GE Sale Has Louisville A Bit Anxious

More than 17,000 Kentucky food stamp recipients in eight counties must begin part-time work, education or volunteer activities in order to keep their benefits under a requirement reinstated this month. [H-L]

After Mitt Romney’s resounding defeat in the 2012 presidential election, the Republican National Committee commissioned a 97-page report that laid out “a path forward for the Republican Party to ensure success in winning more elections.” It sounded great. But its drafters probably didn’t envision that the GOP’s “path forward” would involve its 2016 presidential front-runner arguing in a nationally televised debate that its second-place contender is ineligible to serve as president. [HuffPo]

Papaw Beshear’s back at Stites in Lexington. They even sent out a fancy press release about it. [C-J/AKN & Press Release]

President Barack Obama has vigorously defended his legacy while striking an optimistic note for America’s future in his final State of the Union address. [BBC]

Litigation surrounding the license for a Corbin quarter horse racing track continues after an injunction hearing scheduled for Tuesday was postponed. [Richmond Register]

The conservative state of Texas has for years scaled back its pollution laws as it sought to keep a business-friendly atmosphere, all to the dismay of environmentalists. Now, two environmental groups are pushing back against the state. [ThinkProgress]

The longer jackasses fawn over Kim Davis, the longer Kentucky looks stupid. [WKYT]

The Obama administration on Friday said it would announce the next steps in its planned overhaul of how the United States manages coal development on federal land, which sources have said includes freezing new leases. [Reuters]

Things in Bowling Green apparently suck so badly that people are making pipe bombs. [BGDN]

The United States has spent nearly half a billion dollars and five years developing Afghanistan’s oil, gas and minerals industries — and has little to show for it, a government watchdog reported. [ProPublica]

This is a sad, frustrating situation no matter how you look at it. [WAVE3]

Obama administration officials are set to announce plans Friday to overhaul the program that allows private companies to mine coal on federal land. [The Hill]

Prompted by new federal regulations, the state’s two largest utility companies are closing several storage ponds that collect the coal ash burned by power plants. [H-L]

General Electric Co agreed to sell its appliances business to China’s Qingdao Haier Co Ltd for $5.4 billion in cash, the companies said on Friday. The move comes weeks after GE abandoned a $3.3 billion deal with Sweden’s Electrolux following months of opposition from U.S. antitrust regulators. [HuffPo]

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Bevin & Beshear Cronies: Birds Of An Extremely Wealthy Feather

The number of mining deaths in the nation in 2015 was the lowest on record, the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration announced this week. [H-L]

Wheaton College, an evangelical Christian university outside of Chicago, said on Tuesday it was taking steps to fire a tenured political science professor after she wrote in a Facebook post that Muslims and Christians worship the same God. [HuffPo]

The committee that paid for Gov. Matt Bevin’s inaugural celebration raised nearly $1.1 million – much of it from wealthy Republican donors but much from the same state contractors, appointees and lobbyists who earlier backed the political causes of Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear. [C-J/AKN]

Here’s a look at how Turd Cruz became Turd Cruz. [Politico]

Despite all the handwringing over political control of the state House, no blood was shed in the Kentucky Capitol on the first day of the 2016 General Assembly session. [WFPL]

ObamaCare has not caused employers to shift workers into part-time work, according to a new study. Imagine that. [The Hill]

March 8 will be a red-letter date for Kentucky political types, one which could lead Kentucky into the solidly red column. [Ronnie Ellis]

Wiping back tears as he remembered children killed in a mass shooting, President Barack Obama on Tuesday ordered stricter gun rules that he can impose without Congress and urged American voters to reject pro-gun candidates. [Reuters]

Jody Hicks is serving a six-year sentence for trafficking illegal drugs. He has been lodged in the Rowan County Detention Center a little over a year. About eight months ago he began working in the jail’s inmate work program. [The Morehead News]

He wants joint custody and child support from the Palins. That should go over well. [Daily Mail]

The Carter County Judge-Executive has been a bit busy in the past year. [Ashland Independent]

An emotional US President Barack Obama has unveiled new restrictions on gun purchases, saying the “constant excuses for inaction” have to stop. [BBC]

In a state with the biggest one-year surge in background checks in 2015, the president’s decision to subject more gun buyers to vetting seems likely to drive the numbers even higher. [H-L]

President Barack Obama on Tuesday gave an unusually emotional speech about gun violence. At least officially, the purpose was to introduce a series of new regulations and proposals. [HuffPo]

Where Has THIS Beshear Been Hiding For The Past Eight Years?!

Not gonna hype Matt Bevin’s intentionally stupid Medicaid nonsense from yesterday but it is DEFINITELY worth checking out the statement former Governor Steve Beshear released:

As a result of numerous media requests, here is my response to Gov. Bevin’s press conference today:

“All of Kentucky looks forward to the day when our new governor transitions from strident partisan rhetoric and petty name-calling to the real and more difficult business of governing. Mottos that make good bumper stickers rarely make good public policy. Medicaid expansion was and remains a smart policy move – it’s the most cost-effective way to get the poorest Kentuckians healthy, to shore up our local hospitals which were losing huge amounts of money providing indigent care, and to keep our workforce healthy so businesses can grow. And contrary to what Gov. Bevin alludes to, facts and figures show that the reform we implemented is both sustainable and effective. It’s paying for itself, and it’s paying off with better health. Today he proposed a vague solution to an unclear problem with hopes that it may or may not be implemented at some undetermined point in the future — all for reasons of political ideology. Kentuckians deserve better.”

Matt Bevin is quickly becoming the Tim Conley of Frankfort. Or at the very least, he’s the second coming of Ernest Lee Fletcher. Fletcher, the man who surrounded himself with the worst staff imaginable. Staffers who got indicted by the truckload, of course. Bevin’s surrounding himself with literally the same people.

I wasn’t wrong about Tim Conley and I’m not wrong about Matt Bevin.

Johnson & Laurel Cos Vie For Worst

It’s no secret that Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump is no fan of Kentucky’s junior senator. [H-L]

A 55-year-old man thought he had procured a working X-ray device that could focus lethal levels of radiation on residents of an upstate New York community. It’s exactly the kind of horrific plot that might raise the alarm amid the heightened concern over terrorist attacks on the United States. But there’s something notably different about this case — Eric Feight is white, and his intended victims were Muslim-Americans. [HuffPo]

A last-minute plan by Gov. Steve Beshear to increase child care assistance for poor working parents has collapsed because state officials failed to enact it before his administration ended Dec. 7. [C-J/AKN]

U.S. President Barack Obama said his administration is open to some “legitimate criticism” for failing to adequately explain its strategy to counter Islamic State, though he chided Republican presidential candidates for criticizing his policy without offering an alternative. [Reuters]

A Louisville state representative wants to tax electronic cigarette equipment and the liquid nicotine that the devices turn into smokeable vapor. [WFPL]

From his seat in the small plane flying over the largest remaining swath of American wilderness, Bruce Babbitt thought he could envision the legacy of one of his proudest achievements as Interior Secretary in the Clinton administration. [ProPublica]

Three higher education institutions are coming together to collaborate with and support the Upper Cumberland River Watershed Watch (UCWW) in their efforts to improve water quality and water protection. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

Speaking to the Republican Women’s Club in a mall on the glitzy Las Vegas Strip, retired neurosurgeon and presidential hopeful Dr. Ben Carson repeated a debunked theory that Muslim immigrants have taken control of neighborhoods in major European cities, and warned a similar pattern could arise in the U.S. [ThinkProgress]

There’s a community Christmas party coming up later this week, and all of the proceeds are going to a wonderful cause. [WLEX18]

An American airstrike may have inadvertently killed Iraqi soldiers near the city of Fallujah on Friday, according to a statement from the U.S.-led military coalition conducting the campaign against ISIS. [NPR]

People in Paintsville are continuing to poop the floor. Audience members at a Johnson County school’s performance of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” recited a Bible passage that school officials deleted from the play. [Ashland Independent]

New calculations show that our already sizeable water footprint is 18% bigger than we thought. [BBC]

Laurel County is the worst. A 3-year-old girl is without her parents after they were shot to death Saturday night, the Laurel County Sheriff’s Department said. [H-L]

Ohio Gov. John Kasich trolled Republican presidential rival Donald Trump on Saturday after the real estate mogul publicly traded compliments with Russian President Vladimir Putin. [HuffPo]

Your support is crucial if you want to see us continue. While other media outlets ignore scandals like those in Montgomery County, we’re shining the bright lights of transparency on issues that directly impact you across the Commonwealth. Love us or hate us, we’re putting in the time and effort to spend years reporting on issues from the pension crisis to government-sanctioned animal cruelty to educational corruption and we get real results. [Help Us!]

Paintsville Is Losing Its Damn Mind

Your support is crucial if you want to see us continue. While other media outlets ignore scandals like those in Montgomery County, we’re shining the bright lights of transparency on issues that directly impact you across the Commonwealth. Love us or hate us, we’re putting in the time and effort to spend years reporting on issues from the pension crisis to government-sanctioned animal cruelty to educational corruption and we get real results. [Help Us!]

The University of Kentucky’s Gatton College of Business and Economics will receive a $12 million gift from Papa John’s Pizza founder and CEO John Schnatter and the Charles Koch Foundation, officials announced Tuesday. [H-L]

A new bill to aid ailing 9/11 responders was on the cusp of completion Tuesday, with legislators and staff scrambling to tie up the last details, lawmakers and sources said. [HuffPo]

One man’s eco-lifestyle, with large industrial-sized rain barrels and vegetable and native plant gardens, may be too much for the small city of Hurstbourne, which has cracked down, issued up to $20,000 in fines and threatened a cleanup. [C-J/AKN]

Computer scientists and cryptographers occupy some of the ivory tower’s highest floors. Among academics, their work is prestigious and celebrated. To the average observer, much of it is too technical to comprehend. The field’s problems can sometimes seem remote from reality. [The Atlantic]

State Rep. Jim DuPlessis has pre-filed a bill that would stiffen penalties against repeat DUI offenders by eliminating the look-back period for offenses. [News-Enterprise]

Oil prices fell for a seventh straight session on Monday, coming close to 11-year lows, on growing fears that the global oil glut would worsen in the months to come in a pricing war between leading OPEC and non-OPEC producers. [Reuters]

The only way someone can get a criminal conviction cleared from their record is to get an expungement. Kentucky law only allows misdemeanors to be expunged, though a bill that would expand the law to include class D felonies will likely be proposed in the upcoming legislative session. [WFPL]

Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina plays with puppies in a new video, suggesting that they stand in for her GOP rivals as she prepares for Tuesday night’s debate. “Ya know, President Obama ate one of your cousins,” Fiorina tells a dog in the Independent Journal video before turning to the camera and adding, “Vote Republican.” [The Hill]

Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rodney Brewer announced today that the sixth annual ‘Cram the Cruiser’ food drive netted 123 tons (246,705 lbs) of food for Kentucky families. [Press Release]

Mitch McConnell vowed when he took over as Senate majority leader to get the notoriously gridlocked Senate moving again. [Politico]

Residents sang carols Monday morning in protest of the Johnson County Board of Education’s directive to remove all religious references from Christmas plays. [Ashland Independent]

Barney Frank once told me that asking Republicans to govern was like asking him, the first openly gay member of Congress, to judge the Miss America contest: He would do it, but he wouldn’t enjoy it much or be very good at it. [NY Times]

China’s Ministry of Education will provide $1.7 million to renovate more space for the University of Kentucky’s Confucius Institute. [H-L]

Tennessee: making Kentucky look good for decades. Four Tennessee high school students have been charged with indecent exposure in recent weeks, and two of them jailed for it — all because they wore sagging pants. [HuffPo]

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Is Reeeechie Farmer Gonna Play Again?

Your support is crucial if you want to see us continue. While other media outlets ignore scandals like those in Montgomery County, we’re shining the bright lights of transparency on issues that directly impact you across the Commonwealth. Love us or hate us, we’re putting in the time and effort to spend years reporting on issues from the pension crisis to government-sanctioned animal cruelty to educational corruption and we get real results. [Help Us!]

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. [H-L]

The double standard can’t be more jarring: For days television networks and media outlets have been parroting the FBI in telling us how the San Bernadino shooters were “radicalized” at this or that time, or speculating on their “radicalization” and how it occurred. [HuffPo]

Richard Dwight Farmer, former basketball star, former state agriculture commissioner and most recently inmate number 16226-032, was set to be released Friday from a federal prison in Hazelton, West Virginia, his father told a Lexington television station. [C-J/AKN]

One week after Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced women in the U.S. military can serve in any combat role, a federal appeals court is considering a lawsuit from a men’s group that says a male-only draft is unconstitutional. [NPR]

ICYMI: Bill sits down with former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear to discuss his time in office and his plans for the future. [KET]

People with names that suggest they are black are being discriminated against on room sharing site AirBnB, a Harvard study suggests. [BBC]

The Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission (KSNPC) has presented its Biological Diversity Protection Award to Christy Lee Brown of Louisville. The annual award is given to an individual or organization that has made a significant contribution to the knowledge and protection of Kentucky’s biodiversity. “Brown is truly an international leader promoting a holistic understanding and appreciation of the earth and its environs,” said Don Dott, executive director of the KSNPC. “She leads and inspires others in the fields of sustainable food production, environmental quality and its fundamental role in human health, the interrelatedness of our natural systems, and of biodiversity protection and the conservation of land.” [Press Release]

“Facts matter, science matters, data matters. That’s what this hearing is about.” That’s how Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), the chairman of the Senate’s Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness, began a Monday hearing he called about the reality of human-caused climate change. Cruz — who is also running for president — does not believe that human-caused climate change is real, which he made clear at Monday’s hearing. He did not make it clear that 97 percent of climate scientists disagree with him, but such is life in the U.S. Senate, where 70 percent of Republicans largely side with Cruz. [ThinkProgress]

Surprise! Jefferson County Public Schools’ administration is a disaster and now the OAG has been asked to get involved. You won’t believe the shenanigans (just kidding! you’ll believe it) going on with a woman paid $190 per hour and $53,000 per month. [The ‘Ville Voice]

From the suburbs of Los Angeles to the outskirts of Washington, D.C., mosques around the United States are warily stepping up security in the face of growing fears about reprisals on American Muslims. [Reuters]

Horrible walrus Jim Gooch has returned to embarrass the Commonwealth. A bill pre-filed in the General Assembly would declare Kentucky a “sanctuary state” for people and companies who don’t want to follow federal environmental laws that will restrict carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. [WFPL]

When Gail McGovern was picked to head the American Red Cross in 2008, the organization was reeling. Her predecessor had been fired after impregnating a subordinate. The charity was running an annual deficit of hundreds of millions of dollars. [ProPublica]

State Rep. Darryl Owens has pre-filed a bill to limit testing time in Kentucky classrooms, allow teachers more instructional time and decrease “teaching to the test” practices. [H-L]

They are known as “Three Percenters,” followers of a movement that has rallied against gun control efforts nationwide, patrolled the U.S. border with Mexico and recently begun confronting Muslim Americans. [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. [Ting]