Bevin’s A National Embarrassment Again

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Many employees of Kentucky state government are headed toward the exits as Gov. Matt Bevin and the General Assembly debate the possibility of sweeping cuts to their pension benefits to address a massive funding shortfall. [John Cheves]

Surprise! I spent a decade preparing you for this Kentucky Retirement Systems disaster and now the mainstream media is trying to catch up. Better late than never. Now they’re trying to figure out how all of that is tied in with Matt Bevin. [HuffPo]

This David Yates case stinks to high heavens. That’s why he gets so animated and crazy when confronted over it. Because it’s a lot crazier than he’ll ever let on. Anyone who fully trusts him probably needs to reevaluate their life. I’m not saying N.C. isn’t a victim and that those two cops aren’t garbage humans with no business having badges but there’s a lot that’ll apparently never see the light of day. [C-J/AKN]

Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law and top adviser, wakes up each morning to a growing problem that will not go away. [Bloomberg]

Are better economic times ahead? No, they’re not. Not in Appalachian Kentucky. [Ashland Independent]

At least there’s Canada. For three months, the federal government has been secretly spiriting gay Chechen men from Russia to Canada, under a clandestine program unique in the world. [Globe & Mail]

You can thank Matt Bevin and the Republican Party of Kentucky for continuing to sink Kentucky’s economy. Madison County’s unemployment rate for July was more than a percentage point higher than a year earlier. Madison County is one of 99 Kentucky counties that saw their unemployment rates climb, according to data from the state Office of Employment and Training. [Richmond Register]

Yet another solid reason for impeachment. Special Counsel Robert Mueller has the draft of a letter that Donald Trump wrote to justify the firing of then-FBI Director James Comey, CBS News’ Major Garrett confirms, according to sources familiar with the White House and Justice Department process. The letter confirms what the president ultimately acknowledged days after Comey’s firing — that even before he received the assessment of Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton investigation from the Justice Department, he had already decided to terminate Comey. Originally, Mr. Trump and the White House said the president decided to fire Comey only after receiving the recommendation from Sessions and Rosenstein the same day. [CBS News]

More state workers retired last month than the year before amid concerns that the legislature and Gov. Matt Bevin (R-So Insane He Needs A Court-Appointed Guardian) will make changes to state retirement plans. [WFPL]

The Justice Department confirmed in a court filing there is no evidence that Trump Tower was targeted for surveillance by the Obama administration — contradicting Trump’s controversial claim first made in March. [USA Today]

Here’s what mouth-breathers like Walter Blevins Jr have been up to back in podunk. Fighting over yard signs and “free speech” as if any of that shit matters outside of Morehead. (It doesn’t even matter *in* Morehead.) [The Morehead News]

Robert S. Mueller III is teaming up with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in the investigation of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. This is extremely bad news for Manafort and others at the center of Mueller’s broader investigation into the campaign. [WaPo]

What on earth? No, the jobs aren’t here in Kentucky. There are low-end factory jobs but those are few and far between. There are not the kind of jobs that prevent brain drain or attract modern Americans to the Commonwealth. You can’t blame that shit on drugs. Dave Adkisson is part of the problem. [H-L]

Racism beams on high. Donald Trump plans to end an Obama-era program that protects young undocumented immigrants from deportation, according to multiple reports. [HuffPo]

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It’s Friday. That Means It’s Acceptable To Start Drinking Fine Kentucky Bourbon At Noon.

Surprise! Matt Bevin and the Republicans have wasted more than a million dollars on their bogus pension study. [H-L]

Spoiler alert: He doesn’t actually care about working people. None of the New Republicans care. [HuffPo]

Ousted University of Louisville Foundation President James Ramsey was the nation’s highest-paid officer at a public university foundation, and that could make him liable for big IRS penalties if his pay is deemed excessive. [C-J/AKN]

Rinat Akhmetshin, the lobbyist and former Soviet army officer who met senior Trump campaign aides at a controversial meeting last year, has given evidence before a grand jury investigation, according to two people familiar with the matter. [FT]

From a town to holidays and monuments, Kentucky has more than 50 public symbols of the Confederacy. However, since the events in Charlottesville, Va., many are calling for those symbols to be removed, including historians and politicians from both parties. [Richmond Register]

Explosions at a chemical plant near Houston posed a fresh worry for storm-battered Texas on Thursday while rescuers searched block by block for survivors of Hurricane Harvey and the death toll rose to 35 people. [Reuters]

The Ashland Board of Education is considering three options regarding their 2017-2018 tax rate, and those options will be presented by finance officer Kristen Martin at a special meeting scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Sept. 15 in the Ashland Head Start gym. [Ashland Independent]

The administration continues to quietly hire political staffers — more than 1,000 so far, many of them regulating industries they previously worked for — but we’ve uncovered more identities. [ProPublica]

About 100 people, most of them African American, filled the Capitol Rotunda on Wednesday as black leaders and lawmakers called on Gov. Matt Bevin to remove the statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis from the rotunda. [Ronnie Ellis]

Outbreaks of a deadly, sexually transmitted disease confound health officials, whose obstacles include drug shortages, uneducated doctors and gangs. [NY Times]

Really, WFPL? Claiming Bevin didn’t anticipate this impending Medicaid disaster? This is almost as bad as letting that d-bag harasser continue to work there while everyone else jumped ship. [WFPL]

After the sister of White House senior adviser Jared Kushner dropped his name in early May while pitching a real estate development to wealthy Chinese investors, one of Kushner’s lawyers quickly released a statement that he had already divested all interests in the venture known as One Journal Square. [WaPo]

Whether it’s a 30-year-old woman who has no time for doctor’s visits, or an embarrassed teen who doesn’t want to tell her parents she wants to use birth control, Nurx brings the doctor’s visit to their palms and eliminates a trip to the pharmacy. [H-L]

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Thursday declined to support the idea of replacing former President Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill with anti-slavery icon Harriet Tubman. [HuffPo]

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Jeff Hoover Doesn’t Have The Guts To Stand Up To Matt Bevin In A Way That Matters. Mark My Words: He Won’t.

I TOLD MATT BEVIN THERE WERE WORKERS COMP ISSUES AND HE IGNORED IT! A Frankfort man paid thousands of dollars in bribes to former state Personnel Secretary Tim Longmeyer in order to get and keep a state contract, a federal grand jury charged Wednesday. James Sullivan, 64, was indicted on one count of conspiring to bribe Longmeyer and three counts of paying bribes, according to a news release from acting U.S. Attorney Carltson S. Shier IV. [H-L]

More proof that Kentucky Republicans aren’t just stupid – they’re dangerous. They’re set to wreck the Commonwealth’s economy. And they’ll do it because Democrats don’t have the guts to fight. [H-L]

Donald Trump avoided tax reform specifics but he doesn’t have specifics. He can barely spell taxation, let alone give anyone the particulars of a non-existent plan. [HuffPo]

As Civil War statues disappear across the nation, black leaders and legislators called on Matt Bevin to remove a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis instead of flip-flopping on the issue. [C-J/AKN]

A senior State Department lawyer, Todd Buchwald, is stepping down in the coming weeks, joining scores of career civil and foreign service officers fleeing an administration that critics say has diminished the standing of U.S. diplomacy, according to friends and colleagues. [Foreign Policy]

Maybe Jeff Hoover should do something about it instead of cowering like a snowflake? Jeff Hoover told reporters Tuesday he was disappointed with Republican Gov. Matt Bevin’s recent comments about teachers. [WKYT]

Defense Secretary James Mattis on Wednesday sought to downplay Donald Trump’s earlier assertion that seemed to rule out a diplomatic solution to North Korea’s ongoing missile tests. [The Hill]

The Republican Party of Kentucky has blood on its hands for fighting so long against efforts to combat the opioid epidemic. [Richmond Register]

The Trump administration has blocked a rule requiring U.S. employers to report detailed pay data broken down by gender and race, echoing business groups by saying it would not have the intended effect of addressing wage gaps. [Reuters]

The city of Ashland is delaying a planned ordinance to target drug houses as it seeks more community input on combating the narcotics problem within the community. [Ashland Independent]

Before high winds and heavy rain began to lash this city overnight, Roy Joe Cox tucked into the spot under the freeway that he calls home and assessed his hurricane supplies. Four hot dogs. A bag of shrimp. A couple of cupcakes. His American Tourister rolling suitcase, fitted with a spare pair of jeans and not much else. [NY Times]

The Metcalfe Fiscal Court voted during its Aug. 22 meeting to take the compensating tax rate in setting the county 2017 property tax rates and the 2018 motor vehicle and watercraft tax rates. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A landmark drug study has opened up a potent way to lower the risk of heart attacks — beyond the now standard advice of reducing cholesterol — promising new avenues of treatment of Americans’ number one killer. [WaPo]

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray has asked the Lexington Cemetery’s board to “help heal the soul of our city” by taking two controversial Confederate statues that have stood in downtown Lexington for more than 100 years. [H-L]

This guy is a perfect example of why churches should not be tax-exempt. Nothing more needs to be said. [HuffPo]

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RPK Is Trying Extra-Hard To Kill Education Right Now And Your Kids Will Pay The Price

Twenty percent of Kentucky’s 42,020 public school teachers already are eligible to retire, but for whatever professional or personal reasons, they reported for work this month when classes started. [John Cheves]

“Conservatism” is no longer a thing. It’s been hijacked by New Nazis. If you’re a Republican today? That means you. You own this shit. [HuffPo]

If Dan Johnson wants to be taken seriously, he needs to ditch his racist attorney. Then he needs to be evaluated for acquired traumatic brain injury. But mostly he needs to ditch that racist twat. [C-J/AKN]

What do Kentucky Fried Chicken founder Harland Sanders, Donald Trump Jr. and Betty White have in common? They’re all commissioned Kentucky colonels, honorary aides-de-camp to the commonwealth’s governor. They have no official duties. Nor any perks, not even a discount on mint juleps. [WSJ]

Morehead State University’s new president, Dr. Joseph “Jay” Morgan, said enrollment for the public institution looks solid for the fall. [The Morehead News]

Just a reminder that AT&T got its ass handed to it in court for attempting to thwart the expansion of Google Fiber. [TechDirt]

Prior to a work session last week, the Madison County Board of Education voted in favor of a slight tax increase during a special tax hearing. The board voted to increase the property tax rate to 62.4 cents per $100 of assessed value, which is only a 0.6 percent increase from last year’s rate of 61.8. [Richmond Register]

Donald Trump is such a shitsack that he bragged about crowd size after touching down in Houston! What the hell is wrong with you Scott Jennings motherfuckers who continue to support this buffoon? [The Hill]

After years of pretending to do the right thing, the New Nazi Republican Party of Kentucky has decided to kill Kentucky’s pension system. All of these people need to be physically dragged through the streets of Frankfort because this is a massive redistribution of wealth. The hardest working Kentuckians get the shaft while the wealthy hedge funders get a guaranteed payday. Fuck all of them. And if you ever have the chance, knee them in their fat guts. [Ashland Independent]

The police arrested two men, including a member of the Ku Klux Klan, and were seeking a third in connection with violent episodes that took place at the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va., this month, including the beating of an African-American man that was caught on video and widely shared on social media. [NY Times]

Attorney Danny Basil provided a written update to the Glasgow City Council on Monday outlining the understandings reached after he met with Glasgow Electric Plant Board officials and representatives on Aug. 16. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Yep, he lied about not trying to do business in Russia. While Donald Trump was running for president in late 2015 and early 2016, his company was pursuing a plan to develop a massive Trump Tower in Moscow, according to several people familiar with the proposal and new records reviewed by Trump Organization lawyers. [WaPo]

For the second year in a row, Berea College has been named the top liberal arts college in the United States. This ranking, however, is not from U.S. News and World Report, and it doesn’t look at ACT scores or the size of a school’s endowment. Instead, Washington Monthly’s 12th annual college ranking judges schools on how well they serve low-income and first-generation college students, the kinds of jobs graduates get, and how much public service they perform. [Linda Blackford]

Harvey’s floodwaters run thick with petrochemicals in some communities, the result of unbridled industry, Wild West regulations and environmental racism. [HuffPo]

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Kentucky Republicans Are Bad For You

Now’s the time – start dragging these idiot Republicans in Frankfort from office. Don’t wait until 2018. Figure out a way now. And never let them live it down. [H-L]

Suspicious ties between Donald Trump and the Russian government just keep appearing. In 2015, a Russian-born real estate broker working for the Trump Organization, Felix Sater, reportedly wrote a series of emails to Michael Cohen, Trump’s lawyer, attempting to broker a deal for a Trump Tower in Moscow. [HuffPo]

The new managers of University of Louisville Hospital are considering the politically charged question of whether to grant two local clinics an agreement the state says they need to provide abortions. [C-J/AKN]

This is some of the dumbest shit yet. These New Nazis need to be dragged from office. [The Hill]

OH GOD WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE. The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) is reporting four human cases of West Nile virus infection in Kentucky residents. [Richmond Register]

Damages from Hurricane Harvey’s ravaging of Houston and the Texas Gulf Coast are estimated to be well below those from the major storms that hit New Orleans and New York in recent years, insurance executives have said. [Reuters]

Welcome to the Boyd County Detention Center. Population: zero. A week after maximum security inmates led an uprising and set hallway doors ablaze, the jail is still closed and the only sounds coming out of it are generated by repair crews. [Ashland Independent]

A pair of advocacy groups said Monday they are going to court to overturn the Trump administration’s ban on transgender troops serving in the military, in the latest legal assault on the controversial directive. [Politico]

For Sharon Sandifer-Bethea, the seemingly never ending waiting game for the ruling on her expungement has finally come to an end. [The Morehead News]

Mr. Sater presented himself as so influential in Russia that he helped arrange a 2006 trip that Mr. Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, took to Moscow. “I arranged for Ivanka to sit in Putins private chair at his desk and office in the Kremlin,” he said. [NY Times]

Ordinances regarding property tax rates for the 2017 year were recently approved by the Hart County Fiscal Court. [Glasgow Daily Times]

William “Brock” Long, newly installed as director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said in an interview a few weeks ago that there was one thing that worried him most when it comes to natural disasters: “You know what’s keeping me up at night? This country has not been hit by a major hurricane since 2005.” [WaPo]

A Somerset woman who was found dead on Thursday in a church was murdered, perhaps late Tuesday or early Wednesday, according to Pulaski County coroner Clyde Strunk. [H-L]

Mexico told Donald Trump again in no uncertain terms that it will not be paying for his proposed border wall, no matter what he says — or tweets — on the matter. The country said, however, that it stands in “full solidarity” with the U.S. as Tropical Storm Harvey batters Texas ― and offered “all the help that can be provided” as “good neighbors should.” [HuffPo]

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Bevin’s About To Bungle Pension Mess

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

A former administrative law judge was sentenced Friday to four years in prison for taking $600,000 in bribes during the largest fraud in the history of the Social Security program. [H-L]

In an awkward interview, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson suggested that the president of the United States doesn’t necessarily speak for the nation in expressing American values. [HuffPo]

Remember when digital storage went missing in the Robert Felner era? Looks like it’s continued for a decade. The state attorney general’s criminal investigations department is looking into the erasure of a computer used by ousted University of Louisville President James Ramsey, the university has told the Courier-Journal. [C-J/AKN]

Ohio Gov. John Kasich has joined the ranks of Republicans criticizing Trump for pardoning former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, saying Sunday that the president created a “political wedge” with his action. [WaPo]

These are things you should pay attention to. Several roads in the City of Richmond are set to be paved this year using funds out of the city’s Municipal Aid Road Fund. The Richmond City Commission on Tuesday voted to award the paving work to the Allen Company, which submitted a bid for just under $525,000. [Richmond Register]

Months before Trump issued his Friday-night pardon of Joe Arpaio, the former Arizona sheriff, the president asked his attorney general and White House counsel whether the case could be dropped altogether, according to four administration officials familiar with the discussion. [NY Times]

Morehead State University’s new president, Dr. Joseph “Jay” Morgan, said enrollment for the public institution looks solid for the Fall. [Ashland Independent]

The Trump administration plans to sharply reduce the government’s estimate of how much each ton of carbon emissions harms the planet. It hasn’t done so yet, and that delay is slowing Trump’s effort to expand coal mining and gas pipelines. [ProPublica]

Community members had the opportunity to meet Mammoth Cave National Park’s new superintendent, Barclay Trimble, Thursday night during a reception held in his honor at the Lodge at Mammoth Cave. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Donald Trump should not have pardoned a former Arizona sheriff who was convicted of criminal contempt in a case of racial profiling, the Republican speaker of the House of Representatives, Paul Ryan, said on Saturday. [Reuters]

If Matt Bevin gave two shits about the pension disaster, he’d do more than run his mouth. Pretty sure no one can deny I was at the forefront of KRS coverage – remember when a book was written based on that coverage? – and his entire staff have refused to meet with any of the experts I know. He’s solely in bed with hedgefund middlemen and those are the folks in charge. [WFPL]

The White House’s Friday guidance to stop accepting transgender people into the military and to potentially oust those already serving will be difficult to implement fully, according to legal experts. [The Hill]

Students start class at the University of Kentucky on Wednesday, and for parents, that means money. Money for tuition, housing, food and books. [Linda Blackford]

As severe flooding threatened Texas residents in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Dumbass Donald Trump on Sunday focused on the “wonderful” response by government officials to the storm while marveling at the disaster’s scope. [HuffPo]

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Disavow Donald Trump & Hate Or Face Political & Professional Consequences, Republican Party of Kentucky

Kentucky has made some of the deepest cuts to higher education in the country since 2008, putting it among the 10 states with the biggest per-student funding reductions for public universities and community colleges, according to a new study. [Linda Blackford]

If you’re a Republican in Kentucky and support this discriminatory mess OR support Donald Trump? I’m coming for your dying political career. The White House will give the Pentagon six months to enact Donald Trump’s ban on transgender servicemen and women in the military, according to a Wall Street Journal report Wednesday night. [HuffPo]

Here’s your DUH moment of the century. Moving public employees into 401(k)-style pension plans would not help Kentucky dig its way out its pension funding crisis, according to a report released Tuesday by a group called the Kentucky Public Pension Coalition. [C-J/AKN]

Ohio’s Department of Insurance said on Thursday that non-profit managed care company CareSource will sell health plans in Paulding County next year – the last county in the United States that would have been without Obamacare individual coverage in 2018. [Reuters]

Tax reform is “off the table” for a likely October special session to tackle how to shore up Kentucky’s badly underfunded public pension system. Republican Speaker of the House, Jeff Hoover, R-One of the dumbest people you’ll meet, said Thursday that Gov. Matt Bevin has agreed to hold off on tax reform until lawmakers can first deal with the pension systems which are estimated to face unfunded liabilities of between $37 billion and $60 billion. [Ronnie Ellis]

Most tech companies have policies against working with hate websites. Yet a ProPublica survey found that PayPal, Stripe, Newsmax and others help keep more than half of the most-visited extremist sites in business. [ProPublica]

How long until this situation explodes in a nightmare scandal? Six months? A year? I’d dig in deep if Democrats weren’t so keen on twiddling their thumbs. [More Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump’s vow Tuesday to close down the government if he doesn’t get money for the border wall mirrors private comments he has made to advisers in recent days — and could cause significant rifts within his own party if he follows through. [Politicrow]

The Appalachian region has far higher mortality rates, incidences of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and depression than the rest of the country — and the Central Appalachian region that includes Eastern Kentucky has even higher morbidity rates than other parts of the Appalachian region. [Even More Ronnie Ellis]

This human embodiment of a shart thinks he can tear the press down. Ultimately, it’s going to be the press that tears him down. Along with his shady-ass family. [NY Times]

It’s nice to see people like Carla Wallace speaking up about Kentucky Farm Bureau’s anti-gay discrimination these days. Because she was one of the people who dragged her feet out of indifference (yes you did, goddamnit, so don’t even try to dispute it) and criticized me for promoting Todd Eklof all those years ago. She’s proof that people can wake up and do the right thing. And this entire situation is proof that you should listen to people who ring bells loudly with a track record of being right. [WFPL]

Just before Trump strolled onto the rally stage on Tuesday evening, four speakers took turns carefully denouncing hate, calling for unity and ever so subtly assuring the audience that the president is not racist. [WaPo]

I don’t know about Bill but Matt Bevin’s staff refused to take seriously the material I possess that could have potentially jailed a few Kentucky Retirement Systems folks. Bevin is one of those people – like Trump – we’ll roll our eyes about in 20 years when he dies of natural causes because he’s a goddamn idiot. [H-L]

At least 20 organizations have canceled fundraisers and events at Donald Trump’s resort in Palm Beach, Florida ― many after his tirade last week defending the white nationalist, KKK and neo-Nazi groups that sparked deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. [HuffPo]

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