Kentucky Republicans Failed Miserably

Kentucky’s New Republicans are some of the dumbest people you’ll ever meet. I mean it. Straight-up dumb. From victim-blaming Jeff Hoover to racist guy with brown kids Matt Bevin, they’re just garbage people. The worst. All sex education classes in Kentucky’s public schools would have to include abstinence education under a proposal approved by a Senate panel Thursday, despite the dramatic testimony of a high school rape survivor who said such efforts shame people. [H-L]

Two FBI officials texted each other burns about politicians, but their main ideological commitment seems to be to the power and independence of the FBI. [HuffPo]

Union mechanics at UPS have turned to Sen. Mitch McConnell to ratchet up pressure amid contract talks, citing assurances from lawmakers and the shipping giant that tax reform would lead to boosted paychecks for workers — when they’ve gone four years without a salary increase. [C-J/AKN]

A federal judge pushing for a quick settlement of lawsuits against opioid manufacturers and distributors by U.S. cities and counties is seeking to meet with states that are separately suing and probing the companies, Ohio’s attorney general said on Thursday. [Reuters]

Candidates for the 89th District Representative seat, which will be decided in a Feb. 27 special election, have been chosen. [Richmond Register]

The controversy that swirled around the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity far exceeded its output. The commission made no decisions, issued no reports, and consequently had no impact on election laws. The group’s existence was brief: Its creation was announced in March. It had its first meeting in July, its second in September, and as of yesterday, it is no more. [ProPublica]

The Boyd County Fiscal Court will “take a hard look” at a new, $600,000 request from the county jail for more staffing, but it would likely be impossible this fiscal year according to Judge-Executive Steve Towler. [Ashland Independent]

A Wisconsin school district has agreed to pay $800,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by a transgender student who said he was forbidden from using boys bathrooms at his high school and felt degraded by administrators. [NY Times]

In his second convocation as president of Morehead State University, Dr. Jay Morgan spoke of the positive things happening at the university, despite recent obstacles. [The Morehead News]

Ever since the abortion pill RU-486 began to hit the market in the 1980s, questions have lingered about its safety, especially for women who take it in countries where terminating an unwanted pregnancy is restricted and they cannot openly seek help from a medical professional if something goes wrong. [WaPo]

Administrators of a local school district say they are following the guidelines set by state law to teach a Bible literacy course as a high school elective after being challenged by a watchdog group. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Most people on Medicaid already work, and mandating work for others does not help them escape poverty. In fact studies show it can make things worse. Some myths just won’t die, no matter how odious or untrue. And in the Trump era of outright lies masquerading as “alternative” facts, it is no surprise that we are seeing decades-old canards creep back into, and muddy, policy debates. A new Trump administration policy does just that by encouraging states to place work requirements on people who want to receive health insurance coverage through Medicaid. [USA Today]

Berea College has received $30 million in federal grant money to help improve the Perry County schools. [H-L]

Past presidents volunteered on MLK Day. Donald Trump spent it lining his pockets at one of his gaudy golf clubs. [HuffPo]

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This Wasn’t Mitch McConnell’s Year

Everything was in place for this to be Mitch McConnell’s year. He had a Republican Congress and White House for the first time in a decade, and a simple majority of votes was all that was needed to not only confirm major nominees but pass major legislation too. [H-L]

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government has issued a warning to the U.S.: Don’t “meddle” in the country’s upcoming election. [HuffPo]

Morgan Watkins is the person who claims to have been refused communication by the Chicago Police Department during the United Airlines fiasco but neither she nor her editor could prove it. CPD sent us proof that she’d never tried to communicate with them in any way – there was no record – but okay. Now she’s quote racist and homophobic piece of shit (check our archives) Jim Waters as some expert. A Kentucky Newspaper refuses to name plaintiffs in lawsuits but uses folks like this to make comment on important stories. She won’t last long here (mark my words) because she’ll eventually get run off like everybody else. And this Braidy situation? It’s not over. [C-J/AKN]

The cities of New York, San Francisco and Philadelphia have sued the U.S. Department of Defense to make it fix its system for reporting conviction records to a database used for background checks on gun buyers. [Reuters]

Full of highs and lows, 2017 has been political whiplash for Kentucky Republicans. [Richmond Register]

Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn have sought bank records about entities associated with the family company of Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, according to four people briefed on the matter. [NY Times]

Of course the new guy at this particular CNHI paper is pushing right-wing nonsense like this story. This is how Eastern Kentucky remains in the dark. [Ashland Independent]

Former US President Barack Obama has warned against the irresponsible use of social media, in a rare interview since stepping down in January. [BBC]

Those in Rowan County who are delinquent paying certain taxes will now have three months to do so without penalty. [The Morehead News]

Tyler Haire was locked up at 16. A Mississippi judge ordered that he undergo a mental exam. What happened next is a statewide scandal. [ProPublica]

Educators from across the country have been focusing on teaching STEM, an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Christians should not support policies that punish the weak and marginalized, the Anglican bishop of Liverpool said. [WaPo]

Kentucky native Robby Strong, the self-proclaimed “Prophet of Poo,” says he is the man behind the gift of horse manure left for U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, and Strong said he plans more dirty tricks. [H-L]

A Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen has killed 109 civilians in air strikes in the past 10 days, including 54 at a crowded market and 14 members of one family in a farm, the top U.N. official in the country said on Thursday. [HuffPo]

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OH! And a big P.S.: Jeff Hoover is a whiny-ass titty baby victim-blamer. [H-L]

I Guess Linda Gorton Is Big News?

This is horrifying and makes it scary to think about anyone having kids. The Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure has reprimanded a doctor whose pediatric residency at the University of Kentucky was terminated after he allegedly viewed child pornography during a work shift. [H-L]

The average American life expectancy ticked downward for the second straight year in 2016, on the back of surging drug overdose deaths, according to data released Thursday by the National Center for Health Statistics at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And while the nation hasn’t experienced a back-to-back drop in life expectancy since the 1960s, the CDC says the opioid crisis is shaping up to extend this decline for a third consecutive year, a milestone that hasn’t been seen since the Spanish flu pandemic in 1918. [HuffPo]

Former state Rep. Linda Belcher rejected a suggestion by the widow of Rep. Dan Johnson that she participated in an effort by liberal organizations to destroy Johnson. [C-J/AKN]

The Trump administration’s consideration of a wage freeze for federal employees is one piece of a renewed multifront Republican push to shrink those workers’ pay, benefits and workforce. [WaPo]

Members of the Barren County Board of Education received the results of the school district’s annual financial audit during Thursday night’s meeting. They also heard updates on construction at the Career and Technical Education facility at the Trojan Trail campus. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Don McGahn was looking at whether the national security advisor violated federal laws just days after Trump moved into the White House. [Foreign Policy]

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes is reminding registered voters who wish to vote in another party’s May 2018 Primary Election or be a candidate as a member of another political party in the 2018 elections that they must change their registration no later than Dec. 31. [The Morehead News]

A second U.S. judge on Thursday blocked Donald Trump’s administration from enforcing new rules that undermine an Obamacare requirement for employers to provide insurance that covers women’s birth control. [Reuters]

Community Assistance & Referral Services (CAReS) is currently seeking monetary donations to offset the cost of purchases made to cover unreturned Giving Tree items. [Ashland Independent]

ALIENS!!!!!!!1!! [NY Times]

Five Madison County inmates were able to see their children visit with Santa and open Christmas gifts Saturday thanks in large part to the work of the Glover Foundation. [Richmond Register]

The United Nations on Thursday delivered a stinging rebuke of Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, casting an overwhelming vote condemning the move and calling on the U.S. to withdraw the decision. [The Hill]

Former Vice Mayor Linda Gorton announced Tuesday that she will enter the race for mayor. [H-L]

Republicans are looting the store, taking everything they can grab off the shelves, anticipating the demise of Donald Trump as progressive energy explodes. [HuffPo]

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A Good Thing Happened In Boyd Co

Humanitarian and University of Kentucky graduate Ashley Judd spoke “from the heart” during a lecture Friday in Lexington about how she’s using her voice in the fight against abuse and sexual misconduct in Hollywood and around the world. [H-L]

With Michael Flynn’s guilty plea bringing fresh attention to what Vice President Mike Pence knew about possible Russian collusion and when he knew it, Pence’s office has a ready answer: Not much and really late. So far Pence has remained at the periphery of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. [HuffPo]

If you’re gonna hit Greg Fischer… maybe make sure it involves something he can actually control? And maybe make sure your campaign spokesperson isn’t someone with a history of idiocy because she certainly won’t be able to communicate your half-baked non-plans. [C-J/AKN]

Earlier this fall, a leader of the busiest hospital for organ transplants in New York state — where livers are particularly scarce — pleaded for fairer treatment for ailing New Yorkers. [ProPublica]

A groundbreaking ceremony on Friday celebrated the future home of the Boyd County Animal Shelter. [Ashland Independent]

The new tax bill passed by Senate Republicans does away with crucial support for public schools while adding a provision beneficial to their private counterparts. That move would help wealthy parents pay for private schools, including religious schools, while hurting lower-income families. A similar provision is in the House version of the tax bill. [ThinkProgress]

Dan Ellnor walks through a metal door into a gigantic walk-in refrigerator at the Jefferson County Public Schools Nutrition Service Center. People in hairnets, gloves and light winter jackets are filtering in-and-out, carrying boxes of fresh produce. [WFPL]

A major decision on the way the U.S. government collects information about race and ethnicity through the census and other surveys was expected to be announced this week by the Trump administration. But the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, which sets standards for this type of data for all federal agencies, was silent on Friday, which OMB had said was the deadline for an announcement. [NPR]

It’s called perjury. An email sent during the transition by President Trump’s former deputy national security adviser, K.T. McFarland, appears to contradict the testimony she gave to Congress over the summer about contacts between the Russian ambassador and Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn. [NY Times]

A conservative operative trumpeting his close ties to the National Rifle Association and Russia told a Trump campaign adviser last year that he could arrange a back-channel meeting between Donald J. Trump and Vladimir V. Putin, the Russian president, according to an email sent to the Trump campaign. Russia, he wrote, was “quietly but actively seeking a dialogue with the U.S.” and would attempt to use the N.R.A.’s annual convention in Louisville, Ky., to make “‘first contact.’” [More NY Times]

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has asked Deutsche Bank to share data on accounts held by U.S. President Donald Trump and his family, a person close to the matter said on Tuesday. [Reuters]

Why is a presidential advisory panel on elections operating in such secrecy? This guy is on Trump’s voter fraud commission and he’s forced to sue it to find out what it’s doing. [WaPo]

Why is it always churches and church leaders that are the worst people? Those in leadership at a Lexington church that is being sued over allegations of misconduct by its pastor said in a Facebook post Friday that the discord in the church is being led by a small group of “agitators” who are trying to “cloud minds and breed dissension.” [H-L]

Republican senators have just voted for their version of the Trump tax scam legislation, a huge giveaway to the super-wealthy. By doing so, they have brought their overlords — the billionaire donor class — one step closer to their longstanding goal of dismantling Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. [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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There’s A Hepatitis Outbreak In Kentucky

A supervisor at a Western Kentucky coal mine has been fined $2,000 for falsifying a safety-inspection record. Daniel Couch Jr. also was placed on probation for two years, according to a court record. [H-L]

A group of about a dozen U.S. State Department officials have taken the unusual step of formally accusing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson of violating a federal law designed to stop foreign militaries from enlisting child soldiers, according to internal government documents reviewed by Reuters. [HuffPo]

William McKee lunged between two men who were fighting. “Don’t do this here; there are children,” he said, standing within eyesight of families gathered at Shawnee Park last Thanksgiving. [C-J/AKN]

Jacksonville’s enforcement of pedestrian violations raises concerns that it’s another example of racial profiling. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office issues hundreds of pedestrian citations a year, drawing on an array of 28 separate statutes governing how people get around on foot in Florida’s most populous city. [ProPublica]

It was a busy Monday night in Berea as teachers, students, parents and administrators welcomed the newest “pirate” to captain Berea Community Schools. [Richmond Register]

After wrangling through the night, the 23rd conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change wrapped up early Saturday with modest accomplishments, paving the way to complete by next year the rules that will set the Paris agreement in motion. [NY Times]

The Boyd County Sheriff’s Department will increase its presence in north Boyd by creating a substation in Westwood. [Ashland Independent]

Now some nations are finding that even if they are frustrated by Donald Trump’s Washington, they can still prosper from robust relations with the California Republic and a constellation of like-minded U.S. cities, some of which are bigger than European countries. [WaPo]

Republican House leaders Wednesday announced that “procedural hurdles and a lack of cooperation by at least two people have hindered progress” of an investigation into charges of sexual harassment against former Speaker Jeff Hoover and three other Republican lawmakers. [Ronnie Ellis]

The United States in July 2019 will end a special status given to about 59,000 Haitian immigrants that protects them from deportation after a devastating 2010 earthquake, senior Trump administration officials said on Monday. [Reuters]

Kentucky health officials say they are seeing a dramatic rise in hepatitis A cases compared to recent years. The Kentucky Department for Public Health has identified hepatitis A with cases in multiple counties in Kentucky. [WFPL]

The entire world is laughing at Alabama and the United States. [BBC]

This will end poorly. Sam Gaskins is official in his bid to be a U.S. congressman, having filed to run for 1st District representative Wednesday in Frankfort. [H-L]

A former Justice Department official says that one of Donald Trump’s picks for a federal judgeship, Thomas Farr, did not tell the Senate Judiciary Committee the truth about his role in a notorious Senate campaign that tried to confuse and intimidate minority voters. [HuffPo]

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Reminder: Ethics Aren’t A Thing In KY

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]

Even as nearly 70 major U.S. city and county police forces have begun outfitting their officers with body cameras, departmental policies limit the cameras’ ability to bring accountability and transparency to law enforcement, according to a study published Tuesday. [HuffPo]

Alison Grimes should get Jim Higdon added to her committee posthaste. And medical marijuana should obviously be a thing in Kentucky. [C-J/AKN]

Democratic leaders are increasingly confident that they’ll win back the House in 2018. [The Hill]

In a move that President Michael Benson called a “calculated risk,” the Eastern Kentucky University Board of Regents approved a tuition freeze for the 2018-19 academic year after a request from the university president Wednesday afternoon during a regular session. [Richmond Register]

More than 800,000 people signed up for Obamacare individual health insurance plans in the second week of open enrollment, U.S. government health officials said on Wednesday, bringing the total number of sign-ups to nearly 1.5 million so far. [Reuters]

More children live in deep poverty in three of five Northeast Kentucky counties than five years ago, according to Kentucky Youth Advocates, a non-profit child advocacy organization. [Ashland Independent]

The US House of Representatives will require anti-sexual harassment training for all members of staff, House Speaker Paul Ryan has announced. [BBC]

Matt Bevin’s stupid stunt that attempted to gut the Education Professional Standards Board has been kicked square in the nuts. [Ronnie Ellis]

After the financial crisis in 2008, the Obama administration turned one of the banking industry’s friendliest regulators into one of its toughest. But that agency is now starting to look like its old self — and becoming a vital player in the Trump administration’s campaign to roll back regulations. [NY Times]

Profiting from the imprisonment of humans is anti-christian and about as immoral as possible. So of course Kentucky Republicans and John Tilley are into it. [WFPL]

Meetings he had with the Russian ambassador during the campaign. Campaign-related conversations he had with the Russian ambassador. Shutting down campaign aide George Papadopoulos after Papadopoulos suggested then-candidate Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin get together. [WaPo]

This is just stupid. No, Lexington won’t become the largest city in the United States with citywide gigabit internet. It won’t even be the largest city in the state. [H-L]

Around half of the world’s household wealth is in the hands of the richest 1 percent of adults, according to a study published Tuesday by the financial services company Credit Suisse. [HuffPo]

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