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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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]

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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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Democrats Freaking Out, Republicans Kissing Butt

How could anyone be shocked that Jack Conway didn’t take more people down with him? He didn’t campaign alongside the rest of the slate on any occasion that’s rememberable. Heck, he didn’t even campaign. He hid out in his Glenview estate in that haughty community overlooking the river. What people knew of Jack Conway, they didn’t like. And by people? We mean Democrats. Democrats disliked him enough not to vote for him. [H-L]

British spies would be allowed to legally hack into smartphones and computers under the Tory government’s new surveillance law. Telecoms firms will be forced to help MI5, the domestic intelligence agency; MI6, overseas intelligence; and the U.K.’s Government Communications Headquarters use James Bond-style “equipment interference” — remotely accessing phones and using them as listening devices — as part of the draft Investigatory Powers Bill. [HuffPo]

Perhaps the biggest test that Gov.-elect Matt Bevin will face early in his administration will be whether he can fulfill his promise to remake Gov. Steve Beshear’s expansion of Medicaid. [C-J/AKN]

I would be careful of making too much of the Kentucky results. Only three polls not sponsored by a candidate came out during the final three weeks of the campaign. That’s far less polling than was conducted in other recent polling mishaps, such as in Israel and the United Kingdom over the past year. The Kentucky results match most of the bigger misses in the U.S. during the 2014 midterm elections, such as in the Maryland gubernatorial race and Virginia Senate election, when few polls were released during the final weeks of the campaign.1 That’s a good thing for 2016, when the most highly anticipated races will have lots of polls in the field. [FiveThirtyEight]

Shorter Matt Bevin: Screw the poors and screw the gays! Governor-elect Matt Bevin on Friday announced the early priorities of his administration — dismantling the state-run health exchange and removing county clerk’s names from marriage licenses. [WFPL]

By most accounts, Kentucky’s implementation of President Barack Obama’s 2010 healthcare reform was a success. Tuesday’s elections in the state could mean big changes are coming, however – with ominous portents for the future of the president’s signature legislative achievement. [BBC]

It has been two years since President Barack Obama signed into law the Agricultural Act of 2014, which included a provision legitimizing research into industrial hemp. Since then, Kentucky has been among the most active states taking steps to prepare for the potential legalization of the crop with an ambitious pilot program aimed at once again putting the state at the forefront of production. But in Barren County, industrial hemp has yet to make an appearance. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Recording and mixing music are Vernon Thomas’ passions, but being CEO and producer of Mantree Records isn’t his day job. He’s an HIV outreach worker for a county health department outside Newark, N.J. He took what was to be a full-time job in May because the gig came with health insurance — and he has HIV himself. [NPR]

It’s fun watching Ellen Williams praise Matt Bevin after spending years trashing the bigot of a man up one side and down the other. Ellen Williams, the former chairwoman of the Republican Party of Kentucky, knows a thing or two about winning elections. This week she offered an insight to Matt Bevin’s appeal in his surprising win in the governor’s election. [Ronnie Ellis]

Former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York City said this week that he would run millions of dollars in political television ads against four state attorneys general who are suing the Obama administration over regulations on power plant emissions. [NY Times]

Stan Lee, R-Gay Panic, is sponsoring legislation in the 2016 Regular Session of the General Assembly that if passed would allow students who are home schooled the ability to play sports in their public school district. Because what public school kids need is to be exposed to half-literate religious extremist children. [Richmond Register]

The coalition soldiers arrived on a dusty ridge line east of this city near dusk, as a cool breeze swept in from the hazy desert plain that stretched for miles below. Fighting positions likely dug decades ago by the Russian military sat at the edge of the ridge, and were marked with numerous stones painted bright blue on one side. [WaPo]

Blair Wilson walked into a storefront at a Louisville mall. An hour later, she walked out with Medicaid coverage for herself and her father, who lost his insurance this year after two strokes. [H-L]

The medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders released its internal report on Thursday about the October attack on its hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. The report also revealed that pilots shot at staff members fleeing the hospital. [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]

Bourbon Heist: Rumors Are Flying Like Woah

We hear the tipster is from a law enforcement agency that was working in a rivalry against another law enforcement agency in the county. [H-L]

This past September was the hottest ever worldwide — the seventh monthly record set this year. [HuffPo]

Once again, Jim Ramsey is lying to the media. Only now he has a media veteran to help him craft those lies. [C-J/AKN]

Billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer plans to invest at least as aggressively in the 2016 presidential election as he did last year, when he became the biggest individual donor on either side of American politics. [The Hill]

The Glasgow-Barren County Industrial Development Economic Authority received a “clean” opinion on the audit of the financial report for its most recently completed fiscal year. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Apple Inc told a U.S. judge that accessing data stored on a locked iPhone would be “impossible” with devices using its latest operating system, but the company has the “technical ability” to help law enforcement unlock older phones. [Reuters]

The Harlan County Economic Development Authority met for the first time on Monday to determine the direction the board will take and elect officers. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

In February 2008, six days before he would win the Wisconsin presidential primary, Barack Obama traveled to a General Motors plant in Janesville, Wis., for a major economic address. [ProPublica]

Frustrating to see school districts spread information like this. You already know Eastern Kentucky schools aren’t tops, in any circumstance, in the state. The Perry County School District has made strides academically this 2014-2015 school year. [Hazard Herald]

From the Department of Things Ken Ham Wouldn’t Understand… The latest pictures of Pluto show it to have a beautiful blue-tinged atmosphere. And analysis of the scientific data sent back by the New Horizons spacecraft so far indicates that it has one of the most diverse landscapes in the Solar System. [BBC]

The Berea Independent Board of Education reaffirmed its commitment to two goals at Monday’s meeting. The first objective is to reduce the number of students who scored at the novice level in last year’s K-PREP state education accountability tests. The second is to raise student writing scores. [Richmond Register]

The myth of welfare’s corrupting influence on the poor. Does welfare corrupt the poor? Few ideas are so deeply ingrained in the American popular imagination as the belief that government aid for poor people will just encourage bad behavior. [NY Times]

About 180 CSX employees will be furloughed or relocated after the company abruptly closed its Corbin rail shops. [H-L]

Ratifying a treaty to end forced labour will free millions of people trapped in modern slavery, the International Labour Organization said on Tuesday, launching a drive to persuade 50 nations to ratify the landmark pact. [HuffPo]

Bowling Green City Commissioner Melinda Hill announced Wednesday her intent to challenge longtime state Rep. Jody Richards, D-Bowling Green, for his Kentucky House seat in 2016. [BGDN]