Mainstream Racist Freakout Continues

Kentucky legislators, who often call for greater transparency from the struggling state employee pension system, keep their own retirement accounts in a much better-financed system that publicly offers no information about itself. [John Cheves]

Pushing back against efforts to bar Syrian refugees from resettling in the U.S., President Barack Obama vowed Saturday that his country will be a welcoming place for millions fleeing violence around the world “as long as I’m president.” [HuffPo]

This story originally ran in late January. Twenty-one Syrian refugees will arrive in Louisville over the next two weeks, a figure expected to increase in Kentucky and beyond as the U.S. begins to take in an expanded number of refugees fleeing Syria’s bloody civil war. [C-J/AKN]

During the 1930s and early 1940s, the United States resisted accepting large numbers of Jewish refugees escaping the Nazi terror sweeping Europe, in large part because of fearmongering by a small but vocal crowd. They claimed that the refugees were communist or anarchist infiltrators intent on spreading revolution; that refugees were part of a global Jewish-capitalist conspiracy to take control of the United States from the inside; that the refugees were either Nazis in disguise or under the influence of Nazi agents sent to commit acts of sabotage; and that Jewish refugees were out to steal American jobs. Many rejected Jews simply because they weren’t Christian. [The Intercept]

No one thinks Butler’s switch is a surprise — his Democratic colleagues in Jefferson County have long considered him a Republican. State Rep. Denny Butler is the first Democrat to switch parties in the aftermath of Republican Gov.-elect Matt Bevin’s convincing win and in advance of the November 2016 state legislative races which could switch control of the House to Republicans for the first time since 1921. His switch might not be the last, but his decision was a surprise. [Richmond Register]

Donald Trump’s rhetoric since the Paris terrorist attacks appears to have helped him with GOP primary voters, according to most polls. But Republican insiders are concerned that his words could come back to haunt the party as it seeks to appeal to a broader audience. [The Hill]

If you’ve followed the Montgomery County saga, you’ll love reading about Jefferson County Public Schools violating open records laws. [The ‘Ville Voice]

As you’re pissing and moaning about veterans during a very real refugee crisis, remember what Republicans in Washington have and haven’t done. U.S. Senate Republicans blocked legislation on Thursday that would have expanded federal healthcare and education programs for veterans, saying the $24 billion bill would bust the budget. [Reuters]

Many have written in to ask for a synopsis of what went down with Jamie Comer during the primary. So here are two stories that will help you understand everything. [May 20, 2015 & October 1, 2015]

Two former advisers to Republican presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul (R-Cookie Tree) were re-indicted by a federal grand jury in Iowa Friday, just weeks after a criminal trial that produced a muddled result. [Politico]

More than 150 students staged a walkout protest Friday morning at East Carter High School over what they allege was the unfair dismissal of a substitute teacher. [Ashland Independent]

It is one of the central political puzzles of our time: Parts of the country that depend on the safety-net programs supported by Democrats are increasingly voting for Republicans who favor shredding that net. [ProPublica]

Matt Bevin said Friday he hopes to present to state lawmakers in the upcoming legislative session a plan to implement a 401(k)-style retirement plan for new state government employees. [H-L]

Several people attending a rally for Donald Trump in Birmingham, Alabama, physically assaulted an African-American protester on Saturday, witnesses said. [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) [Ting]

State Democrats Are Still In Major Denial

It’s always the rich white guys who fight minimum wage increases. Lexington Mayor Jim Gray declined to say Wednesday if he would sign an ordinance raising the minimum wage in Fayette County to $10.10 an hour over the next three years. [H-L]

Separation of church and state? Republican presidential candidate John Kasich says he’d set up an agency with a “mandate” to promote what he calls “Judeo-Christian values” overseas to counter Islamist propaganda. [HuffPo]

Kentucky Republicans announced Thursday morning that state Rep. Denny Butler of Louisville is switching parties, putting the GOP one seat closer to capturing the House majority in the wake of Gov.-elect Matt Bevin’s victory. [C-J/AKN]

What was that about Rand Paul valuing your privacy? When someone downloads the official Ben Carson, Ted Cruz or Rand Paul campaign apps, they’re handing over personal information that can be shared with any group that has “similar viewpoints” as those candidates. For Cruz supporters, that means giving your data to a British-based company that specializes in psychological warfare. [Vocativ]

Kentucky’s preliminary October 2015 unemployment rate dipped to 4.9 percent from a seasonally adjusted 5 percent in September 2015, according to the Office of Employment and Training (OET), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. Kentucky’s jobless rate had not been that low since May 2001 when it was 4.9 percent. [Press Release]

The political network helmed by Charles and David Koch has quietly built a secretive operation that conducts surveillance and intelligence gathering on its liberal opponents, viewing it as a key strategic tool in its efforts to reshape American public life. [Politico]

Kentucky Democrats just didn’t want to listen. Now all good old boy hell is breaking loose. [House Republicans]

Are you ready for more HYSTERIA OMG SYRIAN MUSLIM REFUGEE PANIC?! Cool, because Fox News lady windsock Andrea Tantaros went to work Wednesday. [Wonkette]

The 911 services throughout Kentucky are straining county budgets because of an outdated funding mechanism, county government representatives told state legislators on Wednesday. [WFPL]

From the Department of Things Ken Ham Wouldn’t Understand… DNA extracted from a skull and a molar tooth of ancient human remains discovered in the southern Caucasus region of Georgia is helping sort out the multifaceted ancestry of modern Europeans. [Reuters]

Council members met in closed session Monday night with members of the Industrial Development Economic Authority of Glasgow-Barren County’s board of directors to discuss the acquisition of real estate. [Glasgow Daily Times]

President Obama is moving to cement a significant legacy in the fight against smoking. Despite Obama’s own struggles with cigarettes, many public health advocates see him as a champion on the issue, and a series of proposals in the waning months of his presidency could bolster his record. [The Hill]

Democrat Jack Conway spent nearly twice as much as Republican Matt Bevin on TV ads, but it was not enough to get him elected governor. [H-L]

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), one of the Senate’s biggest defense hawks, on Tuesday rejected calls by some Republicans that the U.S. accept only Christian refugees fleeing Syria, not Muslims. [HuffPo]

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]

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. [Ting]

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]

RPK Back In Hands Of The Mega-Wealthy

Kentucky Supreme Court Chief Justice John Minton Jr. urged state lawmakers Friday to raise the salaries of justices and judges, saying they have not had “a measurable increase” in pay for 10 years. [H-L]

Oh, now Rand Paul has a black friend or something. It’s probably Ben Carson or some other person who has no concept of white privilege. [HuffPo]

State Rep. Jim Wayne says he continues to recover – slowly but steadily – in his battle with cancer and plans to return to Frankfort next week for the first time since the spring. He also said he expects to be able to return to the Capitol for the 2016 legislative session. [C-J/AKN]

During his first full week as Speaker, Paul Ryan gave a glimpse of how he’ll run the House differently than his predecessor, John Boehner. [The Hill]

From last week but more relevant today. Just a reminder – the people screaming about alleged voting machine rigging have no clue what they’re talking about. They’re the folks who get everything they know about politics from MSNBC and have no concept of what goes on in Kentucky. [Page One]

When they were kids, Simon Cherry and Ramsey Badawi both wanted to be astronomers, unlocking mysteries in far off galaxies. That didn’t work out for them. The pair still plan on unlocking mysteries but this time inside the human body. [Reuters]

In an effort to help Kentucky farmers, the University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environment is getting into the wholesale market. Their goal though is not to compete with local farmers, but to be able to provide training to allow those farmers to enter the market themselves. [Richmond Register]

When William T. Riley III became the police chief of this small city west of Detroit this summer, he found a department that bore little resemblance to the city it served. Nearly three-fourths of Inkster’s 25,000 residents are black. Its mayor and all six City Council members are, too. Yet in a newly released Justice Department survey, it was listed among the nation’s least representative police forces, with 21 white officers and five black officers. [NY Times]

Governor Steve Beshear announced on Thursday that Barren County Clerk Joanne London has received a grant totaling $20,280 from the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives (KDLA) to preserve and manage local government records. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, who is running for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, was campaigning in South Carolina this weekend and sat down with journalist Roland Martin for an interview in which she talked about a number of topics, including one that has not featured in any of the Republican and Democratic debates: charter schools. [WaPo]

Officials of Morehead State University along with members of its Board of Regents, local and state legislators held a dedication ceremony Thursday, Nov. 5, for Lundergan Hall at the Derrickson Agricultural Complex on KY 377 north of Morehead. [The Morehead News]

Everything in Frankfort is corrupt as hell and there is no such thing as integrity there. [WFPL & Center for Public Integrity]

In case you thought the Republican Party of Kentucky was going to actually accomplish something? It no longer has a full-time chairman. A wealthy figurehead does not a functioning party make. Mac Brown is the next chairman of the Republican Party of Kentucky. [H-L]

Prescription drugs kill more people in the U.S. than any other drug, but heroin overdose deaths have exploded, leading the Drug Enforcement Administration to declare both as the most threatening drugs. [HuffPo]

Larry Dale Hit The Nail On Its Head

About 50 people came out on a rainy Saturday morning to see U.S. Sen. Rand Paul rally for Republican gubernatorial candidate Matt Bevin. [H-L]

Last week, the Taliban began the process of retaking Afghanistan, starting with the northern city of Kunduz. [HuffPo]

Republican Whitney Westerfield and Democrat Andy Beshear are locked in a dead heat for attorney general with just over a month before election day, according to a new Bluegrass Poll. [C-J/AKN]

Vice President Joe Biden on Saturday praised gay rights activists for the progress they have made in recent years. The vice president gave the keynote address at the Human Rights Campaign National Dinner, during which he honored past civil rights leaders and commended current ones for working to fulfill the principles embodied the Declaration of Independence. [The Hill]

While it’s not the winter just yet, area homeless shelters are bracing for their busiest months now before their supplies run out. “With the winter coming, what we have isn’t going to last,” Beacon of Hope Emergency Shelter director Michele Bradford said. “It won’t last.” Employees at the 24-hour Beacon of Hope shelter in Winchester say their food supply is quickly dwindling. [WKYT]

The Associated Press properly identified Liberty Counsel — the legal group defending Kentucky’s Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis — as an anti-LGBT hate group, in an all-too-rare example of a major news outlet accurately informing its audience about Liberty’s extreme views. [MMFA]

What no one is saying here? Rand Paul and his wife, Kelly, are miffed at Matt Bevin over some nasty remarks Bevin allegedly made to Kelly some time ago. It’s a big enough rift that the McConnell crew talk about it all the time. [CN|Toot]

The nine justices of the U.S. Supreme Court are set to wade into contentious social matters in their new term beginning on Monday including affirmative action, union powers and voting rights, and could add major cases involving abortion and birth control. [Reuters]

The head of the high tech company coming to Morehead was a guest speaker at Wednesday’s meeting of the Kentucky House Special Committee on Advanced Communications and Information Technology. Robert Schena, CEO and cofounder of Rajant Corporation, told committee members that his company’s technology aboard MSU’s miniature satellites could create a network in space that could be used to keep military defense systems running if the U.S. were ever attacked. [The Morehead News]

The National Rifle Association and other anti-gun-control groups are formidable, but political trends may be loosening their grip on lawmakers. [ProPublica]

Barren County magistrates voted to adopt an ordinance on second reading Friday to set the county’s real estate tax rate for for the current fiscal year during a special-called Fiscal Court meeting. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Edward Snowden is still waiting on the Justice Department to take up his offer of a plea deal, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked thousands of classified documents says. [Politico]

Bevin is the most inept candidate in either party since Peppy Martin won the 1999 GOP nomination after Republicans decided to make a statement about public financing of gubernatorial campaigns by not fielding any legitimate contenders. Still, given Kentucky’s anti-Obama sentiment, Conway cannot win in November unless he gets the Democratic base to turn out 100 percent. So far, he has done little or nothing to make this happen. His campaign has been only marginally better than Bevin’s. [Larry Dale Keeling]

The Supreme Court on Friday issued a posthumous response to Alfredo Prieto, a serial killer on Virginia’s death row whose lawyers had petitioned the court several times to put his execution on hold. [HuffPo]