McConnell Doesn’t Want To Do Anything

Is he the most dishonest person on earth or just the laziest? In 2018, at least 26 students have died in five school shootings in America. Two of those deaths came in a shooting at Marshall County High School in Kentucky. [H-L]

It’s hard to see the sky from Mitch Whitaker’s back porch. The mountainside, lush and green on a summer day, rises almost vertically. When Whitaker was a teenager, the top of it was blown off and the land was mined for coal. In the years since, native grasses have grown back and deer have returned. He and a few buddies now run a remote-controlled airplane club up there. Some hunt, have picnics and hike with their grandkids. But things are set to change here in rural Roxana, Kentucky. [HuffPo]

In a blow to Matt Bevin’s effort to reshape Kentucky’s Medicaid program, a federal judge has struck down his plan to require some people to meet strict new requirements including working or volunteering and paying monthly premiums in order to get health coverage through Medicaid. [C-J/AKN]

As a meeting last August in the Oval Office to discuss sanctions on Venezuela was concluding, Donald Trump turned to his top aides and asked an unsettling question: With a fast unraveling Venezuela threatening regional security, why can’t the U.S. just simply invade the troubled country? [AP]

Stories like this that glorify Mitch McConnell’s bullshit with Supreme Court nominees only serves to keep Eastern Kentuckians ignorant. [Ashland Independent]

Embattled Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt directly appealed to Donald Trump this spring to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions and let him run the Department of Justice instead, according to three people familiar with the proposal. In an Oval Office conversation with Trump, Pruitt offered to temporarily replace Sessions for 210 days under the Vacancies Reform Act, telling the President he would return to Oklahoma afterward to run for office. [CNN]

When the 2018-19 school year begins, Glasgow Independent Schools will have a resource officer in each of its schools, GIS Superintendent Keith Hale said during the board of education’s special-called meeting Tuesday at the central office, adding that he appreciates the board’s commitment to school safety. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Tackling an issue that Congress has largely ignored for decades, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee voted Thursday to request $50 million in new funding for programs aimed at reducing the comparatively high U.S. rate of women who die in pregnancy or childbirth. [ProPublica]

Donald Trump’s desire to help boost the Ohio Valley’s energy industry and bring back mining jobs could be stymied by the administration’s escalating trade battle with China and other trading partners across the globe. [WFPL]

The Trump administration will encourage the nation’s school superintendents and college presidents to adopt race-blind admissions standards, abandoning an Obama administration policy that called on universities to consider race as a factor in diversifying their campuses, Trump administration officials said. [NY Times]

Warren County Public Schools continues to see significant gaps in test scores for students who are African-American, Hispanic, English learners, disabled and those who qualify for free and reduced lunch, according to a report recently released by the district. [BGDN]

Finally, a family separation story with a happy ending. It’s not the sort of family separation that has been in the headlines lately. [WaPo]

Andy Barr said Monday he supports Kentucky’s ability to determine who receives Medicaid benefits, a day after the Bevin administration eliminated access to vision and dental coverage for 460,000 Kentuckians on Medicaid. [H-L]

Racists gonna racist. Donald Trump’s administration is planning to undo policies that would encourage race as a factor in college admissions, according to news reports. [HuffPo]

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More Koch Crap Comes To Kentucky

Americans for Prosperity, which is backed by the billioanaire(sic) Koch brothers, says it plans ads against Kentucky’s Hal Rogers over ‘wasteful’ spending. [H-L]

The government program meant to place unaccompanied children taken from the U.S.-Mexico border into the care of a parent or sponsor admitted last month it lost nearly 1,500 of them. And it said it isn’t responsible for finding them either. [HuffPo]

Simon Wallace is proud of his barbershop, where he knows the customers by name. Many are from the surrounding blocks and simply walk to his modest shop, just off the corner of 28th Street and Greenwood Avenue in Parkland. [C-J/AKN]

The FBI warned on Friday that Russian computer hackers had compromised hundreds of thousands of home and office routers and could collect user information or shut down network traffic. [Reuters]

When Amy McGrath stepped behind a microphone Tuesday night in Richmond after her eight-point win over Lexington Mayor Jim Gray in the Democratic primary for the Sixth Congressional District, she began her victory speech this way… [Ronnie Ellis]

Seizing on a longtime ambition of many Republicans, Donald Trump on Friday overhauled rules affecting at least two million federal workers, making it easier to fire them and rolling back the workplace role of their unions. [NY Times]

The city of Ashland is aggressively exploring new ways to grow jobs in the city. [Ashland Independent]

In the photo, Gigi Daniel-Zagorites grips the edge of a small bookcase, her tilted head peering over. The bookcase and a cabinet barricade the 13-year-old in one corner of a classroom. Two women sit, backs turned. [WaPo]

In a race decided by less than 200 votes (of 4,447 total) and 4 percent of total voters, Kim Barker-Tabor secured the seat of Rowan County Circuit Court Clerk during the Primary Election Tuesday evening. [The Morehead News]

When Donald Trump’s latest financial disclosure form was released last week, we dropped what we were doing and started digging. [ProPublica]

A majority of the board of directors for Barren-Metcalfe County Emergency Medical Services approved for the fiscal year beginning July 1 a $4.85 million budget – $1.11 million more than the one approved for this year – as it was proposed, with no amendments. [Glasgow Daily Times]

This is the FBI’s standard operating procedure in counterintelligence cases. Although Trump and his defenders have frequently stated that employing informants was illegal and scandalously inappropriate, that’s just one more Trumpian falsehood. [Observer]

A Kentucky school district that has seen four employees charged with child sex offenses in an 18-month span faces new allegations in court, but is trying to reassure parents that student safety is a top priority. [H-L]

It’s literally his policy. Donald Trump has bashed the Democrats for a hugely controversial policy created by his own administration: separating undocumented immigrant children from their parents. [HuffPo]

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Bevin: Too Dumb To Walk & Chew Gum?

The Eastern Kentucky University Board of Regents violated the state open meetings act when it met behind behind closed doors for more than five hours, Attorney General Andy Beshear said. [H-L]

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators have questioned a Russian oligarch about hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments his company’s US affiliate made to Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, after the election, according to a source familiar with the matter. [CNN]

Fox News anchor Shepard Smith sharply criticized Donald Trump on Friday for headlining the National Rifle Association convention mere months after he vowed to take action on gun control in the wake of the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, in which 17 people died. [HuffPo]

Jefferson County Public Schools could fight a state takeover in court by arguing that the state board of education cannot issue a fair decision because its new members are biased, a lawyer says. Louisville attorney David Tachau, whose practice includes constitutional litigation, said the circumstances leading up to interim Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis’ recommendation for a takeover seem suspect. [C-J/AKN]

Cambridge Analytica used its own database and voter information collected from Facebook and news publishers in its effort to help elect Donald Trump, despite a claim by a top campaign official who has downplayed the company’s role in the election. [The Guardian]

Presidents facing re-election often employ what’s euphemistically called “the Rose Garden Strategy” — events outside the White House which make them look presidential. Congressmen don’t have that luxury, but Kentucky’s Republican Congressman from the 6th District, Andy Barr, gets pretty close. [Ronnie Ellis]

The lobbyist and his wife who rented a condominium to Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt for $50 a night last summer paid a $2,034 fine on Friday for renting the property without the proper license. [The Hill]

Four Democrats and two Republicans are vying to fill the role of Greenup County Sheriff, an office that has been occupied by Democrat Keith Cooper since 1999. Cooper has opted against running for a sixth term. [Ashland Independent]

The U.S. National Security Agency collected 534 million records of phone calls and text messages of Americans last year, more than triple gathered in 2016, a U.S. intelligence agency report released on Friday said. [Reuters]

Harold “Hal” Rogers, U.S. representative for Kentucky’s 5th congressional district, attended a special meeting of the Gateway Area Development District (ADD) Wednesday to provide an update about ongoing work in Washington, DC and across southern and eastern Kentucky. [The Morehead News]

When the United States sought to punish Russia last month for its election interference and other aggressions, it targeted some of Russia’s wealthiest men, imposing sanctions on those viewed as enriching themselves off President Vladimir V. Putin’s government. Now it turns out that one of the men, Viktor F. Vekselberg, was also singled out in another of the efforts to confront Russia’s election interference: the investigation led by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III. Federal agents working with Mr. Mueller stopped Mr. Vekselberg, a billionaire businessman, at a New York-area airport this year and sought to search his electronic devices and question him, according to people familiar with the matter. [NY Times]

While law enforcement agencies and other organizations around the nation may be increasing their gun bring-back programs, so far, that idea is not taking off in the Barren County area. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Beijing’s International Security Defense College, which boasts of becoming “the largest private security training school in China,” sits behind a 45-foot-high exterior wall and a barricade. Inside the compound, trainers with police and military experience teach classes on tackling detainees, handling hostage situations and thwarting terrorist attacks. [WaPo]

Faced with the need to cut nearly $1 million from its budget, Kentucky Educational Television is eliminating its online campus offerings, long known as “distance learning.” [H-L]

A high-ranking political appointee at the Department of the Interior told colleagues their job is ultimately to protect their boss, Secretary Ryan Zinke, internal emails reveal ― in particular from matters that could trigger an ethics probe or negative media attention. [HuffPo]

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Miss Lindsey Is Mad Over Trump’s Tapes

A human trafficking and rape case against a former Northern Kentucky judge grew more bizarre at a tense arraignment and bond hearing Wednesday in Kenton County. [H-L]

Beltway wise guys – the same people who thought Hillary Clinton would waltz into the White House – are now assuring themselves that Donald Trump is going down. [HuffPo]

Stupid people like this are why you can’t have nice things. Never forget it. [C-J/AKN]

It is 100-percent certain, based on public sources, that some form of Trump tapes exist. [The Hill]

The Boyd County Fiscal Court is factoring in a sharp drop in tax revenue from a landfill, a steel mill and an oil refinery as it prepares to trim its next budget by about $200,000. [Ashland Independent]

A Russian-owned group of companies has agreed to pay nearly $6 million to settle U.S. civil allegations that the firms laundered proceeds of a $230 million tax fraud, ending a politically charged case days before it was set to go to trial. [Reuters]

Barren County is becoming more desirable to businesses looking to relocate because of the area’s recent push in workforce development, said several members of the Glasgow-Barren County Industrial Development Economic Authority board during their regular meeting Friday at the Barren County Area Technology Center. [Glasgow Daily Times]

GOP Kentucky Rep. Hal Rogers traded dozens of stocks while serving as chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, which affects a broad array of policy areas. Rogers also maintained partial ownership of a small bank and collected at least $100,000 in dividends from the bank while chairing the committee, which is on the front lines of deciding whether to roll back Dodd-Frank regulations on banks. Under congressional rules, owning companies and sitting on corporate boards is permitted so long as members don’t draw a salary. Rogers didn’t respond to requests for comment. [Politico]

What began over 25 years ago on a local artist’s farm has now become a nationally recognized event. “A Day in the Country” began when Elliott County folk artist Minnie Adkins allowed 15 local artists to set up on her farm and sell their artwork. [The Morehead News]

Tens of millions of Americans together owe more than a trillion dollars in student debt. For the financial health of their households and the entire economy, ensuring a fair and smoothly functioning student loan system is critically important. But with a series of regulatory changes, the Trump administration is taking us in the wrong direction, making student loans riskier, more expensive and more burdensome for borrowers. [NY Times]

If you’ve got Medicare insurance, you probably already know this. But if you don’t, you need to know this: It won’t be a relief from high health care costs. [WFPL]

When the photo became public, people were quick to question the wisdom of allowing into the Oval Office at least one Russian who hadn’t been screened enough to identify that dual role. Much less, one who brought with him electronic equipment in the form of his camera. [WaPo]

A Floyd County woman was indicted by a Pike grand jury this week on charges that she stole more than $15,000 worth of Girl Scout cookies. [H-L]

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Sunday called for the White House to turn over any recordings, if they exist, taped during a meeting between Donald Trump and former FBI Director James Comey. [HuffPo]

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Kentucky Republicans Sold Your Privacy Rights

Wondering how much money it took for Kentucky Republicans in Washington to sell your internet privacy?

According to The Verge – so you know it’s way more money than listed because they can’t even get peoples’ names correct – it didn’t take too much.

  • Thomas Massie: $2,750
  • Brett Guthrie: $81,500
  • Jamie Comer: $14,750
  • Hal Rogers: $12,500
  • Andy Barr: $28,400
  • Mitch McConnell: $251,110

That’s what the Republican Party of Kentucky supports. Minus Rand Paul. They support killing your privacy. Selling your private data to the highest campaign bidder.

They all deserve a square kick in the nuts next time you see them. Because they don’t care about individual liberty. They don’t believe in freedom. They never practice what they preach. Be it girlfriend-beating, paying for abortions or selling you out? That’s what those folks love to do. All while playing members of the church choir on teevee.

King Coal Is Still In Severe Denial

You already know Friends of Coal and the Kentucky Coal Association exist only to make a handful of people wealthy. They use far-right Republican extremists as spokespeople (like the Coal Association used RPK’s Tres Watson for years). They decimate Appalachia, take from the poor and ignore Kentucky. It’s all bullshit hype and panicked, worried people fall for it without fail. [H-L]

Donald Trump restructured his campaign leadership Tuesday in a desperate attempt to turn around his flagging presidential bid. [HuffPo]

Of the 87 who died in an accident involving motorcycles, 57 were not wearing a helmet, and neither were any of 19 who died while on an ATV. [Floyd County Times]

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign appears to be soliciting foreign donations despite multiple warnings and a criminal complaint filed with the Department of Justice. [The Hill]

Two of the victims at the heart of a sexual assault and harassment case against an associate professor are angry and say UK is protecting the professor at the expense of his victims, other students and the public. [Kentucky Kernel]

When it comes to the substance of Donald Trump’s speech proposing “extreme vetting” of immigrants to the United States, retired Navy Adm. James Stavridis on Tuesday indicated that the Republican nominee lacked specifics. [Politico]

Hal Rogers joined members of the Chamber of Commerce in touring the Somerset coworking center — billed as being a space for small businesses or those striking out on their own to “connect, create and collaborate.” [Commonwealth Journal]

With hopes of landing the U.S. Senate candidates and high-profile surrogates to represent the presidential candidates, plans are in place for the sixth annual Brushy Fork Forum in Vine Grove. [News-Enterprise]

Facing allegations from former city firefighter Jeffrey Queen that he was subjected to a hostile work environment during his five years in the Bowling Green Fire Department, the city of Bowling Green on Friday acknowledged the existence of a video showing a firefighter burning the Quran, one of many accusations of misconduct in a lawsuit filed by Queen earlier this week. [BGDN]

Over the past decade, the news about Kentucky’s coal industry has been reliably bad. The latest numbers show the state is mining the smallest amount of coal since about 1934, and there are fewer coal miners employed here than anytime in the 20th century. [WFPL]

Those following the Powell Scandal(s) will likely want to keep an eye on this. A school district is hoping voters will help replace what might be the most out-of-shape high and middle schools in Kentucky. [WAVE3]

This is what happens when an illegally-hired former superintendent’s wife heads south. We hear it’s motivating the OAG to seek restitution on behalf of the Montgomery County Board of Education. [Page One]

On Thursday, a Northern Kentucky woman was sentenced to almost 19 years in prison for providing illegal drugs to her daughter in prison; her daughter subsequently died of an overdose. [H-L]

Donald Trump is doing a great job of making the case against his own presidential candidacy, President Barack Obama said at a fundraiser for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on Monday. [HuffPo]

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Reminder: Matt Bevin Has No Concept Of Ethics… Or Anything, Really

Just when you thought Matt Bevin and his people couldn’t get more ignorant? Matt Bevin has signed an executive order that effectively gives him control over all appointments to the Executive Branch Ethics Commission without any input from the state attorney general and state auditor. Almost as funny as the Personnel Secretary begging folks to help them dig through Beshear data to uncover corruption because they don’t know anything about Kentucky. HAHAHA. You can’t fix the kind of stupid these people possess. [H-L]

Senate Republicans have never made it easy for President Barack Obama to put judges on federal courts. But now, with just months left in his term, they’re not even pretending to try to let judicial nominees through. [HuffPo]

Isn’t it fun watching Kentucky’s half-literate governator claim “God” has sanctioned his extreme Medicaid cuts? That’s what Jesus would do – choke even more out of the working poor, deny access to dental and vision, claim it’s helping them. [C-J/AKN]

The coal industry is slated to lose clout in the next Congress, with term limits set to force out a chairman who has frequently battled with the Obama administration on behalf of mining companies. Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Keeping Eastern Kentucky Impoverished) will relinquish the gavel of the House Appropriations Committee in January, after having led the powerful panel for six years, which is the maximum allowed under GOP rules. [The Hill]

A deadly shooting took place in the South Fork community of Breathitt County on Saturday. One person was pronounced deceased at the scene and two others seriously injured. [Hazard Herald]

Reverberations from the U.S. Supreme Court’s major ruling backing abortion rights were felt on Tuesday as the justices rejected bids by Mississippi and Wisconsin to revive restrictions on abortion doctors matching those struck down in Texas on Monday. [Reuters]

The Harlan Fiscal Court discussed a situation concerning the safety of a much-used bridge on U.S. 119 in Cumberland during a special-called meeting on Monday. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

The children of Vietnam vets describe how they believe their fathers’ exposure to Agent Orange during the war has impacted their families and their health. [ProPublica]

All members of the Madison Fiscal Court took turns June 14 criticizing the Madison County and Berea school boards for paying the sheriff a 1.5 percent fee for collecting its property taxes instead of the 4.25 percent paid by all other local taxing entities except the ambulance board. [Richmond Register]

Local communities are increasingly passing laws to control crime and nuisances on rental properties. They do so mostly by limiting the number of times police can be called to a residence. But it turns out that crime victims — especially victims of domestic abuse — are often the ones who end up being penalized. [NPR]

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin proclaims the days of “pay to play” ended with his arrival in Frankfort. But some House Democrats say if you’re not willing to play, Bevin isn’t reluctant to make you pay. [Ronnie Ellis]

On Tuesday night, 128 members of Congress weighed in to urge a federal appeals court to protect against sexual orientation-based discrimination under existing civil rights laws. [BuzzFeed]

Massie’s ideas about “sovereignty” are an extreme example of the naïve thinking that fueled the Brexit vote, has propelled Trump’s candidacy and energizes Tea Party activists. It is our inner 4-year-old screaming, “You can’t tell me what to do!” [H-L]

The draft of the 2016 Democratic Party platform endorses abolishing the death penalty, a break with the views of its presumptive presidential nominee. [HuffPo]