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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Will T. Scott Will Not Be Your Next Governor

Worst-kept secret for 2015? He still has no idea he has no shot. Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Will T. Scott of Pikeville said Monday he will decide by early January whether to run for governor next year. [H-L]

Undocumented LGBT immigrants are criticizing President Barack Obama for excluding them from his immigration plan, even as they are happy to see members of their families and communities freed from the fear of deportation. [HuffPo]

A state panel will likely call on the General Assembly to find more money for Kentucky’s struggling pension system, although it’s unclear where the funding might come from. [C-J/AKN]

You can say a lot of things about the U.S. Congress. One thing you can’t really say, though, is that they’v(sic) been in Washington way too long. [WaPo]

Although the plan was for a $10 utilities assessment to be for only one year, the city of Lynch voted to renew it at its monthly meeting on Tuesday. Mayor John Adams said the city could not afford to operate without the revenue generated by the assessment. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

What will they call this place once the glaciers are gone? A century ago, this sweep of mountains on the Canadian border boasted some 150 ice sheets, many of them scores of feet thick, plastered across summits and tucked into rocky fissures high above parabolic valleys. Today, perhaps 25 survive. [NY Times]

Some much needed jobs are on the way to eastern Kentucky. [WYMT]

A Seattle police plan to outfit officers with body cameras was back on for early December after the agency struck an unusual deal with an anonymous programmer whose massive public-records requests threatened to cripple the program, police said on Friday. [Reuters]

Former U.S. Congressman for Kentucky’s Sixth District Ben Chandler said it was unlikely he would run for governor in 2015, citing a currently “unconducive” atmosphere. [Ashland Independent]

President Obama took aim at Speaker John Boehner (R-Orange) on Friday as he defended his executive action on immigration, saying the Republican leader had stood between giving “millions of people that chance to get right with the law.” [The Hill]

The Kentucky State Police kicked off the fifth annual ‘Cram the Cruiser’ food drive this past week. Food collection sites have been established at all 16 posts across the state, including Post 7 in Richmond on the Eastern Bypass next to Roy Kidd Stadium, and at the agency’s headquarters location in Frankfort. [Richmond Register]

The House Intelligence Committee dismissed on Friday a number of the most persistent myths about the 2012 terrorist attacks at a diplomatic outpost in Benghazi. [Politico]

Coal operations in Eastern Kentucky accounted for six of the top 10 highest unpaid health and safety fines nationwide, according to an analysis by two news organizations. [H-L]

On March 22, 1991, a visibly shaken and angered President George H.W. Bush said he was “sickened and outraged” by what he saw on television. That was the beating of black motorist Rodney King by a swarm of LAPD cops. A year later, following the acquittal of four LAPD cops by a Simi Valley jury with no blacks on it, Bush ordered then-Attorney General William Barr to begin the process of slapping federal civil rights charges on the four officers. [HuffPo]

State Still Spends Millions On Anti-Gay Groups

The Kentucky Supreme Court is set to hear an appeal in the long-running case of an escaped inmate from an Oklahoma prison facing a death sentence in the fatal kidnapping of a Kentucky distillery worker. [H-L]

Uncertainty over a short-lived proposal to open employment to gays at Kentucky’s largest private child care agency prompted many of its supportive churches to withhold giving last year, causing a multi-million dollar shortfall. [HuffPo]

House leadership sent a medical marijuana bill back to a committee on Friday, and the bill’s sponsor conceded that means it’s likely dead. [C-J/AKN]

Ken Ham won’t be able to understand this at all. Trilobites may be the archetypal fossils, symbols of an archaic world long swept beneath the ruthless road grader of time. But we should all look so jaunty after half a billion years. [NY Times]

I wasn’t in Frankfort on March 5, 1964 when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Ralph Abernathy, and Jackie Robinson led 10,000 on a march to the state Capitol in support of a public accommodations law. [Ronnie Ellis]

Two new reports from the CDC show the dangers of overprescribing narcotics and antibiotics. Is there a way for doctors and consumers to make better decisions? [ProPublica]

And you thought the biggest threat in Montgomery County was its corrupt superintendent. A Montgomery County woman made a scary discover when she was visiting her mother Friday evening; a bullet hole in the kitchen window. [WLEX18]

The military is leaving the missing behind. Tracing his genealogy online one night, John Eakin landed on a name that evoked an old family sorrow. [ProPublica]

Ah, Republicans stuck in the 1950s, what will move you forward? A swift kick in your tiny nuts? Your family turning upside down? [Page One]

And we would be remiss not to salute Rand Paul, who we assume spilled something on his suit and paired a blazer borrowed from a senate page with jeans from the backseat of his car on the fly. Nice save. [Wonkette]

In 1995, State Auditor Ben Chandler issued a highly critical review of the Bluegrass Area Development District, citing excessive spending on travel and meals, insufficient board oversight, and a conflict-ridden relationship with a foundation that owns the district’s office space. Almost 20 years later, State Auditor Adam Edelen last week issued a highly critical review of the Bluegrass Area Development District, citing excessive spending on travel and meals, insufficient board oversight, and a conflict-ridden relationship with a foundation that owns the district’s office space. [H-L]

Rand Paul (R-Unknown Universe) is back to claiming that President Barack Obama is shredding the constitution. [HuffPo]

One of Kentucky’s most anticipated Primary battles begins tonight as Pike County Magistrate Chris Harris officially launches his campaign to unseat beleaguered State Representative W. Keith Hall in Kentucky’s 93rd House District. [Press Release]

The Louisville School Bus Mess Is Terrifying

Steve Beshear’s tax reform plan is gathering dust alongside eight previous proposals. Yet another we-told-you-so moment, Kentucky. All Jerry Abramson and Steve Beshear did was waste taxpayer dollars traveling the state to do absolutely nothing. [John Cheves]

October’s jobs report was sorta confusing, wasn’t it? We had a big jump in jobs, but unemployment rose, too. The Labor Department declared the government shutdown meant federal workers were employed, but also not employed, like Schrödinger’s Cat. [HuffPo]

As of Friday: 33,561 new Medicaid enrollments in KY, just 7,011 in qualified health plans. 16K+ eligible for subsidies. 41% under 35 years, 32% are 18-35. [Press Release]

UNESCO has suspended the voting rights of the United States and Israel, two years after both countries stopped paying dues to the U.N.’s cultural arm in protest over its granting full membership to the Palestinians. [Reuters]

At the DHL Global Mail plant in Hebron, Kentucky, 24 Muslim workers took a break to pray. They say it cost them their jobs. The company denies any wrongdoing. [WAVE3]

When major figures in the education world debate policy, they usually start out with a gauzy declaration that it’s all about the children. Then they begin hurling insults. [Politico]

You read Joe Arnold’s version of the story and were horrified. Now read the paper’s version and get horrified again. The bus that crashed June 11, injuring Waggener High School students returning from a college scouting trip, had tires taken from a scrap bin, had not undergone required inspections and its maintenance and inspection records had been burned, according to portions of a federal safety report. [C-J/AKN]

The Medicaid expansion field is tentatively set for 2014, and the nation is split down the middle: 25 states (plus D.C.) are expanding, and 25 states are not, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. [TPM]

Apparently, the College Republicrats endorsed Mitch McConnell over Matt Bevin. It’s cute watching children pretend to know what “conservative principles” are. [News-Enterprise]

The Obama administration announced new rules on Friday that will require insurers to cover the treatment of mental health and substance abuse in the same manner they would physical maladies. [HuffPo]

It’s entertaining watching Alison Grimes try to tiptoe her way back into the good graces of Kentucky journalists. [H-L]

Here is how little the Republicans care about the increasingly harrowing situation of the poor: they can’t even be roused to blame President Obama for it—because to do so they’d have to acknowledge that it matters. [The Nation]

Wanna roll your eyes a little bit this morning? In his Lexington office, surrounded by the memories of his previous life, former Congressman Ben Chandler, isn’t missing the nine years he spent in Washington. [WKYT]

If you’re wondering why Sen. Rand Paul is doing Democrats’ dirty work for them, attacking Gov. Chris Christie’s self-promoting $25 million post-Sandy advertising campaign, it’s simple. He’s hoping he can get reporters to cover the intra-party feud as an early sign of GOP titans warming up for 2016, so they stop Googling his old speeches and columns and books for more evidence of plagiarism. [Salon]

Nunn’s Ex-Wife Profits From His Victim’s Death

A Lexington police officer and two retired officers are appealing a federal judge’s dismissal of their lawsuit alleging that the city is violating their constitutional rights by not contributing 100 percent of the cost of retiree health insurance premiums. [H-L]

The Justice Department will sift through trial testimony, interviews and other evidence during what is likely to be a months-long investigation into whether George Zimmerman violated Trayvon Martin’s civil rights when he shot the black teenager. [HuffPo]

When Brookelyn Shae Farthing, 18, graduated from Madison Southern High School in May, “she said this was going to be her best summer ever ― she was going to enjoy it,” Farthing’s sister Tasha Thomas said Monday. [Richmond Register]

Here’s what President Barack Obama had to say in a statement last night, featuring Kentucky’s senior Senator: I’m pleased that the Senate took action today to move forward on the nominees who have waited far too long for a vote. Over the last two years, I’ve nominated leaders to fill important positions required to do the work of the American people, only to have those positions remain unfilled – not because the nominees were somehow unqualified, but for purely political reasons. I want to thank the Senators from both parties – including Leader Reid, Leader McConnell and Senator McCain – who have worked together to find a path forward and give these nominees the votes they deserve. In the weeks ahead, I hope the Congress will build on this spirit of cooperation to advance other urgent middle-class priorities, including the need to take action to pass commonsense immigration reform and keep interest rates on student loans low for families trying to afford a higher education. [Press Release]

A spokeswoman for Gov. Steve Beshear says he does not plan to apply for the presidency of Murray State University. [BGDN]

Cameron Lebedinsky is just one of many people who say they were not allowed into the meeting due to the large number of people hoping to attend. Lebedinsky made the appeal to Attorney General Jack Conway, saying the school board knew a lot of interested people would be attending. [WBKO]

Greg Fischer is among a number of city officials being called to testify in the removal trial of Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin, D-2, which is scheduled to begin next week. [WFPL]

Just in case you wanted to read another column that Greg Stumbo didn’t write. This time it’s about the Do Not Call Registry, something you can bet Stumbo knows next to nothing about. [Floyd County Times]

The operator of an underground coal mine in Harlan County has been ordered to pay a $150,000 fine in a federal criminal case. U.S. District Judge Gregory F. Van Tatenhove also placed Manalapan Mining Co. on three years’ probation. [H-L]

For ten years, Tracey Damron shared her life with former lawmaker Steve Nunn. Now she’s released a tell-all book, profiting from the craziness of Steve Nunn and the death of Amanda Ross. [WKYT]

Of course Ben Chandler needs yet another job profiting off of government. [Click the Clicky]

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) lost big in the filibuster battle that ended Tuesday morning. Senators struck a tentative deal to confirm seven nominees to run federal agencies and departments, in exchange for Democrats agreeing not to nuke the filibuster on executive branch nominations — for now. [TPM]

Ben Chandler Will Take ALL The Jobs. All Of Them.

Eastern Kentucky University will give buyout packages to 127 employees who applied for them and were accepted, officials announced Tuesday. [H-L]

Republicans controlling the House pressed ahead Tuesday with slashing cuts to domestic programs far deeper than the cuts departments like Education, Interior and State are facing under an already painful round of automatic austerity. [HuffPo]

Former Kentucky Sixth District congressman Ben Chandler has started a new career in the private sector. Morgan & Pottinger, P.S.C. announced Wednesday that Chandler has joined the firm. [WLEX18]

The best thing all week: this take on Kentucky Democrats and Heather French Henry. [Wonkette]

If you’re wondering why the Kentucky Democratic Republican Party is running its race in the 56th District special election as the KDRP vs. John-Mark Hack vs. Lyen Crews instead of James Kay vs. the two of them? Watch these videos and you’ll see why. No wonder Jim Cauley is focusing on turnout instead of actual issues. And no wonder Hack is garnering a lot of attention from Democrats and Republicans in the district. [CN|2]

It appears that the noose is tightening and the wobbly-chair that Steve Cohen is standing on is getting wobblier… As Bloomberg reports, after five years under investigation for insider trading Steve Cohen is considering a ‘deal’ with prosecutors that would shut his $15 billion fund to outside investors and (as we noted this morning) shift a family (friends and employees) office. [Zero Hedge]

A longtime coal operator plans to open seven mines in the heart of the Eastern Kentucky coalfields in a venture expected to create more than 250 jobs in a hard-pressed region where several thousand mining jobs have disappeared in recent years. Bill Smith said most of the coal extracted by his High Ridge Mining operation in Pike County will be shipped to China to help fuel its economy. [H-L]

Both Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell are getting their asses handed to them for obstruction by their fellow senators lately. [HuffPo]

Former Kentucky Democratic Party Chairman Bill Garmer says he may run for U.S. Senate next year against Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell. Except… no he won’t. [WKYT]

Guess which Democratic candidate in Kentucky got kicked out of law school (later allowed to return) for violating their school’s honor code. [Deep Democratic Thoughts]

An FBI agent shot and killed a man of Chechen origin who turned violent while being questioned on Wednesday about his connection to Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of two Chechen brothers suspected of carrying out the Boston Marathon bombings. [Reuters]

Hells yes you’re praying for her to run for office. Because the hilarity of it all would be amazing. [Page One]

Keith Hall’s Corrupt Pals Now Getting Away With It

Wondering how directly the good old boy corruption of the Kentucky Democratic Party impacts you? A private utility company in Pike County can keep secret how it spends public money under a change the General Assembly made to the Kentucky Open Records Act in 2012, a judge has ruled. [H-L]

Hoo boy, Liberty Christ is spreading the crazy on thick lately. Rand Paul on Saturday accused President Obama of working with “anti-American globalists” to “plot against our Constitution.” [HuffPo]

Of course Princess Damon Thayer would oppose the expansion of Medicaid. And of course teabaggers think wasting taxpayer dollars on pointless lawsuits is the best route to take. Political opponents of Medicaid expansion are weighing limited options — including a possible lawsuit — to try to reverse Gov. Steve Beshear’s announcement Thursday to add more than 300,000 uninsured residents to Kentucky’s program under the Affordable Care Act. [C-J/AKN]

It’s almost funny watching outsiders act as if Democrats in Kentucky have their ducks in enough of a row to take on Mitch McConnell. [WaPo]

A review of the most recent jail inspection shows that although the Carter County Detention Center is putting the county at risk of litigation, the blame is, at least in part, on the shoulders of the Fiscal Court. [Journal-Times]

For a night, Eastern Iowa was Rand Paul country. The Kentucky senator won a raucous welcome at the Iowa Republican Party’s Lincoln Dinner Friday, drawing an energetic reception that most declared presidential candidates would envy – let alone a first-term senator on an early 2016 scouting mission. [Politico]

Republican Lyen Crews apparently doesn’t understand how state government in Kentucky works. And this is his second time trying to run for office. At what point does one learn how things work after spending years running for legislative office? Goodness gracious. He’s making the inexperienced, unintelligent Democrat seem like a better choice and the Independent seem like a no-brainer. [CN|2]

Senior officials with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) knew the agency was targeting Tea Party groups as early as 2011, according to a report. [The Hill]

Bluegrass Crimestoppers has been in the Lexington Community for 20 years and now, their spokesperson says crime tips are on the rise. [WKYT]

President Obama signed the Dodd-Frank financial reform law in July 2010, hailing it as an overhaul to prevent the kind of crisis that hit the world economy in 2008 and one of the signature achievements of his first term. [ProPublica]

Former U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler accepted the post of executive director of the Kentucky Humanities Council on Friday, saying he will “take a break from politics for a while.” Translation: he’ll draw a salary from a non-government source while playing politics instead of being in politics. [H-L]

The US Internal Revenue Service has apologised for improperly subjecting conservative political groups to extra scrutiny, a tax official said. In the 2012 campaign season, groups applying for tax-exempt status with the words “Tea Party” or “patriot” in their names were singled out, the IRS said. [BBC]

After three emotional speeches, chanting and some outbursts from the audience, all five members of the Madison County School Board sat stoically as board chair Mona Isaacs called for a motion to shave two days off the school calendar. [Richmond Register]