Rand Paul Doesn’t Know Which Industries Actually Dominate His State

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/5584422343/sizes/m/in/photostream/">Gage Skidmore</a>/Flickr

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The chatter that actress Ashley Judd might make a run for Senate in her home state of Kentucky has prompted preemptive vituperation from the state’s Republican delegation. “She’s way damn too liberal for our country, for our state,” Rand Paul told radio station WMAL on Wednesday. “She hates our biggest industry, which is coal, so I say, good luck bringing the ‘I hate coal message’ to Kentucky.”

Paul also threw in some digs about Judd, an eighth-generation Kentuckian, spending part of her time in her husband’s home country, Scotland. And yes, Judd has been a vocal critic of mountain-top removal coal mining. But the comments indicate that Rand Paul doesn’t know much about his state’s top industries. Mining isn’t the state’s biggest industry. It’s not even in the top ten, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (via James E. Carter IV). It’s way down at number 13:

James E. Carter IV/Bureau of Economic AnalysisJames E. Carter IV/Bureau of Economic Analysis

It’s all the way down there after “information,” oddly enough. Mining is also not the largest industry in the ranking based on the number of people it employs; on that list, it comes in 15th.

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Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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