People Still Losing Their Simple Minds

Redefining marriage for the nation, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Friday that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to wed one another. The 5-4 decision in Obergefell vs. Hodges reverses a Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decision that upheld state bans of same-sex marriage in Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan and Tennessee. Lower courts in all four states had struck down the bans as unconstitutional. [H-L]

Paleontologists in South Africa have announced the name for a new dinosaur species, but they didn’t have to do any digging to find the creature’s bones. [HuffPo]

The charitable fundraising arm of the National Rifle Association — the NRA Foundation — is applying for a special license plate in Kentucky to help collect donations from the state’s myriad gun enthusiasts. [C-J/AKN]

U.S. President Barack Obama said on Friday that for too long Americans have been “blind” to the “unique mayhem” caused by gun violence in this country. [Reuters]

The Supreme Court’s decision that all states must validate marriages between same-sex couples did not surprise Kentucky county clerks. [Ashland Independent]

The authors of the 1968 Fair Housing Act wanted to reverse decades of government-fostered segregation. But presidents from both parties declined to enforce a law that stirred vehement opposition. [ProPublica]

If Kentucky landowners didn’t previously have a legal leg to stand on against energy giant Kinder Morgan’s plan to repurpose Tennessee Gas pipeline, they might have it now. [The Morehead News]

The House of Representatives passed a bill Wednesday that would delay and weaken the federal government’s proposed regulations on power plant emissions. [ThinkProgress]

Lt. Max Graves gives a new meaning to the phrase “protecting the children.” While it is ultimately the duty of law enforcement to protect the community, one of his main duties is to ensure the safety of students inside the school. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

The newest gay rights icon wears a drab black robe and got his job from Ronald Reagan. [Politico]

Police say a tiny amount of bath salts…mixed with a form of methamphetamine called “Ice” is enough to send a person into fits of rage and almost instant insanity. [WKYT]

The famous lemurs of Madagascar face such severe threats to their survival that none of them may be left in the wild within 25 years. [BBC]

A room of government retirees grilled Republican gubernatorial nominee Matt Bevin for more than an hour Friday afternoon in Lexington, but many left unconvinced that his “tough love” proposals would fix the state’s cash-strapped pension systems. [H-L]

An ancient reptile that doesn’t have a shell is an important link in the evolutionary history of the turtle, according to new research. [HuffPo]

Northern Kentucky Wingnut Freaks Out

Luke Barlow and Jim Meade of Bardstown met 48 years ago and married in 2009 in Iowa. But, as Barlow said 90 minutes after the Supreme Court declared their marriage legal in Kentucky, the two men had never held hands in public here. [H-L]

When President Barack Obama learned that the Supreme Court had rejected a major lawsuit against his signature health care law, White House photographer Pete Souza was there to capture the moment. [HuffPo]

Gov. Steve Beshear on Friday named Carol Martin “Bill” Gatton as an “honorary member of the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees for so long as he shall live.” [C-J/AKN]

The U.S. Supreme Court’s declaration on Friday of a right to same-sex marriage resolved a momentous question, yet the ruling left many others unanswered and is likely to spark future legal battles over gay rights. [Reuters]

Jail time was averted, at least for now, by an Amish father and son who refuse to pay fines for violating an Auburn city ordinance requiring owners to prevent waste from horses from falling on city streets. [BGDN]

North Carolina and Tennessee are the latest states to side with telecoms, which have long lobbied against allowing cities to become Internet providers. [ProPublica]

A Northern Kentucky clerk said no to all marriage licenses Friday after the U.S. Supreme Court declared that all states are required to marry gay couples and recognize marriages from other states. [Cincinnasti.com]

In Charleston, South Carolina, Civil War history and accounts of plantation life are a huge part of the town, and state, culture. An entire tourism business thrives off of showing visitors parts of this history – reenactments of Civil War battles, tours of mansions once owned by slave-owners, and staged scenes of home life for aristocrats of the period. It would be difficult for a culture that sees the Confederate flag as a symbol of Southern pride instead of slavery, not to manifest itself at school. [ThinkProgress]

In a rolling Kentucky pasture, the first few wooden ribs of a giant Noah’s ark tourist attraction have begun to sprout up. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

NPR’s Audie Cornish and Rachel Martin read the concluding paragraph in Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion in Friday’s Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage. [NPR]

Berea Mayor Steve Connelly and a group of local representatives have launched the Berea Age-Friendly Survey 2015 to gather public input on making the city more Age-Friendly. [Richmond Register]

Every single US state fails to comply with global standards for police use of lethal force. [Mother Jones]

Rand Paul is looking for big green from the marijuana industry. Paul, Kentucky’s junior senator and a candidate for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, is scheduled to attend a fundraising reception next week at the National Cannabis Business Summit and Expo in Denver. [H-L]

President Barack Obama is a major fan of Sir David Attenborough, the celebrated British naturalist and TV host who has created and narrated numerous science and nature documentaries for the BBC. [HuffPo]

A Hypocritical Morehead Bigot Acts Out

Wanna see how backwater a handful of corrupt people in Eastern Kentucky can be?

From the Herald-Leader:

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis said Monday that her Christian beliefs won’t allow her to give a marriage license to gay men or lesbians seeking to marry a member of the same sex. Rather than face claims of discrimination, her office in Morehead is refusing marriage licenses to all couples until further notice, Davis said.

“We’ve not had any applicants yet, but we’ve had several calls,” said Davis, 49, a Democrat who took office in January.

“It’s hard, I will tell you that,” Davis said. “What has happened is that five lawyers have imposed their personal view of what the definition of marriage should be on the rest of us. And I, as a Christian, have strong views, too. And I know I don’t stand alone.”

But her “Christian beliefs” allow her to lie and cover up for her daughter who stole a dog and sold it for drug money.

Those beliefs sure are powerful.

Probably Not A Fun Time For Keith Hall

A jury convicted former state Rep. W. Keith Hall, D-Phelps, on Friday of bribing a state coal mine inspector to win favorable treatment for surface mines he owned in Pike County. [H-L]

Justice Antonin Scalia may have penned the most colorful dissent to Friday’s landmark Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality, but his colleague Clarence Thomas wrote the weirdest. [HuffPo]

Gov. Steve Beshear on Friday appointed two new members to the University of Louisville Board of Trustees, potentially tipping the balance of a board divided over the actions of the university’s foundation. [C-J/AKN]

Here we go again — Mitch McConnell is still trying to repeal health care reform. Republicans in Congress are moving toward a plan to use a special budgetary process to repeal ObamaCare, after the Supreme Court ruled for a second time to uphold the controversial law. [The Hill]

Despite challenging lower court rulings throwing out Kentucky’s ban on same sex marriage, Gov. Steve Beshear moved quickly to comply with Friday’s historic U.S. Supreme Court ruling invalidating such bans in all 50 states. [Ronnie Ellis]

Keith Hall made the international news. A former Kentucky state lawmaker was convicted on Friday of bribing a former mining inspector not to cite his coal mining companies for violations. [Reuters]

The Morehead Tourism Commission agreed Thursday to pay a Lexington architectural firm to develop a master plan for the old SunnyBrook golf course. [The Morehead News]

The Supreme Court on Friday ruled 5-4 that same-sex couples nationwide have the constitutional right to marry, splitting the 2016 candidates sharply along partisan lines. [Politico]

The Board of Trustees of the Pine Mountain Settlement School has announced the appointment — effective June 1 — of Geoff Marietta as executive director. He succeeds Miriam Pride who has been serving as interim executive director since spring of last year. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

A battle is brewing in Mississippi, as the growing animosity directed against Confederate symbols following the church shooting in Charleston has led to calls to remove the rebel pattern from the state’s flag. [BBC]

After the Supreme Court ruled all 50 states must allow same-sex marriages, Republican Matt Bevin used the decision to criticize Attorney General Jack Conway as the two men battle to be the next Kentucky governor. [WKYT]

People from around the country react to Friday’s Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage. [NPR]

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has admonished South Carolina, Texas and Kentucky for failing to provide enough money from tobacco tax revenue or tobacco prevention efforts. [H-L]

President Barack Obama delivered a stirring eulogy at the funeral for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, a South Carolina state senator and pastor who was one of nine people shot and killed at Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church last week. [HuffPo]

Next Up: Big Gay Divorce Settlements

CHERRY ON TOP OF THE DAY: W. Keith Hall was convicted of bribing that mine inspector. He’ll be sentenced September 17. Faces a decade in prison. [Damn]

Former state Rep. W. Keith Hall, D-Phelps, took the witness stand Thursday in his bribery trial to acknowledge that he paid tens of thousands of dollars to the state inspector assigned to his Pike County coal mines. [H-L]

Love wins. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 on Friday that it is legal for all Americans, no matter their gender or sexual orientation, to marry the people they love. [HuffPo]

In a historic ruling reshaping the definition of the American family, the Supreme Court of the United States invalidated bans on same-sex marriage in Kentucky and other states, holding that gays and lesbians have the constitutional right to marry. [C-J/AKN]

When you flip on a light switch, odds are, you’re burning coal. But as the fracking boom continues to unleash huge quantities of natural gas, the nation’s electric grid is changing. [NPR]

The Boyd County Fiscal Court voted last week to file the audit for the previous fiscal year, which suggested problems with the body’s efforts to be transparent and organized. [Ashland Independent]

Republican presidential contenders face a dilemma when talking about racial issues after last week’s racially motivated murders at a South Carolina church, as a new poll shows many Republican primary voters are less likely to see the topic as important. [Reuters]

The Industrial Development Economic Authority board approved in a special-called meeting to create a new budget category and more money for park work in the city and the county. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Racehorses are continuing to get quicker, a study of winning times spanning 165 years of racing indicates. [BBC]

The Morehead-Rowan County Chamber of Commerce recognized Dr. Ewell Scott with this year’s Ora L. Cline Award, its highest honor. [The Morehead News]

The Federal Election Commission should just do its job already. [Mother Jones]

After struggling for years with a billing system that was created in the 1980s, the City of Hazard is finally moving toward a 21st Century way of billing its utility customers. [Hazard Herald]

In the 14 years since Al Qaeda carried out attacks on New York and the Pentagon, extremists have regularly executed smaller lethal assaults in the United States, explaining their motives in online manifestoes or social media rants. But the breakdown of extremist ideologies behind those attacks may come as a surprise. [NY Times]

Federal authorities are investigating controversial Floyd County attorney Eric C. Conn, according to an attorney familiar with the situation. [H-L]

Searches for “gun shop” are usually more popular than “gun control,” according to data Google Trends averaged from the past year. But in the 72 hours following the Charleston shooting, “gun control” was the more popular search term in 45 states. Only South Dakota, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and North Carolina saw more queries for “gun shop.” [HuffPo]

Fun thing: Attorneys can finally focus on making this thing happen again. Give us all your money so I can stop working 18 hours per day sometime in the future. [Just Do It]

LOVE WINS

Read the Supreme Court opinion here:


CLICK TO ENLARGE — PDF

Finally.

First tears of joy in my life.

UPDATE — From Jack Conway:

“Today, the United States Supreme Court issued the final word on this issue. The ruling does not tell a minister or congregation what they must do, but it does make clear that the government cannot pick and choose when it comes to issuing marriage licenses and the benefits they confer. It is time to move forward because the good-paying jobs are going to states that are inclusive.

As Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, I did my duty and defended Kentucky’s constitutional amendment. When Judge Heyburn ruled the amendment was unconstitutional, I agreed with his legal analysis and used the discretion given to me by statute to inform Gov. Beshear and the citizens of the Commonwealth that I would not waste the scarce resources of this office pursuing a costly appeal that would not be successful.

As the Court profoundly stated in its opinion regarding the plaintiffs, ‘They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.’ ”

Jack Conway
Kentucky Attorney General

From Governor Beshear:

“The fractured laws across the country concerning same-sex marriage had created an unsustainable and unbalanced legal environment, wherein citizens were treated differently depending on the state in which they resided. That situation was unfair, no matter which side of the debate you may support.

Kentuckians, and indeed all Americans, deserved a final determination of what the law in this country would be, and that is the reason we pursued an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Today’s opinion finally provides that clarity.

All Cabinets of the executive branch have been directed to immediately alter any policies necessary to implement the decision from the Supreme Court.

Effective today, Kentucky will recognize as valid all same-sex marriages performed in other states and in Kentucky. I have instructed the Kentucky Department of Libraries and Archives to provide revised marriage license forms to our county clerks for immediate use, beginning today. We will report additional expected policy changes in the coming days.” – Governor Steve Beshear.

UPDATE — Here’s the letter Beshear sent to county clerks:


CLICK TO ENLARGE

From Alison Grimes:

“Earlier this morning after the Supreme Court issued its decision regarding same-sex marriage, I immediately reached out to Governor Beshear and his staff to inform them that the Office of the Secretary of State stands ready to help in any way to follow the Court’s ruling. We will continue to assist our clerks and fellow state officials in the days moving forward.”

From three Louisville Metro Councilcritters:

“Today with the Supreme Court’s ruling affirming the right of same sex couples to marry, our country took a positive step forward in our everlasting quest for life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. Thanks to those in Louisville and around the country that stood firm in their belief that all people should have the right to marry whomever they love we arrive at this historic day. Many of us on the Metro Council have long supported gay rights and today’s decision is a reminder that our country is always moving forward to address the needs of its people.” — David Tandy, Metro Council President District 4

“Four District 9 citizens were plaintiffs in the cases that led to today’s Supreme Court decision that all states must issue licenses for and recognize marriages between same-sex couples. Michael DeLeon and Greg Bourke were fighting for the right to have their marriage recognized in their home state of Kentucky, while Tim Love and Larry Ysunza were fighting for the right to marry here. I am so proud of their role in this historic decision and happy for our country that marriage equality is the law of the land. “While celebrating today’s decision, we must remember that it is not the end of the struggle for equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. While LGBT discrimination has been illegal in Louisville since 1999 and eight Kentucky cities now have similar laws, there remains no statewide protection for this community. I will continue to work with the Fairness Campaign, which is based in District 9, and the Fairness Coalition to advocate for enactment of a law protecting LGBT people wherever they are in Kentucky, as soon as possible. It’s time.” — Bill Hollander, District 9

“A long overdue equality has now swept the nation. I’m very happy for all the couples that can now bind their love in matrimony, and for the many that will come in the future. I was lead sponsor of the Council’s NDF grant for the recent Pride Festival because I believe in equality and inclusion for everyone, and now the Supreme Court agrees with me” — Dan Johnson, District 21

Frankfort Repubs Harm Public Health

W. Keith Hall, then a powerful state lawmaker who owned coal mines in Pike County, secretly paid tens of thousands of dollars to a state mine inspector in 2009 and 2010 “so he could have that inspector in his back pocket if he needed it,” a federal prosecutor told a jury Monday. [John Cheves]

Those who believe slavery was not a central point of conflict in the Civil War may wish to peruse the South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi and Texas declarations of secession. Those documents all explicitly cite threats to slavery as reasons for secession. Mississippi’s declaration goes so far as to say that “a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization.” [HuffPo]

One week into the opening of Louisville’s syringe exchange, health officials doled out 1,352 clean syringes to drug users and collected just 189. So get with the program, small town Kentucky! [C-J/AKN]

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Monday that a Los Angeles ordinance that lets police view hotel guest registries without a warrant violates the privacy rights of business owners, taking away what the city called a vital tool to fight prostitution and other crimes. [Reuters]

The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) has approved, with modifications, a settlement agreement granting a rate increase to Kentucky Power Co. [Ashland Independent]

Racist wingnuts are the worst. The absolute worst. This country can do better than this hatred. [ThinkProgress]

After hearing additional information from Mayor Dick Doty and comments from the city’s fire chief, Glasgow City Council decided to abandon the idea of placing a third fire station at a site donated by a local manufacturing company. [Glasgow Daily Times]

On the eve of what could be a landmark US Supreme Court decision enshrining gay marriage as a constitutional right across the country, evangelical conservatives converged on Washington DC to talk politics and size up Republican presidential hopefuls. [BBC]

“Freedom Fest: Thunder Over Triplett,” is not only a fireworks show but a community event that has brought together several organizations to create an evening of fun and fellowship. [The Morehead News]

Police across the country have collected an enormous amount of data with license plate readers over the past few years. But what does that data actually tell us and who can see it? [NPR]

Leave it to backwater Republicans to complain about Louisville’s needle exchange. [WKYT]

GOP-backed legislation pending in Congress would thwart NASA’s push to end U.S. dependence on the Kremlin to send astronauts to the International Space Station, the agency is warning. [The Hill]

For Rand Paul, the rubber is meeting the road. In the wake of last week’s racist shootings in Charleston, S.C., the Republican Party has been torn on the issue of whether the Confederate flag should continue to fly on the grounds of the state Capitol in Columbia. [H-L]

Charleston, South Carolina Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. (D) said on Sunday that the lack of gun control in the United States was “insane.” [HuffPo]

Mitch McConnell is unpopular in Kentucky and Matt Bevin is leading Jack Conway. [PPP]