It’s Fun Shae Hopkins Flashback Time

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The Kentucky House of Representatives paved the way for nuclear power plants in the state Wednesday, giving final passage to a bill that removes the state’s long-time ban on nuclear power. [H-L]

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson plans to skip a meeting with NATO foreign ministers next month in order to stay home for a visit by China’s president and will go to Russia later in April, U.S. officials said on Monday, disclosing an itinerary that allies may see as giving Moscow priority over them. [HuffPo]

Hundreds of protesters on Monday waved signs and gave fiery speeches at the gates to Freedom Hall ahead President Donald Trump’s visit to tout his plan to replace Obamacare, booing as Air Force One passed overhead for landing. [C-J/AKN]

Less than forty minutes into the hearing, James Comey, the director of the F.B.I., provided the latest official confirmation that the “Russian story” is not “FAKE NEWS.” It is, rather, the most serious legal scandal to confront a sitting President in nearly two decades. In an extraordinary public statement, Comey disclosed not only that the bureau is investigating Russian meddling in the campaign but that it is also looking at what relationship the Trump campaign might have had to that meddling. [New Yorker]

Voters from small town and rural America who were key to electing President Donald Trump stand to lose the most in his budget plan to shrink the size and generosity of the federal government. [Richmond Register]

Russia has warned NATO that increased activity near its borders could spiral into a new arms race. [Newsweek]

With the General Assembly on break for a 10-day “veto period,” Gov. Matt Bevin has begun signing a flurry of bills into law. [WFPL]

Immigrants commit crimes and are incarcerated at a much lower rate than U.S. citizens, according to two separate studies released this week. [The Hill]

Top local school administrators are leery at the prospect of charter schools coming to Kentucky. [Ashland Independent]

The U.S. Justice Department is developing plans to temporarily reassign immigration judges from around the country to 12 cities to speed up deportations of illegal immigrants who have been charged with crimes, according to two administration officials. [Reuters]

Attorney General Andy Beshear has filed a motion in Franklin Circuit Court seeking to intervene in Kentucky State University’s lawsuit against a student newspaper. [Press Release]

Funny how the grifters always end up grifting. Ivanka Trump, who moved to Washington saying she would play no formal role in her father’s administration, is now officially setting up shop in the White House. [Politico]

Remember when Shae Hopkins spent years supporting Republican insanity? Those chickens are coming home to roost. Kentucky Educational Television issued a statement Thursday warning that President Trump’s proposed budget cuts would endanger its mission to provide statewide programming and instructional services for schools. [John Cheves]

German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen on Sunday rejected U.S. President Donald Trump’s claim that Germany owes NATO and the United States “vast sums” of money for defense. [HuffPo]

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Russia Russia Russia Russia Russia Russia

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Protesters are gathering outside Gate 1 at Louisville’s Freedom Hall ahead of President Donald Trump’s planned evening rally organized to push a contentious Republican replacement for Obamacare. [C-J/AKN]

The director of the FBI, with the director of the National Security Agency agreeing at his side, in effect called the president of the United States a liar ― and, oh, by the way, the president’s 2016 campaign indeed is under investigation for allegedly having secretly teamed up with Russia to win the election. [HuffPo]

Who wants to bet Blake Brickman is probably trolling for dick on Grindr right now? And who the hell writes a column about Matt Bevin’s attack princess complaining about the use of “bromance” without mentioning that it’s homophobic as fuck?! [C-J/AKN]

“There is certainly enough for us to conduct an investigation,” he added. “The American people have a right to know and in order to defend ourselves, we need to know whether the circumstantial evidence of collusion and direct evidence of deception is indicative of more.” [NBC News]

New Republicanism in action. The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) is revamping the state program that provides assistance to low-income telephone customers and refocusing it on meeting the needs of the mostly elderly and rural customers who rely on landline phones. [Richmond Register]

Federal investigators are examining whether far-right news sites played any role last year in a Russian cyber operation that dramatically widened the reach of news stories — some fictional — that favored Donald Trump’s presidential bid, two people familiar with the inquiry say. [McClatchy]

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer is asking Gov. Matt Bevin to veto a bill that would remake the city’s solid waste management district. [WFPL]

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, a vocal critic of President Trump, has hired a prosecutor who served under fired U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara to focus on public corruption cases, including those involving the Trump administration, according to a Wall Street Journal report. [The Hill]

The attorney hired by the Glasgow City Council to pursue the ouster of three members of the Glasgow Electric Plant Board’s board of directors has been busy gathering information and hopes to be ready to meet with his client as a group soon. [Glasgow Daily Times]

After his name surfaced last August in a secret ledger listing millions of dollars in payments from a pro-Russian party in Ukraine, Paul Manafort not only lost his job running Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign but also assumed center stage in a bizarre internecine struggle among Ukrainian political forces. On Monday, the intrigue took another turn, when a member of Parliament in Ukraine released documents that he said showed that Mr. Manafort took steps to hide the payments, which were tied to Mr. Manafort’s work for former President Viktor F. Yanukovych. The documents included an invoice that appeared to show $750,000 funneled through an offshore account and disguised as payment for computers. [NY Times]

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin and the new Republican majority got pretty much what they wanted from the 2017 General Assembly. Only time – and the citizens and voters of the commonwealth – will determine if what they got makes Kentucky a better and more – or less – prosperous place. [Ronnie Ellis]

FBI Director James B. Comey acknowledged Monday that his agency is conducting an investigation into possible coordination between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign in a counterintelligence probe that could reach all the way to the White House and may last for months. [WaPo]

Rand Paul predicted Monday that the Republican health care proposal will fail in the U.S. House this week, clearing the way for “real negotiations” to begin. [H-L]

Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who was removed from his post by the Trump administration last week, was overseeing an investigation into stock trades made by the president’s health secretary, according to a person familiar with the office. [HuffPo]

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Brett Guthrie Just Sold Your Privacy For A Few Thousand In Telecom Campaign Contributions

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Republicans don’t give two shits about Eastern Kentucky. An agency that pumps millions of dollars each year into economic development in Eastern Kentucky and other Appalachian states would lose federal funding if President Donald Trump’s proposed budget prevails. [H-L]

“Insurance for everybody.” When President Donald Trump made that boast in January, in an interview with The Washington Post, nobody took it literally. Even the most comprehensive health care systems of Europe don’t cover everybody. [HuffPo]

Did people actually believe Greg Fischer has any idea how important public schools are? He grew up wealthy and inherited his position in life. His parents sent him to private school. He’s knee-deep in the Sharter Schools movement. Jefferson County school board members said they are dismayed Mayor Greg Fischer didn’t talk to them before he publicly voiced support for bringing charter schools to the state. [C-J/AKN]

Trump’s former national security adviser, Mike Flynn, was paid tens of thousands of dollars by Russian companies shortly before he became a formal adviser to the then-candidate, according to documents obtained by a congressional oversight committee that revealed business interests that hadn’t been previously known. [WSJ]

Surprise! Republicans don’t care about coal miners, your environment or your health. Lawmakers in both Kentucky and West Virginia are working to loosen mine safety regulations, alarming some mine safety experts. [WFPL]

Surprise! Brett Guthrie consponsored the bill allowing telecoms to sell your personal & private internet history. [Congress]

Because of course he’s not! Republican Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration says it will not calculate how the proposed GOP health care plan will impact Kentucky, a state where more than 400,000 people got health insurance through an expanded Medicaid program under a previous Democratic governor. [WKYT]

What was that, again, about Republicans giving a shit about Appalachia? Eliminating the Appalachian Regional Commission is astounding. But only if you haven’t been paying attention. [CNN]

The most significant item Sheriff Kent Keen is eyeing for the upcoming fiscal year’s budget is a new radio system that is expected to cost in the neighborhood of $70,000. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Senate Republicans voted Tuesday night to kill an obscure Obama-era regulation because they wanted to make it easier for states to drug-test applicants for unemployment benefits. There’s just one problem: They may have just made it harder. [Politico]

The Lawrence County Board of Education on Wednesday enacted a five-cent tax increase to raise money to rebuild one of its elementary schools. [Ashland Independent]

New Republican is deadlier and dumber than you imagined. President Trump’s budget calls for a seismic disruption in government-funded medical and scientific research. The cuts are deep and broad. [WaPo]

The Kentucky House rejected changes to a bill Wednesday that would make it harder for citizens to appeal zoning changes. Of course Republicans want to restrict your rights. If you think New Republicanism is anything but racism, money, power and borderline authoritarianism, you’re probably elderly and about to die. [H-L]

Donald Trump has given the Central Intelligence Agency new authority to conduct drone attacks against suspected militants, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing U.S. officials. [HuffPo]

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Monday Ought To Be Relatively Gross

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A business owner and his two firms fined by the state for illegal dumping of radioactive waste have all filed for bankruptcy in federal court. [H-L]

Paul Ryan and the rest of the Republican Party either don’t understand how health care and health insurance work or they’re deliberately lying. Our money’s on lying. [HuffPo]

Mike Pence came to Kentucky and lied about the Affordable Care Act’s impact on the Commonwealth. Because that’s the New Republican way. [C-J/AKN]

Jared Kushner is keeping parts of his real estate empire. Given Kushner’s vast portfolio as an adviser to the president, it’s not clear how he’s going to avoid issues that could affect his bank account. The Trump administration has declined to give details. [ProPublica]

Kentucky is known for many things — horses, basketball, Ale-8-One, hot browns and, of course, moonshine. And for the Arvin family, moonshine has become more than a sweet beverage. [Richmond Register]

What was that, again, about Republicans not being atrociously racist? [The Hill]

Donald Trump’s resolve to shakeup the Environmental Protection Agency by slashing its budget and shrinking government regulations has states that rely heavily on EPA funding on edge. [Ashland Independent]

A group of states renewed their effort on Monday to block President Donald Trump’s revised temporary ban on refugees and travelers from several Muslim-majority countries, arguing that his executive order is the same as the first one that was halted by federal courts. [Reuters]

Attorney General Andy Beshear on Thursday called for a $142 million reduction in the Kentucky Utilities’ rate request that’s pending before the Public Service Commission. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A new analysis from the Congressional Budget Office also predicts $337 billion in deficit reduction over the same period. [WaPo]

Budget shortfalls at the University of Louisville are starting to have firsthand impacts on students. [Last] week student employees for the Brandeis School of Law were let go from their jobs. [WAVE3]

What a dark history. Rare, century-old photographs help illustrate the story of 272 slaves sold by Jesuit priests to secure the future of Georgetown University. [NY Times]

Hold on to your wigs. Donald Trump plans to hold a rally in Louisville’s Freedom Hall on Monday, March 20, the president’s website said. [H-L]

The Republican plan to repeal and “replace” the Affordable Care Act would increase the number of Americans without health coverage by 24 million and reduce the federal budget deficit by $337 billion by 2026, according to a Congressional Budget Office report published Monday. [HuffPo]

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What The Hell Is Wrong With David James? Does He REALLY Not Know When To Stop Talking?

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Mike Pence plans to visit Louisville, Kentucky, on Saturday as he tries to make the case for repealing and replacing former President Barack Obama’s health care law. [H-L]

Provisions in the House Republicans’ Obamacare replacement bill that would raise insurance costs for older Americans are drawing resistance from the influential seniors’ lobby. [HuffPo]

David James should probably tread lightly when accusing people of being over-sexualized. [C-J/AKN]

The hiring of three former lobbyists to work in the White House raises questions about how the Trump administration is enforcing the president’s executive order on ethics. [ProPublica]

A state legislative committee has approved a controversial proposal to change the way Kentucky regulates coal ash. The Administrative Regulation Review Subcommittee passed the proposal at its meeting Monday, after delaying a decision from last month. [WFPL]

U.S. and Ukrainian authorities have expressed interest in the activities of a Kiev-based operative with suspected ties to Russian intelligence who consulted regularly with Paul Manafort last year while Manafort was running Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. [Politico]

Again, a bunch of scared, fat, white Republican guys are trying to push an official religion. [Ronnie Ellis]

President Trump’s executive order barring immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries experienced nearly universal defeat in the federal courts. On Monday, he issued a revised version of that order, but it still suffers from a fundamental, and fatal, flaw: It constitutes unlawful religious discrimination. [NY Times]

Morehead State University’s Board of Regents chose a new president Thursday. The board voted unanimously to offer the post to Joseph A. “Jay” Morgan, the chief academic officer and vice president for academic affairs and student success for the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. [Ashland Independent]

Several states said on Thursday they would move forward with legal challenges to a revised executive order signed by President Donald Trump this week that temporarily bars the admission of refugees and some travelers from a group of Muslim-majority countries. [Reuters]

Attorney General Andy Beshear on Thursday called for a $142 million reduction in the Kentucky Utilities’ rate request that’s pending before the Public Service Commission. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Of course wingnut Republicans are still denying climate science. Science. They’re denying science. [BBC]

New details have emerged about why a Navy Seals convoy flew a campaign flag for President Donald Trump on a Kentucky highway in late January, according to documents obtained by the Herald-Leader. [H-L]

House Republicans plowed ahead with their effort to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, brushing aside new criticism of what their proposed legislation would do ― and ignoring protests over the hurried process they are using to enact it. [HuffPo]

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Kentucky Poverty’s International News Again

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Hahahaha, $7.5mil? The Kentucky Senate is getting a bill that would create a public corporation authorized to collect $7.5 million a year to diversify the struggling local economies of the state’s coal regions. [John Cheves]

Former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy warned on Saturday that the Trump administration’s funding cuts to the agency and rollback of Obama-era rules pose a major threat to public health. [HuffPo]

GIGANTIC PEE ALERT! Here’s Scott Jennings – the guy who told racist, anti-LatinX “jokes” at Fancy Farm and now spews homophobia on a regular basis – is panicking over mean liberals saying mean things about walking Turkey Waddle Mitch McConnell. The crazier Trump gets, the more panicked these Republican snowflakes like Jennings become. [C-J/AKN]

U.S. Senate Democrats, seeking to capitalize on growing disclosures about the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russia, urged a top Republican lawmaker on Tuesday to obtain President Donald Trump’s tax returns as a matter of national security. [Reuters]

If a Republican lawmaker gets his way, home school students in Kentucky will be allowed to participate in extra-curricular activities at their local public schools. That was just one measure passed by the state House Tuesday afternoon. Lawmakers also passed a REAL ID bill and another to establish a task force to review and recommend judicial salaries in Kentucky. [Ronnie Ellis]

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Granny) has only three weeks to unify conservatives and moderates in his conference behind an ObamaCare repeal and replacement bill. [The Hill]

With the Berea City Council giving its consent Tuesday night for the Madison County Health Department to operate a syringe exchange program within Berea, only consent from the Madison Fiscal Court is required. [Richmond Register]

Despite claims from the White House that no such ties exist, 65 percent of respondents to a new CNN/ORC poll released Monday morning said the investigation into connections between President Donald Trump and the Russian government should be handled by a special prosecutor. [Politico]

The Rowan County Board of Education voted 3-2 Monday to accept a bid for the construction of a multipurpose athletic complex. The board voted to accept the low bid from The Walker Company of Mt. Sterling, at $1,136,800. [The Morehead News]

FBI director James Comey has rejected Donald Trump’s claim that his predecessor, Barack Obama, ordered a wiretap of his phone before he was elected US president, US media say. [BBC]

Republicans are fighting to weaken environmental rules in Kentucky. This is just a taste of what their meddling will harm. [WFPL]

In the week before the United States elected Donald J. Trump to the presidency, I traveled through Kentucky, through endless miles of farmland and small towns. It was my first visit to the United States, for a book tour. I was shocked by the signs of decline I saw in rural America. Suddenly, rural America matters. It matters for the whole world. [NY Times]

State Sen. Mike Wilson, chairman of the Senate Education Committee, told the Herald-Leader Tuesday that a bill to allow charter schools in Kentucky was not on the agenda for his committee’s Thursday meeting. [H-L]

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Manbaby) has vowed to “defund” Planned Parenthood in upcoming legislation. But what he and Republicans in Congress are trying to do is actually very different from what that word suggests. [HuffPo]

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Cheeto Mussolini Really Stepped In It

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A national science panel is about to dig into an issue fraught with controversy in Eastern Kentucky: Does living near surface coal mines increase the risk of health problems? [H-L]

Stephen Bannon, President Donald Trump’s chief strategist and the driving force behind the administration’s controversial ban on travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries, has a favorite metaphor he uses to describe the largest refugee crisis in human history. [HuffPo]

If you hadn’t noticed, Frankfort Republicans are trying to resegregate Louisville. Because of course they fucking are. [C-J/AKN]

The F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, asked the Justice Department this weekend to publicly reject President Trump’s assertion that President Barack Obama ordered the tapping of Mr. Trump’s phones, senior American officials said on Sunday. Mr. Comey has argued that the highly charged claim is false and must be corrected, they said, but the department has not released any such statement. Mr. Comey’s request is a remarkable rebuke of a sitting president, putting the nation’s top law enforcement official in the position of questioning Mr. Trump’s truthfulness. [NY Times]

When a Kentucky legislative committee approved a bill to let liquor store owners transport alcohol across county lines, Wesley Morgan was pleased by the time and money he would save as the owner of four Liquor World outlets in the state. The RPK has eschewed ethics for as long as the KDP. AKA forever. [Richmond Register]

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who during his confirmation hearings repeatedly vowed to promote human rights as a core American value, alarmed human rights advocates when he did not appear in person to present the State Department’s annual human rights report, released Friday. [WaPo]

The state House of Representatives passed measures Thursday to provide school districts extra money for transportation costs and to teach work skills and drug prevention as part of the public schools’ curriculum. [Ronnie Ellis]

Fewer than 24 hours after President Donald Trump condemned a recent wave of anti-Semitic attacks and spoke of allying with Muslim nations, a top White House aide returned to the administration’s unfounded claims that some of the anti-Semitic incidents may have been faked and declined to explicitly say whether the president believes Islam is a religion. [Vox]

While winter turning to spring is typically a great sight for farmers, many across Kentucky and the United States are worried about this year’s crops and who will be working the fields. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Before heading off to his so-called “winter White House” in Palm Beach, Florida, on Friday, WATB Donald Trump summoned some of his senior staff to the Oval Office and went “ballistic,” senior White House sources told ABC News. [ABC News]

Two House bills sponsored by state Rep. Danny Bentley, R-Russell, that aim to combat a statewide drug epidemic are headed for the Senate. [Ashland Independent]

The White House has been accused of withholding information from Congress about whether Donald Trump or any of his campaign affiliates have ever received loans from a bank in Cyprus that is partly owned by a close ally of Russian president Vladimir Putin. [The Guardian]

The 2017 General Assembly enters its final phase Monday as Republican leaders prepare for Gov. Matt Bevin a stack of legislation on university funding, religious expression, medical malpractice, workers’ compensation and many other subjects. [John Cheves]

President Harry Truman famously had a sign on his desk that read: “The buck stops here.” If Donald Trump’s brief history as commander in chief is any guide, he might want one that says: “Actually, it stops with the generals.” [HuffPo]

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