Rough Week For A Former Fletcher Guy

HELP PROTECT OUR SOURCES! Stop the Montgomery County-Joshua Powell-Phil Rison insanity! Help us pay ridiculous the fees these shysters caused. [CLICK HERE]

Federal regulators have proposed that equipment used to haul coal in underground mines be required to have technology designed to prevent miners from being run over or crushed. [H-L]

Warren Buffett doesn’t think any Americans should be poor anymore. In an economy that produces over $54,000 in gross domestic product per capita, the billionaire says, regulators must rein in the fast-widening gap between the poor and the super-rich. [HuffPo]

The Securities and Exchange Commission has accused former Kentucky Lt. Gov. Steve Pence of fraud. The civil charge against Pence, who also is a former U.S. attorney, accuses him of making misleading statements to auditors when he was the majority shareholder and chairman of a staffing services company called General Employment Enterprises. [C-J/AKN]


WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! Two arrests in an animal cruelty investigation in Florida has ties to a similar case in Kentucky and other states. One of the two womens’ many aliases will sound familiar. [WLEX18]

The bipartisan leadership of the House Energy and Commerce Committee is asking the Food and Drug Administration how it monitors the safety of the popular blood thinner Coumadin, particularly in light of deaths and hospitalizations of nursing home residents taking the drug. [ProPublica]

Louisville Metro police are conducting a death investigation after a 50-year-old woman was found dead in West Louisville, but neighbors said they don’t believe her death was an accident. [WAVE3]

More than 90 percent of Americans support expanding background checks on gun purchases. Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush is one of those supporters — but only when it comes to his own state. [ThinkProgress]

A Warren County couple will soon open the doors of Drake Country Store for their fourth stint as owners. [BGDN]

In July, the BBC published a video showing that not only are US workers not guaranteed vacation time by law, but that 40% choose not to take all of the days to which they are entitled. [BBC]

A report from the Kentucky State Police released late last month revealed that in 2014 there were 127,326 reported vehicle collisions within the state. That figure is a 3.3 percent increase from the number that was reported in 2013. [Times-Tribune]

After faring poorly in recent polls amid a crowded GOP presidential field, Jeb Bush has begun aggressively courting former US diplomats, who he hopes will make public endorsements for him and encourage wealthy American expats to donate to his campaign. [Mother Jones]

Predictions on how long it takes Salato to let the bobcat and bald eagle die? [H-L]

Jeb Bush is copying Donald Trump — and Hillary Clinton, and President Barack Obama. [HuffPo]

Maybe Rand & Donald Will Slap Fight

HELP PROTECT OUR SOURCES! Stop the Montgomery County-Joshua Powell-Phil Rison insanity! [CLICK HERE]

The Tricorder wielded by Star Trek’s Dr. Jim McCoy is the go-to, whiz-bang medical technology best known to the masses. Seemingly able to do everything but give birth to a human, the gadget continues to be a mostly unobtainable medical aspiration. But in ways that would have been no less fantastic 50 years ago, the digital age in medicine is changing lives. [H-L]

President Barack Obama isn’t backing down from comments linking Republicans and Iranian hard-liners, telling CNN in a recent interview that the comparison was accurate. [HuffPo]

Befitting the strangest competitive race for governor of Kentucky in living memory, the political speaking at the 135th Fancy Farm Picnic had its weird moments, brought to you mainly by Republican nominee Matt Bevin. But in saying hardly anything substantive, he did manage to illustrate the strange campaign he’s running. [Al Cross]

Several Planned Parenthood officials and three private bio-medical firms were targeted on Friday by a U.S. congressional panel as lawmakers dig deeper into a controversy swirling around the women’s health organization. [Reuters]

As students across WAVE Country get ready to head back to school two Republican state senators plan to renew their efforts on legislation that would prohibit Kentucky’s school districts from starting classes before Aug. 26. [WAVE3]

Robert Freeman has been helping people extract public information from New York state agencies for four decades. He is the executive director of the New York Committee on Open Government, a division of the New York Department of State that advises the public on the Freedom of Information Law — the state statute authorizing access to public records. [ProPublica]

The Lewis County clerk’s and sheriff’s offices lack adequate segregation of duties, according to Kentucky Auditor Adam Edelen. [Ashland Independent]

Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) is the rare GOP presidential candidate who has acknowledged that climate change is a real problem requiring us to “protect” the “creation that the Lord has given us.” But just days after earning plaudits for his relatively moderate-sounding approach in Thursday’s GOP presidential debate, Kasich adopted a climate-change denialist approach on Sunday. [ThinkProgress]

This caused an Ernie Fletcher flashback for some reason. The concept of noodling turns fishing on its head. Let me first say, I haven’t tried it, but I’m fascinated by the concept. [BGDN]

Wild bonobos use a single high-pitched call in a variety of contexts, showing a flexibility in their communication that was thought to be uniquely human. [BBC]

An area festival showcased the wide variety of hemp – a crop many are hoping to bring back to the Bluegrass. [WLKY]

Today there are 7.3 billion people on planet Earth, according to the United Nations. If you think that’s a lot … just wait. [NPR]

Less than a month ago, Rand Paul wouldn’t talk about Donald Trump. On a break from the presidential campaign trail in mid-July, Paul demurred as reporters asked him about the bombastic GOP frontrunner at events in Elizabethtown and Louisville. [H-L]

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) preserved support from his hawkish pro-Israel base with his promise to vote down the Iran nuclear deal on Thursday night — but will now have to answer to a group of anti-war liberal advocacy organizations who claim that Schumer’s opposition to the diplomatic accord with Iran renders him unfit for the role of the party’s leader in the Senate. [HuffPo]

The Gays Went To Court Today

Want to hear audio of today’s Supreme Court hearing on gay marriage? Transcript will be there, as well. [Part One & Part Two]

The Kentucky State University Board of Regents approved a tuition increase during a meeting Friday. [H-L]

As he began his first re-election run in early 2013, tea party Rep. Thomas Massie had no trouble raising money from business interests. [HuffPo]

There’s an old Broadway musical song that says “Money makes the world go around” and that’s true nowhere more than in the political realm where money is quite often the deciding factor. It’s not only who can raise it, but it’s also who can spend it wisely. [C-J/AKN]

NASA on Thursday marked the silver anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope with fireworks, of a celestial kind, conveyed by the orbiting observatory itself. [Reuters]

Looks like Jamie Comer was forced to admit his hypocrisy on the Ernie Fletcher front: Comer said Monday that he “reached out” to members of the Fletcher administration to make sure they knew he was talking only about “a few bad apples,” that the “overwhelming majority” of those in the Fletcher administration were good people and that Fletcher was a good man. He pointed out that he hired some former Fletcher administration employees at the Department of Agriculture and others are supporting his campaign. [Ronnie Ellis]

This is going to anger people like Ken Ham. People with lower back problems are more likely to have a spine similar in shape to the chimpanzee, our closest ape ancestor. [BBC]

Here’s Greg Stumbo’s latest column — written by some lowly LRC staffer — about Right to Work. [Floyd County Times]

This week’s same-sex-marriage cases at the Supreme Court brought in a record number of friend-of-the-court briefs — 148 of them, according to the court, beating the previous record of 136 in the 2013 Obamacare case. [NPR]

Kentucky State Police Trooper Rodney Sturgill is investigating an incident involving a 2-year-old girl found unresponsive off Osborne Lane in Terrys Fork in the Wallins Creek community. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

One of the first fights of the Republican presidential primary season will be over U.S. spying. [The Hill]

The Lexington Police Department is investigating a violent home invasion after a man exchanged gunfire with four robbery suspects on Tuesday morning. [WKYT]

When the country’s most powerful union leader delivers what’s being billed as a “major address” on Tuesday, it will be widely seen as a memo to Hillary Clinton outlining what she must do to earn organized labor’s support. [Politico]

When Pellom McDaniels III was researching black athletes and their influence on the 20th century, he kept running across the name Isaac Murphy. One article referred to Murphy as “an elegant specimen of manhood.” [H-L]

When asked why they’d come to the National Mall on a recent overcast Saturday, four days before the Supreme Court would hold its latest hearing on same-sex marriage, nearly all of the dozens of people I talked to opened with the same statement, pretty much word for word: “I believe that God’s marriage is between a man and a woman.” Several added, as an afterthought, “God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve” — looking at me frankly, as if that settled everything. [HuffPo]

Don’t forget to enter to win a copy of Lawn Darts of Fate! Contest runs through the end of the week. [Page One & The ‘Ville Voice]

Yet Another Dumb Comer Hypocrisy

People who know Hal Heiner in Louisville are rolling their ways way back in their head when they read this. [H-L]

Did you see some crazy ass Tony Perkins video at your church this weekend? [HuffPo]

Isn’t it fun watching Jamie Comer complain about Hal Heiner’s ties to former Ernie Fletcher aides? Considering Jamie Comer is surrounded by former Fletcher aides — including Riggs Lewis, who faced (wrongly or not) indictment during the Fletcher scandal. What about Kristen Branscum? [C-J/AKN]

Families of American hostages who communicate with foreign kidnappers or raise money and pay ransoms will no longer have to fear prosecution for aiding terrorist groups, a White House-ordered advisory group on U.S. hostage policy is expected to recommend, senior officials told ABC News last week. [ABC News]

Madison County Schools closed the doors of the district’s old office Thursday, as staff began moving into a new building on Highland Park Drive. [Richmond Register]

A century ago, America purported to open its arms to the “wretched refuse” of other societies. Now we have “disappeared” our own underclass into permanent exile right in our own backyards. [The Intercept]

The city of Ashland has had its annual audits performed by the same local accounting firm for about 20 years, but that may change. [Ashland Independent]

Top lawmakers are laughing off the possibility that the U.S. Postal Service might rely on drones in the coming years. [The Hill]

Glasgow Mayor Dick Doty has confirmed eight of nine people who will assist in the process of selecting the city’s next chief of police from a pool of “right at 20” applicants. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A Mexican archeologist hunting for a royal tomb in a deep, dark tunnel beneath a towering pre-Aztec pyramid has made a discovery that may have brought him a step closer: liquid mercury. [Reuters]

The Rowan County Board of Education spent much of its meeting hearing good news from the schools but later agreed to meet to talk about cutting the district’s operating budget. [The Morehead News]

With the introduction of DNA analysis three decades ago, criminal investigations and prosecutions gained a powerful tool to link suspects to crimes through biological evidence. This field has also exposed scores of wrongful convictions, and raised serious questions about the forensic science used in building cases. [ProPublica]

Jerry Parton waded slowly down Station Camp Creek, scanning the rocky bottom beneath shallow riffles. He carried a plastic bucket in one hand and a three-pronged rake in the other, using it to turn over stones now and then. Parton bent down, picked up one and rolled it in his hand. Then he shook his head. [Tom Eblen]

Loretta Lynch was sworn in as U.S. attorney general on Monday, becoming the first African-American woman to fill the position. [HuffPo]

On Diversity & Such In State Govt

Is Affirmative Action a thing in state government? What about diversity? Is there a diversity plan or are those just words on a screen/sheet of paper?

It’s necessary to ask those questions. Which means it’s time throw up some words and put them in a story on this clap trap called Page One.

Since the days of Ernie Fletcher’s corrupt and backwater administration, the Commonwealth has included white women in reports to lift up the state’s minority numbers. Because folks in charge (read: governor & friends) don’t want to detail how many African Americans, Latinos, et al work in state government. Transparency is not a thing in Kentucky.

Governor Paul Patton’s goal was to have 6% actual minorities (not white women) in state government. Governor Fletcher padded reports with white women, increasing the rate to 10%. Now Governor Steve Beshear has raised that amount to 12%, still including white women as minorities. No one in Beshear’s office wants to talk about it.

An example: Just a few years ago the Transportation Cabinet ran into problems with federal funding when it wasn’t meeting minority hiring requirements. Add white women? Voilà, numbers look good, funds keep flowing, no one’s the wiser.

We started sniffing around the governor’s minority management training program to examine statistics on graduates. Talk about a futile attempt to figure out what’s really going on in Frankfort. The program was moved from the Governor’s Office to the Personnel Cabinet, apparently with the hope that it would slip through the cracks.

It obviously has fallen through the cracks. We’ve been asking questions since January and haven’t received an answer to anything.

The program was designed to recruit and train a pool of minority employees to be prepared for positions in management. Cabinets in state government, according to current and former employees with direct knowledge, claimed they were unable to identify any minorities to hire for upper management. Which… right… control your laughter. So a program was developed to solve that problem and then it was promptly ignored.

Like it or not, this continues to happen in Kentucky because it’s ingrained in the good old boy culture. Regardless of the names of those in positions of leadership, policies don’t change, actions don’t change, practices don’t change.

It’s why people like Yolanda Costner can so easily be abused and discarded. The people carrying out the abuse know there are no consequences. Their good old boy brethren will protect them. From John Arnold to Johnny Bell to Greg Stumbo.

Before progressives try to blame this on Republicans? Remember that the Republican Party of Kentucky hasn’t been in charge in your lifetime. The Kentucky Democratic Party maintained control. For your entire lifetime.

The Democrats — the people you think of as the lesser of two evils — have been in charge for decades and this is what you’ve got.

Going to try to claim I’m being paid by Republicans or some nonsense? This website more than proves I hate both parties equally, as any thinking person should. It’s not about partisanship.

You’re going to be hearing a lot more about that good old boy network and how it’s maintained power over the next 18 months. They’ll still be in charge, sure, but Kentucky’s going to have an uncomfortable conversation or two.

Hal Heiner Knows He’ll Never Be Your Governor

Hal Heiner knows he’ll never win a gubernatorial election in the Commonwealth of Kentucky for myriad reasons. Not the least of which is he’s a big damn bigot who spends tens of thousands of dollars fighting to support discrimination. Not the part where he was chairman and funder of a state PAC that supported legislators while publicly meeting with those legislators and attempting to influence them, either. All that barely scratches the surface.

Two of the major reasons?

  • Ernie Fletcher
  • Leonard Lawson

Why those two? Let’s break it down…

  • Fletcher: Heiner is surrounded by Ernie Fletcher’s people. Daniel Groves, Darrell Brock, John Roach, Brian Crall, Stan Cave, Jess Correll. Do you remember what that was like, folks? The indictments, corruption and extremism?
  • Lawson: Heiner, like Jack Conway, is owned by Leonard Lawson. That’s why the wife of Scott Crosbie is his running mate. In fact, Lawson’s highway henchmen have been making calls to prominent political folks to beg them to support Heiner and when he loses, to support Conway.

Heiner’s chief campaign guy has little political experience outside Louisville, so it’s understandable that he wouldn’t have a sense of what’s really going on. But why would he? He’s making kickbacks on every mail piece, every ad buy, every email sent, every contribution.

We could talk for days about how Heiner says he’s going to run a positive campaign and will not go negative or attack people… while his campaign staff personally attack not just Jamie Comer but his employees and rumored-to-be campaign staffers. Getting nasty and personal when you don’t have a leg to stand on sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Like the Democrats in 2011. Heiner’s folks have even been attacking Jake, as if he’s a candidate instead of just the messenger of things they don’t want to hear.

So many Republicans are coming out of the woodwork to express their distaste for Heiner that they’ve started producing material like this:


Funny, isn’t it?

2015 is going to be intense.

Edelen Polls Poorly Against Conway In Louisville

A federal appeals court will hear arguments in gay marriage fights in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee in a single session, setting the stage for historic rulings in each state. [H-L]

Two-thirds of Americans back President Barack Obama’s push to reduce carbon emissions from power plants. [HuffPo]

This might be some of the dumbest junk we’ve read in years. If you want to work in media, you should be registered INDEPENDENT. That goes for lazy journalists (not all journalists, we’re singling some folks out) in addition to folks like Bill Lamb. [C-J/AKN]

U.S. consumer prices recorded their largest increase in more than a year in May as costs for a range of goods and services rose, likely easing the Federal Reserve’s concerns that inflation was running too low. [Reuters]

A Corbin primary center serving grades K-2 and an Ashland elementary school are among the 25 beneficiaries of “bornlearning Academy” grants from Kentucky’s Race to the Top Learning grants and 14 more of the academies to assist parents of pre-kindergarten children will be funded by Toyota Manufacturing. [Ashland Independent]

President Obama unveiled a proposal on Tuesday that would create the world’s largest ocean sanctuary south and west of Hawaii. [NPR]

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear told a Washington conference Tuesday that Kentucky’s embrace of the Affordable Care Act has been “life-changing” for thousands of Kentucky enrollees and “transformative” for Kentucky. [Ronnie Ellis]

Mitch McConnell attended a Koch Brothers summit to plan a $500 million campaign for Republican control of the U.S. Senate. [The Nation]

Welp, Ernie Fletcher is officially trying to reinvent himself and take credit for things he neither came up with nor took part in. [Click the Clicky]

The odd couple of Sen. Barbara Mikulski and Rep. Harold Rogers is a rare bipartisan success story. [WaPo]

If Adam Edelen isn’t running for governor it means one thing: He’s a political coward who is not as good as his word. Edelen, who has been pushing against Conway for months (along with his staff), is not in the game for the reasons he claims if he’s not running. He’s in it to promote himself, fluff up his ego and toe the line. [Deep Political Humor]

House Republicans rolled out a $21.3 billion financial services bill Tuesday that cuts more than $2 billion from President Barack Obama’s budget requests — chiefly at the expense of the Internal Revenue Service and Securities and Exchange Commission. [Politico]

Ohio-based CareSource and Florida-based WellCare have filed paperwork with state regulators indicating their interest in selling policies through kynect. Both companies provide Medicaid plans in Kentucky but have not sold on the individual market. [H-L]

Despite its disastrous rollout, Obamacare has been a good thing overall, according to Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. [HuffPo]

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]