Sleepwalking Dems Are Trying To Lose

Last week we wondered if the Democrats were sleepwalking again.

The answer? Yes, yes, yes.

Here’s what went down on Thursday:

  • SILENT protestors were arrested at the ham breakfast for… who knows? Scaring Jack Conway’s campaign advisers? Wearing ugly orange t-shirts?
  • Democratic candidates opposed background checks
  • Andy Beshear wasn’t sure where he stood on anti-discrimination/fairness laws
  • Gay-panicked Republican Whitney Westerfield says he’s open AND he’s the furthest to the left when it comes to the death penalty
  • The Kentucky Fart Bureau’s policies are to the right of the Faux Family Foundation but Democrats like Jack Conway get weak in the knees over the organization’s barely relevant support

Way to go, Democrats, for maybe making effing MATT BEVIN your governor.

Who will you blame this time? Got your defamation campaign ready to go?

Campaign Craziness Kicks Into Gear

HELP PROTECT OUR SOURCES! Stop the Montgomery County-Joshua Powell-Phil Rison insanity! [CLICK HERE]

Even while fighting blindness in the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere this week, Republican presidential contender Rand Paul intensified political attacks against rivals in both parties, vowing to continue pressing billionaire businessman Donald Trump in particular as the Kentucky senator embraces the role as the GOP’s leading pit bull. [H-L]

Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush said Tuesday that the government should have broad surveillance powers of Americans and private technology firms should cooperate better with intelligence agencies to help combat “evildoers.” [HuffPo]

In a high-profile report issued in 2010, then-state Auditor Crit Luallen rebuked Passport Health Plan for wasteful spending of Medicaid funds on things like lobbying, travel, public relations, donations and sponsorships. But in May of this year, Passport made a $25,000 contribution to the Democratic Governors Association, an organization which already this year has given $600,000 to a Democratic super PAC supporting the election of Attorney General Jack Conway as governor. [C-J/AKN]

Hanni Fakhoury, a senior staff counsel with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said courts have not yet settled the question of how specific or broad email search warrants should be, and this case is one of the most prominent illustrations of how users can fight back. [Mother Jones]

Seems like only yesterday Jack Conway and his people were touting a study indicating that testing welfare recipients was a waste of time and resources. Attorney General Jack Conway says he supports drug testing some welfare recipients in Kentucky, echoing the position of his Republican opponent. [WFPL]

Amid the horrors of war in Syria, Yemen and Iraq, it’s become easy to overlook Afghanistan. Remember Afghanistan? Back in the mid-2000s, it was known as the “forgotten war,” eclipsed by the bloodshed in Iraq. Now it’s overshadowed all over again. But there’s plenty of reason to pay attention. [NPR]

Two same-sex couples in this small eastern Kentucky county got everything they wanted in a ruling from a federal judge Monday, except for one sentence. [Ashland Independent]

Climate change is increasing the risk of severe ‘food shocks’ where crops fail and prices of staples rise rapidly around the world. [BBC]

Of course the racist rednecks are coming out of the woodwork at the state fair. [WAVE3]

Donald Trump’s immigration plan is huge in every aspect — including its price tag. Think $166 billion. And that’s on the low end. [Politico]

Just weeks after a Kentucky man gained national attention for shooting down a drone in his backyard, a state lawmaker is proposing new legislation. [WDRB]

As concerns rise about a security menace posed by rogue drone flights, U.S. government agencies are working with state and local police forces to develop high-tech systems to protect vulnerable sites, according to sources familiar with the matter. [Reuters]

Lyman T. Johnson was a grandson of slaves who grew up in the deeply segregated community of Columbia, Tenn. One day, his father, the principal of the segregated black school, sent him on an errand to the white school, where Johnson saw for the first time the truth of Jim Crow laws that created separate and unequal facilities. [H-L]

A year ago, after 18-year-old Michael Brown was killed by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, police responded to even peaceful daytime protests in the St. Louis suburb by deploying attack dogs and tactical vehicles, pointing sniper rifles at peaceful protesters, arresting people for simply standing still on public sidewalks, flooding demonstrators with tear gas — often without warning — and shooting them with bean bags, wooden pellets and balls filled with pepper spray. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin Tanked The RPK’s Finances

HELP PROTECT OUR SOURCES! Stop the Montgomery County-Joshua Powell-Phil Rison insanity! [CLICK HERE]

The Kentucky Department of Education is seeking public feedback on dozens of proposed social studies standards. [H-L]

For me it was only after eight years of studying Greenland — installing and maintaining a network of on-ice climate stations and examining how much snow evaporates from the island — that I suddenly realized glaciology textbooks needed a major revision. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin is not good for the Republican Party’s finances. The Republican Party of Kentucky trailed far behind the Kentucky Democratic Party in fundraising through the first six months of this year. [C-J/AKN]

Look, this is the best thing you’re going to read all week. So just go read it. [VICE]

Two Boone County emergency dispatch workers sued the county, alleging a co-worker and supervisor used abusive language to minority callers and slept on duty, including during a police chase. [Cincinnasti.com]

President Obama took sharp aim at critics of the Iran nuclear deal on Wednesday, saying many of those who backed the U.S. invasion of Iraq now want to reject the accord and put the Middle East on the likely path toward another war. [WaPo]

The Greenup County Young Democrats club and local nonprofit Emmaus Respite and Resource Center have taken control of the county’s Meals on Wheels program. [Ashland Independent]

Later this month, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. will escape for a family retreat to mourn his late son, Beau, but also to mull, as his dying son urged him to do, a campaign for president. Some of Mr. Biden’s friends and allies worry that he will decide it is a good idea. [NY Times]

A majority of the members of the Glasgow Management Control Board said Tuesday that based on documents approved by the city and the ambulance service director, there is no question about who is in charge of their dispatchers, regardless of which entity actually pays their salaries. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Democratic California Governor Jerry Brown on Wednesday sent a letter to all Republican presidential candidates pressing them to discuss their plans to deal with climate change. [Reuters]

Rand Paul got plenty of attention Saturday during the Fancy Farm Picnic in Western Kentucky. But it wasn’t the good kind. [WFPL]

On Tuesday, Allan Kauffman (D), mayor of Goshen, Indiana, posted a statement announcing that the City Council would not be voting on a proposed LGBT nondiscrimination ordinance that night. “Despite several attempts to tweak the ordinance amendment to respond to concerns expressed, they have not been enough to gain good consensus from City Council members,” he wrote. [ThinkProgress]

The battle over whether a company can force its workers to pay union dues landed in a Kentucky federal courthouse Tuesday as a handful of labor unions sought to persuade a judge to throw out a series of local laws designed to end closed shops. [H-L]

Critics of the Obama administration’s new rules for power plant emissions have been quick to describe them as “government overreach” and “flagrantly unlawful.” What they don’t say is that congressional inaction and a mandate from the Supreme Court drove the regulatory process to this point. [HuffPo]

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]

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]

Beshear Pushed Those Talking Points

Yesterday we criticized the Kentucky Democratic Party for getting petty with right-wing extremist Whitney Westerfield. Instead of hitting the Republican candidate for Attorney General on his voting record (hellurrrr? have you seen it?!), the KDP chose to run with unimportant matters from his early days as an attorney. Most people will never remember it.

But here’s how that ad came to be…

Roughly a month ago, Andy Beshear’s campaign shopped those talking points around to anyone who would listen. Campaign staffers demanded they not be identified as the source of the information, though. They were super-nervous about it.

The Herald-Leader turned it down.

The Courier-Journal turned it down.

A Democratic strategist (female, attorney based in Louisville) tried to pay me to run the story. I turned it down and you know I wanted her money to buy a bunch of Lemon Oreos.

Most everyone turned it down because it’s petty bullshit from a decade ago. Most everyone recognized that the Beshear Camp wanted a story to hit so they could use it as source material for a television spot. All without being fingered for slinging mud that isn’t even that muddy. No one would bite.

Until CN|Toot did what no one else thought was worthy of their time. Bam, you got that slightly funny and borderline homophobic/transphobic/whatever teevee spot. Wasting cash that other Democratic candidates desperately need to win in November. While leaving a bad taste in the mouth of anyone capable of spotting homophobia (or whatever you want to call it) from a mile away.

Don’t want to focus too much on CN|Toot because we’ve all been there. We’ve all been desperate for a story, desperate to develop a working relationship, desperate for eyes. Because this is really about Andy Beshear and his campaign. This incident speaks purely to his character and the tone he wants to set as the Commonwealth’s top law enforcement officer, top lawyer, top dog on the food chain.

Andy Beshear is likely to win in November. Most Republicans I’ve spoken with seem to think he’s gonna pull off a victory. But he’s setting an unfortunate precedent at a time when Kentucky is in desperate need of fresh, clean leadership. He is not offering fresh, clean anything.

I mean… you know it’s some b.s. when someone like me — with an established history of despising Whitney Westerfield — comes to his defense. No longer have much of a gag reflex (get it? throwing that out there for Kent Ostrander) but come on.

This is so dumb.