A lot has happened while we were not posting, both in our lives personally and professionally, and in Kentucky politics.
First, the personal notes.
One of our collaborators has died, and we mourn his passing. He was a disabled veteran and a retired schoolteacher who stayed on top of the news and continued to express strong opinions until he was physically unable to do so. His mind never wavered, but his body gave out on him. He had some harsh words for the state of today's educational system, and it's because of him that we have been critical of Kentucky's so-called education reforms and also have been strong supporters of America's military. He was a father, brother, son and mentor and he is missed each day.
Another collaborator has changed jobs. Yet another lost her job. One retired from his job. Three of us lost our health insurance coverage under Obamacare -- if you like your policy, you can't keep it -- and have been stuck with more expensive policies with higher out-of-pocket costs. A couple of us moved. It hasn't been an uneventful couple of years with the K-Pac family.
And in Kentucky politics?
Jamie Comer and Adam Edelen tag-teamed Richie Farmer. David Williams took the same sweetheart deal from Steve Beshear that he criticized Beshear for offering to other Senate Republicans. Kentucky Democrats tried to gerrymander the 6th Congressional District to save Ben Chandler's job, and even that didn't work as Chandler lost to Andy Barr. Mitch McConnell has continued to side with Democrats instead of the base of his own party, to the point that he has a legitimate primary challenger for the first time in recent memory. Rand Paul has won some grudging respect from us for standing up for conservative values. And Democrats continue to use the power of their positions to single out Republicans for prosecution and persecution.
In short, nothing much new under the sun.
The topography of the Kentucky blogosphere has changed as well. A number of blogs from both sides of the aisle are dormant, return 404 errors or have just vanished into the ether. Comment boards on many Kentucky media sites now use Facebook log-ins or other tools designed to quash anonymity. Still other bloggers threaten to out anonymous posters if they question the party line. (That's not something we have the desire to do, even if we had the capability to do so, which we don't).
Yahoo ate our e-mail address, so any messages that may have come in the last several months are gone like Trey Grayson out of the state. But we've continued to hear things about the goings-on in state government and will be exposing them in the weeks and days ahead. Our new e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org and we welcome tips.
Quite frankly, we have many of the same concerns that caused us to give berth to this platform. Too many Republicans seem more interested in concentrating their own power instead of working for the good of the state and nation. They're too eager to side with Democrats and abandon the loyal ones in their own association, and are worried more about process than principles. McConnell, for one, has done nothing to regain our trust or affection, and he's taking others down with him. (We're looking at you, Hal Rogers and Brett Guthrie). Around these parts, it's open season on RINOs. One of our collaborators said just this morning that he'd unfriended a Facebook acquaintance he's known for years because she is mad at her party's base over the government shutdown; nevermind the fact that Republicans made at least four offers in compromise to the Democrats but Harry Reid would have none of it.
If you're a liberal Democrat or a liberal Republican, you're an enemy to the well-being of Kentucky and the nation. And we'll definitely be calling you out on it, in addition to continuing to spotlight the stupid stuff state government does to keep its masters happy.
There's a palpable anger among grassroots Republicans and TEA Party supporters. We're angry at the Democrats for ruining the country and angry at the RINOs for being their accomplices. And we plan to be an outlet for some of that anger in our little corner of the world we call Kentucky.