What Fun Thing Will Ben Chandler Do Next, Kids?

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It’s past time Kentucky confronted its own fiscal cliff represented by more than $33 billion in unfunded liabilities in its pension system, local leaders said Monday. [Ronnie Ellis]

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has been mumbling a lot of SCIENCE about how the dumb president will not do Mitch McConnell’s job for him by finding a trillion dollars in spending cuts that would meet Mitch McConnell’s approval. [Wonkette]

Kentucky Children’s Hospital has stopped doing pediatric cardiothoracic surgeries pending an internal review and is referring patients to other hospitals, according to a University of Kentucky spokesman. [H-L]

Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, wants Democrats to cut a lot of federal spending without raising any more taxes. Unfortunately, his party just lost the presidential election, failed to capture the Senate, and doesn’t have enough support in polls or the business community to shut down the government or refuse to raise the national debt ceiling, which would trigger a default and another credit downgrade. [Slate]

Ben Chandler is finally leaving Warshington. Kind of. Unless he becomes a lobbyist. [WEKU]

President Barack Obama could seek common ground with Republicans in the looming battle over Medicare spending by broadening the debate over entitlement reform to encompass the spiraling healthcare costs that confront a wide range of Americans. [Reuters]

In the days that followed the Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown, Conn., cries for better gun control, speculations about inadequate mental health systems and ideas for tighter school safety measures became topics of conversation all across the country. [Richmond Register]

The US town of Concord in Massachusetts has banned the sale of bottled water in units smaller than one litre. The law came into effect on January 1, after a three-year campaign to reduce waste and encourage tap water use. [BBC]

Uniformed deputies, gun holsters at their sides, walked the hallways and stopped in classrooms Monday, eliciting smiles from teachers and high-fives from youngsters as they made security rounds that are becoming routine in this northeastern Kentucky community. [H-L]

U.S. gun policy is set by both state and federal law. We previously published an explainer on the ways states have eased gun restrictions. But federal policy, too, has become more gun friendly in recent years — and we’re not just talking about the 2008 Supreme Court ruling that struck down the handgun ban in Washington, D.C., and held that people have a right to keep guns in their homes. [ProPublica]

President Barack Obama’s nomination Monday of former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) as secretary of defense reignites an uncomfortable, and potentially combustible, debate over the foreign policy of the George W. Bush presidency. [HuffPo]