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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Frankfort Is Definitely Fine With Corruption

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Preventing land developers and suburban homeowners from collecting a tax break meant to preserve Kentucky’s farmland will not be a high priority in the upcoming legislative session, several lawmakers said Tuesday. Pro-tip: If Ruth Ann Palumbo is pushing something, it’s probably for a shady-ass reason, even if it’s a good thing. [H-L]

As a parting gift to women, the Obama administration finalized a rule on Wednesday that will prohibit states from defunding Planned Parenthood for political reasons. [HuffPo]

The Kentucky Supreme Court has ruled that judges do not have the authority to dismiss randomly selected jury panels that lack racial diversity. [C-J/AKN]

This hilarious restaurant review caused Donald Trump to lose his mind this week. [Vanity Fair]

Sadiqa Reynolds is a sad disaster. I’ll never understand why the Urban League put her in charge of anything. [The ‘Ville Voice]

A federal jury on Thursday found avowed white supremacist Dylann Roof guilty on all counts for gunning down nine black parishioners at a historic church in Charleston, South Carolina, last year. [Reuters]

A top official in Attorney General Andy Beshear’s office is resigning Thursday to take a job with a Louisville law firm. [WFPL]

Wealthy politicians and businessmen suspected of corruption in their native lands are fleeing to a safe haven where their wealth and influence shields them from arrest. [ProPublica]

Come January, Kentucky will have a full-time Secretary of Economic Development following a year when the cabinet was overseen by an acting secretary. [Ronnie Ellis]

In the final weeks of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, he pledged to “drain the swamp” in Washington, D.C. by, among other things, introducing tough new restrictions on lobbying. [ThinkProgress]

Disabled persons dependent on benefit programs such as Medicaid and SSI have heretofore been unable to accrue savings for fear of losing their benefits. [More Ronnie Ellis]

See? Here’s him melting down. President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday morning popped off at the media — one of his favorite targets — taking to Twitter to rail against Vanity Fair and numerous reports hammering him for failing to disentangle himself from his business empire. [Politico]

Most housing rates at the University of Kentucky will rise about 3.5 percent next fall, a Board of Trustees finance committee decided Tuesday. [H-L]

Even though they hold no committee gavels in their hands and no subpoena power to command witnesses to testify, House Democrats are going to try and provide oversight of the Trump administration whether Republicans want to or not. [HuffPo]

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Gobble Gobble, Bevin’s Still Delusional

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Kentucky’s dentists and optometrists asked Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration not to remove dental and vision coverage from basic Medicaid benefits. Visits to the dentist and eye doctor are often the first step in identifying more serious health conditions, including diabetes, they say. [H-L]

Exactly a week after winning the presidential election, Donald Trump took time out to meet with Indian business partners and his three eldest children at Trump Tower in Manhattan. [HuffPo]

All hat, no cattle. Community members pressed Kentucky Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt for clear answers Monday about how the state and Jefferson County Public Schools plan to ensure equity is at the forefront of education reform efforts in the age of the new Every Student Succeeds Act. [C-J/AKN]

This won’t be news to you if you haven’t been living under a rock. Sucks for the Whiny Ass Titty Baby-Elect. An actor from the Broadway hit “Hamilton” is responding to President-elect Donald Trump’s claim that the show’s cast “harassed” Vice President-elect Mike Pence. [The Hill]

Preparation for Thanksgiving family dinners can be a daunting task. But what if your “family” numbers 1,600? [Ashland Independent]

Donald Trump agreed on Friday to pay $25 million to settle fraud lawsuits over his Trump University real estate seminars, in what New York’s attorney general called a “stunning reversal” for the U.S. president-elect. [Reuters]

The Thanksgiving holiday week is a busy time for members of the Rosedale Baptist Church. [Richmond Register]

The attacks may have seemed like just a fleeting, perverse twist on RINO (“Republican in name only”), but in fact they were something far more ominous—the stirrings of a loosely knit extremist movement soon more widely known as the “alt-right.” [Mother Jones]

Rowan County Fiscal Court passed a resolution last Tuesday asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to order a full Environmental Impact Study for the repurposing of the Tennessee Gas Pipeline. [The Morehead News]

By the time Richard B. Spencer, the leading ideologue of the alt-right movement and the final speaker of the night, rose to address a gathering of his followers on Saturday, the crowd was restless. [NY Times]

Three findings were listed by the state auditor after reviewing Metcalfe County Sheriff Rondal Shirley’s 2015 financial statement. [Glasgow Daily Times]

President-elect Donald Trump’s charitable foundation has admitted to the IRS that it violated a legal prohibition against “self-dealing,” which bars nonprofit leaders from using their charity’s money to help themselves, their businesses or their families. That admission was contained in the Donald J. Trump Foundation’s IRS tax filings for 2015. [WaPo]

Matt Bevin says he spoke by phone with Donald Trump and came away even more convinced that Kentucky has an ally in the president-elect. [H-L]

If you want to know why the unabashedly racist and Nazi-sympathizing “alt-right” movement is making a mark on the Trump administration and beyond, look no further than Tila Tequila and her white nationalist friend, Richard Spencer. [HuffPo]

October Surprise: Receipts Sucked Again

Saved this one for a few days so it wouldn’t get lost in the midst of election panic.

General Fund and Road Fund receipts for the month of October weren’t great in Matt Bevin’s economy. You know, the one he claims is magical as it falls out from under him.

General Fund receipts increased a meager 6% to $849.4 million while the Road Fund sank another 7.4% to $120.3 million.

Highlights:

  • Corporate taxes were up $43.1 million but only due to a multi-year payment collection
  • Individual taxes increased a slight 8.5%, up 5.7% for the fiscal year
  • Sales and use taxes dropped 3.6%, up just 2.2% for the year
  • Property taxes rose 13.4%, up 12.5% for the calendar year. These increases are normal during this time of year and are not a result of Bevin’s fictional economy.
  • Cancer stick taxes dropped another 7.9%, down 3.2% for the fiscal year
  • Coal severance taxes sank a whopping 25.8% – which Bevin’s crew tried to play off as the highest collection in ten months (ha!), down a disastrous 34% for the calendar year
  • Lottery revenue increased 1.1%, up 6.7% for the year
  • Motor fuels taxes increased 2.5%, up 1.4% for the year
  • Vehicle use taxes dropped 14.8%, up 1.2% for the year
  • License and privilege revenue sank 22.7%, down 2.1% for the year
  • Nontax receipts increased 3.1%, down 6.3% for the year

About that magical economy where everything is improving and thinking people aren’t fleeing… it’s non-existent.

Click here (Warning: PDF Link) if you’d like to take a look at the full release from the state budget director.

Matt Bevin Finally Caved On Education

The $14.9 billion Kentucky Retirement Systems plans to end its controversial investments in hedge funds. [John Cheves]

Projection is fun. Donald Trump suggested that he and Democratic rival Hillary Clinton should undergo a drug test before their third and final debate on Oct. 19. [HuffPo]

A Jefferson Circuit Court judge Friday denied motions to release five inmates from jail on the grounds that district judges refused to consider their financial status in setting bonds or consider granting them bail credit for each day they spent behind bars. [C-J/AKN]

It is time someone got to the bottom of everything that people say about Hillary Clinton. Who is she? More importantly, WHAT is she? [WaPo]

In the end, Gov. Matt Bevin decided not to ask the state Supreme Court to reconsider its 5-2 ruling that Bevin exceeded his executive power when he unilaterally reduced funding to state universities and community colleges. [Ronnie Ellis]

First lady Michelle Obama’s speech this week slamming Donald Trump’s comments about women was “the most effective political speech since Ronald Reagan,” according to right-wing commentator Glenn Beck. [The Hill]

Car horns rang out along U.S. 23 in South Shore on Saturday as residents slowed down and waved to show their support for United Steelworkers Local 133. [Ashland Independent]

Americans traveling to Cuba will be allowed to bring home more of the communist-ruled island’s coveted cigars and rum under new measures announced by the U.S. government on Friday to further ease trade, travel and financial restrictions that have been in place for decades. [Reuters]

Election Day is right around the corner in November, but your chance to hear your local candidates running for local office is next week. [The Morehead News]

The nation’s opioid epidemic shows no signs of abating—and in fact may be headed in a far more dangerous direction. [ProPublica]

Incumbent Glasgow City Council candidate Ben Bucher has decided not to run for a second term after all. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Donald Trump on Friday intimated a woman who accused him of sexually assaulting her was not attractive enough to have drawn his interest—just as a new accuser was coming forward. [Politico]

A billionaire coal operator who wants to be governor of West Virginia is paying off delinquent property taxes in Eastern Kentucky but has a big debt to whittle down. [H-L]

Patriot Majority USA, a progressive advocacy group, is accusing the Republican vice presidential nominee of suppressing voter registration in a new advertising campaign launched on Saturday. [HuffPo]

Woah, September Receipts Weren’t Terrible

But don’t hold your breath. That doesn’t mean much.

The General Fund rose 4.9% to $991.7 million and the Road Fund rose 12.3% to $123.5 million.

Highlights:

  • Individual income taxes up 4.7%, up 4.8% for the calendar year
  • Sales taxes increased 7.9%, up 4.2% for the year
  • Corporate taxes rose 3.4%, up 9.3% for the fiscal year
  • Cancer stick taxes rose 0.8%, down 1.5% for the year
  • Property taxes grew 21.9%, up 11.7% for the year
  • Coal severance taxes fell another gigantic 36.8%, down 36.6% for the year… just wait for Bevin to try blaming this all on Obama again.
  • Lottery revenue rose 19.6%, up 8.6% for the year
  • Motor fuels up 1.7%, up 1.1% for the year
  • Vehicle use taxes up 41.2% – apparently do to some shady bookkeeping mess?, up 7.3% for the year
  • License & Privilege taxes up 2.6%, up 6.8% for the year
  • Nontax receipts dropped $430,000, down $600,000

You may Click here (Warning: PDF Link) to review the entire report from the State Budget Director for yourself.

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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