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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New Nazis Try Again To Kill Health Care

I’ll never forget when Karpf nearly shit his pants when I asked him about his role in the illegal organ trade. And when the media in Kentucky ignored it. Retiring University of Kentucky HealthCare chief Michael Karpf will continue making his $900,000 salary for the next year as he advises UK President Eli Capilouto on state and federal health care issues. [Linda Blackford]

A bipartisan group of governors urged Senate leaders Tuesday against considering the latest attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, calling instead for a bipartisan effort to improve the existing law. [HuffPo]

This is a stupid move by the New Nazi/New Republicans in charge at the University of Louisville. But quit acting as if you’re surprised, Louisville liberals. You knew those fart huffers were going to do crazy stuff like this. Maybe next time you’ll support Democrats that can win instead of Democrats like Jack Conway. The University of Louisville could soon be the only college in the Atlantic Coast Conference without a campus newspaper. [C-J/AKN]

The Trump administration plans to stop accepting refugee applications from children with U.S.-based parents from three violence-riddled Central American countries — El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala — according to the summary of a presentation the State Department made recently to refugee organizations. [ProPublica]

Reminder: David Dickerson is a third-rate bigot. And don’t you fucking forget it. [Glasgow Daily Times]

It was a hard choice, but in the end it was no choice at all. A small rescue boat had come up the driveway, offering help. Carl Ellis was with his frail, 73-year-old mother, Wilma Jean. The boat had room for one. [NY Times]

Over two years ago, Steven Middleton was given the go-ahead to produce a documentary on the history of Morehead State University. [The Morehead News]

The trouble Paul Manafort is in continues to come into focus. The latest development: Emails he sent to a Ukraine-based employee of his consulting business talking about setting up a briefing with a Russian oligarch close to Vladimir Putin. [WaPo]

Morehead State University will be added to the NASA’s Deep Space Network, more commonly known as the DSN. [Ashland Independent]

California filed a lawsuit on Wednesday over the Trump administration’s plan to construct a wall along the border with Mexico, adding to the obstacles facing one of the Republican president’s key campaign promises. [Reuters]

The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees approved the appointments this week of a new executive vice president for health affairs (EVPHA) and two college deans. [Richmond Register]

If you don’t oppose these New Nazis, you’re one of them. The new ObamaCare repeal measure from Senate Republicans would give states a way to repeal protections for people with pre-existing conditions, a controversial move that opponents of the bill are denouncing. [The Hill]

Kentucky is among the six least diverse states in the country, a new study shows. [H-L]

Former President Barack Obama said it’s “frustrating to have to mobilize” so often to keep lawmakers from repealing the Affordable Care Act. [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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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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