Andy Barr & Mike Pence Sittin In A Tree

Don’t forget that Andy Barr is tightly aligned with Trump and Pence. Mike Pence touted the GOP tax overhaul and U.S. Rep. Andy Barr’s re-election bid Wednesday at More Than a Bakery in Versailles. [H-L]

Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School weren’t pleased with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ visit to the Parkland, Florida, school on Wednesday, saying that she met with few students. [HuffPo]

The House this week restored funding to 24 of the 70 programs that Matt Bevin proposed be eliminated in his proposed budget. [C-J/AKN]

An industry group says the Trump Misadministration is run “like a bad family-owned small business” and they love it. [ProPublica]

Pension continues to be the most haunting word for politicians seeking solutions to Kentucky’s failing pensions in a session, which Senator Jared Carpenter called “unique and difficult,” during a legislative update Monday. [Richmond Register]

Billionaire investor and longtime Trump confidant Carl Icahn dumped $31.3 million of stock in a company heavily dependent on steel last week, just days before Trump announced plans to impose steep tariffs on steel imports. [ThinkProgress]

Who else forgot Hampton existed? When she was a child, she never envisioned her life would take the path it has, Kentucky’s lieutenant governor told nearly 80 youths in Glasgow on Monday morning. [Glasgow Daily Times]

China has warned that it does not want a trade war with the US, but will not sit idly by if its economy is hurt. [BBC]

Probably has something to do with Jim Gray’s efforts to sweep as many homeless individuals off the streets as possible. Lipstick on a pig, if you will. Officials in Kentucky’s second-largest city say the number of homeless has declined to its lowest level in more than a decade. [WKYT]

The devastating explosion in the Upper Big Branch coal mine killed 29 men in 2010 and scarred West Virginia like few events in modern memory. Don Blankenship, the head of the mining company, went to prison over it. Not many people would call that a springboard for a career in politics. [NY Times]

Effective communication is one key toward school safety, parents and education officials in the Boyd County district agreed Monday in a community meeting. [Ashland Independent]

These people are dumb as hell. White House trade adviser Peter Navarro insisted that other countries won’t retaliate in a way that hurts U.S. consumers, dismissing the concerns of many economists and some Republican lawmakers. [WaPo]

Back off the bourbon. And stop trying to annoy Mitch McConnell. That’s the message from two powerful Kentucky interests — distillers and McConnell, the Senate’s most powerful leader. [H-L]

Experts say one of the most pervasive misconceptions about mental illness is that perpetrators of America’s all-too-common mass shootings have mental health issues. [HuffPo]

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Public Education Barely Exists In Kentucky & Democrats Are Twiddling Their Thumbs

People who suffer from pain as a result of the shingles will have access to less expensive generic drugs under an agreement reached with a pharmaceutical company. Kentucky is one of 22 states that have reached an agreement with pharmaceutical companies Teikoku Seiyaku and Teikoku Pharma USA because of anti-competitive tactics, Attorney General Andy Beshear announced Thursday. [H-L]

Andrew Wheeler, Donald Trump’s nominee to be Environmental Protection Agency deputy administrator, appeared poised and polished at his Senate confirmation hearing in November. He couched his objections to widely accepted climate science in ambiguous legalese, and kept his cool when, at the same hearing, Kathleen Hartnett-White, the president’s pick for the Council on Environmental Quality, flamed out, stammering over questions of basic science. [HuffPo]

Dr. Bill Fannin found his son unconscious in his bedroom. Medical training and a father’s love told him what to do. Give him breath. Start his heart. [C-J/AKN]

The blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered its steepest decline since June 2016 on Friday, amid wider losses in US markets. [BBC]

A bipartisan group of lawmakers has proposed allowing casinos to open in Kentucky so the state can glean gambling tax revenue for its ailing pension systems. [WFPL]

Melania Trump could have been deported and banned from the US if Donald Trump had been president when she was working as a model in the 1990s, immigration attorneys have said. [Independent]

Make no mistake, the behind-the-scenes maneuvering of the Steering Committee for Action on Louisville’s Agenda, or SCALA, has been going on for about a year. Longer than, most notably, David Jones Jr. and Sr., have been publicly acknowledging. The group’s attempt to usurp control of Jefferson County Public Schools has been building for longer than that. It must be roundly rejected. [Aaron Yarmuth]

It’s last call for public comment on a Trump administration proposal that would give bar and restaurant owners more control over workers’ tips. The Labor Department has been asking for feedback, and already hundreds of thousands of people have weighed in. Many say they say they’re opposed to a rule that would allow restaurant owners to pocket tips for themselves. [NPR]

While public education advocates worry the next state budget will squeeze public school budgets, some districts already face the possibility they might not be able to pay all of their bills before the current school year ends. [Ronnie Ellis]

Strange how Jim Gray didn’t have the courage or conviction to publicly support medical marijuana until he realized everyone else was doing it. The only person in that race to show real leadership was Reggie Thomas. Read the latest from Jim Higdon. [Politico]

The Kentucky Medical Association President believes local medical providers would have to do some “scrambling” if the Medicaid expansion is revoked, as Matt Bevin has threatened. [Ashland Independent]

Tiny Weenus Trump’s vision of soldiers marching and tanks rolling down the boulevards of Washington is moving closer to reality in the Pentagon and White House, where officials say they have begun to plan a grand military parade later this year showcasing the might of America’s armed forces. [WaPo]

Raising the cancer stick tax could save lives and grow revenue. It probably won’t pass because Frankfort is awful. [H-L]

The Trump Misadministration wants to give states the authority to determine if plans have enough doctors. In Washington state, a woman in Spokane named Cynthia Harvey bought health insurance from Coordinated Care, in part because the brochure promised a robust roster of physicians and coverage for an array of services, including, if needed, emergency room services. [HuffPo]

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Kentucky Needs A New Ed Commish

Maybe crap like this wouldn’t happen in the commissioner would stop trying to promote himself as some sort of celebrity. And if people like Valarie Honeycutt Spears didn’t intentionally ignore corruption in education. [H-L]

The nutrition children receive during their first 1,000 days ― from conception until their second birthday ― has a profound impact on how they develop. Without the proper nutrition during that window of time, young brains will not grow to their fullest potential, diminishing the kids’ opportunities for the rest of their lives, according to public health and medical organizations. [HuffPo]

A national “consumer” group is working with Frankfort lawmakers, making phone calls to their constituents and urging Kentuckians to support a bill that would roll back incentives for solar power. But who are they? [C-J/AKN]

The U.S. flu outbreak worsened over the past week as more people headed to doctors’ offices and emergency rooms, with hospitalizations at the highest in nearly 10 years, U.S. health officials said on Friday. [Reuters]

The 2018 General Assembly is now one-third of the way toward its constitutionally-limited 60 days to pass legislation — and still there is no pension bill in sight. [Ronnie Ellis]

Since the election, Donald Trump has made 31 specific claims about companies adding or saving American jobs thanks to his intervention. We went back to see what’s become of those announcements. [ProPublica]

The Coalition for the Homeless has received the needed funds to launch a pilot program to house homeless young adults in Louisville, officials said this week. [WFPL]

This mess is part of the reason Modern Republicans are so painfully dumb and dangerous. [ThinkProgress]

For the first time in recent memory, all but one local races for the state legislature and Congress are contested as 31 candidates have signed up to run for seven local seats. The last time those seats were up for election, 15 candidates filed to run. Democrats fielded 16 of the 2018 candidates, with 15 Republicans filing for the seats. [BGDN]

Former FBI Director James Comey lobbed criticism at Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee on Friday, asking his Twitter followers, “That’s it?” after the release of a disputed and much-hyped memo about alleged bias at the FBI and Department of Justice. [Politico]

Basically, Republicans are about to choke the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s economy. [WKYT]

K.T. McFarland, Trump’s onetime deputy national security adviser, has withdrawn from consideration to be the U.S. ambassador to Singapore, the White House confirmed Friday. McFarland has been under scrutiny in the special-counsel probe into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. [WaPo]

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray raised more money than his Democratic opponents in his first month as a candidate in the primary election to challenge Republican Andy Barr for his Central Kentucky congressional seat. [H-L]

Donald Trump on Friday declassified a Republican-authored memo that claims to show the Justice Department and FBI inappropriately conducted surveillance on a member of the Trump presidential campaign. FBI Director Chris Wray isn’t having any of it. [HuffPo]

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Bevin’s Standing Up While The Rest Of Frankfort Twiddles Its Thumbs

No, Jim Gray is not going to congress. No Democrat in that district will get to congress until they learn to abandon the Kentucky Democratic Party and the good old boy system. They’ve gotta learn how to eat Republicans alive and we all know that isn’t going to happen. None of them have the guts to get nasty and dirty. [WKYT]

Nearly 25 years after strangling the life out of her stepson, Stephanie Spitser faced a chance at parole. Spitser, 46, had received a degree in divinity and a diploma in Bible studies from Christian schools while in prison, and she had taken a class that prepares inmates to re-enter society. [H-L]

A senior official on Donald Trump’s transition team suggested that Russia had “thrown” the U.S. presidential election in Trump’s favor in a December 2016 email thread leaked to the New York Times and published Saturday. [HuffPo]

A state social worker who said she suffered retaliation by supervisors after she refused to change her findings in a report on a horrific child abuse case has received a $43,000 settlement from the state. [C-J/AKN]

Poverty is normally seen as a deep, complex, social problem. But to the Dutch historian Rutger Bregman it comes down to something simple: a lack of cash. [Fast Company]

Republican House leaders will turn over their investigation of sexual harassment claims against four of their colleagues to the Legislative Ethics Commission which has the power to subpoena witnesses and evidence. [Ronnie Ellis]

When Donald Trump fired his national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, in February, White House officials portrayed him as a renegade who had acted independently in his discussions with a Russian official during the presidential transition and then lied to his colleagues about the interactions. But emails among top transition officials, provided or described to The New York Times, suggest that Mr. Flynn was far from a rogue actor. In fact, the emails, coupled with interviews and court documents filed on Friday, showed that Mr. Flynn was in close touch with other senior members of the Trump transition team both before and after he spoke with the Russian ambassador, Sergey I. Kislyak, about American sanctions against Russia. [NY Times]

Maybe now it’d be a good time to remember that ignorance of the law isn’t a valid excuse in government. A few issues were found during the audit of the 2016-17 fiscal year financial statements of Barren-Metcalfe County Emergency Medical Services, but the auditors mostly chalked them up to office staff turnover and inexperience with government accounting standards as opposed to those used for private businesses. [Glasgow Daily Times]

These people are just insane, hate-filled bigots. There’s no other way to describe them. [WaPo]

Local officials told state lawmakers they want more control over the way they raise money to fund their governments and they are willing to take responsibility for the “inviolable contract” guaranteeing their employees pension benefits if lawmakers allow them to split off from the state employee pension system. [Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump lashed out at the FBI on Sunday, issuing a fresh denial that he asked former director James Comey to drop an investigation into the conduct of one of his top aides, Michael Flynn. [BBC]

Kentucky’s Republican governor asked his party on Saturday to call for the resignation of four GOP lawmakers who signed a secret sexual harassment settlement, but party leaders rejected it in a move the governor said “speaks to the fact that we’ve got real problems.” Bam Carney, the backward Republican “teacher” who fought to gut education and educator accountability, is now attacking Matt Bevin for standing up for what’s right. Absurd. [WFPL]

A federal judge on Friday ordered the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to rescind its delay of a rule that allows some foreign entrepreneurs to stay in the United States to grow their companies, court documents show. [Reuters]

A former employee in Gov. Matt Bevin’s office, who is also the daughter of an outspoken Republican lawmaker, said Thursday that a member of the State House of Representatives sent her “highly inappropriate” messages. [H-L]

Donald Trump gloated in a tweet Saturday that he fired Michael Flynn because he knew he lied to the FBI. If that was the case, Trump’s attempt to stop former FBI head James Comey’s investigation of Flynn could constitute obstruction of justice, legal experts warned. [HuffPo]

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RPK: Robbing Teachers & Other Retirees

The Republican Party of Kentucky has failed the Commonwealth. That group of fat, old, racist, homophobic, self-absorbed white guys is working to guarantee that the best workers are never again hired by state government. Killing pensions for workers is beyond absurd. [H-L]

Hillary Clinton drew parallels between Harvey Weinstein and Donald Trump, calling the disgraced Hollywood mogul’s behavior “disgusting” and “heartbreaking” ― just like the person once caught on camera bragging about sexually assaulting women. [HuffPo]

A justice of the Kentucky Supreme Court says that the small state retirement plan for judges is in sound shape and should be left alone when lawmakers tackle pension reform. [C-J/AKN]

Sixty-six police officers were killed on the job by felons in 2016, up about 61 percent from 41 deaths a year ago, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation said on Monday. [Reuters]

Royally screwing education – for fun. Matt Bevin was joined by legislators, education officials and community leaders Tuesday as he ceremonially signed House Bill 520 in the State Capitol Rotunda. [Richmond Register]

Last month, the Trump administration said it could not comply with a court order to disclose the names of people who met with the president at Mar-a-Lago in part because they do “not maintain any system for keeping track” of them. [ProPublica]

This project probably won’t end in disaster like it did in Montgomery County. Glasgow Independent Schools will be providing Chromebooks to all incoming freshman at Glasgow High School beginning next school year. [Glasgow Daily Times]

For several years now, a small cadre of conservatives have pushed to eliminate the so-called Johnson Amendment, the part of the IRS tax code that prohibits churches and other tax-exempt nonprofits from endorsing candidates. Supporters of its repeal often justify their position by claiming the issue is about “religious liberty,” arguing the law inhibits the freedom of faith leaders. [ThinkProgress]

The father of a man shot to death in in August 2016 in Harlan County has filed a federal wrongful death lawsuit. [WKYT]

Donald Trump says his drug czar nominee has withdrawn, after he reportedly helped weaken government efforts to tackle the opioid crisis. [BBC]

Don’t worry – you don’t live there. Residents in three Louisville neighborhoods can begin signing up for Google Fiber ultra high speed internet. [WFPL]

An old rotary phone rings insistently. Visitors at a new exhibition at the Museum of Memory and Human Rights here in Santiago who pick up the receiver hear two men complain bitterly about the liberal news media “bleating” over the military coup that had toppled Salvador Allende, the Socialist president of Chile, five days earlier. [NY Times]

That initial burst of national attention has now died and she won’t be able to keep up with Barr’s fundraising. Retired Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath jumped out to a large financial lead in the Democratic primary to challenge Republican Andy Barr for his Central Kentucky congressional seat. [H-L]

A Republican congressional candidate from Florida has made some out-of-this-world claims. Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera, one of nearly a dozen candidates hoping to win the U.S. House seat currently held by retiring Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, claims she was abducted by aliens who reminded her of Jesus Christ, according to newly resurfaced interviews. [HuffPo]

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UofL Is Corrupt As Hell And We’ve Been Yelling About It For More Than A Decade

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao had planned to fly commercial to Detroit in early June for events on the future of American roads. Then, days before, the White House derailed her plans, organizing an “infrastructure week” speech in Washington alongside Donald Trump. [WaPo]

It’s impossible to know exactly who, where or when, but one day in 2016, a Kentucky state employee packed up her desk, said goodbye to her colleagues and officially retired. [John Cheves]

If the Trump administration isn’t going to try to sell Obamacare to consumers this year, these Obama administration veterans are ready to step in. [HuffPo]

For years, Forbes has touted University of Louisville’s basketball program as the richest in college athletics, while its entire athletics department has been acclaimed as the envy of the county. But for all its winning seasons, national championships and bowl appearances, the athletic powerhouse built by now-suspended athletic director Tom Jurich falls short in at least one regard: It doesn’t turn a profit. [C-J/AKN]

This orange pigfucker has got to go. Same for people, like Scott Jennings, who love him. The price of Puerto Rico’s benchmark general obligation bonds tumbled to a record low on Wednesday after Donald Trump suggested late on Tuesday the island’s massive debt load will have to be wiped out due to devastation caused by Hurricane Maria. [Reuters]

A former Richmond Police sergeant who resigned from the department last month and has since been hired by the Madison County Sheriff’s Office had received a written letter of admonishment and was ordered to undergo counseling after a closed meeting of the Richmond City Commission, at which the commission found he was guilty of violating the department’s use of language policy. [Richmond Register]

The special prosecutor investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election has subpoenaed an associate of Gen. Michael Flynn’s Turkish lobbying client. [ProPublica]

Most of the Boyd County Detention Center was reopened Tuesday — 45 days after a riot by maximum-security inmates forced the relocation of about 300 prisoners. [Ashland Independent]

Before he mowed down concertgoers from a perch high in a hotel tower, Stephen C. Paddock created a ring of surveillance around him, with video cameras in his suite and in the hallway, law enforcement officials said on Tuesday. But investigators were still at a loss to offer a motive for the massacre. [NY Times]

The Morehead Pride Festival has expanded in its second year and will be held this Saturday, Oct. 7, from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. on East First Street in Morehead. [The Morehead News]

If the president had traveled a little deeper into the island, to the communities that sustained some of the heaviest damage, he would have witnessed a very different Puerto Rico. [WaPo]

Lawmakers are still keeping tight-lipped on possible changes to the state’s pension systems, saying they’re still privately trying to get consensus among the Republican majority in the state legislature. [WFPL]

Russia has opened a new battlefront with NATO, according to Western military officials, by exploiting a point of vulnerability for almost all allied soldiers: their personal smartphones. [WSJ]

Too little, too late. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced Thursday it will run radio ads targeting U.S. Rep. Andy Barr for his efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. [H-L]

Mitch McConnell is dick-whipped by the NRA. The old fucker has probably never fired a gun on his own and he’s bending over for the NRA – an organization that does not represent us everyday gun owners. [HuffPo]

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UofL Corruption. Who Could Have Predicted??? /sarcasm

Reggie’s the better candidate but he won’t win because he has brown skin. But also because his campaign crew is inexperienced as hell, apparently, and has no idea what they’re doing. [H-L]

Do you need more proof that Jeff Sessions is a hypocritical little shit? Oh? Here you go. [HuffPo]

HAHAHAHAH! Steve Pence is Rick Pitino’s attorney again! One disgraced criminal representing another disgraced criminal. Hahahahahaha. [C-J/AKN]

This past June, Florida’s top education agency delivered a failing grade to the Orange Park Performing Arts Academy in suburban Jacksonville for the second year in a row. It designated the charter school for kindergarten through fifth grade as the worst public school in Clay County, and one of the lowest performing in the state. [ProPublica]

These Republicans are so dangerously stupid. In the wake of chaotic civil unrest across the country, a Kentucky lawmaker is filing a bill to keep protesters in the state from wearing masks or bringing weapons to public rallies. [WFPL]

Two devastating earthquakes recently rocked Mexico in the short span of 12 days, killing nearly 300 people and leaving many more in need of aid and assistance. The dual tragedies, largely worsened by geography, left the country struggling to recover and rebuild. But as outside nations flocked to send their condolences, many experts warned that the same fate could befall a number cities in their home countries as well. [ThinkProgress]

Reggie Thomas, one of several announced candidates running in a Democratic primary for the right to challenge Republican incumbent U.S. Congressman Andy Barr, has released a two-minute video laying out his positions — but it seems aimed as much at his Democratic opponent than at Barr. [Ronnie Ellis]

An internal investigation has been opened into Health Secretary Tom Price over his private plane travel on official government business. [BBC]

Facing an uncertain state funding future, the Greenup County school board adopted a $33.9 million budget Monday. [Ashland Independent]

At the vast, windswept White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico earlier this year, nearly a dozen military contractors armed with laser guns, high-tech nets and other experimental systems met to tackle one of the Pentagon’s most vexing counterterrorism conundrums: how to destroy the Islamic State’s increasingly lethal fleet of drones. [NY Times]

Those wondering what actions lawmakers may take to shore up Kentucky’s woefully underfunded public pension systems didn’t get many specifics from Monday’s Pension Oversight Board meeting. [More Ronnie Ellis]

The former leaders of a public charter school for disabled and at-risk teenagers have agreed to settle a District lawsuit alleging they sought to enrich themselves by diverting millions of dollars in taxpayer money meant for the school into private companies they created. [WaPo]

Corruption. Fraud. Payments. Shoe companies. Coaches. Financial advisers. Handouts. Agents. College basketball. All wrapped in an explosive indictment laid out Tuesday by the FBI. [H-L]

The Environmental Protection Agency is spending nearly $25,000 to build a soundproof communications booth in Administrator Scott Pruitt’s office, according to media reports. [HuffPo]

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