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* Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) called actress Ashley Judd “way too damn liberal for our country" and joked in an interview that he "heard she lives in Scotland, I thought she was running for Parliament." Judd is giving a 2014 run against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) a close look and has been mentioned as a potential challenger to Paul in 2014.

* Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear (D) won't challenge McConnell in 2014. "I have no interest in running for that or any other office," said Beshear, who lost to McConnell in 1996. The Democratic bench in Kentucky isn't great, and while Beshear's announcement wasn't a surprise, it underscores the challenge Democrats face in finding a formidable recruit to run against McConnell, and why Judd's possible candidacy has been receiving so much attention.

* Former congressman Tom Perriello (D-Va.) will not run for governor next year, clearing the way for former Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe, the odd-on Democratic nominee. Perriello made clear that he supports McAuliffe's bid.

* The House will not formally adjourn for the year “until a credible solution to the fiscal cliff has been found,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said Wednesday. The House was scheduled to adjourn on Dec. 14, but if a deal is not reached before then, lawmakers will keep working, possibly up to and beyond Christmas Day.

* Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) said that given the choice between the two, he would rather raise tax rates than eliminate loopholes and cap deductions in a “fiscal cliff” deal, a departure from the GOP line that Sen. Chuck Scuhmer (D-N.Y.) instantly embraced. Meanwhile, in the first sign of movement this week, President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) spoke by telephone Wednesday to discuss the looming "fiscal cliff."


* Illinois state Sen. Donne Trotter (D), a candidate to replace recently resigned Democrat Jesse Jackson Jr. in the state's 2nd District was charged with trying to bring a handgun onto a plane on Wednesday.

* Former House majority leader Dick Armey (R-Texas) says his split with the conservative group FreedomWorks isn't related to the group's hostile attitude toward with Boehner. “I left there because I had serious concerns about the ethical and moral behavior of the senior leadership," Armey said.

* Outgoing Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) will announce his post-Senate plans on Friday.

* The conservative group Crossroads GPS went up with a $500,000 TV ad buy blasting Obama for advocating for tax increases on the wealthiest Americans in the ongoing debate over the "fiscal cliff."

* Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Commissioner Bruce Castor (R) is considering primarying Gov. Tom Corbett (R). Castor lost to Corbett by five points in the 2004 attorney general GOP primary.

* Sen.-elect Tim Kaine (D-Va.) is sponsoring a leadership PAC called the "Common Ground PAC."


Alan Simpson, Gangnam Style!

With Aaron Blake