Poor, Persecuted Rowan County Clerk

With his campaign deep in debt, Republican gubernatorial candidate Matt Bevin is trying to make new friends among Kentucky’s well-heeled donor class. At a private reception in Lexington Monday night, Bevin joined Republican presidential candidate and Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, the Philadelphia 76ers’ Nerlens Noel and some of the state’s top political donors at an event organized by Lexington power couple Kelly Knight and Joe Craft. [H-L]

If you want to silence a black person’s pain, ask for forgiveness. We’re accustomed to our screams being hushed in the wake of tragedy. We’re accustomed to our grief being shoved aside in the rush to find mercy for those who have trespassed against us. [HuffPo]

Some media outlets are feigning surprise that superintendents can be suspended or fired. Almost as if it’s never happened, never resulted in revamping an entire school district, never led to the resignation of a commissioner of education. [C-J/AKN]

A fight over raising taxes has bloomed as the chief obstacle to passing a desperately needed multi-year transportation bill by the end of next month, raising the specter of a possible shutdown of highway programs. [The Hill]

After a series of judicial setbacks, Kentucky’s coal, utility and — for the most part — political interests won a significant environmental battle in the U.S. Supreme Court this week. [Ronnie Ellis]

The U.S. National Security Agency wiretapped the communications of two successive French finance ministers and collected information on French export contracts, trade and budget talks. [Reuters]

About 50 protestors bucked against the decision by the Rowan County clerk to not issue marriage licenses to neither same-sex nor opposite-sex couples during a demonstration on Tuesday. [Ashland Independent]

Justice Alito defends a lethal injection expert who did his research on drugs.com. The expert ended up prompting a back-and-forth between Supreme Court justices, who narrowly upheld use of a lethal injection drug. [Propublica]

Brian Meadows and Eddie Spears have had a very long engagement. Saturday they became the first same-sex couple to be issued a marriage license in Hart County. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Why do people believe myths about the Confederacy? Because our textbooks and monuments are wrong. False history marginalizes African Americans and makes us all dumber. [WaPo]

A steady stream of rainbow flags, signs supporting marriage equality and horn honks filled the Rowan County Courthouse lawn today. [The Morehead News]

The stupid is thick. A new bill introduced in the House of Representatives is pushing for new ways to combat California’s epic drought. But it’s doing so based on the premise that environmental policy — not climate change — is making the drought so bad in the state. [ThinkProgress]

Magoffin County Judge-Executive Charles “Doc” Hardin is seeking reconsideration of a decision that would force him out of office. [H-L]

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign on Wednesday announced a massive fundraising haul in the quarter that ended on June 30, further cementing her status as the clear front-runner in the 2016 race. [HuffPo]

Northern Kentucky Wingnut Freaks Out

Luke Barlow and Jim Meade of Bardstown met 48 years ago and married in 2009 in Iowa. But, as Barlow said 90 minutes after the Supreme Court declared their marriage legal in Kentucky, the two men had never held hands in public here. [H-L]

When President Barack Obama learned that the Supreme Court had rejected a major lawsuit against his signature health care law, White House photographer Pete Souza was there to capture the moment. [HuffPo]

Gov. Steve Beshear on Friday named Carol Martin “Bill” Gatton as an “honorary member of the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees for so long as he shall live.” [C-J/AKN]

The U.S. Supreme Court’s declaration on Friday of a right to same-sex marriage resolved a momentous question, yet the ruling left many others unanswered and is likely to spark future legal battles over gay rights. [Reuters]

Jail time was averted, at least for now, by an Amish father and son who refuse to pay fines for violating an Auburn city ordinance requiring owners to prevent waste from horses from falling on city streets. [BGDN]

North Carolina and Tennessee are the latest states to side with telecoms, which have long lobbied against allowing cities to become Internet providers. [ProPublica]

A Northern Kentucky clerk said no to all marriage licenses Friday after the U.S. Supreme Court declared that all states are required to marry gay couples and recognize marriages from other states. [Cincinnasti.com]

In Charleston, South Carolina, Civil War history and accounts of plantation life are a huge part of the town, and state, culture. An entire tourism business thrives off of showing visitors parts of this history – reenactments of Civil War battles, tours of mansions once owned by slave-owners, and staged scenes of home life for aristocrats of the period. It would be difficult for a culture that sees the Confederate flag as a symbol of Southern pride instead of slavery, not to manifest itself at school. [ThinkProgress]

In a rolling Kentucky pasture, the first few wooden ribs of a giant Noah’s ark tourist attraction have begun to sprout up. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

NPR’s Audie Cornish and Rachel Martin read the concluding paragraph in Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion in Friday’s Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage. [NPR]

Berea Mayor Steve Connelly and a group of local representatives have launched the Berea Age-Friendly Survey 2015 to gather public input on making the city more Age-Friendly. [Richmond Register]

Every single US state fails to comply with global standards for police use of lethal force. [Mother Jones]

Rand Paul is looking for big green from the marijuana industry. Paul, Kentucky’s junior senator and a candidate for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, is scheduled to attend a fundraising reception next week at the National Cannabis Business Summit and Expo in Denver. [H-L]

President Barack Obama is a major fan of Sir David Attenborough, the celebrated British naturalist and TV host who has created and narrated numerous science and nature documentaries for the BBC. [HuffPo]

Next Up: Big Gay Divorce Settlements

CHERRY ON TOP OF THE DAY: W. Keith Hall was convicted of bribing that mine inspector. He’ll be sentenced September 17. Faces a decade in prison. [Damn]

Former state Rep. W. Keith Hall, D-Phelps, took the witness stand Thursday in his bribery trial to acknowledge that he paid tens of thousands of dollars to the state inspector assigned to his Pike County coal mines. [H-L]

Love wins. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 on Friday that it is legal for all Americans, no matter their gender or sexual orientation, to marry the people they love. [HuffPo]

In a historic ruling reshaping the definition of the American family, the Supreme Court of the United States invalidated bans on same-sex marriage in Kentucky and other states, holding that gays and lesbians have the constitutional right to marry. [C-J/AKN]

When you flip on a light switch, odds are, you’re burning coal. But as the fracking boom continues to unleash huge quantities of natural gas, the nation’s electric grid is changing. [NPR]

The Boyd County Fiscal Court voted last week to file the audit for the previous fiscal year, which suggested problems with the body’s efforts to be transparent and organized. [Ashland Independent]

Republican presidential contenders face a dilemma when talking about racial issues after last week’s racially motivated murders at a South Carolina church, as a new poll shows many Republican primary voters are less likely to see the topic as important. [Reuters]

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. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Racehorses are continuing to get quicker, a study of winning times spanning 165 years of racing indicates. [BBC]

The Morehead-Rowan County Chamber of Commerce recognized Dr. Ewell Scott with this year’s Ora L. Cline Award, its highest honor. [The Morehead News]

The Federal Election Commission should just do its job already. [Mother Jones]

After struggling for years with a billing system that was created in the 1980s, the City of Hazard is finally moving toward a 21st Century way of billing its utility customers. [Hazard Herald]

In the 14 years since Al Qaeda carried out attacks on New York and the Pentagon, extremists have regularly executed smaller lethal assaults in the United States, explaining their motives in online manifestoes or social media rants. But the breakdown of extremist ideologies behind those attacks may come as a surprise. [NY Times]

Federal authorities are investigating controversial Floyd County attorney Eric C. Conn, according to an attorney familiar with the situation. [H-L]

Searches for “gun shop” are usually more popular than “gun control,” according to data Google Trends averaged from the past year. But in the 72 hours following the Charleston shooting, “gun control” was the more popular search term in 45 states. Only South Dakota, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and North Carolina saw more queries for “gun shop.” [HuffPo]

Fun thing: Attorneys can finally focus on making this thing happen again. Give us all your money so I can stop working 18 hours per day sometime in the future. [Just Do It]

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]

Why Rand Will Never Be President…

Despite criticism from some city commissioners, Frankfort Mayor Bill May intends to pursue an independent investigation into the capital city’s police department in the wake of an ongoing investigation into a bourbon theft/steroid trafficking ring. [H-L]

The stupid is on high with presidential candidates. Mike Huckabee joined the growing pack of 2016 presidential candidates skeptical about climate science on Sunday. [HuffPo]

The Kentucky Democratic Party benefited from a jolt of new out-of-state contributors in May – 14 executives of AT&T who combined gave $12,550 to the party in this crucial gubernatorial election year. [C-J/AKN]

GCHQ’s covert surveillance of two international human rights groups was illegal, the judicial tribunal responsible for handling complaints against the intelligence services has ruled. [The Guardian]

Members of the Richmond City Commission argued about funding for employee benefits and economic development in a Tuesday morning work session. But, they were all smiles in a called session Friday afternoon when the 2015-16 budget was adopted on final reading. [Richmond Register]

Many of the quotes attributed to the Founding Fathers in two of Rand Paul’s books are either fake, misquoted, or taken entirely out of context. [BuzzFeed]

Barren County Fiscal Court unanimously decided in a special-called meeting Friday to go back to the county’s former health insurance agent of record, Pedigo-Lessenberry Insurance Agency. [Glasgow Daily Times]

With the release of his encyclical “Laudato Si” on Thursday, Pope Francis made headlines for recognizing the threat of human-caused climate change. But the encyclical also called attention to the world’s oceans, affirming just how vital they are to “our common home.” [ThinkProgress]

Kentucky gubernatorial candidates Matt Bevin and Jack Conway lobbed barbs in their first joint public appearance on Friday. [WFPL]

The US State Department says the number of terror attacks around the world rose by a third in 2014 compared with the previous year. [BBC]

The Lexington Humane Society is asking for the public’s help in replacing their air conditioning unit. [WAVE3]

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said Monday that the Confederate flag near the state Capitol should be moved, reversing an earlier position she had held and adding a powerful voice to the growing chorus of calls for the flag’s removal. [WaPo]

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray said Monday that police are working hard to determine what was behind multiple shootings Sunday night during a basketball tournament at Douglass Park. [H-L]

We’re looking at you, Rand Paul, because you’ve known about this guy for ages. The leader of a white supremacist group cited by Charleston church murder suspect Dylann Roof made $65,000 in donations to Republicans, including several to Republican presidential candidates, The Guardian newspaper reported Sunday night.[HuffPo & TPM]

KY Obviously Needs More Campaign $

You won’t believe the wild horse shit flowing from a Louisville FOP president. It might blow your mind. [The ‘Ville Voice]

Rand Paul of Kentucky, running for president on a platform of keeping the government out of people’s business, took a deep breath when asked at a recent stop in Philadelphia whether he’d make addressing abortion a part of his campaign. Pander to bigots = you’re a bigot. [H-L]

American gun owners are far more likely to injure themselves or someone else with their firearm than to stop a criminal, according to a new study from a group calling for tighter gun control. [HuffPo]

The search officially is on for the leader of Kentucky’s Department of Education. Which, sadly, means next to nothing. [C-J/AKN]

The CIA did not know in advance that al-Qaeda’s leader in Yemen was among the suspected militants targeted in a lethal drone strike last week, according to U.S. officials who said that the operation went forward under counter­terrorism guidelines that were eased by the Obama administration after the collapse of the U.S.-backed government in Yemen this year. The officials said that Nasir ­al-Wuhayshi, who also served as ­al-Qaeda’s overall second-in-command, was killed in a “signature strike,” in which the CIA is permitted to fire based on patterns of suspected militant activity even if the agency does not know the identities of those who could be killed. [WaPo]

Independent candidate for governor Drew Curtis needs to get 5,000 signatures by Aug. 11 in order to appear on the ballot in November’s general election. [WFPL]

The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the right of the state of Texas to reject a specialty license plate featuring a Confederate flag. The case featured an unusual alliance in which Justice Clarence Thomas, known for his rigid ideological conservatism, teamed up with the court’s four liberal justices in a 5-4 majority. [Mother Jones]

When Audrey Haynes sat down before the legislature’s Medicaid Oversight and Advisory Committee Wednesday, she expected the data she brought would persuade lawmakers that Kentucky’s expansion of Medicaid has been good for the state. [Ronnie Ellis]

Rand Paul made headlines recently with his one-man effort to roll back government surveillance. And that’s the just beginning of Paul’s plan to dismantle big chunks of the federal government. [NPR]

The answer has been filed to a lawsuit against the City of Glasgow and its interim police chief that was filed last month by Glasgow Police Department Lt. Col. Guy Turcotte. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A state legislature’s strong environmental voting record can translate into real results for states, according to a new study. [ThinkProgress]

A special election to allow alcohol sales in Berea will likely take place in late September, according to Berea Mayor Steve Connelly. [Richmond Register]

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will call for tax credits for businesses that hire and train apprentices as a way to raise wages and boost youth employment during a campaign stop in South Carolina on Wednesday. [Reuters]

A Florida-based group is challenging in court a Kentucky law that bans corporations from making political contributions to candidates and parties. [H-L]

Deaths by drug overdose have been on the rise in the United States, with a majority of states recording increases from 2009 to 2013, according to a study released on Wednesday. [HuffPo]

Humana: Louisville On Pins & Needles

Eastern Kentucky University students would pay 2.9 percent more in tuition this fall under a proposal being considered by the EKU Board of Regents finance committee, which met Monday in Lexington. [H-L]

A Texas police officer has been suspended pending the outcome of an investigation after video surfaced showing one cop pulling a gun on a crowd of teens at a pool party while others handcuffed teenage partygoers. [HuffPo]

Humana has pulled out of a major health care conference and said it will not comment on rumors of a merger, actions that will likely fuel Wall Street speculation that the insurer is part of a developing deal. [C-J/AKN]

Republicans in Congress are worried the Supreme Court will hand them a major headache this month if it rules against the federal health insurance exchanges in more than 30 states, ending subsidies for millions of people. [The Hill]

Jack Conway, the Democratic nominee for governor, said Monday he’s committed to six joint appearances with his Republican opponent Matt Bevin prior to the November election. [Ronnie Ellis]

A summer of gridlock is bearing down on Washington, threatening to put an end to the burst of legislative productivity that kicked off Mitch McConnell’s reign atop the Senate. [Politico]

Dick Doty’s first proposed budget since becoming mayor made it through its first reading with the Glasgow City Council with no opposition votes, although he did receive a few suggestions. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Rising sea temperatures attributed to global climate change could drive many marine creatures away from the equator, but their move toward the poles promises to put them in peril in habitats that are smaller and less hospitable, scientists say. [Reuters]

It is unlawful for persons to fail to remove a political sign within 10 days after the election for which the sign is posted. At least that is what a Rowan County ordinance says. [The Morehead News]

China’s greenhouse gas emissions could start to decline within 10 years, says a London School of Economics report. [BBC]

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that it’s too early to intercede in a lawsuit challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed carbon dioxide limits for power plants. [WFPL]

After watching the biggest donors increasingly shun the major political parties and send their six-figure checks to super-PACs and other outside spending groups, Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress made a sly bid last December to bring billionaires and millionaires back into the party fold. [Mother Jones]

Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday told lawmakers Monday that state officials would work with Fayette County staff to develop a plan aimed at closing the achievement gap. [H-L]

The Texas pool party where a police officer pinned a screaming teenaged girl to the ground and pointed his pistol at others might have escaped notice if not for Brandon Brooks. [HuffPo]