Frankfort Democrats In Lock-Step w/Republicans On All Fronts

Kentucky lawmakers have proposed two marriage license forms, one designed for gay couples and another for straight couples. [H-L]

Donald Trump won New Hampshire with 35 percent of the vote on Tuesday, solidifying his place as the front-runner for the Republican 2016 presidential nomination when the party meets for its national convention in Ohio this summer. [HuffPo]

Meanwhile, in Louisville… Officials with the already financially strapped Waterfront Development Corp. fear they may not get the pledged $350,000 contribution from the third Gallopalooza program to help pay for putting special lighting on the Big Four Bridge. At the same time, they are trying to convince the General Assembly to restore more than $800,000 in state funding for the waterfront agency that was not included in the new budget that Gov. Matt Bevin recently announced. [C-J/AKN]

Attacks by “homegrown” Islamist extremists are among the most imminent security threats facing the United States in 2016, along with dangers posed overseas by Islamic State and cyber security concerns, the top U.S. intelligence official said on Tuesday. [Reuters]

Acceptance of an $83,400 bid to create a conference room, four offices and an enlarged break room on the upper floor of Richmond City Hall failed in a 2-2 vote Tuesday night. [Richmond Register]

Congressional Republicans are re-evaluating Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign. [The Hill]

The Ashland mayoral candidates showed voters at their first joint-speaking engagement they are running three highly different campaigns. [Ashland Independent]

The US Justice Department is suing Ferguson, Missouri to force the city to adopt police reforms negotiated with the federal government. [BBC]

Visitors to Cave Run Lake could see some big changes in recreation opportunities in the next few years. [The Morehead News]

Donors to the nonprofit group Crossroads GPS, founded by Republican strategist Karl Rove, no longer have to worry about their identities being disclosed. After a five-year wait, the IRS has approved the organization’s application for tax-exempt status. [ProPublica]

Metcalfe County magistrates have received word the county will receive enough state grant funds to cover the cost to clean two illegal dumps, and voted during their meeting Tuesday night to advertise for bids to clean the dumps, according to Vickie Stephens, county treasurer. [Glasgow Daily Times]

In the run-up to their big presidential campaign moments, the big media players in Iowa and New Hampshire gave voters a useful online feature, an interactive calendar that let them track where candidates were appearing in person. [Politico]

Former Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear says he is starting an advocacy group to oppose Republican Gov. Matt Bevin’s plans to dismantle kynect and scale back the state’s Medicaid expansion. [H-L]

In a memorable scene in “The Big Short,” the Oscar-nominated 2015 movie about the financial crisis, a real estate agent shows the main characters around a desolate Florida subdivision. [HuffPo]

Need cheap mobile phone service? Maybe even for a backup cell phone? I’m talking $6/mo cheap? Use our Ting referral code and we’ll all get a sweet credit. You get $25 — enough for a couple months of service to determine whether you like it. Both CDMA and GSM options. For worriers: no, you don’t get identified to us if you use our link… so please consider letting us know if you do! [Ting]

Another Rough Receipts Month In KY

January 2016 receipts are in for the Commonwealth and the spin machine beams are on high for the Bevin team. General Fund inreases are due to timing and deliberate holdovers, despite what they’ll tell you.

General Fund increased an alleged 9% to $903.9 million. Road Fund tumbled a whopping 14.5% to just $110 million.

Highlights:

  • Individual tax collects rose 24%, up 7.2% for the fiscal year
  • Sales & Use taxes increased 4.4%, up 5.9% for the calendar year
  • Corporate taxes dropped a monstrous 39.8%, up 3.2% for the fiscal year
  • Property taxes were flat, up 2.2% for the calendar year
  • Cancer stick taxes rose 12.1%, up 4.1% for the calendar year
  • Coal severance taxes fell another 37.3% to $8.9 million, the lowest monthly take in more than 20 years. Down 27.4% for the fiscal year.
  • Vehicle use dropped 2.7%
  • License & Privilege rose 1.1%

Click here (Warning: PDF Link) to review the entire report for yourself.

Pro-Pipeline Crowd Is Going Crazy Now

A legislative committee has bet on a longshot bill to provide tax relief for Kentucky’s horse industry. [H-L]

Sen. Turd Cruz (R-Turd) is out with a deceptive new mailer that masquerades as official government business and promises people there’s a “check enclosed” when it’s actually asking for money instead. [HuffPo]

The Kentucky Supreme Court has let an appeals court decision stand that only regulated utilities can use the power of eminent domain to get land for pipelines. [C-J/AKN]

The United States and India have held talks about conducting joint naval patrols that a U.S. defense official said could include the disputed South China Sea, a move that would likely anger Beijing, which claims most of the waterway. [Reuters]

On Feb. 2, Pine Branch Coal announced more than 150 employees will be laid off in April. Three Pine Branch sites are the focus of these layoffs, two of which are located in Perry County, with one operation located in Leslie County. [Hazard Herald]

A federal court had ordered the VA to reassess its policy denying Agent Orange benefits to Navy sailors who served in the Vietnam War. The VA’s conclusion: They still don’t qualify. [ProPublica]

Eliminating the Common Core standards from Kentucky’s educational accountability requirements may be the highest-profile provision of legislation currently before the state Senate, but some educators worry that the bill will marginalize programs in music, art, theater and dance because it all but eliminates them from the accountability process. [Ashland Independent]

A year and a half after it started spending money and time to screen welfare applicants for drug use, Tennessee still hasn’t found many poor people who are “getting all potted up on weed“. Out of 39,121 people who have applied for Families First in Tennessee benefits since the state instituted drug tests in mid-2014, just 65 have tested positive for narcotics. [ThinkProgress]

The Rowan County Board of Education at its last board meeting approved the 2016-17 school calendar. The first day for students is set for Thursday, Aug. 11. But a bill pending in the Kentucky Senate would push the start date back another two weeks. [The Morehead News]

How does it feel to give up your nationality, to renounce the country you were born in, potentially forfeiting the chance to ever return? [BBC]

Glasgow Independent Schools Board of Education held a regular board meeting Monday night at South Green Elementary. Site-based councils were also in attendance and discussed student achievement in their respective schools. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump on Wednesday retweeted a user named “WhiteGenocideTM” before deleting the message. [The Hill]

Although they are on different political sides, first lady Glenna Bevin and Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear announced Tuesday a statewide training program aimed at protecting Kentucky’s children from sexual abuse. [H-L]

A federal appeals court on Monday ruled it is not unconstitutional for law enforcement to set up a camera on a public utility pole and record a suspect’s moves for 10 weeks straight. [HuffPo]

Caucusing Seems Silly Without Rand

The federal government wants to get involved in a whistleblower lawsuit against Eastern Kentucky disability lawyer Eric C. Conn. [H-L]

New Hampshire Republican primary voters on Tuesday made official their choice for president of the United States: real estate mogul and reality television star Donald J. Trump. The businessman’s resounding victory amid a crowded field of more experienced and accomplished candidates is a stunning turn of events for a party that vowed just four years ago to be more inclusive to minorities after failing to unseat President Barack Obama in the bitter 2012 election. [HuffPo]

Look what’s happening in Louisville while Frankfort asshats try to kill internet expansion in the rest of the state. Google Fiber is making “very good progress” in assessing whether it can install a fiber-optics network in Louisville that would provide exceptionally quick Internet service, a top city official says. [C-J/AKN]

Tightening financial conditions and uncertainty over China pose risks to the U.S. recovery, but chances are slim the Federal Reserve would need to reverse the rate tightening cycle it began in December, Fed Chair Janet Yellen told U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday. [Reuters]

As the Republican Party of Kentucky gears up to organize its presidential caucus this year, many Kentuckians have a lot of questions, as several have never participated in such an event. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Most women said they are opposed to having to register for the draft in a new Rasmussen Reports poll. [The Hill]

Kentucky’s first-ever presidential nominating caucus will be held Saturday, March 5, and it will bring Republicans from three counties to Morehead to cast ballots for a share of the state’s delegates to the party’s national convention. [The Morehead News]

The American Red Cross has failed to answer a congressman’s questions about deep cuts the charity has made to staff and local offices. [ProPublica]

Frankfort is a bunch of backward-ass hillbillies who’ll believe anything they hear on Fox News, apparently. The rhetoric in the state House over how to proceed on a bill to cut off state funding for Planned Parenthood got heated Tuesday with one lawmaker saying their services are “from the pit of hell.” [Ronnie Ellis]

The most carbon-intensive way to travel is also the one way that has escaped any kind of emissions standards — until now. On Monday, the environmental committee of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) approved a new set of guidelines, but they will take more than a decade to be fully enforced. [ThinkProgress]

Looks like things aren’t going so well in Bullitt County and special deputies are still a dumb idea. Investigators say a former Bullitt County Special Deputy has ties to a Mexican Cartel. WDRB traveled to the center of drug operations to investigate how authorities caught up with him and the other local men tied to the investigation. [WDRB]

Biologists say they have solved the riddle of how a tiny bacterium senses light and moves towards it: the entire organism acts like an eyeball. [BBC]

The funding request for the Appalachian Regional Commission is the largest in more than three decades, according to its co-chairman. [H-L]

The National Rifle Association came under increasing pressure Tuesday to distance itself from longtime NRA board member Ted Nugent, after he posted photos of prominent Jewish Americans who he claimed were “really behind gun control.” [HuffPo]

Louisville Supe Opposes Accountability

Let us begin with the obvious: C.J. Labianca is a really smart guy — an alpha, Type A intellect. The Dunbar High School junior’s entry in the 2016 Kentucky American Water Science Fair was titled “Optimization of Beta in a Measure of Political Power in Social Networks.” [H-L]

Compassionate conservatism is back. Running on a message of civility, empathy and moral purpose in a race dominated by fear and race-baiting, Ohio Gov. John Kasich surged to a second-place finish Tuesday night in New Hampshire, becoming the latest in a long line of long-shot presidential candidates to use the Granite State’s famously unpredictable and independent-minded electorate to stake out a place in the primary contest. [HuffPo]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! The favorite charity of former Gov. Steve Beshear may be getting a big donation soon because of a recent opinion of the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance. [C-J/AKN]

Allies to Hillary Clinton say her presidential campaign’s problems boil down to a fundamental problem: messaging. [The Hill]

Jefferson County Public Schools superintendet Donna Hargens wants authority to hire principals without Site-Based Decision-Making council input. But we discovered Hargens has a terrible track record of hiring the worst of the worst when there’s no SBDM accountability. [The ‘Ville Voice]

Seven years after the United States banned waterboarding as an interrogation tactic, two Republican presidential candidates said on Saturday they would revive its use and one of them, billionaire businessman Donald Trump, would go even further. [Reuters]

Registered republicans in Harlan County may cast their vote via absentee ballot if unable to travel to the Republican Caucus in Hyden on March 5. [Harlan Dailiy Enterprise]

When Hillary Clinton spoke to Goldman Sachs executives and technology titans at a summit in Arizona in October of 2013, she spoke glowingly of the work the bank was doing raising capital and helping create jobs, according to people who saw her remarks. [Politico]

University presidents weren’t prepared for Gov. Matt Bevin’s proposed cuts to higher education, announced in his address to a joint session of the General Assembly two weeks ago — especially the 4.5 percent cuts he’s asking universities to enact in the current year. [Ronnie Ellis]

Over 200 million women and girls in 30 countries have experienced some form of genital mutilation, according to a new UNICEF report. And if current trends continue, the number of girls cut annually will continue to rise year over year, the U.N. says, since population growth is outstripping efforts to reduce the practice. [NPR]

The Glasgow-Barren County Tourist and Convention Commission is showing a 25 percent increase in its gross profit when comparing numbers for January 2015 with those reported for last month. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A former federal judge in Utah asked President Obama Tuesday to “swiftly” give clemency to Weldon Angelos, a man he sentenced to 55 years in prison in connection with selling marijuana. [WaPo]

Matt Bevin’s new insurance commissioner this week dropped Kentucky’s legal defense of a 2012 consumer-protection law intended to help life insurance beneficiaries. [John Cheves]

New Hampshire’s Democratic primary voters confirmed Tuesday that they do, in fact, want a self-described democratic socialist as their party’s presidential nominee. [HuffPo]

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]

Your Eyes Are Rolling At Little Rand

More than a dozen states have strengthened laws over the past two years to keep firearms out of the hands of domestic abusers, a rare area of consensus in the nation’s highly polarized debate over guns. [H-L]

U.S. employment gains slowed more than expected in January as the boost to hiring from unseasonably mild weather faded, but surging wages and an unemployment rate at an eight-year low suggested the labor market recovery remains firm. [HuffPo]

He fidgeted, chewed a fingernail and glanced at five pairs of children’s shoes piled by the door. The smell of Turkish coffee wafted from a tiny kitchen. The line kept ringing. [C-J/AKN]

There are so many things wrong with this story about Rand Paul’s demise that it’s almost hilarious. [Roll Call]

There are some subtle indications Republicans may be rethinking the wisdom of trying to make right-to work-an issue in this year’s legislative elections. [Ronnie Ellis]

The Pentagon’s fiscal 2017 budget will propose a $1 billion boost in spending on advanced training for the U.S. Air Force over the next five years, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Thursday. [Reuters]

Noting their excitement about “the energy that exists across campus,” Maribeth and Louis Berman, of Louisville, have pledged $1 million to Eastern Kentucky University to support a combination of academic and student-focused initiatives. [Richmond Register]

Just a reminder if you haven’t yet read this. How do you stop states and cities from forcing more disclosure of so-called dark money in politics? Get the debate to focus on an “average Joe,” not a wealthy person. Find examples of “inconsequential donation amounts.” Point out that naming donors would be a threat to “innocents,” including their children, families and co-workers. And never call it dark money. “Private giving” sounds better. [ProPublica]

A miniature satellite developed by Morehead State University’s Space Science Center could play a key role in sending a manned flight to Mars. [The Morehead News]

NPR’s Audie Cornish speaks with Matt Kibbe, senior advisor for Concerned American Voters, a superPAC supporting Rand Paul. He joins us to speak about the state of libertarians and where they will throw their support now that Rand Paul has suspended his presidential campaign. [NPR]

The coal industry is bracing for tougher rules in the next few months that are expected to slow production, cost thousands of mining jobs, and drain millions of dollars a year from the coffers of coal-dependent states including Kentucky and West Virginia. [Glasgow Daily Times]

From the Department of Things Ken Ham Wouldn’t Understand… The mystery of a deep-sea creature that resembles a discarded purple sock has been solved, scientists report. [BBC]

Just eight years ago, most of the domestic violence deaths in Louisville were from strangulation. Today, more than 71 percent are from guns. [H-L]

Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and aides to his successor, Condoleezza Rice, both received classified information a handful of times via personal email accounts, the top Democrat on a congressional oversight panel said on Thursday. [HuffPo]