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]

Whitesburg: The Worst Place On Earth?

Way to go, Whitesburg! Now everyone thinks you’re a bunch of dumb effing rednecks. It’s like you’ve escaped from a television sitcom version of a Nathan Smith-owned trailer park and you’re spewing your stupid everywhere. Perfect stereotype: fat, white lady who sells guns is spewing fear and hatred while a confederate flag and anti-Muslim sign hang in the windows. [WKYT]

Rhyan Moseley, a rising eighth-grader at Lexington’s Carter G. Woodson Academy, has spent his summer in a program at Kentucky State University focused on topics including computer coding and programming, mathematics and game design. [H-L]

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter arrived unannounced in Baghdad on Thursday to assess the government’s progress in healing the country’s sectarian divisions and hear the latest on support for the Iraqi army’s coming attempt to recapture the key city of Ramadi from the Islamic State. [HuffPo]

The big city folks finally started paying attention to what’s going on in Boyd County. Willing to reject more than $1 million a year in revenues, elected officials in Boyd County have called on Kentucky regulators to close a stinky, mega dump that’s fed by daily East Coast trash trains. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump says the chances that he will launch a third-party White House run will “absolutely” increase if the Republican National Committee is unfair to him during the 2016 primary season. [The Hill]

Glasgow firefighters sometimes re-enter a burning house to rescue a family pet that did not make it out with its owners. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Even as immigration remains a hot topic in the U.S. presidential campaign, the number of people emigrating from Mexico to the United States, legally and illegally, has dropped sharply in recent years, research published Wednesday shows. [Reuters]

Just before the Greenup Meals on Wheels program went under, two groups stepped up to keep it afloat. [Ashland Independent]

GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush suggested that the United States should figure out a way to “phase out” Medicare, the federal program that provides insurance to more than 50 million elderly and disabled people, at a political event on Wednesday night. [ThinkProgress]

The Kentucky Arts Council has awarded more than $1.2 million in operating support to 91 arts organizations across the Commonwealth including two in Madison County for the 2016 fiscal year. [Richmond Register]

It’s illegal to hire immigrants without legal status. Yet the federal government employs thousands of undocumented workers. [NPR]

This is apparently a sports thing that happened. Rap star Drake has received a cease-and-desist letter from the University of Kentucky. [WKYT]

The documents also raise questions about the accuracy of the Red Cross’ count of how many Haitians it helped, concluding the figures on one project were “fairly meaningless.” [ProPublica]

Nathan Smith’s trailer park business just paid an $11,000 fine for sewage that’s been discharging into waterways for ages and ages. Yep, the big dogs behind Jack Conway and their spokespeople (KATHY FUCKING GROOB) are still all up in some literal shit. [WFPL]

Thursday Evening Dept Of Awful

Democrats are pulling out the long knives, questioning Bevin’s commitment to agriculture and pressing the theme that Bevin “can’t be trusted.” During a conference call Wednesday morning organized by the Kentucky Democratic Party, one Kentucky farmer even made note of Bevin’s New Hampshire upbringing. [H-L]

Veterans were exposed to toxic chemicals and they’re accusing the VA of dragging its feet. [HuffPo]

West Virginia coal operator Jim Justice, who invited Gov. Steve Beshear to play a round of golf with the great Tiger Woods at Justice’s Greenbrier resort early this month, was the biggest contributor to the Kentucky Democratic Party last month. [C-J/AKN]

Hillary Clinton trails three top Republican presidential candidates in matchups in three key swing states — Iowa, Colorado and Virginia — a new Quinnipiac poll finds. [The Hill]

Rowan County resident Serena Smith has supported Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis and her decision not to issue marriage licenses since the day protests began in late June. [Ashland Independent]

Michigan’s Wayne County, home to Detroit, is in a financial emergency due to chronic budget deficits and a big unfunded healthcare liability, a state-appointed review team announced on Tuesday. [Reuters]

U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Bowling Green, met Monday with constituents at a Glasgow restaurant. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Missouri cattle farmer Greg Fleshman became so concerned about keeping his local hospital open that in 2011 he joined its governing board. “I mean they’ve saved my dad’s life twice,” Fleshman says. “He had a heart attack and a stroke and they life-flighted him out of here both times.” Keeping the doors open at Putnam County Memorial Hospital in Unionville, Mo., seemed crucial to the community — but maybe an impossible task. [NPR]

Turns out Greg Fischer has another director-level hire with a drinking and driving in their city vehicle problem. [The ‘Ville Voice]

Though most states are slowing their emissions, the report shows eight states moving in the opposite direction, each seeing an increase in its emissions rate between 2008 and 2015. They include Kentucky, Louisiana, Arkansas, Nebraska, Utah, Idaho and Alaska. [Climate Central]

The Casey County Fiscal Court says homophobic County Clerk Casey Davis is wrong. May be behind a paywall but the headline and sub-head will tell you everything you need to know. [Casey County News]

Logically, Iraqi refugees shouldn’t exist, according to Sen. Rand Paul, because the United States already “won” the Iraq War. In an interview with Boston Herald Radio this week, Paul attempted to justify why he wanted to restrict the number of refugees the United States takes in, particularly from certain areas of the world like the Middle East. [ThinkProgress]

The Boyd County Fiscal Court unanimously voted Tuesday to seek closure of Big Run Landfill. [More Ashland Independent]

With a little over one week left before funding for the nation’s transportation infrastructure dries up, the Senate has reached a deal on a multiyear bill, parting ways with the House. However, the bill immediately hit some bumps. [HuffPo]

Please accept my apologies for the caching issue that made the site appear to have stopped publication on July 16. Everything should be getting back to normal. If not, clear your browser’s cache and you should be good to go. [Jake]

Gay Panic Is Heating Up Everywhere

Steve Robertson, chairman and executive director of the Kentucky Republican Party, is taking a job next month with a public affairs firm in Lexington. [H-L]

We’re still trying to eliminate sweatshops and child labor by buying right. But that’s not how the world works in 2015. [HuffPo]

Churchill Downs Inc., having bet on the future of free games played online, is asking a federal judge to dismiss a case that contends those games are illegal casino gambling. [C-J/AKN]

At a roundtable in New York on Tuesday, Democratic presidential candidate and former Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) released his immigration platform for “New Americans,” announcing that he would go further than President Obama on immigration policies by enacting sweeping reforms to provide deportation relief for undocumented immigrants. [ThinkProgress]

It’s not ginseng harvest season, but that’s not stopping some people from taking this uncommon plant. [Ashland Independent]

Wondering why poor kids are unhealthy? The Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday adopted a GOP amendment that would provide schools flexibility in meeting Department of Agriculture (USDA) rules for serving whole-grain products and reducing sodium levels. [The Hill]

A new law is beginning in Kentucky that allows motorcyclists to run red lights. [WHAS11]

In a video released Wednesday night, multiple police officers seem to be holding 28-year-old Sandra Bland to the ground while she cries out, “You just slammed my head into the ground, do you not even care about that?” Three days later, Bland was found dead in a jail cell. [ThinkProgress]

A company owned by Republican candidate for Kentucky governor Matt Bevin has been delinquent on its property taxes multiple times and is currently listed as “not in good standing” in Maine. [WAVE3]

Closed committee meetings are typically wonkish, routine affairs. But Friday’s session of Republicans on the House Financial Services Committee broke that pattern in spectacular fashion, laying bare the growing acrimony and sense of disorder within the House Republican Conference. [Politico]

A controversial project that called for logging and burning to improve forest health at Land Between The Lakes has been canceled. [WLEX18]

The US and Russia are among five countries to have signed a deal to prevent commercial fishing in the melting Arctic sea ice near the North Pole. [BBC]

A 30 percent jump in fatal drug overdoses in Fayette County last year contributed to a statewide increase in drug-related deaths, state officials reported Wednesday. [H-L]

Washington has delayed highway funds so long even red states are raising gas taxes. [HuffPo]

Yet Another Awful Gubernatorial Race

In a sparsely populated Appalachian county, the young couple is recounting how they met while a language researcher captures their story with a high-end audio recorder. [H-L]

It was September of their sophomore year at Tufts University in 2012 when John Kelly went to a party and saw someone who had sexually assaulted them only two weeks earlier. [HuffPo]

HOW many times has this welfare drug testing myth been debunked? Republican gubernatorial candidate Matt Bevin called for drug testing of those receiving public assistance at a forum Tuesday organized by the Council of Agency Executives. [C-J/AKN]

The acting head of the Drug Enforcement Administration says he was shocked by how many people die every day from opiate overdoses. [NPR]

In spite of the continued rainfall, the U.S. Forest Service and partners are making progress in cleanup and repairs after record flood levels at Cave Run Lake. [Ashland Independent]

A Super PAC that supports Republican Chris Christie’s bid for the White House said on Tuesday it had raised $11 million since launching in February. [Reuters]

The Barren County Schools Board of Education approved Thursday the purchase of a property off Broadway Street that Superintendent Bo Matthews said “could solve multiple issues” regarding the district’s increasing population. [Glasgow Daily Times]

After fines totalling many billions of pounds from UK and US regulators, a new threat is about to hit the major banks found guilty of manipulating the foreign exchange market. [BBC]

U.S. Congressman Brett Guthrie’s reelection campaign filed its second quarter report with the Federal Election Commission showing $1.61 million cash-on-hand. [Press Release]

Freshman Rep. Alex Mooney (R-W.Va.) says he’s the latest GOP lawmaker to face retaliation for bucking leadership last month and opposing a procedural vote on major trade legislation. [The Hill]

How to suck at everything: scream about the gays and persecution of Christians when caught with your tax pants down. Of course, Jack Conway would do the same thing. Much as he does when you bring up his Roger Clinton brother and his involvement in getting the cops off his back. [WAVE3]

Before this year, natural gas had never accounted for more electricity generation than coal in the U.S. That is no longer the case. [ThinkProgress]

Kentucky will start a statewide campaign July 20 to encourage parents to get their children vaccinated against human papillomavirus, a virus that can cause cervical and oral cancer. [Bluegrass Politics]

The Obama administration is making good on its promise to limit the detention of immigrant families by beginning to release women and children seeking asylum or other relief in the U.S. [HuffPo]

More Tip-Toeing Around The Scary Gays

Considering Republicans’ condemnation of Beshear for implementing the Affordable Care Act by executive order, the suggestion that he wield his pen again on this issue was more laughably hypocritical than the Rowan County clerk’s explanation of her intolerant beliefs. [H-L]

After a journey of more than nine years and about 3 billion miles, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has made its closest approach to our solar system’s beloved dwarf planet. [HuffPo]

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul declined on Monday to venture an opinion on the incendiary comments of fellow Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on immigration. [C-J/AKN]

The filmmaker behind last year’s Oscar-winning documentary starring government leaker Edward Snowden is suing the Obama administration for keeping secret documents about her. [The Hill]

No, Rand, they don’t have the right to discriminate. Rand Paul doesn’t know whether county clerks in his home state have a constitutional claim to religious liberty in defense of their refusal to issue same-sex marriage licenses. [WHAS11]

A major new analysis on the impact melting polar ice sheets could have on sea level rise has given rise to some worrisome conclusions. [ThinkProgress]

If you think these work groups — comprised of people who helped create this pension disaster — are going to accomplish something, you should probably seek help. Senate President Robert Stivers and House Speaker Greg Stumbo have announced appointments to the panel tasked with examining funding issues at the Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System. [CN|Toot]

“Here’s your prescription, walk in the forest five times a week for an hour.” According to experts, it is not inconceivable that doctors will be giving health advice like this in the not too distant future. [BBC]

The Foundation for the Tri-State Community is going to an online, crowdfunding organization to choose this year’s recipients for its Area Education Grants. [Ashland Independent]

If you had chickenpox as a child, then you’re at risk for shingles. As you age, the risk increases, probably because the immune system weakens over time. [NPR]

Two Richmond residents had their bags packed and were ready to get married June 26 regardless of Kentucky law. However, the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision meant they could celebrate at home with their family instead of traveling to Chicago that night, they said. [Richmond Register]

U.S. District Court Judge David Bunning heard testimony today in the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky’s lawsuit against Rowan County and Clerk Kim Davis for refusing to issue marriage licenses to any eligible couple, in an attempt to keep same-gender couples from obtaining them. [ACLU-KY]

A woman accused of torture and murder in the bloody Bosnian civil war more than 20 years ago has lost another effort to avoid being extradited from Kentucky to stand trial. [H-L]

Good, finally some sense. Requiring GMO labeling is dumb as hell. If you’re one of those pseudoscience lunatics who freak out over GMOs (literally everything you eat is GMO) without an understanding beyond hucksters like Food Babe, move along. [HuffPo]