Happy Friday! Everything Probably Sucks

Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway enjoys a sizable cash advantage over Republican Matt Bevin as the two men head down the home stretch of the governors race. [H-L]

Syria’s chief-of-staff on Thursday declared a wide-ranging ground offensive by government forces, a day after Russian airstrikes and cruise missiles launched from the Caspian Sea backed Damascus’ multipronged advance into two Syrian provinces. [HuffPo]

Former Louisville basketball recruit JaQuan Lyle, in an interview with the NCAA this week, confirmed “the gist of allegations” against U of L in a new book. [C-J/AKN]

When David Martine arrived at the redbrick federal courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia, in the summer of 2011, he was three years past his retirement and had not participated in an interrogation since 2007, when he was one of the CIA’s top inquisitors. On this day, however, he was not going to be asking questions. He was going to be answering them. [Newsweek]

There were some frightening moments at a southern Kentucky elementary school on Wednesday. [WKYT]

The Obama administration has formally threatened a veto on a House bill that would lift the federal ban on crude oil exports. [The Hill]

The Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) Executive Board has given the green light for communities in the region to apply for grants up to $250,000 for job creation and broadband expansion via the Kentucky Appalachian Regional Development (KARD) fund. [State Journal]

A U.S. jury on Wednesday awarded a cancer patient $1.6 million after finding DuPont was liable for leaking a toxic chemical used to make Teflon into drinking water near one of its plants. [Reuters]

Following a report this summer showing Floyd County led the state last year in the per capita number of drug-overdose deaths, House Speaker Greg Stumbo is gathering state and local leaders in Prestonsburg on Friday morning to discuss solutions. The public and community partners are invited to attend. [Floyd County Times]

In March 2015, a Saudi-led coalition began bombing Yemen in an attempt to support the embattled regime and counter the advances of the Houthi rebels. This coalition, supported by logistics and intelligence provided by the United States, has now been accused of war crimes in a recent report by a prominent international rights group. [ThinkProgress]

Some prominent Northern Kentucky Republicans have told the Enquirer they support Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jack Conway. The bitterness among many Republicans against the tea party, which has challenged many in leadership recent years, might catch up to Republican candidate Matt Bevin, often seen as an outsider candidate who has heavy tea party support. [Cincinnasti.com]

The death penalty reared its head again at the U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday. It was the first time the court publicly considered a death case since last term, when a constitutional challenge to lethal injection procedures erupted into a rare, nasty and vituperative debate among the justices. This time, the issues were far more technical but still a matter of life and death. [NPR]

The University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy will train pharmacists across the state to distribute naloxone, a medication used to prevent overdoses from heroin and other opioids. [H-L]

From the Department of Things Ken Ham Wouldn’t Understand… If you’ve ever wanted to experience space from the perspective of an astronaut, here’s your chance. [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]

Surprise! Horsey Track Slots Instant Racing Machines Bring In The $$$

The gambling parlor at Red Mile took in more than $5 million in wagering in the first 19 days it was open, according to figures reported to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. [H-L]

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) wants Congress to establish a Select Committee on Gun Violence in the wake of the Oregon college shooting that left 10 dead on Thursday. [HuffPo]

If the campaign of Republican Whitney Westerfield for attorney general does not have the money to compete with its Democratic opponent Andy Beshear, the Republican Attorneys General Association does. [C-J/AKN]

We might not be able to remember every stressful episode of our childhood. But the emotional upheaval we experience as kids — whether it’s the loss of a loved one, the chronic stress of economic insecurity, or social interactions that leave us tearful or anxious — may have a lifelong impact on our health. [NPR]

The tell-all book claiming that a former University of Louisville staffer hired escorts for players and recruits is topping charts. [WKYT]

All it takes to officially run for the Republican presidential nomination is a one-page form sent to the Federal Election Commission, the US government entity in charge of overseeing campaign laws. [BBC]

The Department of Justice has issued a statement of interest in a federal lawsuit over children being handcuffed by a school resource officer in a northern Kentucky district. [WHAS11]

Girls, many of whom have suffered a range of trauma at home, make up a growing share of children arrested and detained across the country. [ProPublica]

It’s been more than two months since Beshear’s comments and it’s hard not to believe this controversy hasn’t cost the state of Kentucky more than the $60,000 day it would have taken to call a special session. Aaaaaand this guy is straight up lying to the folks in Richmond as he pushes for more separate but equal nonsense. You wondering why average Kentuckians remain in the dark? People in the media push that sort of crap. [Richmond Register]

Here’s what the world thinks about the American response to the Oregon massacre. [ThinkProgress]

People who live in Eastern Kentucky are a lot less impressed with this Mountain Parkway business than media would have you believe. [Floyd County Times]

About two dozen Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee on Tuesday sent President Obama a letter urging him to keep 9,800 U.S. troops in Afghanistan through 2016. [The Hill]

Do you smell the backroom fun things going on here? [H-L]

Looking back, nearly 20 years later, Jay Dickey is apologetic. He is gone from Congress, giving him space to reflect on his namesake amendment that, to this day, continues to define the rigid politics of gun policy. [HuffPo]

The US Loves It Some Mass Shootings

Rand Paul’s presidential campaign raised only about $2.5 million in the third quarter of the year, according to a published report Thursday afternoon. [H-L]

The nation was once again confronted with the horror of a deadly school shooting on Thursday, this time a massacre at a community college in Roseburg, Oregon. [HuffPo]

After a fiery confrontation with County Attorney Mike O’Connell, Jefferson District Judge Sean Delahanty promised to rule within a week about the fate of 2,300 motorists whose cases he has held hostage because of his concerns about Drive Safe Louisville, which has generated $1.3 million for O’Connell’s office. [C-J/AKN]

Californians have really stepped up water conservation due to the drought. Some cities are selling almost half as much water as they normally do. But there’s a big downside for water agencies — lost revenue. People using less water means major budget shortfalls. [NPR]

Whitley County Clerk Kay Schwartz says she is granting licenses to “bride and groom” couples – and claims she never stopped issuing them – but not to same-sex couples. [WKYT]

Congress is blocking legal marijuana in Washington, D.C. and maybe causing a spike in murders. [Mother Jones]

A new report details the differences in health care costs and patient usages in metro areas across the country. And Kentucky fares fairly well. [WFPL]

A woman in the US state of Georgia has been executed despite a number of last-ditch appeals, including one by the Pope, to try to block her execution. [BBC]

Democratic state Sen. Dorsey Ridley of Henderson says he’s close to jumping into the race to succeed retiring Republican U.S. Congressman Ed Whitfield. [Ronnie Ellis]

The CEO of Alpha Natural Resources is defending his coal company’s financing of harassment of climate scientists. [The Intercept]

Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship was met by a swarm of reporters and photographers as he walked into the federal courthouse Thursday morning for the first day of jury selection in his criminal trial. [Ashland Independent]

Pope Francis’ encounter with Kim Davis last week in Washington, which was interpreted by many as a subtle intervention in the United States’ same-sex marriage debate, was part of a series of private meetings with dozens of guests and did not amount to an endorsement of her views, the Vatican said on Friday. So Kim Davis DID fame whore it up while mischaracterizing her encounter with the pope. Imagine that. [NY Times]

The biggest spenders in Kentucky’s competitive race for governor are a pair of Louisville millionaires who want to see a Republican elected as the state’s chief executive. But it’s not what you think. [H-L]

U.S. employers slammed the brakes on hiring over the last two months and wages fell in September, raising new doubts the economy is strong enough for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates by the end of this year. [HuffPo]

Kim Davis Just Won’t Effing Quit It

Despite Kentucky’s socially conservative streak, more than half of the state’s voters think Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis should have to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. [H-L]

In a speech last week, Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen inadvertently told us why Congress should set a 4 percent unemployment target for the Fed in its conduct of monetary policy, as is proposed in a new bill put forward by Michigan Representative John Conyers. The context was Yellen’s dismissal of such a target. [HuffPo]

Don Childers and others affiliated with Childers Oil Co. combined to give $4,000 to the Kentucky Democratic Party this summer while Governor Steve Beshear’s administration was negotiating a secret settlement with the company over a 2011 spill of diesel fuel into the North Fork of the Kentucky River. [C-J/AKN]

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is the favorite to succeed John Boehner (R-OH) after his surprise resignation as the House Speaker last week. The appointment of McCarthy, who represents a heavily Latino district, to preside over a more radically conservative Republican caucus could have implications for immigration reform. [ThinkProgress]

Ann Stewart, executive director of the Glasgow-Barren County Tourist and Convention Commission, has been reappointed to serve another term on the Kentucky Travel Industry Association’s board of directors. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The Secret Service reportedly leaked sensitive personal information to the press about Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz as the Utah Republican was investigating the beleaguered agency. [Politico]

Steve Beshear’s lawyers are using the words “absurd,” ”forlorn” and “obtuse” to describe the legal arguments a county clerk has used to avoid issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. [WAVE3]

Can we quit it with calling Drew Curtis “quirky”? It’s an insult from a bunch of old-ass white men and seems to get thrown around a lot lately. The only people who think he is quirky are people who have no idea what “URL” means. And can we quit acting like the RGA pulled out because Bevin sucks? Sure, he sucks, but the RGA’s man on the ground said six months ago their budget was $3 million. RGA never thought Bevin could win, really. Which is worse than abandoning him now. [Larry Sabato]

Kentuckians are continuing to default on federal student loans at one of the highest rates in the nation. [WFPL]

Rand Paul’s (R-Cookie Tree) daddy hauled in more money in one day than he’s raised in three months. Surprising that anyone thinks his presidential campaign is anything more than a stunt to raise his senate campaign profile. [Mother Jones]

Attorneys for a Magoffin County judge have asked the Kentucky Supreme Court to review a lower court decision that would force the judge out of office for election fraud. [WKYT]

In an interview with NPR, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says his country will use its added billions of dollars from the nuclear deal for boosting the Iranian economy. [NPR]

This year’s Historic Paris-Bourbon County house tour Sunday is at the boyhood home of one of Kentucky’s most interesting and least known Civil War generals, who ended his short life as an American diplomat in South America. [H-L]

Thirteen people were killed and as many as 20 were wounded Thursday in a shooting at a small community college in Roseburg, Oregon, according to multiple reports. Another day, another mass shooting. [HuffPo]

Papaw’s People Pony Up The KDP Cash

Former state Rep. John Arnold, who was accused of sexually harassing two female legislative staffers, said in a deposition earlier this year that he “spanked the knee” of Rep. Sannie Overly, this fall’s Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor. Which is fine and dandy. But when I asked one of the victims about Overly earlier this week? They said that after going to Overly, she got shut down by leadership and she avoided the victims like the plague. No amount of spin will change that. [H-L]

President Barack Obama is “cautiously optimistic” about the prospect of a global climate agreement emerging from negotiations in Paris at the end of this year. [HuffPo]

The Kentucky Democratic Party continued to rake in big contributions in August, much of it from state contractors and appointees of Gov. Steve Beshear. [C-J/AKN]

The Obama administration is gearing up for what it expects to be the toughest healthcare sign-up season yet, officials said Tuesday. [The Hill]

Wondering what Joshua Powell’s attorney, Mike Owsley, is up to at other school districts? You’ll love reading about his latest shenanigans. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Los Angeles officials on Tuesday called homelessness an “emergency” in the city and proposed spending $100 million to provide permanent housing and shelters for the city’s 26,000 indigent. [Reuters]

Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear isn’t on the ballot this year; he’s finishing up his second term and is ineligible to run. But his legacy in health care is very much at stake in this fall’s gubernatorial election. [Ronnie Ellis]

This weekend, Pope Francis will visit Philadelphia’s Curran-Fromhold Jail as part of his visit to the United States. In addition to severe overcrowding, Curran-Fromhold inmates also have to contend with a bevy of private firms that make money providing services inside the jail. While it is nominally a correctional facility, life inside Curran-Fromhold is shaped at least as much by the profit motive as by the spirit of rehabilitation and penance. [ThinkProgress]

When U.S. District Judge David Bunning jailed Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis for contempt his instructions were for her not to interfere with issuance of marriage licenses. [The Morehead News]

Sales of CDs in the US dropped by 31.5% in the first half of 2015, according to music industry figures. [BBC]

State Auditor Adam Edelen says he’s looking into the financial management of the University of Louisville Foundation, which manages the university’s $1.1 billion endowment, and the university’s board of trustees as part of an ongoing investigation. [WFPL]

After more than four years of civil war in Syria, what’s driving people to Europe in such numbers now? [NPR]

Sam Walton believed in private enterprise, but that probably didn’t include selling hemp from the back of a pickup truck in a Wal-Mart parking lot. Danville police arrested a Harrodsburg man on Tuesday for allegedly doing just that. [H-L]

Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton said the idea that she started the birther movement, which questions the validity of President Barack Obama’s American birth certificate, is “so ludicrous.” [HuffPo]

We Knew UofL Was Messy 8 Years Ago

The federal mine-safety agency opened a new Kentucky center Friday aimed at improving its capacity to handle rescues, with a response truck, communication systems and portable, high-tech equipment to test for poisonous and explosive gases. [H-L]

Military officials on Friday denied the request of Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning to grow her hair in accordance with female grooming standards. [HuffPo]

African Americans living in Kentucky saw their average yearly incomes drop by more than 11 percent in one year, according to U.S. Census Bureau data released this week. The poverty rate also rose for black Kentuckians at a rate four times more than the rest of the state from 2013 to 2014. [C-J/AKN]

Exxon’s research laid the groundwork for a 1982 corporate primer on carbon dioxide and climate change prepared by its environmental affairs office. [ICN]

The attorney for the man accused of abusing public trust while employed with the City of Ashland has been given more time for discovery in the case. [Ashland Independent]

The White House said on Monday there was a surprising increase in August in the number of children entering the country illegally after those figures fell steadily since the child migrant crisis a year ago. [Reuters]

This is not how Kathy Jones envisioned her retirement years. [Glasgow Daily Times]

For nearly 15 years, voters have been able to click a mouse to view an up-to-date list of who’s contributed to candidates for the presidency and the U.S. House, and how those funds have been spent. [ProPublica]

The more the media hype this guy up, the more they’re contributing to his mental health issues and substance abuse problems. It’s just a spectacle and is beyond unnecessary. They won’t stop until he’s dead and then they’ll turn a blind eye. [WKYT]

Jeb Bush stood before supporters in Tallahassee, the Florida capital over which he presided for eight years, and vowed in his first policy speech as a presidential candidate last June to halt the “revolving door” between Congress and K Street. But the promise was undercut both by the audience to which Bush spoke — which included numerous lobbyists from his days as governor — and by the intensity with which Bush replenished his personal bank accounts upon leaving office by cashing in on the connections he had made. [Politico]

Who could have known, over the past eight years, that there’s a morale problem with faculty and staff at the University of Louisville??? Vicious and disrespectful: that’s how some faculty and staff describe the work environment at the University of Louisville. [WDRB]

US Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl left his post in Afghanistan six years ago to express concerns with his unit’s leadership, an officer has testified. [BBC]

A case alleging that Pike County Circuit Judge Steven D. Combs violated ethics standards ended Monday with an agreement for Combs to be suspended without pay for six months. [H-L]

Seventy-three law enforcement agencies across the country will receive $20 million in federal grants to help them purchase and implement the use of body cameras, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Assistance announced Monday. [HuffPo]