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]

Will Papaw Meet Crack Mayor Up There In Canaduh?

Kentucky’s two Republican U.S. senators find themselves caught in the middle of opposing forces these days. [Ronnie Ellis]

Told ya so – charges against one of the McConnell buggers are being presented to a grand jury. The Democratic Party still suffers, as it was maybe the dumbest mistake made in the effort to oust McConnell. This is what you’d call a stunt for sympathy in the face of a looming/potential grand jury indictment. [Salon]

Be sure you go read Gabe Bullard’s excellent take on the latest development. [WFPL]

George W. Bush had been riding his mountain bike for almost four hours, and he was out of gas. Unfortunately, he didn’t realize bicycles don’t use gasoline. [HuffPo]

Don’t miss Comment on Kentucky tonight on KET at 8:00 P.M. Eastern. Scheduled guests: Ronnie Ellis, Tom Loftus, John Stamper. [KET]

Poll after poll shows a strong majority of Americans — upward of two-thirds, in some polls — support a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. So how could anybody vote against it? [WaPo]

Here’s hoping Papaw Beshear doesn’t meet with the Crack Mayor of Toronto while he’s there. Gov. Steve Beshear is to lead an international business trade mission next week to Canada with nearly two dozen Kentucky companies and several trade partners. [H-L]

What, the right-wing fringe is a tad bit racist? You don’t say! [Wonkette]

Former state lawmaker Steve Nunn has apologized to the family of the woman he shot and killed four years ago. [WKYT]

A federal appeals court on Friday upheld a gun reporting rule that the Obama administration adopted in 2011 to try to detect bulk sales of semi-automatic rifles to Mexican drug gangs. [Reuters]

Louisville Metro Police recovered an LPMD officer’s stolen Glock handgun Thursday from a convicted felon. This is why Louisville can’t have nice things. [C-J/AKN]

The financial outlook for Medicare has improved because of a stronger economy and slower growth in health spending, and the financial condition of Social Security has not worsened, but is still unsustainable, the Obama administration said Friday. [NY Times]

State Rep. Regina Bunch, R-Williamsburg, has received a speeding ticket that she says she will not contest. No big deal, right? After all, many of us have occasionally exceeded the speed limit, and there are a lot of outstanding people in this state who have been cited and fined going a few miles over the posted speed limit. In fact, some of us regulary exceed the speed limit without thinking that we are doing anything wrong or that our actions are dangerous. [Ashland Independent]

The Gays Are Really Mad At Democrats Again

Democrat James L. Kay II leads in raising campaign funds in the first reporting period for the June 25 special election to fill the 56th District state House seat. [H-L]

Immigrants for years have paid far more into Medicare’s coffers than they have pulled out, effectively subsidizing rising healthcare payments to the aging U.S. population, a study released on Wednesday showed. [Reuters]

The Kentucky Court of Appeals has partially upheld a Madison Circuit Court decision to exclude testimony in an upcoming trial for a woman accused of stealing $170,00 while she worked at a local bank. [Richmond Register]

In a pair of 5-to-4 decisions that divided along ideological lines, the Supreme Court on Tuesday made it easier for inmates to challenge their convictions. [NY Times]

A Louisville business man has made a substantial donation to the reward fund established for information leading to an arrest in the murder of Officer Jason Ellis. [WKYT]

Of course Faux News dismissed aid to the needy while claiming no one starved during the Great Depression. [Media Matters]

It’s worth pointing out again because it’s such a major development. Kentucky Retirement Systems is no longer mired in the hot mess that is/was SAC Capital. [Page One]

Some disappointed activists say they are yanking their support for the Democratic Party after Senate Democrats opposed a proposal in an immigration bill that would have allowed citizens to bring their foreign-born, same-sex spouses to the United States. [HuffPo]

Finding the estimated $1.2 billion needed to build an Interstate 69 bridge over the Ohio River is going to take work and some creativity, Indiana and Kentucky officials say. [H-L]

Do you have an interest in seeing what a bunch of wingnut buffoons think about that bridge collapse in Washington state? [Wonkette]

Here’s your thank goodness moment of the day. A man accused of trying to lure children into his car at parks across Louisville has been located. [WHAS11]

The US economy grew at an annualised rate of 2.4% in the first three months of the year, figures from the Commerce Department show. The figure is slightly slower than the 2.5% rate originally estimated for the quarter. [BBC]

Not for one minute has the body of Bardstown Police Officer Jason Ellis been left alone since he was found shot dead early Saturday on the side of the road. [C-J/AKN]

Dear Regina: No One Needs To Drive 109MPH

Steve Beshear and his wife, Jane, released 2012 state and federal income tax returns Tuesday that showed a total joint gross income of $252,164 — an increase of more than $55,000 from 2011. [H-L]

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is using footage of President Richard Nixon and recently testifying IRS officials to bash President Barack Obama in a new web video. [Politico]

The collapse of a major bridge outside of Seattle is raising concerns about infrastructure across the country. Indiana and Kentucky transportation officials, however, say there is no need to worry. [WDRB]

Two top donors to President Obama’s super-PAC are now helping out one that supports Hillary Clinton for president. [The Hill]

It’s kind of sad watching Heather French Henry pretend she’s a viable political candidate for any office. Even more sad that any media outlet would give her claims that she’s being needlessly attacked attention without ripping them apart. [WFPL]

In the furious fallout from the revelation that the IRS flagged applications from conservative nonprofits for extra review because of their political activity, some points about the big picture — and big donors — have fallen through the cracks. [ProPublica]

Sen. Mitch McConnell blamed spending by the federal government for the country’s economic problems in a speech to a Bullitt County Chamber of Commerce audience here Tuesday, calling for an increase in the eligibility age for Social Security and Medicare. [Ronnie Ellis]

People who have surgery towards the end of the week are more likely to die than those who have procedures earlier on, researchers say. [BBC]

During a naturalization ceremony hosted for the first time in conjunction with Mayor Greg Fischer’s office, 145 new Americans recited an oath and became citizens Tuesday morning. [C-J/AKN]

Michele Bachmann, the firebrand conservative 2012 presidential contender, said Wednesday she will not seek re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives when her term ends but did not rule out another run for the White House. [Reuters]

State Rep. Regina Bunch, R-Williamsburg, was cited shortly after 10:30 a.m. Tuesday by Lexington police for traveling 109 miles per hour in a 70 mph zone on I-75 near the 108-mile marker. [H-L]

Howard Lincoln of White Mountain, Alaska, doesn’t always hear it when people knock on his door. He’s 82 and he still has a little shrapnel in his jaw from a mortar shell that nearly killed him in the Korean War 60 years ago. [NPR]

Toronto Tries Hard To Be More Like Frankfort

A student-led prayer went on at a central Kentucky high school graduation, despite the opposition of at least six students. [H-L]

The Affordable Care Act, a k a Obamacare, goes fully into effect at the beginning of next year, and predictions of disaster are being heard far and wide. There will be an administrative “train wreck,” we’re told; consumers will face a terrible shock. Republicans, one hears, are already counting on the law’s troubles to give them a big electoral advantage. [NY Times]

This must mean John Yarmuth has absolutely no confidence in anything. But he’s right about Alison Grimes needing to piss or get off the pot. Every minute she wastes, she kills her political career a little bit more. [WFPL]

Depending on your point of view, U.S. General Keith Alexander is either an Army four-star trying to stave off a cyber Pearl Harbor attack, or an overreaching spy chief who wants to eavesdrop on the private emails of every American. [Reuters]

Louisville largest church is cutting ties with the Boy Scouts. It comes just days after the national organization decided to drop its ban on gay youth. No wonder so many gay folks who are affiliated with that church commit suicide. And before anyone gets their panties in a twist: there have been several. [WDRB]

In the days since a tornado ripped through Moore, Okla., talk of constructing safe rooms in public schools has become commonplace. In southwest Missouri, officials have built a few of them already, and they are seeking funding to build more. [NPR]

Several hundred people attended a solemn Memorial Day ceremony Sunday in Jeffersontown’s Veterans Memorial Park. It’s the 18th year for the event, organized by the American Legion G.I. Joe Post 244. [C-J/AKN]

A little-noticed amendment from Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is winning support from the NAACP and other civil rights groups that have been cool to the underlying immigration reform bill. [The Hill]

National park officials in eastern Kentucky say bears have returned to Middlesboro and along the periphery of the city. There have been multiple sightings of bears around the city, but rangers believe many of those are coming from one particular bear. [H-L]

As the United States grows warmer and extreme weather more common, the federal government’s flood insurance maps are becoming increasingly important. [ProPublica]

A complex battle over the wishes of a deceased Berea College graduate and professor has embroiled the college and the man’s relatives in a lawsuit in which at least $1.7 million in assets is at stake. [Richmond Register]

And you thought Kentucky political scandals were a hot mess. Seems the Toronto mayor has everybody beat for the next little bit. [HuffPo]

Louisville Wealthy Surprised Poor People Exist

Kentucky House leaders have appointed state Rep. Derrick Graham, D-Frankfort, to be chairman of the House Education Committee. This wasn’t earth-shattering news, so we didn’t hype it up on Friday as other outlets did. [H-L]

Turns out it wasn’t a hedge funder who bought that naked Golden Girls painting. Damon Thayer can rest easy. [Gawker]

Republican Rand Paul will run for re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2016 regardless of any decision to launch a presidential bid. And he will campaign for his Kentucky colleague and Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in 2014. [Ronnie Ellis]

A significant majority of Americans favor legalizing hemp, according to a HuffPost/You Gov poll. The poll found that 56 percent of Americans support the plant’s legalization. Twenty-four percent are opposed, while 20 percent are unsure. [HuffPo]

Instead of actually doing work this morning, go watch this Hal Rogers interview with Bill Goodman on One to One. [KET]

Wondering just out disconnected from reality Jonathan Miller is? He seems to think major scandals – involving Heather French Henry herself, not just her husband – are no big deal. Fitting, really, when you consider his own. No wonder the Kentucky Democratic Party has fallen apart the past several years. People like Henry and Miller muck everything up. [The Daily Beast]

That entire bunch is responsible for the hot mess that has become the U.S. Senate non-race. Really says a lot when the potential Democratic challengers have so many scandals that they’re afraid to face one of the most corrupt men on earth. [C-J/AKN]

When CVFC, a conservative veterans’ group in California, applied for tax-exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service, its biggest expenditure that year was several thousand dollars in radio ads backing a Republican candidate for Congress. [NY Times]

Kentucky State Police say Bardstown Police Officer Jason Ellis was ambushed Saturday morning while picking debris off the roadway. [WKYT]

In Kentucky, Republicans are getting the last laugh on Democrats when it comes to the U.S. Senate. In Minnesota, Al Franken is getting the last laugh on Republicans. [Politico]

Three of the largest industries that buy power from Big Rivers Electric Corp. have created a lobbying coalition to oppose a pair of large rate increases that Big Rivers is proposing as it braces for the loss of its two largest customers. [Henderson Gleaner]

The biggest overhaul of U.S. immigration laws in a generation won bipartisan approval from a powerful U.S. Senate committee last week, but there is a strong chance that Republicans in the House of Representatives will end up killing it. [Reuters]

The number of suburban poor grew substantially in the 13 counties surrounding Louisville, up 72 percent since 2000. The trend mirrors a pattern of increasing poverty outside the urban core in 100 metro regions nationwide, according to the Brookings Institution. [C-J/AKN]

In the classic American story, opportunity is always in front of you. You finish school, find a job, buy a home and start a family; it’s a rosy dreamscape. [NPR]