A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Bill Straub: McConnell put energies into court appointments (to little avail); Biden can do better

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, as benevolent as ever, has graciously decided to forgive U.S. Circuit Court Judge Merrick Garland for pursuing a Supreme Court appointment he intended to steal and will support Garland’s nomination to serve as attorney general. What a guy! Garland, you’ll recall, was nominated by then-President Barack Obama, a Democrat, in March 2016 to fill the high court...

Bill Straub: The Republican Party is trying to find itself — a ‘house divided against itself cannot stand’

It was Lincoln, the pre-eminent member of a political organization formerly known as the Republican Party, who cited the synoptic gospels in declaring in 1858 that, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” That proposition, Lincoln told a friend, is “indisputably true,” adding “I want to use some universally known figure, expressed in simple language as universally known, that...

Bill Straub: Some things you can count on, and Rand Paul is proceeding in his true, maskless form

You can always count on the sun to rise in the east and set in the west. You can always count on Tom Brady to come through in the big game. And you can always count on Rand Paul to make an ass out of himself. Boy, this dude is some nasty piece of work, isn’t he? You may have heard there’s an impeachment trial going on in Washington, some jamoke named Trump (as Panama Smith said about Eddie Bartlett...

Bill Straub: Leadership AWOL, ghost of Lincoln looms, future of Republican Party hangs in balance

Reports about the impending death of the Republican Party are, as Twain once remarked about his own alleged demise, an exaggeration. But make no mistake, a reckoning is in the offing, the outcome of which will ultimately carry huge consequences. On one side you have former President Donald J. Trump who has been eerily quiet since Twitter saw fit to kill his lie-prone account. But he remains inordinately...

Bill Straub: There are lies, real lies, silent lies, hallucinations, fabrications — then there’s Rand Paul

It is obvious that the Republican Party has been stricken with a strange and exotic disease that leads to hallucinations about rigged elections and the chills over a presidential impeachment. The symptoms indicate a really bad case of something called Rand Paul. It is past time for the voters of Kentucky to come to grips with the fact that it has not once, but twice, dispatched a crackpot to the United...

Bill Straub: Yes, the flag is still there — let the church bells ring from sea to shining sea

There came a poignant moment during the inauguration ceremony for the new president of the United States of America, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr., when Lady Gaga, singing the National Anthem, turned her gaze upward toward the Stars and Stripes hovering above the platform and emphasized the phrase, “Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.” Normally those words wouldn’t have...

Bill Straub: Impeachment of Trump, as McConnell surprises with apparent approval and maneuvering

Now that President Donald J. Trump, aka Loser, has been impeached for an unprecedented second time – not the sort of dubious achievement one usually wants to include on the old resume – his ultimate fate may be left in the hands of the man who salvaged his worthless orange carcass the first time around. Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch” McConnell, of Louisville, you may...

Bill Straub: So it has come to mob rule, terrorism, vandalism of Capitol encouraged by sitting President

A little more than 85 years ago, during an era of rising fascism in Europe, Sinclair Lewis, who authored such classics as Babbitt and Main Street, published a novel with the title It Can’t Happen Here, about a charismatic, populist politician, Berzelius “Buzz” Windrip, who is elected president by instilling fear in voters and vowing to usher in economic reforms. Almost immediately upon...

Bill Straub: Count reasons for McConnell’s disdain for $2,000 stimulus checks; maybe 30 million of them

There’s been considerable talk recently on the subject of Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch’’ McConnell and how he has somehow amassed great power even though he is publicly viewed to be about as popular as a heart attack. The discussion was spawned by the Louisville lawmaker’s successful effort to return the U.S. Supreme Court to the legal underpinnings it maintained before...

Bill Straub: Paul says money doesn’t grow on trees; so, Mitch, what do you think of El Presidente now?

Parsing the permutations of the COVID-19 relief bill is akin to fiddling with a Rubik’s cube while blindfolded in a darkened room. After months of wrangling, insults, scare tactics, hyperbole and additional nonsense – you know, de rigueur — Congress this week passed a $900 billion aid package attached to a $1.4 trillion omnibus bill intended to fund government operations through the end of...

Bill Straub: McConnell relents on ‘President-elect Biden; but his Ky. Senate collegeaue may pose problem

Is there a more appropriate cover boy for the modern Republican Party – that toxic conglomeration of fabulists, conspiracy mongers, White nationalists, petulant whiners and cheap chiselers — than Kentucky’s own Sen. Rand Paul? Granted, the competition is fierce. Any party that can produce the likes of Senate Majority Leader Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch’’ McConnell, of Louisville, and Rep....

Bill Straub: Petty resistance at every turn as President-elect’s team tries to move on inauguration

Kentucky’s gift to the nation and the whole, wide world for that matter, Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch’’ McConnell, has now taken a firm stance regarding that centuries old American practice of a smooth, peaceful and celebratory transfer of power. He’s against it. McConnell, of Louisville, is a member of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, which oversees...

Rand Paul: Making clear my positions on the Trump recounts, COVID, lockdowns, schools, and masks

Sometimes it’s hard to know where to begin when someone throws a ton of crap against a wall to see what sticks, as was the case in a recent KyForward column by Bill Straub. I’ll give it a shot though, because your readers deserve some modicum of truth and fairness, as well as words from my own mouth rather than those distorted and misunderstood by the ill-informed. The screed began by attacking...

Bill Straub: Rand Paul continues to attract attention with his curious — and potentially harmful – views

Sen. Rand Paul is laboring furiously these days to attract attention to his consistently curious views. The effort comes at an inconvenient time as President Donald J. Trump, aka Loser, is stealing headlines while further undermining the republic and Paul’s fellow Kentuckian, Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch” McConnell, follows suit. There’s plenty of competition for the...

Bill Straub: The Donny Show is a four-star laugh riot, and the funny thing is Republicans can’t count

Abbott and Costello – a grand remedy for the COVID-19 blues, by the way – used to perform a routine developed during their burlesque days in which Lou seeks to convince Bud that 13 x 7 = 28. What resulted over the proceeding five minutes was unstemmed zaniness, wherein Costello violated every conceivable law of mathematics, offering a presentation that certainly would have driven the likes of...

Bill Straub: Mitch is in for another term and setting a record, but ‘lovable’ as a warm puppy he really isn’t

As if running up the score on an overfunded and overrated Democratic opponent wasn’t sufficient, supporters of Senate Majority Leader Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch” McConnell now apparently want you to believe the lawmaker who revels in being called the Grim Reaper is really as lovable as a warm puppy. Scott Jennings, a top-notch GOP operator, recently penned an op-ed for The Courier Journal of...

Bill Straub: Listen carefully to Beethoven’s Eroica, Mitch; recall he ripped away dedication to Napoleon

The world this year is justly celebrating the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth. One of the pieces one is likely to encounter during this festive occasion is one of the master’s greatest works, his groundbreaking Third Symphony, first performed in 1804. Beethoven, it is written, planned to dedicate his E flat major opus to Napoleon Bonaparte, recognizing that the French statesman had seemingly...

Bill Straub: Disappointments enough in the election but a big bright spot — Trump will soon be gone

To quote former President Gerald Ford, “our long, national nightmare is over.” Well, almost. With the vote totals dwindling down to a precious few, it appears that Democrat Joe Biden, the former vice president, appears, after experiencing some hairy moments, to have the votes necessary to oust incumbent President Donald J. Trump, aka President Extremely Stable Genius, aka President Great and...

Bill Straub: Only one three-digit number matters when all is said and done, 270 Electoral College votes

It’s time, ladies and gentlemen and children of all ages, to delve into the fascinating world of numbers, one digit in particular – 270. That, of course, represents the number of electoral votes that either President Donald J. Trump, aka President Extremely Stable Genius, aka President Great and Unmatched Wisdom, the Republican, or former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democrat, will have to obtain...

Bill Straub: Duplicity, duplicity, duplicity, thy name is Mitch — and all in the cause of party over country

Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch” McConnell has been playing the voters of the Commonwealth for suckers for most of the 36 years he has spent in Washington and now, apparently, he no longer finds it necessary to hide his chronic duplicity. Just last week, Amy McGrath, McConnell’s Democratic opponent in the Nov. 3 Senate election, took the Louisville lawmaker to task during...