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]

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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]

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Morehead Is Seriously Over Kim Davis

More than $3 million has been awarded to provide heroin and prescription drug abuse treatment for Kentucky jail inmates and for an injectable treatment designed to prevent relapse as offenders leave custody. [H-L]

Top Republicans’ growing support for privatization of the Department of Veterans Affairs health care system is frightening some veterans groups. [HuffPo]

An estimated 20,000 undocumented residents in Kentucky were left in limbo this week after a federal appeals court upheld an injunction on President Obama’s executive action meant to shield millions from deportation. [C-J/AKN]

U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon ordered the NSA to immediately stop vacuuming up domestic telephone records on Monday, writing that “the loss of constitutional freedoms for even one day is significant harm.” But the order was limited to one plaintiff in the case: a California lawyer and his law firm. [The Intercept]

If each U.S. state were its own country, Kentucky would have the seventh-highest incarceration rate in the world, according to a recent analysis by the Prison Policy Initiative. [WFPL]

Surprise! Bloated, wealthy Republican refusing to have a conversation about race. [The Hill]

Progress is finally being made on two long-delayed county road/bridge repair projects. The Madison Fiscal Court meeting in Berea on Tuesday morning approved an agreement to accept $200,000 in state discretionary funds to redo work on a portion of Old Wilderness Trail done about two years ago that did not “hold up.” [Richmond Register]

Thousands of protesters took to the streets across the U.S. on Tuesday to demand a $15-an-hour minimum wage and union rights for fast food workers, a campaign intended to attract support from national political candidates ahead of the 2016 elections. [Reuters]

Members of the Grayson City Council met Tuesday night to further discuss the option of the city creating a smoke-free workplace environment. [Ashland Independent]

For at least one sergeant in the U.S. military, this year’s Veterans Day may take on more significance than any other day to commemorate military service members. [ThinkProgress]

Wondering how the hometown paper of Kim Davis is covering her shenanigans these days? Just barely. Because Morehead is not Kim Davis. Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis has been denied an appeal to reverse rulings made by U. S. District Judge David L. Bunning after she refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. [The Morehead News]

Donald Trump has defended his hardline stance on immigration, a day after it was attacked by fellow Republican presidential candidates on national TV. [BBC]

The image that went viral last month of rapper Macklemore sleeping with his infant daughter next to him made Dr. Susan Pollack cringe. [H-L]

The G20 countries spend almost four times as much to prop up fossil fuel production as they do to subsidize renewable energy, calling into question their commitment to halting climate change, a think tank said on Thursday. [HuffPo]

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All Eyes On Appalachia As Stivers Embarrasses, Abandons His Suffering Constituents

Construction on a Noah’s Ark attraction in northern Kentucky is sailing along, and the builders say they’re ready to announce an opening date. [H-L]

The prevailing view that addiction is a disease, just like depression or diabetes, is wrong, according to a leading neuroscientist. Marc Lewis, the author of Memoirs of an Addicted Brain and The Biology of Desire, insists that addiction is not a disease and that presenting it as such is harmful. [HuffPo]

Oh, man, Dan Johnson really let Jack Conway have it in his letter to the editor. [C-J/AKN]

America’s poorest white town: abandoned by coal, swallowed by drugs. In the first of a series of dispatches from the US’s poorest communities, we visit Beattyville, Kentucky, blighted by a lack of jobs and addiction to ‘hillbilly heroin’. [The Guardian]

Gov.-elect Matt Bevin’s pledge to scale back the Medicaid expansion and dismantle Kynect, Kentucky’s award-winning health insurance exchange, has caused concern among health clinics. [Business First]

Senate Republicans are divided over how far to go with an ObamaCare repeal bill that they plan to send to the president’s desk by year’s end. [The Hill]

Bob Stivers, one of the most gluttonous hypocrites in Frankfort, represents one of Kentucky’s poorest regions. So here he is advocating FOR killing health care by claiming the savings will help shore up the troubled pension system. Still wondering why his staff have slowly abandoned him over the past few years? Now you know. [CN|Toot]

The advertisement portrays the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as a roomful of bureaucratic automatons mercilessly stamping “DENIED” on loan applications, beneath Soviet-style banners depicting CFPB’s director, Richard Cordray, and its principal architect, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. But the ad does not disclose that the group sponsoring it is led by lobbyists for Navient, a student loan company that the CFPB is currently investigating for allegedly cheating student loan borrowers. [The Intercept]

Kentucky’s latest quarterly coal report shows new recent lows in the state’s coal employment and production. During the third quarter of 2015, Kentucky’s mines employed only 9,356 workers — a more than 50 percent decline from this quarter in 2011. Coal production is also at the lowest point since the 1960s. [WFPL]

David Bass, who served 21 years in the U.S. Army, says he tried medical marijuana in a moment of desperation. He suffered from chronic pain and PTSD as a result of multiple active duty tours in Iraq, and his doctor at the VA gave him intense narcotic and psychotropic drugs. [ThinkProgress]

The Glasgow-Barren County Tourist and Convention Commission became one of two tourist commissions that have agreed to help fund the salary of an administrative assistant who will help with the development of a master plan to connect area trails. [Glasgow Daily Times]

At the end of June, ProPublica and The Virginian-Pilot kicked off an investigation into the potential effects of Agent Orange on the children and grandchildren of Vietnam War-era veterans. [ProPublica]

As Fox Business News was cutting away to commercial almost an hour into Tuesday night’s Republican debate, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul could be seen walking toward the moderators. [H-L]

Undercover video recorded by an animal rights activist at one of the largest U.S. pork producers appears to show pigs being beaten and dragged across the slaughterhouse floor as workers cheer and throw blood-soaked towels at one another. [HuffPo]

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Jorbs Are Leaving NEKY Like Woah Now

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The city of Frankfort is considering a resolution that would establish a needle exchange program. [H-L]

Love him or hate him, few people until recently would deny that Sen. Rand Paul (R-Cookie Tree) has a unique brand as an independent, libertarian-leaning Republican, which he has successfully leveraged to national fame. [HuffPo]

About 500 soldiers from Fort Campbell’s 101st Airborne Division will deploy to Iraq and Kuwait early next year to lead the effort to train Iraqi forces battling the Islamic State, U.S. Army officials said. [C-J/AKN]

Sen. Marco Rubio (Nation’s Hang Down) slammed his colleague Sen. Rand Paul (Cookie Tree) as a “committed isolationist” as the pair sparred over taxes in the fourth GOP presidential debate Tuesday. [The Hill]

Circuit Judge Phillip Patton had told most everyone he didn’t want any sort of a gathering planned in recognition of his upcoming retirement. [Glasgow Daily Times]

About half of California’s undocumented immigrants are poor enough to qualify for Medi-Cal, the state’s insurance program for its poorest residents, according to a new report. [Reuters]

The Germans weren’t raining fire on Normandy’s Omaha Beach when Bill McKenney, 92, was working to unload ammunition from Allied ships, but the beach was still a dangerous place. [Richmond Register]

In its ongoing Failure Factories series, the Tampa Bay Times is investigating the disastrous effects of the Pinellas County School Board’s 2007 decision to abandon school integration in favor of “neighborhood schools.” Schools in high-poverty black communities were promised additional funding and resources. Then the promises weren’t met, and performance at the schools has plummeted. [ProPublica]

The possible loss of hundreds of jobs, even if temporary, in northeast Kentucky, and the trickle-down ramifications have caught the attention of the state’s highest officials. [Ashland Independent]

How is marriage equality like being forced to own a giraffe? Oddly enough, that’s what passes for legal analysis at the Mississippi Supreme Court, where two justices testily dissented from a routine order recognizing that the Supreme Court’s landmark gay rights decision in Obergefell v. Hodges does indeed apply in the state of Mississippi. In one dissenting opinion, Justice Josiah Coleman compared Obergefell to hypothetical court decisions giving each U.S. Supreme Court justice a 5 million salary or requiring all members of a minority group to be sent to work camps. He also likens the Court’s marriage equality decision to “a United States Supreme Court decision that held the Constitution of the United States required every household in America to own a giraffe.” [ThinkProgress]

Rowan School Supt. Marvin Moore had a chance to meet with the state’s new commissioner of education, Dr. Stephen Pruitt, at the recent Kentucky Educational Development Corporation (KEDC) meeting. [The Morehead News]

Matthew Barzun, the American ambassador to the Court of St. James’s, stood before a buzzing, boisterous audience of several hundred teenagers in a poor borough on the southern edge of greater London and asked them what frustrated or concerned them the most about the United States. [NY Times]

State Rep. Stan Lee has prefiled a bill for the 2016 General Assembly that would allow home-schooled students to play athletics on public school teams. [H-L]

As friends and family gathered Tuesday at the funeral of Tyshawn Lee — one of the youngest Chicago residents lost to gun violence this year — to mourn and remember the boy, Father Michael Pfleger delivered a fiery eulogy indicting the city over the execution of a 9-year-old child. [HuffPo]

Will Andy Stand Up To Gov. Butt Cramp?

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Lexington’s police department hopes to have its officers equipped with body cameras by June. [H-L]

Winners and losers were hard to find, as the defining feature of Tuesday night’s Republican presidential debate was its lack of definition. In stark contrast to the first three GOP face-offs, each of which carved an underlying narrative that drove subsequent news coverage, Tuesday’s forum had many moments that stuck out, but few that appeared likely to have a lasting effect on the contours of the wide-open race. [HuffPo]

Amid a national push for more openness in law enforcement, the Louisville Metro Police Department has decided to regularly share information on such subjects as violent crime, crime victims, police shootings and assaults on officers. [C-J/AKN]

Interrupted midway through answering a question about how he would reform the nation’s tax code, Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul was reportedly escorted off stage roughly an hour into Tuesday’s GOP primary debate after falling below the minimum 2.5 percent polling threshold necessary for participating in the forum. [The Onion]

The last time Kentucky elected a Republican governor he ran into trouble with the Democratic attorney general. [Ronnie Ellis]

The White House says it is making strides in its push to end homelessness among veterans and help returning service members get an education. [The Hill]

One of two Democrats to survive Election Day, attorney general-elect Andy Beshear, said the mission of the attorney general’s office has not changed during an announcement of his transition team Tuesday in the Capitol Rotunda. [State Journal]

All recent U.S. military veterans and their families will now be offered in-state tuition rates to public colleges and universities throughout the country, the White House said on Wednesday. [Reuters]

Academic standards may be working for students in Kentucky, Trey Grayson, but you’re ignoring the reality that there is almost no accountability for educators. Proof: everything published here on Page One. [Trey Grayson]

Republican Matt Bevin is the latest political newcomer to make a splash. The newly elected governor of Kentucky has never held office before and says he plans to shake up politics in the state. [NPR]

Oh, look, the Kentucky Baptist Convention is straight up lying about Planned Parenthood. Sooooo Christlike. Sickened and brokenhearted by reports of Planned Parenthood selling the remains of hundreds of thousands of aborted babies each year, Kentucky Baptists called on lawmakers to immediately defund the government-funded agency. [Ashland Independent]

The chief of the Justice Department’s civil rights division says “too many barriers still exist in courts across America” when it comes to providing lawyers to poor criminal defendants. [NPR]

Matt Bevin’s plans to repeal Steve Beshear’s health care reforms could face opposition from Beshear’s son, the newly elected attorney general. [H-L]

The growing calls for a $15 minimum wage have infiltrated not just the Democratic primary campaign, but now the Republican one as well. But while Democrats are debating how high it should be raised, Republicans are explaining why they think it should remain where it’s been since 2009. [HuffPo]