Your Eyes Are Rolling At Little Rand

More than a dozen states have strengthened laws over the past two years to keep firearms out of the hands of domestic abusers, a rare area of consensus in the nation’s highly polarized debate over guns. [H-L]

U.S. employment gains slowed more than expected in January as the boost to hiring from unseasonably mild weather faded, but surging wages and an unemployment rate at an eight-year low suggested the labor market recovery remains firm. [HuffPo]

He fidgeted, chewed a fingernail and glanced at five pairs of children’s shoes piled by the door. The smell of Turkish coffee wafted from a tiny kitchen. The line kept ringing. [C-J/AKN]

There are so many things wrong with this story about Rand Paul’s demise that it’s almost hilarious. [Roll Call]

There are some subtle indications Republicans may be rethinking the wisdom of trying to make right-to work-an issue in this year’s legislative elections. [Ronnie Ellis]

The Pentagon’s fiscal 2017 budget will propose a $1 billion boost in spending on advanced training for the U.S. Air Force over the next five years, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Thursday. [Reuters]

Noting their excitement about “the energy that exists across campus,” Maribeth and Louis Berman, of Louisville, have pledged $1 million to Eastern Kentucky University to support a combination of academic and student-focused initiatives. [Richmond Register]

Just a reminder if you haven’t yet read this. How do you stop states and cities from forcing more disclosure of so-called dark money in politics? Get the debate to focus on an “average Joe,” not a wealthy person. Find examples of “inconsequential donation amounts.” Point out that naming donors would be a threat to “innocents,” including their children, families and co-workers. And never call it dark money. “Private giving” sounds better. [ProPublica]

A miniature satellite developed by Morehead State University’s Space Science Center could play a key role in sending a manned flight to Mars. [The Morehead News]

NPR’s Audie Cornish speaks with Matt Kibbe, senior advisor for Concerned American Voters, a superPAC supporting Rand Paul. He joins us to speak about the state of libertarians and where they will throw their support now that Rand Paul has suspended his presidential campaign. [NPR]

The coal industry is bracing for tougher rules in the next few months that are expected to slow production, cost thousands of mining jobs, and drain millions of dollars a year from the coffers of coal-dependent states including Kentucky and West Virginia. [Glasgow Daily Times]

From the Department of Things Ken Ham Wouldn’t Understand… The mystery of a deep-sea creature that resembles a discarded purple sock has been solved, scientists report. [BBC]

Just eight years ago, most of the domestic violence deaths in Louisville were from strangulation. Today, more than 71 percent are from guns. [H-L]

Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and aides to his successor, Condoleezza Rice, both received classified information a handful of times via personal email accounts, the top Democrat on a congressional oversight panel said on Thursday. [HuffPo]

Adam Edelen: Calm Down, Beyonce!

Will Jim Gray beat Rand Paul? Probably not with his current team that consists almost entirely of Conway people. Stranger things have happened, though. [H-L]

When Diana Andino first started researching medical school — something she had been working toward for years — she hit a brick wall. [HuffPo]

A religious group building a massive Noah’s Ark tourist attraction in Kentucky has won a legal battle over the state’s withdrawal of a potential tax incentive worth millions. [C-J/AKN]

Of all things for Adam Edelen to attack, he chose to hit Rand Paul on foreign policy. That may be the only thing most Democrats can stomach from Paul. He’s also wrong about sexual orientation. Anti-gay discrimination is alive and well in Kentucky. Hell, the Kentucky Democratic Party runs so quickly away from the gays that it’s alarming. We can all agree that Rand Paul (R-Cookie Tree) is a delusional troll. But Adam Edelen needs to check his straight, white, male privilege once in a while before spouting off in another sweaty rant. [Roll Call]

State Veterinarian Robert C. Stout has re-enacted restrictions on bird sales and movement in Kentucky to protect Kentucky’s poultry industry and bird population from the avian influenza outbreak in southern Indiana that federal officials announced on Friday. [Richmond Register]

For a variety of reasons, the nomination of Donald Trump would probably not be in the best interest of the Republican Party. [Nate Silver]

SURPRISE! Johnny Bell, sexual harasser extraordinaire, has finally gotten the hint. [Ronnie Ellis]

A federal appeals court upheld the government’s new coal dust exposure rule for coal miners Monday, rejecting industry challenges to it. [The Hill]

As if people in Eastern Kentucky aren’t taxed enough. Rowan Fiscal Court could be looking at raising the occupational tax by a half percent to help pay for the new Rowan County Detention Center. [The Morehead News]

Wall Street edged higher on Tuesday morning, driven by strong earnings reports and recovering oil prices, ahead of the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting and Apple’s results. [Reuters]

Glasgow City Attorney Rich Alexander, in a letter responding to a complaint from the Glasgow Daily Times, said he incorrectly relied upon an exemption of the Open Records Act as grounds for closing a portion of a police sergeant’s disciplinary hearing last Monday. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The Supreme Court rescued an administration-supported rule that promotes electricity conservation, handing a big victory to environmentalists and President Barack Obama. [Politico]

Barbara Kleine, director of Kentucky Refugee Ministries’ office, points to a to-do list on the wall of her office: It’s a couple of feet long and takes a minimum of 18 months to accomplish. Printed on it is every permit, form and check that refugees must pass on their way to becoming settled in a new home. [H-L]

Six years ago, the Supreme Court issued its ruling in Citizens United vs. FEC. It is not a happy anniversary. I remember waiting for the ruling and opening it up on my computer: when I finally read it, I didn’t want to believe that the Court had gone as far as it had and been so careless with our democracy. [HuffPo]

Louisville: Once Again Murder Central

A Wisconsin organization is still looking for a Wilmore citizen to act as a plaintiff willing to sue to remove a cross from a city-owned water tower. No lawsuit has been filed since the Freedom From Religion Foundation of Madison, Wis., first raised the issue in late September. [H-L]

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday issued the first decision in a series of class action cases this term that are widely viewed as attempts by business interests to shut the courthouse door to consumers and everyday plaintiffs. [HuffPo]

Wednesday evening violence has left three dead in Louisville. [C-J/AKN]

The father of Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul said on Wednesday that it’s “realistic” that Donald Trump will be the GOP nominee. [The Hill]

UK HealthCare and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center have finalized an agreement to partner for pediatric heart care and other services. A Letter of Intent (LOI) for a partnership was announced between the two health care systems in September. [Richmond Register]

President Barack Obama pledged to offer support for the drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan on Wednesday and environmental regulators were set to provide Congress with information about their role. [Reuters]

With bitter cold temperatures, snow and other weather emergency situations on the horizon, Joanne Dunfee of the Grayson Emergency Management Agency wants everyone to be informed and have the latest information. [Ashland Independent]

Republican Party elders in Congress have nothing but nice things to say about Marco Rubio, but the Florida senator is encountering a nagging problem — they’re not ready to coalesce around him as the man to stop Donald Trump or Ted Cruz from marching to the nomination. [Politico]

Demolition at the site of the future Rowan County Detention Center continues and architectural drawings for the new facility are getting closer to completion. [The Morehead News]

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tried to reassure the World Economic Forum that his country’s economy is strong, despite low oil prices. [BBC]

Barren County Jailer Matt Mutter announced to the county’s fiscal court the Barren County Detention Center is in the beginning stages of having a garden program at the jail. [Glasgow Daily Times]

As the issue of immigration — legal or otherwise — gains traction in the 2016 presidential race, there’s more evidence that illegal immigration is not only declining, but it’s been on a decade-long downward trend. [NPR]

Memo from home to Sen. Rand Paul: Be careful what you wish for. [H-L]

Ted Cruz may wind up becoming Donald Trump’s greatest weapon. [HuffPo]

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Stay Safe During The Snowpocalypse!

Matt Bevin is asking state workers for their input on his budget plan. So he can promptly ignore their concerns. [H-L]

Vice President Joe Biden got visibly heated while discussing the importance of LGBT rights on Wednesday. [HuffPo]

Louisville has been dealing with this stupid mess for years. The JBS pork processing plant in Butchertown stepped out in front by agreeing to make sure all trucks using its large parking lot be equipped with California-compliant refrigeration units that limit soot and other toxic exhaust from burning diesel fuel. [C-J/AKN]

A BBC journalist with dual British-Iranian nationality has been prevented from flying to the US after falling foul of changes to visa rules. [BBC]

White ones, black ones, polkadot or pink ones, the Dressing Room doesn’t care, just as long as they can help residents in need. [Ashland Independent]

Big spending by campaigns and super PACs has clearly not translated into front-runner status for either Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio, according to the latest data on cumulative advertising buys. [Politico]

Glasgow Mayor Dick Doty said he will decide by the end of business Friday whether to sustain the recommendation of the police chief he hired last year and fire a Glasgow Police Department sergeant who is charged with several administrative violations, all related to a seminude photo and text message exchange between two other officers that were later sent to him. [Glasgow Daily Times]

While Amnesty’s latest report doesn’t necessarily rule out the Peshmerga as reliable allies, it might cast a gray cloud over American’s political pandering. [ThinkProgress]

Just a reminder of what Julie Raque Adams has been doing to poor women in Kentucky. While she flits about Frankfort talking about how great she is for wealthy, Republican women? Poor people are suffering as a direct consequense of her imposing her antiquated religious beliefs on the Commonwealth. [Page One]

Attorney General Loretta Lynch defended President Obama’s recent executive actions on guns Wednesday in the face of fierce Republican criticism. [The Hill]

Kentucky’s state parks are offering assistance during the winter storm to people who may be stranded or otherwise need lodging. [WKYT & Press Releases]

Demonstrators from the Black Lives Matter movement interrupted the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ meeting on Wednesday, protesting the killing of a Chicago teenager by police and the lead-tainted water supply of Flint, Michigan. [Reuters]

Senate Democrats on Wednesday blocked a bill that would crack down on Syrian and Iraqi refugees coming to the U.S. as the debate turned into a referendum on Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and his policies. [H-L]

From the Department of Things Ken Ham Wouldn’t Understand… Researchers are now pretty certain there’s a ninth planet in the solar system. [HuffPo]

Mining Gets Back To Killing In KY

The Republican-controlled state Senate has approved a bill that requires a woman to have a face-to-face meeting with a doctor before having an abortion. [H-L]

Rand Paul (R-Cookie Tree), still disappointed at being left off the main stage at last week’s GOP presidential debate, expressed disapproval of polling criteria during a campaign stop at a barbershop on Monday afternoon. [HuffPo]

How much money do lobbyists make? More than you can imagine. [C-J/AKN]

The federal budget deficit is expected to increase this year for the first time since 2009, according to estimates released Tuesday. [The Hill]

A mining accident has taken the life of a Hopkins County miner. Kentucky Office of Mine Safety officials say 36 year-old Nathan G. Phillips was operating a continuous miner when he became pinned between the machinery and the rib wall of the mine. He was transported to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead. [Press Release]

Last year looks like it was an unwelcome watershed for the embattled U.S. coal industry. Power companies in 2015 for the first time may have burned more natural gas than coal to generate electricity, according to analysts who attribute it to the cheapest gas prices in 16 years and a record number of coal-fired plants retired from service because of the high cost of meeting environmental regulations. [Reuters]

A county in central Kentucky is poised to consider a zoning change that could affect a massive multi-state pipeline project. [WFPL]

Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) considers deporting Latino undocumented immigrants to be a “blessing” to Latin America because skilled immigrants could “save” their native countries. [ThinkProgress]

Judge-Executive Walter Blevins said one of the biggest differences in his new job and being a state legislator is that running the county’s top office is a lot like running a business. [The Morehead News]

Welcome to a 2016 Republican presidential primary unlike any other. A crowded field, angry electorate and uncharacteristically divided establishment, not to mention the wild-card role of super PACs, have already made this nominating contest more frenzied and unpredictable than its recent predecessors. [Politico]

Mina “Mike” Kalfas wanted nothing more than to practice family medicine in Northern Kentucky where he grew up. But then he got called in to help fill a vacancy at the drug and alcohol treatment center next door. [Richmond Register]

Speaking before a crowd of more than 11,000 students and locals at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, Donald Trump made no mention of Texas Senator Ted Cruz. [BBC]

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray spent much of his sixth state of the city address Tuesday on job growth, economic development and Lexington’s robust finances. [H-L]

Wall Street moved deep into the red in volatile trading on Wednesday, extending this year’s selloff as oil prices continued to plummet unabated. [HuffPo]

Ramsey Disaster Continues: Day 82938

If you need one more motivation to exercise, eat right and maintain a healthy weight, consider the obesity and cancer link. [H-L]

The nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization, Human Rights Campaign, endorsed Hillary Clinton for president on Tuesday. [HuffPo]

Jim Ramsey can’t stop being an epic disaster. University of Louisville President James Ramsey contradicted the position of the university’s board of trustees in announcing last week that he agrees with Gov. Matt Bevin that the board has too few minority members – and that the last three appointments to it should be declared “null and void.” [C-J/AKN]

The main reason Trump is leading national polls is because he dominates the white non-college world. [NPR]

The yearly audit of the City of Morehead revealed no financial irregularities or significant accounting problems, according to Kelley Galloway Smith Goolsby, PSC. [The Morehead News]

Candidates for the Democratic race for the White House have clashed on gun control and healthcare in their liveliest TV debate so far. [BBC]

After seeing a near average growth rate in health insurance premiums the last few years, Kentuckians saw a 12 percent jump in 2014. [Richmond Register]

In a recent round of interviews, Charles Koch, the billionaire industrialist and political patron, has been stressing that he only recently became involved in politics. [Politico]

Ashland’s 2015 fiscal year confirmed city government made more money than it spent for a third straight year ­— something Mayor Chuck Charles stated earlier this month. [Ashland Independent]

Mitch McConnell (R-Grandmother) is pressuring Democrats ahead of a procedural vote Wednesday on legislation freezing the acceptance of refugees from Syria and Iraq. [The Hill]

Metcalfe County magistrates took care of a few housekeeping items when they met earlier [last] week. [Glasgow Daily Times]

One European country can’t seem to stop breaking records when it comes to wind power. [ThinkProgress]

A woman died of hypothermia early Monday in Laurel County after she walked away from an assisted living facility in London. [H-L]

Or in Kentucky, it’s the Democrats who want to do this. [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. Both CDMA and GSM options. For worriers: no, you don’t get identified to us if you use our link… so please consider letting us know if you do! [Ting]