A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Bill Straub: Since it’s baseball season, let’s bat some things around – oops, out of strikes already

It’s baseball season once again — thank the lord — so let’s toss it around-the-horn political style: First. Give Rep. Thomas Massie, R-SomewhereorotherLewisCounty, credit – he’s not afraid to make a fool out of himself. And this time Wonder Boy, as the old saying goes, did it in front of God and everybody. Massie serves on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee,...

Bill Straub: About those votes against the Violence Against Women Act; NRA saw is as gun control

The He-Man Woman Haters Club, created by Alfalfa, Spanky and other members of the Little Rascals back in the 1930s, looks to be undergoing a surprising revival even though the boyish imps of the original incarnation have been displaced by the manful, masculine, manly men known as the Republicans in the Kentucky congressional delegation. This resurrection isn’t so much because the GOP House members...

Bill Straub: Unavoidable to broach this subject again but to clarify — it’s not voter fraud, it’s election fraud

In a week where President Trump (Egads!) traveled to Vietnam — a country he assiduously sought to avoid some 50 years ago — to play footsie with a half-mad dictator who has killed thousands of his subjects, and where the president’s former lawyer served him up on a silver platter before a congressional committee, we are here once again visiting Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch’’...

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: ‘Tis the season; since lots of kids are hungry, can we figure out how to feed them?

‘Tis the season, as they say, and Kentuckians caught up in the spirit are ready to spread the sort of comfort and joy one might expect as Christmas draws near. Well, most of them anyway. Rep. Thomas Massie, R-SomewhereorotherLewisCounty, a sterling advocate of the “I’ve got mine I don’t care about yours’’ philosophy of Ayn Rand, is at it again. In a state where 20 percent of the children...

Bill Straub: Certainly no witch hunt as Mueller moves right along; and a word about ‘great guy’ Art Schmidt

With the November election now less than two months away, Republicans are ratcheting up their calls for a quick and painless end to the investigation being conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into Russia’s apparent maneuvering in the 2016 presidential election that resulted in, and it hurts to say, “President’’ Donald J. Trump (good Lord in heaven). The probe, entering its 15th month,...

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...

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: Go figure (if you can) the double-talk that doesn’t want to add to deficit except for ‘tax cuts’

Our old friend, the Wonder Boy, Rep. Thomas Massie, has built a well-earned reputation as a budget hawk, voting, for instance, against a measure sending disaster aid to communities damaged by Hurricane Harvey because it added to the federal deficit. Massie, R-SomewhereorotherLewisCounty, has called adding to the national debt, which currently rests at $20.5 trillion, “lunacy’’ and that it “must...

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....

Bill Straub: Massie’s Second Amendment Caucus may be be out of step with mood of country

WASHINGTON – The Whiz Kid is at it again. Just a little more than a week before the city of Louisville revealed that 2016 proved to be its deadliest, with homicides reaching at least 113 and law enforcement authorities responding to more than 400 shooting reports, Rep. Thomas Massie, R-SomewhereorotherLewisCounty, is revving up that old Second Amendment war horse, essentially promising the good...

Bill Straub: The hits just keep coming for Massie as he continues to add to his legend

Columnists, for various reasons, hold some empathy for Michael Corleone, recognizing what he meant in “Godfather III’’ when he said, “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.’’ Rep. Thomas Massie, R-SomewhereorotherLewisCounty, has evolved into this column’s great white whale to such an extent that I inwardly vowed to let his future calamities, though they be legion, pass...

Bill Straub: Massie’s positions indicate he thinks all American interests terminate at the border

WASHINGTON – Rep. Thomas Massie probably never met Robert W. Welch but the Republican lawmaker from Somewhereorother Lewis County is leading a campaign that would make the old, reactionary battle axe proud. Welch, some of you may recall, founded the John Birch Society in 1958, an organization so far to the right that even the eminent conservative William F. Buckley Jr. blanched when considering...

Bill Straub: State Republican Congressional delegation changing tune in rush to support Trump

WASHINGTON – The great Tom Lehrer said it a long time ago: “Like lambs to the slaughter / they’re drinking the water / and breathing the air.’’ The lambs in this present instance are the Republican members of the Kentucky congressional delegation who initially reacted toward Donald J. Trump’s GOP presidential campaign as if they were driving past the old Fresh Kills landfill on Staten...

Bill Straub: There’s light at the end of Brent Spence Bridge, thanks to everyone but ‘Whiz Kid’ Massie

May I rise on a point of personal privilege to discuss, briefly, something I’ve been doing on-and-off for more than 30 years – writing a column. It should be noted that, in this job there’s a constant fear of getting stale, writing about something or someone ad infinitum, thus boring even regular readers. It happens. On the other hand, it’s impossible to ignore a gift that keeps on giving....

Bill Straub: The time has come to declare
the Kentucky Whiz Kid an abysmal failure

Some years ago, too many to be perfectly frank, my old pal Big Al Suderley told me he had broken up with his girlfriend, who he at all times referred to as “the beautiful Isabel.’’ When I inquired about what led to the unfortunate split, Big Al tersely replied, “She was making unreasonable demands.’’ “Yeah,’’ his brother Bill Suderley, known as Bull, intoned, “she told him to...

Bill Straub: ‘Whiz kid’ Massie proves once again he’s ill-equipped to serve in Congress

During its horrendous inaugural season in 1962, the New York Mets stumbled home with a 40-120 record, the worst in baseball history, often leaving manager Casey Stengel to spread his arms in despair and ask, “Can’t anybody here play this game?’’   In seeming answer to Stengel’s famous inquiry, Rep. Thomas Massie, a Republican from Lewis County in Kentucky, has answered with a resounding...

Bill Straub: 'Whiz kid' Massie proves once again he's ill-equipped to serve in Congress

During its horrendous inaugural season in 1962, the New York Mets stumbled home with a 40-120 record, the worst in baseball history, often leaving manager Casey Stengel to spread his arms in despair and ask, “Can’t anybody here play this game?’’   In seeming answer to Stengel’s famous inquiry, Rep. Thomas Massie, a Republican from Lewis County in Kentucky, has answered with a resounding...

Bill Straub: Shrill voices never subsided
and, finally, John Boehner has had enough

John Boehner, who announced his resignation as Speaker of the House today, greets Pope Francis. The speaker considers the Pope’s joint address to Congress his crowning achievement. (Photo from Boehner’s website)   House Speaker John Boehner, under heavy pressure from the Republican Party’s right wing for failing to sufficiently confront President Obama and facing a crisis over a...

Bill Straub: Shrill voices never subsided and, finally, John Boehner has had enough

John Boehner, who announced his resignation as Speaker of the House today, greets Pope Francis. The speaker considers the Pope’s joint address to Congress his crowning achievement. (Photo from Boehner’s website)   House Speaker John Boehner, under heavy pressure from the Republican Party’s right wing for failing to sufficiently confront President Obama and facing a crisis over a...