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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Brett Guthrie Just Sold Your Privacy For A Few Thousand In Telecom Campaign Contributions

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Republicans don’t give two shits about Eastern Kentucky. An agency that pumps millions of dollars each year into economic development in Eastern Kentucky and other Appalachian states would lose federal funding if President Donald Trump’s proposed budget prevails. [H-L]

“Insurance for everybody.” When President Donald Trump made that boast in January, in an interview with The Washington Post, nobody took it literally. Even the most comprehensive health care systems of Europe don’t cover everybody. [HuffPo]

Did people actually believe Greg Fischer has any idea how important public schools are? He grew up wealthy and inherited his position in life. His parents sent him to private school. He’s knee-deep in the Sharter Schools movement. Jefferson County school board members said they are dismayed Mayor Greg Fischer didn’t talk to them before he publicly voiced support for bringing charter schools to the state. [C-J/AKN]

Trump’s former national security adviser, Mike Flynn, was paid tens of thousands of dollars by Russian companies shortly before he became a formal adviser to the then-candidate, according to documents obtained by a congressional oversight committee that revealed business interests that hadn’t been previously known. [WSJ]

Surprise! Republicans don’t care about coal miners, your environment or your health. Lawmakers in both Kentucky and West Virginia are working to loosen mine safety regulations, alarming some mine safety experts. [WFPL]

Surprise! Brett Guthrie consponsored the bill allowing telecoms to sell your personal & private internet history. [Congress]

Because of course he’s not! Republican Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration says it will not calculate how the proposed GOP health care plan will impact Kentucky, a state where more than 400,000 people got health insurance through an expanded Medicaid program under a previous Democratic governor. [WKYT]

What was that, again, about Republicans giving a shit about Appalachia? Eliminating the Appalachian Regional Commission is astounding. But only if you haven’t been paying attention. [CNN]

The most significant item Sheriff Kent Keen is eyeing for the upcoming fiscal year’s budget is a new radio system that is expected to cost in the neighborhood of $70,000. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Senate Republicans voted Tuesday night to kill an obscure Obama-era regulation because they wanted to make it easier for states to drug-test applicants for unemployment benefits. There’s just one problem: They may have just made it harder. [Politico]

The Lawrence County Board of Education on Wednesday enacted a five-cent tax increase to raise money to rebuild one of its elementary schools. [Ashland Independent]

New Republican is deadlier and dumber than you imagined. President Trump’s budget calls for a seismic disruption in government-funded medical and scientific research. The cuts are deep and broad. [WaPo]

The Kentucky House rejected changes to a bill Wednesday that would make it harder for citizens to appeal zoning changes. Of course Republicans want to restrict your rights. If you think New Republicanism is anything but racism, money, power and borderline authoritarianism, you’re probably elderly and about to die. [H-L]

Donald Trump has given the Central Intelligence Agency new authority to conduct drone attacks against suspected militants, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing U.S. officials. [HuffPo]

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What The Hell Is Wrong With David James? Does He REALLY Not Know When To Stop Talking?

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Mike Pence plans to visit Louisville, Kentucky, on Saturday as he tries to make the case for repealing and replacing former President Barack Obama’s health care law. [H-L]

Provisions in the House Republicans’ Obamacare replacement bill that would raise insurance costs for older Americans are drawing resistance from the influential seniors’ lobby. [HuffPo]

David James should probably tread lightly when accusing people of being over-sexualized. [C-J/AKN]

The hiring of three former lobbyists to work in the White House raises questions about how the Trump administration is enforcing the president’s executive order on ethics. [ProPublica]

A state legislative committee has approved a controversial proposal to change the way Kentucky regulates coal ash. The Administrative Regulation Review Subcommittee passed the proposal at its meeting Monday, after delaying a decision from last month. [WFPL]

U.S. and Ukrainian authorities have expressed interest in the activities of a Kiev-based operative with suspected ties to Russian intelligence who consulted regularly with Paul Manafort last year while Manafort was running Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. [Politico]

Again, a bunch of scared, fat, white Republican guys are trying to push an official religion. [Ronnie Ellis]

President Trump’s executive order barring immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries experienced nearly universal defeat in the federal courts. On Monday, he issued a revised version of that order, but it still suffers from a fundamental, and fatal, flaw: It constitutes unlawful religious discrimination. [NY Times]

Morehead State University’s Board of Regents chose a new president Thursday. The board voted unanimously to offer the post to Joseph A. “Jay” Morgan, the chief academic officer and vice president for academic affairs and student success for the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. [Ashland Independent]

Several states said on Thursday they would move forward with legal challenges to a revised executive order signed by President Donald Trump this week that temporarily bars the admission of refugees and some travelers from a group of Muslim-majority countries. [Reuters]

Attorney General Andy Beshear on Thursday called for a $142 million reduction in the Kentucky Utilities’ rate request that’s pending before the Public Service Commission. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Of course wingnut Republicans are still denying climate science. Science. They’re denying science. [BBC]

New details have emerged about why a Navy Seals convoy flew a campaign flag for President Donald Trump on a Kentucky highway in late January, according to documents obtained by the Herald-Leader. [H-L]

House Republicans plowed ahead with their effort to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, brushing aside new criticism of what their proposed legislation would do ― and ignoring protests over the hurried process they are using to enact it. [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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Is EVERYONE Knee-Deep In Russia?

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The General Assembly is getting a second chance to pass a Real ID law that would make Kentucky’s driver’s licenses comply with tougher federal security standards — and let Kentuckians keep using their licenses to board commercial airline flights and enter military bases. [John Cheves]

Yes, the man is this stupid and this racist. Donald Trump said recent threats to Jewish institutions could be intended to make “others look bad,” Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D) told reporters Tuesday following the president’s meeting with a group of state attorneys general. [HuffPo]

Though Kentucky lawmakers are considering restricting certain patients to three-day supplies of pain-killers, some fear medical professionals will treat the new limit as an unbreakable rule despite the proposal’s many exceptions. [C-J/AKN]

CNN reported Wednesday on a senior administration official admitting that the White House intentionally misled reporters ahead of President Donald Trump‘s congressional address in order to get generate positive press coverage as part of a “misdirection play.” [Mediaite]

It took 124 years and it didn’t happen without impassioned opposition and still must clear the state House, but a plan to reallocate the state’s judges passed the state Senate Wednesday on a 23-13 vote. [Ronnie Ellis]

If you were wondering how to make the country less safe? Cutting the State Department budget by 37 percent is a good way. President Donald Trump wants the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development to cut their budgets by at least 37 percent, a source familiar with the issue confirmed Tuesday. [Politico]

Morehead State University President Dr. Wayne Andrews supports the Kentucky legislature’s movement toward performance-based funding for higher education, but there are elements of the formula he would like to change. [Ashland Independent]

The high-pitched, rambling voice on the telephone was disguised and garbled, and warned of a slaughter of Jews. The voice spoke of a bomb loaded with shrapnel and of an imminent “blood bath.” Moments later, the caller hung up. [NY Times]

After a long line of Democrats questioned whether it will endanger lives and cost the state money for road repairs, the Kentucky House of Representatives passed along party lines a bill allowing trucks to carry up to 120,000 pounds of aluminum and other commodities. [More Ronnie Ellis]

When the government really did fear a Bowling Green Massacre — from a white supremacist. The year was 2012. The place was Bowling Green, Ohio. A federal raid had uncovered what the authorities feared were the makings of a massacre. There were 18 firearms, among them two AR–15 assault rifles, an AR–10 assault rifle and a Remington Model 700 sniper rifle. There was body armor, too, and the authorities counted some 40,000 rounds of ammunition. An extremist had been arrested, and prosecutors suspected that he had been aiming to carry out a wide assortment of killings. [ProPublica]

Kentucky was one of the states that embraced the Affordable Care Act. More than 500,000 Kentuckians gained health coverage as a result of the law. About 400,000 got insurance through the expansion of the Medicaid system in the state and the rest through the implementation of Kynect, the now-dismantled state health exchange. [WFPL]

Then-Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) spoke twice last year with Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Justice Department officials said, encounters he did not disclose when asked about possible contacts between members of President Trump’s campaign and representatives of Moscow during Sessions’s confirmation hearing to become attorney general. [WaPo]

How is this bullshit still a story? And how is this the best job she can do in reporting about how Fayette County Public Schools is essentially trying to eradicate a homeless individual instead of bothering to help them? These shysters thought it was a better idea to spend nearly $90,000 instead of spending a few hours trying to help someone in need. The level of laziness and lack of compassion is unreal. [H-L]

Donald Trump on Tuesday dodged responsibility for a botched mission he ordered in Yemen last month, placing the onus on the military and Barack Obama’s administration instead. Then he used his death as a political prop. [HuffPo]

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Trans Kids & Weed Terrify Republicans

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Of course Matt Bevin feels at home at a gathering of racist lunatics. Matt Bevin took the stage Thursday at one of the nation’s premier gatherings of conservatives, imploring attendees at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., to stay engaged in the political process. [H-L]

Christ. Donald Trump said on Thursday he wants to build up the U.S. nuclear arsenal to ensure it is at the “top of the pack,” saying the United States has fallen behind in its atomic weapons capacity. [HuffPo]

Seems like only yesterday people at A Kentucky Newspaper were telling us it was insane to suggest that Jim Ramsey and the University of Louisville were squandering cash. My, how times have changed. [C-J/AKN]

William H. McRaven, retired U.S. Admiral and UT System Chancellor, championed the role of the news media in a speech to Moody College of Communications students and faculty on Tuesday. “We must challenge this statement and this sentiment that the news media is the enemy of the American people,” McRaven said. “This sentiment may be the greatest threat to democracy in my lifetime.” [The Daily Texan]

Also Julian Carroll’s treasurer. Note: Emily Dennis almost bungled the Steve Henry case, so most of this is not surprising. She needs to move on from KREF sooner rather than later. Over the last two years Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton and his 2014 campaign have been under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance (KREF) regarding Melton’s campaign account, and donations from a suspect in an on-going drug investigation, according to testimony from KREF and Melton’s former campaign treasurer Yvonne Hill. [CN|Toot]

Jeff Sessions on Thursday rescinded an Obama-era memorandum instructing the Bureau of Prisons to decline or not renew private prison contracts after their terms expire. [TDB]

Despite reservations from several senators, the state Senate overwhelmingly passed a measure Wednesday changing the way Kentucky higher education is funded. [Ronnie Ellis]

This are getting high-larious. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Thursday that “there should be greater enforcement” of federal laws prohibiting the use of recreational marijuana, the first comments on the issue for the new administration. [BuzzFeed]

While the Affordable Care Act has brought health coverage to millions of Americans, the effects have been profound, even lifesaving, for some of those caught up in the nation’s opioid-addiction crisis. [Ashland Independent]

This is a big effing deal. The FBI rejected a recent White House request to publicly knock down media reports about communications between Donald Trump’s associates and Russians known to US intelligence during the 2016 presidential campaign, multiple US officials briefed on the matter tell CNN. [CNN]

The February meeting of the Metcalfe County Board of Education opened with Joey Shive being re-elected as chair and Tim Brown re-elected as vice chair. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A purported cyberhack of the daughter of political consultant Paul Manafort suggests that he was the victim of a blackmail attempt while he was serving as Donald Trump’s presidential campaign chairman last summer. The undated communications, which are allegedly from the iPhone of Manafort’s daughter, include a text that appears to come from a Ukrainian parliamentarian named Serhiy Leshchenko, seeking to reach her father, in which he claims to have politically damaging information about both Manafort and Trump. [Politico]

The Senate approved a controversial bill Thursday that spells out the right of the governor to remove public university board members. Senate Minority Leader Ray Jones, D-Pikeville, called the bill “a power grab” and said it gives the governor too much power to remove board members. [H-L]

Most butts only have one hole and Betsy DeVos is proving that. [HuffPo]

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