McConnell Doesn’t Want To Do Anything

Is he the most dishonest person on earth or just the laziest? In 2018, at least 26 students have died in five school shootings in America. Two of those deaths came in a shooting at Marshall County High School in Kentucky. [H-L]

It’s hard to see the sky from Mitch Whitaker’s back porch. The mountainside, lush and green on a summer day, rises almost vertically. When Whitaker was a teenager, the top of it was blown off and the land was mined for coal. In the years since, native grasses have grown back and deer have returned. He and a few buddies now run a remote-controlled airplane club up there. Some hunt, have picnics and hike with their grandkids. But things are set to change here in rural Roxana, Kentucky. [HuffPo]

In a blow to Matt Bevin’s effort to reshape Kentucky’s Medicaid program, a federal judge has struck down his plan to require some people to meet strict new requirements including working or volunteering and paying monthly premiums in order to get health coverage through Medicaid. [C-J/AKN]

As a meeting last August in the Oval Office to discuss sanctions on Venezuela was concluding, Donald Trump turned to his top aides and asked an unsettling question: With a fast unraveling Venezuela threatening regional security, why can’t the U.S. just simply invade the troubled country? [AP]

Stories like this that glorify Mitch McConnell’s bullshit with Supreme Court nominees only serves to keep Eastern Kentuckians ignorant. [Ashland Independent]

Embattled Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt directly appealed to Donald Trump this spring to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions and let him run the Department of Justice instead, according to three people familiar with the proposal. In an Oval Office conversation with Trump, Pruitt offered to temporarily replace Sessions for 210 days under the Vacancies Reform Act, telling the President he would return to Oklahoma afterward to run for office. [CNN]

When the 2018-19 school year begins, Glasgow Independent Schools will have a resource officer in each of its schools, GIS Superintendent Keith Hale said during the board of education’s special-called meeting Tuesday at the central office, adding that he appreciates the board’s commitment to school safety. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Tackling an issue that Congress has largely ignored for decades, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee voted Thursday to request $50 million in new funding for programs aimed at reducing the comparatively high U.S. rate of women who die in pregnancy or childbirth. [ProPublica]

Donald Trump’s desire to help boost the Ohio Valley’s energy industry and bring back mining jobs could be stymied by the administration’s escalating trade battle with China and other trading partners across the globe. [WFPL]

The Trump administration will encourage the nation’s school superintendents and college presidents to adopt race-blind admissions standards, abandoning an Obama administration policy that called on universities to consider race as a factor in diversifying their campuses, Trump administration officials said. [NY Times]

Warren County Public Schools continues to see significant gaps in test scores for students who are African-American, Hispanic, English learners, disabled and those who qualify for free and reduced lunch, according to a report recently released by the district. [BGDN]

Finally, a family separation story with a happy ending. It’s not the sort of family separation that has been in the headlines lately. [WaPo]

Andy Barr said Monday he supports Kentucky’s ability to determine who receives Medicaid benefits, a day after the Bevin administration eliminated access to vision and dental coverage for 460,000 Kentuckians on Medicaid. [H-L]

Racists gonna racist. Donald Trump’s administration is planning to undo policies that would encourage race as a factor in college admissions, according to news reports. [HuffPo]

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Bevin’s Ignorance Harms KY Bourbon

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A day after Gov. Matt Bevin dismissed European tariffs on Kentucky bourbon as harmless, U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, R-Lexington, met with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to share distillers’ concerns over exports. Barr said Friday that Bevin is wrong about the lack of impact. [H-L]

Longtime conservative columnist George Will is making a case against voting for Republicans in November’s 2018 midterm elections, arguing that House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and other GOP members of Congress “have become the president’s poodles.” [HuffPo]

Kentucky, your governor is compromised. It’s got nothing to do with Russians controlling him from behind the old Iron Curtain. No, the influence is coming from behind the Aluminum Curtain. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump’s controversial child separation policy is being carried out with the help of private businesses who have received millions of dollars in government contracts to help run the shelters where young migrants are being held away from their parents. [Yahoo]

Matt Bevin Thursday once again attacked a Franklin Circuit Judge who the previous day struck down as unconstitutional a pension reform bill passed with little public notice in the 2018 General Assembly. [Ronnie Ellis]

The U.S. Supreme Court, winding down its nine-month term, will issue rulings this week in its few remaining cases including a major one on the legality of Donald Trump’s ban on people from five Muslim-majority nations entering the country. [Reuters]

Dozens of people streamed in and out of the Steelworkers Hall on a cool April night in Ashland, Kentucky in the hills of Appalachia, where working class roots run as deep as the threads of coal that have supported the region for generations. [Ashland Independent]

Betsy DeVos has scuttled more than 1,200 civil rights probes inherited from the Obama Administration. These people are monsters. [ProPublica]

Charlotte Beals, chairperson of the Barren County School Board, announced Thursday evening after adjourning the board’s monthly meeting that she was relinquishing her position on the school board because her daughter, Catherine Beals, is being hired by the district. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The House of Representatives narrowly passed the farm bill Thursday afternoon 213-211, with 20 Republicans joining all Democrats in voting no. The House version of the farm bill dramatically cuts funding for food stamps, officially known as Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP). [ThinkProgress]

No, it’s not effective. At some point in their careers, most Kentucky state government employees are required to take “anti-harassment training.” [WFPL]

Special counsel Robert Mueller is asking that George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, be sentenced in September on the false-statement felony charge he pleaded guilty to last fall. [Politico]

One of the nation’s largest hedge funds is cutting ties with Kentucky Retirement Systems, telling the state pension agency to withdraw its $68.7 million investment because it does not care for the scrutiny hedge funds are getting in Kentucky. [H-L]

Oh, look, Donald Trump duped some brown people so he’s totally not racist. That’s how the Trump base (translate: racists) feel. [HuffPo]

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Bevin: Like A Domestic Violence Perp

Andy Barr never would have taken a position contrary to Trump if he weren’t under extreme pressure. [H-L]

Former first lady Laura Bush issued a rare castigation of the Trump administration on Sunday, calling family separations at the U.S. border with Mexico “immoral” and drawing parallels to World War II internment camps. [HuffPo]

Before Wathaniel Woods was sentenced to 35 years in prison Friday for killing Louisville Metro Police Officer Nick Rodman during a police chase, Rodman’s widow told the judge how their 3-year-old son now plays with his toy police cruiser, banging it with another car and saying, “Bad guy hit my daddy. My daddy died.” [C-J/AKN]

The first legal challenge to the Trump administration’s crusade for Medicaid work requirements came before a federal judge in Washington on Friday, where attorneys representing 16 low-income Kentuckians argued they would be unlawfully stripped of Medicaid coverage should the court allow the state’s waiver to take effect in July. The groups challenging the policy said the work requirements violate Congress’ original intent for the Medicaid program and instead are a mere cover for cutting tens of thousands of people from the rolls. [TPM]

Authorities are investigating the death of a female inmate found unresponsive at the Boyd County Detention Center Saturday night. [Ashland Independent]

For most Americans, access to decent, affordable rental housing remains cruelly beyond reach. Only in 22 counties in the United States is a one-bedroom home affordable to someone working 40 hours per week at federal minimum wage. [CityLab]

County officials are looking at ways to address an issue with equipment that causes damage to roadway pavement. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Amid Donald Trump’s headaches confirming cabinet secretaries, from neophyte Rex Tillerson to conflict-prone Scott Pruitt to unprepared Betsy DeVos, all of whom squeezed through, Wilbur Ross was a tonic. [Forbes]

Attorney General Andy Beshear has asked Kentucky’s public pension systems to stop investing in companies that he says are fueling the opioid addiction epidemic in the state. [WFPL]

Historically, denaturalization has been an exceedingly rare occurrence, for good reason: by the time a person is naturalized, she has lived in this country for a number of years and has passed the hurdles of obtaining entry, legal permanent residency, and, finally, citizenship. [New Yorker]

The Berea City Council will hear the second reading of the fiscal year 2018-2019 budget on Tuesday, including proposals that could impact support for an opioid treatment program, a youth food program and tourism. [Richmond Register]

Amy McGrath doesn’t have what it takes, based on her recent half-assery, and it doesn’t seem like she has a shot. But who knows? [NY Times]

A Democratic lobbyist has been convicted of bribing Kentucky’s No. 2 law enforcement officer in a case voters are likely to see in political ads for next year’s race for governor. [H-L]

In the days and weeks following the suicides of celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain and handbag designer Kate Spade, a chorus of social media users urged people with depression to not be “afraid” to ask for help. But for most Americans, fear isn’t the thing that stands in the way of therapy. It’s having no one to turn to. [HuffPo]

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More Koch Crap Comes To Kentucky

Americans for Prosperity, which is backed by the billioanaire(sic) Koch brothers, says it plans ads against Kentucky’s Hal Rogers over ‘wasteful’ spending. [H-L]

The government program meant to place unaccompanied children taken from the U.S.-Mexico border into the care of a parent or sponsor admitted last month it lost nearly 1,500 of them. And it said it isn’t responsible for finding them either. [HuffPo]

Simon Wallace is proud of his barbershop, where he knows the customers by name. Many are from the surrounding blocks and simply walk to his modest shop, just off the corner of 28th Street and Greenwood Avenue in Parkland. [C-J/AKN]

The FBI warned on Friday that Russian computer hackers had compromised hundreds of thousands of home and office routers and could collect user information or shut down network traffic. [Reuters]

When Amy McGrath stepped behind a microphone Tuesday night in Richmond after her eight-point win over Lexington Mayor Jim Gray in the Democratic primary for the Sixth Congressional District, she began her victory speech this way… [Ronnie Ellis]

Seizing on a longtime ambition of many Republicans, Donald Trump on Friday overhauled rules affecting at least two million federal workers, making it easier to fire them and rolling back the workplace role of their unions. [NY Times]

The city of Ashland is aggressively exploring new ways to grow jobs in the city. [Ashland Independent]

In the photo, Gigi Daniel-Zagorites grips the edge of a small bookcase, her tilted head peering over. The bookcase and a cabinet barricade the 13-year-old in one corner of a classroom. Two women sit, backs turned. [WaPo]

In a race decided by less than 200 votes (of 4,447 total) and 4 percent of total voters, Kim Barker-Tabor secured the seat of Rowan County Circuit Court Clerk during the Primary Election Tuesday evening. [The Morehead News]

When Donald Trump’s latest financial disclosure form was released last week, we dropped what we were doing and started digging. [ProPublica]

A majority of the board of directors for Barren-Metcalfe County Emergency Medical Services approved for the fiscal year beginning July 1 a $4.85 million budget – $1.11 million more than the one approved for this year – as it was proposed, with no amendments. [Glasgow Daily Times]

This is the FBI’s standard operating procedure in counterintelligence cases. Although Trump and his defenders have frequently stated that employing informants was illegal and scandalously inappropriate, that’s just one more Trumpian falsehood. [Observer]

A Kentucky school district that has seen four employees charged with child sex offenses in an 18-month span faces new allegations in court, but is trying to reassure parents that student safety is a top priority. [H-L]

It’s literally his policy. Donald Trump has bashed the Democrats for a hugely controversial policy created by his own administration: separating undocumented immigrant children from their parents. [HuffPo]

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UK Must Envy All The UofL Drama

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Holy Cross High School’s graduating valedictorian and student council president learned hours before Friday night’s graduation that they would not be allowed to deliver their planned — and, they thought, pre-approved — speeches at the ceremony. [WCPO]

Attempts to fire a tenured University of Kentucky faculty member for the first time in at least five decades began Wednesday, when journalism professor Buck Ryan appeared at a meeting of the Senate Advisory Committee on Privilege and Tenure. [H-L]

U.S. immigration authorities have altered their account of the Border Patrol’s recent fatal shooting of Claudia Patricia Gómez Gonzáles, a 20-year-old woman who had traveled from Guatemala to Texas to help pay for her education. [HuffPo]

Wayne Lewis, like Matt Bevin, is a con artist. A meeting between members of Jefferson County’s legislative delegation and Kentucky’s new interim education commissioner, Wayne D. Lewis Jr., became confrontational this week when Lewis deflected questions about his proposed takeover of Jefferson County Public Schools, according to lawmakers who attended. [C-J/AKN]

The FBI has obtained secret wiretaps collected by Spanish police of conversations involving Alexander Torshin, a deputy governor of Russia’s Central Bank who has forged close ties with U.S. lawmakers and the National Rifle Association, that led to a meeting with Donald Trump Jr. during the gun lobby’s annual convention in Louisville, Ky., in May 2016, a top Spanish prosecutor said Friday. [Yahoo]

Though it has its share of concerts, shows and other ticketed events, Madison County also is chock-full of things to do without having to pay for the experience. [Richmond Register]

Trump’s in-plain-sight embrace of Russia gets obscured by the Trump news avalanche. But long before running for president, Trump relied on Russian money. [CNBC]

The audit of the financial statement of the Boyd County Fiscal Court for the fiscal year ending on June 30, 2016 has been released. [Ashland Independent]

Before James Clapper signed on to become President Barack Obama’s Director of National Intelligence, he wrote the president a letter with these famous last words: “I have always sought to be below the radar. I do not like publicity.” [CBS News]

It was a back and forth battle all Tuesday night for the Democratic nominee of the county’s highest elected seat, but former Magistrate Harry Clark was able to fend off political newcomer and current deputy-judge executive Lincoln Caudill for the opportunity to battle in November for Rowan County Judge-Executive. [The Morehead News]

Indiana authorities on Saturday were yet to charge and identify the student who they say was responsible for wounding a teacher and student at a middle school in what media is reporting as the 23rd shooting on a United States campus in 2018. [Reuters]

Barren County Fiscal Court undid Friday two of its Tuesday amendments to the ordinance establishing the 2018-19 fiscal year budget and created a new amendment to more accurately reflect the intent of the other two. [Glasgow Daily Times]

An American government employee posted in southern China has signs of possible brain injury after reporting disturbing sounds and sensations, the State Department said on Wednesday, in events that seemed to draw parallels with mysterious ailments that struck American diplomats in Cuba. [NY Times]

Andy Barr made coal a central part of his campaign when he landed a seat in Congress. Now facing what could be his first truly competitive challenge, the politics of coal are likely to play a significant role in the Republican incumbent’s race to defend his Central Kentucky seat against Democrat Amy McGrath. [H-L]

So dangerously stupid. Donald Trump attacked The New York Times in a tweet Saturday, claiming the paper made up a “senior White House official” for its story about the canceled North Korea summit. The official, a member of Trump’s National Security Council, actually does exist and led a briefing at the White House on Thursday for reporters. [HuffPo]

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Carpetbagger McGrath Is Playing Gray’s Victim To Gain Political Points

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Amy McGrath is upset that she’s being called out for not living in Kentucky. Pointing out – factually – that she hasn’t lived in Kentucky in a loooong time is not an attack on her military service. Jim Gray is a crap candidate and his people are even worse but enough with that “stop attacking my service” nonsense. Being a veteran doesn’t automatically make someone above reproach. It’s not a free pass. If it were, this country wouldn’t allow so many veterans to be homeless and destitute without care. [H-L]

Employers who stiff their workers or discriminate against them just got a big lift from the Supreme Court, which issued a major ruling Monday making it easier for companies to avoid employee lawsuits. [HuffPo]

Attorneys for the University of Louisville Athletic Association called the damage caused by former men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino “catastrophic” in seeking to dismiss the lawsuit against the organizations. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, who made millions over the past 18 months soliciting funds from clients seeking entree and influence at the White House, met with a senior Qatari official in Florida last month, just days before the FBI raided Cohen’s home and office, according to two sources familiar with the matter. [Foreign Policy]

Kentucky House Rep. C. Wesley Morgan, who has represented the 81st district since January 2017, will take on challenger Deanna Frazier of Richmond in Tuesday’s primary. [Richmond Register]

Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Monday was set to hold a series of meetings on how to combat school violence, three days after a 17-year-old killed 10 people in the fourth-deadliest mass shooting at a public school in modern U.S. history. [Reuters]

Keeping children adequately fed in the summer doesn’t have to be a problem, because several area school districts are serving up free lunches every day. [Ashland Independent]

On Mother’s Day, Michael Avenatti, attorney for Stormy Daniels, posted a cryptic tweet with several images of Trump Tower on December 12, 2016. The photos featured Trump attorney Michael Cohen, who Avenatti is suing on Daniels’ behalf, Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser and several men who are more difficult to identify. About six hours later, Avenatti revealed the identity of one of the other men in the picture. According to Avenatti, it’s Ahmed al-Rumaihi, a former Qatari diplomat who now heads up the nation’s massive investment fund. [ThinkProgress]

A motion challenging “the good faith” of current Rowan County Circuit Clerk Kim Barker-Tabor has been dismissed. [The Morehead News]

The event was grotesque. It was a consummation of the cynical alliance between hawkish Jews and Zionist evangelicals who believe that the return of Jews to Israel will usher in the apocalypse and the return of Christ, after which Jews who don’t convert will burn forever. [NY Times]

As of the end of the third quarter of the current fiscal year, the city of Glasgow’s funds had nearly half a million dollars more in revenue than expenses. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A music promoter who promised Donald Trump Jr. over email that a Russian lawyer would provide dirt about Hillary Clinton in June 2016 made the offer because he had been assured the Moscow attorney was “well connected” and had “damaging material,” the promoter testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee. [WaPo & Committee on the Judiciary Material]

How many second chances can a person get in this life? Public corruption fraudster Richie Farmer will avoid jail time after pleading guilty to driving under the influence earlier this year, according to court records and media reports. [H-L]

This 20-year-old CEO has created a website aimed at preventing suicide and self-harm by pairing people online who can support each other. [HuffPo]

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Amy McGrath Is A Terrible Hypocrite

Prosecutors and congressional investigators have obtained text messages and emails showing that Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, was working on a deal for a Trump Tower in Moscow far later than Cohen has previously acknowledged. The communications show that, as late as May 2016, around the time Trump was clinching the Republican nomination, Cohen was considering a trip to Russia to meet about the project with high-level government officials, business leaders and bankers. [Ruh Ro]

Amy McGrath is a carpetbagger and a hypocrite. She has the audacity to attack others for Democratic Party ties while being 14 miles up Jonathan Miller’s slimy you-know-what. What a hack. Made worse by her decision to tip-toe around homophobia. It’s a shame she’ll likely win and ultimately lose to Andy Barr. [H-L]

The U.S. delegation in Jerusalem on Monday to celebrate the opening of the new American embassy includes an evangelical Christian pastor who once said Jews “can’t be saved.” [HuffPo]

These jackasses need to be run out of the Commonwealth. The state should take over contract negotiations with the Jefferson County teachers union because previous deals have led to “implicit racial discrimination” in the public school system, a former district official says. [C-J/AKN]

The Trump administration has rolled back protections for transgender prison inmates introduced under former President Barack Obama after some prisoners challenged the policies in court. [Reuters]

Former Madison County deputy jailer Billy E. Bales (no image available), 32, of Berea, has been arrested and served a warrant for first offense third-degree controlled substance trafficking and first-degree official misconduct. [Richmond Register]

He was a small man, one interrogator recalled, and so thin that he would slip in his restraints when the masked CIA guards tipped the waterboard upward to let him breathe. [ProPublica]

Area food pantries and non-profits say they are noticing a striking increase in demand for food for the poor in the area. [Ashland Independent]

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt gave a speech on Tuesday to a mining industry group whose member companies are regulated by his agency. Pruitt’s appearance at the event was closed to the public and the press. [ThinkProgress]

The economic impact of tourism in Rowan County grew to more than $72 million in 2017. [The Morehead News]

The first stage of a multibillion-dollar military-VA digital health program championed by Jared Kushner has been riddled with problems so severe they could have led to patient deaths. [Politico]

Ugh, Julian Carroll is super-gross – an alleged (he was caught on tape!) sexual predator who needs to go. Kentucky may have not been prepared for the U.S. Supreme Court ruling Monday that struck down a prohibition on state sports gambling, but it didn’t take long for a couple of legislators to react. [Ronnie Ellis]

One of the largest contributions to Donald Trump’s inaugural committee in 2016 appears to have been orchestrated by a set of powerful conservative legal activists who have since been put in the driver’s seat of the administration’s push to select and nominate federal judges. [McClatchy]

A judge has ruled that the Kentucky House of Representatives violated the state’s Open Meetings Act with a closed-door conference in August where lawmakers from both parties huddled to discuss their plans to deal with the state’s pension crisis. [John Cheves]

Just in case you’re wondering why the far-right end timers are going bananas lately… [HuffPo]

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