McConnell Doesn’t Want To Do Anything

Is he the most dishonest person on earth or just the laziest? In 2018, at least 26 students have died in five school shootings in America. Two of those deaths came in a shooting at Marshall County High School in Kentucky. [H-L]

It’s hard to see the sky from Mitch Whitaker’s back porch. The mountainside, lush and green on a summer day, rises almost vertically. When Whitaker was a teenager, the top of it was blown off and the land was mined for coal. In the years since, native grasses have grown back and deer have returned. He and a few buddies now run a remote-controlled airplane club up there. Some hunt, have picnics and hike with their grandkids. But things are set to change here in rural Roxana, Kentucky. [HuffPo]

In a blow to Matt Bevin’s effort to reshape Kentucky’s Medicaid program, a federal judge has struck down his plan to require some people to meet strict new requirements including working or volunteering and paying monthly premiums in order to get health coverage through Medicaid. [C-J/AKN]

As a meeting last August in the Oval Office to discuss sanctions on Venezuela was concluding, Donald Trump turned to his top aides and asked an unsettling question: With a fast unraveling Venezuela threatening regional security, why can’t the U.S. just simply invade the troubled country? [AP]

Stories like this that glorify Mitch McConnell’s bullshit with Supreme Court nominees only serves to keep Eastern Kentuckians ignorant. [Ashland Independent]

Embattled Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt directly appealed to Donald Trump this spring to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions and let him run the Department of Justice instead, according to three people familiar with the proposal. In an Oval Office conversation with Trump, Pruitt offered to temporarily replace Sessions for 210 days under the Vacancies Reform Act, telling the President he would return to Oklahoma afterward to run for office. [CNN]

When the 2018-19 school year begins, Glasgow Independent Schools will have a resource officer in each of its schools, GIS Superintendent Keith Hale said during the board of education’s special-called meeting Tuesday at the central office, adding that he appreciates the board’s commitment to school safety. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Tackling an issue that Congress has largely ignored for decades, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee voted Thursday to request $50 million in new funding for programs aimed at reducing the comparatively high U.S. rate of women who die in pregnancy or childbirth. [ProPublica]

Donald Trump’s desire to help boost the Ohio Valley’s energy industry and bring back mining jobs could be stymied by the administration’s escalating trade battle with China and other trading partners across the globe. [WFPL]

The Trump administration will encourage the nation’s school superintendents and college presidents to adopt race-blind admissions standards, abandoning an Obama administration policy that called on universities to consider race as a factor in diversifying their campuses, Trump administration officials said. [NY Times]

Warren County Public Schools continues to see significant gaps in test scores for students who are African-American, Hispanic, English learners, disabled and those who qualify for free and reduced lunch, according to a report recently released by the district. [BGDN]

Finally, a family separation story with a happy ending. It’s not the sort of family separation that has been in the headlines lately. [WaPo]

Andy Barr said Monday he supports Kentucky’s ability to determine who receives Medicaid benefits, a day after the Bevin administration eliminated access to vision and dental coverage for 460,000 Kentuckians on Medicaid. [H-L]

Racists gonna racist. Donald Trump’s administration is planning to undo policies that would encourage race as a factor in college admissions, according to news reports. [HuffPo]

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Massive Republican Tax Increase Is Live

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Married couple Jim Fryman and Roger Wright found a spot under a shady tree near the stage Saturday to watch activities of Lexington’s 11th annual Pride Festival that attracted 25,000 to 30,000 people. [H-L]

At least 20 new mining claims totaling about 460 acres have been staked on land Donald Trump removed from national monument protection late last year. [HuffPo]

From pet grooming to car repairs, limo rentals to fitness classes, a range of services will start charging sales tax beginning Sunday thanks to a law that zipped through the General Assembly this legislative session. [C-J/AKN]

A Trump administration appointee to the State Department tore into standard UN documents that condemn racism as a threat to democracy. [CNN]

Gilbert “Toby” Curtsinger, the only defendant to receive jail time in connection to the theft of a large quantity of bourbon from two local distilleries, was granted shock probation by Franklin County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Wingate on Friday. [State-Journal]

Holy shit, Donald Trump is dumb. U.S. intelligence agencies believe that North Korea has increased its production of fuel for nuclear weapons at multiple secret sites in recent months — and that Kim Jong Un may try to hide those facilities as he seeks more concessions in nuclear talks with the Trump administration, U.S. officials told NBC News. [NBC News]

A federal judge has blocked Kentucky’s work requirements for Medicaid and has ordered the Trump administration to reconsider the program. [WKYT]

Tens of thousands of protesters marched in cities across the United States on Saturday to demand the Trump administration reverse an immigration crackdown that has separated children from parents at the U.S-Mexico border and led to plans for military-run detention camps. [Reuters]

Matt Bevin’s attorneys are asking a Kentucky judge to rule on lingering legal questions surrounding a new public pension law before the case goes to the state’s highest court. [Richmond Register]

These Trump staffers – including an ex-NRA lobbyist – left their financial disclosure forms blank. [ProPublica]

Thanks to shitbag Republicans, of course. The fundraising plans for Kentucky nonprofits have just changed. [Ashland Independent]

For Malaysian factories that make light-emitting diodes, it is an opportunity. For American makers of outboard boat motors, it is a threat. For the biggest sellers of flat-screen televisions, it is a nuisance. The emerging trade war between the United States and China has prompted predictions of severe economic and geopolitical disruption. [NY Times]

It was a unique experiment in Jacksonian America: A federally funded school where for 23 years more than 600 Native American young men and boys from 17 tribes came to study together with a few whites and be served by black slaves. [Tom Eblen]

Many of the migrant children who remain separated from their parents will have to appear in immigration courts alone and are at greater risk of deportation. [HuffPo]

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Want Kentucky To Survive? Vote Against Republicans No Matter What. There’s No Other Option In 2018.

Preservationists are alarmed that the owner of one of Bourbon County’s oldest houses — built by a Revolutionary War officer in the late 1700s — has said he will demolish it soon if he cannot find a buyer. [Tom Eblen]

Why the American Dream no longer includes home ownership. Before Karyn Chylewski and her husband got married, they spent several adventurous years together traveling and sharing new experiences. Once the Gen-Xers tied the knot, buying a house seemed like the obvious next step. [HuffPo]

In the early 2000s, Iroquois Middle School had a reputation for being tough. The conditions also led to high rates of teacher turnover, and the instability caused by staff churn ultimately harmed students, Vowels said. [C-J/AKN]

The secrets are hidden behind fortified walls in cities across the United States, inside towering, windowless skyscrapers and fortress-like concrete structures that were built to withstand earthquakes and even nuclear attack. [The Intercept]

Whether the Supreme Court affirms a lower court ruling that a pension reform bill violates the state constitution or not, one key lawmaker says the court’s ruling won’t alter the financial stress of the state’s public pension problems or the need to do something about it. [Ronnie Ellis]

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis denied on Tuesday former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s request to dismiss the case the special counsel Robert Mueller brought against him in Virginia. [TPM]

Welp, this is probably going to end badly for journalism in Kentucky. CNHI, LLC, one of the country’s leading providers of local news and owner of The Daily Independent, said Monday it is exploring the sale of its newspaper properties in 22 states. [Ashland Independent]

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday imposed limits on the ability of police to obtain cellphone data pinpointing the past location of criminal suspects in a major victory for digital privacy advocates and a setback for law enforcement authorities. [Reuters]

The Horse Cave City Council approved on second reading an ordinance on June 11 adopting the city’s budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The chaotic process of reuniting thousands of migrant children and parents separated by the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy poses great psychological risks, both short- and long-term, mental health experts said on Friday. So does holding those families indefinitely while they await legal proceedings, which could happen under the president’s new executive order. [NY Times]

The Bevin Administration knew this was occurring long before the bribery trial but chose to do nothing. The Bevin folks won’t do anything positive for Kentucky unless they’re forced to by the feds. [WFPL]

Donald Trump is so stupid he doesn’t realize that tariffs are taxes. And Harley should sue his orange ass. [WaPo]

Friday’s partial collapse of a Bardstown rickhouse containing 20,000 barrels of Barton 1792 bourbon will lead to a fine to the distillery’s owner, a state official said Monday. [H-L]

When the news broke last week that migrant children from Central America are being housed in an old Walmart in Brownsville, Texas, it was just the latest indication that the U.S. is fast turning into some kind of dystopian hellscape. [HuffPo]

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Kentucky Republicans Are The Real Tax-And-Spend Government Nightmares

Tax-and-spend Republicans love to give their wealthy, horse-owning pals tax breaks. While choking the average Kentuckian with massive tax increases on vehicle repairs, veterinary services and ways to stay healthy. If cowards like Chris “Cool With Domestic Violence If It’s My Running Mate” McDaniel and Steve Rudy truly believed in the free market, this taxation would apply across the board and not just to the working class. [H-L]

These are the asylum seekers the new racist US government is turning away. Aracely Martinez Yanez, 33, knows she’s one of the lucky ones. A deep scar that carves a line through her scalp, from crown to cheek, is proof of that fortune. [HuffPo]

Being a black student in Jefferson County Public Schools means you likely won’t get the most experienced teachers in your classrooms. [C-J/AKN]

They cheer when people they’re bigoted against don’t get served in restaurants. White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said on Saturday that she had been asked to leave a Virginia restaurant the night before because she worked for Donald Trump. [Reuters]

Ten Madison County banks have come together to pledge support for the Madison County Community Fund, a charitable endowment established by local citizens to support civic and charitable causes in Madison County. [Richmond Register]

The US Navy is reportedly planning to build sprawling immigrant detention centres on military bases, amid a Trump crackdown at the US-Mexico border. [BBC]

Tiny houses are a big thing these days, and vocational students at Lawrence County High School may get a chance this fall to get in on the trend. [Ashland Independent]

Maybe it’s because they’ve never been worth that much? Visits to Donald Trump’s hotels and resorts by the president and people seeking to influence him have been seen as boons for his business empire, but his real estate business seems to be stagnating. Since he took office, there have been few big property sales for the Trump Organization. Now the president’s company appears to have pulled its most luxurious offering off the market, after it lingered unsold for years. [Mother Jones]

The Housing Authority of Glasgow has the option of converting apartments it now rents through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s public housing program to another HUD program called the Rental Assistance Demonstration program. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The mayor of this Texas border city has been dealing with a crisis. This week, he declared a state of emergency. Drones filled the skies and emergency vehicles raced down the streets. But none of it had anything to do with illegal immigration. It had to do with the weather. [NY Times]

Hundreds of protesters gathered in front of the federal courthouse in downtown Louisville Thursday to voice opposition to the Trump Administration’s treatment of migrant families along the southern border. [WFPL]

Philip G. Alston arrived in Washington last fall on a mission from the United Nations Human Rights Council to document poverty in America. At his first meeting, Alston said he was told by a senior State Department official that his findings may influence the United States’ membership in the human rights body. “A senior official said to me my report could be a factor in whether the U.S. decided or not to stay in the council,” said Alston, U.N. special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, who declined to name the official. “I think I was being sent a message.” [WaPo]

A large portion of a bourbon barrel storage facility at Barton 1792 Distillery in Bardstown collapsed Friday, according to the company. [H-L]

MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough didn’t mince words Friday morning: He called Donald Trump “openly racist” and said that, by extension, so are his supporters. [HuffPo]

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Bevin’s Ignorance Harms KY Bourbon

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A day after Gov. Matt Bevin dismissed European tariffs on Kentucky bourbon as harmless, U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, R-Lexington, met with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to share distillers’ concerns over exports. Barr said Friday that Bevin is wrong about the lack of impact. [H-L]

Longtime conservative columnist George Will is making a case against voting for Republicans in November’s 2018 midterm elections, arguing that House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and other GOP members of Congress “have become the president’s poodles.” [HuffPo]

Kentucky, your governor is compromised. It’s got nothing to do with Russians controlling him from behind the old Iron Curtain. No, the influence is coming from behind the Aluminum Curtain. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump’s controversial child separation policy is being carried out with the help of private businesses who have received millions of dollars in government contracts to help run the shelters where young migrants are being held away from their parents. [Yahoo]

Matt Bevin Thursday once again attacked a Franklin Circuit Judge who the previous day struck down as unconstitutional a pension reform bill passed with little public notice in the 2018 General Assembly. [Ronnie Ellis]

The U.S. Supreme Court, winding down its nine-month term, will issue rulings this week in its few remaining cases including a major one on the legality of Donald Trump’s ban on people from five Muslim-majority nations entering the country. [Reuters]

Dozens of people streamed in and out of the Steelworkers Hall on a cool April night in Ashland, Kentucky in the hills of Appalachia, where working class roots run as deep as the threads of coal that have supported the region for generations. [Ashland Independent]

Betsy DeVos has scuttled more than 1,200 civil rights probes inherited from the Obama Administration. These people are monsters. [ProPublica]

Charlotte Beals, chairperson of the Barren County School Board, announced Thursday evening after adjourning the board’s monthly meeting that she was relinquishing her position on the school board because her daughter, Catherine Beals, is being hired by the district. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The House of Representatives narrowly passed the farm bill Thursday afternoon 213-211, with 20 Republicans joining all Democrats in voting no. The House version of the farm bill dramatically cuts funding for food stamps, officially known as Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP). [ThinkProgress]

No, it’s not effective. At some point in their careers, most Kentucky state government employees are required to take “anti-harassment training.” [WFPL]

Special counsel Robert Mueller is asking that George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, be sentenced in September on the false-statement felony charge he pleaded guilty to last fall. [Politico]

One of the nation’s largest hedge funds is cutting ties with Kentucky Retirement Systems, telling the state pension agency to withdraw its $68.7 million investment because it does not care for the scrutiny hedge funds are getting in Kentucky. [H-L]

Oh, look, Donald Trump duped some brown people so he’s totally not racist. That’s how the Trump base (translate: racists) feel. [HuffPo]

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Kentucky Bourbon’s Getting Shafted By The EU, Thanks To Republican Stupidity, Beginning Today

Thousands of years ago, humans set up camp in the Daniel Boone National Forest. They made fires, cooked meals and made tools — then they left. Now, EKU students, in collaboration with the U.S. Forest Service, are retracing their steps. [H-L]

Rudy Giuliani says FBI agents interviewed him in his room at the Trump International Hotel earlier this year regarding his 2016 remarks predicting a “surprise” in the closing days of the presidential race that would benefit then-Republican nominee Donald Trump. [HuffPo]

Former Louisville men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino “forced open doors into his long-standing pattern and practice of inappropriate behavior” with his lawsuit against the university, attorneys for the University of Louisville Athletic Association said Monday. [C-J/AKN]

This is still hilarious – I don’t care how badly the guy got his ass beat. A federal judge on Friday sentenced a Kentucky man to 30 days in prison for assaulting U.S. Senator Rand Paul in an attack last November that left the politician with several broken ribs, prosecutors said. [Reuters]

Salisa Luster Harrison told police that she lay in her apartment for two days, beaten, bruised and unconscious, after being raped in 2008. In the days and weeks that followed, Harrison expected her rapist to be brought to justice. Ten years later, she’s still waiting. [WFPL]

ProPublica has obtained audio from inside a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility, in which children can be heard wailing as an agent jokes, “We have an orchestra here.” [ProPublica]

Throwback to Matt Bevin and the Republicans trying to kill this important institution. The Morehead News has determined that a proposed $25,000 grant from the Morehead Tourism Commission apparently is the final piece of a local funding package to keep Morehead State University’s Kentucky Folk Art Center operating for at least another year. [The Morehead News]

One day in late May 2016, Roger Stone — the political dark sorcerer and longtime confidant of Donald Trump — slipped into his Jaguar and headed out to meet a man with a Make America Great Again hat and a viscous Russian accent. Stone and Caputo’s interactions with Greenberg mean that at least 11 Trump associates or campaign officials have acknowledged interactions with a Russian during the election season or presidential transition. Those interactions have become public in the year and a half since a Trump spokeswoman said that no one associated with the campaign had communications with Russians or other foreign entities. [WaPo]

A budget that includes $75,000 to help the county operate the animal shelter had first reading heard by the Richmond City Commission last week. [Richmond Register]

A few years ago, the US announcing it would abandon the UN Human Rights Council would have been unthinkable. But today, as most of the world — including the UN human rights chief — recoils in horror at the US government’s treatment of migrant children, “inevitable” feels more accurate. The truth is, this is the right time for the US to step away from its seat at the Human Rights Council, as UN Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley announced Tuesday. Under the Trump administration, the United States cannot perform the role that the world needs it to, marshaling allies — especially the members of the G7 that Trump has alienated — to push forward a clear view of universal values in the council’s resolutions. Right now, we’ve made it difficult to get even Canada on our side. [BuzzFeed]

A $50 per year fee appended to property tax bills will replace phone surcharges to fund the Boyd County 911 system. [Ashland Independent]

The European Union will begin charging import duties of 25 percent on a range of U.S. products on Friday, in response to U.S tariffs imposed on EU steel and aluminum early this month, the European Commission said on Wednesday. [Reuters]

The Lexington parking authority could lose more than $200,000 a year when the University of Kentucky takes control of all or parts of more than a dozen streets in coming years as part of a swap that would give the city more than 250 acres of land for economic development. [H-L]

Actor George Takei, who was sent to a Japanese prison camp with his family during World War II, said immigrant detention centers that separate migrant children from their parents are worse than what he experienced. [HuffPo]

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Surprise! Mitch McConnell Wants To Kill The Mueller Investigation

Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd struck down Kentucky’s controversial new public pension law Wednesday. [H-L]

Julian Carroll is a confirmed monster and the fact that neither the Kentucky Democratic Party nor the Republican Party of Kentucky care to oust him is damning. [More H-L]

Conservative groups that promote themselves as “pro-life” and “pro-family” are quietly supporting the Trump administration policy of separating immigrant children from their parents at the border, or refusing to weigh in at all. [HuffPo]

Opposition to Donald Trump’s controversial policy of separating migrant children from their parents at the border crossed partisan lines Tuesday as Sen. Mitch McConnell and U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth said they would support plans to fix the problem. [C-J/AKN]

The Trump administration has likely lost track of nearly 6,000 unaccompanied migrant children, thousands more than lawmakers were alerted to last month, according to a McClatchy review of federal data. [McClatchy]

As Paul Trickel approached the front entrance of the Kentucky state Capitol Monday, he observed three people enter without incident. [Ronnie Ellis]

Just a reminder that Mitch McConnell is trying to kill the Mueller investigation. [The Hill]

Ashland City Commisioner Matt Perkins believes thousands of dollars the city pays annually to elected leaders for vehicle allowances should be re-allocated to help fund the cost of Boyd County’s new animal shelter. [Ashland Independent]

It’s a fundamental part of representative government: Politicians are elected to advocate for their constituents, and not their own interests. But in many states, laws and ethics rules allow representatives to advance bills that would benefit their own financial interests, as well. [ProPublica]

For decades, Kentucky’s own coal stoked the fires that generated most of its electricity. And while some of those power plants have shut down or switched to natural gas, their legacy remains today in the leftover coal ash that’s stored all over the commonwealth. [WFPL]

Donald Trump on Saturday repeated his false assertion that Democrats were responsible for his administration’s policy of separating migrant families apprehended at the border, sticking to a weekslong refusal to publicly accept responsibility for a widely condemned practice that has become a symbol of his crackdown on illegal immigration. [NY Times]

Barren County Fiscal Court approved the second reading of its budget ordinance Tuesday with only two sources of discussion – a summary by the judge-executive of some of the notable changes and expenses and one commentary during the public hearing portion of the court’s regular meeting. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The economy is not robust or wonderful. The average hourly wage paid to a key group of American workers has fallen from last year when accounting for inflation, as an economy that appears strong by several measures continues to fail to create bigger paychecks, the federal government said Tuesday. [WaPo]

A Pike County man who previously pleaded guilty to shooting his brother last June is back in police custody after, Kentucky State Police say, he shot his brother again Thursday. [H-L]

New Republicanism is a disease. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley will announce on Tuesday that the United States is withdrawing from the United Nations Human Rights Council, a Trump administration source told Reuters. [HuffPo]

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