Louisville Supe Opposes Accountability

Let us begin with the obvious: C.J. Labianca is a really smart guy — an alpha, Type A intellect. The Dunbar High School junior’s entry in the 2016 Kentucky American Water Science Fair was titled “Optimization of Beta in a Measure of Political Power in Social Networks.” [H-L]

Compassionate conservatism is back. Running on a message of civility, empathy and moral purpose in a race dominated by fear and race-baiting, Ohio Gov. John Kasich surged to a second-place finish Tuesday night in New Hampshire, becoming the latest in a long line of long-shot presidential candidates to use the Granite State’s famously unpredictable and independent-minded electorate to stake out a place in the primary contest. [HuffPo]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! The favorite charity of former Gov. Steve Beshear may be getting a big donation soon because of a recent opinion of the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance. [C-J/AKN]

Allies to Hillary Clinton say her presidential campaign’s problems boil down to a fundamental problem: messaging. [The Hill]

Jefferson County Public Schools superintendet Donna Hargens wants authority to hire principals without Site-Based Decision-Making council input. But we discovered Hargens has a terrible track record of hiring the worst of the worst when there’s no SBDM accountability. [The ‘Ville Voice]

Seven years after the United States banned waterboarding as an interrogation tactic, two Republican presidential candidates said on Saturday they would revive its use and one of them, billionaire businessman Donald Trump, would go even further. [Reuters]

Registered republicans in Harlan County may cast their vote via absentee ballot if unable to travel to the Republican Caucus in Hyden on March 5. [Harlan Dailiy Enterprise]

When Hillary Clinton spoke to Goldman Sachs executives and technology titans at a summit in Arizona in October of 2013, she spoke glowingly of the work the bank was doing raising capital and helping create jobs, according to people who saw her remarks. [Politico]

University presidents weren’t prepared for Gov. Matt Bevin’s proposed cuts to higher education, announced in his address to a joint session of the General Assembly two weeks ago — especially the 4.5 percent cuts he’s asking universities to enact in the current year. [Ronnie Ellis]

Over 200 million women and girls in 30 countries have experienced some form of genital mutilation, according to a new UNICEF report. And if current trends continue, the number of girls cut annually will continue to rise year over year, the U.N. says, since population growth is outstripping efforts to reduce the practice. [NPR]

The Glasgow-Barren County Tourist and Convention Commission is showing a 25 percent increase in its gross profit when comparing numbers for January 2015 with those reported for last month. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A former federal judge in Utah asked President Obama Tuesday to “swiftly” give clemency to Weldon Angelos, a man he sentenced to 55 years in prison in connection with selling marijuana. [WaPo]

Matt Bevin’s new insurance commissioner this week dropped Kentucky’s legal defense of a 2012 consumer-protection law intended to help life insurance beneficiaries. [John Cheves]

New Hampshire’s Democratic primary voters confirmed Tuesday that they do, in fact, want a self-described democratic socialist as their party’s presidential nominee. [HuffPo]

Jerry Lundergan’s Good Old Boy Mess Is Once Again Center Stage

During her three political campaigns, including an $18 million run for the U.S. Senate in 2014, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes reported paying $111,831 to Lexington companies owned by her father, former state Democratic Party chairman Jerry Lundergan, and $41,745 more in direct payments to him and other family members, for various services. [John Cheves]

As Sen. Turd Cruz (R-Tex.) campaigns across the Granite State ahead of next Tuesday’s first-in-the nation primary, he’s changing rhetoric in an attempt to expand his base and attract libertarian-leaning supporters following Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Cookie Tree) exit from the race this week. [HuffPo]

Conservationists have pounced on a bill that sought to allow motorized all-terrain vehicles on the Pine Mountain State ScenicTrail that’s being developed for backpacking and primitive camping along 120 miles of scenic Eastern Kentucky. [C-J/AKN]

The State Department Inspector General has found that classified emails were received on the personal accounts of former Secretary of State Colin Powell and the senior aides to his successor, Condoleezza Rice. [The Hill]

The new head of Kentucky’s Energy and Environment Cabinet doesn’t expect any short-term rebound in the state’s struggling coal industry. In his first appearance before the state Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee, Secretary Charles Snavely told senators the outlook wasn’t good over the next five years. [WFPL]

U.S. President Barack Obama will launch a long-shot bid next week to impose a $10-a-barrel tax on crude oil that would fund the overhaul of the nation’s aging transportation infrastructure, the White House said on Thursday. [Reuters]

House Democrats proved willing to compromise on one abortion-related bill in a critical election year, but there were signs Friday they aren’t prepared to do it a second time. [Ronnie Ellis]

US presidential hopeful Marco Rubio has seen a surge in high-profile endorsements, after a surprisingly strong finish in the Iowa caucuses. [BBC]

A group of students from Clark-Moores Middle School will be traveling to Frankfort Tuesday where they will meet with legislators and advocate for the passage of Senate Bill 33, which will make training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) a requirement for graduation in Kentucky schools. [Richmond Register]

If U.S. and British negotiators have their way, MI5, the British domestic security service, could one day go directly to American companies like Facebook or Google with a wiretap order for the on-line chats of British suspects in a counterterrorism investigation. [WaPo]

It’s been no secret that Morehead City Council has been mulling the thoughts of building a joined police and fire station in the near future. [The Morehead News]

Really? It takes “insiders” to know that Marco Rubio crashed and burned? [Politico]

An ongoing cultural battle between coal mining and environmental groups played out in a Senate hearing Wednesday over an Obama administration proposal to mitigate the impacts of coal mining activity on streams. [H-L]

The United States has to reduce greenhouse emissions to less than a quarter of what they were in 2005 to meet its commitment under the Paris climate agreement. [HuffPo]

Bevin Drags KY Health Into Dark Ages

As Gov. Matt Bevin prepares to remake Kentucky’s Medicaid program, a new national survey shows what’s at stake: gains in insurance coverage matched only by one other state. [H-L]

American schools are hotbeds for racial discrimination, according to a preliminary report from a group of United Nations experts. [HuffPo]

Former U.S. Sen. Marlow W. Cook, a leader of the Republican renaissance in Louisville and Jefferson County during the 1960s, has died. [C-J/AKN]

Every day in America more than 50 people die from an overdose of prescription pain medication. Some people who start out abusing pain pills later turn to heroin, which claims another 29 lives each day. [NPR]

These are the candidates who have filled for city commissioner in Hazard. [Hazard Herald]

Presidential candidate Donald Trump has called for a new election in Iowa, accusing the Republican winner, Ted Cruz, of fraud. [BBC]

Jim Ramsey knows his days at the University of Louisville are numbered. [Business First]

In the lead-up to Donald Trump’s loss in Iowa, staffers sought additional funding for campaign infrastructure and were denied. [Politico]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! The Creation Museum wants Boone County’s blessing for an expansion. Leaders of the museum’ dedicated to a literal interpretation of the Bible wants to nearly triple its exhibit space over the next three years. [Cincinnasti.com]

The U.S. Justice Department is considering legal changes to combat what it sees as a rising threat from domestic anti-government extremists, senior officials told Reuters, even as it steps up efforts to stop Islamic State-inspired attacks at home. [Reuters]

What does 100 days of school mean to White Hall Elementary School second grade students? That in 74 more days, they will be third graders, said teacher Susan Huntzinger. [Richmond Register]

The Des Moines Register is calling for a “complete audit” of the Iowa Democratic caucuses in light of concerns by Bernie Sanders about the razor-thin margin. [The Hill]

A proposal in Congress would provide $1 billion for mine reclamation projects in Eastern Kentucky and other areas grappling with a sharp downturn in coal jobs. [H-L]

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) slammed President Barack Obama’s visit to a mosque on Wednesday, during which the president denounced anti-Muslim rhetoric, for “pitting people against each other.” [HuffPo]

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Ashland Leads The Way On EKY Health

Kentucky Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt says that if Gov. Matt Bevin’s proposed budget is approved by the General Assembly, the Department of Education will face $72 million in reductions over the next two years. [H-L]

More than a few curiosities, oddities and abnormalities arose when presidential campaigns and super PACs filed their 2015 end-of-year campaign finance disclosures Sunday night. [HuffPo]

As Planned Parenthood turns 100, officials with the regional branch met with reporters Monday to reaffirm their commitment to serving Kentucky and Indiana amid a controversy over its proposed abortion services. [C-J/AKN]

The chairman of Iowa’s Democratic party is declaring Hillary Clinton the caucus winner, despite the razor-slim margin separating her from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). [The Hill]

Ruh ro, there’s a whole buncha drama in Morehead these days! Tensions were high for a portion of Friday’s special called work session of Morehead City Council. [The Morehead News]

Attorneys for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump are trying to stop Elizabeth Mae Davidson, the woman accusing the Trump campaign of gender discrimination, from speaking publicly about her allegations. [ThinkProgress]

Legislation that would prohibit the General Assembly from diverting state lottery funds away from Kentucky’s need- and merit-based scholarship programs has cleared a House committee. [Press Release]

Bernie Sanders’ campaign plane departed from Des Moines amid uncertainty over who exactly won the Iowa caucuses, but it didn’t matter to the candidate or his staff. [Politico]

Cave Country Trails Initiative board of directors discussed at their meeting Thursday night upcoming workshops that will take place in surrounding communities. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Astronomers have discovered the largest known solar system, consisting of a large planet that takes nearly a million years to orbit its star. [BBC]

Ashland is once again leading on the health care front in Eastern Kentucky. The Ashland-Boyd County Health Department is planning a needle-exchange program to prevent the further spread of Hepatitis C in the area, epidemiologist Kristy Bolen said. [Ashland Independent]

Companies and scientists are racing to create a Zika vaccine as concern grows over the mosquito-borne virus that has been linked to severe birth defects and is spreading quickly through the Americas. [Reuters]

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin wants state colleges and universities to produce more electrical engineers and less French literature scholars. [H-L]

The FBI is joining a U.S. investigation into Flint, Michigan’s water contamination crisis, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit said on Tuesday. [HuffPo]

Is The Budget Hype Dying Down Yet?

The summer playground at Lake Cumberland took a major hit from winter over the weekend, with the weight of ice and snow from Friday’s storm damaging or destroying covers over hundreds of boat slips, according to marina operators. [H-L]

Sen. Bernie Sanders jumped at a chance to talk about mental health care during a presidential town hall event in Iowa hosted by CNN on Monday. [HuffPo]

Every year, hundreds of volunteers bundle up and head to hotels, emergency shelters, camps and soup kitchens, determined to answer two questions: how many people are homeless in the Louisville area and who are they? [C-J/AKN]

A bipartisan task force created by Congress issued “an urgent call to action” Tuesday to overhaul the nation’s federal prisons and reduce the number of U.S. inmates by 60,000 over the next decade. [NPR]

Wanna read/watch one of the dumbest things out of Jim Waters and the Bluegrass Circlejerk yet? Here he is spewing misinformation about Kentucky’s broadband initiative. Leave it to the rich, fat, white Republicans to keep the Commonwealth in the dark ages. Spoiler alert: municipal broadband works. [WAVE3]

Trent Lott and Tom Daschle make an unlikely pair. Trent is gregarious, talkative and loud. Tom is retiring, mild-mannered and quiet. Interview them together and their differences are pronounced. But what makes them almost unheard of as a couple is that Lott is a Republican and Daschle is a Democrat. Specifically they are both former leaders of their respective parties in the US Senate. [BBC]

With the new year comes the continued challenge for area nonprofits to serve as many families and residents in need as possible. To energize those efforts, employees of Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company are lending a hand. Coupled with financial support from the LG&E and KU Foundation, the utilities’ voluntary employee-giving campaign, Power of One, raised more than $1.7 million in contributions. [Richmond Register]

A Nebraska lawmaker wants his state to join the movement to tear down one of the most harmful components of the conservative welfare reforms passed into law in the mid-1990s. [ThinkProgress]

The Russell Area Technology Center is ready for a new generation of vocational students with completion of a $1.2 million renovation. [Ashland Independent]

Cuba’s tourism industry is under unprecedented strain and struggling to meet demand with record numbers of visitors arriving a year after detente with the United States renewed interest in the Caribbean island. [Reuters]

Newly elected Gov. Matt Bevin delivered a “sober” budget message to a joint session of the General Assembly, telling them he will cut $650 million from the current budget. [Ronnie Ellis]

The religious loonies are racist as hell, apparently. Donald Trump’s support among white evangelicals stands at 37 percent, rising 5 points in one week, according to an NBC News/SurveyMonkey online poll released early Tuesday. [The Hill]

As snow piled up outside, Kelly Gibson was thrilled to see a Fayette County sheriff’s deputy waiting for her at the end of her nursing shift Friday afternoon at Shriners Hospital for Children. [H-L]

Noam Chomsky, the noted radical and MIT professor emeritus, said the Republican Party has become so extreme in its rhetoric and policies that it poses a “serious danger to human survival.” [HuffPo]

Mitch McConnell Just Ruins Everything

Alpha Natural Resources can pay potential bonuses of up to $11.9 million to senior managers during its bankruptcy, a judge has ruled. [H-L]

Mitch McConnell (R-Grandmother) really doesn’t like idea that President Barack Obama could use executive power to make more corporations disclose campaign spending. [HuffPo]

Louisville barely missed the brunt of a winter storm that dropped more than a foot of snow in some parts of Kentucky and created hazardous road conditions for hundreds of folks across the state. [C-J/AKN]

Scientists have described a new species of bird in northern India and China, called the Himalayan forest thrush. [BBC]

Rattled by forecasts of a major snowfall, Kentucky lawmakers left town a day early Thursday after a light legislative schedule and canceled Friday’s scheduled session. [Ronnie Ellis]

Mitch McConnell made a quiet move [last] week on a sweeping war authorization measure written by one of his most hawkish members — an effort to pressure the White House to craft a war proposal more to the GOP’s liking. [Politico]

Bourbon is a bigger deal than coal because it brings in gobs of tourism dollars. Tourists our pouring into Kentucky to visit distilleries on Kentucky Bourbon Trail and Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour. [Richmond Register]

While Flint, Michigan battles a water crisis in the north, a different predominantly black town in the south is facing its own devastating public health epidemic, one that seems to come straight out of the Dark Ages: tuberculosis. [ThinkProgress]

The 16-year-old girl who died in a Kentucky juvenile-detention center last week was found unresponsive on a bed in a private room, according to the state Justice and Public Safety Cabinet. [WFPL]

A California waste management company has launched a legal challenge to a new U.S. labor board standard for “joint employment” that could make it easier for unions and regulators to hold companies accountable for the practices of staffing agencies, contractors and franchisees with which they partner. [Reuters]

The Harlan County Fiscal Court discussed the possibility of purchasing some land in Baxter during a meeting on Monday. [Harlan Daily Independent]

Conservatives who disapprove of Donald Trump have converged upon their belief that Trump’s rise does not reflect any flaw in conservatism itself but can be blamed, in whole or in part, on Barack Obama. [NY Magazine]

The daughter of a man who was fatally hit by a Stanford police cruiser last year has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the officer, the police chief, the mayor and the city of Stanford. [H-L]

Charles and David Koch, the billionaire brothers who have spent hundreds of millions of dollars building a conservative network to oppose Democrats, have actually done very well for themselves since President Barack Obama took office. [HuffPo]

Health Care Reality Will Hit Bevin Hard

The Kentucky Housing Corp. is looking for volunteers to help count Kentucky’s homeless population. The count will begin at sunrise on Jan. 27 and continue for 24 hours. The point-in-time count is known as the K-Count. [H-L]

From the Department of Things Ken Ham Wouldn’t Understand… Witnesses of the first-ever unveiling of what just might be the world’s largest dinosaur have struggled to find an adjective to aptly capture the sheer enormity of the prehistoric creature. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin’s about to find out just how poor and unhealthy Eastern Kentucky is and it’s going to harm him politically. [C-J/AKN]

President Obama on Saturday unveiled an unemployment insurance plan that he says will provide stability and opportunity to workers in a rapidly changing economy. [The Hill]

The state Department of Insurance is selling assets of the failed Kentucky Health Cooperative to satisfy its debts. [Richmond Register]

Here’s a selection of what has changed since Mr Obama gave his first address to Congress in 2009. [BBC]

Kesley Janes stood on the counter where the coffee pots and a slushy machine sit at the Caver’s Camp Store at Mammoth Cave National Park. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A top surrogate for Hillary Clinton is prepping a new attack in an intensifying and increasingly personal war against rival Bernie Sanders — calling on the 74-year-old to release his medical records before the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 1. [Politico]

At the end of 2015, Kentucky saw a rise in the reported cases of pertussis, or whooping cough, throughout the state. [The Morehead News]

Advisers to Hillary Clinton, including former President Bill Clinton, believe that her campaign made serious miscalculations by forgoing early attacks on Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and failing to undercut his archliberal message before it grew into a political movement that has now put him within striking distance of beating her in Iowa and New Hampshire. [NY Times]

For Ginny Ramsey and the volunteers at God’s Net in Lexington, the winter is just getting started. [WKYT]

Certain economic sanctions will be lifted in Iran, but there are critics of the nuclear deal in surrounding countries and in the U.S. NPR’s Rachel Martin speaks with NPR’s Peter Kenyon about their reaction. [NPR]

Tim Morton was hospitalized for psychiatric treatment dozens of times over 36 years, often involuntary and in police handcuffs, because he did not recognize that he had schizophrenia. He refused treatment unless he was confined. When Morton wasn’t held inside Eastern State Hospital, he spent his days walking aimlessly around downtown Lexington. [John Cheves]

Republican presidential candidates are more full of it than you imagined. [HuffPo]