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— Publisher’s Note —
Good morning! Imagine this conversation:
“Well, it was a tough and dangerous surgery, but we were able to remove the tumor.”
“That’s great news!”
“Yes, but there’s a problem. The cancer has metastasized.”
“Oh no. What do we do now?”
“It means that, even though we got rid of the main tumor, we still have to do long-term treatment.”
Analogies almost always fall short, but I’m sure you get the point. The tumor that was removed with difficulty was the Trump presidency. The cancer that remains? Domestic terrorism, especially right-wing, and a broken democracy.
I understand – we all want to move on, we all want a return to normal, we all want to breathe in the hope that the Biden presidency is bringing. I get it.
But, even while we do all those things, we must take on three tasks left over from the Trump era, and even before:
- Accountability. As Marshall Ward explains in his commentary, there cannot be unity without accountability – for Trump, for his enablers, for the terrorists who stormed the Capitol, and for anyone who helped them.
- Dealing with the terrorist threat. The domestic terrorists are still among us. There are rumors of further attacks. There are continuing threats against elected officials. The Department of Homeland Security just released a report naming domestic terrorism as the #1 security threat in the U.S.
- “Building back better” our democratic community. We have to figure out a way to be a community again. We have to figure out how to have one shared reality and not two. We have to face, and deal with, our justice issues. And we have to resist just returning to “the old normal” – because that world is what led to our current problems.
These are tough problems. There aren’t easy answers to any of them. But, just like dealing with cancer in the body, we have to face the truth and do the treatment. Otherwise, the cancer in our country will eventually kill our democracy.
(Thoughts on how to deal with these? I’d love to have your feedback and ideas. Use the Feedback link to send them in.)
Today’s Five Things to Know
Impeachment committee meets in private, reaches no final decision
The House impeachment committee met today to consider the impeachment petition against Governor Andy Beshear, and adjourned without a final disposition of the petition. One petitioner asked to withdraw. And, the committee asked Governor Beshear for “a little more information.” (Forward Kentucky)
1/27 update — Numbers trending down, but Beshear says risk remains high, especially with new variant in Ky.
New case numbers – down. Positivity rate – down. BUT, still a dangerous time requiring vigilance, because the more-contagious COVID variant is now in Kentucky. Also, some news on vaccine availability, and on schools. (Forward Kentucky)
Critics say KY voucher plan would siphon funds from public schools
A bill in KYGA21 would give money to parents to send their children to private schools. Critics argue it would drain $25 million from the state budget in its first year alone, and more each year after. (Forward Kentucky)
Opposition to ‘conversion therapy’ grows. Will Kentucky lawmakers ban it?
The push to ban “conversion therapy” in Kentucky is building momentum and bipartisan support, sparking cautious optimism about whether the Republican-dominated state legislature might pass legislation this year to prohibit the scientifically discredited practice, which involves substantial risks of harm for people subjected to it.
“Conversion therapy,” as such efforts are commonly called, aims to change a person’s sexual orientation or their gender identity. Twenty states and dozens of cities, including Louisville and Covington, have enacted bans on “conversion therapy” so far. (Courier-Journal)
Beshear seeks compromise with legislators on limiting his COVID-19 emergency powers
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear sent a letter Jan. 20 to state Senate President Robert Stivers and House Speaker David Osborne to see if they would compromise onlegislation he vetoed that limits his authority to issue and enforce emergency orders to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The two-page letter, obtained Tuesday by the Lexington Herald-Leader through an Open Records request, offers suggestions from Beshear to “create a reasonable framework around which to have a conversation” about the vetoes. (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] Death threats and intimidation of public officials signal Trump’s autocratic legacy – Trump is out of office, but his legacy remains: a deteriorating democracy and a rise in political violence, led by right-wing groups and especially affecting the Republican party. Why did this happen, and what is next? (Backgrounder)
[New] Accountability and unity – The country deserves healing and unity following the Trump presidency, but that won’t come from ignoring the destruction of norms and laws. Accountability — a public reckoning for Trump and for those who enabled his abuses — is the way forward. (Commentary)
[New] Dear commenters – Sign your stuff. I do. – I’m glad to have comments on my work, both pro and con. Comes with the territory. But, if you’re going to comment, sign your name. Don’t hide behind your keyboard. (Commentary)
[New] Dropping the ball – Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has had a rough twelve months, with some accusing him of dropping a number of balls along the way. Aaron Smith wonders, is Fischer’s latest action another dropped ball? (Editorial Cartoon)
🔥 Incitement to violence is rarely explicit – here are some techniques people use to breed hate – Scholars who study speeches and propaganda that precede acts of violence find direct commands to violence are rare. Other elements are more common. Here are some of the red flags. (Analysis)
🔥 McConnell caves, Dems now actually running the Senate – As Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer was talking about how to get Mitch McConnell to yield on organizing the Senate, McConnell suddenly gave in. Here’s more on what it means. (News)
🔥 Recusal motion filed against Rep. Jason Nemes – A motion has been filed requesting the immediate recusal of Rep. Jason Nemes from chairing, or even being a member of, the House impeachment committee. (News)
The great storm is over! – From an old song: “Alleluia, the great storm is over!” We’ve lived through many great storms as a nation. Is this storm over? (Commentary)
🔥 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)
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