Surprise! Mitch McConnell Wants To Kill The Mueller Investigation

Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd struck down Kentucky’s controversial new public pension law Wednesday. [H-L]

Julian Carroll is a confirmed monster and the fact that neither the Kentucky Democratic Party nor the Republican Party of Kentucky care to oust him is damning. [More H-L]

Conservative groups that promote themselves as “pro-life” and “pro-family” are quietly supporting the Trump administration policy of separating immigrant children from their parents at the border, or refusing to weigh in at all. [HuffPo]

Opposition to Donald Trump’s controversial policy of separating migrant children from their parents at the border crossed partisan lines Tuesday as Sen. Mitch McConnell and U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth said they would support plans to fix the problem. [C-J/AKN]

The Trump administration has likely lost track of nearly 6,000 unaccompanied migrant children, thousands more than lawmakers were alerted to last month, according to a McClatchy review of federal data. [McClatchy]

As Paul Trickel approached the front entrance of the Kentucky state Capitol Monday, he observed three people enter without incident. [Ronnie Ellis]

Just a reminder that Mitch McConnell is trying to kill the Mueller investigation. [The Hill]

Ashland City Commisioner Matt Perkins believes thousands of dollars the city pays annually to elected leaders for vehicle allowances should be re-allocated to help fund the cost of Boyd County’s new animal shelter. [Ashland Independent]

It’s a fundamental part of representative government: Politicians are elected to advocate for their constituents, and not their own interests. But in many states, laws and ethics rules allow representatives to advance bills that would benefit their own financial interests, as well. [ProPublica]

For decades, Kentucky’s own coal stoked the fires that generated most of its electricity. And while some of those power plants have shut down or switched to natural gas, their legacy remains today in the leftover coal ash that’s stored all over the commonwealth. [WFPL]

Donald Trump on Saturday repeated his false assertion that Democrats were responsible for his administration’s policy of separating migrant families apprehended at the border, sticking to a weekslong refusal to publicly accept responsibility for a widely condemned practice that has become a symbol of his crackdown on illegal immigration. [NY Times]

Barren County Fiscal Court approved the second reading of its budget ordinance Tuesday with only two sources of discussion – a summary by the judge-executive of some of the notable changes and expenses and one commentary during the public hearing portion of the court’s regular meeting. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The economy is not robust or wonderful. The average hourly wage paid to a key group of American workers has fallen from last year when accounting for inflation, as an economy that appears strong by several measures continues to fail to create bigger paychecks, the federal government said Tuesday. [WaPo]

A Pike County man who previously pleaded guilty to shooting his brother last June is back in police custody after, Kentucky State Police say, he shot his brother again Thursday. [H-L]

New Republicanism is a disease. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley will announce on Tuesday that the United States is withdrawing from the United Nations Human Rights Council, a Trump administration source told Reuters. [HuffPo]

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Bevin: Like A Domestic Violence Perp

Andy Barr never would have taken a position contrary to Trump if he weren’t under extreme pressure. [H-L]

Former first lady Laura Bush issued a rare castigation of the Trump administration on Sunday, calling family separations at the U.S. border with Mexico “immoral” and drawing parallels to World War II internment camps. [HuffPo]

Before Wathaniel Woods was sentenced to 35 years in prison Friday for killing Louisville Metro Police Officer Nick Rodman during a police chase, Rodman’s widow told the judge how their 3-year-old son now plays with his toy police cruiser, banging it with another car and saying, “Bad guy hit my daddy. My daddy died.” [C-J/AKN]

The first legal challenge to the Trump administration’s crusade for Medicaid work requirements came before a federal judge in Washington on Friday, where attorneys representing 16 low-income Kentuckians argued they would be unlawfully stripped of Medicaid coverage should the court allow the state’s waiver to take effect in July. The groups challenging the policy said the work requirements violate Congress’ original intent for the Medicaid program and instead are a mere cover for cutting tens of thousands of people from the rolls. [TPM]

Authorities are investigating the death of a female inmate found unresponsive at the Boyd County Detention Center Saturday night. [Ashland Independent]

For most Americans, access to decent, affordable rental housing remains cruelly beyond reach. Only in 22 counties in the United States is a one-bedroom home affordable to someone working 40 hours per week at federal minimum wage. [CityLab]

County officials are looking at ways to address an issue with equipment that causes damage to roadway pavement. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Amid Donald Trump’s headaches confirming cabinet secretaries, from neophyte Rex Tillerson to conflict-prone Scott Pruitt to unprepared Betsy DeVos, all of whom squeezed through, Wilbur Ross was a tonic. [Forbes]

Attorney General Andy Beshear has asked Kentucky’s public pension systems to stop investing in companies that he says are fueling the opioid addiction epidemic in the state. [WFPL]

Historically, denaturalization has been an exceedingly rare occurrence, for good reason: by the time a person is naturalized, she has lived in this country for a number of years and has passed the hurdles of obtaining entry, legal permanent residency, and, finally, citizenship. [New Yorker]

The Berea City Council will hear the second reading of the fiscal year 2018-2019 budget on Tuesday, including proposals that could impact support for an opioid treatment program, a youth food program and tourism. [Richmond Register]

Amy McGrath doesn’t have what it takes, based on her recent half-assery, and it doesn’t seem like she has a shot. But who knows? [NY Times]

A Democratic lobbyist has been convicted of bribing Kentucky’s No. 2 law enforcement officer in a case voters are likely to see in political ads for next year’s race for governor. [H-L]

In the days and weeks following the suicides of celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain and handbag designer Kate Spade, a chorus of social media users urged people with depression to not be “afraid” to ask for help. But for most Americans, fear isn’t the thing that stands in the way of therapy. It’s having no one to turn to. [HuffPo]

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Greg Fischer Is An Out-Of-Touch Elitist

A veteran lobbyist says his multiple cash payments to a high-ranking state official were loans between friends and not bribes meant to maintain a lucrative state contract for his corporate client. [H-L]

America’s largest shelter for migrant children looks more like a jail than a safe space for kids. On Wednesday, journalists were allowed inside the former Walmart store in Brownsville, Texas, now filled with more than 1,400 boys ages 10 to 17, and their reports are harrowing. [HuffPo]

A Louisville civil rights leader revealed Thursday that one of the secret guests that Mayor Greg Fischer spent $109,000 to entertain during Kentucky Derby week was the president of the National Urban League. [C-J/AKN]

A major construction company owned by the Chinese government was awarded another contract this week to work on the Trump golf club development in Dubai, further raising questions about potential conflicts of interest between Donald Trump’s presidency and his vast real estate empire. [McClatchy]

Kentucky ranks 48th for seniors’ health in the most recent America’s Health Rankings Report — a potential source of great concern, since the senior population in Kentucky, and the rest of the nation, is only growing larger. Only Mississippi and Louisiana ranked worse than Kentucky. [Richmond Register]

“The economy,” Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell declared this week, “is doing very well.” Yet the numbers that collectively sketch a picture of a vibrant economy don’t reflect reality for a range of Americans who still feel far from financially secure even nine years into an economic expansion. From drivers paying more for gas and families bearing heavier child care costs to workers still awaiting decent pay raises and couples struggling to afford a home, people throughout the economy are straining to succeed despite the economy’s gains. [AP]

Greenup County recently approved a $13.9 million budget for fiscal year 2018-2019, which is less than the prior year. [Ashland Independent]

Donald Trump’s former election campaign manager, Paul Manafort, was sent to jail pending trial on Friday after being charged with witness tampering, the latest episode in his long fall from grace. [Reuters]

Mark Filburn had a fairly simple message about preventing school shootings for the Interim Joint Education Committee Monday. [Ronnie Ellis]

Only a few months ago, the global economy appeared to be humming, with all major nations growing in unison. Now, the world’s fortunes are imperiled by an unfolding trade war. [NY Times]

Tourist spending in Barren County continues to increase, as it climbed from $70.1 million in 2013 to $97 million in 2017. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The actions of a Customs and Border Protection agent who confronted a reporter covering national security issues about her confidential sources are being examined by the CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility, the agency said in a statement Tuesday. [WaPo]

More people need to be screaming, “FUCK MATT BEVIN!” at every opportunity. A federal judge says he hopes to rule by July 1 on whether Kentucky can carry out its controversial overhaul of the state’s Medicaid program that will require some recipients to find jobs, volunteer or lose their benefits. [H-L]

Fuck that orange piece of shit. Are you looking for more substance to Donald Trump’s vague claim that North Korea “is no longer a nuclear threat”? So was CBS News correspondent Weijia Jiang as she jostled with other reporters outside the White House Friday morning trying to get in a question with the president. [HuffPo]

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This Tim Longmeyer Mess Is Bananas

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Denmark’s tax agency seeks to recover $41 million in allegedly fraudulent tax refunds paid to several Central Kentucky-based pension plans and their representatives. [H-L]

The Trump administration separated nearly 2,000 immigrant children from parents or guardians at the border over the span of six weeks, a Department of Homeland Security official said on Friday. [HuffPo]

Kentucky uses an unconstitutional and outdated test to determine whether defendants have the mental competence to get the death penalty, the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled Thursday. [C-J/AKN]

Paul Manafort is going to jail. Special counsel Robert Mueller’s office convinced a federal judge on Friday to revoke the bail of Donald Trump’s former campaign chief after he was accused of witness tampering. [NBC News]

Diane Artist Wallace, Miriam (Mim) R. Pride and Ken Koh have been elected to the Berea College Board of Trustees. [Richmond Register]

A cabinet secretary in former Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear’s administration said Wednesday that the governor’s chief of staff pressured him to award a lucrative state contract to a company that had helped him raise money. [AP]

The Boyd County Fiscal Court will discuss what the county’s unit-based fee should be to fund the Boyd County 911 Center at its upcoming meeting on Tuesday. [Ashland Independent]

Donald Trump’s immigration policies and hurricane response in Puerto Rico are having lethal consequences for nonwhites. This is real American carnage. [USA Today]

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear announced Thursday he is suing Walgreens, contending the pharmaceutical company did nothing to stem the rise in opioid addiction despite “having a front-row seat as opioids flooded and devastated our communities.” [Ronnie Ellis]

The New York attorney general is suing Donald Trump’s charitable foundation along with its directors — the President, his sons Eric and Donald Jr. and daughter Ivanka, alleging they violated state and federal charities law. Attorney General Barbara Underwood alleges a pattern of persistent illegal conduct over more than a decade that includes extensive unlawful political coordination with the Trump presidential campaign. [CNN]

Barren County’s comprehensive plan contains information from more than 100 sources compiled in one place to provide an overview of where the county is now and project how it may change and where it is mostly likely to grow over the next two decades. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The former deputy defense secretary for both Barack Obama and Donald Trump is criticizing the substance and framing of Trump’s abrupt cancellation of joint military exercises with South Korea as a “pretty substantial concession” to North Korea—something that both Russia and China could turn to their advantage elsewhere. Although Work was out of the administration at the time, he said that “it was about six months ago that Russia and China floated this idea” for halting the U.S.-South Korean drills. [TDB]

All over Kentucky, you hear the same thing at almost every distillery: hammering. The state’s signature bourbon industry is building like never before, adding distilling capacity and warehouses to age whiskey. The new capital investments topped $1.5 billion in 2016 with no end in sight. Will trade tariffs from the European Union, Canada and other countries become a roadblock for bourbon? It’s hard to say. [H-L]

In the four months since a mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school, the number of states with so-called red flag laws has doubled, expanding the ability of courts around the nation to temporarily remove guns from people who are found to be dangerous. [HuffPo]

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Strange How Almost No Democrat Is Talking About The Tim Longmeyer Mess

Federal prosecutors say a veteran Democratic consultant and lobbyist gave “Christmas presents” to a high-ranking state official as part of a pay-to-play scheme that “attempted to reach the highest levels of state government.” [H-L]

Brandon Wolf is one of a group of survivors who made it out of Pulse nightclub alive in the early hours of July 12, 2016. His best friend, Christopher Leinonen, did not ― and Wolf has spent the two years since the massacre fighting to honor Leinonen through his advocacy. [HuffPo]

It’s probably time for Rick Sanders to be fired. Two Kentucky State Police officers and a county coroner were indicted on multiple counts Thursday including stealing hundreds of rounds of ammo and more than a dozen weapons, and illegally transporting moonshine and eyeballs. [C-J/AKN]

Environmentalists on Friday accused the Trump administration of political interference and retaliation in the ouster of Yellowstone National Park’s chief after his disputes with U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke over the park’s celebrated bison. [Reuters]

Chief Operations Officer Randy Neeley was named interim superintendent Thursday, during a special called Madison County Board of Education meeting. [Richmond Register]

When immigration officers raided a rural Pennsylvania poultry transport company early last year, a lawyer for five undocumented men arrested saw plenty of evidence their rights had been violated. [ProPublica]

The Cannonsburg Water District is working to help six families get clean drinking water after their water wells were contaminated by old, abandoned oil wells. [Ashland Independent]

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has added more charges against Paul Manafort, the ex-chairman of the Trump 2016 campaign, and indicted a top aide. [BBC]

During a hearing on Thursday, the judge presiding over the lawsuit against Kentucky’s new pension law questioned why state lawmakers were able to pass the measure out of the legislature in just one day. [WFPL]

He’s an embarrassing idiot. Donald Trump upended two days of global economic diplomacy late Saturday, refusing to sign a joint statement with America’s allies, threatening to escalate his trade war on the country’s neighbors and deriding Canada’s prime minister as “very dishonest and weak.” [NY Times]

The board of directors for the Barren County special ambulance service taxing district is waiting for more information on cost distribution before making any further decisions regarding what it will pay toward the May deficit of Barren-Metcalfe County Emergency Medical Services. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Donald Trump feuded with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and threatened to impose penalties on foreign automobile imports Saturday, capping an acrimonious meeting of the Group of Seven industrial nations that further frayed ties between the United States and its closest allies. [WaPo]

Told ya so. A court filing in the federal case against a neighbor who tackled U.S. Sen. Rand Paul says the neighbor “lost his temper” over yard debris on the property line between their homes. [H-L]

We need more than vague promises – we need real diplomacy. The agreement doesn’t appear to contain any firm promises from Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear weapon program, but rather, opens the door to ongoing discussions. [H-L]

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Get It Together, Marshall County Schools

The former leader of a white supremacist group who once caused outrage with racist remarks at a University of Kentucky event was killed in a crash, and a woman has been charged with his murder, according to court records and media reports. [H-L]

Perhaps no other photo is in more need of a thorough caption than the one released Saturday by the office of German Chancellor Angela Merkel from the Group of Seven’s annual meeting in Quebec. [HuffPo]

Is the Marshall County Board of Education just filled with stupid people or what? The Marshall County School District has banned students from carrying backpacks at the district’s high school and two middle schools. [C-J/AKN]

U.S. authorities are transferring into federal prisons about 1,600 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees, officials told Reuters on Thursday, in the first large-scale use of federal prisons to hold detainees amid a Trump administration crackdown on people entering the country illegally. [Reuters]

The Concerned Citizens of Estill County, a group formed in 2016, has filed a petition with the Energy and Environment Cabinet’s (EEC) Office of Administrative Hearings. The group seeks a review of the Cabinet’s decision to allow Advanced Disposal Services’ Blue Ridge Landfill to leave more than 1,000 tons of radioactive waste in the Estill County landfill location. [Richmond Register]

Despite a lengthy record of safety violations, the University of California will continue its 75-year legacy of running Los Alamos National Laboratory, the U.S. Department of Energy and National Nuclear Security Administration announced Friday. [ProPublica]

Opponents of a 3 percent utility tax in the Greenup County School District are circulating petitions in an effort to get the levy recalled by voters. [Ashland Independent]

White House officials have homed in on Donald Trump’s Washington transition headquarters as a likely location where chief of staff John Kelly’s personal cellphone could have been compromised in late 2016, two U.S. officials familiar with the matter said. [Politico]

Morehead State University’s Board of Regents has approved a new operating budget, extended the contract of President Jay Morgan and voted to demolish Butler Hall. [The Morehead News]

Striking a note for transparency, a federal judge ruled on Friday that Donald Trump and his longtime personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, cannot proceed in total secrecy as they weigh in on the final stages of a laborious review of a huge trove of materials seized from Mr. Cohen during a series of raids by the authorities in April. [NY Times]

Stacey Thomas, assistant principal of Clinton County High School, was named the new principal of Barren County Middle School during an announcement Friday in the BCMS media center. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Frank Kameny was furious that he’d been fired from his government job because he was gay. So he appealed to the nation’s highest court. [WaPo]

In response to a scathing report from Kentucky’s state auditor, the credit rating agency S&P Global withdrew its rating for the largest local government in Eastern Kentucky, making it “nearly impossible” for Pike County to borrow money. [H-L]

Just two years after working to put Donald Trump in the White House, Russian leader Vladimir Putin is now getting help from Trump to achieve foreign policy objectives that Russia has sought for years. [HuffPo]

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Thank Repubs For Raising Your Taxes

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Nearly 1,300 more public employees than expected chose to retire during the fiscal year that ends this month, creating an 18 percent spike at the already cash-strapped Kentucky Retirement Systems, according to newly released data. And the numbers could get even more dramatic in August, which is traditionally the most popular retirement month for state workers. [John Cheves]

In a strange disconnect between messages from government leaders, U.S. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats warned of Kremlin attempts to break up Western alliances and interfere in midterm elections just as Donald Trump was stumping for Russia to again be part of the Group of Seven. [HuffPo]

Surprise! The working poor in the Louisville area are getting taken for a ride again. Tolls are increasing. Tolls that are already outrageously expensive. [C-J/AKN]

Special counsel Robert Mueller on Friday filed new witness tampering criminal charges against ex-Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort as well against Russian citizen and former Manafort operative Konstantin Kilimnik. The superseding indictment — the third against Manafort issued by a Washington, D.C., federal grand jury — came days after Mueller asked a judge to revoke Manafort’s $10 million bail and jail him because of alleged efforts to tamper with potential witnesses at his upcoming trials. [NBC News]

While state officials continue to tout record-breaking business investments in the state, two recent studies ranked Kentucky among the worst for jobs and state economies. [Richmond Register]

He’s so painfully stupid. Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had a testy phone call on May 25 over new tariffs imposed by the Trump administration targeting steel and aluminum imports coming from Canada, including one moment during the conversation in which Trump made an erroneous historical reference, sources familiar with the discussion told CNN. [CNN]

You can thank Republicans for raising your taxes. The Ashland Area YMCA is preparing to add a 6 percent sales tax to their services, but it’s not because they want to. [Ashland Independent]

Nearly 1,800 immigrant families were separated at the U.S.-Mexico border from October 2016 through February of this year, according to a senior government official, as Donald Trump implemented stricter border enforcement policies. [Reuters]

The Franklin Circuit Judge Matt Bevin wanted removed heard arguments from the governor’s general counsel and Attorney General Andy Beshear Thursday about the constitutional validity of the pension reform bill enacted by the 2018 General Assembly. [Ronnie Ellis]

As Donald Trump prepares to meet Kim Jong-un of North Korea to negotiate denuclearization, a challenge that has bedeviled the world for years, he is doing so without the help of a White House science adviser or senior counselor trained in nuclear physics. [NY Times]

The recount for the May primary Barren County judge-executive’s race will take place Wednesday morning in the circuit courtroom at the Barren County Courthouse. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Republicans were caught off guard by the administration’s decision to abandon a popular element of the Affordable Care Act — protections for people with preexisting medical conditions. [WaPo]

Gag a maggot. The Kentucky Board of Education has unanimously approved “Bible literacy” standards for public schools after being challenged by the ACLU to keep Church and State separate, as required by the Constitution. [H-L]

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) used a Twitter post to reassure other members of the Group of Seven that U.S. citizens are still their allies even if Donald Trump no longer appears to be. [HuffPo]

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