Matt Bevin Is Gutting Public Education

Matt Bevin and former House Speaker Jeff Hoover scrapped Friday as the House voted to override Bevin’s veto of the state tax bill, with Hoover knocking Bevin’s attempted education budget cuts and Bevin hitting Hoover for a sex harassment scandal. [H-L]

Donald Trump’s sudden decision not to impose tough new sanctions on Russia left many lawmakers dumbfounded this week and led some to question whether Trump had seriously undermined Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, who had announced the sanctions just a day prior. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin’s statement on the effect of teacher protests and rallies on the state’s children is prompting outrage among state officials — including members of his own party. [C-J/AKN]

A major donor with close ties to the White House resigned on Friday as deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee after the revelation that he had agreed to pay $1.6 million to a former Playboy model who became pregnant during an affair. [NY Times]

Attorneys for Matt Bevin filed a motion Tuesday in Franklin Circuit Court seeking to disqualify Attorney General Andy Beshear in a suit filed by Beshear challenging the constitutionality of a recently passed law which makes changes to Kentucky’s public pension systems. [Ronnie Ellis]

Demoralized by rounds of job cuts, journalists at San Jose’s Mercury News and East Bay Times in Oakland, Calif., took their case to the public last month. At a rally in Oakland, they handed out a fact sheet detailing the “pillaging” of their papers, accompanied by a cartoon of a business executive trying to milk an emaciated cow. [WaPo]

Due to an ongoing outbreak of Hepatitis A, the Department for Public Health (DPH) within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), is recommending vaccination for everyone residing in Boyd, Greenup and Carter Counties. [Ashland Independent]

Don Blankenship… hahahahahahahahahahaha,. Just move all beverages away from your computer before clicking the clicky [ThinkProgress]

State lawmakers put the finishing touches on the General Assembly’s 2018 session by overriding gubernatorial vetoes, most notably on the state budget and tax reform legislation, and passing bills right up to the session’s final hours. [The Morehead News]

Barbara Bush, former US first lady and literacy campaigner, has died aged 92. [BBC]

Pruitt was terrible and needed to go but his replacement is going to be a nightmare. It didn’t take long for the newly configured state Board of Education, whose members have now all been appointed by Gov. Matt Bevin, to change directions. [More Ronnie Ellis]

The parents of a 17-year-old student who was shot five times as he shielded others during the Parkland, Florida high school mass shooting on Tuesday filed the first lawsuit on behalf of a victim in the massacre that killed 17 people and wounded 17 others. [Reuters]

Lexington is still arguing about dogs. Because there’s obviously nothing more important going on. [H-L]

This guy did exactly what Steve Henry did! The Missouri attorney general’s office has uncovered “evidence of potential criminal acts of wrongdoing” by Gov. Eric Greitens, Attorney General Josh Hawley announced Tuesday. At issue, Hawley said, is an electronic donor list Greitens obtained from a Missouri nonprofit called The Mission Continues. [HuffPo]

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Greg Fischer: Still Fighting Transparency

House Republicans working to flesh out their recent promise of tax reform should heed the evidence that’s piling up in other states: Cutting income and business taxes, and offsetting the losses by raising sales taxes, is no magic economic elixir. It’s more a recipe for starving education, infrastructure and other public services and dishing up more budget crises. [H-L]

Last Saturday, in a private meeting with Republican donors who had gathered at his Mar-a-Lago estate, Donald Trump attacked yet again the basic foundations of American democracy. In his freewheeling and unscripted talk, a recording of which was obtained by CNN, Trump eventually focused his comments on President Xi Jinping of China. He noted Xi’s plan to abolish China’s presidential term limits, and lavished praise on this authoritarian grab at unrestricted power. [HuffPo]

Flashback to Greg Fischer claiming to be the most transparent mayor in Louisville history. Courier Journal is suing Louisville for refusing to release details on the incentives it offered to Amazon in return for the online retail giant building its second headquarters here. [C-J/AKN]

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway violated the Hatch Act on two occasions, the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) informed the Trump administration Tuesday. [The Hill]

Madison County is now officially the only community in Kentucky, and one of only seven nationwide, to be a Blueprint for Safety Community. [Richmond Register]

Migrants separated from their children after they were detained for illegally entering the United States filed a class action lawsuit on Friday, claiming there are “hundreds” of parents in the same situation, and that the Trump administration is violating their due process rights. [Reuters]

A Catlettsburg city councilman pleaded guilty to drug charges Friday and then was accused of almost immediately violating the terms of his probation by being under the influence of heroin, meth and other drugs. [Ashland Independent]

Coal ash — the residual byproduct of burning coal — is the second-largest form of waste in the entire country, with utilities producing more than 100 million tons of it each year. For decades, companies have dealt with all that coal ash by storing it in unlined pits or landfills. Now, new reporting data shows this has lead to the contamination of groundwater at coal-fired power plants across the country. [ThinkProgress]

Rowan County Sheriff Matt Sparks talked guns with Morehead-Rowan County Chamber of Commerce members this month. [The Morehead News]

The special counsel in the Russia investigation has learned of two conversations in recent months in which Donald Trump asked key witnesses about matters they discussed with investigators. [NY Times]

The Interapt Skills proposal is being downsized after it apparently became clear that the original price tag of nearly $1.9 million was going to be “too lofty a goal for our community at this point.” [Glasgow Daily Times]

The Social Security Administration’s acting commissioner had no authority to act after mid-November because the agency is in violation of a federal law regarding vacant positions, according to a report to the president. [WaPo]

A student accidentally shot himself in a classroom at Lexington’s Frederick Douglass High School with a “pocket-sized handgun” he took to school Friday, according to school district police and administrators. [H-L]

A top GOP fundraiser pitched Donald Trump last year on a plan to recruit a thousands-strong international Muslim army — to be advised by retired Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal — that would help the United Arab Emirates battle the Taliban and the Islamic State in Afghanistan, according to a leaked memo the fundraiser wrote documenting his meeting with the president. The army “would consist of two brigades (5,000 total troops) comprised of Muslim soldiers recruited from Arab and Islamic nations,” Elliott Broidy, a Republican National Committee deputy finance chair, wrote in the memo. [HuffPo]

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The RPK Is Beginning To Freak Out

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

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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Eric Conn: Yep, He’s Rotting In Jail Now

To the saga of Eric C. Conn’s journey from wealthy Eastern Kentucky attorney to fugitive felon captured at a Pizza Hut in Central America, add this nugget: Conn says he used a puppy to cross the border from Mexico into Guatemala, thinking it would help him get past security officers. [H-L]

A New Jersey federal judge on Tuesday officially allowed a consent decree barring the Republican National Committee from engaging in poll-watching and other ballot security measures to expire. [HuffPo]

Citing the deep freeze gripping much of the U.S., Kentucky Matt Bevin is crediting Donald Trump with having “fixed global warming.” [C-J/AKN]

CIA Director Mike Pompeo (pahm-PAY’-oh) says he’s concerned about continued efforts by Russia and others to undermine American elections, including this year’s contests, but says such meddling isn’t new. [Boston Globe]

Jeff Hoover is hot garbage. The worst of humanity. Jeff Hoover, the Jamestown Republican who Monday resigned as Speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives in the wake of sexual harassment charges, failed Tuesday to pass a House resolution to make those seeking to expel Hoover liable for any costs. [Ronnie Ellis]

A senior National Security Council official proposed withdrawing some U.S. military forces from Eastern Europe as an overture to Vladimir Putin during the early days of the Trump administration, according to a former administration official in the room with him. [TDB]

Kentucky Electric Steel will close its plant on South Big Run Road in Boyd County in March, according to an email from Michael Estep, the company’s human resources manager. [Ashland Independent]

You have to look hard to see the Supreme Court correct its mistakes. When the justices err, care is taken not to call attention to the mishaps. Some think that’s its own mistake. [ProPublica]

Jeff Hoover can keep screaming because he’ll never be able to “expose” those who brought him down. He brought himself down. Jeff Hoover’s time as Speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives came to an end Monday with a dramatic, 20-minute floor speech at the end of which he submitted a letter of resignation. [More Ronnie Ellis]

Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap (D) had strong words for Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) on Thursday after Kobach tried to lay blame for the failure of President Trump’s Election Integrity Commission at the feet of Dunlap and three other Democratic commissioners. [ThinkProgress]

Visitation to Mammoth Cave National Park was up by 3 percent in 2017, according to Barclay Trimble, the national park’s superintendent. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Under the Very Stable Genius in Chief, the old rules no longer apply. When the V.S.G. moved into the White House, he brought with him an extraordinary collection of subordinates — and I mean that in the worst way. [NY Times]

It’s a real shame Jeff Hoover is still playing the victim, claiming he’s facing a difficulty or hardship because “god” wants him to wake up. HELLO!? Jeff Hoover did this to himself. He did it. He is not a victim. [H-L]

Utah Republicans are looking to set in stone the Trump administration’s sweeping — and, some say, illegal — rollback of two national monuments in the state. [HuffPo]

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Bevin Goes Full Whiny-Ass Titty Baby

TL;DR: Hoover had a bunch of stress because his ass got caught. That’s why he had a “heart issue” – that and probably decades of eating poorly and never getting exercise. Former Kentucky House Speaker Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown, was released from the hospital Tuesday following testing for a heart related issue, according to a statement by House Speaker Pro Tempore David Osborne, R-Prospect. [H-L]

Donald Trump on Monday announced that he plans to nominate former pharmaceutical executive Alex Azar to replace Tom Price as health and human services secretary. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin is that twat of a kid in school believing he’s special and deserves a better grade than he earned. It’s only a matter of time until he has his Julian Carroll or Jeff Hoover moment. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump, Jr. was in contact with WikiLeaks during the campaign. So keep screaming, mouth-breathers, cause the chickens are coming home to roost. [NBC News]

All three incumbent judge-executives in Boyd, Carter and Greenup counties are seeking re-election, and at least two of them will face challengers. [Ashland Independent]

The Republican National Committee is withdrawing its support for besieged Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, leaving him increasingly isolated as he confronts charges of sexual misconduct with teenagers. [Politico]

Local businessman and entrepreneur Harold M.D. Armstrong announced Monday his candidacy for mayor of Glasgow in the 2018 election. [Glasgow Daily Times]

RT America, the U.S. arm of the Kremlin-backed TV station RT, has registered with the U.S. Department of Justice as a “foreign agent” in the United States, the outlet’s editor in chief said on Monday. [Reuters]

Constituents of Sen. Steve West had the opportunity to hear his stance on Gov. Matt Bevin’s proposed pension bill during a question and answer session held Thursday at Rowan County Middle School. [The Morehead News]

Here’s your no shit, Sherlock, story of the week about Orange Dingus and the economy. [WaPo]

Matt Bevin’s efforts to overhaul Kentucky’s ailing pension systems took another twist Tuesday when his administration asked consultants to redo their analysis of his proposed changes to retirement benefits for public school teachers. [Richmond Register]

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday denied, again, lying to Congress about the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia. He said he had forgotten about a campaign round-table in which an aide touted his Russian connections and suggested arranging a meeting for Donald J. Trump in Moscow. [NY Times]

This is the garbage Valarie Honeycutt Spears is covering these days. Never mind any of the truly significant educational stories or scandals. She’s pushing this bible bullshit. [H-L]

An upcoming case may clarify what kind of speech is permitted at the polls on Election Day. [HuffPo]

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Even The Gays Can Be Insufferably Dumb

Jim Gray is still an idiot, apparently. He spent most of his life hating himself and denying his sexual orientation. You’d think that’d be enough to make someone want to do everything they can to improve the lives of everyone, not just a few rich folks in the Golden Triangle. Now he’s trying to behave as if it’s okay to ignore the rest of Kentucky’s 120 counties when it comes to homophobia. Rather than begging for California to allow travel to Louisville and Lexington, maybe this tired old queen (I can say it because I’m as gay and put my money where my mouth is) could put his money where his mouth is for once and fight Matt Bevin and the Republican bigotry that’s taken over Frankfort. He won’t, though, because he’d sell his fellow gays out in a heartbeat if it meant having to deal with the tiniest bit of inconvenience or embarrassment. He’s done it so frequently that his own relatives complain to me about it. Fuck Jim Gray and the rest of these tired old codgers too focused on their own self interest to stand up for the rest of the Commonwealth. They can’t retire and leave public life quickly enough. Signed, a big ole homo who knows Kentuckians are cool with rebellion and would love Jim Gray if he wasn’t a big baby. P.S. It’s okay for you to call his ass out for being dumb. It won’t make you a homophobe unless you’re, you know, already a homophobe. [H-L]

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Deserves To Be Thrown Into A Shitty Western Kentucky Nursing Home) on Tuesday delayed a vote on the Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act until after the July 4 recess, indicating he lacks support to advance the bill. [HuffPo]

PEE ALERT! Embattled Metro Councilman Dan Johnson wants fellow Democrats to do a crack down on the “continuous leaks” about the sexual harassment claims against him. [C-J/AKN]

Mmm hmm. Ending one the most turbulent tenures of a Washington-based ambassador in recent memory, the Kremlin has decided to recall its ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak, three individuals familiar with the decision tell BuzzFeed News. [BuzzFeed]

Surprise! The Rowan County Board of Education is just as feckless as the Montgomery County Board of Education. Supt. Marvin Moore received an exemplary rating from the Rowan County Board of Education at Tuesday’s meeting. The evaluation is based on a state-mandated Superintendent Leadership Plan. [The Morehead News]

He’s just stupid. Trump in a rally on Wednesday evening said immigrants who enter the United States should not be eligible for welfare benefits for five years, though such a law has already existed for 20 years. [The Hill]

Children of migrant workers coming through eastern Kentucky face language barriers, cultural shifts and a host of adjustments every harvest, and sometimes, every season. While their parents strip tobacco, herd cattle and plant soybeans, their children need an education. [Richmond Register]

In violation of a longstanding legal mandate, scores of federal law enforcement agencies are failing to submit statistics to the FBI’s national hate crimes database, ProPublica has learned. [ProPublica]

Many have flood stories from the heavy rains that hit the area on Friday. Jeremy Taylor’s involves saving two lives. [Ashland Independent]

Many Americans have become accustomed to Trump’s lies. But as regular as they have become, the country should not allow itself to become numb to them. So we have catalogued nearly every outright lie he has told publicly since taking the oath of office. [NY Times]

How far can your eyes roll back in your head? Republican U.S. Rep. James Comer reignited an old political rivalry this week by publicly releasing his personal income tax returns and questioning why Gov. Matt Bevin has not done the same. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The Obama Administration tried to shore up state election infrastructures from Russia. Guess who stood in the way! Republicans. [WaPo]

Low-income families who use food assistance programs got a boost on Tuesday that could put more fresh produce on the table through a combination of $1.4 million in federal, state and private funding. [Janet Patton]

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Deserves To Be Thrown Into A Shitty Western Kentucky Nursing Home) told senators on Tuesday that he will delay a vote on the Senate GOP health care bill until after the July Fourth recess. [HuffPo]

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Everything Bevin Touches Turns To Trash

Leave it to Matt Bevin to make stupid economic mistake after stupid economic mistake. Capital Plaza redevelopment is about to throw a 385,500-square-foot wrench into one of Franklin County’s biggest industries — office space. [H-L]

While serving as a top campaign aide to Donald Trump, former national security adviser Michael Flynn made tens of thousands of dollars on the side advising a company that sold surveillance technology that repressive governments used to monitor activists and journalists. [HuffPo]

Jefferson District Court judges too often allow cases to be delayed without good reason, creating unnecessary courthouse trips for witnesses, victims and defendants, according to a study of the busiest court in the state. [C-J/AKN]

U.S. immigration authorities have arrested and moved to deport 199 Iraqi immigrants, mostly from the Detroit area, in the last three weeks after Iraq agreed to accept deportees as part of a deal removing it from President Donald Trump’s travel ban, officials said on Wednesday. [Reuters]

Months after the Estill County Jail was forced to close due to safety issues, Jailer Bo Morris says everything is “about the same.” To his knowledge, there have been no moves to reopen the facility, however, he said the jail is getting a new transport van to haul prisoners to and from outside detention facilities holding its inmates. [Richmond Register]

Before he was named Trump’s health secretary, Price took a congressional trip to Australia and pressed officials to extend protections for drug companies in an international trade agreement. [ProPublica]

The City of Ashland may hire a spokesperson to answer citizen concerns more efficiently and handle its website and social media accounts. [Ashland Independent]

Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller is investigating the finances and business dealings of Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, as part of the probe into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, according to officials familiar with the matter. [WaPo]

There sure are some fascinating things happening in Morehead, according to its messy mayor. [The Morehead News]

Watergate prosecutors had evidence that operatives for then-President Richard Nixon planned an assault on anti-war demonstrators in 1972, including potentially physically attacking Vietnam whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, according to a never-before-published memo obtained by NBC News. [NBC News]

The average cost of a four-year degree in Kentucky will be more than $39,000 this fall after state regulators approved tuition increases at most of the state’s public universities. All but two schools asked for the maximum increase allowed by the Council on Postsecondary Education. The University of Louisville did not raise tuition, and Kentucky State University’s board of trustees has not had a meeting yet to ask for an increase. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Sensitive personal details relating to almost 200 million US citizens have been accidentally exposed by a marketing firm contracted by the Republican National Committee. [BBC]

The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees voted Friday to approve a land swap with a private developer that could potentially create two new mixed-use developments and give UK a key block of land near its campus. [H-L]

The insurance industry’s annual confab last week was supposed to be a dry, stoic affair. [HuffPo]

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