• At this shank end of a summer that a calmer America someday will remember with embarrassment, you must remember this: In the population of 325 million, a small sliver crouches on the wilder shores of politics, another sliver lives in the dark forest of mental disorder, and there is a substantial overlap between these slivers. At most moments, 312 million are not listening to excitable broadcasters making mountains of significance out of molehills of political effluvia.

  • Public policy is anything the government decides to do or not to do. Further, public policy is an expression of society’s values. It is important for the constituency to follow closely that which society values but is not promoted by policy makers.  

    The failing state employees and teacher’s retirement funds have become a threat to the general welfare of the state of Kentucky.

  • What shall we say who have knowledge
    Carried to the heart?
    — Allen Tate, “Ode to the Confederate Dead”

    The historic marker in Winchester is mostly unnoticed now but it designates the birthplace of one of America’s most eminent men of letters, Allen Tate.

    All I knew about Tate when growing up was that he was one of the Southern Agrarians — along with John Crowe Ransom and Robert Penn Warren — who inspired other thinkers I admire, such as Wendell Berry and Rod Dreher.

  • Between legislative committees, pension meetings and an election for our new Senate president pro-tempore, this has been a busy summer in Frankfort.

    I am grateful to my colleagues for selecting me to serve as the Senate president pro-tempore designee. I want to thank everyone who has supported me and believed in me throughout this process.

    I was sad to see Sen. Givens step down, but I am honored to serve in this new capacity in Senate leadership; and I appreciate all of my colleagues for granting me this special opportunity.

  • My maternal great-aunt, May Everett Kaze Rice Johnston, was quite a character.

    In her youth she had worked alongside Thelma Stovall, our first woman Kentucky lieutenant governor, on the line at Brown and Williamson making cigarettes.

    As an octogenarian, she tooled around Frankfort in her car flaunting the plate “Maisie” and took in all the dances at the American Legion Hall.

    She wore bright red lipstick, smoked cigarettes, cracked jokes and was the life of the party wherever she went.

  • When was the last time you were hungry?

    Not just, “I shouldn’t have skipped breakfast,” “I might need to take an early lunch,” “Maybe a bedtime snack is a good idea,” hungry, but really, really hungry.

    When was the last time you didn’t know when you’d be able to have your next meal? When was the last time you went to bed hungry and knew that hunger would still be there in the morning and you had no way to make it go away?

  • In many ways, William Forrest Luckett Jr., who passed away last week at his home, could be considered the personification of the ultimate Bardstown “brought-in.”

    Luckett, 86, was a native of Marion County, but by the time of his passing, he had so deeply imbedded himself in Nelson County business life that most people did not realize he was not born here.

  • Back in March, two young members of Congress from Texas, Beto O’Rourke and Will Hurd, became brief internet celebrities. Unable to fly back to Washington because of a snowstorm, the two hit the road together, tweeting and livestreaming their trip north. They fielded questions along the way on everything from the war on drugs to immigration — and so ended up holding what O’Rourke called “the longest cross-country livestream town hall in the history of the world.”

  • Truth begins with facts. Facts are solid, like bricks. You build a house out of facts, the wolf won’t blow it down. But you drop a fact on your foot, it hurts.

  • Some political tastes linger in the mouth like spoiled milk or a bad oyster.

    Consider the shockingly shabby treatment recently accorded by some Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to Amy Coney Barrett, a law professor at Notre Dame who is being considered for a position on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Her questioners displayed a confusion of the intellect so profound, a disregard for constitutional values so reckless, that it amounts to anti-religious bigotry.

  • To the editor,

  • September is Kentucky Bourbon Heritage Month, a time for bourbon lovers to celebrate our signature industry’s many contributions to the commonwealth’s history, culture and economy.

    From the annual Kentucky Bourbon Festival to new brand expressions and sampling events all over Kentucky, this month also is the perfect time to reflect on our commitment to the responsible and moderate consumption of alcohol.

  • During the month of August, I traveled across Kentucky meeting with constituents to hear their concerns, to update them on the Senate’s business and to ask how I can assist them in Washington. I value the time I spend with my fellow Kentuckians, and these conversations at home help me serve my constituents in Washington.

  • Now in her second week as president of Flaget Memorial Hospital, Jennifer Nolan understands she needs to quickly build good relationships with her staff and local community leaders, tasks that will be made more difficult as she splits her time between Flaget Memorial and Our Lady of Peace Hospital in Louisville, where she will continue as president.

  • After the property had lain dormant for several years, it was welcomed news that Barton 1792 Distillery would be purchasing the Hilltop Inn on Cathedral Manor.

    Built in the 1930s, the building, known in previous incarnations as Bard’s Tavern and Maxine’s, has had a long history of serving drinks and burgers and steaks cooked on the ancient, well-seasoned flat-top grill, and has been a favorite among distillery workers and residents of the Edgewood area for many years.

  • To the editor,

    Driving home from I-65, I look forward to exit 112, where the landscape becomes both tranquil and beautiful on Ky. 245. The trees, wooded areas, and small clearings offer a safe haven from all the eye polluting billboards, signs and other advertising. With the exception of a couple small signs, the roadway is still pristine by being void of these ugly monstrosities. Now the advertisers have infiltrated into this locale by building two billboards along Ky. 245. These ugly eye cancers take away from the natural beauty of our area and are unwelcome eyesores!

  • What is it about dogs?

    Readers might recall a few weeks ago I wrote about the deal I had made with my youngest son to get a dog. He worked for a month to earn it, and my wife and I held up our end of the bargain.

    We weren’t overly excited about adding a new responsibility to our lives. We are both professionals with demanding jobs who are raising two boys, but Quinn had wanted a dog since he was 2 years old.

  • Lee H. Hamilton

    Director of the Center on Congress

    Indiana University

    An interesting thing keeps happening to me. Every few days, someone — an acquaintance, a colleague, even a stranger on the street — approaches me. They ask some version of the same question: What can we do to pull ourselves out of this dark period?

  • On the back of the 18-wheeler were two signs. The one on the left said: “Passing side,” the one on the right: “Suicide.”

    I got the message. It was harsh but effective, so I remember it years later.

    You don’t want to pass a semi on the right. The trucker won’t see you, and if he tries to move back into the right lane, it’s going to ruin your day and his.

    Seldom is there a need to pass on the right. Unfortunately, some people drive in the left lane, causing others to have to pass on the right.