Told Ya They Were Cheating The KRS Years Ago But Mainstream Media Tried To Discredit It

Several major investment firms that are being sued for allegedly cheating Kentucky Retirement Systems over $1.5 billion in controversial hedge funds want to take the lawsuit behind closed doors. [John Cheves]

Special counsel Robert Mueller is drafting a report about Donald Trump’s actions in office as part of his ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. [HuffPo]

A bill that establishes a flat income tax rate of 5 percent, applies the sales tax to 17 services, and increases the cigarette tax by 50 cents per pack was approved by a legislative conference committee Monday morning. [C-J/AKN]

In a broad expansion of the information gathered from applicants for U.S. visas, the federal government is proposing to collect social media identities from nearly everyone who seeks entry into the United States, according to a State Department filing on Friday. [Reuters]

A Berea City Council member is again questioning a contract the city signed in 2016 with Kentucky Municipal Energy Association (KyMEA) and asking for reports from the other company the city has contracted with, American Municipal Power of Ohio (AMP), about a discrepancy in costs. [Richmond Register]

Five expert committees advised the federal government on ways to improve workplace safety and enhance whistleblower protections. Under Donald Trump, their work has stopped and their recommendations are now stalled. [ProPublica]

The Legislative Ethics Commission Tuesday dismissed complaints against three of four lawmakers who signed a confidential settlement with a former legislative aide who alleged she was victim of sexual harassment. But the commission will continue to investigate charges against former Speaker of the House Jeff Hoover. [Ronnie Ellis]

The guy Trump fired at the VA is speaking out – and loudly. If that doesn’t (it won’t) wake you loyalists up, nothing will. [NY Times]

Board elections, preliminary enrollment numbers, and voluntary separation reports were all on the agenda at last Thursday’s Morehead State University Board of Regents meeting. [The Morehead News]

The carefully maintained secrecy around Donald Trump’s finances is under unprecedented assault a year into his presidency, with three different legal teams with different agendas trying to pry open the Trump Organization’s books. [WaPo]

Democrats outnumber registered Republicans in eastern Kentucky’s Elliott County 10-1 and voted twice for Barack Obama. But in 2016, Elliott County voted 2-1 for Republican Donald J. Trump. [More Ronnie Ellis]

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein authorized special counsel Robert Mueller to investigate whether former Donald Trump presidential campaign manager Paul Manafort colluded with the Russian government to affect the outcome of the 2016 election, according to a newly released classified memo. [NBC News]

House and Senate Republicans unveiled the most significant changes to Kentucky’s tax code in more than a decade Monday in attempts to provide funding in a tight budget year. [H-L]

Donald Trump has made his promise of aggressive immigration enforcement the centerpiece of his domestic agenda. But two agencies tasked with enforcing the nation’s immigration laws — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) — have long attracted criticism for failing to release documents and data in a timely manner, if at all. That makes it hard for journalists, advocates, lawyers and the public to keep tabs on what the administration is doing. [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for mobile service and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets up! [CLICK HERE]

Republicans Are Kickin That Can, Honey

The controversial pension plan rushed through the Kentucky legislature Thursday night would do at least one thing Republican lawmakers vowed to stop this year: It would kick the can down the road. [John Cheves]

Shanna Diederichs crouches in a shallow, circular depression in the floor of a Puebloan ruin, a clear and all-too-familiar sign that looters were here, scouring for pottery and other valuable Native American artifacts. [HuffPo]

The Kentucky Public Service Commission on Friday announced that it had issued its highest ever penalty in a natural gas safety case – a $395,000 fine of Louisville Gas and Electric for a 2014 pipeline break that injured two contract workers. [C-J/AKN]

The widow of the Pulse nightclub gunman walked free on Friday after a jury cleared her of charges related to the 2016 massacre that killed 49 people in Orlando, Florida. [Reuters]

Republican lawmakers Monday morning unveiled a compromise budget which funds public schools at higher levels and paired the budget with a tax overhaul that will lower income taxes, apply sales taxes to some services and raise $479 million in new tax dollars over two years. [Ronnie Ellis]

Former colleagues say the next national security adviser — whose job is to marshal information and present it to the president fairly — resists input that doesn’t fit his biases and retaliates against people he disagrees with. [ProPublica]

River Cities Harvest’s shelves are now 40,169 pounds heavier with food thanks to the annual Food Feud competition between local hospitals. [Ashland Independent]

America needs teachers committed to working with children who have the fewest advantages in life. So for a decade the federal government has offered grants — worth up to $4,000 a year — to standout college students who agree to teach subjects like math or science at lower-income schools. But a new government study, obtained by NPR and later posted by the Department of Education, suggests that thousands of teachers had their grants taken away and converted to loans, sometimes for minor errors in paperwork. That’s despite the fact they were meeting the program’s teaching requirements. [NPR]

Kentucky teachers say they feel betrayed by Republican lawmakers who slipped changes to future pension benefits into an unrelated bill, then hastily passed it in the House and Senate on a party-line vote. [Ronnie Ellis]

The Trump administration is attempting to scale back federal efforts to enforce fair housing laws, freezing enforcement actions against local governments and businesses, including Facebook, while sidelining officials who have aggressively pursued civil rights cases. [NY Times]

Kentucky educators expressed their concern Friday for a bill that passed the Kentucky General Assembly on Thursday. While the 291-page bill originally addressed wastewater services, it now includes pension reform. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A federal judge ruled that the District of Columbia and Maryland may proceed with an unprecedented lawsuit against Donald Trump alleging that Trump’s business dealings have violated the Constitution’s ban on receiving improper “emoluments,” or payments, from individual states and foreign governments. [WaPo]

It was after supper, and Bill Turner was studying for senior finals when his friend Jim Embry ran into the library to tell him the news: “Bill, they killed Dr. King!” [Tom Eblen]

A leading figure in America’s largest Protestant denomination has resigned from his job over a “morally inappropriate relationship in the recent past.” Frank Page, who served as the president and chief executive of the Southern Baptist Convention’s executive committee, announced his retirement on Monday. A day later, he followed up with a statement explaining that he was stepping away from active ministry because of a “personal failing” that has “embarrassed my family, my Lord, myself, and the Kingdom.” [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for mobile service and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets up! [CLICK HERE]

Stop Letting Nemes Off The Hook

To the list of big ideas that appear to have flopped during the 2018 General Assembly, such as pension reform and tax reform, add criminal-justice reform. [John Cheves]

Calling it “a relic of the 18th century,” retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens called Tuesday for the outright repeal of the Second Amendment, saying it would achieve “more effective and more lasting reform” than other efforts to curb the country’s scourge of gun violence. [HuffPo]

Shady-ass Jason Nemes deserves a ton of the blame for this. As to people like Tres Watson at the Republican Party of Kentucky’s headquarters. It’s a shameful attack on veterans and those in need of less deadly (i.e., no opioids) relief. They hate it because Alison Grimes and people smarter than them support it. They discuss it internally at RPK and have strategized to personally attack supporters of the bill. They should tread lightly, however, as people within their ranks are leaking like crazy. [C-J/AKN]

The FBI possesses a secret report asserting that Vladimir Putin’s former media czar was beaten to death by hired thugs in Washington, DC — directly contradicting the US government’s official finding that Mikhail Lesin died by accident. [BuzzFeed]

A road plan passed Thursday by the Kentucky Senate includes $24 million in funding for the second phase of construction of the Berea Bypass, a project that had not been included in the original road plan introduced in the House. [Richmond Register]

Democratic attorneys general in several states said Tuesday they would bring legal action to stop the Trump administration from adding a question on citizenship to the next U.S. census, a question they said would lead to serious undercounts that could reverberate for years to come. [The Hill]

Russell Police Chief James “Ned” Crisp said he wants to enhance community relations between the department and its citizenry as part of a long-term approach to combatting crime. [Ashland Independent]

A self-inflicted gunshot wound, not a bullet fired by a sheriff’s deputy, killed a 17-year-old who had just shot another student at a Maryland high school last week, authorities have said. [Reuters]

Budget negotiators from the Kentucky state House and Senate adjourned for the evening Monday, expressing optimism they can come to an agreement on a new $22 billion, two-year state budget. [Ronnie Ellis]

A POLITICO review of public documents, newly obtained FEMA records and interviews with more than 50 people involved with disaster response indicates that the Trump administration — and the president himself — responded far more aggressively to Texas than to Puerto Rico. [Politico]

The former Glasgow police chief who stepped down from that position, but not from his employment by the department, and then sued the city and interim chief claiming he was not treated fairly has lost his appeal of the decision to have the lawsuit dismissed. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Oops, they did it again. After Republicans rammed through their big tax cut, there were a rash of stories about corporations using the tax break to give their workers bonuses. [NY Times]

Dear Damon Thayer: You should tread lightly in trashing broadband expansion in rural Kentucky. You could get your ass kicked to the curb. [H-L]

The Commerce Department announced late Monday that the 2020 census would ask people whether they were U.S. citizens, a controversial decision that civil rights groups say is unnecessary and could jeopardize the accuracy of the entire survey. [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for mobile service and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets up! [CLICK HERE]

Matt Bevin Lives In The Damn Gutter

Matt Bevin continues to insult teachers, workers and retirees because he’s a modern Republican. That means he’s a garbage human. He’s not a decent person like Republicans from just a few years ago. He’s just trash. [Tom Eblen]

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), the senior Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, says that social media giant Facebook hasn’t been fully transparent about its previously unreported data leak. [HuffPo]

Maybe don’t joke-threaten to kill a sitting congressperson? A Republican candidate for Kentucky secretary of state tweeted Tuesday that he would like to use Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth as target practice. Carl Nett, a former member of the U.S. Secret Service, who worked under contract with the CIA, was responding to a tweet from Yarmuth who was bragging about his F grade from the National Rifle Association. [C-J/AKN]

Modern Republicans aren’t just garbage – they’re bigots. Donald Trump signed a memorandum on Friday that bans some transgender individuals from serving in the U.S. military, but gives the armed forces latitude in implementing policies. [Reuters]

A study released [last] week shows many Appalachian counties — especially those in eastern Kentucky — have drug overdose mortality rates that are substantially higher than the national average. [Richmond Register]

For nearly half a century, IBM came as close as any company to bearing the torch for the American Dream. [ProPublica]

Do people for real freak out about something as simple as coyotes? Hearing and seeing coyotes in her neighborhood has one Ashland woman worried, and unhappy with what she sees as insufficient official response to a serious problem. [Ashland Independent]

The political action committee founded by John R. Bolton, Donald Trump’s incoming national security adviser, was one of the earliest customers of Cambridge Analytica, which it hired specifically to develop psychological profiles of voters with data harvested from tens of millions of Facebook profiles, according to former Cambridge employees and company documents. [NY Times]

This is now dead but don’t forget that Damon Thayer was behind it. Damon is a coward with a lot to hid. And if the current Kentucky Democratic Party’s leadership weren’t so inept, you might see me sharing the research book on Damon. [Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump did not follow specific warnings from his national security advisers when he congratulated Russian President Vladi­mir Putin Tuesday on his reelection, including a section in his briefing materials in all-capital letters stating “DO NOT CONGRATULATE,” according to officials familiar with the call. Trump also chose not to heed talking points from aides instructing him to condemn Putin about the recent poisoning of a former Russian spy in the United Kingdom with a powerful nerve agent, a case that both the British and U.S. governments have blamed on Moscow. [WaPo]

At least four cases in Hart County have been dismissed as an apparent consequence of a federal investigation apparently targeting the Horse Cave police chief and one of his officers, each of whom invoked his Fifth Amendment right not to testify in court proceedings this week. Further, a letter from the officer’s attorney included in the court files for two of those defendants – Anthony L. Owens and Rickey Bell – states that Owens’ cases are the subject of that federal investigation. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Valentine’s Day started off as a great day for Victoria Gonzalez. “Joaquin and I exchanged gifts in the morning and he walked me to class. I was so happy,” she said. [BBC]

Eastern Kentucky University President Michael Benson recommended $25 million in budget cuts Thursday that would affect nearly every level of the Richmond-based school. His plan would cut 200 positions, close its Danville campus, eliminate academic programs and slash athletics spending by 20 percent, which might mean shutting down one or two sports teams. [H-L]

Modern Republicans are garbage humans. Former U.S. senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum suggested on Sunday that students concerned about gun violence in their schools should learn how to revive wounded people instead of asking lawmakers “to solve their problems.” [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for mobile service and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets up! [CLICK HERE]

HAHA, No, He Can’t Beat McConnell

***Care about the future of Kentucky? Help us cover FOIA and open records request fees relating to Matt Bevin and Jamie Comer.*** [CLICK HERE]

How much more stupid and racist can Matt Bevin get? Don’t answer that question. I know it will get way worse. [H-L]

As hundreds of thousands of protesters prepared to gather in Washington and other cities across the U.S. on Saturday to demand meaningful gun reform, the National Rifle Association took to social media to mock the “March For Our Lives” event and the young gun violence survivors who spearheaded it. [HuffPo]

If you were following me on Twitter, you would have known about this memo when I obtained it and shared it with the public long before A Kentucky Newspaper claimed to have done so. And you’d know about the other Republican Party of Kentucky documents that have been leaked to me – not as a result of hacks but because people inside have had enough. [C-J/AKN]

A former Cambridge Analytica staffer says foreigners were embedded in U.S. campaigns and making decisions, despite a legal memo that advised otherwise. [NBC News]

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. However, soon, community members will see smoke rising from the Berea College forest, but there’s no need for alarm as its likely a prescribed burn, meant to help and not harm, according to Berea College Forester Clint Patterson. [Richmond Register]

Lie-detector tests supported the accounts of Ms. Clifford, her ex-husband Michael Mosny and Mr. Deuschle, according to reports reviewed by the Journal. After the magazine called Mr. Trump’s representatives for comment, Mr. Cohen threatened to sue, say people familiar with the matter. Mr. Cohen, 51, didn’t respond to requests for comment. [WSJ]

Health care premium costs are rising for all Ashland city workers except union fire department employees. [Ashland Independent]

The youth-led U.S. gun control movement that flexed its public muscle with huge weekend rallies has already nudged Congress to enact minor firearms changes, but must remain active if it hopes to win more meaningful regulations, lawmakers said on Sunday. [Reuters]

When Frankfort lawmakers were confident they could pass a major reform of the state’s public pension systems, they decided to help local governments by allowing them to phase in higher pension contributions over a period of years. [Ronnie Ellis]

No, Matt Jones won’t beat Mitch McConnell. He won’t even be able to win a Democratic Primary. If Adam Edelen is leading people to believe that’s possible? He’s lying to you. I know what’s in the Republicans’ research book. And it’ll choke the Democratic Party’s slate. The KDP needs to get over this Jonathan Miller-Adam Edelen wing of bullshit and move on with people who aren’t good old boys. It’s tired and ought to be drowned in a toilet bowl and flushed. [Politico]

The Kentucky House of Representatives Thursday gave final passage to a bill that will create two new Family Court judges in circuits serving Pulaski, Lincoln and Rockcastle counties and Kenton and Boone counties. [Ronnie Ellis]

A cooperating witness in the special counsel investigation worked for more than a year to turn a top Trump fund-raiser into an instrument of influence at the White House for the rulers of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, according to interviews and previously undisclosed documents. Hundreds of pages of correspondence between the two men reveal an active effort to cultivate Donald Trump on behalf of the two oil-rich Arab monarchies, both close American allies. [NY Times]

Republicans have complete control of negotiations to finalize Kentucky’s next two-year state budget for the first time in modern history, but that doesn’t necessarily mean smooth sailing for the budget talks that started Friday morning. [H-L]

Puke alert. Karen McDougal, the former Playboy model who says she had an affair with Donald Trump in 2006, described an extremely awkward compliment she received from the future president. Trump compared her to one of his daughters, Ivanka Trump. [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for mobile service and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets up! [CLICK HERE]

RPK Thinks It Can Wash Its Hands Of Johnson But That’s Not Going To Happen

RPK talked her into going away because all hell was about to break loose. The wife of a former Kentucky lawmaker who killed himself after facing sexual assault allegations has withdrawn from the GOP primary. Maybe her racist, child sex abuse-enabling, homophobic, literal Moonie ass will finally fade into obscurity. [H-L]

Cambridge Analytica, a British consulting firm that was hired for Trump’s 2016 election campaign, made headlines over the weekend for using data acquired from 50 million Facebook users to build “psychographic profiles” about voters without their knowledge. Undercover footage — shot between November 2017 and January 2018 — released by Britain’s Channel 4 News on Tuesday shows Mark Turnbull, managing director of Cambridge Analytica’s political division, bragging about how the company came up with the “Defeat Crooked Hillary” campaign and promoted it on social media. [HuffPo]

The city of Louisville has agreed to pay Kerry Porter $7.5 million for the 11 years he spent behind bars for a murder he did not commit — the latest in a string of huge settlements for wrongful arrest and incarceration. [C-J/AKN]

A science advocacy group urged the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Friday to reject a longstanding industry request to limit cyber attack protections at nuclear plants, a day after the Trump administration publicly blamed Moscow for hacking into nuclear power and other energy infrastructure. [Reuters]

Unless they alter their calendar, Kentucky state lawmakers are scheduled to take off Friday and Monday, then meet for two days to consider bills passed or amended by the opposite chamber. [Ronnie Ellis]

Retired U.S. Army general Barry McCaffrey says he can’t remain quiet any longer. Late Friday, the respected four-star general sounded an alarm about uncomfortably close relations between Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, warning in a tweet that the U.S. president appears to be “for some unknown reason under the sway of Mr. Putin.” [ThinkProgress]

Catlettsburg Councilman Richard “Andy” Brown officially resigned Tuesday – 11 days after he pleaded guilty to drug charges and was subsequently arrested for allegedly violating his probation. [Ashland Independent]

That data firm tied to the Trump Campaign? It talked business with Russians. When the Russia question came up during a hearing at the British Parliament last month, Alexander Nix did not hesitate. But Mr. Nix’s business did have some dealings with Russian interests, according to company documents and interviews. [NY Times]

The search for a new provost at Morehead State University has been put on hold. President Jay Morgan and the search committee unanimously decided to suspend the search and re-advertise the position in September. [The Morehead News]

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ testimony that he opposed a proposal for Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign team to meet with Russians has been contradicted by three people who told Reuters they have spoken about the matter to investigators with Special Counsel Robert Mueller or congressional committees. [More Reuters]

Barren County is projected to be allotted nearly $1.6 million from the state’s Rural Secondary Road Program fund for the 2018-19 fiscal year that begins July 1. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Now a clue has emerged as to how Donald Trump’s son-in-law’s firm was able to move so fast: The Kushner Cos. routinely filed false paperwork with the city declaring it had zero rent-regulated tenants in dozens of buildings it owned across the city when, in fact, it had hundreds. [AP]

Billy Joe Miles, the Owensboro businessman and former University of Kentucky Board of Trustees chairman who turned his family’s seed company into one of Western Kentucky’s largest enterprises, has died. He was 78. [Linda Blackford]

Donald Trump on Wednesday tweeted a bizarre and ominous defense of his widely criticized decision to congratulate Russian leader Vladimir Putin, who was re-elected(sic) on Sunday. [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for mobile service and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets up! [CLICK HERE]

Don’t Forget What Matt Bevin Has Done

The Republican Party of Kentucky doesn’t care about first responders. This is yet more proof of their shameful efforts. If you support the current iteration of the RPK, you’re a monster. [H-L]

San Diego’s huge outbreak of hepatitis A ― a preventable but deadly virus that is spread through contact with human feces ― captured national media attention in September. Louisville, Kentucky, which is the latest city to face an outbreak, has 128 sick and one dead since declaring that outbreak in November 2017, health officials told HuffPost. [HuffPo]

Alleged pig-fucker and literal excuser of child sex abusers, Matt Bevin, is attacking teachers again. [C-J/AKN]

Yet more proof that modern Republicanism is a dangerous disease. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, the federal government’s first responder to floods, hurricanes and other natural disasters, has eliminated references to climate change from its strategic planning document for the next four years. [NPR]

Amid calls across the nation for stricter gun control since the Feb. 14 shooting at a Florida high school that killed 17 — and rampant resistance against such action — a Kentucky pro-firearm group continues working to eradicate any local gun regulations. [Richmond Register]

Former FBI official Andrew McCabe memorialized his interactions with Donald Trump in contemporaneous memos, two people familiar with the case said, and they could become a key piece of evidence in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe. [WaPo]

A special committee has been selected to help determine the next superintendent of Rowan County Schools. [The Morehead News]

As another U.S. government funding deadline looms, a huge spending bill is ground zero in the latest battle between Republicans and Democrats in Congress over Donald Trump’s push to toughen immigration policy. [Reuters]

On March 5, Caverna High School Principal Chase Goff posted a link on Twitter to an open letter he wrote to the Kentucky Legislature. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Yes, Donald Trump is really this stupid and this dishonest. [NY Times]

Eastern Kentucky teachers used their annual Kentucky Education Association Day of Learning trip to the Capitol Thursday to urge lawmakers to safeguard their pensions and insure adequate education funding in the state budget. [Ashland Independent]

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday accepted the recommendations that former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who took the reins of the agency during the turbulent days after the abrupt firing of James Comey, be terminated — two days before he was to retire and become eligible for full pension benefits. [NBC]

The Republican-led Kentucky House voted Monday to ban a common abortion procedure when women are at least 11 weeks into their pregnancies, brushing aside warnings that the restriction would embroil the state in another legal fight on the issue. [H-L]

Maybe Democrats need to develop some courage and shove this down Republicans’ throats. A Republican plan to shrink food stamp enrollment is in some serious trouble. [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for mobile service and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets up! [CLICK HERE]