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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Greg Fischer Is An Out-Of-Touch Elitist

A veteran lobbyist says his multiple cash payments to a high-ranking state official were loans between friends and not bribes meant to maintain a lucrative state contract for his corporate client. [H-L]

America’s largest shelter for migrant children looks more like a jail than a safe space for kids. On Wednesday, journalists were allowed inside the former Walmart store in Brownsville, Texas, now filled with more than 1,400 boys ages 10 to 17, and their reports are harrowing. [HuffPo]

A Louisville civil rights leader revealed Thursday that one of the secret guests that Mayor Greg Fischer spent $109,000 to entertain during Kentucky Derby week was the president of the National Urban League. [C-J/AKN]

A major construction company owned by the Chinese government was awarded another contract this week to work on the Trump golf club development in Dubai, further raising questions about potential conflicts of interest between Donald Trump’s presidency and his vast real estate empire. [McClatchy]

Kentucky ranks 48th for seniors’ health in the most recent America’s Health Rankings Report — a potential source of great concern, since the senior population in Kentucky, and the rest of the nation, is only growing larger. Only Mississippi and Louisiana ranked worse than Kentucky. [Richmond Register]

“The economy,” Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell declared this week, “is doing very well.” Yet the numbers that collectively sketch a picture of a vibrant economy don’t reflect reality for a range of Americans who still feel far from financially secure even nine years into an economic expansion. From drivers paying more for gas and families bearing heavier child care costs to workers still awaiting decent pay raises and couples struggling to afford a home, people throughout the economy are straining to succeed despite the economy’s gains. [AP]

Greenup County recently approved a $13.9 million budget for fiscal year 2018-2019, which is less than the prior year. [Ashland Independent]

Donald Trump’s former election campaign manager, Paul Manafort, was sent to jail pending trial on Friday after being charged with witness tampering, the latest episode in his long fall from grace. [Reuters]

Mark Filburn had a fairly simple message about preventing school shootings for the Interim Joint Education Committee Monday. [Ronnie Ellis]

Only a few months ago, the global economy appeared to be humming, with all major nations growing in unison. Now, the world’s fortunes are imperiled by an unfolding trade war. [NY Times]

Tourist spending in Barren County continues to increase, as it climbed from $70.1 million in 2013 to $97 million in 2017. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The actions of a Customs and Border Protection agent who confronted a reporter covering national security issues about her confidential sources are being examined by the CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility, the agency said in a statement Tuesday. [WaPo]

More people need to be screaming, “FUCK MATT BEVIN!” at every opportunity. A federal judge says he hopes to rule by July 1 on whether Kentucky can carry out its controversial overhaul of the state’s Medicaid program that will require some recipients to find jobs, volunteer or lose their benefits. [H-L]

Fuck that orange piece of shit. Are you looking for more substance to Donald Trump’s vague claim that North Korea “is no longer a nuclear threat”? So was CBS News correspondent Weijia Jiang as she jostled with other reporters outside the White House Friday morning trying to get in a question with the president. [HuffPo]

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Amy McGrath Is A Terrible Hypocrite

Prosecutors and congressional investigators have obtained text messages and emails showing that Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, was working on a deal for a Trump Tower in Moscow far later than Cohen has previously acknowledged. The communications show that, as late as May 2016, around the time Trump was clinching the Republican nomination, Cohen was considering a trip to Russia to meet about the project with high-level government officials, business leaders and bankers. [Ruh Ro]

Amy McGrath is a carpetbagger and a hypocrite. She has the audacity to attack others for Democratic Party ties while being 14 miles up Jonathan Miller’s slimy you-know-what. What a hack. Made worse by her decision to tip-toe around homophobia. It’s a shame she’ll likely win and ultimately lose to Andy Barr. [H-L]

The U.S. delegation in Jerusalem on Monday to celebrate the opening of the new American embassy includes an evangelical Christian pastor who once said Jews “can’t be saved.” [HuffPo]

These jackasses need to be run out of the Commonwealth. The state should take over contract negotiations with the Jefferson County teachers union because previous deals have led to “implicit racial discrimination” in the public school system, a former district official says. [C-J/AKN]

The Trump administration has rolled back protections for transgender prison inmates introduced under former President Barack Obama after some prisoners challenged the policies in court. [Reuters]

Former Madison County deputy jailer Billy E. Bales (no image available), 32, of Berea, has been arrested and served a warrant for first offense third-degree controlled substance trafficking and first-degree official misconduct. [Richmond Register]

He was a small man, one interrogator recalled, and so thin that he would slip in his restraints when the masked CIA guards tipped the waterboard upward to let him breathe. [ProPublica]

Area food pantries and non-profits say they are noticing a striking increase in demand for food for the poor in the area. [Ashland Independent]

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt gave a speech on Tuesday to a mining industry group whose member companies are regulated by his agency. Pruitt’s appearance at the event was closed to the public and the press. [ThinkProgress]

The economic impact of tourism in Rowan County grew to more than $72 million in 2017. [The Morehead News]

The first stage of a multibillion-dollar military-VA digital health program championed by Jared Kushner has been riddled with problems so severe they could have led to patient deaths. [Politico]

Ugh, Julian Carroll is super-gross – an alleged (he was caught on tape!) sexual predator who needs to go. Kentucky may have not been prepared for the U.S. Supreme Court ruling Monday that struck down a prohibition on state sports gambling, but it didn’t take long for a couple of legislators to react. [Ronnie Ellis]

One of the largest contributions to Donald Trump’s inaugural committee in 2016 appears to have been orchestrated by a set of powerful conservative legal activists who have since been put in the driver’s seat of the administration’s push to select and nominate federal judges. [McClatchy]

A judge has ruled that the Kentucky House of Representatives violated the state’s Open Meetings Act with a closed-door conference in August where lawmakers from both parties huddled to discuss their plans to deal with the state’s pension crisis. [John Cheves]

Just in case you’re wondering why the far-right end timers are going bananas lately… [HuffPo]

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Embarrassing: Bevin’s Loony Projection

Somebody is projecting and his name is Matt Bevin. Matt Bevin went after a Kentucky judge Tuesday, the day after that judge ruled against Bevin’s procedural motion in a lawsuit over Kentucky’s new pension law. [H-L]

An interim memorial for the 49 people killed in the 2016 Pulse nightclub attack opened to the public Tuesday in Orlando, Florida. [HuffPo]

Battling brain cancer at his family ranch in Arizona, 81-year-old Sen. John McCain has been sharing his hopes for the future of the country and reflections on his political life with friends who visit. For former Vice President Joe Biden, McCain’s message was a simple one: don’t “walk away” from politics, Biden told The New York Times, describing his conversation with the Arizona Republican. [CBS News]

While Louisville frantically tries to rescue residents from heroin, fentanyl and pain pills, another drug is creeping back to prominence. Crystal meth. [C-J/AKN]

When former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. traveled to Senator John McCain’s Arizona ranch last Sunday to spend a few hours with his ailing friend, the two reminisced about the “crazy senators” they had served with, the overseas trips they took together for decades and the friendship Mr. McCain forged with Mr. Biden’s two sons. But the conversation on the sun-splashed deck off Mr. McCain’s bedroom was not all nostalgia. [NY Times]

Kentucky is among the many states considered by the National Safety Council to be “lagging” in handling the opioid crisis. [Richmond Register]

The Drug Enforcement Administration said Friday that it had immediately suspended opioid sales by a wholesale distributor, accusing a Louisiana company of failing to report unusually large shipments of narcotics to independent drugstores “with questionable need for the drugs.” [WaPo]

The Greenup County Board of Education took the first formal step toward enacting a utility tax Monday and made plans for a public hearing on the levy. [Ashland Independent]

The US Navy has said it will re-establish its Second Fleet, as Russia becomes more assertive. [BBC]

A budget totaling slightly more than $1.26 million was approved Monday by the Cave City Tourist and Convention Commission. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler, who could take command at EPA if Pruitt leaves, is “like Mike Pence is to Trump,“ says one person who has worked with him. [Politico]

State lawmakers from Louisville agree that the city’s public school system needs to improve, but disagree along party lines over whether the state should intervene in the management of the district. [WFPL]

The Department of Homeland Security ended temporary deportation protection for 57,000 Honduran immigrants on Friday, forcing them to either find another legal way to stay in the country or pack up their lives and leave. [ThinkProgress]

Montgomery County’s about to pay out another settlement.. A middle school chorus teacher who lost his job after disclosing that he is bisexual has filed a discrimination suit in federal court against the Montgomery County Board of Education. [H-L]

If you think this is bad, you’ll be horrified when you find out that organizations like PETA and the HSUS push massive euthanasia programs. A U.S. Department of Agriculture laboratory is under fire after an investigation revealed it has been breeding kittens for research purposes and then killing them when they’re no longer needed. [HuffPo]

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Kentucky Republicans: Still Killing Ethics

The general counsel for the Kentucky House Republican Caucus, who allegedly sat in the room as former House Speaker Jeff Hoover and three other Republican lawmakers secretly settled a sexual harassment complaint, will soon serve as the attorney for the Legislative Ethics Commission. [H-L]

The Environmental Protection Agency’s inspector general has opened “new reviews” into Administrator Scott Pruitt’s alleged ethical lapses, including his $50 per night condo rental, according to letters sent Friday to two top Democrats. [HuffPo]

Greg Fischer unveiled a spending plan for the city Thursday that he said builds on Louisville’s momentum in the face of a $9.4 million bump in retirement costs. [C-J/AKN]

Follow the path of immigrants fleeing violence or persecution, and get a glimpse into the complicated, evolving system designed to grant them refuge in the United States. [ProPublica]

Candidates running for state representative and sheriff laid out their plans and why they should be elected, during a recent Richmond Chamber of Commerce Meet the Candidates Community Forum hosted at Eastern Kentucky University. [Richmond Register]

Within establishment political and media circles, the mythology surrounding the motives of white working-class voters has been the most popular and enduring explanation for why Donald Trump is in the White House. Trump voters are much less worried about their financial well-being than they are about losing their dominant status as white people within a demographically diverse and ever-changing nation. [ThinkProgress]

Louisville Metro Police have now had more shootings involving officers this year than all of last year, following a fatal shooting Wednesday night in Shawnee. [WFPL]

Last year, Howard “Buck” McKeon, a former Republican congressman who chaired the House Armed Services Committee, was hired to lobby for an Albanian political party seeking access to the Trump administration and congressional Republicans. But most of his firm’s work was bankrolled by a Cypriot shell company called Dorelita Limited. [Mother Jones]

More than 3,500 Hepatitis A vaccinations have been given to area residents following an outbreak of the disease. [Ashland Independent]

A top official with the Department of Health and Human Services is expected to tell members of Congress on Thursday that the agency lost track of nearly 1,500 migrant children the agency placed with sponsors in the United States, according to prepared testimony obtained by The New York Times. [NY Times]

Matt Bevin Thursday vetoed five bills and part of a sixth but allowed a tax cleanup bill which corrected mistakes in a revenue bill he opposed to become law without his signature and didn’t veto last-minute “fixes” to the budget bill. [Ronnie Ellis]

After Donald Trump vowed last year to release all the long-secret files related to the JFK assassination, the administration announced Thursday that some documents will remain redacted until October 2021 for national security reasons. [WaPo]

The open race for Lexington’s top job has attracted one of the largest fields of candidates in recent history. And the number of candidates will likely make for a messy primary season. [H-L]

A top Democratic congressman on Friday unsuccessfully tried to create a special committee to investigate why House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Shitbag) abruptly fired the House chaplain last week. [HuffPo]

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The RPK Is Screwing Poor Kentuckians

The Eastern Kentucky University Board of Regents voted to slash a long list of academic programs, eliminate jobs, close a regional campus and end two sports — men’s and women’s tennis — as part of a brutal budgetary process to solve a $25 million shortfall. The regents also voted to eliminate 153 positions, about 96 of them currently filled. [H-L]

Louisville could learn a lot about this effort to curtail the negatives of gentrification. But it won’t. It’s going to continue to get worse and the city will become unaffordable for longtime residents. [HuffPo]

Republican legislative leaders chided Matt Bevin for not consulting with them before announcing Monday that he would veto tax reform and budget bills. [C-J/AKN]

Trump’s attacks on China over trade are putting Republican candidates in a difficult spot, caught between support for the president and concern for their constituents’ fortunes. [WaPo]

A top Kentucky official says northern Kentucky will likely be the first area where Medicaid enrollees will have to meet the state’s new ‘community engagement’ requirement, starting July 1. [WFPL]

The special counsel is investigating a payment made to Donald Trump’s foundation by a Ukrainian steel magnate for a talk during the campaign, according to three people briefed on the matter, as part of a broader examination of streams of foreign money to Mr. Trump and his associates in the years leading up to the election. [NY Times]

The Barren County Economic Authority continues to work with industrial companies – some new, some already in place – to develop additional jobs in the area, with some cautious optimism expressed that one or more agreements may be nearing fruition. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Ex-FBI Director James Comey compared Donald Trump to a “mob boss” in a taped interview with ABC News. [The Hill]

Attorney General Andy Beshear went to court Wednesday seeking to invalidate a controversial pension reform bill passed by lawmakers without public debate or a financial analysis. [Ronnie Ellis]

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit challenging what it calls a pattern by Donald Trump’s administration of detaining illegal immigrants seeking to legalize their status based on marriages to U.S. citizens. [Reuters]

Teachers from Northeast Kentucky returned to Frankfort today to lobby once again for education funding. [Ashland Independent]

The FBI was seeking information about the “Access Hollywood” tape in which Donald Trump was heard making vulgar boasts about women when agents raided the office and hotel of his personal attorney Michael Cohen Monday, according to a person with knowledge of the raid. [NBC News]

In newly released recordings, a longtime Kentucky state senator reveals new details about her affair with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and what happened in the hours before his assassination. [Tom Eblen]

If Donald Trump is to be believed when he claims his White House has “no Chaos, only great Energy,” this week may well be the most energetic of his presidency. [HuffPo]

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Republicans Are Kickin That Can, Honey

The controversial pension plan rushed through the Kentucky legislature Thursday night would do at least one thing Republican lawmakers vowed to stop this year: It would kick the can down the road. [John Cheves]

Shanna Diederichs crouches in a shallow, circular depression in the floor of a Puebloan ruin, a clear and all-too-familiar sign that looters were here, scouring for pottery and other valuable Native American artifacts. [HuffPo]

The Kentucky Public Service Commission on Friday announced that it had issued its highest ever penalty in a natural gas safety case – a $395,000 fine of Louisville Gas and Electric for a 2014 pipeline break that injured two contract workers. [C-J/AKN]

The widow of the Pulse nightclub gunman walked free on Friday after a jury cleared her of charges related to the 2016 massacre that killed 49 people in Orlando, Florida. [Reuters]

Republican lawmakers Monday morning unveiled a compromise budget which funds public schools at higher levels and paired the budget with a tax overhaul that will lower income taxes, apply sales taxes to some services and raise $479 million in new tax dollars over two years. [Ronnie Ellis]

Former colleagues say the next national security adviser — whose job is to marshal information and present it to the president fairly — resists input that doesn’t fit his biases and retaliates against people he disagrees with. [ProPublica]

River Cities Harvest’s shelves are now 40,169 pounds heavier with food thanks to the annual Food Feud competition between local hospitals. [Ashland Independent]

America needs teachers committed to working with children who have the fewest advantages in life. So for a decade the federal government has offered grants — worth up to $4,000 a year — to standout college students who agree to teach subjects like math or science at lower-income schools. But a new government study, obtained by NPR and later posted by the Department of Education, suggests that thousands of teachers had their grants taken away and converted to loans, sometimes for minor errors in paperwork. That’s despite the fact they were meeting the program’s teaching requirements. [NPR]

Kentucky teachers say they feel betrayed by Republican lawmakers who slipped changes to future pension benefits into an unrelated bill, then hastily passed it in the House and Senate on a party-line vote. [Ronnie Ellis]

The Trump administration is attempting to scale back federal efforts to enforce fair housing laws, freezing enforcement actions against local governments and businesses, including Facebook, while sidelining officials who have aggressively pursued civil rights cases. [NY Times]

Kentucky educators expressed their concern Friday for a bill that passed the Kentucky General Assembly on Thursday. While the 291-page bill originally addressed wastewater services, it now includes pension reform. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A federal judge ruled that the District of Columbia and Maryland may proceed with an unprecedented lawsuit against Donald Trump alleging that Trump’s business dealings have violated the Constitution’s ban on receiving improper “emoluments,” or payments, from individual states and foreign governments. [WaPo]

It was after supper, and Bill Turner was studying for senior finals when his friend Jim Embry ran into the library to tell him the news: “Bill, they killed Dr. King!” [Tom Eblen]

A leading figure in America’s largest Protestant denomination has resigned from his job over a “morally inappropriate relationship in the recent past.” Frank Page, who served as the president and chief executive of the Southern Baptist Convention’s executive committee, announced his retirement on Monday. A day later, he followed up with a statement explaining that he was stepping away from active ministry because of a “personal failing” that has “embarrassed my family, my Lord, myself, and the Kingdom.” [HuffPo]

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