A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Bill Straub: Poor Mitch McConnell’s horrible, awful, horrendous, very bad month; looking for a way out

August has arrived and no one should be happier about the march of time than Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who experienced one of the worst Julys in memory. During those 31 days, the Louisville lawmaker witnessed the expected appointment of a right-winger to the federal bench frittered away because he forgot to tell the guy who’s supposed to be his good buddy, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Bowling...

Bill Straub: There’s stupid and there’s mega-stupid, so credit legislators for hungry kids going hungrier

In the movie Heathers, a dark comedy released 34 years ago, believe it or not, a character named Veronica, played by Winona Ryder, got into an argument with one of the young women named Heather, played by Shannon Doherty. “Heather, why can’t you just be a friend?’” Veronica asked. “Why do you have to be such a mega-b—h?’” To which Heather responded, “Because I can...

Bill Straub: After the deep-sixing of Roe v. Wade, are same-sex marriages next to go? Marching backwards

The sun has continued to rise in the east and set in the west since June 26, 2015. House sparrows still chirp away in the backyard. “The Simpsons” remains on television. God still makes little, green apples. The earth has maintained its orbit. A lot has gone wrong in this nation of ours since June 26, 2015, but none of it can be attributed to the historic event of the day when the U.S. Supreme...

Bill Straub: As Americans lose faith in government, Mitch McConnell uses his ‘genius’ to fuel the flame

Ah, the workings of the mind of a genius. Who among us can possibly comprehend how the brains of such luminaries as Einstein, Newton, and Buck Showalter operate, leaving us poor, befuddled folk to simply gaze in wonder over their obvious superhuman qualities? Kentucky is fortunate indeed to have its own, awe-inspiring mental giant to appreciate and observe. Ask anyone in the DC cognoscenti and they...

Bill Straub: Vying to replace worst deal in history is nomination of Chad Meredith to federal judgeship

Since it costs a lot to win and even more to lose You and me bound to spend some time wonderin’ what to choose Goes to show, you don’t ever know Watch each card you play and play it slow Wait until that deal come ’round Don’t you let that deal go down, no, no • The Grateful Dead Fifty-one years ago, the New York Mets, the greatest, most beloved franchise...

Bill Straub: Jamie Comer’s odd, misplaced notion that Hunter Biden trumps Trump as real threat to USA

Boy, you can’t put anything past that old son of a gun Jamie Comer, can you? He knows a phony-baloney effort to discredit his old pal, former President Donald J. Trump, when it stares him on the face, and he recognizes what others can’t see, the real threat to these United States of America – Hunter Biden. To Comer, the Republican congressman from Tompkinsville, or Frankfort, or DC, or someplace...

Bill Straub: Cameron wrangled a hasty endorsement for governor from Trump, but what does it mean?

Curiouser and curiouser. Former President Donald J. Trump despises Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, with “a broken-down old crow’” among the nicer things he’s had to say about him in recent months. McConnell, in return, has little use for Trump, declaring that he bears some responsibility for the seditious actions of his supporters at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, even though he...

Bill Straub: No matter the problem, the President is to blame, says James Comer, and he’s sticking to it

Rep. James Comer, a burgeoning right-wing media darling, has appeared on the telly more frequently than the Kardashians in recent days, contributing almost as much to meaningful discourse as that entire, sorry clan. The Tompkinsville Republican’s areas of expertise know no bounds, hopping from subjects like gas prices (bad) to baby formula (terrible) to the House special committee on the Jan. 6 insurrection...

Bill Straub: Despite tired ‘guns-don’t-kill’ and ‘good-guys-with-guns’ narratives, guns remain the problem

Anyone who has ever watched an old episode of “The Untouchables” or the Coen Brothers’ “Miller’s Crossing” (highly recommended) is no doubt familiar with the Thompson submachine gun, popularly known as the Tommy gun, a weapon favored during its heyday by the likes of Al Capone, John Dillinger and George Kelly Barnes, whose penchant for the device earned him the tantalizing...

Bill Straub: If battle is between two monsters, King Kong and Godzilla, are you for McConnell or Paul?

It’s the eternal question: Who do you cheer for when King Kong battles Godzilla? They’re both monsters, after all, leaving chaos, death, and destruction in their separate wakes. And, frankly, neither creature is what you would call screen-idol handsome. The query is pertinent since a similar dilemma may eventually confront the Kentucky faithful as it regards the Commonwealth’s two U.S. senators...

Bill Straub: More ‘thoughts, prayers’ from ‘leaders’ who get NRA money, reiterating the value of children

It was the greatest of all Kentuckians, Lincoln, who is credited with saying, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.” Andy Barr has removed all doubt. The Republican congressman from Lexington, who has firmly established over the years that he doesn’t have the sense God gave to geese, furthered his sordid reputation for mouthing crapola in wake...

Bill Straub: What in tarnation is going on in NKY? Outlier is one thing, but total confrontational?

A friendly acquaintance, James Carville, who guided Wallace Wilkinson’s successful campaign for governor in 1987 before earning fame and fortune ramrodding Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential effort, once remarked of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that it was Pittsburgh on one end, Philadelphia on the other end and Alabama in the middle. There’s still a lot of truth in that. To take it a step...

Bill Straub: Poor grifter McConnell, what will he do when the heat gets hot on the filibuster? Your guess

It’s no secret that Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell would joyfully strike a Faustian bargain to regain his position as the upper chamber’s majority leader even if it means, perhaps, forfeiting the one item he cherishes most in this world – the filibuster. The Louisville lawmaker tut-tuts the possibility, insisting he will remain steadfast in his embrace of the odd Senate rule that requires...

Bill Straub: Dodging the crux — again — McConnell’s anger regarding leaked SCOTUS opinion misplaced

The United States Supreme Court, in its infinite wisdom, appears poised to move the nation backward by revoking a well-established constitutional right and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is screeching mad about it – not over the loss of natural liberty, mind you, but regarding the way the public learned about it. You may have heard, unless you’ve been exploring Mammoth Cave for the past...

Bill Straub: Paul right to urge caution, but wrong to ignore the growing menace of Russian imperialism

What say we hop aboard Mr. Peabody’s Wayback machine and take a quick jaunt to March 15, 2017, where we find Sen. John McCain giving a speech on the floor of the upper chamber taking aim at our old pal from Bowling Green, Sen. Rand Paul. Paul, as is his wont, had just exited the Senate chamber after blocking a vote on a resolution that would ease Montenegro’s entry into the North Atlantic Treaty...