What Does Russia Have On Rand Paul?

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Matt Bevin’s administration reinstated vision and dental coverage, as well as non-emergency transportation services, Thursday to nearly 400,000 Medicaid recipients. [H-L]

Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump discussed a possible referendum in separatist-leaning eastern Ukraine during their Helsinki summit earlier this week, Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. said Friday. The move may be seen as an effort to sidestep European peace efforts for Ukraine and increase pressure on the Ukrainian government in its protracted conflict with pro-Russian separatists in the Donbass region. [HuffPo]

Not surprising that an avowed right-wing kid from outta town would ignore the decades of scandal surrounding JBS Swift when reporting a story like this. [C-J/AKN]

Rand Paul twice retweeted an Islamophobic conspiracy theorist who has propagated conspiracy theories like Pizzagate. [Roll Call]

Every year, the Richmond Teen Center holds a Back to School Bash for the residents of Madison County, not only to celebrate the end of summer and the beginning of a new school year, but also to donate school supplies to those in the community who need it. [Richmond Register]

In a stunning move, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has withdrawn one of President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees just minutes before he was set for a confirmation vote. [TPM]

Three highly-placed community college officials, including one with ties to Ashland Community and Technical College, are on the short list for consideration as ACTC’s new president, according to the college’s governing body. [Ashland Independent]

What did everyone think was going to happen? There’s nothing we learned from Donald Trump’s meeting in Helsinki on Monday with Vladimir Putin that we didn’t already know. [The Nation]

Addiction doesn’t make any sense and purely punitive approaches to ending addiction will not work, Dr. John Sanders, the medical director for hospice and palliative medicine at St. Claire HealthCare in Morehead, told a group of Morgan County health care professionals on July 18. [The Morehead News]

Rand Paul is complicit in this – he’s a criminal. Rand Paul on Thursday blocked a resolution from Sen. Bernie Sanders that backed the intelligence community’s assessment of Russian election interference and demanded Donald Trump speak with special counsel Robert Mueller. [The Hill]

Circuit Judge John T. Alexander has issued an order detailing the costs incurred for an election recount in the Republican primary for the Barren County judge-executive’s race. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The willingness of the White House to contemplate handing over a former U.S. ambassador for interrogation by the Kremlin drew ire and astonishment from current and former U.S. officials. Such a proposition is unheard of. So is the notion that the president may think he has the legal authority to turn anyone over to a foreign power on his own. [WaPo]

It’s chump change compared to what buffoon Andy Barr has on-hand. The former fighter pilot’s haul between May 3rd and June 30th is large. [H-L]

The Department of Justice unveiled a new report detailing a campaign of aggressive, persistent efforts to undermine American democracy on Thursday and said it would institute new policies to inform the public about a scourge of cyberattacks by foreign governments. [HuffPo]

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KDP Is Also MIA On Mitch McConnell

The Kentucky Democratic Party should have been all over this but couldn’t be bothered. On the day after Donald Trump deepened doubts about this country’s commitment to its European allies and western-style democracy, what did Majority Leader Mitch McConnell do? He stood on the Senate floor to praise a decision that will make it easier for foreign interests to illegally funnel money into U.S. politics and elections. [H-L]

Did she? Hopefully. Did Queen Elizabeth, the 92-year-old monarch of the United Kingdom, throw some subtle shade at Donald Trump during his recent U.K. visit? [HuffPo]

Speaking to college students five years ago in Florida, Louisville pizza magnate John Schnatter bragged he’d scored a nearly perfect 790 on his SAT in math but a dismal 200 on the verbal exam. Though, maybe using racist homophobes in a story to defend Schnatter’s remarks isn’t a great idea. [C-J/AKN]

More than half of Americans disapprove of the way Donald Trump is handling relations with Russia, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted after his controversial summit and joint news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin. [Reuters]

An ordinance that would raise the salary range of city employees by 2 percent had a first reading Tuesday during the Berea City Council. [Richmond Register]

Without any public scrutiny, insurers and data brokers are predicting your health costs based on data about things like race, marital status, how much TV you watch, whether you pay your bills on time or even buy plus-size clothing. [ProPublica]

Greenup County is one step closer to requiring Hepatitis A vaccinations for all food service workers in the county. [Ashland Independent]

Why has the NRA been cozying up to Russia? The Right to Bear Arms in Moscow enjoys a close relationship with America’s leading gun-rights group. [ThinkProgress]

John Maxey led his first Rowan County Board of Education meeting July 17 as new superintendent. On the agenda was an update on Senate Bill 1, approving the dual credit agreement with MCTC and approving the annual financial report. [The Morehead News]

Violence in Central America has brought thousands of L.G.B.T. migrants to the United States border to seek asylum in recent years, hoping to find protection from persecution over their gender identity and sexuality. [NY Times]

Economic fallout from failing pension systems? Surely not. No one could have predicted that. [WFPL]

When the 8-year-old stepped off a plane here earlier this month with freshly cut bangs and a shelter-issued sweatsuit, she was met by crowds and television cameras and finally, in a carpeted airport conference room, by the mother who had been taken from her two months earlier at the border. [WaPo]

A Boyd County Circuit Court judge recommended a grand jury investigation Friday after the Boyd County Detention Center failed to notify local or state law enforcement after mistakenly releasing an inmate last week who displayed “extreme indifference to the value of human life,” according to the inmate’s indictment. [H-L]

Anti-American idiocy is at the highest level in decades. Donald Trump on Tuesday once again threw cold water on NATO, an intergovernmental military alliance between the U.S. and 28 other countries. [HuffPo]

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The AOC Is Beginning To Melt Down

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While the report often mentioned Brown as an example of the lack of oversight at the agency, it also confirmed at least one thing he alleged in his whistleblower lawsuit — that a supreme court justice leased his office space from a company owned by his sons. The request to re-lease the space revealed that the rent was three times higher than the next bid and would require extra work to make it accessible to people with disabilities. While the audit did not mention the justice’s name, it has previously been revealed to be Justice Samuel Wright. [H-L]

A grand jury convened by special counsel Robert Mueller indicted 12 Russian intelligence officials in connection with the hack of a DNC server during the 2016 election. [HuffPo]

Eight years later — after about 200 University of Louisville men’s basketball games, 200 or so concerts, financial struggles and grave concerns about a potential bond default — the arena finances are still being discussed. In large part, that’s because taxpayers still have decades and hundreds of millions of dollars to go to pay it off. [C-J/AKN]

John Schnatter—the founder, chairman and public face of pizza chain Papa John’s—used the N-word on a conference call in May. Schnatter confirmed the incident in an emailed statement to Forbes on Wednesday. [Forbes]

Mike Pence turns nostalgic when he talks about growing up in small-town Columbus, Indiana, where his father helped build a Midwestern empire of more than 200 gas stations that provided an upbringing on the “front row of the American dream.” [Richmond Register]

There were no immediate specifics on what Trump said he had achieved, and French President Emmanuel Macron quickly disputed Trump’s claim that NATO allies had agreed to boost defense spending beyond their existing goal of 2 percent of gross domestic product by 2024. [TPM]

Another inmate was erroneously released from the Boyd County Detention Center this week — this time due to an apparent miscalculation of credit for time served. [Ashland Independent]

Hours after Donald Trump departed NATO headquarters Thursday, U.S. military leaders embarked on a full-scale “damage control” operation with calls to their counterparts across Europe to reassure them that America will abide by its defense commitments in the region. [NBC News]

The next 2018 election candidate filing deadline – for all Cave City and Park City government seats, open school board seats and the county conservation district board seat – is 4 p.m. Aug. 14. [Glasgow Daily Times]

There’s an ongoing channel between Robert Mueller and the British investigation into Facebook and Cambridge Analytica. [The Guardian]

Louisville’s Coalition for the Homeless will receive a $3.45 million grant to help combat youth homelessness. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced the award Friday. [WFPL]

Shame on the Kentucky Democratic Party for being dead in the water on this. They should be dragging this guy up one side and down the other. Here’s Rand Paul excusing and supporting literal treason. [Politico]

Candidates for Lexington mayor spent more than $825,000 in the seven-way May primary, campaign finance reports show. [H-L]

In the morning of July 27, 2016, Donald Trump encouraged Russian hackers to find emails that had been deleted from Hillary Clinton’s private server that she used while serving as secretary of state. Russia appeared to be listening and heeded Trump’s call, according to a bombshell revelation on Friday. [HuffPo]

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UK Needs A Serious Reality Check

Really, suing poor people because they can’t afford health care?! A group of Kentuckians has asked a Franklin County judge to grant class action status to a lawsuit aimed at stopping the University of Kentucky and the Kentucky Department of Revenue from garnishing people’s wages for unpaid medical bills. [H-L]

But they are not the only Kochs. There are, in fact, four Koch brothers and nearly a dozen Koch kids, many of whom have their own billions, their own ideologies and their own political ambitions. [HuffPo]

Democratic candidate for governor Andy Beshear has promised that any money his 2015 campaign for attorney general received that was tainted by the Tim Longmeyer kickback scandal will be donated to the political watchdog group Common Cause. But an analysis of the campaign contributions to Beshear’s 2015 primary and general election committees shows that Beshear may not have enough remaining in his current balance to cover what might be considered “tainted” dollars. [C-J/AKN]

The Trump administration is cutting most of the funds previously provided to groups that help people get health insurance under the Affordable Care Act and will push them to promote plans lacking the law’s benefits and protections, a government agency said on Tuesday. [Reuters]

Madison County is seeking a transportation grant in the amount of $25 million to complete the widening of the KY Highway 52 connector road, judge/executive Reagan Taylor said Tuesday during a regular scheduled fiscal court meeting in Berea. [Richmond Register]

It’s unclear what Jens Stoltenberg, the secretary general of NATO, has said to Mr. Trump. But the notion that Mr. Trump single-handedly and drastically reversed military spending by members is inaccurate. [NY Times]

A federal appeals court has reinstated the conviction of a former Ashland cardiologist accused of performing heart procedures on patients who did not need them. [Ashland Independent]

The American Civil Liberties Union is calling on the Trump administration to stop distributing a government form that offers to reunite detained migrant parents with their children once the parents are ready to be deported from the United States. [WaPo]

After a 3-2 vote by the Morehead Tourism Commission two weeks ago went against backing a quarter of the funds needed to support the Kentucky Folk Art Center, a revote could be in sight. [The Morehead News]

Donald Trump has clashed with German Chancellor Angela Merkel over Russian influence and defence spending, ahead of a Nato summit. [BBC]

It was hardly a surprise and he won’t be the last, but Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear announced Monday he will run for governor next year. [Ronnie Ellis]

A family of chemicals — known as PFAS and responsible for marvels like Teflon and critical to the safety of American military bases — has now emerged as a far greater menace than previously disclosed. [ProPublica]

Dr. Misty Clark, a dentist who operates her own practice in Prestonsburg, pulled up her schedule Tuesday afternoon and shook her head. Her calendar showed five and a half hours of vacancies — an usual sight for Clark, who normally fills her schedule with as many as three patients an hour. But since last week, when Matt Bevin cut dental and vision coverage for about 460,000 low-income Kentuckians on Medicaid, more than half of Clark’s patients have been turned away. [H-L]

In 2005, a group of workers at a meatpacking plant in Brooklyn voted to join a union. Their employer, a kosher meat wholesaler called Agri Processor, fought the organizing effort as best it could. Once the workers were unionized, the company refused to bargain, arguing that most of them weren’t covered by collective bargaining law because they were undocumented immigrants. [HuffPo]

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Update: Lobbyists Still Own Frankfort

With the primary election just days away, Rowan County clerk candidate David Ermold walked through his campaign office and joked that the bags under his eyes have grown darker by the day. [H-L]

Two outside groups that successfully meddled in West Virginia’s Republican Senate primary this month by spending millions of dollars on advertising were funded entirely by donors from outside the state. [HuffPo]

Tobacco giant Altria spent a massive $379,760 to lobby the 2018 Kentucky General Assembly – more than twice as much as any of the 720 corporations and associations that are registered to lobby the legislature. [C-J/AKN]

Workers don’t matter and have never mattered to Republicans. The U.S. Supreme Court delivered a blow to the rights of workers on Monday by allowing companies to require them to sign away their ability to bring class-action claims against management, agreements already in place for about 25 million employees. [Reuters]

The Richmond City Commission met in executive session Friday to narrow down the list of candidates for city manager. The meeting took less than an hour and included Mayor Jim Barnes and commissioners Robert Blythe, Jim Newby and Morgan Eaves. [Richmond Register]

Last year, white supremacist Matthew Heimbach — one of the most prominent faces of the so-called “alt-right” — was riding high, and talking about potentially running for Indiana state legislature. Now, though, Heimbach has different plans in store. With his group and his marriage in tatters, Heimbach will be spending part of the summer in jail. [ThinkProgress]

Jackie Risden-Smith apologized repeatedly for overusing the word “excited” during a 45-minute phone interview, but she probably didn’t need to. [Ashland Independent]

The Justice Department and the F.B.I. are investigating Cambridge Analytica, the now-defunct political data firm, and have sought to question former employees and banks that handled its business, according to an American official and other people familiar with the inquiry. [NY Times]

Despite fears that the 2018-2019 budget would look radically different than in previous years due to changes in Frankfort, the budget for Rowan County Schools remains stable. [The Morehead News]

Former coal executive and ex-convict Don Blankenship on Monday announced plans to launch a third-party bid for a West Virginia Senate seat after losing the GOP primary to state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey. [The Hill]

Kentucky Republicans like to say it’s a new day in the Bluegrass State after Republicans took complete control of Frankfort in the 2016 election by capturing the majority in the House of Representatives for the first time in nearly 100 years. [Ronnie Ellis]

Kentucky Derby winner Justify won the Preakness Stakes on Saturday and is on course to become the 13th horse to win US flat racing’s Triple Crown. [BBC]

One of the more popular chants from thousands of teachers at the Capitol this spring protesting a controversial pension bill was “We’ll remember in November.” [H-L]

Two U.S. citizens said they were detained last week by a Border Patrol agent in Montana after he overheard them speaking Spanish to each other in a convenience store. [HuffPo]

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It’s Nancy Rodriguez Flashback Time

The University of Louisville and its foundation have sued the school’s former president and other officials in a lawsuit claiming they conspired to divert millions of dollars from the foundation’s endowment. The suit was filed Wednesday in state court. It says former President James Ramsey and his chief of staff, Kathleen McDaniel Smith, colluded to pay excessive compensation to themselves and others. [H-L]

Here’s more on the whole thing. The Board of Trustees decided Wednesday to sue Ramsey, Kathleen McDaniel Smith and others related to past oversight of the U of L Foundation. [WDRB]

Strange how no one bothers to mention that Jerry Stephenson, a charlatan, is one of the country’s most notorious homophobes. [H-L]

Donald Trump repeatedly vowed during the 2016 presidential campaign that he’d only hire “the best people in the world” for his administration. Now, with many of his “best people’ ousted from the Cabinet and other high-level positions, CNN’s Anderson Cooper is wondering what happened to that pledge. [HuffPo]

Just a reminder that Nancy Rodriguez misreported a bunch of the Robert Felner scandal and intentionally ignored what was occurring at the University of Louisville. Now she’s spokesperson for the Kentucky Department of Education. A perfect fit for covering up corruption. [C-J/AKN]

Last month, we reported that over the past five years, IBM has targeted its older U.S. employees for layoffs. The numbers are staggering: Since 2013, we estimated IBM eliminated more than 20,000 American employees ages 40 and over. [ProPublica]

Former Prestonsburg Mayor Jerry Fannin entered an Alford plea after years of litigation. [WLEX18]

Over the past year, U.S. cities and states have been tripping head-over-heels in an effort to be the host of the next Amazon headquarters. Last year, New Jersey approved an incentive package that would give Amazon tax breaks worth $7 billion if it moved to Newark. Philadelphia has offered $2 billion in tax exemptions over 10 years, Georgia $1 billion, and Maryland a whopping $8.5 billion. But while state lawmakers continue to one-up each other in the race to host Amazon’s new HQ, a very different picture has emerged at the lower rungs of the company, where warehouse employees are so underpaid that they already incredibly reliant on state subsidies to survive. [ThinkProgress]

With the Madison County Detention Center over the last two years often housing more than double the number of inmates it is designed to hold, the county attorney is looking at bringing back a home incarceration program to get some non-violent offenders out of the jail. [Richmond Register]

Donald Trump and the New Republicans are now challenging Native Americans’ historical standing. [Politico]

The incumbent and two challengers are vying for the state Senate seat in the 18th district. Sen. Robin Webb, D-Grayson, is facing Democrat Chester “Chuck” Highley of Rush in the primary. The winner will run against Republican Scott Sharp of Ashland in the general election. [Ashland Independent]

Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, met personally last year with J. Steven Hart, the lobbyist whose wife had rented him a $50-a-night Capitol Hill condo, a disclosure that contradicts earlier statements that E.P.A. lobbying by Mr. Hart had not occurred. [NY Times]

A former Horse Cave police officer who has been charged with one count of wire fraud is scheduled to change his plea in May in U.S. District Court. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Reptilian menaces called Silurians evolved on Earth before humankind — at least in the “Doctor Who” rendition of the universe. But, science fiction aside, how would we know if some advanced civilization existed on our home planet millions of years before brainy humans showed up? This is a serious question, and serious scientists are speculating about what traces these potential predecessors might have left behind. And they’re calling this possibility the Silurian hypothesis. [WaPo]

A representative from Alliance Coal came to the Pike County Fiscal Court with a difficult proposition last week: provide a tax break worth millions over the next 12 years, or say goodbye to the 250 jobs the company provides in the county. [H-L]

Mick Mulvaney, Donald Trump’s budget director and the acting head of a top consumer watchdog group, raised eyebrows on Tuesday with an anecdote about his time in the House of Representatives. [HuffPo]

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KRS Trustees Are Still Shady As Hell

The Kentucky Retirement Systems Board of Trustees voted unanimously Thursday to not join a lawsuit filed by eight public employees alleging that several major investment firms cheated it on up to $1.5 billion in hedge fund investments, with blame to be shared by some of its own current and former trustees and officials. [John Cheves]

New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman tweeted on Saturday that a source quoted in her story derided by Donald Trump as a “drunk/drugged up loser” is likely former Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg. [HuffPo]

In a definitive win for open records advocates, the state attorney general’s office has found Kentucky State Police violated the state public records law by denying Courier Journal requests for the agency’s database of arrest and traffic citations. [C-J/AKN]

Jeff Sessions, miniature human but full-sized racist, wants to remove domestic abuse as a legal justification for seeking asylum. [Politico]

White Hall State Historic Site is set to break ground Saturday for the first hemp crop grown on the property since the early 19th century. The inaugural plot will be featured on the Heritage Hemp Trail, and showcased during events and tours. [Richmond Register]

Schoolchildren across the US walked out of their classrooms on Friday morning to demonstrate against gun violence. The National School Walkout marked the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre in Colorado. [BBC]

Carter County residents stood in a line that stretched out the door and down the hallway as they waited for their turn to receive vaccinations against the Hepatitis A virus at the Carter County Health Department on Thursday. [Ashland Independent]

Memos written by the former F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, that were released on Thursday revealed several new details about his relationship with Donald Trump and the president’s first chief of staff, Reince Priebus. [NY Times]

Rowan County Fiscal Court has decided against any further discussion about potentially contracting out the services of the Tri-County Animal Shelter. [The Morehead News]

Keith Davidson, the former attorney for two women who were paid to keep quiet about their alleged affairs with Donald Trump, has been contacted by federal authorities investigating Trump attorney Michael Cohen and is cooperating with them, a spokesman for Davidson confirmed. [WaPo]

Jeff Hoover, the former Speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives, and three other lawmakers paid $110,000 last fall to settle a sexual harassment claim by a young female legislative aide against the backdrop of a national debate about sexual harassment. And Julian Carroll did more than “grope” a man – it was on tape and the victim went public. [Ronnie Ellis]

Judge James Ho has been a federal judge for only a few months. Until Wednesday, he had never handed down a judicial opinion in his life. But the Trump appointee’s very first opinion, a dissent calling for a sweeping assault on campaign contribution limits, is a doozy. [ThinkProgress]

Andy Barr couldn’t get a word in. “Some of you agree with what I’m doing in Washington,” Barr said in Richmond, where the crowd often booed him. “A lot of you do.” That statement will be put to the test in November. [H-L]

Ahead of a tight primary on May 8, Dennis Kucinich’s bid to win the Democratic nomination for the critical gubernatorial race in Ohio landed in trouble this week because of the revelation that he was paid $20,000 last year by a group sympathetic to Syrian dictator Bashar Assad. Now, largely overlooked election filings show that the former congressman’s political apparatus received thousands of more dollars from two brothers involved in multiple efforts to bring Kucinich and Assad together since 2007. [HuffPo]

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