A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Al Cross: We have waited patiently for the moment that Mitch McConnell would come to his senses . . .

More than once, this space has said Mitch McConnell would face a day of reckoning in his relationship with Donald Trump – a moment when the Senate majority leader would have to decide to maintain fealty to the president of his party or would say, at least to himself, that “enough is enough” when it comes to Trump’s use of the presidency to serve his personal interests. We thought the day might...

Bill Straub: Lone holdout in U.S. House on vote to support Hong Kong freedom fighters was Massie

It was Aesop who first noted that a man is known by the company he keeps. With that in mind, Rep. Thomas Massie, aka Wonder Boy, might want to reconsider cozying up to his new BFFs, notorious international tormentors Russia and China, who aren’t exactly known for having the best interests of the United States in mind. Massie, R-SomewhereorotherLewisCounty, has long looked at Russia with admiring...

Finnish journalist Jessikka Aro to receive WKU’s Fleischaker/Greene Award for International Reporting

The School of Media at Western Kentucky University will welcome Finnish journalist Jessikka Aro to campus Oct. 15 as the recipient of the fourth annual Fleischaker/Greene Award for Courageous International Reporting. Aro, an award-winning investigative reporter with the Finnish Broadcasting Company, specializes in Russia, extremism and information warfare. In 2014 she began investigating the pro-Kremlin...

Bill Straub: Following the McConnell footsie game through Russia to an aluminum plant in Greenup

They don’t call him Moscow Mitch for nothing. Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch’’ McConnell, of Louisville, has earned so many derogatory nicknames over the past few years that there are too many to list in a single column. Some, like Darth Vader and The Grim Reaper, he embraces with aplomb. But the one that gets under his skin is the aforementioned Moscow Mitch, duly earned...

McConnell lashes out at critics on Senate floor, citing ‘absurd smears’ from ‘hyperventilating hacks’

By Mark Maynard Kentucky Today Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell fired back on his critics from the Senate floor Monday, angrily calling them “hyperventilating hacks” and saying they engaged in “absurd smears” against him. 
McConnell blistered MSNBC “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough, who last week dubbed McConnell “Moscow Mitch,” and Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank, who...

Bill Straub: McConnell turning a blind eye to Russian interference in elections goes beyond party loyalty

His report passed on charging President Extremely Stable Genius with illicitly coordinating with Russia on the 2020 presidential election and left the question of obstruction of justice to other authorities, but Robert Mueller, the special counsel responsible for diving into the whole sordid mess, made one thing perfectly clear – Russia “launched a concerted attack on our political system’’...

Bill Straub: In rear-guard action, McConnell declares ‘case closed,’ while plenty of questions remain

Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch’’ McConnell took to the chamber floor this week and did everything but croon the lyrics from an old Stevie Wonder standard – “Ooo baby, here I am, signed, sealed, delivered, I’m yours’’ – in dedication to the true object of his current affections, President Donald J. Trump (ACK!). In so doing, McConnell, of Louisville, firmly established...

Bill Straub: What an incredible week it was for Mitch McConnell, setting a record for bollixing things up

So what has Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch” McConnell done over the space of a single week in March to further bollix this long-suffering republic? To borrow from Elizabeth Barrett Browning, let me count the ways. 1. The Louisville lawmaker has joined his fellow Republicans in a massive home run trot over what may – or may not – be the results of Special Counsel Robert...

Kentucky Artisan Center presents new exhibit by internationally-renowned artists Powell, Sandoval

A new exhibit recognizing internationally known Kentucky artists Stephen Rolfe Powell and Arturo Alonzo Sandoval was announced this week by the Kentucky Artisan Center. As innovators in their respective fields, both Powell and Sandoval have expanded boundaries by utilizing unusual materials and pushing their mediums into new and exciting formats. A Meet-the-Artist reception will be held on Sept. 9...

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...

Bill Straub: White House turned into ATM machine and other ugly stuff; McConnell’s getting fleas

Any attempt to pinpoint President Trump’s most grievous sin against the body politic is rather like picking out one particular star in a moonless night sky – the process could continue forever. A simple recitation of the known violence the president has perpetrated upon the nation he was chosen to serve would sate an entire column even without the usual smart-aleck asides. There is, of course,...

Commentary: Tim Ortman: Goal of real fake news is to create distraction, disrupt election process

Today, the term ‘Fake News’ is firmly entrenched in our lexicon. It seems everyone from Trumpite retirees, to neo-political millennials, freely toss around the phrase. The term was even recognized as, “The Word of the Year” by UK-based Collins Dictionary. Ortman Candidate Trump didn’t actually invent the term. He copied it from political satirists who were using the term a decade prior to...

Bill Straub: Giving the devil his due, McConnell has given the President notice about firing Mueller

It could be said, if one were petulant, that Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root ‘n Branch’’ McConnell’s strongly worded support for Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election provides an example of an old, blind sow finding a truffle every now and again. After all, McConnell, of Louisville has in recent years raised placing...

Bill Straub: McConnell has some explaining to do for inaction on knowledge about Russians and election

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has some explaining to do. And if he isn’t up front about the rationale regarding his actions — or, in this case, inaction — pressure should be exerted on him to resign. The issue is Russia and its assault on the American electoral process, specifically the 2016 presidential campaign. Russian trespassing represented nothing less than an attack...

Former ambassador to Bulgaria James Pardew to speak at Transylvania U., UK’s Patterson School

With current tensions between the US and North Korea on the rise, continued instability in the Middle East, and a resurgent Russia, it is more important than ever to use the United States’ past foreign policy as an avenue of learning and improvement. James W. Pardew As a leading policymaker in the Balkans following the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1992, former ambassador to Bulgaria James W. Pardew boasts...

Kasman Piano Concert is a family affair: Father and daughter unite to make music

It will be a family affair when the University of Kentucky School of Music presents a concert of not one, but two award-winning pianists.   Yakov Kasman, a silver medalist in the Tenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, will perform 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 5, at the Singletary Center for the Arts. (Photo provided) Yakov Kasman, a silver medalist in the Tenth Van Cliburn International...