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]

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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]

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]

On Bevin Killing Health Care For You…

As Democrats wring their hands over Jack Conway’s tremendous political failure, there’s this from the Herald-Leader:

Democrats never campaigned on what was hailed far and wide as Kentucky’s health-care success story. Conway made little effort to educate the public about the heavy costs of Kentucky’s high rates of disease and disability or the brighter future that awaits healthier workers and their state. Did you see a single ad in which Conway stood beside someone like the unemployed mechanic in Pikeville and said I will fight for your right to health care? Neither did we.

If anything, Conway and his fellow Democrats ran from their health-care successes because of the association with Obama.


Democrats can’t expect voters to pay attention to the issues when their own candidates shy away from showcasing the most crucial difference in an election.

It’s been the same thing for more than a decade. Always Republican-lite, never Democratic-center.

And when it came to anything related to President Barack Obama? OH GOD! SCARY BLACK MAN! RENOUNCE HIM!

Like the editorial suggests, people didn’t necessarily knowingly vote against their own interests. They voted on fear.

Just as Matt Bevin can’t comprehend that gay people aren’t trying to kidnap him and redecorate his house, there are still people who can’t comprehend that Obamacare and kynect are one and the same.

Fear works. Appealing to rural Kentucky’s xenophobia always works when there’s no one to wake folks up to reality.

If anyone doubts it, check any comment section anywhere the past week.

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]