Bevin’s A National Embarrassment Again

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Many employees of Kentucky state government are headed toward the exits as Gov. Matt Bevin and the General Assembly debate the possibility of sweeping cuts to their pension benefits to address a massive funding shortfall. [John Cheves]

Surprise! I spent a decade preparing you for this Kentucky Retirement Systems disaster and now the mainstream media is trying to catch up. Better late than never. Now they’re trying to figure out how all of that is tied in with Matt Bevin. [HuffPo]

This David Yates case stinks to high heavens. That’s why he gets so animated and crazy when confronted over it. Because it’s a lot crazier than he’ll ever let on. Anyone who fully trusts him probably needs to reevaluate their life. I’m not saying N.C. isn’t a victim and that those two cops aren’t garbage humans with no business having badges but there’s a lot that’ll apparently never see the light of day. [C-J/AKN]

Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law and top adviser, wakes up each morning to a growing problem that will not go away. [Bloomberg]

Are better economic times ahead? No, they’re not. Not in Appalachian Kentucky. [Ashland Independent]

At least there’s Canada. For three months, the federal government has been secretly spiriting gay Chechen men from Russia to Canada, under a clandestine program unique in the world. [Globe & Mail]

You can thank Matt Bevin and the Republican Party of Kentucky for continuing to sink Kentucky’s economy. Madison County’s unemployment rate for July was more than a percentage point higher than a year earlier. Madison County is one of 99 Kentucky counties that saw their unemployment rates climb, according to data from the state Office of Employment and Training. [Richmond Register]

Yet another solid reason for impeachment. Special Counsel Robert Mueller has the draft of a letter that Donald Trump wrote to justify the firing of then-FBI Director James Comey, CBS News’ Major Garrett confirms, according to sources familiar with the White House and Justice Department process. The letter confirms what the president ultimately acknowledged days after Comey’s firing — that even before he received the assessment of Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton investigation from the Justice Department, he had already decided to terminate Comey. Originally, Mr. Trump and the White House said the president decided to fire Comey only after receiving the recommendation from Sessions and Rosenstein the same day. [CBS News]

More state workers retired last month than the year before amid concerns that the legislature and Gov. Matt Bevin (R-So Insane He Needs A Court-Appointed Guardian) will make changes to state retirement plans. [WFPL]

The Justice Department confirmed in a court filing there is no evidence that Trump Tower was targeted for surveillance by the Obama administration — contradicting Trump’s controversial claim first made in March. [USA Today]

Here’s what mouth-breathers like Walter Blevins Jr have been up to back in podunk. Fighting over yard signs and “free speech” as if any of that shit matters outside of Morehead. (It doesn’t even matter *in* Morehead.) [The Morehead News]

Robert S. Mueller III is teaming up with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in the investigation of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. This is extremely bad news for Manafort and others at the center of Mueller’s broader investigation into the campaign. [WaPo]

What on earth? No, the jobs aren’t here in Kentucky. There are low-end factory jobs but those are few and far between. There are not the kind of jobs that prevent brain drain or attract modern Americans to the Commonwealth. You can’t blame that shit on drugs. Dave Adkisson is part of the problem. [H-L]

Racism beams on high. Donald Trump plans to end an Obama-era program that protects young undocumented immigrants from deportation, according to multiple reports. [HuffPo]

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Kentucky Republicans Are Bad For You

Now’s the time – start dragging these idiot Republicans in Frankfort from office. Don’t wait until 2018. Figure out a way now. And never let them live it down. [H-L]

Suspicious ties between Donald Trump and the Russian government just keep appearing. In 2015, a Russian-born real estate broker working for the Trump Organization, Felix Sater, reportedly wrote a series of emails to Michael Cohen, Trump’s lawyer, attempting to broker a deal for a Trump Tower in Moscow. [HuffPo]

The new managers of University of Louisville Hospital are considering the politically charged question of whether to grant two local clinics an agreement the state says they need to provide abortions. [C-J/AKN]

This is some of the dumbest shit yet. These New Nazis need to be dragged from office. [The Hill]

OH GOD WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE. The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) is reporting four human cases of West Nile virus infection in Kentucky residents. [Richmond Register]

Damages from Hurricane Harvey’s ravaging of Houston and the Texas Gulf Coast are estimated to be well below those from the major storms that hit New Orleans and New York in recent years, insurance executives have said. [Reuters]

Welcome to the Boyd County Detention Center. Population: zero. A week after maximum security inmates led an uprising and set hallway doors ablaze, the jail is still closed and the only sounds coming out of it are generated by repair crews. [Ashland Independent]

A pair of advocacy groups said Monday they are going to court to overturn the Trump administration’s ban on transgender troops serving in the military, in the latest legal assault on the controversial directive. [Politico]

For Sharon Sandifer-Bethea, the seemingly never ending waiting game for the ruling on her expungement has finally come to an end. [The Morehead News]

Mr. Sater presented himself as so influential in Russia that he helped arrange a 2006 trip that Mr. Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, took to Moscow. “I arranged for Ivanka to sit in Putins private chair at his desk and office in the Kremlin,” he said. [NY Times]

Ordinances regarding property tax rates for the 2017 year were recently approved by the Hart County Fiscal Court. [Glasgow Daily Times]

William “Brock” Long, newly installed as director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said in an interview a few weeks ago that there was one thing that worried him most when it comes to natural disasters: “You know what’s keeping me up at night? This country has not been hit by a major hurricane since 2005.” [WaPo]

A Somerset woman who was found dead on Thursday in a church was murdered, perhaps late Tuesday or early Wednesday, according to Pulaski County coroner Clyde Strunk. [H-L]

Mexico told Donald Trump again in no uncertain terms that it will not be paying for his proposed border wall, no matter what he says — or tweets — on the matter. The country said, however, that it stands in “full solidarity” with the U.S. as Tropical Storm Harvey batters Texas ― and offered “all the help that can be provided” as “good neighbors should.” [HuffPo]

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Bevin’s About To Bungle Pension Mess

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A former administrative law judge was sentenced Friday to four years in prison for taking $600,000 in bribes during the largest fraud in the history of the Social Security program. [H-L]

In an awkward interview, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson suggested that the president of the United States doesn’t necessarily speak for the nation in expressing American values. [HuffPo]

Remember when digital storage went missing in the Robert Felner era? Looks like it’s continued for a decade. The state attorney general’s criminal investigations department is looking into the erasure of a computer used by ousted University of Louisville President James Ramsey, the university has told the Courier-Journal. [C-J/AKN]

Ohio Gov. John Kasich has joined the ranks of Republicans criticizing Trump for pardoning former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, saying Sunday that the president created a “political wedge” with his action. [WaPo]

These are things you should pay attention to. Several roads in the City of Richmond are set to be paved this year using funds out of the city’s Municipal Aid Road Fund. The Richmond City Commission on Tuesday voted to award the paving work to the Allen Company, which submitted a bid for just under $525,000. [Richmond Register]

Months before Trump issued his Friday-night pardon of Joe Arpaio, the former Arizona sheriff, the president asked his attorney general and White House counsel whether the case could be dropped altogether, according to four administration officials familiar with the discussion. [NY Times]

Morehead State University’s new president, Dr. Joseph “Jay” Morgan, said enrollment for the public institution looks solid for the Fall. [Ashland Independent]

The Trump administration plans to sharply reduce the government’s estimate of how much each ton of carbon emissions harms the planet. It hasn’t done so yet, and that delay is slowing Trump’s effort to expand coal mining and gas pipelines. [ProPublica]

Community members had the opportunity to meet Mammoth Cave National Park’s new superintendent, Barclay Trimble, Thursday night during a reception held in his honor at the Lodge at Mammoth Cave. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Donald Trump should not have pardoned a former Arizona sheriff who was convicted of criminal contempt in a case of racial profiling, the Republican speaker of the House of Representatives, Paul Ryan, said on Saturday. [Reuters]

If Matt Bevin gave two shits about the pension disaster, he’d do more than run his mouth. Pretty sure no one can deny I was at the forefront of KRS coverage – remember when a book was written based on that coverage? – and his entire staff have refused to meet with any of the experts I know. He’s solely in bed with hedgefund middlemen and those are the folks in charge. [WFPL]

The White House’s Friday guidance to stop accepting transgender people into the military and to potentially oust those already serving will be difficult to implement fully, according to legal experts. [The Hill]

Students start class at the University of Kentucky on Wednesday, and for parents, that means money. Money for tuition, housing, food and books. [Linda Blackford]

As severe flooding threatened Texas residents in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Dumbass Donald Trump on Sunday focused on the “wonderful” response by government officials to the storm while marveling at the disaster’s scope. [HuffPo]

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Disavow Donald Trump & Hate Or Face Political & Professional Consequences, Republican Party of Kentucky

Kentucky has made some of the deepest cuts to higher education in the country since 2008, putting it among the 10 states with the biggest per-student funding reductions for public universities and community colleges, according to a new study. [Linda Blackford]

If you’re a Republican in Kentucky and support this discriminatory mess OR support Donald Trump? I’m coming for your dying political career. The White House will give the Pentagon six months to enact Donald Trump’s ban on transgender servicemen and women in the military, according to a Wall Street Journal report Wednesday night. [HuffPo]

Here’s your DUH moment of the century. Moving public employees into 401(k)-style pension plans would not help Kentucky dig its way out its pension funding crisis, according to a report released Tuesday by a group called the Kentucky Public Pension Coalition. [C-J/AKN]

Ohio’s Department of Insurance said on Thursday that non-profit managed care company CareSource will sell health plans in Paulding County next year – the last county in the United States that would have been without Obamacare individual coverage in 2018. [Reuters]

Tax reform is “off the table” for a likely October special session to tackle how to shore up Kentucky’s badly underfunded public pension system. Republican Speaker of the House, Jeff Hoover, R-One of the dumbest people you’ll meet, said Thursday that Gov. Matt Bevin has agreed to hold off on tax reform until lawmakers can first deal with the pension systems which are estimated to face unfunded liabilities of between $37 billion and $60 billion. [Ronnie Ellis]

Most tech companies have policies against working with hate websites. Yet a ProPublica survey found that PayPal, Stripe, Newsmax and others help keep more than half of the most-visited extremist sites in business. [ProPublica]

How long until this situation explodes in a nightmare scandal? Six months? A year? I’d dig in deep if Democrats weren’t so keen on twiddling their thumbs. [More Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump’s vow Tuesday to close down the government if he doesn’t get money for the border wall mirrors private comments he has made to advisers in recent days — and could cause significant rifts within his own party if he follows through. [Politicrow]

The Appalachian region has far higher mortality rates, incidences of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and depression than the rest of the country — and the Central Appalachian region that includes Eastern Kentucky has even higher morbidity rates than other parts of the Appalachian region. [Even More Ronnie Ellis]

This human embodiment of a shart thinks he can tear the press down. Ultimately, it’s going to be the press that tears him down. Along with his shady-ass family. [NY Times]

It’s nice to see people like Carla Wallace speaking up about Kentucky Farm Bureau’s anti-gay discrimination these days. Because she was one of the people who dragged her feet out of indifference (yes you did, goddamnit, so don’t even try to dispute it) and criticized me for promoting Todd Eklof all those years ago. She’s proof that people can wake up and do the right thing. And this entire situation is proof that you should listen to people who ring bells loudly with a track record of being right. [WFPL]

Just before Trump strolled onto the rally stage on Tuesday evening, four speakers took turns carefully denouncing hate, calling for unity and ever so subtly assuring the audience that the president is not racist. [WaPo]

I don’t know about Bill but Matt Bevin’s staff refused to take seriously the material I possess that could have potentially jailed a few Kentucky Retirement Systems folks. Bevin is one of those people – like Trump – we’ll roll our eyes about in 20 years when he dies of natural causes because he’s a goddamn idiot. [H-L]

At least 20 organizations have canceled fundraisers and events at Donald Trump’s resort in Palm Beach, Florida ― many after his tirade last week defending the white nationalist, KKK and neo-Nazi groups that sparked deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. [HuffPo]

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Reminder: Republicans Like Scott Jennings And Matt Bevin Own These Nazis

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For the first time, Kentuckians have the right to inspect many of the documents created by the agency that runs Kentucky’s courts system. The Kentucky Supreme Court signed an order this week creating an open-records policy for the scandal-plagued Administrative Office of the Courts. [H-L]

Donald Trump on Saturday responded to the violence that erupted this weekend as white supremacists and a fringe group clashed in Charlottesville, Virginia. He refused to single out the activity of white supremacists, however, arguing that there was blame to go around on “many sides.” [HuffPo]

Taking one step closer to suing the University of Louisville Foundation for millions of dollars it lost, the university’s board of trustees has appointed a four-member committee to decide whether to file litigation. [C-J/AKN]

Manafort had alerted authorities to a controversial meeting on June 9, 2016, involving Trump’s son Donald Jr., other campaign representatives and a Russian lawyer promising damaging information on Hillary Clinton, according to people familiar with the matter. [Bloomberg]

The UofL Foundation can’t help but hire con artists. This guy was making $22,000 PER MONTH yet got caught stealing from golf pro shops. [WAVE3]

Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer (D) on Sunday ripped Donald Trump’s response to violent clashes in the city that were spurred by a white nationalist rally. [The Hill]

Way to go, Republican Party of Kentucky, for killing Kentucky’s economy. Adding to Kentucky’s financial woes, economists are predicting the state will bring in around $200 million less than originally projected this fiscal year. [WFPL]

Donald Trump’s failure to fill dozens of senior-level positions at the Pentagon is making it difficult for defense contractors to forecast business. [Reuters]

After a short discussion, the Glasgow-Barren County Industrial Development and Economic Authority postponed again the question of whether to hire JYB3 Group, a consulting and marketing firm. Why on earth would Glasgow need to hire John Y. Brown III to market the region? What on earth kind of stupid waste of money is that?! [Glasgow Daily Times]

James Alex Fields Jr. of Ohio was charged with second-degree murder in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday after he smashed a car into a line of cars in an episode that left a 32-year-old woman dead and injured at least 19 other people who were protesting a rally staged by white nationalists. Mr. Fields, 20, was born in Kenton, Ky., to Samantha Lea Bloom. [NY Times]

During his first convocation as Morehead State University president, Dr. Jay Morgan spoke to faculty and staff about the university’s beginnings and his goals for the future. [The Morehead News]

A man accused of plowing a car into a crowd of protesters here — killing one person and leaving 19 injured — has long sympathized with Nazi views and had stood with a group of white supremacists hours before Saturday’s bloody crash. The accused driver, James Alex Fields Jr., 20, of Ohio, had espoused extremist ideals at least since high school, according to Derek Weimer, a history teacher. Weimer said that he taught Fields during his junior and senior years at Randall K. Cooper High School in Kentucky. [WaPo]

A Kentucky man and his transgender wife sued Amazon on Wednesday, alleging that they endured sustained discrimination and harassment during a year as co-workers at the mammoth online retailer’s warehouse in northern Kentucky. [H-L]

Maybe some day lazy outsiders will rely on more than random tweets as sourcing. Then they’ll learn that Jim Gray and Lexington have been working on this for quite some time. [HuffPo]

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Scott Reed Is Lying Through His Teeth. I Know Because I’m The Guy Who Caught Him.

Yes, it’s several days after Fancy Farm. You didn’t hear us mention it this year because it’s pretty much a bigoted circle jerk. It’s a catholic church picnic that is proud of racist jokes told by idiots like Scott Jennings. A church! Okay with racism. They’ve had plenty of time to apologize and haven’t. So it’s yet another Kentucky tradition we won’t be wasting much time on. [H-L]

Kentucky is really missing out. It’ll always miss out, thanks to the backward-ass white guys in Frankfort. A marijuana company purchased the entire town of Nipton, California, for $5 million this week as part of a new cannabis tourism venture. [HuffPo]

Not only is this not ridiculous, I spent three months personally researching and investigating. You can verify it by getting a copy of my ORR at KREF from March to see that I was onto him. Scott Reed willfully broke campaign finance law like it was no big deal. He can whine all he wants but I caught him and he knows it. I dare him to try coming for me (try me, Scott) because this is just scratching the surface of my research file and I’ll happily give the entire thing to the KDP – people I despise. If the KREF doesn’t fine him, I’ll release everything. Should be fun to watch. P.S. People who sign affidavits should make absolutely certain they haven’t had (disclosed – they were aware) recorded conversations with me or exchanged dozens of emails about the matter. And if anyone wants to hire me to do research? Yell my way. I’m especially keen to focus on these lying New Nazi Republicans this cycle. [C-J/AKN]

Five transgender service members serving on active duty sued Donald Trump on Wednesday over his directive to ban them from the U.S. military. [McClatchy]

Kentuckians who feel going to the doctor is too expensive — but don’t know how to shop for the lowest price — aren’t alone. [WFPL]

U.S. diplomats should sidestep questions from foreign governments on what it would take for the Trump administration to re-engage in the global Paris climate agreement, according to a diplomatic cable seen by Reuters. [Reuters]

Eight and 37. For Morehead-Rowan County EMS Director Danny Blevins and Coroner John Northcutt these aren’t just numbers. [The Morehead News]

The first results in a national effort to better measure the levels of contaminants released through the burning of munitions and their waste show elevated levels of lead, arsenic and other toxins. [ProPublica]

Ugh, why does Mt. Sterling/Montgomery County have to be so awful all the time? I guess we can blame it on the school system. [WDRB]

Investigators for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, recently searched a home of Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, for tax documents and foreign banking records, according to a person briefed on the matter. [NY Times]

Kentucky is no stranger to the hepatitis C virus. In fact, the state had the highest rate of new hepatitis C infections in the nation from 2008 through 2015, according to the most recent data available from the Kentucky Department for Public Health. [Richmond Register]

Lawyers for black Alabama schoolchildren are appealing a federal judge’s decision to allow a predominantly white city near Birmingham to secede from its predominantly black school district, arguing that to allow such a separation would run counter to long-standing case law and undermine black students’ civil rights. [WaPo]

A Pike County school employee drugged and sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl at a party at his home after school officials were warned of the planned gathering but did nothing to stop it, a federal lawsuit alleges. [H-L]

Rex Tillerson sought to walk back Donald Trump’s threat of “fire and fury” against North Korea’s escalating nuclear program, the latest example that doing damage control for his boss is a regular part of his job. [HuffPo]

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Come On, Bulleit, Purge The Homophobia

Yep, it’s definitely time to throw out any Bulleit bourbon or rye products you’ve got in your homes or businesses. Homophobia is a disease and it should be eradicated. So when businesses like this pull clearly homophobic stunts? You’ve gotta show them that they’re not worth buying. Probably time to also ditch anything else Diageo makes. Pro-tip: If it wasn’t about homophobia? They would have been able to get out in front of it instead of flailing so badly. This is a gigantic corporation we’re talking about with a skilled PR team. They sucked this badly at it because they’re being dishonest. [H-L]

The beginning of Donald Trump’s presidency has been clouded by an ever-evolving scandal around potential collusion between his campaign and Russia. All told, there are five investigations into the matter, and from what we can tell publicly, none appears close to reaching a conclusion. [HuffPo]

Yes, there’s homophobia in the bourbon industry. There’s extreme homophobia in almost every industry in Kentucky. If you don’t live somewhere like Louisville, it’s still dangerous to be yourself in the Commonwealth. [C-J/AKN]

Government employees are growing increasingly willing to criticize or defy the White House and Donald Trump’s top appointees. [The Hill]

The late philanthropist Nancy McClellan willed $50,000 to the Boyd County Animal Shelter, and the fiscal court plans to combine the gift with county and Ashland city funding to replace it. [Ashland Independent]

Wells Fargo & Co will pay the U.S. government $108 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit claiming it charged military veterans hidden fees to refinance their mortgages, and concealed the fees when applying for federal loan guarantees. [Reuters]

Margie Patton admits she was caught off guard when Harold “Hal” Heers stopped her one day back in 2008 to tell her he wanted to help the Barren River Animal Welfare Association expand the animal shelter. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Rex Tillerson is resisting the pleas of State Department officials to spend nearly $80 million allocated by Congress for fighting terrorist propaganda and Russian disinformation. [Politico]

A Clearfield woman has been arrested after police say she was trafficking both heroin and opiates, along with putting seven people in serious harm after exposing them to an extremely poisonous, deadly illicit drug. [The Morehead News]

Senators Tom Cotton and Ben Sasse have already been to Iowa this year, Gov. John Kasich is eyeing a return visit to New Hampshire, and Mike Pence’s schedule is so full of political events that Republicans joke that he is acting more like a second-term vice president hoping to clear the field than a No. 2 sworn in a little over six months ago. [NY Times]

This is the problem. Instead of leaving it up to sex offenders to report their location, we should be keeping track of them. [Richmond Register]

Afghan officials worry about widespread reports that Donald Trump threatened to fire Gen. John W. Nicholson Jr., the highly regarded U.S. military commander in the war-torn country. They’re also fretting over Trump’s delay in choosing a new military and political strategy. [WaPo]

What do you expect? After years and years of New Nazis/New Republicans screaming about poor people being on the take, pregnant women and women with children feel ashamed. The wingnuts fighting to end abortion but refusing to help women and children after babies are born are also a huge part of the problem. [H-L]

The Trump administration is actively advancing an agenda heralded by white nationalists, and its attempts to animate African Americans as a means to this end are becoming clearer with time. [HuffPo]

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