Republicans Making Opioid Mess Worse

Attorney General Andy Beshear is exploring whether he has the authority to investigate details surrounding the purchase of a Jefferson County house where Gov. Matt Bevin’s family now lives. [H-L]

The Justice Department has appointed Robert S. Mueller III, the former F.B.I. director, to serve as a special counsel to oversee its investigation into Russian meddling in the election, Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein announced on Wednesday. [NY Times]

When Alice Lloyd made her way by horse and buggy to the mountains of Eastern Kentucky a century ago, doctors had said the sickly New Englander had little time to live. She was looking for a place with a warmer climate that might ease her health problems. Instead, she found her life’s purpose. [More H-L]

In a sweeping foreign policy address on Sunday, Chinese President Xi Jinping promised to invest in clean energy, build scientific coalitions, and support other countries’ efforts to adapt to climate change. [HuffPo]

The artwork is obviously offensive to many and it was a dumb move on the part of Steve Wilson and crew. But there have probably worse issues surrounding 21c through the past few years that no one’s gotten up in arms about. From methed out queens riding around on somebody’s Segway to… well… have you ever been? It’s just… Jesus H. [C-J/AKN]

The Trump administration called for tougher charges and longer prison time for criminals in a move to return to strict enforcement of federal sentencing rules, according to a memo the U.S. Department of Justice released on Friday. [Reuters]

In Appalachian states hit hardest by the opioid epidemic, the tough-on-crime policy announced Friday by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions runs counter to a recent emphasis on treatment and less prison time for low-level drug offenders. [Richmond Register]

Veterans of White House scandals from Watergate to Plamegate have an important message for Team Trump: It’s time to think about lawyering up. [Politico]

Honeylore Fields is in the process of decorating her new home. The house is a three bedroom, one bath with hardwood floors, and when she talks about it, she can hardly contain her excitement. [Glasgow Daily Times]

An investigation of Indiana’s school voucher program found that private schools are turning away special education students. [NPR]

Ever wondered what kind of slick bullshit people in Eastern Kentucky try to pull when they’ve got more money than the rest of the town? Here’s a good look. [The Morehead News]

The Environmental Protection Agency has dismissed at least five members of a major scientific review board, the latest signal of what critics call a campaign by the Trump administration to shrink the agency’s regulatory reach by reducing the role of academic research. [More NY Times]

Along a back wall in the Kentucky Exposition Center’s spacious south wing, 231 archery targets are lined up end to end. Competitors are lined up, too, aiming for the bull’s-eye and striving for a perfect 300 score. [WFPL]

Across Washington, Trump’s allies have been buzzing about the staff’s competence as well as the president’s state of mind. One GOP figure close to the White House mused privately about whether Trump was “in the grip of some kind of paranoid delusion.” [WaPo]

This is what happens when you let literal idiots appoint justices to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court says a Kentucky nursing home can require the families of two former residents to pursue claims against the home outside of court. [H-L]

Michael T. Flynn told Trump’s transition team weeks before the inauguration that he was under federal investigation for secretly working as a paid lobbyist for Turkey during the campaign, according to two people familiar with the case. [Even More NY Times]

Donald Trump might hate Alec Baldwin’s impression of him, but it sounds like at least one member of his cabinet thinks it’s great. The “Saturday Night Live” regular has revealed in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that an unnamed cabinet member told him at a New York City restaurant that his impression of the president was spot-on. [HuffPo]

One of the Trump administration’s first decisions about the fight against the Islamic State was made by Michael Flynn weeks before he was fired – and it conformed to the wishes of Turkey, whose interests, unbeknownst to anyone in Washington, he’d been paid more than $500,000 to represent. [McClatchy]

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David James: Quit It With The Dumb

Eight counties in Eastern Kentucky had the biggest decline in life expectancy in the country between 1980 and 2014, according to a study released Monday. Owsley County had the biggest drop in the nation at 2.3 years, or 3 percent, the study said, followed by Lee, Leslie, Breathitt, Clay, Powell, Estill and Perry. The other two counties with the biggest declines were in Oklahoma and Alabama. [H-L]

PEE ALERT! A geologist affiliated with the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter amusement park in Kentucky has sued the Grand Canyon National Park after it denied him a permit to test rocks that he believes are less than 10,000 years old. [Linda Blackford]

The top Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee has accused Donald Trump of obstructing investigators probing Russia’s efforts to influence the 2016 election by firing FBI director James Comey. [Financial Times]

Can we just call David James what he is already? No one else wants to because they fear retaliation from he and his wife, who does a lot of his bidding. (Source: She’s always the person who messages me when I criticize him.) He’s a fucking idiot. From his “fact finding” mission of going to a gay bath house (GURL, PLEASE!) and then getting all homophobic after he was caught/called out to his dumb stunts with Louisville Metro Corrections, he’s giving the term ‘idiot’ credence. Oh… and what about his days at LMPD? Or his time working for the Attorney General? The Julian Carroll investigation ring a bell? Or ignorantly believing he could be both a police officer and a Metro Councilcritter at the same time? Idiot. Metro Councilman David James’ request to determine how often inmates are improperly released from Louisville’s jail is being postponed by a legal opinion that suggests his request was improper. [C-J/AKN]

In an unusually personal speech, Janet L. Yellen, the Federal Reserve chairwoman, said Friday that policies making it easier for women to work could significantly improve the nation’s economic growth. [NY Times]

After years of coal industry decline, Kentucky has fallen from the nation’s third largest coal producer to the fifth. Federal data released last month shows the 42 million tons of coal the commonwealth produced in 2016 was eclipsed by Pennsylvania and Illinois. [WFPL]

The Environmental Protection Agency has sidelined a website aimed at teaching schoolchildren about climate change, a public watchdog group has determined, as part of the agency’s efforts to align online content with the new administration’s values. [WaPo]

The Richmond City Commission accepted the resignations of four police officers Tuesday night, and approved the hiring of another. [Richmond Register]

FBI Director James Comey is cleaning up testimony he gave to a Senate panel suggesting that former Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin forwarded thousands of potentially sensitive emails to her husband, former Rep. Anthony Weiner. [Politico]

A second Democrat has confirmed he’s seriously looking at challenging incumbent Republican U.S. Congressman Andy Barr in Kentucky’s Sixth District in 2018. [Ronnie Ellis]

Check out the list of words people came up with to describe Donald Trump in this long-trusted poll. [Quinnipiac]

The Boyd County Fiscal Court on Tuesday approved a measure to slice the seating requirement for restaurants to sell alcohol in half. [Ashland Independent]

The old saw that the cover-up is worse than the crime often obscures more than it reveals. But in the case of Donald Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, it carries an important element of truth. It escalates the administration’s Russia scandal, and, for the first time, provides indications of impeachable offenses. [Vox]

A couple of former Kentucky State Police troopers will investigate the 2013 death of a Bardstown police officer and several other area cases. [H-L]

As Republicans narrowly voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act on Thursday, their Democratic colleagues immediately warned that they would face electoral consequences, singing “hey, hey, hey, goodbye” on the House floor. [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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Bevin’s Housing Mess Isn’t Going Away

Not since Watergate. How else can one start an article about President Donald Trump summarily firing FBI chief James Comey? [Mother Jones]

A company that supplies natural gas to homes in Floyd County overcharged customers and must cut its price and make refunds, the Kentucky Public Service Commission said in an order issued Thursday. [H-L]

Los Angeles City Council just joined a growing number of American cities to pass a resolution pressing for an investigation into potentially impeachable offenses by Donald Trump. [HuffPo]

State government began working on security improvements to the Anchorage mansion where Gov. Matt Bevin’s family is now living in late October, months before the home was purchased. [C-J/AKN]

The U.S. Defense Department is finalizing a lease on a privately owned apartment in New York’s Trump Tower for the White House Military Office to use for supporting Donald Trump without providing any benefit to Trump or his organization, according to a Pentagon letter seen by Reuters. [Reuters]

Kentucky’s youth usually get a bad reputation, but a new report indicates that most students aren’t focused on shirking the rules of the administration. [Richmond Register]

When teaching hospitals put pharmaceutical sales representatives on a shorter leash, their doctors tended to order fewer promoted brand-name drugs and used more generic versions instead, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows. [ProPublica]

If somebody named Jim Tom in Eastern Kentucky is trying to remove members of a Planning Commission, you know something shady as hell is about to go down. Also, it’s Morehead, home of Kim Davis. While it’s a progressive little town? It’s still got quite a few good old boy holdouts. The community’s joint planning commission’s membership may soon be cut in half, according to Mayor Jim Tom Trent. [The Morehead News]

Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, has removed himself from some of the most contentious cases facing it, including challenges to the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan and a controversial rule related to the Clean Water Act. [NY Times]

The board of directors for the Barren County ambulance service taxing district met Charlie O’Neal, the new director of the Barren-Metcalfe County Emergency Medical Services, during their regular meeting Wednesday at the Barren County Government Center. [Glasgow Daily Times]

What started as a joke has turned into hundreds of applications to mail human ash to Republicans who voted to roll back Obamacare. [WaPo]

Yes, crime spikes in Louisville during the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby. Also, if you’re gonna write about law enforcement at Churchill Downs? Maybe put in the effort to get data and comments from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. JCSO had so many officers at Churchill Downs that individual horses had individual deputies assigned to them. Seems like that would be a no-brainer. [WFPL]

Eric Trump allegedly revealed in a 2014 interview that Russia funded the family’s golf resorts “all the time”. The President also reportedly told the same journalist that the family had “access to $100 million” for their newest course in North Carolina. [Independent]

A woman accused of threatening a Fayette County judge (Kathy Stein) and harassing an attorney appeared in court Friday. [H-L]

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach’s visit to the White House on Tuesday caused quite a stir, particularly after the former Republican congressional candidate and conservative columnist tweeted a photo revealing chief strategist Steve Bannon’s “to do” list. [HuffPo]

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Bevin In Charge = $113 Million Shortfall

A federal appeals court has reinstated a claim for damages against Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis for refusing to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples during the summer of 2015. [John Cheves]

In late August 2014, Tom Frieden, then director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, traveled to West Africa to assess the raging Ebola crisis. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin is so terrible at leadership that Kentucky’s going under again. Kentucky’s budget director is predicting the state will suffer a $113 million revenue shortfall when the state’s fiscal year ends June 30. [C-J/AKN]

The burden of substance abuse disorders can fall heavily on the families and friends of those who battle addictions. But society also pays a great deal through increased crime. Treatment programs can reduce those costs. [NY Times]

Surprise! The fat, old, white racists of the Bowling Green Daily News are still panicking over President Barack Obama and are trying to suggest he’s still gonna take yer guns. It’s this special brand of stupid that keeps Kentucky in the dark ages. [BGDN]

Trump on Tuesday called for a “good shutdown” in September to fix the “mess” in government. [The Hill]

Mary Beth Burkes lives in Buchanan County, Va., a depressed coal-mining region where 1 in 4 families lives in poverty and where her autistic son gets extra help in the after-school program at his school. [WFPL]

A pro-Donald Trump biker gang’s physical handling of protesters at a weekend rally could add to the president’s legal woes, with one attendee considering a fresh lawsuit as protesters already suing over violence at rallies last year plan to cite the recent events as proof of an ongoing pattern. A federal judge late last month ruled that Trump’s calls of “get ’em out of here!” may have constituted “incitement to riot” at a March 2016 rally in Louisville, Kentucky, at which three protesters allege in a lawsuit they were assaulted by Trump supporters. [Politico]

The sequel to a successful spy film will focus heavily on bourbon distilling, and Louisville-based Brown-Forman Corp. is taking advantage of the exposure. [Business First]

A Texas police department has changed a key detail in the shooting of an unarmed black teenager, amid mounting calls for the officer to be arrested. [BBC]

The University of Kentucky announced on Monday afternoon that Commonwealth Stadium will become Kroger Field. [WKYT]

African-Americans are generally living longer than in 2000, but health disparities mean they are still more likely to die at a younger age on average than whites, a federal study showed on Tuesday. [Reuters]

A federal judge has ruled that Lexington cannot enforce a recently passed ordinance that restricts where advertising and other unsolicited printed materials can be delivered. [H-L]

Sebastian Gorka, a deputy assistant to President Donald Trump who generated controversy for his alleged ties to a Nazi-aligned group, is expected to accept a new role soon outside of the White House, according to multiple reports. [HuffPo]

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Your Morning Dept Of Republican Insanity

Lil Matt’s pants are on fire. Matt Bevin refused Monday to say who owns the house where he and his family are living in Jefferson County. [H-L]

Many in South Korea are steamed at Donald Trump for saying their nation was once “part of China.” “This is clearly a distortion of history and an invasion of the Republic of Korea’s sovereignty,” Hong Joon-pyo, a conservative Liberal Korea Party candidate, said through a spokesman. [HuffPo]

Julie Denton? Really? The same piece of work who is such an incompetent human being that she couldn’t care for a dog? Aligning herself with Dave Mutchler makes it clear that she hasn’t changed her Frankfort ways. [C-J/AKN]

In January, the Trump administration quietly dispatched more than 400 temporary employees across the federal government. Now dozens of them are getting permanent jobs. [ProPublica]

In December when Congress passed the 21st Century Cures Act, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called it an important step in helping foster solutions for heartbreaking illnesses like addiction. [Richmond Register]

Hillary Clinton hammered the Trump administration’s rollback of LBGT protections Thursday night, urging advocates to voice their opposition at the polls during the 2018 midterms elections. [Politico]

Officials with the Southeastern Cave Conservancy Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to cave conservation, announced on Friday afternoon the purchase of the Daleo entrance to the Roppel section of Mammoth Cave. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Young LGBTQ Americans in the child welfare system, juvenile justice system, and in youth homelessness shelters face a lack of necessary protections in many states, according to a report released Monday by Lambda Legal, Children’s Rights, and the Center for the Study of Social Policy. [Fusion]

You can thank Matt Bevin and the Republican Party of Kentucky’s desire for Charter/AT&T cash for this boondoggle. Construction of a statewide broadband internet network in Kentucky has begun, but the project has been delayed and doesn’t have an estimated launch date. [WFPL]

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has been reworking student lending since her appointment in February, raising concerns among Democrats that she will undo former President Barack Obama’s overhaul of college financial aid. [Reuters]

Leave it to the fat (not just physically), white, heterosexual white men to mansplain racism to people of color at Western Kentucky University. And people wonder why Bowling Green draws racists like moths to a flame. [BGDN]

PEE ALERT! PEE ALERT! Donald Trump knows so little about, well, anything, that he thinks a 15 percent corporate tax rate is possible. [WaPo]

If Jim Host is praising something related to the Louisville Arena, you know it’s probably horseshit. Seems fitting being Derby time and all. [H-L]

The U.S. grew from a “backwoods country” to one of “greatest nations the world has ever known” thanks to science — but that pillar of America is eroding, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson warns. [HuffPo]

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Education: Not A Real Thing In Kentucky

US authorities have prepared charges to seek the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. [CNN]

The Kentucky commission responsible for investigating judicial misconduct has the fewest resources available to it in comparison to neighboring states, and before 2010, the commission was run out of its secretary’s basement in Lexington. [H-L]

Donald Trump is contemplating a new strategy to get repeal of the Affordable Care Act through Congress: threatening to torpedo insurance for millions of Americans unless Democrats agree to negotiate with him. [HuffPo]

The U.S. attorney’s office had decided it won’t prosecute Dr. David Dunn and two other former University of Louisville executives who were under investigation for allegedly misusing federal money for non-university purposes, their lawyers say. [C-J/AKN]

American corporations scored far worse than their European counterparts in the rankings, which were developed by the Geneva-based UN Global Sustainability Index Institute. [QZ]

Kentucky is one of the least educated states in the country, according to a recent study by WalletHub, a personal finance website that gathered data from the U.S. Census Bureau, National Center for Education Statistics, The Chronicle of Higher Education and U.S. News and World Report. [Glasgow Daily Times]

In case you missed it… A Russian government think tank controlled by Vladimir Putin developed a plan to swing the 2016 U.S. presidential election to Donald Trump and undermine voters’ faith in the American electoral system, three current and four former U.S. officials told Reuters. [Reuters]

A local environmental coalition is urging the state to include fence line monitoring of odor emissions in Big Run Landfill’s new air quality permit, which will be discussed Friday in a public hearing in the Boyd County High School auditorium. [Ashland Independent]

The Muscogee County School Board in Columbus, Georgia, dealt another blow to embattled Camelot Education when it voted Monday night to delay for three months a decision on whether to hire the company to run its alternative education programs. The delay in awarding the $6.4 million annual contract comes in the wake of a recent report by ProPublica and Slate that more than a dozen Camelot students were allegedly shoved, beaten or thrown by staff members — incidents almost always referred to as “slamming.” [ProPublica]

The Berea City Council adopted a resolution denouncing acts of discrimination, violence and harassment in city limits and greater Madison County. Council member Billy Wooten stated the measure was partly in response to a recent incident in which a county resident’s property was vandalized with homophobic graffiti. [Richmond Register]

Donald Trump has yet to nominate the State Department official who oversees diplomatic security abroad — despite having made the 2012 Benghazi attacks a centerpiece of his campaign against Hillary Clinton. [Politico]

A researcher at the University of Louisville wants to know whether coal ash is in homes in Southwest Louisville and how it’s potentially affecting the children living there. [WFPL]

The March for Science is not a partisan event. But it’s political. That’s the recurring message of the organizers, who insist that this is a line the scientific community and its supporters will be able to walk. It may prove too delicate a distinction, though, when people show up in droves on Saturday with their signs and their passions. [WaPo]

Attorney General Andy Beshear on Wednesday announced a settlement with Kentucky Utilities and Louisville Gas & Electric that would reduce a large rate increase the companies requested in November. It also would shelve the utilities’ controversial plan to more than double the fixed monthly charge that all customers must pay, regardless of how much electricity they use. [John Cheves]

Stephen Miller, a senior adviser to President Donald Trump, is now working on women’s issues in the White House despite having once forcefully argued against paid maternity leave and equal pay legislation, according to unnamed White House officials. [HuffPo]

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