Maybe Kentucky’s Economy Isn’t Perfect?

The Kentucky Department of Financial Institutions, an agency of the Public Protection Cabinet, held a town hall meeting on June 11 in Lexington as part of the Community Banking in the 21st Century report released nationally.

The meeting was attended by 22 bankers, three federal regulators and four state regulators.

According to a release, these were the common themes from the meeting:

  • Competition – Competition for financial services is coming from a variety of non-bank sources. Community bankers feel they are at a competitive disadvantage because they are held to a higher standard than non-bank financial services providers. New regulations limit their flexibility when offering services or developing new products to meet customer demands.
  • Economy/Market Conditions – Kentucky’s community bankers are seeing little entrepreneurship or new business formation, but remain optimistic. Kentucky generally remains more insulated from the aftereffects of the recession compared to many other states. Community banks in the state are performing better than national averages.
  • Borrowing Attitudes – Kentucky’s borrowers are still hesitant and unwilling to take the risks that they were willing to take prior to the recession.
  • Regulatory Burden – Open communication lines between bankers and regulators are critical. Community bankers believe that regulatory burden affects their ability to provide services and has limited their ability to offer new products.
  • Human Capital – Attracting human capital is a significant challenge, especially in small insular communities. Employing high school and college students as interns and offering flexible schedules has proven effective.
  • Emerging Issues – Better information sharing may help with cybersecurity concerns.

Which… well… all of that could come as quite a shock to anyone who has spent years listening to Steve Beshear and others claim that Kentucky’s economy is among the best in the country.

All the talk from people like Alison Grimes claiming that thousands of new businesses have opened up in Kentucky creating untold numbers of jobs?

Those claims may just be imaginary.

We note, with particular interest, the bit about cybersecurity concerns. Really puts today’s earlier story in perspective.

Your Morning Dept Of Awful Things

Jack Conway stuck to the script and Matt Bevin continued his seemingly spontaneous campaign during an hour-long debate before the rabid fans of Big Blue Nation on the state’s most popular sports talk radio show. [H-L]

U.S. airstrikes hit Taliban positions overnight around a key northern city seized by insurgents this week as Afghan troops massed on the ground Wednesday ahead of what is likely to be a protracted battle to retake Kunduz. [HuffPo]

It wasn’t a miscommunication until they were called on the carpet. People trying to communicate with the Kentucky Division of Water on new water quality standards using email were told this week to buy a stamp and send their comments via snail mail. [C-J/AKN]

A bipartisan group of senators on the Judiciary Committee is preparing to unveil a criminal justice overhaul proposal as early as Thursday. [NPR]

Jack Conway, Kentucky’s Democratic Attorney General who is running for governor, and Greg Stumbo, Kentucky’s Speaker of the House, are in the same party and are on the same side when it comes to coal, which they both defend. But they don’t always agree. [Ronnie Ellis]

Pope Francis met privately in Washington last week with Kim Davis, the county clerk in Kentucky who defied a court order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, a Vatican spokesman confirmed on Wendesday. [NY Times]

Last week, I was proud to join with the father of Kentucky State Police Trooper Joseph Cameron Ponder and other legislators as we stood together to advocate for additional safety measures for law enforcement. [Greg Stumbo]

LaserLock Technologies, a firm that sells anti-counterfeiting products, won a powerful congressional ally on Capitol Hill after recruiting a Kentucky congressman’s wife. Representative Ed Whitfield, a senior Republican lawmaker from western Kentucky, personally submitted company documents on behalf of LaserLock to the congressional record in support of legislation crucial to the firm’s business. [Lee Fang]

The former chairman of the Republican National Committee is upset he was quoted in a television ad for Kentucky gubernatorial candidate Jack Conway. Duncan – who is from Inez, Ky., and now heads the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity – told WYMT his comments were taken out of context. “The comments that I made were as the chief executive officer of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity. It had nothing to do with the Republican National Committee,” Duncan said Tuesday night in a phone interview. [WYMT]

U.S. bombs somehow keep falling in the places where President Barack Obama “ended two wars.” [The Intercept]

Laurel County is back to being the worst place on earth. A woman has been arrested after sheriff’s deputies say they found a man’s body inside a freezer at her Laurel County home. [WKYT]

It could have been Hillary Clinton’s tweet that did it. Just after the US government had given the go-ahead for Shell to restart its exploration in Alaska, the Democratic presidential candidate took to the social media site. [BBC]

Every community in Kentucky should be serving alcohol and selling it by the package because it’s not the dark ages. Berea voters on Tuesday approved the sale of alcohol by the drink in certain restaurants. [H-L]

After enduring a marathon House hearing on Tuesday during which GOP representatives frequently interrupted her, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards accused them of political grandstanding and using the hearing to demonstrate how “they are obsessed with ending access to reproductive health care for women in America.” [HuffPo]

The RGA Has Bailed On Matt Bevin

The Republican Governor’s Association has stopped running TV ads for Matt Bevin in Kentucky with a little more than a month to go until Election Day. [H-L]

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush said “free stuff” won’t be part of his plan to appeal to black voters, echoing comments Mitt Romney made during the 2012 presidential election. As The Washington Post first reported, Bush was asked at a Republican dinner on Thursday in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, how he plans to reach out to black voters. [HuffPo]

For the millionth time… if you’re gonna cover suicide, flipping include resources. [C-J/AKN]

President Bill Clinton dismissed the controversy surrounding his wife Hillary Clinton’s private email server as a meaningless distraction, comparing it to his administration’s “Whitewater” controversy. [The Hill]

For the first time in months, the controversy that lit up televisions across the country in Rowan County stimulated a peaceful gathering. [The Morehead News]

A Miami jury convicted a man who faces up to 35 years in prison for growing marijuana in a bedroom of his house in what he says was an act of love to help his wife who is recovering from breast cancer, local media reported. [Reuters]

Though many on Capitol Hill claimed the resignation of U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner was a supprise, Kentucky Congressman Thomas Massie, one of Boehner’s harshest critics, said, “I know exactly why he left.” [Ashland Independent]

A new report released Thursday provides a detailed look at the graduation rates of low-income college students. At many colleges, low-income students graduate at much lower rates than their high-income peers. [ProPublica]

Barren Circuit Court Judge Phil Patton heard witness testimony and attorney arguments relating to a lawsuit filed by city resident Freddie L. Travis against the Glasgow Independent Schools Board of Education during a bench trial on Thursday. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Doctors in Texas say that a three-year-old girl is possibly the youngest person to ever be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. [ThinkProgress]

I spent my first weekday in Germany in the Ruhr Valley: this region used to be one of the country’s main industrial and coal mining areas. But as the mines and steel plants have closed, cities like Gelsenkirchen and Essen are contemplating how to reinvent and revitalize themselves. [WFPL]

The Pope’s plea to tackle climate change is likely to get a cool reception from some key energy politicians in the US. [BBC]

Jamie Comer says Kentucky will be the epicenter of industrial hemp in the U.S. But it probably won’t be. Why? Frankfort. [H-L]

What was that, again, about Kim Davis not being a fame whore or milking this for cash? Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who went to jail this month for refusing to follow the law and issue a marriage license to a gay couple, was given an award at Friday night’s conservative Values Voter Summit. Tony Perkins, of the Family Research Council, presented Davis with a “Cost of Discipleship Award” that compared her with Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and Abraham Lincoln because, like them, she “pursued justice at great personal cost.” [HuffPo]

It’s Official: Jack In 2010 Is Jack In 2015

“Grace under pressure. Country and institution before self,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Friday, describing his impressions of retiring Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio. [H-L]

Bigoted fame whore Kim Davis lies again: Now she’s claiming Kentucky Democrats don’t hate the gays as hard as Kentucky Republicans. We all know they hate the gays equally. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin was supposed to be Republican he could beat in this race but as each day goes by, that’s looking less and less like a sure thing. [C-J/AKN]

Renewable energy has for the first time surpassed coal in supplying the UK’s electricity for a whole quarter, according to government statistics released on Thursday. [The Guardian]

Independent Stave Company announced last week that its fifth American oak stave mill – located on Cranston Road (KY 377) – now is fully operational as the second largest such facility in the world. [The Morehead News]

Advocates for abolishing the death penalty are hopeful that Pope Francis’s visit this week will give their cause a jolt of momentum. [The Hill]

The efforts of the Berea College Farm to reduce energy and waste and serve students and the community have been recognized as one of the top in the country. [Richmond Register]

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo renewed his call for national gun control legislation on Saturday as he delivered a eulogy for the top state attorney who was fatally wounded by a stray bullet in Brooklyn earlier this month. [Reuters]

Where the devil is Jack Conway? It’s customary for those who want to be governor to get out among voters and tell them why they should vote for him. Conway’s Republican opponent, Matt Bevin, is traveling the state talking to prospective voters, but unless you sneak into a Conway fundraiser as I did last weekend, it’s hard to find the Democrat. [Ronnie Ellis]

With their top object of scorn, John Boehner, about to leave the scene, conservatives are already training their ire across the Capitol on Mitch McConnell. [Politico]

A change to the Glasgow city ordinance pertaining to the humane treatment of animals that narrowly passed a first reading Sept. 14 is on Monday’s agenda for a second reading by the Glasgow City Council. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Pope Francis has urged a large gathering of world leaders at the United Nations in New York to respect humanity’s “right to the environment”. [BBC]

Republican presidential candidate Bobby Jindal is calling on the GOP’s top senator to step down. [H-L]

When poor defendants appeared in court over an unpaid fine, the ACLU found that judges did not assign them a lawyer, seek to determine whether they could afford their fine or inform them of their rights. [HuffPo]

KY Is F’d On All Fronts. But How Badly?

Fees will be waived at several recreation areas in the Daniel Boone National Forest this weekend to celebrate National Public Lands Day. [H-L]

Plans by President Barack Obama’s administration to allow thousands more refugees into the United States faced stiff opposition on Monday in the U.S. Congress, where Republican lawmakers demanded the right to review, and reject, the effort, citing fears of terrorism. [HuffPo]

Ten Kentucky children died last year from abuse and neglect and another 32 suffered life-threatening injuries, according to the latest annual report of such statistics from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. [C-J/AKN]

Time Warner Cable Inc’s shareholders approved the company’s $56 billion takeover by Charter Communications Inc, according to preliminary votes at a special shareholder meeting. [Reuters]

A new report shows fewer children in Kentucky died from abuse and neglect last year, but the state remains among the top 10 worst states for child abuse. [WLKY]

Recently filed court documents show the makers of Tylenol planned to enlist the White House and lawmakers to block the Food and Drug Administration from imposing tough new safety restrictions on acetaminophen, the iconic painkiller’s chief ingredient. [ProPublica]

As temperatures start to cool down and the leaves begin to fall, Norma Justice and others are gearing up for the annual Flatwoods Fall Festival. [Ashland Independent]

The house that could save the world. The next generation of ultra-efficient houses will redefine how we fight climate change — and how we live. [Politico]

Gov. Rick Scott will fly to Kentucky early Tuesday for two days of private meetings in Lexington and Louisville with unidentified business owners about moving or expanding to Florida. There won’t be any warm welcome from the top executive of the Bluegrass State for Scott, who has already has lined up at least one Kentucky company to say it’s bringing jobs to Florida. [Palm Beach Post]

If we’re handcuffing autistic children at the elbows or throwing them in jail overnight, then we’re failing them. If we’re hitting kids with felony weapons charges for bringing fishing tackle to school, then we’re failing them. And if we’re using suspensions (which absolutely do not work) against students who build clocks, or twirl pencils, or write about pot, or chew their Pop-Tarts into the shape of a gun, then we’re failing them. [Click this Clicky]

Attorneys for Kim Davis are as backward as she and her ilk. [WKYT]

If you haven’t seen the Kim Davis interview on the teevee, you’re really missing out. She’s great at playing the victim and great and projecting. Just like Joshua Powell. Birds of a feather. [ABC News]

The University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville have won a $3.76 million grant to create a national center of excellence in micro/nanotechnology, one of just 16 awarded by the National Science Foundation. [H-L]

Is this Dong Trump’s Sarah The Quitter Palin moment? Probably not. Because we all know we haven’t seen the worst of him yet. [HuffPo]

Someone Said A Thing About Something

Debating on television for the first time, Kentucky’s three candidates for governor displayed conflicting positions Tuesday night on a multitude of issues, including same-sex marriage licenses. [H-L]

Ten years after her brother was sentenced to prison for bringing undocumented immigrants over the border, Carla Gonzalez’s parents have only just begun to catch up on the crippling debt caused by his incarceration. [HuffPo]

Acknowledging that Kentucky’s social workers are overworked and underpaid, the state’s commissioner of social services said Monday her agency will seek “millions of dollars” to hire more workers, boost salaries and improve working conditions. [C-J/AKN]

The Obama administration has said it will allow 10,000 Syrian refugees to resettle in the US over the next year. Is this enough? And are there any risks? [BBC]

On June 25, a Madison Circuit Court jury awarded $18 million in damages to the estate of Eliza Jennings which had sued The Terrace Nursing Home in Berea. The suit alleged Jennings suffered injury and wrongful death because the nursing home failed to provide the “degree of ordinary skill expected of a reasonable and prudent nursing home.” [Richmond Register]

When will the wingnut wing of the liberals quit it with the GMO fearmongering? This is as dumb as birtherism and such. [Mother Jones]

Park City Commissioners met in special-called session on Monday to approve on second reading an ordinance setting the tax rates for 2015. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The White House on Wednesday indicated it is open to accepting a short-term funding bill that keeps in place spending caps in order to avert a government shutdown. [The Hill]

Ryan Russell walked briskly through the dining room of the Ashland Community Kitchen, a place where the homeless and working poor of the Tri-State congregate for a warm meal and fellowship. [Ashland Independent]

The last time the Federal Reserve raised interest rates Lance Armstrong was a hero and Lehman Brothers was a thriving investment bank. [NPR]

Legislative Research Commission staffers working for Greg Stumbo have realized Kentuckians need a civics education. [Floyd County Times]

Cities, states, and provinces from the world’s biggest superpowers — and by far the world’s biggest carbon emitters — just pledged to reduce their carbon emissions at a summit in Los Angeles on Tuesday. [ThinkProgress]

Every fall, bourbon lovers make a pilgrimage to Kentucky for two things: the Kentucky Bourbon Festival, which runs through Sunday in Bardstown, and the fall bourbon releases. [H-L]

The United States has secretly indicted top officials connected to the government of Bolivian President Evo Morales for their alleged involvement in a cocaine trafficking scheme. [HuffPo]

The Jack Conway Tip-Toe Fun Continues

HELP PROTECT OUR SOURCES! Stop the Montgomery County-Joshua Powell-Phil Rison insanity! Help us pay ridiculous the fees these shysters caused. [CLICK HERE]

Conway says he’s OK with taking county clerks’ names off of marriage licenses. What else is he OK with doing to keep the Kim Davises of the world from being inconvenienced? Where does this stop? … Don’t worry, Larry Dale! Jack’s folks will just concoct some stupid defamation campaign with the help of Jennifer Moore and some other half-wit attorney when he loses. They’ll blame it all on everybody else instead of admitting they can’t see the forest for the trees. [Larry Dale Keeling]

Recent economic turmoil in China — the world’s second-largest economy — has rocked markets from the U.S. to Asia and Europe, and Africa has not been spared the upheaval. [HuffPo]

Daymar College, the for-profit Kentucky company accused in multiple lawsuits of duping students into enrolling through bogus claims about job placement and transferring credits, has agreed to pay $1.2 million to ex-students, according to a copy of the tentative deal. [C-J/AKN]

On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Education issued a progress report for those seeking student debt relief who say they were defrauded by their for-profit colleges, but for many former students, the process may drag out for a long time. [ThinkProgress]

Rowan County should be thanking its lucky stars. Dr. Terry Holliday, Kentucky commissioner of education, said in a letter to the Rowan County Board of Education that he would not make an appointment to the vacant seat on the Rowan County School Board. [The Morehead News]

The rise of Donald Trump might represent some massive sea change in American politics—but it’s far more likely he will fade long before the primary season does. Thanks to Trump, August was a blockbuster month for the political press, but most of what is happening now won’t decide who is sworn in on Jan. 20, 2017. [Politico]

Looks like small town media have jumped on the WDRB, et al, bandwagon of reporting the downfall of this guy instead of helping him. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The US military has ordered a new crackdown on laboratories producing biological toxins, after another anthrax contamination scare. [BBC]

Sorry, folks, please stop asking, not interested in writing about Kim Davis. A link is about all you’re gonna get. George Steele, mayor of Grayson, said the national spotlight here has been an economic boost to the small town he governs, however, he realizes some residents wish the attention would be directed elsewhere. [Ashland Independent]

Milwaukee is at the top of the list violent cities, with a 76 percent increase in homicides. [NPR]

Soon after he took office Jan. 1, Madison Judge/Executive Reagan Taylor started a to-do list. It’s posted on the inside of his office door leading to his administrative assistants’ office. [Richmond Register]

According to new research from the University of Texas-El Paso, pollution’s damage to the brain may start even sooner than was previously thought: Fourth and fifth graders exposed to exhaust emissions, researchers found, don’t do as well in school as their peers who breathe cleaner air. [Mother Jones]

If an industry can’t function without the backup of casino-style gambling, maybe it’s time to move on? Horse track operators and breeders are concerned the good times might be trotting to a close as some states move to rein in a lucrative subsidy that’s helped prop up their long suffering-industry. [H-L]

Here’s your duh moment of the day. A quarter of patients given a short-term prescription for painkillers transitioned to long-term use. [HuffPo]