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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Another Morning Roundup Of Awfulness

Jim Gray bragged on Twitter last week that Lexington was one of the best food cities in the country (please, hold your laughter). Reality? It’s… a mess. [Janet Patton]

Donald Trump has again threatened the future status of a program that allowed children who were brought to or remained in the U.S. illegally to stay here, demanding he get a bigger border wall separating the U.S. and Mexico. [HuffPo]

Here’s your regular reminder that RiverLink is operated like nothing more than a scam. [C-J/AKN]

A national recession. Years of state budgets cuts. It’s no surprise requests mental health resources for prisoners are routinely rejected. [ProPublica]

Advocating for solutions to our state’s opioid epidemic, Jennie Haymond officially filed paperwork this month to run for Madison County Attorney. [Richmond Register]

Just a reminder that old, white perverts like Roy Moore are also racist ay eff. They’re the kind of people you don’t want around your children and don’t want roaming the streets. The kind of people who’d be wearing white sheets if this were 40-50 years ago. [ThinkProgress]

All three county judge executives in Carter, Greenup and Boyd County talked recently about what their goals are for 2018. [Ashland Independent]

The Trump administration is scaling back the use of fines against nursing homes that harm residents or place them in grave risk of injury, part of a broader relaxation of regulations under the president. [NY Times]

This is what folks in Morehead are freaking out about – kids vaping weed. [The Morehead News]

Just a reminder that the Trump crew are bigots. The remaining members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS were fired en masse this week. [WaPo]

While educators have been busy teaching the future of Barren County, many have also been fighting for the future of their profession. [Glasgow Daily Times]

South Korea has revealed it seized a Hong Kong-registered ship last month suspected of supplying oil to the North in breach of international sanctions. [BBC]

Lower federal taxes for several Kentucky utilities is likely to mean savings for hundreds of thousands of customers under an order from the state Public Service Commission. [H-L]

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres issued a grim warning as 2017 drew to a close. In a somber video address posted to Twitter on New Year’s Eve, he cautioned that the globe was on “red alert” following a year marked by deepening conflicts and “new dangers.” [HuffPo]

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Another Reminder Jeff Hoover Is Gross

Jeff Hoover is disgusting. He’s a victim-blaming, hypocritical moron. Accusing his fellow Republicans of wronging him? HAHAHA. [H-L]

Russian tankers have supplied fuel to North Korea on at least three occasions in recent months by transferring cargoes at sea, according to two senior Western European security sources, providing an economic lifeline to the secretive Communist state. [HuffPo]

You know how I’ve spent more than a decade digging into and reporting on Kentucky Retirement Systems – when no one else would – and it’s all come to a head? Now ANN OLDFATHER is part of a massive suit against KRS money men for being terrible. Insane how it’s all come full circle. Doesn’t even matter at this point if anyone recognizes the person responsible for uncovering all of this in the beginning. [C-J/AKN]

Former FBI Director James Comey said Sunday he hopes 2018 brings more “ethical leadership.” [The Hill]

Between 2013 and the middle of 2017, more than 22.7 million doses of prescription opioids were dispersed in Madison County. In October, Madison County EMS Director Carlos Coyle said the number of opioid overdose patients requiring the administration of Narcan had increased nearly 20 percent. [Richmond Register]

Here’s looking at you Frankfort fools. California will launch the world’s largest regulated commercial market for recreational marijuana on Monday, as dozens of newly licensed stores catering to adults who enjoy the drug for its psychoactive effects open for business up and down the state. [Reuters]

It is an exciting time to be in the Tri-State. It it appears the winds of change are pushing the region forward into a new chapter of economic growth. [Ashland Independent]

Unexploded ordnance. Open burns of munitions. Poisoned aquifers. Of all the military’s environmental hazards, the explosive compound RDX may be the greatest threat to America’s health. [ProPublica]

A former magistrate and candidate in the highly contested 2014 judge-executive’s race has once again thrown his hat in the ring hoping to reach the county’s highest seat. [The Morehead News]

No, you mouth-breathers, it wasn’t the dossier that got the investigation off the ground. During a night of heavy drinking at an upscale London bar in May 2016, George Papadopoulos, a young foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, made a startling revelation to Australia’s top diplomat in Britain: Russia had political dirt on Hillary Clinton. [NY Times]

Representatives working on project to expand “robust, reliable and affordable” broadband Internet access to communities across Kentucky have been in the process of negotiating for months with officials in Glasgow for the rights it needs to build its portion of a fiber optic network here. [Glasgow Daily Times]

It won’t work for the orange dingus. The president’s attorneys are planning to fend off any claims by the former national security adviser by casting him as a liar. [WaPo]

What a wonderful (haha) year it was in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. [H-L]

Kim Jong Un on Monday warned the United States that he has a “nuclear button” on his desk ready for use if North Korea is threatened, but offered an olive branch to South Korea, saying he was “open to dialogue” with Seoul. [HuffPo]

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There’s Just Too Much News Lately

Authorities say a police officer in western Kentucky is facing official misconduct charges after agreeing not to arrest a woman if she would have sex with him. [H-L]

Earlier this year, House Democrats accused retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn of secretly lobbying for a huge Middle East nuclear power deal while serving as Donald Trump’s national security adviser. New details have emerged this week of just how far Flynn’s alleged lobbying effort might’ve gone. [HuffPo]

While Bernie Sanders is right about the Republican tax “plan”? He’s the most unexciting, typical, talk-down-to-you political jackass I can imagine to be stumping against it. A wealthy white guy with a history of talking down his nose at the LGBT community and people of color? Speaking for workers and progressives? Get the fuck outta here with that bullshit. [C-J/AKN]

The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a setback on Monday to gun rights proponents including the National Rifle Association, refusing to hear a challenge to Maryland’s 2013 state ban on assault weapons enacted after a Connecticut school massacre. [Reuters]

Sustainable Berea began this week by making large seed donation to the Madison County Seed Library located inside the Madison County Public Library locations Monday morning. [Richmond Register]

A disturbing report released [this week] by researchers at the prestigious Colegio de Mexico provides new details about a 2011 massacre in Allende, a quiet Mexican ranching town less than an hour’s drive from the United States, and suggests that many more people were killed in the incident than estimated by Mexican authorities. The report’s authors also repeatedly cite an investigation of the incident by ProPublica and National Geographic in calling for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to provide information about its role in triggering the killing spree. [ProPublica]

The City of Ashland received two marks in an audit of its financial statement, including a failure to competitively bid two purchases. [Ashland Independent]

Really, you can’t fix this kind of corrupt stupidity. To think people like Scott Jennings and alleged domestic violence perpetrator Jamie Comer are keen on showing their extreme ignorance by openly and proudly supporting him. Won’t it be sad when their children grow up to discover how shitty their parents are? [NY Times]

What on earth??? How was the treasurer getting away with not attending all meetings?! Glasgow’s city treasurer may be required to attend all city council meetings. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Donald Trump’s Twitter account has retweeted three inflammatory anti-Muslim videos from a British far-right group. [BBC]

The state sets aside 15.8 percent less for per public school student than it did in 2008 — the third largest drop in the nation, behind Oklahoma and Texas. [WFPL]

The missile logged a longer flight time than any of its predecessors and went farther into the atmosphere than ever before, reaching a height of 2,800 miles, 10 times higher than the International Space Station. [WaPo]

A former University of Kentucky student who survived an attack from a notorious serial killer is in Kentucky this week to talk about her new memoir. [H-L]

The Air Force has discovered “several dozen” cases in which it failed to report convictions of service members to the national background check database used for gun sales. [HuffPo]

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Pension Reform Is Not Now And Never Will Be A Real Thing In Kentucky

Kentucky’s highest court will hear a controversial case involving a Lexington company’s refusal to print a T-shirt for the city’s annual gay-pride festival. [H-L]

This racist jackass is still supported by people like Jeff Hoover and Bob the Bigot Stivers. Donald Trump is reportedly reviving the racist “birther” conspiracy theory, which claims that President Barack Obama wasn’t born in the United States. [HuffPo]

A whittled down tree-protection ordinance heads to the Louisville Metro Council for a vote as early as Thursday, nearly a year after the proposal was unveiled. [C-J/AKN]

U.S. Supreme Court justices on Monday appeared divided over whether a federal agency’s in-house process for challenging patents violates the constitutional rights of patent owners, leaving the fate of a system that has led to a high rate of patent cancellations uncertain. [Reuters]

House Republican leaders say they are closer to an agreement on pension reform after a closed-door two and a half hour meeting Tuesday — but they still don’t have a final agreement. [Ronnie Ellis]

The US consumer financial watchdog was plunged into turmoil on Monday as rival directors vied to take charge amid a lawsuit against the White House. [BBC]

New Greenup County Commissioner Earnest “Earnie” Duty said he wants to help the county build on momentum generated by the announcement of a $1.3-billion aluminum rolling mill. [Ashland Independent]

The Senate Republican tax plan gives substantial tax cuts and benefits to Americans earning more than $100,000 a year, while the nation’s poorest would be worse off, according to a report released Sunday by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. [WaPo]

A majority of the Glasgow Electric Plant Board’s board of directors decided Tuesday that to drop three broadcast stations in Nashville and Louisville rather than pay the increases demanded for their content, but it will keep the ones in Bowling Green that also bumped up their prices. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Uh, obviously experts disagree with Republicans when it comes to the tax bill. Because facts are facts. Even though facts are something Republicans don’t understand. [NY Times]

Rowan County Fiscal Court is looking at options to help gain more revenue through the more efficient collection of occupational taxes. [The Morehead News]

Last week, we bought more than a dozen housing ads excluding categories of people explicitly protected by the Fair Housing Act of 1968. [ProPublica]

There’s no legitimate pension bill because the modern Republican Party of Kentucky is run by a bunch of con artists who can do nothing but sexually harass folks without power. [H-L]

Global arms experts say North Korea’s latest test of a ballistic missile was an expected but troubling development that further solidifies Kim Jong Un’s role as a nuclear-backed strongman. [HuffPo]

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