The Republican Way: Fearing Trans Kids

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Kentucky legislators took the first step Tuesday in creating a new way of funding higher education that would funnel $1 billion to public universities and colleges based on their graduation rates and other performance measures. [Linda Blackford]

White House adviser Stephen Miller said President Donald Trump’s new travel ban will accomplish much the same thing as the old one. [HuffPo]

Yet more proof that the Republican Party of Kentucky is living in the dark ages. Be thankful that the current generation of leadership in Frankfort is old enough to die of natural causes within two decades. Their wrongs can be righted. If that sounds extreme? You’re probably someone who is cool with coal slurry flooding the water table. [C-J/AKN]

The Trump Disaster withdrew Title IX guidelines that protected transgender students. So, Republicans, you can get fucked if you think you’re going to flit around branding yourselves as supporting equality of any sort. If you support or normalize these people in Washington, you’re part of the problem. [BuzzFeed]

Poor Candy Barr got his ass handed to him by constituents when he couldn’t be anything but an awful wretch on the health care front. People in Mt. Sterling know it’s not about partisanship – it’s about human rights. Opponents flooded a town hall event held by U.S. Rep. Andy Barr in Mt. Sterling early Wednesday morning. The group booed, shouted down and at times hissed at Kentucky’s 6th district congressman over his stances on cutting corporate taxes, repealing the Affordable Care Act and scaling back the Environmental Protection Agency. [WFPL]

The White House has pushed back the release of a new executive order to replace its directive suspending travel to the United States by citizens of seven mostly Muslim countries, a White House official said on Wednesday. [Reuters]

Maybe those watching as U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell confronted protesters from across Kentucky at a scheduled stop here Tuesday expected confrontation. [Ronnie Ellis]

President Trump on Wednesday rescinded protections for transgender students that had allowed them to use bathrooms corresponding with their gender identity, overruling his own education secretary and placing his administration firmly in the middle of the culture wars that many Republicans have tried to leave behind. [NY Times]

The Ashland Board of Zoning Adjustment nixed a proposal by a local doctor to turn the old Ashland Junior College building on Central Avenue into a drug rehabilitation and detox center. [Ashland Independent]

The Trump administration in its first month has largely benched the State Department from its long-standing role as the pre­eminent voice of U.S. foreign policy, curtailing public engagement and official travel and relegating Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to a mostly offstage role. [WaPo]

Barren County Fiscal Court unanimously passed the first of two readings of an ordinance to make some revisions, mostly clarifications, to the original ordinance passed late last year to establish a taxing district through which revenue would be collected. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The racist history of incarceration that Donald Trump is threatening to repeat. The internment of American citizens during World War II cannot remain a historical footnote. [ThinkProgress]

Andy Barr was laughed at, booed, interrupted, scolded and, a few times, praised by constituents who packed inside the Montgomery County Courthouse Annex early Wednesday morning. [H-L]

A CNN segment turned tense Tuesday night when the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect’s executive director verbally sparred with Kayleigh McEnany, the network’s in-house surrogate for President Donald Trump. [HuffPo]

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People Like Bob Stivers Have No Business Making Decisions For Lexington And Louisville

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Think the Republican Party of Kentucky has your best interests at heart? Here the Republicans are voting to allow more nepotism in your school districts. [H-L]

Much has been made of the monetary cost of Donald Trump’s proposed border wall. Trump himself has cited wildly differing estimates. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Nazi-Enabler) recently said that the wall would cost $12 billion to $15 billion. Some experts have cited numbers far higher. But the wall’s true cost surpasses even the biggest numbers being discussed. There’s upkeep, of course — hundreds of millions of dollars per year will be needed to maintain the 1,000-mile barrier. There are other expenses, too, some of them intangible and difficult to quantify. [HuffPo]

If Greg Fischer really wants to know if lenders discriminate, he already has a ton of the info at his disposal. He can examine bank data to see if area banks are investing and lending in the areas they’re legally required to invest and lend in. Spoiler alert: He has people on his staff who already know this data by heart because I helped them compile it in late 2014. [C-J/AKN]

Mr. Sater, a longtime business associate of Mr. Trump’s with connections in Russia, was willing to help Mr. Artemenko’s proposal reach the White House. Mr. Trump has sought to distance himself from Mr. Sater in recent years. If Mr. Sater “were sitting in the room right now,” Mr. Trump said in a 2013 deposition, “I really wouldn’t know what he looked like.” But Mr. Sater worked on real estate development deals with the Trump Organization on and off for at least a decade, even after his role in the stock manipulation scheme came to light. Mr. Sater, who was born in the Soviet Union and grew up in New York, served as an executive at a firm called Bayrock Group, two floors below the Trump Organization in Trump Tower, and was later a senior adviser to Mr. Trump. [NY Times]

The Highlands Museum and Discovery Center has received a $1,000 grant from the Kentucky Local History Trust Fund, the Kentucky Historical Society announced Thursday. [Ashland Independent]

On its own, Trump’s relationship with Sater might be written off (albeit not terribly plausibly) as simply a sleazy relationship Trump entered into to get access to capital he needed to finance his projects. Whatever shadowy ties Sater might have and whatever his criminal background, Trump has long since washed his hands of him. (Again, we’re talking about most generous reads here.) But now we learn that Sater is still very much in the Trump orbit and acting as a go-between linking Trump and a pro-Putin Ukrainian parliamentarian pitching ‘peace plans’ for settling the dispute between Russia and Ukraine. [TPM]

After Sater got busted, somehow he managed to offer his services to the FBI and supposedly the CIA to work on their behalf purchasing stinger missiles and other weapons on the then wild and free-wheeling Russian black market. [More TPM]

The Daniel Boone National Forest is celebrating 80 years as part of America’s national forest system. [Richmond Register]

Teen suicide attempts in the U.S. declined after same-sex marriage became legal and the biggest impact was among gay, lesbian and bisexual kids, a study found. [AP]

Kentucky regulators have approved a coal ash landfill for a power plant in Trimble County, advancing a project that’s been on hold for several years as regulators worked around concerns about the area’s geology and proximity to neighbors. [WFPL]

After she lost her son, Tonda Thompson dreamed of a baby in a washing machine. She’d stuffed in dirty clothes and closed the door. The lock clicked shut. Water rushed in. Then she saw him, floating behind the glass. Frantic, she jabbed at a keypad on the machine, searching for a code to unlock the door. [The Nation]

Motions from both sides of a lawsuit against Barren County Sheriff Kent Keen – and responses to those motions – have been filed in Barren Circuit Court and are awaiting the judge’s rulings. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Most Republicans in Washington are biting their tongues when it comes to Donald Trump, fearful that any candid criticisms of the new president could invite a backlash from their constituents or, potentially worse, provoke retribution from the commander in chief himself. Mark Sanford is not like most Republicans in Washington. [Politico]

This is why you shouldn’t trust bloated (no, not their physical appearance), backwater, out-of-touch xenophobes to make decisions for metro areas like Lexington and Louisville. The Lexington Urban County Council and several Lexington neighborhoods are opposing a state House bill that they say would make it more difficult for neighborhoods to fight proposed real estate developments in the courts. [H-L]

NASA continues to steadfastly tweet urgent climate change information despite a critical president and GOP efforts to force the agency to stick to space and forget the Earth. The Trump administration aims to largely restrict NASA to focus on its space missions and abandon climate change research, which is a part of its Earth Sciences Division. [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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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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Participate In This MSU History Project

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The EMW Women’s Clinic in Lexington, one of two clinics in Kentucky that performs abortions, will close effective Jan. 27. [H-L]

Donald Trump will propose offering to end sanctions imposed on Russia for its annexation of Crimea in return for a nuclear arms reduction deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin, he told The Times of London. [HuffPo]

Indiana and Kentucky schools were “not safe” for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer students in 2015, according to a national survey on school climate. [C-J/AKN]

The dossier alleging that the Russian government has compromised President-elect Donald Trump has not only been circulating at the highest levels of the US government, but also among the intelligence agencies of other countries. [BuzzFeed]

Whether it was songs about the coal mines or the decline of the railroad, the late legendary folk singer Jean Ritchie’s music struck a chord with many, particularly those living in the Kentucky mountains. [Richmond Register]

U.S. civil rights activists vowed on Saturday to defend hard-fought gains in voting rights and criminal justice during the presidency of Donald Trump, kicking off a week of protests ahead of the Republican’s inauguration. [Reuters]

Archivists at Morehead State University are starting the second phase of an oral history project based on the refusal of Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis to issue same-sex marriage licenses in 2015. [Ashland Independent]

The soon-to-be U.S. energy secretary doled out billions in grants and tax incentives for corporations while governor of Texas. One $30 million grant went to an energy group that turned out to be a phantom. [ProPublica]

The Morehead State University Presidential Search and Screening Advisory Committee has narrowed the pool of candidates for the position to five active candidates. [The Morehead News]

What this article ignores is that many SNAP recipients buy sugary beverages/soda and offer them for resale in order to buy household necessities that SNAP benefits don’t provide. [NY Times]

Members of the Barren County Board of Education rejected all but one bid for the next phase of construction of the Career Technical Education facility on the Trojan Trail campus during the Thursday night board meeting after the total bids came in about $1 million higher than expected. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Warning: Your eyes will probably roll back in your head with this one. Donald Trump said in a weekend interview that he is nearing completion of a plan to replace President Obama’s signature health-care law with the goal of “insurance for everybody,” while also vowing to force drug companies to negotiate directly with the government on prices in Medicare and Medicaid. [WaPo]

About 40 people came out to Courthouse Plaza Sunday in Lexington to protest the intended dismantling of the Affordable Care Act, which has had a notable impact in Kentucky in the past 7 years. [H-L]

Supporters of the Affordable Care Act gathered to protest the health care law’s repeal in rallies across the country on Sunday. [HuffPo]

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Poor Kentuckians Will Suffer When Republicans Kill Health Care Reform For Their Personal Gain

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John Leach has spent the holidays wondering how he’d come up with nearly $400 a month to pay for health insurance. [H-L]

Donald Trump made the dubious claim on Twitter late Monday night that his foundation pays zero expenses and donates all of its money to charity. However, a number of reports appear to prove otherwise. [HuffPo]

The forensic accounting of the University of Louisville Foundation will not come cheap. The university’s contract with the international firm of Alvarez & Marsal Disputes and Investigations LLC calls for it to be paid a fee of $687,500 and a total amount, including travel and other expenses, of up to $897,500. [C-J/AKN]

Senate and House Republicans are headed for a clash over whether to tackle Medicare reform under President-elect Donald Trump. [The Hill]

The West Virginia county with the nation’s highest drug overdose death rate has filed a lawsuit against three national distributors of prescription painkillers and a local doctor, contending they are responsible for the county’s addiction epidemic. [Ashland Independent]

Jodie Patterson’s 3-year-old, Penelope, was brooding and angry until one day she asked her child what was wrong. [Reuters]

Once again, Kentucky ranks first for its adult smoking rates, barely inching ahead of West Virginia to take back the first place spot, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [Richmond Register]

A political action committee that backed Donald Trump’s bid for the presidency is continuing to flout campaign finance laws. [ProPublica]

Sheriff Matt Sparks told the Morehead Rotary Club Tuesday that he believes a better way is needed for county residents to look after each other, particularly those without family or friends and who live alone. [The Morehead News]

Besides the shuttering of the two compounds, administration officials announced the expulsion by Sunday of 35 unnamed Russian officials — and their families — who they said were working undercover as spies. [NY Times]

Members of the Glasgow-Barren County Industrial Development Economic Authority met Friday morning to discuss what to do about deficiencies discovered in metal panels that make up the walls of the organization’s spec building in the Highland Glen Industrial Park off New Bowling Green Road. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The career of Jeff Sessions, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for attorney general, has been shadowed by his prosecution of the “Marion Three.” Held this because it would have gotten ignored over the holidays. [WaPo]

An attorney for the family of a missing Kentucky woman has filed an appeal aimed at gaining access to the chain of custody of a 911 tape from the day the Webster County woman disappeared more than 20 years ago. [H-L]

Virtually every mental health professional I interviewed told me that they believed, with 100% certainty, that Mr. Trump satisfied the DSM criteria of this incurable illness and that, as a result, he is a serious danger to the country and the world. [HuffPo]

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Woah, Johnny Boone Got Arrested

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The Kentucky Association of Counties and the Kentucky League of Cities don’t want Gov. Matt Bevin or the Kentucky General Assembly to mess with the well-funded, solvent state County Employees Retirement System. [H-L]

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump called on Thursday for the country to expand its nuclear weapons capabilities until the world “comes to its senses” – a signal he may support costly efforts to modernize the aging U.S. nuclear arsenal. [HuffPo]

This is the only thing people in the city know/think about the mountains of rural Kentucky. [C-J/AKN]

An 11-year-old transgender Ohio child must be allowed to continue to use the girls’ restroom while her school district appeals a court ruling in her favor, a U.S. appeals court ruled Thursday. [Reuters]

The parent company of Kentucky Electric Steel filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Thursday. [Ashland Independent]

ProPublica has sued the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, claiming the agency failed to promptly process a request for correspondence with a consultant about Agent Orange, a toxic defoliant used during the Vietnam War. [ProPublica]

Um, only a few places? Talk about a gross understatement. This is what happens when people from inside the Watterson try to write about the rest of the Commonwealth without ever having been anywhere. There are only a few places where alcohol sales are still completely banned in the Bluegrass. [Business First]

While Democrats vowed to fight the nomination of a climate denier to head up the Environmental Protection Agency, Republican congressmen and fossil fuel industry leaders celebrated on Thursday. [ThinkProgress]

As temperatures fall and Wednesday being the first day of winter, individuals and families who have fallen on hard times and found themselves without a place to lay their heads, may be looking for shelter from the cold. [Richmond Register]

Across Appalachia, coal miners are suffering from the most serious form of the deadly mining disease black lung in numbers more than 10 times what federal regulators report. [NPR]

The former leader of the Cornbread Mafia was arrested in Canada on Thursday. U.S. marshals picked up John “Johnny” Robert Boone in a small town outside Montreal after an extensive fugitive investigation. [WLKY]

So go buy the book about Johnny Boone ASAP. [Click Here]

Matt Bevin continues to prove he’s a turd burglar who is willfully ignorant of the laws of the Commonwealth and this nation. You can’t fix that kind of stupid. [H-L]

A senior United Nations official warned on Thursday that thousands of people evacuated from rebel-held areas of Aleppo after a crushing government offensive could suffer the same fate in their new place of refuge outside the city. [HuffPo]

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