Of Course Racism Is A Big Problem

In 2006, senators of the University of Kentucky’s student government passed a resolution to remove a mural in Memorial Hall that showed scenes of state history, including black workers in a tobacco field, black musicians playing for white dancers, and a Native American with a tomahawk. They told then-President Lee Todd that it was degrading to ethnic and racial groups. [H-L]

More than half of Americans know someone who has abused prescription painkillers or died from an overdose, or has taken these medications themselves to get high, as the opioid epidemic continues to spread, according to a new poll. [HuffPo]

The chief justice of the Kentucky Supreme Court has delayed until next week his decision on whether to remove Jefferson Circuit Judge Olu Stevens from all criminal cases. [C-J/AKN]

Six decades after the Brown v. Board of Education decision that determined that segregating white and black children is unconstitutional, American schools are drifting back toward racial segregation. [ThinkProgress]

With most of its Phase 1 expansion plans complete, the soon to be renamed Madison Airport board unveiled its Phase 2 plans Monday, including a new terminal building. [Richmond Register]

The state of Arkansas must record the names of both partners in a same-sex marriage on the birth certificates of their children, a judge ruled on Monday. [Reuters]

Drugs and addiction in the workplace are common in this area, Mike Wirzfeld, an occupational-medicine administrator at Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital told members of the Rotary Club of Ashland during a meetin Monday. [Ashland Independent]

Veteran European law enforcement officials, one of them Muslim, reflect on the roots of the Paris attacks, the tense aftermath and the debate about the effectiveness of counterterror forces. [ProPublica]

Oh, look, teevee lady has done another “investigation” that’s been done countless times. This time it’s a look at special deputies in Kentucky — something she learned about on Page One, according to her colleagues. Seems there’s a bunch of bad blood among those at WKYT. [WKYT]

About half of Americans, 49 percent, say that racism is “a big problem,” according to a new national poll conducted by CNN and the Kaiser Family Foundation. [The Hill]

The Tri-Cities was awarded the designation of Kentucky Trail Town at a ceremony held at the Betty Howard Memorial Coal Miner’s Theater in Benham on Monday. The designation is the culmination of several years of work on the part of the cities of Benham, Lynch and Cumberland. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

NPR’s Rachel Martin speaks with Anne Richard, Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration, about the screening process refugees go through before entering the United States. [NPR]

Students and citizens lined Chestnut Street on Monday to affirm their unity in the wake of racial and homophobic slurs and harassment directed toward Berea College students during homecoming weekend this month. [H-L]

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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]

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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]

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Mainstream Racist Freakout Continues

Kentucky legislators, who often call for greater transparency from the struggling state employee pension system, keep their own retirement accounts in a much better-financed system that publicly offers no information about itself. [John Cheves]

Pushing back against efforts to bar Syrian refugees from resettling in the U.S., President Barack Obama vowed Saturday that his country will be a welcoming place for millions fleeing violence around the world “as long as I’m president.” [HuffPo]

This story originally ran in late January. Twenty-one Syrian refugees will arrive in Louisville over the next two weeks, a figure expected to increase in Kentucky and beyond as the U.S. begins to take in an expanded number of refugees fleeing Syria’s bloody civil war. [C-J/AKN]

During the 1930s and early 1940s, the United States resisted accepting large numbers of Jewish refugees escaping the Nazi terror sweeping Europe, in large part because of fearmongering by a small but vocal crowd. They claimed that the refugees were communist or anarchist infiltrators intent on spreading revolution; that refugees were part of a global Jewish-capitalist conspiracy to take control of the United States from the inside; that the refugees were either Nazis in disguise or under the influence of Nazi agents sent to commit acts of sabotage; and that Jewish refugees were out to steal American jobs. Many rejected Jews simply because they weren’t Christian. [The Intercept]

No one thinks Butler’s switch is a surprise — his Democratic colleagues in Jefferson County have long considered him a Republican. State Rep. Denny Butler is the first Democrat to switch parties in the aftermath of Republican Gov.-elect Matt Bevin’s convincing win and in advance of the November 2016 state legislative races which could switch control of the House to Republicans for the first time since 1921. His switch might not be the last, but his decision was a surprise. [Richmond Register]

Donald Trump’s rhetoric since the Paris terrorist attacks appears to have helped him with GOP primary voters, according to most polls. But Republican insiders are concerned that his words could come back to haunt the party as it seeks to appeal to a broader audience. [The Hill]

If you’ve followed the Montgomery County saga, you’ll love reading about Jefferson County Public Schools violating open records laws. [The ‘Ville Voice]

As you’re pissing and moaning about veterans during a very real refugee crisis, remember what Republicans in Washington have and haven’t done. U.S. Senate Republicans blocked legislation on Thursday that would have expanded federal healthcare and education programs for veterans, saying the $24 billion bill would bust the budget. [Reuters]

Many have written in to ask for a synopsis of what went down with Jamie Comer during the primary. So here are two stories that will help you understand everything. [May 20, 2015 & October 1, 2015]

Two former advisers to Republican presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul (R-Cookie Tree) were re-indicted by a federal grand jury in Iowa Friday, just weeks after a criminal trial that produced a muddled result. [Politico]

More than 150 students staged a walkout protest Friday morning at East Carter High School over what they allege was the unfair dismissal of a substitute teacher. [Ashland Independent]

It is one of the central political puzzles of our time: Parts of the country that depend on the safety-net programs supported by Democrats are increasingly voting for Republicans who favor shredding that net. [ProPublica]

Matt Bevin said Friday he hopes to present to state lawmakers in the upcoming legislative session a plan to implement a 401(k)-style retirement plan for new state government employees. [H-L]

Several people attending a rally for Donald Trump in Birmingham, Alabama, physically assaulted an African-American protester on Saturday, witnesses said. [HuffPo]

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John Yarmuth Stands Against Xenophobia

There’s at least one person from Kentucky in Washington who isn’t a first-rate bigot:

“As we saw in Paris, the threat of terrorist attacks and radicalization of European nationals is a global security threat. We must continue to work with our allies to combat ISIS and other jihadists who seek to harm and kill innocent civilians. Here at home, the federal government needs to ensure that everyone entering the United States poses no threat to the American people.

“Today, I opposed a misguided bill that uses bureaucratic delays to shut down our Syrian and Iraqi refugee programs, while failing to provide any security improvements to our vetting process. I supported an alternative proposal that improves our vetting process for refugees from all countries with active terrorist networks, not just Syria and Iraq, increases Congressional oversight of these programs, and continues to help families fleeing horrific violence.

“We all saw the heartbreaking and tragic photo of a dead three-year old Syrian boy who had washed ashore in Turkey this past September. His mother and sister also died as they desperately tried to find safety in Greece. More than 70 children have drowned since that photo was taken. The war in Syria has killed at least 250,000 people, including more than 12,000 children. This is a humanitarian crisis.

“As we work to strengthen our security, our answer cannot be to abandon the innocent victims of the same terror we strive to defeat. Our nation was founded with the idea that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are inalienable rights, endowed, not by Congress, but by our creator. We became the wealthiest, most powerful nation the world has ever known as we welcomed the tired, hungry, and poor. These are the values that made us great, and in the face of terror, we cannot turn from them. We must hold them close or risk losing them forever. I’m proud to represent a city that has embraced those ideals, a city that celebrates its rich history of welcoming refugees from around the world. Today, I stand with the people of Louisville in refusing to turn my back on those in need.”

Unfortunately, the rest of the bunch — literally every member of the house and senate from Kentucky — are losing their minds over brown people who are being slaughtered.

Yet you wonder why Kentucky can’t have nice things.