Everyone’s Numb Over That Crazy Race

This Woodford County city took the first step Monday toward becoming the eighth in Kentucky to adopt an ordinance to prohibit discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations based on sexual orientation or gender identity. [H-L]

Louisiana residents may go gaga over Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell and Kate Hudson when they arrive in the state later this year to film a movie about the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion. But Louisiana and some other states are starting to question whether they are giving up too much to attract such star power. [HuffPo]

Steve Beshear’s administration has paid $195,400 to a private law firm to defend the state’s gay marriage ban after Attorney General Jack Conway refused to do so. [C-J/AKN]

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is set to unveil legislation that would provide free tuition at four-year public colleges and universities on Tuesday. [The Hill]

Despite efforts by the city to seek a different auditing firm for the next fiscal year, the commission voted to accept a proposal from the same firm that has performed audits for the past 20 years. This move came after Kelley Galloway Smith Goolsby, PSC, in Ashland, was the only accounting firm to respond to the city’s requests for proposals. [Ashland Independent]

The dry, red earth could almost be mistaken for a Martian landscape. It is in fact the Atacama desert in Chile, one of the driest places on Earth. [BBC]

Morehead City Council approved first reading Monday of its 2015-16 budget ordinance which includes a 45-cents-per-hour pay raise for all city employees. [The Morehead News]

A coalition of public policy advocates warned on Tuesday that a group of armed conservative activists who have been guarding a mine in southern Oregon for over a month are a sign of an emerging violent anti-government movement. [Reuters]

The Energy and Environment Cabinet’s Division of Waste Management announced 46 recycling and 25 household hazardous waste (HHW) grants of more than $3.3 million. [Click the Clicky]

The bitter Kentucky Republican gubernatorial primary is going into overtime. [Politico]

In one of the most exciting and tightest statewide elections in history, Republican Matt Bevin apparently won a razor-thin, 83-vote win over James Comer in the primary race for the GOP nomination for governor. [Ronnie Ellis]

David Clarke, the sheriff in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin doesn’t think federal involvement in policing is going to change much. [NPR]

Nearly 1,300 of the 7,211 Kentucky children and youth in foster care are in group placements instead of with families, a news release from a child advocacy group said Tuesday. [H-L]

Leading Republican presidential candidates in the past week settled on an Iraq war narrative. Yes, the intelligence turned out to be faulty, so much so that there wouldn’t be a strong enough case to authorize the invasion in retrospect. But there was consensus that at the time President George W. Bush made the call, something had to be done about the threat posed by Iraq. [HuffPo]

Jack Is No Alison Daddy’s Name Grimes

It’s no secret that we despise Jack Conway’s campaign people (his office staff is terrific, even if he doesn’t let them do their jobs). But it’s a stretch to compare Jack to Alison Grimes in her mind-bogglingly awful 2014 campaign. Conway had his own bad campaign in 2010 but he still doesn’t compare to the embarrassment that was Grimes. [H-L]

Decades after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education ruling declared segregated schooling of black students unconstitutional, many American schools with high minority populations continue to receive fewer resources and provide an education that’s inferior to schools with large white populations. Kentucky’s in a terrible spot and Frankfort doesn’t care. [HuffPo]

In a push for better Internet service across Kentucky, state government is poised to become a large-scale owner of broadband infrastructure over the next four years, raising new questions about digital privacy and the potential for censorship or bureaucratic snooping. [C-J/AKN]

Leaked video reveals omissions in official account of police shooting. [The Intercept]

A woman who works in Washington, D.C., has accused a visiting Richmond Police officer of “catcalling.” [Richmond Register & Popville]

National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent attacked President Obama and gun safety advocates for calling attention to the deaths of children from guns, calling such efforts “The Big Lie” — a phrase associated with Nazi propaganda. [MMFA]

At a time when most states are restoring funding for higher education after the deep and sustained cuts of the recession, Kentucky has continued to reduce funding and lags behind in several funding categories, according to a new study. [Ashland Independent]

The mother of an 11-year-old girl from Kentucky who was shot dead by her father in a murder-suicide this week was on the phone with her and heard the child’s anguished last words moments before gunfire erupted on the other end of the line. [Daily Mail]

Barren County Schools is working to combat what is commonly called the “summer learning loss” or “summer slide” again this summer with its 21st Century Summer Camps. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The House is looking to use an overwhelming bipartisan vote to raise pressure on the Senate over a medical cures bill on which the upper chamber has been lagging. The House is moving forward on its 21st Century Cures measure, aimed at speeding up the FDA’s approval of new drugs and increasing funding for the National Institutes of Health. [The Hill]

Rowan County Fiscal Court is facing the possibility that the projected $15 million cost of a new jail might not be enough for the proposed 300-bed facility. [The Morehead News]

Of course the Republican National Committee is as backward and anti-gay as Kentucky Democrats. [ThinkProgress]

This is the extent of coverage that’s been provided to the Terry Holliday situation. No wonder people in Kentucky feel like they’ve been kept in the dark. [H-L]

President Barack Obama said that LGBT rights “are human rights” in a statement released Saturday to commemorate the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. [HuffPo]

Thinking People Hate Jamie Comer

The Herald-Leader endorsed Hal Heiner over Jamie Comer, which is likely to push Comer over the edge behind closed doors. [H-L]

Honey bees, critical agents in the pollination of key U.S. crops, disappeared at a staggering rate over the last year, according to a new government report that comes as regulators, environmentalists and agribusinesses try to reverse the losses. [HuffPo]

Rand Paul would be the clear choice of Kentucky Republicans if the presidential primary were held today but, among registered voters, would have only an even chance of defeating Democrat Hillary Clinton in a general election, according to the latest Bluegrass Poll. [C-J/AKN]

After only one hour of floor debate, and no allowed amendments, the House of Representatives passed legislation that seeks to address the NSA’s controversial surveillance of American communications. However, opponents believe it may give brand new authorization to the U.S. government to conduct domestic dragnets. [The Intercept]

Ha! Daniel Grossberg has an ad highlighting Jacob Conway’s blackmail/extortion/threat attempt. [Click the Clicky]

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) will reportedly announce on May 30 — or possibly sooner — whether he will seek the White House next year. [The Hill]

In one of the more dubious claims of the election season, three of the four Republican candidates for governor are claiming to be running a “positive campaign” amid abuse allegations and attack ads. [WAVE3]

The U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill on Wednesday that would ban most abortions after 20 weeks, a measure strongly opposed by the White House. [Reuters]

The Richmond City Commission named a fire chief and a codes enforcement director Tuesday night, filling positions vacated by retirements. [Richmond Register]

The US House of Representatives votes to end the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of Americans’ phone records. [BBC]

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a notice April 17 stating it plans to prepare an assessment on the environmental impacts of the Kinder Morgan natural gas pipeline repurposing project. [The Morehead News]

Here’s what would actually happen if Rand Paul eliminated the Department of Education. We wouldn’t have a federal department to administer Pell Grants to students. There wouldn’t be any oversight over states when they break civil rights laws. There wouldn’t be a department to check on rampant inequality between low-income school districts and wealthy districts. We would have inconsistent education data, as the quality of data would vary among the states. There would be more gender discrimination within schools. There would be no way to hold schools accountable for the funds they receive. [Think Progress]

Steve Beshear’s administration has spent $195,400 on private lawyers to defend Kentucky’s same-sex marriage ban in court, with more legal bills expected, according to records released Wednesday. [H-L]

Way to go, Bardstown, for your racist jackasses. It’s comments like these that can indirectly harm the bourbon industry. In a press conference Monday, Nelson County Sheriff Ed Mattingly, who is white, expressed relief — not only that the incident didn’t lead to more serious injuries, but also that Fenwick’s skin wasn’t darker. [HuffPo]

Another Corrupt Judge Gets Revealed

Rand Paul has hinged his fledgling presidential campaign on polls showing him ahead of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in some swing states, but the latest Bluegrass Poll suggests Paul might have a hard time beating Clinton in his own backyard. [H-L]

Pike Circuit Judge Steven D. Combs violated ethics standards in a number of instances, the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission has charged. [More H-L]

Americans may largely agree on the charges filed against Baltimore police officers in the death of Freddie Gray, but they remain deeply divided over the way his case, and others like it, have been covered by the media. [HuffPo]

Kentucky Kingdom amusement park could receive up to $3.75 million in tax-recovery incentives to be spread over the next decade. [C-J/AKN]

The history of the most iconic American whiskies isn’t always reflected in the names that appear on their labels. [The Atlantic]

Citing concerns for public safety and the environment, the Madison County Fiscal Court unanimously adopted a resolution expressing opposition to the proposed conversion of gas pipeline. [Richmond Register]

The Oklahoma attorney general’s office misrepresented the facts behind a key argument about the availability of certain execution drugs in its filings at the U.S. Supreme Court, BuzzFeed News has determined. [BuzzFart]

Glad to see Riggs Lewis is shopping around the information we uncovered. Yet more proof that the Comer crew is using the Marilyn Thomas incident politically. They’ve had that information about Michael Adams’ ties to Jeff Hoover since early 2014. [Ashland Independent]

A coalition of conservative groups want to make sure Congressional Republicans don’t let up on the fight to eliminate what they call D.C.’s exemption from ObamaCare. [The Hill]

A total of $300,000 is the amount the Rowan County Board of Education had to find last year to balance the budget and this year the district faces the same fiscal shortfall. [The Morehead News]

Republican Jeb Bush said on Tuesday that “mistakes were made” in the Iraq war, moving to disavow a controversial statement he made in support of the 2003 invasion ordered by his brother, then-President George W. Bush. [Reuters]

Multiple coroners in Kentucky have gone years without meeting the training standards that are set forth in Kentucky law. [WKYT]

The heart of the batting order is due up in the House Appropriations Committee beginning Wednesday: four major spending bills that will capture all the contradictions in the new Republican budget over the next month. [Politico]

The only people standing behind Jamie Comer are people like Anne “KT’s Old Fashioned” Northup, Dan “FEAR THE GAYS and Let My Daughter Illegally Run For Office” Seum, Julie “Let Me Pad My Pension” Denton and similar shysters. [H-L]

House Republicans are again attacking measures aimed at protecting U.S. troops from predatory lending practices, two weeks after a similar GOP effort failed. [HuffPo]

Jamie Comer Still Clinging To Life

The four Republican candidates for governor bad-mouthed one another in the early minutes of Monday night’s debate, then tried to move past the controversy that has enveloped the race for the past two weeks. What planet is Matt Bevin on? The race has been nasty for a year. [H-L]

Doctors performing late-term abortions would be required to take steps to give the fetus the best chance of survival, according to a Republican bill the House plans to debate this week. [HuffPo]

Terry Stephens, the Russell Springs businessman who spent $5 million on an unsuccessful independent campaign to elect Republican David Williams governor in 2011, has contributed another $100,000 to an independent effort to help James Comer win Tuesday’s Republican primary for governor. [C-J/AKN]

Wall Street is worried that Sen. Bernie Sanders’s vigorous calls for banking industry reform will pull Hillary Clinton to the left, as the two presidential candidates battle for the 2016 Democratic nomination. [The Hill]

Bon Secours Kentucky Health System CEO Kevin Halter has been elected and installed as chairman of the Kentucky Hospital Association’s board of Trustees for the association’s 2015-16 year. [Ashland Independent]

The United States has released $35.5 million to help communities hit hard by the decline in coal mining to diversify their economies and retrain displaced miners, U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez said on Monday. [Reuters]

After resuming its open meeting on Monday night following a closed session to discuss the future acquisition or sale of real property, Cave City Mayor Dwayne Hatcher asked the city council for permission to proceed with negotiations with “industrial work” up to $40,000. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Researchers in the US have revealed a secret of the success of invasive fire ants – they can excavate any type of soil. Three-dimensional scanning revealed that the insects were able to build their complex nests regardless of the size of grains they needed to move. [BBC]

Community Farm Alliance and the Eastern Kentucky Food Systems Collaborative are accepting submissions for a local food guide to highlight eastern Kentucky restaurants, farmers markets, CSA’s (Community Supported Agriculture), and agri-tourism events. Owners and patrons are invited to submit their local food business to the guide via an online survey. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

The House Appropriations Committee found itself at ground zero in the budget wars Wednesday, as Republicans proposed new cuts from legal services for the poor even as outside events forced more second guessing about reductions in transportation and housing programs. [Politico]

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has announced an award of nearly $7.5 million in National Emergency Grant funds to the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program, Inc. (EKCEP) to provide training and employment services to help out-of-work Eastern Kentuckians affected by the region’s economic struggles retrain and return to the workforce. [Hazard Herald]

Cesar Vargas has a resume most young Americans would envy. He graduated from a Brooklyn high school that counts Sens. Chuck Schumer and Bernie Sanders among its alumni. He made honors in both college and law school. But because he was brought to the United States from Mexico illegally when he was 5 years old, he can’t fulfill one of his dreams: joining the armed forces. [NPR]

Jim Ratliff is a glimmer of what could be possible to diversify jobs in Eastern Kentucky, a region hurt by a sharp downturn in the coal industry that long underpinned the economy. [H-L]

The Obama administration on Monday granted conditional approval to Shell to begin exploratory drilling in the Arctic, which the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said would be “subject to rigorous safety standards.” [HuffPo]

Hal Heiner Is Absolutely A Politician

University of Kentucky police reported 12 sexual assaults on campus in the 2013-14 school year. The University of Louisville and Western Kentucky University each reported one. [H-L]

Scientists are balking at major cuts to NASA’s budget that the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology approved last week, cuts that critics say will imperil climate change research in the U.S. [HuffPo]

Hal Heiner may be a Frankfort outsider but he is certainly a politician and certainly has had a large network in place for the past six years. [C-J/AKN]

Insurance firms, already among Washington’s biggest donors, are securing powerful allies in Congress as the Federal Reserve draws up nationwide capital rules for the $1 trillion industry after years of delay. [Reuters]

We love a good conclussion, don’t you? Conclussion, conclussion, conclussion. APD’s quick work led to mugging conclussion. [Ashland Independent]

After Edward Snowden, the government said its controversial surveillance programs had stopped a terrorist – David Coleman Headley. In “American Terrorist,” ProPublica and PBS “Frontline” show why the claim is largely untrue. [ProPublica]

City of Berea revenues continue to grow, and the city budget has $5 million set aside in a “rainy day” fund. [Richmond Register]

A North Carolina county prosecutor won’t certify visa applications for Latino domestic violence victims if their assailants are also Latino. [Think Progress]

The employment of an emergency medical technician who was involved in an alleged road rage incident last month has been terminated, according to his boss. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Underwater explorers in Madagascar say they have found what is thought to be the treasure of notorious Scottish pirate William Kidd. Soldiers on Sainte Marie island have been guarding the 50kg silver bar after divers brought it to shore. [BBC]

The University of Louisville will not renew it’s contract with clothing maker JanSport. [WFPL]

Researchers, grant-makers and policymakers have long relied on enrollment numbers for the federally subsidized Free and Reduced-Price Lunch program. They use those numbers as a handy proxy for measuring how many students are struggling economically. The paperwork that families submit to show their income becomes the basis of billions in federal funds. [NPR]

The Fayette County Public Schools board voted Saturday to partner with McNamara Search Associates of Lexington to vet 30 superintendent candidates. [H-L]

These absurd lawsuits show why the anti-gay movement is failing. [HuffPo]

Bevin: Typical Teabagger Delusion Artist

Republican financier Matt Bevin can talk without notes for an hour about why he wants to be Kentucky’s next governor, easily tossing out facts to support his case for a smaller state government that does less. Some of Bevin’s facts might come especially easily because they’re not correct. [John Cheves]

After scraping together enough money to produce a music video in Hollywood, 22-year-old Joseph Rivers set out last month on a train trip from Michigan to Los Angeles, hoping it was the start of something big. Before he made it to California, however, Rivers fell victim to a legal form of government highway robbery. [HuffPo]

Jamie Comer and crew are now race-baiters. Gubernatorial candidate James Comer capped a tough week in which he was accused of abusing a former girlfriend by sending out a mailer that tries to somehow connect his rival, Hal Heiner, to Democratic President Barack Obama. [C-J/AKN]

Thursday’s appeals court ruling against the National Security Agency’s sweeping phone records collection program raised constitutional questions likely to be answered by the Supreme Court. [The Hill]

Last week wasn’t the craziest one I’ve experienced in journalism or covering politics, but unquestionably it was in the top three. [Ronnie Ellis]

Despite a federal court ruling Thursday that it is illegal for the National Security Agency to collect Americans’ telephone metadata, Senate Majority Leader McConnell defended the NSA and continued his push for renewing the Patriot Act provision used as legal justification for the data collection. [Real Clear Politics]

Troopers and detectives of Kentucky State Police Post 7 in Richmond issued 2,231 citations in their 11-county service area during April, up 950 from March. Sounds like some folks had some quotas to meet. [Richmond Register]

An 85-year-old nun and two Army veterans sent to prison after breaking into a U.S. defense site for storing enriched uranium for nuclear bombs did not commit sabotage and should be re-sentenced, an appeals court has ruled. [Reuters]

Barren County Schools Superintendent Bo Matthews pitched the future of the Barren County Area Technology Center to members of the local Human Resources Council and Industry Council during a joint meeting Friday at the center. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Congressman Darrell Issa, America’s richest Congressman with a net worth of nearly $500 million, says the nation’s poor are actually doing very well. [Think Progress]

In a special meeting last Thursday night, Rowan Fiscal Court approved first reading of an ordinance for the issuance of $15 million in notes and bonds to begin the new Rowan County Detention Center project. [The Morehead News]

Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul will host a meeting with members of the Congressional Black Caucus next week to discuss criminal justice reform. [Politico]

Minnie Adkins turned 81 in March, nine months after her second husband died. At a point in life when most people would be slowing down, the renowned Elliott County folk artist is busier than ever. [H-L]

Americans generally tell their civil rights history along the following lines: At one time, white southerners were racist, very racist. They created laws to keep blacks in separate and inferior schools, kept them poor by relegating them to the lowest paying jobs, denied them the right to vote, and humiliated them with an array of petty and demeaning social customs. [HuffPo]