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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You’re Pigging Out Today While Kids Go Hungry Probably Just Miles From You

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Attorney General Andy Beshear said Wednesday that changes in Gov. Matt Bevin’s proposed public pension bill dealing with the cost-of-living adjustment formula violate state law. [H-L]

A bipartisan group of more than 20 former federal prosecutors has urged Donald Trump to stand by his recent statements and allow special counsel Robert Mueller to conduct his investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 election without interference. [HuffPo]

Mayor Greg Fischer leaped to the defense of Louisville police Thursday after Gov. Matt Bevin criticized the city’s use of police overtime during a year-in-review press conference. “It is sad and surprising that a governor would criticize the hard-working men and women of our Louisville Metro Police Department, who put their lives on the line 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to protect our community,” the mayor said. [C-J/AKN]

Last May, a top White House national security official met in Washington with senior Russian officials and handed over details of a secret operation Israel had shared with its U.S. counterparts. The meeting shocked veteran U.S. counterspies. The American official was not arrested, and he continues to work in the White House today, albeit under close scrutiny. [Newsweek]

Three years ago, a then 8-year-old autistic girl spent 17 days in the hospital. She suffered from dehydration, malnutrition, bruises and pressure sores. Her body temperature was 10 degrees below normal. She came close to dying, prosecutors have said. [Richmond Register]

The pace of U.S. vehicle sales is set to slow for the third straight month in December despite aggressive discounts from manufacturers, according to industry consultants J.D. Power and LMC Automotive. [Reuters]

Kentucky attorney Eric C. Conn, who fled the country after pleading guilty to charges of social security fraud, has been captured in Honduras and returned to the United States after being on the run for nearly six months. [Ashland Independent]

The US Congress has passed a short-term bill to fund the federal government until next month, averting a shutdown of government agencies. [BBC]

Matt Bevin has scheduled special elections on consecutive Tuesdays in February to fill sudden vacancies in the 49th and 89th state House districts. [Ronnie Ellis]

At this sprawling steel mill on the outskirts of Philadelphia, the workers have one number in mind. Not how many tons of steel roll off the line, or how many hours they work, but where they fall on the plant’s seniority list. [NY Times]

Glasgow Electric Plant Board cable television customers who did not like the idea of losing WHAS beginning Jan. 1 may be relieved to learn that decision has been reversed – probably. [Glasgow Daily Times]

His tenure as a top U.S. counterterrorism official coincided with the rise of the Islamic State, a wave of attacks in Europe, and a surge in terrorist recruiting through online propaganda. But as Nicholas Rasmussen approached the end of his five-year run at the National Counterterrorism Center this month — including three years as director — he voiced concern that efforts to protect the United States from mass casualty attacks are being undermined by the nation’s policies on guns. [WaPo]

There are a lot of ideas on the drawing board or in the works to help diversify the economy of Eastern Kentucky in the wake of a crash in coal jobs, including a drone-testing facility, a large solar-power array, a wildlife center and a factory to make high-tech batteries. Some people want to add casino gambling to the list. [H-L]

The Trump administration has abruptly cut off funding for studying the safety of offshore drilling, halting a 21-month project to determine the best ways to avoid a repeat of 2010′s devastating Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The study began last year and was supposed to review and update government regulators’ outdated offshore inspection programs to improve safety. [HuffPo]

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RPK: Still A Bunch Of Homophobic Bigots

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Hopefully they’re not just learning the whitewashed version of Thanksgiving history. [H-L]

Activists protesting plans to run an oil pipeline beneath a lake near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota said on Saturday they have no intention of leaving a protest camp after U.S. authorities warned it must be vacated by Dec. 5. [HuffPo]

The last remaining dry precinct located within the Watterson Expressway could switch sides next month following a wet-dry vote. [C-J/AKN]

A member of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) is sounding the alarm over the new changes floated by Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), warning that the minority leader’s proposals could erode the power of African-American lawmakers even as they attempt to spread influence to younger members. [The Hill]

A state senator is planning to once again propose a bill during the upcoming legislative session that he says will protect religious freedoms. The bill would nullify local “fairness” ordinances across the state that protect Kentuckians from discrimination based on sexual orientation. Imagine how different things could be if Chris Hartman were permitted by the Fairness board over the past seven or eight years, as I have pushed, to spend time with these extremists trying to educate them. Kentucky would be in a much better spot than it is today. [WFPL]

Sales and traffic at U.S. brick-and-mortar stores on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday declined from last year, as stores offered discounts well beyond the weekend and more customers shopped online. [Reuters]

Unhappy with Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear’s refusal to file criminal charges against those responsible for illegally dumping 1,200 tons of low-level radioactive fracking waste at a landfill near Irvine, an Estill County citizens group is suing to obtain the investigative records of Beshear and two state regulatory cabinets. [Richmond Register]

Falwell says he couldn’t afford to work at a Cabinet-level job for longer than that. That’s $205,000 per year, FYI. He couldn’t afford to live on $205K per year. That’s the New Fascist Party for you. [Politico]

They’re official: the state Board of Elections certified the results of the Nov. 8 election in Kentucky Tuesday. [Ronnie Ellis]

On Tuesday, the director of the National Security Agency, Admiral Michael Rogers, was asked about the WikiLeaks release of hacked information during the campaign, and he said, “This was a conscious effort by a nation-state to attempt to achieve a specific effect.” [Mother Jones]

The civil lawsuit filed by a former police chief against the City of Glasgow and the subsequent interim chief has been set for trial in March. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The education gap among whites this year wasn’t about education. It was about race. There are, of course, several plausible reasons for this growing education gap. No one factor explains everything. That said, a major factor was racial attitudes. Sorry, Adam Edelen, your bullshit talking point about economics is dead in the water. [WaPo]

Like many students, Tyler Allen spent his college days enthusiastically experimenting with alcohol. Only for Allen, it turned into a habit that was more than recreational. [H-L]

Afghanistan is failing. Fifteen years after the United States first scattered the Taliban with high-altitude bombing, the battlefield gains achieved by tens of thousands of U.S. troops are in jeopardy from a resurgent Taliban. [HuffPo]

A Reminder That Bevin Keeps Losing

Democrats could lose control of their only legislative chamber in the South because of a blustery hero for folks in coal country — Donald Trump. [H-L]

“Go back to Univision.” That’s how Donald Trump answered award-winning journalist Jorge Ramos’ question on the specifics of how the GOP presidential hopeful planned to deport all 11 million undocumented immigrants from the U.S. [HuffPo]

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray’s Senate campaign raised more money than Sen. Rand Paul this summer, but Paul enters the final sprint to Election Day with a cash advantage, campaign finance reports show. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump has repeatedly called this year’s presidential election rigged and has coyly said “I will keep you in suspense” on whether he would accept a Hillary Clinton victory, but many Republicans are less circumspect, according to a new poll. [Reuters]

Matt Bevin lost another round in court Friday when a Franklin Circuit Judge declined to vacate or amend his earlier ruling that Bevin could not abolish the University of Louisville Board of Trustees. [Ronnie Ellis]

President Obama promised to fight corporate concentration. Eight years later, the airline industry is dominated by just four companies. And you’re paying for it. [ProPublica]

Former Kentucky Gov. Paul Patton developed a soft spot for Ashland during his days of growing up in Lawrence County. [Ashland Independent]

The sharp decline in Arctic sea ice area in recent decades has been matched by a harder-to-see, but equally sharp, drop in sea ice thickness. The combined result has been a warming-driven collapse in total sea ice volume — to about one quarter of its 1980 level. [ThinkProgress]

Voters will decide early next year whether to allow the sale of packaged alcoholic beverages in Monroe County. [Glasgow Daily Times]

“Do you speak English?” When Hua-Yu Sebastian Cherng walked into his summer school classroom for the first time as a brand-new teacher, a student greeted him with this question. Nothing in his training had prepared him to address race and identity. But he was game, answering the student lightly, “Yes, I do, but this is a math class, so you don’t have to worry about it.” [NPR]

Morehead area citizens made their concerns known last week over the alleged lack of zoning enforcement within city limits. [The Morehead News]

As the worst of a nationwide opioid epidemic raged in Appalachia, DEA investigators went after companies distributing millions of highly addictive pills. Then, their cases ground to a halt. [WaPo]

Fayette Circuit Court Judge Pamela Goodwine erred when she excluded the death penalty as a potential sentencing option in a murder and robbery case, the Kentucky Supreme Court unanimouly(sic) ruled Thursday. [H-L]

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump will “100 percent” accept the results of the U.S. election if it is fair, his son Eric Trump said on Sunday. [HuffPo]

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Is Your Head Spinning Yet? Probably

A federal jury on Tuesday convicted Paintsville Mayor Robert Porter on charges of misappropriating city funds and bribery, according to U.S. Attorney Kerry B. Harvey. [H-L]

Donald Trump, the Republican nominee for president, has a peculiar way of dealing with criticism. [HuffPo]

The judge handling the case of the former University of Kentucky board chairman charged with rape has recused himself. [C-J/AKN]

Hillary Clinton unloaded on Donald Trump’s criticism of former Miss Universe Alicia Machado on Friday, including his late-night tweet urging people to check out her “sex tape.” [The Hill]

Barren County voters said “YES” to legalizing the sale of packaged alcoholic beverages on Tuesday in a countywide local option election. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The Obama administration on Thursday finalized rules requiring federal contractors to provide paid sick leave to employees and expanding the type of data employers must provide on their pay practices. [Reuters]

Chronic overcrowding at the Madison County Detention Center continues, and no solution is in sight, Jailer Doug Thomas told the fiscal court Tuesday. [Richmond Register]

Whaaaat? This seems like something Matt Bevin would try. Federal law mandates that school districts provide special education services to students with disabilities–physical, emotional or developmental. [ProPublica]

The sweat equity accrued by a spirited crew of local volunteers determined to “build Ashland” has transformed city eyesores into sources of pride. [Ashland Independent]

Donald Trump’s campaign manager appeared to unwittingly confirm an explosive Newsweek story on Thursday, telling ABC’s The View that a Trump company did indeed spend money in Cuba in 1998, in violation of a longstanding U.S. embargo that Trump has vociferously defended. [ThinkProgress]

A Morehead State University student and downtown resident is concerned about public parking spots near his home. [The Morehead News]

Everyone but Donald Trump and his most ardent supporters recognize that Donald Trump lost Monday night’s debate. And because of the candidate’s stubborn disbelief in his ability to do anything but win, Trump lost the post-debate period too. [Politico]

Attorney General Andy Beshear’s victory at the state Supreme Court last week might have been good news for Kentucky’s colleges and universities, but it could eventually hurt the state’s credit rating, according to one major ratings agency. [H-L]

Roy Moore, the Alabama Supreme Court’s chief justice, has been suspended for the remainder of his term as punishment for instructing state judges to flout federal orders legalizing same-sex marriage, a state court ruled Friday. [HuffPo]

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And Miles To Go Before We Sleep…

This… wow. All the makings of a scandal. Billy Joe Miles, a prominent farm businessman in Owensboro and a former chairman of the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees, was charged Tuesday with rape, sodomy and bribing a witness. He is 76. He has four children. Daughter Suzanne Miles is a Republican state representative for the 7th House District, which includes Daviess, Henderson and Union counties. [H-L]

Donald Trump is living large on his donors’ dime. His campaign is spending lavishly on Trump businesses instead of cheaper alternatives. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin, who came into office last year saying that he didn’t owe anyone anything because he largely paid for his own election, is still raising money for his old campaign, which at last count owed him more than $4 million. [More C-J/AKN]

Physicians whose state boards have sanctioned them for harming patients, unnecessarily prescribing addictive drugs, bilking federal insurance programs and even sexual misconduct nonetheless continue to receive payments for consulting, giving talks about products, and more. [ProPublica]

Congressman Thomas Massie, R-Ky., seeks an end to the lame-duck session, but predicted Congress will likely pass a continuing resolution when it returns to Washington that could lead to another omnibus spending bill in December. [Ashland Independent]

Americans of a certain age who follow politics and policy closely still have vivid memories of the 2000 election — bad memories, and not just because the man who lost the popular vote somehow ended up in office. For the campaign leading up to that end game was nightmarish too. [NY Times]

Metcalfe County magistrates approved on second reading Tuesday during a special-called meeting the county’s alcohol ordinance. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Refugees can be an economic boost, not burden, to the communities that host them, a new study by the United Nations concludes. [Click the Clicky]

On International Overdose Awareness Day, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced $53 million in funding to 44 states, four tribes and Washington, D.C., to improve access to treatment for opioid use disorders, reduce opioid related deaths and strengthen drug misuse prevention efforts. [Richmond Register]

What does it mean to be a Republican? For generations, the answer had been clear: A belief in individual liberty. Free markets. Strong national defense. But what does it mean to be a Republican today? With Donald Trump as the party’s new standard-bearer, it’s impossible to say. [Dallas Morning News]

Morehead State University officially welcomed four new Board of Regents members – Adam Abbott of Buckhorn, Craig Preece of Lovely, Patrick Price of Flemingsburg and Terri S. Walters of Pikeville – Friday, Aug. 26, at its special meeting. [The Morehead News]

Retired coal miners and their congressional allies are shifting into overdrive in their push for Congress to pass legislation shoring up their retirement benefits. [The Hill]

Eric C. Conn’s attorney has filed a notice of compliance last week with court orders imposed Aug. 19 asking that the court be updated on the status of Conn’s malpractice insurance. However, court documents show that a judge’s order allowing Conn’s assets to be unfrozen was based on the incorrect information that Conn did have valid malpractice insurance. [Floyd Chronicle]

Years after the issue was debunked, Donald Trump still refuses to back away from the birther conspiracy he helped fuel. [HuffPo]

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UK Is Run By A Bunch Of Assholes

Eastern Kentucky needs your love. She died alone in the middle of the night, and her body was swiftly autopsied, embalmed and carted 135 miles to a remote Kentucky county where she had been raised. [H-L]

The Department of Justice made a landmark decision last week when it announced it would direct the Bureau of Prisons to let its contracts with private prison companies lapse. But last week’s change in policy left the U.S. Marshals Service untouched, even though that agency is also under DOJ control and keeps nearly as many people locked in privatized jails as the Bureau of Prisons. [HuffPo]

You know, like Jim Ramsey took the high road when attacking ON TELEVISION anyone questioning Robert Flener, who went to prison. “Chairman Benz needs to keep his comments on the high road and work with all of the UL staff, its affiliated boards and their leadership, and the media to promote harmony,” said Hughes, who also serves on the Board of Trustees. [C-J/AKN]

A bipartisan quartet of lawmakers is circulating a letter that seeks to delay a pending arms sale to Saudi Arabia. [The Hill]

With just less than six weeks before a countywide election to determine whether legal alcohol sales will be allowed in Barren County, election officers are seeking some temporary polling places. [Glasgow Daily Times]

North Carolina’s university system must allow two transgender students and a transgender employee to use bathrooms matching their gender identity, a U.S. judge ruled on Friday, in a partial victory for those fighting the state’s restrictive restroom law. [Reuters]

The first guy was believable but Russ Meyer doesn’t carry the same credibility. That’s problematic, sure. His ties to Adam Edelen and the the Cormans also do not help him. But that doesn’t mean what he’s saying is in any way untrue. Thankfully for him, Sinnette’s story went public first, establishing a pattern. It’s clear that the Bevin team is attempting to retaliate against ANYONE holding them accountable. A second Democratic state lawmaker now claims Republican Gov. Matt Bevin tried to persuade him to switch parties and that the governor’s chief of staff threatened to punish him politically when he refused. [Ronnie Ellis]

Physicians whose state boards have sanctioned them for harming patients, unnecessarily prescribing addictive drugs, bilking federal insurance programs and even sexual misconduct nonetheless continue to receive payments for consulting, giving talks about products, and more. [ProPublica]

Louisville can’t stop killing everybody. Two vigils were held for three different victims of homicides near Shelby Park this week. [WDRB]

Hillary Clinton and Paul Ryan don’t agree on much — but both are lending their support to an anti-poverty proposal that cuts across racial and party lines. [Politico]

The University of Kentucky could soon be taking legal action against its own school newspaper. [WHAS11]

Hillary Clinton has launched a full broadside against Donald Trump, accusing her Republican opponent of issuing a “steady stream of bigotry” and espousing policies that would “put prejudice into practice”. [BBC]

State Rep. John Short, whose name surfaced this year in a federal vote-buying investigation in Magoffin County that led to several convictions, said Tuesday that he doesn’t want to discuss the case. [John Cheves]

A massive crack in one of Antarctica’s largest ice shelves has grown exponentially in recent months, and scientists worry a break-off could destabilize the entire structure. [HuffPo]