There’s Just Too Much News Lately

Authorities say a police officer in western Kentucky is facing official misconduct charges after agreeing not to arrest a woman if she would have sex with him. [H-L]

Earlier this year, House Democrats accused retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn of secretly lobbying for a huge Middle East nuclear power deal while serving as Donald Trump’s national security adviser. New details have emerged this week of just how far Flynn’s alleged lobbying effort might’ve gone. [HuffPo]

While Bernie Sanders is right about the Republican tax “plan”? He’s the most unexciting, typical, talk-down-to-you political jackass I can imagine to be stumping against it. A wealthy white guy with a history of talking down his nose at the LGBT community and people of color? Speaking for workers and progressives? Get the fuck outta here with that bullshit. [C-J/AKN]

The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a setback on Monday to gun rights proponents including the National Rifle Association, refusing to hear a challenge to Maryland’s 2013 state ban on assault weapons enacted after a Connecticut school massacre. [Reuters]

Sustainable Berea began this week by making large seed donation to the Madison County Seed Library located inside the Madison County Public Library locations Monday morning. [Richmond Register]

A disturbing report released [this week] by researchers at the prestigious Colegio de Mexico provides new details about a 2011 massacre in Allende, a quiet Mexican ranching town less than an hour’s drive from the United States, and suggests that many more people were killed in the incident than estimated by Mexican authorities. The report’s authors also repeatedly cite an investigation of the incident by ProPublica and National Geographic in calling for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to provide information about its role in triggering the killing spree. [ProPublica]

The City of Ashland received two marks in an audit of its financial statement, including a failure to competitively bid two purchases. [Ashland Independent]

Really, you can’t fix this kind of corrupt stupidity. To think people like Scott Jennings and alleged domestic violence perpetrator Jamie Comer are keen on showing their extreme ignorance by openly and proudly supporting him. Won’t it be sad when their children grow up to discover how shitty their parents are? [NY Times]

What on earth??? How was the treasurer getting away with not attending all meetings?! Glasgow’s city treasurer may be required to attend all city council meetings. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Donald Trump’s Twitter account has retweeted three inflammatory anti-Muslim videos from a British far-right group. [BBC]

The state sets aside 15.8 percent less for per public school student than it did in 2008 — the third largest drop in the nation, behind Oklahoma and Texas. [WFPL]

The missile logged a longer flight time than any of its predecessors and went farther into the atmosphere than ever before, reaching a height of 2,800 miles, 10 times higher than the International Space Station. [WaPo]

A former University of Kentucky student who survived an attack from a notorious serial killer is in Kentucky this week to talk about her new memoir. [H-L]

The Air Force has discovered “several dozen” cases in which it failed to report convictions of service members to the national background check database used for gun sales. [HuffPo]

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Pension Reform Is Not Now And Never Will Be A Real Thing In Kentucky

Kentucky’s highest court will hear a controversial case involving a Lexington company’s refusal to print a T-shirt for the city’s annual gay-pride festival. [H-L]

This racist jackass is still supported by people like Jeff Hoover and Bob the Bigot Stivers. Donald Trump is reportedly reviving the racist “birther” conspiracy theory, which claims that President Barack Obama wasn’t born in the United States. [HuffPo]

A whittled down tree-protection ordinance heads to the Louisville Metro Council for a vote as early as Thursday, nearly a year after the proposal was unveiled. [C-J/AKN]

U.S. Supreme Court justices on Monday appeared divided over whether a federal agency’s in-house process for challenging patents violates the constitutional rights of patent owners, leaving the fate of a system that has led to a high rate of patent cancellations uncertain. [Reuters]

House Republican leaders say they are closer to an agreement on pension reform after a closed-door two and a half hour meeting Tuesday — but they still don’t have a final agreement. [Ronnie Ellis]

The US consumer financial watchdog was plunged into turmoil on Monday as rival directors vied to take charge amid a lawsuit against the White House. [BBC]

New Greenup County Commissioner Earnest “Earnie” Duty said he wants to help the county build on momentum generated by the announcement of a $1.3-billion aluminum rolling mill. [Ashland Independent]

The Senate Republican tax plan gives substantial tax cuts and benefits to Americans earning more than $100,000 a year, while the nation’s poorest would be worse off, according to a report released Sunday by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. [WaPo]

A majority of the Glasgow Electric Plant Board’s board of directors decided Tuesday that to drop three broadcast stations in Nashville and Louisville rather than pay the increases demanded for their content, but it will keep the ones in Bowling Green that also bumped up their prices. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Uh, obviously experts disagree with Republicans when it comes to the tax bill. Because facts are facts. Even though facts are something Republicans don’t understand. [NY Times]

Rowan County Fiscal Court is looking at options to help gain more revenue through the more efficient collection of occupational taxes. [The Morehead News]

Last week, we bought more than a dozen housing ads excluding categories of people explicitly protected by the Fair Housing Act of 1968. [ProPublica]

There’s no legitimate pension bill because the modern Republican Party of Kentucky is run by a bunch of con artists who can do nothing but sexually harass folks without power. [H-L]

Global arms experts say North Korea’s latest test of a ballistic missile was an expected but troubling development that further solidifies Kim Jong Un’s role as a nuclear-backed strongman. [HuffPo]

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Louisville Politicians Hate Poor People – Especially If They’re Black

Kentucky’s legislature needs billions of dollars to pay down the state’s unfunded pension liabilities. As it happens, Kentucky essentially gives away billions of dollars every year through what are called “tax expenditures.” [John Cheves]

The deputy director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau sued the Trump administration on Sunday to block the president’s appointment of Mick Mulvaney as interim director of the agency. [HuffPo]

Scott Reed, like most Kentucky Republicans, is a racist bigot. Their racism is especially easy to spot in Louisville because they freak out when low incomes are involved. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump thinks he’s accomplished more than FDR. There are Kentucky Republicans that believe him. [The Hill]

Discussion of the city’s purchase of electric power again dominated Tuesday’s meeting of the Berea City Council. [Richmond Register]

The Freedom of Information Act is fundamental to investigative journalism. If the Freedom of Information Act were a person, who would it be? That’s a real question I asked our newsroom this week, because that’s the kind of thing I randomly think about. [ProPublica]

A search warrant executed by the Boyd County Sheriff’s Department Tuesday resulted in four arrests and the seizing of over 50 grams of Crystal Methamphetamine, money and drug paraphernalia. [Ashland Independent]

Tens of thousands of people wanted by law enforcement officials have been removed this year from the FBI criminal background check database that prohibits fugitives from justice from buying guns. [WaPo]

The Kentucky State Police began accepting donations for their eighth annual “Cram The Cruiser” holiday food drive on Nov. 22. [The Morehead News]

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday left in place a Nebraska law that prohibits picketing near funerals after it was challenged by a Kansas church known for anti-gay protests. [Reuters]

A bill moving through Congress aims to simplify the national suicide hotline — a move that advocates say is necessary. But with that could come an increased call volume at crisis centers, and those same advocates caution additional funding will be needed to handle all the calls at money-strapped crisis centers. [WFPL]

He’s a racist bigot. Donald Trump has mocked a political rival as Pocahontas – as he welcomed Native Americans to the White House. [BBC]

A juvenile is suspected of making a threat on social media about violence this week at Madison Central High School, according to Kentucky State Police. [H-L]

Robert Jay Lifton has spent his life trying to understand some of the most unfathomable milestones of the 20th century. [HuffPo]

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Frankfort Proves It Doesn’t Care About You

“Something don’t seem fair.” That’s what Mark Lunsford told reporter Bill Estep when he learned the property tax rate on his 21-foot bass boat is 30 times that levied on luxury houseboats that can cost upwards of $250,000. [H-L]

In a major win for the telecom industry, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced plans Tuesday to scrap net neutrality regulations that require internet providers to treat all content equally. [HuffPo]

The Trump administration is questioning whether Louisville is out of step with federal law after approving a measure that prohibits police and other city employees from enforcing immigration statutes — and implying the city could lose more than half a million dollars as a result. [C-J/AKN]

It was just before 9 a.m. one day last July, and Noemi Martinez was on her way from one job interview to the next, running to catch a bus on Atlantic Boulevard in Jacksonville, Fla. [ProPublica]

After years of investigating, Louisville police and federal agents captured eight people suspected of skimming credit card information from gas stations in the city. The arrests were made after the individuals stole more than $3.5 million through skimmed card information. [WFPL]

No sitting justice on the Supreme Court has indicated plans to leave any time soon. But tell that to Trump, who announced on Friday his latest slate of judicial candidates to fill a vacancy that — as far as anyone knows — does not exist. [NY Times]

Warren County Public Schools Superintendent Rob Clayton and several board of education members support allowing teachers to take time off work to attend a rally in Frankfort during an as-yet-unannounced special legislative session to reform the state’s ailing pension system. [BGDN]

Since 1997, Congress’ Office of Compliance has paid more than $17 million for 264 settlements and awards to federal employees for violations of various employment rules including, The Washington Post reported last month, sexual harassment. [WaPo]

Kentucky’s attorney general is unable to determine if Braidy Industries, the beneficiary of a $15 million investment from the state, is a public agency because it hasn’t completed a fiscal year yet. [Ronnie Ellis]

The Department of Homeland Security violated two court orders in the days after Donald Trump issued a temporary travel ban on citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries, according to the department’s watchdog. [Reuters]

They’re not there. Matt Bevin said earlier this week he believes the votes are there in the General Assembly to pass pension reform legislation. [More Ronnie Ellis]

A US judge has permanently blocked a presidential order that would have cut funding from US cities refusing to co-operate with immigration officials. [BBC]

University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto is planning to quickly replace Provost Tim Tracy, who announced Nov. 1 that he’s leaving to become the CEO of the Cincinnati-based Aprecia Pharmaceuticals. The search will be internal, not national, and he intends to choose someone by mid-December. [Linda Blackford]

Nineteen Asian-Americans protesting outside Speaker Paul Ryan’s office on Capitol Hill were arrested Wednesday while calling for him to move the Dream Act to a vote. [HuffPo]

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Hoover Investigation Should Be Handled By Independent Agency, Not The Shady-Ass People In Frankfort

***Care about the future of Kentucky? Help us cover FOIA and open records request fees relating to Matt Bevin and Jamie Comer.*** [CLICK HERE]

Former state Rep. W. Keith Hall used fake documents to convince a customer that he had insurance so he could keep a contract, a federal grand jury has charged. [H-L]

The top nuclear commander in the U.S. said Saturday that he would reject an “illegal” nuclear attack order from Donald Trump, and would instead steer the commander in chief to other “options.” [HuffPo]

Republican leaders in the Kentucky House may let the Legislative Ethics Commission take over their investigation into the secret settlement of a sexual harassment claim that involved former House Speaker Jeff Hoover next week, a top official says. [C-J/AKN]

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team has issued a subpoena to the Trump campaign asking multiple campaign officials to produce Russia-related documents, according to a source with first-hand knowledge of the matter. [NBC News]

Madison County Judge-Executive Reagan Taylor has been elected 2nd Vice President of the Kentucky Association of Counties (KACo) Executive Board of Directors. [Richmond Register]

The use of “fake news,” automated “bot” accounts, and other manipulation methods gained particular attention in the United States. While the country’s online environment remained generally free, it was troubled by a proliferation of fabricated news articles, divisive partisan vitriol, and aggressive harassment of many journalists, both during and after the presidential election campaign. [Click the Clicky]

The City of Ashland spent $6.5 million on health insurance last fiscal year, up about $369,000 from the year before. [Ashland Independent]

Taxpayers are footing the legal bill for at least 10 Justice Department lawyers and paralegals to work on lawsuits related to President Trump’s private businesses. Neither the White House nor the Justice Department will say how much it is costing taxpayers, but federal payroll records show the salaries of the government lawyers assigned to the cases range from about $133,000 to $185,000. [USA Today]

Apparently, Morehead – land of Kim Davis – is holding meetings to discuss speed humping…? Davis has spread her immoral awfulness so far that people now have to hump super-fast. [The Morehead News]

It was only 19 months ago that the Panama Papers were released. Now, it’s the Paradise Papers that are filling the front pages of English and European newspapers. Back when the Panama Papers were released, I wrote that if David Cameron’s name hadn’t been in those documents, the news probably wouldn’t have had the same impact. Today I think that if Queen Elizabeth’s name hadn’t come up, we likely wouldn’t be discussing it either. [The Guardian]

Better late than never. Barren County Fiscal Court is expected to learn more about a decision the Barren River District Health Department’s board of directors recently made to start a needle exchange program. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The U.S. military on Friday disclosed for the first time base-by-base data on sexual assault reports, showing a higher number of reports at big military installations like Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia as well as overseas hubs like South Korea. [Reuters]

The last place Lincoln Caudill expected to see his eastern Kentucky hometown was on a television in a Philadelphia restaurant, yet there it was in the summer of 2015, flickering back at him from a newscast about a defiant county clerk refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. [H-L]

The “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” team is here to break down what the GOP’s tax plan really means. [HuffPo]

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Legislative Ethics Are Not A Real Thing

Such a shame Legislative Ethics don’t exist in Kentucky. A Democratic lawmaker filed a complaint Wednesday with the Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission, asking for an investigation into a sexual harassment settlement between four Republican lawmakers and a legislative employee who worked for them. [H-L]

On Oct. 14, 2016, then-GOP vice presidential nominee Mike Pence vehemently denied that the Trump campaign had any contact with WikiLeaks. It was shortly after that organization had released more emails from the Clinton campaign and other Democrats. [HuffPo]

The University of Louisville Foundation’s former chief financial officer claims in a new lawsuit that he was made the “fall guy” for “a wide variety of political, private and public interests” when he was fired in July. [C-J/AKN]

Six House Democrats on Wednesday launched the latest official effort to oust President Trump, introducing five new articles of impeachment revolving around the central theme that the president is a danger to the country. [The Hill]

A Richmond city commissioner is calling for action against hotels and motels in the city that are hotspots for criminal activity. [Richmond Register]

The U.S. Justice Department on Wednesday told 29 states, cities or counties it believes they are violating a law prohibiting them from limiting information sharing with U.S. immigration officials, and it asked them for details on their compliance. [Reuters]

The forced removal of state prisoners from the Boyd County Detention Center could cause the county to lose as much as $700,000 in revenue this fiscal year, and the fiscal court is weighing budget cuts as a result. [Ashland Independent]

A senior official in charge of a federal loan guarantee program resigned after ProPublica reported his prior role in obtaining a guarantee under the same program as part of a deal that failed. [ProPublica]

The governing board for emergency communications in Barren and Metcalfe counties approved an agreement from South Central Rural Telephone Cooperative for additional security technology at the dispatch center in Glasgow on Tuesday. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Republican and Democratic senators clashed on Wednesday over changes the Republicans made to their sweeping tax legislation late Tuesday night, as the momentum behind the tax overhaul showed no signs of slowing with votes expected in both chambers of Congress later this week. [NY Times]

A vote may come as soon as this week on Senate confirmation for Dingus Trump’s nominee to lead the Mine Safety and Health Administration, or MSHA. The country’s top mine safety position has been vacant since January as coal mining fatalities have risen to a two-year high. Trump’s choice to fill the post is facing opposition from congressional Democrats and safety advocates. [WFPL]

Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s public suggestion that he may appoint a special counsel to investigate Hillary Clinton has alarmed current and former Justice Department officials who fear he will further politicize the embattled agency. [WaPo]

The Republican Party of Kentucky’s communications manbaby, Tres Watson, has been whining about this on social media. He’s taken every opportunity to spew homophobic bullshit since getting his new RPK job. So I’m taking every opportunity to identify him a bigot. You know how I know? Because I know him. And when these Republicans like Watson and Scott Jennings decide it’s cool to all of a sudden turn into bigots? I’m going to call their asses out. [H-L]

The American delegation to the United Nations climate talks has not held any press conferences, though White House energy and environment adviser George Banks will occasionally venture out to the snack bar beneath the U.S. delegate’s office. [HuffPo]

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

***Care about the future of Kentucky? Help us cover FOIA and open records request fees relating to Matt Bevin and Jamie Comer.*** [CLICK HERE]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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