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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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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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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