Greg Fischer: Still Fighting Transparency

House Republicans working to flesh out their recent promise of tax reform should heed the evidence that’s piling up in other states: Cutting income and business taxes, and offsetting the losses by raising sales taxes, is no magic economic elixir. It’s more a recipe for starving education, infrastructure and other public services and dishing up more budget crises. [H-L]

Last Saturday, in a private meeting with Republican donors who had gathered at his Mar-a-Lago estate, Donald Trump attacked yet again the basic foundations of American democracy. In his freewheeling and unscripted talk, a recording of which was obtained by CNN, Trump eventually focused his comments on President Xi Jinping of China. He noted Xi’s plan to abolish China’s presidential term limits, and lavished praise on this authoritarian grab at unrestricted power. [HuffPo]

Flashback to Greg Fischer claiming to be the most transparent mayor in Louisville history. Courier Journal is suing Louisville for refusing to release details on the incentives it offered to Amazon in return for the online retail giant building its second headquarters here. [C-J/AKN]

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway violated the Hatch Act on two occasions, the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) informed the Trump administration Tuesday. [The Hill]

Madison County is now officially the only community in Kentucky, and one of only seven nationwide, to be a Blueprint for Safety Community. [Richmond Register]

Migrants separated from their children after they were detained for illegally entering the United States filed a class action lawsuit on Friday, claiming there are “hundreds” of parents in the same situation, and that the Trump administration is violating their due process rights. [Reuters]

A Catlettsburg city councilman pleaded guilty to drug charges Friday and then was accused of almost immediately violating the terms of his probation by being under the influence of heroin, meth and other drugs. [Ashland Independent]

Coal ash — the residual byproduct of burning coal — is the second-largest form of waste in the entire country, with utilities producing more than 100 million tons of it each year. For decades, companies have dealt with all that coal ash by storing it in unlined pits or landfills. Now, new reporting data shows this has lead to the contamination of groundwater at coal-fired power plants across the country. [ThinkProgress]

Rowan County Sheriff Matt Sparks talked guns with Morehead-Rowan County Chamber of Commerce members this month. [The Morehead News]

The special counsel in the Russia investigation has learned of two conversations in recent months in which Donald Trump asked key witnesses about matters they discussed with investigators. [NY Times]

The Interapt Skills proposal is being downsized after it apparently became clear that the original price tag of nearly $1.9 million was going to be “too lofty a goal for our community at this point.” [Glasgow Daily Times]

The Social Security Administration’s acting commissioner had no authority to act after mid-November because the agency is in violation of a federal law regarding vacant positions, according to a report to the president. [WaPo]

A student accidentally shot himself in a classroom at Lexington’s Frederick Douglass High School with a “pocket-sized handgun” he took to school Friday, according to school district police and administrators. [H-L]

A top GOP fundraiser pitched Donald Trump last year on a plan to recruit a thousands-strong international Muslim army — to be advised by retired Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal — that would help the United Arab Emirates battle the Taliban and the Islamic State in Afghanistan, according to a leaked memo the fundraiser wrote documenting his meeting with the president. The army “would consist of two brigades (5,000 total troops) comprised of Muslim soldiers recruited from Arab and Islamic nations,” Elliott Broidy, a Republican National Committee deputy finance chair, wrote in the memo. [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]

Coal Isn’t Just Killing Your Environment

Coal companies linked to the billionaire governor of West Virginia owe $2.9 million in delinquent property taxes in Kentucky, shorting schools and local government programs of money at a time many are struggling with tight finances. [H-L]

The reaction to the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, followed a familiar arc: GOP leaders offered thoughts and prayers. The media profiled fallen victims. Democrats urged action on the same gun safety bills they’ve been pushing for years, as Republicans said none of their ideas would work. [HuffPo]

Of course Greg Fischer is working against the homeless because he wants to build another unsightly stadium in Louisville. [C-J/AKN]

The troubled teen authorities say killed 17 people at a Florida high school excelled in an air-rifle marksmanship program supported by a grant from the National Rifle Association Foundation, part of a multimillion-dollar effort by the gun group to support youth shooting clubs and other programs. [NY Times]

The Berea City Council voted Monday to appoint David Rowlette to fill the unexpired term of Billy Wooten, whose resignation was announced at the council’s last meeting. [Richmond Register]

Trump’s public track record in the face of proximate danger, his words instead ended up underscoring a separate truth: His actions have, at times, read differently than his tough talk. [WaPo]

Law enforcement officers in the [Ashland] area won’t be outfitted with body-worn cameras any time soon. [Ashland Independent]

The U.S. intelligence community developed substantial evidence that state websites or voter registration systems in seven states were compromised by Russian-backed covert operatives prior to the 2016 election — but never told the states involved, according to multiple U.S. officials. [NBC News]

Shortly after Dr. Mark A. Murphy, a top opioid prescriber in the U.S., started practicing here three days a week last year, the clinic owners asked a police detective to meet for dinner. [The Morehead News]

Investigators for special counsel Robert Mueller have recently been asking witnesses about Donald Trump’s business activities in Russia prior to the 2016 presidential campaign as he considered a run for president, according to three people familiar with the matter. [CNN]

Coal companies controlled by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’s family owe nearly $3 million in delinquent Kentucky property taxes, money that local governments desperately need to avoid laying off teachers. [WFPL]

Hope Hicks, one of Donald Trump’s longest-serving and most trusted aides, is resigning from her job as White House communications director, a blow to the president, whose inner circle has been depleted by firings and clouded by scandal. [Reuters]

Barely literate hypocrite and bigot, Kim Davis, is pretending to have written a book. [H-L]

Norway’s doomsday agricultural seed vault will get a $13 million upgrade to better protect world food supplies amid growing threats from climate change. [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]

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]

A Good Thing Happened In Boyd Co

Humanitarian and University of Kentucky graduate Ashley Judd spoke “from the heart” during a lecture Friday in Lexington about how she’s using her voice in the fight against abuse and sexual misconduct in Hollywood and around the world. [H-L]

With Michael Flynn’s guilty plea bringing fresh attention to what Vice President Mike Pence knew about possible Russian collusion and when he knew it, Pence’s office has a ready answer: Not much and really late. So far Pence has remained at the periphery of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. [HuffPo]

If you’re gonna hit Greg Fischer… maybe make sure it involves something he can actually control? And maybe make sure your campaign spokesperson isn’t someone with a history of idiocy because she certainly won’t be able to communicate your half-baked non-plans. [C-J/AKN]

Earlier this fall, a leader of the busiest hospital for organ transplants in New York state — where livers are particularly scarce — pleaded for fairer treatment for ailing New Yorkers. [ProPublica]

A groundbreaking ceremony on Friday celebrated the future home of the Boyd County Animal Shelter. [Ashland Independent]

The new tax bill passed by Senate Republicans does away with crucial support for public schools while adding a provision beneficial to their private counterparts. That move would help wealthy parents pay for private schools, including religious schools, while hurting lower-income families. A similar provision is in the House version of the tax bill. [ThinkProgress]

Dan Ellnor walks through a metal door into a gigantic walk-in refrigerator at the Jefferson County Public Schools Nutrition Service Center. People in hairnets, gloves and light winter jackets are filtering in-and-out, carrying boxes of fresh produce. [WFPL]

A major decision on the way the U.S. government collects information about race and ethnicity through the census and other surveys was expected to be announced this week by the Trump administration. But the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, which sets standards for this type of data for all federal agencies, was silent on Friday, which OMB had said was the deadline for an announcement. [NPR]

It’s called perjury. An email sent during the transition by President Trump’s former deputy national security adviser, K.T. McFarland, appears to contradict the testimony she gave to Congress over the summer about contacts between the Russian ambassador and Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn. [NY Times]

A conservative operative trumpeting his close ties to the National Rifle Association and Russia told a Trump campaign adviser last year that he could arrange a back-channel meeting between Donald J. Trump and Vladimir V. Putin, the Russian president, according to an email sent to the Trump campaign. Russia, he wrote, was “quietly but actively seeking a dialogue with the U.S.” and would attempt to use the N.R.A.’s annual convention in Louisville, Ky., to make “‘first contact.’” [More NY Times]

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has asked Deutsche Bank to share data on accounts held by U.S. President Donald Trump and his family, a person close to the matter said on Tuesday. [Reuters]

Why is a presidential advisory panel on elections operating in such secrecy? This guy is on Trump’s voter fraud commission and he’s forced to sue it to find out what it’s doing. [WaPo]

Why is it always churches and church leaders that are the worst people? Those in leadership at a Lexington church that is being sued over allegations of misconduct by its pastor said in a Facebook post Friday that the discord in the church is being led by a small group of “agitators” who are trying to “cloud minds and breed dissension.” [H-L]

Republican senators have just voted for their version of the Trump tax scam legislation, a huge giveaway to the super-wealthy. By doing so, they have brought their overlords — the billionaire donor class — one step closer to their longstanding goal of dismantling Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. [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]

Yep, RPK Bungled The Pension Disaster

This is Republican hype and nothing more. There are 120 counties and waaaay more municipalities and localities. It’s a drop in the bucket. [H-L]

The Dream Act, meant to provide legal status to young undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, is about to get significantly more official support in Congress. [HuffPo]

Unfortunately for the morally bankrupt Matt Bevin, he doesn’t get to decide what the legislature does and it can override him. He should probably shut his mouth if he doesn’t want to face the wrath of Frankfort. He can ask Paul Patton, Steve Henry, Wendell Ford, Julian Carroll, Ernie Fletcher, Greg Stumbo, Tim Longmeyer what happens when you’re a wretched person who refuses to shut up. [C-J/AKN]

The Senate on Thursday approved a short-term bill to fund the government and raise the debt ceiling despite frustration among Republicans about the deal that Trump struck with Democrats. [The Hill]

Thomas Massie doesn’t just look and act like garbage. He *IS* garbage. [Ashland Independent]

Monster Hurricane Irma has shut down oil terminals across the northern Caribbean, worsening a fuel supply crunch in Latin America which is struggling to meet demand since Hurricane Harvey disrupted shipments from the U.S. Gulf Coast last month. [Reuters]

Attorneys for Kentucky’s last abortion clinic said as a federal trial opened Wednesday that state regulators are using “onerous” rules to try to shut it down, predicting some women would “take the matter into their own hands” to end pregnancies if the state succeeds. [Richmond Register]

He’s so painfully stupid. Vapid. Dumb. Awful. Whatever you want to call it. That’s what he is. [Politico]

The Green River in Mammoth Cave National Park is open to river use, after having been closed last week in anticipation of heavy rains from Hurricane Harvey. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Sometimes an international offensive begins with a few shots that draw little notice. So it was last year when Melvin Redick of Harrisburg, Pa., a friendly-looking American with a backward baseball cap and a young daughter, posted on Facebook a link to a brand-new website. [NY Times]

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer called Thursday morning on the city’s police chief to examine his agency’s relationship with Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the wake of a story by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting. [WFPL]

Conservative lawmakers voiced their opposition to Trump’s deal with Democratic congressional leaders, arguing the three-month government spending bill that also raises the debt ceiling should not be passed because it does not include federal spending cuts. [WaPo]

Kentucky’s 3.5 million licensed drivers won’t be able to use their licenses to board domestic airline flights after Jan. 22, 2018, unless the state gets another extension to comply with federal security regulations approved in 2005. [H-L]

Facebook Inc said on Wednesday it had found that an operation likely based in Russia spent $100,000 on thousands of U.S. ads promoting divisive social and political messages in a two-year-period through May. [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]

Scott Reed Is Lying Through His Teeth. I Know Because I’m The Guy Who Caught Him.

Yes, it’s several days after Fancy Farm. You didn’t hear us mention it this year because it’s pretty much a bigoted circle jerk. It’s a catholic church picnic that is proud of racist jokes told by idiots like Scott Jennings. A church! Okay with racism. They’ve had plenty of time to apologize and haven’t. So it’s yet another Kentucky tradition we won’t be wasting much time on. [H-L]

Kentucky is really missing out. It’ll always miss out, thanks to the backward-ass white guys in Frankfort. A marijuana company purchased the entire town of Nipton, California, for $5 million this week as part of a new cannabis tourism venture. [HuffPo]

Not only is this not ridiculous, I spent three months personally researching and investigating. You can verify it by getting a copy of my ORR at KREF from March to see that I was onto him. Scott Reed willfully broke campaign finance law like it was no big deal. He can whine all he wants but I caught him and he knows it. I dare him to try coming for me (try me, Scott) because this is just scratching the surface of my research file and I’ll happily give the entire thing to the KDP – people I despise. If the KREF doesn’t fine him, I’ll release everything. Should be fun to watch. P.S. People who sign affidavits should make absolutely certain they haven’t had (disclosed – they were aware) recorded conversations with me or exchanged dozens of emails about the matter. And if anyone wants to hire me to do research? Yell my way. I’m especially keen to focus on these lying New Nazi Republicans this cycle. [C-J/AKN]

Five transgender service members serving on active duty sued Donald Trump on Wednesday over his directive to ban them from the U.S. military. [McClatchy]

Kentuckians who feel going to the doctor is too expensive — but don’t know how to shop for the lowest price — aren’t alone. [WFPL]

U.S. diplomats should sidestep questions from foreign governments on what it would take for the Trump administration to re-engage in the global Paris climate agreement, according to a diplomatic cable seen by Reuters. [Reuters]

Eight and 37. For Morehead-Rowan County EMS Director Danny Blevins and Coroner John Northcutt these aren’t just numbers. [The Morehead News]

The first results in a national effort to better measure the levels of contaminants released through the burning of munitions and their waste show elevated levels of lead, arsenic and other toxins. [ProPublica]

Ugh, why does Mt. Sterling/Montgomery County have to be so awful all the time? I guess we can blame it on the school system. [WDRB]

Investigators for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, recently searched a home of Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, for tax documents and foreign banking records, according to a person briefed on the matter. [NY Times]

Kentucky is no stranger to the hepatitis C virus. In fact, the state had the highest rate of new hepatitis C infections in the nation from 2008 through 2015, according to the most recent data available from the Kentucky Department for Public Health. [Richmond Register]

Lawyers for black Alabama schoolchildren are appealing a federal judge’s decision to allow a predominantly white city near Birmingham to secede from its predominantly black school district, arguing that to allow such a separation would run counter to long-standing case law and undermine black students’ civil rights. [WaPo]

A Pike County school employee drugged and sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl at a party at his home after school officials were warned of the planned gathering but did nothing to stop it, a federal lawsuit alleges. [H-L]

Rex Tillerson sought to walk back Donald Trump’s threat of “fire and fury” against North Korea’s escalating nuclear program, the latest example that doing damage control for his boss is a regular part of his job. [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]

Here Comes Corbin With The Dumb Again

This was a meeting of the board and it’s time for legal action. Against both Matt Bevin and the board and members of the board. [H-L]

Jenni Monet, one of a half-dozen journalists arrested this year covering the Standing Rock pipeline protests in North Dakota, recalled being verbally abused by police during her 30-hour detention, including hours in a freezing garage. [HuffPo]

What the hell is wrong with the people in Southern Indiana repeatedly trying to burn hazardous material? An Indiana judge has dealt a serious blow to a cement plant’s three-year push to burn hazardous materials as fuel 12 miles north of Louisville. [C-J/AKN]

Just in case you needed more evidence that Donald Trump willfully and deliberately colluded with the Russians. The extent of the president’s personal intervention in his son’s response, the details of which have not previously been reported, adds to a series of actions that Trump has taken that some advisers fear could place him and some members of his inner circle in legal jeopardy. [WaPo]

A town hall meeting to provide the public more information and a chance to discuss the City of Richmond’s upcoming connection to the KentuckyWired network drew questions mostly related to the cost of connection, and who in the community could be connected. [Richmond Register]

Donald Trump has decided to remove Anthony Scaramucci from his position as communications director, three people close to the decision said Monday, relieving him just days after Mr. Scaramucci unloaded a crude verbal tirade against other senior members of the president’s senior staff. [NY Times]

New Councilman Louie Gabbard was sworn in to office on Tuesday night — the same evening when area residents expressed frustration to the City Council over a hike in water rates for those who live outside Flatwoods city limits. [Ashland Independent]

Given how Donald Trump has taken aim at the Environmental Protection Agency with regulatory rollbacks and deep proposed budget cuts, it may come as no surprise that the Office of Environmental Justice is on the chopping block. [ProPublica]

Crime in Louisville has dropped this year, but homicides continue to climb. That’s according to Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad. [WFPL]

More than half of adults who misused opioids did not have a prescription, and many obtained drugs for free from friends or relatives, according to a national survey of more than 50,000 adults. [PBS]

Just in case you’re wondering why education is scraping the bottom of the barrel in Eastern Kentucky… While students across the state get set for the eclipse on August 21st, one school district will be closing it’s doors over safety concerns. [WKYT]

Meet the extreme anti-abortion group trying to close Kentucky’s last clinic. [MMFA]

Oh, great, another Mt. Sterling resident has surfaced to make that community look dumber than Richie Farmer. City people are bad news bears and countryfolk are better, apparently? Heather A. Johnson – you’ve bitten off more than you can chew. [H-L]

Two degrees Celsius: That’s the global temperature increment scientists say the world must stay beneath to avoid the worst effects of climate change. But according to a study published this week in the journal Nature Climate Change, the odds of us staying under this threshold are looking pretty grim. [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]