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]

Is Yarmuth The Only KY Democrat?

One year ago, Michael Todd was getting ready for a doctor’s appointment when his phone was flooded with messages from relatives. [H-L]

Iraqi forces recaptured the last district held by Islamic State militants in the city of Falluja on Sunday and the general commanding the operation declared the battle complete after nearly five weeks of fighting. [HuffPo]

The Kentucky Democrat who helped orchestrate this week’s historic shutdown of the U.S. House to demand action on gun violence said his involvement began with a voice mail. [C-J/AKN]

Former Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley on Sunday called Donald Trump a racist bigot who appeals to the worst instincts in people. [The Hill]

Toward the end of the inaugural Metcalfe County Proud Festival, several members of the Hornets’ Nest Pickers gathered on Saturday afternoon behind the stage that was built on the Metcalfe County Courthouse lawn. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Hawaii’s governor signed a bill making it the first state to place its residents who own firearms in a federal criminal record database and monitor them for possible wrongdoing anywhere in the country, his office said. [Reuters]

One of the toughest ways to make a living is undoubtedly being a standup comedian. The comedian goes onstage with nothing but a microphone to face a crowd of people smugly sitting back with the attitude, “Make us laugh, if you can.” [Richmond Register]

Donald Trump claimed he was a “much better friend to the gays” than Hillary Clinton after the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando earlier this month. On Sunday, it was Clinton who showed up to show she was the better friend of the LGBT community. [Politico]

After 70 weeks on the picket line near the entrance of the old fire brick plant in Grahn, United Steelworkers Local 857 President Donald Frazier sums up negotiations in a few simple words. [Ashland Independent]

Ralph Stanley, the singer, banjo player and guardian of unvarnished mountain music who was also a pivotal figure in the recent revival of interest in bluegrass, died on Thursday. He was 89. [NY Times]

Supt. Marvin Moore received an “exemplary” evaluation Tuesday from the Rowan County Board of Education. [The Morehead News]

With Dwight D. Eisenhower’s signature, the government fired thousands of federal employees for being gay or lesbian, and Francis wants the department to release the internal memos, documents and communications surrounding it. [Roll Call]

You already knew this guy was a pandering lunatic. Rep. Thomas Massie thinks it’s time for “amexit.” [H-L]

Longtime conservative columnist George Will is wiping his hands clean of the Republican Party. [HuffPo]

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“Stop Being So Poor, You Poors!” -Bevin

The Medicaid revamp proposed by Gov. Matt Bevin last week is built on a belief that providing health care to low-income people somehow robs them of their dignity. Also, that 20 percent of Kentuckians lacked health insurance only a few years ago, not because they couldn’t afford it, but because they were disengaged or didn’t understand deductibles. On that dubious base, Bevin wants to replace a fairly straightforward system with a red-tape tangle of penalties, incentives, premiums and cutbacks in coverage, including some proposals that the federal government already has rejected in other states. [H-L]

Mitch McConnell (R-Cowardly Grandmother) is supporting Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump for president — but he isn’t saying, at least for now, whether he thinks the business mogul is actually up to the job. [HuffPo]

It sure is fun watching the newspaper folks ignore the reality that Nancy Rodriguez misreported and/or ignored shenanigans in the Felner Scandal until she had egg all over her face. [C-J/AKN]

West Virginia’s three most devastated counties and possibly others will receive federal assistance after the state’s worst flooding in more than a century killed at least 24 people, officials said on Saturday. [Reuters]

Mayor Bill May and City of Frankfort Commissioners say they fully support actions taken by Police Maj. Rob Richardson in regard to recent allegations that appeared in the discovery file for the case against Tom Banta. [State Journal]

President Barack Obama on Thursday demanded that lawmakers put politics aside and move forward on the longstanding impasse over gun legislation in the wake of the latest tragedy. [Politico]

A house built with illicit drug money soon will shelter addicts while they work to get clean and sober. [Ashland Independent]

Republicans STILL DON’T have an actual health care alternative and they never will. The House GOP’s health-care proposal would expand savings accounts, provide tax credits for buying insurance, and allow people to purchase coverage across state lines. Just don’t ask how much it costs. [The Atlantic]

Country and bluegrass music will ring from the hills of eastern Rowan County with a concert for the late Keith Whitley on Friday, July 1, at Poppy Mountain. [The Morehead News]

Lives are on the line: the smearing of LGBT individuals by right-wing extremists is more than disturbing – it’s dangerous. [Salon]

Alyne Barrick left her home in the Laurel Ridge community of Edmonson County on the afternoon of April 12, 1996, to walk her dog. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A tax break that benefits only about 2,000 people adds up to billions in savings for them — and billions lost for the US economy. Leo Hindery Jr. remembers the call he got the night before he was to testify before Congress, in September of 2007, to close a tax loophole enjoyed by private-equity investors. It was from Stephen Schwarzman, co-founder of the Blackstone Group, the largest private-equity management firm in the US. [Bill Moyers]

Meanwhile, the people who do all the actual work at UK are paid dirt in comparison. University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto received a 48 percent increase in his base pay and a three-year contract extension Friday. [H-L]

The U.S. Supreme Court is due on Monday to issue its first major abortion ruling since 2007 against a backdrop of unremitting divisions among Americans on the issue and a decades-long decline in the rate at which women terminate pregnancies. [HuffPo]

Everyone Has Bevin Ignorance Fatigue

Aren’t you glad the most important newspaper in the state didn’t die in a fire? [H-L]

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign paid more than $1 million last month to companies controlled by the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, according to reports the Trump campaign filed late Monday with the Federal Election Commission. [HuffPo]

The new executive director of Kentucky’s Office of Highway Safety was charged with child endangerment in 2007 after she allegedly smoked crack cocaine in her car in front of her two-month-old daughter. [C-J/AKN]

An openly gay candidate for the White House is still a long shot, but voters under 40 are a lot more enthusiastic about the prospect than their elders are. [Rasmussen Reports]

A man who police say escaped from a Georgia prison in 1979 and eluded authorities for nearly four decades has been arrested in eastern Kentucky. [Richmond Register]

A few years ago, I was in the middle of an interview with Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., when President Barack Obama called. Then the minority leader, McConnell walked across his spacious office in the United States Capitol to his desk and picked up the phone. [James R. Carroll]

Children bounced on inflatables and screamed on carnival rides as Stephen Salyers entertained a large crowd Friday evening at Russell Railroad Days. The annual festival, on its 6th year after a hiatus, had a crowd Friday evening as performers took to the stage and children ran around playing games and ate cotton candy. [Ashland Independent]

“Students and taxpayers have paid the price” for the failures of the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, she wrote in an accompanying letter to the U.S. Secretary of Education. Warren urged the Department of Education to take “strong, aggressive action to hold ACICS accountable.” [ProPublica]

Nineteen law enforcement officers from all across the world made the trek to Morehead this week to participate in a National Tactical Officers Association (NTOA) active shooter training. [The Morehead News]

Charles Koch, facing questions about his commitment to political spending, late last month donated $3 million to a super PAC spending heavily to protect the Republican Senate majority, according to a Federal Election Commission report set to be filed in the coming days. [Politico]

Officials with one of the four counties that had a contract with the Edmonson County Animal Shelter in the Bee Springs community of Edmonson County have agreed to enter into a contract with the Barren River Animal Welfare Association to bring their dogs to Glasgow. [Glasgow Daily Times]

For example, while 72 percent of Republicans believe that discrimination against whites has become as bad as discrimination against blacks and other minority groups, among Trump supporters the number is 81 percent. [WaPo]

The board of the Bluegrass Area Development District voted Wednesday to pursue appealing the state’s decision to yank its designation as an area agency on aging. [H-L]

Donald Trump reported on Monday night that his campaign is virtually broke. Having raised roughly $3 million in the month of May, he retained just $1.28 million in cash on hand — a sum better suited for a competitive House race than a run for the presidency. [HuffPo]

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