Another Kentucky Republican Trafficking Humans But RPK Is Strangely Silent

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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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A Comer Lackey Has Jumped Ship

Ginger Wills also helped cover up all kinds of Jamie Comer shenanigans. Ginger Wills, the House Republican chief of staff who was accused by a former employee of creating a hostile work environment, resigned Friday. [H-L]

Donald Trump seemed to be in a fog about the facts of climate change during his British TV sit-down with Piers Morgan, which aired Sunday night. Trump said in the ITV interview that the “polar ice caps were supposed to be gone by now,” but instead they’re “breaking records.” [HuffPo]

The low-key settlement talks between the University of Louisville and Tom Jurich may be headed for a more confrontational tone now that a private detective agency has been hired to investigate the former athletic director. [C-J/AKN]

Racist and disgraced former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who is now running for the U.S. Senate as a Republican, recently gave an interview to a publication that’s pushed claims that the Holocaust is a “hoax” and 9/11 was a “Jewish” plot. [MMFA]

Four million dollars. That’s the projected cost increase to Madison County Schools if Matt Bevin’s proposed budget — and the cuts included — is passed, according to district Chief Financial Officer Mark Woods. [Richmond Register]

A senior Red Cross official harassed a subordinate and was accused of raping another. The charity’s now-general counsel David Meltzer praised him on his way out for “leadership” and “dedication.” [ProPublica]

Two more Democrats – a local engineer and a former Boyd County judge-executive – have filed to run for the county’s top government job, increasing the primary field to six candidates. [Ashland Independent]

At the World Economic Forum, world leaders stressed the need for global cooperation on climate change while the United States remained silent. [ThinkProgress]

A Morehead man accused of racially charged vandalism has been indicted by a Rowan County grand jury. [The Morehead News]

Donald Trump ordered the firing last June of Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel overseeing the Russia investigation, according to four people told of the matter, but ultimately backed down after the White House counsel threatened to resign rather than carry out the directive. [NY Times]

The state of the city and the state of the county were given Friday morning during the Glasgow-Barren County Chamber of Commerce’s first quarterly breakfast of the year. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Three organizations opposing profound changes to Kentucky’s Medicaid program filed a lawsuit Wednesday to block the nation’s first experiment to compel low-income people to work or otherwise engage in their communities to qualify for the safety-net health insurance. [WaPo]

Judge-executive Joseph L. “Jody” Jenkins, 44, was found dead early Sunday morning at his residence. Jenkins has been under investigation for a variety of allegations in recent months. Much of the case centers on accusations of purchasing stolen vehicles and equipment with public money. [H-L]

Brandi Seals, a black transgender woman, was shot to death in Houston on Dec. 13, becoming the country’s 22nd known trans woman of color to be killed in hate violence in 2017. Like many other transgender and gender non-conforming homicide victims, her gender identity and name were not initially acknowledged, even in death. [HuffPo]

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Media’s Already Forgotten Marshall Co

Matt Bevin is one of the dumbest people on earth – that’s no secret. So you won’t be surprised that he’s blaming the entertainment industry for children having easy access to weapons of mass destruction. And filth? Like the orange guy he regularly stands beside? The one paying off porn stars? [H-L]

FBI Deputy Directory Andrew McCabe is stepping down, NBC’s Pete Williams reported Monday. [HuffPo]

Brian Cope knew it was his son when he saw the Nike socks. The scene was chaotic – paramedics, first responders, worried parents – but when he saw the socks as he peered into an ambulance, he knew. He’d laid them out for Preston the night before. [C-J/AKN]

In June of 1971, Gar Alperovitz, a thirty-five-year-old historian, sped through suburban Boston, looking for an out-of-the-way pay phone to use to call a reporter. Alperovitz had never considered himself much of a risk-taker. The father of two ran a small economic think tank focussed on community-building. He had participated in demonstrations against the Vietnam War and rung doorbells with Martin Luther King, Jr., in Boston, as part of an antiwar campaign. But what he was doing on this day, propelled by his desire to end the war, could lead to federal prison. [New Yorker]

Mmm hmm. More time with his family. Suuuuure. State Rep. Robert Benvenuti,R-Lexington, will not seek re-election in 2018, instead seeking to focus on family, he said in a letter signed on Friday. [CN|Toot]

Matt Bevin of Kentucky received a standing ovation Sunday afternoon when he ticked off dozens of policy initiatives he had achieved since taking office in 2015, many directly from the Koch playbook. [NBC News]

No two snowflakes are the same and neither are any two overdoses. But the procedures that follow an overdose call are like clockwork, continually ticking away until the next. [Richmond Register]

In March of 2011, a Mexican ranching town near the Texas border was besieged by unspeakable violence. Gunmen from the Zetas drug cartel — seeking vengeance against an alleged informant – swept through the quiet town, kidnapping and killing dozens, perhaps hundreds, of men, women and children. Brushed aside as another ugly incident of cartel violence, the slaughter was barely a blip in the United States or Mexico. [ProPublica]

The future of the City of Ashland’s legal department is cloudy after an ordinance that would’ve ignited the search for a new city attorney died on Thursday. [Ashland Independent]

Fair housing advocates gathered Thursday to commemorate the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson signing the 1968 Fair Housing Act, a landmark piece of legislation that outlawed housing discrimination and residential segregation in the United States. [ThinkProgress]

Over a six-year period between 2010 and 2016, a San Francisco-based drug company distributed enough opioid doses to Floyd County to supply every man, woman and child in the county 477 pills. [The Morehead News]

The Dutch domestic intelligence service AIVD had access to the infamous Russian hacking group Cozy Bear for at least a year starting in mid-2014, local media outlets reported Thursday. According to the reports, the Dutch government alerted the United States to Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election after Netherlands-based officials watched the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and other operations by the Russians, including a 2014 State Department hack. [WaPo]

One of the 15-year-old Marshall County High School students who died in Tuesday’s shooting reportedly called her mother in her final moments. [H-L]

Just 39 percent of Americans have enough money in savings to cover an unexpected $1,000 bill, according to a new report. James DeVolid, 54, put in so many hours between his two jobs at Tyson Foods and Walmart that his wife, Susan, often joked that he worked “eight days a week.” [HuffPo]

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Sure, People Are A Problem. But So Are Unchecked, Unregulated Firearms That Get Into The Hands Of Children.

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The first warning of trouble many students had during the deadly shooting at a Western Kentucky high school Tuesday was a pop that some mistook for a balloon bursting, but the scene turned to hell in seconds, according to several who were there. [H-L]

A male same-sex couple is suing the U.S. State Department after one of their twins, born in Canada, was denied American citizenship, even though his birth certificate lists one citizen parent. [HuffPo]

It was a normal day. Joseph Morton was in the school library working on a computer. Ariyanne Posey stood in an area called the commons with friends. Keatyn Gamble was about to leave her home, across the street from Marshall County High School. [C-J/AKN]

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency has officially gained agency-wide access to a nationwide license plate recognition database, according to a contract finalized earlier this month. The system gives the agency access to billions of license plate records and new powers of real-time location tracking, raising significant concerns from civil libertarians. [The Verge]

It’s not just Republicans with zero desire to do something about the school shooting epidemic that’s been a Kentucky problem for more than 20 years. It’s also Democrats. Both just want to twiddle their thumbs. [WFPL]

A federal judge late on Thursday said President Donald Trump’s administration cannot immediately deport 92 Cambodian citizens from the United States without first allowing them a chance to challenge the action in court. [Reuters]

According to the Kentucky Department of Education, schools in the Bluegrass saw frightening levels of weapons being brought to the schools. [WKYT]

A Trump administration appointee to the National Labor Relations Board benefited the interests and clients of his former law firm when he cast the deciding vote to undo rules protecting workers’ rights in two cases last month. [ProPublica]

The Madison County School Board approved a 2018-19 draft budget at Thursday’s meeting. However, many of the numbers had to be allocated to unknown costs noted in Matt Bevin’s new proposed state budget, which would require the district to contribute hefty amounts to retirements, health insurance, transportation and more. [Richmond Register]

We’re looking at you, Six Flags Over Jesus in Louisville. Several people have died from suicide over the last several years as a result of their conversion therapy program. This person was tortured in gay conversion therapy. It’s still legal in 41 states. [NY Times]

The monthly board of directors meeting for Barren-Metcalfe County Ambulance Service was cut short Wednesday due to the lack of a quorum partway through, but several items of business were conducted in the meantime. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Jeffrey Wertkin had a plot to bring in business and impress his new partners after joining one of Washington’s most influential law firms. As a former high-stakes corporate-fraud prosecutor with the Department of Justice, he had secretly stockpiled sealed lawsuits brought by whistleblowers. Now, he would sell copies of the suits to the very targets of the pending government investigations — and his services to defend them. Wertkin carried out his plan for months, right up until the day an FBI agent arrested him in a California hotel lobby. [WaPo]

The University Press of Kentucky celebrates is 75th birthday Monday as the primary publisher of books about this state. For the past 49 years, it also has been the main publisher for Kentucky’s public and private universities and historical societies. But if Matt Bevin has his way, this birthday will be its last. [Tome Eblen]

A little over a year ago, American commerce quietly passed a techno-dystopian landmark when IBM ― one of the most prestigious and storied computer companies ― undertook a new project: automating the revolving door between Wall Street and Washington. [HuffPo]

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Wake Up, Republicans (And Kentucky Democrats!), Cause It’s Time To Stop This School Shooting Nonsense

Since 1895, Kentucky has elected its constitutional officers in odd number years. The legislature is hoping voters will change that in 2018. [H-L]

We’re looking at you, backward Frankfort buttcramps. For the first time, a U.S. state has legalized marijuana with the stroke of a pen, not a vote at the ballot box. [HuffPo]

Wolfson gets it. He remembers. Time for the rest of Kentucky media to remember our tragic history. Time to dredge up that terrifying past. We have to do better. [C-J/AKN]

Matt Bevin’s proposed budget would put a strain on resources needed for students – and leave some districts flat broke, education advocates say. [More C-J/AKN]

The Trump administration’s move on Thursday to protect healthcare workers who refuse to perform abortions and other medical procedures on religious or moral grounds is raising fears among some civil rights and medical groups that it will provide legal cover for otherwise unlawful discrimination. [Reuters]

Superintendents are concerned over potential transportation cuts. Pulaski County School Superintendent Steve Butcher faces a simple reality. [Ronnie Ellis]

When former Chicago City Council inspector general Faisal Khan launched his not-for-profit anti-corruption group close to two years ago, he insisted that it was independent and nonpartisan. At the same time, Khan refused to disclose who was funding the organization, which he called Project Six — a reference to the group of civic leaders who led the fight against Al Capone during Prohibition. [ProPublica]

When Carla Breeding thought last summer about retiring as a public school administrator, she considered the financial needs of her two adoptive children, ages 13 and 15. [More Ronnie Ellis]

Maybe Louisville would have made the list if Kentucky weren’t backward and passing anti-LGBT legislation every five seconds. Amazon said on Thursday that it had whittled the list of possible homes for its second headquarters down to 20, including centers of technology like Boston as well as some surprise locations like Columbus, Ohio. [NY Times]

Would have been helping promote this but the communications tools at the Kentucky State Police are following a directive from giant manbaby, Matt Bevin, to block me on Twitter. They’ve politicized the KSP and are behaving like bitter children because they can’t handle honest, legitimate criticism (rare). So we’re shaming them here and mentioning the effort. The Kentucky State Police issued a press release Monday seeking the public’s help in locating a man missing from Carter County since 2014. [Ashland Independent]

Donald Trump was attending a celebrity golf tournament at a Lake Tahoe resort in July 2006 when he met the adult-film star Stormy Daniels, she later said. Daniels said she took the future president up on his offer to ride around the lakefront course in his golf cart. [WaPo]

During Morehead City Council member Mike Kash’s first government meeting in January 2017, he proposed and was granted a 25 cent per hour raise for city employees. [The Morehead News]

The special counsel’s investigation of the White House has come more sharply into focus. Robert Mueller is examining whether Donald Trump obstructed justice when he fired James Comey as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Washington Post recently reported. As we’ve heard for months now, there is also a probe of possible collusion between Trump’s campaign team and the Kremlin to tilt the 2016 election in the president’s favor. [Bloomberg]

Murders are at a record high but Mayor Jim Gray says Lexington is one of the safest cities. [H-L]

The New York City Anti-Violence Project’s annual Crisis of Hate report shows a remarkable upsurge of hate-based killings of LGBTQ people. [HuffPo]

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