KDP Is Also MIA On Mitch McConnell

The Kentucky Democratic Party should have been all over this but couldn’t be bothered. On the day after Donald Trump deepened doubts about this country’s commitment to its European allies and western-style democracy, what did Majority Leader Mitch McConnell do? He stood on the Senate floor to praise a decision that will make it easier for foreign interests to illegally funnel money into U.S. politics and elections. [H-L]

Did she? Hopefully. Did Queen Elizabeth, the 92-year-old monarch of the United Kingdom, throw some subtle shade at Donald Trump during his recent U.K. visit? [HuffPo]

Speaking to college students five years ago in Florida, Louisville pizza magnate John Schnatter bragged he’d scored a nearly perfect 790 on his SAT in math but a dismal 200 on the verbal exam. Though, maybe using racist homophobes in a story to defend Schnatter’s remarks isn’t a great idea. [C-J/AKN]

More than half of Americans disapprove of the way Donald Trump is handling relations with Russia, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted after his controversial summit and joint news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin. [Reuters]

An ordinance that would raise the salary range of city employees by 2 percent had a first reading Tuesday during the Berea City Council. [Richmond Register]

Without any public scrutiny, insurers and data brokers are predicting your health costs based on data about things like race, marital status, how much TV you watch, whether you pay your bills on time or even buy plus-size clothing. [ProPublica]

Greenup County is one step closer to requiring Hepatitis A vaccinations for all food service workers in the county. [Ashland Independent]

Why has the NRA been cozying up to Russia? The Right to Bear Arms in Moscow enjoys a close relationship with America’s leading gun-rights group. [ThinkProgress]

John Maxey led his first Rowan County Board of Education meeting July 17 as new superintendent. On the agenda was an update on Senate Bill 1, approving the dual credit agreement with MCTC and approving the annual financial report. [The Morehead News]

Violence in Central America has brought thousands of L.G.B.T. migrants to the United States border to seek asylum in recent years, hoping to find protection from persecution over their gender identity and sexuality. [NY Times]

Economic fallout from failing pension systems? Surely not. No one could have predicted that. [WFPL]

When the 8-year-old stepped off a plane here earlier this month with freshly cut bangs and a shelter-issued sweatsuit, she was met by crowds and television cameras and finally, in a carpeted airport conference room, by the mother who had been taken from her two months earlier at the border. [WaPo]

A Boyd County Circuit Court judge recommended a grand jury investigation Friday after the Boyd County Detention Center failed to notify local or state law enforcement after mistakenly releasing an inmate last week who displayed “extreme indifference to the value of human life,” according to the inmate’s indictment. [H-L]

Anti-American idiocy is at the highest level in decades. Donald Trump on Tuesday once again threw cold water on NATO, an intergovernmental military alliance between the U.S. and 28 other countries. [HuffPo]

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Matt Bevin Continues His Losing Streak

PEE ALERT PEE ALERT PEE ALERT PEE ALERT! Why can’t candidates get their ridiculous egos in check? Neither Elridge nor Scott will be governor. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. [H-L]

Surprise! The idiot who couldn’t name a single newspaper got duped. Former Fox News pundit and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin confirmed on Tuesday that she was duped into an interview with a disguised Sacha Baron Cohen for his upcoming TV show. [HuffPo]

Wondering what could go wrong when you hire nothing but disconnected outsiders who don’t truly care or know about the communities in which they work? This reporter completely whitewashed one of the bigger Louisville scandals involving racism and anti-Semitism. [C-J/AKN]

Perpetually in jeopardy, the use of racial preferences in college admissions is under greater threat than ever. [ProPublica]

Attorney General Andy Beshear filed suit Thursday in Madison Circuit Court alleging that a St. Louis-based pharmaceutical company “made a conscious decision” to profit from sales of opioid drugs in Kentucky which knew were addictive. [Ronnie Ellis]

Uh, Hancock and Lyon Counties are not in Eastern Kentucky. What a disaster of an article about KentuckyWired. [ThinkProgress]

How voters define traditional values is playing a role in how they vote. Morgan Mullins, 32, a registered Democrat, says values are important, but vary by individual. [The Morehead News]

China said it is “shocked” after the US announced plans for fresh tariffs, escalating a trade war between the two countries. [BBC]

Keeping a closer eye on spending is something the Glasgow-Barren County Tourist and Convention Commissioners will have to do this fiscal year. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A resolution to encourage breast-feeding was expected to be approved quickly and easily by the hundreds of government delegates who gathered this spring in Geneva for the United Nations-affiliated World Health Assembly. Then the United States delegation, embracing the interests of infant formula manufacturers, upended the deliberations. [NY Times]

A judge has denied Matt Bevin’s request to reconsider a ruling that struck down changes to Kentucky’s pension system, which were originally set to go into effect this weekend. [WFPL]

Bigots of a feather. The wife of Bill Shine, the new White House deputy chief of staff for communications, has come under scrutiny for racially charged remarks and unfounded medical theories posted to her Twitter account. [WaPo]

Supervisors who were supposed to help safeguard the health of miners at two Kentucky coal mines conspired to cheat on testing for dust that can cause debilitating black-lung disease, a federal grand jury has charged. [H-L]

The Trump administration’s campaign to undermine the Affordable Care Act notched another achievement Tuesday. This time, the agency that runs the health insurance exchanges is slashing funds for organizations that help people to shop for coverage, forcing the groups to make do with about one-fourth of the federal funding they got for this year’s open enrollment. [HuffPo]

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Another Day, Another Bevin Lawsuit

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Matt Bevin’s administration violated the law by withholding funds from Kentucky’s Area Development Districts that lawmakers had earmarked for the agencies, claims a lawsuit filed in Franklin Circuit Court [H-L]

A former aide to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt recently told congressional investigators that she was asked to help her boss’s wife find a job with a six-figure salary, according to multiple media reports on Monday. [HuffPo]

She may want to travel outside the Watterson Expressway more than a couple times before making such wild claims. Democratic state Rep. Attica Scott said Thursday she is leaning toward what would be a historic run for Kentucky governor in 2019 after months of encouragement from supporters. [C-J/AKN]

Some immigrant U.S. Army reservists and recruits who enlisted in the military with a promised path to citizenship are being abruptly discharged, the Associated Press has learned. [AP]

According to a recent report, Kentucky ranks 37th in the nation in overall child well-being. [Richmond Register]

PEE ALERT! A giant balloon dubbed “Trump baby” has been given the green light to fly near parliament during the president’s UK visit. [Sky]

Jailer Joe Burchett was granted a change of venue and will stand trial on a charge of malfeasance in Rowan County. [Ashland Independent]

The Trump administration on Saturday halted billions of dollars in payments to health insurers under the Obamacare healthcare law, saying that a recent federal court ruling prevents the money from being disbursed. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which administers programs under the Affordable Care Act, said the action affects $10.4 billion in risk adjustment payments. [Reuters]

Some political pundits see our country as riven by tribal and ethnic divisions and partitioned by gender as we self-segregate into communities of the like-minded. Such divisions sometimes affect families and lead to alienation of longtime friends. [Ronnie Ellis]

The Trump administration said Saturday that it was suspending a program that pays billions of dollars to insurers to stabilize health insurance markets under the Affordable Care Act, a freeze that could increase uncertainty in the markets and drive up premiums this fall. [NY Times]

Over the past winter, when Mandy Goessling started a Facebook group for Shelter Barren County, someone sent her an idea for a thing called a blessing box. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Those factors have contributed to the United States having a higher level of income inequality and a larger share of low-income residents than almost any other advanced nation. Only Spain and Greece, whose economies have been ravaged by the euro-zone crisis, have more households earning less than half the nation’s median income — an indicator that unusually large numbers of people either are poor or close to being poor. [WaPo]

HEAD-DESK. State Rep. C. Wesley Morgan of Richmond is suing the woman who defeated him in May’s Republican primary election, claiming her campaign falsely accused him of backing legislation to enrich himself. [H-L]

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials are telling detained migrant parents that to be reunited with their children they must sign a voluntary deportation form. [HuffPo]

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Another Kentucky Newspaper Is Dying

Lexington deserves what it gets if it elects Teresa Isaac again. What a total buffoon. [H-L]

Albert Kelly, a top aide to Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt in charge of overhauling the organization’s cleanup of America’s most contaminated sites, has resigned. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin’s mansion and the 10 acres it sits on are now valued at $2.9 million under a new round of local property valuation updates — $1.3 million higher than what a company owned by Bevin paid for it slightly more than a year ago. The 81 percent difference follows questions from last year over the home’s true value and whether Bevin got a sweetheart deal when he bought the seven-bedroom, 9,100-square-foot estate from friend and donor Neil Ramsey in March 2017. [C-J/AKN]

Fearing they could lose access to federal student loans and grants, colleges and universities hire consultants to keep student loan defaults in check. But these advisers too often encourage borrowers to temporarily postpone payments, rather than enroll in plans that would manage their debt long-term — a strategy that skews the default data and threatens the financial health of borrowers, according to a study released Thursday by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. [WaPo]

Jim Gray found a modest sized crowd but a warm reception here Monday as he opened a local campaign office, telling about 35 people he’ll “get things done” in Washington if he’s elected U.S. Congressman from Kentucky’s 6th District. [Ronnie Ellis]

The Russian lawyer who met with Trump campaign officials in Trump Tower in June 2016 on the premise that she would deliver damaging information about Hillary Clinton has long insisted she is a private attorney, not a Kremlin operative trying to meddle in the presidential election. But newly released emails show that in at least one instance two years earlier, the lawyer, Natalia V. Veselnitskaya, worked hand in glove with Russia’s chief legal office to thwart a Justice Department civil fraud case against a well-connected Russian firm. Ms. Veselnitskaya also appears to have recanted her earlier denials of Russian government ties. [NY Times]

A hepatitis A outbreak growing in the Louisville area since last summer reached a new peak recently with a travel advisory from Indiana health officials. They told Hoosiers heading to Kentucky to get a hepatitis A vaccine. [WFPL]

The Trump administration is likely to propose freezing fuel economy standards from 2020 through 2026, according to three people briefed on the matter, a move likely to spark a fight with California and other states backing tougher vehicle emissions rules. [Reuters]

A single Boyd Democrat sheriff candidate will be selected this month to face the lone Republican candidate November. [Ashland Independent]

In February 2017, a top White House aide who was Trump’s longtime personal bodyguard, along with the top lawyer at the Trump Organization and a third man, showed up at the office of Trump’s New York doctor without notice and took all the president’s medical records. The incident, which Dr. Harold Bornstein described as a “raid,” took place two days after Bornstein told a newspaper that he had prescribed a hair growth medicine for the president for years. [NBC News]

Newspapers are continuing to die in Kentucky. The Morehead News will change its publication dates from Tuesday and Friday to once a week on Wednesdays, effective June 6, the newspaper has announced. [The Morehead News]

Peabody Energy, America’s biggest coalmining company, has funded at least two dozen groups that cast doubt on manmade climate change and oppose environment regulations, analysis by the Guardian reveals. [The Guardian]

More than 1,000 employees at the University of Kentucky will be able to continue working on degrees they’ve begun at other universities under a new program announced Tuesday. Those employees had been part of a statewide tuition waiver program that allowed them to take classes toward degrees at other public colleges and universities for free. [H-L]

At a roundtable with the nation’s top educators on Monday afternoon, at least one teacher told Education Secretary Betsy DeVos that her favored policies are having a negative effect on public schools, HuffPost has learned. [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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It’s Nancy Rodriguez Flashback Time

The University of Louisville and its foundation have sued the school’s former president and other officials in a lawsuit claiming they conspired to divert millions of dollars from the foundation’s endowment. The suit was filed Wednesday in state court. It says former President James Ramsey and his chief of staff, Kathleen McDaniel Smith, colluded to pay excessive compensation to themselves and others. [H-L]

Here’s more on the whole thing. The Board of Trustees decided Wednesday to sue Ramsey, Kathleen McDaniel Smith and others related to past oversight of the U of L Foundation. [WDRB]

Strange how no one bothers to mention that Jerry Stephenson, a charlatan, is one of the country’s most notorious homophobes. [H-L]

Donald Trump repeatedly vowed during the 2016 presidential campaign that he’d only hire “the best people in the world” for his administration. Now, with many of his “best people’ ousted from the Cabinet and other high-level positions, CNN’s Anderson Cooper is wondering what happened to that pledge. [HuffPo]

Just a reminder that Nancy Rodriguez misreported a bunch of the Robert Felner scandal and intentionally ignored what was occurring at the University of Louisville. Now she’s spokesperson for the Kentucky Department of Education. A perfect fit for covering up corruption. [C-J/AKN]

Last month, we reported that over the past five years, IBM has targeted its older U.S. employees for layoffs. The numbers are staggering: Since 2013, we estimated IBM eliminated more than 20,000 American employees ages 40 and over. [ProPublica]

Former Prestonsburg Mayor Jerry Fannin entered an Alford plea after years of litigation. [WLEX18]

Over the past year, U.S. cities and states have been tripping head-over-heels in an effort to be the host of the next Amazon headquarters. Last year, New Jersey approved an incentive package that would give Amazon tax breaks worth $7 billion if it moved to Newark. Philadelphia has offered $2 billion in tax exemptions over 10 years, Georgia $1 billion, and Maryland a whopping $8.5 billion. But while state lawmakers continue to one-up each other in the race to host Amazon’s new HQ, a very different picture has emerged at the lower rungs of the company, where warehouse employees are so underpaid that they already incredibly reliant on state subsidies to survive. [ThinkProgress]

With the Madison County Detention Center over the last two years often housing more than double the number of inmates it is designed to hold, the county attorney is looking at bringing back a home incarceration program to get some non-violent offenders out of the jail. [Richmond Register]

Donald Trump and the New Republicans are now challenging Native Americans’ historical standing. [Politico]

The incumbent and two challengers are vying for the state Senate seat in the 18th district. Sen. Robin Webb, D-Grayson, is facing Democrat Chester “Chuck” Highley of Rush in the primary. The winner will run against Republican Scott Sharp of Ashland in the general election. [Ashland Independent]

Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, met personally last year with J. Steven Hart, the lobbyist whose wife had rented him a $50-a-night Capitol Hill condo, a disclosure that contradicts earlier statements that E.P.A. lobbying by Mr. Hart had not occurred. [NY Times]

A former Horse Cave police officer who has been charged with one count of wire fraud is scheduled to change his plea in May in U.S. District Court. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Reptilian menaces called Silurians evolved on Earth before humankind — at least in the “Doctor Who” rendition of the universe. But, science fiction aside, how would we know if some advanced civilization existed on our home planet millions of years before brainy humans showed up? This is a serious question, and serious scientists are speculating about what traces these potential predecessors might have left behind. And they’re calling this possibility the Silurian hypothesis. [WaPo]

A representative from Alliance Coal came to the Pike County Fiscal Court with a difficult proposition last week: provide a tax break worth millions over the next 12 years, or say goodbye to the 250 jobs the company provides in the county. [H-L]

Mick Mulvaney, Donald Trump’s budget director and the acting head of a top consumer watchdog group, raised eyebrows on Tuesday with an anecdote about his time in the House of Representatives. [HuffPo]

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The RPK Is Screwing Poor Kentuckians

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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