucky will suffer without earmarks. He’s also suddenly very upset with Barack Obama. [Ryan Alessi]

Passport may be hiring a new leader, but Papaw Steve Ark Park Beshear says more changes are necessary as he demands additional resignations. Too little, too late. [H-L]

Papaw is threatening to pull the Medicaid contract from Passport. Everyone I’ve spoken with believes that’s an idle threat. [Ronnie Ellis]

Maybe all of Mitch McConnell’s staffers are jumping ship because he’s playing pat-a-cake with things like Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell? (No, we’re not serious.)  [Salon]

Some Kentucky films are going big at the Sundance Film Festival this year. [The ‘Ville Voice]

OH NOES!!1! There might be some aliens coming to get you, meemaw! All your white women? Better call Dougie Hawkins, cause the borg menz are coming. [MSNBC & WIRED]

Bi-partisanship? Not in Mitch McConnell’s world. Because it’s all about him. Never working with others. Ever. For any reason. [The Hill]

Teabaggers are hypocrites. They requested more than $1 billion in earmarks this year. [HuffPo]

The prison task force is set to present new legislation on January 19. [Linda Blackford]

Dr. Robert Bevins, a toxicologist at Georgetown, wrote Papaw Steve Beshear a letter. You should read it. [His Site via Joe]