Bevin & Thielen Are Both Horrible Men Responsible For The Ongoing Pension Disaster

Bill Thielen’s not wrong that Matt Bevin is a morally bankrupt piece of work. But he’s not wrong about Thielen being a con artist. Source: my ten years of coverage of Kentucky Retirement Systems. Probably hasn’t done anything criminal but absolutely exacerbated the problem and helped line his wealthy friends’ pockets. The same thing Bevin is trying to do now. [John Cheves]

The FBI recently questioned a former White House correspondent for Sputnik, the Russian-government-funded news agency, as part of an investigation into whether it is acting as an undeclared propaganda arm of the Kremlin in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). [HuffPo]

A fight has erupted over billboards at the newest highway entrance to Indiana. “Everybody’s got their attorneys,” said Steve Long, president of the Utica Town Council. “It’s David versus Goliath.” [C-J/AKN]

Republicans are beginning to drop like flies because they know it’s only a matter of time until their majority is lost for a century. [The Hill]

What Ronnie Ellis doesn’t tell you is that the amount being paid into the system by many municipalities is chump change. Local governments and school boards got some hard news Thursday from Kentucky’s state budget director: they’re going to have to pay more — a lot more — into the state’s public pension system. [Ronnie Ellis]

Shocked Florida residents returned to their shattered homes on Monday as the weakened Hurricane Irma pushed inland, flooding cities in the northeastern part of the state and leaving millions without power. [Reuters]

The Boyd Fiscal Court approved the list of property taxes and fees for 2017, and taxpayers can expect to pay more than they did a year ago. [Ashland Independent]

A new study shows that more than half of the country’s rural counties now don’t have hospitals with obstetric services. And women of color are being hit the hardest. [ProPublica]

A Morehead man was arrested on Labor Day this week after police accused him of cultivating marijuana. [The Morehead News]

How will Maggie Haberman fuck coverage of the opioid crisis up? She intentionally skewed Trump’s anti-LGBT behavior for nearly a year. There’s no telling how bad she’ll screw this up. [NY Times]

People need to get their shit in check. If your town is acting like it can’t afford its basic pension contributions? You need to show up at meetings and start raising hell. Make these idiots you’ve elected figure it out. [Glasgow Daily Times]

With Hurricane Harvey’s rainfall records and now Irma’s stunning combination of extreme strength and longevity, the hurricane-global warming debate is back in full swing. And it has evolved a good bit since 2005, when the United States was severely damaged by superstrong hurricanes (Katrina, Rita, Wilma). [WaPo]

This story is terrifying. A 5-year-old boy who just started school in Jackson County has been missing three days after his mother was thrown off a cliff and suffered multiple broken bones, a family member said. [H-L & Updated H-L Story]

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy on Monday put a temporarily hold on limits imposed by a lower court on President Donald Trump’s order barring most refugees from entering the United States. [HuffPo]

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Lexington: Show Up And Stick It To Spectrum On Thursday

The city of Lexington might have to pay millions of dollars extra to its police and fire pension fund after the state’s highest court denied the city’s request to hear its appeal. [H-L]

The death of 32-year-old anti-racist protester Heather Heyer at the hands of a white supremacist on Saturday was the most recent of at least 65 fatal incidents perpetrated by right-wing extremists in the United States since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The incident in Charlottesville is indicative of how far-right extremist violence has surged in the intervening years, as federal law enforcement efforts have shifted attention toward the threat posed by jihadist terrorism, former counter-terrorism officials and experts say. [HuffPo]

Meanwhile, Scott Jennings is doing things like cracking anti-LatinX jokes at Fancy Farm – of all places – and never apologizing. Kentucky Republicans, overwhelmingly, are obese, asshole, homophobic, racist hypocrites. [C-J/AKN]

Not all drug prices are going up. Amid the public fury over the escalating costs of brand-name medications, the prices of generic drugs have been falling, raising fears about the profitability of major generic manufacturers. [ProPublica]

Just in case you thought CNHI had sense? You’re mistaken. The new editor at the Trashland Independent is keen on right-wing extremists. [Ashland Independent]

On June 20, World Refugee Day, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney declared that his city would “be a sanctuary for people who need protection.” New York Mayor Bill De Blasio similarly declared his support for refugees back in January when he said, “In this great city of immigrants we will remain true to our values and always welcome all who yearn to breathe free.” [WaPo]

Just in case you thought Kentucky Republicans had guts? They don’t. They overwhelmingly refuse to call Trump’s bigotry out for what it is. [Ronnie Ellis]

U.S. workers see little hope for higher paychecks, and while they are increasingly searching for new jobs, they expect fewer offers to fall into their laps, according to a Federal Reserve survey published on Monday. [Reuters]

The new others of the State-Journal are really making it clear how terribly stupid they are. This is proof they, like Julian Carroll, ought to be dragged through the streets kicking and screaming until they’re run out of town. [Hot Garbage]

Mitch McConnell (R-Grandmother) pledged Monday that lawmakers and the president wouldn’t allow the United States to default on its debt this fall, risking a global financial crisis. [The Hill]

Oh, please, like this will solve anything. Metro Louisville is among nearly 50 other cities suing drug distributors, accusing them of playing a role in creating the opioid crisis that is crippling many states. [WAVE3]

Donald Trump is one of the dumbest human beings alive. He stared straight at the sun. [BBC]

Spectrum officials are scheduled to speak and take questions during a Thursday public meeting about the cable company’s service in Fayette County. [H-L]

Of course Kentucky’s in the national news for something discriminatory and stupid. Again. For the millionth time. [HuffPo]

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Do You Prefer Nazi Or Russian Commie Trump? Spoiler Alert: They’re The Same

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State Rep. C. Wesley Morgan failed to pay property taxes on his $350,000 houseboat for more than a decade, denying school districts and local governments thousands of dollars each year, according to public records and interviews with officials. [H-L]

A veteran international prosecutor announced she plans to quit the United Nations commission investigating human rights abuses in Syria because of the international community’s inaction when it comes to the bloodshed in the country. [HuffPo]

Another racist jackass is dead. Sonny Landham, a famed movie actor in the 1970s and 1980s who later attempted several runs for office in Kentucky, has died at age 76, according to the Associated Press. [C-J/AKN]

Sonia K. is a Holocaust survivor who was forced to live in the Warsaw Ghetto before being taken to Madjanek, Auschwitz, Ravensbruck, and Malchow concentration camps. [CNN]

Trump is correct that there is a lot of historical revision surrounding what we teach about slavery and the Civil War. But the revisionism is in the opposite direction of what Trump and Bevin claim. [Ronnie Ellis]

More civilians were killed and wounded in Kabul during in the first six months of 2017 than in war-ravaged Helmand, according to a United Nations midyear report on civilian casualties that showed deaths and injuries in Afghanistan remained near record levels documented last year. [WSJ]

The last time Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear and attorneys for Republican Gov. Matt Bevin squared off before the state Supreme Court on the question of a governor’s power over public universities, Beshear won. [More Ronnie Ellis]

A U.S. appeals court on Friday limited the ability of police to seize cell phones from homes of people suspected of crimes, ruling the prevelance of mobile devices did not mean police could assume a suspect had one when requesting a search warrant. [Reuters]

Rowan County taxpayers will notice a decrease in their school tax rate when they receive their property taxes this year. [The Morehead News]

More than a decade ago, I chatted with Asian-American seniors at Hunter College High School in New York City about their college admission prospects. [ProPublica]

The jailer there, Joe Burchett, ought to be promptly investigated by state and federal authorites(sic). I’ve been hearing a lot about him for quite a while and it’s beyond time. First responders rushed to the Boyd County Detention Center Saturday night after maximum security inmates set a mattress ablaze, severely damaging the interior of the jail and forcing officials to relocate all 270 detainees, police said. [Ashland Independent]

As early as March 2016, a low-level Trump campaign aide claimed none other than the president of Russia was trying to meet then-candidate Donald Trump and his campaign. [WaPo]

Valarie Honeycutt Spears has been sitting on her hands as these things have unfolded for a long time. She’s also intentionally ignored mega scandals (like Montgomery County) that cost school districts tens of millions of dollars on top of everything else. She ought to be removed from covering education – just as Toni Konz was being pushed out just before she jumped ship and moved to WDRB. [H-L]

Chants of “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA” echoed throughout the French Quarter on Saturday as thousands of people marched in a peaceful ― but loud ― protest against racism and white supremacy. [HuffPo]

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Latest UofL Con Artist Stunt Will Fire You Up But Isn’t Surprising

Can you imagine what would have happened if Valarie Honeycutt Spears put this much effort into covering scandals like the ones we spent YEARS uncovering in Montgomery County? Nah? Don’t worry about it – no one can. She needs to be replaced or reassigned. [H-L]

You can’t fix this kind of stupid. Donald Trump on Tuesday threatened North Korea, promising “fire and fury like the world has never seen,” following new reports the country has escalated its nuclear program. [HuffPo]

CON ARTIST ALERT! Here’s hoping she and Jim Ramsey end up in prison. They won’t, but here’s hoping. They deserve to pay for helping Robert Felner and every other criminal the past decade. Facing a potential lawsuit from the University of Louisville, fired foundation officer Kathleen Smith and her husband have transferred five properties they own valued at nearly $800,000 to shell companies. [C-J/AKN]

Mitch McConnell (R-Grandmother) on Monday expressed frustration with what he called Donald Trump’s “excessive expectations” of the legislative process as Republicans struggle to chalk up major achievements under a united government. [The Hill]

Bullshit alert. Co-founders of the New Kentucky Project, Adam Edelen and Matt Jones, will be at the Morehead Conference Center at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 9, as part of their Barnstorming Tour. [The Morehead News]

The Trump administration has reversed an Obama administration stance and will support Ohio in its bid at the U.S. Supreme Court to revive a state policy of purging people from voter-registration lists if they do not regularly cast ballots. [Reuters]

Heroin in the streets didn’t spark the vicious drug epidemic throttling Boyd County, Sheriff Bobby Jack Woods argued as he urged the fiscal court to file suit against opioid distributors. [Ashland Independent]

The 1907 episode in a seaside timber town in Washington came to be known as the Bellingham Riots. Really, though, there were no riots. There was a pogrom. [ProPublica]

Residents of Mayde Spur Road in Berea woke to a foul smelling odor early Sunday morning. The alleged culprit was an uncontrolled release of chemicals from KI (USA) Corporation, located nearby on Mayde Road. [Richmond Register]

The average temperature in the United States has risen rapidly and drastically since 1980, and recent decades have been the warmest of the past 1,500 years, according to a sweeping federal climate change report awaiting approval by the Trump administration. [NY Times]

There’s no dearth of research on health disparities in Appalachia. But a newly-formed group of researchers at Virginia Tech says there is a dearth of scientific research into why these disparities exist, and how environmental factors could be contributing. [WFPL]

You can thank these backward-ass New Nazies for maybe getting you killed on a train or bus. Continuing its quest to relieve industries of regulatory burdens, the Trump administration has scrapped a proposal that would have required truck and bus drivers, and railroad engineers be tested for a disorder that could cause them to fall asleep on the job. [WaPo]

Here’s Valarie with a one-pager asking whether Kentucky’s proposed charter schools rules are tough enough. Of course not? Seriously, she needs to be fired or reassigned. [H-L]

The Department of Justice reversed its position Monday on an important case before the Supreme Court that deals with state procedures for removing people from the voter rolls. The move signals another break with Obama administration policy on voting issues and, according to critics, shows how hostile the Trump Justice Department will be to voting rights. [HuffPo]

Yet More Proof That The Stupid Is Thick

Jeff Hoover has taken the unusual step of calling all 100 House members to the Capitol Aug. 16 “to bring members up to date on the budget, tax reform and pension reform.” [H-L]

This is because Republicans overwhelmingly tend to be dumb and gullible. That’s just reality. Nearly half of Republican voters believe Donald Trump didn’t really lose the popular vote to his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in last year’s election, a new poll shows. [HuffPo]

Attorneys for Donald Trump are asking the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals to dismiss a suit alleging he incited violence against protesters at a March 2016 campaign rally in Louisville. [C-J/AKN]

The specter of hate incidents and crimes — some of them fueled by the nastiness of the 2016 presidential campaign — felt white hot months ago. [ProPublica]

Restaurants in Richmond could soon sell alcohol until 1 a.m. Sunday nights after Richmond city commissioners on Tuesday changed an ordinance already prepared by city attorney Garrett Fowles that would have kept the cutoff for alcohol sales at 9 p.m. Sundays. [Richmond Register]

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Republicans are getting worse and worse for Kentucky’s economy. Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary June unemployment rate was 5.1 percent, according to the Office of Employment and Training (OET), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. The unemployment rate for June was up 0.1 percentage points from the 5 percent reported in May 2017. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Keep an eye on what Texas New Nazis/New Republicans are up to because Kentucky Republicans want to do the same. The Republican-controlled Texas Senate gave preliminary approval on Tuesday to a bill that restricts bathroom access for transgender people, endorsing a piece of legislation denounced by civil liberties advocates as discriminatory. [Reuters]

Just in case you were wondering how many idiots there are in Louisville, here’s another one: Duncan Murley. Louisville residents spoke up about a proposed Metro Council tree ordinance Tuesday. [WFPL]

LGBT rights advocacy groups slammed Trump on Wednesday for his decision to bar transgender people from military service, calling it a “direct attack” on trans people and a “desperate action.” [The Hill]

It sure is fascinating to see the folks at Bowling Green’s far-right newspaper act like they were unaware of the nightmarish shit Julian Carroll has been up to for decades. They’re usually the first to hurl rumor and innuendo about him. Wendell Ford, too. Standing up for Carroll proves all we need to know about the Daily News. [BDGN]

The total amount of tax raised by the United States as a proportion of the size of its economy is not the highest in the world. It also does not have the highest rates of taxes on households. [BBC]

Moody’s has downgraded the debt issued by Kentucky’s state government by one level, to a Aa3 rating, warning bond investors that the state does not collect enough revenue to resolve its $37 billion public pension shortfall. [John Cheves]

Michelle Obama has opened up in front of a crowd of about 8,500 at the Women’s Foundation of Colorado’s 30th anniversary event in Denver about her experience as America’s first black first lady. [HuffPo]

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The Herald-Leader Repeatedly Failed Montgomery County For Years And Here’s A Perfect Reminder

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

The best part about this story is that Valarie Honeycutt Spears didn’t bother to mention how all of these victims spent years reaching out to her for help. Only to be told that there was no story there, that Jake was mistaken, that there was nothing to see, move along. Welp, how bout them apples? More than four years of investigative journalism produced these results and the Herald-Leader couldn’t be bothered to mention that this isn’t new news. Partially out of bitterness toward someone doing their job for them and calling them lazy for missing the biggest education scandal in our lifetime… and partially out of trying to save face. [H-L]

Mitch McConnell is a lesser person than you thought. Capitol Police forcibly removed protesters gathered outside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office on Thursday, with at least one photo showing drops of blood on the hallway floor. [HuffPo]

In recent days, American Airlines has been forced to cancel more than 40 flights in Phoenix. The reason: With daytime highs hovering around 120 degrees, it was simply too hot for some smaller jets to take off. Hotter air is thinner air, which makes it more difficult — and sometimes impossible — for planes to generate enough lift. As the global climate changes, disruptions like these are likely to become more frequent, researchers say, potentially making air travel costlier and less predictable with a greater risk of injury to travelers from increased turbulence. [NY Times]

Leave it to Matt Bevin to have a lesser understanding of the freedom of speech than the Kentucky Democratic Party. The Supreme Court reserves the highest scrutiny for content-based restrictions on speech. Blocking only those Twitter users with whom Bevin disagrees is a content-based restriction on speech. [C-J/AKN]

Taxpayers’ money “will not be used to let people travel to states who chose to discriminate,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra told the Associated Press Thursday upon adding Texas, Alabama, South Dakota, and Kentucky to the list of places where state employee travel is restricted. [The Advocate]

The battle over Indian Head Rock, the eight-ton sandstone bolder that once sat in the Ohio River between Portsmouth and South Shore, is the focus of a new independent film airing on Kentucky Educational Television. “Between the Rock and the Commonwealth,” airing at 9 p.m. July 3 on KET and 8 p.m. July 9 on KET2, details the controversial removal of Indian Head Rock from the river in 2007, and the ensuing legal battle between Ohio and Kentucky about ownership rights. [Ashland Independent]

A Homeland Security (DHS) official told a Senate panel that election systems in 21 states were targeted in Russian cyber attacks in the 2016 presidential election. [CBS News]

Sure is fascinating to see Ann Oldfather defend this criminal junta. It’s like she wants her law firm to lose all credibility. It’s one thing for her to stand up for her well-paying client but a different thing entirely to attack the taxpayers for daring suggest these shysters get their fat asses kicked to the curb for being corrupt as hell. [Business First]

The hacking of state and local election databases in 2016 was more extensive than previously reported, including at least one successful attempt to alter voter information, and the theft of thousands of voter records that contain private information like partial Social Security numbers, current and former officials tell TIME. [TIME]

Journalism isn’t a profession. It’s a calling. And a strange feeling rises in my stomach as I see my retirement approaching on Wednesday. [Richmond Register]

Donald Trump doesn’t have recordings of his conversations with then-FBI Director James Comey, according to a person familiar with the matter, capping weeks of speculation about whether such tapes exist. [Bloomberg]

Lawyers for Gov. Matt Bevin filed a motion in Franklin Circuit Court on Friday seeking to dismiss a suit by labor groups challenging the constitutionality of the recently passed Kentucky right-to-work law. [Ronnie Ellis]

Dumb. Donald Trump offered an explanation Wednesday for why he has one of the wealthiest Cabinets in history. “I love all people — rich or poor — but in those particular positions, I just don’t want a poor person,” he said at a rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. [CNN]

Matt Bevin and the Republican Party of Kentucky (Hello, you self-hating pieces of shit!) are costing the state millions upon millions of dollars. All because they’re super-homophobic and gay-panicked. And this Woody Maglinger? You know that gurl’s on Grindr more than me. [H-L]

White House huckster Kellyanne Conway on Sunday came right out and said what so many Republicans are probably thinking ― that taking Medicaid away from able-bodied adults is no big deal, because they can go out and find jobs that provide health insurance. [HuffPo]

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Matt Bevin Needs To Pray Much Harder

Surprise! A community was conned by the far-right. Matt Bevin gave away your tax dollars for this failure. Local yokels are trying to blame everyone but the Ham lunatics. Town expected flood of business after Noah’s Ark opened. So far, it’s a trickle. [H-L]

Bigot Donald Trump on Monday reiterated his push for his executive order banning travel and immigration from six majority-Muslim countries, lashing out against his own Justice Department and potentially exacerbating the continued legal battle over the order. [HuffPo]

Guess Bevin didn’t have enough prayer warriors no this block in Louisville’s East End-ish part of town. The weekend following Gov. Matt Bevin’s prayer plan was marred by violence, leaving four dead in just three days, according to the Louisville Metro Police Department. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump can’t be counted on to give accurate information to Americans when violent acts are unfolding abroad. [Associated Press]

Donald Trump is launching a major push for a $1 trillion overhaul of the nation’s roads and bridges, a key item on his agenda that’s been stymied in Congress and overshadowed by White House controversies. [Richmond Register]

Senators went into a recess skeptical over whether they could agree to legislation repealing and replacing ObamaCare. [The Hill]

The state’s court system has requested the state Auditor of Public Accounts examine its financial policies and procedures in the wake of reports the Administrative Office of the Courts offered employees exclusive access to sales of surplus property. [Ronnie Ellis]

Massachusetts Institute of Technology officials said Donald Trump badly misunderstood their research when he cited it on Thursday to justify withdrawing the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement. [Reuters]

Matt Bevin is delusional AF. Or dishonest. Or shady. Or all three. Matt Bevin held a rare news conference last Friday to tout the best year on record for business investment in Kentucky, but he ended up using it to lambast the press and union groups challenging recently passed right-to-work legislation. [Ronnie Ellis]

It has offices in a sleek Manhattan skyscraper. Its bonds are accessible to millions of American investors. And it holds ties to some of New York’s biggest banks. Despite this presence on Wall Street, detailed in previously unreported financial records, Vnesheconombank, or VEB, is no normal bank. It is wholly owned by the Russian state. It is intertwined with Russian intelligence. And the Russian prime minister is, by law, the chairman of its supervisory board. [NY Times]

Kentucky’s lieutenant governor got an up-close look at half a dozen manufacturing facilities in Hart County on Friday, concluding her day at Sister Schubert’s, which makes yeast rolls and other bread products. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The White House and a Russian state-owned bank have very different explanations for why the bank’s chief executive and Jared Kushner held a secret meeting during the presidential transition in December. [WaPo]

Valarie Honeycutt Spears, Kentucky’s worst education reporter (worse than Toni Konz – who is an absolute disaster of a stenographer in Louisville), completely ignored that the Kentucky Department of Education will effectively have veto power over the Education Professional Standards Board. And that’s a huge problem. Because she’s deliberately ignored the worst of the worst in education for years. She needs to be reassigned because Herald-Leader readers and Kentuckians deserve better. [H-L]

Kentucky Republicans are always silent when people like this stand up to bigotry and get murdered. In part because they harbor bigoted beliefs. In part because they’re cowardly snowflakes. They wilt at the prospect of real heroism and integrity. They curl up into a ball when they’re challenged. [HuffPo]

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