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]

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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Funtimes At The New Ark Park?

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]

Two separate attempts to recognize lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals in the Republican Party platform ― a statement of its core ideas and principles ― were voted down by GOP delegates on Tuesday. [HuffPo]

Just wait til the gays wake up to the reality that Bevin has turned UofL into Six Flags Over Jesus University. The University of Louisville Faculty Senate approved a statement Wednesday saying that Gov. Matt Bevin’s recent orders abolishing the Board of Trustees and appointing his own in its place “compromise” the board’s independence and “may affect the institutional ideal of democratically-shared governance at the university.” [C-J/AKN]

The phone would ring almost every week with fundraising appeals from a super PAC called Voters for Hillary. Margo Marquess and her husband, Amitava Gupta, backed the presidential campaign of the former Secretary of State, so they were happy to write checks. In all, they gave $6,000. [ProPublica]

Metcalfe County magistrates opened bids for three bridge projects on Monday, and awarded contracts two companies. Judge-Executive Greg Wilson explained that the county had two bridges, one on Pine Hill Road and another on Jack Shaw Road, that were washed out in 2015 during heavy rainfalls. [Glasgow Daily Times]

It sure is easy for uptight white guys to minimize the African American experience because it makes them uncomfortable. [The Hill]

Doug Cobb, the Louisville businessman who drew recent attention for sharing political opinions on Twitter that are far outside the mainstream, has declined an appointment to the University of Louisville Board of Trustees, according to Gov. Matt Bevin’s office. By “outside the mainstream”? They mean jacked up, homophobic and backwater. [WFPL]

At the theme park Ark Encounter, which opened last week in Williamstown, Kentucky, thousands of visitors can step inside a recreation of Noah’s Ark—built to spec as detailed in the Bible. Inside, exhibits attempt to explain how two of each animal might have fit on the boat, while visitors can pick up souvenirs at the gift shop or eat at a 700-person restaurant on the ship. [FastCo]

Addia Wuchner loves to preach the bullshit of compassionate conservatism but she wouldn’t know what was right for Kentucky’s Medicaid program if it hit her square in her xenophobic face. She’s part of the reason so many Kentuckians remain impoverished, under educated and afraid. [HEAD-DESK]

How American politics went insane. It happened gradually – and until the U.S. figures out how to treat the problem, it will only get worse. [The Atlantic]

I participated in this program something like 20 years ago and think everyone in Eastern Kentucky should get involved. Each September, hundreds of Appalachian citizen leaders travel to Berea College to participate in the Brushy Fork Annual Institute. Widely recognized as one of the premier leadership and networking conferences in Appalachia, the Institute helps residents explore regional issues and develop skills to strengthen their organizations and communities. [Hazard Herald]

The violence in Dallas last week is intensifying worries in Cleveland about visitors and protesters taking firearms downtown during the Republican National Convention, where thousands of people plan to demonstrate. [NY Times]

Central Kentucky religious leaders and Democrats spoke against presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump at Blue Grass Airport Monday afternoon, just hours before he landed in Lexington for a private fundraiser. [H-L]

A black doctor who treated shooting victims of a Dallas attack that left five police officers dead spoke out Monday on the fraught relationship between people of color and law enforcement. [HuffPo]

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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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Which News Dumps Will Hit Today?

This is what you call good old boy butthurt. Officials with the Bluegrass Area Development District said Tuesday they will continue to pay staff through July as they fight the state’s attempt to take away millions of dollars in federal and state funding for aging and workforce programs by Friday. [H-L]

Robert Murray, owner of the country’s largest private coal company, wasted no time pointing the finger when he announced plans earlier this week to lay off as many as 4,400 workers, or 80 percent of his workforce. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin’s halfwit staffers spent years attacking Steve Beshear for not appointing enough minorities for the University of Louisville’s board. So what do they do? They don’t find any minority appointees. Fascinating how these people operate. Dumber than you could have ever imaged. Not corrupt – dumb. Deeply, deeply dumb. [C-J/AKN]

A review of campaign finance records by The Hill shows that the practice of skirting or openly flouting the contractor ban has become widespread in both congressional and presidential politics. [The Hill]

Any hopes for a better reception for Gov. Matt Bevin’s proposed changes to expanded Medicaid in Kentucky vanished pretty quickly at a second public hearing here Wednesday. [Ronnie Ellis]

South Carolina fire officials decided to make sprinklers mandatory in new homes. Homebuilders overturned the rule with help behind the scenes from Gov. Nikki Haley. It was one more win for an industry that has spent millions of dollars in state capitals to block a life-saving upgrade included in the nation’s model building code. [ProPublica]

Liberal state lawmakers have for 16 years pushed for a bill that would amend Kentucky’s civil rights code to protect people from discrimination in the workplace, housing and other areas based on their sexual orientation. [WFPL]

According to experts, white supremacy has experienced a renaissance in the last two years, reaching levels of popularity and influence not seen since the late-1960s. [ThinkProgress]

The Eastern Kentucky Veterans Center in Hazard was presented with a $2,500 check from the County Clerk’s Association on Monday to help the center fund an Independence Day celebration for citizens who truly represent our nation’s liberty and patriotic pride; our veterans. [Hazard Herald]

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Wednesday rejected criticism of his campaign tactics, in a wide-ranging speech defending his team’s use of a Jewish star and his own praise of the late Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. [Reuters]

The Bank of Harlan has been acquired by Monticello Bankshares Inc. in a deal that will see the merger of the two financial institutions. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

Donald Trump has to be one of the dumbest people in history. [Politico]

State alcohol regulators prepared a new map a couple of months ago showing Kentucky’s jumble of legally dry, wet and partially wet cities and counties, but it’s already out of date. [H-L]

The Iraqi man who was filmed attacking Saddam Hussein’s statue with a sledgehammer when U.S. troops stormed into Baghdad in 2003 said Iraq was in a better shape under his rule and George W. Bush and Tony Blair should be put on trial “for ruining” it. [HuffPo]

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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]

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