Republicans Have Caused Another Lawsuit

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The Kentucky State University faculty senate voted Thursday by a wide margin to express no confidence in Board of Regents Chairwoman Karen Bearden and narrowly voted to express no confidence in the entire KSU Board of Regents. [Linda Blackford]

Donald Trump likes to call his Mar-a-Lago golf resort the “Winter White House” but there may be more presidential putts than meetings occurring at the get-away destination. It’s difficult to know for certain because the private club can keep the president’s activities hidden from the public — and the media. [HuffPo]

Kentucky Republicans are some of the most backward, idiotic people on the planet. And that’s saying a lot when you remember that people like Donald Trump and Sarah Palin exist. The mayor’s office on Monday said Louisville’s waste management district has sued Kentucky over a new law that remakes how solid waste and recycling are regulated across the city and Jefferson County. [C-J/AKN]

Gina Haspel, President Trump’s choice for the CIA’s number two position, was more deeply involved in the torture of Abu Zubaydah than has been publicly understood, according to newly available records and accounts by participants. [ProPublica]

The nine-hole golf course at Carter Caves State Resort Park will close permanently April 2, victim of underuse and increasing costs, a state parks spokesman said. [Ashland Independent]

About 40 minutes after Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch began his second day of testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, all eight of the justices he hopes to join said a major disability decision Gorsuch wrote in 2008 was wrong. [ThinkProgress]

The attorney hired by the Glasgow City Council to unseat three members of the board of directors for the Glasgow Electric Plant Board was delivering on Friday afternoon a written memo to the parties involved and the press in lieu of being part of Monday’s regular council meeting. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Senate investigators plan to question Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and a close adviser, as part of their broad inquiry into ties between Trump associates and Russian officials or others linked to the Kremlin, according to administration and congressional officials. [NY Times]

A civic organization dedicated to meeting various community needs that was disbanded in the early 2000s is officially making a return to Rowan County. [The Morehead News]

Since President Donald Trump’s election, monthly lectures on social justice at the 600-seat Gothic chapel of New York’s Union Theological Seminary have been filled to capacity with crowds three times what they usually draw. [Reuters]

House Speaker Paul Ryan announced Friday that the Republican plan to replace Obamacare would not get a vote, to the delight of one of Kentucky’s U.S. senators and dismay of the other. [WFPL]

The Senate Intelligence Committee will reportedly question White House adviser Jared Kushner as part of its probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. [The Hill]

This is what passes as reporting on the education front in Kentucky. And you wonder why the Commonwealth remains in the dark ages. [H-L]

Quietly, while Americans have been focused on the ongoing drama over repealing the Affordable Care Act and the new revelations about the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, President Trump has been busy dramatically expanding the American troop presence inside Syria. And virtually no one in Washington has noticed. Americans have a right to know what Trump is planning and whether this will lead to an Iraq-style occupation of Syria for years to come. [HuffPo]

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Yes, McConnell Was Harmed On Health Care

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Flamboyant Social Security lawyer Eric C. Conn, who won disability checks for thousands of people in Eastern Kentucky but caused heartache for many former clients after he was accused of cheating on cases, pleaded guilty Friday in a federal fraud case. [H-L]

The Republican-led Congress moved to dismantle yet another corporate regulation on Wednesday, in a move that safety experts say will make it easier for employers to hide serious workplace injuries from the government. [HuffPo]

Shae Hopkins may be a walking hypocrite but she’s right about the importance of KET. [C-J/AKN]

A unanimous Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that disabled students are entitled to far more than a bare-bones education, raising instructional standards for millions of children but potentially raising costs for local taxpayers. Although the specific decision overruled was decided in 2015, the phrase the justices rejected derives from a 2008 ruling by Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, who had been defending that very decision at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing when word of Chief Justice Roberts’s opinion reached the Hart Senate Office Building. [WSJ]

Bonsai! The very name evokes images of faraway lands and beautifully landscaped gardens. For Ashland resident John Whitt, a childhood love of reading encyclopedias led him to discover Japan and its miniature trees. He learned the art of bonsai and continues working with the plants through Bonsai by John. [Ashland Independent]

The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee said Wednesday that there is now “more than circumstantial evidence” that Trump’s associates colluded with the Russians to interfere in the U.S. election. [CBS News]

On March 15, family and friends’ visits with inmates at the Barren County Detention Center went digital. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The Trump administration’s gradual erasure of LGBT people from the work of the federal government is still underway. This week, the Department of Health and Human Services arbitrarily decided to just stop counting LGBT people in two critical surveys, eliminating vital data collection that could be used to help address the health disparities that LGBT people are known to experience. [ThinkProgress]

In 2006, before a perceived “war on coal,” before most Kentuckians had heard of Barack Obama, there were 16 casualties in the Kentucky coal fields — five at Darby Mine in Harlan County as a result of a methane gas explosion. [Ronnie Ellis]

Trump has gotten a hard lesson from his first legislative debacle: Leadership takes more than being able to close a deal. [WaPo]

Kentucky’s new law requiring doctors to conduct an ultrasound exam before an abortion, and then try to show fetal images to the pregnant women, came under withering attack Thursday in federal court. [Richmond Register]

The US has said its policy of “strategic patience” with North Korea is over and suggested it might decide to take pre-emptive military action. [BBC]

If you’re saying Mitch McConnell is untouched by the Republican health care mess, you’re lying. [H-L]

Donald Trump’s frequent travel, large family and unusual living situation are apparently weighing heavily on the Secret Service’s budget. The agency recently requested an additional $60 million in spending for fiscal year 2018, according to a Washington Post report on Tuesday. [HuffPo]

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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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