A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

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...

As advocate for industrial hemp production, Kentucky’s Thomas Massie standing tall

By Tim Thornberry KyForward correspondent   If there is anyone from Kentucky who is a bigger industrial hemp advocate than Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, it is likely U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie, who stood beside Comer when state legislation was being passed to allow an administrative framework be set up.   Massie, a Republican who represents the 4th District stretching across Northern...

Bill Straub: Despite plaintive cries of victims’ families, all’s quiet on the gun control front

  Remember the great Ebola scare of 2014? Thousands of normally sane people were terrified by the prospect of the dreaded disease penetrating American shores. They demanded that the Centers for Disease Control and any number of other governmental agencies do something – anything – to halt the spread of this unholy plague.   After a reasonable amount of time, say another week or...

Bill Straub: Despite plaintive cries of victims' families, all's quiet on the gun control front

  Remember the great Ebola scare of 2014? Thousands of normally sane people were terrified by the prospect of the dreaded disease penetrating American shores. They demanded that the Centers for Disease Control and any number of other governmental agencies do something – anything – to halt the spread of this unholy plague.   After a reasonable amount of time, say another week or...

Bill Straub: In-your-face politics might be coming back to haunt Kentucky’s Massie

WASHINGTON – Back in 1985 the Alaska State Senate was in the process of impeaching its Democratic governor, Bill Sheffield, an episode that caught the attention of Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Mike Royko.   The rationale for the ouster attempt was remarkably low rent – literally. It seems Sheffield, or an aide, arranged to lease office space to a group that included an individual who supported...

Bill Straub: In-your-face politics might be coming back to haunt Kentucky's Massie

WASHINGTON – Back in 1985 the Alaska State Senate was in the process of impeaching its Democratic governor, Bill Sheffield, an episode that caught the attention of Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Mike Royko.   The rationale for the ouster attempt was remarkably low rent – literally. It seems Sheffield, or an aide, arranged to lease office space to a group that included an individual who supported...

Proponents hope second year of pilot projects continue momentum for hemp production

Hemp production in Kentucky is legal only when conducted through research programs. (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)   By Tim Thornberry KyForward correspondent   The journey to renewed industrial hemp production has been a slow-go since legislation creating an administrative framework for the industry was passed in Kentucky two years ago.   Even the legislation itself was up in the air...

With ‘positive’ talks, efforts to make state
a leader in hemp production move forward

The Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission discussed productive and ongoing communications with both the U.S. attorney general and the Kentucky attorney general regarding the effort to make Kentucky a leader in industrial hemp production. Agriculture Commissioner James Comer met with state Attorney General Jack Conway on Dec. 17, and the latter offered to expedite a response from the U.S. Department...

Comer will go to D.C. within a month to seek exemption for Kentuckians to grow hemp

Agriculture Commissioner James Comer said he plans to lead a delegation to Washington within a month to seek an exemption for Kentucky producers to grow industrial hemp.   “I will work closely with Sens. Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell and Reps. John Yarmuth and Thomas Massie to put Kentucky first in line if and when the federal government allows industrial hemp production,” Comer said hours...