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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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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Scott Jennings Whines That Democrats Aren’t “Tolerant” Of Backward-Ass Bigots Like Betsy DeVos

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This editorial dangerously misses Matt Bevin’s typical, backward, slick, Republican point. That point? That poor people should pay more money to the state via consumption taxes. To suggest it’s about honest, fair tax reform is as shady as Bevin himself and the people defending him. The paper’s editorial board knows better and that’s what is most alarming. [H-L]

HAHAHAHA! This is the man people like Scott Jennings are tacitly defending. They own this huckster. OWN HIM. They have to own this mess and it’s going to be painful and hilarious to watch them have to eat it. Donald Trump on Wednesday ignored shouted questions about his administration’s reported ties to Russia. [HuffPo]

Here’s giant pussy, Scott Jennings, whining about TOLERANCE! Regarding school choice, which he says is scientific. HAHAHAHA! Seriously. You’re going to need to take a pee break before you read this one. This fucker is going to own every last idiot the Trump Administration has appointed each and every time he says this shit publicly. Make this dumb fucker own it, Democrats. Let him know that whining about how “intolerant” people are of his intolerance/racism/bigotry/whatever doesn’t compute. P.S. He’s going knee-deep on DeVos because of her money. His Super PAC. McConnell’s Super PAC. [C-J/AKN]

How did Sergei Krikov die? And why did the NYPD close the case? He was found just before 7 a.m. on Election Day, lying on the floor of the Russian Consulate on the Upper East Side. The man was unconscious and unresponsive, with an unidentified head wound — “blunt force trauma,” in cop parlance. By the time emergency responders reached him, he was dead. [BuzzFeed]

Citing “increasing public interest and media attention,” Kentucky State Police on Wednesday announced the creation of a dedicated unit to investigate police shootings across the state. [WFPL]

Donald Trump is a racist bigot and people like Scott Jennings, Damon Thayer and Jeff Hoover are all about him. Fortunately, people like Whitney Westerfield maybe see through the bullshit? Either way, the FBI has released documents related to Dildo Trump’s rental discrimination case and they are scandalous. Be sure to read what Trump’s doorman told the FBI he was directed to tell black people. [FBI]

House Speaker Jeff Hoover says Kentucky’s Republican governor will have to testify before a legislative committee and offer his personal, public guarantee that he won’t block a bill aimed at overhauling driver’s licenses in the state. [Richmond Register]

The intercepts alarmed American intelligence and law enforcement agencies, in part because of the amount of contact that was occurring while Mr. Trump was speaking glowingly about the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin. [NY Times]

The City of Ashland is poised to acquire the old Ashland Oil building for free. Louisa Community Bank will donate the vacant, seven-story building on Winchester Avenue to the city, pending approval by the board of city commissioners during Wednesday’s commission meeting. [Ashland Independent]

Trump’s ouster of national security adviser Michael Flynn, and the circumstances leading up to it, have quickly become a major crisis for the fledgling administration, forcing the White House on the defensive and precipitating the first significant breach in relations between Trump and an increasingly restive Republican Congress. [WaPo]

Cave City has received the best audit report it could receive from an auditor. David Gilbert with Gilbert and Gilbert, a certified public accounting firm in Glasgow, reviewed the city’s 2016 audit report with city council members Monday night. In doing so, he pointed out the change in the city’s net position, which was $1,237,401. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The ex-wife of President Donald Trump’s labor secretary nominee told “The Oprah Winfrey Show” that he “vowed revenge” when she made public spousal abuse allegations, according to a 1990 tape reviewed by POLITICO on Tuesday night. [Politico]

Of course Damon Thayer and his handlers want to further corrupt politics in Kentucky. Lawmakers in Kentucky are looking for more of that sweet, sweet cash. A bill that would double the amount donors can contribute to a campaign passed the Senate Wednesday on a party-line vote after it got out of the Senate State and Local Government Committee committee earlier in the day. [H-L]

Multiple Russian military aircraft came close to a U.S. Navy destroyer in the Black Sea on Feb. 10, incidents considered “unsafe and unprofessional,” a U.S. official said on Tuesday. [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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How Quickly Mitch McConnell Forgets About (Ignores) Environmental Disasters

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Here comes elderly old queen, Mitch McConnell, fighting to allow coal pollution into your streams. Another Martin County disaster in 3, 2… [H-L]

Trump accidentally proved why Black History Month is necessary. [HuffPo]

Suck on that, Republican Party of Kentucky and Matt Bevin. A federal appeals court has ruled Kentucky must pay relatives who serve as foster parents in the same manner it pays adults who are licensed as foster parents and paid a daily rate. [C-J/AKN]

Under the circumstances, it would be nice to think that Trump is capable — at least in principle — of responding in a calm, well-informed, and effective manner. But based on the evidence available in front of us, it’s extremely difficult to be confident that he is. [Vox]

The average cost of a gunshot victim’s emergency room or hospital stay in Kentucky was $10,000 in 2014. That’s according to a report out from the Urban Institute. [WFPL]

On Tuesday, The Chronicle of Higher Education reported that Jerry Falwell Jr., president of Liberty University, would lead a Trump administration task force charged with deregulating American higher education. [NY Times & CHE]

Smoking causes an estimated $1.92 billion in annual health costs in Kentucky, but the state is spending about $2.4 million on programs to prevent kids from smoking and helping smokers quit, according to a new report. [Richmond Register]

A leaked copy of a draft executive order titled “Establishing a Government-Wide Initiative to Respect Religious Freedom,” obtained by The Investigative Fund and The Nation, reveals sweeping plans by the Trump administration to legalize discrimination. [The Nation]

Half of the lights were turned off in Daren Johnson’s classroom at the Barren County Area Technology Center on Friday, and his students were typing diligently on their respective computers. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The Trump administration wants to revamp and rename a U.S. government program designed to counter all violent ideologies so that it focuses solely on Islamist extremism, five people briefed on the matter told Reuters. [Reuters]

Build Ashland Community Clean Project volunteers endured the frigid temperatures Saturday morning to clean up litter. [Ashland Independent]

First, reflect on the cruelty of President Trump’s decision on Friday to indefinitely suspend the resettlement of Syrian refugees and temporarily ban people from seven predominantly Muslim nations from entering the United States. It took just hours to begin witnessing the injury and suffering this ban inflicts on families that had every reason to believe they had outrun carnage and despotism in their homelands to arrive in a singularly hopeful nation. [NY Times]

Killing Kentucky. The U.S. Congress voted to void President Barack Obama’s rule on mining debris. [H-L]

Senate Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) pushed forward two of President Donald Trump’s Cabinet picks Wednesday morning, advancing their nominations despite a Democratic boycott. [HuffPo]

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Louisville Showed Up To Protest The New Republican Racism (Or Fascism, If You’re Being Technical)

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The city of Lexington is not a sanctuary city for those in the country illegally, Lexington city officials said Monday. [H-L]

Former President Barack Obama released a statement on Monday expressing solidarity with those protesting his successor’s ban on travelers and refugees entering the United States from certain Muslim-majority countries. [HuffPo]

In front of overflowing and cheering crowds that packed by the thousands into the Muhammad Ali Center amphitheater Monday night, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer on Monday blasted President Donald Trump’s temporary ban on refugees and immigrants from seven nations. Be sure to check out all the photos Chris took, as well. [C-J/AKN]

National security experts and media figures denounced President Donald Trump’s “dangerous” decision to give his chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, a prominent role on the National Security Council. Bannon is an extremist anti-Semite who formerly ran the white nationalist “alt-right” website Breitbart. [Media Matters]

$528,000 is inconsequential? It wasn’t inconsequential when Greg Fischer shuttered half of Louisville’s WIC clinics because he couldn’t come up with $500K-$800K. Funny how that works. [WFPL]

This will probably remind a lot of people of a certain former school superintendent. [NY Daily News]

After calming down toward the end of 2016, officials have seen a dramatic uptick in drug overdoses to start the new year. [Richmond Register]

More than 17,000 students are in legal limbo because of Donald Trump’s bigoted and backward executive order – mostly in STEM fields. [FiveThirtyEight]

The Ashland Board of City Commissioners on Thursday named five members to the city ethics commission, which had been vacant since 2011. [Ashland Independent]

Donald Trump is dumber than you thought. Sure, that’s saying a lot. But he’s the dumbest president of the modern era. George W. Bush is a genius in comparison. [NY Times]

Despite one of the wettest Januarys in recent memory, the new Rowan County Detention Center is still close to on schedule. [The Morehead News]

Donald Trump never had a plan to fight ISIS. None of his people ever had a real plan. [WaPo]

Memories are fading of illustrious faculty and alumni of Lexington’s all-black Dunbar High School, which closed 50 years ago as the Fayette County Public Schools were desegregated in 1967. [H-L]

If you haven’t read that insane press release, you’re missing out. After more than a decade on the White House press list and every other government list you can imagine, I can say that it’s the craziest thing I’ve ever read. Donald Trump fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates on Monday night, hours after she said the Justice Department would not defend Trump’s executive order on immigration. [HuffPo]

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Will You Recognize Fascism When It Knocks On Your Door? Not If You’re A Kentucky Republican

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What the Associated Press doesn’t tell you is that those kids rallying? They were all wearing private school uniforms or wearing private school backpacks. You can check the photos out for yourself. This is all about the redistribution of public funds to wealthy people. Full stop. [H-L]

This is the hate people like Scott Jennings and the Republican Party of Kentucky are actively supporting and defending. The U.S. government must “permit lawyers access to all legal permanent residents being detained at Dulles International Airport” a federal judge in Virginia ordered late Saturday. [H-L]

Greg Fischer announced a rally with Louisville civic, faith and other community leaders will take place Monday at the Muhammad Ali Center in response to President Donald Trump’s controversial executive orders that kept an untold number of refugees from entering the U.S. on Saturday. [C-J/AKN]

If you’re supporting this, it’s time you came to terms with the fact that you’re a raging racist. President Trump’s executive order closing the nation’s borders to refugees was put into immediate effect on Friday night. Refugees who were airborne on flights on the way to the United States when the order was signed were stopped and detained at airports. [NY Times]

Hundreds of people packed into the Turkish American Friendship Center in Louisville’s Buechel neighborhood on Saturday for a rally and community dinner. The cause: to combat islamophobia and racism. [WFPL]

My worry is the president of the United States is barking mad. [WaPo]

Donald Trump on Wednesday said he plans a “major investigation” into what he claims was massive voter fraud in the November presidential election. Kentucky’s chief elections official, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, said Wednesday “there is no basis in fact or in reality for any claim, accusation or belief that there is widespread voter impersonation sufficient to impact the presidential race.” [Ronnie Ellis]

Yep, your new president and his team have practiced denial of the Holocaust. That really happened. AND THEY DOUBLED DOWN! [CNN]

Matt Bevin again took to social media Wednesday to attack Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear for what Bevin claimed is Beshear’s refusal to defend a new abortion restriction law and he also attacked The Courier-Journal and one of its reporters. [Ronnie Ellis]

President Donald Trump’s nominee for U.S. treasury secretary was untruthful with the Senate during the confirmation process, documents uncovered by The Dispatch show. Steve Mnuchin, former chairman and chief executive officer of OneWest Bank, known for its aggressive foreclosure practices, flatly denied in testimony before the Senate Finance Committee that OneWest used “robo-signing” on mortgage documents. [Columbus Dispatch]

One woman relied on old needles used by her friend’s diabetic husband. Another settled for whatever syringes she could find. [Richmond Register]

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal by Texas seeking to revive the state’s strict Republican-backed voter-identification requirements that a lower court found had a discriminatory effect on black and Hispanic people. [Reuters]

A former employee of a defunct Lexington consulting firm pleaded guilty Thursday to helping funnel bribes to a state official in order to get business for the company. Myron D. Harrod worked at MC Squared Consulting in 2014 and 2015 when owner Sam. C. McIntosh was bribing state Personnel Cabinet Secretary Tim Longmeyer. [H-L]

This is the hate people like Scott Jennings and the Republican Party of Kentucky are actively supporting and defending. The real-life consequences of President Donald Trump’s executive order on Friday banning Syrian refugees and immigrants from seven majority-Muslim nations became apparent within hours of his signing it. [HuffPo]

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