Yep, RPK Bungled The Pension Disaster

This is Republican hype and nothing more. There are 120 counties and waaaay more municipalities and localities. It’s a drop in the bucket. [H-L]

The Dream Act, meant to provide legal status to young undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, is about to get significantly more official support in Congress. [HuffPo]

Unfortunately for the morally bankrupt Matt Bevin, he doesn’t get to decide what the legislature does and it can override him. He should probably shut his mouth if he doesn’t want to face the wrath of Frankfort. He can ask Paul Patton, Steve Henry, Wendell Ford, Julian Carroll, Ernie Fletcher, Greg Stumbo, Tim Longmeyer what happens when you’re a wretched person who refuses to shut up. [C-J/AKN]

The Senate on Thursday approved a short-term bill to fund the government and raise the debt ceiling despite frustration among Republicans about the deal that Trump struck with Democrats. [The Hill]

Thomas Massie doesn’t just look and act like garbage. He *IS* garbage. [Ashland Independent]

Monster Hurricane Irma has shut down oil terminals across the northern Caribbean, worsening a fuel supply crunch in Latin America which is struggling to meet demand since Hurricane Harvey disrupted shipments from the U.S. Gulf Coast last month. [Reuters]

Attorneys for Kentucky’s last abortion clinic said as a federal trial opened Wednesday that state regulators are using “onerous” rules to try to shut it down, predicting some women would “take the matter into their own hands” to end pregnancies if the state succeeds. [Richmond Register]

He’s so painfully stupid. Vapid. Dumb. Awful. Whatever you want to call it. That’s what he is. [Politico]

The Green River in Mammoth Cave National Park is open to river use, after having been closed last week in anticipation of heavy rains from Hurricane Harvey. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Sometimes an international offensive begins with a few shots that draw little notice. So it was last year when Melvin Redick of Harrisburg, Pa., a friendly-looking American with a backward baseball cap and a young daughter, posted on Facebook a link to a brand-new website. [NY Times]

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer called Thursday morning on the city’s police chief to examine his agency’s relationship with Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the wake of a story by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting. [WFPL]

Conservative lawmakers voiced their opposition to Trump’s deal with Democratic congressional leaders, arguing the three-month government spending bill that also raises the debt ceiling should not be passed because it does not include federal spending cuts. [WaPo]

Kentucky’s 3.5 million licensed drivers won’t be able to use their licenses to board domestic airline flights after Jan. 22, 2018, unless the state gets another extension to comply with federal security regulations approved in 2005. [H-L]

Facebook Inc said on Wednesday it had found that an operation likely based in Russia spent $100,000 on thousands of U.S. ads promoting divisive social and political messages in a two-year-period through May. [HuffPo]

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Thomas Massie’s True Colors Shine

State legislators enjoyed a modest investment return in their public pension fund during fiscal 2016, but the struggling funds for state and local government employees and school teachers lost money on investments despite paying a combined $171 million in fees to financial advisers. [John Cheves]

Democratic leaders found themselves in the unusual position of being on the same side as President Donald Trump on Wednesday, reaching agreement on a plan to keep the government funded and raise the debt ceiling. [HuffPo]

Surprise! Thomas Massie is human garbage. Can’t wait til his family has to suffer something tragic so we can all withhold assistance. [C-J/AKN]

Facebook Inc. said it has identified about 500 “inauthentic” accounts responsible for $100,000 in advertising spending that it believes have ties to Russia, following a review of ad buying on the site in response to intelligence-community concerns about Russian activity during the 2016 election. [WSJ]

Woo, spending money Kentucky doesn’t have! Kentucky hasn’t changed its vehicle license plates in 12 years and John Mark Hack wants to change that — and the plates themselves. [Ronnie Ellis]

Russian election hacking efforts, wider than previously known, draw little scrutiny. Russians may have come closer to tampering with the outcome in key states than previously understood. [NY Times]

Even Matt Bevin, who has promised to fix Kentucky’s public pension system problems, said he didn’t expect enthusiasm from all corners about recommended pension reforms offered by an outside consulting group. [Ronnie Ellis]

The House on Wednesday approved $7.85 billion in Hurricane Harvey disaster relief, setting up a controversial legislative maneuver in which the bill is expected to be paired in the Senate with legislation raising the debt ceiling. [The Hill]

The Boyd Fiscal Court plans to join a tidal wave of counties in Kentucky and West Virginia partnering with a Huntington-based law firm to sue mega opioid distributors facing heat amid the deadliest drug overdose crisis in U.S. history. [Ashland Independent]

Fifteen states and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit on Wednesday challenging President Donald Trump’s decision to end protections and benefits for young people who were brought into the United States illegally as children. [Reuters]

Lori Strother was a military wife. But her world was turned upside down when her husband took his own life. [Richmond Register]

The attorney general mischaracterized Obama-era restrictions while citing a study that actually says new computers reduce crime more than heavy weapons do. [ProPublica]

Bloated bigot Scott Jennings loves to foam at the mouth when anyone points out environmental irony re: the hurricane. But when these pigfuckers come out and push nuttery? Jennings & Co remain dangerously silent. Can’t wait til their kids are old enough to be ashamed. [H-L]

Very few Americans outright regret their votes in last year’s election. But such regrets, new data reveals, are highest among voters who may now make up the most tenuous part of the base that swept Donald Trump into office: those who supported Barack Obama in 2012. [HuffPo]

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Jim Ramsey’s Out But Still Sinking UofL

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Williamstown officials are expecting a lawsuit from the Biblical amusement park Ark Encounter over a new safety tax created to raise money for emergency services, the Grant County News reported. The Williamstown City Council went into executive session Monday to discuss pending litigation, the newspaper said. Answers in Genesis, the parent company that owns Ark Encounter and the Creation Museum, had requested an exemption from the tax. But on June 29, Williamstown city attorney Jeff Shipp wrote a letter to AIG rejecting the request, asserting that Ark Encounter is a for-profit entity. [Linda Blackford]

The U.S. Senate will delay its consideration of healthcare legislation while Arizona Republican Senator John McCain recuperates from surgery, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said on Saturday. [HuffPo]

Federal authorities charged more than 400 people in what Attorney General Jeff Sessions called the largest health care fraud takedown operation in U.S. history. [C-J/AKN]

Republicans are the reason there are no consequences for the Russian attack on the United States. People like Brett Guthrie and Andy Barr. [The Hill]

Flatwoods councilman Kent “Pick” Picklesimer, a longtime public servant who helped coordinate the Summer Motion festival for several years, died on July 7 after a battle with an aggressive form of cancer. He was 76. [Ashland Independent]

Months after an online video of a United Airlines passenger being dragged from a plane went viral and sparked global outrage, Chicago aviation officials on Wednesday said future airport disturbances will be handled by city police, not aviation security officers. The forced removal of a passenger on April 9 to make room for airline employees trying to fly to Louisville was “completely unacceptable,” Chicago Department of Aviation Commissioner Ginger Evans said in a 12-page report. [Reuters]

A Richmond man who was facing illegal gambling charges in San Diego, Calif., was sentenced Monday to three years’ probation and a fine of $7,000. [Richmond Register]

Some Medicare beneficiaries are being prescribed opioids by 10 or more doctors, or are filling prescriptions for more than 1,000 pills a month. Hundreds of doctors appear to be prescribing indiscriminately, says the inspector general of Health and Human Services. [ProPublica]

The tow-truck operator who sued the Barren County sheriff is asking the Kentucky Court of Appeals to reverse the dismissal of that lawsuit. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Janet L. Yellen, the Federal Reserve chairwoman, delivered an upbeat message on the state of the American economy to Congress on Wednesday, highlighting the strength of job growth and indicating that the Fed remained on course to begin reducing its bond holdings in the fall. Ms. Yellen added, however, that the Fed was paying close attention to the recent weakness of inflation. While emphasizing that she expected prices to start rising more quickly, she said persistent weakness could lead the Fed to raise interest rates more slowly. [NY Times]

The University of Louisville’s accrediting body now says U of L may have violated two more accreditation standards, bringing the total possible violations to nine. [WFPL]

Of course Republicans are working furiously to further harm the economy and education in the United States. [WaPo]

Louisville’s Metro Council is basically ignoring Spectrum’s nightmare service but Lexington is taking action. [H-L]

Late Wednesday night, Republicans on the House Rules Committee quietly OK’d an amendment to the 2018 national defense authorization bill that would deny medically necessary health care to transgender people in the military. [HuffPo]

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Governor Snowflake Did Another Thing

Governor Snowflake pardoned 10 Kentuckians Monday, including a Lexington mother who was accused of reckless homicide in the 2011 death of her 5-year-old son after he consumed a large amount of vinegar. [H-L]

Nearly 40 states are refusing to hand over personal voter information to a new White House commission on election fraud, which was formed last month in the wake of President Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated claims that millions voted illegally in last year’s presidential election. [HuffPo]

Western Kentucky University has a new president running the show. Dr. Timothy Caboni, who was selected to take over by WKU’s Board of Regents in January, served his first day on the job on Monday. He is the university’s 10th president and took over for Gary A. Ransdell, who served as WKU’s president for 20 years. [C-J/AKN]

The Trump administration will soon begin a review that will question the veracity of the climate change science used by President Barack Obama’s administration as the basis for environmental regulations. [Reuters]

A sad fate awaits three former railroad bridges just south of Grayson. CR-1111A is the official designation for the county-owned right of way that once hosted the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway through central Carter County. [Ashland Independent]

Dmitri “David” Zaikin made Russian energy deals with powerful officials, advised Eastern European parties drifting toward Russia, brokered condos at Toronto’s Trump Tower, and teamed up with the guy who hired Michael Flynn. [ProPublica]

When Maj. Gen. William “Bull” Nelson took command of Union troops at Richmond in 1862, he had a commission signed by President Abraham Lincoln. That document was recently acquired by the Battle of Richmond Association, which has it on permanent display at the county’s Battle of Richmond Visitors Center. [Richmond Register]

Officials at Auschwitz have criticised a US congressman for making and voicing a video inside a gas chamber at the former Nazi death camp. The memorial and museum tweeted that the gas chamber was “not a stage” but was a place for mournful silence. [BBC]

After three inches of rain fell in less than three hours on Friday, June 23, the Rowan County Road Department found themselves in a tough situation. Road foreman Paul Brown said nearly 30 roads in the county have been impacted by the heavy rain. That’s about 10 percent of the county’s nearly 320 roadways that cover about 750 miles. [The Morehead News]

In normal times, the Fourth of July parade is a fat pitch down the middle for the grinning politician. For instance, here was Senator Joe Manchin III, a Democrat facing re-election next year in a state that President Trump won by 42 points, waving unheckled among the firefighters, beauty queens and county commissioners who streamed up Maple Avenue. [NY Times]

Glasgow’s city clerk retired in mid-December, and Mayor Dick Doty said he’s still trying to find the right match for the new twist he’s seeking for the position. State law requires a city clerk, but it sets no time limit for hiring one or a maximum time the position can be vacant. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Experts assumed Kim Jong Un had the capability to launch nuclear weapons even before last weekend’s test flight of a new missile that, on a normal, flatter trajectory, would have been capable of reaching Guam. But they don’t think he wants to fire them randomly. [WaPo]

The man who called himself “Charles Grass” and was dubbed the “Godfather of Grass” is no angel. John Robert “Johnny” Boone guarded his fields with rottweilers whose vocal chords had been surgically removed, so they could attack silently. To fend off “rippers” who might try to steal his crop, his crew set booby traps, including fishhooks hung at eye level, trip wires tied to dynamite, and live rattlesnakes tied to poles. [H-L]

President Dumpster Fire slammed North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un on Twitter on Monday after the country’s latest missile test. [HuffPo]

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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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You Can Thank McConnell For Killing Poor Kentuckians In Droves. No, That’s Not An Exaggeration. That’s Health Care Reality.

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

Dewey Gorman, a 59-year-old banker who has struggled with opioid addiction, had just gotten out of the hospital in this tiny central Appalachian city when he heard the word from Washington: His fellow Kentuckian, Sen. Mitch McConnell, had delayed a vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act. He felt torn about that. [H-L]

Following Orange Excrement Donald Trump’s latest inflammatory tweet that essentially promoted violence against journalists, top GOP lawmakers so far have responded with silence, perpetuating their pattern of doing little as the nation’s chief executive breaks more barriers in his war with the media. [HuffPo]

Can’t wait for the next terrible superintendent to take over Jefferson County Public Schools. On her last day as head of Jefferson County Public Schools, outgoing superintendent Donna Hargens wished the school system team “all the best.” [C-J/AKN]

Moscow believes its leader, ex-spy master Vladimir Putin, can extract major concessions from President Donald Trump when the two men meet for the first time next week. [TDB]

Kathy Bartlett watched helplessly this spring as Kentucky lawmakers cut back on mine safety inspections and replaced them with coaching sessions on miners’ safety habits. She knows more than most what’s at stake. [Richmond Register]

Before the 2016 presidential election, a longtime Republican opposition researcher mounted an independent campaign to obtain emails he believed were stolen from Hillary Clinton’s private server, likely by Russian hackers. In conversations with members of his circle and with others he tried to recruit to help him, the GOP operative, Peter W. Smith, implied he was working with retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, at the time a senior adviser to then-candidate Donald Trump. [WSJ]

Boyd County property owners will be expected this fall to pay an extra fee of $48 per parcel to fund the county’s financially-strapped 911 center, if a new ordinance gains final approval. [Ashland Independent]

A trove of internal documents sheds light on the algorithms that Facebook’s censors use to differentiate between hate speech and legitimate political expression. [ProPublica]

A voting precinct change in western Rowan County has resulted in an official complaint filed against the Rowan County Board of Elections. [The Morehead News]

Michael R. Bloomberg will throw his financial might into helping beleaguered American mayors, creating a $200 million philanthropic program aimed at backing inventive policies at the city level and giving mayors a stronger hand in national politics. [NY Times]

He won’t win because he’s not white and you know that’s the sad reality. Even though he’s probably one of the best people to ever run in that district. Promising to run a “campaign by the people and for the people,” state Sen. Reggie Thomas, a Lexington attorney, Saturday became the first Democrat to officially announce a challenge to Sixth District Republican U.S. Congressman Andy Barr of Lexington. [Ronnie Ellis]

The stupid is getting worse. Donald Trump stepped up his feud with the media on Sunday by tweeting a mock video of himself tackling and repeatedly striking a man with a CNN logo super-imposed in place of his head, followed by a logo saying “Fraud News Network.” [Reuters]

This will likely end up being one of the dumbest Republican moves yet. Party of personal responsibility? Not on your life. [H-L]

A top Justice Department corporate crime expert has quit, saying it’s impossible to hold suspected lawbreakers to standards that Elderly Shart Donald Trump is not meeting himself. [HuffPo]

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Oh Noes, Gambling Is Going To Ruin Everything Forever And Ever! Amen

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission voted Tuesday to approve plans for Churchill Downs to build a $50 million to $60 million gambling parlor at a former training track in Louisville. [H-L]

The coroner’s office in Cincinnati, Ohio, launched an investigation into the death of Otto Warmbier, the 22-year-old American student who died Monday just days after being released from a North Korean prison. [HuffPo]

Translation: Scott Jennings called his friends at the paper and told them he was offered a job by Donald Trump but turned it down. [C-J/AKN]

Former Attorney General Eric Holder is poised to take a more active role in opposing President Trump, telling Yahoo News in an interview published Tuesday that “now is the time to be more visible” — including weighting a 2020 presidential bid. [The Hill]

Anti-hunger advocates fear the $193 billion reduction President Donald Trump proposes to the federal food stamp program over the next 10 years will hurt millions of needy Americans who rely on it for their daily sustenance. [Richmond Register]

Opponents of President Donald Trump’s ban on travelers from six Muslim-majority countries again urged the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday to reject his bid to revive it, saying his administration undermined its own arguments by amending the order last week. [Reuters]

Members heaved a sigh of relief when Michelle Veach told the Ashland Rotary taxes will not be going up this year. During their regular Monday meeting, members learned about city finances and the proposed budget that will get a first reading and vote Thursday at the city commission meeting. [Ashland Independent]

The pressure is growing to force President Trump to turn over his tax returns. The other day, for example, 200 Congressmen filed a suit in federal court, arguing that voters and lawmakers have a right to know whether Trump’s businesses are violating the Constitution’s emolument clause, which bars the president from accepting payments from foreign countries. [ProPublica]

In the wake of former Jailer Matt Mutter’s retirement and subsequent return as chief deputy jailer, a magistrate who voiced opposition to the action has proposed a county ordinance that would prevent such an action in the future. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Trump, who came into office courting labor unions and vowing to stand up for American workers, is taking a major step to alter the direction of federal labor policy, positioning the National Labor Relations Board to overturn a series of high-profile Obama-era decisions. [NY Times]

In a move to be more fiscally-conservative, the University of Louisville is suspending a contract designed to make the school’s facilities more energy efficient. The news comes only weeks after U of L touted the progress it’s made reducing the university’s greenhouse gas emissions — progress which was bolstered by the millions of dollars spent upgrading lighting, insulation and mechanical systems on the school’s three campuses. [WFPL]

A bipartisan bill extending financial sanctions on Russia and Iran and making it more difficult for Trump to ease Russian sanctions has encountered a major procedural snag, threatening its quick passage into law and prompting Democrats to accuse House Republicans of protecting Trump. [WaPo]

As students walked across the stage to receive their diplomas throughout Kentucky this spring, they could be confident they were entering a job-seekers’ market. [H-L]

In February, a cadre of Republican elder statesmen unveiled their plan to put a tax on carbon emissions, arguing that “mounting evidence of climate change is growing too strong to ignore.” That plan got the backing of Big Oil on Tuesday, as Exxon Mobil Corp., BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Total announced a new campaign to push Congress to consider passing a carbon tax. [HuffPo]

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