Your Morning Dept Of Awful Things

Jack Conway stuck to the script and Matt Bevin continued his seemingly spontaneous campaign during an hour-long debate before the rabid fans of Big Blue Nation on the state’s most popular sports talk radio show. [H-L]

U.S. airstrikes hit Taliban positions overnight around a key northern city seized by insurgents this week as Afghan troops massed on the ground Wednesday ahead of what is likely to be a protracted battle to retake Kunduz. [HuffPo]

It wasn’t a miscommunication until they were called on the carpet. People trying to communicate with the Kentucky Division of Water on new water quality standards using email were told this week to buy a stamp and send their comments via snail mail. [C-J/AKN]

A bipartisan group of senators on the Judiciary Committee is preparing to unveil a criminal justice overhaul proposal as early as Thursday. [NPR]

Jack Conway, Kentucky’s Democratic Attorney General who is running for governor, and Greg Stumbo, Kentucky’s Speaker of the House, are in the same party and are on the same side when it comes to coal, which they both defend. But they don’t always agree. [Ronnie Ellis]

Pope Francis met privately in Washington last week with Kim Davis, the county clerk in Kentucky who defied a court order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, a Vatican spokesman confirmed on Wendesday. [NY Times]

Last week, I was proud to join with the father of Kentucky State Police Trooper Joseph Cameron Ponder and other legislators as we stood together to advocate for additional safety measures for law enforcement. [Greg Stumbo]

LaserLock Technologies, a firm that sells anti-counterfeiting products, won a powerful congressional ally on Capitol Hill after recruiting a Kentucky congressman’s wife. Representative Ed Whitfield, a senior Republican lawmaker from western Kentucky, personally submitted company documents on behalf of LaserLock to the congressional record in support of legislation crucial to the firm’s business. [Lee Fang]

The former chairman of the Republican National Committee is upset he was quoted in a television ad for Kentucky gubernatorial candidate Jack Conway. Duncan – who is from Inez, Ky., and now heads the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity – told WYMT his comments were taken out of context. “The comments that I made were as the chief executive officer of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity. It had nothing to do with the Republican National Committee,” Duncan said Tuesday night in a phone interview. [WYMT]

U.S. bombs somehow keep falling in the places where President Barack Obama “ended two wars.” [The Intercept]

Laurel County is back to being the worst place on earth. A woman has been arrested after sheriff’s deputies say they found a man’s body inside a freezer at her Laurel County home. [WKYT]

It could have been Hillary Clinton’s tweet that did it. Just after the US government had given the go-ahead for Shell to restart its exploration in Alaska, the Democratic presidential candidate took to the social media site. [BBC]

Every community in Kentucky should be serving alcohol and selling it by the package because it’s not the dark ages. Berea voters on Tuesday approved the sale of alcohol by the drink in certain restaurants. [H-L]

After enduring a marathon House hearing on Tuesday during which GOP representatives frequently interrupted her, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards accused them of political grandstanding and using the hearing to demonstrate how “they are obsessed with ending access to reproductive health care for women in America.” [HuffPo]

We Knew UofL Was Messy 8 Years Ago

The federal mine-safety agency opened a new Kentucky center Friday aimed at improving its capacity to handle rescues, with a response truck, communication systems and portable, high-tech equipment to test for poisonous and explosive gases. [H-L]

Military officials on Friday denied the request of Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning to grow her hair in accordance with female grooming standards. [HuffPo]

African Americans living in Kentucky saw their average yearly incomes drop by more than 11 percent in one year, according to U.S. Census Bureau data released this week. The poverty rate also rose for black Kentuckians at a rate four times more than the rest of the state from 2013 to 2014. [C-J/AKN]

Exxon’s research laid the groundwork for a 1982 corporate primer on carbon dioxide and climate change prepared by its environmental affairs office. [ICN]

The attorney for the man accused of abusing public trust while employed with the City of Ashland has been given more time for discovery in the case. [Ashland Independent]

The White House said on Monday there was a surprising increase in August in the number of children entering the country illegally after those figures fell steadily since the child migrant crisis a year ago. [Reuters]

This is not how Kathy Jones envisioned her retirement years. [Glasgow Daily Times]

For nearly 15 years, voters have been able to click a mouse to view an up-to-date list of who’s contributed to candidates for the presidency and the U.S. House, and how those funds have been spent. [ProPublica]

The more the media hype this guy up, the more they’re contributing to his mental health issues and substance abuse problems. It’s just a spectacle and is beyond unnecessary. They won’t stop until he’s dead and then they’ll turn a blind eye. [WKYT]

Jeb Bush stood before supporters in Tallahassee, the Florida capital over which he presided for eight years, and vowed in his first policy speech as a presidential candidate last June to halt the “revolving door” between Congress and K Street. But the promise was undercut both by the audience to which Bush spoke — which included numerous lobbyists from his days as governor — and by the intensity with which Bush replenished his personal bank accounts upon leaving office by cashing in on the connections he had made. [Politico]

Who could have known, over the past eight years, that there’s a morale problem with faculty and staff at the University of Louisville??? Vicious and disrespectful: that’s how some faculty and staff describe the work environment at the University of Louisville. [WDRB]

US Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl left his post in Afghanistan six years ago to express concerns with his unit’s leadership, an officer has testified. [BBC]

A case alleging that Pike County Circuit Judge Steven D. Combs violated ethics standards ended Monday with an agreement for Combs to be suspended without pay for six months. [H-L]

Seventy-three law enforcement agencies across the country will receive $20 million in federal grants to help them purchase and implement the use of body cameras, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Assistance announced Monday. [HuffPo]

Tonight’s “Debate” Should Be Terrible

And you thought the return of football season was exciting. Well, there are other showdowns kicking off this week that promise their own thrills. [H-L]

Along the Rio Grande, a program designed to reduce cross-border wait times is shrinking the barrier between El Paso and Juarez. [HuffPo]

It’s your last chance to get your questions in before Tuesday’s Bluegrass Poll Gubernatorial Debate. [C-J/AKN]

Before Jeb! Bush unveiled his tax! plan! on Wednesday, he met in Manhattan with Stephen Moore, an economist at the conservative Heritage Foundation. Also there were Steve Forbes (whose family owned Forbes Magazine until they sold it last year to Hong Kong-based investors) and Larry Kudlow (a CNBC contributor and the worst economic prognosticator since Irving Fisher). [The Intercept]

What event requires more than 120 gallons of milk, 70 pounds of margarine, 130 dozen eggs and 175 pounds of cornmeal? The 2015 Spoonbread Festival. [Richmond Register]

Thousands of public sector workers demonstrated on Friday against an austerity plan to help pull Puerto Rico out of a massive debt crisis, saying the private sector should take more of the pain. [Reuters]

Issues regarding Funtown Mountain, a carnival-themed roadside attraction in Cave City, continued on Monday with it being a primary topic of discussion among members of the city’s code enforcement’s board of directors, and with one of the lending agencies that helped fund the property purchase filing legal action in Barren Circuit Court. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A ProPublica analysis of newly available federal data shows that some of the nation’s wealthiest colleges are leaving their poorest students with plenty of debt. [ProPublica]

Rowan Fiscal Court opened bids on two critical bridge projects in a special meeting last week. [The Morehead News]

Here’s Rand Paul (R-Cookie Tree) hypocritically blaming Democrats for a potential government shutdown. [ThinkProgress]

The Russell City Council is tasked with deciding whether or not to maintain the current property tax rate or change it, but they are seeking public input before making a proposal. [Ashland Independent]

Look, if you’re a presidential candidate and you sing on the campaign trail? You’re probably just going to need to go away. [WaPo]

The Fayette County school board heard details Monday about the 2015-16 budget that will total more than $442 million. That is an increase of $20 million, or 4.8 percent, over the previous year, district budget director Julane Mullins said. [H-L]

Once the favored establishment candidate, GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush has seen his poll numbers drop and, consequently, a dip in campaign donations. [HuffPo]

Gubernatorial Race Will Melt Yer Brain

Kentucky’s next governor takes office Dec. 8 and gets just a few weeks to prepare the roughly $24 billion, two-year state budget that he’ll propose to the legislature this winter. [John Cheves]

When an execution is reported on in the media, coverage typically peaks during the few days before and after it is carried out. But the coverage often fails to go into any depth. [HuffPo]

Jack Conway went to western Louisville on Saturday and promised that he would appoint African Americans to the University of Louisville’s board of trustees if he were elected governor. [C-J/AKN]

The press has become more aggressive about reporting on national security in the post-Snowden world, ranking House Intelligence Committee member Adam Schiff said Thursday. [The Intercept]

Some tourism and economic development officials are squirming uncomfortably as the nation watches the events play out in Rowan County where Kim Davis, the county clerk, refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. [Ronnie Ellis]

The scary stock market that we’ve seen since mid-August is a classic example of how reality keeps intruding on theory. And it shows how there really is no such thing as free money on Wall Street, no matter how beguiling the sales pitch. [ProPublica]

In about two months Rowan County property owners will receive property tax bills for 2015 and some could see a slight increase even if tax rates stay the same. [The Morehead News]

Rand Paul on Saturday signaled plans to ratchet up his attacks against Donald Trump during the next Republican primary debate Sept. 16 – and Trump fired back on Twitter. [Politico]

The number of Kentuckians receiving tax credits through the federal health care law to reduce the cost of insurance is among the lowest in the country. And a state official says that shows Kentucky’s health insurance exchange is working the way it’s supposed to. [WFPL]

Among the first firefighters on the scene when wildfires broke out in eastern Washington this summer was a crew of juveniles — inmates, actually. The crew, teens aged 15 to 19, were building fire lines and digging trenches. Hard work, in difficult conditions. [NPR]

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis bowed to a federal court Monday morning – sort of. She said she will not allow her name to appear on marriage licenses issued by her deputies, but she also will not stop them from issuing licenses. [More Ronnie Ellis]

To listen to the way some Republicans tell it, America is a pretty awful place these days. [NY Times]

Every circus has clowns, and the carnival surrounding Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis’ claim that her religious beliefs should trump the rule of law and the civil rights of the people she is paid to serve has attracted more than its share of them. [Tom Eblen]

Most members of Congress had something to say about never forgetting the heroes of 9/11 as the 14th anniversary of those attacks passed Friday, but by the end of the day, only about a third of federal lawmakers had signed onto new legislation to aid those ailing responders. [HuffPo]

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]