Rand Paul Is Running From Donald Trump

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If folks cared about animal advocacy, they’d put an end to this stuff happening in their own back yard. n a tiled, windowless room at the University of Kentucky, Meagan Stetler and Toma Matott are playing with six beagles. The dogs trot around the room, wag their tails and poke Matott with wet noses as they look for the can of Cheese Whiz she holds. Though they look like pets, they are actually laboratory animals bred for research. In this case, it’s an Alzheimer’s study sponsored by a pharmaceutical company, which means UK officials say they can’t divulge any details about what’s happening to the dogs. When it’s over, the dogs will be euthanized, or sent to another facility for more testing. [Linda Blackford]

“I can tell you, speaking for myself, I own nothing in Russia,” President Trump said at a news conference last month. “I have no loans in Russia. I don’t have any deals in Russia.” But in the United States, members of the Russian elite have invested in Trump buildings. A Reuters review has found that at least 63 individuals with Russian passports or addresses have bought at least $98.4 million worth of property in seven Trump-branded luxury towers in southern Florida, according to public documents, interviews and corporate records. [HuffPo]

Rand Paul will be in Louisville on Monday but will head back to Washington D.C. prior to President Donald Trump’s political rally at Freedom Hall. [C-J/AKN]

New Republicanism is dangerous. Potty-Trained Republicans would have advocated for the protection of consumers. These new Neo-Nazi jackasses? They’re out to rob you blind. Grift, grift, grift. [WSJ]

This is utter insanity and the Richmond Register ought to apologize to its readership for publish pseudoscience. [Richmond Register]

A Tennessee woman who backs President Donald Trump credits God and the Republican health care bill — which hasn’t been voted into law — for her family’s dramatically lower insurance costs. [Rawstory]

A bill to hold Kentucky’s no-jail jailers accountable for their work passed through the legislature this week and is awaiting Gov. Matt Bevin’s approval. [WFPL]

Republicans who control legislatures in key states around the country are moving to seize power from Democratic executive officers and independent judges, enraging Democrats, who say the moves undermine the will of voters. Kentucky Republicans are advancing a bill to block the state’s attorney general, a Democrat, from filing civil lawsuits. [The Hill]

Some Metcalfe County Fiscal Court members are floating the idea of pulling out of the joint ambulance service for Metcalfe and Barren counties, depending on what other options they may have. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who was removed from his post by the Trump administration last week, was overseeing an investigation into stock trades made by the president’s health secretary, according to a person familiar with the office. [ProPublica]

One of two bills that would cut election costs for Kentucky counties is poised to pass through the General Assembly. [Ashland Independent]

Trump’s unproven allegation that his predecessor wiretapped Trump Tower in New York ahead of the election blazed a new path of political disruption Friday as he dragged two foreign allies into his increasingly thin argument that he is right. [WaPo]

Republican bigots like Katie Stine are always suckling at the teat of government. Former state Sen. Katie Stine, R-Southgate, was hired this month by the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet as executive director of the Office of the State Medical Examiner, according to state personnel records. [John Cheves]

When politicians take money from megadonors, there are strings attached. But with the reclusive duo who propelled Trump into the White House, there’s a fuse. [HuffPo]

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Republicans Have No Idea What They’re Supposed To Do Now And It Is Highly Entertaining

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More proof the Republicans couldn’t give a shit about education in the Commonwealth. The Kentucky House gave final passage to a bill Wednesday that gives Gov. Matt Bevin broad authority to remove public university board members. [H-L]

Sen. John McCain of Arizona attacked fellow Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky on Wednesday, accusing him of doing the bidding of Russian President Vladimir Putin. It’s strange how John McCain still hasn’t picked up on the reality that Rand Paul is Stephen Bannon in a tinier body. [HuffPo]

Jeff Hoover needs to look within his own house (and House) if he wants to start talking about discrimination. House Speaker Jeff Hoover has permanently banned Dan Seum Jr., the son of state Sen. Dan Seum, from the third floor of the Capitol Annex after a legislative staff investigation found the younger Seum had made “racially charged” remarks at the offices last month. [C-J/AKN]

Get your popcorn ready! Trump on Thursday will make public his first federal budget blueprint, revealing a plan to dramatically reduce the size of government. [The Hill]

Republicans are dead set on further starving public schools. The state Senate approved legislation authorizing charter schools in Kentucky after a three-hour debate on Wednesday. Note that the racist white guys in the group trotted out their token black guy, bigoted-ass Jerry Stephenson, to sell this as if it’s not some kick in the gut to people of color. [WFPL]

A defiant Donald Trump has pledged to appeal against a federal judge’s order placing an immediate halt on his revised travel ban, describing the ruling as judicial overreach that made the United States look weak. [Reuters]

Kentucky no longer needs constables. A jury found Constable Bobby Joe Smith guilty of reckless homicide Wednesday. [WYMT]

The Trump administration has been the focus of remarkable reporting recently — much of it relying on unnamed sources. [ProPublica]

Kentucky’s Republican-led legislature handed Gov. Matt Bevin a bill Wednesday giving him and his successors more power to remove entire public university boards or individual members. [Richmond Register]

Polish officials are seeking the arrest of a Minnesota man they say was a Nazi commander during World War Two. [BBC]

A request by Kentucky State Police Post 14 on Tuesday to use the Boyd County road department garage for car maintenance and repair did not receive a motion from the fiscal court. [Ashland Independent]

A congressional plan to make Planned Parenthood ineligible for federal funding would leave many women without services to help them avoid pregnancy, resulting in thousands of additional births, according to a new federal budget analysis. [WaPo]

What in the actual fuck is this story? Seriously. Did Jack Brammer die? [H-L]

A federal judge in Hawaii has placed a nationwide hold on key aspects of President Donald Trump’s second attempt at a ban on travel ― a scaled-back version that targeted all non-visa holders from six Muslim-majority countries, as well as a halt on the U.S. refugee resettlement program ― just hours before the new restrictions were to take effect. [HuffPo]

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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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Turns Out It’s Possible: Matt Bevin Got Even More Embarrassing

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The valley along Looney Creek in Harlan County was a wooded wilderness in 1917 when U.S. Steel, hungry for coal to make steel during World War I, bought 19,000 acres and set about creating the largest company-owned coal town in the world. [H-L]

OMG hold on to your wigs. Former President George W. Bush took President Donald Trump’s administration to task on Monday. [HuffPo]

Bratcher faced intense questioning and criticism from community members worried the bill is half-baked, stands to resegregate schools and constitutes government overreach. [C-J/AKN]

Matt Bevin isn’t just dumb – he’s as corrupt and backward as Donald Trump. He lies more than Trump, which is borderline astonishing. Errr… it would be. But this is a man with black children who pursues policies that disproportionally harm black people. [Faux Spews]

Just in case you missed Matt Bevin lying about how the Affordable Care Act has helped Kentucky. [WKYT]

It cost New York City about $24 million to provide security at Trump Tower, President Donald Trump’s skyscraper home in Manhattan, from Election Day to Inauguration Day, or $308,000 per day, New York’s police commissioner said on Wednesday. [Reuters]

Restaurants open with the intent to serve, but two restaurants in Madison County have taken the idea of service to heart and have built their business models around offering everyone a place at their tables. [Richmond Register]

No going to church, no going to the store. No doctor’s appointments for some, no school for others. No driving, period — not when a broken taillight could deliver the driver to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. [NY Times]

Because all people experiencing depression and other issues show outward signs??? An inmate who hanged himself in the Greenup County Detention Center earlier this month had shown no signs of distress, jailer Mike Worthington said Friday. [Ashland Independent]

When your mind goes so far right-wing that you can’t discern humor. This is hilarious and terrifying. [WaPo]

Revising the health care law from the previous presidential administration was the primary issue U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie was interested in discussing during one of his stops in Glasgow on Wednesday, but he also touched on political topics ranging from Russia to Mexico. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Remember when Jack Conway said this sort of thing was fine and the Kentucky media turned a blind eye? An investigation by Fox 25 in Oklahoma has confirmed that Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt used a private email account to conduct official business while he was the state’s attorney general, directly contradicting what he told the Senate during his confirmation hearing. [ThinkProgress]

With the General Assembly controlled by business-friendly Republicans, electric utilities might have sensed an opportunity to ram through legislation to limit the growth of independent solar power in Kentucky. [H-L]

Jewish facilities around the nation were rocked by yet another wave of bomb threats Monday, forcing evacuations in at least 12 states. [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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RPK Denies Trying To Take Louisville Over, Egg Still Visible On Its Face

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Kentucky Retirement Systems, the state pension agency that officially faces an $18.1 billion unfunded liability, might be in far worse financial shape than previously thought. That means taxpayers could be on the hook for much more money to honor pension commitments to about 365,000 public employees. [John Cheves]

Donald Trump’s administration labeled The Associated Press’s reporting on a leak “100 percent false” on Friday morning, only to acknowledge less than an hour later that the story was based on a real document. [HuffPo]

If you think this isn’t a Republican attempt to take over in Louisville, you’re probably someone who believes the moon landing was faked. [C-J/AKN]

From the Department of Things Ken Ham and Scott Jennings wouldn’t understand… Zircons are an ordinary gemstone found in granites from continental crust and are an incredibly accurate way to measure ages on the order of hundreds of millions to billions of years old. [Forbes]

Remember a decade or so ago when we started uncovering and reporting on corruption involving Jim Ramsey and the University of Louisville? And when Ramsey, et al (mostly Democrats tied to Jack Conway), started coming for us? Funny how that works. Turns out we were right all along. [WFPL]

Twice as many people now work in solar than in the coal industry, according to a new survey from the nonprofit Solar Foundation. [Fast Company]

If you happen to be on the campus of Harvard University this spring and you run into former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, don’t be surprised. Beshear will be on campus as part of the Richard L. and Ronay A. Menschel Senior Leadership Fellows at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. [Business First]

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation is pursuing at least three separate probes relating to alleged Russian hacking of the U.S. presidential elections, according to five current and former government officials with direct knowledge of the situation. [Reuters]

After the ease with which it passed out of committee on Thursday — with no nay votes — there wasn’t much surprise Friday when the full Senate unanimously passed the latest Kentucky education reform bill. [Ronnie Ellis]

In light of the stunning events of the past week, the question is not whether the Trump administration’s ties to the Russian government need to be investigated immediately and fully — clearly they do. It’s who will be in charge of that investigation? The Republicans in Congress can’t decide whether they would rather act like a responsible, independent branch or just the friendly legislative arm of the White House. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House oversight committee, would sooner investigate a cartoon character named Sid the Science Kid than any allegations relating to President Trump. [NY Times]

From the Department of Things That Make You Go Hmm… Ashland is ranked eighth as one of the top places to retire in Kentucky, according to a SmartAsset study. [Ashland Independent]

Betsy DeVos criticized teachers at a D.C. school she visited and they took her ass to school. This is the backward, bigoted, out-of-touch woman Scott Jennings and the Republican Party of Kentucky are continually praising. [WaPo]

Tim Conley is a con artist who just won’t quit. He and his family hid behind Jesus – as if that’s okay – while he robbed Morgan County blind as people were suffering and mourning deaths after a tornado that wiped out West Liberty. He deserves to remain in prison until 2021. And honestly, deserves to be shunned for the rest of his time on earth. [H-L]

Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) gave a staunch defense of the free press Saturday, noting that attacks on the media are “how dictators get started.” [HuffPo]

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Robin Webb Must Fear Losing Her Seat

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A few Kentucky lawmakers want payday loan stores to face much heavier penalties when they violate consumer-protection law. [John Cheves]

The Senate Judiciary Committee’s top Republican and Democrat are together pressing Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director James Comey to provide the committee with more details on former national security adviser Michael Flynn and his contacts with Russian officials. [HuffPo]

This should come as a surprise to no one who has followed Greg Fischer’s incompetent service as mayor. The Metro Corrections Department is trying to figure out why jail officials held an inmate for five months after his sentence was up and then turned him over to federal immigration authorities. Ironically, the handover Monday came only an hour after activists delivered more than 2,000 signatures urging Mayor Greg Fischer to designate Louisville a sanctuary city. [C-J/AKN]

Trump’s repeal of bipartisan anti-corruption measure proves he’s a fake. The man who ran as an outsider and champion of the common man plays the stooge for industry. So of course people like Scott Jennings live for the orange clown. [Rolling Stone]

The state Senate Education Committee gave a hearty — if not quite unanimous — amen to a bill sponsored by Sen. Robin Webb, D-Grayson, which would allow school districts to offer an elective Bible literacy course. Robin Webb ought to be kicked square in the ass – for other reasons, too – but this ought to be reason enough for someone (Democrat or Republican) to oust her in the next election. [Ronnie Ellis]

Funny how you don’t hear anything about stuff like this from the Kentucky GOP or Dildo Trump – even though it’s been reported by Fox. A Russian spy ship has moved 40 miles closer to the U.S. shore and is now sitting 30 miles off the coast of Groton, Connecticut. [Salon]

Do you smell the looming disaster? A significant re-working of Kentucky’s curriculum standards and assessment and evaluation of schools appears headed to easy passage after the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Mike Wilson, R-Bowling Green, got most of the major stakeholders on board. [More Ronnie Ellis]

Michael Flynn was at a beachside resort in the Dominican Republic, a stretch of sand and sun that he and his wife had visited for years, when he took a few moments out of their post-election vacation for a call with the Russian ambassador to the United States. [NY Times]

Housing authorities across the country with Housing Choice Voucher Programs could receive less administrative funding this year to pay staff for managing the programs, and it is possible less families will also be served through the programs. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn denied to FBI agents in an interview last month that he had discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with that country’s ambassador to the United States before President Trump took office, contradicting the contents of intercepted communications collected by intelligence agencies, current and former U.S. officials said. [WaPo]

Max Wise is another one of those guys who had trouble as a kid getting girls to be interested in him. Lawmakers have given initial approval to a plan to “defund” Kentucky’s Planned Parenthood locations in Lexington and Louisville by putting the organization at the back of the line for federal family planning dollars. [WFPL]

Several White House staffers were dismissed Thursday morning after failing FBI background checks, according to sources familiar with the matter. [Politico]

Here’s more of the Republican Party of Kentucky standing strong against the working class. A proposal to update Kentucky’s workers’ compensation program for the first time in about two decades makes changes sought by insurers and businesses but contains no adjustments sought by worker advocates and unions. [H-L]

Trump lashed out at news outlets for reporting that several of his campaign aides were contacting Russian intelligence agencies while those agencies were working to hurt Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and help Trump win ― but danced around direct questions about whether he knew of such contacts. [HuffPo]

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