What Does Russia Have On Rand Paul?

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Matt Bevin’s administration reinstated vision and dental coverage, as well as non-emergency transportation services, Thursday to nearly 400,000 Medicaid recipients. [H-L]

Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump discussed a possible referendum in separatist-leaning eastern Ukraine during their Helsinki summit earlier this week, Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. said Friday. The move may be seen as an effort to sidestep European peace efforts for Ukraine and increase pressure on the Ukrainian government in its protracted conflict with pro-Russian separatists in the Donbass region. [HuffPo]

Not surprising that an avowed right-wing kid from outta town would ignore the decades of scandal surrounding JBS Swift when reporting a story like this. [C-J/AKN]

Rand Paul twice retweeted an Islamophobic conspiracy theorist who has propagated conspiracy theories like Pizzagate. [Roll Call]

Every year, the Richmond Teen Center holds a Back to School Bash for the residents of Madison County, not only to celebrate the end of summer and the beginning of a new school year, but also to donate school supplies to those in the community who need it. [Richmond Register]

In a stunning move, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has withdrawn one of President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees just minutes before he was set for a confirmation vote. [TPM]

Three highly-placed community college officials, including one with ties to Ashland Community and Technical College, are on the short list for consideration as ACTC’s new president, according to the college’s governing body. [Ashland Independent]

What did everyone think was going to happen? There’s nothing we learned from Donald Trump’s meeting in Helsinki on Monday with Vladimir Putin that we didn’t already know. [The Nation]

Addiction doesn’t make any sense and purely punitive approaches to ending addiction will not work, Dr. John Sanders, the medical director for hospice and palliative medicine at St. Claire HealthCare in Morehead, told a group of Morgan County health care professionals on July 18. [The Morehead News]

Rand Paul is complicit in this – he’s a criminal. Rand Paul on Thursday blocked a resolution from Sen. Bernie Sanders that backed the intelligence community’s assessment of Russian election interference and demanded Donald Trump speak with special counsel Robert Mueller. [The Hill]

Circuit Judge John T. Alexander has issued an order detailing the costs incurred for an election recount in the Republican primary for the Barren County judge-executive’s race. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The willingness of the White House to contemplate handing over a former U.S. ambassador for interrogation by the Kremlin drew ire and astonishment from current and former U.S. officials. Such a proposition is unheard of. So is the notion that the president may think he has the legal authority to turn anyone over to a foreign power on his own. [WaPo]

It’s chump change compared to what buffoon Andy Barr has on-hand. The former fighter pilot’s haul between May 3rd and June 30th is large. [H-L]

The Department of Justice unveiled a new report detailing a campaign of aggressive, persistent efforts to undermine American democracy on Thursday and said it would institute new policies to inform the public about a scourge of cyberattacks by foreign governments. [HuffPo]

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KDP Is Also MIA On Mitch McConnell

The Kentucky Democratic Party should have been all over this but couldn’t be bothered. On the day after Donald Trump deepened doubts about this country’s commitment to its European allies and western-style democracy, what did Majority Leader Mitch McConnell do? He stood on the Senate floor to praise a decision that will make it easier for foreign interests to illegally funnel money into U.S. politics and elections. [H-L]

Did she? Hopefully. Did Queen Elizabeth, the 92-year-old monarch of the United Kingdom, throw some subtle shade at Donald Trump during his recent U.K. visit? [HuffPo]

Speaking to college students five years ago in Florida, Louisville pizza magnate John Schnatter bragged he’d scored a nearly perfect 790 on his SAT in math but a dismal 200 on the verbal exam. Though, maybe using racist homophobes in a story to defend Schnatter’s remarks isn’t a great idea. [C-J/AKN]

More than half of Americans disapprove of the way Donald Trump is handling relations with Russia, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted after his controversial summit and joint news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin. [Reuters]

An ordinance that would raise the salary range of city employees by 2 percent had a first reading Tuesday during the Berea City Council. [Richmond Register]

Without any public scrutiny, insurers and data brokers are predicting your health costs based on data about things like race, marital status, how much TV you watch, whether you pay your bills on time or even buy plus-size clothing. [ProPublica]

Greenup County is one step closer to requiring Hepatitis A vaccinations for all food service workers in the county. [Ashland Independent]

Why has the NRA been cozying up to Russia? The Right to Bear Arms in Moscow enjoys a close relationship with America’s leading gun-rights group. [ThinkProgress]

John Maxey led his first Rowan County Board of Education meeting July 17 as new superintendent. On the agenda was an update on Senate Bill 1, approving the dual credit agreement with MCTC and approving the annual financial report. [The Morehead News]

Violence in Central America has brought thousands of L.G.B.T. migrants to the United States border to seek asylum in recent years, hoping to find protection from persecution over their gender identity and sexuality. [NY Times]

Economic fallout from failing pension systems? Surely not. No one could have predicted that. [WFPL]

When the 8-year-old stepped off a plane here earlier this month with freshly cut bangs and a shelter-issued sweatsuit, she was met by crowds and television cameras and finally, in a carpeted airport conference room, by the mother who had been taken from her two months earlier at the border. [WaPo]

A Boyd County Circuit Court judge recommended a grand jury investigation Friday after the Boyd County Detention Center failed to notify local or state law enforcement after mistakenly releasing an inmate last week who displayed “extreme indifference to the value of human life,” according to the inmate’s indictment. [H-L]

Anti-American idiocy is at the highest level in decades. Donald Trump on Tuesday once again threw cold water on NATO, an intergovernmental military alliance between the U.S. and 28 other countries. [HuffPo]

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The KDP Is Ignoring Paul & Massie

If Kentucky’s most important newspaper can get this right, surely the Kentucky Democratic Party can get its ass in gear. Surely. Right? Okay, so let’s not hold our breath. The KDP won’t ever attempt to hold Rand Paul or Thomas Massie accountable. [H-L]

It’s called treason. Not only do congressional Republicans seem unwilling to criticize Donald Trump for sucking up to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, but some said they don’t see any problem at all. [HuffPo]

Andrew Massie doesn’t hate Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The activist-turned-heckler just thinks the Republican leader shouldn’t get one moment’s peace in public. [C-J/AKN]

Nothing about this is normal or okay. Russia announced it was ready to pursue agreements reached by Presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump “in the sphere of international security,” though the White House and Pentagon would not confirm any agreements had been made or offer any details. [CNN]

More than 60 percent of American children are enrolled in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services data. [Richmond Register]

Who lives in education deserts? More people than you think. Especially in Kentucky. [Chronicle of Higher Education]

The fate of a utility tax for Greenup County schools is in the hands of voters after the district’s board of education approved placing the issue on the November ballot Monday. [Ashland Independent]

The U.S. Justice Department asked a federal court on Wednesday to detain alleged Russian agent Maria Butina pending her trial, saying she poses a serious flight risk and will likely appeal to people in the Russian government to assist her in fleeing. [Reuters]

A three-foot bicycle passing law passed by the 2018 Kentucky Legislature took effect July 14. [The Morehead News]

Military spending is up but aerospace and defense workers are scarce. [NY Times]

Rand Paul is a traitor and the Kentucky Democratic Party is just twiddling its thumbs. [WFPL]

Oralia Mendoza’s fatal mistake, it seems, was sharing her worries via text message. [WaPo]

You know where you’d have learned this information a couple weeks ago? My Twitter feed. [H-L]

Over the course of four days in June, Keylin says, U.S. Border Patrol guards would kick her body to keep her awake throughout the night. The 16-year-old, whose last name was redacted from court documents, told a lawyer that she would lie in fear on the cement floor of the Border Patrol station in Texas, surrounded by chain-link fence. She was separated from her mother, who had been held at gunpoint three times in Honduras, after they crossed the U.S. border. [HuffPo]

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Rocky v. Andy Will Be A Funny Fight

A planned appearance by the president of the National Rifle Association, not far from the site of a Kentucky school shooting, is stirring controversy. [H-L]

It what may be an early onslaught of Kremlin-linked Twitter attacks ahead of the U.S. midterm elections, Russia(sic) bots appear to be fueling a wave of criticism targeting Democrats over alleged intimidation in political confrontations and a lack of “civility,” according to bot trackers. [HuffPo]

A group of protesters confronted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Bardstown Road in Louisville Saturday, calling out “Abolish ICE,” before adding they know where he lives. And of course Jonathan Shell, a human-shaped turd, spewed racism. [C-J/AKN]

The 1-year-old boy in a green button-up shirt drank milk from a bottle, played with a small purple ball that lit up when it hit the ground and occasionally asked for “agua.” [AP]

This time they got in, into what they call “our house,” the people’s house, the Kentucky state Capitol. [Ronnie Ellis]

North Korea has accused the US of using “gangster-like” tactics to push it towards nuclear disarmament after a fresh round of high-level talks. [BBC]

A plan by the city of Greenup to annex highway right of ways stunned Greenup County leaders Tuesday, prompting calls for the county to move its courthouse out of the city of Greenup. [Ashland Independent]

Attempts by Anne Frank’s father to escape the Nazis in Europe and travel to the United States were complicated by tight American restrictions on immigration at the time, one of a series of roadblocks that narrowed the Frank family’s options and thrust them into hiding, according to a new report released on Friday. [NY Times]

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear, son of the state’s last Democratic governor, Steve Beshear, officially announced his intentions to run for the state’s highest seat on Monday morning. [The Morehead News]

Trump’s delusions are about to blow up in his own voters’ face. [WaPo]

Do you keep up with what’s happening around the Commonwealth? A misunderstanding regarding purchase orders for a communications tower to be installed in the Summer Shade area led to a lengthy discussion Tuesday during a Metcalfe County Fiscal Court meeting. [Glasgow Daily Times]

With tears and smiles, Salvadoran asylum seeker Walter Armando Jimenez Melendez reunited with his 4-year-old son Jeremy on Tuesday after six weeks of anguished separation. [Reuters]

Matt Bevin’s administration has been ordered to pay the Courier Journal’s legal cost because it refused to release public records identifying shareholders of a company planning to build a state-subsidized $1.5 billion aluminum rolling mill near Ashland. [H-L]

Donald Trump on Wednesday kicked off what is shaping up to be a contentious NATO summit by lashing out at Germany, saying the country is “captive to Russia” because of a gas pipeline deal. [HuffPo]

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It’s Time To Kill The Death Penalty

Mitch McConnell was upbeat the night after Justice Anthony Kennedy announced he was retiring from the Supreme Court. [H-L]

Last week, at a New York Times event at UCLA, the dean of the university’s Luskin School of Public Affairs jarred several Times reporters on the panel when he took them to task during his introduction for the event ― chiding them for their reporting on the 2016 election and for the paper’s “both sides” journalism amid the current “civility” debate. [HuffPo]

Claiming the state’s abrupt cuts to Medicaid dental and vision services are illegal, health law advocates have asked federal officials to reject the changes enacted July 1 by the administration of Gov. Matt Bevin. [C-J/AKN]

One U.S. service member was killed and two others wounded in an apparent insider attack in southern Afghanistan, the NATO-led Resolute Support mission said on Saturday. [Reuters]

Some children and pregnant women in Kentucky have wrongly been denied access to dental care since the state abruptly cut dental and vision coverage for as many as 460,000 people, public health advocates say. [Richmond Register]

Jimena Madrid riveted people around the world when her voice was captured on an audiotape after she was separated from her mother inside a Border Patrol detention facility. Three weeks later, reunification remains uncertain. “She says over and over, ‘Mommy, I want to be with you.’” [ProPublica]

An interim president with former ties to the Kentucky Community and Technical College System will serve Ashland Community and Technical College until a permanent president is hired this fall, a spokeswoman said Thursday. [Ashland Independent]

The Trump administration is suppressing an Environmental Protection Agency report that warns that most Americans inhale enough formaldehyde vapor in the course of daily life to put them at risk of developing leukemia and other ailments. [Politico]

The Morehead Tourism Commission voted 3-2 last Thursday not to support funding of the Kentucky Folk Art Center. Keith Kappes can and should pay for this himself – his backwater political beliefs and the bullshit he’s pulled with the paper there through the years contributed greatly to funding cuts. [The Morehead News]

Scott Pruitt came to Washington and assembled an extraordinary team of like-minded conservatives — lawyers, energy lobbyists, free-market Republicans and close allies from his days in Oklahoma. All were committed not only to Mr. Pruitt, but also to his stated mission to be a regulation-buster at the Environmental Protection Agency. [NY Times]

Kentucky has executed 163 people since 1910 but only one since 2008 and only three since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstituted the death penalty in 1976. [Ronnie Ellis]

Maybe propping up a dictator wasn’t such a great idea after all. His rosy outlook was almost immediately rejected by North Korea’s foreign ministry, which called the talks “regrettable” and accused the United States of making unilateral demands for denuclearization. Pompeo just hours earlier said the two sides engaged in “good-faith negotiations.” [WaPo]

Strange how Kentucky media has thrown its unwritten policy of not identifying victims out the window. A Pike County woman is suing Walter May, a prominent Eastern Kentucky businessman and the former mayor of Pikeville, for firing her as his caregiver after she allegedly refused to have sex with him. [H-L]

Former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) is calling on the chamber’s Republicans to take steps to protect special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, decrying that the probe is “under assault.” [HuffPo]

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McConnell Doesn’t Want To Do Anything

Is he the most dishonest person on earth or just the laziest? In 2018, at least 26 students have died in five school shootings in America. Two of those deaths came in a shooting at Marshall County High School in Kentucky. [H-L]

It’s hard to see the sky from Mitch Whitaker’s back porch. The mountainside, lush and green on a summer day, rises almost vertically. When Whitaker was a teenager, the top of it was blown off and the land was mined for coal. In the years since, native grasses have grown back and deer have returned. He and a few buddies now run a remote-controlled airplane club up there. Some hunt, have picnics and hike with their grandkids. But things are set to change here in rural Roxana, Kentucky. [HuffPo]

In a blow to Matt Bevin’s effort to reshape Kentucky’s Medicaid program, a federal judge has struck down his plan to require some people to meet strict new requirements including working or volunteering and paying monthly premiums in order to get health coverage through Medicaid. [C-J/AKN]

As a meeting last August in the Oval Office to discuss sanctions on Venezuela was concluding, Donald Trump turned to his top aides and asked an unsettling question: With a fast unraveling Venezuela threatening regional security, why can’t the U.S. just simply invade the troubled country? [AP]

Stories like this that glorify Mitch McConnell’s bullshit with Supreme Court nominees only serves to keep Eastern Kentuckians ignorant. [Ashland Independent]

Embattled Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt directly appealed to Donald Trump this spring to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions and let him run the Department of Justice instead, according to three people familiar with the proposal. In an Oval Office conversation with Trump, Pruitt offered to temporarily replace Sessions for 210 days under the Vacancies Reform Act, telling the President he would return to Oklahoma afterward to run for office. [CNN]

When the 2018-19 school year begins, Glasgow Independent Schools will have a resource officer in each of its schools, GIS Superintendent Keith Hale said during the board of education’s special-called meeting Tuesday at the central office, adding that he appreciates the board’s commitment to school safety. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Tackling an issue that Congress has largely ignored for decades, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee voted Thursday to request $50 million in new funding for programs aimed at reducing the comparatively high U.S. rate of women who die in pregnancy or childbirth. [ProPublica]

Donald Trump’s desire to help boost the Ohio Valley’s energy industry and bring back mining jobs could be stymied by the administration’s escalating trade battle with China and other trading partners across the globe. [WFPL]

The Trump administration will encourage the nation’s school superintendents and college presidents to adopt race-blind admissions standards, abandoning an Obama administration policy that called on universities to consider race as a factor in diversifying their campuses, Trump administration officials said. [NY Times]

Warren County Public Schools continues to see significant gaps in test scores for students who are African-American, Hispanic, English learners, disabled and those who qualify for free and reduced lunch, according to a report recently released by the district. [BGDN]

Finally, a family separation story with a happy ending. It’s not the sort of family separation that has been in the headlines lately. [WaPo]

Andy Barr said Monday he supports Kentucky’s ability to determine who receives Medicaid benefits, a day after the Bevin administration eliminated access to vision and dental coverage for 460,000 Kentuckians on Medicaid. [H-L]

Racists gonna racist. Donald Trump’s administration is planning to undo policies that would encourage race as a factor in college admissions, according to news reports. [HuffPo]

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Kentuckians Hate The Repub Tax Hike

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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