Still Recovering From Fancy Fark 2015?

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Democrats have at least a slight edge in all but one of Kentucky’s down-ticket races for statewide office, but plenty of likely voters say they remain undecided, according to a new Bluegrass Poll. [H-L]

The Obama administration will release final standards for power plants on Monday that are, in several key ways, tougher than the draft version of the plan. [HuffPo]

Way to go, Frankfort, you backward-ass hacks. A state social worker in Northern Kentucky has been suspended for her involvement in the case of a 7-year-old girl whose relatives alleged she was being mistreated at home. [C-J/AKN]

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday confirmed Marine General Joseph Dunford as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the top officer in the U.S. military. [Reuters]

Bevin is entertaining and provocative, even when he is obviously wrong or making something up. Conway is dull, even when he is obviously right or stating an important fact. [John David D-Bag]

Senate Republicans are turning up the heat on Planned Parenthood, setting up a vote for Monday to defund the organization that is making some of their members squirm. [The Hill]

Ricky Handshoe has fought coal companies and state regulators for 10 years hoping to save his home. He has had to surrender the home, but he won’t give up the fight. [Ronnie Ellis]

Last fall, farmers working the flat land along the Colorado River outside Blythe, California, harvested a lucrative crop of oranges, lettuce and alfalfa from fields irrigated with river water. But that wasn’t their only source of income. They made almost as much per acre from the seemingly dead squares of dry earth abutting those orchards and row crops, fields left barren for the season. [ProPublica]

Rowan County argued it is “immune from suit” and that a recent federal lawsuit against the county and its clerk, Kim Davis, fails to find fault with the county government since Davis decided not to issue marriage licenses last month. [Ashland Independent]

The spacecraft which made a spectacular landing on a comet last year has discovered a rich array of carbon compounds. [BBC]

Glasgow Independent Schools filed its response Thursday to a lawsuit claiming its board of education violated Kentucky’s open meetings law. An appeal of an opinion from the Kentucky Office of the Attorney General was part of that response. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Donald Trump’s instinct for racially charged rhetoric, before his presidential bid. Once a racist buttcramp, always a racist buttcramp? [NY Times]

In a heated prelude to the barbed political comments at Saturday afternoon’s Fancy Farm political picnic, Republican gubernatorial nominee Matt Bevin accused Democrats of creating a “sexual harassment mess” in the state legislature. [H-L]

Two veterinarians serving in Congress, one a conservative Republican and the other a Democrat, came together late Tuesday to introduce a bill aimed at ending an especially horrific type of horse abuse. [HuffPo]

EKY Medicaid Fraud Mess Is Not Over

Told ya Jack’s probably gonna win. Conway, the Democratic nominee, leads Bevin 45 percent to 42 percent, with 13 percent of voters undecided. Curtis polled at 8 percent, leaving Conway with 43 percent and Bevin with 38 percent. [H-L]

The Kentucky Derby was very good for Churchill Downs, but Big Fish has been even better. The Louisville-based gambling and racetrack company announced late Wednesday that it had record revenue of more than $409 million in the quarter that ended June 30. [H-L]

There’s a simple, popular solution that Republican leaders in Congress could grab hold of to get themselves out of their embarrassing public fight over the highway bill, and President Barack Obama could help force them to do it. [HuffPo]

A federal judge has dismissed most of a whistleblower suit filed by two federal employees who alleged that Eastern Kentucky disability lawyer Eric Conn colluded with a judge to rig Social Security cases in favor of Conn and his clients. [C-J/AKN]

The Obama administration is poised to change some deadlines for states to comply with its climate rule for power plants when the regulation is made final. [The Hill]

The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet will hold a public hearing on the Big Run Landfill permit renewal next month at the Boyd County Community Center. [Ashland Independent & Press Release]

Republican Donald Trump on Wednesday pushed back against a lawyer he had berated when she requested a break to pump breast milk for her infant, the latest controversial remark to emerge in his presidential campaign. [Reuters]

After several tense exchanges between Kentucky’s candidates for governor, Republican Matt Bevin during a media interview accused a WAVE 3 News reporter of working for his rival. [WAVE3]

Great news like this hits and inevitably some wingnut GMO-denier crawls out of the woodwork to yell. [ThinkProgress]

Rowan County has thrown bigoted hypocrite Kim Davis to the wolves. [WFPL]

From the Department of Things Ken Ham Wouldn’t Understand… A human tooth dating to around 565,000 years ago has been found by a 16-year-old volunteer in France. [BBC]

His story made national headlines in less than 12 hours and a lot of people are standing behind the Bullitt County man who was arrested after shooting down a drone. [WDRB]

The United States is emerging as the world’s hog farm—the country where massive foreign meat companies like Brazil’s JBS and China’s WH Group (formerly Shuanghui) alight when they want to take advantage of rising global demand for pork. [Mother Jones]

Woodford County residents like the small-town atmosphere of where they live, but they say the lack of available goods and services is a major downside, according to the results of a countywide survey released Tuesday. [H-L]

A fight over an incarcerated Alabama woman’s ability to have an abortion took a strange turn as the state moved to terminate the woman’s parental rights in order to prevent her from accessing the procedure. [HuffPo]

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]

Drew Curtis Is Probably Wasting Time & Money Going To Fancy Fart

Would-be independent gubernatorial candidate Drew Curtis is making the trip to Fancy Farm in far Western Kentucky this weekend, and he said he has a speech prepared just in case. [H-L]

Senators overruled heated conservative opposition Monday and added a measure reviving the federal Export-Import Bank to must-pass highway legislation. But House Republicans declared the transportation bill dead on arrival. [HuffPo]

An internal review of Louisville Metro Police Department’s use of force procedures released Monday found its policy largely reflects national and international guidelines. [C-J/AKN]

In response to the Supreme Court’s historic marriage equality ruling, conservative media has endorsed a newly proposed federal bill called the “First Amendment Defense Act” (FADA). Though conservatives have touted FADA as an effort to protect religious liberty, critics warn the bill would undermine the government’s ability to combat anti-gay discrimination. [MMFA]

The Ashland Board of City Commissioners voted to reverse a decision to give themselves a three precent cost-of-living raise because of “technical concerns,” City Attorney John Vincent said. [Ashland Independent]

Ori Zoller made headlines over a decade ago selling thousands of AK-47s that eventually found their way into the hands of terrorists in Colombia. Now, according to recently leaked documents, the former small arms dealer is working as cyber arms dealer, supplying the government of Honduras with powerful surveillance tools used to spy on computers and cell phones. [The Intercept]

The Kentucky State Police and the state Office of Highway Safety are teaming up to promote safe driving behavior to protect people in emergency or public safety vehicles. [WKYT]

Will the Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice give in to a literal hate group? [ThinkProgress]

The case of Adam Horine, the mentally ill Kentucky man removed from jail and put on a bus to Florida by Carrollton police earlier this year, continues to grow in complexity. He now faces a criminal charge of groping a woman in a northern Kentucky hospital. [WFPL]

For several years, a handful of lawmakers in Congress have tried to scale back tough sentencing laws that have bloated federal prisons and the cost of running them. But broad-based political will to change those laws remained elusive. [NY Times]

You won’t want to miss Terry Holliday’s deposition in the Joshua Powell case. It’s… a doozy. [Page One]

Pluto would appear to have glaciers of nitrogen ice, the latest pictures from the New Horizons probe suggest. [BBC]

A former lawmaker accused of sexual harassment and the former head of the Legislative Research Commission made payments to settle sexual harassment and hostile workplace lawsuits filed by three female legislative staffers, House Speaker Greg Stumbo said Monday. [H-L]

The Boy Scouts of America voted Monday to lift a long-established ban on gay adults as employees and volunteers within the organization. [HuffPo]

The KFB Thing Was As Sad As Always

A recently settled sexual harassment lawsuit, involving a state legislator and workers at Kentucky’s capitol, will pay $400,000, according to attorney Thomas Clay. Way to go, Democrats, costing taxpayers mountains of cash. [WDRB]

In a preview of what promises to be a bitter fall campaign, Kentucky’s two major party candidates for governor traded verbal blows as they faced off Thursday at the Kentucky Farm Bureau’s “Measure the Candidates” forum. [H-L]

It’s a whole new day for Republican presidential contenders making their second bid for the White House. Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry is making serious efforts to woo black voters, and is becoming one of the fiercest critics of real estate mogul Donald Trump. Meanwhile former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, known for his stringent opposition to same-sex marriage, is softening his rhetoric about gay people. [HuffPo]

The Kentucky State Fair Board voted Thursday to “strongly discourage” the sale or giveaway of any product bearing the image of the Confederate battle flag at the 2015 Kentucky State Fair in August. [C-J/AKN]

Just not Kentucky Democrats. Democrats are coalescing around a new proposal to rewrite the Civil Rights Act to include protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people, abandoning a piecemeal strategy that won enough bipartisan support to pass the Senate in 2013. [Politico]

Barren County Fiscal Court unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday opposing proposed changes to the 27 miles of the Tennessee Gas Pipeline that runs through the county. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A year and a half after the Affordable Care Act brought widespread reforms to the U.S. healthcare system, Chicago’s Cook County Health & Hospitals System has made its first profit in 180 years. [Reuters]

An environmental advocacy group has asked a federal court to order River Cities Disposal to cease alleged violations of state emissions standards at its Big Run Landfill. [Ashland Independent]

The main federal fund for roads and bridges runs at a deep deficit. If even red states can raise the gas tax, why can’t Congress? [ProPublica]

In a 7-1 vote, the Berea City Council passed a resolution to apply for a $500,000 grant for new police and fire department facilities. The project would be one element of a $9.7 million project to build a new Berea municipal building on Chestnut. [Richmond Register]

After Dylann Roof opened fire on worshippers gathered inside the historically black Emanuel A.M.E Church in Charleston, South Carolina last month, allegedly killing nine congregants and claiming that they “rape our women” and “are taking over our country,” a disturbing image circulated online. [ThinkProgress]

If you want to waste a few minutes of your time, here’s a look at Jack Conway and Matt Bevin playing pat-a-cake at Kentucky Farm Bureau. Because that’s what you do at a homophobic organization like that. You play pat-a-cake. [WKYT]

Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump is very wealthy. And now, thanks to his recently released Federal Election Commission financial disclosure forms covering the past 18 months, we have some new information about the man and the breadth of his financial domain. [BBC]

A federal judge has ruled there is evidence that officers at the Fayette County jail used excessive force on an inmate who died when he was being held in 2012. [H-L]

Same-sex couples can finally get married everywhere in the country, thanks to the Supreme Court’s long-awaited ruling last month. A couple can exchange rings, dance the night away and then post pictures of the event on Facebook. Just like any other couple. [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]

Gay Panic Is Heating Up Everywhere

Steve Robertson, chairman and executive director of the Kentucky Republican Party, is taking a job next month with a public affairs firm in Lexington. [H-L]

We’re still trying to eliminate sweatshops and child labor by buying right. But that’s not how the world works in 2015. [HuffPo]

Churchill Downs Inc., having bet on the future of free games played online, is asking a federal judge to dismiss a case that contends those games are illegal casino gambling. [C-J/AKN]

At a roundtable in New York on Tuesday, Democratic presidential candidate and former Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) released his immigration platform for “New Americans,” announcing that he would go further than President Obama on immigration policies by enacting sweeping reforms to provide deportation relief for undocumented immigrants. [ThinkProgress]

It’s not ginseng harvest season, but that’s not stopping some people from taking this uncommon plant. [Ashland Independent]

Wondering why poor kids are unhealthy? The Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday adopted a GOP amendment that would provide schools flexibility in meeting Department of Agriculture (USDA) rules for serving whole-grain products and reducing sodium levels. [The Hill]

A new law is beginning in Kentucky that allows motorcyclists to run red lights. [WHAS11]

In a video released Wednesday night, multiple police officers seem to be holding 28-year-old Sandra Bland to the ground while she cries out, “You just slammed my head into the ground, do you not even care about that?” Three days later, Bland was found dead in a jail cell. [ThinkProgress]

A company owned by Republican candidate for Kentucky governor Matt Bevin has been delinquent on its property taxes multiple times and is currently listed as “not in good standing” in Maine. [WAVE3]

Closed committee meetings are typically wonkish, routine affairs. But Friday’s session of Republicans on the House Financial Services Committee broke that pattern in spectacular fashion, laying bare the growing acrimony and sense of disorder within the House Republican Conference. [Politico]

A controversial project that called for logging and burning to improve forest health at Land Between The Lakes has been canceled. [WLEX18]

The US and Russia are among five countries to have signed a deal to prevent commercial fishing in the melting Arctic sea ice near the North Pole. [BBC]

A 30 percent jump in fatal drug overdoses in Fayette County last year contributed to a statewide increase in drug-related deaths, state officials reported Wednesday. [H-L]

Washington has delayed highway funds so long even red states are raising gas taxes. [HuffPo]