Lesson In Distancing Yourself From Barack Obama

What do Democrats do when they have a candidate in a special election they don’t want to be tied to Barack Obama? Have Obama’s CAMPAIGN MANAGER serve as a consultant on the race so the candidate is tied directly to the president. Smooth move. [Bluegrass Politics]

Just how bizarre-o crazy is the NRCC? It published a story on the IRS scandal including lawmakers no longer in office and the mayor of a Colombian city. [HuffPo]

Regardless of the “official” story given to the press, Larry Cox didn’t depart Jamie Comer’s office because the fuel lab has been shut down. [CN|2]

House Republicans late Thursday began circulating new spending targets for appropriations bills for the coming year with Labor, Education and Health and Human Services facing a nearly 20 percent reduction on top of the cuts already made in the March 1 sequestration order. Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) appears to be backloading the larger reductions in order to salvage a few of the 12 annual bills this summer. [Politico]

The Affordable Health Care Act and, according to Gov. Steve Beshear, a healthier lifestyle for citizens are coming to Kentucky. [Ronnie Ellis]

Your United States Congress voted for the 36th time to repeal health care reform. Because the poors do not deserve health care, amen? [Wonkette]

The manager of the sexual-assault response program at Fort Campbell was arrested in a domestic dispute and relieved of his post, authorities said Thursday. [C-J/AKN]

A House of Representatives panel on Friday opens the first in a series of investigative hearings in Congress on the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups for extra tax scrutiny, as the political storm over the scandal shifts to Capitol Hill. [Reuters]

A quintet of coworkers from the Marathon refinery in Catlettsburg have stepped forward to claim their million-dollar prize after hitting five match numbers in a recent Kentucky Lottery Powerball drawing. [H-L]

A bipartisan group of House negotiators said Thursday it has reached an “agreement in principle” on comprehensive immigration reform legislation. [The Hill]

The Tuesday night meeting of The Richmond City Commission included a heated exchange between a city commissioner and the mayor. While discussing the removal of a softball field Commissioner Laura King accused Mayor Jim Barnes of discrimination. [WKYT]

Terrorists on witness protection were able to board flights because their new identities were not updated on the US no-fly list, a watchdog has found. The US justice department report said its Witness Security Program had failed to give the new names to the FBI-managed Terrorist Screening Center. [BBC]

Jefferson Co. Public Schools Are A Big, Hot Mess

The Senate voted down a gun control measure last month, but the fight is just beginning. The National Rifle Association and new pro-gun control groups headed by former Rep. Gabby Giffords and Michael Bloomberg are in an arms race since a background check bill narrowly failed in the Senate last month – ramping up their fundraising, airing attack ads and revving up their grassroots machines. [Politico]

The fate of the pipes, bongs and rolling papers that Lexington police confiscated from The Botany Bay on Winchester Road last year appears to have finally been decided, but that’s not the end of the tale. [H-L]

The Heritage Foundation came under fire Wednesday from Hispanic lawmakers after reports that the author of a controversial immigration study previously wrote a dissertation warning of the lower intellectual capacity of immigrants. [The Hill]

Shrugging off criticism that the move is too costly, Gov. Steve Beshear insisted Thursday that expanding Medicaid services under the Affordable Care Act will actually save Kentucky more than $800 million over the next eight years. [C-J/AKN]

UK cosmologist Prof Stephen Hawking has withdrawn from a high-profile Israeli conference, in support of an academic boycott of the country. [BBC]

Still wondering what’s wrong with Jefferson County Public Schools in Louisville? You shouldn’t be. This is par for the course. [The ‘Ville Voice]

For Niagara Falls, a city in New York staring at the prospect of insolvency in the face of a weak local economy and soaring employee costs, diverting money earmarked for pensions to cover short-term spending needs seemed like the only option. [Reuters]

The FBI was active in rural Madison County on Wednesday, however, an agency spokesperson said no information would be released about what its agents were doing. [Richmond Register]

The nation’s unemployment rate would probably be nearly a point lower, roughly 6.5 percent, and economic growth almost two points higher this year if Washington had not cut spending and raised taxes as it has since 2011, according to private-sector and government economists. [NY Times]

A Franklin Circuit Court judge has given the state 30 days to tell the state’s two largest newspapers why it redacted and took out information from more than 140 case files of children who have been killed or nearly killed from abuse or neglect. [Bluegrass Politics]

The House passed a measure Thursday that would amount to the rough equivalent of declaring bankruptcy for the United States, directing the government to meet only certain obligations if Congress failed to raise the country’s borrowing limit. [HuffPo]

State police say a man and his teenage granddaughter are both at UK Hospital after an early Thursday morning shooting. [WKYT]

Hearings but not listenings. The Republican Benghazi hearings don’t support their conspiracy claims, as if that matters. [Wonkette]

Can You Believe They Let The Gays Immigrate?

In the past five years, Kentucky lawmakers have cut the state budget by $1.6 billion. But if something doesn’t change, they may have just begun to cut services. [Ronnie Ellis]

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is taking a page from President Obama’s reelection playbook for his own campaign — embracing Internet memes, data mining and cinematic storytelling. [The Hill]

The Kentucky Democratic Party has outpaced the state Republican Party in raising money in recent years, but that could change this year with U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell’s money-generating prowess. [H-L]

Federal workers say they don’t have much to celebrate these days. Furloughs began in April, exacerbating already low morale for many government agencies as budgets have tightened. [NPR]

As Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes mulls whether to challenge U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell in 2014, the Kentucky Republican Party is eager to cast doubts on Grimes’ potential candidacy, calling it “a last ditch effort to recruit a candidate of even second-tier credibility” and questioning whether other Democrats have ulterior motives. [WHAS11]

Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy shrugged off concerns that offering rights to gay immigrants will kill the sweeping immigration bill as his committee prepares to mark up the legislation on Thursday. [Politico]

A University of Kentucky Police investigation has led to the arrest of a man in connection with multiple indecent exposure incidents that have been reported over the last month on UK’s campus. The dude is lucky one of those women didn’t reach in and cut his wanger off. [WKYT]

When the Obama administration released its 2013 Drug Control Strategy recently, drug czar Gil Kerlikowske called it a “21st century” approach to drug policy. “It should be a public health issue, not just a criminal justice issue,” he said. [ProPublica]

Shoes from about a dozen famous people, including Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Oprah Winfrey and young Jennifer Lawrence are going on display Thursday at the Muhammad Ali Center as an adjunct to a traveling “Global Shoes” exhibit. [C-J/AKN]

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits dropped to its lowest level in nearly 5-1/2 years last week, signaling labor market resilience in the face of fiscal austerity. [Reuters]

The jury found Brian Hatfield, Candy Maiden and Debbie Partin guilty of complicity to commit murder on Wednesday. The jury returned with the minimal 20 year sentence for each of the defendants. [Middlesboro Daily News]

Tests indicating that rice imported to the US contained high levels of lead have been cast into doubt. At a conference in April, researchers reported that commercially available rice contained many times more lead than US food authorities deemed safe. [BBC]

Still wondering what’s wrong with Jefferson County Public Schools in Louisville? You shouldn’t be. This is par for the course. [The ‘Ville Voice]

Gov. Steve Beshear announced Thursday that Kentucky will expand the federal and state Medicaid program to provide coverage to an estimated 308,000 Kentuckians currently without health insurance. Teabaggers everywhere are losing their minds. [H-L]