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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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]

The KRS/KTRS Are Still A Train Wreck

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Matt Bevin’s Now Screwing w/The PSC

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Because of course he did. Matt Bevin has ordered a reorganization of the Kentucky Public Service Commission that will shrink the agency responsible for regulating the state’s utilities and protecting their customers. [H-L]

Congress had six months to debate granting President-elect Donald Trump’s FBI new legal powers to hack millions of computers, and Republican leaders objected to doing so on Wednesday. [HuffPo]

Officials in Louisville announced Wednesday the implementation of the Safe Harbor initiative, a policing program designed to encourage the public to report hate crimes and to provide safe spaces for assault and harassment victims. [C-J/AKN]

Here’s your No Shit, Sherlock moment. The flood of “fake news” this election season got support from a sophisticated Russian propaganda campaign that created and spread misleading articles online with the goal of punishing Democrat Hillary Clinton, helping Republican Donald Trump and undermining faith in American democracy, say independent researchers who tracked the operation. [WaPo]

Matt Bevin can now appoint workers’ compensation judges nominated by members of a new commission he appointed, thanks to a judge’s order. [Ronnie Ellis]

During the presidential election, many Americans said that they’d move to Canada if Donald Trump won. But the Internet Archive, the nonprofit organization that backs up virtually the entire public internet, is actually going through with it. [Gizmodo]

Monroe County magistrates approved recommendations for a bid on Wednesday from Marty Milam Construction for the development of a walking trail at Joe Harrison Carter Elementary on Edmonton Road. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Members of the hardline anti-Islam lobby are eagerly anticipating the possibility of the Trump administration designating the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization, which is increasingly likely if conspiracy theorists like Frank Gaffney play a prominent role in Trump’s transition team. Gaffney believes the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the US government at every level and has even questioned whether Barack Obama was “America’s first Muslim president” implementing the Brotherhood’s plans. [BuzzFeed]

PEE ALERT! Congressman Thomas Massie, R-Hypocrite, said he would “seriously consider” a position in President-elect Donald Trump’s administration, but hasn’t been approached by his transition team. [Ashland Independent]

She has also worked on a highly controversial reform package in Kentucky, where the state’s governor wants to require people with incomes below the federal poverty level to pay premiums. The proposal would also require beneficiaries who aren’t primary caregivers to work or get job training. Both the premiums and work requirements have been opposed by the Obama administration. [STAT]

Morehead State University has been forced to temporarily reduce budgetary support of folk art, public radio and traditional music but remains “totally committed to preserving cultural outreach,” two MSU officials Monday told the board of Downtown Morehead, Inc. [The Morehead News]

William Diaz-Castro is about to become one of the “criminal illegal immigrants” whom Donald Trump campaigned against for 17 months—and whom, as president-elect, he now plans to deport immediately. [The Nation]

Oh, look, now Matt Bevin thinks he can help with gun violence. Matt Bevin said Tuesday that escalating gun violence in Louisville and Lexington has his attention. [H-L]

Steve Bannon, chief strategist and senior counselor to President-elect Donald Trump, allegedly told a friend that he didn’t see an issue with fewer black people being able to vote. [HuffPo]

Bevin Isn’t The Pension Savior After All

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Kentucky’s unfunded public pension liability has grown from $30.5 billion to $32.6 billion, a debt that threatens to undermine every other service the state provides, an oversight panel was told Monday. [John Cheves]

Democrats on the House Oversight Committee on Monday asked the committee’s chairman, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), to look into President-elect Donald Trump’s financial entanglements and make sure he’s not breaking the law. [HuffPo]

Gunmen exchanged about 20 shots at an annual Thanksgiving Day football event, thrusting Louisville past its homicide record and into the national spotlight. [C-J/AKN]

The Republican Party long insisted that the troubles of the inner city were cultural—but rather than apply the same logic to struggling blue-collar communities, Trump blamed their problems on external forces. [The Atlantic]

The Berea Tourism Commission approved a work addendum in order to pay Jones Signs, a company that recently installed way-finding signage around the city, an additional $68,402.10. [Richmond Register]

Senate Republicans are wary of making a historic move to nix the filibuster despite growing pressure from conservatives. [The Hill]

The generosity of northeast Kentuckians is proven every Christmas season through donations to the Needy Families Fund, a holiday tradition for more than a quarter of a century. [Ashland Independent]

Democrat Hillary Clinton’s campaign will take part in a recount of Wisconsin votes in the U.S. presidential race, an effort Republican winner Donald Trump called “ridiculous” on Saturday. [Reuters]

The Rowan County Fiscal Court voted to move forward with the harm reduction program within the community last week, however the vote wasn’t unanimous. [The Morehead News]

You don’t get a pat on the back for ratcheting down from rabid after exploiting that very radicalism to your advantage. Unrepentant opportunism belies a staggering lack of character and caring that can’t simply be vanquished from memory. [NY Times]

The Barren-Metcalfe County Emergency Communications Center’s governing board received “a standard clean, unqualified” opinion on an audit of its financial statement for the 2016 fiscal year. [Glasgow Daily Times]

How racially resentful working-class whites fled the Democratic Party – before Donald Trump. During the Obama presidency, racial attitudes became more strongly connected to whether whites identified as Democratic or Republican. But those stronger connections were most visible among whites with less formal education. Sorry, Adam Edelen, your bullshit talking point about economics is dead in the water. [WaPo]

Louisville’s streets were quiet on Thanksgiving Day 150 years ago. Few people were out, in part because the mud on Nov. 29, 1866, was so deep, and the city’s street crossings already were “the worst in the country,” wrote the Daily Courier. [H-L]

President-elect Donald Trump falsely claimed on Sunday that “millions of people” voted illegally in the 2016 presidential election. In a conference call with reporters on Monday, Trump’s campaign team did not produce any evidence to support that allegation. But the strangest thing about the president-elect’s claim isn’t that there is zero evidence to support it — it’s that Trump, who has turned away daily intelligence briefings since winning the election, took time out of his day to repeat a rumor that initially spread because of one guy on Twitter. [HuffPo]

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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