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]

There’s A Literal Stink In Bullitt County

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A group of University of Kentucky trustees upheld the proposed revocation of a longtime surgeon’s clinical privileges Monday but modified the decision to allow him access to campus as a tenured professor. [H-L]

Fast-food workers who are hoping to raise the minimum wage will find an ally in the Obama White House this week, with Labor Secretary Tom Perez traveling to Detroit on Tuesday to show his solidarity with the so-called Fight for $15. [HuffPo]

The owner of a failed private wastewater treatment plant that serves more than 700 homes in Bullitt County filed papers late Friday to walk away from the system that’s caused raw sewage to flow into a tributary of popular Floyds Fork for 17 months since a massive tank breakdown. [C-J/AKN]

A U.S. appeals court said the Federal Trade Commission has authority to regulate corporate cybersecurity, and may pursue a lawsuit accusing hotel operator Wyndham Worldwide Corp of failing to properly safeguard consumers’ information. [Reuters]

Berea Mayor Steve Connelly called for changes in city personnel policy after several police officers questioned the fairness of recent salary increases. At the Berea City Council meeting Tuesday, Connelly proposed revising the procedure for employee evaluation and awarding raises. [Richmond Register]

It’s now or never for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. That appears to be the view of his wealthy super-PAC backers, who are spending fast and hard to keep Christie in contention for the Republican presidential nomination. [The Hill]

A company offered a proposal to Barren County Fiscal Court on Tuesday to allow it to do a free evaluation of the county’s energy efficiency. [Glasgow Daily Times]

There’s an old saying in journalism that there are no new stories, everything’s been done before, ProPublica’s Joe Sexton says. But when he came across “The Outlaw Ocean,” investigative reporter Ian Urbina’s latest series for The New York Times, he couldn’t help but be “genuinely jealous” of the intriguing, outrageous world he uncovered. [ProPublica]

An Ashland man who until recently lived in Medellin, Colombia, is among defendants accused of selling millions of dollars worth of untaxed cigarettes from a Russell storefront. David White, who is free on bond and living with a friend in Ashland pending his January trial date, posted information about his arrest and alleged part in the cigarette scheme on Facebook and spoke on Friday to a reporter from The Independent. [Ashland Independent]

Scientists in the US have found a way to take carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air and make carbon nanofibres, a valuable manufacturing material. [BBC]

Rowan Fiscal Court agreed Tuesday to an inter-local agreement with the City of Morehead to form a city-county recreation commission. [The Morehead News]

After her two leading rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination became targets of the Black Lives Matter movement, Hillary Clinton came armed with policy arguments when she met with members of the African-American activist group last week. [Mother Jones]

Mathieux Saint Fleur has been virtually blind for two decades. In less than 24 hours, he will see again. [H-L]

Students in America’s schools are much, much poorer than they were nine years ago. In 2006, 31 percent of America’s students attended schools in “high-poverty” districts, meaning that 20 percent or more of the district’s students lived below the federal poverty line. [HuffPo]

Campaign Craziness Kicks Into Gear

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Even while fighting blindness in the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere this week, Republican presidential contender Rand Paul intensified political attacks against rivals in both parties, vowing to continue pressing billionaire businessman Donald Trump in particular as the Kentucky senator embraces the role as the GOP’s leading pit bull. [H-L]

Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush said Tuesday that the government should have broad surveillance powers of Americans and private technology firms should cooperate better with intelligence agencies to help combat “evildoers.” [HuffPo]

In a high-profile report issued in 2010, then-state Auditor Crit Luallen rebuked Passport Health Plan for wasteful spending of Medicaid funds on things like lobbying, travel, public relations, donations and sponsorships. But in May of this year, Passport made a $25,000 contribution to the Democratic Governors Association, an organization which already this year has given $600,000 to a Democratic super PAC supporting the election of Attorney General Jack Conway as governor. [C-J/AKN]

Hanni Fakhoury, a senior staff counsel with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said courts have not yet settled the question of how specific or broad email search warrants should be, and this case is one of the most prominent illustrations of how users can fight back. [Mother Jones]

Seems like only yesterday Jack Conway and his people were touting a study indicating that testing welfare recipients was a waste of time and resources. Attorney General Jack Conway says he supports drug testing some welfare recipients in Kentucky, echoing the position of his Republican opponent. [WFPL]

Amid the horrors of war in Syria, Yemen and Iraq, it’s become easy to overlook Afghanistan. Remember Afghanistan? Back in the mid-2000s, it was known as the “forgotten war,” eclipsed by the bloodshed in Iraq. Now it’s overshadowed all over again. But there’s plenty of reason to pay attention. [NPR]

Two same-sex couples in this small eastern Kentucky county got everything they wanted in a ruling from a federal judge Monday, except for one sentence. [Ashland Independent]

Climate change is increasing the risk of severe ‘food shocks’ where crops fail and prices of staples rise rapidly around the world. [BBC]

Of course the racist rednecks are coming out of the woodwork at the state fair. [WAVE3]

Donald Trump’s immigration plan is huge in every aspect — including its price tag. Think $166 billion. And that’s on the low end. [Politico]

Just weeks after a Kentucky man gained national attention for shooting down a drone in his backyard, a state lawmaker is proposing new legislation. [WDRB]

As concerns rise about a security menace posed by rogue drone flights, U.S. government agencies are working with state and local police forces to develop high-tech systems to protect vulnerable sites, according to sources familiar with the matter. [Reuters]

Lyman T. Johnson was a grandson of slaves who grew up in the deeply segregated community of Columbia, Tenn. One day, his father, the principal of the segregated black school, sent him on an errand to the white school, where Johnson saw for the first time the truth of Jim Crow laws that created separate and unequal facilities. [H-L]

A year ago, after 18-year-old Michael Brown was killed by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, police responded to even peaceful daytime protests in the St. Louis suburb by deploying attack dogs and tactical vehicles, pointing sniper rifles at peaceful protesters, arresting people for simply standing still on public sidewalks, flooding demonstrators with tear gas — often without warning — and shooting them with bean bags, wooden pellets and balls filled with pepper spray. [HuffPo]

Will KentuckyWired Be A Real Thing?

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The American Academy of Pediatrics states the purpose of vaccines nicely: “The ultimate goal of immunization is the elimination of disease; the immediate goal is prevention of disease in people or groups.” [H-L]

Just when you thought you had gotten over last winter, be warned: The Old Farmer’s Almanac predicts it will be super cold with a slew of snow for much of the country, even in places that don’t usually see too much of it, like the Pacific Northwest. [HuffPo]

Kentuckians are getting health insurance at far higher numbers than their neighbors in surrounding states under the Affordable Care Act, initial results of a new study show. [C-J/AKN]

The dinner in the private upstairs dining room of the White House went so late that Reid Hoffman, the LinkedIn billionaire, finally suggested around midnight that President Obama might like to go to bed. [NY Times]

A Dayton, Ohio, man jailed Feb. 24, 2013, on a disorderly conduct charge has filed suit in federal court claiming he was assaulted by jail personnel as he was booked into the Madison County Detention Center. [Richmond Register]

Many of the families that were forced out of public housing by Hurricane Katrina now use government vouchers to subsidize their rents elsewhere. That shift was supposed to help de-concentrate poverty in the New Orleans area, but it hasn’t worked as planned. [NPR]

Morehead State University helped prepare incoming freshmen with a move-in day last week. [Ashland Independent]

Shale gas planning applications are to be fast-tracked under new government measures to crack down on councils that delay on making a decision. [BBC]

Attorney General Jack Conway announces a joint effort to bring state-level voices to a national debate on how best to help students victimized by Corinthian Colleges and other predatory for-profit schools. [Yesterday], 11 state attorneys general called on the U.S. Department of Education to cancel federal student loans in cases where schools have broken state law and provide clear processes for students seeking relief. Attorney General Conway joined the multistate effort making several recommendations to the U.S. Department of Education on the structure of its newly-formed debt relief program. [Press Release]

Conversations about institutional racism in the United States have recently focused on police brutality and socioeconomic disparities that keep families mired in intergenerational poverty. But the issues go beyond that, affecting other sectors of society that many Americans may not associate with racial justice. [ThinkProgress]

Governor Steve Beshear has signed an executive order creating the Kentucky Communications Network Authority (KCNA) and its governing board to manage the KentuckyWired open-access broadband network. [Press Release]

Hey, high schoolers, scared of bombing on the SATs and not getting into college? Don’t worry, a growing number of U.S. schools are scrapping standardized test scores as part of admission. [Reuters]

While Congress remains stalled on a long-term plan for funding highways, state lawmakers and governors aren’t waiting around. [H-L]

Two Pennsylvania-based nonprofits that have funded everything from a super PAC supporting Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) to education privatization efforts across the country are likely connected to the operators of the global investment firm Susquehanna International Group. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin Is Once Again The Worst

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There were tough questions in March; there are tougher questions now. Over the course of two hours this spring, the Republican Party of Kentucky’s executive committee sat in a steamy room in Bowling Green posing questions about the presidential preference caucus U.S. Sen. Rand Paul was asking them to unanimously approve. [H-L]

Your tax dollars at work — all so Jack can score a few extra political points. Fifteen state attorneys general petitioned a federal court in Washington on Thursday to block new U.S. rules to curb carbon emissions from power plants, in the first of several expected legal challenges to the Obama administration measure. [HuffPo]

Republican gubernatorial nominee Matt Bevin said Friday that elected officials have freedom of religion protections even when doing their jobs and that Gov. Steve Beshear should issue an executive order “to clarify that” and relieve county clerks of the responsibility of issuing marriage licenses. [C-J/AKN]

The U.S. Department of Justice says that banning people from sleeping in public could be a violation of their constitutional rights. [Time]

Preliminary estimates by a group of independent economists suggest the state will end the current fiscal year June 30, 2016, with a surplus of $219 million. [Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump lashed out as his Republican presidential rivals at a campaign rally in New Hampshire on Friday evening. [The Hill]

The Kentucky Court of Appeals will not hear oral arguments in the case of a Louisville man who was convicted of fatally shooting a Metcalfe County man in 2013 through the front door of his home in the Wisdom community. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The U.S. Federal Reserve will probably raise interest rates twice this year, with the first increase in almost a decade coming as early as next month, according to a Reuters poll of economists published on Thursday. [Reuters]

An Eastern Kentucky city has become the first to go on record supporting President Obama’s coalfield economic plan, and others may follow soon. [WFPL]

A week after a pair of indictments rocked Rand Paul’s world, the balance of power is shifting inside the Kentucky senator’s political machine. [Politico]

Looks like the Coal Association used its paid PR/political operatives to get on the teevee to promote its dying industry again. [CN|Toot]

You probably missed another fun Rand Paul photo op this weekend. Because… losing? Something. Yes, it’s a photo op. Otherwise media outlets wouldn’t send folks to document the trip. [WaPo]

A Kentucky clerk who defied a federal judge’s order to issue marriage licenses and turned away four gay couples has until Monday to convince the judge to delay his mandate. [H-L]

The share of Americans behind on their student loan payments jumped over the past year despite the improving economy. [HuffPo]

Just Admit Yer A Muslin, Okay!

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Lgzelijizi, who said she lost faith in Obama when he wouldn’t admit he is Muslim and who thinks Osama bin Laden is alive, said she likes Paul because she “can tell by his face he’s speaking from the heart.” She’s probably one of those ladies who gets on YouTube talking about how she sees lizard people. [H-L]

Last month, a group of state attorneys general flew to Maui for the annual meeting of the Conference of Western Attorneys General. For several days, the top law enforcement officers — who are often referred to as “aspiring governors” because of their tendency to run for and win higher elected office — attended panels and swapped legal expertise on issues facing their states. [HuffPo]

The investigation began with a single phone call. A donor to Sen. Mitch McConnell called his campaign office last year and asked why he hadn’t gotten the customary “thank you” note for his contributThe investigation began with a single phone call. [C-J/AKN]

A Washington Post reporter who was arrested at a restaurant last year while reporting on protests in Ferguson, Mo., has been charged in St. Louis County with trespassing and interfering with a police officer and ordered to appear in court. [WaPo]

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Urban League in Louisville. Sadiqa Reynolds is taking over the organization and is sure to drive it into the ground in record time. [The ‘Ville Voice]

A new group supporting Democrats committed to campaign finance reform will officially launch this week with a boost from a valuable network of Hillary Clinton supporters. [The Hill]

From the Drug Task Force to the Drug Court, Madison County has many options in the “war on drugs.” [Richmond Register]

Bubbly and athletic, Heather Padgett, raised in a loving family in the Cincinnati suburbs, would not fit the stereotype of a heroin addict. [Reuters]

The Hatfield and McCoy descendants came armed — with digging tools. Side by side, they worked together to help archaeologists unearth artifacts from one of the bloodiest sites in America’s most famous feud. [Ashland Independent]

The government maintains that it should continue to detain migrant mothers and children when they cross the southern U.S. border, the Department of Justice is insisting through a response to a federal court order calling for their release. [ThinkProgress]

Board members of the Industrial Development Economic Authority of Glasgow-Barren County voted Thursday morning to change direction on a previously approved use of funds based upon the recommendation of executive director Dan Iacconi. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Paul has been furiously lobbying Kentucky Republican leaders ahead of an Aug. 22 decision to rewrite party rules so he can run for president and reelection to his Senate seat simultaneously, a hedge to hold onto power should his Oval Office aspirations falter. Running for the two offices at once creates tricky legal hurdles that are only surmountable with the assent of the Kentucky Republican Party’s leadership and central committee. [Politico]

When he made the transition last year from chief of police to public safety commissioner, Ronnie Bastin left some big shoes to fill. [H-L]

Iraq’s prime minister unveiled a bold plan Sunday to abolish three vice presidential posts and the offices of three deputy premiers, hoping to cut spending amid mass protests against his government as the Islamic State group still holds a third of his nation. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin Tanked The RPK’s Finances

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The Kentucky Department of Education is seeking public feedback on dozens of proposed social studies standards. [H-L]

For me it was only after eight years of studying Greenland — installing and maintaining a network of on-ice climate stations and examining how much snow evaporates from the island — that I suddenly realized glaciology textbooks needed a major revision. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin is not good for the Republican Party’s finances. The Republican Party of Kentucky trailed far behind the Kentucky Democratic Party in fundraising through the first six months of this year. [C-J/AKN]

Look, this is the best thing you’re going to read all week. So just go read it. [VICE]

Two Boone County emergency dispatch workers sued the county, alleging a co-worker and supervisor used abusive language to minority callers and slept on duty, including during a police chase. [Cincinnasti.com]

President Obama took sharp aim at critics of the Iran nuclear deal on Wednesday, saying many of those who backed the U.S. invasion of Iraq now want to reject the accord and put the Middle East on the likely path toward another war. [WaPo]

The Greenup County Young Democrats club and local nonprofit Emmaus Respite and Resource Center have taken control of the county’s Meals on Wheels program. [Ashland Independent]

Later this month, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. will escape for a family retreat to mourn his late son, Beau, but also to mull, as his dying son urged him to do, a campaign for president. Some of Mr. Biden’s friends and allies worry that he will decide it is a good idea. [NY Times]

A majority of the members of the Glasgow Management Control Board said Tuesday that based on documents approved by the city and the ambulance service director, there is no question about who is in charge of their dispatchers, regardless of which entity actually pays their salaries. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Democratic California Governor Jerry Brown on Wednesday sent a letter to all Republican presidential candidates pressing them to discuss their plans to deal with climate change. [Reuters]

Rand Paul got plenty of attention Saturday during the Fancy Farm Picnic in Western Kentucky. But it wasn’t the good kind. [WFPL]

On Tuesday, Allan Kauffman (D), mayor of Goshen, Indiana, posted a statement announcing that the City Council would not be voting on a proposed LGBT nondiscrimination ordinance that night. “Despite several attempts to tweak the ordinance amendment to respond to concerns expressed, they have not been enough to gain good consensus from City Council members,” he wrote. [ThinkProgress]

The battle over whether a company can force its workers to pay union dues landed in a Kentucky federal courthouse Tuesday as a handful of labor unions sought to persuade a judge to throw out a series of local laws designed to end closed shops. [H-L]

Critics of the Obama administration’s new rules for power plant emissions have been quick to describe them as “government overreach” and “flagrantly unlawful.” What they don’t say is that congressional inaction and a mandate from the Supreme Court drove the regulatory process to this point. [HuffPo]