Your Morning Dept Of Republican Insanity

Lil Matt’s pants are on fire. Matt Bevin refused Monday to say who owns the house where he and his family are living in Jefferson County. [H-L]

Many in South Korea are steamed at Donald Trump for saying their nation was once “part of China.” “This is clearly a distortion of history and an invasion of the Republic of Korea’s sovereignty,” Hong Joon-pyo, a conservative Liberal Korea Party candidate, said through a spokesman. [HuffPo]

Julie Denton? Really? The same piece of work who is such an incompetent human being that she couldn’t care for a dog? Aligning herself with Dave Mutchler makes it clear that she hasn’t changed her Frankfort ways. [C-J/AKN]

In January, the Trump administration quietly dispatched more than 400 temporary employees across the federal government. Now dozens of them are getting permanent jobs. [ProPublica]

In December when Congress passed the 21st Century Cures Act, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called it an important step in helping foster solutions for heartbreaking illnesses like addiction. [Richmond Register]

Hillary Clinton hammered the Trump administration’s rollback of LBGT protections Thursday night, urging advocates to voice their opposition at the polls during the 2018 midterms elections. [Politico]

Officials with the Southeastern Cave Conservancy Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to cave conservation, announced on Friday afternoon the purchase of the Daleo entrance to the Roppel section of Mammoth Cave. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Young LGBTQ Americans in the child welfare system, juvenile justice system, and in youth homelessness shelters face a lack of necessary protections in many states, according to a report released Monday by Lambda Legal, Children’s Rights, and the Center for the Study of Social Policy. [Fusion]

You can thank Matt Bevin and the Republican Party of Kentucky’s desire for Charter/AT&T cash for this boondoggle. Construction of a statewide broadband internet network in Kentucky has begun, but the project has been delayed and doesn’t have an estimated launch date. [WFPL]

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. [Reuters]

Leave it to the fat (not just physically), white, heterosexual white men to mansplain racism to people of color at Western Kentucky University. And people wonder why Bowling Green draws racists like moths to a flame. [BGDN]

PEE ALERT! PEE ALERT! Donald Trump knows so little about, well, anything, that he thinks a 15 percent corporate tax rate is possible. [WaPo]

If Jim Host is praising something related to the Louisville Arena, you know it’s probably horseshit. Seems fitting being Derby time and all. [H-L]

The U.S. grew from a “backwoods country” to one of “greatest nations the world has ever known” thanks to science — but that pillar of America is eroding, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson warns. [HuffPo]

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Matt Bevin Deserves Scrutiny From D.C.

For several Donald Trump-esque reasons.

Here’s why, starting with this story from CNN:

More delays in ambassador nominations, trainings

But donors are expectant and impatient, especially with an investigative vetting process that can ask wealthy Trump supporters to divest or take other steps to avoid conflicts of interest.

Already one candidate, Kelly Knight, a Republican fundraiser thought to be the choice for ambassador to Canada, has faced questions on the energy-rich company given her husband, coal magnate Joe Craft, according to a person with knowledge of the discussions.

That inquiry (if you want to call it that) into Alliance Coal ownership by Joe Craft sure is interesting. Especially in light of Matt Bevin’s private meetings with coal executives – at their demand – during his gubernatorial bid. And in light of Bevin’s sudden refusal after those meetings to release his tax returns. You know, those same tax returns he previously pledged to release.

Is this a pay-to-play situation? What’s he got to hide?

Democrats in D.C. should start asking those same questions.

Other, uh, situations raising questions…

Bevin’s co-investors in a company called Neuronetrix (he owned at least 5% in 2016) are receiving $320,000 in tax credits for that investment. They are (Warning: External PDF Link):

  • Neil P. Ramsey ($120,000)
  • Robinson Brown III ($40,000)
  • Charles A. Hill ($60,000)
  • David Tuell Richardson ($40,000)
  • Bradford P. Stengel ($60,000).

Bevin’s apparent ownership of The Anchorage Place LLC property uncovered by Tom Loftus. (And don’t miss this column.)

The deed from March 9, 2017 (Warning: PDF Link) indicates that tax bills should be sent to Anchorage Place LLC, 804 Evergreen Road and that all future taxes are to be paid by the grantee. The sewer easement (Warning: PDF Link) from Anchorage LLC to Neil Ramsey and his wife, dated March 28, 2017, lists Anchorage LLC’s address as 804 Evergreen Road. So it would appear to anyone with a bit of sense that Ramsey owned both Anchorage Place LLC and Anchorage LLC at the time ownership was conveyed. With Kentucky State Police serving as security on the property at the time of conveyance to Bevin, it’s tough not to jump to conclusions with Bevin refusing to answer questions.

After he spent $500,000 “investigating” Steve Beshear’s prior administration and preaching about pay-to-play deals, of course.

Bevin also:

Are those pay-to-play situations?

Since Bevin refuses to answer simple questions or exhibit the tiniest bit of transparency, it’s time for folks in Washington, D.C. to take note of everyone he’s tied to. Especially those being potentially nominated by Donald Trump to positions of international significance.

In 2018 and 2019, Democrats on the national front should make Bevin’s broken promises a huge deal. They’ll own the moral high ground because the Kentucky Democratic Party certainly isn’t capable of finding morals.

Greg Fischer Rewards Incompetence & Disregard For Decency. He’s Done It Again.

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The Administrative Office of the Courts is considering changes to clean up its sales of surplus goods and vehicles in the midst of an ongoing investigation by Attorney General Andy Beshear’s office. [H-L]

White House chief strategist Steve Bannon came into President Donald Trump’s administration with what he called an “economic nationalist” agenda. But now, Bannon is reportedly on the outs, and Trump has flip-flopped on NATO, Chinese currency manipulation and the Federal Reserve. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin reported Friday that in 2016 he owned parts of five businesses as well as 12 pieces of real estate in six states. [C-J/AKN]

The House Intelligence Committee sent one of its members to Cyprus this week as part of its ongoing investigation into Russia and the Trump campaign, adding a new twist to the ongoing inquiry. “Cyprus has a reputation as a laundromat for the Russians who are trying to avoid sanctions,” Rep. Mike Quigley told The Daily Beast. “It was extraordinarily helpful in understanding how the Russians launder money and why.” [TDB]

Homicide detectives are working overtime after a violent night in Louisville that left four people dead in five hours. [WDRB]

Remember Kellie Watson? The trainwreck of a human who actively and admittedly participated in the coverup of Louisville Metro Animal Services’ torture and abuse of a dog? One of the people Louisville Metro Council had to create whistleblower laws in reaction to? Greg Fischer has rewarded her with a promotion to Chief Equity Officer. Apparently, someone who couldn’t handle being truthful and transparent regarding government abuse/torture of a dog is capable of ensuring racial equity. What a farce. [HERE, HERE & HERE and Press Release]

Donald Trump and the Republicans just made it harder for you to get health insurance and raised the price of your doctor visit. [Reuters]

Matt Bevin is talking about a special legislative session on tax and pension reform in the fall. Among proposals being considered is removing the sales tax exemption from groceries. [Richmond Register]

The head of the House Democratic Caucus is accusing President Trump of “political blackmail” for threatening to withhold ObamaCare funds that lower health costs for poor Americans. [The Hill]

City and county officials will meet next month to discuss creating a tax increment financing, or TIF, district in downtown Ashland as part of a multi-million-dollar project that involves demolishing the old Ashland Oil building. [Ashland Independent]

Mitchell says that after covering every president since Jimmy Carter, Trump is by far the most hostile to the press—and to the truth—she’s ever seen, with a White House staff using the briefing room as a daily disinformation machine and a president and secretary of state outright undermining the ability of reporters to do their job. [Politico]

Green River and Nolin River within Mammoth Cave National Park have reopened to river users following completion of the demolition of Lock & Dam No. 6 near Brownsville, by the US Army Corps of Engineers and the US Fish & Wildlife Service. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The Trump administration has hit the pause button on an Obama-era regulation aimed at limiting the dumping of toxic metals such as arsenic and mercury by the nation’s power plants into public waterways. [WaPo]

Uh, no, not all the hemp that has too much THC gets burned. Source: people who work at Ag, former Ag staffers and former Ag officials. And common sense. [H-L]

What was that about transparency, Republicans? The Trump administration will not make its records of visitors to the White House available to the public. [HuffPo]

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Shocking Just How Dumb Matt Bevin Has Turned Out To Be

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Matt Bevin says Kentucky media is pathetic. But he’s obviously projecting, as it’s his administration that is so pathetic it has one of its RPK lackeys huddle up with the personnel secretary to go on a Democratic Party witch hunt, digging through personnel files, calling me up asking for information about people (I refused to assist). Spoiler alert: there were so many stories about his wife’s silly doll because his staff went insane trying to get people to cover the doll. [H-L]

Even before Trump, the Republican Party was reluctant to push out Nazi-linked officials. [HuffPo]

This story will make you hate people. Like straight up hate them. [C-J/AKN]

If this is true, it’s impeachment-level insanity. One source suggested the official investigation was making progress. “They now have specific concrete and corroborative evidence of collusion,” the source said. “This is between people in the Trump campaign and agents of [Russian] influence relating to the use of hacked material.” [The Guardian]

Carter County Fiscal Court is facing a lawsuit aimed at preventing the location of a medical waste facility in the East Park industrial complex. [Ashland Independent]

The United Airlines passenger dragged from a plane in Chicago in an incident that sparked international outrage and turned into a corporate public relations nightmare suffered a concussion and broken nose and will likely sue, his attorney said on Thursday. [Reuters]

The U.S. has dropped the largest conventional weapon ever used in combat to hit an underground ISIS complex in Afghanistan, Pentagon officials say. [WFPL]

When North Korea launched its Kwangmyongsong-4 satellite into space last February, officials heralded the event as a birthday gift for dead leader Kim Jong Il. But the day also brought an unexpected prize for the country’s adversaries: priceless intelligence in the form of rocket parts that fell into the Yellow Sea. [WaPo]

Matt Bevin wants to revise the state tax code in a way that produces more revenue that can stabilize the state’s troubled public pension systems. [Ronnie Ellis]

For more than 15 years, jails that hold immigrants facing deportation have had to follow a growing list of requirements: Notify immigration officials if a detainee spends two weeks or longer in solitary confinement. Check on suicidal inmates every 15 minutes, and evaluate their mental health every day. Inform detainees, in languages they can understand, how to obtain medical care. In disciplinary hearings, provide a staff member who can advocate in English on the detainee’s behalf. [NY Times]

More Kentucky adults favor syringe exchanges than oppose them, and the more they know about them, the more likely they are to support them, according to the latest Kentucky Health Issues Poll. [Richmond Register]

We found insurers such as Allstate, Geico and Liberty Mutual were charging premiums that were as much as 30 percent higher in zip codes where most residents are minorities than in whiter neighborhoods with similar accident costs. [ProPublica]

Attorney General Andy Beshear’s office has opened an investigation into employee-only vehicle auctions held by the Administrative Office of the Courts. [H-L]

Donald Trump signed a resolution on Thursday that will allow states to withhold Title X family planning funds from Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers. [HuffPo]

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Coal Will Never Be Kentucky’s Savior

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The Courier-Journal/A Kentucky Newspaper has a long history of victim-shaming and character assassination. United didn’t have to pay for it – the C-J/AKN did it for free. The paper loves to shitsack murder victims, people of color, members of the LGBTQ community. And when you call their shitty reporters like Morgan Watkins out, they roll up with their bloated, lazy, heterosexual, white male staffers to yell at you in attempt to justify their nonsense. Not everyone there is terrible but they certainly do this shit with regularity. [Raw Story]

Letcher County officials are desperate for revenue to counter a crippling drop in coal severance tax collections, but deadlocked Monday evening on approving a business license fee on extractive operations such as oil and gas wells and coal mines. [H-L]

In 1996, Josie Slawik sat in the headquarters of the National Domestic Violence Hotline in Austin, Texas, and waited for the phone to ring. [HuffPo]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! Exorbitant drug prices, high deductibles and the need to jump through hoops to get procedures covered. Those were some of the realities of today’s health insurance landscape decried Saturday at a sidewalk town hall in downtown Louisville. [C-J/AKN]

Doors are kicked in, belongings are tossed on the street or carted off to high-cost storage, and evicted families are forced to move into another squalid rental or worse. That may sound like an endpoint, but often it’s just a wrenching start, leading to a deeper morass of lost jobs, missed school, family breakups, hunger, depression. [Smithsonian]

The Richmond Planning and Zoning Commission is trying to chart a road map to the city’s future, and it’s asking residents for directions. [Richmond Register]

Trump’s missile strike on Syria has drawn favorable reviews from critics and only scattered criticism from Democrats. Yet unlike other Republican presidents who enjoyed a boost in the polls from their military actions, early signs suggest Trump may not be politically rewarded. [The Hill]

Morehead State University President Dr. Wayne Andrews was recognized for his 12 years of service to the university and community at Thursday’s Morehead-Rowan County Chamber of Commerce meeting. [The Morehead News]

It was one of the uglier scandals of the Bush administration: Top officials at an agency dedicated to protecting whistleblowers launched a campaign against their own employees based on suspected sexual orientation, according to an inspector general report. [ProPublica]

Sheila Minor with Barren River Refuge Inc., an organization working to establish a homeless shelter in Glasgow, spoke to members of the Cave City City Council on Monday about the need for the shelter. “People — I don’t know if they don’t want to believe or if they just don’t believe that Barren County has a homeless problem, but we do,” Minor said. [Glasgow Daily Times]

In the latest move by a major automaker to enhance its American manufacturing operations, Toyota said on Monday that it would invest more than $1.3 billion to upgrade its assembly plant in Kentucky. [NY Times]

Eight female inmates at the Boyd County Detention Center were rushed to the hospital Saturday night after they allegedly snorted heroin inside the jail and overdosed. [Ashland Independent]

Attorney General Jeff Sessions will end a Justice Department partnership with independent scientists to raise forensic science standards and has suspended an expanded review of FBI testimony across several techniques that have come under question, saying a new strategy will be set by an in-house team of law enforcement advisers. [WaPo]

Matt Bevin’s administration is looking for expert tax lawyers, apparently in anticipation of a possible special law-making session to overhaul Kentucky’s tax code later this year. [H-L]

Several times a week, a U.S. Air Force pilot takes off from the Royal Air Force base in Mildenhall, England, and heads for the northernmost edge of NATO territory to gather intelligence on Russia. One of these pilots is 40-year-old Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Webster, a veteran of many such expeditions and a hard guy to rattle. [HuffPo]

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Republicans: Still Lying About Coal Jobs

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For more than a week, State Rep. Adam Koenig, R-Erlanger, has been fielding calls and emails from first-responders asking him why he sponsored a bill that would strip them of their workers’ compensation benefits. [H-L]

Lawyers for President Donald Trump tried to prevent former acting Attorney General Sally Yates from testifying before the House Intelligence Committee on links between Trump campaign staff and Russian officials. [HuffPo]

Leave it to backward-ass teabagger Republican, Marilyn Parker, to try to weaken Louisville’s smoking ban. She, like most Kentucky Republicans, reinforces the notion that conservatives in the Commonwealth are dumb as hell. (Because she’s really dumb as hell. She only wound up on council because the Democrats couldn’t get their shit together.) [C-J/AKN]

The Houston man laid out the details of his triumphant plan during a podcast last July: He told listeners that he had wanted to paste white nationalist fliers across the city’s downtown, and, just as importantly, he had wanted the Free Press, a local news and arts website, to write about the fliers. [ProPublica]

The first thing a visitor saw at the second-grade classroom door Friday was a diminutive hand stuck out for a shake. [Ashland Independent]

Trump repealed the so-called “blacklisting rule” Monday that required federal contractors to disclose labor violations. [The Hill]

A public financing method used as a subsidy for redevelopment, infrastructure, and other community-improvement projects is moving forward after both involved entities passed the first reading of the ordinance this month. [The Morehead News]

Matt Bevin and the Republican Party of Kentucky are lying to you about Trump’s anti-environment efforts bringing back coal jobs. They’re not coming back. [NY Times]

The first thing I see when I walk into Karen Blanton’s home is a pair of rhinestone-studded ruby slippers criss-crossed on the mantle. [WFPL]

Really, the Republican Party of Kentucky continues to lie to you about coal jobs. They’re never coming back. [WaPo]

When state coffers were flush in the 1990s, lawmakers were happy to sweeten the pie for state workers and retirees, adding cost of living adjustments and other enhancements to their retirement benefits. [Ronnie Ellis]

Here’s a mainstream outlet calling Trump out for trying to take credit for something Ford announced long ago. [Reuters]

Fayette County school board member Doug Barnett, an attorney, says school district officials should consider challenging the constitutionality of the law that will allow charter schools in Kentucky for the first time. This is apparently the most in-depth charters reporting you’re ever going to get from Valarie Honeycutt Spears. [H-L]

The Affordable Care Act overcame the tea party protests of 2009 and the Democrats losing their filibuster-proof Senate majority in 2010. It survived two challenges in front of the Supreme Court and the calamitous rollout of healthcare.gov. [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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