A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

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...

Bill Straub: Thomas ‘Wonderboy’ Massie, darling of far-right fringe, wants to undermine the government

WASHINGTON – It’s fair to say that Rep. Thomas “Wonder Boy” Massie has one of the, well, most unusual voting records in Congress, a claim that even he is unlikely to contradict.  The Republican from SomewhereorotherLewisCounty has been busy since the outset of the 116th Congress engaging in the foolishness that has made him the darling of the nation’s far-right fringe, the Bluegrass’s...

Bill Straub: Character is indispensable, character matters, character first; did someone say ‘character’?

Apparently a person’s character doesn’t amount to a hill of beans in Sen. Rand Paul’s world. The Bowling Green Republican, who once referred to President Trump (YIKES!) as “a delusional narcissist and an orange-faced windbag,’’ has somehow emerged as the most intense defender of said orange-faced windbag in the upper chamber, going so far as to wage attacks on those who might suggest that...

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...

Bill Straub: Mitch McConnell is in an uncomfortable spot (and he did vote for Clinton’s impeachment)

Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch’’ McConnell said a lot the other day by saying nothing. Asked by a reporter at a press briefing, “On Friday night, federal prosecutors implicated the president on two crime. Do you have any concerns about that?” McConnell, of Louisville, answered, to wit: “I don’t have any observations to make about that.” The inquiry, of course,...

Rand Paul files legislation to cut off aid to Saudi Arabia until missing journalist is freed

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today U.S. Sen. Rand Paul filed legislation on Thursday that would cut off aid to Saudi Arabia until a missing journalist is determined to be alive and free. Jamal Khashoggi, a columnist for the Washington Post, was last seen alive entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on Oct. 2, and Turkish authorities believe he was murdered. “Time and again, clear evidence has...

Bill Straub: Trump Derangement Syndrome aside, there are legitimate questions about Putin and Trump

To Sen. Rand Paul, it can all be chalked up to Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS). The Republican lawmaker from Bowling Green, famously referred to as a “wacko bird’’ by one-time presidential candidate Sen. John McCain of Arizona – a member of Paul’s own party, it should be noted – insists the vitriol that greeted President Trump’s (YIKES!) recent session with Russia strongman Vladimir...

Bill Straub: Humpty-Trumpty bullies way through NATO, insults May on home turf, loves Putin more. . .

President Trump’s (OMG!) recently concluded European excursion was, by all estimates, a disaster, not to mention a public humiliation that seemingly eroded America’s once commanding presence on the international stage. That is not a controversial sentiment. Republicans and Democrats, folks on the left, right and center, have spent the past few days assessing the damage perpetrated by a man who...

Judge sentences Rand Paul’s neighbor to 30 days behind bars; after plea of guilty to assault

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A federal judge has sentenced U.S. Sen. Rand Paul’s neighbor to 30 days behind bars after he pleaded guilty to assaulting a member of Congress. FILE – In this Nov. 9, 2017, file photo, Rene Boucher, center, appears in court for an arraignment hearing with his attorney Matt Baker, left, at the Warren County Justice Center in Bowling Green, Ky. U.S. District Judge...

U.S. DOT awards Kentucky Transportation Cabinet $67 million for Boone County interchange upgrades

NKyTribune staff The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has received approval for a $67 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to fund upgrades to interchanges at Mt. Zion Road (KY 536) and Richwood Rd (KY 388). Click to enlarge The improvements will include the replacement of traditional diamond interchanges with double crossover diamond interchanges. The project also includes construction...

Sec. Quarles: As we celebrate Hemp History Week; let’s help Kentucky make its own mark

This week Americans celebrate Hemp History Week. Here in Kentucky, we know industrial hemp is a crop that connects our past to our future. A quick survey of the crop’s history proves it is time for us to make our own mark on hemp history and allow it to flourish. Quarles The history of the United States is entwined with hemp’s history. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson are believed to have...

Braidy Industries breaks ground on $1.6B rolling mill near Ashland, will bring 600 jobs to region

At Friday’s ceremonial start of construction on the $1.5 billion, 600-job Braidy Industries aluminum rolling mill near Ashland, Gov. Matt Bevin joined elected officials and business leaders in hailing the project as the economic comeback of Eastern Kentucky and a direct result of the state’s right-to-work legislation. Gov. Matt Bevin addresses the crowd at Friday’ groundbreaking (photo credit...

Bill Straub: The ‘lone wolf’ joins the pack, as Rand Paul hands committee green light to Mike Pompeo

WASHINGTON – Back a little more than five years ago, Sen. Rand Paul marched onto the floor of the upper chamber and launched a filibuster that lasted nearly 13 hours, a move that earned the Bowling Green Republican a lot of attention, established him as an iconoclastic spirit and proved beyond any doubt that the man could talk. Now the public, including the voters of Kentucky, are beginning to understand...

Gov. Bevin: Kentucky Opportunity Zone Initiative holds promise of economic growth for local communities

Gov. Matt Bevin announced Monday the U.S. Department of the Treasury certified 144 Opportunity Zones in 84 Kentucky counties under a program in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 that aims to encourage long-term investments in low-income urban and rural communities nationwide. Gov. Bevin The designation offers significant federal tax breaks and deferrals to entities and individuals investing in Opportunity...

National nonprofit Helping a Hero awards home to Independence, Kentucky Wounded Warrior

By Mark Hansel Special to KyForward A crowd of hundreds, which included Congressmen from two states and a U.S. Senator, lined a small street in Independence to welcome a Wounded Warrior and his family into a new handicap accessible home. Country music singer Lee Greenwood points to those in attendance and the crowd reacts at the dedication of a new home for Staff Sgt. Paul Brondhaver and his family...

Bill Straub: You can look it up or take a stand, but words do speak for themselves. Figure it out.

You may have heard, it’s been in all the papers, that the president of these United States, one Donald J. Trump, recently referred to many if not all nations on the African continent as shitholes, throwing poor, old Haiti and El Salvador into the discussion to boot, while expressing a desire to attract more folks to our shores from Norway, a rather nice but cold spot on the globe that is known for,...

Bill Straub: So far, GOP has little to show for control, so killing health care may be the best they can do

Once again we are sadly reminded that there isn’t anything so terrible in this world that Sen. Rand Paul and his loony-tunes political ideas couldn’t make worse. Paul, R-Bowling Green, has spent the last seven years in the U.S. Senate spouting gibberish, occasionally veering into the sensible lane, and then hiding behind his kookiness by shouting “freedom’’ and “liberty’’ at most inappropriate...

Bill Straub: In the world of Donald Trump, reality is no longer relevant as truth takes a near daily beating

WASHINGTON – You know things are rapidly running out of control in this great country of ours when you can’t find a legitimate and honest way to avoid calling the 45th president of the United States a pig. But there’s simply no getting around it, and everyone with a rational bone in his or her body has by this time, less than six months after he took the oath, come to realize that Donald J....

Bevin opts out of appearance at Fancy Farm picnic, but attorney general Beshear will be on hand

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Republican Gov. Matt Bevin will not be adding any sizzle to the always fiery speeches that will be delivered in this tiny western Kentucky town next month. Bevin will skip the annual Fancy Farm picnic this year, citing a schedule conflict. But his Democratic nemesis, Attorney General Andy Beshear, will be there. The pair have been embroiled in an ongoing political tussle...

McConnell defends private drafting of health bill; Rand opposes delaying end of Medicaid expansion

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky defended Senate Republicans’ secret drafting of a new health-care law Tuesday, saying committee hearings that Democrats demand aren’t needed. “Look, we’ve been dealing with this issue for seven years. It’s not a new thing. We’ve spent a lot of time on it,” McConnell told reporters. “Nobody’s hiding the...