The Republican Party of Kentucky’s Assault On Education Hits Raceland

Republican Senate candidate Don Blankenship stepped up his unconventional attacks on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday with a new ad that accuses him of creating “millions of jobs for China people.” [H-L]

Aides to Donald Trump, the US president, hired an Israeli private intelligence agency to orchestrate a “dirty ops” campaign against key individuals from the Obama administration who helped negotiate the Iran nuclear deal, the Observer can reveal. People in the Trump camp contacted private investigators in May last year to “get dirt” on Ben Rhodes, who had been one of Barack Obama’s top national security advisers, and Colin Kahl, deputy assistant to Obama, as part of an elaborate attempt to discredit the deal. [The Guardian]

Louisville prosecutors want probation revoked for the leader of a white nationalist group who repeatedly pushed a woman at a Donald Trump campaign rally in Louisville in 2016. [C-J/AKN]

Surprise! Republicans are still massive homophobes. The Kansas Legislature on Friday approved a bill that allows faith-based adoption agencies to turn away gay and lesbian couples based on religious beliefs, and the state’s governor said he would sign it. [Reuters]

The Attorney General issued an opinion Thursday stating the Eastern Kentucky University Board of Regents violated the Open Meetings Act in discussing multiple potential layoffs in a session closed to the public. [Richmond Register]

Jared Kushner’s ethics disclosure filing misstated the financials on two Brooklyn loans, the latest in a long series of errors and omissions on the form. [ProPublica]

The board of directors for Barren County’s special ambulance service taxing district has decided it will not pay – at least for April – the typical portion Barren-Metcalfe County Emergency Medical Services bills it for its deficit. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Donald Trump knew about a six-figure payment that Michael D. Cohen, his personal lawyer, made to a pornographic film actress several months before he denied any knowledge of it to reporters aboard Air Force One in April, according to two people familiar with the arrangement. [NY Times]

The Henderson School Board unanimously voted a century ago to ban the teaching of German in city schools, which was just the tip of the spear in the community’s case of anti-German hysteria at the time. [Frank Boyett]

A prominent Southern Baptist leader whose comments about spousal abuse set off a firestorm last week said in an interview Friday that he couldn’t “apologize for what I didn’t do wrong.” [WaPo]

The state budget crunch and changes in reciprocal enrollment agreements have taken their toll in Raceland-Worthington schools, where a number of staffers will be laid off at the end of the school year. [Ashland Independent]

Donald Trump harkened back to the racist attack he made on Mexican immigrants on the first day of his campaign in the summer of 2015 during a speech at the National Rifle Association (NRA) convention Friday. [ThinkProgress]

Becky Mullins’ heart broke two decades ago when the 2- and 3-year-old sisters for whom she cared as a foster mother were ordered back to their biological parents, where they had been abused until the state of Kentucky removed them. [John Cheves]

There were reasons to suspect the serial murderer and rapist known as the “Golden State Killer” worked as a cop. He knew to conceal his identity, wearing ski masks and gloves, ordering his victims not to look at him, disguising his voice in a whisper. [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for mobile service and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets up! [CLICK HERE]

Kentucky Republicans: Still Killing Ethics

The general counsel for the Kentucky House Republican Caucus, who allegedly sat in the room as former House Speaker Jeff Hoover and three other Republican lawmakers secretly settled a sexual harassment complaint, will soon serve as the attorney for the Legislative Ethics Commission. [H-L]

The Environmental Protection Agency’s inspector general has opened “new reviews” into Administrator Scott Pruitt’s alleged ethical lapses, including his $50 per night condo rental, according to letters sent Friday to two top Democrats. [HuffPo]

Greg Fischer unveiled a spending plan for the city Thursday that he said builds on Louisville’s momentum in the face of a $9.4 million bump in retirement costs. [C-J/AKN]

Follow the path of immigrants fleeing violence or persecution, and get a glimpse into the complicated, evolving system designed to grant them refuge in the United States. [ProPublica]

Candidates running for state representative and sheriff laid out their plans and why they should be elected, during a recent Richmond Chamber of Commerce Meet the Candidates Community Forum hosted at Eastern Kentucky University. [Richmond Register]

Within establishment political and media circles, the mythology surrounding the motives of white working-class voters has been the most popular and enduring explanation for why Donald Trump is in the White House. Trump voters are much less worried about their financial well-being than they are about losing their dominant status as white people within a demographically diverse and ever-changing nation. [ThinkProgress]

Louisville Metro Police have now had more shootings involving officers this year than all of last year, following a fatal shooting Wednesday night in Shawnee. [WFPL]

Last year, Howard “Buck” McKeon, a former Republican congressman who chaired the House Armed Services Committee, was hired to lobby for an Albanian political party seeking access to the Trump administration and congressional Republicans. But most of his firm’s work was bankrolled by a Cypriot shell company called Dorelita Limited. [Mother Jones]

More than 3,500 Hepatitis A vaccinations have been given to area residents following an outbreak of the disease. [Ashland Independent]

A top official with the Department of Health and Human Services is expected to tell members of Congress on Thursday that the agency lost track of nearly 1,500 migrant children the agency placed with sponsors in the United States, according to prepared testimony obtained by The New York Times. [NY Times]

Matt Bevin Thursday vetoed five bills and part of a sixth but allowed a tax cleanup bill which corrected mistakes in a revenue bill he opposed to become law without his signature and didn’t veto last-minute “fixes” to the budget bill. [Ronnie Ellis]

After Donald Trump vowed last year to release all the long-secret files related to the JFK assassination, the administration announced Thursday that some documents will remain redacted until October 2021 for national security reasons. [WaPo]

The open race for Lexington’s top job has attracted one of the largest fields of candidates in recent history. And the number of candidates will likely make for a messy primary season. [H-L]

A top Democratic congressman on Friday unsuccessfully tried to create a special committee to investigate why House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Shitbag) abruptly fired the House chaplain last week. [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for mobile service and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets up! [CLICK HERE]

Republicans Keep Losing To Beshear

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

Comedian Michelle Wolf took the bold route during the White House Correspondents’ Dinner on Saturday night. [YouTube]

The General Assembly has adjourned, and thousands of protesting teachers have left the Capitol and gone back to their classrooms. But the battle for public schools and universities in Kentucky has just begun. [Tom Eblen]

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson is proposing to increase rent for millions of low-income tenants in government-subsidized housing and impose stricter work requirements. [HuffPo]

A robbery suspect fleeing from police Tuesday was shot at more than 20 times and killed by three officers and one detective from Louisville Metro Police’s First Division, according to police body camera videos. [C-J/AKN]

A federal judge has blocked Donald Trump’s administration from terminating grants issued through a teen pregnancy prevention program, marking the third time in a week that a court has held that the administration’s 2017 decision was unlawful. [Reuters]

Madison County Board of Education approved in a special-called meeting Wednesday to enter into a contract with the Kentucky School Boards Association (KSBA) for services in finding a new superintendent, as current Superintendent Elmer Thomas has announced his final day will be June 30. [Richmond Register]

The U.S. Department of Education was investigating why black students in Bryan, Texas, are almost four times as likely as white students to be suspended. Then Betsy DeVos took over. [ProPublica]

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear can continue to pursue his challenge to a pension reform bill passed by the 2018 General Assembly. [Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump made two significant legal errors during a Fox & Friends phone interview on Thursday morning, during which he became audibly agitated about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation — at one point yelling about FBI raids on his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and his personal attorney, Michael Cohen. [ThinkProgress]

The Barren County Economic Authority appears to have a buyer for its 80,100-square-foot speculative building in Highland Glen Industrial Park, and it’s a company that already has a presence here. [Glasgow Daily Times]

When you have the best known name in your congressional district and your younger brother is a heartbeat away from the presidency, it is difficult to run a stealth campaign. But Greg Pence is doing a pretty good job of it. [NY Times]

The Kentucky Labor Cabinet has filed suit against the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting to prevent releasing details about employees accused of sexual harassment — the second state agency to sue KyCIR in the last month. [WFPL]

As views shift on the decriminalization of marijuana, and current and former lawmakers question existing drug laws, the fact that people of color, particularly from low-income communities, are still suffering consequences from decades-old marijuana laws is deeply concerning, critics say. [WaPo]

The former pension fund manager who once lived in a multimillion-dollar house in Bourbon County was sentenced Wednesday to more than three years in prison for money laundering and the theft of $600,000 from two employee pension plans. [H-L]

Scott Pruitt, the embattled Environmental Protection Agency administrator, admitted Thursday that he signed off on controversial five-figure raises for political appointees, contradicting statements he made in a tense Fox News interview earlier this month. [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for mobile service and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets up! [CLICK HERE]

Rand Paul Flip-Flopped On Pompeo

Kentucky’s acting public health commissioner on Friday issued a statement saying “it is safe to travel to Kentucky and it is safe to attend the Kentucky Derby.” [H-L]

Rand Paul (R-Keebler) announced Monday that he would support Mike Pompeo to be secretary of state, a change in position that allowed the CIA chief to be recommended favorably out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee after all. [HuffPo]

Don’t worry, it wasn’t Heather French Henry claiming the sun was in her eyes this time. Police are investigating after a bicyclist was killed early Saturday morning after being struck by a vehicle on Dixie Highway. [C-J/AKN]

In a sprawling plant near Amarillo, Texas, rows of workers perform by hand one of the most dangerous jobs in American industry. Contract workers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pantex facility gingerly remove the plutonium cores from retired nuclear warheads. Although many safety rules are in place, a slip of the hand could mean disaster. [Reuters]

Lee Henderson closes his eyes and pictures Mary Turner holding her swollen belly and breathing heavily as she runs from the lynch mob. [Richmond Register]

New reports provide an unprecedented look at contaminants leaking from coal ash ponds and landfills. But the chasm between information and environmental protection may deepen thanks to a proposed Trump administration rollback. [ProPublica]

Americans overwhelmingly believe teachers don’t make enough money, and half say they’d support paying higher taxes to give educators a raise. [Ashland Independent]

Former FBI Director James Comey’s newly released memos indicate that in early 2017, Donald Trump repeatedly tried to refute one of the most salacious allegations in the Steele dossier — that Trump engaged in acts with sex workers at the Moscow Ritz-Carlton during a trip to Russia for the 2013 Miss Universe competition — by claiming he didn’t even spend a night in Moscow. But Trump’s defense against what he characterizes as “fake news” is directly contradicted by the sworn testimony of his longtime bodyguard, Keith Schiller. [ThinkProgress]

All Kentucky students in grades K-12 will be required to have the Hepatitis A vaccine by July 1 in order to attend school. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The Trump administration says it plans to roll back a rule issued by President Barack Obama that prevents doctors, hospitals and health insurance companies from discriminating against transgender people. [NY Times]

Only a handful of families remain in the residential farming community beside the Trimble County power plant. The rest have sold their properties and moved away. The ones who stay behind live with daily blasting and construction as Louisville Gas & Electric builds a coal ash landfill across the street from their homes. Two families say they’re ready to leave, but they can’t because LG&E hasn’t offered them a fair price on their homes. [WFPL]

Eight months after a white-nationalist rally in Charlottesville ended in the death of a counterprotester, the loose collection of disaffected young white men known as the alt-right is in disarray. [WaPo]

Kentucky’s rich farmland is rapidly disappearing, and most of it is being lost to a different kind of development than you might think, according to a new study by American Farmland Trust. [H-L]

Did you have a happy Tax Day? Are you feeling grateful for the Republican tax cut? Evidently, most American taxpayers are not. In a sublime case of poetic justice, the so-called Tax Cut and Jobs Act is backfiring on the Republicans big time. Most voters are unimpressed, and Republicans themselves are ceasing to emphasize it in their campaign material. [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for mobile service and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets up! [CLICK HERE]

KRS Trustees Are Still Shady As Hell

The Kentucky Retirement Systems Board of Trustees voted unanimously Thursday to not join a lawsuit filed by eight public employees alleging that several major investment firms cheated it on up to $1.5 billion in hedge fund investments, with blame to be shared by some of its own current and former trustees and officials. [John Cheves]

New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman tweeted on Saturday that a source quoted in her story derided by Donald Trump as a “drunk/drugged up loser” is likely former Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg. [HuffPo]

In a definitive win for open records advocates, the state attorney general’s office has found Kentucky State Police violated the state public records law by denying Courier Journal requests for the agency’s database of arrest and traffic citations. [C-J/AKN]

Jeff Sessions, miniature human but full-sized racist, wants to remove domestic abuse as a legal justification for seeking asylum. [Politico]

White Hall State Historic Site is set to break ground Saturday for the first hemp crop grown on the property since the early 19th century. The inaugural plot will be featured on the Heritage Hemp Trail, and showcased during events and tours. [Richmond Register]

Schoolchildren across the US walked out of their classrooms on Friday morning to demonstrate against gun violence. The National School Walkout marked the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre in Colorado. [BBC]

Carter County residents stood in a line that stretched out the door and down the hallway as they waited for their turn to receive vaccinations against the Hepatitis A virus at the Carter County Health Department on Thursday. [Ashland Independent]

Memos written by the former F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, that were released on Thursday revealed several new details about his relationship with Donald Trump and the president’s first chief of staff, Reince Priebus. [NY Times]

Rowan County Fiscal Court has decided against any further discussion about potentially contracting out the services of the Tri-County Animal Shelter. [The Morehead News]

Keith Davidson, the former attorney for two women who were paid to keep quiet about their alleged affairs with Donald Trump, has been contacted by federal authorities investigating Trump attorney Michael Cohen and is cooperating with them, a spokesman for Davidson confirmed. [WaPo]

Jeff Hoover, the former Speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives, and three other lawmakers paid $110,000 last fall to settle a sexual harassment claim by a young female legislative aide against the backdrop of a national debate about sexual harassment. And Julian Carroll did more than “grope” a man – it was on tape and the victim went public. [Ronnie Ellis]

Judge James Ho has been a federal judge for only a few months. Until Wednesday, he had never handed down a judicial opinion in his life. But the Trump appointee’s very first opinion, a dissent calling for a sweeping assault on campaign contribution limits, is a doozy. [ThinkProgress]

Andy Barr couldn’t get a word in. “Some of you agree with what I’m doing in Washington,” Barr said in Richmond, where the crowd often booed him. “A lot of you do.” That statement will be put to the test in November. [H-L]

Ahead of a tight primary on May 8, Dennis Kucinich’s bid to win the Democratic nomination for the critical gubernatorial race in Ohio landed in trouble this week because of the revelation that he was paid $20,000 last year by a group sympathetic to Syrian dictator Bashar Assad. Now, largely overlooked election filings show that the former congressman’s political apparatus received thousands of more dollars from two brothers involved in multiple efforts to bring Kucinich and Assad together since 2007. [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for mobile service and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets up! [CLICK HERE]

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]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for mobile service and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets up! [CLICK HERE]

Bevin: Now A National Embarrassment

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

Matt Bevin is a disgusting, garbage human. DCBS needs to visit his home ASAP to make sure his kids are safe. Matt Bevin, asked Friday about teachers leaving the classrooms to attend a protest rally in Frankfort, said, “I guarantee you somewhere in Kentucky today a child was sexually assaulted that was left at home because there was nobody there to watch them.” [H-L]

Donald Trump’s decision to strike Syrian facilities in response to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s reported use of chemical weapons against civilians fulfills Trump’s promise of being tougher than President Barack Obama. But it’s unlikely to have much impact beyond that ― and will likely be historically judged as a failure on Trump’s own terms. [HuffPo]

Despite the scandal over the secret harassment settlement involving former Kentucky House Speaker Jeff Hoover, the legislature hasn’t passed any measures to address the issue this session. [C-J/AKN]

The Justice Department special counsel has evidence that Donald Trump’s personal lawyer and confidant, Michael Cohen, secretly made a late-summer trip to Prague during the 2016 presidential campaign, according to two sources familiar with the matter. Confirmation of the trip would lend credence to a retired British spy’s report that Cohen strategized there with a powerful Kremlin figure about Russian meddling in the U.S. election. [McClatchy]

If you rely on public transportation in Louisville, it might limit not only how long it takes you to get where you’re going, but also where you’re able to work, and live. A story by WFPL’s Amina Elahi looks into how bus routes affect the lives of those who commute on them. [WFPL]

High school physics teacher Craig Hoxie filed to run for Oklahoma’s House of Representatives on Friday, a day after the end of a two-week teacher walkout that had pressed lawmakers for school funding. [Reuters]

Kentucky’s 2016 child abuse rate — more than double the national average — was the second highest rate in the nation. [Richmond Register]

Why is Trump’s business arguing its properties are worth just a fraction of what Trump has claimed they are on his own financial disclosures? To save on taxes. [ProPublica]

In a rebuke of their own governor, the Republican-controlled General Assembly overrode three major vetoes by Matt Bevin on Friday. [Ronnie Ellis]

It has been an iron rule for candidates in rural areas and red states for decades: Do not antagonize the National Rifle Association. But that was before the massacre at a high school in Parkland, Fla., galvanized gun politics across the country. Now, a striking number of Democratic candidates in coming midterm elections, from congressional contests in the Rocky Mountains to governor’s races in the Deep South, are openly daring, defying and disparaging the N.R.A., a group with deep pockets, a loyal membership and a record of Election Day score-settling. [NY Times]

The former speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives and three other legislators paid a former female staffer $66,000 and her lawyers $44,000 last fall to keep sexual harassment complaints against them hush-hush. [Ashland Independent]

More than 200 former Justice Department employees are urging Congress to “swiftly and forcefully respond” should Donald Trump fire Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, or Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, who is overseeing the federal probe. [WaPo]

Legislative Ethics are not a thing in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. And those “secrets”? Someone has them in their possession. A little more than five months after a secret sexual harassment settlement agreement wreaked havoc on the Republican Party of Kentucky, former House Speaker Jeff Hoover reached another settlement Tuesday, this time with the Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission. Hoover, R-Jamestown, agreed to admit that he violated legislative ethics laws, pay a $1,000 fine and subject himself to a public reprimand. The deal saves his seat in the Kentucky House of Representatives while keeping secret the details of his alleged harassment of a former House Republican staffer. [H-L]

Former U.S. ambassador Joseph Wilson, a man whose family was turned upside down by Scooter Libby and other President George W. Bush administration officials, sharply criticized Donald Trump for pardoning Libby, saying it showed his disregard for America’s national security. [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for mobile service and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets up! [CLICK HERE]