Surprise! Mitch McConnell Wants To Kill The Mueller Investigation

Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd struck down Kentucky’s controversial new public pension law Wednesday. [H-L]

Julian Carroll is a confirmed monster and the fact that neither the Kentucky Democratic Party nor the Republican Party of Kentucky care to oust him is damning. [More H-L]

Conservative groups that promote themselves as “pro-life” and “pro-family” are quietly supporting the Trump administration policy of separating immigrant children from their parents at the border, or refusing to weigh in at all. [HuffPo]

Opposition to Donald Trump’s controversial policy of separating migrant children from their parents at the border crossed partisan lines Tuesday as Sen. Mitch McConnell and U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth said they would support plans to fix the problem. [C-J/AKN]

The Trump administration has likely lost track of nearly 6,000 unaccompanied migrant children, thousands more than lawmakers were alerted to last month, according to a McClatchy review of federal data. [McClatchy]

As Paul Trickel approached the front entrance of the Kentucky state Capitol Monday, he observed three people enter without incident. [Ronnie Ellis]

Just a reminder that Mitch McConnell is trying to kill the Mueller investigation. [The Hill]

Ashland City Commisioner Matt Perkins believes thousands of dollars the city pays annually to elected leaders for vehicle allowances should be re-allocated to help fund the cost of Boyd County’s new animal shelter. [Ashland Independent]

It’s a fundamental part of representative government: Politicians are elected to advocate for their constituents, and not their own interests. But in many states, laws and ethics rules allow representatives to advance bills that would benefit their own financial interests, as well. [ProPublica]

For decades, Kentucky’s own coal stoked the fires that generated most of its electricity. And while some of those power plants have shut down or switched to natural gas, their legacy remains today in the leftover coal ash that’s stored all over the commonwealth. [WFPL]

Donald Trump on Saturday repeated his false assertion that Democrats were responsible for his administration’s policy of separating migrant families apprehended at the border, sticking to a weekslong refusal to publicly accept responsibility for a widely condemned practice that has become a symbol of his crackdown on illegal immigration. [NY Times]

Barren County Fiscal Court approved the second reading of its budget ordinance Tuesday with only two sources of discussion – a summary by the judge-executive of some of the notable changes and expenses and one commentary during the public hearing portion of the court’s regular meeting. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The economy is not robust or wonderful. The average hourly wage paid to a key group of American workers has fallen from last year when accounting for inflation, as an economy that appears strong by several measures continues to fail to create bigger paychecks, the federal government said Tuesday. [WaPo]

A Pike County man who previously pleaded guilty to shooting his brother last June is back in police custody after, Kentucky State Police say, he shot his brother again Thursday. [H-L]

New Republicanism is a disease. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley will announce on Tuesday that the United States is withdrawing from the United Nations Human Rights Council, a Trump administration source told Reuters. [HuffPo]

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Bevin: Like A Domestic Violence Perp

Andy Barr never would have taken a position contrary to Trump if he weren’t under extreme pressure. [H-L]

Former first lady Laura Bush issued a rare castigation of the Trump administration on Sunday, calling family separations at the U.S. border with Mexico “immoral” and drawing parallels to World War II internment camps. [HuffPo]

Before Wathaniel Woods was sentenced to 35 years in prison Friday for killing Louisville Metro Police Officer Nick Rodman during a police chase, Rodman’s widow told the judge how their 3-year-old son now plays with his toy police cruiser, banging it with another car and saying, “Bad guy hit my daddy. My daddy died.” [C-J/AKN]

The first legal challenge to the Trump administration’s crusade for Medicaid work requirements came before a federal judge in Washington on Friday, where attorneys representing 16 low-income Kentuckians argued they would be unlawfully stripped of Medicaid coverage should the court allow the state’s waiver to take effect in July. The groups challenging the policy said the work requirements violate Congress’ original intent for the Medicaid program and instead are a mere cover for cutting tens of thousands of people from the rolls. [TPM]

Authorities are investigating the death of a female inmate found unresponsive at the Boyd County Detention Center Saturday night. [Ashland Independent]

For most Americans, access to decent, affordable rental housing remains cruelly beyond reach. Only in 22 counties in the United States is a one-bedroom home affordable to someone working 40 hours per week at federal minimum wage. [CityLab]

County officials are looking at ways to address an issue with equipment that causes damage to roadway pavement. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Amid Donald Trump’s headaches confirming cabinet secretaries, from neophyte Rex Tillerson to conflict-prone Scott Pruitt to unprepared Betsy DeVos, all of whom squeezed through, Wilbur Ross was a tonic. [Forbes]

Attorney General Andy Beshear has asked Kentucky’s public pension systems to stop investing in companies that he says are fueling the opioid addiction epidemic in the state. [WFPL]

Historically, denaturalization has been an exceedingly rare occurrence, for good reason: by the time a person is naturalized, she has lived in this country for a number of years and has passed the hurdles of obtaining entry, legal permanent residency, and, finally, citizenship. [New Yorker]

The Berea City Council will hear the second reading of the fiscal year 2018-2019 budget on Tuesday, including proposals that could impact support for an opioid treatment program, a youth food program and tourism. [Richmond Register]

Amy McGrath doesn’t have what it takes, based on her recent half-assery, and it doesn’t seem like she has a shot. But who knows? [NY Times]

A Democratic lobbyist has been convicted of bribing Kentucky’s No. 2 law enforcement officer in a case voters are likely to see in political ads for next year’s race for governor. [H-L]

In the days and weeks following the suicides of celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain and handbag designer Kate Spade, a chorus of social media users urged people with depression to not be “afraid” to ask for help. But for most Americans, fear isn’t the thing that stands in the way of therapy. It’s having no one to turn to. [HuffPo]

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Greg Fischer Is An Out-Of-Touch Elitist

A veteran lobbyist says his multiple cash payments to a high-ranking state official were loans between friends and not bribes meant to maintain a lucrative state contract for his corporate client. [H-L]

America’s largest shelter for migrant children looks more like a jail than a safe space for kids. On Wednesday, journalists were allowed inside the former Walmart store in Brownsville, Texas, now filled with more than 1,400 boys ages 10 to 17, and their reports are harrowing. [HuffPo]

A Louisville civil rights leader revealed Thursday that one of the secret guests that Mayor Greg Fischer spent $109,000 to entertain during Kentucky Derby week was the president of the National Urban League. [C-J/AKN]

A major construction company owned by the Chinese government was awarded another contract this week to work on the Trump golf club development in Dubai, further raising questions about potential conflicts of interest between Donald Trump’s presidency and his vast real estate empire. [McClatchy]

Kentucky ranks 48th for seniors’ health in the most recent America’s Health Rankings Report — a potential source of great concern, since the senior population in Kentucky, and the rest of the nation, is only growing larger. Only Mississippi and Louisiana ranked worse than Kentucky. [Richmond Register]

“The economy,” Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell declared this week, “is doing very well.” Yet the numbers that collectively sketch a picture of a vibrant economy don’t reflect reality for a range of Americans who still feel far from financially secure even nine years into an economic expansion. From drivers paying more for gas and families bearing heavier child care costs to workers still awaiting decent pay raises and couples struggling to afford a home, people throughout the economy are straining to succeed despite the economy’s gains. [AP]

Greenup County recently approved a $13.9 million budget for fiscal year 2018-2019, which is less than the prior year. [Ashland Independent]

Donald Trump’s former election campaign manager, Paul Manafort, was sent to jail pending trial on Friday after being charged with witness tampering, the latest episode in his long fall from grace. [Reuters]

Mark Filburn had a fairly simple message about preventing school shootings for the Interim Joint Education Committee Monday. [Ronnie Ellis]

Only a few months ago, the global economy appeared to be humming, with all major nations growing in unison. Now, the world’s fortunes are imperiled by an unfolding trade war. [NY Times]

Tourist spending in Barren County continues to increase, as it climbed from $70.1 million in 2013 to $97 million in 2017. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The actions of a Customs and Border Protection agent who confronted a reporter covering national security issues about her confidential sources are being examined by the CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility, the agency said in a statement Tuesday. [WaPo]

More people need to be screaming, “FUCK MATT BEVIN!” at every opportunity. A federal judge says he hopes to rule by July 1 on whether Kentucky can carry out its controversial overhaul of the state’s Medicaid program that will require some recipients to find jobs, volunteer or lose their benefits. [H-L]

Fuck that orange piece of shit. Are you looking for more substance to Donald Trump’s vague claim that North Korea “is no longer a nuclear threat”? So was CBS News correspondent Weijia Jiang as she jostled with other reporters outside the White House Friday morning trying to get in a question with the president. [HuffPo]

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This Tim Longmeyer Mess Is Bananas

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Denmark’s tax agency seeks to recover $41 million in allegedly fraudulent tax refunds paid to several Central Kentucky-based pension plans and their representatives. [H-L]

The Trump administration separated nearly 2,000 immigrant children from parents or guardians at the border over the span of six weeks, a Department of Homeland Security official said on Friday. [HuffPo]

Kentucky uses an unconstitutional and outdated test to determine whether defendants have the mental competence to get the death penalty, the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled Thursday. [C-J/AKN]

Paul Manafort is going to jail. Special counsel Robert Mueller’s office convinced a federal judge on Friday to revoke the bail of Donald Trump’s former campaign chief after he was accused of witness tampering. [NBC News]

Diane Artist Wallace, Miriam (Mim) R. Pride and Ken Koh have been elected to the Berea College Board of Trustees. [Richmond Register]

A cabinet secretary in former Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear’s administration said Wednesday that the governor’s chief of staff pressured him to award a lucrative state contract to a company that had helped him raise money. [AP]

The Boyd County Fiscal Court will discuss what the county’s unit-based fee should be to fund the Boyd County 911 Center at its upcoming meeting on Tuesday. [Ashland Independent]

Donald Trump’s immigration policies and hurricane response in Puerto Rico are having lethal consequences for nonwhites. This is real American carnage. [USA Today]

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear announced Thursday he is suing Walgreens, contending the pharmaceutical company did nothing to stem the rise in opioid addiction despite “having a front-row seat as opioids flooded and devastated our communities.” [Ronnie Ellis]

The New York attorney general is suing Donald Trump’s charitable foundation along with its directors — the President, his sons Eric and Donald Jr. and daughter Ivanka, alleging they violated state and federal charities law. Attorney General Barbara Underwood alleges a pattern of persistent illegal conduct over more than a decade that includes extensive unlawful political coordination with the Trump presidential campaign. [CNN]

Barren County’s comprehensive plan contains information from more than 100 sources compiled in one place to provide an overview of where the county is now and project how it may change and where it is mostly likely to grow over the next two decades. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The former deputy defense secretary for both Barack Obama and Donald Trump is criticizing the substance and framing of Trump’s abrupt cancellation of joint military exercises with South Korea as a “pretty substantial concession” to North Korea—something that both Russia and China could turn to their advantage elsewhere. Although Work was out of the administration at the time, he said that “it was about six months ago that Russia and China floated this idea” for halting the U.S.-South Korean drills. [TDB]

All over Kentucky, you hear the same thing at almost every distillery: hammering. The state’s signature bourbon industry is building like never before, adding distilling capacity and warehouses to age whiskey. The new capital investments topped $1.5 billion in 2016 with no end in sight. Will trade tariffs from the European Union, Canada and other countries become a roadblock for bourbon? It’s hard to say. [H-L]

In the four months since a mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school, the number of states with so-called red flag laws has doubled, expanding the ability of courts around the nation to temporarily remove guns from people who are found to be dangerous. [HuffPo]

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Thank Repubs For Raising Your Taxes

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Nearly 1,300 more public employees than expected chose to retire during the fiscal year that ends this month, creating an 18 percent spike at the already cash-strapped Kentucky Retirement Systems, according to newly released data. And the numbers could get even more dramatic in August, which is traditionally the most popular retirement month for state workers. [John Cheves]

In a strange disconnect between messages from government leaders, U.S. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats warned of Kremlin attempts to break up Western alliances and interfere in midterm elections just as Donald Trump was stumping for Russia to again be part of the Group of Seven. [HuffPo]

Surprise! The working poor in the Louisville area are getting taken for a ride again. Tolls are increasing. Tolls that are already outrageously expensive. [C-J/AKN]

Special counsel Robert Mueller on Friday filed new witness tampering criminal charges against ex-Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort as well against Russian citizen and former Manafort operative Konstantin Kilimnik. The superseding indictment — the third against Manafort issued by a Washington, D.C., federal grand jury — came days after Mueller asked a judge to revoke Manafort’s $10 million bail and jail him because of alleged efforts to tamper with potential witnesses at his upcoming trials. [NBC News]

While state officials continue to tout record-breaking business investments in the state, two recent studies ranked Kentucky among the worst for jobs and state economies. [Richmond Register]

He’s so painfully stupid. Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had a testy phone call on May 25 over new tariffs imposed by the Trump administration targeting steel and aluminum imports coming from Canada, including one moment during the conversation in which Trump made an erroneous historical reference, sources familiar with the discussion told CNN. [CNN]

You can thank Republicans for raising your taxes. The Ashland Area YMCA is preparing to add a 6 percent sales tax to their services, but it’s not because they want to. [Ashland Independent]

Nearly 1,800 immigrant families were separated at the U.S.-Mexico border from October 2016 through February of this year, according to a senior government official, as Donald Trump implemented stricter border enforcement policies. [Reuters]

The Franklin Circuit Judge Matt Bevin wanted removed heard arguments from the governor’s general counsel and Attorney General Andy Beshear Thursday about the constitutional validity of the pension reform bill enacted by the 2018 General Assembly. [Ronnie Ellis]

As Donald Trump prepares to meet Kim Jong-un of North Korea to negotiate denuclearization, a challenge that has bedeviled the world for years, he is doing so without the help of a White House science adviser or senior counselor trained in nuclear physics. [NY Times]

The recount for the May primary Barren County judge-executive’s race will take place Wednesday morning in the circuit courtroom at the Barren County Courthouse. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Republicans were caught off guard by the administration’s decision to abandon a popular element of the Affordable Care Act — protections for people with preexisting medical conditions. [WaPo]

Gag a maggot. The Kentucky Board of Education has unanimously approved “Bible literacy” standards for public schools after being challenged by the ACLU to keep Church and State separate, as required by the Constitution. [H-L]

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) used a Twitter post to reassure other members of the Group of Seven that U.S. citizens are still their allies even if Donald Trump no longer appears to be. [HuffPo]

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Matt Bevin’s The Only Incompetent Hack Involved In That Case

Lawyers for Matt Bevin renewed their effort Tuesday to get a judge the governor has called an “incompetent hack” removed from a case challenging Kentucky’s new pension law, potentially delaying oral arguments in the case. [H-L]

What’s the phrase about the first dog to bark??? Jared Kushner’s father, real estate magnate Charles Kushner, slammed federal ethics watchdogs who have been hounding him and his son, calling them “jerks” who can’t get a “real job.” [HuffPo]

If you thought Rick Sanders wasn’t a piece of work? You were mistaken. He’s a far-right hack and has no business overseeing the Kentucky State Police – an agency that really does try to avoid partisanship. The next governor needs to fire him the second they’re sworn in. Two Democrats in the Kentucky House have asked Attorney General Andy Beshear for an opinion on whether the Constitutional rights of anti-poverty activists were violated Monday when they were blocked from entering the Capitol. [C-J/AKN]

Most U.S. states will get only a minor revenue boost from legalized sports betting even under the most optimistic scenarios, Moody’s Investors Service said on Friday. [Reuters]

The City of Berea could be looking at millions of dollars in unexpected electric transmission costs after Kentucky Utilities filed a request to end an agreement in force for two decades between it and several municipalities. [Richmond Register]

A federal suit filed in December claimed older workers missed out on job opportunities because ads on Facebook targeted younger users. Now plaintiffs say Facebook’s tools and algorithm gave employers ways to intensify the effects of such targeting. [ProPublica]

The Pikeville attorney who fled to Honduras to avoid sentencing in a massive Social Security fraud case pleaded guilty to escape and other charges Monday in federal court, according to court records and the U.S. Attorney’s office. [Ashland Independent]

In a series of exclusive interviews, former Fox News Channel chief political correspondent Carl Cameron explained to ThinkProgress how the Russians coordinated their cyber attack on the 2016 election with the Trump campaign. [ThinkProgress]

There’s a long way to go and much could go wrong, but representatives of Kentucky’s public pension systems said Monday things are improving for the troubled systems. [Ronnie Ellis]

At 7:50 on a recent morning, Preston Carraway greeted his third-grade teacher, Keshia Speight, who stood at the classroom door dispensing hugs. Mrs. Speight’s class has a motto, which everyone chants in the morning when she raises her fist: “Be brave! Be smart! Stay humble!” [NY Times]

Student teams from across the coalfields of eastern Kentucky came together at the Knott County Sportsplex, bringing with them drones that they themselves had built. It was time for the climax of this year-long project. [WFPL]

White Americans are increasingly critical of the country’s social safety net, a new study suggests, thanks in part to a rising tide of racial resentment. The study, conducted by researchers at two California universities and published Wednesday in the journal Social Forces, finds that opposition to welfare programs has grown among white Americans since 2008, even when controlling for political views and socioeconomic status. White Americans are more likely to favor welfare cuts when they believe that their status is threatened and that minorities are the main beneficiaries of safety net programs, the study says. [WaPo]

Ham sammich. You’ll know what that’s about if you’ve read those transcripts. The ringleader of the “Pappygate” rare bourbon heist was sentenced Friday in Frankfort to 15 years in prison. [H-L]

In Donald Trump’s world populated only with winners and losers, the on-then-off-now-on-again summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un has one sure winner already — and, say Korea experts, it’s not Trump. [HuffPo]

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Matt Bevin Fears Anti-Poverty Activists

Anti-poverty activists were denied group access into Kentucky’s Capitol on Monday following an outdoor rally where the nation’s first work requirements for Medicaid were denounced. [H-L]

The U.S. has “probably never before had a delusional president, one who speaks gibberish, insults those around him including his closest associates, and baffles the world. We strive to make sense of Trump’s nonsense, implicitly assuming some hidden strategy. There is none,” Sachs declared. He warned: “Harming our closest allies, raising the prices on key intermediate products, and provoking retaliation cannot possibly deliver higher wages, better jobs, or an improved trade balance.” [HuffPo]

Coal executive Joseph W. Craft III, a Kentucky native and Republican political donor, is in the spotlight for his relationship with embattled Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt, highlighted in a New York Times article published Saturday. [C-J/AKN]

Surprise! Sessions is a key witness in the obstruction investigation. By the time Attorney General Jeff Sessions arrived at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort for dinner one Saturday evening in March 2017, he had been receiving the presidential silent treatment for two days. Mr. Sessions had flown to Florida because Mr. Trump was refusing to take his calls about a pressing decision on his travel ban. [NY Times]

Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd Thursday afternoon denied a motion by Matt Bevin that Shepherd should step aside in a legal challenge to a recently enacted law which alters the state’s public pension benefits. [Ronnie Ellis]

The White House has named a new National Security Council chief of staff from a group that propagates the conspiracy theory that Islamists have infiltrated the U.S. government in a plot to take over the country. [WaPo]

A recanvassing of three races from last week’s primary election has confirmed the same results as initially reported. [Ashland Independent]

Maybe it’s time for the KDA to stop supporting these people. Donald Trump’s latest “America first” policy may have just harmed America’s Native Spirit. [C-J/AKN]

Josh Farrow knows he will be following in legendary footsteps with his acceptance of the top position of Gateway Area Development District. [The Morehead News]

Poverty in the United States is extensive and deepening under the Trump administration whose policies seem aimed at removing the safety net from millions of poor people, while rewarding the rich, a U.N. human rights investigator has found. [Reuters]

The Barren County Board of Elections conducted a recanvass Thursday morning, taking another look at May primary vote totals for the Barren County Judge-Executive’s race. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Wanna spill the beans on the health insurance company that employs you? Here’s your chance. [ProPublica]

Here’s this week’s HEAD-DESK moment. Ball Homes wants city approval to build up to 77 single-family houses on a 20-acre parcel that Fayette County Schools opted not to buy because of asbestos contamination. [H-L]

I spent two weeks touring the U.S. last year in my capacity as the U.N. special rapporteur on extreme poverty. My visit, at the invitation of the federal government, was to investigate the extent to which government policies on extreme poverty met human rights obligations. My report came out last week, and the conclusions are stark. Poverty rates in the United States are shockingly high for one of the richest countries in the world. [HuffPo]

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