A New Week Of D.C. Nightmares Begins

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Someone should ask Hoskins about his month-long vacation in Palm Beach around the time of filing. The state hopes to prevent a man facing a $2.65 million fine for the illegal disposal of radioactive waste from erasing that penalty in bankruptcy court. [H-L]

A U.S. Navy strike group will be moving toward the western Pacific Ocean near the Korean peninsula as a show of force, a U.S. official told Reuters on Saturday, as concerns grow about North Korea’s advancing weapons program. [HuffPo]

Carroll County sends people to prison at a higher rate than any other Kentucky county, the Courier-Journal reported in October. And its tough-as-nails commonwealth’s attorney, James Crawford, made no apologies for it, saying he’s a “firm believer if there is a wrong, there has to be a corresponding punishment.” But when Sheriff Jamie Kinman pleaded guilty Monday to official misconduct for stealing painkillers, including from a terminal cancer patient while in uniform, Crawford recommended a deal that makes it unlikely Kinman will spend even a day in jail. [C-J/AKN]

No doubt, the footage from the attack is hard to take. But you have to wonder why Trump’s humanity was not similarly touched by the children killed in the 2013 Ghouta chemical attack, the stomach-churning allegations of systematic torture of children by Syrian forces, the many children killed by the Syrian regime’s barrel bombs, or the now iconic photo of a dazed little boy covered in dust in an ambulance in Aleppo, not to mention the also iconic image of a drowned Syrian refugee boy on a beach in Turkey. While all this was going on, Trump was arguing that the U.S. should be working with Assad, who he called a potential “natural ally.” [Slate]

This is the funniest thing you’ll read all day and it’s not remotely accurate. Morehead’s a great little town but most LGBTQ-friendly in Kentucky? Not in anyone’s imagination. It’s dangerous to suggest such to outsiders. It’s not safe to be out in Morehead or anywhere else in Eastern Kentucky. Especially if you’re an outsider or don’t come from a known or powerful family in the mountains. [The Morehead News]

Policies that promote school integration by race and class took a significant hit last week when the U.S. Department of Education announced that it was killing a small but important federal program to support local diversity efforts. [The Atlantic]

Mitch McConnell is hardly apologetic for his role in securing for conservatives the ninth seat on the U.S. Supreme Court, calling it “the most consequential decision I’ve ever been involved in.” [Ronnie Ellis]

The C.I.A. told senior lawmakers in classified briefings last summer that it had information indicating that Russia was working to help elect Donald J. Trump president, a finding that did not emerge publicly until after Mr. Trump’s victory months later, former government officials say. [NY Times]

Rand Paul wasted little time in expressing his opinions about President Donald Trump’s decision to strike a Syrian airfield with more than 50 cruise missiles. [Richmond Register]

Meanwhile, the garbage Republicans in Frankfort like Ryan “I Wasn’t Driving Drunk In That Parking Lot And Am Cool With Employing My Brother” Quarles and crew are spinning this as a positive. Because you can’t fix their special brand of stupid. At least there’s a chance their children won’t turn out as wretched as them. [WaPo]

Matt Bevin on Friday appointed Timothy Ray “Tim” Coleman, of Morgantown, as Circuit Judge for the 38th Judicial Circuit, Division 1 of Kentucky—representing Butler, Edmonson, Hancock and Ohio counties. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Remember Afghanistan? We’re still there. A U.S. soldier was killed while conducting operations against Islamic State in Afghanistan late on Saturday, a U.S. military spokesman said in a message posted on Twitter. [Reuters]

If there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that I would never ever trust the Cabinet for Health and Family Services with children in need. Another? Kathy Stein ought to step down from the bench and return to practice as an attorney. Sure, Republicans have been fishing for literally anything to hang over her head. But she’s been next to terrible in defending herself or explaining what’s occurred. Being unable to stand up to Republicans – even when you’re an impartial judge – is a sign of dangerous weakness. [H-L]

Muhammed Ali Khan tried to do one of the most boring, responsible things an American taxpayer can do: set up a government-guaranteed retirement savings account. He was rejected because the Treasury Department thought he might be a terrorist. [HuffPo]

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Hillbilly Elegy Is Republican Bullshit

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When Americans remember the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., they like to recall his “I Have A Dream” speech from the 1963 March on Washington. It is beautifully aspirational — and no longer controversial. [H-L]

Republicans have spent most of the past seven years vowing to protect people with pre-existing conditions, even as they have pledged to get rid of the Affordable Care Act. [HuffPo]

City air pollution officials suspect the area near the CEMEX cement plant in southwest Louisville might violate the federal health standard for sulfur dioxide, a pollutant that’s especially hard on children, the elderly and people who suffer from asthma. But they won’t know for at least three years. [C-J/AKN]

Donald F. McGahn II, now Trump’s White House counsel, made $2.4 million as a lawyer with a client list loaded with deep-pocketed conservative groups, from Americans for Prosperity, backed by the conservative billionaires Charles G. and David H. Koch, to the Citizens United Foundation. [NY Times]

Hillbilly Elegy is bullshit. Della Combs Brashear had had enough. She backed her Cadillac long-ways across the road in front of her house, lit the Virginia Slim in her mouth, pulled her .38 pistol from her purse, and waited, stone-faced and determined, for the next coal truck to come along. [Ivy Brashear]

Former Obama national security adviser Susan E. Rice said Tuesday that she “absolutely” never sought to uncover “for political purposes” the names of Trump campaign or transition officials concealed in intelligence intercepts, and she called suggestions that she leaked those identities “completely false.” [WaPo]

Boyd County avoided losing its four-judge structure after a statewide judicial redistricting plan failed to pass through the General Assembly, but the plan will likely be reintroduced next year. [Ashland Independent]

A U.S. appeals court on Thursday upheld a preliminary injunction against Ohio’s lethal injection process for executions. [Reuters]

Attorney General Andy Beshear has once again gone to court seeking to intervene in open records disputes between a Kentucky university and student-run college newspapers. [Ronnie Ellis]

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) on Thursday said he will temporarily step aside from his committee’s investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election. [The Hill]

Two people who spent years in a Kentucky jail after being wrongfully charged with murder have sued 10 police officers from three departments, alleging a conspiracy to frame them by planting evidence to protect a confidential informant. [Richmond Register]

Senate Republicans invoked the “nuclear option” to gut the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees Thursday, a historic move that paves the way for Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation and ensures that future high court nominees can advance in the Senate without clearing a 60-vote threshold. [Politico]

Funny how this story doesn’t mention an anti-trust investigation, isn’t it? It’s like McClatchy wants to suck more than Gannett these days. [H-L]

It’s the New Republican way. Late last month, federal prosecutors indicted ex-Rep. Steve Stockman and two of his aides, charging that the Texas Republican and his confidants ripped off charities, laundered money, lied to regulators and misled wealthy donors before, during and after his failed 2014 primary campaign against John Cornyn, the second-ranking Republican in the Senate. [HuffPo]

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Kentucky Republicans Sold Your Privacy Rights

Wondering how much money it took for Kentucky Republicans in Washington to sell your internet privacy?

According to The Verge – so you know it’s way more money than listed because they can’t even get peoples’ names correct – it didn’t take too much.

  • Thomas Massie: $2,750
  • Brett Guthrie: $81,500
  • Jamie Comer: $14,750
  • Hal Rogers: $12,500
  • Andy Barr: $28,400
  • Mitch McConnell: $251,110

That’s what the Republican Party of Kentucky supports. Minus Rand Paul. They support killing your privacy. Selling your private data to the highest campaign bidder.

They all deserve a square kick in the nuts next time you see them. Because they don’t care about individual liberty. They don’t believe in freedom. They never practice what they preach. Be it girlfriend-beating, paying for abortions or selling you out? That’s what those folks love to do. All while playing members of the church choir on teevee.

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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Bevin Hypocrisy Hits National Stage Again

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Fayette County family court Judge Kathy W. Stein has been suspended once again by a state panel because of her handling of cases involving child custody. [H-L]

Donald Trump took the oath of office two months ago, but is not yet running a real presidency. His administration, thus far, largely is playing like a junta that surprised the royal guards and seized the palace ― while still remaining unable to pacify the capital city, let alone inspire the countryside. [HuffPo]

Jefferson County Public Schools said Tuesday that it has discovered that a controversial salary study that was released in April has a major mistake that made it seem that the district was paying a lot more in “premium” salaries than it is. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, secretly worked for a Russian billionaire to advance the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin a decade ago and proposed an ambitious political strategy to undermine anti-Russian opposition across former Soviet republics, The Associated Press has learned. The work appears to contradict assertions by the Trump administration and Manafort himself that he never worked for Russian interests. [AP]

Mitch McConnell on Tuesday shot down prospects for major parts of President Donald Trump’s budget, rejecting proposed cuts to foreign aid and medical research. [Richmond Register]

Now you know why Toni Konz has gotten away with so much horse shit when covering education. From lying about her work on Terry Holliday (even in the face of me holding up in front of her information the refuted her bullshit) to generally covering Jefferson County Public Schools in a reckless manner. On a day when the FBI’s Director is sitting before Congress to answer questions about the President of the United States, accusing his predecessor of spying on him, a Louisville station scored a one on one interview with President Trump. [WDRB Is The Worst]

Donald Trump gave a campaign-style speech to 17,000 enthusiastic supporters packed into Freedom Hall Monday night, reprising most of the populist and natavist themes of his winning campaign. [Ronnie Ellis]

Matt Bevin is such a hypocritical coward that he’s afraid to publicly disagree with Donald Trump. Even when the state stands to suffer severely at the hands of backward bullshit. [NY Times]

There is now an alternative for students in the Rowan County school district who have needs that cannot be met as long as they are in a traditional classroom. [The Morehead News]

Modern day Republicans have no idea to govern. They haven’t forgotten. They’ve never known. [BBC]

For now, the Economic Development Committee of Barren County Fiscal Court is holding off on a decision about whether the county should remain in a partnership with the City of Glasgow and possibly now Cave City to fund the Glasgow-Barren County Industrial Development and Economic Authority. [Glasgow Daily Times]

As it readies for battle with President Trump over drug prices, the pharmaceutical industry is deploying economists and health care experts from the nation’s top universities. In scholarly articles, blogs and conferences, they lend their prestige to the lobbying blitz, without always disclosing their corporate ties. [ProPublica]

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he’ll fight a proposal to eliminate a 52-year-old federal agency that seeks to create jobs. [H-L]

New Republicanism is dangerous and people like Scott Jennings are supporting it. One of the most heralded aspects of the Affordable Care Act was the fact that it no longer made being a woman a pre-existing condition. [HuffPo]

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Kentucky Poverty’s International News Again

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Hahahaha, $7.5mil? The Kentucky Senate is getting a bill that would create a public corporation authorized to collect $7.5 million a year to diversify the struggling local economies of the state’s coal regions. [John Cheves]

Former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy warned on Saturday that the Trump administration’s funding cuts to the agency and rollback of Obama-era rules pose a major threat to public health. [HuffPo]

GIGANTIC PEE ALERT! Here’s Scott Jennings – the guy who told racist, anti-LatinX “jokes” at Fancy Farm and now spews homophobia on a regular basis – is panicking over mean liberals saying mean things about walking Turkey Waddle Mitch McConnell. The crazier Trump gets, the more panicked these Republican snowflakes like Jennings become. [C-J/AKN]

U.S. Senate Democrats, seeking to capitalize on growing disclosures about the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russia, urged a top Republican lawmaker on Tuesday to obtain President Donald Trump’s tax returns as a matter of national security. [Reuters]

If a Republican lawmaker gets his way, home school students in Kentucky will be allowed to participate in extra-curricular activities at their local public schools. That was just one measure passed by the state House Tuesday afternoon. Lawmakers also passed a REAL ID bill and another to establish a task force to review and recommend judicial salaries in Kentucky. [Ronnie Ellis]

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Granny) has only three weeks to unify conservatives and moderates in his conference behind an ObamaCare repeal and replacement bill. [The Hill]

With the Berea City Council giving its consent Tuesday night for the Madison County Health Department to operate a syringe exchange program within Berea, only consent from the Madison Fiscal Court is required. [Richmond Register]

Despite claims from the White House that no such ties exist, 65 percent of respondents to a new CNN/ORC poll released Monday morning said the investigation into connections between President Donald Trump and the Russian government should be handled by a special prosecutor. [Politico]

The Rowan County Board of Education voted 3-2 Monday to accept a bid for the construction of a multipurpose athletic complex. The board voted to accept the low bid from The Walker Company of Mt. Sterling, at $1,136,800. [The Morehead News]

FBI director James Comey has rejected Donald Trump’s claim that his predecessor, Barack Obama, ordered a wiretap of his phone before he was elected US president, US media say. [BBC]

Republicans are fighting to weaken environmental rules in Kentucky. This is just a taste of what their meddling will harm. [WFPL]

In the week before the United States elected Donald J. Trump to the presidency, I traveled through Kentucky, through endless miles of farmland and small towns. It was my first visit to the United States, for a book tour. I was shocked by the signs of decline I saw in rural America. Suddenly, rural America matters. It matters for the whole world. [NY Times]

State Sen. Mike Wilson, chairman of the Senate Education Committee, told the Herald-Leader Tuesday that a bill to allow charter schools in Kentucky was not on the agenda for his committee’s Thursday meeting. [H-L]

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Manbaby) has vowed to “defund” Planned Parenthood in upcoming legislation. But what he and Republicans in Congress are trying to do is actually very different from what that word suggests. [HuffPo]

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Papaw Beshear Will Chap Ass Tomorrow

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Mitch McConnell expected a warm, or at least anger-free, welcome Thursday. Several police officers stood watch throughout the swanky Hotel Covington. His hosts were the Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati chambers of commerce. And it cost $65 to attend. [H-L]

Donald Trump and his aides keep insisting that his presidency has already yielded progress on a historic scale. “I don’t think there’s ever been a president elected who in this short period of time has done what we’ve done,” Trump said at a press conference last week. Actually, Trump’s immediate predecessor achieved a lot more. That’s partly because President Barack Obama took office amid a real crisis, as opposed to the fake one Trump keeps insisting he faces. [HuffPo]

Kentucky’s beleaguered child welfare system was slammed in an outside review by federal officials who provide much of the $415 million in funds for the state to protect children from neglect and abuse. [C-J/AKN]

Democrats have tapped former Gov. Steve Beshear to deliver the party’s response to President Donald Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress Tuesday night, highlighting the Kentucky Democrat’s efforts to expand health care coverage under the law Republicans are determined to repeal and replace. [AP]

In politics, as in most endeavors, perspective means everything. Democrats who held the majority in the Kentucky House of Representatives for nearly 100 years, now find themselves in the minority. They don’t much like it and tensions and accusations Friday — in both directions — of playing politics made for a lengthy and contentious debate on a bill capping what outside attorneys can charge for contract work with the Office of the Attorney General. [Ronnie Ellis]

When photographs recently emerged showing Sebastian Gorka, President Donald Trump’s high-profile deputy assistant, wearing a medal associated with the Nazi collaborationist regime that ruled Hungary during World War II, the controversial security strategist was unapologetic. [Click the Clicky]

A bill that would reshape Kentucky’s judicial system is headed to the Senate floor, despite receiving sharp criticism from public officials in Boyd County and across the Commonwealth. [Ashland Independent]

Analysts at the Homeland Security Department’s intelligence arm found insufficient evidence that citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries included in President Donald Trump’s travel ban pose a terror threat to the United States. [More AP]

Rowan County Judge-Executive Walter Blevins said he will serve out his remaining term before retiring, despite rumors throughout the county. [The Morehead News]

Ambassador Daniel Fried, the outgoing coordinator for sanctions policy, did not mention President Donald Trump or speak directly to his policies, but the State Department officials present understood his meaning when he said “we are not an ethno-state, with identity rooted in shared blood.” “The option of a white man’s republic ended at Appomattox,” he said in a farewell address at the State Department, referencing the 1865 battle that led to the surrender of the Confederate army and ended the Civil war. [CNN]

The GOP plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act — which was leaked to Politico and reported on Friday — would eliminate the money given to states for Medicaid expansion starting in 2020. [WFPL]

The Trump administration has enlisted senior members of the intelligence community and Congress in efforts to counter news stories about Trump associates’ ties to Russia, a politically charged issue that has been under investigation by the FBI as well as lawmakers now defending the White House. [WaPo]

I’d put a ton of money on Greg Stumbo being overjoyed about this news. Hold on to yer booties, Greg, cause it’s about to get crazier for some of those folks. Former Prestonsburg Mayor Jerry Fannin illegally used city money to support an arena football team in which he was an investor, a federal grand jury has charged. [H-L]

Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.) argued Tuesday that one of the best things the United States could do for the environment was grow the economy, because rich people like clean air and water. [HuffPo]

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