This All Helps Rand Win Re-Election

It’s a rare Sunday session for senators, and on the agenda are efforts to repeal President Barack Obama’s health care law and reviving the federal Export-Import Bank. [H-L]

Someone has taken up Justice Stephen Breyer’s invitation to challenge the constitutionality of the death penalty. [HuffPo]

It wasn’t until after Sarah Norris dropped out of high school that she found an educational program that worked for her. [C-J/AKN]

Has he stalled? It doesn’t matter. This is a push to raise his U.S. Senate profile and it’s worked. A year ago, Rand Paul, the libertarian-minded senator from Kentucky, was among the leading potential candidates in the GOP presidential race, topping at least three national polls in spring and early summer. [The Hill]

Officials from Eastern Kentucky University’s aviation degree program flew into the Ashland Regional Airport Thursday to greet students interested in earning a college degree while spending as much time in an airplane cockpit as in a college classroom. [Ashland Independent]

Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz ripped into his party’s establishment on Friday, calling Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell a liar during an unusual public attack on the floor of the Senate. [Reuters]

Matt Bevin, the Republican nominee for governor, acknowledged Thursday for the first time that switching from Kentucky’s state health exchange to a federal exchange won’t in itself affect the state’s expansion of Medicaid. [Ronnie Ellis]

Twenty-five years ago this weekend, the Americans With Disabilities Act was signed into law, officially outlawing discrimination against disabled people in employment, transportation, public accommodation, communications, and government services. [Mother Jones]

Western Kentucky school boards are the absolute worst. Glasgow Independent Schools plans to appeal an opinion from the Kentucky Office of the Attorney General that said its board of education violated the state’s open meetings law in March. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The H-2 visa program invites foreign workers to do some of the most menial labor in America. Then it leaves them at the mercy of their employers. Thousands of these workers have been abused — deprived of their fair pay, imprisoned, starved, beaten, raped, and threatened with deportation if they dare complain. And the government says it can do little to help. [BuzzFeed]

Citizens and emergency responders were only hours away from what could have been a very serious situation when last week’s storms knocked out power at the radio repeater site on Tower Road off Dry Creek Road. [The Morehead News]

You should check out these photos of Dubya and Unka Dick from September 11, 2011. Seriously, not joking, check them out. [Flickr]

A bunch of fat, racist, white guys played dress-up on Friday and showed their true colors. Kentucky’s state government should not turn its back on Confederate symbols, including the “stars and bars” battle flag and Jefferson Davis, speakers told more than a hundred people at a “Southern pride” rally outside the Capitol Friday. [John Cheves]

Mitch McConnell fast-tracked a bill to defund Planned Parenthood on Friday because of an undercover video of a Planned Parenthood doctor discussing the donation of fetal tissue after abortions. But McConnell was one of many Republicans who voted to lift a ban on fetal tissue donations after abortions in 1993 — the very move that legalized Planned Parenthood’s actions. [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]

The Downfall Of Jamie Comer Continues

Jamie Comer is lying again. He absolutely knew the effects of the bill. Quite a few people spelled it out for him. P.S. Yes, Rogers, McConnell & crew are now supporting Heiner. [H-L]

In the years since “Mission Accomplished,” some 149,053 civilians have been killed, compared to about 7,412 prior to the speech, according to the website Iraq Body Count. Since the speech, 4,637 military members in the Iraq War coalition led by the U.S. have lost their lives, versus 172 prior, according to the Iraq Coalition Casualty Count. As of September 2014, total U.S. expenditures on the war in Iraq totaled $815.8 billion, about 93 percent of which was spent after 2003. That cost is more than 16 times the Bush administration’s original projection. [HuffPo]

Truth is generally a casualty in political battles and there’s not an issue that’s suffered more wounds in this year’s Kentucky governor’s race than the Common Core academic standards that Kentucky adopted in 2010. [C-J/AKN]

Will the Supreme Court look behind the curtain of lethal injection? [The Intercept]

Adam Edelen needs to recuse himself immediately. Here’s why: he’s been asked to join the UofL Foundation board and once asked me for my opinion about it. I told him to run quickly away. But that means he’s got a conflict of interest. [WDRB]

When a member of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s security detail left his Glock and magazine stuffed in the toilet seat cover holder of a Capitol Visitor Center bathroom stall, a CVC worker found the gun, according to a source familiar with the Jan. 29 incident and two other disturbing instances when Capitol Police left loaded firearms in problematic places. A 7- or 8-year-old child visiting the Capitol with his parents found the next loaded Glock lost by a dignitary protection officer, according to the source. A member of the security detail for John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, allegedly left the firearm in the bathroom of the Speaker’s Suite on March 24. [Roll Call]

It was a record-breaking 141st running of the $1 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) at Churchill Downs Racetrack which culminated as 123,763 fans, the highest attendance of all time, watched a memorable win by Lovely Maria. The prior attendance record was 116,046, set in 2010, during the 136th running of the Kentucky Oaks. [Press Release]

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell faces a tough choice this week on how to move forward with a controversial bill that would allow Congress to review and vote on a nuclear deal with Iran. [The Hill]

Most eyes were fixed on the Kentucky Derby this weekend, but the Republican gubernatorial primary began last week to look as if it might be headed for its own photo finish. [Ronnie Ellis]

Her campaign barely three weeks old, Hillary Clinton already has been attacked by Republicans on everything from donations to her family’s charitable foundation, to her tenure as secretary of state and her ties to Wall Street. But her rivals, and the political action committees that support them, are treading more carefully on one incendiary subject: her age. [Reuters]

While previous media reports led to the return – or at least the documentation – of several military surplus items missing from the Glasgow Police Department, more than 100 such items remain unaccounted for, and fingers seem to be pointing at a former member of the GPD. [Glasgow Daily Times]

What the Kentucky Derby owes to China. If it weren’t for KFC’s giant Asian consumer base, the annual classic would be a much poorer event. [Politico]

The Fayette County Public Schools board voted Sunday to terminate its contract with superintendent search firm PROACT Search Inc. The board went into closed session shortly before 9 a.m. Sunday to discuss possible litigation against the search firm. [H-L]

The Tata group, one of India’s largest conglomerates, promised to be a good neighbor when it took on the job of building the nation’s first “ultra mega” coal-fired power plant. [HuffPo]

Jim Gray Doles Out The Big Bucks

The President today declared a major disaster exists in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and ordered federal aid to supplement commonwealth and local recovery efforts in the area affected by the severe winter storms, snowstorms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides during the period of February 15-22, 2015. [Press Release]

Four members of Lexington Mayor Jim Gray’s staff have received hefty salary increases during the past year, salary data show. [H-L]

Think about this: more than 4 in 10 people in the United States live in counties that have unhealthy levels of either ozone or particle pollution. [HuffPo]

Here is some reaction from officials and friends on the passing of federal Judge John Heyburn. [C-J/AKN]

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont, launched a long-shot bid for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday, a move likely to pressure Hillary Clinton from the left on issues from income inequality to corporate governance. [Reuters]

Considering he is a Kentucky icon and Greenup County native, the author of scores of books and subject of many a scholarly article, the late Jesse Stuart is not as well understood as most people might think. [Ashland Independent]

With Baltimore’s troubles as a backdrop, House Republicans are proposing new cuts from urban programs this week even as their budget would add tens of billions of dollars for the Pentagon to get around strict spending caps. [Politico]

This is the big news in Morehead: a funeral home is changing its name. [The Morehead News]

The American Psychological Association secretly collaborated with the administration of President George W. Bush to bolster a legal and ethical justification for the torture of prisoners swept up in the post-Sept. 11 war on terror, according to a new report by a group of dissident health professionals and human rights activists. [NY Times]

The post-position draw happened at Churchill Downs on April 29. The Kentucky Derby will happen on May 2. [WHAS11]

Wall Street closed sharply lower on Thursday as weak results from several companies hit investor sentiment. Wednesday’s disappointing GDP figures also contributed to the sharp falls in the US. [BBC]

During any other week twenty flights would make a busy day for Atlantic Aviation. However, the Thursday through Saturday of Derby week redefines wingtip-to wingtip. [WAVE3]

President Barack Obama’s library will be built in Chicago, NBC News confirmed Thursday. [NBC Chicago]

We can’t stop laughing about this. A DARE officer for the Frankfort Police Department who allegedly was involved in a transaction for anabolic steroids with a central figure in the recent high-profile bourbon thefts has resigned, a department spokesman said Wednesday. [H-L]

The federal money pot that pays for roads, bridges and mass transit expires in one month, and lawmakers are struggling to build support for legislation that would extend it. [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]

Court Upholds Anti-Gay Discrimination

Fayette Circuit Judge James Ishmael issued a ruling Monday reversing the Lexington Human Rights Commission’s 2014 decision that Hands On Originals violated Lexington’s Fairness Ordinance. [H-L]

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday revived religious objections by Catholic groups in Michigan and Tennessee to the Obamacare requirement for contraception coverage, throwing out a lower court decision favoring President Barack Obama’s administration. [HuffPo]

With Kentucky making a bid for its own fracking boom, the U.S. Geological Survey this week came out with a new study showing the federal agency’s scientists are more convinced than ever that drilling waste disposal is causing lots of earthquakes in the central and eastern United States. [C-J/AKN]

A Kentucky judge has validated a printing company’s discrimination against an LGBT group under the state’s “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” (RFRA). [Think Progress]

Hey, Harlan County Fiscal Court, quit it with the horrible audits and fiscal mismanagement. You’re losing millions of dollars by acting as if you’re dumb hillbillies and you’re absolutely not. [External PDF]

José Díaz-Balart talks with Tevin Johnson-Campion, the son of two plaintiffs in one of the same-sex marriage cases before the Supreme Court, about the impact the Court’s ruling will have on his family. [MSNBC]

The Catlettsburg city council is considering installing protections against bullying to its personnel handbook in addition to what is already spelled out in its harassment policy. [Ashland Independent]

How the religious right is conspiring to put discrimination back into law. In 1983, in Oregon, two men, Alfred Smith and Galen Black, were fired from their jobs as substance abuse counselors at a drug rehab clinic. A supervisor got wind that the men had been using peyote, a powerful psychoactive drug made from a small cactus said to trigger hallucinations and feelings of deep introspection. [The Advocate]

After coal miners filed federal lawsuits against Jim Justice-owned coal mines located in Wise County, Va., both class action lawsuits have now been approved by the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Abingdon, Va. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

Poor Dubya waded back into the national conversation in the worse way. [NY Times]

Summer fun and holidays are fast approaching, and the City of Vicco is preparing to celebrate one of the biggest—the Fourth of July. To help with some of the costs of Vicco’s annual Fourth of July Bash, the city has come up with some fundraisers this year, including a new “Friends of Vicco Cookbook,” set to be released in June. [Hazard Herald]

The government’s efforts to collect information about Americans’ calls and emails received mixed reviews from government officials, according to the release of a once-classified report. [The Hill]

In addition to their state salaries, Gov. Steve Beshear and the six other Kentucky constitutional officers have additional sources of income. [H-L]

Corinthian Colleges Inc., once one of the nation’s largest chains of for-profit colleges, announced Sunday it is abruptly shutting down after failing to find buyers for its roughly 30 remaining campuses, leaving up to 16,000 students in the lurch and potentially costing the U.S. Department of Education tens of millions of dollars in foregone federal student loan payments. [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]

FEAR! DARK MONEY! SCARE THE MEEMAWS! IGNORE THE DEMS!

Venturing into the epicenter of Kentucky’s fight against heroin addiction, national drug czar Michael Botticelli on Thursday touted needle-exchange programs as effective grassroots initiatives to combat the spread of infectious disease and to steer heroin users into treatment. [H-L]

When Rand Paul announced his candidacy for president last week, he declared his plans to help America “take our country back.” Singer-songwriter Jill Sobule has an important question for the 2016 contender: “What the fuck do you mean?” [HuffPo]

Dark money has seeped into Kentucky’s current Republican gubernatorial primary and it’s likely to turn the election a lot darker before the May 19 election. [C-J/AKN]

“Sandy Hook is just the beginning. We’re raising a generation of mass killers.” [ThinkProgress]

The Commonwealth of Kentucky has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking competitive proposals from Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) to coordinate the healthcare services provided to more than 1.1 million Kentuckians who have met eligibility requirements and are enrolled in either traditional Medicaid or Medicaid expansion. The current contracts with Anthem, Aetna (Coventry Cares), Humana (CareSource), Passport and Wellcare are set to expire on June 30, 2015. The new contracts will take effect July 1, 2015. [Press Release]

US President Barack Obama has said his meeting with Cuban President Raul Castro will help both countries “turn the page” after decades of hostility. [BBC]

Highway fatalities in Kentucky increased in 2014 after a record low in 2013. There were 672 fatalities last year, 34 more then 2013. [Press Release]

They may not be the most attractive creatures in the world, and they scare the life out of many people, but you have to feel bad for the bat. [NPR]

Look what the Kentucky Baptist Convention bigots are up to these days. Promoting their bigoted Sunrise Children’s Services scam. [Ashland Independent]

As prosecutors put the finishing touches on the 2008 indictment of Blackwater security contractors for a deadly shooting in Iraq, the F.B.I. agents leading the investigation became convinced that political appointees in the Justice Department were intentionally undermining the case, internal emails show. [NY Times]

Glasgow police Lt. Col. Guy Turcotte, the department’s former chief, received verbal and written reprimands in the past week since returning from extended time off, according to documents obtained Friday afternoon by the Daily Times through open records requests. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Hillary Clinton’s campaign announcement on Sunday lit up Facebook, making a bigger splash than the announcements of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Wingnut) or Sen. Rand Paul (R-Miniature Texan). [The Hill]

With the formidable USS Yorktown as a backdrop, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul declared Thursday that he would “never take the country to war without just cause and without constitutional approval of Congress.” [H-L]

Visitors to the White House whose gender identity doesn’t align with a male/female binary now have have a safe space to use the restroom. [HuffPo]

Louisville Suddenly Hates Mayor Greg Fischer

Two people who admitted paying kickbacks to Morgan County Judge-Executive Tim Conley in exchange for contracts will not go to prison, but will serve periods of home-detention. [H-L]

With Kentucky’s collective hangover from this year’s ugly U.S. Senate race receding slowly, it’s a safe bet that the race for governor, which has been well underway for months, is set to move into warp speed. [Sam Youngman]

The price of oil has been plummeting for months, leaving oil-producing nations around the world aghast at their sinking revenues. Poor global economic growth has cut demand, while the U.S. is producing oil faster than ever recorded. [HuffPo]

Just hours after a Metro Council committee backed a plan to raise the local minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, Mayor Greg Fischer promised to veto it. [C-J/AKN]

The Obama administration will soon finish rules aimed at controlling pollution from toxic coal ash, making good on a promise it made less than two months after President Obama’s inauguration. [The Hill]

After more than 40 years of working within the Glasgow Independent Schools district, Elaine Richardson still doesn’t know what she wants to be when she grows up. [Glasgow Daily Times]

More Senate staff members stand to be forced out of the health plan for federal workers under a policy adopted Wednesday by Senate Republicans. [WaPo]

Suicides among Kentucky veterans and active military service members have increased the past several years. In many cases, those who have died never sought help through the Veterans Affairs Medical Center. [WFPL]

Former U.S. President George W. Bush has cancelled a visit to Switzerland over fears he could have been arrested on torture charges. [Daily Mail]

Andy Beshear touted the endorsements of Brucie Moore and Joleen Frederick. Hahahaha. [Press Release]

Elizabeth Warren says the gays should be able to donate blood. Elizabeth Warren and a host of Democratic lawmakers are demanding the Obama administration stand up for gay rights. [Mother Jones]

The Louisville Metro Council’s labor and economic development committee voted Monday to approve an increase for Louisville’s minimum wage with a vote of 3-2. [WDRB]

A government-appointed group of top nutrition experts, assigned to lay the scientific groundwork for a new version of the nation’s dietary guidelines, decided earlier this year to collect data on the environmental implication of different food choices. Congress now has slapped them down. [NPR]

A former eastern Kentucky mayor who was convicted of intentionally violating voters’ civil rights during the 2012 general election has been sentenced to 90 months in prison. [H-L]

A northern white rhinoceros that was only one of six left in the world died Sunday at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, zoo officials said. [HuffPo]