HAHA, No, He Can’t Beat McConnell

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How much more stupid and racist can Matt Bevin get? Don’t answer that question. I know it will get way worse. [H-L]

As hundreds of thousands of protesters prepared to gather in Washington and other cities across the U.S. on Saturday to demand meaningful gun reform, the National Rifle Association took to social media to mock the “March For Our Lives” event and the young gun violence survivors who spearheaded it. [HuffPo]

If you were following me on Twitter, you would have known about this memo when I obtained it and shared it with the public long before A Kentucky Newspaper claimed to have done so. And you’d know about the other Republican Party of Kentucky documents that have been leaked to me – not as a result of hacks but because people inside have had enough. [C-J/AKN]

A former Cambridge Analytica staffer says foreigners were embedded in U.S. campaigns and making decisions, despite a legal memo that advised otherwise. [NBC News]

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. However, soon, community members will see smoke rising from the Berea College forest, but there’s no need for alarm as its likely a prescribed burn, meant to help and not harm, according to Berea College Forester Clint Patterson. [Richmond Register]

Lie-detector tests supported the accounts of Ms. Clifford, her ex-husband Michael Mosny and Mr. Deuschle, according to reports reviewed by the Journal. After the magazine called Mr. Trump’s representatives for comment, Mr. Cohen threatened to sue, say people familiar with the matter. Mr. Cohen, 51, didn’t respond to requests for comment. [WSJ]

Health care premium costs are rising for all Ashland city workers except union fire department employees. [Ashland Independent]

The youth-led U.S. gun control movement that flexed its public muscle with huge weekend rallies has already nudged Congress to enact minor firearms changes, but must remain active if it hopes to win more meaningful regulations, lawmakers said on Sunday. [Reuters]

When Frankfort lawmakers were confident they could pass a major reform of the state’s public pension systems, they decided to help local governments by allowing them to phase in higher pension contributions over a period of years. [Ronnie Ellis]

No, Matt Jones won’t beat Mitch McConnell. He won’t even be able to win a Democratic Primary. If Adam Edelen is leading people to believe that’s possible? He’s lying to you. I know what’s in the Republicans’ research book. And it’ll choke the Democratic Party’s slate. The KDP needs to get over this Jonathan Miller-Adam Edelen wing of bullshit and move on with people who aren’t good old boys. It’s tired and ought to be drowned in a toilet bowl and flushed. [Politico]

The Kentucky House of Representatives Thursday gave final passage to a bill that will create two new Family Court judges in circuits serving Pulaski, Lincoln and Rockcastle counties and Kenton and Boone counties. [Ronnie Ellis]

A cooperating witness in the special counsel investigation worked for more than a year to turn a top Trump fund-raiser into an instrument of influence at the White House for the rulers of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, according to interviews and previously undisclosed documents. Hundreds of pages of correspondence between the two men reveal an active effort to cultivate Donald Trump on behalf of the two oil-rich Arab monarchies, both close American allies. [NY Times]

Republicans have complete control of negotiations to finalize Kentucky’s next two-year state budget for the first time in modern history, but that doesn’t necessarily mean smooth sailing for the budget talks that started Friday morning. [H-L]

Puke alert. Karen McDougal, the former Playboy model who says she had an affair with Donald Trump in 2006, described an extremely awkward compliment she received from the future president. Trump compared her to one of his daughters, Ivanka Trump. [HuffPo]

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RPK Thinks It Can Wash Its Hands Of Johnson But That’s Not Going To Happen

RPK talked her into going away because all hell was about to break loose. The wife of a former Kentucky lawmaker who killed himself after facing sexual assault allegations has withdrawn from the GOP primary. Maybe her racist, child sex abuse-enabling, homophobic, literal Moonie ass will finally fade into obscurity. [H-L]

Cambridge Analytica, a British consulting firm that was hired for Trump’s 2016 election campaign, made headlines over the weekend for using data acquired from 50 million Facebook users to build “psychographic profiles” about voters without their knowledge. Undercover footage — shot between November 2017 and January 2018 — released by Britain’s Channel 4 News on Tuesday shows Mark Turnbull, managing director of Cambridge Analytica’s political division, bragging about how the company came up with the “Defeat Crooked Hillary” campaign and promoted it on social media. [HuffPo]

The city of Louisville has agreed to pay Kerry Porter $7.5 million for the 11 years he spent behind bars for a murder he did not commit — the latest in a string of huge settlements for wrongful arrest and incarceration. [C-J/AKN]

A science advocacy group urged the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Friday to reject a longstanding industry request to limit cyber attack protections at nuclear plants, a day after the Trump administration publicly blamed Moscow for hacking into nuclear power and other energy infrastructure. [Reuters]

Unless they alter their calendar, Kentucky state lawmakers are scheduled to take off Friday and Monday, then meet for two days to consider bills passed or amended by the opposite chamber. [Ronnie Ellis]

Retired U.S. Army general Barry McCaffrey says he can’t remain quiet any longer. Late Friday, the respected four-star general sounded an alarm about uncomfortably close relations between Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, warning in a tweet that the U.S. president appears to be “for some unknown reason under the sway of Mr. Putin.” [ThinkProgress]

Catlettsburg Councilman Richard “Andy” Brown officially resigned Tuesday – 11 days after he pleaded guilty to drug charges and was subsequently arrested for allegedly violating his probation. [Ashland Independent]

That data firm tied to the Trump Campaign? It talked business with Russians. When the Russia question came up during a hearing at the British Parliament last month, Alexander Nix did not hesitate. But Mr. Nix’s business did have some dealings with Russian interests, according to company documents and interviews. [NY Times]

The search for a new provost at Morehead State University has been put on hold. President Jay Morgan and the search committee unanimously decided to suspend the search and re-advertise the position in September. [The Morehead News]

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ testimony that he opposed a proposal for Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign team to meet with Russians has been contradicted by three people who told Reuters they have spoken about the matter to investigators with Special Counsel Robert Mueller or congressional committees. [More Reuters]

Barren County is projected to be allotted nearly $1.6 million from the state’s Rural Secondary Road Program fund for the 2018-19 fiscal year that begins July 1. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Now a clue has emerged as to how Donald Trump’s son-in-law’s firm was able to move so fast: The Kushner Cos. routinely filed false paperwork with the city declaring it had zero rent-regulated tenants in dozens of buildings it owned across the city when, in fact, it had hundreds. [AP]

Billy Joe Miles, the Owensboro businessman and former University of Kentucky Board of Trustees chairman who turned his family’s seed company into one of Western Kentucky’s largest enterprises, has died. He was 78. [Linda Blackford]

Donald Trump on Wednesday tweeted a bizarre and ominous defense of his widely criticized decision to congratulate Russian leader Vladimir Putin, who was re-elected(sic) on Sunday. [HuffPo]

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Rep. Chris Harris Is Right On Guns

It took 10 seconds Sunday to turn 46 years of Frankfort history into rubble. With a few booms, Capital Plaza Tower fell to the ground, sending out a plume of dust that coated nearby trees and clearing the skyline of the once-tallest building in Frankfort. [H-L]

A GOP member of the House Intelligence Committee is breaking ranks with his fellow Republicans over a contentious report released Monday on Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible ties to the campaign of Donald Trump. Rep. Tom Rooney told CNN that “there is evidence” the Russians worked to help Trump. [HuffPo]

Shame on Frankfort – specifically Republicans. Morehead State University student Chandra Burnett, 23, a longtime user of contact lenses, said it gets old going every year to the eye doctor and paying around $90 to have her prescription renewed, as required by Kentucky law. [C-J/AKN]

Entities like the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity, the Laura and John Arnold Foundation (John Arnold made billions at Enron), the American Legislative Exchange Council and their allies are engaged in a multifaceted, multistate campaign to gut traditional pensions. If the Kochs and their allies succeed in smashing and scattering these last remaining pension funds into millions of 401(k)s, they will do more than just undermine the retirement security of millions of Americans. They will silence their economic voice. The pension reform drive should be understood, at least in part, as a campaign of economic voter suppression. [NY Times]

Democratic Representative Chris Harris of Pike County said throughout his life — growing up in a holler, working in coal mines after high school and earning a law degree — he was surrounded by gun culture. But at a town hall forum in Louisville, both Harris and Senator Morgan McGarvey (D-Louisville) said Kentucky needs gun reform. [WFPL]

During an interview on Sunday’s edition of 60 Minutes, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos struggled to handle straightforward pushback about her plan to steer federal education dollars toward charter and private schools and away from traditional public schools. [ThinkProgress]

Just a reminder that the Livingston County Schools superintendent – Victor Zimmerman – is a shady-ass Joshua Powell wannabe. People like that need to be removed from office quickly. Don’t believe me? Check my decade of reporting on shysters like him. Get them out of education. [WPSD]

Donald Trump’s personal assistant, John McEntee, was escorted out of the White House on Monday, two senior administration officials said. The cause of the firing was an unspecified security issue, said a third White House official with knowledge of the situation. [WSJ]

No one disputes the need for an additional Family Court Judge in the 28th Circuit which serves Pulaski, Lincoln and Rockcastle counties. [Ronnie Ellis]

And then, of course, Tillerson told the truth about Russia while the White House continued denying it. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will be replaced, Donald Trump announced Tuesday morning, after a year on the job which included frequent tension between the two men. Trump said he is nominating CIA director Mike Pompeo as Tillerson’s replacement, which requires confirmation by the Senate. [NPR]

Hold on to your wigs cause Frankfort is still trying to ruin solar energy in Kentucky. [More Ronnie Ellis]

Republicans make these wild claims about there being no evidence of collusion without interviewing any of the people indicted. Fascinating how Republican bullshit has gotten so dangerous and deliberately corrupt, isn’t it? [WaPo]

First Kroger customers, and now Waffle House patrons have been exposed to Hepatitis A during an outbreak in Kentucky. [H-L]

Oskar Groening, a former Nazi SS guard known as the “Bookkeeper of Auschwitz,” has reportedly died at age 96 without serving a day of his four-year prison sentence for being an accessory to murder. Groening, one of the last Nazi war criminals to face trial for the genocide of Europe’s Jews during World War II, died in a hospital last week, German media reported. [HuffPo]

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Republicans Still Wishing In One Hand…

About 2,000 additional former clients of attorney Eric C. Conn will have to prove they still deserve federal disability benefits in coming months, creating the potential for more economic hardship in Eastern Kentucky, according to people familiar with the government’s plan. [H-L]

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned this week that Russia is already trying to meddle in the 2018 midterm elections. And the U.S. is inadequately prepared to counter that threat, he said. [HuffPo]

After a dozen years in office, Tony Lindauer is retiring. The longtime Jefferson County property valuation administrator announced that he is no longer seeking re-election for health and family reasons. [C-J/AKN]

While Devin Nunes tries to mislead audiences about his memo, an actual document hunt in Washington could have far-reaching ramifications, both for the Russia investigation and national security writ large. On Friday Sen. Ron Wyden. (D.-Ore.) wrote a pair of letters, obtained by ThinkProgress, to both Treasury Department head Steve Mnuchin and National Rifle Association Treasurer Wilson Phillips, Jr. [ThinkProgress]

They can wish in one hand… After weeks of no news, Republican leaders are expressing renewed optimism about the prospects of overhauling Kentucky’s struggling public pension system. [WFPL]

Moscow has condemned US military proposals to develop new, smaller atomic bombs mainly to deter any Russian use of nuclear weapons. Russia’s foreign minister called the move “confrontational”, and expressed “deep disappointment”. [BBC]

Sitting at his desk in a corner of the Youth Service Center at Greenup County High School, coordinator Pete Phillips sighs and shakes his head. [Ashland Independent]

The Trump administration released a report on the state of America’s nuclear weaponry on Friday. The assessment, known as a Nuclear Posture Review, mainly concerns U.S. nukes and missiles. But buried in the plan is a mention of a mysterious Russian weapon called “Status-6.” On paper, at least, Status-6 appears to be a kind of doomsday device. The report refers to it as “a new intercontinental, nuclear-armed, nuclear-powered, undersea autonomous torpedo.” [NPR]

Pretty sure Rowan County Sheriff Matt Sparks is an idiot. What kind of intellectual lightweight can’t fire up their googler to answer the most basic questions? It’s this kind of stupidity that gives Appalachia a bad name. Particularly when it comes to medical marijuana. [The Morehead News]

For months, chemical companies have waged a campaign to reverse findings by federal fisheries scientists that could curb the use of pesticides based on the threat they pose to endangered species. They scored a major victory [last] week, when Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt announced he would press another federal agency to revisit a recent opinion triggering such restrictions. [WaPo]

If elected officials from 39 counties in southern and western Kentucky are successful in gaining enough support to pass an amendment to an existing bill this session in Frankfort, up to $6 million in additional revenue could be added to the economic development needs of those counties. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Well, that’s gonna sting a bit. The connection between the offshore accounts and the donation to the Chao family foundation were found through a search of the Paradise Papers. [The Intercept]

A legislative proposal could mean big changes to Kentucky’s largest college scholarship program, expanding it beyond college to a host of other academic programs. [H-L]

My colleagues and I marched in the Kingdom Day Parade last month, and toward the end of the route, a group of 10-15 men and women began heckling us. “All Black people don’t have AIDS,” they said, referring to the Black AIDS Institute banner we were marching behind. “You need to take that sign down. It offends us.” We tried to explain we were raising awareness to help prevent the spread of HIV within the black community, but our efforts were not exactly effective. [HuffPo]

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Frankfort Is Proving Its Awfulness 24/7

You’ll never guess which bloated conman filed this legislation. A House committee on Wednesday approved a bill that would limit the Kentucky attorney general’s authority to hire outside lawyers to pursue expensive and complex lawsuits against corporations. [John Cheves]

U.S. stocks plunged in highly volatile trading on Monday, with the Dow industrials falling nearly 1,600 points during the session, its biggest intraday decline in history, as investors grappled with rising bond yields and potentially firming inflation. [HuffPo]

A committee in Frankfort that has so far failed to take any votes on a controversial bill to curb solar power in Kentucky will be getting three new members — two Republicans and a coal-country Democrat. Questions of vote packing immediately surfaced. [C-J/AKN]

Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein has said that America is living through its darkest days since Senator Joseph McCarthy’s anti-Communist “witch hunts.” [Yahoo]

Mark Jurich, the son of fired University of Louisville Athletic Director Tom Jurich, has been let go from his position in the school’s athletics department along with two other employees. [WFPL]

Indiana said on Friday it will require its Medicaid recipients work or do some other form of community engagement, becoming the second state to make this fundamental change to the 50-year-old health insurance program for the poor. [Reuters]

Two deputy clerks in the Warren County Clerk’s Office changed Social Security numbers that resulted in uncollected taxes. [BGDN]

Rep. Mark Takano, D-Calif., introduced legislation last week requiring federal authorities to examine racial disparities in auto insurance premiums, citing a story co-published by ProPublica and Consumer Reports last April. [ProPublica]

When Matt Bevin and Republican legislative leaders announced a draft proposal to reform the state’s badly underfunded public pension systems in October, they said without significant changes, the coming two-year budget would face draconian cuts. [Glasgow Daily Times]

In one sign of the pressures that companies face to understand the business risks of stricter climate-change policies, one of the world’s biggest energy companies on Friday offered its thoughts on how it would fare in a low-carbon world. [NY Times]

Fun fact: he has zero public work history, nothing to show for what he was paid. Kentucky’s Republican governor said he terminated a $240,000 no-bid contract for a state “adoption czar” because it was not worth it to keep him on the job even though he praised his performance. [Richmond Register]

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) dwindling pot of money aimed at fighting infectious-disease epidemics like Ebola will run out this year, and the agency doesn’t anticipate new dedicated funds. So the CDC is scaling back epidemic prevention work in 39 countries, and this has experts, including a United Nations Dispatch on Friday, saying “you should be freaking out.” [ThinkProgress]

Matt Bevin’s plan to slash education funding and eliminate 70 entire programs rather than face up to long-overdue tax reform has attracted a lot of attention. It also has distracted from deep cuts he wants to make in state support for the arts. [H-L]

Donald Trump accused Democrats on Monday of being “un-American” and “treasonous” in a campaign-style speech in Cincinnati that was actually meant to tout the recent GOP tax bill and the economy. “Can we call that treason?” Trump said, referring to Democrats who did not clap for him during his State of the Union address last week. “Why not? I mean, they certainly didn’t seem to love our country very much.” [HuffPo]

It’s called grift, millennials. The wife of the appraiser whose work led to Matt Bevin winning the appeal of the property tax value of his Anchorage house last summer has landed a state job that pays $90,000 a year. In an appointment approved by Bevin, Shellie A. May began work on Jan. 8 as executive director of the Kentucky Commission for Children with Special Health Care Needs. [More C-J/AKN]

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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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Again: Hoover Is Damned Disgusting

For many parents, snuggling up on the couch with their children to enjoy a good book before bed is one of the best parts of family life. But for some families, that doesn’t come naturally. [H-L]

This dumb motherfucker. Donald Trump again challenged North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday, boasting that the United States’ nuclear capabilities are “more powerful” than North Korea’s. [HuffPo]

Wait til you hear who allegedly loaned him the money to pay the settlement. Someone tied to another former speaker with his own sexual harassment past and a certain congresscritter with a similar problem or two. Jeff Hoover has not resigned as House speaker, despite saying in November that he was stepping down from the post “immediately” following reports that he secretly settled a sexual harassment complaint of a staff member. [C-J/AKN]

This is what happens when you put profits over people. Workplace deaths in the coal mining industry increased last year to their highest point in three years. [The Hill]

Jeff Hoover is a disgusting piece of work. Jeff Hoover will not resign as Speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives despite his Nov. 5 announcement he would do so in the wake of sexual harassment allegations. [Ronnie Ellis]

Drugmakers opened the new year by raising U.S. prices on dozens of medicines, but early data showed the increases generally remained within a 10 percent self-imposed limit in response to a backlash from consumers and politicians. [Reuters]

It’s a Tuesday and the Boyd County coroner is arriving to a grisly, yet familiar scene. [Ashland Independent]

If you don’t believe Donald Trump is unwell and dangerous, you’re part of the problem. But if you have functioning brain cells? Read these excerpts from his latest interview with the New York Times to get a load of the lying, scheming he pushes from his sycophants on Fox. He doesn’t understand the job he holds. [NY Times]

After reading about the Glasgow woman who was recently found dead in a parking lot — hypothermia was determined as the preliminary cause of her death according to a press release from the Glasgow Police Department — Mandy Goessling said she decided to take action. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Since 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency has been embroiled in an enforcement battle with a Michigan-based company accused of modifying the state’s largest coal-fired power plant without getting federal permits for a projected rise in pollution. [WaPo]

Wondering how stupid Bowling Green’s city commissioners are? They voted to lift a ban on concealed weapons in city buildings. [BGDN]

A ProPublica analysis shows that women who deliver at hospitals that disproportionately serve black mothers are at a higher risk of harm. [ProPublica]

The story of slain FBI informant Susan Smith of Pikeville will be featured on an episode of the new series “The Perfect Suspect,” which airs at 9 p.m. Thursday on Investigation Discovery. [H-L]

Donald Trump’s lawyers are trying to keep the “out of control” president calm so he won’t fire special counsel Robert Mueller, Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein said on CNN. [HuffPo]

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