McConnell Doesn’t Have Guts To Fight Back

A former chief regional Social Security judge was sentenced Monday to six months in federal prison for scheming to retaliate against an employee who blew the whistle on alleged fraud by Floyd County disability lawyer Eric Conn. [H-L]

Donald Trump on Thursday lashed out at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Granny) over Republicans’ latest failed attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. [HuffPo]

A lawsuit challenging Gov. Matt Bevin’s controversial restructuring of state education boards can move forward, a judge ruled Wednesday. [C-J/AKN]

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has lost two of her top aides, key departures that come at a time of growing international tensions between the U.S. and North Korea. Haley’s Chief of Staff Steven Groves resigned, as did her communications director Jonathan Wachtel. [Bloomberg]

James Comer, R-Paid For An Abortion & Lied About It While Attacking His Victim Again, was slated to travel to Israel this week as part of a Congressional delegation to attend a seminar on foreign policy and national security issues both countries are facing. [Glasgow Daily Times]

When millions of Americans turn their faces skyward to witness the nation’s first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in a century, many will reach for specially designed sunglasses, but experts caution the public to stay clear of unsafe counterfeits. [Reuters]

Narcan is a powerful drug that can yank an overdose patient back from the claws of death, and local residents can learn how to use it to save a life Friday at The Neighborhood in Ashland. [Ashland Independent]

The Matthew Shepard Foundation has been trying to learn more about why so many victims of potential hate crimes — more than 50 percent annually according to the feds — don’t file complaints with the authorities. [ProPublica]

An on-going Madison County Drug Task Force investigation resulted in officers seizing a total of 1.6 pounds of heroin, 14 grams of methamphetamine, 3.8 ounce of marijuana and eight Ecstasy tablets. [Richmond Register]

It’s basically the opposite of a major government infrastructure program. Government spending on transportation and other public works is in decline as federal funding stagnates and state and local governments tighten their belts. [NY Times]

The Trump administration’s top health official backed away from a presidential commission’s proposal to declare a national public health emergency to address the opioid crisis. [WFPL]

On Saturday, Donald Trump tweeted his gratitude to a social-media super-fan, ­Nicole Mincey, magnifying her praise of him to his 35 million followers. Here’s the problem: There is no evidence the Twitter feed belongs to someone named Nicole Mincey. And the account, according to experts, bears a lot of signs of a Russia-backed disinformation campaign. [WaPo]

Placing much of the blame on smoking, a study chronicling the ongoing health crisis in Appalachia has concluded that the 13-state region suffers from a growing disparity in infant mortality and life expectancy, two key indicators of “a nation’s health and well-being.” [H-L]

Washington and Moscow have over decades established mechanisms to prevent crises from spinning out of control, from hotlines to satellites and over-flights that allow the nuclear-armed adversaries to track each other’s military deployments. [HuffPo]

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Here Comes Corbin With The Dumb Again

This was a meeting of the board and it’s time for legal action. Against both Matt Bevin and the board and members of the board. [H-L]

Jenni Monet, one of a half-dozen journalists arrested this year covering the Standing Rock pipeline protests in North Dakota, recalled being verbally abused by police during her 30-hour detention, including hours in a freezing garage. [HuffPo]

What the hell is wrong with the people in Southern Indiana repeatedly trying to burn hazardous material? An Indiana judge has dealt a serious blow to a cement plant’s three-year push to burn hazardous materials as fuel 12 miles north of Louisville. [C-J/AKN]

Just in case you needed more evidence that Donald Trump willfully and deliberately colluded with the Russians. The extent of the president’s personal intervention in his son’s response, the details of which have not previously been reported, adds to a series of actions that Trump has taken that some advisers fear could place him and some members of his inner circle in legal jeopardy. [WaPo]

A town hall meeting to provide the public more information and a chance to discuss the City of Richmond’s upcoming connection to the KentuckyWired network drew questions mostly related to the cost of connection, and who in the community could be connected. [Richmond Register]

Donald Trump has decided to remove Anthony Scaramucci from his position as communications director, three people close to the decision said Monday, relieving him just days after Mr. Scaramucci unloaded a crude verbal tirade against other senior members of the president’s senior staff. [NY Times]

New Councilman Louie Gabbard was sworn in to office on Tuesday night — the same evening when area residents expressed frustration to the City Council over a hike in water rates for those who live outside Flatwoods city limits. [Ashland Independent]

Given how Donald Trump has taken aim at the Environmental Protection Agency with regulatory rollbacks and deep proposed budget cuts, it may come as no surprise that the Office of Environmental Justice is on the chopping block. [ProPublica]

Crime in Louisville has dropped this year, but homicides continue to climb. That’s according to Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad. [WFPL]

More than half of adults who misused opioids did not have a prescription, and many obtained drugs for free from friends or relatives, according to a national survey of more than 50,000 adults. [PBS]

Just in case you’re wondering why education is scraping the bottom of the barrel in Eastern Kentucky… While students across the state get set for the eclipse on August 21st, one school district will be closing it’s doors over safety concerns. [WKYT]

Meet the extreme anti-abortion group trying to close Kentucky’s last clinic. [MMFA]

Oh, great, another Mt. Sterling resident has surfaced to make that community look dumber than Richie Farmer. City people are bad news bears and countryfolk are better, apparently? Heather A. Johnson – you’ve bitten off more than you can chew. [H-L]

Two degrees Celsius: That’s the global temperature increment scientists say the world must stay beneath to avoid the worst effects of climate change. But according to a study published this week in the journal Nature Climate Change, the odds of us staying under this threshold are looking pretty grim. [HuffPo]

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Another Kentucky Republican Foot Tapper!

The number of prescriptions for a class of painkillers that inflamed drug abuse in Kentucky for years has gone down since 2010, according to a federal study. However, several counties remained near the top nationally in 2015 in the amount of the drugs, called opioids, that doctors authorized, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [H-L]

Of COURSE a Letcher County Republican got caught trying to have sex with men in a department store restroom! Way to go, David Narramore. You’re 54. It’s beyond time for you to deal with your denial. That’s what Republicanism does to you. [WLEX18]

A six-person committee of the University of Louisville’s board of trustees began reviewing a draft nepotism policy that would more clearly define relationships, such as domestic partners, and outline other rules for university employees. [C-J/AKN]

Coward. Donald Trump reportedly told Theresa May he will not make a state visit to the UK until he is guaranteed a “better reception”. [The Independent]

This is what’s driving the news in Morehead these days. Thank goodness it’s not Kim Davis. A new development being built in southwest Morehead drew some concerns from Morehead City Council member Tom Carew during Monday’s monthly meeting. [The Morehead News]

Trump entered office pledging to cut red tape, and within weeks, he ordered his administration to assemble teams to aggressively scale back government regulations. But the effort — a signature theme in Trump’s populist campaign for the White House — is being conducted in large part out of public view and often by political appointees with deep industry ties and potential conflicts. [ProPublica]

The Grayson City Council on Tuesday voted to accept the recommendation of the city’s tourism and convention commission to impose a 3-percent tax on food served at local restaurants. [Ashland Independent]

The U.S. military is spending $130,000 a month to rent space in Trump Tower in New York City for the White House Military Office, despite the fact that Trump hasn’t stayed at the property in months. [The Hill]

The coroner here in the outer suburbs of Cincinnati gets the call almost every day. Man “slumped over the dining room table.” Woman “found in the garage.” Man “found face down on the kitchen floor of his sister’s residence.” Man “on his bedroom floor — there was a syringe beneath the body.” Coroner Lisa K. Mannix chronicles them all in autopsy reports. [Richmond Register]

As their seven-year effort to repeal and replace Obamacare derailed in the U.S. Senate, Republicans faced the prospect of doing the once unthinkable: working with Democrats to make fixes to former President Barack Obama’s 2010 healthcare law. [Reuters]

You know some “pastor” is probably about to get semi-wealthy after this pointless effort. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Rinat Akhmetshin, the Russian-American lobbyist who met with Donald Trump Jr. at Trump Tower in June 2016, had one consistent message for the journalists who met him over the years at the luxury hotels where he stayed in Moscow, London and Paris, or at his home on a leafy street in Washington: Never use email to convey information that needed to be kept secret. [NY Times]

Sorry, Bill Garner, but you’re not going to be able to fix that in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. [Tom Eblen]

After seven years of promises, Republicans just can’t find the votes to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. They don’t know what to do now. [HuffPo]

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Republican Treason Sure Is Tons Of Fun

Mitch McConnell has had nearly a decade to come up with a health care alternative and he’s still yet to do so. Still. NEARLY A DECADE! [H-L]

Donald Trump’s son, son-in law, and campaign chairman met secretly in June 2016 with a woman they’d been told was a Russian government attorney who could provide documents that, as part of “Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump,” would “incriminate” Hillary Clinton, according to emails released by Donald Trump Jr. on Twitter Tuesday morning. [HuffPo]

OH MY GOD! Oh my god. Oh my god. Move all liquids away from whatever screen you’re reading this on before clicking. Oh. My. God. You’ll wet yourself. [C-J/AKN]

The bombshell New York Times report from Sunday afternoon might not the smoking gun in the Trump-Russia 2016 story, but it sure looks close to one. According to the Times, President Trump’s oldest son, Donald Trump Jr., met with a Kremlin-connected lawyer in June 2016 after being promised damaging information on Hillary Clinton — “the first public indication that at least some in the campaign were willing to accept Russian help.” To put this June 9, 2016 meeting into perspective, here’s a handy timeline of what happened before and after the meeting. [NBC News]

Kentucky ended the 2017 fiscal year on June 30 with a $138.5 million shortfall in its General Fund. [Ronnie Ellis]

The Donald Trump-Russia timeline sure is interesting. [TPM]

This is a hidden gem in Eastern Kentucky. You don’t have to know what a carabiner is or the advantages of passive vs. active protection to climb or descend from rocks at Carter Caves State Resort Park. [Ashland Independent]

Schaaaaaaadenfreeeeeeude! The revelation of these emails immediately sent shockwaves through the White House. “This is sum of all fears stuff. It’s what we’ve all been dreading,” said one White House official who is now exploring the possibility of retaining an attorney, a step described as purely precautionary. [TDB]

Deterrent. That’s the word Rowan County Sheriff Matt Sparks to describe the reasoning behind seizing a 59-acre property in a remote area in the southwestern part of the county. [The Morehead News]

The June 3, 2016, email sent to Donald Trump Jr. could hardly have been more explicit: One of his father’s former Russian business partners had been contacted by a senior Russian government official and was offering to provide the Trump campaign with dirt on Hillary Clinton. The documents “would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father,” read the email, written by a trusted intermediary, who added, “This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.” [NY Times]

Come on, wealthy folks, help make this happen. The Bounty of the Barrens Farmers Market is a big step closer to having a permanent home, but plenty remains to be done before it becomes a reality, not the least of which is raising an estimated $600,000-plus. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Donald Trump Jr. agreed to take a meeting during the 2016 presidential campaign with a woman he was told was a “Russian government lawyer” who could provide damaging information about Hillary Clinton as part of “Russia and its government’s support” for his father’s presidential campaign, according to emails tweeted by the president’s son on Tuesday. [WaPo]

A contractor paid bribes and kickbacks to St. Joseph Hospital’s executive director of facilities, who was responsible for assigning general contracting work, a federal indictment said. As part of the scheme, contractor Rocky Williams of Jessamine County bought a motorcycle, an all-terrain vehicle, vacations, golf club memberships and furniture for James Newton of Lexington, according to court records. Neither man works at or for St. Joseph now. [H-L]

Donald Trump Jr. released images of an email exchange Tuesday that show he was contacted in June 2016 about a meeting with a Kremlin-linked lawyer. At that meeting, he was told, he could obtain “some official documents and information that would incriminate” former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. [HuffPo]

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Even The Gays Can Be Insufferably Dumb

Jim Gray is still an idiot, apparently. He spent most of his life hating himself and denying his sexual orientation. You’d think that’d be enough to make someone want to do everything they can to improve the lives of everyone, not just a few rich folks in the Golden Triangle. Now he’s trying to behave as if it’s okay to ignore the rest of Kentucky’s 120 counties when it comes to homophobia. Rather than begging for California to allow travel to Louisville and Lexington, maybe this tired old queen (I can say it because I’m as gay and put my money where my mouth is) could put his money where his mouth is for once and fight Matt Bevin and the Republican bigotry that’s taken over Frankfort. He won’t, though, because he’d sell his fellow gays out in a heartbeat if it meant having to deal with the tiniest bit of inconvenience or embarrassment. He’s done it so frequently that his own relatives complain to me about it. Fuck Jim Gray and the rest of these tired old codgers too focused on their own self interest to stand up for the rest of the Commonwealth. They can’t retire and leave public life quickly enough. Signed, a big ole homo who knows Kentuckians are cool with rebellion and would love Jim Gray if he wasn’t a big baby. P.S. It’s okay for you to call his ass out for being dumb. It won’t make you a homophobe unless you’re, you know, already a homophobe. [H-L]

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Deserves To Be Thrown Into A Shitty Western Kentucky Nursing Home) on Tuesday delayed a vote on the Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act until after the July 4 recess, indicating he lacks support to advance the bill. [HuffPo]

PEE ALERT! Embattled Metro Councilman Dan Johnson wants fellow Democrats to do a crack down on the “continuous leaks” about the sexual harassment claims against him. [C-J/AKN]

Mmm hmm. Ending one the most turbulent tenures of a Washington-based ambassador in recent memory, the Kremlin has decided to recall its ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak, three individuals familiar with the decision tell BuzzFeed News. [BuzzFeed]

Surprise! The Rowan County Board of Education is just as feckless as the Montgomery County Board of Education. Supt. Marvin Moore received an exemplary rating from the Rowan County Board of Education at Tuesday’s meeting. The evaluation is based on a state-mandated Superintendent Leadership Plan. [The Morehead News]

He’s just stupid. Trump in a rally on Wednesday evening said immigrants who enter the United States should not be eligible for welfare benefits for five years, though such a law has already existed for 20 years. [The Hill]

Children of migrant workers coming through eastern Kentucky face language barriers, cultural shifts and a host of adjustments every harvest, and sometimes, every season. While their parents strip tobacco, herd cattle and plant soybeans, their children need an education. [Richmond Register]

In violation of a longstanding legal mandate, scores of federal law enforcement agencies are failing to submit statistics to the FBI’s national hate crimes database, ProPublica has learned. [ProPublica]

Many have flood stories from the heavy rains that hit the area on Friday. Jeremy Taylor’s involves saving two lives. [Ashland Independent]

Many Americans have become accustomed to Trump’s lies. But as regular as they have become, the country should not allow itself to become numb to them. So we have catalogued nearly every outright lie he has told publicly since taking the oath of office. [NY Times]

How far can your eyes roll back in your head? Republican U.S. Rep. James Comer reignited an old political rivalry this week by publicly releasing his personal income tax returns and questioning why Gov. Matt Bevin has not done the same. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The Obama Administration tried to shore up state election infrastructures from Russia. Guess who stood in the way! Republicans. [WaPo]

Low-income families who use food assistance programs got a boost on Tuesday that could put more fresh produce on the table through a combination of $1.4 million in federal, state and private funding. [Janet Patton]

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Deserves To Be Thrown Into A Shitty Western Kentucky Nursing Home) told senators on Tuesday that he will delay a vote on the Senate GOP health care bill until after the July Fourth recess. [HuffPo]

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Kentucky To Get More Discriminatory On The 29th

Fugitive lawyer Eric C. Conn fled the country using a fake passport and help from someone overseas who has given him a job to support himself while on the lam, Conn told the Herald-Leader in an email exchange over the weekend. [H-L]

Thousands of federal workers at the Interior Department could soon find themselves out of a job as the Trump administration looks to reorganize the agency and cut its funding by 12 percent. [HuffPo]

Maybe a tiny little man with gay people really close to him in his family ought not complain hypocritically? These New Republican bigots are the reason Kentucky will remain forever in the dark, our economy will never rise with the rest of the nation and our children will never reach their full potential. Though, it’s fascinating that A Kentucky Newspaper is STILL neglecting to mention that Rand Paul opposes the Senate health plan because it doesn’t go far enough in cutting benefits. [C-J/AKN]

Don’t come for Joe Biden unless he sends for you. [NY Magazine]

Laws dealing with Bible literacy in schools, religious freedom, nuclear power, charter schools and making it a hate crime to assault police officers go into effect on June 29 in Kentucky. [Ronnie Ellis]

The Trump administration has taken little meaningful action to prevent Russian hacking, leaking and disruption in the next national election in 2018, despite warnings from intelligence officials that it will happen again, officials and experts told NBC News. [NBC News]

The Ashland Fire Department responded to three overdoses in the city, with all three patients being transported to the hospital, during its most recent reporting period. [Ashland Independent]

Not only did the Obama Administration try to do something about Russia, they pushed for sanctions. It was Republicans like Mitch McConnell who fought the Administration at every turn. Because Russian meddling benefited Republicans. And it’s the Trump Administration that’s pushed to reverse and weaken sanctions. [CBS News]

It’s been 17 years since Josh Gentry sustained a severe brain injury in a crash that nearly cost him his life. Josh was a passenger in the backseat of a pickup that wrecked on Ky. 249 at the Skagg’s Creek Bridge in Barren County. [Richmond Register]

The Trump administration opposes a bid to use unclaimed money from a legal settlement over the government’s infamous Tuskegee syphilis study to fund a museum honoring victims of the research project. [Associated Press]

Barren County Middle School students assisted with a study on Thursday in which Mammoth Cave National Park is participating to help determine mercury levels in lakes, rivers and streams across the country. [Glasgow Daily Times]

“About five or six sentences in, I noticed that all of his sentences had both nouns and verbs in them,” Carol Foyler, another student, said. “I couldn’t believe he was going after Trump like that.” [New Yorker]

The Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission unanimously voted Wednesday to appeal a recent federal court ruling that allows lobbyists to give gifts and campaign donations to state lawmakers. [H-L]

Senior officials across the government became convinced in January that the incoming national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, had become vulnerable to Russian blackmail. [NY Times]

The city of Ferguson, Missouri, has settled a wrongful-death lawsuit filed by the parents of Michael Brown, the unarmed black 18-year-old who was fatally shot by former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in 2014. [HuffPo]

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