Derby’s Over & The Crazy’s Back In Full Force

In a desperate attempt to hide their bipartisan collusion in raiding pensions, the legislature and governor have put out a disastrous bill, Senate Bill 2, that not only tries to cover up their past indiscretions but harms local governments and non-profits as well. [H-L]

Where’s Jack Conway on this? Oh, right. New York’s attorney general on Monday accused Wells Fargo and Bank of America of violating the terms of last year’s national mortgage settlement by failing to process hundreds of refinancing requests promptly. [HuffPo]

BREAKING NEWS! Okay, kidding about that part. But Jonathan Miller had the nerve to suggest Democrats aren’t scrambling to catch up to Mitch McConnell’s campaign. [Kenny Coleslaw]

Three Tea Party senators are angling for the White House — and could be one another’s greatest obstacles to winning the GOP nomination. Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.), three favorites of the conservative movement, have been quietly jostling for position over policy and stature within the party. [The Hill]

Norma Padgett has had seven teeth pulled since August — several after cavities festered because she couldn’t afford to see the dentist. She’s used Crazy Glue to repair her old, broken dentures. And she once delayed having a wisdom tooth removed until a severe infection forced her to get emergency treatment. [C-J/AKN]

On Jan. 23, 2008, the pharmaceutical company Novartis threw a party at a restaurant on Long Island. The party, which cost $1,250, was ostensibly for doctors to learn about cardiovascular drugs made by the company, with Novartis sales representatives present as well. [ProPublica]

Carter Fiscal Court met Friday in special session for the second reading of an ordinance to address overcrowding at the Carter County Detention Center. [Journal-Times]

The incoming president of the National Rifle Association (NRA) has told attendees of its conference they are freedom fighters in a “culture war”. James Porter, who takes over the top job on Monday, issued the rallying cry at the NRA’s annual meeting in Texas. [BBC]

Way to go, Laurel County, way to go. A Laurel County teenager is in jail on federal charges for making bombs. [WKYT]

This school in Bowling Green is apparently tops in the entire nation. [HuffPo]

Jamie Cornbr… COMER will travel to Washington, D.C. to lobby for Kentucky hemp. [H-L]

President Barack Obama signaled on Friday that a proposal to add a same-sex partnership measure to an immigration overhaul should not be allowed to derail the entire legislative effort. [Reuters]

We say “amen” to our colleagues at the Lexington Herald-Leader who have called for a new method of realigning legislative districts to balance population changes from census to census. [The Morehead News]

Insane in the brain? Everything is turning up horse poop for Michele Beard Bachmann. [Wonkette]

State Supreme Court Ruling Flies Under The Radar

It’s probably not a good day for the Kentucky Department of Highways in Bowling Green, to say the least. [BGDN]

Former President Bill Clinton, speaking at the George W. Bush Presidential Center dedication on Thursday, said that he had considered asking his successor to paint a picture of him, but joked that he backed off after he saw the hacked self-portraits of Bush nude in the bathroom. [HuffPo]

A deeply divided Kentucky Supreme Court has ruled that school administrators and school resource officers cannot question students without first reading the student his rights. [WKYT]

Business groups representing industries from health care to banking are pressuring the Federal Communications Commission to ease its rules on robocalls — saying they should get a carve-out for technology that automatically dials customers. [Politico]

Seven Counties Services Inc.‘s decision to go to bankruptcy court to escape the Kentucky Employee Retirement System has created the Kentucky policy version of Sophie’s choice. If nothing changes, one of the commonwealth’s largest mental health services agency that serves more than 30,000 adults and children in the Louisville area could close its doors in 2014. [Ryan Alessi]

Former first lady Barbara Bush on Thursday said she doesn’t want her son Jeb to run for president. Bush described her son as the best candidate for the job, but said other families should get a shot and “we’ve had enough Bushes.” [The Hill]

The McCreary County Board of Education met in special session Thursday before a full house to discuss ways to cover a $1 million budget shortfall projected for the upcoming 2013-14 school year. [McCreary County Record]

The voice of Alexander Graham Bell has been identified for the first time, in a recording from 1885. On the wax-disc recording, the telephone inventor says: “Hear my voice, Alexander Graham Bell.” [BBC]

Organizers for the Dalai Lama’s visit to Louisville in May have released more tickets for sale to the general public. [C-J/AKN]

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell last week by a surprisingly large 16,000, offering reassurance the bottom is not falling out of the labor market despite signs of slower growth. [Reuters]

Two Kentucky men convicted of killing a woman in 1992 have been granted DNA tests on hairs found at the slaying scene. [H-L]

President Barack Obama on Thursday praised his predecessor at the dedication of his library for showing strength and resolve in the days after the Sept. 11 attacks and said if Congress passes immigration reform “it will be in large part thanks to the hard work of President George W. Bush.” [HuffPo]

T-shirts of every color of the rainbow stretched around Powell Plaza on Tuesday for The Clothesline Project, a companion event to Take Back The Night. [Richmond Register]

The White House said on Thursday that American intelligence agencies now believed, with “varying degrees of confidence,” that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons, but it said it needed conclusive proof before President Obama would take action. [NY Times]

Utterly Inept Opposition? Plenty Of It In Frankfort

A federal grand jury has indicted former Agriculture Secretary Richie Farmer for allegedly misusing property and funds during his eight years at the helm of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. In other words, dear Reeeechie: “Hate to break it to you friend, but your balloon’s about to pop. And that balloon’s filled with your own butt toots.” [H-L]

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) argued in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) Monday that an immigration reform bill should address national security concerns raised by the Boston Marathon bombings last week. Paul’s letter asks for increased scrutiny over letting in immigrants or giving student visas to people from “high-risk areas” like the Chechen Republic in Russia. [TPM]

Adam Edelen issued a statement on Reeechie’s indictment: “The indictment announced by the U.S. Attorney’s Office today is the culmination of a thorough examination my office conducted last year. I hope this is the beginning of the end of a disappointing chapter in Kentucky’s political history. I further hope the enduring legacy of this work is that no public official, regardless of position, power or popularity, is above the law.” [Press Release]

Americans place less importance on environmental issues than they did in 1971, a year after Earth Day was established, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov poll. But the poll also finds that more Americans are taking some steps to protect the environment, such as cutting down on electricity use, eating organic foods and recycling. [HuffPo]

Woo, let’s pretend Frankfort knows what “reform” means! Despite passing some pension and tax reforms in this year’s Kentucky General Assembly session, state lawmakers aren’t out of the clear when it comes to another special session. [WFPL]

Those who believe in a popular conservative economic theory are also more likely to not believe in science, according to a recent study. [HuffPo]

Until this month, Richmond had the highest-paid mayor and city commissioners of any second-class city in Kentucky. Those days are coming to an end. [Richmond Register]

In 2011, the Food and Drug Administration determined that a major laboratory, the Houston facility of the now-defunct Cetero Research firm, had committed such “egregious” and pervasive research violations that years of its tests were potentially worthless. About 100 drugs were affected, but the FDA has declined to name them, saying to do so would reveal confidential commercial information. [ProPublica]

Kentucky had 67,800 construction jobs in March, a nearly 1 percent decline from the 68,400 jobs it had it March 2012, according to a new analysis of U.S. Department of Labor statistics by the Associated General Contractors of America. [Business First]

Twenty years ago, federal agents clashed with David Koresh’s Branch Davidian community near Waco, Texas. The standoff ended with a raid and fire that killed some 80 people. It’s remembered as one of the darkest chapters in American law enforcement history. Two decades later, some of the Branch Davidians who survived the raid are still believers, while a new church group has moved onto the land. [NPR]

A 47 percent decline in coal severance tax revenue in eastern Kentucky since July of 2011 has prompted the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy to renew its call for regional political and economic development leaders to develop a plan to diversify this region’s economy and reduce its dependence on coal. One hopes that the rapid decline in coal mining in the eastern third of the state will inspire area leaders to finally get serious about finding ways to broaden our economy. [Ashland Independent]

What Larry Dale Keeling fails to mention is that Jonathan Miller himself is part of that “utterly inept opposition” that has allowed Mitch McConnell’s rise to power. [H-L]

RPK Will Likely Clean The Democrats’ Clocks

Mitch McConnell continues to seize on the bungled taping of his Louisville campaign headquarters. [Politico]

The Republican Party of Kentucky has hired 10 new staffers from across the country with varied political backgrounds to help lay the groundwork for helping with U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell’s re-election and capturing legislative seats. [CN|2]

Most Americans see the biggest threat to public safety coming from random acts of violence committed by other Americans, rather than foreign terrorism, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll taken in the two days since the Boston Marathon bombing. [Reuters]

A federal court jury in Kentucky has awarded a family $7.24 million in damages after a hearing implant shocked a young girl. [H-L]

In the days leading up to Wednesday’s Senate vote on gun legislation amendments, the talking point that has taken off most amongst conservatives as a reason to oppose the background check compromise is that it would lead to a national database of gun owners. [HuffPo]

Tennessee just sounds flipping awesome and awful. A Tennessee legislator is catching heat for passing a resolution to honor himself. [Click the Clicky]

Are we moving from the crash to the bubble, dispensing with that pesky economic recovery thing altogether? [ProPublica]

Kentucky’s top environmental regulator on Thursday said his agency was drafting a statewide plan to control pollution that causes algae blooms in Kentucky and contributes to an oxygen-depleted “dead zone” as far away as the Gulf of Mexico. [C-J/AKN]

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a star among Tea Party voters, said Wednesday he is considering running for president in 2016 in part because a White House bid would give him a “larger microphone” for his ideas. [The Hill]

If you missed the 8th installment of our Progress Kentucky series, you’ll want to give it a read. And then check back later for Part 9 of the entire mess. It’ll be worth it. [Page One]

Former Pakistani military ruler Pervez Musharraf and his security team pushed past policemen and sped away from a court in the country’s capital on Thursday to avoid arrest after his bail was revoked in a case in which he is accused of treason. [NPR]

Lexington immigration attorneys and members of Kentucky’s Congressional delegation said they were keeping an open mind about the bipartisan Senate bill introduced Wednesday to overhaul the nation’s immigration law. [H-L]

Interests supporting a controversial bill aimed at improving cyber security, set for a House vote Thursday, spent 140 times as much lobbying Congress as those on the other side of the debate and have dozens of former Capitol Hill insiders working on their behalf, an analysis by the Sunlight Foundation’s Reporting Group shows. [Sunlight Foundation]

Nope, Reeechie Is Not Gonna Play Tonight, Coach

Kentucky lawmakers took $700,000 in excess funds from the agency that oversees charitable gaming in 2008 and to help pay off a $265 million shortfall in the budget. Should the state have been allowed to juggle the finances like that? The state Supreme Court on Wednesday asked that. [H-L]

Senators say they fear the N.R.A. and the gun lobby. But I think that fear must be nothing compared to the fear the first graders in Sandy Hook Elementary School felt as their lives ended in a hail of bullets. The fear that those children who survived the massacre must feel every time they remember their teachers stacking them into closets and bathrooms, whispering that they loved them, so that love would be the last thing the students heard if the gunman found them. [NY Times/Gabrielle Giffords]

A Kentucky basketball icon turned politician could be the subject of a federal grand jury meeting on Friday. Frankfort defense attorney Guthrie True said he has been informed that the grand jury will look at former Agriculture Commmissioner Richie Farmer. [WFPL]

It ended in a flash. Months of work aimed at revamping the nation’s gun laws prompted by one of the worst shooting tragedies in U.S. history met an inglorious conclusion on the floor of the U.S. Senate on Wednesday. [HuffPo]

Maybe most Kentuckians think immigration reform is important in California or Arizona but won’t have that much impact on the Bluegrass State. [Ronnie Ellis]

The FBI arrested a Mississippi man on Wednesday in connection with letters sent to President Barack Obama and two other officials that are believed to have contained the deadly poison ricin, the U.S. Justice Department said. [Reuters]

After the Senate rejected a plan to toughen the nation’s gun laws, an angry President Barack Obama on Wednesday blistered an assertion by Sen. Rand Paul that the families of the victims of the Newtown, Conn., shootings were being used as “props.” [C-J/AKN]

A former teacher at a Texas charter school is defending against charges that she fondled a seven year old girl by claiming that, as a diehard racist… Hoo boy, this story is crazy. [Wonkette]

Dozens of parents, teachers and students in one southern Kentucky school district are making their feelings known regarding certain budget cuts. [WYMT]

Double Dose: in second case of flawed drug research, FDA response was slow and secretive. [ProPublica]

A lower-level foreman from Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch Mine has reached an agreement with West Virginia regulators and will voluntarily give up his foreman’s license for three years, according to state records made public Tuesday. [Charleston Gazette]

Last week they loved him – interesting how that works. The National Republican Congressional Committee announced Wednesday that it was no longer financially backing former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) as he runs for Congress in a special election. [HuffPo]

An attorney for former Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer said Wednesday that a federal grand jury in Lexington has subpoenaed former employees of the department to appear before it on Friday. [H-L]

Let’s Just Say Today Has Been A Bit Crazy

If you missed our earlier story that begins digging into Progress Kentucky, the group behind the McConnell audio tape, you won’t want to miss our multi-part series. [Page One]

An immigration bill being written in the Senate aims to wipe out nearly all illegal crossings along the southwestern border with Mexico while maintaining a 13-year timetable for existing illegal residents to win citizenship, sources said on Wednesday. [Reuters]

Kentucky is seeking federal approval to alter its methods for monitoring selenium pollution, a move environmental groups say is designed to protect the coal industry from lawsuits over polluted waterways. [H-L]

Here’s a non-shocker: Rand Paul tried to rewrite his own history on the Civil Rights Act when he spoke at Howard University. [WaPo]

Members of the group Progress Kentucky recorded part of a controversial strategy meeting of Mitch McConnell and key advisers from a hallway outside the senator’s campaign office, according to a member of the Jefferson County Democratic Executive Committee. [C-J/AKN]

Support for gay marriage is on the rise nationally but it’s going to be a long time before Kentucky voters get behind it. Only 27% of voters in the state think it should be legal, compared to 65% who think it should be illegal. Even among Democrats there’s still 37/54 opposition. [PPP]

A Kentucky history museum official says a letter written during the Civil War may shed light on where Abraham Lincoln’s parents lived immediately after marrying. [WKYT]

More than 30 family members of Newtown victims blasted lawmakers Thursday who have threatened to filibuster gun control legislation in the Senate. [Politico]

Madison County Circuit Judge William G. Clouse Jr. will hear arguments on individual documents in the Herald-Leader’s open-records case against Eastern Kentucky University and Debra Hoskins, former director of the EKU Center for the Arts. [H-L]

Analysis of commercially available rice imported into the US has revealed it contains levels of lead far higher than regulations suggest are safe. [BBC]

First Lady Michelle Obama will join former University of Kentucky President Dr. Charles Wethington and Kentucky author Silas House as speakers at Eastern Kentucky University’s spring commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 11. [Richmond Register]

Rand Paul going to one of the top historically black colleges in the U.S. and trying to school students on who founded the NAACP? Priceless. [NPR]

We now know the identity of the 2013 Thunder Over Louisville Thundernator. That person is 62-year-old Tom Hatton of Lexington, Ky., according to a news release. [WDRB]