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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for mobile service and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets up! [CLICK HERE]

Budget Reduction Order = Bevin Is Bad For Kentucky’s Economy Despite All Contrary Claims

A judge did not attend a Friday hearing to answer charges that he violated ethics rules when he objected to handling adoption cases involving gay parents. Neither W. Mitchell Nance, family court judge for Barren and Metcalfe counties, nor his attorneys attended a hearing of the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission in Lexington. [H-L]

Dan Johnson’s closed silver casket was at the front of the sanctuary next to his favorite Harley on Saturday, and scores of mourners lined up to wish him a final farewell, many of them sporting tattoos, black leather vests and silver skull rings. [WaPo]

Republicans say they want to reform the tax code for the greater good of corporate America, the broader economy and the middle class. Their tax legislation would also directly benefit a constituency usually omitted from GOP talking points: members of Congress themselves. [HuffPo]

The Kentucky Court of Appeals has ruled a lawsuit by Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration that had claimed Planned Parenthood illegally provided abortions at its clinic in downtown Louisville was wrongly dismissed. The ruling on Friday sent the case back to the lower court. [C-J/AKN]

Let’s quit acting like the modern Republican Party gives a flip about the people of this country. The expected repeal of the ObamaCare mandate to buy insurance means that states will soon have to step in and decide whether to create their own mandates. [The Hill]

State Budget Director John Chilton said Gov. Matt Bevin is likely to issue a budget reduction order within the next week or so in the wake of an official revenue forecast that state receipts will fall $156.1 million short of projections this year. [Ronnie Ellis]

The American Civil Liberties Union said it filed in federal court on Friday to stop the administration of Donald Trump from preventing two more young immigrant women in federal custody from obtaining an abortion. [Reuters]

The Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission proposed several new deer, elk and small game hunting regulations at its quarterly meeting Dec 8. [Ashland Independent]

In this era of so-called “school choice,” a pattern has emerged: Students don’t choose their alternative schools. They’re sentenced to them. [ProPublica]

It may look like a video game, but it’s anything but that. Law enforcement never knows what they’ll encounter when in the line of duty, but it’s simulations like what the sheriff’s office participated in earlier this week in the Rowan County Fiscal Court room that helps them prepare for the unexpected. [The Morehead News]

With eight planets whirling around its sun, our solar system has held the galactic title for having the most known planets of any star system in the Milky Way. But on Thursday NASA announced the discovery of a new exoplanet orbiting a distant star some 2,500 light years away from here called Kepler 90, bringing that system’s total to eight planets as well. The new planet, known as Kepler-90i, is rocky and hot. It orbits its star about once every 14 days. [NY Times]

Glasgow Mayor Dick Doty has informed the city council that he intends to nominate D.T. Froedge as the next appointee to the Glasgow Electric Plant Board. [Glasgow Daily Times]

In the final days before Donald Trump was sworn in as president, members of his inner circle pleaded with him to acknowledge publicly what U.S. intelligence agencies had already concluded — that Russia’s interference in the 2016 election was real. [WaPo]

In the last 30 days, the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office has responded to a several calls for service regarding vehicles being broken into. During the Christmas season, there is usually a slight increase in the number of reported thefts. However, the growing concern for the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office is the frequency in which these thefts are occurring and the number of firearms being stolen. [H-L]

Florida authorities released an elderly woman from jail on Thursday after police arrested her for allegedly not paying rent at the senior housing community where she had lived since 2011. Juanita Fitzgerald spent her 94th birthday on Friday in a motel room. [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for mobile service and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets up! [CLICK HERE]

Barren County Just Made Major Progress

For 50 years, the Kirwan Blanding complex — its towering twin towers looming over the south side of campus — were among the University of Kentucky’s most iconic images. But those icons can no longer provide the housing spaces that students desire, so they are being demolished. [Linda Blackford]

Narrow wins in special elections don’t typically qualify as major political events, but Tuesday night’s Senate race in Alabama, in which Democrat Doug Jones is the apparent winner, may be the exception. [HuffPo]

Oh, please, she was hand-picked. It was an open secret for months. Her lying ass needs to be dragged out of council like the rest of these good old boy shysters that have taken over. Metro Council candidate Nicole George dismissed claims that she was groomed by Louisville Democrats to replace former Councilman Dan Johnson, who was removed last month due to sexual misconduct. [C-J/AKN]

While Jared Kushner is working on a peace deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians, the Kushner Companies Charitable Foundation is funding a controversial West Bank settlement. [ProPublica]

The Harlan City Council discussed the new rates for the city’s contribution to state retirement funds during a meeting on Monday. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

A year ago, no one would have envisioned President Emmanuel Macron of France as the public face of Western diplomacy in the Middle East. But that is not the case anymore. [NY Times]

Barren County Fiscal Court narrowly approved Tuesday a needle exchange program for the county, moving the proposal closer to becoming reality. [BGDN]

The U.S. military is preparing to accept transgender recruits for the first time beginning in January, the Pentagon said Wednesday, the latest signal that Donald Trump’s desired ban may not materialize after all. [WaPo]

The Louisville Metro Police Department is investigating state Rep. Dan Johnson for alleged sexual abuse in his church. [WFPL]

An inmate at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay is still being tortured, the U.N. special rapporteur on torture Nils Melzer said in a statement on Wednesday. [Reuters]

Living in hiding downtown for four years, Byron “Roc” Peeler was thrust into the spotlight on Friday after challenging Mayor Greg Fischer to spend a night in his homeless camp. In a prior Courier Journal story, he took the mayor to task, saying that city leaders cannot call Louisville a “compassionate city” while pushing homeless people out. [More C-J/AKN]

The Morehead State University Board of Regents voted Thursday to sell Sunny Brook Golf Course and two other properties owned by the university. [The Morehead News]

Donald Trump called a sitting U.S. Senator a whore and no one batted an eyelash. Because it wasn’t the craziest thing to occur that morning. This is the new normal. [BBC]

The Kentucky Personnel Cabinet has requested an investigation of whether a male officer sexually harassed female employees at the prison in Elliott County. [H-L]

The number of journalists imprisoned around the globe hit a record high in 2017, with at least 262 reporters currently behind bars, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. They’re guilty of doing their jobs. [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for mobile service and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets up! [CLICK HERE]

New Republicans: Still Choking Kentucky

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for mobile service and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets up! [CLICK HERE]

Bevin’s Standing Up While The Rest Of Frankfort Twiddles Its Thumbs

No, Jim Gray is not going to congress. No Democrat in that district will get to congress until they learn to abandon the Kentucky Democratic Party and the good old boy system. They’ve gotta learn how to eat Republicans alive and we all know that isn’t going to happen. None of them have the guts to get nasty and dirty. [WKYT]

Nearly 25 years after strangling the life out of her stepson, Stephanie Spitser faced a chance at parole. Spitser, 46, had received a degree in divinity and a diploma in Bible studies from Christian schools while in prison, and she had taken a class that prepares inmates to re-enter society. [H-L]

A senior official on Donald Trump’s transition team suggested that Russia had “thrown” the U.S. presidential election in Trump’s favor in a December 2016 email thread leaked to the New York Times and published Saturday. [HuffPo]

A state social worker who said she suffered retaliation by supervisors after she refused to change her findings in a report on a horrific child abuse case has received a $43,000 settlement from the state. [C-J/AKN]

Poverty is normally seen as a deep, complex, social problem. But to the Dutch historian Rutger Bregman it comes down to something simple: a lack of cash. [Fast Company]

Republican House leaders will turn over their investigation of sexual harassment claims against four of their colleagues to the Legislative Ethics Commission which has the power to subpoena witnesses and evidence. [Ronnie Ellis]

When Donald Trump fired his national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, in February, White House officials portrayed him as a renegade who had acted independently in his discussions with a Russian official during the presidential transition and then lied to his colleagues about the interactions. But emails among top transition officials, provided or described to The New York Times, suggest that Mr. Flynn was far from a rogue actor. In fact, the emails, coupled with interviews and court documents filed on Friday, showed that Mr. Flynn was in close touch with other senior members of the Trump transition team both before and after he spoke with the Russian ambassador, Sergey I. Kislyak, about American sanctions against Russia. [NY Times]

Maybe now it’d be a good time to remember that ignorance of the law isn’t a valid excuse in government. A few issues were found during the audit of the 2016-17 fiscal year financial statements of Barren-Metcalfe County Emergency Medical Services, but the auditors mostly chalked them up to office staff turnover and inexperience with government accounting standards as opposed to those used for private businesses. [Glasgow Daily Times]

These people are just insane, hate-filled bigots. There’s no other way to describe them. [WaPo]

Local officials told state lawmakers they want more control over the way they raise money to fund their governments and they are willing to take responsibility for the “inviolable contract” guaranteeing their employees pension benefits if lawmakers allow them to split off from the state employee pension system. [Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump lashed out at the FBI on Sunday, issuing a fresh denial that he asked former director James Comey to drop an investigation into the conduct of one of his top aides, Michael Flynn. [BBC]

Kentucky’s Republican governor asked his party on Saturday to call for the resignation of four GOP lawmakers who signed a secret sexual harassment settlement, but party leaders rejected it in a move the governor said “speaks to the fact that we’ve got real problems.” Bam Carney, the backward Republican “teacher” who fought to gut education and educator accountability, is now attacking Matt Bevin for standing up for what’s right. Absurd. [WFPL]

A federal judge on Friday ordered the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to rescind its delay of a rule that allows some foreign entrepreneurs to stay in the United States to grow their companies, court documents show. [Reuters]

A former employee in Gov. Matt Bevin’s office, who is also the daughter of an outspoken Republican lawmaker, said Thursday that a member of the State House of Representatives sent her “highly inappropriate” messages. [H-L]

Donald Trump gloated in a tweet Saturday that he fired Michael Flynn because he knew he lied to the FBI. If that was the case, Trump’s attempt to stop former FBI head James Comey’s investigation of Flynn could constitute obstruction of justice, legal experts warned. [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for mobile service and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets up! [CLICK HERE]

Frankfort: Terrifying Hellscape Of Awful

Former Kentucky House Speaker Jeff Hoover took out a loan of $60,000 the day after he resigned his leadership post over news that he had secretly settled an allegation of sexual harassment by a staffer. Hoover said Saturday that $60,000 “absolutely was not” the amount he paid, but he refused to say how much he did pay to settle the claim, citing a confidentiality clause in the settlement. [H-L]

The nearly 500-page overhaul of the tax code that Republicans rammed through the Senate early Saturday morning gave lawmakers and experts little more than a moment’s notice to pore over the law’s myriad changes. But one thing is clear: The bill is filled with perks for America’s wealthiest individuals and largest corporations, many of them paid for by closing loopholes that benefit middle-class people. [HuffPo]

A Jefferson District Court judge is considering whether to hold the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services in contempt of court for delaying urgently needed surgery for a severely disabled woman in its care. [C-J/AKN]

Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and a colleague linked to Russian intelligence ghostwrote an op-ed about Mr Manafort’s work around the Ukraine even as Mr Manafort faced federal charges for concealing the proceeds from that work, special counsel Robert Mueller’s office said. [The Independent]

A Kentucky House Republican employee alleges that she was retaliated against for reporting an “inappropriate sexual relationship” between then-House Speaker Jeff Hoover and a woman in his office and that GOP leaders used money from “prominent campaign donors” to secretly settle the woman’s harassment claim. [More C-J/AKN]

The Trump administration said Friday it will not issue a regulation to ensure that hard-rock mining companies can pay for the costs to clean up their mines when they’re finished. [The Hill]

Ashland City Attorney John Vincent, State Rep. and Assistant Ashland City Attorney Kevin Sinnette and Boyd County Master Commissioner Roger Hall are the nominees to replace retired Boyd Circuit Judge David Hagerman. [Ashland Independent]

A key aide in the Trump transition appeared to write in an email that Trump should seek to ease sanctions on Russia because that country had helped Trump win the election.[ThinkProgress]

While Republicans in the House, reeling from a sexual harassment scandal, wrestle with pension reform, House Democrats smell opportunity. Pro-tip: Mary Nishimuta is the reason the Kentucky Democratic Party is still circling the drain instead of gaining ground on these corrupt jackasses in Kentucky. She’ll be the reason Democrats get their asses handed to them. KDP’s Executive Committee needs to fire her and replace her with someone competent. At a time like this, Dems need someone like Crit Luallen (not her but LIKE her) – with that kind of experience – to survive. [Ronnie Ellis]

Red states ravaged by the opioid crisis are pushing for Medicaid work requirements that could push people out of treatment as they try to get off drugs. Kentucky, New Hampshire, Maine and Indiana are among at least eight GOP-led states seeking federal approval to require Medicaid enrollees to work as a precondition of their health coverage. All four states have been hard hit by drug addiction, which claims 140 lives a day nationally. [Politico]

As the number of days left in this year’s calendar dwindle and state House Republicans continue working on ways to “tweak” pension reform legislation, the question increasingly heard in Frankfort is: will there be a special session in 2017. [Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump has single-handedly done more to undermine the basic tenets of American democracy than any foreign agent or foreign propaganda campaign could. [NY Times]

A project through which energy efficiency in numerous Glasgow homes was upgraded and they were provided with smart energy technology has concluded, as Glasgow Electric Plant Board Superintendent Billy Ray reported to the city council earlier this week. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Elton John blares so loudly on Donald Trump’s campaign plane that staffers can’t hear themselves think. Press secretary Hope Hicks uses a steamer to press Trump’s pants — while he is still wearing them. Trump screams at his top aides, who are subjected to expletive-filled tirades in which they get their “face ripped off.” [WaPo]

The Republican leaders now running Kentucky have a message for taxpayers: We will tell you what we want you to know, when we want you to know it, because we’re in charge. [Tom Eblen]

Continuing his “America First” approach to foreign policy, Donald Trump has pulled the U.S. out of a United Nations compact seeking global cooperation to protect the safety and rights of refugees and migrants. [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for mobile service and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets up! [CLICK HERE]

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]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for mobile service and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets up! [CLICK HERE]