You’re Pigging Out Today While Kids Go Hungry Probably Just Miles From You

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Attorney General Andy Beshear said Wednesday that changes in Gov. Matt Bevin’s proposed public pension bill dealing with the cost-of-living adjustment formula violate state law. [H-L]

A bipartisan group of more than 20 former federal prosecutors has urged Donald Trump to stand by his recent statements and allow special counsel Robert Mueller to conduct his investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 election without interference. [HuffPo]

Mayor Greg Fischer leaped to the defense of Louisville police Thursday after Gov. Matt Bevin criticized the city’s use of police overtime during a year-in-review press conference. “It is sad and surprising that a governor would criticize the hard-working men and women of our Louisville Metro Police Department, who put their lives on the line 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to protect our community,” the mayor said. [C-J/AKN]

Last May, a top White House national security official met in Washington with senior Russian officials and handed over details of a secret operation Israel had shared with its U.S. counterparts. The meeting shocked veteran U.S. counterspies. The American official was not arrested, and he continues to work in the White House today, albeit under close scrutiny. [Newsweek]

Three years ago, a then 8-year-old autistic girl spent 17 days in the hospital. She suffered from dehydration, malnutrition, bruises and pressure sores. Her body temperature was 10 degrees below normal. She came close to dying, prosecutors have said. [Richmond Register]

The pace of U.S. vehicle sales is set to slow for the third straight month in December despite aggressive discounts from manufacturers, according to industry consultants J.D. Power and LMC Automotive. [Reuters]

Kentucky attorney Eric C. Conn, who fled the country after pleading guilty to charges of social security fraud, has been captured in Honduras and returned to the United States after being on the run for nearly six months. [Ashland Independent]

The US Congress has passed a short-term bill to fund the federal government until next month, averting a shutdown of government agencies. [BBC]

Matt Bevin has scheduled special elections on consecutive Tuesdays in February to fill sudden vacancies in the 49th and 89th state House districts. [Ronnie Ellis]

At this sprawling steel mill on the outskirts of Philadelphia, the workers have one number in mind. Not how many tons of steel roll off the line, or how many hours they work, but where they fall on the plant’s seniority list. [NY Times]

Glasgow Electric Plant Board cable television customers who did not like the idea of losing WHAS beginning Jan. 1 may be relieved to learn that decision has been reversed – probably. [Glasgow Daily Times]

His tenure as a top U.S. counterterrorism official coincided with the rise of the Islamic State, a wave of attacks in Europe, and a surge in terrorist recruiting through online propaganda. But as Nicholas Rasmussen approached the end of his five-year run at the National Counterterrorism Center this month — including three years as director — he voiced concern that efforts to protect the United States from mass casualty attacks are being undermined by the nation’s policies on guns. [WaPo]

There are a lot of ideas on the drawing board or in the works to help diversify the economy of Eastern Kentucky in the wake of a crash in coal jobs, including a drone-testing facility, a large solar-power array, a wildlife center and a factory to make high-tech batteries. Some people want to add casino gambling to the list. [H-L]

The Trump administration has abruptly cut off funding for studying the safety of offshore drilling, halting a 21-month project to determine the best ways to avoid a repeat of 2010′s devastating Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The study began last year and was supposed to review and update government regulators’ outdated offshore inspection programs to improve safety. [HuffPo]

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Bevin Harms Progress On Opioid Front

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Grant the Republican Party leaders one thing: their tactics in passing their hugely unpopular tax bill have been consistent—consistently evasive. [New Yorker]

Kentucky’s Democratic attorney general says his efforts to sue companies that make powerfully addictive opioid-based painkillers have been stymied by Republican Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration. [H-L]

They were obtained lawfully. An organization established for Donald Trump’s transition to the White House a year ago said on Saturday that the special counsel investigating allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 election had obtained tens of thousands of emails unlawfully. [HuffPo]

This backward-ass person thinks the media attacked her husband because he wasn’t liberal. This is how lunatics like Danny Ray Johnson and his now-candidate wife operate. They lie, cheat, con their way into the public eye. They excuse alleged child rape. They blame others for alleged arson. They blame everyone but themselves. Can’t wait until she, as a candidate, faces scrutiny. The hate these people have pushed is unbelievable. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump has insisted that he will be tougher on terrorism than his predecessor, but a new report indicates that the White House may be planning to reduce funding for key U.S. counterterrorism programs and to eliminate one program altogether. [Foreign Policy]

Three years ago, a then 8-year-old autistic girl spent 17 days in the hospital. She suffered from dehydration, malnutrition, bruises and pressure sores. Her body temperature was 10 degrees below normal. She came close to dying, prosecutors have said. [Richmond Register]

The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee says he is worried that President Trump has not issued an “outright condemnation” of Russia for meddling in the 2016 election. [The Hill]

Getting children into good preschool programs is a key to making them ready to learn in kindergarten, according to some local educators. [Ashland Independent]

The Trump administration put new requirements in place on Friday for the 38 countries participating in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program, including that they use U.S. counterterrorism data to screen travelers, officials said. [Reuters]

Two eastern Kentuckians are in jail after police arrested them during a controlled buy in downtown Morehead on Tuesday. [The Morehead News]

As another fevered push to open the pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to energy exploration collapsed on the Senate floor in December 2005, Ted Stevens, then the powerful and wily Republican senator from Alaska, declared it “the saddest day of my life.” [NY Times]

Barren Metcalfe County Family Court Judge W. Mitchell Nance should know by the end of next week whether he’ll face a public reprimand from Kentucky’s Judicial Conduct Commission. [Ronnie Ellis]

The Trump administration will suspend a rule to limit methane leaks from oil and gas operations on federal land, but its true aim may be to kill the Obama-era requirement. A notice slated to be published Friday in the Federal Register by the Bureau of Land Management said the agency “has concerns regarding the statutory authority, cost, complexity, feasibility, and other implications” of the 2016 rule, which is set to go fully into effect next month. [WaPo]

That ought to end miserably. The widow of state Rep. Dan Johnson, who committed suicide Wednesday night, said she will seek to replace him in the legislature. [H-L]

Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee may be looking to prematurely shutter the committee’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, a ranking Democrat warned Friday. [HuffPo]

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New Republicans: Still Choking Kentucky

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Really, Tom Eblen? Asking what state officials are going to do about pedestrian deaths in Lexington? Absolutely nothing. You already know that. Because nothing’s ever been done in Louisville. [Tom Eblen]

It was billed as radical tax reform ― reducing taxes for the middle class and closing loopholes for the rich ― but the Republicans have come under serious fire for offering the biggest breaks to companies and the wealthy. [HuffPo]

General Electric Co. will cut 12,000 jobs in its power division as alternative energy supplants demand for coal and other fossil fuels. [C-J/AKN]

A zealous band of Russian trolls flooded Twitter with hundreds of thousands of divisive posts in 2016 — accusing Democrats of satanic practices and supporting rape — in an attempt to influence the presidential election, according to a new analysis of a Twitter database by NBC News. The effort tricked thousands of users into spreading graphic racial epithets across social media, interweaving provocative content with disinformation and falsehoods. [NBC News]

As talks for pension reform continues, many state employees, especially teachers, have been looking closer at retirement. [Richmond Register]

State lawmakers often blur the line between the public’s business and their own. A recent change in Iowa’s tax code spared Mark Chelgren’s machine shop, welding company and wheelchair-parts plant from paying sales tax when buying certain supplies such as saws and cutting fluid. [Public Integrity]

It’s been three years since Sabrina Sigman last saw her son. Paul Clifton Sigman disappeared sometime in the early morning hours of Dec. 2, 2014. [Ashland Independent]

Here’s a grim picture of the state of the American economy: The CEO of Dollar General explained to the Wall Street Journal why things are looking up for his company. [Vox]

An updated analysis of Kentucky’s poorly funded public pension systems by PEW Charitable Trust indicates previous reforms of the system enacted in 2013 put the systems “on track to full funding provided the state continues to stay on the course charted in 2013.” [Ronnie Ellis]

The mission that resulted in the death of eight soldiers — including four Americans — in a firefight with Islamist militants in Niger earlier this year was the result of reckless behavior by US Special Forces in Africa, according to insiders and officials with knowledge of the operation. [BuzzFeed]

Dennis Chaney, district director for the Barren River District Health Department, is on Monday’s agenda for the Glasgow City Council meeting to discuss information about syringe exchanges. [Glasgow Daily Times]

U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller unveiled a trove of documents on Friday showing what he said was “irrefutable evidence” that Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort violated a court gag order by ghost-writing an opinion piece designed to improve his public image. [Reuters]

The DCCC pushed Jim Gray to run for Congress for a couple reasons. It fears and wants to overlook the black man already in the race. And the woman in the race is backed by the absolute worst people in Kentucky politics. And no, Gray has no shot. [H-L]

His actions speak louder than his words. You know he’s racist and his words are empty. [HuffPo]

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Frankfort Proves It Doesn’t Care About You

“Something don’t seem fair.” That’s what Mark Lunsford told reporter Bill Estep when he learned the property tax rate on his 21-foot bass boat is 30 times that levied on luxury houseboats that can cost upwards of $250,000. [H-L]

In a major win for the telecom industry, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced plans Tuesday to scrap net neutrality regulations that require internet providers to treat all content equally. [HuffPo]

The Trump administration is questioning whether Louisville is out of step with federal law after approving a measure that prohibits police and other city employees from enforcing immigration statutes — and implying the city could lose more than half a million dollars as a result. [C-J/AKN]

It was just before 9 a.m. one day last July, and Noemi Martinez was on her way from one job interview to the next, running to catch a bus on Atlantic Boulevard in Jacksonville, Fla. [ProPublica]

After years of investigating, Louisville police and federal agents captured eight people suspected of skimming credit card information from gas stations in the city. The arrests were made after the individuals stole more than $3.5 million through skimmed card information. [WFPL]

No sitting justice on the Supreme Court has indicated plans to leave any time soon. But tell that to Trump, who announced on Friday his latest slate of judicial candidates to fill a vacancy that — as far as anyone knows — does not exist. [NY Times]

Warren County Public Schools Superintendent Rob Clayton and several board of education members support allowing teachers to take time off work to attend a rally in Frankfort during an as-yet-unannounced special legislative session to reform the state’s ailing pension system. [BGDN]

Since 1997, Congress’ Office of Compliance has paid more than $17 million for 264 settlements and awards to federal employees for violations of various employment rules including, The Washington Post reported last month, sexual harassment. [WaPo]

Kentucky’s attorney general is unable to determine if Braidy Industries, the beneficiary of a $15 million investment from the state, is a public agency because it hasn’t completed a fiscal year yet. [Ronnie Ellis]

The Department of Homeland Security violated two court orders in the days after Donald Trump issued a temporary travel ban on citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries, according to the department’s watchdog. [Reuters]

They’re not there. Matt Bevin said earlier this week he believes the votes are there in the General Assembly to pass pension reform legislation. [More Ronnie Ellis]

A US judge has permanently blocked a presidential order that would have cut funding from US cities refusing to co-operate with immigration officials. [BBC]

University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto is planning to quickly replace Provost Tim Tracy, who announced Nov. 1 that he’s leaving to become the CEO of the Cincinnati-based Aprecia Pharmaceuticals. The search will be internal, not national, and he intends to choose someone by mid-December. [Linda Blackford]

Nineteen Asian-Americans protesting outside Speaker Paul Ryan’s office on Capitol Hill were arrested Wednesday while calling for him to move the Dream Act to a vote. [HuffPo]

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Reminder: Ethics Aren’t A Thing In KY

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]

Even as nearly 70 major U.S. city and county police forces have begun outfitting their officers with body cameras, departmental policies limit the cameras’ ability to bring accountability and transparency to law enforcement, according to a study published Tuesday. [HuffPo]

Alison Grimes should get Jim Higdon added to her committee posthaste. And medical marijuana should obviously be a thing in Kentucky. [C-J/AKN]

Democratic leaders are increasingly confident that they’ll win back the House in 2018. [The Hill]

In a move that President Michael Benson called a “calculated risk,” the Eastern Kentucky University Board of Regents approved a tuition freeze for the 2018-19 academic year after a request from the university president Wednesday afternoon during a regular session. [Richmond Register]

More than 800,000 people signed up for Obamacare individual health insurance plans in the second week of open enrollment, U.S. government health officials said on Wednesday, bringing the total number of sign-ups to nearly 1.5 million so far. [Reuters]

More children live in deep poverty in three of five Northeast Kentucky counties than five years ago, according to Kentucky Youth Advocates, a non-profit child advocacy organization. [Ashland Independent]

The US House of Representatives will require anti-sexual harassment training for all members of staff, House Speaker Paul Ryan has announced. [BBC]

Matt Bevin’s stupid stunt that attempted to gut the Education Professional Standards Board has been kicked square in the nuts. [Ronnie Ellis]

After the financial crisis in 2008, the Obama administration turned one of the banking industry’s friendliest regulators into one of its toughest. But that agency is now starting to look like its old self — and becoming a vital player in the Trump administration’s campaign to roll back regulations. [NY Times]

Profiting from the imprisonment of humans is anti-christian and about as immoral as possible. So of course Kentucky Republicans and John Tilley are into it. [WFPL]

Meetings he had with the Russian ambassador during the campaign. Campaign-related conversations he had with the Russian ambassador. Shutting down campaign aide George Papadopoulos after Papadopoulos suggested then-candidate Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin get together. [WaPo]

This is just stupid. No, Lexington won’t become the largest city in the United States with citywide gigabit internet. It won’t even be the largest city in the state. [H-L]

Around half of the world’s household wealth is in the hands of the richest 1 percent of adults, according to a study published Tuesday by the financial services company Credit Suisse. [HuffPo]

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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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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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