The Forward Five – Friday, 1/22/21

Five Things to Know Today

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— Publisher’s Note —

Good morning! Yesterday, I threw out some sidebar topics about the inauguration and challenged you to find out what their relationship was to the inauguration.

So today, I’m going to share the answers.

  • Why women wore purple at the inauguration – Multiple reasons: To show unity (red + blue = purple). To honor the suffragists, who used the color as a symbol. To honor Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman elected to Congress.
  • The Bernie Sanders meme – There is an iconic photo of Sanders sitting cross-legged in a chair, socially distanced, dressed warmly and wearing some great mittens. People started taking that picture and putting Sanders in other locations and events, and it turned into a viral sensation on the internet.
  • Eugene Goodman – Goodman was the Capitol Police officer who drew the terrorists away from an unlocked door leading into the House chamber. On inauguration day, he was made an Honorary Sergeant at Arms, and accompanied Kamala Harris onto the dais.
  • Louisville person at the wreath laying – When Biden and Harris performed the ceremonial laying of a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns, the bugler playing taps was a University of Louisville graduate who plays trumpet in The President’s Own Marine Band.
  • Executive orders – Biden signed a large number of executive orders on his first afternoon in office, undoing Trump actions and beginning the Biden agenda. No other president has signed so many so soon after being inaugurated.
  • Press conference – The new press secretary, Jen Psaki, held a press conference, and it was a perfectly normal press conference, with questions asked and answered without rancor or sneering. That is what was unusual; normal press conferences had disappeared over the past four years. Psaki told the gathered reporters that she respected the work they do, and looked forward to working with them.

Definitely a special day, and a good beginning.

Have a good weekend, stay safe, wear your masks. A better future is in sight.

Bruce Maples, publisher
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Today’s Five Things to Know

1/21 update — State has 58 COVID deaths today, a record, but Beshear cites state’s low overall death rate, says more masking may be helping

Beshear attributed Thursday’s high death count to the recent high number of cases brought on by holiday gatherings, noting that it’s important to remember that deaths always follow cases. (Forward Kentucky)

Here’s what’s in Biden’s COVID relief plan

President Biden vowed to make COVID relief a priority as soon as he took office. His $1.9 trillion COVID relief proposal is called the American Relief Plan, and it’s pretty big and pretty comprehensive. Here’s an outline. (Forward Kentucky)

Ky. Supreme Court won’t have rehearing on historical horse racing

The Kentucky Supreme Court has denied a motion for a rehearing on their decision issued last fall that stated historical horse racing is not pari-mutuel wagering and is therefore illegal under state law, ending a decade long legal battle. If the state wants to keep the practice (which is essentially slot-machine gambling), the legislature will have to pass a bill making it legal. (Kentucky Today)

Beshear vetoes bill on assigning lawsuits against state

A Republican-backed bill aimed at bypassing the Franklin Circuit Court, which has traditionally been assigned high-profile cases involving Kentucky state government, has been vetoed by Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear. He has now vetoed six of the seven bills sent to his desk so far in this year’s session. (Kentucky Today)

Two McConnell stories

Mitch McConnell is in the news for two stories, one relatively minor and one definitely major.

First, he is trying to get Speaker Pelosi to agree to delay the Trump impeachment trial so that former President Trump can assemble his legal team. (At least, that is the stated reason.) The timing is completely up to Pelosi; once she delivers the impeachment article to the Senate, they must take it up within twenty-four hours.

Secondly, McConnell is trying to get the Senate Dems to agree to keep the filibuster rules. You can dig up more info on the filibuster, but essentially it means that it takes 60 votes to pass legislation in the Senate. It’s not part of the Constitution; it is, instead, a part of the Senate rules, and has been for a long time.

Obviously, keeping the filibuster means that McConnell and the Republicans can block much of Biden’s agenda. Chuck Schumer, the new majority leader, is holding firm against McConnell’s request. In response, McConnell is refusing to agree to the Senate reorganization resolution, which says who chairs which committees and which senators are on those committees. As a result, the committees still have Republican chairs, even though Dems are in charge of the Senate.

This may seem obscure, but it is actually critical. If the filibuster is removed, Dems can pass legislation without any Republican votes – which means that the senators that represent a majority of Americans (Dems, by a lot) can actually do what a majority is supposed to do: govern.

Watch this space.

Recent Content on Forward Kentucky

[new] indicates item not in a Forward Five before
🔥 indicates high # of reads, social media shares, or both

[New] COVID is real. I know. So stop playing politics with your — and my — health. – Get it straight – COVID is real. I know, because I’ve survived it. So stop playing politics with your own health – and with everyone else’s health too. (Commentary)

[New] Reproductive freedom with the ACLU, Kentuckians face federal changes, and the Democratic agenda – On this week’s podcast, we interview Mashayla Hays and Jackie McGranahan of the ACLU about abortion rights in Kentucky. Robert and Jazmin talk about the Kentuckians who vace charges for their participation in the insurrection at the Capitol. And, Robert looks at the bills with the highest level of Democratic sponsorship and what the legislative session would look like if Democrats were in charge. (Podcast)

[New] When the Weather Channel dunks on you – At first I just cluelessly figured it was an amusing but understandable accident. (Humor)

🔥 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. (Analysis)

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)

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)

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)

🔥 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)

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)

🔥 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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Forward Kentucky is an independent media organization focused on progressive news and issues in Kentucky. Our objectives are to provide journalism that is objective, policies that are effective, and commentary that is progressive. Our goal is to help Kentucky become all that it can be through government that works, for all. We are "the progressive voice for Kentucky politics."

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