Ronnie Ellis Has Some Troubling Stats

Cross over the old Louisville & Nashville Railroad in this town remembered for its Civil War encampment and you’ll see the first signs — there’s fresh anticipation in the rural areas that will be prime viewing locations for the first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse to sweep the United States in 99 years. [H-L]

Americans largely do not approve of the GOP Senate health care bill, and many of them are dissatisfied with the way Republicans in Congress are handling the matter, according to a new NPR/“PBS NewsHour”/Marist poll. [HuffPo]

As University of Louisville Hospital prepares to separate from KentuckyOne Health this weekend, leaders are optimistic about the hospital’s future. [C-J/AKN]

Just in case you thought Mitch McConnell wanted to have substantive discussion about health care? You’re dangerously mistaken. [The Hill]

The Russell City Council on Monday gave final passage to the city’s new budget, which will include a 2.1 percent pay raise to all employees and council members. [Ashland Independent]

U.S. Senate Republican leaders postponed a vote on a healthcare overhaul on Tuesday after resistance from members of their own party, and President Donald Trump summoned Republican senators to the White House to urge them to break the impasse. [Reuters]

Deaths from drug overdoses continue to grow in Kentucky and, according to one foot-soldier on the front lines of the drug epidemic, that’s having a perverse and surreal effect. [Ronnie Ellis]

Mitch McConnell is a coward and you’ve known that for years. This is merely a reminder. Activists in wheelchairs protesting the Senate’s newly-released health care bill were arrested and dragged from outside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office on Thursday. [ThinkProgress]

The eight members of the Glasgow City Council who were present at Monday’s regular meeting and others in attendance, got to see a glimpse of the next few years at the Glasgow Municipal Airport – if things go according to plan. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Federal investigators are examining financial transactions involving Paul Manafort and his son-in-law, who embarked on a series of real estate deals in recent years fueled by millions of dollars from Mr. Manafort, according to two people familiar with the matter. [NY Times]

At the Gateway Coalition for Workforce Diversity meeting held Friday, Jason Slone spoke about the need for the coalition to work directly with business leaders in the community. [The Morehead News]

Every time President Trump tweets, journalists and Twitter followers attempt to analyze what he means. Intelligence agencies around the world do, too: They’re trying to determine what vulnerabilities the president of the United States may have. And he’s giving them a lot to work with. [WaPo]

A former Pike Deputy Judge-Executive who has been convicted in two previous animal cruelty cases is again facing charges, after Pike County Animal Control officers filed 100 misdemeanor cruelty to animals charges against him related to the finding of numerous animals at his residence, many of which were sick and some of which were dead. [H-L]

When news spread in Wayne County, Georgia, that Republic Services planned to dump toxic coal ash in their landfill, citizens and the local newspaper fought back. [HuffPo]

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Thank Repubs For Killing Health Care

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear sued Gov. Matt Bevin on Tuesday for the fourth time, claiming the Republican governor did not have the authority to dissolve and reorganize several state education boards to which Bevin appoints members. [H-L]

White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s first on-camera press briefing in over a week was full of non-answers and promises to “touch base” with President Donald Trump at a later date. [HuffPo]

Spoiler alert for Governor Dingus: hell doesn’t exist. If it did, most people with a brain would push to send him there. Not just because he’s painfully stupid but because he’s a hypocritical bigot. [C-J/AKN]

Several Senate Republicans are criticizing their own party for negotiating and writing an ObamaCare repeal-and-replace bill largely behind closed doors and without input from Democrats. [The Hill]

The old saying goes “It takes a village.” For Habitat for Humanity in Madison and Clark Counties, they saying is spot on. The volunteers, board members and homeowners alike have become the heartbeat of the organization that has continued to grow since the counties merged in 2007. [Richmond Register]

U.S. Democrats took to the Senate floor on Monday to throw a spotlight on behind-the-scenes efforts by the Republican majority to repeal former President Barack Obama’s healthcare law, known as Obamacare. [Reuters]

Attorney General Andy Beshear is again suing Gov. Matt Bevin, challenging the governor’s “unprecedented” use of executive orders to abolish and re-establish state boards. [Ronnie Ellis]

Ford Motor said on Tuesday that it would build its next-generation small car for American consumers in China rather than Mexico, where the automaker canceled plans for a new factory this year. [NY Times]

The Cave City City Council only had three items of business listed on the agenda for its special-called meeting Monday afternoon. One of those items was to consider the adoption of an ordinance regarding the city’s 2017-18 budget on second reading, but before the ordinance could be adopted Councilman Steve Pedigo questioned whether or not it was legal or illegal for the city to suspend its monthly contribution to the Glasgow-Barren County Industrial Development Economic Authority. [Glasgow Daily Times]

In Washington, the need to spin is strong. Which is why it’s so amazing that Senate Republicans aren’t even trying to spin their secret health-care negotiations as anything but: Yeah, this isn’t good. [WaPo]

This ought to melt your brain a little. “I am an eagle from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet,” said Rocky Adkins, Kentucky House of Representatives Minority Floor Leader. [The Morehead News]

Everything happened so fast as I walked out of the doctor’s exam room. I was tucking in my shirt and wondering if I’d asked all my questions about my injured shoulder when one of the doctor’s assistants handed me two small boxes of pills. [ProPublica]

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear is pledging to fight a proposed reorganization and restructuring by Gov. Matt Bevin of nearly 40 medical and professional oversight boards, which control the licensing of more than 100,000 professionals in Kentucky and investigate complaints against them. [H-L]

Senate Republicans apparently have decided the way to improve that “mean” House bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act is to make it even meaner, at least over the long run. [HuffPo]

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All Eyes Are On The Racist Elf Today

A person claiming to be high-profile fugitive Eric C. Conn told the Herald-Leader in an email that he had assistance escaping home detention on June 2. [H-L]

Donald Trump fired U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara the day after the prosecutor refused to return a call from him, Bharara said on ABC News’ “This Week” Sunday. Bharara said he viewed direct contact from the president to himself, as a law-enforcement official, to be an inappropriate breach of protocol and reported it to the office of Attorney General Jeff Sessions on March 9. “Twenty-two hours later, I was fired,” Bharara said. [HuffPo]

Attorney General Andy Beshear said Monday that his office is exploring whether the audit of the U of L Foundation shows crimes occurred. [C-J/AKN]

A second federal appeals court has ruled against Trump’s revised travel ban. The decision on Monday, from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, was the latest in a string of court rulings rejecting the administration’s efforts to limit travel from several predominantly Muslim countries. [NY Times]

Local attorney and former state Rep. Johnny Bell and a another person were arrested Sunday afternoon and each charged with fourth-degree assault (minor injury) after the Kentucky State Police was dispatched to Bell’s Barren County residence, according to KSP citations. [Glasgow Daily Times]

These are the terrorists you should fear, New Republicans, not people with brown skin. A Florida woman who believed that the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school was a hoax was sentenced to five months in prison this week for threatening the father of six-year-old Noah Pozner, one of the 20 young victims who died in the shooting. [The Guardian]

The Morehead State University Board of Regents approved the revision of two tenure policies during Thursday’s quarterly meeting. [The Morehead News]

Attorney General Jeff Sessions will appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee for an open hearing Tuesday, the committee has announced. [The Hill]

A recent grant awarded to Louisa will be used to put the city’s long-awaited riverwalk project in motion. The grant of $312,200 in federal funds was announced last week by the governor’s office. The walkway is part of Louisa’s “Rediscover Louisa” plan that focuses on renovating the city. [Ashland Independent]

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday struck down a gender distinction in U.S. immigration law that treats mothers and fathers differently when determining a child’s citizenship, calling such inequality “stunningly anachronistic.” [Reuters]

Luke Keith Jr., a graduate of Madison Central High School and Eastern Kentucky University, who served as publisher of newspapers in Laurel and Perry counties, died May 31 in Hazard. He was 72. [Richmond Register]

It’s called grift and Republicans are the kings of scamming their way to wealth. From Mitch McConnell to Donald Trump, it’s in their blood. [WaPo]

Corrupt jackass Kent Downey has died and taken his secrets with him. Kent Downey, a former state legislative aide who was at the center of a sex and gambling scandal, has died. He was 66. [H-L]

The Pentagon is distancing itself from Donald Trump over remarks he made on the United States’ relationship with Qatar. [HuffPo]

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Kentucky Republicans: Apparently Way Less Capable Than Kentucky Democrats – And You KNOW That’s Saying Something

If there’s one big question lingering here as a springtime lull takes hold of the Kentucky Capitol, it’s this: is the legislature going to overhaul the state’s tax code in a special legislative session this year? Leaders of the House and Senate are shrugging. [H-L]

Miss Lindsey Graham (R-Gurl.) said Tuesday that if “fully implemented,” Donald Trump’s proposed cuts to State Department funding would lead to “a lot of BENGHAAAAAAAAAAAAZI situations.” [HuffPo]

Kentucky needs to boost its pension funding about $700 million a year to responsibly tackle its crisis, state budget director John Chilton said Monday. [C-J/AKN]

PPL Corp. shareholders on Wednesday became what’s believed to be the first group of electric utility investors in the nation to successfully urge management to publish a report explaining how new climate change policies will affect the company’s bottom line. During the Allentown-based utility’s annual shareholder meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, more than 50 percent of shareholders voted in favor of a nonbinding proposal that asks PPL management to publish “an assessment of impact” that public policy changes and technological advances related to the 2016 Paris Agreement will have on the company’s portfolio. [Click this Clicky]

Richmond resident and 21-year-old Eastern Kentucky University student Drake Southwell was a recipient of the free and reduced lunch program all throughout grade school. [Richmond Register]

Allowing a photographer from the Russian state media into the Oval Office was an act of breathtaking recklessness. Or just straight-up corruption and treason. [Politico]

Greenup County schools will get less state money next year because of a dip in enrollment, but the funding cut won’t be enough to seriously hamper district operations, administrators said Tuesday. [Ashland Independent]

Senate Republicans are under mounting pressure to pass an ObamaCare repeal-and-replace bill before the congressional recess in August. While Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Garbage) is wary of committing to a specific deadline after the House struggled to pass a bill, the White House wants the upper chamber to hit the gas. [The Hill]

Rowan County Fiscal Court officially approved the 2016-17 operating budget last week; however, it didn’t pass with all four magistrates agreeing. [The Morehead News]

Donald Trump’s proposals to slash federal aid to the poor, the sick and people living in rural areas reflect conservatives’ demands for a smaller federal government but target many of the very people who voted for him last November. [Reuters]

The Chief Justice of Kentucky’s Supreme Court denied a local rule proposed by a Family Court Judge who does not wish to preside over adoption cases involving homosexuals because of “both procedural and substantive deficiencies.” [Ronnie Ellis]

The Faux News brand of Republicans – the Scott Jennings of the world who buy into this bullshit – are just disgusting. [WaPo]

A Tennessee man says he spent five years in jail for a murder he did not commit because a state police detective and a former Kentucky sheriff lied to protect a man who was related to the detective and had bribed the sheriff. [H-L]

“People think he’s a little crazy,” said Benedetta Alabardi, a pharmacist whose store sits a few hundred yards from St. Peter’s Square. “The first impression is that he’s crazy and dangerous,” said Orasti Gionti, a project manager for a telecommunications consulting company, who allowed for the possibility that Trump’s outrageous statements were an act. “Maybe he’s tricky.” [HuffPo]

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Kentucky Republicans Getting Hit With Reality

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Trump’s first major budget proposal on Tuesday will include massive cuts to Medicaid and call for changes to anti-poverty programs that would give states new power to limit a range of benefits, people familiar with the planning said, despite growing unease in Congress about cutting the safety net. [WaPo]

Kentucky’s public pension debt just got a few billion dollars bigger. On Thursday, the Kentucky Retirement Systems board of trustees approved more pessimistic assumptions about the investment returns for state pension funds and the growth of state government payroll. The board debated but delayed voting on a similarly stark set of assumptions for local governments and their pensions. [John Cheves]

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn is so far refusing to cooperate with the Senate Intelligence Committee, which has issued a subpoena for documents related to his interactions with Russian officials. [HuffPo]

The Louisville Arena Authority and the University of Louisville’s athletics department have regularly failed to meet deadlines on their annual payments under the Yum Center’s lease agreement. [C-J/AKN]

It looks like President Donald J Trump has finally lived up to everyone’s expectations. [The Guardian]

Just a reminder that Terry Holliday’s replacement, Stephen Pruitt, is as ineffective and self-absorbed as his predecessor. He’s traveling the state nearly every day to promote himself, pose for newspaper photo ops and to discuss “accountability” – which he absolutely cannot make a thing. If Matt Bevin wasn’t a worthless piece of dumb, he would have figured out a way to oust this shyster a long time ago. [The Morehead News]

A new account of what the Trump transition team knew about Michael Flynn’s problematic work for Turkey—and when it knew it—paints an even more baffling picture of Trump’s decision to install Flynn as national security adviser. The new details reported by The New York Times also further call into question claims by the White House and the vice president that they were unaware of Flynn’s work for Turkey until after he had left the administration. [TPM]

Ever wondered how you could tell Mike Harmon isn’t worth the air he’s breathing? He couldn’t find a problem with the KFC Grease Bucket in Louisville. Jim King and Jim Host have both been butthole deep in it and he couldn’t find a hair outta place. Hahahahahha. [Ronnie Ellis]

Media law experts and journalism advocates are sounding the alarm about President Donald Trump’s reported call to jail journalists for publishing classified information, saying the move amounts to “threatening to take away the right of free speech.” [MMFA]

This is what’s called press release journalism. Matt Bevin issued an executive order Wednesday to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Commonwealth’s emergency response system by reorganizing the Kentucky 911 Services Board. [Ashland Independent]

Investigators into Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential elections are now also probing whether White House officials have engaged in a cover-up, according to members of Congress who were briefed Friday by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. [McClatchy]

Remember this embarrassing racist? We’ve covered his bigoted ass extensively. A former Barren County judge-executive and lumber company businessman, David A. Dickerson, has been chosen by Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin to be a member of the newly formed state board to oversee 911 services. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Trump asked the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, to shut down the federal investigation into Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, in an Oval Office meeting in February, according to a memo that Mr. Comey wrote shortly after the meeting. [NY Times]

Gag a maggot. A former coal mining executive jailed for conspiring to violate federal mine safety standards has asked Donald Trump on Tuesday to resist attempts in Congress to enhance criminal penalties for coal executives who violate mine safety and health standards. Don Blankenship, who recently was freed from federal prison, also asked the president in a letter to re-examine a federal investigation into the nation’s worst coal mining disaster in four decades. [H-L]

The law enforcement investigation into possible coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign has identified a current White House official as a significant person of interest, showing that the probe is reaching into the highest levels of government, according to people familiar with the matter. [WaPo]

Michael Flynn, Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, vetoed a plan to attack the so-called Islamic State’s capital of Raqqa in Syria in January ― a position that aligned with the desires of Turkey, which had paid him $530,000 to represent its interests, McClatchy reported Wednesday night. [HuffPo]

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Spoiler Alert: KRS Is A Damn Disaster

Trump revealed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador in a White House meeting last week, according to current and former U.S. officials, who said Trump’s disclosures jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State. [WaPo]

Two US officials who were briefed on Trump’s disclosures last week confirmed to BuzzFeed News the veracity of the Washington Post report, with one noting that “it’s far worse than what has already been reported.” The official was referring to the extent of the classified intelligence information Trump disclosed to the Russian ambassador and foreign minister. [BuzzFeed]

Former Harlan County Sheriff Marvin J. Lipfird plans to plead guilty in a federal case in which he is charged with misappropriating about $25,000 while in office. [H-L]

Senate Republicans have spent the last 10 days or so promising not to tackle health care in the same hurried, irresponsible way that their House counterparts did. “We are not under any deadlines,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said last week, “so we are going to take our time.” [HuffPo]

Seems like only yesterday reporters at A Kentucky Newspaper were telling us there was nothing fishy going on at the Kentucky Retirement Systems. Within the next two weeks, Kentucky policymakers are expecting to get a clearer view of the dimensions of the state’s pension crisis. [C-J/AKN]

Another Republican scumbag. A liberal judicial advocacy group is raising the alarm over the corporate lawyer from Kentucky whom President Trump has tapped for the Cincinnati-based 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. [The Hill]

Clad in her cap and gown, Ashley Cook of Whitesburg looked out among the sea of faces Friday afternoon at Eastern Kentucky University’s Alumni Coliseum and smiled. [Richmond Register]

The top Democrat in the U.S. Senate said on Sunday that Democrats would consider refusing to vote on a new FBI director until a special prosecutor is named to investigate President Donald Trump’s potential ties to Russia. [Reuters]

A jury has convicted a former deputy jailer in Hazard for his role in violently assaulting a pre-trial detainee and willfully failing to provide necessary medical attention that led to his death. [Ashland Independent]

It’s neither false nor misleading to point out that Trump’s second nominee to lead the Army is a homophobic, transphobic bigot. [NY Times]

One of the biggest health care operators in Louisville is offloading four major hospitals and six physician group practices. [WFPL]

With one hasty and excruciatingly narrow vote, House Republicans have all but guaranteed that health care will be one of the most pivotal issues shaping the next two election cycles — including congressional, gubernatorial and state legislative races in the 2018 midterms and President Trump’s likely reelection bid in 2020. [WaPo]

Bullshit. AT&T is investing in its network in Kentucky because it’s being forced to by competitors. That’s only because Republicans (hey, Joe Burgan, Riggs Lewis, Scott Jennings!) and Democrats (Greg Stumbo) have allowed it and other telecom giants to stick it to the Commonwealth for years. [Business First]

It’s a great time to be an investigative journalist. Sure, no president has done more to demonize media than Trump. But nor has anybody done more to boost our standing than Trump. [ProPublica]

Kentucky’s tax collections rebounded in April after a disappointing March, but a budget shortfall of $100 million or more remains likely. [H-L]

The Trump administration must turn over a memo and other documents from a commission led by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani that is believed to have laid out ways to “legally” ban Muslims from entering the country, a federal judge ruled on Thursday. [HuffPo]

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McConnell Is Now Apparently Complicit

Mitch McConnell is now complicit in the Trump-Russia shenanigans. He yesterday rejected calls for a special prosector on the floor of the U.S. Senate. [CNN]

A mural at a Western Kentucky elementary school depicting two black children tending a garden while a tall white man plays a violin has upset some residents. [H-L]

Former President Barack Obama warned Donald Trump about hiring retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn during a meeting in November 2016, NBC and CNN reported Monday. [HuffPo]

A Louisville lawyer who heads the local chapter of the Federalist Society – a conservative legal group that has tried to move the national debate on gun rights and campaign finance to the right – will be nominated by Donald Trump to serve on the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. [C-J/AKN]

One of the most dangerous companies in the U.S. took advantage of immigrant workers. Then, when they got hurt or fought back, it used America’s laws against them. [ProPublica]

Federal lawmakers are moving ahead with a new approach to health care that includes changing the way insurers cover pre-existing health conditions. But the American Health Care Act that House Republicans voted to advance last week could bring back a program with which some Kentuckians may be familiar: high-risk pool health insurance. Until 2013, these high-risk pools operated in Kentucky and other states. And if the provisions of the final bill allow states to do away with coverage for pre-existing health conditions — which were made possible under President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act — they could be coming back. [WFPL]

From the moment the Republican-controlled House of Representatives approved a plan to overhaul the health care system, an onslaught of opposition to the bill has been focused on a single, compact term: pre-existing conditions. [NY Times]

“These are our neighbors needing help and our community partners who are in the trenches every day trying to meet the needs of kids and families,” said Kim Henderson, Gateway regional director. Henderson is one of fewer than 10 staff at Mountain Haven Emergency Shelter, which held its grand opening ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday. [The Morehead News]

When the state of Arkansas announced plans to carry out eight executions in an 11-day period in April, it drew intense international scrutiny that flared until well after the final lethal injection in the series at the end of the month. In part, this attention was fueled by the explanation, offered by state officials, that the timetable was necessary because the supply of one of the state’s lethal drugs was about to expire and authorities had to carry out death penalties for eight men convicted of murder before then. [WaPo]

The family court judge for Barren and Metcalfe counties who objects to presiding over adoption cases involving homosexual adoptive parents now concedes his general order recusing himself from all such cases is prohibited by the Kentucky Supreme Court. [Ronnie Ellis]

The Trump administration is so far ignoring pleas from both on and off Capitol Hill to denounce the suspected Russian-backed digital assault that appeared aimed to tilt Sunday’s French presidential election toward nationalist candidate Marine Le Pen. [Politico]

Wondering how to stick it to an already impoverished community of people? Here you go. This fiscal year, the Madison Fiscal Court is contributing $1.75 million in supplemental funds to operate the chronically overcrowded county detention center. Judge/Executive Reagan Taylor believes the county could recover nearly $790,000 of that if it charged inmates a daily $10 fee, in addition to the $20 booking fee it already charges. [Richmond Register]

Barely two days into crafting a new bill to roll back Obamacare, U.S. Senate Republicans were already on the defensive on Tuesday over the absence of any women in their core working group. [Reuters]

The attempted burglary of a statistics exam Tuesday by two University of Kentucky students wasn’t the first time someone had the idea. A similar case 30 years ago turned into one of the biggest cheating cases in UK history. [H-L]

Author Stephen King has been delivering chills for more than four decades with horror masterpieces such as “It,” “The Shining” and “’Salem’s Lot.” But King now believes there’s something more terrifying than anything he’s ever cooked up, and it’s living in the White House. [HuffPo]

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