Reminder: Matt Bevin Has No Concept Of Ethics… Or Anything, Really

Just when you thought Matt Bevin and his people couldn’t get more ignorant? Matt Bevin has signed an executive order that effectively gives him control over all appointments to the Executive Branch Ethics Commission without any input from the state attorney general and state auditor. Almost as funny as the Personnel Secretary begging folks to help them dig through Beshear data to uncover corruption because they don’t know anything about Kentucky. HAHAHA. You can’t fix the kind of stupid these people possess. [H-L]

Senate Republicans have never made it easy for President Barack Obama to put judges on federal courts. But now, with just months left in his term, they’re not even pretending to try to let judicial nominees through. [HuffPo]

Isn’t it fun watching Kentucky’s half-literate governator claim “God” has sanctioned his extreme Medicaid cuts? That’s what Jesus would do – choke even more out of the working poor, deny access to dental and vision, claim it’s helping them. [C-J/AKN]

The coal industry is slated to lose clout in the next Congress, with term limits set to force out a chairman who has frequently battled with the Obama administration on behalf of mining companies. Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Keeping Eastern Kentucky Impoverished) will relinquish the gavel of the House Appropriations Committee in January, after having led the powerful panel for six years, which is the maximum allowed under GOP rules. [The Hill]

A deadly shooting took place in the South Fork community of Breathitt County on Saturday. One person was pronounced deceased at the scene and two others seriously injured. [Hazard Herald]

Reverberations from the U.S. Supreme Court’s major ruling backing abortion rights were felt on Tuesday as the justices rejected bids by Mississippi and Wisconsin to revive restrictions on abortion doctors matching those struck down in Texas on Monday. [Reuters]

The Harlan Fiscal Court discussed a situation concerning the safety of a much-used bridge on U.S. 119 in Cumberland during a special-called meeting on Monday. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

The children of Vietnam vets describe how they believe their fathers’ exposure to Agent Orange during the war has impacted their families and their health. [ProPublica]

All members of the Madison Fiscal Court took turns June 14 criticizing the Madison County and Berea school boards for paying the sheriff a 1.5 percent fee for collecting its property taxes instead of the 4.25 percent paid by all other local taxing entities except the ambulance board. [Richmond Register]

Local communities are increasingly passing laws to control crime and nuisances on rental properties. They do so mostly by limiting the number of times police can be called to a residence. But it turns out that crime victims — especially victims of domestic abuse — are often the ones who end up being penalized. [NPR]

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin proclaims the days of “pay to play” ended with his arrival in Frankfort. But some House Democrats say if you’re not willing to play, Bevin isn’t reluctant to make you pay. [Ronnie Ellis]

On Tuesday night, 128 members of Congress weighed in to urge a federal appeals court to protect against sexual orientation-based discrimination under existing civil rights laws. [BuzzFeed]

Massie’s ideas about “sovereignty” are an extreme example of the naïve thinking that fueled the Brexit vote, has propelled Trump’s candidacy and energizes Tea Party activists. It is our inner 4-year-old screaming, “You can’t tell me what to do!” [H-L]

The draft of the 2016 Democratic Party platform endorses abolishing the death penalty, a break with the views of its presumptive presidential nominee. [HuffPo]

Don’t Forget About Bevin’s UofL Disaster

A judge in Louisville has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration seeking to fine Planned Parenthood for performing abortions at its Louisville facility. [H-L]

Donald Trump has spent the week pedaling backward and forward on his immigration positions, leaving immigration hawks — and some of his biggest boosters — worried about the strength of his support for mass deportations and a blanket ban on Muslim immigrants. [HuffPo]

He who doth protest too much! One of Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s new University of Louisville trustees regularly takes to Twitter to deny mainstream climate science and say that being gay isn’t compatible with Christianity, while also taking aim at U of L sports. [C-J/AKN]

Convicting an elected official on corruption charges just got a lot harder. Government watchdogs say the Supreme Court’s decision on Monday to toss out the conviction and two-year prison sentence of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) will create new hurdles for prosecutors. [The Hill]

Don’t worry, Doug Cobb, us gays and other educated thinking people won’t be backing down, either. We’ll win over your ignorant bigotry. [WDRB]

After a gunman opened fire at a gay nightclub in Florida this month, police dispatchers fielded calls from people inside who screamed of being shot, begged for help and spoke in hushed voices of the bloody scene around them. [Reuters]

Eastern Kentuckians can now apply for Interapt’s upcoming, new paid, work-based learning tech internships and job opportunities set to launch later this year in Paintsville following an announcement made at the Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) Innovation Summit on June 6. [Hazard Herald]

BIG TIME PEE ALERT! Vince Harris supports a white supremacist. Donald Trump has hired Vincent Harris, the former chief digital strategist for Sen. Rand Paul’s presidential campaign and for Sen. Mitch McConnell’s 2014 reelection bid, as the presumptive Republican nominee continues to ramp up his digital operations, according to multiple people familiar with the hiring. [Politico]

With one commissioner voting no and another reserving to right to vote against hires, purchases and tax increases unless a proposed police pay scale is addressed, the Richmond City Commission voted 4-1 Tuesday night to adopt the 2015-16 budget. [Richmond Register]

Who plans to show up and pay for the Trump hate circus at the RNC? Maker’s Mark, for one. While the legendary bourbon house tried to use the excuse that they’re also throwing money at the DNC, it doesn’t change the reality that their money – money you give them by buying their products – is being used to fund white supremacy, Islamophobia, racism in general, attacks on Asian people, attacks on the disabled, attacks on gay people, attacks on sense. [WaPo]

Local Congressman Thomas Massie is renewing a year-old call for the US to make its own “Amexit” from the United Nations not long after news of “Brexit” captivated the world. [Ashland Independent]

Though the United States is one of the richest countries in the world, it’s not necessarily one of the most successful. When you take a broad view of social progress—incorporating measures of health, happiness, the environment, and levels of security—we’re actually down the list of big hitters. Nations such as Sweden and the Netherlands have broader-based prosperity and better access to services like health care and housing. [FastCo]

Fun fact: the people advising Matt Bevin today are the very same people who took down Ernie Fletcher’s administration in a whirlwind of corruption. Legit – the same people. And now he has even more inexperienced, bigoted, greedy, delusional people in his ear. [H-L]

Meanwhile, Kentucky can’t get its head out of the sewage-infested creek bed sand long enough to get hemp right. Or medical marijuana right. [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for Ting or Cricket and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. [CLICK HERE]

Is Yarmuth The Only KY Democrat?

One year ago, Michael Todd was getting ready for a doctor’s appointment when his phone was flooded with messages from relatives. [H-L]

Iraqi forces recaptured the last district held by Islamic State militants in the city of Falluja on Sunday and the general commanding the operation declared the battle complete after nearly five weeks of fighting. [HuffPo]

The Kentucky Democrat who helped orchestrate this week’s historic shutdown of the U.S. House to demand action on gun violence said his involvement began with a voice mail. [C-J/AKN]

Former Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley on Sunday called Donald Trump a racist bigot who appeals to the worst instincts in people. [The Hill]

Toward the end of the inaugural Metcalfe County Proud Festival, several members of the Hornets’ Nest Pickers gathered on Saturday afternoon behind the stage that was built on the Metcalfe County Courthouse lawn. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Hawaii’s governor signed a bill making it the first state to place its residents who own firearms in a federal criminal record database and monitor them for possible wrongdoing anywhere in the country, his office said. [Reuters]

One of the toughest ways to make a living is undoubtedly being a standup comedian. The comedian goes onstage with nothing but a microphone to face a crowd of people smugly sitting back with the attitude, “Make us laugh, if you can.” [Richmond Register]

Donald Trump claimed he was a “much better friend to the gays” than Hillary Clinton after the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando earlier this month. On Sunday, it was Clinton who showed up to show she was the better friend of the LGBT community. [Politico]

After 70 weeks on the picket line near the entrance of the old fire brick plant in Grahn, United Steelworkers Local 857 President Donald Frazier sums up negotiations in a few simple words. [Ashland Independent]

Ralph Stanley, the singer, banjo player and guardian of unvarnished mountain music who was also a pivotal figure in the recent revival of interest in bluegrass, died on Thursday. He was 89. [NY Times]

Supt. Marvin Moore received an “exemplary” evaluation Tuesday from the Rowan County Board of Education. [The Morehead News]

With Dwight D. Eisenhower’s signature, the government fired thousands of federal employees for being gay or lesbian, and Francis wants the department to release the internal memos, documents and communications surrounding it. [Roll Call]

You already knew this guy was a pandering lunatic. Rep. Thomas Massie thinks it’s time for “amexit.” [H-L]

Longtime conservative columnist George Will is wiping his hands clean of the Republican Party. [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for Ting or Cricket and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. [CLICK HERE]

Surprise! Everything Is Still Terrible!

Disability benefits lawyer Eric C. Conn, accused of rigging hundreds of cases for clients across Eastern Kentucky, will remain in jail until a federal judge decides whether it’s safe to release him pending trial. [John Cheves]

Donald Trump’s new convention manager accused Sen. Ted Cruz’s campaign of using “Gestapo tactics” after the senator’s organization swept Colorado’s delegates on Saturday, shutting out the real estate mogul and further increasing the chances of a contested nominating convention in Cleveland. [HuffPo]

Thank goodness Jenean Hampton has no official job duties because her extreme ignorance is shining through. She may be accomplished by Kentucky terms but daaaaaamn at the stupid. If I weren’t so white that I’m borderline transparent, I’d be pointing out that she’s setting women of color back light years. Maybe someone else can step up and point that out? [C-J/AKN]

Low gas prices could give Democrats a third straight term in the White House, an economic election model said Monday. [The Hill]

Congressman Thomas Massie of Kentucky’s Fourth District combined coffee and Giovanni’s pizza for a town hall-esque conversation with constituents last week. [Ashland Independent]

It is only April, but some on Wall Street are already predicting a rotten 2016 for U.S. banks. [Reuters]

While other counties in Kentucky continue to lose population, there were more residents in Warren County in 2015 than 2014, according to estimates recently released by the U.S. Census Population Division. [BGDN]

Donald Trump gave a “great answer” last week when he said women could be punished for having abortions, he said on Monday evening. [Politico]

House Democrats Friday offered a compromise on higher education funding, the issue which divides the Democratic-controlled House and Republican-controlled Senate in budget negotiations. [Ronnie Ellis]

Here’s more of the University of Kentucky just TRYING to make you hate it. Moonshine packs a punch in this corner of Appalachia, where making hooch is steeped in local lore. But when Colin Fultz, the grandson of a bootlegger, opened a gourmet distillery here last fall, he ran afoul of a spirit even more potent than white lightning: University of Kentucky basketball. [NY Times]

There were no public meetings but key state lawmakers continued Wednesday looking for a compromise on a state budget while the governor held a lengthy meeting with university presidents who didn’t want to talk about it afterward. [More Ronnie Ellis]

A Singaporean man has been extradited to the US to face charges of illegally exporting US technology allegedly used in explosive devices in Iraq. [BBC]

House Democratic leaders unveiled a compromise state budget plan Friday that would cut higher education 2 percent in the next fiscal year, but university presidents said they will accept larger cuts. [H-L]

Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders on Sunday questioned rival Hillary Clinton’s temperament for the highest office in the land. [HuffPo]

Need cheap mobile phone service? Maybe even for a backup cell phone? I’m talking $6/mo cheap? Use our Ting referral code and we’ll all get a sweet credit. You get $25 — enough for a couple months of service to determine whether you like it. Both CDMA and GSM options. For worriers: no, you don’t get identified to us if you use our link… so please consider letting us know if you do! [Ting]

Have You Followed The Olu Stevens Story?

Tribunals overturned the firings of two Fayette County teachers last year, and a third appeal is scheduled to be heard this week. [H-L]

Governments across the world began investigating possible financial wrongdoing by the rich and powerful on Monday after a leak of four decades of documents from a Panamanian law firm that specialized in setting up offshore companies. [HuffPo]

Jefferson Circuit Judge Olu Stevens has filed a federal suit alleging the state’s Judicial Conduct Commission, which is considering possible disciplinary action against the judge, has violated his First Amendment rights. [C-J/AKN]

The world’s largest organisation for psychiatrists – the World Psychiatric Association – has announced their opposition to the so-called practice of “gay conversion” or “reparative” therapy, declaring it unethical, unscientific and harmful to those who undergo it. [BBC]

Attorney General Andy Beshear said Friday that Gov. Matt Bevin exceeded his legal authority when he ordered immediate cuts to universities and community colleges, calling for Bevin to rescind the order within seven days or face legal action. [Ronnie Ellis]

Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus said in an interview broadcast Sunday that he doesn’t know if GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump is the strongest candidate. [The Hill]

Barren County Search and Rescue Dive Team members are trying to get the message out early this year, before the majority of traffic in, on and around Barren River Lake begins. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Calling him “the best hope for investors who want a Republican in the White House,” Barron’s announced its support for Ohio Governor John Kasich for president with a front-page editorial in its latest hard-copy edition. [Reuters]

Eastern Kentucky disability attorney Eric C. Conn was arrested Monday and taken to the Pike County Detention Center. The Social Security Administration in 2015 ordered about 1,500 of Conn’s former clients to attend hearings to determine whether they should continue receiving disability checks. Congressional investigators suspect Conn used fraudulent information to secure the benefits. [WYMT]

There’s no evidence to support Donald Trump’s claim that Ted Cruz played a role in a super PAC’s attack on his wife. [ProPublica]

Every election cycle, U.S. Congressman Thomas Massie said he is “extorted” by the Republican Party to pay $300,000 for his committee assignments. “I call it extortion, they call it assessments,” he said. [Ashland Independent]

As many as 300,000 people could be disenfranchised on Tuesday by Wisconsin’s voter ID law, which will be in effect for the first time in a presidential election in the state’s history. [ThinkProgress]

Kentucky lawmakers completed work Friday on a bill that sweetens an economic incentives package in hopes of swaying AK Steel to rejuvenate idled operations at a northeastern Kentucky steel mill. [H-L]

From the Department of Things Ken Ham Wouldn’t Understand… Imagine being at work and stumbling, completely by chance, upon a mammoth discovery — a literal one, at that. [HuffPo]

Gonna Go See Rand (R-Cookie Tree) Monday?

Yep, this is the kind of backwater ignorance and hatred that’s pervasive in Eastern Kentucky. The kind of nonsense the Kentucky Democratic Party refuses to address and stand up against. The ACLU of Kentucky is challenging the censorship of books, magazines, letters and pictures sent to inmates at one state prison because the warden believes they “promote homosexuality.” [John Cheves]

The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled in favor of thousands of meatpacking workers at a Tyson Foods plant in Iowa who banded together and sued the company for wage theft. [HuffPo]

Kentucky’s top retail lobbying firm is stepping up its opposition to a measure that would allow local voters to add a temporary 1 percent sales tax to pay for special projects, saying it would hurt small businesses and consumers. [C-J/AKN]

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is stepping up the safety warnings on the labels of powerful painkillers amid a national epidemic of drug overdoses. Drug companies will now have to include specific warnings about “serious risks of misuse, abuse, addiction, overdose and death” on all immediate-release painkillers like oxycodone and codeine. The change will affect 228 medications, according to the FDA. [The Hill]

The Horse Cave City Council has approved a settlement of all claims regarding a matter involving one of the city’s police officers. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A federal appeals court on Tuesday ordered a lower court judge to dismiss a lawsuit challenging gun control laws approved by Colorado in the wake of a movie theater massacre in a Denver suburb, saying the plaintiffs lacked standing to bring the case. [Reuters]

Rand Paul will hold a Town Hall Meeting on Monday at 9 a.m. at the Ashland Transportation Center. Paul will be joined by Congressman Thomas Massie. [Ashland Independent]

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump, in an apparent bid to placate conservatives who fear that he could appoint an insufficiently ideological justice if elected president, plans to release a list of 5-10 names sometime in the next week. He says that, if given the opportunity to name a Supreme Court justice, he will limit his selection to the names on that list. At a press conference on Monday, Trump also revealed an unusual detail about how he is determining which names should be on the list. “Heritage Foundation and others are working on” the list,” according to Trump. [ThinkProgress]

Students who attend Berea Community Schools next year will need to leave their lunch money at home after the Berea Independent Board of Education voted to accept a federally-funded provision Monday that will provide meals to all students. [Richmond Register]

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has revealed the first members of his foreign policy team. [BBC]

A bill aimed at modifying regulations for radioactive material coming into Kentucky passed out of a Senate committee. The bill isn’t meant to introduce new regulations, but it would modify some existing ones. The man behind it says he wants to make sure the state is doing everything it can when it comes to technologically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive material or TENORM. [WKYT]

Despite the economic embargo on Cuba, the country’s economy is changing thanks to its newly improved relationship with the United States. [NPR]

The Kentucky House of Representatives has approved a two-year, $4.5 billion spending plan on roads and bridges in an election year that has left some Republicans seething. [H-L]

The tax cuts for the rich proposed by the two leading Republican candidates for the presidency — Donald Trump and Ted Cruz — are larger, as a proportion of the government budget and the total economy, than any tax cuts ever before proposed in history. [HuffPo]

Need cheap mobile phone service? Maybe even for a backup cell phone? I’m talking $6/mo cheap? Use our Ting referral code and we’ll all get a sweet credit. You get $25 — enough for a couple months of service to determine whether you like it. Both CDMA and GSM options. For worriers: no, you don’t get identified to us if you use our link… so please consider letting us know if you do! [Ting]

Sounds Like KSU’s Turning Into A Circus

There’s growing talk among faculty at Kentucky State University to push for a “no confidence” vote regarding President Raymond Burse after they say tensions continue to escalate between the leader and university professors. [H-L]

Braving masked “commandos,” razor-sharp border fences and baton-wielding riot police, hundreds of thousands of refugees are fleeing war and misery by flocking to Western Europe in the largest mass movement of people since World War II. [HuffPo]

The Westboro Baptist Church, a Kansas group known for its caustic anti-gay rhetoric, took aim at Kim Davis on Monday, accusing the county clerk of hypocrisy and adultery. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump is hitting back at Jeb Bush, calling the former Florida governor “pathetic” and doubling down on his pointed comments that 9/11 happened while his brother then-President George W. Bush was in office. [The Hill]

Kentucky, once a near Democratic monopoly, is seeing more voters register Republican and now has a Republican-majority congressional district for the first time since 1999. [Richmond Register]

“The shots knocked me to the ground and felt like a truck hit me,” wrote Chris Mintz in his first public account of being shot five times during the deadly rampage at an Oregon community college while trying to warn fellow students to take cover. [Reuters]

The pieces weren’t literally “falling” into place, but with slow, careful maneuvering of cranes and heavy equipment, they were getting placed in and around the building at the Glasgow Regional Landfill where methane gas is going to be converted into electricity. [Glasgow Daily Times]

One in three children seek outpatient mental health care services from a primary care provider instead of a specialist, a new study shows. The findings highlight the potential for medical professionals to effectively treat mental illness by collaborating with each other — particularly amid psychiatrist shortages that make it hard for some Americans to get an appointment with a mental health provider. [ThinkProgress]

Just before noon on Saturday, Oct. 17, The Bardstown Police Department posted a statement from Police Chief Rick McCubbin on their Facebook page. His statement comes after the firing of Officer Nick Houck. On Friday, Bardstown P.D. confirmed that Houck was fired for interfering with the investigation into the disappearance of Nelson Co. woman Crystal Rogers. The mother of five disappeared in July. According to Nelson County Sheriff Ed Mattingly she is now presumed dead. Her then boyfriend, Brooks Houck — the brother of Nick Houck, is the main suspect. [WHAS11]

From the Department of Things Ken Ham Wouldn’t Understand… A 125 million-year-old fossil – described by scientists as an exceptionally cute furball – has been unearthed, scientists report. [BBC]

Ashland Economic Development Director Chris Pullem says a rapid response team is already being assembled after AK Steel’s announcement on Friday morning that it is temporarily idling the blast furnace and related steelmaking operations at the Ashland Works in mid-December. [Ashland Independent]

In one of the more dramatic salvos of the first Democratic presidential debate on Tuesday, Martin O’Malley took a swipe at Bernie Sanders, claiming that the Vermont senator “panders to the NRA.” [The Intercept]

In the months leading up to the formal announcement that he was running for president, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul told me a few times that he didn’t think a presidential campaign would be much fun. As of last week, it seems obvious that was one of the few predictions Paul made about running for president that has come true. [H-L]

There’s no stopping the House of Representatives in federal court. A federal judge on Monday declined an Obama administration request to allow it to appeal a controversial September ruling that allowed a House lawsuit over the Affordable Care Act to move forward. [HuffPo]