A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Pres. Trump formally sends to Senate nomination of Kyian Kelly Craft as U.S. ambassador to U.N.

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today President Donald J. Trump has formally sent to the U.S. Senate, the nomination of a Kentuckian to serve as the nation’s ambassador to the United Nations. 
Kelly Craft of Lexington has been serving as Ambassador to Canada since 2017, becoming the first woman to serve in that post. Kelly Craft with Gov. Matt Bevin and husband, Joe, as she is sworn in as Ambassador to...

Bill Straub: Worth it or not, the time is coming for decisions to be made and it has to be right

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi created a bit of a stir in political circles this week when she told The Washington Post that she opposes impeaching President Trump (yech!) because the spectacle of attempting to remove him from office would prove “divisive to the country.” In something of a coda, Pelosi, a California Democrat, further offered that the blackguard currently holding down the nation’s...

Bill Straub: Enough is enough is enough, it’s time for press corps to take the gloves off and tell the truth

For better or worse, I spent six years back in the early 2000s as the White House correspondent for Scripps-Howard News Service. Believe me, that’s neither a boast nor a brag, as George M. Cohan might say. I always remember the words of Ron Hutcheson, the one-time White House guy for Knight Ridder while we were sitting at a hotel bar in Waco, TX, with nothing to do but twiddle our thumbs while then-President...

Bill Straub: McConnell has some explaining to do for inaction on knowledge about Russians and election

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has some explaining to do. And if he isn’t up front about the rationale regarding his actions — or, in this case, inaction — pressure should be exerted on him to resign. The issue is Russia and its assault on the American electoral process, specifically the 2016 presidential campaign. Russian trespassing represented nothing less than an attack...

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,...

Jamie Vaught: Tales of Baylor football scandal, Steve Bannon and Donald Trump head fall reading list

With the fall season upon us, here is a list of recently-published nonfiction books that you may enjoy reading in front of the fireplace.  “Violated: Exposing Rape at Baylor University Amid College Football’s Sexual Assault Crisis” by ESPN investigative reporters Paula Lavigne and Mark Schlabach (Center Street, $27) is arguably the most comprehensive literary effort about the sport’s...

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: 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...

Kentucky has 6 of top 10 counties for adults on Medicaid; Bell County is 9th for children’s coverage

Of the top 10 rural counties in the United States where adults are most dependent on Medicaid for their health care, Kentucky has six. They are Wolfe, ranking first with 45 percent of its adults on Medicaid; Bell, with 44 percent; Breathitt and Owsley, 43 percent each; Lee, 42 percent; and Harlan, 40 percent. The figures come from the Rural Health Policy Project of the Center for Children and Families...

Bill Straub: In the world of Donald Trump, reality is no longer relevant as truth takes a near daily beating

WASHINGTON – You know things are rapidly running out of control in this great country of ours when you can’t find a legitimate and honest way to avoid calling the 45th president of the United States a pig. But there’s simply no getting around it, and everyone with a rational bone in his or her body has by this time, less than six months after he took the oath, come to realize that Donald J....

Lexington’s Kelly Knight Craft is Trump’s choice to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Canada

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today WASHINGTON – Kentucky’s Kelly Knight Craft will be President Donald Trump’s nominee to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Canada. The White House announced Trump’s intention to nominate Craft on Wednesday, confirming widespread speculation that had been in the U.S. and Canadian press for weeks. The U.S. Senate will need to confirm her nomination before Craft...

McConnell defends private drafting of health bill; Rand opposes delaying end of Medicaid expansion

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky defended Senate Republicans’ secret drafting of a new health-care law Tuesday, saying committee hearings that Democrats demand aren’t needed. “Look, we’ve been dealing with this issue for seven years. It’s not a new thing. We’ve spent a lot of time on it,” McConnell told reporters. “Nobody’s hiding the...

Trump to outline infrastructure plan that could help rural areas, but details are still in the works

Following criticism that his proposed budget would hit rural areas hardest, President Trump will travel to Ohio and Kentucky on Wednesday to announce details of his infrastructure plan that he says will help rural areas. Rural voters have called his budget a ‘slap in the face’ due to the cuts in funding to Medicaid, rural loan programs, crop insurance for farmers and other services. The...

Bill Straub: Given yet another chance to be a statesman, McConnell chooses party over country

WASHINGTON – A few months back, when word about the Trump administration’s all-too-close ties to the Kremlin started percolating, Sen. Rand Paul clearly stated what has come to pass as the Republican Party’s unofficial position on scrutinizing President Trump’s often disturbing activities. Fahgetaboutit. “I just don’t think it’s useful to be doing investigation after investigation,...

McConnell announces permanent extension of healthcare benefits for retired coal miners, families

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Monday he has secured a permanent extension of healthcare benefits for thousands of retired coal miners and their families. The Louisville Republican said the funding, taken from his HELP for Coal Miners Health Care Act, will be part of the fiscal year 2017 omnibus appropriations bill, which is expected...

Commentary: Trump’s executive order is good news for Kentucky’s coal communities

By Sen. Mitch McConnell Special to KyForward At the beginning of this year, I sent a letter to then President-elect Trump urging him to work with Congress and use his executive authority to provide regulatory relief to Kentucky coal miners and their families. Last month, he stepped in to offer a much-needed reprieve from the so-called Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) regulation, which tried to extend the...

Bill Straub: Despite Trump’s assertions to the contrary, no comeback in the cards for coal industry

WASHINGTON – During the opening 10 weeks of his presidency, Donald J. Trump has proved himself to be a buffoon, a liar, a flim-flam man of the first order and about as trustworthy as your friendly, neighborhood meth dealer. Now he has added yet another lowlife description to his sordid resume: Dangerous. Trump has taken the environmental movement, one of the nation’s great areas of achievement,...

Trump nominates District Judge Amul Thapar for seat on the U.S. Sixth District Court of Appeals

President Donald J. Trump announced his intent to nominate Amul R. Thapar of Kentucky to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. The nomination goes to the U.S. Senate for confirmation.   Thapar, son of Indian-American immigrants, serves on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky.  With his 2008 appointment by President George W. Bush and subsequent confirmation, Judge...

After meeting with Trump, Barr tells town meeting he will vote ‘enthusiastically’ for GOP health reform bill

A day after meeting with President Trump, Republican U.S. Rep. Andy Barr of Lexington told constituents Saturday that he would vote for the health-reform bill proposed by leaders of his party because it is the only alternative to Democrats’ 2010 reform law. Asked if he would vote against the bill, “I’m not going to vote no on something that’s better than the status quo. I’m going to vote...