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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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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Another Day, Another Frankfort FBI Investigation Because Kentucky = Corruption

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The FBI is conducting an anti-trust investigation into state contractors involving road work. [H-L]

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) began an all-night protest on the Senate floor late Tuesday, promising to speak “as long as I’m able” in protest of the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. [HuffPo]

They carried black coat-hangers and signs that said things like “Think outside my box.” And they chanted slogans like “Mister, mister, hands off my sister” and “My body, my choice.” [C-J/AKN]

It was no secret during the campaign that Donald Trump was a narcissist and a demagogue who used fear and dishonesty to appeal to the worst in American voters. The Times called him unprepared and unsuited for the job he was seeking, and said his election would be a “catastrophe.” Still, nothing prepared us for the magnitude of this train wreck. [LA Times]

A summit on addiction held last winter at the University of Louisville has produced a slew of recommendations for overcoming the heroin and opioid epidemic in Kentucky. [WFPL]

A couple of weeks ago, for the first time ever, I represented an undocumented worker in deportation proceedings. Or rather, I tried to. My attempts to navigate this system were not what I would call successful. Part of this may be due to the fact that, though I have been a practicing attorney for 10 years, this was my first go at immigration law. But another part of it—most of it, I’d venture—is due to the fact that the U.S. immigration system is designed to be opaque, confusing, and inequitable. [Dan Canon in Slate]

Madison Circuit Judge William G. Clouse on Monday ordered a year’s delay in the trial of Raleigh Sizemore and Gregory Ratliff in the murder of Richmond Police Officer Daniel Ellis. [Richmond Register]

For years, Tammy and Joseph Pavlic tried to ignore the cracked ceiling in their living room, the growing hole next to their shower and the deteriorating roof they feared might one day give out. Mr. Pavlic worked for decades installing and repairing air-conditioning and heating units, but three years ago, with multiple sclerosis advancing, he had to leave his job. [NY Times]

Even in a state with a long history of tobacco culture and a high percentage of smokers, public support for a statewide smoking ban is growing. [Ronnie Ellis]

Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, is currently in Iraq as a White House envoy in a further expansion of his role as shadow diplomat. [WaPo]

The two families who actually showed up Monday morning to protest in front of the Barren County Courthouse had their own sets of circumstances to work through with the state agency that investigates child abuse allegations, but their stories had one thing in common: They don’t like the way the job has been done. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The United Arab Emirates arranged a secret meeting in January between Blackwater founder Erik Prince and a Russian close to President Vladi­mir Putin as part of an apparent effort to establish a back-channel line of communication between Moscow and President-elect Donald Trump, according to U.S., European and Arab officials. Prince’s sister Betsy DeVos serves as education secretary in the Trump administration. [More WaPo]

The Kentucky State University Foundation has paid nearly $85,000 to a Washington, D.C. public relations firm that reports only to the Kentucky State University Board of Regents, working independently of the president and the school’s public relations staff. [H-L]

Ten weeks after the Trump administration unceremoniously pushed out several top-level State Department officials, their positions remain unfilled, and more than half of the positions listed on the agency’s leadership chart are vacant or occupied by temporary acting officials. [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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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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Republicans: Still Lying About Coal Jobs

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For more than a week, State Rep. Adam Koenig, R-Erlanger, has been fielding calls and emails from first-responders asking him why he sponsored a bill that would strip them of their workers’ compensation benefits. [H-L]

Lawyers for President Donald Trump tried to prevent former acting Attorney General Sally Yates from testifying before the House Intelligence Committee on links between Trump campaign staff and Russian officials. [HuffPo]

Leave it to backward-ass teabagger Republican, Marilyn Parker, to try to weaken Louisville’s smoking ban. She, like most Kentucky Republicans, reinforces the notion that conservatives in the Commonwealth are dumb as hell. (Because she’s really dumb as hell. She only wound up on council because the Democrats couldn’t get their shit together.) [C-J/AKN]

The Houston man laid out the details of his triumphant plan during a podcast last July: He told listeners that he had wanted to paste white nationalist fliers across the city’s downtown, and, just as importantly, he had wanted the Free Press, a local news and arts website, to write about the fliers. [ProPublica]

The first thing a visitor saw at the second-grade classroom door Friday was a diminutive hand stuck out for a shake. [Ashland Independent]

Trump repealed the so-called “blacklisting rule” Monday that required federal contractors to disclose labor violations. [The Hill]

A public financing method used as a subsidy for redevelopment, infrastructure, and other community-improvement projects is moving forward after both involved entities passed the first reading of the ordinance this month. [The Morehead News]

Matt Bevin and the Republican Party of Kentucky are lying to you about Trump’s anti-environment efforts bringing back coal jobs. They’re not coming back. [NY Times]

The first thing I see when I walk into Karen Blanton’s home is a pair of rhinestone-studded ruby slippers criss-crossed on the mantle. [WFPL]

Really, the Republican Party of Kentucky continues to lie to you about coal jobs. They’re never coming back. [WaPo]

When state coffers were flush in the 1990s, lawmakers were happy to sweeten the pie for state workers and retirees, adding cost of living adjustments and other enhancements to their retirement benefits. [Ronnie Ellis]

Here’s a mainstream outlet calling Trump out for trying to take credit for something Ford announced long ago. [Reuters]

Fayette County school board member Doug Barnett, an attorney, says school district officials should consider challenging the constitutionality of the law that will allow charter schools in Kentucky for the first time. This is apparently the most in-depth charters reporting you’re ever going to get from Valarie Honeycutt Spears. [H-L]

The Affordable Care Act overcame the tea party protests of 2009 and the Democrats losing their filibuster-proof Senate majority in 2010. It survived two challenges in front of the Supreme Court and the calamitous rollout of healthcare.gov. [HuffPo]

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Republicans Have Caused Another Lawsuit

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The Kentucky State University faculty senate voted Thursday by a wide margin to express no confidence in Board of Regents Chairwoman Karen Bearden and narrowly voted to express no confidence in the entire KSU Board of Regents. [Linda Blackford]

Donald Trump likes to call his Mar-a-Lago golf resort the “Winter White House” but there may be more presidential putts than meetings occurring at the get-away destination. It’s difficult to know for certain because the private club can keep the president’s activities hidden from the public — and the media. [HuffPo]

Kentucky Republicans are some of the most backward, idiotic people on the planet. And that’s saying a lot when you remember that people like Donald Trump and Sarah Palin exist. The mayor’s office on Monday said Louisville’s waste management district has sued Kentucky over a new law that remakes how solid waste and recycling are regulated across the city and Jefferson County. [C-J/AKN]

Gina Haspel, President Trump’s choice for the CIA’s number two position, was more deeply involved in the torture of Abu Zubaydah than has been publicly understood, according to newly available records and accounts by participants. [ProPublica]

The nine-hole golf course at Carter Caves State Resort Park will close permanently April 2, victim of underuse and increasing costs, a state parks spokesman said. [Ashland Independent]

About 40 minutes after Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch began his second day of testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, all eight of the justices he hopes to join said a major disability decision Gorsuch wrote in 2008 was wrong. [ThinkProgress]

The attorney hired by the Glasgow City Council to unseat three members of the board of directors for the Glasgow Electric Plant Board was delivering on Friday afternoon a written memo to the parties involved and the press in lieu of being part of Monday’s regular council meeting. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Senate investigators plan to question Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and a close adviser, as part of their broad inquiry into ties between Trump associates and Russian officials or others linked to the Kremlin, according to administration and congressional officials. [NY Times]

A civic organization dedicated to meeting various community needs that was disbanded in the early 2000s is officially making a return to Rowan County. [The Morehead News]

Since President Donald Trump’s election, monthly lectures on social justice at the 600-seat Gothic chapel of New York’s Union Theological Seminary have been filled to capacity with crowds three times what they usually draw. [Reuters]

House Speaker Paul Ryan announced Friday that the Republican plan to replace Obamacare would not get a vote, to the delight of one of Kentucky’s U.S. senators and dismay of the other. [WFPL]

The Senate Intelligence Committee will reportedly question White House adviser Jared Kushner as part of its probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. [The Hill]

This is what passes as reporting on the education front in Kentucky. And you wonder why the Commonwealth remains in the dark ages. [H-L]

Quietly, while Americans have been focused on the ongoing drama over repealing the Affordable Care Act and the new revelations about the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, President Trump has been busy dramatically expanding the American troop presence inside Syria. And virtually no one in Washington has noticed. Americans have a right to know what Trump is planning and whether this will lead to an Iraq-style occupation of Syria for years to come. [HuffPo]

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