RPK Is Still Killing Your Environment

Some Republicans in the state House of Representatives are pushing anti-solar legislation by playing one of Kentucky’s favorite political blame games: You’re Subsidized, But I’m Not. [H-L]

Donald Trump Jr. used Twitter to launch an unprovoked attack on U.S. Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon on Tuesday night. [HuffPo]

Ed Hart got his ass handed to him again, it seems. Kentucky Kingdom withdrew its support Friday for a controversial measure that would allow seasonal businesses to avoid paying employees overtime, two days after a union threatened a wider boycott against the Louisville-based amusement park. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump is expected to unveil on Monday a plan that would fulfill one of his signature campaign promises: a $1.5 trillion, once-in-a-generation proposal to rebuild, restore and modernize the nation’s aging infrastructure. (Posting this so you can see what folks “expected” to occur.) [NY Times]

When someone wants to purchase a keg of beer from craft brewer Adam Watson, he has to turn them away because Kentucky law limits how much he can sell to a customer. [Richmond Register]

Another day, another attack on Medicaid — and on the poor and working class. In other words, those five states want to time-limit or cap the total period of time an individual could receive Medicaid benefits over his or her lifetime. [WaPo]

This guy is clearly mentally unfit to serve if he thinks budget cuts aren’t worrying and troublesome. Kentucky Sheriff’s Departments are one of many governmental units facing budget cuts from Matt Bevin’s proposed plan, but Boyd County Sheriff Bobby Jack Woods isn’t worried. [Ashland Independent]

A second U.S. judge on Tuesday blocked Donald Trump’s decision to end a program that protects immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children from deportation. [Reuters]

As many as 14 school districts are faced with the inability to pay their bills by the end of the school year and some Kentucky lawmakers say they’re only a harbinger of things to come. [Ronnie Ellis]

More than a year after American diplomats began to suffer strange, concussion-like symptoms in Cuba, a U.S. investigation is no closer to determining how they were hurt or by whom, and the FBI and CIA are at odds over the case. A ProPublica investigation reveals the many layers to the mystery — and the political maneuvering that is reshaping U.S.-Cuba relations. [ProPublica]

Refundable tax incentives that have been made available to film production companies in the past by the state have been temporarily suspended. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A US spy chief has warned that presidential aides with interim security clearances should have “limited” access to secret information. US Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said the clearance process was “broken” and needs to be reformed. [BBC]

In the wake of the shooting that claimed the lives of two students and injured 21 others, Marshall County High School is requiring all students to have their bags, backpacks and purses checked before entering school. [H-L]

When Betsy DeVos was named education secretary last February, she become public education’s No. 1 enemy. After all, the billionaire is notorious for her desire to expand private school choice programs (which include many religious private schools that teach Christian fundamentalist doctrine). [HuffPo]

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Another Kentucky Republican Trafficking Humans But RPK Is Strangely Silent

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He was a Trump Campaign chair. A former Kentucky judge has entered into a plea agreement in a human-trafficking case. [H-L]

For the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who would be tasked with making it happen, a military parade like the one Donald Trump envisions would be a colossal pain in the rear guard. [HuffPo]

Nineteen Kentucky schools won’t get planned safety reviews this year that are partially designed to help prevent and prepare for emergencies such as last month’s Marshall County High School mass shooting. [C-J/AKN]

Researchers at the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) analysed three months of social media activity of US Twitter and Facebook users from November 2017 to January 2018 – the period leading up to President Trump’s latest State of the Union Address. They find that on Twitter, a network of Trump supporters shares the widest range of junk news and circulates more junk news than all other political audience groups combined. [University of Oxford]

Republican Brian Linder is a lying conman. It doesn’t take more than $20,000 to install solar. You can run a small home or average apartment for $5,000. Way less if you’re only powering something like a water heater, personal electric, fridges and freezers, pumps or lighting. And it’s absurd to suggest Louisville and Lexington aren’t 99% working class people. Linder might get his ass kicked if he steps foot in either city – possibly by conservative Republicans with enough sense to know that solar puts power in the hands of the people, not the hands of energy oligarchs. [WFPL]

The U.S. official in charge of protecting American elections from hacking says the Russians successfully penetrated the voter registration rolls of several U.S. states prior to the 2016 presidential election. [NBC News]

Of course the Republican Party of Kentucky is once again targeting transgender youth with a new bathroom bill. These hate-filled hacks like Kim King and Richard Heath are disgusting excuses for Americans. Strange how the mainstream media is ignoring this one. [LRC]

If the man who can’t pronounce “nuclear” understands what’s going on and isn’t afraid to discuss it publicly… well… Former President George W. Bush appeared to take aim at Donald Trump on Thursday when he said at an economic summit in the Middle East that there was “pretty clear evidence that the Russians meddled” in the 2016 U.S. president election. [USA Today]

The Glasgow Common Council’s agenda for Monday includes, as expected, consideration of a municipal order expressing intent for the participation in a needle exchange program. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Five people, including a suspected gunman who apparently took his own life, were killed in a shooting spree at two locations in northeast Kentucky on Saturday, officials said. [Reuters]

As many as 14 school districts are faced with the inability to pay their bills by the end of the school year and some Kentucky lawmakers say they’re only a harbinger of things to come. [Ronnie Ellis]

Shitbird Trump blocked on Friday the release of a classified Democratic memo rebutting Republican claims that top federal law enforcement officials had abused their surveillance powers in spying on a former Trump campaign aide, raising the specter of a potential showdown with Congress. [NY Times]

The guy operating the Kentucky State Police twitter account is a self-hating homophobic shitbag. He should be reassigned or fired. There is no room in law enforcement for someone like that. [H-L]

One morning last September, Jeancarlo and Jan Miguel Ruiz Núñez stepped out of their home and found their neighborhood, on the outskirts of the small mountain town of Lares, Puerto Rico, wrecked. Hurricane Maria had battered the island for hours. The storm had downed light poles and scattered tree branches into the roads. Debris blocked all of the exits of their driveway. But what worried the Núñez brothers most was their 46-year-old mother, Mariluz, who had been battling breast cancer for nearly a decade and was bedridden. [HuffPo]

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Republicans Still Wishing In One Hand…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Kentucky Needs A New Ed Commish

Maybe crap like this wouldn’t happen in the commissioner would stop trying to promote himself as some sort of celebrity. And if people like Valarie Honeycutt Spears didn’t intentionally ignore corruption in education. [H-L]

The nutrition children receive during their first 1,000 days ― from conception until their second birthday ― has a profound impact on how they develop. Without the proper nutrition during that window of time, young brains will not grow to their fullest potential, diminishing the kids’ opportunities for the rest of their lives, according to public health and medical organizations. [HuffPo]

A national “consumer” group is working with Frankfort lawmakers, making phone calls to their constituents and urging Kentuckians to support a bill that would roll back incentives for solar power. But who are they? [C-J/AKN]

The U.S. flu outbreak worsened over the past week as more people headed to doctors’ offices and emergency rooms, with hospitalizations at the highest in nearly 10 years, U.S. health officials said on Friday. [Reuters]

The 2018 General Assembly is now one-third of the way toward its constitutionally-limited 60 days to pass legislation — and still there is no pension bill in sight. [Ronnie Ellis]

Since the election, Donald Trump has made 31 specific claims about companies adding or saving American jobs thanks to his intervention. We went back to see what’s become of those announcements. [ProPublica]

The Coalition for the Homeless has received the needed funds to launch a pilot program to house homeless young adults in Louisville, officials said this week. [WFPL]

This mess is part of the reason Modern Republicans are so painfully dumb and dangerous. [ThinkProgress]

For the first time in recent memory, all but one local races for the state legislature and Congress are contested as 31 candidates have signed up to run for seven local seats. The last time those seats were up for election, 15 candidates filed to run. Democrats fielded 16 of the 2018 candidates, with 15 Republicans filing for the seats. [BGDN]

Former FBI Director James Comey lobbed criticism at Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee on Friday, asking his Twitter followers, “That’s it?” after the release of a disputed and much-hyped memo about alleged bias at the FBI and Department of Justice. [Politico]

Basically, Republicans are about to choke the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s economy. [WKYT]

K.T. McFarland, Trump’s onetime deputy national security adviser, has withdrawn from consideration to be the U.S. ambassador to Singapore, the White House confirmed Friday. McFarland has been under scrutiny in the special-counsel probe into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. [WaPo]

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray raised more money than his Democratic opponents in his first month as a candidate in the primary election to challenge Republican Andy Barr for his Central Kentucky congressional seat. [H-L]

Donald Trump on Friday declassified a Republican-authored memo that claims to show the Justice Department and FBI inappropriately conducted surveillance on a member of the Trump presidential campaign. FBI Director Chris Wray isn’t having any of it. [HuffPo]

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The RPK Is Beginning To Freak Out

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

A former Eastern Kentucky lawmaker pleaded guilty to identity theft Thursday under a plea deal that calls for a two-year prison sentence. Former state Rep. Keith Hall, a democrat from Pikeville who is already serving a 7-year sentence in another case, was charged last year with three counts of wire fraud, two counts of identity theft and one count of lying to the FBI. [H-L]

Every single privacy activist I know cares about privacy in significant part to ensure the rule of law and to prevent the arbitrary exercise of justice to focus just on select groups like Muslims or Chinese-Americans, rather than those who pose the greatest risk to society, like people allegedly doing Russia’s secret bidding. Yet the actions of Ryan and Nunes reverse that, using a sham concern for civil liberties as a way to prevent themselves, their associates, and the president from being subject to the rule of law like the rest of us would be.[HuffPo]

Dan Dumas is a far-right nutso homophobe and your tax dollars paid him a $60,000 golden parachute. People like that have no business being around children. And why no mention of the $60K “mortgage” he received just a few days ago from the Southern Baptists? [C-J/AKN]

Trump wanted to know where the special counsel’s Russia investigation was heading. And he wanted to know whether Rosenstein was “on my team.” [CNN]

A Jamie Comer-Scott Jennings lackey is trying to run for Secretary of State. Which means hot garbage is running for Secretary of State. [Republican Stenographers]

The Republican Party isn’t just officially homophobic. Now it’s officially transphobic. Republicans are bigots. If that’s a tough pill for you to swallow, you need to deal with the fact that your political party of choice is one of hate. The Republican National Committee is siding with President Donald Trump on his order to bar transgender individuals from serving in the U.S. military. [AP]

The 2018 General Assembly is now one-third of the way toward its constitutionally-limited 60 days to pass legislation — and still there is no pension bill in sight. [Ronnie Ellis]

The U.S. Congress made no notable progress this week toward a deal on the status of 700,000 “Dreamer” immigrants, with Donald Trump saying on Friday that one “could very well not happen” by a deadline next month. [Reuters]

The filing deadline for Kentucky candidates closed Tuesday, and some northeastern Kentucky lawmakers will face challengers in this year’s election cycle. [Ashland Independent]

For Republicans in the states, the political warning signs keep mounting: In Virginia, it was an electoral shellacking that nearly snapped their 20-year grip on the State House. In Wisconsin, it was a midwinter rout in a special election for the State Senate, fought in a conservative district. [NY Times]

In a year when women candidates are expected to play an important role, 89 women filed to run for the Kentucky General Assembly. [More Ronnie Ellis]

Gene Ransom’s day was ruined within minutes of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s announcement that he was giving federal prosecutors more freedom to go after marijuana transactions in states that have legalized medical cannabis. [WaPo]

Yes, Matt Bevin’s new Medicaid rules are all about putting up roadblocks for poor people. That’s how modern Republicanism functions. [John Cheves]

For weeks, Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee and their allies have been promising that they have a memo with damning evidence undermining special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election meddling and Russian ties to Donald Trump’s inner circle. [HuffPo]

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Teresa Isaac. Just… No. No. No. No. No.

Just… no. A former Lexington mayor and a former police chief filed Tuesday to run for the city’s top job, turning the contest for mayor of Kentucky’s second-largest city into a seven-way race. Former Mayor Teresa Isaac, who was mayor from 2003 to 2007, filed to run for the office Tuesday just 10 minutes before the 4 p.m. deadline. [H-L]

One speech does not erase Donald Trump’s record. This is the president, recall, who rose to political power on the racist lie that his predecessor was born in Kenya, and he ran for president while calling to ban all Muslims from the country and deriding Mexican immigrants as rapists. [HuffPo]

Jan Taylor strolled into a classroom in Trimble County in her mid-20s and discovered she’d found her calling. Working with young children to get them ready to start school challenged and inspired her, and she loved every minute. [C-J/AKN]

The firing of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III has long been a red line for most Republicans in Congress who are trying to work with their president. But it’s a red line they’d rather not act on — and now, with news that [Donald] Trump actually made moves to do it, they may be forced to. [WaPo]

In a year when women candidates are expected to play an important role, 89 women filed to run for the Kentucky General Assembly.[Ronnie Ellis]

The kickback scheme was allegedly hashed out over weeknight drinks at a steakhouse in a border county in south Texas. Amid surf and turf and expensive scotch, a Hidalgo County official said he would meet with contractors in the clubby confines of the restaurant in a strip mall in McAllen. [ProPublica]

State Rep. Kevin Sinnette, D-Ashland, will not seek a sixth term in the state House of Representatives, and is instead running for a spot on the Kentucky Court of Appeals. [Ashland Independent]

That’s modern Republicanism for you – racist as can be. Standing outside in the freezing cold, dressed in a new navy blue suit and red tie, Leonardo Reyes was feeling a little overwhelmed Tuesday afternoon as he headed to Capitol Hill for Donald Trump’s State of the Union address. He was the guest of his home-state senator, Jeff Merkley, Democrat of Oregon. [NY Times]

Maysville Community and Technical College held a ceremonial ribbon cutting for the new Rowan campus in the John Will Stacy MMRC Regional Business Park on Friday. [The Morehead News]

The ailing U.S. coal industry is ramping up its political and legal offensive to win approval for West Coast export terminals that could provide a lifeline to lucrative Asia markets. [Reuters]

Last Wednesday, a bill was introduced in the Kentucky House of Representatives that would consolidate independent and county school districts. [Glasgow Daily Times]

At his 2018 State of the Union address on Tuesday night, Donald Trump declared that he has “ended the war on energy” and “ended the war on clean coal.” He referred to clean coal as “beautiful.” It’s not clear what exactly Trump is taking credit for here, as neither war is rooted in reality. [ThinkProgress]

Three hundred Kentuckians filed to run for a seat in the Republican-dominated Kentucky General Assembly this year, with Democrats slightly outpacing their GOP counterparts in an election year that promises dozens of intense political battles. [H-L]

A mix of raw sewage and mud pools under the rusting mobile home perched on a wooded hillside. The trailer, like so many in this small neighborhood on the outskirts of town, has no septic tank and is too remote to connect to a municipal sewage network. The owner has hooked PVC tubing up to the bathroom pipes and flushes her waste out onto the topsoil. [HuffPo]

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A Comer Lackey Has Jumped Ship

Ginger Wills also helped cover up all kinds of Jamie Comer shenanigans. Ginger Wills, the House Republican chief of staff who was accused by a former employee of creating a hostile work environment, resigned Friday. [H-L]

Donald Trump seemed to be in a fog about the facts of climate change during his British TV sit-down with Piers Morgan, which aired Sunday night. Trump said in the ITV interview that the “polar ice caps were supposed to be gone by now,” but instead they’re “breaking records.” [HuffPo]

The low-key settlement talks between the University of Louisville and Tom Jurich may be headed for a more confrontational tone now that a private detective agency has been hired to investigate the former athletic director. [C-J/AKN]

Racist and disgraced former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who is now running for the U.S. Senate as a Republican, recently gave an interview to a publication that’s pushed claims that the Holocaust is a “hoax” and 9/11 was a “Jewish” plot. [MMFA]

Four million dollars. That’s the projected cost increase to Madison County Schools if Matt Bevin’s proposed budget — and the cuts included — is passed, according to district Chief Financial Officer Mark Woods. [Richmond Register]

A senior Red Cross official harassed a subordinate and was accused of raping another. The charity’s now-general counsel David Meltzer praised him on his way out for “leadership” and “dedication.” [ProPublica]

Two more Democrats – a local engineer and a former Boyd County judge-executive – have filed to run for the county’s top government job, increasing the primary field to six candidates. [Ashland Independent]

At the World Economic Forum, world leaders stressed the need for global cooperation on climate change while the United States remained silent. [ThinkProgress]

A Morehead man accused of racially charged vandalism has been indicted by a Rowan County grand jury. [The Morehead News]

Donald Trump ordered the firing last June of Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel overseeing the Russia investigation, according to four people told of the matter, but ultimately backed down after the White House counsel threatened to resign rather than carry out the directive. [NY Times]

The state of the city and the state of the county were given Friday morning during the Glasgow-Barren County Chamber of Commerce’s first quarterly breakfast of the year. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Three organizations opposing profound changes to Kentucky’s Medicaid program filed a lawsuit Wednesday to block the nation’s first experiment to compel low-income people to work or otherwise engage in their communities to qualify for the safety-net health insurance. [WaPo]

Judge-executive Joseph L. “Jody” Jenkins, 44, was found dead early Sunday morning at his residence. Jenkins has been under investigation for a variety of allegations in recent months. Much of the case centers on accusations of purchasing stolen vehicles and equipment with public money. [H-L]

Brandi Seals, a black transgender woman, was shot to death in Houston on Dec. 13, becoming the country’s 22nd known trans woman of color to be killed in hate violence in 2017. Like many other transgender and gender non-conforming homicide victims, her gender identity and name were not initially acknowledged, even in death. [HuffPo]

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