• As we know, Kentuckians as a culture largely avoid change. On Nov. 8, Kentuckians went against the nearly 100-year grain and elected a Republican majority in the Kentucky House of Representatives. Kentuckians are ready for a change in House leadership that will bring about a new direction for our commonwealth through more jobs and business opportunities.

  • Two of my favorite solitary pastimes are reading and walking.

    When I walk, I carry a shoulder bag with a book for when I rest on a rocky outcrop or city park bench.

    It started when I was little. My grandfather gave me a knapsack, and into it went food for thought — a paperback. A favorite was a well-worn biography of Daniel Boone, my boyhood hero.

    As a young reporter, I hiked Indian Fort Mountain near Berea often and in every season, and would usually carry a collection of poems by Wendell Berry or James Still.

  • “I believe the children are our future/Teach them well and let them lead the way”

    The opening lines of the smash 1986 hit song performed by Whitney Houston instills in us feelings of warm sentimentality and optimism; thoughts of a bright future where kids grow up to reach their highest potential, where they do better than their parents before them.

    Sadly, we don’t live up to those high-minded ideals as a society the way we would like.

  • The most exciting thing to tell people in Bardstown about myself is that I am from Sweden. It is an excellent conversation starter, even despite the fact that people usually start asking unanswerable questions, which can make things awkward, and freeze fragments of the ice that just moments ago had been broken apart.

  • We live in dangerous times.

    The rise of the Islamic State is the greatest threat to peace, but the enemy Ronald Reagan described as the Evil Empire is reasserting itself.

  • The incoming Trump administration will face passionate and hostile resistance if it tries to deny the reality of human-induced climate change. We can already hear the drums of war.

  • Surely there were alarmists who thought 2016 might end in an undemocratic coup. But who predicted Democratic opinion leaders would be the ones agitating for it?

    For fear that Donald Trump will violate democratic norms, liberals want to have the Electoral College throw out the results of a presidential election and impose their choice on the nation for the first time in our history.

  • Donald Trump promised to punish U.S. companies that ship manufacturing jobs out of the country. Instead, judging from the way he has handled the Carrier Corp. matter, he plans to reward them. Quite handsomely, in fact.

    As should be standard practice with Trump, pay attention to the substance, not the theater. United Technologies, the parent company of air-conditioner-maker Carrier, has been threatening to move more than 2,000 jobs from Indiana to Mexico. Trump addressed this specifically during his campaign, vowing to hit the company with a punitive tariff.

  • It wasn’t quite “build the wall” or “lock her up,” but “drain the swamp” was a signature Donald Trump slogan.

    It evoked visions of pinstripe-suit-wearing influence peddlers getting pulled from their Georgetown cocktail parties en masse and tossed into the Potomac River, as Washington returned to the once-sleepy burg it was 100 years ago, a humbled and more righteous town.

  • One hundred twenty years ago, William Allen White of the Emporia Gazette wondered why his state was so backward. In “What’s the Matter with Kansas?” he warned about the dangers of mindless populism. His famous editorial was about his state’s business climate, but White also was a fierce adversary of racial intolerance.

    Lately, I’ve been asking myself in regard to race: What’s the matter with Kentucky?

  • In a tradition familiar to many, on Thanksgiving I will sit down with loved ones and we will take turns giving thanks for the blessings in our lives. We know who we are by what we hold dear.

    I recently had the privilege of sitting down with leaders from diverse groups across Kentucky and learning what they are grateful for. Made up of working families, teachers and students, faith communities, vulnerable Kentuckians and more, they are grateful for things I thought worth sharing. They have given me permission to share them with you.

  • The Republican Party is fractured by ideological divisions, led by an inexperienced and unpredictable president-elect, and quite possibly headed for a fratricidal civil war. The Democratic Party should be so lucky.

    There is much unpleasant reality for Democrats to deal with right now, starting with this: The GOP controls virtually everything. The two-party system is, at best, one and a half.

  • President Barack Obama won’t explicitly say that Donald Trump is on the wrong side of history, but surely he believes it.

    The president basically thinks anyone who gets in his way is transgressing the larger forces of history with a capital “H.” In 2008, he declared John McCain “on the wrong side of history right now” (the “right now” was a generous touch — allowing for the possibility that McCain might get right with History at some future date).

  • This post-election commentary was meant for last week, but I couldn’t write it because I was in the first stages of grief— denial, anger — and bargaining (maybe, I thought, Republican electors could still choose Mike Pence or anyone other than Donald Trump).

    Now, I’m in the last stages — depression and acceptance.

  • Did fake news spread through Google and Facebook tip the election in favor of Donald Trump?

    That question was explored ad nauseam last week, mostly by professional journalists and those on the left looking to explain what they view as the unexplainable — Donald Trump being elected president of the United States.

  • To the editor
    On behalf of the Buttermilk Days Festival, we would like to thank all the people, groups and businesses that helped make our 22nd annual Buttermilk Days Festival a tremendous success.  
    First, we must give thanks to the good Lord above for blessing us with outstanding good weather.
    To our Gold Sponsors: LG&E, Toyota-Boshuru, Town & Country Bank and 3D Graphics, City of Bardstown, B-town Nelson County Tourism a special thank you.

  • Matthew Spandler-Davison, pastor of the Bardstown church I often attend, posted on his Facebook page a Los Angeles Times article about Evan McMullin, the independent presidential candidate recruited by the #NeverTrump movement.

    A former CIA operative and GOP congressional staffer, McMullin is “our kind of conservative,” Matthew told me, and “the only one I can vote for in good conscience.”

  • Just how gullible do Bardstown Mayor John Royalty and acting Bardstown Police Chief Capt. McKenzie Mattingly believe Bardstown’s citizens to be?

  • “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.