The Rand Paul Crew Sure Is Fun

Jesse Benton, a former campaign manager for Republican U.S. Senators Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell, is active in Kentucky’s U.S. Senate contest this fall even though he was convicted in May on felony political corruption charges and was accused by a British newspaper this week of trying to funnel illicit donations from a foreign source into the presidential race. [John Cheves]

Perfect illustration of that presidential ticket. A plane carrying U.S. Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence skidded off the runway after landing in the rain at New York City’s LaGuardia Airport on Thursday, halting flights for at least an hour, officials said. [HuffPo]

Joe Biden is at the top of the internal short list Hillary Clinton’s transition team is preparing for her pick to be secretary of state. [Politico]

Donald Trump said he received a $17 million insurance payment for 2005 hurricane damage at his private Florida resort — and pocketed some of it instead of spending it on repairs, according to a new report. [The Hill]

For all his unpopularity in increasingly red Kentucky, Barack Obama has for the second time this year come to the assistance of a Democratic candidate. [Ronnie Ellis]

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s employees are having a “tremendous problem” with health plans they don’t actually have. Trump himself doesn’t make much use of a health plan that he also doesn’t have. And all of this is a “disaster” for the American people. Confused? Don’t worry. So is Mr. Trump. [ThinkProgress]

Madison County Board of Education members received a report Thursday evening on the recent 2016 Unbridled Learning data for the district from Chief Academic Officer and Assistant Superintendent David Gilliam. [Richmond Register]

At three large rental buildings emblazoned with gold letters spelling out T-R-U-M-P P-L-A-C-E on the Upper West Side, the lobby rain mats embossed with the same name are being replaced, tenants say. The new versions, they have been told, will proclaim the buildings’ addresses, 140, 160 or 180 Riverside Boulevard. [NY Times]

Could Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo really be facing a serious electoral challenge in his Floyd County district? [Ronnie Ellis]

In case you needed more proof that Trump is a lunatic loose cannon… Donald Trump warned in an interview Tuesday that Hillary Clinton’s policies as president to address the Syrian conflict would lead to World War III, arguing the Democratic nominee would draw the US into armed confrontation with Russia, Syria and Iran. [CNN]

A new master plan created for the Kentucky Exposition Center outlines $200 million in improvements to enhance the facility. [Business First]

As his poll numbers have declined in the closing weeks of the presidential race, Donald J. Trump has begun to engage in barely veiled promotions of his business brand off the campaign trail, dragging reporters to his marquee properties in between his campaign events. [More NY Times]

Matt Bevin’s administration has banned flip-flops and exposed midriffs in a new dress code for Kentucky’s more than 31,000 executive branch employees. [H-L]

Republicans these days are disgusting. Illinois Republican Sen. Mark Kirk made an ill-advised jab about the birthplace and ancestry of his Democratic opponent, Rep. Tammy Duckworth, during a debate on Thursday. [HuffPo]

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Bevin Didn’t Learn From His Cockfighting Rally Incident, Once Again Caught By The Balls By Democrats

The timing of a family court judge’s announcement of his resignation — and the subsequent filing by his wife to succeed him — has raised questions in Clark and Madison counties about whether the retirement was orchestrated to prevent competition from other potential candidates. [H-L]

House Science Committee Chair Lamar Smith (R-Toots) wants to exert congressional authority over state attorneys general who are trying to investigate ExxonMobil’s climate record. [HuffPo]

The University of Louisville violated the state’s open records law when it didn’t hand over documents related to its decision to impose a postseason ban on the men’s basketball team, Attorney General Andy Beshear has decided. [C-J/AKN]

President Obama says he plans to keep pushing for action on climate change after his presidency ends in January. [The Hill]

Congressman John Yarmuth is accusing Gov. Matt Bevin of plotting to end Medicaid expansion in Kentucky. [WDRB]

S&P Global Ratings warned on Thursday that the Chicago public school system’s B-plus credit rating could fall deeper into the junk level due to its “extremely weak” cash position. [Reuters]

When Florida State athletes arrived on campus in 1998, they received $144,750 in free Nike footwear and apparel. This year, a vault of $2.8 million in Nike gear awaited players arriving in Tallahassee. That’s in addition to the $1.4 million in cash Nike will pay this year for the right to outfit the university’s athletes. [Business First]

Insys, which has come under fire before for using doctors with troubled histories to promote or consult on its products, faces new claims from Illinois’ attorney general. [ProPublica]

In a very brief special called meeting of the Berea Board of Education in late August, board members voted to keep the school tax rates the same for the 2016-2017 fiscal year. [Richmond Register]

A powerful drug that’s normally used to tranquilize elephants is being blamed for a record spike in drug overdoses in the Midwest. Officials in Ohio have declared a public health emergency and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says communities everywhere should be on alert for carfentanil. [NPR]

The Ashland Rotary Club received a glimpse of what the Kyova Interstate Planning Commission does at Monday’s meeting. The commission, located in Huntington, is an association of the Tri-State region that operates as a forum for evaluating and taking on transportation issues. Counties include Boyd and Greenup in Kentucky, Lawrence County in Ohio and Cabell, Wayne and a portion of Putnam in West Virginia. [Ashland Independent]

When Congress gets back from recess, one of the first items on Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton’s (D-DC) agenda will be salary histories. [ThinkProgress]

UK is the worst these days. After weeks of national publicity, the University of Kentucky proceeded this week with a lawsuit against its independent student newspaper, the Kentucky Kernel. [H-L]

Saying he’s “tired of all the lies,” Rep. Fitz Steele, D-Hazard, said he was present at a meeting Gov. Matt Bevin denies ever took place, a meeting where Democrat Rep. Kevin Sinnette of Ashland says the governor tried to pressure him into switching parties. [Ronnie Ellis]

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Is Yarmuth The Only KY Democrat?

One year ago, Michael Todd was getting ready for a doctor’s appointment when his phone was flooded with messages from relatives. [H-L]

Iraqi forces recaptured the last district held by Islamic State militants in the city of Falluja on Sunday and the general commanding the operation declared the battle complete after nearly five weeks of fighting. [HuffPo]

The Kentucky Democrat who helped orchestrate this week’s historic shutdown of the U.S. House to demand action on gun violence said his involvement began with a voice mail. [C-J/AKN]

Former Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley on Sunday called Donald Trump a racist bigot who appeals to the worst instincts in people. [The Hill]

Toward the end of the inaugural Metcalfe County Proud Festival, several members of the Hornets’ Nest Pickers gathered on Saturday afternoon behind the stage that was built on the Metcalfe County Courthouse lawn. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Hawaii’s governor signed a bill making it the first state to place its residents who own firearms in a federal criminal record database and monitor them for possible wrongdoing anywhere in the country, his office said. [Reuters]

One of the toughest ways to make a living is undoubtedly being a standup comedian. The comedian goes onstage with nothing but a microphone to face a crowd of people smugly sitting back with the attitude, “Make us laugh, if you can.” [Richmond Register]

Donald Trump claimed he was a “much better friend to the gays” than Hillary Clinton after the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando earlier this month. On Sunday, it was Clinton who showed up to show she was the better friend of the LGBT community. [Politico]

After 70 weeks on the picket line near the entrance of the old fire brick plant in Grahn, United Steelworkers Local 857 President Donald Frazier sums up negotiations in a few simple words. [Ashland Independent]

Ralph Stanley, the singer, banjo player and guardian of unvarnished mountain music who was also a pivotal figure in the recent revival of interest in bluegrass, died on Thursday. He was 89. [NY Times]

Supt. Marvin Moore received an “exemplary” evaluation Tuesday from the Rowan County Board of Education. [The Morehead News]

With Dwight D. Eisenhower’s signature, the government fired thousands of federal employees for being gay or lesbian, and Francis wants the department to release the internal memos, documents and communications surrounding it. [Roll Call]

You already knew this guy was a pandering lunatic. Rep. Thomas Massie thinks it’s time for “amexit.” [H-L]

Longtime conservative columnist George Will is wiping his hands clean of the Republican Party. [HuffPo]

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