Andy Barr & Mike Pence Sittin In A Tree

Don’t forget that Andy Barr is tightly aligned with Trump and Pence. Mike Pence touted the GOP tax overhaul and U.S. Rep. Andy Barr’s re-election bid Wednesday at More Than a Bakery in Versailles. [H-L]

Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School weren’t pleased with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ visit to the Parkland, Florida, school on Wednesday, saying that she met with few students. [HuffPo]

The House this week restored funding to 24 of the 70 programs that Matt Bevin proposed be eliminated in his proposed budget. [C-J/AKN]

An industry group says the Trump Misadministration is run “like a bad family-owned small business” and they love it. [ProPublica]

Pension continues to be the most haunting word for politicians seeking solutions to Kentucky’s failing pensions in a session, which Senator Jared Carpenter called “unique and difficult,” during a legislative update Monday. [Richmond Register]

Billionaire investor and longtime Trump confidant Carl Icahn dumped $31.3 million of stock in a company heavily dependent on steel last week, just days before Trump announced plans to impose steep tariffs on steel imports. [ThinkProgress]

Who else forgot Hampton existed? When she was a child, she never envisioned her life would take the path it has, Kentucky’s lieutenant governor told nearly 80 youths in Glasgow on Monday morning. [Glasgow Daily Times]

China has warned that it does not want a trade war with the US, but will not sit idly by if its economy is hurt. [BBC]

Probably has something to do with Jim Gray’s efforts to sweep as many homeless individuals off the streets as possible. Lipstick on a pig, if you will. Officials in Kentucky’s second-largest city say the number of homeless has declined to its lowest level in more than a decade. [WKYT]

The devastating explosion in the Upper Big Branch coal mine killed 29 men in 2010 and scarred West Virginia like few events in modern memory. Don Blankenship, the head of the mining company, went to prison over it. Not many people would call that a springboard for a career in politics. [NY Times]

Effective communication is one key toward school safety, parents and education officials in the Boyd County district agreed Monday in a community meeting. [Ashland Independent]

These people are dumb as hell. White House trade adviser Peter Navarro insisted that other countries won’t retaliate in a way that hurts U.S. consumers, dismissing the concerns of many economists and some Republican lawmakers. [WaPo]

Back off the bourbon. And stop trying to annoy Mitch McConnell. That’s the message from two powerful Kentucky interests — distillers and McConnell, the Senate’s most powerful leader. [H-L]

Experts say one of the most pervasive misconceptions about mental illness is that perpetrators of America’s all-too-common mass shootings have mental health issues. [HuffPo]

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Lexington Has A Youth Murder Problem?

The grand jury investigating alleged collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has sent a witness a subpoena seeking all documents involving the president and a host of his closest advisers, according to a copy of the subpoena reviewed by NBC News. [NBC News]

Billionaires these days are more skilled at stiffing “little people” and avoiding taxes. Instead of sending them to prison, we elect them governor of West Virginia — and president of the United States. [Tom Eblen]

For years, under multiple presidents, the State Department has ignored key court rulings that should guide how it grants citizenship to children who are born abroad to LGBTQ Americans. Instead, the department has clung to an outdated interpretation of the law under which it requires a biological tie between the U.S. citizen parent and the child. [HuffPo]

Oh, people do this when there’s a sports scandal but ignore the immediate prior decade of obscene corruption at UofL!? A group of University of Louisville fans is raising money to pay for billboards to pressure for removal of top university leaders, arguing that those in charge haven’t challenged the NCAA ruling and aren’t conducting a transparent search for a new president. [C-J/AKN]

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Sunday expressed “deep concern” to Donald Trump over his announced plans to increase steel and aluminum tariffs. [The Hill]

Sure is fun watching Diane St. Onge prove out out-of-touch she is with reality. A shame the Kentucky Democratic Party can’t get itself together enough to oust her ignorant butt from office. [WFPL]

Gun-control advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety said on Friday it will donate up to $2.5 million to support marches around the United States on March 24, the date of a planned March For Our Lives in Washington to demand an end to school shootings. [Reuters]

The Senate passed a measure yesterday to preserve the status quo in determining how many package liquor licenses are issued in individual cities and counties by a 32-4 vote. [The Morehead News]

The Census Bureau is exploring options about adding a citizenship question to the next census, amid a firestorm of protest about the controversial proposal. [ProPublica]

A year after handing out more than $180,000 to local nonprofit groups, Ashland commission members said they plan to take a closer look at annual tax dollar contributions as concerns swell over an increase in pension costs. [Ashland Independent]

Just a reminder that this happened last week. Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, has been stripped of his top-secret security clearance after months of delays in completing his background check, and will now be limited in his ability to view highly classified information. [NY Times]

As community members entered the Metcalfe County Middle School auditorium on Thursday evening for a discussion on school safety, they were handed a sheet of paper that outlined all of the school safety additions and improvements to Metcalfe County Schools since 2013. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Officials in at least four countries have privately discussed ways they can manipulate Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, by taking advantage of his complex business arrangements, financial difficulties and lack of foreign policy experience, according to current and former U.S. officials familiar with intelligence reports on the matter. [WaPo]

For people between ages 15 and 24, homicide was the second most frequent cause of death behind unintentional injuries in Fayette County between 2013 and 2016. [H-L]

Many of America’s top trade partners bristled at the news that Donald Trump plans to impose tariffs of 10 percent on aluminum and 25 percent on steel imports next week. Canada called the tariffs “unacceptable” and “inappropriate.” Mexico is considering slapping tariffs of its own on the United States in retaliation. The European Union also plans to retaliate. [HuffPo]

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Bevin Claims He’s Pushing Prison Reform But He’s Really Doing The Opposite. Source: The Facts

Senate Republicans on Tuesday filed their long-awaited bill to overhaul Kentucky’s ailing public pension systems. Here are highlights of the plan that have a direct affect on Kentucky’s current and retired school teachers. [H-L]

Kentucky is mentioned at least 55 times but no one in Frankfort will notice. Because the private probation and private prison industries fund many campaigns. [Human Rights Watch]

Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell is once again locking horns with Metro Councilman David Yates by claiming he has a conflict of interest in a court case. [C-J/AKN]

It’s going to take something more pronounced than a postcard to get right with campaign finance law, Facebook. Start by hiring people well-versed in campaign finance law in all states and on the federal level. [Reuters]

The Boyd Fiscal Court may look to fortify a county jail plagued by security breaches, based on recommendations from a new security audit by a private firm. [Ashland Independent]

Just months before Donald Trump announced his bid for president in 2015, federal regulators announced they were slapping one of his longtime Atlantic City casinos with a record-setting $10 million fine for lack of controls around money laundering. The problems went back years. The penalty was actually the second record-setting fine for the Trump Taj Mahal involving money-laundering oversight. [ProPublica]

Ronnie Tackett probably doesn’t fit your image of an environmentalist or crusader against carbon pollution. [Ronnie Ellis]

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s office has told a federal judge it has found evidence that Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman, committed bank fraud not addressed by the indictment last October in which he was charged with money laundering and failure to register as a foreign agent. As legal wrangling continues over a $10 million bail package for Manafort, prosecutors this week accused him of submitting false information to a bank in connection with one of his mortgages. [Politico]

Due to the recent school shootings in southwestern Kentucky and Florida, administration at Rowan County Senior High School and Rowan County Middle School are taking a proactive approach to deter such incidents from happening in their schools. [The Morehead News ]

The White House has refused to release a photo of Donald Trump signing a law making it easier for some people with mental illness to buy guns. [BBC]

The Kentucky Office of the Attorney General released an opinion Monday stating that the Glasgow Electric Plant Board does not have to abide by the state’s Model Procurement Code unless it actually adopted it. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The indictment by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III of 13 Russians associated with a St. Petersburg online “troll factory” that allegedly interfered with the U.S. election has brought a sense of vindication to the handful of former employees who have already been speaking out about what they witnessed. [WaPo]

Way to go, mouth-breathers, you’ve done it again. Yep, I’m happy to call anyone open in their ignorance a mouth-breather. A fundraiser for a central Kentucky girls softball team has gotten some attention, both positive and negative, for plans to raffle off both an AR-15 and a semi-automatic pistol to help cover costs of tournaments, uniforms and other equipment. [H-L]

Maybe if “conservatives” focused on the life of children after they’re born, this kind of statistic wouldn’t be a nightmarish reality. Newborn survival rates in the United States are only marginally better than in Sri Lanka. [The Guardian]

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You Don’t Need An Assault Weapon

A federal appeals panel has upheld the conviction of former Paintsville Mayor Robert Porter on three charges of misappropriating money and public resources. Porter is serving a four-year sentence. [H-L]

A reported shooting at a South Florida high school on Wednesday marks the country’s 18th school shooting of 2018, just 45 days into the year. That’s an average of one school shooting every 60 hours thus far in 2018, more than double the number of school shootings recorded in any of the previous three years in that same period. [HuffPo]

Pro-tip to mouth-breathers like Matt Bevin (yes, that means YOU if you support him): You can’t help someone rise up out of poverty by making it more difficult to obtain basic health care. Within Snowflake Matt Bevin’s complex plan to reshape the state Medicaid program to cut costs and hold people accountable is this fact that may surprise some Kentuckians: Under Bevin’s plan, it actually will cost Kentucky more to provide health coverage to people affected by the Medicaid changes than if the state did nothing. [C-J/AKN]

Jared Kushner’s family real estate company has backtracked on its effort to have a lawsuit filed against it by tenants of its Baltimore-area apartment complexes moved to federal court, after a judge ruled that this transfer would require it to reveal the identities of its investment partners. [ProPublica]

In the world’s bourbon capital, an effort to eliminate a quota system limiting the number of liquor licenses is getting strong pushback from some Kentucky lawmakers. [Richmond Register]

Did you know? There are North American leaders not spewing racist rhetoric on Twitter 24/7. [BBC]

Brittney Patrick never thought she’d need food stamps, and once she had them, she never thought they’d be taken away. [WFPL]

Donald Trump’s inaugural committee paid nearly $26 million to an event planning firm started by an adviser to First Lady Melania Trump, while donating $5 million — less than expected — to charity, according to tax filings released on Thursday. [NY Times]

Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, told reporters Wednesday a Senate pension reform bill will not include moving new employees or teachers to mandatory, defined contribution plans or 401-K style plans. [Ronnie Ellis]

Like last year’s budget, the Trump administration’s 2019 budget proposes large cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency. And it eliminates explicit climate change programs in other parts of the government and cuts spending for climate change-related monitoring, alternative energy, energy efficiency and flood prevention. [WaPo]

The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office was pleasantly surprised when deputies executed a search warrant in downtown Morehead last week at a residence in which police believed they were distributing narcotic cough syrup. [The Morehead News]

The Trump administration remained insistent on hardline immigration measures on Thursday as the U.S. Senate prepared to vote on various legislative proposals to protect young “Dreamer” immigrants and to tighten border security. [Reuters]

Surprise! Matt Bevin is still a homophobic bigot. Only a matter of time til he has a stroke when one of kids 50 kids come out of the closet. [H-L]

Florida Republicans Sen. Marco Rubio and Gov. Rick Scott were swift to condemn the horrific school shooting in their state on Wednesday afternoon, offering prayers after a gunman killed at least 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. [HuffPo]

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Another Kentucky Republican Trafficking Humans But RPK Is Strangely Silent

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

He was a Trump Campaign chair. A former Kentucky judge has entered into a plea agreement in a human-trafficking case. [H-L]

For the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who would be tasked with making it happen, a military parade like the one Donald Trump envisions would be a colossal pain in the rear guard. [HuffPo]

Nineteen Kentucky schools won’t get planned safety reviews this year that are partially designed to help prevent and prepare for emergencies such as last month’s Marshall County High School mass shooting. [C-J/AKN]

Researchers at the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) analysed three months of social media activity of US Twitter and Facebook users from November 2017 to January 2018 – the period leading up to President Trump’s latest State of the Union Address. They find that on Twitter, a network of Trump supporters shares the widest range of junk news and circulates more junk news than all other political audience groups combined. [University of Oxford]

Republican Brian Linder is a lying conman. It doesn’t take more than $20,000 to install solar. You can run a small home or average apartment for $5,000. Way less if you’re only powering something like a water heater, personal electric, fridges and freezers, pumps or lighting. And it’s absurd to suggest Louisville and Lexington aren’t 99% working class people. Linder might get his ass kicked if he steps foot in either city – possibly by conservative Republicans with enough sense to know that solar puts power in the hands of the people, not the hands of energy oligarchs. [WFPL]

The U.S. official in charge of protecting American elections from hacking says the Russians successfully penetrated the voter registration rolls of several U.S. states prior to the 2016 presidential election. [NBC News]

Of course the Republican Party of Kentucky is once again targeting transgender youth with a new bathroom bill. These hate-filled hacks like Kim King and Richard Heath are disgusting excuses for Americans. Strange how the mainstream media is ignoring this one. [LRC]

If the man who can’t pronounce “nuclear” understands what’s going on and isn’t afraid to discuss it publicly… well… Former President George W. Bush appeared to take aim at Donald Trump on Thursday when he said at an economic summit in the Middle East that there was “pretty clear evidence that the Russians meddled” in the 2016 U.S. president election. [USA Today]

The Glasgow Common Council’s agenda for Monday includes, as expected, consideration of a municipal order expressing intent for the participation in a needle exchange program. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Five people, including a suspected gunman who apparently took his own life, were killed in a shooting spree at two locations in northeast Kentucky on Saturday, officials said. [Reuters]

As many as 14 school districts are faced with the inability to pay their bills by the end of the school year and some Kentucky lawmakers say they’re only a harbinger of things to come. [Ronnie Ellis]

Shitbird Trump blocked on Friday the release of a classified Democratic memo rebutting Republican claims that top federal law enforcement officials had abused their surveillance powers in spying on a former Trump campaign aide, raising the specter of a potential showdown with Congress. [NY Times]

The guy operating the Kentucky State Police twitter account is a self-hating homophobic shitbag. He should be reassigned or fired. There is no room in law enforcement for someone like that. [H-L]

One morning last September, Jeancarlo and Jan Miguel Ruiz Núñez stepped out of their home and found their neighborhood, on the outskirts of the small mountain town of Lares, Puerto Rico, wrecked. Hurricane Maria had battered the island for hours. The storm had downed light poles and scattered tree branches into the roads. Debris blocked all of the exits of their driveway. But what worried the Núñez brothers most was their 46-year-old mother, Mariluz, who had been battling breast cancer for nearly a decade and was bedridden. [HuffPo]

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Kentucky Needs A New Ed Commish

Maybe crap like this wouldn’t happen in the commissioner would stop trying to promote himself as some sort of celebrity. And if people like Valarie Honeycutt Spears didn’t intentionally ignore corruption in education. [H-L]

The nutrition children receive during their first 1,000 days ― from conception until their second birthday ― has a profound impact on how they develop. Without the proper nutrition during that window of time, young brains will not grow to their fullest potential, diminishing the kids’ opportunities for the rest of their lives, according to public health and medical organizations. [HuffPo]

A national “consumer” group is working with Frankfort lawmakers, making phone calls to their constituents and urging Kentuckians to support a bill that would roll back incentives for solar power. But who are they? [C-J/AKN]

The U.S. flu outbreak worsened over the past week as more people headed to doctors’ offices and emergency rooms, with hospitalizations at the highest in nearly 10 years, U.S. health officials said on Friday. [Reuters]

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]

Since the election, Donald Trump has made 31 specific claims about companies adding or saving American jobs thanks to his intervention. We went back to see what’s become of those announcements. [ProPublica]

The Coalition for the Homeless has received the needed funds to launch a pilot program to house homeless young adults in Louisville, officials said this week. [WFPL]

This mess is part of the reason Modern Republicans are so painfully dumb and dangerous. [ThinkProgress]

For the first time in recent memory, all but one local races for the state legislature and Congress are contested as 31 candidates have signed up to run for seven local seats. The last time those seats were up for election, 15 candidates filed to run. Democrats fielded 16 of the 2018 candidates, with 15 Republicans filing for the seats. [BGDN]

Former FBI Director James Comey lobbed criticism at Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee on Friday, asking his Twitter followers, “That’s it?” after the release of a disputed and much-hyped memo about alleged bias at the FBI and Department of Justice. [Politico]

Basically, Republicans are about to choke the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s economy. [WKYT]

K.T. McFarland, Trump’s onetime deputy national security adviser, has withdrawn from consideration to be the U.S. ambassador to Singapore, the White House confirmed Friday. McFarland has been under scrutiny in the special-counsel probe into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. [WaPo]

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray raised more money than his Democratic opponents in his first month as a candidate in the primary election to challenge Republican Andy Barr for his Central Kentucky congressional seat. [H-L]

Donald Trump on Friday declassified a Republican-authored memo that claims to show the Justice Department and FBI inappropriately conducted surveillance on a member of the Trump presidential campaign. FBI Director Chris Wray isn’t having any of it. [HuffPo]

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KY Republicans Want More Prisons

A former Kentucky lawmaker who is serving a seven-year prison sentence plans to plead guilty in a separate fraud case. Former state Rep. W. Keith Hall plans to plead guilty in a case in which he is accused of using fake documents in order to convince a customer he had insurance. [H-L]

Donald Trump claimed to be calling for Americans to come together on the issue of immigration in his State of the Union address on Tuesday. But he couldn’t resist painting immigration as an “us vs. them” struggle. Because modern Republicanism is built upon racism. [HuffPo]

It was a journalist’s worst nightmare. The editor of the Marshall County Daily Online raced to the county’s high school Tuesday morning after reports that shots had been fired. [C-J/AKN]

The emailed response from the Guggenheim’s chief curator to the White House was polite but firm: the museum could not accommodate a request to “borrow” a painting by Vincent Van Gogh for President and Melania Trump’s private living quarters. Instead, wrote the curator, Nancy Spector, another piece was available, one that was nothing like “Landscape With Snow,” the lovely 1888 Van Gogh rendering of a man in a black hat walking along a path in Arles with his dog. The curator’s alternative: an 18-karat, fully functioning, solid gold toilet – an interactive work entitled “America” that critics have described as pointed satire aimed at the excess of wealth in this country. [WaPo]

The Bevin crew says one thing and does another on the prison front. This is more hype to build more private prisons. Kentucky’s top public safety official says the state’s prisons will run out of space by May 2019, possibly forcing the early release of thousands of nonviolent inmates as the state continues to grapple with the effects of a nationwide opioid epidemic. [Richmond Register]

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Brenda Fitzgerald resigned Wednesday, one day after reports that she traded tobacco stocks while heading the agency. [The Hill]

The filing deadline for Kentucky candidates closed Tuesday, and some northeastern Kentucky lawmakers will face challengers in this year’s election cycle. [Ashland Independent]

Donald Trump urged lawmakers on Tuesday to work toward bipartisan compromises, but pushed a hard line on immigration, insisting on a border wall and other concessions from Democrats as part of any deal to protect the children of illegal immigrants. [Reuters]

The Rowan County Board of Education has hired a consultant to lead in the search for the next superintendent. [The Morehead News]

Starting in Canada, Facebook is rolling out a global program to prevent foreign meddling in elections. Ads targeted to a narrow audience may be seen by other Facebook users — if they look hard enough. [ProPublica]

Barren County Schools’ iLearn@home program, as well as other non-traditional instruction programs, would eventually be eliminated if a bill that recently passed the Kentucky Senate becomes state law. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin urged Congress on Tuesday to raise the federal government’s statutory borrowing limit and said Washington must soon grapple with the mounting federal debt, just as lawmakers are embarking on a significant spending spree. [NY Times]

A leading Republican lawmaker has filed a bill to stop the Bevin Administration’s attempt to eliminate liquor license quotas, a move critics say would bring a glut of bars and liquor stores in rural Kentucky. [H-L]

A new era of internet regulation is about to begin. Years after Facebook and Google went public, regulators in the United States and abroad are finally taking a closer look at the internet behemoths. And they’re not only looking at the way these companies have come to dominate markets, but also examining the heart of the two firms’ business models. What they decide will have powerful implications for the way we do business on the internet. [HuffPo]

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