Jamie Comer Is Officially Just Scum

A month before Donald Trump clinched the Republican nomination, one of his closest allies in Congress — House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy — made a politically explosive assertion in a private conversation on Capitol Hill with his fellow GOP leaders: that Trump could be the beneficiary of payments from Russian President Vladimir Putin. [WaPo]

More of that hard-hitting educational reporting from Valarie Honeycutt Spears, the woman who bungled coverage of the Montgomery County Schools scandal. She still hasn’t put in any effort to report on the hundreds of thousands of dollars the district has had to pay out in monstrous settlements. And it’s 15 minutes from her. [H-L]

It’s official! Jamie Comer is a national embarrassment! Not only did he go after a woman who accused him of assault and had others to back her up. Not only did he go after Holly Harris for being honest about his bullshit. Not only did he go after others for attempting to hold his shady ass accountable. But now he’s defending Donald Trump’s treasonous acts and obstruction of justice. Jamie Comer truly is scum and is not deserving of respect. Full stop. [HuffPo]

State government has hired a longtime friend of Gov. Matt Bevin to fill a new $250,000-per-year job dedicated to bolstering the commonwealth’s workforce development efforts. [C-J/AKN]

One afternoon this fall, I knocked on the door of a redbrick apartment building in Akron, Ohio, looking for a Bhutanese refugee who’d lost the tips of his fingers at a Case Farms chicken plant in a vacuum-pressure machine known as a “fat sucker.” [ProPublica]

For the first time since 2009, Farmers Rural Electric Cooperative Corp. customers will see a rate increase. The Kentucky Public Service Commission, or PSC, OK’d a 4.2 percent increase Friday. According to the PSC, the average RECC customer will see their bill increase from $106.46 to $110.95. The new rate structure is expected to go into effect July 1. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Few industries have enjoyed the kind of presidential attention that has been lavished on the coal industry in the first 100 days of the Trump administration. [ThinkProgress]

There was contentious discussion during Thursday’s work session of the Morehead State University Board of Regents. The first item on the agenda was the discussion of academic personnel policies. [The Morehead News]

The episode illustrates the impossible mission of managing a White House led by an impetuous president who has resisted structure and strictures his entire adult life. [Politico]

Two local [in Morehead] television station operators are under fire from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for allegedly operating without a license for nearly 20 years. The commission has proposed the maximum fine of $144,344 against the two for continuing operations. [Ashland Independent]

What other White House would schedule a visit by the Russian foreign minister and ambassador on the day after Mr. Trump fired the man in charge of investigating his campaign’s ties to Russia? What other White House would bar the American media while admitting a Russian state photographer? What other White House would be astonished that the Russians would then distribute photos of their officials backslapping the grinning Mr. Trump inside the Oval Office? [NY Times]

Watching a piece of paper burn Saturday morning, Rossetta Trammel’s eyes beamed with joy. The paper, a mortgage on her Douglas Court home, was no longer needed. After nearly 20 years, the final payment was made. The home was hers, free and clear. [Richmond Register]

Violating the oath of office does not require violating a criminal statute. If the President decided to write the nuclear codes on a sticky note on his desk and then took a photo of it and tweeted it, he would not technically have violated any criminal law–just as he hasn’t here. He has the constitutional authority to dictate that the safeguarding of nuclear materials shall be done through sticky notes in plain sight and tweeted, even the authority to declassify the codes outright. Yet, we would all understand this degree of negligence to be a gross violation of his oath of office. [Lawfare]

The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission said Tuesday, May 16, 2017, that it will ask the Kentucky Supreme Court to review last week’s appeals court decision that supported Hands On Originals’ right to refuse to print gay pride T-shirts in 2012. ;[John Cheves]

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) issued a rare rebuke of Donald Trump’s administration Monday evening, telling reporters the White House must find a way to reverse its “downward spiral.” [HuffPo]

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Kentucky Republicans Embarrassing Us Nationally. Again.

Hopes for a quick rebound in coal jobs with an industry friend in the White House didn’t pan out in Kentucky in the first three months of the year. [H-L]

Major networks including CNN, ABC, CBS and NBC are refusing to air a Donald Trump 2020 campaign ad that attacks mainstream media. [HuffPo]

So many ratchet things to say about the three people taking part in this interview. This involves Rick Pitino, so you can assume some of the ratchet things are highly inappropriate. Be sure to wear rubber gloves while check this story out. [C-J/AKN]

Just in case you thought Matt Bevin and the New Naz… Republican Party of Kentucky couldn’t embarrass you nationally on the health care front again? For nearly three years, Democrats and former President Barack Obama pointed to Kentucky as one of the Affordable Care Act’s biggest success stories. [Reuters]

Ashland is getting too big for its britches, acting as if it’s Louisville or Lexington implementing TIFs that will ultimately fail. The City of Ashland plans to create a Tax Increment Financing, or TIF, district in downtown Ashland to help two investors turn the Ashland Plaza Hotel into a Marriott-brand hotel, and to fund major public projects downtown, including a new convention center and parking garage. [Ashland Independent]

Mike Roman, a longtime Republican opposition researcher who worked for billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch before joining the Trump campaign, is now the White House’s director of special projects and research. He is one of a half-dozen unannounced hires the White House has made since President Trump took office. [ProPublica]

The $1 trillion spending bill signed by Donald Trump on Friday not only keeps the federal government open through September, it also includes additional money to pay for the destruction of chemical agents stored at Bluegrass Army Depot. [Richmond Register]

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s response to the Trump administration pulling down its website detailing information about climate change: putting up his own. [Politico]

BobbiSue Holmes, current dean of students at Cumberland Trace Elementary in Warren County, was named the new principal of South Green Elementary on Thursday in the SGE library. [Glasgow Daily Times]

For local officials here, it was one thing to spar with Donald J. Trump, the developer, over the height of his ficus hedges, the crowds at his Elton John concerts and the roar of jet engines over his private club, Mar-a-Lago. Mr. Trump would often threaten or cajole. The government would often push back, impose fines or endure lawsuits. But dealing with Donald J. Trump, the president, is another matter entirely. [NY Times]

With public interest in horse racing declining, the parent company of the Kentucky Derby has evolved into an entertainment enterprise built on gambling and social gaming platforms. [WFPL]

Not only did the Trump transition team and campaign know about Flynn and Russia, they warned Flynn. [WaPo]

The parents of an autistic third-grader who was dragged down sets of stairs and a hallway have filed suit against a former Scott County teacher, principal, the superintendent and the school district. [H-L]

Twenty-seven of America’s national monuments spanning over more than 11 million acres of land and about 760 million acres of ocean are threatened by a pair of executive orders signed by Donald Trump last week. [HuffPo]

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Horsey Set Had Gambling Fun Saturday

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Coal jobs prove lucrative. But not for those actually in the minds. Which comes as no surprise to anyone paying attention. [H-L]

Democratic activists, revamping fundraising to support congressional candidates in the Trump era, said Friday they received a flood of grassroots donations in the 24 hours after House Republicans passed legislation to repeal huge parts of Obamacare. [HuffPo]

Always Dreaming continued a long run of favorites winning the Kentucky Derby on Saturday at Churchill Downs, but the upset came in the aftermath. [C-J/AKN]

In late November, a member of Donald Trump’s transition team approached national security officials in the Obama White House with a curious request: Could the incoming team get a copy of the classified CIA profile on Sergey Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the United States? The outgoing White House also became concerned about the Trump team’s handling of classified information. After learning that highly sensitive documents from a secure room at the transition’s Washington headquarters were being copied and removed from the facility, Obama’s national security team decided to only allow the transition officials to view some information at the White House, including documents on the government’s contingency plans for crises. [AP]

These buttcramps in Trashland (I fucking said it – what a garbage place, thanks to its elected officials and political leaders and you know it’s true) don’t understand that the First Amendment protects people from government, not the other way around. So of course the new CNHI guy is reporting on defamation by using Wikipedia, apparently. [Ashland Independent]

Always Dreaming won the 143rd Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs over a sloppy track in Louisville on Saturday, giving jockey John Velazquez and trainer Todd Pletcher their second career wins in the ‘Run for the Roses’. [Reuters]

A new state law allowing state parks and fair boards to be sponsored by private entities interested in helping to grow tourism was recently adopted by the Kentucky General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Matt Badussy. [Richmond Register]

Tipped off by her Washington sources that an executive order blocking refugees was coming, Becca Heller fired off messages to her vast network of law students and pro bono lawyers: Tell any clients who already have visas to board a plane for the United States. Get ready for the possibility that they will be detained upon landing. [NY Times]

It’s almost embarrassing that every small town in East and West Bumblefart have renamed parks “Freedom” post-9/11, as if it means something. But people always get uncomfortable when you bring up how ridiculous it is. A ceremony was held at Freedom Park on Thursday recognizing the National Day of Prayer. [The Morehead News]

What was that, again about the New Republicans not being literal racists? [Politico]

Bright-colored outfits are the norm at the Kentucky Derby. Women, men and even children arrive with hopes of attracting attention. Derric Chumney does the same thing, but for a different reason. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Their racist flags are still flying and they don’t even realize it. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Hypocrite) suggested on Wednesday that former President Barack Obama’s planned $400,000 speech to a Wall Street firm is the driving force behind a coming measure to cap presidential pensions. [The Hill]

Just a reminder that Matt Bevin’s leadership sucks so badly that Kentucky’s experiencing a $113 million budget shortfall. Not only is New Republicanism (AKA The Dumb, Overtly Racist Republicans Have Taken Over) dangerous, it’s economically inept. Kentucky’s state government could face more budget cuts this summer because its $10.6 billion General Fund, which pays for most state services, is expected to fall $113.2 million short when fiscal year 2017 ends June 30. [John Cheves]

Grifters gonna grift. For a fee of $500,000 made out to the Kushner family, wealthy Chinese could secure a top spot in America. [HuffPo]

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RPK Denies Trying To Take Louisville Over, Egg Still Visible On Its Face

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Kentucky Retirement Systems, the state pension agency that officially faces an $18.1 billion unfunded liability, might be in far worse financial shape than previously thought. That means taxpayers could be on the hook for much more money to honor pension commitments to about 365,000 public employees. [John Cheves]

Donald Trump’s administration labeled The Associated Press’s reporting on a leak “100 percent false” on Friday morning, only to acknowledge less than an hour later that the story was based on a real document. [HuffPo]

If you think this isn’t a Republican attempt to take over in Louisville, you’re probably someone who believes the moon landing was faked. [C-J/AKN]

From the Department of Things Ken Ham and Scott Jennings wouldn’t understand… Zircons are an ordinary gemstone found in granites from continental crust and are an incredibly accurate way to measure ages on the order of hundreds of millions to billions of years old. [Forbes]

Remember a decade or so ago when we started uncovering and reporting on corruption involving Jim Ramsey and the University of Louisville? And when Ramsey, et al (mostly Democrats tied to Jack Conway), started coming for us? Funny how that works. Turns out we were right all along. [WFPL]

Twice as many people now work in solar than in the coal industry, according to a new survey from the nonprofit Solar Foundation. [Fast Company]

If you happen to be on the campus of Harvard University this spring and you run into former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, don’t be surprised. Beshear will be on campus as part of the Richard L. and Ronay A. Menschel Senior Leadership Fellows at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. [Business First]

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation is pursuing at least three separate probes relating to alleged Russian hacking of the U.S. presidential elections, according to five current and former government officials with direct knowledge of the situation. [Reuters]

After the ease with which it passed out of committee on Thursday — with no nay votes — there wasn’t much surprise Friday when the full Senate unanimously passed the latest Kentucky education reform bill. [Ronnie Ellis]

In light of the stunning events of the past week, the question is not whether the Trump administration’s ties to the Russian government need to be investigated immediately and fully — clearly they do. It’s who will be in charge of that investigation? The Republicans in Congress can’t decide whether they would rather act like a responsible, independent branch or just the friendly legislative arm of the White House. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House oversight committee, would sooner investigate a cartoon character named Sid the Science Kid than any allegations relating to President Trump. [NY Times]

From the Department of Things That Make You Go Hmm… Ashland is ranked eighth as one of the top places to retire in Kentucky, according to a SmartAsset study. [Ashland Independent]

Betsy DeVos criticized teachers at a D.C. school she visited and they took her ass to school. This is the backward, bigoted, out-of-touch woman Scott Jennings and the Republican Party of Kentucky are continually praising. [WaPo]

Tim Conley is a con artist who just won’t quit. He and his family hid behind Jesus – as if that’s okay – while he robbed Morgan County blind as people were suffering and mourning deaths after a tornado that wiped out West Liberty. He deserves to remain in prison until 2021. And honestly, deserves to be shunned for the rest of his time on earth. [H-L]

Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) gave a staunch defense of the free press Saturday, noting that attacks on the media are “how dictators get started.” [HuffPo]

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500,000 Kentuckians To Lose Health Care

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Two things: It’s the Republican Party of Kentucky, not Kentucky Republican Party – but Valarie’s not exactly a stickler for details, as you already know. And Jonathan Miller and Brooke Parker representing Fayette County Public Schools? Are you flipping kidding? HAHAHAHA. You should see the documents Miller initially produced to try to get Parker hired at FBT. [H-L]

President-elect Donald Trump repeatedly called out the publication of unverified allegations that he has ties to Russia as “fake news” during Wednesday’s press conference, his first in nearly six months. [HuffPo]

You already knew Matt Bevin was to blame for the University of Louisville shenanigans. But here’s more proof. [C-J/AKN]

President-elect Donald Trump is dodging serious questions raised by a blockbuster CNN story that top U.S. intelligence officials presented Trump with documents including Russian claims that they have “compromising” information about the president-elect. Instead, he is trying to turn the conversation into a discussion about ethics in political journalism, and some in the press are playing along, helping the president-elect avoid accountability. [Media Matters]

On Wednesday, those that help Richmond job seekers find employment and assist with unemployment claims were told they themselves would soon be working elsewhere. [Richmond Register]

500,000 Kentuckians stand to lose access to health care. But that’s not exactly something Republicans care about in the Commonwealth. [Click the Clicky]

Kentucky’s 51 career centers will be reorganized into 12 hubs and eight existing satellite offices effective Feb. 16, according to an emailed statement from Education and Workforce Development Secretary Hal Heiner. [Glasgow Daily Times]

President-elect Donald Trump aims to open up federal lands to more energy development, tapping into a long-running and contentious debate over how best to manage America’s remaining wilderness. [Reuters]

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools on Wednesday informed the University of Louisville in writing that it remains out of compliance with requirements of the accrediting agency and will lose accreditation if it fails to address the concerns within two years. [Ronnie Ellis]

President-elect Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday that he has “NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA – NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!” Trump, however, has a long history with Russia, trying repeatedly to build luxury properties in Moscow, holding a beauty pageant there and benefiting from heavy investments from Russians in his properties around the world. [WaPo]

Gynnya entered Lincoln Village Regional Juvenile Detention Center in Hardin County on Jan. 10, 2016, and was pronounced dead the next morning. [WFPL]

A recent reworking of language concerning climate change on a Wisconsin government website could be replicated under a Trump administration. [ProPublica]

The Republican Party of Kentucky will NEVER take the time to listen to real Kentuckians who are most impacted by their backward legislation. Never have, never will. [H-L]

President-elect Donald Trump announced Wednesday that he would place his two sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, in charge of his multibillion-dollar Trump Organization. [HuffPo]

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That Big Republican Rush Job Was Fun

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It was reported Sunday afternoon that three persons had been killed and a Rowan County sheriff’s deputy wounded at a residence on Island Fork Road about 15 miles north of Morehead. [The Morehead News]

The shouts of angry union workers echoed through the state Capitol on Saturday as Kentucky’s Republican-majority legislature gave final approval to bills limiting the power of labor unions to collect dues and banning abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. [H-L]

The head of the Office of Government Ethics expressed alarm Saturday that the Senate would begin considering President-elect Donald Trump’s nominees for cabinet positions before they’ve been fully vetted for conflicts of interests. [HuffPo]

Legislation that would abolish the University of Louisville’s board of trustees and allow Gov. Matt Bevin to appoint a brand-new one for the second time during his first term in office is on its way to the governor’s desk. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have scheduled several Senate confirmation hearings for Trump’s cabinet picks — as well as Trump’s first (and likely only) press conference of the transition — on a single day next week. The strategy seems designed to ensure that the media is unable to devote sufficient scrutiny to each story and to reduce the possibility of an educated public responding. [Media Matters]

Hundreds of union members and supporters crammed the state capitol Saturday crying to be heard before Republican lawmakers passed legislation they say will boost the economy but which labor believes is crafted to weaken unions. [Ronnie Ellis]

They love playing the Rand Paul plagiarism game – just like the ditz at WKYT in Lexington. Monica Crowley, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to lead communications for the National Security Council, plagiarized parts of her 2012 book. [The Hill]

Republicans showed off their newly empowered dominance in Kentucky during a rare Saturday session of the Kentucky General Assembly, passing a bevy of bills long-sought by their party over Democratic objections. [Ashland Independent]

First lady Michelle Obama made an impassioned case for embracing diversity and welcoming all religious groups on Friday in a not-so-veiled message to her husband’s successor two weeks ahead of Inauguration Day. [Reuters]

At least four new alcoholic beverage control licenses were issued in Barren County on Thursday and Friday – all for packaged malt beverages. Two were within the city of Glasgow and two were in unincorporated parts of the county, and the latter two started selling the product right away. [Glasgow Daily Times]

This is one of the most scandalous stories you’re going to read for a while. [NY Times]

With the University of Louisville’s accreditation in the balance, the state legislature voted on Saturday to abolish the school’s board of trustees and create a new, smaller board, much like Gov. Matt Bevin tried to do last summer. [WFPL]

Republican lawmakers in Kentucky passed a bill Saturday making it the 27th state to allow workers the right to work in union-represented shops and receive union-negotiated benefits without paying dues to the representing body. [WaPo]

Repealing two key pieces of the Affordable Care Act could cost Kentucky nearly 45,000 jobs in 2019 because of reduced federal spending, according to a new study. [H-L]

The story that Obamacare opponents tell about its enactment is that backers conceived the health insurance proposal in secret, misled the public about its provisions, and passed it without thinking through the consequences. [HuffPo]

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Republicans Are Rushing Because They Know Much Of What They Do Will Ultimately Be Reversed

Yes, reversed. Sooner or later.

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Although Republican lawmakers said they would focus in 2017 on jobs and Kentucky’s economy, the first bills to fly out of the Senate and House chambers on Thursday concerned women’s access to abortion. [John Cheves]

New research has further eroded a go-to argument from climate change deniers: that there’s been a significant slowdown, or hiatus, in global warming.
[HuffPo]

The Kentucky Senate on Thursday passed a bill to abolish the University of Louisville board of trustees and create a new system of appointing its members over objections of Democrats who said Republicans were rushing through a measure that could hurt U of L’s accreditation. [C-J/AKN]

The debts of President-elect Donald Trump and his businesses are scattered across Wall Street banks, mutual funds and other financial institutions, broadening the tangle of interests that pose potential conflicts for the incoming president’s administration. Mr. Trump has previously disclosed that his businesses owe at least $315 million to 10 companies. According to the Journal’s analysis, Trump businesses’ debts are held by more than 150 institutions. [WSJ]

The new Republican majority in the state House of Representatives voted Thursday to make Kentucky a right-to-work state and require women preparing to have an abortion undergo an ultrasound 24 hours before the procedure. [Ronnie Ellis]

Senate Democrats on Thursday demanded an ethics probe into Tom Price, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for U.S. health secretary, following a report that the fierce Obamacare critic traded in healthcare company stocks while pushing legislation in Congress that could affect those shares. [Reuters]

Kentucky lawmakers in the coming days will likely approve a measure to repeal the state’s prevailing wage law. [WFPL]

House Republicans’ push to bring back earmarks this year faces a much tougher road after the GOP’s disastrous and unsuccessful effort this week to weaken a congressional ethics watchdog. [The Hill]

Here’s a look at how media is failing miserably at educating rural Kentucky about what’s at stake with charter schools. Way to go, Morehead News, for sucking harder than necessary. [The Morehead News]

The US has identified the Russian agents behind alleged hacking ahead of the presidential election won by Donald Trump in November, reports say. [BBC]

A statewide judicial redistricting plan that would strip Boyd County of two of its four judges but provide a family court judge was decried on Thursday by the Ashland Board of City Commissioners. [Ashland Independent]

Amid tension over the president-elect’s vision for intelligence agencies, R. James Woolsey Jr. said he did not want to “fly under false colors.” [WaPo]

Way to go, mouth-breathing Republicans! Repealing two key pieces of the Affordable Care Act could cost Kentucky nearly 45,000 jobs in 2019 because of reduced federal spending, according to a new study. [H-L]

Much like Donald Trump, former Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson ― the Republican president-elect’s choice for secretary of state ― appears well on his way to making Sen. John McCain’s blacklist. Asked by reporters Wednesday if he would support Trump’s nomination of the oil tycoon, a friend of Russia, McCain quipped: “Sure ― there’s also a realistic scenario that pigs fly.” [HuffPo]

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