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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Spoiler Alert: KRS Is A Damn Disaster

Trump revealed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador in a White House meeting last week, according to current and former U.S. officials, who said Trump’s disclosures jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State. [WaPo]

Two US officials who were briefed on Trump’s disclosures last week confirmed to BuzzFeed News the veracity of the Washington Post report, with one noting that “it’s far worse than what has already been reported.” The official was referring to the extent of the classified intelligence information Trump disclosed to the Russian ambassador and foreign minister. [BuzzFeed]

Former Harlan County Sheriff Marvin J. Lipfird plans to plead guilty in a federal case in which he is charged with misappropriating about $25,000 while in office. [H-L]

Senate Republicans have spent the last 10 days or so promising not to tackle health care in the same hurried, irresponsible way that their House counterparts did. “We are not under any deadlines,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said last week, “so we are going to take our time.” [HuffPo]

Seems like only yesterday reporters at A Kentucky Newspaper were telling us there was nothing fishy going on at the Kentucky Retirement Systems. Within the next two weeks, Kentucky policymakers are expecting to get a clearer view of the dimensions of the state’s pension crisis. [C-J/AKN]

Another Republican scumbag. A liberal judicial advocacy group is raising the alarm over the corporate lawyer from Kentucky whom President Trump has tapped for the Cincinnati-based 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. [The Hill]

Clad in her cap and gown, Ashley Cook of Whitesburg looked out among the sea of faces Friday afternoon at Eastern Kentucky University’s Alumni Coliseum and smiled. [Richmond Register]

The top Democrat in the U.S. Senate said on Sunday that Democrats would consider refusing to vote on a new FBI director until a special prosecutor is named to investigate President Donald Trump’s potential ties to Russia. [Reuters]

A jury has convicted a former deputy jailer in Hazard for his role in violently assaulting a pre-trial detainee and willfully failing to provide necessary medical attention that led to his death. [Ashland Independent]

It’s neither false nor misleading to point out that Trump’s second nominee to lead the Army is a homophobic, transphobic bigot. [NY Times]

One of the biggest health care operators in Louisville is offloading four major hospitals and six physician group practices. [WFPL]

With one hasty and excruciatingly narrow vote, House Republicans have all but guaranteed that health care will be one of the most pivotal issues shaping the next two election cycles — including congressional, gubernatorial and state legislative races in the 2018 midterms and President Trump’s likely reelection bid in 2020. [WaPo]

Bullshit. AT&T is investing in its network in Kentucky because it’s being forced to by competitors. That’s only because Republicans (hey, Joe Burgan, Riggs Lewis, Scott Jennings!) and Democrats (Greg Stumbo) have allowed it and other telecom giants to stick it to the Commonwealth for years. [Business First]

It’s a great time to be an investigative journalist. Sure, no president has done more to demonize media than Trump. But nor has anybody done more to boost our standing than Trump. [ProPublica]

Kentucky’s tax collections rebounded in April after a disappointing March, but a budget shortfall of $100 million or more remains likely. [H-L]

The Trump administration must turn over a memo and other documents from a commission led by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani that is believed to have laid out ways to “legally” ban Muslims from entering the country, a federal judge ruled on Thursday. [HuffPo]

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McConnell Is Now Apparently Complicit

Mitch McConnell is now complicit in the Trump-Russia shenanigans. He yesterday rejected calls for a special prosector on the floor of the U.S. Senate. [CNN]

A mural at a Western Kentucky elementary school depicting two black children tending a garden while a tall white man plays a violin has upset some residents. [H-L]

Former President Barack Obama warned Donald Trump about hiring retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn during a meeting in November 2016, NBC and CNN reported Monday. [HuffPo]

A Louisville lawyer who heads the local chapter of the Federalist Society – a conservative legal group that has tried to move the national debate on gun rights and campaign finance to the right – will be nominated by Donald Trump to serve on the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. [C-J/AKN]

One of the most dangerous companies in the U.S. took advantage of immigrant workers. Then, when they got hurt or fought back, it used America’s laws against them. [ProPublica]

Federal lawmakers are moving ahead with a new approach to health care that includes changing the way insurers cover pre-existing health conditions. But the American Health Care Act that House Republicans voted to advance last week could bring back a program with which some Kentuckians may be familiar: high-risk pool health insurance. Until 2013, these high-risk pools operated in Kentucky and other states. And if the provisions of the final bill allow states to do away with coverage for pre-existing health conditions — which were made possible under President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act — they could be coming back. [WFPL]

From the moment the Republican-controlled House of Representatives approved a plan to overhaul the health care system, an onslaught of opposition to the bill has been focused on a single, compact term: pre-existing conditions. [NY Times]

“These are our neighbors needing help and our community partners who are in the trenches every day trying to meet the needs of kids and families,” said Kim Henderson, Gateway regional director. Henderson is one of fewer than 10 staff at Mountain Haven Emergency Shelter, which held its grand opening ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday. [The Morehead News]

When the state of Arkansas announced plans to carry out eight executions in an 11-day period in April, it drew intense international scrutiny that flared until well after the final lethal injection in the series at the end of the month. In part, this attention was fueled by the explanation, offered by state officials, that the timetable was necessary because the supply of one of the state’s lethal drugs was about to expire and authorities had to carry out death penalties for eight men convicted of murder before then. [WaPo]

The family court judge for Barren and Metcalfe counties who objects to presiding over adoption cases involving homosexual adoptive parents now concedes his general order recusing himself from all such cases is prohibited by the Kentucky Supreme Court. [Ronnie Ellis]

The Trump administration is so far ignoring pleas from both on and off Capitol Hill to denounce the suspected Russian-backed digital assault that appeared aimed to tilt Sunday’s French presidential election toward nationalist candidate Marine Le Pen. [Politico]

Wondering how to stick it to an already impoverished community of people? Here you go. This fiscal year, the Madison Fiscal Court is contributing $1.75 million in supplemental funds to operate the chronically overcrowded county detention center. Judge/Executive Reagan Taylor believes the county could recover nearly $790,000 of that if it charged inmates a daily $10 fee, in addition to the $20 booking fee it already charges. [Richmond Register]

Barely two days into crafting a new bill to roll back Obamacare, U.S. Senate Republicans were already on the defensive on Tuesday over the absence of any women in their core working group. [Reuters]

The attempted burglary of a statistics exam Tuesday by two University of Kentucky students wasn’t the first time someone had the idea. A similar case 30 years ago turned into one of the biggest cheating cases in UK history. [H-L]

Author Stephen King has been delivering chills for more than four decades with horror masterpieces such as “It,” “The Shining” and “’Salem’s Lot.” But King now believes there’s something more terrifying than anything he’s ever cooked up, and it’s living in the White House. [HuffPo]

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Naz… Republicans Slow To Notice Alison Grimes Slapped Them Nearly Two Weeks Ago

Lexington apparently was a stopover point for a plane with 40 pounds of meth and 80 bricks of cocaine that federal and state officials tracked Friday from California, according to federal court documents. Florida might have been the ultimate destination. [H-L]

Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, failed to disclose payments from Russia when applying for security clearance in 2016, lawmakers told reporters Tuesday. [HuffPo]

Google Fiber is a go in Louisville. But details on when the ultrafast network will be constructed and in what areas it will be first available will have to come later, Google Fiber said. [C-J/AKN]

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has been reworking student lending since her appointment in February, raising concerns among Democrats that she will undo former President Barack Obama’s overhaul of college financial aid. [Retuers]

Bowling Green’s trio of automotive tracks brings thousands of cars and automobile enthusiasts who fill hotels, dine out and shop, representing a large segment of local specialty tourism. [BGDN]

Earlier this year, ProPublica and a coalition of newsrooms set out to chronicle and report on hate crimes in the United States. [ProPublica]

Republican U.S. Congressman Andy Barr faced 600 or so mostly angry constituents here Monday night at a town hall meeting dominated by questions about the Affordable Care Act and Republicans’ plan to replace it with their own plan. [Ronnie Ellis]

The Turkish man who gave Mike Flynn a $600,000 lobbying deal just before Donald Trump picked him to be national security adviser has business ties to Russia, including a 2009 aviation financing deal negotiated with Vladimir Putin, according to court records. [Politico]

More than 30 entities sent representatives to Monday’s pre-proposal meeting for a county “healing center” to combat drug addiction. The turnout “totally exceeded expectations,” Madison Judge/Executive Reagan Taylor said. [Richmond Register]

Behind the Trump administration’s sudden urgency in dealing with the North Korean nuclear crisis lies a stark calculus: a growing body of expert studies and classified intelligence reports that conclude the country is capable of producing a nuclear bomb every six or seven weeks. [NY Times]

Kentucky Christian University continues to pursue a merger with Cincinnati Christian University although the original plan to cement a management consultancy agreement earlier this year and finalize the pact sometime in the fall was abandoned in the face of financial obstacles, according to KCU President Jeffrey Metcalf. [Ashland Independent]

The White House setting perplexed lawmakers who have grown accustomed to such briefings taking place in a secure location on Capitol Hill, where there is more room to handle such a large group. [WaPo]

Wondering how to tell if Alison Grimes is getting under the skin of deluded homophobes like Scott Jennings and Jeff Hoover? Well… they noticed – nearly two weeks after it was published – that Grimes chapped their asses over right-to-work and being generally full of shit. They started melting down on Twitter and attempting to act as if a handful of jobs in East Bugtussle is evidence that right-to-work is magical. Spoiler alert: Their Trump chickens are slowly coming home to roost. But here’s that Grimes op-ed. [H-L]

Arkansas on Monday night carried out the first double execution in the U.S. since 2000 despite concerns that the first of the two was “inhumane.” [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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Hillbilly Elegy Is Republican Bullshit

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When Americans remember the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., they like to recall his “I Have A Dream” speech from the 1963 March on Washington. It is beautifully aspirational — and no longer controversial. [H-L]

Republicans have spent most of the past seven years vowing to protect people with pre-existing conditions, even as they have pledged to get rid of the Affordable Care Act. [HuffPo]

City air pollution officials suspect the area near the CEMEX cement plant in southwest Louisville might violate the federal health standard for sulfur dioxide, a pollutant that’s especially hard on children, the elderly and people who suffer from asthma. But they won’t know for at least three years. [C-J/AKN]

Donald F. McGahn II, now Trump’s White House counsel, made $2.4 million as a lawyer with a client list loaded with deep-pocketed conservative groups, from Americans for Prosperity, backed by the conservative billionaires Charles G. and David H. Koch, to the Citizens United Foundation. [NY Times]

Hillbilly Elegy is bullshit. Della Combs Brashear had had enough. She backed her Cadillac long-ways across the road in front of her house, lit the Virginia Slim in her mouth, pulled her .38 pistol from her purse, and waited, stone-faced and determined, for the next coal truck to come along. [Ivy Brashear]

Former Obama national security adviser Susan E. Rice said Tuesday that she “absolutely” never sought to uncover “for political purposes” the names of Trump campaign or transition officials concealed in intelligence intercepts, and she called suggestions that she leaked those identities “completely false.” [WaPo]

Boyd County avoided losing its four-judge structure after a statewide judicial redistricting plan failed to pass through the General Assembly, but the plan will likely be reintroduced next year. [Ashland Independent]

A U.S. appeals court on Thursday upheld a preliminary injunction against Ohio’s lethal injection process for executions. [Reuters]

Attorney General Andy Beshear has once again gone to court seeking to intervene in open records disputes between a Kentucky university and student-run college newspapers. [Ronnie Ellis]

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) on Thursday said he will temporarily step aside from his committee’s investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election. [The Hill]

Two people who spent years in a Kentucky jail after being wrongfully charged with murder have sued 10 police officers from three departments, alleging a conspiracy to frame them by planting evidence to protect a confidential informant. [Richmond Register]

Senate Republicans invoked the “nuclear option” to gut the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees Thursday, a historic move that paves the way for Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation and ensures that future high court nominees can advance in the Senate without clearing a 60-vote threshold. [Politico]

Funny how this story doesn’t mention an anti-trust investigation, isn’t it? It’s like McClatchy wants to suck more than Gannett these days. [H-L]

It’s the New Republican way. Late last month, federal prosecutors indicted ex-Rep. Steve Stockman and two of his aides, charging that the Texas Republican and his confidants ripped off charities, laundered money, lied to regulators and misled wealthy donors before, during and after his failed 2014 primary campaign against John Cornyn, the second-ranking Republican in the Senate. [HuffPo]

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Thank Goodness For Tennessee, Maybe…?

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Just in case you’d forgotten Tennessee was a million times worse than anything Kentucky has to offer? Steve Eimers knew something was wrong before he opened the envelope with his daughter’s name on it. [H-L]

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) met a source on White House grounds last week, one day before he alleged that President Donald Trump and his team were subjected to surveillance during the final months of the Obama administration. [HuffPo]

The University of Louisville alerted its community that gun advocates plan to walk around the perimeters of the Belknap Campus on Friday openly carrying firearms. [C-J/AKN]

State and local governments seeking Justice Department grants must certify they are not so-called sanctuary cities in order to receive the money, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Monday. [The Hill]

The Ashland Board of City Commissioners pushed its meeting back to the evening on Thursday, and a swarm of local residents journeyed to the commission chambers to pitch ideas, raise concerns and observe the public servants conduct business. [Ashland Independent]

Roger Severino, the new head of the Office for Civil Rights within Health and Human Services, has opposed transgender patients’ rights, same-sex marriage and Planned Parenthood. [ProPublica]

Close to 100 people turned out Thursday night to learn what needs to be done to get Park City established as a trail town through the Kentucky Office of Adventure Tourism. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Donald Trump’s son-in-law and aide, Jared Kushner, will be questioned by a US committee investigating alleged ties between the Trump team and Moscow. [BBC]

House Minority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins, D-Sandy Hook, made it clear during a brief update to Rowan County Fiscal Court on Tuesday that it’s been a difficult last 28 legislative days. [The Morehead News]

Trump, looking for a flicker of hope after his Republican majority fell to pieces last week, predicted that the opposition party would eventually give in: “I honestly believe the Democrats will come to us and say let’s get together and get a great health care bill or plan,” he said. [NY Times]

Can you imagine how hard Greg Fischer would lose if Republicans had a non-wingnut candidate to run against him? Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer will seek a third term as the city’s mayor. But he’s not talking much about his decision. [WFPL]

The Trump administration is planning a much more assertive role in undertaking a broad overhaul of the tax code than it did during the failed effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, with some advisers working to craft a concrete blueprint for specific changes instead of letting Congress dictate details. [WaPo]

A jury has ruled that a male officer at the state prison in Elliott County sexually harassed four female guards and awarded $1.6 million to the women. [H-L]

“We’re roughly two months into the Trump Presidency, and it is the worst start to a time in office I have ever seen,” Dan Rather wrote in a Facebook post on Monday, noting that many historians have said the same thing. [HuffPo]

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