A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Bill Straub: Fair play isn’t James Comer’s idea of a good idea; shouldn’t we hold everyone accountable?

Congressional Republicans, disregarding the advice of the late Kenny Rogers, are counting their money at the table, smug and confident with the prospect of assuming control of the House next year, providing them with yet another opportunity to do what they do best – cause mischief while providing few results. It is, in fact, about the only thing the modern GOP appears capable of since it has abandoned...

Bill Straub: Roads, bridges are socialism? Only one House member from KY votes for infrastructure bill

So, old Tom Jefferson was as red as Trotsky. Who’da thunk it? That, at least, is the only reasonable conclusion that can be drawn from the remarks of that perennial backbencher, Rep. Andy Barr, R-Lexington, regarding the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act he opposed, a bipartisan measure that finally passed through Congress last week after months of bickering. The spending plan...

Bill Straub: Playing the cultural wedge to advantage, Republican Party has become White people’s party

It’s difficult, no, impossible, to extrapolate the results from this week’s elections in Virginia and New Jersey and determine how things will play out politically in the near future. That said, it certainly seems like with the former oaf-in -chief, one Donald J. Trump, relegated to the sidelines, at least for the time being, Republican voters suddenly feel free to come home and enthusiastically...

Bill Straub: It’s Santa Claus for the wealthy and Grinch for the kids, if McConnell has his way

Former Congressman Barney Frank, an acerbic Massachusetts Democrat, once chided the anti-abortion crowd for believing that “life begins at conception and ends at birth.” Frank’s point was, as usual, sharp – pro-lifers demand that a pregnant woman bring a fetus to term but ignore the needs of the child after delivery, regardless of whether or not the new mother has the wherewithal, financial...

Bill Straub: Dear, dear Abby, is it really OK to lie just because you want to? Thomas Massie says it is

Dear Abby sadly departed this mortal coil some years back now and no one has stepped up to provide our often-bewildered public with the sort of advice that could guide them through rough times. Until now. Enter Rep. Thomas Massie, R-SomewhereorotherLewisCounty, who has stepped forward to fill the void, providing wise counsel to those of us who would rather swallow a horse de-wormer than line-up for...

Kyle Keeney: Here’s why Medicare price-setting isn’t the solution to fixing our healthcare problems

Earlier this month, the Northern Kentucky Tribune’s Bill Straub wrote a column supporting his belief that more government intervention in the healthcare market is a necessary good. However, in the process, he trivializes the industry’s lifesaving work — did he really miss the three COVID vaccines in record time — and the role of innovation in addressing serious health concerns in our...

Bill Straub: Poor, poor Rand Paul whose feelings are hurt by cold, hard facts which speak for themselves

Poor, poor pitiful me
 Poor, poor pitiful me
 Oh, these boys won’t let me be 
Lord, have mercy on me 
Woe, woe is me — Warren Zevon (as sung by Linda Ronstadt) Poor, poor Rand Paul. People picking on him when all he’s trying to do is raise a few million bucks hook or by cr…, well, let’s just leave it at hook, so he can remain in the U.S. Senate where he vows to continue gumming...

Bill Straub: Sen. Paul living high on donations to his leadership PAC, money meant to assist others

It’s certainly comforting to learn that our boy, Rand Paul, the Earnest T. Bass of the United States Senate, is living the high life these days. Even better, he is, as Steve Winwood once said, able to “drink and dance with one hand free” on somebody else’s dime, further enhancing his notorious pinch-penny reputation. The inside dope is elaborately laid out in a report issued by a pair of...

Bill Straub: Prescription drug prices are soaring into the ozone and Big Pharma is lining its pockets

Back in 2003, with drug prices soaring, placing some pharmaceuticals out of the reach of many retirees, Congress finally got around to passing Medicare Part D, a plan that allows enrollees to purchase their prescriptions through private insurers at a reduced cost with Medicare picking up a portion of the tab. The program has worked pretty well but it is costing the federal government a lot of money...

Bill Straub: We cannot default on our obligations; McConnell is leading country to brink of disaster

It may seem that writing and, thus, reading about the federal debt limit would be about as interesting as pondering last night’s dishwater. But there is much to be revealed by the ongoing debate over this obscure fiscal provision that carries grave consequences should it be ignored. The whole shebang casts harsh light yet again on Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, of Louisville, who seems...

Bill Straub: Supreme Court Justice Barrett proclaims the court is ‘not a bunch of partisan hacks’; really?

If Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett was sincerely trying to convince one and all that the nation’s highest tribunal “is not comprised of a bunch of partisan hacks,” she sure picked a peculiar venue to make her case. Barrett, the newest member of the high court, made her feelings known during an address Sunday at the McConnell Center at the University of Louisville, a leadership program...

Bill Straub: Kentucky legislature’s half-baked attempt to address COVID-19 puts the state’s children at risk

It would be a laugh riot if it weren’t so tragic. The Kentucky General Assembly’s half-baked attempt to address the COVID-19 pandemic, a duty it corralled after having shanghaied that responsibility from Gov. Andy Beshear, is lining up to be every bit the sort of disaster attributed to the Biden administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, only this time the characterization is not overstated. The...

Bill Straub: Withdrawal from Afghanistan was never to be a walk in the park and it wasn’t, but we’re out

Apparently a lot of Americans thought the withdrawal from Afghanistan was going to be a tiptoe through the tulips, a walk in the park, a simple matter of gathering more than 100,000 people in hostile territory, sticking ‘em on airplanes and depositing them in some safe haven, no muss no fuss. What could possibly go wrong? Plenty, of course, and anyone who thought this was going to be like lying...

Bill Straub: Easy to spot a disaster playing out right before your eyes, and that would be Afghanistan

Let me be perfectly clear, to borrow a Nixonian phrase, when it comes to military matters I am no Sun Tzu. When the great Tom Lehrer wrote, “he doesn’t know a shelter half from an entrenching tool,” he could very well have been referring to me. But, by God, I know a disaster when it’s playing out before my eyes and Afghanistan is nothing short of Vietnam Jr., from the ill-advised involvement...

Bill Straub: Flipping off science, Sen. Rand Paul prattles on, ever defiant and woefully ill-informed

After having witnessed Sen. Rand Paul in action over these past 11 years, listened to his unsettling attempts at oratory and trying to get a fix on his rather obscure political philosophy, if that’s what you choose to call it, anyone with the sense of a gnat would walk away with one obvious conclusion. In the words of the immortal Deputy Sheriff Barney Fife, in reference to Earnest T. Bass, “He’s...