Your Taxes Support Discrimination & Harassment

Eastern Kentucky and other areas of Appalachia hit hard by a sharp drop in coal jobs would share in a $1 billion lifeline under the budget proposal put forth Monday by President Barack Obama, though the budget faces difficult prospects in Congress. [H-L]

Does your member of congress have policies in place protecting LGBT staffers from discrimination? [HuffPo]

We’ve seen quite a bit lately about the so-called “money primary,” a phase ahead of the real 2016 presidential primaries and caucuses in which candidates try to lock up the heavy-hitter donors, in hopes of both fattening their campaign wallets and scaring off less-well-funded competitors. [C-J/AKN]

President Obama on Monday will warn congressional Republicans that failing to pass funding for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would leave more than 150,000 law enforcement personnel without paychecks. [The Hill]

During the recent presentation of Ashland’s 2013-14 fiscal year audit, Ashland Auditor Phil Layne presented findings on one material weakness and one significant compliance finding. [Ashland Independent]

President Barack Obama is urging parents to get their children vaccinated in the face of a measles outbreak that has infected more than 100 people in the United States. [Reuters]

The audit for the past two fiscal years of the governing board for the Barren-Metcalfe County Emergency Communications Center found no material misstatements in the financial reports, according to a report the agency received at its board meeting Tuesday. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Marijuana is shaping up to be the new gay marriage of GOP politics — most Republicans would rather not talk about it, except to punt to the states. But when it comes to the 2016 presidential race, a series of legalization ballot initiatives — and a certain outspoken Kentucky senator — could make it harder for the Republican field to avoid the conversation. [Politico]

Dr. Daniel Mongiardo, a physician covering many rural areas of Kentucky, knows the issue well. “Now that we have all these new patients, more patients that are paying less than the cost of care, these hospitals are burning through money a lot faster,” he said. [WKYT]

President Barack Obama on Sunday encouraged parents to vaccinate their children and said the U.S. is doing everything in its power to rescue a 26-year-old woman held by the Islamic State, speaking in a wide-ranging interview also covering football and politics. [NPR]

An attorney for the General Assembly says state Rep. Johnny Bell, of Glasgow, was not involved in the allegations of sexual harassment against former Rep. John Arnold and should not be added to the suit filed by Arnold’s alleged victims. [Ronnie Ellis]

The costs of payday lending extend far beyond the impoverished and desperate people who turn to predatory short-term loans to help pay bills. The business practice also harms overall job growth and shrinks state economies by hundreds of millions of dollars, according to a new economic analysis from the Howard University Center on Race and Wealth. [Think Progress]

With welders on site, members of Habitat for Humanity made strides toward history for the state organization as they recently worked to convert a shipping container into a home. [H-L]

Of COURSE Rand Paul is one of those crazy anti-vaccine lunatics. Because of course he is. [HuffPo]

Fine Kentucky Bourbon Is Taking Over Everything

There were only two things Mitch McConnell didn’t want to talk about Thursday — whether he will run for re-election in 2020 and his eventual legacy. [Sam Youngman]

Loretta Lynch was a federal prosecutor in New York when she encountered an astonishing case of police brutality: the broomstick sodomy of a Haitian immigrant in a precinct bathroom. [HuffPo]

Alison Lundergan Grimes has been back at work as Kentucky’s secretary of state since her lopsided loss to Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, out of the spotlight for the first time after a grueling campaign. [C-J/AKN]

“I would enjoy having some Kentucky bourbon,” President Obama said on Wednesday. [TDB]

Farmers and small businesses participating in the Kentucky Proud program have landed new venues for their products at Kroger stores across the state. [WLEX18]

Her discovery of an unrecognized constitutional right gave Mitch McConnell permission to suggest that Grimes was deceiving voters about her record. It allowed him to shine a spotlight on the very weakness that Grimes was trying to deflect. [The Week]

Like we told you months and months ago… Former Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo said his views have shifted on the social issue of same-sex marriage, and he now would not have co-sponsored the 2004 constitutional amendment that’s at the center of a case potentially heading to the U.S. Supreme Court. [CN|Toot]

The incoming Senate leader’s no-shutdown pledge means he can’t kill EPA’s carbon regulations. [National Journal]

It’s easier to analyze an election after the vote than to predict its outcome beforehand and there are a whole lot of us who are much smarter now than we were going into Tuesday’s election. [Ronnie Ellis]

There was no sign of brown liquor President Barack Obama’s Friday lunch meeting with bipartisan political leaders, but the bourbon industry is using renewed attention to press its own lobbying interests. At the top of that list is the issue of the tax treatment of the whiskey that’s aging in barrels in warehouses. [Roll Call]

A broken leg couldn’t stop Ernestine Brumfield from attending a ceremony in her honor last month. The 94-year-old Catlettsburg resident was one of the original Rosie the Riveters, working for two years at the Willow Run Bomber Plant in Willow Run, Mich., helping to make B-24 bombers during World War II. [Ashland Independent]

Senate Republicans are gearing up for a war against the Obama administration’s environmental rules, identifying them as a top target when they take control in January. [The Hill]

The Kentucky State University Board of Regents voted Friday to approve a “budget reduction and reorganization plan” that will begin to trim a $7 million deficit in the institution’s operating budget. [H-L]

Democrats are planning an extensive review of what went wrong in the 2014 and 2010 elections, hoping to find ways to translate success in presidential campaigns into future midterm contests. [HuffPo]

Will Lt. Dan Suit Up & Run Against Jack Again?

Attorney General Jack Conway is piling up endorsements and campaign cash in an effort to keep other Democrats out of the 2015 gubernatorial fight, but at least one potential challenger says he won’t be scared off. [Sam Youngman]

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees says people from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras are subject to persecution and should not be forced to return home. [NPR]

Later this summer the staffing within Kentucky’s mine safety agency will be slashed from 142 employees to 88 — a 38 percent cut. [C-J/AKN]

The newest revelations about the National Security Agency may be shocking to the rest of us. To the congressional overseers of the American intelligence services, not so much. [TDB]

Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky is once again seeking to roll back Washington, D.C.’s strict gun laws. The legislative maneuver is under fire from gun control activists in the nation’s capitol and their congressional delegate, who told WFPL Wednesday that Paul’s amendment is undermining his national efforts to court black voters. [WFPL]

Opponents of marijuana-law reform insist that legalization is dangerous—but the biggest threat is to their own bottom line. [The Nation]

More than two decades have passed since Jerry Dale Nickels was found dead on his sofa with a single gunshot wound to the head. [Ashland Independent]

The National Security Agency and FBI have covertly monitored the emails of prominent Muslim-Americans—including a political candidate and several civil rights activists, academics, and lawyers—under secretive procedures intended to target terrorists and foreign spies. [The Intercept]

The Montgomery County Schools scandal(s) involving superintendent Joshua Powell got a little more real yesterday with the revelation of explosive secret audio. Powell admits the hiring of his wife would be a conflict of interest and unprofessional. [Page One]

The United States and China on Tuesday signed eight partnership pacts to cut greenhouse gases that will bring the world’s two biggest carbon emitters closer together on climate policy, but fundamental differences between the two sides remain. [Reuters]

Will the 2013 and 2014 Fancy Farm Picnic’s political speeches be the only time Kentucky’s U.S. Senate candidates Mitch McConnell (R) and Alison Grimes (D) will appear on the same stage? [Joe Arnold]

Prosecutors in Germany search the home of a defence ministry employee suspected of spying, in the second such case in a week. [BBC]

Shaky claims about Medicare were common in the 2012 campaign, from President Barack Obama on down. Now they’ve surfaced in this year’s midterm elections, in one of the hottest Senate races in the country. [H-L]

Most voters want Sarah Palin to just go away. Fifty-four percent of Americans say they’ve heard enough from Palin and wish she “would just be quiet,” according to to an NBC/Wall Street Journal/Annenberg poll. [HuffPo]

Lt. Dan Should Definitely Run For Governor

Nearly eight years after two women were sucked into a storm drain and drowned at the intersection of Nicholasville Road and Alumni Drive, the University of Kentucky is building a water detention system to alleviate flooding in the area. The $12 million project began in early April and is expected to be completed in April 2015, said project manager Keith Ingram. As part of the project, UK is removing a parking lot at the entrance to the Greg Page Apartment Complex and replacing it with a new lot that will be built on top of a water detention basin now under construction on Alumni Drive. [H-L]

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved a bill on Wednesday that would force approval of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. But the bill isn’t expected to go up for a vote in the full Senate any time soon. [HuffPo]

Daniel Mongiardo, as we have hinted for months, is seriously considering a bid for governor. It’d be interesting to watch him run against Conway again, as he’s recently evolved on the gay-hate front. [C-J/AKN]

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden has asked the Obama administration why the United States failed to stop a tax-avoidance strategy used by hedge funds, including John Paulson’s Paulson & Co. [Reuters]

You’ll want to follow the story of this church theft in Ashland because we hear it’s about to be a nasty mess. [Ashland Independent]

Hillary Clinton said she supports a ban on automatic weapons and that those opposed to stricter gun control measures “hold a viewpoint that terrorizes“ people. [The Hill]

Democrat Adam Edelen announced Wednesday he won’t run for governor next year and will instead seek re-election to a second term as state Auditor of Public Accounts. [Ronnie Ellis]

With the midterm elections only months away, efforts to carry out some of the country’s strictest photo ID requirements and shorten early voting in several politically pivotal states have been thrown into limbo by a series of court decisions concluding that the measures infringe on the right to vote. [NY Times]

Taking Eastern Kentucky’s cattle industry to a new level was the idea most discussed Thursday night at one of the first “listening sessions” of Shaping Our Appalachian Region, the effort to diversify and improve the economy of Appalachian Kentucky. [Hazard Herald]

States have the power to rein in for-profit colleges. They just don’t. [Consumerist]

Harlan County Schools could wind up paying over a quarter of a million dollars due to the failure of an insurance trust fund they have not been involved with for over 15 years. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

Americans who have been out of work for a year or more are much more likely to be obese than those unemployed for a shorter time. The obesity rate rises from 22.8% among those unemployed for two weeks or less to 32.7% among those unemployed for 52 weeks or more. [Gallup]

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray announced Wednesday that he is scuttling a $351 million renovation of Rupp Arena and attached convention center after the University of Kentucky told city and state officials that it was interested only in a scaled-back Rupp Arena renovation. [H-L]

How politicians are using taxpayer money to fund their campaign to sell off America’s public lands. [Think Progress]

Eating crow is never fun but that’s what Jake is doing. Help him get things squared away? If you get something out of this content, consider doing so in order to ensure that it continues. [Click Here For Details]

Some Jim Bunning Insanity From A Decade Ago

Can you believe it’s been ten years since Jim Bunning compared Daniel Mongiardo to Saddam Hussein’s sons?

Al Cross, Courier-Journal, April 1, 2004:

Republican U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning, at a recent GOP event, told diners that state Sen. Daniel Mongiardo, his likely opponent in the November election, looks like one of Saddam Hussein’s sons. Yesterday, his campaign said it was a joke and apologized. ‘We’re sorry if this joke, which got a lot of laughs, offended anyone,’ Bunning campaign manager David Young said. Bunning made the remark March 20 at the annual 4th Congressional District Lincoln/Reagan Day Dinner at the Hilton Hotel in Florence.

And when Bunning suggested Mongiardo praised terrorists?

Tom Loftus, Courier-Journal, October 18, 2004:

Another Bunning ad featured a Mongiardo comment in the state Senate that ‘the acts of 9/11 were probably the most brilliant acts of war ever conceived.’

Time sure flies.

Daniel Mongiardo Should Try Running For Governor

We’re closer and closer to hitting our goal and launching our new project. Consider helping make that happen. [Support Our New Project!]

Daniel Mongiardo is considering a run for governor and he could probably do it this time. Would be awesome to watch him beat Jerry Abramson. [H-L]

We long for the days when Americans of all stripes could come together to show our mutual disdain for the Homosexican Agenda, but now that ‘Murka has gone and voted for the black guy again, our coalition is broken and fractured, to the point that we cannot even agree on the best way to hate the gayness. [Wonkette]

Debra Hoskins, who left the top job at the EKU Center for the Arts in Richmond earlier this year, has been named executive director of the Lancaster Grand Theater in Lancaster, the Danville Advocate Messenger reported. [H-L]

Social issues worked in President Obama’s favor on Election Day — the same day that multiple states voted for the first time to legalize both gay marriage and recreational marijuana. And that confluence has some suggesting the country is shifting to the left on social issues. [WaPo]

Harlan County officers were involved in a shootout Friday night. It all began at apartment number two. [WKYT]

Anyone who really thought John Yarmuth could run against Mitch McConnell is deeply delusional. [The Hill]

Senate Republicans did last week what everyone who was paying attention expected — they selected Manchester Republican Robert Stivers to replace longtime Senate President David Williams, who resigned to become a circuit court judge in southern Kentucky. [C-J/AKN]

Even though his second inauguration is still weeks away, the work of his presidential library starts soon: Libraries take years of planning and decisions by the president and his inner circle, from choosing a location, to picking achievements to highlight. [Politico]

Steve Beshear said Friday he finds no reason to remove Republican David M. Cross, an Albany attorney, from the state Board of Elections. [Bluegrass Politics]

An unsettling trend appears to be underway in Arizona: the use of private prison employees in law enforcement operations. The state has graced national headlines in recent years as the result of its cozy relationship with the for-profit prison industry. [PR Watch]

Amid the media frenzy over former CIA director David Petraeus’ extramarital affair, we were struck by a quick reference in a Washington Post story about Petraeus’ time running the war in Afghanistan. [ProPublica]

Enrique Pena Nieto took over as Mexico’s president on Saturday, promising to end years of violence and sluggish economic growth, and giving the party that shaped modern Mexico a shot at redemption after 12 years out of office. [Reuters]