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In a speech on the Senate floor today, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell  of Kentucky will praise and welcome a group of Tea Party protesters rallying on Capitol Hill.

Politico has a preview of the speech, which comes after Senate President Harry Reid blamed the Tea Party from blocking compromises in congress.

“In my view, the tea party has had an overwhelmingly positive impact on the most important issues of the day,” McConnell, of Kentucky, will say, according to prepared remarks. “It’s helped focus the debate. It’s provided a forum for Americans who felt left out of the process to have a voice and make a difference. And it’s already leading to good results.”

Massey Energy has received more than 80 citations for safety violations from federal investigators. The citations account for roughly half of those issued following special inspections in five states last month.

As the Wall Street Journal reports, Massey not only bore the brunt of the inspections, the company inspired them, too.

The agency [MSHA] started the so-called impact inspections after 29 miners were killed in an explosion at Massey’s Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia on April 5, 2010.

Four Massey mines in West Virginia, Virginia and Kentucky accounted for more than half the violations issued nationally during the impact inspections. The MSHA also cited mines in Alabama and Pennsylvania.

A spokesman for Massey, of Richmond, Va., said the company is working to improve safety. Massey is being bought by Alpha Natural Resources Inc.

It was previously reported that Jefferson County’s population increase over the last decade was due largely to growing Asian and Hispanic populations. The same news was reported in several other counties,  and this map from the Census Bureau shows how various populations have grown and shrunk since 2000. (via)

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer says layoffs, increases in license fees and several other options are all “on the table” as he drafts the city budget for the next fiscal year.

On WFPL’s State of Affairs Thursday, Fischer discussed: the city budget; Metro Government’s response to recent industrial accidents in Rubbertown and Butchertown; the future of Whiskey Row; and his thoughts on Metro Council discretionary spending. You can listen to the full interview here.

Florida Governor Rick Scott’s name has been thrown around Kentucky for several weeks. Scott’s attempt to stop a prescription drug tracking system has prompted state, federal and city officials* to reach out to the Floridian leader and encourage him to reconsider the cut.

Scott has also made national headlines for refusing to accept federal money for high-speed rail projects in his state.

The Washington Post cites those issues and several others in a post predicting that Scott will soon take the spotlight from the GOP governors in Wisconsin, Mississippi and New Jersey, who have each notably clashed with President Barack Obama in recent months.

*Governor Beshear, Congressman Rogers, Attorney General Conway, Lieutenant Governor Mongiardo, U.S. Drug Czar Kerlikowske and several police officers and sheriffs

Now that data from the 2010 Census has been released, we can see how the population of individual counties in Kentucky has changed. That’s necessary information as redistricting begins in earnest.

CN2 has a breakdown of how congressional districts will need to change. Three of Kentucky’s six districts (2nd, 4th and 6th) will need to shed counties, says the report. Block by block data (when released) will be used to redraw the boundaries of the Louisville Metro Council districts. The council workgroup on redistricting meets Monday.

The Society of Professional Journalists has given the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services the runner-up spot in the annual Black Hole Awards.

The mocking award goes to agencies that lack transparency and are given out during the SPJ’s “Sunshine Week.” The state of Utah took the top prize this year, but the Cabinet for Health and Family Services was close behind.

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services has embarked on a campaign of obfuscation aimed at preventing the public from learning the details about the death of a toddler under the cabinet’s supervision.

[edit]

The Cabinet for Health and Family Services has a blanket policy of refusing to disclose all information in child abuse and neglect cases. The cabinet’s bias in favor of confidentiality seems to be driven more by the culture of the agency, “which seeks to avoid public scrutiny,” than by the law, a judge said.

 

Adept NCAA brackets can win you money in an office pool, respect among your friends or…political capital. At least, that’s the thoughts of some observers.

Last year, the candidates for U.S. Senate sniped at each other over their bracket choices. And this year, there’s no shortage of coverage on President Barack Obama’s NCAA picks. Some outlets have questioned the President’s choices (too safe–he has the number one seeds in the final four). Others have dug for political meaning (where does he rank schools from 2012 battleground states?). And other outlets have said there’s too much happening in the world for the President to bother with college basketball (we could say the same about some news outlets).

The best coverage, though, comes from the Awl, which parses Mr. Obama’s choices on politics and stats, then compares his picks to the national averages.

Former Indiana Senator Evan Bayh will now appear regularly on Fox News. The Democrat and the cable news network announced today that Bayh will give comments and political analysis on various Fox programs.

Bayh cited dissatisfaction with congress and excessively partisan politics as reasons for his retirement last year.

Bayh’s move to Fox comes weeks after he decided to stay in Washington D.C. and work as an advisor on banking and energy issues for the McGuire Woods law firm. The jobs are not mutually exclusive.

Portions of the James O’Keefe-produced video that showed an NPR executive making disparaging remarks about conservatives were taken out of context. That’s the conclusion of at least two sources–NPR and the Glenn Beck-owned The Blaze.

Andrew Sullivan reported on the misquoting, and said this:

Despite the fact that O’Keefe is a known liar, and that his past video stings have been edited in misleading ways, much of the mainstream media ran with his latest. Will those outlets now inform their viewers and readers about the deceptions uncovered by The Blaze?

Mitch Albom raised similar questions in the Detroit Free Press, calling O’Keefe’s videos Punk’d-style journalism. He then says that anyone hoping to prove bias in NPR reporting should do a real study, not hide a camera.

Ira Glass of This American Life made a similar challenge over the weekend. He asked Bob Garfield and Brooke Gladstone of On the Media to find bias in NPR’s reporting. He says they won’t. Glass’s challenge came during a larger conversation on why no one has come forward with documented evidence of subjective news. A fundraising executive may share private opinions over lunch, but Glass insists that doesn’t affect the newsrooms at all.

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