Post-Holiday Hangover? Read This Crap

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul led a successful effort to block renewal of the Patriot Act early Saturday morning, followed by a deeply divided Senate leaving Washington without taking action on the National Security Agency’s soon-to-expire power to collect Americans’ phone records. [H-L]

Some electronic cigarette companies say that their products help people quit smoking, but the evidence to back up this claim is lacking, a new study finds. [HuffPo]

Republican state Sen. Brandon Smith has been acquitted of driving under the influence of alcohol. [C-J/AKN]

A federal judge on Thursday reaffirmed her earlier ruling that same-sex couples in Alabama have a right to wed under the Constitution, but she put the ruling on hold until the U.S. Supreme Court issues a landmark decision on gay marriage. [Reuters]

Roughly 17 months since the enterprise’s first summit started the conversation and began asking the tough questions, Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) returned to Pikeville for another summit, this time to provide insight and answers. [Hazard Herald]

The voicemail message was like so many others from my mom. “Hi, it’s mom,” she began, then chatted on, full Jewish mother in her distinctive gravelly timbre. “There’s a storm coming your way…Please drive very carefully….Love you. Bye.” [ProPublica]

It’s time for a reminder about Adam Edelen and educational audits. An audit is NOT a forensic accounting investigation. It’s typically a random sampling that gets reviewed unless specific concerns are brought to light. Or, in the case of Montgomery County, not. Because specific concerns were deliberately ignored by Edelen’s team. When he says there was no fraud discovered? Remember: not a forensic accounting, not an in-depth investigation of every nook and cranny. [Business First]

Arizona’s legislature has decided to try to plug a $1 billion budget deficit in part by kicking people off of welfare after just 12 months, the strictest time limit in the country. Sounds like something Frankfort would try. [Think Progress]

More than 50 community members gathered Wednesday to formulate an action plan to improve the health of Madison County residents in three areas – mental health and healthy lifestyle choices as well as alcohol, tobacco and other drug dependency. [Richmond Register]

The sleepy United States senators thought they were done voting. But then, around 1 a.m. on the Saturday before Memorial Day, Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky and presidential candidate, marched spryly to the Senate floor to let it be known that, no, he would not agree to extend the federal government’s bulk collection of phone records program. Not even for one day. [NY Times]

Bradley Lewis has resigned as a sergeant at the Glasgow Police Department, according to information released Friday by interim GPD Chief James Duff. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Mitch McConnell stood at his desk on the Senate floor after 1 a.m. Saturday, the eyes of his colleagues trained on him. He seemed bewildered. [WaPo]

We’ll miss the voice of Merlene Davis and wish her the best! It has been suggested that with this farewell column I should burn bridges and drop the mic. A couple of years ago, I might have done just that. But I’m a bit tired now, weakened by the weight of mirrors I’ve tried to hold up to politicians, school administrators, conservatives, liberals, Democrats and Republicans, neighbors and friends. I’m running out of ways to say the same thing. [Merlene Davis]

A revealing conversation on the Senate floor Thursday showed precisely how secretive President Barack Obama’s pending trade deals are, and the absurdity of arguments to the contrary. [HuffPo]

Terry Holliday Threatened Fayette Co

Carl Richards, director of Madison County’s emergency management agency, was suspended indefinitely this week after an internal audit revealed the theft of $341,757 from a federally funded emergency preparedness program, county Judge-Executive Reagan Taylor said Wednesday. [H-L]

Support for same-sex marriage has reached an all-time high, according to recent polls. A new survey from Gallup shows a record 60 percent of Americans now say they approve of legalized same-sex marriage. [HuffPo]

An assault case in Jefferson Circuit Court was dismissed Tuesday by a judge who ruled an assistant commonwealth’s attorney “altered” evidence that was “deliberately not disclosed and concealed” from the defense counsel. [C-J/AKN]

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration on Wednesday announced the results of a four-state crackdown aimed at stopping illegal distribution of addictive prescription medicines, such as opioid painkillers, that yielded 280 arrests. [Reuters]

An unnamed person, while under the influence of alcohol, stabbed a man with a piece of lattice while in Ashland on Saturday, according to Ashland Police reports. [Ashland Independent]

At a hearing in Washington, a renewed call for addressing the violence and neglect that plagues group homes for foster youth. [ProPublica]

While the Republican race for governor is getting most of the attention Wednesday morning, as fewer than 100 votes separated former Agricultural Commissioner James Comer and former U.S. Senate hopeful Matt Bevin, a Floyd County native has earned her place on November’s ballot. [Hazard Herald]

“Some of his weaknesses really didn’t get relitigated in this primary,” said Scott Jennings, a Republican strategist who has advised McConnell campaigns. “In a heads-up race against Conway, I fully expect them to relitigate cockfighting and everything else.” [NY Times]

Oh, look, another empty threat from Terry Holliday. The Kentucky Education Commissioner has warned that Fayette County Schools could face state actions if low-achieving schools don’t improve. [WKYT]

States lack accurate statistics on widespread heroin use. [NPR]

Kentucky’s economy is only sunny on paper. To suggest otherwise would mean you’ve never actually stepped foot outside the Golden Triangle or spoken with actual Kentuckians. [WFPL]

Organic farms act as a refuge for wild plants, offsetting the loss of biodiversity on conventional farms, a study suggests. Fields around organic farms have more types of wild plants, providing benefits for wildlife, say scientists. [BBC]

Why the hell is Sam Youngman pretending he doesn’t know why KC Crosbie thanked Danny Briscoe?! He’s the one who told anyone who would listen about his investigation of Scott Crosbie. Come on, Youngman, you’re better than that. [H-L]

Republican Jeb Bush said on Wednesday that the Earth’s climate is changing but that scientific research does not clearly show how much of the change is due to humans and how much is from natural causes. [HuffPo]

Is Lex Envious Of The Lou Shootings?

If Matt Bevin’s ignorance and code words leave you with a bitter taste in your mouth, you’re not alone. [H-L]

As Congress prepares to give President Barack Obama expedited powers to “fast-track” trade deals through Congress, many U.S. steel mills and skeptics of Obama’s trade agenda are worried about steel dumping, the term commonly used to describe countries selling steel below market price. [HuffPo]

State contractors, Steve Beshear appointees to important state boards, and two directors of R.J. Corman Railroad Group were among the big givers to the Kentucky Democratic Party in April. [C-J/AKN]

In the dead of night, they swept in aboard V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft. Landing in a remote region of one of the most volatile countries on the planet, they raided a village and soon found themselves in a life-or-death firefight. It was the second time in two weeks that elite US Navy SEALs had attempted to rescue American photojournalist Luke Somers. And it was the second time they failed. [The Nation]

If the city administration’s budget plan is adopted, Richmond Tourism will no longer be the lead organizer and funder of three popular events. [Richmond Register]

Presidential hopeful Sen. Rand Paul (R-Under the Bridge) ceded the Senate floor just before midnight Wednesday after more than 10 hours. [The Hill]

A former Carter County paramedic pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges that she diluted pain medication belonging to Carter County Emergency Medical Services, according to court records. [Ashland Independent]

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose slightly more than expected last week, but the underlying trend continued to suggest the labor market was tightening. [Reuters]

Weeks after a video that rocked the county and brought into question the authorities of county officials was uploaded to Facebook, state officials have decided to take the first steps into looking into the case. [Hazard Herald]

If Jack Conway falls, it won’t be because of President Barack Obama and Kentucky racism. It’ll be because of Jack’s poor political decision making and the handful of shitty people he surrounds himself with. If he wants to win, he’ll turn over a new leaf (like he did with refusing to fight against marriage equality) and he’ll abandon the typical KDP tripe. [Politico]

A jury trial was set to begin June 1 for the alleged murder of two-year-old Nathaniel Jones but like the past six years, it will be delayed again. Tiea Jones and her former boyfriend, Brian Gallagher, were indicted in 2010 for murder and criminal abuse, first degree. [The Morehead News]

The latest estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show the 15 cities with the biggest population increases were in the South and West — with two exceptions: New York City and Columbus, Ohio. [NPR]

A man was shot and wounded early Wednesday while walking through Martin Luther King Park, Lexington police said. [H-L]

It wasn’t that the intelligence community was giving the administration wholesale faulty intelligence. It was that the administration was lying to the American people about what the intelligence actually showed. [HuffPo]

Afghanistan Sure Is A Terrible Mess

Kentucky’s Republican voters narrowly chose Ryan Quarles to represent the GOP in the race for commissioner of agriculture in a down-to-the-wire finish Tuesday night. [H-L]

A faction of Republicans in the House of Representatives wants to stop poor people from buying junk food with food stamps. [HuffPo]

During the recent Kentucky shoot for “Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking,” there was no “Cutthroat Kitchen,” and nobody got “Chopped.” Rather, two local chefs wandered among buffalo grazing in Goshen, grilled bison brisket, bison skirt steak and fresh asparagus under tents at a Finchville farm, and relished the scent of slow-fermenting bourbon at Woodford Reserve distillery in Versailles. [C-J/AKN]

The third of four key U.S. congressional committees on Tuesday approved funding for 12 additional Boeing Co fighter jets in fiscal 2016, increasing the prospects that the company will keep its St. Louis production line running past the end of 2017. [Reuters]

The evening started with a rainbow that arced perfectly behind the commencement stage. And it ended with a fireworks display in the Friday night sky above Richmond. [Richmond Register]

This is a story about how the U.S. military built a lavish headquarters in Afghanistan that wasn’t needed, wasn’t wanted and wasn’t ever used—at a cost to American taxpayers of at least $25 million. [ProPublica]

Fairview school superintendent Bill Musick violated and impeded state education law by allowing non-teachers to teach students, interfering in hiring, withholding staffing allocations, transferring employees without posting vacancies and allowing two administrators to perform duties for which they were not certified, according to a report by the state Office of Education Accountability. [Ashland Independent]

The phrase “Aids epidemic” awakens distant memories in most of Europe, Australia or the Americas, where infection rates have generally been in decline for years. But as former UK Health Secretary Lord Fowler explains, the phrase is not used in Russia either – despite failed policies that have allowed infection rates to soar. [BBC]

Effective Monday, Glasgow Police Sgt. Bradley Lewis was placed on administrative leave with pay, according to a Glasgow Police Department press release. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A new survey of financial professionals tends to confirm the widely held belief that the financial industry has an ethics problem. [NPR]

Negative impacts of development have significantly impaired water quality and stream bank stability in the Triplett Creek watershed. [The Morehead News]

The White House has released its rural child poverty report. [External PDF Link]

Building and maintaining a linear park through downtown Lexington could cost upwards of $75 million, city officials told the Urban County Council on Tuesday. [H-L]

Throngs of students hit the streets of San Juan, Puerto Rico, last week to protest Gov. Alejandro García Padilla’s proposal to cut some $166 million from the budget for the island’s public university system — roughly one-fifth of the system’s total funds. [HuffPo]

See, What Had Happened Was…

Republicans on Tuesday picked state Senate Judiciary Chairman Whitney Westerfield, 34, as their nominee for Kentucky attorney general. [H-L]

Defrauded student loan borrowers seeking relief from the Obama administration are confronting an Education Department process that a senior House Democrat compared to the government’s bungled response to the mortgage robo-signing crisis that shook the U.S. housing market. [HuffPo]

Marathon Petroleum isn’t having a good week. First, Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway filed suit over the company’s gas prices, claiming monopolistic practices that Conway said have forced Kentucky customers — particularly those in Louisville and Northern Kentucky — to pay more at the pump than they should. [C-J/AKN]

Outside conservative groups are pressuring GOP leaders to take up targeted immigration reforms ahead of the 2016 elections. [The Hill]

A total of 6,885 Madison County voters cast ballots in Tuesday’s primary election for statewide offices. No local or federal offices were on the ballot. [Richmond Register]

Suicide rates have fallen among young white children in the U.S. but they’ve gone up among black youngsters, according to a new study of suicides in kids under age 12. [Reuters]

The Fairview Board of Education named its new superintendent Tuesday, just days after a blistering report from the Kentucky Office of Educational Accountability found retiring superintendent Bill Musick had violated and impeded state education law in several areas. [Ashland Independent]

Partisan mudslinging breaks out, suggesting that lawmakers and cop-reform advocates have a long way to go to find agreement on new police standards. [Politico]

Barren County Fiscal Court’s proposed budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year got a couple of amendments Tuesday during the first reading of the ordinance adopting it, one of which has stirred confusion. [Glasgow Daily Times]

All 50 states could become wind energy producers, according to an Energy Department report released Tuesday, once the next generation of larger, taller turbines in development hits the market. [NY Times]

The disaster recovery center in Rowan County will close at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 21. [The Morehead News]

A search for a racist word and “house” on Google takes you to the home of the US President, Barack Obama. [BBC]

A bankruptcy attorney and a state representative, both hailing from Eastern Kentucky, will face off for state treasurer this fall. [H-L]

After hearing story after story from voters on the campaign trail about heroin’s toll, Hillary Clinton instructed her policy team to draw up solutions to the burgeoning opiate epidemic. [HuffPo]

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]

Granny Mitch Still Loves Wiretapping

School districts across Kentucky are tracking down 16- and 17-year-old high school dropouts to tell them they are required to return to school this fall if they don’t get a GED by June 30. [H-L]

Nine months after police in riot gear dispelled racially charged protests, President Barack Obama is prohibiting the federal government from providing some military-style equipment to local departments and putting stricter controls on other weapons and gear distributed to law enforcement. [HuffPo]

Here’s who wound up sitting on Millionaires Row at the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks in the 160 seats made available by Churchill Downs to Gov. Steve Beshear and his entourage. [C-J/AKN]

BIG GAY PEE ALERT! U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a longtime Washington insider and critic of President Barack Obama’s foreign policy, said he would announce on June 1 whether he will seek the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. [Reuters]

Barren County Schools retirees were honored Thursday during a regular board of education meeting at Barren County High School’s auditorium. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The military’s mantra for Afghanistan was “winning hearts and minds.” And a key part of that strategy was cold, hard cash. [ProPublica]

Have you seen the tripe the Bowling Green Daily Toilet Paper has been pushing out lately? Kind of like their editors, behind the scenes, worked to trash talk Marilyn Thomas instead of bothering to investigate claims. [BGDTP]

A high level group of scientists is to be recruited to provide independent advice to the European Commission. [BBC]

The partnership between Kentucky Proud business owners and the Kroger Co. has been a success so far, officials say. [Business First]

At schools that offer comprehensive sex education, students tend to get the biology and the basics — they’ll learn about sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy, how to put a condom on a banana and the like. But some public health researchers and educators are saying that’s not enough. They’re making the case that sex ed should include discussion about relationships, gender and power dynamics. [NPR]

The Benham City Council heard a proposal from the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority concerning combining the city’s waste water system with Cumberland and Lynch. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

For thousands of years, religious people have gathered together in houses of worship to sing songs, celebrate sacred rituals, and lift up prayers to God(s) on high. And on July 1, a new religious group in Indiana intends to do just that — but with a lot more emphasis on the “high” part. [ThinkProgress]

As his fellow Republican Kentucky senator, Mitch McConnell, pushes this week to reauthorize the Patriot Act, Rand Paul took his presidential campaign to Independence Mall on Monday and said he’d do whatever he could to kill the law and the bulk collection of Americans’ phone records. [H-L]

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Monday he intends this week to “responsibly extend” provisions of the USA Patriot Act due to expire on June 1. [HuffPo]