Anyone Remember The Iraq Quagmire?

A federal grand jury has indicted two men who are accused of distributing elephant tranquilizer that resulted a string of overdoses in Rowan County. [H-L]

When Sarbast Salih and his men enter a house formerly held by ISIS, they don’t go through the front door. Instead, they shimmy in through a window. [HuffPo]

When Pierce Mumaw’s students ask who he’ll vote for in the upcoming presidential election, he’s unapologetically honest about his conservatism. [C-J/AKN]

Haha, they think he’s from Ohio. Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Ohio) on Saturday dismissed Donald Trump’s repeated claims that the November election will be rigged. [The Hill]

If you think this isn’t a Larry Clark-Damon Thayer good old boy political situation, you’re part of the problem. What this story doesn’t mention is that Thayer is advised by RPK’s spokesperson, who advocates for the repeal of label taxes and all that. Fun how that’s all overlooked. Thayer wanted it in the bill. [WFPL]

The U.S. economy is on track to grow at a 1.9 percent annualized pace in the third quarter following the September data on domestic retail data, the Atlanta Federal Reserve’s GDP Now forecast model showed on Friday. [Reuters]

The removal of sludge from the city of Ashland’s water reservoir, a process that hasn’t taken place in eight years, is set to begin. [Ashland Independent]

It took Nick Alati half a day to cast a ballot in Arizona’s August primary — and his vote didn’t even count. [ProPublica]

Local historical figures will come to life Nov. 4-5 in South Central Kentucky Cultural Center’s Harvest of History, a living history event that doubles as a fundraiser for the cultural center. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Donald Trump appeared to question the legitimacy of Barack Obama’s presidency on Saturday, referring to him at a rally as the “quote ‘president.’’’ [Politico]

Sharon Sandifer-Bethea of Morehead is happy but anxious about the latest step in efforts to have her criminal record expunged. [The Morehead News]

Their public conference had been interrupted by a demonstration march and a bomb threat, so the white nationalists decided to meet secretly instead. They slipped past police officers and protesters into a hotel in downtown Memphis. The country had elected its first black president just a few days earlier, and now in November 2008, dozens of the world’s most prominent racists wanted to strategize for the years ahead. [WaPo]

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is in a pickle. The senior Kentucky Republican began the year with a tough Senate electoral map. A wildly unpredictable Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, has possibly made that map even harder. [H-L]

Following the news of yet another “warmest month ever,” NASA has basically called it: This year will be the hottest since record-keeping began in 1880. [HuffPo]

Republicans Are Eating Themselves Alive

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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What A Week In Our Lovely, Backward, Corrupt Commonwealth

Let’s all just laugh about this one last time. House Speaker Greg Stumbo announced Wednesday he is appointing a committee to investigate what he says have been threats by Gov. Matt Bevin against state lawmakers. [C-J/AKN]

The United States broke off talks with Russia on Monday on implementing a ceasefire agreement on Syria and accused Moscow of not living up to its commitments under the Sept. 9 deal to [HuffPo]

Saying small cash bonds pose an unfair burden on the poor, a Jefferson County public defender Monday asked a circuit judge to release three defendants from jail on the grounds that district judges had violated their rights by failing to inquire about their financial ability to post bond. [C-J/AKN]

A video of a US student in “blackface” apparently mocking the Black Lives Matter campaign has sparked outrage. [BBC]

Real estate property owners in Glasgow will have the same tax rate as last year. [Glasgow Daily Times]

What does it mean to declare that #blacklivesmatter in education? Last month the Movement for Black Lives, representing elements of the Black Lives Matter movement and related groups, issued a detailed policy platform denouncing what it called “corporate-backed,” “market driven” “privatization” in school reform, and helped set off a furor over this question. [NPR]

“Backing the Lines,” an event showing support for first responders, was held on Friday evening at the Carl Perkins Center. [The Morehead News]

President Barack Obama made his case for a deliberate, measured path toward economic progress in an op-ed published Thursday in The Economist that reads like a plea to disenchanted voters tempted by the economic populism of Republican nominee Donald Trump. [Politico]

On Nov. 8, Kentuckians will decide who represents the Commonwealth as United States Senator. One of Kentucky’s two senate seats is occupied by Mitch McConnell. The other seat belongs to Rand Paul. However, Rand Paul, a republican, has a democratic challenger in the November election, and that challenger is Lexington Mayor Jim Gray. [Hazard Herald]

Voters in four states appear likely to approve ballot measures that would legalize marijuana for recreational purposes, according to recent surveys, while voters are split on the question in a fifth state. [The Hill]

The Republican Party of Kentucky has tons of other racists in their midst. Tons of them appointed by Matt Bevin to various and sundry positions. You’ve read all about them on Page One. This is their attempt to appear non-racist by throwing some nobody with no shot of winning to the wolves as a sacrifice. [WDRB]

Forty-four Afghan troops visiting the United States for military training have gone missing in less than two years, presumably in an effort to live and work illegally in America, Pentagon officials said. [Reuters]

Horse Country hopes to boost Thoroughbred racing, Central Kentucky tourism by offering behind-the-scenes tours of farms, equine clinics and feed mills. The goal is to do for horse breeding what the Kentucky Bourbon Trail is doing for whiskey-making. [H-L]

Civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) on Monday implored young leaders invited to the White House to continue his generation’s legacy of civil rights activism by reminding them of sacrifices that won the right to vote. [HuffPo]

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Surprise! The Beshears Hate Transparency & Accountability In Kentucky

A longtime champion of Kentucky’s government transparency laws retired Wednesday from Attorney General Andy Beshear’s office after she was reprimanded for speaking with a journalist. [John Cheves]

The 10,000th Syrian refugee to resettle in the U.S. this fiscal year arrived on Monday, the White House announced, following through on an ambitious plan by President Barack Obama to welcome more people from the country. [HuffPo]

U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth and Lexington Mayor Jim Gray, the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, are calling for the federal government to help deal with the burgeoning heroin epidemic. And they’re blaming U.S. Sen. Rand Paul for supporting a drug treatment bill that included no money to pay for it. [C-J/AKN]

The State Department said Monday it is concerned about Iran state media reports that the country has deployed an advanced missile defense system around its Fordow underground uranium facility. [The Hill]

This has got to be one of the dumbest moves yet from someone with the surname Beshear! Assistant Attorney General Amye Bensenhaver has retired “under considerable duress” after being reprimanded for speaking to a journalist without permission, creating yet another public relations issue for a government agency that has had more than its share in recent months. [Roger Alford]

Last year 35,092 people died in traffic crashes in the United States, a 7.2 percent year-on-year increase that runs counter to a five-decade trend of declining fatalities, the U.S. Transportation Department said. [Reuters]

Coal-producing states are preparing for arguments next month in the federal appeals court case known as West Virginia v. EPA, challenging the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan to limit greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. [WFPL]

Despite yet more evidence of trouble with the Red Cross’ disaster response — this time to floods in Louisiana — Apple, Amazon, T-Mobile, and many others have made the venerable charity the exclusive conduit for helping victims. [ProPublica]

Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo said if Republican Gov. Matt Bevin threatened a Democratic lawmaker for refusing to switch parties he could be guilty of criminal behavior or an impeachable offense. [Ronnie Ellis]

Way to go, Appalachia. New analysis from the Clean Air Task Force shows that by 2025 America’s children will experience 750,000 asthma attacks each summer that will be directly attributable to the oil and gas industry. [ThinkProgress]

The battle for the last legislative chamber in the South still controlled by Democrats escalated over the weekend as Republicans announced they would boycott a special meeting this week, while the House Speaker publicly threatened to impeach the state’s Republican governor. [Richmond Register]

In 1988, a small-time drug dealer became the first man charged under a new, harsh drug law signed by then-President Ronald Reagan. Almost 30 years later, President Barack Obama granted a sentence commutation to Richard Van Winrow, a literal posterboy for the history of America’s drug war. [BBC]

A state environmental response team began taking more extensive soil samples Tuesday to test for higher-than-normal arsenic levels along a rural Montgomery County road. [H-L]

Taco trucks on every corner!? SIGN US UP! [HuffPo]

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Edelen & Trump Are On The Same Page

Matt Bevin doesn’t know how to stop running face-first into scandals. And they’re not even the good kind of scandals that involve corruption – they’re just embarrassing and dumb. Matt Bevin’s administration on Friday named a retired Texas official who oversaw a controversial 2008 raid on a polygamist sect, seizing more than 400 children without a court order, to run Kentucky’s troubled Department of Juvenile Justice. [John Cheves]

Emily Graeber sat on a plane, her long hair falling over her face, and pressed her nose against the window. Then she leaned back in her seat, trying not to cry. [HuffPo]

Jim Ramsey and his crew have been pulling these corrupt open records stunts for a decade. Want to find out former University of Louisville President James Ramsey’s new phone number and email address at the university’s foundation? Hope you have better luck than we did. [C-J/AKN]

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is marking the 53rd anniversary of the March on Washington with a call to action, saying too many Americans still face systemic racism and “constant assaults on their franchise.” [The Hill]

U.S. Senate candidate Jim Gray told a flock of rural Democrats on Saturday he’d deploy a four-point plan that would help rejuvenate a diminishing eastern Kentucky economy if elected. [Ashland Independent]

The turbulent months after the 9/11 attacks were notable for something that did not happen. Even though al-Qaeda had killed thousands of people and scored a direct hit on the Pentagon, hardly anyone in either political party blamed the Bush Administration for failing to defend the homeland. [ProPublica]

In another display of the changing political tides in Kentucky, only Republican office-holders spoke from the stage Thursday morning at the Kentucky Farm Bureau Country Ham Breakfast, while Democrats found themselves on the outside, both figuratively and literally. [Ronnie Ellis]

President Barack Obama’s former campaign manager on Sunday called Donald Trump “a psychopath.” [Politico]

Late Friday afternoon, Glasgow Electric Plant Board Superintendent Billy Ray said that after an all-afternoon meeting with TVA, there was little new to report in the wake of receipt of two documents Thursday from the Kentucky Office of the Attorney General. [Glasgow Daily Times]

It’s a common sight at public events – a long line for the the ladies’ loos and a short one for the men’s. [BBC]

As the district’s only Leader in Me school, Glenn Marshall Elementary School’s first school assembly focused on, naturally, leadership. The assembly explored how students in all grades can find the leaders in themselves this school year. [Richmond Register]

Emboldened by Donald J. Trump’s struggles in the presidential race, Democrats in Congress are laying the groundwork to expand the list of House Republicans they will target for defeat as part of an effort to slash the Republicans’ 30-seat majority and even reclaim control if Mr. Trump falls further. [NY Times]

One of the biggest investments held by the $14.9 billion Kentucky Retirement Systems is a hedge fund that’s also one of its worst performers — and yet the financially troubled agency is doubling down. [John Cheves]

Adam Edelen and Donald Trump are apparently birds of a feather. Surprise! [HuffPo]

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On Jeff Hoover’s Leadership Ability…

Lost? Tired of the Kentucky Democratic Party for quietly permitting homophobia to take root? Wondering when it’ll suss out all the corruption?

Don’t hold your breath for too long. And don’t put any faith into Republican Minority Leader Jeff Hoover, himself a transphobic, gay-panicked extremist, being a stellar Speaker of the House.

Here he was on February 13, 2016 sharing some home truths about bigot Donald Trump:

Then, ahem, pivoting on August 4, 2016 to praise Trump as a candidate helping Republicans win in Kentucky – hit the 4:00 mark:

Seems cowardly and hypocritical, doesn’t it? Because the new breed of Kentucky Republican is just that – cowardly and hypocritical. And extra-racist, gay-panicked, backward, afraid. Just what Kentucky needs! A mediocre white guy freaking out and flip-flopping every other day.

But it gets better.

The Kentucky Court of Appeals ruled just under a year ago that Hoover was ineffective as counsel (in lay terms? inept) in a murder case.

Check it out:


Excerpts, presented without comment:

Copley argues that his counsel was ineffective by failing to fully advise him regarding a defense of extreme emotional disturbance (EED). Kentucky Revised Statute[s] (KRS) 507.020(1)(a) provides that “a person shall not be guilty [of murder] if he acted under the influence of extreme emotional disturbance for which there was a reasonable explanation or excuse. . . .” It also provides that a person found to be acting under EED may be prosecuted for manslaughter.

There is a considerable difference in the penalties for murder and manslaughter.


At the evidentiary hearing, trial counsel testified that he had considered the possibility of an EED defense. But he said that he did not think it was viable because of a letter1 that the Commonwealth would introduce. Counsel also relied heavily on Dr. Smith’s reluctance to testify regarding whether Copley had acted under EED. He also said that he had had “general discussions” with Copley regarding EED. Counsel did not remember Copley’s attempting suicide after he shot Pamela. He asserted that Copley asked him to negotiate a plea bargain in order to avoid subjecting his family to the ordeal of a trial.

Copley testified that counsel did not explain the viability of an EED defense to him. He did not think that he needed to inform counsel about the second suicide attempt because counsel should have known that fact from his medical records.


Finally, he said that he entered the guilty plea because counsel led him to believe that no defenses were available to him.

We are persuaded that Copley received ineffective assistance. As noted above, the existence of EED is a question to be answered by a jury. From his testimony, it appears that counsel assumed the role of the jury.


Trial counsel – and now the Commonwealth – have characterized Dr. Smith’s statement as a refusal to testify resulting from his review of the evidence and his examination of Copley. On the contrary, however, our review of the letter indicated that Dr. Smith believed that Copley was indeed suffering significant psychological disturbance at the time of the shooting. But he felt that he was precluded from delivering his opinion professionally because his examination was too far removed in time from the actual events.


Significantly, the delay between the events and the psychological evaluation was the direct result of counsel’s actions in creating the temporal hiatus by ceasing all activity on the case while he waited for resolution of an interlocutory appeal from a motion to suppress evidence. And the appeal itself was unorthodox and meritless.


We are not persuaded that Copley was given adequate information to make a meaningful choice between pleading guilty or going to trial.


In summary, we conclude that Copley’s counsel provided ineffective representation by causing a delay in proceedings, which in turn allowed evidence to become stale; pre-empting the role of the jury by abandoning a defense merely because of contradictory evidence; and failing to provide Copley with adequate information to support a meaningful choice regarding the consequences of presenting an EED defense.

Hoover was his attorney (Warning: External PDF Link):

That’s the kind of guy Republicans have put in charge of their State House efforts.

Categories RPK

Kentucky Republicans Now Live In A Disconnected Extremist Fantasy Land

Yep, it’s a day of Republican Party of Kentucky insanity.

Here’s the latest dispatch from Old Dominionist End Timer Wingnut Freakout State Park:

1. Gay-panicked Republican Whitney Westerfield didn’t know that happened? How on earth can someone who doesn’t live in, say, New York City, not know that?

I haven’t been able to find a single Kentuckian today who was unaware. Not even city folk who don’t know the difference between sorghum and molasses.

2. It’s hilarious how the gay-panicked contingent and David Floyd, another Frankfort Republican, are hung up on the reality that not everyone is going to love their chosen (it’s a choice) religious beliefs.

3. Yes, Westerfield is extremely gay-panicked. Here he his promoting a notorious anti-gay bigot:


Spoiler alert: not exactly based in reality, just another wingnut fever dream.