The Republican Health Care Nightmare Is Real

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A Pikeville psychologist convicted of taking part in the largest Social Security disability fraud in U.S. history should serve 25 years in prison, a judge ruled Friday. [H-L]

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price needs to travel on private jets for his job because he is extremely busy, a spokeswoman said Wednesday in response to criticism that chartering flights is expensive and wasteful. [HuffPo]

This is the dumbest shit. Really? Trying to move it to Philadelphia? Who are these jackasses? The Muhammad Ali Childhood Home Museum shut down this week, less than two years after opening, one of the owners confirmed Friday. [C-J/AKN]

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered a rallying cry Thursday for the fight against climate change and an implicit rebuke to Donald Trump, who has announced his intention to pull the US from the Paris agreement to slow global warming. [CNN]

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear has contracted on a contingency basis with four outside legal firms to assist in investigating and perhaps suing drug manufacturers and distributors for promoting opioids which fueled a drug epidemic in Kentucky. [Ronnie Ellis]

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) signaled on Sunday that she is unlikely to support the latest GOP ObamaCare repeal effort, but said she hasn’t made a final decision. [The Hill]

Three Northeast Kentucky counties were among the ten counties with the highest unemployment rates in the state, according to the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics, an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. [Ashland Independent]

So dumb. The Trump administration on Friday reversed Obama-era guidelines on how colleges should handle sexual assault allegations that it said treated the accused unfairly. [Reuters]

Even as lawmakers appropriated too little money for Kentucky’s public pensions over 20 years, they gave away — or left uncollected — billions in revenue in the form of tax breaks and exemptions. [More Ronnie Ellis]

Trump criticized Sen. John McCain and misrepresented the latest attempt by Republicans in the Senate to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act on Twitter Saturday morning. [ThinkProgress]

The Housing Authority of Glasgow will give priority to natural disaster victims — including those affected by recent hurricanes — who are seeking temporary emergency housing for the next 90 days over those who are on waiting lists. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Washington Post-ABC polling released Sunday suggests that, even before Trump inserted himself into the NFL protests, most Americans viewed him as a president who was doing more to divide the country than to unite it. About two-thirds of Americans felt that Trump, despite his insistent rhetoric that the country needs to unite, was, in fact, driving Americans apart. About 3 in 10 said Trump had helped unite the country. [WaPo]

Attorney General Andy Beshear announced Friday that he will partner with four law firms to investigate and potentially sue drug manufacturers, distributors and retailers that contributed to Kentucky’s opioid abuse epidemic. [H-L]

Organizations from across the health care industry have come together on Saturday in a joint statement opposing the controversial Graham-Cassidy bill. [HuffPo]

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If You’re Praising Karpf, You’re The Problem

Wondering why Kentucky – specifically Lexington – is so constantly screwed? It’s because of the editorial board at the Herald-Leader. They fought tooth and nail to prevent any sort of coverage of the Michael Karpf corruption. They’ve intentionally fought coverage of the Montgomery County Schools nightmare. And they, despite the efforts of their journalists, have fought like hell to keep negative University of Kentucky stories from seeing the light of day. Claiming this man leaves any sort of positive legacy? That tells everybody you can’t be trusted. Disgusting. [H-L]

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made a rare, explosive address Thursday, two days after U.S. Donald Trump threatened to “totally destroy” the isolated nation if provoked. [HuffPo]

Tom Loftus has gotten so lazy, apparently, that it’s painful. If you don’t know what “Save Our Pensions” and Bridget Bush are up to? You aren’t even bothering to pay attention or you’re making shit up. [C-J/AKN]

As a longtime resident of Manchester, Guadalupe Hernandez is used to the chemical smells that waft through his southeast Houston, Texas neighborhood, a low-income, predominantly Hispanic community near a Valero Energy refinery. But when Hurricane Harvey blew in the weekend of Aug. 26, the stench became noticeably stronger for about five hours, a scent like “glue or boiled eggs,” he said. [ProPublica]

Even as lawmakers appropriated too little money for Kentucky’s public pensions over 20 years, they gave away — or left uncollected — billions in revenue in the form of tax breaks and exemptions. [Ronnie Ellis]

Paul J. Manafort, the former campaign chairman for Trump who is at the center of investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, is working for allies of the leader of Iraq’s Kurdish region to help administer and promote a referendum on Kurdish independence from Iraq. [NY Times]

If the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office couldn’t hold Kim Davis and her thieving daughter accountable when they had video evidence of crimes being committed? There’s no chance on earth they can protect an entire school from any sort of threat – real or imaginary. [The Morehead News]

In early June, Donna Bilgore Robins stood on a patio in Beaver Creek, Colo., under a crystal-clear blue sky and tried to catch her breath. She couldn’t. [WaPo]

Lawrence County schools are operating under a spending freeze until further notice, Superintendent Robbie Fletcher said. [Ashland Independent]

A U.S. judge on Thursday said he wanted to decide quickly lawsuits challenging the Trump administration’s decision to end a program that shielded from deportation children brought to the United States illegally by their parents. [Reuters]

A plaque describing the president of the Confederacy as a patriot and a hero could be removed from the Kentucky Capitol in an effort to give more historical context to the state’s monuments. [Richmond Register]

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price has taken at least 24 flights on private charter planes at taxpayers’ expense since early May, according to people with knowledge of his travel plans and a review of HHS documents. [Politico]

Federal officials did not do enough to look for rare and threatened species when evaluating a project that would include the most commercial logging in the Daniel Boone National Forest in more than a decade, environmental groups have argued. [H-L]

If you want to watch a rural community die, kill its hospital. After the Lower Oconee Community Hospital shut down in June 2014, other mainstays of the community followed. The bank and the pharmacy in the small town of Glenwood shuttered. Then the only grocery store in all of Wheeler County closed in the middle of August this year. [HuffPo]

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Longtime Con Artist, Bill Ryan, Finally Got Kicked In His Corrupt Ass But He’s Still Walking Free

Criminal charges continue to pile up for a former judge accused of rape and human trafficking in Northern Kentucky. [H-L]

Repeal of the Affordable Care Act is back on the agenda, with Republicans suddenly talking about a bill that, until recently, few people in either party had taken all that seriously. [HuffPo]

Jefferson County Public Schools has changed the way it instructs kids at some schools after a state oversight group found that the district was breaking state law by letting noncertified staff teach classes. [C-J/AKN]

Trump addressed a full session of the United Nations General Assembly for the first time on Tuesday morning. [The Hill]

Mammoth Cave National Park has seen an increase in visitors this year, according to MCNP Superintendent Barclay Trimble, who spoke during the Barren County Fiscal Court’s regular meeting Tuesday. [Glasgow Daily Times]

As deaths mount in America’s opioid crisis, communities on the front lines face a hidden toll: the financial cost. [Reuters]

A member of former Gov. Steve Beshear’s administration violated the Executive Branch Code of Ethics by soliciting other state employees for contributions to Beshear’s 2011 re-election campaign, according to the Executive Branch Ethics Commission. If anyone wants to know why Bill Ryan got investigated? Feel free to ask me. [Ronnie Ellis]

On Friday, Donald Trump told pool reporters he still believes former National Security Adviser Susan Rice did something wrong when she unmasked Trump administration officials late last year. [ThinkProgress]

A utility tax in the Greenup County School District could bring in from $750,000 to $1 million yearly and largely offset anticipated state budget cuts and additional pension expenses, the school board learned Monday. [Ashland Independent]

Hiking, yoga, reading, prayer, chardonnay (but not Xanax): These are the things, along with family and friends, that helped Hillary Clinton after her stunning defeat in the presidential election last year. But these are gentle pastimes. What about kicking things — or weeping? [NY Times]

From different states and opposing parties, West Virginia’s Patrick Morrisey and Kentucky’s Andy Beshear have joined forces to go after something all too common in Appalachia: the scourge of drug addiction. [Richmond Register]

This is what happens when you put stupid people in charge of the most important parts of government. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Sunday that the United States is considering closing the U.S. Embassy in Havana in response to mysterious hearing problems that have left at least 21 employees with serious health issues. [WaPo]

Six current or former members of a board that oversees a Fayette County farmland preservation program have received millions from the program, records show. [H-L]

In testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee originally scheduled for Tuesday, Donald Trump’s personal lawyer plans to insist he never colluded with Russia during the 2016 election and to outline the public scrutiny he and his family have faced. [HuffPo]

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Bevin & Thielen Are Both Horrible Men Responsible For The Ongoing Pension Disaster

Bill Thielen’s not wrong that Matt Bevin is a morally bankrupt piece of work. But he’s not wrong about Thielen being a con artist. Source: my ten years of coverage of Kentucky Retirement Systems. Probably hasn’t done anything criminal but absolutely exacerbated the problem and helped line his wealthy friends’ pockets. The same thing Bevin is trying to do now. [John Cheves]

The FBI recently questioned a former White House correspondent for Sputnik, the Russian-government-funded news agency, as part of an investigation into whether it is acting as an undeclared propaganda arm of the Kremlin in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). [HuffPo]

A fight has erupted over billboards at the newest highway entrance to Indiana. “Everybody’s got their attorneys,” said Steve Long, president of the Utica Town Council. “It’s David versus Goliath.” [C-J/AKN]

Republicans are beginning to drop like flies because they know it’s only a matter of time until their majority is lost for a century. [The Hill]

What Ronnie Ellis doesn’t tell you is that the amount being paid into the system by many municipalities is chump change. Local governments and school boards got some hard news Thursday from Kentucky’s state budget director: they’re going to have to pay more — a lot more — into the state’s public pension system. [Ronnie Ellis]

Shocked Florida residents returned to their shattered homes on Monday as the weakened Hurricane Irma pushed inland, flooding cities in the northeastern part of the state and leaving millions without power. [Reuters]

The Boyd Fiscal Court approved the list of property taxes and fees for 2017, and taxpayers can expect to pay more than they did a year ago. [Ashland Independent]

A new study shows that more than half of the country’s rural counties now don’t have hospitals with obstetric services. And women of color are being hit the hardest. [ProPublica]

A Morehead man was arrested on Labor Day this week after police accused him of cultivating marijuana. [The Morehead News]

How will Maggie Haberman fuck coverage of the opioid crisis up? She intentionally skewed Trump’s anti-LGBT behavior for nearly a year. There’s no telling how bad she’ll screw this up. [NY Times]

People need to get their shit in check. If your town is acting like it can’t afford its basic pension contributions? You need to show up at meetings and start raising hell. Make these idiots you’ve elected figure it out. [Glasgow Daily Times]

With Hurricane Harvey’s rainfall records and now Irma’s stunning combination of extreme strength and longevity, the hurricane-global warming debate is back in full swing. And it has evolved a good bit since 2005, when the United States was severely damaged by superstrong hurricanes (Katrina, Rita, Wilma). [WaPo]

This story is terrifying. A 5-year-old boy who just started school in Jackson County has been missing three days after his mother was thrown off a cliff and suffered multiple broken bones, a family member said. [H-L & Updated H-L Story]

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy on Monday put a temporarily hold on limits imposed by a lower court on President Donald Trump’s order barring most refugees from entering the United States. [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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Thomas Massie’s True Colors Shine

State legislators enjoyed a modest investment return in their public pension fund during fiscal 2016, but the struggling funds for state and local government employees and school teachers lost money on investments despite paying a combined $171 million in fees to financial advisers. [John Cheves]

Democratic leaders found themselves in the unusual position of being on the same side as President Donald Trump on Wednesday, reaching agreement on a plan to keep the government funded and raise the debt ceiling. [HuffPo]

Surprise! Thomas Massie is human garbage. Can’t wait til his family has to suffer something tragic so we can all withhold assistance. [C-J/AKN]

Facebook Inc. said it has identified about 500 “inauthentic” accounts responsible for $100,000 in advertising spending that it believes have ties to Russia, following a review of ad buying on the site in response to intelligence-community concerns about Russian activity during the 2016 election. [WSJ]

Woo, spending money Kentucky doesn’t have! Kentucky hasn’t changed its vehicle license plates in 12 years and John Mark Hack wants to change that — and the plates themselves. [Ronnie Ellis]

Russian election hacking efforts, wider than previously known, draw little scrutiny. Russians may have come closer to tampering with the outcome in key states than previously understood. [NY Times]

Even Matt Bevin, who has promised to fix Kentucky’s public pension system problems, said he didn’t expect enthusiasm from all corners about recommended pension reforms offered by an outside consulting group. [Ronnie Ellis]

The House on Wednesday approved $7.85 billion in Hurricane Harvey disaster relief, setting up a controversial legislative maneuver in which the bill is expected to be paired in the Senate with legislation raising the debt ceiling. [The Hill]

The Boyd Fiscal Court plans to join a tidal wave of counties in Kentucky and West Virginia partnering with a Huntington-based law firm to sue mega opioid distributors facing heat amid the deadliest drug overdose crisis in U.S. history. [Ashland Independent]

Fifteen states and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit on Wednesday challenging President Donald Trump’s decision to end protections and benefits for young people who were brought into the United States illegally as children. [Reuters]

Lori Strother was a military wife. But her world was turned upside down when her husband took his own life. [Richmond Register]

The attorney general mischaracterized Obama-era restrictions while citing a study that actually says new computers reduce crime more than heavy weapons do. [ProPublica]

Bloated bigot Scott Jennings loves to foam at the mouth when anyone points out environmental irony re: the hurricane. But when these pigfuckers come out and push nuttery? Jennings & Co remain dangerously silent. Can’t wait til their kids are old enough to be ashamed. [H-L]

Very few Americans outright regret their votes in last year’s election. But such regrets, new data reveals, are highest among voters who may now make up the most tenuous part of the base that swept Donald Trump into office: those who supported Barack Obama in 2012. [HuffPo]

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Bevin’s A National Embarrassment Again

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Many employees of Kentucky state government are headed toward the exits as Gov. Matt Bevin and the General Assembly debate the possibility of sweeping cuts to their pension benefits to address a massive funding shortfall. [John Cheves]

Surprise! I spent a decade preparing you for this Kentucky Retirement Systems disaster and now the mainstream media is trying to catch up. Better late than never. Now they’re trying to figure out how all of that is tied in with Matt Bevin. [HuffPo]

This David Yates case stinks to high heavens. That’s why he gets so animated and crazy when confronted over it. Because it’s a lot crazier than he’ll ever let on. Anyone who fully trusts him probably needs to reevaluate their life. I’m not saying N.C. isn’t a victim and that those two cops aren’t garbage humans with no business having badges but there’s a lot that’ll apparently never see the light of day. [C-J/AKN]

Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law and top adviser, wakes up each morning to a growing problem that will not go away. [Bloomberg]

Are better economic times ahead? No, they’re not. Not in Appalachian Kentucky. [Ashland Independent]

At least there’s Canada. For three months, the federal government has been secretly spiriting gay Chechen men from Russia to Canada, under a clandestine program unique in the world. [Globe & Mail]

You can thank Matt Bevin and the Republican Party of Kentucky for continuing to sink Kentucky’s economy. Madison County’s unemployment rate for July was more than a percentage point higher than a year earlier. Madison County is one of 99 Kentucky counties that saw their unemployment rates climb, according to data from the state Office of Employment and Training. [Richmond Register]

Yet another solid reason for impeachment. Special Counsel Robert Mueller has the draft of a letter that Donald Trump wrote to justify the firing of then-FBI Director James Comey, CBS News’ Major Garrett confirms, according to sources familiar with the White House and Justice Department process. The letter confirms what the president ultimately acknowledged days after Comey’s firing — that even before he received the assessment of Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton investigation from the Justice Department, he had already decided to terminate Comey. Originally, Mr. Trump and the White House said the president decided to fire Comey only after receiving the recommendation from Sessions and Rosenstein the same day. [CBS News]

More state workers retired last month than the year before amid concerns that the legislature and Gov. Matt Bevin (R-So Insane He Needs A Court-Appointed Guardian) will make changes to state retirement plans. [WFPL]

The Justice Department confirmed in a court filing there is no evidence that Trump Tower was targeted for surveillance by the Obama administration — contradicting Trump’s controversial claim first made in March. [USA Today]

Here’s what mouth-breathers like Walter Blevins Jr have been up to back in podunk. Fighting over yard signs and “free speech” as if any of that shit matters outside of Morehead. (It doesn’t even matter *in* Morehead.) [The Morehead News]

Robert S. Mueller III is teaming up with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in the investigation of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. This is extremely bad news for Manafort and others at the center of Mueller’s broader investigation into the campaign. [WaPo]

What on earth? No, the jobs aren’t here in Kentucky. There are low-end factory jobs but those are few and far between. There are not the kind of jobs that prevent brain drain or attract modern Americans to the Commonwealth. You can’t blame that shit on drugs. Dave Adkisson is part of the problem. [H-L]

Racism beams on high. Donald Trump plans to end an Obama-era program that protects young undocumented immigrants from deportation, according to multiple reports. [HuffPo]

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