Don’t Forget What Matt Bevin Has Done

The Republican Party of Kentucky doesn’t care about first responders. This is yet more proof of their shameful efforts. If you support the current iteration of the RPK, you’re a monster. [H-L]

San Diego’s huge outbreak of hepatitis A ― a preventable but deadly virus that is spread through contact with human feces ― captured national media attention in September. Louisville, Kentucky, which is the latest city to face an outbreak, has 128 sick and one dead since declaring that outbreak in November 2017, health officials told HuffPost. [HuffPo]

Alleged pig-fucker and literal excuser of child sex abusers, Matt Bevin, is attacking teachers again. [C-J/AKN]

Yet more proof that modern Republicanism is a dangerous disease. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, the federal government’s first responder to floods, hurricanes and other natural disasters, has eliminated references to climate change from its strategic planning document for the next four years. [NPR]

Amid calls across the nation for stricter gun control since the Feb. 14 shooting at a Florida high school that killed 17 — and rampant resistance against such action — a Kentucky pro-firearm group continues working to eradicate any local gun regulations. [Richmond Register]

Former FBI official Andrew McCabe memorialized his interactions with Donald Trump in contemporaneous memos, two people familiar with the case said, and they could become a key piece of evidence in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe. [WaPo]

A special committee has been selected to help determine the next superintendent of Rowan County Schools. [The Morehead News]

As another U.S. government funding deadline looms, a huge spending bill is ground zero in the latest battle between Republicans and Democrats in Congress over Donald Trump’s push to toughen immigration policy. [Reuters]

On March 5, Caverna High School Principal Chase Goff posted a link on Twitter to an open letter he wrote to the Kentucky Legislature. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Yes, Donald Trump is really this stupid and this dishonest. [NY Times]

Eastern Kentucky teachers used their annual Kentucky Education Association Day of Learning trip to the Capitol Thursday to urge lawmakers to safeguard their pensions and insure adequate education funding in the state budget. [Ashland Independent]

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday accepted the recommendations that former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who took the reins of the agency during the turbulent days after the abrupt firing of James Comey, be terminated — two days before he was to retire and become eligible for full pension benefits. [NBC]

The Republican-led Kentucky House voted Monday to ban a common abortion procedure when women are at least 11 weeks into their pregnancies, brushing aside warnings that the restriction would embroil the state in another legal fight on the issue. [H-L]

Maybe Democrats need to develop some courage and shove this down Republicans’ throats. A Republican plan to shrink food stamp enrollment is in some serious trouble. [HuffPo]

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Let’s Hear It For Obstruction Of Justice!

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Andrew G. McCabe, the former F.B.I. deputy director and a frequent target of President Trump’s scorn, was fired Friday after the Justice Department rejected an appeal that would have let him retire this weekend. Mr. McCabe promptly declared that his firing, and Mr. Trump’s persistent needling, were intended to undermine the special counsel’s investigation in which he is a potential witness. [NY Times]

A government program that grew by more than 6,000 percent in five years doesn’t provide medical care or feed the poor. It does indirectly subsidize profitable corporations such as Altria, parent company of cigarette-maker Philip Morris USA, and its spinoff Philip Morris International; British American Tobacco, and Japan Tobacco International. [H-L]

It is not hard to find a list of the many, stupid ways Larry Kudlow has been wrong about major economic calls in the past quarter century. He has a childlike faith in the power of tax cuts and is a committed Republican partisan, both of which drive him to say consistently outlandish things. He celebrated the dot-com bubble heights of the stock market as a triumph of Reaganomics, denied the existence of a housing bubble during the George W. Bush years, insisted the Great Recession was not a recession, claimed Barack Obama’s stimulus package would usher in raging inflation, and so on. Such unflagging technocratic incompetence makes Kudlow ― a former Bear Stearns economist better known as a CNBC personality ― an excellent fit for the bumbling Donald Trump administration. [HuffPo]

Marshall County Schools superintendent Trent Lovett is a lot like failed former Montgomery County Schools superintendent, Joshua Powell. They’re both gun-obsessed, small-minded babies with no business being around children. [C-J/AKN]

The White House has refused to comply with all three investigations by the Republican-controlled House into the questionable behavior of Donald Trump’s top aides, including Cabinet secretaries and son-in-law, Jared Kushner. And Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee are being criticized for accepting no for an answer rather than subpoena the documents. [McClatchy]

Catlettsburg Councilman Richard “Andy” Brown was indicted on a perjury charge Tuesday after allegedly claiming he wasn’t under the influence while pleading guilty to drug charges, then failing a drug test. [Ashland Independent]

Russian hackers are conducting a broad assault on the U.S. electric grid, water processing plants, air transportation facilities and other targets in rolling attacks on some of the country’s most sensitive infrastructure, U.S. government officials said Thursday. [Bloomberg]

When Frankfort lawmakers were confident they could pass a major reform of the state’s public pension systems, they decided to help local governments by allowing them to phase in higher pension contributions over a period of years. [Ronnie Ellis]

These Trump-supporting racists are keeping it in the family. Battery charges and the likelihood of a lengthy prison sentence now await Matthew Heimbach. [ThinkProgress]

Kids get it. Enough is enough. [The Morehead News]

The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, has subpoenaed the Trump Organization to turn over documents, including some related to Russia, according to two people briefed on the matter. The order is the first known time that the special counsel demanded documents directly related to Donald Trump’s businesses, bringing the investigation closer to the president. [More NY Times]

When the Barren County Fiscal Court created a special taxing district in December 2016 solely for the purpose of creating a revenue stream to cover 60 percent of Barren-Metcalfe County EMS’ deficit, it set the tax rate in such a manner as to generate a bit more revenue than the budgeted deficit for that fiscal year, which ended June 30, 2017. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Before The Washington Post report was published, a White House spokesperson checked with several senior White House officials and did not dispute that the president had made a decision. White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly — who has personally been eager to see McMaster go —has also told White House staff in recent days that Trump had made up his mind about ousting McMaster. [WaPo]

What the hell is wrong with you, Bill Estep? Pushing propaganda – myths about marijuana – is a dereliction of your duty and is straight-up lazy. A Kentucky man who helped lead what was once called the biggest marijuana-growing operation in the nation was sentenced Thursday to four years and nine months in federal prison. John Robert “Johnny” Boone, now 74, headed the colorfully named “Cornbread Mafia,” which federal authorities said grew more than 180 tons of marijuana in Kentucky and other states in the 1980s. [H-L]

When Thomas Hofeller travelled across the country at the beginning of the decade to talk to lawmakers about the redistricting process, he brought a warning: “Don’t get cute.” [HuffPo]

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Matt Bevin Doesn’t Care About Kids

Here’s your regular reminder that Matt Bevin doesn’t actually give a flip about the foster care system. He could afford to buy his children from a foreign country (don’t even try to act like that’s not what happened – wealthy people do it all the time to avoid government scrutiny from the social services system and because they’re impatient) and hasn’t really given much thought to what goes on at home. He and his wife put on little shows here and there to feign empathy but if they truly gave a flip? Stuff like this wouldn’t occur. [H-L]

Several days after a former Russian spy and his daughter were found catatonic on a bench in Salisbury, England, British, Prime Minister Theresa May revealed that the pair had been poisoned by a rare and highly-deadly nerve agent known as Novichok. The revelation prompted U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to say the poisoning “clearly came from Russia.” Novichok, he added, is a military-grade agent found “only in the hands of a very, very limited number of parties.” [HuffPo]

Donald Trump’s decision to slap tariffs on imported steel and aluminum triggered cheers at Kentucky aluminum and steel mills — and a far more somber reaction from bourbon distillers and manufacturing businesses. [C-J/AKN]

An adviser to the United Arab Emirates with ties to current and former aides to Donald Trump is cooperating with the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, and gave testimony last week to a grand jury, according to two people familiar with the matter. [NY Times]

Boyd County and Fairview Independent schools will soon have more law enforcement officers on campus. [Ashland Independent]

In the spring of 2016, longtime political operative Roger Stone had a phone conversation that would later seem prophetic, according to the person on the other end of the line. [WaPo]

Rowan County Sheriff Matt Sparks is hoping to educate the public about what to do when being followed or harassed in a public space after a social media post went viral over the past few days. [The Morehead News]

U.S. students spilled out of classrooms by the tens of thousands on Wednesday, chanting slogans like “No more silence” and “We want change” as part of a coast-to-coast protest over gun violence prompted by last month’s massacre at a Florida high school. [Reuters]

Hundreds of Kentucky high school students, including survivors of a campus shooting this year, joined a nationwide gun violence protest Wednesday by rallying in frigid weather at the state Capitol. [Richmond Register]

You can thank Mitch McConnell for killing any protections you have against corrupt banks. The Senate voted to advance Wednesday the most sweeping bipartisan changes yet to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform bill enacted by President Obama after the 2007 financial crisis. [The Hill]

Louisville-area schools joined nearly 3,000 others across the country Wednesday walking out of class at 10 a.m. for 17 minutes. [WFPL]

The UK will expel 23 Russian diplomats after Moscow refused to explain how a Russian-made nerve agent was used on a former spy in Salisbury, the PM says. [BBC]

Alice Forgy Kerr is a homophobic monster and Kentucky media ought not forget or excuse it. You’ll never see people like Jack Brammer report on that, however. Instead, people like Brammer paint her as some kind of victim just trying to do the right thing. It’s that kind of bullshit narrative that keeps Kentucky in the dark ages. [H-L]

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders pointedly avoided saying the word “Russia” on Monday when very specifically questioned about that country’s culpability in the poisoning last week of a former Russian spy with a deadly nerve agent. [HuffPo]

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Boyd County Jail Nightmare Continues

Seventeen crosses with the names and ages of the victims killed in last month’s Florida school massacre have been hung from a Kentucky billboard advertising a gun show. [H-L]

The White House announced support Sunday for firearms training for some teachers to protect schools, and has backed off an earlier call by Donald Trump to raise the age individuals can purchase assault-style weapons from 18 to 21. [HuffPo]

Rand Paul is all in for Kentucky’s medical marijuana bill. House Bill 166, which has gained support of Republicans and Democrats in the Kentucky legislature, would allow patients with certain conditions to use the drug. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports could result in economic growth that is slower than states assumed in their budget forecasts, S&P Global Ratings said on Friday. [Reuters]

A special prosecutor was assigned to the case against Boyd County Jailer Joe Burchett, who has pleaded not guilty to a charge of malfeasance or neglect of county officer. [Ashland Independent]

A complex banking bill currently making its way through the Senate is praised by proponents as a common sense revision of banking regulations, that would help small banks and lenders thrive. But activists for fair housing practices are increasingly sounding alarms warning the bill opens the door for many financial institutions to hide racially discriminatory practices in mortgage lending. [ThinkProgress]

Facing a $15 million budget shortfall, Western Kentucky University announced last month it would return its regional campuses in Glasgow, Owensboro and Elizabethtown to the Division of Extended Learning and Outreach. [Glasgow Daily Times]

It was late in the afternoon of November 9, 2013, in Moscow, and Donald Trump was getting anxious. [Mother Jones]

A lawsuit has been filed by a large shareholder of Louisville-based Kindred Healthcare that seeks to block the sale of the company to Humana and two private equity firms. [WFPL]

A Belarusian escort with close ties to a powerful Russian oligarch said from behind bars in Bangkok on Monday that she had more than 16 hours of audio recordings that could help shed light on Russian meddling in United States elections. [NY Times]

Local school officials are working with students should they decide to join in a national school walkout to protest gun violence and call for tighter gun laws this week. [BGDN]

Donald Trump would be able to dispatch Secret Service agents to polling places nationwide during a federal election, a vast expansion of executive authority, if a provision in a Homeland Security reauthorization bill remains intact. [Boston Globe]

John Ray of Martin County worked in coal mines nearly 10 years before the company told him he would be laid off. [H-L]

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos had one of the most contentious confirmation hearings of the Trump administration, with two Republicans voting against her nomination. On Sunday night, she told Lesley Stahl of “60 Minutes” that she’s “more misunderstood than anything.” [HuffPo]

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Greg Fischer: Still Fighting Transparency

House Republicans working to flesh out their recent promise of tax reform should heed the evidence that’s piling up in other states: Cutting income and business taxes, and offsetting the losses by raising sales taxes, is no magic economic elixir. It’s more a recipe for starving education, infrastructure and other public services and dishing up more budget crises. [H-L]

Last Saturday, in a private meeting with Republican donors who had gathered at his Mar-a-Lago estate, Donald Trump attacked yet again the basic foundations of American democracy. In his freewheeling and unscripted talk, a recording of which was obtained by CNN, Trump eventually focused his comments on President Xi Jinping of China. He noted Xi’s plan to abolish China’s presidential term limits, and lavished praise on this authoritarian grab at unrestricted power. [HuffPo]

Flashback to Greg Fischer claiming to be the most transparent mayor in Louisville history. Courier Journal is suing Louisville for refusing to release details on the incentives it offered to Amazon in return for the online retail giant building its second headquarters here. [C-J/AKN]

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway violated the Hatch Act on two occasions, the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) informed the Trump administration Tuesday. [The Hill]

Madison County is now officially the only community in Kentucky, and one of only seven nationwide, to be a Blueprint for Safety Community. [Richmond Register]

Migrants separated from their children after they were detained for illegally entering the United States filed a class action lawsuit on Friday, claiming there are “hundreds” of parents in the same situation, and that the Trump administration is violating their due process rights. [Reuters]

A Catlettsburg city councilman pleaded guilty to drug charges Friday and then was accused of almost immediately violating the terms of his probation by being under the influence of heroin, meth and other drugs. [Ashland Independent]

Coal ash — the residual byproduct of burning coal — is the second-largest form of waste in the entire country, with utilities producing more than 100 million tons of it each year. For decades, companies have dealt with all that coal ash by storing it in unlined pits or landfills. Now, new reporting data shows this has lead to the contamination of groundwater at coal-fired power plants across the country. [ThinkProgress]

Rowan County Sheriff Matt Sparks talked guns with Morehead-Rowan County Chamber of Commerce members this month. [The Morehead News]

The special counsel in the Russia investigation has learned of two conversations in recent months in which Donald Trump asked key witnesses about matters they discussed with investigators. [NY Times]

The Interapt Skills proposal is being downsized after it apparently became clear that the original price tag of nearly $1.9 million was going to be “too lofty a goal for our community at this point.” [Glasgow Daily Times]

The Social Security Administration’s acting commissioner had no authority to act after mid-November because the agency is in violation of a federal law regarding vacant positions, according to a report to the president. [WaPo]

A student accidentally shot himself in a classroom at Lexington’s Frederick Douglass High School with a “pocket-sized handgun” he took to school Friday, according to school district police and administrators. [H-L]

A top GOP fundraiser pitched Donald Trump last year on a plan to recruit a thousands-strong international Muslim army — to be advised by retired Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal — that would help the United Arab Emirates battle the Taliban and the Islamic State in Afghanistan, according to a leaked memo the fundraiser wrote documenting his meeting with the president. The army “would consist of two brigades (5,000 total troops) comprised of Muslim soldiers recruited from Arab and Islamic nations,” Elliott Broidy, a Republican National Committee deputy finance chair, wrote in the memo. [HuffPo]

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What Will The RPK Ruin This Week?

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Thousands of people who own houseboats on Kentucky’s lakes don’t pay required property taxes, but lawmakers are pondering a measure that could ensure the luxury boats are on the tax rolls. [H-L]

The ACLU’s top voting rights lawyer faced down one of Donald Trump’s voter fraud commissioners in court on Friday, getting him to concede that he had shaky evidence of significant voter fraud in Kansas. [HuffPo]

Denise Brown is still a damn fool and she should be disbarred. A Jefferson County Family Court judge on Monday jailed a mother whose daughter refuses to go on weekend visits with her father, saying she fears her dad and doesn’t feel safe with him. Finding the mother in contempt of court, Judge Denise Brown ordered the mother to spend two days in jail and had threatened to return her to jail Friday if the 10-year-old refused to go to her father’s home for a visit this weekend. [C-J/AKN]

A key aide to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has been granted permission to make extra money moonlighting for private clients whose identities are being kept secret. [AP]

This wasn’t supposed to happen. Maybe in the House but not in the Senate. [Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump’s lawyer is trying to silence adult-film star Stormy Daniels, obtaining a secret restraining order in a private arbitration proceeding and warning that she will face penalties if she publicly discusses a relationship with the president, NBC News has learned. [NBC News]

Rural Johnson County Kentucky native Paul Castle remembers the first time he visited Chicago in his 20s. [Ashland Independent]

In January, after a long day at his London office, Christopher Steele, the former spy turned private investigator, was stepping off a commuter train in Farnham, where he lives, when one of his two phones rang. [New Yorker]

Rowan County Attorney Cecil Watkins has advised those running for office in the May 22 primary election that they can go against county ordinance and begin placing political posting signs earlier than 45 days before the election. [The Morehead News]

In a letter marked “Private & Confidential” to the hotel’s other owners, the businessman, Orestes Fintiklis, likened the Trumps to leeches who had attached to the property, “draining our last drops of blood,” according to a copy reviewed by The New York Times. [NY Times]

The Hart County Sheriff’s Office is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the theft of a car in Munfordville this week. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The U.S. Department of Justice formally submitted a regulation on Saturday to ban “bump stocks,” a modification to high-capacity rifles that lets them fire like an automatic weapon. [Reuters]

Republicanism is a disease. A measure pending in a House committee would repeal a rule that cost a state representative access to his luxury houseboat for a time after he allegedly did not pay fees to a marina. The legislator, Republican Rep. C. Wesley Morgan of Richmond, is a co-sponsor of House Bill 183, which is more broadly aimed at making sure owners of houseboats pay their property taxes. But one part of the bill would address a situation that has Morgan involved in litigation. [H-L]

When the NRA lunatics claim things should be left up to the states to decide? Well… here’s proof they don’t mean that. [HuffPo]

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Republicans Can’t Do Math, Apparently

For decades, people have sparred over the University of Kentucky’s Robinson Forest, a 15,000-acre block of ecologically diverse Appalachian woodland that serves as a living laboratory for how healthy forests can impact the water and animals that run through them. [Linda Blackford]

Striking teachers and other public employees in West Virginia have shut down schools across the state for more than a week, flooding the capitol in Charleston each day to rebuke their lawmakers. The workers are demanding significant raises to their stagnant pay and a clear plan to curb rising premiums in the state employee health care program. [HuffPo]

TL;DR: More of the same from the Republican Party of Kentucky. Line 3 on page 186 of the House budget bill goes a long way in explaining how the House committee could afford to restore so much funding that Bevin cut. It shows that a whopping $480 million will be transferred between now and the end of the next two-year budget period to general state spending from the Public Employees’ Health Plan. That’s about $280 million more than Bevin proposed taking from this fund, which has been tapped regularly over the past decade. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump has moved aggressively in his first year in office to roll back regulations he says have harmed America’s coal miners. But the industry itself remains mired in long-term decline, a downturn that one of Trump’s own government agencies predicts will only worsen over time. [The Hill]

Pregnant women in jail or prison could not be shackled during labor or child birth under a bill passed Monday by the state Senate. [Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump on Friday nominated a Dow Chemicals lawyer to head-up an Environmental Protection Agency unit that oversees hazardous waste disposal and chemical spills from toxic“Superfund” sites. [Reuters]

The Fairview Schools Board of Education placed the school district’s Superintendent, Michael Taylor, on suspension with pay Monday night but the reason for the suspension was not released. [Ashland Independent]

Mitch McConnell is still enabling genocide. Mitch McConnell, a longtime advocate for democracy in Myanmar and fan of Suu Kyi, has expressed his continued support in recent months despite the bloodshed in Rakhine state. “Publicly condemning Aung San Suu Kyi, the best hope for democratic reform in Burma, is simply not constructive,” the Republican senator said in September. [Politico]

Though details have yet to be announced, search warrants were executed at the Horse Cave Police Department on Monday as part of an ongoing federal investigation. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Former European leaders who tried to bring Ukraine closer to Europe before a 2014 uprising there reacted with shock on Saturday after a federal indictment accused Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, of secretly paying former European officials some two million euros in 2012 and 2013 to lobby on the country’s behalf. [NY Times]

Four Republican lawmakers in Kentucky who signed a secret sexual harassment settlement last year are scheduled to participate in a hearing next month before a state ethics commission that could recommend they be removed from office. [WFPL]

The family real estate company once run by White House adviser Jared Kushner is in talks to buy out its partner in a Manhattan skyscraper that has been losing money for years. [WaPo]

Is Marty Cockring a pervert? Why else would he lobby against ending the practice of taking child brides? [H-L]

Survivors of last month’s deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, have delivered a blistering message to Donald Trump. [HuffPo]

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