A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Bill Straub: McConnell put energies into court appointments (to little avail); Biden can do better

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, as benevolent as ever, has graciously decided to forgive U.S. Circuit Court Judge Merrick Garland for pursuing a Supreme Court appointment he intended to steal and will support Garland’s nomination to serve as attorney general. What a guy! Garland, you’ll recall, was nominated by then-President Barack Obama, a Democrat, in March 2016 to fill the high court...

Trump impeached by House, 232-197; McConnell says Senate trial can’t be set before inauguration

Staff report Ten Republicans in the U.S. House sided with Democrats to impeach President Donald Trump 232-197 for inciting the storming of the Capitol on January 6. The violent breach of the Capitol resulted in terrorism of its occupants, terrific damage to the historical building, and the death of five people, including Capitol police who were defending against the invasion. Mitch McConnell The rioting...

Trump signs ‘bipartisan rescue package,’ provides relief payments, averts government shutdown

Staff report National news outlets are reporting that President Donald Trump has signed the $900 billion ‘pandemic relief’ bill, ending his refusal to accept it and delivering relief to businesses and individuals who are suffering during the pandemic. The bill was delivered to him at Mar-a-Lago where he is vacationing. The bill also includes $1.4 trillion to fund government agencies through...

Quarles urges Kentucky farmers to apply for federal coronavirus relief funds; portal closes Dec. 11

Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles is encouraging Kentucky farm families facing market disruptions and associated costs because of the coronavirus pandemic to sign up for the second round of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), which opened on Sept. 21 and will run through Dec. 11. “Through the passage of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s CARES Act, the U.S. Department...

Jan Hillard: Falsehood flies and the truth comes limping after it (Jonathan Swift)

An inventory by the Washington Post finds more than 18,000 untruths told by President Donald Trump since he took office in 2016. Several campaign ads by former Vice President Joe Biden include facts not supported by the record. Fact-checking has become a cottage industry with no shortage of work from Republican and Democratic elected officials and candidates. And while misinformation has always crept...

KY Equine Education Project responds to suspension of H-2B work visas, a blow to horse industry

The Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP) released the following response to President Donald Trump’s announcement that no new H-2B visas would be issued in 2020: “On Monday, June 22, 2020, President Trump issued an order that extends the federal government’s suspension of new H-2B visas, as well as other work visas, through the end of the year. This order, as with the previous...

Bill Straub: It’s the autocratic way — using (or threatening) military force against U.S. citizens

The nation dodged a bullet, figuratively and, perhaps, literally, this week when President Trump, aka President Extremely Stable Genius, aka President Great and Unmatched Wisdom, failed to follow through on his threat to deploy the military to deal with the generally peaceful protests generated in wake of the death of George Floyd up in Minneapolis. Floyd, an African-American, died when a white policeman,...

Lexington mayor prioritizes federal funding based on ‘community needs’ and ‘city’s financial stability’

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton has set her priorities for how federal money will be spent following last week’s announcement by Gov. Andy Beshear that Kentucky cities will receive funding for expenditures related to the coronavirus. During a press conference at Lexington City Hall, Gorton laid out her recommendations for how the money should be spent. “Funding for the...

Kentucky soldier’s heroism, 20-year campaign for Medal of Honor, subjects of KET documentary May 25

As Americans honor patriotic sacrifice on Memorial Day, KET will premiere the story of a Kentucky soldier who repeatedly put his life on the line for his country – but wasn’t fully honored for it until 73 years later. “From Honor to Medal: The Story of Garlin M. Conner,” airing at 8/7 p.m. ET/CT on May 25, tells the story of one of the most decorated soldiers of World War II – who received...

Bill Straub: Mitch McConnell, known for putting party before country, does it again over ‘blue state bailouts’

In 1975, facing an excruciating financial crisis, the City of New York under Democratic Mayor Abraham Beame, looking bankruptcy squarely in the eye, went hat-in-hand to President Gerald Ford seeking some sort of bail-out to help clear the debt. Ford, a Republican, told Beame and the five boroughs to take a hike, leading the New York Daily News to print one of the most renowned front-page headlines...

John Winn Miller: What if Trump had been President of the United States during World War II?

President Trump claims he is a wartime president leading our national fight against the COVID-19 virus. Good thing he wasn’t in office during World War II. Imagine a conference call in which Mr. Wartime President admonishes Gen. George S. Patton in the middle of the Battle of the Bulge for not having stored up enough ammunition to deal with the Nazis’ surprise counter-offensive. “A small group...

Mitch McConnell: Kentucky feels effects of COVID-19, but Senate responds with historical rescue package

Every Kentuckian is feeling the effects of the coronavirus. It’s a national health and economic emergency that demands action. The Republican-led Senate answered with the biggest rescue package in history, and Kentucky will see at least $1.25 billion in relief. We’ve already received $39 million to address urgent housing and economic development priorities, and more funding will soon be on the...

Al Cross: McConnell again makes a boulder out of a pebble, then makes political hay of crisis

It’s a time for us to be apart literally, and a time to be together figuratively. But politics long ago moved mainly to the figurative battlefield, and we shouldn’t expect its divisiveness to take a holiday even in a deadly pandemic. And now the crisis itself is an issue. Two weeks ago, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s campaign manager was calling on his likely Democratic opponent, Amy...

Mitch McConnell announces Kentucky will receive at least $7 million to help fight new coronavirus

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Friday that Kentucky will receive at least $7 million to help fight the new coronavirus, labeled COVID-19. The funding, included in the supplemental appropriations bill, was signed into law by President Trump, will be provided to state officials who will determine how the resources will be distributed. Each state will receive no less than $4 million. The...

Mitch McConnell: Obama’s regulatory ‘War on Coal’ is over, and we’re trying to repair the damage

For generations, our nation’s strength has been powered by the miners in Kentucky’s coalfields. Their hard work helps fuel American innovation and provides millions of families and small businesses with reliable and affordable energy. Unfortunately, the enduring pain from President Obama’s War on Coal has contributed to recent coal plant and mine closures in Kentucky. As a result, workers’...

Al Cross: McConnell surely cannot approve of Trump’s inappropriate behavior; why not say so?

Last Friday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell scheduled a press conference in Louisville, which he had to cancel because his flight from Washington was canceled, his office said. Too bad; there are many questions that could have been asked and can still be. Here are a few. What did you think of what President Trump said at the National Prayer Breakfast about Mitt Romney, the only senator to vote...

President signs provision to extend tax depreciation for racehorses; measure had bipartisan support

A key provision that extends three-year tax depreciation for all racehorses through 2020 was signed into law by President Trump last week. The racehorse provision, which received bi-partisan support within both Houses of Congress, was passed by the Senate on Thursday by a vote of 71-23 and passed by the House of Representatives on Tuesday by a vote of 297-120. “We are very pleased that Congress...

John Schaaf: White House defense suffers from lack of teamwork; let witness testify to what they know

The impeachment inquiry in the U.S. House of Representatives has moved into a new phase in which witnesses are testifying publicly in front of the House Intelligence Committee and being questioned by members of both political parties. However, the White House has tied one hand behind its back and is not putting its best witnesses forward. If this was a basketball game, it’s like one team keeping...

Mitch McConnell: Democrats fail to fund national defense, put partisan agenda ahead of armed forces

At the end of October, President Trump announced U.S. special operations forces eliminated Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the world’s most wanted terrorist and the vile leader of ISIS. Whatever your politics, every American should express sincere gratitude to the intelligence professionals and servicemembers who carried out this brave defense of the American way of life. Kentuckians should be especially proud...

Al Cross: McConnell cares most about the state Attorney General race, and things are looking up

For Mitch McConnell, things in Kentucky are looking up. In Washington, not so much. The races are close, but the Senate majority leader’s state appears likelier than not to elect Republicans to the state’s top offices Nov. 5. McConnell and Gov. Matt Bevin, former rivals, have learned how to get along and stay out of each other’s way, and a Bevin victory should increase McConnell’s chances of...