Schools, Money & Trump Racism Fun

The Fayette County school board voted Monday to hire national auditors to review school district operations at the request of Superintendent Manny Caulk. [H-L]

Here’s one more indication that American teachers work really, really hard — and don’t make nearly enough. An analysis released Tuesday by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development looks at the state of education around the world, examining everything from intergenerational mobility in education to graduation rates to teacher pay. [HuffPo]

While Kentucky’s two U.S. senators are trying to throw a political wrench into a major world summit on climate change, at least several of the state’s residents plan to carry messages of cooperation and environmental protection to the gathering in France. [C-J/AKN]

Allegations are mounting that senior intelligence officials at Central Command not only skewed findings on the ISIS war to please D.C., but tried to hide what they did. [TDB]

The waiting game continues after four full days of deliberation, as jurors have yet to reach a verdict in the criminal trial of former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship. [Richmond Register]

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump is not backing down from his claim that “thousands of people” in Arab communities in New Jersey were cheering on 9/11. Trump defended himself by telling an NBC News reporter that he has “the world’s greatest memory” and everybody knows that. [The Hill]

Rand Paul, R-Cookie Tree, said after a town hall at the Highlands Museum and Discovery Center he is in conversations with the CEO of AK Steel about how to keep hundreds of jobs at Ashland Works afloat. [Ashland Independent]

PEE ALERT! Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump’s campaign warned the party on Tuesday about donors pooling funds for attack ads, saying the party must treat him fairly to keep him from launching an independent bid. [Reuters]

Keeping public money in public schools is one of five priorities of Kentucky school district superintendents, according to a report C.D. Morton presented Thursday during a meeting of the Harlan Independent Board of Education. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

Current and former government officials have been pointing to the terror attacks in Paris as justification for mass surveillance programs. CIA Director John Brennan accused privacy advocates of “hand-wringing” that has made “our ability collectively internationally to find these terrorists much more challenging.” Former National Security Agency and CIA director Michael Hayden said, “In the wake of Paris, a big stack of metadata doesn’t seem to be the scariest thing in the room.” [ProPublica]

A chair commemorating military service members who have been prisoners of war, missing in action or killed in action was officially dedicated to become part of Glasgow City Council’s chambers in Glasgow City Hall on Monday evening. [Glasgow Daily Times]

America has just lived through another presidential campaign week dominated by Donald Trump’s racist lies. Here’s a partial list of false statements: The United States is about to take in 250,000 Syrian refugees; African-Americans are responsible for most white homicides; and during the 9/11 attacks, “thousands and thousands” of people in an unnamed “Arab” community in New Jersey “were cheering as that building was coming down.” [NY Times]

A federal judge has denied a request to block hearings on whether hundreds of Eastern Kentucky residents will keep federal disability benefits. [H-L]

Triatomine bugs, known more commonly as “kissing bugs,” have been found in North Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The bug is native to the southern United States, South America, Central America and Mexico, and can carry a parasite called Trypanosoma cruzi that causes the potentially deadly Chagas disease. [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) [Ting]

Poor Kentuckians Will Suffer Under Bevin

Fayette County School District officials say they have found the student responsible for a graffiti threat left in a bathroom at Edythe J. Hayes Middle School. [H-L]

One Middle East catastrophe apparently wasn’t enough for some supporters of the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq. So they’ve continued to try to shape policy relating to the region, offering punditry in the wake of each fresh crisis. [HuffPo]

Traveling around rural Clay County, Jennifer Gates seeks out people in need of health coverage. There are plenty of them. From the homeless veteran under a bridge to the low-paid school cafeteria cook, Gates helps them find health coverage through kynect, Kentucky’s version of the Affordable Care Act. [C-J/AKN]

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on Sunday said Donald Trump’s claim that scores of Arab-Americans cheered as the Twin Towers fell on 9/11 is unsubstantiated. [The Hill]

Members of the Housing Authority of Glasgow’s board of directors were scheduled to approve flat rent increases for the 2016 fiscal year, but action on the issue was tabled, once again. [Glasgow Daily Times]

South America’s vast Amazon region harbors one of the world’s most diverse collection of tree species, but more than half may be at risk for extinction due to ongoing deforestation to clear land for farming, ranching and other purposes, scientists say. [Reuters]

For the 16th holiday season, a local musician is helping provide for those less fortunate. Eddie Riffe organized his first food drive in 1999, when he asked those who visited the AMVETS in Ashland to donate nonperishable foods when they came to hear him perform. [Ashland Independent]

Alberta’s carbon footprint, spurred on by the tar sands industry, has been steadily growing in recent years. So when the New Democratic Party took power in a surprise victory earlier this year, environmentalists hoped it signaled a turning point for Canada’s largest oil-producing province. [ThinkProgress]

Just a little over a year ago, it was “space and shelves,” but no food was stored there. Now, the Colonel’s Cupboard helps feed the one in five Eastern Kentucky University college students who admitted to food insecurity in a study conducted just last year. [Richmond Register]

The ex-GOP House Benghazi Committee investigator who accused the panel of conducting a partisan witch hunt against Hillary Clinton filed suit Monday against the committee and Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) for wrongful termination and defamation. [Politico]

Big news in the hometown of small-minded bigot Kim Davis. A tanker carrying powder used to make concrete overturned on I-64 in Rowan County Monday morning. [The Morehead News]

A US air strike aimed at an IS checkpoint is likely to have killed four civilians, possibly including a child, the US military has said. [BBC]

What the hell is in the water in Lexington to make everyone — from the people still bickering about the election to self-hating Jim Gray — so terrible lately? [H-L]

Donald Trump approves of the way his supporters responded to a Black Lives Matter protester, reportedly beating him during a Saturday rally in Birmingham, Alabama. [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) [Ting]

KDP’s Arms Flailing, Sinking, Lost Again

The American Civil Liberties Union says a Kentucky county clerk’s office should reissue altered marriage licenses even though the governor has promised to recognize them as valid. [H-L]

In the lead-up to Thursday’s House vote for tightening restrictions on Syrian refugees seeking entry into the United States, senior Democrats warned fellow members that they faced a massive backlash next fall if they didn’t support the bill. [HuffPo]

Dawn has barely broken, and Melanie Lowe is already in a hurry. She’s on her way to court. A familiar route, timed to the minute. Jericho Road to avoid the train. Burks Branch to skip the lights. She scarfs a protein bar and dials a colleague. No, she can’t cover for another public defender in juvenile court. Too many cases. [C-J/AKN]

Basically, Democrats don’t have a chance now that Matt Jones has realized it’d be dumb to run for congress. [Roll Call]

Guess he learned from weed in Ohio and maybe from the last dozen times he’s tried gambling bills. Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo pre-filed legislation that, if passed, would ensure that no business could acquire more than one horse-racing license except under special circumstances in Kentucky. [WMKY]

First-hand accounts like this won’t deter pandering bigots like Rand Paul and Matt Bevin. Until last year, I was one of 4.3 million people at the mercy of the legal immigration system, waiting for the chance to stay in the U.S. for good. [BuzzFeed]

Republican Gov.-elect Matt Bevin told a statewide gathering of county officials the crisis in state pension systems requires immediate attention and the solution will have to come from the general fund at the expense of other spending needs. [Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump tweeted a series of inaccurate murder statistics from the “Crime Statistics Bureau — San Francisco.” The bureau doesn’t exist and the statistics were fabricated. [ThinkProgress]

Steve Riley, one of two Republicans who have voiced their intent to be candidates for the 23rd District Kentucky House of Representatives seat, said he’s been interested in politics for a long time, but it wasn’t “the right thing” for him to be part of it before now. [Glasgow Daily Times]

When it comes to terrorism, more Americans trust Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton than the top Republican candidates in the field, according to the latest results of an ABC News/Washington Post survey released Monday. But among those who worry most about terrorism, Donald Trump is the preferred candidate. [Politico]

It took six tries but Rowan Fiscal Court on Tuesday finally passed a longevity pay scale for full-time county employees. [The Morehead News]

This Turtleman charade is certainly embarrassing for Kentucky. But it’s not as dumb as the handful of New Yorkers that constantly scream about it every chance they get in an attempt to shame Kentuckians in some bitter, vengeful rage. A Kentucky farmer has accused Animal Planet of setting a fire, damming a creek, chopping down trees, and illegally trespassing and building structures on his property during the production of the reality TV show Call of the Wildman. [Mother Jones]

Terrorist attacks like the one in Paris make me fear for America’s future. I don’t fear the terrorists so much as the reaction they prompt among America’s fearmongers and the people who listen to them. Their actions are capable of doing far more damage to this country than jihadists could ever accomplish. [Tom Eblen]

Weather-related disasters such as floods and heatwaves have occurred almost daily in the past decade, almost twice as often as two decades ago, with Asia being the hardest hit region, a U.N. report said on Monday. [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) [Ting]

Kentucky Leaders Embarrass Thinking People

They took time to write about all this but are still ignoring the dozens of scandals in Montgomery County. Powell County Superintendent Michael Tate said Saturday that school district officials contacted Kentucky State Police after investigating allegations of inappropriate conduct by members of Powell County High School’s boys basketball team. [H-L]

Rand Paul’s (R-Racist Cookie Tree) tough proposals aimed at limiting the admission of refugees in the wake of the Paris terror attacks are disappointing libertarian opinion leaders, days after a presidential debate performance in which he appeared to return to his independent roots. [HuffPo]

Wasn’t this news a few weeks back? An evangelist who organized rallies in support of Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis is planning to run for the state House of Representatives against Democratic House Majority Leader Rocky Adkins. [C-J/AKN]

We’re looking at you, Rand Paul, and the rest of the bigoted cowards this state sends to Washington. Acutely aware of the consequences to Jews who were unable to flee Nazism, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum looks with concern upon the current refugee crisis. While recognizing that security concerns must be fully addressed, we should not turn our backs on the thousands of legitimate refugees. [United States Holocaust Memorial Museum]

The Barren County School district took another step toward breaking ground on the long-awaited Red Cross Elementary School renovation at Wednesday’s special-called Board of Education and Barren County School District Finance Corp. meeting. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Billionaire Donald Trump continues to dominate the polls and drive the debate in the Republican presidential nomination, staying a step ahead of his competitors on the issues of immigration, border security and the Syrian refugee crisis. [BBC]

The Boyd County Fiscal Court spent three hours in closed session trying to “fine tune” an agreement regarding future operations of the embattled Big Run Landfill. [Ashland Independent]

As President Obama tries to save his plan to shield some five million people from deportation, immigration activists have been marching and planning more demonstrations to support him. [NPR]

A racially-motivated threat found in a Madison Central High School boys’ bathroom stall Thursday has many parents upset, not so much because of the threat’s contents, but because they were not notified. [Richmond Register]

In recent days, presidential candidates and even the American Medical Association have griped about rising drug prices, pointing to brand-name blockbusters with splashy ad campaigns. [ProPublica]

The Rowan County Board of Education Tuesday discussed a plan to make changes to the district’s bullying policy. The changes deal primarily with cyber-bullying or harassment via social media and the Internet, hazing, and other forms of harassment. [The Morehead News]

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Still Has No Health Care Alternative) is making a bull rush at the conservatives running for president who are withholding support from an ObamaCare repeal package that they feel doesn’t go far enough. [The Hill]

Fayette County had a higher rate of children living in foster care from 2012 to 2014 than the state rate, according to child well-being rankings released recently by Kentucky Youth Advocates. [H-L]

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson said Saturday that he wants to expand the government’s surveillance operations aimed at potential terrorist threats, even beyond tracking American Muslims as rivalDonald Trump has suggested. [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) [Ting]

Puppies & Rainbows At Retirement Systems

Couples from Rowan County, Kentucky today filed a brief in U.S. District Court supporting their prior assertion that the Rowan County clerk’s office failed to comply with orders directing deputy clerks to issue marriage licenses without interference by Clerk Kim Davis. [ACLU]

The debate on whether some Kentucky school districts start the school year too early is playing out in Scott County. [H-L]

The Environmental Protection Agency proposed tougher new limits on Tuesday on smokestack emissions from nearly two dozen states that burden downwind areas with air pollution from power plants they can’t control. [HuffPo]

Kentucky’s largest retirement plan for state workers faced more declines in funding over the past year even as the state continues to pump additional money into the system. [C-J/AKN]

There’s a scientific consensus that by 2050, the United States can expect to see an increase in flooding, heat waves, droughts and wildfires due to climate change. Now, scientists at Climate Central and ICF International have produced the first Preparedness Report Card for the United States, highlighting how states are preparing for the projected disasters. Spoiler alert: Kentucky is ill-prepared. [Vocativ]

A member of the band “Survivor” has sued Mike Huckabee’s presidential campaign for allegedly violating the copyright of the 1980s’ hit, “Eye of the Tiger.” A lawsuit filed in Chicago federal court Wednesday says the Republican’s campaign played it at a Kentucky rally for a county clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The song that featured in the movie “Rocky III” played as Kim Davis departed jail with the former Arkansas governor. [WKYT]

The American Medical Association on Tuesday called for a ban on advertising prescription drugs and medical devices directly to consumers, saying the ads drive patients to demand expensive treatments over less costly ones that are also effective. [Reuters]

Kentucky State Troopers and Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Officers will help brighten the holiday season for families in need this year through the sixth annual Cram The Cruiser food drive, which begins Friday and continues through Dec. 11. [Richmond Register]

Before a SWAT team stormed a tenement in the Belgian city of Verviers in January, police used listening devices to monitor their targets inside: Belgian jihadis who had returned from Syria to attack a local police station in the name of the Islamic State. [ProPublica]

Even though candidates couldn’t officially file until last week, the U.S. presidential election has been in full swing for months, with some candidates already having dropped from the race. Kentuckians should be aware, however, that that’s not going to be the only race on their 2016 ballots. Certain legislative seats at the local, state and national levels will be up for grabs as well, and next November will bring some school board elections, too. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Starting a new job is always tough — no matter the profession. But the first year for a new teacher can be brutal. [NPR]

The big news in the hometown of Kim Davis? A church is changing its name. [The Morehead News]

Mosques in the US and Canada have experienced an increase in vandalism and threats since the Paris attacks, say campaigners. [BBC]

Berea College issued a statement Wednesday in response to incidents in which racial and homophobic slurs were allegedly directed to students over the past homecoming weekend. [H-L]

Payday loan sharks strike again. Every good idea in American politics eventually becomes a vehicle for corporate lobbying. [HuffPo]

Berea: Bright Spot In Darkness Of Delusion

Yesterday, 218 colleges and universities signed the American Campuses on Climate Pledge:

“As institutions of higher education, we applaud the progress already made to promote clean energy and climate action as we seek a comprehensive, ambitious agreement at the upcoming United Nations Climate Negotiations in Paris. We recognize the urgent need to act now to avoid irreversible costs to our global community’s economic prosperity and public health and are optimistic that world leaders will reach an agreement to secure a transition to a low carbon future. Today our school pledges to accelerate the transition to low-carbon energy while enhancing sustainable and resilient practices across our campus.”

The White House (yes, corrupt Montgomery County buttcramps, we’re on the press list) sent out a list of those institutions and there’s but a single school from Kentucky with sense enough to take part — Berea College.

Here’s the list:

  1. Agnes Scott College
  2. American University
  3. Antioch University of New England
  4. Appalachian State University
  5. Auburn University
  6. Augsburg College
  7. Ball State University
  8. Bard College
  9. Bay de Noc Community College
  10. Bentley University
  11. Berea College
  12. Bergen Community College
  13. Boston Architectural College
  14. Boston University
  15. Bowdoin College
  16. Bowie State University
  17. Brandeis University
  18. Bristol Community College
  19. Brown University
  20. California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
  21. California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
  22. California State University Maritime Academy
  23. California State University San Marcos
  24. California State University, Bakersfield
  25. California State University, Channel Islands
  26. California State University, Chico
  27. California State University, Dominguez Hills
  28. California State University, East Bay
  29. California State University, Fresno
  30. California State University, Fullerton
  31. California State University, Long Beach
  32. California State University, Los Angeles
  33. California State University, Monterey Bay
  34. California State University, Northridge
  35. California State University, Sacramento
  36. California State University, San Bernardino
  37. California State University, Stanislaus
  38. Carnegie Mellon University
  39. Cedar Valley College
  40. Central Community College
  41. Chesapeake College
  42. Claflin University
  43. Clark Atlanta University
  44. Clarkson University
  45. Cleveland State University
  46. Colgate University
  47. College of Lake County
  48. Colorado State University
  49. Columbia University
  50. Coppin State University
  51. Cornell University
  52. Cuyahoga Community College
  53. Dartmouth College
  54. Denison University
  55. DePaul University
  56. Desert Research Institute
  57. Dickinson College
  58. Duke University
  59. Eastern Connecticut University
  60. Emory & Henry College
  61. Estrella Mountain Community College
  62. Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT)
  63. Florida A&M University
  64. Florida Climate Institute (FCI)
  65. Florida International University
  66. Frostburg State University
  67. Furman University
  68. Gateway Technical College
  69. George Mason University
  70. George Washington University
  71. Georgetown University
  72. Goshen College
  73. Goucher College
  74. Governors State University
  75. Hampshire College
  76. Harvard University
  77. Harvey Mudd College
  78. Haskell Indian Nations University
  79. Haverford College
  80. Howard University
  81. Humboldt State University (CSU)
  82. Iowa State University
  83. John Carroll University
  84. Johns Hopkins University
  85. Kaua’i Community College
  86. Kent State University
  87. Lane Community College
  88. Lasell College
  89. Lewis and Clark College
  90. Macalester College
  91. Maricopa County Community College District
  92. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  93. Middlebury University
  94. Michigan State University
  95. Millersville University
  96. Missouri University of Science and Technology
  97. Montgomery County Community College
  98. Morehouse College
  99. New York University
  100. Northeast Lakeview College (Alamo)
  101. NorthWest Arkansas Community College
  102. Northwest Vista College (Alamo)
  103. Northwestern University
  104. North Lake College
  105. Norwalk Community College
  106. Oberlin College
  107. Onondaga Community College
  108. Pacific University
  109. Palo Alto College (Alamo)
  110. Paradise Valley Community College
  111. Paul Smith’s College
  112. Pitzer College
  113. Pomona College
  114. Portland State University
  115. Princeton University
  116. Quinebaug Valley Community College
  117. Radford University
  118. Ramapo College of New Jersey
  119. Randolph College
  120. Raritan Valley Community College
  121. Rochester Institute of Technology
  122. Rutgers University
  123. Salisbury University
  124. San Antonio College (Alamo)
  125. San Diego State University (CSU)
  126. San Francisco State University (CSU)
  127. San Jose State University (CSU)
  128. Santa Clara University
  129. School of International Training
  130. School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  131. Scottsdale Community College
  132. Shaw University
  133. Smith College
  134. Sonoma State University (CSU)
  135. Southern Connecticut State University
  136. Spelman College
  137. St. Phillip’s College (Alamo)
  138. Stanford University
  139. Stonehill College
  140. SUNY Albany
  141. SUNY Binghamton
  142. SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
  143. SUNY Cortland
  144. SUNY Empire State College
  145. SUNY Oswego
  146. SUNY Polytechnic Institute
  147. SUNY Sullivan
  148. SUNY University at Buffalo
  149. SUNY Upstate Medical
  150. Swarthmore College
  151. Syracuse University
  152. Temple University
  153. The New School
  154. The Ohio State University
  155. Towson University
  156. Tufts University
  157. Tulane University
  158. Unity College
  159. Universities at Shady Grove
  160. University of Alaska – Southeast
  161. University of Arizona
  162. University of Baltimore
  163. University of California, Berkeley
  164. University of California, Davis
  165. University of California, Irvine
  166. University of California, Los Angeles
  167. University of California, Merced
  168. University of California, Riverside
  169. University of California, San Diego
  170. University of California, San Francisco
  171. University of California, Santa Barbara
  172. University of California, Santa Cruz
  173. University of Colorado
  174. University of Connecticut
  175. University of Delaware
  176. University of Hawaii – Kauai Community College
  177. University of Hawaii – Hawai’I Community College
  178. University of Hawaii – Hilo
  179. University of Hawaii – Honolulu Community College
  180. University of Hawaii – Kapi’olani Community College
  181. University of Hawaii – Leeward Community College
  182. University of Hawaii – Manoa
  183. University of Hawaii – Maui Community College
  184. University of Hawaii – West O’ahu
  185. University of Hawaii – Windward Community College
  186. University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign
  187. University of Maryland – Eastern Shore
  188. University of Maryland Center for Environmental Sciences
  189. University of Maryland University College
  190. University of Maryland, Baltimore County
  191. University of Maryland, College Park
  192. University of Massachusetts – Amherst
  193. University of Michigan
  194. University of Minnesota
  195. University of Minnesota, Morris
  196. University of Mississippi
  197. University of Nevada, Reno
  198. University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  199. University of New Hampshire
  200. University of North Carolina Wilmington
  201. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  202. University of Northern Iowa (UNI)
  203. University of Notre Dame
  204. University of Pennsylvania
  205. University of San Francisco
  206. University of Washington
  207. University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point
  208. Vassar College
  209. Vermont Law School
  210. Villanova University
  211. Wake Technical Community College
  212. Wells College
  213. Wesleyan College
  214. Wesleyan University
  215. Western Technical College
  216. Willamette University
  217. Williams College
  218. Yale University

Way to go, Kentucky. You’ve done it again.

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]