Of Course Racism Is A Big Problem

In 2006, senators of the University of Kentucky’s student government passed a resolution to remove a mural in Memorial Hall that showed scenes of state history, including black workers in a tobacco field, black musicians playing for white dancers, and a Native American with a tomahawk. They told then-President Lee Todd that it was degrading to ethnic and racial groups. [H-L]

More than half of Americans know someone who has abused prescription painkillers or died from an overdose, or has taken these medications themselves to get high, as the opioid epidemic continues to spread, according to a new poll. [HuffPo]

The chief justice of the Kentucky Supreme Court has delayed until next week his decision on whether to remove Jefferson Circuit Judge Olu Stevens from all criminal cases. [C-J/AKN]

Six decades after the Brown v. Board of Education decision that determined that segregating white and black children is unconstitutional, American schools are drifting back toward racial segregation. [ThinkProgress]

With most of its Phase 1 expansion plans complete, the soon to be renamed Madison Airport board unveiled its Phase 2 plans Monday, including a new terminal building. [Richmond Register]

The state of Arkansas must record the names of both partners in a same-sex marriage on the birth certificates of their children, a judge ruled on Monday. [Reuters]

Drugs and addiction in the workplace are common in this area, Mike Wirzfeld, an occupational-medicine administrator at Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital told members of the Rotary Club of Ashland during a meetin Monday. [Ashland Independent]

Veteran European law enforcement officials, one of them Muslim, reflect on the roots of the Paris attacks, the tense aftermath and the debate about the effectiveness of counterterror forces. [ProPublica]

Oh, look, teevee lady has done another “investigation” that’s been done countless times. This time it’s a look at special deputies in Kentucky — something she learned about on Page One, according to her colleagues. Seems there’s a bunch of bad blood among those at WKYT. [WKYT]

About half of Americans, 49 percent, say that racism is “a big problem,” according to a new national poll conducted by CNN and the Kaiser Family Foundation. [The Hill]

The Tri-Cities was awarded the designation of Kentucky Trail Town at a ceremony held at the Betty Howard Memorial Coal Miner’s Theater in Benham on Monday. The designation is the culmination of several years of work on the part of the cities of Benham, Lynch and Cumberland. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

NPR’s Rachel Martin speaks with Anne Richard, Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration, about the screening process refugees go through before entering the United States. [NPR]

Students and citizens lined Chestnut Street on Monday to affirm their unity in the wake of racial and homophobic slurs and harassment directed toward Berea College students during homecoming weekend this month. [H-L]

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KDP’s Arms Flailing, Sinking, Lost Again

The American Civil Liberties Union says a Kentucky county clerk’s office should reissue altered marriage licenses even though the governor has promised to recognize them as valid. [H-L]

In the lead-up to Thursday’s House vote for tightening restrictions on Syrian refugees seeking entry into the United States, senior Democrats warned fellow members that they faced a massive backlash next fall if they didn’t support the bill. [HuffPo]

Dawn has barely broken, and Melanie Lowe is already in a hurry. She’s on her way to court. A familiar route, timed to the minute. Jericho Road to avoid the train. Burks Branch to skip the lights. She scarfs a protein bar and dials a colleague. No, she can’t cover for another public defender in juvenile court. Too many cases. [C-J/AKN]

Basically, Democrats don’t have a chance now that Matt Jones has realized it’d be dumb to run for congress. [Roll Call]

Guess he learned from weed in Ohio and maybe from the last dozen times he’s tried gambling bills. Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo pre-filed legislation that, if passed, would ensure that no business could acquire more than one horse-racing license except under special circumstances in Kentucky. [WMKY]

First-hand accounts like this won’t deter pandering bigots like Rand Paul and Matt Bevin. Until last year, I was one of 4.3 million people at the mercy of the legal immigration system, waiting for the chance to stay in the U.S. for good. [BuzzFeed]

Republican Gov.-elect Matt Bevin told a statewide gathering of county officials the crisis in state pension systems requires immediate attention and the solution will have to come from the general fund at the expense of other spending needs. [Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump tweeted a series of inaccurate murder statistics from the “Crime Statistics Bureau — San Francisco.” The bureau doesn’t exist and the statistics were fabricated. [ThinkProgress]

Steve Riley, one of two Republicans who have voiced their intent to be candidates for the 23rd District Kentucky House of Representatives seat, said he’s been interested in politics for a long time, but it wasn’t “the right thing” for him to be part of it before now. [Glasgow Daily Times]

When it comes to terrorism, more Americans trust Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton than the top Republican candidates in the field, according to the latest results of an ABC News/Washington Post survey released Monday. But among those who worry most about terrorism, Donald Trump is the preferred candidate. [Politico]

It took six tries but Rowan Fiscal Court on Tuesday finally passed a longevity pay scale for full-time county employees. [The Morehead News]

This Turtleman charade is certainly embarrassing for Kentucky. But it’s not as dumb as the handful of New Yorkers that constantly scream about it every chance they get in an attempt to shame Kentuckians in some bitter, vengeful rage. A Kentucky farmer has accused Animal Planet of setting a fire, damming a creek, chopping down trees, and illegally trespassing and building structures on his property during the production of the reality TV show Call of the Wildman. [Mother Jones]

Terrorist attacks like the one in Paris make me fear for America’s future. I don’t fear the terrorists so much as the reaction they prompt among America’s fearmongers and the people who listen to them. Their actions are capable of doing far more damage to this country than jihadists could ever accomplish. [Tom Eblen]

Weather-related disasters such as floods and heatwaves have occurred almost daily in the past decade, almost twice as often as two decades ago, with Asia being the hardest hit region, a U.N. report said on Monday. [HuffPo]

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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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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]

Democrats Still Playing The Blame Game

SurveyUSA has finally been kicked to the curb! [H-L & C-J/AKN]

Letcher Circuit Judge Sam Wright III defeated Court of Appeals Judge Janet Stumbo in the race for Eastern Kentucky’s 7th District Supreme Court seat. [H-L]

If France can do it, the United States can do it. France will end its ban on blood donations by gay men, its health minister said Wednesday, calling the move the end “of a taboo and discrimination.” [HuffPo]

Republican Matt Bevin has scheduled no press conference or public events on the day after his huge victory in the governor’s election that raises implications for every major issue facing the state, including healthcare, education and pensions. But the transition process is already taking shape in Frankfort. [C-J/AKN]

A few hours before their afternoon shift at the Marshall County Mine last spring, hundreds of coal miners were summoned to a mandatory meeting with their new boss, Bob Murray, CEO of Murray Energy Corp. At a training facility in Moundsville, West Virginia, the chief executive of the nation’s No. 1 underground coal producer sported his signature sweater vest and struck a confrontational tone. [IBT]

Opinions issued by a federal appeals court Monday will allow two major air pollution-related lawsuits in Louisville to move forward. [WFPL]

This is basically why everyone is skeptical of whatever it is the U.S. Justice Action Network is doing in D.C. with the Koch money. It’s a story political journalists couldn’t resist. Reporters at the New York Times, Politico, Yahoo News, and other outlets have been rhapsodizing lately about how the ultra-conservative billionaire Koch brothers are “braving the spotlight” and joining forces with “tree-hugging liberals” to dedicate themselves to the cause of ending America’s over-incarceration crisis. Meanwhile, however, Koch money continues to finance election-year efforts that promote tough-on-crime politics. [The Intercept]

It has been two months since a head on crash destroyed Scott County Habitat for Humanity’s only pickup and delivery truck. [WKYT]

Instead of thanking Barack Obama, as these outsiders suggest, Matt Bevin should be thanking Kentucky Democrats for being to the right of national Republicans. It’s always some asshole outsider pontificating on Kentucky as if they’ve been here more than twice in their life. [WaPo]

The votes have all been counted, and Harlan County’s choice for circuit court clerk is incumbent Democrat Wendy Flanary. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

It is rare to hear a candidate for the United States Senate so earnestly quote rock lyrics. Rarer still, lyrics from a Canadian progressive-rock band. But Rand Paul quoted “The Spirit of Radio” by Rush — a group whose members were similarly influenced by the writings of Ayn Rand — everywhere he went during the Republican primary in Kentucky in 2010. [NY Times]

A Perry County man from the community of Chavies is facing multiple theft charges after Hazard Police say he stole a police cruiser. [Hazard Herald]

Hillary Clinton leaned as far as she ever has into making gun control a central focus of her presidential campaign on Tuesday, releasing a somber new 30-second television advertisement calling for more stringent gun policies. [Politico]

Ryan Quarles, a Republican state representative from Georgetown, will be the new commissioner of agriculture. [H-L]

Though 8,000 Detroit residents were foreclosed on this year, they’re finding inventive ways to deal with an ongoing crisis. Tynetta Sneed, 32, had been settled for years in a modest white bungalow, down the street from her mom and brother, when she got a notice saying that her house was going into foreclosure. [HuffPo]

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]

Corrupt Tim Conley Whines From Prison

Corrupt as hell Tim Conley now wants to go back on the plea deal he took! Because of this asshole, Jake’s hometown is still in shambles, occupational taxes have had to be increased out the wazoo, countless people have lost their ability to maintain a home, countless more are still displaced and lives have been lost. WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK? Fuck Tim Conley. Let him rot in prison. Let anyone defending him rot alongside him. [H-L]

The White House announced on Friday that a small number of U.S. troops are heading into northern Syria to assist local ground troops in the fight against the Islamic State. [HuffPo]

Looks like Scott Jennings and crew will be spending a lot of money for Brett Guthrie in 2016. And probably a little bit if someone credible runs against Candy Barr. [C-J/AKN]

Rand Paul’s heart isn’t even in filibustering anymore. Because he knows his presidential bid is dead in the water and knows he’s gonna have a tough time getting re-elected to the senate next year. [WaPo]

I wish I could say who will win the governor’s election Tuesday but I can’t. [Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump and Ben Carson together command more than half of voters’ preference atop the Republican field after Wednesday night’s debate, while Texas Sen. Ted Cruz rose to third place in the latest national NBC News/SurveyMonkey poll released Friday evening. [Politico]

Kentucky’s gubernatorial candidates responded to a questionnaire from Preservation Kentucky regarding Kentucky’s Historic Preservation Tax Credit. [Click the Clicky]

U.S. jobs data due in the coming week may hold the key to whether the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates for the first time since 2006 in December, signaling its intention to end an era of almost-free dollars. [Reuters]

Oh, look, the Kim Davis preacher is trying to run for office. “Citizens united for a better Kentucky for a better tomorrow.” That is what Randy Smith said about his bid for the Republican nomination for the 99th District House of Representatives seat. You might know him as the fiery preacher who led the rally cries against gay marriage over the summer on the lawn of the Rowan County Courthouse. [The Morehead News]

President Obama and his FBI director are sparring over whether the so-called “Ferguson Effect” is real, complicating the president’s push to loosen the nation’s sentencing laws. [The Hill]

Steve Beshear has appointed District Court Judge John T. Alexander as the interim circuit court judge, according to an executive order obtained Friday from the governor’s office. [Glasgow Daily Times]

I applaud the Democrats and Republicans who came together [Friday] morning to pass a responsible, long-term budget agreement that reflects our values, grows our economy and creates jobs. This agreement will strengthen the middle class by investing in education, job training, and basic research. It will keep us safe by investing in our national security. It protects our seniors by avoiding harmful cuts to Medicare and Social Security. It is paid for in a responsible, balanced way – in part with a measure to ensure that partnerships like hedge funds pay what they owe in taxes just like everybody else. It locks in two years of funding and should help break the cycle of shutdowns and manufactured crises that have harmed our economy. This agreement is a reminder that Washington can still choose to help, rather than hinder, America’s progress, and I look forward to signing it into law as soon as it reaches my desk. After that, Congress should build on this by getting to work on spending bills that invest in America’s priorities without getting sidetracked by ideological provisions that have no place in America’s budget process. If we can do that, we’ll help our workers and businesses keep growing the economy and building an America full of opportunity for all. [President Barack Obama]

This is big news for the state’s most important newspaper but the six lawsuits and myriad scandals in Montgomery County are not. It’s like Nancy Rodriguez all over again. A freshman course has been abruptly disbanded at Henry Clay High School and the principal has apologized to the school’s decision-making council, saying he gave students academic credit without necessary council permission. [H-L]

Paul Ryan said on Sunday it would be ridiculous to work with President Barack Obama on immigration reform, saying he cannot trust the president on the issue. [HuffPo]