Caucusing Seems Silly Without Rand

The federal government wants to get involved in a whistleblower lawsuit against Eastern Kentucky disability lawyer Eric C. Conn. [H-L]

New Hampshire Republican primary voters on Tuesday made official their choice for president of the United States: real estate mogul and reality television star Donald J. Trump. The businessman’s resounding victory amid a crowded field of more experienced and accomplished candidates is a stunning turn of events for a party that vowed just four years ago to be more inclusive to minorities after failing to unseat President Barack Obama in the bitter 2012 election. [HuffPo]

Look what’s happening in Louisville while Frankfort asshats try to kill internet expansion in the rest of the state. Google Fiber is making “very good progress” in assessing whether it can install a fiber-optics network in Louisville that would provide exceptionally quick Internet service, a top city official says. [C-J/AKN]

Tightening financial conditions and uncertainty over China pose risks to the U.S. recovery, but chances are slim the Federal Reserve would need to reverse the rate tightening cycle it began in December, Fed Chair Janet Yellen told U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday. [Reuters]

As the Republican Party of Kentucky gears up to organize its presidential caucus this year, many Kentuckians have a lot of questions, as several have never participated in such an event. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Most women said they are opposed to having to register for the draft in a new Rasmussen Reports poll. [The Hill]

Kentucky’s first-ever presidential nominating caucus will be held Saturday, March 5, and it will bring Republicans from three counties to Morehead to cast ballots for a share of the state’s delegates to the party’s national convention. [The Morehead News]

The American Red Cross has failed to answer a congressman’s questions about deep cuts the charity has made to staff and local offices. [ProPublica]

Frankfort is a bunch of backward-ass hillbillies who’ll believe anything they hear on Fox News, apparently. The rhetoric in the state House over how to proceed on a bill to cut off state funding for Planned Parenthood got heated Tuesday with one lawmaker saying their services are “from the pit of hell.” [Ronnie Ellis]

The most carbon-intensive way to travel is also the one way that has escaped any kind of emissions standards — until now. On Monday, the environmental committee of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) approved a new set of guidelines, but they will take more than a decade to be fully enforced. [ThinkProgress]

Looks like things aren’t going so well in Bullitt County and special deputies are still a dumb idea. Investigators say a former Bullitt County Special Deputy has ties to a Mexican Cartel. WDRB traveled to the center of drug operations to investigate how authorities caught up with him and the other local men tied to the investigation. [WDRB]

Biologists say they have solved the riddle of how a tiny bacterium senses light and moves towards it: the entire organism acts like an eyeball. [BBC]

The funding request for the Appalachian Regional Commission is the largest in more than three decades, according to its co-chairman. [H-L]

The National Rifle Association came under increasing pressure Tuesday to distance itself from longtime NRA board member Ted Nugent, after he posted photos of prominent Jewish Americans who he claimed were “really behind gun control.” [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]

Everybody Has A Sad For Rand Paul

Rand Paul (R-Cookie Tree) of Kentucky dropped out of the 2016 presidential race Wednesday after a fifth-place finish in the Iowa Republican caucus two days earlier. [H-L]

Justice Clarence Thomas will soon celebrate 10 years of not speaking during oral arguments at the Supreme Court. [HuffPo]

Woo, let’s gamble ouselves to failure! A bipartisan group of state senators called on Tuesday morning for expanded gambling in Kentucky to support Kentucky’s retirement systems. [C-J/AKN]

Rand Paul (R-Cookie Tree) is suspending his campaign and dropping out of the presidential race. [The Hill]

If you missed it, some disgusting stuff has gone on in Shelby County for several years. But legal action has been taken to hold people accountable for atrocious animal abuse and torture. [Page One]

U.S. armed forces leaders said on Tuesday that women should be required to register for the military draft, along with men, as the military moves toward integrating them fully into combat positions. [Reuters]

health
You can’t fix stupid in Frankfort. The State Senate voted to defund Planned Parenthood. Because the entire body is filled with mouth-breathers who believe everything that scares them on Fox News. [WFPL]

“But unlike Bill Murray’s character…Republican leaders are either willfully ignorant or intentionally wasting everyone’s time.” [ThinkProgress]

The Healthy Choices, Healthy Communities coalition is requesting the assistance of community residence in determining the region’s most pressing health concerns. [Ashland Independent]

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (R-Cookie Tree) is suspending his campaign for president after a disappointing finish in Iowa, turning his focus now to his Senate re-election bid. [NPR]

Police found a methamphetamine pipe inside a breakfast biscuit after stopping a car at the Berea Walmart for excessive window tint on Thursday. [Richmond Register]

Indigenous tribes, timber firms and environmental groups in western Canada have welcomed a deal to protect one of the world’s largest remaining tracts of temperate rainforest. [BBC]

This might be one of the most terrifying Groundhog Day-related things we’ve ever seen. [H-L]

Real estate mogul Donald Trump accused Ted Cruz of fraud on Wednesday, claiming the Texas senator “stole” the Iowa caucuses and arguing that “either a new election should take place or Cruz results nullified.” [HuffPo]

Coal. Just. Keeps. On. Dying. Its. Death.

People can’t stop snickering over the Alison Daddy’s Name Grimes and Jerry Lundergan subpoenas. [H-L]

Tensions soared across the Hawkeye State during Monday’s Iowa Caucuses. Polls were thwarted, two candidates ended their run for the presidency and another decided to leave the state all together to get some fresh clothes. [HuffPo]

Some 300 or more Kentuckians could retroactively earn their GEDs as the state opts to lower the score required to pass the high school equivalency exam. [C-J/AKN]

Barclays and Credit Suisse have been fined a total of $154m (£108m) by US regulators for their US “dark pool” trading operations. [BBC]

Coal production in Kentucky has slumped to its lowest level since the 1950s after declining nearly 21 percent in 2015. [Harlan Daily Independent]

Hillary Clinton narrowly defeated Bernie Sanders in the Iowa caucuses, according to results announced by the state Democratic Party early Tuesday morning, a dramatic finish to a race so close that The Associated Press declined to call it even after every precinct except one had reported results. [Politico]

At a time when private support is more critical than ever, alumni and friends of Eastern Kentucky University are generously giving of their time, talents and treasure. [Richmond Register]

Damn self-haters. The Log Cabin Republicans are interested in holding Democrats to high standards for LGBT equality, but not their own party. [ThinkProgress]

Nine candidates have filed to run for six seats on the Morehead City Council in the November general election. [The Morehead News]

A journalist immerses herself in New York’s Family Court system and finds a mix of misery and modest hope. [ProPublica]

Documents released to the Glasgow Daily Times in response to open records requests shed slightly more information on the situation that led to a Glasgow Police Department sergeant’s firing. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The Pentagon’s planned 2017 budget will shifts its focus on future wars against near-peer competitors Russia and China, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Tuesday. [The Hill]

A non-profit working to revitalize downtown Middlesboro has been awarded $20,000 under a program aimed at making local foods a greater part of local economies. [H-L]

A great man named Donald Trump once said, “I am a whiner, and I keep whining and whining until I win.” Sadly, this Churchillian testicular fortitude came to nought on Monday, as the country’s foremost wall-promiser and fear-player-onner went down to defeat in the GOP’s Iowa caucuses. [HuffPo]

Need cheap mobile phone service? Maybe even for a backup cell phone? I’m talking $6/mo cheap? Use our Ting referral code and we’ll all get a sweet credit. You get $25 — enough for a couple months of service to determine whether you like it. Both CDMA and GSM options. For worriers: no, you don’t get identified to us if you use our link… so please consider letting us know if you do! [Ting]

Is Education Screwed In KY? Probably.

Matt Bevin excluded K-12 schools from funding cuts in an austere state budget proposal that would slash funding to Kentucky’s public universities. [H-L]

Donald Trump may be about to do something that has never been done in the modern presidential nominating era: Win a state primary without a single endorsement from a member of Congress. [HuffPo]

On Tuesday, state Sen. Gerald Neal learned that Charles Booker, his former protege who Neal defended when he lost his job with the Legislative Research Commission for appearing in an ad for Alison Lundergan Grimes, was running against him. [C-J/AKN]

Top Democrats from Michigan’s congressional delegation have introduced a bill to expand lead poisoning notifications in the wake of the water crisis in Flint, Mich. [The Hill]

The state’s minimum hourly wage would be raised to $10.10 over the next two and half years under a bill that cleared a House committee today. House Bill 278, sponsored by House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, would increase Kentucky’s current minimum wage of $7.25 an hour to $8.20 this August, $9.15 in July 2017 and $10.10 in July 2018. The increase would not apply to businesses that have a recent average annual gross volume of sales of less than $500,000. [Press Release]

Lieutenant General John “Mick” Nicholson, the current head of NATO’s Allied Land Command, has been chosen as the new commander of international forces in Afghanistan, the Pentagon said on Wednesday amid concerns about setbacks in the fight against the Taliban. [Reuters]

Kentucky environmental advocates are worried that budget reductions called for by Gov. Matt Bevin will make it impossible for the Energy and Environment Cabinet to perform its basic functions. [WFPL]

Donald Trump’s rivals are mocking the GOP poll leader for his decision to skip this week’s Fox News debate and deprive them of their last chance to confront him before Monday’s Iowa caucuses. [Politico]

More than 300 candidates have filed to run for office in this year’s election, including 220 for state House races. [Ronnie Ellis]

Here is some of the best reporting on, and key moments from, the on-going public health crisis in Flint, Michigan. [ProPublica]

Ashland school superintendent and former mayor Steve Gilmore told his school board Monday he will step down in June because he is seeking his previous job. [Ashland Independent]

After a Texas-based grand jury declined to indict Planned Parenthood on Monday, clearing an Austin-based clinic of any wrongdoing, GOP presidential candidates are simply doubling down on their opposition to the national women’s health organization. [ThinkProgress]

Matt Bevin’s proposed state budget includes $60 million in state bonds for a proposed $250 million overhaul of Lexington’s convention center. [H-L]

When Bernie Sanders released his universal health care plan last week, promising that most people would receive more generous insurance coverage while paying less for medical care, most policy experts said it sounded too good to be true. [HuffPo]

Quick, Scare The Meemaws With Zika!

Amid many aspects of Gov. Matt Bevin’s proposed state budget, one line item in particular raised a lot of eyebrows: $21 million to renovate and expand the University of Kentucky’s Wildcat Coal Lodge, the deluxe accommodations for UK’s basketball team that opened in 2012. [H-L]

Hillary Clinton delivered a fiery response to a Muslim veteran’s question about Islamophobia in the United States. [HuffPo]

The University of Kentucky’s 4-year-old Wildcat Coal Lodge, home of the men’s basketball team, could be heading for a renovation. [C-J/AKN]

President Obama said Monday he will ban solitary confinement for juveniles in the federal prison system and reduce the practice for certain other inmates. [The Hill]

London will be wet. Registered voters within the city limits took to the polls Tuesday to answer one simple question: “Are you in favor of the sale of alcoholic beverages in the city limits of London, Kentucky?” The result was a resounding “yes.” [Richmond Register]

Lockheed Martin Corp said on Tuesday it reached a deal to combine its information systems and government services business with Leidos Holdings Inc, and reported higher-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue. [Reuters]

City of Ashland personnel policy contradicts what City Manager Ben Bitter said about a vacation pay advance made to a department head this summer. [Ashland Independent]

Standing at a podium before the World Economic Forum, Leonardo DiCaprio briefly smiled as he received an award for his leadership in tackling climate change. Once settled under the spotlight, he quickly moved away from his grateful statements, and began railing on corporate avarice. [ThinkProgress]

City Attorney Rich Alexander released Tuesday the transcript from a portion of a disciplinary hearing that he acknowledged Monday he incorrectly closed to the public. [Glasgow Daily Times]

American scientists studying the Zika virus have warned that it could be a decade before a vaccine is publicly available. [BBC]

Marc Guilfoil is the new executive director of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. [Ronnie Ellis]

The Federal Reserve has decided to keep its benchmark interest rate where it is, even as Fed officials expressed somewhat more caution about global economic conditions. [NPR]

Victims of domestic violence could break rental agreements without fear of penalty to get away from their abusers under a bill approved Wednesday by a Kentucky House panel. [H-L]

Will he have the guts to stand up? Every single Democrat in the Senate, and the two independents who caucus with them, are urging Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to act quickly to help the island of Puerto Rico restructure its debt. [HuffPo]

Let The Budget Freakout Fun Begin!

Matt Bevin spoke at a Republican presidential forum in New Hampshire Saturday afternoon, less than 24 hours after declaring a state of emergency and activating the Kentucky National Guard to help residents stranded by a massive snowstorm. [H-L]

The people of Michigan hired themselves a GOP businessman to be governor in 2011. And what they got was children poisoned by public water in Flint. That is, what they got was a government run based on GOP business values. [HuffPo]

The man recently appointed as director of resorts for the Kentucky Department of Parks despite a past violation of the state government ethics code has resigned. [C-J/AKN]

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is considering a third-party bid for president, telling allies he could spend at least $1 billion to mount the uphill climb. [The Hill]

Kentucky’s new education commissioner announced plans Thursday to broaden math and English standards and acknowledged that the system of assessing student achievement remains “a work in progress.” [Richmond Register]

Is it true that rare Italian goats were airlifted to Afghanistan? Did Defense Department employees go to carpet tradeshows in Europe? How about on jewelry-related trips to India? [ProPublica]

A local folk artist’s work is featured in the book “Mommy Goose: Rhymes from the Mountains,” published by the University Press of Kentucky and set to be released Feb. 5. Minnie Adkins of Isonville carved more than 100 pieces for the book by Kentucky native Mike Norris. [Ashland Independent]

On September 9, 2002, as the George W. Bush administration was launching its campaign to invade Iraq, a classified report landed on the desk of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It came from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and it carried an ominous note. [Politico]

Barren County Detention Center inmates Damien Hurt, left, and Scott Szabo move a desk into an office at the new location of the Barren County county attorney’s office at 220 W. Main St. on Thursday. The county just recently completed the purchase of the building, which had been the home of Bailey and Grissom, a real estate company, for the offices. The former county attorney building approximately two blocks away had issues with bats, bat droppings and other concerns. [Glasgow Daily Times]

From the Department of Things Ken Ham Wouldn’t Understand… Archaeologists say they have unearthed the earliest evidence of warfare between hunter-gatherers, at a site in northern Kenya. The 10,000-year-old remains of 27 people found at a remote site west of Lake Turkana show that they met violent deaths. [BBC]

Guess some folks in Morehead finally realized Walter Junior’s just been coasting and out of it. A few Rowan County officials told Judge-Executive Walter Blevins that it’s time for him to assume control of his office during Tuesday’s Fiscal Court meeting. [The Morehead News]

At first blush, the FBI’s national crime numbers for the first half of 2015 seem like bad news: Violent crime is up 1.7 percent over the same period last year. [NPR]

The head of the state Education and Workforce Development Cabinet wants a group of elected officials to rebid an up to $11.4 million workforce training grant awarded to the Bluegrass Area Development District in early January. [H-L]

Flint was a failure of government — but it didn’t have to be so. And government wasn’t the root of the problem. It was about the people, and ideas they advocate, who have taken control of governments across the country. [HuffPo]