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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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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Yep, RPK Bungled The Pension Disaster

This is Republican hype and nothing more. There are 120 counties and waaaay more municipalities and localities. It’s a drop in the bucket. [H-L]

The Dream Act, meant to provide legal status to young undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, is about to get significantly more official support in Congress. [HuffPo]

Unfortunately for the morally bankrupt Matt Bevin, he doesn’t get to decide what the legislature does and it can override him. He should probably shut his mouth if he doesn’t want to face the wrath of Frankfort. He can ask Paul Patton, Steve Henry, Wendell Ford, Julian Carroll, Ernie Fletcher, Greg Stumbo, Tim Longmeyer what happens when you’re a wretched person who refuses to shut up. [C-J/AKN]

The Senate on Thursday approved a short-term bill to fund the government and raise the debt ceiling despite frustration among Republicans about the deal that Trump struck with Democrats. [The Hill]

Thomas Massie doesn’t just look and act like garbage. He *IS* garbage. [Ashland Independent]

Monster Hurricane Irma has shut down oil terminals across the northern Caribbean, worsening a fuel supply crunch in Latin America which is struggling to meet demand since Hurricane Harvey disrupted shipments from the U.S. Gulf Coast last month. [Reuters]

Attorneys for Kentucky’s last abortion clinic said as a federal trial opened Wednesday that state regulators are using “onerous” rules to try to shut it down, predicting some women would “take the matter into their own hands” to end pregnancies if the state succeeds. [Richmond Register]

He’s so painfully stupid. Vapid. Dumb. Awful. Whatever you want to call it. That’s what he is. [Politico]

The Green River in Mammoth Cave National Park is open to river use, after having been closed last week in anticipation of heavy rains from Hurricane Harvey. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Sometimes an international offensive begins with a few shots that draw little notice. So it was last year when Melvin Redick of Harrisburg, Pa., a friendly-looking American with a backward baseball cap and a young daughter, posted on Facebook a link to a brand-new website. [NY Times]

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer called Thursday morning on the city’s police chief to examine his agency’s relationship with Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the wake of a story by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting. [WFPL]

Conservative lawmakers voiced their opposition to Trump’s deal with Democratic congressional leaders, arguing the three-month government spending bill that also raises the debt ceiling should not be passed because it does not include federal spending cuts. [WaPo]

Kentucky’s 3.5 million licensed drivers won’t be able to use their licenses to board domestic airline flights after Jan. 22, 2018, unless the state gets another extension to comply with federal security regulations approved in 2005. [H-L]

Facebook Inc said on Wednesday it had found that an operation likely based in Russia spent $100,000 on thousands of U.S. ads promoting divisive social and political messages in a two-year-period through May. [HuffPo]

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McConnell Bungled Health Care For Years

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Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes has once again declined to give detailed information about Kentucky voters to a committee President Donald Trump set up to investigate election integrity. [H-L]

Fun watching McConnell repeatedly lose on this front for more than eight years. Seven years of Republican promises to repeal the Affordable Care Act withered away to almost nothing on the Senate floor early Friday morning. [HuffPo]

Six years, five months and 11 days after she was sentenced to prison for trying to extort cash, cars and a house from University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino, Karen Cunagin Sypher’s sentence officially expire[d] Friday. [C-J/AKN]

If you read Jared Kushner’s statement to congressional committees looking for evidence of a crime, there isn’t much there. But if you read it from the perspective of the Russians trying to gain a toehold—or more—inside the Trump campaign, you realize how easy he made it for them. [New Yorker]

Newsprint is dying and there’s no reason to force government to subsidize it. Maybe it wasn’t Daniel in the lion’s den, but Kentucky Press Association Executive Director David Thompson surely felt outnumbered Wednesday as a committee of state lawmakers heard a line of public agencies ask for revisions in a state law which requires public notice of official documents in local newspapers. [Ronnie Ellis]

In an arrangement prominent ethics experts say is without precedent and potentially illegal, the White House is referring questions for senior presidential adviser Stephen K. Bannon to an outside public relations agent whose firm says she is working for free. [TIME]

State Rep. Jim Wayne is viewed by some as a liberal Democrat while state Budget Director John Chilton works for, what many view, as a pretty conservative Republican governor, Matt Bevin. But both agree on Kentucky’s fiscal situation: it’s a mess and growing worse and something must be done. [More Ronnie Ellis]

The Senate rejected a scaled-back ObamaCare repeal bill in the early hours of Friday in a shocking vote that marks a major defeat for GOP leaders and the seven-year effort to repeal the health law. [The Hill]

Kentucky’s economic outlook took another hit this past week as Moody’s downgraded the state’s bond ratings to Aa3 from Aa2 following the announcement the state failed to make its revenue estimates for the fiscal year and in light of its growing public pension problems. [The Morehead News]

The Republican Party’s seven-year dream of dismantling the Affordable Care Act came to what seemed like a climactic end early Friday, punctured by the Senate’s vote to reject a last-ditch proposal to repeal a few parts of the health law. [NY Times]

Bullfrogs croaked loudly at Sloan’s Crossing Pond at Mammoth Cave National Park on Tuesday night as biologists set up nets across the walkway surrounding the pond and in the nearby woods. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) played his hand on the Senate Republicans’ health-care proposal for the maximum political effect. It’s always the case that it’s the people who are wavering at the last minute who end up getting all the attention: Undecided voters, new car buyers, bachelorettes on reality television shows. In politics, though, there’s special cultural role acclaim for those who, at the last minute, do the unexpected — often while those who did exactly what was expected get little fanfare. [WaPo]

In an effort to increase wild ginseng populations on national forest lands, a ban prohibiting ginseng harvest in the Daniel Boone National Forest has been extended through the 2017 harvest season, from Sept. 1 to Dec. 1. [H-L]

Russia ordered the United States to cut its diplomatic staff by Sept. 1 and said it was seizing a dacha compound and warehouse used by U.S. diplomats in retaliation for new U.S. sanctions against Moscow. [HuffPo]

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Ken Ham Is Just A Modern Day Charlatan

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Christopher and Angelica San Martin were watching a basketball game in their Radcliff duplex one Sunday afternoon in 2012. During a commercial, Angelica went upstairs to use the bathroom. The San Martins’ 3-year-old son and 15-month-old daughter followed her to play in the master bedroom. [John Cheves]

Efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act ran into big trouble on Friday afternoon, when the Senate parliamentarian ruled that nearly a dozen key provisions of GOP repeal legislation violate special procedural rules that Republicans are using to pass their bill. [HuffPo]

Surprise! Bevin appointees just coincidentally say he did nothing wrong. So it’s time for appropriate parties to file lawsuits. Ethics are not a real thing in Kentucky. I’ve said it for a decade and it’s remained true. The Executive Branch Ethics Commission has dismissed two ethics complaints filed against Gov. Matt Bevin, the commission’s executive director confirmed Friday morning. [C-J/AKN]

So… things aren’t so hot for Donnie these days. This is scandalous as hell. [Bloomberg]

The company that is building a facility in Richmond to destroy the chemical weapons stockpile at the Blue Grass Army Depot has received approval from the Environmental Protection Agency to move and handle M55 rockets containing PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), a probable carcinogen. [Richmond Register]

The Russian lawyer who met Donald Trump Jr. after his father won the Republican nomination for the 2016 U.S. presidential election counted Russia’s FSB security service among her clients for years, Russian court documents seen by Reuters show. [Reuters]

The Kentucky Department of Education is seeking public comment on its request for a waiver on the number of students who can be tested using an alternate assessment on annual statewide Kentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress tests. [Ashland Independent]

Late one night in October 2015, North Dakota prisons chief Leann Bertsch met Karianne Jackson, one of her deputies, for a drink in a hotel bar in Oslo, Norway. They had just spent an exhausting day touring Halden, the maximum-security facility Time has dubbed “the world’s most humane prison,” yet neither of them could sleep. [Mother Jones]

The state of Kentucky is on the hook for nearly $225,000 in legal fees incurred by same-sex couples who challenged a Rowan County Clerk’s refusal to issue them marriage licenses following the landmark Supreme Court ruling allowing same-sex marriages. [Ronnie Ellis]

Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, resigned on Friday morning, telling President Trump he vehemently disagreed with the appointment of the New York financier Anthony Scaramucci as communications director. [NY Times]

Barren County Fiscal Court is having a special-called meeting at 7 a.m. Tuesday, and one of the agenda items is a first reading of an ordinance setting the property tax rates for 2017. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Russia’s ambassador to Washington told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues important to Moscow, with Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, contrary to public assertions by the embattled attorney general, according to current and former U.S. officials. [WaPo]

The Kentucky Tourism Arts and Heritage Cabinet has suspended an incentive agreement worth up to $18 million with a Noah’s Ark-themed amusement in Grant County because the park transferred its main property to a non-profit affiliate. [H-L]

It became pretty clear this week that Donald Trump doesn’t seem to know much about how the Department of Justice operates, or much about some of the people he nominated to key positions at DOJ. [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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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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