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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If You’re Praising Karpf, You’re The Problem

Wondering why Kentucky – specifically Lexington – is so constantly screwed? It’s because of the editorial board at the Herald-Leader. They fought tooth and nail to prevent any sort of coverage of the Michael Karpf corruption. They’ve intentionally fought coverage of the Montgomery County Schools nightmare. And they, despite the efforts of their journalists, have fought like hell to keep negative University of Kentucky stories from seeing the light of day. Claiming this man leaves any sort of positive legacy? That tells everybody you can’t be trusted. Disgusting. [H-L]

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made a rare, explosive address Thursday, two days after U.S. Donald Trump threatened to “totally destroy” the isolated nation if provoked. [HuffPo]

Tom Loftus has gotten so lazy, apparently, that it’s painful. If you don’t know what “Save Our Pensions” and Bridget Bush are up to? You aren’t even bothering to pay attention or you’re making shit up. [C-J/AKN]

As a longtime resident of Manchester, Guadalupe Hernandez is used to the chemical smells that waft through his southeast Houston, Texas neighborhood, a low-income, predominantly Hispanic community near a Valero Energy refinery. But when Hurricane Harvey blew in the weekend of Aug. 26, the stench became noticeably stronger for about five hours, a scent like “glue or boiled eggs,” he said. [ProPublica]

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. [Ronnie Ellis]

Paul J. Manafort, the former campaign chairman for Trump who is at the center of investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, is working for allies of the leader of Iraq’s Kurdish region to help administer and promote a referendum on Kurdish independence from Iraq. [NY Times]

If the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office couldn’t hold Kim Davis and her thieving daughter accountable when they had video evidence of crimes being committed? There’s no chance on earth they can protect an entire school from any sort of threat – real or imaginary. [The Morehead News]

In early June, Donna Bilgore Robins stood on a patio in Beaver Creek, Colo., under a crystal-clear blue sky and tried to catch her breath. She couldn’t. [WaPo]

Lawrence County schools are operating under a spending freeze until further notice, Superintendent Robbie Fletcher said. [Ashland Independent]

A U.S. judge on Thursday said he wanted to decide quickly lawsuits challenging the Trump administration’s decision to end a program that shielded from deportation children brought to the United States illegally by their parents. [Reuters]

A plaque describing the president of the Confederacy as a patriot and a hero could be removed from the Kentucky Capitol in an effort to give more historical context to the state’s monuments. [Richmond Register]

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price has taken at least 24 flights on private charter planes at taxpayers’ expense since early May, according to people with knowledge of his travel plans and a review of HHS documents. [Politico]

Federal officials did not do enough to look for rare and threatened species when evaluating a project that would include the most commercial logging in the Daniel Boone National Forest in more than a decade, environmental groups have argued. [H-L]

If you want to watch a rural community die, kill its hospital. After the Lower Oconee Community Hospital shut down in June 2014, other mainstays of the community followed. The bank and the pharmacy in the small town of Glenwood shuttered. Then the only grocery store in all of Wheeler County closed in the middle of August this year. [HuffPo]

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Retaliating Over Government Transparency Should Cost People Their Jobs & Any Sense Of Security They Hold

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Come for me when I file an open records request and prepare to have your personal life dissected with surgical precision. That’s how every journalist should operate when government staffers and electeds retaliate. When KDP came for me, I spent six years ending a bunch of those folks by merely doing my job. [H-L]

Donald Trump gave a series of conflicting statements on Thursday about how he hopes to deal with young undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, muddying the waters over whether he will support their bid to gain eventual citizenship and whether he will demand a border wall in exchange. [HuffPo]

This ought to end in disaster. [C-J/AKN]

California lawmakers voted to become a sanctuary state, tussled over hot-button environmental issues and urged other states to refuse to cooperate with Donald Trump’s Election Integrity Commission as their legislative year ended early on Saturday. [Reuters]

The state’s prosecutors are the latest group to warn state lawmakers their offices can’t withstand a potential 17 percent cut in funding. [Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump’s voter fraud commission came under fire earlier this month when a lawsuit and media reports revealed that the commissioners were using private emails to conduct public business. Commission co-chair Kris Kobach confirmed this week that most of them continue to do so. [ProPublica]

The Ashland Board of Education unanimously approved a 4 percent tax increase for real estate and personal property tax rates during a special meeting Friday evening. [Ashland Independent]

During a press gaggle aboard Air Force One on Thursday, Trump reverted to the widely-decried “both sides” language he used last month to equivocate between the white supremacists who gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia and those who showed up to protest them. [ThinkProgress]

Members of the Barren County Board of Education voted unanimously to approve a proposed tax rate of 67.5 cents per $100 of assessed value for real and personal property for the 2017-18 fiscal year during their Thursday night meeting at the school district’s central office. [Glasgow Daily Times]

An internal Interior Department memo has proposed lifting restrictions on exploratory seismic studies in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a possible first step toward opening the pristine wilderness area to oil and gas drilling. [NY Times]

Morehead City Council has passed the first reading of the ordinance setting the 2017 tax rates for city citizens. Council used the compensating rate, which generates approximately the same revenue as the previous year, exclusive of new property. [The Morehead News]

Appearing on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday, Sept. 17, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson criticized the Paris climate accord for being “out of balance” for America and China, but said the Trump administration would look for ways to work with other countries on tackling climate “under the right conditions.” [WaPo]

As Kentucky’s chief law enforcement officer, Attorney General Andy Beshear spends a good deal of time warning people about the dangers of heroin and pain pills, but he hadn’t seen an overdose in person until Sept. 7. [H-L]

Donald Trump shared a tweet Sunday morning that included the image of him hitting a golf ball and striking Hillary Clinton. [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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RPK Won’t Step Up On Opioids So Counties Are Doing The Hard Work To Improve Kentucky

Keep hearing reports that this is allegedly tied directly to the shady-ass Jessamine County Sheriff but no one in the state wants to talk about it. And I’m hearing it from federal folks. Guess we’ll see? Someone should also start asking the sheriff about his wife. [H-L]

Bernie Senders introduced a single-payer health care bill that’s backed by a third of the Senate Democratic Caucus. [HuffPo]

Much, and perhaps all, of the recent Bevin administration plan to cut spending within most state agencies is illegal, Attorney General Andy Beshear said Tuesday. [C-J/AKN]

Michael G. Flynn, the son of Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, is a subject of the federal investigation into Russian meddling in the presidential election and possible collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign, according to four current and former government officials. [NBC News]

Nearly nine months after Glasgow City Councilman Jake Dickinson suggested the council should hire his friend Danny Basil, a local attorney, to pursue unseating three members of the Glasgow Electric Plant Board’s board of directors, Dickinson was one of only four people on the 12-member council to vote in favor Monday of continuing pursuit of that idea. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The Trump administration has engaged in an unconstitutional practice of searching without a warrant the phones and laptops of Americans who are stopped at the border, a lawsuit filed on Wednesday alleged. [Reuters]

The owners of vacant or abandoned properties in Louisville owe more than $40 million in unpaid property maintenance fines. That’s according to a recent report from the city’s Vacant and Public Property Administration. [WFPL]

Sens. Lindsey Graham, Bill Cassidy, Dean Heller and Ron Johnson on Wednesday released an Obamacare repeal bill, framing it as the last, best hope to fulfill the GOP’s promise to undo the health law. [Politico]

For a state whose name is synonymous with fried chicken, it’s no wonder a recent study found that more than 1 out of 3 Kentucky’s adults are obese. [Richmond Register]

Hurricane Harvey’s floodwaters have left this sprawling metropolis partially ruined and eager to return to something like normalcy. But the storm has also forced many thousands of people out of their homes. As a result, the city is engaged in one giant collective improvisation. Its defining creative endeavor is where to find a place to sleep. [NY Times]

PEE ALERT. The Morehead Police Department is searching for those responsible for committing criminal mischief at Don Greenhill City Park over the weekend. [The Morehead News]

The U.S. government on Wednesday banned the use of a Russian brand of security software by federal agencies and gave them three months to remove the software amid concerns the company has ties to state-sponsored cyberespionage activities, according to U.S. officials. [WaPo]

Fiscal courts in nine Central and Eastern Kentucky counties and one Western Kentucky county filed separate civil lawsuits Tuesday in federal courts, seeking damages against wholesale distributors of painkillers called opioids for “creating a public nuisance.” [H-L]

Democrats won two GOP-held legislative seats in Oklahoma and New Hampshire on Tuesday, bringing the total number of state legislature seats the party has flipped since the November election to six. [HuffPo]

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Bevin & Thielen Are Both Horrible Men Responsible For The Ongoing Pension Disaster

Bill Thielen’s not wrong that Matt Bevin is a morally bankrupt piece of work. But he’s not wrong about Thielen being a con artist. Source: my ten years of coverage of Kentucky Retirement Systems. Probably hasn’t done anything criminal but absolutely exacerbated the problem and helped line his wealthy friends’ pockets. The same thing Bevin is trying to do now. [John Cheves]

The FBI recently questioned a former White House correspondent for Sputnik, the Russian-government-funded news agency, as part of an investigation into whether it is acting as an undeclared propaganda arm of the Kremlin in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). [HuffPo]

A fight has erupted over billboards at the newest highway entrance to Indiana. “Everybody’s got their attorneys,” said Steve Long, president of the Utica Town Council. “It’s David versus Goliath.” [C-J/AKN]

Republicans are beginning to drop like flies because they know it’s only a matter of time until their majority is lost for a century. [The Hill]

What Ronnie Ellis doesn’t tell you is that the amount being paid into the system by many municipalities is chump change. Local governments and school boards got some hard news Thursday from Kentucky’s state budget director: they’re going to have to pay more — a lot more — into the state’s public pension system. [Ronnie Ellis]

Shocked Florida residents returned to their shattered homes on Monday as the weakened Hurricane Irma pushed inland, flooding cities in the northeastern part of the state and leaving millions without power. [Reuters]

The Boyd Fiscal Court approved the list of property taxes and fees for 2017, and taxpayers can expect to pay more than they did a year ago. [Ashland Independent]

A new study shows that more than half of the country’s rural counties now don’t have hospitals with obstetric services. And women of color are being hit the hardest. [ProPublica]

A Morehead man was arrested on Labor Day this week after police accused him of cultivating marijuana. [The Morehead News]

How will Maggie Haberman fuck coverage of the opioid crisis up? She intentionally skewed Trump’s anti-LGBT behavior for nearly a year. There’s no telling how bad she’ll screw this up. [NY Times]

People need to get their shit in check. If your town is acting like it can’t afford its basic pension contributions? You need to show up at meetings and start raising hell. Make these idiots you’ve elected figure it out. [Glasgow Daily Times]

With Hurricane Harvey’s rainfall records and now Irma’s stunning combination of extreme strength and longevity, the hurricane-global warming debate is back in full swing. And it has evolved a good bit since 2005, when the United States was severely damaged by superstrong hurricanes (Katrina, Rita, Wilma). [WaPo]

This story is terrifying. A 5-year-old boy who just started school in Jackson County has been missing three days after his mother was thrown off a cliff and suffered multiple broken bones, a family member said. [H-L & Updated H-L Story]

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy on Monday put a temporarily hold on limits imposed by a lower court on President Donald Trump’s order barring most refugees from entering the United States. [HuffPo]

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