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Columns

  • ‘Hillbilly Elegy’ explains poor, white politics

    “Hillbilly Elegy” isn’t a political book per se. It is “a memoir of a family and a culture in crisis.” But the bestseller by J.D. Vance offers insights into political attitudes of white working-class Americans, and in particular, those of my tribe.

    Vance, a former Marine and Yale Law graduate with Scots-Irish roots in Eastern Kentucky, recollects growing up poor in Middletown, Ohio, where his papaw and mamaw moved as teenagers from Jackson, Ky., because Armco Steel offered good jobs for mountain migrants.

  • In America, gun rights are for whites only

    If you are a black man in America, exercising your constitutional right to keep and bear arms can be fatal. You might think the National Rifle Association and its amen chorus would be outraged, but apparently they believe Second Amendment rights are for whites only.

  • How Trump could win the debate

    Hillary Clinton will almost certainly win Monday night’s epic presidential debate on points — and still could lose.

    It’s hard to see how Clinton, who has marinated in public policy for 30 years and is preparing for the debate like it is the invasion of Normandy, won’t best Donald Trump on substance.

  • Opinion: The two faces of Mitch McConnell

    By Margie Bradford

    In his race for the U.S. Senate against Alison Grimes, Mitch McConnell repeatedly and loudly proclaimed himself a friend of the coal miners of Kentucky. But his actions in Congress this year tell a different story.

    According to a story in USA Today, by Deidre Shesgreen, dated July 4, 2016, Mitch McConnell has blocked a bill called the Miners Protection Act, by refusing to let it be voted on in the Senate.

  • Opinion: We all have work to do

    Statistics can be a funny thing, depending on how you use them and how they impact us personally. Take the unemployment rate that is reported to be under 5 percent in Nelson County. Sounds great until you actually dig into the numbers a bit further and find out that it only counts people who are actively looking for work.

  • Opinion: Liberals overthink Bevin ‘bloodshed’ speech

    Hyperbole is not an impeachable offense.

    Gov. Matt Bevin’s “blood of patriots” speech to the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., last weekend was a little over the top, but it wasn’t intended to incite Christian conservatives to violence against lesbians and liberals, as some claim.

    It was just tea party boilerplate — an exaggeration of the threats religious conservatives think they face from multiculturalism.

  • Opinion: Fall and football are finally here

    The fall and football seasons are finally upon us. Kids are back in school, the weather is — finally — cooling down, and the leaves are already beginning to change. I may be biased, but I think Kentucky has one of the prettiest autumns in this region of the country. After a hot summer and the temperature and our taste buds changing, it is a welcome opportunity to get back outdoors.

    With the autumn season comes fall festivals, and I am happy to report there are many events happening all around the 14thSenate District including the ones listed below:

  • Opinion: Dear Democrats: Stop freaking out

    If Democrats want to beat Donald Trump, they need to get past the freakout stage and get to work.

    In a sane and just world, this presidential race would be a walkover. Commentators would already be sketching out their postmortem analyses of an all-but-certain Hillary Clinton victory. Pare the contest down to its essentials: A former senator and secretary of state, eminently qualified to be president, is running against a dangerous demagogue who has never held public office and should not be allowed anywhere near the White House. Ought to be case closed.

  • Opinion: A big, beautiful, black swan

    If you aren’t seriously contemplating the biggest black swan event in American electoral history, you aren’t paying attention.

    Fifteen months ago, Donald Trump was a reality-TV star with a spotty business record and a weird penchant for proclaiming that he was on the verge of running for president. Now, he’s perhaps a few big breaks and a couple of sterling debate performances away from being elected 45th president of the United States.

  • Opinion: Why this Democrat wants a strong Republican Party

    I’ve been a Democrat all my life. I believe in the party’s values, I’m pleased when its candidates win elections, and I’m persuaded the country is better off when Democratic ideas get a fair shake in the public arena. But none of this means that I favor a weak Republican Party. Indeed, just the opposite.

    Before my Democratic friends drum me out of the party’s ranks, let me explain why.