Still Recovering From Fancy Fark 2015?

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Democrats have at least a slight edge in all but one of Kentucky’s down-ticket races for statewide office, but plenty of likely voters say they remain undecided, according to a new Bluegrass Poll. [H-L]

The Obama administration will release final standards for power plants on Monday that are, in several key ways, tougher than the draft version of the plan. [HuffPo]

Way to go, Frankfort, you backward-ass hacks. A state social worker in Northern Kentucky has been suspended for her involvement in the case of a 7-year-old girl whose relatives alleged she was being mistreated at home. [C-J/AKN]

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday confirmed Marine General Joseph Dunford as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the top officer in the U.S. military. [Reuters]

Bevin is entertaining and provocative, even when he is obviously wrong or making something up. Conway is dull, even when he is obviously right or stating an important fact. [John David D-Bag]

Senate Republicans are turning up the heat on Planned Parenthood, setting up a vote for Monday to defund the organization that is making some of their members squirm. [The Hill]

Ricky Handshoe has fought coal companies and state regulators for 10 years hoping to save his home. He has had to surrender the home, but he won’t give up the fight. [Ronnie Ellis]

Last fall, farmers working the flat land along the Colorado River outside Blythe, California, harvested a lucrative crop of oranges, lettuce and alfalfa from fields irrigated with river water. But that wasn’t their only source of income. They made almost as much per acre from the seemingly dead squares of dry earth abutting those orchards and row crops, fields left barren for the season. [ProPublica]

Rowan County argued it is “immune from suit” and that a recent federal lawsuit against the county and its clerk, Kim Davis, fails to find fault with the county government since Davis decided not to issue marriage licenses last month. [Ashland Independent]

The spacecraft which made a spectacular landing on a comet last year has discovered a rich array of carbon compounds. [BBC]

Glasgow Independent Schools filed its response Thursday to a lawsuit claiming its board of education violated Kentucky’s open meetings law. An appeal of an opinion from the Kentucky Office of the Attorney General was part of that response. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Donald Trump’s instinct for racially charged rhetoric, before his presidential bid. Once a racist buttcramp, always a racist buttcramp? [NY Times]

In a heated prelude to the barbed political comments at Saturday afternoon’s Fancy Farm political picnic, Republican gubernatorial nominee Matt Bevin accused Democrats of creating a “sexual harassment mess” in the state legislature. [H-L]

Two veterinarians serving in Congress, one a conservative Republican and the other a Democrat, came together late Tuesday to introduce a bill aimed at ending an especially horrific type of horse abuse. [HuffPo]

State Media Ignoring Glasgow Messes

A lawsuit filed in federal court in California against Maker’s Mark Distillery was dismissed on Monday. The plaintiffs had alleged that they were mislead by the premium bourbon’s claims on the label to be “handmade” but U.S. District Judge John A. Houston found that the claim “cannot reasonably be interpreted as meaning literally by hand nor that a reasonable consumer would understand the term to mean no equipment or automated process was used to manufacture the whisky.” [H-L]

New research indicates that Washington, D.C., is rapidly sinking into the ocean, news that might not make the rest of the country all that sad. [HuffPo]

Unless you’re traveling through Woodford County because Woodford County is the traffic devil. Kentucky speeders get off easier than drivers in other states, according to a 2015 WalletHub study that ranked the “Strictest and Most Lenient States on Speeding and Reckless Driving.” [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump’s explosive rise in the polls has come at the expense of every other GOP presidential candidate except for Jeb Bush and Scott Walker — who arguably have been helped by the businessman’s rise. [The Hill]

There weren’t many substantive insights drawn from Monday’s debate between Republican Matt Bevin and Democrat Jack Conway before a Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Business Summit crowd. [Ronnie Ellis]

Opponents of President Barack Obama’s soon-to-be-implemented policy to cut carbon emissions from power plants are planning to use an unlikely and potentially potent weapon against him: the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that saved Obamacare. [Reuters]

A hearing has been set for next week regarding whether to take a former police chief’s lawsuit against the City of Glasgow and the current, interim chief outside Barren County. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Despite his plum position, Rogers finds himself at odds with GOP leadership on a path to stave off a government shutdown. [Politico]

The latest column Greg Stumbo’s LRC staffers have written for him is about drug abuse. [Floyd County Times]

The Eagle was built by the Nazis and fought for Hitler in World War Two – so how did a tall ship that once flew the swastika end up as a training vessel for new US Coast Guard cadets? [BBC]

The first extension of Mountain Parkway in a half-century is set to begin next year with the reconstruction of a wider, safer Restaurant Row in Salyersville. While visible road work is underway to the west, teams are busy finalizing construction plans, land acquisitions and utility relocation efforts to prepare for a summer start. [WTVQ]

The United States is emerging as the world’s hog farm—the country where massive foreign meat companies like Brazil’s JBS and China’s WH Group (formerly Shuanghui) alight when they want to take advantage of rising global demand for pork. [Mother Jones]

Lexington gets a lot of things right. The University of Kentucky opened a new bike path Wednesday at the Arboretum to connect bicyclists from south Lexington neighborhoods to campus and downtown. [H-L]

It was 50 years ago Thursday that President Lyndon Johnson signed the legislation that created Medicare, dramatically altering life for America’s seniors. But as debate over the program rages on, its conservative critics have learned to be more crafty about what alternatives they propose — and how to justify them. [HuffPo]

Are Fayette County Schools Just Terrible?

In the 2013-2014 school year, Nicole Jenkins said, her then 8-year-old son witnessed a friend “being called the n-word on the school bus.” “Later that year,” Jenkins said, “he and a Hispanic friend were called the n-word. Finally, … he was called a baboon by a classmate” at Meadowthorpe Elementary School. [H-L]

After the Republican Party took a drubbing at the polls on Election Day 2012, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus ordered an autopsy. The party, the coroner’s report found a few months later, had alienated women and minorities and came off as plutocratic. [HuffPo]

Fire investigators have blamed the total loss of a General Electric warehouse on outdated Appliance Park equipment that failed when fire crews rushed to the scene April 3. [C-J/AKN]

The FBI on Friday announced the arrests in Oakland of two animal rights activists, Joseph Buddenberg and Nicole Kissane, and accused the pair of engaging in “domestic terrorism.” This comes less than a month after the FBI director said he does not consider Charleston Church murderer Dylann Roof a “terrorist.” The activists’ alleged crimes: “They released thousands of minks from farms around the country and vandalized various properties.” That’s it. Now they’re being prosecuted and explicitly vilified as “terrorists,” facing 10-year prison terms. [The Intercept]

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling that states must recognize same-sex marriages is roiling Kentucky and pulling in other parties who probably would rather stay out of the controversy. [Ronnie Ellis]

Consumers of organic foods are getting both more and less than they bargained for. On both counts, it’s not good. When will people quit it with pseudoscience and Ferd Berb wooery? Organic doesn’t equal magic and GMOs are not the devil. [Forbes]

This may be the funniest story of the entire 2015 campaign. [Kentucky New Era]

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter is due to meet with senior military leaders on Thursday to map out his budget priorities for the coming year, the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer said on Tuesday. [Reuters]

Glasgow Mayor Dick Doty announced at Monday night’s city council meeting the three finalists for the position of police chief. [Glasgow Daily Times]

All these articles act as if Rand really thought he had a shot at winning the presidency. And is it really a bad thing that he’s not trying to sell his rear end for campaign cash? Really? This all bodes extremely well for his U.S. Senate campaign. No, this doesn’t mean we’re fans. [Politico]

Seriously? This guy was arrested for shooting down a drone flying over his property? Most of you reading this would do the same damn thing and so would we. [WDRB]

Half of American adults had their personal information exposed to hackers last year alone. In a recent attack at the federal Office of Personnel Management, hackers stole the most sensitive personal data for 21.5 million people. [NY Times]

Lexington leaders from city government, education and business gathered Monday evening to announce their goal of obtaining accreditation from the National Safety Council as a “safe community.” [H-L]

After a group of GOP senators huddled Tuesday afternoon to discuss the recently released undercover “sting” videos of Planned Parenthood, Republicans unveiled legislation to strip the family planning provider of its federal funding. [HuffPo]

McConnell-Cruz Slap Fight Is Terrific

Even after years of talk about a “war on coal,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell startled some of his constituents in March when he urged open rebellion against a White House proposal for cutting pollution from coal-fired power plants. [H-L]

President Barack Obama fired back at former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) on Monday after the 2016 Republican presidential candidate invoked the specter of the Holocaust in comments regarding the Iran nuclear deal. [HuffPo]

Just a reminder that a bunch of butthurt racists cried in Frankfort last week. [C-J/AKN]

In L.A. and cities across the United States, it is effectively illegal to be dirt poor in a country where more than 45 million people live in poverty. [The Intercept]

When thousands of political partisans gather Saturday in the little western Kentucky hamlet with the picturesque name of Fancy Farm, the main attraction will be the governor’s contest between Democrat Jack Conway and Republican Matt Bevin. [Ronnie Ellis]

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Granny) and other Republicans on Sunday criticized their colleague Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Cartoon), who on Friday accused McConnell of lying about a deal to revive the Export-Import Bank. [The Hill]

Madison was among the 118 Kentucky counties in which the unemployment rate was lower in June compared to a year earlier. [Richmond Register]

U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said on Saturday that she did not use a private email account to send or receive classified information while she was secretary of state, in response to a government inspector’s letter this week. [Reuters]

A revised search and seizure policy is in place for Glasgow Independent Schools that includes a section about canine monitoring. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The Pentagon has urged US citizens not to carry out armed patrols outside military recruitment centres. [BBC]

The state will pay $400,000 to settle two sexual harassment lawsuits against lawmakers and the state agency that runs administrative operations in the state Capitol. [WFPL]

It’s an extremely safe bet that the Republican nominee will not take more action to confront climate change than President Obama has. The question is more how much of the president’s climate agenda the nominee would reverse, repeal, or ignore. [ThinkProgress]

By hedging on gay marriage, embracing his pro-Second Amendment side and following in the state’s bipartisan political tradition of cozying up to coal, Conway risks losing a base he desperately needs if he hopes to offset a motivated conservative electorate in the rest of the state. But it’s really about racism — how many Kentucky Democrats will once again vote against the name “Obama” on the basis of race? [H-L]

U.S. Republican presidential contender Rand Paul said on Sunday he plans to push Congress to cut federal funding for the non-profit reproductive healthcare organization Planned Parenthood in a debate over its treatment of aborted fetal tissue. [HuffPo]

Faux Family Foundation Hit A Big Nerve

The only reason not allow the demonstration is because they know it harms their case when people see it’s just slot machines by a different name. Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate denied a motion by The Family Foundation to require racetracks to provide an in-court demonstration of historical wagering, or instant racing. [H-L]

One of the nation’s most recognizable names in climate science, Dr. James Hansen, released a new paper this week warning that even 2 degrees Celsius of global warming may be “highly dangerous” for humanity. [HuffPo]

Despite the fact that Matt Bevin opposes gambling “on every level,” two companies that he operated invested heavily in casinos while he was in charge — sometimes owning more than $37 million in gambling stocks at any one time — according to Security and Exchange Commission filings. [C-J/AKN]

Nearly a decade after legislation was put in place to protect U.S. military personnel and their families from predatory financial products, the Military Lending Act received a much-needed update to close loopholes often exploited by shady lenders to skirt the rules and put the financial lives of servicemembers at risk. [Consumerist]

The Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (BGCAPP) achieved another milestone this week as the facility’s control room began operating 24 hours per day, seven days per week. [Richmond Register]

Republican insiders are reconciling themselves to the idea that Donald Trump won’t be exiting the stage anytime soon — and their main concern now is limiting his damage to their party. [The Hill]

Kentucky State Police Trooper 1st Class Michael Murriell tackled the tough issue of modern-day perceptions about law enforcement officers during Monday’s Ashland Rotary Club meeting. [Ashland Independent]

President Obama is enjoying a winning streak lately, with the Supreme Court reaffirming his signature health care law and Iran agreeing to curbs on its nuclear program. But one longstanding goal continues to bedevil him: closing the wartime prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. [NY Times]

The Glasgow Independent Schools Board of Education voted this evening in a special-called meeting to accept a new proposal from Reddy Farms LLC that allows for the same donation of land known as the Foster property as in a prior agreement, but with no requirement to change the name of South Green Elementary School to “Reddy Elementary School.” [Glasgow Daily Times]

U.S. charter schools are defaulting on bonds at a rate of 3.3 percent, a level higher than that recorded three years ago but still not one which should concern investors, according to the co-publisher of a report made available on Tuesday. [Reuters]

Almost seven full months into the job, Jailer Wes Coldiron is keeping himself and Rowan County Detention Center inmates as busy as possible. [The Morehead News]

At the end of last year, a group of senators effectively killed the wind energy industry’s most important tax benefit — a $13 billion tax break to help the industry compete with fossil fuels. But now, another group of senators is trying to bring those tax breaks back. [ThinkProgress]

Kentucky Republicans will have their longtime standard-bearer at this year’s Fancy Farm picnic. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he will attend Kentucky’s premier political event on Saturday, Aug. 1 in western Kentucky. [H-L]

Two wingnuts are arguing over when to start new wars. Because that’s what wingnuts do. [HuffPo]

Haven’t Fire Ants Been Here A While?

Kentucky taxpayers should learn by Wednesday what they will pay to settle two lawsuits filed against House Democrats over sexual harassment and hostile-workplace claims. [John Cheves]

The transition to a renewable economy may be a painful one, particularly in this era of aversion to active government. [HuffPo]

Nearly a century after arriving in the United States, fire ants have made it to Kentucky. [C-J/AKN]

Though previous research has suggested high blood pressure may be more dangerous for thinner people, a new study finds the cardiovascular disease risks are similar – and high – for the lean, overweight and the obese. [Reuters]

Garrett Fowles, the city of Richmond’s legal counsel for nearly 15 years, was hired on a full-time basis at Tuesday’s city commission meeting. He will earn $80,000 annually and may do private legal work that doesn’t conflict with his city work, according to his contract. Fowles previously worked also as an assistant county attorney. [Richmond Register]

Despite decades of accepted science, California and Arizona are still miscounting their water supplies. [ProPublica]

Governor Steve Beshear and Congressman Hal Rogers joined public health and university officials [yesterday] to announce a new dentist recruitment program aimed at promoting sustained oral health and well-being in eastern Kentucky. The new loan forgiveness program is supported by $500,000 in state funds and is available for dental students who practice in the region. The dental schools at the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville will administer the program, providing two to five awardees $100,000 each for a two-year commitment. [Press Release]

The American space agency’s New Horizons probe has returned further images of Pluto that include a view of the dwarf planet’s strange icy plains. [BBC]

You can’t even go to Kroger these days without getting run over and killed in the parking lot. [WKYT]

Japan’s Mitsubishi corporation is making a big apology. It’s not for any recall or defect in its products, which include automobiles, but for its use of American prisoners of war as forced labor during World War II. [NPR]

Mitch McConnell said he’ll attend the Fancy Farm picnic next month to help support a one-time rival. [WFPL]

It’s fitting that a southern white racist advocates hanging. They’re always the first to throw out hanging for punishment. Because that’s what’s always on their mind. See: any comment section on any story in Kentucky featuring an African American. [The Hill]

Kentucky’s new law that raises the school dropout age from 16 to 18 could be in for both a legal challenge and revision from the 2016 General Assembly. [H-L]

As American evangelicals lose traction at home, they are increasingly finding receptive audiences abroad. [HuffPo]

If you want to help us make things a permanent fixture, please consider support. [Click this Clicky]

It’s All Puppies & Rainbows This A.M.

Berea College received a National Endowment for the Arts Our Town award of $100,000 to help revitalize rural areas of Eastern Kentucky. [H-L]

The European Union approved the Iran nuclear deal with world powers on Monday, a first step towards lifting Europe’s economic sanctions against Tehran that the bloc hopes will send a signal that the U.S. Congress will follow. [HuffPo]

For so long, he searched for the word. To describe what he felt but dare not say aloud. To rationalize the thoughts that consumed his days. To understand why being Jennifer, despite his most fervent attempts, just didn’t feel right. [C-J/AKN]

Anthony Cruz leaned in over the low plastic table between us, his bony knees knocking its edges, his eyes wide and full of a happy urgency that felt out of place against the dull cement block walls of the jail visiting room. [The Intercept]

“Faces of Big Run” were scattered throughout the conference room at the Holiday Inn Express on Wednesday, telling stories of Big Run Landfill employees who appear to want to protect the site against negative public perception. [Ashland Independent]

Just like in Kentucky, where it’s good for the Beshear Family’s wealthy donors and not so great for everyone else. The global economy is improving. Just don’t tell many of the people who live and work in it. [CBS News]

Runoff from heavy rains in the Cumberland River Basin is pushing the level of Lake Cumberland upward to the highest point since the seven-year rehabilitation of Wolf Creek Dam was completed. [Richmond Register]

Seeking tighter controls over firearm purchases, the Obama administration is pushing to ban Social Security beneficiaries from owning guns if they lack the mental capacity to manage their own affairs, a move that could affect millions whose monthly disability payments are handled by others. [LA Times]

A former member of Glasgow Independent Schools’ board of education and former Barren County judge-executive has sued the school board over its handling of a property donation that resulted in a school’s name change. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Polar bears are the kings of the ice surface covering the top of the globe, but the ongoing loss of the Arctic sea ice on which they hunt seals is causing summer food deprivation that threatens these imposing white-furred predators. [Reuters]

At its regular meeting (last) Monday, Morehead City Council followed through on its agreement to amend the current fiscal year budget and restore $39,000 to the Rowan County Ambulance Service. [The Morehead News]

The military built another multimillion-dollar building in Afghanistan that no one used. In its latest report, the inspector general found that the U.S. military continued to build a $14.7 million warehouse after it knew it wasn’t needed, echoing an earlier investigation into an unused $25 million HQ. [ProPublica]

The power washer was spraying away another year’s worth of grime this week as residents of Fancy Farm prepared for the annual picnic at St. Jerome’s Parish, where Kentucky’s politicos flock on the first Saturday of August each year. [H-L]

A NATO airstrike hit two Afghan military checkpoints on Monday in a restive province east of the capital, Kabul, killing seven Afghan troops in what an Afghan official describes as an accident due to bad coordination. [HuffPo]