Another Day That Feels Like A Week

A clinic with locations in Central and Eastern Kentucky improperly prescribed thousands of doses of a drug designed to help treat people addicted to opioids such as heroin and pain pills, Attorney General Andy Beshear’s office charged in a lawsuit filed Friday. [H-L]

This needs to happen in Kentucky on a statewide level. It’s a no-brainer. [HuffPo]

The FBI ordered a wiretap of a phone used by the Adidas executive who spoke to Rick Pitino on the calls at the center of the pay-for-play allegations that cost the former Louisville men’s basketball coach his job. [C-J/AKN]

The Trump administration has adopted new limits on the use of “guidance documents” that federal agencies have issued on almost every conceivable subject, an action that could have sweeping implications for the government’s ability to sue companies accused of violations. [NY Times]

This is the dumbest shit yet from Matt Bevin’s crew. Kentucky became the first state with a work requirement for Medicaid, and now it has to do something arguably more daring: Build a mobile-friendly website that works. [Richmond Register]

There are people who will tell you — and offer research as support — that there really isn’t any link between the amount of money spent on public education and student achievement. [WaPo]

The state House approved a proposed constitutional amendment which would allow the legislature to overturn regulations by the executive branch — even when the General Assembly is not in session. [Ronnie Ellis]

Refugee resettlement agencies are preparing to shutter more than 20 offices across the United States and cut back operations in more than 40 others after the State Department told them to pare their operations, according to plans seen by Reuters. [Reuters]

Possibly as soon as next month, the Barren County Health Department will begin having a syringe exchange program for intravenous drug users. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The Federal Election Commission said in December that big political ads on the social network need disclaimers. But many candidates and groups don’t seem to be paying attention. [ProPublica]

Detectives are trying to piece together why a Kentucky man fatally shot his parents and two other people before taking his own life last weekend. [Ashland Independent]

Can you imagine if Louisville had an 11-day streak without a murder? [BBC]

A Knott County school that would have closed [last] week after the Kentucky education commissioner expressed safety concerns about the building will remain open under a judge’s order. [H-L]

When neighborhoods change, it doesn’t just affect long-term residents’ housing options. It might be making them sick. This is happening like crazy in Louisville. [HuffPo]

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Kentucky Needs A New Ed Commish

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Media’s Already Forgotten Marshall Co

Matt Bevin is one of the dumbest people on earth – that’s no secret. So you won’t be surprised that he’s blaming the entertainment industry for children having easy access to weapons of mass destruction. And filth? Like the orange guy he regularly stands beside? The one paying off porn stars? [H-L]

FBI Deputy Directory Andrew McCabe is stepping down, NBC’s Pete Williams reported Monday. [HuffPo]

Brian Cope knew it was his son when he saw the Nike socks. The scene was chaotic – paramedics, first responders, worried parents – but when he saw the socks as he peered into an ambulance, he knew. He’d laid them out for Preston the night before. [C-J/AKN]

In June of 1971, Gar Alperovitz, a thirty-five-year-old historian, sped through suburban Boston, looking for an out-of-the-way pay phone to use to call a reporter. Alperovitz had never considered himself much of a risk-taker. The father of two ran a small economic think tank focussed on community-building. He had participated in demonstrations against the Vietnam War and rung doorbells with Martin Luther King, Jr., in Boston, as part of an antiwar campaign. But what he was doing on this day, propelled by his desire to end the war, could lead to federal prison. [New Yorker]

Mmm hmm. More time with his family. Suuuuure. State Rep. Robert Benvenuti,R-Lexington, will not seek re-election in 2018, instead seeking to focus on family, he said in a letter signed on Friday. [CN|Toot]

Matt Bevin of Kentucky received a standing ovation Sunday afternoon when he ticked off dozens of policy initiatives he had achieved since taking office in 2015, many directly from the Koch playbook. [NBC News]

No two snowflakes are the same and neither are any two overdoses. But the procedures that follow an overdose call are like clockwork, continually ticking away until the next. [Richmond Register]

In March of 2011, a Mexican ranching town near the Texas border was besieged by unspeakable violence. Gunmen from the Zetas drug cartel — seeking vengeance against an alleged informant – swept through the quiet town, kidnapping and killing dozens, perhaps hundreds, of men, women and children. Brushed aside as another ugly incident of cartel violence, the slaughter was barely a blip in the United States or Mexico. [ProPublica]

The future of the City of Ashland’s legal department is cloudy after an ordinance that would’ve ignited the search for a new city attorney died on Thursday. [Ashland Independent]

Fair housing advocates gathered Thursday to commemorate the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson signing the 1968 Fair Housing Act, a landmark piece of legislation that outlawed housing discrimination and residential segregation in the United States. [ThinkProgress]

Over a six-year period between 2010 and 2016, a San Francisco-based drug company distributed enough opioid doses to Floyd County to supply every man, woman and child in the county 477 pills. [The Morehead News]

The Dutch domestic intelligence service AIVD had access to the infamous Russian hacking group Cozy Bear for at least a year starting in mid-2014, local media outlets reported Thursday. According to the reports, the Dutch government alerted the United States to Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election after Netherlands-based officials watched the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and other operations by the Russians, including a 2014 State Department hack. [WaPo]

One of the 15-year-old Marshall County High School students who died in Tuesday’s shooting reportedly called her mother in her final moments. [H-L]

Just 39 percent of Americans have enough money in savings to cover an unexpected $1,000 bill, according to a new report. James DeVolid, 54, put in so many hours between his two jobs at Tyson Foods and Walmart that his wife, Susan, often joked that he worked “eight days a week.” [HuffPo]

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Surprise! The Kentucky Republicans Are More Secretive & More Corrupt Than Kentucky Democrats

John-Mark Hack, who has been trying to help Kentucky comply with federal security regulations involving drivers licenses, is no longer a member of the Bevin administration. [H-L]

After orbiting Jupiter for a little more than a year and a half, NASA’s Juno spacecraft recently finished its 10th trip around the massive planet. Now the space agency is sharing some of the photos Juno snapped that were edited by citizen scientists, including this close-up shot of Jupiter’s surface. [HuffPo]

First, the incompetence of Nancy Rodriguez is what allowed A Kentucky Newspaper to effectively whitewash the monster Robert Felner scandal. Second, Allison Martin is the person who lied for Donna Hargens for months and months. So you know this is some bullshit at Jefferson County Public Schools and the Kentucky Department of Education. [C-J/AKN]

MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough thanked author Michael Wolff for opening a wider discussion into President Donald Trump’s apparent mental decline. The “Morning Joe” host has been trying to sound the alarm about the president, whom he’s known for years, but he said political and journalistic norms had kept the topic buried. “I’ve written twice in my column a quote about one of the people closest to Donald Trump during the campaign saying he’s got early stage of dementia,” Scarborough said. [Raw Story]

For years, a group of Madison Countians has worked toward a foundation that would provide funding for non-profits and other groups working to benefit the community. [Richmond Register]

Trump’s voter fraud commission is gone but scrutiny will continue. The president dissolved the commission and indicated that the Department of Homeland Security will continue its mission. Experts say DHS won’t achieve the results he wants — and critics won’t back down. [ProPublica]

A special House committee will review allegations that Speaker Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown, sexually harassed an employee and tried to cover it up through a confidential financial settlement. [Ronnie Ellis]

The Trump misadministration may have just admitted to violating campaign finance law. The White House is reportedly considering firing a former employee from a group it cannot legally control. [ThinkProgress]

The AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps VISTA members serving in Morehead through the Homeless and Housing Coalition of Kentucky are hosting a donation drive for STAR (Saving The Animals of Rowan), the local animal shelter in Morehead, Jan. 2-12. [The Morehead News]

Did Jeff Sessions just increase the odds Congress will make marijuana legal? The opossum attorney general has created intolerable uncertainty for a growing industry that is now demanding legal protections from Congress. And lawmakers are listening. [Politico]

Some meetings of a special House committee formed to look into charges against Republican Speaker Jeff Hoover are likely to be conducted in private despite protestations from Democrats and the eight Republicans who filed the charges. [More Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump gave firm instructions in March to the White House’s top lawyer: stop the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, from recusing himself in the Justice Department’s investigation into whether Mr. Trump’s associates had helped a Russian campaign to disrupt the 2016 election. [NY Times]

Tiffany Dunn, who teaches English at Lassiter Middle School in Louisville, began to weep Tuesday at the state Capitol. She was speaking at a rally of educators scared of what the 2018 General Assembly will do to Kentucky’s schools when it axes up to $1 billion a year from the state’s $11 billion General Fund. [John Cheves]

Just a day after he declared himself a “very stable genius” and “like, really smart,” Donald Trump mixed up the word “consequential” with “consensual” in an embarrassing tweet. [HuffPo]

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Don’t Forget Your Elders, Appalachian Millennials & Outsiders

Suicide is never the answer. But it’s disgusting for people like Jeff Hoover and Matt Bevin to praise this monster in his cowardly death. [H-L]

An already dire situation for North Atlantic right whales became even worse in 2017. This species of whale is among the most endangered animals in the world, and if significant actions to recover their populations aren’t taken soon, they could face extinction, researchers at the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration said this week. [HuffPo]

Authorities say a Kentucky constable has been charged with helping a jail inmate escape from custody. [H-L]

Mmmm hmm. Investor Charles Price hosted a lucrative fundraiser for Gov. Matt Bevin a few months after the governor announced that Braidy Industries, a company at which Price is a director, would receive an unusual $15 million state investment. [C-J/AKN]

It took 16 years and more than 1,000 deaths for the Consumer Products Safety Commission to crack down on deadly portable generators. Trump’s appointees could undo that in a matter of months. [ProPublica]

Maybe it isn’t working out because no one in the area can afford to shop there? That’s apparently lost on these wealthy white folks running the show. [WFPL]

E.P.A. enforcement officials nationwide rely on provisions of the Clean Air and Clean Water acts that give them the power to order polluters to test their emissions to see if they are violating the law. Mr. Pruitt, after a request from the oil industry, has put new limits on that power. [NY Times]

On average, a new synthetic drug is identified in the U.S. every seven to 10 days. [Richmond Register]

The Environmental Protection Agency released a list of Superfund sites around the country Friday that it said regulators will target “for immediate and intense attention.” [WaPo]

Four law enforcement agencies are investigating allegations of malfeasance by County Jailer Joe Burchett at the Boyd County Detention Center, a prosecutor said Tuesday. [Ashland Independent]

Contrary to the narrative you’ll hear from DC/NYC outsiders, this is not a new movement. There have always been women fighting to improve lives in Appalachia. Until recently, there was almost always progress on that front. My mother was running prenatal clinics in Morgan and Rowan Counties 30+ years ago, working with a network of individuals focusing on radical progress. They had successes. They built what these younger folks are standing upon today. Do not forget them. [CNN]

The process is well underway now to have a family court judge in place for the 43rd Judicial Circuit relatively soon after the resignation of Mitchell Nance takes effect at 11:59 p.m. Saturday. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A U.S. judge questioned on Tuesday whether the federal government properly formulated new rules that undermine an Obamacare requirement for employers to provide insurance that covers women’s birth control. [Reuters]

Bourbon County officials are considering a plan to expand Bluegrass Station at Avon by 2,500 acres to build an 8,000- to 10,000-foot runway and two two-bay hangars to accommodate C-130 military cargo planes that need to be outfitted for special operations missions, according to a report in the Bourbon County Citizen. [H-L]

Southern bigotry is real, Bernie Bros and the worthless executive director of the KDP. The sooner you own it, the sooner you eradicate it. It’s time to shut the hell up with the “stop highlighting our racism” schtick. It’s real and you have to deal with it. [HuffPo]

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We’re Coming For You, Johnson, Comer, Hoover, Et Al. The Kentucky Democratic Party Doesn’t Have The Guts But Everyday Kentuckians Will Oust You.

Two years after taking office, Gov. Matt Bevin continues to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for his 2015 gubernatorial campaign, often from people he has appointed to state jobs, lobbyists, and contractors doing business with the state. [John Cheves]

This time, Donald Trump’s playbook didn’t work. Republican Roy Moore faced serious accusations of sexual misconduct in his bid to become Alabama’s next senator. But instead of bowing down and backing out, he stayed in the race and went on the attack ― just like Trump did in last year’s presidential race. He accused the media and the establishment of orchestrating a conspiracy against him, and cast the race as pitting good against evil, Christians versus everyone else. [HuffPo]

Another Frankfort legislator is being asked to step down amid allegations of sexual misconduct. Dan Johnson, a preacher and Republican representative from Bullit County, was accused of sexually abusing a girl who was a member of his church, Heart of Fire, in Fern Creek. Johnson was criticized last year for posting, and later removing, racist images to his Facebook page including images of the President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama as monkeys. [C-J/AKN]

Violent protests against Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital broke out on Sunday near the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, according to multiple reports. [The Hill]

The University of Louisville has awarded the 2018 Grawemeyer Award for Psychology to Robert Sternberg, a psychology professor at Cornell. Sternberg is being recognized for his work on what he calls the “triarchic theory of intelligence.” [WFPL]

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency could launch a public debate about climate change as soon as January, Administrator Scott Pruitt said on Thursday, as the agency unwinds Obama-era initiatives to fight global warming. [Reuters]

This is what the Republican Party of Kentucky gets for trying to cover this nightmare up. Tres Watson and others knew about the details in this mess (they did, we talked about them a looooong time ago – just like every other scandal – that’s why they kept me close until they turned homophobic) and just twiddled their thumbs. A Republican Kentucky lawmaker known for his inflammatory social media posts comparing President Barack Obama and his wife to monkeys has been accused of sexual assault by a woman who attended his church. Both Republican and Democratic leaders on Monday called for Dan Johnson to resign. [Richmond Register]

Here’s a national look at Matt Bevin making Kentucky look bad. His excuse for blocking people on social media doesn’t hold water. [ProPublica]

Those seeking office in next year’s May 22 primary election must wait until April 7 before displaying their political campaign signs in Rowan County. [The Morehead News]

F.B.I. officials warned one of Donald Trump’s top advisers, Hope Hicks, earlier this year about repeated attempts by Russian operatives to make contact with her during the presidential transition, according to people familiar with the events. [NY Times]

Pay attention to this and keep it on your radar if you’re familiar with any of my work over the past decade. Auditors found no fault with the financial records of the Cave City Convention Center when conducting an audit of the facility’s 2016-17 financial records. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The GOP tax plan on the cusp of becoming law diverges wildly from the promises Donald Trump and top advisers said they would deliver for the middle class — an evolution that shows how traditional Republican orthodoxy swamped Trump’s distinctive brand of economic populism as it moved through Washington. [WaPo]

A former Bath County attorney who served 21 months in federal prison on perjury and vote-buying charges has turned himself into Montgomery County authorities on drug and other charges. [H-L]

Another woman who has accused Donald Trump of groping her is demanding a congressional investigation into the numerous sexual misconduct allegations against him. Melinda McGillivray appeared on NBC’s “Megyn Kelly Today” on Tuesday, breaking down in tears as she described her alleged interactions with Trump. She has accused Trump of grabbing her buttocks at Mar-a-Lago in 2003. [HuffPo]

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RPK: Robbing Teachers & Other Retirees

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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