What A Week In Our Lovely, Backward, Corrupt Commonwealth

Let’s all just laugh about this one last time. House Speaker Greg Stumbo announced Wednesday he is appointing a committee to investigate what he says have been threats by Gov. Matt Bevin against state lawmakers. [C-J/AKN]

The United States broke off talks with Russia on Monday on implementing a ceasefire agreement on Syria and accused Moscow of not living up to its commitments under the Sept. 9 deal to [HuffPo]

Saying small cash bonds pose an unfair burden on the poor, a Jefferson County public defender Monday asked a circuit judge to release three defendants from jail on the grounds that district judges had violated their rights by failing to inquire about their financial ability to post bond. [C-J/AKN]

A video of a US student in “blackface” apparently mocking the Black Lives Matter campaign has sparked outrage. [BBC]

Real estate property owners in Glasgow will have the same tax rate as last year. [Glasgow Daily Times]

What does it mean to declare that #blacklivesmatter in education? Last month the Movement for Black Lives, representing elements of the Black Lives Matter movement and related groups, issued a detailed policy platform denouncing what it called “corporate-backed,” “market driven” “privatization” in school reform, and helped set off a furor over this question. [NPR]

“Backing the Lines,” an event showing support for first responders, was held on Friday evening at the Carl Perkins Center. [The Morehead News]

President Barack Obama made his case for a deliberate, measured path toward economic progress in an op-ed published Thursday in The Economist that reads like a plea to disenchanted voters tempted by the economic populism of Republican nominee Donald Trump. [Politico]

On Nov. 8, Kentuckians will decide who represents the Commonwealth as United States Senator. One of Kentucky’s two senate seats is occupied by Mitch McConnell. The other seat belongs to Rand Paul. However, Rand Paul, a republican, has a democratic challenger in the November election, and that challenger is Lexington Mayor Jim Gray. [Hazard Herald]

Voters in four states appear likely to approve ballot measures that would legalize marijuana for recreational purposes, according to recent surveys, while voters are split on the question in a fifth state. [The Hill]

The Republican Party of Kentucky has tons of other racists in their midst. Tons of them appointed by Matt Bevin to various and sundry positions. You’ve read all about them on Page One. This is their attempt to appear non-racist by throwing some nobody with no shot of winning to the wolves as a sacrifice. [WDRB]

Forty-four Afghan troops visiting the United States for military training have gone missing in less than two years, presumably in an effort to live and work illegally in America, Pentagon officials said. [Reuters]

Horse Country hopes to boost Thoroughbred racing, Central Kentucky tourism by offering behind-the-scenes tours of farms, equine clinics and feed mills. The goal is to do for horse breeding what the Kentucky Bourbon Trail is doing for whiskey-making. [H-L]

Civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) on Monday implored young leaders invited to the White House to continue his generation’s legacy of civil rights activism by reminding them of sacrifices that won the right to vote. [HuffPo]

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Republicans Are In Full Stumbo Panic

A national group of Republican state leaders has paid for a TV ad criticizing Kentucky Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo. [H-L]

As he loves to do whenever he talks about himself, Donald Trump on Monday told a Colorado audience that all his business success stemmed from “a small loan” from his father ― a virtual Horatio Alger story. [HuffPo]

Former Kentucky Superintendent of Public Instruction Alice McDonald is asking Franklin Circuit Court to expunge her nearly 20-year-old convictions for theft of government services and tampering with evidence. [C-J/AKN]

International Game Technology has agreed to pay a $500,000 penalty for firing an employee for telling the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that the casino-gaming company’s financial statements might be distorted. [Reuters]

Matt Bevin’s administration says HealthCare.gov will be up and running in Kentucky in time for Kynect customers to reapply for their health insurance later this year. [WFPL]

A former Miss Universe is hitting back at Donald Trump, calling his accusation that she once made a sex tape “slander and cheap lies.” [The Hill]

The Glasgow Electric Plant Board chose to move forward Tuesday evening with providing another optional billing structure for residential and small business customers unhappy with the current “Infotricity” option, as GEPB Superintendent Billy Ray calls it. [Glasgow Daily Times]

ProPublica expanded its e-book offerings with the launch of “The Breakdown: How Politics and Government Really Work, and Why They Don’t,” a compilation of long-form stories that deeply examine the American political system. [ProPublica]

Richmond Mayor Jim Barnes was criticized for purchasing furniture for his office early in 2011, soon after he was first sworn in. [Richmond Register]

Donald Trump was slut-shaming before the sun came up on Friday. He fired off a string of tweets smearing former Miss Universe Alicia Machado at 5:30 in the morning, calling her “disgusting” and referencing a “sex tape.” [ThinkProgress]

Boyd County school finances are in good shape compared to the last couple of years thanks in part to the recently enacted 2 percent property tax increase, a school finance official said. [Ashland Independent]

This is getting hilarious. CBS “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert said Donald Trump is a “coward” who won’t appear on his show. [Politico]

Lou Anna Red Corn was sworn in Monday afternoon as the first female Commonwealth’s Attorney for Fayette County in a ceremony that involved her being wrapped in a blanket belonging to her late mother. [H-L]

Afghan forces regained control of most of the northern city of Kunduz on Tuesday amid sporadic fighting, officials said, as questions arose over how Taliban militants once again managed to penetrate the city’s defenses. [HuffPo]

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Matt Bevin Is Still Ruining Everything

The Affrilachian Poets, a diverse Lexington-based collective of writers directly or indirectly connected to Appalachia, has rejected its 2016 Governor’s Award in the Arts, citing Gov. Matt Bevin’s positions on education, the humanities and other issues. [H-L]

This past Monday was supposed to be a turning point for Donald Trump. That was the day many Republicans hoped their presidential nominee, who was giving a speech at the Detroit Economic Club, would make his long-awaited pivot to the general election. More teleprompter, less Trump. [HuffPo]

The NCAA has not finished interviewing people in its investigation of the University of Louisville’s men’s basketball program. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump is in danger of losing his grip on the Republican Party as fears grow that he’s headed for a landslide defeat in November that will wipe out GOP majorities in Congress. [The Hill]

Findings of a city probe into revelations about a Frankfort police major appear to conflict with some witness testimony in a Franklin County Sheriff’s Office investigation and a resulting court case. The State Journal’s attempts for more than a month to review information used by the city to reach its conclusions also leave some remaining questions about how the internal investigation was launched and how it was conducted. [State Journal]

Here’s Matt Bevin wasting your taxpayer dollars in favor of discrimination. Texas and a dozen other states asked a U.S. judge on Friday to block Obama administration guidance to public schools that transgender students must be allowed to use bathrooms of their choice, saying it usurps the authority of school districts nationwide. [Reuters]

The Republican leader of the U.S. Senate, Sen. Mitch McConnell, said this past week that maintaining his party’s control over the chamber is looking “dicey.” That’s primarily the product of an unfriendly 2016 map: 24 Republican senators are on this year’s ballot while Democrats must defend only 10 seats. Donald Trump isn’t making it any easier for McConnell either. [Ronnie Ellis]

New polls released Friday show Hillary Clinton with significant leads over Donald Trump in three key battleground states. [Politico]

Environmental attorney Tom Fitzgerald, founder and director of the Kentucky Resources Council, will address the Madison County branch of the Women’s Network at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 16, at Gillum’s in the Richmond Mall. [Richmond Register]

Hillary Clinton has released her tax returns, adding to the pressure on her Republican rival for the White House, Donald Trump, to do the same. [BBC]

His English is a little slow for now, but his bashful-seeming smiles come quickly and easily. Kohichi Haneda, 14, arrived in the United States from Japan on July 21 as part of the Labo International Exchange program with which 4-H youth organizations across the country team. The Labo students who are visiting around Kentucky stayed together for the first day or so, with a trip to the grocery to introduce them to American foods and a Louisville Sluggers baseball game. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The first nationwide study to ask high school students about their sexuality found that gay, lesbian and bisexual teenagers were at far greater risk for depression, bullying and many types of violence than their straight peers. [NY Times]

Former Bardstown police officer Nick Houck was served a search warrant Thursday afternoon in connection with the case of a missing local woman, Crystal Rogers. [H-L]

A spokesperson for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has blamed President Barack Obama for invading Afghanistan ― a foreign policy decision he never made. [HuffPo]

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Kentucky’s Eric Conn Nightmare Continues

A former chief regional Social Security judge has pleaded guilty to scheming to retaliate against an employee who blew the whistle on alleged fraud by flamboyant Floyd County disability lawyer Eric Conn. [H-L]

This is the monster the Republican Party of Kentucky vehemently supports. Donald Trump, a renowned conspiracy theorist, was at it again on Monday morning, implying that President Barack Obama harbored some sort of connection, perhaps even sympathies, to Muslims who had committed acts of terror in the United States. [HuffPo]

When it comes to hospital safety, Kentucky ranks worse than most other states, and no hospital in the Louisville area earned an “A” from a nonprofit group that recently evaluated scores of health-care institutions nationwide. [C-J/AKN]

The fight over a new federal regulation on advice on investing for retirement is moving from Capitol Hill to the U.S. court system, as the number of lawsuits attempting to stop the rule grows. [Reuters]

Students and staff of Barren County Schools may be subject to drug testing beginning in the 2016-17 school year. Because there aren’t more pressing issues? This is why Kentucky kids will forever remain at the bottom of the country. [Glasgow Daily Times]

In the 1830s, the civilized world began to close debtors’ prisons, recognizing them as barbaric and also silly: The one way to ensure that citizens cannot repay debts is to lock them up. In the 21st century, the United States has reinstated a broad system of debtors’ prisons, in effect making it a crime to be poor. [NY Times]

More than a thousand visitors took to the city streets last weekend as local groups hosted “Spend the weekend in Morehead”. [The Morehead News]

“They skinned him alive,” said Ruqiya Naeel, a member of parliament from the area. [WaPo]

Chief Rob Ratliff will miss knowing the destination of the police cruisers zooming past his home on late nights. [Ashland Independent]

For years, Heartland Regional Medical Center, a nonprofit hospital in the small city of St. Joseph, Missouri, had quietly sued thousands of its low-income patients over their unpaid bills. [ProPublica]

In an effort to solve the overcrowding issue in the Madison County Detention Center, the Madison County Jail Task Force presented three options recently to the Fiscal Court — expand the jail, build a new jail or close the jail. [Richmond Register]

I told Paul Ryan what it’s like to live in poverty. Here’s what happened next. [Bill Moyers]

A Franklin County Circuit Court judge has denied a motion by defendants in the Pappy Van Winkle case to suppress the search warrants used to turn up barrels of stolen bourbon. [H-L]

Hillary Clinton’s first speech since she won a majority of pledged delegates in the Democratic presidential race included remarks about how abortion relates to other issues. That’s groundbreaking for a presidential candidate. [HuffPo]

A Puppies & Rainbows Monday Morning

Over the last year, U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, R-Lexington, spent nearly $32,000 on tickets to the Kentucky Derby and Breeders Cup, plus $300 to hire handicapper Ellis Starr to provide betting tips for his racetrack guests. “Nobody was even talking politics. It was just entertainment for everyone,” Starr recently recalled. [John Cheves]

The United States has killed the leader of the Afghan Taliban in an air strike in a remote border area just inside Pakistan, Afghanistan said on Sunday, in an attack likely to dash any immediate prospect for peace talks. [HuffPo]

Billionaire coal baron and West Virginia gubernatorial candidate Jim Justice’s required mine reclamation projects in Kentucky are missing deadlines and dragging on, nearly two years after a crackdown by state environmental regulators. [C-J/AKN]

Barack Obama on Friday became the first incumbent U.S. president to visit Hiroshima, site of the world’s first atomic bombing, in a gesture Tokyo and Washington hope will showcase their alliance and reinvigorate efforts to rid the world of nuclear arms. [Reuters]

Kentucky State Fair Board chairman Mark Lynn has appointed a search committee to find a replacement for Clifford “Rip” Rippetoe, the former fair board president and CEO, who recently departed to take a job in San Diego. [Business First]

The U.S. government’s loose supervision has spawned many problems with super PACs, but helping to tout shares worth a fraction of a cent would be a new one. [ProPublica]

Almost all of the Glasgow City Council approved a slightly amended version of a somewhat impromptu resolution Monday requesting that the Glasgow Electric Plant Board consider alternates to its rate structure that began Jan. 1 and has been met with protests from several members of the community. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A constant stream of changes and scuffles are unsettling Donald J. Trump’s campaign team, including the abrupt dismissal this week of his national political director. A sense of paranoia is growing among his campaign staff members, including some who have told associates they believe that their Trump Tower offices in New York may be bugged, according to three people briefed on the conversations. [NY Times]

Hillary Clinton’s win in Kentucky’s May 17 Democratic presidential primary was confirmed by a statewide recanvass of votes Thursday. [Ronnie Ellis]

A bipartisan measure that would overhaul the nation’s chemical safety laws seemed destined for the president’s desk this week — until Sen. Rand Paul (R-Cookie Tree) put a hold on it Thursday. [WaPo]

Once again, Louisville — a city that prides itself on its park system — has landed near the bottom of a ranking of parks. Probably because the city’s cheerleader electeds consistently ignore reality and focus on hype. [WFPL]

A provision snuck into the still-secret text of the Senate’s annual intelligence authorization would give the FBI the ability to demand individuals’ email data and possibly web-surfing history from their service providers without a warrant and in complete secrecy. [The Intercept]

The state will terminate its contract with the Bluegrass Area Development District to provide services to unemployed and underemployed workers in a 17-county region on June 30 because of financial problems at the district, state officials said Wednesday. [H-L]

At least four anti-government protesters were killed and 90 injured when security forces ejected them from Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, hospital sources said on Saturday. [HuffPo]

Maybe Mitch Isn’t In Love With Trump?

The Republican leader in the Senate says most candidates for president have released their tax documents as presumptive GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump insists he’ll wait until after an IRS audit. [H-L]

Two Boston brothers accused of urinating on and beating a homeless Mexican man and telling police “Donald Trump was right: All these illegals need to be deported,” were sentenced to prison on Monday, prosecutors said. [HuffPo]

An atheist group has been stymied in its planned billboard campaign in Kentucky to protest the controversial $92 million Noah’s Ark replica theme park, set to open in July. [C-J/AKN]

From the time we began reporting on the archive provided to us in Hong Kong by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, we sought to fulfill his two principal requests for how the materials should be handled: that they be released in conjunction with careful reporting that puts the documents in context and makes them digestible to the public, and that the welfare and reputations of innocent people be safeguarded. As time has gone on, The Intercept has sought out new ways to get documents from the archive into the hands of the public, consistent with the public interest as originally conceived. [The Intercept]

A 48-year-old Ashland man was indicted on a bigamy charge after he refused to divorce his first wife and married a second. [Ashland Independent]

President Obama inherited two wars from his predecessor, George W. Bush, and has struggled to wind them down. American troops are still in both Iraq and Afghanistan, but their missions have changed and there are far fewer troops in combat than at the heights of those wars a decade ago. [NY Times]

Glasgow Independent Schools Board of Education presented its evaluation of Superintendent Sean Howard for the 2015-16 school year Monday night in its regular meeting at Glasgow High School. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The rich world has got used to health and longevity getting better, and death rates falling for everyone. But over the past few years, data has been accumulating which suggests that this trend has stopped for poorly-educated, white Americans. [BBC]

Disappointed. Sad. Hurt. Shocked. Lorrina Mabry White says she’s experienced all of these emotions and many others since losing her job last month at Maysville Community and Technical College. [The Morehead News]

Donald Trump spent his first two weeks as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee changing his stances on a number of policy issues, sometimes multiple times. That got an interesting defense from one of his senior advisers on Friday. [ThinkProgress]

Only 9.1 percent of Americans lacked health insurance last year, the lowest uninsured rate on record. [Business First]

Millions of Americans live with the possibility that, at any moment, their wages or the cash in their bank accounts could be seized over an old debt. It’s an easily ignored part of America’s financial system, in part due to a common attitude that people who don’t pay their debts deserve what’s coming to them. [ProPublica]

Kentucky transportation officials have started an online service for people to renew their license plates. [H-L]

More than 7 million previously uninsured Americans gained health coverage in 2015, the second full year of the Obamacare coverage expansion, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [HuffPo]

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Surprise! Teenagers Sometimes Use Drugs

Oh man, the FBI is dropping the hammer on Kentucky Democrats! [H-L]

U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz talks about the future of coal during a meeting with the Herald-Leader editorial board on Thursday, April 21, 2016. [More H-L]

Two suicide car bombs claimed by Islamic State killed at least 32 people and wounded 75 others in the center of the southern Iraqi city of Samawa on Sunday, police and medics said. [HuffPo]

Wanna see a racist turd burglar white about the removal of a confederate statute? Here you go. It’s a full-on white guy circle jerk of awful. [C-J/AKN]

Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton won’t give any clues about who she is considering as her running mate, though she said there are many qualified people for the job. [The Hill]

The Richmond Planning and Zoning chose to table three of four items on its agenda for the October Glory at Golden Leaf development property at Pavilion Way until the next work session per the request of Planning and Zoning director Jason Hart. [Richmond Register]

The U.S. military will announce on Friday that has it taken disciplinary action against 16 service members over a deadly Oct. 3 air strike in Afghanistan that destroyed a hospital run by the international medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres, U.S. officials told Reuters. [Reuters]

Two Boyd County teachers want to transform a bare patch of land and a pond adjacent to Boyd County High School into an outdoor learning center. [Ashland Independent]

Two days after U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, filed legislation seeking to expedite a hurricane protection plan for Texas, U.S. Rep. Randy Weber, R-Texas, said he expects to introduce a companion bill in the U.S. House in the coming weeks. [ProPublica]

A random drug search at Rowan County Senior High School on Wednesday morning has forced school resource officers and officials to begin investigating at least four separate instances in which canine units picked up an illicit scent. [The Morehead News]

House Republicans threw a temper tantrum over a rule that bans financial advisers from scamming retirees. [ThinkProgress]

Smiths Grove City Commissioners approved on first reading Monday night an ordinance setting the city’s budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year. [Glasgow Daily Times]

They arrived by the busload, four coaches in all, from around the state. Laborers, thousands of them, flooded the south side of the Indiana Statehouse, covering the green lawn with their blue and yellow United Steelworkers signs and t-shirts. [Politico]

House Speaker Greg Stumbo raised concerns Thursday about how Gov. Matt Bevin handled vetoes of several bills approved by the state legislature and indicated he may ask a court to determine if the governor acted properly. [H-L]

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) vowed to take his fight for the Democratic presidential nomination all the way to the party’s convention in July, promising not to give up even if he continues to trail Hillary Clinton in pledged delegates. [HuffPo]