Hold On To Health Care While You’ve Got It & Let Mitch McConnell Have An Earful

Attorney General Andy Beshear announced Wednesday that his office plans to file two to 10 lawsuits against drug manufacturers, distributors and retailers that allegedly contributed to the state’s drug overdose crisis by illegally marketing and selling opioids. [H-L]

As President Dumpster Fire prepares for this week’s G-20 summit, his European partners aren’t hiding their disillusionment with how his “America First” approach to foreign policy has damaged the liberal world order. [HuffPo]

We’re wiling to give anyone a chance but the last four or five were beyond disastrous. How long are we gonna hold our breath? In his first official media briefing as acting superintendent, Marty Pollio on Monday morning reiterated his push to improve the climate in Jefferson County Public Schools. [C-J/AKN]

More than 30 “disappointed and alarmed” senators penned a letter chastising civil rights enforcement at the Department of Education. [ProPublica]

Charitable organizations feeding the hungry could see an increase in the number of people they serve if a cut in food stamps is approved by Congress. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Can you imagine if anyone in Kentucky put pressure on Mitch McConnell to stand up for his constituents? [The Hill]

A new housing development in southwest Morehead is expected to bring 48 living units to the area by the end of 2018. [The Morehead News]

A 19-year-old American soldier has died in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province from wounds received in an attack, the Pentagon said on Wednesday. [Reuters]

In the wake of mounting overdoses and deaths from the opioid-addiction crisis sweeping across the U.S., drugmakers are racing to come up with safer painkillers. Companies are highly motivated to create alternatives to the $4 billion opioid market. The federal government is cracking down on lax prescriptions that contribute to many thousands of deaths a year and has started to block the sale of medications it considers unsafe. [Richmond Register]

The US has confirmed that North Korea tested a long-range missile which some experts believe could reach Alaska. [BBC]

With three weeks of work down, Appalachia Service Project volunteers continue to lend a helping hand with local home repairs. [Ashland Independent]

For the 15th year, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) spent July 4 marching through this town of 1,331, a short boat ride away from Canada. She walked and waved, next to marching bands and Shriner-driven lobster boats. Her constituents cheered — and then asked whether she would vote against repealing the Affordable Care Act. [WaPo]

You don’t say. Teaching assistant Kelvin Holt watched as a preschool student fell to the back of a cafeteria line during breakfast in Killeen, Texas, as if trying to hide. [H-L]

A journalist who revealed the racist, anti-Semitic internet troll behind the CNN beat-down video that President Dumpster Fire shared says he’s facing a barrage of death threats. And he warns that the president is fueling a violent, anti-media conversation online. [HuffPo]

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Matt Bevin Continues To Embarrass KY

Nearly two years after rejecting requests to remove a controversial statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis in Kentucky’s Capitol Rotunda, a state panel that promised to produce educational materials to help put the statue in historical context is only now beginning its work. [H-L]

Donald Trump, apparently confirming his disregard for the risks of global climate change, reportedly told the mayor of a small Chesapeake Bay island that could soon disappear to erosion and rising seas that there’s no cause for concern. Trump phoned James “Ooker” Eskridge, the mayor of Tangier, Virginia, on Monday, a few days after CNN aired a story about the impacts of climate change on the island in the middle of the bay, The Daily Times in Salisbury, Maryland, reports. Trump “said not to worry about sea-level rise,” Eskridge told the newspaper. “He said, ‘Your island has been there for hundreds of years, and I believe your island will be there for hundreds more.’” [HuffPo]

Dan Johnson is just gross. Metro Councilwoman Jessica Green told council leadership that fellow Democrat Dan Johnson groped her and then laughed about it last week. [C-J/AKN]

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has recommended to President Donald Trump reducing the size of the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah, according to a copy of the recommendation seen by Reuters on Monday. [Reuters]

Matt Bevin is right that we’re mocking him and that we hate god. We hate HIS god – a hateful, vengeful, racist, homophobic, hates-the-poor god. He’s so out-of-touch that he has no idea law enforcement, religious leaders, Republicans, Democrats and even members of his own staff are criticizing his idiocy. [WFPL]

At a meeting in March, a lead analyst in the VA’s compensation service was critical of the media, scientists and the VA’s own administrative tribunal for taking positions that differ from his. The VA said his comments “did not fully or accurately reflect VA’s position” but also said his quotes were being taken out of context. [ProPublica]

While heroin and other opioids continue to draw headlines and the attention of political figures, methamphetamine has made a comeback in Madison County. [Richmond Register]

In a new legal challenge to Trump, Maryland and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit Monday alleging that his failure to shed his private businesses has undermined public trust and violated constitutional bans against self-dealing. [NY Times]

Children in Boyd County are being fed this summer through meal programs at several sites. [Ashland Independent]

Seems like a good time to revisit this. The lawyer gave Donald Trump a note, written in Trump’s own handwriting. He asked Trump to read it aloud. Trump may not have realized it yet, but he had walked into a trap. [WaPo]

State revenues were up in May over last year but probably not enough to head off a likely budget shortfall for the fiscal year which ends June 30. [Ronnie Ellis]

Rand Paul was in the cage waiting for one more turn at the plate when shots rand down on the field, hitting Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) and at least four other people. [The Hill]

A Pikeville psychologist was convicted Monday of taking part in a massive disability fraud scheme in Eastern Kentucky. [H-L]

Donald Trump has given Defense Secretary Jim Mattis the authority to set troop levels in Afghanistan, a U.S. official told Reuters on Tuesday, opening the door for future troop increases requested by the U.S. commander. [HuffPo]

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Grimes Has Successfully Rebuilt Her Image

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Hard-hitting press-release journalism. Meanwhile, Montgomery County’s paid out mountains of cash in settlements and the nightmare is ongoing. [H-L]

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Sunday that he believes rhetoric from President Donald Trump’s administration is “probably partially to blame” for Syria’s deadly chemical weapons attack on its civilians last week. [HuffPo]

Instead of being whiny ass titty babies like the Democrats who enable Trump and normalize his racism… maybe it’s time to wake the heck up? If you’ve followed Adam Edelen at all, you know he’s keen on whitewashing the reasons Kentuckians supported Donald Trump. He and his cohorts still ignorantly claim it’s all economic but you know that’s not remotely the case. Kentucky Democrats will continue to lose while people like Edelen are at the helm of anything. It’s all up to Alison Grimes these days – now that she’s distanced herself from her father and proved she can speak her mind and stand up for what she (not consultants) believes in. [C-J/AKN]

Neil Gorsuch on Monday became the 101st associate justice of the Supreme Court and President Trump’s first high court appointee. [The Hill]

The plume of polluted water was black. In the satellite images, it snaked from the coal ash landfill at the D.B. Wilson Power Plant in Western Kentucky, about 40 minutes south of Owensboro. The water went through a ditch, until it reached a sediment pond. There, the images showed the black plume spreading through the murky green water, before it dissipated. [WFPL]

Internal State Department instructions to implement Donald Trump’s temporary travel ban on citizens of six Muslim-majority nations help demonstrate that the ban violates the constitution, the American Civil Liberties Union argued in court filings late on Thursday. [Reuters]

Mitch McConnell is hardly apologetic for his role in securing for conservatives the ninth seat on the U.S. Supreme Court, calling it “the most consequential decision I’ve ever been involved in.” [Ronnie Ellis]

When Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, sought the top-secret security clearance that would give him access to some of the nation’s most closely guarded secrets, he was required to disclose all encounters with foreign government officials over the last seven years. [NY Times]

A new state law was passed at the most recent legislative session that will place the state in compliance with new federal travel standards by creating a new Travel ID driver’s license in 2019. [Ashland Independent]

Here’s the national media taking a look at racism and backwardness in Mt. Sterling. You know, the town we spent four years covering the biggest education scandal in Kentucky that the mainstream all but ignored. [WaPo]

The elegant black cat glided across the carpeted living room floor, a far cry from her previous home in war-torn Afghanistan. [Richmond Register]

Democrats heard the argument throughout the Senate’s bitter debate over Neil Gorsuch: Don’t filibuster this Supreme Court nominee — save your leverage for President Donald Trump’s next pick, the one who could change the court’s balance of power for a generation. [Politico]

Apparently, Andrew Wilkinson found religion when he got sent to prison. Isn’t that how it always goes? The corrupt political class goes to prison, claims to find Jesus and meemaw and poppop on the street buy it like it’s going out of style? At least this guy has his shitty dad to blame and Jack Brammer to help him whitewash recent history. [H-L]

Republican Governors keep vetoing legislation that would make voting easier because that’s the Republican way. They can’t let thinking people, poor people, old people or brown people vote if they can help it. [HuffPo]

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A New Week Of D.C. Nightmares Begins

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Someone should ask Hoskins about his month-long vacation in Palm Beach around the time of filing. The state hopes to prevent a man facing a $2.65 million fine for the illegal disposal of radioactive waste from erasing that penalty in bankruptcy court. [H-L]

A U.S. Navy strike group will be moving toward the western Pacific Ocean near the Korean peninsula as a show of force, a U.S. official told Reuters on Saturday, as concerns grow about North Korea’s advancing weapons program. [HuffPo]

Carroll County sends people to prison at a higher rate than any other Kentucky county, the Courier-Journal reported in October. And its tough-as-nails commonwealth’s attorney, James Crawford, made no apologies for it, saying he’s a “firm believer if there is a wrong, there has to be a corresponding punishment.” But when Sheriff Jamie Kinman pleaded guilty Monday to official misconduct for stealing painkillers, including from a terminal cancer patient while in uniform, Crawford recommended a deal that makes it unlikely Kinman will spend even a day in jail. [C-J/AKN]

No doubt, the footage from the attack is hard to take. But you have to wonder why Trump’s humanity was not similarly touched by the children killed in the 2013 Ghouta chemical attack, the stomach-churning allegations of systematic torture of children by Syrian forces, the many children killed by the Syrian regime’s barrel bombs, or the now iconic photo of a dazed little boy covered in dust in an ambulance in Aleppo, not to mention the also iconic image of a drowned Syrian refugee boy on a beach in Turkey. While all this was going on, Trump was arguing that the U.S. should be working with Assad, who he called a potential “natural ally.” [Slate]

This is the funniest thing you’ll read all day and it’s not remotely accurate. Morehead’s a great little town but most LGBTQ-friendly in Kentucky? Not in anyone’s imagination. It’s dangerous to suggest such to outsiders. It’s not safe to be out in Morehead or anywhere else in Eastern Kentucky. Especially if you’re an outsider or don’t come from a known or powerful family in the mountains. [The Morehead News]

Policies that promote school integration by race and class took a significant hit last week when the U.S. Department of Education announced that it was killing a small but important federal program to support local diversity efforts. [The Atlantic]

Mitch McConnell is hardly apologetic for his role in securing for conservatives the ninth seat on the U.S. Supreme Court, calling it “the most consequential decision I’ve ever been involved in.” [Ronnie Ellis]

The C.I.A. told senior lawmakers in classified briefings last summer that it had information indicating that Russia was working to help elect Donald J. Trump president, a finding that did not emerge publicly until after Mr. Trump’s victory months later, former government officials say. [NY Times]

Rand Paul wasted little time in expressing his opinions about President Donald Trump’s decision to strike a Syrian airfield with more than 50 cruise missiles. [Richmond Register]

Meanwhile, the garbage Republicans in Frankfort like Ryan “I Wasn’t Driving Drunk In That Parking Lot And Am Cool With Employing My Brother” Quarles and crew are spinning this as a positive. Because you can’t fix their special brand of stupid. At least there’s a chance their children won’t turn out as wretched as them. [WaPo]

Matt Bevin on Friday appointed Timothy Ray “Tim” Coleman, of Morgantown, as Circuit Judge for the 38th Judicial Circuit, Division 1 of Kentucky—representing Butler, Edmonson, Hancock and Ohio counties. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Remember Afghanistan? We’re still there. A U.S. soldier was killed while conducting operations against Islamic State in Afghanistan late on Saturday, a U.S. military spokesman said in a message posted on Twitter. [Reuters]

If there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that I would never ever trust the Cabinet for Health and Family Services with children in need. Another? Kathy Stein ought to step down from the bench and return to practice as an attorney. Sure, Republicans have been fishing for literally anything to hang over her head. But she’s been next to terrible in defending herself or explaining what’s occurred. Being unable to stand up to Republicans – even when you’re an impartial judge – is a sign of dangerous weakness. [H-L]

Muhammed Ali Khan tried to do one of the most boring, responsible things an American taxpayer can do: set up a government-guaranteed retirement savings account. He was rejected because the Treasury Department thought he might be a terrorist. [HuffPo]

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RPK: Still A Bunch Of Homophobic Bigots

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Hopefully they’re not just learning the whitewashed version of Thanksgiving history. [H-L]

Activists protesting plans to run an oil pipeline beneath a lake near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota said on Saturday they have no intention of leaving a protest camp after U.S. authorities warned it must be vacated by Dec. 5. [HuffPo]

The last remaining dry precinct located within the Watterson Expressway could switch sides next month following a wet-dry vote. [C-J/AKN]

A member of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) is sounding the alarm over the new changes floated by Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), warning that the minority leader’s proposals could erode the power of African-American lawmakers even as they attempt to spread influence to younger members. [The Hill]

A state senator is planning to once again propose a bill during the upcoming legislative session that he says will protect religious freedoms. The bill would nullify local “fairness” ordinances across the state that protect Kentuckians from discrimination based on sexual orientation. Imagine how different things could be if Chris Hartman were permitted by the Fairness board over the past seven or eight years, as I have pushed, to spend time with these extremists trying to educate them. Kentucky would be in a much better spot than it is today. [WFPL]

Sales and traffic at U.S. brick-and-mortar stores on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday declined from last year, as stores offered discounts well beyond the weekend and more customers shopped online. [Reuters]

Unhappy with Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear’s refusal to file criminal charges against those responsible for illegally dumping 1,200 tons of low-level radioactive fracking waste at a landfill near Irvine, an Estill County citizens group is suing to obtain the investigative records of Beshear and two state regulatory cabinets. [Richmond Register]

Falwell says he couldn’t afford to work at a Cabinet-level job for longer than that. That’s $205,000 per year, FYI. He couldn’t afford to live on $205K per year. That’s the New Fascist Party for you. [Politico]

They’re official: the state Board of Elections certified the results of the Nov. 8 election in Kentucky Tuesday. [Ronnie Ellis]

On Tuesday, the director of the National Security Agency, Admiral Michael Rogers, was asked about the WikiLeaks release of hacked information during the campaign, and he said, “This was a conscious effort by a nation-state to attempt to achieve a specific effect.” [Mother Jones]

The civil lawsuit filed by a former police chief against the City of Glasgow and the subsequent interim chief has been set for trial in March. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The education gap among whites this year wasn’t about education. It was about race. There are, of course, several plausible reasons for this growing education gap. No one factor explains everything. That said, a major factor was racial attitudes. Sorry, Adam Edelen, your bullshit talking point about economics is dead in the water. [WaPo]

Like many students, Tyler Allen spent his college days enthusiastically experimenting with alcohol. Only for Allen, it turned into a habit that was more than recreational. [H-L]

Afghanistan is failing. Fifteen years after the United States first scattered the Taliban with high-altitude bombing, the battlefield gains achieved by tens of thousands of U.S. troops are in jeopardy from a resurgent Taliban. [HuffPo]

What A Week In Our Lovely, Backward, Corrupt Commonwealth

Let’s all just laugh about this one last time. House Speaker Greg Stumbo announced Wednesday he is appointing a committee to investigate what he says have been threats by Gov. Matt Bevin against state lawmakers. [C-J/AKN]

The United States broke off talks with Russia on Monday on implementing a ceasefire agreement on Syria and accused Moscow of not living up to its commitments under the Sept. 9 deal to [HuffPo]

Saying small cash bonds pose an unfair burden on the poor, a Jefferson County public defender Monday asked a circuit judge to release three defendants from jail on the grounds that district judges had violated their rights by failing to inquire about their financial ability to post bond. [C-J/AKN]

A video of a US student in “blackface” apparently mocking the Black Lives Matter campaign has sparked outrage. [BBC]

Real estate property owners in Glasgow will have the same tax rate as last year. [Glasgow Daily Times]

What does it mean to declare that #blacklivesmatter in education? Last month the Movement for Black Lives, representing elements of the Black Lives Matter movement and related groups, issued a detailed policy platform denouncing what it called “corporate-backed,” “market driven” “privatization” in school reform, and helped set off a furor over this question. [NPR]

“Backing the Lines,” an event showing support for first responders, was held on Friday evening at the Carl Perkins Center. [The Morehead News]

President Barack Obama made his case for a deliberate, measured path toward economic progress in an op-ed published Thursday in The Economist that reads like a plea to disenchanted voters tempted by the economic populism of Republican nominee Donald Trump. [Politico]

On Nov. 8, Kentuckians will decide who represents the Commonwealth as United States Senator. One of Kentucky’s two senate seats is occupied by Mitch McConnell. The other seat belongs to Rand Paul. However, Rand Paul, a republican, has a democratic challenger in the November election, and that challenger is Lexington Mayor Jim Gray. [Hazard Herald]

Voters in four states appear likely to approve ballot measures that would legalize marijuana for recreational purposes, according to recent surveys, while voters are split on the question in a fifth state. [The Hill]

The Republican Party of Kentucky has tons of other racists in their midst. Tons of them appointed by Matt Bevin to various and sundry positions. You’ve read all about them on Page One. This is their attempt to appear non-racist by throwing some nobody with no shot of winning to the wolves as a sacrifice. [WDRB]

Forty-four Afghan troops visiting the United States for military training have gone missing in less than two years, presumably in an effort to live and work illegally in America, Pentagon officials said. [Reuters]

Horse Country hopes to boost Thoroughbred racing, Central Kentucky tourism by offering behind-the-scenes tours of farms, equine clinics and feed mills. The goal is to do for horse breeding what the Kentucky Bourbon Trail is doing for whiskey-making. [H-L]

Civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) on Monday implored young leaders invited to the White House to continue his generation’s legacy of civil rights activism by reminding them of sacrifices that won the right to vote. [HuffPo]

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Republicans Are In Full Stumbo Panic

A national group of Republican state leaders has paid for a TV ad criticizing Kentucky Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo. [H-L]

As he loves to do whenever he talks about himself, Donald Trump on Monday told a Colorado audience that all his business success stemmed from “a small loan” from his father ― a virtual Horatio Alger story. [HuffPo]

Former Kentucky Superintendent of Public Instruction Alice McDonald is asking Franklin Circuit Court to expunge her nearly 20-year-old convictions for theft of government services and tampering with evidence. [C-J/AKN]

International Game Technology has agreed to pay a $500,000 penalty for firing an employee for telling the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that the casino-gaming company’s financial statements might be distorted. [Reuters]

Matt Bevin’s administration says HealthCare.gov will be up and running in Kentucky in time for Kynect customers to reapply for their health insurance later this year. [WFPL]

A former Miss Universe is hitting back at Donald Trump, calling his accusation that she once made a sex tape “slander and cheap lies.” [The Hill]

The Glasgow Electric Plant Board chose to move forward Tuesday evening with providing another optional billing structure for residential and small business customers unhappy with the current “Infotricity” option, as GEPB Superintendent Billy Ray calls it. [Glasgow Daily Times]

ProPublica expanded its e-book offerings with the launch of “The Breakdown: How Politics and Government Really Work, and Why They Don’t,” a compilation of long-form stories that deeply examine the American political system. [ProPublica]

Richmond Mayor Jim Barnes was criticized for purchasing furniture for his office early in 2011, soon after he was first sworn in. [Richmond Register]

Donald Trump was slut-shaming before the sun came up on Friday. He fired off a string of tweets smearing former Miss Universe Alicia Machado at 5:30 in the morning, calling her “disgusting” and referencing a “sex tape.” [ThinkProgress]

Boyd County school finances are in good shape compared to the last couple of years thanks in part to the recently enacted 2 percent property tax increase, a school finance official said. [Ashland Independent]

This is getting hilarious. CBS “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert said Donald Trump is a “coward” who won’t appear on his show. [Politico]

Lou Anna Red Corn was sworn in Monday afternoon as the first female Commonwealth’s Attorney for Fayette County in a ceremony that involved her being wrapped in a blanket belonging to her late mother. [H-L]

Afghan forces regained control of most of the northern city of Kunduz on Tuesday amid sporadic fighting, officials said, as questions arose over how Taliban militants once again managed to penetrate the city’s defenses. [HuffPo]

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