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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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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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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Kentucky Republicans Embarrassing Us Nationally. Again.

Hopes for a quick rebound in coal jobs with an industry friend in the White House didn’t pan out in Kentucky in the first three months of the year. [H-L]

Major networks including CNN, ABC, CBS and NBC are refusing to air a Donald Trump 2020 campaign ad that attacks mainstream media. [HuffPo]

So many ratchet things to say about the three people taking part in this interview. This involves Rick Pitino, so you can assume some of the ratchet things are highly inappropriate. Be sure to wear rubber gloves while check this story out. [C-J/AKN]

Just in case you thought Matt Bevin and the New Naz… Republican Party of Kentucky couldn’t embarrass you nationally on the health care front again? For nearly three years, Democrats and former President Barack Obama pointed to Kentucky as one of the Affordable Care Act’s biggest success stories. [Reuters]

Ashland is getting too big for its britches, acting as if it’s Louisville or Lexington implementing TIFs that will ultimately fail. The City of Ashland plans to create a Tax Increment Financing, or TIF, district in downtown Ashland to help two investors turn the Ashland Plaza Hotel into a Marriott-brand hotel, and to fund major public projects downtown, including a new convention center and parking garage. [Ashland Independent]

Mike Roman, a longtime Republican opposition researcher who worked for billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch before joining the Trump campaign, is now the White House’s director of special projects and research. He is one of a half-dozen unannounced hires the White House has made since President Trump took office. [ProPublica]

The $1 trillion spending bill signed by Donald Trump on Friday not only keeps the federal government open through September, it also includes additional money to pay for the destruction of chemical agents stored at Bluegrass Army Depot. [Richmond Register]

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s response to the Trump administration pulling down its website detailing information about climate change: putting up his own. [Politico]

BobbiSue Holmes, current dean of students at Cumberland Trace Elementary in Warren County, was named the new principal of South Green Elementary on Thursday in the SGE library. [Glasgow Daily Times]

For local officials here, it was one thing to spar with Donald J. Trump, the developer, over the height of his ficus hedges, the crowds at his Elton John concerts and the roar of jet engines over his private club, Mar-a-Lago. Mr. Trump would often threaten or cajole. The government would often push back, impose fines or endure lawsuits. But dealing with Donald J. Trump, the president, is another matter entirely. [NY Times]

With public interest in horse racing declining, the parent company of the Kentucky Derby has evolved into an entertainment enterprise built on gambling and social gaming platforms. [WFPL]

Not only did the Trump transition team and campaign know about Flynn and Russia, they warned Flynn. [WaPo]

The parents of an autistic third-grader who was dragged down sets of stairs and a hallway have filed suit against a former Scott County teacher, principal, the superintendent and the school district. [H-L]

Twenty-seven of America’s national monuments spanning over more than 11 million acres of land and about 760 million acres of ocean are threatened by a pair of executive orders signed by Donald Trump last week. [HuffPo]

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Horsey Set Had Gambling Fun Saturday

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Coal jobs prove lucrative. But not for those actually in the minds. Which comes as no surprise to anyone paying attention. [H-L]

Democratic activists, revamping fundraising to support congressional candidates in the Trump era, said Friday they received a flood of grassroots donations in the 24 hours after House Republicans passed legislation to repeal huge parts of Obamacare. [HuffPo]

Always Dreaming continued a long run of favorites winning the Kentucky Derby on Saturday at Churchill Downs, but the upset came in the aftermath. [C-J/AKN]

In late November, a member of Donald Trump’s transition team approached national security officials in the Obama White House with a curious request: Could the incoming team get a copy of the classified CIA profile on Sergey Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the United States? The outgoing White House also became concerned about the Trump team’s handling of classified information. After learning that highly sensitive documents from a secure room at the transition’s Washington headquarters were being copied and removed from the facility, Obama’s national security team decided to only allow the transition officials to view some information at the White House, including documents on the government’s contingency plans for crises. [AP]

These buttcramps in Trashland (I fucking said it – what a garbage place, thanks to its elected officials and political leaders and you know it’s true) don’t understand that the First Amendment protects people from government, not the other way around. So of course the new CNHI guy is reporting on defamation by using Wikipedia, apparently. [Ashland Independent]

Always Dreaming won the 143rd Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs over a sloppy track in Louisville on Saturday, giving jockey John Velazquez and trainer Todd Pletcher their second career wins in the ‘Run for the Roses’. [Reuters]

A new state law allowing state parks and fair boards to be sponsored by private entities interested in helping to grow tourism was recently adopted by the Kentucky General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Matt Badussy. [Richmond Register]

Tipped off by her Washington sources that an executive order blocking refugees was coming, Becca Heller fired off messages to her vast network of law students and pro bono lawyers: Tell any clients who already have visas to board a plane for the United States. Get ready for the possibility that they will be detained upon landing. [NY Times]

It’s almost embarrassing that every small town in East and West Bumblefart have renamed parks “Freedom” post-9/11, as if it means something. But people always get uncomfortable when you bring up how ridiculous it is. A ceremony was held at Freedom Park on Thursday recognizing the National Day of Prayer. [The Morehead News]

What was that, again about the New Republicans not being literal racists? [Politico]

Bright-colored outfits are the norm at the Kentucky Derby. Women, men and even children arrive with hopes of attracting attention. Derric Chumney does the same thing, but for a different reason. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Their racist flags are still flying and they don’t even realize it. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Hypocrite) suggested on Wednesday that former President Barack Obama’s planned $400,000 speech to a Wall Street firm is the driving force behind a coming measure to cap presidential pensions. [The Hill]

Just a reminder that Matt Bevin’s leadership sucks so badly that Kentucky’s experiencing a $113 million budget shortfall. Not only is New Republicanism (AKA The Dumb, Overtly Racist Republicans Have Taken Over) dangerous, it’s economically inept. Kentucky’s state government could face more budget cuts this summer because its $10.6 billion General Fund, which pays for most state services, is expected to fall $113.2 million short when fiscal year 2017 ends June 30. [John Cheves]

Grifters gonna grift. For a fee of $500,000 made out to the Kushner family, wealthy Chinese could secure a top spot in America. [HuffPo]

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Republicans Are In Full Stumbo Panic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Hold On Tight! Bevin Roller Coaster Fun

Franklin Circuit Court Judge Phillip Shepherd has granted Attorney General Andy Beshear’s request to temporarily block Gov. Matt Bevin’s overhaul of the University of Louisville Board of Trustees. [H-L]

In 1968, Hillary Clinton, known at the time as Hillary Rodham, was taking in the excitement of the Republican National Convention in Miami. The young Republican had jumped at the chance to volunteer for Nelson Rockefeller’s last-minute effort to take the nomination from Richard Nixon and attend her first political convention. [HuffPo]

During a briefing about the Health Science Center at Thursday’s University of Louisville Board of Trustees meeting, J. David Grissom, a trustee and former banker who is chairman of an investment firm, asked what the university is doing in response to reports that KentuckyOne Health, which manages U of L Hospital, has been cited for a nursing shortage there and received “D” mark on cleanliness and other issues. [C-J/AKN]

As he crisscrossed Philadelphia this week for the Democratic National Convention, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) couldn’t walk far without being recognized. [The Hill]

The University of Louisville’s next president will be saddled with more than just baggage from James Ramsey’s tenure. The new president will inherit Ramsey’s top deputies, many of whom were given lucrative compensation packages and perks that experts say go far beyond the norm. Ramsey’s own buyout is $690,000, but the cost of his pledges to top executives could be millions more from school coffers. [WFPL]

The state of Florida, the first to report the arrival of Zika in the continental United States, has yet to invite a dedicated team of the federal government’s disease hunters to assist with the investigation on the ground, health officials told Reuters. [Reuters]

A Franklin Circuit Judge on Friday granted Attorney General Andy Beshear’s request for a injunction temporary halting Gov. Matt Bevin’s attempt to reorganize the University of Louisville Board of Trustees. [Ronnie Ellis]

The furor over the cyberattacks injecting turmoil into Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign obscures a more pervasive danger to the U.S. political process: Much of it has only lax security against hackers, with few if any federal cops on the beat. [Politico]

After a month of initially opening the needle exchange to the public, Kristy Bolen, Senior Regional Epidemiologist of the Ashland-Boyd County Health Department, is pleased with the outcome. [Ashland Independent]

Is Donald Trump a racist? You already know the answer to that but here’s a solid history from a conservative. [NY Times]

When some Barren County students return to classes on Aug. 11, they will see new features at their school buildings. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Six Michigan state workers have been charged with hiding data that showed that drinking water was unsafe in the city of Flint. [BBC]

Franklin Circuit Court Judge Thomas D. Wingate on Friday denied the Family Foundation’s motion for summary judgment against one type of historical racing game, Encore, in use at Kentucky Downs in Franklin. [H-L]

The father of a Muslim American war hero addressed the Democratic National Convention on Thursday, delivering a brutal takedown of Donald Trump and his inflammatory anti-Muslim rhetoric. [HuffPo]

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