Louisville Loves It Some Pedestrian Death

One of the most heated moments during Saturday’s GOP debate occurred when New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie called out Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) for giving a “memorized, 25-second response” — an argument Rubio went on to inadvertently support. While responding to Christie’s attacks, Rubio gave the same answer three times, repeating, “Obama knows what he’s doing.” [HuffPo]

The maker of a new test for colorectal cancer is suing Louisville-based Humana Inc., alleging its denial of payment for screenings performed on more than 4,600 patients violates state and federal law. [C-J/AKN]

“Muslim Americans keep us safe,” President Obama said on Wednesday as he visited a mosque in the U.S. for the first time as president. His speech was designed to draw contrasts with rhetoric from some Republicans running to succeed him. [NPR]

Rand Paul launched his bid for the White House as a standout in a crowded Republican field. Time magazine named him “the most interesting man in politics.” [Ronnie Ellis]

In Kentucky, more men than women die pedestrian deaths. We’re looking at you, Louisville. [Click the Clicky]

The Upward Bound Programs at Morehead State University are seeking applications for Morning Core and Afternoon Elective instructors for its Summer Academy. [The Morehead News]

The concoction of the “Bernie Bro” narrative by pro-Clinton journalists has been a potent political tactic – and a journalistic disgrace. [The Intercept]

The early months of the year are always a wait-and-see time for school number-crunchers, but this year add “worry” to the equation. [Ashland Independent]

Meanwhile, the far right continues to try to kill all forms of birth control and STD protection. Condom makers including Ansell Ltd are offering to help Zika-affected countries after the first case of the virus being sexually transmitted added to growing concerns over the spread of the disease. [Reuters]

The leader of the Kentucky AFL-CIO says labor groups are ready to fight future efforts to pass what supporters call right-to-work laws. [WFPL]

Newly grown rainforests can absorb 11 times as much carbon from the atmosphere as old-growth forests, a study has shown. [BBC]

When Janie-Rice Brother saw black smoke rising over downtown last weekend and heard the Blue Grass Stockyards was burning, she was heartbroken. And not just because the Montgomery County farmer’s daughter had spent time there as a child. [Tom Eblen]

Health care got some attention in Saturday night’s GOP presidential debate. And when it was Texas Sen. Turd Cruz’s turn to speak, he started by cataloging the alleged evils of “socialized medicine.” [HuffPo]

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]

The Ramsey-Pitino-UofL Circus Goes On

Stung by losses under the federal health law, major insurers are seeking to sharply limit how policies are sold to individuals in ways that consumer advocates say seem to discriminate against the sickest and could hold down future enrollment. [H-L]

In their first head-to-head debate, Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) made it clear that any lingering pleasantries from a happier time earlier in the campaign are vanishing quickly. [HuffPo]

It’s hilarious that Rick Pitino is defending Jim Ramsey, as if they’re both victims of things they can’t help. Both of these men are the worst of the worst in higher education. Pitino, with sex scandal after sex scandal. Ramsey, with financial corruption mess after financial corruption mess. Both should be relieved of their duties instead of allowing a bunch of kids to take the blame for crap that those two are ultimately supposed to take responsibility. [C-J/AKN]

President Barack Obama is set on Tuesday to unveil his budget proposal for fiscal year 2017, his final year in office. [Reuters]

Lack of communication is what kept many black accomplishments from being known, said educator William Twyman, one of the 14 panelists discussing “Education in the Barren’s Region of Kentucky” Saturday at the South Central Kentucky Cultural Center. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Amid significant reforms, federal officials worry that sexual abuse in juvenile justice system remains prevalent and too often unpunished. [ProPublica]

A personal finance website study has determined Kentucky ranks 9 out of 51 for dependency on the arms and ammunition industry for jobs and political contributions, and indirectly through firearm ownership. [Ashland Independent]

At the end of last year, lawmakers in West Virginia unveiled a bill that would drug test some applicants for the state’s welfare program. Applicants who failed could eventually be barred from receiving benefits, possibly permanently. [ThinkProgress]

A bill that would eliminate the prevailing wage on public school projects on Thursday failed to pass a House committee. [WFPL]

The US economy added 151,000 jobs in January, helping to push the country’s unemployment rate down to 4.9%. [BBC]

Since Jan. 1, five Richmond Police officers have submitted resignations. At the same time, two joined the force for field training, and two others entered the Department of Criminal Justice Training’s academy for 23 weeks. [Richmond Register]

“Squat! Squat! Squat! Higher! Faster!” In the basement of the Duane Physics and Astrophysics building at the University of Colorado Boulder, a science demonstration is going on, but it looks more like a vaudeville act. [NPR]

University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto has formed a task force to advise him on what to do about a controversial mural in Memorial Hall. [H-L]

Islamophobia is real. And it’s not going anywhere. After last year’s terror attacks in Paris and mass shooting in San Bernardino, California — and amidst a surge in anti-Muslim rhetoric from U.S. politicians — reports about Muslims in America facing violence, harassment, intimidation and bigotry have become omnipresent. Many Muslims say Islamophobia is worse now than it’s ever been — even worse than it was after 9/11. [HuffPo]

Rand Paul’s Jalopy Putters Along

More Republican dollars are flowing into Kentucky to help GOP candidates in the four special House elections on March 8. [H-L]

President Barack Obama has said that a college degree “has never been more valuable.” But if you borrow to finance your degree, the immediate returns are the lowest they’ve been in at least a generation, new data show. [HuffPo]

Local governments in Kentucky can increase the minimum wage, but a federal judge ruled Wednesday that they can’t ban labor unions from requiring employees to join them. [C-J/AKN]

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ campaign has reportedly raised $3 million since Monday night’s Iowa caucuses. [The Hill]

Marlow Cook may forever be remembered by Louisvillians as the Jefferson County Executive who purchased the Belle of Louisville, but I remember him not only as my first boss, but also as someone who directly and significantly shaped my life and the lives of so many in public life [John Yarmuth]

Global equity markets rose on Thursday as diminished expectations of U.S. interest rate hikes this year pushed the dollar lower, which in turned boosted the prices of commodities. [Reuters]

The more we learn about Jamie Comer’s hemp-related shenanigans, the more disappointed we all become. Here’s hoping his nonsense doesn’t impact the overall industry. [Page One]

In internal memos, groups opposing tighter state campaign finance rules coach their local supporters on how to battle disclosure of political donors. [ProPublica]

A new study shows that Kentucky and Arkansas had the sharpest decline in the percentage of adult residents without health insurance from 2013 to 2015. [Business First]

Rand Paul was hustling to a TV hit on Fox News when security officials on hand stopped him. You’ll love the delusional reaction from Doug Stafford. [Politico]

Efforts by the Harlan County School District to replace Wallins elementary with a new facility received a boost when the board of education submitted plans that put that project at the top of its list of needs. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

There’s still a long way to go until November’s US presidential election. But it’s not too early to look at the possible presidential administrations of some of the leading candidates. [BBC]

Cheers, Kentucky: Bourbon and American whiskey sales in the United States were up 7.8 percent to $2.9 billion in 2015, according to figures released Tuesday morning by the Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S. Looking at exports, sales of American whiskey were up 4 percent by volume, although the value fell 2.7 percent to about $1 billion, putting total sales of American whiskey at just less than $4 billion for 2015. [H-L]

Not all polluters are created equal. Just five percent of industrial polluters account for 90 percent of toxic emissions in the United States, according to a new study published in the journal Environmental Research Letters last week. [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]

Jimbo Ramsey’s Days Are Numbered

The Kentucky Senate signed off Thursday on a bill to exempt school and university construction from Kentucky’s prevailing wage law but House Speaker Greg Stumbo said it does not have a chance of winning passage in the Democratic-led House. [H-L]

A former federal regulator and Elizabeth Warren acolyte who has repeatedly questioned the Obama administration’s treatment of student loan borrowers just took a job with the Department of Education. [HuffPo]

Raising the stakes for University of Louisville President James Ramsey, two members of the board of trustees announced Thursday that they no longer support his presidency while the board’s chairman said he favors reducing the president’s powers. Don’t forget that Greenberg has never cared about Ramsey in the past. Not during any number of other scandals. Fascinating to see this turn. [C-J/AKN]

Hillary Clinton is attacking Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) from the right on healthcare ahead of next month’s Democratic caucuses in Iowa. []

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources invites the public to review a new document that when finalized will guide management of the state’s elk herd for years to come. [Richmond Register]

Nebraska President Barack Obama visited with a young family in the living room of their suburban house in Nebraska on Wednesday, the first stop on what the White House said would be a year-long tour to talk with Americans about fixing the nation’s polarized politics. [Reuters]

Morehead State President Wayne Andrews lifted his Powerball ticket in the air and joked with faculty that he’d only retire if he owned the winning lottery digits. [Ashland Independent]

Numerous attempts to restrict where transgender people can use the restroom have been proposed in recent years, but one Virginia lawmaker’s latest legislation might be the most vicious. He actually wants to fine transgender children $50 if they use what he deems to be the “wrong” restroom. [ThinkProgress]

The Rowan County Board of Education in a special meeting last week re-elected Rick Whelan as board chair. [The Morehead News]

You can thank Mitch McConnell for all of that senate gridlock. He loves to blame the Democrats but you know that’s not based in reality, no matter how bad they are. [Politico]

A second Glasgow attorney has filed to run for office for Kentucky’s 43rd Judicial District, which encompasses Barren and Metcalfe counties. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Hillary Clinton’s new barrage against Bernie Sanders, the Democratic presidential primary opponent she has all but ignored through most of her campaign, is having an effect — though probably not the one she intended. Sanders’s underdog campaign said it is seeing a surge of contributions as a direct result of the new attention it is getting from the Democratic front-runner, with money coming in at a clip nearly four times the average daily rate reported in the last quarter of 2015. [WaPo]

Kentucky junior U.S. Sen. Rand Paul is mad as hell about being excluded from the next Republican presidential debate, and on Thursday, Paul had one word for the media. [H-L]

The Republican National Committee has started preparing for a contested national convention, which would follow the primary season should no GOP candidate for president win enough delegates to secure the party’s nomination. [HuffPo]

You Probably Have a SOTU Hangover

Rand Paul’s struggling presidential campaign was dealt another setback Monday night when Fox Business Network announced that the Kentucky senator failed to meet the polling criteria to be included in this week’s primetime Republican presidential debate. [H-L]

Let’s get this straight. We spent the first several years of Barack Obama’s presidency obsessing about whether he was born in Kenya. Why? Because a large segment of the GOP electorate — spurred on by Donald Trump — splenetically asserted that Obama’s supposed foreign birth barred him from the White House. Merely to quell the rising political distemper, Obama was forced to release a long form birth certificate from Hawaii. [HuffPo]

Jeff Hoover ran his mouth and then nothing happened. He and his small circle of loud asshats are shooting themselves in the feet left and right. They had a group of progressive legislators ready to help them oust Greg Stumbo and ruined it. Getting the big head with Bevin probably wasn’t wise for Hoover. Republicans are privately outraged. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump thinks he has found Ted Cruz’s kryptonite. The Texas senator has been put on the defensive and off message since Trump began raising questions about his rival’s eligibility to serve as president. It’s an issue that resonates with GOP base voters, if few others. [The Hill]

Matt Bevin announced the appointment Friday of Adria Johnson as Commissioner of the Department for Community Based Services. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Conservative U.S. Supreme Court justices on Monday voiced support for a legal challenge that could erode organized labor’s clout by depriving public-employee unions of millions of dollars in fees that many state laws force non-union members to pay. [Reuters]

Authorities say a man who was found dead behind a University of Kentucky apparel store had died of hypothermia brought on by cold overnight temperatures in downtown Lexington. [WHAS11]

As winter sets in around the country, thousands of the nation’s poor are struggling to keep the heat on thanks to intentional underfunding of a key federal progam(sic). [ThinkProgress]

The Center for Rural Development, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), is providing tuition-free entrepreneurial and skills training opportunities for displaced coal miners in Knox, Harlan and Perry counties. [Harlan Daily Independent]

Mitch McConnell’s life mission is to do anything and everything to be a roadblock for President Barack Obama. Even if that means screwing over his constituents. Because most of them are too disconnected and scared to notice. [Politico]

A Louisville state senator has proposed requiring police departments to submit rape kits to the state testing lab within 30 days of receiving them. [WFPL]

A US-led coalition air strike has destroyed a bank used by the Islamic State group in the Iraqi city of Mosul. [BBC]

Fascinating how quickly Bam Carney tucked his tail between his legs after a little bit of public outrage. Bystanders who post pictures on social media from the scene of a wreck could face fines under a proposal before the Kentucky General Assembly. [H-L]

Solar is the energy employer of the future — or at least that’s how the numbers look today. A new report on the state of the solar industry out Tuesday from the nonprofit Solar Foundation shows that the number of jobs in the United States in the solar industry outpaced those in the oil and gas industries for the first time ever. [HuffPo]