A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Bill Straub: Saying whatever is necessary to assure their legends for a place in history; it’s all in the spin

Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch’’ McConnell has dished out some doozies during his time in the District of Columbia and the pervasiveness of the coronavirus is providing the man with a great opportunity to add to the legend that is Moscow Mitch. For instance, our boy from Louisville took to the air this week with a television campaign ad grabbing credit for passage of a $2.2...

Outlier Massie becomes pariah, forcing colleagues to gather against public health advice for stimulus vote

By Al Cross Kentucky Health News Thomas Massie, the congressman from Kentucky’s Fourth District, has long been at the limits of elective politics at the national level. He is more Libertarian than Republican, but his strong stands against the tax-and-spend mentality of the federal government harken back to Republicans of old, such as the late Sen. Robert Taft of Cincinnati, just across the Ohio...

Bill Straub: A very good case can be made for mail-in ballots, but not everyone wants more turnout

When he hasn’t been fulminating over governmental overreach in addressing the coronavirus crisis or gnashing his teeth into dust over the pending economic recovery package, Rep. Thomas Massie has been using his copious free time to warn against the potential “end of our republic as we know it. And that menace on the cusp of achieving what the likes of Jefferson Davis and the Axis powers dreamed...

Bill Straub: When enough is really enough, whenever that may be, there’s always the November ballot box

When is enough, finally, enough? That essentially is the question that will be posed to voters of Kentucky’s Fourth Congressional District this November when it comes to Rep. Thomas Massie, R-SomewhereorotherLewisCounty, who has been applying his brand of oddball legislating in the nation’s capital for better than seven long years now. Massie, as most observers of his reckless meanderings know...

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...

Bill Straub: Mocking Indiana Jones isn’t appropriate response to the real problem of climate change

The United Kingdom’s Met Office, which serves as that nation’s weather service, recently determined that the world’s oceans have warmed to a greater degree than previously thought, indicating that previous estimates of global climate change have been too low. Meanwhile, a recently released report from the International Monetary Fund, the University of Cambridge and the University of Southern...

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...