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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Russia Russia Russia Russia Russia Russia

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Protesters are gathering outside Gate 1 at Louisville’s Freedom Hall ahead of President Donald Trump’s planned evening rally organized to push a contentious Republican replacement for Obamacare. [C-J/AKN]

The director of the FBI, with the director of the National Security Agency agreeing at his side, in effect called the president of the United States a liar ― and, oh, by the way, the president’s 2016 campaign indeed is under investigation for allegedly having secretly teamed up with Russia to win the election. [HuffPo]

Who wants to bet Blake Brickman is probably trolling for dick on Grindr right now? And who the hell writes a column about Matt Bevin’s attack princess complaining about the use of “bromance” without mentioning that it’s homophobic as fuck?! [C-J/AKN]

“There is certainly enough for us to conduct an investigation,” he added. “The American people have a right to know and in order to defend ourselves, we need to know whether the circumstantial evidence of collusion and direct evidence of deception is indicative of more.” [NBC News]

New Republicanism in action. The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) is revamping the state program that provides assistance to low-income telephone customers and refocusing it on meeting the needs of the mostly elderly and rural customers who rely on landline phones. [Richmond Register]

Federal investigators are examining whether far-right news sites played any role last year in a Russian cyber operation that dramatically widened the reach of news stories — some fictional — that favored Donald Trump’s presidential bid, two people familiar with the inquiry say. [McClatchy]

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer is asking Gov. Matt Bevin to veto a bill that would remake the city’s solid waste management district. [WFPL]

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, a vocal critic of President Trump, has hired a prosecutor who served under fired U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara to focus on public corruption cases, including those involving the Trump administration, according to a Wall Street Journal report. [The Hill]

The attorney hired by the Glasgow City Council to pursue the ouster of three members of the Glasgow Electric Plant Board’s board of directors has been busy gathering information and hopes to be ready to meet with his client as a group soon. [Glasgow Daily Times]

After his name surfaced last August in a secret ledger listing millions of dollars in payments from a pro-Russian party in Ukraine, Paul Manafort not only lost his job running Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign but also assumed center stage in a bizarre internecine struggle among Ukrainian political forces. On Monday, the intrigue took another turn, when a member of Parliament in Ukraine released documents that he said showed that Mr. Manafort took steps to hide the payments, which were tied to Mr. Manafort’s work for former President Viktor F. Yanukovych. The documents included an invoice that appeared to show $750,000 funneled through an offshore account and disguised as payment for computers. [NY Times]

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin and the new Republican majority got pretty much what they wanted from the 2017 General Assembly. Only time – and the citizens and voters of the commonwealth – will determine if what they got makes Kentucky a better and more – or less – prosperous place. [Ronnie Ellis]

FBI Director James B. Comey acknowledged Monday that his agency is conducting an investigation into possible coordination between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign in a counterintelligence probe that could reach all the way to the White House and may last for months. [WaPo]

Rand Paul predicted Monday that the Republican health care proposal will fail in the U.S. House this week, clearing the way for “real negotiations” to begin. [H-L]

Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who was removed from his post by the Trump administration last week, was overseeing an investigation into stock trades made by the president’s health secretary, according to a person familiar with the office. [HuffPo]

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Rand Paul Is Running From Donald Trump

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If folks cared about animal advocacy, they’d put an end to this stuff happening in their own back yard. n a tiled, windowless room at the University of Kentucky, Meagan Stetler and Toma Matott are playing with six beagles. The dogs trot around the room, wag their tails and poke Matott with wet noses as they look for the can of Cheese Whiz she holds. Though they look like pets, they are actually laboratory animals bred for research. In this case, it’s an Alzheimer’s study sponsored by a pharmaceutical company, which means UK officials say they can’t divulge any details about what’s happening to the dogs. When it’s over, the dogs will be euthanized, or sent to another facility for more testing. [Linda Blackford]

“I can tell you, speaking for myself, I own nothing in Russia,” President Trump said at a news conference last month. “I have no loans in Russia. I don’t have any deals in Russia.” But in the United States, members of the Russian elite have invested in Trump buildings. A Reuters review has found that at least 63 individuals with Russian passports or addresses have bought at least $98.4 million worth of property in seven Trump-branded luxury towers in southern Florida, according to public documents, interviews and corporate records. [HuffPo]

Rand Paul will be in Louisville on Monday but will head back to Washington D.C. prior to President Donald Trump’s political rally at Freedom Hall. [C-J/AKN]

New Republicanism is dangerous. Potty-Trained Republicans would have advocated for the protection of consumers. These new Neo-Nazi jackasses? They’re out to rob you blind. Grift, grift, grift. [WSJ]

This is utter insanity and the Richmond Register ought to apologize to its readership for publish pseudoscience. [Richmond Register]

A Tennessee woman who backs President Donald Trump credits God and the Republican health care bill — which hasn’t been voted into law — for her family’s dramatically lower insurance costs. [Rawstory]

A bill to hold Kentucky’s no-jail jailers accountable for their work passed through the legislature this week and is awaiting Gov. Matt Bevin’s approval. [WFPL]

Republicans who control legislatures in key states around the country are moving to seize power from Democratic executive officers and independent judges, enraging Democrats, who say the moves undermine the will of voters. Kentucky Republicans are advancing a bill to block the state’s attorney general, a Democrat, from filing civil lawsuits. [The Hill]

Some Metcalfe County Fiscal Court members are floating the idea of pulling out of the joint ambulance service for Metcalfe and Barren counties, depending on what other options they may have. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who was removed from his post by the Trump administration last week, was overseeing an investigation into stock trades made by the president’s health secretary, according to a person familiar with the office. [ProPublica]

One of two bills that would cut election costs for Kentucky counties is poised to pass through the General Assembly. [Ashland Independent]

Trump’s unproven allegation that his predecessor wiretapped Trump Tower in New York ahead of the election blazed a new path of political disruption Friday as he dragged two foreign allies into his increasingly thin argument that he is right. [WaPo]

Republican bigots like Katie Stine are always suckling at the teat of government. Former state Sen. Katie Stine, R-Southgate, was hired this month by the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet as executive director of the Office of the State Medical Examiner, according to state personnel records. [John Cheves]

When politicians take money from megadonors, there are strings attached. But with the reclusive duo who propelled Trump into the White House, there’s a fuse. [HuffPo]

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If Beshear Had Behaved Like Bevin? He’d Have Been Pelted With Stones When In Public

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Matt Bevin this week named two men to vacant judgeships in Central Kentucky, one on the state’s Court of Appeals and the other in Fayette Circuit Court. [John Cheves]

Last June, John Mattes started noticing something coursing like a virus through the Facebook page he helped administer for Bernie Sanders fans in San Diego. People with no apparent ties to California were friending the page and sharing links from unfamiliar sites full of anti-Hillary Clinton propaganda. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin is a garbage person. A truly wretched individual who, like Donald Trump, believes he’s some gift from g-d. Garbage. His poor children will have to deal with his taint for the rest of their lives. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump is a compassionate, intelligent human being, eh? On what fucking planet? This is the person people like Scott Jennings, Andy Barr and Matt Bevin trust to make health care decisions. [New Yorker]

Jeff Hoover is still lying about Amazon’s decision to locate a facility in Kentucky. Trying to use right-to-work legislation as an excuse. If he’s not freaking about transgender kids trying to use the restroom in peace, he’s pushing what he knows to be bullshit. Rather than clean up Greg Stumbo’s messes? He’s creating messes of his own. He’ll end up with a legacy just as tainted. [Richmond Register]

Federal investigators and computer scientists continue to examine whether there was a computer server connection between the Trump Organization and a Russian bank, sources close to the investigation tell CNN. [CNN]

A fired Ashland police officer has appealed the city’s decision in Boyd County Circuit Court. [Ashland Independent]

Texas lawmakers drew up three U.S. congressional districts to undermine the influence of Hispanic voters, a divided panel of three federal judges ruled, in the latest development in a years-long battle over gerrymandering. [Reuters]

This kind of crap is going to continue to happen and we’re going to continue clogging our jails until marijuana is legalized and taxed. The discovery of about 10 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated $64,000 led to the arrest of a Glasgow man Thursday. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The president’s semi-public Florida retreat doesn’t follow the same strict background check protocol as the White House, creating an espionage risk. [Politico]

Long-term interim dean of the University of Louisville’s Brandeis School of Law will not get the permanent job, according to school officials. [Business First]

Trump said he made $21 million in income from his New York contracts. He actually made a lot less. [ProPublica]

The single “preferred” candidate for the University of Kentucky’s diversity chief has accepted the job, UK President Eli Capilouto announced Thursday. [Linda Blackford]

Remember when Scott Jennings had to appear before congress and pleaded the fifth re: the U.S. Attorneys/private email server funtimes in the Bush Misadministration? Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, and one of the most high profile federal prosecutors in the country, says he’s been fired after refusing to resign his post. [HuffPo]

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RPK Continues To Slide Back Decades

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Attorney General Andy Beshear will intervene in the lawsuits of Western Kentucky University and Kentucky State University against two student newspapers in open records cases involving sexual assault. [Linda Blackford]

The Republican bill to reform the Affordable Care Act cuts taxes on the wealthiest Americans while slashing benefits to the middle and working class. It also guts funding to states that cover low-income Americans via Medicaid ― a key sticking point for several GOP senators who represent states that expanded the program under Obamacare. [HuffPo]

Donald Trump is coming to Louisville on Saturday, a spokeswoman with the Louisville International Airport confirmed. [C-J/AKN]

A government watchdog group, Public Citizen, said on Wednesday it will ask lawmakers to investigate whether billionaire investor Carl Icahn should have been subject to lobbying disclosure laws when he advised President Donald Trump to overhaul the U.S. biofuels program. [Reuters]

Bob Stivers is as dumb and corrupt as you think. He’s also a bloated coward. Otherwise, his ass wouldn’t run quickly away when a person of color or a member of the LGBT community tries to have a conversation with him. The President of the state Senate has filed a change to a bill that would strip power from the attorney general and give the governor exclusive authority to represent the state in many legal matters. [WFPL]

Unlike appointees exposed to the scrutiny of the Senate, members of these so-called “beachhead teams” have operated largely in the shadows, with the White House declining to publicly reveal their identities. While some names have previously dribbled out in the press, we are publishing a list of more than 400 hires, providing the most complete accounting so far of who Trump has brought into the federal government. [ProPublica]

To retired coal miners of America, the thought of losing their safety net — union promised health insurance and pensions — has them on desperation’s edge with Congress. [Richmond Register]

Chuck Schumer has a blunt assessment of Donald Trump’s accusation that Barack Obama tapped his phones last fall: “The president is in trouble.” The Senate minority leader said Sunday morning that Trump’s Saturday-morning allegations about former President Obama will be damaging to Trump’s presidency whether they are true or not and that “the president makes it worse with these tweets.” [Politico]

The rumors surrounding the Morehead State Public Radio budget crisis are only half true. The radio station has been affected by the budget like other programs at Morehead State University, and it was rumored that MSPR had been defunded and had no financial support. The station still receives a grant from Corporation of Public Broadcasting but receives no support from the university for operating expenses. Those expenses include electricity, postage and work study programs. [Ashland Independent]

The broader Republican quagmire — the party’s failure so far to make significant progress toward any of its policy promises — isn’t just about Mr. Trump’s inadequacies. The whole party, it turns out, has been faking it for years. Its leaders’ rhetoric was empty; they have no idea how to turn their slogans into actual legislation, because they’ve never bothered to understand how anything important works. [NY Times]

Kentucky Republicans were strangely silent regarding the bomb threat made toward the Jewish Community Center in Louisville. [WAVE3]

Former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper on Sunday denied President Trump’s allegations that former President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower before the election. [The Hill]

Attorney General Andy Beshear accused Republicans of a power grab Wednesday in presenting legislation to give the governor more power in determining what lawsuits Beshear can file. [H-L]

Donald Trump’s nominee to be secretary of the Air Force has become mired in a conflict-of-interest controversy, raising the possibility that he will fail to secure any of his first three picks to run the three military departments. [HuffPo]

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Kentucky Poverty’s International News Again

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Hahahaha, $7.5mil? The Kentucky Senate is getting a bill that would create a public corporation authorized to collect $7.5 million a year to diversify the struggling local economies of the state’s coal regions. [John Cheves]

Former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy warned on Saturday that the Trump administration’s funding cuts to the agency and rollback of Obama-era rules pose a major threat to public health. [HuffPo]

GIGANTIC PEE ALERT! Here’s Scott Jennings – the guy who told racist, anti-LatinX “jokes” at Fancy Farm and now spews homophobia on a regular basis – is panicking over mean liberals saying mean things about walking Turkey Waddle Mitch McConnell. The crazier Trump gets, the more panicked these Republican snowflakes like Jennings become. [C-J/AKN]

U.S. Senate Democrats, seeking to capitalize on growing disclosures about the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russia, urged a top Republican lawmaker on Tuesday to obtain President Donald Trump’s tax returns as a matter of national security. [Reuters]

If a Republican lawmaker gets his way, home school students in Kentucky will be allowed to participate in extra-curricular activities at their local public schools. That was just one measure passed by the state House Tuesday afternoon. Lawmakers also passed a REAL ID bill and another to establish a task force to review and recommend judicial salaries in Kentucky. [Ronnie Ellis]

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Granny) has only three weeks to unify conservatives and moderates in his conference behind an ObamaCare repeal and replacement bill. [The Hill]

With the Berea City Council giving its consent Tuesday night for the Madison County Health Department to operate a syringe exchange program within Berea, only consent from the Madison Fiscal Court is required. [Richmond Register]

Despite claims from the White House that no such ties exist, 65 percent of respondents to a new CNN/ORC poll released Monday morning said the investigation into connections between President Donald Trump and the Russian government should be handled by a special prosecutor. [Politico]

The Rowan County Board of Education voted 3-2 Monday to accept a bid for the construction of a multipurpose athletic complex. The board voted to accept the low bid from The Walker Company of Mt. Sterling, at $1,136,800. [The Morehead News]

FBI director James Comey has rejected Donald Trump’s claim that his predecessor, Barack Obama, ordered a wiretap of his phone before he was elected US president, US media say. [BBC]

Republicans are fighting to weaken environmental rules in Kentucky. This is just a taste of what their meddling will harm. [WFPL]

In the week before the United States elected Donald J. Trump to the presidency, I traveled through Kentucky, through endless miles of farmland and small towns. It was my first visit to the United States, for a book tour. I was shocked by the signs of decline I saw in rural America. Suddenly, rural America matters. It matters for the whole world. [NY Times]

State Sen. Mike Wilson, chairman of the Senate Education Committee, told the Herald-Leader Tuesday that a bill to allow charter schools in Kentucky was not on the agenda for his committee’s Thursday meeting. [H-L]

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Manbaby) has vowed to “defund” Planned Parenthood in upcoming legislation. But what he and Republicans in Congress are trying to do is actually very different from what that word suggests. [HuffPo]

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Larry O’Bryan’s Finally Going To Prison

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Republicans like Whitney Westerfield and Bob Stivers are hypocritical assholes. But you already knew that. Their latest nonsense? It’ll infuriate you even more that these cowards don’t have the guts to say things like this in public without the protection of guards because they’d get their asses kicked.
The Republican Senate majority won’t hear a bill that would require abused or neglected children to remain enrolled in school because it doesn’t wish to get involved in the sensitive subject of home-schooling, a key senator said Wednesday. [John Cheves]

The Indianapolis Star reported that Pence used a personal email account for official Indiana business while governor ― and that the account was hacked by a low-level scammer last summer. Pence used a personal AOL account to correspond with top advisers in Indiana, at times discussing sensitive topics that included the state’s response to terror attacks and the arrests of several men on federal terror-related charges, according to emails released to the Star in response to a public records request. [HuffPo]

Lawrence J. O’Bryan, 57, was sentenced in a Lexington federal district court for convictions on three counts of bribery concerning a federally funded program, U.S. Attorney Carlton S. Shier said in a news release. 60 months and a $100,000 fine. [C-J/AKN]

Republicans looooooove this kind of faux accountability. School officials nationwide dodge accountability ratings by steering low achievers to alternative programs. In Orlando, Florida, the nation’s tenth-largest district, thousands of students who leave alternative charters run by a for-profit company aren’t counted as dropouts. [ProPublica]

This is what happens when Republicans turn corrupt – they do stupid shit that harms Kentucky. A committee chairman might have pulled the plug on his own bill Wednesday when he skipped over the measure that would alter an incentive for Kentucky’s solar industry. [WFPL]

Donald Olestra Shart Trump has given terrorist groups a propaganda victory beyond their wildest dreams. [Politico]

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]

Pressure is growing on Republican leaders to support a special prosecutor to investigate contacts between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, transition team and Russian intelligence agents. [The Hill]

On Nov. 8, Samantha Burford defeated incumbent John Lackey for a seat on the Madison County School Board by 98 votes. After his defeat, Lackey filed suit claiming Burford was ineligible to be a candidate based on alleged conflicts from her work for Madison County Schools Sports Television. [Richmond Register]

Eleven U.S. states have agreed to drop a lawsuit against an Obama administration order for transgender students to use bathrooms of their choice after the measure was revoked by President Donald Trump, a court filing showed on Thursday. [Reuters]

Legislation, sponsored by Sen. Robin Webb, D-Grayson, that would classify horses as livestock and establish consistency within Kentucky livestock statutes Thursday cleared the Senate. [Ashland Independent]

Jeff Sessions really wanted to do racism but effed up and did some perjury and treason or something instead. He’s not a good enough liar to be a part of the Trump mess. [WaPo]

Safety inspectors would visit Kentucky’s underground mines less often under a bill moving through the state House of Representatives. [H-L]

The Trump “Administration” repeatedly denied there was any contact with Russia during the campaign. It has now conceded that some of its top officials did indeed have contact with Russia during the campaign. [HuffPo]

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