Mitch McConnell Helped Create Myanmar But The KDP Has No Clue How To Use It Against Him

The National Rifle Association has accepted contributions from about 23 Russians, or Americans living in Russia, since 2015, the gun rights group acknowledged to Congress. [NPR]

The public education advocacy group Pike County Strong is asking teachers to call in sick Thursday night in order to close schools Friday and allow teachers to rally in Frankfort. A group official said the move goes against the wishes of the Kentucky Education Association, which has taken a cautious approach to school closures that is frustrating many Pike County teachers. [H-L]

A reported chemical attack this weekend has once again thrust into view the Syrian government’s continued assault on civilians. But while Donald Trump has condemned the attack, he’s the one responsible for denying a safe haven in the United States to the Syrian refugees most in need. [HuffPo]

The Jefferson County teachers union has called for more protests after Matt Bevin announced on Monday he would veto both the budget and tax reform bills. [C-J/AKN]

The Keystone crude oil pipeline leak in November in rural South Dakota was nearly double the original estimate, making it one of the largest U.S. inland spills since 2010, a newspaper report on Saturday said. [Reuters]

This year’s Health County Ranking’s report revealed some changes in where area counties stand in health outcomes and factors. [Ashland Independent]

The blast swallowed the firefighters as they were charging through the smoke-clogged hallway of a Brooklyn building, searching for a 67-year-old woman believed to be trapped inside her apartment. According to a January 1999 article in the New York Post, Trump personally “called a dozen council members to lobby against sprinklers.” [WaPo]

Leave it to the Republican Party of Kentucky to screw this up. Businesses that have invested in Kentucky’s delayed statewide broadband network are concerned that the budget passed by legislators earlier this week doesn’t provide enough certainty that the state will hold up its end of the public-private partnership. [WFPL]

The F.B.I. on Monday raided the office of President Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, seizing records related to several topics including payments to a pornographic-film actress. [NY Times]

There were few differences between five Democratic candidates for the Sixth Congressional District at a forum here Tuesday night sponsored by the League of Women Voters. [Ronnie Ellis]

The problem is not simply that congressional leaders won’t stop Donald Trump from firing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and maybe Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and plunging America into a constitutional crisis. The problem is that those congressional leaders—while allowing Trump to do all this—are also allowing him to take the United States to war. [The Atlantic]

Just a reminder that Legislative Ethics are not a thing in Frankfort. An ethics complaint against former Speaker of the House Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown, came to a close Tuesday much as it began — with a settlement that avoided public discussion of the events which led to a settlement of sexual harassment claims by a former staff employee. [More Ronnie Ellis]

US House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan will not run for re-election this year, in a big blow to Republicans ahead of autumn’s mid-term elections. [BBC]

This is one of the stupidest things to occur in Lexington in years. You people live in flipping Lexington, Kentucky. Lexington. In Kentucky. Not somewhere fancy or desirable. No one is trying to come for your shitty neighborhood. Quit with the dog ignorance, you fat blobs. People living in a Lexington neighborhood were notified last week that several dog breeds, including pit bulls, Great Danes and huskies, were being banned. [H-L]

This is the nonsense Mitch McConnell helped create but is suddenly quiet about. He’s supporting a genocidal regime. He helped create this nightmare. [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 Gutting Higher Education In Kentucky. Again.

The Eastern Kentucky University Board of Regents voted to slash a long list of academic programs, eliminate jobs, close a regional campus and end two sports — men’s and women’s tennis — as part of a brutal budgetary process to solve a $25 million shortfall. [H-L]

Republican House members are leaving Congress at the fastest pace in modern history. [HuffPo]

Um… there are a couple other legislators in Louisville not living in the districts they represent. It’s a shame both major political parties in Kentucky are too corrupt to get their shit together to resolve it. Instead, they target newcomers. Additionally – how the heck did Barbara Sexton Smith get elected to *any* position in government? What a nightmare. [C-J/AKN]

You should go read this if you give a flip about economics and aren’t a braindead New Republican. While Vermont dairy farmers are experiencing some of the hardest times in recent memory, their counterparts in Quebec are thriving. The reason is a complex system that regulates the supply of milk and sets the price that farmers receive. [NPR]

By the end of Friday’s meeting of the EKU Board of Regents, the university’s school psychology program was the only one of 18 on the chopping block to be granted a reprieve. [Richmond Register]

In today’s installment of “I’m Not Terrified, You Are,” Bloomberg Law reports on a FedBizOpps.gov posting by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with the relatively benign-sounding subject, “Media Monitoring Services.” The details of the attached Request for Information, however, outline a plan to gather and monitor the public activities of media professionals and influencers and are enough to cause nightmares of constitutional proportions, particularly as the freedom of the press is under attack worldwide. And “attack” is not hyperbolic. [Forbes]

Bruised by their fight over pensions, Kentucky teachers are mobilizing like never before to support legislative candidates who pass a key political test: support for public education. [Ashland Independent]

In 83 million eviction records, a sweeping and intimate new look at housing in America. [NY Times]

Barren River Rod & Gun Club members heard the first round of candidate pitches at their monthly gathering Thursday evening, with another batch scheduled for May 3. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Members of the U.S. Supreme Court appeared to be struggling over how to resolve a key case recently when Justice Stephen Breyer suggested that the best course might be to put off a decision altogether. [Reuters]

The American College of Radiologists, a professional organization representing radiologists, is asking Kentucky to repeal a new law that changes how coal miners receive benefits for black lung disease. [WFPL]

The acting director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics took the atypical step of telling EPA officials that several recent ethics questions deserve further scrutiny. [WaPo]

As thousands of teachers marched at the Capitol on Monday to protest pension changes, lawmakers released a budget compromise that sent some mixed news to the schools they represent. [H-L]

Oh, look, some city folk did some googling about Kentucky’s budget situation involving education and teachers. [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]

Kentucky Needs A New Ed Commish

Maybe crap like this wouldn’t happen in the commissioner would stop trying to promote himself as some sort of celebrity. And if people like Valarie Honeycutt Spears didn’t intentionally ignore corruption in education. [H-L]

The nutrition children receive during their first 1,000 days ― from conception until their second birthday ― has a profound impact on how they develop. Without the proper nutrition during that window of time, young brains will not grow to their fullest potential, diminishing the kids’ opportunities for the rest of their lives, according to public health and medical organizations. [HuffPo]

A national “consumer” group is working with Frankfort lawmakers, making phone calls to their constituents and urging Kentuckians to support a bill that would roll back incentives for solar power. But who are they? [C-J/AKN]

The U.S. flu outbreak worsened over the past week as more people headed to doctors’ offices and emergency rooms, with hospitalizations at the highest in nearly 10 years, U.S. health officials said on Friday. [Reuters]

The 2018 General Assembly is now one-third of the way toward its constitutionally-limited 60 days to pass legislation — and still there is no pension bill in sight. [Ronnie Ellis]

Since the election, Donald Trump has made 31 specific claims about companies adding or saving American jobs thanks to his intervention. We went back to see what’s become of those announcements. [ProPublica]

The Coalition for the Homeless has received the needed funds to launch a pilot program to house homeless young adults in Louisville, officials said this week. [WFPL]

This mess is part of the reason Modern Republicans are so painfully dumb and dangerous. [ThinkProgress]

For the first time in recent memory, all but one local races for the state legislature and Congress are contested as 31 candidates have signed up to run for seven local seats. The last time those seats were up for election, 15 candidates filed to run. Democrats fielded 16 of the 2018 candidates, with 15 Republicans filing for the seats. [BGDN]

Former FBI Director James Comey lobbed criticism at Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee on Friday, asking his Twitter followers, “That’s it?” after the release of a disputed and much-hyped memo about alleged bias at the FBI and Department of Justice. [Politico]

Basically, Republicans are about to choke the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s economy. [WKYT]

K.T. McFarland, Trump’s onetime deputy national security adviser, has withdrawn from consideration to be the U.S. ambassador to Singapore, the White House confirmed Friday. McFarland has been under scrutiny in the special-counsel probe into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. [WaPo]

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray raised more money than his Democratic opponents in his first month as a candidate in the primary election to challenge Republican Andy Barr for his Central Kentucky congressional seat. [H-L]

Donald Trump on Friday declassified a Republican-authored memo that claims to show the Justice Department and FBI inappropriately conducted surveillance on a member of the Trump presidential campaign. FBI Director Chris Wray isn’t having any of it. [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]

Teresa Isaac. Just… No. No. No. No. No.

Just… no. A former Lexington mayor and a former police chief filed Tuesday to run for the city’s top job, turning the contest for mayor of Kentucky’s second-largest city into a seven-way race. Former Mayor Teresa Isaac, who was mayor from 2003 to 2007, filed to run for the office Tuesday just 10 minutes before the 4 p.m. deadline. [H-L]

One speech does not erase Donald Trump’s record. This is the president, recall, who rose to political power on the racist lie that his predecessor was born in Kenya, and he ran for president while calling to ban all Muslims from the country and deriding Mexican immigrants as rapists. [HuffPo]

Jan Taylor strolled into a classroom in Trimble County in her mid-20s and discovered she’d found her calling. Working with young children to get them ready to start school challenged and inspired her, and she loved every minute. [C-J/AKN]

The firing of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III has long been a red line for most Republicans in Congress who are trying to work with their president. But it’s a red line they’d rather not act on — and now, with news that [Donald] Trump actually made moves to do it, they may be forced to. [WaPo]

In a year when women candidates are expected to play an important role, 89 women filed to run for the Kentucky General Assembly.[Ronnie Ellis]

The kickback scheme was allegedly hashed out over weeknight drinks at a steakhouse in a border county in south Texas. Amid surf and turf and expensive scotch, a Hidalgo County official said he would meet with contractors in the clubby confines of the restaurant in a strip mall in McAllen. [ProPublica]

State Rep. Kevin Sinnette, D-Ashland, will not seek a sixth term in the state House of Representatives, and is instead running for a spot on the Kentucky Court of Appeals. [Ashland Independent]

That’s modern Republicanism for you – racist as can be. Standing outside in the freezing cold, dressed in a new navy blue suit and red tie, Leonardo Reyes was feeling a little overwhelmed Tuesday afternoon as he headed to Capitol Hill for Donald Trump’s State of the Union address. He was the guest of his home-state senator, Jeff Merkley, Democrat of Oregon. [NY Times]

Maysville Community and Technical College held a ceremonial ribbon cutting for the new Rowan campus in the John Will Stacy MMRC Regional Business Park on Friday. [The Morehead News]

The ailing U.S. coal industry is ramping up its political and legal offensive to win approval for West Coast export terminals that could provide a lifeline to lucrative Asia markets. [Reuters]

Last Wednesday, a bill was introduced in the Kentucky House of Representatives that would consolidate independent and county school districts. [Glasgow Daily Times]

At his 2018 State of the Union address on Tuesday night, Donald Trump declared that he has “ended the war on energy” and “ended the war on clean coal.” He referred to clean coal as “beautiful.” It’s not clear what exactly Trump is taking credit for here, as neither war is rooted in reality. [ThinkProgress]

Three hundred Kentuckians filed to run for a seat in the Republican-dominated Kentucky General Assembly this year, with Democrats slightly outpacing their GOP counterparts in an election year that promises dozens of intense political battles. [H-L]

A mix of raw sewage and mud pools under the rusting mobile home perched on a wooded hillside. The trailer, like so many in this small neighborhood on the outskirts of town, has no septic tank and is too remote to connect to a municipal sewage network. The owner has hooked PVC tubing up to the bathroom pipes and flushes her waste out onto the topsoil. [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]

KY Republicans Want More Prisons

A former Kentucky lawmaker who is serving a seven-year prison sentence plans to plead guilty in a separate fraud case. Former state Rep. W. Keith Hall plans to plead guilty in a case in which he is accused of using fake documents in order to convince a customer he had insurance. [H-L]

Donald Trump claimed to be calling for Americans to come together on the issue of immigration in his State of the Union address on Tuesday. But he couldn’t resist painting immigration as an “us vs. them” struggle. Because modern Republicanism is built upon racism. [HuffPo]

It was a journalist’s worst nightmare. The editor of the Marshall County Daily Online raced to the county’s high school Tuesday morning after reports that shots had been fired. [C-J/AKN]

The emailed response from the Guggenheim’s chief curator to the White House was polite but firm: the museum could not accommodate a request to “borrow” a painting by Vincent Van Gogh for President and Melania Trump’s private living quarters. Instead, wrote the curator, Nancy Spector, another piece was available, one that was nothing like “Landscape With Snow,” the lovely 1888 Van Gogh rendering of a man in a black hat walking along a path in Arles with his dog. The curator’s alternative: an 18-karat, fully functioning, solid gold toilet – an interactive work entitled “America” that critics have described as pointed satire aimed at the excess of wealth in this country. [WaPo]

The Bevin crew says one thing and does another on the prison front. This is more hype to build more private prisons. Kentucky’s top public safety official says the state’s prisons will run out of space by May 2019, possibly forcing the early release of thousands of nonviolent inmates as the state continues to grapple with the effects of a nationwide opioid epidemic. [Richmond Register]

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Brenda Fitzgerald resigned Wednesday, one day after reports that she traded tobacco stocks while heading the agency. [The Hill]

The filing deadline for Kentucky candidates closed Tuesday, and some northeastern Kentucky lawmakers will face challengers in this year’s election cycle. [Ashland Independent]

Donald Trump urged lawmakers on Tuesday to work toward bipartisan compromises, but pushed a hard line on immigration, insisting on a border wall and other concessions from Democrats as part of any deal to protect the children of illegal immigrants. [Reuters]

The Rowan County Board of Education has hired a consultant to lead in the search for the next superintendent. [The Morehead News]

Starting in Canada, Facebook is rolling out a global program to prevent foreign meddling in elections. Ads targeted to a narrow audience may be seen by other Facebook users — if they look hard enough. [ProPublica]

Barren County Schools’ iLearn@home program, as well as other non-traditional instruction programs, would eventually be eliminated if a bill that recently passed the Kentucky Senate becomes state law. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin urged Congress on Tuesday to raise the federal government’s statutory borrowing limit and said Washington must soon grapple with the mounting federal debt, just as lawmakers are embarking on a significant spending spree. [NY Times]

A leading Republican lawmaker has filed a bill to stop the Bevin Administration’s attempt to eliminate liquor license quotas, a move critics say would bring a glut of bars and liquor stores in rural Kentucky. [H-L]

A new era of internet regulation is about to begin. Years after Facebook and Google went public, regulators in the United States and abroad are finally taking a closer look at the internet behemoths. And they’re not only looking at the way these companies have come to dominate markets, but also examining the heart of the two firms’ business models. What they decide will have powerful implications for the way we do business on the internet. [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]

Sure, People Are A Problem. But So Are Unchecked, Unregulated Firearms That Get Into The Hands Of Children.

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

The first warning of trouble many students had during the deadly shooting at a Western Kentucky high school Tuesday was a pop that some mistook for a balloon bursting, but the scene turned to hell in seconds, according to several who were there. [H-L]

A male same-sex couple is suing the U.S. State Department after one of their twins, born in Canada, was denied American citizenship, even though his birth certificate lists one citizen parent. [HuffPo]

It was a normal day. Joseph Morton was in the school library working on a computer. Ariyanne Posey stood in an area called the commons with friends. Keatyn Gamble was about to leave her home, across the street from Marshall County High School. [C-J/AKN]

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency has officially gained agency-wide access to a nationwide license plate recognition database, according to a contract finalized earlier this month. The system gives the agency access to billions of license plate records and new powers of real-time location tracking, raising significant concerns from civil libertarians. [The Verge]

It’s not just Republicans with zero desire to do something about the school shooting epidemic that’s been a Kentucky problem for more than 20 years. It’s also Democrats. Both just want to twiddle their thumbs. [WFPL]

A federal judge late on Thursday said President Donald Trump’s administration cannot immediately deport 92 Cambodian citizens from the United States without first allowing them a chance to challenge the action in court. [Reuters]

According to the Kentucky Department of Education, schools in the Bluegrass saw frightening levels of weapons being brought to the schools. [WKYT]

A Trump administration appointee to the National Labor Relations Board benefited the interests and clients of his former law firm when he cast the deciding vote to undo rules protecting workers’ rights in two cases last month. [ProPublica]

The Madison County School Board approved a 2018-19 draft budget at Thursday’s meeting. However, many of the numbers had to be allocated to unknown costs noted in Matt Bevin’s new proposed state budget, which would require the district to contribute hefty amounts to retirements, health insurance, transportation and more. [Richmond Register]

We’re looking at you, Six Flags Over Jesus in Louisville. Several people have died from suicide over the last several years as a result of their conversion therapy program. This person was tortured in gay conversion therapy. It’s still legal in 41 states. [NY Times]

The monthly board of directors meeting for Barren-Metcalfe County Ambulance Service was cut short Wednesday due to the lack of a quorum partway through, but several items of business were conducted in the meantime. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Jeffrey Wertkin had a plot to bring in business and impress his new partners after joining one of Washington’s most influential law firms. As a former high-stakes corporate-fraud prosecutor with the Department of Justice, he had secretly stockpiled sealed lawsuits brought by whistleblowers. Now, he would sell copies of the suits to the very targets of the pending government investigations — and his services to defend them. Wertkin carried out his plan for months, right up until the day an FBI agent arrested him in a California hotel lobby. [WaPo]

The University Press of Kentucky celebrates is 75th birthday Monday as the primary publisher of books about this state. For the past 49 years, it also has been the main publisher for Kentucky’s public and private universities and historical societies. But if Matt Bevin has his way, this birthday will be its last. [Tome Eblen]

A little over a year ago, American commerce quietly passed a techno-dystopian landmark when IBM ― one of the most prestigious and storied computer companies ― undertook a new project: automating the revolving door between Wall Street and Washington. [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]