What?! Tax Cuts Are Expensive?! Why…

A group that works against government endorsement of religion has renewed a complaint about prayers before Bell County High School home football games. [H-L]

If Vice President Joe Biden decides to jump into the presidential race, his decision will be driven, he has said in recent conversations, by a belief that Hillary Clinton’s background won’t allow her to be a credible messenger when it comes to income inequality, which Biden sees as a defining issue. [HuffPo]

An assistant commonwealth’s attorney resigned Monday, months after a circuit court judge dismissed one of his cases as a sanction for “deliberately” withholding evidence. [C-J/AKN]

From the Department of Things Ken Ham Wouldn’t Understand… German scientists have found an unusually long trail of footprints from a 30-tonne dinosaur in an abandoned quarry in Lower Saxony, a discovery they think could be around 145 million years old. [Reuters]

The Perry County Board of Education had a special called board meeting on August 13. The primary reason for the meeting was the consideration and approval of the of the 2015-2016 tax rates. [Hazard Herald]

A new probe that sticks to blood clots so they can be seen in a PET scan has proved successful in rats – and will be tested in humans later this year, according to researchers in the US. [BBC]

Attorneys who successfully challenged Kentucky’s ban on same-sex marriage have submitted a bill for more than $2 million in legal fees, court costs and related expenses. The state of Kentucky, as the losing party in the case, gets stuck with the tab under federal civil-rights law. [Ashland Independent]

A deal struck between drugmakers AbbVie and United Therapeutics Wednesday set a record price for a voucher that can be redeemed for a fast-track review of a new medicine by the Food and Drug Administration. [NPR]

As members of the Republican Party of Kentucky debated on Saturday whether to approve a rule change creating a presidential caucus in March — at Sen. Rand Paul’s request — one of the biggest selling points was that the caucus would help build the party. [WFPL]

The director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), who was appointed by GOP lawmakers earlier this year, said Tuesday that tax cuts don’t pay for themselves. [The Hill]

Sen. Mitch McConnell spoke to several Tuesday in Grayson County about the biggest issues in Washington right now. [WBKO]

There are signs that Jeb Bush’s fundraising juggernaut is losing some momentum, after banking a stunning $120 million for his campaign and super PAC in the first half of the year. [Politico]

Nothing but wasted time and money. The city of Somerset will drop a lawsuit challenging the state auditor’s authority to do special examinations of cities, Mayor Eddie Girdler announced Monday. [H-L]

President Barack Obama spoke candidly about his critics at a fundraising event on Monday evening. [HuffPo]

Monthly Receipts Were Rough-ish Again

General Fund and Road Fund receipts barely rose during the month of July.

Since stories like this always get lost in the media the day they hit, we think it’s often best to wait a day or two to rehash the numbers. So that’s happening now.

The General Fund rose 4% to $733.8 million and the Road Fund rose 1.8% to $127.6 million.

Highlights:

  • Individual taxes up 1.1%
  • Sales & Tax up 8.6%
  • Corporate taxes up 48.2%
  • Cancer stick taxes increased 10.6%
  • Property taxes fell 16.8%
  • Coal severance taxes dropped another 12.2%
  • Lottery revenue rose 3%
  • Motor fuels taxes fell a whopping 13.2%
  • Vehicle use taxes jumped up 25.3%
  • License & privilege taxes grew 11.2%

Ruh ro? Good things?

We’re only in the second month of the fiscal year, so there’s no way to know.

Click here (Warning: PDF Link) to review the full release from the state budget director.

Will A Republican Caucus Be A Thing?

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

In April 2005, President George W. Bush hailed “clean coal” as a key to “greater energy independence,” pledging $2 billion in research funds that promised a new golden age for America’s most abundant energy resource. [H-L]

Whatever eventually happens to Donald Trump’s candidacy — and he stumbled personally as a candidate here Thursday night — this much should be clear to America and the world after the first Republican debate: Trumpism is taking over a political party that will have a good chance to win the presidency in next year’s election. [HuffPo]

You think this DCBS retaliation is unique to Northern Kentucky? One social worker we’re aware of was targeted for holding people accountable. Teresa James actually sat in on the worker’s hearing — something that came about after their supervisor, retaliating against them, accused them of stealing a cheap camera… despite having a fancy phone and even fancier camera of their own. Retaliation is the norm. Period. [C-J/AKN]

In America, only the rich can afford to write about poverty. There’s something wrong with the fact that a relatively affluent person can afford to write about minimum wage jobs while people experiencing them can’t. [The Guardian]

If Sen. Rand Paul wants a presidential caucus in Kentucky, state Republican Party leaders want to see the money to pay for it upfront. [WFPL]

Mitch McConnell is discretely laying the groundwork for the fall’s budget negotiations, which promise to be a major headache for the new Senate majority leader. The Kentucky Republican has three priorities for the year-end talks that will dominate Congress starting next month. [The Hill]

Kentucky’s proposed Republican presidential caucus would be March 5 and candidates would only need 5 percent of the vote to qualify for delegates as the state seeks to woo the large field of contenders and their millions of dollars amid Rand Paul’s sluggish campaign. [Ashland Independent]

A majority of Americans, white and black, believe that more needs to be done to fight racism in the United States, following a year of protests over the treatment of minorities by police, according to a Pew Research Center survey released on Wednesday. [Reuters]

After thinking about it overnight, Republican candidate for state auditor Mike Harmon announced Thursday Jesse Benton will cut ties to Harmon’s campaign. [Ronnie Ellis]

This is why we can’t have nice things in rural America. How a little known agency mishandled several billion dollars of stimulus money trying to expand broadband coverage to rural communities. [Politico]

In a bold move, Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis filed a lawsuit Tuesday in federal court against Gov. Steve Beshear and Wayne Onkst, state librarian and commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Libraries and Archives. [The Morehead News]

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush was forced to backtrack after saying funding for female health was too high. [BBC]

A multistate law firm has stepped into the effort to represent hundreds of people in Eastern Kentucky facing the potential loss of their Social Security disability payments. [H-L]

Ohio Gov. John Kasich drew applause during Thursday’s Republican presidential debate for saying that he accepted gay marriage even though it was counter to his “traditional” views. [HuffPo]

Are Fayette County Schools Just Terrible?

In the 2013-2014 school year, Nicole Jenkins said, her then 8-year-old son witnessed a friend “being called the n-word on the school bus.” “Later that year,” Jenkins said, “he and a Hispanic friend were called the n-word. Finally, … he was called a baboon by a classmate” at Meadowthorpe Elementary School. [H-L]

After the Republican Party took a drubbing at the polls on Election Day 2012, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus ordered an autopsy. The party, the coroner’s report found a few months later, had alienated women and minorities and came off as plutocratic. [HuffPo]

Fire investigators have blamed the total loss of a General Electric warehouse on outdated Appliance Park equipment that failed when fire crews rushed to the scene April 3. [C-J/AKN]

The FBI on Friday announced the arrests in Oakland of two animal rights activists, Joseph Buddenberg and Nicole Kissane, and accused the pair of engaging in “domestic terrorism.” This comes less than a month after the FBI director said he does not consider Charleston Church murderer Dylann Roof a “terrorist.” The activists’ alleged crimes: “They released thousands of minks from farms around the country and vandalized various properties.” That’s it. Now they’re being prosecuted and explicitly vilified as “terrorists,” facing 10-year prison terms. [The Intercept]

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling that states must recognize same-sex marriages is roiling Kentucky and pulling in other parties who probably would rather stay out of the controversy. [Ronnie Ellis]

Consumers of organic foods are getting both more and less than they bargained for. On both counts, it’s not good. When will people quit it with pseudoscience and Ferd Berb wooery? Organic doesn’t equal magic and GMOs are not the devil. [Forbes]

This may be the funniest story of the entire 2015 campaign. [Kentucky New Era]

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter is due to meet with senior military leaders on Thursday to map out his budget priorities for the coming year, the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer said on Tuesday. [Reuters]

Glasgow Mayor Dick Doty announced at Monday night’s city council meeting the three finalists for the position of police chief. [Glasgow Daily Times]

All these articles act as if Rand really thought he had a shot at winning the presidency. And is it really a bad thing that he’s not trying to sell his rear end for campaign cash? Really? This all bodes extremely well for his U.S. Senate campaign. No, this doesn’t mean we’re fans. [Politico]

Seriously? This guy was arrested for shooting down a drone flying over his property? Most of you reading this would do the same damn thing and so would we. [WDRB]

Half of American adults had their personal information exposed to hackers last year alone. In a recent attack at the federal Office of Personnel Management, hackers stole the most sensitive personal data for 21.5 million people. [NY Times]

Lexington leaders from city government, education and business gathered Monday evening to announce their goal of obtaining accreditation from the National Safety Council as a “safe community.” [H-L]

After a group of GOP senators huddled Tuesday afternoon to discuss the recently released undercover “sting” videos of Planned Parenthood, Republicans unveiled legislation to strip the family planning provider of its federal funding. [HuffPo]

Beshear’s Big Budget Announcement

Here’s Papaw Beshear’s big budget announcement from the 21st:



Just remember that when anyone in Frankfort, Beshear included, tells you that there’s a budget surplus:

  • Kentucky’s pension system is the worst in the country. So bad that we’ve essentially stopped bothering to pay attention to it after years and years of being the only outlet to mention it.
  • WIC clinics have been cut by 50% in Louisville over a mere $800,000. Pregnant women, unborn babies and young children are potentially suffering over a tiny amount of government money.
  • Student aid has been cut at every turn, poor students turned away
  • TOLLS TOLLS TOLLS TOLLS TOLLS TOLLS TOLLS TOLLS! Tolls. Any questions about tolls?
  • Some school districts, like Montgomery County, have gone a loooong time without textbooks.
  • The Education Professional Standards Board has not only had to deal with an horrific board situation by most accounts (hey, Cassandra!), it’s also had to get by without a sorely needed influx of cash.
  • Jack Conway’s office has regularly had to make mega financial cuts.
  • Tornado-ravaged areas of rural Eastern Kentucky are still suffering, languishing, wishing they could be rebuilt.

Budget surplus. Ha.