Sticking It To The Poor Some More

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Matt Bevin’s state budget proposal does not include any money for retired teachers’ health care, causing a “huge concern” for teachers under age 65 who have retired in recent years. [John Cheves]

Donald Trump presidency is now one year old and in many respects ― the unhinged tweeting, the contempt for democratic norms, the potential collusion with a hostile foreign power ― it has been unlike any presidency in history. [HuffPo]

Yet another Matt Bevin shyster has absconded with your tax dollars. Saved this for Monday so it doesn’t disappear from the mainstream. A pastor and Baptist seminary professor hired by Matt Bevin as the state’s adoption “czar” has left Bevin’s administration midway through the first year of his controversial $240,000-a-year contract. [C-J/AKN]

The FBI is investigating whether a top Russian banker with ties to the Kremlin illegally funneled money to the National Rifle Association to help Donald Trump win the presidency. Torshin spoke to Donald Trump Jr. during a gala event at the group’s national gathering in Kentucky in May 2016, when his father won an earlier-than-usual NRA presidential endorsement. [McClatchy]

You’re better than this, Kentucky. Rabbi Shlomo Litvin was working late Sunday night, early Monday morning at the Jewish Student Center on the University of Kentucky campus when voices from a group outside got his attention. [WKYT]

Mitch McConnell is blaming Democrats for a shutdown that he voted for. Republicans control the House, Senate and White House. Democrats didn’t do this. [The Hill]

Which Kentucky counties benefited the most under Medicaid expansion? Check out this map. [WFPL]

U.S. health officials said on Friday they were revoking legal guidance issued by the Obama administration that had sought to discourage states from trying to defund organizations that provide abortion services, such as Planned Parenthood. [Reuters]

Kentucky’s public pension problem is real and Gov. Matt Bevin should be commended for demanding we do something. But that shouldn’t mean selling out our children. [Ronnie Ellis]

Matt Bevin and his staff are so backward they couldn’t be bothered with finding out what Medicaid really means for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Here’s a look. [WaPo]

A lawsuit filed last month in Madison Circuit Court claims the city of Richmond’s police leave policy is in violation of state law. [Richmond Register]

Kentucky’s new Medicaid waiver will ask low-income people to jump over hurdles to keep their coverage. Evidence suggests that many will fail. [NY Times]

The man accused of attacking U.S. Sen. Rand Paul in November is now facing federal charges, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana. Rene A. Boucher, 58, of Bowling Green is charged with one count of “assaulting a member of Congress resulting in personal injury,” which is a federal felony, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office. [H-L]

There’s no way the real number is that low. At least 677,774 people in the United States followed, retweeted or liked content distributed by Russian government-linked Twitter accounts in a 10-week span prior to the 2016 U.S. election, Twitter announced Friday. [HuffPo]

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Seems Kentucky Republicans Are Ruining Literally Everything They Touch

A prosecutor for the Legislative Ethics Commission has a copy of a secret settlement that four Republican House members made with a legislative employee who accused them of sexual harassment. [H-L]

This may be the craziest shit ever. The Pentagon is reportedly pushing a new retaliation tactic should the U.S. ever be hit by a devastating cyberattack: America could nuke the culprit. [HuffPo]

No, he won’t be able to clean the University of Louisville up. That won’t be possible until 100% of leadership there is gone – including every member of the foundation and the board. Source: My decade plus of uncovering UofL messes. No one knows that better than me. [C-J/AKN]

FBI agents showed up at Steve Bannon’s Washington home last week intent on serving him with a subpoena to appear before a grand jury investigating possible ties between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia, according to a source familiar with the proceedings. [NBC News]

Matt Begin is a garbage human being. Matt Bevin says he will end Medicaid benefits for more than 400,000 Kentuckians if the courts stop him from requiring many of them to work. [Richmond Register]

Most members of a U.S. National Park Service advisory board, appointed while Barack Obama was president, have resigned after saying they were ignored by Donald Trump’s administration, the panel chairman said on Tuesday. [Reuters]

The City of Ashland was slapped with a $4,500 fine by the state Energy and Environmental Cabinet for a violation at the wastewater treatment plant. [Ashland Independent]

A study released late last year gives environmental experts a way to quantify how much RDX, a chemical used in military explosives, is spreading into surrounding communities. [ProPublica]

Morehead City Council voted unanimously last Monday during its monthly meeting to pass the first reading of an ordinance instituting additional and higher insurance premium fees. [The Morehead News]

Medicaid work requirements are a solution in search of a problem. Also, a pox on all the houses of shitty Republicans like Matt Bevin who push this racist nonsense. [WaPo]

Incumbent Barren County Judge-Executive Micheal Hale filed his papers to run for re-election Friday, and on Tuesday. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Bevin might care to glance south over the border. In 2005, Tennessee removed 170,000 people — almost one in 10 Medicaid beneficiaries in the state, mainly working-age adults without children — from its Medicaid program to save money. They didn’t do well. The cuts didn’t just eat into poor Tennesseans’ finances. One study found that childless adults in Tennessee — especially the least educated — started delaying or forgoing visits to the doctor. They reported suffering more days in bad health and incapacitated. And they recorded more visits to hospital emergency rooms, which are required by law to care for all comers, regardless of their ability to pay. Delayed care can kill. [NY Times]

Attorney General Andy Beshear is setting up a new unit in his office to investigate and prosecute sexual assault cold cases. [H-L]

All these wingnuts are essentially the same. A climate denial group protected a former executive charged with stalking a colleague. [HuffPo]

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Budget Proves Bevin’s Worthlessness

Matt Bevin proposed a two-year state budget Tuesday night that would eliminate “about 70” state government programs and cut spending at many state agencies by 6.25 percent. [H-L]

Pope Francis said on Monday he was really afraid about the danger of nuclear war and that the world now stood at “the very limit”. [HuffPo]

Choked and knocked unconscious, Jeanette McCue said a violent attack in 2016 by her husband left her bruised and battered, with black eyes, a split lip and marks around her neck. The attack that sent her husband to prison for 10 years was shocking enough, she said. But she was shocked further when she sought to divorce him and discovered that an obscure provision of Kentucky law required her to pay for his lawyer, because as an inmate, he had no means to hire one. [C-J/AKN]

In a notable back flip, the Trump administration has decided that maybe the Obama administration was right in its efforts to change the way doctors and hospitals are paid under Medicare. [NY Times]

On a bitterly cold night, Matt Bevin promised a joint session of the General Assembly to fully fund the state’s poorly funded public pension systems, purchase more cruisers for Kentucky State Police, spend more on foster care and adoption and devote an extra $34 million to the fight against opioid addiction. [Ronnie Ellis]

The slope rises as high as London’s Big Ben tower. Beneath its ruddy layer of dirt is a sheet of ice 300 feet thick that gives the landscape a blue-black hue. If such a scene sounds otherworldly, it is. To visit it, you’ll have to travel to Mars. [WaPo]

Ashland commission members are mulling whether to turn the city’s vacant city attorney job into a full-time position. [Ashland Independent]

Outsiders like this have no business drafting narratives – and that’s what this is. They ignore Jack Conway, ignore Democratic Party inaction, ignore the dishonest and immoral Republican messaging backed by outsider dark money, ignores that Kentucky generally has low turnout, ignores that media in Kentucky has been dying for years. [TPM]

Following the recent retirement of Rowan Circuit Clerk Jim Barker, I, as Chief Circuit Judge for the 21st Judicial Circuit, requested that any Rowan County citizen who had taken and passed the Dec. 2, 2017, Circuit Clerk’s examination, apply for the temporary appointment to be interim Rowan County Circuit Clerk for the remainder of the current term, which will end upon certification of the November 2018 General Election. [The Morehead News]

Instead of responding to open records requests, some local governments have filed lawsuits against those who ask for public information in order to keep it secret. Like at the University of Kentucky. [Reason]

Four Republican lawmakers facing sexual harassment allegations waived a preliminary hearing before the Kentucky Ethics Commission Tuesday setting up a public hearing on the charges sometime before mid-April. [More Ronnie Ellis]

Steve Bannon told lawmakers investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election that the White House instructed him not to answer questions related to his tenure as a top White House adviser, prompting a rare subpoena to compel testimony, multiple congressional sources tell NBC News. [NBC News]

Matt Bevin had plenty to say about education in his budget address Tuesday night to lawmakers, saying he wished he could do more for students in classrooms while admonishing school districts that pay too many administrators. He also talked about spending “millions of dollars” in reserves held by both local school districts and state universities. [Linda Blackford]

Just a few days before a shutdown, lawmakers are still sorting out how they plan to fund the government past Friday. [HuffPo]

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Pension Reform: Still Not A Real Thing

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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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Surprise! The Kentucky Republicans Are More Secretive & More Corrupt Than Kentucky Democrats

John-Mark Hack, who has been trying to help Kentucky comply with federal security regulations involving drivers licenses, is no longer a member of the Bevin administration. [H-L]

After orbiting Jupiter for a little more than a year and a half, NASA’s Juno spacecraft recently finished its 10th trip around the massive planet. Now the space agency is sharing some of the photos Juno snapped that were edited by citizen scientists, including this close-up shot of Jupiter’s surface. [HuffPo]

First, the incompetence of Nancy Rodriguez is what allowed A Kentucky Newspaper to effectively whitewash the monster Robert Felner scandal. Second, Allison Martin is the person who lied for Donna Hargens for months and months. So you know this is some bullshit at Jefferson County Public Schools and the Kentucky Department of Education. [C-J/AKN]

MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough thanked author Michael Wolff for opening a wider discussion into President Donald Trump’s apparent mental decline. The “Morning Joe” host has been trying to sound the alarm about the president, whom he’s known for years, but he said political and journalistic norms had kept the topic buried. “I’ve written twice in my column a quote about one of the people closest to Donald Trump during the campaign saying he’s got early stage of dementia,” Scarborough said. [Raw Story]

For years, a group of Madison Countians has worked toward a foundation that would provide funding for non-profits and other groups working to benefit the community. [Richmond Register]

Trump’s voter fraud commission is gone but scrutiny will continue. The president dissolved the commission and indicated that the Department of Homeland Security will continue its mission. Experts say DHS won’t achieve the results he wants — and critics won’t back down. [ProPublica]

A special House committee will review allegations that Speaker Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown, sexually harassed an employee and tried to cover it up through a confidential financial settlement. [Ronnie Ellis]

The Trump misadministration may have just admitted to violating campaign finance law. The White House is reportedly considering firing a former employee from a group it cannot legally control. [ThinkProgress]

The AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps VISTA members serving in Morehead through the Homeless and Housing Coalition of Kentucky are hosting a donation drive for STAR (Saving The Animals of Rowan), the local animal shelter in Morehead, Jan. 2-12. [The Morehead News]

Did Jeff Sessions just increase the odds Congress will make marijuana legal? The opossum attorney general has created intolerable uncertainty for a growing industry that is now demanding legal protections from Congress. And lawmakers are listening. [Politico]

Some meetings of a special House committee formed to look into charges against Republican Speaker Jeff Hoover are likely to be conducted in private despite protestations from Democrats and the eight Republicans who filed the charges. [More Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump gave firm instructions in March to the White House’s top lawyer: stop the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, from recusing himself in the Justice Department’s investigation into whether Mr. Trump’s associates had helped a Russian campaign to disrupt the 2016 election. [NY Times]

Tiffany Dunn, who teaches English at Lassiter Middle School in Louisville, began to weep Tuesday at the state Capitol. She was speaking at a rally of educators scared of what the 2018 General Assembly will do to Kentucky’s schools when it axes up to $1 billion a year from the state’s $11 billion General Fund. [John Cheves]

Just a day after he declared himself a “very stable genius” and “like, really smart,” Donald Trump mixed up the word “consequential” with “consensual” in an embarrassing tweet. [HuffPo]

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