Another Gut-Wrenching Kentucky Statistic For Your Tuesday Morning

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Lexington’s Urban County Planning Commission will hold one of its first meetings Thursday on the 2018 Comprehensive Plan, a document that will guide growth and development for five years. [H-L]

Dozens of Democratic members of Congress are planning to boycott President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20, saying they can’t bring themselves to welcome a man to the White House who ran such a divisive and prejudiced campaign ― and insulted their colleague, Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.). [HuffPo]

Kentucky has twice the U.S. rate of drug-dependent babies. So of course mouth-breathing Republicans like Bob Stivers and Matt Bevin want to kill the Affordable Care Act. [C-J/AKN]

More than 60 percent of Americans would like to see the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s powers preserved or strengthened under incoming President Donald Trump, and the drilling of oil on public lands to hold steady or drop, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Tuesday. [Reuters]

Bernheim Forest is growing. The arboretum and research forest’s most recent acquisition is 162 acres of forest and farmland immediately adjacent to the property in Bullitt County. [WFPL]

Matthew Olsen, a senior national security official in both Democratic and Republican administrations, says the ongoing conflict between President-elect Trump and the U.S. intelligence community poses grave risks. [ProPublica]

Owners of a proposed medical waste facility detailed their business plans and were met with a barrage of questions from concerned residents during a public forum Monday at the Carter County Justice Center. [Ashland Independent]

Donald Trump used to regularly give press conferences. They were free-form events, bits of political performance art that dominated the news and helped the presidential hopeful win the Republican nomination. [BBC]

School based decision making councils presented information from school improvement plans to the Rowan County Board of Education on Monday, Jan. 9 and Tuesday, Jan. 10. [The Morehead News]

The Germans are angry. The Chinese are downright furious. Leaders of NATO are nervous, while their counterparts at the European Union are alarmed. [NY Times]

Improvements to the 619.2 miles of road the county government is responsible for maintaining were among the items Barren County Judge-Executive Micheal Hale highlighted in the annual update on what’s happening in county government Friday. [Glasgow Daily Times]

We shouldn’t be surprised anymore. There’s apparently no depth too low for Donald Trump to sink in his unpresidented attacks on anyone who challenges him. And Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) certainly did that, citing Russian interference in the election and questioning the legitimacy of Trump’s presidency. [WaPo]

The Coalition for the Homeless says it needs volunteers to conduct its annual homeless count in Louisville this month. [H-L]

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Monday night renewed his calls on the Office of Congressional Ethics to launch an investigation into potential violations of the STOCK Act by Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the department of Health and Human Services. [HuffPo]

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Republicans Will Face Scrutiny On A Level They’ve Never Anticipated And Appear To Be Clueless About That Reality

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The federal prosecutor who pursued criminal convictions of former agriculture commissioner Richie Farmer and other Kentucky public officials is resigning. [H-L]

A federal judge in Texas on Saturday issued a court order barring enforcement of an Obama administration policy seeking to extend anti-discrimination protections under the Affordable Care Act to transgender health and abortion-related services. [HuffPo]

Of course Matt Bevin’s crew of mouth-breathers (yes, all of you staffers are garbage people if you choose to work for that bigot while having other employment options) are continuing their anti-environment revisionist history tour. It’s nonsense like this that will guarantee Bevin’s place in history will rank far below people like Steve Nunn, Richie Farmer, Ernie Fletcher. [C-J/AKN]

“What’s going on, Daddy?” asked my 6-year-old son. It was the morning of Nov. 12, a Saturday — or “Dadurday” at my house — and we were in my pickup truck, headed to a family outing. [ProPublica]

The state Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC) announced Tuesday it has signed an agreed order with Advanced Disposal Services Blue Ridge Landfill Inc. regarding the illegal dumping in 2015 of low-level, technologically enhanced, naturally occurring radioactive material (TENORM) at the landfill near Irvine. [Richmond Register]

Donald Trump conned the media on climate. His meetings with Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio are not the story. [ThinkProgress]

It took nearly 100 years for Republicans to gain control of the Kentucky House of Representatives. It took a whole lot less time for them to enjoy the privileges of the majority and for Democrats to suffer some of the slights of being in the minority for the first time since 1921. [Ronnie Ellis]

Three former White House press secretaries sounded various alarms about the president-elect and the possible pitfalls in his relationship with the media in a panel conversation with Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” [Politico]

If passed by legislators, family court will begin in Rowan County in 2022. A proposed judicial redistricting plan for district and circuit courts will be presented to state legislators in early 2017 when the General Assembly meets in regular session. [The Morehead News]

Between 1999 and 2014, drug overdose deaths in the United States nearly tripled. In 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 47,055 deaths from accidental drug overdoses. Opioids were implicated in 28,647 of them, 60.9 percent of the total. [NY Times]

The Republicans’ “new majority” in the Kentucky House of Representatives wasted little time Tuesday moving on key legislative priorities like right-to-work, prevailing wage and abortion. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Donald Trump is set to inherit an uncommon number of vacancies in the federal courts in addition to the open Supreme Court seat, giving the president-elect a monumental opportunity to reshape the judiciary after taking office. [WaPo]

Screw poor women! Screw the poors! Sluts should pay the price! Right? That seems to be the Republican way of life in Kentucky – it’s their mantra. Just wait til these Republicans start to experience what it’s like to really be in power – exposure to public scrutiny on a scale that’s been previously unfathomable. Women would not be allowed to get an abortion in Kentucky if they are more than 20 weeks pregnant under a controversial bill filed Tuesday on the first day of the state’s 2017 law-making session. [H-L]

It’s fascinating to watch someone who refuses intelligence briefings claim that intelligence he hasn’t even received or reviewed is bogus. What’s more fascinating/terrifying? That ignorant buffoon is about to be your president. [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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HAHAHA Julian Carroll HAHAHAHAHA

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How to know Kentucky Democrats are still dead and will remain dead: They selected Julian Carroll as a leader. Sorry for the lack of a pee alert. Saved this one a few days because it was too hilarious. [H-L]

President-elect Donald Trump has tapped Rep. Ryan Zinke to become the next interior secretary. [HuffPo]

The majority of students who are sent to Jefferson County Public Schools’ two behavior alternative schools are black, even though black students make up only 36 percent of the district’s overall population. [C-J/AKN]

Mortality due to substance abuse has increased in Appalachia by more than 1,000 percent since 1980. Deaths from diabetes, blood and endocrine diseases also increased in most counties in the United States during that time. [FiveThirtyEight]

Rep. Rita Smart, D-Richmond, who lost her re-election bid by 76 votes to Republican C. Wesley Morgan, told the Madison County Elections Board on Thursday that she has learned of polling errors that could have affected her race and the race for Richmond City Commission. [Richmond Register]

Fox News analyst Monica Crowley, Donald Trump’s pick to be senior director of strategic communications for the National Security Council, repeatedly pushed an unfounded conspiracy theory that claimed Hillary Clinton’s aide Huma Abedin has ties to Islamic extremists. [CNN]

When I was in school our report cards listed grades in subjects we were taking and one additional category — “conduct.” [Ronnie Ellis]

The Law and Justice Party rode to power on a pledge to drain the swamp of Polish politics and roll back the legacy of the previous administration. One year later, its patriotic revolution, the party proclaims, has cleaned house and brought God and country back to Poland. [WaPo]

The Morehead State University Board of Regents approved a new nursing degree and heard a report on fall enrollment at Friday’s quarterly meeting. [The Morehead News]

ExxonMobil successfully lobbied against a bill that would have made it harder for the next president to lift sanctions against Russia, clearing the way for the oil giant to restart a program worth billions of dollars if Donald Trump eases those restrictions as president. [Politico]

A team of biologists from various state and federal agencies have been working to relocate beds of mussels on the Green River over a two-week period. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The U.S. intelligence community will soon disclose an estimate of the number of Americans whose electronic communications have been caught in the crosshairs of online surveillance programs intended for foreigners, U.S. lawmakers said in a letter seen by Reuters on Friday. [Reuters]

About 3,500 former Daymar College students in Kentucky will begin receiving restitution checks totaling $1.2 million, Attorney General Andy Beshear’s office announced Wednesday. [H-L]

As President-elect Donald Trump’s economic team forms, it continues to be highly favorable to a key billionaire hedge fund donor who backed his candidacy when most on Wall Street wouldn’t touch him. [HuffPo]

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Now The Horsey Set Is Getting Nervous

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What will Donald Trump’s presidency mean for Thoroughbred racing? After all, Kentucky’s horse industry could never get out of the starting gate without the immigrants he demagogued as “criminals” and “rapists” during the campaign. [Tom Eblen]

Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for secretary of state, has expressed skepticism over the United States’ sanctions against Russia, as his company stands to reap enormous profits if they are lifted. [HuffPo]

If you think this is bad, you’d be surprised to learn that many in Eastern Kentucky rely on wells that are literally poison. Deep in the hills of Appalachian Kentucky is a tiny, lone wolf water system that didn’t test for lead or other contaminants for decades – leaving residents in the dark about whether their water is safe to drink. [C-J/AKN]

A group that gave more money to one of President-elect Trump’s fundraising efforts than any other political action committee failed to disclose its donors before Election Day and exceeded caps on contribution amounts. [ProPublica]

A year and one day after his inauguration, Republican Gov. Matt Bevin said much was accomplished in his first year and said he’s advised legislative leaders in his own party to be patient as Republicans attempt to pass a long pent-up legislative agenda. [Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump’s leading candidate for secretary of state, ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, would accelerate the president-elect’s collision course with Congress over his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin and raise new questions about Putin’s role in the election. [Politico]

So of course Frankfort will continue to cut funding. An outside panel has concluded that Kentucky’s social service system is “grossly underfunded” as the state’s child protection system struggles with the large number of children whose parents are abusing drugs. [AP/State Journal]

Religious minorities in the United States are far more likely to have attended college or a vocational school than members of the Christian majority, according to a review of census and survey data from 151 countries released on Tuesday that found wide gaps in education among followers of the world’s major religions. [NY Times]

A transgender man fired from GE Appliances in Louisville can sue for race and gender discrimination, according to a federal court ruling late last month. [WFPL]

The US is sending 200 more military personnel to help fight the Islamic State group in its Syrian stronghold of Raqqa, the US defence secretary says. [BBC]

Defeated in the Nov. 8 general election by 98 votes, Madison County School Board member John Lackey has filed suit seeking to have his opponent, Samantha Burford, disqualified. [Richmond Register]

The Dallas Police and Fire Pension System’s board has halted withdrawals from a deferred retirement plan following a lawsuit by the city’s mayor, who claimed withdrawals were accelerating the $2.7 billion pension system’s descent into insolvency. [Reuters]

A couple of years ago, I read a story in a British newspaper about Yiwu, China, where 600 factories churn out 60 percent of the world’s Christmas decorations, most of them synthetic, cheap and cheesy. [Tom Eblen]

Thousands of civilians remained trapped in eastern Aleppo on Tuesday, fighting for their lives as pro-government forces moved to regain control from rebel groups. [HuffPo]

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Another Bad Week For Both UofL & UK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conspiracy Loons Are Alive & Well

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University of Louisville’s accrediting agency has placed it on probation, citing Gov. Matt Bevin’s interference with the independence of the university’s board of trustees and the employment of its president. [C-J/AKN]

Matt Bevin held a private reception Monday afternoon for non-merit, or politically appointed, state managers that was privately funded. His press office declined to answer questions about the purpose of the event, its location, who paid for it, how many people attended and if all non-merit employees were invited. [H-L]

Donald Trump’s pick for attorney general said in 2002 that federal judges shouldn’t read too much into the Constitution. [HuffPo]

Struggling to provide for themselves and their growing family, George and Katrina Ellis found themselves on the brink of homelessness several years ago when they lost their rental home and couldn’t find another they could afford. [C-J/AKN]

U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who is charged with desertion for walking away from his combat post in Afghanistan in 2009, has asked President Barack Obama for a pardon, the White House said on Saturday. [Reuters]

For the first time in more than two years, the People’s Clinic is asking its supporters to resume making annual gifts. [The Morehead News]

Donald Trump has called climate change a “hoax” and said he plans to unburden American industries from Obama-era requirements to limit emissions of carbon dioxide and the other greenhouse gases causing the planet to warm. [ProPublica]

The Kentucky State Parks are looking to fill the state park manager’s position at Barren River Lake State Resort Park in the Lucas community of Barren County. [Glasgow Daily Times]

On Tuesday night, American voters showed strong support for measures to increase public transportation projects throughout the United States. [ThinkProgress]

Madison County students will have to wait a little longer for a new vocational technical facility. [Richmond Register]

Hospitals have long been reluctant to share with patients their assessments of which nursing homes are best because of a Medicare requirement that patients’ choices can’t be restricted. [NPR]

While many may not understand what CAReS is all about, those who have been a recipient call them lifesavers. [Ashland Independent]

Yep, this is happening, the conspiracy loonies are acting out. It’s what people like Scott Jennings, Matt Bevin and Rand Paul have spent years enabling. Shaken by weeks of death threats and online attacks fueled by a bizarre conspiracy theory, the independent business owners on this block of Connecticut Avenue in Northwest Washington gathered at Terasol restaurant just after Thanksgiving to discuss what to do. Though they had repeatedly reported the harassment to District police and the FBI, the abuse had only intensified. [WaPo]

The University of Louisville says a global professional services firm has been selected to do an in-depth audit of the school’s fundraising foundation. The university said Monday that the selection of Alvarez & Marsal Disputes and Investigations LLC was made by an oversight committee that includes members of the UofL Board of Trustees and the UofL Foundation’s Board of Directors. [H-L]

The Pakistani government on Wednesday released a description of a phone call between Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and U.S. President-elect Donald Trump that gave global media and Trump-watchers a lot to chuckle about. [HuffPo]