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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Here’s Your Corrupt KDP Schadenfreude

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Get fucked, R.J. Palmer and Dale Emmons. Being forced to pay douchebag Ralph Alvarado a mountain of cash is great fun to watch. You all deserve each other – all three of you. As one of the few people to be able to speak to settling (in my favor!) a defamation suit I filed against prominent Democrats in Kentucky, I think this is hilarious. Just icing on the cake to watch all of these corrupt hacks die a slow death while repeatedly getting kicked in the shady, deceitful gut. Kentucky will be better when that generation finally dies off. [AP/H-L]

A bipartisan group of lawmakers has urged McConnell to take the investigation out of the Senate Intelligence Committee and open a broader select panel to probe cyberwarfare threats from Russia and other U.S. adversaries including Iran and China. [HuffPo]

If you thought this one guy was going to save the University of Louisville from a decade of scandal, you haven’t been paying attention. [C-J/AKN]

Yahoo Inc’s secret scanning of customer emails at the behest of a U.S. spy agency is part of a growing push by officials to loosen constitutional protections Americans have against arbitrary governmental searches, according to legal documents and people briefed on closed court hearings. [Reuters]

Dave Eldridge, a 35-year newspaper executive, has been appointed publisher of the Corbin Times-Tribune and The London Sentinel-Echo. [Richmond Register]

Steven Mnuchin has made a career out of being lucky. The former Goldman Sachs banker nominated to become Donald Trump’s treasury secretary had the perspicacity to purchase a collapsed subprime mortgage lender soon after the financial crisis, getting a sweet deal from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Now, if he’s confirmed, he will likely be able to take advantage of a tax perk given to government officials. [ProPublica]

Raceland councilman Matt Abrams didn’t resign, and the Raceland City Council took no action in the wake of Abrams’ Thanksgiving arrest on multiple drug charges. [Ashland Independent]

The Trump transition team has asked for a list of Energy Department employees and contractors who attended United Nations climate meetings and worked on key Obama administration climate policies, including the social cost of carbon. [ThinkProgress]

Warren County set a state record in 2016 for wheat yield per-acre, and Barren County also had a strong year based on federal estimates. [Glasgow Daily Times]

After all the allegations of rampant voter fraud and claims that millions had voted illegally, the people who supervised the general election last month in states around the nation have been adding up how many credible reports of fraud they actually received. The overwhelming consensus: next to none. [NY Times]

The chair of Kentucky’s workgroup formulating potential changes to the commonwealth’s oil and gas regulations says he believes state laws adequately protect drinking water resources, even with the release of more details from the federal Environmental Protection Agency. [WFPL]

We need the jobs that actually exist in our towns to pay us wages high enough for us to afford basics we can live on. [WaPo]

Federal conservation officials have rejected appraisals of two Fayette County farms at the center of a $300,000 disagreement between Lexington and the federal government. [H-L]

Donald Trump wrapped up his post-election “thank you” tour on Saturday with celebratory geysers from water cannons, greetings from hoop-skirted Southern belles and some gloating over the TV newscasters who had expected him to lose. [HuffPo]

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HAHAHA Julian Carroll HAHAHAHAHA

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How to know Kentucky Democrats are still dead and will remain dead: They selected Julian Carroll as a leader. Sorry for the lack of a pee alert. Saved this one a few days because it was too hilarious. [H-L]

President-elect Donald Trump has tapped Rep. Ryan Zinke to become the next interior secretary. [HuffPo]

The majority of students who are sent to Jefferson County Public Schools’ two behavior alternative schools are black, even though black students make up only 36 percent of the district’s overall population. [C-J/AKN]

Mortality due to substance abuse has increased in Appalachia by more than 1,000 percent since 1980. Deaths from diabetes, blood and endocrine diseases also increased in most counties in the United States during that time. [FiveThirtyEight]

Rep. Rita Smart, D-Richmond, who lost her re-election bid by 76 votes to Republican C. Wesley Morgan, told the Madison County Elections Board on Thursday that she has learned of polling errors that could have affected her race and the race for Richmond City Commission. [Richmond Register]

Fox News analyst Monica Crowley, Donald Trump’s pick to be senior director of strategic communications for the National Security Council, repeatedly pushed an unfounded conspiracy theory that claimed Hillary Clinton’s aide Huma Abedin has ties to Islamic extremists. [CNN]

When I was in school our report cards listed grades in subjects we were taking and one additional category — “conduct.” [Ronnie Ellis]

The Law and Justice Party rode to power on a pledge to drain the swamp of Polish politics and roll back the legacy of the previous administration. One year later, its patriotic revolution, the party proclaims, has cleaned house and brought God and country back to Poland. [WaPo]

The Morehead State University Board of Regents approved a new nursing degree and heard a report on fall enrollment at Friday’s quarterly meeting. [The Morehead News]

ExxonMobil successfully lobbied against a bill that would have made it harder for the next president to lift sanctions against Russia, clearing the way for the oil giant to restart a program worth billions of dollars if Donald Trump eases those restrictions as president. [Politico]

A team of biologists from various state and federal agencies have been working to relocate beds of mussels on the Green River over a two-week period. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The U.S. intelligence community will soon disclose an estimate of the number of Americans whose electronic communications have been caught in the crosshairs of online surveillance programs intended for foreigners, U.S. lawmakers said in a letter seen by Reuters on Friday. [Reuters]

About 3,500 former Daymar College students in Kentucky will begin receiving restitution checks totaling $1.2 million, Attorney General Andy Beshear’s office announced Wednesday. [H-L]

As President-elect Donald Trump’s economic team forms, it continues to be highly favorable to a key billionaire hedge fund donor who backed his candidacy when most on Wall Street wouldn’t touch him. [HuffPo]

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Long-Awaited Barr Whinefest Tonight

On Monday, on the set of KET’s “Kentucky Tonight,” Nancy Jo Kemper will get her first chance to sit opposite U.S. Rep. (c)Andy Barr, R-Lexington, the man against whom she spent most of this year campaigning. [H-L]

Karl Rove is throwing in the towel. In an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” the Republican strategist said that Donald Trump’s poll numbers are simply too dismal to end in victory on election night. [HuffPo]

Wonder if these scared white people are making proper disclosure to the FEC? It was a small but passionate group who attended a veterans for Trump rally Saturday afternoon in a Fern Creek strip mall parking lot. [C-J/AKN]

It was a powerful piece of technology created for an important customer. The Medusa system, named after the mythical Greek monster with snakes instead of hair, had one main purpose: to vacuum up vast quantities of internet data at an astonishing speed. [The Intercept]

A committee launched to investigate allegations that Gov. Matt Bevin illegally canceled a road project to punish a lawmaker for not switching political parties met for the first time Friday. [WFPL]

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has a double-digit lead in the inaugural ABC News 2016 tracking poll released Sunday morning. [The Hill]

Internal emails between officials in the Kentucky Transportation Department last October indicate Democratic state Rep. Russ Meyer knew about a right-of-way dispute on a road project in his district which was subsequently cancelled by Republican Gov. Matt Bevin. [Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump rode to the top of the Republican ticket promising a “big, beautiful, powerful” border wall with Mexico to stop the flow of undocumented immigrants. Along that border, however, Americans are more likely to call the wall a “waste of money”, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll. [Reuters]

Morehead State University acknowledged as one of the “Safest Colleges in Kentucky” by BackgroundChecks.org, a site devoted to public safety and open government. [Ashland Independent]

Leaders of the NAACP, the oldest civil rights organization in the United States, bucked intense pressure from supporters of charter schools on Saturday and ratified a resolution calling for a moratorium on the expansion of charters and for stronger oversight of these schools. [WaPo]

The 2016 Candidates Forum was held Tuesday at the Morehead Conference Center. The forum was scheduled for three discussions with candidates for Morehead City Council, Senate District 27, and House District 99. [The Morehead News]

Few things are more awesome than listening to kids playing on the playground. There’s magic in that mix of laughter and exhausted breaths — giggle, pant, giggle. [ProPublica]

The University of Kentucky is making a dramatic change in how it gives out financial aid by concentrating more on students who need help paying for college. [H-L]

Donald Trump’s unpopularity is threatening to take the Republican Senate majority down with him. [HuffPo]

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When Will The Bevin-Beshear Fight End?

The president of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools has expressed concern about “the potential for undue political influence” in Gov. Matt Bevin’s overhaul of the University of Louisville’s governing board. SACS President Belle S. Wheelan said in an Aug. 18 letter to acting University of Louisville President Neville G. Pinto that “there is evidence of significant accreditation-related issues” involving Bevin’s changes at U of L that are being challenged in court by state Attorney General Andy Beshear. [H-L]

Donald Trump’s new campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, found herself in the unenviable position Sunday morning of having to defend one of the candidate’s most despicable tweets ever. [HuffPo]

Judicial candidates in Kentucky can make misleading statements but they can’t tell outright lies. [C-J/AKN]

The prescriptions you have in your medicine cabinet might not be as private as you believe they are. Thirty-one states grant law enforcement warrantless access to databases containing drug histories, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is pushing hard to search records even in states that have privacy safeguards. [WCPO]

I suspect most people are paying only passing attention to the multiple court battles between Republican Gov. Matt Bevin and Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear. But the stakes are high and, depending upon how the courts rule in the various suits and Bevin’s potential reactions, these cases are likely to make history and set precedents that will affect Kentucky state government for years. [Ronnie Ellis]

Now for some startling opinions about race relations and the current leader of the Republican Party, Donald Trump. [The Hill]

Louisville-based GE Appliances, part of the Haier Group, plans to close a water heater manufacturing line that it launched in 2012 at Appliance Park. [Business First]

Nearly a third of U.S. counties will likely be served by only one insurer that participates in an Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace in 2017, according to an analysis published Sunday by the Kaiser Family Foundation. [Reuters]

Brenda Stamm will face a familiar challenger this fall as she seeks another term on the Rowan County Board of Education. [The Morehead News]

The U.S. Department of Justice announced that it would phase out its use of private prisons. While significant, the move will not put an end to the booming immigrant detention industry. Private prison companies will continue to receive millions in government contracts to detain unauthorized immigrants. [ProPublica]

Officials in several states are scrambling to deal with a series of heroin overdose outbreaks affecting dozens of people and involving at least six deaths. [Richmond Register]

Donald Trump made a direct pitch to Iowa’s farmers in a speech here Saturday — and then pivoted back to his appeal for support from African-Americans, even though there were virtually none in the audience. [Politico]

How do you document Kentucky history that has been mostly hidden and, until 1992, was technically illegal? [Tom Eblen]

Someone using an email address connected to Harold Bornstein, Donald Trump’s doctor, apparently doesn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to cash in on the GOP presidential nominee’s campaign. [HuffPo]

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Fun Times At UK & UofL Lately

Tuition and salaries will increase at the University of Kentucky next year. Next week, the UK Board of Trustees is expected to pass a 5 percent tuition increase for in-state students and a 2 percent raise for employees. Tuition for out-of-state students will increase 8.5 percent. [H-L]

What we do know — what I’ve known my entire life — is that the sight of two men kissing is a stunning, terrifying thing. A dangerous thing. A thing that inspires fury and fear and violence and, yes, murder. [HuffPo]

A leading University of Louisville surgeon says that staffing cuts by KentuckyOne Health at U of L Hospital have rendered it “unsafe” for the care of seriously ill and injured patients. [C-J/AKN]

CIA director John Brennan said on Saturday that he expects 28 redacted pages of a congressional report on 9/11 to be published and that he supports their release. [The Hill]

In its search for a new superintendent, Glasgow Independent Schools is using Phil Eason, of the Kentucky Association of School Administrators (KASA), as superintendent search consultant. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Key members of the U.S. Congress said Friday they had reached a compromise to shift more than $1 billion to try to keep struggling families together, including those with babies born dependant on opioids. [Reuters]

If the Richmond City Commission adopts the police department’s proposed pay scale, it would get a greater return on the $59,000 it invests in training a new officer for nearly a year, according to Acting Police Chief Robert Mott. [Richmond Register]

Mergers have become commonplace as hospital mega-chains increasingly dominate the American health-care market. But these deals often go unscrutinized by state regulators, who fail to address potential risks to patients losing access to care, according to a new report released today. [ProPublica]

For several residents of Hardburly, life suddenly changed without warning last week, when a mudslide completely devastated their community. On the evening of May 28, folks living near Salyers Lane prepared to enjoy the Memorial Day weekend. On the morning of May 29, they were joining together in cleanup efforts and trying to recover from the aftermath of an avalanche. [Hazard Herald]

Rousing tributes have been paid to boxing legend Muhammad Ali at a memorial service in his home city of Louisville, Kentucky. [BBC]

The Kentucky Supreme Court will decide the fate of local minimum wage laws. On Friday, the court heard arguments over whether Louisville’s minimum wage ordinance violates state law by going beyond the scope of Kentucky’s minimum wage, which is tied to the federal rate of $7.25 per hour. [WFPL]

A secret report warned that British spies may have put lives at risk because their surveillance systems were sweeping up more data than could be analyzed, leading them to miss clues to possible security threats. [The Intercept]

It was a violation of the Kentucky Open Meetings Act for Gov. Matt Bevin to send state police to a May 19 meeting of the Kentucky Retirement Systems board of trustees and threaten to arrest the board chairman if he participated, Attorney General Andy Beshear said in an opinion released Tuesday. [H-L]

Donald Trump ramped up his earlier call to ban Muslims from entering the country in a high-profile national security address on Monday — and made clear he believes he can do it with or without congressional approval. [HuffPo]

Bevin: KY’s Embarrassing Tea Grifter

We weren’t joking – are you interested in buying The ‘Ville Voice? [The ‘Ville Voice]

Matt Bevin has been in office for six months, and I still don’t know what to make of the selfie governor. Every time he says something that almost makes sense, the next thing out of his mouth is a cuckoo-clock bird. In one breath he will lecture people about the state motto being “United We Stand, Divided We Fall,” and in the next breath take a petty swipe at a political opponent. The irony seems completely lost on him. [Tom Eblen]

Donald Trump would respect limits on his authority if he’s elected president, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Grandmother) said Monday. [HuffPo]

Billionaire coal baron and West Virginia gubernatorial candidate Jim Justice’s required mine reclamation projects in Kentucky are missing deadlines and dragging on, nearly two years after a crackdown by state environmental regulators. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump lashed out at the press over scrutiny of the money he raised to donate to veterans groups, in one instance pointing to a reporter and calling him a “sleaze.” [The Hill]

The Madison County Board of Education approved a tentative working budget for 2016-2017 that anticipates a slight dip in revenues. Chief Financial Officer Debbie Frazier presented the spending plan at a Thursday work session. [Richmond Register]

Police do not need a warrant to obtain a person’s cellphone location data held by wireless carriers, a U.S. appeals court ruled on Tuesday, dealing a setback to privacy advocates. [Reuters]

Federal funding will pump oxygen more efficiently into the masks of firefighters when clean air is limited, deputy chief Greg Ray said. Ray told the Ashland Board of City Commissioners on Thursday the Ashland Fire Department received a $221,000 award to replenish its air pack supply. [Ashland Independent]

Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., the ranking member of the congressional committee that oversees the Red Cross, sent a three-page letter to the charity’s CEO on Monday demanding that she explain why the Red Cross struggled to respond to record flooding in Mississippi this spring. [ProPublica]

Lower gas prices yielded additional funding for the Ashland Police Department to add two new vehicles to its aging fleet. [Ashland Independent]

Donald Trump claims a net worth of more than $10 billion and an income of $557 million. But he appears to get there only by overvaluing properties and ignoring his expenses. [Politico]

Community leaders have undertaken an exercise meant to improve traffic flow and safety over the next two decades as part of a Kentucky Transportation Cabinet small urban area study. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Illegal immigrants in the US often get better care than the nation’s military veterans, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has said. [BBC]

Rand Paul’s Political Action Committee paid vendors that were also used by his failed presidential campaign. Which comes as a surprise to absolutely no one. [John Cheves]

Islamic State militants fought back vigorously overnight and parried an onslaught by the Iraqi army on a southern district of the city of Fallujah, the group’s bastion near Baghdad, officers said on Tuesday. [HuffPo]

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