Bevin Claims He’s Pushing Prison Reform But He’s Really Doing The Opposite. Source: The Facts

Senate Republicans on Tuesday filed their long-awaited bill to overhaul Kentucky’s ailing public pension systems. Here are highlights of the plan that have a direct affect on Kentucky’s current and retired school teachers. [H-L]

Kentucky is mentioned at least 55 times but no one in Frankfort will notice. Because the private probation and private prison industries fund many campaigns. [Human Rights Watch]

Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell is once again locking horns with Metro Councilman David Yates by claiming he has a conflict of interest in a court case. [C-J/AKN]

It’s going to take something more pronounced than a postcard to get right with campaign finance law, Facebook. Start by hiring people well-versed in campaign finance law in all states and on the federal level. [Reuters]

The Boyd Fiscal Court may look to fortify a county jail plagued by security breaches, based on recommendations from a new security audit by a private firm. [Ashland Independent]

Just months before Donald Trump announced his bid for president in 2015, federal regulators announced they were slapping one of his longtime Atlantic City casinos with a record-setting $10 million fine for lack of controls around money laundering. The problems went back years. The penalty was actually the second record-setting fine for the Trump Taj Mahal involving money-laundering oversight. [ProPublica]

Ronnie Tackett probably doesn’t fit your image of an environmentalist or crusader against carbon pollution. [Ronnie Ellis]

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s office has told a federal judge it has found evidence that Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman, committed bank fraud not addressed by the indictment last October in which he was charged with money laundering and failure to register as a foreign agent. As legal wrangling continues over a $10 million bail package for Manafort, prosecutors this week accused him of submitting false information to a bank in connection with one of his mortgages. [Politico]

Due to the recent school shootings in southwestern Kentucky and Florida, administration at Rowan County Senior High School and Rowan County Middle School are taking a proactive approach to deter such incidents from happening in their schools. [The Morehead News ]

The White House has refused to release a photo of Donald Trump signing a law making it easier for some people with mental illness to buy guns. [BBC]

The Kentucky Office of the Attorney General released an opinion Monday stating that the Glasgow Electric Plant Board does not have to abide by the state’s Model Procurement Code unless it actually adopted it. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The indictment by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III of 13 Russians associated with a St. Petersburg online “troll factory” that allegedly interfered with the U.S. election has brought a sense of vindication to the handful of former employees who have already been speaking out about what they witnessed. [WaPo]

Way to go, mouth-breathers, you’ve done it again. Yep, I’m happy to call anyone open in their ignorance a mouth-breather. A fundraiser for a central Kentucky girls softball team has gotten some attention, both positive and negative, for plans to raffle off both an AR-15 and a semi-automatic pistol to help cover costs of tournaments, uniforms and other equipment. [H-L]

Maybe if “conservatives” focused on the life of children after they’re born, this kind of statistic wouldn’t be a nightmarish reality. Newborn survival rates in the United States are only marginally better than in Sri Lanka. [The Guardian]

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Matt Bevin’s Lack Of Intelligence Embarrasses Kentucky And Puts Our Children At-Risk

***Care about the future of Kentucky? Help us cover FOIA and open records request fees relating to Matt Bevin and Jamie Comer.*** [CLICK HERE]

Morehead State University is the first of Kentucky’s regional universities to cut its workforce in the face of impending state budget cuts and exploding pension costs, announcing voluntary buyouts that would let employees go part-time or leave the university. [Linda Blackford]

A federal grand jury empaneled by Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted 13 Russians and three Russian entities on Friday, laying out evidence that foreign nationals interfered in the 2016 election and boosted the candidacy of Donald Trump. [HuffPo]

As Kentucky prepares to impose the nation’s first work requirements for Medicaid, a new study suggests the people most likely to lose their coverage are older and in poor health while those most likely to keep their insurance are younger and in better condition. [C-J/AKN]

NBC News is publishing its database of more than 200,000 tweets that Twitter has tied to “malicious activity” from Russia-linked accounts during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. [NBC News]

As Kentucky prepares to impose the nation’s first work requirements for Medicaid, a new study suggests the people most likely to lose their coverage are older and in poor health while those most likely to keep their insurance are younger and in better condition. [Richmond Register]

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the Kremlin’s favorite restaurateur, won a lucrative government contract to deliver school lunches across Moscow in 2011. Parents were soon up in arms. Their children wouldn’t eat the food, saying it smelled rotten. [WSJ]

Morehead State University is tackling some tough fiscal decisions these days in light of Kentucky’s budget cuts and an out-of-control pension crisis. [Ashland Independent]

Gabriel Parker, 15, was charged with two counts of murder and 14 counts of first-degree assault in the January shooting at a Kentucky high school, according to Marshall County Circuit Court documents released on Friday. [Reuters]

Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, told reporters Wednesday a Senate pension reform bill will not include moving new employees or teachers to mandatory, defined contribution plans or 401-K style plans. [Ronnie Ellis]

McMaster said on Saturday that it is now “incontrovertible” Russia interfered in the 2016 election. McMaster, who spoke a day after a federal grand jury indicted more than a dozen Russians in connection with the interference, was addressing an international audience at the Munich Security Conference, including several Russian officials. [NPR]

A 15-year-old male Glasgow High School student was arrested Friday morning after another student alerted school officials about a threat with photos he saw posted on social media. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Way to go, Republicans! You’re gutting the Americans with Disabilities Act. Good job. The House on Thursday passed legislation that would amend the Americans With Disabilities Act over objections from disability rights advocates and Democratic leaders, who warned that the bill would remove incentives for businesses to comply with the law. [WaPo]

Sure, you knew Matt Bevin was an intellectual lightweight. But did you know he’s so disconnected from reality that he thinks video games are to blame for the gun massacre problem in the United States? Yep, he’s that kind of stupid. [H-L]

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Emma Gonzalez refuted Donald Trump’s suggestion that her community didn’t take action to prevent a shooter from killing 17 at the school in a fiery Saturday speech. Politicians who take money from the NRA should feel ashamed, Gonzalez said, ending her address with “we call BS.” [HuffPo]

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You Don’t Need An Assault Weapon

A federal appeals panel has upheld the conviction of former Paintsville Mayor Robert Porter on three charges of misappropriating money and public resources. Porter is serving a four-year sentence. [H-L]

A reported shooting at a South Florida high school on Wednesday marks the country’s 18th school shooting of 2018, just 45 days into the year. That’s an average of one school shooting every 60 hours thus far in 2018, more than double the number of school shootings recorded in any of the previous three years in that same period. [HuffPo]

Pro-tip to mouth-breathers like Matt Bevin (yes, that means YOU if you support him): You can’t help someone rise up out of poverty by making it more difficult to obtain basic health care. Within Snowflake Matt Bevin’s complex plan to reshape the state Medicaid program to cut costs and hold people accountable is this fact that may surprise some Kentuckians: Under Bevin’s plan, it actually will cost Kentucky more to provide health coverage to people affected by the Medicaid changes than if the state did nothing. [C-J/AKN]

Jared Kushner’s family real estate company has backtracked on its effort to have a lawsuit filed against it by tenants of its Baltimore-area apartment complexes moved to federal court, after a judge ruled that this transfer would require it to reveal the identities of its investment partners. [ProPublica]

In the world’s bourbon capital, an effort to eliminate a quota system limiting the number of liquor licenses is getting strong pushback from some Kentucky lawmakers. [Richmond Register]

Did you know? There are North American leaders not spewing racist rhetoric on Twitter 24/7. [BBC]

Brittney Patrick never thought she’d need food stamps, and once she had them, she never thought they’d be taken away. [WFPL]

Donald Trump’s inaugural committee paid nearly $26 million to an event planning firm started by an adviser to First Lady Melania Trump, while donating $5 million — less than expected — to charity, according to tax filings released on Thursday. [NY Times]

Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, told reporters Wednesday a Senate pension reform bill will not include moving new employees or teachers to mandatory, defined contribution plans or 401-K style plans. [Ronnie Ellis]

Like last year’s budget, the Trump administration’s 2019 budget proposes large cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency. And it eliminates explicit climate change programs in other parts of the government and cuts spending for climate change-related monitoring, alternative energy, energy efficiency and flood prevention. [WaPo]

The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office was pleasantly surprised when deputies executed a search warrant in downtown Morehead last week at a residence in which police believed they were distributing narcotic cough syrup. [The Morehead News]

The Trump administration remained insistent on hardline immigration measures on Thursday as the U.S. Senate prepared to vote on various legislative proposals to protect young “Dreamer” immigrants and to tighten border security. [Reuters]

Surprise! Matt Bevin is still a homophobic bigot. Only a matter of time til he has a stroke when one of kids 50 kids come out of the closet. [H-L]

Florida Republicans Sen. Marco Rubio and Gov. Rick Scott were swift to condemn the horrific school shooting in their state on Wednesday afternoon, offering prayers after a gunman killed at least 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. [HuffPo]

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RPK Is Still Killing Your Environment

Some Republicans in the state House of Representatives are pushing anti-solar legislation by playing one of Kentucky’s favorite political blame games: You’re Subsidized, But I’m Not. [H-L]

Donald Trump Jr. used Twitter to launch an unprovoked attack on U.S. Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon on Tuesday night. [HuffPo]

Ed Hart got his ass handed to him again, it seems. Kentucky Kingdom withdrew its support Friday for a controversial measure that would allow seasonal businesses to avoid paying employees overtime, two days after a union threatened a wider boycott against the Louisville-based amusement park. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump is expected to unveil on Monday a plan that would fulfill one of his signature campaign promises: a $1.5 trillion, once-in-a-generation proposal to rebuild, restore and modernize the nation’s aging infrastructure. (Posting this so you can see what folks “expected” to occur.) [NY Times]

When someone wants to purchase a keg of beer from craft brewer Adam Watson, he has to turn them away because Kentucky law limits how much he can sell to a customer. [Richmond Register]

Another day, another attack on Medicaid — and on the poor and working class. In other words, those five states want to time-limit or cap the total period of time an individual could receive Medicaid benefits over his or her lifetime. [WaPo]

This guy is clearly mentally unfit to serve if he thinks budget cuts aren’t worrying and troublesome. Kentucky Sheriff’s Departments are one of many governmental units facing budget cuts from Matt Bevin’s proposed plan, but Boyd County Sheriff Bobby Jack Woods isn’t worried. [Ashland Independent]

A second U.S. judge on Tuesday blocked Donald Trump’s decision to end a program that protects immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children from deportation. [Reuters]

As many as 14 school districts are faced with the inability to pay their bills by the end of the school year and some Kentucky lawmakers say they’re only a harbinger of things to come. [Ronnie Ellis]

More than a year after American diplomats began to suffer strange, concussion-like symptoms in Cuba, a U.S. investigation is no closer to determining how they were hurt or by whom, and the FBI and CIA are at odds over the case. A ProPublica investigation reveals the many layers to the mystery — and the political maneuvering that is reshaping U.S.-Cuba relations. [ProPublica]

Refundable tax incentives that have been made available to film production companies in the past by the state have been temporarily suspended. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A US spy chief has warned that presidential aides with interim security clearances should have “limited” access to secret information. US Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said the clearance process was “broken” and needs to be reformed. [BBC]

In the wake of the shooting that claimed the lives of two students and injured 21 others, Marshall County High School is requiring all students to have their bags, backpacks and purses checked before entering school. [H-L]

When Betsy DeVos was named education secretary last February, she become public education’s No. 1 enemy. After all, the billionaire is notorious for her desire to expand private school choice programs (which include many religious private schools that teach Christian fundamentalist doctrine). [HuffPo]

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Another Kentucky Republican Trafficking Humans But RPK Is Strangely Silent

***Care about the future of Kentucky? Help us cover FOIA and open records request fees relating to Matt Bevin and Jamie Comer.*** [CLICK HERE]

He was a Trump Campaign chair. A former Kentucky judge has entered into a plea agreement in a human-trafficking case. [H-L]

For the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who would be tasked with making it happen, a military parade like the one Donald Trump envisions would be a colossal pain in the rear guard. [HuffPo]

Nineteen Kentucky schools won’t get planned safety reviews this year that are partially designed to help prevent and prepare for emergencies such as last month’s Marshall County High School mass shooting. [C-J/AKN]

Researchers at the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) analysed three months of social media activity of US Twitter and Facebook users from November 2017 to January 2018 – the period leading up to President Trump’s latest State of the Union Address. They find that on Twitter, a network of Trump supporters shares the widest range of junk news and circulates more junk news than all other political audience groups combined. [University of Oxford]

Republican Brian Linder is a lying conman. It doesn’t take more than $20,000 to install solar. You can run a small home or average apartment for $5,000. Way less if you’re only powering something like a water heater, personal electric, fridges and freezers, pumps or lighting. And it’s absurd to suggest Louisville and Lexington aren’t 99% working class people. Linder might get his ass kicked if he steps foot in either city – possibly by conservative Republicans with enough sense to know that solar puts power in the hands of the people, not the hands of energy oligarchs. [WFPL]

The U.S. official in charge of protecting American elections from hacking says the Russians successfully penetrated the voter registration rolls of several U.S. states prior to the 2016 presidential election. [NBC News]

Of course the Republican Party of Kentucky is once again targeting transgender youth with a new bathroom bill. These hate-filled hacks like Kim King and Richard Heath are disgusting excuses for Americans. Strange how the mainstream media is ignoring this one. [LRC]

If the man who can’t pronounce “nuclear” understands what’s going on and isn’t afraid to discuss it publicly… well… Former President George W. Bush appeared to take aim at Donald Trump on Thursday when he said at an economic summit in the Middle East that there was “pretty clear evidence that the Russians meddled” in the 2016 U.S. president election. [USA Today]

The Glasgow Common Council’s agenda for Monday includes, as expected, consideration of a municipal order expressing intent for the participation in a needle exchange program. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Five people, including a suspected gunman who apparently took his own life, were killed in a shooting spree at two locations in northeast Kentucky on Saturday, officials said. [Reuters]

As many as 14 school districts are faced with the inability to pay their bills by the end of the school year and some Kentucky lawmakers say they’re only a harbinger of things to come. [Ronnie Ellis]

Shitbird Trump blocked on Friday the release of a classified Democratic memo rebutting Republican claims that top federal law enforcement officials had abused their surveillance powers in spying on a former Trump campaign aide, raising the specter of a potential showdown with Congress. [NY Times]

The guy operating the Kentucky State Police twitter account is a self-hating homophobic shitbag. He should be reassigned or fired. There is no room in law enforcement for someone like that. [H-L]

One morning last September, Jeancarlo and Jan Miguel Ruiz Núñez stepped out of their home and found their neighborhood, on the outskirts of the small mountain town of Lares, Puerto Rico, wrecked. Hurricane Maria had battered the island for hours. The storm had downed light poles and scattered tree branches into the roads. Debris blocked all of the exits of their driveway. But what worried the Núñez brothers most was their 46-year-old mother, Mariluz, who had been battling breast cancer for nearly a decade and was bedridden. [HuffPo]

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Public Education Barely Exists In Kentucky & Democrats Are Twiddling Their Thumbs

People who suffer from pain as a result of the shingles will have access to less expensive generic drugs under an agreement reached with a pharmaceutical company. Kentucky is one of 22 states that have reached an agreement with pharmaceutical companies Teikoku Seiyaku and Teikoku Pharma USA because of anti-competitive tactics, Attorney General Andy Beshear announced Thursday. [H-L]

Andrew Wheeler, Donald Trump’s nominee to be Environmental Protection Agency deputy administrator, appeared poised and polished at his Senate confirmation hearing in November. He couched his objections to widely accepted climate science in ambiguous legalese, and kept his cool when, at the same hearing, Kathleen Hartnett-White, the president’s pick for the Council on Environmental Quality, flamed out, stammering over questions of basic science. [HuffPo]

Dr. Bill Fannin found his son unconscious in his bedroom. Medical training and a father’s love told him what to do. Give him breath. Start his heart. [C-J/AKN]

The blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered its steepest decline since June 2016 on Friday, amid wider losses in US markets. [BBC]

A bipartisan group of lawmakers has proposed allowing casinos to open in Kentucky so the state can glean gambling tax revenue for its ailing pension systems. [WFPL]

Melania Trump could have been deported and banned from the US if Donald Trump had been president when she was working as a model in the 1990s, immigration attorneys have said. [Independent]

Make no mistake, the behind-the-scenes maneuvering of the Steering Committee for Action on Louisville’s Agenda, or SCALA, has been going on for about a year. Longer than, most notably, David Jones Jr. and Sr., have been publicly acknowledging. The group’s attempt to usurp control of Jefferson County Public Schools has been building for longer than that. It must be roundly rejected. [Aaron Yarmuth]

It’s last call for public comment on a Trump administration proposal that would give bar and restaurant owners more control over workers’ tips. The Labor Department has been asking for feedback, and already hundreds of thousands of people have weighed in. Many say they say they’re opposed to a rule that would allow restaurant owners to pocket tips for themselves. [NPR]

While public education advocates worry the next state budget will squeeze public school budgets, some districts already face the possibility they might not be able to pay all of their bills before the current school year ends. [Ronnie Ellis]

Strange how Jim Gray didn’t have the courage or conviction to publicly support medical marijuana until he realized everyone else was doing it. The only person in that race to show real leadership was Reggie Thomas. Read the latest from Jim Higdon. [Politico]

The Kentucky Medical Association President believes local medical providers would have to do some “scrambling” if the Medicaid expansion is revoked, as Matt Bevin has threatened. [Ashland Independent]

Tiny Weenus Trump’s vision of soldiers marching and tanks rolling down the boulevards of Washington is moving closer to reality in the Pentagon and White House, where officials say they have begun to plan a grand military parade later this year showcasing the might of America’s armed forces. [WaPo]

Raising the cancer stick tax could save lives and grow revenue. It probably won’t pass because Frankfort is awful. [H-L]

The Trump Misadministration wants to give states the authority to determine if plans have enough doctors. In Washington state, a woman in Spokane named Cynthia Harvey bought health insurance from Coordinated Care, in part because the brochure promised a robust roster of physicians and coverage for an array of services, including, if needed, emergency room services. [HuffPo]

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Republicans Still Wishing In One Hand…

About 2,000 additional former clients of attorney Eric C. Conn will have to prove they still deserve federal disability benefits in coming months, creating the potential for more economic hardship in Eastern Kentucky, according to people familiar with the government’s plan. [H-L]

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned this week that Russia is already trying to meddle in the 2018 midterm elections. And the U.S. is inadequately prepared to counter that threat, he said. [HuffPo]

After a dozen years in office, Tony Lindauer is retiring. The longtime Jefferson County property valuation administrator announced that he is no longer seeking re-election for health and family reasons. [C-J/AKN]

While Devin Nunes tries to mislead audiences about his memo, an actual document hunt in Washington could have far-reaching ramifications, both for the Russia investigation and national security writ large. On Friday Sen. Ron Wyden. (D.-Ore.) wrote a pair of letters, obtained by ThinkProgress, to both Treasury Department head Steve Mnuchin and National Rifle Association Treasurer Wilson Phillips, Jr. [ThinkProgress]

They can wish in one hand… After weeks of no news, Republican leaders are expressing renewed optimism about the prospects of overhauling Kentucky’s struggling public pension system. [WFPL]

Moscow has condemned US military proposals to develop new, smaller atomic bombs mainly to deter any Russian use of nuclear weapons. Russia’s foreign minister called the move “confrontational”, and expressed “deep disappointment”. [BBC]

Sitting at his desk in a corner of the Youth Service Center at Greenup County High School, coordinator Pete Phillips sighs and shakes his head. [Ashland Independent]

The Trump administration released a report on the state of America’s nuclear weaponry on Friday. The assessment, known as a Nuclear Posture Review, mainly concerns U.S. nukes and missiles. But buried in the plan is a mention of a mysterious Russian weapon called “Status-6.” On paper, at least, Status-6 appears to be a kind of doomsday device. The report refers to it as “a new intercontinental, nuclear-armed, nuclear-powered, undersea autonomous torpedo.” [NPR]

Pretty sure Rowan County Sheriff Matt Sparks is an idiot. What kind of intellectual lightweight can’t fire up their googler to answer the most basic questions? It’s this kind of stupidity that gives Appalachia a bad name. Particularly when it comes to medical marijuana. [The Morehead News]

For months, chemical companies have waged a campaign to reverse findings by federal fisheries scientists that could curb the use of pesticides based on the threat they pose to endangered species. They scored a major victory [last] week, when Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt announced he would press another federal agency to revisit a recent opinion triggering such restrictions. [WaPo]

If elected officials from 39 counties in southern and western Kentucky are successful in gaining enough support to pass an amendment to an existing bill this session in Frankfort, up to $6 million in additional revenue could be added to the economic development needs of those counties. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Well, that’s gonna sting a bit. The connection between the offshore accounts and the donation to the Chao family foundation were found through a search of the Paradise Papers. [The Intercept]

A legislative proposal could mean big changes to Kentucky’s largest college scholarship program, expanding it beyond college to a host of other academic programs. [H-L]

My colleagues and I marched in the Kingdom Day Parade last month, and toward the end of the route, a group of 10-15 men and women began heckling us. “All Black people don’t have AIDS,” they said, referring to the Black AIDS Institute banner we were marching behind. “You need to take that sign down. It offends us.” We tried to explain we were raising awareness to help prevent the spread of HIV within the black community, but our efforts were not exactly effective. [HuffPo]

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