Matt Bevin Gets More Lost By The Day

New TV ads in Kentucky’s race for governor focus not on the candidates but on Democratic President Barack Obama. [H-L]

A bill that critics say would make any significant new regulation all but impossible easily passed the House Tuesday. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin has no idea who his opponent is. His campaign staff is so incompetent they aren’t even aware of the most basic opposition research. [C-J/AKN]

Civil libertarians are worried about an increasingly common form of domestic surveillance that has nothing to do with listening to your phone calls or reading your emails; it has to do with looking through your garbage. [The Intercept]

When a festival benefits the humane society, you can presume pets are welcome. [Richmond Register]

For seven years, a Wisconsin telecom consultant has waged an unsuccessful legal fight against AT&T, alleging that the company long defrauded a federal program by overcharging the nation’s schools and libraries for Internet and telephone services. Now an appeals court in the District of Columbia has given new life to his case. [ProPublica]

It’s not just Kentucky’s Legislative Research Commission that will pay to settle a sexual harassment suit brought by three LRC staffers. [Ronnie Ellis]

Rather than being an effective manifesto of all the arguments against recognizing same-sex relationships as marriages, it serves as a guide for just how weak this already-lost case is, and why continued fights — including the ongoing struggle over using “religious liberty” to justify anti-gay discrimination — will likely not prevail either. Some extremists in Frankfort have been talking about this book. [ThinkProgress]

Cave City Council met in closed session Monday during a special-called meeting to discuss real estate. Upon returning to open session, a motion was made to purchase “the real estate in question,” but the council voted 3-2 not to buy the land. [Glasgow Daily Times]

On the campaign trail, Jeb Bush has repeatedly emphasized his record overseeing Florida’s boom economy as the state’s governor. He says it’s an example of an economy that created a huge number of jobs and benefited the middle class — an example of what he could do as president. “I know how to do this,” he said in Maitland, Fla., on Monday. But according to interviews with economists and a review of data, Florida owed a substantial portion of its growth under Bush not to any state policies but to a massive and unsustainable housing bubble — one that ultimately benefited rich investors at the expense of middle-class families. [WaPo]

A grand jury has indicted Shepherdsville Mayor Scott Ellis on a misdemeanor criminal charge of solicitation to prostitution on July 28. [WHAS11]

A new study of veterans from the Vietnam War has troubling implications for troops who fought much more recently — in Afghanistan and Iraq. [NPR]

Courthouse Plaza Wednesday flared in the midday heat and fiery chants of a crowd that assembled in downtown Lexington to oppose Planned Parenthood and abortion. [H-L]

Russian government-backed hackers who penetrated high-profile U.S. government and defense industry computers this year used a method combining Twitter with data hidden in seemingly benign photographs, according to experts studying the campaign. [HuffPo]

It’s All Puppies & Rainbows This A.M.

Berea College received a National Endowment for the Arts Our Town award of $100,000 to help revitalize rural areas of Eastern Kentucky. [H-L]

The European Union approved the Iran nuclear deal with world powers on Monday, a first step towards lifting Europe’s economic sanctions against Tehran that the bloc hopes will send a signal that the U.S. Congress will follow. [HuffPo]

For so long, he searched for the word. To describe what he felt but dare not say aloud. To rationalize the thoughts that consumed his days. To understand why being Jennifer, despite his most fervent attempts, just didn’t feel right. [C-J/AKN]

Anthony Cruz leaned in over the low plastic table between us, his bony knees knocking its edges, his eyes wide and full of a happy urgency that felt out of place against the dull cement block walls of the jail visiting room. [The Intercept]

“Faces of Big Run” were scattered throughout the conference room at the Holiday Inn Express on Wednesday, telling stories of Big Run Landfill employees who appear to want to protect the site against negative public perception. [Ashland Independent]

Just like in Kentucky, where it’s good for the Beshear Family’s wealthy donors and not so great for everyone else. The global economy is improving. Just don’t tell many of the people who live and work in it. [CBS News]

Runoff from heavy rains in the Cumberland River Basin is pushing the level of Lake Cumberland upward to the highest point since the seven-year rehabilitation of Wolf Creek Dam was completed. [Richmond Register]

Seeking tighter controls over firearm purchases, the Obama administration is pushing to ban Social Security beneficiaries from owning guns if they lack the mental capacity to manage their own affairs, a move that could affect millions whose monthly disability payments are handled by others. [LA Times]

A former member of Glasgow Independent Schools’ board of education and former Barren County judge-executive has sued the school board over its handling of a property donation that resulted in a school’s name change. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Polar bears are the kings of the ice surface covering the top of the globe, but the ongoing loss of the Arctic sea ice on which they hunt seals is causing summer food deprivation that threatens these imposing white-furred predators. [Reuters]

At its regular meeting (last) Monday, Morehead City Council followed through on its agreement to amend the current fiscal year budget and restore $39,000 to the Rowan County Ambulance Service. [The Morehead News]

The military built another multimillion-dollar building in Afghanistan that no one used. In its latest report, the inspector general found that the U.S. military continued to build a $14.7 million warehouse after it knew it wasn’t needed, echoing an earlier investigation into an unused $25 million HQ. [ProPublica]

The power washer was spraying away another year’s worth of grime this week as residents of Fancy Farm prepared for the annual picnic at St. Jerome’s Parish, where Kentucky’s politicos flock on the first Saturday of August each year. [H-L]

A NATO airstrike hit two Afghan military checkpoints on Monday in a restive province east of the capital, Kabul, killing seven Afghan troops in what an Afghan official describes as an accident due to bad coordination. [HuffPo]

Remember Iraq? Still A Horrible Mess

About 550 engineers in the state Transportation Cabinet got raises averaging 20 percent last month in hopes of curbing high turnover and costly contracts for private engineers. [H-L]

Iraqi Shi’ite fighters and army troops made gains north of Falluja on Sunday but their efforts to seal off Islamic State militants in the city met heavy resistance, including suicide bomb attacks, army sources and militia fighters said. [HuffPo]

Aetna’s acquisition of Humana appears to be part of a merger frenzy as the five biggest U.S. health insurers look to get bigger. But any acquisition or merger of this proportion must overcome potential hurdles. [C-J/AKN]

Republican 2016 presidential hopefuls Scott Walker and Rick Santorum are suggesting a potentially controversial way to boost Americans’ job prospects: admit fewer legal immigrants into the United States. [Reuters]

The News-Enterprise has finally stopped discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation. [News-Enterprise]

When the official watchdog overseeing U.S. spending on Afghanistan asked the U.S. Agency for International Development recently for details about the 641 health clinics it funds there, the agency readily provided a list of geospatial coordinates for them. But when the office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) went looking for the $210 million worth of clinics, the majority of them weren’t there. [The Intercept]

Mitch McConnell didn’t offer a Commerce Lexington lunch crowd many surprises or much real news, but he offered a couple of insights into his own political thinking Thursday. [Ronnie Ellis]

New data on payments from drug and device companies to doctors show that many doctors received payments on 100 or more days last year. Some received payments on more days than they didn’t. [ProPublica]

Par for the course in the Beshear Administration but Democrats don’t want to talk about that. The hiring of a Kentucky cabinet official’s husband has been questioned by critics who say the hiring represents a conflict of interest and a misuse of funds that could be better spent on helping overworked and underpaid social workers. [WKYT]

Mitch McConnell is still an obstructionist but that’s something Republicans don’t want to talk about. [Politico]

Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul has fashioned himself as one of the fledgling legal marijuana industry’s greatest advocates on Capitol Hill. That’s why he’s in a prime position to ask cannabis business leaders for campaign donations. Last week, he did just that. [WFPL]

Bipartisan legislation that would make changes to No Child Left Behind will be up for debate in Congress this week. [ThinkProgress]

Let the racist bigots fly their flags. Makes it easier to identify people to cut out of your life. [H-L]

Hillary Clinton had an incredible response for a gay child who expressed fears about what his future might hold. [HuffPo]

SCOTUS Says Millions Keep Health Care

Pope Francis’ call for urgent action to combat climate change isn’t having much influence on members of Congress from the coal state of Kentucky, who are working this week to block the centerpiece of the president’s agenda to limit the greenhouse gases that are warming the planet. [H-L]

The latest and possibly the last serious effort to cripple Obamacare through the courts has just failed. On Thursday, for the second time in three years, the Supreme Court rejected a major lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act — thereby preserving the largest expansion in health coverage since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid half a century ago. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin used $800,000 more of his own money to fuel his successful stretch run in the Republican primary for governor. [C-J/AKN]

Britain has carried out drone strikes only in war zones in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. The documents raise the possibility that in addition, British intelligence may have helped guide American strikes outside conventional war zones. [NY Times]

Members of the Harlan Independent Board of Education voted to partner with UNITE and AmeriCorps in the creation of a position for what will be equivalent to a “teacher’s aide” at a recent meeting. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

President Obama hosts two active duty trans servicemembers at the White House as pressure grows to let them serve openly. [Politico]

Operating costs of the Madison County Detention Center for the fiscal year ending June 30, exceeded its budget by about $500,000. [Richmond Register]

U.S. President Barack Obama reaffirmed in a phone call with his French counterpart Francois Hollande on Wednesday Washington’s commitment to end spying practices deemed “unacceptable” by its allies. [Reuters]

Carter County USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Gera Ferguson, announced that the nomination period for local FSA county committees began on June 15, 2015. [Ashland Independent]

The U.S. military acknowledges the negative health effects of Agent Orange on Vietnam veterans — but what about their children? [ProPublica]

The Industrial Development Economic Authority board approved in a special-called meeting to create a new budget category and more money for park work in the city and the county. Executive Director Dan Iacconi proposed Tuesday to the IDEA board for Glasgow-Barren County to create a category in the operating fund titled drainage and erosion control related to Highland Glen Industrial Park. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Acting on climate change will have major economic, environmental, and health benefits, according to a report released Monday by the Environmental Protection Agency. [ThinkProgress]

Caitlyn Jenner’s presence on the glossy cover of the July issue of Vanity Fair magazine incited a powerful moment of visibility for the transgender community, including the one in Lexington. [H-L]

Medical marijuana has not been proven to work for many illnesses that state laws have approved it for, according to the first comprehensive analysis of research on its potential benefits. [HuffPo]

People Still Support That Racist Flag

“The Confederate Battle Flag means different things to different people, but the fact that it continues to be a painful reminder of racial oppression to many suggests to me at least that it’s time to move beyond it, and that the time for a state to fly it has long since passed. There should be no confusion in anyone’s mind that as a people we’re united in our determination to put that part of our history behind us.” [Mitch McConnell]

The University of Kentucky has twice violated the state’s open-records law since 2014, according to opinions released Monday by the Kentucky attorney general’s office. [H-L]

An Afghan family returning to their home after fleeing a possible military operation struck a roadside bomb Saturday in the country’s south, killing at least 12 of them and wounding eight, authorities said. [HuffPo]

Aetna Inc. has made a takeover bid for Louisville-based health care giant Humana, increasing speculation that one of the city’s biggest employers is about to change hands. [C-J/AKN]

With the U.S. Supreme Court expected to rule by the end of the month on whether same-sex marriage is legal, many Christian evangelicals say they would refuse to obey a decision allowing gay unions. [Reuters]

Under certain scenarios, a large percentage of Americans could subsist on a diet made up of mostly local food, according to a new study. [WFPL]

America earns $3 billion a year charging strapped college parents above-market interest. “It’s like ‘The Sopranos,’ except it’s the government.” [Politico]

The Governor’s Medal of Valor was presented posthumously to Delano G. Powell, a Kentucky State Trooper killed in the line of duty in 1965, at a ceremony held in Lexington Thursday. [Richmond Register]

Government forces in northern Afghanistan launch a counter-offensive against the Taliban after they took control of a key district. [BBC]

The Kentucky Community and Technical College System and Shaping Our Appalachian Region have a three-year strategic partnership designed to provide eastern Kentucky residents with the educational opportunities that lead to good jobs. [Ashland Independent]

If the court hands a victory to Republicans by ending subsidies for 6.4 million Americans, Republicans in Congress will be left scrambling to come up with a new game plan. Because they still don’t have a game plan. [ThinkProgress]

Bill Redwine, chair of the Rowan County Board of Education, announced at the regular meeting Tuesday that he is resigning effective June 30. [The Morehead News]

Nearly two centuries before Dylann Roof, the state of South Carolina conducted its own massacre of Emanuel AME Church members. Roof, who embraced white supremacy, killed nine church members Wednesday evening. The white supremacist-controlled state of South Carolina killed 35. [The Intercept]

C-SPAN will participate in a press conference on Monday with Lexington Mayor Jim Gray and Time Warner Cable representatives to announce details about its week-long visit to Lexington to report on Lexington’s history and literary life. [H-L]

On the morning of December 14, 2012, as news trickled in painfully slowly about a shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut, aides gathered in the White House to chart out a response. [HuffPo]

Ugh, Kentucky Could Be Hep C Central

In a study last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that hepatitis C cases across four Appalachian states — Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia and Virginia — more than tripled between 2006 and 2012. Kentucky leads the nation in the rate of acute hepatitis C, with 4.1 cases for every 100,000 residents, more than six times the national average, according to the CDC. [H-L]

American Pharoah has cemented his misspelled name among horse racing royalty, claiming the Triple Crown with his win at the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, a feat not done since 1978. [HuffPo]

American Pharoah blew into racing immortality Saturday, his 51/2-length victory over Frosted in the Belmont Stakes making him racing’s first Triple Crown winner since 1978 and only the 12th ever to sweep the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont. [C-J/AKN]

Mitch McConnell is denying there’s a shutdown on President Obama’s federal court nominees —despite comments the Senate majority leader made on Thursday indicating such a freeze. [The Hill]

A government watchdog says Social Security overpaid nearly half the people receiving disability benefits over the past decade. [WKYT]

U.S Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Friday he was working with the White House to prepare a proposal for Congress on closing the Guantanamo prison for terrorism suspects, a long-time goal of President Barack Obama. [Reuters]

The Glasgow City Council on Monday will consider the nearly $18 million spending plan proposed by Mayor Dick Doty for the 2015-16 fiscal year, which begins July 1. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Hawkish Sen. Tom Cotton was confronted by an anti-war activist on Friday, provoking a tense and awkward exchange about the United States’s role overseas. [Politico]

More than 1,400 athletes took part in the Kentucky Special Olympics Summer Games which were held this weekend at Eastern Kentucky University. [Richmond Register]

China is building massive databases of Americans’ personal information by hacking government agencies and U.S. health-care companies, using a high-tech tactic to achieve an age-old goal of espionage: recruiting spies or gaining more information on an adversary, U.S. officials and analysts say. [WaPo]

Trains are still at the heart of problems surrounding Big Run Landfill, according to county residents and officials dealing with issues at the waste facility. [Ashland Independent]

Chinese miners last year dug up 3.87bn tonnes of coal, more than enough to keep all four of the next largest users – the United States, India, the European Union and Russia – supplied for a year. [The Guardian]

The summer of 2017 will be the first time in 38 years a total solar eclipse will be visible from the contiguous United States, and Hopkinsville will be right in the middle of it. [H-L]

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) on Thursday called for ending the federal ban on hemp production in recognition of Hemp History Week. [HuffPo]

Morgan Co-Conley Meltdown Continues

First the Fredericks threatened the Herald-Leader with a lawsuit and then submitted this bizarre letter. What Daniel Frederick fails to do is realize that most assessments (something like 95.17%) by the PVA in Morgan County are spot-on. Specifically, from 2008-2012, all properties sold in Morgan County averaged out to be about 95% of the ultimate sales price. The state requires 90%. That’s pretty darn solid and the opposite of being grossly under-assessed. John Cheves didn’t mislead anyone. Pro-Tip: Daniel is the son of Joleen, former county attorney. And fun rumor: We hear the Fredericks pulled all of their money out of Commercial Bank when Standafer won the banking bid. So that’s fun. [H-L]

Militants attacked a remote guesthouse and killed nine Afghans working for a Czech charity on Tuesday, as a new report by a U.S. university warned that almost 100,000 people have been killed in Afghanistan since the 2001 U.S. invasion. [HuffPo]

University of Louisville trustees will decide Thursday whether parents and students will again have to shoulder a bit more of the school’s ever-inflating costs. [C-J/AKN]

Florida Senator Marco Rubio has one; Texas Senator Ted Cruz has one; even former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, considered a longshot for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, has a billionaire in his corner. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has two. [Reuters]

Attorney Ned Pillersdorf does not mince words about Eric C. Conn. He has called Conn’s actions “scheming,” “conniving,” and more, after hundreds of Eastern Kentuckians are seeing their Social Security benefits suspended due to suspicion of fraud. [Hazard Herald]

Turns out that Martin O’Malley, like every other politician, is a… politician. Politicians love to reinvent themselves. Clinton, Bush, O’Malley, Conway, Beshear, McConnell. They all do it. [Hullabaloo]

Routine business made up a large part of the Harlan City Council’s recent meeting for the month of May. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

Rand Paul, the man of the hour when it comes to pushing back against government secrecy, is throwing his weight behind a fresh push to declassify 28 pages from a 2002 Senate inquiry into the causes of 9/11. [TDB]

Meanwhile, both Jamie Comer and Hal Heiner continued to raise campaign funds. [WKMS]

While Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Granny) and allies in his party ostracize the junior Bluegrass State senator, Rand Paul (R-Cookie Maker), for opposing the Patriot Act, the American people lean far more towards Paul’s position than McConnell’s. [Politico]

With just a slight breeze, the smell of bourbon and whiskey wafts into the noses of visitors to the Bulleit Frontier Whiskey Experience. [Business First]

The Antarctic ozone hole would have been 40% bigger and a hole over the Arctic would have opened up if ozone-depleting chemicals had not been phased out, according to research. [BBC]

Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo is calling for a 140-mile extension of the Mountain Parkway from Prestonsburg to Beckley, W.Va., at a cost of $8 billion to $10 billion. [H-L]

College graduates, brace yourselves for some disappointing news. Wages for university grads are 2.5 percent lower than what they were 15 years ago, according to the latest edition of the Economic Policy Institute’s annual report on the labor market prospects of new workers. [HuffPo]