Mitch McConnell Is Apparently Hilarious

Coal is dying and there’s nothing the Republican Party of Kentucky can do about it. Although the state’s coal industry continued to shed jobs from April through June, the decline was not as steep as in the first three months of the year, according to a report released Monday. [H-L]

Retired Marine Gen. John Allen warned on Sunday that if Donald Trump were elected president, there would be mass unrest among the military rank and file over the policies that he would implement and pursue. [HuffPo]

Senate Bill 11 – signed into law earlier this year – took effect July 15 and is now allowing alcohol-related businesses statewide to receive new and increased privileges that are meant to support tourism and advance production. [C-J/AKN]

The U.S. Navy will name one of its new class of oil tankers after Harvey Milk, an activist who became one of the first openly gay people to be elected to public office in the United States before his assassination in 1978, officials said on Friday. [Reuters]

Local leaders and advocates for the hungry joined State Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles on Tuesday to discuss what is being done at the local level to combat food insecurity in the area. [The Morehead News]

Some restaurants have secret menus, special items that you can only get if you know to ask. New Jersey’s student loan program has secret options, too — borrowers may be able to get help from the agency, but only if they know to ask. [ProPublica]

Revelations about lucrative perks doled out to former University of Louisville president James Ramsey’s top deputies brought outrage Friday from faculty members and taxpayers, but was of no concern to two top trustees. [WFPL]

Unlike every other major party nominee since 1976, Donald Trump has not released his tax returns. [ThinkProgress]

Opponents of a plan to let an aging pipeline carry natural gas liquids through Kentucky continue to call on federal regulators to conduct a more thorough review of the project. [WDRB]

The US economy grew at a much slower pace than expected in the second quarter and GDP was revised down in the first three months of the year. [BBC]

Perry County lost a beloved citizen on July 26. Danny Rose passed away at the age of 56. Rose served as an attorney in Hazard for many years, with his office located downtown. [Hazard Herald]

Donald Trump is pushing back on a key Democratic argument against him: that he’s dangerous and too erratic to be commander in chief. [Politico]

Pee alert… Out with a new book this year, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell signaled on Sunday that he’s far from reaching the epilogue of his long political career. The Kentucky Republican said there’s a “great likelihood” he’ll seek a seventh Senate term in 2020. [H-L]

Donald Trump appears either unfamiliar with Russia’s annexation of Crimea or directly supportive of the intrusion that began in the winter of 2014, further chilled U.S.-Russian relations and has left thousands dead. [HuffPo]

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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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No Equestrian Games For Kentucky!

Kathryn Brooke Sauer isn’t due to get out of prison until June 2026, but Bradley Jones wants to marry her now. [H-L]

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Saturday responded to the father of a U.S. Muslim soldier killed in Iraq who accused the mogul of never sacrificing anything for his country. [HuffPo]

So, I ask you. What does “GED” stand for? I was surprised recently when I was given several different answers, even from official sources. Education web sites that I checked never clearly said. They just used GED. [C-J/AKN]

Supporters of a California ballot measure to raise state taxes on cigarettes have collected more than $16 million in nine months, raking in seven-figure checks from labor unions, anti-smoking advocates and green mega-donor Tom Steyer. On the other side, Altria and R.J. Reynolds, the two largest tobacco manufacturers in the country, contributed a combined $17 million on a single day in July to defeat Proposition 56. [The Hill]

In preparation for the return of students, many schools are hosting back-to-school nights and orientations for families and future pupils next week. [Richmond Register]

A federal judge on Friday struck down a string of Wisconsin voting restrictions passed by the Republican-led legislature and ordered the state to revamp its voter identification rules, finding that they disenfranchised minority voters. [Reuters]

The county-wide election on alcohol sales in Boyd County would not only allow the sale of packaged alcohol in county gas stations — it would make Ashland and Catlettsburg completely “wet.” [Ashland Independent]

Many patients sent to rehab facilities to recover from medical crises or procedures sometimes suffer additional harm from the care itself, a government study concludes. [ProPublica]

Kentucky Supreme Court Chief Justice John D. Minton Jr. has been chosen by his peers as President of the Conference of Chief Justices and Chairman of the National Center for State Courts Board of Directors. [Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump launched a fresh takedown of Hillary Clinton on Friday, with the Republican presidential nominee leading the effort and dispatching his surrogates to join the attack. [Politico]

An assistant coach for a Barren County Sports League all-star team has been indicted for third degree rape involving a minor. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Mr. Manafort was one of several American advisers to Viktor F. Yanukovych, the Russian-backed leader of Ukraine until he was forced out of office two years ago. Mr. Yanukovych was a key Putin ally who is now in exile in Russia. [NY Times]

Kentucky will not pursue the 2018 World Equestrian Games which were pulled from Canada last week, because the state determined it would “put the Commonwealth and the taxpayers at enormous financial risk.” [H-L]

The computer network used by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign was hacked as part of a broad cyber attack on Democratic political organizations, people familiar with the matter told Reuters. [HuffPo]

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Another Frustrating Eastern Kentucky Pipe Dream

We love Eastern Kentucky more than anything but it’s never going to be like Gatlinburg. Eastern Kentucky has the potential to develop into a bigger regional tourism destination, helping boost an economy sapped by the loss of coal jobs, according to a study commissioned by an arm of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. [H-L]

Frustrated at the lack of enthusiasm for his vice presidential pick Mike Pence, Donald Trump is now telling those close to him that he wants a do-over of sorts, which he aims to get by rolling out the names of potential cabinet members. [HuffPo]

Despite his pledge to immediately offer his resignation to University of Louisville’s new Board of Trustees once it was legally constituted, President James Ramsey declined to do so at its first meeting Wednesday. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump’s family members, close political associates and several celebrities will be among those speaking at next week’s GOP convention in Cleveland. [The Hill]

The Carter County Public Library Board of Trustees officially withdrew its tax proposal at Monday night’s meeting of Carter Fiscal Court. [Ashland Independent]

The U.S. missile defense system to counter attacks from rogue states like North Korea has no proven capability to protect the United States and is not on a credible path to achieve that goal, a science advocacy group said on Thursday. [Reuters]

How a man with children of color – immigrants – could support a bigot like this is beyond telling. People can get upset all they want for mentioning Matt Bevin’s children but it’s alarming that this man doesn’t have his shit together enough to speak out against Trump’s extreme racism. [Ronnie Ellis]

In 2009, Abu Zubaydah’s lawyers interviewed their client and prepared a handwritten, first-person account of the torture their client suffered at the hands of the U.S. government. [ProPublica]

Kentuckians with certain Class D felony convictions are now eligible to apply to clear their criminal records as long as they have stayed out of trouble for five years. [WFPL]

A federal judge dismissed evidence gathered by a warrantless cellphone-tracking device that locks onto a phone’s location by pretending to be a cell tower for the first time Tuesday. [ThinkProgress]

The Rowan County Sheriff’s Department is at it again. This time, they’ve arrested five they believe have been trafficking heroin throughout the county. [The Morehead News]

Last month, in a California speech advertised as a major foreign policy address, Hillary Clinton zeroed in on an enemy at home — Donald Trump, whom she described as “temperamentally unfit” to lead the most powerful nation in the world. [WaPo]

The tallest building in Frankfort is for sale. The Bevin administration has labeled the 25-story Capital Plaza Tower as surplus property and put it on the auction block. [H-L]

Donald Trump introduced Mike Pence as his running mate at a rambling press conference on Saturday that seemed to focus more on Trump himself than his vice-presidential nominee. [HuffPo]

Don’t Forget About Bevin’s Blunders

Almost 45 years after the former Old Taylor distillery stopped producing bourbon, it might be only about a month away from making spirits again. [Janet Patton]

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has endorsed presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for president. [HuffPo]

The 20 candidates who Gov. Matt Bevin passed over for the University of Louisville Board of Trustees include a Metro Council member, the CEO of Churchill Downs Inc., partners at two large law firms – both of them Republicans – and a retired veteran who touted his “traditional American values.” [C-J/AKN]

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson said Sunday that the shootings in Dallas that left five police officers dead are not reflective of movements like Black Lives Matter. [The Hill]

The first public hearing for the Medicaid transformation proposed by Gov. Matt Bevin was held on Tuesday at the Knicely Conference Center at Western Kentucky University. [Glasgow Daily Times]

President Barack Obama pledged on Saturday to seek ways to calm racial tensions and reduce divisions between police and minorities during his final months in office, but he warned that easy access to guns nationwide exacerbated the problem. [Reuters]

Dr. Susan Harkema became the face of one of the University of Louisville’s splashiest research successes the moment one of her paralyzed patients wiggled his toe. Her name was in Time Magazine. She was interviewed on “Good Morning America” and CNN. The notoriety brought more funding and patients to U of L with hopes that revolutionary studies would help the paralyzed walk again. But in March, a federal agency took the unusual and drastic move of withdrawing its funding from one of her studies, citing concerns about the validity of the data and unresolved problems with oversight. Meanwhile, the federal Office for Human Research Protections is also conducting its own review, a spokeswoman confirmed. [WFPL]

Tens of thousands of people every year are sent to jail based on the results of a $2 roadside drug test. Widespread evidence shows that these tests routinely produce false positives. Why are police departments and prosecutors still using them? [ProPublica]

Twenty oral history projects will receive about $55,000 in grants to support work on topics ranging from the Kentucky Chili Bun Trail in eastern Kentucky to the African-American experience in Hopkinsville. [WKYT]

Global support for US President Barack Obama appears to have lasted through his two terms in office, a survey of 18,000 people for the BBC suggests. [BBC]

When Louisville restaurateur Ivor Chodkowski began looking for cheeses to be used in his Harvest Restaurant he looked to his friend Kenny Mattingly, owner of Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese in Austin. [BGDN]

Unless they have a book to sell, Supreme Court justices rarely give interviews. Even then, they diligently avoid political topics. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg takes a different approach. [NY Times]

During their working years, women tend to earn less than men, and when they retire, they’re more likely to live in poverty. [H-L]

The Republican Party nationally has decided that pornography is a greater threat to public health than guns. [HuffPo]

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Tuesday Morning Dept Of Nonsense

This is terrible news for Matt Bevin. For Kentucky workers who have health insurance through their employers, the number enrolled in high-deductible plans has risen sharply over the last eight years. [H-L]

A photo of an unnamed protester at a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has become a powerful image of the ongoing struggle between law enforcement and black Americans. [HuffPo]

Ethics? What ethics? Matt Bevin doesn’t know how to spell “ethics”, let alone what it means. [C-J/AKN]

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson said Sunday he has had “unpleasant” experiences with law enforcement in the past, but praised the work of police officers serving their communities. [The Hill]

Some may think the illegal dumping of about 2,000 tons of radioactive fracking sludge at Blue Ridge Landfill near Irvine as mainly Estill County’s problem. [Richmond Register]

Three countries have warned their citizens to stay on guard when visiting U.S. cities rocked by sometimes violent protests that erupted after a string of police shootings of black Americans. [Reuters]

A new program to encourage students interested in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) will launch in the fall at Lawrence County middle schools and high school. [Ashland Independent]

Evidence is mounting that doctors who receive as little as one meal from a drug company tend to prescribe more expensive, brand-name medications for common ailments than those who don’t. [ProPublica]

Members of the Cave City Tourism and Convention Commission voted in a special-called meeting Monday to replace an air handler that stopped cooling for the West Hall of the Cave City Convention Center. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Donald Trump’s video statement at the end of a week of national turmoil was a good start, the Rev. Jesse Jackson indicated Sunday. But, he said, the presumptive Republican nominee bears some of the blame for his past rhetoric. [Politico]

Kentucky’s political leaders responded to Thursday’s shootings in Dallas, Texas with grief, sympathy and a hint of the debates to come on gun control and police-involved violence. [WFPL]

The US economy created 287,000 jobs in June, rebounding strongly from disappointing growth in May. [BBC]

Mary Love says she “got caught in the trap” a decade ago when she needed help to pay the rent on her apartment. [John Cheves]

According to presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump, former Indiana University basketball coach Bobby Knight will be a key figure at the upcoming Republican National Convention ― where he will presumably hurl Clint Eastwood’s 2012 convention chair at an underperforming point guard, or something. [HuffPo]

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ICYMI: Comer Is Under Investigation

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is wrestling with an unenviable, arguably impossible task this election year: protecting Senate Republicans from the political upheaval caused by Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy. [H-L]

A graphic video shows a Baton Rouge police officer shooting and killing Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old black man who was selling CDs in front of a convenience store early Tuesday morning. [HuffPo]

SURPRISE! Bevin’s proposal to reshape the state’s Medicaid program ran into a buzzsaw of criticism at its first public hearing since the governor announced it last Wednesday. [C-J/AKN]

A regulatory effort by the Obama administration to crack down on tax deals is facing backlash from business groups and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. [The Hill]

Charles Gabbard, who is accused of stealing donations from volunteers meant for Kentucky River Regional Animal Shelter (KRRAS) and a volunteer’s cellphone was indicted this month on charges relating to the incident. [Hazard Herald]

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said on Tuesday fighting economic espionage was a priority for the Department of Justice. [Reuters]

Access Fund, the national advocacy organization that protects America’s climbing, is excited to announce that Breaks Interstate Park, which sits across the southwest Virginia/southeast Kentucky line, is now officially open to rock climbing. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

At a time when Democrats and Republicans in Congress can’t agree on just about anything, there is one issue that unites them: the urgent need for criminal justice reform. [ProPublica]

Bobby Paisley’s health insurance covers his vision and dental care. He knows, because he and his wife pay for it. “I don’t have to do community service, I don’t have to earn points and I don’t have to wait,” he said. But that’s exactly what some 400,000 Kentuckians would have to do if they need an eye exam or a tooth pulled under Gov. Matt Bevin’s proposal to overhaul the state’s Medicaid program. [Richmond Register]

In his final State of the Union address in January, President Obama made an ambitious pledge to overhaul the management of fossil fuels on America’s public lands in his final year, focusing, in particular, on the antiquated and little-known federal coal program. [ThinkProgress]

Beginning this fall, the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) will offer a free dual credit class to Kentucky public high school juniors, allowing them to earn high school and college credit at the same time. [Ashland Independent]

If you missed it, Jamie Comer and his crew are under investigation by the Office of the Attorney General. [Page One]

Giant coal producer Murray Energy has issued notices that it could lay off up to 4,400 coal mine workers in six states come September. A news release from the St. Clairsville, Ohio, company says it issued the notices for its operations in Ohio, West Virginia, Illinois, Kentucky, Utah and Pennsylvania. [H-L]

A Texas man who sued the federal government because it wouldn’t approve his application to manufacture a machine gun doesn’t have a constitutional right to possess the automatic weapon, an appeals court ruled. [HuffPo]