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The 911 services throughout Kentucky are straining county budgets because of an outdated funding mechanism, county government representatives told state legislators on Wednesday.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]

Papaw Prepares For The Retirement Home

And we’ve found the perfect gift for him… [CLICK THE CLICKY]

With his days dwindling as Kentucky’s governor, Democrat Steve Beshear took time Tuesday to tout his eight years in office and reflect on his regrets of making “no meaningful progress” in tax reform and not bringing expanded gambling to the state. [H-L]

Bobby Who? Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) ended his presidential campaign on Tuesday. [HuffPo]

The local prosecutor’s office is asking Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Olu Stevens to recuse himself from every criminal case that comes before him, citing comments the judge made on his Facebook page that calls into question his impartiality, the commonwealth argues. [C-J/AKN]

The British Government has announced that it plans to shut down all of its coal-powered fire stations by 2025, with restrictions put on their use as early as 2023. [Gizmodo]

Heck yes alcohol sales bring in revenue for communities. Rob Fogle is the co-owner of Mammoth Liquors, located at 101 Gardner Lane in Cave City, along with Eric Hall. The two also own a liquor store in Radcliff, which saw take-home liquor sales approved by voters in 2011. [Glasgow Daily Times]

President Obama would love the chance to run against Donald Trump, but his family — and the Constitution — are standing in his way. [The Hill]

Only one bid was submitted to the Rowan County School Board for the central office building at 121 E. Second Street. Morehead State University submitted the lone bid of $2 million. [The Morehead News]

They share a small two-bedroom apartment in Sacramento with few possessions, but for Syrian refugee Mohammad Abd Rabboh, his wife and two daughters, there is finally freedom from fear. [Reuters]

A Berea College student told the city council Tuesday night that pickup trucks flying Confederate flags have frequently driven around the campus the past three months yelling racial slurs at them. [Richmond Register]

Ninety minutes into the first day of his first job, Day Davis, a 21-year-old temp worker, was called to help out near a machine at the Bacardi bottling plant in Jacksonville, Florida. He was killed before making it to his first break. [ProPublica]

Jennifer Stepp is proud her son is in recovery from his heroin addiction, but if he ever needs it, her 8-year-old daughter knows how to administer the drugs that would save his life. [Ashland Independent]

Friday’s terrorist attacks have made the Paris climate talks “even more” important now, according to Christiana Figueres, head of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). And on Sunday, Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders elaborated on why climate change remains “the biggest national security threat facing the United States,” after remarks he made in Saturday’s Democratic debate were criticized by people who apparently don’t understand the existential nature the climate threat poses to this country and the world. [ThinkProgress]

The water tower in Lebanon is about to get a new mural that should make it very popular on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. The tower will be graced by a bottle of bourbon, making it look like the world’s largest Maker’s Mark pour. The city’s 135-foot water tower will be getting a mural by internationally recognized muralist Eric Henn, who will paint it to look like the neck of a gigantic bottle, complete with signature red wax, is pouring bourbon straight down. [H-L]

A Scottish newspaper offered a warm message to Syrian refugees arriving in the country this week. “To the first refugees fleeing war-torn Syria who will arrive at Glasgow Airport today, we’d just like to say: Welcome to Scotland,” read the front cover of The National on Tuesday. [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]

Wild Ernie Fletcher Shenanigans In 3, 2…

Chiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiild. Get the popcorn ready. M. Stephen Pitt, a Louisville lawyer who defended Republican Gov. Ernie Fletcher during the state hiring investigation that led to Fletcher’s indictment in 2006, will be general counsel to Republican Governor-elect Matt Bevin. [John Cheves]

Hillary Clinton wants to reclassify marijuana as a less dangerous substance in order to allow more research into the drug’s medicinal properties, the Democratic presidential candidate said Saturday in South Carolina. [HuffPo]

Republican Matt Bevin said often during his campaign for governor that he would have no favors to repay if he was elected governor. But he’s totally gonna have all kinds of his wealthy friends pay off his campaign debt to himself. [C-J/AKN]

The Supreme Court agreed Friday to hear another challenge to the Affordable Care Act, this time to decide whether religiously affiliated organizations such as universities, hospitals and charities can be free from playing any role in providing their employees with contraceptive coverage. [WaPo]

PEE ALERT! Former U.S. Rep. Anne Northup has endorsed Marco Rubio for president and will lead his efforts in Kentucky’s first ever presidential caucus in March. [WFPL]

As the United States prepares to intensify airstrikes against the Islamic State in Syria, the Arab allies who with great fanfare sent warplanes on the initial missions there a year ago have largely vanished from the campaign. [NY Times]

“We are doing things in agriculture you can only dream about,” said the director of agriculture policy for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. [Richmond Register]

Let’s say you are Janet Yellen. As chair of the Federal Reserve, you must decide next month whether to hold down — or nudge up — interest rates. This huge decision could affect virtually all Americans who borrow money, which a lot of people do during the holidays. [NPR]

Two newcomers are joining the Fairview Board of Education as the district continues to emerge from a tumultuous period marked by severe penalties to its athletic programs and allegations of financial irregularities. [Ashland Independent]

Accreditation agencies have recently come under fire for failing to keep schools accountable. Now the Education Department is looking to change that. [ProPublica]

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates four children die every year in large school bus crashes. The agency believes seat belts would cut that number in half. [WKYT]

The former U.S. comptroller general says the real U.S. debt is closer to about $65 trillion than the oft-cited figure of $18 trillion. Dave Walker, who headed the Government Accountability Office (GAO) under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, said when you add up all of the nation’s unfunded liabilities, the national debt is more than three times the number generally advertised. [The Hill]

A foundation affiliated with the University of Kentucky that was questioned during the controversial ouster of a UK surgeon must turn over its records for public inspection, Attorney General Jack Conway has ruled. [H-L]

This is the kind of crap you can look forward to with Matt Bevin. An Alabama Board of Education member is drawing criticism for making a number of outlandish claims about the Common Core during a recent GOP luncheon. Betty Peters, the state school board member for District 2, in the southeast part of the state, spoke at a meeting of the Republican Women of Coffee County Oct. 21 during which she espoused views on the Common Core, “transgender values” and the “homosexualist” takeover of education in Southern states. [HuffPo]

Corrupt Tim Conley Whines From Prison

Corrupt as hell Tim Conley now wants to go back on the plea deal he took! Because of this asshole, Jake’s hometown is still in shambles, occupational taxes have had to be increased out the wazoo, countless people have lost their ability to maintain a home, countless more are still displaced and lives have been lost. WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK? Fuck Tim Conley. Let him rot in prison. Let anyone defending him rot alongside him. [H-L]

The White House announced on Friday that a small number of U.S. troops are heading into northern Syria to assist local ground troops in the fight against the Islamic State. [HuffPo]

Looks like Scott Jennings and crew will be spending a lot of money for Brett Guthrie in 2016. And probably a little bit if someone credible runs against Candy Barr. [C-J/AKN]

Rand Paul’s heart isn’t even in filibustering anymore. Because he knows his presidential bid is dead in the water and knows he’s gonna have a tough time getting re-elected to the senate next year. [WaPo]

I wish I could say who will win the governor’s election Tuesday but I can’t. [Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump and Ben Carson together command more than half of voters’ preference atop the Republican field after Wednesday night’s debate, while Texas Sen. Ted Cruz rose to third place in the latest national NBC News/SurveyMonkey poll released Friday evening. [Politico]

Kentucky’s gubernatorial candidates responded to a questionnaire from Preservation Kentucky regarding Kentucky’s Historic Preservation Tax Credit. [Click the Clicky]

U.S. jobs data due in the coming week may hold the key to whether the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates for the first time since 2006 in December, signaling its intention to end an era of almost-free dollars. [Reuters]

Oh, look, the Kim Davis preacher is trying to run for office. “Citizens united for a better Kentucky for a better tomorrow.” That is what Randy Smith said about his bid for the Republican nomination for the 99th District House of Representatives seat. You might know him as the fiery preacher who led the rally cries against gay marriage over the summer on the lawn of the Rowan County Courthouse. [The Morehead News]

President Obama and his FBI director are sparring over whether the so-called “Ferguson Effect” is real, complicating the president’s push to loosen the nation’s sentencing laws. [The Hill]

Steve Beshear has appointed District Court Judge John T. Alexander as the interim circuit court judge, according to an executive order obtained Friday from the governor’s office. [Glasgow Daily Times]

I applaud the Democrats and Republicans who came together [Friday] morning to pass a responsible, long-term budget agreement that reflects our values, grows our economy and creates jobs. This agreement will strengthen the middle class by investing in education, job training, and basic research. It will keep us safe by investing in our national security. It protects our seniors by avoiding harmful cuts to Medicare and Social Security. It is paid for in a responsible, balanced way – in part with a measure to ensure that partnerships like hedge funds pay what they owe in taxes just like everybody else. It locks in two years of funding and should help break the cycle of shutdowns and manufactured crises that have harmed our economy. This agreement is a reminder that Washington can still choose to help, rather than hinder, America’s progress, and I look forward to signing it into law as soon as it reaches my desk. After that, Congress should build on this by getting to work on spending bills that invest in America’s priorities without getting sidetracked by ideological provisions that have no place in America’s budget process. If we can do that, we’ll help our workers and businesses keep growing the economy and building an America full of opportunity for all. [President Barack Obama]

This is big news for the state’s most important newspaper but the six lawsuits and myriad scandals in Montgomery County are not. It’s like Nancy Rodriguez all over again. A freshman course has been abruptly disbanded at Henry Clay High School and the principal has apologized to the school’s decision-making council, saying he gave students academic credit without necessary council permission. [H-L]

Paul Ryan said on Sunday it would be ridiculous to work with President Barack Obama on immigration reform, saying he cannot trust the president on the issue. [HuffPo]

Granny McConnell Knows About Obama Jorbs

Did you know? Half a dozen jobs (rough estimate) are worth more to Mitch McConnell, thanks to millions in campaign contributions (what he calls “free speech) from coal groups, are more important than the environment for this and future generations?

Reality doesn’t matter to wealthy old codgers like this because they probably won’t be alive in 30 years.