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]

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]