You Don’t Need An Assault Weapon

A federal appeals panel has upheld the conviction of former Paintsville Mayor Robert Porter on three charges of misappropriating money and public resources. Porter is serving a four-year sentence. [H-L]

A reported shooting at a South Florida high school on Wednesday marks the country’s 18th school shooting of 2018, just 45 days into the year. That’s an average of one school shooting every 60 hours thus far in 2018, more than double the number of school shootings recorded in any of the previous three years in that same period. [HuffPo]

Pro-tip to mouth-breathers like Matt Bevin (yes, that means YOU if you support him): You can’t help someone rise up out of poverty by making it more difficult to obtain basic health care. Within Snowflake Matt Bevin’s complex plan to reshape the state Medicaid program to cut costs and hold people accountable is this fact that may surprise some Kentuckians: Under Bevin’s plan, it actually will cost Kentucky more to provide health coverage to people affected by the Medicaid changes than if the state did nothing. [C-J/AKN]

Jared Kushner’s family real estate company has backtracked on its effort to have a lawsuit filed against it by tenants of its Baltimore-area apartment complexes moved to federal court, after a judge ruled that this transfer would require it to reveal the identities of its investment partners. [ProPublica]

In the world’s bourbon capital, an effort to eliminate a quota system limiting the number of liquor licenses is getting strong pushback from some Kentucky lawmakers. [Richmond Register]

Did you know? There are North American leaders not spewing racist rhetoric on Twitter 24/7. [BBC]

Brittney Patrick never thought she’d need food stamps, and once she had them, she never thought they’d be taken away. [WFPL]

Donald Trump’s inaugural committee paid nearly $26 million to an event planning firm started by an adviser to First Lady Melania Trump, while donating $5 million — less than expected — to charity, according to tax filings released on Thursday. [NY Times]

Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, told reporters Wednesday a Senate pension reform bill will not include moving new employees or teachers to mandatory, defined contribution plans or 401-K style plans. [Ronnie Ellis]

Like last year’s budget, the Trump administration’s 2019 budget proposes large cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency. And it eliminates explicit climate change programs in other parts of the government and cuts spending for climate change-related monitoring, alternative energy, energy efficiency and flood prevention. [WaPo]

The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office was pleasantly surprised when deputies executed a search warrant in downtown Morehead last week at a residence in which police believed they were distributing narcotic cough syrup. [The Morehead News]

The Trump administration remained insistent on hardline immigration measures on Thursday as the U.S. Senate prepared to vote on various legislative proposals to protect young “Dreamer” immigrants and to tighten border security. [Reuters]

Surprise! Matt Bevin is still a homophobic bigot. Only a matter of time til he has a stroke when one of kids 50 kids come out of the closet. [H-L]

Florida Republicans Sen. Marco Rubio and Gov. Rick Scott were swift to condemn the horrific school shooting in their state on Wednesday afternoon, offering prayers after a gunman killed at least 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. [HuffPo]

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Another Day That Feels Like A Week

A clinic with locations in Central and Eastern Kentucky improperly prescribed thousands of doses of a drug designed to help treat people addicted to opioids such as heroin and pain pills, Attorney General Andy Beshear’s office charged in a lawsuit filed Friday. [H-L]

This needs to happen in Kentucky on a statewide level. It’s a no-brainer. [HuffPo]

The FBI ordered a wiretap of a phone used by the Adidas executive who spoke to Rick Pitino on the calls at the center of the pay-for-play allegations that cost the former Louisville men’s basketball coach his job. [C-J/AKN]

The Trump administration has adopted new limits on the use of “guidance documents” that federal agencies have issued on almost every conceivable subject, an action that could have sweeping implications for the government’s ability to sue companies accused of violations. [NY Times]

This is the dumbest shit yet from Matt Bevin’s crew. Kentucky became the first state with a work requirement for Medicaid, and now it has to do something arguably more daring: Build a mobile-friendly website that works. [Richmond Register]

There are people who will tell you — and offer research as support — that there really isn’t any link between the amount of money spent on public education and student achievement. [WaPo]

The state House approved a proposed constitutional amendment which would allow the legislature to overturn regulations by the executive branch — even when the General Assembly is not in session. [Ronnie Ellis]

Refugee resettlement agencies are preparing to shutter more than 20 offices across the United States and cut back operations in more than 40 others after the State Department told them to pare their operations, according to plans seen by Reuters. [Reuters]

Possibly as soon as next month, the Barren County Health Department will begin having a syringe exchange program for intravenous drug users. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The Federal Election Commission said in December that big political ads on the social network need disclaimers. But many candidates and groups don’t seem to be paying attention. [ProPublica]

Detectives are trying to piece together why a Kentucky man fatally shot his parents and two other people before taking his own life last weekend. [Ashland Independent]

Can you imagine if Louisville had an 11-day streak without a murder? [BBC]

A Knott County school that would have closed [last] week after the Kentucky education commissioner expressed safety concerns about the building will remain open under a judge’s order. [H-L]

When neighborhoods change, it doesn’t just affect long-term residents’ housing options. It might be making them sick. This is happening like crazy in Louisville. [HuffPo]

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RPK Is Still Killing Your Environment

Some Republicans in the state House of Representatives are pushing anti-solar legislation by playing one of Kentucky’s favorite political blame games: You’re Subsidized, But I’m Not. [H-L]

Donald Trump Jr. used Twitter to launch an unprovoked attack on U.S. Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon on Tuesday night. [HuffPo]

Ed Hart got his ass handed to him again, it seems. Kentucky Kingdom withdrew its support Friday for a controversial measure that would allow seasonal businesses to avoid paying employees overtime, two days after a union threatened a wider boycott against the Louisville-based amusement park. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump is expected to unveil on Monday a plan that would fulfill one of his signature campaign promises: a $1.5 trillion, once-in-a-generation proposal to rebuild, restore and modernize the nation’s aging infrastructure. (Posting this so you can see what folks “expected” to occur.) [NY Times]

When someone wants to purchase a keg of beer from craft brewer Adam Watson, he has to turn them away because Kentucky law limits how much he can sell to a customer. [Richmond Register]

Another day, another attack on Medicaid — and on the poor and working class. In other words, those five states want to time-limit or cap the total period of time an individual could receive Medicaid benefits over his or her lifetime. [WaPo]

This guy is clearly mentally unfit to serve if he thinks budget cuts aren’t worrying and troublesome. Kentucky Sheriff’s Departments are one of many governmental units facing budget cuts from Matt Bevin’s proposed plan, but Boyd County Sheriff Bobby Jack Woods isn’t worried. [Ashland Independent]

A second U.S. judge on Tuesday blocked Donald Trump’s decision to end a program that protects immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children from deportation. [Reuters]

As many as 14 school districts are faced with the inability to pay their bills by the end of the school year and some Kentucky lawmakers say they’re only a harbinger of things to come. [Ronnie Ellis]

More than a year after American diplomats began to suffer strange, concussion-like symptoms in Cuba, a U.S. investigation is no closer to determining how they were hurt or by whom, and the FBI and CIA are at odds over the case. A ProPublica investigation reveals the many layers to the mystery — and the political maneuvering that is reshaping U.S.-Cuba relations. [ProPublica]

Refundable tax incentives that have been made available to film production companies in the past by the state have been temporarily suspended. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A US spy chief has warned that presidential aides with interim security clearances should have “limited” access to secret information. US Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said the clearance process was “broken” and needs to be reformed. [BBC]

In the wake of the shooting that claimed the lives of two students and injured 21 others, Marshall County High School is requiring all students to have their bags, backpacks and purses checked before entering school. [H-L]

When Betsy DeVos was named education secretary last February, she become public education’s No. 1 enemy. After all, the billionaire is notorious for her desire to expand private school choice programs (which include many religious private schools that teach Christian fundamentalist doctrine). [HuffPo]

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Kentucky Republicans Are Screwing Workers

Jim DeCesare, Phillip Pratt, Jim DuPlessis (the guy who publicly & proudly defends child sex predators), Richard Heath and Robby Mills are the kind of people you stick in a bad Bowling Green nursing home and forget about. They’re that awful. A proposal in the Kentucky legislature would eliminate or reduce unemployment benefits for tens of thousands of out-of-work Kentuckians each year, boosting the bottom lines of businesses by forcing the unemployed to live on less. [H-L]

Patrick McCarthy relies on tips to support his family. When a diner leaves one on his table, the career server takes comfort in knowing the tip belongs to him ― not the cook in the kitchen and not the manager in the back office. [HuffPo]

Disgraced former U.S. Rep. Carroll Hubbard, a lawyer who was sent to prison for three years for corruption in office, is in trouble again — this time for allegedly calling another attorney and her spouse “pitifull (sic) fat, ugly lesbians.” [C-J/AKN]

The Trump administration is considering making it harder for foreigners living in the United States to get permanent residency if they or their American-born children use public benefits such as food assistance, in a move that could sharply restrict legal immigration. [Reuters]

Y’all keeping an eye on this? The Special Barren County Ambulance Service Taxing District has received its first bills for the financial commitments of Glasgow and Barren County governments for the Barren-Metcalfe County Ambulance Service. [Glasgow Daily Times]

This is damning and embarrassing for Kentucky because Thomas Massie is a literal disgrace. This climate science denier powers his house with a solar battery. [ThinkProgress]

The state House approved a proposed constitutional amendment which would allow the legislature to overturn regulations by the executive branch — even when the General Assembly is not in session. [Ronnie Ellis]

Epidemiologists at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health say they’ve identified the largest cluster of advanced black lung disease ever reported, a cluster that was first uncovered by NPR 14 months ago. [NPR]

The 2018 race for Boyd County jailer will be hotly contested following a series of troubling incidents at the detention center, and a decision by incumbent Jailer Joe Burchett to not seek re-election. [Ashland Independent]

With approval from the Trump administration fresh in hand, Kentucky is rushing to roll out its first-in-the-nation plan to require many Medicaid recipients to work, volunteer or train for a job — even as critics mount a legal challenge to stop it on the grounds that it violates the basic tenets of the program. [NY Times]

Surprise! The folks running the Bowling Green Daily News are still racist. [BGDN]

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma said on Saturday that it has cut its sales force in half and will stop promoting opioids to physicians, following widespread criticism of the ways drugmakers market addictive painkillers. [WaPo]

The new Republican Party of Kentucky is focused on gutting education and educational accountability on all fronts. A proposal to significantly loosen oversight of for-profit colleges and schools in Kentucky has passed its first hurdle in the General Assembly, but some worried lawmakers say they hope to improve the final version of the proposal. [Linda Blackford]

Almost 390 days since Donald Trump’s inauguration, a critical White House role remains conspicuously vacant. Despite repeated calls from lawmakers and top scientists to nominate a science adviser and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Trump has yet to appoint one. [HuffPo]

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Frankfort Is Proving Its Awfulness 24/7

You’ll never guess which bloated conman filed this legislation. A House committee on Wednesday approved a bill that would limit the Kentucky attorney general’s authority to hire outside lawyers to pursue expensive and complex lawsuits against corporations. [John Cheves]

U.S. stocks plunged in highly volatile trading on Monday, with the Dow industrials falling nearly 1,600 points during the session, its biggest intraday decline in history, as investors grappled with rising bond yields and potentially firming inflation. [HuffPo]

A committee in Frankfort that has so far failed to take any votes on a controversial bill to curb solar power in Kentucky will be getting three new members — two Republicans and a coal-country Democrat. Questions of vote packing immediately surfaced. [C-J/AKN]

Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein has said that America is living through its darkest days since Senator Joseph McCarthy’s anti-Communist “witch hunts.” [Yahoo]

Mark Jurich, the son of fired University of Louisville Athletic Director Tom Jurich, has been let go from his position in the school’s athletics department along with two other employees. [WFPL]

Indiana said on Friday it will require its Medicaid recipients work or do some other form of community engagement, becoming the second state to make this fundamental change to the 50-year-old health insurance program for the poor. [Reuters]

Two deputy clerks in the Warren County Clerk’s Office changed Social Security numbers that resulted in uncollected taxes. [BGDN]

Rep. Mark Takano, D-Calif., introduced legislation last week requiring federal authorities to examine racial disparities in auto insurance premiums, citing a story co-published by ProPublica and Consumer Reports last April. [ProPublica]

When Matt Bevin and Republican legislative leaders announced a draft proposal to reform the state’s badly underfunded public pension systems in October, they said without significant changes, the coming two-year budget would face draconian cuts. [Glasgow Daily Times]

In one sign of the pressures that companies face to understand the business risks of stricter climate-change policies, one of the world’s biggest energy companies on Friday offered its thoughts on how it would fare in a low-carbon world. [NY Times]

Fun fact: he has zero public work history, nothing to show for what he was paid. Kentucky’s Republican governor said he terminated a $240,000 no-bid contract for a state “adoption czar” because it was not worth it to keep him on the job even though he praised his performance. [Richmond Register]

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) dwindling pot of money aimed at fighting infectious-disease epidemics like Ebola will run out this year, and the agency doesn’t anticipate new dedicated funds. So the CDC is scaling back epidemic prevention work in 39 countries, and this has experts, including a United Nations Dispatch on Friday, saying “you should be freaking out.” [ThinkProgress]

Matt Bevin’s plan to slash education funding and eliminate 70 entire programs rather than face up to long-overdue tax reform has attracted a lot of attention. It also has distracted from deep cuts he wants to make in state support for the arts. [H-L]

Donald Trump accused Democrats on Monday of being “un-American” and “treasonous” in a campaign-style speech in Cincinnati that was actually meant to tout the recent GOP tax bill and the economy. “Can we call that treason?” Trump said, referring to Democrats who did not clap for him during his State of the Union address last week. “Why not? I mean, they certainly didn’t seem to love our country very much.” [HuffPo]

It’s called grift, millennials. The wife of the appraiser whose work led to Matt Bevin winning the appeal of the property tax value of his Anchorage house last summer has landed a state job that pays $90,000 a year. In an appointment approved by Bevin, Shellie A. May began work on Jan. 8 as executive director of the Kentucky Commission for Children with Special Health Care Needs. [More C-J/AKN]

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Kentucky Needs A New Ed Commish

Maybe crap like this wouldn’t happen in the commissioner would stop trying to promote himself as some sort of celebrity. And if people like Valarie Honeycutt Spears didn’t intentionally ignore corruption in education. [H-L]

The nutrition children receive during their first 1,000 days ― from conception until their second birthday ― has a profound impact on how they develop. Without the proper nutrition during that window of time, young brains will not grow to their fullest potential, diminishing the kids’ opportunities for the rest of their lives, according to public health and medical organizations. [HuffPo]

A national “consumer” group is working with Frankfort lawmakers, making phone calls to their constituents and urging Kentuckians to support a bill that would roll back incentives for solar power. But who are they? [C-J/AKN]

The U.S. flu outbreak worsened over the past week as more people headed to doctors’ offices and emergency rooms, with hospitalizations at the highest in nearly 10 years, U.S. health officials said on Friday. [Reuters]

The 2018 General Assembly is now one-third of the way toward its constitutionally-limited 60 days to pass legislation — and still there is no pension bill in sight. [Ronnie Ellis]

Since the election, Donald Trump has made 31 specific claims about companies adding or saving American jobs thanks to his intervention. We went back to see what’s become of those announcements. [ProPublica]

The Coalition for the Homeless has received the needed funds to launch a pilot program to house homeless young adults in Louisville, officials said this week. [WFPL]

This mess is part of the reason Modern Republicans are so painfully dumb and dangerous. [ThinkProgress]

For the first time in recent memory, all but one local races for the state legislature and Congress are contested as 31 candidates have signed up to run for seven local seats. The last time those seats were up for election, 15 candidates filed to run. Democrats fielded 16 of the 2018 candidates, with 15 Republicans filing for the seats. [BGDN]

Former FBI Director James Comey lobbed criticism at Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee on Friday, asking his Twitter followers, “That’s it?” after the release of a disputed and much-hyped memo about alleged bias at the FBI and Department of Justice. [Politico]

Basically, Republicans are about to choke the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s economy. [WKYT]

K.T. McFarland, Trump’s onetime deputy national security adviser, has withdrawn from consideration to be the U.S. ambassador to Singapore, the White House confirmed Friday. McFarland has been under scrutiny in the special-counsel probe into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. [WaPo]

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray raised more money than his Democratic opponents in his first month as a candidate in the primary election to challenge Republican Andy Barr for his Central Kentucky congressional seat. [H-L]

Donald Trump on Friday declassified a Republican-authored memo that claims to show the Justice Department and FBI inappropriately conducted surveillance on a member of the Trump presidential campaign. FBI Director Chris Wray isn’t having any of it. [HuffPo]

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The RPK Is Beginning To Freak Out

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A former Eastern Kentucky lawmaker pleaded guilty to identity theft Thursday under a plea deal that calls for a two-year prison sentence. Former state Rep. Keith Hall, a democrat from Pikeville who is already serving a 7-year sentence in another case, was charged last year with three counts of wire fraud, two counts of identity theft and one count of lying to the FBI. [H-L]

Every single privacy activist I know cares about privacy in significant part to ensure the rule of law and to prevent the arbitrary exercise of justice to focus just on select groups like Muslims or Chinese-Americans, rather than those who pose the greatest risk to society, like people allegedly doing Russia’s secret bidding. Yet the actions of Ryan and Nunes reverse that, using a sham concern for civil liberties as a way to prevent themselves, their associates, and the president from being subject to the rule of law like the rest of us would be.[HuffPo]

Dan Dumas is a far-right nutso homophobe and your tax dollars paid him a $60,000 golden parachute. People like that have no business being around children. And why no mention of the $60K “mortgage” he received just a few days ago from the Southern Baptists? [C-J/AKN]

Trump wanted to know where the special counsel’s Russia investigation was heading. And he wanted to know whether Rosenstein was “on my team.” [CNN]

A Jamie Comer-Scott Jennings lackey is trying to run for Secretary of State. Which means hot garbage is running for Secretary of State. [Republican Stenographers]

The Republican Party isn’t just officially homophobic. Now it’s officially transphobic. Republicans are bigots. If that’s a tough pill for you to swallow, you need to deal with the fact that your political party of choice is one of hate. The Republican National Committee is siding with President Donald Trump on his order to bar transgender individuals from serving in the U.S. military. [AP]

The 2018 General Assembly is now one-third of the way toward its constitutionally-limited 60 days to pass legislation — and still there is no pension bill in sight. [Ronnie Ellis]

The U.S. Congress made no notable progress this week toward a deal on the status of 700,000 “Dreamer” immigrants, with Donald Trump saying on Friday that one “could very well not happen” by a deadline next month. [Reuters]

The filing deadline for Kentucky candidates closed Tuesday, and some northeastern Kentucky lawmakers will face challengers in this year’s election cycle. [Ashland Independent]

For Republicans in the states, the political warning signs keep mounting: In Virginia, it was an electoral shellacking that nearly snapped their 20-year grip on the State House. In Wisconsin, it was a midwinter rout in a special election for the State Senate, fought in a conservative district. [NY Times]

In a year when women candidates are expected to play an important role, 89 women filed to run for the Kentucky General Assembly. [More Ronnie Ellis]

Gene Ransom’s day was ruined within minutes of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s announcement that he was giving federal prosecutors more freedom to go after marijuana transactions in states that have legalized medical cannabis. [WaPo]

Yes, Matt Bevin’s new Medicaid rules are all about putting up roadblocks for poor people. That’s how modern Republicanism functions. [John Cheves]

For weeks, Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee and their allies have been promising that they have a memo with damning evidence undermining special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election meddling and Russian ties to Donald Trump’s inner circle. [HuffPo]

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