Papaw Beshear Will Chap Ass Tomorrow

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Mitch McConnell expected a warm, or at least anger-free, welcome Thursday. Several police officers stood watch throughout the swanky Hotel Covington. His hosts were the Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati chambers of commerce. And it cost $65 to attend. [H-L]

Donald Trump and his aides keep insisting that his presidency has already yielded progress on a historic scale. “I don’t think there’s ever been a president elected who in this short period of time has done what we’ve done,” Trump said at a press conference last week. Actually, Trump’s immediate predecessor achieved a lot more. That’s partly because President Barack Obama took office amid a real crisis, as opposed to the fake one Trump keeps insisting he faces. [HuffPo]

Kentucky’s beleaguered child welfare system was slammed in an outside review by federal officials who provide much of the $415 million in funds for the state to protect children from neglect and abuse. [C-J/AKN]

Democrats have tapped former Gov. Steve Beshear to deliver the party’s response to President Donald Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress Tuesday night, highlighting the Kentucky Democrat’s efforts to expand health care coverage under the law Republicans are determined to repeal and replace. [AP]

In politics, as in most endeavors, perspective means everything. Democrats who held the majority in the Kentucky House of Representatives for nearly 100 years, now find themselves in the minority. They don’t much like it and tensions and accusations Friday — in both directions — of playing politics made for a lengthy and contentious debate on a bill capping what outside attorneys can charge for contract work with the Office of the Attorney General. [Ronnie Ellis]

When photographs recently emerged showing Sebastian Gorka, President Donald Trump’s high-profile deputy assistant, wearing a medal associated with the Nazi collaborationist regime that ruled Hungary during World War II, the controversial security strategist was unapologetic. [Click the Clicky]

A bill that would reshape Kentucky’s judicial system is headed to the Senate floor, despite receiving sharp criticism from public officials in Boyd County and across the Commonwealth. [Ashland Independent]

Analysts at the Homeland Security Department’s intelligence arm found insufficient evidence that citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries included in President Donald Trump’s travel ban pose a terror threat to the United States. [More AP]

Rowan County Judge-Executive Walter Blevins said he will serve out his remaining term before retiring, despite rumors throughout the county. [The Morehead News]

Ambassador Daniel Fried, the outgoing coordinator for sanctions policy, did not mention President Donald Trump or speak directly to his policies, but the State Department officials present understood his meaning when he said “we are not an ethno-state, with identity rooted in shared blood.” “The option of a white man’s republic ended at Appomattox,” he said in a farewell address at the State Department, referencing the 1865 battle that led to the surrender of the Confederate army and ended the Civil war. [CNN]

The GOP plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act — which was leaked to Politico and reported on Friday — would eliminate the money given to states for Medicaid expansion starting in 2020. [WFPL]

The Trump administration has enlisted senior members of the intelligence community and Congress in efforts to counter news stories about Trump associates’ ties to Russia, a politically charged issue that has been under investigation by the FBI as well as lawmakers now defending the White House. [WaPo]

I’d put a ton of money on Greg Stumbo being overjoyed about this news. Hold on to yer booties, Greg, cause it’s about to get crazier for some of those folks. Former Prestonsburg Mayor Jerry Fannin illegally used city money to support an arena football team in which he was an investor, a federal grand jury has charged. [H-L]

Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.) argued Tuesday that one of the best things the United States could do for the environment was grow the economy, because rich people like clean air and water. [HuffPo]

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RPK Denies Trying To Take Louisville Over, Egg Still Visible On Its Face

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Kentucky Retirement Systems, the state pension agency that officially faces an $18.1 billion unfunded liability, might be in far worse financial shape than previously thought. That means taxpayers could be on the hook for much more money to honor pension commitments to about 365,000 public employees. [John Cheves]

Donald Trump’s administration labeled The Associated Press’s reporting on a leak “100 percent false” on Friday morning, only to acknowledge less than an hour later that the story was based on a real document. [HuffPo]

If you think this isn’t a Republican attempt to take over in Louisville, you’re probably someone who believes the moon landing was faked. [C-J/AKN]

From the Department of Things Ken Ham and Scott Jennings wouldn’t understand… Zircons are an ordinary gemstone found in granites from continental crust and are an incredibly accurate way to measure ages on the order of hundreds of millions to billions of years old. [Forbes]

Remember a decade or so ago when we started uncovering and reporting on corruption involving Jim Ramsey and the University of Louisville? And when Ramsey, et al (mostly Democrats tied to Jack Conway), started coming for us? Funny how that works. Turns out we were right all along. [WFPL]

Twice as many people now work in solar than in the coal industry, according to a new survey from the nonprofit Solar Foundation. [Fast Company]

If you happen to be on the campus of Harvard University this spring and you run into former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, don’t be surprised. Beshear will be on campus as part of the Richard L. and Ronay A. Menschel Senior Leadership Fellows at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. [Business First]

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation is pursuing at least three separate probes relating to alleged Russian hacking of the U.S. presidential elections, according to five current and former government officials with direct knowledge of the situation. [Reuters]

After the ease with which it passed out of committee on Thursday — with no nay votes — there wasn’t much surprise Friday when the full Senate unanimously passed the latest Kentucky education reform bill. [Ronnie Ellis]

In light of the stunning events of the past week, the question is not whether the Trump administration’s ties to the Russian government need to be investigated immediately and fully — clearly they do. It’s who will be in charge of that investigation? The Republicans in Congress can’t decide whether they would rather act like a responsible, independent branch or just the friendly legislative arm of the White House. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House oversight committee, would sooner investigate a cartoon character named Sid the Science Kid than any allegations relating to President Trump. [NY Times]

From the Department of Things That Make You Go Hmm… Ashland is ranked eighth as one of the top places to retire in Kentucky, according to a SmartAsset study. [Ashland Independent]

Betsy DeVos criticized teachers at a D.C. school she visited and they took her ass to school. This is the backward, bigoted, out-of-touch woman Scott Jennings and the Republican Party of Kentucky are continually praising. [WaPo]

Tim Conley is a con artist who just won’t quit. He and his family hid behind Jesus – as if that’s okay – while he robbed Morgan County blind as people were suffering and mourning deaths after a tornado that wiped out West Liberty. He deserves to remain in prison until 2021. And honestly, deserves to be shunned for the rest of his time on earth. [H-L]

Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) gave a staunch defense of the free press Saturday, noting that attacks on the media are “how dictators get started.” [HuffPo]

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Matt Bevin Deals In Making You Barf

An aide to Gov. Matt Bevin asked a judge Thursday to force the husband of a top official in the administration of former Gov. Steve Beshear to comply with a subpoena seeking information about a nearly $3 million no-bid contract awarded to a technology company on Beshear’s last day in office. [H-L]

To get to the white ethnostate, I drove through cornfields, listening to a man on the radio hype an upcoming “machine-gun shoot” at a nearby firing range. [HuffPo]

Anybody attempting to whitewash the atrocities I spent a decade uncovering at Louisville Metro Animal Services deserves to be choked. Period. Full stop. It’s as if we didn’t spend the last decade turning that joint upside down at least once per month. [C-J/AKN]

As far as anyone can tell, Paul Ryan, the speaker of the House — and the leader of what’s left of the Republican establishment — isn’t racist or authoritarian. He is, however, doing all he can to make a racist authoritarian the most powerful man in the world. Why? Because then he could privatize Medicare and slash taxes on the wealthy. [NY Times]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! Muhammad Ali’s final resting place is now complete and open to the public. A family spokesperson unveiled the finished gravesite at Cave Hill Cemetery Thursday morning. [WHAS11]

Analysts said Russia does not seem to be able to alter the election, but Moscow’s hackers might try to sow doubts about its legitimacy as part of its months-long campaign to rattle the mechanisms of American democracy. [WaPo]

Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul said Wednesday he does not want to prejudge whether Hillary Clinton should face immediate impeachment over her email controversy if she’s elected president next week. [Ronnie Ellis]

Secretaries of state, who oversee ballot measures on topics from gun control to the minimum wage, are increasingly courted by interest groups and industries with billions of dollars at stake. [ProPublica]

An audit of the City of Ashland’s 2016 fiscal year budgeting yielded a “fairly good report,” according to auditor Phil Layne, as the city increased its total fund balance by $1.4 million. [Ashland Independent]

If you feel like you’ve read this story before, that’s because you have. [Politico]

Kentucky is modernizing how drivers and travelers can find reliable, up-to-date information regarding traffic conditions, construction activity and more, while saving up to $750,000 annually. [Richmond Register]

The Paris climate agreement took force on Friday, starting an ambitious, though largely non-binding, worldwide effort to fight climate change. [The Hill]

The proposed conversion of a natural gas pipeline that runs through Kentucky has cleared a key hurdle, but people concerned about potential environmental problems continue to oppose the project. [H-L]

President Barack Obama went after Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Thursday, saying giving him the presidency would just give him “more power to carry out the twisted notions” he had before launching his campaign. [HuffPo]

Who Could Longmeyer Have Worked With? Could It Be Another Prominent Political Family? Cough, Cough

A coal company owned by West Virginia billionaire Jim Justice has agreed to pay a $900,000 fine for environmental violations and improve pollution controls at mines in Kentucky and three other states at an estimated cost of $5 million. [H-L]

Vice President Joe Biden has a message for Donald Trump: you are not qualified to be the commander-in-chief of America’s armed forces. [HuffPo]

Tim Longmeyer used much more than just a few thousand dollars he got in an illegal kickback scheme to make straw contributions to the Democratic campaigns he supported in recent years, according to a federal prosecutor. [C-J/AKN]

In 1733, New York printer John Peter Zenger began publishing the eighth newspaper in the American colonies, and the first willing to venture criticism of the government. [ProPublica]

Metcalfe County is still in the early stages of legalizing the sale of packaged alcoholic beverages. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The Boston-based Conservation Law Foundation filed a lawsuit against ExxonMobil on Thursday, arguing that the company is violating several key water regulations at one of their Boston storage and transfer locations. [ThinkProgress]

Meeting Friday at Eastern Kentucky University, the state Council on Post-secondary Education endorsed new goals and strategies for colleges to achieve ethnic/cultural diversity, including graduating students who are “culturally competent.” [Richmond Register]

Former Miss Universe Alicia Machado hit back at Donald Trump’s vicious Twitter tirade from the early morning hours of Friday, calling his attacks “slander and lies.” [Politico]

The Harlan Independent School Board heard a presentation during a recent meeting concerning a program designed to help pre-school age children get ready for life in the classroom. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

Donald Trump has attacked a former beauty pageant winner who criticised him for alleged sexist and misogynistic remarks as “disgusting”. [BBC]

An influx of cash has eased the pressure to meet payroll in Ashland schools so the district won’t need the line of credit it had considered taking earlier this month. [Ashland Independent]

Men who may have been exposed to the Zika virus should wait at least six months before trying to conceive a child with a partner, regardless of whether they ever had any symptoms, federal health officials are recommending. [NPR]

Kentucky’s fourth-largest health insurer says it will stop selling individual plans in the state next year, prompting another round of finger-pointing between a pair of feuding governors over the merits of President Obama’s federal health care law. [H-L]

The first aerial survey of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch shows that the amount of debris swirling in the North Pacific has been “heavily underestimated,” the expedition group said. [HuffPo]

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He’s Just A Good Old Boy…

Who is Larry O’Bryan?

He raised tons of money for Steve Beshear.

Beshear appointed him to the Kentucky Lottery Board as a thank-you.

O’Bryan and his buddy, Tim Longmeyer, were knee-deep in the Democratic Party’s money world – even giving tons of money to Daniel Mongiardo – because they were deep in that circle.

O’Bryan and his pal, Kim Geveden, were close with Elaine Walker back in the day. (If you don’t remember her, that’s fine. She was a disaster.)

He was butthole deep in Greg Fischer’s money world.

Butthole deep in the late Jim King’s worldreally deep. Like close pals with Jonathan Hurst deep.

People like Jack Conway paid him on the regular.

Beshear put him on the Employers’ Mutual Insurance Authority.

The governor tried to put him on essentially every board on earth. That’s how deep Larry O’Bryan was in the Beshear World. We were calling bullshit on it years ago.

Larry O’Bryan is reaaaalllly tight with people like Adam Edelen. Like buying property in other states together super-tight:

There’s way more where that comes from.

And that, kids, is why so many good old boys in Frankfort are literally pooping themselves.

UK Must Be Envious Of UofL’s Bad Press, Wants More Of The Action

The University of Kentucky’s Senate Council split its votes over approval of a proposed free enterprise center funded by the Charles Koch Foundation and pizza magnate John Schnatter, but the matter will still move to the full university senate. [H-L]

Republicans who wondered whether a teleprompter-less Donald Trump could retain the self-discipline of the previous month without a script to read from got their answer Monday night. [HuffPo]

The wife of former state personnel secretary Tim Longmeyer pleaded for leniency for him in a three-page letter – one in a batch to a federal judge that was made public a day before Longmeyer’s scheduled sentencing for bribery. And so did a bunch of Beshear people. [C-J/AKN]

GOP nominee Donald Trump has said he plans to spend billions of dollars on so-called school choice programs. [ProPublica]

Barren County’s jobless rate dropped from 4.8 percent in July to 4.3 percent in August according to labor force estimates provided by the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training. [Glasgow Daily Times]

It started with a mystifying missed opportunity on race. It ended with a piercing attack on gender. [NY Times]

While Advanced Placement exam scores in Kentucky improved this year, the number of test takers went down. [WLKY]

The greatest mystery heading into the first presidential debate here at Hofstra University was which version of the unpredictable Republican candidate would show up for his first one-on-one face-off with Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. [WaPo]

A month after setting the local property tax rate at the same level as the previous year, the Harlan County Board of Education formally adopted a working budget reflecting those amounts during their September meeting. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

The two US presidential candidates have clashed over jobs, terrorism and race in a bitter television debate. [BBC]

Former residents of Hazard banded together to form a non-profit organization called Appalachian Connection. The mission of the non-profit is to help students in the Appalachian region with the financial burden of higher education. [Hazard Herald]

At the first presidential debate on Monday night, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton brought up some of the disparaging things Republican rival Donald Trump has said about women over the years, saying, “This is a man who has called women pigs, slobs, and dogs.” [ThinkProgress]

After months of negotiations, the Fayette County Public Schools board voted Monday to buy 39 acres adjacent to Edythe J. Hayes Middle School on Athens-Boonesboro Road for a new elementary school. [H-L]

Donald Trump, within striking distance of the presidency, stepped on stage here Monday and did what Hillary Clinton hoped he would. [HuffPo]

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People Need To Calm The Heck Down

Yes, Matt Bevin is a mouth-breathing bigot. A backwater yokel from New England. A full-on delusional teabagger.

But his latest stunt needs to happen:

Gov. Matt Bevin has awarded a two-year, $500,000 contract to an Indianapolis law firm to look for corruption in the administration of his predecessor, Steve Beshear.

This doesn’t, however, mean Bevin isn’t one of the dumbest, most unimpressive people I’ve ever met.

Let’s get real about the festering pustule of awful that is Frankfort. Put aside the progressive freakout. Because Tim Longmeyer is just scratching the surface.

No, $250K/year is not expensive for an investigation like this. In fact, it’s probably something that should cost $250K per month.

Yes, Bevin will use anything and everything he can dig up in a partisan manner. But if you don’t want to push out the likes of Longmeyer, Kentucky is never going to improve once Bevin fades into obscurity. Let him do this. Let him take the heat for this. Let him be the hated person. It’s a win-win for Democrats to let a knuckle-dragger like Bevin do the dirty work.

That’s what I’d write in an ideal situation.

But here’s some reality: This just proves Bevin’s crew is so unprepared and inexperienced that they can’t figure out anything. I’ve been saying it for months but liberals don’t want to hear it. They’re too focused on Medicaid, which is a big deal, obviously. But the man is doing other stupid shit and getting away with it.

If the Bevin Administration’s staffers and the folks at the Republican Party of Kentucky can’t figure anything out? Some random-ass law firm in Indianapolis isn’t going to figure things out. They can’t figure out Medicaid, university boards or the pension system. Do you really think they’re going to get to the bottom of good old boy corruption? No. They can’t even do it when you throw things into their lap.

This bunch doesn’t actually WANT to find anything. They just want to fire up the barely-literate mouth-breathers fawning over Donald Trump. If they really wanted to figure things out, they would have done it ages ago. They would have hired people who know Frankfort.

No, it doesn’t make Matt Bevin corrupt. It makes him dumb. It’s just spinelessness. The kind of Republican teabaggerism that’s built on an inferiority complex, jealousy and anger from daddy issues. Kentucky will suffer from it, just as it’s suffered for the last several decades.