Papaw Was Just Campaigning For Andy

The Humane Society of the United States is objecting to a proposed expansion of bear hunting in Kentucky. The group says the state’s black bear population is still small and needs time to expand. [H-L]

Watch the sweet wingnut freakout continue over marriage equality. [HuffPo]

Steve Beshear took state government’s Learjet from Frankfort to White Sulphur Springs, W. Va., Tuesday afternoon and returned to Kentucky Wednesday after his round of golf with Tiger Woods, records of the website FlightAware indicate. [C-J/AKN]

Looking back at the nationwide support for American troops in the two world wars, we see Americans of all stripes making patriotic contributions and sacrifices — including farmers, factory workers and librarians. [NPR]

The prospect of Matt Bevin becoming Kentucky’s next governor is intriguing in more ways than just who wins the election between him and Democrat Jack Conway. [Ronnie Ellis]

Oil and gas giant Shell is expected to begin drilling for oil in the Arctic within the next two weeks. [BBC]

Although a rehabilitation program within the Madison County Detention Center would likely help decrease the ever-growing population of returning inmates, there is no room in the facility for such a program, said Jailer Doug Thomas. [Richmond Register]

Weight screenings in high school were not enough to get overweight and obese kids on track toward a healthier weight, a recent U.S. study found. [Reuters]

Two officials of Rowan Fiscal Court attended a bond hearing in Frankfort Tuesday to help arrange financing of the new Rowan County Detention Center. [The Morehead News]

This man admitted to plotting to massacre Muslims but a judge set him free anyway. [ThinkProgress]

Louisville has really gotten into this murder thing lately. Every other day someone is shot. [WDRB]

Oh, look, the Southern Baptist wingnut-types are playing victim. It’s as if these folks are incapable of free thought. [The Hill]

It’s clear that Prather’s attempting to strike balance and to nudge fearful bigots into reality. But his language is dismissive and part of the problem. Telling people to get over decades of oppression and ongoing discrimination because “live and let live” or whatever does more harm than good. [H-L]

Hillary Clinton will soon start giving interviews to the national media, nearly three months into her presidential campaign and amid growing tensions with the press. [HuffPo]

Faux Family WATB Big Gay Meltdown

Kent Ostrander of the Family Foundation is askeerd of the gays this week.

Check out his latest statement:

America has a new law about marriage because the U.S. Supreme Court has spoken. I disagree with their decision; I do not believe it is a sound ruling based on historical or legal precedent, but it is now the law of the land.

Not true. There is no new “law” — for the millionth time.

What I am addressing today is the question of whether the religious liberty of Kentucky citizens and, in particular, Kentucky government employees, will be denied by wrongful interpretations of the marriage ruling. Clearly, the word “marriage” is not in the Constitution and “marriage” is not a right enumerated in the Constitution, but Religious Liberty is guaranteed by the First Amendment. In fact, it is the first part of the First Amendment. No part of true religious liberty must be lost in the overall discussion about marriage following the ruling.

Religious liberty hasn’t been impacted by the SCOTUS decision.

It is my understanding that a lawsuit has already been filed against the county clerk of Rowan County, Kim Davis, requiring that she abandon her sincerely-held religious beliefs and participate in a same-sex marriage by authorizing the marriage license. This is as unfortunate as it is un-American. Even in times of war, where the very existence of the Unites States is in question, America has never required the conscientious objector to pull a trigger. In this marriage matter, there is no reason for the force of government to come against citizens and workers with deeply-held religious convictions.

Religious liberty is just an excuse in this instance. Kim Davis, a divorced hypocrite with a history of shady public behavior, is merely using religion to excuse her homophobia.

Un-American? The only thing un-American is forcing one’s religious beliefs onto their government office. That’s illegal.

Therefore, first, as the Executive Director of The Family Foundation, I call upon the Governor to act to protect those who work for him in state and county governments. I ask that he consider an Executive Order, which other governors have done. Or, I ask that he consider calling a Special Session of the General Assembly to get clear direction from the people’s branch of government. Or, I ask that he act in some other responsible way to preserve that American distinctive called Religious Liberty – the First Amendment.

This is government, not the private sector. You don’t get to play church in the courthouse. You don’t get to exert your chosen religious beliefs on society when you are a government official working in the capacity of, say, County Clerk.

And, secondly, I would like to announce the establishment of the Kentucky Religious Liberty Defense Fund that will be used for the legal defense of those who are targeted to have their religious liberty curtailed and for legislative measures that will ensure religious liberty for all. This includes government workers, such as county clerks, who are under fire now, and others, such as pastors, when their First Amendments rights are legally contested.

Because the closet case fearmongers always act as if they’re being persecuted.

Make no mistake, this is not a protest against the Supreme Court’s decision. It is not a clever effort to circumvent the Court’s ruling. And it certainly is not an attempt to protect discrimination against same-sex couples. It is, however, a sincere effort to uphold what has always made America different from all other nations – the fact that our rights come from God and those rights cannot be abridged by any force, nor by any power nor by any manipulation on earth.

Make no mistake: this is a protest against marriage equality being pushed by a handful of gay-panicked bigots. Some of them closeted gay men sitting in deep denial.

Welcome to Kentucky… where WASPs are always wearing their white sheets and crying about not being able to use state government to enforce their beloved discrimination.

Reggie Meeks On Needle Exchanges

Thanks to some backwater Republicans like Damon Thayer (R-Narcissist), some in Kentucky are growing concerned about the Commonwealth’s ability to fight the growing heroin epidemic and related spread of disease.

So let’s let State Rep. Reggie Meeks (D-Not A Fear-Mongering Asshole Like Damon Thayer) explain some things:

SB 192 offers a good example of why summer is important to us as signed legislation is implemented. The compromise Anti-Heroin Bill included tougher trafficking provisions, allowed for local needle exchange programs, expanded use of naloxone by first responders and medical professionals to counter overdoses, and contained provisions for expanded treatment statewide and also for Good Samaritans.

Urban and rural communities alike are planning for the needle exchange program, and a few urban communities are far ahead of the pack with this aspect of the bill. However, what happens when there is no “exchange” of needles; where clean needles are simply provided to a user? Does this violate the spirit, if not the letter, of the law? Some legislators have expressed these concerns.

In response, supporters say the intent of the bill is to increase access to aid and assistance for that in need and to prevent the spread of communicable disease, as in HIV and Hepatitis C. Requiring a straight up one-for-one exchange, when the person in need may not have one, diminishes their ability to reach individuals needing these interventions the most. Participants are required to meet with certified drug and alcohol counselors and are provided access to further screenings and interventions.

Already in Louisville, over 100 individuals have participated with 20 of them voluntarily being tested for HIV, and as of this reporting, nine were referred for further treatment. Additionally, the Louisville program may evolve into a one-for-one needle exchange, but right now the current method of implementation is the choice of the Louisville health officials. Each community will have to go thru this process of deciding how SB 192 will be rolled out locally. These summer rollouts give greater understanding of potential local legislative impacts and may lead to greater impacts in local communities in the future.

Read that over and over, Damon, and get your head out of your butt.

Kentucky deserves better and it’s nice to see people like Rep. Meeks step up.

Gay Panicked Republicans Freaking Out

Keep pandering, Addia, keep pandering. A state representative will sponsor legislation aimed at making clear that ministers and others who object to same-sex marriages on religious grounds would not have to perform such services. [H-L]

So let me be clear about a few things: I do not want to order a wedding cake from a bakery owned by a guy who thinks I’m going to hell. I have no desire to purchase bouquets from a florist who pickets Pride parades. I wouldn’t serve pizza at a wedding if the owner paid me and offered to serenade my guests with an a cappella version of “Born This Way.” And finally, the suggestion that I would be insane enough to want to force a homophobic clergyperson to preside over my most sacred day is beyond insulting. [HuffPo]

The Republican Party of Kentucky is putting finishing touches on a proposal that would preserve Rand Paul’s fallback plan to win re-election to the U.S. Senate next year if his campaign for president falters. [C-J/AKN]

Republicans and Democrats are locked in an increasingly bitter debate over government spending, with few legislative weeks remaining to avoid another shutdown this fall. [The Hill]

Kentucky’s voters have seen this script before: insurgent Kentucky Republican takes down established candidates openly or presumably preferred by U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, Kentucky’s ultimate establishment Republican. [Ronnie Ellis]

Sometime in the next few weeks, aides expect President Obama to issue orders freeing dozens of federal prisoners locked up on nonviolent drug offenses. With the stroke of his pen, he will probably commute more sentences at one time than any president has in nearly half a century. [NY Times]

Beginning Monday, the Glasgow Police Department will be changing its policy and charging $5 for all documents relating to fingerprints, accident reports, accident photos, response reports and any other report that the police department releases from their office, according to a press release issued by GPD Public Affairs Officer Julie Anne Williams. [Glasgow Daily Times]

From the Department of Things Ken Ham Wouldn’t Understand… Woolly mammoths spent their lives enduring extreme Arctic conditions including frigid temperatures, an arid environment and the relentless cycle of dark winters and bright summers. [Reuters]

Something tells us this won’t end well for him. Green County Clerk Billy Joe Lowe said he will resume issuing marriage licenses next week, but only to heterosexual couples. [WFPL]

China – the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases – has announced details of its climate action plan. [BBC]

The Paramount Arts Center announced its lineup of shows for the coming year and it includes a little something for all ages and tastes. [Ashland Independent]

Meanwhile, one of Clinton’s closest rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, has so far ducked serious scrutiny over his own handling, and deleting, of official emails conducted on a private Gmail account. [The Intercept]

It is an iconic moment in U.S. Marine Corps lore, and it’s now memorialized in bronze on the lawn of Morgan County’s Old Courthouse in West Liberty. [H-L]

There was a time when she liked acting in goofy comedy skits at her Detroit church or crawling into bed with her grandmother to watch TV. She loved to sing—her favorite artist was Chris Brown—but she was too shy to perform in front of other people. [HuffPo]

Another Huge Jail Expansion In Ashland

The Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund has approved a $500,000 combination grant and loan for hemp-processing equipment. [H-L]

The federal government and Gulf Coast states have reached an $18.7 billion settlement agreement with the oil company BP for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico. [HuffPo]

What started as a toothache from a lost filling became a raging infection that landed Christopher Smith in the University of Louisville Hospital emergency room, then in intensive care on a ventilator and feeding tube. [C-J/AKN]

The bacterium Yersinia pestis has inflicted almost unimaginable misery upon humankind over the centuries, killing an estimated 200 million or more people and triggering horrific plagues in the 6th and 14th centuries. [Reuters]

All these years later and CentrePointe is still nothing. [WKYT]

Four U.S. Embassies got upgraded screening rooms last year, paid for by the lobbying arm of the big studios. The industry and the government say there were no strings attached. [ProPublica]

Kentucky has signed new contracts with five managed-care organizations to provide health care services to Medicaid eligible Kentuckians. [Business First]

While Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) quickly moved to donate the contributions he received from Earl Holt III to a fund established to help the victims’ families, this stands in stark contrast to his past handling of white separatist donors. [ThinkProgress]

Boyd County’s government is close to fully approving expansion of its current 200-bed jail in order to add 50 more beds that will open more space to accept federal inmates. [Ashland Independent]

The UK must take urgent action to prepare for the impacts of climate change in the UK, according to a report submitted to the government. [BBC]

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, divorced, is still screaming about the gays. [The Morehead News]

In a victory for opponents of partisan gerrymandering, the Supreme Court on Monday upheld the use of an independent commission to draw Arizona’s congressional districts. Writing for a narrow majority in the 5-4 ruling, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg touted the importance of direct democracy and making sure the power of the people is not hijacked by its elected representatives. [Mother Jones]

Last August, Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday issued a challenge to Kentuckians to read the state’s current academic standards in English/language arts and mathematics and suggest changes. [H-L]

Here’s something you probably didn’t know happened in California in the last few years, and maybe it’s something you never imagined could happen: In 2011, two high-ranking state regulators were fired from their posts for pissing off the oil industry. [HuffPo]