Bevin’s Medicaid Mess Goes National

Will Hazard become the nation’s hub for drone research and development? No. It won’t. There. Saved you a click and time reading. [H-L]

Seven baffling moments from Donald Trump’s Associated Press interview. He’s dumber than you could have ever imagined. [HuffPo]

Just in case anyone needed another reason to avoid the Tim Faulkner Gallery, here’s him equating actual Nazis with people fighting racism. And the newspaper just casually hinting at it. [C-J/AKN]

Grifters are gonna grift. A U.S. State Department website published an article this month about President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, stoking criticism from prominent ethics experts. [Reuters]

A Georgia congressman who joined Martin Luther King Jr. in the historic Selma march will speak at Berea College’s commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 7. Rep. John Lewis helped organize the march in Selma, Alabama, in 1965 that demanded an end to voter registration discrimination. [Richmond Register]

A State Department website has removed a blog post about President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort following criticism over ethical concerns. [The Hill]

Suggestions for changes to the Glasgow-Barren County Industrial Development Economic Authority’s inter-local agreement were discussed in detail Friday morning, after which IDEA’s board of directors voted to allow chairman Owen Lambert to compile the suggestions into a list and present it to the board’s attorney for inclusion in a new document to be reviewed by the board and eventually adopted. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Oh, look, the big city folks finally realized what Matt Bevin and his fellow New Republicans are trying to do with Medicaid in Kentucky. [ThinkProgress]

Lawmakers from coal-mining states are pushing to extend health benefits for more than 22,000 retired miners and widows whose medical coverage is set to expire at the end of April. [WFPL]

Former acting attorney general Sally Yates, fired from Donald Trump’s Justice Department in January, and former director of national intelligence James Clapper are set to testify on Russian meddling in the 2016 election at a May 8 hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee. [Politico]

For a boulder that has tried its best to mind its own business, the Indian Head Rock can’t seem to keep out of the limelight. [Ashland Independent]

Mike McCabe’s neighbors in rural Gillespie, Ill., consider him lucky. After being out of work for a year, he landed a job in January making cardboard boxes at a nearby Georgia-Pacific plant for $19.60 an hour. [NY Times]

Three men conspired to bring 80 pounds of cocaine and 40 pounds of methamphetamine by plane from California to Blue Grass Airport, a criminal complaint filed in federal court says. [H-L]

Harassment, vandalism and other hostile acts against Jewish people and sites in the U.S. increased by 34 percent last year and are up 86 percent through the first three months of 2017, according to data released on Monday. [HuffPo]

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Your Morning Dept Of Republican Insanity

Lil Matt’s pants are on fire. Matt Bevin refused Monday to say who owns the house where he and his family are living in Jefferson County. [H-L]

Many in South Korea are steamed at Donald Trump for saying their nation was once “part of China.” “This is clearly a distortion of history and an invasion of the Republic of Korea’s sovereignty,” Hong Joon-pyo, a conservative Liberal Korea Party candidate, said through a spokesman. [HuffPo]

Julie Denton? Really? The same piece of work who is such an incompetent human being that she couldn’t care for a dog? Aligning herself with Dave Mutchler makes it clear that she hasn’t changed her Frankfort ways. [C-J/AKN]

In January, the Trump administration quietly dispatched more than 400 temporary employees across the federal government. Now dozens of them are getting permanent jobs. [ProPublica]

In December when Congress passed the 21st Century Cures Act, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called it an important step in helping foster solutions for heartbreaking illnesses like addiction. [Richmond Register]

Hillary Clinton hammered the Trump administration’s rollback of LBGT protections Thursday night, urging advocates to voice their opposition at the polls during the 2018 midterms elections. [Politico]

Officials with the Southeastern Cave Conservancy Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to cave conservation, announced on Friday afternoon the purchase of the Daleo entrance to the Roppel section of Mammoth Cave. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Young LGBTQ Americans in the child welfare system, juvenile justice system, and in youth homelessness shelters face a lack of necessary protections in many states, according to a report released Monday by Lambda Legal, Children’s Rights, and the Center for the Study of Social Policy. [Fusion]

You can thank Matt Bevin and the Republican Party of Kentucky’s desire for Charter/AT&T cash for this boondoggle. Construction of a statewide broadband internet network in Kentucky has begun, but the project has been delayed and doesn’t have an estimated launch date. [WFPL]

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has been reworking student lending since her appointment in February, raising concerns among Democrats that she will undo former President Barack Obama’s overhaul of college financial aid. [Reuters]

Leave it to the fat (not just physically), white, heterosexual white men to mansplain racism to people of color at Western Kentucky University. And people wonder why Bowling Green draws racists like moths to a flame. [BGDN]

PEE ALERT! PEE ALERT! Donald Trump knows so little about, well, anything, that he thinks a 15 percent corporate tax rate is possible. [WaPo]

If Jim Host is praising something related to the Louisville Arena, you know it’s probably horseshit. Seems fitting being Derby time and all. [H-L]

The U.S. grew from a “backwoods country” to one of “greatest nations the world has ever known” thanks to science — but that pillar of America is eroding, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson warns. [HuffPo]

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It’s Just The Tip Tuesday Again

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Four vehicles sold by a state agency at an “employees only” sale in 2014 fetched prices that are 70 percent or more below their current value, according to Transportation Cabinet records. []

Mike Pence said on Saturday the United States would honor a controversial refugee deal with Australia, under which the United States would resettle up to 1,250 asylum seekers, a deal Donald Trump had described as “dumb”. [HuffPo]

Before he got dental coverage, David Thompson, who works at various construction jobs, said he suffered for years with untreated dental pain and decay. [C-J/AKN]

Next week, according to sources, seven black Fox News employees plan to join a racial discrimination suit filed last month by two colleagues. [NY Magazine]

This seems like one of the dumbest things Richmond could possible waste time on. No wonder that town remains in the dark ages. The owner of a Stratford Drive home on Wednesday night told Richmond’s Codes Enforcement Board the property would be in compliance by May 1 with the city’s prohibition against more than two unrelated people sharing a dwelling in a single-family residential zone. [Richmond Register]

Talk is already heating up that President Trump could have a chance to appoint a second person to the Supreme Court. [The Hill]

Members from a local environmental coalition shared comments Friday with the Kentucky Air Quality Division during a hearing focusing on including fence line monitoring of odor emissions in Big Run Landfill’s new air quality permit. [Ashland Independent]

Tens of thousands of people turned out in cities across the United States and beyond on Saturday for Earth Day events billed as a “celebration of science” to counter what organizers say is a growing disregard for evidence-based knowledge in Washington. [Reuters]

“People really don’t realize how many kids there are out there without a bed,” says Mary Claire Williams, program director for MSUCorps’ Build-A-Bed program, which began in 2009. This year, volunteers will be building over 250 twin-sized beds for children preschool through 12th grade in need in the region. [The Morehead News]

Fears of Russian meddling in a French vote reflect an overt and covert influence campaign. [ProPublica]

Officials with the Southeastern Cave Conservancy Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to cave conservation, announced on Friday afternoon the purchase of the Daleo entrance to the Roppel section of Mammoth Cave. [Glasgow Daily Times]

It was supposed to be a night out. But for the young man who calls himself Maksim, as for scores of other gay men arrested in a pogrom this month in Russia’s Chechnya region, it pivoted into nearly two weeks of beatings and torture. [NY Times]

There are far more fast food workers in Kentucky than coal miners. A little dose of reality might help. [H-L]

Rep. Warren Davidson (R-Ohio) told the mother of a service industry worker who has benefitted from the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion that her son should get a better job if he wants decent insurance when Obamacare is repealed. [HuffPo]

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Welp, The KDP Is Apparently Still Dying

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The Kentucky Democratic Party has hired a former team leader of Bernie Sanders presidential campaign as its new executive director. This ought to be fascinating to watch. [H-L]

The White House on Friday dismissed U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, a holdover from the Obama administration. [HuffPo]

The man who recently sold the house where Gov. Matt Bevin’s family is now living says the property sold at a fair market price. PEE ALERT! PEE ALERT! [C-J/AKN]

The House Intelligence Committee on Thursday asked several senior Obama administration officials, including former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, to testify publicly in the panel’s probe into Russian interference in the U.S. election. [The Hill]

Educators and community members from the around the region gathered to discuss a new educational accountability system that is still under development Thursday in the Glasgow High School auditorium. Like his predecessor, he’s spending 99% of his time promoting himself instead of doing anything at the Kentucky Department of Education. And we all know how that ended – with me sending him packing. Take heed, Pruitt, because Kentuckians like me will send you on your way if you continue to play pat-a-cake. Just like they’ve done in Louisville for a decade. [Glasgow Daily Times]

After proposing to eliminate the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) in its draft budget, the Trump administration, through the Department of Energy, has started withholding money for grants already approved by the agency. [ThinkProgress]

Greg Fischer is still full of shit. His attempt to claim criticism of Louisville’s disconnected, maybe-dumber-than-rocks police chief is a knock on the hard working men and women who make up LMPD is an insult to all Kentuckians. The chief is in no way like the rest of the department. And most of the department doesn’t look favorably toward him. But it’s fitting. Fischer has a history of covering up heinous scandals just like Steve Conrad. Though, he doesn’t have the same history of pressuring police officers just because they’re gay – as if that in any way means they have information about pedophiles. [WFPL]

Donald Trump’s lawyers argued in a Thursday court filing that protesters “have no right” to “express dissenting views” at his campaign rallies because such protests infringed on his First Amendment rights. Unfortunately for the Trump idiots, the First Amendment protects citizens from people like him – from government – from retaliation. He’s trying to retaliate against people as the sitting head of state. [Politico]

Warren County Public Schools’ employees should expect a minimum 1 percent salary increase effective July 1 after a decision from the district’s school board Thursday night. [BGDN]

Cough, cough, we’re looking at you, Adam Edelen. Racially biased people are far more likely to oppose black athletes’ protests. Last year, Colin Kaepernick, then the quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers, was heavily criticized for kneeling instead of standing during the national anthem. [WaPo]

Kentucky officials say they will release hundreds of inmates ahead of schedule because of dangerous overcrowding at prisons and local jails, a byproduct of the state’s struggles with a nationwide opioid epidemic. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

Next week, according to sources, seven black Fox News employees plan to join a racial discrimination suit filed last month by two colleagues. [NY Magazine]

Greater emphasis on energy efficiency and on producing electricity from renewable sources would create thousands of jobs in Kentucky, reduce electricity bills and help improve the health of residents by cutting pollution, according to a report by a social-justice organization. [H-L]

Donald Trump on Friday complained that a deadline he set for himself for various policy plans was unfair. [HuffPo]

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Let’s Speculate More About Matt Bevin!

Following up on yesterday’s shenanigans about why Matt Bevin deserves scrutiny from folks in Washington, D.C. …

Neil Ramsey isn’t just an investment manager – he owns and runs a hedge fund. RQSI, short for Ramsey Quantitative Systems Inc. Think about that – not just an investment manager. But a hedge fund owner. Sitting at KRS. Why that’s a concern: It’d be easy for other hedge funders to steer tens of millions into his company with no disclosure.

From a PDF (Warning: External PDF Link) on the Kentucky Retirement Systems website:

Neil Ramsey is the founder and president of RQSI, a Kentucky corporation that is registered with the CFTC as a Commodity Pool Operator, Commodity Trading Advisor, and Introducing Broker, and is a member of the NFA. RQSI is engaged in the management of proprietary and client investment capital through the allocation of funds to independent money managers as well as managing a portion of the funds on a discretionary basis.

Mr. Ramsey is responsible for the leadership of quantitative strategies development and providing strategic direction for RQSI. Prior to forming these entities, Mr. Ramsey was a consultant at the Boston Consulting Group where he worked with both domestic and foreign multi-nationals in developing corporate strategies. Neil received his B.S. in Engineering from Vanderbilt University, Summa Cum Laude. Neil also received his M.B.A. from Vanderbilt University.

He is also president and CEO of CONFICARE, a senior housing developer and investment company headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky. He is responsible for directing all external investments for the firm including allocations to the real estate sector both domestically and internationally.

Matt Bevin also owns a hedge fund, of course, called Waycross Partners. Since he doesn’t release his tax returns, there’s no way to know what he earns from it or has earned from it.

KRS trustee Bill Cook probably still has ownership (no one will answer questions, so who knows if he gave it up when he retired in 2015?) in KKR PRISMA Hedge Fund of Funds. Probably makes millions per year in fees from KRS in its secret, no-bid contract. All we can do is speculate because transparency is not a thing with KRS.

Cook’s top lieutenant at PRISMA is/was Donna Heintzman, who was named by Bevin to protect hedge fund interests at the UofL Foundation.

And… Cough, cough.

No-bid contracts in hedge funds and private equity, like Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital, from KRS & KTRS produce more than $100 million per year in fees that go directly to Wall Street. So it’s pretty easy to assume hedge funders would want to keep their cash cow alive and they’d want to reward anybody helping them baby said cow.

Bevin’s last-minute stripping of Senate Bill 2 (competitive bidding), along with Senate Bill 223 (CERS divorce), was probably (possibly?) directed by Ramsey to save hedge fund and private equity contractors tens of millions. They could afford to buy him a new Anchorage estate every year.

Frankfort Republicans want to play this game where they portray themselves as saviors of Kentucky’s pension disaster(s) but they’re no better than their Democratic Party predecessors. They’re just as secretive, shady, vindictive and eager to secretly enrich themselves and their friends. If they want to lead? They ought to shed their good old boy skin and shine a bright light on what’s going on. Otherwise, Democrats are going to clean up in 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Matt Bevin Deserves Scrutiny From D.C.

For several Donald Trump-esque reasons.

Here’s why, starting with this story from CNN:

More delays in ambassador nominations, trainings

But donors are expectant and impatient, especially with an investigative vetting process that can ask wealthy Trump supporters to divest or take other steps to avoid conflicts of interest.

Already one candidate, Kelly Knight, a Republican fundraiser thought to be the choice for ambassador to Canada, has faced questions on the energy-rich company given her husband, coal magnate Joe Craft, according to a person with knowledge of the discussions.

That inquiry (if you want to call it that) into Alliance Coal ownership by Joe Craft sure is interesting. Especially in light of Matt Bevin’s private meetings with coal executives – at their demand – during his gubernatorial bid. And in light of Bevin’s sudden refusal after those meetings to release his tax returns. You know, those same tax returns he previously pledged to release.

Is this a pay-to-play situation? What’s he got to hide?

Democrats in D.C. should start asking those same questions.

Other, uh, situations raising questions…

Bevin’s co-investors in a company called Neuronetrix (he owned at least 5% in 2016) are receiving $320,000 in tax credits for that investment. They are (Warning: External PDF Link):

  • Neil P. Ramsey ($120,000)
  • Robinson Brown III ($40,000)
  • Charles A. Hill ($60,000)
  • David Tuell Richardson ($40,000)
  • Bradford P. Stengel ($60,000).

Bevin’s apparent ownership of The Anchorage Place LLC property uncovered by Tom Loftus. (And don’t miss this column.)

The deed from March 9, 2017 (Warning: PDF Link) indicates that tax bills should be sent to Anchorage Place LLC, 804 Evergreen Road and that all future taxes are to be paid by the grantee. The sewer easement (Warning: PDF Link) from Anchorage LLC to Neil Ramsey and his wife, dated March 28, 2017, lists Anchorage LLC’s address as 804 Evergreen Road. So it would appear to anyone with a bit of sense that Ramsey owned both Anchorage Place LLC and Anchorage LLC at the time ownership was conveyed. With Kentucky State Police serving as security on the property at the time of conveyance to Bevin, it’s tough not to jump to conclusions with Bevin refusing to answer questions.

After he spent $500,000 “investigating” Steve Beshear’s prior administration and preaching about pay-to-play deals, of course.

Bevin also:

Are those pay-to-play situations?

Since Bevin refuses to answer simple questions or exhibit the tiniest bit of transparency, it’s time for folks in Washington, D.C. to take note of everyone he’s tied to. Especially those being potentially nominated by Donald Trump to positions of international significance.

In 2018 and 2019, Democrats on the national front should make Bevin’s broken promises a huge deal. They’ll own the moral high ground because the Kentucky Democratic Party certainly isn’t capable of finding morals.

Greg Fischer Rewards Incompetence & Disregard For Decency. He’s Done It Again.

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The Administrative Office of the Courts is considering changes to clean up its sales of surplus goods and vehicles in the midst of an ongoing investigation by Attorney General Andy Beshear’s office. [H-L]

White House chief strategist Steve Bannon came into President Donald Trump’s administration with what he called an “economic nationalist” agenda. But now, Bannon is reportedly on the outs, and Trump has flip-flopped on NATO, Chinese currency manipulation and the Federal Reserve. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin reported Friday that in 2016 he owned parts of five businesses as well as 12 pieces of real estate in six states. [C-J/AKN]

The House Intelligence Committee sent one of its members to Cyprus this week as part of its ongoing investigation into Russia and the Trump campaign, adding a new twist to the ongoing inquiry. “Cyprus has a reputation as a laundromat for the Russians who are trying to avoid sanctions,” Rep. Mike Quigley told The Daily Beast. “It was extraordinarily helpful in understanding how the Russians launder money and why.” [TDB]

Homicide detectives are working overtime after a violent night in Louisville that left four people dead in five hours. [WDRB]

Remember Kellie Watson? The trainwreck of a human who actively and admittedly participated in the coverup of Louisville Metro Animal Services’ torture and abuse of a dog? One of the people Louisville Metro Council had to create whistleblower laws in reaction to? Greg Fischer has rewarded her with a promotion to Chief Equity Officer. Apparently, someone who couldn’t handle being truthful and transparent regarding government abuse/torture of a dog is capable of ensuring racial equity. What a farce. [HERE, HERE & HERE and Press Release]

Donald Trump and the Republicans just made it harder for you to get health insurance and raised the price of your doctor visit. [Reuters]

Matt Bevin is talking about a special legislative session on tax and pension reform in the fall. Among proposals being considered is removing the sales tax exemption from groceries. [Richmond Register]

The head of the House Democratic Caucus is accusing President Trump of “political blackmail” for threatening to withhold ObamaCare funds that lower health costs for poor Americans. [The Hill]

City and county officials will meet next month to discuss creating a tax increment financing, or TIF, district in downtown Ashland as part of a multi-million-dollar project that involves demolishing the old Ashland Oil building. [Ashland Independent]

Mitchell says that after covering every president since Jimmy Carter, Trump is by far the most hostile to the press—and to the truth—she’s ever seen, with a White House staff using the briefing room as a daily disinformation machine and a president and secretary of state outright undermining the ability of reporters to do their job. [Politico]

Green River and Nolin River within Mammoth Cave National Park have reopened to river users following completion of the demolition of Lock & Dam No. 6 near Brownsville, by the US Army Corps of Engineers and the US Fish & Wildlife Service. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The Trump administration has hit the pause button on an Obama-era regulation aimed at limiting the dumping of toxic metals such as arsenic and mercury by the nation’s power plants into public waterways. [WaPo]

Uh, no, not all the hemp that has too much THC gets burned. Source: people who work at Ag, former Ag staffers and former Ag officials. And common sense. [H-L]

What was that about transparency, Republicans? The Trump administration will not make its records of visitors to the White House available to the public. [HuffPo]

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