A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

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: With Ryan stuck on entitlements, is McConnell ready to work with Dems on infrastructure

WASHINGTON – One thing that can be said about Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root and Branch’’ McConnell, to paraphrase the late Democratic Sen. Henry “Scoop’’ Jackson of Washington, is that he’s a conservative, not a damn fool. McConnell While his counterpart in the lower chamber, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-WI, is becoming increasingly bellicose about tackling entitlements during...

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...

Rural Blog: Budget office says 24 million could lose coverage; rural counties would be hardest hit

The Congressional Budget Office predicted this week “that 24 million fewer people would have coverage a decade from now than if the Affordable Care Act remains intact, nearly doubling the share of Americans who are uninsured from 10 percent to 19 percent,” Amy Goldstein, Elise Viebeck, Kelsey Snell and Mike DeBonis report for The Washington Post. The impact would be greater in rural areas,...

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...

Bill Straub: Under a possible Clinton administration, Beshear’s influence on health care could increase

WASHINGTON – Word is that former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, who was in charge when more than a half million previously uncovered Bluegrass residents were able to obtain some form of health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, is being considered for the job of secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services if Democrat Hillary Clinton wins the presidency. Only a handful of Kentuckians...

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...

Bill Straub: Sum of Trump’s missteps still not enough to shake McConnell’s blind support

WASHINGTON – There simply is no polite way to say this: Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has endorsed, and wants you to vote for, an overt racist and make this overt racist the 45th president of the United States of America, vowing to intercede, if need be, to stop that prospective president from doing any racist thing he happens to conjure up during his four-to-eight years in office. Now,...

Tom Block: Paul Ryan, a true conservative who wants to govern, would be a good speaker

In my previous column, I wrote on the Republican conundrum of trying to put together a governing coalition within their own caucus after the far right forced John Boehner to give up his position as speaker. Then in a further victory for the far right wing of the House Republican caucus, they forced Boehner’s deputy, Congressman Kevin McCarthy, out of the race to be the new speaker.   Paul Ryan Now...