Five Things to Know Today
— Publisher’s Note —
Good morning! I don’t know about you, but sometime around noon yesterday, my stress level dropped significantly.
I mean, I can literally feel the difference in my body. And certainly in my thinking and my emotions.
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were inaugurated. There was no violence. But there was plenty of beauty, and dignity, and pride, and hope. And a little bit of levity.
I will not try, either in this newsletter or on the site, to cover the events of yesterday. They are all over the media, with multiple outlets covering every possible story angle. But just for fun, here are some topics for you to take to the Google machine to learn more about:
- Why women wore purple yesterday
- The Bernie Sanders meme
- Eugene Goodman
- Louisville person at the wreath laying
- Executive orders
- Press conference
Tomorrow, I’ll share notes on each of these, so if you don’t feel like looking them up, you can find out about them tomorrow.
Such a wonder-full day. A ray of hope. A comforter of normalcy. A history-making moment. A new beginning.
Maybe we really will get through this, together.
Today’s Five Things to Know
1/20 update — State reports 49 more deaths; January on track to be the deadliest month for the disease in Kentucky
Gov. Beshear and his health commissioner have long said COVID-19 deaths are a lagging indicator of cases, and Wednesday’s report of 49 more deaths, the fourth highest on one day, is certainly an indication of that. (Forward Kentucky)
More approval for Beshear COVID restrictions than in surrounding states
Recently, Governor Beshear referenced a poll showing strong support for the actions he has taken to deal with the pandemic. Being the stats nerd that I am, I tracked down the survey. Here’s what I found. (Forward Kentucky)
QAnon believers grapple with doubt, spin new theories as Trump era ends
The administrator of 8kun, the longtime Internet home of the mysterious Q, says it’s time to move on, and a moderator on Wednesday wiped Q’s ‘drops’ from the website. (Washington Post)
What McConnell and other Kentucky politicians had to say on Biden’s Inauguration Day
Two weeks to the day after rioters violently breached the U.S. Capitol, U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth of Louisville — Kentucky’s lone Democrat in Congress — called President Joe Biden’s inauguration Wednesday “a new beginning for our nation” and said he felt “respect, pride, hope and relief.”
“With President Biden and Vice President (Kamala) Harris leading the way, we will change the course of the crises we face, earn back the respect of the world and begin our recovery in earnest,” Yarmuth said in a statement.
He also offered a more personal glimpse of his feelings on Twitter: “Just witnessed the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. Filled with respect, pride, hope, and relief. The feeling that better days are ahead is inspiring, and the reminder that the truth still matters is reaffirming. Today, our democracy endures.”
Yarmuth personally attended the inauguration, as did U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell and U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, both of whom are Kentucky Republicans (Courier-Journal)
Can Mitch McConnell stand against Donald Trump and still control the Kentucky GOP?
In a statement, McConnell placed the blame for the attack on the Capitol squarely on Trump. Now he faces backlash back home – but also support.
Some local leaders, such as Marie Childers, the chairwoman of the Pike County Republican Party, are still standing beside McConnell, illustrating the divide in the Republican Party. Trump won Pike County with nearly 80 percent of the vote. “You look at the money that Mitch McConnell has funneled into the state of Kentucky,” Childers said. “I’m behind Mitch McConnell and Hal Rogers.”
To be behind both McConnell and Rogers is to stand over a crack in the Republican Party. (Herald-Leader)
Recent Content on Forward Kentucky
[new] indicates item not in a Forward Five before
🔥 indicates high # of reads, social media shares, or both
[New] Beshear to co-chair national task force on economic recovery and revitalization – Today, the National Governors Association (NGA) announced that Gov. Beshear will lead a bipartisan task force to guide states in their economic recovery and revitalization efforts amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (News)
[New] A field of dreams, flags, and lights – ”I know the resilience of our Constitution and the strength of our nation. The American story depends not on any one of us, not on some of us, but on all of us.” (Commentary)
[New] America’s biggest loser – “We’re going to win so much, you’re going to be so sick and tired of winning, you’re going to come to me and go ‘Please, please, we can’t win anymore.’” Donald Trump famously boasted on the campaign trail in 2016. He skulked away today as one of the biggest presidential losers. (Commentary)
Mitch McConnell’s remarks on Senate floor, including condemnation of Trump’s actions – Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell delivered these remarks Tuesday on the Senate floor, delivering a tribute to the Capitol Police, and saying that President Trump “provoked” the attack on the Capitol. (News)
🔥 Beshear vetoes five bills, explains why – Governor Andy Beshear today issued vetoes of five bills recently passed by the Kentucky General Assembly. In his veto messages, he laid out why he vetoed each bill. (News)
The fracturing of the GOP – There’s a shaking-out happening across the country. It’s too soon to tell how it will turn out … but the Republican Party, and conservatives in general, are choosing sides. (PubBlog)
Here’s my letter to the Beshear impeachment committee – The state AFL-CIO is sponsoring a letter-writing campaign to the Beshear impeachment committee, urging them to drop the impeachment. You can use their stock letter, or write your own. I chose to write my own. Here it is. (Action)
A Munich Moment – In 1923, a young authoritarian tried to overthrow a government, and failed. Ten years later, he succeeded. In 2021, another authoritarian tried to throw out an election. Was this a Munich Moment? (Commentary)
🔥 Our forgotten source of strength – We have to deal with the immediate task of holding people accountable, including leaders. But beyond this immediate need, we also need to take seriously the admonitions of our founders, and begin rebuilding democracy by re-teaching democracy. (Commentary)
🔥 Stivers says legislature could negotiate with Beshear on emergency bills; governor still says ‘changing the rules in the midst of a worldwide health pandemic seems like a bad idea’ – Senate President Robert Stivers said there could be negotiations instead of overrides on bills limiting governor’s powers – if Beshear is willing to discuss. (News)
🔥 Trump can issue secret pardons. Can Beshear do the same? – Legal experts seem to agree that Donald Trump can secretly pardon whomever he wants. Does Governor Andy Beshear have the same power? (Analysis)
🔥 Is impeaching President Trump ‘pointless revenge’? Not if it sends a message to future presidents – The impeachment of President Trump is an indication that there is a need to mark out, through a definitive statement, what no president ought to do. It will also set the moral limits of the presidency – and, thereby, send a message to future presidents who might be tempted to follow in President Trump’s footsteps. (Commentary)
Blood on his hands – Deaths from the terrorist attack. Deaths of children in cages. Deaths from COVID. And yet … Donald Trump says he takes no responsibility. (Cartoon)
🔥 How self-proclaimed ‘prophets’ from a growing Christian movement provided religious motivation for the Jan. 6 events at the US Capitol – A particular segment of white evangelicalism has played a unique role in providing a spiritual justification for the movement to overturn the election which resulted in the storming of the Capitol. (News)
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