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— Publisher’s Note —
Good afternoon, and Happy New Year! Normally, this would be the time for fireworks, and parties, and parades, and ball games, and celebratory kisses at midnight. Instead, we’ve got masks, hand sanitizer, and probably going to bed early. And forget the kisses.
Even so, as Marshall Ward points out in his commentary, we can look back over 2020 and see what things we have learned that we can carry into 2021. What lessons or insights from this year are important to you?
I started to share my own set of learnings with you, but I think that’s actually a bad idea, because it lets you off the hook. So instead, I’ll just challenge you to take a moment today, or tomorrow, or some time before Monday, and make a list of your own insights and lessons.
In the end, reflecting on those will probably be more valuable than any resolutions you or I might make.
Here’s to a good (and safe) holiday weekend for all … and a better year in 2021.
Today’s Five Things to Know
McConnell continues opposition to $2,000 checks
After earlier offering a poison-pill version of a bill to increase relief checks, Senator Mitch McConnell said on Wednesday that there was “no realistic path” to quickly pass any such bill. (Forward Kentucky)
12/30 update — Positive-test rate jumps above 9% on seventh highest day of new coronavirus cases
All major measures of the pandemic increased in Kentucky Wednesday, most notably the percentage of Kentuckians testing positive in the last seven days for the novel coronavirus. (Forward Kentucky)
Missouri senator will join effort to overturn election
After a number of U.S. House members said they would object to the electors from swing states in the congressional count on January 6, they needed a member of the Senate to join them, as it requires an objection from at least one member of both chambers to force a debate and vote. And now, they have one.
Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri has said he will also object to the electors from swing states, and force each chamber to adjourn and debate whether to throw out those electors. Both chambers have to do so for it to have any effect, and since the Democratic-controlled House will not do so, the effort is futile. But, it gets Hawley’s name out there, and earns him points with the Trumpist faction of the party.
State auditor Mike Harmon tests positive for coronavirus
Kentucky State Auditor Mike Harmon has tested positive for COVID-19, along with his wife, one day after receiving the coronavirus vaccine. (Forward Kentucky)
Vaccine rollout turning into massive failure
The Trump administration said they would have 20 million Americans vaccinated by the end of the year. It appears the number will be closer to 2 million. At this rate, vaccinating enough people to achieve herd immunity will take ten years.
The Trump administration is deflecting blame to the states, saying it is up to them to figure it out. But the incoming Biden administration is calling out Trump for yet another failure when it comes to the pandemic.
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Recent Content on Forward Kentucky
[new] indicates item not in a Forward Five before
🔥indicates high # of reads, social media shares, or both
[New] 🔥 Adams: Kentucky removes 33,696 dead people from voter rolls – SOS Adams gives year-end update on voter roll maintenance. (Press Release)
[New] KY Reproductive Rights Coalition plans Frankfort rally on Jan. 5 – Planned Parenthood Advocates and the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky will host a car rally at the Capitol, along with a 2021 legislative preview. (Press Release)
[New] It’s time to celebrate the old, and harvest the new – In the tradition of Janus, I’m going to use this time to look back and find things to celebrate, while also thinking about things I can “harvest” to take with me into the new year. (Commentary)
12/29 update — Beshear worries that New Year’s on top of Christmas will reverse Kentucky’s recent progress on thwarting the novel coronavirus – Beshear said he worries that the New Year’s weekend, a four-day holiday for many Kentuckians, will lead to more infections like those he has reason to believe occurred during the Christmas holiday. (News)
LMPD to fire two more officers tied to Breonna Taylor killing – The Louisville Metro Police Department intends to fire two more officers involved in the raid at Breonna Taylor’s apartment and her shooting death. (News)
How federal legislation breaks down for Kentucky – Gov. Andy Beshear outlined on Tuesday how the new federal COVID relief act passed by Congress will impact Kentucky. (News)
🔥 McConnell blocks vote on $2,000 checks, wants to add poison pills to the bill – McConnell blocked Schumer, Sanders blocked McConnell. No bills passed; lots of maneuvering. And the holiday is coming, as well as an election in Georgia. (News)
🔥 The Wheel of Mitchfortune – If the two Republicans win in Georgia on January 5th, what will we see more of? Another season of that infamous show, The Wheel of Mitchfortune. (Animated Cartoon)
It CAN happen here – Think it can’t happen here? Guess again … it’s happening now. What will we do about it? (Video)
🔥 Trump’s false claims of stolen election evoke a dangerous historical precedent – Trump’s insistence that the 2020 election was stolen may seem like a bad joke on its face. But, this myth is taking hold among some on the right, and parallels a similar myth that lead to the collapse of a democracy. (News Analysis)
🔥 It’s time for a redistricting commission in Kentucky – It is well past the time when politicians should be allowed to be the people setting electoral districts. Kentucky — and perhaps every state — should set up independent commissions to do the job. (Policy)
Why must only Democrats reach out? – I don’t think anyone would have much luck winning many converts for Team Blue in my neck of the woods where “You can’t be a Christian and a Democrat” is an article of faith. (Commentary)
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