Matt Bevin’s Skin Is Thin And He’s Coming Unglued… GET THE POPCORN READY!

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I’ll say something good about Jim Bunning: He’s dead. Good. He also was cantankerous. He snapped “tough s—!” at a senator pleading with him to drop his objection to an unemployment benefits package. He said his 2004 Senate challenger looked like one of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s sons, and he suggested the man was gay. In a 2009 speech, he predicted that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg would be dead within a year from cancer. Bunning later offered an apology “if my comments offended Justice Ginsburg.” Ginsburg remains alive and on the court. [John Cheves]

The ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee called for a review of Jared Kushner’s security clearance Sunday amid reports that the White House adviser sought secret communications with the Kremlin. [HuffPo]

If CJ’s out-of-town managers had guts (and let’s be clear – they don’t. Hi, Joel! Ever find that proof Watkins called CPD? Didn’t think so.) they would work with legal and get Gannett to fund a defamation suit against Bevin. Because Bevin’s a whiny ass titty baby just begging to be dragged for his latest bullshit. The absurd defamation of Loftus takes the cake. [C-J/AKN]

This is a magnificent piece you should go read immediately. When I walk into the Chappaqua dining room in which Hillary Clinton is spending her days working on her new book, I am greeted by a vision from the past. [New York Magazine]

Matt Bevin should tread lightly. The media devil he so desperately fears will huff and puff and blow his glass house down. It’s also not partisan. It’s not a political issue. Otherwise, the feds wouldn’t be crawling all over Anchorage. Pro-tip to Bevin staffers: trash-talking Jim Huggins is just about the easiest way to clue me in to the fact that you fear the FBI. [WAVE3]

Former acting CIA director John McLaughlan on Friday responded to reports that President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner discussed setting up a secret communications line between Trump’s transition team and the Kremlin, saying if such reports are true, it would be considered espionage. [The Hill]

You know the shit is hitting the fan when Matt Bevin panics and holds a last-minute presser to claim everything is puppies and rainbows with Kentucky’s economy. The shit: unemployment explosion, lawsuits, pension disaster at the hands of the Republicans, ethics complaints, feds breathing down his idiot neck. [Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump’s son-in-law and close adviser, Jared Kushner, had at least three previously undisclosed contacts with the Russian ambassador to the United States during and after the 2016 presidential campaign, seven current and former U.S. officials told Reuters. [Reuters]

If you need a good laugh, here’s a look at Brett “AT&T’s Thumb Is In My Butt” Guthrie pretending to have a grasp on health care. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Oleg V. Deripaska, a Russian oligarch once close to President Trump’s former campaign manager, has offered to cooperate with congressional committees investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election, but lawmakers are unwilling to accept his conditions, according to congressional officials. [NY Times]

Maybe Cecil Watkins is dumber than anyone thought? He’s repeatedly lied about the authority of the Attorney General. OAG opinions carry the weight of law. You could take the Commonwealth to court, as you could over any piece of legislation, but opinions definitely are more than “just shy of law”. [The Morehead News]

Jared Kushner and Russia’s ambassador to Washington discussed the possibility of setting up a secret and secure communications channel between Trump’s transition team and the Kremlin, using Russian diplomatic facilities in an apparent move to shield their pre-inauguration discussions from monitoring, according to U.S. officials briefed on intelligence reports. [WaPo]

A government ethics watchdog filed a formal complaint Friday against Gov. Matt Bevin, accusing him of violating Kentucky’s ethics code as the governor moved his family to a new house in Jefferson County. [H-L]

Donald Trump spent months promising miners that he’d make the ailing coal mining industry great again during his election campaign. But it seems one of the president’s top economic aides has other ideas. Gary Cohn, director of the White House National Economic Council, told reporters aboard Air Force One Thursday night that coal “doesn’t make sense anymore,” as he talked up other energy sources. [HuffPo]

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Some Jim Bunning Insanity From A Decade Ago

Can you believe it’s been ten years since Jim Bunning compared Daniel Mongiardo to Saddam Hussein’s sons?

Al Cross, Courier-Journal, April 1, 2004:

Republican U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning, at a recent GOP event, told diners that state Sen. Daniel Mongiardo, his likely opponent in the November election, looks like one of Saddam Hussein’s sons. Yesterday, his campaign said it was a joke and apologized. ‘We’re sorry if this joke, which got a lot of laughs, offended anyone,’ Bunning campaign manager David Young said. Bunning made the remark March 20 at the annual 4th Congressional District Lincoln/Reagan Day Dinner at the Hilton Hotel in Florence.

And when Bunning suggested Mongiardo praised terrorists?

Tom Loftus, Courier-Journal, October 18, 2004:

Another Bunning ad featured a Mongiardo comment in the state Senate that ‘the acts of 9/11 were probably the most brilliant acts of war ever conceived.’

Time sure flies.

No More Gun Cleanin' In The Annex, Meemaws

We tweeted this out yesterday but go read all about it again. An area of southeast Kentucky struggling with chronic poverty and the loss of thousands of coal jobs will get priority when seeking federal money for job training, education, housing and other programs, the White House announced Wednesday. [H-L & Beshear PDF]

A common European and African cockroach may have gotten its evolutionary start in North America, according to new fossil findings. [HuffPo]

Rep. Leslie Combs accidentally fired her handgun while unloading it in her office in the Capitol Annex on Tuesday afternoon. “I’m a gun owner. It happens,” she said Wednesday, adding that she was following safety precautions as she unloaded her Ruger 380 semi-automatic handgun. No one was injured. [Tom Loftus]

Analysis: arctic chill exposes weakness of U.S. natural gas system. Brutally cold weather this week laid bare critical weaknesses in the Northeastern U.S. natural gas system, leaving some states paying vast sums for supplies as arctic weather enveloped the region. [Reuters]

As part of the focus on education dollars in the 2014 session, the governor and lawmaker should divert money to make sure teachers get a salary increase after three budget cycles of flat pay, said Republican Agriculture Commissioner James Comer. [Ryan Alessi]

For the last decade or so, Tracy Weitz has been one of the most prominent abortion researchers in the United States. [ProPublica]

The percentage of Americans who identify themselves as political independents is at an all-time high and the number who identify as Republicans is at an all-time low, according to new numbers by Gallup. [WLKY]

Now that Damaris Phillips is fancier than ever (she truly deserves it), she’s representing Louisville like a champ. She goes out of her way to make sure Louisville spots get national attention. [Food Network]

February 1 is the annual Shop & Share day in Kentucky. Here’s your chance to give back. [First Lady Jane Beshear & Press Releases]

Although the federal government is spending more than $22 billion to encourage hospitals and doctors to adopt electronic health records, it has failed to put safeguards in place to prevent the technology from being used for inflating costs and overbilling, according to a new report by a federal oversight agency. [NY Times]

Former Sen. Jim Bunning will manage the re-election campaign of Campbell County Sheriff Jeff Kidwell. []

Go read this from Maria Shriver. Let me state the obvious: I have never lived on the brink. I’ve never been in foreclosure, never applied for food stamps, never had to choose between feeding my children or paying the rent, and never feared I’d lose my paycheck when I had to take time off to care for a sick child or parent. [Maria Shriver]

Kentucky’s 2014 General Assembly opened Tuesday with squabbling in the House and history-making in the Senate. [H-L]

It is a mystery, really. Does anyone even know how guns work? Particularly some of the people who own them? [Wonkette]

Greg Stumbo Now In Full Melt-Down Mode

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers does not have to weigh the cumulative health impact caused by surface mining for coal before it issues a permit, a federal judge has ruled. [H-L]

The United States provided Iraq with intelligence on preparations for an Iranian offensive during the Iran-Iraq war even though it knew Baghdad would respond with chemical weapons, Foreign Policy magazine reported Monday. [HuffPo]

Attorney General Jack Conway confirmed Monday that he met with representatives from the University of Louisville over its dispute over Norton Healthcare’s new partnership with the University of Kentucky, saying state officials should make sure the public land on which Norton’s Kosair Children’s Hospital sits is used to benefit the university. [C-J/AKN]

The US government will reach its debt limit by mid-October unless Congress acts quickly, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has warned. [BBC]

The Northern Kentuckians who sued to force state legislators to have a redistricting plan in place by November are considering whether to file another lawsuit or live with the new redistricting plan approved Friday in Frankfort. [CN|2]

Eight Democratic senators and congressmen have asked Attorney General Eric Holder to answer questions about a Reuters report that the National Security Agency supplies the Drug Enforcement Administration with intelligence information used to make non-terrorism cases against American citizens. [Reuters]

Mitch McConnell will give a talk at Northern Kentucky University on the legacy of former Sen. Jim Bunning. [Enquirer]

What good is a conservative fever dream if no one can make a buck off it, right? [TPM]

Pee alert: teabaggers are still trying to push for defunding of health care reform. At least, that effort has disguised itself as a teabagger bunch. [WKYT]

In a new documentary airing Monday on the National Geographic Channel, former Secretary of State Colin Powell opens up about the U.S. invasion of Iraq and claims that he warned President Bush that the U.S. was being steamrolled into war. [HuffPo]

The fallout from a sexual harassment scandal in the state House continued Monday, as one Democratic lawmaker called for the resignation of another and House Speaker Greg Stumbo released emails about the complaints that date back to May. Tom Riner is just trying to cover his own rear, sadly. Reggie Meeks is the only person with the real guts to speak up. And John Schaaf (HAHHAHAHAHAHA) has egg all over his face. [H-L]

Endorsement Stunt Indicator Of Financials & Polling

If you think Alecia Webb-Edgington’s endorsements yesterday came as a “surprise” – as she claimed in an email blast?

From: Alecia Webb-Edgington
Sent: Mon, Apr 23, 2012 5:32 pm
Subject: Surprise Endorsements

A few minutes ago we announced some game changing good news in this campaign!

Senator Jim Bunning and Congressman Geoff Davis both endorsed my candidacy for Congress at a rally in Covington early this afternoon.

Then you aren’t paying attention. Davis has been involved since day one and Jim Bunning has been pressured since the beginning.

But don’t let this go to your head just yet.

Why would Alecia roll something like that out before Derby in Kentucky when no one is paying attention to politics? Two big reasons: she’s tanked in the polls and couldn’t raise money if Greg Stumbo made it rain all around her (not just because she’s never in Frankfort to cast a vote). Common sense and political experience would have had her wait until after the Kentucky Derby. She’d roll out the Bunning endorsement (note: he promised both Moore and Massie he wasn’t getting involved) one week, the Davis endorsement the next and would do so with paid media. But. Uh. That common sense and political experience thing has to go out the window, apparently.

Unfortunately, neither the endorsement from Jim Bunning nor Geoff Davis will turn into much of a cash cow for Webb-Edgington. You’ll recall that Bunning couldn’t raise money for himself so he dropped out of the U.S. Senate race. And Davis? Look at his campaign finance reports. Most of his money – and he has readily admitted such on these pages – comes from Political Action Committees, lobbyists and companies that only give to sitting congresspeople. He says he accepts cash like that so he doesn’t have to be bothered with actually raising money and being politically indebted to anyone. He doesn’t have a campaign finance machine in Kentucky to rely upon. It’s unfortunate because Webb-Edgington’s folks are both Bunning and Davis people and have first-hand experience with the campaign finance realities in those camps.

One thing’s for sure: yesterday’s move likely caused more drama in the 4th District than it helped Alecia Webb-Edgington. Her campaign staffers have been busy trying to leave nasty comments here all night so we know they’ve got a lot of free time on their hands.

All Kinds Of Hot New 4th District Gossip

Now that Geoff Davis has endorsed Alecia Webb-Edgington, there’s all kinds of hot gossip.

Primarily surrounding the reason Webb-Edgington is in the race.

While we think it’s silly, there’s plenty of speculation that she’s in the race to benefit Thomas Massie. Many believe she pulls votes from Gary Moore. So it’s not too far fetched.

After our earlier story that mentioned Larry Tomlinson being in business with Dick Knock, the guy running the Massie SuperPAC, everyone went crazy. Their jointly-owned LLC gave $10,000 to the SuperPAC.

Turns out? Tomlinson gave Geoff Davis $2,100 in 2006 and has been in close operation with Davis campaign folks since then. So has Dick Knock.

And that makes people freak out, spinning all kinds of stories.

Again – it’s silly. But that’s the latest political gossip.

The race is on to see how long it takes to get Mitch McConnell to endorse Gary Moore and Rand Paul to endorse his look-alike, Thomas Massie.

The flip-flop by Geoff Davis to endorse Alecia this late in the race should make it clear to the average reader that she’s hurting severely in the polls. Even with the endorsement, most believe it’s a Moore-Massie race.