Pakistan Sounds Really Fun Right Now, Doesn’t It?

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Consumer advocates have complained that U.S. mortgage lenders are getting off easy in a deal to settle charges that they wrongfully foreclosed on many homeowners. [HuffPo]

A former superintendent at West Virginia’s Upper Big Branch mine where 29 miners died in a 2010 explosion was sentenced to nearly two years in prison Thursday on a federal conspiracy charge. [H-L]

Thomas Massie is getting very good at saying “no.” In less than three months on Capitol Hill, the Kentucky congressman has voted no on the fiscal cliff deal, no on the rule for Republicans’ thwarted Plan B, voted no on the National Defense Authorization Act, voted no on all of the disaster relief for states affected by Hurricane Sandy and voted against John Boehner for speaker. [Politico]

Unfortunately for Rand, his ideas – like this one – go pretty much no where. Rand Paul on Thursday endorsed arming teachers and principals and again said he plans to file legislation that would block president Barack Obama’s executive orders designed to limit access to guns. [C-J/AKN]

This is not exactly what the United States wants or needs to have happen. To Pakistan’s ruling party, a firebrand cleric camped outside parliament with thousands of protesters is looking more and more like the harbinger of their worst fear: a plan by the military to engineer a “soft coup”. [Reuters]

On Tuesday, January 15, 2013, U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) recognized the 151th(sic) anniversary of the Battle of Mill Springs by reintroducing bipartisan legislation to honor and preserve the historic Civil War site, Mill Springs Battlefield. [Hal Rogers]

You know how Republicans are really, really concerned about government spending? Super concerned about it? Like, so concerned that 179 of them voted against emergency relief for the victims of Hurricane Sandy? Don’t worry. They managed to scrape together $3 million of your tax dollars to help fight against gay marriage. [Wonkette]

Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Wil Schroder of Fort Mitchell is retiring after more than 29 years of judicial service to deal with a brain tumor. [H-L]

Americans are shifting on marijuana. More than half of them think it should be regulated like alcohol and cigarettes, 18 states have passed legislation approving it for medical use and Washington State and Colorado have legalized it for recreational use, but it remains illegal under federal law. And the arrests continue — one every 42 seconds, and 86 percent of those are simply for possession, according to the Marijuana Policy Project. [HuffPo]

Kentucky has received a $182.7 million federal grant to help fund a controversial health insurance exchange required under the Affordable Care Act, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday. [C-J/AKN]

One fairly common trope in budget discussions – I’m pretty sure I’ve done it myself, somewhere along the line – is to compare attitudes toward fiscal issues and those toward environmental issues. [NY Times]