RPK’s Race To The Bottom Continues

***Care about the future of Kentucky? Help us cover FOIA and open records request fees relating to Matt Bevin and Jamie Comer.*** [CLICK HERE]

Republicans in Kentucky love to create solutions to problems that don’t exist. This particularly legislation comes about because people like Stan Lee and Al Robinson have victim complexes. And folks like Jeff Hoover are just straight up homophobic and has a public history of pushing homophobia. [H-L]

HOLY SHIT Ben Carson is dumb! How does a person get this far while being so painfully dumb? [HuffPo]

Liquor store owner and State Rep. C. Wesley Morgan is making progress in his effort to rewrite Kentucky liquor laws in ways more favorable to liquor stores. [C-J/AKN]

In a blow to advocates of transgender rights, the U.S. Supreme Court Monday said it would not hear the case of a transgender high school student fighting to use the bathroom of his choice. [NBC News]

Leave it to the Republican Party of Kentucky to stiff workers like injured police officers and others. A bill that would limit workers’ compensation benefits has been paused after passing the state House of Representatives last week. [WFPL]

Mukasey, who served as the attorney general under former President George W. Bush, said he believes there was surveillance on Trump Tower after reading certain news reports. Mukasey said if there were a wiretap on Trump Tower, it would mean that there was suspicion someone had been acting as Russian agent. [The Hill]

Kentucky will not join 29 other states calling for a constitutional convention to propose a federal balance budget amendment — at least not this year. [Ronnie Ellis]

Demand for travel to the United States over the coming months has flattened out following a positive start to the year, with uncertainty over a possible new travel order likely deterring visitors, travel analysis company ForwardKeys said on Monday. [Reuters]

Resilient. That is the word Morehead State University presidential finalist Dr. Joseph “Jay” Morgan uses to describe the university. [The Morehead News]

The American people must immediately demand a cessation of all consequential actions by this “president” until we can be assured that Russian efforts to hack our election, in a way that was clearly meant to help him and damage his opponent, did not also include collusion with or coverup by anyone involved in the Trump campaign and now administration. [NY Times]

The House budget committee will take up a bill Tuesday designed to reward the state’s universities for performance in key areas like graduation, degrees and retention. [More Ronnie Ellis]

The Republican Party of Kentucky is now a national embarrassment for pushing the resegregation of Jefferson County Public Schools. It’s not about “school choice” or putting kids on a bus for two hours a day. It’s about racism. [WaPo]

Because there’s no way the Republican Party of Kentucky could have done this on its own. The current crop of folks in power can barely spell their own names. [H-L]

House Republican leaders on Monday formally unveiled legislation to repeal most of the Affordable Care Act and “replace” it with a very different health policy scheme ― one in which government would do a lot less to help people get comprehensive health insurance and, most likely, many more people would struggle to find affordable medical care. [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for mobile service and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets up! [CLICK HERE]

Trans Kids & Weed Terrify Republicans

***Care about the future of Kentucky? Help us cover FOIA and open records request fees relating to Matt Bevin and Jamie Comer.*** [CLICK HERE]

Of course Matt Bevin feels at home at a gathering of racist lunatics. Matt Bevin took the stage Thursday at one of the nation’s premier gatherings of conservatives, imploring attendees at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., to stay engaged in the political process. [H-L]

Christ. Donald Trump said on Thursday he wants to build up the U.S. nuclear arsenal to ensure it is at the “top of the pack,” saying the United States has fallen behind in its atomic weapons capacity. [HuffPo]

Seems like only yesterday people at A Kentucky Newspaper were telling us it was insane to suggest that Jim Ramsey and the University of Louisville were squandering cash. My, how times have changed. [C-J/AKN]

William H. McRaven, retired U.S. Admiral and UT System Chancellor, championed the role of the news media in a speech to Moody College of Communications students and faculty on Tuesday. “We must challenge this statement and this sentiment that the news media is the enemy of the American people,” McRaven said. “This sentiment may be the greatest threat to democracy in my lifetime.” [The Daily Texan]

Also Julian Carroll’s treasurer. Note: Emily Dennis almost bungled the Steve Henry case, so most of this is not surprising. She needs to move on from KREF sooner rather than later. Over the last two years Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton and his 2014 campaign have been under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance (KREF) regarding Melton’s campaign account, and donations from a suspect in an on-going drug investigation, according to testimony from KREF and Melton’s former campaign treasurer Yvonne Hill. [CN|Toot]

Jeff Sessions on Thursday rescinded an Obama-era memorandum instructing the Bureau of Prisons to decline or not renew private prison contracts after their terms expire. [TDB]

Despite reservations from several senators, the state Senate overwhelmingly passed a measure Wednesday changing the way Kentucky higher education is funded. [Ronnie Ellis]

This are getting high-larious. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Thursday that “there should be greater enforcement” of federal laws prohibiting the use of recreational marijuana, the first comments on the issue for the new administration. [BuzzFeed]

While the Affordable Care Act has brought health coverage to millions of Americans, the effects have been profound, even lifesaving, for some of those caught up in the nation’s opioid-addiction crisis. [Ashland Independent]

This is a big effing deal. The FBI rejected a recent White House request to publicly knock down media reports about communications between Donald Trump’s associates and Russians known to US intelligence during the 2016 presidential campaign, multiple US officials briefed on the matter tell CNN. [CNN]

The February meeting of the Metcalfe County Board of Education opened with Joey Shive being re-elected as chair and Tim Brown re-elected as vice chair. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A purported cyberhack of the daughter of political consultant Paul Manafort suggests that he was the victim of a blackmail attempt while he was serving as Donald Trump’s presidential campaign chairman last summer. The undated communications, which are allegedly from the iPhone of Manafort’s daughter, include a text that appears to come from a Ukrainian parliamentarian named Serhiy Leshchenko, seeking to reach her father, in which he claims to have politically damaging information about both Manafort and Trump. [Politico]

The Senate approved a controversial bill Thursday that spells out the right of the governor to remove public university board members. Senate Minority Leader Ray Jones, D-Pikeville, called the bill “a power grab” and said it gives the governor too much power to remove board members. [H-L]

Most butts only have one hole and Betsy DeVos is proving that. [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for Ting or Cricket and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets up! [CLICK HERE]

Scott Jennings Whines That Democrats Aren’t “Tolerant” Of Backward-Ass Bigots Like Betsy DeVos

***Care about the future of Kentucky? Help us cover FOIA and open records request fees relating to Matt Bevin and Jamie Comer.*** [CLICK HERE]

This editorial dangerously misses Matt Bevin’s typical, backward, slick, Republican point. That point? That poor people should pay more money to the state via consumption taxes. To suggest it’s about honest, fair tax reform is as shady as Bevin himself and the people defending him. The paper’s editorial board knows better and that’s what is most alarming. [H-L]

HAHAHAHA! This is the man people like Scott Jennings are tacitly defending. They own this huckster. OWN HIM. They have to own this mess and it’s going to be painful and hilarious to watch them have to eat it. Donald Trump on Wednesday ignored shouted questions about his administration’s reported ties to Russia. [HuffPo]

Here’s giant pussy, Scott Jennings, whining about TOLERANCE! Regarding school choice, which he says is scientific. HAHAHAHA! Seriously. You’re going to need to take a pee break before you read this one. This fucker is going to own every last idiot the Trump Administration has appointed each and every time he says this shit publicly. Make this dumb fucker own it, Democrats. Let him know that whining about how “intolerant” people are of his intolerance/racism/bigotry/whatever doesn’t compute. P.S. He’s going knee-deep on DeVos because of her money. His Super PAC. McConnell’s Super PAC. [C-J/AKN]

How did Sergei Krikov die? And why did the NYPD close the case? He was found just before 7 a.m. on Election Day, lying on the floor of the Russian Consulate on the Upper East Side. The man was unconscious and unresponsive, with an unidentified head wound — “blunt force trauma,” in cop parlance. By the time emergency responders reached him, he was dead. [BuzzFeed]

Citing “increasing public interest and media attention,” Kentucky State Police on Wednesday announced the creation of a dedicated unit to investigate police shootings across the state. [WFPL]

Donald Trump is a racist bigot and people like Scott Jennings, Damon Thayer and Jeff Hoover are all about him. Fortunately, people like Whitney Westerfield maybe see through the bullshit? Either way, the FBI has released documents related to Dildo Trump’s rental discrimination case and they are scandalous. Be sure to read what Trump’s doorman told the FBI he was directed to tell black people. [FBI]

House Speaker Jeff Hoover says Kentucky’s Republican governor will have to testify before a legislative committee and offer his personal, public guarantee that he won’t block a bill aimed at overhauling driver’s licenses in the state. [Richmond Register]

The intercepts alarmed American intelligence and law enforcement agencies, in part because of the amount of contact that was occurring while Mr. Trump was speaking glowingly about the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin. [NY Times]

The City of Ashland is poised to acquire the old Ashland Oil building for free. Louisa Community Bank will donate the vacant, seven-story building on Winchester Avenue to the city, pending approval by the board of city commissioners during Wednesday’s commission meeting. [Ashland Independent]

Trump’s ouster of national security adviser Michael Flynn, and the circumstances leading up to it, have quickly become a major crisis for the fledgling administration, forcing the White House on the defensive and precipitating the first significant breach in relations between Trump and an increasingly restive Republican Congress. [WaPo]

Cave City has received the best audit report it could receive from an auditor. David Gilbert with Gilbert and Gilbert, a certified public accounting firm in Glasgow, reviewed the city’s 2016 audit report with city council members Monday night. In doing so, he pointed out the change in the city’s net position, which was $1,237,401. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The ex-wife of President Donald Trump’s labor secretary nominee told “The Oprah Winfrey Show” that he “vowed revenge” when she made public spousal abuse allegations, according to a 1990 tape reviewed by POLITICO on Tuesday night. [Politico]

Of course Damon Thayer and his handlers want to further corrupt politics in Kentucky. Lawmakers in Kentucky are looking for more of that sweet, sweet cash. A bill that would double the amount donors can contribute to a campaign passed the Senate Wednesday on a party-line vote after it got out of the Senate State and Local Government Committee committee earlier in the day. [H-L]

Multiple Russian military aircraft came close to a U.S. Navy destroyer in the Black Sea on Feb. 10, incidents considered “unsafe and unprofessional,” a U.S. official said on Tuesday. [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for Ting or Cricket and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets up! [CLICK HERE]

Poor Kentuckians Will Suffer When Republicans Kill Health Care Reform For Their Personal Gain

***Care about the future of Kentucky? Help us cover FOIA and open records request fees relating to Matt Bevin and Jamie Comer.*** [CLICK HERE]

John Leach has spent the holidays wondering how he’d come up with nearly $400 a month to pay for health insurance. [H-L]

Donald Trump made the dubious claim on Twitter late Monday night that his foundation pays zero expenses and donates all of its money to charity. However, a number of reports appear to prove otherwise. [HuffPo]

The forensic accounting of the University of Louisville Foundation will not come cheap. The university’s contract with the international firm of Alvarez & Marsal Disputes and Investigations LLC calls for it to be paid a fee of $687,500 and a total amount, including travel and other expenses, of up to $897,500. [C-J/AKN]

Senate and House Republicans are headed for a clash over whether to tackle Medicare reform under President-elect Donald Trump. [The Hill]

The West Virginia county with the nation’s highest drug overdose death rate has filed a lawsuit against three national distributors of prescription painkillers and a local doctor, contending they are responsible for the county’s addiction epidemic. [Ashland Independent]

Jodie Patterson’s 3-year-old, Penelope, was brooding and angry until one day she asked her child what was wrong. [Reuters]

Once again, Kentucky ranks first for its adult smoking rates, barely inching ahead of West Virginia to take back the first place spot, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [Richmond Register]

A political action committee that backed Donald Trump’s bid for the presidency is continuing to flout campaign finance laws. [ProPublica]

Sheriff Matt Sparks told the Morehead Rotary Club Tuesday that he believes a better way is needed for county residents to look after each other, particularly those without family or friends and who live alone. [The Morehead News]

Besides the shuttering of the two compounds, administration officials announced the expulsion by Sunday of 35 unnamed Russian officials — and their families — who they said were working undercover as spies. [NY Times]

Members of the Glasgow-Barren County Industrial Development Economic Authority met Friday morning to discuss what to do about deficiencies discovered in metal panels that make up the walls of the organization’s spec building in the Highland Glen Industrial Park off New Bowling Green Road. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The career of Jeff Sessions, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for attorney general, has been shadowed by his prosecution of the “Marion Three.” Held this because it would have gotten ignored over the holidays. [WaPo]

An attorney for the family of a missing Kentucky woman has filed an appeal aimed at gaining access to the chain of custody of a 911 tape from the day the Webster County woman disappeared more than 20 years ago. [H-L]

Virtually every mental health professional I interviewed told me that they believed, with 100% certainty, that Mr. Trump satisfied the DSM criteria of this incurable illness and that, as a result, he is a serious danger to the country and the world. [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for Ting or Cricket and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets! [CLICK HERE]

Frankfort In 2017 Will Be Insanity

***Care about the future of Kentucky? Help us cover FOIA and open records request fees relating to Matt Bevin and Jamie Comer.*** [CLICK HERE]

Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign chairman, already convicted of conspiracy and charges related to false campaign reporting, is now accused of violating his probation and trying to help arrange a $2 million illegal contribution to a super PAC supporting President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign. [H-L]

The year-end stocks rally on the heels of the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president was built on expectations of reduced regulations, big tax cuts and a large fiscal stimulus. [HuffPo]

This is what Republicans want – for there to be no accountability when poor people get swindled by the wealthy. Forty years ago, as a lobbyist for the Insurance Institute of Indiana, Frank Cornelius helped persuade the state legislature to pass what was acclaimed as a pioneering reform of medical malpractice law — a $500,000 cap on damage awards and elimination of all damages for pain and suffering. [C-J/AKN]

Yes, the Bevin crew is wreaking havoc. Read this scandalous coverage of the insurance shenanigans going on in Bevinistan. [Public Integrity]

An Ashland attorney is one of five appointed as administrative law judges within the Department of Workers’ Claims by Gov. Matt Bevin on Wednesday. [Ashland Independent]

The FBI kept a close watch on the activities of Muhammad Ali in 1966, with a particular focus on his links to the Nation of Islam, a black movement that the agency viewed as subversive, according to archival documents posted on the FBI website. [Reuters]

Republicans are poised to use their newly attained capitol dominance to make Missouri the 27th right-to-work state prohibiting mandatory union fees. That is unless Kentucky’s recently crowned GOP majorities can beat them to it. [Richmond Register]

Donald Trump’s newly tapped White House communications director, Jason Miller, backed out of the job following claims that he had an affair with another transition official, according to three sources close to the Trump transition. [Politico]

After a three-year investigation by Kentucky State Police Vehicle Investigations, KSP Post 8 and the Rowan County Sheriff’s department, a Rowan County grand jury returned multiple indictments on three area residents. [The Morehead News]

Flying at 30,000 feet, the powerful radar aboard this Air Force jet peered deep into Syrian territory, hunting for targets on the ground to strike in the looming offensive to seize Raqqa, the Islamic State’s capital. [NY Times]

Kobyn Shugart, 10, of Glasgow wasn’t interested in receiving any toys or other presents this year. “All I really wanted for Christmas was for Sable to come home,” he said. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Donald Trump late Friday publicly praised Russian President Vladimir Putin for attacking Trump’s former Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. [WaPo]

The Christmas holiday across Lexington and Central Kentucky 100 years ago was one of hope, celebration, temperance and sorrow. [H-L]

China has lodged “stern representations” with the United States after President Barack Obama signed into law a U.S. defense policy bill that suggests a plan to conduct high-level military exchanges with self-ruled Taiwan. [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for Ting or Cricket and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets! [CLICK HERE]

Now The Horsey Set Is Getting Nervous

***Care about the future of Kentucky? Help us cover FOIA and open records request fees relating to Matt Bevin and Jamie Comer.*** [CLICK HERE]

What will Donald Trump’s presidency mean for Thoroughbred racing? After all, Kentucky’s horse industry could never get out of the starting gate without the immigrants he demagogued as “criminals” and “rapists” during the campaign. [Tom Eblen]

Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for secretary of state, has expressed skepticism over the United States’ sanctions against Russia, as his company stands to reap enormous profits if they are lifted. [HuffPo]

If you think this is bad, you’d be surprised to learn that many in Eastern Kentucky rely on wells that are literally poison. Deep in the hills of Appalachian Kentucky is a tiny, lone wolf water system that didn’t test for lead or other contaminants for decades – leaving residents in the dark about whether their water is safe to drink. [C-J/AKN]

A group that gave more money to one of President-elect Trump’s fundraising efforts than any other political action committee failed to disclose its donors before Election Day and exceeded caps on contribution amounts. [ProPublica]

A year and one day after his inauguration, Republican Gov. Matt Bevin said much was accomplished in his first year and said he’s advised legislative leaders in his own party to be patient as Republicans attempt to pass a long pent-up legislative agenda. [Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump’s leading candidate for secretary of state, ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, would accelerate the president-elect’s collision course with Congress over his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin and raise new questions about Putin’s role in the election. [Politico]

So of course Frankfort will continue to cut funding. An outside panel has concluded that Kentucky’s social service system is “grossly underfunded” as the state’s child protection system struggles with the large number of children whose parents are abusing drugs. [AP/State Journal]

Religious minorities in the United States are far more likely to have attended college or a vocational school than members of the Christian majority, according to a review of census and survey data from 151 countries released on Tuesday that found wide gaps in education among followers of the world’s major religions. [NY Times]

A transgender man fired from GE Appliances in Louisville can sue for race and gender discrimination, according to a federal court ruling late last month. [WFPL]

The US is sending 200 more military personnel to help fight the Islamic State group in its Syrian stronghold of Raqqa, the US defence secretary says. [BBC]

Defeated in the Nov. 8 general election by 98 votes, Madison County School Board member John Lackey has filed suit seeking to have his opponent, Samantha Burford, disqualified. [Richmond Register]

The Dallas Police and Fire Pension System’s board has halted withdrawals from a deferred retirement plan following a lawsuit by the city’s mayor, who claimed withdrawals were accelerating the $2.7 billion pension system’s descent into insolvency. [Reuters]

A couple of years ago, I read a story in a British newspaper about Yiwu, China, where 600 factories churn out 60 percent of the world’s Christmas decorations, most of them synthetic, cheap and cheesy. [Tom Eblen]

Thousands of civilians remained trapped in eastern Aleppo on Tuesday, fighting for their lives as pro-government forces moved to regain control from rebel groups. [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for Ting or Cricket and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets! [CLICK HERE]

The EBEC Still Has Absolutely No Teeth

The Executive Branch Ethics Commission says that it and unnamed law enforcement agencies are investigating people who may have helped former Kentucky Personnel Secretary Tim Longmeyer to illegally solicit campaign donations from state employees under his supervision from 2011 to 2015. [H-L]

In a testament to humanity’s willingness to take on the most futile tasks imaginable without regard to sanity, it was announced Tuesday that outgoing Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) has put forward legislation that would scrap the Electoral College in favor of electing the president of the United States by popular vote. [HuffPo]

Often, when conducting a routine eye exam, Louisville optometrist Dr. Aaron McNulty discovers that a patient has diabetes but doesn’t know it. [C-J/AKN]

Questions are swirling about whether President-elect Donald Trump will follow through on suggestions during the campaign that he might allow other countries to develop nuclear weapons. [The Hill]

Surprise! The WFPL folks have noticed Eastern Kentucky again. At least that Brendan jackass isn’t trying to tag poor people like cattle this time. (How is he still employed there after the mass exodus of employees?) For Freida Lockaby, an unemployed 56-year-old woman who lives with her dog in an aging mobile home in Manchester, Ky., one of America’s poorest places, the Affordable Care Act was life altering. [WFPL]

A work crew began to dismantle a Confederate monument in Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday, the mayor said, in the latest move to take down or relocate symbols of the slaveholding Southern Confederacy from the American Civil War. [Reuters]

Bill Langley, senior pastor of an Elizabethtown church with a strong reputation for supporting missions, has been elected president of the 750,000-member Kentucky Baptist Convention. [Ashland Independent]

It was supposed to be a big, beautiful infrastructure bill. But President-elect Donald Trump’s pitch for a $1 trillion upgrade of the nation’s roads, bridges, tunnels and airports is already running into potholes as it meets reality in Washington. [Politico]

Richmond police officers may drive their city vehicles home after work only if they live within Madison County. [Richmond Register]

Making sense of this presidential election requires figuring out what happened in rural places across the country. This is especially true in the upper Midwest, where there were sharp swings toward Donald Trump that helped produce surprising victories in states such as my home state of Wisconsin. [WaPo]

City council members agreed Monday night to amend the city’s alcohol ordinance, making several changes. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Safety pins have again become a symbol of solidarity with victims of racist, religious or homophobic abuse, following alleged attacks in the US in the wake of Donald Trump’s election win. [BBC]

Matt Bevin couldn’t find a Kentucky vendor? This should end really well and will likely cost way more than suggested. $583,000 seems unbelievably low. Big Brother may be watching the next time you visit Kentucky’s Capitol. [H-L]

Europe needs to think about developing its own nuclear deterrent strategy given concerns that U.S. President-elect Donald Trump could scale back U.S. military commitments in Europe, a senior member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives said. [HuffPo]