Trump Apparently Loves Him Some Waterworks

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In a city where investment bankers and coal magnates pay $10,000 or more for University of Kentucky men’s basketball season tickets, head coach of the Wildcats has long been a high-pressure job with rich financial rewards. [H-L]

Parts of Donald Trump’s 2005 federal tax returns were made public on Tuesday night, revealing that the president made $150 million that year and paid $38 million in taxes. [HuffPo]

U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth doubled-down on comments questioning President Donald Trump’s mental state during a Monday appearance on MSNBC. [C-J/AKN]

When Ruby Corado arrived at her office on Sunday, she found broken glass everywhere, a door ripped off its frame and a shaken staffer. [NBC News]

Why aren’t more Kentucky cities and counties jumping on this life-saving train? The Madison Fiscal Court on Tuesday morning cleared the way for the county health department to operate a syringe exchange program for users of illegal injectable drugs. [Richmond Register]

Just in case you needed a reminder that the New Republicanism is built on racism and xenophobia. [The Hill]

Build Ashland members updated the Ashland Rotary Club on their accomplishments, sharing that the group is expanding from just cleaning up the community. [Ashland Independent]

Republicans on Tuesday defended their plan to dismantle Obamacare after a bipartisan report showed 14 million Americans would lose medical insurance by next year under their proposal even as it reduces the budget deficit. [Reuters]

It’s one of a select few governing bodies within the county that can levy taxes and now because of expiring terms the Rowan County Public Library Board will look to replace two Trustees. [The Morehead News]

Girl Guides of Canada has cancelled all trips to the United States until further notice because it fears problems at the border. [BBC]

The Cave City Tourist and Convention Commission meeting was about to adjourn Monday when Wandel Strange, a member of the tourist commission, pointed out that a personnel file is a public record. Always fun when smalltown meemaws and poppops have no clue about obligations to the public they’re elected to represent. [Glasgow Daily Times]

At the State Department, the normally pulsating hub of executive offices is hushed and virtually empty. At the Pentagon, military missions in some of the world’s most troubled places are being run by a defense secretary who has none of his top team in place. And at departments like Treasury, Commerce and Health and Human Services, many senior posts remain vacant even as the agencies have been handed enormous tasks like remaking the nation’s health insurance system. [NY Times]

Maybe if people like Valarie Honeycutt Spears hadn’t been beyond lazy and deliberately shitty in reporting on the Montgomery County scandals, crap like this wouldn’t be happening in the legislature. Easing nepotism restrictions in school districts is dangerous and we’ve proved it with the Joshua Powell nightmare. Spears ought to re-examine the role she played in the disaster while sitting on her hands. [H-L]

Of course Trump leaked them himself. Or maybe it was “John Barron”? Unfortunately for him, the rest of the world wasn’t dumb enough to fall for it and Rachel Maddow used it as an opportunity to educate the world about the Russia connections. [HuffPo]

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RPK’s Race To The Bottom Continues

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Republicans in Kentucky love to create solutions to problems that don’t exist. This particularly legislation comes about because people like Stan Lee and Al Robinson have victim complexes. And folks like Jeff Hoover are just straight up homophobic and has a public history of pushing homophobia. [H-L]

HOLY SHIT Ben Carson is dumb! How does a person get this far while being so painfully dumb? [HuffPo]

Liquor store owner and State Rep. C. Wesley Morgan is making progress in his effort to rewrite Kentucky liquor laws in ways more favorable to liquor stores. [C-J/AKN]

In a blow to advocates of transgender rights, the U.S. Supreme Court Monday said it would not hear the case of a transgender high school student fighting to use the bathroom of his choice. [NBC News]

Leave it to the Republican Party of Kentucky to stiff workers like injured police officers and others. A bill that would limit workers’ compensation benefits has been paused after passing the state House of Representatives last week. [WFPL]

Mukasey, who served as the attorney general under former President George W. Bush, said he believes there was surveillance on Trump Tower after reading certain news reports. Mukasey said if there were a wiretap on Trump Tower, it would mean that there was suspicion someone had been acting as Russian agent. [The Hill]

Kentucky will not join 29 other states calling for a constitutional convention to propose a federal balance budget amendment — at least not this year. [Ronnie Ellis]

Demand for travel to the United States over the coming months has flattened out following a positive start to the year, with uncertainty over a possible new travel order likely deterring visitors, travel analysis company ForwardKeys said on Monday. [Reuters]

Resilient. That is the word Morehead State University presidential finalist Dr. Joseph “Jay” Morgan uses to describe the university. [The Morehead News]

The American people must immediately demand a cessation of all consequential actions by this “president” until we can be assured that Russian efforts to hack our election, in a way that was clearly meant to help him and damage his opponent, did not also include collusion with or coverup by anyone involved in the Trump campaign and now administration. [NY Times]

The House budget committee will take up a bill Tuesday designed to reward the state’s universities for performance in key areas like graduation, degrees and retention. [More Ronnie Ellis]

The Republican Party of Kentucky is now a national embarrassment for pushing the resegregation of Jefferson County Public Schools. It’s not about “school choice” or putting kids on a bus for two hours a day. It’s about racism. [WaPo]

Because there’s no way the Republican Party of Kentucky could have done this on its own. The current crop of folks in power can barely spell their own names. [H-L]

House Republican leaders on Monday formally unveiled legislation to repeal most of the Affordable Care Act and “replace” it with a very different health policy scheme ― one in which government would do a lot less to help people get comprehensive health insurance and, most likely, many more people would struggle to find affordable medical care. [HuffPo]

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Larry O’Bryan’s Finally Going To Prison

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Republicans like Whitney Westerfield and Bob Stivers are hypocritical assholes. But you already knew that. Their latest nonsense? It’ll infuriate you even more that these cowards don’t have the guts to say things like this in public without the protection of guards because they’d get their asses kicked.
The Republican Senate majority won’t hear a bill that would require abused or neglected children to remain enrolled in school because it doesn’t wish to get involved in the sensitive subject of home-schooling, a key senator said Wednesday. [John Cheves]

The Indianapolis Star reported that Pence used a personal email account for official Indiana business while governor ― and that the account was hacked by a low-level scammer last summer. Pence used a personal AOL account to correspond with top advisers in Indiana, at times discussing sensitive topics that included the state’s response to terror attacks and the arrests of several men on federal terror-related charges, according to emails released to the Star in response to a public records request. [HuffPo]

Lawrence J. O’Bryan, 57, was sentenced in a Lexington federal district court for convictions on three counts of bribery concerning a federally funded program, U.S. Attorney Carlton S. Shier said in a news release. 60 months and a $100,000 fine. [C-J/AKN]

Republicans looooooove this kind of faux accountability. School officials nationwide dodge accountability ratings by steering low achievers to alternative programs. In Orlando, Florida, the nation’s tenth-largest district, thousands of students who leave alternative charters run by a for-profit company aren’t counted as dropouts. [ProPublica]

This is what happens when Republicans turn corrupt – they do stupid shit that harms Kentucky. A committee chairman might have pulled the plug on his own bill Wednesday when he skipped over the measure that would alter an incentive for Kentucky’s solar industry. [WFPL]

Donald Olestra Shart Trump has given terrorist groups a propaganda victory beyond their wildest dreams. [Politico]

The state House of Representatives passed measures Thursday to provide school districts extra money for transportation costs and to teach work skills and drug prevention as part of the public schools’ curriculum. [Ronnie Ellis]

Pressure is growing on Republican leaders to support a special prosecutor to investigate contacts between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, transition team and Russian intelligence agents. [The Hill]

On Nov. 8, Samantha Burford defeated incumbent John Lackey for a seat on the Madison County School Board by 98 votes. After his defeat, Lackey filed suit claiming Burford was ineligible to be a candidate based on alleged conflicts from her work for Madison County Schools Sports Television. [Richmond Register]

Eleven U.S. states have agreed to drop a lawsuit against an Obama administration order for transgender students to use bathrooms of their choice after the measure was revoked by President Donald Trump, a court filing showed on Thursday. [Reuters]

Legislation, sponsored by Sen. Robin Webb, D-Grayson, that would classify horses as livestock and establish consistency within Kentucky livestock statutes Thursday cleared the Senate. [Ashland Independent]

Jeff Sessions really wanted to do racism but effed up and did some perjury and treason or something instead. He’s not a good enough liar to be a part of the Trump mess. [WaPo]

Safety inspectors would visit Kentucky’s underground mines less often under a bill moving through the state House of Representatives. [H-L]

The Trump “Administration” repeatedly denied there was any contact with Russia during the campaign. It has now conceded that some of its top officials did indeed have contact with Russia during the campaign. [HuffPo]

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Trans Kids & Weed Terrify Republicans

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Of course Matt Bevin feels at home at a gathering of racist lunatics. Matt Bevin took the stage Thursday at one of the nation’s premier gatherings of conservatives, imploring attendees at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., to stay engaged in the political process. [H-L]

Christ. Donald Trump said on Thursday he wants to build up the U.S. nuclear arsenal to ensure it is at the “top of the pack,” saying the United States has fallen behind in its atomic weapons capacity. [HuffPo]

Seems like only yesterday people at A Kentucky Newspaper were telling us it was insane to suggest that Jim Ramsey and the University of Louisville were squandering cash. My, how times have changed. [C-J/AKN]

William H. McRaven, retired U.S. Admiral and UT System Chancellor, championed the role of the news media in a speech to Moody College of Communications students and faculty on Tuesday. “We must challenge this statement and this sentiment that the news media is the enemy of the American people,” McRaven said. “This sentiment may be the greatest threat to democracy in my lifetime.” [The Daily Texan]

Also Julian Carroll’s treasurer. Note: Emily Dennis almost bungled the Steve Henry case, so most of this is not surprising. She needs to move on from KREF sooner rather than later. Over the last two years Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton and his 2014 campaign have been under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance (KREF) regarding Melton’s campaign account, and donations from a suspect in an on-going drug investigation, according to testimony from KREF and Melton’s former campaign treasurer Yvonne Hill. [CN|Toot]

Jeff Sessions on Thursday rescinded an Obama-era memorandum instructing the Bureau of Prisons to decline or not renew private prison contracts after their terms expire. [TDB]

Despite reservations from several senators, the state Senate overwhelmingly passed a measure Wednesday changing the way Kentucky higher education is funded. [Ronnie Ellis]

This are getting high-larious. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Thursday that “there should be greater enforcement” of federal laws prohibiting the use of recreational marijuana, the first comments on the issue for the new administration. [BuzzFeed]

While the Affordable Care Act has brought health coverage to millions of Americans, the effects have been profound, even lifesaving, for some of those caught up in the nation’s opioid-addiction crisis. [Ashland Independent]

This is a big effing deal. The FBI rejected a recent White House request to publicly knock down media reports about communications between Donald Trump’s associates and Russians known to US intelligence during the 2016 presidential campaign, multiple US officials briefed on the matter tell CNN. [CNN]

The February meeting of the Metcalfe County Board of Education opened with Joey Shive being re-elected as chair and Tim Brown re-elected as vice chair. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A purported cyberhack of the daughter of political consultant Paul Manafort suggests that he was the victim of a blackmail attempt while he was serving as Donald Trump’s presidential campaign chairman last summer. The undated communications, which are allegedly from the iPhone of Manafort’s daughter, include a text that appears to come from a Ukrainian parliamentarian named Serhiy Leshchenko, seeking to reach her father, in which he claims to have politically damaging information about both Manafort and Trump. [Politico]

The Senate approved a controversial bill Thursday that spells out the right of the governor to remove public university board members. Senate Minority Leader Ray Jones, D-Pikeville, called the bill “a power grab” and said it gives the governor too much power to remove board members. [H-L]

Most butts only have one hole and Betsy DeVos is proving that. [HuffPo]

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The Republican Way: Fearing Trans Kids

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Kentucky legislators took the first step Tuesday in creating a new way of funding higher education that would funnel $1 billion to public universities and colleges based on their graduation rates and other performance measures. [Linda Blackford]

White House adviser Stephen Miller said President Donald Trump’s new travel ban will accomplish much the same thing as the old one. [HuffPo]

Yet more proof that the Republican Party of Kentucky is living in the dark ages. Be thankful that the current generation of leadership in Frankfort is old enough to die of natural causes within two decades. Their wrongs can be righted. If that sounds extreme? You’re probably someone who is cool with coal slurry flooding the water table. [C-J/AKN]

The Trump Disaster withdrew Title IX guidelines that protected transgender students. So, Republicans, you can get fucked if you think you’re going to flit around branding yourselves as supporting equality of any sort. If you support or normalize these people in Washington, you’re part of the problem. [BuzzFeed]

Poor Candy Barr got his ass handed to him by constituents when he couldn’t be anything but an awful wretch on the health care front. People in Mt. Sterling know it’s not about partisanship – it’s about human rights. Opponents flooded a town hall event held by U.S. Rep. Andy Barr in Mt. Sterling early Wednesday morning. The group booed, shouted down and at times hissed at Kentucky’s 6th district congressman over his stances on cutting corporate taxes, repealing the Affordable Care Act and scaling back the Environmental Protection Agency. [WFPL]

The White House has pushed back the release of a new executive order to replace its directive suspending travel to the United States by citizens of seven mostly Muslim countries, a White House official said on Wednesday. [Reuters]

Maybe those watching as U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell confronted protesters from across Kentucky at a scheduled stop here Tuesday expected confrontation. [Ronnie Ellis]

President Trump on Wednesday rescinded protections for transgender students that had allowed them to use bathrooms corresponding with their gender identity, overruling his own education secretary and placing his administration firmly in the middle of the culture wars that many Republicans have tried to leave behind. [NY Times]

The Ashland Board of Zoning Adjustment nixed a proposal by a local doctor to turn the old Ashland Junior College building on Central Avenue into a drug rehabilitation and detox center. [Ashland Independent]

The Trump administration in its first month has largely benched the State Department from its long-standing role as the pre­eminent voice of U.S. foreign policy, curtailing public engagement and official travel and relegating Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to a mostly offstage role. [WaPo]

Barren County Fiscal Court unanimously passed the first of two readings of an ordinance to make some revisions, mostly clarifications, to the original ordinance passed late last year to establish a taxing district through which revenue would be collected. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The racist history of incarceration that Donald Trump is threatening to repeat. The internment of American citizens during World War II cannot remain a historical footnote. [ThinkProgress]

Andy Barr was laughed at, booed, interrupted, scolded and, a few times, praised by constituents who packed inside the Montgomery County Courthouse Annex early Wednesday morning. [H-L]

A CNN segment turned tense Tuesday night when the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect’s executive director verbally sparred with Kayleigh McEnany, the network’s in-house surrogate for President Donald Trump. [HuffPo]

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People Like Bob Stivers Have No Business Making Decisions For Lexington And Louisville

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Think the Republican Party of Kentucky has your best interests at heart? Here the Republicans are voting to allow more nepotism in your school districts. [H-L]

Much has been made of the monetary cost of Donald Trump’s proposed border wall. Trump himself has cited wildly differing estimates. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Nazi-Enabler) recently said that the wall would cost $12 billion to $15 billion. Some experts have cited numbers far higher. But the wall’s true cost surpasses even the biggest numbers being discussed. There’s upkeep, of course — hundreds of millions of dollars per year will be needed to maintain the 1,000-mile barrier. There are other expenses, too, some of them intangible and difficult to quantify. [HuffPo]

If Greg Fischer really wants to know if lenders discriminate, he already has a ton of the info at his disposal. He can examine bank data to see if area banks are investing and lending in the areas they’re legally required to invest and lend in. Spoiler alert: He has people on his staff who already know this data by heart because I helped them compile it in late 2014. [C-J/AKN]

Mr. Sater, a longtime business associate of Mr. Trump’s with connections in Russia, was willing to help Mr. Artemenko’s proposal reach the White House. Mr. Trump has sought to distance himself from Mr. Sater in recent years. If Mr. Sater “were sitting in the room right now,” Mr. Trump said in a 2013 deposition, “I really wouldn’t know what he looked like.” But Mr. Sater worked on real estate development deals with the Trump Organization on and off for at least a decade, even after his role in the stock manipulation scheme came to light. Mr. Sater, who was born in the Soviet Union and grew up in New York, served as an executive at a firm called Bayrock Group, two floors below the Trump Organization in Trump Tower, and was later a senior adviser to Mr. Trump. [NY Times]

The Highlands Museum and Discovery Center has received a $1,000 grant from the Kentucky Local History Trust Fund, the Kentucky Historical Society announced Thursday. [Ashland Independent]

On its own, Trump’s relationship with Sater might be written off (albeit not terribly plausibly) as simply a sleazy relationship Trump entered into to get access to capital he needed to finance his projects. Whatever shadowy ties Sater might have and whatever his criminal background, Trump has long since washed his hands of him. (Again, we’re talking about most generous reads here.) But now we learn that Sater is still very much in the Trump orbit and acting as a go-between linking Trump and a pro-Putin Ukrainian parliamentarian pitching ‘peace plans’ for settling the dispute between Russia and Ukraine. [TPM]

After Sater got busted, somehow he managed to offer his services to the FBI and supposedly the CIA to work on their behalf purchasing stinger missiles and other weapons on the then wild and free-wheeling Russian black market. [More TPM]

The Daniel Boone National Forest is celebrating 80 years as part of America’s national forest system. [Richmond Register]

Teen suicide attempts in the U.S. declined after same-sex marriage became legal and the biggest impact was among gay, lesbian and bisexual kids, a study found. [AP]

Kentucky regulators have approved a coal ash landfill for a power plant in Trimble County, advancing a project that’s been on hold for several years as regulators worked around concerns about the area’s geology and proximity to neighbors. [WFPL]

After she lost her son, Tonda Thompson dreamed of a baby in a washing machine. She’d stuffed in dirty clothes and closed the door. The lock clicked shut. Water rushed in. Then she saw him, floating behind the glass. Frantic, she jabbed at a keypad on the machine, searching for a code to unlock the door. [The Nation]

Motions from both sides of a lawsuit against Barren County Sheriff Kent Keen – and responses to those motions – have been filed in Barren Circuit Court and are awaiting the judge’s rulings. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Most Republicans in Washington are biting their tongues when it comes to Donald Trump, fearful that any candid criticisms of the new president could invite a backlash from their constituents or, potentially worse, provoke retribution from the commander in chief himself. Mark Sanford is not like most Republicans in Washington. [Politico]

This is why you shouldn’t trust bloated (no, not their physical appearance), backwater, out-of-touch xenophobes to make decisions for metro areas like Lexington and Louisville. The Lexington Urban County Council and several Lexington neighborhoods are opposing a state House bill that they say would make it more difficult for neighborhoods to fight proposed real estate developments in the courts. [H-L]

NASA continues to steadfastly tweet urgent climate change information despite a critical president and GOP efforts to force the agency to stick to space and forget the Earth. The Trump administration aims to largely restrict NASA to focus on its space missions and abandon climate change research, which is a part of its Earth Sciences Division. [HuffPo]

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Matt Bevin Remains The Dumbest Governor In Kentucky History

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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