RPK Denies Trying To Take Louisville Over, Egg Still Visible On Its Face

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Kentucky Retirement Systems, the state pension agency that officially faces an $18.1 billion unfunded liability, might be in far worse financial shape than previously thought. That means taxpayers could be on the hook for much more money to honor pension commitments to about 365,000 public employees. [John Cheves]

Donald Trump’s administration labeled The Associated Press’s reporting on a leak “100 percent false” on Friday morning, only to acknowledge less than an hour later that the story was based on a real document. [HuffPo]

If you think this isn’t a Republican attempt to take over in Louisville, you’re probably someone who believes the moon landing was faked. [C-J/AKN]

From the Department of Things Ken Ham and Scott Jennings wouldn’t understand… Zircons are an ordinary gemstone found in granites from continental crust and are an incredibly accurate way to measure ages on the order of hundreds of millions to billions of years old. [Forbes]

Remember a decade or so ago when we started uncovering and reporting on corruption involving Jim Ramsey and the University of Louisville? And when Ramsey, et al (mostly Democrats tied to Jack Conway), started coming for us? Funny how that works. Turns out we were right all along. [WFPL]

Twice as many people now work in solar than in the coal industry, according to a new survey from the nonprofit Solar Foundation. [Fast Company]

If you happen to be on the campus of Harvard University this spring and you run into former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, don’t be surprised. Beshear will be on campus as part of the Richard L. and Ronay A. Menschel Senior Leadership Fellows at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. [Business First]

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation is pursuing at least three separate probes relating to alleged Russian hacking of the U.S. presidential elections, according to five current and former government officials with direct knowledge of the situation. [Reuters]

After the ease with which it passed out of committee on Thursday — with no nay votes — there wasn’t much surprise Friday when the full Senate unanimously passed the latest Kentucky education reform bill. [Ronnie Ellis]

In light of the stunning events of the past week, the question is not whether the Trump administration’s ties to the Russian government need to be investigated immediately and fully — clearly they do. It’s who will be in charge of that investigation? The Republicans in Congress can’t decide whether they would rather act like a responsible, independent branch or just the friendly legislative arm of the White House. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House oversight committee, would sooner investigate a cartoon character named Sid the Science Kid than any allegations relating to President Trump. [NY Times]

From the Department of Things That Make You Go Hmm… Ashland is ranked eighth as one of the top places to retire in Kentucky, according to a SmartAsset study. [Ashland Independent]

Betsy DeVos criticized teachers at a D.C. school she visited and they took her ass to school. This is the backward, bigoted, out-of-touch woman Scott Jennings and the Republican Party of Kentucky are continually praising. [WaPo]

Tim Conley is a con artist who just won’t quit. He and his family hid behind Jesus – as if that’s okay – while he robbed Morgan County blind as people were suffering and mourning deaths after a tornado that wiped out West Liberty. He deserves to remain in prison until 2021. And honestly, deserves to be shunned for the rest of his time on earth. [H-L]

Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) gave a staunch defense of the free press Saturday, noting that attacks on the media are “how dictators get started.” [HuffPo]

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Mitch McConnell Is A Delicate Snowflake

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A survey of 127 public and private Kentucky high school students who identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer concluded that the climate in Kentucky schools remained hostile toward them, an education group said. Eighty-four percent of students surveyed were from public schools. [H-L]

Mitch McConnell (R-Pussy) wouldn’t let Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) read Coretta Scott King’s blistering takedown of Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Closet Case) on the Senate floor on Tuesday night. But there’s no reason you can’t. [HuffPo]

This kind of thing happens when you have a less than competent superintendent and a wet blanket board of education filled with people like David Jones and Stephanie Horne. For years, a former Layne Elementary teacher created an “atmosphere of despair” in her classroom, a state tribunal found when it upheld her firing. But Jefferson County Public Schools has never formally disciplined anyone for not appropriately monitoring Jodi Anderson — even though the tribunal specifically cited lack of supervision as a shortcoming. [C-J/AKN]

Turns out Mitch McConnell is the real whiny ass titty baby snowflake. The Senate voted to bar Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) from speaking on the floor Tuesday night, after Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said her blistering comments about fellow Sen. Jeff Sessions, President Trump’s pick for attorney general, broke Senate rules. [The Hill]

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) recently awarded a $1.29 million grant to the KY-WV Regional Drone Technology Workforce Project, a joint effort between Maysville Community and Technical College (MCTC) and Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College (SWVCTC). [The Morehead News]

Donald Trump’s order temporarily banning U.S. entry to people from seven Muslim-majority countries came under intense scrutiny on Tuesday from a federal appeals court that questioned whether the ban unfairly targeted people over their religion. [Reuters]

Karen Sypher is out of federal prison, and is now in a halfway house. [WDRB]

What was that, again, about the Trumps not being grifting kleptocrats? In a lawsuit filed today, First Lady Melania Trump revealed her intention to leverage the presidency to ink new “licensing, branding, and endorsement” deals worth many millions of dollars. In the filing, Melania Trump’s lawyer described the position of First Lady as a “once-in-a-lifetime” money making opportunity. She told the court she intended to pursue deals in “apparel, accessories, shoes, jewelry, cosmetics, hair care, skin care, and fragrance.” [ThinkProgress]

The first round of Barren County government budget discussions for the 2018 fiscal year, which begins July 1, 2017, focused only on the jail, where the only really significant revision desired by management is with employee salaries. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Silver lining? Since the day Donald J. Trump began his presidential campaign, there were questions about how the Trump brand would be affected. Would his stream of insults hurt viewership of “The Apprentice” or sales of Ivanka Trump shoes? Or was all the attention good for business, a marketing adage President Trump could have learned during his time as a reality television star. The answer may surprise him. [NY Times]

A resolution declaring that JCPS become a Safe Haven school district was passed by the school board on Tuesday. Meanwhile, most other agencies in Kentucky are too cowardly to stand up against discrimination like this. [WAVE3]

Refugees are already vigorously vetted. She knows because she vets them. [WaPo]

The Lexington council will vote soon on a resolution opposing the passage of a Kentucky Senate bill that would allow anyone but convicted felons to carry a concealed weapon without a license. [H-L]

Unsurprisingly, Trump’s volatile behavior has created an environment ripe for leaks from his executive agencies and even within his White House. And while leaks typically involve staffers sabotaging each other to improve their own standing or trying to scuttle policy ideas they find genuinely problematic, Trump’s 2-week-old administration has a third category: leaks from White House and agency officials alarmed by the president’s conduct. “I’ve been in this town for 26 years. I have never seen anything like this,” said Eliot Cohen, a senior State Department official under President George W. Bush and a member of his National Security Council. “I genuinely do not think this is a mentally healthy president.” [HuffPo]

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David Yates: A Typical, Cowardly, Good Old Boy Democrat From Kentucky

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Doctors suspected child abuse as soon as the girl was wheeled into Kentucky Children’s Hospital at the University of Kentucky in October 2014, three days before her ninth birthday. [John Cheves]

A U.S. appeals court late on Saturday denied a request from the U.S. Department of Justice to immediately restore a immigration order from President Donald Trump barring citizens from seven mainly Muslim countries and temporarily banning refugees. [HuffPo]

Call her Kentucky’s last refugee. Just before the gates to the U.S. refugee program swung temporarily shut Friday, Zemzem Abib walked through security at Louisville’s airport from Ethiopia to reunite with a Somali husband she hadn’t seen in three years. [C-J/AKN]

Trump’s refugee ban has an absurd catch-22 that no one is talking about. [The Hill]

David Yates is a giant-ass baby, like most Kentucky Democrats who fear Republicans these days. He learned how to be that manbaby while working for Greg Stumbo. [WFPL]

When Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson arrived in Seattle last Saturday after a trip to Florida, public outrage over the immigration order issued the previous day by President Donald Trump was quickly growing. He went home, greeted his family and then went to work. [Reuters]

The Republican Party of Kentucky now openly embraces racism and corruption. You thought they were serious when promising to hold corrupt Democrats accountable? You were mistaken. They’re all apparently drunk 24/7 and just spew out whatever hateful bullshit that’s been festering within for a few weeks. That’s the RPK of 2017. [Richmond Register]

The document carried the title “A Roadmap to Repeal,” a concise list of Obama administration environmental regulations that a Koch brothers-backed group was pressing President Trump and Congress to quickly reverse after Inauguration Day. [NY Times]

The accrediting agency that placed the University of Louisville on probation after Gov. Matt Bevin sought to reorganize its Board of Trustees has raised additional concerns about the management of the university. [Ronnie Ellis]

The fallout Monday from President Trump’s sweeping immigration order exposed painful rifts within the Republican Party, alarmed members of his Cabinet and fueled suspicions among his top advisers. [WaPo]

A difference in calculation methods led to what one man said he perceived as a threat from the superintendent of the Glasgow Electric Plant Board, but Superintendent Billy Ray said that was not his intent, and he was merely trying to dispel incorrect information. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Trump trolls are in for a rude awakening, to say the least. [Click the Clicky]

This is the kind of thing the Republican Party of Kentucky wants to be legal. A former businessman is charged with the illegal storage, transportation and disposal of hazardous waste, according to a federal grand jury indictment. [H-L]

Donald Trump doubled down on his support for Russian President Vladimir Putin in a Fox News interview to be aired ahead of the Super Bowl on Sunday. [HuffPo]

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Trump May Suck But Don’t Ignore The Real Mess Bevin & Co Are Creating Right Here At Home

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Former Casey County magistrate David “Frog” Wethington, accused of hitting his successor with his car, has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge. [H-L]

Donald Trump has been called a con man and a huckster. An unstable pathological liar. A degenerate. And that’s just by other Republicans. [HuffPo]

For 12 years each Christmas, former Thornton Oil Co. executive R. Kevin Hobbs and his family awaited a call from the White House, his lawyer said. This week it finally came. [C-J/AKN]

Washington will turn into a virtual fortress ahead of Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration on Friday, as the U.S. capital braces for more than a quarter-million protesters expected during the Republican’s swearing-in. [Reuters]

Here’s your reminder that Matt Bevin and the Republican Party of of Kentucky are choking Medicaid. While at the same time taking dental and vision coverage away from Medicaid recipients – the poorest and most at-risk Kentuckians. [WFPL]

A divisive vote, with jobs and immigrants the most combustible issues. An outcome that surprised the experts. A nation left on edge, with many anxious about intolerance and the violence that can stem from it. [ProPublica]

The Lawrence County Board of Education is considering a five-cent tax increase that would bring in money to rebuild one of its elementary schools. [Ashland Independent]

Since he won the presidency in November, Trump has relished talking about his win, sometimes telling donors it was a surprise, while other times telling friends he knew he was going to win all along. [Politico]

More than 74,000 Kentuckians have signed up for health insurance through HealthCare.gov as of Jan. 14. [Richmond Register]

American law enforcement and intelligence agencies are examining intercepted communications and financial transactions as part of a broad investigation into possible links between Russian officials and associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump, including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, current and former senior American officials said. [NY Times]

Even fans of the University of Kentucky may be feeling sympathy for their rival University of Louisville, which has been left twisting in limbo while politicians in Frankfort play a game of chicken with the university’s accrediting agency. [Ronnie Ellis]

A new poll shows a strong majority of Americans see the GOP as the more extreme political party. [WaPo]

Lexington is considering giving its vicious-dog ordinance more teeth. Under the proposed changes, animal control officers would be able to temporarily quarantine particularly vicious dogs after they bite. The other changes being weighed include requiring that vicious dogs be spayed or neutered, and the creation of a photo registry of all vicious dogs. [H-L]

The hacker and activist collective Anonymous, which wasn’t a heavy-hitter during the presidential campaign, has now warned Donald Trump that he is going to “regret” the next four years. [HuffPo]

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Meet The New UofL Board, It’s The Same As The Old UofL Board

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Kentucky’s decision to ignore federal security regulations for driver’s licenses will begin inconveniencing residents in coming weeks, and the pain is expected to become widespread by early next year. [H-L]

President Barack Obama has commuted the sentence of Chelsea Manning, the U.S. soldier whom prosecutors deemed a traitor for sending hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks. [HuffPo]

If you think Kentucky parents are garbage people, wait until you read this story about Indiana parents freaking out about Sharia Law. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump ran for president as the billionaire who would champion working people. As the president-elect put it in one of the major economic speeches of his campaign: “Too many of our leaders have forgotten that it’s their duty to protect the jobs, wages and well-being of American workers before any other consideration.” [ProPublica]

Matt Bevin has re-appointed nine of 10 people he first put on the University of Louisville Board of Trustees last June and none from the original board he abolished at the same time. [Ronnie Ellis]

Ask House Speaker Paul Ryan about the state of Obamacare and he has a ready response. “It’s in a death spiral,” he said Thursday at his weekly press conference. [Politico]

The Kentucky Community and Technical College System has signed an agreement with more than 40 colleges and universities to render aid to each other during crises. [Ashland Independent]

Sixty-three years after the Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, many schools across the country either remain segregated or have re-segregated. [NPR]

Even fans of the University of Kentucky may be feeling sympathy for their rival University of Louisville, which has been left twisting in limbo while politicians in Frankfort play a game of chicken with the university’s accrediting agency. [More Ronnie Ellis]

It was 2005, and Felix Sater, a Russian immigrant, was back in Moscow pursuing an ambitious plan to build a Trump tower on the site of an old pencil factory along the Moscow River that would offer hotel rooms, condominiums and commercial office space. [NY Times]

The lone Democrat in Kentucky’s Congressional delegation has announced he will not attend Donald Trump’s inauguration festivities, joining a growing number of elected officials boycotting the event. [WFPL]

President Obama’s first inaugural festivities stretched over five days. Donald Trump is spending barely three on his. [WaPo]

University of Kentucky officials have pledged to reduce carbon emissions on campus by 25 percent by 2025. [H-L]

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) grilled secretary of education nominee Betsy DeVos on Tuesday, making the billionaire philanthropist’s lack of experience painfully obvious. [HuffPo]

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500,000 Kentuckians To Lose Health Care

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Two things: It’s the Republican Party of Kentucky, not Kentucky Republican Party – but Valarie’s not exactly a stickler for details, as you already know. And Jonathan Miller and Brooke Parker representing Fayette County Public Schools? Are you flipping kidding? HAHAHAHA. You should see the documents Miller initially produced to try to get Parker hired at FBT. [H-L]

President-elect Donald Trump repeatedly called out the publication of unverified allegations that he has ties to Russia as “fake news” during Wednesday’s press conference, his first in nearly six months. [HuffPo]

You already knew Matt Bevin was to blame for the University of Louisville shenanigans. But here’s more proof. [C-J/AKN]

President-elect Donald Trump is dodging serious questions raised by a blockbuster CNN story that top U.S. intelligence officials presented Trump with documents including Russian claims that they have “compromising” information about the president-elect. Instead, he is trying to turn the conversation into a discussion about ethics in political journalism, and some in the press are playing along, helping the president-elect avoid accountability. [Media Matters]

On Wednesday, those that help Richmond job seekers find employment and assist with unemployment claims were told they themselves would soon be working elsewhere. [Richmond Register]

500,000 Kentuckians stand to lose access to health care. But that’s not exactly something Republicans care about in the Commonwealth. [Click the Clicky]

Kentucky’s 51 career centers will be reorganized into 12 hubs and eight existing satellite offices effective Feb. 16, according to an emailed statement from Education and Workforce Development Secretary Hal Heiner. [Glasgow Daily Times]

President-elect Donald Trump aims to open up federal lands to more energy development, tapping into a long-running and contentious debate over how best to manage America’s remaining wilderness. [Reuters]

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools on Wednesday informed the University of Louisville in writing that it remains out of compliance with requirements of the accrediting agency and will lose accreditation if it fails to address the concerns within two years. [Ronnie Ellis]

President-elect Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday that he has “NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA – NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!” Trump, however, has a long history with Russia, trying repeatedly to build luxury properties in Moscow, holding a beauty pageant there and benefiting from heavy investments from Russians in his properties around the world. [WaPo]

Gynnya entered Lincoln Village Regional Juvenile Detention Center in Hardin County on Jan. 10, 2016, and was pronounced dead the next morning. [WFPL]

A recent reworking of language concerning climate change on a Wisconsin government website could be replicated under a Trump administration. [ProPublica]

The Republican Party of Kentucky will NEVER take the time to listen to real Kentuckians who are most impacted by their backward legislation. Never have, never will. [H-L]

President-elect Donald Trump announced Wednesday that he would place his two sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, in charge of his multibillion-dollar Trump Organization. [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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