A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

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...

Rural Blog: Trump’s federal budget proposal cuts many programs that benefit rural areas, like ARC

Many federal programs that help rural areas would be eliminated or reduced under President Trump’s proposed budget, released on Thursday. Some of the losers “may be some of the very constituencies that have been most supportive of the new president during his improbable rise to power,” writes Peter Baker of The New York Times. Proposed changes; click on image to enlarge (Washington...

Bill Straub: From dangerous windbag to beauty, Paul’s view of Trump has evolved since primary battle

WASHINGTON – Sen. Rand Paul is, as the famous line from Oliver Stone’s JFK put it, “a mystery wrapped in a riddle inside an enigma,’’ a man who now seems eager to ditch his vaunted reputation for independence to wrap his arms and plant a wet kiss on the cheek of a man he once condemned as “a delusional narcissist and an orange-faced windbag.’’ That man, of course, is President Donald...

Bill Straub: Focusing on results and not the theatrics, McConnell thinks Trump is doing just fine

WASHINGTON – It took that great philosopher, John Matuszak, to sum up in a single thought what makes America great. Back in the late 1970s, early ‘80s, the Oakland Raiders were truly nothing more than a gang of outlaws and Matuszak, the team’s standout defensive end, was the most notorious of them all — the Al Capone of the silver and black. On the Sunday of Super Bowl XV in New Orleans,...

Commentary: Time is now for Brent Spence Bridge as public-private partnerships offer funding options

By Adam Koenig Special to KyForward For over 50 years now, countless vehicles have traveled from Northern Kentucky into Ohio, and vice-versa, on the Brent Spence Bridge. Whether it be to transport goods, travel, or engage in commerce, Brent Spence has been heavily utilized over the years, and this traffic has taken its toll. Currently operating at nearly three times of what it was designed to carry,...

Bill Straub: Trump’s volatile first two weeks — a word of advice — better steel yourself and get used to it

WASHINGTON – There comes a time in the affairs of man, as W.C. Fields once put it, when he must take the bull by the tail and face the situation. Now is such a time. Things aren’t going to get better, at least for four years. No, the situation will not improve over a few months. Hoping that the administration of President Donald J. Trump comes to a screeching halt through resignation, impeachment...

Bevin: Kentucky’s proposed medicaid plan changes may fare better under Trump

Gov. Matt Bevin said his proposed changes in the Medicaid program have a better chance of getting federal approval under the incoming Trump administration. “Do I think the presidential election will affect that? Oh, you betcha,” Bevin said at a recent press conference. “And do I think it will increase the odds of this being approved? I do, and in fact what I think you are going to see is a devolution...

Bill Straub: Chao as transportation secretary could place McConnell in a bind over infrastructure

WASHINGTON – President-elect Donald J. Trump’s (Egad!) vow to “drain the swamp’’ that is the nation’s capital was thought to mean he intended to haul in new blood to solve the nation’s woes and avoid appointing the same old people to the same old posts. So it was something of a surprise this week when the next president (hahahahaha, sorry, I can’t help it) chose Elaine Chao, the secretary...

Bill Straub: Take heart! Sorry race for president finally gliding toward its ignominious conclusion

WASHINGTON – It may seem like Halley’s Comet has circled back three or four times since the beginning of the 2016 election season but take comfort, the seemingly endless campaign is finally on a glide path toward its ignominious conclusion, with both parties offering reasons for keeping their hopes alive. Coming down the stretch, Democrat Hillary Clinton maintains a precarious lead over Republican...

Election Day Nov. 8: Here’s a guide for registered voters — available online, with details on your ballots

The nation’s general election is less than one week away and Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky’s chief election official, is reminding all registered voters to be prepared to cast their votes on Nov. 8. “The foundation of our democracy is our free and fair elections – going to the polls and casting a ballot,” said Grimes. “Because our elections matter...

Commentary: Candidate Trump is a creature of the times — and has been in the making for years

By Richard Nelson Special to KyForward Halloween is here and scarier than any goblin at your doorstep is a bitter political season filled with high pitched rhetoric that has invaded too many homes and induced a ghoulish mood within the electorate. Political operatives stir the pot of vitriol with a concoction of two parts suspicion, one part contempt and a dash of hatred. But those outside the political...

Presidential Look: UK Art Museum exhibit examines changing American attitudes about the presidency

By Whitney Hale Special to KyForward With all the talk of what it means to be and look presidential during this year’s inimitable election, it makes perfect sense that the University of Kentucky Art Museum is displaying an exhibition of representations of individuals who have been president, as well as those who aspire to the office. “POTUS,” which is free and open to the public,...

KyCIR: Clinton continues to out-pace Trump in fundraising for presidential election

By Alexandra Kanik and Brendan McCarthy Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting With just weeks left until the presidential election, Kentucky voters are still overwhelmingly donating to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. Clinton’s campaign received more than 11 times the number of individual contributions in September than Republican Donald Trump garnered, according to new data from the Federal...

Bill Straub: When it comes to Trump’s baseless charges of vote rigging, McConnell is oddly silent

WASHINGTON – If you happen to bump into Judge Crater or Jimmy Hoffa over the next few days you might want to ask them if they’ve heard anything from Mitch McConnell, who recently has been every bit as MIA as Amelia Earhart. Ever since his choice to serve as president of these United States, Republican Donald J. Trump, has opened his offensive yap, McConnell, the ostensible Senate Republican leader...

Commentary: Why Trump? The simplest answer: Primarily because he’s not Hillary

By Marcus Carey Special to KyForward There is a simple question being asked by many people, republicans and democrats alike, with an attitude of nearly fainting incredulity: Why Trump? I’d like to offer an equally simple answer: Because he’s not Hillary. This simple answer is all that will be necessary for millions of voters who will go to the polls and vote for The Donald or against Hillary....

Commentary: Why Hillary? From close up, personal, answer is simple: She is best person for the job

This is the first of two guest columns about the upcoming presidential race, featuring personal commentaries on the top two contenders — in alphabetical order. Today: Col Owens on ‘Why Hillary?” and tomorrow Marcus Carey on ‘Why Trump’? By Col Owens Special to KyForward Hillary Clinton first came onto my radar screen in 1968. I was a junior at Harvard and was dating...

Bill Straub: As bad as Trump has been, GOP is likely to survive and thrive even after potential debacle

WASHINGTON – Kentucky’s elected Republicans are showing why none of their members can expect to be included in any future addendum to John F. Kennedy’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book Profiles in Courage. With GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump tearing the party asunder with his misogyny, racism and bigotry, the commonwealth’s Republican representatives in Washington can do little but express...

Commentary: Believe it or not, politicians can’t bring back lost coal mining jobs

By Herb E. Smith Special to KyForward Those of us who live and work in coal country are used to lies. Even whoppers, like the one Donald Trump made this summer when he said he was going to put West Virginia coal miners back to work. “We’re going to bring back coal jobs. Believe me.” I didn’t. The people who make decisions about hiring and firing American coal miners work for coal companies....

Bill Straub: Close polls show voters holding Clinton to a different standard than Trump

WASHINGTON – It’s once again drawing close to that time when, as Pete Townsend famously wrote, “I’ll get on my knees and pray we don’t get fooled again’’ Fat chance. The presidential election, now less than six weeks away, remains tight. The website FiveThirtyEight, which has proved to be the most successful prognosticator over the past few campaigns, determined in its most...