Casey County Is Making Kentucky Really Proud

It’s the final round-up of the year. We’ll be back to normal on Wednesday.

What’s that? A racist twit in Casey County? Surely not! A Casey County man says the life-sized mannequin in his front yard of President Obama holding a slice of watermelon was meant as a joke and not a racist display. The best part of the story is seeing his racist daughter defend his racist behavior. [WLEX18]

Remember Todd Eklof? He’s performing his first marriage since 2003! [Salon]

Greg Stumbo has taken a break from, wait, no he hasn’t. He’s back on the NRA train blaming video games for gun massacres. [WKYT]

ABC News stops the presses! Obama has a friend who did sex to a hooker. [Wonkette]

Legislative leaders are at odds on whether to postpone the divisive issue of redistricting for another year to avoid gumming up an upcoming session already chock-full of hefty issues, including how to fix a $30 billion shortfall in a pension system for government retirees. [H-L]

Lori, a 39-year-old mother in New Jersey, would like to save for the usual things: college, retirement, vacations. But those goals are far down her wish list. [Reuters]

Despite roughly $27 million in net assets, a $7 million cash reserve and an AA- credit rating, the city of Hopkinsville, Ky., could be broke in less than two years — at least on paper. [C-J/AKN]

Even the Democrats have funtimes with that fancy dark money. In the waning days of Montana’s hotly contested Senate race, a small outfit called Montana Hunters and Anglers, launched by liberal activists, tried something drastic. [ProPublica]

Several counties are in need of volunteers to review child foster care records for state courts. The Kentucky Court of Justice says in a news release that volunteers are needed in Fayette, Jessamine, Madison, Bracken, Campbell, Kenton and Mason counties. [H-L]

Here’s a question: What do Republican strategist Karl Rove and civil rights icon Rosa Parks have in common? The answer: a landmark Supreme Court ruling from 1958 protecting the First Amendment rights of dissident groups. [NPR]

As we end this year, go read this column from Ronnie Ellis. This is the week for looking back at the passing year or ahead to the new one. But because of a delightful Christmas gift, I’m in mind of something as old as I am. [Ashland Independent]

President Barack Obama has signed into law a five-year extension of the U.S. government’s authority to monitor the overseas activity of suspected foreign spies and terrorists. [HuffPo]

A man who pleaded guilty in the 1994 slaying of a University of Kentucky football player has been seriously injured in an auto accident. Shane Ragland was hurt Saturday afternoon in an accident that shut down part of the Snyder Freeway. [WLKY]

We’re closer and closer to hitting our goal and launching our new project. Consider helping make that happen because it’s so close we can taste it. [Support Our New Project!]

Teabagging Never Pays, Kids, Just Don’t Do It

It’s Holiday Week so we’re on a limited post schedule. So here’s a pointless round-up.

The growing role of class in academic success has taken experts by surprise since it follows decades of equal opportunity efforts and counters racial trends, where differences have narrowed. It adds to fears over recent evidence suggesting that low-income Americans have lower chances of upward mobility than counterparts in Canada and Western Europe. [NY Times]

Police are looking for the robbers who tied up two clerks in a pharmacy robbery. [WKYT]

How the NRA is larding state constitutions – like Kentucky’s – with frivolous, redundant “right to hunt” amendments. Like we told you for months, that was Greg Stumbo’s fault. Anyone acting surprised has been living under a rock. [Slate]

Salon writer David Sirota appeared on Don Lemon’s CNN show on Saturday to discuss that the majority of mass shooters in the United States have been white. [HuffPo]

Ray Burnam ran for sheriff on a pledge to do whatever he could to settle three unresolved slayings in this tranquil corner of Kentucky. He even dangled his own money as a reward, pledging $1,000 for information leading to a conviction in any of the cases. [H-L]

In his last few years, Adam Lanza shut himself off from the outside world almost completely, his troubles slowly escalating as his family splintered. [WSJ]

Thirteen Kentucky organizations will receive grant funding next year under a settlement between the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Environmental Protection Agency for alleged violations of the Clean Air Act. [WFPL]

This month’s rocket launch by reclusive North Korea shows it has likely developed the technology, long suspected in the West, to fire a warhead more than 10,000 km (6,200 miles), South Korean officials said on Sunday, putting the U.S. West Coast in range. [Reuters]

Richard Beliles is the first to acknowledge that he’s lost more battles than he’s won during 23 years as chairman of Common Cause of Kentucky, a nonprofit that promotes open and ethical government in the state. [C-J/AKN]

Natural gas may have reshaped the domestic energy market in 2012, lowering energy prices and marginalizing the coal industry, but America’s shale boom hasn’t undermined renewables. [NPR]

The day after Labor Day, just as campaign season was entering its final frenzy, FreedomWorks, the Washington-based tea party organization, went into free fall. [WaPo]

We’re closer and closer to hitting our goal and launching our new project. Consider helping make that happen because it’s so close we can taste it. [Support Our New Project!]

It’s Your Christmas Eve Round-Up Funtimes

We’re closer and closer to hitting our goal and launching our new project. Consider helping make that happen because it’s so close we can taste it. [Support Our New Project!]

What pension crisis? Steve Beshear has appointed his fourth Republican legislator to a fancy state job. This time it’s Danny Ford making $85,000 as surplus property director in Finance and Administration. [H-L]

At least old dude wasn’t tap tap tapping in the public restroom on the hunt for some hot menz. [HuffPo]

If you believe that, following the horrific shootings of schoolchildren and teachers in Connecticut, changes need to be made to the nation’s gun laws, what you are about to read will be unsettling. [C-J/AKN]

Scientist, Farmer Brings Tea Party Sensibility to House. It was wintertime in Kentucky when Thomas Massie got the call from the county jailer. [Roll Call]

The nation’s largest gun owners group had said little in the immediate aftermath of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. But the National Rifle Association’s executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre, broke that silence Friday with a call to place armed guards at all of the nation’s schools. [NPR]

The US has observed a moment of silence for the 26 victims of the Connecticut school shooting, as a gun lobby group called for armed security at schools. [BBC]

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Friday placing armed guards inside schools as a response to the Newtown, Conn., massacre is “the easy way out” — a proposal rolled out by the National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre. [Politico]

How dark money helped Republicans hold the House and hurt voters. In the November election, a million more Americans voted for Democrats seeking election to the U.S. House of Representatives than Republicans. [ProPublica]

Here’s a five-page story about how glorious and amazing Jim Ramsey is from Joe Gerth. Not a single mention of the Robert Felner scandal or any other behemoth of a mess Ramsey has been involved in. [C-J/AKN]

A federal judge on Friday blocked a new Missouri law that requires health insurers to offer plans that exclude contraception coverage if employers or individuals object to birth control on moral or religious grounds. [Reuters]

A western Kentucky county is bracing for a slowdown in coal production over the next 18 months and expecting the drop to impact projects that are dependent upon those funds. [H-L]

Maybe this nutter has forgotten that Columbine had armed guards? Goodness gracious the nutters are getting worse. [HuffPo]

We Hope Everyone Has A Great Holiday Vacation

We’re closer and closer to hitting our goal and launching our new project. Consider helping make that happen because it’s so close we can taste it. [Support Our New Project!]

An election date has been set for voters to decide on Sunday alcohol sales in Ashland. The vote will take place in both the Moore and Central precincts, following a successful citizen-driven petition drive over several weeks by two different sets of organizers. [Ashland Independent]

Congressional Democrats held a press conference Thursday to denounce a Social Security cut that has been embraced by President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) in budget negotiations. [HuffPo]

Don’t forget to watch Comment on Kentucky tonight at 8:00 P.M. Eastern on KET. Scheduled guests: Ronnie Ellis, Jack Brammer, Joe Arnold. Any time Ronnie is on, it’s a good show. [KET]

In a bizarre “press conference” that permitted no questions, National Rifle Association executive vice president Wayne LaPierre declined to offer the sort of small but sensible concession that many expected in the wake of the Newtown massacre. [Wonkette]

A Lexington police sergeant who was found guilty of misdemeanor criminal charges Wednesday is seeking to retire with a disability pension from the city’s police and firefighter pension fund. [H-L]

Stocks lost more than 1 percent on Friday after a Republican proposal for averting the “fiscal cliff” failed to pass, diminishing hopes that a deal would be reached soon in Washington. [Reuters]

Employees of Richmond Utilities have been working diligently to rid some downtown homes of discolored water, according to Superintendent Scott Althauser. [Richmond Register]

Nearly two decades after lawmakers began requiring background checks for gun buyers, significant gaps in the F.B.I.’s database of criminal and mental health records allow thousands of people to buy firearms every year who should be barred from doing so. [NY Times]

Turns out Cordish Cos. is behind yet another disaster in Louisville. This time harming Maker’s Mark international reputation. [The ‘Ville Voice]

North Korea says it arrested a US citizen for unspecified alleged crimes on 3 November. Pae Jun Ho entered the country as a tourist, state media reported. [BBC]

The nation’s largest gun-rights lobby is calling for armed police officers to be posted in every American school to stop the next killer “waiting in the wings.” The National Rifle Association broke its silence Friday on last week’s shooting rampage at a Connecticut elementary school that left 26 children and staff dead. [HuffPo]