politics

NPR

President Donald Trump is using his bully pulpit to scold Kentucky’s senior senator Mitch McConnell for failing to pass a bill that would repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as ‘Obamacare.’

When asked if McConnell should resign from his seat—as recently suggested by Fox News commentator Sean Hannity—Trump said his response would be based on McConnell’s ability to pass Republican initiatives in the future.

Federal prosecutors have lots of ways to intensify pressure on the people they're investigating, from early morning FBI raids to leaning on relatives of those under government scrutiny.

But even by those measures, the special counsel investigating Russian interference in last year's presidential election is moving with unusual speed and assertiveness, according to half a dozen legal experts following the probe.

President Trump says he is ready to declare the nation's opioid crisis "a national emergency," saying it is a "serious problem the likes of which we have never had." Speaking to reporters at the entrance to his Bedminster, N.J., golf club, where he is on a working vacation, Trump promised "to spend a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of money on the opioid crisis."

Alexandra Kanik

An emerging debate about whether elected officials violate people’s free speech rights by blocking them on social media is spreading across the U.S. as groups sue or warn politicians to stop the practice.

The American Civil Liberties Union this week sued Maine Gov. Paul LePage and sent warning letters to Utah’s congressional delegation. It followed recent lawsuits against the governors of Maryland and Kentucky and President Donald Trump.

Updated at 10:29 a.m.

The Senate is long gone. The House? Splitsville. The president is at his golf club in New Jersey. Only the hardiest swamp creatures continue to scuttle in and out of the half-empty offices of late-August Washington, D.C.

Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller and his team, however, haven't gone anywhere.

Updated on Aug. 10 at 4 p.m. ET

President Trump is continuing to voice his frustration with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, tweeting on Thursday that the Kentucky Republican should "get back to work" after last month's failure to pass a health care alternative to the Affordable Care Act.

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A judge says Attorney General Andy Beshear’s fourth lawsuit against Gov. Matt Bevin can proceed, recognizing that any ruling in the case will likely be appealed.

This particular challenge deals with Bevin’s executive order from earlier this summer that reorganized several education boards using a little-known state law. This law has also been used by previous governors but never challenged in court.

Franklin Circuit Court Judge Thomas Wingate converted Bevin’s request to dismiss the case into a motion for summary judgement, meaning the challenge won’t go to trial and will have an expedited ruling.

Kentucky's Top Elected Officials Prepare to Meet in Court

Aug 9, 2017
J. Tyler Franklin

Two of Kentucky's most bitter rivals will meet in court twice over the next 10 days in legal battles that could help shape the state's future in both politics and policy.

Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear has sued Republican Gov. Matt Bevin four times over his use of executive orders to reshape state government. Beshear has been victorious in one of those lawsuits, while the others are still pending.

On Wednesday, Bevin's attorneys will ask a judge to dismiss the latest lawsuit that challenges the governor's order to remake several boards that govern public education.

Beshear, Adkins Use Fancy Farm as Test for 2019

Aug 6, 2017
Matt Markgraf, WKMS

Andy Beshear says he has not decided if he will run for governor in 2019, but his tax returns tell a different story.

Kentucky's Democratic attorney general publicly released his 2016 tax returns on statewide television Saturday during the 137th annual Fancy Farm picnic. And while he challenged the state's other lawmakers to do the same, most saw it as a challenge to Republican Gov. Matt Bevin, who has steadfastly refused to release his income tax returns despite years of precedent.

J. Tyler Franklin

Even though there aren’t any major elections this year to stoke the political flames, Kentucky politicians had plenty of rhetoric to hurl at each other at the annual Fancy Farm picnic.

Bobby Richardson, a Barren County native and former Democratic speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives, emceed the event and encouraged the speakers and crowd to have a “civil afternoon.” But he still took his turn at landing verbal punches at the participants.

Richardson told his former University of Kentucky law school classmate Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that the two had much in common.

McConnell to Consider Bipartisan Plan to Pay Health Insurers

Aug 5, 2017
Ryland Barton

A week after an attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act failed, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he'd consider a bipartisan effort to continue payments to insurers to avert a costly rattling of health insurance markets.

McConnell told reporters Saturday there is "still a chance" the Senate could revive the measure to repeal and replace "Obamacare," but he acknowledged the window for that is rapidly closing.

The Kentucky senator noted Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee is working on "some kind of bipartisan approach" that would involve subsidies for insurance companies.

Ryland Barton

The Fancy Farm Picnic kicks off Saturday in Graves County in far-west Kentucky. The annual political speaking event takes place in the afternoon, drawing politicians and barbecue lovers from around the state.

Before a Democratic dinner Friday evening, Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear stoked the flames of an ongoing feud with Republican Gov. Matt Bevin.

Beshear said he had alerted federal authorities about a house Bevin purchased from a political donor and state contractor.

J. Tyler Franklin

Gov. Matt Bevin has won an appeal over the official value of his mansion on the outskirts of Louisville.

The governor had appealed the official assessment after the Courier-Journal first reported that Bevin paid nearly $1 million less for the property than the county’s estimate of its worth.
Now, the Jefferson County Board of Assessment Appeals says that Bevin’s house and surrounding property is worth $2.15 million instead of the $2.97 million value originally set by the Jefferson County Property Valuation Administrator.

When West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice stood next to President Trump during a campaign rally in Huntington, W.Va., on Thursday to announce that he was switching parties and becoming a Republican, it was a historic moment for the GOP.

Updated at 8:30 p.m. ET

Special counsel Robert Mueller is using a grand jury in Washington, D.C., in connection with his investigation into Russian efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election and into possible collusion between Russia and top aides to the Trump campaign, a source with knowledge of the investigation confirms to NPR's Peter Overby. The source did not want to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter.

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