Republicans Tried & Failed To Refute Steve Beshear On Health Care Reality In Kentucky

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Remember death panels? Here’s the Republican version – supported by people like Jimmy Higdon and other folks who apparently has no moral compass after all – working to make it even more difficult to hold corrupt providers accountable. The Kentucky House will get a Senate bill that would establish “medical review panels” to intervene in malpractice or neglect lawsuits, with changes that its supporters hope will help it survive a constitutional challenge. [John Cheves]

Every mention of immigrants and immigration on Tuesday evening was negative. That’s what Republicans think was so positive and uplighting – they’re finally having their racism validated. [HuffPo]

Scott Jennings, like most conservatives, needs a new act. In his column railing against the mean old Democrats for opposing Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, he falls back on tired Republican tropes “Hypocrisy!, we are the true victims,” while conveniently ignoring the substance of the opposition. [C-J/AKN]

Former President George W. Bush says he dislikes the racial tensions simmering in the early days of President Trump’s administration. “Yes, I don’t like the racism and I don’t like the name-calling and I don’t like people feeling alienated,” he told People magazine Monday. “Nobody likes that.” [The Hill]

The Battle of Richmond Visitors Center is named one of the top Civil War museums in the nation in the current issue of the Civil War Monitor, a quarterly magazine circulated nationally. [Richmond Register]

Donald Trump signed an order on Tuesday directing regulators to review an Obama administration rule that expanded the number of federally protected waterways as the new president targets environmental regulations conservatives label as government overreach. [Reuters]

Recognizing that the escalating cost of demand-side management programs has “exacerbated an already bleak economic situation for many of Kentucky Power (Company’s) customers,” the Kentucky Public Service Commission has opened a review of the programs. [Ashland Independent]

Former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear painted himself as an ordinary citizen Tuesday night as he blasted Trump’s economic policies and warned that Republicans are poised to “rip affordable health insurance away from millions of Americans who most need it.” Steve Beshear may have personally set quality back decades but he got it right on health care. It’s possible for people who do bigoted things to also do positive things, liberals. [Politico]

Usually, it’s the overabundance of snow days that can cause problems during a school year. This year, it’s a lack of snow days that is causing some concerns. After viewing the academic calendar at Tuesday’s meeting, the Rowan County Board of Education discussed Spring Break scheduling on the district calendar. [The Morehead News]

Really? That was an optimistic address? It’s optimistic to to spew out anti-Muslim, anti-Latinx fear about how immigrants are killing everyone and the country is on fire? This is proof that it’s beyond easy to sway journalists who live in idealistic bubbles. They’re the same people who attacked Steve Beshear for his accent instead of the content of his remarks. [NY Times]

The University of Louisville owes $96,000 to the Internal Revenue Service after an audit found it wasn’t paying taxes on Adidas freebies given to staffers in the athletics department. [WFPL]

The former British spy who authored a controversial dossier on behalf of Donald Trump’s political opponents alleging ties between Trump and Russia reached an agreement with the FBI a few weeks before the election for the bureau to pay him to continue his work, according to several people familiar with the arrangement. While Trump has derided the dossier as “fake news” compiled by his political opponents, the FBI’s arrangement with Steele shows that bureau investigators considered him credible and found his line of inquiry to be worthy of pursuit. [WaPo]

Some things Jack Brammer doesn’t mention – in part because he’s too oblivious to ask, in part because he just doesn’t want to understand what he’s writing about: the KDA used grant funds to funnel cash to Jonathan Miller. Miller lobbied law enforcement to get their support. And the Court of Appeals says Kentucky law requires a license. These hemp shenanigans (and the ongoing lawsuit) ought to be fun. [H-L]

Who is the bigger snowflake – Donald Trump or Scott Jennings? Donald Trump sat down for an interview with “Fox & Friends” and said that former President Barack Obama and “his people” are behind recent town hall protests. [HuffPo]

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Turns Out It’s Possible: Matt Bevin Got Even More Embarrassing

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The valley along Looney Creek in Harlan County was a wooded wilderness in 1917 when U.S. Steel, hungry for coal to make steel during World War I, bought 19,000 acres and set about creating the largest company-owned coal town in the world. [H-L]

OMG hold on to your wigs. Former President George W. Bush took President Donald Trump’s administration to task on Monday. [HuffPo]

Bratcher faced intense questioning and criticism from community members worried the bill is half-baked, stands to resegregate schools and constitutes government overreach. [C-J/AKN]

Matt Bevin isn’t just dumb – he’s as corrupt and backward as Donald Trump. He lies more than Trump, which is borderline astonishing. Errr… it would be. But this is a man with black children who pursues policies that disproportionally harm black people. [Faux Spews]

Just in case you missed Matt Bevin lying about how the Affordable Care Act has helped Kentucky. [WKYT]

It cost New York City about $24 million to provide security at Trump Tower, President Donald Trump’s skyscraper home in Manhattan, from Election Day to Inauguration Day, or $308,000 per day, New York’s police commissioner said on Wednesday. [Reuters]

Restaurants open with the intent to serve, but two restaurants in Madison County have taken the idea of service to heart and have built their business models around offering everyone a place at their tables. [Richmond Register]

No going to church, no going to the store. No doctor’s appointments for some, no school for others. No driving, period — not when a broken taillight could deliver the driver to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. [NY Times]

Because all people experiencing depression and other issues show outward signs??? An inmate who hanged himself in the Greenup County Detention Center earlier this month had shown no signs of distress, jailer Mike Worthington said Friday. [Ashland Independent]

When your mind goes so far right-wing that you can’t discern humor. This is hilarious and terrifying. [WaPo]

Revising the health care law from the previous presidential administration was the primary issue U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie was interested in discussing during one of his stops in Glasgow on Wednesday, but he also touched on political topics ranging from Russia to Mexico. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Remember when Jack Conway said this sort of thing was fine and the Kentucky media turned a blind eye? An investigation by Fox 25 in Oklahoma has confirmed that Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt used a private email account to conduct official business while he was the state’s attorney general, directly contradicting what he told the Senate during his confirmation hearing. [ThinkProgress]

With the General Assembly controlled by business-friendly Republicans, electric utilities might have sensed an opportunity to ram through legislation to limit the growth of independent solar power in Kentucky. [H-L]

Jewish facilities around the nation were rocked by yet another wave of bomb threats Monday, forcing evacuations in at least 12 states. [HuffPo]

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Here Are Scott Jennings’ Remarks. Early.

Scott Jennings, who once pleaded the 5th in order to avoid incriminating himself in the George W. Bush email scandal, still doesn’t understand how embargoes work. Pro-tip: They only work when you arrange them. A blanket directive from your PR firm won’t cut it.

UPDATE – Right off the bat, Jennings started with a racist joke. And he was dumb enough to bring up the Clinton email mess when he has his own very real email scandal on his record. *END UPDATE*

So here are his remarks at Fancy Farm:

Thank you Mark and Father Venters, and welcome, everyone to the 136th annual Fancy Farm picnic! How about a round of applause for Mark and Lori Wilson … another great job, guys, thanks for what you do.

What an honor it is to be here! I love this event and I look forward to it every year. Politicos from across Kentucky come here to show off some personality and creativity.

And to be honest, it is a little intimidating being up here.

I mean, last year Matt Jones of Kentucky Sports Radio was the emcee and he was great.

I wish I could just read his jokes. You know, copy and paste his stuff.

But of course, plagiarism is a big no-no in the political business.

So instead, let me just say that…on behalf of my husband Barack and my daughters Sasha and Malia, it’s an honor to be here.

###

To those watching at home, let me introduce you to the most important players in today’s event – this huge crowd!

First, in this corner, please welcome…THE REPUBLICANS!

And, this corner, please welcome…THE DEMOCRATS!

And, finally, let me introduce the most important people of all … the DEMOCRATS who vote REPUBLICAN every November!

It’s ok guys, everybody knows what you do in the voting booth. There’s no time like the present to come out of the shadows.

###

It’s true, Kentucky is a real two-party state these days and a lot of Democrats are actually voting Republican. There are three issues motivating this migration:

Hillary. Rodham. Clinton.

Man, she’ll say anything to get elected. I don’t want to say Hillary is pandering to get votes in Kentucky, but I’m not totally convinced she’ll send Bobby Knight to Guantanamo Bay.

If she does pull this off, the only thing less safe than our national security information will be the White House interns. Look out! Slick Willie on the loose!

###

Hillary’s opponent is, for now, Donald Trump.

I don’t want to talk too much about The Donald, mainly because I’ve been told that every time someone makes a joke about Trump, an angel gets deported.

Oh wait, I misread it.

That’s “Ángel gets deported!”

###

Can you believe what’s going with the Russians? Trump says they ought to be hacking Hillary’s emails. The Democrats say Vladimir Putin is trying to meddle in our elections?

Now I don’t know if that’s true, Jamie Comer, but if folks start handing out vodka instead of bourbon to win School Board races in your neck of the woods we’ll know something’s up.

But I have to say, Trump picking Governor Mike Pence for Vice President was genius. In Indiana, Mike Pence wanted to start a state-run news agency! A political operative would write all the news stories.

You know, the way it works over in North Korea. Or at MSNBC.

###

Governor Matt Bevin, good to see you today and welcome back to Fancy Farm!

There is no doubt, Governor, that you are getting things done in Frankfort.

After eight years of Steve Beshear, a lot of folks forgot what it was like when a Governor, you know, actually tried.

Now Governor, it is true, a lot of Republicans were kind of hard on you back in 2014 when you first came along. Now, I wasn’t one of them…but since we are at church today I’ll go ahead and ask for forgiveness.

You know the Establishment isn’t very good at predicting the future. Heck, this time last summer I was all in for Jeb Bush!

The truth is, Governor, you are doing a terrific job.

Just ask Attorney General Andy Beshear. He thinks your criminal justice reforms are terrific – because of you, some of the people in Andy’s office might actually get to vote for him in the next election.

Now Andy isn’t here today. But if you are watching at home, brother, I’m just kidding around. Don’t sue me! We’ve known each other for a very long time. You are the Beshear I actually get along with.

I’m just waiting for Governor Bevin to rename Lake Beshear over there by Dawson Springs, where your Dad and I were born.

Maybe…Lake Obamacare. Or Lake Pension Shortfall. Who knows?

###

Senator Mitch McConnell, good to see you here today.

An event like this is perfect for a guy like him. When Kentuckians think entertainment and excitement they think of two words: Mitch. McConnell.

They actually took a survey of the most exciting, dynamic senators. Senator McConnell came in right ahead of Tim Kaine, which is no small feat.

By the way, thank you for releasing an audio version of your memoir. It changed our lives in the Jennings Household. Thanks to the sound of your voice, our little baby Thatcher has never slept better.

I’m just kidding…because I can! Mitch McConnell is my old boss, of course. And apparently I have no interest in ever working for him again, so I will just keep going here.

In all seriousness, the Senator has been a true mentor. I’ll never forget what he told me at the end of the last campaign. He looked me right in the eye, shook my hand and said “Scott, if you ever talk to the Louisville Courier-Journal about anything you’ve seen here, I’ll kill you.”

That’s actually not a joke.

###

Speaking of the Senate, Rand Paul, good to see you back at Fancy Farm.

Now Rand is disappointed he’s not running against Hillary right now, but running for Senate from Kentucky is far better than running for President.

One good thing … at the debates, your podium is in the center of the stage rather than falling off the end of it!

Oh, Jim Gray. I forgot you were there. And apparently so did the rest of your party.

Hello and welcome to Fancy Farm.

I don’t know much about old Jim over here except he’s spent most of his time as Mayor trying to fill a huge hole somebody dug in the middle of Lexington.

Here’s a thought … you may need a place to bury your political career after this election.

###

Again, I want to welcome everyone watching at home on KET. Bill Goodman has microphones all over the picnic grounds to capture the sounds of Fancy Farm.

It’s sort of the same in Frankfort these days, where the FBI has microphones all over the cooperating witnesses.

Which reminds me! Alison Grimes passes along her regrets. She couldn’t be here today because her husband is about to go away on a long trip.

Funny, I heard her Dad may also be going away for a long time.

Want to scare a Democrat in Frankfort these days? Sneak up behind one and say: “You have the right to remain silent!”

###

Before we get started, I want to take a moment to recognize some people who come here every year. They endure the heat and the hecklers so we can enjoy our First Amendment rights.

I am talking about the Kentucky State Police, the U.S. Capitol Police, and the local officers from all over Western Kentucky.

To all law enforcement officers here today, thank you. And, also, we thank your families for enduring the stress that comes with supporting the THIN BLUE LINE.

Now more than ever, we owe these men and women our gratitude.

###

Ok, ok, let’s get on with it. These politicians are ready to go.

Trust me when I tell you, what these folks are about to do is incredibly hard.

You want easy? Go hack Hillary’s email. That’s easy.

Speaking here at Fancy Farm… that takes guts!

Now, let me go over a couple of ground rules.

First, no noisemakers. If you use a noisemaker we will personally have Donald Trump tweet what a SAD! PATHETIC! LOSER! you are.

We know you are going to hoot and holler. Just be civil, and remember to use clean language and good manners.

We are all Americans, we are all Kentuckians and we all need to remember to love thy neighbor.

Now, ladies and gentlemen, let’s get down to business and see what these politicians have to say here at Fancy Farm!

###

Scott is busy defending Donald Trump’s racism, homophobia, transphobia. So it’s fun to see him emcee Fancy Farm.

As always, there’s this, this and this.

And remember – Democrats didn’t show up at Fancy Fart (not really a typo) because their assistance isn’t needed. The Republican Party of Kentucky doesn’t need the Democrats to help them burn down their barn with Trump-style racism and hate.

Remember Pre-9/11 Gary Condit? It’s Gary Condit Flashback Time!

The University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital is ranked No. 1 in Kentucky in U.S. News and World Report’s Best Hospitals survey, which was released Tuesday. [H-L]

Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s campaign chairman, has had success dealing with hard-to-manage dictatorial types, from Imelda Marcos of the Philippines, to Jonas Savimbi of Angola, to Victor Yanukovych of Ukraine. [HuffPo]

The State Plumbing Code Committee has voted to suspend a decades-old rule that business leaders and developers had long viewed as a major impediment to investing in major construction projects. [C-J/AKN]

An attorney for Gary Condit, the former congressman who had an extramarital affair with Washington intern Chandra Levy before her 2001 murder, said on Friday that prosecutors had told the ex-lawmaker that he was not a suspect in the case despite their decision to drop charges against another man. [Reuters]

Acts of kindness towards the Rowan County Sheriff’s Department have not gone unnoticed. Sheriff Matt Sparks says he thanks those who have been showing their support over the last few months during a difficult time for law enforcement across the country. [The Morehead News]

In Syria’s civil war, it’s dangerous to even treat the wounded. Since the beginning of the civil war, the Syrian government has killed hundreds of medical personnel, and dozens of doctors have been assassinated by ISIS. The few doctors who dare to treat the casualties have been forced to work in secret. [ProPublica]

You are Letcher County, Kentucky. You are rural, mountainous, and in the heart of the central Appalachian coalfields. Your economy is not in good shape. Fox News has called your largest town “the poster child for the war on coal.” You are offered funds to build a new federal prison. It could bring jobs but also brings up troubling moral issues. What do you do? [WFPL]

Members of the Indiana State Teachers Association will rally near the annual convention of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in Indianapolis Friday afternoon where Republican vice presidential nominee Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is speaking on Friday. ALEC, whose members are a mix of representatives of large corporations and legislators, is a group known for drafting model legislation for conservative lawmakers. [ThinkProgress]

If you showed up at the Jeffersontown Police Department with heroin, needles, or prescriptions you might think officers would put you behind bars. But as of Monday, the department is opening its doors to addicts as part of its Angel Initiative. [WAVE3]

Just when it seems that Donald Trump could not display more ignorance and bad judgment or less of a moral compass, he comes up with another ignominy or two. This weekend he denigrated the parents of a fallen American military hero and suggested that if elected he might recognize Russia’s claims to Ukraine and end sanctions. [NY Times]

Atlanta-based United Parcel Service Inc. is enhancing its educational assistance programs for employees at its Worldport facility in Louisville. [Business First]

Donald Trump asked a woman with a crying baby to leave his rally in Ashburn, Virginia, on Tuesday. The GOP nominee initially suggested that he did not mind the disruption. [Politico]

If you’ve yet to read this story, put on your crazy glasses. A report of a car full of men in body armor with semi-automatic weapons brought Lexington police to the Walmart on Richmond Road on Saturday night. Officers found two men, one in body armor, a 20-year-old woman and a six-month old baby. [H-L]

A Donald Trump spokeswoman Tuesday night opened a new front in the GOP nominee’s campaign of insults against the parents of a Muslim-American war hero, this time blaming President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for the soldier’s death. Khan was killed in 2004 in Iraq, protecting fellow soldiers from a car bomb. You might recall that Obama did not take office until 2009. [HuffPo]

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Which News Dumps Will Hit Today?

This is what you call good old boy butthurt. Officials with the Bluegrass Area Development District said Tuesday they will continue to pay staff through July as they fight the state’s attempt to take away millions of dollars in federal and state funding for aging and workforce programs by Friday. [H-L]

Robert Murray, owner of the country’s largest private coal company, wasted no time pointing the finger when he announced plans earlier this week to lay off as many as 4,400 workers, or 80 percent of his workforce. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin’s halfwit staffers spent years attacking Steve Beshear for not appointing enough minorities for the University of Louisville’s board. So what do they do? They don’t find any minority appointees. Fascinating how these people operate. Dumber than you could have ever imaged. Not corrupt – dumb. Deeply, deeply dumb. [C-J/AKN]

A review of campaign finance records by The Hill shows that the practice of skirting or openly flouting the contractor ban has become widespread in both congressional and presidential politics. [The Hill]

Any hopes for a better reception for Gov. Matt Bevin’s proposed changes to expanded Medicaid in Kentucky vanished pretty quickly at a second public hearing here Wednesday. [Ronnie Ellis]

South Carolina fire officials decided to make sprinklers mandatory in new homes. Homebuilders overturned the rule with help behind the scenes from Gov. Nikki Haley. It was one more win for an industry that has spent millions of dollars in state capitals to block a life-saving upgrade included in the nation’s model building code. [ProPublica]

Liberal state lawmakers have for 16 years pushed for a bill that would amend Kentucky’s civil rights code to protect people from discrimination in the workplace, housing and other areas based on their sexual orientation. [WFPL]

According to experts, white supremacy has experienced a renaissance in the last two years, reaching levels of popularity and influence not seen since the late-1960s. [ThinkProgress]

The Eastern Kentucky Veterans Center in Hazard was presented with a $2,500 check from the County Clerk’s Association on Monday to help the center fund an Independence Day celebration for citizens who truly represent our nation’s liberty and patriotic pride; our veterans. [Hazard Herald]

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Wednesday rejected criticism of his campaign tactics, in a wide-ranging speech defending his team’s use of a Jewish star and his own praise of the late Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. [Reuters]

The Bank of Harlan has been acquired by Monticello Bankshares Inc. in a deal that will see the merger of the two financial institutions. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

Donald Trump has to be one of the dumbest people in history. [Politico]

State alcohol regulators prepared a new map a couple of months ago showing Kentucky’s jumble of legally dry, wet and partially wet cities and counties, but it’s already out of date. [H-L]

The Iraqi man who was filmed attacking Saddam Hussein’s statue with a sledgehammer when U.S. troops stormed into Baghdad in 2003 said Iraq was in a better shape under his rule and George W. Bush and Tony Blair should be put on trial “for ruining” it. [HuffPo]

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Maybe Mitch Isn’t In Love With Trump?

The Republican leader in the Senate says most candidates for president have released their tax documents as presumptive GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump insists he’ll wait until after an IRS audit. [H-L]

Two Boston brothers accused of urinating on and beating a homeless Mexican man and telling police “Donald Trump was right: All these illegals need to be deported,” were sentenced to prison on Monday, prosecutors said. [HuffPo]

An atheist group has been stymied in its planned billboard campaign in Kentucky to protest the controversial $92 million Noah’s Ark replica theme park, set to open in July. [C-J/AKN]

From the time we began reporting on the archive provided to us in Hong Kong by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, we sought to fulfill his two principal requests for how the materials should be handled: that they be released in conjunction with careful reporting that puts the documents in context and makes them digestible to the public, and that the welfare and reputations of innocent people be safeguarded. As time has gone on, The Intercept has sought out new ways to get documents from the archive into the hands of the public, consistent with the public interest as originally conceived. [The Intercept]

A 48-year-old Ashland man was indicted on a bigamy charge after he refused to divorce his first wife and married a second. [Ashland Independent]

President Obama inherited two wars from his predecessor, George W. Bush, and has struggled to wind them down. American troops are still in both Iraq and Afghanistan, but their missions have changed and there are far fewer troops in combat than at the heights of those wars a decade ago. [NY Times]

Glasgow Independent Schools Board of Education presented its evaluation of Superintendent Sean Howard for the 2015-16 school year Monday night in its regular meeting at Glasgow High School. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The rich world has got used to health and longevity getting better, and death rates falling for everyone. But over the past few years, data has been accumulating which suggests that this trend has stopped for poorly-educated, white Americans. [BBC]

Disappointed. Sad. Hurt. Shocked. Lorrina Mabry White says she’s experienced all of these emotions and many others since losing her job last month at Maysville Community and Technical College. [The Morehead News]

Donald Trump spent his first two weeks as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee changing his stances on a number of policy issues, sometimes multiple times. That got an interesting defense from one of his senior advisers on Friday. [ThinkProgress]

Only 9.1 percent of Americans lacked health insurance last year, the lowest uninsured rate on record. [Business First]

Millions of Americans live with the possibility that, at any moment, their wages or the cash in their bank accounts could be seized over an old debt. It’s an easily ignored part of America’s financial system, in part due to a common attitude that people who don’t pay their debts deserve what’s coming to them. [ProPublica]

Kentucky transportation officials have started an online service for people to renew their license plates. [H-L]

More than 7 million previously uninsured Americans gained health coverage in 2015, the second full year of the Obamacare coverage expansion, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [HuffPo]

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Andy Beshear’s Big Conflict Remains Hot

The University of Kentucky will lose $12.6 million next year thanks to a 4.5 percent cut in state funding. At the same time, student financial aid and scholarships will increase by more than $20 million, and fixed costs for things such as utilities and employee health insurance are on the rise. [H-L]

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has not been shy about his disdain for the mainstream media. But the Democratic presidential hopeful has rarely, if ever, articulated it as bluntly as he did in an interview that aired on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” on Friday night. Sanders called out the network for its corporate character in a novel exchange with host Rachel Maddow. [HuffPo]

It symbolizes how cavalier we were in 20th century America – a hole dug next to a drinking water source where businesses sent hazardous waste to be buried out of sight and out of mind. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump says he thinks he can win the general election, even if the Republican Party does not unify to support his candidacy. [ABC News]

Andy Beshear says he has no reason to recuse himself from the Longmeyer case so let us break it down for him. Here are the conflicts: LONGMEYER WAS HIS DEPUTY! He’s a longtime friend of Longmeyer’s. Longmeyer worked directly for his daddy. Longmeyer raised/laundered cash for him. Longmeyer is going to prison. Jesus H at the stupid. Someone file a bar complaint against the man posthaste! [Ronnie Ellis]

On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, the presidency of George W. Bush changed instantly. In a new collection of never-before-seen photographs from that day, the president can be seen responding to the worst terrorist attack in United States history — an event that would redefine his time in office and propel the nation into two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. [PBS]

When it came down to it, John Bland was unhappy and growing desperate. He was 65 years old, had led a life of watching in awe as his grandmother and aunt tried on dresses, mourned the realization that he would never bear a child and spent each day hating the body he had been given. [The News-Enterprise]

President Obama can’t wait to take on Donald Trump. Obama has been largely sidelined in the presidential contest, a last-year officeholder with high approval ratings who has repeatedly shown he likes to spar with political foes. [The Hill]

We think what Greg Stumbo really means is he wants a forensic accounting because an audit is way too random and easy to manipulate. Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo is asking Auditor Mike Harmon if the General Assembly can authorize an audit of another branch of government. [WKMS]

FBI requests for customer records under a secretive surveillance order increased by nearly 50 percent in 2015, according to a U.S. government transparency report published this week. [Reuters]

Supt. Marvin Moore said the relocation of the Rowan County Board of Education’s central office from East Second Street to the old middle school on West Sun Street went better than anticipated. [The Morehead News]

Including a Kentuckian from Henderson. President Barack Obama commuted the sentences of 58 more federal prisoners Thursday, seeking to add momentum to his drive to allow earlier releases of men and women serving lengthy terms for drug offenses. [Politico & Press Release]

Lexington’s push to increase internet speeds will be delayed a few months as the city studies the cost of providing ultra high-speed internet access to Fayette County’s rural areas. [H-L]

Bernie Sanders has said that Hillary Clinton is not a “true progressive” and many of his supporters seem to agree. It’s one reason that Sanders keeps performing well in primaries and caucuses, prolonging the campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. [HuffPo]

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