McConnell Finally Meets Kentucky’s Rage

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Surprise! Matt Bevin and the Republican Party of Kentucky lied again for political gain. Automaker Volvo and Swedish officials dispute Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s recent claim that Volvo refused to consider locating a production plant in Kentucky in 2015 because the state did not have a so-called “right-to-work” law at the time. [H-L]

Multiple reports this week have cast the administration of Donald Trump as being increasingly at odds with U.S. intelligence agencies, including the National Security Agency and the FBI, just weeks into his presidency and mere days after the fall of national security adviser Michael Flynn. [HuffPo]

About 1,000 Kentuckians hoping to confront U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell about policies and appointments of President Donald Trump caught up with him Tuesday at an Anderson County Chamber of Commerce luncheon, with a few of them getting inside American Legion Post 34 to fire questions at him. [C-J/AKN]

Former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt early Sunday mocked President Trump after Trump pointed to an incident “last night” in Sweden to defend his travel ban. “Sweden? Terror attack? What has he been smoking? Questions abound,” Bildt tweeted. [The Hill]

It’s eye roll time! The Berea City Council voted Tuesday evening to begin its regular meetings with the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag and an invocation by a member of the Berea Ministerial Association. [Richmond Register]

Leaked audio reveals Donald Trump invited COUNTRY CLUB MEMBERS to sit in on staff interviews. And people like Scott Jennings and the RPK are still defending this con artist. [Politico]

As many as 1,000 unhappy protesters greeted U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell when he arrived at American Legion Park on Tuesday to address the local Chamber of Commerce. [Ronnie Ellis]

It’s with a whiff of desperation that President Trump insists these days that he’s the chief executive Washington needs, the decisive dealmaker who, as he said during the campaign, “alone can fix it.” What America has seen so far is an inept White House led by a celebrity apprentice. [NY Times]

A grassroots effort is underway to establish a homeless shelter in Barren County. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A CIA officer resigned over Trump. Edward Price worked at the CIA from 2006 until this month, most recently as the spokesman for the National Security Council. [WaPo]

The Republican Party of Kentucky is trying to make it impossible to use solar energy in the Commonwealth. And they’re cowards. Jared Carpenter didn’t even have the guts to answer questions about the bill he sponsored – likely at the behest of the Kentucky Coal Association and the group of power conglomerates in Kentucky. It’s shady and offensive. [WFPL]

Geoff Burr spent much of the last decade as the chief lobbyist for a powerful construction industry trade group. Burr sought to influence a host of regulations of the Department of Labor, opposing wage standards for federal construction contracts and working against an effort to limit workers’ exposure to dangerous silica dust. [ProPublica]

A Senate bill filed Thursday would make law enforcement agencies withhold any information that could be used to identify the victims of sex offenses, domestic violence, criminal abuse, stalking or human trafficking, raising First Amendment concerns for news organizations trying to cover such crimes. There’s no reason JRA’s bill can’t be cleaned up to be amenable to the press while protecting, at least in part, victims. [H-L]

A federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday that a Maryland ban on assault-style rifles and large-capacity magazines isn’t subject to the Constitution’s right to keep and bear arms. [HuffPo]

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How Quickly Mitch McConnell Forgets About (Ignores) Environmental Disasters

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Here comes elderly old queen, Mitch McConnell, fighting to allow coal pollution into your streams. Another Martin County disaster in 3, 2… [H-L]

Trump accidentally proved why Black History Month is necessary. [HuffPo]

Suck on that, Republican Party of Kentucky and Matt Bevin. A federal appeals court has ruled Kentucky must pay relatives who serve as foster parents in the same manner it pays adults who are licensed as foster parents and paid a daily rate. [C-J/AKN]

Under the circumstances, it would be nice to think that Trump is capable — at least in principle — of responding in a calm, well-informed, and effective manner. But based on the evidence available in front of us, it’s extremely difficult to be confident that he is. [Vox]

The average cost of a gunshot victim’s emergency room or hospital stay in Kentucky was $10,000 in 2014. That’s according to a report out from the Urban Institute. [WFPL]

On Tuesday, The Chronicle of Higher Education reported that Jerry Falwell Jr., president of Liberty University, would lead a Trump administration task force charged with deregulating American higher education. [NY Times & CHE]

Smoking causes an estimated $1.92 billion in annual health costs in Kentucky, but the state is spending about $2.4 million on programs to prevent kids from smoking and helping smokers quit, according to a new report. [Richmond Register]

A leaked copy of a draft executive order titled “Establishing a Government-Wide Initiative to Respect Religious Freedom,” obtained by The Investigative Fund and The Nation, reveals sweeping plans by the Trump administration to legalize discrimination. [The Nation]

Half of the lights were turned off in Daren Johnson’s classroom at the Barren County Area Technology Center on Friday, and his students were typing diligently on their respective computers. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The Trump administration wants to revamp and rename a U.S. government program designed to counter all violent ideologies so that it focuses solely on Islamist extremism, five people briefed on the matter told Reuters. [Reuters]

Build Ashland Community Clean Project volunteers endured the frigid temperatures Saturday morning to clean up litter. [Ashland Independent]

First, reflect on the cruelty of President Trump’s decision on Friday to indefinitely suspend the resettlement of Syrian refugees and temporarily ban people from seven predominantly Muslim nations from entering the United States. It took just hours to begin witnessing the injury and suffering this ban inflicts on families that had every reason to believe they had outrun carnage and despotism in their homelands to arrive in a singularly hopeful nation. [NY Times]

Killing Kentucky. The U.S. Congress voted to void President Barack Obama’s rule on mining debris. [H-L]

Senate Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) pushed forward two of President Donald Trump’s Cabinet picks Wednesday morning, advancing their nominations despite a Democratic boycott. [HuffPo]

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Bevin-Beshear Slap Fight Getting Fun

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A Lexington consultant and longtime Democratic Party insider pleaded guilty Wednesday in a federal corruption case that had snared a top state official earlier, admitting he paid kickbacks totaling more than $800,000 to get work for his company. [H-L]

Donald Trump, furthering his lie Wednesday that he lost the election’s popular vote because millions cast ballots illegally, attacked the author of a study that failed to support fraud claims as “groveling.” [HuffPo]

Former Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer’s girlfriend has dropped her legal appeal and paid a $5,000 fine for a violation of state government’s ethics code that alleged she filed false time sheets in a state job where she did little or no work. [C-J/AKN]

This should startle you. The Trump administration is preparing executive orders that would clear the way to drastically reduce the United States’ role in the United Nations and other international organizations, as well as begin a process to review and potentially abrogate certain forms of multilateral treaties, officials said. [NY Times]

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Trump had just returned to the White House on Saturday from his final inauguration event, a tranquil interfaith prayer service, when the flashes of anger began to build. [WaPo]

If you missed the latest hot garbage from Scott Jennings, you’ll want to get on it ASAP. Think about how fun it’ll be to watch him wring his hands in embarrassment as the rest of this Trump mess plays out. [Page One]

Read leaked drafts of 4 White House executive orders on Muslim ban, end to DREAMer program, and more. Apparent Trump administration drafts suggest a harsh crackdown on immigrants. [Vox]

A $20,800 grant from the WHAS Crusade for Children has allowed Bon Secours Kentucky Health System to launch the OLBH Whole Child Project. [Ashland Independent]

The Netherlands is seeking to set up an overseas abortion fund to counteract Donald Trump’s recent ban against funding international groups which give women information about terminations. [The Independent]

A panel of experts sought to quell fears and answer questions regarding the Madison County Health Department’s proposed syringe-exchange program Tuesday night during a community forum held at Eastern Kentucky University’s Whitlock Building. [Richmond Register]

California released new measures to fight climate change within minutes of Donald Trump being sworn in as U.S. president on Friday, signaling the state’s commitment to be the nation’s environmental steward under an administration that has questioned the reality of global warming. [Reuters]

What, you needed more evidence that Matt Bevin is a giant pussy whose religion is one of perverse politics and he tries to shove it down your throat with your taxpayer dollars? Matt Bevin claimed Wednesday that Attorney General Andy Beshear has broken his promise to defend House Bill 2, a law approved earlier this month that requires doctors to present the results of an ultrasound to women before they get an abortion. [H-L]

One of President Donald Trump’s first major executive actions on immigration policy is facing massive political blowback and will almost certainly crash and burn under the Constitution once courts begin to scrutinize the fine print. [HuffPo]

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McConnell’s Head Is Poking Out Again

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And mouth-breathers wonder why so many people want to end the death penalty. After nearly 30 years, a Cincinnati man’s murder conviction has been dismissed. William “Ricky” Virgil left a courtroom in northern Kentucky on Friday as a free man. [H-L]

Mitch McConnell’s hypocrisy knows no bounds. Just like the sanctimonious bullshit from his now-wealthy kept boys who used to work with him know no decency. [HuffPo]

You can thank Matt Bevin’s shady-ass team for this. Child abuse findings voided secretly in Kentucky. [C-J/AKN]

President-elect Donald Trump’s skepticism of the Intelligence Community’s findings on Russian election interference has raised fears among experts that Trump will bypass intel analysts and demand that his personal team conduct its own analyses of raw data. [The Hill]

The Berea College Appalachian Fund on Tuesday announced a $5,000 grant to the New Liberty Baptist Sunday School Convention, which operates a shelter for homeless families in Richmond. [Richmond Register]

President Barack Obama said on Friday that criticism from the left wing of his own Democratic Party helped feed into the unpopularity of Obamacare, his signature healthcare reform law. [Reuters]

Carol Allen hopes the long-anticipated renovations will begin on the Highlands Museum and Discovery Center within the next two weeks. The museum received a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant from the state government in December of 2015 for upgrades that will allow the building to be compliant with the American Disabilities Act. [Ashland Independent]

Meeting in private, enthused activists promise that the growing Republican dominance in state government will unleash a wave of laws to cut business taxes, restrict unions and expand school privatization. [ProPublica]

An amendment to an existing state law that would allow cities with a population of less than 20,000 and counties that do not have a city with a population greater than 20,000 to impose a regulatory license fee on the gross receipts of alcoholic beverage sales has been proposed to the state senate. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Here’s your regular reminder that Rand Paul thinks he can get the entirely of the House and Senate to go along with something. Sorry for the lack of a pee alert. [Politico]

The state Supreme Court has agreed to take up Gov. Matt Bevin’s appeal of a ruling that said he can’t overhaul of the University of Louisville Board of Trustees. [WFPL]

The intelligence agencies’ report on the Russian intervention in the American presidential election portrays it as just one piece of an old-fashioned Soviet-style propaganda campaign. [NY Times]

When politicians want to settle scores these days, they often pick up their phones and tweet insults at each other. Things were more dangerous in Henry Clay’s time. [Tom Eblen]

Anxiety about repealing Obamacare without a replacement got a lot more visible in the U.S. Senate on Monday evening, as a half-dozen Republican senators called publicly for slowing down the process. [HuffPo]

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Frankfort In 2017 Will Be Insanity

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Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign chairman, already convicted of conspiracy and charges related to false campaign reporting, is now accused of violating his probation and trying to help arrange a $2 million illegal contribution to a super PAC supporting President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign. [H-L]

The year-end stocks rally on the heels of the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president was built on expectations of reduced regulations, big tax cuts and a large fiscal stimulus. [HuffPo]

This is what Republicans want – for there to be no accountability when poor people get swindled by the wealthy. Forty years ago, as a lobbyist for the Insurance Institute of Indiana, Frank Cornelius helped persuade the state legislature to pass what was acclaimed as a pioneering reform of medical malpractice law — a $500,000 cap on damage awards and elimination of all damages for pain and suffering. [C-J/AKN]

Yes, the Bevin crew is wreaking havoc. Read this scandalous coverage of the insurance shenanigans going on in Bevinistan. [Public Integrity]

An Ashland attorney is one of five appointed as administrative law judges within the Department of Workers’ Claims by Gov. Matt Bevin on Wednesday. [Ashland Independent]

The FBI kept a close watch on the activities of Muhammad Ali in 1966, with a particular focus on his links to the Nation of Islam, a black movement that the agency viewed as subversive, according to archival documents posted on the FBI website. [Reuters]

Republicans are poised to use their newly attained capitol dominance to make Missouri the 27th right-to-work state prohibiting mandatory union fees. That is unless Kentucky’s recently crowned GOP majorities can beat them to it. [Richmond Register]

Donald Trump’s newly tapped White House communications director, Jason Miller, backed out of the job following claims that he had an affair with another transition official, according to three sources close to the Trump transition. [Politico]

After a three-year investigation by Kentucky State Police Vehicle Investigations, KSP Post 8 and the Rowan County Sheriff’s department, a Rowan County grand jury returned multiple indictments on three area residents. [The Morehead News]

Flying at 30,000 feet, the powerful radar aboard this Air Force jet peered deep into Syrian territory, hunting for targets on the ground to strike in the looming offensive to seize Raqqa, the Islamic State’s capital. [NY Times]

Kobyn Shugart, 10, of Glasgow wasn’t interested in receiving any toys or other presents this year. “All I really wanted for Christmas was for Sable to come home,” he said. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Donald Trump late Friday publicly praised Russian President Vladimir Putin for attacking Trump’s former Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. [WaPo]

The Christmas holiday across Lexington and Central Kentucky 100 years ago was one of hope, celebration, temperance and sorrow. [H-L]

China has lodged “stern representations” with the United States after President Barack Obama signed into law a U.S. defense policy bill that suggests a plan to conduct high-level military exchanges with self-ruled Taiwan. [HuffPo]

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Woah, Johnny Boone Got Arrested

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The Kentucky Association of Counties and the Kentucky League of Cities don’t want Gov. Matt Bevin or the Kentucky General Assembly to mess with the well-funded, solvent state County Employees Retirement System. [H-L]

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump called on Thursday for the country to expand its nuclear weapons capabilities until the world “comes to its senses” – a signal he may support costly efforts to modernize the aging U.S. nuclear arsenal. [HuffPo]

This is the only thing people in the city know/think about the mountains of rural Kentucky. [C-J/AKN]

An 11-year-old transgender Ohio child must be allowed to continue to use the girls’ restroom while her school district appeals a court ruling in her favor, a U.S. appeals court ruled Thursday. [Reuters]

The parent company of Kentucky Electric Steel filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Thursday. [Ashland Independent]

ProPublica has sued the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, claiming the agency failed to promptly process a request for correspondence with a consultant about Agent Orange, a toxic defoliant used during the Vietnam War. [ProPublica]

Um, only a few places? Talk about a gross understatement. This is what happens when people from inside the Watterson try to write about the rest of the Commonwealth without ever having been anywhere. There are only a few places where alcohol sales are still completely banned in the Bluegrass. [Business First]

While Democrats vowed to fight the nomination of a climate denier to head up the Environmental Protection Agency, Republican congressmen and fossil fuel industry leaders celebrated on Thursday. [ThinkProgress]

As temperatures fall and Wednesday being the first day of winter, individuals and families who have fallen on hard times and found themselves without a place to lay their heads, may be looking for shelter from the cold. [Richmond Register]

Across Appalachia, coal miners are suffering from the most serious form of the deadly mining disease black lung in numbers more than 10 times what federal regulators report. [NPR]

The former leader of the Cornbread Mafia was arrested in Canada on Thursday. U.S. marshals picked up John “Johnny” Robert Boone in a small town outside Montreal after an extensive fugitive investigation. [WLKY]

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Matt Bevin continues to prove he’s a turd burglar who is willfully ignorant of the laws of the Commonwealth and this nation. You can’t fix that kind of stupid. [H-L]

A senior United Nations official warned on Thursday that thousands of people evacuated from rebel-held areas of Aleppo after a crushing government offensive could suffer the same fate in their new place of refuge outside the city. [HuffPo]

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More On Matt Bevin’s Orange Hero

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A bio-diesel leak has affected a creek in northern Scott County near Sadieville. A cleanup firm hired by Love’s Travel Stop on Porter Road has pumped out over 60,000 of gallons of water from Little Eagle Creek, which included about 3,000 gallons of biodiesel, according to a county official. [H-L]

This brand of stupid is rampant among Kentucky Republicans – and it’s spreading among uneducated Democrats. In a revealing Thursday morning segment on CNN, Donald Trump supporters claimed that 3 million people voted illegally in the recent presidential election and that President Barack Obama had urged non-citizens to cast ballots. Both claims are false. [HuffPo]

Pitching his speech to a supportive Kentucky audience, U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnel (R-Senile Old Racist, Apparently) said that the outcome of the presidential election signals a “comeback for rural America” at the annual meeting of the Kentucky Farm Bureau on Saturday in Louisville. [C-J/AKN]

This is what you call a whiny ass titty baby. The guy Matt Bevin thinks is some kind of hero. President-elect Donald Trump early Sunday blasted the latest episode of “Saturday Night Live,” saying the show is “unwatchable.” [The Hill]

Members of the Morehead State Presidential Search and Screening Advisory Committee met Thursday morning to discuss active candidates for the position. [The Morehead News]

Frank Kendall, the Pentagon’s chief arms buyer, said on Saturday he was hopeful that a proposed three-year block buy of Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jets, expected to generate large savings, would go ahead. “I can’t say what’s in the final budget, but I’m very hopeful that the block buy will proceed as planned, Kendall told Reuters at the annual Reagan National Defense Forum in southern California. [Reuters]

Kobyn Shugart, 10, of Glasgow is asking for donations to help his dog Sable, a three-and-a-half-year-old chocolate Labrador Retriever. [Glasgow Daily Times]

It is hard to find anyone more passionate about the idea of steering public dollars away from traditional public schools than Betsy DeVos, Donald J. Trump’s pick as the cabinet secretary overseeing the nation’s education system. [NY Times]

Here’s your new eye roll moment. It appears something very big is lurking at the Pinnacles in Berea. [Richmond Register]

Journalist Masha Gessen has spent years reporting on Vladimir Putin’s rule in Russia. She has written that the focus on Russian influence over now President-elect Donald Trump has been overstated and the result of a failure of imagination: the inability to imagine that the president would profoundly break with the norms of our country’s political discourse and practices. [ProPublica]

Two cornerstone donors for the Paramount Arts Center’s late-year fundraising campaign gave with an eye to the past and the future. [Ashland Independent]

The fate of humanity is in the hands of a denier who pledged to kill domestic and global climate action and all clean energy research. [ThinkProgress]

John David and Mary Helen Myles’ house is a classic example of what people think of when they hear the phrase, “my old Kentucky home.” But as his new book explains, these iconic buildings are rapidly disappearing. [H-L]

President-elect Donald Trump likes to put forward lies and outlandish conspiracy theories as though they were statements of fact. One of his most loyal surrogates offered a puzzling defense of this on Thursday, arguing that even Trump’s most pernicious statements aren’t really lies, because facts themselves no longer exist. [HuffPo]