Rand Paul Blows Race Whistle Again

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy joined conservative colleagues in asking skeptical questions Tuesday as the high court heard historic arguments over the right of gay and lesbian couples to marry. [H-L]

In a new survey, more than half of self-identified Republicans said they didn’t think the Affordable Care Act is increasing the number of people with health insurance, with a fifth of respondents saying it has actually reduced the number of people with coverage. For the record, the evidence suggests these people are flat-out wrong. [HuffPo]

The longstanding, high-profile lawsuits of legislative staff members accusing state representatives of sexual harassment, retaliation and other misconduct are headed to mediation. Attorneys for three women and the Legislative Research Commission, a defendant in the cases, said Tuesday that all parties have agreed to mediation that they hope will finally resolve the cases. [C-J/AKN]

Here’s a lesson in how to sound racist. Rand Paul says the Baltimore violence is about a lack of fathers and morals. [TPM]

When Kentucky State Police cadets report for training next month, it will be at a different facility in Frankfort. [WKYT]

Industry groups, congressional Republicans and nearly a dozen states are clashing with the Obama administration over planned regulations meant to crack down on some of the most harmful effects of the controversial mountaintop removal mining process. [The Hill]

During a recent special called meeting of the Lynch City Council a resolution establishing a fee for collecting the city of Lynch’s property taxes by the Harlan County Sheriff’s Office was approved. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

Warning of an “innovation deficit,” scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology say declining government spending on basic research is holding back potentially life-saving advances in 15 fields, from robotics and fusion energy to Alzheimer’s disease and agriculture. [Reuters]

A Kentucky proposal to study the background levels of certain chemicals in urban soil has gotten funding from the federal government. [WFPL]

Some of the most effective lobbyists on same-sex marriage don’t stalk the halls of Congress or pound the pavement on K Street: They’re the children of Republican politicians. [Politico]

The Bowling Green Independent School District board voted Monday to approve a staffing allocation formula that includes a 6 percent additional discretionary staff allocation for the 2015-16 school year. [BGDN]

Supreme Court justices broke along familiar ideological lines Tuesday as they considered whether same-sex couples enjoy a constitutional right to marry, with Justice Anthony M. Kennedy in a familiar role as the apparent decider in a landmark gay rights case. [WaPo]

It’s 10 seconds James Comer probably wishes he could have back. The Republican candidate for governor was asked why, as a state legislator in 2005, he voted for a bill that would increase legislative pensions. [H-L]

Astronomers are crowing about the discovery of what they say just might be “the largest individual structure ever identified by humanity.” [HuffPo]

Don’t forget to enter to win a copy of Lawn Darts of Fate! Contest runs through the end of the week. [Page One & The ‘Ville Voice]

Repub Gubernatorial Candidates: Stupid

DADDY ISSUES ALERT! Lexington police say William H. Paul, son of presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul, was charged with operating a vehicle under the influence and failure to maintain insurance. [WKYT]

Wondering just how stupid the Republican candidates for governor will get before it’s all over? All four of Kentucky’s Republican candidates for governor said Tuesday night they do not agree that global warming is manmade, disputing the science that insists it is and declaring that protecting coal jobs is the higher priority. [H-L]

Kentucky has a super-high divorce rate. Which is surprising, considering Steve Beshear is on a mission to keep gay marriage discrimination legal. [HuffPo]

The Harrods Creek Watershed Alliance is a new organization formed to engage people in conservation activities to help protect the natural resources of Harrods Creek. [C-J/AKN]

Republican presidential hopefuls Rand Paul and Lindsey Graham took their debate over America’s role in the world from the U.S. Senate floor to the campaign trail on Saturday in an early sign that foreign policy is likely to be a flash point in the 2016 election. [Reuters]

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet recently awarded contracts totaling more than $900,000 for four highway projects within the Department of Highways District 10. [Hazard Herald]

Schools in Los Angeles seek refunds from Apple and others over a $1.3bn iPad-based education project that has gone awry. [BBC]

Presenting an academic progress report to members of the Harlan Independent Board of Education recently, Harlan Elementary School Principal Vickie Anderson said every grade level showed significant growth from fall to spring. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

It’s been more than 20 years since passage of the landmark Family and Medical Leave Act, which allows workers to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off for medical or family reasons without losing their jobs. [NPR]

Tuition, meal plan and residence hall rates all were raised Monday during the Eastern Kentucky University Board of Regents regular session meeting Monday. [Richmond Register]

Detroit just had the single largest tax foreclosure in American history. As many as 100,000 of the city’s residents — about a seventh of the total number — are now on track for what many are calling an eviction “conveyer belt.” [Mother Jones]

Police officers in Ashland don’t square off against violent criminals on a daily basis, although they rely upon their training to remain at the ready when things do go bad in a hurry. [Ashland Independent]

You don’t understand the world you live in if you haven’t read Eric Lipton’s three-part series in the New York Times on the staggering “explosion” of relentless, grimy lobbying of state attorneys general. Lipton just won a Pulitzer Prize for his work, and it’s truly deserved: it’s a masterpiece of investigative reporting, built on diligent use of open records laws by Lipton and Times researchers. [The Intercept]

A federal appeals court has confirmed the conviction of former Barren County Sheriff Chris Eaton on two counts of witness tampering. [H-L]

You don’t have to stop recording police when they’re out and about in public. [HuffPo]

KREF Will Turn Even More Partisan

It has become conventional wisdom in the 2015 race for governor that one of Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway’s greatest assets is the contentious Republican primary. [H-L]

If the Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage this year, it will be largely because of a group of gay Americans who were courageous enough to subject their families to public scrutiny in order to become the faces of a movement. [HuffPo]

Kentucky taxpayers paid about $20,000 for seven lame-duck state lawmakers to attend legislative conventions last summer, state records show. [C-J/AKN]

Republican presidential hopefuls Rand Paul and Lindsey Graham took their debate over America’s role in the world from the U.S. Senate floor to the campaign trail on Saturday in an early sign that foreign policy is likely to be a flash point in the 2016 election. [Reuters]

Berea Mayor Steve Connelly believes the city has obtained enough signatures to request a vote on the sale of alcohol in the city, but he says the effort to collect petitions continues. [Richmond Register]

N.J. governor closed budget gaps by borrowing, shifting money from trust funds and paring back tax credits. [ProPublica]

Community leaders in Russell spent a day at school Friday and left with a clearer picture of what it takes to educate children in the second decade of the millenium. [Ashland Independent]

Since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), more than 16.5 million people — particularly low-income Americans and people of color — have enrolled in an insurance plan for the first time, giving proponents of the health care law reason to praise it as a tool in protecting marginalized populations. A new study, however, points out that will take much more than Obamacare itself to close the persistent racial and socioeconomic disparities in health care access. [ThinkProgress]

A Barren County taxing district that would support the area ambulance service was the main topic Friday morning during the second quarterly breakfast of the Glasgow-Barren County Chamber of Commerce. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The global demand for rubber tyres is threatening protected forests in Southeast Asia, according to a study. [BBC]

City Council member Tom Carew addressed the city’s policy on public assemblies Monday in response to a recent demonstration by the Ku Klux Klan at Fountain Park. [The Morehead News]

The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 on Tuesday that the Constitution forbids police from holding a suspect without probable cause, even for fewer than 10 extra minutes. [The Hill]

PEE ALERT! PEE ALERT! Now John Steffen will turn the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance into just as big a flustercuck as the Ethics Commission. Mark our words. John R. Steffen, head of the Kentucky Executive Branch Ethics Commission, is leaving the post in mid-May to become head of the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance. [Bluegrass Politics]

On this March afternoon, the smell of fried food hits you as soon as you open the doors of Our Lady of Lourdes, a Catholic parish in Jefferson County that hosts popular fish fry dinners during Lent. [HuffPo]

Mainstream Ignores Nightmare In MoCo

A judge turned down a request Wednesday to seal the depositions of Kentucky state Rep. Sannie Overly, who is running for lieutenant governor, and former Legislative Research Commission director Bobby Sherman in a sexual harassment case against a former state lawmaker. Thomas Clay, a Louisville attorney for two women who initiated the harassment case against former state Rep. John Arnold, said he plans to make the depositions public. [H-L]

Oh, nope, wait, the judge effed things up. Despite reports today, Franklin County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Wingate has not denied requests to seal depositions from state Rep. Sannie Overly, (D-Paris), a lieutenant governor candidate and former Legislative Research Commission director Bobby Sherman. After talking to the judge’s office Wednesday, an order tendered by the Courier-Journal requesting the depositions remain open was inadvertently signed and will not be granted at this time. [State Journal]

Forty-one people have contacted the search firm involved in finding the next superintendent of Fayette County Public Schools, a company representative told the school board Monday. Meanwhile, all hell has broken loose in the paper’s backyard of Mt. Sterling and it’s covered absolutely none of it. [More H-L]

The top American general in Iraq says the U.S. is gaining significant ground in the fight against the Islamic State, but he cautioned it will take years to ensure Iraq’s security in the tumultuous, extremist-laden region. [HuffPo]

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is expected to make a trip to Louisville next week, a spokeswoman with the Department of Education has confirmed. [C-J/AKN]

U.S. stocks were flat on Tuesday as investors digested the initial major earnings of the first-quarter reporting season, which showed some weakness though companies topped lowered expectations. [Reuters]

To get the attention of Boyd County Democrats on Monday, State Auditor of Public Accounts Adam Edelen told the crowd one false and one true story. [Ashland Independent]

One consumer was the victim of hacking attacks on two different health insurers; a company’s privacy officer didn’t realize that health insurer Anthem even had her data. “It gives you a new perspective when you’re actually one of the folks whose data is disclosed.” [ProPublica]

The city’s restaurant tax could be raised to 3 percent, if approved by the city council. The Cave City Convention Center and Tourism Commission voted Monday to ask the city council to consider increasing the tax. [Glasgow Daily Times]

More from the Department of Things Ken Ham Wouldn’t Understand… The skull of an adolescent tyrannosaur shows signs of vicious combat and of being eaten by other big dinosaurs, possibly of the same species. [BBC]

This story is worth revisiting. An Eastern Kentucky nurse is suing the state for not allowing her to take addiction medicine like Suboxone or Vivitrol while she’s out of jail on bond. [WFPL]

Rand Paul (R-Troll) on Wednesday slammed Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch, as he testified about the need to reform to “asset forfeiture” policies. [The Hill]

The Fayette County Public Schools redistricting committee on Tuesday presented the public with its final proposal. [WKYT]

Loretta Lynch is still waiting to be confirmed as attorney general, and her allies are hoping a hunger strike will do the trick. [Politico]

Kelly Paul’s job is to make her dry, boring husband approachable and she’s going fail at it so hard it’s sad. [H-L]

By one estimate U.S. online political advertising could quadruple to nearly $1 billion in the 2016 election, creating huge opportunities for digital strategy firms eager to capitalize on a shift from traditional mediums like television. [HuffPo]

LIBETY OR TRANNY!!1! Rand’s Runnin’

Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky is preparing for a 2016 presidential campaign and talking a lot about change in America. But he’s not expressing much hope about the state of the nation. [H-L]

Scott Walker has transformed Wisconsin politics, winning three elections in four years and signing laws that weaken unions, crippling a key ally of the Democratic Party. But the likely Republican presidential contender has had less success changing Wisconsin’s economy and budget. The state lags in job growth and its budget faces a shortfall. [HuffPo]

Nearly 200 people are being recruited for a University of Louisville study that will help shed light on the impact of asthma on the 60-and-older crowd. The university has announced a $2.3 million grant from the National Institute on Aging to conduct a five-year study, examining asthma triggers in older adults. [C-J/AKN]

The timing of interest rate hikes are uncertain and the U.S. Federal Reserve must watch that the surprising recent weakness in the U.S. economy does not foreshadow a more substantial slowdown, an influential Fed official said on Monday. [Reuters]

Southeast Kentucky Economic Development Corporation (SKED) is giving small business owners and entrepreneurs a new way to network and connect beginning this month. [The Morehead News]

The Supreme Court has itself to blame for the surreptitious recordings of court proceedings that have surfaced in the past year, some lawmakers say. [The Hill]

Steve Riley believes teenagers keep you young and healthy, and after working for more than 30 years as an educator, thinks that he “still has the spark.” [Glasgow Daily Times]

Lowering a city’s homeless population by forcing the homeless out. Sounds like a story out of Greg Fischer’s playbook. [NPR]

The University of Louisville is expected to increase both in-state and out-of-state undergraduate tuition by 3 percent for the next academic year. [WFPL]

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul on Tuesday announced his bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, vowing to campaign as an enemy of “the Washington machine that gobbles up our freedoms and invades every nook and cranny of our lives.” [MSNBC]

As Kentucky and other states struggle with tough budget decisions about essential public services, profitable Fortune 500 companies including Kentucky-based Yum Brands and Humana pay little to nothing in state corporate income taxes around the country, according to a new study by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy and Citizens for Tax Justice. [Mmm Hmmm]

Britain’s economic performance since the financial crisis struck has been startlingly bad. A tentative recovery began in 2009, but it stalled in 2010. Although growth resumed in 2013, real income per capita is only now reachingits level on the eve of the crisis — which means that Britain has had a much worse track record since 2007 than it had during the Great Depression. [NY Times]

Since he took office, Gov. Bruce Rauner has said repeatedly he wants to let Illinois voters decide whether to set up their own local right-to-work zones, areas where union membership and dues would be voluntary. [H-L]

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) took a shot at the foreign policy of his Republican colleague Sen. Rand Paul on Sunday, saying that the Kentucky senator was the only potential presidential candidate that could not get a better nuclear deal with Iran than the one that President Barack Obama negotiated. [HuffPo]

There’s A Scandal Brewing In Bowling Green

The Executive Director of the Education Professional Standards Board is retiring at the end of April. So that should be fun. [Deep Thoughts]

Berea Mayor Steven Connelly is asking residents to sign a petition for a local-option vote to allow alcohol sales in qualifying restaurants. [H-L]

President Barack Obama on Wednesday created the first-ever sanctions program to penalize overseas hackers who engage in cyber spying and companies that knowingly benefit from the fruits of that espionage, potentially including state-owned corporations in Russia and China. [HuffPo]

A national traffic-congestion study ranked Louisville as the 36th worst city in the United States, which will probably come as no surprise to Louisville commuters. It’s also the 128th worst on the international list. [C-J/AKN]

Deadly confrontations between police officers and unarmed African-American men and boys have raised troubling questions in recent months. Among them is whether a fear of black men fuels racial disparities throughout society. [NPR]

Kentucky passed a similar law two years ago, and, while it feels like the Indiana legislature’s move last week should make us all feel a little déjà vu, it doesn’t really. That seems weird because, despite the attention Indiana’s new law has gotten on a national scale — which includes an appearance by Pence on ABC’s Sunday morning program This Week , the NCAA expressing mid-March Madness concerns over the law and #BoycottIndiana trending on Twitter — nowhere near this level of fury arose when Kentucky’s legislature passed HB 279 by even wider margins than its Hoosier neighbors. [WCPO]

The Supreme Court delivered a victory to state health departments on Tuesday, ruling that private Medicaid doctors cannot sue states to raise their reimbursement rates. [The Hill]

Warren County and the Warren County Downtown Economic Development Authority have filed a complaint in Warren Circuit Court asking that mechanic’s liens filed for money unpaid in the construction of Hitcents Park Plaza, a garage wrap project in the downtown Bowling Green TIF district, be found invalid. What on earth have Jody Richards and Jim DeCesare caused down there??? [BGDN]

Republicans from all across Kentucky will be in the audience next week when Sen. Rand Paul announces his presidential run in Louisville — with one big exception. [Politico]

Here’s another pile of nonsense from Greg Stumbo’s Legislative Research Commission staffers. [Floyd County Times]

Several Republican governors likely to run for president have secured hundreds millions of dollars under Obamacare while working to dismantle the healthcare law, according to a Reuters review of federal spending records. [Reuters]

For the ignorant teabagger-types who think they can choose to prevent their children from participating in state tests? Think again. It’s called ruining your kid’s future. And why allow an entire school year to go to waste? Sitting through class after class only to skip testing. Riiiight. [KSBA Flashback]

The billionaire investor, Warren Buffett, has said he would not raise interest rates if he was in charge of the US Federal Reserve. [BBC]

President Barack Obama on Tuesday shortened the prison sentences of nearly two dozen drug convicts, including eight serving life in prison, in an act the White House said continues Obama’s push to make the justice system fairer by reducing harsh sentences that were handed down under outdated guidelines. [H-L]

Taxes are a pain. Health insurance is a pain. This year, Americans will suffer both when they file their income taxes. Ouch. [HuffPo]

Comer’s Running Mate Comes Into View

Members of the NAACP in Lexington are raising questions about how Fayette County Public Schools distributes money to individual schools and about the district’s minority hiring rates. [H-L]

More from the Department of Things Ken Ham Wouldn’t Understand… Newly uncovered fossils show a relative of the salamander called Metoposaurus algarvensis that lurked in the waters of Portugal some 230 million years ago that was the size of a small car. This monster amphibian was so ferocious that it snacked on some of the first dinosaurs. [HuffPo]

The stupid is palpable. Chris McDaniel, a Northern Kentucky Republican running for lieutenant governor, has bought into unfounded insinuations that House Bill 419, to generate donations for rape crisis centers through a box Kentuckians can check on state tax returns, somehow is linked to abortion services. [C-J/AKN]

Kentucky is apparently the 8th-worst state for retirement. Which shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. [Bankrate]

But wait! It’s not just the aforementioned shenanigans that make Chris McDaniel dumber than you thought. He voted against HB 340 — the film tax credit. After he failed at attempting to derail it. What an idiot. Same for pussyfooter Damon Thayer. [LRC PDF Link]

A Department of Homeland Security watchdog report issued Tuesday blasted the agency’s No. 2 official for repeatedly intervening on behalf of well-connected participants in an investor-visa program, including Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Tony Rodham, a brother of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. [Politico]

Remember former Morgan County Judge-Executive and convict Tim Conley? He’s now in the Beckley, West Virginia Federal Correctional Institution. Register Number: 17235-032. [Deep Thoughts]

US consumer prices rebounded in February as petrol prices rose for the first time since June, official figures show. [BBC]

Kentucky Natural Lands Trust (KNLT), a statewide land trust, is working on the largest landscape conservation effort in the commonwealth’s history with a campaign to protect thousands of additional acres on Pine Mountain in southeast Kentucky. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

Cyber crime is probably the biggest risk facing companies across the world, and they need to do more to help governments tackle the problem, U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary Sarah Bloom Raskin said on Wednesday. [Reuters]

The Early Childhood Profiles, produced by the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics (KCEWS), are compiled to help community leaders, Community Early Childhood Councils and school districts with data to assist in developing local strategies for helping every child in their community arrive at kindergarten ready to do kindergarten work. [Click the Clicky]

Gary Fury was working at a Simonton Windows factory in West Virginia in July 2012 when a large two-window unit slipped to the floor. [ProPublica]

Floridian Ed Whitfield is doing his part to kill the environment. [H-L]

A powerful explosion shook windows in Afghan capital Kabul on Wednesday, police and Reuters witnesses said, but it was not immediately clear if there were any casualties. [HuffPo]