Maybe Sen. Alvarado Is A Walking Irony

Ironies abound whenever the General Assembly meets, but Sen. Ralph Alvarado, R-Winchester, a physician, endorsed one of the most profound and disturbing of this session. [H-L]

After nearly a decade of generally lukewarm concern over what’s been called the “greatest threat“ of our time, Americans are finally taking climate change seriously. [HuffPo]

PEE ALERT! An atheist group is planning a billboard campaign in Kentucky to protest the $92 million Noah’s Ark replica theme park, set to open in July. The Tri-State Freethinkers group said it raised more than $3,000 to erect several billboards titled “Genocide & Incest Park: Celebrating 2,000 years of myths.” In a rendering, the billboard shows people drowning around an ark. [C-J/AKN]

The Vatican is replacing its controversial ambassador to the U.S., who arranged the meeting between Pope Francis and antigay Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis last fall. [The Advocate]

Earlier this year a former constitutional officer asked if I would speak to a group he brought to Frankfort to see their state government at work. Inevitably in such settings, someone wants to know a reporter’s personal political inclinations, something most of us find discomforting. But I answered the question as honestly as I knew how: I’ve never felt entirely at home in either party; I’ve been registered as an independent for years; and I tend more often than not to rebel against one party rather than identify affirmatively with the other. [Ronnie Ellis]

Meanwhile, people like Julie Raque Adams turn a blind eye to these realities when discriminating against women. [NY Times]

Rowan Fiscal Court Tuesday had first reading of an ordinance to raise the county occupational tax rate by a half percent. [The Morehead News]

“The Simpsons” likes to poke fun at everything, and sometimes the show makes a few predictions. We look back at an episode from 2000 that imagines what would happen under a Donald Trump presidency. [NPR]

Questions about money have come up at the University of Kentucky on Friday after a new report reveals misspending at the campus’s cafeterias. [WHAS11]

Two days before Christmas, a trust called DE First Holdings was quietly formed in Delaware, where corporations are required to reveal little about their workings. A day later, the entity dropped $1 million into a super PAC with ties to Jersey City, N.J., Mayor Steven Fulop, a Democrat considering a gubernatorial bid. [WaPo]

Perry County Central High School is the first school in Perry County to participate in the Mentor Program through AmeriCorps. The goal of the program is to get the school out of persistent low achieving (PLA) status by focusing on students with low attendance, behavioral problems and improving grades. [Hazard Herald]

Senate Democrats are preparing a national pressure campaign aimed at blunting Republicans’ stubborn opposition to Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court, in a bid to keep the issue red hot as senators scatter across the country for a 17-day recess. [Politico]

The Kentucky House gave final approval Friday to Senate Bill 43, which will extend $80,000 death benefits and free tuition at state universities or community colleges to the families of paramedics who die in the line of duty. [H-L]

A coalition of conservatives opposing Donald Trump’s presidential campaign called for a Republican unity ticket in a statement issued Thursday. The “Statement From Conservatives Against Trump,” published by The Resurgent’s Erick Erickson, marks a new phase in conservative efforts to deny the GOP frontrunner the party’s nomination. [HuffPo]

A Republican Named Scott Jennings Cowardly Tip-Toed Around Donald Trump’s Blatant Bigotry And Racism

A federal agency is investigating the Bluegrass Area Development District’s spending of federal money for aging services, according to a letter obtained by the Herald-Leader. [H-L]

Another Donald Trump supporter was caught on video evoking Nazis as he yelled at protesters following a rally in Cleveland on Saturday. “Go to Auschwitz,” the man said to the protesters after raising his arm in an apparent Nazi salute. “Go to fucking Auschwitz.” [HuffPo]

Of course Scott Jennings wrote an entire column attempting to explain the rise of Donald Trump as an authoritarian without once mentioning bigotry or racism. Because Jennings, like his Republican colleagues, are afraid to be up front about what’s going on. It’s cowardly and as shameful as what Trump’s actually doing. [C-J/AKN]

The modern Republican Party is an awkward contraption that harnesses a politics of white ethno-nationalism to a policy agenda dominated by the Ayn Rand–inflected anti-statism. Donald Trump has exploited the wedge between the party’s voters and the ideologists of its master class, placing the latter in an awkward spot. In the face of this threat, there are many possible responses for an advocate of traditional Goldwater-Reagan conservatism to make. The most bracingly honest may come from National Review’s Kevin Williamson, whose antipathy for Trump has expanded to include Trump’s white working-class supporters. [NY Magazine]

The policy council for emergency management of Boyd County unanimously chose Tim England as its new director on Friday. [Ashland Independent]

The House Budget Committee on Tuesday unveiled a GOP spending vision for 2017 that promises to cut $7 trillion from the national deficit over a decade – the sharpest cuts ever proposed by the committee. [The Hill]

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes is pushing for Kentucky to join most of its neighbors — and the majority of the United States — in offering expanded early voting. [Richmond Register]

In April 2014, the administration of President Barack Obama announced the most ambitious clemency program in 40 years, inviting thousands of jailed drug offenders and other convicts to seek early release and urging lawyers across the country to take on their cases. Nearly two years later the program is struggling under a deluge of unprocessed cases, sparking concern within the administration and among justice reform advocates over the fate of what was meant to be legacy-defining achievement for Obama. [Reuters]

Even after Morehead Utility Plant Board spent close to $6 million for flood damage expenses incurred in 2010 to the wastewater treatment plant on Bullfork Road, some nearby residents say the odor from the facility is worse than ever. [The Morehead News]

The Obama administration is expected to withdraw its plan to permit oil and gas drilling off the southeast Atlantic coast, yielding to an outpouring of opposition from coastal communities from Virginia to Georgia but dashing the hopes and expectations of many of those states’ top leaders. [NY Times]

Monroe County residents have contacted the sheriff’s office to report at least one loud explosion over the weekend. It was probably Jamie Comer fuming over his hemp mess falling apart. [Glasgow Daily Times]

More than two decades of studying Agent Orange exposure hasn’t produced a solid understanding of how the toxic herbicide has harmed Vietnam War veterans and possibly their children, according to a report released Thursday. Additional research is long overdue, the report said, but the federal government hasn’t done it. [ProPublica]

When people call from the U.S. or Canada to rent a U-Haul trailer, one representative they reach is Mary Kibbey, working from the small office at her house in the hills of rural Owsley County. [H-L]

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is out with a new ad tying vulnerable Republicans to Donald Trump, the first in an initiative that will no doubt pick up in the coming weeks. [HuffPo]

Randy Gets A Little More Like His Racist Daddy

Education on safe sleeping practices, programs aimed at stopping abusive head injuries and better access to mental-health assessments could help prevent child-abuse deaths in Kentucky, according to a state review panel. [H-L]

Public service — should we do more to encourage people to participate in it? Absolutely, yes. America’s strength is derived from a citizenry of diverse talents, histories and backgrounds, and when they come together to place a hand on the tiller of this great enterprise, our nation can accomplish amazing things. [HuffPo]

Want even more proof your state government is a damn nightmare? The [Louisville] city’s tree advocates and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet are colliding head-on over rules for safer and easier-to-maintain state roadways. [C-J/AKN]

An epinephrine injection can be life-saving for someone with a severe allergic reaction to a bee sting, a peanut or a piece of shrimp. But just half of internal medicine doctors know that epinephrine should be the first treatment, a recent study finds. [NPR]

Anthony Bowling worked 16 years in the construction business and most recently spent seven years in the coal business until he was furloughed. At age 48, he knows he took the right career move by completing the Lineman Training Program at Hazard Community and Technical College (HCTC). [Hazard Herald]

US Attorney General Eric Holder has announced plans to “help end racial profiling once and for all”. [BBC]

During the holiday season last year Mark Ward and his family were the victims of a “bad” act. But that’s when the good guys rode in, in the form of the Kentucky State Police, Post 10 Harlan. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

Maybe she shouldn’t have been an absolutely terrible candidate. Mary Landrieu said on Tuesday that she is “extremely disappointed” in Senate Democrats’ campaign committee, after it pulled its ad spending for her runoff election. [The Hill]

Welders, electricians, pilots and spectators held their breath Tuesday as the new Valley View Ferry towboat, named the John Craig II, was lowered into the water for the first time. [Richmond Register]

Really? Is anyone surprised that Robert Felner lackey John Deasy is in this mess? L.A. school district officials turned over 20 boxes of documents Monday in response to a federal grand jury subpoena for documents related to its troubled iPad project, officials confirmed Tuesday afternoon. [LA Times]

After a 10 week-program, 13 more citizens have completed the fourth Rowan County Sheriff’s Department Citizens Police Academy. [The Morehead News]

Really, Rand Paul? Using the Eric Garner case to go on a rant about fucking CIGARETTE TAXES?! You’re telling the world, despite your recent attempts to pretend you have black friends, that you’re a racist jackass. Just like your crackpot father. [Kentucky Deserves Better]

Maybe Rand Paul can run for the U.S. Senate in 2016 and somebody named Shmand Shmaul can run for president. [H-L]

New York City residents took to the streets on Wednesday after a grand jury said it would not bring charges in the death of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man who died in July after a police officer placed him in a chokehold. [HuffPo]

Scary Mitch McConnell Maimed The World In 2008

This ad will burn McConnell for sure:

Though, it reeks of spin and desperation. The DSCC should have been pushing stuff like this a year ago.

Because this ad won’t sway anyone so late in the game. People already know they hate Mitch McConnell and that’s not going to change now. Minds are made up.

Here’s hoping there are more scandalous ads like this from both sides. Mud slinging is tons of fun.

Clay County Gets Back To Being The Worst…

A man has admitted helping to dispose of the body of a reputed informant slain in Clay County, meaning he could become a key witness against the alleged head of a large drug ring and a man charged as a paid killer. [H-L]

Schools are getting better at fostering a friendly environment for LGBT students, but they still have a long way to go. [HuffPo]

No one wanted Greg Fischer’s job this morning. For a man who claims to be a great, experienced leader, he’s really shooting himself in the foot with the latest. Boobie pictures and all. [The ‘Ville Voice]

Twenty-two candidates, including nine prosecutors, two former judges and nine incumbents, are running for Jefferson District Court in 11 races. [C-J/AKN]

A year and a half into the release of classified documents by Edward Snowden, the existence of far-reaching National Security Agency surveillance is common if controversial knowledge. [ProPublica]

new epidemiological study adds to the growing body of scientific evidence that mountaintop removal coal mining is harmful to the health of nearby residents. [WFPL]

A team of U.S. and French scientists say they have developed a new tool that can specifically tell when environmental contamination comes from waste produced by hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking. [Think Progress]

A new lottery game is expected to generate more millionaires than any other game in history. [WAVE3]

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee plans to go back on the air in Kentucky after the party has been encouraged by new polls suggesting the race against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is within reach. [Politico]

The two candidates for mayor in Greenup both have experience in the city’s executive office: Incumbent Lundie Meadows is pitted against former Mayor Donna Hewlett, who he defeated four years ago. [Ashland Independent]

The White House and USDA released a state-by-state Made In Rural America Report yesterday. [Click the Clicky & External PDF]

Chief Justice of Kentucky Supreme Court John D. Minton, Jr., visited Glasgow First United Methodist Church on Sunday and discussed the meaning of a happy life. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Detroit’s relatively fast move through municipal bankruptcy has resulted in costly creditor settlements and too little emphasis on fixing the city’s broken operations, a restructuring expert testified in U.S. Bankruptcy Court on Wednesday. [Reuters]

In the election for the Urban County Council’s 10th District seat, challenger Amanda Mays Bledsoe is seeking to unseat incumbent Harry Clarke after his first term. [H-L]

Emboldened by new polling showing a tight race for Senate in Kentucky, Democrats are recommitting funds to boost Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, who is mounting a long-shot bid to unseat Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. [HuffPo]

Puppies Dead, Rainbows Gone In U.S. Senate Race

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes declined Wednesday to say whether she will pull a television ad that three left-leaning, pro-immigration reform groups condemned Tuesday as “offensive” and “hurtful.” [Sam Youngman]

People are changing Earth so much, warming and polluting it, that many scientists are turning to a new way to describe the time we live in. They’re calling it the Anthropocene — the age of humans. [HuffPo]

A super PAC supporting Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes’ campaign for the U.S. Senate raised $176,970 in the recent quarter and spent $100,000 on a radio ad attacking Grimes’ opponent, Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell. The super-PAC is called “We Are Kentucky.” But, despite its name, the report shows that only $11,500 – or just 6.5 percent – of its contributions during the quarter came from Kentucky. [C-J/AKN]

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has stopped running TV ads in Kentucky’s U.S. Senate race, a severe blow to Alison Lundergan Grimes in her challenge to Republican leader Mitch McConnell. [AP]

Louisville’s disaster of a mayor spends his days lying on the radio. The man will be called on something, his claims will be debunked and then he’ll show up on the radio the next day spewing what he knows is false. [The ‘Ville Voice]

The unseriousness of Republicans on man-made climate change. Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell aren’t scientists, but that doesn’t stop them from discrediting it. [The Atlantic]

Grimes implies that she’s barred from saying who she voted for, and the Constitution includes no prohibition on that. [WAVE3]

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) has decided to stop spending money on television ads against Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky and shift its resources elsewhere. [The Hill]

Local students are already benefiting from the Promise Zone, which is less than a year old. In September alone, Promise Zone partners and local schools were awarded more than $44.7 million in grants for several key projects to support a college-going culture and mental health initiatives. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

Many thousands of Americans who lost their homes in the housing bust, but have since begun to rebuild their finances, are suddenly facing a new foreclosure nightmare: debt collectors are chasing them down for the money they still owe by freezing their bank accounts, garnishing their wages and seizing their assets. [Reuters]

Among the big topics expected on the agenda for next year’s Kentucky General Assembly are public-private partnerships, local option tax and expanded gaming, state Rep. Johnny Bell told Glasgow’s Rotary Club on Thursday. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Democrats are pulling out of the Kentucky Senate race. Here’s why that’s important. [WaPo]

Ummm…. it’s not the kids who need to be tested for drugs in Eastern Kentucky, it’s the parents. [H-L]

If law enforcement officials around the country are going to continue cracking down on marijuana grow operations, especially in heavily armed, unannounced raids, maybe they should consider hiring a botanist or two. [HuffPo]

Franklin County Sheriff Probably Drank It All

It’s been a year since almost 200 bottles of rare 20-year-old Pappy Van Winkle bourbon went missing. And nobody has seen it since. [H-L]

This past September was the warmest since records began in 1880, according to new data released by NASA. [HuffPo]

The University of Louisville announced Thursday that a capital campaign started seven years ago to endow teaching chairs, upgrade facilities and create grants and scholarships for students has hit its $1 billion goal. [C-J/AKN]

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has gone dark in Kentucky, where the party is targeting Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. [Roll Call]

Although a settlement conference in September failed to produce a resolution in a federal civil lawsuit against Barren County’s former sheriff and four others, the negotiations are continuing, attorneys told a judge Wednesday. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Though she did so clumsily and has been widely criticized for it, Grimes isn’t the only Democrat seeking a Grand Canyon of distance from Obama this campaign cycle. [TIME]

A former Carter County deputy who has already pleaded guilty to official misconduct is denying allegations in a lawsuit stemming from a criminal case in which he was accused of demanding sexual favors in exchange for not arresting a Grayson woman. [Ashland Independent]

Kentucky’s U.S. Senate race is apparently the most ridiculous of 2014. [WaPo]

A retired state trooper and former Administrative Office of the Courts employee has filed a complaint with the Kentucky registry of Election Finance alleging Brian Bayes, a candidate running for Carter County Attorney, did not follow state laws regarding letters that were mailed to local voters. [Ashland Independent]

An accidentally released court filing reveals how one company secretly gave money to a nonprofit that helped get favorable mining legislation passed. [ProPublica]

On Friday, the Carl D. Perkins Job Corps Center welcomed a guest of honor for a visit, when U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers toured the facility. [Floyd County Times]

Nearly 50 people have been arrested at protests in Ferguson, Missouri, over the shooting of an unarmed black teenager two months ago. [Reuters]

Lexington will host the 70th annual Southern Legislative Conference in 2016, legislative and city leaders announced Tuesday. [H-L]

The ratio of wealth to household income in the U.S., a measure of inequality, is the highest it has been since just before the Great Depression. [HuffPo]