Matt Bevin Gets More Lost By The Day

New TV ads in Kentucky’s race for governor focus not on the candidates but on Democratic President Barack Obama. [H-L]

A bill that critics say would make any significant new regulation all but impossible easily passed the House Tuesday. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin has no idea who his opponent is. His campaign staff is so incompetent they aren’t even aware of the most basic opposition research. [C-J/AKN]

Civil libertarians are worried about an increasingly common form of domestic surveillance that has nothing to do with listening to your phone calls or reading your emails; it has to do with looking through your garbage. [The Intercept]

When a festival benefits the humane society, you can presume pets are welcome. [Richmond Register]

For seven years, a Wisconsin telecom consultant has waged an unsuccessful legal fight against AT&T, alleging that the company long defrauded a federal program by overcharging the nation’s schools and libraries for Internet and telephone services. Now an appeals court in the District of Columbia has given new life to his case. [ProPublica]

It’s not just Kentucky’s Legislative Research Commission that will pay to settle a sexual harassment suit brought by three LRC staffers. [Ronnie Ellis]

Rather than being an effective manifesto of all the arguments against recognizing same-sex relationships as marriages, it serves as a guide for just how weak this already-lost case is, and why continued fights — including the ongoing struggle over using “religious liberty” to justify anti-gay discrimination — will likely not prevail either. Some extremists in Frankfort have been talking about this book. [ThinkProgress]

Cave City Council met in closed session Monday during a special-called meeting to discuss real estate. Upon returning to open session, a motion was made to purchase “the real estate in question,” but the council voted 3-2 not to buy the land. [Glasgow Daily Times]

On the campaign trail, Jeb Bush has repeatedly emphasized his record overseeing Florida’s boom economy as the state’s governor. He says it’s an example of an economy that created a huge number of jobs and benefited the middle class — an example of what he could do as president. “I know how to do this,” he said in Maitland, Fla., on Monday. But according to interviews with economists and a review of data, Florida owed a substantial portion of its growth under Bush not to any state policies but to a massive and unsustainable housing bubble — one that ultimately benefited rich investors at the expense of middle-class families. [WaPo]

A grand jury has indicted Shepherdsville Mayor Scott Ellis on a misdemeanor criminal charge of solicitation to prostitution on July 28. [WHAS11]

A new study of veterans from the Vietnam War has troubling implications for troops who fought much more recently — in Afghanistan and Iraq. [NPR]

Courthouse Plaza Wednesday flared in the midday heat and fiery chants of a crowd that assembled in downtown Lexington to oppose Planned Parenthood and abortion. [H-L]

Russian government-backed hackers who penetrated high-profile U.S. government and defense industry computers this year used a method combining Twitter with data hidden in seemingly benign photographs, according to experts studying the campaign. [HuffPo]

Whitesburg: The Worst Place On Earth?

Way to go, Whitesburg! Now everyone thinks you’re a bunch of dumb effing rednecks. It’s like you’ve escaped from a television sitcom version of a Nathan Smith-owned trailer park and you’re spewing your stupid everywhere. Perfect stereotype: fat, white lady who sells guns is spewing fear and hatred while a confederate flag and anti-Muslim sign hang in the windows. [WKYT]

Rhyan Moseley, a rising eighth-grader at Lexington’s Carter G. Woodson Academy, has spent his summer in a program at Kentucky State University focused on topics including computer coding and programming, mathematics and game design. [H-L]

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter arrived unannounced in Baghdad on Thursday to assess the government’s progress in healing the country’s sectarian divisions and hear the latest on support for the Iraqi army’s coming attempt to recapture the key city of Ramadi from the Islamic State. [HuffPo]

The big city folks finally started paying attention to what’s going on in Boyd County. Willing to reject more than $1 million a year in revenues, elected officials in Boyd County have called on Kentucky regulators to close a stinky, mega dump that’s fed by daily East Coast trash trains. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump says the chances that he will launch a third-party White House run will “absolutely” increase if the Republican National Committee is unfair to him during the 2016 primary season. [The Hill]

Glasgow firefighters sometimes re-enter a burning house to rescue a family pet that did not make it out with its owners. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Even as immigration remains a hot topic in the U.S. presidential campaign, the number of people emigrating from Mexico to the United States, legally and illegally, has dropped sharply in recent years, research published Wednesday shows. [Reuters]

Just before the Greenup Meals on Wheels program went under, two groups stepped up to keep it afloat. [Ashland Independent]

GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush suggested that the United States should figure out a way to “phase out” Medicare, the federal program that provides insurance to more than 50 million elderly and disabled people, at a political event on Wednesday night. [ThinkProgress]

The Kentucky Arts Council has awarded more than $1.2 million in operating support to 91 arts organizations across the Commonwealth including two in Madison County for the 2016 fiscal year. [Richmond Register]

It’s illegal to hire immigrants without legal status. Yet the federal government employs thousands of undocumented workers. [NPR]

This is apparently a sports thing that happened. Rap star Drake has received a cease-and-desist letter from the University of Kentucky. [WKYT]

The documents also raise questions about the accuracy of the Red Cross’ count of how many Haitians it helped, concluding the figures on one project were “fairly meaningless.” [ProPublica]

Nathan Smith’s trailer park business just paid an $11,000 fine for sewage that’s been discharging into waterways for ages and ages. Yep, the big dogs behind Jack Conway and their spokespeople (KATHY FUCKING GROOB) are still all up in some literal shit. [WFPL]

Thursday Evening Dept Of Awful

Democrats are pulling out the long knives, questioning Bevin’s commitment to agriculture and pressing the theme that Bevin “can’t be trusted.” During a conference call Wednesday morning organized by the Kentucky Democratic Party, one Kentucky farmer even made note of Bevin’s New Hampshire upbringing. [H-L]

Veterans were exposed to toxic chemicals and they’re accusing the VA of dragging its feet. [HuffPo]

West Virginia coal operator Jim Justice, who invited Gov. Steve Beshear to play a round of golf with the great Tiger Woods at Justice’s Greenbrier resort early this month, was the biggest contributor to the Kentucky Democratic Party last month. [C-J/AKN]

Hillary Clinton trails three top Republican presidential candidates in matchups in three key swing states — Iowa, Colorado and Virginia — a new Quinnipiac poll finds. [The Hill]

Rowan County resident Serena Smith has supported Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis and her decision not to issue marriage licenses since the day protests began in late June. [Ashland Independent]

Michigan’s Wayne County, home to Detroit, is in a financial emergency due to chronic budget deficits and a big unfunded healthcare liability, a state-appointed review team announced on Tuesday. [Reuters]

U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Bowling Green, met Monday with constituents at a Glasgow restaurant. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Missouri cattle farmer Greg Fleshman became so concerned about keeping his local hospital open that in 2011 he joined its governing board. “I mean they’ve saved my dad’s life twice,” Fleshman says. “He had a heart attack and a stroke and they life-flighted him out of here both times.” Keeping the doors open at Putnam County Memorial Hospital in Unionville, Mo., seemed crucial to the community — but maybe an impossible task. [NPR]

Turns out Greg Fischer has another director-level hire with a drinking and driving in their city vehicle problem. [The ‘Ville Voice]

Though most states are slowing their emissions, the report shows eight states moving in the opposite direction, each seeing an increase in its emissions rate between 2008 and 2015. They include Kentucky, Louisiana, Arkansas, Nebraska, Utah, Idaho and Alaska. [Climate Central]

The Casey County Fiscal Court says homophobic County Clerk Casey Davis is wrong. May be behind a paywall but the headline and sub-head will tell you everything you need to know. [Casey County News]

Logically, Iraqi refugees shouldn’t exist, according to Sen. Rand Paul, because the United States already “won” the Iraq War. In an interview with Boston Herald Radio this week, Paul attempted to justify why he wanted to restrict the number of refugees the United States takes in, particularly from certain areas of the world like the Middle East. [ThinkProgress]

The Boyd County Fiscal Court unanimously voted Tuesday to seek closure of Big Run Landfill. [More Ashland Independent]

With a little over one week left before funding for the nation’s transportation infrastructure dries up, the Senate has reached a deal on a multiyear bill, parting ways with the House. However, the bill immediately hit some bumps. [HuffPo]

Please accept my apologies for the caching issue that made the site appear to have stopped publication on July 16. Everything should be getting back to normal. If not, clear your browser’s cache and you should be good to go. [Jake]

A Gun Nut Extremist Fears The Gays

WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE? A dog’s collar and chain leash were found on the passenger side of a vehicle allegedly used to drag a dog to its death, a Lexington police officer testified Tuesday. [H-L]

An evangelical Christian suggested in a video posted to Facebook that Christians should fight against gay rights with firearms. [HuffPo]

State audits of companies that provide Medicaid-funded homes and services for adults with disabilities are sending shock waves through the businesses, which say the state is demanding repayment of millions of dollars for what amounts to minor paperwork errors. [C-J/AKN]

The Des Moines Register editorial board is blasting businessman Donald Trump, saying he should drop out of the 2016 Republican presidential race. [The Hill & DMR]

Hal Rogers, a staunch supporter of Kentucky’s coal industry, said last week that the state must consider other manners of employment for the Appalachian region besides coal. [WFPL]

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and liberal stalwart Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) have reached a deal on a six-year highway funding bill. [The Hill]

Steve Beshear is placing $82.5 million of surplus funds into the state’s reserve fund, bringing the “rainy day” fund to $209.4 million, the highest amount in almost a decade. [Business First]

Less than 15 percent of U.S. adults eat enough fruits daily to meet federal recommendations, but the numbers are even worse in some states, dipping as low as 7.5 percent in Tennessee, according to a new study. [Reuters]

The state Energy and Environment Cabinet will take comments about oil and gas development from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday in a “listening session” at the Center for Rural Development in Somerset. [Richmond Register]

Meagan Taylor, a 22-year-old transgender woman of color, has been sitting in an isolated Iowa jail since last Monday simply because she was profiled for her identity. [ThinkProgress]

Truckloads of cleaning supplies, food, water and other provisions are continuing to be distributed to Johnson Countians whose lives were devastated by recent flash flooding and other weather-related problems. [Ashland Independent]

If this isn’t an honest-to-goodness crystal ball, it’s close. Neurobiologist Nina Kraus believes she and her team at Northwestern University have found a way — a half-hour test — to predict kids’ literacy skill long before they’re old enough to begin reading. [NPR]

After much criticism and refusing to utter Bevin’s name, Mitch McConnell is stepping slightly forward. Then he’ll very quickly step back into the shadows, allowing Bevin to dig his own political grave. [H-L]

President Barack Obama on Tuesday listed Americans held in Iraq by name and said the United States will not give up until they are returned. [HuffPo]

Kim Davis Has Another Hearing Today

Pope Francis’ pronouncements about the immorality of social injustice and environmental degradation have rattled economic conservatives worldwide, and nowhere more than in King Coal’s Appalachia. [H-L]

Last year was likely the warmest year since 1880, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration confirmed on Thursday in a report written by hundreds of scientists from 58 countries. [HuffPo]

It’s been a pretty good stretch for U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell — in fact maybe his best ever. In January, he took over his dream job after Republicans thrashed Democrats in last year’s mid-term elections. [C-J/AKN]

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has ruled that existing civil rights law bars sexual orientation-based employment discrimination — a groundbreaking decision to advance legal protections for gay, lesbian, and bisexual workers. [BuzzFeed]

Kentucky Republican activists gather next month and they’re likely to give their blessing to a 2016 presidential caucus to benefit favorite son Rand Paul and replace the traditional primary. But they’re also likely to expect the cost to be borne by Paul’s campaign and that might end up being the fly in the ointment. [Ronnie Ellis]

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said on Thursday she was open to raising a threshold for determining a bank’s systemic importance and indicated that U.S. lenders had made progress in their submissions of so-called living will plans this month. [Reuters]

Look, we love to give Whitney Westerfield a hard time but this just seems silly. The politics of personal destruction are bleeding over from Jack Conway’s people aligned with Mark Riddle and his underlings. An outside group supporting Republican state Sen. Whitney Westerfield has gone on the attack over the lack of prosecutorial experience of Democratic candidate Andy Beshear, among other issues. [CN|Toot]

The Obama administration Saturday called the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) “abhorrent” following its suicide bombing in Iraq’s eastern Diyala province that killed 115 people a day earlier. [The Hill]

Is an “opinion” from the state Revenue Department the same as its “advice?” The Madison County Board of Assessment Appeals grappled with that question Friday afternoon after hearing testimony from attorneys for Eastern Kentucky University and the Madison County school and library boards. [Richmond Register]

Concerns are mounting that huge checks in the GOP primary will hurt the party’s chances of taking the White House. [Politico]

The attorney for a former Glasgow police chief suing the city and current interim chief is seeking to get the court proceedings in the case moved outside the county. Matt Baker, the attorney for Guy J. Turcotte, who is now a lieutenant colonel at the Glasgow Police Department, filed a motion last week in Barren Circuit Court stating his reasons for wanting the change. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Pluto has mountains made of ice that are as high as those in the Rockies, images from the New Horizons probe reveal. [BBC]

Marina operators were pleased about the potential for a new business opportunity when Congress authorized floating cabins last year on lakes in the Cumberland River basin, including Lake Cumberland. Now, however, some operators are objecting to guidelines on the cabins set out by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which administers the lakes. [H-L]

The geographic areas where Lyme disease is a bigger danger have grown dramatically, according to a new government study published Wednesday. [HuffPo]

Remember Iraq? Still A Horrible Mess

About 550 engineers in the state Transportation Cabinet got raises averaging 20 percent last month in hopes of curbing high turnover and costly contracts for private engineers. [H-L]

Iraqi Shi’ite fighters and army troops made gains north of Falluja on Sunday but their efforts to seal off Islamic State militants in the city met heavy resistance, including suicide bomb attacks, army sources and militia fighters said. [HuffPo]

Aetna’s acquisition of Humana appears to be part of a merger frenzy as the five biggest U.S. health insurers look to get bigger. But any acquisition or merger of this proportion must overcome potential hurdles. [C-J/AKN]

Republican 2016 presidential hopefuls Scott Walker and Rick Santorum are suggesting a potentially controversial way to boost Americans’ job prospects: admit fewer legal immigrants into the United States. [Reuters]

The News-Enterprise has finally stopped discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation. [News-Enterprise]

When the official watchdog overseeing U.S. spending on Afghanistan asked the U.S. Agency for International Development recently for details about the 641 health clinics it funds there, the agency readily provided a list of geospatial coordinates for them. But when the office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) went looking for the $210 million worth of clinics, the majority of them weren’t there. [The Intercept]

Mitch McConnell didn’t offer a Commerce Lexington lunch crowd many surprises or much real news, but he offered a couple of insights into his own political thinking Thursday. [Ronnie Ellis]

New data on payments from drug and device companies to doctors show that many doctors received payments on 100 or more days last year. Some received payments on more days than they didn’t. [ProPublica]

Par for the course in the Beshear Administration but Democrats don’t want to talk about that. The hiring of a Kentucky cabinet official’s husband has been questioned by critics who say the hiring represents a conflict of interest and a misuse of funds that could be better spent on helping overworked and underpaid social workers. [WKYT]

Mitch McConnell is still an obstructionist but that’s something Republicans don’t want to talk about. [Politico]

Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul has fashioned himself as one of the fledgling legal marijuana industry’s greatest advocates on Capitol Hill. That’s why he’s in a prime position to ask cannabis business leaders for campaign donations. Last week, he did just that. [WFPL]

Bipartisan legislation that would make changes to No Child Left Behind will be up for debate in Congress this week. [ThinkProgress]

Let the racist bigots fly their flags. Makes it easier to identify people to cut out of your life. [H-L]

Hillary Clinton had an incredible response for a gay child who expressed fears about what his future might hold. [HuffPo]

SCOTUS Says Millions Keep Health Care

Pope Francis’ call for urgent action to combat climate change isn’t having much influence on members of Congress from the coal state of Kentucky, who are working this week to block the centerpiece of the president’s agenda to limit the greenhouse gases that are warming the planet. [H-L]

The latest and possibly the last serious effort to cripple Obamacare through the courts has just failed. On Thursday, for the second time in three years, the Supreme Court rejected a major lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act — thereby preserving the largest expansion in health coverage since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid half a century ago. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin used $800,000 more of his own money to fuel his successful stretch run in the Republican primary for governor. [C-J/AKN]

Britain has carried out drone strikes only in war zones in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. The documents raise the possibility that in addition, British intelligence may have helped guide American strikes outside conventional war zones. [NY Times]

Members of the Harlan Independent Board of Education voted to partner with UNITE and AmeriCorps in the creation of a position for what will be equivalent to a “teacher’s aide” at a recent meeting. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

President Obama hosts two active duty trans servicemembers at the White House as pressure grows to let them serve openly. [Politico]

Operating costs of the Madison County Detention Center for the fiscal year ending June 30, exceeded its budget by about $500,000. [Richmond Register]

U.S. President Barack Obama reaffirmed in a phone call with his French counterpart Francois Hollande on Wednesday Washington’s commitment to end spying practices deemed “unacceptable” by its allies. [Reuters]

Carter County USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Gera Ferguson, announced that the nomination period for local FSA county committees began on June 15, 2015. [Ashland Independent]

The U.S. military acknowledges the negative health effects of Agent Orange on Vietnam veterans — but what about their children? [ProPublica]

The Industrial Development Economic Authority board approved in a special-called meeting to create a new budget category and more money for park work in the city and the county. Executive Director Dan Iacconi proposed Tuesday to the IDEA board for Glasgow-Barren County to create a category in the operating fund titled drainage and erosion control related to Highland Glen Industrial Park. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Acting on climate change will have major economic, environmental, and health benefits, according to a report released Monday by the Environmental Protection Agency. [ThinkProgress]

Caitlyn Jenner’s presence on the glossy cover of the July issue of Vanity Fair magazine incited a powerful moment of visibility for the transgender community, including the one in Lexington. [H-L]

Medical marijuana has not been proven to work for many illnesses that state laws have approved it for, according to the first comprehensive analysis of research on its potential benefits. [HuffPo]