There Should Be Live Feeds From The SCOTUS

The redistricting special session to waste your tax dollars will begin on August 19. [Press Release]

Faculty, alumni and students at Georgetown College are encouraging former Gov. Martha Layne Collins to consider becoming president of the liberal arts school. [H-L]

Mitch McConnell has often assumed the role as the key Republican in high-stakes negotiations with the White House. But not on immigration. [Politico]

Still wondering why people say Jack Conway has no firm position on anything and blows in which ever direction the wind takes him? While Kentucky Attorney Jack Conway ponders a run for governor, he’s taking steps to shore up his pro-coal cred — joining with other attorneys general to try to help ward off new EPA rules on climate change for power plants. [C-J/AKN]

A Christian group that once promoted therapy to encourage gays and lesbians to overcome their sexual preferences has closed its doors and apologized to homosexuals, acknowledging its mission had been hurtful and ignorant. [Reuters]

Tomorrow Jack Conway, according to a release: “will help celebrate the opening of the new Family & Children’s Place Kosair Charities Child Advocacy Center. The Center will also be the headquarters for LMPD’s Crimes Against Children Unit and Child Protective Services. In addition, it will have dedicated space for doctors and prosecutors.” [Press Release]

Ahead of major Supreme Court rulings, Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) reintroduced legislation to put cameras in the chamber and televise all of the court’s open proceedings. They described it as a matter of transparency and accountability. [TPM]

A pair of national Democratic super PACs unveiled their campaign theme against U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell on Tuesday starting with a new ad declaring that “30 years is too long” for McConnell to have been in Washington. [Ryan Alessi]

When Max Kelly, the chief security officer for Facebook, left the social media company in 2010, he did not go to Google, Twitter or a similar Silicon Valley concern. Instead the man who was responsible for protecting the personal information of Facebook’s more than one billion users from outside attacks went to work for another giant institution that manages and analyzes large pools of data: the National Security Agency. [NY Times]

The state Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a Lexington man’s manslaughter conviction in the 2010 death of Lexington Police officer Bryan Durman. [H-L]

Margaret Doughty, an atheist and permanent U.S. resident for more than 30 years, was told by immigration authorities this month that she has until Friday to officially join a church that forbids violence or her application for naturalized citizenship will be rejected. [HuffPo]

Jerry Abramson on Wednesday urged school superintendents to support proposed tax code recommendations if they want to see public education funding increased. [BGDN]

Kentucky Always Gets The Environmental Shaft

Kentucky State Police say they have found 42 tons of fertilizer that had been reported missing from a company in Ohio. [H-L]

Congressional Republicans, who have been more receptive to immigration reform since last November, now appear increasingly unlikely to widely back the Senate immigration bill unless they can extract significant concessions from Democrats. [Politico]

Representatives of the company seeking to build a pipeline carrying pressurized, flammable natural gas liquids across the northern tier of Kentucky tried to assure a Nelson County audience that they would be a safe and cooperative neighbor. [C-J/AKN]

The Congressional Budget Office estimated Tuesday the Senate immigration bill would reduce deficits by $197 billion over 10 years, handing supporters a new economic argument for the bill as the upper chamber marches toward a final vote. [The Hill]

We hear through the grapevine that someone has filed whistleblower paperwork over the University of Louisville Foundation 990. [The ‘Ville Voice]

The head of America’s electronic spying agency has told Congress surveillance programmes leaked by Edward Snowden helped thwart 50 attacks since 2001. [BBC]

None of the Democrats we’ve spoken to seem to have any excitement at all about the current candidate – or any of the potentials that often get named. [Ryan Alessi]

The World Bank is concerned about the spillover effects on developing countries of a slowing of U.S. money creation and will move to provide affordable capital when borrowing costs rise, its president said on Wednesday. [Reuters]

Oh, god. Greg Leichty, a U of L professor in the Communications department, announced on Sunday that he would be making a bid for U.S. Senate. [The Cardinal]

There is one basic question that keeps being asked about the U.S. auto industry: Is it on the rebound? [NPR]

Two Eastern Kentucky men convicted last year of kidnapping and assaulting a gay Letcher County man will spend time in federal prison, a judge ruled Wednesday. [H-L]

What makes choosing good security tools hard is that despite the news, we don’t know what government agencies like the NSA are really doing on their wiretaps and with their court orders. [ProPublica]

New laws approved during the Kentucky General Assembly’s 2013 regular session go into effect on Tuesday. [Ashland Independent]

Right-wing media outlets cherry-picked data from a Congressional Budget Office report on the Senate’s immigration reform proposal to claim that immigrants who would benefit under the bill will drive down the wages of U.S. workers. In fact, while CBO predicts a slight decrease in wages in the first decade, that decrease would be outweighed by the larger increase in wages in the following decade. [Media Matters]

Will The Judge Let A Teatoot Beat Papaw Steve?

State lawmakers may have to redraw the boundaries of Kentucky’s six congressional districts later this year when they meet in a special session to remake state legislative districts, Gov. Steve Beshear said Monday. [Bluegrass Politics]

The Supreme Court says deals between pharmaceutical corporations and their generic drug competitors, which government officials say keep cheaper forms of medicine off the market, can sometimes be illegal. [TPM]

A retired federal corrections officer charged by deputies after a break-in at his home is suing the Boyd County Sheriff’s Department and three deputies, claiming they injured him in a scuffle at the scene where the burglary suspects were arrested. [Ashland Independent]

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has continued to release only select portions of committee interviews with key Internal Revenue Service staffers despite calls to make the full transcripts public. [HuffPo]

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway on Monday announced the indictments of William Qualls and Linda Smith for allegedly defrauding the Kentucky Medicaid Program. [WLEX18 & Press Release]

The Obama administration Monday lifted a veil of secrecy surrounding the status of the detainees at Guantánamo, for the first time publicly naming the four dozen captives it defined as indefinite detainees — men too dangerous to transfer but who cannot be tried in a court of law. [Miami Herald]

Kentucky officials are launching a yearlong study to find out whether the state’s controversial new laws cracking down on prescription drug abuse are making a difference in curbing one of the nation’s worst pain-pill epidemics. Who wants to bet it does little to curb abuse? [C-J/AKN]

FBI agents will resume searching an overgrown field in suburban Detroit on Tuesday for former Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa, who disappeared nearly 38 years ago and is thought to have been murdered by members of organized crime. [Reuters]

Keeneland sure is going through the communications staffers like legislators go through female LRC staffers. [H-L]

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is roiling the Senate immigration debate by offering several amendments that could give him an edge in a future Republican presidential primary. [The Hill]

Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell is rejecting a private ethics sanction from the Kentucky Bar Association. As a result he is facing harsher penalties and increased scrutiny from critics, who are openly recruiting former Commonwealth’s Attorney Dave Stengel to run against O’Connell next year. Translation: the good old boy network doesn’t like what he’s doing. That’s why people like Benham Sims are foaming at the mouth. [WFPL]

The furor over recently exposed government surveillance programs has posed an abundance of political challenges for both President Obama and Congress. Relatively unmentioned in all of this, however, is the role of the courts — specifically, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, known as the FISA court, and how its role has changed since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. [NPR]

An attorney for Gov. Steve Beshear’s administration Monday asked a Franklin Circuit Court Judge to dismiss a tea party activist’s suit challenging Beshear’s decision to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, saying the suit is premature and lacks any demonstration of particular harm to the plaintiff. [Ronnie Ellis]

New Poll: Kentuckians Support Immigration Reform

Harper Polling spent a couple days in Kentucky with a new survey showing huge support for immigration reform. The poll was conducted by a group on the left, one on the right and one in the center: the Partnership for a New American Economy, Alliance for Citizenship and Republicans for Immigration Reform.

Highlights:

  • 63% said they strongly or somewhat support bipartisan immigration reform legislation being debated in Washington;
  • 73% said they strongly or somewhat support a bill that includes a tough but fair path to citizenship;
  • 61% of those polled are more likely to vote for an elected official who supports comprehensive immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship.
  • 88% of those polled said it was very or somewhat important that the U.S. fix its immigration system this year.
  • Of those polled, 41% identified as Republicans, 50% as Democrats, and 9% as Independents.

An interesting quote from a release included with the poll:

“The future of Kentucky agriculture is extremely bright but will be significantly jeopardized without an accessible, affordable, and dependable labor supply, which hinges critically on successful immigration reform,” said Will Snell, Co-Director of the Kentucky Agriculture Leadership Program and an Agricultural Economist at the University of Kentucky.

If you want to take a look at the poll, click here (Warning: PDF Link).

Beshear Robbing EKY Of Coal Severance Funds

University of Kentucky HealthCare improved its patient mortality rankings in the last 10 months, moving up to 11th-best out of 100 peer institutions, according to new numbers from the University HealthSystem Consortium. Yes, UK is working hard to spread positive stories throughout the press this week. [H-L]

The Senate’s top Republican said Tuesday that the Gang of Eight immigration bill contains “serious flaws” — marking his toughest words yet on the wide-reaching legislation that is set to officially begin debate on Tuesday. [Politico]

The charter service whose bus crashed Tuesday, injuring dozen of Waggener High students, had no history of recent accidents, according to federal records. [C-J/AKN]

Pope Francis admitted the existence of a “gay lobby” inside the Vatican’s secretive and often criticized administration, the Curia, the AFP noted Tuesday. The comment was originally reported by a Latin American Catholic website. [TPM]

Bardstown Police Officers are still mourning Officer Jason Ellis after the nightime ambush slaying along a Nelson County interstate. Now, they all have the added stress of additional threats. [WKYT]

A bipartisan group of legislators is supporting a bill introduced by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) [yesterday], aimed at shedding light on secret court opinions that define controversial government surveillance programs. [Think Progress]

Here’s yet another article from Greg Stumbo that he did not write. It’s a real shame legislators can’t care more about their constituents and do things like write their own letters. [Floyd County Times]

Gov. Steve Beshear’s administration is taking $2.5 million from shrinking coal severance tax funds and giving it to Lexington to help pay for the planning and design of Rupp Arena’s renovation. That’s just cold theft from Appalachia. [John Cheves]

U.S. intelligence operatives covertly sabotaged a prominent al-Qaeda online magazine last month in an apparent attempt to sow confusion among the group’s followers, according to officials. [WaPo]

They may have come to contest adoption of new science learning standards for Kentucky public school children, but they didn’t really get the chance. That will come later. [Ronnie Ellis]

In the rush to defend the surveillance programs, however, government officials have changed their stories and misstated key facts of the Zazi plot. And they’ve left out one important detail: The email that disrupted the plan could easily have been intercepted without PRISM. [HuffPo]

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway says he is once again taking steps that could reduce gas prices in Louisville. He told WDRB News that he is again urging the federal government to step in. [WDRB]

Wondering why prominent families like the Wilsons and the Browns are backing an Independent instead of a Democrat in a special election? This could have something to do with it. Along with the tired good old boy system of anointment, of course. [Page One]