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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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]

Bevin Still Playing Games With UofL

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Jeff Hoover choked back tears as his hands gripped the podium at the Russell County Auditorium Complex. [H-L]

President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday appeared as if he never ended his campaign, attacking “the extremely dishonest media,” boasting about his “landslide” victory, and dashing speculation he might pivot and start acting like a president. [HuffPo]

HAHAHAHAHA! Here’s Al Cross behaving as if Matt Bevin is capable of thoughtful leadership. Spoiler alert: he’s not. [C-J/AKN]

President-elect Donald Trump has committed a sharp breach of protocol—one that underscores just how weird some important protocols are. [The Atlantic]

For Valentine, Caballine, and Madge, the vest is the cue that it is time to go to work. [The Morehead News]

Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein said early Sunday that she will file a lawsuit in federal court on Monday seeking a statewide recount in Pennsylvania. [The Hill]

Attorneys for Gov. Matt Bevin argue there is no need for the state Supreme Court to expedite their appeal of a lower court ruling that Bevin lacks authority to remake a university board of trustees because lawmakers can shortly ratify or reject Bevin’s actions. [Ronnie Ellis]

In the back reaches of the Dakota Access Pipeline protest camp, U.S. military veterans, armed with saws, hammers and other tools, are quietly building barracks, an infirmary and a mess hall. [Reuters]

Kentucky’s first Republican House speaker in nearly 100 years says his biggest job will be managing the expectations of the state’s restless GOP leaders 7/8— starting with the governor. [Richmond Register]

Yahima Leblanc Núñez and her husband, Pavel Reyes, were Cuban government workers when, in 2009, they plotted an escape. Five years later, after an arduous trek across Central America, including 15 days in a Mexican jail, they arrived here with two backpacks of clothes and a single tidbit of information — “Kentucky Fried Chicken” — about the state they now call home. [NY Times]

Horses trotted through Main Street pulling a sleigh full of children and parents that were celebrating Hometown Holidays, a tradition that has been repeated throughout the decade. [Ashland Independent]

Will Donald Trump really go through with all of it? It’s worth stepping back and looking at the big picture for a moment. [WaPo]

The only thing more frustrating than being a Democrat these days is being a journalist. The Gallup Poll shows that public trust in the news media is at an historic low, although we still have higher ratings than Congress. [Tom Eblen]

The House of Representatives’ Science Committee sent out a Twitter message Thursday afternoon that appears to mock “climate alarmists,” an odd and disconcerting move considering the group is tasked with overseeing the government’s role in scientific research. [HuffPo]

Yesterday Was A Flustercuck For Kentucky

Tim Longmeyer, a former secretary of the state Personnel Cabinet under former Gov. Steve Beshear, pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to bribery. [H-L]

If you run a business, are employed by one, care about the stability of the financial system, or would prefer that the U.S. economy not be needlessly thrown into disarray — a group that seems like a pretty broad coalition of voters — Cruz’s economic policy is not OK. [HuffPo]

The Independent Pilots Association, the collective bargaining unit for UPS pilots, is turning up the heat on the shipping giant by opening a strike operations center in Louisville. [C-J/AKN]

Pope Francis says a brief meeting with Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders just “good manners” and not political interference. [BBC]

Five hours after the Ashland Police Department posted a Facebook status about a recent spike in theft and burglary, officers were on the hunt for a robber downtown. [Ashland Independent]

Mitch McConnell is “increasingly optimistic that there actually may be a second ballot” at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this summer, the Senate majority leader told a Kentucky ABC affiliate over the weekend. [Politico]

People in rural areas of Appalachia are more likely to die early deaths than in other parts of the country. A big reason, researchers say, is that people in places such as Leslie County, Kentucky, or Boone County, West Virginia – both part of coalfield regions – die from drug overdoses at greater rates than the rest of the country. [Glasgow Daily Times]

If you’re a gay person surprised by the reality that most Republicans, and many Democrats, are ignoring you or politicizing you? You’re screwed up. [ThinkProgress]

Fried mushrooms, mushroom soup, mushroom hunting, and a Fungus 5K, will be just a few of the mushroom-themed items and activities sporing downtown at the City of Irvine’s 26th annual Mountain Mushroom Festival. [Richmond Register]

The Associated Press won the Pulitzer Prize for public service for reporting on abuse in the seafood industry that helped free 2,000 slave laborers, and Reuters and The New York Times shared the breaking news photography award for images of the European refugee crisis. [Reuters]

A Morehead woman was shot by accident by her son on Wednesday. [The Morehead News]

The Obama administration has made a concerted effort to improve its relationship with Mexico following Donald Trump’s call for a massive border wall and his criticism of undocumented immigrants in the United States. [The Hill]

They cover this sort of crap but ignore Montgomery County. Clark County Superintendent Paul Christy, and George Rogers Clark High School baseball coach Matt Ginter and principal David Bolen all have to take three hours of training from the Kentucky Department of Education on accounting procedures for school activity funds, according to a final report from the Kentucky Office of Education Accountability dated March 30. [H-L]

An eight-member Supreme Court appeared skeptical on Monday that President Barack Obama’s decision to defer deportation for millions of undocumented immigrants could be subject to a multi-state legal challenge in a court of law. [HuffPo]

Oh, NOW The Paper Cares About Standards

For the first time, the Kentucky Revenue Department this year is asking taxpayers to wait. Kentucky and other states are becoming more forthright, telling taxpayers they’ll have to be patient and allow time for verification before refunds are sent. [H-L]

The leaked remarks of International Monetary Fund officials suggesting the lender may threaten to pull out of Greece’s bailout are eliciting anger in Athens and could jeopardize debt negotiations. [HuffPo]

Without a national search and after considering only two internal candidates, a search committee made its recommendation for University of Louisville’s next provost, the school’s second highest-ranking officer. [C-J/AKN]

Shandra Woworuntu arrived in the US hoping to start a new career in the hotel industry. Instead, she found she had been trafficked into a world of prostitution and sexual slavery, forced drug-taking and violence. It was months before she was able to turn the tables on her persecutors. Some readers may find her account of the ordeal upsetting. [BBC]

At its regular meeting in March, Rowan Fiscal Court approved a motion to purchase a drone for emergency medical purposes. [The Morehead News]

The U.S. Supreme Court said Wednesday that the federal government cannot, before trial, seize the assets of the accused if those assets are unrelated to the crime and are needed to pay a defense attorney. [NPR]

Glasgow Water Co.’s water treatment plant at Lucas has been recognized as the top water treatment facility in Kentucky by the Kentucky Water and Wastewater Operators Association. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The wall of Republican opposition to the nomination of Judge Merrick B. Garland to the Supreme Court has been shored up by two Republican senators revoking their support for holding confirmation hearings. [NY Times]

How did Eastern Kentucky University’s “worst” student become an award-winning war reporter and a senior producer for a provocative documentary series on HBO? [Richmond Register]

President Obama is facing the very real possibility of a deadlock at the Supreme Court that guarantees his immigration actions won’t take effect before he leaves office. [The Hill]

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin has apologized to Democratic state Rep. Johnny Bell of Glasgow who was prohibited from entering a Bevin news conference Thursday. [Ronnie Ellis]

In 2010, the New York City affiliate of Habitat for Humanity received a $21 million federal grant to work on a city neighborhood hit particularly hard by the foreclosure crisis and help stabilize it. [ProPublica]

Surprise! Now the Herald-Leader cares about education professional standards! [H-L]

President Barack Obama on Friday questioned Donald Trump’s qualifications for the presidency, arguing that the businessman’s recent comments on foreign policy suggest he “doesn’t know much” about global politics. [HuffPo]

UofL’s Jim Ramsey Still Ruins Everything

A bill that would allow Kentuckians to erase from their records certain non-violent felonies and another one to create a one-form marriage license to resolve a controversy involving same-sex marriage are now headed to Gov. Matt Bevin’s desk. [H-L]

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump on Saturday questioned the United States’ protective relationship with Saudi Arabia and again accused U.S. allies of not pulling their weight in the NATO military alliance despite mounting bipartisan pressure on Trump to soften his tone. [HuffPo]

The University of Louisville’s Faculty Senate is set to discuss its views on the fate of embattled President James Ramsey behind closed doors. [C-J/AKN]

Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton on Wednesday slammed Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump over his comments on abortion. [The Hill]

This guy seems really nice. A Barren County grand jury earlier this week indicted Kevin Scott Gentry, 49, of Edmonton on a charge of criminal solicitation to murder in relation to his alleged attempt to hire someone to kill another person for $5,000. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden thought he was doing the world a public service by exposing the government’s indiscriminate mass surveillance programs. Public knowledge of these programs, however, may have a disconcerting side effect — those most likely to be put under surveillance refuse to criticize the government online. [ThinkProgress]

Morehead’s Main Street Program has been reaccredited by the Kentucky Main Street Program for the third consecutive year. Downtown Morehead Inc., received the notice earlier this month that the Kentucky Heritage Council completed its evaluation of the operation and accomplishments of Morehead’s downtown development efforts. [The Morehead News]

Arlington cemetery is considered the greatest military burial site in the US, with presidents, honoured military personnel and national heroes resting there. The Women Airforce Service Pilots, or WASPs, took to the skies for their country during WW2. One such WASP, Elaine Harmon, was a pioneer for female pilots and hoped to be buried in Arlington. [BBC]

Public college and university officials in Northeast Kentucky are unhappy but not surprised at Gov. Matt Bevin’s order cutting their budgets 4.5 percent. [Ashland Independent]

The FDA has updated the labeling for the abortion-inducing drug Mifeprex, allowing it to be taken at a lower dose and with fewer visits to the doctor’s office. [NPR]

The Richmond Planning Commission voted 5-0 Thursday evening to recommend the city commission authorize its newly re-constituted Codes Enforcement Board to levy fines of $100 to $500 for owners who operate a boarding house or group home in a neighborhood zoned for R-1 (Single Family Residences). [Richmond Register]

Some of the country’s best-known corporations are nervously grappling with what role they should play at the Republican National Convention, given the likely nomination of Donald J. Trump, whose divisive candidacy has alienated many women, blacks and Hispanics. [NY Times]

Matt Bevin and Kentucky Sports Radio host Matt Jones traded barbs Thursday night on Twitter over Bevin’s order to cut university funding. [H-L]

The sources of this story never asked for money. What they wanted was for some of the wealthiest and most powerful figures in governments and companies across the globe to be exposed for acting corruptly, and with impunity, for years. [HuffPo]

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Bullying & Budgeting Ruled The Week

A bill aimed at establishing a statewide definition of bullying in Kentucky’s public schools is headed to Gov. Matt Bevin after clearing the state General Assembly. [H-L]

What is wrong with North Carolina? The same thing that’s wrong with Kentucky. [HuffPo]

Wasn’t it fun watching the Republicans hem and haw over the budget this week? [C-J/AKN]

The chief of the independent government agency tasked with evaluating the risk that federal counterterrorism programs present to Americans’ constitutional rights is stepping down unexpectedly. [The Intercept]

The Blue Grass Army Depot has announced that seasonal destruction of dated and/or obsolete conventional (non-chemical) munitions and energetics via detonation will begin on Monday following the customary shut down of operations during the late Fall and Winter seasons. [Richmond Register]

In which liberals wring their hands and inadvertently get caught up in furthering police secrecy. [NPR]

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul spoke about government spending to a room packed full of students at a Town Hall meeting at Morehead State University on Monday. [Ashland Independent]

The FBI has managed to unlock the iPhone of the San Bernardino gunman without Apple’s help, ending a court case, the US justice department says. [BBC]

Both chambers of the Kentucky legislature have passed budgets that would settle the nearly $1 million lawsuit between Rowan Fiscal Court and the Kentucky Department of Corrections (DOC). [The Morehead News]

Spend enough time among Senate Republicans, and you’ll start to think that Miguel Estrada died for our sins. [ThinkProgress]

Glasgow City Council has rejected an amendment to an interlocal agreement changing the composition of the governing board for the Barren Metcalfe Emergency Communications Center, which manages the 911 surcharges and fees collected through phone bills. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Earlier this month Chicago voters decisively ousted Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez. The prosecutor was at the center of controversy after the release of video showing the fatal police shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald – a video that Alvarez tried to keep from public view for 13 months. Alvarez didn’t charge the officer until just before the video was released. [ProPublica]

Health officials say the number of cases of whooping cough in northern Kentucky has reached record levels recently. [H-L]

A coalition of state attorneys general announced Tuesday that they will be working together to investigate corporations who may have misled the public about climate change. [HuffPo]