Posts Tagged ‘Renee Shaw’

The Price of Poverty in Kentucky

Friday, June 14th, 2013

In the gripping new book “The Unwinding,” George Packer explores what he describes as an American democracy beset by a sense of crisis. Packer is a staff writer at The New Yorker and one of the nation’s finest political journalists. His “The Assassins’ Gate: America in Iraq” was named one of the best books of 2005. In “The Unwinding,” Packer examines the seismic shifts in American life that have created a country of economic winners and losers.

My colleague Renee Shaw and I have been exploring similar issues here in the Commonwealth, where we’re increasingly becoming a state of haves and have-nots. You can see the results of our reporting on The Price of Poverty in Kentucky 2, airing Monday at 8 p.m. on KET, and live on our website at It’s a follow-up to a program we aired in January. Here’s a promo for Monday night’s program:

In his New York Times review of Packer’s book, columnist David Brooks writes that the unwinding refers to “large transformations, which have each been the subject of an enormous amount of research and analysis. The first is the stagnation of middle-class wages and widening inequality.”

In our new program, we found Kentucky’s “working poor” and middle-class income earners struggling to make ends meet. In Owingsville in Bath County, where a local factory has closed, hundreds of people are on a waiting list for care at a free clinic, and a local social service center keeps busy distributing vouchers for clothes and food. Take a look:

In Louisville, a journalist with The Courier-Journal focuses her writing on how the economic meltdown changed the financial realities for many households in Jefferson and surrounding counties. We also asked professors, advocates, activists, and the president of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce to weigh in on whether raising the minimum wage is the answer to helping the working poor.

Poverty is a complex problem with no easy answer. You can explore it with us Monday night at 8 on The Price of Poverty in Kentucky 2. And, if you have a thought or comment about poverty in the Commonwealth, please share it with me here, on Facebook, or Twitter, or by calling the KET Viewer Reaction Line at (800) 926-7765.

Rep. John Yarmuth: KY’s Lone Democratic Ranger in Washington

Monday, May 20th, 2013

Note from Bill Goodman: KET just returned from a trip to Washington, D.C., for a series of One to One interviews that began airing last week. My colleague Renee Shaw provides the highlights of tonight’s One to One interview with Rep. John Yarmuth which airs on KET tonight at 6:30 ET.

As a one-time legislative aide on Capitol Hill, newspaper publisher, television commentator and host, it would be safe to assume Louisvillian John Yarmuth had a pretty good warm-up before claiming a seat amongst the other 434 United States representatives back in 2006. Yarmuth’s victory back then against five-term GOP Congresswoman Anne Northup was due, in part, to a national wave of growing discontent over George W. Bush’s Iraq War.

Now, in his fourth term and the only democrat in the Kentucky congressional delegation, Yarmuth is sharply critical of the political molasses that mires even the most seemingly benign and simple measures.

Rep. Yarmuth, who defected from the Republican Party in 1985, scoffs at the unyielding gridlock in Washington and declares the system “irresponsive to problems, voter opinions or challenges.” “(Washington)…is not functioning with any degree of efficiency, and it’s giving the public a bad impression of our democracy and leaving them frustrated and unfulfilled,” he laments.

So, the logical follow-up by host Bill Goodman is ‘how to loosen gridlock’s grip?’  Yarmuth claims district apportionment has a lot to do with it in this clip from Bill’s interview.

On the sluggish pace of lawmaking, Yarmurth asserts that “… at its optimum, our system is designed to move at about 20 miles per hour, and the world’s moving at 100 miles per hour. We’ve got to figure out how to narrow that gap.”

In assessing President Obama’s second term agenda, Rep. Yarmuth says in one sense he’s very impressed with Obama’s outspokenness on a number of issues including gun legislation, immigration reform, early childhood education, and standing up for an increase in the minimum wage. But, Yarmuth reserves praise of Obama pending actions that result from the rhetoric.

As a member of the Gang of Eight working on the House version of an immigration bill in Congress, Yarmuth talks about the near-secret group that’s worked out of the press limelight to forge consensus and work toward a shared goal. He believes both parties are highly motivated to broker a deal, even though he anticipates some rough patches on the way to reaching a resolution.

Bill Goodman talks with Rep. Yarmuth about the practice of mountain top removal, sequestration and a Democratic challenger to U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell in 2014 tonight at 6:30 ET on KET. Tomorrow night, the special One to One series with Kentucky’s federal delegation continues with 4th District Rep. Thomas Massie.

KET and WEKU Present Legislative Session Wrap-up Program

Monday, March 11th, 2013

(Editor’s note, March 13: The broadcast described by Bill was filmed by KET. You can watch it below.)

The Eastern Kentucky University FM radio stations (WEKU) and KET combined forces to present a special interactive program discussing the issues and accomplishments of the 2013 Kentucky legislative session. I’ll be on the radio with WEKU’s Program Director John Hingsbergen for the hour-long program Tuesday morning, March 12 from 11 am ET until noon on WEKU FM stations. The 2013 Legislative Wrap program may include a number of guests depending their availability on the last day of the session.
If you missed the radio program, we filmed it. You can see it here:

Invitations have been sent to Agriculture Commissioner James Comer and Kentucky Youth Advocates Executive Director Terry Brooks. Legislative leaders have also been invited to participate.

KET’s Renee Shaw and Kentucky Public Radio’s Kenny Colston will also take part in the program, adding their assessments and analyses of the 30-day “short session” of the General Assembly.

Listeners are invited to participate in the program by sending questions or comments in advance or during the show by e-mail to WEKU (at) or by direct message on Twitter to: @889weku

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