McConnell Is Now Apparently Complicit

Mitch McConnell is now complicit in the Trump-Russia shenanigans. He yesterday rejected calls for a special prosector on the floor of the U.S. Senate. [CNN]

A mural at a Western Kentucky elementary school depicting two black children tending a garden while a tall white man plays a violin has upset some residents. [H-L]

Former President Barack Obama warned Donald Trump about hiring retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn during a meeting in November 2016, NBC and CNN reported Monday. [HuffPo]

A Louisville lawyer who heads the local chapter of the Federalist Society – a conservative legal group that has tried to move the national debate on gun rights and campaign finance to the right – will be nominated by Donald Trump to serve on the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. [C-J/AKN]

One of the most dangerous companies in the U.S. took advantage of immigrant workers. Then, when they got hurt or fought back, it used America’s laws against them. [ProPublica]

Federal lawmakers are moving ahead with a new approach to health care that includes changing the way insurers cover pre-existing health conditions. But the American Health Care Act that House Republicans voted to advance last week could bring back a program with which some Kentuckians may be familiar: high-risk pool health insurance. Until 2013, these high-risk pools operated in Kentucky and other states. And if the provisions of the final bill allow states to do away with coverage for pre-existing health conditions — which were made possible under President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act — they could be coming back. [WFPL]

From the moment the Republican-controlled House of Representatives approved a plan to overhaul the health care system, an onslaught of opposition to the bill has been focused on a single, compact term: pre-existing conditions. [NY Times]

“These are our neighbors needing help and our community partners who are in the trenches every day trying to meet the needs of kids and families,” said Kim Henderson, Gateway regional director. Henderson is one of fewer than 10 staff at Mountain Haven Emergency Shelter, which held its grand opening ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday. [The Morehead News]

When the state of Arkansas announced plans to carry out eight executions in an 11-day period in April, it drew intense international scrutiny that flared until well after the final lethal injection in the series at the end of the month. In part, this attention was fueled by the explanation, offered by state officials, that the timetable was necessary because the supply of one of the state’s lethal drugs was about to expire and authorities had to carry out death penalties for eight men convicted of murder before then. [WaPo]

The family court judge for Barren and Metcalfe counties who objects to presiding over adoption cases involving homosexual adoptive parents now concedes his general order recusing himself from all such cases is prohibited by the Kentucky Supreme Court. [Ronnie Ellis]

The Trump administration is so far ignoring pleas from both on and off Capitol Hill to denounce the suspected Russian-backed digital assault that appeared aimed to tilt Sunday’s French presidential election toward nationalist candidate Marine Le Pen. [Politico]

Wondering how to stick it to an already impoverished community of people? Here you go. This fiscal year, the Madison Fiscal Court is contributing $1.75 million in supplemental funds to operate the chronically overcrowded county detention center. Judge/Executive Reagan Taylor believes the county could recover nearly $790,000 of that if it charged inmates a daily $10 fee, in addition to the $20 booking fee it already charges. [Richmond Register]

Barely two days into crafting a new bill to roll back Obamacare, U.S. Senate Republicans were already on the defensive on Tuesday over the absence of any women in their core working group. [Reuters]

The attempted burglary of a statistics exam Tuesday by two University of Kentucky students wasn’t the first time someone had the idea. A similar case 30 years ago turned into one of the biggest cheating cases in UK history. [H-L]

Author Stephen King has been delivering chills for more than four decades with horror masterpieces such as “It,” “The Shining” and “’Salem’s Lot.” But King now believes there’s something more terrifying than anything he’s ever cooked up, and it’s living in the White House. [HuffPo]

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Bevin In Charge = $113 Million Shortfall

A federal appeals court has reinstated a claim for damages against Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis for refusing to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples during the summer of 2015. [John Cheves]

In late August 2014, Tom Frieden, then director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, traveled to West Africa to assess the raging Ebola crisis. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin is so terrible at leadership that Kentucky’s going under again. Kentucky’s budget director is predicting the state will suffer a $113 million revenue shortfall when the state’s fiscal year ends June 30. [C-J/AKN]

The burden of substance abuse disorders can fall heavily on the families and friends of those who battle addictions. But society also pays a great deal through increased crime. Treatment programs can reduce those costs. [NY Times]

Surprise! The fat, old, white racists of the Bowling Green Daily News are still panicking over President Barack Obama and are trying to suggest he’s still gonna take yer guns. It’s this special brand of stupid that keeps Kentucky in the dark ages. [BGDN]

Trump on Tuesday called for a “good shutdown” in September to fix the “mess” in government. [The Hill]

Mary Beth Burkes lives in Buchanan County, Va., a depressed coal-mining region where 1 in 4 families lives in poverty and where her autistic son gets extra help in the after-school program at his school. [WFPL]

A pro-Donald Trump biker gang’s physical handling of protesters at a weekend rally could add to the president’s legal woes, with one attendee considering a fresh lawsuit as protesters already suing over violence at rallies last year plan to cite the recent events as proof of an ongoing pattern. A federal judge late last month ruled that Trump’s calls of “get ’em out of here!” may have constituted “incitement to riot” at a March 2016 rally in Louisville, Kentucky, at which three protesters allege in a lawsuit they were assaulted by Trump supporters. [Politico]

The sequel to a successful spy film will focus heavily on bourbon distilling, and Louisville-based Brown-Forman Corp. is taking advantage of the exposure. [Business First]

A Texas police department has changed a key detail in the shooting of an unarmed black teenager, amid mounting calls for the officer to be arrested. [BBC]

The University of Kentucky announced on Monday afternoon that Commonwealth Stadium will become Kroger Field. [WKYT]

African-Americans are generally living longer than in 2000, but health disparities mean they are still more likely to die at a younger age on average than whites, a federal study showed on Tuesday. [Reuters]

A federal judge has ruled that Lexington cannot enforce a recently passed ordinance that restricts where advertising and other unsolicited printed materials can be delivered. [H-L]

Sebastian Gorka, a deputy assistant to President Donald Trump who generated controversy for his alleged ties to a Nazi-aligned group, is expected to accept a new role soon outside of the White House, according to multiple reports. [HuffPo]

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Louisville Showed Up To Protest The New Republican Racism (Or Fascism, If You’re Being Technical)

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The city of Lexington is not a sanctuary city for those in the country illegally, Lexington city officials said Monday. [H-L]

Former President Barack Obama released a statement on Monday expressing solidarity with those protesting his successor’s ban on travelers and refugees entering the United States from certain Muslim-majority countries. [HuffPo]

In front of overflowing and cheering crowds that packed by the thousands into the Muhammad Ali Center amphitheater Monday night, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer on Monday blasted President Donald Trump’s temporary ban on refugees and immigrants from seven nations. Be sure to check out all the photos Chris took, as well. [C-J/AKN]

National security experts and media figures denounced President Donald Trump’s “dangerous” decision to give his chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, a prominent role on the National Security Council. Bannon is an extremist anti-Semite who formerly ran the white nationalist “alt-right” website Breitbart. [Media Matters]

$528,000 is inconsequential? It wasn’t inconsequential when Greg Fischer shuttered half of Louisville’s WIC clinics because he couldn’t come up with $500K-$800K. Funny how that works. [WFPL]

This will probably remind a lot of people of a certain former school superintendent. [NY Daily News]

After calming down toward the end of 2016, officials have seen a dramatic uptick in drug overdoses to start the new year. [Richmond Register]

More than 17,000 students are in legal limbo because of Donald Trump’s bigoted and backward executive order – mostly in STEM fields. [FiveThirtyEight]

The Ashland Board of City Commissioners on Thursday named five members to the city ethics commission, which had been vacant since 2011. [Ashland Independent]

Donald Trump is dumber than you thought. Sure, that’s saying a lot. But he’s the dumbest president of the modern era. George W. Bush is a genius in comparison. [NY Times]

Despite one of the wettest Januarys in recent memory, the new Rowan County Detention Center is still close to on schedule. [The Morehead News]

Donald Trump never had a plan to fight ISIS. None of his people ever had a real plan. [WaPo]

Memories are fading of illustrious faculty and alumni of Lexington’s all-black Dunbar High School, which closed 50 years ago as the Fayette County Public Schools were desegregated in 1967. [H-L]

If you haven’t read that insane press release, you’re missing out. After more than a decade on the White House press list and every other government list you can imagine, I can say that it’s the craziest thing I’ve ever read. Donald Trump fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates on Monday night, hours after she said the Justice Department would not defend Trump’s executive order on immigration. [HuffPo]

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Kentuckians Are Ignorant, Not Divided

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The threats started on Sept. 7, exactly one day after a grand jury indicted her alleged rapist. [H-L]

Jason Chaffetz, the Utah Republican who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform committee, told reporters last week that a government ethics official who had criticized President-elect Donald Trump’s plan to deal with his potential conflicts of interest refused to meet with him. [HuffPo]

Way to go, Kentucky, for hating your waterways and the health of your environment and your citizenry. You can thank your ignorant governor. Kentucky’s environmental protection cabinet on Wednesday announced that it had joined other states in suing to overturn an Obama administration rule aimed at protecting streams from mining activities. [C-J/AKN]

Russia’s top diplomat on Tuesday said Moscow was looking forward to cooperating with the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump in the war on terrorism and bringing peace to Syria, and took a shot at the Obama administration for what he called “double standards.” [WaPo]

Don’t miss Scott Jennings’ latest rant about President Barack Obama. It’s laced with transphobia, borderline racism and filled with deliberate misinformation. Pay attention to this Mike Huckabee-wannabe because he’s the current brain trust of the Republican Party of Kentucky and it’s gonna get hilarious, to say the least. [Page One]

In one of his final acts in office, President Barack Obama granted clemency to 209 federal prisoners on Tuesday, almost all of whom were convicted of drug crimes. [HuffPo]

The WKU Board of Regents has selected Dr. Timothy Caboni, vice chancellor for public affairs at the University of Kansas, as the preferred candidate to be the 10th president of Western Kentucky University. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The hedge funds and insurance companies that want financially strapped Puerto Rico to pay them back in full may have found a new ally: Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski. [ProPublica]

Kentuckians aren’t deeply divided over the ACA, they’re deeply ignorant. When half the people don’t realize the ACA and “Obamacare” are the same thing? That’s the problem. [Ronnie Ellis]

From the Department of Things Scott Jennings Is Too Pent Up To Comprehend… President Barack Obama said on Wednesday that former military intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning had served a tough prison term and his decision to commute her 35-year sentence to about seven years served would not signal leniency toward leakers of U.S. government secrets. [Reuters]

This should come as a surprise to absolutely no one because it’s not exactly a secret. Kentucky’s Energy and Environment Cabinet has finalized a controversial plan to let the state’s utilities virtually self-regulate the storing of hazardous coal ash near power plants. [WFPL]

News anchor Ben Swann aired a six-minute “investigation” into Pizzagate in America’s ninth-largest TV market on Tuesday night. Remember when this buttcramp was in Cincinnasti? [TDB]

Mitch McConnell meets ordinary folks as he grocery shops in Louisville’s Highlands neighborhood. They talk to him about their disdain for Obamacare. So how does he tell them things will get better? [H-L]

Tom Price (R-Ga.), President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to head the Department of Health and Human Services, admitted on Wednesday that he decided to buy stock in an Australian biotech firm after receiving information from Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), a board member of that company. [HuffPo]

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Matt Bevin Spent $500,000 On THAT?!

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The Education and Workforce Development Cabinet is pulling its employees out of 31 unemployment centers across Kentucky in an effort to save millions of dollars. [H-L]

A defiant Donald Trump on Wednesday made clear he will continue benefiting financially from his businesses, denied reports that Russians had acquired compromising information about him, and said that Russian help for his candidacy was not a bad thing. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin spent $500,000 of taxpayer funds to reveal what everyone already knew to be true. Way to go, Bevin Misadministration, you’ve officially shit the bed. [C-J/AKN]

Near the start of his second term, President Obama had granted clemency at a lower rate than any president in recent history. He had pardoned 39 people and denied 1,333 requests. He had used his power to commute a prisoner’s sentence just once. [ProPublica]

This is a story about a virus that infects a fungus. The fungus causes white-nose syndrome — a disease that’s affecting bats in 29 states, including Kentucky. Bats with white-nose syndrome act strangely; they often lose the fat reserves that are necessary to survive the hibernating winter months, then leave caves in the winter and die. [WFPL]

The top federal ethics official slammed says Trump’s conflicts of interest plan is ‘meaningless.’ [Politico]

Candy Barr, R-Sixth District, has been named the chair of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Monetary Policy and Trade for the 115th Congress. [Richmond Register]

The opioid epidemic killed more than 33,000 people in 2015. What follows are stories of a national affliction that has swept the country, from cities on the West Coast to bedroom communities in the Northeast. [NY Times]

Boyd County Commissioner Tom Jackson said a statewide judicial redistricting plan would “create a logjam in the justice system” of Boyd County, and the fiscal court denounced the contentious proposal during its first meeting of the year. [Ashland Independent]

As honeymoons go, Donald Trump’s wasn’t much to write home about. He was voted in as the most unpopular president-elect in modern history and got slightly less unpopular in the weeks that followed, as the goodwill flowed. Even then, though, he clearly remained the most unpopular president-elect in modern history. Again, that was the honeymoon. And now it’s over. [WaPo]

Matt Bevin’s administration Wednesday released a summary of its investigation into the administration of his predecessor, Democrat Steve Beshear, claiming politically appointed state workers were pressured into making campaign contributions to Democratic candidates and causes. [Ronnie Ellis]

With a final call of his campaign mantra “Yes We Can,” President Barack Obama urged Americans on Tuesday to stand up for U.S. values and reject discrimination as the United States transitions to the presidency of Republican Donald Trump. [Reuters]

Latent, self-hating homosexual Martin Cothran is stil complaining that Jack Conway didn’t waste taxpayer dollars fighting FOR homophobia. [H-L]

Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) said Wednesday that he fears President-elect Donald Trump’s attorney general pick will roll back civil rights. [HuffPo]

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McConnell’s Head Is Poking Out Again

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And mouth-breathers wonder why so many people want to end the death penalty. After nearly 30 years, a Cincinnati man’s murder conviction has been dismissed. William “Ricky” Virgil left a courtroom in northern Kentucky on Friday as a free man. [H-L]

Mitch McConnell’s hypocrisy knows no bounds. Just like the sanctimonious bullshit from his now-wealthy kept boys who used to work with him know no decency. [HuffPo]

You can thank Matt Bevin’s shady-ass team for this. Child abuse findings voided secretly in Kentucky. [C-J/AKN]

President-elect Donald Trump’s skepticism of the Intelligence Community’s findings on Russian election interference has raised fears among experts that Trump will bypass intel analysts and demand that his personal team conduct its own analyses of raw data. [The Hill]

The Berea College Appalachian Fund on Tuesday announced a $5,000 grant to the New Liberty Baptist Sunday School Convention, which operates a shelter for homeless families in Richmond. [Richmond Register]

President Barack Obama said on Friday that criticism from the left wing of his own Democratic Party helped feed into the unpopularity of Obamacare, his signature healthcare reform law. [Reuters]

Carol Allen hopes the long-anticipated renovations will begin on the Highlands Museum and Discovery Center within the next two weeks. The museum received a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant from the state government in December of 2015 for upgrades that will allow the building to be compliant with the American Disabilities Act. [Ashland Independent]

Meeting in private, enthused activists promise that the growing Republican dominance in state government will unleash a wave of laws to cut business taxes, restrict unions and expand school privatization. [ProPublica]

An amendment to an existing state law that would allow cities with a population of less than 20,000 and counties that do not have a city with a population greater than 20,000 to impose a regulatory license fee on the gross receipts of alcoholic beverage sales has been proposed to the state senate. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Here’s your regular reminder that Rand Paul thinks he can get the entirely of the House and Senate to go along with something. Sorry for the lack of a pee alert. [Politico]

The state Supreme Court has agreed to take up Gov. Matt Bevin’s appeal of a ruling that said he can’t overhaul of the University of Louisville Board of Trustees. [WFPL]

The intelligence agencies’ report on the Russian intervention in the American presidential election portrays it as just one piece of an old-fashioned Soviet-style propaganda campaign. [NY Times]

When politicians want to settle scores these days, they often pick up their phones and tweet insults at each other. Things were more dangerous in Henry Clay’s time. [Tom Eblen]

Anxiety about repealing Obamacare without a replacement got a lot more visible in the U.S. Senate on Monday evening, as a half-dozen Republican senators called publicly for slowing down the process. [HuffPo]

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