Walls Are Closing In On Republicans

There was more sophistication in my last b.m. than Matt Bevin has ever encountered in his entire life. [H-L]

There may have been a brief moment Monday morning when the White House thought the week wouldn’t be so bad. The federal grand jury indictment unsealed against Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and his longtime associate Rick Gates, dealt with much of their lobbying work before the 2016 election. [HuffPo]

Dealing a major blow to efforts to curb supposedly frivolous malpractice claims, a judge has struck down a new Kentucky law creating medical review panels to screen such cases before they go to trial. New Republicans are the party of restricting your constitutional rights. [C-J/AKN]

Consider, if you will, these two indisputable facts. First, the United States is today more or less permanently engaged in hostilities in not one faraway place, but at least seven. Second, the vast majority of the American people could not care less. [Bill Moyers]

The city of Ashland is interviewing six candidates for its new top communications job after it received 20 applications. [Ashland Independent]

Here’s where a lot of that laundered money went. You’ll want to check the chart out. [CNBC]

The Democratic Minority Leader in the Kentucky House of Representatives still doesn’t know what’s in a proposed Republican measure to alter the benefit structure and strengthen financially the state’s public pension plans. [Ronnie Ellis]

Manafort’s business partner remained a key player in Trumpworld long after Manafort himself was forced out of the campaign over concerns about his work abroad. [TPM]

Matt Bevin began his sales pitch for pension reform Monday before 300 attending a public policy luncheon sponsored by Commerce Lexington. But his pitch reflected what he has said previously about the bill released Friday which would move most state employees into 401(a), defined contribution plans. [More Ronnie Ellis]

Heh. These people should visit Frankfort sometime. [NY Times]

Some Louisville residents in need of help with heating bills can now apply for aid through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program – or LIHEAP. [WFPL]

To understand what the Trump administration faces as it tries to sharpen focus on the opioid epidemic, consider the “diseases of despair” that have hobbled the Appalachian region for the past two decades. [WaPo]

Get rekt, Ralph Alvarado! A new law aimed at limiting medical malpractice lawsuits in Kentucky is unconstitutional, Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd ruled Monday. [H-L]

In an impassioned speech Saturday, Hillary Clinton laid into the Trump administration for its stance on LGBTQ rights, acknowledging that “tough battles” lie ahead for the queer community and other minority groups. [HuffPo]

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Already *Guilty* Pleas In Collusion Case

Three small cities in Eastern Kentucky are feeling their way toward a possible historic merger as they try to cope with aging infrastructure, scant tax bases and revenue lost because of the sharp downturn in the coal industry. [H-L]

A foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has pleaded guilty to a charge of lying to FBI agents. George Papadopoulos, 30, pleaded guilty on Oct. 5, but the case wasn’t unsealed until Monday, when two other Trump associates were indicted by a federal grand jury. [HuffPo]

This is what’s wrong with the United States – and UofL specifically. University of Louisville interim athletic director Vince Tyra will make $100,000 a month in his position, according to a contract approved by the University of Louisville Athletic Association board of trustees. [C-J/AKN]

Paul Manafort and his former business associate were indicted on Monday on money laundering, tax and foreign lobbying charges, a significant escalation in a special counsel investigation that has cast a shadow over Donald Trump’s first year in office. [NY Times]

A professor with close ties to the Russian government told an adviser to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in April 2016 that Moscow had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails,” according to court documents unsealed Monday. The adviser, George Papadopoulos, has pleaded guilty to lying to the F.B.I. about that conversation. The plea represents the most explicit evidence connecting the Trump campaign to the Russian government’s meddling in last year’s election. [NY Times]

Here’s a good example of why Scott Jennings has turned into a wretched person. Forget that he cracked racist jokes at a CHURCH PICNIC (Fancy Farm). That he’s now unbelievably homophobic. Or that he’s aligned himself with both Donald Trump and Jamie Comer – two people with nasty histories of allegedly abuse of women. He’s lying about Democrats loving George W. Bush. It’s possible to think he’s more of a statesman than Donald Trump without being in love with him or his policies. The deliberate dishonesty that spews from Jennings will leave a terrible legacy for his kids to remember. Like Matt Bevin, his kids will ultimately see the shameful situation he helped put the country – and Kentucky – into. [BGDN]

The Drug Enforcement Administration has for five years steadfastly defended the behavior of its agents in a late-night drug seizure carried out with Honduran forces on the remote Mosquito Coast, a mission that resulted in the deaths of four Honduran civilians. [ProPublica]

Yep, Bevin’s “plan” harms the most important people in government. The people protecting you and the people teaching your children. Way to go, Republicans, for sticking it to the little people. [WFPL]

Natalia V. Veselnitskaya arrived at a meeting at Trump Tower in June 2016 hoping to interest top Trump campaign officials in the contents of a memo she believed contained information damaging to the Democratic Party and, by extension, Hillary Clinton. The material was the fruit of her research as a private lawyer, she has repeatedly said, and any suggestion that she was acting at the Kremlin’s behest that day is anti-Russia “hysteria.” [NY Times]

Hahahaha, keep dreaming, this is not going to happen. Carter County’s job numbers continue to improve. [Ashland Independent]

The National Association of Home Builders know how to demolish things, and on Saturday they decided to take on a new project — the House Republican tax bill. [WaPo]

Advocates and doctors in opioid-ravaged Kentucky urged Donald Trump’s acting chief health official to spend more money on fighting the drug epidemic one day after he signed an order declaring the crisis a national public health emergency. [Richmond Register]

Doug Corcoran is in the trenches every day in the fight against the opioid crisis in the rural Ohio county he helps oversee. So Donald Trump’s failure this week to formally declare the overdose epidemic a “national emergency” – words that would have freed up more federal funds to tackle the crisis – was disappointing for him. [Reuters]

Matt Bevin’s a walking piece of shit. Really, a walking, crazy-eyed piece of shit. Imagine being his child. [H-L]

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and onetime business associate Rick Gates were indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiracy and money laundering in connection with an intensifying investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. [HuffPo]

Facebook plans to tell lawmakers on Tuesday that 126 million of its users may have seen content produced and circulated by Russian operatives, many times more than what the company previously disclosed about the reach of the disinformation campaign during the 2016 presidential election, according to documents obtained by the Washington Post. [WaPo]

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It’s Monday. Hold On Tight, Kids.

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

Part of Shitbird Matt Bevin’s controversial proposal to reshape Kentucky’s public retirement systems would require school teachers and state and local government employees to pay an additional 3 percent of their salaries into their retiree health insurance funds. [John Cheves]

Republican leaders support tax cuts adding trillions to the national debt now, but had dire warnings about it under the Obama administration. [HuffPo]

The pension reform bill was finally released to legislators late Friday, causing additional concerns to some critics of a framework for the bill released on Oct. 18 by Matt Bevin and top leaders of the General Assembly’s Republican majorities. [C-J/AKN]

A federal grand jury in Washington, DC, on Friday approved the first charges in the investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller, according to sources briefed on the matter. [CNN]

After seeing a slight decrease in drug overdose deaths in 2016, Madison County has surpassed last year’s total with just more than two months left in the year. [Richmond Register]

The realtor who helped former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort buy the Virginia condo that was recently raided by the FBI testified last week before the federal grand jury hearing testimony in Robert Mueller’s Russia probe. [Politico]

The Ashland commission agreed to hire a consulting firm to study the city’s water system. [Ashland Independent]

Hold on to yer wig! Trump’s frustration at the investigations into his campaign’s ties with Russia boiled over on Sunday, as he sought to shift the focus to a litany of accusations against his 2016 rival, Hillary Clinton, as the special counsel inquiry was reportedly poised to produce its first indictment in the case. [NY Times]

Rowan County Fiscal Court agreed last week to join more than 35 other Kentucky counties in a lawsuit against opioid distributors. [The Morehead News]

The departure of Orangeshart Trump’s motorcade from his Sterling, Va., golf club on Saturday afternoon was chronicled as dutifully and minutely as the retreat of some great army. [WaPo]

The results of a study conducted by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and Michael Baker International, a Louisville-based consulting firm, regarding the replacement of the Water Street tunnel were presented to community members and city officials Friday morning. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The New Republicans are overwhelmingly racist and it’s good to see them finally show their true colors. About 300 white nationalists and neo-Nazis held back-to-back rallies in two small Tennessee cities on Saturday to protest refugee resettlement in the state, which sued the federal government over the issue earlier this year. [Reuters]

In 2013, as an Alabama development company prepared to turn a farm at Nicholasville Road and Man o’ War Boulevard into an upscale shopping center called the Summit at Fritz Farm, the company decided that it would like some taxpayer help with complicated stormwater issues at the site. So Bayer Properties turned to tax increment financing, a program in Kentucky first set up in 2002 to improve blighted urban areas by luring developers with generous tax breaks. [Linda Blackford]

This is happening in the United States and Republicans are refusing to talk about it. More than 900 bodies have been authorized for cremation in Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria ravaged the island on Sept. 20, the U.S. territory’s Department of Public Safety confirmed to HuffPost Saturday. Medical examiners overseeing the process do not appear to have conducted physical examinations of the bodies. [HuffPo]

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Alison Appears To Be In A Big Pickle

Calling the claims against her “politically motivated and spurious,” Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes denied that she ever improperly obtained voter data or that she took inappropriate action in a contract with a state vendor. [H-L]

Donald Trump on Thursday formally declared a public health emergency for the opioid crisis, an action that has been more than two months in the making. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin’s a crazy-eyed hypocrite. The people he’s attacking? They’re the very people he originally sought for advice on the pension mess. His team even tried to lure me in for advice and connections on those in-the-know about KRS. Now they’re attacking them. Here’s hoping they all lose their asses over the next couple years. [C-J/AKN]

Last month, ProPublica published a deep examination of how struggling black Americans are much less likely to gain lasting relief from bankruptcy than their white peers. [ProPublica]

Hahahahaha! They think a living wage is ever going to be a thing in Louisville with folks like Greg Fischer and David Yates in charge. [WFPL]

Earlier this month at the Brooklyn Museum, scholar and MSNBC legal analyst Paul Butler joined Michelle Alexander, civil rights lawyer and author of The New Jim Crow, for a conversation about his latest book, Chokehold: Policing Black Men. As a former federal prosecutor, Butler uses his firsthand experience to demonstrate how the legal system is structured to target and criminalize black men. [Bill Moyers]

The Democratic Minority Leader in the Kentucky House of Representatives still doesn’t know what’s in a proposed Republican measure to alter the benefit structure and strengthen financially the state’s public pension plans. [Ronnie Ellis]

Senate Democrats have questioned whether Donald Trump’s nominee for a top EPA position is violating the law by working at the agency before being confirmed, and they are demanding more details about his duties. [NBC News]

With these folks involved, you know something shady’s afoot. The EastPark board of directors on Tuesday hammered down a deal to sell a massive plot of land to Braidy Industries, which said it will build a $1.3-billion aluminum mill. [Ashland Independent]

They’re worried this dipshit might get cranky if he’s away from home for too long – seriously. Leaders of more than a dozen countries will meet for a major summit in the Philippines in mid-November, but Donald Trump won’t be there. He is planning to skip it and leave the Philippines the day before. It’s a bad signal to send to the region, and it could undermine the overall goal of his Asia tour by calling American regional leadership into question. [WaPo]

The family court judge for Barren and Metcalfe counties who sought to pre-emptively recuse himself from all adoptions involving parents of the same gender is resigning, effective after Dec. 16. [Glasgow Daily Times]

More lip service from the orange idiot and his fellow New Nazi Republicans on the opioid front. [NY Times]

A state panel that disciplines judges has filed ethics charges against a Kentucky judge who objected to handling adoption cases involving gay parents. [H-L]

I was a racist cop. Years ago, I was helping a supervisor at a single-car crash. A black man collided head-on into a concrete divider, and died at the scene. I was detouring the ensnarled traffic when my corporal, who had been alongside the victim, shared an update. [HuffPo]

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Jim Gray: More Waste, More Bullshit

Someone should pay for the Jim Gray research files that exist. Because if this jackass is going to waste taxpayer dollars fighting the release of public documents? He’s got another thing coming. [H-L]

Thousands of people are fleeing Puerto Rico as the island remains without power and the death toll continues to climb more than a month after Hurricane Maria. [HuffPo]

James O’Malley, a farmer from Shelby County, has crossed the East End bridge at least five times this year to visit his son in Indianapolis or travel to Wisconsin. He doesn’t mind paying a toll to cross, he said. But he’s never gotten a bill. [C-J/AKN]

Haha, personal funds? More like pilfered charity dollars. Trump plans to spend at least $430,000 of his personal funds to help cover the mounting legal costs incurred by White House staff and campaign aides related to the ongoing investigations of Russian meddling in last year’s election, a White House official said. [WaPo]

The mayor and the father-and-son founders of a new company starting in Glasgow have officially signed off on a deal providing the company a $30,000 loan from the Glasgow Economic Development Loan Fund. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The latest chapter in the country’s continuing reckoning with the legacy of the Confederacy is being written by grade school students. [NY Times]

Drama’s afoot! In a split but bi-partisan vote Tuesday and without providing reason on cause, the state Board of Elections dismissed its executive director, Maryellen Allen, and assistant director, Matthew Selph. [Ronnie Ellis]

A 17-year-old illegal immigrant in federal custody in Texas can have an abortion immediately despite the objections of Donald Trump’s administration, a U.S. appeals court decided on Tuesday in a ruling spearheaded by Democratic-appointed judges. [Reuters]

As the newly appointed Boyd County Commonwealth Attorney, Rhonda Copley hopes to make a difference regarding the local drug issue. [Ashland Independent]

Sen. Jeff Flake delivered a scathing speech about Trump from the floor of the Senate on Tuesday, as he officially announced that he will not run for reelection in 2018. [The Hill]

Only minor issues were reported during an annual audit of Rowan County Schools. Lori Dearfield, senior auditor for Kelly Galloway Smith Goolsby, PSC, presented the report during last Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting. [The Morehead News]

The voter-fraud-checking program championed by the head of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity suffers from data security flaws that could imperil the safety of millions of peoples’ records, according to experts. [ProPublica]

The nation’s two largest credit ratings agencies, both of which downgraded Kentucky this year because of its large public pension debt, have handed in mixed reviews of Republican Giant Pussy Matt Bevin’s proposal to reshape the state’s retirement systems. Standard & Poor’s predicted that Bevin’s proposal “will likely face legal challenges” over the “inviolable contract” rights of school teachers and state employees to not have their retirement benefits reduced. [John Cheves]

Seeing Russian flags get thrown at Dipshit Donald as he walked through the Capitol with Mitch McConnell was prime viewing. [HuffPo]

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Overdoses Are Hitting Ashland Hard

The effort to preserve a 125-mile stretch of Pine Mountain that runs the length of southeastern Kentucky has taken a significant step forward with the purchase of nearly 2,000 acres, the Kentucky Natural Lands Trust announced Thursday. [H-L]

The public feud between Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Donald Trump continued to escalate on Tuesday. The GOP senator, who warned earlier this month that Trump’s behavior could lead to World War III, told CNN that he believes the president’s legacy will be the “debasement of our nation.” [HuffPo]

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has made its final decision for a new VA hospital in Louisville, and it is sticking with a 35-acre farmland site off Brownsboro Road. [C-J/AKN]

The U.S government issued a rare public warning that sophisticated hackers are targeting energy and industrial firms, the latest sign that cyber attacks present an increasing threat to the power industry and other public infrastructure. [Reuters]

A second person has announced her candidacy to become the next Barren County clerk, with incumbent Joanne London not seeking re-election. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Another lawmaker is asking insurers whether their policies have made it easier for patients to access cheaper, more addictive drugs over less addictive alternatives. Meanwhile, the insurance industry trade group pledged additional steps to combat inappropriate prescribing. [ProPublica]

Rowan County Fiscal Court made it clear during its monthly meeting on Tuesday that it did not support a rate increase proposed by Advanced Disposal, owner and operator of the county landfill. [The Morehead News]

This idiot. Speaking to reporters alongside Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Rosselló at the White House on Thursday, Trump gave the White House the highest possible marks for its response to Hurricane Maria. [ThinkProgress]

A plaque proclaiming Jefferson Davis as a hero and a patriot will be removed from Kentucky’s Capitol, the latest effort to alter Confederate monuments across the country following outbreaks of racially motivated violence. [Richmond Register]

After a series of high-profile police shootings, police departments across the nation turned to body cameras, hoping they would curb abuses. But a rigorous study released Friday shows that they have almost no effect on officer behavior. [NY Times]

An overdose awareness and prevention seminar is set for Thursday in downtown Ashland amid an overdose crisis that’s devastated the Tri-State and left at least 34 dead in Boyd County this year alone. [Ashland Independent]

These fools have no idea that it’s the media’s job to constantly question those in power – no matter what. Yet again, the White House has declared itself to be above question. [WaPo]

It was time. Long past time, actually. As the sun set Tuesday on a beautiful fall day, it also set on Lexington’s two most visible symbols of history rewritten. [Tom Eblen]

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) won’t run for re-election in 2018, The Arizona Republic first reported. Flake spoke about his decision on the Senate floor Tuesday, railing against the “appalling features of our current politics” and arguing that lawmakers should “never regard as normal the regular and casual undermining of our democratic norms and ideals.” [HuffPo]

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Republicans Ruin Everything They Touch

It may be true, as its title suggests, that the pension plan outlined last week by Matt Bevin and Republican legislative leaders is “keeping the promise.” But what promise and to whom? Certainly, it doesn’t keep a promise to current or future public workers and retirees that they will retire with financial security. [H-L]

Once upon a time, an insurgent candidate defeated Hillary Clinton, the most prepared potential president in U.S. history, after a nasty, close and historic race. [HuffPo]

Anyone deliberately ignorant enough to claim a soccer stadium in Louisville is going to push wages higher is an asshole. That’s not remotely based in reality. It’s not going to happen. If anything, they’ll hire the lowest common denominator for work and pay them the lowest rate that’s legally possible. It happens in every development in Louisville and it’s not changing any time soon. But this is Attica Scott, the woman who refused to answer questions about her residency when she initially ran for Metro Council. So it’s not surprising she’d put false hope out there to fluff up liberals in wealthy parts of the city. [C-J/AKN]

The two Honduran women told nearly identical stories to the immigration courts: Fear for their lives and for the lives of their children drove them to seek asylum in the United States. [Reuters]

State Librarian and Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives (KDLA) Commissioner Terry Manuel announced that Madison County Clerk Kenny Barger has received a grant totaling $17,302 from the KDLA to preserve and manage local government records. [Richmond Register]

It was about 10 a.m. on Aug. 12 when the melee erupted just north of Emancipation Park in Charlottesville, Virginia. [ProPublica]

It’s been 10 years since Kentucky judges received a raise, placing judicial salaries in the commonwealth 48th among the 50 states. [Ronnie Ellis]

With the White House under fire over its handling of the deaths of four U.S. soldiers in Niger, questions are rising about the deadly ambush. [ThinkProgress]

The Boyd County Public Library is operating on a $3.1 million budget and will likely have about $5 million in reserve this fiscal year. The library – like the school districts, volunteer fire departments and health department in Boyd County – is a special taxing district. The bulk of the library’s budget – 84 percent – is funded by property taxes. [Ashland Independent]

The Environmental Protection Agency has published a list of 10 toxic threats it will evaluate first under a law passed last year intended to crack down on hazardous chemicals. [NY Times]

Sometimes you have to wonder if the folks running Morehead State University know their ass from a hole in the ground. [The Morehead News]

Authoritarian bullshit. The White House flashed its authoritarian streak again on Friday when press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said it was “highly inappropriate” for journalists to fact-check a false claim by Chief of Staff John F. Kelly. [WaPo]

This sort of thing happened repeatedly in Montgomery County. I reported on it for a few years. Kids ‘escaped’ school on a regular basis, roamed around in traffic, you name it. It was a nightmare situation. Valarie Honeycutt Spears just twiddled her thumbs over those stories. [H-L]

For 27 years, Erwin Marks helped design military aircraft, missiles, drones and even solid rocket boosters for the space shuttle. The work was a good fit for Marks, who’d left the Navajo Nation to study design engineering technology at Brigham Young University in the 1980s. But after almost three decades, Marks had grown tired of the hiring and layoff cycles every few years as federal contracts were awarded and expired. [HuffPo]

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