That Big Republican Rush Job Was Fun

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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]

So go buy the book about Johnny Boone ASAP. [Click Here]

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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Here’s Your Corrupt KDP Schadenfreude

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Get fucked, R.J. Palmer and Dale Emmons. Being forced to pay douchebag Ralph Alvarado a mountain of cash is great fun to watch. You all deserve each other – all three of you. As one of the few people to be able to speak to settling (in my favor!) a defamation suit I filed against prominent Democrats in Kentucky, I think this is hilarious. Just icing on the cake to watch all of these corrupt hacks die a slow death while repeatedly getting kicked in the shady, deceitful gut. Kentucky will be better when that generation finally dies off. [AP/H-L]

A bipartisan group of lawmakers has urged McConnell to take the investigation out of the Senate Intelligence Committee and open a broader select panel to probe cyberwarfare threats from Russia and other U.S. adversaries including Iran and China. [HuffPo]

If you thought this one guy was going to save the University of Louisville from a decade of scandal, you haven’t been paying attention. [C-J/AKN]

Yahoo Inc’s secret scanning of customer emails at the behest of a U.S. spy agency is part of a growing push by officials to loosen constitutional protections Americans have against arbitrary governmental searches, according to legal documents and people briefed on closed court hearings. [Reuters]

Dave Eldridge, a 35-year newspaper executive, has been appointed publisher of the Corbin Times-Tribune and The London Sentinel-Echo. [Richmond Register]

Steven Mnuchin has made a career out of being lucky. The former Goldman Sachs banker nominated to become Donald Trump’s treasury secretary had the perspicacity to purchase a collapsed subprime mortgage lender soon after the financial crisis, getting a sweet deal from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Now, if he’s confirmed, he will likely be able to take advantage of a tax perk given to government officials. [ProPublica]

Raceland councilman Matt Abrams didn’t resign, and the Raceland City Council took no action in the wake of Abrams’ Thanksgiving arrest on multiple drug charges. [Ashland Independent]

The Trump transition team has asked for a list of Energy Department employees and contractors who attended United Nations climate meetings and worked on key Obama administration climate policies, including the social cost of carbon. [ThinkProgress]

Warren County set a state record in 2016 for wheat yield per-acre, and Barren County also had a strong year based on federal estimates. [Glasgow Daily Times]

After all the allegations of rampant voter fraud and claims that millions had voted illegally, the people who supervised the general election last month in states around the nation have been adding up how many credible reports of fraud they actually received. The overwhelming consensus: next to none. [NY Times]

The chair of Kentucky’s workgroup formulating potential changes to the commonwealth’s oil and gas regulations says he believes state laws adequately protect drinking water resources, even with the release of more details from the federal Environmental Protection Agency. [WFPL]

We need the jobs that actually exist in our towns to pay us wages high enough for us to afford basics we can live on. [WaPo]

Federal conservation officials have rejected appraisals of two Fayette County farms at the center of a $300,000 disagreement between Lexington and the federal government. [H-L]

Donald Trump wrapped up his post-election “thank you” tour on Saturday with celebratory geysers from water cannons, greetings from hoop-skirted Southern belles and some gloating over the TV newscasters who had expected him to lose. [HuffPo]

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Year Ten Of Crazy UofL Scandals

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How is it Linda Blackford can get a story like this done with ease and her colleague, Spears, can’t be bothered to get a story about Montgomery County even ten percent correctly? Also, UK is apparently just as corrupt as UofL. [H-L]

A majority of American voters favor delaying the Electoral College vote scheduled for Monday until electors can be fully briefed on Russian interference in the election. [HuffPo]

What? UofL is accused of cheating? Surely not! [C-J/AKN]

It’s just politics, right, Republican Party of Kentucky? You made your Cheeto Jesus and his homophobic administration. Now you get to answer for every atrocity they force on the LGBTQ community in the coming years. [Boston Globe]

Come Monday, 538 members of the esoteric Electoral College will gather in statehouses across the country and 306 of them will vote to finalize Donald Trump’s election as the 45th President of the United States. [Ronnie Ellis]

This doesn’t make the Republican Party of Kentucky mouthbreathers/coal shills happy. Solar power is becoming the world’s cheapest form of new electricity generation. [Fortune]

Most of the laid-off AK steelworkers mingling in the local union hall after filing unemployment paperwork had one question for the chapter president. [Ashland Independent]

There’s so much to nitpick in this “coal country” story. Just so much. [FastCoExist]

Nearly 20 area residents attended a special called Fiscal Court meeting Friday morning to voice their displeasure regarding the county’s potential adoption of the Kentucky state building code. [The Morehead News]

Donald Trump’s selection of Rep. Mick Mulvaney to become his budget chief could represent a major shift for the incoming administration on tackling entitlement spending. [The Hill]

A $10.7 million expansion of Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort at Mammoth Cave on Mammoth Cave Road was announced earlier this week. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Granny McConnell got his butt handed to him by Cheeto Jesus, apparently. The courtship of Ryan Zinke began months before the end of the presidential race. A Republican congressman from Montana and a former Navy SEAL commander, Mr. Zinke was approached over the summer by Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, about running for the Senate in 2018. [NY Times]

The University of Louisville has agreed to pay Dr. David Dunn, the former vice president of health affairs, $1.15 million to leave the school. [H-L]

President-elect Donald Trump and some of Silicon Valley’s most powerful executives met at his Manhattan tower on Wednesday, a summit convened to smooth over frictions after both sides made no secret of their disdain for each other during the election campaign. [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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It’s Friday, So Better Start Drinking!

Don’t get too full of yourself, Jeff. Because I’ve spent the past decade surrounding you while the Democrats sat around twiddling their thumbs. Jeff Hoover, a Jamestown attorney who has been in the state House since 1997, will be elected Kentucky’s first Republican speaker of the House of Representatives in 95 years and only the third in Kentucky’s history. [H-L]

And so, the so-called “unthinkable” has happened. Donald Trump, the racist, sexist, xenophobic candidate of the Republican alt-right, has been elected President of the United States. [HuffPo]

It took Angel Cruz Rodriguez three tries to escape gangs and hopelessness in El Salvador. [Chris Kenning]

For all of the ways the 2016 presidential election was extraordinary – particularly Donald Trump’s repeated assertion that the vote was being “rigged” – the actual balloting on Tuesday was largely without serious incident. [ProPublica]

It didn’t take long for the new Republican state House majority to choose their Speaker, turning to the man who led them in the political wilderness for 16 years — Jeff Hoover of Jamestown. [Ronnie Ellis]

The world gasped in collective disbelief on Wednesday following the victory of Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential race, with apprehensive allies seeking to put a brave face on a result they had dreaded and American adversaries exulting in an outcome they see as a potential turning point in global affairs. [WaPo]

From now until Nov. 18 the Ashland Police Department will be accepting canned foods as currency to pay for parking tickets. [Ashland Independent]

Donald Trump’s presidency is going to be a disaster for the white working class. Thank goodness half of them are too stupid (you voted for him) to realize it. [Vox]

Last Saturday night, dozens of people showed up with flowers, balloons and to lend a helping hand at the United Airlines terminal at Louisville International Airport. They came to show support for Abraham Aluel. [WFPL]

The Russian government had contact with advisers to Donald J. Trump during the American presidential campaign, one of the country’s top diplomats said Thursday. [NY Times]

Burley tobacco producers are in full-swing stripping this year’s crop, but finding the right time to start stripping tobacco has been a difficult thing to do because of the dry weather the area has had. [Glasgow Daily Times]

US President-elect Donald Trump has said it was a “great honour” to meet President Barack Obama for transition talks at the White House. [BBC]

Protesters and supporters of Donald Trump tangled on Western Kentucky University’s campus as demonstrations against the president-elect were held in Kentucky. [H-L]

“What should I say to my students after the election if Trump wins?” a principal asked me recently. Good question. What should we tell our children? [HuffPo]

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THE SHITSHOW IS ALMOST OVER!

Shitbirds of a feather flock together. In early October, Gov. Matt Bevin stood in the Capitol Rotunda, a few short steps from his office, and recorded a video because he had caught wind of a Democratic news conference that would call his record on education funding into question. [H-L]

Shortly after the first presidential debate, former Obama adviser David Axelrod said on CNN that the commander in chief “can send armies marching and markets tumbling.” [HuffPo]

Rand Paul and Lexington Mayor Jim Gray went to friendly territory on Saturday as they looked for final votes heading into Tuesday’s election. [C-J/AKN]

Hillary Clinton is one state away from losing the presidential election, FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver said Sunday. [The Hill]

You can thank human tire fire and homophobic trainwreck Matt Bevin for this. Kentucky took a tumble in the latest rankings of the states’ business climates by Site Selection magazine. [Business First]

As the youngest members of the millennial generation became old enough to vote in this year’s U.S. presidential election, states and social media platforms poured efforts into online registration, hoping to attract these tech savvy voters who now rival Baby Boomers as the country’s largest demographic. [Reuters]

When Kentucky goes to the polls Tuesday, more than 300,000 potential voters will find themselves on the sidelines. [WFPL]

In the last week, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has repeatedly vowed to zero out all federal spending on clean energy research and development. And the plan he released would also zero out all other spending on anything to do with climate change, including the government’s entire climate science effort. [ThinkProgress]

Kimberly Walson, one of three candidates for 25th Circuit Family Court Judge, has responded to a Richmond Register report on the exchange of accusations by supporters of the candidates. [Richmond Register]

Minnesota Sen. Al Franken on Sunday said he expects that the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold hearings on what he described as “troubling” and “rogue” conduct within the FBI. [Politico]

Rand Paul is a tiny little bigot, like most of the people affiliated with him and most of the new Republican Party of Kentucky. Rand Paul said Saturday he thinks his opponent, Democrat Jim Gray, has “lost his mind,” based on a statement he made in Kentucky’s only U.S. Senate race debate. [Ronnie Ellis]

No matter what happens in Tuesday’s presidential election, the candidacy of Donald Trump has been an absolute demographic disaster for the Republican Party. [WaPo]

Andy Barr, R-Lexington, and Nancy Jo Kemper, his Democratic challenger, are spending the last weekend of the campaign shaking as many hands as they can across Central Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District. [H-L]

The Nevada Republican Party has what can only be described as a problem with Hispanic voters. [HuffPo]

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