Democrats Freaking Out, Republicans Kissing Butt

How could anyone be shocked that Jack Conway didn’t take more people down with him? He didn’t campaign alongside the rest of the slate on any occasion that’s rememberable. Heck, he didn’t even campaign. He hid out in his Glenview estate in that haughty community overlooking the river. What people knew of Jack Conway, they didn’t like. And by people? We mean Democrats. Democrats disliked him enough not to vote for him. [H-L]

British spies would be allowed to legally hack into smartphones and computers under the Tory government’s new surveillance law. Telecoms firms will be forced to help MI5, the domestic intelligence agency; MI6, overseas intelligence; and the U.K.’s Government Communications Headquarters use James Bond-style “equipment interference” — remotely accessing phones and using them as listening devices — as part of the draft Investigatory Powers Bill. [HuffPo]

Perhaps the biggest test that Gov.-elect Matt Bevin will face early in his administration will be whether he can fulfill his promise to remake Gov. Steve Beshear’s expansion of Medicaid. [C-J/AKN]

I would be careful of making too much of the Kentucky results. Only three polls not sponsored by a candidate came out during the final three weeks of the campaign. That’s far less polling than was conducted in other recent polling mishaps, such as in Israel and the United Kingdom over the past year. The Kentucky results match most of the bigger misses in the U.S. during the 2014 midterm elections, such as in the Maryland gubernatorial race and Virginia Senate election, when few polls were released during the final weeks of the campaign.1 That’s a good thing for 2016, when the most highly anticipated races will have lots of polls in the field. [FiveThirtyEight]

Shorter Matt Bevin: Screw the poors and screw the gays! Governor-elect Matt Bevin on Friday announced the early priorities of his administration — dismantling the state-run health exchange and removing county clerk’s names from marriage licenses. [WFPL]

By most accounts, Kentucky’s implementation of President Barack Obama’s 2010 healthcare reform was a success. Tuesday’s elections in the state could mean big changes are coming, however – with ominous portents for the future of the president’s signature legislative achievement. [BBC]

It has been two years since President Barack Obama signed into law the Agricultural Act of 2014, which included a provision legitimizing research into industrial hemp. Since then, Kentucky has been among the most active states taking steps to prepare for the potential legalization of the crop with an ambitious pilot program aimed at once again putting the state at the forefront of production. But in Barren County, industrial hemp has yet to make an appearance. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Recording and mixing music are Vernon Thomas’ passions, but being CEO and producer of Mantree Records isn’t his day job. He’s an HIV outreach worker for a county health department outside Newark, N.J. He took what was to be a full-time job in May because the gig came with health insurance — and he has HIV himself. [NPR]

It’s fun watching Ellen Williams praise Matt Bevin after spending years trashing the bigot of a man up one side and down the other. Ellen Williams, the former chairwoman of the Republican Party of Kentucky, knows a thing or two about winning elections. This week she offered an insight to Matt Bevin’s appeal in his surprising win in the governor’s election. [Ronnie Ellis]

Former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York City said this week that he would run millions of dollars in political television ads against four state attorneys general who are suing the Obama administration over regulations on power plant emissions. [NY Times]

Stan Lee, R-Gay Panic, is sponsoring legislation in the 2016 Regular Session of the General Assembly that if passed would allow students who are home schooled the ability to play sports in their public school district. Because what public school kids need is to be exposed to half-literate religious extremist children. [Richmond Register]

The coalition soldiers arrived on a dusty ridge line east of this city near dusk, as a cool breeze swept in from the hazy desert plain that stretched for miles below. Fighting positions likely dug decades ago by the Russian military sat at the edge of the ridge, and were marked with numerous stones painted bright blue on one side. [WaPo]

Blair Wilson walked into a storefront at a Louisville mall. An hour later, she walked out with Medicaid coverage for herself and her father, who lost his insurance this year after two strokes. [H-L]

The medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders released its internal report on Thursday about the October attack on its hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. The report also revealed that pilots shot at staff members fleeing the hospital. [HuffPo]

Everybody’s Freaking Out Over Matt Bevin

Kentucky Mist Moonshine filed suit Monday in U.S. District Court against the University of Kentucky in a federal trademark-registration case that has garnered national attention. [H-L]

House Republicans are pushing to give private debt collectors the right to target all unpaid tax bills, handing a traditional IRS responsibility over to an industry with a long record of consumer abuse. [HuffPo]

Four Kentucky hospitals are among 457 in 43 states that have agreed to pay the government more than $250 million to settle allegations that they implanted cardiac devices in patients in violation of Medicare rules. [C-J/AKN]

Congress intends to slash funds for the Obama administration’s counterterrorism partnership fund next year to reduce defense spending to a level negotiated last week between the White House and congressional leadership. [The Hill]

A candidate who barely made it out of the primary ended up leading Kentucky Republicans to one of their most successful election days in recent history. [WFPL]

Democratic U.S. senators on Monday urged the Obama administration to reform the federal coal mine program to include costs of the fuel’s carbon emissions and potentially raise royalties paid by companies that mine the fuel on public lands. [Reuters]

Really, Montgomery County? Hunting equipment required you to call in outside law enforcement? Guess it’s good that you didn’t call in SWAT teams or anything. [WKYT]

Despite lacking access to key documents and personnel, the inspector general determined that nearly $43 million had been spent on a natural gas station that should have cost closer to $300,000. [ProPublica]

Oh man, Greg Stumbo had his LRC staffers write about traffic fatalities. It’s almost like he’s forgotten that time he was pulled over during a suspected DUI stop, hopped over into the passenger seat and claimed someone else was driving his vehicle. [Floyd County Times]

The Vatican faced fresh accusations of mismanagement, excess and resistance to change as details from two new books emerged Tuesday, a day after the Holy See announced the arrest of two insiders on suspicion of leaking internal information. [WaPo]

Kroger presented a check in the amount of $27,360 to the Bowling Green/ Warren County Humane Society. [WBKO]

The UN says the current climate plans from 146 countries represent a significant advance – but will not be enough to prevent dangerous warming. [BBC]

Two former deputy jailers have been indicted on federal charges in the 2013 death of an inmate at the Kentucky River Regional Jail in Hazard. [H-L]

One consequence of Bevin’s victory is that about 400,000 Kentucky residents who qualify for Medicaid under the expansion are now at risk of losing their health insurance. [HuffPo]

Woah, Damning Profile Of Andy Beshear

Andy Beshear emphasizes that he is his own man, but family ties have been an enormous boon to the Democratic nominee for attorney general. [John Cheves]

Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio are on course for a collision. Two camps of WATBs are gonna slap-fight their way into oblivion. [HuffPo]

Charter, with the assistance of people like Riggs Lewis, are *this close* to fleecing taxpayers by manipulating your legislative representation. [C-J/AKN]

A question about the FBI investigation into her private email server caused former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to laugh out loud. [The Hill]

So far in the criminal trial of former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship, jurors have heard testimony from 12 witnesses from the prosecution, including a former Massey executive and six former workers at the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia, where an explosion took the lives of 29 miners April 5, 2010. [Richmond Register]

Medicare’s prescription drug program spent nearly $4.6 billion in the first half of this year on expensive new cures for the liver disease hepatitis C — almost as much as it spent for all of 2014. [ProPublica]

Attorney General Jack Conway pitched a plan to combat illegal drug use Friday during a gubernatorial campaign stop in Boyd County. [Ashland Independent]

The Obama administration on Friday pulled the plug on plans to sell new oil and gas drilling rights in the Arctic waters, a pivot away from energy development in the environmentally sensitive region after Shell’s costly failure to find crude there. [Politico]

Gather 30 county judge/executives from around Kentucky into one room and the conversation inevitably is about politics — especially in a year with a governor’s election. Well, not this year it seems. [Ronnie Ellis]

Michel Martin speaks with Abderrahim Foukara, the Washington bureau chief for Al-Jazeera Arabic, about President Obama’s plan to leave 5,500 U.S. troops in Afghanistan. [NPR]

At a special meeting Wednesday, Rowan Fiscal Court adopted two resolutions accepting $450,000 in state road funds. [The Morehead News]

From the Department of Things Ken Ham Wouldn’t Understand… Fossil finds from China have shaken up the traditional narrative of humankind’s dispersal from Africa. [BBC]

On Whitney Westerfield’s first day in the Kentucky Senate, in 2013, his colleagues made him chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. [John Cheves]

Amid the heroin epidemic, there is little disagreement over the effectiveness of naloxone, the medication that can revive opioid addicts from an overdose. It has come to be seen as an essential tool to combat the skyrocketing number of overdoses. [HuffPo]


Al Mohler has to be crapping his gay-panicked $2,500 pants over this news. A new report from the U.S. government calls for an end to the discredited practice known as conversion therapy for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youths. [Reuters]

A federal judge has ordered Kentucky’s Democratic governor to weigh in on whether altered marriage licenses issued by Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis’ office are valid. [H-L]

President Barack Obama will keep 5,500 U.S. troops in Afghanistan when he leaves office in 2017, according to senior administration officials, casting aside his promise to end the war on his watch and instead ensuring he hands the conflict off to his successor. [HuffPo]

As a youngster, Matt Bevin hit on a surefire money-making scheme: He made up packets of flower and vegetable seeds, then pedaled a bicycle around his rural New Hampshire community selling them to neighbors. [C-J/AKN]

Kim Davis and her hate group law firm are caught — again — in quite a few lies. Lying bigots. Just pulling stuff out of their bigoted behinds. [BuzzFeed]

PEE ALERT! PEE ALERT! Jake’s hometown po-leece chubs (seriously — one of the dudes was called “Groundhog”) are freaking out because they think folks are making weed suckers and giving them away for Halloween. Because that’s obviously what people do — give away good weed to snot-nosed kids during Trick-or-Treat. Are these people for real? [HILARITY! WE CAN’T EVEN!]

From his first days as commander in chief, the drone has been President Barack Obama’s weapon of choice, used by the military and the CIA to hunt down and kill the people his administration has deemed — through secretive processes, without indictment or trial — worthy of execution. There has been intense focus on the technology of remote killing, but that often serves as a surrogate for what should be a broader examination of the state’s power over life and death. [The Intercept]

The two candidates for attorney general went after each other Monday night in a spirited debate on Kentucky Education Television. [Ronnie Ellis]

The Treasury Department has moved its deadline for Congress to raise the nation’s borrowing limit to Nov. 3, giving lawmakers even less time to prevent a possible default on the nation’s debt. [The Hill]

Kentucky’s preliminary September 2015 unemployment rate fell to 5 percent from a seasonally adjusted 5.2 percent in August 2015, according to the Office of Employment and Training (OET), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. Kentucky’s jobless rate had not been that low in more than 14 years. The state rate in September 2015 was 0.8 percent below the 5.8 percent rate recorded in September 2014. [Press Release]

U.S. consumer prices recorded their biggest drop in eight months in September as the cost of gasoline fell, but a steady pick-up in the prices of other goods and services suggested inflation was starting to firm. [Reuters]

University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto has a small army of recruiters who blanket the state to persuade high school students to attend the state’s flagship university. [Ashland Independent]

Early this decade, Pentagon auditors found that a quarter of the defense contractors they examined were trying to get the federal government to pick up some of their lobbying costs — a violation of federal law that could cost taxpayers millions of dollars if the practice turned out to be widespread. But there the inquiry stopped. [Politico]

University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto has apologized for how his administration handled some aspects of stripping clinical privileges from a UK surgeon, but he stood by the decision to do so. [H-L]

A second congressman admitted on Wednesday that the Republican House committee created to investigate the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, is solely “designed to go after” Hillary Clinton. [HuffPo]

Al Mohler Is Gay Attention-Starved Again

A little fish called the Kentucky arrow darter — up for listing under the Endangered Species Act — isn’t likely to create as much of an uproar as its famous Tennessee relative, the snail darter. [H-L]

Three former CIA detainees are suing over being tortured at the agency’s infamous “black sites,” the first suit to seek accountability in a U.S. court for the CIA’s tactics since the Senate Intelligence Committee released the executive summary of its groundbreaking torture report. But the ex-detainees aren’t suing the CIA. [HuffPo]

Al Mohler, who fleeces people like woah (check out his mansion and fancy clothing), says “Christians” should boycott gay weddings. We think “Christians” should boycott these alleged leaders who get rich on the backs of poor people buying into their religious business. [C-J/AKN]

A reassessment of ancient rocks has led scientists to estimate that Earth’s inner core started to form earlier than was previously thought, around 1.3 billion years ago. As it started to freeze, the core began generating a bigger magnetic field, which continues to today. [BBC]

Lexington-based Columbia Gas of Kentucky is in the early stages of gathering environmental information for a possible natural gas infrastructure improvement project in Rowan County. [The Morehead News]

The political network led by billionaires David and Charles Koch is building what’s meant to be a seamless system of grassroots groups, designed to advance the network’s conservative and libertarian goals year in and year out, while also helping like-minded politicians. [NPR]

Cheerleading, once a grounded activity with cheers and dancing, has grown into a high-risk sport involving flips, tumbling and the throwing and catching of bodies. [Ashland Independent]

Presidential candidate and television star Donald Trump is scheduled to host “Saturday Night Live” on Nov. 7, NBC announced in a release Tuesday. [Politico]

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jack Conway says he would support legislation to expand casino gambling in Kentucky to bring in more money for the cash-strapped state budget. [WFPL]

The Taliban announced Tuesday they have withdrawn from Kunduz, the northern Afghan city that briefly fell under insurgent control last month. [NPR]

The two candidates for attorney general went after each other Monday night in a spirited debate on Kentucky Education Television. [Ronnie Ellis]

U.S. Supreme Court justices expressed concern on Tuesday that Florida gives judges undue sway in determining death sentences at the expense of juries as the court weighed the appeal of a man convicted of murdering a fried-chicken restaurant manager. [Reuters]

Lexington officials will wait to see what changes the federal and state government may make to regulations on the use of drones before they pursue any local ordinances. [H-L]

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said on Tuesday he had no doubt Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine by Russian special forces because “drunken separatists” could not have operated the missile. Yatseniuk made his charge shortly before publication of the Dutch Safety Board’s final report on its investigation into the causes of the downing of MH17 over territory held by pro-Russia rebels on July 17, 2014. [HuffPo]

Gubernatorial Race Still Boring As Hell

A federal judge dismissed four of the five counts against Jesse Benton Friday, ruling that the U.S. Department of Justice violated an agreement with the former aide to U.S. Sens. Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell by using his statements to obtain an indictment. [H-L]

If Paul Ryan can’t save the GOP, could Democrats? Many Republicans have been turning toward the Wisconsin representative as their best shot of electing a House speaker to replace John Boehner (R-Ohio), who wants to leave his post at the end of the month. [HuffPo]

Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services could be in for some major changes after the upcoming governor’s race. [C-J/AKN]

Back in 1990, as the debate over climate change was heating up, a dissident shareholder petitioned the board of Exxon, one of the world’s largest oil companies, imploring it to develop a plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from its production plants and facilities. The board’s response: Exxon had studied the science of global warming and concluded it was too murky to warrant action. The company’s “examination of the issue supports the conclusions that the facts today and the projection of future effects are very unclear.” [LA Times]

Democrat Jack Conway has a five-point lead over Republican Matt Bevin in the latest publicly released poll, but he enjoys a commanding fundraising lead over Bevin, a gap which could prove critical on Nov. 3. With only 25 days before voters go to the polls, Conway has $2.3 million on hand to Bevin’s $674,427. [Ronnie Ellis]

Granny Mitch is still keeping his promise of ruining the country by spending every waking moment attacking the president. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell railed against President Obama’s foreign policy on Sunday, calling his philosophy “mind-boggling” and evidence of a belief in “American retreat around the world.” [The Hill]

They recognized a problem, so now they’re attacking it head on. Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo and other local and state leaders hosted a public forum in Floyd County to address the drug problem in the region. One statistic inspired the event that leaders say they hope will save lives. [WYMT]

About four miles from the world’s largest Christopher Columbus parade in midtown Manhattan on Monday, hundreds of Native Americans and their supporters will hold a sunrise prayer circle to honor ancestors who were slain or driven from their land. [Reuters]

Conway, in an effort to walk that line, has emphasized his allegiance toward the coal industry and opposition toward Obama administration regulations designed to lower emissions from coal-fired power plants. Conway released a pro-coal ad in September boasting “he stood up against Obama” when he sued the Environmental Protection Agency over the coal regulations. []

The color of debt: how collection suits squeeze black neighborhoods. [ProPublica]

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jack Conway has a major financial advantage over Republican Matt Bevin, who has struggled to raise funds and has loaned his campaign $995,100 during the general election period. [WFPL]

The Republican leaders of a House committee who have been in a bitter partisan battle with Democrats are enmeshed in a new fight with one of the committee’s former staff members. A former investigator for the Republicans on the House Select Committee on Benghazi plans to file a complaint in federal court next month alleging that he was fired unlawfully in part because his superiors opposed his efforts to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the 2012 attack on the American diplomatic mission in the Libyan city rather than focus primarily on the role of the State Department and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. [NY Times]

Democratic state Auditor Adam Edelen is within striking distance of raising a record-breaking $1 million for his re-election campaign, greatly outpacing his Republican rival, state Rep. Mike Harmon. [H-L]

The U.S. Department of Defense will seek to make “condolence payments” to families of victims of a U.S. air strike that mistakenly hit a Medecins Sans Frontieres hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, killing 22 people, the Pentagon said on Saturday. [HuffPo]

That KSP Situation Is Absolutely Fascinating

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray’s inauguration fund has paid a $510 fine for filing financial records 46 days late. [H-L]

President Barack Obama apologized to Doctors Without Borders on Wednesday for the American air attack that killed at least 22 people at its hospital in Afghanistan, and said the U.S. would examine military procedures to look for better ways to prevent such incidents. [HuffPo]

A lawsuit filed by a woman exonerated of a murder after serving eight years behind bars offers new details about how she alleges an overzealous Kentucky State Police detective framed her. [C-J/AKN]

Top House Democrats are accusing the chairman of the House Oversight Committee of refusing to share the unedited footage from the recent undercover videos targeting Planned Parenthood. [The Hill]

U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Louisville, is predicting low voter turnout for March’s Republican presidential caucus next year. Yarmuth expects turnout will be “pretty pathetic” because voters in the state have no history with caucuses. [WFPL]

U.S. stocks ended stronger after a volatile session on Wednesday, led by a rebound in biotechnology companies that pushed the S&P 500 to its highest level in three weeks. [Reuters]

An attorney for former Glasgow Fire Department Sgt. Roger Hampton has filed documents with the Kentucky Court of Appeals that attempt to get the case regarding his firing dismissed. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A new study published last month in Sociological Forum has found two important connections that demonstrate how discrimination has a negative impact on the health and well-being of transgender people. [ThinkProgress]

Casey County Clerk Casey Davis says his office is now issuing marriage licenses. [WKYT]

Verizon is merging its cellphone tracking supercookie with AOL’s ad tracking network to match users’ online habits with their offline details. [ProPublica]

When best-selling author Neil Gaiman was asked to give advice to aspiring authors at Western Kentucky University’s latest installment of the 2015-16 Cultural Enhancement Series on Tuesday night, his first piece of advice was only one word. [BGDN]

After years of drug addiction, Jayne Fuentes feels she’s close to getting her life back on track, as long as she doesn’t get arrested again — but not for using drugs. She fears it will be because she still owes court fines and fees, including hundreds of dollars for her public defender. [NPR]

With platoons of Republicans running for president, the Democratic National Committee has had too much on its plate to spend much time commenting on Kentucky’s gubernatorial race. [H-L]

The Affordable Care Act’s chief aim is to extend coverage to people without health insurance. One of the 2010 law’s primary means to achieve that goal is expanding Medicaid eligibility to more people near the poverty level. But a crucial court ruling in 2012 granted states the power to reject the Medicaid expansion. [HuffPo]