Schools, Money & Trump Racism Fun

The Fayette County school board voted Monday to hire national auditors to review school district operations at the request of Superintendent Manny Caulk. [H-L]

Here’s one more indication that American teachers work really, really hard — and don’t make nearly enough. An analysis released Tuesday by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development looks at the state of education around the world, examining everything from intergenerational mobility in education to graduation rates to teacher pay. [HuffPo]

While Kentucky’s two U.S. senators are trying to throw a political wrench into a major world summit on climate change, at least several of the state’s residents plan to carry messages of cooperation and environmental protection to the gathering in France. [C-J/AKN]

Allegations are mounting that senior intelligence officials at Central Command not only skewed findings on the ISIS war to please D.C., but tried to hide what they did. [TDB]

The waiting game continues after four full days of deliberation, as jurors have yet to reach a verdict in the criminal trial of former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship. [Richmond Register]

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump is not backing down from his claim that “thousands of people” in Arab communities in New Jersey were cheering on 9/11. Trump defended himself by telling an NBC News reporter that he has “the world’s greatest memory” and everybody knows that. [The Hill]

Rand Paul, R-Cookie Tree, said after a town hall at the Highlands Museum and Discovery Center he is in conversations with the CEO of AK Steel about how to keep hundreds of jobs at Ashland Works afloat. [Ashland Independent]

PEE ALERT! Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump’s campaign warned the party on Tuesday about donors pooling funds for attack ads, saying the party must treat him fairly to keep him from launching an independent bid. [Reuters]

Keeping public money in public schools is one of five priorities of Kentucky school district superintendents, according to a report C.D. Morton presented Thursday during a meeting of the Harlan Independent Board of Education. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

Current and former government officials have been pointing to the terror attacks in Paris as justification for mass surveillance programs. CIA Director John Brennan accused privacy advocates of “hand-wringing” that has made “our ability collectively internationally to find these terrorists much more challenging.” Former National Security Agency and CIA director Michael Hayden said, “In the wake of Paris, a big stack of metadata doesn’t seem to be the scariest thing in the room.” [ProPublica]

A chair commemorating military service members who have been prisoners of war, missing in action or killed in action was officially dedicated to become part of Glasgow City Council’s chambers in Glasgow City Hall on Monday evening. [Glasgow Daily Times]

America has just lived through another presidential campaign week dominated by Donald Trump’s racist lies. Here’s a partial list of false statements: The United States is about to take in 250,000 Syrian refugees; African-Americans are responsible for most white homicides; and during the 9/11 attacks, “thousands and thousands” of people in an unnamed “Arab” community in New Jersey “were cheering as that building was coming down.” [NY Times]

A federal judge has denied a request to block hearings on whether hundreds of Eastern Kentucky residents will keep federal disability benefits. [H-L]

Triatomine bugs, known more commonly as “kissing bugs,” have been found in North Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The bug is native to the southern United States, South America, Central America and Mexico, and can carry a parasite called Trypanosoma cruzi that causes the potentially deadly Chagas disease. [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]

Refugee Freakout Continues For Racists

Gov. Steve Beshear launched a program Monday to help Kentuckians move from a life of drug abuse and addiction to one of sobriety and productivity. [H-L]

Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Tuesday there was “no data” to support the notion that the national debate over the use of force by police has made the country less safe, an idea that has sometimes been referred to as the “Ferguson effect.” [HuffPo]

Just what Kentucky’s working poor need! Once they lose access to health care, they can pay more taxes for the crap that Greg Fischer and his rich daddy want to build and/or destroy. [C-J/AKN]

Five ways conservative media are exploiting the terrorist attacks in Paris to hype misinformation. [MMFA]

Here’s the latest column Greg Stumbo’s LRC staffers have written for him. In the late 1990s, Gov. Paul Patton rolled out a simple but effective campaign summarized by two words: “Education pays.” [Floyd County Times]

Refugees aren’t just slipping into the US. Screening takes two years, and it’s nearly impossible for people to pass. [Vox]

The situation is under investigation by the state department of corrections but the jailer says what happened is just another sign of how bad the drug situation is. [WKYT]

Confusing refugees with terrorists is morally unacceptable and, as a matter of strategy, misguided. [NY Times]

Copper thieves are responsible for a power outage that affected nearly 1,500 Kentucky Power customers in Pikeville Monday night, including the local hospital. [Hazard Herald]

Australia’s Carmichael coal mine project has been under major scrutiny by large conservation groups and prominent Australians for months. Now, progressive think tank the Australia Institute has found just how damaging the emissions from burning coal at the mine could really be. [ThinkProgress]

The Kentucky Auditor of Public Accounts Adam Edelen released the 2014 audit of the former Harlan County Sheriff Marvin Lipfird’s office on Friday. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

Fields along the Mississippi River Delta once gleamed white in the autumn with acre upon acre of cotton ready to be picked. But to see the decline of a cash crop once nicknamed “King Cotton” one need look no further than the 300 acres (121 hectares) that Michael Shelton farms in Clarksdale, Mississippi, about 75 miles (120 km) down river from Memphis. [Reuters]

A new mobile activity center that will educate students about agriculture will be on the road to eastern Kentucky after the first of the year. [H-L]

Astronomers have spotted what they believe is the most distant object in the solar system — a dwarf planet floating some 9.5 billion miles from the sun. [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]

Let’s Hope Hampton Tones Down Extremism

Republican state Rep. Mike Harmon defeated state Auditor Adam Edelen, denying a second term to a politician many have seen as a rising star among Kentucky Democrats. [H-L]

Years before the high-profile deaths of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Freddie Gray, more than half of African-American millennials indicated they, or someone they knew, had been victimized by violence or harassment from law enforcement, a new report says. [HuffPo]

Coal no longer burns at the LG&E Cane Run power plant, ending decades of production of waste products such as ash and sludge that brought blowing ash and foul odors. [C-J/AKN]

Kentucky’s newest lieutenant governor-elect is unique in many ways. She and her running mate, Gov.-elect Matt Bevin, are some of this election cycle’s first victorious political outsiders. (Bevin had been likened to Donald Trump). Jenean Hampton is also the first African American to be elected to statewide office in Kentucky. And she’s just one of a handful of black women on the national level to identify with the tea party movement. [WaPo]

The Harlan Fiscal Court met in a special called session on Friday to discuss a few topics including an agreement with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet concerning $275,000 in discretionary funds for Harlan County roads from the Governor’s Office. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

In the long legal struggle against the death penalty, the future has in some ways never looked brighter. [NY Times]

An investigation is underway after a deadly shooting in Rowan County. [WKYT]

A new design for lithium-air batteries overcomes several hurdles that have stood in the way of this “next-generation” concept. [BBC]

The only local race in Pulaski County’s general election has ended with former Ferguson Councilor Linda Hughes once again filling a seat on that city’s governing body. [Commonwealth Journal]

California jails could soon stop locking up tens of thousands of people who haven’t even appeared before a judge yet simply because they’re too poor to post bail, if a class-action lawsuit filed Wednesday succeeds. [ThinkProgress]

In a close decision, Henderson County residents approved the nickel tax in Tuesday’s election. [Henderson Gleaner]

From the Department of Things Ken Ham Wouldn’t Understand… The well-preserved partial skull and skeleton of a gibbon-like creature that lived 11.6 million years ago in Spain is shedding new light on the evolutionary history of modern apes. [Reuters]

Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes narrowly won a second term Tuesday, blocking a challenge by Republican Steve Knipper, a former Erlanger city councilman. [H-L]

If you don’t think teachers are important and deserve mega raises, you ought to think again. [HuffPo]

Everybody’s Freaking Out Over Matt Bevin

Kentucky Mist Moonshine filed suit Monday in U.S. District Court against the University of Kentucky in a federal trademark-registration case that has garnered national attention. [H-L]

House Republicans are pushing to give private debt collectors the right to target all unpaid tax bills, handing a traditional IRS responsibility over to an industry with a long record of consumer abuse. [HuffPo]

Four Kentucky hospitals are among 457 in 43 states that have agreed to pay the government more than $250 million to settle allegations that they implanted cardiac devices in patients in violation of Medicare rules. [C-J/AKN]

Congress intends to slash funds for the Obama administration’s counterterrorism partnership fund next year to reduce defense spending to a level negotiated last week between the White House and congressional leadership. [The Hill]

A candidate who barely made it out of the primary ended up leading Kentucky Republicans to one of their most successful election days in recent history. [WFPL]

Democratic U.S. senators on Monday urged the Obama administration to reform the federal coal mine program to include costs of the fuel’s carbon emissions and potentially raise royalties paid by companies that mine the fuel on public lands. [Reuters]

Really, Montgomery County? Hunting equipment required you to call in outside law enforcement? Guess it’s good that you didn’t call in SWAT teams or anything. [WKYT]

Despite lacking access to key documents and personnel, the inspector general determined that nearly $43 million had been spent on a natural gas station that should have cost closer to $300,000. [ProPublica]

Oh man, Greg Stumbo had his LRC staffers write about traffic fatalities. It’s almost like he’s forgotten that time he was pulled over during a suspected DUI stop, hopped over into the passenger seat and claimed someone else was driving his vehicle. [Floyd County Times]

The Vatican faced fresh accusations of mismanagement, excess and resistance to change as details from two new books emerged Tuesday, a day after the Holy See announced the arrest of two insiders on suspicion of leaking internal information. [WaPo]

Kroger presented a check in the amount of $27,360 to the Bowling Green/ Warren County Humane Society. [WBKO]

The UN says the current climate plans from 146 countries represent a significant advance – but will not be enough to prevent dangerous warming. [BBC]

Two former deputy jailers have been indicted on federal charges in the 2013 death of an inmate at the Kentucky River Regional Jail in Hazard. [H-L]

One consequence of Bevin’s victory is that about 400,000 Kentucky residents who qualify for Medicaid under the expansion are now at risk of losing their health insurance. [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]