King Coal Is Still In Severe Denial

You already know Friends of Coal and the Kentucky Coal Association exist only to make a handful of people wealthy. They use far-right Republican extremists as spokespeople (like the Coal Association used RPK’s Tres Watson for years). They decimate Appalachia, take from the poor and ignore Kentucky. It’s all bullshit hype and panicked, worried people fall for it without fail. [H-L]

Donald Trump restructured his campaign leadership Tuesday in a desperate attempt to turn around his flagging presidential bid. [HuffPo]

Of the 87 who died in an accident involving motorcycles, 57 were not wearing a helmet, and neither were any of 19 who died while on an ATV. [Floyd County Times]

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign appears to be soliciting foreign donations despite multiple warnings and a criminal complaint filed with the Department of Justice. [The Hill]

Two of the victims at the heart of a sexual assault and harassment case against an associate professor are angry and say UK is protecting the professor at the expense of his victims, other students and the public. [Kentucky Kernel]

When it comes to the substance of Donald Trump’s speech proposing “extreme vetting” of immigrants to the United States, retired Navy Adm. James Stavridis on Tuesday indicated that the Republican nominee lacked specifics. [Politico]

Hal Rogers joined members of the Chamber of Commerce in touring the Somerset coworking center — billed as being a space for small businesses or those striking out on their own to “connect, create and collaborate.” [Commonwealth Journal]

With hopes of landing the U.S. Senate candidates and high-profile surrogates to represent the presidential candidates, plans are in place for the sixth annual Brushy Fork Forum in Vine Grove. [News-Enterprise]

Facing allegations from former city firefighter Jeffrey Queen that he was subjected to a hostile work environment during his five years in the Bowling Green Fire Department, the city of Bowling Green on Friday acknowledged the existence of a video showing a firefighter burning the Quran, one of many accusations of misconduct in a lawsuit filed by Queen earlier this week. [BGDN]

Over the past decade, the news about Kentucky’s coal industry has been reliably bad. The latest numbers show the state is mining the smallest amount of coal since about 1934, and there are fewer coal miners employed here than anytime in the 20th century. [WFPL]

Those following the Powell Scandal(s) will likely want to keep an eye on this. A school district is hoping voters will help replace what might be the most out-of-shape high and middle schools in Kentucky. [WAVE3]

This is what happens when an illegally-hired former superintendent’s wife heads south. We hear it’s motivating the OAG to seek restitution on behalf of the Montgomery County Board of Education. [Page One]

On Thursday, a Northern Kentucky woman was sentenced to almost 19 years in prison for providing illegal drugs to her daughter in prison; her daughter subsequently died of an overdose. [H-L]

Donald Trump is doing a great job of making the case against his own presidential candidacy, President Barack Obama said at a fundraiser for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on Monday. [HuffPo]

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Some Scott County Schools Legal Fun

A lawsuit brought by a Scott County public school bus driver against former school Superintendent Patricia Putty alleges malicious prosecution and defamation and names Georgetown Police Officer Ben Martin. [H-L]

Limestone and steel for our homes, wheat and vegetables for our dinner, fossil fuels for our industries: we rely heavily on our planet’s natural resources to survive. Yet we’re using up these resources at such an unsustainable pace that we may be “irreversibly” depleting some of them ― and critically damaging our Earth in the process, according to a new United Nations report. [HuffPo]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! Lexington Mayor Jim Gray took the slings and arrows of an entire party nearly alone on Saturday at St. Jerome’s Catholic Church as many of the key players in Kentucky Democratic politics took a pass at the biggest annual political event in state. [C-J/AKN]

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton leads Republican rival Donald Trump by 8 points nationally in a poll released early Sunday. [The Hill]

Morehead-Rowan County EMS added three new ambulances to the fleet [last] week. [The Morehead News]

Louisville police said on Thursday they were reviewing a request to reopen the 51-year-old unsolved murder of the city’s first female prosecutor, a civil rights pioneer who once represented boxer Muhammad Ali. [Reuters]

As Madison County students adjust to new locker assignments, new classrooms and new teachers this school year, four administrators will be learning the ropes right along with them as they take on new positions within the school system. [Richmond Register]

As algorithms control more aspects of our lives, we need to be able to challenge them. Algorithms are ubiquitous in our lives. They map out the best route to our destination and help us find new music based on what we listen to now. But they are also being employed to inform fundamental decisions about our lives. [ProPublica]

When it comes to regulating the sale of packaged alcoholic beverages in the city, there is one big question that still needs to be answered. Is Edmonton a qualified city? [Glasgow Daily Times]

Anytime the words “Donald Trump” and “nuclear weapons” appear in the same sentence, a mushroom cloud of anxiety rises over the world of politics and national security. [Politico]

Many a political dream has died in the heat, humidity and holler-fest that envelops the political speaking stand each year at the Fancy Farm Picnic. [Ronnie Ellis]

Let’s be thankful Matt Bevin isn’t an attorney. Despite the fact that citizens are guaranteed legal representation in criminal cases in the US, court-appointed lawyers’ offices are chronically underfunded. The fight between state-appointed lawyers and fiscally conservative politicians is playing out in a particularly bizarre way in Missouri. [BBC]

After only one of three scheduled public meetings, Scott County Superintendent Kevin Hub has tabled his efforts to finance construction of a second high school to alleviate crowding at Scott County High. [H-L]

Retiring Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.) on Tuesday announced he will vote for Hillary Clinton in November because Donald Trump is “unfit to serve our party and cannot lead this country.” [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.

A Scandal Begins To Unfold In Rowan

The Executive Branch Ethics Commission has fined a one-time state mine inspector $4,000 for accepting bribes from a former lawmaker. [H-L]

There’s a reason Donald Trump’s be-very-afraid acceptance speech resonated with his supporters. [HuffPo]

Wanna see Scott Jennings fall into an unbearable tirade about “liberal thought police”? It’s your lucky day. Jennings went on for paragraph after paragraph blaming liberals for daring hold Doug Cobb accountable for the heinous, disgusting, homophobic things the man has said. And, of course, Jennings even whitewashed that by ignoring the impact on the LGBT community entirely. If you whitewash and excuse homophobia, you’re a homophobe. Liberal thought police? More like Whiny Ass Titty Baby Republican. [C-J/AKN]

What kind of first gentleman would Bill Clinton be? That’s the question on the minds of many as Hillary Clinton seeks to become the first woman to ever hold the Oval Office. [The Hill]

East Kentucky Power Cooperative has filed an application with the Kentucky Public Service Commission to build a 60-acre solar energy facility in Clark County. [Winchester Sun]

David Duke, a former leader of the white supremacist Ku Klux Klan, launched his candidacy on Friday for the U.S. Senate from Louisiana, saying white people are threatened in America and that he hears echoes of his views in Donald Trump’s rhetoric. [Reuters]

On Monday, a court will hear arguments over the legality of some electronic betting machines that base outcomes on horse races that have already taken place. [WFPL]

The leadership of the religious right once looked like a promising stronghold for the Never Trump movement, a bastion of the GOP deeply at odds with a man who is heretical on many of the political and personal values the country’s most prominent Christian leaders hold dear. [Politico]

A dismembered body was found in a container floating in the Green River in Hart County on Saturday, according to a press release from the Kentucky State Police Post 3 in Bowling Green. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Ranchers near the Mexican border see smugglers and sometimes find bodies, but they favor a different approach to illegal immigration from Donald J. Trump’s wall. [NY Times]

An Office of Education Accountability investigation has found Rowan County Schools Supt. Marvin Moore and Rowan County Senior High School Principal Ray Ginter “violated law and policy” by not investigating complaints of hazing and bullying in the Vikings football program, according to its report July 8. [The Morehead News]

DONALD J. TRUMP, until now a Republican problem, this week became a challenge the nation must confront and overcome. Mr. Trump has nothing positive to offer, only scapegoats and dark conspiracy theories. [WaPo]

Estill County Judge-Executive Wallace Taylor was critical Tuesday of the state’s conduct in regard to the illegal dumping of out-of-state radioactive waste at an Estill landfill. [H-L]

Hillary Clinton made her first appearance with vice presidential pick, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), hailing him for being extremely qualified for the job and offering a stark contrast to Donald Trump and his VP choice. [HuffPo]

No One Believes Bevin Was Unaware

Kinda like that time he claimed he didn’t attend a cockfighting rally and then video footage of him speaking at the rally emerged. Matt Bevin distanced himself Wednesday from the removal of former first lady Jane Beshear’s name from the Capitol Education Center on the grounds of the Capitol. [H-L]

Former Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann (R) returned to the spotlight this week with an unusual definition of “religious liberty.” Apparently, it’s a land where people of all faiths can come together and say “Merry Christmas.” [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin said Wednesday that Donald Trump is “absolutely” qualified to serve as president of the United States. [C-J/AKN]

Republicans crafting a party platform in Cleveland quietly voted Monday in favor of building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, ratifying one of presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump’s most controversial proposals. [The Hill]

Saying Kentucky badly needs a well-trained work force, Gov. Matt Bevin announced Wednesday the state is accepting applications from educational institutions, businesses and industry and community leaders for innovative work force development projects. [Ronnie Ellis]

CIA Director John Brennan said on Wednesday he would resign if the next president ordered his agency to resume waterboarding suspected militants, an apparent reference to comments by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump embracing the banned interrogation method. [Reuters]

Recent intense rain storms and flooding events — like the deadly flooding last month that killed more than 20 in West Virginia and left hundreds more homeless — may not have a direct link to climate change, but the heating of the planet’s surface and ocean temperatures is a factor, according to Dr. Eungul Lee, assistant professor of geography at West Virginia University. [Richmond Register]

The Houston cases shed light on a disturbing possibility: that wrongful convictions are most often not isolated acts of misconduct by the authorities but systemic breakdowns — among judges and prosecutors, defense lawyers and crime labs. [ProPublica]

After 26 years of service in law enforcement, Morehead Police Chief Dave Sexton is hanging up his hat and badge at the end of this month. [The Morehead News]

U.S. coal production is expected to take a major hit through 2040. This will happen whether the court-embattled Clean Power Plan — which would reduce carbon emissions from energy plants — is implemented or not, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). [ThinkProgress]

Kentucky law says that for the Glasgow Electric Plant Board to be sold, that board of directors would have to initiate the process and send a resolution to the city council. If the council then approved it, it would be posed as a specific question on the ballot in the next general election for voters to decide. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Alton Sterling, the black man whose point-blank shooting by white police set off a fresh round of national protest against police aggression against black people, was born and raised in this impoverished and racially divided Louisiana state capital and barely knew a life without police in it. [WaPo]

“Defies reason” is how a circuit judge described the Bevin administration’s claim that Planned Parenthood was illegally providing abortions in Louisville. [H-L]

A man in a full-body mosquito costume trolled Senate Republicans on Wednesday by distributing insect repellent outside of their hearing on the Zika virus. [HuffPo]

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It Seems Everyone But Matt Bevin Understands Medicaid Expansion

A secular foundation has contacted hundreds of public schools in Kentucky to warn them against taking field trips to the Ark Encounter, the new amusement park featuring a 500-foot replica of Noah’s Ark and a belief that the world is only 6,000 years old. [H-L]

The GOP on Tuesday successfully drafted a platform ― a statement of its core values and principles ― but not before some last-minute drama played out behind the scenes over its refusal to moderate its tone toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals. [HuffPo]

Our favorite thing about Matt Bevin is just how straight up stupid the man is. Ernie Fletcher on his worst day, despite his corrupt staffers, was 100 times more intelligent than Bevin. So watching this train wreck is exciting. Next thing you know, you’re gonna hear that the Lt. Governor is being driven around in a luxury vehicle that was seized as part of a civil asset forfeiture or something because she and her boss are straight out of the movie Idiocracy. [C-J/AKN]

Following reporting by ProPublica and NPR and an investigation by his staff, Sen. Charles Grassley introduces the American Red Cross Transparency Act. [ProPublica]

Nat Maysey, who had his arm severed in a workplace accident on June 6, was visited by Michael Eatmon and Greg Wheeler on Thursday night in his room at the University of Louisville Hospital. After Maysey’s arm was severed, Eatmon used a belt to make a tourniquet and Wheeler searched the factory to find ice for Maysey’s severed arm. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A January study published in the journal Health Affairs showed that one year after Medicaid expansion, the number of Kentuckians who reported trouble paying medical bills declined by nearly 13 percentage points. Those skipping prescribed medications because it cost too much decreased by almost 11 points. And people receiving ongoing care for a chronic illness rose by more than 10 points. [Politico]

The highly successful Hazard Community and Technical College’s offering, “Electrical Lineman/Utility Operator Program,” received the Outstanding Workforce Development Award from the Community Colleges of Appalachia. [Hazard Herald]

The chant erupts in a college auditorium in Washington, as admirers of a conservative internet personality shout down a black protester. It echoes around the gym of a central Iowa high school, as white students taunt the Hispanic fans and players of a rival team. It is hollered by a lone motorcyclist, as he tears out of a Kansas gas station after an argument with a Hispanic man and his Muslim friend. [NY Times]

Some surgeons at University Hospital say a staff shortage is “putting patients in danger.” [WDRB]

For a party that pretentiously parades around with pocket Constitutions, it was funny seeing the Republican standard-bearer betray his ignorance of the most foundational of American documents: “Not only will I stand up for Article I, I’ll stand up for Article II, Article 12 [sic], you name it, of the Constitution.” You name it! Because Donald Trump certainly can’t. [The Hill]

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture is planning a second public forum on the state’s plan to protect pollinators such as honey bees. [WLKY]

They stood in a line, clasping hands as a choir sang, Democrat and Republican, black and white, politician and cop. Led by President Barack Obama and his predecessor George W. Bush, they honored the five Dallas policemen slain last week and urged Americans to rise above racial divides and reject despair. [Reuters]

If you worry the Creation Museum and its new Noah’s Ark theme park will cause outsiders to think Kentuckians are a bunch of anti-science rubes, at least take comfort in this: Lexington was home to perhaps America’s greatest evolutionary biologist. [H-L]

The U.S. government is on track to approve nearly $40billion in foreign military sales in the 2016 fiscal year that ends October 1, down from $46.6 billion last year, a top Pentagon official said on Wednesday. [HuffPo]

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