Candy Barr Will Spend All Of Your Cash, Kids

Seems Candy Barr is a little big nervous this year by outspending more than 400 of his colleagues when using taxpayer dollars to promote himself. U.S. Rep. Andy Barr spent more than $190,000 in taxpayer money to send mail and conduct telephone town hall meetings with constituents in his first 15 months in office, according to congressional records. Barr’s spending on taxpayer-funded communications is more than 10 times that of U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Bowling Green, who has Kentucky’s second-highest tally. [H-L]

In response to a proposal by Senate Democrats to require for-profit employers to cover birth control in their health plans, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Tuesday that Senate Republicans plan to offer their own bill requiring employers to allow women to buy their own birth control. [HuffPo]

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has climbed to early front-runner status in the fight for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, according to a new NBC News-Marist Poll. [C-J/AKN]

President Obama said Wednesday that if nothing is done to mitigate the “direct threat” on infrastructure from climate change the U.S. will not remain “competitive in this 21st century economy.” [The Hill]

We hinted at the Matthew Leveridge mess a week or so ago and it looks like the pot has finally boiled over. [John Cheves]

OH GOD GO TELL MEEMAW TO GET SKEERD!!!1! Kentucky is among the states with the highest earthquake risk. [WKYT]

Discrimination against female workers who might get pregnant in the future, or have been pregnant in the past, is against the law, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said this week. For the first time in 30 years, the agency has updated its rules against pregnancy discrimination. [NPR]

Are you a generous person or someone who loves animals? Help Jackson the Dachshund out ASAP, as he needs surgery! Jessica has been a tireless advocate for years and has definitely given more than she’s received. Let’s all pitch in. [Go Fund Me!]

With bridges and roadways in serious need of repair, and Congress unwilling to free up money, the White House is turning to other sources. [NY Times]

Here’s how Ed Whitfield, his lobbyist wife and another fancy lobbyist mixed politics and personal finances. [R.G. Dunlop]

Two years ago, Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown — and their various and sundry allies and enemies — combined to spend $82 million in the Massachusetts Senate race, making it the most expensive Senate race ever. Now, that eye-popping record is in serious jeopardy thanks to the massive cash coming in for this November’s race between Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell and Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes. [WaPo]

Perhaps Mitch McConnell and Alison Lundergan Grimes would be just as happy if they don’t find themselves together on a stage debating issues in their U.S. Senate campaign. [Ronnie Ellis]

NBC News pulled a veteran reporter from Gaza after witnessing an Israel attack on children. [Glenn Greenwald]

In anti-abortion Kentucky, Alison Daddy’s Name Grimes walks a fine line on women’s issues because she doesn’t have the guts to be honest with voters. [Sam Youngman]

From the Department of Things Ken Ham doesn’t understand… It’s highly unlikely we’re alone in the universe, NASA experts are saying, and we may be close to finding alien life. In fact, it may happen in the next two decades. [HuffPo]

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]