Bevin: So Weak He Hides From Critics

Churchill Downs Inc. is turning up the heat on its Big Fish Games division, with the launch in June of a new game called Cooking Craze, that company officials said is already doing better than its popular Gummy Drop was at this stage. [Janet Patton]

The U.S. government ordered family members of employees at its embassy in Venezuela to leave on Thursday as a political crisis deepened ahead of a controversial vote critics contend will end democracy in the oil-rich country. [HuffPo]

Only elected cowards hide from their constituents. The ACLU of Kentucky is asking Matt Bevin to stop blocking constituents from his official social media pages and to open those internet forums to the hundreds of people currently prohibited from engaging him on those accounts. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump’s sudden decision to ban transgender personnel from serving in the military has alarmed some senior military officers who were caught off guard by it. [Reuters]

Surprise! Republicans want to kill broadband expansion. In part because they’re dumb as rocks, in part because they don’t want to do anything that may help their fellow man join the 21st Century. [WFPL]

Internal talking points from Donald Trump’s spy chief reveal tensions between Trump and the intelligence community. [ProPublica]

Across the Appalachia Mountains and through the small, rural towns of Kentucky, opioid addiction has become an epidemic, claiming lives and raising taxes in some communities as it wreaks its havoc on communities, children and first responders. [Richmond Register]

The Center for Biological Diversity sued the Trump administration on Wednesday for failing to provide public records about meetings between the Department of the Interior and energy industry executives. The meetings were reportedly about reversing the Obama administration’s rule on coal leasing on federal public lands. [ThinkProgress]

How many people have to die? Potent opioids sold by dealers who profit from the disease of addiction are poisoning Boyd County. [Ashland Independent]

Amid the fall-out from Donald Trump’s announcement on Twitter that transgender people will not be able to serve in the US military, one statistic has been frequently raised to draw attention to the comparatively small estimated costs of transgender healthcare. It refers to the amount the Pentagon spends on erectile dysfunction medication annually: about $84m (£63m), according to the Military Times newspaper. [BBC]

The lawsuit brought in Barren Circuit Court by a former spokeswoman for the Glasgow Police Department against the City of Glasgow was dismissed Friday morning by Judge John T. Alexander. [Glasgow Daily Times]

An Obama-era program that created savings accounts to help more people put away money for retirement is being shut down by the Treasury Department. [NY Times]

A Scott County company wants to decrease garbage in the Central Kentucky Landfill in Georgetown by sifting through household trash for recyclable materials. [H-L]

Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter James Risen is leaving The New York Times after nearly two decades, a distinguished run that included standout reporting on the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Bush administration’s bogus case for invading Iraq, and rampant government surveillance. [HuffPo]

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McConnell Bungled Health Care For Years

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Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes has once again declined to give detailed information about Kentucky voters to a committee President Donald Trump set up to investigate election integrity. [H-L]

Fun watching McConnell repeatedly lose on this front for more than eight years. Seven years of Republican promises to repeal the Affordable Care Act withered away to almost nothing on the Senate floor early Friday morning. [HuffPo]

Six years, five months and 11 days after she was sentenced to prison for trying to extort cash, cars and a house from University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino, Karen Cunagin Sypher’s sentence officially expire[d] Friday. [C-J/AKN]

If you read Jared Kushner’s statement to congressional committees looking for evidence of a crime, there isn’t much there. But if you read it from the perspective of the Russians trying to gain a toehold—or more—inside the Trump campaign, you realize how easy he made it for them. [New Yorker]

Newsprint is dying and there’s no reason to force government to subsidize it. Maybe it wasn’t Daniel in the lion’s den, but Kentucky Press Association Executive Director David Thompson surely felt outnumbered Wednesday as a committee of state lawmakers heard a line of public agencies ask for revisions in a state law which requires public notice of official documents in local newspapers. [Ronnie Ellis]

In an arrangement prominent ethics experts say is without precedent and potentially illegal, the White House is referring questions for senior presidential adviser Stephen K. Bannon to an outside public relations agent whose firm says she is working for free. [TIME]

State Rep. Jim Wayne is viewed by some as a liberal Democrat while state Budget Director John Chilton works for, what many view, as a pretty conservative Republican governor, Matt Bevin. But both agree on Kentucky’s fiscal situation: it’s a mess and growing worse and something must be done. [More Ronnie Ellis]

The Senate rejected a scaled-back ObamaCare repeal bill in the early hours of Friday in a shocking vote that marks a major defeat for GOP leaders and the seven-year effort to repeal the health law. [The Hill]

Kentucky’s economic outlook took another hit this past week as Moody’s downgraded the state’s bond ratings to Aa3 from Aa2 following the announcement the state failed to make its revenue estimates for the fiscal year and in light of its growing public pension problems. [The Morehead News]

The Republican Party’s seven-year dream of dismantling the Affordable Care Act came to what seemed like a climactic end early Friday, punctured by the Senate’s vote to reject a last-ditch proposal to repeal a few parts of the health law. [NY Times]

Bullfrogs croaked loudly at Sloan’s Crossing Pond at Mammoth Cave National Park on Tuesday night as biologists set up nets across the walkway surrounding the pond and in the nearby woods. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) played his hand on the Senate Republicans’ health-care proposal for the maximum political effect. It’s always the case that it’s the people who are wavering at the last minute who end up getting all the attention: Undecided voters, new car buyers, bachelorettes on reality television shows. In politics, though, there’s special cultural role acclaim for those who, at the last minute, do the unexpected — often while those who did exactly what was expected get little fanfare. [WaPo]

In an effort to increase wild ginseng populations on national forest lands, a ban prohibiting ginseng harvest in the Daniel Boone National Forest has been extended through the 2017 harvest season, from Sept. 1 to Dec. 1. [H-L]

Russia ordered the United States to cut its diplomatic staff by Sept. 1 and said it was seizing a dacha compound and warehouse used by U.S. diplomats in retaliation for new U.S. sanctions against Moscow. [HuffPo]

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Yet More Proof That The Stupid Is Thick

Jeff Hoover has taken the unusual step of calling all 100 House members to the Capitol Aug. 16 “to bring members up to date on the budget, tax reform and pension reform.” [H-L]

This is because Republicans overwhelmingly tend to be dumb and gullible. That’s just reality. Nearly half of Republican voters believe Donald Trump didn’t really lose the popular vote to his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in last year’s election, a new poll shows. [HuffPo]

Attorneys for Donald Trump are asking the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals to dismiss a suit alleging he incited violence against protesters at a March 2016 campaign rally in Louisville. [C-J/AKN]

The specter of hate incidents and crimes — some of them fueled by the nastiness of the 2016 presidential campaign — felt white hot months ago. [ProPublica]

Restaurants in Richmond could soon sell alcohol until 1 a.m. Sunday nights after Richmond city commissioners on Tuesday changed an ordinance already prepared by city attorney Garrett Fowles that would have kept the cutoff for alcohol sales at 9 p.m. Sundays. [Richmond Register]

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Republicans are getting worse and worse for Kentucky’s economy. Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary June unemployment rate was 5.1 percent, according to the Office of Employment and Training (OET), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. The unemployment rate for June was up 0.1 percentage points from the 5 percent reported in May 2017. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Keep an eye on what Texas New Nazis/New Republicans are up to because Kentucky Republicans want to do the same. The Republican-controlled Texas Senate gave preliminary approval on Tuesday to a bill that restricts bathroom access for transgender people, endorsing a piece of legislation denounced by civil liberties advocates as discriminatory. [Reuters]

Just in case you were wondering how many idiots there are in Louisville, here’s another one: Duncan Murley. Louisville residents spoke up about a proposed Metro Council tree ordinance Tuesday. [WFPL]

LGBT rights advocacy groups slammed Trump on Wednesday for his decision to bar transgender people from military service, calling it a “direct attack” on trans people and a “desperate action.” [The Hill]

It sure is fascinating to see the folks at Bowling Green’s far-right newspaper act like they were unaware of the nightmarish shit Julian Carroll has been up to for decades. They’re usually the first to hurl rumor and innuendo about him. Wendell Ford, too. Standing up for Carroll proves all we need to know about the Daily News. [BDGN]

The total amount of tax raised by the United States as a proportion of the size of its economy is not the highest in the world. It also does not have the highest rates of taxes on households. [BBC]

Moody’s has downgraded the debt issued by Kentucky’s state government by one level, to a Aa3 rating, warning bond investors that the state does not collect enough revenue to resolve its $37 billion public pension shortfall. [John Cheves]

Michelle Obama has opened up in front of a crowd of about 8,500 at the Women’s Foundation of Colorado’s 30th anniversary event in Denver about her experience as America’s first black first lady. [HuffPo]

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Avoid Anything Adam Edelen Supports

What? Adam Edelen’s PAC is a hot, corrupt mess? Surely not! When will you wake up to the reality that the good old boy Democrats are as shitty and corrupt as anyone can imagine? That doesn’t mean all Democrats are bad – just the current crop in Frankfort. Grace Wise, the director of a political action committee geared toward recruiting millennial Democrats to run for office, has been charged with theft by deception and forgery. [H-L]

This is what happens with dumb bigots like Scott Jennings back idiots like Donald Trump. You have them to personally thank for anti-LGBT rhetoric and hate. Here’s hoping their kids all grow up to be gay so they’re forced to deal with reality. Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday that transgender people would not be allowed to serve in the U.S. military. [HuffPo]

After a contentious debate that nearly torpedoed the deal, the University of Louisville board of trustees voted Thursday to approve a revised lease agreement for the financially troubled KFC Yum Center. [C-J/AKN]

A leading psychiatry group has told its members they should not feel bound by a longstanding rule against commenting publicly on the mental state of public figures – even the president. The statement, an email this month from the executive committee of the American Psychoanalytic Association to its 3,500 members, represents the first significant crack in the profession’s decades-old united front aimed at preventing experts from discussing the psychiatric aspects of politicians’ behavior. It will likely make many of its members feel more comfortable speaking openly about President Trump’s mental health. [Raw Story]

Kentucky Republicans are dumber than you thought and way worse for the economy than anyone could have imagined. Kentucky’s economic outlook took another hit this past week as Moody’s downgraded the state’s bond ratings to Aa2 from Aa3 following the announcement the state failed to make its revenue estimates for the fiscal year and in light of its growing public pension problems. [Richmond Register]

Hillary Clinton’s upcoming book will double down on Russia’s interference and James Comey’s involvement in her stunning election defeat, according to sources familiar with the memoir. [The Hill]

Thomas Massie deserves to be dragged politically for supporting treason. Thomas Massie, R-Pigfucker., was one of only three members of the House of Representatives on Tuesday to vote against a bill that empowers Congress to block any White House effort to weaken sanctions against Russia. [Ashland Independent]

After another challenging day in Washington, Donald Trump (R-Too Dumb To Be Left Alone) flew to West Virginia to a field full of 40,000 chanting and cheering Boy Scouts, telling them he was happy to leave Washington behind. [Reuters]

If you are illegally dumping in Rowan County you may want to watch your back. Or maybe just don’t be a damn idiot with no respect for your fellow man and environment. [The Morehead News]

Trump announced on Wednesday that the United States will not “accept or allow” transgender people in the United States military, saying American forces “must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory” and could not afford to accommodate them. [NY Times]

In response to recommendations from a customer advisory council’s recommendations, the four Glasgow Electric Plant Board members in place voted unanimously Tuesday to revise what is known as the Infotricity power rate. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Trump escaped the roiling turmoil of Washington on Tuesday evening — leaving behind the chaotic effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, the intensifying Russia investigation and his latest staff shake-up — to rally with his supporters in this former steel town. [WaPo]

Billy Joe Miles of Owensboro, a former chairman of the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees, is competent to stand trial on charges of rape and sodomy, a judge has ruled. [H-L]

McCain returned to Washington from Arizona, where he had recently been diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor, to cast the deciding vote on a move to allow debate to proceed on repeal of the Affordable Care Act. [HuffPo]

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Allow Heather French Henry To Speak As An Authority On Anything But Her Family’s Own Fraud(s) Is A Shady-Ass Mistake

Republicans like Andy Barr and Brett Guthrie are fighting to make sure children like this die because they won’t have Medicaid. Just 24 hours old, Jay’la Cy’anne Clay already was having a rough day. Convulsions rocked her tiny body as she lay under warming lights in the nursery of the Baptist Health Richmond hospital. She vomited and made strange, high-pitched cries. The infant was going through opioid withdrawal. [H-L]

In an interview with The New York Times published Wednesday, Donald Trump made a series of shocking statements about his administration’s ties to Russia, ongoing investigations into collusion with a foreign government and his waning happiness with senior officials in the White House. [HuffPo]

Pressure is mounting on Louisville officials to reject a Rubbertown chemical plant’s request for relaxed pollution risk goals under the city’s 2005 Strategic Toxic Air Reduction program. [C-J/AKN]

The Trump administration has spent taxpayer money meant to encourage enrollment in the Affordable Care Act on a public relations campaign aimed at methodically strangling it. [TDB]

This is what good old boy redneck bullshit looks like in Eastern Kentucky. [Ashland Independent]

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he plans to continue to serve in his post “as long as that is appropriate.” [The Hill]

Sure, Kentucky needs to do a better job getting its broadband shit together. But spending $300 per month on phone service? The only thing that proves is that this guy is a definite fool. [Richmond Register]

About one in eight people who voted for President Donald Trump said they are not sure they would do so again after witnessing Trump’s tumultuous first six months in office, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll of 2016 voters. [Reuters]

In a joint meeting of city and county government committees Wednesday afternoon, some consensus appeared to have been reached regarding proposed revisions to the interlocal agreement that created the Glasgow-Barren County Industrial Development and Economic Authority. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Financial records filed last year in the secretive tax haven of Cyprus, where Paul J. Manafort kept bank accounts during his years working in Ukraine and investing with a Russian oligarch, indicate that he had been in debt to pro-Russia interests by as much as $17 million before he joined Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign in March 2016. [NY Times]

Relying on Heather French Henry to speak to veterans issues after she basically did nothing but put on a show with her fake charity is absurd. Rick Howlett and others in media know better. Shame on anyone letting these fucking shysters speak as if they have any credibility or authority just because they’re popular. It’s lazy and dangerous. [WFPL]

I am not a member of the deep state. I am not big government. I am a scientist, a policy expert, a civil servant and a worried citizen. Reluctantly, as of today, I am also a whistleblower on an administration that chooses silence over science. [WaPo]

Way to go, Republicans! An accident that killed a coal miner in Pike County happened because a conveyor belt did not have adequate safety guards, according to a federal investigation. Ray Hatfield Jr. was killed Jan. 26 when his clothing got tangled in bolts on a roller shaft and he was pulled into the moving equipment, the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration said in its report. [H-L]

When the White House started banning live audio and video coverage of press briefings last month, journalists questioned the commitment to transparency of Donald Trump’s administration. [HuffPo]

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Republicans Have Proved They Can’t Lead

What was that, again, about the Ark Park lunatics not being con artists? Now they’re tax cheats and maybe criminals. Here’s hoping a natural disaster rips all their properties apart sometime soon. Good old “christian” values. [H-L]

A day after just about everyone on Capitol Hill declared the Senate health care bill dead, the legislation once again seemed to have the tiniest bit of life, with Republicans staying late into the night Wednesday to discuss whether there was a path forward. [HuffPo]

This is what extreme, bigoted New Republican/New Nazi idealism does to Kentucky’s economy. You bought this sucker, Republicans, and now you own it. [C-J/AKN]

The Kremlin gave Republican Rohrabacher direction to discredit the Magnitsky Act. Kevin McCarthy, you may recall, said Rohrabacher and Trump were the two people Putin was paying. [TDB & WaPo Flashback]

Remember how I spent several years highlighting the shenanigans with the Carter County Fiscal Court? It’s finally bitten them in the ass. The Carter County Fiscal Court on Tuesday voted to pay up to $26,000 to the state because of a lack of documentation of former transportation-related projects. [Ashland Independent]

In the latest display of Turkish anger at U.S. policy in Syria, the state news agency has divulged the locations of 10 U.S. military bases and outposts in northern Syria where the U.S. is leading an operation to destroy the so-called Islamic State in its self-styled capital of Raqqa. [TDB]

Confusion pervaded the national capitol Wednesday as Donald Trump once again switched directions on health care, scolding Republican senators at a White House lunch to stay in town until they “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare as he calls it. [Richmond Register]

In the months following the California primaries, the feds discovered that Russian hackers had broken into more than 20 state and local election systems and attempted to alter voter registration in several of them. [TIME]

Keep an eye on what your local school boards are doing, folks, and hold them accountable. Don’t just take their word that your over-paid superintendents are doing stellar work. Make them prove it. A local school superintendent received high praise from his board members Monday night after they emerged from their second closed session of the evening. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The U.S. special counsel investigating possible ties between the Donald Trump campaign and Russia in last year’s election is examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates, according to a person familiar with the probe. [Bloomberg]

Don’t some of these people belong in prison? After more than a month of speculation, the U of L Foundation fired Chief Financial Officer Jason Tomlinson on Tuesday. ULF Chair Diane Medley wouldn’t say whether Tomlinson was fired for cause or when the discussion to fire him began, but said his removal is effective immediately. [WFPL]

He’s easily one of the dumbest people on the planet – not just the dumbest president to ever serve. He’s also basically admitting that he’s hiding financial crimes galore. Trump said on Wednesday that he never would have appointed Attorney General Jeff Sessions had he known Mr. Sessions would recuse himself from overseeing the Russia investigation that has dogged his presidency, calling the decision “very unfair to the president.” [NY Times]

Look, this is what happens when you allow idiots from the New Republican Party to gain power. As the death toll from opioid overdoses in Kentucky and the rest of the Midwest continues to soar, it’s truly disconcerting to see that policymakers are taking steps that are not only devoid of medical and common sense, but virtually guaranteed to make matters worse. [H-L]

Former acting attorney general Sally Yates, who was abruptly fired by President Donald Trump, criticized him Thursday for again violating “the essential independence” of the Department of Justice. It followed the president’s admission that he would not have appointed Attorney General Jeff Sessions because he recused himself from the multiple investigations into whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia. [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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