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The 911 services throughout Kentucky are straining county budgets because of an outdated funding mechanism, county government representatives told state legislators on Wednesday.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

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]

Refugee Freakout Continues For Racists

Gov. Steve Beshear launched a program Monday to help Kentuckians move from a life of drug abuse and addiction to one of sobriety and productivity. [H-L]

Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Tuesday there was “no data” to support the notion that the national debate over the use of force by police has made the country less safe, an idea that has sometimes been referred to as the “Ferguson effect.” [HuffPo]

Just what Kentucky’s working poor need! Once they lose access to health care, they can pay more taxes for the crap that Greg Fischer and his rich daddy want to build and/or destroy. [C-J/AKN]

Five ways conservative media are exploiting the terrorist attacks in Paris to hype misinformation. [MMFA]

Here’s the latest column Greg Stumbo’s LRC staffers have written for him. In the late 1990s, Gov. Paul Patton rolled out a simple but effective campaign summarized by two words: “Education pays.” [Floyd County Times]

Refugees aren’t just slipping into the US. Screening takes two years, and it’s nearly impossible for people to pass. [Vox]

The situation is under investigation by the state department of corrections but the jailer says what happened is just another sign of how bad the drug situation is. [WKYT]

Confusing refugees with terrorists is morally unacceptable and, as a matter of strategy, misguided. [NY Times]

Copper thieves are responsible for a power outage that affected nearly 1,500 Kentucky Power customers in Pikeville Monday night, including the local hospital. [Hazard Herald]

Australia’s Carmichael coal mine project has been under major scrutiny by large conservation groups and prominent Australians for months. Now, progressive think tank the Australia Institute has found just how damaging the emissions from burning coal at the mine could really be. [ThinkProgress]

The Kentucky Auditor of Public Accounts Adam Edelen released the 2014 audit of the former Harlan County Sheriff Marvin Lipfird’s office on Friday. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

Fields along the Mississippi River Delta once gleamed white in the autumn with acre upon acre of cotton ready to be picked. But to see the decline of a cash crop once nicknamed “King Cotton” one need look no further than the 300 acres (121 hectares) that Michael Shelton farms in Clarksdale, Mississippi, about 75 miles (120 km) down river from Memphis. [Reuters]

A new mobile activity center that will educate students about agriculture will be on the road to eastern Kentucky after the first of the year. [H-L]

Astronomers have spotted what they believe is the most distant object in the solar system — a dwarf planet floating some 9.5 billion miles from the sun. [HuffPo]

Harmon Likely To Buckle Under The Pressure?

The 66 percent of Owsley County that gets health coverage through Medicaid now must reconcile itself with the 70 percent that voted for Republican Governor-elect Matt Bevin, who pledged to cut the state’s Medicaid program and close the state-run Kynect health insurance exchange. The community’s largest-circulation newspaper, the Three Forks Tradition in Beattyville, did not say much about Kynect ahead of the election. Instead, its editorials roasted Obama and Hillary Clinton, gay marriage, Islam, “liberal race peddlers,” “liberal media,” black criminals and “the radical Black Lives Matter movement.” [John Cheves]

Rand Paul (R-Cookie Tree) has consistently voiced his disapproval of President Barack Obama’s foreign policy decisions, but on Thursday his criticism went a step further, implying the president is an “idiot” for how he’s handled U.S. involvement in the Syrian conflict during an Iowa campaign stop. [HuffPo]

Auditor-elect Mike Harmon said he will continue to push on the issue of untested rape kits, adopting a priority of outgoing state Auditor Adam Edelen, when he is sworn in in January. [C-J/AKN]

Global stocks are set for a short-term sell-off on Monday after Islamist militants launched coordinated attacks across Paris that killed 129 people, but few strategists expect a prolonged economic impact or change in prevailing market directions. [Reuters]

Kentucky Chamber of Commerce President Dave Adkisson says he’s at odds with Governor-elect Matt Bevin over dismantling Kentucky’s health care exchange. [WFPL]

Maybe Democrats avoiding saying “Islam” because they’re not backward-ass bigots? [Politico]

It may have come a little late, but outgoing Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear on Friday made a passionate defense of his decision to expand Medicaid and offer a state-run health exchange, programs Republican Gov.-elect Matt Bevin promised on the campaign trail to dismantle. [Ronnie Ellis]

For the first time, doctors have breached the human brain’s protective layer to deliver cancer-fighting drugs. [BBC]

The process of getting an interim judge appointed to fill the seat of District Judge John T. Alexander, who is moving to circuit court effective Dec. 2, is on hold until a member of the nominating commission can be replaced. The delay is due to the discovery that one of the nominating commission members is ineligible to serve. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The U.S. Supreme Court is once again entering the debate over abortion. The court said Friday that it will hear arguments later this term testing the constitutionality of a sweeping Texas abortion law that, if upheld, would allow the kind of major abortion restrictions not permitted in more than 40 years. [NPR]

During a Madison County School Board of Education meeting Thursday evening, Chair John Lackey announced that he would like to see the district “phase out” middle school contact sports. [Richmond Register]

Maybe Republican Matt Bevin isn’t going to burn down Frankfort after all. Nah, he’ll be just another Republican cut from the cloth of Ernie Fletcher. Rather, cut from the cloth of the Ernie Fletcher staffers who ended up getting half of Fletcher’s administration INDICTED! [Roll Call]

Nope, Matt Bevin isn’t going to care about conservation any time soon. You can put lipstick on a pig bug it’s still a pig. [H-L]

About three-quarters of the Earth’s surface is covered with water. But how did it get there? While some scientists believe water was delivered by icy space rocks smashing into the planet after it was formed, others have argued that water has been on Earth since its formation — and new research indicates they might be right. [HuffPo]

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Morehead Is Seriously Over Kim Davis

More than $3 million has been awarded to provide heroin and prescription drug abuse treatment for Kentucky jail inmates and for an injectable treatment designed to prevent relapse as offenders leave custody. [H-L]

Top Republicans’ growing support for privatization of the Department of Veterans Affairs health care system is frightening some veterans groups. [HuffPo]

An estimated 20,000 undocumented residents in Kentucky were left in limbo this week after a federal appeals court upheld an injunction on President Obama’s executive action meant to shield millions from deportation. [C-J/AKN]

U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon ordered the NSA to immediately stop vacuuming up domestic telephone records on Monday, writing that “the loss of constitutional freedoms for even one day is significant harm.” But the order was limited to one plaintiff in the case: a California lawyer and his law firm. [The Intercept]

If each U.S. state were its own country, Kentucky would have the seventh-highest incarceration rate in the world, according to a recent analysis by the Prison Policy Initiative. [WFPL]

Surprise! Bloated, wealthy Republican refusing to have a conversation about race. [The Hill]

Progress is finally being made on two long-delayed county road/bridge repair projects. The Madison Fiscal Court meeting in Berea on Tuesday morning approved an agreement to accept $200,000 in state discretionary funds to redo work on a portion of Old Wilderness Trail done about two years ago that did not “hold up.” [Richmond Register]

Thousands of protesters took to the streets across the U.S. on Tuesday to demand a $15-an-hour minimum wage and union rights for fast food workers, a campaign intended to attract support from national political candidates ahead of the 2016 elections. [Reuters]

Members of the Grayson City Council met Tuesday night to further discuss the option of the city creating a smoke-free workplace environment. [Ashland Independent]

For at least one sergeant in the U.S. military, this year’s Veterans Day may take on more significance than any other day to commemorate military service members. [ThinkProgress]

Wondering how the hometown paper of Kim Davis is covering her shenanigans these days? Just barely. Because Morehead is not Kim Davis. Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis has been denied an appeal to reverse rulings made by U. S. District Judge David L. Bunning after she refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. [The Morehead News]

Donald Trump has defended his hardline stance on immigration, a day after it was attacked by fellow Republican presidential candidates on national TV. [BBC]

The image that went viral last month of rapper Macklemore sleeping with his infant daughter next to him made Dr. Susan Pollack cringe. [H-L]

The G20 countries spend almost four times as much to prop up fossil fuel production as they do to subsidize renewable energy, calling into question their commitment to halting climate change, a think tank said on Thursday. [HuffPo]

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All Eyes On Appalachia As Stivers Embarrasses, Abandons His Suffering Constituents

Construction on a Noah’s Ark attraction in northern Kentucky is sailing along, and the builders say they’re ready to announce an opening date. [H-L]

The prevailing view that addiction is a disease, just like depression or diabetes, is wrong, according to a leading neuroscientist. Marc Lewis, the author of Memoirs of an Addicted Brain and The Biology of Desire, insists that addiction is not a disease and that presenting it as such is harmful. [HuffPo]

Oh, man, Dan Johnson really let Jack Conway have it in his letter to the editor. [C-J/AKN]

America’s poorest white town: abandoned by coal, swallowed by drugs. In the first of a series of dispatches from the US’s poorest communities, we visit Beattyville, Kentucky, blighted by a lack of jobs and addiction to ‘hillbilly heroin’. [The Guardian]

Gov.-elect Matt Bevin’s pledge to scale back the Medicaid expansion and dismantle Kynect, Kentucky’s award-winning health insurance exchange, has caused concern among health clinics. [Business First]

Senate Republicans are divided over how far to go with an ObamaCare repeal bill that they plan to send to the president’s desk by year’s end. [The Hill]

Bob Stivers, one of the most gluttonous hypocrites in Frankfort, represents one of Kentucky’s poorest regions. So here he is advocating FOR killing health care by claiming the savings will help shore up the troubled pension system. Still wondering why his staff have slowly abandoned him over the past few years? Now you know. [CN|Toot]

The advertisement portrays the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as a roomful of bureaucratic automatons mercilessly stamping “DENIED” on loan applications, beneath Soviet-style banners depicting CFPB’s director, Richard Cordray, and its principal architect, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. But the ad does not disclose that the group sponsoring it is led by lobbyists for Navient, a student loan company that the CFPB is currently investigating for allegedly cheating student loan borrowers. [The Intercept]

Kentucky’s latest quarterly coal report shows new recent lows in the state’s coal employment and production. During the third quarter of 2015, Kentucky’s mines employed only 9,356 workers — a more than 50 percent decline from this quarter in 2011. Coal production is also at the lowest point since the 1960s. [WFPL]

David Bass, who served 21 years in the U.S. Army, says he tried medical marijuana in a moment of desperation. He suffered from chronic pain and PTSD as a result of multiple active duty tours in Iraq, and his doctor at the VA gave him intense narcotic and psychotropic drugs. [ThinkProgress]

The Glasgow-Barren County Tourist and Convention Commission became one of two tourist commissions that have agreed to help fund the salary of an administrative assistant who will help with the development of a master plan to connect area trails. [Glasgow Daily Times]

At the end of June, ProPublica and The Virginian-Pilot kicked off an investigation into the potential effects of Agent Orange on the children and grandchildren of Vietnam War-era veterans. [ProPublica]

As Fox Business News was cutting away to commercial almost an hour into Tuesday night’s Republican debate, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul could be seen walking toward the moderators. [H-L]

Undercover video recorded by an animal rights activist at one of the largest U.S. pork producers appears to show pigs being beaten and dragged across the slaughterhouse floor as workers cheer and throw blood-soaked towels at one another. [HuffPo]

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