Fancy Farm Sleepy Times In 3, 2…

Marshall County voters have chosen by a slim margin to allow alcohol sales for the first time since 1938. [H-L]

Sen. Bernie Sanders blasted Senate Republicans Wednesday for working to defund Planned Parenthood, calling it “an attack on women’s health.” [HuffPo]

When Gov. Steve Beshear replaced the Rev. Kevin Cosby on the University of Louisville’s Board of Trustees last month, he did more than remove his only African-American appointment on the board. He also removed his only appointee who has not been a strong and steady contributor to Beshear’s political causes. Note: You’ll love seeing Terry Sebastian deliberately and purposefully lie to Tom Loftus. [C-J/AKN]

Could an excess of caution hurt Hillary Clinton? This query is coming to the fore again after she dodged a question on Tuesday over whether she supports or opposes building the Keystone XL Pipeline. It’s like watching the Grimes Campaign on a national stage. [The Hill]

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer says food stamp benefits can be used at an increasing number of farmers’ markets in the state. Which means ignorant people in, say, West Liberty are going to scream about how all benefits recipients ought to be drug tested. [WLKY]

Some Republicans gleefully scripted Donald Trump’s political obituary in the wake of his scathing comments about Sen. John McCain’s military service earlier this month, hoping that his freewheeling presidential campaign had finally imploded. [Reuters]

Republican Matt Bevin said Tuesday that if elected governor he would not immediately end the state’s expansion of eligibility for the federal-state Medicaid program, contrary to what he said for months. [Al Cross]

In the US, poverty, deprivation and exploitation draw thousands of its own children down into a dark underworld that offers few ways out. [BBC]

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]

Senator Rand Paul is invested in a fund that would skyrocket in value if the United States economy were to default. He’d also like your vote for president. [The Nation]

Christopher D. Steward, a former Barren County magistrate, was served with an arrest warrant early Thursday morning and charged with third-degree terroristic threatening, fourth-degree assault (minor injury) and menacing, according to documents released by the Barren County Sheriff’s Office. [Glasgow Daily Times]

It’s not easy being the DEA these days. After an unprecedented losing streak on Capitol Hill, the once-untouchable Drug Enforcement Administration suffered last week what might be considered the ultimate indignity: A Senate panel, for the first time, voted in favor of legal, recreational marijuana. [Higdon/Politico]

Convenient that this AP story doesn’t mention that people dressed up as Native Americans will chase you for a fee. Because Kentucky can’t do anything without a touch of racism, apparently. [H-L]

Seven in 10 homeowners who apply for help under the federal government’s signature mortgage aid program are rejected, according to a government report released Wednesday. The program, called the Home Affordable Modification Program, is meant to help homeowners who are at risk of foreclosure stay in their homes by reducing their monthly mortgage. [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]

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]

Gay Panic Is Heating Up Everywhere

Steve Robertson, chairman and executive director of the Kentucky Republican Party, is taking a job next month with a public affairs firm in Lexington. [H-L]

We’re still trying to eliminate sweatshops and child labor by buying right. But that’s not how the world works in 2015. [HuffPo]

Churchill Downs Inc., having bet on the future of free games played online, is asking a federal judge to dismiss a case that contends those games are illegal casino gambling. [C-J/AKN]

At a roundtable in New York on Tuesday, Democratic presidential candidate and former Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) released his immigration platform for “New Americans,” announcing that he would go further than President Obama on immigration policies by enacting sweeping reforms to provide deportation relief for undocumented immigrants. [ThinkProgress]

It’s not ginseng harvest season, but that’s not stopping some people from taking this uncommon plant. [Ashland Independent]

Wondering why poor kids are unhealthy? The Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday adopted a GOP amendment that would provide schools flexibility in meeting Department of Agriculture (USDA) rules for serving whole-grain products and reducing sodium levels. [The Hill]

A new law is beginning in Kentucky that allows motorcyclists to run red lights. [WHAS11]

In a video released Wednesday night, multiple police officers seem to be holding 28-year-old Sandra Bland to the ground while she cries out, “You just slammed my head into the ground, do you not even care about that?” Three days later, Bland was found dead in a jail cell. [ThinkProgress]

A company owned by Republican candidate for Kentucky governor Matt Bevin has been delinquent on its property taxes multiple times and is currently listed as “not in good standing” in Maine. [WAVE3]

Closed committee meetings are typically wonkish, routine affairs. But Friday’s session of Republicans on the House Financial Services Committee broke that pattern in spectacular fashion, laying bare the growing acrimony and sense of disorder within the House Republican Conference. [Politico]

A controversial project that called for logging and burning to improve forest health at Land Between The Lakes has been canceled. [WLEX18]

The US and Russia are among five countries to have signed a deal to prevent commercial fishing in the melting Arctic sea ice near the North Pole. [BBC]

A 30 percent jump in fatal drug overdoses in Fayette County last year contributed to a statewide increase in drug-related deaths, state officials reported Wednesday. [H-L]

Washington has delayed highway funds so long even red states are raising gas taxes. [HuffPo]

Yet Another Awful Gubernatorial Race

In a sparsely populated Appalachian county, the young couple is recounting how they met while a language researcher captures their story with a high-end audio recorder. [H-L]

It was September of their sophomore year at Tufts University in 2012 when John Kelly went to a party and saw someone who had sexually assaulted them only two weeks earlier. [HuffPo]

HOW many times has this welfare drug testing myth been debunked? Republican gubernatorial candidate Matt Bevin called for drug testing of those receiving public assistance at a forum Tuesday organized by the Council of Agency Executives. [C-J/AKN]

The acting head of the Drug Enforcement Administration says he was shocked by how many people die every day from opiate overdoses. [NPR]

In spite of the continued rainfall, the U.S. Forest Service and partners are making progress in cleanup and repairs after record flood levels at Cave Run Lake. [Ashland Independent]

A Super PAC that supports Republican Chris Christie’s bid for the White House said on Tuesday it had raised $11 million since launching in February. [Reuters]

The Barren County Schools Board of Education approved Thursday the purchase of a property off Broadway Street that Superintendent Bo Matthews said “could solve multiple issues” regarding the district’s increasing population. [Glasgow Daily Times]

After fines totalling many billions of pounds from UK and US regulators, a new threat is about to hit the major banks found guilty of manipulating the foreign exchange market. [BBC]

U.S. Congressman Brett Guthrie’s reelection campaign filed its second quarter report with the Federal Election Commission showing $1.61 million cash-on-hand. [Press Release]

Freshman Rep. Alex Mooney (R-W.Va.) says he’s the latest GOP lawmaker to face retaliation for bucking leadership last month and opposing a procedural vote on major trade legislation. [The Hill]

How to suck at everything: scream about the gays and persecution of Christians when caught with your tax pants down. Of course, Jack Conway would do the same thing. Much as he does when you bring up his Roger Clinton brother and his involvement in getting the cops off his back. [WAVE3]

Before this year, natural gas had never accounted for more electricity generation than coal in the U.S. That is no longer the case. [ThinkProgress]

Kentucky will start a statewide campaign July 20 to encourage parents to get their children vaccinated against human papillomavirus, a virus that can cause cervical and oral cancer. [Bluegrass Politics]

The Obama administration is making good on its promise to limit the detention of immigrant families by beginning to release women and children seeking asylum or other relief in the U.S. [HuffPo]

That $$$ Growth Means Little, Sadly

Late on Friday, Steve Beshear’s office issued the following statement to go with the newsdump of Fiscal Year 2015 revenue reports:

In January I told lawmakers that Kentucky was back with a vengeance, and today’s news of the more than 5 percent growth in general fund revenues for FY 15 is further proof our momentum continues to accelerate. Over the last seven years, we have worked through the worst recession of our lifetime to grow Kentucky’s economy, and we get more and more good news every day. The excess revenues are broad based, led by growth in individual income and sales taxes, indicating that salaries and jobs are on the rise and consumer confidence is higher. Plus our hard work in economic development efforts is paying off with the growth in business taxes. This level of activity demonstrates that corporations continue to find the Commonwealth a favorable destination for business retention, expansion, and new business formation. Yes, we have some challenges, and more work to do, but we are seeing positive trends in almost all areas of the economy. Today’s revenue report certainly tells us that our economy continues to grow and, as a state, that we are moving in the right direction.

Yeah, puppies, rainbows, you know the drill.

Since those kind of numbers typically get ignored over a weekend, we decided to wait until today to remind the political class of the highlights.

Here you go:

  • General Fund $9.9 billion, exceeded estimates by $165.4 million/5.3% more than last year
  • Road Fund fell short of estimates by $20 million, $1.5 billion, $33.8 million less than last year
  • Individual taxes rose 8.5%, some $320.2 million
  • Sales & Use taxes grew 4.4% or $136.2 million
  • Cancer Stick taxes fell $7.2 million or 3.1%
  • Booze taxes rose $3.4 million or 2.7%
  • Corporate taxes rose $53 million, up 11.2%
  • Coal Severance taxes dropped 8.7%, or $17.2 million
  • Property Taxes up 0.2%, $1 million
  • Lottery revenue up 0.9%, $2 million
  • Motor Fuels fell 4% or $35.9 million
  • Vehicle Use taxes fell $10.3 million or 2.3%
  • License receipts rose $5.7 million or 5.6%

Click here (Warning: PDF Link) for the full report.

A 5% bump is better than a no percent bump.

Just remember the road fund is a disaster and the pension system is the worst in the country.

Too Much Gay To Handle This Early

If this is the worst thing Kentucky Democrats can come up with, they probably ought to just hand over the governor’s mansion. [H-L]

Kim Davis is officially a national embarrassment. [HuffPo]

The U.S. Army has spared Fort Knox in plans announced Thursday to cut it ranks by 40,000 troops as it downsizes from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and responds to budget constraints — and in fact the post will gain 67 soldiers. [C-J/AKN]

There’s reason to celebrate declines in deaths from colon cancer in the United States — unless you live in three areas that are still lagging behind, a new report finds. Hint: This is bad news for Kentucky. [CBS News]

Based on the first and middle names of the parties, Madison County Clerk Kenny Barger said Wednesday he believes his office has issued 12 marriage licenses for same-sex couples. [Richmond Register]

The Obama administration on Wednesday issued a new rule requiring cities to look for racial bias in their housing practices as part of a push to make neighborhoods more racially integrated. [Reuters]

Here’s yet another story about those homophobic, gay-panicked clerks. Nearly half of the state’s 120 county clerks are petitioning the governor for a special session to address “the religious liberty issue” regarding the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses, according to The Family Foundation in Lexington. [Ashland Independent]

Documenting the water crisis in the West, a photographer confronts distress, beauty and man’s complicity. [ProPublica]

The first marriage license issued in Barren County to a same-sex couple went to two Glasgow women who were married Wednesday. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Nearly every headline about the U.S. government’s new report on polar bears echoes gloom and doom. [ThinkProgress]

See video of the failure here. Casey Davis, a Kentucky clerk of court who wants the state to issue marriage licenses online so he doesn’t have to, met with Gov. Steve Beshear Thursday to make his pitch in person. [WKYT]

Heroin use in the US has surged in the past decade as experts say people using opioid painkillers are increasingly turning to heroin as a cheaper high. [BBC]

Steve Beshear told Casey County Clerk Casey Davis Thursday that he should issue marriage licenses to every qualified person or resign. [H-L]

A bill to fund the Department of the Interior stalled Thursday after Republicans tried to add an amendment that would protect the Confederate flag in national cemeteries. [HuffPo]