Already *Guilty* Pleas In Collusion Case

Three small cities in Eastern Kentucky are feeling their way toward a possible historic merger as they try to cope with aging infrastructure, scant tax bases and revenue lost because of the sharp downturn in the coal industry. [H-L]

A foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has pleaded guilty to a charge of lying to FBI agents. George Papadopoulos, 30, pleaded guilty on Oct. 5, but the case wasn’t unsealed until Monday, when two other Trump associates were indicted by a federal grand jury. [HuffPo]

This is what’s wrong with the United States – and UofL specifically. University of Louisville interim athletic director Vince Tyra will make $100,000 a month in his position, according to a contract approved by the University of Louisville Athletic Association board of trustees. [C-J/AKN]

Paul Manafort and his former business associate were indicted on Monday on money laundering, tax and foreign lobbying charges, a significant escalation in a special counsel investigation that has cast a shadow over Donald Trump’s first year in office. [NY Times]

A professor with close ties to the Russian government told an adviser to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in April 2016 that Moscow had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails,” according to court documents unsealed Monday. The adviser, George Papadopoulos, has pleaded guilty to lying to the F.B.I. about that conversation. The plea represents the most explicit evidence connecting the Trump campaign to the Russian government’s meddling in last year’s election. [NY Times]

Here’s a good example of why Scott Jennings has turned into a wretched person. Forget that he cracked racist jokes at a CHURCH PICNIC (Fancy Farm). That he’s now unbelievably homophobic. Or that he’s aligned himself with both Donald Trump and Jamie Comer – two people with nasty histories of allegedly abuse of women. He’s lying about Democrats loving George W. Bush. It’s possible to think he’s more of a statesman than Donald Trump without being in love with him or his policies. The deliberate dishonesty that spews from Jennings will leave a terrible legacy for his kids to remember. Like Matt Bevin, his kids will ultimately see the shameful situation he helped put the country – and Kentucky – into. [BGDN]

The Drug Enforcement Administration has for five years steadfastly defended the behavior of its agents in a late-night drug seizure carried out with Honduran forces on the remote Mosquito Coast, a mission that resulted in the deaths of four Honduran civilians. [ProPublica]

Yep, Bevin’s “plan” harms the most important people in government. The people protecting you and the people teaching your children. Way to go, Republicans, for sticking it to the little people. [WFPL]

Natalia V. Veselnitskaya arrived at a meeting at Trump Tower in June 2016 hoping to interest top Trump campaign officials in the contents of a memo she believed contained information damaging to the Democratic Party and, by extension, Hillary Clinton. The material was the fruit of her research as a private lawyer, she has repeatedly said, and any suggestion that she was acting at the Kremlin’s behest that day is anti-Russia “hysteria.” [NY Times]

Hahahaha, keep dreaming, this is not going to happen. Carter County’s job numbers continue to improve. [Ashland Independent]

The National Association of Home Builders know how to demolish things, and on Saturday they decided to take on a new project — the House Republican tax bill. [WaPo]

Advocates and doctors in opioid-ravaged Kentucky urged Donald Trump’s acting chief health official to spend more money on fighting the drug epidemic one day after he signed an order declaring the crisis a national public health emergency. [Richmond Register]

Doug Corcoran is in the trenches every day in the fight against the opioid crisis in the rural Ohio county he helps oversee. So Donald Trump’s failure this week to formally declare the overdose epidemic a “national emergency” – words that would have freed up more federal funds to tackle the crisis – was disappointing for him. [Reuters]

Matt Bevin’s a walking piece of shit. Really, a walking, crazy-eyed piece of shit. Imagine being his child. [H-L]

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and onetime business associate Rick Gates were indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiracy and money laundering in connection with an intensifying investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. [HuffPo]

Facebook plans to tell lawmakers on Tuesday that 126 million of its users may have seen content produced and circulated by Russian operatives, many times more than what the company previously disclosed about the reach of the disinformation campaign during the 2016 presidential election, according to documents obtained by the Washington Post. [WaPo]

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It’s Monday. Hold On Tight, Kids.

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Part of Shitbird Matt Bevin’s controversial proposal to reshape Kentucky’s public retirement systems would require school teachers and state and local government employees to pay an additional 3 percent of their salaries into their retiree health insurance funds. [John Cheves]

Republican leaders support tax cuts adding trillions to the national debt now, but had dire warnings about it under the Obama administration. [HuffPo]

The pension reform bill was finally released to legislators late Friday, causing additional concerns to some critics of a framework for the bill released on Oct. 18 by Matt Bevin and top leaders of the General Assembly’s Republican majorities. [C-J/AKN]

A federal grand jury in Washington, DC, on Friday approved the first charges in the investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller, according to sources briefed on the matter. [CNN]

After seeing a slight decrease in drug overdose deaths in 2016, Madison County has surpassed last year’s total with just more than two months left in the year. [Richmond Register]

The realtor who helped former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort buy the Virginia condo that was recently raided by the FBI testified last week before the federal grand jury hearing testimony in Robert Mueller’s Russia probe. [Politico]

The Ashland commission agreed to hire a consulting firm to study the city’s water system. [Ashland Independent]

Hold on to yer wig! Trump’s frustration at the investigations into his campaign’s ties with Russia boiled over on Sunday, as he sought to shift the focus to a litany of accusations against his 2016 rival, Hillary Clinton, as the special counsel inquiry was reportedly poised to produce its first indictment in the case. [NY Times]

Rowan County Fiscal Court agreed last week to join more than 35 other Kentucky counties in a lawsuit against opioid distributors. [The Morehead News]

The departure of Orangeshart Trump’s motorcade from his Sterling, Va., golf club on Saturday afternoon was chronicled as dutifully and minutely as the retreat of some great army. [WaPo]

The results of a study conducted by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and Michael Baker International, a Louisville-based consulting firm, regarding the replacement of the Water Street tunnel were presented to community members and city officials Friday morning. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The New Republicans are overwhelmingly racist and it’s good to see them finally show their true colors. About 300 white nationalists and neo-Nazis held back-to-back rallies in two small Tennessee cities on Saturday to protest refugee resettlement in the state, which sued the federal government over the issue earlier this year. [Reuters]

In 2013, as an Alabama development company prepared to turn a farm at Nicholasville Road and Man o’ War Boulevard into an upscale shopping center called the Summit at Fritz Farm, the company decided that it would like some taxpayer help with complicated stormwater issues at the site. So Bayer Properties turned to tax increment financing, a program in Kentucky first set up in 2002 to improve blighted urban areas by luring developers with generous tax breaks. [Linda Blackford]

This is happening in the United States and Republicans are refusing to talk about it. More than 900 bodies have been authorized for cremation in Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria ravaged the island on Sept. 20, the U.S. territory’s Department of Public Safety confirmed to HuffPost Saturday. Medical examiners overseeing the process do not appear to have conducted physical examinations of the bodies. [HuffPo]

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Jim Gray: More Waste, More Bullshit

Someone should pay for the Jim Gray research files that exist. Because if this jackass is going to waste taxpayer dollars fighting the release of public documents? He’s got another thing coming. [H-L]

Thousands of people are fleeing Puerto Rico as the island remains without power and the death toll continues to climb more than a month after Hurricane Maria. [HuffPo]

James O’Malley, a farmer from Shelby County, has crossed the East End bridge at least five times this year to visit his son in Indianapolis or travel to Wisconsin. He doesn’t mind paying a toll to cross, he said. But he’s never gotten a bill. [C-J/AKN]

Haha, personal funds? More like pilfered charity dollars. Trump plans to spend at least $430,000 of his personal funds to help cover the mounting legal costs incurred by White House staff and campaign aides related to the ongoing investigations of Russian meddling in last year’s election, a White House official said. [WaPo]

The mayor and the father-and-son founders of a new company starting in Glasgow have officially signed off on a deal providing the company a $30,000 loan from the Glasgow Economic Development Loan Fund. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The latest chapter in the country’s continuing reckoning with the legacy of the Confederacy is being written by grade school students. [NY Times]

Drama’s afoot! In a split but bi-partisan vote Tuesday and without providing reason on cause, the state Board of Elections dismissed its executive director, Maryellen Allen, and assistant director, Matthew Selph. [Ronnie Ellis]

A 17-year-old illegal immigrant in federal custody in Texas can have an abortion immediately despite the objections of Donald Trump’s administration, a U.S. appeals court decided on Tuesday in a ruling spearheaded by Democratic-appointed judges. [Reuters]

As the newly appointed Boyd County Commonwealth Attorney, Rhonda Copley hopes to make a difference regarding the local drug issue. [Ashland Independent]

Sen. Jeff Flake delivered a scathing speech about Trump from the floor of the Senate on Tuesday, as he officially announced that he will not run for reelection in 2018. [The Hill]

Only minor issues were reported during an annual audit of Rowan County Schools. Lori Dearfield, senior auditor for Kelly Galloway Smith Goolsby, PSC, presented the report during last Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting. [The Morehead News]

The voter-fraud-checking program championed by the head of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity suffers from data security flaws that could imperil the safety of millions of peoples’ records, according to experts. [ProPublica]

The nation’s two largest credit ratings agencies, both of which downgraded Kentucky this year because of its large public pension debt, have handed in mixed reviews of Republican Giant Pussy Matt Bevin’s proposal to reshape the state’s retirement systems. Standard & Poor’s predicted that Bevin’s proposal “will likely face legal challenges” over the “inviolable contract” rights of school teachers and state employees to not have their retirement benefits reduced. [John Cheves]

Seeing Russian flags get thrown at Dipshit Donald as he walked through the Capitol with Mitch McConnell was prime viewing. [HuffPo]

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Republicans Ruin Everything They Touch

It may be true, as its title suggests, that the pension plan outlined last week by Matt Bevin and Republican legislative leaders is “keeping the promise.” But what promise and to whom? Certainly, it doesn’t keep a promise to current or future public workers and retirees that they will retire with financial security. [H-L]

Once upon a time, an insurgent candidate defeated Hillary Clinton, the most prepared potential president in U.S. history, after a nasty, close and historic race. [HuffPo]

Anyone deliberately ignorant enough to claim a soccer stadium in Louisville is going to push wages higher is an asshole. That’s not remotely based in reality. It’s not going to happen. If anything, they’ll hire the lowest common denominator for work and pay them the lowest rate that’s legally possible. It happens in every development in Louisville and it’s not changing any time soon. But this is Attica Scott, the woman who refused to answer questions about her residency when she initially ran for Metro Council. So it’s not surprising she’d put false hope out there to fluff up liberals in wealthy parts of the city. [C-J/AKN]

The two Honduran women told nearly identical stories to the immigration courts: Fear for their lives and for the lives of their children drove them to seek asylum in the United States. [Reuters]

State Librarian and Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives (KDLA) Commissioner Terry Manuel announced that Madison County Clerk Kenny Barger has received a grant totaling $17,302 from the KDLA to preserve and manage local government records. [Richmond Register]

It was about 10 a.m. on Aug. 12 when the melee erupted just north of Emancipation Park in Charlottesville, Virginia. [ProPublica]

It’s been 10 years since Kentucky judges received a raise, placing judicial salaries in the commonwealth 48th among the 50 states. [Ronnie Ellis]

With the White House under fire over its handling of the deaths of four U.S. soldiers in Niger, questions are rising about the deadly ambush. [ThinkProgress]

The Boyd County Public Library is operating on a $3.1 million budget and will likely have about $5 million in reserve this fiscal year. The library – like the school districts, volunteer fire departments and health department in Boyd County – is a special taxing district. The bulk of the library’s budget – 84 percent – is funded by property taxes. [Ashland Independent]

The Environmental Protection Agency has published a list of 10 toxic threats it will evaluate first under a law passed last year intended to crack down on hazardous chemicals. [NY Times]

Sometimes you have to wonder if the folks running Morehead State University know their ass from a hole in the ground. [The Morehead News]

Authoritarian bullshit. The White House flashed its authoritarian streak again on Friday when press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said it was “highly inappropriate” for journalists to fact-check a false claim by Chief of Staff John F. Kelly. [WaPo]

This sort of thing happened repeatedly in Montgomery County. I reported on it for a few years. Kids ‘escaped’ school on a regular basis, roamed around in traffic, you name it. It was a nightmare situation. Valarie Honeycutt Spears just twiddled her thumbs over those stories. [H-L]

For 27 years, Erwin Marks helped design military aircraft, missiles, drones and even solid rocket boosters for the space shuttle. The work was a good fit for Marks, who’d left the Navajo Nation to study design engineering technology at Brigham Young University in the 1980s. But after almost three decades, Marks had grown tired of the hiring and layoff cycles every few years as federal contracts were awarded and expired. [HuffPo]

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Flashback: A Nightmare At Woodsbend

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Kentuckians have yet to see the public employee pension “reform” bill that Matt Bevin and the General Assembly’s Republican majority hope to railroad into law during a special session this year that has yet to be scheduled. But Bevin and GOP leaders outlined their ideas at a Frankfort news conference Oct. 18 that left many questions unanswered. Among them: Where do they plan to get the money to pay down more than $30 billion in unfunded pension obligations? [Tome Eblen]

Multiple families of military service members killed in the line duty are now getting rush-delivered letters from Donald Trump, days after Trump claimed he had called the immediate families of all service members who had been killed since he took office in January. [HuffPo]

You’ll want to read this, Morgan Countians. A knock at the door after midnight brought the grim news that 17-year-old Dennis Buttry was dead. His mother collapsed at the news. Just days earlier, she received a letter reporting the boy had “arrived safely” at Woodsbend Boys Camp, a state center for juvenile offenders in Eastern Kentucky. [C-J/AKN]

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Granny) has become a flashpoint for Republicans running for Senate in 2018. [The Hill]

Sometimes Berea is a lovely center of artistic life and sometimes it comes off sounding like a barnyard full of backwoods yokels. A proposed dog park in the Harrison Court area of Berea drew a lot of opposition from area residents Thursday at a public forum. [Richmond Register]

Ford Motor Co said on Wednesday it would recall about 1.3 million vehicles in North America, including certain 2015-17 Ford F-150 and 2017 Ford Super Duty trucks, to add water shields to side door latches. [Reuters]

The Barren County School District has reasons to celebrate and reasons for concern Superintendent Bo Matthews shared during Tuesday night’s board meeting. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A federal judge this week unsealed the source code for a software program developed by New York City’s crime lab, exposing to public scrutiny a disputed technique for analyzing complex DNA evidence. [ProPublica]

After 25 years of serving as the Raceland city attorney, James Lyon Jr. has announced his resignation due to a conflict with the City Council. In a resignation letter distributed on Friday Lyon explained his reasoning saying “the actions of council in refusing to take my advice and insisting on hiring separate counsel create an unworkable situation for me.” [Ashland Independent]

For years, the Environmental Protection Agency has struggled to prevent an ingredient once used in stain-resistant carpets and nonstick pans from contaminating drinking water. [NY Times]

The fix for Kentucky’s badly underfunded pension systems proposed by Matt Bevin and Republican legislative leaders is complex with a lot of moving parts. [Ronnie Ellis]

Don’t worry – Kentucky comes off looking and sounding terrible. For more than a decade, Kristin Page-Nei begged Montana lawmakers to raise cigarette prices. As a health advocate for the American Cancer Society, she watched year after year as other states increased their cigarette taxes and lowered their smoking rates. “What they’re doing is saving lives,” she kept saying. [WaPo]

Paul Prather’s an idiot who couches his bigotry – and it’s very much bigotry – in a shroud of faux religion. Here he is claiming landlords are being victimized by poor people. Someone slap some sense into this man. Good fucking grief. Calling himself a “christian” (no, you don’t get a capital C) and whining about how bad well-to-do folks like him have it. If it’s not this, he’s whining about non-white people, the gays or women. [H-L]

On a warm Wednesday evening here in late August, six minutes from where a Ferguson police officer had shot and killed an unarmed man three years prior, an armed man was pacing in front of his mother’s home, yelling at the cops. His left hand was on a gun in his waistband and his right hand was holding a cellphone. [HuffPo]

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Republicans Have Bungled Pension Reform

Parents slaughter their helpless children during 24 hours of insane violence. An Army nurse falls in love in Amish country and solves a murder mystery. A mighty Thoroughbred claims the first Triple Crown in a quarter-century. The Turtleman pokes a hole in the ceiling and out pours a torrent of rats. These stories have one thing in common: Kentucky taxpayers opened their wallets to bring them to the screen through a financial gift called “film incentives.” [John Cheves]

Never forget that this lazy-ass bigot dodged the draft. A Florida congresswoman described Donald Trump’s phone call to the widow of a soldier killed during an ambush in Niger as “insensitive” after the president reportedly said the man “must’ve known what he signed up for.” [HuffPo]

No, Tom Jurich is absolutely not worth his pay. He’s yet another Six Flags Over Jesus fraud. In a written defense of suspended University of Louisville Athletic Director Tom Jurich released Monday, attorney Allison M. Stemler takes issue with news reports about her client’s pay package, and says he’s worth every penny. [C-J/AKN]

Republicans are just fucking stupid lately. If Indiana state Rep. Jim Lucas had his way, journalists would be required to register with state police in order to report the news. [ThinkProgress]

Pornography publisher Larry Flynt is offering “up to $10 million” to anyone who produces information that leads to Donald Trump’s impeachment and removal from office. [H-L]

A cybersecurity researcher who said he was recruited to vet hacked Hillary Clinton emails last year by a GOP operative tied to President Donald Trump’s campaign team has been interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller, Business Insider has learned. [Business Insider]

The fix for Kentucky’s badly underfunded pension systems proposed by Matt Bevin and Republican legislative leaders is complex with a lot of moving parts. [Ronnie Ellis]

Never forget that this lazy-ass bigot dodged the draft. Rep. Frederica Wilson blasted Donald Trump on Wednesday, calling him a “sick man” after he accused the Florida Democrat of fabricating her claim that he made an insensitive remark to the wife of a fallen soldier. [The Hill]

Matt Bevin and Republican legislative leaders unveiled an outline of their proposed pension system fix Wednesday, one which they say won’t affect current retirees and won’t increase the retirement age for state workers or teachers. [More Ronnie Ellis]

Two U.S. senators on Tuesday reached a bipartisan agreement to shore up Obamacare for two years by reviving federal subsidies for health insurers that Donald Trump planned to scrap, and the president indicated his support for the plan. [Reuters]

No one said it would be easy and few thought the proposal by Matt Bevin and GOP leaders to reform Kentucky’s public pensions would be embraced by all. [Even More Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump’s latest attempt to bar citizens of eight countries from entering the US has suffered a second federal court defeat. [BBC]

This ought to end in a nightmare… An Indiana native was hired Tuesday as the first president of a new downtown organization that will oversee special events and economic development in Kentucky’s second largest city. [H-L]c

Never forget that this lazy-ass bigot dodged the draft. Donald Trump was slammed on social media overnight for his comments to the grieving widow of a fallen U.S. serviceman. [HuffPo]

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RPK: Robbing Teachers & Other Retirees

The Republican Party of Kentucky has failed the Commonwealth. That group of fat, old, racist, homophobic, self-absorbed white guys is working to guarantee that the best workers are never again hired by state government. Killing pensions for workers is beyond absurd. [H-L]

Hillary Clinton drew parallels between Harvey Weinstein and Donald Trump, calling the disgraced Hollywood mogul’s behavior “disgusting” and “heartbreaking” ― just like the person once caught on camera bragging about sexually assaulting women. [HuffPo]

A justice of the Kentucky Supreme Court says that the small state retirement plan for judges is in sound shape and should be left alone when lawmakers tackle pension reform. [C-J/AKN]

Sixty-six police officers were killed on the job by felons in 2016, up about 61 percent from 41 deaths a year ago, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation said on Monday. [Reuters]

Royally screwing education – for fun. Matt Bevin was joined by legislators, education officials and community leaders Tuesday as he ceremonially signed House Bill 520 in the State Capitol Rotunda. [Richmond Register]

Last month, the Trump administration said it could not comply with a court order to disclose the names of people who met with the president at Mar-a-Lago in part because they do “not maintain any system for keeping track” of them. [ProPublica]

This project probably won’t end in disaster like it did in Montgomery County. Glasgow Independent Schools will be providing Chromebooks to all incoming freshman at Glasgow High School beginning next school year. [Glasgow Daily Times]

For several years now, a small cadre of conservatives have pushed to eliminate the so-called Johnson Amendment, the part of the IRS tax code that prohibits churches and other tax-exempt nonprofits from endorsing candidates. Supporters of its repeal often justify their position by claiming the issue is about “religious liberty,” arguing the law inhibits the freedom of faith leaders. [ThinkProgress]

The father of a man shot to death in in August 2016 in Harlan County has filed a federal wrongful death lawsuit. [WKYT]

Donald Trump says his drug czar nominee has withdrawn, after he reportedly helped weaken government efforts to tackle the opioid crisis. [BBC]

Don’t worry – you don’t live there. Residents in three Louisville neighborhoods can begin signing up for Google Fiber ultra high speed internet. [WFPL]

An old rotary phone rings insistently. Visitors at a new exhibition at the Museum of Memory and Human Rights here in Santiago who pick up the receiver hear two men complain bitterly about the liberal news media “bleating” over the military coup that had toppled Salvador Allende, the Socialist president of Chile, five days earlier. [NY Times]

That initial burst of national attention has now died and she won’t be able to keep up with Barr’s fundraising. Retired Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath jumped out to a large financial lead in the Democratic primary to challenge Republican Andy Barr for his Central Kentucky congressional seat. [H-L]

A Republican congressional candidate from Florida has made some out-of-this-world claims. Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera, one of nearly a dozen candidates hoping to win the U.S. House seat currently held by retiring Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, claims she was abducted by aliens who reminded her of Jesus Christ, according to newly resurfaced interviews. [HuffPo]

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