Bevin: Always On The Wrong Side

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Matt Bevin’s decision to defend Scott Pruitt’s ridiculous waste, fraud and abuse should paint a clearer picture of who Bevin really is. He’s trash. A garbage human. He has no business serving in an elected capacity in Kentucky. He has no business being in charge of a company. Someone excusing Pruitt’s corruption really has no business being around flipping children. What a disgrace. [H-L]

Donald Trump signaled his support for Scott Pruitt on Friday, resisting mounting pressure week to fire the embattled head of the Environmental Protection Agency. [HuffPo]

The University of Louisville’s next president will be Neeli Bendapudi, provost and executive vice chancellor at the University of Kansas school of business. [C-J/AKN]

The Trump administration on Friday unveiled new actions against various Russian officials, oligarchs, businesses and agencies – freezing assets that are subject to U.S. jurisdiction One of the oligarchs named is Oleg Deripaska, a billionaire with links to former Trump campaign boss Paul Manafort, who has been charged in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election. [CNBC]

As Matt Bevin and his administration works to establish Kentucky as an engineering and manufacturing hub, the state ranks among the least innovative in a recent report. [Richmond Register]

For the first time, the U.S. government has publicly acknowledged the existence in Washington of what appear to be rogue devices that foreign spies and criminals could be using to track individual cellphones and intercept calls and messages. [AP]

The financially struggling Fairview School District continues to pay its suspended superintendent while a temporary replacement works to pull the district out of its fiscal hole. [Ashland Independent]

Racist bigots are gonna be racist bigots. Attorney General Jeff Sessions ramped up calls on Friday to criminally prosecute immigrants who cross illegally into the United States, adding to a barrage of statements on immigration by the administration of Donald Trump this week. [Reuters]

Surprise! The paper in Morehead is shilling for a for-profit college that only exists because Republicans wouldn’t allow it to be held accountable. [The Morehead News]

With his son newly installed as a top aide to the president, Mr. Kushner even expressed hope, one close family friend said, that he might receive a pardon. Absolution, however, is not what the White House has conferred on the Kushners. For the patriarch and his family, the pinnacle of American political power has turned out to be a wellspring of trouble. [NY Times]

Residents who are not registered to vote have roughly two weeks to do so if they aim to vote in Kentucky’s May 22 primary election. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The study from researchers at Ohio State University finds that fake news likely played a significant role in depressing Hillary Clinton’s support on Election Day 2016. [WaPo]

On the 58th day of the 60 day legislative session, the Republican majority unveiled the most significant change to the state’s tax code in more than a decade and the Senate passed it before the bill was even made public. The reform package includes cutting some typical tax deductions, including medical expenses and medical insurance. [H-L]

Two of Martin Luther King Jr.’s surviving children gave powerful sermons Tuesday from the pulpit their father stood at when he gave his final speech on April 3, 1968. [HuffPo]

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Kentucky Teachers Are Still Fired Up

Can legalizing marijuana fight the problem of opioid addiction and fatal overdoses? Two new studies in the debate suggest it may. [H-L]

Andrew Bailey had toyed with the idea of running for public office in Kentucky for years. A teacher at Fairdale High School in Louisville, Bailey figured he’d start small: maybe a seat on the Board of Education for Jefferson County Public Schools, the state’s largest school district, or perhaps a spot on Louisville’s Metro Council. [HuffPo]

Hold on to your corrupt wigs, Republicans. Guessing there’s a reason Jeff Hoover has been MIA for weeks and weeks. Tuesday was fun and you know there’s more fun to come. Even though the Legislative Ethics Commission is a load of horseshit that’s never held anyone accountable. That’s why Schaaf was installed there – to make sure nothing ever occurs. [C-J/AKN]

Jason Foster, chief investigative counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee, fits a classic Washington profile: A powerful, mostly unknown force at the center of some of the most consequential battles on Capitol Hill. [ProPublica]

Just over a month after the Richmond City Commission voted to commit more than $1 million to connect with Kentucky Wired, the state project, that would build more than 3,000 miles of fiber optic cable across the state to provide high-speed Internet service, has hit a major roadblock. [Richmond Register]

In July, David J. Pecker, the chairman of the company that owns The National Enquirer, visited his old friend Donald Trump at the White House. [NY Times]

If Republican lawmakers thought some additional funding for education in the new state budget might soften the anger of teachers over pension changes passed last week, they may be rethinking that idea after Monday. [Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump is a paranoid racist and has been poisoned by Fox News. But you already knew that and none of this will come as a surprise. [WaPo]

The Morehead Utility Plant Board has begun moving forward on an initiative to help pay employees closer to the market value of their position to help decrease turnover. [The Morehead News]

Top intelligence chiefs issue a dire warning about the Kremlin’s ongoing efforts to influence the US, defend against Trump’s attacks on the FBI, and explain what happened with a shady Russian offering dirt on Trump. [BI]

The Barren County Economic Authority has set up the process for a local industry that is leasing a facility to pay it off and take over ownership if it decides to move forward with that decision. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Ken Ham won’t like this… Researchers have uncovered more than 50 dinosaur tracks along a Scottish beach, some of which have retained their original shape and even the outline of claws. The discovery is shedding light on the kinds of dinosaurs that lived in this region some 170 million years ago. [Gizmodo]

An investment firm pushing Kentucky lawmakers to approve a $60 million tax break aimed at creating jobs in rural parts of the state has a history of persuading lawmakers in other states and then making millions from tax breaks that often don’t create the promised jobs. [H-L]

Fifty years after Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, his status as a civil rights icon isn’t really in question. In recent polls, 85 percent of Americans say he made things better for black Americans, and nearly 70 percent say that his legacy remains relevant today. [HuffPo]

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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]

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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]

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Will April Be Just As Crazy As March?

The General Assembly introduced a tax bill today that is a shift in taxes away from corporations and high-income people and over to low- and middle-income Kentuckians. Although the official estimate is that it would bring $248 million more in net revenue by the second year, the plan relies heavily on a fading source in a cigarette tax increase and very uncertain new revenues from conformity to the federal tax code. By moving away from more productive income taxes to slower-growing consumption taxes, it will worsen Kentucky’s budget problems in the future. [Republicans Are Screwing You]

It was fitting that Republicans rammed their newest secret pension plan through the General Assembly in a matter of hours Thursday as an amendment to a bill about sewer system regulations. The whole process stank. [Tom Eblen]

Trump touted second chances for former prisoners the day before he blasted California Gov. Jerry Brown for giving ex-convicts a … second chance. [HuffPo]

Teachers from across Kentucky stormed Frankfort on Friday morning, furious over a controversial pension bill that lawmakers passed the night before in a matter of hours. [C-J/AKN]

Thousands of Kentucky teachers descended on Frankfort on Monday morning to rally against a surprise pension reform bill that passed through the legislature late last week. [More C-J/AKN]

Investigators probing whether Donald Trump’s presidential campaign colluded with Russia have been questioning witnesses about events at the 2016 Republican National Convention, according to two sources familiar with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s inquiries. [Reuters]

An action packed Thursday night ended in a passed pension bill, however, for many Kentucky educators the fight, they say, is far from over. [Richmond Register]

Nearly a year after record Midwestern floods killed at least five people and caused $1.7 billion in damage, a secretive lobbying effort funded by Illinois and Missouri drainage districts is underway to roll back flood regulations, documents show. [ProPublica]

Northeastern Kentucky lawmakers discussed their votes Friday on a controversial pension reform bill that surged through the state Legislature. [Ashland Independent]

Get. Off. Facebook. A Facebook executive’s memo that claimed the “ugly truth” was that anything it did to grow was justified has been made public, embarrassing the company. [BBC]

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]

One was Photoshopped tearing up the Constitution — a falsehood — and criticized for wearing a flag that represented her Cuban heritage. A conservative blog said that another wasn’t even at the school during the killings — then had to backtrack on Monday when that also proved false. The attacks on the teenage survivors of the shooting in Parkland, Fla., have been fierce from the beginning, and have only continued since the students helped spearhead hundreds of protests this weekend. [NY Times]

Kentucky’s Democratic attorney general says he’ll go to court to challenge the pension overhaul bill passed by lawmakers in the Republican-controlled General Assembly Thursday night. [WFPL]

The death of an icon in America’s civil rights history is a reminder of how recently school segregation existed in the United States — and how little has changed since that time. [WaPo]

A former employee of Eric C. Conn pleaded guilty Friday to helping the one-time disability attorney escape the country last year to avoid sentencing in a federal fraud case. Curtis Wyatt, 48, faces up to five years in prison for helping Conn. [H-L]

Far-right white men are dangerous. Jurors in a federal courthouse Thursday were played recording after recording of three militia members spewing genocidal hatred of Muslims. [HuffPo]

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These New Kentucky Republicans Are Sneaky, Dishonest, Conniving, Awful People And They’ve Proved It

How do we make schools safe in this age of anxiety and easy access to weapons of mass murder? That’s a question that sent more than a million people into America’s streets last Saturday. [Tom Eblen]

Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin is the latest to depart Donald Trump’s turbulent White House. [HuffPo]

A University of Louisville trustee with a deep background in health care financing warned Thursday that the university faces an array of risks as KentuckyOne Health’s parent company looks to sell its Louisville facilities to a New York hedge fund. [C-J/AKN]

For Elliott Broidy, Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign represented an unparalleled political and business opportunity. [NY Times]

After weeks of saying that a proposal to overhaul retirement benefits for state workers was likely dead, Republican leaders of the Kentucky legislature slipped new pension language into an unrelated bill dealing with governance of wastewater sewage districts. [WKMS]

One consequence of the success of the National Rifle Association’s expansive gun-rights agenda — and its lobbying power in Congress — is that groups favoring more gun control have pared down their ambitions in recent years. [WaPo]

Richmond Utilities, a department of the City of Richmond, rightfully refused to provide the addresses where water service had been cut off after an open records request, the Kentucky Attorney General’s office has ruled. [Richmond Register]

A U.S. judge on Wednesday rejected Saudi Arabia’s bid to dismiss lawsuits claiming that it helped plan the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and should pay billions of dollars in damages to victims. [Reuters]

The Ashland commission has taken a major step in restructuring two crucial city departments at the request of City Manager Michael Graese. [Ashland Independent]

Adult-film star Stormy Daniels has filed a court motion for Donald Trump to testify about her claim that they had a relationship. Her lawyer wants sworn testimony from Mr Trump about a “hush” agreement the actress says she signed. [BBC]

Officials with the Housing Authority of Glasgow have filed an appeal regarding a score it received during its Real Estate Assessment Center inspection, which occurred in January. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Let this serve as a reminder that wealthy bigots will always do what’s best for wealthy bigots. [ProPublica]

As the City Hall turns…. A real-life soap opera in the city where consumer products maker Procter & Gamble helped pioneer the daily dramas is in its fourth week. There’s a stalemate over the Cincinnati mayor’s effort to oust the city manager in what an NAACP official calls “a self-inflicted crisis,” one that has racial overtones in an Ohio city with a troubled past. [H-L]

Three anti-Muslim militia members, on trial for plotting to slaughter Somali refugees in southwest Kansas, have adopted a defense strategy that could’ve been culled directly from Donald Trump’s Twitter feed: suggesting that a biased FBI conspired against them in the lead-up to the 2016 election due to their political beliefs. [HuffPo]

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More Boel Bullshit Promoted By WAVE

A Kentucky attorney who fled the country to avoid going to prison before being captured is seeking to have part of a federal case against him thrown out. [H-L]

The tone of the website abortionpillreversal.com is filled with urgency. Women who have taken the first dose of the “abortion pill” — actually two drugs, mifepristone and misoprostol, taken over the span of several days to terminate a pregnancy — are exhorted to call right away if they regret their decision. [HuffPo]

Corrupt secrecy is the University of Louisville way and it’s not going to change any time soon. If you want to know how to stop it? Someone is going to need to do what I did with Robert Felner on a grand scale. A closed-door board of trustees meeting at the University of Louisville Sunday was held with campus police stationed on sidewalks around the University Club to turn away the public. [C-J/AKN]

A judge on Monday denied a defense motion to dismiss charges against the widow of the gunman in the 2016 massacre at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, saying that the gunman’s father’s work an FBI informant was not relevant to the case. [Reuters]

Here’s John Boel doing something stupid again. Stupid and racist. Yes, I fucking said it. Racist. Nearly every “undercover” thing the man has done has been against people of color. It’s disgusting. [WAVE3]

Older Americans who face discrimination on the job can’t rely on the courts as much as earlier generations did. [ProPublica]

Kentucky Republicans love screwing poor people and the working class. Edna Bland had just adopted a child, her father was dying and her husband was having risky heart surgery when a mortgage company tried to take her house in 2009. [Richmond Register]

A pair of letters released on Tuesday reveal that the National Rifle Association (NRA) has received foreign funds, calling into question that much further the tens of millions of dollars the NRA donated to the Donald Trump campaign — money that came from an arm of the NRA not required to reveal the identities of its donors. [ThinkProgress]

Kentucky lawmakers are looking to allocate tax money to spur economic development and jobs — even while they struggle to cobble together a budget without sufficient revenues which will still fund education and the state’s badly underfunded public pension systems. [Ronnie Ellis]

Medicare officials thought they had finally figured out how to do their part to fix the troubling problem of opioids being overprescribed to the old and disabled: In 2016, a staggering one in three of 43.6 million beneficiaries of the federal health insurance program had been prescribed the painkillers. [NY Times]

The cost for Metcalfe County to offer a 401K-type of retirement package to employees of the Barren-Metcalfe County Emergency Medical Service, should the ambulance service’s board of directors choose to go that route, could range from $534,000 to $413,000. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Donald Trump frequently said Mexico would pay for a wall along the southern border as he sought the presidency in 2016. Now, he is privately pushing the U.S. military to fund construction of his signature project. [WaPo]

A proposed $60 million tax break aimed at creating jobs in rural Kentucky is poised to get final approval from Kentucky lawmakers, but critics contend the bill lacks one key element: proof that those cashing in the tax break actually created jobs. [H-L]

The Louisiana attorney general said Tuesday he won’t charge two white police officers in the fatal shooting of a black man that sparked heated protests across the country. [HuffPo]

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