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]

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]