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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Matt Bevin Remains The Dumbest Governor In Kentucky History

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State regulators ordered an electricity provider in southeast Kentucky to study cutting expenses and told the utility to stop hiring relatives of officers and employees. [H-L]

A senior national security official in the Trump administration wrote under a pseudonym last year that Islam is an inherently violent religion that is “incompatible with the modern West,” defended the World War II-era America First Committee, which included anti-Semites, as “unfairly maligned,” and called diversity “a source of weakness, tension and disunion.” [HuffPo]

Of COURSE Matt Bevin is freaking out about protecting children of color. He has wealth to protect him. Why on earth would the father of children of color give a flip about what happens to other children of color? The New Republicanism is 100% racist horseshit. Just like his promotion of Hillbilly Elegy, the biggest crock of nonsense about Appalachia ever written. [C-J/AKN]

Trump’s choice to be the top U.S. health official bought and sold health care company stocks often enough as a member of Congress to warrant probes by both federal securities regulators and the House ethics committee, former government ethics lawyers say. A USA TODAY analysis of stock trade reports by Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., also shows he often misstated the timing of stock purchases or failed to report them altogether. [USA Today]

If you’ve ever wondered what it looks like when a local television station pushes what one of its right-wing hacks presents as journalism? Here you go – a half-assed, glowing review of Donald Trump on law enforcement and crime. “He’s such a nice man, lookit all the nice things these people are saying about him!” We’d mention her name but she goes Anne Northup-level insane when you call her out. Oh – if you’re wondering why her reporting is garbage? Here’s a look at the nonsense that was discussed by that group of old white guys. They’re upset that they can’t seize assets before someone is convicted and Trump wants to ruin legislators’ careers over it. [WAVE3]

Protestors gathered outside Mitch McConnell’s home because he’s finally letting his bigot flag fly. [NBC News]

Seems like only yesterday the Republican Party of Kentucky was all about personal responsibility, anti-regulation and strongly against government intrusion. So it sure is fun watching old-ass white guys like John Schickel proposing less personal responsibility, more regulation and way more government intrusion. [LRC]

Republicans are still stuck in full gay panic. Some Christian groups have no problem protecting people from crimes driven by racial or religious hatred. They just draw the line at sexual orientation. [ProPublica]

In his second State of the Commonwealth speech, Gov. Matt Bevin on Wednesday called for raising more revenue through tax reform, revenue that can be used to pay down the growing unfunded liabilities of the state’s public pension systems. [Ronnie Ellis]

Just a reminder that Mitch McConnell and his fellow Republicans are racists. Yes, a man married to a woman of Asian descent can be racist. When you enable this bullshit, you’re a racist bigot. Republican senators voted on Tuesday to formally silence a Democratic colleague for impugning a peer, Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, by condemning his nomination for attorney general while reading a letter from Coretta Scott King. [NY Times]

Surprise! Hal Heiner is garbage when it comes to actually doing anything with education. Quit acting surprised, Republicans. A proposal by Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Secretary Hal Heiner to allow the state’s schoolchildren to attend any district where seats are available is generating buzz across the state and in northeast Kentucky. [Ashland Independent]

President Trump’s personal physician, Harold Bornstein, is still taking to the press, and still saying some strange things. In a new interview with the New York Times, Bornstein discloses that Trump takes a couple previously undisclosed drugs: finasteride, a prostate drug that can be (and in Trump’s case is) used as a hair-loss treatment, and another drug for rosacea, a skin problem. The Times notes that Trump’s use of the hair-loss drug “has not been publicly known.” But that seems to be a charitable characterization; a less-charitable one would be that his use of these drugs was deliberately hidden. [WaPo]

The Spoonbread Festival, canceled last year over a brouhaha regarding the display or sale of merchandise depicting the Confederate flag, will return in September. [H-L]

Donald Lump’s top guy is a buffoon. When you check this out, your eyes will roll way back into your head. Like waaaaaaay back. The apocalypse is coming, apparently. [HuffPo]

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Hal Heiner: Your New Educational Poison

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Wondering what kind of garbage Hal Heiner is pushing on the educational front? Here’s a taste. [H-L]

Mitch McConnell (R-Granny) denounced Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday, distancing himself from President Donald Trump’s more equivocal view of the foreign leader. Then he said he doesn’t want to critique the president… as he critiqued and obstructed the former president for eight years. [HuffPo]

Wondering how to scare the bejeebers out of racist mouth-breathers? With a headline like this: JCPS could become immigrant safe haven. [C-J/AKN]

U.S. Judge James Robart emerged from relative obscurity on Saturday as the first justice to come under fire from the president since he took office after his temporary order to lift Donald Trump’s immigration ban. [Reuters]

Topics flurried around the table at the [Richmond] Planning and Zoning Commission’s specially called meeting to discuss the Comprehensive Plan revision Thursday night. [Richmond Register]

Trump’s threats to disrupt trade with Mexico aren’t just worrying people south of the border. Each time Trump attacks the North American Free Trade Agreement, known as NAFTA, the executives at a 130 year-old railroad company in Kansas City, Mo., hold their breath. Like a lot of U.S. companies, cross-border trade accounts for a lot of Kansas City Southern’s business. [NPR]

This seems like it’s either pointless or rooted in typical rural Kentuckian racism. During the past decade, zero refugees have resided in northeastern Kentucky from the seven countries on which President Donald Trump recently placed a temporary immigration ban. [Ashland Independent]

The Trump White House appears to have backed off for now on its consideration of reopening overseas “black site” prisons, where the C.I.A. once tortured terrorism suspects, after a leaked draft executive order prompted bipartisan pushback from Congress and cabinet officials. [NY Times]

Concerned citizens and environmental groups are still awaiting a decision from federal regulators about a plan to repurpose the Tennessee Gas pipeline through Rowan County. [The Morehead News]

Just in case you’re still wondering who is really in charge of the White House… [WaPo]

Two elementary schools in the Bowling Green Independent Schools will benefit from a $250,000 Active Trails Grant recently awarded to Mammoth Cave National Park by the National Park Foundation. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The $3 pill known as BiDil was already a difficult sell when a Georgia-based pharmaceutical company bought the marketing rights a few years ago. A treatment for African Americans suffering from heart failure, BiDil had never really caught on, forcing the drug company that developed it to take a buyout offer. One strike against the drug was a 2009 study that raised questions about its safety and effectiveness. [ProPublica]

Morgan owns four liquor stores and a boat docked at Lee’s Ford Marina in Lake Cumberland. He has filed six bills intended to help himself as the owner of a liquor store. He’s also filed one bill that would repeal a state law that lets marinas enforce a lien on a boat. Why? Because he owes Lee’s Ford nearly $28,000 and they have a lien on his boat. [Rita Smart]

Republican members of Congress have made repealing the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, a top priority. [HuffPo]

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Louisville Showed Up To Protest The New Republican Racism (Or Fascism, If You’re Being Technical)

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The city of Lexington is not a sanctuary city for those in the country illegally, Lexington city officials said Monday. [H-L]

Former President Barack Obama released a statement on Monday expressing solidarity with those protesting his successor’s ban on travelers and refugees entering the United States from certain Muslim-majority countries. [HuffPo]

In front of overflowing and cheering crowds that packed by the thousands into the Muhammad Ali Center amphitheater Monday night, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer on Monday blasted President Donald Trump’s temporary ban on refugees and immigrants from seven nations. Be sure to check out all the photos Chris took, as well. [C-J/AKN]

National security experts and media figures denounced President Donald Trump’s “dangerous” decision to give his chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, a prominent role on the National Security Council. Bannon is an extremist anti-Semite who formerly ran the white nationalist “alt-right” website Breitbart. [Media Matters]

$528,000 is inconsequential? It wasn’t inconsequential when Greg Fischer shuttered half of Louisville’s WIC clinics because he couldn’t come up with $500K-$800K. Funny how that works. [WFPL]

This will probably remind a lot of people of a certain former school superintendent. [NY Daily News]

After calming down toward the end of 2016, officials have seen a dramatic uptick in drug overdoses to start the new year. [Richmond Register]

More than 17,000 students are in legal limbo because of Donald Trump’s bigoted and backward executive order – mostly in STEM fields. [FiveThirtyEight]

The Ashland Board of City Commissioners on Thursday named five members to the city ethics commission, which had been vacant since 2011. [Ashland Independent]

Donald Trump is dumber than you thought. Sure, that’s saying a lot. But he’s the dumbest president of the modern era. George W. Bush is a genius in comparison. [NY Times]

Despite one of the wettest Januarys in recent memory, the new Rowan County Detention Center is still close to on schedule. [The Morehead News]

Donald Trump never had a plan to fight ISIS. None of his people ever had a real plan. [WaPo]

Memories are fading of illustrious faculty and alumni of Lexington’s all-black Dunbar High School, which closed 50 years ago as the Fayette County Public Schools were desegregated in 1967. [H-L]

If you haven’t read that insane press release, you’re missing out. After more than a decade on the White House press list and every other government list you can imagine, I can say that it’s the craziest thing I’ve ever read. Donald Trump fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates on Monday night, hours after she said the Justice Department would not defend Trump’s executive order on immigration. [HuffPo]

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Literal, Real Life Trump Pee Alert

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In his first five days as a Kentucky state representative, C. Wesley Morgan, a longtime Richmond liquor dealer, filed six bills that he thinks would make life better for the liquor industry. [John Cheves]

Jeff Sessions (R-Acist.) and his supporters sought on Tuesday to convince the American public that he won’t discriminate against people of color if he is confirmed as the attorney general, the nation’s top law enforcement officer. [HuffPo]

When neighboring Ohio last month enacted a law making bestiality a felony, it left Kentucky in the embarrassing position of being one of only nine states where having sex with animals is not a crime. Now a Republican lawmaker from Richmond is trying to fix that – but with a catch. [C-J/AKN]

Classified documents presented last week to President Obama and President-elect Trump included allegations that Russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump, multiple US officials with direct knowledge of the briefings tell CNN. [CNN]

Attorney General Andy Beshear says he will not defend the state if it is sued over a law passed by the state legislature last week banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. [WFPL]

Senator John McCain passed documents to the FBI director, James Comey, last month alleging secret contacts between the Trump campaign and Moscow and that Russian intelligence had personally compromising material on the president-elect himself. [The Guardian]

Rowan County Coroner John Northcutt has confirmed the deaths of three area residents after what officials are calling a double murder-suicide on Sunday afternoon at 1090 Island Fork Road. [The Morehead News]

Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen maintained a “secret liaison” with the Russian leadership, the report alleges, especially related to trying to “cover up” the scandal of U.S. press disclosures about the closeness of Page and former campaign manager Paul Manafort to the Kremlin. [TDB]

The Kentucky Trail Town Program is an opportunity for cities across the state to be recognized by outdoor adventure tourists as points of interest because of the outdoor recreational opportunities they offer, and Cave City is working to take advantage of it. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday struggled over how to decide a challenge to a state law barring retailers from charging more to buy with credit instead of cash, debating whether it merely regulates prices or violates merchants’ constitutional rights. [Reuters]

New physicians will occupy the King’s Daughters Medical Center emergency wing this month after the hospital ended a 31-year partnership with a local, independent group. [Ashland Independent]

Trump on Tuesday asked a prominent anti-vaccine crusader to lead a new government commission on vaccine safety and scientific integrity, ushering debunked conspiracy theories about the dangers of immunization into the White House. [NY Times]

This is why Matt Bevin’s tiny weenie is on fire this week – he’s mad that Andy Beshear won’t defend his (Bevin’s) perverted religious beliefs with your taxpayer dollars. Attorney General Andy Beshear said Tuesday he will defend only one of two new laws that limit abortion in Kentucky. [H-L]

Rex Tillerson, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for secretary of state, will likely face plenty of tough questions during his confirmation hearings on Wednesday: about his close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle, deals his former company made with Iran, and the secretive oil venture he oversaw in the tax haven of the Bahamas. [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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Kentucky Republicans Wish Kentucky Democrats Were More Bigoted Than Them (They’re Not)

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Angry union workers packed the hallways of Kentucky’s Capitol Annex Wednesday as Republican lawmakers pushed ahead with bills that would ban mandatory union dues and repeal a law that requires regional prevailing wages for workers on public construction projects. [H-L]

Mitch McConnell, the elderly, racist grandmother who cried on the floor of the senate when his young male staffer resigned, is moving his wattle again. He claims that Americans won’t tolerate Democrats blocking supreme court nominations. Much like they didn’t tolerate him for doing that very thing for ten months? [HuffPo]

This is like Jerry Abramson’s “16th Largest City” b.s. Don’t read this if you’re a local because you’ll be disappointed. Nothing about Louisville – as much as we all love it – makes it a “top destination” vacation spot. We held this one a while because it’s so funny. [C-J/AKN]

Several high-profile intelligence experts have signed a letter in support of legislation calling to create a bipartisan commission to look into “foreign interference” during the 2016 election that was introduced by House Democrats last month. [BuzzFart]

The Boyd County Fiscal Court accepted a $385,092 bid from Haydon Bridge Inc., a Washington County-based company, to replace the old Clay Jack Bridge in Rush. [Ashland Independent]

Lurking behind the president-elect’s frightening promises to crack down on people who live in the United States without documentation is a much larger ambition: to slow the nation’s massive demographic change by curtailing our legal-immigration system as well. [The Nation]

A medical waste facility being constructed in Carter County is concerning Rowan County residents. Near Carter City, a new medical waste processing facility is being built and their citizens filled the Carter County Courthouse last month to voice their displeasure of the new construction. [The Morehead News]

A tiny little manboy named Thomas Massie was one of the WATBs who voted to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics. [TPM]

When a team of biologists visited Mammoth Cave National Park last week to rescue mussels that were in danger of losing their habitat due to decreasing water levels in the Green River, they found a species of mussel that has not been seen in the river for many years. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Many of President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet picks are titans of industry with significant potential business conflicts of interest. But there is one in a class by himself: Commerce secretary choice Wilbur Ross. [ProPublica]

The Republican train to roll back union-supported protections for workers is rolling rapidly toward its destination, and while not everyone is on board, the powers behind the legislation are driving the engine. [Ronnie Ellis]

California Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said Sunday that there will be a stronger push for sanctions against Russia if Donald Trump moves to undo them. [Politico]

It’s cute when people in media deliberately fail to point out that the Kentucky Democratic Party is more backwater, homophobic, transphobic and racist than the national Republican Party. The RPK is 100x worse than that, of course, despite what racist joke-thrower Scott Jennings thinks. P.S. Chris Hartman and Fairness let this happen – Fairness has refused to take the far-right seriously since at least 2009. Source: Hartman sat across from me at Heine Bros on Longest Ave in Louisville in 2009 and refused to meet with David Williams, Stan Lee, made excuses. [H-L]

You can’t fix this brand of insane. In a dispute between Russian intelligence services and the U.S. intelligence community, the next president of the United States appears to be coming down squarely on the side of the Russians. [HuffPo]

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