Welp, The KDP Is Apparently Still Dying

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The Kentucky Democratic Party has hired a former team leader of Bernie Sanders presidential campaign as its new executive director. This ought to be fascinating to watch. [H-L]

The White House on Friday dismissed U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, a holdover from the Obama administration. [HuffPo]

The man who recently sold the house where Gov. Matt Bevin’s family is now living says the property sold at a fair market price. PEE ALERT! PEE ALERT! [C-J/AKN]

The House Intelligence Committee on Thursday asked several senior Obama administration officials, including former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, to testify publicly in the panel’s probe into Russian interference in the U.S. election. [The Hill]

Educators and community members from the around the region gathered to discuss a new educational accountability system that is still under development Thursday in the Glasgow High School auditorium. Like his predecessor, he’s spending 99% of his time promoting himself instead of doing anything at the Kentucky Department of Education. And we all know how that ended – with me sending him packing. Take heed, Pruitt, because Kentuckians like me will send you on your way if you continue to play pat-a-cake. Just like they’ve done in Louisville for a decade. [Glasgow Daily Times]

After proposing to eliminate the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) in its draft budget, the Trump administration, through the Department of Energy, has started withholding money for grants already approved by the agency. [ThinkProgress]

Greg Fischer is still full of shit. His attempt to claim criticism of Louisville’s disconnected, maybe-dumber-than-rocks police chief is a knock on the hard working men and women who make up LMPD is an insult to all Kentuckians. The chief is in no way like the rest of the department. And most of the department doesn’t look favorably toward him. But it’s fitting. Fischer has a history of covering up heinous scandals just like Steve Conrad. Though, he doesn’t have the same history of pressuring police officers just because they’re gay – as if that in any way means they have information about pedophiles. [WFPL]

Donald Trump’s lawyers argued in a Thursday court filing that protesters “have no right” to “express dissenting views” at his campaign rallies because such protests infringed on his First Amendment rights. Unfortunately for the Trump idiots, the First Amendment protects citizens from people like him – from government – from retaliation. He’s trying to retaliate against people as the sitting head of state. [Politico]

Warren County Public Schools’ employees should expect a minimum 1 percent salary increase effective July 1 after a decision from the district’s school board Thursday night. [BGDN]

Cough, cough, we’re looking at you, Adam Edelen. Racially biased people are far more likely to oppose black athletes’ protests. Last year, Colin Kaepernick, then the quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers, was heavily criticized for kneeling instead of standing during the national anthem. [WaPo]

Kentucky officials say they will release hundreds of inmates ahead of schedule because of dangerous overcrowding at prisons and local jails, a byproduct of the state’s struggles with a nationwide opioid epidemic. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

Next week, according to sources, seven black Fox News employees plan to join a racial discrimination suit filed last month by two colleagues. [NY Magazine]

Greater emphasis on energy efficiency and on producing electricity from renewable sources would create thousands of jobs in Kentucky, reduce electricity bills and help improve the health of residents by cutting pollution, according to a report by a social-justice organization. [H-L]

Donald Trump on Friday complained that a deadline he set for himself for various policy plans was unfair. [HuffPo]

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Education: Not A Real Thing In Kentucky

US authorities have prepared charges to seek the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. [CNN]

The Kentucky commission responsible for investigating judicial misconduct has the fewest resources available to it in comparison to neighboring states, and before 2010, the commission was run out of its secretary’s basement in Lexington. [H-L]

Donald Trump is contemplating a new strategy to get repeal of the Affordable Care Act through Congress: threatening to torpedo insurance for millions of Americans unless Democrats agree to negotiate with him. [HuffPo]

The U.S. attorney’s office had decided it won’t prosecute Dr. David Dunn and two other former University of Louisville executives who were under investigation for allegedly misusing federal money for non-university purposes, their lawyers say. [C-J/AKN]

American corporations scored far worse than their European counterparts in the rankings, which were developed by the Geneva-based UN Global Sustainability Index Institute. [QZ]

Kentucky is one of the least educated states in the country, according to a recent study by WalletHub, a personal finance website that gathered data from the U.S. Census Bureau, National Center for Education Statistics, The Chronicle of Higher Education and U.S. News and World Report. [Glasgow Daily Times]

In case you missed it… A Russian government think tank controlled by Vladimir Putin developed a plan to swing the 2016 U.S. presidential election to Donald Trump and undermine voters’ faith in the American electoral system, three current and four former U.S. officials told Reuters. [Reuters]

A local environmental coalition is urging the state to include fence line monitoring of odor emissions in Big Run Landfill’s new air quality permit, which will be discussed Friday in a public hearing in the Boyd County High School auditorium. [Ashland Independent]

The Muscogee County School Board in Columbus, Georgia, dealt another blow to embattled Camelot Education when it voted Monday night to delay for three months a decision on whether to hire the company to run its alternative education programs. The delay in awarding the $6.4 million annual contract comes in the wake of a recent report by ProPublica and Slate that more than a dozen Camelot students were allegedly shoved, beaten or thrown by staff members — incidents almost always referred to as “slamming.” [ProPublica]

The Berea City Council adopted a resolution denouncing acts of discrimination, violence and harassment in city limits and greater Madison County. Council member Billy Wooten stated the measure was partly in response to a recent incident in which a county resident’s property was vandalized with homophobic graffiti. [Richmond Register]

Donald Trump has yet to nominate the State Department official who oversees diplomatic security abroad — despite having made the 2012 Benghazi attacks a centerpiece of his campaign against Hillary Clinton. [Politico]

A researcher at the University of Louisville wants to know whether coal ash is in homes in Southwest Louisville and how it’s potentially affecting the children living there. [WFPL]

The March for Science is not a partisan event. But it’s political. That’s the recurring message of the organizers, who insist that this is a line the scientific community and its supporters will be able to walk. It may prove too delicate a distinction, though, when people show up in droves on Saturday with their signs and their passions. [WaPo]

Attorney General Andy Beshear on Wednesday announced a settlement with Kentucky Utilities and Louisville Gas & Electric that would reduce a large rate increase the companies requested in November. It also would shelve the utilities’ controversial plan to more than double the fixed monthly charge that all customers must pay, regardless of how much electricity they use. [John Cheves]

Stephen Miller, a senior adviser to President Donald Trump, is now working on women’s issues in the White House despite having once forcefully argued against paid maternity leave and equal pay legislation, according to unnamed White House officials. [HuffPo]

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Another Day, More Messy Russian Stuff

Tanya Torp had enough of the Kentucky Democratic Party when she saw one of the state’s politicians, Alison Lundergan Grimes, holding a gun. [H-L]

White House press secretary Sean Spicer insisted on Wednesday that a U.S. aircraft carrier was heading toward North Korea last week, even though a U.S. Navy photo from the time showed it was actually traveling in the opposite direction. [HuffPo]

Out-of-state groups pushing for charter schools joined the traditional Kentucky big business and other interests this year on the list of organizations that spent the most lobbying the Kentucky General Assembly. [C-J/AKN]

A Russian government think tank controlled by Vladimir Putin developed a plan to swing the 2016 U.S. presidential election to Donald Trump and undermine voters’ faith in the American electoral system, three current and four former U.S. officials told Reuters. [Reuters]

She was the first woman to become a member of East Barren Volunteer Fire Department, and one of scant few female firefighters in the entire county two decades ago. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Republican actions speak louder than their words. Their racism shines brightly. [USA Today]

A civil case between American Legion Post 76 and the post’s building corporation may be headed toward mediation. [Ashland Independent]

Exxon Mobil Corp has applied to the Treasury Department for a waiver from U.S. sanctions on Russia in a bid to resume its joint venture with state oil giant PAO Rosneft, according to people familiar with the matter. [WSJ]

Another man accused of assaulting protesters at a Donald Trump campaign rally in Louisville last year has countersued the president, saying he was following Trump’s urging to remove them. [WFPL]

Barack Obama warned President Trump that North Korea would be the gravest foreign threat he faced — and why a solution has proved so hard to find. [NY Times]

An ordinance that holds property owners responsible for minors drinking alcohol on their property with their knowledge or when they should have known minors were drinking failed to pass in Barren County Fiscal Court. [BGDN]

Instead of steaming toward the Korean Peninsula as Trump had said, the Carl Vinson strike group was actually headed in the opposite direction to take part in “scheduled exercises” more than 3,000 miles away. [WaPo]

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Unfortunately for Kentucky children, reports of abuse and neglect have increased dramatically in recent years, in part because of rampant drug abuse. These numbers illustrate the problem. [John Cheves]

Bill O’Reilly weathered sexual harassment charges for more than a decade, but not this time: Fox News has fired the controversial host. [HuffPo]

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We’re Not Even 100 Days In Yet…

The University of Kentucky has received $11.2 million from the National Institutes of Health to finance a new center that studies the links between obesity and cancer. [Linda Blackford]

Whiny little Mitch, indeed. Kentuckians have known this for years but it’s fun to watch the rest of the world find out just what a butthurt little baby these people are. [HuffPo]

A researcher at the University of Louisville is stepping up her study into whether coal ash from power plants may be making children in Louisville sick with a new study backed by federal research dollars. [C-J/AKN]

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced Monday that it filed a lawsuit against Weltman, Weinberg & Reis, accusing the debt collection firm of falsely representing in millions of collection letters that attorneys were involved in collection for overdue accounts. The firm collects on overdue credit card, installment loans, mortgage loans, and student loans debt nationwide, but only files lawsuit in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. [Consumerist]

At 8:36 p.m. Monday night, Glasgow Police Chief Guy Howie released information on the woman who was found dead Monday morning on the rooftop of a building located on the west side of Glasgow’s public square. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Lost amid the uproar over the Trump administration’s crackdown on undocumented immigrants is a change coming to the legal immigration system that’s expected to be costly for both U.S. companies and the government itself. [ProPublica]

New preschool and vocational school buildings are at the top of a construction priority list the Boyd County Board of Education is expected to adopt Wednesday. [Ashland Independent]

Donald Trump has congratulated Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on his victory in Sunday’s referendum that gave him sweeping new powers. The US president’s phone call contrasts with European concern that the result – 51.4% in favour of the changes – has exposed deep splits in Turkish society. [BBC]

With a meeting on his proposal for a new, comprehensive approach to the drug epidemic only a week away, Madison Judge/Executive Reagan Taylor got the opportunity to present his ideas directly to U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell as he met Monday with local leaders. [Richmond Register]

If this doesn’t scare the crap out of you, nothing will. How does the surge in drug overdoses compare with other causes of death in the U.S.? [NY Times]

In the first project of its kind, a Kentucky coal company is partnering with a global renewable energy giant to explore putting a major solar installation on a former mountaintop removal coal mine. [WFPL]

Racism motivated Trump voters more than authoritarianism. Which surprises absolutely no one who isn’t in denial. [WaPo]

Knox County and Barbourville Independent schools were closed Tuesday after a threat was called in Monday night to a West Coast police agency, according to a statement from the school system. [H-L]

Donald Trump, like most New Republican Nazis, doesn’t actually know who is running North Korea. [HuffPo]

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Let’s Speculate More About Matt Bevin!

Following up on yesterday’s shenanigans about why Matt Bevin deserves scrutiny from folks in Washington, D.C. …

Neil Ramsey isn’t just an investment manager – he owns and runs a hedge fund. RQSI, short for Ramsey Quantitative Systems Inc. Think about that – not just an investment manager. But a hedge fund owner. Sitting at KRS. Why that’s a concern: It’d be easy for other hedge funders to steer tens of millions into his company with no disclosure.

From a PDF (Warning: External PDF Link) on the Kentucky Retirement Systems website:

Neil Ramsey is the founder and president of RQSI, a Kentucky corporation that is registered with the CFTC as a Commodity Pool Operator, Commodity Trading Advisor, and Introducing Broker, and is a member of the NFA. RQSI is engaged in the management of proprietary and client investment capital through the allocation of funds to independent money managers as well as managing a portion of the funds on a discretionary basis.

Mr. Ramsey is responsible for the leadership of quantitative strategies development and providing strategic direction for RQSI. Prior to forming these entities, Mr. Ramsey was a consultant at the Boston Consulting Group where he worked with both domestic and foreign multi-nationals in developing corporate strategies. Neil received his B.S. in Engineering from Vanderbilt University, Summa Cum Laude. Neil also received his M.B.A. from Vanderbilt University.

He is also president and CEO of CONFICARE, a senior housing developer and investment company headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky. He is responsible for directing all external investments for the firm including allocations to the real estate sector both domestically and internationally.

Matt Bevin also owns a hedge fund, of course, called Waycross Partners. Since he doesn’t release his tax returns, there’s no way to know what he earns from it or has earned from it.

KRS trustee Bill Cook probably still has ownership (no one will answer questions, so who knows if he gave it up when he retired in 2015?) in KKR PRISMA Hedge Fund of Funds. Probably makes millions per year in fees from KRS in its secret, no-bid contract. All we can do is speculate because transparency is not a thing with KRS.

Cook’s top lieutenant at PRISMA is/was Donna Heintzman, who was named by Bevin to protect hedge fund interests at the UofL Foundation.

And… Cough, cough.

No-bid contracts in hedge funds and private equity, like Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital, from KRS & KTRS produce more than $100 million per year in fees that go directly to Wall Street. So it’s pretty easy to assume hedge funders would want to keep their cash cow alive and they’d want to reward anybody helping them baby said cow.

Bevin’s last-minute stripping of Senate Bill 2 (competitive bidding), along with Senate Bill 223 (CERS divorce), was probably (possibly?) directed by Ramsey to save hedge fund and private equity contractors tens of millions. They could afford to buy him a new Anchorage estate every year.

Frankfort Republicans want to play this game where they portray themselves as saviors of Kentucky’s pension disaster(s) but they’re no better than their Democratic Party predecessors. They’re just as secretive, shady, vindictive and eager to secretly enrich themselves and their friends. If they want to lead? They ought to shed their good old boy skin and shine a bright light on what’s going on. Otherwise, Democrats are going to clean up in 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Kentucky Has A Student Loan Default Mess On Its Hands & Frankfort Doesn’t Care

For the first time in the 107-year history of Kentucky’s Capitol, a ceremony was held Friday in the Rotunda to make 40 immigrants from 25 countries American citizens. [H-L]

China said on Friday tension over North Korea had to be stopped from reaching an “irreversible and unmanageable stage” as a U.S. aircraft carrier group steamed towards the region amid fears the North may conduct a sixth nuclear weapons test. [HuffPo]

Kentucky ranks 49th of 50 states and the District of Columbia in having the nation’s highest college student loan defaults at over 16 percent, and the KCTC system is a big contributor. [C-J/AKN]

North Korea displayed what appeared to be new long-range and submarine-based missiles on the 105th birth anniversary of its founding father, Kim Il Sung, on Saturday, as a nuclear-powered U.S. aircraft carrier group steamed towards the region. [Reuters]

Jefferson County Public Schools Spoiler Alert: If history is any indicator, Donna Hargens’ replacement will be worse. The past four JCPS superintendents have been nightmarishly bad. And, no, it’s not a secret that we’ve had a hand in their dismissal. No good will come of this until the board changes hands and a couple current members – particularly the wife of a former congressional candidate – are ousted. [WFPL]

These shit-for-brains folks in the Trump Administration can’t get any dumber, right? The new acting head of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights once complained that she experienced discrimination because she is white. [ProPublica]

A Pittsburgh, Pa., company has reached a settlement with the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services in connection with the disposal of radioactive waste at the Blue Ridge Landfill in Estill County. [Richmond Register]

The line outside the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum stretched halfway down the block Wednesday, raindrops freckling the sidewalk, as Barbara Conroy and her teenage granddaughter, Molly Giguiere, inched toward the doors. They were in town for only a few days, but at this particular moment, it topped the list of sites they had to see. [WaPo]

A specialist in local food and farm to table cuisine is working with Carter County schools this month to load its lunch menus with better, more nutritious dishes made from fresh local products. [Ashland Independent]

He apparently has no concept that the First Amendment protects citizens from government retaliation – not the other way around. Donald Trump’s lawyers in a Friday afternoon federal court filing argued that he cannot be sued for inciting his supporters to hurt protesters because, as the president, he is immune from civil lawsuits. The lawsuit was brought by three protesters who allege they were roughed up and ejected by Trump supporters from a March 2016 campaign rally in Louisville, Kentucky, after Trump barked from the stage “get ’em out of here!” [Politico]

Although the Glasgow Water and Sewer Commission heard bits and pieces about numerous projects and plans, one of the primary topics still is the project to install a new, larger sewer line along the south side of Glasgow, which is “substantially complete and placed in service,” said Scott Young, general manager of Glasgow Water Co. [Glasgow Daily Times]

This isn’t the first time attorney Tom Demetrio has gone up against United Airlines. Mr. Demetrio, who is representing the Kentucky doctor dragged off United Express Flight 3411 last week, has spent more than four decades suing on behalf of injured airline passengers, consumers and medical patients. [WSJ]

The Drug Enforcement Administration uncovered a money-laundering conspiracy dealing in large amounts of cash from suspected drug proceeds, including more than $500,000 found in the cab of a truck in Scott County, according to documents filed in federal court in Lexington. [H-L]

Late Monday night, when many Americans were in bed, Donald Trump quietly announced his intention to nominate former Washington state senator Don Benton (R) to be director of the Selective Service System, which operates the nation’s military draft. This was when the problems first came to light. [HuffPo]

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