Brett Guthrie Just Sold Your Privacy For A Few Thousand In Telecom Campaign Contributions

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Republicans don’t give two shits about Eastern Kentucky. An agency that pumps millions of dollars each year into economic development in Eastern Kentucky and other Appalachian states would lose federal funding if President Donald Trump’s proposed budget prevails. [H-L]

“Insurance for everybody.” When President Donald Trump made that boast in January, in an interview with The Washington Post, nobody took it literally. Even the most comprehensive health care systems of Europe don’t cover everybody. [HuffPo]

Did people actually believe Greg Fischer has any idea how important public schools are? He grew up wealthy and inherited his position in life. His parents sent him to private school. He’s knee-deep in the Sharter Schools movement. Jefferson County school board members said they are dismayed Mayor Greg Fischer didn’t talk to them before he publicly voiced support for bringing charter schools to the state. [C-J/AKN]

Trump’s former national security adviser, Mike Flynn, was paid tens of thousands of dollars by Russian companies shortly before he became a formal adviser to the then-candidate, according to documents obtained by a congressional oversight committee that revealed business interests that hadn’t been previously known. [WSJ]

Surprise! Republicans don’t care about coal miners, your environment or your health. Lawmakers in both Kentucky and West Virginia are working to loosen mine safety regulations, alarming some mine safety experts. [WFPL]

Surprise! Brett Guthrie consponsored the bill allowing telecoms to sell your personal & private internet history. [Congress]

Because of course he’s not! Republican Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration says it will not calculate how the proposed GOP health care plan will impact Kentucky, a state where more than 400,000 people got health insurance through an expanded Medicaid program under a previous Democratic governor. [WKYT]

What was that, again, about Republicans giving a shit about Appalachia? Eliminating the Appalachian Regional Commission is astounding. But only if you haven’t been paying attention. [CNN]

The most significant item Sheriff Kent Keen is eyeing for the upcoming fiscal year’s budget is a new radio system that is expected to cost in the neighborhood of $70,000. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Senate Republicans voted Tuesday night to kill an obscure Obama-era regulation because they wanted to make it easier for states to drug-test applicants for unemployment benefits. There’s just one problem: They may have just made it harder. [Politico]

The Lawrence County Board of Education on Wednesday enacted a five-cent tax increase to raise money to rebuild one of its elementary schools. [Ashland Independent]

New Republican is deadlier and dumber than you imagined. President Trump’s budget calls for a seismic disruption in government-funded medical and scientific research. The cuts are deep and broad. [WaPo]

The Kentucky House rejected changes to a bill Wednesday that would make it harder for citizens to appeal zoning changes. Of course Republicans want to restrict your rights. If you think New Republicanism is anything but racism, money, power and borderline authoritarianism, you’re probably elderly and about to die. [H-L]

Donald Trump has given the Central Intelligence Agency new authority to conduct drone attacks against suspected militants, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing U.S. officials. [HuffPo]

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Robin Webb Must Fear Losing Her Seat

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A few Kentucky lawmakers want payday loan stores to face much heavier penalties when they violate consumer-protection law. [John Cheves]

The Senate Judiciary Committee’s top Republican and Democrat are together pressing Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director James Comey to provide the committee with more details on former national security adviser Michael Flynn and his contacts with Russian officials. [HuffPo]

This should come as a surprise to no one who has followed Greg Fischer’s incompetent service as mayor. The Metro Corrections Department is trying to figure out why jail officials held an inmate for five months after his sentence was up and then turned him over to federal immigration authorities. Ironically, the handover Monday came only an hour after activists delivered more than 2,000 signatures urging Mayor Greg Fischer to designate Louisville a sanctuary city. [C-J/AKN]

Trump’s repeal of bipartisan anti-corruption measure proves he’s a fake. The man who ran as an outsider and champion of the common man plays the stooge for industry. So of course people like Scott Jennings live for the orange clown. [Rolling Stone]

The state Senate Education Committee gave a hearty — if not quite unanimous — amen to a bill sponsored by Sen. Robin Webb, D-Grayson, which would allow school districts to offer an elective Bible literacy course. Robin Webb ought to be kicked square in the ass – for other reasons, too – but this ought to be reason enough for someone (Democrat or Republican) to oust her in the next election. [Ronnie Ellis]

Funny how you don’t hear anything about stuff like this from the Kentucky GOP or Dildo Trump – even though it’s been reported by Fox. A Russian spy ship has moved 40 miles closer to the U.S. shore and is now sitting 30 miles off the coast of Groton, Connecticut. [Salon]

Do you smell the looming disaster? A significant re-working of Kentucky’s curriculum standards and assessment and evaluation of schools appears headed to easy passage after the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Mike Wilson, R-Bowling Green, got most of the major stakeholders on board. [More Ronnie Ellis]

Michael Flynn was at a beachside resort in the Dominican Republic, a stretch of sand and sun that he and his wife had visited for years, when he took a few moments out of their post-election vacation for a call with the Russian ambassador to the United States. [NY Times]

Housing authorities across the country with Housing Choice Voucher Programs could receive less administrative funding this year to pay staff for managing the programs, and it is possible less families will also be served through the programs. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn denied to FBI agents in an interview last month that he had discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with that country’s ambassador to the United States before President Trump took office, contradicting the contents of intercepted communications collected by intelligence agencies, current and former U.S. officials said. [WaPo]

Max Wise is another one of those guys who had trouble as a kid getting girls to be interested in him. Lawmakers have given initial approval to a plan to “defund” Kentucky’s Planned Parenthood locations in Lexington and Louisville by putting the organization at the back of the line for federal family planning dollars. [WFPL]

Several White House staffers were dismissed Thursday morning after failing FBI background checks, according to sources familiar with the matter. [Politico]

Here’s more of the Republican Party of Kentucky standing strong against the working class. A proposal to update Kentucky’s workers’ compensation program for the first time in about two decades makes changes sought by insurers and businesses but contains no adjustments sought by worker advocates and unions. [H-L]

Trump lashed out at news outlets for reporting that several of his campaign aides were contacting Russian intelligence agencies while those agencies were working to hurt Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and help Trump win ― but danced around direct questions about whether he knew of such contacts. [HuffPo]

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

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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]

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Matt Bevin Remains The Dumbest Governor In Kentucky History

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State regulators ordered an electricity provider in southeast Kentucky to study cutting expenses and told the utility to stop hiring relatives of officers and employees. [H-L]

A senior national security official in the Trump administration wrote under a pseudonym last year that Islam is an inherently violent religion that is “incompatible with the modern West,” defended the World War II-era America First Committee, which included anti-Semites, as “unfairly maligned,” and called diversity “a source of weakness, tension and disunion.” [HuffPo]

Of COURSE Matt Bevin is freaking out about protecting children of color. He has wealth to protect him. Why on earth would the father of children of color give a flip about what happens to other children of color? The New Republicanism is 100% racist horseshit. Just like his promotion of Hillbilly Elegy, the biggest crock of nonsense about Appalachia ever written. [C-J/AKN]

Trump’s choice to be the top U.S. health official bought and sold health care company stocks often enough as a member of Congress to warrant probes by both federal securities regulators and the House ethics committee, former government ethics lawyers say. A USA TODAY analysis of stock trade reports by Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., also shows he often misstated the timing of stock purchases or failed to report them altogether. [USA Today]

If you’ve ever wondered what it looks like when a local television station pushes what one of its right-wing hacks presents as journalism? Here you go – a half-assed, glowing review of Donald Trump on law enforcement and crime. “He’s such a nice man, lookit all the nice things these people are saying about him!” We’d mention her name but she goes Anne Northup-level insane when you call her out. Oh – if you’re wondering why her reporting is garbage? Here’s a look at the nonsense that was discussed by that group of old white guys. They’re upset that they can’t seize assets before someone is convicted and Trump wants to ruin legislators’ careers over it. [WAVE3]

Protestors gathered outside Mitch McConnell’s home because he’s finally letting his bigot flag fly. [NBC News]

Seems like only yesterday the Republican Party of Kentucky was all about personal responsibility, anti-regulation and strongly against government intrusion. So it sure is fun watching old-ass white guys like John Schickel proposing less personal responsibility, more regulation and way more government intrusion. [LRC]

Republicans are still stuck in full gay panic. Some Christian groups have no problem protecting people from crimes driven by racial or religious hatred. They just draw the line at sexual orientation. [ProPublica]

In his second State of the Commonwealth speech, Gov. Matt Bevin on Wednesday called for raising more revenue through tax reform, revenue that can be used to pay down the growing unfunded liabilities of the state’s public pension systems. [Ronnie Ellis]

Just a reminder that Mitch McConnell and his fellow Republicans are racists. Yes, a man married to a woman of Asian descent can be racist. When you enable this bullshit, you’re a racist bigot. Republican senators voted on Tuesday to formally silence a Democratic colleague for impugning a peer, Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, by condemning his nomination for attorney general while reading a letter from Coretta Scott King. [NY Times]

Surprise! Hal Heiner is garbage when it comes to actually doing anything with education. Quit acting surprised, Republicans. A proposal by Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Secretary Hal Heiner to allow the state’s schoolchildren to attend any district where seats are available is generating buzz across the state and in northeast Kentucky. [Ashland Independent]

President Trump’s personal physician, Harold Bornstein, is still taking to the press, and still saying some strange things. In a new interview with the New York Times, Bornstein discloses that Trump takes a couple previously undisclosed drugs: finasteride, a prostate drug that can be (and in Trump’s case is) used as a hair-loss treatment, and another drug for rosacea, a skin problem. The Times notes that Trump’s use of the hair-loss drug “has not been publicly known.” But that seems to be a charitable characterization; a less-charitable one would be that his use of these drugs was deliberately hidden. [WaPo]

The Spoonbread Festival, canceled last year over a brouhaha regarding the display or sale of merchandise depicting the Confederate flag, will return in September. [H-L]

Donald Lump’s top guy is a buffoon. When you check this out, your eyes will roll way back into your head. Like waaaaaaay back. The apocalypse is coming, apparently. [HuffPo]

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Mitch McConnell Is A Delicate Snowflake

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A survey of 127 public and private Kentucky high school students who identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer concluded that the climate in Kentucky schools remained hostile toward them, an education group said. Eighty-four percent of students surveyed were from public schools. [H-L]

Mitch McConnell (R-Pussy) wouldn’t let Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) read Coretta Scott King’s blistering takedown of Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Closet Case) on the Senate floor on Tuesday night. But there’s no reason you can’t. [HuffPo]

This kind of thing happens when you have a less than competent superintendent and a wet blanket board of education filled with people like David Jones and Stephanie Horne. For years, a former Layne Elementary teacher created an “atmosphere of despair” in her classroom, a state tribunal found when it upheld her firing. But Jefferson County Public Schools has never formally disciplined anyone for not appropriately monitoring Jodi Anderson — even though the tribunal specifically cited lack of supervision as a shortcoming. [C-J/AKN]

Turns out Mitch McConnell is the real whiny ass titty baby snowflake. The Senate voted to bar Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) from speaking on the floor Tuesday night, after Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said her blistering comments about fellow Sen. Jeff Sessions, President Trump’s pick for attorney general, broke Senate rules. [The Hill]

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) recently awarded a $1.29 million grant to the KY-WV Regional Drone Technology Workforce Project, a joint effort between Maysville Community and Technical College (MCTC) and Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College (SWVCTC). [The Morehead News]

Donald Trump’s order temporarily banning U.S. entry to people from seven Muslim-majority countries came under intense scrutiny on Tuesday from a federal appeals court that questioned whether the ban unfairly targeted people over their religion. [Reuters]

Karen Sypher is out of federal prison, and is now in a halfway house. [WDRB]

What was that, again, about the Trumps not being grifting kleptocrats? In a lawsuit filed today, First Lady Melania Trump revealed her intention to leverage the presidency to ink new “licensing, branding, and endorsement” deals worth many millions of dollars. In the filing, Melania Trump’s lawyer described the position of First Lady as a “once-in-a-lifetime” money making opportunity. She told the court she intended to pursue deals in “apparel, accessories, shoes, jewelry, cosmetics, hair care, skin care, and fragrance.” [ThinkProgress]

The first round of Barren County government budget discussions for the 2018 fiscal year, which begins July 1, 2017, focused only on the jail, where the only really significant revision desired by management is with employee salaries. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Silver lining? Since the day Donald J. Trump began his presidential campaign, there were questions about how the Trump brand would be affected. Would his stream of insults hurt viewership of “The Apprentice” or sales of Ivanka Trump shoes? Or was all the attention good for business, a marketing adage President Trump could have learned during his time as a reality television star. The answer may surprise him. [NY Times]

A resolution declaring that JCPS become a Safe Haven school district was passed by the school board on Tuesday. Meanwhile, most other agencies in Kentucky are too cowardly to stand up against discrimination like this. [WAVE3]

Refugees are already vigorously vetted. She knows because she vets them. [WaPo]

The Lexington council will vote soon on a resolution opposing the passage of a Kentucky Senate bill that would allow anyone but convicted felons to carry a concealed weapon without a license. [H-L]

Unsurprisingly, Trump’s volatile behavior has created an environment ripe for leaks from his executive agencies and even within his White House. And while leaks typically involve staffers sabotaging each other to improve their own standing or trying to scuttle policy ideas they find genuinely problematic, Trump’s 2-week-old administration has a third category: leaks from White House and agency officials alarmed by the president’s conduct. “I’ve been in this town for 26 years. I have never seen anything like this,” said Eliot Cohen, a senior State Department official under President George W. Bush and a member of his National Security Council. “I genuinely do not think this is a mentally healthy president.” [HuffPo]

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How Quickly Mitch McConnell Forgets About (Ignores) Environmental Disasters

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Here comes elderly old queen, Mitch McConnell, fighting to allow coal pollution into your streams. Another Martin County disaster in 3, 2… [H-L]

Trump accidentally proved why Black History Month is necessary. [HuffPo]

Suck on that, Republican Party of Kentucky and Matt Bevin. A federal appeals court has ruled Kentucky must pay relatives who serve as foster parents in the same manner it pays adults who are licensed as foster parents and paid a daily rate. [C-J/AKN]

Under the circumstances, it would be nice to think that Trump is capable — at least in principle — of responding in a calm, well-informed, and effective manner. But based on the evidence available in front of us, it’s extremely difficult to be confident that he is. [Vox]

The average cost of a gunshot victim’s emergency room or hospital stay in Kentucky was $10,000 in 2014. That’s according to a report out from the Urban Institute. [WFPL]

On Tuesday, The Chronicle of Higher Education reported that Jerry Falwell Jr., president of Liberty University, would lead a Trump administration task force charged with deregulating American higher education. [NY Times & CHE]

Smoking causes an estimated $1.92 billion in annual health costs in Kentucky, but the state is spending about $2.4 million on programs to prevent kids from smoking and helping smokers quit, according to a new report. [Richmond Register]

A leaked copy of a draft executive order titled “Establishing a Government-Wide Initiative to Respect Religious Freedom,” obtained by The Investigative Fund and The Nation, reveals sweeping plans by the Trump administration to legalize discrimination. [The Nation]

Half of the lights were turned off in Daren Johnson’s classroom at the Barren County Area Technology Center on Friday, and his students were typing diligently on their respective computers. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The Trump administration wants to revamp and rename a U.S. government program designed to counter all violent ideologies so that it focuses solely on Islamist extremism, five people briefed on the matter told Reuters. [Reuters]

Build Ashland Community Clean Project volunteers endured the frigid temperatures Saturday morning to clean up litter. [Ashland Independent]

First, reflect on the cruelty of President Trump’s decision on Friday to indefinitely suspend the resettlement of Syrian refugees and temporarily ban people from seven predominantly Muslim nations from entering the United States. It took just hours to begin witnessing the injury and suffering this ban inflicts on families that had every reason to believe they had outrun carnage and despotism in their homelands to arrive in a singularly hopeful nation. [NY Times]

Killing Kentucky. The U.S. Congress voted to void President Barack Obama’s rule on mining debris. [H-L]

Senate Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) pushed forward two of President Donald Trump’s Cabinet picks Wednesday morning, advancing their nominations despite a Democratic boycott. [HuffPo]

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McConnell’s Head Is Poking Out Again

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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]

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