Let’s Spend Health Dollars To Screw Poor People The Matt Bevin Way

Coal is dying/nearly dead and the Kentucky Coal Association can’t quit it with the denial. [H-L]

When Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) recently gave a speech challenging the United States’ long-standing indulgent relationship with Saudi Arabia, he did it in New York, where experimentation and radical thinking are more common than in stodgy D.C. [HuffPo]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! Much ado is being made over a sweeping education bill filed in the Kentucky Senate this session, with some saying the wide-ranging bill contains “fundamental changes” to education assessment and accountability in the Bluegrass State. [C-J/AKN]

President Obama’s $4 billion plan to help fund computer science classes in schools calls for $40 million in funding in 2017, with yearly spending quickly escalating for the next five years. [The Hill]

Sen. James Inhofe, R-Oklahoma, calls tougher rules on the coal industry a “power grab” by federal mining regulators who want more leverage over states. [Richmond Register]

For the past few years Congress has infamously hit gridlock on budgets, immigration, health care, and climate change. But in the first major update to the nation’s energy policy in almost eight years, key senators are standing on some unusual common ground by championing natural gas, infrastructure improvements, and energy efficiency. [ThinkProgress]

Republican voters in Perry County will take part in an historic event this year, as they participate in Kentucky’s first ever Presidential Caucus. [Hazard Herald]

The cystic fibrosis drug Orkambi can help people with specific genetic mutations breathe better, but treatment with the pill comes with a hefty sticker price — $259,000 a year. [NPR]

In a time when Glasgow High School was eliminating segregation, Jerry Bransford was among its first black students. [Glasgow Daily Times]

On a brisk, cloudless day last January, Disque Deane Jr. stepped out of his SUV, kicked his cowboy boots in the dirt, and looked around. He had driven two hours from Reno on one of the loneliest stretches of interstate in the United States to visit the Diamond S Ranch, just outside the town of Winnemucca, Nevada. Before him, open fields stretched all the way to the Santa Rosa mountains, 30 miles away. But the land was barren. The fields had been chewed down to the roots by cattle, and the ranch’s equipment had been stripped for parts. A steel trestle bridge lay pitched into the Humboldt River. [ProPublica]

Federal officials say Kentucky could have to return more than $57 million in unused grant money because of Republican Gov. Matt Bevin’s decision to dismantle kynect. [WFPL]

Much has been said about the dangers of oil trains following several high-profile accidents, including a fiery 2013 crash in Quebec that killed 50 people. Now a report from Greenpeace points to another potential hazard that could be even deadlier: chlorine trains. [Click the Clicky]

Any business person knows that when costs are rising faster than revenue, you should raise revenue and not just cut costs. [Tom Eblen]

Despite movements across the country to double the minimum wage from $7.25 to $15, the proposed increase still isn’t enough. [HuffPo]

Two Big Dueling Environmental Quotes

From the White House:

We disagree with the Supreme Court’s decision to stay the Clean Power Plan while litigation proceeds. The Clean Power Plan is based on a strong legal and technical foundation, gives States the time and flexibility they need to develop tailored, cost-effective plans to reduce their emissions, and will deliver better air quality, improved public health, clean energy investment and jobs across the country, and major progress in our efforts to confront the risks posed by climate change. We remain confident that we will prevail on the merits. Even while the litigation proceeds, EPA has indicated it will work with states that choose to continue plan development and will prepare the tools those states will need. At the same time, the Administration will continue to take aggressive steps to make forward progress to reduce carbon emissions.

From Matt Bevin:

“Today’s Supreme Court ruling is a huge win in the fight against Obama’s disastrous Clean Power Plan. The Court’s decision to freeze these illegal climate regulations is a victory in our efforts to save our coal jobs and protect Kentucky families from skyrocketing energy prices. We will continue to challenge these regulations as the litigations continue in court.”

This is why our environment can’t have nice things.

JCPS Will Make Your Eyes Roll Back

Jeff Taylor, a retired official with the Tennessee Valley Authority from Hopkinsville, is trying to become the first black person to represent his state House district in far Western Kentucky. [H-L]

Martin Shkreli, the disgraced ex-CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, revealed on Friday night that he is backing the presidential candidacy of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. [HuffPo]

Remember that Jefferson County Public Schools story we covered that everyone else ignored? The Office of the Attorney General said JCPS broke the law. Who could have known??? [C-J/AKN]

President Obama on Tuesday unveiled the last budget of his presidency, a $4.1 trillion plan that reflects his desire to set the agenda for his final months in office and beyond. [The Hill & Budget Overview]

The president of Kentucky State University wrote in newsletter Monday that the 130-year-old historically black college in Frankfort “cannot withstand” deep cuts in state funding proposed by Gov. Matt Bevin and may have to close if Bevin’s budget is adopted. [WDRB]

From the Department of Things Ken Ham Wouldn’t Understand… In an ancient streambed on Kenya’s Rusinga Island, scientists have unearthed fossils of a wildebeest-like creature named Rusingoryx that boasted a weird nasal structure more befitting of a dinosaur than a mammal. [Reuters]

No one under the age of 18 would be able to use a tanning bed in the state of Kentucky—with or without their parent’s permission—except for medical reasons under a bill that has cleared the state House. Here’s hoping the LRC starts using Commonwealth of Kentucky instead of “state of Kentucky” in their press releases. [Press Releases]

A wide swath of public officials are calling for change in response to a Daily News and ProPublica investigation about the NYPD’s use of an obscure type of lawsuit to boot hundreds of people from homes. The cases are happening almost exclusively in minority neighborhoods. [ProPublica]

Morehead State Public Radio (MSPR) has announced five new members to its Community Advisory Board (CAB). [The Morehead News]

President Barack Obama’s final budget proposal is a clarion call for Democratic progressivism — a $4 trillion spending blueprint that would pour billions into clean energy, education and Medicaid, and pay for it by raising taxes on big banks and the wealthy. [Politico]

Congressman Hal Rogers and Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin made their way to Pine Mountain State Resort Park to host the SOAR Executive Board Meeting on Friday. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

The billionaire former mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, has confirmed he is considering running as an independent candidate for the US presidency. [BBC]

Less than a week after Rand Paul ended his presidential campaign, some of the Kentucky senator’s top supporters in the state legislature have backed Marco Rubio ahead of the state’s Republican presidential caucus next month. [H-L]

Hillary Clinton is concerned for the future of women’s reproductive rights. [HuffPo]

Louisville Loves It Some Pedestrian Death

One of the most heated moments during Saturday’s GOP debate occurred when New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie called out Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) for giving a “memorized, 25-second response” — an argument Rubio went on to inadvertently support. While responding to Christie’s attacks, Rubio gave the same answer three times, repeating, “Obama knows what he’s doing.” [HuffPo]

The maker of a new test for colorectal cancer is suing Louisville-based Humana Inc., alleging its denial of payment for screenings performed on more than 4,600 patients violates state and federal law. [C-J/AKN]

“Muslim Americans keep us safe,” President Obama said on Wednesday as he visited a mosque in the U.S. for the first time as president. His speech was designed to draw contrasts with rhetoric from some Republicans running to succeed him. [NPR]

Rand Paul launched his bid for the White House as a standout in a crowded Republican field. Time magazine named him “the most interesting man in politics.” [Ronnie Ellis]

In Kentucky, more men than women die pedestrian deaths. We’re looking at you, Louisville. [Click the Clicky]

The Upward Bound Programs at Morehead State University are seeking applications for Morning Core and Afternoon Elective instructors for its Summer Academy. [The Morehead News]

The concoction of the “Bernie Bro” narrative by pro-Clinton journalists has been a potent political tactic – and a journalistic disgrace. [The Intercept]

The early months of the year are always a wait-and-see time for school number-crunchers, but this year add “worry” to the equation. [Ashland Independent]

Meanwhile, the far right continues to try to kill all forms of birth control and STD protection. Condom makers including Ansell Ltd are offering to help Zika-affected countries after the first case of the virus being sexually transmitted added to growing concerns over the spread of the disease. [Reuters]

The leader of the Kentucky AFL-CIO says labor groups are ready to fight future efforts to pass what supporters call right-to-work laws. [WFPL]

Newly grown rainforests can absorb 11 times as much carbon from the atmosphere as old-growth forests, a study has shown. [BBC]

When Janie-Rice Brother saw black smoke rising over downtown last weekend and heard the Blue Grass Stockyards was burning, she was heartbroken. And not just because the Montgomery County farmer’s daughter had spent time there as a child. [Tom Eblen]

Health care got some attention in Saturday night’s GOP presidential debate. And when it was Texas Sen. Turd Cruz’s turn to speak, he started by cataloging the alleged evils of “socialized medicine.” [HuffPo]

The Ramsey-Pitino-UofL Circus Goes On

Stung by losses under the federal health law, major insurers are seeking to sharply limit how policies are sold to individuals in ways that consumer advocates say seem to discriminate against the sickest and could hold down future enrollment. [H-L]

In their first head-to-head debate, Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) made it clear that any lingering pleasantries from a happier time earlier in the campaign are vanishing quickly. [HuffPo]

It’s hilarious that Rick Pitino is defending Jim Ramsey, as if they’re both victims of things they can’t help. Both of these men are the worst of the worst in higher education. Pitino, with sex scandal after sex scandal. Ramsey, with financial corruption mess after financial corruption mess. Both should be relieved of their duties instead of allowing a bunch of kids to take the blame for crap that those two are ultimately supposed to take responsibility. [C-J/AKN]

President Barack Obama is set on Tuesday to unveil his budget proposal for fiscal year 2017, his final year in office. [Reuters]

Lack of communication is what kept many black accomplishments from being known, said educator William Twyman, one of the 14 panelists discussing “Education in the Barren’s Region of Kentucky” Saturday at the South Central Kentucky Cultural Center. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Amid significant reforms, federal officials worry that sexual abuse in juvenile justice system remains prevalent and too often unpunished. [ProPublica]

A personal finance website study has determined Kentucky ranks 9 out of 51 for dependency on the arms and ammunition industry for jobs and political contributions, and indirectly through firearm ownership. [Ashland Independent]

At the end of last year, lawmakers in West Virginia unveiled a bill that would drug test some applicants for the state’s welfare program. Applicants who failed could eventually be barred from receiving benefits, possibly permanently. [ThinkProgress]

A bill that would eliminate the prevailing wage on public school projects on Thursday failed to pass a House committee. [WFPL]

The US economy added 151,000 jobs in January, helping to push the country’s unemployment rate down to 4.9%. [BBC]

Since Jan. 1, five Richmond Police officers have submitted resignations. At the same time, two joined the force for field training, and two others entered the Department of Criminal Justice Training’s academy for 23 weeks. [Richmond Register]

“Squat! Squat! Squat! Higher! Faster!” In the basement of the Duane Physics and Astrophysics building at the University of Colorado Boulder, a science demonstration is going on, but it looks more like a vaudeville act. [NPR]

University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto has formed a task force to advise him on what to do about a controversial mural in Memorial Hall. [H-L]

Islamophobia is real. And it’s not going anywhere. After last year’s terror attacks in Paris and mass shooting in San Bernardino, California — and amidst a surge in anti-Muslim rhetoric from U.S. politicians — reports about Muslims in America facing violence, harassment, intimidation and bigotry have become omnipresent. Many Muslims say Islamophobia is worse now than it’s ever been — even worse than it was after 9/11. [HuffPo]

Jerry Lundergan’s Good Old Boy Mess Is Once Again Center Stage

During her three political campaigns, including an $18 million run for the U.S. Senate in 2014, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes reported paying $111,831 to Lexington companies owned by her father, former state Democratic Party chairman Jerry Lundergan, and $41,745 more in direct payments to him and other family members, for various services. [John Cheves]

As Sen. Turd Cruz (R-Tex.) campaigns across the Granite State ahead of next Tuesday’s first-in-the nation primary, he’s changing rhetoric in an attempt to expand his base and attract libertarian-leaning supporters following Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Cookie Tree) exit from the race this week. [HuffPo]

Conservationists have pounced on a bill that sought to allow motorized all-terrain vehicles on the Pine Mountain State ScenicTrail that’s being developed for backpacking and primitive camping along 120 miles of scenic Eastern Kentucky. [C-J/AKN]

The State Department Inspector General has found that classified emails were received on the personal accounts of former Secretary of State Colin Powell and the senior aides to his successor, Condoleezza Rice. [The Hill]

The new head of Kentucky’s Energy and Environment Cabinet doesn’t expect any short-term rebound in the state’s struggling coal industry. In his first appearance before the state Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee, Secretary Charles Snavely told senators the outlook wasn’t good over the next five years. [WFPL]

U.S. President Barack Obama will launch a long-shot bid next week to impose a $10-a-barrel tax on crude oil that would fund the overhaul of the nation’s aging transportation infrastructure, the White House said on Thursday. [Reuters]

House Democrats proved willing to compromise on one abortion-related bill in a critical election year, but there were signs Friday they aren’t prepared to do it a second time. [Ronnie Ellis]

US presidential hopeful Marco Rubio has seen a surge in high-profile endorsements, after a surprisingly strong finish in the Iowa caucuses. [BBC]

A group of students from Clark-Moores Middle School will be traveling to Frankfort Tuesday where they will meet with legislators and advocate for the passage of Senate Bill 33, which will make training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) a requirement for graduation in Kentucky schools. [Richmond Register]

If U.S. and British negotiators have their way, MI5, the British domestic security service, could one day go directly to American companies like Facebook or Google with a wiretap order for the on-line chats of British suspects in a counterterrorism investigation. [WaPo]

It’s been no secret that Morehead City Council has been mulling the thoughts of building a joined police and fire station in the near future. [The Morehead News]

Really? It takes “insiders” to know that Marco Rubio crashed and burned? [Politico]

An ongoing cultural battle between coal mining and environmental groups played out in a Senate hearing Wednesday over an Obama administration proposal to mitigate the impacts of coal mining activity on streams. [H-L]

The United States has to reduce greenhouse emissions to less than a quarter of what they were in 2005 to meet its commitment under the Paris climate agreement. [HuffPo]