Creepy Wayne Lewis Has Ruined KDE

Donald Trump’s decision to launch a trade war against some of America’s closest allies now threatens Kentucky’s bourbon industry and much more. But don’t just blame the fool in the White House; blame the spineless Kentucky Republicans in Congress who enable him. [H-L]

“I’m not really anything special,” Miss Major Griffin-Gracy says with a slight chuckle. “I’m just one of the girls.” But despite her modesty, Griffin-Gracy is anything but ordinary. [HuffPo]

Kentucky education officials are considering a state takeover of Jefferson County Public Schools despite a lack of evidence that such moves transform academic achievement across large, urban districts. “If people are expecting quick results and miraculous returns … they are going to be disappointed,” said Michael Petrilli, president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a conservative education policy think tank based in Washington, D.C. [C-J/AKN]

Two higher-education associations released statements on Wednesday opposing the U.S. State Department’s move to limit the length of student visas for some Chinese citizens. [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

Alison Grimes should definitely run. As Kentucky’s political world wonders whether Republican Matt Bevin will run for re-election in 2019, it is also watching to see what some Democrats will do. [Ronnie Ellis]

After U.S. tariffs on imports of European steel and aluminum took effect Friday morning, the EU’s top trade commissioner called them “illegal” and a classic case of protectionism. The EU plans to make its case to the World Trade Organization. [NPR]

Joe Burchett’s Attorney, Scott White, filed a motion recently requesting a change of venue for the court proceedings in a case accusing the Boyd County Jailer of malfeasance or neglect of county officer. [Ashland Independent]

The aunt of the woman shot and killed by a Border Patrol agent last week after crossing the border illegally near Laredo, Tex., has a message for the United States: “Don’t treat us like animals.” [ NY Times]

This effort is a good one but if there’s ever a community that does not need armored military surprise vehicles, it’s Morehead. [The Morehead News]

About a half-million Medicare Part D recipients “received high amounts of opioids” in 2016. Almost 20 percent of that group are at “serious risk of opioid misuse or overdose.” [WaPo]

The Barren County Ambulance Service Taxing District’s board of directors have agreed not to make a payment on the Barren-Metcalfe County Emergency Medical Service’s deficit for the month of May. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A leading U.S. group of cancer doctors is wary of new Trump administration proposals for lowering drug prices, particularly if new negotiation tools are introduced that will mean the U.S. government no longer routinely pays for all cancer drugs in the Medicare health program for older people. [Reuters]

Asher Sharp lives a life of faith and certainty in rural Tennessee. He has a wife, a 9-year-old son and a small fundamentalist Christian congregation he pastors. But when rains swell the Cumberland River into a flood of Biblical proportions, his certainty is swept away with the water. [H-L]

A vitriolic audiotape of a phone call between Donald Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen and a reporter reveals how the lawyer tried to protect his boss with threats and fury. [HuffPo]

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Stop Letting Nemes Off The Hook

To the list of big ideas that appear to have flopped during the 2018 General Assembly, such as pension reform and tax reform, add criminal-justice reform. [John Cheves]

Calling it “a relic of the 18th century,” retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens called Tuesday for the outright repeal of the Second Amendment, saying it would achieve “more effective and more lasting reform” than other efforts to curb the country’s scourge of gun violence. [HuffPo]

Shady-ass Jason Nemes deserves a ton of the blame for this. As to people like Tres Watson at the Republican Party of Kentucky’s headquarters. It’s a shameful attack on veterans and those in need of less deadly (i.e., no opioids) relief. They hate it because Alison Grimes and people smarter than them support it. They discuss it internally at RPK and have strategized to personally attack supporters of the bill. They should tread lightly, however, as people within their ranks are leaking like crazy. [C-J/AKN]

The FBI possesses a secret report asserting that Vladimir Putin’s former media czar was beaten to death by hired thugs in Washington, DC — directly contradicting the US government’s official finding that Mikhail Lesin died by accident. [BuzzFeed]

A road plan passed Thursday by the Kentucky Senate includes $24 million in funding for the second phase of construction of the Berea Bypass, a project that had not been included in the original road plan introduced in the House. [Richmond Register]

Democratic attorneys general in several states said Tuesday they would bring legal action to stop the Trump administration from adding a question on citizenship to the next U.S. census, a question they said would lead to serious undercounts that could reverberate for years to come. [The Hill]

Russell Police Chief James “Ned” Crisp said he wants to enhance community relations between the department and its citizenry as part of a long-term approach to combatting crime. [Ashland Independent]

A self-inflicted gunshot wound, not a bullet fired by a sheriff’s deputy, killed a 17-year-old who had just shot another student at a Maryland high school last week, authorities have said. [Reuters]

Budget negotiators from the Kentucky state House and Senate adjourned for the evening Monday, expressing optimism they can come to an agreement on a new $22 billion, two-year state budget. [Ronnie Ellis]

A POLITICO review of public documents, newly obtained FEMA records and interviews with more than 50 people involved with disaster response indicates that the Trump administration — and the president himself — responded far more aggressively to Texas than to Puerto Rico. [Politico]

The former Glasgow police chief who stepped down from that position, but not from his employment by the department, and then sued the city and interim chief claiming he was not treated fairly has lost his appeal of the decision to have the lawsuit dismissed. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Oops, they did it again. After Republicans rammed through their big tax cut, there were a rash of stories about corporations using the tax break to give their workers bonuses. [NY Times]

Dear Damon Thayer: You should tread lightly in trashing broadband expansion in rural Kentucky. You could get your ass kicked to the curb. [H-L]

The Commerce Department announced late Monday that the 2020 census would ask people whether they were U.S. citizens, a controversial decision that civil rights groups say is unnecessary and could jeopardize the accuracy of the entire survey. [HuffPo]

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Bullitt County May Be Kentucky’s Worst

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Widow v. widow? Bullitt County is insane. Linda Belcher, from Bob’s Burgers, will face Rebecca Johnson, widow of alleged child sex predator Dan Johnson. What on earth?! It’s gonna be crazy when the Rebecca Johnson research file hits. The fact that she allegedly helped her husband cover things up won’t be the half of it. Hold on to your cult wigs, kids. [H-L]

This was the year the political media couldn’t stop reminding us of the forgotten Americans. All year long, outlets parachuted reporters into “Trump Country” to observe his voters in their habitat — “Cletus safari” is the derisive term of art — and the reporters returned with tenderly crafted soft-focus portrait after tenderly crafted soft-focus portrait of people aching to say the n-word. [HuffPo]

Screw Matt Bevin’s backward, racist, homophobic, end-timer opinions. He’s easily the dumbest man to be elected governor in our lifetime. Secretary of State Alison Grimes’ New Year’s resolution is blunt: Medical marijuana must be legalized in Kentucky to help veterans suffering from PTSD and others who are painfully ill. [C-J/AKN]

Transgender people will be allowed for the first time to enlist in the U.S. military starting on Monday as ordered by federal courts, the Pentagon said on Friday, after Donald Trump’s administration decided not to appeal rulings that blocked his transgender ban. [Reuters]

Matt Bevin named Kevin Williams, of Irvine, as judge-executive of Estill County on Wednesday, replacing Wallace Taylor, who has resigned. [Richmond Register]

This year ProPublica documented the many ways waste is baked into our health care system, from destroying perfectly good medication to junking brand new supplies. Eliminating the waste could insure millions of Americans. [ProPublica]

Attorney General Andy Beshear said his office secured $152,000 for the state’s General Fund from a settlement with a Connecticut-based pharmaceutical company for improperly promoting its drugs to Kentuckians. [Ashland Independent]

The entire Trump universe is a nightmare. A US singer has filed a sexual assault claim against Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski. [BBC]

What’s ahead for Louisville in 2018? More of the same. That’s what’s ahead for Louisville in 2018. More death, more b.s. As long as people like Matt Bevin are fighting against common sense? Louisville is going to be frozen in time. [WFPL]

Stoking racist fears, Trump defied bureaucracy to advance his bigoted immigration agenda. [NY Times]

All of the written arguments have been submitted now in the appeal made by a former Glasgow police chief regarding the dismissal of his lawsuit against the city and his successor, and a panel of judges has been assigned to consider the appeal, but a decision is still months away. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Since 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency has been embroiled in an enforcement battle with a Michigan-based company accused of modifying the state’s largest coal-fired power plant without getting federal permits for a projected rise in pollution. [WaPo]

Eric C. Conn violated his bond conditions when he left the country and did not show up for sentencing in his Social Security disability fraud case, U.S. Magistrate Judge Magistrate Judge Robert E. Wier ruled Thursday. The decision means the government can immediately sell the former disability attorney’s office complex on U.S. 23 in Floyd County, Conn’s attorney, Scott T. White, said after the hearing in federal court in Lexington. [H-L]

The Justice Department is pushing for a question on citizenship to be added to the 2020 census, a move that observers say could depress participation by immigrants who fear that the government could use the information against them. That, in turn, could have potentially large ripple effects for everything the once-a-decade census determines — from how congressional seats are distributed around the country to where hundreds of billions of federal dollars are spent. [HuffPo]

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I Guess Linda Gorton Is Big News?

This is horrifying and makes it scary to think about anyone having kids. The Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure has reprimanded a doctor whose pediatric residency at the University of Kentucky was terminated after he allegedly viewed child pornography during a work shift. [H-L]

The average American life expectancy ticked downward for the second straight year in 2016, on the back of surging drug overdose deaths, according to data released Thursday by the National Center for Health Statistics at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And while the nation hasn’t experienced a back-to-back drop in life expectancy since the 1960s, the CDC says the opioid crisis is shaping up to extend this decline for a third consecutive year, a milestone that hasn’t been seen since the Spanish flu pandemic in 1918. [HuffPo]

Former state Rep. Linda Belcher rejected a suggestion by the widow of Rep. Dan Johnson that she participated in an effort by liberal organizations to destroy Johnson. [C-J/AKN]

The Trump administration’s consideration of a wage freeze for federal employees is one piece of a renewed multifront Republican push to shrink those workers’ pay, benefits and workforce. [WaPo]

Members of the Barren County Board of Education received the results of the school district’s annual financial audit during Thursday night’s meeting. They also heard updates on construction at the Career and Technical Education facility at the Trojan Trail campus. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Don McGahn was looking at whether the national security advisor violated federal laws just days after Trump moved into the White House. [Foreign Policy]

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes is reminding registered voters who wish to vote in another party’s May 2018 Primary Election or be a candidate as a member of another political party in the 2018 elections that they must change their registration no later than Dec. 31. [The Morehead News]

A second U.S. judge on Thursday blocked Donald Trump’s administration from enforcing new rules that undermine an Obamacare requirement for employers to provide insurance that covers women’s birth control. [Reuters]

Community Assistance & Referral Services (CAReS) is currently seeking monetary donations to offset the cost of purchases made to cover unreturned Giving Tree items. [Ashland Independent]

ALIENS!!!!!!!1!! [NY Times]

Five Madison County inmates were able to see their children visit with Santa and open Christmas gifts Saturday thanks in large part to the work of the Glover Foundation. [Richmond Register]

The United Nations on Thursday delivered a stinging rebuke of Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, casting an overwhelming vote condemning the move and calling on the U.S. to withdraw the decision. [The Hill]

Former Vice Mayor Linda Gorton announced Tuesday that she will enter the race for mayor. [H-L]

Republicans are looting the store, taking everything they can grab off the shelves, anticipating the demise of Donald Trump as progressive energy explodes. [HuffPo]

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Reminder: Ethics Aren’t A Thing In KY

A Democratic lawmaker filed a complaint Wednesday with the Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission, asking for an investigation into a sexual harassment settlement between four Republican lawmakers and a legislative employee who worked for them. [H-L]

Even as nearly 70 major U.S. city and county police forces have begun outfitting their officers with body cameras, departmental policies limit the cameras’ ability to bring accountability and transparency to law enforcement, according to a study published Tuesday. [HuffPo]

Alison Grimes should get Jim Higdon added to her committee posthaste. And medical marijuana should obviously be a thing in Kentucky. [C-J/AKN]

Democratic leaders are increasingly confident that they’ll win back the House in 2018. [The Hill]

In a move that President Michael Benson called a “calculated risk,” the Eastern Kentucky University Board of Regents approved a tuition freeze for the 2018-19 academic year after a request from the university president Wednesday afternoon during a regular session. [Richmond Register]

More than 800,000 people signed up for Obamacare individual health insurance plans in the second week of open enrollment, U.S. government health officials said on Wednesday, bringing the total number of sign-ups to nearly 1.5 million so far. [Reuters]

More children live in deep poverty in three of five Northeast Kentucky counties than five years ago, according to Kentucky Youth Advocates, a non-profit child advocacy organization. [Ashland Independent]

The US House of Representatives will require anti-sexual harassment training for all members of staff, House Speaker Paul Ryan has announced. [BBC]

Matt Bevin’s stupid stunt that attempted to gut the Education Professional Standards Board has been kicked square in the nuts. [Ronnie Ellis]

After the financial crisis in 2008, the Obama administration turned one of the banking industry’s friendliest regulators into one of its toughest. But that agency is now starting to look like its old self — and becoming a vital player in the Trump administration’s campaign to roll back regulations. [NY Times]

Profiting from the imprisonment of humans is anti-christian and about as immoral as possible. So of course Kentucky Republicans and John Tilley are into it. [WFPL]

Meetings he had with the Russian ambassador during the campaign. Campaign-related conversations he had with the Russian ambassador. Shutting down campaign aide George Papadopoulos after Papadopoulos suggested then-candidate Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin get together. [WaPo]

This is just stupid. No, Lexington won’t become the largest city in the United States with citywide gigabit internet. It won’t even be the largest city in the state. [H-L]

Around half of the world’s household wealth is in the hands of the richest 1 percent of adults, according to a study published Tuesday by the financial services company Credit Suisse. [HuffPo]

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Alison Appears To Be In A Big Pickle

Calling the claims against her “politically motivated and spurious,” Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes denied that she ever improperly obtained voter data or that she took inappropriate action in a contract with a state vendor. [H-L]

Donald Trump on Thursday formally declared a public health emergency for the opioid crisis, an action that has been more than two months in the making. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin’s a crazy-eyed hypocrite. The people he’s attacking? They’re the very people he originally sought for advice on the pension mess. His team even tried to lure me in for advice and connections on those in-the-know about KRS. Now they’re attacking them. Here’s hoping they all lose their asses over the next couple years. [C-J/AKN]

Last month, ProPublica published a deep examination of how struggling black Americans are much less likely to gain lasting relief from bankruptcy than their white peers. [ProPublica]

Hahahahaha! They think a living wage is ever going to be a thing in Louisville with folks like Greg Fischer and David Yates in charge. [WFPL]

Earlier this month at the Brooklyn Museum, scholar and MSNBC legal analyst Paul Butler joined Michelle Alexander, civil rights lawyer and author of The New Jim Crow, for a conversation about his latest book, Chokehold: Policing Black Men. As a former federal prosecutor, Butler uses his firsthand experience to demonstrate how the legal system is structured to target and criminalize black men. [Bill Moyers]

The Democratic Minority Leader in the Kentucky House of Representatives still doesn’t know what’s in a proposed Republican measure to alter the benefit structure and strengthen financially the state’s public pension plans. [Ronnie Ellis]

Senate Democrats have questioned whether Donald Trump’s nominee for a top EPA position is violating the law by working at the agency before being confirmed, and they are demanding more details about his duties. [NBC News]

With these folks involved, you know something shady’s afoot. The EastPark board of directors on Tuesday hammered down a deal to sell a massive plot of land to Braidy Industries, which said it will build a $1.3-billion aluminum mill. [Ashland Independent]

They’re worried this dipshit might get cranky if he’s away from home for too long – seriously. Leaders of more than a dozen countries will meet for a major summit in the Philippines in mid-November, but Donald Trump won’t be there. He is planning to skip it and leave the Philippines the day before. It’s a bad signal to send to the region, and it could undermine the overall goal of his Asia tour by calling American regional leadership into question. [WaPo]

The family court judge for Barren and Metcalfe counties who sought to pre-emptively recuse himself from all adoptions involving parents of the same gender is resigning, effective after Dec. 16. [Glasgow Daily Times]

More lip service from the orange idiot and his fellow New Nazi Republicans on the opioid front. [NY Times]

A state panel that disciplines judges has filed ethics charges against a Kentucky judge who objected to handling adoption cases involving gay parents. [H-L]

I was a racist cop. Years ago, I was helping a supervisor at a single-car crash. A black man collided head-on into a concrete divider, and died at the scene. I was detouring the ensnarled traffic when my corporal, who had been alongside the victim, shared an update. [HuffPo]

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McConnell Bungled Health Care For Years

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Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes has once again declined to give detailed information about Kentucky voters to a committee President Donald Trump set up to investigate election integrity. [H-L]

Fun watching McConnell repeatedly lose on this front for more than eight years. Seven years of Republican promises to repeal the Affordable Care Act withered away to almost nothing on the Senate floor early Friday morning. [HuffPo]

Six years, five months and 11 days after she was sentenced to prison for trying to extort cash, cars and a house from University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino, Karen Cunagin Sypher’s sentence officially expire[d] Friday. [C-J/AKN]

If you read Jared Kushner’s statement to congressional committees looking for evidence of a crime, there isn’t much there. But if you read it from the perspective of the Russians trying to gain a toehold—or more—inside the Trump campaign, you realize how easy he made it for them. [New Yorker]

Newsprint is dying and there’s no reason to force government to subsidize it. Maybe it wasn’t Daniel in the lion’s den, but Kentucky Press Association Executive Director David Thompson surely felt outnumbered Wednesday as a committee of state lawmakers heard a line of public agencies ask for revisions in a state law which requires public notice of official documents in local newspapers. [Ronnie Ellis]

In an arrangement prominent ethics experts say is without precedent and potentially illegal, the White House is referring questions for senior presidential adviser Stephen K. Bannon to an outside public relations agent whose firm says she is working for free. [TIME]

State Rep. Jim Wayne is viewed by some as a liberal Democrat while state Budget Director John Chilton works for, what many view, as a pretty conservative Republican governor, Matt Bevin. But both agree on Kentucky’s fiscal situation: it’s a mess and growing worse and something must be done. [More Ronnie Ellis]

The Senate rejected a scaled-back ObamaCare repeal bill in the early hours of Friday in a shocking vote that marks a major defeat for GOP leaders and the seven-year effort to repeal the health law. [The Hill]

Kentucky’s economic outlook took another hit this past week as Moody’s downgraded the state’s bond ratings to Aa3 from Aa2 following the announcement the state failed to make its revenue estimates for the fiscal year and in light of its growing public pension problems. [The Morehead News]

The Republican Party’s seven-year dream of dismantling the Affordable Care Act came to what seemed like a climactic end early Friday, punctured by the Senate’s vote to reject a last-ditch proposal to repeal a few parts of the health law. [NY Times]

Bullfrogs croaked loudly at Sloan’s Crossing Pond at Mammoth Cave National Park on Tuesday night as biologists set up nets across the walkway surrounding the pond and in the nearby woods. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) played his hand on the Senate Republicans’ health-care proposal for the maximum political effect. It’s always the case that it’s the people who are wavering at the last minute who end up getting all the attention: Undecided voters, new car buyers, bachelorettes on reality television shows. In politics, though, there’s special cultural role acclaim for those who, at the last minute, do the unexpected — often while those who did exactly what was expected get little fanfare. [WaPo]

In an effort to increase wild ginseng populations on national forest lands, a ban prohibiting ginseng harvest in the Daniel Boone National Forest has been extended through the 2017 harvest season, from Sept. 1 to Dec. 1. [H-L]

Russia ordered the United States to cut its diplomatic staff by Sept. 1 and said it was seizing a dacha compound and warehouse used by U.S. diplomats in retaliation for new U.S. sanctions against Moscow. [HuffPo]

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