School Funding Disparity & Judicial Shenanigans

A petition was posted last week on signed by parents upset that socioeconomic status is a primary consideration in redrawing Fayette schools attendance zones. [H-L]

The testimony of nine military officers undermines contentions by Republican lawmakers that a “stand-down order” held back military assets that could have saved the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans killed at a diplomatic outpost and CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya. [HuffPo]

University of Louisville President James Ramsey is for the first time publicly acknowledging that the school’s 16-month-old alliance with the financially-struggling hospital giant KentuckyOne Health “has had its challenges.” [C-J/AKN]

Apparently, Alison Daddy’s Name Grimes lied twice as hard as Mitch McConnell. [WaPo]

I spent some time this week with Republicans Hal Heiner and James Comer as well as Democrat Jack Conway. Heiner and Conway have announced they’re running for governor next year. Comer plans to announce his 2015 “intentions” from the speaking stage at the Aug. 2 Fancy Farm Picnic. [Ronnie Ellis]

“As a father of twins and a diplomat, I usually avoid the word favourite,” says Matthew Barzun. “But you’re about to hear my favourite band.” The 43-year-old United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom is standing on a makeshift stage in the entrance hall of Winfield House, the neo-Georgian mansion set in 12.5 acres in London’s Regent’s Park, which since 1955 has been the official residence of whoever holds that title. [The Independent]

Kentucky’s Attorney General Jack Conway, who is also a candidate in next year’s gubernatorial race, says he supports expanded gambling. [WDRB]

The Defense Department’s inspector general has drafted a stinging rebuke of the Pentagon’s struggling effort to recover the remains of missing service members from past wars, concluding the mission lacks the most elemental building blocks for success. [ProPublica]

If you missed it on Page One this afternoon, you’ll probably want to read all about the latest scandal in the instant racing case. [Page One]

British scientists have made a “major step forwards” in developing a blood test for Alzheimer’s disease. [BBC]

Kentucky is set to become the sixth state to license pastoral counselors to help people with issues such as marital difficulties, addictions and depression. Think this sounds crazy? It is. [WKYT]

Want to read something hilarious and alarming about Joshua Powell? [District Administration Leadership Institute]

There’s an economic divide among schools in Fayette County — and one of the most glaring examples is fundraising by parents and students. [H-L]

Told ya so, Scott Jennings. The hundreds of millions of dollars spent on anti-Obamacare ads may have inadvertently encouraged enrollment, a Brookings Institution study released Wednesday found. [HuffPo]

Hal Rogers Is Still Askeerd Of The Furriners

Hal Heiner’s $4.2 million bet may be risky but no one has ever accused the man of having political sense. [H-L]

As the political world grapples with how to respond to the current crisis on the nation’s border, several Republicans have begun warning fellow party members that doing nothing but opposing the president carries substantial political risks. [HuffPo]

When the Obama administration last month unveiled new regulations aimed at limiting carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants, coal interests and many Kentucky politician(sic) cried foul. [C-J/AKN]

Janio Salinas was buried alive in sugar. A newly released accident report and an undercover investigation by Univision reveal the obstacles OSHA faces in its temp worker safety initiative. [ProPublica]

Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky’s Democratic Secretary of State who is challenging Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell in this fall’s elections, went after the five-term incumbent in a speech here to a convention of local county officials. [Ronnie Ellis]

Similar memories overlap physically in the brain and this produces less confusion if the brain area responsible is larger, new research shows. [BBC]

Hey, John David Douche, maybe Yarmuth hasn’t reacted to the Grimes hilarity because it happened less than a week ago? The outrage at McConnell was after FOUR YEARS of nonsense. Oh, and keep on being afraid of non-whites. It really suits you. [WDRB]

So far, so good. ISEE-3, the versatile 1978 space probe that took a detour to greet a comet in the 1980s, is now on track to get close to the moon, scientists say, though course fixes can be tricky. [NPR]

The Madison County School Board authorized issuance of almost $10.5 million in school building revenue bonds at its monthly meeting Thursday. [Richmond Register]

The Federal Highway Trust Fund is expected to run out of money in August. So, naturally, Congress is debating a temporary fix that involves letting corporations underfund their pension systems. [NY Times]

Way to go, Lexington, for trying to be worse than Laurel County. Lexington Police are trying to figure out who is responsible for seriously injuring an elderly man found lying on the ground near an apartment complex Friday afternoon. [WKYT]

Gun nuts have deployed Rand Paul and Ted Cruz for a cynical political scheme. [Salon]

President Barack Obama’s $3.7 billion emergency request for the border crisis is too big and the House won’t approve it, the chairman of the House committee that controls spending said Friday. [H-L]

In the days after the Supreme Court handed Hobby Lobby a sweeping victory in its fight to not provide employee health insurance that covers certain kinds of birth control, many customers came into the store in Aurora, Illinois, where Meggan Sommerville works, and offered their congratulations. [HuffPo]

Thousands Are Homeless & We Spend $ On Pot

Kentucky State Police are preparing for helicopter flights this summer to check rural areas of the state for marijuana plants. [H-L]

Americans are unsure about both the tea party’s current strength and its future prospects, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov poll. [C-J/AKN]

U.S. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp on Tuesday unveiled a $10.9 billion plan to extend U.S. transportation funding through May 31, 2015, a measure that would avert an August slowdown of funding for construction projects. [Reuters]

A Kentucky judge has expressed concerns about the state’s plan to use a single drug to carry out lethal injections after the same method resulted in problems in neighboring Ohio. [WHAS11]

Elliot Rodger killed six people when he went on a rampage in Isla Vista, California in May – screenwriter Dale Launer remembers the Elliot he knew before the killings. [BBC]

Hal Heiner says he’s running for governor as “an outsider” who can change the direction of Kentucky by changing the culture of Frankfort. [Ronnie Ellis]

Several red states, including Louisiana, have been diverting some offenders away from prison and into drug treatment and other incarceration alternatives. But not everyone is embracing the effort. [NPR]

Brett Guthrie says he’s got $1.54 million on-hand for the general election. [Press Release]

A reporter goes to Mississippi and encounters the echoes of family and the struggle for civil rights. [ProPublica]

During the month of July, the Lexington division of Police “We Care” movement will participate in a series of peace walks in an effort to stop violence around Lexington. [WKYT]

Coal has assumed out-sized importance in the upcoming election as a devastating sequence of mine shut downs and job losses in eastern Kentucky have put the region up for grabs. [The Guardian]

The [Lexington] ]city’s police union has suspended a vote on a proposal that would allow officers to use city-owned police cruisers for personal use for a $50 monthly fee. [H-L]

Big Money investors thought they had the perfect plan to buy up rental properties. There was just one huge problem. [Salon]

Eating crow is never fun but that’s what Jake is doing. Help him get things squared away? If you get something out of this content, consider doing so in order to ensure that it continues. [Click Here For Details]

Edelen Kicks Off Five-Year-Long Gubernatorial Bid

Adam Edelen wants to try running for governor for five years. So of course he’s going to campaign around the state.

This time? Pandering to the health care community and old people by holding “public hearings” to assess the fiscal health of rural hospitals.

Here’s his tour schedule:

10:30 a.m., Tuesday, July 15
Mountain Arts Center
50 Hal Rogers Dr.

2:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 15
UK Center of Excellence in Rural Health
750 Morton Blvd.

10 a.m., Wednesday, July 16
Pine Mountain State Resort Park
1050 State Park Road

10 a.m., Wednesday, July 23
MSU Center for Health Education
216 W. 2nd St.

2:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 23
Mason County Health Department
130 East 2nd St.

10 a.m. CDT, Thursday, July 31
Baptist Health
200 Clinic Dr.
8th Floor

2:30 p.m. CDT, Thursday, July 31
Caldwell Medical Center
100 Medical Center Dr.

10:30 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, Aug. 6
Elizabethtown Community and Technical College, Leitchfield Campus
101 E. Carroll Gibson Blvd.

10 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, Aug. 12
Westlake Regional Hospital
901 Westlake Dr.

2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 12
Taylor Regional Hospital
1700 Old Lebanon Road

Mmm hmm.

Steve Beshear Is Now Using Children As Pawns

In a new ad from Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes, retired coal miner Don Disney looks straight into the camera and asks Mitch McConnell why he voted to raise his Medicare costs by $6,000. The only problem? McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, cast no such vote. [ABC News/AP]

A proposal to rezone agricultural land for heavy industry has galvanized opponents, who are expected to pack Wednesday’s meeting of the Clark County Fiscal Court. [H-L]

Ken Ham isn’t just an embarrassment who received a hundred million bucks from Steve Beshear for his bigoted, ignorant, backwater beliefs. He’s now actually harming children in public schools in the south. [HuffPo]

Here’s a look at Steve Beshear using CHILDREN as pawns in his egotistical game. Louisville foster children could become the latest group caught up in a roiling pension dispute between Seven Counties Services and Kentucky’s underfunded retirement system. State lawmakers — frustrated with Seven Counties’ efforts to exit public pensions — rejected a $3.7 million contract with the group Tuesday to provide family services in Jefferson County. [C-J/AKN]

In a four-part series, the Texas Tribune investigates the cost of the “miracle” economy that Gov. Rick Perry and other state leaders have touted over the last decade: more worker fatalities than any other state, 500,000 workers without workers comp and lax regulation of those with private occupational. [Texas Tribune]

Gov. Steve Beshear and U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers joined the Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) Executive Committee on Monday to announce new investments into the region and new partnerships. [Floyd County Times]

In June, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said, “we’re in the forever business; our charge in national parks is to preserve them unimpaired for future generations.” A new study from National Park Service scientists William B. Monahan and Nicholas titled Climate Exposure of U.S. National Parks in a New Era of Change shows just how much of a challenge this will be. [Think Progress]

Hold on to your wigs, ladies, cause you’re about to be taken for a ride! Republican U.S. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky said no other U.S. lawmaker is doing more for minorities and their civil rights than his latest efforts. [WFPL]

Researchers say they have translated the meaning of gestures that wild chimpanzees use to communicate. They say wild chimps communicate 19 specific messages to one another with a “lexicon” of 66 gestures. [BBC]

Looks like John David D-bag decided to pile on Hal Heiner after we did. That whole narrative his campaign hand, Joe Burgan, came up with about career politicians fell flat on its face. And on an unrelated note: Jamie Comer ought to tread lightly when saying he differs 100% from Jack Conway on all social issues. That’s a quick way to guarantee a loss in the general election. Particularly if he wants to play games with gay marriage and equality. [WDRB]

For the typical Democrat running in 2014, frequent condemnation of the Supreme Court’s recent Hobby Lobby decision is a no-brainer as a rallying cry to raise money and energize voters — especially women. But some Democrats have to be more constrained than others in their objection to the decision, namely those running for the Senate in more conservative-oriented states. [NPR]

A national community service organization is investing $1 million in eastern Kentucky to help the region recover from the downturn in the coal industry. [Ashland Independent]

Is climate change destabilizing Iraq? [Mother Jones]

Jack Conway continued his effort to lock up the Democratic nomination in next year’s governor’s race with an overwhelming show of force, announcing Tuesday that his campaign has raised more than $750,000 since entering the race in early May. [H-L]

House Republicans have requested nearly $3.3 million to operate the select committee investigating Benghazi, which gives the GOP-launched committee a bigger budget than that granted to the committee overseeing the troubled Department of Veterans Affairs. [HuffPo]

Eating crow is never fun but that’s what Jake is doing. Help him get things squared away? If you get something out of this content, consider doing so in order to ensure that it continues. [Click Here For Details]

State Govt Retirees Constantly Get The Shaft

Wondering why Kentucky Public Retirees (parent organization, not regional groups) seems to constantly make excuses for Kentucky Retirement Systems corruption? And barely communicates important information to its membership?

We were wondering that same thing and went poking around only to discover a pretty big conflict of interest. The organization has hired Robin Hartman, a Public Information Officer for the Personnel Cabinet, to serve as its public relations person. That’s in addition to her state employment.

Meaning a woman who depends upon Steve Beshear for a job is speaking on behalf of an organization created to represent retirees.

KPR’s president doesn’t think it’s a big deal and has told membership as much. But you can expect Hartman to face serious questions from a meeting of the North Central KPR chapter tomorrow night when she shows up.

What a mess.

No wonder Kentucky can’t have nice things.

Pro-Mitch McConnell Group Produces Another Boring Spot For Television. Painfully Mundane. Meanwhile, Alison Grimes Releases An Ad That Isn't Horrible That Panders To The Right People!

The Kentucky Opportunity Coalition is flushing millions of dollars down the toilet. It’s like Scott Jennings has been hit in the head with the stupid stick and/or threatened with death if he doesn’t produce the most boring television spots ever.

Like this one:

Mind-numbingly boring.

And they’re spending $4.66 million on ads like that! For television buys that only the elderly will see — people McConnell already has locked up as votes. No focus at all on people who McConnell actually needs to persuade.

Meanwhile, Alison Daddy’s Name Grimes has released an ad that isn’t horrible:

It’s a universe of creativity when compared to the ad above. Even with the guy very obviously reading from a teleprompter with an accent so thick that folks in the city need a translator. Creative despite that infuriating whistle theme that has permeated a so far embarrassingly bad campaign obsessed with misinformation about coal. A universe of creativity that actually panders to the people Alison needs — scared old people who vote Republican.

Is this a sign that the McConnell folks can’t help but stumble and the Grimes crew actually has its act together? Don’t hold your breath.