Mitch McConnell Helped Create Myanmar But The KDP Has No Clue How To Use It Against Him

The National Rifle Association has accepted contributions from about 23 Russians, or Americans living in Russia, since 2015, the gun rights group acknowledged to Congress. [NPR]

The public education advocacy group Pike County Strong is asking teachers to call in sick Thursday night in order to close schools Friday and allow teachers to rally in Frankfort. A group official said the move goes against the wishes of the Kentucky Education Association, which has taken a cautious approach to school closures that is frustrating many Pike County teachers. [H-L]

A reported chemical attack this weekend has once again thrust into view the Syrian government’s continued assault on civilians. But while Donald Trump has condemned the attack, he’s the one responsible for denying a safe haven in the United States to the Syrian refugees most in need. [HuffPo]

The Jefferson County teachers union has called for more protests after Matt Bevin announced on Monday he would veto both the budget and tax reform bills. [C-J/AKN]

The Keystone crude oil pipeline leak in November in rural South Dakota was nearly double the original estimate, making it one of the largest U.S. inland spills since 2010, a newspaper report on Saturday said. [Reuters]

This year’s Health County Ranking’s report revealed some changes in where area counties stand in health outcomes and factors. [Ashland Independent]

The blast swallowed the firefighters as they were charging through the smoke-clogged hallway of a Brooklyn building, searching for a 67-year-old woman believed to be trapped inside her apartment. According to a January 1999 article in the New York Post, Trump personally “called a dozen council members to lobby against sprinklers.” [WaPo]

Leave it to the Republican Party of Kentucky to screw this up. Businesses that have invested in Kentucky’s delayed statewide broadband network are concerned that the budget passed by legislators earlier this week doesn’t provide enough certainty that the state will hold up its end of the public-private partnership. [WFPL]

The F.B.I. on Monday raided the office of President Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, seizing records related to several topics including payments to a pornographic-film actress. [NY Times]

There were few differences between five Democratic candidates for the Sixth Congressional District at a forum here Tuesday night sponsored by the League of Women Voters. [Ronnie Ellis]

The problem is not simply that congressional leaders won’t stop Donald Trump from firing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and maybe Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and plunging America into a constitutional crisis. The problem is that those congressional leaders—while allowing Trump to do all this—are also allowing him to take the United States to war. [The Atlantic]

Just a reminder that Legislative Ethics are not a thing in Frankfort. An ethics complaint against former Speaker of the House Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown, came to a close Tuesday much as it began — with a settlement that avoided public discussion of the events which led to a settlement of sexual harassment claims by a former staff employee. [More Ronnie Ellis]

US House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan will not run for re-election this year, in a big blow to Republicans ahead of autumn’s mid-term elections. [BBC]

This is one of the stupidest things to occur in Lexington in years. You people live in flipping Lexington, Kentucky. Lexington. In Kentucky. Not somewhere fancy or desirable. No one is trying to come for your shitty neighborhood. Quit with the dog ignorance, you fat blobs. People living in a Lexington neighborhood were notified last week that several dog breeds, including pit bulls, Great Danes and huskies, were being banned. [H-L]

This is the nonsense Mitch McConnell helped create but is suddenly quiet about. He’s supporting a genocidal regime. He helped create this nightmare. [HuffPo]

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Republicans Are Gutting Higher Education In Kentucky. Again.

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. [H-L]

Republican House members are leaving Congress at the fastest pace in modern history. [HuffPo]

Um… there are a couple other legislators in Louisville not living in the districts they represent. It’s a shame both major political parties in Kentucky are too corrupt to get their shit together to resolve it. Instead, they target newcomers. Additionally – how the heck did Barbara Sexton Smith get elected to *any* position in government? What a nightmare. [C-J/AKN]

You should go read this if you give a flip about economics and aren’t a braindead New Republican. While Vermont dairy farmers are experiencing some of the hardest times in recent memory, their counterparts in Quebec are thriving. The reason is a complex system that regulates the supply of milk and sets the price that farmers receive. [NPR]

By the end of Friday’s meeting of the EKU Board of Regents, the university’s school psychology program was the only one of 18 on the chopping block to be granted a reprieve. [Richmond Register]

In today’s installment of “I’m Not Terrified, You Are,” Bloomberg Law reports on a FedBizOpps.gov posting by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with the relatively benign-sounding subject, “Media Monitoring Services.” The details of the attached Request for Information, however, outline a plan to gather and monitor the public activities of media professionals and influencers and are enough to cause nightmares of constitutional proportions, particularly as the freedom of the press is under attack worldwide. And “attack” is not hyperbolic. [Forbes]

Bruised by their fight over pensions, Kentucky teachers are mobilizing like never before to support legislative candidates who pass a key political test: support for public education. [Ashland Independent]

In 83 million eviction records, a sweeping and intimate new look at housing in America. [NY Times]

Barren River Rod & Gun Club members heard the first round of candidate pitches at their monthly gathering Thursday evening, with another batch scheduled for May 3. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Members of the U.S. Supreme Court appeared to be struggling over how to resolve a key case recently when Justice Stephen Breyer suggested that the best course might be to put off a decision altogether. [Reuters]

The American College of Radiologists, a professional organization representing radiologists, is asking Kentucky to repeal a new law that changes how coal miners receive benefits for black lung disease. [WFPL]

The acting director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics took the atypical step of telling EPA officials that several recent ethics questions deserve further scrutiny. [WaPo]

As thousands of teachers marched at the Capitol on Monday to protest pension changes, lawmakers released a budget compromise that sent some mixed news to the schools they represent. [H-L]

Oh, look, some city folk did some googling about Kentucky’s budget situation involving education and teachers. [HuffPo]

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Kentucky Teachers Are Still Fired Up

Can legalizing marijuana fight the problem of opioid addiction and fatal overdoses? Two new studies in the debate suggest it may. [H-L]

Andrew Bailey had toyed with the idea of running for public office in Kentucky for years. A teacher at Fairdale High School in Louisville, Bailey figured he’d start small: maybe a seat on the Board of Education for Jefferson County Public Schools, the state’s largest school district, or perhaps a spot on Louisville’s Metro Council. [HuffPo]

Hold on to your corrupt wigs, Republicans. Guessing there’s a reason Jeff Hoover has been MIA for weeks and weeks. Tuesday was fun and you know there’s more fun to come. Even though the Legislative Ethics Commission is a load of horseshit that’s never held anyone accountable. That’s why Schaaf was installed there – to make sure nothing ever occurs. [C-J/AKN]

Jason Foster, chief investigative counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee, fits a classic Washington profile: A powerful, mostly unknown force at the center of some of the most consequential battles on Capitol Hill. [ProPublica]

Just over a month after the Richmond City Commission voted to commit more than $1 million to connect with Kentucky Wired, the state project, that would build more than 3,000 miles of fiber optic cable across the state to provide high-speed Internet service, has hit a major roadblock. [Richmond Register]

In July, David J. Pecker, the chairman of the company that owns The National Enquirer, visited his old friend Donald Trump at the White House. [NY Times]

If Republican lawmakers thought some additional funding for education in the new state budget might soften the anger of teachers over pension changes passed last week, they may be rethinking that idea after Monday. [Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump is a paranoid racist and has been poisoned by Fox News. But you already knew that and none of this will come as a surprise. [WaPo]

The Morehead Utility Plant Board has begun moving forward on an initiative to help pay employees closer to the market value of their position to help decrease turnover. [The Morehead News]

Top intelligence chiefs issue a dire warning about the Kremlin’s ongoing efforts to influence the US, defend against Trump’s attacks on the FBI, and explain what happened with a shady Russian offering dirt on Trump. [BI]

The Barren County Economic Authority has set up the process for a local industry that is leasing a facility to pay it off and take over ownership if it decides to move forward with that decision. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Ken Ham won’t like this… Researchers have uncovered more than 50 dinosaur tracks along a Scottish beach, some of which have retained their original shape and even the outline of claws. The discovery is shedding light on the kinds of dinosaurs that lived in this region some 170 million years ago. [Gizmodo]

An investment firm pushing Kentucky lawmakers to approve a $60 million tax break aimed at creating jobs in rural parts of the state has a history of persuading lawmakers in other states and then making millions from tax breaks that often don’t create the promised jobs. [H-L]

Fifty years after Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, his status as a civil rights icon isn’t really in question. In recent polls, 85 percent of Americans say he made things better for black Americans, and nearly 70 percent say that his legacy remains relevant today. [HuffPo]

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Shoo, What A Year March Was

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How many years did I report on this while the mainstream media blew it off? The Kentucky Retirement Systems Board of Trustees is debating whether to join a lawsuit that says the state’s pension agency was cheated on up to $1.5 billion in hedge fund investments by several wealthy corporations, with blame to be shared by some of its own current and former trustees and officials. [John Cheves]

Modern Republicans are so severely gay-panicked they can’t breath. So of course they’re pulling crap like this with trans kids. At least three school districts around the country are continuing to enforce potentially hostile restroom policies for transgender students after the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights refused to investigate student complaints. [HuffPo]

Attorney General Andy Beshear says the surprise new pension bill is illegal, and he will file suit to block its implementation. [C-J/AKN]

Paul Manafort, the former chair of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, had a long professional relationship with a man connected to Russian intelligence. And special counsel Robert Mueller says that man, Konstantin Kilimnik, was still working with Russian intelligence in 2016, when Trump was running for president. [Vox]

Matt Bevin probably had no need Friday to worry about teachers hoarding sick days. Enough called in sick to close more than 20 school districts across the state. [Ronnie Ellis]

For the past 20 years, Hope Workman has hustled up a dirt path on the side of a mountain in Lovely, Kentucky, just to get drinking water. She doesn’t trust what comes out of her tap. [CNN]

Teachers in Northeast Kentucky were furious Friday after the Kentucky General Assembly on Thursday unexpectedly passed pension legislation they say insults them and will cripple the state’s ability to attract new educators. [Ashland Independent]

Cambridge Analytica’s US campaign data, which was harvested from Facebook, is still circulating – despite assurances it has been deleted. [Channel 4]

Their anger is palpable. So is their hurt. Kentucky teachers feel betrayed by a party line vote Thursday night in the Republican controlled General Assembly to make changes in their pension benefits. [Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump ordered the expulsion of 60 Russian officials on Monday, joining a coordinated campaign by two dozen countries to retaliate for the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain in a Cold War-style escalation that again highlighted the disparity between the president’s words and actions. [NY Times]

Teachers from around Kentucky descended on Frankfort Friday morning to protest a surprise pension bill that was rushed through the state legislature the day before. [WFPL]

Six months ago, the conservative radio host and blogger Erick Erickson wrote an opinion piece in the New York Times, inspiringly titled “How to Find Common Ground.” “We owe it to one another to disagree agreeably, without anger or intimidation,” he wrote, noting that social media has put us all in polarized bubbles. [WaPo]

Hundreds of angry teachers gathered in the Capitol Rotunda Friday outside Gov. Matt Bevin’s office to protest a surprise public pension bill that legislators rushed through Thursday. [H-L]

The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday evening sent employees a list of eight approved talking points on climate change from its Office of Public Affairs ― guidelines that promote a message of uncertainty about climate science and gloss over proposed cuts to key adaptation programs. [HuffPo]

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These New Kentucky Republicans Are Sneaky, Dishonest, Conniving, Awful People And They’ve Proved It

How do we make schools safe in this age of anxiety and easy access to weapons of mass murder? That’s a question that sent more than a million people into America’s streets last Saturday. [Tom Eblen]

Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin is the latest to depart Donald Trump’s turbulent White House. [HuffPo]

A University of Louisville trustee with a deep background in health care financing warned Thursday that the university faces an array of risks as KentuckyOne Health’s parent company looks to sell its Louisville facilities to a New York hedge fund. [C-J/AKN]

For Elliott Broidy, Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign represented an unparalleled political and business opportunity. [NY Times]

After weeks of saying that a proposal to overhaul retirement benefits for state workers was likely dead, Republican leaders of the Kentucky legislature slipped new pension language into an unrelated bill dealing with governance of wastewater sewage districts. [WKMS]

One consequence of the success of the National Rifle Association’s expansive gun-rights agenda — and its lobbying power in Congress — is that groups favoring more gun control have pared down their ambitions in recent years. [WaPo]

Richmond Utilities, a department of the City of Richmond, rightfully refused to provide the addresses where water service had been cut off after an open records request, the Kentucky Attorney General’s office has ruled. [Richmond Register]

A U.S. judge on Wednesday rejected Saudi Arabia’s bid to dismiss lawsuits claiming that it helped plan the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and should pay billions of dollars in damages to victims. [Reuters]

The Ashland commission has taken a major step in restructuring two crucial city departments at the request of City Manager Michael Graese. [Ashland Independent]

Adult-film star Stormy Daniels has filed a court motion for Donald Trump to testify about her claim that they had a relationship. Her lawyer wants sworn testimony from Mr Trump about a “hush” agreement the actress says she signed. [BBC]

Officials with the Housing Authority of Glasgow have filed an appeal regarding a score it received during its Real Estate Assessment Center inspection, which occurred in January. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Let this serve as a reminder that wealthy bigots will always do what’s best for wealthy bigots. [ProPublica]

As the City Hall turns…. A real-life soap opera in the city where consumer products maker Procter & Gamble helped pioneer the daily dramas is in its fourth week. There’s a stalemate over the Cincinnati mayor’s effort to oust the city manager in what an NAACP official calls “a self-inflicted crisis,” one that has racial overtones in an Ohio city with a troubled past. [H-L]

Three anti-Muslim militia members, on trial for plotting to slaughter Somali refugees in southwest Kansas, have adopted a defense strategy that could’ve been culled directly from Donald Trump’s Twitter feed: suggesting that a biased FBI conspired against them in the lead-up to the 2016 election due to their political beliefs. [HuffPo]

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More Boel Bullshit Promoted By WAVE

A Kentucky attorney who fled the country to avoid going to prison before being captured is seeking to have part of a federal case against him thrown out. [H-L]

The tone of the website abortionpillreversal.com is filled with urgency. Women who have taken the first dose of the “abortion pill” — actually two drugs, mifepristone and misoprostol, taken over the span of several days to terminate a pregnancy — are exhorted to call right away if they regret their decision. [HuffPo]

Corrupt secrecy is the University of Louisville way and it’s not going to change any time soon. If you want to know how to stop it? Someone is going to need to do what I did with Robert Felner on a grand scale. A closed-door board of trustees meeting at the University of Louisville Sunday was held with campus police stationed on sidewalks around the University Club to turn away the public. [C-J/AKN]

A judge on Monday denied a defense motion to dismiss charges against the widow of the gunman in the 2016 massacre at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, saying that the gunman’s father’s work an FBI informant was not relevant to the case. [Reuters]

Here’s John Boel doing something stupid again. Stupid and racist. Yes, I fucking said it. Racist. Nearly every “undercover” thing the man has done has been against people of color. It’s disgusting. [WAVE3]

Older Americans who face discrimination on the job can’t rely on the courts as much as earlier generations did. [ProPublica]

Kentucky Republicans love screwing poor people and the working class. Edna Bland had just adopted a child, her father was dying and her husband was having risky heart surgery when a mortgage company tried to take her house in 2009. [Richmond Register]

A pair of letters released on Tuesday reveal that the National Rifle Association (NRA) has received foreign funds, calling into question that much further the tens of millions of dollars the NRA donated to the Donald Trump campaign — money that came from an arm of the NRA not required to reveal the identities of its donors. [ThinkProgress]

Kentucky lawmakers are looking to allocate tax money to spur economic development and jobs — even while they struggle to cobble together a budget without sufficient revenues which will still fund education and the state’s badly underfunded public pension systems. [Ronnie Ellis]

Medicare officials thought they had finally figured out how to do their part to fix the troubling problem of opioids being overprescribed to the old and disabled: In 2016, a staggering one in three of 43.6 million beneficiaries of the federal health insurance program had been prescribed the painkillers. [NY Times]

The cost for Metcalfe County to offer a 401K-type of retirement package to employees of the Barren-Metcalfe County Emergency Medical Service, should the ambulance service’s board of directors choose to go that route, could range from $534,000 to $413,000. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Donald Trump frequently said Mexico would pay for a wall along the southern border as he sought the presidency in 2016. Now, he is privately pushing the U.S. military to fund construction of his signature project. [WaPo]

A proposed $60 million tax break aimed at creating jobs in rural Kentucky is poised to get final approval from Kentucky lawmakers, but critics contend the bill lacks one key element: proof that those cashing in the tax break actually created jobs. [H-L]

The Louisiana attorney general said Tuesday he won’t charge two white police officers in the fatal shooting of a black man that sparked heated protests across the country. [HuffPo]

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Stop Letting Nemes Off The Hook

To the list of big ideas that appear to have flopped during the 2018 General Assembly, such as pension reform and tax reform, add criminal-justice reform. [John Cheves]

Calling it “a relic of the 18th century,” retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens called Tuesday for the outright repeal of the Second Amendment, saying it would achieve “more effective and more lasting reform” than other efforts to curb the country’s scourge of gun violence. [HuffPo]

Shady-ass Jason Nemes deserves a ton of the blame for this. As to people like Tres Watson at the Republican Party of Kentucky’s headquarters. It’s a shameful attack on veterans and those in need of less deadly (i.e., no opioids) relief. They hate it because Alison Grimes and people smarter than them support it. They discuss it internally at RPK and have strategized to personally attack supporters of the bill. They should tread lightly, however, as people within their ranks are leaking like crazy. [C-J/AKN]

The FBI possesses a secret report asserting that Vladimir Putin’s former media czar was beaten to death by hired thugs in Washington, DC — directly contradicting the US government’s official finding that Mikhail Lesin died by accident. [BuzzFeed]

A road plan passed Thursday by the Kentucky Senate includes $24 million in funding for the second phase of construction of the Berea Bypass, a project that had not been included in the original road plan introduced in the House. [Richmond Register]

Democratic attorneys general in several states said Tuesday they would bring legal action to stop the Trump administration from adding a question on citizenship to the next U.S. census, a question they said would lead to serious undercounts that could reverberate for years to come. [The Hill]

Russell Police Chief James “Ned” Crisp said he wants to enhance community relations between the department and its citizenry as part of a long-term approach to combatting crime. [Ashland Independent]

A self-inflicted gunshot wound, not a bullet fired by a sheriff’s deputy, killed a 17-year-old who had just shot another student at a Maryland high school last week, authorities have said. [Reuters]

Budget negotiators from the Kentucky state House and Senate adjourned for the evening Monday, expressing optimism they can come to an agreement on a new $22 billion, two-year state budget. [Ronnie Ellis]

A POLITICO review of public documents, newly obtained FEMA records and interviews with more than 50 people involved with disaster response indicates that the Trump administration — and the president himself — responded far more aggressively to Texas than to Puerto Rico. [Politico]

The former Glasgow police chief who stepped down from that position, but not from his employment by the department, and then sued the city and interim chief claiming he was not treated fairly has lost his appeal of the decision to have the lawsuit dismissed. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Oops, they did it again. After Republicans rammed through their big tax cut, there were a rash of stories about corporations using the tax break to give their workers bonuses. [NY Times]

Dear Damon Thayer: You should tread lightly in trashing broadband expansion in rural Kentucky. You could get your ass kicked to the curb. [H-L]

The Commerce Department announced late Monday that the 2020 census would ask people whether they were U.S. citizens, a controversial decision that civil rights groups say is unnecessary and could jeopardize the accuracy of the entire survey. [HuffPo]

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