A Comer Lackey Has Jumped Ship

Ginger Wills also helped cover up all kinds of Jamie Comer shenanigans. Ginger Wills, the House Republican chief of staff who was accused by a former employee of creating a hostile work environment, resigned Friday. [H-L]

Donald Trump seemed to be in a fog about the facts of climate change during his British TV sit-down with Piers Morgan, which aired Sunday night. Trump said in the ITV interview that the “polar ice caps were supposed to be gone by now,” but instead they’re “breaking records.” [HuffPo]

The low-key settlement talks between the University of Louisville and Tom Jurich may be headed for a more confrontational tone now that a private detective agency has been hired to investigate the former athletic director. [C-J/AKN]

Racist and disgraced former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who is now running for the U.S. Senate as a Republican, recently gave an interview to a publication that’s pushed claims that the Holocaust is a “hoax” and 9/11 was a “Jewish” plot. [MMFA]

Four million dollars. That’s the projected cost increase to Madison County Schools if Matt Bevin’s proposed budget — and the cuts included — is passed, according to district Chief Financial Officer Mark Woods. [Richmond Register]

A senior Red Cross official harassed a subordinate and was accused of raping another. The charity’s now-general counsel David Meltzer praised him on his way out for “leadership” and “dedication.” [ProPublica]

Two more Democrats – a local engineer and a former Boyd County judge-executive – have filed to run for the county’s top government job, increasing the primary field to six candidates. [Ashland Independent]

At the World Economic Forum, world leaders stressed the need for global cooperation on climate change while the United States remained silent. [ThinkProgress]

A Morehead man accused of racially charged vandalism has been indicted by a Rowan County grand jury. [The Morehead News]

Donald Trump ordered the firing last June of Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel overseeing the Russia investigation, according to four people told of the matter, but ultimately backed down after the White House counsel threatened to resign rather than carry out the directive. [NY Times]

The state of the city and the state of the county were given Friday morning during the Glasgow-Barren County Chamber of Commerce’s first quarterly breakfast of the year. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Three organizations opposing profound changes to Kentucky’s Medicaid program filed a lawsuit Wednesday to block the nation’s first experiment to compel low-income people to work or otherwise engage in their communities to qualify for the safety-net health insurance. [WaPo]

Judge-executive Joseph L. “Jody” Jenkins, 44, was found dead early Sunday morning at his residence. Jenkins has been under investigation for a variety of allegations in recent months. Much of the case centers on accusations of purchasing stolen vehicles and equipment with public money. [H-L]

Brandi Seals, a black transgender woman, was shot to death in Houston on Dec. 13, becoming the country’s 22nd known trans woman of color to be killed in hate violence in 2017. Like many other transgender and gender non-conforming homicide victims, her gender identity and name were not initially acknowledged, even in death. [HuffPo]

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I’ve Been Covering The UofL Nightmare For A Decade. Will It Ever End? It Has To End Sometime… Right?

People are acting surprised that Matt Bevin is pulling a wingnut stunt and harming the lives of everyday Kentuckians. Get outta here with that feigned ignorance. You fake “Christians” knew exactly what you were getting when you elected (almost typed “arrested” – whoops) that garbage human being. [H-L]

One year ago, Donald Trump stood at the U.S. Capitol and took his place as the nation’s 45th president. He promised to be a man of action, taking charge of a government for the people and away from the establishment. [HuffPo]

Detailing an alleged “conspiracy to defraud” the University of Louisville, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York pushed back Friday against a motion to dismiss charges against three men accused of attempting to funnel money to the families of college basketball recruits. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner reportedly held a number of meetings with China’s ambassador without experts on China in the room, unnerving some current and former U.S. officials. [The Hill]

The plan was for the Kentucky General Assembly to have pension reform passed and out of the way long before now. [More Ronnie Ellis]

It’s all about racism with New Republicans. The U.S. Justice Department asked the Supreme Court on Thursday to quickly overturn a lower court ruling that blocked Donald Trump’s move to end a program that protects hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children. [Reuters]

The plan was for the Kentucky General Assembly to have pension reform passed and out of the way long before now. [More Ronnie Ellis]

As the Spanish police investigated the presence of a notorious Russian organized crime group on the resort island of Mallorca in 2012, they realized that a key figure described by some of the suspects as their “godfather” was a powerful Moscow politician: Alexander Torshin. [ProPublica]

Maybe Rowan County will get it right with their next superintendent? Rowan County Supt. Marvin Moore announced his retirement during Thursday’s special called Board of Education meeting. [The Morehead News]

House Republicans and right-wing media outlets are up in arms about a classified memo purportedly detailing misconduct related to the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign for possible collusion with Russia. [ThinkProgress]

In a press release sent to the Glasgow Daily Times on Thursday evening, Caverna Independent Schools Superintendent Cornelius Faulkner outlined how Gov. Matt Bevin’s recently proposed budget would affect the Caverna school system. [Glasgow Daily Times]

2017 was among the hottest years ever recorded, government scientists reported Thursday. The renewed evidence of climate change, driven by human emissions of greenhouse gases, comes as the Trump administration moves to open new areas for oil drilling and rolls back regulations that sought to reduce global warming, most prominently by moving to repeal the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan. [WaPo]

Bevin wants the General Assembly to cut $198 million from K-12 education, mostly by shifting more transportation and insurance costs to local school districts, as if they can afford it. He wants to cut another $72 million from higher education. And he wants to eliminate state funding for 70 programs, at least 44 of which support education. [Tom Eblen]

A neighbor who was arrested in November after an attack on Republican Sen. Rand Paul outside his Kentucky home plans to pleads guilty to a felony charge of assaulting a member of Congress, his lawyer said Friday. [HuffPo]

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Sending McConnell Folks To ARC? Just Gross. Appalachia Is Doomed.

Rand Paul said Sunday it was a “living hell” after he was attacked in November. Paul made his comments on Face the Nation, a news television show on CBS. [H-L]

Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s office released a transcript Tuesday of Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson’s testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee. [HuffPo]

PEE ALERT! Rick Pitino’s attorneys requested the University of Louisville Athletic Association’s countersuit against the former basketball coach be dismissed or for a ruling in the former coach’s favor. [C-J/AKN]

The controversy that swirled around the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity far exceeded its output. [ProPublica]

This is terrible news for Appalachia and I defy anyone to prove me wrong. Donald Trump intends to tap a member of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s staff to serve as federal co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission. [Richmond Register]

A number of Republican lawmakers were visibly incensed on Thursday, following a report by the Associated Press that claimed Attorney General Jeff Sessions is considering rescinding an Obama-era policy allowing marijuana legalization to move forward in several states. [ThinkProgress]

The Ashland commission is bracing for a massive wave to hit the city this year. [Ashland Independent]

The Trump administration has proposed a controversial plan to open up protected areas in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans for offshore drilling. The five-year plan expands drilling to most of the US outer continental shelf, including California and Maine, where drilling has been blocked for decades. [BBC]

If Matt Bevin or anyone in Frankfort really gave a flip about education? This self-promoting guy would be far, far away from the Kentucky Department of Education. [The Morehead News]

Customs officers stationed at the American border and at airports searched an estimated 30,200 cellphones, computers and other electronic devices of people entering and leaving the United States last year — an almost 60 percent increase from 2016, according to Homeland Security Department data released on Friday. [NY Times]

It’s an ABC affiliate. The Glasgow Electric Plant Board narrowly decided at a special meeting Thursday to drop WHAS, a CBS affiliate broadcast channel in Louisville, from its lineup after all. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The rivalry between fast food giants has taken on a strange political twist: KFC has aped Donald Trump’s message to Kim Jong-un, in an attempt to feud with McDonald’s. [BBC]

What on earth is wrong with people? Lexington-Fayette Animal Care and Control seeks the public’s help in finding whoever abandoned a puppy in a trash bag. [H-L]

Donald Trump, who recently said he would announce the “MOST DISHONEST & CORRUPT MEDIA AWARDS OF THE YEAR,” has been awarded the title of the world’s most oppressive leader toward press freedom by the Committee to Protect Journalists. [HuffPo]

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Recent Moves Against Marijuana Are Rooted Purely In Racism & Elitist Greed

No one thinks the upcoming budget session in Frankfort — with a looming $1 billion deficit — will mean good news for higher education, but advocates are particularly worried by the possibility that lottery-financed scholarship programs might be in jeopardy. [Linda Blackford]

L-u-n-a-t-i-c. Donald Trump on Tuesday renewed his attack on his “deep state” Justice Department, and said a top aide to 2016 election rival Hillary Clinton should be jailed. [HuffPo]

It’s easy to spot drivers zipping down Kentucky highways well above the speed limit. But stopping them isn’t as simple as you might think. [C-J/AKN]

One of the top U.S. government officials working on refugee issues announced her impending retirement on Tuesday, and refugee advocates expressed concern about the fate of the country’s resettlement program which faces mounting pressure from the Trump administration. [Reuters]

From the boardroom to the basketball court, the University of Louisville had a tough year. Hall of Fame Coach Rick Pitino was fired, the school dealt with a yearlong probation from an accrediting group and an audit found mismanagement at a foundation overseeing its investments. [Richmond Register]

Chicken plants have recruited thousands of foreign workers in recent years through a little-known program to fill jobs they say Americans won’t do. [ProPublica]

Shelves in the food pantry at First United Methodist Church were seemingly full Wednesday morning. [Ashland Independent]

Joseph Flynn — brother of former presidential national security adviser Michael Flynn, who recently pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI — demanded a pardon for his brother on Tuesday. [ThinkProgress]

It’s stupid to continue arresting people for growing marijuana. The only reason it happens is because it makes local law enforcement agencies money. But no one wants to talk about that reality. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is rescinding the Obama-era policy that had paved the way for legalized marijuana to flourish in states across the country, two people with knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press. [Associated Press]

The Louisville jail’s heating system is hobbling under cold temperatures, forcing some inmates to face near-freezing temperatures in their cells. [WFPL]

Donald Trump didn’t want to be president. One year ago: the plan to lose, and the administration’s shocked first days. [New York Magazine]

Eight members of the House of Representative filed a formal charge Wednesday calling for the expulsion of House Speaker Jeff Hoover following his decision to remain speaker even though he had promised to step down amid a sexual harassment scandal this fall. [H-L]

Donald Trump and Rand Paul both pushed this. It’s insane how racists those two folks are. [HuffPo]

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New Republicanism Means Harming Refugees

More than 25,000 acres of forest in Eastern Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia will be preserved in coming years thanks to a nearly $5 million federal conservation grant, federal officials announced Friday. [H-L]

An increasing number of new laws across the United States make it a crime to be homeless. But these laws don’t actually manage to get people off the streets ― they just perpetuate the cycle of homelessness, experts say. [HuffPo]

More than 200 hours of intercepted phone call recordings have been submitted as evidence in a federal investigation into a pay-for-play scheme involving Louisville basketball recruits, according to court documents. [C-J/AKN]

The U.S. State Department has told refugee agencies it will sharply pare back the number of offices across the country authorized to resettle people in 2018 as Donald Trump cuts the number of refugees allowed into the United States. [Reuters]

Matt Bevin conceded Thursday that it is “logistically” impossible to hold a special session before the end of the year to tackle pension reform. [Ronnie Ellis]

The rate of life-threatening complications for new mothers in the U.S. has more than doubled in two decades due to pre-existing conditions, medical errors and unequal access to care. [ProPublica]

When Dominic and Rico Castle pushed their shopping cart through the Walmart lobby Wednesday, with the promise of $400 to fill it with Christmas plunder, one would assume the brothers would take the shortest route to the toy department. [Ashland Independent]

The United Nations Security Council imposed new sanctions on North Korea on Friday that significantly choke off new fuel supplies and order North Koreans working overseas to return home within two years, in what may prove the last test of whether any amount of economic pressure can force it to reverse course on its nuclear program. [NY Times]

Kentucky’s Democratic Attorney General believes the state’s opioid epidemic is the “single greatest challenge facing Kentucky” and claims the administration of Gov. Matt Bevin is hampering his efforts to combat the scourge. [Ronnie Ellis]

US life expectancy fell last year for a second year running for the first time in more than half a century, reportedly driven by the worsening opioid crisis. Life expectancy in 2016 fell 0.1 years to 78.6, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. [BBC]

When discussing Glasgow Independent Schools’ Comprehensive District Improvement Plan with the GIS Board of Education, GIS Instructional Supervisor Michelle Tinsley and GIS Superintendent Keith Hale said everyone has bought in to the plan. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Officials at the USDA received a detailed formal complaint earlier this year regarding Aurora Organic Dairy, one of the nation’s largest producers of organic milk. [WaPo]

A national science panel might use donations to finish a study that the Trump Administration halted on whether people face greater health risks from living near surface coal mines in Central Appalachia, including Eastern Kentucky. [H-L]

This is how insanely out-of-touch these people are. It’s so bizarre-o it’s offensive. [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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Already *Guilty* Pleas In Collusion Case

Three small cities in Eastern Kentucky are feeling their way toward a possible historic merger as they try to cope with aging infrastructure, scant tax bases and revenue lost because of the sharp downturn in the coal industry. [H-L]

A foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has pleaded guilty to a charge of lying to FBI agents. George Papadopoulos, 30, pleaded guilty on Oct. 5, but the case wasn’t unsealed until Monday, when two other Trump associates were indicted by a federal grand jury. [HuffPo]

This is what’s wrong with the United States – and UofL specifically. University of Louisville interim athletic director Vince Tyra will make $100,000 a month in his position, according to a contract approved by the University of Louisville Athletic Association board of trustees. [C-J/AKN]

Paul Manafort and his former business associate were indicted on Monday on money laundering, tax and foreign lobbying charges, a significant escalation in a special counsel investigation that has cast a shadow over Donald Trump’s first year in office. [NY Times]

A professor with close ties to the Russian government told an adviser to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in April 2016 that Moscow had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails,” according to court documents unsealed Monday. The adviser, George Papadopoulos, has pleaded guilty to lying to the F.B.I. about that conversation. The plea represents the most explicit evidence connecting the Trump campaign to the Russian government’s meddling in last year’s election. [NY Times]

Here’s a good example of why Scott Jennings has turned into a wretched person. Forget that he cracked racist jokes at a CHURCH PICNIC (Fancy Farm). That he’s now unbelievably homophobic. Or that he’s aligned himself with both Donald Trump and Jamie Comer – two people with nasty histories of allegedly abuse of women. He’s lying about Democrats loving George W. Bush. It’s possible to think he’s more of a statesman than Donald Trump without being in love with him or his policies. The deliberate dishonesty that spews from Jennings will leave a terrible legacy for his kids to remember. Like Matt Bevin, his kids will ultimately see the shameful situation he helped put the country – and Kentucky – into. [BGDN]

The Drug Enforcement Administration has for five years steadfastly defended the behavior of its agents in a late-night drug seizure carried out with Honduran forces on the remote Mosquito Coast, a mission that resulted in the deaths of four Honduran civilians. [ProPublica]

Yep, Bevin’s “plan” harms the most important people in government. The people protecting you and the people teaching your children. Way to go, Republicans, for sticking it to the little people. [WFPL]

Natalia V. Veselnitskaya arrived at a meeting at Trump Tower in June 2016 hoping to interest top Trump campaign officials in the contents of a memo she believed contained information damaging to the Democratic Party and, by extension, Hillary Clinton. The material was the fruit of her research as a private lawyer, she has repeatedly said, and any suggestion that she was acting at the Kremlin’s behest that day is anti-Russia “hysteria.” [NY Times]

Hahahaha, keep dreaming, this is not going to happen. Carter County’s job numbers continue to improve. [Ashland Independent]

The National Association of Home Builders know how to demolish things, and on Saturday they decided to take on a new project — the House Republican tax bill. [WaPo]

Advocates and doctors in opioid-ravaged Kentucky urged Donald Trump’s acting chief health official to spend more money on fighting the drug epidemic one day after he signed an order declaring the crisis a national public health emergency. [Richmond Register]

Doug Corcoran is in the trenches every day in the fight against the opioid crisis in the rural Ohio county he helps oversee. So Donald Trump’s failure this week to formally declare the overdose epidemic a “national emergency” – words that would have freed up more federal funds to tackle the crisis – was disappointing for him. [Reuters]

Matt Bevin’s a walking piece of shit. Really, a walking, crazy-eyed piece of shit. Imagine being his child. [H-L]

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and onetime business associate Rick Gates were indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiracy and money laundering in connection with an intensifying investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. [HuffPo]

Facebook plans to tell lawmakers on Tuesday that 126 million of its users may have seen content produced and circulated by Russian operatives, many times more than what the company previously disclosed about the reach of the disinformation campaign during the 2016 presidential election, according to documents obtained by the Washington Post. [WaPo]

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