The Republican Health Care Nightmare Is Real

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A Pikeville psychologist convicted of taking part in the largest Social Security disability fraud in U.S. history should serve 25 years in prison, a judge ruled Friday. [H-L]

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price needs to travel on private jets for his job because he is extremely busy, a spokeswoman said Wednesday in response to criticism that chartering flights is expensive and wasteful. [HuffPo]

This is the dumbest shit. Really? Trying to move it to Philadelphia? Who are these jackasses? The Muhammad Ali Childhood Home Museum shut down this week, less than two years after opening, one of the owners confirmed Friday. [C-J/AKN]

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered a rallying cry Thursday for the fight against climate change and an implicit rebuke to Donald Trump, who has announced his intention to pull the US from the Paris agreement to slow global warming. [CNN]

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear has contracted on a contingency basis with four outside legal firms to assist in investigating and perhaps suing drug manufacturers and distributors for promoting opioids which fueled a drug epidemic in Kentucky. [Ronnie Ellis]

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) signaled on Sunday that she is unlikely to support the latest GOP ObamaCare repeal effort, but said she hasn’t made a final decision. [The Hill]

Three Northeast Kentucky counties were among the ten counties with the highest unemployment rates in the state, according to the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics, an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. [Ashland Independent]

So dumb. The Trump administration on Friday reversed Obama-era guidelines on how colleges should handle sexual assault allegations that it said treated the accused unfairly. [Reuters]

Even as lawmakers appropriated too little money for Kentucky’s public pensions over 20 years, they gave away — or left uncollected — billions in revenue in the form of tax breaks and exemptions. [More Ronnie Ellis]

Trump criticized Sen. John McCain and misrepresented the latest attempt by Republicans in the Senate to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act on Twitter Saturday morning. [ThinkProgress]

The Housing Authority of Glasgow will give priority to natural disaster victims — including those affected by recent hurricanes — who are seeking temporary emergency housing for the next 90 days over those who are on waiting lists. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Washington Post-ABC polling released Sunday suggests that, even before Trump inserted himself into the NFL protests, most Americans viewed him as a president who was doing more to divide the country than to unite it. About two-thirds of Americans felt that Trump, despite his insistent rhetoric that the country needs to unite, was, in fact, driving Americans apart. About 3 in 10 said Trump had helped unite the country. [WaPo]

Attorney General Andy Beshear announced Friday that he will partner with four law firms to investigate and potentially sue drug manufacturers, distributors and retailers that contributed to Kentucky’s opioid abuse epidemic. [H-L]

Organizations from across the health care industry have come together on Saturday in a joint statement opposing the controversial Graham-Cassidy bill. [HuffPo]

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Longtime Con Artist, Bill Ryan, Finally Got Kicked In His Corrupt Ass But He’s Still Walking Free

Criminal charges continue to pile up for a former judge accused of rape and human trafficking in Northern Kentucky. [H-L]

Repeal of the Affordable Care Act is back on the agenda, with Republicans suddenly talking about a bill that, until recently, few people in either party had taken all that seriously. [HuffPo]

Jefferson County Public Schools has changed the way it instructs kids at some schools after a state oversight group found that the district was breaking state law by letting noncertified staff teach classes. [C-J/AKN]

Trump addressed a full session of the United Nations General Assembly for the first time on Tuesday morning. [The Hill]

Mammoth Cave National Park has seen an increase in visitors this year, according to MCNP Superintendent Barclay Trimble, who spoke during the Barren County Fiscal Court’s regular meeting Tuesday. [Glasgow Daily Times]

As deaths mount in America’s opioid crisis, communities on the front lines face a hidden toll: the financial cost. [Reuters]

A member of former Gov. Steve Beshear’s administration violated the Executive Branch Code of Ethics by soliciting other state employees for contributions to Beshear’s 2011 re-election campaign, according to the Executive Branch Ethics Commission. If anyone wants to know why Bill Ryan got investigated? Feel free to ask me. [Ronnie Ellis]

On Friday, Donald Trump told pool reporters he still believes former National Security Adviser Susan Rice did something wrong when she unmasked Trump administration officials late last year. [ThinkProgress]

A utility tax in the Greenup County School District could bring in from $750,000 to $1 million yearly and largely offset anticipated state budget cuts and additional pension expenses, the school board learned Monday. [Ashland Independent]

Hiking, yoga, reading, prayer, chardonnay (but not Xanax): These are the things, along with family and friends, that helped Hillary Clinton after her stunning defeat in the presidential election last year. But these are gentle pastimes. What about kicking things — or weeping? [NY Times]

From different states and opposing parties, West Virginia’s Patrick Morrisey and Kentucky’s Andy Beshear have joined forces to go after something all too common in Appalachia: the scourge of drug addiction. [Richmond Register]

This is what happens when you put stupid people in charge of the most important parts of government. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Sunday that the United States is considering closing the U.S. Embassy in Havana in response to mysterious hearing problems that have left at least 21 employees with serious health issues. [WaPo]

Six current or former members of a board that oversees a Fayette County farmland preservation program have received millions from the program, records show. [H-L]

In testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee originally scheduled for Tuesday, Donald Trump’s personal lawyer plans to insist he never colluded with Russia during the 2016 election and to outline the public scrutiny he and his family have faced. [HuffPo]

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Opposition Research Is Not Newsworthy

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Matt Bevin and the current crop of New Republicans have no idea what they’re doing on the tax front. Kentucky will never crawl out of this economic hole while they’re in power. [H-L]

Hillary Clinton had a very straightforward response when she was asked recently about Ivanka Trump’s role in her father’s administration. [HuffPo]

How is this big news? It’s not. It’s just plain stupid to act like it because this happens every day in politics and government. Sensationalist bullshit like this is a quick way to make people distrust media. That said – this is why people hire folks like *me* to do research. It happens in a way that can’t be easily identified as opposition research. Scott Reed had no clue what was going on and I was standing right in front of him. Same with Jack Conway. Only sloppy amateurs work like this. They probably charge outrageous amounts of cash to do half the work folks like me do for 20 times less. [C-J/AKN]

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Sunday suggested Trump would be open to remaining in the Paris climate deal under the right conditions. [The Hill]

Just what Eastern Kentucky needs! Gambling. Poor people need more ways to lose all of their money. A horse track that has been in the works for years to come to Corbin has taken a new step forward. [Richmond Register]

It is a political practice nearly as old as the United States – manipulating the boundaries of legislative districts to help one party tighten its grip on power in a move called partisan gerrymandering – and one the Supreme Court has never curbed. [Reuters]

King’s Daughters Medical Center and Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital are working to combat chronic health issues prevalent in the Appalachian region. [Ashland Independent]

Trump retweeted an animated GIF on Sunday morning that showed him hitting a golf ball at Hillary Clinton and knocking her to the ground, from an account which has previously trafficked in conspiracy theories and racism. [ThinkProgress]

Work is expected to begin later this fall on a project that will expand Hidden River Cave in downtown Horse Cave. A $350,575 bid for the project was awarded earlier this week by the Horse Cave City Council to Scott and Murphy Construction of Bowling Green. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The Senate majority leader spoke with Carl Hulse about his complicated relationship with the president, why the Democrats didn’t strike as good of a spending deal as they let on, and more. [NY Times]

The Morehead-Rowan County Airport Board announces a $70,000 state-funded project to replace the Runway End Identifier Lights (REIL). TEM Group of Louisville will perform the scheduled work in September. [The Morehead News]

If “war” against the Republican establishment is what former White House strategist Stephen K. Bannon wants, then war is what he will get. Deep-pocketed supporters of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and other GOP leaders have resolved to fight a protracted battle over the next year for the soul of the party in congressional primaries. [WaPo]

Disaster in 3, 2… Why even waste our time? [H-L]

Dumb. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Wednesday that Donald Trump has done more for bipartisanship in the last eight days than former President Barack Obama did during his eight years in office. [HuffPo]

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Mitch McConnell’s Finally Going Senile

The moment she was pushed from an 80-foot cliff in Jackson County, Jessica Durham saw two huge rocks racing up to meet her and prayed that she wouldn’t hit them. [H-L]

Mitch McConnell wants to give Donald Trump even more power. Because something is wrong with that old fucker. Seriously wrong. [HuffPo]

A Jewish foundation has received $150 million from the parent of KentuckyOne Health to end its relationship with the health system’s properties statewide, including the local Jewish Hospital & Sts. Mary & Elizabeth Hospital. [C-J/AKN]

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner on Tuesday gave his strongest endorsement to date for constructing a physical coastal barrier to protect the region from deadly storm surge during hurricanes. [ProPublica]

The 2017 tax rates for the City of Richmond were approved narrowly Tuesday, with commissioners Jason Morgan and Jim Newby voting no on the ordinance. [Richmond Register]

ThinkProgress reported Tuesday morning that Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is the subject of a Department of Justice corruption probe for allegedly misappropriating billions of dollars, was staying at the Trump International Hotel in D.C. before his meeting with Trump. On Tuesday afternoon, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was asked about the report and defended Najib’s choice of lodging — a choice that directly lines Trump’s pockets since he still owns the hotel. [ThinkProgress]

Several area school districts reported modest increases in composite scores on the ACT college-entrance examination. [Ashland Independent]

As a top official in Donald Trump’s transition team, former Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn actively promoted a private-sector scheme to build dozens of nuclear reactors across the Middle East known informally in the transition as the “Marshall Plan.” But he did not publicly disclose that backers of the plan had paid him at least $25,000. [Politico]

Matt Bevin is truly one of the most stupid people in Frankfort. So painfully stupid. You like small government? Bevin wants BIGGER government with more consolidated power. [WFPL]

Trump confirmed on Thursday morning that he supports legislation that would protect young undocumented immigrants from deportation and would deliver a “massive” increase in border security — but not with a wall on the southern border. [NY Times]

Kentucky’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 5.4 percent for August, unchanged from the previous month, according to the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Really? A new political party headed by Bernie Sanders? Not gonna happen. Maybe a new political party needs to happen but get off it, Bernie Bros, he’s not the leader of anything. He didn’t even come up with the current health care push – John Conyers has been pushing it for 14 years. Sack up and find some independence instead of some pie in the sky rich guy yammering in D.C. [WaPo]

Transylvania University President Seamus Carey said his administration “worked around the clock” over the past week to help an immigrant student who said she was harassed online after a fellow student urged people on Facebook to report her to immigration authorities. [Linda Blackford]

U.S. House lawmakers on Tuesday adopted a trio of bipartisan measures meant to rein in civil asset forfeiture, a controversial law enforcement practice that allows police to confiscate property from individuals without ever convicting them of a crime, and often without even charging them. [HuffPo]

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Republicans Are Bad For The Economy

A student at Transylvania University says the school refused to help her after she was targeted on Facebook by a fellow student because of her status under an Obama-era policy that allows the children of undocumented immigrants to stay in the United States for school and work. [Linda Blackford]

Yahaira Burgos was fearing the worst when her husband, Juan Vivares, reported to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in lower Manhattan in March. Vivares, who fled Colombia and entered the U.S. illegally in 2011, had recently been given a deportation order. Rather than hide, he showed up at the ICE office with Burgos and his lawyer to continue to press his case for asylum. [HuffPo]

Adam Edelen’s best friend, Larry Jones, is like an ambulance chaser but for things he doesn’t understand – like data breaches. He jumps on them, sucks ignorant people into allowing him to represent them and then he lines his pockets. That’s the kind of person with whom Edelen surrounds himself. That’s why Edelen will never, ever be elected to higher office. Okay, so it’s only part of the reason. [C-J/AKN]

In the third month of Donald Trump’s presidency, Vladimir Putin dispatched one of his diplomats to the State Department to deliver a bold proposition: The full normalization of relations between the United States and Russia across all major branches of government. [BuzzFeed]

New Republican con artist beams on high. It was 13 years ago that State Rep. C Wesley Morgan, R-Richmond, paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for a houseboat on which the lawmaker admits he has not paid any property taxes. And, according to the law, the majority of the unpaid tax will not be able to be collected. [Richmond Register]

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Daydreamer?) is set to release his long-awaited “Medicare for all” bill Wednesday afternoon with the backing of several prominent Democrats. [The Hill]

Reminder: There’s a place called Sharkey that exists in Kentucky and we don’t talk about it enough. [The Morehead News]

New Republicans are bad for the economy. U.S. cities’ revenue growth in fiscal 2017 is projected to contract for a second consecutive year, the first time this has happened since the recession, according to a report released on Tuesday by the National League of Cities. [Reuters]

In a community where canned food drives are commonplace, Bettie George Frye was looking for a way to make hers stand out. [Ashland Independent]

In a shift from how it operated during the Obama administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement is cracking down on relatives who let undocumented kids stay with them after entering the U.S. [ProPublica]

About 250 teachers and retired teachers showed up at the Barren County High School auditorium Monday evening looking for answers about their retirement security. [Ronnie Ellis]

After sunset, when American spy satellites can no longer see as well, the main bridge connecting China to North Korea comes to life. [NY Times]

When hurricanes strike, fundamentalist Christians like Noah’s Ark park builder Ken Ham often claim the storms are God’s punishment for our sins. I have no doubt there is a link between sin and some natural disasters. But it’s not the sin Ham and his kind usually have in mind. [Tom Eblen]

While middle-class rates, deductions and credits in Trump’s tax proposal remain hazy, there is one piece of the plan that has become clear: the part that could put more than $125 million into Trump’s own pocket each year. [HuffPo]

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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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