Coal Will Never Be Kentucky’s Savior

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The Courier-Journal/A Kentucky Newspaper has a long history of victim-shaming and character assassination. United didn’t have to pay for it – the C-J/AKN did it for free. The paper loves to shitsack murder victims, people of color, members of the LGBTQ community. And when you call their shitty reporters like Morgan Watkins out, they roll up with their bloated, lazy, heterosexual, white male staffers to yell at you in attempt to justify their nonsense. Not everyone there is terrible but they certainly do this shit with regularity. [Raw Story]

Letcher County officials are desperate for revenue to counter a crippling drop in coal severance tax collections, but deadlocked Monday evening on approving a business license fee on extractive operations such as oil and gas wells and coal mines. [H-L]

In 1996, Josie Slawik sat in the headquarters of the National Domestic Violence Hotline in Austin, Texas, and waited for the phone to ring. [HuffPo]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! Exorbitant drug prices, high deductibles and the need to jump through hoops to get procedures covered. Those were some of the realities of today’s health insurance landscape decried Saturday at a sidewalk town hall in downtown Louisville. [C-J/AKN]

Doors are kicked in, belongings are tossed on the street or carted off to high-cost storage, and evicted families are forced to move into another squalid rental or worse. That may sound like an endpoint, but often it’s just a wrenching start, leading to a deeper morass of lost jobs, missed school, family breakups, hunger, depression. [Smithsonian]

The Richmond Planning and Zoning Commission is trying to chart a road map to the city’s future, and it’s asking residents for directions. [Richmond Register]

Trump’s missile strike on Syria has drawn favorable reviews from critics and only scattered criticism from Democrats. Yet unlike other Republican presidents who enjoyed a boost in the polls from their military actions, early signs suggest Trump may not be politically rewarded. [The Hill]

Morehead State University President Dr. Wayne Andrews was recognized for his 12 years of service to the university and community at Thursday’s Morehead-Rowan County Chamber of Commerce meeting. [The Morehead News]

It was one of the uglier scandals of the Bush administration: Top officials at an agency dedicated to protecting whistleblowers launched a campaign against their own employees based on suspected sexual orientation, according to an inspector general report. [ProPublica]

Sheila Minor with Barren River Refuge Inc., an organization working to establish a homeless shelter in Glasgow, spoke to members of the Cave City City Council on Monday about the need for the shelter. “People — I don’t know if they don’t want to believe or if they just don’t believe that Barren County has a homeless problem, but we do,” Minor said. [Glasgow Daily Times]

In the latest move by a major automaker to enhance its American manufacturing operations, Toyota said on Monday that it would invest more than $1.3 billion to upgrade its assembly plant in Kentucky. [NY Times]

Eight female inmates at the Boyd County Detention Center were rushed to the hospital Saturday night after they allegedly snorted heroin inside the jail and overdosed. [Ashland Independent]

Attorney General Jeff Sessions will end a Justice Department partnership with independent scientists to raise forensic science standards and has suspended an expanded review of FBI testimony across several techniques that have come under question, saying a new strategy will be set by an in-house team of law enforcement advisers. [WaPo]

Matt Bevin’s administration is looking for expert tax lawyers, apparently in anticipation of a possible special law-making session to overhaul Kentucky’s tax code later this year. [H-L]

Several times a week, a U.S. Air Force pilot takes off from the Royal Air Force base in Mildenhall, England, and heads for the northernmost edge of NATO territory to gather intelligence on Russia. One of these pilots is 40-year-old Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Webster, a veteran of many such expeditions and a hard guy to rattle. [HuffPo]

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A New Week Of D.C. Nightmares Begins

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Someone should ask Hoskins about his month-long vacation in Palm Beach around the time of filing. The state hopes to prevent a man facing a $2.65 million fine for the illegal disposal of radioactive waste from erasing that penalty in bankruptcy court. [H-L]

A U.S. Navy strike group will be moving toward the western Pacific Ocean near the Korean peninsula as a show of force, a U.S. official told Reuters on Saturday, as concerns grow about North Korea’s advancing weapons program. [HuffPo]

Carroll County sends people to prison at a higher rate than any other Kentucky county, the Courier-Journal reported in October. And its tough-as-nails commonwealth’s attorney, James Crawford, made no apologies for it, saying he’s a “firm believer if there is a wrong, there has to be a corresponding punishment.” But when Sheriff Jamie Kinman pleaded guilty Monday to official misconduct for stealing painkillers, including from a terminal cancer patient while in uniform, Crawford recommended a deal that makes it unlikely Kinman will spend even a day in jail. [C-J/AKN]

No doubt, the footage from the attack is hard to take. But you have to wonder why Trump’s humanity was not similarly touched by the children killed in the 2013 Ghouta chemical attack, the stomach-churning allegations of systematic torture of children by Syrian forces, the many children killed by the Syrian regime’s barrel bombs, or the now iconic photo of a dazed little boy covered in dust in an ambulance in Aleppo, not to mention the also iconic image of a drowned Syrian refugee boy on a beach in Turkey. While all this was going on, Trump was arguing that the U.S. should be working with Assad, who he called a potential “natural ally.” [Slate]

This is the funniest thing you’ll read all day and it’s not remotely accurate. Morehead’s a great little town but most LGBTQ-friendly in Kentucky? Not in anyone’s imagination. It’s dangerous to suggest such to outsiders. It’s not safe to be out in Morehead or anywhere else in Eastern Kentucky. Especially if you’re an outsider or don’t come from a known or powerful family in the mountains. [The Morehead News]

Policies that promote school integration by race and class took a significant hit last week when the U.S. Department of Education announced that it was killing a small but important federal program to support local diversity efforts. [The Atlantic]

Mitch McConnell is hardly apologetic for his role in securing for conservatives the ninth seat on the U.S. Supreme Court, calling it “the most consequential decision I’ve ever been involved in.” [Ronnie Ellis]

The C.I.A. told senior lawmakers in classified briefings last summer that it had information indicating that Russia was working to help elect Donald J. Trump president, a finding that did not emerge publicly until after Mr. Trump’s victory months later, former government officials say. [NY Times]

Rand Paul wasted little time in expressing his opinions about President Donald Trump’s decision to strike a Syrian airfield with more than 50 cruise missiles. [Richmond Register]

Meanwhile, the garbage Republicans in Frankfort like Ryan “I Wasn’t Driving Drunk In That Parking Lot And Am Cool With Employing My Brother” Quarles and crew are spinning this as a positive. Because you can’t fix their special brand of stupid. At least there’s a chance their children won’t turn out as wretched as them. [WaPo]

Matt Bevin on Friday appointed Timothy Ray “Tim” Coleman, of Morgantown, as Circuit Judge for the 38th Judicial Circuit, Division 1 of Kentucky—representing Butler, Edmonson, Hancock and Ohio counties. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Remember Afghanistan? We’re still there. A U.S. soldier was killed while conducting operations against Islamic State in Afghanistan late on Saturday, a U.S. military spokesman said in a message posted on Twitter. [Reuters]

If there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that I would never ever trust the Cabinet for Health and Family Services with children in need. Another? Kathy Stein ought to step down from the bench and return to practice as an attorney. Sure, Republicans have been fishing for literally anything to hang over her head. But she’s been next to terrible in defending herself or explaining what’s occurred. Being unable to stand up to Republicans – even when you’re an impartial judge – is a sign of dangerous weakness. [H-L]

Muhammed Ali Khan tried to do one of the most boring, responsible things an American taxpayer can do: set up a government-guaranteed retirement savings account. He was rejected because the Treasury Department thought he might be a terrorist. [HuffPo]

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Hillbilly Elegy Is Republican Bullshit

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When Americans remember the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., they like to recall his “I Have A Dream” speech from the 1963 March on Washington. It is beautifully aspirational — and no longer controversial. [H-L]

Republicans have spent most of the past seven years vowing to protect people with pre-existing conditions, even as they have pledged to get rid of the Affordable Care Act. [HuffPo]

City air pollution officials suspect the area near the CEMEX cement plant in southwest Louisville might violate the federal health standard for sulfur dioxide, a pollutant that’s especially hard on children, the elderly and people who suffer from asthma. But they won’t know for at least three years. [C-J/AKN]

Donald F. McGahn II, now Trump’s White House counsel, made $2.4 million as a lawyer with a client list loaded with deep-pocketed conservative groups, from Americans for Prosperity, backed by the conservative billionaires Charles G. and David H. Koch, to the Citizens United Foundation. [NY Times]

Hillbilly Elegy is bullshit. Della Combs Brashear had had enough. She backed her Cadillac long-ways across the road in front of her house, lit the Virginia Slim in her mouth, pulled her .38 pistol from her purse, and waited, stone-faced and determined, for the next coal truck to come along. [Ivy Brashear]

Former Obama national security adviser Susan E. Rice said Tuesday that she “absolutely” never sought to uncover “for political purposes” the names of Trump campaign or transition officials concealed in intelligence intercepts, and she called suggestions that she leaked those identities “completely false.” [WaPo]

Boyd County avoided losing its four-judge structure after a statewide judicial redistricting plan failed to pass through the General Assembly, but the plan will likely be reintroduced next year. [Ashland Independent]

A U.S. appeals court on Thursday upheld a preliminary injunction against Ohio’s lethal injection process for executions. [Reuters]

Attorney General Andy Beshear has once again gone to court seeking to intervene in open records disputes between a Kentucky university and student-run college newspapers. [Ronnie Ellis]

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) on Thursday said he will temporarily step aside from his committee’s investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election. [The Hill]

Two people who spent years in a Kentucky jail after being wrongfully charged with murder have sued 10 police officers from three departments, alleging a conspiracy to frame them by planting evidence to protect a confidential informant. [Richmond Register]

Senate Republicans invoked the “nuclear option” to gut the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees Thursday, a historic move that paves the way for Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation and ensures that future high court nominees can advance in the Senate without clearing a 60-vote threshold. [Politico]

Funny how this story doesn’t mention an anti-trust investigation, isn’t it? It’s like McClatchy wants to suck more than Gannett these days. [H-L]

It’s the New Republican way. Late last month, federal prosecutors indicted ex-Rep. Steve Stockman and two of his aides, charging that the Texas Republican and his confidants ripped off charities, laundered money, lied to regulators and misled wealthy donors before, during and after his failed 2014 primary campaign against John Cornyn, the second-ranking Republican in the Senate. [HuffPo]

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Massie Won’t Really Stand Up To Trump

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Federal investigators raided a Lexington paving and asphalt company in late March seeking information on bids and the sales of asphalt to paving contractors, documents filed in federal court in Lexington show. [H-L]

Seth Meyers pointed out the similarities between the U.S. political climate under President Donald Trump and the TV show “The Americans” on Tuesday.[HuffPo]

What bullshit spin. Thomas Massie is no more battling Donald Trump than Rand Paul is standing up for his constituents. He refuses to hold Trump accountable and hides from his constituents. [C-J/AKN]

In a groundbreaking, 8-3 decision, the full Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation violates federal civil rights law. [Lambda Legal]

Eastern Kentucky University announced Monday four finalists to become its next Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost. [Richmond Register]

Fake news? Not so much. The FBI is planning to create a special section based at its Washington headquarters to co-ordinate its investigation of Russian activities designed to influence the 2016 presidential election, according to a person familiar with the plan. [Financial Times]

A recent WalletHub study revealed Kentucky is the fifth most stressed state. West Virginia was ranked fourth overall. [Ashland Independent]

If you thought Republicans couldn’t get any more scummy, you were wrong! Now they want to conduct drug tests for people who file for UNEMPLOYMENT. [Congress]

This ought to be generally terrible – since Bevin’s office is participating. Rowan County will once again play host to a large Town and Country event. This year, the event will furnish a major keynote speaker from Gov. Bevin’s office. Warren Beeler, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Agriculture Policy, will speak at the event that begins at 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 13, at Rowan County Senior High School. [The Morehead News]

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio said Wednesday that he doesn’t think it’s a coincidence that a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria occurred shortly after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson suggested Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad could remain in power. [CNN]

Edmonton City Councilwoman Cathy Nunn caught Edmonton Volunteer Fire Department Chief Jerry Clemmons, as well as some of her fellow city council members, by surprise Monday night when she told him the city council would like for the fire department to start paying its own utilities. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Yet again, the world is watching gut-wrenching images emerge from the site of a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria. [WaPo]

A judge has denied a defense motion that sought to suppress evidence collected during a search that recovered stolen barrels of Wild Turkey and stolen bottles of rare Pappy Van Winkle. [H-L]

White House chief strategist Steve Bannon has been removed from the National Security Council, White House sources told The Huffington Post Wednesday. [HuffPo]

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Republicans Don’t Care About Poor Kids In Louisville… Or Anywhere In Kentucky

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Donald Trump brought Sen. Rand Paul to his Virginia golf course on Sunday to talk health policy with the outspoken critic of the failed plan to repeal and replace so-called Obamacare. [H-L]

It took far more than a year before presidents from Ronald Reagan through Barack Obama earned the disapproval of a majority of the public, according to Gallup. It took Trump just over a week. [HuffPo]

A federal judge in Louisville said in a ruling that then-candidate Donald Trump incited the use of violence against three protesters when he told supporters at a campaign rally a year ago to “get ’em out of here.” [C-J/AKN]

Texas Roadhouse Inc agreed to pay $12 million to settle U.S. claims that the steakhouse chain refused to hire people age 40 and over to work as hosts, servers and bartenders. A consent decree resolving the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s lawsuit against the Louisville, Kentucky-based chain was filed on Friday with the U.S. District Court in Boston. [Reuters]

Disconnection and poverty plague thousands of kids in Louisville. Some 160,000 Jefferson County children live in poverty and about 11,400 young people between the ages of 16 and 24 are out of work and not attending school, according to a new report released Wednesday. [WFPL]

It is no fantasy to say the drip-drip-drip of the Trump-Russia investigations is draining this presidency of political capital. The president’s historically high disapproval rating — 51 percent in the latest McClatchy poll — tells the same story. That’s why astute Republicans are starting to look out for themselves. [The Hill]

Madison County took the next step Friday toward fulfilling Judge/Executive Reagan Taylor’s dream for an innovative, comprehensive attack on the substance abuse epidemic. [Richmond Register]

During the first public Senate Intelligence Committee hearing about Russia’s meddling in the presidential election on Thursday, former FBI special agent Clint Watts explained how Russia and the Trump campaign team up to weaponize fake news. [ThinkProgress]

The $28 million construction project for the new Maysville Community and Technical College-Rowan Campus, located in the John Will Stacy MMRC Regional Business Park on KY 801, is on schedule, according to director Russ Ward. [The Morehead News]

The husband-and-wife team of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, now both senior federal government officials, has been alongside Trump as the White House has hosted dozens of chief executives and a handful of world leaders in recent weeks. [NY Times]

Cortni Crews was named assistant superintendent of Barren County Schools at a press conference Friday afternoon at the BCS central office. [Glasgow Daily Times]

At the Boys and Girls Club in this rural city in southern Oklahoma, the director is unsure how he will stay open if Trump’s proposed budget goes through, eliminating money for several staff positions. [WaPo]

The coordinating agency for Kentucky’s public colleges and universities is expected to set a 3 to 5 percent limit on tuition increases for the upcoming school year. [Linda Blackford]

This is what happens when you mix corruption with stupidity. Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt still doesn’t agree with the vast majority of climate scientists who say humans are the primary cause of climate change. [HuffPo]

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Matt Bevin: The Opposite Of Transparent

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Robert Stivers doth protest too much, henny. The only ignorant and arrogant person involved is him. His bigoted self. He’s the kind of coward who fears shaking hands with a gay person. The disgusting, small (obviously not talking about his massive weight) man who spreads good old boy racism and misogyny left and right. [H-L]

The only way to fix this kind of Republican stupidity is with education. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, has challenged the credibility of Science magazine — one of the world’s most respected science publications. “That is not known as an objective writer or magazine,” Smith said during a hearing Wednesday on climate change, which Smith denies. [HuffPo]

It appears Matt Bevin is once again playing a shady game of secrecy and your taxpayer dollars are funding it. [C-J/AKN]

Budget documents released on Politico this week detailing the Trump administration’s proposed budget moving forward into 2017 reveal some horrifying truths, including but not limited to $342 million in cuts to HIV/AIDS prevention and research. [OUT]

University of Louisville Foundation leaders put an end Tuesday to a controversial deferred compensation plan that doled out an extra $20 million to U of L administrators. [WFPL]

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said Sunday that “alarm bells” should go off whenever President Trump calls something “fake,” adding the White House is trying to mislead the country into believing there is no connection between Russian officials and Trump campaign associates. [The Hill]

It looked like a slam dunk, but as the clock ticked past 11:30 p.m. on the final day of the 2017 General Assembly, it suddenly became clear a bill to limit the power of Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear wasn’t going to get a vote. [Ronnie Ellis]

Michael Flynn, Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, failed to disclose payments from a Russian television network and two other firms linked to Russia in a February financial disclosure form, according to documents released by the White House. [Reuters]

A settlement was reached in a civil lawsuit against the Boyd County clerk and fiscal court that alleged a former deputy clerk was terminated under conditions that violated the Kentucky Whistleblower Act. [Ashland Independent]

When Trump welcomes President Xi Jinping of China to his palm-fringed Florida club for two days of meetings on Thursday, the studied informality of the gathering will bear the handiwork of two people: China’s ambassador to Washington and Mr. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. [NY Times]

A man shot his girlfriend in the head then killed himself during a gunfight with police Tuesday night, after a two-day, cross-state crime spree in which they allegedly stabbed an elderly widower to death and stole two cars and a gun, police say. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Republicans know that drug testing before giving poor people access to life-saving health care doesn’t work. So what do they want to do? Drug test people who need Medicaid in order to survive. Now that House Republicans have squandered their shot at reordering Medicaid, governors who want conservative changes in the health program for ­low-income Americans must get special permission from the Trump administration. [WaPo]

Hold on to your wigs, Republicans like Scott Jennings and Brett Guthrie. You shouldn’t tweet out screenshots of your mobile or home internet providers if you don’t want advocacy groups to come for your browsing history. If you’re displeased with the actions of your representatives in Congress, you typically have to wait until the next election to try to hold them accountable. But in light of the recent approval of Senate Joint Resolution 34, voters are fighting back in a more creative way. [H-L]

The failure of Donald Trump and congressional Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act could lead to an ironic result: the expansion of government-run health care. [HuffPo]

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Leave It To Republicans To Ignore Just How Bottom Of The Barrel Things Have Gotten

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The premature death rate improved in 12 Kentucky counties between 1997 and 2014 but got worse in 44 counties, in part because of increasing drug overdoses, according to a report released Wednesday. [H-L]

Of the many questions surrounding House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), and his conduct in investigating President Donald Trump’s ties to Russia, the most puzzling has to be his explanation for his recent visit to the White House grounds. People who have worked in the White House suggest that, on this matter, Nunes and the White House simply aren’t being credible. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin’s administration is seeking to shut down Kentucky’s only abortion provider, prompting a federal lawsuit by the clinic to block the move it says would have “a devastating impact on women.” [C-J/AKN]

FBI Director James Comey attempted to go public as early as the summer of 2016 with information on Russia’s campaign to influence the U.S. presidential election, but Obama administration officials blocked him from doing so, two sources with knowledge of the matter tell Newsweek. [Newsweek]

GET INVOLVED IN WHAT YOUR LOCAL GOVERNMENT IS DOING! Very few residents turned out for a town hall-style meeting Tuesday night at the South Barren Volunteer Fire Station on Steam Mill Road during which some elected and appointed Barren County officials shared information abut their responsibilities. [Glasgow Daily Times]

For the past half century, federal law has banned employers from discriminating against people based on their age. But since the early 1990s, corporate lawyers and conservative judges have sought to shrink what counts as discrimination, making it substantially harder to prove age bias. [ProPublica]

“Killing Coal Country,” a documentary about the decline of the coal industry in Appalachia, will debut at a film festival in Eastern Kentucky early next month. [Ashland Independent]

Trump lifted an Obama-era moratorium on new coal leases on public lands, but critics say it will benefit executives, not workers. [ThinkProgress]

Kentucky lawmakers gave final passage to another round of major education reform Wednesday which is aimed at changing how schools are held accountable for student achievement and how teachers are evaluated. [Ronnie Ellis]

Grifters gonna grift. Ivanka Trump, the elder daughter of President Trump, is becoming an official government employee, joining her husband in serving as an unpaid adviser to her father in the White House. [NY Times]

Dr. Joseph “Jay” Morgan is officially Morehead State University’s 14th President. Morgan’s first day as President will be July 1. [The Morehead News]

If you think Paul Ryan is a policy wonk, you likely also believe the Bible is a work of science. [WaPo]

Elliott County’s fiscal court mismanaged its spending, debts and recordkeeping during fiscal 2015, state Auditor Mike Harmon said in a report released Tuesday. [John Cheves]

By undoing the Clean Power Plan, the Trump administration is putting projected carbon emissions back on an upward trajectory. It is also abandoning any hope of meeting the U.S. emissions reduction targets set out in 2015 in the 195-country Paris Agreement, the first global climate pact to include China and the U.S., the world’s top polluters. [HuffPo]

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