Drew Curtis Is Probably Wasting Time & Money Going To Fancy Fart

Would-be independent gubernatorial candidate Drew Curtis is making the trip to Fancy Farm in far Western Kentucky this weekend, and he said he has a speech prepared just in case. [H-L]

Senators overruled heated conservative opposition Monday and added a measure reviving the federal Export-Import Bank to must-pass highway legislation. But House Republicans declared the transportation bill dead on arrival. [HuffPo]

An internal review of Louisville Metro Police Department’s use of force procedures released Monday found its policy largely reflects national and international guidelines. [C-J/AKN]

In response to the Supreme Court’s historic marriage equality ruling, conservative media has endorsed a newly proposed federal bill called the “First Amendment Defense Act” (FADA). Though conservatives have touted FADA as an effort to protect religious liberty, critics warn the bill would undermine the government’s ability to combat anti-gay discrimination. [MMFA]

The Ashland Board of City Commissioners voted to reverse a decision to give themselves a three precent cost-of-living raise because of “technical concerns,” City Attorney John Vincent said. [Ashland Independent]

Ori Zoller made headlines over a decade ago selling thousands of AK-47s that eventually found their way into the hands of terrorists in Colombia. Now, according to recently leaked documents, the former small arms dealer is working as cyber arms dealer, supplying the government of Honduras with powerful surveillance tools used to spy on computers and cell phones. [The Intercept]

The Kentucky State Police and the state Office of Highway Safety are teaming up to promote safe driving behavior to protect people in emergency or public safety vehicles. [WKYT]

Will the Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice give in to a literal hate group? [ThinkProgress]

The case of Adam Horine, the mentally ill Kentucky man removed from jail and put on a bus to Florida by Carrollton police earlier this year, continues to grow in complexity. He now faces a criminal charge of groping a woman in a northern Kentucky hospital. [WFPL]

For several years, a handful of lawmakers in Congress have tried to scale back tough sentencing laws that have bloated federal prisons and the cost of running them. But broad-based political will to change those laws remained elusive. [NY Times]

You won’t want to miss Terry Holliday’s deposition in the Joshua Powell case. It’s… a doozy. [Page One]

Pluto would appear to have glaciers of nitrogen ice, the latest pictures from the New Horizons probe suggest. [BBC]

A former lawmaker accused of sexual harassment and the former head of the Legislative Research Commission made payments to settle sexual harassment and hostile workplace lawsuits filed by three female legislative staffers, House Speaker Greg Stumbo said Monday. [H-L]

The Boy Scouts of America voted Monday to lift a long-established ban on gay adults as employees and volunteers within the organization. [HuffPo]

Haven’t Fire Ants Been Here A While?

Kentucky taxpayers should learn by Wednesday what they will pay to settle two lawsuits filed against House Democrats over sexual harassment and hostile-workplace claims. [John Cheves]

The transition to a renewable economy may be a painful one, particularly in this era of aversion to active government. [HuffPo]

Nearly a century after arriving in the United States, fire ants have made it to Kentucky. [C-J/AKN]

Though previous research has suggested high blood pressure may be more dangerous for thinner people, a new study finds the cardiovascular disease risks are similar – and high – for the lean, overweight and the obese. [Reuters]

Garrett Fowles, the city of Richmond’s legal counsel for nearly 15 years, was hired on a full-time basis at Tuesday’s city commission meeting. He will earn $80,000 annually and may do private legal work that doesn’t conflict with his city work, according to his contract. Fowles previously worked also as an assistant county attorney. [Richmond Register]

Despite decades of accepted science, California and Arizona are still miscounting their water supplies. [ProPublica]

Governor Steve Beshear and Congressman Hal Rogers joined public health and university officials [yesterday] to announce a new dentist recruitment program aimed at promoting sustained oral health and well-being in eastern Kentucky. The new loan forgiveness program is supported by $500,000 in state funds and is available for dental students who practice in the region. The dental schools at the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville will administer the program, providing two to five awardees $100,000 each for a two-year commitment. [Press Release]

The American space agency’s New Horizons probe has returned further images of Pluto that include a view of the dwarf planet’s strange icy plains. [BBC]

You can’t even go to Kroger these days without getting run over and killed in the parking lot. [WKYT]

Japan’s Mitsubishi corporation is making a big apology. It’s not for any recall or defect in its products, which include automobiles, but for its use of American prisoners of war as forced labor during World War II. [NPR]

Mitch McConnell said he’ll attend the Fancy Farm picnic next month to help support a one-time rival. [WFPL]

It’s fitting that a southern white racist advocates hanging. They’re always the first to throw out hanging for punishment. Because that’s what’s always on their mind. See: any comment section on any story in Kentucky featuring an African American. [The Hill]

Kentucky’s new law that raises the school dropout age from 16 to 18 could be in for both a legal challenge and revision from the 2016 General Assembly. [H-L]

As American evangelicals lose traction at home, they are increasingly finding receptive audiences abroad. [HuffPo]

If you want to help us make things a permanent fixture, please consider support. [Click this Clicky]

Planned Parenthood Delusion Is Grand

On the same day Kevin Johnson buried his mother, searchers found the body of his 34-year-old son who drowned while trying to save his grandmother from flash flooding that ravaged their tiny Appalachian community. [H-L]

ExxonMobil spokesman Richard Keil told a carefully worded whopper last week. After the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) revealed that Exxon was aware of the threat posed by climate change as early as 1981 and has intentionally been deceiving the public for decades, reporters contacted Keil for comment. One reporter asked him about ExxonMobil’s long history of funding climate change denier groups. [HuffPo]

Rand Paul on Friday joined the chorus of conservative elected officials blasting Planned Parenthood based on the comments of one of its officials in a controversial video released this week by an anti-abortion group. [C-J/AKN]

Ten years ago, Barack Obama visited Detroit and delivered a speech to the city’s NAACP branch, which was celebrating its 50th annual “Fight for Freedom” dinner. He was introduced by the city’s then-popular Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. While Obama went on to become president, Kilpatrick’s career ended after he was convicted of multiple corruption charges. And in October 2013, the former mayor was sentenced to 28 years in federal prison. [The Intercept]

Former Butler County Sheriff Joe Gaddie pleaded guilty Tuesday to second-degree criminal abuse, accepting a diversion agreement that will keep him out of jail. [BGDN]

Revelations of U.S. spying in Europe have soured transatlantic relations, prompting a White House apology and, as leak followed leak over the past two years, have fostered feelings of moral superiority among Europeans. Yet EU governments are stepping up surveillance of their own citizens. [Reuters]

About 100 homes overall will be affected by a new water line project geared toward improving water pressure levels in residences and at Ashland Middle School, City Engineer Ryan Eastwood said. [Ashland Independent]

A major new Pew Research Center study [last] week found that Americans and Europeans are only moderately worried about climate change while those in more vulnerable regions — Latin America, Africa, and Asia — expressed much higher levels of concern [ThinkProgress]

The Richmond City Commission made appointments to several city board Tuesday night, which usually are routine actions. But one appointment prompted questions and a dissenting vote. [Richmond Register]

Scientists have discovered a winged dinosaur – an ancestor of the velociraptor – that they say was on the cusp of becoming a bird. [BBC]

Michael Lovett spoke at the third quarterly Glasgow-Barren County Chamber of Commerce breakfast Friday and spoke about an initiative in south central Kentucky aimed at growing and improving the area’s workforce. [Glasgow Daily Times]

After an investigation by the Toronto Star, Canada’s top health agency considers whether to lower the maximum recommended daily dose of the active ingredient in Tylenol and other painkillers. [ProPublica]

The fourth drowning victim found after recent flooding in Johnson County reportedly helped several family members to safety before being swept away while trying to rescue his grandmother. [H-L]

Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley on Thursday declared his support for raising the national minimum wage to $15 an hour, contrasting himself with frontrunner Hillary Clinton. [HuffPo]

More Tip-Toeing Around The Scary Gays

Considering Republicans’ condemnation of Beshear for implementing the Affordable Care Act by executive order, the suggestion that he wield his pen again on this issue was more laughably hypocritical than the Rowan County clerk’s explanation of her intolerant beliefs. [H-L]

After a journey of more than nine years and about 3 billion miles, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has made its closest approach to our solar system’s beloved dwarf planet. [HuffPo]

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul declined on Monday to venture an opinion on the incendiary comments of fellow Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on immigration. [C-J/AKN]

The filmmaker behind last year’s Oscar-winning documentary starring government leaker Edward Snowden is suing the Obama administration for keeping secret documents about her. [The Hill]

No, Rand, they don’t have the right to discriminate. Rand Paul doesn’t know whether county clerks in his home state have a constitutional claim to religious liberty in defense of their refusal to issue same-sex marriage licenses. [WHAS11]

A major new analysis on the impact melting polar ice sheets could have on sea level rise has given rise to some worrisome conclusions. [ThinkProgress]

If you think these work groups — comprised of people who helped create this pension disaster — are going to accomplish something, you should probably seek help. Senate President Robert Stivers and House Speaker Greg Stumbo have announced appointments to the panel tasked with examining funding issues at the Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System. [CN|Toot]

“Here’s your prescription, walk in the forest five times a week for an hour.” According to experts, it is not inconceivable that doctors will be giving health advice like this in the not too distant future. [BBC]

The Foundation for the Tri-State Community is going to an online, crowdfunding organization to choose this year’s recipients for its Area Education Grants. [Ashland Independent]

If you had chickenpox as a child, then you’re at risk for shingles. As you age, the risk increases, probably because the immune system weakens over time. [NPR]

Two Richmond residents had their bags packed and were ready to get married June 26 regardless of Kentucky law. However, the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision meant they could celebrate at home with their family instead of traveling to Chicago that night, they said. [Richmond Register]

U.S. District Court Judge David Bunning heard testimony today in the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky’s lawsuit against Rowan County and Clerk Kim Davis for refusing to issue marriage licenses to any eligible couple, in an attempt to keep same-gender couples from obtaining them. [ACLU-KY]

A woman accused of torture and murder in the bloody Bosnian civil war more than 20 years ago has lost another effort to avoid being extradited from Kentucky to stand trial. [H-L]

Good, finally some sense. Requiring GMO labeling is dumb as hell. If you’re one of those pseudoscience lunatics who freak out over GMOs (literally everything you eat is GMO) without an understanding beyond hucksters like Food Babe, move along. [HuffPo]

Instant Racing Case Just Got More Fun

Franklin Circuit Court Judge Thomas Wingate heard arguments Wednesday in an instant-racing lawsuit on a motion by the Family Foundation to have an in-court demonstration of the electronic games based on past horse races. [H-L]

U.S. employers added a solid 223,000 jobs in June, and the unemployment rate fell to 5.3 percent, a seven-year low. The numbers reflect a job market moving close to full health and raise expectations that the Federal Reserve will start raising interest rates as early as September. [HuffPo]

The special rounds of golf were arranged by the tournament host, the billionaire coal operator and Greenbrier resort owner Jim Justice, who has been a huge contributor to Beshear’s political causes. But Beshear’s golf excursion — not publicized by the Governor’s Office — comes as Justice remains under watch of the Kentucky Department of Natural Resources as part of an agreed order reached last August for Justice to resolve a record number of strip-mine reclamation violations. [C-J/AKN]

A federal court said in a Monday order that the National Security Agency can resume the bulk collection of American’s phone records for roughly five months as the program is phased out. [The Hill]

Calling Jack Conway a coward seems like a bit of a stretch. A man afraid to answer questions about his brother’s sheningans and how he was involved? Check. Someone who panders to coal publicly while singing a different tune privately? Absolutely. Someone who stands against homophobia while Bevin pushes anti-gay hatred? Of course. But coward? Uh, not based in reality. [WHAS11]

The White House lifted a 40-year-old ban on taking photos during public tours of the executive mansion on Wednesday, delighting tourists who immediately began posting pictures on social media. [Reuters]

The first phase of Louisville’s minimum wage increase went into effect Wednesday. [WFPL]

Now that Chris Christie is officially running for president, his record as governor of New Jersey will be getting a lot more scrutiny. As we reported with The Washington Post in April, there’s plenty to look at. [ProPublica]

The acting director of the General Assembly’s staffing and management arm won’t seek the permanent job. [Ronnie Ellis]

The good news for most Americans is that incomes have finally started to grow again. But the bad news is that the richest of the rich are still making off with far more gains, according to the latest data analysis by economist Emmanuel Saez. [ThinkProgress]

Senator Mitch McConnell is standing by his call to remove the statue of Jefferson Davis from the state Capitol Rotunda. [WDRB]

The United States and Brazil unveil ambitious energy goals in a sign of growing co-operation after a spying scandal damaged ties two years ago. [BBC]

Kentucky State University has hired former Fayette County Public Schools official Vincent Mattox as the new assistant to the president for academic and school district outreach. [H-L]

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), whose bid for the Democratic nomination for president has drawn the largest crowds on the campaign trail, is raking in major money as well. [HuffPo]

Poor, Persecuted Rowan County Clerk

With his campaign deep in debt, Republican gubernatorial candidate Matt Bevin is trying to make new friends among Kentucky’s well-heeled donor class. At a private reception in Lexington Monday night, Bevin joined Republican presidential candidate and Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, the Philadelphia 76ers’ Nerlens Noel and some of the state’s top political donors at an event organized by Lexington power couple Kelly Knight and Joe Craft. [H-L]

If you want to silence a black person’s pain, ask for forgiveness. We’re accustomed to our screams being hushed in the wake of tragedy. We’re accustomed to our grief being shoved aside in the rush to find mercy for those who have trespassed against us. [HuffPo]

Some media outlets are feigning surprise that superintendents can be suspended or fired. Almost as if it’s never happened, never resulted in revamping an entire school district, never led to the resignation of a commissioner of education. [C-J/AKN]

A fight over raising taxes has bloomed as the chief obstacle to passing a desperately needed multi-year transportation bill by the end of next month, raising the specter of a possible shutdown of highway programs. [The Hill]

After a series of judicial setbacks, Kentucky’s coal, utility and — for the most part — political interests won a significant environmental battle in the U.S. Supreme Court this week. [Ronnie Ellis]

The U.S. National Security Agency wiretapped the communications of two successive French finance ministers and collected information on French export contracts, trade and budget talks. [Reuters]

About 50 protestors bucked against the decision by the Rowan County clerk to not issue marriage licenses to neither same-sex nor opposite-sex couples during a demonstration on Tuesday. [Ashland Independent]

Justice Alito defends a lethal injection expert who did his research on drugs.com. The expert ended up prompting a back-and-forth between Supreme Court justices, who narrowly upheld use of a lethal injection drug. [Propublica]

Brian Meadows and Eddie Spears have had a very long engagement. Saturday they became the first same-sex couple to be issued a marriage license in Hart County. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Why do people believe myths about the Confederacy? Because our textbooks and monuments are wrong. False history marginalizes African Americans and makes us all dumber. [WaPo]

A steady stream of rainbow flags, signs supporting marriage equality and horn honks filled the Rowan County Courthouse lawn today. [The Morehead News]

The stupid is thick. A new bill introduced in the House of Representatives is pushing for new ways to combat California’s epic drought. But it’s doing so based on the premise that environmental policy — not climate change — is making the drought so bad in the state. [ThinkProgress]

Magoffin County Judge-Executive Charles “Doc” Hardin is seeking reconsideration of a decision that would force him out of office. [H-L]

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign on Wednesday announced a massive fundraising haul in the quarter that ended on June 30, further cementing her status as the clear front-runner in the 2016 race. [HuffPo]

SCOTUS Says Millions Keep Health Care

Pope Francis’ call for urgent action to combat climate change isn’t having much influence on members of Congress from the coal state of Kentucky, who are working this week to block the centerpiece of the president’s agenda to limit the greenhouse gases that are warming the planet. [H-L]

The latest and possibly the last serious effort to cripple Obamacare through the courts has just failed. On Thursday, for the second time in three years, the Supreme Court rejected a major lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act — thereby preserving the largest expansion in health coverage since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid half a century ago. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin used $800,000 more of his own money to fuel his successful stretch run in the Republican primary for governor. [C-J/AKN]

Britain has carried out drone strikes only in war zones in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. The documents raise the possibility that in addition, British intelligence may have helped guide American strikes outside conventional war zones. [NY Times]

Members of the Harlan Independent Board of Education voted to partner with UNITE and AmeriCorps in the creation of a position for what will be equivalent to a “teacher’s aide” at a recent meeting. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

President Obama hosts two active duty trans servicemembers at the White House as pressure grows to let them serve openly. [Politico]

Operating costs of the Madison County Detention Center for the fiscal year ending June 30, exceeded its budget by about $500,000. [Richmond Register]

U.S. President Barack Obama reaffirmed in a phone call with his French counterpart Francois Hollande on Wednesday Washington’s commitment to end spying practices deemed “unacceptable” by its allies. [Reuters]

Carter County USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Gera Ferguson, announced that the nomination period for local FSA county committees began on June 15, 2015. [Ashland Independent]

The U.S. military acknowledges the negative health effects of Agent Orange on Vietnam veterans — but what about their children? [ProPublica]

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. Executive Director Dan Iacconi proposed Tuesday to the IDEA board for Glasgow-Barren County to create a category in the operating fund titled drainage and erosion control related to Highland Glen Industrial Park. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Acting on climate change will have major economic, environmental, and health benefits, according to a report released Monday by the Environmental Protection Agency. [ThinkProgress]

Caitlyn Jenner’s presence on the glossy cover of the July issue of Vanity Fair magazine incited a powerful moment of visibility for the transgender community, including the one in Lexington. [H-L]

Medical marijuana has not been proven to work for many illnesses that state laws have approved it for, according to the first comprehensive analysis of research on its potential benefits. [HuffPo]