Kentucky Leaders Embarrass Thinking People

They took time to write about all this but are still ignoring the dozens of scandals in Montgomery County. Powell County Superintendent Michael Tate said Saturday that school district officials contacted Kentucky State Police after investigating allegations of inappropriate conduct by members of Powell County High School’s boys basketball team. [H-L]

Rand Paul’s (R-Racist Cookie Tree) tough proposals aimed at limiting the admission of refugees in the wake of the Paris terror attacks are disappointing libertarian opinion leaders, days after a presidential debate performance in which he appeared to return to his independent roots. [HuffPo]

Wasn’t this news a few weeks back? An evangelist who organized rallies in support of Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis is planning to run for the state House of Representatives against Democratic House Majority Leader Rocky Adkins. [C-J/AKN]

We’re looking at you, Rand Paul, and the rest of the bigoted cowards this state sends to Washington. Acutely aware of the consequences to Jews who were unable to flee Nazism, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum looks with concern upon the current refugee crisis. While recognizing that security concerns must be fully addressed, we should not turn our backs on the thousands of legitimate refugees. [United States Holocaust Memorial Museum]

The Barren County School district took another step toward breaking ground on the long-awaited Red Cross Elementary School renovation at Wednesday’s special-called Board of Education and Barren County School District Finance Corp. meeting. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Billionaire Donald Trump continues to dominate the polls and drive the debate in the Republican presidential nomination, staying a step ahead of his competitors on the issues of immigration, border security and the Syrian refugee crisis. [BBC]

The Boyd County Fiscal Court spent three hours in closed session trying to “fine tune” an agreement regarding future operations of the embattled Big Run Landfill. [Ashland Independent]

As President Obama tries to save his plan to shield some five million people from deportation, immigration activists have been marching and planning more demonstrations to support him. [NPR]

A racially-motivated threat found in a Madison Central High School boys’ bathroom stall Thursday has many parents upset, not so much because of the threat’s contents, but because they were not notified. [Richmond Register]

In recent days, presidential candidates and even the American Medical Association have griped about rising drug prices, pointing to brand-name blockbusters with splashy ad campaigns. [ProPublica]

The Rowan County Board of Education Tuesday discussed a plan to make changes to the district’s bullying policy. The changes deal primarily with cyber-bullying or harassment via social media and the Internet, hazing, and other forms of harassment. [The Morehead News]

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Still Has No Health Care Alternative) is making a bull rush at the conservatives running for president who are withholding support from an ObamaCare repeal package that they feel doesn’t go far enough. [The Hill]

Fayette County had a higher rate of children living in foster care from 2012 to 2014 than the state rate, according to child well-being rankings released recently by Kentucky Youth Advocates. [H-L]

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson said Saturday that he wants to expand the government’s surveillance operations aimed at potential terrorist threats, even beyond tracking American Muslims as rivalDonald Trump has suggested. [HuffPo]

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Mainstream Racist Freakout Continues

Kentucky legislators, who often call for greater transparency from the struggling state employee pension system, keep their own retirement accounts in a much better-financed system that publicly offers no information about itself. [John Cheves]

Pushing back against efforts to bar Syrian refugees from resettling in the U.S., President Barack Obama vowed Saturday that his country will be a welcoming place for millions fleeing violence around the world “as long as I’m president.” [HuffPo]

This story originally ran in late January. Twenty-one Syrian refugees will arrive in Louisville over the next two weeks, a figure expected to increase in Kentucky and beyond as the U.S. begins to take in an expanded number of refugees fleeing Syria’s bloody civil war. [C-J/AKN]

During the 1930s and early 1940s, the United States resisted accepting large numbers of Jewish refugees escaping the Nazi terror sweeping Europe, in large part because of fearmongering by a small but vocal crowd. They claimed that the refugees were communist or anarchist infiltrators intent on spreading revolution; that refugees were part of a global Jewish-capitalist conspiracy to take control of the United States from the inside; that the refugees were either Nazis in disguise or under the influence of Nazi agents sent to commit acts of sabotage; and that Jewish refugees were out to steal American jobs. Many rejected Jews simply because they weren’t Christian. [The Intercept]

No one thinks Butler’s switch is a surprise — his Democratic colleagues in Jefferson County have long considered him a Republican. State Rep. Denny Butler is the first Democrat to switch parties in the aftermath of Republican Gov.-elect Matt Bevin’s convincing win and in advance of the November 2016 state legislative races which could switch control of the House to Republicans for the first time since 1921. His switch might not be the last, but his decision was a surprise. [Richmond Register]

Donald Trump’s rhetoric since the Paris terrorist attacks appears to have helped him with GOP primary voters, according to most polls. But Republican insiders are concerned that his words could come back to haunt the party as it seeks to appeal to a broader audience. [The Hill]

If you’ve followed the Montgomery County saga, you’ll love reading about Jefferson County Public Schools violating open records laws. [The ‘Ville Voice]

As you’re pissing and moaning about veterans during a very real refugee crisis, remember what Republicans in Washington have and haven’t done. U.S. Senate Republicans blocked legislation on Thursday that would have expanded federal healthcare and education programs for veterans, saying the $24 billion bill would bust the budget. [Reuters]

Many have written in to ask for a synopsis of what went down with Jamie Comer during the primary. So here are two stories that will help you understand everything. [May 20, 2015 & October 1, 2015]

Two former advisers to Republican presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul (R-Cookie Tree) were re-indicted by a federal grand jury in Iowa Friday, just weeks after a criminal trial that produced a muddled result. [Politico]

More than 150 students staged a walkout protest Friday morning at East Carter High School over what they allege was the unfair dismissal of a substitute teacher. [Ashland Independent]

It is one of the central political puzzles of our time: Parts of the country that depend on the safety-net programs supported by Democrats are increasingly voting for Republicans who favor shredding that net. [ProPublica]

Matt Bevin said Friday he hopes to present to state lawmakers in the upcoming legislative session a plan to implement a 401(k)-style retirement plan for new state government employees. [H-L]

Several people attending a rally for Donald Trump in Birmingham, Alabama, physically assaulted an African-American protester on Saturday, witnesses said. [HuffPo]

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State Democrats Are Still In Major Denial

It’s always the rich white guys who fight minimum wage increases. Lexington Mayor Jim Gray declined to say Wednesday if he would sign an ordinance raising the minimum wage in Fayette County to $10.10 an hour over the next three years. [H-L]

Separation of church and state? Republican presidential candidate John Kasich says he’d set up an agency with a “mandate” to promote what he calls “Judeo-Christian values” overseas to counter Islamist propaganda. [HuffPo]

Kentucky Republicans announced Thursday morning that state Rep. Denny Butler of Louisville is switching parties, putting the GOP one seat closer to capturing the House majority in the wake of Gov.-elect Matt Bevin’s victory. [C-J/AKN]

What was that about Rand Paul valuing your privacy? When someone downloads the official Ben Carson, Ted Cruz or Rand Paul campaign apps, they’re handing over personal information that can be shared with any group that has “similar viewpoints” as those candidates. For Cruz supporters, that means giving your data to a British-based company that specializes in psychological warfare. [Vocativ]

Kentucky’s preliminary October 2015 unemployment rate dipped to 4.9 percent from a seasonally adjusted 5 percent in September 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 since May 2001 when it was 4.9 percent. [Press Release]

The political network helmed by Charles and David Koch has quietly built a secretive operation that conducts surveillance and intelligence gathering on its liberal opponents, viewing it as a key strategic tool in its efforts to reshape American public life. [Politico]

Kentucky Democrats just didn’t want to listen. Now all good old boy hell is breaking loose. [House Republicans]

Are you ready for more HYSTERIA OMG SYRIAN MUSLIM REFUGEE PANIC?! Cool, because Fox News lady windsock Andrea Tantaros went to work Wednesday. [Wonkette]

The 911 services throughout Kentucky are straining county budgets because of an outdated funding mechanism, county government representatives told state legislators on Wednesday. [WFPL]

From the Department of Things Ken Ham Wouldn’t Understand… DNA extracted from a skull and a molar tooth of ancient human remains discovered in the southern Caucasus region of Georgia is helping sort out the multifaceted ancestry of modern Europeans. [Reuters]

Council members met in closed session Monday night with members of the Industrial Development Economic Authority of Glasgow-Barren County’s board of directors to discuss the acquisition of real estate. [Glasgow Daily Times]

President Obama is moving to cement a significant legacy in the fight against smoking. Despite Obama’s own struggles with cigarettes, many public health advocates see him as a champion on the issue, and a series of proposals in the waning months of his presidency could bolster his record. [The Hill]

Democrat Jack Conway spent nearly twice as much as Republican Matt Bevin on TV ads, but it was not enough to get him elected governor. [H-L]

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), one of the Senate’s biggest defense hawks, on Tuesday rejected calls by some Republicans that the U.S. accept only Christian refugees fleeing Syria, not Muslims. [HuffPo]

Papaw Prepares For The Retirement Home

And we’ve found the perfect gift for him… [CLICK THE CLICKY]

With his days dwindling as Kentucky’s governor, Democrat Steve Beshear took time Tuesday to tout his eight years in office and reflect on his regrets of making “no meaningful progress” in tax reform and not bringing expanded gambling to the state. [H-L]

Bobby Who? Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) ended his presidential campaign on Tuesday. [HuffPo]

The local prosecutor’s office is asking Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Olu Stevens to recuse himself from every criminal case that comes before him, citing comments the judge made on his Facebook page that calls into question his impartiality, the commonwealth argues. [C-J/AKN]

The British Government has announced that it plans to shut down all of its coal-powered fire stations by 2025, with restrictions put on their use as early as 2023. [Gizmodo]

Heck yes alcohol sales bring in revenue for communities. Rob Fogle is the co-owner of Mammoth Liquors, located at 101 Gardner Lane in Cave City, along with Eric Hall. The two also own a liquor store in Radcliff, which saw take-home liquor sales approved by voters in 2011. [Glasgow Daily Times]

President Obama would love the chance to run against Donald Trump, but his family — and the Constitution — are standing in his way. [The Hill]

Only one bid was submitted to the Rowan County School Board for the central office building at 121 E. Second Street. Morehead State University submitted the lone bid of $2 million. [The Morehead News]

They share a small two-bedroom apartment in Sacramento with few possessions, but for Syrian refugee Mohammad Abd Rabboh, his wife and two daughters, there is finally freedom from fear. [Reuters]

A Berea College student told the city council Tuesday night that pickup trucks flying Confederate flags have frequently driven around the campus the past three months yelling racial slurs at them. [Richmond Register]

Ninety minutes into the first day of his first job, Day Davis, a 21-year-old temp worker, was called to help out near a machine at the Bacardi bottling plant in Jacksonville, Florida. He was killed before making it to his first break. [ProPublica]

Jennifer Stepp is proud her son is in recovery from his heroin addiction, but if he ever needs it, her 8-year-old daughter knows how to administer the drugs that would save his life. [Ashland Independent]

Friday’s terrorist attacks have made the Paris climate talks “even more” important now, according to Christiana Figueres, head of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). And on Sunday, Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders elaborated on why climate change remains “the biggest national security threat facing the United States,” after remarks he made in Saturday’s Democratic debate were criticized by people who apparently don’t understand the existential nature the climate threat poses to this country and the world. [ThinkProgress]

The water tower in Lebanon is about to get a new mural that should make it very popular on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. The tower will be graced by a bottle of bourbon, making it look like the world’s largest Maker’s Mark pour. The city’s 135-foot water tower will be getting a mural by internationally recognized muralist Eric Henn, who will paint it to look like the neck of a gigantic bottle, complete with signature red wax, is pouring bourbon straight down. [H-L]

A Scottish newspaper offered a warm message to Syrian refugees arriving in the country this week. “To the first refugees fleeing war-torn Syria who will arrive at Glasgow Airport today, we’d just like to say: Welcome to Scotland,” read the front cover of The National on Tuesday. [HuffPo]

Only 13 Governors Asked Questions…

While extremist, xenophobic governors around the country are flying their racist flags in attempt to refuse refugees, the White House attempted to help give reassurance.

Here’s a press release we received from the White House Tuesday night:

Readout of the White House Call with Governors

Today, the White House hosted a call with a bipartisan group of 34 governors (EMPHASIS OURS) from across the country to provide information about existing refugee admissions policies and security screening measures. White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough led the call and was joined by Alejandro Mayorkas, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security; Simon Henshaw, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration; Mark Giuliano, Deputy Director of the FBI; and representatives from the National Counterterrorism Center and the Department of Health and Human Services.

The call lasted almost 90 minutes, including an extensive question and answer session among the governors and Administration officials. The officials briefed the governors on the rigorous screening and security vetting process that is required before a refugee is able to travel to the United States. Thirteen governors asked questions. (EMPHASIS OURS)

The Administration officials reiterated what the President has made abundantly clear: that his top priority is the safety of the American people. That’s why, even as the United States accepts more refugees—including Syrians—we do so only after they undergo the most rigorous screening and security vetting of any category of traveler to the United States.

Several Governors expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to better understand the process and have their issues addressed directly by representatives of the agencies responsible for the refugee and screening programs. Others encouraged further communication to ensure that governors are able to better respond to questions from the public about the refugee screening and resettlement process.

Denis McDonough also committed to working with the National Governors Association to improve information sharing and maintain an ongoing dialogue.


You see that? Of all the handwringing and freaking out, only 13 of those governors asked questions.

Fascinating how that works.

These bigoted folks, like Matt Bevin, don’t care about whether or not the immigration process works, whether or not the extensive screening process is legit. They only care about ginning up fear and keeping the brown people out.

And blaming Obama, of course.

Guess it’s time to learn how to breathe through our mouthes, Kentucky.

How Many Friends/Donors Will He Pardon?

Fayette County schools superintendent Manny Caulk has hired a Kentucky Department of Education associate commissioner with 18 years of experience in state government to oversee the district financial services, budget and staffing, and human resources departments. [H-L]

President Barack Obama is accusing Republicans who oppose allowing Syrian refugees into the U.S. of being scared of widows and orphans. He says the political posturing “needs to stop.” [HuffPo]

Louisville area Ford workers on Tuesday resoundingly rejected a proposed national contract. [C-J/AKN]

In 2012, GOP presidential candidates accused President Obama of waging a war on the coal industry. Three years later, coal is largely taking a back seat in the Republican race for the White House. [The Hill]

The Kentucky School Boards Association is all up in the latest Jefferson County Public Schools controversy. On the one hand, people who serve their time ought to be able to give back to society and hold down gainful employment. Especially when they’re as honest and forthcoming as this woman. On the other, JCPS looks stupid for getting into mess after mess like this. [KSBA]

U.S. consumer prices increased in October after two straight months of declines as the cost of healthcare and other services rose, evidence of firming inflation that further supports views that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates next month. [Reuters]

Gov. Steve Beshear hinted Tuesday he’ll restore voting rights for many non-violent ex-felons before leaving office on Dec. 7. [Ronnie Ellis]

Hillary Clinton’s top deputy will be on Capitol Hill on Tuesday to continue the campaign’s outreach to African-American Democrats. [Politico]

Kentucky earned a “D” on the March of Dimes Premature Birth Report Card, and Warren County’s preterm births are worse than statewide rates. [BGDN]

Poverty does not treat men and women equally, especially in old age. Women 65 years old and older who are living in poverty outnumber men in those circumstances by more than 2 to 1. And these women are likely to face the greatest deprivation as they become older and more frail. [NPR]

Gov. Steve Beshear and state librarian Wayne Onkst said in federal court filings late last week that the state will recognize as valid marriages of couples who received altered licenses issued by the Rowan County clerk’s office. [Ashland Independent]

The federal privacy law known as HIPAA doesn’t cover home paternity tests, fitness trackers or health apps. When a Florida woman complained after seeing the paternity test results of thousands of people online, federal regulators told her they didn’t have jurisdiction. [ProPublica]

On Friday night around 7 p.m., while the world looked on in horror as terrorists in Paris made flesh our collective nightmares, Rand Paul took to Twitter. With uncertainty, fear and carnage gripping the globe, Kentucky’s junior U.S. Senator, in the cellar when it comes to presidential polls, was focused — on Marco Rubio. [H-L]

After a series of attacks in Paris by the Islamic State group killed 129 people on Friday, several prominent Republican politicians called for the U.S. to stop taking in refugees from Syria, arguing that authorities might unwittingly allow terrorists to enter the country. [HuffPo]