• 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.

  • A little shot can’t hurt you, but it can prevent what could potentially kill you.

    It’s flu season in Kentucky, with cases already confirmed. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists Kentucky, along with six other states, as having already experienced regional outbreaks.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Donald Trump’s diatribe on immigration Wednesday night dispelled any conceivable doubt: He is a dangerous demagogue who rejects the values of openness and inclusion that made this country great. Rarely has an American politician given such an un-American speech.

  • Donald Trump’s speech in Arizona has occasioned wailing and rending of garments among the commentariat and “respectable” people everywhere.

    At bottom, the cause of the freakout is simple: Trump believes in immigration laws, and the country’s elite really doesn’t.

  • I’ve been involved in politics for the better part of a lifetime, and have spoken at a lot of public meetings over the years. There’s one question, I think, that I’ve heard more than any other: “If I want to be an informed citizen, which sources of information should I consult?”

  • As we transition into September and children are settling into their school year routines, I am excited to participate once again in the America’s Legislators Back to School Program. Hosted by the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL), the program helps legislators educate young constituents in their classrooms on the values of civic participation and the legislative process.

    This event is nationwide, and I am happy to be participating again in District 14.