Turns Out Hating People Is Expensive

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The private attorneys whom Beshear hired to handle the state’s appeals have a $260,000 contract, of which $231,348 had been paid by July 20, according to state records. Total cost to taxpayers: $2,351,297. [H-L]

Fears of a China-led global economic slowdown drove Wall Street to its steepest one-day drop in nearly four years on Friday and left the Dow industrials more than 10 percent below a May record. [HuffPo]

Dozens of anti-abortion protesters Saturday called for the defunding of Planned Parenthood, waving signs decrying the organization’s “atrocities” and praying for an end to abortive practices. [C-J/AKN]

If you’ve followed the saga involving Joshua Powell and Montgomery County Schools? This episode of This American Life will send chills down your spin. [This American Life]

The state Revenue Cabinet filed a brief Tuesday with the state Board of Tax Assessment Appeals saying the Madison County Property Valuation Administrator and the county assessment appeals board failed to follow its “direction and advice” in denying tax exemption to the Grand Campus residential property leased by Eastern Kentucky University. [Richmond Register]

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Granny) is not a turtle. Ian Ziering of “90210” was in the movie “Sharknado.” And Sapphire from the movie “Almost Famous” is a “Band Aid.” [The Hill]

Glasgow’s next police chief, pending city council approval, said he believes in having a very transparent department. [Glasgow Daily Times]

President Barack Obama has been briefed on developments in global financial markets, the White House said on Monday after world stock markets plunged. [Reuters]

After heavy criticism emerged late last school year about the cleanliness of Williamsburg Independent School’s building — steps were taken to remedy the problems. [Times-Tribune]

The White House has hired its first openly transgender full-time member of staff, officials have confirmed. Raffi Freedman-Gurspan started working as an outreach and recruitment director for presidential staff on Tuesday. [BBC]

For the third time, Judge-Executive Walter Blevins proposed a longevity pay benefit for county employees. And for the third time, the motion died for a lack of second on Tuesday in Rowan Fiscal Court. [The Morehead News]

Ah, back-to-school season in America: That means it’s time for the annoyingly aggressive marketing of clothes, and for the annual warnings of a national teacher shortage. [NPR]

Kentucky Sports Radio host Matt Jones told his radio audience Monday morning that he is actively considering a run for the U.S. House of Representatives, and he will make a decision before the University of Kentucky’s basketball season starts. [H-L]

Rand Paul’s campaign is teetering on the edge, with the once-trendy presidential candidate telling fellow Kentucky Republicans that his chances of winning the 2016 GOP nomination are no better than “1 in 10.” [HuffPo]

Campaign Craziness Kicks Into Gear

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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]

Will KentuckyWired Be A Real Thing?

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The American Academy of Pediatrics states the purpose of vaccines nicely: “The ultimate goal of immunization is the elimination of disease; the immediate goal is prevention of disease in people or groups.” [H-L]

Just when you thought you had gotten over last winter, be warned: The Old Farmer’s Almanac predicts it will be super cold with a slew of snow for much of the country, even in places that don’t usually see too much of it, like the Pacific Northwest. [HuffPo]

Kentuckians are getting health insurance at far higher numbers than their neighbors in surrounding states under the Affordable Care Act, initial results of a new study show. [C-J/AKN]

The dinner in the private upstairs dining room of the White House went so late that Reid Hoffman, the LinkedIn billionaire, finally suggested around midnight that President Obama might like to go to bed. [NY Times]

A Dayton, Ohio, man jailed Feb. 24, 2013, on a disorderly conduct charge has filed suit in federal court claiming he was assaulted by jail personnel as he was booked into the Madison County Detention Center. [Richmond Register]

Many of the families that were forced out of public housing by Hurricane Katrina now use government vouchers to subsidize their rents elsewhere. That shift was supposed to help de-concentrate poverty in the New Orleans area, but it hasn’t worked as planned. [NPR]

Morehead State University helped prepare incoming freshmen with a move-in day last week. [Ashland Independent]

Shale gas planning applications are to be fast-tracked under new government measures to crack down on councils that delay on making a decision. [BBC]

Attorney General Jack Conway announces a joint effort to bring state-level voices to a national debate on how best to help students victimized by Corinthian Colleges and other predatory for-profit schools. [Yesterday], 11 state attorneys general called on the U.S. Department of Education to cancel federal student loans in cases where schools have broken state law and provide clear processes for students seeking relief. Attorney General Conway joined the multistate effort making several recommendations to the U.S. Department of Education on the structure of its newly-formed debt relief program. [Press Release]

Conversations about institutional racism in the United States have recently focused on police brutality and socioeconomic disparities that keep families mired in intergenerational poverty. But the issues go beyond that, affecting other sectors of society that many Americans may not associate with racial justice. [ThinkProgress]

Governor Steve Beshear has signed an executive order creating the Kentucky Communications Network Authority (KCNA) and its governing board to manage the KentuckyWired open-access broadband network. [Press Release]

Hey, high schoolers, scared of bombing on the SATs and not getting into college? Don’t worry, a growing number of U.S. schools are scrapping standardized test scores as part of admission. [Reuters]

While Congress remains stalled on a long-term plan for funding highways, state lawmakers and governors aren’t waiting around. [H-L]

Two Pennsylvania-based nonprofits that have funded everything from a super PAC supporting Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) to education privatization efforts across the country are likely connected to the operators of the global investment firm Susquehanna International Group. [HuffPo]

Kim Davis Is A Kentucky Embarrassment

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Kim Davis, who, like her mother, has hired half the family, is an Eastern Kentucky disgrace. A proud, lazy bigot set on making life hell for an entire community while she rakes in her taxpayer-funded salary and her hate group attorneys get attention. Rowan County ought to get it together and oust her. Now. People like Walter Blevins, who has plenty of gay relatives, should stop playing the role of coward and kick her ass to the curb. Stand up, Morehead. [H-L]

The Obamacare health insurance exchanges appear to be doing a good job when it comes to one of their most important yet underappreciated functions: offering a fallback option to people who lose their health coverage during the year. [HuffPo]

The University of Louisville has been named one of the most LGBTQ-friendly campuses in the South by Campus Pride Index. [C-J/AKN]

Bruised by criticism after a reality TV show surreptitiously recorded and aired a man’s death, New York City hospitals will no longer allow patients to be filmed without getting prior consent. [ProPublica]

Barren Circuit Judge Phillip R. Patton has decided he will retire by the end of this year. [Glasgow Daily Times]

What? Bush Republicans are showing their racism? Surely not! [ThinkProgress]

It should be easy to come up with a weekly column during a governor’s race, but the 2015 election between Republican Matt Bevin and Democrat Jack Conway is unlike any I’ve ever seen. [Ronnie Ellis]

A close American friend tells the story of her son’s graduation from Georgetown University. To celebrate they had booked a restaurant close to the campus, and as they are walking in, who is coming out but “Veep” – Vice President Joe Biden. [BBC]

Virgil and Bonnie Cornett are still cleaning up after a major flood affected their home in mid-July. [The Morehead News]

Two murders in California are stoking debate about undocumented immigrants and how state and local authorities cooperate — or don’t — with federal officials. [NPR]

Responding to backlash over his leadership changes at the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear says he will appoint Prospect cattle breeder Jack Ragsdale as chairman emeritus of the committee he led for 41 years. [WFPL]

Every year, thousands of innocent people are sent to jail only because they can’t afford to post bail, putting them at risk of losing their jobs, custody of their children — even their lives. [NY Times]

Voters in Berea will have an opportunity Sept. 29 to determine whether they want alcohol sold by the drink in certain restaurants. [H-L]

Rand Paul may have forgotten that he represents Kentucky. We live in the greatest, freest, richest, most humanitarian country on earth — and I’ll be damned if I sit around and watch my generation screw up the future of our nation’s young people. [HuffPo]