A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

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...

Mike Farrell: With so many things off track, including #MeToo, the question is — what’s our character?

The #Me Too train has run off the tracks. Please don’t misunderstand me. I have always believed in the equality of women. In my 50-year career, I have worked for two women, both of them skilled and intelligent leaders. I learned loads from them. I am revolted by the Harvey Weinsteins of the world who use their power and position to demand sex from young women seeking acting jobs. If he is as guilty...

Bill Straub: Thomas ‘Wonderboy’ Massie, darling of far-right fringe, wants to undermine the government

WASHINGTON – It’s fair to say that Rep. Thomas “Wonder Boy” Massie has one of the, well, most unusual voting records in Congress, a claim that even he is unlikely to contradict.  The Republican from SomewhereorotherLewisCounty has been busy since the outset of the 116th Congress engaging in the foolishness that has made him the darling of the nation’s far-right fringe, the Bluegrass’s...

Bill Straub: Character is indispensable, character matters, character first; did someone say ‘character’?

Apparently a person’s character doesn’t amount to a hill of beans in Sen. Rand Paul’s world. The Bowling Green Republican, who once referred to President Trump (YIKES!) as “a delusional narcissist and an orange-faced windbag,’’ has somehow emerged as the most intense defender of said orange-faced windbag in the upper chamber, going so far as to wage attacks on those who might suggest that...

Bill Straub: For want of a wall, for a temper tantrum, for dodging responsibility — is government lost?

For want of a wall, the government was lost, at least partially, and it doesn’t look like the darn thing is going to be found anytime soon. President “Tiny” Trump, once again throwing one of those tantrums we have all come to welcome and love, has decided to take his ball and go home, padlocking a goodly portion of the federal government because Congress won’t give him $5.7 billion to...

Bill Straub: A new word to enhance your vocabularly; to describe ‘beyond shameful,’ try ‘mitchful’

Occasionally when following American politics you come upon a statement or claim that is so outrageous, so mind-boggling that characterizing it as shameless tends to understate the absurdity. Such statements extend well beyond the boundaries of shamefulness into a completely new territory. They are mitchful. Those of us who have witnessed the increasingly ghastly career of one Senate Republican Leader...

Bill Straub: Reagan once said ‘there is no room for intolerance,’ but Trump didn’t get the message

WASHINGTON – I can’t say with absolute certainty that the filth that gushes from the mouth of President “Tiny’’ Trump-like sewage through a straight pipe contributed to the current run of violence plaguing the nation, including the incident involving two African-Americans gunned down at a Jeffersontown Kroger last week for being black. There are experts who study the relationship between...

Bill Straub: While McConnell is ‘shaking the treat box’ for money, Republicans will likely keep the Senate

Anyone who has cats (we have four, which, at times, is five too many) can tell you they can be very, well, cat-like sometimes, leaving you wondering if they’re off hiding somewhere or if they somehow snuck out of the house when you weren’t looking and are out in the street ducking traffic. The only way to get them out of their undisclosed location, to cite a chestnut from the President George W....

Trump to nominate CPE President Robert King as assistant secretary for postsecondary education

The White House announced Tuesday that President Donald Trump will nominate Council on Postsecondary Education President Robert L. King as assistant secretary for postsecondary education at the Department of Education. The appointment requires U.S. Senate confirmation. Robert L. King King has served more than nine years as president of the Council. He has advanced statewide efforts to work collaboratively...

Bill Straub: Humpty-Trumpty bullies way through NATO, insults May on home turf, loves Putin more. . .

President Trump’s (OMG!) recently concluded European excursion was, by all estimates, a disaster, not to mention a public humiliation that seemingly eroded America’s once commanding presence on the international stage. That is not a controversial sentiment. Republicans and Democrats, folks on the left, right and center, have spent the past few days assessing the damage perpetrated by a man who...

Bill Straub: No ‘Profiles in Courage’ found perusing political landscape of Trump-McConnell land

In February 1944, after seven years of guiding President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s agenda through the upper chamber, Senate Democratic Leader Alben Barkley, from the small, Western Kentucky town of Lowes, a man who would “rather be a servant in the House of the Lord than to sit in the seats of the mighty,’’ declared enough was enough. FDR had vetoed a tax bill – the first time a president...

Bill Straub: Following Tuesday’s primary election, the Republican Party now the party of Trump

WASHINGTON – There can no longer be any doubt that the Republican Party, once known as the party of Lincoln and, later, the party of Reagan, is now the party of Trump. The proof comes in Tuesday night’s primary election results. In South Carolina, state Rep. Katie Arrington toppled incumbent Rep. Mark Sanford to capture the GOP nomination for that state’s 1st Congressional District seat centered...

Bill Straub: It’s Trump, Trump and more Trump in KY, where he is in pretty high cotton, no matter what

Whither President Donald J. Trump? Well into his second year in office, Trump continues to divide the nation in a manner not seen since the late ‘60s. Polls show his job approval consistently hovers in the low 40s and Republican congressional leaders are concerned his status will result in massive losses come Election Day. But there remain some places where Trump is viewed with regard. And, despite...

Jamie’s Bookshelf: Eleven recently published nonfiction selections for your spring reading list

By Jamie H. Vaught KyForward Columnist This is the first of a two-part series about recently published nonfiction books. —“Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice From The Best In The World” by Timothy Ferriss (Hougton Mifflin Harcourt, $30) is a 598-page hardcover that contains life lessons and career guidance from today’s top performers or achievers from around the world, revealing the wisdom...

Commentary: Tim Ortman: Goal of real fake news is to create distraction, disrupt election process

Today, the term ‘Fake News’ is firmly entrenched in our lexicon. It seems everyone from Trumpite retirees, to neo-political millennials, freely toss around the phrase. The term was even recognized as, “The Word of the Year” by UK-based Collins Dictionary. Ortman Candidate Trump didn’t actually invent the term. He copied it from political satirists who were using the term a decade prior to...

Gov. Bevin requests presidential disaster declaration for 35 Kentucky counties impacted by flooding

Governor Matt Bevin has sent a letter to President Donald Trump, requesting a Presidential Disaster Declaration for 35 Kentucky counties that were impacted during a severe weather event beginning on Feb. 21. The weather pattern produced torrential rain that resulted in flooding, landslides and mudslides, along with intense thunderstorms that led to flash flooding and tornadoes. Photo courtesy of Chuck...

Bill Straub: ‘St. Matt the Divine’s’ jokes about Trump and global warming no laughing matter

WASHINGTON – St. Matt the Divine dropped his parson’s collar a few days back to engage in the one thing his gubernatorial administration has proved he’s really good at – comedy. Gov. Bevin With much of the country trapped in a deep freeze last week, including single-digit temperatures throughout the commonwealth and minus readings in places like Florence, Gov. Matt Bevin thought the time was...

Bill Straub: ‘The hour of reckoning is coming,’ and it should, for the imposter at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Steve Schmidt, the Republican strategist who grew up a stone’s throw from my New Jersey hometown and has broken with his party over the comfort and support it’s providing to the interloper in the White House, asserted recently that “the hour of reckoning is coming.’’ Well, that moment may be at hand. It’s not so much that Democrats captured an Alabama senate seat it had no business winning...

Trump threat to stop subsidies has insurers jumpy; CareSource to refile rate plan in 61 Ky. counties

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News President Trump’s threats to stop funding the cost-reduction payments that help low- and moderate-income people afford Obamacare health insurance has created great uncertainty for insurers, and is likely the reason CareSource just withdrew its initial rate filing in Kentucky. CareSource, which planned to offer individual plans in 61 Kentucky counties, originally...

Jamie Vaught: Watergate, ‘fake news’ and Hemingway among topics for your late summer reading list

This is the second of a two-part series about recently-published nonfiction books that you may enjoy this summer. • “Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy” by Anne Lamott (Riverhead Books, $20) is an attempt to tell what we need to know about mercy. While using the kindness, wisdom and humor, Lamott explains that as we struggle to move through this complex world, mercy certainly points us in...