Everybody Has A Sad For Rand Paul

Rand Paul (R-Cookie Tree) of Kentucky dropped out of the 2016 presidential race Wednesday after a fifth-place finish in the Iowa Republican caucus two days earlier. [H-L]

Justice Clarence Thomas will soon celebrate 10 years of not speaking during oral arguments at the Supreme Court. [HuffPo]

Woo, let’s gamble ouselves to failure! A bipartisan group of state senators called on Tuesday morning for expanded gambling in Kentucky to support Kentucky’s retirement systems. [C-J/AKN]

Rand Paul (R-Cookie Tree) is suspending his campaign and dropping out of the presidential race. [The Hill]

If you missed it, some disgusting stuff has gone on in Shelby County for several years. But legal action has been taken to hold people accountable for atrocious animal abuse and torture. [Page One]

U.S. armed forces leaders said on Tuesday that women should be required to register for the military draft, along with men, as the military moves toward integrating them fully into combat positions. [Reuters]

health
You can’t fix stupid in Frankfort. The State Senate voted to defund Planned Parenthood. Because the entire body is filled with mouth-breathers who believe everything that scares them on Fox News. [WFPL]

“But unlike Bill Murray’s character…Republican leaders are either willfully ignorant or intentionally wasting everyone’s time.” [ThinkProgress]

The Healthy Choices, Healthy Communities coalition is requesting the assistance of community residence in determining the region’s most pressing health concerns. [Ashland Independent]

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (R-Cookie Tree) is suspending his campaign for president after a disappointing finish in Iowa, turning his focus now to his Senate re-election bid. [NPR]

Police found a methamphetamine pipe inside a breakfast biscuit after stopping a car at the Berea Walmart for excessive window tint on Thursday. [Richmond Register]

Indigenous tribes, timber firms and environmental groups in western Canada have welcomed a deal to protect one of the world’s largest remaining tracts of temperate rainforest. [BBC]

This might be one of the most terrifying Groundhog Day-related things we’ve ever seen. [H-L]

Real estate mogul Donald Trump accused Ted Cruz of fraud on Wednesday, claiming the Texas senator “stole” the Iowa caucuses and arguing that “either a new election should take place or Cruz results nullified.” [HuffPo]

Ashland Leads The Way On EKY Health

Kentucky Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt says that if Gov. Matt Bevin’s proposed budget is approved by the General Assembly, the Department of Education will face $72 million in reductions over the next two years. [H-L]

More than a few curiosities, oddities and abnormalities arose when presidential campaigns and super PACs filed their 2015 end-of-year campaign finance disclosures Sunday night. [HuffPo]

As Planned Parenthood turns 100, officials with the regional branch met with reporters Monday to reaffirm their commitment to serving Kentucky and Indiana amid a controversy over its proposed abortion services. [C-J/AKN]

The chairman of Iowa’s Democratic party is declaring Hillary Clinton the caucus winner, despite the razor-slim margin separating her from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). [The Hill]

Ruh ro, there’s a whole buncha drama in Morehead these days! Tensions were high for a portion of Friday’s special called work session of Morehead City Council. [The Morehead News]

Attorneys for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump are trying to stop Elizabeth Mae Davidson, the woman accusing the Trump campaign of gender discrimination, from speaking publicly about her allegations. [ThinkProgress]

Legislation that would prohibit the General Assembly from diverting state lottery funds away from Kentucky’s need- and merit-based scholarship programs has cleared a House committee. [Press Release]

Bernie Sanders’ campaign plane departed from Des Moines amid uncertainty over who exactly won the Iowa caucuses, but it didn’t matter to the candidate or his staff. [Politico]

Cave Country Trails Initiative board of directors discussed at their meeting Thursday night upcoming workshops that will take place in surrounding communities. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Astronomers have discovered the largest known solar system, consisting of a large planet that takes nearly a million years to orbit its star. [BBC]

Ashland is once again leading on the health care front in Eastern Kentucky. The Ashland-Boyd County Health Department is planning a needle-exchange program to prevent the further spread of Hepatitis C in the area, epidemiologist Kristy Bolen said. [Ashland Independent]

Companies and scientists are racing to create a Zika vaccine as concern grows over the mosquito-borne virus that has been linked to severe birth defects and is spreading quickly through the Americas. [Reuters]

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin wants state colleges and universities to produce more electrical engineers and less French literature scholars. [H-L]

The FBI is joining a U.S. investigation into Flint, Michigan’s water contamination crisis, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit said on Tuesday. [HuffPo]

GE Sale Has Louisville A Bit Anxious

More than 17,000 Kentucky food stamp recipients in eight counties must begin part-time work, education or volunteer activities in order to keep their benefits under a requirement reinstated this month. [H-L]

After Mitt Romney’s resounding defeat in the 2012 presidential election, the Republican National Committee commissioned a 97-page report that laid out “a path forward for the Republican Party to ensure success in winning more elections.” It sounded great. But its drafters probably didn’t envision that the GOP’s “path forward” would involve its 2016 presidential front-runner arguing in a nationally televised debate that its second-place contender is ineligible to serve as president. [HuffPo]

Papaw Beshear’s back at Stites in Lexington. They even sent out a fancy press release about it. [C-J/AKN & Press Release]

President Barack Obama has vigorously defended his legacy while striking an optimistic note for America’s future in his final State of the Union address. [BBC]

Litigation surrounding the license for a Corbin quarter horse racing track continues after an injunction hearing scheduled for Tuesday was postponed. [Richmond Register]

The conservative state of Texas has for years scaled back its pollution laws as it sought to keep a business-friendly atmosphere, all to the dismay of environmentalists. Now, two environmental groups are pushing back against the state. [ThinkProgress]

The longer jackasses fawn over Kim Davis, the longer Kentucky looks stupid. [WKYT]

The Obama administration on Friday said it would announce the next steps in its planned overhaul of how the United States manages coal development on federal land, which sources have said includes freezing new leases. [Reuters]

Things in Bowling Green apparently suck so badly that people are making pipe bombs. [BGDN]

The United States has spent nearly half a billion dollars and five years developing Afghanistan’s oil, gas and minerals industries — and has little to show for it, a government watchdog reported. [ProPublica]

This is a sad, frustrating situation no matter how you look at it. [WAVE3]

Obama administration officials are set to announce plans Friday to overhaul the program that allows private companies to mine coal on federal land. [The Hill]

Prompted by new federal regulations, the state’s two largest utility companies are closing several storage ponds that collect the coal ash burned by power plants. [H-L]

General Electric Co agreed to sell its appliances business to China’s Qingdao Haier Co Ltd for $5.4 billion in cash, the companies said on Friday. The move comes weeks after GE abandoned a $3.3 billion deal with Sweden’s Electrolux following months of opposition from U.S. antitrust regulators. [HuffPo]

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Your Evening Dept Of Awful Wingnuts

It wasn’t where he was supposed to be Monday morning. He was supposed to be in Frankfort, being sworn in to a second term as the state auditor and a few weeks into his campaign against U.S. Sen. Rand Paul. [H-L]

Just in case you needed yet another reason to roll your eyes at those Oregon wingnut racists. [HuffPo]

Everything is so corrupt in West Buechel that they’ve started some kind of watchdog organization. [C-J/AKN]

At 14, Deshaun Becton’s life is a roadmap to California’s faltering efforts to care for its most troubled children. [ProPublica]

Typically the first day of a General Assembly is marked by expressions of goodwill and ceremony. But the 2016 session is like no other in recent years. [Ronnie Ellis]

On September 5, 2013, The Guardian, The New York Times and ProPublica jointly reported – based on documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden – that the National Security Agency (NSA) had compromised some of the encryption that is most commonly used to secure internet transactions. [The Intercept]

A foreclosure case involving Land of Tomorrow Productions LLC, the company that owns the Funtown Mountain property in Cave City, is moving forward, according to action taken during Barren Circuit Court on Monday morning. [Glasgow Daily Times]

China, the largest coal producer in the world, won’t be approving new mines for the next three years as it grapples with alarming pollution and pursues other energy sources, including nuclear plants. [ThinkProgress]

If you are a high school sophomore student seeking to develop your leadership and entrepreneurial skills or an eighth-grade middle school student interested in math, science and technology, The Center for Rural Development wants to hear from you. [Harlan Daily Independent]

The Paris agreement to curb climate change calls for a dramatic shift away from fossil fuels and the greenhouse gasses they emit, especially carbon dioxide. [NPR]

Kentuckians’ views on a statewide smoking ban have remained virtually unchanged since 2013, with the vast majority of residents supporting the measure, a new poll shows. [WFPL]

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. [Ting]

Betting on Thoroughbred racing rose 1.18 percent in 2015, amounting to a $125 million increase to almost $10.7 billion in wagering in the U.S. for the year. [H-L]

President Barack Obama issued another impassioned plea on Tuesday for Congress to take action to curb gun violence, shedding tears as he recalled the 2012 Newtown school massacre. And wingnuts mocked him for showing emotion. [HuffPo]

Bevin Scrooges The Poor More Today

In 1970, a female couple filed a lawsuit in Louisville that may have been a precursor of the 2015 Supreme Court decision to strike down the limitations on gay marriage. [H-L]

Crystal Patterson didn’t have the cash or assets to post $150,000 bail and get out of jail after her arrest for assault in October. So Patterson, 39, promised to pay a bail bonds company $15,000 plus interest to put up the $150,000 bail for her, allowing to go home and care for her invalid grandmother. [HuffPo]

Like two current members of the Kentucky House of Representatives, former State Rep. Bob Damron also recently left the Democratic Party to join the GOP. Spoiler alert: He wants to vote for Donald Trump. Aaaaand… he wants to run for office again so he can sweeten his pension. He’s just trying to appeal to the lowest common denominator so he can win. Which is tough to do, after getting beat by a con artist. [C-J/AKN]

Open data has contributed to dramatic improvements in a wide array of fields over the past few decades, affecting how we look at astronomy, genetics, climate change, sports and more. But until recently, crime has gone without the open analysis prevalent in other fields because crime data has been closely held by law enforcement agencies and has usually only been released in bulk at monthly, quarterly or annual intervals. [FiveThirtyEight]

“We’re afraid that with the implementation of a plan like the Indiana plan, we will see a reduction in the number of those who have Medicaid coverage and an increase in the number of uninsured and an increase in the uncompensated care that we provide,” Wagner said. [WFPL]

The Kentucky attorney general’s office has issued an opinion stating that the state racing commission cannot delegate rule-making authority to private companies like racetracks, putting in jeopardy a plan by Keeneland to write races in which the race-day administration of the regulated medication Lasix would be prohibited. The Kentucky attorney general, Jack Conway, is the son of a racing commissioner, Thomas Conway, who has supported race-day Lasix use. Jack Conway is leaving office in January, to be replaced by Andy Beshear, the son of Steve Beshear, who said in a recent speech that he supports restrictions on medication use. [DRF]

It is a doggone shame, but 15 poor pups at the Madison County Animal Shelter may not get to see the new year. [Richmond Register]

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders lambasted the Federal Reserve on Wednesday as an institution that has been “hijacked by the very bankers it regulates” and called for banning bank executives from regional Fed governing boards. [Reuters]

Last week it was sticking it to the gays, killing minimum wage, revoking voting rights. Yesterday it was privatization of education and handing everything over to the Christian Taliban Televangelists. Today it’s killing Medicaid. Great holiday season in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. [Press Releases]

A US man who says he was wrongly accused of attacking a woman has walked free after 28 years in jail. [BBC]

James Gould, formerly of Morehead, has entered the 2016 Republican primary for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Rand Paul. So that should be fun. And by fun, we mean horribly embarrassing. [The Morehead News]

Several years ago, Capital One gave Oscar Parsons, 46, his first credit card. At the time, he didn’t need a loan. But he banked at a Capital One branch near his Bronx apartment, and when it was offered, he thought, “Why not?” [ProPublica]

Another Kentucky state lawmaker is switching from the Democratic Party to the GOP, further boosting the Republican Party’s mission to take control of the only Southern legislative chamber still run by Democrats. [H-L]

The National Catholic Reporter has named two of the men at the heart of the Supreme Court’s landmark same-sex marriage case its “persons of the year.” Greg Bourke and Michael DeLeon were two of the several dozen plaintiffs in the case Obergefell v. Hodges. In June, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of these couples and legalized marriage equality nationwide. [HuffPo]

Your support is crucial if you want to see us continue. While other media outlets ignore scandals like those in Montgomery County, we’re shining the bright lights of transparency on issues that directly impact you across the Commonwealth. Love us or hate us, we’re putting in the time and effort to spend years reporting on issues from the pension crisis to government-sanctioned animal cruelty to educational corruption and we get real results. [Help Us!]

Everybody’s Really Mad At Jim Gooch

Among the senators running for president, Rand Paul has the best attendance in 2015, voting 94 percent of the time. But that doesn’t mean the Kentucky Republican has been particularly chatty on the floor. [H-L]

Leaders of the church-based Sanctuary Movement vowed on Friday to offer their places of worship as refuge for immigrants facing deportation under an Obama administration crackdown on Central American families who entered the United States illegally. [HuffPo]

Media in Louisville is crapping its pants over this. Calls from customers who said they were shoved or knocked down during a Saturday night disturbance at the Mall St. Matthews started filtering into the St. Matthews Police Department early Sunday morning, while officers continued to investigate what exactly caused up to 2,000 people – mostly juveniles – to start fights that forced the mall to close early. [C-J/AKN]

From the Department of Things Ken Ham Pretends Not To Understand… The nearly intact fossil of a 4-million-year old whale has been unearthed at a construction site in Santa Cruz County. Discovered well above sea level, the bones made their way to the mountains through the shifting of tectonic plates. [Gizmodo]

When then-Gov. Steve Beshear signed the new heroin bill into law in late March, there were smiles all around. Money was soon to flow to help addicts, laws were getting tougher on dealers, first responders were freed up to save more overdose victims and needle exchanges became possible. But despite the relatively rapid disbursement of $5 million in new funding since then, heroin use is still climbing according to the most recent statistics available. [Cincinnasti.com]

The Republican Party is divided over whether to attack the science of climate change when opposing liberal policies. [The Hill]

A Lexington couple is trying to raise thousands of dollars for a way to help their eight-year-old son. Jo and Donnie Grayson’s son, Thatcher, has autism. As he gets older, they worry more about him. [WKYT]

Canadian gaming company Amaya Inc has been ordered by a Kentucky court to pay $870 million in penalties to cover alleged losses by the state’s residents who played real-money poker on PokerStars’ website between 2006 and 2011. [Reuters]

Kentucky’s award-winning advertising campaign for Kynect, the state health insurance exchange, has ended. [Business First]

A key congressman who sits on a committee that oversees the American Red Cross is pressing the group’s chief executive for information about how layoffs and other cuts have affected its ability to respond to disasters. [ProPublica]

A state lawmaker wants to require state public works contractors to have a majority of their employees be Kentucky residents. [WFPL]

Rand Paul was thought by many to be a top contender for the Republican presidential nomination. He’s not. What happened to the “libertarian moment” he was supposed to lead? [BBC]

America’s newest family of Syrian refugees flew in late at night, and Sarhan Aldobai, 36, looked down from the plane at the distant lights of his new home. His wife was nursing their baby in the next seat. His five other children had fallen asleep. Sarhan took out the small world map he had carried since leaving Syria in 2012 and tried to trace the plane’s path. [H-L]

The seven children had just crossed the river, shoes still caked with mud, when U.S. Border Patrol agents stopped them. [HuffPo]

Your support is crucial if you want to see us continue. While other media outlets ignore scandals like those in Montgomery County, we’re shining the bright lights of transparency on issues that directly impact you across the Commonwealth. Love us or hate us, we’re putting in the time and effort to spend years reporting on issues from the pension crisis to government-sanctioned animal cruelty to educational corruption and we get real results. [Help Us!]

Fearmonger Governor Says Fearmonger Things

If you’re looking for tidings of comfort and joy this Christmas season, you won’t get any from the Republicans running for president. The 12 men and one woman vying for the GOP nomination seem to be trying their best to scare us. And in doing so, they’re giving terrorists exactly what they want. [Tom Eblen]

In the wake of a school shooting in Oregon this fall, it briefly appeared that Congress was willing to reconsider its two-decade ban on the use of taxpayer dollars to research the health impact of gun violence. [HuffPo]

Things can get worse for Kentucky Democrats but, quite frankly, it’s hard to see how. The party has been on tilt since the Nov. 3 election when Matt Bevin upset Jack Conway to become governor of Kentucky. And this week saw the party’s free fall accelerate as it saw its ever so-slight advantage in the House become even less stable. [C-J/AKN]

In the wake of a series of humiliating cyberattacks, the imperative in Congress and the White House to do something — anything — in the name of improving cybersecurity was powerful. But only the most cynical observers thought the results would be this bad. The legislation the House passed on Friday morning is a thinly disguised surveillance bill that would give companies pathways they don’t need to share user data related to cyberthreats with the government — while allowing the government to use that information for any purpose, with almost no privacy protections. [The Intercept]

ICYMI: Matt Bevin took false equivalency to new levels this weekend when he used the sad situation in Johnson County to try to justify his special brand of Islamophobia. Unity and respect? Not so much. Empty words. [Page One]

If you thought the US government’s ability to spy on its citizens had languished of late, think again. [Gizmodo]

A local boy received honors from the North Shore Animal League for his work to promote adoption of unwanted animals. [Ashland Independent]

Ayman al-Sanabani beamed as he entered his family’s home on his wedding day. He was greeting his new bride, Gamila, who was in a bedroom surrounded by friends. Ayman sat beside her for several minutes, receiving warm words of congratulations. It would be the young couple’s first and only encounter as husband and wife. [PRI]

Local, state and federal legislators were invited to attend a luncheon on Wednesday hosted by the Caveland Marketing Association at the Cave City Convention Center to hear about a new project, the Cave Country Trails Initiative, that will connect 11 communities in Barren, Edmonson, Hart and Warren counties, one national park and two state parks via hiking, biking, horseback riding and other trails. [Glasgow Daily Times]

U.S. Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton backed elements of President Barack Obama’s strategy to fight Islamic State militants in a debate on Saturday in which she clashed with top rival Bernie Sanders over national security and the economy. [Reuters]

Kentucky had its lowest incidence rate involving all employer-reported workplace injury and illnesses since the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics began recording the data in 1996. [Richmond Register]

Hillary Clinton largely looked past her Democratic rivals in Saturday night’s debate, instead repeatedly assailing the Republican field, led by Donald J. Trump. She called Mr. Trump a threat to the nation’s safety, saying he was fast “becoming ISIS’ best recruiter.” [NY Times]

A group of poker players say they — and not the state of Kentucky — should have a cut or all of a potential multimillion-dollar judgment against online gambling sites. [H-L]

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton went after Donald Trump during the Democratic presidential debate Saturday night, saying he is hurting the U.S. fight against terrorism with his anti-Muslim rhetoric. [HuffPo]

Your support is crucial if you want to see us continue. While other media outlets ignore scandals like those in Montgomery County, we’re shining the bright lights of transparency on issues that directly impact you across the Commonwealth. Love us or hate us, we’re putting in the time and effort to spend years reporting on issues from the pension crisis to government-sanctioned animal cruelty to educational corruption and we get real results. [Help Us!]