Kentuckians Are Ignorant, Not Divided

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The threats started on Sept. 7, exactly one day after a grand jury indicted her alleged rapist. [H-L]

Jason Chaffetz, the Utah Republican who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform committee, told reporters last week that a government ethics official who had criticized President-elect Donald Trump’s plan to deal with his potential conflicts of interest refused to meet with him. [HuffPo]

Way to go, Kentucky, for hating your waterways and the health of your environment and your citizenry. You can thank your ignorant governor. Kentucky’s environmental protection cabinet on Wednesday announced that it had joined other states in suing to overturn an Obama administration rule aimed at protecting streams from mining activities. [C-J/AKN]

Russia’s top diplomat on Tuesday said Moscow was looking forward to cooperating with the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump in the war on terrorism and bringing peace to Syria, and took a shot at the Obama administration for what he called “double standards.” [WaPo]

Don’t miss Scott Jennings’ latest rant about President Barack Obama. It’s laced with transphobia, borderline racism and filled with deliberate misinformation. Pay attention to this Mike Huckabee-wannabe because he’s the current brain trust of the Republican Party of Kentucky and it’s gonna get hilarious, to say the least. [Page One]

In one of his final acts in office, President Barack Obama granted clemency to 209 federal prisoners on Tuesday, almost all of whom were convicted of drug crimes. [HuffPo]

The WKU Board of Regents has selected Dr. Timothy Caboni, vice chancellor for public affairs at the University of Kansas, as the preferred candidate to be the 10th president of Western Kentucky University. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The hedge funds and insurance companies that want financially strapped Puerto Rico to pay them back in full may have found a new ally: Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski. [ProPublica]

Kentuckians aren’t deeply divided over the ACA, they’re deeply ignorant. When half the people don’t realize the ACA and “Obamacare” are the same thing? That’s the problem. [Ronnie Ellis]

From the Department of Things Scott Jennings Is Too Pent Up To Comprehend… President Barack Obama said on Wednesday that former military intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning had served a tough prison term and his decision to commute her 35-year sentence to about seven years served would not signal leniency toward leakers of U.S. government secrets. [Reuters]

This should come as a surprise to absolutely no one because it’s not exactly a secret. Kentucky’s Energy and Environment Cabinet has finalized a controversial plan to let the state’s utilities virtually self-regulate the storing of hazardous coal ash near power plants. [WFPL]

News anchor Ben Swann aired a six-minute “investigation” into Pizzagate in America’s ninth-largest TV market on Tuesday night. Remember when this buttcramp was in Cincinnasti? [TDB]

Mitch McConnell meets ordinary folks as he grocery shops in Louisville’s Highlands neighborhood. They talk to him about their disdain for Obamacare. So how does he tell them things will get better? [H-L]

Tom Price (R-Ga.), President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to head the Department of Health and Human Services, admitted on Wednesday that he decided to buy stock in an Australian biotech firm after receiving information from Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), a board member of that company. [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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Republicans Will Face Scrutiny On A Level They’ve Never Anticipated And Appear To Be Clueless About That Reality

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The federal prosecutor who pursued criminal convictions of former agriculture commissioner Richie Farmer and other Kentucky public officials is resigning. [H-L]

A federal judge in Texas on Saturday issued a court order barring enforcement of an Obama administration policy seeking to extend anti-discrimination protections under the Affordable Care Act to transgender health and abortion-related services. [HuffPo]

Of course Matt Bevin’s crew of mouth-breathers (yes, all of you staffers are garbage people if you choose to work for that bigot while having other employment options) are continuing their anti-environment revisionist history tour. It’s nonsense like this that will guarantee Bevin’s place in history will rank far below people like Steve Nunn, Richie Farmer, Ernie Fletcher. [C-J/AKN]

“What’s going on, Daddy?” asked my 6-year-old son. It was the morning of Nov. 12, a Saturday — or “Dadurday” at my house — and we were in my pickup truck, headed to a family outing. [ProPublica]

The state Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC) announced Tuesday it has signed an agreed order with Advanced Disposal Services Blue Ridge Landfill Inc. regarding the illegal dumping in 2015 of low-level, technologically enhanced, naturally occurring radioactive material (TENORM) at the landfill near Irvine. [Richmond Register]

Donald Trump conned the media on climate. His meetings with Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio are not the story. [ThinkProgress]

It took nearly 100 years for Republicans to gain control of the Kentucky House of Representatives. It took a whole lot less time for them to enjoy the privileges of the majority and for Democrats to suffer some of the slights of being in the minority for the first time since 1921. [Ronnie Ellis]

Three former White House press secretaries sounded various alarms about the president-elect and the possible pitfalls in his relationship with the media in a panel conversation with Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” [Politico]

If passed by legislators, family court will begin in Rowan County in 2022. A proposed judicial redistricting plan for district and circuit courts will be presented to state legislators in early 2017 when the General Assembly meets in regular session. [The Morehead News]

Between 1999 and 2014, drug overdose deaths in the United States nearly tripled. In 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 47,055 deaths from accidental drug overdoses. Opioids were implicated in 28,647 of them, 60.9 percent of the total. [NY Times]

The Republicans’ “new majority” in the Kentucky House of Representatives wasted little time Tuesday moving on key legislative priorities like right-to-work, prevailing wage and abortion. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Donald Trump is set to inherit an uncommon number of vacancies in the federal courts in addition to the open Supreme Court seat, giving the president-elect a monumental opportunity to reshape the judiciary after taking office. [WaPo]

Screw poor women! Screw the poors! Sluts should pay the price! Right? That seems to be the Republican way of life in Kentucky – it’s their mantra. Just wait til these Republicans start to experience what it’s like to really be in power – exposure to public scrutiny on a scale that’s been previously unfathomable. Women would not be allowed to get an abortion in Kentucky if they are more than 20 weeks pregnant under a controversial bill filed Tuesday on the first day of the state’s 2017 law-making session. [H-L]

It’s fascinating to watch someone who refuses intelligence briefings claim that intelligence he hasn’t even received or reviewed is bogus. What’s more fascinating/terrifying? That ignorant buffoon is about to be your president. [HuffPo]

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Welp, This Is Getting A Bit Interesting

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Way to go, Eastern Kentucky, you’ve done it again. Keep things trashy. Pikeville Medical Center canceled its live nativity Tuesday, saying it will not tolerate mistreatment of animals as alleged in a video shared on social media. [H-L]

The Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate on Wednesday, a sign of growing confidence in the economy that is likely to pinch consumers and businesses ― and provide a modest boost to lenders and savers. [HuffPo]

The University of Louisville Foundation exceeded its authority in paying former University President James Ramsey more than what was approved in 2014 by the university’s board of trustees, according to a long-awaited state audit released Wednesday. [C-J/AKN]

U.S. intelligence officials now believe with “a high level of confidence” that Russian President Vladimir Putin became personally involved in the covert Russian campaign to interfere in the U.S. presidential election, senior U.S. intelligence officials told NBC News. [NBC News]

Ashland lost 46 years of combined service on the Ashland Board of City Commissioners after Mayor Chuck Charles gaveled a somber meeting to close. [Ashland Independent]

What? The librul WALL STREE JOURNAL says fracking can taint drinking water?! Surely not! [WSJ]

Law enforcement officials give high marks to Justice Cabinet Secretary John Tilley and Gov. Matt Bevin for addressing a long-running practice of using funds set aside for law enforcement training for other purposes in the state budget. [Ronnie Ellis]

Rising inequality has crushed the dream of upward mobility. A child born in 1940 had an extremely good chance of growing up to earn more money than his parents did. Due to regression to the mean, children of the very, very wealthy were somewhat less likely to out-earn their parents (if your dad is Jeff Bezos, it’s hard to beat that no matter how many advantages you have in life). But from the bottom of the income distribution all the way up to the 95th percentile or so, families were extremely likely to experience upward mobility. [Vox]

This should shake you to your bones. The latest report from the Metropolitan Housing Coalition shows the city’s aging population is clustered and, generally, cut off from public transportation and affordable housing. [WFPL]

The U.S. government is slated to sell $375 million worth of crude oil from the country’s emergency reserve this winter after Congress passed a temporary spending bill on Friday that contained a measure authorizing the sale. [Reuters]

Supporting animals (or people) in need is a good thing. But here’s a look at how Louisville media consistently shits the bed when it comes to covering nightmare government agencies like Louisville Metro Animal Services. It’s nothing but hype. And you wonder why people don’t trust media. [WHAS11]

Two longtime ethics experts argue that Trump’s business conflicts are so big it should affect how the Electoral College votes. [Politico]

A lawyer for Lexington-based Hands on Originals told a three-judge panel of the Kentucky Court of Appeals Tuesday his client objected to the message on a 2012 Lexington Pride Festival T-shirt but does not discriminate against gays or same-sex couples. [H-L]

As the fall of the rebel-held city of Aleppo pulls the world’s attention back to the civil war in Syria, Syrian President Bashar Assad is quietly readying for his next big coup: re-establishing ties between Damascus and Washington. [HuffPo]

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Another Bad Week For Both UofL & UK

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On a recent trip to Washington, D.C., University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto stopped by the Chronicle of Higher Education to talk about campus sexual assault and UK’s legal case against the university’s student newspaper, the Kentucky Kernel. [H-L]

President Barack Obama opened up about racism he faced throughout his presidency in an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria on Wednesday. [HuffPo]

Criminal prosecutions of former Kentucky Personnel Cabinet Secretary Tim Longmeyer came to a quick end Thursday afternoon when Longmeyer pleaded guilty in Franklin Circuit Court to a single state felony count. [C-J/AKN]

Gen. Michael Hayden, a former head of the NSA and CIA, says he’s worried about Donald Trump’s understanding of cybersecurity. [The Hill]

Law enforcement officials give high marks to Justice Cabinet Secretary John Tilley and Gov. Matt Bevin for addressing a long-running practice of using funds set aside for law enforcement training for other purposes in the state budget. [Ronnie Ellis]

A public interest group urged U.S. officials on Wednesday to free up Washington landmarks for thousands of people planning protests around the Jan. 20 inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump. [Reuters]

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) has placed the University of Louisville on one year of probation apparently as a result of Gov. Matt Bevin’s attempts to refashion its board of trustees. [Ronnie Ellis]

Former CIA official Philip Mudd excoriated President-elect Donald Trump and his national security adviser on CNN Tuesday night, calling the Trump transition “a clown show.” [Politico]

The City of Ashland on Thursday accepted a $150,000 insurance settlement from the Kentucky League of Cities to recoup most of the money lost after tires went missing. [Ashland Independent]

The Supreme Court was something of an under-the-radar issue in the 2016 campaign, extremely important to some groups (especially white evangelicals), but not discussed all that much on a national level. But now that Donald Trump has been elected, and with the success of the GOP’s only-Republican-presidents-are-allowed-to-fill-vacancies strategy, it will be of tremendous importance to the country’s future. [WaPo]

The House committee looking into allegations that Republican Gov. Matt Bevin delayed an important Jessamine County road project to punish a Democratic representative collapsed Thursday when its chairman, Rep. Jim Wayne, D-Louisville, resigned. [Ronnie Ellis]

When Georgetown University announced plans in September to make amends for its historical participation in the slave trade, President John J. DeGioia drew a curious parallel. [ProPublica]

Filmmakers Clayton Brown and Monica Ross make documentaries about contemporary science, but about three years ago, they decided to explore what Brown calls “America’s troubled, strange, confusing relationship with science.” [H-L]

President-elect Donald Trump is doing exactly what he always said he was going to do with his company, the Trump Organization. But he’s spinning it as a new decision — and the press is buying it. [HuffPo]

Republicans Are Eating Themselves Alive

The people of eastern Martin County never know what they’ll get when they turn on their faucets. [H-L]

Donald Trump trained his wrath on the leaders of his own party Sunday, slamming them as “hypocrites” for abandoning him, and predicting they will lose in November. [HuffPo]

Talk is cheap for Matt Bevin. During his campaign for governor and since his election, Matt Bevin has said he supports restoring civil rights to nonviolent felons who have completed their sentences. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump is racist. Donald Trump is standing by his claim that a group of men known as the “Central Park Five” — who were exonerated for a brutal rape and beating in 1989 — are in fact guilty. [The Hill]

Let’s revisit the Stumbo-Bevin slapfight from last week… The political war between Democrats and Republican Gov. Matt Bevin escalated Wednesday as Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo appointed a committee to investigate allegations Bevin halted a road project in Democratic Rep. Russ Meyer’s district after Meyer refused to switch parties. [Ronnie Ellis]

The Red Cross has launched an emergency appeal to provide immediate relief to 50,000 Haitians in the aftermath of the strongest hurricane to hit the Caribbean since 2007. [Reuters]

Eastern Kentucky University has released information that disputes numbers cited Monday in a Faculty Senate resolution denouncing changes to employee health insurance plans. [Richmond Register]

Mitch McConnell said Donald Trump should apologize for being repugnant… but he still supports and promotes the monster. [Politico]

There are a lot more homeless people in the Ashland area than one may believe, said Shelter of Hope Executive Director Debbie Sivis. [Ashland Independent]

Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence avoided questions about running mate Donald Trump’s vulgar comments about women during a campaign stop in Ohio Oct. 7. [WaPo]

Allowing Bevin and Hampton to touch anything sounds like a terrible idea. [The Morehead News]

After Donald Trump reaffirmed his long-held belief this week that the men known as the Central Park Five were guilty in an infamous, decades-old rape case, two members of the since-exonerated group blasted Trump in interviews with Mother Jones, calling him a “stunt artist” and saying “he’s gotten worse” since his involvement in their 1990 conviction. [Mother Jones]

Is Jack Brammer lazy or deliberately misleading? Tres Watson initially JUSTIFIED Trump’s despicable comments and didn’t denounce them until it was publicly pointed out. He and the entire Scott Jennings crew were knee-deep in attempting to justify the remarks. The only person who spoke up unprovoked was Whitney Westerfield, which is beyond surprising. [H-L]

You knew. You all knew. You knew the whole time who and what Donald Trump is. Mike Pence. Paul Ryan. Mitch McConnell. Ted Cruz. Chris Christie. Newt Gingrich. Orrin Hatch. John McCain. Marco Rubio. Virtually all of you. [HuffPo]

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Trump Chickens Come Home To Roost

The Lexington Humane Society is inundated with cats every summer, and this August it’s using its “Purrgressive Pricing” program to help them alleviate some of the overcrowding. [H-L]

Aetna Inc, the No. 3 U.S. health insurer, on Monday said that due to persistent financial losses on Obamacare plans, it will sell individual insurance on the government-run online marketplaces in only four states next year, down from the current 15 states. [HuffPo]

GLI is part of what’s wrong with Louisville and it’s beyond time for everyone to recognize it. An organization like that is not necessary in the modern era. Louisville’s first heat-management plan is flawed and should not be used as the basis for any new regulatory programs aimed at reducing temperatures, the city’s chamber of commerce said. [C-J/AKN]

Boeing Co’s KC-46A refueling plane has been approved for production, with work underway for the first two low-rate initial production lots to be awarded in the next 30 days, the U.S. Air Force said on Friday. [Reuters]

On Friday, Gov. Matt Bevin made several appointments to Kentucky’s Universities and College Boards including two to the Eastern Kentucky University Board of Regents. [Richmond Register]

Federal health regulators have announced plans to crack down on nursing home employees who take demeaning photographs and videos of residents and post them on social media. [ProPublica]

Mayor Chuck Charles said the city of Ashland faces a “no-win” situation prior to the Aug. 23, county-wide election on alcohol sales. On Election Day, all registered voters in Boyd County, Ashland and Catlettsburg can vote to turn the county “wet.” The status would expand alcohol sales in convenience stores, gas stations, grocery stores and other businesses. [Ashland Independent]

More than 70 Republicans have signed a letter to the party’s National Committee head urging him to stop helping Donald Trump’s campaign. [BBC]

Watching AT&T buy favors from Rocky Adkins… AT&T Kentucky Tuesday donated $20,000 to the Rowan County Board of Education to be used for college and career readiness programs. [The Morehead News]

Republican strategists say time is running out on Donald Trump. Though there are more than 80 days to go before the election, GOP skeptics believe the party’s nominee has little time left to straighten out his campaign in order to defeat Hillary Clinton for the presidency. [The Hill]

The State Medical Examiner’s Office in Madisonville has determined that the cause of death for a Butler County couple found Tuesday in their home is homicide, according to a Kentucky State Police release. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Peter Greathouse, a Republican from Utah, says he’s not “comfortable” with Donald Trump as his party’s nominee. Jane Lynch, a GOP veteran from Arizona, says she’ll likely cast her personal vote for libertarian Gary Johnson or a write-in candidate. Loren Byers, a Texas Republican, calls Trump “a loose cannon.” [Politico]

If you’re the state’s most important newspaper, you could do a better job and have some common sense when covering suicide. At a bare minimum, provide links and numbers for resources. At a bare minimum. [H-L]

When Donald Trump unveiled his council of economic advisors earlier this month, observers were quick to note some of the team’s unorthodox attributes: all of its 13 members are men, six are named Steve and only one has an advanced degree in economics. [HuffPo]

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