Another Kentucky Republican Trafficking Humans But RPK Is Strangely Silent

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He was a Trump Campaign chair. A former Kentucky judge has entered into a plea agreement in a human-trafficking case. [H-L]

For the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who would be tasked with making it happen, a military parade like the one Donald Trump envisions would be a colossal pain in the rear guard. [HuffPo]

Nineteen Kentucky schools won’t get planned safety reviews this year that are partially designed to help prevent and prepare for emergencies such as last month’s Marshall County High School mass shooting. [C-J/AKN]

Researchers at the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) analysed three months of social media activity of US Twitter and Facebook users from November 2017 to January 2018 – the period leading up to President Trump’s latest State of the Union Address. They find that on Twitter, a network of Trump supporters shares the widest range of junk news and circulates more junk news than all other political audience groups combined. [University of Oxford]

Republican Brian Linder is a lying conman. It doesn’t take more than $20,000 to install solar. You can run a small home or average apartment for $5,000. Way less if you’re only powering something like a water heater, personal electric, fridges and freezers, pumps or lighting. And it’s absurd to suggest Louisville and Lexington aren’t 99% working class people. Linder might get his ass kicked if he steps foot in either city – possibly by conservative Republicans with enough sense to know that solar puts power in the hands of the people, not the hands of energy oligarchs. [WFPL]

The U.S. official in charge of protecting American elections from hacking says the Russians successfully penetrated the voter registration rolls of several U.S. states prior to the 2016 presidential election. [NBC News]

Of course the Republican Party of Kentucky is once again targeting transgender youth with a new bathroom bill. These hate-filled hacks like Kim King and Richard Heath are disgusting excuses for Americans. Strange how the mainstream media is ignoring this one. [LRC]

If the man who can’t pronounce “nuclear” understands what’s going on and isn’t afraid to discuss it publicly… well… Former President George W. Bush appeared to take aim at Donald Trump on Thursday when he said at an economic summit in the Middle East that there was “pretty clear evidence that the Russians meddled” in the 2016 U.S. president election. [USA Today]

The Glasgow Common Council’s agenda for Monday includes, as expected, consideration of a municipal order expressing intent for the participation in a needle exchange program. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Five people, including a suspected gunman who apparently took his own life, were killed in a shooting spree at two locations in northeast Kentucky on Saturday, officials said. [Reuters]

As many as 14 school districts are faced with the inability to pay their bills by the end of the school year and some Kentucky lawmakers say they’re only a harbinger of things to come. [Ronnie Ellis]

Shitbird Trump blocked on Friday the release of a classified Democratic memo rebutting Republican claims that top federal law enforcement officials had abused their surveillance powers in spying on a former Trump campaign aide, raising the specter of a potential showdown with Congress. [NY Times]

The guy operating the Kentucky State Police twitter account is a self-hating homophobic shitbag. He should be reassigned or fired. There is no room in law enforcement for someone like that. [H-L]

One morning last September, Jeancarlo and Jan Miguel Ruiz Núñez stepped out of their home and found their neighborhood, on the outskirts of the small mountain town of Lares, Puerto Rico, wrecked. Hurricane Maria had battered the island for hours. The storm had downed light poles and scattered tree branches into the roads. Debris blocked all of the exits of their driveway. But what worried the Núñez brothers most was their 46-year-old mother, Mariluz, who had been battling breast cancer for nearly a decade and was bedridden. [HuffPo]

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Public Education Barely Exists In Kentucky & Democrats Are Twiddling Their Thumbs

People who suffer from pain as a result of the shingles will have access to less expensive generic drugs under an agreement reached with a pharmaceutical company. Kentucky is one of 22 states that have reached an agreement with pharmaceutical companies Teikoku Seiyaku and Teikoku Pharma USA because of anti-competitive tactics, Attorney General Andy Beshear announced Thursday. [H-L]

Andrew Wheeler, Donald Trump’s nominee to be Environmental Protection Agency deputy administrator, appeared poised and polished at his Senate confirmation hearing in November. He couched his objections to widely accepted climate science in ambiguous legalese, and kept his cool when, at the same hearing, Kathleen Hartnett-White, the president’s pick for the Council on Environmental Quality, flamed out, stammering over questions of basic science. [HuffPo]

Dr. Bill Fannin found his son unconscious in his bedroom. Medical training and a father’s love told him what to do. Give him breath. Start his heart. [C-J/AKN]

The blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered its steepest decline since June 2016 on Friday, amid wider losses in US markets. [BBC]

A bipartisan group of lawmakers has proposed allowing casinos to open in Kentucky so the state can glean gambling tax revenue for its ailing pension systems. [WFPL]

Melania Trump could have been deported and banned from the US if Donald Trump had been president when she was working as a model in the 1990s, immigration attorneys have said. [Independent]

Make no mistake, the behind-the-scenes maneuvering of the Steering Committee for Action on Louisville’s Agenda, or SCALA, has been going on for about a year. Longer than, most notably, David Jones Jr. and Sr., have been publicly acknowledging. The group’s attempt to usurp control of Jefferson County Public Schools has been building for longer than that. It must be roundly rejected. [Aaron Yarmuth]

It’s last call for public comment on a Trump administration proposal that would give bar and restaurant owners more control over workers’ tips. The Labor Department has been asking for feedback, and already hundreds of thousands of people have weighed in. Many say they say they’re opposed to a rule that would allow restaurant owners to pocket tips for themselves. [NPR]

While public education advocates worry the next state budget will squeeze public school budgets, some districts already face the possibility they might not be able to pay all of their bills before the current school year ends. [Ronnie Ellis]

Strange how Jim Gray didn’t have the courage or conviction to publicly support medical marijuana until he realized everyone else was doing it. The only person in that race to show real leadership was Reggie Thomas. Read the latest from Jim Higdon. [Politico]

The Kentucky Medical Association President believes local medical providers would have to do some “scrambling” if the Medicaid expansion is revoked, as Matt Bevin has threatened. [Ashland Independent]

Tiny Weenus Trump’s vision of soldiers marching and tanks rolling down the boulevards of Washington is moving closer to reality in the Pentagon and White House, where officials say they have begun to plan a grand military parade later this year showcasing the might of America’s armed forces. [WaPo]

Raising the cancer stick tax could save lives and grow revenue. It probably won’t pass because Frankfort is awful. [H-L]

The Trump Misadministration wants to give states the authority to determine if plans have enough doctors. In Washington state, a woman in Spokane named Cynthia Harvey bought health insurance from Coordinated Care, in part because the brochure promised a robust roster of physicians and coverage for an array of services, including, if needed, emergency room services. [HuffPo]

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Republicans Still Wishing In One Hand…

About 2,000 additional former clients of attorney Eric C. Conn will have to prove they still deserve federal disability benefits in coming months, creating the potential for more economic hardship in Eastern Kentucky, according to people familiar with the government’s plan. [H-L]

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned this week that Russia is already trying to meddle in the 2018 midterm elections. And the U.S. is inadequately prepared to counter that threat, he said. [HuffPo]

After a dozen years in office, Tony Lindauer is retiring. The longtime Jefferson County property valuation administrator announced that he is no longer seeking re-election for health and family reasons. [C-J/AKN]

While Devin Nunes tries to mislead audiences about his memo, an actual document hunt in Washington could have far-reaching ramifications, both for the Russia investigation and national security writ large. On Friday Sen. Ron Wyden. (D.-Ore.) wrote a pair of letters, obtained by ThinkProgress, to both Treasury Department head Steve Mnuchin and National Rifle Association Treasurer Wilson Phillips, Jr. [ThinkProgress]

They can wish in one hand… After weeks of no news, Republican leaders are expressing renewed optimism about the prospects of overhauling Kentucky’s struggling public pension system. [WFPL]

Moscow has condemned US military proposals to develop new, smaller atomic bombs mainly to deter any Russian use of nuclear weapons. Russia’s foreign minister called the move “confrontational”, and expressed “deep disappointment”. [BBC]

Sitting at his desk in a corner of the Youth Service Center at Greenup County High School, coordinator Pete Phillips sighs and shakes his head. [Ashland Independent]

The Trump administration released a report on the state of America’s nuclear weaponry on Friday. The assessment, known as a Nuclear Posture Review, mainly concerns U.S. nukes and missiles. But buried in the plan is a mention of a mysterious Russian weapon called “Status-6.” On paper, at least, Status-6 appears to be a kind of doomsday device. The report refers to it as “a new intercontinental, nuclear-armed, nuclear-powered, undersea autonomous torpedo.” [NPR]

Pretty sure Rowan County Sheriff Matt Sparks is an idiot. What kind of intellectual lightweight can’t fire up their googler to answer the most basic questions? It’s this kind of stupidity that gives Appalachia a bad name. Particularly when it comes to medical marijuana. [The Morehead News]

For months, chemical companies have waged a campaign to reverse findings by federal fisheries scientists that could curb the use of pesticides based on the threat they pose to endangered species. They scored a major victory [last] week, when Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt announced he would press another federal agency to revisit a recent opinion triggering such restrictions. [WaPo]

If elected officials from 39 counties in southern and western Kentucky are successful in gaining enough support to pass an amendment to an existing bill this session in Frankfort, up to $6 million in additional revenue could be added to the economic development needs of those counties. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Well, that’s gonna sting a bit. The connection between the offshore accounts and the donation to the Chao family foundation were found through a search of the Paradise Papers. [The Intercept]

A legislative proposal could mean big changes to Kentucky’s largest college scholarship program, expanding it beyond college to a host of other academic programs. [H-L]

My colleagues and I marched in the Kingdom Day Parade last month, and toward the end of the route, a group of 10-15 men and women began heckling us. “All Black people don’t have AIDS,” they said, referring to the Black AIDS Institute banner we were marching behind. “You need to take that sign down. It offends us.” We tried to explain we were raising awareness to help prevent the spread of HIV within the black community, but our efforts were not exactly effective. [HuffPo]

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The RPK Is Beginning To Freak Out

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A former Eastern Kentucky lawmaker pleaded guilty to identity theft Thursday under a plea deal that calls for a two-year prison sentence. Former state Rep. Keith Hall, a democrat from Pikeville who is already serving a 7-year sentence in another case, was charged last year with three counts of wire fraud, two counts of identity theft and one count of lying to the FBI. [H-L]

Every single privacy activist I know cares about privacy in significant part to ensure the rule of law and to prevent the arbitrary exercise of justice to focus just on select groups like Muslims or Chinese-Americans, rather than those who pose the greatest risk to society, like people allegedly doing Russia’s secret bidding. Yet the actions of Ryan and Nunes reverse that, using a sham concern for civil liberties as a way to prevent themselves, their associates, and the president from being subject to the rule of law like the rest of us would be.[HuffPo]

Dan Dumas is a far-right nutso homophobe and your tax dollars paid him a $60,000 golden parachute. People like that have no business being around children. And why no mention of the $60K “mortgage” he received just a few days ago from the Southern Baptists? [C-J/AKN]

Trump wanted to know where the special counsel’s Russia investigation was heading. And he wanted to know whether Rosenstein was “on my team.” [CNN]

A Jamie Comer-Scott Jennings lackey is trying to run for Secretary of State. Which means hot garbage is running for Secretary of State. [Republican Stenographers]

The Republican Party isn’t just officially homophobic. Now it’s officially transphobic. Republicans are bigots. If that’s a tough pill for you to swallow, you need to deal with the fact that your political party of choice is one of hate. The Republican National Committee is siding with President Donald Trump on his order to bar transgender individuals from serving in the U.S. military. [AP]

The 2018 General Assembly is now one-third of the way toward its constitutionally-limited 60 days to pass legislation — and still there is no pension bill in sight. [Ronnie Ellis]

The U.S. Congress made no notable progress this week toward a deal on the status of 700,000 “Dreamer” immigrants, with Donald Trump saying on Friday that one “could very well not happen” by a deadline next month. [Reuters]

The filing deadline for Kentucky candidates closed Tuesday, and some northeastern Kentucky lawmakers will face challengers in this year’s election cycle. [Ashland Independent]

For Republicans in the states, the political warning signs keep mounting: In Virginia, it was an electoral shellacking that nearly snapped their 20-year grip on the State House. In Wisconsin, it was a midwinter rout in a special election for the State Senate, fought in a conservative district. [NY Times]

In a year when women candidates are expected to play an important role, 89 women filed to run for the Kentucky General Assembly. [More Ronnie Ellis]

Gene Ransom’s day was ruined within minutes of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s announcement that he was giving federal prosecutors more freedom to go after marijuana transactions in states that have legalized medical cannabis. [WaPo]

Yes, Matt Bevin’s new Medicaid rules are all about putting up roadblocks for poor people. That’s how modern Republicanism functions. [John Cheves]

For weeks, Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee and their allies have been promising that they have a memo with damning evidence undermining special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election meddling and Russian ties to Donald Trump’s inner circle. [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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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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Another Reminder Jeff Hoover Is Gross

Jeff Hoover is disgusting. He’s a victim-blaming, hypocritical moron. Accusing his fellow Republicans of wronging him? HAHAHA. [H-L]

Russian tankers have supplied fuel to North Korea on at least three occasions in recent months by transferring cargoes at sea, according to two senior Western European security sources, providing an economic lifeline to the secretive Communist state. [HuffPo]

You know how I’ve spent more than a decade digging into and reporting on Kentucky Retirement Systems – when no one else would – and it’s all come to a head? Now ANN OLDFATHER is part of a massive suit against KRS money men for being terrible. Insane how it’s all come full circle. Doesn’t even matter at this point if anyone recognizes the person responsible for uncovering all of this in the beginning. [C-J/AKN]

Former FBI Director James Comey said Sunday he hopes 2018 brings more “ethical leadership.” [The Hill]

Between 2013 and the middle of 2017, more than 22.7 million doses of prescription opioids were dispersed in Madison County. In October, Madison County EMS Director Carlos Coyle said the number of opioid overdose patients requiring the administration of Narcan had increased nearly 20 percent. [Richmond Register]

Here’s looking at you Frankfort fools. California will launch the world’s largest regulated commercial market for recreational marijuana on Monday, as dozens of newly licensed stores catering to adults who enjoy the drug for its psychoactive effects open for business up and down the state. [Reuters]

It is an exciting time to be in the Tri-State. It it appears the winds of change are pushing the region forward into a new chapter of economic growth. [Ashland Independent]

Unexploded ordnance. Open burns of munitions. Poisoned aquifers. Of all the military’s environmental hazards, the explosive compound RDX may be the greatest threat to America’s health. [ProPublica]

A former magistrate and candidate in the highly contested 2014 judge-executive’s race has once again thrown his hat in the ring hoping to reach the county’s highest seat. [The Morehead News]

No, you mouth-breathers, it wasn’t the dossier that got the investigation off the ground. During a night of heavy drinking at an upscale London bar in May 2016, George Papadopoulos, a young foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, made a startling revelation to Australia’s top diplomat in Britain: Russia had political dirt on Hillary Clinton. [NY Times]

Representatives working on project to expand “robust, reliable and affordable” broadband Internet access to communities across Kentucky have been in the process of negotiating for months with officials in Glasgow for the rights it needs to build its portion of a fiber optic network here. [Glasgow Daily Times]

It won’t work for the orange dingus. The president’s attorneys are planning to fend off any claims by the former national security adviser by casting him as a liar. [WaPo]

What a wonderful (haha) year it was in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. [H-L]

Kim Jong Un on Monday warned the United States that he has a “nuclear button” on his desk ready for use if North Korea is threatened, but offered an olive branch to South Korea, saying he was “open to dialogue” with Seoul. [HuffPo]

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