A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Bill Straub: When you don’t know anything, it is probably best to shut up and listen to those who do

Permit me to borrow a phrase that has been used consistently by Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch’’ McConnell and any number of his colleagues on the GOP side of the aisle: I am not a scientist. Here is my curriculum vitae on the subject: I somehow managed to survive a high school chemistry class taught by Mr. George Barstow who had been a teacher since the Roosevelt Administration...

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...

McConnell says Mueller investigation to continue; much to do in two months; he’s running in 2020

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he is upbeat about the results of the November General Election, both in Kentucky and across the country. 
On the GOP maintaining the supermajority in both the Kentucky House and Senate, the Louisville Republican told reporters on Friday: “I think we’re in good shape going into Governor (Matt)...

Mitch McConnell: Landmark opioids bill can save lives, get Kentucky back to work

The epidemic of opioid and substance abuse affects families in virtually every neighborhood in America. Its deadly toll hit a staggering record in Kentucky, where more than 1,500 people died from a drug overdose in 2017 alone. The only way to solve this crisis is through coordinated efforts at the local, state and federal levels. As the Senate Majority Leader, I have made responding to addiction a...

Mitch McConnell: Recent protest, intimidation attempt at Louisville restaurant didn’t ruin my meal

Recently, we’ve seen several examples that when the far left doesn’t get what it wants through the democratic process, it resorts to intimidation and mob tactics. This tendency was on full display during the debate over the nomination of Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. Republican Senators and their families were targeted by the mob at their homes, at airports, and in their cars....

Bill Straub: McConnell breaking through bottom of barrel, blaming ‘entitlements’ for growth of deficit

WASHINGTON – Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch’’ McConnell is no longer scraping the bottom of the political barrel. No, it appears our boy from Louisville has broken through the bottom of said barrel and is in the process of digging his way through to China. Just how low can Mitch go? Wait and see. You may remember, apparently Mitch doesn’t, that the Congressional Budget Office...

Walter ‘Dee’ Huddleston, former U.S. Senator, dies at age 92 at son’s home in Warsaw

Staff report Former Kentucky U.S. Senator Walter ‘Dee’ Huddleston has died at age 92 at his son’s home in Warsaw. Huddleston, a Democrat, began two decades in politics in 1965 in the Kentucky Senate and ran Wendell Ford’s successful campaign for Governor in 1971. He subsequently ran for John Sherman Cooper’s vacated but long-held U.S. Senate seat and won handily. But...

Jeff Hoover: Mitch McConnell cements legacy with Supreme Court confirmations; bold action prevailed

It wasn’t long ago in our nation that boxing was one of the preeminent sports. Like almost everyone near my age, I grew up watching some of the greats like George Foreman, Joe Frazier and Larry Holmes. Of course, none was greater than Kentucky’s own Muhammad Ali.   For nearly 20 years, Ali was the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. He took on fighters younger and older than him, bigger...

Bill Straub: Trying to figure out Mitch McConnell and apologizing for being too soft on him over the years

What happened to Mitch McConnell? It’s a question that has been bugging me and many others for years now. What transformed the Senate Republican leader, a seemingly earnest, hardworking lawmaker from Louisville into a political animal who has repeatedly in recent times brought disgrace to not only the legislative body he represents but, to a great extent, the republic as a whole? This is the man...

Bill Straub: Through the Valley of Death, Republicans (and McConnell) ‘pushing (Kavanaugh) right through’

WASHINGTON – I experienced an epiphany over the past few weeks that may seem counter-intuitive but nonetheless is the only reasonable explanation for Republicans, especially Sen. Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch’’ McConnell, marching into the Valley of Death to assure that U.S. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed for a seat on the Supreme Court. McConnell, of Louisville, and others, particularly...

Bill Straub: Taking bets on McConnell’s choice of doing what’s best for (1) the nation or (2) his party?

WASHINGTON – Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch’’ McConnell is facing a dilemma. McConnell, of Louisville, has, on numerous occasions, been justifiably criticized for placing the priorities of his Republican Party ahead of the nation’s welfare. It was, after all, ol’ Root-‘n-Branch who vowed rigid non-cooperation with anything President Barack Obama, a Democrat and the...

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....

Bill Straub: The view from Trump’s DC hotel is ruined by an ‘ugly’ FBI building — and therein is a story

Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch’’ McConnell has emerged in the past few months as such a snuggling lapdog for “President’’ Trump (Lord have mercy) that even the most adorable Pomeranian might sneer in contempt. The Louisville Republican who, history shows, regularly places the desires of his party above those of the nation he has taken an oath to serve, has been doing the...

Mitch McConnell: Remembering John S. McCain as a statesman, a family man, a hero, a gentleman . . .

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks Monday on the Senate floor regarding the passing of his dear friend and colleague, U.S. Senator John S. McCain (R-AZ): “On Saturday evening, a great loss echoed through our country. Six decades of patriotic service came to an end. We’ve suspected for some time that we’d bid farewell to our colleague, the senior...

Longtime Arizona Senator, presidential candidate John McCain, 81, loses battle with brain cancer

Staff Report U.S. Senator John McCain, 81, of Arizona, a Vietnam War hero and 2008 GOP presidential nominee, died Saturday, an aide announced. McCain’s family had announced on Friday that he had stopped treatment for an aggressive Glioblastoma, a form of brain cancer. “The progress of disease and the inexorable advance of age render the verdict,” his family said. John McCain U.S....

Mitch McConnell: New education law will help to close the ‘skills gap’ and benefit Kentucky workers

Kentucky’s economy is surging forward. After nearly a decade of sluggish growth, Republican leadership in both Washington and Frankfort is helping encourage job creation and economic opportunity. This is certainly promising news. However, 84% of Kentucky employers also reported last year that they couldn’t find enough qualified workers to fill all the job openings that have been created. One estimate...

Bill Straub: McConnell is Trump’s primary enabler as the walls come tumbling down around the President

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is so smitten with the idea that he’s playing “the long game” in politics that he titled his self-penned hagiography after that empty phrase. But it’s quickly becoming obvious, as the walls come tumbling down around President Trump (OMG!), that the sage of Louisville, misspoke. He isn’t playing the long game. He’s playing the wrong game. And...

Mitch McConnell: Visits with constituents back home help to guide Kentucky’s priorities in Washington

Whenever the Senate is not in session, I enjoy working at home in Kentucky and hearing first-hand from my constituents. During the July state work period, I again traveled across Kentucky to meet with families, veterans, workers and students. I’m proud to represent them in Washington and always appreciate spending time with them in the Commonwealth. These conversations help me – as Senate Majority...

Bill Straub: It take a certain talent to spew gibberish on a consistent basis, and McConnell has talent

Looks can, indeed be deceiving. Take Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, for example. McConnell, of Louisville, comes across as your dull, standard issue white-man-in-a-suit with a droning voice who would turn the head of absolutely no one at the neighborhood Piggly-Wiggly. But the fact is ol’ Root-‘n-Branch is one of the most outrageous figures to hit the American scene since Huey Long,...

Mitch McConnell: America on right track as consumer confidence soars, unemployment shrinks

Not even two years into the Trump administration, our country is finally getting back on the right track. On the heels of a major regulatory rollback and historic tax reform, consumer confidence is soaring and unemployment is shrinking. I’m proud of the many promises this Republican Congress has worked closely with President Trump to fulfill for your family, and I would like to update you on our...