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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500,000 Kentuckians To Lose Health Care

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Two things: It’s the Republican Party of Kentucky, not Kentucky Republican Party – but Valarie’s not exactly a stickler for details, as you already know. And Jonathan Miller and Brooke Parker representing Fayette County Public Schools? Are you flipping kidding? HAHAHAHA. You should see the documents Miller initially produced to try to get Parker hired at FBT. [H-L]

President-elect Donald Trump repeatedly called out the publication of unverified allegations that he has ties to Russia as “fake news” during Wednesday’s press conference, his first in nearly six months. [HuffPo]

You already knew Matt Bevin was to blame for the University of Louisville shenanigans. But here’s more proof. [C-J/AKN]

President-elect Donald Trump is dodging serious questions raised by a blockbuster CNN story that top U.S. intelligence officials presented Trump with documents including Russian claims that they have “compromising” information about the president-elect. Instead, he is trying to turn the conversation into a discussion about ethics in political journalism, and some in the press are playing along, helping the president-elect avoid accountability. [Media Matters]

On Wednesday, those that help Richmond job seekers find employment and assist with unemployment claims were told they themselves would soon be working elsewhere. [Richmond Register]

500,000 Kentuckians stand to lose access to health care. But that’s not exactly something Republicans care about in the Commonwealth. [Click the Clicky]

Kentucky’s 51 career centers will be reorganized into 12 hubs and eight existing satellite offices effective Feb. 16, according to an emailed statement from Education and Workforce Development Secretary Hal Heiner. [Glasgow Daily Times]

President-elect Donald Trump aims to open up federal lands to more energy development, tapping into a long-running and contentious debate over how best to manage America’s remaining wilderness. [Reuters]

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools on Wednesday informed the University of Louisville in writing that it remains out of compliance with requirements of the accrediting agency and will lose accreditation if it fails to address the concerns within two years. [Ronnie Ellis]

President-elect Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday that he has “NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA – NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!” Trump, however, has a long history with Russia, trying repeatedly to build luxury properties in Moscow, holding a beauty pageant there and benefiting from heavy investments from Russians in his properties around the world. [WaPo]

Gynnya entered Lincoln Village Regional Juvenile Detention Center in Hardin County on Jan. 10, 2016, and was pronounced dead the next morning. [WFPL]

A recent reworking of language concerning climate change on a Wisconsin government website could be replicated under a Trump administration. [ProPublica]

The Republican Party of Kentucky will NEVER take the time to listen to real Kentuckians who are most impacted by their backward legislation. Never have, never will. [H-L]

President-elect Donald Trump announced Wednesday that he would place his two sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, in charge of his multibillion-dollar Trump Organization. [HuffPo]

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Matt Bevin Spent $500,000 On THAT?!

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The Education and Workforce Development Cabinet is pulling its employees out of 31 unemployment centers across Kentucky in an effort to save millions of dollars. [H-L]

A defiant Donald Trump on Wednesday made clear he will continue benefiting financially from his businesses, denied reports that Russians had acquired compromising information about him, and said that Russian help for his candidacy was not a bad thing. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin spent $500,000 of taxpayer funds to reveal what everyone already knew to be true. Way to go, Bevin Misadministration, you’ve officially shit the bed. [C-J/AKN]

Near the start of his second term, President Obama had granted clemency at a lower rate than any president in recent history. He had pardoned 39 people and denied 1,333 requests. He had used his power to commute a prisoner’s sentence just once. [ProPublica]

This is a story about a virus that infects a fungus. The fungus causes white-nose syndrome — a disease that’s affecting bats in 29 states, including Kentucky. Bats with white-nose syndrome act strangely; they often lose the fat reserves that are necessary to survive the hibernating winter months, then leave caves in the winter and die. [WFPL]

The top federal ethics official slammed says Trump’s conflicts of interest plan is ‘meaningless.’ [Politico]

Candy Barr, R-Sixth District, has been named the chair of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Monetary Policy and Trade for the 115th Congress. [Richmond Register]

The opioid epidemic killed more than 33,000 people in 2015. What follows are stories of a national affliction that has swept the country, from cities on the West Coast to bedroom communities in the Northeast. [NY Times]

Boyd County Commissioner Tom Jackson said a statewide judicial redistricting plan would “create a logjam in the justice system” of Boyd County, and the fiscal court denounced the contentious proposal during its first meeting of the year. [Ashland Independent]

As honeymoons go, Donald Trump’s wasn’t much to write home about. He was voted in as the most unpopular president-elect in modern history and got slightly less unpopular in the weeks that followed, as the goodwill flowed. Even then, though, he clearly remained the most unpopular president-elect in modern history. Again, that was the honeymoon. And now it’s over. [WaPo]

Matt Bevin’s administration Wednesday released a summary of its investigation into the administration of his predecessor, Democrat Steve Beshear, claiming politically appointed state workers were pressured into making campaign contributions to Democratic candidates and causes. [Ronnie Ellis]

With a final call of his campaign mantra “Yes We Can,” President Barack Obama urged Americans on Tuesday to stand up for U.S. values and reject discrimination as the United States transitions to the presidency of Republican Donald Trump. [Reuters]

Latent, self-hating homosexual Martin Cothran is stil complaining that Jack Conway didn’t waste taxpayer dollars fighting FOR homophobia. [H-L]

Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) said Wednesday that he fears President-elect Donald Trump’s attorney general pick will roll back civil rights. [HuffPo]

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That Big Republican Rush Job Was Fun

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It was reported Sunday afternoon that three persons had been killed and a Rowan County sheriff’s deputy wounded at a residence on Island Fork Road about 15 miles north of Morehead. [The Morehead News]

The shouts of angry union workers echoed through the state Capitol on Saturday as Kentucky’s Republican-majority legislature gave final approval to bills limiting the power of labor unions to collect dues and banning abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. [H-L]

The head of the Office of Government Ethics expressed alarm Saturday that the Senate would begin considering President-elect Donald Trump’s nominees for cabinet positions before they’ve been fully vetted for conflicts of interests. [HuffPo]

Legislation that would abolish the University of Louisville’s board of trustees and allow Gov. Matt Bevin to appoint a brand-new one for the second time during his first term in office is on its way to the governor’s desk. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have scheduled several Senate confirmation hearings for Trump’s cabinet picks — as well as Trump’s first (and likely only) press conference of the transition — on a single day next week. The strategy seems designed to ensure that the media is unable to devote sufficient scrutiny to each story and to reduce the possibility of an educated public responding. [Media Matters]

Hundreds of union members and supporters crammed the state capitol Saturday crying to be heard before Republican lawmakers passed legislation they say will boost the economy but which labor believes is crafted to weaken unions. [Ronnie Ellis]

They love playing the Rand Paul plagiarism game – just like the ditz at WKYT in Lexington. Monica Crowley, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to lead communications for the National Security Council, plagiarized parts of her 2012 book. [The Hill]

Republicans showed off their newly empowered dominance in Kentucky during a rare Saturday session of the Kentucky General Assembly, passing a bevy of bills long-sought by their party over Democratic objections. [Ashland Independent]

First lady Michelle Obama made an impassioned case for embracing diversity and welcoming all religious groups on Friday in a not-so-veiled message to her husband’s successor two weeks ahead of Inauguration Day. [Reuters]

At least four new alcoholic beverage control licenses were issued in Barren County on Thursday and Friday – all for packaged malt beverages. Two were within the city of Glasgow and two were in unincorporated parts of the county, and the latter two started selling the product right away. [Glasgow Daily Times]

This is one of the most scandalous stories you’re going to read for a while. [NY Times]

With the University of Louisville’s accreditation in the balance, the state legislature voted on Saturday to abolish the school’s board of trustees and create a new, smaller board, much like Gov. Matt Bevin tried to do last summer. [WFPL]

Republican lawmakers in Kentucky passed a bill Saturday making it the 27th state to allow workers the right to work in union-represented shops and receive union-negotiated benefits without paying dues to the representing body. [WaPo]

Repealing two key pieces of the Affordable Care Act could cost Kentucky nearly 45,000 jobs in 2019 because of reduced federal spending, according to a new study. [H-L]

The story that Obamacare opponents tell about its enactment is that backers conceived the health insurance proposal in secret, misled the public about its provisions, and passed it without thinking through the consequences. [HuffPo]

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Republicans Are Rushing Because They Know Much Of What They Do Will Ultimately Be Reversed

Yes, reversed. Sooner or later.

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Although Republican lawmakers said they would focus in 2017 on jobs and Kentucky’s economy, the first bills to fly out of the Senate and House chambers on Thursday concerned women’s access to abortion. [John Cheves]

New research has further eroded a go-to argument from climate change deniers: that there’s been a significant slowdown, or hiatus, in global warming.
[HuffPo]

The Kentucky Senate on Thursday passed a bill to abolish the University of Louisville board of trustees and create a new system of appointing its members over objections of Democrats who said Republicans were rushing through a measure that could hurt U of L’s accreditation. [C-J/AKN]

The debts of President-elect Donald Trump and his businesses are scattered across Wall Street banks, mutual funds and other financial institutions, broadening the tangle of interests that pose potential conflicts for the incoming president’s administration. Mr. Trump has previously disclosed that his businesses owe at least $315 million to 10 companies. According to the Journal’s analysis, Trump businesses’ debts are held by more than 150 institutions. [WSJ]

The new Republican majority in the state House of Representatives voted Thursday to make Kentucky a right-to-work state and require women preparing to have an abortion undergo an ultrasound 24 hours before the procedure. [Ronnie Ellis]

Senate Democrats on Thursday demanded an ethics probe into Tom Price, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for U.S. health secretary, following a report that the fierce Obamacare critic traded in healthcare company stocks while pushing legislation in Congress that could affect those shares. [Reuters]

Kentucky lawmakers in the coming days will likely approve a measure to repeal the state’s prevailing wage law. [WFPL]

House Republicans’ push to bring back earmarks this year faces a much tougher road after the GOP’s disastrous and unsuccessful effort this week to weaken a congressional ethics watchdog. [The Hill]

Here’s a look at how media is failing miserably at educating rural Kentucky about what’s at stake with charter schools. Way to go, Morehead News, for sucking harder than necessary. [The Morehead News]

The US has identified the Russian agents behind alleged hacking ahead of the presidential election won by Donald Trump in November, reports say. [BBC]

A statewide judicial redistricting plan that would strip Boyd County of two of its four judges but provide a family court judge was decried on Thursday by the Ashland Board of City Commissioners. [Ashland Independent]

Amid tension over the president-elect’s vision for intelligence agencies, R. James Woolsey Jr. said he did not want to “fly under false colors.” [WaPo]

Way to go, mouth-breathing Republicans! Repealing two key pieces of the Affordable Care Act could cost Kentucky nearly 45,000 jobs in 2019 because of reduced federal spending, according to a new study. [H-L]

Much like Donald Trump, former Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson ― the Republican president-elect’s choice for secretary of state ― appears well on his way to making Sen. John McCain’s blacklist. Asked by reporters Wednesday if he would support Trump’s nomination of the oil tycoon, a friend of Russia, McCain quipped: “Sure ― there’s also a realistic scenario that pigs fly.” [HuffPo]

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Poor Kentuckians Will Suffer When Republicans Kill Health Care Reform For Their Personal Gain

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John Leach has spent the holidays wondering how he’d come up with nearly $400 a month to pay for health insurance. [H-L]

Donald Trump made the dubious claim on Twitter late Monday night that his foundation pays zero expenses and donates all of its money to charity. However, a number of reports appear to prove otherwise. [HuffPo]

The forensic accounting of the University of Louisville Foundation will not come cheap. The university’s contract with the international firm of Alvarez & Marsal Disputes and Investigations LLC calls for it to be paid a fee of $687,500 and a total amount, including travel and other expenses, of up to $897,500. [C-J/AKN]

Senate and House Republicans are headed for a clash over whether to tackle Medicare reform under President-elect Donald Trump. [The Hill]

The West Virginia county with the nation’s highest drug overdose death rate has filed a lawsuit against three national distributors of prescription painkillers and a local doctor, contending they are responsible for the county’s addiction epidemic. [Ashland Independent]

Jodie Patterson’s 3-year-old, Penelope, was brooding and angry until one day she asked her child what was wrong. [Reuters]

Once again, Kentucky ranks first for its adult smoking rates, barely inching ahead of West Virginia to take back the first place spot, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [Richmond Register]

A political action committee that backed Donald Trump’s bid for the presidency is continuing to flout campaign finance laws. [ProPublica]

Sheriff Matt Sparks told the Morehead Rotary Club Tuesday that he believes a better way is needed for county residents to look after each other, particularly those without family or friends and who live alone. [The Morehead News]

Besides the shuttering of the two compounds, administration officials announced the expulsion by Sunday of 35 unnamed Russian officials — and their families — who they said were working undercover as spies. [NY Times]

Members of the Glasgow-Barren County Industrial Development Economic Authority met Friday morning to discuss what to do about deficiencies discovered in metal panels that make up the walls of the organization’s spec building in the Highland Glen Industrial Park off New Bowling Green Road. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The career of Jeff Sessions, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for attorney general, has been shadowed by his prosecution of the “Marion Three.” Held this because it would have gotten ignored over the holidays. [WaPo]

An attorney for the family of a missing Kentucky woman has filed an appeal aimed at gaining access to the chain of custody of a 911 tape from the day the Webster County woman disappeared more than 20 years ago. [H-L]

Virtually every mental health professional I interviewed told me that they believed, with 100% certainty, that Mr. Trump satisfied the DSM criteria of this incurable illness and that, as a result, he is a serious danger to the country and the world. [HuffPo]

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