Hillary Clinton Reaches For Coal Country

Kentucky Republicans basked in their statewide election victories on Saturday but warned conservatives to guard against the types of mistakes that plagued the party the last time they were in power. [H-L]

When it came time to think seriously about endorsing a presidential candidate for 2016, Paul Feeney says it wasn’t a hard decision for members of his union. [HuffPo]

Seeking to defend his signature achievement, Gov. Steve Beshear on Friday made an impassioned appeal to Gov.-elect Matt Bevin not to dismantle Kentucky’s expansion of health care under the Affordable Care Act. [C-J/AKN]

Whistleblowers are always accused of helping America’s enemies (top Nixon aides accused Daniel Ellsberg of being a Soviet spy and causing the deaths of Americans with his leak); it’s just the tactical playbook that’s automatically used. So it’s of course unsurprising that ever since Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing enabled newspapers around the world to report on secretly implemented programs of mass surveillance, he has been accused by “officials” and their various media allies of Helping The Terrorists™. [The Intercept]

The Beshear Machine has finally started making plans to shut down. The Secretary of Kentucky’s Energy and Environment Cabinet has officially submitted his resignation to Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear. Secretary Len Peters’ last day in his position will be Dec. 7, which is also Beshear’s last day in office. [WFPL]

Technology and social media companies are pushing out an ever-increasing amount of data to tally up which 2016 presidential candidates are winning the race for most mentions online. [The Hill]

The Boyd County Board of Education hired a construction firm and approved plans Wednesday for a $25 million renovation of its middle school. [Ashland Independent]

Lockheed Martin Corp has been awarded a contract worth nearly $969 million to build 17 C-130J military transport aircraft, the Pentagon said on Tuesday. [Reuters]

Rowan Fiscal Court Tuesday accepted a bid for the demolition of the site of the new Rowan County Detention Center. [The Morehead News]

An unnamed hacker leaked documents to the news site The Intercept revealing a major data breach by the prison phone company Securus Technologies. At least 70 million call records from prisoners in 37 states over two years were released, including thousands of calls that never should have been recorded and stored in the first place: confidential conversations between attorneys and their incarcerated clients. [ThinkProgress]

The Glasgow Water and Sewer Commission got an unqualified, clean report on the audit of the Glasgow Water Co.’s financial statements for the fiscal year ending June 30. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Humans have been exploiting honeybees for almost 9,000 years, according to archaeological evidence. [BBC]

Hillary Clinton’s proposal to help miners and communities hurt by a drop in coal production and jobs covers a range of approaches, including grants to train workers and help small businesses, support for energy-efficiency programs and stepped-up efforts to reclaim abandoned mine lands. [H-L]

When Alex Malloy caught a cab in Manhattan just after 11 p.m. on Friday, he did not expect anything out of the ordinary. [HuffPo]

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All Eyes On Appalachia As Stivers Embarrasses, Abandons His Suffering Constituents

Construction on a Noah’s Ark attraction in northern Kentucky is sailing along, and the builders say they’re ready to announce an opening date. [H-L]

The prevailing view that addiction is a disease, just like depression or diabetes, is wrong, according to a leading neuroscientist. Marc Lewis, the author of Memoirs of an Addicted Brain and The Biology of Desire, insists that addiction is not a disease and that presenting it as such is harmful. [HuffPo]

Oh, man, Dan Johnson really let Jack Conway have it in his letter to the editor. [C-J/AKN]

America’s poorest white town: abandoned by coal, swallowed by drugs. In the first of a series of dispatches from the US’s poorest communities, we visit Beattyville, Kentucky, blighted by a lack of jobs and addiction to ‘hillbilly heroin’. [The Guardian]

Gov.-elect Matt Bevin’s pledge to scale back the Medicaid expansion and dismantle Kynect, Kentucky’s award-winning health insurance exchange, has caused concern among health clinics. [Business First]

Senate Republicans are divided over how far to go with an ObamaCare repeal bill that they plan to send to the president’s desk by year’s end. [The Hill]

Bob Stivers, one of the most gluttonous hypocrites in Frankfort, represents one of Kentucky’s poorest regions. So here he is advocating FOR killing health care by claiming the savings will help shore up the troubled pension system. Still wondering why his staff have slowly abandoned him over the past few years? Now you know. [CN|Toot]

The advertisement portrays the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as a roomful of bureaucratic automatons mercilessly stamping “DENIED” on loan applications, beneath Soviet-style banners depicting CFPB’s director, Richard Cordray, and its principal architect, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. But the ad does not disclose that the group sponsoring it is led by lobbyists for Navient, a student loan company that the CFPB is currently investigating for allegedly cheating student loan borrowers. [The Intercept]

Kentucky’s latest quarterly coal report shows new recent lows in the state’s coal employment and production. During the third quarter of 2015, Kentucky’s mines employed only 9,356 workers — a more than 50 percent decline from this quarter in 2011. Coal production is also at the lowest point since the 1960s. [WFPL]

David Bass, who served 21 years in the U.S. Army, says he tried medical marijuana in a moment of desperation. He suffered from chronic pain and PTSD as a result of multiple active duty tours in Iraq, and his doctor at the VA gave him intense narcotic and psychotropic drugs. [ThinkProgress]

The Glasgow-Barren County Tourist and Convention Commission became one of two tourist commissions that have agreed to help fund the salary of an administrative assistant who will help with the development of a master plan to connect area trails. [Glasgow Daily Times]

At the end of June, ProPublica and The Virginian-Pilot kicked off an investigation into the potential effects of Agent Orange on the children and grandchildren of Vietnam War-era veterans. [ProPublica]

As Fox Business News was cutting away to commercial almost an hour into Tuesday night’s Republican debate, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul could be seen walking toward the moderators. [H-L]

Undercover video recorded by an animal rights activist at one of the largest U.S. pork producers appears to show pigs being beaten and dragged across the slaughterhouse floor as workers cheer and throw blood-soaked towels at one another. [HuffPo]

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Jorbs Are Leaving NEKY Like Woah Now

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The city of Frankfort is considering a resolution that would establish a needle exchange program. [H-L]

Love him or hate him, few people until recently would deny that Sen. Rand Paul (R-Cookie Tree) has a unique brand as an independent, libertarian-leaning Republican, which he has successfully leveraged to national fame. [HuffPo]

About 500 soldiers from Fort Campbell’s 101st Airborne Division will deploy to Iraq and Kuwait early next year to lead the effort to train Iraqi forces battling the Islamic State, U.S. Army officials said. [C-J/AKN]

Sen. Marco Rubio (Nation’s Hang Down) slammed his colleague Sen. Rand Paul (Cookie Tree) as a “committed isolationist” as the pair sparred over taxes in the fourth GOP presidential debate Tuesday. [The Hill]

Circuit Judge Phillip Patton had told most everyone he didn’t want any sort of a gathering planned in recognition of his upcoming retirement. [Glasgow Daily Times]

About half of California’s undocumented immigrants are poor enough to qualify for Medi-Cal, the state’s insurance program for its poorest residents, according to a new report. [Reuters]

The Germans weren’t raining fire on Normandy’s Omaha Beach when Bill McKenney, 92, was working to unload ammunition from Allied ships, but the beach was still a dangerous place. [Richmond Register]

In its ongoing Failure Factories series, the Tampa Bay Times is investigating the disastrous effects of the Pinellas County School Board’s 2007 decision to abandon school integration in favor of “neighborhood schools.” Schools in high-poverty black communities were promised additional funding and resources. Then the promises weren’t met, and performance at the schools has plummeted. [ProPublica]

The possible loss of hundreds of jobs, even if temporary, in northeast Kentucky, and the trickle-down ramifications have caught the attention of the state’s highest officials. [Ashland Independent]

How is marriage equality like being forced to own a giraffe? Oddly enough, that’s what passes for legal analysis at the Mississippi Supreme Court, where two justices testily dissented from a routine order recognizing that the Supreme Court’s landmark gay rights decision in Obergefell v. Hodges does indeed apply in the state of Mississippi. In one dissenting opinion, Justice Josiah Coleman compared Obergefell to hypothetical court decisions giving each U.S. Supreme Court justice a 5 million salary or requiring all members of a minority group to be sent to work camps. He also likens the Court’s marriage equality decision to “a United States Supreme Court decision that held the Constitution of the United States required every household in America to own a giraffe.” [ThinkProgress]

Rowan School Supt. Marvin Moore had a chance to meet with the state’s new commissioner of education, Dr. Stephen Pruitt, at the recent Kentucky Educational Development Corporation (KEDC) meeting. [The Morehead News]

Matthew Barzun, the American ambassador to the Court of St. James’s, stood before a buzzing, boisterous audience of several hundred teenagers in a poor borough on the southern edge of greater London and asked them what frustrated or concerned them the most about the United States. [NY Times]

State Rep. Stan Lee has prefiled a bill for the 2016 General Assembly that would allow home-schooled students to play athletics on public school teams. [H-L]

As friends and family gathered Tuesday at the funeral of Tyshawn Lee — one of the youngest Chicago residents lost to gun violence this year — to mourn and remember the boy, Father Michael Pfleger delivered a fiery eulogy indicting the city over the execution of a 9-year-old child. [HuffPo]

Northup Has Crawled Out Of The Darkness

Fayette County Public Schools’ e-school program allows as many as 400 to 500 students who have good reading test scores to take online courses on a full- or part-time basis. [H-L]

Oh, nowwwwww we know why Anne Northup is five Old Fashioneds deep in Marco Rubio’s world. Gay panic beams are on high, henny. [HuffPo]

Scott Jennings is attempting to whitewash history in claiming that Ernie Fletcher didn’t lose the election for himself. Almost as fascinating as watching he and his friends try to kiss Matt Bevin’s butt after spending years trashing him. Yes, the Kentucky Democratic Party is burning to the ground. It has been for years. That fire will burn out in a year or so and a new crop of people will take over and flush the Republicans back down the drain. It always happens like that. One party gets into power and turns corrupt, wasteful, awful. Happened to Democrats and it’s about to happen to Republicans again. If Republicans like Scott Jennings can’t see the writing on that wall, then it’s no wonder they always find themselves pleading the fifth when called to the accountability altar. [C-J/AKN]

In December 1988, Jörg Winger was a West German Army radio operator eavesdropping on Soviet military channels when he overheard a startling message: The Russians wished him Merry Christmas by name. “That was the moment where we realized that we had moles on the base,” he recalled. [NY Times]

Kentucky’s environmental sanctions plummeted under Steve Beshear. Acrid smoke blanketed a neighborhood off Dixie Highway in Southwest Louisville on an unseasonably warm fall day last November. For more than 24 hours, a 30-foot-tall pile of tires burned at Liberty Tire, a tire recycling center on Bohannon Avenue. Those living within a mile of the site were urged to shelter in place. [WFPL]

Oil giant Exxon Mobil is being investigated for misleading the public about the impact of climate change. [BBC]

Good grief, what is going on in the mountains these days? A woman is dead and two people are in the hospital after a triple-shooting in Wolfe County. [WKYT]

After six years of environmental reviews, permitting battles, and vocal opposition from climate activists, the Keystone XL pipeline is officially dead. [ThinkProgress]

Council members, restaurant owners and concerned citizens all came out Monday night for a public form over a 3 percent restaurant tax. [Ashland Independent]

It’s customary for members of the House of Representatives to file an explanation when they miss a vote. These Personal Explanations are a glimpse into the pace and trade-offs inherent in modern government. [ProPublica]

Bob Stivers is straight up lying to you. Sen. Robert Stivers, president of the Kentucky Senate, said here Thursday that the funding shortfall in the Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System (KTRS) is not as critical as many believe. [The Morehead News]

Where the lunatics running for president in 2016 stand on immigration, in one chart. [NPR]

The military says about 500 soldiers from the 101st Airborne headquarters at Fort Campbell are deploying to the Middle East to support military actions against the Islamic State group. [H-L]

If countries fail to sustain policies that combat the impacts of climate change while also providing safety nets for the world’s poor, global warming will drive an additional 100 million people into poverty by 2030, a new World Bank report finds. [HuffPo]

Harmon Should Continue Major UofL Audit

We’ve highlighted scandals involving programs like these in Montgomery County but they’ve been ignored by the paper. By January, consultants could be conducting audits of programs for special education, gifted and talented students, and English-language learners, according to Fayette County Public Schools Superintendent Manny Caulk. [H-L]

When it comes to accreditors, the private organizations paid by colleges to help them maintain access to nearly $150 billion annually in federal student aid, the U.S. Department of Education seems to think sunlight is the best disinfectant. [HuffPo]

The Louisville Arena Authority ended its total ban on firearms and agreed Monday to give promoters and booking agents of events at the KFC Yum! Center the right to decide whether ticketed visitors can carry firearms into the downtown arena. [C-J/AKN]

Leaked internal emails from the powerful Democratic think tank Center for American Progress (CAP) shed light on several public controversies involving the organization, particularly in regard to its positioning on Israel. They reveal the lengths to which the group has gone in order to placate AIPAC and long-time Clinton operative and Israel activist Ann Lewis — including censoring its own writers on the topic of Israel. [The Intercept]

Kentucky’s next state auditor, Danville Republican Rep. Mike Harmon, said he’s not sure if he’ll continue the investigation of the University of Louisville’s Board of Trustees and its relationship with the University of Louisville Foundation, which manages the school’s $1.1 billion endowment. [WFPL]

President Obama is on a collision course with congressional Republicans over the Guantánamo Bay detention facility, with increasing chatter in Washington that he might seek to close the prison through executive action. [The Hill]

Boyd County Clerk Debbie Jones’ office was one of 30 awarded a state grant to assist in preserving local government records for the 2015-16 fiscal year. Gov. Steve Beshear announced Thursday that Jones will receive $657,023 from the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives for the purposes of preserving and managing local records. [Ashland Independent]

Three major companies, citing the under-representation of minorities in science and technology fields, are urging the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold affirmative action in university admissions in a closely watched case to be argued next month. [Reuters]

The Morehead-Rowan County-Lakeview Heights Joint Planning Commission Wednesday unanimously approved preliminary design plans for St. Claire Regional Medical Center’s new medical services building. The three-story, 78,000-square foot building is estimated to cost about $25 million. [The Morehead News]

As part of an overall strategy to reduce overcrowding and give fairer sentences for low-level drug offenders, the U.S. Department of Justice granted 6,000 inmates — including nearly 2,000 immigrants — early release from prison earlier this week. But the immigrants among that group may face additional punishment even after they’re no longer behind bars. [ThinkProgress]

Lindsey Wilson College education majors Anthony Horne and Justin Sumpter felt a warm welcome from faculty and students during three weeks spent student teaching in the Caverna Independent Schools district earlier this year. [Glasgow Daily Times]

They’re hard. At least, that was the rep on new tests aligned to the Common Core State Standards that millions of U.S. kids took last spring. Now you can be the judge. [NPR]

Manny Caulk, superintendent of Fayette County Public Schools, is inviting Gov.-elect Matt Bevin to visit the district to see the efforts being made to raise student achievement before Bevin decides that public charter schools are the answer. [H-L]

How does one explain the lopsided vote against Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO)? If you ask Hillary Clinton, it all comes down to voters’ emotions. The U.S. presidential candidate told the crowd at MSNBC’s Democratic candidates forum on Friday night that the nondiscrimination measure’s failure defied common sense. [HuffPo]

Some Monday Evening Gloom And Doom

The most important newspaper in the state has ignored scandal after scandal in Montgomery County, just 20 minutes away from its offices, but has focused non-stop on stupid issues like this. In places hours and hours away. Really, freaking out about a student prank involving bible verses? Really, it’s Nancy Rodriguez all over again. Maybe worse this time. [H-L]

Rand Paul’s (R-Cookie Tree) new book sold fewer than 500 copies in two weeks. TWO WEEKS! Can you imagine? More people wanted Jake’s Kim Davis magnets on Twitter than bought the little man’s new book. [HuffPo]

House Democrats met Friday to talk about moving forward following Tuesday’s devastating losses in statewide elections and to steel themselves against the possibility that some of their members may switch parties or take jobs in the Bevin administration, jeopardizing their party’s hold on the chamber. [C-J/AKN]

The fossil fuel industry had already managed to shape a bill moving rapidly through Congress last summer, gaining provisions to ease its ability to export natural gas. But one key objective remained elusive: a measure limiting the authority of local communities to slow the construction of pipelines because of environmental concerns. [IBT]

Matt London took some time off Thursday from his day job to harvest soybeans on a seven-acre plot near Hiseville-Bear Wallow Road. He, like other grain farmers in the area, is a little later in the year harvesting because of weather, which is the consistent seasonal variable in agriculture. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Rand Paul (R-Cookie Tree) says that when it comes to foreign policy, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a fellow GOP presidential candidate, and Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton are “the same person.” [The Hill]

It’s not every day the richest man in the world visits eastern Kentucky. Bill Gates and his wife Melinda were spotted eating at Texas Roadhouse in Pikeville and snapped cell phone photos of Gates enjoying his meal went viral. [Ashland Independent]

U.S. and coalition forces are likely to increase air strikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria in coming weeks after a lull in September and October, the head of U.S. Air Forces Central Command said Saturday. [Reuters]

Dr. Scott Davison, a professor and department chair at Morehead State University, Tuesday won the three remaining years on the vacant seat on the Rowan County Board of Education. [The Morehead News]

The journalists were assassinated on American soil, one after another. Duong Trong Lam was the first. He was 27 years old and ran a Vietnamese-language publication called Cai Dinh Lang, which he mailed to immigrants around the country. A gunman found him as he walked out of his San Francisco apartment building one morning and shot him, a single bullet piercing his pulmonary artery, just above the heart. [ProPublica]

A new report says more than one in 10 babies are born premature in Kentucky. The state has a premature birth rate of 10.7 percent, ranking it 38th in the U.S., according to the 2015 Premature Birth Rate Report Card. The report gave Kentucky a “D” grade for its premature birth rate. [WFPL]

The State Department has released a new chronology adding perspective to how the diplomatic agency, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other elements of the U.S. government scrambled to respond to the attack on the U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012. [Politico]

Handguns, narcotics and $30,000 in cash were stolen during a break-in of the Simpsonville Police Department, Kentucky State Police said in a release. [H-L]

Surprise! There are a bunch of Kentuckians on this list. The hackivist collective Anonymous released a much-anticipated list of people it claims are members or supporters of the Ku Klux Klan on Thursday night. [HuffPo]

Democrats Freaking Out, Republicans Kissing Butt

How could anyone be shocked that Jack Conway didn’t take more people down with him? He didn’t campaign alongside the rest of the slate on any occasion that’s rememberable. Heck, he didn’t even campaign. He hid out in his Glenview estate in that haughty community overlooking the river. What people knew of Jack Conway, they didn’t like. And by people? We mean Democrats. Democrats disliked him enough not to vote for him. [H-L]

British spies would be allowed to legally hack into smartphones and computers under the Tory government’s new surveillance law. Telecoms firms will be forced to help MI5, the domestic intelligence agency; MI6, overseas intelligence; and the U.K.’s Government Communications Headquarters use James Bond-style “equipment interference” — remotely accessing phones and using them as listening devices — as part of the draft Investigatory Powers Bill. [HuffPo]

Perhaps the biggest test that Gov.-elect Matt Bevin will face early in his administration will be whether he can fulfill his promise to remake Gov. Steve Beshear’s expansion of Medicaid. [C-J/AKN]

I would be careful of making too much of the Kentucky results. Only three polls not sponsored by a candidate came out during the final three weeks of the campaign. That’s far less polling than was conducted in other recent polling mishaps, such as in Israel and the United Kingdom over the past year. The Kentucky results match most of the bigger misses in the U.S. during the 2014 midterm elections, such as in the Maryland gubernatorial race and Virginia Senate election, when few polls were released during the final weeks of the campaign.1 That’s a good thing for 2016, when the most highly anticipated races will have lots of polls in the field. [FiveThirtyEight]

Shorter Matt Bevin: Screw the poors and screw the gays! Governor-elect Matt Bevin on Friday announced the early priorities of his administration — dismantling the state-run health exchange and removing county clerk’s names from marriage licenses. [WFPL]

By most accounts, Kentucky’s implementation of President Barack Obama’s 2010 healthcare reform was a success. Tuesday’s elections in the state could mean big changes are coming, however – with ominous portents for the future of the president’s signature legislative achievement. [BBC]

It has been two years since President Barack Obama signed into law the Agricultural Act of 2014, which included a provision legitimizing research into industrial hemp. Since then, Kentucky has been among the most active states taking steps to prepare for the potential legalization of the crop with an ambitious pilot program aimed at once again putting the state at the forefront of production. But in Barren County, industrial hemp has yet to make an appearance. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Recording and mixing music are Vernon Thomas’ passions, but being CEO and producer of Mantree Records isn’t his day job. He’s an HIV outreach worker for a county health department outside Newark, N.J. He took what was to be a full-time job in May because the gig came with health insurance — and he has HIV himself. [NPR]

It’s fun watching Ellen Williams praise Matt Bevin after spending years trashing the bigot of a man up one side and down the other. Ellen Williams, the former chairwoman of the Republican Party of Kentucky, knows a thing or two about winning elections. This week she offered an insight to Matt Bevin’s appeal in his surprising win in the governor’s election. [Ronnie Ellis]

Former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York City said this week that he would run millions of dollars in political television ads against four state attorneys general who are suing the Obama administration over regulations on power plant emissions. [NY Times]

Stan Lee, R-Gay Panic, is sponsoring legislation in the 2016 Regular Session of the General Assembly that if passed would allow students who are home schooled the ability to play sports in their public school district. Because what public school kids need is to be exposed to half-literate religious extremist children. [Richmond Register]

The coalition soldiers arrived on a dusty ridge line east of this city near dusk, as a cool breeze swept in from the hazy desert plain that stretched for miles below. Fighting positions likely dug decades ago by the Russian military sat at the edge of the ridge, and were marked with numerous stones painted bright blue on one side. [WaPo]

Blair Wilson walked into a storefront at a Louisville mall. An hour later, she walked out with Medicaid coverage for herself and her father, who lost his insurance this year after two strokes. [H-L]

The medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders released its internal report on Thursday about the October attack on its hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. The report also revealed that pilots shot at staff members fleeing the hospital. [HuffPo]