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— Publisher’s Note —
Good morning! A couple of things to study up on and to watch in coming days:
The filibuster battle in the U.S. Senate – A filibuster originally was when an elected official would talk long enough, and refuse to yield the floor, in order to prevent a bill from passing. The Senate passed a rule long ago that a filibuster could be stopped by 60 votes against it. Nowadays, almost no one actually filibusters; they just take a cloture vote to see if there are 60 votes to pass the bill. Thus, it would take 10 Republicans to vote with Dems for cloture in order to thwart a threatened filibuster. So, in order to pass most legislation, a simple majority (50 Dems plus VP Harris) is not enough.
Dems, obviously, want to get rid of this rule. Repubs don’t. Both sides are angling for an advantage. So, even though it seems arcane, it’s actually critical to getting Biden’s agenda passed. Go read this story about it, which will help bring you up to speed.
The upcoming Kentucky budget – When the General Assembly reconvenes next week, their main task will be to pass a one-year budget to start on July 1. Amazingly, there is actually some extra money. The governor wants to use that to help people; Repubs want to stuff it all into the rainy day fund. Read Jason Bailey’s analysis to see why using it for relief is actually the best economic decision as well.
These aren’t the only news and commentary items out there, of course. Lots of new items in the content section at the bottom, so I hope you’ll check those out as well.
Finally, I’m going to include a picture my wife saw on Facebook and shared with me. I haven’t been able to track down the source, or all the people in the picture, but I thought it was too good not to share. Enjoy!
Bruce Maples, publisher
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Today’s Five Things to Know
Impeachment petition filed against AG Cameron
A group of former Breonna Taylor grand jurors have filed an impeachment petition with the Kentucky House of Representatives targeting Attorney General Daniel Cameron. Story has the three allegations of misconduct, taken from the petition. (Forward Kentucky)
1/24 update — 35 more COVID deaths make January deadliest month of the pandemic in Ky; positivity rate keeps falling
The pandemic in Kentucky remained on a slight downward trend Sunday, with declines in numerous metrics. However, the trend in deaths from COVID-19 continued to rise, making January the deadliest month of the pandemic in the state. (Forward Kentucky)
Beshear allows ‘born alive’ bill to become law without his signature; it’s the first anti-abortion bill he has not vetoed
Gov. Andy Beshear has allowed to become law without his signature an anti-abortion bill that the legislature would have enacted anyway if he had vetoed it, and that critics say is unnecessary. (Forward Kentucky)
Kentucky Republicans reject resolution urging Mitch McConnell to stand with Trump
The Republican Party of Kentucky’s State Central Committee rejected a resolution Saturday that would have urged Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to fully support former President Donald Trump and condemn his second impeachment.
The committee met Saturday to consider the proposal after the Republican Party of Nelson County announced more than 30 GOP county chairs and vice chairs had called for a meeting to consider the resolution aimed at the commonwealth’s longtime senator.
Republican Party of Kentucky Chairman Mac Brown called the resolution out of order, and the majority of the committee agreed, a member told The Courier Journal after the meeting. The final vote agreeing the resolution should be deemed out of order was 134-49, the member said.
Republican Party of Nelson County Chair Don Thrasher, who led the resolution effort, said the chairs who supported it will now bring a motion asking for McConnell’s resignation, which he said is in the purview of the rules. (Courier-Journal)
Rand Paul generates headlines
Our junior senator made some headlines in recent days. Here’s a quick summary:
- Paul wrote an opinion piece in The Hill calling the impeachment trial “a sham” and urging other senators to boycott the proceedings. He said that holding an elected official responsible for the actions of his followers would cause charges to be filed against many of his colleagues. He also said that Chief Justice Roberts may not be presiding, and thus it would be all for show.
- On Fox News, he attacked Biden’s call for a dramatic increase in the minimum wage, saying that 4 million people would lose their jobs (a number contradicted by the Congressional Budget Office), and that the first people to lose those jobs would be Black teenagers. So, he said, the question should be, “Why does Joe Biden hate Black teenagers?”
Recent Content on Forward Kentucky
[new] indicates item not in a Forward Five before
🔥 indicates high # of reads, social media shares, or both
[New] Give Joe a chance – The All-or-Nothing Caucus on the left has two mantras. Its first mantra is: Moderates will sell you out. Its second: Half a loaf is much worse than no loaf at all. We say, let’s give Joe a chance. (Commentary)
[New] General Assembly should strengthen recovery by approving much-needed relief – The legislature faces a choice: deploy extra resources to build a bridge to the other side of this crisis, or pursue austerity and leave us facing a slower and more treacherous recovery. (Policy)
[New] Mitch McConnell is forcing Democrats’ hand on filibuster – Mitch McConnell sees the handwriting on the wall regarding the filibuster and so he is using the filibuster leverage he has now to prevent its repeal. (Analysis)
[New] Fact Check: Debunking Senator Ted Cruz’s claims on rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement – Ted Cruz attacked President Biden for rejoining the Paris Climate Accord. Alice Hill, of the Council on Foreign Relations, helps Senator Cruz understand the facts. (Fact Check)
[New] 🔥 Don’t believe the pension poppycock … it’s a divide-and-conquer strategy. – Rep. Ed Massey has filed a bill to change the pension plan for teachers hired after 1/1/2022. While Massey has some soothing words — as do others — do not be deceived; this is definitely an inferior retirement, and the opening salvo in a game of divide and conquer. (Commentary)
[New] U.S. flags on Capitol grounds memorialize Kentuckians lost to virus – A total of 3,301 American flags were placed on the Capitol grounds on Friday, to honor all of the Kentuckians who have lost their lives due to the coronavirus. (News)
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)
🔥 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. Here’s an outline. (Analysis)
🔥 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 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)
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)
🔥 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)
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