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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McConnell’s Head Is Poking Out Again

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And mouth-breathers wonder why so many people want to end the death penalty. After nearly 30 years, a Cincinnati man’s murder conviction has been dismissed. William “Ricky” Virgil left a courtroom in northern Kentucky on Friday as a free man. [H-L]

Mitch McConnell’s hypocrisy knows no bounds. Just like the sanctimonious bullshit from his now-wealthy kept boys who used to work with him know no decency. [HuffPo]

You can thank Matt Bevin’s shady-ass team for this. Child abuse findings voided secretly in Kentucky. [C-J/AKN]

President-elect Donald Trump’s skepticism of the Intelligence Community’s findings on Russian election interference has raised fears among experts that Trump will bypass intel analysts and demand that his personal team conduct its own analyses of raw data. [The Hill]

The Berea College Appalachian Fund on Tuesday announced a $5,000 grant to the New Liberty Baptist Sunday School Convention, which operates a shelter for homeless families in Richmond. [Richmond Register]

President Barack Obama said on Friday that criticism from the left wing of his own Democratic Party helped feed into the unpopularity of Obamacare, his signature healthcare reform law. [Reuters]

Carol Allen hopes the long-anticipated renovations will begin on the Highlands Museum and Discovery Center within the next two weeks. The museum received a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant from the state government in December of 2015 for upgrades that will allow the building to be compliant with the American Disabilities Act. [Ashland Independent]

Meeting in private, enthused activists promise that the growing Republican dominance in state government will unleash a wave of laws to cut business taxes, restrict unions and expand school privatization. [ProPublica]

An amendment to an existing state law that would allow cities with a population of less than 20,000 and counties that do not have a city with a population greater than 20,000 to impose a regulatory license fee on the gross receipts of alcoholic beverage sales has been proposed to the state senate. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Here’s your regular reminder that Rand Paul thinks he can get the entirely of the House and Senate to go along with something. Sorry for the lack of a pee alert. [Politico]

The state Supreme Court has agreed to take up Gov. Matt Bevin’s appeal of a ruling that said he can’t overhaul of the University of Louisville Board of Trustees. [WFPL]

The intelligence agencies’ report on the Russian intervention in the American presidential election portrays it as just one piece of an old-fashioned Soviet-style propaganda campaign. [NY Times]

When politicians want to settle scores these days, they often pick up their phones and tweet insults at each other. Things were more dangerous in Henry Clay’s time. [Tom Eblen]

Anxiety about repealing Obamacare without a replacement got a lot more visible in the U.S. Senate on Monday evening, as a half-dozen Republican senators called publicly for slowing down the process. [HuffPo]

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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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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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Here’s Your Corrupt KDP Schadenfreude

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Get fucked, R.J. Palmer and Dale Emmons. Being forced to pay douchebag Ralph Alvarado a mountain of cash is great fun to watch. You all deserve each other – all three of you. As one of the few people to be able to speak to settling (in my favor!) a defamation suit I filed against prominent Democrats in Kentucky, I think this is hilarious. Just icing on the cake to watch all of these corrupt hacks die a slow death while repeatedly getting kicked in the shady, deceitful gut. Kentucky will be better when that generation finally dies off. [AP/H-L]

A bipartisan group of lawmakers has urged McConnell to take the investigation out of the Senate Intelligence Committee and open a broader select panel to probe cyberwarfare threats from Russia and other U.S. adversaries including Iran and China. [HuffPo]

If you thought this one guy was going to save the University of Louisville from a decade of scandal, you haven’t been paying attention. [C-J/AKN]

Yahoo Inc’s secret scanning of customer emails at the behest of a U.S. spy agency is part of a growing push by officials to loosen constitutional protections Americans have against arbitrary governmental searches, according to legal documents and people briefed on closed court hearings. [Reuters]

Dave Eldridge, a 35-year newspaper executive, has been appointed publisher of the Corbin Times-Tribune and The London Sentinel-Echo. [Richmond Register]

Steven Mnuchin has made a career out of being lucky. The former Goldman Sachs banker nominated to become Donald Trump’s treasury secretary had the perspicacity to purchase a collapsed subprime mortgage lender soon after the financial crisis, getting a sweet deal from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Now, if he’s confirmed, he will likely be able to take advantage of a tax perk given to government officials. [ProPublica]

Raceland councilman Matt Abrams didn’t resign, and the Raceland City Council took no action in the wake of Abrams’ Thanksgiving arrest on multiple drug charges. [Ashland Independent]

The Trump transition team has asked for a list of Energy Department employees and contractors who attended United Nations climate meetings and worked on key Obama administration climate policies, including the social cost of carbon. [ThinkProgress]

Warren County set a state record in 2016 for wheat yield per-acre, and Barren County also had a strong year based on federal estimates. [Glasgow Daily Times]

After all the allegations of rampant voter fraud and claims that millions had voted illegally, the people who supervised the general election last month in states around the nation have been adding up how many credible reports of fraud they actually received. The overwhelming consensus: next to none. [NY Times]

The chair of Kentucky’s workgroup formulating potential changes to the commonwealth’s oil and gas regulations says he believes state laws adequately protect drinking water resources, even with the release of more details from the federal Environmental Protection Agency. [WFPL]

We need the jobs that actually exist in our towns to pay us wages high enough for us to afford basics we can live on. [WaPo]

Federal conservation officials have rejected appraisals of two Fayette County farms at the center of a $300,000 disagreement between Lexington and the federal government. [H-L]

Donald Trump wrapped up his post-election “thank you” tour on Saturday with celebratory geysers from water cannons, greetings from hoop-skirted Southern belles and some gloating over the TV newscasters who had expected him to lose. [HuffPo]

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Year Ten Of Crazy UofL Scandals

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How is it Linda Blackford can get a story like this done with ease and her colleague, Spears, can’t be bothered to get a story about Montgomery County even ten percent correctly? Also, UK is apparently just as corrupt as UofL. [H-L]

A majority of American voters favor delaying the Electoral College vote scheduled for Monday until electors can be fully briefed on Russian interference in the election. [HuffPo]

What? UofL is accused of cheating? Surely not! [C-J/AKN]

It’s just politics, right, Republican Party of Kentucky? You made your Cheeto Jesus and his homophobic administration. Now you get to answer for every atrocity they force on the LGBTQ community in the coming years. [Boston Globe]

Come Monday, 538 members of the esoteric Electoral College will gather in statehouses across the country and 306 of them will vote to finalize Donald Trump’s election as the 45th President of the United States. [Ronnie Ellis]

This doesn’t make the Republican Party of Kentucky mouthbreathers/coal shills happy. Solar power is becoming the world’s cheapest form of new electricity generation. [Fortune]

Most of the laid-off AK steelworkers mingling in the local union hall after filing unemployment paperwork had one question for the chapter president. [Ashland Independent]

There’s so much to nitpick in this “coal country” story. Just so much. [FastCoExist]

Nearly 20 area residents attended a special called Fiscal Court meeting Friday morning to voice their displeasure regarding the county’s potential adoption of the Kentucky state building code. [The Morehead News]

Donald Trump’s selection of Rep. Mick Mulvaney to become his budget chief could represent a major shift for the incoming administration on tackling entitlement spending. [The Hill]

A $10.7 million expansion of Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort at Mammoth Cave on Mammoth Cave Road was announced earlier this week. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Granny McConnell got his butt handed to him by Cheeto Jesus, apparently. The courtship of Ryan Zinke began months before the end of the presidential race. A Republican congressman from Montana and a former Navy SEAL commander, Mr. Zinke was approached over the summer by Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, about running for the Senate in 2018. [NY Times]

The University of Louisville has agreed to pay Dr. David Dunn, the former vice president of health affairs, $1.15 million to leave the school. [H-L]

President-elect Donald Trump and some of Silicon Valley’s most powerful executives met at his Manhattan tower on Wednesday, a summit convened to smooth over frictions after both sides made no secret of their disdain for each other during the election campaign. [HuffPo]

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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]