Kentuckians Are Ignorant, Not Divided

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The threats started on Sept. 7, exactly one day after a grand jury indicted her alleged rapist. [H-L]

Jason Chaffetz, the Utah Republican who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform committee, told reporters last week that a government ethics official who had criticized President-elect Donald Trump’s plan to deal with his potential conflicts of interest refused to meet with him. [HuffPo]

Way to go, Kentucky, for hating your waterways and the health of your environment and your citizenry. You can thank your ignorant governor. Kentucky’s environmental protection cabinet on Wednesday announced that it had joined other states in suing to overturn an Obama administration rule aimed at protecting streams from mining activities. [C-J/AKN]

Russia’s top diplomat on Tuesday said Moscow was looking forward to cooperating with the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump in the war on terrorism and bringing peace to Syria, and took a shot at the Obama administration for what he called “double standards.” [WaPo]

Don’t miss Scott Jennings’ latest rant about President Barack Obama. It’s laced with transphobia, borderline racism and filled with deliberate misinformation. Pay attention to this Mike Huckabee-wannabe because he’s the current brain trust of the Republican Party of Kentucky and it’s gonna get hilarious, to say the least. [Page One]

In one of his final acts in office, President Barack Obama granted clemency to 209 federal prisoners on Tuesday, almost all of whom were convicted of drug crimes. [HuffPo]

The WKU Board of Regents has selected Dr. Timothy Caboni, vice chancellor for public affairs at the University of Kansas, as the preferred candidate to be the 10th president of Western Kentucky University. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The hedge funds and insurance companies that want financially strapped Puerto Rico to pay them back in full may have found a new ally: Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski. [ProPublica]

Kentuckians aren’t deeply divided over the ACA, they’re deeply ignorant. When half the people don’t realize the ACA and “Obamacare” are the same thing? That’s the problem. [Ronnie Ellis]

From the Department of Things Scott Jennings Is Too Pent Up To Comprehend… President Barack Obama said on Wednesday that former military intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning had served a tough prison term and his decision to commute her 35-year sentence to about seven years served would not signal leniency toward leakers of U.S. government secrets. [Reuters]

This should come as a surprise to absolutely no one because it’s not exactly a secret. Kentucky’s Energy and Environment Cabinet has finalized a controversial plan to let the state’s utilities virtually self-regulate the storing of hazardous coal ash near power plants. [WFPL]

News anchor Ben Swann aired a six-minute “investigation” into Pizzagate in America’s ninth-largest TV market on Tuesday night. Remember when this buttcramp was in Cincinnasti? [TDB]

Mitch McConnell meets ordinary folks as he grocery shops in Louisville’s Highlands neighborhood. They talk to him about their disdain for Obamacare. So how does he tell them things will get better? [H-L]

Tom Price (R-Ga.), President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to head the Department of Health and Human Services, admitted on Wednesday that he decided to buy stock in an Australian biotech firm after receiving information from Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), a board member of that company. [HuffPo]

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Meet The New UofL Board, It’s The Same As The Old UofL Board

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Kentucky’s decision to ignore federal security regulations for driver’s licenses will begin inconveniencing residents in coming weeks, and the pain is expected to become widespread by early next year. [H-L]

President Barack Obama has commuted the sentence of Chelsea Manning, the U.S. soldier whom prosecutors deemed a traitor for sending hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks. [HuffPo]

If you think Kentucky parents are garbage people, wait until you read this story about Indiana parents freaking out about Sharia Law. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump ran for president as the billionaire who would champion working people. As the president-elect put it in one of the major economic speeches of his campaign: “Too many of our leaders have forgotten that it’s their duty to protect the jobs, wages and well-being of American workers before any other consideration.” [ProPublica]

Matt Bevin has re-appointed nine of 10 people he first put on the University of Louisville Board of Trustees last June and none from the original board he abolished at the same time. [Ronnie Ellis]

Ask House Speaker Paul Ryan about the state of Obamacare and he has a ready response. “It’s in a death spiral,” he said Thursday at his weekly press conference. [Politico]

The Kentucky Community and Technical College System has signed an agreement with more than 40 colleges and universities to render aid to each other during crises. [Ashland Independent]

Sixty-three years after the Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, many schools across the country either remain segregated or have re-segregated. [NPR]

Even fans of the University of Kentucky may be feeling sympathy for their rival University of Louisville, which has been left twisting in limbo while politicians in Frankfort play a game of chicken with the university’s accrediting agency. [More Ronnie Ellis]

It was 2005, and Felix Sater, a Russian immigrant, was back in Moscow pursuing an ambitious plan to build a Trump tower on the site of an old pencil factory along the Moscow River that would offer hotel rooms, condominiums and commercial office space. [NY Times]

The lone Democrat in Kentucky’s Congressional delegation has announced he will not attend Donald Trump’s inauguration festivities, joining a growing number of elected officials boycotting the event. [WFPL]

President Obama’s first inaugural festivities stretched over five days. Donald Trump is spending barely three on his. [WaPo]

University of Kentucky officials have pledged to reduce carbon emissions on campus by 25 percent by 2025. [H-L]

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) grilled secretary of education nominee Betsy DeVos on Tuesday, making the billionaire philanthropist’s lack of experience painfully obvious. [HuffPo]

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UK Is Just As Bad/Corrupt As UofL

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The state attorney general ruled Monday the University of Kentucky violated the state’s Open Records Act when it failed to provide a detailed explanation on why a request for emails and other records from the College of Law was delayed. [H-L]

In Bonita Springs, Florida, this March, Bill Lonkart was preparing for the coming Republican presidential primary. In Philadelphia this July, Amanda Berg was gearing up to protest the Democratic National Convention. [HuffPo]

To quote Marc Murphy, Damon Thayer (not a Kentuckian but a Michigander) wants everyone who isn’t like him to get off his lawn. But there’s no one actually on his lawn, he’s just freaking out again, probably abusing people, hiding his true identity, surrounding himself with people who pump up his fragile ego. Let’s just say it: Damon Thayer is a racist wuss. Period. Full stop. [C-J/AKN]

At an average of five weather-related closures each year, students in Louisville are typically left with a week of canceled courses annually. [The Atlantic]

With prices for generic drugs skyrocketing, Kentucky has joined a multi-state lawsuit alleging a large group of pharmaceutical companies has monopolized generic drugs, calling the conduct “straightforward and sinister.” [Richmond Register]

Michigan must deliver bottled water or provide in-home filtration to all qualified residents in the city of Flint, where lead contamination sparked a public health crisis, a U.S. appellate panel ruled on Friday upholding a lower-court order. [Reuters]

Despite fears that environmental protections will relax under Donald Trump’s administration, fewer cases are being pursued by the Environmental Protection Agency now than at any time in the past 20 years. [Ashland Independent]

Far from ending with President-elect Trump’s announcement that he will separate himself from the management of his business empire, the constitutional debate about the meaning of the Emoluments Clause — and whether Trump will be violating it — is likely just beginning. [ProPublica]

Come January, Kentucky will have a full-time Secretary of Economic Development following a year when the cabinet was overseen by an acting secretary. [Ronnie Ellis]

The Embassy of Kuwait allegedly cancelled a contract with a Washington, D.C. hotel days after the presidential election, citing political pressure to hold its National Day celebration at the Trump International Hotel instead. A source tells ThinkProgress that the Kuwaiti embassy, which has regularly held the event at the Four Seasons in Georgetown, abruptly canceled its reservation after members of the Trump Organization pressured the ambassador to hold the event at the hotel owned by the president-elect. [ThinkProgress]

Are UofL fans outnumbered in Louisville? Hopefully, if we’re lucky. [WFPL]

President-elect Donald Trump has continued employing a private security and intelligence team at his victory rallies, and he is expected to keep at least some members of the team after he becomes president, according to people familiar with the plans. [Politico]

The University of Kentucky’s Senate Council held a specially called meeting on Monday to discuss the case of a journalism professor accused of misconduct whose story has exploded across social and national media. [H-L]

Environmental groups are voicing opposition to a proposed natural gas pipeline that would cut across the Appalachian Trail in Virginia and require clearing a previously protected corridor of forest. [HuffPo]

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Year Ten Of Crazy UofL Scandals

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How is it Linda Blackford can get a story like this done with ease and her colleague, Spears, can’t be bothered to get a story about Montgomery County even ten percent correctly? Also, UK is apparently just as corrupt as UofL. [H-L]

A majority of American voters favor delaying the Electoral College vote scheduled for Monday until electors can be fully briefed on Russian interference in the election. [HuffPo]

What? UofL is accused of cheating? Surely not! [C-J/AKN]

It’s just politics, right, Republican Party of Kentucky? You made your Cheeto Jesus and his homophobic administration. Now you get to answer for every atrocity they force on the LGBTQ community in the coming years. [Boston Globe]

Come Monday, 538 members of the esoteric Electoral College will gather in statehouses across the country and 306 of them will vote to finalize Donald Trump’s election as the 45th President of the United States. [Ronnie Ellis]

This doesn’t make the Republican Party of Kentucky mouthbreathers/coal shills happy. Solar power is becoming the world’s cheapest form of new electricity generation. [Fortune]

Most of the laid-off AK steelworkers mingling in the local union hall after filing unemployment paperwork had one question for the chapter president. [Ashland Independent]

There’s so much to nitpick in this “coal country” story. Just so much. [FastCoExist]

Nearly 20 area residents attended a special called Fiscal Court meeting Friday morning to voice their displeasure regarding the county’s potential adoption of the Kentucky state building code. [The Morehead News]

Donald Trump’s selection of Rep. Mick Mulvaney to become his budget chief could represent a major shift for the incoming administration on tackling entitlement spending. [The Hill]

A $10.7 million expansion of Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort at Mammoth Cave on Mammoth Cave Road was announced earlier this week. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Granny McConnell got his butt handed to him by Cheeto Jesus, apparently. The courtship of Ryan Zinke began months before the end of the presidential race. A Republican congressman from Montana and a former Navy SEAL commander, Mr. Zinke was approached over the summer by Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, about running for the Senate in 2018. [NY Times]

The University of Louisville has agreed to pay Dr. David Dunn, the former vice president of health affairs, $1.15 million to leave the school. [H-L]

President-elect Donald Trump and some of Silicon Valley’s most powerful executives met at his Manhattan tower on Wednesday, a summit convened to smooth over frictions after both sides made no secret of their disdain for each other during the election campaign. [HuffPo]

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Frankfort Is Definitely Fine With Corruption

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Preventing land developers and suburban homeowners from collecting a tax break meant to preserve Kentucky’s farmland will not be a high priority in the upcoming legislative session, several lawmakers said Tuesday. Pro-tip: If Ruth Ann Palumbo is pushing something, it’s probably for a shady-ass reason, even if it’s a good thing. [H-L]

As a parting gift to women, the Obama administration finalized a rule on Wednesday that will prohibit states from defunding Planned Parenthood for political reasons. [HuffPo]

The Kentucky Supreme Court has ruled that judges do not have the authority to dismiss randomly selected jury panels that lack racial diversity. [C-J/AKN]

This hilarious restaurant review caused Donald Trump to lose his mind this week. [Vanity Fair]

Sadiqa Reynolds is a sad disaster. I’ll never understand why the Urban League put her in charge of anything. [The ‘Ville Voice]

A federal jury on Thursday found avowed white supremacist Dylann Roof guilty on all counts for gunning down nine black parishioners at a historic church in Charleston, South Carolina, last year. [Reuters]

A top official in Attorney General Andy Beshear’s office is resigning Thursday to take a job with a Louisville law firm. [WFPL]

Wealthy politicians and businessmen suspected of corruption in their native lands are fleeing to a safe haven where their wealth and influence shields them from arrest. [ProPublica]

Come January, Kentucky will have a full-time Secretary of Economic Development following a year when the cabinet was overseen by an acting secretary. [Ronnie Ellis]

In the final weeks of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, he pledged to “drain the swamp” in Washington, D.C. by, among other things, introducing tough new restrictions on lobbying. [ThinkProgress]

Disabled persons dependent on benefit programs such as Medicaid and SSI have heretofore been unable to accrue savings for fear of losing their benefits. [More Ronnie Ellis]

See? Here’s him melting down. President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday morning popped off at the media — one of his favorite targets — taking to Twitter to rail against Vanity Fair and numerous reports hammering him for failing to disentangle himself from his business empire. [Politico]

Most housing rates at the University of Kentucky will rise about 3.5 percent next fall, a Board of Trustees finance committee decided Tuesday. [H-L]

Even though they hold no committee gavels in their hands and no subpoena power to command witnesses to testify, House Democrats are going to try and provide oversight of the Trump administration whether Republicans want to or not. [HuffPo]

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Another Bad Week For Both UofL & UK

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On a recent trip to Washington, D.C., University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto stopped by the Chronicle of Higher Education to talk about campus sexual assault and UK’s legal case against the university’s student newspaper, the Kentucky Kernel. [H-L]

President Barack Obama opened up about racism he faced throughout his presidency in an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria on Wednesday. [HuffPo]

Criminal prosecutions of former Kentucky Personnel Cabinet Secretary Tim Longmeyer came to a quick end Thursday afternoon when Longmeyer pleaded guilty in Franklin Circuit Court to a single state felony count. [C-J/AKN]

Gen. Michael Hayden, a former head of the NSA and CIA, says he’s worried about Donald Trump’s understanding of cybersecurity. [The Hill]

Law enforcement officials give high marks to Justice Cabinet Secretary John Tilley and Gov. Matt Bevin for addressing a long-running practice of using funds set aside for law enforcement training for other purposes in the state budget. [Ronnie Ellis]

A public interest group urged U.S. officials on Wednesday to free up Washington landmarks for thousands of people planning protests around the Jan. 20 inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump. [Reuters]

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) has placed the University of Louisville on one year of probation apparently as a result of Gov. Matt Bevin’s attempts to refashion its board of trustees. [Ronnie Ellis]

Former CIA official Philip Mudd excoriated President-elect Donald Trump and his national security adviser on CNN Tuesday night, calling the Trump transition “a clown show.” [Politico]

The City of Ashland on Thursday accepted a $150,000 insurance settlement from the Kentucky League of Cities to recoup most of the money lost after tires went missing. [Ashland Independent]

The Supreme Court was something of an under-the-radar issue in the 2016 campaign, extremely important to some groups (especially white evangelicals), but not discussed all that much on a national level. But now that Donald Trump has been elected, and with the success of the GOP’s only-Republican-presidents-are-allowed-to-fill-vacancies strategy, it will be of tremendous importance to the country’s future. [WaPo]

The House committee looking into allegations that Republican Gov. Matt Bevin delayed an important Jessamine County road project to punish a Democratic representative collapsed Thursday when its chairman, Rep. Jim Wayne, D-Louisville, resigned. [Ronnie Ellis]

When Georgetown University announced plans in September to make amends for its historical participation in the slave trade, President John J. DeGioia drew a curious parallel. [ProPublica]

Filmmakers Clayton Brown and Monica Ross make documentaries about contemporary science, but about three years ago, they decided to explore what Brown calls “America’s troubled, strange, confusing relationship with science.” [H-L]

President-elect Donald Trump is doing exactly what he always said he was going to do with his company, the Trump Organization. But he’s spinning it as a new decision — and the press is buying it. [HuffPo]

RPK: Still A Bunch Of Homophobic Bigots

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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