A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Bill Straub: Sen. Rand Paul cuddles up to Trumpism using the oldest, lamest excuse — everybody does it

Sen. Rand Paul appears to be joining other members of the flock in an exodus from the once-grand, old Republican Party and cuddling up to a new political sect – Trumpism. Paul, R-Bowling Green, who at one time called the object of his devotion “a delusional narcissist’’ and compared him to Joseph Goebbels, is doing everything except wash the feet of President Donald J. Trump, aka President...

Bill Straub: Looks like Bevin managed to step on his own tail, but don’t count Mitch out just yet

It was during the Republican National Convention in Houston in 1992 and renowned columnist Molly Ivins was talking about Clayton Williams, the Republican gubernatorial candidate in Texas who, despite all odds, lost to Democrat Ann Richards as a result of highly erratic behavior and questionable comments, like publicly recounting various adventures in a Mexican cathouse. Ivins allowed that the Williams...

Bill Straub: Ah, the memories of George Wallace’s yesteryear revisit KY in Bevin, Cameron campaign

Return with us now, for a moment, to those thrilling days of yesteryear, when Alabama Gov. George Corley Wallace, whose face, a witness once observed, resembled a clenched fist, stood before the state capital in Montgomery to declare “in this very heart of the Great Anglo-Saxon Southland’’ — “segregation today . . . segregation tomorrow . . . segregation forever.” It was Jan. 14,...

Bill Straub: McConnell dismisses rules of fair play, obstructs progress, to further his own agenda

WASHINGTON – The United States Senate has been converted into a cemetery during the 116th Congress and it should come as a surprise to no one that the primary grave digger is one Addison Mitchell McConnell. Much of what the House has sought to accomplish this year has been relegated to the legislative mausoleum controlled by our own Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root-’n-Branch’’ McConnell,...

Bill Straub: Where oh where have all the statesmen gone, and looks what’s left? Then there’s Tom Loftus

Some years back, Kentucky had a gentleman serving in the Senate named John Sherman Cooper, from Pulaski County, who regularly voted against the positions endorsed by his own political party, worked diligently with members of the opposing party — befriending one who ultimately would become president — and pulled out all the stops to end the Vietnam War, much to the consternation of a president...

Bill Straub: President Trump hides in plain sight, while Mitch McConnell provides the cover he needs

WASHINGTON – It was left to Senate Republican Leader Hugh Scott and a couple of senior members of the upper chamber to make the short trip down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House in August 1974 to tell the second-most corrupt president in the nation’s history – Richard Nixon – that the jig was up. Scott, a pipe-smoking, mustachioed, moderate from Pennsylvania, didn’t exactly blurt out...

Bill Straub: Bevin has high-flying aspirations; loves taxpayer-owned airplane, fending off immigrants

Give Gov. Matt Bevin credit. His highfalutin aspirations are frantically taking him from local embarrassment to national laughingstock. Say what you will, but the man we lovingly call St. Matt the Divine of New Hampshire continues to display grand ambitions. And there appears to be no bottom to the depths he’s willing to plunge to achieve whatever nasty goal he sets. St. Matt’s inanity consists...

Bill Straub: Standing ready to protect Constitution, John Yarmuth stands out in congressional delegation

Rep. John Yarmuth has to be one of the loneliest guys in the nation’s capital. Since he was elected to represent the Third Congressional District, which includes the city of Louisville, in 2006, Yarmuth has served much of his tenure as the lone Democrat in the sea of red that constitutes Kentucky’s congressional delegation. When former Rep. Ben Chandler, D-Versailles, lost his re-election bid...

Bill Straub: Deja Vu all over again — gun massacres, promise of controls, then nothing; repeat rapid fire

All right, let’s break this one down to its component parts. On the morning of Aug. 3, a gunman, 21-year-old Patrick Crusius, shot and killed 22 people and injured 24 others in El Paso, TX. About 13 hours later, in Dayton, OH, a second gunman shot and killed 10 people and injured 17 others. The incidents brought to 251 the number of mass shootings that have occurred in the United States of America...

Bill Straub: Kentucky’s famous statesman Henry Clay preferred being right, Bevin just wants to be governor

It was one of Kentucky’s most celebrated statesmen, Henry Clay, who, way back in 1839, uttered the memorable phrase, “I’d rather be right than be president.” Perhaps Clay’s words have served as an inspiration for Gov. Matt Bevin, aka St. Matt the Divine of New Hampshire, who seems to be giving a new twist to the old phrase through his actions – I’d rather be a twit than be governor. St....

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...