Budget Boogeyman Is Coming In 3, 2…

Is anyone surprised? A year after state officials created a nationally recognized public-private partnership to build America’s best statewide broadband network, opponents are trying to kill it. Some telecom and cable companies that now provide Internet service around the state, along with several right-wing advocacy groups, are pushing legislators and Gov. Matt Bevin to rethink the project, called KentuckyWired. [H-L]

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday issued the first decision in a series of class action cases this term that are widely viewed as attempts by business interests to shut the courthouse door to consumers and everyday plaintiffs. [HuffPo]

This is fascinating coming from the newspaper that asked its arts reporter to prove her position mattered. Arts leaders and advocates are hearing reports that the state budget Gov. Matt Bevin is planning to reveal on Tuesday would eliminate the Kentucky Arts Council, which has a budget of $3.3 million. [C-J/AKN]

Water authorities across the US are systematically distorting water tests to downplay the amount of lead in samples, risking a dangerous spread of the toxic water crisis that has gripped Flint, documents seen by the Guardian show. [The Guardian]

On Thursday, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin announced his administration would seek an extension to comply with upcoming federal carbon dioxide regulations from power plans. [WFPL]

A Democratic presidential forum scheduled at the 11th hour will give Hillary Clinton one last chance to make her case to the Iowa voters as some polls show rival Bernie Sanders overtaking her in the first-in-the-nation caucus state. [The Hill]

The snow didn’t keep U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, R-Sixth District, from visiting Madison County on Wednesday. He addressed the Richmond Rotary Club and then toured the Hyster-Yale manufacturing plant in Berea. [Richmond Register]

Facing mounting bills and nervous creditors, U.S. farmers are beginning to sell off their crop stockpile – sometimes at a loss – and easing a months-long logjam prompted by the lowest grains prices in at least five years. [Reuters]

It’s become custom for Kentucky lawmakers to move at a near-glacial pace in the early days of a session until the filing deadline passes for legislative elections. [Ronnie Ellis]

A ProPublica analysis of political fundraising shows conservative House Republicans have less and less in common with their party’s leaders, whose donors sometimes more closely resemble those of Democrats. [ProPublica]

More than 7,000 Rowan Water Inc. customers received notice about a violation of a drinking water standard this week [The Morehead News]

Kentucky received $290 million in federal grants to build Kynect, of which $57 million has not yet been spent. Federal officials have suggested that the state should repay the $57 million. But surely a state that is willfully destroying an exchange that was working well should be forced to return the whole $290 million. [NY Times]

Preliminary estimates from a consulting firm hired by the city show the cost will be $175 to $200 million to build a fiber-optic network to increase sluggish Internet speeds and expand Internet access in Fayette County. [H-L]

President Vladimir Putin probably approved a plan by Russia’s FSB security service to kill former agent Alexander Litvinenko, who died three weeks after drinking tea laced with poison at a London hotel, a British judge said Thursday. [HuffPo]

KDP Needs To Clean House In Worst Way

Whatever Republican Matt Bevin has in mind for Kentucky’s health insurance reform efforts after he’s sworn in as governor Dec. 8, there are unlikely to be changes this winter while people enroll for their 2016 coverage. [H-L]

Ben Carson is truly crazier than anyone thought. Way crazier than Donald Trump. [HuffPo]

A daughter of “Breaking Cardinal Rules” author Katina Powell was cited for misdemeanor prostitution stemming from a 2014 incident, online court documents show. [C-J/AKN]

Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) has introduced legislation to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act introduced Wednesday by Sanders would end the long-time federal prohibition on marijuana. This is the first Senate bill to propose legalizing recreational pot, according to marijuana advocates. [The Hill]

Kentucky Republicans didn’t settle for Matt Bevin’s win in the governor’s race; the GOP scored a major upset with Mike Harmon defeating Democratic incumbent auditor Adam Edelen. [Ronnie Ellis]

ProPublica and Frontline reopen the investigation into a death squad run by former South Vietnamese military men that killed journalists, torched businesses and intimidated those who challenged its dream of re-starting the Vietnam War — all on American soil. [ProPublica]

The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office received a call around 5:45 p.m. Tuesday that Phillip Jent of Cold Springs Hollow Road off Christy Creek Road had been shot in the chest by his brother, Robert Jent. [The Morehead News]

After years of denying that American troops will deploy to Syria, President Obama has changed course and decided to send troops to help in the fight against ISIS, also known as ISIL or the Islamic State. [ThinkProgress]

The city of Berea had a very good financial year, according to the results of a recent financial audit. During a council session Tuesday evening, Jerry Hensley and Heather Cochran told officials the city increased its net value during fiscal year 2014-2015 by approximately $5 million. [Richmond Register]

Donald Trump has spent much of his presidential campaign bashing his GOP rivals as beholden to major donors, and, in recent weeks, he’s expanded his attacks to include three major donors in particular ― Sheldon Adelson, Paul Singer and the Koch brothers. But POLITICO has learned that Trump or his surrogates have sought to build relationships ― if not support ― from all three, calling into question the billionaire real estate showman’s repeated assertions that, because of his wealth, he has no use for major donors. [Politico]

Democratic leaders met in Frankfort Wednesday morning to talk about how they lost the Governor’s race and three other statewide offices, only winning Attorney General and Secretary of State. [WKYT]

The Rosetta spacecraft discovers molecular oxygen in the cloud of gas surrounding Comet 67P prompting a rethink on the origins of the Solar System. [BBC]

Offering harsh words for fellow Democrats, Kentucky Sports Radio host Matt Jones appeared to be of two minds Wednesday when discussing whether Tuesday’s enormous Republican victories in Kentucky will influence whether he runs for Congress. [H-L]

The U.S. electric sector is expected to hit its lowest carbon emissions since 1995 this year, partly due to the widespread closure of coal-powered power plants over the past five years, a Sierra Club report released Wednesday found. [HuffPo]

Interest In Matt Jones Grows By The Day

D.C. folks have reached out to ask about Matt Jones. Not once or twice but several times over the past few months.

If Jones decides to run against Candy Barr in the Sixth District, there’s going to be a lot of support for him. The kind of support Barr can’t afford to lose: voters aged 18-40ish. You know if he runs and does it right, no wussing out, no fears of mud slinging, stays honest about positions… you know he’ll clean up. Because a Democrat hasn’t run a straightforward race in that district in ages. I mean, who even ran against Barr in 2014?

Yes, yes, Elisabeth Jensen. But did you remember her name without struggling? Was it on the tip of your tongue? Did she have a team behind her that truly wanted to gut and skin Barr on the political battlefield? Nope. She was good but apparently not good enough to stick out in our minds.

“Oh, sure, it’s Democrats reaching out about radio boy!” You’re saying to yourself. But…. nope.

Republicans are also anxious over Matt Jones in a way that I haven’t seen since Ashley Judd contemplated running for office. That’s maybe a poor comparison because many of these Republicans would vote for Jones because they believe he’s genuine.

So… Could he do it? Could Jones beat Candy Barr? I think so. As long as he avoids the legacy Dems (the good old boys) in Frankfort. No Greg Stumbo, no Julian Carroll, none of the people worshipping at Wendell Ford’s grave. Those people need to be put out to pasture.

Pros:

  • He could raise a pretty penny. Anything he loses in the sixth he could make up for in the rest of the state.
  • Popular. Has that fancy radio program that all of the people who like sports things listen to.
  • Intelligent. He can spell, he knows the difference between Medicare and Medicaid.
  • Not a douche like Matt Bevin. Arrogant? Sure. When it comes to sports things. At least according to people turning a blind eye to everything Sexploitation University does (that’s UofL, if you haven’t been paying attention the last eight or so years). Just the kind of arrogance one needs to excel at politicking against a Washington mooch playing the role of faux countrified everyman wearing cowboy boots.
  • Brings in all the youngs and maybe some of the olds. The olds love people with conviction, people they feel like they can trust. Even though they love people who scare them waaaay more. Which is why I said SOME of the olds. Some of them.

Cons:

  • His radio show would probably die or suffer severely during a campaign and that would suck. For him and for listeners. If he wins, then what? People listen to the show to hear him. He could maybe do it in office but he’d also die from exhaustion.
  • He’d have to deal with Republicans coming for him. That’d be worse than UofL fans.
  • Jonathan Miller will probably try to hitch his wagon to him if he hasn’t already.
  • We’d have to hear about sports things for the duration of the campaign
  • It’s congress. What a horrible place. Running for re-election every two years is the devil.

Ugh. Never mind. Don’t do it, Matt. You’ll hate it and will probably die young from the stress.

Or do it. Because people like Candy Barr are so stupid and out-of-touch that they support folks Joshua Powell and still fear the gays. Just know that you’re gonna need to get a Xanax script.

JCPS Set Great Example For Rest Of KY

It wasn’t that long ago that U.S. Sen. Rand Paul declared that he had to win the early-voting state of New Hampshire to gain the momentum that would carry him to the Republican presidential nomination. [H-L]

Cat Kim, a recent graduate from Columbia Law School, had two missions this summer. One was studying for and taking the California bar exam. The other was preparing cases for immigrant women and children in Texas detention centers who, without the help of people like her, could be deported. [HuffPo]

Applause went up in the room Monday evening when the Jefferson County Board of Education approved expanding the policies of Kentucky’s largest school district to specifically protect students and employees regardless of gender expression and gender identity. [C-J/AKN]

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump blasted hedge fund managers on Sunday as mere “paper pushers” who he said were “getting away with murder” by not paying their fair share of taxes. [Reuters]

Big Blue fans of the University of Kentucky athletic teams had things to talk about besides asking “How about them ‘Cats?” Monday morning. [Ronnie Ellis]

The tip came in at about 7 p.m. on Monday, July 27. It was an email from a woman named Patricia Cronan, a banker who lived next door to a group home in Long Beach, California. She said the home, run by a nonprofit called Bayfront Youth & Family Services, seemed to be in a perpetual state of chaos. [ProPublica]

Rand Paul, even with the Kentucky GOP Executive Committee approving a March U.S. presidential caucus Saturday, maintained today that the U.S. Constitution provides him a way to run both for the presidency and a Kentucky Senate seat. [BGDN]

Earlier this year, social work student Coraly León arrived at her research assistant job at the University of Puerto Rico to find her salary abruptly cut in half due to budget cuts. [ThinkProgress]

Glasgow City Council took the final step at its regular meeting Monday evening in the selection of the city’s next police chief. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Confusion over the types of coal being burned in Chinese power stations has caused a significant overestimation of the country’s carbon emissions. [BBC]

Evarts City Council decided not to raise taxes saying “residents are struggling with a downturn in the economy and now is not the time to add to their burden.” [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

Same-sex married couples who were living in states that did not recognize their unions and who previously filed claims for Social Security benefits will be able to collect those payments, the government said on Thursday. [NY Times]

The University of Kentucky is opening its first office devoted full-time to the concerns of the LGBTQ community on campus. Created by UK’s Office of Institutional Diversity, the Office of LGBTQ Resources is aimed at creating a more inclusive environment for UK’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer population. [H-L]

The issue is far from over, but a new report found that hunger in America has at least dropped below pre-recession levels. [HuffPo]

Turns Out Hating People Is Expensive

HELP PROTECT OUR SOURCES! Stop the Montgomery County-Joshua Powell-Phil Rison insanity! [CLICK HERE]

The private attorneys whom Beshear hired to handle the state’s appeals have a $260,000 contract, of which $231,348 had been paid by July 20, according to state records. Total cost to taxpayers: $2,351,297. [H-L]

Fears of a China-led global economic slowdown drove Wall Street to its steepest one-day drop in nearly four years on Friday and left the Dow industrials more than 10 percent below a May record. [HuffPo]

Dozens of anti-abortion protesters Saturday called for the defunding of Planned Parenthood, waving signs decrying the organization’s “atrocities” and praying for an end to abortive practices. [C-J/AKN]

If you’ve followed the saga involving Joshua Powell and Montgomery County Schools? This episode of This American Life will send chills down your spin. [This American Life]

The state Revenue Cabinet filed a brief Tuesday with the state Board of Tax Assessment Appeals saying the Madison County Property Valuation Administrator and the county assessment appeals board failed to follow its “direction and advice” in denying tax exemption to the Grand Campus residential property leased by Eastern Kentucky University. [Richmond Register]

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Granny) is not a turtle. Ian Ziering of “90210” was in the movie “Sharknado.” And Sapphire from the movie “Almost Famous” is a “Band Aid.” [The Hill]

Glasgow’s next police chief, pending city council approval, said he believes in having a very transparent department. [Glasgow Daily Times]

President Barack Obama has been briefed on developments in global financial markets, the White House said on Monday after world stock markets plunged. [Reuters]

After heavy criticism emerged late last school year about the cleanliness of Williamsburg Independent School’s building — steps were taken to remedy the problems. [Times-Tribune]

The White House has hired its first openly transgender full-time member of staff, officials have confirmed. Raffi Freedman-Gurspan started working as an outreach and recruitment director for presidential staff on Tuesday. [BBC]

For the third time, Judge-Executive Walter Blevins proposed a longevity pay benefit for county employees. And for the third time, the motion died for a lack of second on Tuesday in Rowan Fiscal Court. [The Morehead News]

Ah, back-to-school season in America: That means it’s time for the annoyingly aggressive marketing of clothes, and for the annual warnings of a national teacher shortage. [NPR]

Kentucky Sports Radio host Matt Jones told his radio audience Monday morning that he is actively considering a run for the U.S. House of Representatives, and he will make a decision before the University of Kentucky’s basketball season starts. [H-L]

Rand Paul’s campaign is teetering on the edge, with the once-trendy presidential candidate telling fellow Kentucky Republicans that his chances of winning the 2016 GOP nomination are no better than “1 in 10.” [HuffPo]

Andy Barr Mansplains Silly Republican Budget

You wanna see (c)Andy Barr take time out from his busy day of being full of himself?

Yeah?

Here he his promoting the crazy ass Republican budget that focuses on the mega wealthy and ignores, you know, everyday Kentuckians:



Something tells us that Andy may want to take off his weird cowboy boots (WTF?) and familiarize himself with the term “sustainable” before using it in public again.

A Drug War Soldier Is Finally Calling It Quits

Elisabeth Jensen, a Lexington Democrat who ran for Congress this year, spoke with the Herald-Leader last week about that experience. [H-L]

And you wonder why homeschoolers have a bad rap. It’s because of ignorant wingnuts like this. [HuffPo]

Was the Clean Air Act meant to be a floor or a ceiling, a bare-minimum set of requirements upon which states can build, or cap preventing more robust action? [C-J/AKN]

New rules against racial profiling by federal agents will exempt officers in airport security and at border points of entry. [The Hill]

Mayor Jim Barnes and Susan Lillis, the city’s Section 8 Housing director, signed a commitment earlier this week to end veteran homelessness in Richmond. [Richmond Register]

A ProPublica analysis found that many health insurance plans offered in the federal Affordable Care Act marketplace are changing their benefits heading into 2015. [ProPublica]

Park City’s mayor-elect, Shannon Crumpton, has plenty on her to-do list for her first year in office. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Don’t forget that you have self-professed progressive legislators in Kentucky supporting this nonsense. [Think Progress]

One of the people loosely responsible for locking up hundreds of people in the silly war on drugs is finally retiring in Eastern Kentucky. [The Morehead News]

Does the media care about labor anymore? With the middle class still down in the dumps, the beat’s more important than ever. [Politico]

The number of Kentuckians who are “underbanked”—that is, people who don’t participate in the banking system—has increased. Nearly a third of Kentuckians (33.2 percent) are considered “underbanked,” according to a recently released report from Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. [WFPL]

An “awareness gap” about emissions from livestock could hamper efforts to curb climate change, a report warns. [BBC]

When one corrupt politician leaves office, there’s always an even more corrupt politician ready to fill their shoes. And his replacement swindled gobs and gobs of cash. [H-L]

The United Nations children’s agency UNICEF declared 2014 a devastating year for children on Monday with as many as 15 million caught in conflicts in Central African Republic, Iraq, South Sudan, Syria, Ukraine and the Palestinian territories. [HuffPo]