Kentucky Republicans Failed Miserably

Kentucky’s New Republicans are some of the dumbest people you’ll ever meet. I mean it. Straight-up dumb. From victim-blaming Jeff Hoover to racist guy with brown kids Matt Bevin, they’re just garbage people. The worst. All sex education classes in Kentucky’s public schools would have to include abstinence education under a proposal approved by a Senate panel Thursday, despite the dramatic testimony of a high school rape survivor who said such efforts shame people. [H-L]

Two FBI officials texted each other burns about politicians, but their main ideological commitment seems to be to the power and independence of the FBI. [HuffPo]

Union mechanics at UPS have turned to Sen. Mitch McConnell to ratchet up pressure amid contract talks, citing assurances from lawmakers and the shipping giant that tax reform would lead to boosted paychecks for workers — when they’ve gone four years without a salary increase. [C-J/AKN]

A federal judge pushing for a quick settlement of lawsuits against opioid manufacturers and distributors by U.S. cities and counties is seeking to meet with states that are separately suing and probing the companies, Ohio’s attorney general said on Thursday. [Reuters]

Candidates for the 89th District Representative seat, which will be decided in a Feb. 27 special election, have been chosen. [Richmond Register]

The controversy that swirled around the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity far exceeded its output. The commission made no decisions, issued no reports, and consequently had no impact on election laws. The group’s existence was brief: Its creation was announced in March. It had its first meeting in July, its second in September, and as of yesterday, it is no more. [ProPublica]

The Boyd County Fiscal Court will “take a hard look” at a new, $600,000 request from the county jail for more staffing, but it would likely be impossible this fiscal year according to Judge-Executive Steve Towler. [Ashland Independent]

A Wisconsin school district has agreed to pay $800,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by a transgender student who said he was forbidden from using boys bathrooms at his high school and felt degraded by administrators. [NY Times]

In his second convocation as president of Morehead State University, Dr. Jay Morgan spoke of the positive things happening at the university, despite recent obstacles. [The Morehead News]

Ever since the abortion pill RU-486 began to hit the market in the 1980s, questions have lingered about its safety, especially for women who take it in countries where terminating an unwanted pregnancy is restricted and they cannot openly seek help from a medical professional if something goes wrong. [WaPo]

Administrators of a local school district say they are following the guidelines set by state law to teach a Bible literacy course as a high school elective after being challenged by a watchdog group. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Most people on Medicaid already work, and mandating work for others does not help them escape poverty. In fact studies show it can make things worse. Some myths just won’t die, no matter how odious or untrue. And in the Trump era of outright lies masquerading as “alternative” facts, it is no surprise that we are seeing decades-old canards creep back into, and muddy, policy debates. A new Trump administration policy does just that by encouraging states to place work requirements on people who want to receive health insurance coverage through Medicaid. [USA Today]

Berea College has received $30 million in federal grant money to help improve the Perry County schools. [H-L]

Past presidents volunteered on MLK Day. Donald Trump spent it lining his pockets at one of his gaudy golf clubs. [HuffPo]

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Amoral, Cowardly Republican Hypocrites

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit that sought to stop the discharge of pollutants into Herrington Lake. Meanwhile, the two environmental groups that filed the complaint are considering whether to appeal. [H-L]

Donald Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon will be interviewed next week by a U.S. House of Representatives committee investigating alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, a person familiar with the matter said on Thursday. [HuffPo]

Jefferson County Public Schools is one step closer to naming a permanent leader after the district’s school board named acting Superintendent Marty Pollio and Chief Operations Officer Michael Raisor as finalists for the position Tuesday night. [C-J/AKN]

More than 200 workers clocked in for their final shifts on Thursday at Carrier Corp. in Indianapolis in the latest round of layoffs at a plant President Donald Trump toured in December 2016 to trumpet a deal to save jobs and prevent its closure. [Reuters]

The City of Richmond has been recycling for more than a quarter of a century. It started out small, allowing people to drop off recyclables at the Marc Center on Main Street and picking up on seven city streets. [Richmond Register]

The largest advocacy group for older Americans and the two top members of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging are calling on employers and tech companies to stop limiting recruitment ads on Facebook and other online sites to younger workers. [ProPublica]

A new rule officially approved by the Ashland commission allows the city to remove unsightly items on private properties if property owners don’t comply with a violation notice within 24 hours. [Ashland Independent]

Mitch McConnell is a liar. Walmart has revealed plans to shut dozens of its Sam’s Club wholesale shops and lay-off thousands of workers. [BBC]

Kentucky Republicans have no morals and no courage. The Republican-led Kentucky House of Representatives last Tuesday voted without opposition to repeal a recently enacted rule governing investigation of charges against members, including most notably one-time Speaker Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown. [Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump’s approval rating fell across a wide swath of demographic groups over his first year in office, including among those seen as important to his base, like white voters, evangelical Christians and those who live in rural areas. [NY Times]

Glasgow sits at “a critical juncture” in the infrastructure of the Kentucky Wired project, said Phillip Brown, executive director for the Kentucky Communications Network Authority, the entity created to oversee it. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The record-crushing cold that rung in 2018 was like a blast from the past that, in the future, will become increasingly rare. [WaPo]

When will Kentucky Republicans realize that the First Amendment is a thing that they need to comprehend? Kentucky motorists could not use their phones to take video or photos of car wrecks — or post them to social media — as they drive past crash sites under House Bill 149, filed Friday by freshman state Rep. Melinda Gibbons Prunty, R-Belton. [H-L]

U.S. Ambassador to Panama John Feeley, a career diplomat and former Marine Corps helicopter pilot, has resigned, saying he no longer felt able to serve Donald Trump. [HuffPo]

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Pension Reform: Still Not A Real Thing

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

Testimony began Monday in a trial in which Fayette Circuit Judge Thomas Travis must decide whether a for-profit college misled prospective students. [H-L]

Federal law doesn’t make domestic terrorism a stand-alone crime. As a result, law enforcement is “somewhat reluctant” to call domestic extremists “terrorists.” [HuffPo]

An emerging concern over the pension reform bill about to be filed in the General Assembly is that it may call for increased funding for the plans by hundreds of millions of dollars more than necessary. [C-J/AKN]

The Trump administration told U.S. states on Thursday they can for the first time move toward imposing work or job training requirements on people as a condition for obtaining health insurance under the Medicaid government program for the poor. [Reuters]

The attorney for a Greensburg-based, now former lawyer accused of misusing client funds to pay off gambling debts has requested and received extra time to prepare his defense in the federal case against his client. [Glasgow Daily Times]

New research by Canadian scientists into the spread of a chemical commonly used in military explosives has confirmed some of the worst fears of U.S. environmental regulators tracking the threat posed by the Pentagon’s handling of its munitions in this country. [ProPublica]

Kentucky’s public institutions of higher education have been directed by Matt Bevin to immediately reduce their current budgets by 1 percent. Morehead State University is losing $416,425. [The Morehead News]

The US House of Representatives has passed a controversial law allowing US spy agencies to continue intercepting Americans’ private communications. [BBC]

Kentucky Electric Steel will close its plant on South Big Run Road in Boyd County in March in a move that will cost 113 people their jobs. [Ashland Independent]

To scientists who study lakes and rivers, it seems humans have embarked on a huge unplanned experiment. [NY Times]

More than 651,000 Kentuckians — about 15 percent of the state’s population — get federal help buying food through what used to be known as food stamps. Now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, its funding is at risk of being cut this year. [WFPL]

“Well, again,” Donald Trump said Wednesday in response to a reporter’s question, “there has been no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russians, or Trump and Russians, no collusion.” The Democrats, Trump claimed, “all say there’s no collusion.” And, he added, “there is no collusion.” And, he said again, “there was absolutely no collusion” and “everybody knows it, every committee.” And, he said, “it has been determined that there’s been no collusion by virtually everybody.” [WaPo]

The charges were sensational and news about them reverberated across the state: Billy Joe Miles, the former University of Kentucky board chairman and one of Western Kentucky’s most prominent businessmen, had been indicted on charges of rape and sodomy. [H-L]

Republicans in the U.S. Senate don’t seem to be paying close attention to what could happen to their new tax law as states begin to respond to it. [HuffPo]

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Bevin & RPK Are Terrible For Education

If you support this lunatic, you need to realize you’re a racist. You can’t be non-racist and support him. It’s not possible. [HuffPo]

This continuing Jeff Hoover meltdown is getting crazier by the minute. Just straight-up craziness. [H-L]

Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee released a sweeping report Wednesday outlining Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decades-long efforts to undermine democracy and issued stark warnings that the Kremlin will likely move to influence upcoming U.S. elections, including those this year and in 2020. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin and the General Assembly have approved yet another cut to higher education funding in Kentucky. [C-J/AKN]

The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed a bill to renew the National Security Agency’s warrantless internet surveillance program, overcoming objections from privacy advocates and confusion prompted by morning tweets from Donald Trump that initially questioned the spying tool. [Reuters]

Jody Richards, who served as Speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives for longer than anyone in history, announced Monday he will not seek re-election this year. [Ronnie Ellis]

The president’s son is combining three apartments overlooking Manhattan’s Central Park — one of them bought at a steep discount from his father — to create 2,400 square feet worth considerably more than he paid. [ProPublica]

Glasgow Mayor Dick Doty announced his intention Tuesday to run for re-election. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The poorest of the poor always get the shaft when Republicans are making decisions. The Trump administration has issued new guidance that would allow states to impose work requirements on low-income healthcare recipients. [BBC]

The Boyd County Fiscal Court will “take a hard look” at a new, $600,000 request from the county jail for more staffing, but it would likely be impossible this fiscal year according to Judge-Executive Steve Towler. [Ashland Independent]

For years, Texas education officials illegally led schools across the state to deny therapy, tutoring and counseling to tens of thousands of children with disabilities, the federal government said Thursday. [NY Times]

A new position that is hoped will lead to greater retention in the Richmond Police Department was approved Tuesday by city commissioners. [Richmond Register]

Former White House strategist Stephen K. Bannon has hired prominent Washington attorney William Burck to represent him as he prepares to testify to the House Intelligence Committee about his role in Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, according to a person familiar with the arrangement. [WaPo]

Matt Bevin reportedly said that he would fight to bring a new $1.6 billion automaker plant to Kentucky, but now the joint venture between Toyota and Mazda is expected to go to Alabama. [H-L]

A federal judge in California ordered the Trump administration on Tuesday to keep in place the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protects undocumented immigrants who entered the country as children from deportation and allows them to work legally, while a lawsuit proceeds. [HuffPo]

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Eric Conn: Yep, He’s Rotting In Jail Now

To the saga of Eric C. Conn’s journey from wealthy Eastern Kentucky attorney to fugitive felon captured at a Pizza Hut in Central America, add this nugget: Conn says he used a puppy to cross the border from Mexico into Guatemala, thinking it would help him get past security officers. [H-L]

A New Jersey federal judge on Tuesday officially allowed a consent decree barring the Republican National Committee from engaging in poll-watching and other ballot security measures to expire. [HuffPo]

Citing the deep freeze gripping much of the U.S., Kentucky Matt Bevin is crediting Donald Trump with having “fixed global warming.” [C-J/AKN]

CIA Director Mike Pompeo (pahm-PAY’-oh) says he’s concerned about continued efforts by Russia and others to undermine American elections, including this year’s contests, but says such meddling isn’t new. [Boston Globe]

Jeff Hoover is hot garbage. The worst of humanity. Jeff Hoover, the Jamestown Republican who Monday resigned as Speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives in the wake of sexual harassment charges, failed Tuesday to pass a House resolution to make those seeking to expel Hoover liable for any costs. [Ronnie Ellis]

A senior National Security Council official proposed withdrawing some U.S. military forces from Eastern Europe as an overture to Vladimir Putin during the early days of the Trump administration, according to a former administration official in the room with him. [TDB]

Kentucky Electric Steel will close its plant on South Big Run Road in Boyd County in March, according to an email from Michael Estep, the company’s human resources manager. [Ashland Independent]

You have to look hard to see the Supreme Court correct its mistakes. When the justices err, care is taken not to call attention to the mishaps. Some think that’s its own mistake. [ProPublica]

Jeff Hoover can keep screaming because he’ll never be able to “expose” those who brought him down. He brought himself down. Jeff Hoover’s time as Speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives came to an end Monday with a dramatic, 20-minute floor speech at the end of which he submitted a letter of resignation. [More Ronnie Ellis]

Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap (D) had strong words for Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) on Thursday after Kobach tried to lay blame for the failure of President Trump’s Election Integrity Commission at the feet of Dunlap and three other Democratic commissioners. [ThinkProgress]

Visitation to Mammoth Cave National Park was up by 3 percent in 2017, according to Barclay Trimble, the national park’s superintendent. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Under the Very Stable Genius in Chief, the old rules no longer apply. When the V.S.G. moved into the White House, he brought with him an extraordinary collection of subordinates — and I mean that in the worst way. [NY Times]

It’s a real shame Jeff Hoover is still playing the victim, claiming he’s facing a difficulty or hardship because “god” wants him to wake up. HELLO!? Jeff Hoover did this to himself. He did it. He is not a victim. [H-L]

Utah Republicans are looking to set in stone the Trump administration’s sweeping — and, some say, illegal — rollback of two national monuments in the state. [HuffPo]

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Another Week Of Insanity Has Begun

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

Things in the Commonwealth are not puppies and rainbows and the economy here is not great. There’s a line from the song “Man of Constant Sorrow” that goes “I bid farewell to old Kentucky.” It turns out there’s truth in that, because a new study says more people left Kentucky in 2017 than moved in. [H-L]

Though Donald Trump has blasted Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury as a “fake book,” a Trump biographer wrote Sunday that many of the journalist’s stunning revelations ring “true to the man.” [HuffPo]

Jamie Comer is a hypocritical coward, not just a bully. He’s such a pussy he runs from me. But in fairness? He runs from most people who know what he did to Holly Harris. Pigfucker. And he didn’t just “hit” Marilyn, he beat her and then paid for her abortion. Only to go on a witch hunt against her when she finally was forced to go public. [C-J/AKN]

Waste removal is one of the most dangerous jobs in the country. On the darkened streets of New York City, it’s a race for survival. [ProPublica]

The Kentucky House of Representatives passed no bills and met for only 30 minutes Wednesday, but controversy percolated just beneath the surface all the same. [Ronnie Ellis]

On Thursday, the Trump administration proposed to change current health law by permitting millions of small businesses and self-employed individuals to purchase plans that don’t play by Obamacare rules. [ThinkProgress]

The Boyd County Fiscal Court on Wednesday expressed a complete lack of confidence in Boyd County Jailer Joe Burchett and called on him to resign immediately. [Ashland Independent]

A claim that Tony Blair warned Donald Trump’s aides UK intelligence may have spied on him is “a complete fabrication”, the former PM has said. [BBC]

Really, pushing this kind of story throughout rural Kentucky serves only to create division. [The Morehead News]

Donald Trump abruptly shut down his commission on election integrity on Wednesday evening. That’s the good news for voting rights advocates. The bad news: the Administration is continuing its hunt for voter fraud, based on Trump’s false claim that “millions of people” voted illegally in 2016. [Mother Jones]

Barren County’s jobless rate dropped slightly from October to November according to a report released by the state Thursday. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III has recalled for questioning at least one participant in a controversial meeting with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer at Trump Tower in June 2016, and is looking into President Trump’s misleading claim that the discussion focused on adoption, rather than an offer to provide damaging information about Hillary Clinton. Investigators also are exploring the involvement of the president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump. [LA Times]

Eula Hall got home from her son’s baseball game one night in 1982 just in time to see a big piece of her life’s work go up in flames. Hall had scratched to help create and sustain the Mud Creek Clinic in a rural part of Floyd County so people could receive health care, even if they couldn’t pay, and it was burning to ash. [H-L]

For more than a year now, I’ve been hearing from people in the inner circles of official Washington – GOP lobbyists, Republican pundits, even a few Republican members of Congress – that Donald Trump is remarkably stupid. [HuffPo]

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Recent Moves Against Marijuana Are Rooted Purely In Racism & Elitist Greed

No one thinks the upcoming budget session in Frankfort — with a looming $1 billion deficit — will mean good news for higher education, but advocates are particularly worried by the possibility that lottery-financed scholarship programs might be in jeopardy. [Linda Blackford]

L-u-n-a-t-i-c. Donald Trump on Tuesday renewed his attack on his “deep state” Justice Department, and said a top aide to 2016 election rival Hillary Clinton should be jailed. [HuffPo]

It’s easy to spot drivers zipping down Kentucky highways well above the speed limit. But stopping them isn’t as simple as you might think. [C-J/AKN]

One of the top U.S. government officials working on refugee issues announced her impending retirement on Tuesday, and refugee advocates expressed concern about the fate of the country’s resettlement program which faces mounting pressure from the Trump administration. [Reuters]

From the boardroom to the basketball court, the University of Louisville had a tough year. Hall of Fame Coach Rick Pitino was fired, the school dealt with a yearlong probation from an accrediting group and an audit found mismanagement at a foundation overseeing its investments. [Richmond Register]

Chicken plants have recruited thousands of foreign workers in recent years through a little-known program to fill jobs they say Americans won’t do. [ProPublica]

Shelves in the food pantry at First United Methodist Church were seemingly full Wednesday morning. [Ashland Independent]

Joseph Flynn — brother of former presidential national security adviser Michael Flynn, who recently pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI — demanded a pardon for his brother on Tuesday. [ThinkProgress]

It’s stupid to continue arresting people for growing marijuana. The only reason it happens is because it makes local law enforcement agencies money. But no one wants to talk about that reality. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is rescinding the Obama-era policy that had paved the way for legalized marijuana to flourish in states across the country, two people with knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press. [Associated Press]

The Louisville jail’s heating system is hobbling under cold temperatures, forcing some inmates to face near-freezing temperatures in their cells. [WFPL]

Donald Trump didn’t want to be president. One year ago: the plan to lose, and the administration’s shocked first days. [New York Magazine]

Eight members of the House of Representative filed a formal charge Wednesday calling for the expulsion of House Speaker Jeff Hoover following his decision to remain speaker even though he had promised to step down amid a sexual harassment scandal this fall. [H-L]

Donald Trump and Rand Paul both pushed this. It’s insane how racists those two folks are. [HuffPo]

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