Seems Kentucky Republicans Are Ruining Literally Everything They Touch

A prosecutor for the Legislative Ethics Commission has a copy of a secret settlement that four Republican House members made with a legislative employee who accused them of sexual harassment. [H-L]

This may be the craziest shit ever. The Pentagon is reportedly pushing a new retaliation tactic should the U.S. ever be hit by a devastating cyberattack: America could nuke the culprit. [HuffPo]

No, he won’t be able to clean the University of Louisville up. That won’t be possible until 100% of leadership there is gone – including every member of the foundation and the board. Source: My decade plus of uncovering UofL messes. No one knows that better than me. [C-J/AKN]

FBI agents showed up at Steve Bannon’s Washington home last week intent on serving him with a subpoena to appear before a grand jury investigating possible ties between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia, according to a source familiar with the proceedings. [NBC News]

Matt Begin is a garbage human being. Matt Bevin says he will end Medicaid benefits for more than 400,000 Kentuckians if the courts stop him from requiring many of them to work. [Richmond Register]

Most members of a U.S. National Park Service advisory board, appointed while Barack Obama was president, have resigned after saying they were ignored by Donald Trump’s administration, the panel chairman said on Tuesday. [Reuters]

The City of Ashland was slapped with a $4,500 fine by the state Energy and Environmental Cabinet for a violation at the wastewater treatment plant. [Ashland Independent]

A study released late last year gives environmental experts a way to quantify how much RDX, a chemical used in military explosives, is spreading into surrounding communities. [ProPublica]

Morehead City Council voted unanimously last Monday during its monthly meeting to pass the first reading of an ordinance instituting additional and higher insurance premium fees. [The Morehead News]

Medicaid work requirements are a solution in search of a problem. Also, a pox on all the houses of shitty Republicans like Matt Bevin who push this racist nonsense. [WaPo]

Incumbent Barren County Judge-Executive Micheal Hale filed his papers to run for re-election Friday, and on Tuesday. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Bevin might care to glance south over the border. In 2005, Tennessee removed 170,000 people — almost one in 10 Medicaid beneficiaries in the state, mainly working-age adults without children — from its Medicaid program to save money. They didn’t do well. The cuts didn’t just eat into poor Tennesseans’ finances. One study found that childless adults in Tennessee — especially the least educated — started delaying or forgoing visits to the doctor. They reported suffering more days in bad health and incapacitated. And they recorded more visits to hospital emergency rooms, which are required by law to care for all comers, regardless of their ability to pay. Delayed care can kill. [NY Times]

Attorney General Andy Beshear is setting up a new unit in his office to investigate and prosecute sexual assault cold cases. [H-L]

All these wingnuts are essentially the same. A climate denial group protected a former executive charged with stalking a colleague. [HuffPo]

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Budget Proves Bevin’s Worthlessness

Matt Bevin proposed a two-year state budget Tuesday night that would eliminate “about 70” state government programs and cut spending at many state agencies by 6.25 percent. [H-L]

Pope Francis said on Monday he was really afraid about the danger of nuclear war and that the world now stood at “the very limit”. [HuffPo]

Choked and knocked unconscious, Jeanette McCue said a violent attack in 2016 by her husband left her bruised and battered, with black eyes, a split lip and marks around her neck. The attack that sent her husband to prison for 10 years was shocking enough, she said. But she was shocked further when she sought to divorce him and discovered that an obscure provision of Kentucky law required her to pay for his lawyer, because as an inmate, he had no means to hire one. [C-J/AKN]

In a notable back flip, the Trump administration has decided that maybe the Obama administration was right in its efforts to change the way doctors and hospitals are paid under Medicare. [NY Times]

On a bitterly cold night, Matt Bevin promised a joint session of the General Assembly to fully fund the state’s poorly funded public pension systems, purchase more cruisers for Kentucky State Police, spend more on foster care and adoption and devote an extra $34 million to the fight against opioid addiction. [Ronnie Ellis]

The slope rises as high as London’s Big Ben tower. Beneath its ruddy layer of dirt is a sheet of ice 300 feet thick that gives the landscape a blue-black hue. If such a scene sounds otherworldly, it is. To visit it, you’ll have to travel to Mars. [WaPo]

Ashland commission members are mulling whether to turn the city’s vacant city attorney job into a full-time position. [Ashland Independent]

Outsiders like this have no business drafting narratives – and that’s what this is. They ignore Jack Conway, ignore Democratic Party inaction, ignore the dishonest and immoral Republican messaging backed by outsider dark money, ignores that Kentucky generally has low turnout, ignores that media in Kentucky has been dying for years. [TPM]

Following the recent retirement of Rowan Circuit Clerk Jim Barker, I, as Chief Circuit Judge for the 21st Judicial Circuit, requested that any Rowan County citizen who had taken and passed the Dec. 2, 2017, Circuit Clerk’s examination, apply for the temporary appointment to be interim Rowan County Circuit Clerk for the remainder of the current term, which will end upon certification of the November 2018 General Election. [The Morehead News]

Instead of responding to open records requests, some local governments have filed lawsuits against those who ask for public information in order to keep it secret. Like at the University of Kentucky. [Reason]

Four Republican lawmakers facing sexual harassment allegations waived a preliminary hearing before the Kentucky Ethics Commission Tuesday setting up a public hearing on the charges sometime before mid-April. [More Ronnie Ellis]

Steve Bannon told lawmakers investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election that the White House instructed him not to answer questions related to his tenure as a top White House adviser, prompting a rare subpoena to compel testimony, multiple congressional sources tell NBC News. [NBC News]

Matt Bevin had plenty to say about education in his budget address Tuesday night to lawmakers, saying he wished he could do more for students in classrooms while admonishing school districts that pay too many administrators. He also talked about spending “millions of dollars” in reserves held by both local school districts and state universities. [Linda Blackford]

Just a few days before a shutdown, lawmakers are still sorting out how they plan to fund the government past Friday. [HuffPo]

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Amoral, Cowardly Republican Hypocrites

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit that sought to stop the discharge of pollutants into Herrington Lake. Meanwhile, the two environmental groups that filed the complaint are considering whether to appeal. [H-L]

Donald Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon will be interviewed next week by a U.S. House of Representatives committee investigating alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, a person familiar with the matter said on Thursday. [HuffPo]

Jefferson County Public Schools is one step closer to naming a permanent leader after the district’s school board named acting Superintendent Marty Pollio and Chief Operations Officer Michael Raisor as finalists for the position Tuesday night. [C-J/AKN]

More than 200 workers clocked in for their final shifts on Thursday at Carrier Corp. in Indianapolis in the latest round of layoffs at a plant President Donald Trump toured in December 2016 to trumpet a deal to save jobs and prevent its closure. [Reuters]

The City of Richmond has been recycling for more than a quarter of a century. It started out small, allowing people to drop off recyclables at the Marc Center on Main Street and picking up on seven city streets. [Richmond Register]

The largest advocacy group for older Americans and the two top members of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging are calling on employers and tech companies to stop limiting recruitment ads on Facebook and other online sites to younger workers. [ProPublica]

A new rule officially approved by the Ashland commission allows the city to remove unsightly items on private properties if property owners don’t comply with a violation notice within 24 hours. [Ashland Independent]

Mitch McConnell is a liar. Walmart has revealed plans to shut dozens of its Sam’s Club wholesale shops and lay-off thousands of workers. [BBC]

Kentucky Republicans have no morals and no courage. The Republican-led Kentucky House of Representatives last Tuesday voted without opposition to repeal a recently enacted rule governing investigation of charges against members, including most notably one-time Speaker Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown. [Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump’s approval rating fell across a wide swath of demographic groups over his first year in office, including among those seen as important to his base, like white voters, evangelical Christians and those who live in rural areas. [NY Times]

Glasgow sits at “a critical juncture” in the infrastructure of the Kentucky Wired project, said Phillip Brown, executive director for the Kentucky Communications Network Authority, the entity created to oversee it. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The record-crushing cold that rung in 2018 was like a blast from the past that, in the future, will become increasingly rare. [WaPo]

When will Kentucky Republicans realize that the First Amendment is a thing that they need to comprehend? Kentucky motorists could not use their phones to take video or photos of car wrecks — or post them to social media — as they drive past crash sites under House Bill 149, filed Friday by freshman state Rep. Melinda Gibbons Prunty, R-Belton. [H-L]

U.S. Ambassador to Panama John Feeley, a career diplomat and former Marine Corps helicopter pilot, has resigned, saying he no longer felt able to serve Donald Trump. [HuffPo]

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Pension Reform: Still Not A Real Thing

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

Testimony began Monday in a trial in which Fayette Circuit Judge Thomas Travis must decide whether a for-profit college misled prospective students. [H-L]

Federal law doesn’t make domestic terrorism a stand-alone crime. As a result, law enforcement is “somewhat reluctant” to call domestic extremists “terrorists.” [HuffPo]

An emerging concern over the pension reform bill about to be filed in the General Assembly is that it may call for increased funding for the plans by hundreds of millions of dollars more than necessary. [C-J/AKN]

The Trump administration told U.S. states on Thursday they can for the first time move toward imposing work or job training requirements on people as a condition for obtaining health insurance under the Medicaid government program for the poor. [Reuters]

The attorney for a Greensburg-based, now former lawyer accused of misusing client funds to pay off gambling debts has requested and received extra time to prepare his defense in the federal case against his client. [Glasgow Daily Times]

New research by Canadian scientists into the spread of a chemical commonly used in military explosives has confirmed some of the worst fears of U.S. environmental regulators tracking the threat posed by the Pentagon’s handling of its munitions in this country. [ProPublica]

Kentucky’s public institutions of higher education have been directed by Matt Bevin to immediately reduce their current budgets by 1 percent. Morehead State University is losing $416,425. [The Morehead News]

The US House of Representatives has passed a controversial law allowing US spy agencies to continue intercepting Americans’ private communications. [BBC]

Kentucky Electric Steel will close its plant on South Big Run Road in Boyd County in March in a move that will cost 113 people their jobs. [Ashland Independent]

To scientists who study lakes and rivers, it seems humans have embarked on a huge unplanned experiment. [NY Times]

More than 651,000 Kentuckians — about 15 percent of the state’s population — get federal help buying food through what used to be known as food stamps. Now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, its funding is at risk of being cut this year. [WFPL]

“Well, again,” Donald Trump said Wednesday in response to a reporter’s question, “there has been no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russians, or Trump and Russians, no collusion.” The Democrats, Trump claimed, “all say there’s no collusion.” And, he added, “there is no collusion.” And, he said again, “there was absolutely no collusion” and “everybody knows it, every committee.” And, he said, “it has been determined that there’s been no collusion by virtually everybody.” [WaPo]

The charges were sensational and news about them reverberated across the state: Billy Joe Miles, the former University of Kentucky board chairman and one of Western Kentucky’s most prominent businessmen, had been indicted on charges of rape and sodomy. [H-L]

Republicans in the U.S. Senate don’t seem to be paying close attention to what could happen to their new tax law as states begin to respond to it. [HuffPo]

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Eric Conn: Yep, He’s Rotting In Jail Now

To the saga of Eric C. Conn’s journey from wealthy Eastern Kentucky attorney to fugitive felon captured at a Pizza Hut in Central America, add this nugget: Conn says he used a puppy to cross the border from Mexico into Guatemala, thinking it would help him get past security officers. [H-L]

A New Jersey federal judge on Tuesday officially allowed a consent decree barring the Republican National Committee from engaging in poll-watching and other ballot security measures to expire. [HuffPo]

Citing the deep freeze gripping much of the U.S., Kentucky Matt Bevin is crediting Donald Trump with having “fixed global warming.” [C-J/AKN]

CIA Director Mike Pompeo (pahm-PAY’-oh) says he’s concerned about continued efforts by Russia and others to undermine American elections, including this year’s contests, but says such meddling isn’t new. [Boston Globe]

Jeff Hoover is hot garbage. The worst of humanity. Jeff Hoover, the Jamestown Republican who Monday resigned as Speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives in the wake of sexual harassment charges, failed Tuesday to pass a House resolution to make those seeking to expel Hoover liable for any costs. [Ronnie Ellis]

A senior National Security Council official proposed withdrawing some U.S. military forces from Eastern Europe as an overture to Vladimir Putin during the early days of the Trump administration, according to a former administration official in the room with him. [TDB]

Kentucky Electric Steel will close its plant on South Big Run Road in Boyd County in March, according to an email from Michael Estep, the company’s human resources manager. [Ashland Independent]

You have to look hard to see the Supreme Court correct its mistakes. When the justices err, care is taken not to call attention to the mishaps. Some think that’s its own mistake. [ProPublica]

Jeff Hoover can keep screaming because he’ll never be able to “expose” those who brought him down. He brought himself down. Jeff Hoover’s time as Speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives came to an end Monday with a dramatic, 20-minute floor speech at the end of which he submitted a letter of resignation. [More Ronnie Ellis]

Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap (D) had strong words for Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) on Thursday after Kobach tried to lay blame for the failure of President Trump’s Election Integrity Commission at the feet of Dunlap and three other Democratic commissioners. [ThinkProgress]

Visitation to Mammoth Cave National Park was up by 3 percent in 2017, according to Barclay Trimble, the national park’s superintendent. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Under the Very Stable Genius in Chief, the old rules no longer apply. When the V.S.G. moved into the White House, he brought with him an extraordinary collection of subordinates — and I mean that in the worst way. [NY Times]

It’s a real shame Jeff Hoover is still playing the victim, claiming he’s facing a difficulty or hardship because “god” wants him to wake up. HELLO!? Jeff Hoover did this to himself. He did it. He is not a victim. [H-L]

Utah Republicans are looking to set in stone the Trump administration’s sweeping — and, some say, illegal — rollback of two national monuments in the state. [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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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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