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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Eric Conn Is So Dumb It’s Almost Painful

Wondering how I know the Republican Party of Kentucky is in worse shape than the Kentucky Democratic Party? Tres Watson is dumb enough to make statements about conflicts of interest. Publicly. To mainstream media outlets. Probably a bit upset about people within the Office of the Attorney General allegedly probing the revelation that he and the Personnel Secretary were scheming to go through personnel files of Democratic holdovers from the Beshear Administration. [H-L]

This is why tiny racist, Rand Paul, is truly a monstrous little shit. It’s a real shame the Kentucky Democratic Party doesn’t have the guts to hit him deeply and personally – to really go after him in a nasty way. Because he deserves it. Really, his entire family and all of his enablers deserve it. From Jim Milliman to his DUI-getting spokesdrunk, Kelsey Cooper. He doesn’t believe Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act go far enough. That means he wants to harm Kentuckians more than the rest of the feckless New Republicans. [HuffPo]

Hold on to your wig, Jimbo, cause it’s coming! A decade too late. But it’s still coming and you’re going to hate it. The it of which I speak: Karma. Mismanagement and excessive spending may have cost the University of Louisville Foundation as much as $100 million — dwarfing the $20 million limit in insurance coverage on its officers and directors. The size of the loss may prompt the university to go after the personal assets of former President James Ramsey and others, according to legal and insurance experts. [C-J/AKN]

Under intensifying fire over its handling of the Russia investigations, the White House is shaking up its legal team, bringing on board a veteran Washington criminal defense lawyer just as another high-profile attorney bows out of representing a senior official who is in investigators’ cross hairs. [Yahoo]

Pointing to years of documented pollution from a Central Kentucky coal-fired power plant, environmental groups are suing Kentucky Utilities. The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in federal court in Lexington. [WFPL]

The Russian lawyer who met with Donald Trump Jr. and others on the Trump team after a promise of compromising material on Hillary Clinton was accompanied by a Russian-American lobbyist — a former Soviet counterintelligence officer who is suspected by some U.S. officials of having ongoing ties to Russian intelligence, NBC News has learned. [NBC News]

Boyd Circuit Judge David Hagerman on Tuesday ruled against a former Ashland police officer who had challenged the city’s decision to fire him. Larry J. Smith, Jr. was terminated by the city commission in February. The vote was 3-0, as Commissioner Marshall Steen was absent and Commissioner Amanda Clark, whose husband is an Ashland police sergeant, abstained. [Ashland Independent]

Almost two weeks before Donald Trump Jr. published screengrabs of purported emails indicating that he arranged to meet with a Russian lawyer, President Trump’s re-election campaign paid $50,000 in legal fees to the attorney now representing the president’s son amid ongoing Russia probes. [ABC News]

“There’s not enough Bourbon in Kentucky.” That’s how Kentucky’s Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes responded to a request from President Donald Trump’s election fraud commission to turn over personal information about Kentucky’s registered voters. [Ronnie Ellis]

From 2003 to 2012, the last year for which statistics are available, the number of babies born dependent on drugs grew nearly fivefold in the United States. Opioids are the main culprit, and states like Kentucky are particularly hard-hit: 15 of every 1,000 infants here are born dependent on opioids. [NY Times]

Way to go, New Republicans. Of 9,461 children under the age of 18 living in Whitley County along Kentucky’s southeastern border, 7,029 are enrolled in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program or CHIP. [More Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump Jr. is seeking to write off as a nonevent his meeting last year with a Russian lawyer who was said to have damaging information about Hillary Clinton. “It was such a nothing,” he told Fox News’s Sean Hannity on Tuesday. “There was nothing to tell.” But everything we know about the meeting — from whom it involved to how it was set up to how it unfolded — is in line with what intelligence analysts would expect an overture in a Russian influence operation to look like. [WaPo]

This dumb ass didn’t even have enough sense to change his hairline or pick up a lacefront wig. That is dumb. Just dumb. He’s apparently dumb enough to get killed before he can be arrested and thrown behind bars. Hopefully anyone who wants that con artist dead will allow the feds to get him so he can suffer in jail for the rest of his days. [H-L]

Republicans eager to justify the severe Medicaid cuts in their Obamacare repeal proposals have offered up a number of arguments. They say Medicaid doesn’t contribute to better health, or that it doesn’t offer value to its beneficiaries. They also say the proposed cuts would affect only able-bodied adults, sparing groups like low-income children that Medicaid has traditionally served. [HuffPo]

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Republicans Just Want To Kill Everything

Senate Republicans remain at an impasse over the bill to replace former President Barack Obama’s health care law, but it’s too early to call the GOP proposal dead, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul said Monday. [HuffPo]

In many universes, it would be strange for Rob Goldstone, a British publicist and globetrotting eager beaver whose life could easily be mistaken for extended performance art, to be at the center of a massive political scandal involving the president of the United States. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin can’t even spell “pension” or “tax reform” without having a bout of the gay panic. He also believes the earth is 6,000-years-old. [C-J/AKN]

A “biological annihilation” of wildlife in recent decades means a sixth mass extinction in Earth’s history is under way and is more severe than previously feared, according to research. [The Guardian]

When Republican Gov. Charlie Baker recently groused in a letter to senators that the GOP health care bill reining in Medicaid spending hurts “our lowest income” residents, he echoed a concern of many other governors. [Richmond Register]

The head of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement unit in charge of deportations has directed his officers to take action against all undocumented immigrants they may cross paths with, regardless of criminal histories. The guidance appears to go beyond the Trump administration’s publicly stated aims, and some advocates say may explain a marked increase in immigration arrests. [ProPublica]

An Ashland missionary on Sunday evening called for collaborative action to combat the scourge of addiction in the region, which has led to an explosion of drug overdoses in recent years, including at least 24 overdose fatalities in Boyd County alone in 2017. [Ashland Independent]

It’s a real shame Mitch McConnell will never be poor enough to have to rely upon Medicaid. He’s publicly claiming his health care legislation would not harm anyone on Medicaid. He’s lying. People could die because of his lies and his actions. [WaPo]

Dan Olsen has been named forest supervisor of the Daniel Boone National Forest in Kentucky. Olsen had been serving as the acting forest supervisor and assumes the permanent position in Winchester immediately. [The Morehead News]

Trump’s advisers recruited two businessmen who profited from military contracting to devise alternatives to the Pentagon’s plan to send thousands of additional troops to Afghanistan, reflecting the Trump administration’s struggle to define its strategy for dealing with a war now 16 years old. [NY Times]

Members of the Metcalfe County Fiscal Court learned Tuesday that financing for the construction of the new Metcalfe County Government Center has been approved. [Glasgow Daily Times]

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions will unveil this week a major crackdown on healthcare fraud involving opioid treatment programs, Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday, citing two people familiar with the matter. Republicans will do everything they can to make the opioid crisis worse. [Reuters]

In the six months since Charter Communications replaced Time Warner as the local cable provider, its Spectrum subsidiary has united Lexington’s people. Everybody hates Spectrum. [H-L]

What was that, again, Republicans? What was that about it being about history and not racism? A few dozen Ku Klux Klan members and supporters shouted “white power” at a rally on Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia where they protested against a city council decision to remove a statute honoring Confederate General Robert E. Lee. [HuffPo]

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Homophobia Harms Kentucky’s Economy

Could adding small units on lots with houses solve Lexington’s infill woes? Hell yes. Absolutely. Make tiny houses a thing! Even if they’re just accessory dwelling units. Get with the times, Kentucky. [H-L]

When the 10 members of Donald Trump’s Presidential Advisory Commission On Election Integrity met each other for the first time during a June 28 conference call, Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R), the panel’s leaders, made it clear they wanted the committee’s work to be unbiased. [HuffPo]

Bigots like Matt Bevin and Jeff Hoover need to get it through their gay-panicked heads that economic disasters like this will continue to occur as long as they push homophobia as their official platform. The Omni Louisville Hotel would have hosted the two conventions that reportedly pulled out of negotiations as a result of California’s state-funded travel ban, the company’s general manager said Saturday. [C-J/AKN]

The number of opioid prescriptions written in the United States has declined in recent years, according to newly released federal data, but the number of people who have fallen victim to fatal overdoses from prescription painkillers or heroin continues to rise. [The Hill]

Facebook users searching for the City of Ashland’s page won’t be able to find it, and the account will likely remain dormant until after a public information officer is hired. [Ashland Independent]

The U.S. Department of Energy said on Friday it is helping U.S. firms defend against a hacking campaign that targeted power companies including at least one nuclear plant, saying the attacks have not impacted electricity generation or the grid. [Reuters]

As a young boy, Alan Barnett’s parents gave him a metal detector. A toy, really. It beeped on anything from gum wrappers to pennies. One day as he was walking past a baseball field near his home, he saw a man with a metal detector, digging in the ground. [Richmond Register]

As Republicans in Congress work to roll back the Affordable Care Act, they and some states are proposing major changes to the Medicaid program. Researchers say these changes would cost millions their health coverage. [ProPublica]

Kelly McKinney, 29, of Glasgow, held a megaphone on the public sidewalk in front of the Barren River Plaza shopping center midday on Thursday and chanted along with a group of area residents. [Glasgow Daily Times]

After a prolonged recovery that culminated in two years of record sales, the American auto industry is slowing down, with fewer buyers in dealer showrooms and fewer workers on the factory floor. [NY Times]

Warren County has been selected to receive $46,857 in federal funds through the Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency under the Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in the county. [BGDN]

Iraq’s prime minister showed up Sunday in the city of Mosul to declare victory in the nine-month battle for control of the Islamic State’s former capital in Iraq, signaling the near-end of the most grueling campaign against the extremist group to date and dealing a near-fatal blow to the survival of its self-declared caliphate. [WaPo]

The head of Duke University’s physician practice plan will take over the University of Kentucky’s sprawling billion-dollar health enterprise, officials announced Friday morning. [H-L]

The final statement from Group of 20 leaders on Saturday exposed a divide between the United States and other G20 members on the Paris accord aimed at combating climate change. [HuffPo]

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Will Ramsey Ever Be Held Accountable?

Education will never, ever matter in Kentucky and corrupt fools like this will always remain in control. Unless you stop voting for the lowest common denominator. Vic Adams, president of Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, recently hired Texas community college dean Joel Michaelis as chief academic officer for its five campuses. [H-L]

On a solemn afternoon in December 2012, President Barack Obama broke down in tears in the Oval Office. It was the first time many of his aides had seen him cry. That morning, 20 students had been killed in a mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and like the rest of the nation, the president was shaken by the news. [HuffPo]

Karma’s a real bitch, Jim Ramsey. I was right about your crew in 2008 when I broke the Felner mess wide open. When you and your Democratic Party pals thought it’d be a good idea to retaliate, I knew I was right. And whattya know? Everything’s coming to light now. You’ll never be held accountable because you’re wealthy but at least you’ll die (not now, obviously – I mean when you kick the bucket years from now from natural causes) tainted and your family will forever be tarnished with your blood money. Same goes for your circle of supporters. Glad to see you assholes getting a healthy dose of Karma. [C-J/AKN]

Experts say the plan is certain to produce thousands of false positives that could distort the understanding of the potential for fraud, especially given the limited data states have agreed to turn over. [ProPublica]

Of course Matt Bevin’s band of merry idiots, Derrick Ramsey included, think they know what’s best in education again. [Ronnie Ellis]

Canada will issue an apology and compensation to former Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr for abuses he suffered while in prison, reports say. Canadian-born Khadr, 30, was convicted in 2010 by a US military commission of killing a US soldier in Afghanistan. [BBC]

The last meeting of the Glasgow Electric Plant Board’s board of directors occurred simultaneously with the final of three meetings of a community advisory council that was developing recommendations the utility should use for future electric-rate designs and educating the public about them. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A few Sundays ago, federal immigration agents walked through the doors of handsome houses here in the Detroit suburbs, brushing past tearful children, stunned wives and statuettes of the Virgin Mary in search of men whose time was up. If the Trump administration prevails, more than 100 of these men may soon be deported, like the tens of thousands of other people rounded up this year as part of a national clampdown on illegal immigration. [NY Times]

The Ashland Board of City Commissioners on Wednesday agreed to direct up to $4.5 million to business developers who plan to turn the Ashland Plaza Hotel into a Marriott-brand hotel. [Ashland Independent]

U.S. private employers hired fewer workers than expected in June and applications for unemployment benefits last week increased for a third straight week, pointing to some loss of momentum in job growth as the labor market nears full employment. [Reuters]

During an hour-long WFPL News special on Wednesday, city officials discussed public safety and surging violence in Louisville. [WFPL]

Nineteen Democratic state attorneys general are suing Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos over rescinded student loan regulations. [The Hill]

Developers signed a lease Wednesday that will allow work to start on the parking lot and boat ramp for the first new commercial marina on Lake Cumberland in decades, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. [H-L]

Even as controversy continues over President Dumpster Fire’s tweet of a video showing him beating up a personified version of CNN, a poll released Tuesday shows the cable news outlet edging him in trust among most Americans. [HuffPo]

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We Love Watching Frankfort Squirm

Guess who was paying attention! Fayette County Public Schools students who had been paying reduced meal prices will eat free in 2017-2018 under a waiver approved Monday by the school board. [H-L]

THIS is the crap Republicans like Matt Bevin and Scott Jennings are proud of. [HuffPo]

The short answer? No. Can food help reconnect a racially divided Louisville? [C-J/AKN]

If the most recent former president had ever done such a thing, Republicans would have revolted. Attacking one of the most successful and revolutionary businesses and one of the most respected media outlets on earth is treasonous. Trump on Wednesday attacked The Washington Post and its owner, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, for its coverage of him and his administration. [The Hill]

Bob Stivers and Jeff Hoover really think they’re untouchable these days and they’re apparently too stupid to realize just how risky that is. These two homophobes have no idea how much information people like me have obtained from being deep in their circles the past decade. My research file on Stivers alone is larger than the Kentucky Democratic Party’s file on all of the 2016 Republican candidates combined. I got to know their assistants, became close friends with their aides and directors, circled their political operations in their home counties, built trust with gobs of their colleagues (many of those colleagues oppose their positions of leadership), have developed a network of sources. I was there long before anyone else and took all kinds of heat from Democrats – from being accused of being a Republican (I’m an Independent) to dating Holly Harris. But you know what? I was there, putting in sweat equity to develop a realm of intelligence the KDP could never, ever envision. Yet these hucksters continue to run around like untouchable buffoons. They didn’t realize what I was doing for a decade. They’re still oblivious. And I was out in the open with it! Writing about it! Unreal. [Ronnie Ellis]

Without close family in the United States, Elly and her husband had few options for getting permission to immigrate to America from Iran. So when they won a U.S. government lottery last September for a so-called “diversity visa” allowing them to resettle in the United States, the couple was thrilled. [Reuters]

If Jeff Hoover is meddling with Transportation, you know something fishy is about to go down. Faced with declining road fund revenues and a decaying infrastructure system, House Speaker Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown, Wednesday appointed a task force to examine the need for roads and bridges and ways to finance them. [More Ronnie Ellis]

The government had planned to share data with researchers on patients enrolled in Medicare Advantage health plans. Then, suddenly, it didn’t. [ProPublica]

Matt Bevin is apparently too stupid to realize Bertram’s brother, Frank, also works for him. It’s not just about the wife of Bob Stivers. These people are painfully dumb. [Even More Ronnie Ellis]

Paul Manafort, who was forced out as President Trump’s campaign chairman last summer after five months of infighting and criticism about his business dealings with pro-Russian interests, disclosed Tuesday that his consulting firm had received more than $17 million over two years from a Ukrainian political party with links to the Kremlin. [NY Times]

Good. Louisville and Kentucky MUST continue to lose revenue while Republicans are legislative homophobic hatred. Hopefully entire economies will dry up to the point of no return so these backward-ass bigots like Bob Stivers and Jeff Hoover will be forced to reverse their nonsense. [WFPL]

A TIME magazine with Trump on the cover hangs in his golf clubs. So of course it’s fake. [WaPo]

Matt Bevin is the kind of guy who’d tell a homeless person starving to death to “get a damn job” and not give them a second thought. Kentucky’s Republican governor said he reluctantly supports the Senate’s plan to replace the Affordable Care Act and blamed its shaky prospects for passage on “mushy moderates” who “don’t have enough spine” to pass the bill. [H-L]

Trump administration officials on Thursday announced guidelines for implementing the president’s ban on travel and immigration from six majority-Muslim countries, which the Supreme Court decided to partially reinstate this week. [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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