Frankfort In 2017 Will Be Insanity

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Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign chairman, already convicted of conspiracy and charges related to false campaign reporting, is now accused of violating his probation and trying to help arrange a $2 million illegal contribution to a super PAC supporting President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign. [H-L]

The year-end stocks rally on the heels of the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president was built on expectations of reduced regulations, big tax cuts and a large fiscal stimulus. [HuffPo]

This is what Republicans want – for there to be no accountability when poor people get swindled by the wealthy. Forty years ago, as a lobbyist for the Insurance Institute of Indiana, Frank Cornelius helped persuade the state legislature to pass what was acclaimed as a pioneering reform of medical malpractice law — a $500,000 cap on damage awards and elimination of all damages for pain and suffering. [C-J/AKN]

Yes, the Bevin crew is wreaking havoc. Read this scandalous coverage of the insurance shenanigans going on in Bevinistan. [Public Integrity]

An Ashland attorney is one of five appointed as administrative law judges within the Department of Workers’ Claims by Gov. Matt Bevin on Wednesday. [Ashland Independent]

The FBI kept a close watch on the activities of Muhammad Ali in 1966, with a particular focus on his links to the Nation of Islam, a black movement that the agency viewed as subversive, according to archival documents posted on the FBI website. [Reuters]

Republicans are poised to use their newly attained capitol dominance to make Missouri the 27th right-to-work state prohibiting mandatory union fees. That is unless Kentucky’s recently crowned GOP majorities can beat them to it. [Richmond Register]

Donald Trump’s newly tapped White House communications director, Jason Miller, backed out of the job following claims that he had an affair with another transition official, according to three sources close to the Trump transition. [Politico]

After a three-year investigation by Kentucky State Police Vehicle Investigations, KSP Post 8 and the Rowan County Sheriff’s department, a Rowan County grand jury returned multiple indictments on three area residents. [The Morehead News]

Flying at 30,000 feet, the powerful radar aboard this Air Force jet peered deep into Syrian territory, hunting for targets on the ground to strike in the looming offensive to seize Raqqa, the Islamic State’s capital. [NY Times]

Kobyn Shugart, 10, of Glasgow wasn’t interested in receiving any toys or other presents this year. “All I really wanted for Christmas was for Sable to come home,” he said. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Donald Trump late Friday publicly praised Russian President Vladimir Putin for attacking Trump’s former Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. [WaPo]

The Christmas holiday across Lexington and Central Kentucky 100 years ago was one of hope, celebration, temperance and sorrow. [H-L]

China has lodged “stern representations” with the United States after President Barack Obama signed into law a U.S. defense policy bill that suggests a plan to conduct high-level military exchanges with self-ruled Taiwan. [HuffPo]

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Woah, Johnny Boone Got Arrested

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The Kentucky Association of Counties and the Kentucky League of Cities don’t want Gov. Matt Bevin or the Kentucky General Assembly to mess with the well-funded, solvent state County Employees Retirement System. [H-L]

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump called on Thursday for the country to expand its nuclear weapons capabilities until the world “comes to its senses” – a signal he may support costly efforts to modernize the aging U.S. nuclear arsenal. [HuffPo]

This is the only thing people in the city know/think about the mountains of rural Kentucky. [C-J/AKN]

An 11-year-old transgender Ohio child must be allowed to continue to use the girls’ restroom while her school district appeals a court ruling in her favor, a U.S. appeals court ruled Thursday. [Reuters]

The parent company of Kentucky Electric Steel filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Thursday. [Ashland Independent]

ProPublica has sued the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, claiming the agency failed to promptly process a request for correspondence with a consultant about Agent Orange, a toxic defoliant used during the Vietnam War. [ProPublica]

Um, only a few places? Talk about a gross understatement. This is what happens when people from inside the Watterson try to write about the rest of the Commonwealth without ever having been anywhere. There are only a few places where alcohol sales are still completely banned in the Bluegrass. [Business First]

While Democrats vowed to fight the nomination of a climate denier to head up the Environmental Protection Agency, Republican congressmen and fossil fuel industry leaders celebrated on Thursday. [ThinkProgress]

As temperatures fall and Wednesday being the first day of winter, individuals and families who have fallen on hard times and found themselves without a place to lay their heads, may be looking for shelter from the cold. [Richmond Register]

Across Appalachia, coal miners are suffering from the most serious form of the deadly mining disease black lung in numbers more than 10 times what federal regulators report. [NPR]

The former leader of the Cornbread Mafia was arrested in Canada on Thursday. U.S. marshals picked up John “Johnny” Robert Boone in a small town outside Montreal after an extensive fugitive investigation. [WLKY]

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

Matt Bevin continues to prove he’s a turd burglar who is willfully ignorant of the laws of the Commonwealth and this nation. You can’t fix that kind of stupid. [H-L]

A senior United Nations official warned on Thursday that thousands of people evacuated from rebel-held areas of Aleppo after a crushing government offensive could suffer the same fate in their new place of refuge outside the city. [HuffPo]

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Now The Horsey Set Is Getting Nervous

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What will Donald Trump’s presidency mean for Thoroughbred racing? After all, Kentucky’s horse industry could never get out of the starting gate without the immigrants he demagogued as “criminals” and “rapists” during the campaign. [Tom Eblen]

Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for secretary of state, has expressed skepticism over the United States’ sanctions against Russia, as his company stands to reap enormous profits if they are lifted. [HuffPo]

If you think this is bad, you’d be surprised to learn that many in Eastern Kentucky rely on wells that are literally poison. Deep in the hills of Appalachian Kentucky is a tiny, lone wolf water system that didn’t test for lead or other contaminants for decades – leaving residents in the dark about whether their water is safe to drink. [C-J/AKN]

A group that gave more money to one of President-elect Trump’s fundraising efforts than any other political action committee failed to disclose its donors before Election Day and exceeded caps on contribution amounts. [ProPublica]

A year and one day after his inauguration, Republican Gov. Matt Bevin said much was accomplished in his first year and said he’s advised legislative leaders in his own party to be patient as Republicans attempt to pass a long pent-up legislative agenda. [Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump’s leading candidate for secretary of state, ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, would accelerate the president-elect’s collision course with Congress over his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin and raise new questions about Putin’s role in the election. [Politico]

So of course Frankfort will continue to cut funding. An outside panel has concluded that Kentucky’s social service system is “grossly underfunded” as the state’s child protection system struggles with the large number of children whose parents are abusing drugs. [AP/State Journal]

Religious minorities in the United States are far more likely to have attended college or a vocational school than members of the Christian majority, according to a review of census and survey data from 151 countries released on Tuesday that found wide gaps in education among followers of the world’s major religions. [NY Times]

A transgender man fired from GE Appliances in Louisville can sue for race and gender discrimination, according to a federal court ruling late last month. [WFPL]

The US is sending 200 more military personnel to help fight the Islamic State group in its Syrian stronghold of Raqqa, the US defence secretary says. [BBC]

Defeated in the Nov. 8 general election by 98 votes, Madison County School Board member John Lackey has filed suit seeking to have his opponent, Samantha Burford, disqualified. [Richmond Register]

The Dallas Police and Fire Pension System’s board has halted withdrawals from a deferred retirement plan following a lawsuit by the city’s mayor, who claimed withdrawals were accelerating the $2.7 billion pension system’s descent into insolvency. [Reuters]

A couple of years ago, I read a story in a British newspaper about Yiwu, China, where 600 factories churn out 60 percent of the world’s Christmas decorations, most of them synthetic, cheap and cheesy. [Tom Eblen]

Thousands of civilians remained trapped in eastern Aleppo on Tuesday, fighting for their lives as pro-government forces moved to regain control from rebel groups. [HuffPo]

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Comer’s Pal Is Having A Tough Time

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State Rep. Tim Couch, R-Hyden, republished fake news stories on his Facebook page this week alleging that President Obama’s daughters, Malia and Sasha, are adopted, and suggesting that the president is gay and his wife, first lady Michelle Obama, is a transgender man. [H-L]

President-elect Donald Trump has picked Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to serve as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Reuters reported Wednesday. [H-L]

Attorney General Andy Beshear said Wednesday that Gov. Matt Bevin alone caused the University of Louisville to be put on probation by the school’s accrediting agency, and only Bevin can address the problem by backing off his orders revamping the university board of trustees. [C-J/AKN]

When Matt Bevin and his crew of revisionist historians attempt to claim he’s great for education, remember this. Kentucky passed a plan to offer tuition-free community college, but Gov. Matt Bevin has delayed putting the program in place until next year. [CHE]

As of Friday afternoon, legal-notice advertisements had been published or had publication dates set announcing intent to have package alcohol sales in more than 20 locations in Barren County, with all but a few of them being within the city limits of Glasgow. [Glasgow Daily Times]

President-elect Donald Trump has selected retired Gen. John Kelly as his pick to head the Department of Homeland Security, a high level transition source confirmed to The Hill on Wednesday. [The Hill]

Can you think of a WORSE panel of people to discuss charter schools and public education on KET?! Possibly the most absurd the taxpayer-funded network has pushed out this year. A racist. A wealthy guy who hasn’t been inside a grocery store in his life. A borderline corrupt legislator. A failed/ousted former school superintendent. Way to go, Kentucky! [KET]

It has been 75 years but U.S. Navy veteran James Leavelle can still recall watching with horror as Japanese warplanes rained bombs on his fellow sailors in the surprise attack at Pearl Harbor that plunged the United States into World War Two. [Reuters]

Here’s a real ruh ro moment for Jamie Comer cohort/pal/schemer, Rob Sanders. This time involving guns, not just made-up investigations. What happened to a rifle the Covington Police gave to the Kenton County prosecutor in 2012? [Cincinnasti.com]

After meeting with Vice President-elect Mike Pence on Tuesday to hash out plans to repeal Obamacare, top Senate Republicans are no closer to resolving an issue that’s splintering the GOP heading into the start of Donald Trump’s presidency: how long to give themselves to replace the law. [Politico]

Rand Paul has become an outspoken assessor of President-elect Donald Trump’s potential nominees for secretary of state, going out of his way to criticize several candidates for their hawkish foreign policy views. [WFPL]

In a move signaling an assault on President Obama’s climate change and environmental legacy, President-elect Donald Trump will nominate Scott Pruitt, the attorney general of the oil and gas intensive state of Oklahoma, to head the Environmental Protection Agency. [WaPo]

A $1 billion proposal to help struggling coal regions didn’t make it into a short-term federal spending bill as backers had hoped. [H-L]

President-elect Donald Trump’s team insists it’s not a big deal that he spoke directly with Taiwan’s president, breaking with years of delicate foreign policy precedent and leading to the Chinese government lodging a complaint over the matter with the U.S. [HuffPo]

Conspiracy Loons Are Alive & Well

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University of Louisville’s accrediting agency has placed it on probation, citing Gov. Matt Bevin’s interference with the independence of the university’s board of trustees and the employment of its president. [C-J/AKN]

Matt Bevin held a private reception Monday afternoon for non-merit, or politically appointed, state managers that was privately funded. His press office declined to answer questions about the purpose of the event, its location, who paid for it, how many people attended and if all non-merit employees were invited. [H-L]

Donald Trump’s pick for attorney general said in 2002 that federal judges shouldn’t read too much into the Constitution. [HuffPo]

Struggling to provide for themselves and their growing family, George and Katrina Ellis found themselves on the brink of homelessness several years ago when they lost their rental home and couldn’t find another they could afford. [C-J/AKN]

U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who is charged with desertion for walking away from his combat post in Afghanistan in 2009, has asked President Barack Obama for a pardon, the White House said on Saturday. [Reuters]

For the first time in more than two years, the People’s Clinic is asking its supporters to resume making annual gifts. [The Morehead News]

Donald Trump has called climate change a “hoax” and said he plans to unburden American industries from Obama-era requirements to limit emissions of carbon dioxide and the other greenhouse gases causing the planet to warm. [ProPublica]

The Kentucky State Parks are looking to fill the state park manager’s position at Barren River Lake State Resort Park in the Lucas community of Barren County. [Glasgow Daily Times]

On Tuesday night, American voters showed strong support for measures to increase public transportation projects throughout the United States. [ThinkProgress]

Madison County students will have to wait a little longer for a new vocational technical facility. [Richmond Register]

Hospitals have long been reluctant to share with patients their assessments of which nursing homes are best because of a Medicare requirement that patients’ choices can’t be restricted. [NPR]

While many may not understand what CAReS is all about, those who have been a recipient call them lifesavers. [Ashland Independent]

Yep, this is happening, the conspiracy loonies are acting out. It’s what people like Scott Jennings, Matt Bevin and Rand Paul have spent years enabling. Shaken by weeks of death threats and online attacks fueled by a bizarre conspiracy theory, the independent business owners on this block of Connecticut Avenue in Northwest Washington gathered at Terasol restaurant just after Thanksgiving to discuss what to do. Though they had repeatedly reported the harassment to District police and the FBI, the abuse had only intensified. [WaPo]

The University of Louisville says a global professional services firm has been selected to do an in-depth audit of the school’s fundraising foundation. The university said Monday that the selection of Alvarez & Marsal Disputes and Investigations LLC was made by an oversight committee that includes members of the UofL Board of Trustees and the UofL Foundation’s Board of Directors. [H-L]

The Pakistani government on Wednesday released a description of a phone call between Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and U.S. President-elect Donald Trump that gave global media and Trump-watchers a lot to chuckle about. [HuffPo]

More On Matt Bevin’s Orange Hero

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A bio-diesel leak has affected a creek in northern Scott County near Sadieville. A cleanup firm hired by Love’s Travel Stop on Porter Road has pumped out over 60,000 of gallons of water from Little Eagle Creek, which included about 3,000 gallons of biodiesel, according to a county official. [H-L]

This brand of stupid is rampant among Kentucky Republicans – and it’s spreading among uneducated Democrats. In a revealing Thursday morning segment on CNN, Donald Trump supporters claimed that 3 million people voted illegally in the recent presidential election and that President Barack Obama had urged non-citizens to cast ballots. Both claims are false. [HuffPo]

Pitching his speech to a supportive Kentucky audience, U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnel (R-Senile Old Racist, Apparently) said that the outcome of the presidential election signals a “comeback for rural America” at the annual meeting of the Kentucky Farm Bureau on Saturday in Louisville. [C-J/AKN]

This is what you call a whiny ass titty baby. The guy Matt Bevin thinks is some kind of hero. President-elect Donald Trump early Sunday blasted the latest episode of “Saturday Night Live,” saying the show is “unwatchable.” [The Hill]

Members of the Morehead State Presidential Search and Screening Advisory Committee met Thursday morning to discuss active candidates for the position. [The Morehead News]

Frank Kendall, the Pentagon’s chief arms buyer, said on Saturday he was hopeful that a proposed three-year block buy of Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jets, expected to generate large savings, would go ahead. “I can’t say what’s in the final budget, but I’m very hopeful that the block buy will proceed as planned, Kendall told Reuters at the annual Reagan National Defense Forum in southern California. [Reuters]

Kobyn Shugart, 10, of Glasgow is asking for donations to help his dog Sable, a three-and-a-half-year-old chocolate Labrador Retriever. [Glasgow Daily Times]

It is hard to find anyone more passionate about the idea of steering public dollars away from traditional public schools than Betsy DeVos, Donald J. Trump’s pick as the cabinet secretary overseeing the nation’s education system. [NY Times]

Here’s your new eye roll moment. It appears something very big is lurking at the Pinnacles in Berea. [Richmond Register]

Journalist Masha Gessen has spent years reporting on Vladimir Putin’s rule in Russia. She has written that the focus on Russian influence over now President-elect Donald Trump has been overstated and the result of a failure of imagination: the inability to imagine that the president would profoundly break with the norms of our country’s political discourse and practices. [ProPublica]

Two cornerstone donors for the Paramount Arts Center’s late-year fundraising campaign gave with an eye to the past and the future. [Ashland Independent]

The fate of humanity is in the hands of a denier who pledged to kill domestic and global climate action and all clean energy research. [ThinkProgress]

John David and Mary Helen Myles’ house is a classic example of what people think of when they hear the phrase, “my old Kentucky home.” But as his new book explains, these iconic buildings are rapidly disappearing. [H-L]

President-elect Donald Trump likes to put forward lies and outlandish conspiracy theories as though they were statements of fact. One of his most loyal surrogates offered a puzzling defense of this on Thursday, arguing that even Trump’s most pernicious statements aren’t really lies, because facts themselves no longer exist. [HuffPo]

The KRS/KTRS Are Still A Train Wreck

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Officials asked residents of a Knott County home to evacuate because of the threat of flooding caused by water leaking from a nearby coal mine. [H-L]

Donald Trump promised during his campaign to bring back mining jobs to struggling workers in coal country. Now the president-elect has tapped for commerce secretary a Manhattan billionaire who owned a West Virginia coal mine where 12 workers died in 2006. [HuffPo]

Greg Fischer said those seeking to address gun violence in Louisville and other cities, such as Gov. Matt Bevin, must consider multiple policy levers in order to halt the rise of shootings and homicides. [C-J/AKN]

President-elect Donald Trump’s transition-team adviser on financial policies and appointments, Paul Atkins, has been depicted as an ideological advocate of small government. But the ways that the Trump administration and Congressional Republicans are likely to approach financial deregulation could serve Atkins’ wallet as well as his political agenda. [ProPublica]

The Louisville attorneys representing three people in a lawsuit stemming from a Donald Trump campaign rally want to depose the president-elect before he’s sworn into office. Dan Canon is one of the lawyers representing the plaintiffs suing Trump and others. He said Trump incited violence at his rally in Louisville back in March. [WLKY]

On Thursday, a federal judge in Oregon ruled that a climate lawsuit brought against the U.S. government by a group of youths can move forward, a win for the strategy of fighting climate change through the judicial branch. [ThinkProgress]

Worried about irreparable damage being done to their retirement benefits, a group of public school teachers on Tuesday asked a judge to order Kentucky’s top political leaders to “perform their constitutional and statutory duties” by adequately funding the pension system. [Richmond Register]

A US serviceman has been killed by an improvised explosive device while fighting against so-called Islamic State (IS) in Syria, officials say. [BBC]

The 5,000 electric customers of Kentucky Utilities in Barren and Hart counties, along with the other 541,000 in more than 70 counties across the commonwealth, could get cost hikes in the coming year, pending Kentucky Public Service Commission approval. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Thirty years ago Friday, a shocking announcement was made in the rotunda of San Francisco’s City Hall by a visibly shaken Dianne Feinstein, who was then president of the city’s Board of Supervisors. [NPR]

The financial woes of Kentucky’s public pension systems continue to worsen, but it’s really one of the six plans which is causing the most concern. [Ronnie Ellis]

Mitch McConnell (R-Granny), whose wife Elaine Chao is Trump’s pick for transportation secretary, was asked if he plans to recuse himself from her Senate confirmation process. McConnell’s answer? In a word: no. [WaPo]

The number of homemade methamphetamine labs found in Kentucky has dropped sharply in the past few years as drug abusers switched to imported meth, reducing the danger and cleanup costs associated with the small labs. [H-L]

A Marine wounded in combat in Fallujah, Iraq, in 2004 has found new purpose as a self-proclaimed peaceful warrior fighting against a 1,172-mile pipeline that protesters fear threatens the water source of Native Americans in North Dakota. [HuffPo]