Bill Straub: ‘The hour of reckoning is coming,’ and it should, for the imposter at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Steve Schmidt, the Republican strategist who grew up a stone’s throw from my New Jersey hometown and has broken with his party over the comfort and support it’s providing to the interloper in the White House, asserted recently that “the hour of reckoning is coming.’’ Well, that moment may be at hand. It’s not so much that Democrats captured an Alabama senate seat it had no business winning...

Bill Straub: Republicans are on verge of adopting bad tax cut measure; they’ll lie — and get away with it

Senate Republicans are on the verge of adopting a tax cut measure that will make the old Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island look like the Garden of Eden and are looking to their always reliable playbook to sell this Krakatoa-sized disaster to an understandably doubting public. Put simply, they will lie. And if history is any guide, they stand a good chance of getting away with it – at least...

Bil Straub: It’s about time to talk about sexual harassment; but not all instances are the same

WASHINGTON – I just informed my glorious wife that, with Thanksgiving upon us, I would rather suffer through a barium enema than write the column that follows. But the odious subject of sexual harassment/abuse, and the new public standards for judging such crude and loutish behavior that appear to be falling into place, simply cannot be ignored. Why the dread? Because no matter how heartfelt one...

Bill Straub: So far, GOP has little to show for control, so killing health care may be the best they can do

Once again we are sadly reminded that there isn’t anything so terrible in this world that Sen. Rand Paul and his loony-tunes political ideas couldn’t make worse. Paul, R-Bowling Green, has spent the last seven years in the U.S. Senate spouting gibberish, occasionally veering into the sensible lane, and then hiding behind his kookiness by shouting “freedom’’ and “liberty’’ at most inappropriate...

Bill Straub: Go figure (if you can) the double-talk that doesn’t want to add to deficit except for ‘tax cuts’

Our old friend, the Wonder Boy, Rep. Thomas Massie, has built a well-earned reputation as a budget hawk, voting, for instance, against a measure sending disaster aid to communities damaged by Hurricane Harvey because it added to the federal deficit. Massie, R-SomewhereorotherLewisCounty, has called adding to the national debt, which currently rests at $20.5 trillion, “lunacy’’ and that it “must...

Bill Straub: Scott Pruitt and the EPA he is leading is not protecting the environment for the long term

Anyone clinging to the notion that Belle Brezing is the most notorious prostitute ever produced by Lexington isn’t paying attention to the antics of Scott Pruitt, top dog at the Environmental Protection Agency. While it can be argued that the services provided by Ms. Brezing and her employees did little real harm to the denizens of Fayette County and those visiting town for the races back in the...

Bill Straub: Mitch McConnell’s dilemma — pursue tax cuts, keep job and worry about disaster later

Here comes Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root ‘n Branch’’ McConnell, riding into town in the lead wagon of the Snake Oil Caravan with a wink and a promise that the tax cut legislation he’s about to unveil is good for what ails all those in the gathering crowd. This amazing package — “she walks, she talks she crawls on her belly like a reptile,’’ to cite Ray Stevens – will...

Bill Straub: Disaster debate another example of how Kentucky lawmakers in D.C. have lost their way

WASHINGTON – Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root ‘n Branch’’ McConnell took some time off last week to – quite appropriately – recognize the efforts of Kentuckians working tirelessly in behalf of those devastated by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico as well as the victims of other recent natural disasters. Many Kentuckians, McConnell noted, “have generously given their time and labor...

Bill Straub: With Senate unable to get anything done, McConnell is facing opposition from all sides

It’s becoming obvious that Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root ‘n Branch’’ McConnell needs to embrace the advice of the late Warren Zevon and seek lawyers, guns and money to fend off the GOP’s right-wing crazies as they go from nipping at his heels to taking a big chunk out of his calf. He is, as the song goes, a desperate man. A coalition of ultra-conservative outfits, including FreedomWorks,...

Bill Straub: In wake of deadly Las Vegas shooting, expect Congress to do absolutely nothing

It was Ethel Lina White in her novel The Wheel Spins who first maintained that “Lost causes are the only ones worth fighting for,’’ which naturally brings us around, yet again, to the issue of guns and the nation’s mind-boggling refusal to address the wholesale slaughter they all too often render. Fifty-nine people were killed and more than 500 injured – think about that for a moment, 59...

Bill Straub: McConnell, Trump appear headed for a showdown — and it could come sooner than later

WASHINGTON – If you are among those who felt the nuptial of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn was something of a mismatch, wait until you get a load of the deteriorating relationship between President Trump and Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root ‘n Branch’’ McConnell. These two star-crossed Republicans appear destined for a showdown and it could come sooner rather than later, further muddling...

Bill Straub: Latest effort to repeal and replace ACA not about improving health care … it’s about winning

WASHINGTON – To quote Michael Corleone, “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.’’ Efforts a few months back by the Republican Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, that dastardly program promulgated to bolster the nation’s health needs through an extensive insurance program, suffered an ignoble defeat, leaving Senate Republican Leader Mitch...

Bill Straub: EPA chief Pruitt playing games with nation’s health, safety to gain energy industry favor

WASHINGTON – Scott Pruitt, the Kentuckian in charge of what little is left of the Environmental Protection Agency since the Trumpsters took a chainsaw to it, is very much like the pet shop owner in the famous Monty Python “dead parrot’’ sketch. Confronted by an irritated customer demanding a refund for a rather obviously deceased “Norwegian Blue’’ purchased a half hour earlier, the pet...

Bill Straub: Massie’s vote against hurricane relief for Texas shows unsettling lack of compassion

WASHINGTON – It appears our Wonder Boy, Rep. Thomas Massie, is making up for lost time, to the nation’s detriment. Congress abandoned the nation’s capital on summer recess for most of August, leaving Massie, R-SomewhereorotherLewisCounty, with few opportunities to bring shame to the Northern Kentucky region he allegedly represents. Now that the boys and girls have returned, the old Whiz Kid...

Bill Straub: In the debate about Confederate statues, the real issue is who deserves to be honored

WASHINGTON – Remove if you must the hoary statues found in our public squares dedicated to those who perpetuated treason under the banner of the Lost Cause, but by all that is holy spare the John Hunt Morgan figure that rests proudly covered in pigeon droppings on the front lawn of what was once the Fayette County Courthouse. The survival of this noble sculpture is necessary for several reasons,...

Bill Straub: Trump’s disposition should unsettle one and all so the question is — should he be replaced?

WASHINGTON – The immortal Hank Hill would often in frustration intone, “That boy ain’t right,’’ in reference to the antics of his son, Bobby, thus indirectly providing the citizens of this great nation with vital insight into the appalling behavior of the president of these United States, Donald J. Trump. It is well past time for America to come to grips with the overwhelming evidence that...

Bill Straub: Fear of change culminated in events in Charlottesville — where is the accountability?

WASHINGTON – So, how did we get here? It’s now apparent that the United States of America, the most powerful nation the world has ever seen, has as its president a man who is incompetent and, more importantly, has no moral core. During the 1950s it was said that certain politicians were “soft on communism’’ because they were insufficiently zealous in their abhorrence of the Russian bear....

Bill Straub: Never popular with Democrats, McConnell now facing critics from the right as well

WASHINGTON – Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root ‘n Branch’’ McConnell, who has contributed more to the noxious political divide that plagues the nation than any other individual over the past decade, has serendipitously developed a way to unite Democrats and the GOP’s whacko right wing. They both want him gone. Republicans are becoming increasingly agitated with McConnell, of Louisville,...

Bill Straub: It’s well past time for McConnell, GOP to stand up to an increasingly erratic Trump

BELMONT, Maine – There comes a moment in the old Marx Brothers movie A Day at the Races where a man confronts Groucho, as Dr. Hugo Z. Hackenbush, and demands to know if he is a man or a mouse. “You put a piece of cheese down there and you’ll find out,’’ Hackenbush responds. Well, President Trump just tossed a whole slab of cheddar at the feet of Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root ‘n...

Bill Straub: Paul resolutely sticking to his political philosophy regardless of who might be hurt by it

BELMONT, Maine — There is something grotesquely admirable about Sen. Rand Paul’s dogged dedication to his twisted political philosophy – proclaiming it to the rafters like Lincoln at Cooper Union regardless of how many lives it might destroy. The Bowling Green Republican, a celebrated Libertarian, is giving the term Social Darwinism a whole new meaning as he hunts down the Affordable Health...