Rand Paul Is Supporting Treason

Rand Paul and Donald Trump are now best friends, as the Kentucky Republican has become a rare ray of GOP support for the embattled president. [H-L]

Former President Barack Obama offered a sobering and alarming view of the state of the world in what appeared to be a rebuke of Donald Trump, warning that nationalist and populist sentiments are making their way into the mainstream. [HuffPo]

Former University of Louisville President James Ramsey resigned under pressure a mere 27 days into the 2016-17 fiscal year, but he was still the nation’s highest-paid public college president that year. [C-J/AKN]

Special counsel Robert Mueller wants to give a form of immunity to five potential witnesses against former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort, according to court papers filed Tuesday. [NBC News]

Greenup County is one step closer to requiring Hepatitis A vaccinations for all food service workers in the county. [Ashland Independent]

Two security experts from the Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory drove to San Antonio, Texas, in March 2017 with a sensitive mission: to retrieve dangerous nuclear materials from a nonprofit research lab there. Their task, according to documents and interviews, was to ensure that the radioactive materials did not fall into the wrong hands on the way back to Idaho, where the government maintains a stockpile of nuclear explosive materials for the military and others. [CPI]

The Cave City Tourist and Convention Commission’s board of directors voted Monday during a special-called meeting to accept the resignation of executive director Sharon Tabor after meeting in closed session to discuss a personnel issue. [Glasgow Daily Times]

This data conclusively debunks the myth of conservative censorship on Facebook. We studied Facebook pages that post content about American political news. Conservatives are not being censored — in fact, right-wing Facebook pages are thriving. [MMFA]

The Glasgow City Council is putting $100,000 toward a construction project expected to alleviate one of motorists’ most pervasive headaches. City officials hope additional funding can be attained through a federal grant. [BGDN]

The same Russian military intelligence service now accused of disrupting the 2016 presidential election in America may also be responsible for the nerve agent attack in Britain against a former Russian spy — an audacious poisoning that led to a geopolitical confrontation this spring between Moscow and the West. [NY Times]

What the hell is wrong with JK McKnight giving STEVE HENRY money for an organization that was caught up in his (Henry’s) guilty pleas in 2009? People are stupid. Really stupid. Henry’s various “foundations” and campaign funds were used for his personal gain. He made three Alford Pleas. The IRS came for him over the Rosemary Clooney House. Yet these jackasses still think it’s safe to give him money. Stupid, stupid, stupid. [WFPL]

A Russian national with alleged ties to a top Russian official was charged in federal court in Washington Monday with conspiracy to act as an agent of the Russian Federation, and was ordered held without bond. Butina is accused of developing relationships with American politicians and a “gun rights organization,” none of which are named in the affidavit supporting the criminal complaint. She began reaching out to NRA members and other American gun enthusiasts in 2013. Butina also attended an NRA convention in May 2016, where a Republican operative named Paul Erickson worked to get Torshin a meeting with Trump. [WaPo]

State budget officials recently divided up $31 million in state funding between Kentucky’s public universities, but Morehead State University, Kentucky State University and four Eastern Kentucky community colleges each got zero. [H-L]

The labyrinth of cables and hardware that supports the internet is likely to be flooded with saltwater as sea levels rise over the next 15 years, submerging thousands of miles of underground infrastructure, particularly in coastal cities. [HuffPo]

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Another Bevin Administration Scandal

Lexington has been chosen as one of 10 places nationwide where federal authorities will take part in a special enforcement program aimed at curbing distribution of synthetic opioids, powerful painkilling drugs that have helped drive up overdose deaths in Kentucky. [H-L]

You don’t have to believe there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to see this clearly: When Vladimir Putin and his top military intelligence officers facilitated the hacking of the computer systems of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign, they engaged in an act of war against the United States. [HuffPo]

The state’s former top social services official says a colleague sexually harassed her and she was discriminated against at the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, allegations the cabinet says are unsubstantiated. Adria Johnson, who resigned June 4, made the allegations in her resignation letter and a subsequent June 11 letter from her lawyer, Thomas Clay, according to copies of the documents the Courier Journal obtained through an open records request. [C-J/AKN]

Shortly before Donald Trump detonated a NATO summit, shanked the beleaguered British prime minister and prepped for a face-to-face love session with Vladimir Putin, his White House quietly divested itself of a senior official hawkish on Russia and bullish on the transatlantic military alliance. [TDB]

For 10 years, Liberty Place has been a beacon in the night for many women who have faced drug or alcohol addiction. [Richmond Register]

Long-struggling U.S. gambling industries hope to cash in on newly legal sports betting, but the growing wave of electronic and mobile gaming choices is considered more likely to change the face of those businesses rather than revive them. [Reuters]

A proposed doubling of the payroll tax in Raceland has staffers in the Raceland-Worthington School District up in arms, but city officials say there is no other way to get money it needs to pay bills. Teachers, administrators and support workers in the school district dispute the fairness of the tax because many don’t live in the city and they believe Raceland is using them as a cash cow. [Ashland Independent]

Donald Trump pardoned two Oregon ranchers Tuesday, firing a new salvo in a complicated culture war previously marked by air-mailed sex toys, nuanced disputes over the management of public lands, and a police shootout that killed a would-be leader of a modern crackpot revolution. [ThinkProgress]

Morehead State University President Jay Morgan reported to the institution’s Board of Regents last month that he had to cut nearly $11 million in personnel costs to balance the budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year. [The Morehead News]

When President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia sits down with Donald Trump in Helsinki, Finland, on Monday for a meeting he has long wanted, he will already have accomplished virtually everything he could reasonably hope for. [NY Times]

Jimmy Tosh sells a lot of pigs. He is owner and CEO of Tosh Farms, Tosh Pork, and Bacon By Gosh, in Henry County, Tennessee, and has 84 contracted barns in the region where farmers grow pigs for his products. [WFPL]

Scott Pruitt was known inside the Environmental Protection Agency’s headquarters for sipping $10 organic juice infused with kale, sporting Ferragamo shoes with his Hickey Freeman suits, and making biblical references in texts and conversations with aides. [WaPo]

A judge has barred the removal of signs that KentuckyOne Health paid to have at Rupp Arena as the University of Kentucky’s marketing partner tries to kick the hospital company out. [H-L]

Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin were welcomed to Helsinki, Finland, with a potent message about the importance of press freedom ahead of their bilateral summit. [HuffPo]

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Matt Bevin Continues His Losing Streak

PEE ALERT PEE ALERT PEE ALERT PEE ALERT! Why can’t candidates get their ridiculous egos in check? Neither Elridge nor Scott will be governor. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. [H-L]

Surprise! The idiot who couldn’t name a single newspaper got duped. Former Fox News pundit and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin confirmed on Tuesday that she was duped into an interview with a disguised Sacha Baron Cohen for his upcoming TV show. [HuffPo]

Wondering what could go wrong when you hire nothing but disconnected outsiders who don’t truly care or know about the communities in which they work? This reporter completely whitewashed one of the bigger Louisville scandals involving racism and anti-Semitism. [C-J/AKN]

Perpetually in jeopardy, the use of racial preferences in college admissions is under greater threat than ever. [ProPublica]

Attorney General Andy Beshear filed suit Thursday in Madison Circuit Court alleging that a St. Louis-based pharmaceutical company “made a conscious decision” to profit from sales of opioid drugs in Kentucky which knew were addictive. [Ronnie Ellis]

Uh, Hancock and Lyon Counties are not in Eastern Kentucky. What a disaster of an article about KentuckyWired. [ThinkProgress]

How voters define traditional values is playing a role in how they vote. Morgan Mullins, 32, a registered Democrat, says values are important, but vary by individual. [The Morehead News]

China said it is “shocked” after the US announced plans for fresh tariffs, escalating a trade war between the two countries. [BBC]

Keeping a closer eye on spending is something the Glasgow-Barren County Tourist and Convention Commissioners will have to do this fiscal year. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A resolution to encourage breast-feeding was expected to be approved quickly and easily by the hundreds of government delegates who gathered this spring in Geneva for the United Nations-affiliated World Health Assembly. Then the United States delegation, embracing the interests of infant formula manufacturers, upended the deliberations. [NY Times]

A judge has denied Matt Bevin’s request to reconsider a ruling that struck down changes to Kentucky’s pension system, which were originally set to go into effect this weekend. [WFPL]

Bigots of a feather. The wife of Bill Shine, the new White House deputy chief of staff for communications, has come under scrutiny for racially charged remarks and unfounded medical theories posted to her Twitter account. [WaPo]

Supervisors who were supposed to help safeguard the health of miners at two Kentucky coal mines conspired to cheat on testing for dust that can cause debilitating black-lung disease, a federal grand jury has charged. [H-L]

The Trump administration’s campaign to undermine the Affordable Care Act notched another achievement Tuesday. This time, the agency that runs the health insurance exchanges is slashing funds for organizations that help people to shop for coverage, forcing the groups to make do with about one-fourth of the federal funding they got for this year’s open enrollment. [HuffPo]

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It’s Time To Kill The Death Penalty

Mitch McConnell was upbeat the night after Justice Anthony Kennedy announced he was retiring from the Supreme Court. [H-L]

Last week, at a New York Times event at UCLA, the dean of the university’s Luskin School of Public Affairs jarred several Times reporters on the panel when he took them to task during his introduction for the event ― chiding them for their reporting on the 2016 election and for the paper’s “both sides” journalism amid the current “civility” debate. [HuffPo]

Claiming the state’s abrupt cuts to Medicaid dental and vision services are illegal, health law advocates have asked federal officials to reject the changes enacted July 1 by the administration of Gov. Matt Bevin. [C-J/AKN]

One U.S. service member was killed and two others wounded in an apparent insider attack in southern Afghanistan, the NATO-led Resolute Support mission said on Saturday. [Reuters]

Some children and pregnant women in Kentucky have wrongly been denied access to dental care since the state abruptly cut dental and vision coverage for as many as 460,000 people, public health advocates say. [Richmond Register]

Jimena Madrid riveted people around the world when her voice was captured on an audiotape after she was separated from her mother inside a Border Patrol detention facility. Three weeks later, reunification remains uncertain. “She says over and over, ‘Mommy, I want to be with you.’” [ProPublica]

An interim president with former ties to the Kentucky Community and Technical College System will serve Ashland Community and Technical College until a permanent president is hired this fall, a spokeswoman said Thursday. [Ashland Independent]

The Trump administration is suppressing an Environmental Protection Agency report that warns that most Americans inhale enough formaldehyde vapor in the course of daily life to put them at risk of developing leukemia and other ailments. [Politico]

The Morehead Tourism Commission voted 3-2 last Thursday not to support funding of the Kentucky Folk Art Center. Keith Kappes can and should pay for this himself – his backwater political beliefs and the bullshit he’s pulled with the paper there through the years contributed greatly to funding cuts. [The Morehead News]

Scott Pruitt came to Washington and assembled an extraordinary team of like-minded conservatives — lawyers, energy lobbyists, free-market Republicans and close allies from his days in Oklahoma. All were committed not only to Mr. Pruitt, but also to his stated mission to be a regulation-buster at the Environmental Protection Agency. [NY Times]

Kentucky has executed 163 people since 1910 but only one since 2008 and only three since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstituted the death penalty in 1976. [Ronnie Ellis]

Maybe propping up a dictator wasn’t such a great idea after all. His rosy outlook was almost immediately rejected by North Korea’s foreign ministry, which called the talks “regrettable” and accused the United States of making unilateral demands for denuclearization. Pompeo just hours earlier said the two sides engaged in “good-faith negotiations.” [WaPo]

Strange how Kentucky media has thrown its unwritten policy of not identifying victims out the window. A Pike County woman is suing Walter May, a prominent Eastern Kentucky businessman and the former mayor of Pikeville, for firing her as his caregiver after she allegedly refused to have sex with him. [H-L]

Former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) is calling on the chamber’s Republicans to take steps to protect special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, decrying that the probe is “under assault.” [HuffPo]

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Another Day, Another Bevin Lawsuit

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Matt Bevin’s administration violated the law by withholding funds from Kentucky’s Area Development Districts that lawmakers had earmarked for the agencies, claims a lawsuit filed in Franklin Circuit Court [H-L]

A former aide to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt recently told congressional investigators that she was asked to help her boss’s wife find a job with a six-figure salary, according to multiple media reports on Monday. [HuffPo]

She may want to travel outside the Watterson Expressway more than a couple times before making such wild claims. Democratic state Rep. Attica Scott said Thursday she is leaning toward what would be a historic run for Kentucky governor in 2019 after months of encouragement from supporters. [C-J/AKN]

Some immigrant U.S. Army reservists and recruits who enlisted in the military with a promised path to citizenship are being abruptly discharged, the Associated Press has learned. [AP]

According to a recent report, Kentucky ranks 37th in the nation in overall child well-being. [Richmond Register]

PEE ALERT! A giant balloon dubbed “Trump baby” has been given the green light to fly near parliament during the president’s UK visit. [Sky]

Jailer Joe Burchett was granted a change of venue and will stand trial on a charge of malfeasance in Rowan County. [Ashland Independent]

The Trump administration on Saturday halted billions of dollars in payments to health insurers under the Obamacare healthcare law, saying that a recent federal court ruling prevents the money from being disbursed. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which administers programs under the Affordable Care Act, said the action affects $10.4 billion in risk adjustment payments. [Reuters]

Some political pundits see our country as riven by tribal and ethnic divisions and partitioned by gender as we self-segregate into communities of the like-minded. Such divisions sometimes affect families and lead to alienation of longtime friends. [Ronnie Ellis]

The Trump administration said Saturday that it was suspending a program that pays billions of dollars to insurers to stabilize health insurance markets under the Affordable Care Act, a freeze that could increase uncertainty in the markets and drive up premiums this fall. [NY Times]

Over the past winter, when Mandy Goessling started a Facebook group for Shelter Barren County, someone sent her an idea for a thing called a blessing box. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Those factors have contributed to the United States having a higher level of income inequality and a larger share of low-income residents than almost any other advanced nation. Only Spain and Greece, whose economies have been ravaged by the euro-zone crisis, have more households earning less than half the nation’s median income — an indicator that unusually large numbers of people either are poor or close to being poor. [WaPo]

HEAD-DESK. State Rep. C. Wesley Morgan of Richmond is suing the woman who defeated him in May’s Republican primary election, claiming her campaign falsely accused him of backing legislation to enrich himself. [H-L]

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials are telling detained migrant parents that to be reunited with their children they must sign a voluntary deportation form. [HuffPo]

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Kentuckians Hate The Repub Tax Hike

Matt Bevin’s administration violated the law by limiting access to the Kentucky Capitol for members of the Poor People’s Campaign advocacy group, Attorney General Andy Beshear said Monday in a legal opinion. [H-L]

Families Belong Together rallies drew crowds dressed in white to cities big and small across the United States on Saturday to protest the Trump administration’s zero tolerance immigration policy. [HuffPo]

Rand Paul is not happy with the jail sentence of his neighbor, Rene Boucher, who attacked the senator last year over yard debris between their homes in Bowling Green. [C-J/AKN]

This investigation is not, primarily, an investigation into Donald Trump. It’s an investigation into people who attacked the United States. It’s time Republicans started acting like that matters. [Empty Wheel]

A quickly developed and implemented policy restricting access to the state Capitol by the Poor People’s Campaign was improperly formulated and illegal, according to an Attorney General’s opinion. [Ronnie Ellis]

Gross alert. Although he lacked federal appellate-court experience, usually a prerequisite for a Supreme Court justice, Thapar was one of four candidates, along with Thomas Hardiman, William Pryor and the eventual nominee, Neil Gorsuch, to be interviewed personally by the president. [SCOTUS Blog]

The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) has completed its review of the effect of federal corporate income tax reductions on the rates of Kentucky Power Co. and ordered further reductions of those rates. [Ashland Independent]

It’s impossible to see from the street, so you would never know it’s there. To get to St. George Cemetery, especially its oldest section, you have to make your way past branches and thorns, across the weathered hills and over downed trees. [ProPublica]

Within six months of receiving its latest Kentucky Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit from the state Division of Water, the Glasgow Water Co. is required to re-evaluate the levels of 13 elements that can be discharged to its wastewater treatment plant. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Javier Solana, a former secretary general of NATO who played a central role in negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program when he was the European Union’s foreign policy chief, has been denied electronic authorization to enter the United States because of a visit to Iran in 2013. [NY Times]

Business owners affected by the tax hike say they’ve been unfairly targeted. [WFPL]

A federal investigation into Facebook’s sharing of data with political consultancy Cambridge Analytica has broadened to focus on the actions and statements of the tech giant and now involves multiple agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to people familiar with the official inquiries. Representatives for the FBI, the SEC and the Federal Trade Commission have joined the Department of Justice in its inquiries about the two companies and the sharing of personal information of 71 million Americans, suggesting the wide-ranging nature of the investigation, said five people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a probe that remains incomplete. [WaPo]

Mitch McConnell, who spent over a quarter century promoting human rights and democracy in Myanmar, is now the principal senator holding up fresh legislation pressuring the country to improve its treatment of the the country’s Rohingya population. [H-L]

The White House late Saturday issued a statement backing down from Donald Trump’s earlier tweet that said he had persuaded Saudi Arabia’s king to produce as much as 2 million additional barrels of oil a day to bring prices down. [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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