Legislative Ethics Are Not A Real Thing

Such a shame Legislative Ethics don’t exist in Kentucky. 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]

On Oct. 14, 2016, then-GOP vice presidential nominee Mike Pence vehemently denied that the Trump campaign had any contact with WikiLeaks. It was shortly after that organization had released more emails from the Clinton campaign and other Democrats. [HuffPo]

The University of Louisville Foundation’s former chief financial officer claims in a new lawsuit that he was made the “fall guy” for “a wide variety of political, private and public interests” when he was fired in July. [C-J/AKN]

Six House Democrats on Wednesday launched the latest official effort to oust President Trump, introducing five new articles of impeachment revolving around the central theme that the president is a danger to the country. [The Hill]

A Richmond city commissioner is calling for action against hotels and motels in the city that are hotspots for criminal activity. [Richmond Register]

The U.S. Justice Department on Wednesday told 29 states, cities or counties it believes they are violating a law prohibiting them from limiting information sharing with U.S. immigration officials, and it asked them for details on their compliance. [Reuters]

The forced removal of state prisoners from the Boyd County Detention Center could cause the county to lose as much as $700,000 in revenue this fiscal year, and the fiscal court is weighing budget cuts as a result. [Ashland Independent]

A senior official in charge of a federal loan guarantee program resigned after ProPublica reported his prior role in obtaining a guarantee under the same program as part of a deal that failed. [ProPublica]

The governing board for emergency communications in Barren and Metcalfe counties approved an agreement from South Central Rural Telephone Cooperative for additional security technology at the dispatch center in Glasgow on Tuesday. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Republican and Democratic senators clashed on Wednesday over changes the Republicans made to their sweeping tax legislation late Tuesday night, as the momentum behind the tax overhaul showed no signs of slowing with votes expected in both chambers of Congress later this week. [NY Times]

A vote may come as soon as this week on Senate confirmation for Dingus Trump’s nominee to lead the Mine Safety and Health Administration, or MSHA. The country’s top mine safety position has been vacant since January as coal mining fatalities have risen to a two-year high. Trump’s choice to fill the post is facing opposition from congressional Democrats and safety advocates. [WFPL]

Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s public suggestion that he may appoint a special counsel to investigate Hillary Clinton has alarmed current and former Justice Department officials who fear he will further politicize the embattled agency. [WaPo]

The Republican Party of Kentucky’s communications manbaby, Tres Watson, has been whining about this on social media. He’s taken every opportunity to spew homophobic bullshit since getting his new RPK job. So I’m taking every opportunity to identify him a bigot. You know how I know? Because I know him. And when these Republicans like Watson and Scott Jennings decide it’s cool to all of a sudden turn into bigots? I’m going to call their asses out. [H-L]

The American delegation to the United Nations climate talks has not held any press conferences, though White House energy and environment adviser George Banks will occasionally venture out to the snack bar beneath the U.S. delegate’s office. [HuffPo]

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Jeff Hoover: As Shitty As You Thought

Matt Bevin’s office violated Kentucky’s Open Records Act when it refused to provide an Arizona attorney with some of the emails it exchanged with the White House, according to a new ruling by Attorney General Andy Beshear’s office. [H-L]

You can’t fix this kind of stupid or this kind of dishonesty. Kellyanne Conway bashed political campaigns on Monday that “dig around with foreign nationals” to uncover dirt on their opponents. But three months ago, reports revealed Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign did just that. [HuffPo]

Unprofessional conduct? Haha. You should see the videos floating around of him at Six Flags Over Jesus recently – trash-talking UofL left and right. University of Louisville interim President Greg Postel accused former athletic director Tom Jurich of “ineffective management, divisive leadership and unprofessional conduct” that caused substantial damage to the school. [C-J/AKN]

The FBI’s predawn search of Paul Manafort’s northern Virginia home in July yielded important new evidence crucial to the indictment of Donald Trump’s campaign chairman and one of his close associates, according to the indictments. [Yahoo]

Told ya so about Jeff Hoover and other Republicans when this was all going down a couple years ago. Also, you *know* T. Clay is pushing this story out like crazy for the sake of publicity and it’s shady and unethical for Debby Yetter to withhold a name that is public record (I said it). Jeff Hoover has reached a confidential settlement over sexual harassment allegations by a woman who works on his legislative staff, according to sources with direct knowledge of the matter. [More C-J/AKN]

A federal court has blocked Donald Trump in part from changing the military’s transgender policy as a case against his ban works its way through court. [The Hill]

It’s been 10 years since Kentucky judges received a raise, placing judicial salaries in the commonwealth 48th among the 50 states. [Ronnie Ellis]

The questions are straightforward, with public health implications that would seem impossible to shrug off. How many American women die each year from causes related to pregnancy or childbirth? How many of these deaths are preventable? How does the nation’s current rate of maternal mortality compare to the rate 10 or 20 or 30 years ago? [ProPublica]

Thomas Massie is a miserable, racist, homophobic scab and the Kentucky Democratic Party is fucking up by allowing him to win. [Ashland Independent]

Just in case you needed more proof that Republicans hate the working class. Here you go. [NY Times]

Kentucky’s public colleges and universities want more money, but Republican lawmakers say the best they can hope for is to break even. [Richmond Register]

Appalachia is apparently for real doomed. In case you weren’t aware already? Miners are refusing retraining because they’ve been duped into believing coal is coming back. It’s not. [Reuters]

There are at least a few surprises tucked into Republican Matt Bevin’s 505-page draft legislation that would overhaul the state’s public retirement systems. One is that a controversial 3 percent pay cut for school teachers and state and local government employees — which Bevin and top GOP lawmakers touted last week as critical in order to shore up the retiree health insurance funds — would not actually add any money to those funds. [H-L]

Richard Spencer, a leader of what he calls the “alt-right” and the man known to most as the “Nazi who got punched,” agreed to talk to HuffPost the night before his speech at the University of Florida in Gainesville last week. [HuffPo]

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Flashback: A Nightmare At Woodsbend

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Kentuckians have yet to see the public employee pension “reform” bill that Matt Bevin and the General Assembly’s Republican majority hope to railroad into law during a special session this year that has yet to be scheduled. But Bevin and GOP leaders outlined their ideas at a Frankfort news conference Oct. 18 that left many questions unanswered. Among them: Where do they plan to get the money to pay down more than $30 billion in unfunded pension obligations? [Tome Eblen]

Multiple families of military service members killed in the line duty are now getting rush-delivered letters from Donald Trump, days after Trump claimed he had called the immediate families of all service members who had been killed since he took office in January. [HuffPo]

You’ll want to read this, Morgan Countians. A knock at the door after midnight brought the grim news that 17-year-old Dennis Buttry was dead. His mother collapsed at the news. Just days earlier, she received a letter reporting the boy had “arrived safely” at Woodsbend Boys Camp, a state center for juvenile offenders in Eastern Kentucky. [C-J/AKN]

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Granny) has become a flashpoint for Republicans running for Senate in 2018. [The Hill]

Sometimes Berea is a lovely center of artistic life and sometimes it comes off sounding like a barnyard full of backwoods yokels. A proposed dog park in the Harrison Court area of Berea drew a lot of opposition from area residents Thursday at a public forum. [Richmond Register]

Ford Motor Co said on Wednesday it would recall about 1.3 million vehicles in North America, including certain 2015-17 Ford F-150 and 2017 Ford Super Duty trucks, to add water shields to side door latches. [Reuters]

The Barren County School District has reasons to celebrate and reasons for concern Superintendent Bo Matthews shared during Tuesday night’s board meeting. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A federal judge this week unsealed the source code for a software program developed by New York City’s crime lab, exposing to public scrutiny a disputed technique for analyzing complex DNA evidence. [ProPublica]

After 25 years of serving as the Raceland city attorney, James Lyon Jr. has announced his resignation due to a conflict with the City Council. In a resignation letter distributed on Friday Lyon explained his reasoning saying “the actions of council in refusing to take my advice and insisting on hiring separate counsel create an unworkable situation for me.” [Ashland Independent]

For years, the Environmental Protection Agency has struggled to prevent an ingredient once used in stain-resistant carpets and nonstick pans from contaminating drinking water. [NY Times]

The fix for Kentucky’s badly underfunded pension systems proposed by Matt Bevin and Republican legislative leaders is complex with a lot of moving parts. [Ronnie Ellis]

Don’t worry – Kentucky comes off looking and sounding terrible. For more than a decade, Kristin Page-Nei begged Montana lawmakers to raise cigarette prices. As a health advocate for the American Cancer Society, she watched year after year as other states increased their cigarette taxes and lowered their smoking rates. “What they’re doing is saving lives,” she kept saying. [WaPo]

Paul Prather’s an idiot who couches his bigotry – and it’s very much bigotry – in a shroud of faux religion. Here he is claiming landlords are being victimized by poor people. Someone slap some sense into this man. Good fucking grief. Calling himself a “christian” (no, you don’t get a capital C) and whining about how bad well-to-do folks like him have it. If it’s not this, he’s whining about non-white people, the gays or women. [H-L]

On a warm Wednesday evening here in late August, six minutes from where a Ferguson police officer had shot and killed an unarmed man three years prior, an armed man was pacing in front of his mother’s home, yelling at the cops. His left hand was on a gun in his waistband and his right hand was holding a cellphone. [HuffPo]

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Another Comer-esque Politician. Another Hypocritical Push For Abortion. Par For The New Republican Course.

Amid all of the weak “condolences and prayers” the gun lobby’s political pawns have gushed this week, Matt Bevin attracted attention on Twitter with this tweet: “To all those political opportunists who are seizing on the tragedy in Las Vegas to call for more gun regs…You can’t regulate evil…” You can’t regulate evil, huh? Then I guess it’s time to repeal state and federal criminal codes, defund our police forces and disband the military. And while we’re at it, let’s reconsider those religious regulations known as the Ten Commandments. [Tom Eblen]

“Why is now not the time?” Todd asked. “When planes flew into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, did we say, ‘Now is not the time to talk about’ terrorism or homeland security? When our banking system nearly collapsed in 2008, did we say, ‘Now is not the time to talk about’ financial regulation?” [HuffPo]

PEE ALERT! Embattled and suspended Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino maintained his innocence on Sunday in a conversation with the Courier-Journal, saying he “will be vindicated” in the coming months. [C-J/AKN]

The hottest feud in Washington is between Republicans and the Tax Policy Center (TPC). [The Hill]

The City of Berea is the latest of dozens of municipalities to join with the Kentucky League of Cities in an effort to separate the County Employee Retirement System (CERS) from the state pension systems. [Richmond Register]

The US won’t step up to take care of its own people, thanks to the stupidity of New Republicanism, so Mexico is stepping in. Suffering itself after two major earthquakes last month, Mexico plans to send aid including water and electricity experts to Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory reeling from the devastation of Hurricane Maria. [Reuters]

On a recent night at the Carter County Public Library, Ray Krone told his story of being convicted and sentenced to death for a crime he did not commit in the state of Arizona. [Ashland Independent]

In the spring of 2012, Donald Trump’s two eldest children, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr., found themselves in a precarious legal position. [ProPublica]

Morehead State University hopes to continue progress in spite of financial setbacks. Near the end of last Thursday’s Board of Regents meeting, Paul Goodpaster, Board chair, read a statement. [The Morehead News]

This Republican, just like Jamie Comer, tried to get a woman to have an abortion so he didn’t have to take responsibility. That’s how it always goes with these “conservative” hypocrites. [NY Times]

Oh, wait for it, wait for it… Rep. Tim Murphy announced Wednesday that he would not seek re-election, following revelations that he urged a woman with whom he had an affair to get an abortion. [Roll Call]

The first phase of a pedestrian-cyclist trail for which Glasgow was awarded a federal grant more than three years ago is still in the works, but it may be spring before the city advertises for bids. [Glasgow Daily Times]

More from the orange, bloated, tone-deaf bigot. Referring to his trip to devastated Puerto Rico as lovely. [WaPo]

Matt Bevin hasn’t yet publicly shared his plan for overhauling Kentucky’s financially ailing pension systems, but an email that his administration sent lawmakers recently provides a clearer picture of what he hopes to accomplish in a promised special legislative session this fall. [H-L]

A new Quinnipiac University national poll showed that 51 percent of Americans were embarrassed by Trump, and 69 percent want him to stop tweeting. Just 26 percent of respondents want him to continue the habit. [HuffPo]

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Matt Bevin Is Your National Embarrassment

You know what’s premature? Literally everything Mitch McConnell has ever done. I mean literally literally. Thank goodness time is not on this old fucker’s side. [H-L]

Far-right white men are the people this country should be worry about – domestic terrorists. But the New Republicans don’t want to do the responsible thing because they’re all fucked in the head. At least 50 people were killed and 200 wounded after a gunman opened fire on a country music festival in Las Vegas late Sunday night, police said. It was the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. [HuffPo]

No, Angela Leet has no shot at becoming Louisville’s mayor. She has no political network. She has no money. She has no ability to raise money. She’s nice but she’s better off doing almost anything else in life. Cause if she continues this silly effort to run for mayor, she’s going to find that her ass gets handed to her swiftly. [C-J/AKN]

The Trump administration is under fire from LGBT activists and human rights supporters over a vote on Tuesday against a resolution condemning the use of the death penalty. But it isn’t just this particular resolution or the current administration — the US has never supported any measure at the UN that condemns the death penalty. [BuzzFeed]

A federal judge has blocked a Kentucky law requiring a doctor performing an abortion to conduct an ultrasound. [WFPL]

Liberal U.S. Supreme Court justices on Monday defended the right of workers to bring class-action lawsuits against companies but their conservative counterparts who are in the majority sounded skeptical in the biggest business case of the court’s new term. [Reuters]

“We are watching, waiting and being as proactive as possible,” said Beth Brock, Madison County school board chair, as board members discussed how the district might be affected by the state’s pension crisis and budget cuts. [Richmond Register]

The Russians who posed as Americans on Facebook last year tried on quite an array of disguises. [NY Times]

The Boyd County School District’s budget looks healthy on the surface, but the specter of state cuts and retirement funding requirements is cause for concern, district officials say. [Ashland Independent]

The apparent tactic underscores how the Russians used U.S.-based technology platforms to target Americans with highly tailored and sometimes-contradictory messages to exploit divisions in American society over the past two years. [WaPo]

A few members of the Tompkinsville Volunteer Fire Department will soon be receiving new turnout gear thanks to recent action taken by the Tompkinsville City Commission. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Democrats are under pressure from a resurgent left that wants tough gun control legislation in the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. [The Hill]

Yet more proof Matt Bevin is one of the dumbest people to ever walk the earth. His staff tells us that every time we poke fun at his fake, extremist religion, he loses his shit a little. So we’re going to keep doing it. His beliefs aren’t real and you should crack jokes about them. They’re fairy tales that he learned at Six Flags Over Jesus in Louisville. [H-L]

How is it possible to be so devastatingly stupid and tone-deaf? As millions of Puerto Ricans struggle to recover from Hurricane Maria, Donald Trump attended a golfing event Sunday. And just in case anyone was going to go after him for not paying attention to the disaster, he attempted to pre-empt the criticism: He dedicated the trophy to the victims of the storm. [HuffPo]

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Constant Dumpster Fire At Cardinal & Floyd Is Burning Out Of Control

The federal documents released to the public Tuesday related to the corruption investigation into college basketball contained detailed allegations against some of the nation’s biggest programs. [H-L]

Chuck Rosenberg, acting head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, will resign at the end of the month. [HuffPo]

The apparel company targeted in the federal college basketball recruiting scandal has deeper ties to the University of Louisville than a $160 million contract extension sealed this summer. Adidas also employs athletic director Tom Jurich’s daughter Haley Marie Jurich, according to her LinkedIn profile and a Facebook post from earlier this year. [C-J/AKN]

The United States no longer plays a leading role in the United Nations’ LGBTQ Human Rights group. [NBC News]

Let’s have high hopes for this. But let’s also expect the worst. Mostly because the partner organizations in Kentucky and West Virginia have a history of abandoning coverage that matters. And a history of hiring sloppy, lazy, deliberately terrible reporters (Hey, Valarie!) – so expect the worst. Hope for the best. Expect the worst. [Elizabeth Catte]

The Republicans’ long-awaited tax framework would cut the top tax rate for the wealthy, drastically slash taxes for businesses and eliminate most itemized deductions, according to a copy obtained by The Hill. [The Hill]

This should be illegal. Even though it’ll create a tiny monopoly, it’s still a monopoly. And Raycom’s been shitty for Louisville media. Raycom Media and Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc. — owner of The Daily Independent — announced Monday a merger between the two companies. [Ashland Independent]

As Puerto Rico struggles with a lack of fuel, water and medical supplies following the devastation of Hurricane Maria, it is pressing the Trump administration to lift a bar on foreign ships delivering supplies from the U.S. mainland. [Reuters]

Matt Bevin’s government is so miserably incompetent. Late last week, the Division of Surplus Property in the Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet discovered that a list previously removed from its website remained accessible, as a cached document, in response to specific Google searches. [Richmond Register]

Drug companies and doctors have been accused of fueling the opioid crisis, but some question whether insurers have played a role, too. [ProPublica]

For now, at least, the effort by some Glasgow City Council members to force the removal of three of the four remaining members of the Glasgow Electric Plant Board’s board of directors appears to be on an indefinite pause mode. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price took a government-funded private jet in August to get to St. Simons Island, an exclusive Georgia resort where he and his wife own land, a day and a half before he addressed a group of local doctors at a medical conference that he and his wife have long attended. [Politico]

Kentucky prosecutors warned the Bevin Administration this week that 17.4 percent cuts to their budgets would force them to either close their offices and lay off hundreds of employees by March 1 or cut their employees’ salaries by as much as 75 percent beginning Jan. 1. [H-L]

Donald Trump claimed on Tuesday that Sen. Luther Strange was “shooting up” in the Alabama polls thanks to his endorsement. But when Strange lost by nearly 10 points to Roy Moore in Tuesday night’s Republican primary, the president deleted that and two other messages in support of his candidate. [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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