Yes, Republicans Hate Poor People

Just a reminder that Matt Bevin publicly defended alleged child sex predator Dan Johnson. Educators, parents and politicians from his own party continued a furious condemnation of Matt Bevin after he said that teacher protests in Frankfort for better education funding probably led to the sexual assault of children. [H-L]

A federal judge late Friday barred the federal government from implementing Donald Trump’s ban on transgender members of the military, finding that the ban had to be subject to a careful court review before implementation because of the history of discrimination against transgender individuals. [HuffPo]

Kentucky’s ban on a type of abortion procedure known as dilation and evacuation has been blocked from enforcement by a federal judge until a hearing in June. [C-J/AKN]

The Trump administration is seeking to completely revamp the country’s social safety net, targeting recipients of Medicaid, food stamps and housing assistance. [The Hill]

Morehead State has appointed an interim provost until the university can fill the position. [The Morehead News]

A U.S. prosecutor on Friday attacked a claim by Donald Trump’s longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen that many of the materials seized this week in FBI raids on Cohen’s office and home as part of a criminal investigation should remain private. [Reuters]

The Judicial Nominating Commission, led by Chief Justice of Kentucky John D. Minton Jr., announced Thursday nominees to fill the Circuit Court vacancy for Clark and Madison counties. The counties make up the 25th Judicial Circuit and the vacancy is in the circuit’s 1st Division. [Richmond Register]

Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s maybe-current, maybe-former personal attorney, is having a nice Friday afternoon, smoking cigars on a Manhattan bench with his friends on the first truly beautiful day in New York City in months. [ThinkProgress]

When Jody Richards first entered the state Capitol in Frankfort as a legislator in 1977, he did not envision spending the next four decades as a public servant. “I never imagined it being so long. I intended to stay a maximum of six years,” Richards said. [BGDN]

Donald Trump’s advisers have concluded that a wide-ranging corruption investigation into his personal lawyer poses a greater and more imminent threat to the president than even the special counsel’s investigation, according to several people close to Mr. Trump. [NY Times]

Tension between two Democratic candidates for Boyd County clerk boiled over in the middle of a fiscal court meeting. [Ashland Independent]

House Republicans took their first step Thursday toward overhauling the federal safety net, pushing for new work requirements in the food-stamp program used by 42 million Americans. [WaPo]

As the clock ticked on the final day of the 2018 legislative session Saturday, lawmakers scrambled to put the finishing touches on a contentious legislative session. [H-L]

As deportations and detentions continue to rock the Vietnamese community in the U.S., the former ambassador to Vietnam has revealed that those “repatriations” were the reason for his October departure. [HuffPo]

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Surprise! Republicans Just Screwed You

A new study of the tax bill rushed through the Kentucky General Assembly Monday shows the changes it makes to the tax code are likely to lower taxes for the wealthy while raising taxes for 95 percent of Kentuckians. [H-L]

Bernice King had just turned five when she learned of her father’s assassination. It was 7:01 p.m. in Memphis when Martin Luther King Jr. was shot, close to her bedtime, so she didn’t know about the tragedy until the next day. [HuffPo]

When a community cares more about sports than academics, it’s probably diseased. No one should be surprised. Since that community supported con artists like Jim Ramsey and Robert Felner for years and years. [C-J/AKN]

Here’s looking at you, Matt Bevin, Hal Heiner and the rest of the Six Flags Over Jesus charlatans in Louisville. California Democrats want to make ‘conversion’ therapy consumer fraud. “Courts have found that claims that sexual orientation change efforts are effective in changing an individual’s sexual orientation constitute unlawful, unfair, or fraudulent business practices under state consumer protection laws.” [Rewire & SPLC]

Bruised by their fight over pensions, Kentucky teachers are mobilizing like never before to support legislative candidates who pass a key political test: support for public education. [Richmond Register]

Donald Trump does not like the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. “It’s a horrible law,” Trump has said. The FCPA makes it a crime for U.S. companies to bribe foreign officials, or to partner with others who are clearly doing so. [ProPublica]

The Kentucky Army National Guard has installed a new solar panel array at its field maintenance shop on Summit Road in Boyd County. [The Morehead News]

On Thursday night, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt’s point person for the EPA’s Superfund program failed to show up at a scheduled meeting with residents of a West Virginia town contaminated by toxic chemicals. [ThinkProgress]

More than 30 crafters and vendors from across the region will participate in the fourth annual Morehead Kentucky Proud Expo next weekend at the Morehead Conference Center. [The Morehead News]

This is what Republicans want. Inside a private prison: blood, suicide and poorly paid guards. On the witness stand and under pressure, Frank Shaw, the warden of the East Mississippi Correctional Facility, could not guarantee that the prison was capable of performing its most basic function. [NY Times]

Western Kentucky University announced in February that it would return its regional campuses in Glasgow, Owensboro and Elizabethtown to the Division of Extended Learning and Outreach (DELO) due to the university facing a $15 million budget shortfall. [Glasgow Daily Times]

In the five decades since Martin Luther King Jr. was shot dead by an assassin at age 39, his children have worked tirelessly to preserve his legacy, sometimes with sharply different views on how best to do that. But they are unanimous on one key point: James Earl Ray did not kill Martin Luther King. [WaPo]

On the same day thousands of teachers descended on the Capitol to protest a surprise pension bill passed late last week, the legislature presented them with another surprise Monday: the most significant change to Kentucky’s tax code in more than a decade. [H-L]

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement sent more than 40 Cambodians, many of whom were refugees, back to Cambodia this week. [HuffPo]

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Republicans Are Kickin That Can, Honey

The controversial pension plan rushed through the Kentucky legislature Thursday night would do at least one thing Republican lawmakers vowed to stop this year: It would kick the can down the road. [John Cheves]

Shanna Diederichs crouches in a shallow, circular depression in the floor of a Puebloan ruin, a clear and all-too-familiar sign that looters were here, scouring for pottery and other valuable Native American artifacts. [HuffPo]

The Kentucky Public Service Commission on Friday announced that it had issued its highest ever penalty in a natural gas safety case – a $395,000 fine of Louisville Gas and Electric for a 2014 pipeline break that injured two contract workers. [C-J/AKN]

The widow of the Pulse nightclub gunman walked free on Friday after a jury cleared her of charges related to the 2016 massacre that killed 49 people in Orlando, Florida. [Reuters]

Republican lawmakers Monday morning unveiled a compromise budget which funds public schools at higher levels and paired the budget with a tax overhaul that will lower income taxes, apply sales taxes to some services and raise $479 million in new tax dollars over two years. [Ronnie Ellis]

Former colleagues say the next national security adviser — whose job is to marshal information and present it to the president fairly — resists input that doesn’t fit his biases and retaliates against people he disagrees with. [ProPublica]

River Cities Harvest’s shelves are now 40,169 pounds heavier with food thanks to the annual Food Feud competition between local hospitals. [Ashland Independent]

America needs teachers committed to working with children who have the fewest advantages in life. So for a decade the federal government has offered grants — worth up to $4,000 a year — to standout college students who agree to teach subjects like math or science at lower-income schools. But a new government study, obtained by NPR and later posted by the Department of Education, suggests that thousands of teachers had their grants taken away and converted to loans, sometimes for minor errors in paperwork. That’s despite the fact they were meeting the program’s teaching requirements. [NPR]

Kentucky teachers say they feel betrayed by Republican lawmakers who slipped changes to future pension benefits into an unrelated bill, then hastily passed it in the House and Senate on a party-line vote. [Ronnie Ellis]

The Trump administration is attempting to scale back federal efforts to enforce fair housing laws, freezing enforcement actions against local governments and businesses, including Facebook, while sidelining officials who have aggressively pursued civil rights cases. [NY Times]

Kentucky educators expressed their concern Friday for a bill that passed the Kentucky General Assembly on Thursday. While the 291-page bill originally addressed wastewater services, it now includes pension reform. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A federal judge ruled that the District of Columbia and Maryland may proceed with an unprecedented lawsuit against Donald Trump alleging that Trump’s business dealings have violated the Constitution’s ban on receiving improper “emoluments,” or payments, from individual states and foreign governments. [WaPo]

It was after supper, and Bill Turner was studying for senior finals when his friend Jim Embry ran into the library to tell him the news: “Bill, they killed Dr. King!” [Tom Eblen]

A leading figure in America’s largest Protestant denomination has resigned from his job over a “morally inappropriate relationship in the recent past.” Frank Page, who served as the president and chief executive of the Southern Baptist Convention’s executive committee, announced his retirement on Monday. A day later, he followed up with a statement explaining that he was stepping away from active ministry because of a “personal failing” that has “embarrassed my family, my Lord, myself, and the Kingdom.” [HuffPo]

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Shoo, What A Year March Was

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How many years did I report on this while the mainstream media blew it off? The Kentucky Retirement Systems Board of Trustees is debating whether to join a lawsuit that says the state’s pension agency was cheated on up to $1.5 billion in hedge fund investments by several wealthy corporations, with blame to be shared by some of its own current and former trustees and officials. [John Cheves]

Modern Republicans are so severely gay-panicked they can’t breath. So of course they’re pulling crap like this with trans kids. At least three school districts around the country are continuing to enforce potentially hostile restroom policies for transgender students after the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights refused to investigate student complaints. [HuffPo]

Attorney General Andy Beshear says the surprise new pension bill is illegal, and he will file suit to block its implementation. [C-J/AKN]

Paul Manafort, the former chair of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, had a long professional relationship with a man connected to Russian intelligence. And special counsel Robert Mueller says that man, Konstantin Kilimnik, was still working with Russian intelligence in 2016, when Trump was running for president. [Vox]

Matt Bevin probably had no need Friday to worry about teachers hoarding sick days. Enough called in sick to close more than 20 school districts across the state. [Ronnie Ellis]

For the past 20 years, Hope Workman has hustled up a dirt path on the side of a mountain in Lovely, Kentucky, just to get drinking water. She doesn’t trust what comes out of her tap. [CNN]

Teachers in Northeast Kentucky were furious Friday after the Kentucky General Assembly on Thursday unexpectedly passed pension legislation they say insults them and will cripple the state’s ability to attract new educators. [Ashland Independent]

Cambridge Analytica’s US campaign data, which was harvested from Facebook, is still circulating – despite assurances it has been deleted. [Channel 4]

Their anger is palpable. So is their hurt. Kentucky teachers feel betrayed by a party line vote Thursday night in the Republican controlled General Assembly to make changes in their pension benefits. [Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump ordered the expulsion of 60 Russian officials on Monday, joining a coordinated campaign by two dozen countries to retaliate for the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain in a Cold War-style escalation that again highlighted the disparity between the president’s words and actions. [NY Times]

Teachers from around Kentucky descended on Frankfort Friday morning to protest a surprise pension bill that was rushed through the state legislature the day before. [WFPL]

Six months ago, the conservative radio host and blogger Erick Erickson wrote an opinion piece in the New York Times, inspiringly titled “How to Find Common Ground.” “We owe it to one another to disagree agreeably, without anger or intimidation,” he wrote, noting that social media has put us all in polarized bubbles. [WaPo]

Hundreds of angry teachers gathered in the Capitol Rotunda Friday outside Gov. Matt Bevin’s office to protest a surprise public pension bill that legislators rushed through Thursday. [H-L]

The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday evening sent employees a list of eight approved talking points on climate change from its Office of Public Affairs ― guidelines that promote a message of uncertainty about climate science and gloss over proposed cuts to key adaptation programs. [HuffPo]

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More Boel Bullshit Promoted By WAVE

A Kentucky attorney who fled the country to avoid going to prison before being captured is seeking to have part of a federal case against him thrown out. [H-L]

The tone of the website abortionpillreversal.com is filled with urgency. Women who have taken the first dose of the “abortion pill” — actually two drugs, mifepristone and misoprostol, taken over the span of several days to terminate a pregnancy — are exhorted to call right away if they regret their decision. [HuffPo]

Corrupt secrecy is the University of Louisville way and it’s not going to change any time soon. If you want to know how to stop it? Someone is going to need to do what I did with Robert Felner on a grand scale. A closed-door board of trustees meeting at the University of Louisville Sunday was held with campus police stationed on sidewalks around the University Club to turn away the public. [C-J/AKN]

A judge on Monday denied a defense motion to dismiss charges against the widow of the gunman in the 2016 massacre at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, saying that the gunman’s father’s work an FBI informant was not relevant to the case. [Reuters]

Here’s John Boel doing something stupid again. Stupid and racist. Yes, I fucking said it. Racist. Nearly every “undercover” thing the man has done has been against people of color. It’s disgusting. [WAVE3]

Older Americans who face discrimination on the job can’t rely on the courts as much as earlier generations did. [ProPublica]

Kentucky Republicans love screwing poor people and the working class. Edna Bland had just adopted a child, her father was dying and her husband was having risky heart surgery when a mortgage company tried to take her house in 2009. [Richmond Register]

A pair of letters released on Tuesday reveal that the National Rifle Association (NRA) has received foreign funds, calling into question that much further the tens of millions of dollars the NRA donated to the Donald Trump campaign — money that came from an arm of the NRA not required to reveal the identities of its donors. [ThinkProgress]

Kentucky lawmakers are looking to allocate tax money to spur economic development and jobs — even while they struggle to cobble together a budget without sufficient revenues which will still fund education and the state’s badly underfunded public pension systems. [Ronnie Ellis]

Medicare officials thought they had finally figured out how to do their part to fix the troubling problem of opioids being overprescribed to the old and disabled: In 2016, a staggering one in three of 43.6 million beneficiaries of the federal health insurance program had been prescribed the painkillers. [NY Times]

The cost for Metcalfe County to offer a 401K-type of retirement package to employees of the Barren-Metcalfe County Emergency Medical Service, should the ambulance service’s board of directors choose to go that route, could range from $534,000 to $413,000. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Donald Trump frequently said Mexico would pay for a wall along the southern border as he sought the presidency in 2016. Now, he is privately pushing the U.S. military to fund construction of his signature project. [WaPo]

A proposed $60 million tax break aimed at creating jobs in rural Kentucky is poised to get final approval from Kentucky lawmakers, but critics contend the bill lacks one key element: proof that those cashing in the tax break actually created jobs. [H-L]

The Louisiana attorney general said Tuesday he won’t charge two white police officers in the fatal shooting of a black man that sparked heated protests across the country. [HuffPo]

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Matt Bevin Lives In The Damn Gutter

Matt Bevin continues to insult teachers, workers and retirees because he’s a modern Republican. That means he’s a garbage human. He’s not a decent person like Republicans from just a few years ago. He’s just trash. [Tom Eblen]

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), the senior Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, says that social media giant Facebook hasn’t been fully transparent about its previously unreported data leak. [HuffPo]

Maybe don’t joke-threaten to kill a sitting congressperson? A Republican candidate for Kentucky secretary of state tweeted Tuesday that he would like to use Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth as target practice. Carl Nett, a former member of the U.S. Secret Service, who worked under contract with the CIA, was responding to a tweet from Yarmuth who was bragging about his F grade from the National Rifle Association. [C-J/AKN]

Modern Republicans aren’t just garbage – they’re bigots. Donald Trump signed a memorandum on Friday that bans some transgender individuals from serving in the U.S. military, but gives the armed forces latitude in implementing policies. [Reuters]

A study released [last] week shows many Appalachian counties — especially those in eastern Kentucky — have drug overdose mortality rates that are substantially higher than the national average. [Richmond Register]

For nearly half a century, IBM came as close as any company to bearing the torch for the American Dream. [ProPublica]

Do people for real freak out about something as simple as coyotes? Hearing and seeing coyotes in her neighborhood has one Ashland woman worried, and unhappy with what she sees as insufficient official response to a serious problem. [Ashland Independent]

The political action committee founded by John R. Bolton, Donald Trump’s incoming national security adviser, was one of the earliest customers of Cambridge Analytica, which it hired specifically to develop psychological profiles of voters with data harvested from tens of millions of Facebook profiles, according to former Cambridge employees and company documents. [NY Times]

This is now dead but don’t forget that Damon Thayer was behind it. Damon is a coward with a lot to hid. And if the current Kentucky Democratic Party’s leadership weren’t so inept, you might see me sharing the research book on Damon. [Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump did not follow specific warnings from his national security advisers when he congratulated Russian President Vladi­mir Putin Tuesday on his reelection, including a section in his briefing materials in all-capital letters stating “DO NOT CONGRATULATE,” according to officials familiar with the call. Trump also chose not to heed talking points from aides instructing him to condemn Putin about the recent poisoning of a former Russian spy in the United Kingdom with a powerful nerve agent, a case that both the British and U.S. governments have blamed on Moscow. [WaPo]

At least four cases in Hart County have been dismissed as an apparent consequence of a federal investigation apparently targeting the Horse Cave police chief and one of his officers, each of whom invoked his Fifth Amendment right not to testify in court proceedings this week. Further, a letter from the officer’s attorney included in the court files for two of those defendants – Anthony L. Owens and Rickey Bell – states that Owens’ cases are the subject of that federal investigation. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Valentine’s Day started off as a great day for Victoria Gonzalez. “Joaquin and I exchanged gifts in the morning and he walked me to class. I was so happy,” she said. [BBC]

Eastern Kentucky University President Michael Benson recommended $25 million in budget cuts Thursday that would affect nearly every level of the Richmond-based school. His plan would cut 200 positions, close its Danville campus, eliminate academic programs and slash athletics spending by 20 percent, which might mean shutting down one or two sports teams. [H-L]

Modern Republicans are garbage humans. Former U.S. senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum suggested on Sunday that students concerned about gun violence in their schools should learn how to revive wounded people instead of asking lawmakers “to solve their problems.” [HuffPo]

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Jeff Hoover’s Finally Had His Bigoted Butt Handed To Him And We All Get To Watch Him Melt Down

The Legislative Research Commission is still corrupt as hell. The former chief clerk of the Kentucky House has filed a lawsuit saying he was fired for reporting ethical misdeeds in the sexual harassment scandal involving former House Speaker Jeff Hoover and other lawmakers. Brad Metcalf, who was fired in January, alleges in his whistleblower suit filed Thursday that the woman who made the complaint showed him text messages she’d exchanged with Hoover, “many of an explicit nature,” as well as a timeline of their “inappropriate encounters,” before the secret settlement was reached. [C-J/AKN]

In the midst of a federal investigation into corruption in the world of college basketball, a Louisville lawmaker is trying to tighten up the rules that govern athletic agents. [Linda Blackford]

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson is changing the mission statement of his agency, removing promises of inclusive and discrimination-free communities. [HuffPo]

Republican John Schickel is a basket of clown dicks. That old racist is fighting to keep forced child marriages legal. [More C-J/AKN]

The world’s biggest investment management firm is stepping up pressure on companies that make and sell guns after the Florida school shooting. [BBC]

Kim Davis is a hypocrite and a monster. But Matt Bevin is worse. Can’t wait til people start to talk about what goes on in his private office. 2019 will be fun. [WDRB]

A prominent Kremlin-linked Russian politician has methodically cultivated ties with leaders of the National Rifle Association and documented efforts in real time over six years to leverage those connections and gain deeper access into American politics. [NPR]

It’s a far cry from what the original pension reform proposal released last fall and it’s far from acceptable to most teachers and state employees, but Wednesdaym a state Senate committee sent a compromise pension reform bill to the full Senate. [Ronnie Ellis]

The Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that people held in immigration detention, sometimes for years, are not entitled to periodic hearings to decide whether they may be released on bail. [NY Times]

On wintry or rainy days, most Kentucky state lawmakers travel from their offices in the annex through an underground tunnel connected to the Capitol building. [More Ronnie Ellis]

Inside the White House, aides over the past week have described an air of anxiety and volatility — with an uncontrollable commander in chief at its center. These are the darkest days in at least half a year, they say, and they worry just how much farther Donald Trump and his administration may plunge into unrest and malaise before they start to recover. As one official put it: “We haven’t bottomed out.” [WaPo]

he state House Judiciary Committee heard a second day of testimony on a bill legalizing the use of medical marijuana – this time from opponents – but took no vote. [Even More Ronnie Ellis]

George Nader, a Lebanese-American businessman, has hovered on the fringes of international diplomacy for three decades. He was a back-channel negotiator with Syria during the Clinton administration, reinvented himself as an adviser to the de facto ruler of the United Arab Emirates, and last year was a frequent visitor to Donald Trump’s White House. Mr. Nader is now a focus of the investigation by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel. [More NY Times]

A newly-elected board of elders for Southern Acres Christian Church has taken possession of the church and ousted senior pastor Cameron McDonald from his position. [H-L]

Sen Turd Cruz (R-Racist) has a warning for his fellow Republicans: The party is in danger of losing both houses of Congress in November. [HuffPo]

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