Amoral, Cowardly Republican Hypocrites

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit that sought to stop the discharge of pollutants into Herrington Lake. Meanwhile, the two environmental groups that filed the complaint are considering whether to appeal. [H-L]

Donald Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon will be interviewed next week by a U.S. House of Representatives committee investigating alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, a person familiar with the matter said on Thursday. [HuffPo]

Jefferson County Public Schools is one step closer to naming a permanent leader after the district’s school board named acting Superintendent Marty Pollio and Chief Operations Officer Michael Raisor as finalists for the position Tuesday night. [C-J/AKN]

More than 200 workers clocked in for their final shifts on Thursday at Carrier Corp. in Indianapolis in the latest round of layoffs at a plant President Donald Trump toured in December 2016 to trumpet a deal to save jobs and prevent its closure. [Reuters]

The City of Richmond has been recycling for more than a quarter of a century. It started out small, allowing people to drop off recyclables at the Marc Center on Main Street and picking up on seven city streets. [Richmond Register]

The largest advocacy group for older Americans and the two top members of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging are calling on employers and tech companies to stop limiting recruitment ads on Facebook and other online sites to younger workers. [ProPublica]

A new rule officially approved by the Ashland commission allows the city to remove unsightly items on private properties if property owners don’t comply with a violation notice within 24 hours. [Ashland Independent]

Mitch McConnell is a liar. Walmart has revealed plans to shut dozens of its Sam’s Club wholesale shops and lay-off thousands of workers. [BBC]

Kentucky Republicans have no morals and no courage. The Republican-led Kentucky House of Representatives last Tuesday voted without opposition to repeal a recently enacted rule governing investigation of charges against members, including most notably one-time Speaker Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown. [Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump’s approval rating fell across a wide swath of demographic groups over his first year in office, including among those seen as important to his base, like white voters, evangelical Christians and those who live in rural areas. [NY Times]

Glasgow sits at “a critical juncture” in the infrastructure of the Kentucky Wired project, said Phillip Brown, executive director for the Kentucky Communications Network Authority, the entity created to oversee it. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The record-crushing cold that rung in 2018 was like a blast from the past that, in the future, will become increasingly rare. [WaPo]

When will Kentucky Republicans realize that the First Amendment is a thing that they need to comprehend? Kentucky motorists could not use their phones to take video or photos of car wrecks — or post them to social media — as they drive past crash sites under House Bill 149, filed Friday by freshman state Rep. Melinda Gibbons Prunty, R-Belton. [H-L]

U.S. Ambassador to Panama John Feeley, a career diplomat and former Marine Corps helicopter pilot, has resigned, saying he no longer felt able to serve Donald Trump. [HuffPo]

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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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Bullitt County May Be Kentucky’s Worst

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Widow v. widow? Bullitt County is insane. Linda Belcher, from Bob’s Burgers, will face Rebecca Johnson, widow of alleged child sex predator Dan Johnson. What on earth?! It’s gonna be crazy when the Rebecca Johnson research file hits. The fact that she allegedly helped her husband cover things up won’t be the half of it. Hold on to your cult wigs, kids. [H-L]

This was the year the political media couldn’t stop reminding us of the forgotten Americans. All year long, outlets parachuted reporters into “Trump Country” to observe his voters in their habitat — “Cletus safari” is the derisive term of art — and the reporters returned with tenderly crafted soft-focus portrait after tenderly crafted soft-focus portrait of people aching to say the n-word. [HuffPo]

Screw Matt Bevin’s backward, racist, homophobic, end-timer opinions. He’s easily the dumbest man to be elected governor in our lifetime. Secretary of State Alison Grimes’ New Year’s resolution is blunt: Medical marijuana must be legalized in Kentucky to help veterans suffering from PTSD and others who are painfully ill. [C-J/AKN]

Transgender people will be allowed for the first time to enlist in the U.S. military starting on Monday as ordered by federal courts, the Pentagon said on Friday, after Donald Trump’s administration decided not to appeal rulings that blocked his transgender ban. [Reuters]

Matt Bevin named Kevin Williams, of Irvine, as judge-executive of Estill County on Wednesday, replacing Wallace Taylor, who has resigned. [Richmond Register]

This year ProPublica documented the many ways waste is baked into our health care system, from destroying perfectly good medication to junking brand new supplies. Eliminating the waste could insure millions of Americans. [ProPublica]

Attorney General Andy Beshear said his office secured $152,000 for the state’s General Fund from a settlement with a Connecticut-based pharmaceutical company for improperly promoting its drugs to Kentuckians. [Ashland Independent]

The entire Trump universe is a nightmare. A US singer has filed a sexual assault claim against Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski. [BBC]

What’s ahead for Louisville in 2018? More of the same. That’s what’s ahead for Louisville in 2018. More death, more b.s. As long as people like Matt Bevin are fighting against common sense? Louisville is going to be frozen in time. [WFPL]

Stoking racist fears, Trump defied bureaucracy to advance his bigoted immigration agenda. [NY Times]

All of the written arguments have been submitted now in the appeal made by a former Glasgow police chief regarding the dismissal of his lawsuit against the city and his successor, and a panel of judges has been assigned to consider the appeal, but a decision is still months away. [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]

Eric C. Conn violated his bond conditions when he left the country and did not show up for sentencing in his Social Security disability fraud case, U.S. Magistrate Judge Magistrate Judge Robert E. Wier ruled Thursday. The decision means the government can immediately sell the former disability attorney’s office complex on U.S. 23 in Floyd County, Conn’s attorney, Scott T. White, said after the hearing in federal court in Lexington. [H-L]

The Justice Department is pushing for a question on citizenship to be added to the 2020 census, a move that observers say could depress participation by immigrants who fear that the government could use the information against them. That, in turn, could have potentially large ripple effects for everything the once-a-decade census determines — from how congressional seats are distributed around the country to where hundreds of billions of federal dollars are spent. [HuffPo]

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New Republicanism Means Harming Refugees

More than 25,000 acres of forest in Eastern Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia will be preserved in coming years thanks to a nearly $5 million federal conservation grant, federal officials announced Friday. [H-L]

An increasing number of new laws across the United States make it a crime to be homeless. But these laws don’t actually manage to get people off the streets ― they just perpetuate the cycle of homelessness, experts say. [HuffPo]

More than 200 hours of intercepted phone call recordings have been submitted as evidence in a federal investigation into a pay-for-play scheme involving Louisville basketball recruits, according to court documents. [C-J/AKN]

The U.S. State Department has told refugee agencies it will sharply pare back the number of offices across the country authorized to resettle people in 2018 as Donald Trump cuts the number of refugees allowed into the United States. [Reuters]

Matt Bevin conceded Thursday that it is “logistically” impossible to hold a special session before the end of the year to tackle pension reform. [Ronnie Ellis]

The rate of life-threatening complications for new mothers in the U.S. has more than doubled in two decades due to pre-existing conditions, medical errors and unequal access to care. [ProPublica]

When Dominic and Rico Castle pushed their shopping cart through the Walmart lobby Wednesday, with the promise of $400 to fill it with Christmas plunder, one would assume the brothers would take the shortest route to the toy department. [Ashland Independent]

The United Nations Security Council imposed new sanctions on North Korea on Friday that significantly choke off new fuel supplies and order North Koreans working overseas to return home within two years, in what may prove the last test of whether any amount of economic pressure can force it to reverse course on its nuclear program. [NY Times]

Kentucky’s Democratic Attorney General believes the state’s opioid epidemic is the “single greatest challenge facing Kentucky” and claims the administration of Gov. Matt Bevin is hampering his efforts to combat the scourge. [Ronnie Ellis]

US life expectancy fell last year for a second year running for the first time in more than half a century, reportedly driven by the worsening opioid crisis. Life expectancy in 2016 fell 0.1 years to 78.6, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. [BBC]

When discussing Glasgow Independent Schools’ Comprehensive District Improvement Plan with the GIS Board of Education, GIS Instructional Supervisor Michelle Tinsley and GIS Superintendent Keith Hale said everyone has bought in to the plan. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Officials at the USDA received a detailed formal complaint earlier this year regarding Aurora Organic Dairy, one of the nation’s largest producers of organic milk. [WaPo]

A national science panel might use donations to finish a study that the Trump Administration halted on whether people face greater health risks from living near surface coal mines in Central Appalachia, including Eastern Kentucky. [H-L]

This is how insanely out-of-touch these people are. It’s so bizarre-o it’s offensive. [HuffPo]

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I Guess Linda Gorton Is Big News?

This is horrifying and makes it scary to think about anyone having kids. The Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure has reprimanded a doctor whose pediatric residency at the University of Kentucky was terminated after he allegedly viewed child pornography during a work shift. [H-L]

The average American life expectancy ticked downward for the second straight year in 2016, on the back of surging drug overdose deaths, according to data released Thursday by the National Center for Health Statistics at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And while the nation hasn’t experienced a back-to-back drop in life expectancy since the 1960s, the CDC says the opioid crisis is shaping up to extend this decline for a third consecutive year, a milestone that hasn’t been seen since the Spanish flu pandemic in 1918. [HuffPo]

Former state Rep. Linda Belcher rejected a suggestion by the widow of Rep. Dan Johnson that she participated in an effort by liberal organizations to destroy Johnson. [C-J/AKN]

The Trump administration’s consideration of a wage freeze for federal employees is one piece of a renewed multifront Republican push to shrink those workers’ pay, benefits and workforce. [WaPo]

Members of the Barren County Board of Education received the results of the school district’s annual financial audit during Thursday night’s meeting. They also heard updates on construction at the Career and Technical Education facility at the Trojan Trail campus. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Don McGahn was looking at whether the national security advisor violated federal laws just days after Trump moved into the White House. [Foreign Policy]

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes is reminding registered voters who wish to vote in another party’s May 2018 Primary Election or be a candidate as a member of another political party in the 2018 elections that they must change their registration no later than Dec. 31. [The Morehead News]

A second U.S. judge on Thursday blocked Donald Trump’s administration from enforcing new rules that undermine an Obamacare requirement for employers to provide insurance that covers women’s birth control. [Reuters]

Community Assistance & Referral Services (CAReS) is currently seeking monetary donations to offset the cost of purchases made to cover unreturned Giving Tree items. [Ashland Independent]

ALIENS!!!!!!!1!! [NY Times]

Five Madison County inmates were able to see their children visit with Santa and open Christmas gifts Saturday thanks in large part to the work of the Glover Foundation. [Richmond Register]

The United Nations on Thursday delivered a stinging rebuke of Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, casting an overwhelming vote condemning the move and calling on the U.S. to withdraw the decision. [The Hill]

Former Vice Mayor Linda Gorton announced Tuesday that she will enter the race for mayor. [H-L]

Republicans are looting the store, taking everything they can grab off the shelves, anticipating the demise of Donald Trump as progressive energy explodes. [HuffPo]

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Burchett Finally Did Something Good

Offered a deal that could have created 3,500 good jobs but ruined the beloved rural character of a corner of Bourbon County, Fiscal Court members did a remarkable thing in this money-obsessed age: They said no. It helped that this courageous act was popular with their constituents: More than 150 people packed the courthouse Thursday night to make sure magistrates killed this risky deal, which had been sprung on them only a week earlier. [Tom Eblen]

These people are so intentionally corrupt that we should all be alarmed. Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) slammed former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in a tweet, and indicated that special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings on possible Russian collusion with the Trump campaign will only be “legitimate” if Republicans like his findings. [HuffPo]

Black drivers in Louisville were nearly twice as likely to have their car searched during routine traffic stops than white drivers in 2016, according to a study from the University of Louisville. [C-J/AKN]

While Congress races to pass a massive tax overhaul by the end of the year, Republicans in state capitals across the country find themselves in a bind as they plan their own state budget requirements. [The Hill]

Boyd County Jailer Joe Burchett officially withdrew his name as a candidate for re-election, Boyd County Clerk Debbie Jones confirmed on Friday. [Ashland Independent]

A U.S. judge on Friday blocked Donald Trump’s administration from moving forward with new rules that undermined an Obamacare requirement for employers to provide health insurance that covers women’s birth control. [Reuters]

Dr. Steven Ralston, provost at Morehead State University, has announced his plans to retire. [The Morehead News]

Scores of Texas landowners in the shadow of the border wall say the government should pay them for their damaged property values. [ProPublica]

Barren River Lake State Resort Park will host two Sandhill Crane tours in late January, which will involve guests visiting roost sites around the lake for the birds, as well as observing some of their more popular feeding areas. [Glasgow Daily Times]

One of the top executives of a consulting firm that the Environmental Protection Agency has recently hired to help it with media affairs has spent the past year investigating agency employees who have been critical of the Trump administration, federal records show. [NY Times]

If the Federal Communications Commission follows through with plans to roll back “net neutrality rules,” Kentucky will be among the states challenging that decision in a lawsuit. [WFPL]

The Trump administration is prohibiting officials at the nation’s top public health agency from using a list of seven words or phrases — including “fetus” and “transgender” — in any official documents being prepared for next year’s budget. [WaPo]

Of course this education reporter is still hyping up charter schools as if they’re a terrific thing. They’ve never done anything hard-hitting on them. The same reporter dragged their feet and ultimately bungled reporting on the Montgomery County nightmare. [H-L]

Sunnie Kahle used to think that if she promised to be good, she could go back to her old school. She’d plead with her great-grandmother to let her enroll again at Timberlake Christian Schools, where she had gone since she was 3 years old. Even if teachers were mean to her, even if other kids said bad things about her, she wouldn’t be mad. She just wanted her old life back. [HuffPo]

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Thanks To Republican-Created Nightmare, Eastern Kentucky Educators Are Planning For Impact

Midway, a town of about 1,500, is now home to a public electric vehicle charging station. [H-L]

Your tax dollars are being used to attack a private business for having a political opinion. Let that sink in. [HuffPo]

Some lawmakers now express unease about the way the deal came together, secrecy surrounding Braidy Industries’ ownership and the unprecedented size of the state’s investment. State Rep. Kelly Flood, D-Lexington, said she would’ve changed her vote had she known how the funds would be used. “Kentucky should not be investing in companies – period – as a shareholder,” said state Rep. Jason Nemes, R-Louisville. [C-J/AKN]

The 14 nations, aside from the United States, on the United Nations (U.N.) Security Council condemned Donald Trump for recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital this week. [The Hill]

The Richmond Police Department purchased new SUV cruisers that entered service this week. [Richmond Register]

Donald Trump flew to Mississippi on Saturday to attend the opening of a civil rights museum, but his visit was marred by the absence of top African-American leaders who stayed away in protest of his policies and record on race relations. [Reuters]

A report saying Kentucky is undermining public education through underfunding is right on the money, local school officials say. [Ashland Independent]

About 700 to 900 women die each year from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. And for every death, dozens of women suffer life-threatening complications. But there is a stark racial disparity in these numbers. Black mothers are three to four times more likely to die than white mothers. Nevertheless, black women’s voices are often missing from public discussions about what’s behind the maternal health crisis and how to address the problems. [ProPublica]

A second building for the Maysville Community and Technical College-Rowan Campus will soon be under construction. [The Morehead News]

Around 5:30 each morning, Donald Trump wakes and tunes into the television in the White House’s master bedroom. He flips to CNN for news, moves to “Fox & Friends” for comfort and messaging ideas, and sometimes watches MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” because, friends suspect, it fires him up for the day. [NY Times]

Federal-Mogul Motorparts and Lynx Labeling Inc. each received preliminary approval Thursday from the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority for Kentucky Business Investment Program tax incentives. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The synthetic painkiller fentanyl has been the driving force behind the nation’s opioid epidemic, killing tens of thousands of Americans last year in overdoses. Now two states want to use the drug’s powerful properties for a new purpose: to execute prisoners on death row. [WaPo]

Bourbon County officials are considering a plan to expand Bluegrass Station at Avon by 2,500 acres to build an 8,000- to 10,000-foot runway and two two-bay hangars to accommodate C-130 military cargo planes that need to be outfitted for special operations missions, according to a report in the Bourbon County Citizen. [H-L]

Trump inauguration demonstrators are facing severe felony charges that critics say threaten to chill future protests in Washington, D.C. [HuffPo]

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