The Kernel’s Lesson Was A Good One

A federal judge on Thursday dismissed three lawsuits pending against Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis over her refusal to issue marriage licenses in 2015, following the legalization of same-sex marriage by the U.S. Supreme Court. [John Cheves]

If July felt horrendously hot, that’s because it was. NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ― two leading global authorities on climate ― both say July 2016 was not only the hottest July on record, but the most sizzling month in the history of record-keeping. [HuffPo]

Student-run newspapers can be great experiences, giving students a taste of what they’ll face if they continue with a journalism career. They learn to chase important stories and dig for the facts. They learn to take on powerful institutions and hold officials accountable. [C-J/AKN]

The Department of Justice and the FBI are looking at Paul Manafort as part of a broad investigation into alleged corruption in Ukraine. [The Hill]

Eastern Kentucky University has 161 academic programs, but 47 of them have graduated an average of fewer than 10 in the past three years. [Richmond Register]

The FBI and U.S. Justice Department are investigating possible U.S. ties to alleged corruption involving the former president of Ukraine, including the work of firms headed by political operatives Paul Manafort and Tony Podesta, CNN reported on Friday, citing multiple U.S. law enforcement officials. [Reuters]

Greenup County school officials are looking at new security camera systems for the district, and may choose the one they want next month. [Ashland Independent]

Earlier this month, Paul Manafort met with Donald Trump and suggested that they put in place a succession plan for the upper ranks of the Republican nominee’s flailing presidential campaign, according to three campaign sources with direct knowledge of the events that led to Manafort’s resignation on Friday morning as campaign chairman. [Politico]

When Corey Brewer passed a drug test required for his new job at Walmart in Richmond, his mother, Julie Robinson, felt relieved. [Ronnie Ellis]

Days of heavy rain have caused historic flooding in the US state of Louisiana, bringing as much as 31in (79cm) across a third of the state. [BCC]

The three finalists for the Glasgow Independent Schools’ superintendent position each spent a day this week getting familiar with the school district. [Glasgow Daily Times]

An article in The Atlantic on post-9/11 America makes a powerful case that the “never again” approach to homeland security is good politics but lousy policy. The turbulent months after the 9/11 attacks were notable for something that did not happen. [ProPublica]

Kentucky Supreme Court justices had plenty of questions for attorneys during oral arguments Thursday over the legality of midyear budget cuts that Gov. Matt Bevin made to universities last spring. [H-L]

While the coal lobby is often blamed for a lot of Washington’s foot-dragging on addressing climate change, two major coal industry groups may be losing some of their clout. A new report from the environmental group Climate Investigations Center looks at recent losses in the membership of two major coal lobbies: the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) and the National Mining Association. [HuffPo]

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Anna Powell Was Terminated In Florida

Anna Powell, the illegally-hired wife of former Montgomery County Schools superintendent Joshua Powell (himself fired), was terminated from her job in Florida in June. From the Santa Rosa County School District’s board meeting minutes:

And not for budgetary reasons.

The job was posted a month prior:

That will likely make you wonder how she was able to perform at the director level in Montgomery County but wasn’t good enough to get renewed at an easier job in the Florida panhandle.

The fascinating thing about Powell’s time in Florida is how she got her job. Any guesses? Her personnel file from the Santa Rosa County School District contained a wealth of information.

Phil Rison – long after being advised he was let go from the district – signed her employment verification:


CLICK TO ENLARGE

You’ll note that Cindy Kincaid, Joshua Powell’s former secretary and confidant, notarized the document. At the time a man named Donald Pace was acting superintendent in the district. It’s safe to assume, based on claims made by those working in central office at the time, Rison and Kincaid hid the Florida documentation from Pace or for whatever reason did not share it with him. In part because Pace made clear to Anna Powell in a scandalous letter that her leadership was ineffective, she was illegally hired, wasn’t a chance in hell she’d be allowed to remain in the district.

Doesn’t help matters that at the time the only person in the district who could provide professional references like this was the superintendent. That was a policy instituted by Joshua Powell.

Anna claimed she left Montgomery County Schools so she could relocate to Florida:

But you already know she was ousted, as illustrated in links above.

Here’s her entire application:


CLICK TO ENLARGE — PDF

Interesting to note that her references included Phil Rison, Lisa Stone and Shannon White. Three of the people deeply involved in so much of the Powell world.

On top of it all, she attempted to file for unemployment benefits in Kentucky:

She was apparently unsuccessful.

Seems unfathomable that less than a year ago the entire circle was claiming she was the top pick to run a huge portion of a public school district.

Way To Go At The Secrecy, UK! Woo!

Here comes UK wasting even more money. University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto announced Monday that UK will appeal two recent opinions by the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office that found UK violated the state’s Open Records Act and the Open Meetings Act. [H-L]

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) just joined a small but growing list of Republican members of Congress who won’t vote for GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump come November because of his temperament and rhetoric. [HuffPo]

Louisville Metro Police shot and killed a man armed with a knife early Monday morning while responding to a domestic violence call at an apartment complex near Shively. [C-J/AKN]

Emergency managers in Louisiana turned to the Red Cross when record floods swept the state in March, but many say they received little help. [ProPublica]

How dare anyone want safe drinking water or the preservation of lands. That makes native Appalachians environmental extremists, according to Rand Paul. He goes from literally telling black people they shouldn’t be allowed to sit at the lunch counter to making shit up about coal. [The Gleaner]

Former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, who presided over the state’s fracking boom of the mid-2000s, admitted the state’s fracking regulations favored economics over environmental safety during much of his tenure. [ThinkProgress]

The Morehead Utility Plant Board has unanimously agreed to apply for Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) funding to help repair the water tank at the John Will Stacy MMRC Regional Business Park on KY 801. [The Morehead News]

US presidential candidate Donald Trump has publicly backed House Speaker Paul Ryan days after snubbing him in a spat at the top of the Republican Party. [BBC]

More than four years after a conversation between then-Mayor Rhonda Riherd Trautman and Bill Prather, president and CEO of Farmers Rural Electric Cooperative Corp., that got a project rolling, they and dozens of others gathered to celebrate its completion. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Nearly half of registered U.S. voters think American infrastructure has deteriorated in the last five years, a national poll released on Tuesday found, with Republicans taking the dimmer view. [Reuters]

Dear Louisville media newbies: Fancy Farm isn’t a political picnic, it’s a church picnic. It’d also serve you well to do things like report on Scott Jennings’ racist/anti-LatinX “joke” when attempting to whitewash what really went down. [WHAS11]

Less than 100 days before the general election, Donald Trump has still not spent a dime on television advertising, even as Hillary Clinton floods the airwaves with tens of millions of dollars in ad spending. [The Hill]

Kentucky Utilities customers will pay extra each month to cover environmental upgrades at the company’s power plants under a settlement approved Monday. [H-L]

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump brushed off an open letter signed by dozens of the GOP’s most experienced national security officials, in which they say he “would be the most reckless President in American history.” [HuffPo]

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Here Are Scott Jennings’ Remarks. Early.

Scott Jennings, who once pleaded the 5th in order to avoid incriminating himself in the George W. Bush email scandal, still doesn’t understand how embargoes work. Pro-tip: They only work when you arrange them. A blanket directive from your PR firm won’t cut it.

UPDATE – Right off the bat, Jennings started with a racist joke. And he was dumb enough to bring up the Clinton email mess when he has his own very real email scandal on his record. *END UPDATE*

So here are his remarks at Fancy Farm:

Thank you Mark and Father Venters, and welcome, everyone to the 136th annual Fancy Farm picnic! How about a round of applause for Mark and Lori Wilson … another great job, guys, thanks for what you do.

What an honor it is to be here! I love this event and I look forward to it every year. Politicos from across Kentucky come here to show off some personality and creativity.

And to be honest, it is a little intimidating being up here.

I mean, last year Matt Jones of Kentucky Sports Radio was the emcee and he was great.

I wish I could just read his jokes. You know, copy and paste his stuff.

But of course, plagiarism is a big no-no in the political business.

So instead, let me just say that…on behalf of my husband Barack and my daughters Sasha and Malia, it’s an honor to be here.

###

To those watching at home, let me introduce you to the most important players in today’s event – this huge crowd!

First, in this corner, please welcome…THE REPUBLICANS!

And, this corner, please welcome…THE DEMOCRATS!

And, finally, let me introduce the most important people of all … the DEMOCRATS who vote REPUBLICAN every November!

It’s ok guys, everybody knows what you do in the voting booth. There’s no time like the present to come out of the shadows.

###

It’s true, Kentucky is a real two-party state these days and a lot of Democrats are actually voting Republican. There are three issues motivating this migration:

Hillary. Rodham. Clinton.

Man, she’ll say anything to get elected. I don’t want to say Hillary is pandering to get votes in Kentucky, but I’m not totally convinced she’ll send Bobby Knight to Guantanamo Bay.

If she does pull this off, the only thing less safe than our national security information will be the White House interns. Look out! Slick Willie on the loose!

###

Hillary’s opponent is, for now, Donald Trump.

I don’t want to talk too much about The Donald, mainly because I’ve been told that every time someone makes a joke about Trump, an angel gets deported.

Oh wait, I misread it.

That’s “Ángel gets deported!”

###

Can you believe what’s going with the Russians? Trump says they ought to be hacking Hillary’s emails. The Democrats say Vladimir Putin is trying to meddle in our elections?

Now I don’t know if that’s true, Jamie Comer, but if folks start handing out vodka instead of bourbon to win School Board races in your neck of the woods we’ll know something’s up.

But I have to say, Trump picking Governor Mike Pence for Vice President was genius. In Indiana, Mike Pence wanted to start a state-run news agency! A political operative would write all the news stories.

You know, the way it works over in North Korea. Or at MSNBC.

###

Governor Matt Bevin, good to see you today and welcome back to Fancy Farm!

There is no doubt, Governor, that you are getting things done in Frankfort.

After eight years of Steve Beshear, a lot of folks forgot what it was like when a Governor, you know, actually tried.

Now Governor, it is true, a lot of Republicans were kind of hard on you back in 2014 when you first came along. Now, I wasn’t one of them…but since we are at church today I’ll go ahead and ask for forgiveness.

You know the Establishment isn’t very good at predicting the future. Heck, this time last summer I was all in for Jeb Bush!

The truth is, Governor, you are doing a terrific job.

Just ask Attorney General Andy Beshear. He thinks your criminal justice reforms are terrific – because of you, some of the people in Andy’s office might actually get to vote for him in the next election.

Now Andy isn’t here today. But if you are watching at home, brother, I’m just kidding around. Don’t sue me! We’ve known each other for a very long time. You are the Beshear I actually get along with.

I’m just waiting for Governor Bevin to rename Lake Beshear over there by Dawson Springs, where your Dad and I were born.

Maybe…Lake Obamacare. Or Lake Pension Shortfall. Who knows?

###

Senator Mitch McConnell, good to see you here today.

An event like this is perfect for a guy like him. When Kentuckians think entertainment and excitement they think of two words: Mitch. McConnell.

They actually took a survey of the most exciting, dynamic senators. Senator McConnell came in right ahead of Tim Kaine, which is no small feat.

By the way, thank you for releasing an audio version of your memoir. It changed our lives in the Jennings Household. Thanks to the sound of your voice, our little baby Thatcher has never slept better.

I’m just kidding…because I can! Mitch McConnell is my old boss, of course. And apparently I have no interest in ever working for him again, so I will just keep going here.

In all seriousness, the Senator has been a true mentor. I’ll never forget what he told me at the end of the last campaign. He looked me right in the eye, shook my hand and said “Scott, if you ever talk to the Louisville Courier-Journal about anything you’ve seen here, I’ll kill you.”

That’s actually not a joke.

###

Speaking of the Senate, Rand Paul, good to see you back at Fancy Farm.

Now Rand is disappointed he’s not running against Hillary right now, but running for Senate from Kentucky is far better than running for President.

One good thing … at the debates, your podium is in the center of the stage rather than falling off the end of it!

Oh, Jim Gray. I forgot you were there. And apparently so did the rest of your party.

Hello and welcome to Fancy Farm.

I don’t know much about old Jim over here except he’s spent most of his time as Mayor trying to fill a huge hole somebody dug in the middle of Lexington.

Here’s a thought … you may need a place to bury your political career after this election.

###

Again, I want to welcome everyone watching at home on KET. Bill Goodman has microphones all over the picnic grounds to capture the sounds of Fancy Farm.

It’s sort of the same in Frankfort these days, where the FBI has microphones all over the cooperating witnesses.

Which reminds me! Alison Grimes passes along her regrets. She couldn’t be here today because her husband is about to go away on a long trip.

Funny, I heard her Dad may also be going away for a long time.

Want to scare a Democrat in Frankfort these days? Sneak up behind one and say: “You have the right to remain silent!”

###

Before we get started, I want to take a moment to recognize some people who come here every year. They endure the heat and the hecklers so we can enjoy our First Amendment rights.

I am talking about the Kentucky State Police, the U.S. Capitol Police, and the local officers from all over Western Kentucky.

To all law enforcement officers here today, thank you. And, also, we thank your families for enduring the stress that comes with supporting the THIN BLUE LINE.

Now more than ever, we owe these men and women our gratitude.

###

Ok, ok, let’s get on with it. These politicians are ready to go.

Trust me when I tell you, what these folks are about to do is incredibly hard.

You want easy? Go hack Hillary’s email. That’s easy.

Speaking here at Fancy Farm… that takes guts!

Now, let me go over a couple of ground rules.

First, no noisemakers. If you use a noisemaker we will personally have Donald Trump tweet what a SAD! PATHETIC! LOSER! you are.

We know you are going to hoot and holler. Just be civil, and remember to use clean language and good manners.

We are all Americans, we are all Kentuckians and we all need to remember to love thy neighbor.

Now, ladies and gentlemen, let’s get down to business and see what these politicians have to say here at Fancy Farm!

###

Scott is busy defending Donald Trump’s racism, homophobia, transphobia. So it’s fun to see him emcee Fancy Farm.

As always, there’s this, this and this.

And remember – Democrats didn’t show up at Fancy Fart (not really a typo) because their assistance isn’t needed. The Republican Party of Kentucky doesn’t need the Democrats to help them burn down their barn with Trump-style racism and hate.

Remember Pre-9/11 Gary Condit? It’s Gary Condit Flashback Time!

The University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital is ranked No. 1 in Kentucky in U.S. News and World Report’s Best Hospitals survey, which was released Tuesday. [H-L]

Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s campaign chairman, has had success dealing with hard-to-manage dictatorial types, from Imelda Marcos of the Philippines, to Jonas Savimbi of Angola, to Victor Yanukovych of Ukraine. [HuffPo]

The State Plumbing Code Committee has voted to suspend a decades-old rule that business leaders and developers had long viewed as a major impediment to investing in major construction projects. [C-J/AKN]

An attorney for Gary Condit, the former congressman who had an extramarital affair with Washington intern Chandra Levy before her 2001 murder, said on Friday that prosecutors had told the ex-lawmaker that he was not a suspect in the case despite their decision to drop charges against another man. [Reuters]

Acts of kindness towards the Rowan County Sheriff’s Department have not gone unnoticed. Sheriff Matt Sparks says he thanks those who have been showing their support over the last few months during a difficult time for law enforcement across the country. [The Morehead News]

In Syria’s civil war, it’s dangerous to even treat the wounded. Since the beginning of the civil war, the Syrian government has killed hundreds of medical personnel, and dozens of doctors have been assassinated by ISIS. The few doctors who dare to treat the casualties have been forced to work in secret. [ProPublica]

You are Letcher County, Kentucky. You are rural, mountainous, and in the heart of the central Appalachian coalfields. Your economy is not in good shape. Fox News has called your largest town “the poster child for the war on coal.” You are offered funds to build a new federal prison. It could bring jobs but also brings up troubling moral issues. What do you do? [WFPL]

Members of the Indiana State Teachers Association will rally near the annual convention of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in Indianapolis Friday afternoon where Republican vice presidential nominee Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is speaking on Friday. ALEC, whose members are a mix of representatives of large corporations and legislators, is a group known for drafting model legislation for conservative lawmakers. [ThinkProgress]

If you showed up at the Jeffersontown Police Department with heroin, needles, or prescriptions you might think officers would put you behind bars. But as of Monday, the department is opening its doors to addicts as part of its Angel Initiative. [WAVE3]

Just when it seems that Donald Trump could not display more ignorance and bad judgment or less of a moral compass, he comes up with another ignominy or two. This weekend he denigrated the parents of a fallen American military hero and suggested that if elected he might recognize Russia’s claims to Ukraine and end sanctions. [NY Times]

Atlanta-based United Parcel Service Inc. is enhancing its educational assistance programs for employees at its Worldport facility in Louisville. [Business First]

Donald Trump asked a woman with a crying baby to leave his rally in Ashburn, Virginia, on Tuesday. The GOP nominee initially suggested that he did not mind the disruption. [Politico]

If you’ve yet to read this story, put on your crazy glasses. A report of a car full of men in body armor with semi-automatic weapons brought Lexington police to the Walmart on Richmond Road on Saturday night. Officers found two men, one in body armor, a 20-year-old woman and a six-month old baby. [H-L]

A Donald Trump spokeswoman Tuesday night opened a new front in the GOP nominee’s campaign of insults against the parents of a Muslim-American war hero, this time blaming President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for the soldier’s death. Khan was killed in 2004 in Iraq, protecting fellow soldiers from a car bomb. You might recall that Obama did not take office until 2009. [HuffPo]

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It’s Mitch McConnell Revisionist History Time: Book Edition

Remember the secret recording of a Mitch McConnell campaign headquarters meeting a couple years ago? It was fun. Involved someone who was focused on McConnell because of his (McConnell’s) morally bankrupt ideology and a guy with a specious past who wanted to launch a political career. Oh, and a male escort who who allegedly, according to police records, went out on paid “dates” with former Republican State Senator Lindy Casebier.

McConnell wrote about it in his book, The Long Game, and worked some revisionist history magic. Here’s what he (or the person who wrote it?) said:

Someone on our communications team had spoken with a reporter from Mother Jones magazine, Josh informed me. “He was asking a lot of questions about a meeting we held at headquarters the day it opened two months ago,” Josh said. “The details he has about what we talked about are striking.”

“What do you make of it?”

“I’m not sure. But it’s enough to concern me.”

“Is it possible somebody in the room talked to the reporter?”

“I would trust everyone in that room with my life.”

“What’s the plan?”

“I’ll call counsel. If they have a recording we may have legal recourse and at that point this would be a legal story, not a political one.”

Josh was right to be concerned. The next day, Mother Jones published a story on its website, alongside audio of a secret recording that had been made of a meeting we’d held two months earlier. It appeared to have been recorded by someone standing in the hallway, outside the door of our headquarters. Not only was this a dirty trick, it was also arguably illegal. Kentucky is a one-party consent state, which means that conversations can be recorded only if at least one person in the room agrees to it. This clearly hadn’t happened. The FBI got involved and later found the guys who’d done it–members of a left-wing group out of Louisville. The Department of Justice would decline to prosecute, a decision it never bothered to explain. My staff was quite upset, but frankly, I thought these shenanigans were just more of the same, high-lighting the level of scrutiny I was under–a level one might be more inclined to expect in a presidential campaign than a run for the Senate in Kentucky.

And it certainly wouldn’t stop there. In March, members of the same group connected to the secret recording sent out racist tweets about Elaine, suggesting the fact that she had been born in Taiwan dictated my stance on China’s trade policy. This infuriated me. The Democrats have long accused us of being the party of intolerance, and here they were, attacking my wife for the supposed crime of being born in another country.

It’s hard to underestimate just how ruthless the attacks were…

Reality? They were much more concerned about the recording than they let on. There was panic, lockdowns, investigations of everyone involved in the campaign, people who showed up at political gatherings, et al. It consumed the McConnell crew.

Trusting everyone in that room? Guess that’s why I was given dirt on a couple of them, which the campaign later shopped around to outlets like CN|2.

The Justice Department didn’t take further action on the recordings because Mitch McConnell didn’t push it. Does anyone really believe one of the most powerful men in the world – the head of the Republican Senate – couldn’t get that resolved? He used the incident to foment anti-Obama anger while playing dumb in public. In private, his staff would wink and nod about how great it was for their campaign in Kentucky.

And those borderline racist tweets? The intent wasn’t to crack jokes about Elaine Chao(sp) because of her Asian descent. They were pointing out that her family was in business with the Chinese government. But sure, okay, let’s just ignore that gigantic piece of information and use it as an opportunity to claim all Democrats are racist bigots like Donald Trump and the Republicans in their current form.

The entire book is some weird Republican fever dream. It’s not Rand Paul-style plagiarism but it’s enough to make people who think for themselves pop a vein from laughter and eye rolls.

Mitch McConnell Is Trump’s Chump

TVA is closing and capping 10 coal ash ponds at power plants in Tennessee and Alabama, against the urging of environmentalists who want the ash dug up and removed. [H-L]

In what has become a familiar pattern, GOP leaders on Sunday denounced Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s latest round of offensive remarks. But they continue to support his campaign. [HuffPo]

On the third floor of the Copper & Kings brandy distillery near the edge of Butchertown, a spacious tasting room that’s accented by a view of the Louisville skyline is expected to soon be renovated into the neighborhood’s latest cocktail spot. [C-J/AKN]

Hillary Clinton’s campaign had its computer network hacked as part of the cyberattack on Democratic organizations, Reuters reported Friday. [The Hill]

The Morehead Utility Plant Board voted unanimously Tuesday to amend its 2016-17 budget to include two capital projects. [The Morehead News]

A U.S. appeals court on Friday struck down a North Carolina law that required voters to show photo identification when casting ballots, ruling that it intentionally discriminated against African-American residents. [Reuters]

It became apparent to Marvin Claywell about a year ago that there is very little documentation about those from the Barrens area who fought during World War I, so he decided to see what information he could find that would enable him to put together at least one, if not more, exhibits at the South Central Kentucky Cultural Center featuring information about the soldiers, as well as life on the home front during the World War I era. [Glasgow Daily Times]

On the 50th anniversary of the Freedom of Information Act, here are ProPublica reporters’ most frustrating public record failures. [ProPublica]

Kentucky Power recognized the Ashland Alliance by presenting an $84,000 check to help spur economic development in the aerospace industry. [Ashland Independent]

One of the ringleaders of the militia takeover of an Oregon nature preserve last winter is now hoping to avoid prison by convincing the courts that the United States is actually being run by a shadow government that enslaves children at birth. [ThinkProgress]

The Richmond Planning and Zoning Commission will conduct a town hall type discussion of its comprehensive plan revision on Tuesday evening, Aug. 19. [Richmond Register]

He walked onto the convention stage Thursday night with his wife beside him, the Constitution to guide him and the pride of a father who knows he has a story to tell. [Politico]

An administrator in Crittenden County has been jailed on charges of trafficking drugs to inmates. [H-L]

Both Donald Trump and his campaign chairman said Sunday they had nothing to do with altering the Republican Party’s position on Ukraine ― which must have been news to GOP leaders who confirmed last week that Trump’s campaign insisted on exactly that change. [HuffPo]

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