Greg Fischer Rewards Incompetence & Disregard For Decency. He’s Done It Again.

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The Administrative Office of the Courts is considering changes to clean up its sales of surplus goods and vehicles in the midst of an ongoing investigation by Attorney General Andy Beshear’s office. [H-L]

White House chief strategist Steve Bannon came into President Donald Trump’s administration with what he called an “economic nationalist” agenda. But now, Bannon is reportedly on the outs, and Trump has flip-flopped on NATO, Chinese currency manipulation and the Federal Reserve. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin reported Friday that in 2016 he owned parts of five businesses as well as 12 pieces of real estate in six states. [C-J/AKN]

The House Intelligence Committee sent one of its members to Cyprus this week as part of its ongoing investigation into Russia and the Trump campaign, adding a new twist to the ongoing inquiry. “Cyprus has a reputation as a laundromat for the Russians who are trying to avoid sanctions,” Rep. Mike Quigley told The Daily Beast. “It was extraordinarily helpful in understanding how the Russians launder money and why.” [TDB]

Homicide detectives are working overtime after a violent night in Louisville that left four people dead in five hours. [WDRB]

Remember Kellie Watson? The trainwreck of a human who actively and admittedly participated in the coverup of Louisville Metro Animal Services’ torture and abuse of a dog? One of the people Louisville Metro Council had to create whistleblower laws in reaction to? Greg Fischer has rewarded her with a promotion to Chief Equity Officer. Apparently, someone who couldn’t handle being truthful and transparent regarding government abuse/torture of a dog is capable of ensuring racial equity. What a farce. [HERE, HERE & HERE and Press Release]

Donald Trump and the Republicans just made it harder for you to get health insurance and raised the price of your doctor visit. [Reuters]

Matt Bevin is talking about a special legislative session on tax and pension reform in the fall. Among proposals being considered is removing the sales tax exemption from groceries. [Richmond Register]

The head of the House Democratic Caucus is accusing President Trump of “political blackmail” for threatening to withhold ObamaCare funds that lower health costs for poor Americans. [The Hill]

City and county officials will meet next month to discuss creating a tax increment financing, or TIF, district in downtown Ashland as part of a multi-million-dollar project that involves demolishing the old Ashland Oil building. [Ashland Independent]

Mitchell says that after covering every president since Jimmy Carter, Trump is by far the most hostile to the press—and to the truth—she’s ever seen, with a White House staff using the briefing room as a daily disinformation machine and a president and secretary of state outright undermining the ability of reporters to do their job. [Politico]

Green River and Nolin River within Mammoth Cave National Park have reopened to river users following completion of the demolition of Lock & Dam No. 6 near Brownsville, by the US Army Corps of Engineers and the US Fish & Wildlife Service. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The Trump administration has hit the pause button on an Obama-era regulation aimed at limiting the dumping of toxic metals such as arsenic and mercury by the nation’s power plants into public waterways. [WaPo]

Uh, no, not all the hemp that has too much THC gets burned. Source: people who work at Ag, former Ag staffers and former Ag officials. And common sense. [H-L]

What was that about transparency, Republicans? The Trump administration will not make its records of visitors to the White House available to the public. [HuffPo]

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Frankfort Police & Franklin Co Sheriff Both Sound Beyond Terrible And Worthy Of Dismantling

The Frankfort Police detective found at fault by an independent review for his interactions with a female informant and his actions during the 2015 homicide investigation she was later a suspect in, will be put on an unpaid six-month suspension. [H-L]

Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort will register with the Department of Justice as a foreign agent, according to reports by The Associated Press and NBC News. [HuffPo]

Jefferson Circuit Judge Judith McDonald-Burkman unsealed a lawsuit Monday alleging two Louisville police officers sexually abused a former Explorer Scout and that the police department concealed it. And then they got indicted like woah. [C-J/AKN]

Forty-four percent of Kentucky voters say they approve of the 30-year Senate veteran, while 47 percent disapprove, making him the only senator with a net negative approval rating. [Morning Consult]

The state’s General Fund tax receipts fell 11.4 percent in March compared to a year ago, a decrease of $99.2 million but for the first nine months of the fiscal year remain 1.2 percent over last year. [Ronnie Ellis]

The Associated Press traced $1.2 million in secret payments from a pro-Russian political party to Paul Manafort’s firm in the United States. Manafort was Donald Trump’s campaign chairman. [AP]

More than three-fourths of Kentucky adults on Medicaid were eligible only because Kentucky expanded its Medicaid program in 2014, according to a study done for the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. [Richmond Register]

The New York Daily News and ProPublica won the Pulitzer Prize for public service journalism on Monday for coverage of police abuses that forced mostly poor minorities from their homes, and the Charleston Gazette-Mail won the prize for investigative reporting on the spread of painkillers in West Virginia. [Reuters]

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear made multiple stops around Ashland and Grayson on Monday where he shared accomplishments within his office and applauded local organizations for their work. [Ashland Independent]

What is at stake as Congress considers the E.P.A. budget? Far more than climate change. The Trump administration’s proposed cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency budget are deep and wide-ranging. It seeks to shrink spending by 31 percent, to $5.7 billion from $8.1 billion, and to eliminate a quarter of the agency’s 15,000 jobs. [NY Times]

One of the things the Cave City Tourist and Convention Commission wants to address in the future is how to increase the number of people who stay overnight in Cave City. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The FBI obtained a secret court order last summer to monitor the communications of an adviser to presidential candidate Donald Trump, part of an investigation into possible links between Russia and the campaign, law enforcement and other U.S. officials said. [WaPo]

Those certificates are pretty much meaningless if you want to have a long-lasting job and not some short-term bullshit. A scholarship program once hailed as a guarantee of free community college for all new high school graduates in Kentucky has been trimmed back to pay for only specialized work certificate programs. [Linda Blackford]

He effectively minimized and denied the Holocaust during Passover. It’s the second time the Trump crew has done that (whitewashed the Holocaust) since taking office. [HuffPo]

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Thank Goodness For Tennessee, Maybe…?

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Just in case you’d forgotten Tennessee was a million times worse than anything Kentucky has to offer? Steve Eimers knew something was wrong before he opened the envelope with his daughter’s name on it. [H-L]

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) met a source on White House grounds last week, one day before he alleged that President Donald Trump and his team were subjected to surveillance during the final months of the Obama administration. [HuffPo]

The University of Louisville alerted its community that gun advocates plan to walk around the perimeters of the Belknap Campus on Friday openly carrying firearms. [C-J/AKN]

State and local governments seeking Justice Department grants must certify they are not so-called sanctuary cities in order to receive the money, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Monday. [The Hill]

The Ashland Board of City Commissioners pushed its meeting back to the evening on Thursday, and a swarm of local residents journeyed to the commission chambers to pitch ideas, raise concerns and observe the public servants conduct business. [Ashland Independent]

Roger Severino, the new head of the Office for Civil Rights within Health and Human Services, has opposed transgender patients’ rights, same-sex marriage and Planned Parenthood. [ProPublica]

Close to 100 people turned out Thursday night to learn what needs to be done to get Park City established as a trail town through the Kentucky Office of Adventure Tourism. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Donald Trump’s son-in-law and aide, Jared Kushner, will be questioned by a US committee investigating alleged ties between the Trump team and Moscow. [BBC]

House Minority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins, D-Sandy Hook, made it clear during a brief update to Rowan County Fiscal Court on Tuesday that it’s been a difficult last 28 legislative days. [The Morehead News]

Trump, looking for a flicker of hope after his Republican majority fell to pieces last week, predicted that the opposition party would eventually give in: “I honestly believe the Democrats will come to us and say let’s get together and get a great health care bill or plan,” he said. [NY Times]

Can you imagine how hard Greg Fischer would lose if Republicans had a non-wingnut candidate to run against him? Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer will seek a third term as the city’s mayor. But he’s not talking much about his decision. [WFPL]

The Trump administration is planning a much more assertive role in undertaking a broad overhaul of the tax code than it did during the failed effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, with some advisers working to craft a concrete blueprint for specific changes instead of letting Congress dictate details. [WaPo]

A jury has ruled that a male officer at the state prison in Elliott County sexually harassed four female guards and awarded $1.6 million to the women. [H-L]

“We’re roughly two months into the Trump Presidency, and it is the worst start to a time in office I have ever seen,” Dan Rather wrote in a Facebook post on Monday, noting that many historians have said the same thing. [HuffPo]

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Republicans Have Caused Another Lawsuit

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The Kentucky State University faculty senate voted Thursday by a wide margin to express no confidence in Board of Regents Chairwoman Karen Bearden and narrowly voted to express no confidence in the entire KSU Board of Regents. [Linda Blackford]

Donald Trump likes to call his Mar-a-Lago golf resort the “Winter White House” but there may be more presidential putts than meetings occurring at the get-away destination. It’s difficult to know for certain because the private club can keep the president’s activities hidden from the public — and the media. [HuffPo]

Kentucky Republicans are some of the most backward, idiotic people on the planet. And that’s saying a lot when you remember that people like Donald Trump and Sarah Palin exist. The mayor’s office on Monday said Louisville’s waste management district has sued Kentucky over a new law that remakes how solid waste and recycling are regulated across the city and Jefferson County. [C-J/AKN]

Gina Haspel, President Trump’s choice for the CIA’s number two position, was more deeply involved in the torture of Abu Zubaydah than has been publicly understood, according to newly available records and accounts by participants. [ProPublica]

The nine-hole golf course at Carter Caves State Resort Park will close permanently April 2, victim of underuse and increasing costs, a state parks spokesman said. [Ashland Independent]

About 40 minutes after Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch began his second day of testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, all eight of the justices he hopes to join said a major disability decision Gorsuch wrote in 2008 was wrong. [ThinkProgress]

The attorney hired by the Glasgow City Council to unseat three members of the board of directors for the Glasgow Electric Plant Board was delivering on Friday afternoon a written memo to the parties involved and the press in lieu of being part of Monday’s regular council meeting. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Senate investigators plan to question Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and a close adviser, as part of their broad inquiry into ties between Trump associates and Russian officials or others linked to the Kremlin, according to administration and congressional officials. [NY Times]

A civic organization dedicated to meeting various community needs that was disbanded in the early 2000s is officially making a return to Rowan County. [The Morehead News]

Since President Donald Trump’s election, monthly lectures on social justice at the 600-seat Gothic chapel of New York’s Union Theological Seminary have been filled to capacity with crowds three times what they usually draw. [Reuters]

House Speaker Paul Ryan announced Friday that the Republican plan to replace Obamacare would not get a vote, to the delight of one of Kentucky’s U.S. senators and dismay of the other. [WFPL]

The Senate Intelligence Committee will reportedly question White House adviser Jared Kushner as part of its probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. [The Hill]

This is what passes as reporting on the education front in Kentucky. And you wonder why the Commonwealth remains in the dark ages. [H-L]

Quietly, while Americans have been focused on the ongoing drama over repealing the Affordable Care Act and the new revelations about the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, President Trump has been busy dramatically expanding the American troop presence inside Syria. And virtually no one in Washington has noticed. Americans have a right to know what Trump is planning and whether this will lead to an Iraq-style occupation of Syria for years to come. [HuffPo]

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Republicans Tried & Failed To Refute Steve Beshear On Health Care Reality In Kentucky

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Remember death panels? Here’s the Republican version – supported by people like Jimmy Higdon and other folks who apparently has no moral compass after all – working to make it even more difficult to hold corrupt providers accountable. The Kentucky House will get a Senate bill that would establish “medical review panels” to intervene in malpractice or neglect lawsuits, with changes that its supporters hope will help it survive a constitutional challenge. [John Cheves]

Every mention of immigrants and immigration on Tuesday evening was negative. That’s what Republicans think was so positive and uplighting – they’re finally having their racism validated. [HuffPo]

Scott Jennings, like most conservatives, needs a new act. In his column railing against the mean old Democrats for opposing Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, he falls back on tired Republican tropes “Hypocrisy!, we are the true victims,” while conveniently ignoring the substance of the opposition. [C-J/AKN]

Former President George W. Bush says he dislikes the racial tensions simmering in the early days of President Trump’s administration. “Yes, I don’t like the racism and I don’t like the name-calling and I don’t like people feeling alienated,” he told People magazine Monday. “Nobody likes that.” [The Hill]

The Battle of Richmond Visitors Center is named one of the top Civil War museums in the nation in the current issue of the Civil War Monitor, a quarterly magazine circulated nationally. [Richmond Register]

Donald Trump signed an order on Tuesday directing regulators to review an Obama administration rule that expanded the number of federally protected waterways as the new president targets environmental regulations conservatives label as government overreach. [Reuters]

Recognizing that the escalating cost of demand-side management programs has “exacerbated an already bleak economic situation for many of Kentucky Power (Company’s) customers,” the Kentucky Public Service Commission has opened a review of the programs. [Ashland Independent]

Former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear painted himself as an ordinary citizen Tuesday night as he blasted Trump’s economic policies and warned that Republicans are poised to “rip affordable health insurance away from millions of Americans who most need it.” Steve Beshear may have personally set quality back decades but he got it right on health care. It’s possible for people who do bigoted things to also do positive things, liberals. [Politico]

Usually, it’s the overabundance of snow days that can cause problems during a school year. This year, it’s a lack of snow days that is causing some concerns. After viewing the academic calendar at Tuesday’s meeting, the Rowan County Board of Education discussed Spring Break scheduling on the district calendar. [The Morehead News]

Really? That was an optimistic address? It’s optimistic to to spew out anti-Muslim, anti-Latinx fear about how immigrants are killing everyone and the country is on fire? This is proof that it’s beyond easy to sway journalists who live in idealistic bubbles. They’re the same people who attacked Steve Beshear for his accent instead of the content of his remarks. [NY Times]

The University of Louisville owes $96,000 to the Internal Revenue Service after an audit found it wasn’t paying taxes on Adidas freebies given to staffers in the athletics department. [WFPL]

The former British spy who authored a controversial dossier on behalf of Donald Trump’s political opponents alleging ties between Trump and Russia reached an agreement with the FBI a few weeks before the election for the bureau to pay him to continue his work, according to several people familiar with the arrangement. While Trump has derided the dossier as “fake news” compiled by his political opponents, the FBI’s arrangement with Steele shows that bureau investigators considered him credible and found his line of inquiry to be worthy of pursuit. [WaPo]

Some things Jack Brammer doesn’t mention – in part because he’s too oblivious to ask, in part because he just doesn’t want to understand what he’s writing about: the KDA used grant funds to funnel cash to Jonathan Miller. Miller lobbied law enforcement to get their support. And the Court of Appeals says Kentucky law requires a license. These hemp shenanigans (and the ongoing lawsuit) ought to be fun. [H-L]

Who is the bigger snowflake – Donald Trump or Scott Jennings? Donald Trump sat down for an interview with “Fox & Friends” and said that former President Barack Obama and “his people” are behind recent town hall protests. [HuffPo]

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People Like Bob Stivers Have No Business Making Decisions For Lexington And Louisville

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Think the Republican Party of Kentucky has your best interests at heart? Here the Republicans are voting to allow more nepotism in your school districts. [H-L]

Much has been made of the monetary cost of Donald Trump’s proposed border wall. Trump himself has cited wildly differing estimates. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Nazi-Enabler) recently said that the wall would cost $12 billion to $15 billion. Some experts have cited numbers far higher. But the wall’s true cost surpasses even the biggest numbers being discussed. There’s upkeep, of course — hundreds of millions of dollars per year will be needed to maintain the 1,000-mile barrier. There are other expenses, too, some of them intangible and difficult to quantify. [HuffPo]

If Greg Fischer really wants to know if lenders discriminate, he already has a ton of the info at his disposal. He can examine bank data to see if area banks are investing and lending in the areas they’re legally required to invest and lend in. Spoiler alert: He has people on his staff who already know this data by heart because I helped them compile it in late 2014. [C-J/AKN]

Mr. Sater, a longtime business associate of Mr. Trump’s with connections in Russia, was willing to help Mr. Artemenko’s proposal reach the White House. Mr. Trump has sought to distance himself from Mr. Sater in recent years. If Mr. Sater “were sitting in the room right now,” Mr. Trump said in a 2013 deposition, “I really wouldn’t know what he looked like.” But Mr. Sater worked on real estate development deals with the Trump Organization on and off for at least a decade, even after his role in the stock manipulation scheme came to light. Mr. Sater, who was born in the Soviet Union and grew up in New York, served as an executive at a firm called Bayrock Group, two floors below the Trump Organization in Trump Tower, and was later a senior adviser to Mr. Trump. [NY Times]

The Highlands Museum and Discovery Center has received a $1,000 grant from the Kentucky Local History Trust Fund, the Kentucky Historical Society announced Thursday. [Ashland Independent]

On its own, Trump’s relationship with Sater might be written off (albeit not terribly plausibly) as simply a sleazy relationship Trump entered into to get access to capital he needed to finance his projects. Whatever shadowy ties Sater might have and whatever his criminal background, Trump has long since washed his hands of him. (Again, we’re talking about most generous reads here.) But now we learn that Sater is still very much in the Trump orbit and acting as a go-between linking Trump and a pro-Putin Ukrainian parliamentarian pitching ‘peace plans’ for settling the dispute between Russia and Ukraine. [TPM]

After Sater got busted, somehow he managed to offer his services to the FBI and supposedly the CIA to work on their behalf purchasing stinger missiles and other weapons on the then wild and free-wheeling Russian black market. [More TPM]

The Daniel Boone National Forest is celebrating 80 years as part of America’s national forest system. [Richmond Register]

Teen suicide attempts in the U.S. declined after same-sex marriage became legal and the biggest impact was among gay, lesbian and bisexual kids, a study found. [AP]

Kentucky regulators have approved a coal ash landfill for a power plant in Trimble County, advancing a project that’s been on hold for several years as regulators worked around concerns about the area’s geology and proximity to neighbors. [WFPL]

After she lost her son, Tonda Thompson dreamed of a baby in a washing machine. She’d stuffed in dirty clothes and closed the door. The lock clicked shut. Water rushed in. Then she saw him, floating behind the glass. Frantic, she jabbed at a keypad on the machine, searching for a code to unlock the door. [The Nation]

Motions from both sides of a lawsuit against Barren County Sheriff Kent Keen – and responses to those motions – have been filed in Barren Circuit Court and are awaiting the judge’s rulings. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Most Republicans in Washington are biting their tongues when it comes to Donald Trump, fearful that any candid criticisms of the new president could invite a backlash from their constituents or, potentially worse, provoke retribution from the commander in chief himself. Mark Sanford is not like most Republicans in Washington. [Politico]

This is why you shouldn’t trust bloated (no, not their physical appearance), backwater, out-of-touch xenophobes to make decisions for metro areas like Lexington and Louisville. The Lexington Urban County Council and several Lexington neighborhoods are opposing a state House bill that they say would make it more difficult for neighborhoods to fight proposed real estate developments in the courts. [H-L]

NASA continues to steadfastly tweet urgent climate change information despite a critical president and GOP efforts to force the agency to stick to space and forget the Earth. The Trump administration aims to largely restrict NASA to focus on its space missions and abandon climate change research, which is a part of its Earth Sciences Division. [HuffPo]

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Matt Bevin Remains The Dumbest Governor In Kentucky History

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State regulators ordered an electricity provider in southeast Kentucky to study cutting expenses and told the utility to stop hiring relatives of officers and employees. [H-L]

A senior national security official in the Trump administration wrote under a pseudonym last year that Islam is an inherently violent religion that is “incompatible with the modern West,” defended the World War II-era America First Committee, which included anti-Semites, as “unfairly maligned,” and called diversity “a source of weakness, tension and disunion.” [HuffPo]

Of COURSE Matt Bevin is freaking out about protecting children of color. He has wealth to protect him. Why on earth would the father of children of color give a flip about what happens to other children of color? The New Republicanism is 100% racist horseshit. Just like his promotion of Hillbilly Elegy, the biggest crock of nonsense about Appalachia ever written. [C-J/AKN]

Trump’s choice to be the top U.S. health official bought and sold health care company stocks often enough as a member of Congress to warrant probes by both federal securities regulators and the House ethics committee, former government ethics lawyers say. A USA TODAY analysis of stock trade reports by Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., also shows he often misstated the timing of stock purchases or failed to report them altogether. [USA Today]

If you’ve ever wondered what it looks like when a local television station pushes what one of its right-wing hacks presents as journalism? Here you go – a half-assed, glowing review of Donald Trump on law enforcement and crime. “He’s such a nice man, lookit all the nice things these people are saying about him!” We’d mention her name but she goes Anne Northup-level insane when you call her out. Oh – if you’re wondering why her reporting is garbage? Here’s a look at the nonsense that was discussed by that group of old white guys. They’re upset that they can’t seize assets before someone is convicted and Trump wants to ruin legislators’ careers over it. [WAVE3]

Protestors gathered outside Mitch McConnell’s home because he’s finally letting his bigot flag fly. [NBC News]

Seems like only yesterday the Republican Party of Kentucky was all about personal responsibility, anti-regulation and strongly against government intrusion. So it sure is fun watching old-ass white guys like John Schickel proposing less personal responsibility, more regulation and way more government intrusion. [LRC]

Republicans are still stuck in full gay panic. Some Christian groups have no problem protecting people from crimes driven by racial or religious hatred. They just draw the line at sexual orientation. [ProPublica]

In his second State of the Commonwealth speech, Gov. Matt Bevin on Wednesday called for raising more revenue through tax reform, revenue that can be used to pay down the growing unfunded liabilities of the state’s public pension systems. [Ronnie Ellis]

Just a reminder that Mitch McConnell and his fellow Republicans are racists. Yes, a man married to a woman of Asian descent can be racist. When you enable this bullshit, you’re a racist bigot. Republican senators voted on Tuesday to formally silence a Democratic colleague for impugning a peer, Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, by condemning his nomination for attorney general while reading a letter from Coretta Scott King. [NY Times]

Surprise! Hal Heiner is garbage when it comes to actually doing anything with education. Quit acting surprised, Republicans. A proposal by Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Secretary Hal Heiner to allow the state’s schoolchildren to attend any district where seats are available is generating buzz across the state and in northeast Kentucky. [Ashland Independent]

President Trump’s personal physician, Harold Bornstein, is still taking to the press, and still saying some strange things. In a new interview with the New York Times, Bornstein discloses that Trump takes a couple previously undisclosed drugs: finasteride, a prostate drug that can be (and in Trump’s case is) used as a hair-loss treatment, and another drug for rosacea, a skin problem. The Times notes that Trump’s use of the hair-loss drug “has not been publicly known.” But that seems to be a charitable characterization; a less-charitable one would be that his use of these drugs was deliberately hidden. [WaPo]

The Spoonbread Festival, canceled last year over a brouhaha regarding the display or sale of merchandise depicting the Confederate flag, will return in September. [H-L]

Donald Lump’s top guy is a buffoon. When you check this out, your eyes will roll way back into your head. Like waaaaaaay back. The apocalypse is coming, apparently. [HuffPo]

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