Robin Webb Must Fear Losing Her Seat

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A few Kentucky lawmakers want payday loan stores to face much heavier penalties when they violate consumer-protection law. [John Cheves]

The Senate Judiciary Committee’s top Republican and Democrat are together pressing Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director James Comey to provide the committee with more details on former national security adviser Michael Flynn and his contacts with Russian officials. [HuffPo]

This should come as a surprise to no one who has followed Greg Fischer’s incompetent service as mayor. The Metro Corrections Department is trying to figure out why jail officials held an inmate for five months after his sentence was up and then turned him over to federal immigration authorities. Ironically, the handover Monday came only an hour after activists delivered more than 2,000 signatures urging Mayor Greg Fischer to designate Louisville a sanctuary city. [C-J/AKN]

Trump’s repeal of bipartisan anti-corruption measure proves he’s a fake. The man who ran as an outsider and champion of the common man plays the stooge for industry. So of course people like Scott Jennings live for the orange clown. [Rolling Stone]

The state Senate Education Committee gave a hearty — if not quite unanimous — amen to a bill sponsored by Sen. Robin Webb, D-Grayson, which would allow school districts to offer an elective Bible literacy course. Robin Webb ought to be kicked square in the ass – for other reasons, too – but this ought to be reason enough for someone (Democrat or Republican) to oust her in the next election. [Ronnie Ellis]

Funny how you don’t hear anything about stuff like this from the Kentucky GOP or Dildo Trump – even though it’s been reported by Fox. A Russian spy ship has moved 40 miles closer to the U.S. shore and is now sitting 30 miles off the coast of Groton, Connecticut. [Salon]

Do you smell the looming disaster? A significant re-working of Kentucky’s curriculum standards and assessment and evaluation of schools appears headed to easy passage after the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Mike Wilson, R-Bowling Green, got most of the major stakeholders on board. [More Ronnie Ellis]

Michael Flynn was at a beachside resort in the Dominican Republic, a stretch of sand and sun that he and his wife had visited for years, when he took a few moments out of their post-election vacation for a call with the Russian ambassador to the United States. [NY Times]

Housing authorities across the country with Housing Choice Voucher Programs could receive less administrative funding this year to pay staff for managing the programs, and it is possible less families will also be served through the programs. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn denied to FBI agents in an interview last month that he had discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with that country’s ambassador to the United States before President Trump took office, contradicting the contents of intercepted communications collected by intelligence agencies, current and former U.S. officials said. [WaPo]

Max Wise is another one of those guys who had trouble as a kid getting girls to be interested in him. Lawmakers have given initial approval to a plan to “defund” Kentucky’s Planned Parenthood locations in Lexington and Louisville by putting the organization at the back of the line for federal family planning dollars. [WFPL]

Several White House staffers were dismissed Thursday morning after failing FBI background checks, according to sources familiar with the matter. [Politico]

Here’s more of the Republican Party of Kentucky standing strong against the working class. A proposal to update Kentucky’s workers’ compensation program for the first time in about two decades makes changes sought by insurers and businesses but contains no adjustments sought by worker advocates and unions. [H-L]

Trump lashed out at news outlets for reporting that several of his campaign aides were contacting Russian intelligence agencies while those agencies were working to hurt Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and help Trump win ― but danced around direct questions about whether he knew of such contacts. [HuffPo]

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RPK Panics Over Bevin’s Insane Speech

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Bevin’s so scummy he can’t even figure out what’s going on with his lies. “The backlog is gone,” Bevin said. “And congratulations to all those who helped to make sure that that happened.” However, the backlog is nowhere near gone. [John Cheves]

In a major setback for the Trump administration, a federal appeals court on Thursday declined its urgent request to restore the controversial executive order restricting refugees and travel by immigrants from a number of Muslim-majority countries. [HuffPo]

Casey Lozier has lived on nearly every street in Pleasant Ridge. He climbed trees in his front yard on Fairfield Avenue. Settled down with his young bride on Halcyon. And celebrated Christmas Eve at his late mother’s house on Butler. [C-J/AKN]

He’s too stupid to comprehend how the three branches of government work. Trump lashed out at an appeals court decision on Thursday rejecting his administration’s case to reinstate his travel ban, calling the ruling “a political decision.” [The Hill]

Calling his bill “a work in progress,” Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, told the Senate Local and State Government Committee on Wednesday it will set up a process to protect universities from the sort of dysfunction suffered by the University of Louisville Board of Trustees. [Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump’s “wall” along the U.S.-Mexico border would be a series of fences and walls that would cost as much as $21.6 billion, and take more than three years to construct, based on a U.S. Department of Homeland Security internal report seen by Reuters on Thursday. [Reuters]

The Republican Party of Kentucky wishes it could gut Louisville but it’s going to fail every time it tries. Democratic leaders on the Louisville Metro Council are criticizing an effort from state lawmakers to reconfigure the power structure of the city’s government gives too much control to those outside the city. [WFPL]

Yes, Democrats can be as stubborn as Mitch McConnell. If Chuck Schumer and his Senate Democrats choose a path of obstructing President Trump’s agenda, they will have learned from the best. [ProPublica]

Perhaps trying to digest news from Gov. Matt Bevin’s Wednesday evening State of the Commonwealth speech calling for more tax revenue, it was a relatively slow day for state lawmakers Thursday. [More Ronnie Ellis]

Trump loves to set the day’s narrative at dawn, but the deeper story of his White House is best told at night. [NY Times]

The Edmonton City Council has amended its alcohol ordinance so the expiration dates of local and state alcohol licenses correspond. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Trump made a whopper of a claim on Monday, suggesting that the media is deliberately ignoring terrorist attacks. The kernel of the idea appears to have come from — or at least been propagated by — one of his favorite news sources: the conspiracy theory website InfoWars. [WaPo]

Jeff Hoover said many of the 64 Republicans in the Kentucky House of Representatives have little interest in raising taxes. “I think it would be problematic for a lot of our members at this point,” said Hoover, R-Jamestown. “But we have a tremendous financial problem facing this state in the form of funding our pension systems … it’s something that obviously we’re going to look at when he gets the proposal to us and it’s a tough issue.” [H-L]

In his first call as president with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump denounced a treaty that caps U.S. and Russian deployment of nuclear warheads as a bad deal for the United States, according to two U.S. officials and one former U.S. official with knowledge of the call. [HuffPo]

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Another Gut-Wrenching Kentucky Statistic For Your Tuesday Morning

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Lexington’s Urban County Planning Commission will hold one of its first meetings Thursday on the 2018 Comprehensive Plan, a document that will guide growth and development for five years. [H-L]

Dozens of Democratic members of Congress are planning to boycott President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20, saying they can’t bring themselves to welcome a man to the White House who ran such a divisive and prejudiced campaign ― and insulted their colleague, Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.). [HuffPo]

Kentucky has twice the U.S. rate of drug-dependent babies. So of course mouth-breathing Republicans like Bob Stivers and Matt Bevin want to kill the Affordable Care Act. [C-J/AKN]

More than 60 percent of Americans would like to see the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s powers preserved or strengthened under incoming President Donald Trump, and the drilling of oil on public lands to hold steady or drop, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Tuesday. [Reuters]

Bernheim Forest is growing. The arboretum and research forest’s most recent acquisition is 162 acres of forest and farmland immediately adjacent to the property in Bullitt County. [WFPL]

Matthew Olsen, a senior national security official in both Democratic and Republican administrations, says the ongoing conflict between President-elect Trump and the U.S. intelligence community poses grave risks. [ProPublica]

Owners of a proposed medical waste facility detailed their business plans and were met with a barrage of questions from concerned residents during a public forum Monday at the Carter County Justice Center. [Ashland Independent]

Donald Trump used to regularly give press conferences. They were free-form events, bits of political performance art that dominated the news and helped the presidential hopeful win the Republican nomination. [BBC]

School based decision making councils presented information from school improvement plans to the Rowan County Board of Education on Monday, Jan. 9 and Tuesday, Jan. 10. [The Morehead News]

The Germans are angry. The Chinese are downright furious. Leaders of NATO are nervous, while their counterparts at the European Union are alarmed. [NY Times]

Improvements to the 619.2 miles of road the county government is responsible for maintaining were among the items Barren County Judge-Executive Micheal Hale highlighted in the annual update on what’s happening in county government Friday. [Glasgow Daily Times]

We shouldn’t be surprised anymore. There’s apparently no depth too low for Donald Trump to sink in his unpresidented attacks on anyone who challenges him. And Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) certainly did that, citing Russian interference in the election and questioning the legitimacy of Trump’s presidency. [WaPo]

The Coalition for the Homeless says it needs volunteers to conduct its annual homeless count in Louisville this month. [H-L]

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Monday night renewed his calls on the Office of Congressional Ethics to launch an investigation into potential violations of the STOCK Act by Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the department of Health and Human Services. [HuffPo]

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Participate In This MSU History Project

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The EMW Women’s Clinic in Lexington, one of two clinics in Kentucky that performs abortions, will close effective Jan. 27. [H-L]

Donald Trump will propose offering to end sanctions imposed on Russia for its annexation of Crimea in return for a nuclear arms reduction deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin, he told The Times of London. [HuffPo]

Indiana and Kentucky schools were “not safe” for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer students in 2015, according to a national survey on school climate. [C-J/AKN]

The dossier alleging that the Russian government has compromised President-elect Donald Trump has not only been circulating at the highest levels of the US government, but also among the intelligence agencies of other countries. [BuzzFeed]

Whether it was songs about the coal mines or the decline of the railroad, the late legendary folk singer Jean Ritchie’s music struck a chord with many, particularly those living in the Kentucky mountains. [Richmond Register]

U.S. civil rights activists vowed on Saturday to defend hard-fought gains in voting rights and criminal justice during the presidency of Donald Trump, kicking off a week of protests ahead of the Republican’s inauguration. [Reuters]

Archivists at Morehead State University are starting the second phase of an oral history project based on the refusal of Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis to issue same-sex marriage licenses in 2015. [Ashland Independent]

The soon-to-be U.S. energy secretary doled out billions in grants and tax incentives for corporations while governor of Texas. One $30 million grant went to an energy group that turned out to be a phantom. [ProPublica]

The Morehead State University Presidential Search and Screening Advisory Committee has narrowed the pool of candidates for the position to five active candidates. [The Morehead News]

What this article ignores is that many SNAP recipients buy sugary beverages/soda and offer them for resale in order to buy household necessities that SNAP benefits don’t provide. [NY Times]

Members of the Barren County Board of Education rejected all but one bid for the next phase of construction of the Career Technical Education facility on the Trojan Trail campus during the Thursday night board meeting after the total bids came in about $1 million higher than expected. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Warning: Your eyes will probably roll back in your head with this one. Donald Trump said in a weekend interview that he is nearing completion of a plan to replace President Obama’s signature health-care law with the goal of “insurance for everybody,” while also vowing to force drug companies to negotiate directly with the government on prices in Medicare and Medicaid. [WaPo]

About 40 people came out to Courthouse Plaza Sunday in Lexington to protest the intended dismantling of the Affordable Care Act, which has had a notable impact in Kentucky in the past 7 years. [H-L]

Supporters of the Affordable Care Act gathered to protest the health care law’s repeal in rallies across the country on Sunday. [HuffPo]

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Happy New Year Of Matt Bevin’s Hype

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After six months, Matt Bevin’s ‘red tape reduction’ plan has brought little change. Because it’s just a bunch of b.s. hype. [H-L]

Here’s your pee alert/puke alert of the year. Newt Gingrich praised the style and substance of Donald Trump’s suggestion for a new nuclear arms race, calling the president-elect’s use of Twitter to make major policy pronouncements “brilliant.” [HuffPo]

Anyone telling you a Religious Freedumb law isn’t a sure bet in Kentucky is trying to pull the wool over your eyes. If you think Frankfort isn’t capable of obscene levels of crazy, you ought to retire. [C-J/AKN]

The curious world of Donald Trump’s private Russian connections. Did the American people really know they were putting such a “well-connected” guy in the White House? [The American Interest]

Big Run Landfill is seeking an end to an agreed order with the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet. [Ashland Independent]

Time to start allowing all the olds and the poors to die off, apparently. Way to go, Republicans. Fortunately, your generation will all be dead within 20 years because of your hate and obesity. While Democrats have been pounding the drum against proposed changes to Medicare, Republicans appear far more likely to pursue an overhaul of Medicaid, the healthcare program for the poor. [The Hill]

The World Equestrian Games could be heading to Lexington for a second time. The International Equestrian Federation announced Lexington, the 2010 host, is bidding to stage the four-yearly event in 2022. It faces competition from Samorin, Slovakia. [Richmond Register]

President-elect Donald Trump will descend on Washington [this] month, buoyed by his upset victory and Republican control of Congress to implement his agenda. But he’s facing a major obstacle: Trump will enter the White House as the least-popular incoming president in the modern era of public-opinion polling. [Politico]

The Kentucky Legislative Research Commission’s Office of Education Accountability released a research report for the 2015-16 school year. [The Morehead News]

Corey Statham had $46 in his pockets when he was arrested in Ramsey County, Minn., and charged with disorderly conduct. He was released two days later, and the charges were dismissed. [NY Times]

Two members of Auburn’s Amish community have filed a lawsuit against the city, its mayor and police chief in which they claim that Auburn’s ordinance requiring horses to wear equine diapers to catch their waste has singled out the city’s Amish population and violated their constitutional rights. [BGDN]

Evelyn Turner is 80 now and a stroke survivor, but she can still recall sitting in a packed courthouse in Selma, Ala., facing a jury that could send her and her husband, an aide to Martin Luther King Jr., to prison for 150 years. Held this because it would have gotten ignored over the holidays. [WaPo]

Matt Bevin has created a scholarship program for Kentucky high school students after vetoing a similar proposal earlier this year. [H-L]

With Donald Trump’s inauguration less than a month away, there’s been a lot of talk in Washington about two topics: first, the unprecedented conflicts of interest posed by the Trump presidency and, second, the individuals Trump is nominating to fill important government positions. [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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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]