Bevin’s Already Harming Education In KY

Really, there aren’t more pressing educational issues to tackle instead of pandering in an election year? A Kentucky Republican state senator from London has introduced a bill that he said could have prevented biblical references from being cut from a presentation of A Charlie Brown Christmas at a Johnson County elementary school. [H-L]

French President Francois Hollande has declared what he called “a state of economic emergency” and says it’s time to redefine France’s economic and social model. [HuffPo]

The Bevin administration has shut down an advanced battery research and development center in Lexington that involved cooperation between the University of Kentucky, University of Louisville and a big federal energy lab and automakers. [C-J/AKN]

A federal judge on Tuesday ruled President Obama cannot use executive privilege to keep records on the “fast and furious” gun-tracking program from Congress. [The Hill]

Police departments across Kentucky began outfitting officers with body cameras last year, but don’t expect state troopers to join their ranks anytime soon. [WFPL]

Puerto Rico, struggling to make its debt payments, outlined an increase in its financing gap on Monday, saying it now projects a $16.06 billion hole to fill, cumulatively, over the next five years, an increase of $2.1 billion from a September projection. [Reuters]

The brother of former Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway will be back in court for a domestic violence charge. [WHAS11]

A Senate subcommittee is looking at waste by a Pentagon task force. It would do well to review the reasons why a major hydroelectric power plant sits unfinished. [ProPublica]

For years there have been calls for more transparency in Kentucky’s retirement systems, especially the system for lawmakers. [Ronnie Ellis]

As state lawmakers consider a medical marijuana bill in Georgia, the measure is getting support from an unexpected source: a conservative Republican state representative. [ThinkProgress]

There are monumental and historic reasons to march on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but to the crowd who gathered at Union Chuch on Monday despite frigid temperatures, there were modern reasons as well. [Richmond Register]

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Tuesday blasted the Republican field for their rhetoric on destroying the Islamic State. [Politico]

Parent Maggie Draus is concerned about the news that Lexington’s Cassidy Elementary School is one of several in Fayette County likely to get portable classrooms in the fall because of overcrowding. [H-L]

China’s economic growth edged down to 6.8 percent in the final quarter of 2015 as trade and consumer spending weakened, dragging full-year growth to its lowest in 25 years. [HuffPo]

A Small Jack Conway Reality Check

Hezekiah Boone spent month after month after month in jail. Apparently because Jack Conway’s office pressed for him to be investigated/arrested/jailed. That’s about the only thing you can assume now that the case against Boone has been dropped. Right? Because there’s no way the prosecutor’s gonna let a guilty man go free. They have too much integrity. Right?

Matt Conway, though… He’s allegedly beaten how many women? At least two that have played out in the media. And had his brother kill an LMPD drug investigation. While essentially getting a free pass because his family has money and connections.

Kentucky has so many questions.

Senate Republicans Think It’s Still 1935

Do you trust racist wingnuts to handle education? Senate Republicans unveiled their 13 “priority” bills Wednesday for the 2016 General Assembly, including a measure they highlighted as Senate Bill 1 that would eliminate the controversial Common Core education standards for Kentucky schools. [H-L]

When Donald Trump first watched his new TV ad that began airing this week, he said, “Play it again. I love the feel of it.” I, too, had to play it again, not because I too loved the feel, but out of amazement that this is what the front runner for the Republican nomination had chosen to put in his first TV ad of the campaign. [HuffPo]

Welp, now we know why Bob Stivers is all the sudden neck-deep in Matt Bevin’s behind. Regina Stivers, wife of Senate President Robert Stivers, will begin work in the Bevin administration on Monday as deputy secretary of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet. [C-J/AKN]

Time Warner Cable said late Wednesday that hackers may have stolen up to 320,000 customers’ email passwords. [The Hill]

Former Jefferson County Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Matt Conway was charged with felony assault Wednesday night after allegedly attacking his wife, according to a police report. Remember when his brother was covering up his police investigation(s)? [WDRB]

The former U.S. attorney who gained the conviction of West Virginia’s “King of Coal” over a deadly mine blast said on Wednesday he would run for governor as a Democrat. [Reuters]

Deputies say a Wayne County man stole roosters and a goat and offered to return them to the victim in exchange for sex. [WKYT]

The Kentucky man whose drone was shot down by his neighbor last year has now filed a federal lawsuit, asking the court to make a legal determination as to whether his drone’s July 2015 flight constituted trespass. In the case, plaintiff David Boggs also wants the court to rule that he is entitled to damages of $1,500 for his destroyed drone. [Ars Technica]

The Tri-Cities have received more than $100,000 in grants recently from the Robert E. “Bob” Frazier Tri-Cities Charitable Foundation to aid the area in funding projects ranging from repairing lighting in Cumberland to repairs at the Sleepy Hollow Golf Course. [Harlan Daily Independent]

On social issues, Rubio has endorsed a complete ban on abortions, even in cases of rape and incest (a stance locating Rubio to the right of George W. Bush). He has promised to reverse executive orders protecting LGBT citizens from discrimination and to appoint justices who would reverse same-sex marriage. [NY Mag]

The Perry County Community Foundation has awarded $5,000 to the Leslie Knott Letcher Perry (LKLP) Community Action Council in September, for the Eastern Streams Community Early Childhood Council. This grant will support early childhood education in Southeastern Kentucky. [Hazard Herald]

The executive actions on guns unveiled yesterday by President Obama drew predictable praise from gun control advocates and bile from gun-rights supporters and Republican lawmakers, including some who called his actions “unconstitutional.” But, as some have noted, the actions themselves are extremely modest, raising questions about how much they will really do to stem gun violence. [ProPublica]

“When I first stepped into Ricky Thacker’s classroom, I was surprised by how unusual it looks,” entrepreneur and philanthropist Bill Gates wrote in(sic) a blog Tuesday about his November visit to Betsy Layne High School in Floyd County. “There are no desks. White boards hang from every wall. The entire room is painted bright orange and yellow, like candy corn. [H-L]

The progressive activist organization CREDO Mobile launched a petition Wednesday evening calling on the chair of the Democratic National Committee, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), to resign from her post. [HuffPo]

Jack Conway: The Corruption Enabler

Mitch McConnell says a Republican takeover of the statehouse is inevitable. He’s right. But it’ll only last a few years. [H-L]

The close of 2015 brought with it decisions from grand jury not to indict anyone in the deaths of Tamir Rice and Sandra Bland, who both died in high-profile police encounters. [HuffPo]

On his last day in office, Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway issued a ruling that said public officials can use their private cell phones to conduct public business, such as sending text messages. If Andy Beshear is worth his weight, he’ll immediately issue a differing opinion. Otherwise, Kentucky corruption is about to go up ten notches. [C-J/AKN]

Republicans had advance notice that Obama planned to take action on guns and they still couldn’t come up with anything. [The Hill]

Median household income was flat or declined in all but four of Kentucky’s 120 counties in the years following the Great Recession, according to new Census Bureau data. [WDRB]

E-cigarette companies are reaching about seven in 10 U.S. middle- and high-school students with advertisements employing themes of sex, independence and rebellion that hooked previous generations on regular cigarettes, a government study released on Tuesday said. [Reuters]

The director of an animal rescue group in Laurel County had a hearing Monday in District Court. [WKYT]

Here’s how Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton differ on Wall Street. [ThinkProgress]

Drivers may see some changes the next time they approach a traffic checkpoint, including signs warning them that they are approaching a police roadblock. [The Morehead News]

With only weeks before GOP primary voters first cast their ballots, the level of alarm among establishment Republicans about the enduring dominance of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz is reaching new heights. [Politico]

The Kentucky College & Career Connection (Ky3C) coalition invites middle and high school students to create 30-second Public Service Announcements promoting the idea that there’s more than one way to pay for college. [Hazard Herald]

The FBI now tracks animal abuse like it tracks homicides. It was more than 10 years ago that Mary Lou Randour realized she couldn’t answer what should have been a simple question: Was cruelty against animals on the rise or in decline? [WaPo]

The coal industry is seeking to forestall new standards aimed at cutting miners’ exposure to breathable dust that can cause deadly black lung disease. [H-L]

Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders on Tuesday sharply criticized Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton during a fiery Manhattan speech about Wall Street reform. [HuffPo]

Blaming Non-Voters Is Short-Sighted

Can we all CALM DOWN BEYONCE for a second? At least the people blaming non-voters for Matt Bevin? The folks suggesting Jack Conway was a magical alternative of hope and dreams? Because HOLY HELL AT THE INSANITY!

Here’s the deal, outsiders: Many people didn’t vote for Jack Conway because he was not an alternative. Many people are tired of holding their nose to cast a vote. Many are tired of choosing the lesser of two evils.

Bevin may hate the gays, may be an Islamophobe, pander to cockfighters and racists, hate poor people who have no hope and no way out of their hell, hate the environment, hate employment protections, hate everything that Fox News has convinced him is the devil.

But Conway? He pandered to homophobes until recently. In 2010 he told me on the record that he couldn’t publicly support equality because he needed votes. He begged me for help connecting him with prominent gay donors while publicly denying any connection, any tie, any inkling of humanity. He and his team later tried to blame people like me for his epic loss to Rand Paul.

He publicly fights to kill the environment as hard as any Republican extremist. While privately fearing for environmental health and the future of his children.

He has an established history of privately protecting drug criminals in Eastern Kentucky while publicly presenting a desire to stop the epidemic. Reference: every high-profile drug case in EKY ever, including the most recent one during which Daniel Mongiardo testified.

He ran as far from President Barack Obama as he could in public. Because of racism in the Commonwealth. He pandered to racists better than most truly racist candidates.

Education? Vague.

Pension disaster? Equally vague, despite a handful of rhetoric, because his closest friends and allies are pension middlemen.

Conway was no alternative to Bevin. He was merely Bevin with less of the stupid. He was Bevin with feigned ignorance.

He didn’t give non-voting Kentuckians a reason to vote.

When it comes to the Kentucky Democratic Party dropping the ball… hell yes KDP dropped the ball. It began dropping the ball the second Wendell Ford and crew started scamming the insurance industry to fund the KDP via kickbacks in the 1970s. The ball has been dropped so many times since then that it barely exists.

KDP has refused to stand up for equality. An issue most Democrats and potty-trained Republicans stand behind.

KDP ran quickly away from health care reform in the beginning and never looked back. Kynect? KDP has no idea what that is. At least not outside the Golden Triangle (Louisville-Lexington-Northern Kentucky).

Fighting for a living wage? KDP can’t count.

Technology? Broadband expansion that’s more than empty rhetoric? What? KDP barely has dial-up internet access on its 2002 Dell Inspiron.

Reforming one of the worst pension systems in the nation? Nary a peep beyond Democratic legislators using their part-time jobs to get borderline wealthy in retirement.

The KDP is so disconnected from the racial divide in Kentucky that its mascot and logo is a racist rooster leftover from the days of segregation and hanging. It’s like David Duke and three white, pointy hats on letterhead.

Education? The Democrats have installed some of the most corrupt people in the state on the educational front. And accountability? Democrats appoint people who have been repeatedly reprimanded or have repeatedly broken the law and violated public trust to agencies like the Education Professional Standards Board. All while cutting funding and turning a blind eye to the future.

Working with those across the aisle? Not happening.

Accepting criticism or attempting to acknowledge that constructive criticism is necessary to thrive as a modern political party? Nope, KDP eats people alive and drives them out of the state. (KY Repubs do the same, just to a lesser extent because there are fewer of them)

Democrats did little, if anything, to prevent this.

Let’s quit blaming people for not supporting Jack Conway. Let’s quit blaming them for not turning to the Kentucky Democratic Party. They offered no alternative. “Vote for us because we’re not a crazy teabagger!” is not an alternative.

When there’s no alternative, only the panicked and ill-informed show up to vote. That’s nothing new.

Oh, right, Happy New Year!

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!]

UofL Scandals Are Always In The News

Welp, that was messed up for a while. An all-clear was given Wednesday after the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services building in Frankfort was evacuated on reports of a man who might have had a gun. [H-L]

A prominent advocacy group is trying to enlist basketball fans to do something about the scourge of gun violence in America. [HuffPo]

Katina Powell, the author of “Breaking Cardinal Rules,” has filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed against her by a University of Louisville student seeking the profits from her book that claims a former Louisville basketball staffer paid the self-proclaimed “escort queen” and others to provide strip shows and sex for recruits and players. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump maintains his lead among the GOP field but half of Americans would be embarrassed to have the real estate mogul as president, a new poll found. [The Hill]

Representatives from Addiction Recovery talked to the city council about its faith-based recovery center being established in Catlettsburg. [Ashland Independent]

While pretty much every aspect of the global ecosystem has been heating up, freshwater lakes are warming faster than the oceans or the air, according to a new study from NASA and the National Science Foundation. [ThinkProgress]

Seems Kim Davis still wants to be the center of attention. Fortunately for her, the Associated Press and people like Matt Bevin are hanging on her every word. [AP/WKYT]

A suicide bombing in Afghanistan has killed six US service members in one of the deadliest attacks on American forces this year, US officials say. [BBC]

The Perry County Community Foundation has awarded $9,000 to Teach for America-Appalachia in to support education in Perry County. [Hazard Herald]

The warm air surging up the East Coast on Christmas Eve will prove nothing short of historic. Dozens of records will fall, some by very large margins. [WaPo]

The Harlan County Board of Education is exploring the idea of returning at least a thousand dollars per year to the salaries of the district’s academic coaches. [Harlan Daily Independent]

Lindsey Graham’s departure from the race set off a scramble among his rivals to try to pick up the support of the South Carolina senator and his backers, a valuable commodity given the state’s first-in-the-South primary. [Politico]

So much for that billion bucks. The maker of OxyContin will pay $24 million to settle a claim that it misrepresented how easy it is to get hooked on the powerful painkiller, driving up drug problems and deaths in Kentucky, Attorney General Jack Conway announced Wednesday. [H-L]

The “Seinfeld” writer who coined “Festivus” wants Sen. Rand Paul (R-Cookie Tree) to stop tweeting about his beloved secular holiday. [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!]