Kentucky Republicans Failed Miserably

Kentucky’s New Republicans are some of the dumbest people you’ll ever meet. I mean it. Straight-up dumb. From victim-blaming Jeff Hoover to racist guy with brown kids Matt Bevin, they’re just garbage people. The worst. All sex education classes in Kentucky’s public schools would have to include abstinence education under a proposal approved by a Senate panel Thursday, despite the dramatic testimony of a high school rape survivor who said such efforts shame people. [H-L]

Two FBI officials texted each other burns about politicians, but their main ideological commitment seems to be to the power and independence of the FBI. [HuffPo]

Union mechanics at UPS have turned to Sen. Mitch McConnell to ratchet up pressure amid contract talks, citing assurances from lawmakers and the shipping giant that tax reform would lead to boosted paychecks for workers — when they’ve gone four years without a salary increase. [C-J/AKN]

A federal judge pushing for a quick settlement of lawsuits against opioid manufacturers and distributors by U.S. cities and counties is seeking to meet with states that are separately suing and probing the companies, Ohio’s attorney general said on Thursday. [Reuters]

Candidates for the 89th District Representative seat, which will be decided in a Feb. 27 special election, have been chosen. [Richmond Register]

The controversy that swirled around the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity far exceeded its output. The commission made no decisions, issued no reports, and consequently had no impact on election laws. The group’s existence was brief: Its creation was announced in March. It had its first meeting in July, its second in September, and as of yesterday, it is no more. [ProPublica]

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]

A Wisconsin school district has agreed to pay $800,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by a transgender student who said he was forbidden from using boys bathrooms at his high school and felt degraded by administrators. [NY Times]

In his second convocation as president of Morehead State University, Dr. Jay Morgan spoke of the positive things happening at the university, despite recent obstacles. [The Morehead News]

Ever since the abortion pill RU-486 began to hit the market in the 1980s, questions have lingered about its safety, especially for women who take it in countries where terminating an unwanted pregnancy is restricted and they cannot openly seek help from a medical professional if something goes wrong. [WaPo]

Administrators of a local school district say they are following the guidelines set by state law to teach a Bible literacy course as a high school elective after being challenged by a watchdog group. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Most people on Medicaid already work, and mandating work for others does not help them escape poverty. In fact studies show it can make things worse. Some myths just won’t die, no matter how odious or untrue. And in the Trump era of outright lies masquerading as “alternative” facts, it is no surprise that we are seeing decades-old canards creep back into, and muddy, policy debates. A new Trump administration policy does just that by encouraging states to place work requirements on people who want to receive health insurance coverage through Medicaid. [USA Today]

Berea College has received $30 million in federal grant money to help improve the Perry County schools. [H-L]

Past presidents volunteered on MLK Day. Donald Trump spent it lining his pockets at one of his gaudy golf clubs. [HuffPo]

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Sending McConnell Folks To ARC? Just Gross. Appalachia Is Doomed.

Rand Paul said Sunday it was a “living hell” after he was attacked in November. Paul made his comments on Face the Nation, a news television show on CBS. [H-L]

Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s office released a transcript Tuesday of Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson’s testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee. [HuffPo]

PEE ALERT! Rick Pitino’s attorneys requested the University of Louisville Athletic Association’s countersuit against the former basketball coach be dismissed or for a ruling in the former coach’s favor. [C-J/AKN]

The controversy that swirled around the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity far exceeded its output. [ProPublica]

This is terrible news for Appalachia and I defy anyone to prove me wrong. Donald Trump intends to tap a member of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s staff to serve as federal co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission. [Richmond Register]

A number of Republican lawmakers were visibly incensed on Thursday, following a report by the Associated Press that claimed Attorney General Jeff Sessions is considering rescinding an Obama-era policy allowing marijuana legalization to move forward in several states. [ThinkProgress]

The Ashland commission is bracing for a massive wave to hit the city this year. [Ashland Independent]

The Trump administration has proposed a controversial plan to open up protected areas in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans for offshore drilling. The five-year plan expands drilling to most of the US outer continental shelf, including California and Maine, where drilling has been blocked for decades. [BBC]

If Matt Bevin or anyone in Frankfort really gave a flip about education? This self-promoting guy would be far, far away from the Kentucky Department of Education. [The Morehead News]

Customs officers stationed at the American border and at airports searched an estimated 30,200 cellphones, computers and other electronic devices of people entering and leaving the United States last year — an almost 60 percent increase from 2016, according to Homeland Security Department data released on Friday. [NY Times]

It’s an ABC affiliate. The Glasgow Electric Plant Board narrowly decided at a special meeting Thursday to drop WHAS, a CBS affiliate broadcast channel in Louisville, from its lineup after all. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The rivalry between fast food giants has taken on a strange political twist: KFC has aped Donald Trump’s message to Kim Jong-un, in an attempt to feud with McDonald’s. [BBC]

What on earth is wrong with people? Lexington-Fayette Animal Care and Control seeks the public’s help in finding whoever abandoned a puppy in a trash bag. [H-L]

Donald Trump, who recently said he would announce the “MOST DISHONEST & CORRUPT MEDIA AWARDS OF THE YEAR,” has been awarded the title of the world’s most oppressive leader toward press freedom by the Committee to Protect Journalists. [HuffPo]

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This Wasn’t Mitch McConnell’s Year

Everything was in place for this to be Mitch McConnell’s year. He had a Republican Congress and White House for the first time in a decade, and a simple majority of votes was all that was needed to not only confirm major nominees but pass major legislation too. [H-L]

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government has issued a warning to the U.S.: Don’t “meddle” in the country’s upcoming election. [HuffPo]

Morgan Watkins is the person who claims to have been refused communication by the Chicago Police Department during the United Airlines fiasco but neither she nor her editor could prove it. CPD sent us proof that she’d never tried to communicate with them in any way – there was no record – but okay. Now she’s quote racist and homophobic piece of shit (check our archives) Jim Waters as some expert. A Kentucky Newspaper refuses to name plaintiffs in lawsuits but uses folks like this to make comment on important stories. She won’t last long here (mark my words) because she’ll eventually get run off like everybody else. And this Braidy situation? It’s not over. [C-J/AKN]

The cities of New York, San Francisco and Philadelphia have sued the U.S. Department of Defense to make it fix its system for reporting conviction records to a database used for background checks on gun buyers. [Reuters]

Full of highs and lows, 2017 has been political whiplash for Kentucky Republicans. [Richmond Register]

Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn have sought bank records about entities associated with the family company of Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, according to four people briefed on the matter. [NY Times]

Of course the new guy at this particular CNHI paper is pushing right-wing nonsense like this story. This is how Eastern Kentucky remains in the dark. [Ashland Independent]

Former US President Barack Obama has warned against the irresponsible use of social media, in a rare interview since stepping down in January. [BBC]

Those in Rowan County who are delinquent paying certain taxes will now have three months to do so without penalty. [The Morehead News]

Tyler Haire was locked up at 16. A Mississippi judge ordered that he undergo a mental exam. What happened next is a statewide scandal. [ProPublica]

Educators from across the country have been focusing on teaching STEM, an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Christians should not support policies that punish the weak and marginalized, the Anglican bishop of Liverpool said. [WaPo]

Kentucky native Robby Strong, the self-proclaimed “Prophet of Poo,” says he is the man behind the gift of horse manure left for U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, and Strong said he plans more dirty tricks. [H-L]

A Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen has killed 109 civilians in air strikes in the past 10 days, including 54 at a crowded market and 14 members of one family in a farm, the top U.N. official in the country said on Thursday. [HuffPo]

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OH! And a big P.S.: Jeff Hoover is a whiny-ass titty baby victim-blamer. [H-L]

These Trump Voter Stories Are Stupid

Look, these shitty “Trump Voter” stories need to end and any journalist focusing on them is a piece of hot garbage. It’s now just preying on a stereotype and perpetuating stupidity. It wasn’t just the dumb, racist, homophobic hillbillies who voted for Trump – it was your wealthy white neighbor who had more of an impact. The regulars amble in before dawn and claim their usual table, the one next to an old box television playing the news on mute. [H-L]

Donald Trump is spending the holidays at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, continuing a pattern that has created questions of conflicts of interest. [HuffPo]

Hold on tight. KentuckyOne Health and Catholic Health Initiatives have entered into exclusive negotiations with BlueMountain Capital Management, a New York-based asset management firm, to explore selling Jewish Hospital and other Louisville facilities. [C-J/AKN]

The chief of staff for Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, Wendy Teramoto, still owns a stake in a shipping company tied to associates of Vladimir Putin, despite the fact that her former role as a board member for the same company prompted six Senate Democrats to request an investigation into her apparent conflicts of interest last month. [ProPublica]

Ralph Alvarado, a Republican piece of shit from Winchester, said he will propose a constitutional amendment that would allow the legislature to set caps on how much people can sue doctors for. [WFPL]

Well before anyone thought of this place as the center of the tech economy, the Bay Area built ships. And it did so with the help of many parts of the country. [NY Times]

An infrastructure upgrade at the Greenup County Detention Center is nearing completion and early indications are the improvements are paying dividends. [Ashland Independent]

Mitch McConnell (R-Granny) took sharp aim Friday at Donald Trump’s former chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, as he looked ahead to some of the stark political and policy challenges the Republican Party will face in 2018. [WaPo]

The Judicial Nominating Commission, led by Chief Justice of Kentucky John D. Minton Jr., announced nominees to fill an upcoming vacancy on the Court of Appeals. [The Morehead News]

Eight northeastern states said on Tuesday they sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to force it to impose more stringent controls on a group of mostly Midwestern states whose air pollution they claim is being blown in their direction. [Reuters]

An appeal regarding a judge’s dismissal of a Barren Circuit Court lawsuit against the City of Glasgow by a former police spokeswoman is inching forward, with the brief having been filed presenting her side of why it is believed the judge’s decision should be overturned. [Glasgow Daily Times]

ObamaCare is showing its resilience after a year where in which it took a beating but survived. [The Hill]

A Croatian woman who tried to build a new life in Kentucky but was accused of war crimes in her old life has been sentenced to 14 years in prison in Bosnia-Herzegovina. A court convicted Azra Basic of committing crimes against Serbs during the vicious civil war in Bosnia that lasted from 1992 to 1995, the Associated Press reported Wednesday. [H-L]

It’s always the damn Nazis. A 17-year-old Virginia teen was charged with two counts of murder Saturday after he allegedly murdered his girlfriend’s parents. [HuffPo]

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Beshear Let Jones Off The Hook

1. Andy Beshear, who allegedly got his children’s elite private school to give him a sweetheart deal (hey, special treatment no one wants to talk about!), ought to be laughed out of Frankfort for not pressing Ray Jones to defend himself. 2. Glenn Hammond complaining that he, as a candidate, was followed or tracked by his opponent’s campaign is disingenuous beyond all belief. Because that’s what campaigns do. [H-L]

Justice Department prosecutors have dropped their case against a woman who laughed at now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions during his confirmation hearing. Desiree Fairooz was scheduled to face trial for a second time next week, but a DOJ prosecutor entered a nolle prosequi filing in the case on Monday indicating the department is dismissing the charges. [HuffPo]

LMPD not only overreacted in the Highlands, there’s… more the story. We need to quit whitewashing people when they die. It sucks that Jason Spencer got murdered. But no more than it sucks when anyone else in this city gets gunned down. His life is not more important than my life or your own. His death does not erase his history as a public bigot. He was openly homophobic, transphobic, misogynistic, classist and racist. He tried to excuse it all with the typical southern baptist bullshit but that’s what he was – a bigot. He’s white, though, and this is the Highlands we’re talking about, so everybody is freaking out. I’m just here to say fuck Jason Spencer’s bigotry. Mourn him if you want but fuck that bigotry. [C-J/AKN]

The FBI says racism motivated more than 57% of hate crimes in 2016. And nearly 18% of hate crimes were perpetrated against the LGBT community. Those are just the crimes that were reported and properly classified. [FBI]

Matt Bevin’s effort to pass his pension reform bill was already facing an uphill fight, given the feedback legislators heard during recent town hall forums as well as the House leadership shakeup brought on by a reported sexual harassment settlement involving former Majority Leader Jeff Hoover and three other state representatives. But for Pulaski County’s local legislators, it’s the actuarial analysis of what the proposed changes would do to the pension system for public school teachers that spells the biggest trouble for the bill. [Commonwealth Journal]

Rand Paul of Kentucky said he returned to work on Monday, more than a week after he suffered six broken ribs when tackled by a neighbor while mowing his lawn. [Reuters]

Louisville may soon join the list of cities that have a year-round farmer’s market. The Logan Street Market, backed by Mike Safai, is tentatively scheduled to open next year in the Shelby Park neighborhood. [WFPL]

Among the wealthy sophisticates who came and went from their seaside villas on the Spanish island of Mallorca, there was something that didn’t quite fit about the Russian who lived in a neoclassical mansion on the Avenida Portals Vells. [ProPublica]

The city of Ashland hit a snag in one of its two infrastructure projects along 29th Street, but still expects all work to be completed by May. [Ashland Independent]

Remember bump stocks? The previously obscure gun conversion kits, which turn semiautomatic rifles into weapons capable of firing long, deadly bursts, were the bane of the Capitol a month ago, after a gunman used the devices to kill 58 people and wound hundreds of others in Las Vegas. Lawmakers in both parties quickly vowed to ban them. Even the National Rifle Association appeared to endorse restrictions. [NY Times]

Assistant Barren County Attorney Mike Richardson has announced his candidacy for Barren County county attorney. [Glasgow Daily Times]

TL;DR: Fox News is making people dumber, scaring the shit out of old people and making it impossible for gullible people to determine fact from fiction. [WaPo]

Here’s Jack Brammer getting excited and acting like this will matter or change anything. Kentucky House Republican leaders said Friday that they expect to get a preliminary investigative report from a Louisville law firm in about 10 days regarding allegations of sexual harassment and secret settlements by Republican lawmakers. [H-L]

Better late than never? Mitch McConnell (R-Granny) is now calling on Roy Moore, the Republican running for Alabama’s open Senate seat, to withdraw his candidacy, telling reporters in Louisville on Monday that he believes the women who have accused Moore of sexual misconduct. [HuffPo]

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Meet Your New KDP Chair, Same As The Old KDP Chair… Because Nothing Ever Changes In Kentucky

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Really? Borderline praising Sannie Overly? After she went to court to stop journalists (me included) from reporting on the Kentucky Democratic Party’s own sexual harassment and assault cases? That’s absurd, Herald-Leader folks. She ought not receive ANY kind of praise until she apologizes for what she’s done and allowed to occur. Those women suffered, never got what they were owed and essentially lost everything – their careers. [H-L]

Contradicting U.S. intelligence agencies, Lunatic Donald Trump on Saturday said he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claim that the Kremlin did not attempt to interfere in the 2016 election. [HuffPo]

What the fuck is wrong with Debby Yetter? She’s pretty much whitewashing history by allowing everyone quoted in this story (with the exception of Joni Jenkins, who always stood against the Democratic men perpetrating harassment and assault) to behave as if they aren’t giant hypocrites. During the height of the Dem scandal, Sannie Overly went to court to try to stop my reporting on the mess – effectively attempting to silence victims! Jennifer Moore turned a blind eye to Overly’s actions and excused it. For Yetter to act like these women aren’t as bad as the Republicans currently doing this same shit – for enabling and supporting it – she’s just… for fuck’s sake, I don’t even know what she is but it’s not good. This is why people hate the paper. Yes, I name names and call people what they are. I’ve done it for 12 years and I’m not about to stop now. Fuck these people and fuck Debby Yetter’s pat-a-caking. [C-J/AKN]

Protect Democracy, a nonpartisan watchdog group, is suing the U.S. Justice Department to determine whether there has been any inappropriate influence from Shart Streak Trump or his White House advisers over the AT&T-Time Warner merger. [USA Today]

At least for now, Republican leaders of the Kentucky House of Representatives are resisting calls from Democrats to turn over an investigation into sexual harassment complaints to the Legislative Research Commission or Legislative Ethics Commission. [Ronnie Ellis]

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team has questioned Sam Clovis, co-chairman of Donald Trump’s election campaign, to determine if Trump or top aides knew of the extent of the campaign team’s contacts with Russia, two sources familiar with the investigation said on Friday. [Reuters]

Probably because it’s stressful getting caught doing what you’ve spent years attacking the Democrats for doing. Former Republican Speaker of the House Jeff Hoover was hospitalized in Jamestown Thursday after experiencing chest tightness and discomfort. [More Ronnie Ellis]

From early in the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump swore he’d do away with the so-called carried-interest loophole, the notorious tax break that allows highly compensated private-equity managers, real estate investors and venture capitalists to be taxed at a much lower rate than other professionals. [ProPublica]

Just a reminder that Matt Bevin is a crazy-eyed liar. He lies even when he knows he’s been caught by the media. [Yet More Ronnie Ellis]

Josh Holmes helped create this mess. He can claim otherwise, in an attempt to pass the buck, but it’s all on people like him. [NY Times]

Despite rhetoric, mental illness is often not to blame for violent crimes. [WFPL]

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s sprawling investigation has spawned a new guessing game in Washington centered on retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Donald Trump’s former national security adviser. [The Hil]

Prediction: this doesn’t help his business. That said, he can’t be any worse than Sannie Overly. Maybe he’ll finally hire an Executive Director who isn’t a disaster of a human being? [H-L]

U.S. Army Sgt. La David Johnson was found with his arms tied behind his back and a major head wound, indicating he may have been captured and executed in Niger last month, The Washington Post reported, citing local villagers. [HuffPo]

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Something Tells Me Jeff Hoover Will Never Again Push His Faux Religiosity & Superiority Complex On People Smarter Than Him

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A Republican lawmaker called Saturday for the resignation of Kentucky House Speaker Jeff Hoover, accusing him and party leaders of concealing sexual harassment allegations against Hoover and three other Republican legislators. Rep. C. Wesley Morgan said on Twitter Saturday that “the Speaker, members of leadership, and some majority staff have conspired to cover up” information surrounding the alleged sexual harassment settlement. [H-L]

The United States is the richest country in the history of the world. Last year, the genius and muscle of the American people generated more than $18.6 trillion in wealth. This year, our brains and brawn will combine to create well over $19 trillion. Despite all the debt theatrics of the Republican Party during the Obama presidency, we owe just $6.2 trillion to other countries ― less than four months of our collective labors at their present value. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin announced Saturday afternoon that he is calling for the resignation of every member of the legislature who has tried to hide allegations of sexual harassment. [C-J/AKN]

Some have wondered: Why is special counsel Robert Mueller bringing so few charges against George Papadopoulos and, especially, Paul Manafort? [Slate]

Matt Bevin Saturday demanded resignations of anyone involved in the sexual harassment scandal which has turned the Kentucky political world on its head. [Ronnie Ellis]

Federal investigators have gathered enough evidence to bring charges in their investigation of President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser and his son as part of the probe into Russia’s intervention in the 2016 election, according to multiple sources familiar with the investigation. [NBC News]

The syringe exchange program in Ashland has collected nearly 74,000 contaminated syringes from 310 clients this year alone — all while operating for merely three hours per week. [Ashland Independent]

Mitch McConnell is a lying old man. He’s absolutely lying about this. His staff even say so. [The Hill]

The Morehead-Rowan County Airport Board will soon officially start the search for a new Fixed Base Operator (FBO) and manager after Perry Sloan tendered his resignation earlier this week. [The Morehead News]

Welp, Rand Paul got beat up. A man has been arrested for assaulting U.S. Senator Rand Paul at his Kentucky home on Friday and causing a “minor injury,” the state police said. [Reuters]

Kentucky House Speaker Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown, avoided reporters seeking to question him about a reported settlement of a sexual harassment claim following a meeting of Republican House members Friday. [More Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump woke before dawn on Monday and burrowed in at the White House residence to wait for the Russia bombshell he knew was coming. [WaPo]

A staff member for the House Republican Caucus said she was “basically put on paid suspension” for reporting a “toxic” workplace culture that included sexual harassment in the Kentucky House of Representatives. [H-L]

Bye, Felicia. Kentucky House Speaker Jeff Hoover says he’ll step down from his leadership position after reports surfaced saying he settled a sexual harassment lawsuit earlier this year. [WFPL]

The Trump administration has pulled out of a global deal to combat corruption in the fossil fuel industry, a move critics said could help oil companies keep hidden how much they pay in U.S. taxes. The Department of the Interior announced the decision on Thursday in a letter to withdraw immediately from the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), which compels oil, gas and mining companies to disclose payments to governments worldwide. [HuffPo]

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