It’s Fun Shae Hopkins Flashback Time

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The Kentucky House of Representatives paved the way for nuclear power plants in the state Wednesday, giving final passage to a bill that removes the state’s long-time ban on nuclear power. [H-L]

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson plans to skip a meeting with NATO foreign ministers next month in order to stay home for a visit by China’s president and will go to Russia later in April, U.S. officials said on Monday, disclosing an itinerary that allies may see as giving Moscow priority over them. [HuffPo]

Hundreds of protesters on Monday waved signs and gave fiery speeches at the gates to Freedom Hall ahead President Donald Trump’s visit to tout his plan to replace Obamacare, booing as Air Force One passed overhead for landing. [C-J/AKN]

Less than forty minutes into the hearing, James Comey, the director of the F.B.I., provided the latest official confirmation that the “Russian story” is not “FAKE NEWS.” It is, rather, the most serious legal scandal to confront a sitting President in nearly two decades. In an extraordinary public statement, Comey disclosed not only that the bureau is investigating Russian meddling in the campaign but that it is also looking at what relationship the Trump campaign might have had to that meddling. [New Yorker]

Voters from small town and rural America who were key to electing President Donald Trump stand to lose the most in his budget plan to shrink the size and generosity of the federal government. [Richmond Register]

Russia has warned NATO that increased activity near its borders could spiral into a new arms race. [Newsweek]

With the General Assembly on break for a 10-day “veto period,” Gov. Matt Bevin has begun signing a flurry of bills into law. [WFPL]

Immigrants commit crimes and are incarcerated at a much lower rate than U.S. citizens, according to two separate studies released this week. [The Hill]

Top local school administrators are leery at the prospect of charter schools coming to Kentucky. [Ashland Independent]

The U.S. Justice Department is developing plans to temporarily reassign immigration judges from around the country to 12 cities to speed up deportations of illegal immigrants who have been charged with crimes, according to two administration officials. [Reuters]

Attorney General Andy Beshear has filed a motion in Franklin Circuit Court seeking to intervene in Kentucky State University’s lawsuit against a student newspaper. [Press Release]

Funny how the grifters always end up grifting. Ivanka Trump, who moved to Washington saying she would play no formal role in her father’s administration, is now officially setting up shop in the White House. [Politico]

Remember when Shae Hopkins spent years supporting Republican insanity? Those chickens are coming home to roost. Kentucky Educational Television issued a statement Thursday warning that President Trump’s proposed budget cuts would endanger its mission to provide statewide programming and instructional services for schools. [John Cheves]

German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen on Sunday rejected U.S. President Donald Trump’s claim that Germany owes NATO and the United States “vast sums” of money for defense. [HuffPo]

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Republicans Have No Idea What They’re Supposed To Do Now And It Is Highly Entertaining

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More proof the Republicans couldn’t give a shit about education in the Commonwealth. The Kentucky House gave final passage to a bill Wednesday that gives Gov. Matt Bevin broad authority to remove public university board members. [H-L]

Sen. John McCain of Arizona attacked fellow Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky on Wednesday, accusing him of doing the bidding of Russian President Vladimir Putin. It’s strange how John McCain still hasn’t picked up on the reality that Rand Paul is Stephen Bannon in a tinier body. [HuffPo]

Jeff Hoover needs to look within his own house (and House) if he wants to start talking about discrimination. House Speaker Jeff Hoover has permanently banned Dan Seum Jr., the son of state Sen. Dan Seum, from the third floor of the Capitol Annex after a legislative staff investigation found the younger Seum had made “racially charged” remarks at the offices last month. [C-J/AKN]

Get your popcorn ready! Trump on Thursday will make public his first federal budget blueprint, revealing a plan to dramatically reduce the size of government. [The Hill]

Republicans are dead set on further starving public schools. The state Senate approved legislation authorizing charter schools in Kentucky after a three-hour debate on Wednesday. Note that the racist white guys in the group trotted out their token black guy, bigoted-ass Jerry Stephenson, to sell this as if it’s not some kick in the gut to people of color. [WFPL]

A defiant Donald Trump has pledged to appeal against a federal judge’s order placing an immediate halt on his revised travel ban, describing the ruling as judicial overreach that made the United States look weak. [Reuters]

Kentucky no longer needs constables. A jury found Constable Bobby Joe Smith guilty of reckless homicide Wednesday. [WYMT]

The Trump administration has been the focus of remarkable reporting recently — much of it relying on unnamed sources. [ProPublica]

Kentucky’s Republican-led legislature handed Gov. Matt Bevin a bill Wednesday giving him and his successors more power to remove entire public university boards or individual members. [Richmond Register]

Polish officials are seeking the arrest of a Minnesota man they say was a Nazi commander during World War Two. [BBC]

A request by Kentucky State Police Post 14 on Tuesday to use the Boyd County road department garage for car maintenance and repair did not receive a motion from the fiscal court. [Ashland Independent]

A congressional plan to make Planned Parenthood ineligible for federal funding would leave many women without services to help them avoid pregnancy, resulting in thousands of additional births, according to a new federal budget analysis. [WaPo]

What in the actual fuck is this story? Seriously. Did Jack Brammer die? [H-L]

A federal judge in Hawaii has placed a nationwide hold on key aspects of President Donald Trump’s second attempt at a ban on travel ― a scaled-back version that targeted all non-visa holders from six Muslim-majority countries, as well as a halt on the U.S. refugee resettlement program ― just hours before the new restrictions were to take effect. [HuffPo]

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Trump Apparently Loves Him Some Waterworks

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In a city where investment bankers and coal magnates pay $10,000 or more for University of Kentucky men’s basketball season tickets, head coach of the Wildcats has long been a high-pressure job with rich financial rewards. [H-L]

Parts of Donald Trump’s 2005 federal tax returns were made public on Tuesday night, revealing that the president made $150 million that year and paid $38 million in taxes. [HuffPo]

U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth doubled-down on comments questioning President Donald Trump’s mental state during a Monday appearance on MSNBC. [C-J/AKN]

When Ruby Corado arrived at her office on Sunday, she found broken glass everywhere, a door ripped off its frame and a shaken staffer. [NBC News]

Why aren’t more Kentucky cities and counties jumping on this life-saving train? The Madison Fiscal Court on Tuesday morning cleared the way for the county health department to operate a syringe exchange program for users of illegal injectable drugs. [Richmond Register]

Just in case you needed a reminder that the New Republicanism is built on racism and xenophobia. [The Hill]

Build Ashland members updated the Ashland Rotary Club on their accomplishments, sharing that the group is expanding from just cleaning up the community. [Ashland Independent]

Republicans on Tuesday defended their plan to dismantle Obamacare after a bipartisan report showed 14 million Americans would lose medical insurance by next year under their proposal even as it reduces the budget deficit. [Reuters]

It’s one of a select few governing bodies within the county that can levy taxes and now because of expiring terms the Rowan County Public Library Board will look to replace two Trustees. [The Morehead News]

Girl Guides of Canada has cancelled all trips to the United States until further notice because it fears problems at the border. [BBC]

The Cave City Tourist and Convention Commission meeting was about to adjourn Monday when Wandel Strange, a member of the tourist commission, pointed out that a personnel file is a public record. Always fun when smalltown meemaws and poppops have no clue about obligations to the public they’re elected to represent. [Glasgow Daily Times]

At the State Department, the normally pulsating hub of executive offices is hushed and virtually empty. At the Pentagon, military missions in some of the world’s most troubled places are being run by a defense secretary who has none of his top team in place. And at departments like Treasury, Commerce and Health and Human Services, many senior posts remain vacant even as the agencies have been handed enormous tasks like remaking the nation’s health insurance system. [NY Times]

Maybe if people like Valarie Honeycutt Spears hadn’t been beyond lazy and deliberately shitty in reporting on the Montgomery County scandals, crap like this wouldn’t be happening in the legislature. Easing nepotism restrictions in school districts is dangerous and we’ve proved it with the Joshua Powell nightmare. Spears ought to re-examine the role she played in the disaster while sitting on her hands. [H-L]

Of course Trump leaked them himself. Or maybe it was “John Barron”? Unfortunately for him, the rest of the world wasn’t dumb enough to fall for it and Rachel Maddow used it as an opportunity to educate the world about the Russia connections. [HuffPo]

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Monday Ought To Be Relatively Gross

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A business owner and his two firms fined by the state for illegal dumping of radioactive waste have all filed for bankruptcy in federal court. [H-L]

Paul Ryan and the rest of the Republican Party either don’t understand how health care and health insurance work or they’re deliberately lying. Our money’s on lying. [HuffPo]

Mike Pence came to Kentucky and lied about the Affordable Care Act’s impact on the Commonwealth. Because that’s the New Republican way. [C-J/AKN]

Jared Kushner is keeping parts of his real estate empire. Given Kushner’s vast portfolio as an adviser to the president, it’s not clear how he’s going to avoid issues that could affect his bank account. The Trump administration has declined to give details. [ProPublica]

Kentucky is known for many things — horses, basketball, Ale-8-One, hot browns and, of course, moonshine. And for the Arvin family, moonshine has become more than a sweet beverage. [Richmond Register]

What was that, again, about Republicans not being atrociously racist? [The Hill]

Donald Trump’s resolve to shakeup the Environmental Protection Agency by slashing its budget and shrinking government regulations has states that rely heavily on EPA funding on edge. [Ashland Independent]

A group of states renewed their effort on Monday to block President Donald Trump’s revised temporary ban on refugees and travelers from several Muslim-majority countries, arguing that his executive order is the same as the first one that was halted by federal courts. [Reuters]

Attorney General Andy Beshear on Thursday called for a $142 million reduction in the Kentucky Utilities’ rate request that’s pending before the Public Service Commission. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A new analysis from the Congressional Budget Office also predicts $337 billion in deficit reduction over the same period. [WaPo]

Budget shortfalls at the University of Louisville are starting to have firsthand impacts on students. [Last] week student employees for the Brandeis School of Law were let go from their jobs. [WAVE3]

What a dark history. Rare, century-old photographs help illustrate the story of 272 slaves sold by Jesuit priests to secure the future of Georgetown University. [NY Times]

Hold on to your wigs. Donald Trump plans to hold a rally in Louisville’s Freedom Hall on Monday, March 20, the president’s website said. [H-L]

The Republican plan to repeal and “replace” the Affordable Care Act would increase the number of Americans without health coverage by 24 million and reduce the federal budget deficit by $337 billion by 2026, according to a Congressional Budget Office report published Monday. [HuffPo]

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What The Hell Is Wrong With David James? Does He REALLY Not Know When To Stop Talking?

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Mike Pence plans to visit Louisville, Kentucky, on Saturday as he tries to make the case for repealing and replacing former President Barack Obama’s health care law. [H-L]

Provisions in the House Republicans’ Obamacare replacement bill that would raise insurance costs for older Americans are drawing resistance from the influential seniors’ lobby. [HuffPo]

David James should probably tread lightly when accusing people of being over-sexualized. [C-J/AKN]

The hiring of three former lobbyists to work in the White House raises questions about how the Trump administration is enforcing the president’s executive order on ethics. [ProPublica]

A state legislative committee has approved a controversial proposal to change the way Kentucky regulates coal ash. The Administrative Regulation Review Subcommittee passed the proposal at its meeting Monday, after delaying a decision from last month. [WFPL]

U.S. and Ukrainian authorities have expressed interest in the activities of a Kiev-based operative with suspected ties to Russian intelligence who consulted regularly with Paul Manafort last year while Manafort was running Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. [Politico]

Again, a bunch of scared, fat, white Republican guys are trying to push an official religion. [Ronnie Ellis]

President Trump’s executive order barring immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries experienced nearly universal defeat in the federal courts. On Monday, he issued a revised version of that order, but it still suffers from a fundamental, and fatal, flaw: It constitutes unlawful religious discrimination. [NY Times]

Morehead State University’s Board of Regents chose a new president Thursday. The board voted unanimously to offer the post to Joseph A. “Jay” Morgan, the chief academic officer and vice president for academic affairs and student success for the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. [Ashland Independent]

Several states said on Thursday they would move forward with legal challenges to a revised executive order signed by President Donald Trump this week that temporarily bars the admission of refugees and some travelers from a group of Muslim-majority countries. [Reuters]

Attorney General Andy Beshear on Thursday called for a $142 million reduction in the Kentucky Utilities’ rate request that’s pending before the Public Service Commission. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Of course wingnut Republicans are still denying climate science. Science. They’re denying science. [BBC]

New details have emerged about why a Navy Seals convoy flew a campaign flag for President Donald Trump on a Kentucky highway in late January, according to documents obtained by the Herald-Leader. [H-L]

House Republicans plowed ahead with their effort to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, brushing aside new criticism of what their proposed legislation would do ― and ignoring protests over the hurried process they are using to enact it. [HuffPo]

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Cheeto Mussolini Really Stepped In It

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A national science panel is about to dig into an issue fraught with controversy in Eastern Kentucky: Does living near surface coal mines increase the risk of health problems? [H-L]

Stephen Bannon, President Donald Trump’s chief strategist and the driving force behind the administration’s controversial ban on travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries, has a favorite metaphor he uses to describe the largest refugee crisis in human history. [HuffPo]

If you hadn’t noticed, Frankfort Republicans are trying to resegregate Louisville. Because of course they fucking are. [C-J/AKN]

The F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, asked the Justice Department this weekend to publicly reject President Trump’s assertion that President Barack Obama ordered the tapping of Mr. Trump’s phones, senior American officials said on Sunday. Mr. Comey has argued that the highly charged claim is false and must be corrected, they said, but the department has not released any such statement. Mr. Comey’s request is a remarkable rebuke of a sitting president, putting the nation’s top law enforcement official in the position of questioning Mr. Trump’s truthfulness. [NY Times]

When a Kentucky legislative committee approved a bill to let liquor store owners transport alcohol across county lines, Wesley Morgan was pleased by the time and money he would save as the owner of four Liquor World outlets in the state. The RPK has eschewed ethics for as long as the KDP. AKA forever. [Richmond Register]

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who during his confirmation hearings repeatedly vowed to promote human rights as a core American value, alarmed human rights advocates when he did not appear in person to present the State Department’s annual human rights report, released Friday. [WaPo]

The state House of Representatives passed measures Thursday to provide school districts extra money for transportation costs and to teach work skills and drug prevention as part of the public schools’ curriculum. [Ronnie Ellis]

Fewer than 24 hours after President Donald Trump condemned a recent wave of anti-Semitic attacks and spoke of allying with Muslim nations, a top White House aide returned to the administration’s unfounded claims that some of the anti-Semitic incidents may have been faked and declined to explicitly say whether the president believes Islam is a religion. [Vox]

While winter turning to spring is typically a great sight for farmers, many across Kentucky and the United States are worried about this year’s crops and who will be working the fields. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Before heading off to his so-called “winter White House” in Palm Beach, Florida, on Friday, WATB Donald Trump summoned some of his senior staff to the Oval Office and went “ballistic,” senior White House sources told ABC News. [ABC News]

Two House bills sponsored by state Rep. Danny Bentley, R-Russell, that aim to combat a statewide drug epidemic are headed for the Senate. [Ashland Independent]

The White House has been accused of withholding information from Congress about whether Donald Trump or any of his campaign affiliates have ever received loans from a bank in Cyprus that is partly owned by a close ally of Russian president Vladimir Putin. [The Guardian]

The 2017 General Assembly enters its final phase Monday as Republican leaders prepare for Gov. Matt Bevin a stack of legislation on university funding, religious expression, medical malpractice, workers’ compensation and many other subjects. [John Cheves]

President Harry Truman famously had a sign on his desk that read: “The buck stops here.” If Donald Trump’s brief history as commander in chief is any guide, he might want one that says: “Actually, it stops with the generals.” [HuffPo]

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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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