Kay Steiger

Kay Steiger is an associate editor at Talking Points Memo. She formerly worked at Raw Story, Washingtonian magazine, the Center for American Progress and The American Prospect. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, the Guardian, Jezebel, AlterNet and others. She graduated from the University of Minnesota. Contact her at

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Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes slammed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) as someone who champions partisan gridlock in a policy speech Thursday evening in Prestonburg, Kentucky.

"We must rise above the partisan bickering and the Washington gridlock that Mitch McConnell champions," Grimes said in prepared remarks. "What I recognize, and what Mitch McConnell lost sight of long ago, is that this tragedy – and it is a tragedy – is not a set of numbers. These are the heartbreaking stories of real people, of our fellow Kentuckians, good people, hard-working people, unable to support themselves and their families because of devastating circumstances beyond their control."

Her speech goes on to say that there is no "silver bullet" for Kentucky's economic woes but proposes " commonsense solutions" like investing in infrastructure, pushing greater training in math and science for the workforce, offering affordable child care and eliminating the gender pay gap.

"Eastern Kentucky and similar regions are still largely left behind economically: Coal jobs have disappeared and not been replaced. Families struggle to make ends meet on minimum-wage jobs. Schools and infrastructure lag behind. Good Americans, who work hard and have served their country, lack opportunity. We can do better," she said.

Grimes' policy proposal can be read in full below:

Read Alison's Job Plan

Marion Johnson on North Carolina's rollback of voting rights to post-Reconstruction-era restrictions: "Much like the voter suppression of a century ago, many elements in North Carolina’s new law will disproportionately hurt black and low-income voters.
 According to Democracy NC, 29 percent of early voters and 34 percent of same-day registrants in 2012 were black."

It's that time of year, when members of Congress announce they just can't muster another election season. We're keeping track of who's retiring here, and we'll keep it updated.

NIH-funded scientist Carlos S. Moreno: "The sequester cuts have taken a terrible toll on NIH-funded biomedical research, with 3,100 fewer research grants funded in 2013 than at the Institutes’ 2004 peak."

Ed Kilgore on the Christie scandal's effect on the next round of presidential candidates: "So the ‘16 cupboard is suddenly looking a tad bare for the Republican Establishment."

Demos' Tova Andrea Wang: New research on Voter ID laws "found in those states where minority turnout rose from the prior presidential election and where there were a larger percentage of minority voters in the years 2006 to 2011, the number of laws restricting voting rights proposed by lawmakers also went up."

It's worth your time this morning to read Feministe editor Jill Filipovic's amazing confessional about her own personal battle with online harassment that became all too real: "We want to believe that the Internet is different from 'real life,' that 'virtual reality' is a separate sphere from reality-reality. But increasingly, virtual space is just as 'real' as life off of the computer."

It's a must-read.