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]

Reminder: Matt Bevin Has No Concept Of Ethics… Or Anything, Really

Just when you thought Matt Bevin and his people couldn’t get more ignorant? Matt Bevin has signed an executive order that effectively gives him control over all appointments to the Executive Branch Ethics Commission without any input from the state attorney general and state auditor. Almost as funny as the Personnel Secretary begging folks to help them dig through Beshear data to uncover corruption because they don’t know anything about Kentucky. HAHAHA. You can’t fix the kind of stupid these people possess. [H-L]

Senate Republicans have never made it easy for President Barack Obama to put judges on federal courts. But now, with just months left in his term, they’re not even pretending to try to let judicial nominees through. [HuffPo]

Isn’t it fun watching Kentucky’s half-literate governator claim “God” has sanctioned his extreme Medicaid cuts? That’s what Jesus would do – choke even more out of the working poor, deny access to dental and vision, claim it’s helping them. [C-J/AKN]

The coal industry is slated to lose clout in the next Congress, with term limits set to force out a chairman who has frequently battled with the Obama administration on behalf of mining companies. Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Keeping Eastern Kentucky Impoverished) will relinquish the gavel of the House Appropriations Committee in January, after having led the powerful panel for six years, which is the maximum allowed under GOP rules. [The Hill]

A deadly shooting took place in the South Fork community of Breathitt County on Saturday. One person was pronounced deceased at the scene and two others seriously injured. [Hazard Herald]

Reverberations from the U.S. Supreme Court’s major ruling backing abortion rights were felt on Tuesday as the justices rejected bids by Mississippi and Wisconsin to revive restrictions on abortion doctors matching those struck down in Texas on Monday. [Reuters]

The Harlan Fiscal Court discussed a situation concerning the safety of a much-used bridge on U.S. 119 in Cumberland during a special-called meeting on Monday. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

The children of Vietnam vets describe how they believe their fathers’ exposure to Agent Orange during the war has impacted their families and their health. [ProPublica]

All members of the Madison Fiscal Court took turns June 14 criticizing the Madison County and Berea school boards for paying the sheriff a 1.5 percent fee for collecting its property taxes instead of the 4.25 percent paid by all other local taxing entities except the ambulance board. [Richmond Register]

Local communities are increasingly passing laws to control crime and nuisances on rental properties. They do so mostly by limiting the number of times police can be called to a residence. But it turns out that crime victims — especially victims of domestic abuse — are often the ones who end up being penalized. [NPR]

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin proclaims the days of “pay to play” ended with his arrival in Frankfort. But some House Democrats say if you’re not willing to play, Bevin isn’t reluctant to make you pay. [Ronnie Ellis]

On Tuesday night, 128 members of Congress weighed in to urge a federal appeals court to protect against sexual orientation-based discrimination under existing civil rights laws. [BuzzFeed]

Massie’s ideas about “sovereignty” are an extreme example of the naïve thinking that fueled the Brexit vote, has propelled Trump’s candidacy and energizes Tea Party activists. It is our inner 4-year-old screaming, “You can’t tell me what to do!” [H-L]

The draft of the 2016 Democratic Party platform endorses abolishing the death penalty, a break with the views of its presumptive presidential nominee. [HuffPo]

Don’t Forget About Bevin’s UofL Disaster

A judge in Louisville has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration seeking to fine Planned Parenthood for performing abortions at its Louisville facility. [H-L]

Donald Trump has spent the week pedaling backward and forward on his immigration positions, leaving immigration hawks — and some of his biggest boosters — worried about the strength of his support for mass deportations and a blanket ban on Muslim immigrants. [HuffPo]

He who doth protest too much! One of Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s new University of Louisville trustees regularly takes to Twitter to deny mainstream climate science and say that being gay isn’t compatible with Christianity, while also taking aim at U of L sports. [C-J/AKN]

Convicting an elected official on corruption charges just got a lot harder. Government watchdogs say the Supreme Court’s decision on Monday to toss out the conviction and two-year prison sentence of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) will create new hurdles for prosecutors. [The Hill]

Don’t worry, Doug Cobb, us gays and other educated thinking people won’t be backing down, either. We’ll win over your ignorant bigotry. [WDRB]

After a gunman opened fire at a gay nightclub in Florida this month, police dispatchers fielded calls from people inside who screamed of being shot, begged for help and spoke in hushed voices of the bloody scene around them. [Reuters]

Eastern Kentuckians can now apply for Interapt’s upcoming, new paid, work-based learning tech internships and job opportunities set to launch later this year in Paintsville following an announcement made at the Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) Innovation Summit on June 6. [Hazard Herald]

BIG TIME PEE ALERT! Vince Harris supports a white supremacist. Donald Trump has hired Vincent Harris, the former chief digital strategist for Sen. Rand Paul’s presidential campaign and for Sen. Mitch McConnell’s 2014 reelection bid, as the presumptive Republican nominee continues to ramp up his digital operations, according to multiple people familiar with the hiring. [Politico]

With one commissioner voting no and another reserving to right to vote against hires, purchases and tax increases unless a proposed police pay scale is addressed, the Richmond City Commission voted 4-1 Tuesday night to adopt the 2015-16 budget. [Richmond Register]

Who plans to show up and pay for the Trump hate circus at the RNC? Maker’s Mark, for one. While the legendary bourbon house tried to use the excuse that they’re also throwing money at the DNC, it doesn’t change the reality that their money – money you give them by buying their products – is being used to fund white supremacy, Islamophobia, racism in general, attacks on Asian people, attacks on the disabled, attacks on gay people, attacks on sense. [WaPo]

Local Congressman Thomas Massie is renewing a year-old call for the US to make its own “Amexit” from the United Nations not long after news of “Brexit” captivated the world. [Ashland Independent]

Though the United States is one of the richest countries in the world, it’s not necessarily one of the most successful. When you take a broad view of social progress—incorporating measures of health, happiness, the environment, and levels of security—we’re actually down the list of big hitters. Nations such as Sweden and the Netherlands have broader-based prosperity and better access to services like health care and housing. [FastCo]

Fun fact: the people advising Matt Bevin today are the very same people who took down Ernie Fletcher’s administration in a whirlwind of corruption. Legit – the same people. And now he has even more inexperienced, bigoted, greedy, delusional people in his ear. [H-L]

Meanwhile, Kentucky can’t get its head out of the sewage-infested creek bed sand long enough to get hemp right. Or medical marijuana right. [HuffPo]

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Al Robinson: Bad For All Kentuckians

Four children sat cross-legged as their teacher flipped through a numbers book. When the page turned, they raced to yell the next number first — “six,” “seven” and then, “nine!” [H-L]

“You might think, ‘Well that is not going to happen to us in America. We’re not going to listen to some ridiculously haired buffoon, peddling lies and nativism in the hopes of riding a protest vote into power.’” Oliver said. “Well let Britain tell you, it can happen, and when it does, there are no fucking do-overs.” [HuffPo]

Thanks, religious extremists, for ruining hospitals everywhere when you buy them up! The state is investigating whether patient care is unsafe at University of Louisville Hospital because of staff cuts made by KentuckyOne Health. [C-J/AKN]

President Obama is warning against financial and international “hysteria” in the wake of last week’s vote by the United Kingdom to leave the European Union. [NPR]

Build it and they will come…but how long will they stay? The first part of that sentence comes from the “Field of Dreams” baseball movie but the second part seems to describe what has been happening at the Innovation Launchpad during its first year. From a total of nine tenants during the year to a current roster of two would-be entrepreneurs, the business incubator is simply experiencing the come-and-go culture of start-up businesses, according to Keith Moore, the center’s director since March. [The Morehead News]

TransCanada, the company behind the disputed Keystone XL pipeline project, has filed a formal request to sue the US government for damages. [BBC]

Ashland city commissioners settled on a plan Thursday to demolish damaged property on Mill Street and construct a new, $1.54 million home for the city’s water distribution and wastewater collection departments. [Ashland Independent]

A blistering Senate report on the American Red Cross raises fundamental questions about the integrity of the country’s most storied charity and its stewardship of donors’ dollars. [ProPublica]

Too Long; Didn’t Read: Al Robinson is a backward-ass mouth-breather who still believes he has the right to control what you do with your vaginas, ladies. [WFPL]

Mitch McConnell tried to blame Democrats for refusing to fund Zika-related activities. Reality? McConnell and his friends pushed all kinds of nastiness into the legislation that they knew would keep Democrats from supporting it. Like trying to harm women and undoing confederate flag bans in federal cemeteries. [TPM]

The best thing about this is watching Hal Rogers try not to sound like an old, white racist from East Bumblefart. It’s essentially impossible for him. Almost like it’s impossible for these insecure assholes, Ronnie Ellis and Lana Bellamy excluded, at CNHI who are terrified to admit that Pulse is a GAY night club with all kinds of gays who were slaughtered. [Richmond Register]

The National Rifle Association’s political arm is launching its first ad campaign of the 2016 presidential race, with a survivor of the terror attack in Benghazi urging viewers to vote for Donald Trump. [USA Today]

A Breathitt County man was killed and two others were seriously injured in a shooting Saturday evening in the South Fork community. [H-L]

Three suicide bombers attacked Istanbul Ataturk Airport late Tuesday evening, killing at least 41 people and wounding 239 others, Turkish authorities said. Initial government assessments suggest the self-described Islamic State was responsible, Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told reporters. [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for Ting or Cricket and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. [CLICK HERE]