A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

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: 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...

Kentucky Attorney General joins Republican AGs in legal action over Pennsylvania mail-in ballots

By Mark Maynard Kentucky Today Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron has joined the Republican Attorneys General Association to bring legal action against the process of counting mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania. He is one of 10 Republican attorneys general who signed onto an amicus brief supporting a Republican lawsuit arguing absentee ballots received after Nov. 3 should not be counted in Pennsylvania...

Berry Craig: No more, no more, no more; finally we are rid of our Sawdust Caesar

Nearly 75 million (and counting) of us have said no more to Donald Trump’s politics of hate, fear and division. No more to his grievance politics. No more to demagoguery. No more to racism, sexism, misogyny, nativism, xenophobia, homophobia, and religious bigotry. No more to Trumpian boorishness and buffoonery. No more to his fawning over murderous dictators and dissing our democratic allies. No...

Al Cross: Republicans cement Frankfort power; will they overreach?

Well, that was a whoopin’. Tuesday’s election was a political disaster for Kentucky Democrats, and it has the makings of a governing disaster for their leader, Gov. Andy Beshear. But if Republicans overreach, it could be a public-health disaster for us all. Driven by allegiance to President Trump and a strong seventh endorsement of U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, voters increased Republicans’...

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: Kentucky, like many other states, needs stimulus package from the Feds, but it’s not in sight

It’s fair to say, seven months in and counting, that the COVID-19 pandemic has not been at all kind to the Commonwealth of Kentucky. According to Jason Bailey, executive director of the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, more than 40 percent of the state’s residents have lost household employment income as a result of the ongoing crisis. One out of every four Kentuckians finds himself or herself...

Richard Nelson: What are the qualities of a good Supreme Court Justice? That question is relevant

What are the qualities of a good Supreme Court Justice? The question is relevant since Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the nation’s highest court last weekend. Impeccable integrity, temperament, experience, and fidelity to the Constitution are traits to look for in any judge and Coney Barrett ably demonstrates each characteristic. A member of the 7th Circuit Federal Court who’s...

Bill Straub: Overseeing destruction of the planet, president declares he is great environmentalist

With all the attention being afforded his derisive comments aimed at military personnel, his abject failure to address the COVID-19 crisis, the ever-increasing volume of his racist dog whistling and, well, his general imbecility, little notice is being given to President Donald J. Trump as he oversees the destruction of the planet. Fires are raging in California, hurricanes are popping up like bubbles...

Bill Straub: Truth or lie? Well, it’s probably a lie if the President says it — and James Comer believes

President Donald J. Trump, aka President Extremely Stable Genius, aka President Great and Unmatched Wisdom, is notorious for anyone of a million sins. But perhaps the man’s most infamous character flaw is his propensity to prefer climbing up a tree to tell a lie over standing on the ground to tell the truth. Even his most avid supporters – and don’t kid yourself, there’s still plenty of them...

Bill Straub: Will McConnell maintain majority leader status, even if he defeats his Democrat opponent?

To the vast relief of a grateful but beleaguered nation, Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch” McConnell, has made it clear that, should the good folks of Kentucky choose to return him to the upper chamber for the seventh time this November, he would be more than willing to continue to serve as capo di tutti capi of the GOP caucus, whether it maintains its majority for another two...

Analysis of social media shows ‘confusion reigns’ around COVID-19 in rural swing state communities

By Tim Marema The Daily Yonder Social-media users in rural areas are increasingly confused by contradictory information about Covid-19, including whether the disease is as deadly as reported, how effective protective gear is, and whether untested treatments are effective. But the confusion has not decreased the large proportion of social-media posts that criticize President Donald Trump for the way...

Bill Straub: Where should the public invest its faith? Trust has always been the American way

The late Jimmy Breslin, my hero, said it succinctly: “You’re supposed to be despised.” Breslin was, of course, referring to newspaper reporters, that constant target of critics who complain that they are either paying inadequate attention to a critical subject or they’re paying too much attention to a trivial matter. Regardless, it’s true that reporters are always poking their collective...

Al Cross: As Trump’s virus work drags them down, Republicans seem frantic

Republicans facing an election amid a century-rank catastrophe made worse by their president are throwing anything they can against the political wall to see what sticks. Some of what they’re throwing is pretty slippery – trying to discredit experts, shifting the blame to China, or, well, just making stuff up. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had been a voice of reason, repeatedly volunteering...

Bill Straub: Saying whatever is necessary to assure their legends for a place in history; it’s all in the spin

Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch’’ McConnell has dished out some doozies during his time in the District of Columbia and the pervasiveness of the coronavirus is providing the man with a great opportunity to add to the legend that is Moscow Mitch. For instance, our boy from Louisville took to the air this week with a television campaign ad grabbing credit for passage of a $2.2...

Outlier Massie becomes pariah, forcing colleagues to gather against public health advice for stimulus vote

By Al Cross Kentucky Health News Thomas Massie, the congressman from Kentucky’s Fourth District, has long been at the limits of elective politics at the national level. He is more Libertarian than Republican, but his strong stands against the tax-and-spend mentality of the federal government harken back to Republicans of old, such as the late Sen. Robert Taft of Cincinnati, just across the Ohio...

OJ Oleka: Tour of Ky. campuses indicates private colleges change the lives of low-income students

Setting the benchmark of your first 100 days is a good measure for most leaders. It is in those first few months that you get to set the vision, organize your team, and set out to achieve your goals. In my first 100 days as president of the Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities (AIKCU), I have visited all 18 AIKCU campuses and learned how our institutions are changing the lives...

Bill Straub: A look at Kentucky’s presidential primary May 19; R choice sure; D in the air, picking Sanders

As usual, this year’s presidential primary in Kentucky could be another case of closing the corral gate after the horse has escaped – the May 19 date comes so late in the candidate selection process that the results carry little or no impact in determining the parties’ eventual nominees. There exists a possibility that scenario might change a bit this year, at least on the Democratic side, with...

Bill Straub: Does the Trump cult even remember when they first sold out? Does Rob Portman?

This is a column written more in sorrow than anger, stealing a reference from Shakespeare, about a man who once upon a time stood up to President Donald J. Trump but who has since succumbed to his wiles, folding like a cardboard suitcase in the presence of President Extremely Stable Genius, aka President Great and Unmatched Wisdom. In 1994 I was chosen to serve as the Washington correspondent for the...

Bill Straub: Making a hash of impeachment hearings — and of country; thanks McConnell, Barr and Paul

It’s no secret that Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has made a hash of the impeachment proceedings against President Donald J. Trump but less noticeable thus far is Sen. Rand Paul’s determination to sling the same mélange out like a short-order cook at the corner greasy spoon. Paul, of Bowling Green, drew attention four years back when he emerged as one of the Republican Party’s biggest...