RPK Denies Trying To Take Louisville Over, Egg Still Visible On Its Face

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Kentucky Retirement Systems, the state pension agency that officially faces an $18.1 billion unfunded liability, might be in far worse financial shape than previously thought. That means taxpayers could be on the hook for much more money to honor pension commitments to about 365,000 public employees. [John Cheves]

Donald Trump’s administration labeled The Associated Press’s reporting on a leak “100 percent false” on Friday morning, only to acknowledge less than an hour later that the story was based on a real document. [HuffPo]

If you think this isn’t a Republican attempt to take over in Louisville, you’re probably someone who believes the moon landing was faked. [C-J/AKN]

From the Department of Things Ken Ham and Scott Jennings wouldn’t understand… Zircons are an ordinary gemstone found in granites from continental crust and are an incredibly accurate way to measure ages on the order of hundreds of millions to billions of years old. [Forbes]

Remember a decade or so ago when we started uncovering and reporting on corruption involving Jim Ramsey and the University of Louisville? And when Ramsey, et al (mostly Democrats tied to Jack Conway), started coming for us? Funny how that works. Turns out we were right all along. [WFPL]

Twice as many people now work in solar than in the coal industry, according to a new survey from the nonprofit Solar Foundation. [Fast Company]

If you happen to be on the campus of Harvard University this spring and you run into former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, don’t be surprised. Beshear will be on campus as part of the Richard L. and Ronay A. Menschel Senior Leadership Fellows at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. [Business First]

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation is pursuing at least three separate probes relating to alleged Russian hacking of the U.S. presidential elections, according to five current and former government officials with direct knowledge of the situation. [Reuters]

After the ease with which it passed out of committee on Thursday — with no nay votes — there wasn’t much surprise Friday when the full Senate unanimously passed the latest Kentucky education reform bill. [Ronnie Ellis]

In light of the stunning events of the past week, the question is not whether the Trump administration’s ties to the Russian government need to be investigated immediately and fully — clearly they do. It’s who will be in charge of that investigation? The Republicans in Congress can’t decide whether they would rather act like a responsible, independent branch or just the friendly legislative arm of the White House. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House oversight committee, would sooner investigate a cartoon character named Sid the Science Kid than any allegations relating to President Trump. [NY Times]

From the Department of Things That Make You Go Hmm… Ashland is ranked eighth as one of the top places to retire in Kentucky, according to a SmartAsset study. [Ashland Independent]

Betsy DeVos criticized teachers at a D.C. school she visited and they took her ass to school. This is the backward, bigoted, out-of-touch woman Scott Jennings and the Republican Party of Kentucky are continually praising. [WaPo]

Tim Conley is a con artist who just won’t quit. He and his family hid behind Jesus – as if that’s okay – while he robbed Morgan County blind as people were suffering and mourning deaths after a tornado that wiped out West Liberty. He deserves to remain in prison until 2021. And honestly, deserves to be shunned for the rest of his time on earth. [H-L]

Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) gave a staunch defense of the free press Saturday, noting that attacks on the media are “how dictators get started.” [HuffPo]

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Scott Jennings Whines That Democrats Aren’t “Tolerant” Of Backward-Ass Bigots Like Betsy DeVos

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This editorial dangerously misses Matt Bevin’s typical, backward, slick, Republican point. That point? That poor people should pay more money to the state via consumption taxes. To suggest it’s about honest, fair tax reform is as shady as Bevin himself and the people defending him. The paper’s editorial board knows better and that’s what is most alarming. [H-L]

HAHAHAHA! This is the man people like Scott Jennings are tacitly defending. They own this huckster. OWN HIM. They have to own this mess and it’s going to be painful and hilarious to watch them have to eat it. Donald Trump on Wednesday ignored shouted questions about his administration’s reported ties to Russia. [HuffPo]

Here’s giant pussy, Scott Jennings, whining about TOLERANCE! Regarding school choice, which he says is scientific. HAHAHAHA! Seriously. You’re going to need to take a pee break before you read this one. This fucker is going to own every last idiot the Trump Administration has appointed each and every time he says this shit publicly. Make this dumb fucker own it, Democrats. Let him know that whining about how “intolerant” people are of his intolerance/racism/bigotry/whatever doesn’t compute. P.S. He’s going knee-deep on DeVos because of her money. His Super PAC. McConnell’s Super PAC. [C-J/AKN]

How did Sergei Krikov die? And why did the NYPD close the case? He was found just before 7 a.m. on Election Day, lying on the floor of the Russian Consulate on the Upper East Side. The man was unconscious and unresponsive, with an unidentified head wound — “blunt force trauma,” in cop parlance. By the time emergency responders reached him, he was dead. [BuzzFeed]

Citing “increasing public interest and media attention,” Kentucky State Police on Wednesday announced the creation of a dedicated unit to investigate police shootings across the state. [WFPL]

Donald Trump is a racist bigot and people like Scott Jennings, Damon Thayer and Jeff Hoover are all about him. Fortunately, people like Whitney Westerfield maybe see through the bullshit? Either way, the FBI has released documents related to Dildo Trump’s rental discrimination case and they are scandalous. Be sure to read what Trump’s doorman told the FBI he was directed to tell black people. [FBI]

House Speaker Jeff Hoover says Kentucky’s Republican governor will have to testify before a legislative committee and offer his personal, public guarantee that he won’t block a bill aimed at overhauling driver’s licenses in the state. [Richmond Register]

The intercepts alarmed American intelligence and law enforcement agencies, in part because of the amount of contact that was occurring while Mr. Trump was speaking glowingly about the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin. [NY Times]

The City of Ashland is poised to acquire the old Ashland Oil building for free. Louisa Community Bank will donate the vacant, seven-story building on Winchester Avenue to the city, pending approval by the board of city commissioners during Wednesday’s commission meeting. [Ashland Independent]

Trump’s ouster of national security adviser Michael Flynn, and the circumstances leading up to it, have quickly become a major crisis for the fledgling administration, forcing the White House on the defensive and precipitating the first significant breach in relations between Trump and an increasingly restive Republican Congress. [WaPo]

Cave City has received the best audit report it could receive from an auditor. David Gilbert with Gilbert and Gilbert, a certified public accounting firm in Glasgow, reviewed the city’s 2016 audit report with city council members Monday night. In doing so, he pointed out the change in the city’s net position, which was $1,237,401. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The ex-wife of President Donald Trump’s labor secretary nominee told “The Oprah Winfrey Show” that he “vowed revenge” when she made public spousal abuse allegations, according to a 1990 tape reviewed by POLITICO on Tuesday night. [Politico]

Of course Damon Thayer and his handlers want to further corrupt politics in Kentucky. Lawmakers in Kentucky are looking for more of that sweet, sweet cash. A bill that would double the amount donors can contribute to a campaign passed the Senate Wednesday on a party-line vote after it got out of the Senate State and Local Government Committee committee earlier in the day. [H-L]

Multiple Russian military aircraft came close to a U.S. Navy destroyer in the Black Sea on Feb. 10, incidents considered “unsafe and unprofessional,” a U.S. official said on Tuesday. [HuffPo]

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You Excited For Another Martin County Coal Slurry Disaster? If So, You Can Thank Mitch McConnell & Crew

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Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear has found that Western Kentucky University officials acted illegally by turning down open records requests from two student newspaper representatives. [H-L]

Just a reminder that Holocaust denial is alive and well IN THE FUCKING WHITE HOUSE! The State Department drafted its own statement last month marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day that explicitly included a mention of Jewish victims, according to people familiar with the matter, but President Donald Trump’s White House blocked its release. [Politico]

If you need a good laugh, check out the latest brain dead bumblings from Bridget Bush, a woman with a history of spewing racism, homophobia and general stupidity. She believes that since SHE has a great life, everyone else does, that there’s nothing up in the U.S. That’s how stupid the woman is. Straight up stupid. It’s not ignorance. She’s really that dumb. Thank goodness the paper allows her and her ilk (like Scott Jennings) to spew their bullshit out into the public so we know who to keep our children away from. Also, PEE ALERT! [C-J/AKN]

On Thursday the GOP-controlled House voted to overturn an Obama administration rule designed to keep firearms out of the hands of some people deemed mentally ill. [NPR]

What happens to our institutions when good people are not there to run them? [LEO Weekly]

After this twat threatened to invade Mexico (seriously), he got nasty with Australia. A report about heated remarks President Trump made to Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull during a Saturday phone call has sparked an incident with the close U.S. ally, and confusion over whether the U.S. will honor a refugee resettlement deal. [New York Magazine]

Amy Johnson stood on the sidewalk in downtown Louisville, waiting for a ride, and lit a cigarette. [WFPL]

The military convoy spotted on Sunday flying a Donald Trump flag near Louisville belonged to an East Coast-based SEAL unit, a Navy spokesperson told ABC News. Though known as SEAL units, Navy Special Warfare Units consist of many support staff, Maxwell said, so the occupants of the vehicle flying the flag may not have been SEALs. [ABC News]

Eastern Kentucky University’s police department had a busy year in 2016, according to information presented to the university’s Board of Regents Monday morning. [Richmond Register]

Discrimination under the guise of ‘Religious Freedom’ is still discrimination, Republican Party of Kentucky. [ACLU]

The man who in all probability will be Morehead State University’s next president is coming to campus March 5 and 6. [Ashland Independent]

A Senate subcommittee is launching an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and how to prevent similar attacks in the future, subcommittee leaders announced Thursday. [The Hill]

Rama Al Najjar and her family left Syria more than four years ago to escape violence, but critics’ fears that refugees will commit similar violence have caused families like hers to be blocked from the United States. [H-L]

Donald Trump takes Propecia, a hair-loss drug associated with mental confusion and impotence. But that’s not that big of a deal, right? Nothing wrong with the leader of the free world taking something that could make him even more unstable. [HuffPo]

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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]