Another Week Of Insanity Has Begun

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Things in the Commonwealth are not puppies and rainbows and the economy here is not great. There’s a line from the song “Man of Constant Sorrow” that goes “I bid farewell to old Kentucky.” It turns out there’s truth in that, because a new study says more people left Kentucky in 2017 than moved in. [H-L]

Though Donald Trump has blasted Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury as a “fake book,” a Trump biographer wrote Sunday that many of the journalist’s stunning revelations ring “true to the man.” [HuffPo]

Jamie Comer is a hypocritical coward, not just a bully. He’s such a pussy he runs from me. But in fairness? He runs from most people who know what he did to Holly Harris. Pigfucker. And he didn’t just “hit” Marilyn, he beat her and then paid for her abortion. Only to go on a witch hunt against her when she finally was forced to go public. [C-J/AKN]

Waste removal is one of the most dangerous jobs in the country. On the darkened streets of New York City, it’s a race for survival. [ProPublica]

The Kentucky House of Representatives passed no bills and met for only 30 minutes Wednesday, but controversy percolated just beneath the surface all the same. [Ronnie Ellis]

On Thursday, the Trump administration proposed to change current health law by permitting millions of small businesses and self-employed individuals to purchase plans that don’t play by Obamacare rules. [ThinkProgress]

The Boyd County Fiscal Court on Wednesday expressed a complete lack of confidence in Boyd County Jailer Joe Burchett and called on him to resign immediately. [Ashland Independent]

A claim that Tony Blair warned Donald Trump’s aides UK intelligence may have spied on him is “a complete fabrication”, the former PM has said. [BBC]

Really, pushing this kind of story throughout rural Kentucky serves only to create division. [The Morehead News]

Donald Trump abruptly shut down his commission on election integrity on Wednesday evening. That’s the good news for voting rights advocates. The bad news: the Administration is continuing its hunt for voter fraud, based on Trump’s false claim that “millions of people” voted illegally in 2016. [Mother Jones]

Barren County’s jobless rate dropped slightly from October to November according to a report released by the state Thursday. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III has recalled for questioning at least one participant in a controversial meeting with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer at Trump Tower in June 2016, and is looking into President Trump’s misleading claim that the discussion focused on adoption, rather than an offer to provide damaging information about Hillary Clinton. Investigators also are exploring the involvement of the president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump. [LA Times]

Eula Hall got home from her son’s baseball game one night in 1982 just in time to see a big piece of her life’s work go up in flames. Hall had scratched to help create and sustain the Mud Creek Clinic in a rural part of Floyd County so people could receive health care, even if they couldn’t pay, and it was burning to ash. [H-L]

For more than a year now, I’ve been hearing from people in the inner circles of official Washington – GOP lobbyists, Republican pundits, even a few Republican members of Congress – that Donald Trump is remarkably stupid. [HuffPo]

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Recent Moves Against Marijuana Are Rooted Purely In Racism & Elitist Greed

No one thinks the upcoming budget session in Frankfort — with a looming $1 billion deficit — will mean good news for higher education, but advocates are particularly worried by the possibility that lottery-financed scholarship programs might be in jeopardy. [Linda Blackford]

L-u-n-a-t-i-c. Donald Trump on Tuesday renewed his attack on his “deep state” Justice Department, and said a top aide to 2016 election rival Hillary Clinton should be jailed. [HuffPo]

It’s easy to spot drivers zipping down Kentucky highways well above the speed limit. But stopping them isn’t as simple as you might think. [C-J/AKN]

One of the top U.S. government officials working on refugee issues announced her impending retirement on Tuesday, and refugee advocates expressed concern about the fate of the country’s resettlement program which faces mounting pressure from the Trump administration. [Reuters]

From the boardroom to the basketball court, the University of Louisville had a tough year. Hall of Fame Coach Rick Pitino was fired, the school dealt with a yearlong probation from an accrediting group and an audit found mismanagement at a foundation overseeing its investments. [Richmond Register]

Chicken plants have recruited thousands of foreign workers in recent years through a little-known program to fill jobs they say Americans won’t do. [ProPublica]

Shelves in the food pantry at First United Methodist Church were seemingly full Wednesday morning. [Ashland Independent]

Joseph Flynn — brother of former presidential national security adviser Michael Flynn, who recently pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI — demanded a pardon for his brother on Tuesday. [ThinkProgress]

It’s stupid to continue arresting people for growing marijuana. The only reason it happens is because it makes local law enforcement agencies money. But no one wants to talk about that reality. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is rescinding the Obama-era policy that had paved the way for legalized marijuana to flourish in states across the country, two people with knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press. [Associated Press]

The Louisville jail’s heating system is hobbling under cold temperatures, forcing some inmates to face near-freezing temperatures in their cells. [WFPL]

Donald Trump didn’t want to be president. One year ago: the plan to lose, and the administration’s shocked first days. [New York Magazine]

Eight members of the House of Representative filed a formal charge Wednesday calling for the expulsion of House Speaker Jeff Hoover following his decision to remain speaker even though he had promised to step down amid a sexual harassment scandal this fall. [H-L]

Donald Trump and Rand Paul both pushed this. It’s insane how racists those two folks are. [HuffPo]

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Again: Hoover Is Damned Disgusting

For many parents, snuggling up on the couch with their children to enjoy a good book before bed is one of the best parts of family life. But for some families, that doesn’t come naturally. [H-L]

This dumb motherfucker. Donald Trump again challenged North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday, boasting that the United States’ nuclear capabilities are “more powerful” than North Korea’s. [HuffPo]

Wait til you hear who allegedly loaned him the money to pay the settlement. Someone tied to another former speaker with his own sexual harassment past and a certain congresscritter with a similar problem or two. Jeff Hoover has not resigned as House speaker, despite saying in November that he was stepping down from the post “immediately” following reports that he secretly settled a sexual harassment complaint of a staff member. [C-J/AKN]

This is what happens when you put profits over people. Workplace deaths in the coal mining industry increased last year to their highest point in three years. [The Hill]

Jeff Hoover is a disgusting piece of work. Jeff Hoover will not resign as Speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives despite his Nov. 5 announcement he would do so in the wake of sexual harassment allegations. [Ronnie Ellis]

Drugmakers opened the new year by raising U.S. prices on dozens of medicines, but early data showed the increases generally remained within a 10 percent self-imposed limit in response to a backlash from consumers and politicians. [Reuters]

It’s a Tuesday and the Boyd County coroner is arriving to a grisly, yet familiar scene. [Ashland Independent]

If you don’t believe Donald Trump is unwell and dangerous, you’re part of the problem. But if you have functioning brain cells? Read these excerpts from his latest interview with the New York Times to get a load of the lying, scheming he pushes from his sycophants on Fox. He doesn’t understand the job he holds. [NY Times]

After reading about the Glasgow woman who was recently found dead in a parking lot — hypothermia was determined as the preliminary cause of her death according to a press release from the Glasgow Police Department — Mandy Goessling said she decided to take action. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Since 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency has been embroiled in an enforcement battle with a Michigan-based company accused of modifying the state’s largest coal-fired power plant without getting federal permits for a projected rise in pollution. [WaPo]

Wondering how stupid Bowling Green’s city commissioners are? They voted to lift a ban on concealed weapons in city buildings. [BGDN]

A ProPublica analysis shows that women who deliver at hospitals that disproportionately serve black mothers are at a higher risk of harm. [ProPublica]

The story of slain FBI informant Susan Smith of Pikeville will be featured on an episode of the new series “The Perfect Suspect,” which airs at 9 p.m. Thursday on Investigation Discovery. [H-L]

Donald Trump’s lawyers are trying to keep the “out of control” president calm so he won’t fire special counsel Robert Mueller, Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein said on CNN. [HuffPo]

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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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We’re Coming For You, Johnson, Comer, Hoover, Et Al. The Kentucky Democratic Party Doesn’t Have The Guts But Everyday Kentuckians Will Oust You.

Two years after taking office, Gov. Matt Bevin continues to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for his 2015 gubernatorial campaign, often from people he has appointed to state jobs, lobbyists, and contractors doing business with the state. [John Cheves]

This time, Donald Trump’s playbook didn’t work. Republican Roy Moore faced serious accusations of sexual misconduct in his bid to become Alabama’s next senator. But instead of bowing down and backing out, he stayed in the race and went on the attack ― just like Trump did in last year’s presidential race. He accused the media and the establishment of orchestrating a conspiracy against him, and cast the race as pitting good against evil, Christians versus everyone else. [HuffPo]

Another Frankfort legislator is being asked to step down amid allegations of sexual misconduct. Dan Johnson, a preacher and Republican representative from Bullit County, was accused of sexually abusing a girl who was a member of his church, Heart of Fire, in Fern Creek. Johnson was criticized last year for posting, and later removing, racist images to his Facebook page including images of the President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama as monkeys. [C-J/AKN]

Violent protests against Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital broke out on Sunday near the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, according to multiple reports. [The Hill]

The University of Louisville has awarded the 2018 Grawemeyer Award for Psychology to Robert Sternberg, a psychology professor at Cornell. Sternberg is being recognized for his work on what he calls the “triarchic theory of intelligence.” [WFPL]

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency could launch a public debate about climate change as soon as January, Administrator Scott Pruitt said on Thursday, as the agency unwinds Obama-era initiatives to fight global warming. [Reuters]

This is what the Republican Party of Kentucky gets for trying to cover this nightmare up. Tres Watson and others knew about the details in this mess (they did, we talked about them a looooong time ago – just like every other scandal – that’s why they kept me close until they turned homophobic) and just twiddled their thumbs. A Republican Kentucky lawmaker known for his inflammatory social media posts comparing President Barack Obama and his wife to monkeys has been accused of sexual assault by a woman who attended his church. Both Republican and Democratic leaders on Monday called for Dan Johnson to resign. [Richmond Register]

Here’s a national look at Matt Bevin making Kentucky look bad. His excuse for blocking people on social media doesn’t hold water. [ProPublica]

Those seeking office in next year’s May 22 primary election must wait until April 7 before displaying their political campaign signs in Rowan County. [The Morehead News]

F.B.I. officials warned one of Donald Trump’s top advisers, Hope Hicks, earlier this year about repeated attempts by Russian operatives to make contact with her during the presidential transition, according to people familiar with the events. [NY Times]

Pay attention to this and keep it on your radar if you’re familiar with any of my work over the past decade. Auditors found no fault with the financial records of the Cave City Convention Center when conducting an audit of the facility’s 2016-17 financial records. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The GOP tax plan on the cusp of becoming law diverges wildly from the promises Donald Trump and top advisers said they would deliver for the middle class — an evolution that shows how traditional Republican orthodoxy swamped Trump’s distinctive brand of economic populism as it moved through Washington. [WaPo]

A former Bath County attorney who served 21 months in federal prison on perjury and vote-buying charges has turned himself into Montgomery County authorities on drug and other charges. [H-L]

Another woman who has accused Donald Trump of groping her is demanding a congressional investigation into the numerous sexual misconduct allegations against him. Melinda McGillivray appeared on NBC’s “Megyn Kelly Today” on Tuesday, breaking down in tears as she described her alleged interactions with Trump. She has accused Trump of grabbing her buttocks at Mar-a-Lago in 2003. [HuffPo]

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Can Republicans Do Anything Right?

Former disability lawyer Eric C. Conn pleaded not guilty to escape charges Wednesday, a day after the FBI flew him back to Kentucky from Honduras, where he was captured Saturday after six months as a fugitive. [H-L]

Facing swift and stiff backlash from lawmakers and activists, the Department of Veterans Affairs has reportedly backtracked on a decision to slash funding for a successful program that helps provide housing to homeless veterans. [HuffPo]

The city of Louisville has paid more than $566,000 to nine law firms to fight Kerry Porter’s claim for compensation for the 14 years spent behind bars for a murder he did not commit. Porter was exonerated in 2011 by former Commonwealth’s Attorney Dave Stengel for the 1996 killing of truck driver Tyrone Camp. In 2012 he sued the city and 10 police officers, alleging a conspiracy to unlawfully arrest and convict him. [C-J/AKN]

The Trump administration is holding talks on providing nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia — a move that critics say could upend decades of U.S. policy and lead to an arms race in the Middle East. [ProPublica]

Affordable housing development could be a victim of the proposed $1.5 trillion tax cut currently working its way through the United States Congress. [WFPL]

Donald Trump’s outrageous, self-aggrandizing rhetoric is the butt of so many jokes precisely because it’s so transparently false, it should be funny. When he inflates the size of his inauguration crowd to soothe his ego, bruised after he lost the popular vote to his rival, it sounds like a kid lying about who came to his birthday party. But it’s funny until the lies have deadly consequences — beyond just discouraging the American public’s trust in democracy and its own institutions. [ThinkProgress]

Despite his Nov. 5 announcement that he is stepping down as Speaker of the House in the wake of reports he signed a confidential settlement of sexual harassment claims, Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown, may legally still be Speaker. [Ronnie Ellis]

White House national security adviser HR McMaster says the US is “in a race” to address the threat from North Korea. [BBC]

House Republican Communications Director Daisy Olivo filed suit Monday against the Legislative Research Commission alleging retaliation for reporting allegations that then-Speaker Jeff Hoover engaged in a consensual sexual relationship with another staff aide. [More Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump ran a campaign on lifting up the little guy. He was, in the words of his oldest son, “a blue-collar billionaire,” and it was his plain-spoken promise to be their warrior in Washington that helped win over voters in hollowed-out Midwestern towns. But almost a year into his presidency, evidence shows he has governed not as the populist champion he proclaimed himself to be, but instead as a president siding more often with large corporations, special interests, and the wealthiest of Americans. [Boston Globe]

The recommendation of the Barren County Fiscal Court Administrative Committee to the full fiscal court will be for the county to move forward with establishing a syringe exchange program through the health department, but the decision was not unanimous. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Charter schools are among the nation’s most segregated, an Associated Press analysis finds — an outcome at odds, critics say, with their goal of offering a better alternative to failing traditional public schools. [AP]

Republican members of the Kentucky House are asking Republican Gov. Matt Bevin not to call a special legislative session on pension reform before the end of the year. [H-L]

It was late morning in an artsy cafe, the smell of coffee and baked goods sweetening the air, and Ashley Bishop sat at a table, recalling a time when she was taught that most of secular American society was worthy of contempt. [HuffPo]

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Bevin’s Standing Up While The Rest Of Frankfort Twiddles Its Thumbs

No, Jim Gray is not going to congress. No Democrat in that district will get to congress until they learn to abandon the Kentucky Democratic Party and the good old boy system. They’ve gotta learn how to eat Republicans alive and we all know that isn’t going to happen. None of them have the guts to get nasty and dirty. [WKYT]

Nearly 25 years after strangling the life out of her stepson, Stephanie Spitser faced a chance at parole. Spitser, 46, had received a degree in divinity and a diploma in Bible studies from Christian schools while in prison, and she had taken a class that prepares inmates to re-enter society. [H-L]

A senior official on Donald Trump’s transition team suggested that Russia had “thrown” the U.S. presidential election in Trump’s favor in a December 2016 email thread leaked to the New York Times and published Saturday. [HuffPo]

A state social worker who said she suffered retaliation by supervisors after she refused to change her findings in a report on a horrific child abuse case has received a $43,000 settlement from the state. [C-J/AKN]

Poverty is normally seen as a deep, complex, social problem. But to the Dutch historian Rutger Bregman it comes down to something simple: a lack of cash. [Fast Company]

Republican House leaders will turn over their investigation of sexual harassment claims against four of their colleagues to the Legislative Ethics Commission which has the power to subpoena witnesses and evidence. [Ronnie Ellis]

When Donald Trump fired his national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, in February, White House officials portrayed him as a renegade who had acted independently in his discussions with a Russian official during the presidential transition and then lied to his colleagues about the interactions. But emails among top transition officials, provided or described to The New York Times, suggest that Mr. Flynn was far from a rogue actor. In fact, the emails, coupled with interviews and court documents filed on Friday, showed that Mr. Flynn was in close touch with other senior members of the Trump transition team both before and after he spoke with the Russian ambassador, Sergey I. Kislyak, about American sanctions against Russia. [NY Times]

Maybe now it’d be a good time to remember that ignorance of the law isn’t a valid excuse in government. A few issues were found during the audit of the 2016-17 fiscal year financial statements of Barren-Metcalfe County Emergency Medical Services, but the auditors mostly chalked them up to office staff turnover and inexperience with government accounting standards as opposed to those used for private businesses. [Glasgow Daily Times]

These people are just insane, hate-filled bigots. There’s no other way to describe them. [WaPo]

Local officials told state lawmakers they want more control over the way they raise money to fund their governments and they are willing to take responsibility for the “inviolable contract” guaranteeing their employees pension benefits if lawmakers allow them to split off from the state employee pension system. [Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump lashed out at the FBI on Sunday, issuing a fresh denial that he asked former director James Comey to drop an investigation into the conduct of one of his top aides, Michael Flynn. [BBC]

Kentucky’s Republican governor asked his party on Saturday to call for the resignation of four GOP lawmakers who signed a secret sexual harassment settlement, but party leaders rejected it in a move the governor said “speaks to the fact that we’ve got real problems.” Bam Carney, the backward Republican “teacher” who fought to gut education and educator accountability, is now attacking Matt Bevin for standing up for what’s right. Absurd. [WFPL]

A federal judge on Friday ordered the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to rescind its delay of a rule that allows some foreign entrepreneurs to stay in the United States to grow their companies, court documents show. [Reuters]

A former employee in Gov. Matt Bevin’s office, who is also the daughter of an outspoken Republican lawmaker, said Thursday that a member of the State House of Representatives sent her “highly inappropriate” messages. [H-L]

Donald Trump gloated in a tweet Saturday that he fired Michael Flynn because he knew he lied to the FBI. If that was the case, Trump’s attempt to stop former FBI head James Comey’s investigation of Flynn could constitute obstruction of justice, legal experts warned. [HuffPo]

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