Kentucky Republicans Getting Hit With Reality

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Trump’s first major budget proposal on Tuesday will include massive cuts to Medicaid and call for changes to anti-poverty programs that would give states new power to limit a range of benefits, people familiar with the planning said, despite growing unease in Congress about cutting the safety net. [WaPo]

Kentucky’s public pension debt just got a few billion dollars bigger. On Thursday, the Kentucky Retirement Systems board of trustees approved more pessimistic assumptions about the investment returns for state pension funds and the growth of state government payroll. The board debated but delayed voting on a similarly stark set of assumptions for local governments and their pensions. [John Cheves]

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn is so far refusing to cooperate with the Senate Intelligence Committee, which has issued a subpoena for documents related to his interactions with Russian officials. [HuffPo]

The Louisville Arena Authority and the University of Louisville’s athletics department have regularly failed to meet deadlines on their annual payments under the Yum Center’s lease agreement. [C-J/AKN]

It looks like President Donald J Trump has finally lived up to everyone’s expectations. [The Guardian]

Just a reminder that Terry Holliday’s replacement, Stephen Pruitt, is as ineffective and self-absorbed as his predecessor. He’s traveling the state nearly every day to promote himself, pose for newspaper photo ops and to discuss “accountability” – which he absolutely cannot make a thing. If Matt Bevin wasn’t a worthless piece of dumb, he would have figured out a way to oust this shyster a long time ago. [The Morehead News]

A new account of what the Trump transition team knew about Michael Flynn’s problematic work for Turkey—and when it knew it—paints an even more baffling picture of Trump’s decision to install Flynn as national security adviser. The new details reported by The New York Times also further call into question claims by the White House and the vice president that they were unaware of Flynn’s work for Turkey until after he had left the administration. [TPM]

Ever wondered how you could tell Mike Harmon isn’t worth the air he’s breathing? He couldn’t find a problem with the KFC Grease Bucket in Louisville. Jim King and Jim Host have both been butthole deep in it and he couldn’t find a hair outta place. Hahahahahha. [Ronnie Ellis]

Media law experts and journalism advocates are sounding the alarm about President Donald Trump’s reported call to jail journalists for publishing classified information, saying the move amounts to “threatening to take away the right of free speech.” [MMFA]

This is what’s called press release journalism. Matt Bevin issued an executive order Wednesday to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Commonwealth’s emergency response system by reorganizing the Kentucky 911 Services Board. [Ashland Independent]

Investigators into Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential elections are now also probing whether White House officials have engaged in a cover-up, according to members of Congress who were briefed Friday by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. [McClatchy]

Remember this embarrassing racist? We’ve covered his bigoted ass extensively. A former Barren County judge-executive and lumber company businessman, David A. Dickerson, has been chosen by Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin to be a member of the newly formed state board to oversee 911 services. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Trump asked the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, to shut down the federal investigation into Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, in an Oval Office meeting in February, according to a memo that Mr. Comey wrote shortly after the meeting. [NY Times]

Gag a maggot. A former coal mining executive jailed for conspiring to violate federal mine safety standards has asked Donald Trump on Tuesday to resist attempts in Congress to enhance criminal penalties for coal executives who violate mine safety and health standards. Don Blankenship, who recently was freed from federal prison, also asked the president in a letter to re-examine a federal investigation into the nation’s worst coal mining disaster in four decades. [H-L]

The law enforcement investigation into possible coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign has identified a current White House official as a significant person of interest, showing that the probe is reaching into the highest levels of government, according to people familiar with the matter. [WaPo]

Michael Flynn, Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, vetoed a plan to attack the so-called Islamic State’s capital of Raqqa in Syria in January ― a position that aligned with the desires of Turkey, which had paid him $530,000 to represent its interests, McClatchy reported Wednesday night. [HuffPo]

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Jamie Comer’s Still A Lying Scumbag

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With poverty growing (nearly one in three of our children now live in poverty) and the gap between the rich and poor widening, now is the time to build a society that works for all citizens. Instead, in this recently concluded legislative session, we witnessed the further crushing of the middle class and the poor by the corporate elite and their cronies who spent millions to concoct out right lies, trump up fears and spread suspicions to defeat Democrats last November. [Jim Wayne]

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Sunday that “our institutions are under assault internally” by Donald Trump, who is “eroding” the American system of “checks and balances” on political power. [HuffPo]

Anti-abortion protesters were arrested for blocking the doors to Kentucky’s EMW Women’s Surgical Center Saturday morning. [C-J/AKN]

A senior law-enforcement official dismisses the White House excuse for firing the FBI director, says Comey was ‘inching closer to Trump.’ [TDB]

Pain can be transformative, and that transformation can be a positive one when given the right tools and a little guidance. [Richmond Register]

Along with his firing, the source noted a high level of “interfering” in the Russia probe. [CBS News]

Kentucky’s lone Democrat in Congress, John Yarmuth, predicted Friday that U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky will not allow the Senate to vote on a Republican healthcare replacement for the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare. [Ronnie Ellis]

James Clapper discusses the ‘pattern’ of dead Russians tied to the investigation who have surfaced in the past three months. [CNN VIdeo]

Jamie Comer has returned to lying and misleading in an attempt to promote himself. Just like he lied about Marilyn and Holly, he’s lying when he claims the new health care bill protects the nation’s most vulnerable. It does nothing of the sort. First-rate hacks like Comer will have blood on their hands if they push that nonsense through. [Glasgow Daily Times]

On 18 November 2015, the British press gathered in a hall in Westminster to witness the official launch of Leave.EU. Nigel Farage, the campaign’s figurehead, was banished to the back of the room and instead an American political strategist, Gerry Gunster, took centre stage and explained its strategy. “The one thing that I know is data,” he said. “Numbers do not lie. I’m going to follow the data.” [The Guardian]

Matt Bevin doesn’t want to share his thoughts on President Donald Trump’s decision to fire former FBI Director James Comey. Because he’s a fucking coward. [WFPL]

The president, Mr. Comey told associates, was “outside the realm of normal,” even “crazy.” [NY Times]

A longtime Social Security Administration judge took more than $609,000 in bribes in less than seven years to award disability benefits to thousands of clients of well-known lawyer Eric C. Conn, the former judge admitted Friday. [H-L]

A top Harvard constitutional law professor is calling for an impeachment investigation into Donald Trump for obstruction of justice, branding the president’s firing of FBI Director James Comey as an “obvious effort to interfere with a probe involving national security.” [HuffPo]

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Bigots Of A Feather Flock Together…

The New Na… er… Republican Party of Kentucky is making them dumber and more corrupt than the Kentucky Democratic Party ever did. State Rep. C. Wesley Morgan, R-Richmond, has been charged with breaking one of the half-dozen liquor laws he attempted to change during the 2017 General Assembly. [John Cheves]

This is called giving religious nutjobs the freedom to pervert, you know, religion. With politics. It’s beyond disgusting and prime for campaign finance corruption. [HuffPo]

Of course Matt Bevin appointed a Southern Baptist anti-gay bigot to a job making $240,000. Of course he put him in charge of reforming the adoption system. Matt Bevin has appointed an executive with Louisville’s Southern Baptist Theological Seminary as his “adoption czar,” awarding him a $240,000-a-year contract to lead reforms of Kentucky’s child adoption and foster care system. [C-J/AKN]

Angry U.S. lawmakers threatened United Airlines and other carriers on Tuesday with legislation to force improvements as they expressed disgust after a passenger was hauled down the aisle of an overbooked flight last month. [Reuters]

More than 13,000 Madison County residents are food insecure. While nearly 16 percent of Kentuckians are food insecure, the numbers are improving according to a new report by Feeding America. [Richmond Register]

Donald Trump’s comments about the Civil War in a recent interview, in which he diminished the impact of slavery ahead of the war and praised former President Andrew Jackson, echo sentiments of white nationalist media and signify yet another instance of intermingling between Trump and his nativist fans. [Media Matters]

Greenup County Sheriff Keith Cooper’s office was flagged for thousands of dollars in “disallowed disbursements” from its drug enforcement account in a second consecutive audit released Tuesday. [Ashland Independent]

Mark Green’s nomination for Army secretary is going downhill fast, with comments from his past fomenting opposition to him. Green has drawn fire for his remarks on LGBT people, Islam, Hispanics, the Second Amendment and creationism. More than a half-dozen advocacy groups have decried his nomination, and even transgender celebrity Caitlyn Jenner has criticized him. [The Hill]

The state’s top budget official is predicting state revenues will fall $113.2 million short of budget predictions for the year which ends June 30. [Ronnie Ellis]

FBI Director James Comey said on Wednesday it made him “mildly nauseous” to think his announcement of the reopening of an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails affected the 2016 presidential election, but he had no regrets and would make the same decision again. [Reuters]

The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky “is exploring all options” to address Judge Mitchell Nance’s order recusing himself from hearing adoption cases involving gay parents. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Of course the Trump Disaster installed an anti-immigration group leader as an ombudsman at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. [ProPublica]

A Kentucky personal injury lawyer accused of stealing more than $100,000 from clients has pleaded not guilty. [H-L]

Mike Pence declared victory for the anti-abortion movement Wednesday night, boasting that Donald Trump has “literally filled” his administration with politicians who oppose reproductive rights. [HuffPo]

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Kentucky Makes Embarrassing National News For Probably The Millionth Time

On May 7, Leandro Braga and Deanna Chesser will graduate from Bluegrass Community and Technical College with associate degrees, big awards and scholarships to help them get four-year degrees at the University of Kentucky. [Linda Blackford]

U.S. congressional negotiators have hammered out a bipartisan agreement on a spending package to keep the federal government funded through the end of the current fiscal year on Sept. 30, a senior congressional aide said on Sunday. Aww, no wall for the racists. [HuffPo]

Nearly two years after a fire heavily damaged at least three of its buildings, city officials believe Whiskey Row may be on the cusp of becoming one of the “most engaging blocks in downtown Louisville.” [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump still doesn’t understand why the Civil War occurred or who Andrew Jackson was. [TPM]

Attorney General Andy Beshear’s office has appealed a judge’s ruling that wiped decades-old convictions from a Kentuckian’s criminal record, arguing they aren’t eligible under the state’s new felony expungement law. [WFPL]

Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives said on Tuesday they were closer to agreeing on a reworked bill to overhaul the nation’s healthcare system but still lacked the votes to pass it, as President Donald Trump pressed lawmakers for a vote. [Reuters]

The weather has turned sunny, and warm, so now is the time for that afternoon drive along the beautiful countryside of Madison County and surrounding areas. It’s amazing what one can find on that drive. [Richmond Register]

Because Kentucky’s New Republican Party is filled with mouth-breathing (Hey, Mac!) bigots, the Commonwealth could become the only state with no abortion clinic. [NY Times]

A permanent health-care fix for 22,000 retired coal miners has been agreed to by a bipartisan congressional budget committee, ending months of anxiety for the miners and their families. [Ashland Independent]

The charter flight left on a Wednesday with eight Iraqis on board. By the following evening, the large Iraqi immigrant community in this Detroit suburb was roiled with rumors about why, with news of the departure morphing as phone calls spun into horror. Some people were talking again about whether they should go into hiding. [WaPo]

Dennis Curry and his future husband learned quickly that adopting kids wasn’t easy. [Glasgow Daily Times]

New data suggests incidents of anti-Semitic hatred have spiked compared to this time last year, an ominous shift that advocates say signals a multi-year increase of vitriol directed at American Jews. [ThinkProgress]

The chief of Transylvania University’s public safety department and the president of the university worked together to take down a knife-wielding man who attacked students in a campus coffee shop Friday morning. [H-L]

Donald Trump this weekend called North Korean leader Kim Jong Un a “smart cookie” in his latest praise of a controversial dictator. Last week he didn’t even know his name. [HuffPo]

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Bevin’s Medicaid Mess Goes National

Will Hazard become the nation’s hub for drone research and development? No. It won’t. There. Saved you a click and time reading. [H-L]

Seven baffling moments from Donald Trump’s Associated Press interview. He’s dumber than you could have ever imagined. [HuffPo]

Just in case anyone needed another reason to avoid the Tim Faulkner Gallery, here’s him equating actual Nazis with people fighting racism. And the newspaper just casually hinting at it. [C-J/AKN]

Grifters are gonna grift. A U.S. State Department website published an article this month about President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, stoking criticism from prominent ethics experts. [Reuters]

A Georgia congressman who joined Martin Luther King Jr. in the historic Selma march will speak at Berea College’s commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 7. Rep. John Lewis helped organize the march in Selma, Alabama, in 1965 that demanded an end to voter registration discrimination. [Richmond Register]

A State Department website has removed a blog post about President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort following criticism over ethical concerns. [The Hill]

Suggestions for changes to the Glasgow-Barren County Industrial Development Economic Authority’s inter-local agreement were discussed in detail Friday morning, after which IDEA’s board of directors voted to allow chairman Owen Lambert to compile the suggestions into a list and present it to the board’s attorney for inclusion in a new document to be reviewed by the board and eventually adopted. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Oh, look, the big city folks finally realized what Matt Bevin and his fellow New Republicans are trying to do with Medicaid in Kentucky. [ThinkProgress]

Lawmakers from coal-mining states are pushing to extend health benefits for more than 22,000 retired miners and widows whose medical coverage is set to expire at the end of April. [WFPL]

Former acting attorney general Sally Yates, fired from Donald Trump’s Justice Department in January, and former director of national intelligence James Clapper are set to testify on Russian meddling in the 2016 election at a May 8 hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee. [Politico]

For a boulder that has tried its best to mind its own business, the Indian Head Rock can’t seem to keep out of the limelight. [Ashland Independent]

Mike McCabe’s neighbors in rural Gillespie, Ill., consider him lucky. After being out of work for a year, he landed a job in January making cardboard boxes at a nearby Georgia-Pacific plant for $19.60 an hour. [NY Times]

Three men conspired to bring 80 pounds of cocaine and 40 pounds of methamphetamine by plane from California to Blue Grass Airport, a criminal complaint filed in federal court says. [H-L]

Harassment, vandalism and other hostile acts against Jewish people and sites in the U.S. increased by 34 percent last year and are up 86 percent through the first three months of 2017, according to data released on Monday. [HuffPo]

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Coal Will Never Be Kentucky’s Savior

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The Courier-Journal/A Kentucky Newspaper has a long history of victim-shaming and character assassination. United didn’t have to pay for it – the C-J/AKN did it for free. The paper loves to shitsack murder victims, people of color, members of the LGBTQ community. And when you call their shitty reporters like Morgan Watkins out, they roll up with their bloated, lazy, heterosexual, white male staffers to yell at you in attempt to justify their nonsense. Not everyone there is terrible but they certainly do this shit with regularity. [Raw Story]

Letcher County officials are desperate for revenue to counter a crippling drop in coal severance tax collections, but deadlocked Monday evening on approving a business license fee on extractive operations such as oil and gas wells and coal mines. [H-L]

In 1996, Josie Slawik sat in the headquarters of the National Domestic Violence Hotline in Austin, Texas, and waited for the phone to ring. [HuffPo]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! Exorbitant drug prices, high deductibles and the need to jump through hoops to get procedures covered. Those were some of the realities of today’s health insurance landscape decried Saturday at a sidewalk town hall in downtown Louisville. [C-J/AKN]

Doors are kicked in, belongings are tossed on the street or carted off to high-cost storage, and evicted families are forced to move into another squalid rental or worse. That may sound like an endpoint, but often it’s just a wrenching start, leading to a deeper morass of lost jobs, missed school, family breakups, hunger, depression. [Smithsonian]

The Richmond Planning and Zoning Commission is trying to chart a road map to the city’s future, and it’s asking residents for directions. [Richmond Register]

Trump’s missile strike on Syria has drawn favorable reviews from critics and only scattered criticism from Democrats. Yet unlike other Republican presidents who enjoyed a boost in the polls from their military actions, early signs suggest Trump may not be politically rewarded. [The Hill]

Morehead State University President Dr. Wayne Andrews was recognized for his 12 years of service to the university and community at Thursday’s Morehead-Rowan County Chamber of Commerce meeting. [The Morehead News]

It was one of the uglier scandals of the Bush administration: Top officials at an agency dedicated to protecting whistleblowers launched a campaign against their own employees based on suspected sexual orientation, according to an inspector general report. [ProPublica]

Sheila Minor with Barren River Refuge Inc., an organization working to establish a homeless shelter in Glasgow, spoke to members of the Cave City City Council on Monday about the need for the shelter. “People — I don’t know if they don’t want to believe or if they just don’t believe that Barren County has a homeless problem, but we do,” Minor said. [Glasgow Daily Times]

In the latest move by a major automaker to enhance its American manufacturing operations, Toyota said on Monday that it would invest more than $1.3 billion to upgrade its assembly plant in Kentucky. [NY Times]

Eight female inmates at the Boyd County Detention Center were rushed to the hospital Saturday night after they allegedly snorted heroin inside the jail and overdosed. [Ashland Independent]

Attorney General Jeff Sessions will end a Justice Department partnership with independent scientists to raise forensic science standards and has suspended an expanded review of FBI testimony across several techniques that have come under question, saying a new strategy will be set by an in-house team of law enforcement advisers. [WaPo]

Matt Bevin’s administration is looking for expert tax lawyers, apparently in anticipation of a possible special law-making session to overhaul Kentucky’s tax code later this year. [H-L]

Several times a week, a U.S. Air Force pilot takes off from the Royal Air Force base in Mildenhall, England, and heads for the northernmost edge of NATO territory to gather intelligence on Russia. One of these pilots is 40-year-old Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Webster, a veteran of many such expeditions and a hard guy to rattle. [HuffPo]

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Republicans Don’t Care About Poor Kids In Louisville… Or Anywhere In Kentucky

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Donald Trump brought Sen. Rand Paul to his Virginia golf course on Sunday to talk health policy with the outspoken critic of the failed plan to repeal and replace so-called Obamacare. [H-L]

It took far more than a year before presidents from Ronald Reagan through Barack Obama earned the disapproval of a majority of the public, according to Gallup. It took Trump just over a week. [HuffPo]

A federal judge in Louisville said in a ruling that then-candidate Donald Trump incited the use of violence against three protesters when he told supporters at a campaign rally a year ago to “get ’em out of here.” [C-J/AKN]

Texas Roadhouse Inc agreed to pay $12 million to settle U.S. claims that the steakhouse chain refused to hire people age 40 and over to work as hosts, servers and bartenders. A consent decree resolving the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s lawsuit against the Louisville, Kentucky-based chain was filed on Friday with the U.S. District Court in Boston. [Reuters]

Disconnection and poverty plague thousands of kids in Louisville. Some 160,000 Jefferson County children live in poverty and about 11,400 young people between the ages of 16 and 24 are out of work and not attending school, according to a new report released Wednesday. [WFPL]

It is no fantasy to say the drip-drip-drip of the Trump-Russia investigations is draining this presidency of political capital. The president’s historically high disapproval rating — 51 percent in the latest McClatchy poll — tells the same story. That’s why astute Republicans are starting to look out for themselves. [The Hill]

Madison County took the next step Friday toward fulfilling Judge/Executive Reagan Taylor’s dream for an innovative, comprehensive attack on the substance abuse epidemic. [Richmond Register]

During the first public Senate Intelligence Committee hearing about Russia’s meddling in the presidential election on Thursday, former FBI special agent Clint Watts explained how Russia and the Trump campaign team up to weaponize fake news. [ThinkProgress]

The $28 million construction project for the new Maysville Community and Technical College-Rowan Campus, located in the John Will Stacy MMRC Regional Business Park on KY 801, is on schedule, according to director Russ Ward. [The Morehead News]

The husband-and-wife team of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, now both senior federal government officials, has been alongside Trump as the White House has hosted dozens of chief executives and a handful of world leaders in recent weeks. [NY Times]

Cortni Crews was named assistant superintendent of Barren County Schools at a press conference Friday afternoon at the BCS central office. [Glasgow Daily Times]

At the Boys and Girls Club in this rural city in southern Oklahoma, the director is unsure how he will stay open if Trump’s proposed budget goes through, eliminating money for several staff positions. [WaPo]

The coordinating agency for Kentucky’s public colleges and universities is expected to set a 3 to 5 percent limit on tuition increases for the upcoming school year. [Linda Blackford]

This is what happens when you mix corruption with stupidity. Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt still doesn’t agree with the vast majority of climate scientists who say humans are the primary cause of climate change. [HuffPo]

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