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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Another Bevin Administration Scandal

Lexington has been chosen as one of 10 places nationwide where federal authorities will take part in a special enforcement program aimed at curbing distribution of synthetic opioids, powerful painkilling drugs that have helped drive up overdose deaths in Kentucky. [H-L]

You don’t have to believe there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to see this clearly: When Vladimir Putin and his top military intelligence officers facilitated the hacking of the computer systems of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign, they engaged in an act of war against the United States. [HuffPo]

The state’s former top social services official says a colleague sexually harassed her and she was discriminated against at the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, allegations the cabinet says are unsubstantiated. Adria Johnson, who resigned June 4, made the allegations in her resignation letter and a subsequent June 11 letter from her lawyer, Thomas Clay, according to copies of the documents the Courier Journal obtained through an open records request. [C-J/AKN]

Shortly before Donald Trump detonated a NATO summit, shanked the beleaguered British prime minister and prepped for a face-to-face love session with Vladimir Putin, his White House quietly divested itself of a senior official hawkish on Russia and bullish on the transatlantic military alliance. [TDB]

For 10 years, Liberty Place has been a beacon in the night for many women who have faced drug or alcohol addiction. [Richmond Register]

Long-struggling U.S. gambling industries hope to cash in on newly legal sports betting, but the growing wave of electronic and mobile gaming choices is considered more likely to change the face of those businesses rather than revive them. [Reuters]

A proposed doubling of the payroll tax in Raceland has staffers in the Raceland-Worthington School District up in arms, but city officials say there is no other way to get money it needs to pay bills. Teachers, administrators and support workers in the school district dispute the fairness of the tax because many don’t live in the city and they believe Raceland is using them as a cash cow. [Ashland Independent]

Donald Trump pardoned two Oregon ranchers Tuesday, firing a new salvo in a complicated culture war previously marked by air-mailed sex toys, nuanced disputes over the management of public lands, and a police shootout that killed a would-be leader of a modern crackpot revolution. [ThinkProgress]

Morehead State University President Jay Morgan reported to the institution’s Board of Regents last month that he had to cut nearly $11 million in personnel costs to balance the budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year. [The Morehead News]

When President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia sits down with Donald Trump in Helsinki, Finland, on Monday for a meeting he has long wanted, he will already have accomplished virtually everything he could reasonably hope for. [NY Times]

Jimmy Tosh sells a lot of pigs. He is owner and CEO of Tosh Farms, Tosh Pork, and Bacon By Gosh, in Henry County, Tennessee, and has 84 contracted barns in the region where farmers grow pigs for his products. [WFPL]

Scott Pruitt was known inside the Environmental Protection Agency’s headquarters for sipping $10 organic juice infused with kale, sporting Ferragamo shoes with his Hickey Freeman suits, and making biblical references in texts and conversations with aides. [WaPo]

A judge has barred the removal of signs that KentuckyOne Health paid to have at Rupp Arena as the University of Kentucky’s marketing partner tries to kick the hospital company out. [H-L]

Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin were welcomed to Helsinki, Finland, with a potent message about the importance of press freedom ahead of their bilateral summit. [HuffPo]

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The AOC Is Beginning To Melt Down

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While the report often mentioned Brown as an example of the lack of oversight at the agency, it also confirmed at least one thing he alleged in his whistleblower lawsuit — that a supreme court justice leased his office space from a company owned by his sons. The request to re-lease the space revealed that the rent was three times higher than the next bid and would require extra work to make it accessible to people with disabilities. While the audit did not mention the justice’s name, it has previously been revealed to be Justice Samuel Wright. [H-L]

A grand jury convened by special counsel Robert Mueller indicted 12 Russian intelligence officials in connection with the hack of a DNC server during the 2016 election. [HuffPo]

Eight years later — after about 200 University of Louisville men’s basketball games, 200 or so concerts, financial struggles and grave concerns about a potential bond default — the arena finances are still being discussed. In large part, that’s because taxpayers still have decades and hundreds of millions of dollars to go to pay it off. [C-J/AKN]

John Schnatter—the founder, chairman and public face of pizza chain Papa John’s—used the N-word on a conference call in May. Schnatter confirmed the incident in an emailed statement to Forbes on Wednesday. [Forbes]

Mike Pence turns nostalgic when he talks about growing up in small-town Columbus, Indiana, where his father helped build a Midwestern empire of more than 200 gas stations that provided an upbringing on the “front row of the American dream.” [Richmond Register]

There were no immediate specifics on what Trump said he had achieved, and French President Emmanuel Macron quickly disputed Trump’s claim that NATO allies had agreed to boost defense spending beyond their existing goal of 2 percent of gross domestic product by 2024. [TPM]

Another inmate was erroneously released from the Boyd County Detention Center this week — this time due to an apparent miscalculation of credit for time served. [Ashland Independent]

Hours after Donald Trump departed NATO headquarters Thursday, U.S. military leaders embarked on a full-scale “damage control” operation with calls to their counterparts across Europe to reassure them that America will abide by its defense commitments in the region. [NBC News]

The next 2018 election candidate filing deadline – for all Cave City and Park City government seats, open school board seats and the county conservation district board seat – is 4 p.m. Aug. 14. [Glasgow Daily Times]

There’s an ongoing channel between Robert Mueller and the British investigation into Facebook and Cambridge Analytica. [The Guardian]

Louisville’s Coalition for the Homeless will receive a $3.45 million grant to help combat youth homelessness. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced the award Friday. [WFPL]

Shame on the Kentucky Democratic Party for being dead in the water on this. They should be dragging this guy up one side and down the other. Here’s Rand Paul excusing and supporting literal treason. [Politico]

Candidates for Lexington mayor spent more than $825,000 in the seven-way May primary, campaign finance reports show. [H-L]

In the morning of July 27, 2016, Donald Trump encouraged Russian hackers to find emails that had been deleted from Hillary Clinton’s private server that she used while serving as secretary of state. Russia appeared to be listening and heeded Trump’s call, according to a bombshell revelation on Friday. [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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Kentuckians Hate The Repub Tax Hike

Matt Bevin’s administration violated the law by limiting access to the Kentucky Capitol for members of the Poor People’s Campaign advocacy group, Attorney General Andy Beshear said Monday in a legal opinion. [H-L]

Families Belong Together rallies drew crowds dressed in white to cities big and small across the United States on Saturday to protest the Trump administration’s zero tolerance immigration policy. [HuffPo]

Rand Paul is not happy with the jail sentence of his neighbor, Rene Boucher, who attacked the senator last year over yard debris between their homes in Bowling Green. [C-J/AKN]

This investigation is not, primarily, an investigation into Donald Trump. It’s an investigation into people who attacked the United States. It’s time Republicans started acting like that matters. [Empty Wheel]

A quickly developed and implemented policy restricting access to the state Capitol by the Poor People’s Campaign was improperly formulated and illegal, according to an Attorney General’s opinion. [Ronnie Ellis]

Gross alert. Although he lacked federal appellate-court experience, usually a prerequisite for a Supreme Court justice, Thapar was one of four candidates, along with Thomas Hardiman, William Pryor and the eventual nominee, Neil Gorsuch, to be interviewed personally by the president. [SCOTUS Blog]

The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) has completed its review of the effect of federal corporate income tax reductions on the rates of Kentucky Power Co. and ordered further reductions of those rates. [Ashland Independent]

It’s impossible to see from the street, so you would never know it’s there. To get to St. George Cemetery, especially its oldest section, you have to make your way past branches and thorns, across the weathered hills and over downed trees. [ProPublica]

Within six months of receiving its latest Kentucky Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit from the state Division of Water, the Glasgow Water Co. is required to re-evaluate the levels of 13 elements that can be discharged to its wastewater treatment plant. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Javier Solana, a former secretary general of NATO who played a central role in negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program when he was the European Union’s foreign policy chief, has been denied electronic authorization to enter the United States because of a visit to Iran in 2013. [NY Times]

Business owners affected by the tax hike say they’ve been unfairly targeted. [WFPL]

A federal investigation into Facebook’s sharing of data with political consultancy Cambridge Analytica has broadened to focus on the actions and statements of the tech giant and now involves multiple agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to people familiar with the official inquiries. Representatives for the FBI, the SEC and the Federal Trade Commission have joined the Department of Justice in its inquiries about the two companies and the sharing of personal information of 71 million Americans, suggesting the wide-ranging nature of the investigation, said five people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a probe that remains incomplete. [WaPo]

Mitch McConnell, who spent over a quarter century promoting human rights and democracy in Myanmar, is now the principal senator holding up fresh legislation pressuring the country to improve its treatment of the the country’s Rohingya population. [H-L]

The White House late Saturday issued a statement backing down from Donald Trump’s earlier tweet that said he had persuaded Saudi Arabia’s king to produce as much as 2 million additional barrels of oil a day to bring prices down. [HuffPo]

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Fuck Matt Bevin And His Enablers

The Kentucky Court of Appeals has thrown out a unanimous jury verdict awarding Republican state Sen. Ralph Alvarado of Winchester $200,000 in damages in a defamation suit. [H-L]

Jodi Goodwin has spent the past month helping grief-stricken parents with their asylum cases. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin will go down in history as one of the most wretched assholes to walk the earth. Matt Bevin’s administration has abruptly cut Medicaid dental and vision benefits to nearly half a million Kentuckians, prompting an outcry from Democrats who called the Republican governor’s decision “rash.” [C-J/AKN]

In his first in-depth interview since the FBI raided his office and homes in April, Cohen strongly signaled his willingness to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller and federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York — even if that puts Dingus Trump in jeopardy. When I asked Cohen if President Trump knew about that meeting before it happened, he declined to answer. [ABC News]

The state of Kentucky and its taxpayers shelled out more than $200,000 over four years to a contractor to formulate a 911 statewide plan. [Ronnie Ellis]

Legal experts say it’s likely special counsel Robert Mueller secretly gained access to the National Rifle Association’s tax returns as part of the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, according to a McClatchy report. [The Hill]

A quickly developed and implemented policy restricting access to the state Capitol by the Poor People’s Campaign was improperly formulated and illegal, according to an Attorney General’s opinion. [Ronnie Ellis]

The U.S. government said in a court filing on Friday that it has the right to detain children and parents caught crossing the U.S. border illegally for the duration of their immigration proceedings. [Reuters]

The state of Kentucky gave preliminary approval for a $1.5 million tax incentive package for a potential purchaser of the Kentucky Electric Steel plant in Boyd County Thursday. [Ashland Independent]

There is an unusual space in the basement of the University of Louisville library, in the large anteroom to the official archives for Sen. Mitch McConnell. [ProPublica]

Fuck Matt Bevin. Democrats on Monday called Republican Matt Bevin’s decision to cut dental and vision benefits for Medicaid recipients “rash,” “callous” and “not legal.” [More Ronnie Ellis]

One staffer publicly mocked senators who criticized Donald Trump as “clueless” and “crazy.” Another accused Hillary Clinton of having a campaign aide killed and employing pedophiles. A third wrote the “shameful” press was trying to deny Trump his victories. These are not faceless trolls but midlevel political appointees at the Health and Human Services Department. [Politico]

A former employee of Eric C. Conn was sentenced Friday to seven months in prison, with credit for time served, for helping the disability attorney escape the country to avoid sentencing in a federal fraud case. [H-L]

The U.S. ambassador to Estonia has announced his resignation, saying he is taking the “honorable course” in the wake of Donald Trump’s “inaccurate” slams against the European Union, Foreign Policy reported Friday. [HuffPo]

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Bevin’s Pension Shenanigans Fell Apart

Kentucky ranks 37th among the states in children’s well-being, according to the 2018 Kids County Data Book, released Tuesday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, which conducted the research. [H-L]

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld Racist Donald Trump’s travel ban. [HuffPo]

After this and the hiring of Jimmy Adams (see twitter or search this site’s archives), the state definitely needs to take over. Rhonda Martin says she just wanted Jefferson County Public Schools to protect her son, a severely autistic teenager with the mental capacity of a 3-year-old and the speech of a toddler half that age. [C-J/AKN]

Women activists are planning a “mass civil disobedience” act in the U.S. capital on Thursday ahead of weekend protests across the country against the Trump administration’s immigration policy. [Reuters]

Ten months into the county health department’s needle exchange program, 65 people have used it. [Richmond Register]

Way before Jared Kushner became internationally famous by moving into the White House to work for his father-in-law Donald Trump, those of us who live in New Jersey knew the family was an amazing story of immigrant success. [ProPublica]

East Ashland resident Mollie Hood was taking her trash out one recent morning when she came face to face with a man high on drugs. [Ashland Independent]

The Trump administration has attempted to quell national outrage about the thousands of parents and children who have recently been forcibly separated at the southern border, but protesters across the country aren’t letting up the pressure anytime soon. [ThinkProgress]

Attorneys for Matt Bevin Wednesday backed off their argument that a judge’s ruling that a pension reform bill is unconstitutional also put at risk other key legislation, including a bill allowing local governments and school districts to phase in higher pension contributions. [Ronnie Ellis]

A former aide to Roger J. Stone Jr., the longtime Trump adviser and self-described “dirty trickster,” was subpoenaed to appear before the grand jury hearing evidence in the Russia investigation and to hand over documents. [ NY Times]

Rowan County Fiscal Court has officially amended its subdivision regulations ordinance to hopefully cease the repurposing of a pipeline transporting potentially hazardous materials through Rowan County. [The Morehead News]

Arnovis Guidos Portillo remembers the authorities in green uniforms telling him that this would only be temporary. [WaPo]

In December 2004 Spencer Reinhard, Warren Lipka, Eric Borsuk and Charles “Chas” Allen executed a plan to rob several books worth millions of dollars from the Transylvania University special collection library. [H-L]

Donald Trump rolled out his alternative to systematic family separations at the border last week with a new plan: a massive increase of family detention. But the vision taking shape is sure to cost billions of dollars that Immigration and Customs Enforcement doesn’t have. [HuffPo]

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