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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Fuck Matt Bevin And His Enablers

The Kentucky Court of Appeals has thrown out a unanimous jury verdict awarding Republican state Sen. Ralph Alvarado of Winchester $200,000 in damages in a defamation suit. [H-L]

Jodi Goodwin has spent the past month helping grief-stricken parents with their asylum cases. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin will go down in history as one of the most wretched assholes to walk the earth. Matt Bevin’s administration has abruptly cut Medicaid dental and vision benefits to nearly half a million Kentuckians, prompting an outcry from Democrats who called the Republican governor’s decision “rash.” [C-J/AKN]

In his first in-depth interview since the FBI raided his office and homes in April, Cohen strongly signaled his willingness to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller and federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York — even if that puts Dingus Trump in jeopardy. When I asked Cohen if President Trump knew about that meeting before it happened, he declined to answer. [ABC News]

The state of Kentucky and its taxpayers shelled out more than $200,000 over four years to a contractor to formulate a 911 statewide plan. [Ronnie Ellis]

Legal experts say it’s likely special counsel Robert Mueller secretly gained access to the National Rifle Association’s tax returns as part of the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, according to a McClatchy report. [The Hill]

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]

The U.S. government said in a court filing on Friday that it has the right to detain children and parents caught crossing the U.S. border illegally for the duration of their immigration proceedings. [Reuters]

The state of Kentucky gave preliminary approval for a $1.5 million tax incentive package for a potential purchaser of the Kentucky Electric Steel plant in Boyd County Thursday. [Ashland Independent]

There is an unusual space in the basement of the University of Louisville library, in the large anteroom to the official archives for Sen. Mitch McConnell. [ProPublica]

Fuck Matt Bevin. Democrats on Monday called Republican Matt Bevin’s decision to cut dental and vision benefits for Medicaid recipients “rash,” “callous” and “not legal.” [More Ronnie Ellis]

One staffer publicly mocked senators who criticized Donald Trump as “clueless” and “crazy.” Another accused Hillary Clinton of having a campaign aide killed and employing pedophiles. A third wrote the “shameful” press was trying to deny Trump his victories. These are not faceless trolls but midlevel political appointees at the Health and Human Services Department. [Politico]

A former employee of Eric C. Conn was sentenced Friday to seven months in prison, with credit for time served, for helping the disability attorney escape the country to avoid sentencing in a federal fraud case. [H-L]

The U.S. ambassador to Estonia has announced his resignation, saying he is taking the “honorable course” in the wake of Donald Trump’s “inaccurate” slams against the European Union, Foreign Policy reported Friday. [HuffPo]

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Matt Bevin’s The Only Incompetent Hack Involved In That Case

Lawyers for Matt Bevin renewed their effort Tuesday to get a judge the governor has called an “incompetent hack” removed from a case challenging Kentucky’s new pension law, potentially delaying oral arguments in the case. [H-L]

What’s the phrase about the first dog to bark??? Jared Kushner’s father, real estate magnate Charles Kushner, slammed federal ethics watchdogs who have been hounding him and his son, calling them “jerks” who can’t get a “real job.” [HuffPo]

If you thought Rick Sanders wasn’t a piece of work? You were mistaken. He’s a far-right hack and has no business overseeing the Kentucky State Police – an agency that really does try to avoid partisanship. The next governor needs to fire him the second they’re sworn in. Two Democrats in the Kentucky House have asked Attorney General Andy Beshear for an opinion on whether the Constitutional rights of anti-poverty activists were violated Monday when they were blocked from entering the Capitol. [C-J/AKN]

Most U.S. states will get only a minor revenue boost from legalized sports betting even under the most optimistic scenarios, Moody’s Investors Service said on Friday. [Reuters]

The City of Berea could be looking at millions of dollars in unexpected electric transmission costs after Kentucky Utilities filed a request to end an agreement in force for two decades between it and several municipalities. [Richmond Register]

A federal suit filed in December claimed older workers missed out on job opportunities because ads on Facebook targeted younger users. Now plaintiffs say Facebook’s tools and algorithm gave employers ways to intensify the effects of such targeting. [ProPublica]

The Pikeville attorney who fled to Honduras to avoid sentencing in a massive Social Security fraud case pleaded guilty to escape and other charges Monday in federal court, according to court records and the U.S. Attorney’s office. [Ashland Independent]

In a series of exclusive interviews, former Fox News Channel chief political correspondent Carl Cameron explained to ThinkProgress how the Russians coordinated their cyber attack on the 2016 election with the Trump campaign. [ThinkProgress]

There’s a long way to go and much could go wrong, but representatives of Kentucky’s public pension systems said Monday things are improving for the troubled systems. [Ronnie Ellis]

At 7:50 on a recent morning, Preston Carraway greeted his third-grade teacher, Keshia Speight, who stood at the classroom door dispensing hugs. Mrs. Speight’s class has a motto, which everyone chants in the morning when she raises her fist: “Be brave! Be smart! Stay humble!” [NY Times]

Student teams from across the coalfields of eastern Kentucky came together at the Knott County Sportsplex, bringing with them drones that they themselves had built. It was time for the climax of this year-long project. [WFPL]

White Americans are increasingly critical of the country’s social safety net, a new study suggests, thanks in part to a rising tide of racial resentment. The study, conducted by researchers at two California universities and published Wednesday in the journal Social Forces, finds that opposition to welfare programs has grown among white Americans since 2008, even when controlling for political views and socioeconomic status. White Americans are more likely to favor welfare cuts when they believe that their status is threatened and that minorities are the main beneficiaries of safety net programs, the study says. [WaPo]

Ham sammich. You’ll know what that’s about if you’ve read those transcripts. The ringleader of the “Pappygate” rare bourbon heist was sentenced Friday in Frankfort to 15 years in prison. [H-L]

In Donald Trump’s world populated only with winners and losers, the on-then-off-now-on-again summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un has one sure winner already — and, say Korea experts, it’s not Trump. [HuffPo]

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Matt Bevin Got Slapped In Court Again

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Frustrated by years of financial mismanagement and limited accountability, an Eastern Kentucky activist group this week asked Attorney General Andy Beshear to investigate. [H-L]

This is a serious violation of the First Amendment. The fact that neither the Kentucky Democratic Party nor the Republican Party of Kentucky have condemned Trump’s attacks on citizens – effectively government retaliation – speaks volumes about their cowardice. [HuffPo]

Louisville mayoral candidate and JCPS critic Angela Leet joined Metro Council Democrats on Thursday in supporting a measure that opposes the state seizing control of the school district. [C-J/AKN]

Federal prosecutors sorting through materials seized from Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s personal attorney, said Wednesday they needed more time to piece together the contents of a shredder taken in an FBI raid. [NBC News]

The audit of the financial statement of the Boyd County Fiscal Court for the fiscal year ending on June 30, 2016 has been released. [Ashland Independent]

Donald Trump falsely accused The New York Times on Saturday of making up a source in an article about North Korea, even though the source was in fact a senior White House official speaking to a large group of reporters in the White House briefing room. [ NY Times]

It is being recommended that Warren County residents older than one year get Hepatitis A vaccinations due to an ongoing outbreak. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, met at Trump Tower in New York days before the 2017 inauguration with a Russian billionaire who was sanctioned this year by the U.S. government. [WaPo]

Every year, Louisville police officers take hundreds of guns off the streets. Some of them were purchased legally, but were being used illegally. Some were confiscated during arrests or drug searches. Some were owned by felons. [WFPL]

Kentucky agencies considering these stunts should tread lightly, as I hear there’s a wealthy family in Louisville set to fight the hell out of these messes in court. Cough, cough. Instead of turning over requests for records, a growing number of cities, school boards and other government agencies across the nation are suing people seeking documents — forcing them to decide whether it’s worth fighting for their request in court — at their own expense. [Herald-Tribune]

If you thought the replacement for Toni Konz wouldn’t be bad, you were mistaken – because I was. Sure, she was one of the worst education reporters in Kentucky history – and played pat-a-cake with people like Terry Holliday while lying about it… but she’s slowly being upstaged. How anyone could report on Kevin Brown “resigning” from the Kentucky Department of Education without bothering to do any real reporting on the crap he’s been involved in through the years is beyond me. It’s lazy, offensive press release journalism and everyone deserves better. Wheatley’s wholly capable and a good person but I’m way over this shit with ed reporters. If *I* can do it? Anyone can. So spare me your whining. [WDRB]

House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy said Tuesday he is now “more convinced” that the FBI acted appropriately in its handling of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible connections to Donald Trump’s campaign. [CNN]

Matt Bevin asked a judge that he recently called “an incompetent hack” to step aside in Attorney General Andy Beshear’s legal challenge of Kentucky’s new public pension law, but the judge said late Thursday he’s staying put. [H-L]

When you dream of an ideal world ― one that you would truly, emphatically wish to live in, what does it look like? What does it feel like? How do people live together there? How are wealth and power distributed? How do people find happiness and meaning within their day-to-day lives? [HuffPo]

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Surprise! Everybody Is Still Broke

Lexington is a polite city, and voters Nov. 6 will choose between two polite and genuinely nice people to be their next mayor. [Tom Eblen]

Of course the man who paid women off and paid for abortions is pushing this anti-woman horse shit. [HuffPo]

The Jefferson County school board can hire superintendents, sign off on new charter schools and manage district funds. But under the proposed state takeover of Jefferson County Public Schools, those powers would be swept away and sent to Kentucky’s schools chief — the man who recommended the takeover last month. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump’s personal lawyer helped a major donor to Mr. Trump’s inauguration pitch a nuclear-power investment to the Qatari sovereign wealth fund at a meeting in April, according to people familiar with the matter. [WSJ]

Artist and environmentalist Pat Banks of Madison County won the Democratic nomination Tuesday in the 73rd District for the Kentucky House of Representatives. [Richmond Register]

A company owned by Joel Zamel, an Israeli entrepreneur whose work has drawn the scrutiny of special counsel Robert Mueller, formed a strategic partnership with a data firm for Donald Trump’s campaign in a joint bid to win business from the U.S. government and other clients after the 2016 election, according to people familiar with the matter. [WSJ]

The Democratic primary race for Kentucky House of Representatives District 100 was incredibly close with unofficial results showing Terri Branham Clark winning by just 16 votes. [Ashland Independent]

Four in ten Americans can’t, according to a new report from the Federal Reserve Board. Those who don’t have the cash on hand say they’d have to cover it by borrowing or selling something. [CNN]

Rowan County Fiscal Court met in regular session last week and unanimously approved a $13,867,722 operating budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year. [The Morehead News]

We’re looking at you, Matt Bevin. Donald Trump cannot block Twitter users for the political views they have expressed, a federal judge in Manhattan ruled on Wednesday. Blocking users from viewing his Twitter account — a feature offered by the social media platform — is unconstitutional and a violation of the First Amendment, Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald wrote in her ruling. [NBC News]

Hank Linderman won Tuesday’s Democratic primary for U.S. House of Representatives District 2. He will face incumbent U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Ky, in November’s general election. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, received a secret payment of at least $400,000 (£300,000) to fix talks between the Ukrainian president and Trump, according to sources in Kiev close to those involved. The payment was arranged by intermediaries acting for Ukraine’s leader, Petro Poroshenko, the sources said, though Mr Cohen was not registered as a representative of Ukraine as required by US law. [BBC]

Lexington voters will choose between Linda Gorton, a former vice mayor, and Ronnie Bastin, a former police chief, in the November general election for mayor. [H-L]

Top Democrats on Wednesday urged the Justice Department to scrap a classified briefing with top House Republicans regarding sensitive documents that the GOP lawmakers had requested about the Russia investigation, but said if the meeting was to go forward on Thursday, it ought to include lawmakers of both parties. [HuffPo]

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Reggie Thomas Is Absolutely Correct

Reggie Thomas is absolutely right. Amy McGrath is a carpetbagger and Jim Gray has been a self-hater for so long that he doesn’t have the guts to do or say anything of substance. Look who they both have hired to run their campaigns. Just the worst of Kentucky politics. [H-L]

Donald Trump’s address to the National Rifle Association convention on Friday drew fierce criticism from a survivor of February’s deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin appears to have sold considerable real estate holdings in 2017, according to the annual personal financial disclosure statement he filed late Monday. [C-J/AKN]

The Justice Department deleted language about press freedom and racial gerrymandering from its internal manual. [BuzzFart]

As the opioid epidemic rages across Appalachia, one grim consequence has played out in Kentucky’s medical examiner’s office: A staggering increase in autopsy requests. [Richmond Register]

The uninsured rate among working-age people — that is, those who are between 19 and 64 — is at 15.5 percent, up from 12.7 percent in 2016, meaning an estimated 4 million people lost coverage. Rates were up significantly compared with 2016 among adults with lower incomes — those living in households earning less than 250 percent of poverty (about $30,000 for an individual. [Commonwealth Fund]

Court proceedings in a case against Boyd Jailer Joe Burchett accusing him of malfeasance continued Friday morning. [Ashland Independent]

On July 15, 2016, General Michael Flynn, Trump’s former National Security Adviser who is now cooperating with Special Counsel Mueller, sent an email predicting “a number of things…will happen…via cyber operations…by both hacktivists [and] nation-states.” A week later, Wikileaks began releasing hacked emails from the DNC. [ThinkProgress]

Three candidates for Rowan County Clerk participated in the Primary Candidate Forum held last Tuesday at the Morehead Conference Center. [The Morehead News]

Imagine if women could murder straight men when they hit on them or flirt and be protected by law. You can kill a gay person in all but two states and claim gay panic and get away with it. This guy did. [WaPo]

More than a dozen candidates showed up for the Barren River Rod & Gun Club’s second forum Thursday, this one highlighting different races than the one last month. [Glasgow Daily Times]

In the United States, Paul J. Manafort is facing prosecution on charges of money laundering and financial fraud stemming from his decade of work for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine. But in Ukraine, where officials are wary of offending Donald Trump, not so much. There, four meandering cases that involve Mr. Manafort, Mr. Trump’s former campaign chairman, have been effectively frozen by Ukraine’s chief prosecutor. [NY Times]

Republicans in heavily Republican districts don’t decide to drop out of their re-election bid because they think politics are too vicious. Pro-tip: There’s a research book floating around out there. [H-L]

Donald Trump has postponed the imposition of steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada, the European Union and Mexico until June 1, and has reached agreements for permanent exemptions for Argentina, Australia and Brazil, the White House said on Monday. [HuffPo]

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Republicans Keep Losing To Beshear

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Comedian Michelle Wolf took the bold route during the White House Correspondents’ Dinner on Saturday night. [YouTube]

The General Assembly has adjourned, and thousands of protesting teachers have left the Capitol and gone back to their classrooms. But the battle for public schools and universities in Kentucky has just begun. [Tom Eblen]

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson is proposing to increase rent for millions of low-income tenants in government-subsidized housing and impose stricter work requirements. [HuffPo]

A robbery suspect fleeing from police Tuesday was shot at more than 20 times and killed by three officers and one detective from Louisville Metro Police’s First Division, according to police body camera videos. [C-J/AKN]

A federal judge has blocked Donald Trump’s administration from terminating grants issued through a teen pregnancy prevention program, marking the third time in a week that a court has held that the administration’s 2017 decision was unlawful. [Reuters]

Madison County Board of Education approved in a special-called meeting Wednesday to enter into a contract with the Kentucky School Boards Association (KSBA) for services in finding a new superintendent, as current Superintendent Elmer Thomas has announced his final day will be June 30. [Richmond Register]

The U.S. Department of Education was investigating why black students in Bryan, Texas, are almost four times as likely as white students to be suspended. Then Betsy DeVos took over. [ProPublica]

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear can continue to pursue his challenge to a pension reform bill passed by the 2018 General Assembly. [Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump made two significant legal errors during a Fox & Friends phone interview on Thursday morning, during which he became audibly agitated about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation — at one point yelling about FBI raids on his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and his personal attorney, Michael Cohen. [ThinkProgress]

The Barren County Economic Authority appears to have a buyer for its 80,100-square-foot speculative building in Highland Glen Industrial Park, and it’s a company that already has a presence here. [Glasgow Daily Times]

When you have the best known name in your congressional district and your younger brother is a heartbeat away from the presidency, it is difficult to run a stealth campaign. But Greg Pence is doing a pretty good job of it. [NY Times]

The Kentucky Labor Cabinet has filed suit against the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting to prevent releasing details about employees accused of sexual harassment — the second state agency to sue KyCIR in the last month. [WFPL]

As views shift on the decriminalization of marijuana, and current and former lawmakers question existing drug laws, the fact that people of color, particularly from low-income communities, are still suffering consequences from decades-old marijuana laws is deeply concerning, critics say. [WaPo]

The former pension fund manager who once lived in a multimillion-dollar house in Bourbon County was sentenced Wednesday to more than three years in prison for money laundering and the theft of $600,000 from two employee pension plans. [H-L]

Scott Pruitt, the embattled Environmental Protection Agency administrator, admitted Thursday that he signed off on controversial five-figure raises for political appointees, contradicting statements he made in a tense Fox News interview earlier this month. [HuffPo]

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