Breathe/Drink/Repeat! Campaign Is Over!

Isn’t it likely that the Klan had Jim Gray on a list of targets because he’s gay? What on earth? [H-L]

Ben Carson leads the Republican presidential primary field in a survey released Monday night by NBC News and The Wall Street Journal, marking the second time since October that the former neurosurgeon has polled ahead of Donald Trump. [HuffPo]

Licking his wounds but unable to pull himself away from politics, Comer is embarking on a campaign to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield. He is considered the front-runner and may ultimately win it but not before what looks to be a nasty primary that could pit former Hopkins County Attorney Todd P’Pool against him. P’Pool is not shy about mentioning the fact that he has prosecuted abusers, an obvious jab at Comer. [C-J/AKN]

Encryption is going to continue to spread, despite the protests of law enforcement, says Gordon Corera. [BBC]

Republican gubernatorial candidate Matt Bevin and the entire GOP slate embarked on a statewide flyaround tour, stopping briefly in Worthington to talk to a group of about 20 Greenup and Boyd County Republicans. [Ashland Independent]

Amid the recent pressure on police to wear body cameras, one thing is often overlooked: Not all cameras are created equal. In fact, cameras vary a lot — and the variations — some contentious — can have a profound effect on how the cameras are used and who benefits from them. [NPR]

A county clerk from Kentucky jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and secretly recorded videos that reignited the debate over abortion dominated national politics this summer. [Richmond Register]

The U.S. military on Sunday hailed the success of a complex $230 million test of the U.S. missile defense system that it said showed the ability of the Aegis and THAAD weapons systems to identify and destroy ballistic and cruise missiles at once. [Reuters]

Sometimes Barren County Judge-Executive Micheal Hale hears comments from residents about how much property tax they’ve paid, and they are often followed by one or more questions about how the county is using those funds. [Glasgow Daily Times]

As the widespread use of encryption starts to make surveillance more challenging, one of the nation’s fusion centers has a proposed solution: More informants. [The Intercept]

Maysville Community and Technical College Friday got a lot closer to its fundraising goal for building a new Rowan Campus. [The Morehead News]

Republicans are pouring money into a last-minute effort in Tuesday’s Kentucky gubernatorial race, aiming to rescue Matt Bevin’s struggling campaign and keep the GOP from again being shut out of the conservative state’s governorship. [Politico]

Over the tasting room bar at Colin Fultz’s Kentucky Mist moonshine distillery and store hangs a giant picture of Fultz’s grandfather Harry Holbrook, a Sawdust Junction grocer who also made moonshine. [H-L]

Webster’s defines “faith” as a “belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence.” Traditionally, this connotes theology. But the Republicans now offer us faith-based politics — that intellectual lotus land where dogma, blissfully unmoored from fact, suffocates reality. One stellar example, climate change, captures the party’s intricate pas de deux between ignorance and venality. [HuffPo]

Need A Good Laugh For 2016?

Hold on to your wigs and put your beverages off to the side, then.

Here it is:

Todd P’Pool went to Washington, D.C. last week, with his little buddy, Jonathan, in tow.

To talk to folks about running for congress in KY-1.


Multiple people confirmed it. Someone at the NRCC laughed their rear end off when asked about his visit. Then promptly threw him under the bus.

Todd Peepee isn’t happening. Maybe state legislature. Maybe. But not KY-1.

Unless the potty trained wing of the Republicans field a solid candidate or the Democrats con someone decent into running (Dems won’t), that’s probably Jamie “I Didn’t Beat Her” Comer’s race.

The US Loves It Some Mass Shootings

Rand Paul’s presidential campaign raised only about $2.5 million in the third quarter of the year, according to a published report Thursday afternoon. [H-L]

The nation was once again confronted with the horror of a deadly school shooting on Thursday, this time a massacre at a community college in Roseburg, Oregon. [HuffPo]

After a fiery confrontation with County Attorney Mike O’Connell, Jefferson District Judge Sean Delahanty promised to rule within a week about the fate of 2,300 motorists whose cases he has held hostage because of his concerns about Drive Safe Louisville, which has generated $1.3 million for O’Connell’s office. [C-J/AKN]

Californians have really stepped up water conservation due to the drought. Some cities are selling almost half as much water as they normally do. But there’s a big downside for water agencies — lost revenue. People using less water means major budget shortfalls. [NPR]

Whitley County Clerk Kay Schwartz says she is granting licenses to “bride and groom” couples – and claims she never stopped issuing them – but not to same-sex couples. [WKYT]

Congress is blocking legal marijuana in Washington, D.C. and maybe causing a spike in murders. [Mother Jones]

A new report details the differences in health care costs and patient usages in metro areas across the country. And Kentucky fares fairly well. [WFPL]

A woman in the US state of Georgia has been executed despite a number of last-ditch appeals, including one by the Pope, to try to block her execution. [BBC]

Democratic state Sen. Dorsey Ridley of Henderson says he’s close to jumping into the race to succeed retiring Republican U.S. Congressman Ed Whitfield. [Ronnie Ellis]

The CEO of Alpha Natural Resources is defending his coal company’s financing of harassment of climate scientists. [The Intercept]

Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship was met by a swarm of reporters and photographers as he walked into the federal courthouse Thursday morning for the first day of jury selection in his criminal trial. [Ashland Independent]

Pope Francis’ encounter with Kim Davis last week in Washington, which was interpreted by many as a subtle intervention in the United States’ same-sex marriage debate, was part of a series of private meetings with dozens of guests and did not amount to an endorsement of her views, the Vatican said on Friday. So Kim Davis DID fame whore it up while mischaracterizing her encounter with the pope. Imagine that. [NY Times]

The biggest spenders in Kentucky’s competitive race for governor are a pair of Louisville millionaires who want to see a Republican elected as the state’s chief executive. But it’s not what you think. [H-L]

U.S. employers slammed the brakes on hiring over the last two months and wages fell in September, raising new doubts the economy is strong enough for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates by the end of this year. [HuffPo]

Your Morning Dept Of Awful Things

Jack Conway stuck to the script and Matt Bevin continued his seemingly spontaneous campaign during an hour-long debate before the rabid fans of Big Blue Nation on the state’s most popular sports talk radio show. [H-L]

U.S. airstrikes hit Taliban positions overnight around a key northern city seized by insurgents this week as Afghan troops massed on the ground Wednesday ahead of what is likely to be a protracted battle to retake Kunduz. [HuffPo]

It wasn’t a miscommunication until they were called on the carpet. People trying to communicate with the Kentucky Division of Water on new water quality standards using email were told this week to buy a stamp and send their comments via snail mail. [C-J/AKN]

A bipartisan group of senators on the Judiciary Committee is preparing to unveil a criminal justice overhaul proposal as early as Thursday. [NPR]

Jack Conway, Kentucky’s Democratic Attorney General who is running for governor, and Greg Stumbo, Kentucky’s Speaker of the House, are in the same party and are on the same side when it comes to coal, which they both defend. But they don’t always agree. [Ronnie Ellis]

Pope Francis met privately in Washington last week with Kim Davis, the county clerk in Kentucky who defied a court order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, a Vatican spokesman confirmed on Wendesday. [NY Times]

Last week, I was proud to join with the father of Kentucky State Police Trooper Joseph Cameron Ponder and other legislators as we stood together to advocate for additional safety measures for law enforcement. [Greg Stumbo]

LaserLock Technologies, a firm that sells anti-counterfeiting products, won a powerful congressional ally on Capitol Hill after recruiting a Kentucky congressman’s wife. Representative Ed Whitfield, a senior Republican lawmaker from western Kentucky, personally submitted company documents on behalf of LaserLock to the congressional record in support of legislation crucial to the firm’s business. [Lee Fang]

The former chairman of the Republican National Committee is upset he was quoted in a television ad for Kentucky gubernatorial candidate Jack Conway. Duncan – who is from Inez, Ky., and now heads the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity – told WYMT his comments were taken out of context. “The comments that I made were as the chief executive officer of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity. It had nothing to do with the Republican National Committee,” Duncan said Tuesday night in a phone interview. [WYMT]

U.S. bombs somehow keep falling in the places where President Barack Obama “ended two wars.” [The Intercept]

Laurel County is back to being the worst place on earth. A woman has been arrested after sheriff’s deputies say they found a man’s body inside a freezer at her Laurel County home. [WKYT]

It could have been Hillary Clinton’s tweet that did it. Just after the US government had given the go-ahead for Shell to restart its exploration in Alaska, the Democratic presidential candidate took to the social media site. [BBC]

Every community in Kentucky should be serving alcohol and selling it by the package because it’s not the dark ages. Berea voters on Tuesday approved the sale of alcohol by the drink in certain restaurants. [H-L]

After enduring a marathon House hearing on Tuesday during which GOP representatives frequently interrupted her, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards accused them of political grandstanding and using the hearing to demonstrate how “they are obsessed with ending access to reproductive health care for women in America.” [HuffPo]

Let The Jamie Comer Funtimes Begin

Of course Jamie Comer is running for Ed Whitfield’s soon-to-be-vacated congressional seat in KY-01.

Here’s Comer’s statement:

Tompkinsville, KY — Following the announcement by U.S. Representative Ed Whitfield that he will not seek re-election, Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture James Comer declared his candidacy for the open seat in the state’s First Congressional District. “As a farmer, small business owner, and father of three, it is important to me that we have a conservative representative in Washington.” said Commissioner Comer.

“I appreciate the service of Congressman Whitfield and his commitment to the people of the First District. My wife T.J. and I have been overwhelmed with encouragement from supporters across the entire district. I will be an active, energetic, and accessible Congressman who will work hard everyday(sic) for the people of the First District.”

Comer, a resident of Tompkinsville, is a lifelong farmer and small business owner in Monroe County. Prior to being elected as Commissioner of Agriculture, Comer served as a Kentucky State Representative for Metcalfe, Cumberland, Green and Monroe Counties. He and his wife T.J. are both graduates of Monroe County High School and Western Kentucky University. They have three children ages 4, 8, and 11.

Won’t say I told you so… but I told you so.

Folks close to Mitch McConnell have said for a couple months that they have strong Republican candidates to run against Comer, so that should be fun.

Will also be fun (okay, not fun) to see how the shenanigans of the gubernatorial primary impact Comer now that he’s running for federal office.

Lil Randy Pretends To Be Serious Again

Ed Whitfield is retiring, which Republicans have gossiped about for months. Now Jamie Comer can do more than toy with a run. He’ll have to make a quick decision because other Republicans are ready to jump in. [Deep Thoughts]

The University of Kentucky’s College of Health Sciences has received a $4.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to research injury prevention in U.S. Special Forces. [H-L]

Relations between Afghanistan and the U.S. are better than ever, Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah said Friday at the Council on Foreign Relations. [HuffPo]

Most public employees in Kentucky — including those of state government and Metro Louisville — will see a bit less in their paychecks starting in 2017 when the Internal Revenue Service will begin applying Social Security and Medicare tax to the employees’ contributions to their retirement funds. [C-J/AKN]

A photographer has snapped the ancient post offices and abandoned mailboxes of the South as symbols of the once invaluable postal system’s gradual disappearance as she documents the US Postal Service’s struggle to survive in the 21st century. [Daily Mail]

State Sen. Whitney Sweaterfield (R-Gay Panicked), Republican candidate for Kentucky attorney general, was the guest speaker at Tuesday’s meeting of the Rowan County Republican Party at the public library. [The Morehead News]

Races for the top House Republican leadership spots began firming up Monday as Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) made official his bid for the Speakership, and Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) won two key endorsements for the No. 2 GOP post. [The Hill]

Some local law enforcement officers wonder why the fund used to provide training and salary supplements has grown but the stipend they receive hasn’t for more than 10 years. [Ronnie Ellis]

Barring extraordinary events, Richard Glossip will be executed on Wednesday, despite deep uncertainty about whether he is actually guilty of the crime that led to his murder conviction. [ThinkProgress]

Philip Bianchi knew something had gone wrong. Bianchi, a second-generation funeral director and Harlan County’s elected coroner, set out last November with a team that included the Kentucky State Police to exhume the remains of a young woman found murdered in 1969. [WFPL]

Rand Paul says he is “absolutely” in the presidential race for the long haul, despite sagging poll numbers and his early debate struggles. [Politico]

As you can see, Louisville loves killing its people. Totally compassionately, of course, says Greg Fischer. [WHAS11]

Scientists think they can now tie dark streaks seen on the surface of Mars to periodic flows of liquid water. [BBC]

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority earlier [last] week approved tax incentives for companies including Georgetown’s Creform Corp., FedEx Ground Package System and Air Hydro Power. [H-L]

They lost their daughter to a mass shooter and now owe more than $200,000 her killer’s ammunition dealer. [HuffPo]