A New Week Of D.C. Nightmares Begins

***Care about the future of Kentucky? Help us cover FOIA and open records request fees relating to Matt Bevin and Jamie Comer.*** [CLICK HERE]

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]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for mobile service and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets up! [CLICK HERE]

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

***Care about the future of Kentucky? Help us cover FOIA and open records request fees relating to Matt Bevin and Jamie Comer.*** [CLICK HERE]

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]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for mobile service and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets up! [CLICK HERE]

Russia Russia Russia Russia Russia Russia

***Care about the future of Kentucky? Help us cover FOIA and open records request fees relating to Matt Bevin and Jamie Comer.*** [CLICK HERE]

Protesters are gathering outside Gate 1 at Louisville’s Freedom Hall ahead of President Donald Trump’s planned evening rally organized to push a contentious Republican replacement for Obamacare. [C-J/AKN]

The director of the FBI, with the director of the National Security Agency agreeing at his side, in effect called the president of the United States a liar ― and, oh, by the way, the president’s 2016 campaign indeed is under investigation for allegedly having secretly teamed up with Russia to win the election. [HuffPo]

Who wants to bet Blake Brickman is probably trolling for dick on Grindr right now? And who the hell writes a column about Matt Bevin’s attack princess complaining about the use of “bromance” without mentioning that it’s homophobic as fuck?! [C-J/AKN]

“There is certainly enough for us to conduct an investigation,” he added. “The American people have a right to know and in order to defend ourselves, we need to know whether the circumstantial evidence of collusion and direct evidence of deception is indicative of more.” [NBC News]

New Republicanism in action. The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) is revamping the state program that provides assistance to low-income telephone customers and refocusing it on meeting the needs of the mostly elderly and rural customers who rely on landline phones. [Richmond Register]

Federal investigators are examining whether far-right news sites played any role last year in a Russian cyber operation that dramatically widened the reach of news stories — some fictional — that favored Donald Trump’s presidential bid, two people familiar with the inquiry say. [McClatchy]

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer is asking Gov. Matt Bevin to veto a bill that would remake the city’s solid waste management district. [WFPL]

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, a vocal critic of President Trump, has hired a prosecutor who served under fired U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara to focus on public corruption cases, including those involving the Trump administration, according to a Wall Street Journal report. [The Hill]

The attorney hired by the Glasgow City Council to pursue the ouster of three members of the Glasgow Electric Plant Board’s board of directors has been busy gathering information and hopes to be ready to meet with his client as a group soon. [Glasgow Daily Times]

After his name surfaced last August in a secret ledger listing millions of dollars in payments from a pro-Russian party in Ukraine, Paul Manafort not only lost his job running Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign but also assumed center stage in a bizarre internecine struggle among Ukrainian political forces. On Monday, the intrigue took another turn, when a member of Parliament in Ukraine released documents that he said showed that Mr. Manafort took steps to hide the payments, which were tied to Mr. Manafort’s work for former President Viktor F. Yanukovych. The documents included an invoice that appeared to show $750,000 funneled through an offshore account and disguised as payment for computers. [NY Times]

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin and the new Republican majority got pretty much what they wanted from the 2017 General Assembly. Only time – and the citizens and voters of the commonwealth – will determine if what they got makes Kentucky a better and more – or less – prosperous place. [Ronnie Ellis]

FBI Director James B. Comey acknowledged Monday that his agency is conducting an investigation into possible coordination between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign in a counterintelligence probe that could reach all the way to the White House and may last for months. [WaPo]

Rand Paul predicted Monday that the Republican health care proposal will fail in the U.S. House this week, clearing the way for “real negotiations” to begin. [H-L]

Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who was removed from his post by the Trump administration last week, was overseeing an investigation into stock trades made by the president’s health secretary, according to a person familiar with the office. [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for mobile service and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets up! [CLICK HERE]

Rand Paul Is Running From Donald Trump

***Care about the future of Kentucky? Help us cover FOIA and open records request fees relating to Matt Bevin and Jamie Comer.*** [CLICK HERE]

If folks cared about animal advocacy, they’d put an end to this stuff happening in their own back yard. n a tiled, windowless room at the University of Kentucky, Meagan Stetler and Toma Matott are playing with six beagles. The dogs trot around the room, wag their tails and poke Matott with wet noses as they look for the can of Cheese Whiz she holds. Though they look like pets, they are actually laboratory animals bred for research. In this case, it’s an Alzheimer’s study sponsored by a pharmaceutical company, which means UK officials say they can’t divulge any details about what’s happening to the dogs. When it’s over, the dogs will be euthanized, or sent to another facility for more testing. [Linda Blackford]

“I can tell you, speaking for myself, I own nothing in Russia,” President Trump said at a news conference last month. “I have no loans in Russia. I don’t have any deals in Russia.” But in the United States, members of the Russian elite have invested in Trump buildings. A Reuters review has found that at least 63 individuals with Russian passports or addresses have bought at least $98.4 million worth of property in seven Trump-branded luxury towers in southern Florida, according to public documents, interviews and corporate records. [HuffPo]

Rand Paul will be in Louisville on Monday but will head back to Washington D.C. prior to President Donald Trump’s political rally at Freedom Hall. [C-J/AKN]

New Republicanism is dangerous. Potty-Trained Republicans would have advocated for the protection of consumers. These new Neo-Nazi jackasses? They’re out to rob you blind. Grift, grift, grift. [WSJ]

This is utter insanity and the Richmond Register ought to apologize to its readership for publish pseudoscience. [Richmond Register]

A Tennessee woman who backs President Donald Trump credits God and the Republican health care bill — which hasn’t been voted into law — for her family’s dramatically lower insurance costs. [Rawstory]

A bill to hold Kentucky’s no-jail jailers accountable for their work passed through the legislature this week and is awaiting Gov. Matt Bevin’s approval. [WFPL]

Republicans who control legislatures in key states around the country are moving to seize power from Democratic executive officers and independent judges, enraging Democrats, who say the moves undermine the will of voters. Kentucky Republicans are advancing a bill to block the state’s attorney general, a Democrat, from filing civil lawsuits. [The Hill]

Some Metcalfe County Fiscal Court members are floating the idea of pulling out of the joint ambulance service for Metcalfe and Barren counties, depending on what other options they may have. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who was removed from his post by the Trump administration last week, was overseeing an investigation into stock trades made by the president’s health secretary, according to a person familiar with the office. [ProPublica]

One of two bills that would cut election costs for Kentucky counties is poised to pass through the General Assembly. [Ashland Independent]

Trump’s unproven allegation that his predecessor wiretapped Trump Tower in New York ahead of the election blazed a new path of political disruption Friday as he dragged two foreign allies into his increasingly thin argument that he is right. [WaPo]

Republican bigots like Katie Stine are always suckling at the teat of government. Former state Sen. Katie Stine, R-Southgate, was hired this month by the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet as executive director of the Office of the State Medical Examiner, according to state personnel records. [John Cheves]

When politicians take money from megadonors, there are strings attached. But with the reclusive duo who propelled Trump into the White House, there’s a fuse. [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for mobile service and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets up! [CLICK HERE]

Republicans Have No Idea What They’re Supposed To Do Now And It Is Highly Entertaining

***Care about the future of Kentucky? Help us cover FOIA and open records request fees relating to Matt Bevin and Jamie Comer.*** [CLICK HERE]

More proof the Republicans couldn’t give a shit about education in the Commonwealth. The Kentucky House gave final passage to a bill Wednesday that gives Gov. Matt Bevin broad authority to remove public university board members. [H-L]

Sen. John McCain of Arizona attacked fellow Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky on Wednesday, accusing him of doing the bidding of Russian President Vladimir Putin. It’s strange how John McCain still hasn’t picked up on the reality that Rand Paul is Stephen Bannon in a tinier body. [HuffPo]

Jeff Hoover needs to look within his own house (and House) if he wants to start talking about discrimination. House Speaker Jeff Hoover has permanently banned Dan Seum Jr., the son of state Sen. Dan Seum, from the third floor of the Capitol Annex after a legislative staff investigation found the younger Seum had made “racially charged” remarks at the offices last month. [C-J/AKN]

Get your popcorn ready! Trump on Thursday will make public his first federal budget blueprint, revealing a plan to dramatically reduce the size of government. [The Hill]

Republicans are dead set on further starving public schools. The state Senate approved legislation authorizing charter schools in Kentucky after a three-hour debate on Wednesday. Note that the racist white guys in the group trotted out their token black guy, bigoted-ass Jerry Stephenson, to sell this as if it’s not some kick in the gut to people of color. [WFPL]

A defiant Donald Trump has pledged to appeal against a federal judge’s order placing an immediate halt on his revised travel ban, describing the ruling as judicial overreach that made the United States look weak. [Reuters]

Kentucky no longer needs constables. A jury found Constable Bobby Joe Smith guilty of reckless homicide Wednesday. [WYMT]

The Trump administration has been the focus of remarkable reporting recently — much of it relying on unnamed sources. [ProPublica]

Kentucky’s Republican-led legislature handed Gov. Matt Bevin a bill Wednesday giving him and his successors more power to remove entire public university boards or individual members. [Richmond Register]

Polish officials are seeking the arrest of a Minnesota man they say was a Nazi commander during World War Two. [BBC]

A request by Kentucky State Police Post 14 on Tuesday to use the Boyd County road department garage for car maintenance and repair did not receive a motion from the fiscal court. [Ashland Independent]

A congressional plan to make Planned Parenthood ineligible for federal funding would leave many women without services to help them avoid pregnancy, resulting in thousands of additional births, according to a new federal budget analysis. [WaPo]

What in the actual fuck is this story? Seriously. Did Jack Brammer die? [H-L]

A federal judge in Hawaii has placed a nationwide hold on key aspects of President Donald Trump’s second attempt at a ban on travel ― a scaled-back version that targeted all non-visa holders from six Muslim-majority countries, as well as a halt on the U.S. refugee resettlement program ― just hours before the new restrictions were to take effect. [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for mobile service and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets up! [CLICK HERE]

Rand Paul Is Now Cool With Corruption As Long As It Involves Republicans

***Care about the future of Kentucky? Help us cover FOIA and open records request fees relating to Matt Bevin and Jamie Comer.*** [CLICK HERE]

Some Kentucky State University faculty and alumni are pushing back after the school’s board of regents announced Friday that their $120,000 search for a new president had produced two finalists with controversial backgrounds and one with less than two years experience in higher education. [Linda Blackford]

U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies have confirmed that President Donald Trump’s campaign aides and associates had constant contact with Russian intelligence officials before the election, directly contradicting public statements made by top administration officials. [HuffPo]

Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids in Kentucky and Indiana last week led to more than 100 arrests, sparking fear in some immigrant communities that President Donald Trump’s promised crackdown on illegal immigration was ramping up. [C-J/AKN]

The Senate’s second-ranking Republican and other GOP senators are calling for an investigation into connections between President Donald Trump and Russia, and want former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn to testify. [CNN]

A lack of cell phone reception in parts of Boyd County has led the fiscal court to seek a state grant that would provide more radios for county departments. [Ashland Independent]

Donald Trump knew for weeks that national security adviser Michael Flynn had misled the White House about his contacts with Russia but did not immediately force him out, an administration spokesman said on Tuesday. [Reuters]

The Kentucky state Senate unanimously condemned the “dealing in death” by heroin traffickers Tuesday by classifying trafficking in any amount of heroin sales as a Class C felony. [Ronnie Ellis]

It’s hard to find anyone in Washington who knows border issues better than Alan Bersin. His unique perspective combines years of frontline law enforcement experience with academic knowledge and intellectual interest in the historical, economic and social forces that are at work at the borders of the United States, especially the U.S.-Mexico line. [ProPublica]

Here’s your No Shit, Sherlock moment of the week. Kentucky’s state auditor has released a report detailing problems with last year’s rollout of Benefind, the new online portal for state benefits like health care, food stamps and cash assistance. [WFPL]

Democrats hold no levers of power in Washington, but they have pulled out their megaphones to demand that Mr. Flynn’s resignation open the first chapter — not the last — of investigations into contacts between Trump aides and Moscow — during and after Mr. Trump’s campaign for president. [NY Times]

Oh, how brave of them. You know half of them don’t have the guts to fight racism and homophobia in the real world. The Kentucky state Senate unanimously went on record Tuesday opposing a rally by an outside white nationalist rally scheduled for April 29 in Pikeville. [More Ronnie Ellis]

To call this past weekend in the Trump administration a garbage fire would be a disservice to garbage fires, which at least shed light and get rid of garbage. [WaPo]

To understand one of Lexington’s hot-button issues, you must appreciate the fact that what some people praise as “urban revitalization” others criticize as “gentrification.” [Tom Eblen]

Not only is Rand Paul a tiny, racist twat, he’s now cool with Republican corruption. Rand Paul (R-Nazi Sympathizer) said Tuesday that probing the Trump administration’s ties to Russia after the resignation of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn would be “excessive,” and that Republicans shouldn’t be wasting time investigating members of their own party. [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for Ting or Cricket and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets up! [CLICK HERE]

McConnell’s Head Is Poking Out Again

***Care about the future of Kentucky? Help us cover FOIA and open records request fees relating to Matt Bevin and Jamie Comer.*** [CLICK HERE]

And mouth-breathers wonder why so many people want to end the death penalty. After nearly 30 years, a Cincinnati man’s murder conviction has been dismissed. William “Ricky” Virgil left a courtroom in northern Kentucky on Friday as a free man. [H-L]

Mitch McConnell’s hypocrisy knows no bounds. Just like the sanctimonious bullshit from his now-wealthy kept boys who used to work with him know no decency. [HuffPo]

You can thank Matt Bevin’s shady-ass team for this. Child abuse findings voided secretly in Kentucky. [C-J/AKN]

President-elect Donald Trump’s skepticism of the Intelligence Community’s findings on Russian election interference has raised fears among experts that Trump will bypass intel analysts and demand that his personal team conduct its own analyses of raw data. [The Hill]

The Berea College Appalachian Fund on Tuesday announced a $5,000 grant to the New Liberty Baptist Sunday School Convention, which operates a shelter for homeless families in Richmond. [Richmond Register]

President Barack Obama said on Friday that criticism from the left wing of his own Democratic Party helped feed into the unpopularity of Obamacare, his signature healthcare reform law. [Reuters]

Carol Allen hopes the long-anticipated renovations will begin on the Highlands Museum and Discovery Center within the next two weeks. The museum received a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant from the state government in December of 2015 for upgrades that will allow the building to be compliant with the American Disabilities Act. [Ashland Independent]

Meeting in private, enthused activists promise that the growing Republican dominance in state government will unleash a wave of laws to cut business taxes, restrict unions and expand school privatization. [ProPublica]

An amendment to an existing state law that would allow cities with a population of less than 20,000 and counties that do not have a city with a population greater than 20,000 to impose a regulatory license fee on the gross receipts of alcoholic beverage sales has been proposed to the state senate. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Here’s your regular reminder that Rand Paul thinks he can get the entirely of the House and Senate to go along with something. Sorry for the lack of a pee alert. [Politico]

The state Supreme Court has agreed to take up Gov. Matt Bevin’s appeal of a ruling that said he can’t overhaul of the University of Louisville Board of Trustees. [WFPL]

The intelligence agencies’ report on the Russian intervention in the American presidential election portrays it as just one piece of an old-fashioned Soviet-style propaganda campaign. [NY Times]

When politicians want to settle scores these days, they often pick up their phones and tweet insults at each other. Things were more dangerous in Henry Clay’s time. [Tom Eblen]

Anxiety about repealing Obamacare without a replacement got a lot more visible in the U.S. Senate on Monday evening, as a half-dozen Republican senators called publicly for slowing down the process. [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for Ting or Cricket and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets! [CLICK HERE]