The Ramsey-Pitino-UofL Circus Goes On

Stung by losses under the federal health law, major insurers are seeking to sharply limit how policies are sold to individuals in ways that consumer advocates say seem to discriminate against the sickest and could hold down future enrollment. [H-L]

In their first head-to-head debate, Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) made it clear that any lingering pleasantries from a happier time earlier in the campaign are vanishing quickly. [HuffPo]

It’s hilarious that Rick Pitino is defending Jim Ramsey, as if they’re both victims of things they can’t help. Both of these men are the worst of the worst in higher education. Pitino, with sex scandal after sex scandal. Ramsey, with financial corruption mess after financial corruption mess. Both should be relieved of their duties instead of allowing a bunch of kids to take the blame for crap that those two are ultimately supposed to take responsibility. [C-J/AKN]

President Barack Obama is set on Tuesday to unveil his budget proposal for fiscal year 2017, his final year in office. [Reuters]

Lack of communication is what kept many black accomplishments from being known, said educator William Twyman, one of the 14 panelists discussing “Education in the Barren’s Region of Kentucky” Saturday at the South Central Kentucky Cultural Center. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Amid significant reforms, federal officials worry that sexual abuse in juvenile justice system remains prevalent and too often unpunished. [ProPublica]

A personal finance website study has determined Kentucky ranks 9 out of 51 for dependency on the arms and ammunition industry for jobs and political contributions, and indirectly through firearm ownership. [Ashland Independent]

At the end of last year, lawmakers in West Virginia unveiled a bill that would drug test some applicants for the state’s welfare program. Applicants who failed could eventually be barred from receiving benefits, possibly permanently. [ThinkProgress]

A bill that would eliminate the prevailing wage on public school projects on Thursday failed to pass a House committee. [WFPL]

The US economy added 151,000 jobs in January, helping to push the country’s unemployment rate down to 4.9%. [BBC]

Since Jan. 1, five Richmond Police officers have submitted resignations. At the same time, two joined the force for field training, and two others entered the Department of Criminal Justice Training’s academy for 23 weeks. [Richmond Register]

“Squat! Squat! Squat! Higher! Faster!” In the basement of the Duane Physics and Astrophysics building at the University of Colorado Boulder, a science demonstration is going on, but it looks more like a vaudeville act. [NPR]

University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto has formed a task force to advise him on what to do about a controversial mural in Memorial Hall. [H-L]

Islamophobia is real. And it’s not going anywhere. After last year’s terror attacks in Paris and mass shooting in San Bernardino, California — and amidst a surge in anti-Muslim rhetoric from U.S. politicians — reports about Muslims in America facing violence, harassment, intimidation and bigotry have become omnipresent. Many Muslims say Islamophobia is worse now than it’s ever been — even worse than it was after 9/11. [HuffPo]

Bevin Drags KY Health Into Dark Ages

As Gov. Matt Bevin prepares to remake Kentucky’s Medicaid program, a new national survey shows what’s at stake: gains in insurance coverage matched only by one other state. [H-L]

American schools are hotbeds for racial discrimination, according to a preliminary report from a group of United Nations experts. [HuffPo]

Former U.S. Sen. Marlow W. Cook, a leader of the Republican renaissance in Louisville and Jefferson County during the 1960s, has died. [C-J/AKN]

Every day in America more than 50 people die from an overdose of prescription pain medication. Some people who start out abusing pain pills later turn to heroin, which claims another 29 lives each day. [NPR]

These are the candidates who have filled for city commissioner in Hazard. [Hazard Herald]

Presidential candidate Donald Trump has called for a new election in Iowa, accusing the Republican winner, Ted Cruz, of fraud. [BBC]

Jim Ramsey knows his days at the University of Louisville are numbered. [Business First]

In the lead-up to Donald Trump’s loss in Iowa, staffers sought additional funding for campaign infrastructure and were denied. [Politico]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! The Creation Museum wants Boone County’s blessing for an expansion. Leaders of the museum’ dedicated to a literal interpretation of the Bible wants to nearly triple its exhibit space over the next three years. [Cincinnasti.com]

The U.S. Justice Department is considering legal changes to combat what it sees as a rising threat from domestic anti-government extremists, senior officials told Reuters, even as it steps up efforts to stop Islamic State-inspired attacks at home. [Reuters]

What does 100 days of school mean to White Hall Elementary School second grade students? That in 74 more days, they will be third graders, said teacher Susan Huntzinger. [Richmond Register]

The Des Moines Register is calling for a “complete audit” of the Iowa Democratic caucuses in light of concerns by Bernie Sanders about the razor-thin margin. [The Hill]

A proposal in Congress would provide $1 billion for mine reclamation projects in Eastern Kentucky and other areas grappling with a sharp downturn in coal jobs. [H-L]

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) slammed President Barack Obama’s visit to a mosque on Wednesday, during which the president denounced anti-Muslim rhetoric, for “pitting people against each other.” [HuffPo]

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Ramsey Disaster Continues: Day 82938

If you need one more motivation to exercise, eat right and maintain a healthy weight, consider the obesity and cancer link. [H-L]

The nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization, Human Rights Campaign, endorsed Hillary Clinton for president on Tuesday. [HuffPo]

Jim Ramsey can’t stop being an epic disaster. University of Louisville President James Ramsey contradicted the position of the university’s board of trustees in announcing last week that he agrees with Gov. Matt Bevin that the board has too few minority members – and that the last three appointments to it should be declared “null and void.” [C-J/AKN]

The main reason Trump is leading national polls is because he dominates the white non-college world. [NPR]

The yearly audit of the City of Morehead revealed no financial irregularities or significant accounting problems, according to Kelley Galloway Smith Goolsby, PSC. [The Morehead News]

Candidates for the Democratic race for the White House have clashed on gun control and healthcare in their liveliest TV debate so far. [BBC]

After seeing a near average growth rate in health insurance premiums the last few years, Kentuckians saw a 12 percent jump in 2014. [Richmond Register]

In a recent round of interviews, Charles Koch, the billionaire industrialist and political patron, has been stressing that he only recently became involved in politics. [Politico]

Ashland’s 2015 fiscal year confirmed city government made more money than it spent for a third straight year ­— something Mayor Chuck Charles stated earlier this month. [Ashland Independent]

Mitch McConnell (R-Grandmother) is pressuring Democrats ahead of a procedural vote Wednesday on legislation freezing the acceptance of refugees from Syria and Iraq. [The Hill]

Metcalfe County magistrates took care of a few housekeeping items when they met earlier [last] week. [Glasgow Daily Times]

One European country can’t seem to stop breaking records when it comes to wind power. [ThinkProgress]

A woman died of hypothermia early Monday in Laurel County after she walked away from an assisted living facility in London. [H-L]

Or in Kentucky, it’s the Democrats who want to do this. [HuffPo]

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This Week Will Also Suck For UofL

You have got to be kidding! The most important newspaper in the state covered this silly situation in Clark County but has essentially ignored the mountain of scandals in Montgomery County. Scandals that have resulted in more than half a dozen lawsuits, countless firings, hearings, the end of a statewide commissioner’s career and potential legislative action. Unbelievable. [H-L]

A Swiss plane carrying American citizens, including a Washington Post reporter, who were released from Iranian prison on Saturday departed Tehran Sunday. The prisoners were freed as part of a prisoner release deal between the U.S. and Iran. The agreement is the result of 14 months of high-stakes secret negotiations between the two traditional adversaries. [HuffPo]

Tom Wine. MLK parade. Shenanigans. Read all about it. [C-J/AKN]

The nation’s cities are at the frontlines of a food system that sickens and impoverishes millions of Americans every year. Local communities where people live, shop, work, and receive healthcare bear the brunt of this system’s unhealthy, unjust outcomes, which disproportionately affect communities of color and low-income Americans. The five cities chosen—Oakland, Memphis, Louisville, Baltimore, and Minneapolis—all have populations between 400,000 and 700,000, and in all of them, the percentage of residents living below the federal poverty line is higher than the national average. [Click the Clicky]

At least 30 applications from companies seeking to mine hundreds of millions of tons of coal face suspension as the government reviews its sales of the fuel from public lands, U.S. officials disclosed Friday. [Richmond Register]

Kentucky’s new governor took a swipe at the University of Louisville’s board of trustees Thursday, filing motions in court calling into question the board’s legitimacy on racial grounds, saying it doesn’t comply with state laws requiring diversity. The governor’s actions came on the same day that a small faction of board members expressed displeasure in the university president’s leadership, circulating a proposal to reduce his powers. [WaPo/Jim Higdon]

The Barren County School System will be out more money next school year for classified employee retirement, which is when the school systems will be required to pay more to Social Security and Medicare. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Hillary Clinton heads into the next Democratic presidential debate with a 25-point lead over Bernie Sanders, according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Sunday morning on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” [The Hill]

It’s tiresome always being a cynic, but cynicism is unavoidable covering the Kentucky General Assembly. It is especially difficult while listening to lawmakers talk about education. [Ronnie Ellis]

Tightening polls and rising tensions between White House rivals Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders could fuel a fiery Democratic debate on Sunday, their last face-to-face encounter until Iowa kicks off the presidential nominating race in two weeks. [Reuters]

No one is surprised that gay-panicked Tim Moore thinks concealed weapons around children are a terrific idea. [WDRB]

A rare January hurricane has formed far out in the Atlantic, the first to form in the month since 1938. [BBC]

No, Jim Gray cannot beat Rand Paul. Not because he’s not capable but because of the bridges he’s burned and the incompetent people he’s allowing to run his show. If he wants to set things up for another office? Run for that office instead of wasting money on a U.S. Senate bid. [H-L]

Because of course they did. Several Republican presidential candidates criticized the Obama administration’s decision to swap seven Iranian prisoners for The Washington Post’s reporter Jason Rezaian and three other Americans on Saturday. [HuffPo]

Jimbo Ramsey’s Days Are Numbered

The Kentucky Senate signed off Thursday on a bill to exempt school and university construction from Kentucky’s prevailing wage law but House Speaker Greg Stumbo said it does not have a chance of winning passage in the Democratic-led House. [H-L]

A former federal regulator and Elizabeth Warren acolyte who has repeatedly questioned the Obama administration’s treatment of student loan borrowers just took a job with the Department of Education. [HuffPo]

Raising the stakes for University of Louisville President James Ramsey, two members of the board of trustees announced Thursday that they no longer support his presidency while the board’s chairman said he favors reducing the president’s powers. Don’t forget that Greenberg has never cared about Ramsey in the past. Not during any number of other scandals. Fascinating to see this turn. [C-J/AKN]

Hillary Clinton is attacking Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) from the right on healthcare ahead of next month’s Democratic caucuses in Iowa. []

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources invites the public to review a new document that when finalized will guide management of the state’s elk herd for years to come. [Richmond Register]

Nebraska President Barack Obama visited with a young family in the living room of their suburban house in Nebraska on Wednesday, the first stop on what the White House said would be a year-long tour to talk with Americans about fixing the nation’s polarized politics. [Reuters]

Morehead State President Wayne Andrews lifted his Powerball ticket in the air and joked with faculty that he’d only retire if he owned the winning lottery digits. [Ashland Independent]

Numerous attempts to restrict where transgender people can use the restroom have been proposed in recent years, but one Virginia lawmaker’s latest legislation might be the most vicious. He actually wants to fine transgender children $50 if they use what he deems to be the “wrong” restroom. [ThinkProgress]

The Rowan County Board of Education in a special meeting last week re-elected Rick Whelan as board chair. [The Morehead News]

You can thank Mitch McConnell for all of that senate gridlock. He loves to blame the Democrats but you know that’s not based in reality, no matter how bad they are. [Politico]

A second Glasgow attorney has filed to run for office for Kentucky’s 43rd Judicial District, which encompasses Barren and Metcalfe counties. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Hillary Clinton’s new barrage against Bernie Sanders, the Democratic presidential primary opponent she has all but ignored through most of her campaign, is having an effect — though probably not the one she intended. Sanders’s underdog campaign said it is seeing a surge of contributions as a direct result of the new attention it is getting from the Democratic front-runner, with money coming in at a clip nearly four times the average daily rate reported in the last quarter of 2015. [WaPo]

Kentucky junior U.S. Sen. Rand Paul is mad as hell about being excluded from the next Republican presidential debate, and on Thursday, Paul had one word for the media. [H-L]

The Republican National Committee has started preparing for a contested national convention, which would follow the primary season should no GOP candidate for president win enough delegates to secure the party’s nomination. [HuffPo]

Perpetual Jim Ramsey-UofL Soap Opera

The public could learn how much a state pension is worth to legislators under a bill unanimously approved Wednesday by a Senate committee. [H-L]

“As frustration grows, there will be voices urging us to fall back into tribes, to scapegoat fellow citizens who don’t look like us, or pray like us, or vote like we do, or share the same background.” [HuffPo]

Maybe Jimbo Ramsey’s finally gonna have to walk away from the UofL foundation. That won’t improve much, though. [C-J/AKN]

MoveOn is endorsing Bernie Sanders for president after the liberal challenger to Hillary Clinton won 78 percent of votes cast by its membership. [The Hill]

A Kentucky state lawmaker says the state’s public universities’ tuition rates border on “the criminal” and he wants to freeze the rates for four years. Sen. Dan Seum, R-Louisville, will sponsor Senate Bill 75 that would freeze tuition rates for four years, and thereafter, the legislature would have to approve tuition increases. [Ronnie Ellis]

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said he was not surprised that Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is “neck-and-neck” with Hillary Clinton in the early contests of Iowa and New Hampshire, saying the Vermont senator’s message of income inequality is more authentic. [Reuters]

A bill that would remove county clerks’ signatures from marriage licenses has hit a snag in the state Senate. [Ashland Independent]

Arch Coal, one of the United States’ largest coal companies, filed for bankruptcy on Monday in the hopes of eliminating more than $4.5 billion in long-term debt. [ThinkProgress]

Glasgow Independent Schools Board of Education unanimously approved Monday a “draft” version of the school district’s budget for the 2016-17 school year. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Republicans were salivating for another Iranian hostage crisis. Everyone from Scott Jennings to Mitch McConnell. And then it didn’t happen. [Politico]

Andy Beshear testified before a House panel Tuesday saying a loophole could actually prevent some pedophiles from being convicted, or could overturn their convictions. [WKYT]

U.S. stocks fell on Wednesday in a continuation of a recent rough patch on Wall Street. The Dow Jones and S&P 500 are down by more than 7 percent. [NPR]

How do you know when Julie Raque Adams fears her chances for re-election are iffy? She’s turned all right-wing. First with playing footsie with Matt Bevin over health care and now with abortion. [H-L]

Why is it necessary to write stories about when Kim Davis did and didn’t clap? [HuffPo]

Legislative Hell Breaks Loose Tomorrow

Ron Hink talks about being Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass project manager for the plant that will destroy chemical weapons in Madison County. [H-L]

The troubled campaign of Democratic U.S. presidential contender Martin O’Malley was dealt another blow on Thursday when the struggling candidate failed to qualify for the primary ballot in the political bellwether state of Ohio. [HuffPo]

Yes, UofL could have paid her to go away. UofL loves to pay people to go away. Look at Shirley, the former attorney, nearly everyone else who knows something and hasn’t gone to prison. [C-J/AKN]

This is from a couple years ago but you can’t afford not to re-read it. We hates us some poor people. First, they insist on being poor when it is so easy to not be poor. They do things like buy expensive designer belts and $2500 luxury handbags. [TPM]

The U.S. Alzheimer’s Disease Centers recently awarded Allan Richards and Ann Christianson of the University of Kentucky School of Fine Arts and Visual Studies a grant to study the effects of visual arts activities on quality of life for people with mild to moderate dementia and their caregivers. [Richmond Register]

But not in Kentucky! As the United States marks more than six years without an increase in the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, 14 states and several cities are moving forward with their own increases, with most set to start taking effect on Friday. [Reuters]

Boyd County Sheriff Bobby Jack Woods knew going into his position that it would not be your average 40-hour-a-week job. He understood the challenges that would accommodate the title and has spent his first year in office tackling them all. [Ashland Independent]

This type of consideration when it comes to medical malpractice will never happen in the United States. Primarily beacuse people like Scott Jennings – for money – fight to lie to people about the need for tort reform for the wrong reasons. [ProPublica]

Union officials said Thursday that nearly 600 coal miners could lose their jobs at Murray Energy Corp. mines in West Virginia and Ohio, dealing another blow to the beaten-down industry and Appalachian region. [Harlan Daily Independent]

Why is Middle America killing itself? The fact itself is probably the most important social science finding in years. It is already reshaping American politics. The Post’s Jeff Guo notes that the people who make up this cohort are “largely responsible for Donald Trump’s lead in the race for the Republican nomination for president.” The key question is why, and exploring it provides answers that suggest that the rage dominating U.S. politics will only get worse. [WaPo]

Even media outlets outside Louisville are freaking out about a stupid mall incident. [WKYT]

Donald Trump has again defended his call for a ban on Muslims entering the US after it was used in a propaganda video by Somali militant group al-Shabab. [BBC]

Remember that time Kim Davis thought she could prevent the gays from getting married? She’s a perfect poster gal for being too hateful to breathe. [H-L]

The Affordable Care Act survived a near-death experience, made major progress and faced some significant setbacks in 2015, the fifth year since President Barack Obama’s historic health care reform program became law. These were the biggest Obamacare stories of the year about to end. [HuffPo]

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