Bevin Gets Back Into Bed With For-Profit Prisons, Proving His New Naz… Republican Feathers Are Coming In Strong

Mitch McConnell has known Trump-Russia specifics since August but has continued to lie to Kentuckians and the American people. He’s also publicly attempted to quash investigations and prevent the appointment of a special prosecutor. He’s a treasonous old fucker and he’s only in power because the Kentucky Democratic Party is ineffective garbage. So it’s time to sack the KDP as it currently exists so you can sack McConnell. [Mother Jones]

Leave it to shitty Republicans like Matt Bevin to further harm Kentucky with private prisons. Matt Bevin’s administration is preparing to place state inmates in a private prison in Lee County four years after former Gov. Steve Beshear decided to end Kentucky’s use of for-profit lockup. On Tuesday, the state formally awarded a contract to the Louisville law firm of Wyatt Tarrant and Combs to “assist in drafting and finalizing a complex contract for operation of a private prison in Lee County, to accommodate prisoners in state custody due to serious overcrowding problems at existing state correctional facilities.” [John Cheves]

So of course Mitch McConnell is in love with the plan. He and his fellow delusional self-promotors love the idea of killing thousands of Kentuckians. Twenty-three million fewer Americans would have insurance under legislation that House Republicans narrowly passed last month, the Congressional Budget Office reported on Wednesday. [HuffPo]

Just before taking office, President Donald Trump promised to donate all profits earned from foreign governments back to the U.S. Treasury. But MSNBC has learned the Trump Organization is not tracking all possible payments it receives from foreign governments, according to new admissions by Trump representatives. By failing to track foreign payments it receives, the company will be hard-pressed to meet Trump’s pledge to donate foreign profits and could even increase its legal exposure. [NBC News]

Finally, a Pitino-related sex scandal nightmare that he and UofL didn’t get to manipulate and win. [C-J/AKN]

Trump asked two of the nation’s top intelligence officials in March to help him push back against an FBI investigation into possible coordination between his campaign and the Russian government, according to current and former officials. [WaPo]

The Madison Fiscal Court heard first reading of its 2017-18 budget Tuesday morning, with only minor adjustments from the draft it reviewed a week earlier. [Richmond Register]

The Chinese government systematically dismantled C.I.A. spying operations in the country starting in 2010, killing or imprisoning more than a dozen sources over two years and crippling intelligence gathering there for years afterward. [NY Times]

Eastern Kentucky towns always bog themselves down with the dumbest shit possible while their community gets lost in the dark. If skateboarders in Russell want to practice kickflips and ollies, or simply spin their wheels on pavement, they’ll have to do it on private property. [Ashland Independent]

An escalating feud between the White House and the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) has boiled over, with the Trump administration refusing to produce waivers it has granted to lobbyists that allow them to work in government agencies. [The Hill]

The Rowan County Board of Education voted Tuesday to approve a 1 percent raise for all district employees. [The Morehead News]

A federal appeals court on Tuesday revived a Wikipedia lawsuit that challenges a U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) program of mass online surveillance, and claims that the government unconstitutionally invades people’s privacy rights. [Reuters]

A consulting firm tasked with analyzing Kentucky’s unfunded public pension fund crisis says the state could address the problem more quickly if it committed to a fixed-dollar annual contribution similar to a 30-year mortgage. [Ronnie Ellis]

Sam Clovis likely to be named undersecretary of the USDA department that manages research on everything from climate change to nutrition. [ProPublica]

The AFL-CIO and Teamsters Union filed a lawsuit in Franklin Circuit Court Thursday challenging the constitutionality of a new law that prohibits unions from requiring employees to pay dues in a unionized workplace. [H-L]

Antarctica, the desolate southernmost continent boasting the coldest climate on Earth, usually brings to mind visions of ice, snow and penguins. But global warming is transforming Antarctica’s icy expanses, new research from the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom shows. Parts of the continent are “greening,” researchers say — and fast. [HuffPo]

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RPK’s Race To The Bottom Continues

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Republicans in Kentucky love to create solutions to problems that don’t exist. This particularly legislation comes about because people like Stan Lee and Al Robinson have victim complexes. And folks like Jeff Hoover are just straight up homophobic and has a public history of pushing homophobia. [H-L]

HOLY SHIT Ben Carson is dumb! How does a person get this far while being so painfully dumb? [HuffPo]

Liquor store owner and State Rep. C. Wesley Morgan is making progress in his effort to rewrite Kentucky liquor laws in ways more favorable to liquor stores. [C-J/AKN]

In a blow to advocates of transgender rights, the U.S. Supreme Court Monday said it would not hear the case of a transgender high school student fighting to use the bathroom of his choice. [NBC News]

Leave it to the Republican Party of Kentucky to stiff workers like injured police officers and others. A bill that would limit workers’ compensation benefits has been paused after passing the state House of Representatives last week. [WFPL]

Mukasey, who served as the attorney general under former President George W. Bush, said he believes there was surveillance on Trump Tower after reading certain news reports. Mukasey said if there were a wiretap on Trump Tower, it would mean that there was suspicion someone had been acting as Russian agent. [The Hill]

Kentucky will not join 29 other states calling for a constitutional convention to propose a federal balance budget amendment — at least not this year. [Ronnie Ellis]

Demand for travel to the United States over the coming months has flattened out following a positive start to the year, with uncertainty over a possible new travel order likely deterring visitors, travel analysis company ForwardKeys said on Monday. [Reuters]

Resilient. That is the word Morehead State University presidential finalist Dr. Joseph “Jay” Morgan uses to describe the university. [The Morehead News]

The American people must immediately demand a cessation of all consequential actions by this “president” until we can be assured that Russian efforts to hack our election, in a way that was clearly meant to help him and damage his opponent, did not also include collusion with or coverup by anyone involved in the Trump campaign and now administration. [NY Times]

The House budget committee will take up a bill Tuesday designed to reward the state’s universities for performance in key areas like graduation, degrees and retention. [More Ronnie Ellis]

The Republican Party of Kentucky is now a national embarrassment for pushing the resegregation of Jefferson County Public Schools. It’s not about “school choice” or putting kids on a bus for two hours a day. It’s about racism. [WaPo]

Because there’s no way the Republican Party of Kentucky could have done this on its own. The current crop of folks in power can barely spell their own names. [H-L]

House Republican leaders on Monday formally unveiled legislation to repeal most of the Affordable Care Act and “replace” it with a very different health policy scheme ― one in which government would do a lot less to help people get comprehensive health insurance and, most likely, many more people would struggle to find affordable medical care. [HuffPo]

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Robin Webb Must Fear Losing Her Seat

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A few Kentucky lawmakers want payday loan stores to face much heavier penalties when they violate consumer-protection law. [John Cheves]

The Senate Judiciary Committee’s top Republican and Democrat are together pressing Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director James Comey to provide the committee with more details on former national security adviser Michael Flynn and his contacts with Russian officials. [HuffPo]

This should come as a surprise to no one who has followed Greg Fischer’s incompetent service as mayor. The Metro Corrections Department is trying to figure out why jail officials held an inmate for five months after his sentence was up and then turned him over to federal immigration authorities. Ironically, the handover Monday came only an hour after activists delivered more than 2,000 signatures urging Mayor Greg Fischer to designate Louisville a sanctuary city. [C-J/AKN]

Trump’s repeal of bipartisan anti-corruption measure proves he’s a fake. The man who ran as an outsider and champion of the common man plays the stooge for industry. So of course people like Scott Jennings live for the orange clown. [Rolling Stone]

The state Senate Education Committee gave a hearty — if not quite unanimous — amen to a bill sponsored by Sen. Robin Webb, D-Grayson, which would allow school districts to offer an elective Bible literacy course. Robin Webb ought to be kicked square in the ass – for other reasons, too – but this ought to be reason enough for someone (Democrat or Republican) to oust her in the next election. [Ronnie Ellis]

Funny how you don’t hear anything about stuff like this from the Kentucky GOP or Dildo Trump – even though it’s been reported by Fox. A Russian spy ship has moved 40 miles closer to the U.S. shore and is now sitting 30 miles off the coast of Groton, Connecticut. [Salon]

Do you smell the looming disaster? A significant re-working of Kentucky’s curriculum standards and assessment and evaluation of schools appears headed to easy passage after the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Mike Wilson, R-Bowling Green, got most of the major stakeholders on board. [More Ronnie Ellis]

Michael Flynn was at a beachside resort in the Dominican Republic, a stretch of sand and sun that he and his wife had visited for years, when he took a few moments out of their post-election vacation for a call with the Russian ambassador to the United States. [NY Times]

Housing authorities across the country with Housing Choice Voucher Programs could receive less administrative funding this year to pay staff for managing the programs, and it is possible less families will also be served through the programs. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn denied to FBI agents in an interview last month that he had discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with that country’s ambassador to the United States before President Trump took office, contradicting the contents of intercepted communications collected by intelligence agencies, current and former U.S. officials said. [WaPo]

Max Wise is another one of those guys who had trouble as a kid getting girls to be interested in him. Lawmakers have given initial approval to a plan to “defund” Kentucky’s Planned Parenthood locations in Lexington and Louisville by putting the organization at the back of the line for federal family planning dollars. [WFPL]

Several White House staffers were dismissed Thursday morning after failing FBI background checks, according to sources familiar with the matter. [Politico]

Here’s more of the Republican Party of Kentucky standing strong against the working class. A proposal to update Kentucky’s workers’ compensation program for the first time in about two decades makes changes sought by insurers and businesses but contains no adjustments sought by worker advocates and unions. [H-L]

Trump lashed out at news outlets for reporting that several of his campaign aides were contacting Russian intelligence agencies while those agencies were working to hurt Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and help Trump win ― but danced around direct questions about whether he knew of such contacts. [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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Kentucky Republicans Wish Kentucky Democrats Were More Bigoted Than Them (They’re Not)

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Angry union workers packed the hallways of Kentucky’s Capitol Annex Wednesday as Republican lawmakers pushed ahead with bills that would ban mandatory union dues and repeal a law that requires regional prevailing wages for workers on public construction projects. [H-L]

Mitch McConnell, the elderly, racist grandmother who cried on the floor of the senate when his young male staffer resigned, is moving his wattle again. He claims that Americans won’t tolerate Democrats blocking supreme court nominations. Much like they didn’t tolerate him for doing that very thing for ten months? [HuffPo]

This is like Jerry Abramson’s “16th Largest City” b.s. Don’t read this if you’re a local because you’ll be disappointed. Nothing about Louisville – as much as we all love it – makes it a “top destination” vacation spot. We held this one a while because it’s so funny. [C-J/AKN]

Several high-profile intelligence experts have signed a letter in support of legislation calling to create a bipartisan commission to look into “foreign interference” during the 2016 election that was introduced by House Democrats last month. [BuzzFart]

The Boyd County Fiscal Court accepted a $385,092 bid from Haydon Bridge Inc., a Washington County-based company, to replace the old Clay Jack Bridge in Rush. [Ashland Independent]

Lurking behind the president-elect’s frightening promises to crack down on people who live in the United States without documentation is a much larger ambition: to slow the nation’s massive demographic change by curtailing our legal-immigration system as well. [The Nation]

A medical waste facility being constructed in Carter County is concerning Rowan County residents. Near Carter City, a new medical waste processing facility is being built and their citizens filled the Carter County Courthouse last month to voice their displeasure of the new construction. [The Morehead News]

A tiny little manboy named Thomas Massie was one of the WATBs who voted to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics. [TPM]

When a team of biologists visited Mammoth Cave National Park last week to rescue mussels that were in danger of losing their habitat due to decreasing water levels in the Green River, they found a species of mussel that has not been seen in the river for many years. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Many of President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet picks are titans of industry with significant potential business conflicts of interest. But there is one in a class by himself: Commerce secretary choice Wilbur Ross. [ProPublica]

The Republican train to roll back union-supported protections for workers is rolling rapidly toward its destination, and while not everyone is on board, the powers behind the legislation are driving the engine. [Ronnie Ellis]

California Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said Sunday that there will be a stronger push for sanctions against Russia if Donald Trump moves to undo them. [Politico]

It’s cute when people in media deliberately fail to point out that the Kentucky Democratic Party is more backwater, homophobic, transphobic and racist than the national Republican Party. The RPK is 100x worse than that, of course, despite what racist joke-thrower Scott Jennings thinks. P.S. Chris Hartman and Fairness let this happen – Fairness has refused to take the far-right seriously since at least 2009. Source: Hartman sat across from me at Heine Bros on Longest Ave in Louisville in 2009 and refused to meet with David Williams, Stan Lee, made excuses. [H-L]

You can’t fix this brand of insane. In a dispute between Russian intelligence services and the U.S. intelligence community, the next president of the United States appears to be coming down squarely on the side of the Russians. [HuffPo]

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Don’t Ignore The Bevin Threat Mess

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Individual Kentucky counties could adopt right-to-work laws under a decision handed down Friday by a federal appeals panel. At least Republicans will finally have to put their money where there mouthes are and it won’t pay off for them. [H-L]

Donald Trump is a whiny ass titty baby. President-elect Donald Trump, who is just two months away from his inauguration, woke up Saturday morning with a pressing concern on his mind. [HuffPo]

Democratic State Rep. Kevin Sinnette testified Friday that Republican Gov. Matt Bevin threatened him and his district last December at a meeting in the Governor’s Mansion after Sinnette rejected Bevin’s request that he change his political parties. [C-J/AKN]

President-elect Donald Trump has selected two anti-net neutrality advisers to shape the future administration’s telecom policy strategy at the Federal Communications Commission, Recode reported. [ThinkProgress]

Bill Mike Runyon led Paintsville High School’s basketball team for 29 years — now he’ll lead the city. [Ashland Independent]

Senators are pledging to take a firm line with Russia next year, setting up a potential conflict with incoming President Donald Trump. [The Hill]

Only one of three Democratic lawmakers who claim Republican Matt Bevin threatened them with political retaliation after they declined to switch parties showed up to testify Friday before a special House committee looking into the allegations. [Ronnie Ellis]

Semi-retired Wisconsin pig farmer John Lader does not think much of Donald Trump as a messenger, but voted for what he described as the Republican president-elect’s message of change and economic hope for America. [Reuters]

It appears Morehead City Council will soon have the first reading of an ordinance to allow mobile food vendors within city limits. [The Morehead News]

Four years after a Massachusetts crime lab chemist confessed to tainting evidence, more than 20,000 defendants still don’t know if their drug convictions will stand. [ProPublica]

Matt Bevin moved Monday to appeal a Franklin Circuit Court ruling that he exceeded his authority by abolishing the University of Louisville Board of Trustees and replacing it with a new, smaller board. [Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump’s decision to nominate Sen. Jeff Sessions as attorney general is being met with alarm at the Justice Department’s civil rights division and could trigger an exodus there, former officials said Friday. [Politico]

Rep. Fitz Steele, D-Hazard, was in Frankfort on Friday but he wasn’t going anywhere near the special panel appointed by House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, to investigate Gov. Matt Bevin’s alleged threats of retaliation against Democratic lawmakers. [H-L]

In a 2006 speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to be the next attorney general, castigated a subset of Latino immigrants as useless to American society. [HuffPo]