People Like Bob Stivers Have No Business Making Decisions For Lexington And Louisville

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Think the Republican Party of Kentucky has your best interests at heart? Here the Republicans are voting to allow more nepotism in your school districts. [H-L]

Much has been made of the monetary cost of Donald Trump’s proposed border wall. Trump himself has cited wildly differing estimates. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Nazi-Enabler) recently said that the wall would cost $12 billion to $15 billion. Some experts have cited numbers far higher. But the wall’s true cost surpasses even the biggest numbers being discussed. There’s upkeep, of course — hundreds of millions of dollars per year will be needed to maintain the 1,000-mile barrier. There are other expenses, too, some of them intangible and difficult to quantify. [HuffPo]

If Greg Fischer really wants to know if lenders discriminate, he already has a ton of the info at his disposal. He can examine bank data to see if area banks are investing and lending in the areas they’re legally required to invest and lend in. Spoiler alert: He has people on his staff who already know this data by heart because I helped them compile it in late 2014. [C-J/AKN]

Mr. Sater, a longtime business associate of Mr. Trump’s with connections in Russia, was willing to help Mr. Artemenko’s proposal reach the White House. Mr. Trump has sought to distance himself from Mr. Sater in recent years. If Mr. Sater “were sitting in the room right now,” Mr. Trump said in a 2013 deposition, “I really wouldn’t know what he looked like.” But Mr. Sater worked on real estate development deals with the Trump Organization on and off for at least a decade, even after his role in the stock manipulation scheme came to light. Mr. Sater, who was born in the Soviet Union and grew up in New York, served as an executive at a firm called Bayrock Group, two floors below the Trump Organization in Trump Tower, and was later a senior adviser to Mr. Trump. [NY Times]

The Highlands Museum and Discovery Center has received a $1,000 grant from the Kentucky Local History Trust Fund, the Kentucky Historical Society announced Thursday. [Ashland Independent]

On its own, Trump’s relationship with Sater might be written off (albeit not terribly plausibly) as simply a sleazy relationship Trump entered into to get access to capital he needed to finance his projects. Whatever shadowy ties Sater might have and whatever his criminal background, Trump has long since washed his hands of him. (Again, we’re talking about most generous reads here.) But now we learn that Sater is still very much in the Trump orbit and acting as a go-between linking Trump and a pro-Putin Ukrainian parliamentarian pitching ‘peace plans’ for settling the dispute between Russia and Ukraine. [TPM]

After Sater got busted, somehow he managed to offer his services to the FBI and supposedly the CIA to work on their behalf purchasing stinger missiles and other weapons on the then wild and free-wheeling Russian black market. [More TPM]

The Daniel Boone National Forest is celebrating 80 years as part of America’s national forest system. [Richmond Register]

Teen suicide attempts in the U.S. declined after same-sex marriage became legal and the biggest impact was among gay, lesbian and bisexual kids, a study found. [AP]

Kentucky regulators have approved a coal ash landfill for a power plant in Trimble County, advancing a project that’s been on hold for several years as regulators worked around concerns about the area’s geology and proximity to neighbors. [WFPL]

After she lost her son, Tonda Thompson dreamed of a baby in a washing machine. She’d stuffed in dirty clothes and closed the door. The lock clicked shut. Water rushed in. Then she saw him, floating behind the glass. Frantic, she jabbed at a keypad on the machine, searching for a code to unlock the door. [The Nation]

Motions from both sides of a lawsuit against Barren County Sheriff Kent Keen – and responses to those motions – have been filed in Barren Circuit Court and are awaiting the judge’s rulings. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Most Republicans in Washington are biting their tongues when it comes to Donald Trump, fearful that any candid criticisms of the new president could invite a backlash from their constituents or, potentially worse, provoke retribution from the commander in chief himself. Mark Sanford is not like most Republicans in Washington. [Politico]

This is why you shouldn’t trust bloated (no, not their physical appearance), backwater, out-of-touch xenophobes to make decisions for metro areas like Lexington and Louisville. The Lexington Urban County Council and several Lexington neighborhoods are opposing a state House bill that they say would make it more difficult for neighborhoods to fight proposed real estate developments in the courts. [H-L]

NASA continues to steadfastly tweet urgent climate change information despite a critical president and GOP efforts to force the agency to stick to space and forget the Earth. The Trump administration aims to largely restrict NASA to focus on its space missions and abandon climate change research, which is a part of its Earth Sciences Division. [HuffPo]

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RPK Denies Trying To Take Louisville Over, Egg Still Visible On Its Face

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Kentucky Retirement Systems, the state pension agency that officially faces an $18.1 billion unfunded liability, might be in far worse financial shape than previously thought. That means taxpayers could be on the hook for much more money to honor pension commitments to about 365,000 public employees. [John Cheves]

Donald Trump’s administration labeled The Associated Press’s reporting on a leak “100 percent false” on Friday morning, only to acknowledge less than an hour later that the story was based on a real document. [HuffPo]

If you think this isn’t a Republican attempt to take over in Louisville, you’re probably someone who believes the moon landing was faked. [C-J/AKN]

From the Department of Things Ken Ham and Scott Jennings wouldn’t understand… Zircons are an ordinary gemstone found in granites from continental crust and are an incredibly accurate way to measure ages on the order of hundreds of millions to billions of years old. [Forbes]

Remember a decade or so ago when we started uncovering and reporting on corruption involving Jim Ramsey and the University of Louisville? And when Ramsey, et al (mostly Democrats tied to Jack Conway), started coming for us? Funny how that works. Turns out we were right all along. [WFPL]

Twice as many people now work in solar than in the coal industry, according to a new survey from the nonprofit Solar Foundation. [Fast Company]

If you happen to be on the campus of Harvard University this spring and you run into former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, don’t be surprised. Beshear will be on campus as part of the Richard L. and Ronay A. Menschel Senior Leadership Fellows at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. [Business First]

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation is pursuing at least three separate probes relating to alleged Russian hacking of the U.S. presidential elections, according to five current and former government officials with direct knowledge of the situation. [Reuters]

After the ease with which it passed out of committee on Thursday — with no nay votes — there wasn’t much surprise Friday when the full Senate unanimously passed the latest Kentucky education reform bill. [Ronnie Ellis]

In light of the stunning events of the past week, the question is not whether the Trump administration’s ties to the Russian government need to be investigated immediately and fully — clearly they do. It’s who will be in charge of that investigation? The Republicans in Congress can’t decide whether they would rather act like a responsible, independent branch or just the friendly legislative arm of the White House. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House oversight committee, would sooner investigate a cartoon character named Sid the Science Kid than any allegations relating to President Trump. [NY Times]

From the Department of Things That Make You Go Hmm… Ashland is ranked eighth as one of the top places to retire in Kentucky, according to a SmartAsset study. [Ashland Independent]

Betsy DeVos criticized teachers at a D.C. school she visited and they took her ass to school. This is the backward, bigoted, out-of-touch woman Scott Jennings and the Republican Party of Kentucky are continually praising. [WaPo]

Tim Conley is a con artist who just won’t quit. He and his family hid behind Jesus – as if that’s okay – while he robbed Morgan County blind as people were suffering and mourning deaths after a tornado that wiped out West Liberty. He deserves to remain in prison until 2021. And honestly, deserves to be shunned for the rest of his time on earth. [H-L]

Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) gave a staunch defense of the free press Saturday, noting that attacks on the media are “how dictators get started.” [HuffPo]

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Robin Webb Must Fear Losing Her Seat

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A few Kentucky lawmakers want payday loan stores to face much heavier penalties when they violate consumer-protection law. [John Cheves]

The Senate Judiciary Committee’s top Republican and Democrat are together pressing Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director James Comey to provide the committee with more details on former national security adviser Michael Flynn and his contacts with Russian officials. [HuffPo]

This should come as a surprise to no one who has followed Greg Fischer’s incompetent service as mayor. The Metro Corrections Department is trying to figure out why jail officials held an inmate for five months after his sentence was up and then turned him over to federal immigration authorities. Ironically, the handover Monday came only an hour after activists delivered more than 2,000 signatures urging Mayor Greg Fischer to designate Louisville a sanctuary city. [C-J/AKN]

Trump’s repeal of bipartisan anti-corruption measure proves he’s a fake. The man who ran as an outsider and champion of the common man plays the stooge for industry. So of course people like Scott Jennings live for the orange clown. [Rolling Stone]

The state Senate Education Committee gave a hearty — if not quite unanimous — amen to a bill sponsored by Sen. Robin Webb, D-Grayson, which would allow school districts to offer an elective Bible literacy course. Robin Webb ought to be kicked square in the ass – for other reasons, too – but this ought to be reason enough for someone (Democrat or Republican) to oust her in the next election. [Ronnie Ellis]

Funny how you don’t hear anything about stuff like this from the Kentucky GOP or Dildo Trump – even though it’s been reported by Fox. A Russian spy ship has moved 40 miles closer to the U.S. shore and is now sitting 30 miles off the coast of Groton, Connecticut. [Salon]

Do you smell the looming disaster? A significant re-working of Kentucky’s curriculum standards and assessment and evaluation of schools appears headed to easy passage after the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Mike Wilson, R-Bowling Green, got most of the major stakeholders on board. [More Ronnie Ellis]

Michael Flynn was at a beachside resort in the Dominican Republic, a stretch of sand and sun that he and his wife had visited for years, when he took a few moments out of their post-election vacation for a call with the Russian ambassador to the United States. [NY Times]

Housing authorities across the country with Housing Choice Voucher Programs could receive less administrative funding this year to pay staff for managing the programs, and it is possible less families will also be served through the programs. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn denied to FBI agents in an interview last month that he had discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with that country’s ambassador to the United States before President Trump took office, contradicting the contents of intercepted communications collected by intelligence agencies, current and former U.S. officials said. [WaPo]

Max Wise is another one of those guys who had trouble as a kid getting girls to be interested in him. Lawmakers have given initial approval to a plan to “defund” Kentucky’s Planned Parenthood locations in Lexington and Louisville by putting the organization at the back of the line for federal family planning dollars. [WFPL]

Several White House staffers were dismissed Thursday morning after failing FBI background checks, according to sources familiar with the matter. [Politico]

Here’s more of the Republican Party of Kentucky standing strong against the working class. A proposal to update Kentucky’s workers’ compensation program for the first time in about two decades makes changes sought by insurers and businesses but contains no adjustments sought by worker advocates and unions. [H-L]

Trump lashed out at news outlets for reporting that several of his campaign aides were contacting Russian intelligence agencies while those agencies were working to hurt Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and help Trump win ― but danced around direct questions about whether he knew of such contacts. [HuffPo]

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Rand Paul Is Now Cool With Corruption As Long As It Involves Republicans

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Some Kentucky State University faculty and alumni are pushing back after the school’s board of regents announced Friday that their $120,000 search for a new president had produced two finalists with controversial backgrounds and one with less than two years experience in higher education. [Linda Blackford]

U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies have confirmed that President Donald Trump’s campaign aides and associates had constant contact with Russian intelligence officials before the election, directly contradicting public statements made by top administration officials. [HuffPo]

Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids in Kentucky and Indiana last week led to more than 100 arrests, sparking fear in some immigrant communities that President Donald Trump’s promised crackdown on illegal immigration was ramping up. [C-J/AKN]

The Senate’s second-ranking Republican and other GOP senators are calling for an investigation into connections between President Donald Trump and Russia, and want former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn to testify. [CNN]

A lack of cell phone reception in parts of Boyd County has led the fiscal court to seek a state grant that would provide more radios for county departments. [Ashland Independent]

Donald Trump knew for weeks that national security adviser Michael Flynn had misled the White House about his contacts with Russia but did not immediately force him out, an administration spokesman said on Tuesday. [Reuters]

The Kentucky state Senate unanimously condemned the “dealing in death” by heroin traffickers Tuesday by classifying trafficking in any amount of heroin sales as a Class C felony. [Ronnie Ellis]

It’s hard to find anyone in Washington who knows border issues better than Alan Bersin. His unique perspective combines years of frontline law enforcement experience with academic knowledge and intellectual interest in the historical, economic and social forces that are at work at the borders of the United States, especially the U.S.-Mexico line. [ProPublica]

Here’s your No Shit, Sherlock moment of the week. Kentucky’s state auditor has released a report detailing problems with last year’s rollout of Benefind, the new online portal for state benefits like health care, food stamps and cash assistance. [WFPL]

Democrats hold no levers of power in Washington, but they have pulled out their megaphones to demand that Mr. Flynn’s resignation open the first chapter — not the last — of investigations into contacts between Trump aides and Moscow — during and after Mr. Trump’s campaign for president. [NY Times]

Oh, how brave of them. You know half of them don’t have the guts to fight racism and homophobia in the real world. The Kentucky state Senate unanimously went on record Tuesday opposing a rally by an outside white nationalist rally scheduled for April 29 in Pikeville. [More Ronnie Ellis]

To call this past weekend in the Trump administration a garbage fire would be a disservice to garbage fires, which at least shed light and get rid of garbage. [WaPo]

To understand one of Lexington’s hot-button issues, you must appreciate the fact that what some people praise as “urban revitalization” others criticize as “gentrification.” [Tom Eblen]

Not only is Rand Paul a tiny, racist twat, he’s now cool with Republican corruption. Rand Paul (R-Nazi Sympathizer) said Tuesday that probing the Trump administration’s ties to Russia after the resignation of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn would be “excessive,” and that Republicans shouldn’t be wasting time investigating members of their own party. [HuffPo]

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RPK Is Now More Corrupt Than KDP And That Should Scare The Shit Out Of You

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This has got to be the dumbest shit from racists like Kevin Bratcher. Though, keep in mind that he’d do just about anything if he thought it would curry favor with uneducated folks who are easily frightened. Even more dumb than his freakout with Jeff Hoover over transgender kids. After a long debate and a protest from Black Lives Matter members that resulted in a lawmaker being called a racist, the House passed a bill that would cover first responders under Kentucky hate crime law. [H-L]

National security adviser Michael Flynn resigned late Monday, following revelations that he discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with that country’s ambassador in the days surrounding their imposition ― and weeks prior to Donald Trump’s inauguration. [HuffPo]

A few Republican state senators want to eliminate required sexual harassment training for lawmakers and cut back on the ethics-related instruction they receive, citing concerns about the effectiveness of those initiatives. Sen. John Schickel, R-Union, is sponsoring Senate Bill 152, which would repeal existing requirements for lawmakers to go through sexual harassment and workplace harassment training. It also would require Kentucky legislators to sit through only 30 minutes of ethics-related instruction each January instead of the three hours currently mandated by state law. [C-J/AKN]

Infuckingsane. A visitor to President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida posted a Facebook photo with a person he says is responsible for carrying the black bag that contains the nuclear launch codes for the president of the United States. [The Hill]

A legislative committee voted Friday to defer a decision on new rules that would change the way coal ash landfills are permitted in Kentucky. [WFPL]

A lobbying firm working for Saudi Arabia paid for a room at Donald Trump’s Washington hotel after Inauguration Day, marking the first publicly known payment on behalf of a foreign government to a Trump property since he became president. [Politico]

Kentucky has the highest rate of hepatitis C infection in the nation. However, few counties across the Commonwealth have implemented needle exchange programs. [Richmond Register]

Everything is puppies and rainbows. These are chaotic and anxious days inside the National Security Council, the traditional center of management for a president’s dealings with an uncertain world. [NY Times]

Molly Maynard is a soup beans and cornbread in a quiche kind of woman. Her love of all things Appalachia burns deep — deep down inside of her very soul — but so does a passion for New York City and all things theater that makes the city that never sleeps one of the most entertaining places on earth but also one of the most heartbreaking. [Ashland Independent]

U.S. immigration officers last week arrested more than 680 people in the country illegally, the homeland security chief said on Monday, in a broad enforcement action that alarmed immigrant rights groups. [Reuters]

Building and bonding were two of several issues discussed during a meeting of the Barren County Board of Education on Thursday evening in the media center at Barren County High School. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Louisville in particular looks like the place where Google Fiber will prototype its next generation architecture, using a mix of fiber optics for the internet backbone and fixed wireless for the last mile to connect customers. [ZDNet]

Waste Services of the Bluegrass has appealed a decision that it must apply for a zoning change to expand the Central Kentucky Landfill in Scott County. [H-L]

Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta criticized the FBI on Wednesday for how it responded to the Democratic National Committee’s hacked emails, which U.S. intelligence agencies say Russia stole and gave to WikiLeaks in order to tip the election to President Donald Trump. [HuffPo]

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Republicans? And Education? HAHAHA

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The feud between Gov. Matt Bevin and Attorney General Andy Beshear continued Friday as Bevin accused Beshear of shirking his duty and Beshear publicly responded to a request for information filed by the governor that sought details about the inner workings of Beshear’s office. [H-L]

The Republican National Committee celebrated what would have been President Abraham Lincoln’s 208th birthday on Sunday by gifting him with a quote that he likely never said. [HuffPo]

Whiny ass titty baby, Damon Thayer, still thinks it’s a great idea to keep kids out of school for longer. You know what these Republican manbabies should be doing? Funding public education, not starving it with sharters (not a typo) and keeping kids out of class. [C-J/AKN]

Remember the recent reports about how President Trump is still using his unsecured Android phone? Well, that situation just got scarier now that the White House’s chief information security officer reportedly no longer has a job. [Gizmodo & ZDNet]

Jesus Christ, now they’re allowing fucking Sadiqa Reynolds to speak on charter schools and Jefferson County Public Schools? This woman is a train wreck and has the nerve to act as if she isn’t privileged as hell. This is borderline insane. [WFPL]

US intelligence officials have confirmed some aspects of the “Russia dossier” that rocked Washington a month ago. [Independent]

Kentucky Republicans are the most backward people in the Commonwealth. And that’s saying a lot because this is Kentucky we’re talking about. On a slow day that saw the House pass three bills, the state Senate passed a bill Friday establishing in statute the constitutional rights of students to express religious and political views in their school assignments. [Ronnie Ellis]

The FBI is investigating political activists campaigning against the Dakota Access pipeline, diverting agents charged with preventing terrorist attacks to instead focus their attention on indigenous activists and environmentalists. [The Guardian]

Kentucky Power will have a Community Outreach Workshop on Monday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Ashland Community and Technical College’s John W. Clark Training Center. [Ashland Independent]

If you don’t think this is insane, something is wrong with you or your name is Scott Jennings. The CIA won’t give intelligence to the president because it knows he and his folks will share information with Russia. [Observer]

Monday evening’s Glasgow City Council meeting is expected to bring discussion of the possibility of hiring an independent attorney to pursue the removal of three members of the Glasgow Electric Plant Board. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A White House official on Sunday attacked a U.S. court ruling that blocked President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration as a “judicial usurpation of power” and said the administration was considering a range of options, including a new order. [Reuters]

Wondering what kind of garbage Valarie Honeycutt Spears is pushing out lately? It’s talking points from Kentucky’s embarrassing Commissioner of Education pushing coal nonsense. [H-L]

People often ask me why I chose to leave my country, but as a refugee, I can tell you that seeking asylum is not a choice. [HuffPo]

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RPK Panics Over Bevin’s Insane Speech

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Bevin’s so scummy he can’t even figure out what’s going on with his lies. “The backlog is gone,” Bevin said. “And congratulations to all those who helped to make sure that that happened.” However, the backlog is nowhere near gone. [John Cheves]

In a major setback for the Trump administration, a federal appeals court on Thursday declined its urgent request to restore the controversial executive order restricting refugees and travel by immigrants from a number of Muslim-majority countries. [HuffPo]

Casey Lozier has lived on nearly every street in Pleasant Ridge. He climbed trees in his front yard on Fairfield Avenue. Settled down with his young bride on Halcyon. And celebrated Christmas Eve at his late mother’s house on Butler. [C-J/AKN]

He’s too stupid to comprehend how the three branches of government work. Trump lashed out at an appeals court decision on Thursday rejecting his administration’s case to reinstate his travel ban, calling the ruling “a political decision.” [The Hill]

Calling his bill “a work in progress,” Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, told the Senate Local and State Government Committee on Wednesday it will set up a process to protect universities from the sort of dysfunction suffered by the University of Louisville Board of Trustees. [Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump’s “wall” along the U.S.-Mexico border would be a series of fences and walls that would cost as much as $21.6 billion, and take more than three years to construct, based on a U.S. Department of Homeland Security internal report seen by Reuters on Thursday. [Reuters]

The Republican Party of Kentucky wishes it could gut Louisville but it’s going to fail every time it tries. Democratic leaders on the Louisville Metro Council are criticizing an effort from state lawmakers to reconfigure the power structure of the city’s government gives too much control to those outside the city. [WFPL]

Yes, Democrats can be as stubborn as Mitch McConnell. If Chuck Schumer and his Senate Democrats choose a path of obstructing President Trump’s agenda, they will have learned from the best. [ProPublica]

Perhaps trying to digest news from Gov. Matt Bevin’s Wednesday evening State of the Commonwealth speech calling for more tax revenue, it was a relatively slow day for state lawmakers Thursday. [More Ronnie Ellis]

Trump loves to set the day’s narrative at dawn, but the deeper story of his White House is best told at night. [NY Times]

The Edmonton City Council has amended its alcohol ordinance so the expiration dates of local and state alcohol licenses correspond. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Trump made a whopper of a claim on Monday, suggesting that the media is deliberately ignoring terrorist attacks. The kernel of the idea appears to have come from — or at least been propagated by — one of his favorite news sources: the conspiracy theory website InfoWars. [WaPo]

Jeff Hoover said many of the 64 Republicans in the Kentucky House of Representatives have little interest in raising taxes. “I think it would be problematic for a lot of our members at this point,” said Hoover, R-Jamestown. “But we have a tremendous financial problem facing this state in the form of funding our pension systems … it’s something that obviously we’re going to look at when he gets the proposal to us and it’s a tough issue.” [H-L]

In his first call as president with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump denounced a treaty that caps U.S. and Russian deployment of nuclear warheads as a bad deal for the United States, according to two U.S. officials and one former U.S. official with knowledge of the call. [HuffPo]

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