Republicans Are Mad About Poors Getting Care

More than 40 candidates have filed to run in 12 council district races and for three at-large seats on the Urban County Council. [H-L]

A state official said Wednesday that he “can guarantee” some West Virginians are breathing in traces of a carcinogen while showering after the chemical spill, but federal health guidelines say people need to breathe “a lot of it” to be a problem. [HuffPo]

A dying man called the Louisville police Monday morning and told them he should spend his last days locked in a cell for what he had done more than six years ago. [C-J/AKN]

Hidden financial ties rattle a top health quality group. When the team of patient safety experts volunteering for the National Quality Forum met in 2009, it was no exaggeration to say lives were on the line. [ProPublica]

As the cold temperatures keep an icy grip on central Kentucky, one donation center in Scott County is in great need of winter items. [WLEX18]

You’ll notice that Paul didn’t answer the follow-up question. Asked whether he believes in a minimum wage, the senator talked about why he opposes an increase. [MSNBC]

Some Kentucky lawmakers want to amend the Kentucky Constitution to give lawmakers more authority to overrule regulations by the Executive Branch. [Ronnie Ellis]

Pee alert – the teabagger group that endorsed Matt Bevin can’t even spell his name correctly. [Business Insider]

A bill that would allow trained school staff to administer or help administer insulin to diabetic students passed Kentucky’s House of Representatives Monday. [H-L]

Ummm, Alison Grimes rolled out a new Tumbler page asking Mitch McConnell where all the jobs are at. Bizarre. That bunch of people believes Alison will win by creating websites that they only promote to people outside Kentucky. Jonathan Hurst wouldn’t do that sort of thing in a million years. It’s definitely daddy calling all the shots. Even shots he doesn’t understand. [HuffPo ]

In an executive session during its regular monthly meeting Tuesday evening, the Hazard City Commission was met with some shocking news as City Manager Carlos Combs handed in his letter of resignation. [Hazard Herald]

Detroit’s creditors got their first look Wednesday at the city’s proposed plan to adjust its debt and emerge from bankruptcy, though no details were immediately available. [Reuters]

Lots Of Positive Media Spin For Bevin Hire

A small handful of people are excited that one of Rand Paul’s race-baiting staffers have gone to work for Matt Bevin.

Since some media outlets are hyping it up as the second coming, we thought it’d be a good idea for a look at who Bernie Kunkel actually is:

The man is a full-on John Bircher standing in opposition to civil rights and racial equality. So, good for Matt Bevin, hiring someone like that? Fun stuff.

McConnell’s folks likely won’t let that one slip by.

Sure, Saddle Students With More & More Fees!

The counties where the Mountain Parkway already is four lanes aren’t exactly brimming with prosperity or jobs. Maybe it would make more sense to build and improve roads connecting mountain residents to Interstate 75 and its clusters of industry and business? [H-L]

So-called “Economic Freedom Zones” are inadequate solutions to a national crisis. Republicans, and Rand Paul in particular, are pushing “economic freedom zones” to alleviate poverty. While this is pretty similar to Obama’s “Promise Zones,” research shows their impact is negligible. [HuffPo]

Rand Paul may be involved in the greatest unofficial, preliminary, exploratory, non-presidential campaign in American political history. We have to take him at his word, of course, that he hasn’t made up his mind about a White House run and won’t announce anything until after the midterm elections in November. [C-J/AKN]

Negative perceptions of the health care rollout have eased, a new Associated Press-GfK poll finds. But overall, two-thirds of Americans say things still aren’t going well. [TPM]

We got a look at Gov. Steve Beshear’s proposed budget last week. As he’d warned, there are “harmful cuts” in several areas in order to “reinvest” in education, or at least the portion funding K-12. [Ronnie Ellis]

The man clearly has no idea how popular Bill Clinton is in Kentucky. Rand Paul said Sunday that Democrats and those in the media criticizing GOPers for a so-called “War on Women” give a free pass to former-President Bill Clinton’s “predatory behavior” against Monica Lewinsky. [Politico]

Only two, sometimes three, years per decade feature full ballots in Kentucky politics, and 2014 is one of them. Logan Countians will elect all local office holders except for circuit clerk, mayors of Auburn and Lewisburg, and a few school board members. [Logan Journal]

Meanwhile, anti-gay money controls Frankfort and Kentucky remains at least 50 years behind. [SPIN]

Was Harlan County kicked out of the state without anyone telling us? We are developing a sneaking suspicion that Harlan County has been removed from the official state maps at the Capitol. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

Spy agencies are scouring mobile phone applications for personal data. [NY Times]

Auburn Councilwoman Gayle Gregory was approached recently by a citizen who believed coyotes were coming into the town because of citizens who are keeping chickens at their homes. [News-Democrat & Leader]

If a drug user dies or is seriously injured after taking in multiple substances, a dealer who supplied one of the items can get an enhanced sentence only if that one drug was the actual cause of the death or injury, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Monday. [SCOTUS Blog]

Rand Paul’s Northern Kentucky field representative is leaving to become the Northern Kentucky director of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin’s campaign. Bernie Kunkel announced his plans Saturday while addressing Republicans at the annual Buffalo Trace Lincoln-Reagan Day Dinner in Maysville. And he said he’s wants to help Bevin in the GOP primary, in part, because U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell has been in Washington too long. [CN|2]

When a smartphone user opens Angry Birds, the popular game application, and starts slinging birds at chortling green pigs, spy agencies have plotted how to lurk in the background to snatch data revealing the player’s location, age, sex and other personal information, according to secret British intelligence documents. [ProPublica]

Just what students need in Kentucky – another fee. The Kentucky Community and Technical College System hopes to enact the first mandatory student fee in its 17-year history to pay for a proposed $145 million bond issue for construction projects at its 16 colleges statewide. [H-L]

Jack Just Needs To Be Honest About His Opinion

Georgetown police offered a little something extra to shut-ins and others hampered by this week’s icy roads. Using its Facebook page, the department advertised the use of surplus military vehicles it had on hand to offer emergency transport services. [H-L]

Since Virginia’s attorney general is refusing to defend a gay marriage ban, will it give Jack Conway courage? Will he finally admit his pro-gay marriage opinion and take a stand without panicking? We know he’s not a bigot – we just want him to admit it. [HuffPo]

At the end of his budget speech Tuesday night, Gov. Steve Beshear reminded lawmakers that casinos could prevent the 5 percent cuts he has proposed for most state agencies. After the speech, the ability of the General Assembly to pass a constitutional amendment seemed uncertain. []

Which parts of the country do you think have done the best job ensuring that children born to working-class families do better than their parents? [WaPo]

How on earth have we missed this?! The Jean-Marie Ag Show! [Click the Clicky]

What is the most dangerous climate change impact? That is a question Tom Friedman begins to get at in his must-read NY Times column, “WikiLeaks, Drought and Syria.” The piece is about a “WikiLeaks cable that brilliantly foreshadowed how environmental stresses would fuel the uprising” in Syria. [Think Progress]

Kentucky Securities Corporation President R. Strand (Stan) Kramer Jr. and Public Finance Manager Rosemary Woodruff discussed bonding issues at a recent meeting of the Harlan Independent Board of Education saying at “current market rates the school district can borrow $2.8 million on their local funding.” [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

After months of hype and hysteria, insurance policies purchased under the Affordable Care Act went into effect on New Year’s Day, and journalists have largely pivoted from writing about the problems of to how the law is actually working for consumers. [ProPublica]

Pro-life advocates argue that the state’s 1998 informed consent measure has been misinterpreted to allow phone consultations or pre-recorded messages to bypass face-to-face consultations, which was the original intent of the law. Sen. Sara Beth Gregory (R-Monticello) is the prime sponsor of Senate Bill 3 that updates Kentucky’s informed consent laws. [Renee Shaw]

The U.S. National Security Agency’s bulk collection of phone records provides only minimal benefits to countering terrorism, is illegal and should end, a federal privacy watchdog said in a report released on Thursday. [Reuters]

How to fail with average Kentuckians: do a radio ad featuring your New Englander accent. Yes, that crap matters. [WHAS11]

The U.S. National Security Agency’s bulk collection of phone records provides only minimal benefits to countering terrorism, is illegal and should end, a federal privacy watchdog said in a report to be released on Thursday, according to media reports. [HuffPo]

Cuts here and increases there. Governor Steve Beshear’s two year budget proposal has school administrators pulling out their calculators and scratching their heads. [WPSD]

Former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden has said he has “no chance” of a fair trial in the US and has no plans to return there. [BBC]

Offering Your Hand Could Save A Kid's Life

The Kentucky Environmental Quality Commission will hold its quarterly public forum to discuss the Bluegrass Pipeline Today at 6:00 P.M., Department for Environmental Protection, 300 Fair Oaks Lane, Frankfort. [Press Release]

Mitch McConnell on Wednesday debuted a new campaign TV ad, featuring the whispery voice of a throat cancer survivor who credits the five-term Kentucky Republican for supporting sick workers at a uranium enrichment plant. [H-L]

In a burned-out world, global leaders are making room for well-being in their definition of success. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin is suddenly an abortion expert. Like most delusional Republican men who aren’t closet cases, Bevin believes he knows what’s best for a woman to do with her body. And he hypes up the myth that federal dollars are funding abortion. He’s at least discussing adoption, which most blowhards ignore. [C-J/AKN]

The White House is trying to dial down the partisan rhetoric on immigration — and it’s asking its allies to do the same. [Politico]

Gov. Steve Beshear on Tuesday night offered state lawmakers reluctant to tackle tax reform in an election year a two-year budget he said filled him with both pride and regret. It’s a budget that proposes more money for elementary and secondary education and for state workers’ salaries – but cuts nearly everything else. [Ronnie Ellis]

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce spent more than $50 million on lobbying last year as it pushed for action on immigration reform. [The Hill]

A federal agency says a second, likely less toxic chemical also was released during a spill that contaminated the water supply for 300,000 West Virginians. [WKYT]

To reduce long election day voting lines, a presidential panel recommended on Wednesday that states explore the possibility of expanding ways that Americans can vote early, an increasingly popular way to vote. [Reuters]

Life isn’t about what or who you are, entirely, but what you do. What you do in relation to others, how you treat people, how you adjust to and accept your own humanity. That’s why Jake shared his personal story as a reminder to those in the media to take bullying seriously, to take suicide and threats of suicide much more seriously and for everyone to reach out to kids when they see them in need. [Storify from Twitter]

The European Commission says it will consult on part of a far-reaching EU-US free trade deal amid concern that hard-won social protections in Europe might be undermined. [BBC]

Gov. Steve Beshear wants the state to provide $65 million in bonds to help renovate Rupp Arena and relocate the Lexington Convention Center, the centerpiece of Mayor Jim Gray’s plan for a downtown Lexington Arts and Entertainment District. [H-L]

In an interview with HuffPost Live at Davos on Wednesday, Aron Cramer, president and CEO of Business for Social Responsibility, said he thinks “income inequality and climate change are actually very directly linked.” [HuffPo]

City of Hazard Mayor Nan Gorman made her position on whether or not she would run again in 2014 for city mayor official last week after putting her name into the bid for one of four city commissioner seats. [Hazard Herald]

Broadband Is A Big Deal For The Commonwealth

Two weeks after subfreezing temperatures hit the area, the Boyd County city of Catlettsburg continues to experience water supply problems. [H-L]

Putting pressure on young people to marry sooner, frowning upon cohabitation before marriage, teaching abstinence only sex education and making access to resources like emergency contraception more difficult all result in earlier child bearing ages and less-solid marriages from the get go. [HuffPo]

This is not new news but they must have sent out their press release again. FreedomWorks is wasting $500,000 on Matt Bevin. [C-J/AKN]

We should all be paying close attention to things like this. A federal judge on Thursday said he would not let Detroit continue to make bad financial decisions, rejecting a proposed $165 million settlement with two banks to terminate a troubled pension debt deal. [Detroit News]

Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3) has reintroduced legislation to override a key element of the Supreme Court’s disastrous Citizens United decision, which opened the floodgates for unlimited special-interest spending on campaigns. The legislation, H.J. Res. 107, would amend the Constitution so that financial expenditures and in-kind contributions do not qualify as protected speech under the First Amendment. [Press Release]

A big fracking lie. If you want to know just how bad an idea it is for America to ship “fracked” natural gas to overseas markets, travel the 65 miles from the White House to a place called Cove Point in southern Maryland. [Politico]

Imagine planning a household budget and not knowing major sources of income to compile it. So… just like 90% of households in Kentucky, because they never know when their job will disappear or their funds will dry up? [BGDN]

The European Commission has outlined its plans for climate and energy policy until 2030. The Commissioners want a binding target to reduce carbon emissions by 40% from 1990 levels. [BBC]

Unlike past budget debates, Republicans in the legislature didn’t automatically dismiss Gov. Steve Beshear first proposal, which he laid out Tuesday night. [Ryan Alessi]

Delaware asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday to review a lower court decision that stopped the state’s nationally important business court from overseeing private arbitrations, a process critics compared to secret trials. [Reuters]

The Family Foundation threw a potential legal obstacle Wednesday in the path of expanded gambling legislation in this year’s General Assembly. [Bluegrass Politics]

Climate change means more intense precipitation in some places, even snow. [HuffPo]

The Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives (KDLA), in partnership with the Department of Financial Institutions (DFI), received a $4,000 grant from the Investor Protection Trust to create investor education library kits and purchase e-books about investing for the state’s electronic media collection. [Press Release]

Preventive health care services are supposed to be covered under the Affordable Care Act so that people don’t have to pay out of pocket to get recommended screening tests. [NPR]

Governor Steve Beshear joined Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers today to announce an ambitious state and federal investment to extend critically-needed high-speed broadband Internet access to the furthest reaches of the Commonwealth. The underserved eastern Kentucky region will be the first priority area for the project, which will be supported by $60 million in state bonds and $40 million in federal and private sources. [Press Release]