A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Bill Straub: Mocking Indiana Jones isn’t appropriate response to the real problem of climate change

The United Kingdom’s Met Office, which serves as that nation’s weather service, recently determined that the world’s oceans have warmed to a greater degree than previously thought, indicating that previous estimates of global climate change have been too low. Meanwhile, a recently released report from the International Monetary Fund, the University of Cambridge and the University of Southern...

Bill Straub: Following the McConnell footsie game through Russia to an aluminum plant in Greenup

They don’t call him Moscow Mitch for nothing. Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch’’ McConnell, of Louisville, has earned so many derogatory nicknames over the past few years that there are too many to list in a single column. Some, like Darth Vader and The Grim Reaper, he embraces with aplomb. But the one that gets under his skin is the aforementioned Moscow Mitch, duly earned...

Bill Straub: Kentucky politics with all its ins and outs comes down to two issues — abortion and guns

Once you work your way through the briars, brambles, and bushes where a rabbit couldn’t go in Kentucky politics, you’ll discover that elections often come down to just two issues – abortion and guns. Taxes are always on everyone’s mind but few, if any, have ever run a successful statewide campaign promising to raise levies, regardless of the obvious need. The economy often plays a part but...

Bill Straub: ‘Moscow Mitch’ has a ring (of truth) to it, but what’s one more notch in McConnell’s belt?

One of the items on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s massive to-do list, before he left office in May, was to determine the extent of Russia’s finagling in the 2016 election that landed President Extremely Stable Genius in the White House and just how effective those efforts might have been. Mueller found that the Kremlin was, indeed, involved up to its eyeballs in the campaign. asserting in his...

Bill Straub: Rand Paul’s excuse for voting against 9/11 victim’s compensation bill was deficit. Really?

Sen. Rand Paul wants it both ways. That, as you likely realize, is par for the course with politicians who too often say one thing and then do something different, hoping no one notices. But it’s particularly striking for the Bowling Green Republican who presents himself as the Drakon Kholkikos when it comes to guarding the federal treasury, tersely rejecting various efforts to fund initiatives that...

Bill Straub: Trump doubles down on congresswomen of color who ARE already where they belong

“This country is a hellhole. We are going down fast.” — Donald J. Trump, Fox News, May 20, 2015 Enough. Enough already. President Donald J. Trump, better known in these parts as President Extremely Stable Genius, appears to be morphing into Lester Maddox, telling a quartet of progressive Democratic congresswomen with darker skin than his own that they should return to whence they came if...

Bill Straub: Enter fighter pilot Amy McGrath who will need big fire-power against Mitch McConnell

Former fighter pilot Amy McGrath is hoping that politics, like love in the old Sammy Cahn-Jimmy Van Heusen song, is lovelier the second time around. McGrath, the Democrat who fell to Rep. Andy “Empty Suit’’ Barr, R-Lexington, in a close-but-no-cigar race for the Commonwealth’s Sixth Congressional District seat last November, has emerged from the fog to challenge bigger game – Senate Republican...

Bill Straub: Civics lesson for Independence Day and the most joyful event of them all — press bashing

Tis the 4th of July, time for baseball, firecrackers, backyard barbeques and the most joyful event of them all, press bashing. As usual, it’s the president of the United States, Extremely Stable Genius, leading this Independence Day parade, asserting reports that his administration dropped plans to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census form are “FAKE!” Forget for a moment that the...

Bill Straub: McConnell turning a blind eye to Russian interference in elections goes beyond party loyalty

His report passed on charging President Extremely Stable Genius with illicitly coordinating with Russia on the 2020 presidential election and left the question of obstruction of justice to other authorities, but Robert Mueller, the special counsel responsible for diving into the whole sordid mess, made one thing perfectly clear – Russia “launched a concerted attack on our political system’’...

Bill Straub: Bevin had to know about firing of Lt. Governor’s deputy chief; could come back to bite him

Sayre’s Law postulates that, “In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the issues at stake,” an assertion that perfectly summarizes the ongoing contretemps involving Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton and her one-time running mate and ally, Gov. Matt “Yosemite Sam’’ Bevin. Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton The real stakes here are tinier than an atom, given that...

Bill Straub: Questions surrounding Sec. Chao not surprising, considering the company she keeps

WASHINGTON – The family that grifts together sticks together. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, ostensibly a resident of Louisville even though she shows up about as frequently as the visiting team at Slugger Field, has been in the news lately, and not in a particularly flattering way. Apparently she’s taking lessons on how to soil her vaunted office from her husband of long standing, Senate...

Bill Straub: Who’s paying attention to what KY’s DC delegation is doing? Your reps deserve scrutiny

WASHINGTON – Back in early April members of the Kentucky congressional delegation, quite appropriately, sent a letter to President Extremely Stable Genius supporting a request from Gov. Mad Matt Bevin that a large swath of the state be declared a disaster area. In the letter, the lawmakers maintained that the Commonwealth “experienced severe weather that produced strong wind and torrential rain,...

Bill Straub: True to his character, McConnell changes his stance on potential U.S. Supreme Court vacancy

WASHINGTON – Sometimes it seems Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch’’ McConnell is bound and determined to prove to the world that he is a malevolent cad and, in the stated view of one respected historian, the “grave digger of American democracy.’’ McConnell Most successful politicians try to hide their personal flaws to attract public support. McConnell, of Louisville, forges...

Bill Straub: Bevin didn’t get a landslide, but don’t count him out; Beshear faces uphill battle

Landslide Matt Bevin, the incumbent, didn’t exactly set the world on fire in Tuesday’s Republican gubernatorial primary, garnering just 52 percent of the vote against three other jamokes who aren’t even substantial enough to be referred to as nobodies. But don’t kid yourself. When November rolls around, the Commonwealth’s least-liked-in-the-nation governor could very well earn sufficient...

Bill Straub: With King Coal’s reign about over in the Commonwealth (and elsewhere), it’s on to natural gas

To paraphrase that great American intellectual, Sarah Palin, how is that beautiful, clean coal stuff working out for ya? Well, not so hot, thanks. Cloud Peak Energy, the nation’s third-largest coal mining company, headquartered in Wyoming, where the mineral is still as plentiful as kudzu in Georgia, has filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11. It was one of the last of the nation’s big energy players...

Bill Straub: In rear-guard action, McConnell declares ‘case closed,’ while plenty of questions remain

Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch’’ McConnell took to the chamber floor this week and did everything but croon the lyrics from an old Stevie Wonder standard – “Ooo baby, here I am, signed, sealed, delivered, I’m yours’’ – in dedication to the true object of his current affections, President Donald J. Trump (ACK!). In so doing, McConnell, of Louisville, firmly established...

Bill Straub: There’s Trump and his ‘Mini-Me’ Bevin — but one of them benefits from distance

WASHINGTON – Unlike Superman and Clark Kent, President Trump (good golly!) and Kentucky Gov. Matt “Yosemite Sam’’ Bevin have been seen together in a room, so one can assume they are not one and the same person. But that’s about the only way to tell the two of them apart. By personality, attitude and politics there is no apparent separation between The Donald and the man who seems to be constantly...

Bill Straub: Lear on Twitter and other things are we witnessing in the wake of the Mueller Report

John Leroy Maxwell authored a poem, later set to music, about a drunken degenerate who passes out in the gutter. He is soon joined in his idyll by a roaming pig. A woman passing nearby witnessed this slovenly scene and sniffed that you can tell a man “by the company he chooses.” “And the pig got up, and slowly walked away,’’ Maxwell wrote. Given that, it appears a whole passel of Kentucky...

Bill Straub: Since it’s baseball season, let’s bat some things around – oops, out of strikes already

It’s baseball season once again — thank the lord — so let’s toss it around-the-horn political style: First. Give Rep. Thomas Massie, R-SomewhereorotherLewisCounty, credit – he’s not afraid to make a fool out of himself. And this time Wonder Boy, as the old saying goes, did it in front of God and everybody. Massie serves on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee,...

Bill Straub: About those votes against the Violence Against Women Act; NRA saw is as gun control

The He-Man Woman Haters Club, created by Alfalfa, Spanky and other members of the Little Rascals back in the 1930s, looks to be undergoing a surprising revival even though the boyish imps of the original incarnation have been displaced by the manful, masculine, manly men known as the Republicans in the Kentucky congressional delegation. This resurrection isn’t so much because the GOP House members...