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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Republicans Are Rushing Because They Know Much Of What They Do Will Ultimately Be Reversed

Yes, reversed. Sooner or later.

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Although Republican lawmakers said they would focus in 2017 on jobs and Kentucky’s economy, the first bills to fly out of the Senate and House chambers on Thursday concerned women’s access to abortion. [John Cheves]

New research has further eroded a go-to argument from climate change deniers: that there’s been a significant slowdown, or hiatus, in global warming.
[HuffPo]

The Kentucky Senate on Thursday passed a bill to abolish the University of Louisville board of trustees and create a new system of appointing its members over objections of Democrats who said Republicans were rushing through a measure that could hurt U of L’s accreditation. [C-J/AKN]

The debts of President-elect Donald Trump and his businesses are scattered across Wall Street banks, mutual funds and other financial institutions, broadening the tangle of interests that pose potential conflicts for the incoming president’s administration. Mr. Trump has previously disclosed that his businesses owe at least $315 million to 10 companies. According to the Journal’s analysis, Trump businesses’ debts are held by more than 150 institutions. [WSJ]

The new Republican majority in the state House of Representatives voted Thursday to make Kentucky a right-to-work state and require women preparing to have an abortion undergo an ultrasound 24 hours before the procedure. [Ronnie Ellis]

Senate Democrats on Thursday demanded an ethics probe into Tom Price, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for U.S. health secretary, following a report that the fierce Obamacare critic traded in healthcare company stocks while pushing legislation in Congress that could affect those shares. [Reuters]

Kentucky lawmakers in the coming days will likely approve a measure to repeal the state’s prevailing wage law. [WFPL]

House Republicans’ push to bring back earmarks this year faces a much tougher road after the GOP’s disastrous and unsuccessful effort this week to weaken a congressional ethics watchdog. [The Hill]

Here’s a look at how media is failing miserably at educating rural Kentucky about what’s at stake with charter schools. Way to go, Morehead News, for sucking harder than necessary. [The Morehead News]

The US has identified the Russian agents behind alleged hacking ahead of the presidential election won by Donald Trump in November, reports say. [BBC]

A statewide judicial redistricting plan that would strip Boyd County of two of its four judges but provide a family court judge was decried on Thursday by the Ashland Board of City Commissioners. [Ashland Independent]

Amid tension over the president-elect’s vision for intelligence agencies, R. James Woolsey Jr. said he did not want to “fly under false colors.” [WaPo]

Way to go, mouth-breathing Republicans! 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]

Much like Donald Trump, former Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson ― the Republican president-elect’s choice for secretary of state ― appears well on his way to making Sen. John McCain’s blacklist. Asked by reporters Wednesday if he would support Trump’s nomination of the oil tycoon, a friend of Russia, McCain quipped: “Sure ― there’s also a realistic scenario that pigs fly.” [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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Don’t Ignore The Bevin Threat Mess

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Individual Kentucky counties could adopt right-to-work laws under a decision handed down Friday by a federal appeals panel. At least Republicans will finally have to put their money where there mouthes are and it won’t pay off for them. [H-L]

Donald Trump is a whiny ass titty baby. President-elect Donald Trump, who is just two months away from his inauguration, woke up Saturday morning with a pressing concern on his mind. [HuffPo]

Democratic State Rep. Kevin Sinnette testified Friday that Republican Gov. Matt Bevin threatened him and his district last December at a meeting in the Governor’s Mansion after Sinnette rejected Bevin’s request that he change his political parties. [C-J/AKN]

President-elect Donald Trump has selected two anti-net neutrality advisers to shape the future administration’s telecom policy strategy at the Federal Communications Commission, Recode reported. [ThinkProgress]

Bill Mike Runyon led Paintsville High School’s basketball team for 29 years — now he’ll lead the city. [Ashland Independent]

Senators are pledging to take a firm line with Russia next year, setting up a potential conflict with incoming President Donald Trump. [The Hill]

Only one of three Democratic lawmakers who claim Republican Matt Bevin threatened them with political retaliation after they declined to switch parties showed up to testify Friday before a special House committee looking into the allegations. [Ronnie Ellis]

Semi-retired Wisconsin pig farmer John Lader does not think much of Donald Trump as a messenger, but voted for what he described as the Republican president-elect’s message of change and economic hope for America. [Reuters]

It appears Morehead City Council will soon have the first reading of an ordinance to allow mobile food vendors within city limits. [The Morehead News]

Four years after a Massachusetts crime lab chemist confessed to tainting evidence, more than 20,000 defendants still don’t know if their drug convictions will stand. [ProPublica]

Matt Bevin moved Monday to appeal a Franklin Circuit Court ruling that he exceeded his authority by abolishing the University of Louisville Board of Trustees and replacing it with a new, smaller board. [Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump’s decision to nominate Sen. Jeff Sessions as attorney general is being met with alarm at the Justice Department’s civil rights division and could trigger an exodus there, former officials said Friday. [Politico]

Rep. Fitz Steele, D-Hazard, was in Frankfort on Friday but he wasn’t going anywhere near the special panel appointed by House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, to investigate Gov. Matt Bevin’s alleged threats of retaliation against Democratic lawmakers. [H-L]

In a 2006 speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to be the next attorney general, castigated a subset of Latino immigrants as useless to American society. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin Finally Caved On Education

The $14.9 billion Kentucky Retirement Systems plans to end its controversial investments in hedge funds. [John Cheves]

Projection is fun. Donald Trump suggested that he and Democratic rival Hillary Clinton should undergo a drug test before their third and final debate on Oct. 19. [HuffPo]

A Jefferson Circuit Court judge Friday denied motions to release five inmates from jail on the grounds that district judges refused to consider their financial status in setting bonds or consider granting them bail credit for each day they spent behind bars. [C-J/AKN]

It is time someone got to the bottom of everything that people say about Hillary Clinton. Who is she? More importantly, WHAT is she? [WaPo]

In the end, Gov. Matt Bevin decided not to ask the state Supreme Court to reconsider its 5-2 ruling that Bevin exceeded his executive power when he unilaterally reduced funding to state universities and community colleges. [Ronnie Ellis]

First lady Michelle Obama’s speech this week slamming Donald Trump’s comments about women was “the most effective political speech since Ronald Reagan,” according to right-wing commentator Glenn Beck. [The Hill]

Car horns rang out along U.S. 23 in South Shore on Saturday as residents slowed down and waved to show their support for United Steelworkers Local 133. [Ashland Independent]

Americans traveling to Cuba will be allowed to bring home more of the communist-ruled island’s coveted cigars and rum under new measures announced by the U.S. government on Friday to further ease trade, travel and financial restrictions that have been in place for decades. [Reuters]

Election Day is right around the corner in November, but your chance to hear your local candidates running for local office is next week. [The Morehead News]

The nation’s opioid epidemic shows no signs of abating—and in fact may be headed in a far more dangerous direction. [ProPublica]

Incumbent Glasgow City Council candidate Ben Bucher has decided not to run for a second term after all. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Donald Trump on Friday intimated a woman who accused him of sexually assaulting her was not attractive enough to have drawn his interest—just as a new accuser was coming forward. [Politico]

A billionaire coal operator who wants to be governor of West Virginia is paying off delinquent property taxes in Eastern Kentucky but has a big debt to whittle down. [H-L]

Patriot Majority USA, a progressive advocacy group, is accusing the Republican vice presidential nominee of suppressing voter registration in a new advertising campaign launched on Saturday. [HuffPo]

Of Course Mitch Is Afraid Of The Donald

Mitch McConnell says the country must not turn its back on the nation’s coal miners — but that’s exactly what those miners say the Republican Senate Majority Leader is doing. [H-L]

A former aide on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign now says he regrets working for the Republican nominee and cannot vote for him for president. [HuffPo]

The Kentucky Department of Education is stepping in to review and intervene at two low-performing Jefferson County Public Schools elementaries that would have been named priority schools this year if it were not for the state’s moratorium on that label. [C-J/AKN]

A new Department of Labor report says cuts to state workers’ comp systems have left injured workers with inadequate benefits and raises the specter of federal oversight [ProPublica]

Bounty of the Barrens Farmers Market is making use of a $30,000 grant it was awarded this summer to determine the feasibility and develop a preliminary design of a facility that would allow it to remain in the same location all year. [Glasgow Daily Times]

In 1990, a group of four black teens and one Latino teen were convicted of the brutal assault and rape of a jogger. The April 1989 attack came amid rising crime rates in New York City and a wave of violence in Central Park itself. [ThinkProgress]

Widening of US 25N in Berea to three lanes from Ellipse Street to the Berea Bypass has run into another delay. [Richmond Register]

Drugmaker Mylan N.V. announced Friday that it had reached a $465 million settlement with the U.S. Justice Department and other government agencies to resolve questions over rebates required by the Medicaid program. [NPR]

A new report shows that the number of small businesses in Kentucky that offer employee health insurance dropped sharply from 2012 to 2015. Only 26.6 percent of small businesses in the state offered health insurance last year, down from 36.4 percent in 2012, according to the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. [Business First]

One of the most popular items at this year’s Republican National Convention was a navy blue T-shirt that at first glance looked terribly out of place. [Mother Jones]

Paul Ryan immediately came under fire from Donald Trump after declaring he’ll no longer defend or campaign for his party’s bombastic nominee. Mitch McConnell, on the other hand, went mum, privately sharing advice with vulnerable Republican Senate candidates on how to handle Trump’s vulgar sex talk — and publicly telling those interested in his take to take a hike. [Politico]

Some evangelical leaders stood by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump even after a video was released on Friday containing his lewd remarks about women. [WaPo]

On Friday, the state Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether panhandlers have a legally protected right to ask motorists and pedestrians for money and if Lexington’s city-wide ban violates panhandlers’ First Amendment right to free speech. [H-L]

Donald Trump’s lewd comments about women present him with a tough challenge roughly one month before Election Day, and it’s also landed House Republicans in trouble. [HuffPo]

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Heroin Hell Has Hit The Commonwealth

House Speaker Greg Stumbo raised the possibility of impeaching Gov. Matt Bevin Saturday after CNHI News Service reported that a Democratic state lawmaker said he was threatened by Bevin’s chief of staff for refusing to switch political parties. If true, the governor’s actions “are criminal in nature and in my judgment rise to the level of an impeachable offense.” [H-L]

Donald J. Trump is causing some high anxiety inside the military. He has suggested carpet-bombing Syrian cities, assassinating the families of Islamic State fighters and torturing detainees, all illegal under international or U.S. law. He has proposed withdrawing troops from South Korea (a similar troop withdrawal helped ignite the 1950 Korean War), advocated disengaging from NATO, and declared that Japan would be “better off” with its own nuclear weapons. And he has famously bragged, “I know more about ISIS than the generals!” [HuffPo]

Authorities have reported more than 200 overdoses in the region over the past two weeks. [C-J/AKN]

Three Congressional leaders on Monday asked top federal environmental and safety officials to extend by 60 days the public comment period on new vehicle emissions and fuel economy standards. [Reuters]

Two of the wilder caves at Carter Caves State Resort Park have been reopened to limited public use, a park official said. [Ashland Independent]

States that voted against President Obama twice are more dependent on the federal government, according to an analysis of new data released by the Pew Charitable Trusts on Monday. [The Hill]

The Rowan County Board of Education voted unanimously Aug. 24 to set the tax rates for real and personal property. [The Morehead News]

The National Labor Relations Board decided in two separate cases last week that — as far as federal labor law is concerned — charter schools are not public schools but private corporations. [WaPo]

Kentucky public high school graduates held steady in meeting the state’s college-readiness benchmarks on the ACT college-entrance exam in reading and English, but lost ground in meeting the state mathematics benchmark. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The planet is warming at a pace not experienced within the past 1,000 years, at least, making it “very unlikely” that the world will stay within a crucial temperature limit agreed by nations just last year, according to Nasa’s top climate scientist. [The Guardian]

Even with the assistance of detoxification and rehabilitation programs, 80 percent of people attempting recovery from opioid addiction will relapse. [Richmond Register]

The United States admitted its 10,000th Syrian refugee this week in a resettlement program announced by President Obama last fall, according to The White House. [NY Times]

After giving a speech critical of the Obama Administration and Democrats in Congress, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said politics in Washington aren’t as polarizing as they seem. [H-L]

The producers of EpiPen will offer a generic version of the emergency allergy treatment following outrage last week over price increases, the company announced Monday. [HuffPo]

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