politics

Now that Donald Trump Jr.'s emails have produced the kind of solid evidence the Russia connection story had been lacking, what had been mostly speculative reporting has instead become the first draft of history.

Expect that history to be much debated. All accounts of political skulduggery with foreign actors tend to be "tangled and murky," as one foreign policy historian has written.

Thinkstock

Though tax receipts into Kentucky’s general fund grew for the seventh year in a row, the state was still short about $135 million compared to predictions.

According to State Budget Director John Chilton, Kentucky was on track to meet predictions until March, when the state saw revenue decline by $50.2 million over three months due to a decrease in corporate revenues.

“The forecasting challenge going forward will be predicting when revenues will reverse the current four-month slide and resume collections more closely aligned with underlying economic growth,” Chilton said in a news release.

Kentucky Hotel Says it Was to Host Events that Pulled Out

Jul 9, 2017
Creative Commons

A Kentucky hotel would have hosted two conventions that reportedly pulled out of negotiations due to California's state-funded travel ban, the hotel's general manager said.

"We received calls from each convention withdrawing from negotiations due to the California ban," Omni Louisville Hotel General Manager Scott Stuckey said in a release Saturday. "We have used discretion in discussing the issue and have not identified the conventions, in hopes that we could persuade them to do business with Omni and Louisville in the future."

Updated at 9:02 a.m. ET

President Trump says he "strongly pressed" Russian President Vladimir Putin twice about Russia's meddling in the U.S. election — and that it's now time "to move forward in working constructively with Russia."

That work, Trump said, will include a new ceasefire in Syria, as well as a joint cybersecurity operation. But by Sunday evening he distanced himself from the latter, tweeting, "The fact that President Putin and I discussed a Cyber Security unit doesn't mean I think it can happen."

Mark Doliner/Creative Commons

As self-driving cars become a reality in other parts of the country, state lawmakers are considering how to regulate the vehicles in Kentucky.

During a legislative hearing Thursday about automated driving, experts said the technology can increase safety and road capacity while reducing traffic congestion and freight costs.

But safety liability concerns remain for some, like Sen. C.B. Embry, a Republican from Morgantown.

McConnell Says He'll Rework Health Bill, But Offers Plan B

Jul 7, 2017
NPR

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he plans to produce a fresh bill in about a week scuttling and replacing much of President Barack Obama's health care law. But he's also acknowledging a Plan B if that effort continues to flounder.

"If my side is unable to agree on an adequate replacement, then some kind of action with regard to the private health insurance market must occur," McConnell, R-Ky., said Thursday. It was one of his most explicit concessions that a top priority for President Donald Trump and the entire GOP, erasing much of Obama's landmark 2010 statute, might fall short.

There's a lot of talk on Capitol Hill about the tax cuts included in the Republican health plans, but unless you are a frequent user of tanning beds or have personal wealth that puts you in the top 1 percent, you might not feel much effect.

The House and Senate bills both change or eliminate more than a dozen taxes that were levied to help pay for the Affordable Care Act's insurance subsidies and to bolster Medicare and expand Medicaid. Republicans and other ACA critics have argued that the taxes are onerous for businesses and families.

A majority of Americans believe President Trump has done something either illegal or unethical when it comes to Russia, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

President Trump arrives in Poland on Wednesday afternoon. Over the next few days, he'll be attending a Group of 20 summit and meeting with a wide array of world leaders.

It's likely none of those meetings will be more closely scrutinized than Trump's first face-to-face sit-down with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Trump has often said he would like to see closer ties between the U.S. and Russia. But that has been complicated by Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Creative Commons

Gov. Matt Bevin issued his first-ever slate of pardons Monday, citing “unique circumstances” that warranted gubernatorial forgiveness for 10 Kentuckians.

Those pardoned were convicted of crimes including drug offenses, sexual misconduct and reckless homicide. Bevin said he was prompted by Independence Day to issue the orders.

“It is an appropriate time to use the authority vested in my office to grant a fresh start at independence and liberty for several individuals who have lost both due to their previous criminal behavior,” Bevin said.

Bingham, Greenebaum, Doll LLP

Louisville lawyer John Bush is still awaiting a vote on his confirmation by President Donald Trump to be a judge on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. During hearings last month, he dodged questions dealing with controversial blog posts he penned under a pseudonym.

In a post from 2008 on the Elephants in the Bluegrass blog, Bush wrote that the landmark Supreme Court decision dealing with abortion, Roe vs. Wade, was decided by “activist judges.”

He also said that abortion was one of the nation’s “greatest tragedies”—along with slavery. In the post, Bush said both Roe vs. Wade and the Dred Scott case, which denied a black man’s right to sue for his freedom, precipitating the Civil War, relied on similar judicial reasoning.

As Americans prepare to celebrate the country's 241st birthday, they believe the overall tone and level of civility between Democrats and Republicans in the nation's capital has gotten worse since the election of President Trump last year, a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll finds. The same survey also shows distrust of many of the nation's fundamental democratic institutions among the public.

Kentucky LRC

Kentucky state Sen. Reggie Thomas says he is running for the U.S. House.

Thomas, a Democrat, made the announcement Saturday at the historic Lyric Theatre in Lexington. A lawyer and professor at Kentucky State University, Thomas was elected to the Kentucky state Senate in 2013.

He is challenging Republican U.S. Rep. Andy Barr for the 6th District congressional seat.

Trash-tweeting the news media for the fifteenth time in a week, President Trump spent part of Sunday morning at his Bedminster Golf Club in New Jersey maligning CNN.

NPR

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has rejected President Donald Trump’s advice to nix the GOP’s complex health care proposal in favor of a bill that would simply get rid of “Obamacare” once and for all.

McConnell told reporters after an event Friday in his home state of Kentucky that the Republican health care bill remains challenging but “we are going to stick with that path” in response to a question about the president’s tweet. Former President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law in 2010, and Republicans have been trying to get rid of it ever since.

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