The Weekly Wrap for the Week Ending 2/20

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18 mins read

— Callouts —

Things on the site we want to be sure you see,
out of everything published this week.

Editor’s note: This was a particularly rich week for good content. As a result, our list of Callouts is longer than usual … AND there are even more good articles that aren’t in the callouts. I hope you scan the entire list each week, but this is a week where you really should look over the entire list, and not just the Callouts. Thanks!

  • ForwardKY contributors win six awards – Every year, the Kentucky Press Association holds a contest to grant various awards: best editorial writer, best breaking news photo, and so on. And in this year’s contest, contributors to Forward Kentucky won six of those awards. (Meta)
  • Poll shows majority still approve of Beshear and Paul. (McConnell, not so much.) – Mason-Dixon Polling released a poll on Friday showing a majority of Kentuckians still approve of Governor Beshear’s performance as governor. The poll also shows Rand Paul’s ratings are above water, while Mitch McConnell’s are not. (News)
  • Trump’s acquittal is a sign of ‘constitutional rot’ – partisanship overriding principles – The Senate’s decision to acquit former President Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial may have been a victory for Trump, but it is a clear sign that democracy in the U.S. is in poor health. (Analysis)
  • The most important bill in Frankfort – There are hundreds of bills already filed in this year’s General Assembly. But Neal Turpin says that of all of these bills, THIS is the most important – and the one that would change our politics and state the most. (Policy)
  • Twelve crappy bills that need to be burned with fire and die – Here’s a short list of twelve bad bills in this year’s General Assembly. We could write an editorial about each one, but we’re just going to give you the list and a summary of what the bill does. (Analysis)
  • Why are Democratic presidents so good for the economy? – The pattern is clear. The economy performs much better under Democratic presidents than Republican. Here are some reasons why – and why Biden’s plan is the right plan for this moment. (Analysis)

— Posts in Order —

 Most-read      🔥 Most-shared

In the age of COVID, there’s a new normal for lobbying in Frankfort

News  ●  Jada Csonka  ●  February 20, 2021

In these days of COVID, our lives have changed, and lobbying the legislature is no different. What is the new normal for our legislators, and how can we have an impact? Rep. Joni Jenkins and Sen. Morgan McGarvey share their insights and advice.

We’ve pulled the ads. Here’s why.

Meta  ●  Bruce Maples  ●  February 20, 2021

I took down the ads on the site. Here is why.

Kentuckians who were paid too much unemployment could keep the money … if lawmakers act

Briefs  ●  Courier Journal  ●  February 19, 2021

The latest relief package allows states to forgive any UI overpayments. But Kentucky’s laws don’t allow it. Bills have been filed to change that, but can they get passed in the time remaining in this year’s session?

2/18 update — New vaccine sites; limited visitation for assisted-living facilities

News  ●  Kentucky Health News  ●  February 19, 2021

Gov. Beshear offered some good news at his last news conference of the week: 28 more coronavirus vaccination sites, and some long-term-care facilities will be able to allow visitation.

Judge in lawsuit over governor’s emergency powers tells Beshear and legislature to end ‘communications gap’ and compromise

News  ●  Kentucky Health News  ●  February 19, 2021

Republican legislative leaders and Gov. Andy Beshear need to compromise on their dispute about the governor’s emergency powers, Judge Shepherd said Thursday.

Caricature of Joe Biden by DonkeyHotey

🔥 Why are Democratic presidents so good for the economy?

Commentary  ●  Marshall Ward  ●  February 19, 2021

The pattern is clear. The economy performs much better under Democratic presidents than Republican. Here are some reasons why – and why Biden’s plan is the right plan for this moment.

★ Seven good bills that might actually pass KYGA21 this year

Commentary  ●  Bruce Maples  ●  February 18, 2021

Believe it or not, here are some GOOD pieces of legislation that might actually get passed by this year’s General Assembly. #KYGA21

Rep. Andy Barr, Kentucky coal group falsely blame wind power as Texas power outage culprit

Briefs  ●  Courier Journal  ●  February 18, 2021

As Texas deals with a power crisis caused by a winter storm, many are spreading misinformation about the cause, including Rep. Andy Barr and Friends of Coal.

2/17 update — Cases keep going down but 7-day rate still among top 10; positivity rate up slightly

News  ●  Kentucky Health News  ●  February 18, 2021

Gov. Beshear announced 1,017 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday, a number that is still high when compared with the whole of the pandemic, but that continues to creep down.

★ Governed by the stupid

Commentary  ●  Marshall Ward  ●  February 17, 2021

“But as always, we are “governed by the stupid” who think they’re the smartest people in the room, think preparation is for wimps, laugh at science, and are more concerned about lowering taxes than public safety.”

Trump the Don (caricature by DonkeyHotey)

🔥 Will Trump ever be stopped?

Commentary  ●  Guest Author  ●  February 17, 2021

From Teri Kanefield: I think the question is whether what Trump has unleashed can be contained. The answer is that it will be difficult, and will take time.

General Assembly cancels remainder of week

News  ●  Kentucky Today  ●  February 17, 2021

As Kentucky digs out from the latest winter storm and braces for yet another one on Wednesday and Thursday, leaders of the General Assembly have canceled all activities this week.

Donald Trump bashes Mitch McConnell after the Kentuckian blamed him for Capitol riot

Briefs  ●  Courier Journal  ●  February 17, 2021

Former President Donald Trump lambasted Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in a lengthy statement Tuesday afternoon.

2/16 update — State to get a 29% boost in vaccine supply next week; weekly shipments have increased 63% since vaccine rollouts began

News  ●  Kentucky Health News  ●  February 17, 2021

Kentucky’s coronavirus vaccine supply will increase by 29 percent next week, and the amount being sent through the federal pharmacy program will double, Gov. Andy Beshear announced Tuesday.

★  🔥 Twelve crappy bills that need to be burned with fire and die

Commentary  ●  Bruce Maples  ●  February 16, 2021

Here’s a short list of twelve bad bills in this year’s General Assembly. We could write an editorial about each one, but we’re just going to give you the list and a summary of what the bill does.

What having no income tax gets a state during a pandemic

Commentary  ●  The American Prospect  ●  February 16, 2021

What happens to your state’s budget — and everything it pays for — when it depends on the ups and downs of sales? And how does that apply to Kentucky?

★ The insurrectionist next door

Commentary  ●  Catherine Hill  ●  February 16, 2021

What made these seemingly average American folks vulnerable to being sucked into the rabbit holes of radicalism and persuaded to assault our nation’s seat of government?

★  The most important bill in Frankfort

Policy  ●  Neal Turpin  ●  February 16, 2021

There are hundreds of bills already filed in this year’s General Assembly. But Neal Turpin says that of all of these bills, THIS is the most important – and the one that would change our politics and state the most.

2/15 update — Child-care workers can now get vaccinated for the coronavirus

News  ●  Kentucky Health News  ●  February 16, 2021

After months of feeling frustrated that they were not placed on a par with school personnel, child-care workers have been placed in Phase 1B and can move to the front of the line for their vaccination.

Pelosi announces 9/11-style commission to investigate 1/6 attack

News  ●  Forward Kentucky  ●  February 16, 2021

As part of her President’s Day message to her House Democratic caucus, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the formation of a “9/11-style” independent commission to investigate the terrorist attack on the nation’s Capitol.

A response to Andy Barr’s recent comments

Commentary  ●  Guest Author  ●  February 15, 2021

Rep. Andy Barr wrote an opinion piece at the end of January that ran in the Winchester Sun. This column is in response to Barr’s comments.

This bill would slap back at SLAPPs

Commentary  ●  Amye Bensenhaver  ●  February 15, 2021

Rep. Kulkarni’s bill — which is co-sponsored by Rep. Nemes — would establish an Anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation or SLAPP suit) law in Kentucky.

Trump’s acquittal is a sign of ‘constitutional rot’ – partisanship overriding principles

News Analysis  ●  The Conversation  ●  February 15, 2021

The Senate’s decision to acquit former President Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial may have been a victory for Trump, but it is a clear sign that democracy in the U.S. is in poor health.

KY lawmakers weigh options for expanding voting rights

News  ●  Kentucky News Connection  ●  February 15, 2021

State lawmakers are considering bills to restore rights for people with felonies in their past, as well as expand polling hours, vote-by-mail options, and same-day registration.

Effort to get statue of Black journalist in US, KY Capitols

Briefs  ●  Herald-Leader  ●  February 15, 2021

If Sen. Alice Forgy Kerr, a statue of Alice Dunnigan, the first Black woman to receive White House press credentials, will be added to both the U.S. Capitol and the state Capitol.

Poll shows majority still approve of Beshear and Paul. (McConnell, not so much.)

News  ●  Forward Kentucky  ●  February 15, 2021

Mason-Dixon Polling released a poll on Friday showing a majority of Kentuckians still approve of Governor Beshear’s performance as governor. The poll also shows Rand Paul’s ratings are above water, while Mitch McConnell’s are not.

Democracy lost in Washington; can it win in Frankfort?

Publisher’s Blog  ●  Bruce Maples  ●  February 15, 2021

We can’t change the outcome of the impeachment trial … but we can, perhaps, change some outcomes in this year’s legislative session.

Presidents’ Day Happy Fun Quiz

Features  ●  Daily Kos  ●  February 15, 2021

Think you know your presidential history? Take this fun President’s Day quiz from Bill in Portland Maine and see how you do!

‘That logic all pretzels out’: Saturday Night Live parodies McConnell over Trump impeachment

Briefs  ●  Courier Journal  ●  February 15, 2021

“Saturday Night Live” lampooned Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in its impeachment-themed cold open for his comments after voting to acquit former President Donald Trump.

★  🔥 Kentucky’s senate president seeks to change U.S. Senate vacancy rules

News  ●  Courier Journal  ●  February 15, 2021

Current law says that if one of our DC senators leaves office, the governor can appoint anyone to that office. A new bill would require the governor to appoint someone from the same party as the departing senator.

Legislative offices are closed until Wednesday due to weather; Thursday last day to file bills

News  ●  Northern KY Tribune  ●  February 15, 2021

Due to forecasts of a winter storm, the Kentucky Senate and House of Representatives will not convene on Tuesday, Feb. 16.

2/14 update — New cases are down for the fifth week in a row; positivity rate falls to ninth in the nation

News  ●  Kentucky Health News  ●  February 15, 2021

Cases of the novel coronavirus in Kentucky have declined for the fifth week in a row, Gov. Andy Beshear announced Sunday.

🔥 ForwardKY contributors win six awards

News  ●  Forward Kentucky  ●  February 15, 2021

Every year, the Kentucky Press Association holds a contest to grant various awards: best editorial writer, best breaking news photo, and so on. And in this year’s contest, contributors to Forward Kentucky won six of those awards.

Morgan McGarvey’s Legislative Update

Features  ●  Guest Author  ●  February 14, 2021

If you don’t subscribe to the updates from your leges, you should. They’re informative and important. And in the case of Morgan McGarvey, they’re fun to read as well. Enjoy!

Mitch McConnell – sycophant or cynic? Both, and more.

Commentary  ●  Berry Craig  ●  February 14, 2021

McConnell is more than a grifter, more than a cynic, and more than a Tump sycophant. Worse — he’s a destroyer of the Senate and an enabler of a would-be dictator. That is the space McConnell will occupy in history books.

The GOP and the Trump toilet

Cartoon  ●  Steve Greenberg  ●  February 14, 2021

When 43 GOP senators decided to acquit Donald Trump, what had they actually decided? Steve Greenberg has the answer.


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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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