A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

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...

Bill Straub: President Trump hides in plain sight, while Mitch McConnell provides the cover he needs

WASHINGTON – It was left to Senate Republican Leader Hugh Scott and a couple of senior members of the upper chamber to make the short trip down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House in August 1974 to tell the second-most corrupt president in the nation’s history – Richard Nixon – that the jig was up. Scott, a pipe-smoking, mustachioed, moderate from Pennsylvania, didn’t exactly blurt out...

Al Cross: Bevin resorting to scare tactics on immigration in ad designed to appeal to Trump’s base

On Sept. 9, Gov. Matt Bevin accused his opponent for re-election, Attorney General Andy Beshear, of using a “scare tactic” by running a TV ad alleging that Bevin’s “education cuts” could leave some communities without schools. Bevin had a point. But a week later, he started an ad of his own that is nothing but a scare tactic – a base, simplistic appeal to fear of immigrants. This, from...

Mitch McConnell: Hemp legalization opens new doors for Kentucky farmers, processors, manufacturers

Kentucky’s farmers are among the best in the world. It’s no surprise agriculture leaders from around the country are looking to the Bluegrass State and our prospering hemp industry. Right now, hemp is growing in 101 of our 120 counties and $100 million worth of Kentucky grown and processed hemp products are expected to be sold this year alone. Our Commonwealth is proud of our long history with...

Al Cross: We learned some meaningful things at Fancy Farm; raucous crowd tells us something too

FANCY FARM, Ky. – For all its hoopla, the political speaking at the Fancy Farm Picnic rarely has much effect on statewide elections. But it always provides a unique measurement of the candidates, their campaigns and their prospects, and this year’s version told us some meaningful things about Republican Gov. Matt Bevin and his challenger, Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear. The speaking has...

McConnell waves Republican Banner, praises Ky. Republicans, Trump during Fancy Farm speech

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was effusive in his praise of Kentucky Republicans during his speech at the annual Fancy Farm Picnic and political speaking in western Kentucky on Saturday. “Under President Trump, Gov. Bevin and our united Republican leadership, Kentucky is leading the way,” he said. U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at the podium...

Former White House chief of staff to be keynote speaker for Kentucky Chamber Annual Meeting

The 14th annual Kentucky Chamber Business Summit and Annual Meeting will be held July 11-12 at the Louisville Marriott Downtown, with the Annual Meeting starting at 6:30 p.m. on July 11. John Kelly The Annual Meeting keynote speaker is Gen. John Kelly, a 45-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps who has led the U.S. Southern Command, served as the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, and most recently...

Mitch McConnell: Elected officials must work with parents to protect our youth from nicotine addiction

The youth vaping crisis is putting the health of our children at risk. To address this rampant and dangerous new trend, I’ve introduced the “Tobacco-Free Youth Act,” a bipartisan federal bill with my fellow tobacco state colleague, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA). Once enacted, our legislation will raise the minimum purchase age for all tobacco and vaping products from 18 to 21 and help protect...

Kim Moser: We must attack growing meth crisis in our communities from every possible angle

The epidemic of illegal drug abuse is one of the most difficult challenges facing our communities. Our region’s harrowing experience with opioids has been well documented and remains an ongoing struggle for those who are addicted and their families. Increasingly, the scourge of methamphetamine abuse has grown alongside opioids as a destructive force tearing apart our communities. A recent local article...

Mitch McConnell: Kentucky on the frontline of opioid and addiction response; prevention will save lives

Coordinated efforts at the federal, state and local levels are making considerable progress in the fight against opioid and substance abuse. Unfortunately, Kentucky still ranks among the hardest-hit states in the nation. Reports continue to show record-breaking overdose deaths in our Commonwealth, and families are struggling as they watch their loved ones battle addiction. Our prevention, treatment...

Mitch McConnell: Bill to protect abortion survivors should not be a partisan issue

Caring for innocent children and their mothers is a moral imperative. To put these principles into action, I announced, as Senate Majority Leader, that we would vote on the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act,” offered by Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) in the coming days. His bill, on which I’m proud to be an original cosponsor with nearly forty of my colleagues, would direct any physician...

Al Cross: At 77, McConnell faces big decision about his legacy — a Trump enabler or a Senate leader?

Mitch McConnell turned 77 Wednesday. He’s at the point in life where you reflect, sometimes at length, on how you will be remembered. If the Senate majority leader had any such ruminations in the last week or so, they should have troubled him. He risks going down in history as the main enabler of an autocratic president’s challenge to our constitutional system of government. Mitch McConnell The...

Rural Blog: Trump, McConnell urge TVA not to close two of its oldest coal-fired plants, one in Paradise

The Tennessee Valley Authority’s Paradise Fossil Plant in Muhlenberg County. The town of Paradise, which no longer exists, was made famous in 1971 by John Prine’s eponymous anti-strip mining song. (Photo by Kathleen Cole) President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky are trying to convince to the federally owned Tennessee Valley Authority not to close two of its...

Mitch McConnell: Standing together, we will continue making great strides for Kentucky and our nation

In his State of the Union address, President Trump presented his vision for our country’s future. He articulated our national values, our economic potential, and the needs of families throughout the county. I was proud to once again welcome President Trump to the U.S. Capitol for this important speech, and I applaud his leadership. Standing together, we will continue making great strides for Kentucky...

KDA approves more than 42,000 acres of industrial hemp for planting in 2019

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles has announced the Kentucky Department of Agriculture approved 1,035 applications to cultivate up to 42,086 acres of industrial hemp in 2019. The KDA also approved 2.9 million square feet of greenhouse space for hemp cultivation.  “The numbers tell you what you need to know about the excitement about hemp in Kentucky,” Quarles said. “The growth in the number...

Mitch McConnell: Democrats refusal to address southern border crisis another example of absurdity

There is a humanitarian and security crisis at our nation’s southern border. Our country is threatened by the inflow of drugs and criminal aliens. Career border security experts continue to express strong support for physical barriers. The simple truth is these walls and fences work. In fact, the Trump administration reports that in four border sectors where physical barriers were recently built...

Ryan Quarles: USMCA must be passed to protect, expand market access for American agriculture

On the heels of the successful passage of the federal farm bill, and with a new year upon us, there is a major opportunity to protect and expand market access for American agriculture in 2019: Congress must pass USMCA. The last year has been dominated by headlines about international trade and the tough tri-lateral negotiations involving the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Now, a new trade framework...

Mitch McConnell: Kentuckians benefitting from clout in Washington; here are some examples from 2018

Throughout 2018, I worked with my colleagues and President Trump to accomplish a great deal across Kentucky – from Paducah to Pikeville. We legalized industrial hemp, opening new doors of opportunity for farmers. We bolstered funding for our military and our veterans. And we helped protect families from the scourge of the opioid epidemic and the terrors of human trafficking. My most important responsibility...

Bill Straub: Think of all the great acts. Give big round of applause now for McConnell, Paul and Trump

In the past, we’ve had Laurel and Hardy, Burns and Allen, Abbott and Costello. Now we have McConnell and Trump. In an interview with columnist Fred Barnes, an acquaintance from the days of appearing on “Issues in the News’’ over the Voice of America, Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch’’ McConnell, of Louisville, squealed like a four-year-old holding a double-scoop ice cream...