Recent editorials from Kentucky newspapers:

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Jan. 6

The Daily News on Congress convening to confirm the Electoral College vote won by President-elect Joe Biden amid objections from some republican lawmakers:

Today, during a joint session of Congress inside the supposedly solemn halls of the U.S. Capitol, at least several dozen – and probably more than 100 – Republican lawmakers in both chambers are expected, for a variety of contrived reasons, to exercise their constitutional right to beclown themselves in one final act of fealty to defeated President Donald Trump and to the factions of Trump voters who cling to the delusion that Joe Biden is an illegitimate president-elect.

The ridiculous objections to Electoral College certification will be an embarrassment for our nation and for the GOP lawmakers who lend their voices to this pointless charade. The only positive aspect of their endeavor is that it is certain to fail – which, frankly, is the only reason they feel emboldened do it. With perhaps a small handful of loony exceptions, each one of the objectors fully understands Biden is the rightful winner of the 2020 presidential election. Yet they will stand before America and perform a bit of political slapstick anyway, because they are protected by the knowledge that their wild gyrations have absolutely no chance of actually resulting in the constitutional and democratic crisis of an overturned election.

These men and women will base their objections on nothing. There is no coherent or consistent theme to their arguments, except that they are too cowardly to face their constituents and assert that Trump really did lose the election. Today, we will hear about “allegations” of widespread voter fraud, of which not a stitch of tangible evidence has been unearthed. We will hear technical legal complaints about how voting was conducted in certain states, an issue that Congress has no control over and did not seem to care about until Trump lost those states. We will hear about restoring the public’s faith in our electoral process, which was not a problem until Trump and his most ardent allies began scraping baseless conspiracy theories from the sludgiest corners of the internet and amplifying them in the fantasy world of ultra-right-wing media.

Fox Business Channel host Lou Dobbs, one of mainstream media’s biggest Trump boosters, unintentionally articulated on his show Monday the cognitive dissonance of the Trump team’s increasingly desperate – and resoundingly rejected – attempts to remain in power.

“Eight weeks from the election and we still don’t have verifiable, tangible support for the crimes that everyone knows were committed – that is, defrauding other citizens who voted with fraudulent votes,” Dobbs said. “We know that’s the case in Nevada, we know it’s the case in Pennsylvania and a number of other states, but we have had a devil of a time finding actual proof. Why?”

Well, Lou Dobbs, the answer is because it is all utter hogwash, as proven by the numerous audits and recounts that confirmed the vote totals in several states, and by the courtroom bloodbath that greeted Trump’s post-election firehose of dead-on-arrival lawsuits and legal maneuvers.

Look, this newspaper’s editorial board is not exactly thrilled that Biden will be president in less than two weeks. We endorsed Trump twice and certainly wish he had won a second term in the White House. Had legitimate evidence been produced that cast doubt on the accuracy of the November vote, we would support any investigations that arose from it. But there is none, and we accept the reality of the American people’s will. We are flummoxed by the refusal of so many Republican leaders to publicly do the same.

We also understand that Democrats previously raised token objections to Electoral College certification following the last three Republican presidential victories: 2000, 2004 and 2016. The 2000 and 2016 objections were confined to the House and amounted to nothing. Following then-President George W. Bush’s reelection in 2004, two Democratic lawmakers – Sen. Barbara Boxer of California and Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones of Ohio – objected to certification of Ohio’s electoral votes, forcing the House and Senate to vote separately on the objection. Both chambers declined to reject Ohio’s votes.

Online: https://www.bgdailynews.com/

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Jan. 1

The News-Enterprise on 2020 and the new year:

So long 2020, we don’t want to ever, and we mean ever, see the likes of you again in our lifetimes.

And to think the year started off so simple. We had some cold days, some warm days, some good days and a few bad ones.

Life just seemed normal in Hardin County.

And then March arrived and the coronavirus pandemic arrived. Life as we knew it, was altered — it was a punch in the heart, really.

The difficulty of 2020 has been well documented and it’s time to look ahead to a better year in so many ways, using the challenges and sadness of this past year as a learning experience to appreciate what and who we have in life.

Maybe in 2021 because of what so many of us have been through, there will be renewed joy in the simple sound of a breeze through tree leaves, a squirrel going from delicate branch to delicate branch, a child’s smile and laugh, and an old song.

Maybe in 2021 the illnesses will be less, the pains fewer.

Maybe in 2021, we will be more tolerant of others who may share a different view on politics, different view on wearing a mask or who they cheer for in sports.

In Hardin County, we often see the very best in people in how they help others especially in tough times, and even in good ones.

We have so much to be thankful for in living where we do that sometimes complacency sets in and it becomes easier to find fault instead of praise.

What we all can do is control our tongue, control our eye rolls and control how we make life changes. We all have an opportunity to take this new year and embrace it and move our lives forward, or at the very least to what it was like a year ago.

So as we step into a new 365 days today, let’s do it with appreciation for what we have and where we live.

Here’s to a great new year filled with good health, good people around us and a love for what we took for granted just 12 months ago.

Online: https://www.thenewsenterprise.com/

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Dec. 31

The State Journal on the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, the Kentucky General Assembly and new commissioners at the Frankfort City Hall:

A cynic might argue that anything would top 2020, but count us as bullish about 2021 in our community, state and nation.

COVID-19 vaccine distribution might not exactly be living up to the “warp speed” characterization by the federal government, but early signs are that doses will be available by summer to everybody who wants it, with health care workers off to a fast start. The partnership of pharmaceutical companies, governmental entities and couriers like FedEx and UPS to distribute the vaccine across the country has been impressive to watch.

Widespread immunization will be followed quickly, we predict, by a robust economic recovery that sees the jobless return to work and battered small businesses back to full speed. We commend the work of local, state and federal governments to date to prop up the economy while the virus continues to rage. Another round or two of relief might be needed in the first half of 2021, and we urge bipartisan cooperation to make it happen.

Here at home, 2021 brings new leadership at City Hall, and the optimism that invariably accompanies fresh ideas and perspectives. Mayor Layne Wilkerson impressed us during the spring and fall elections as a consensus-builder who will end the petty bickering that has troubled city governance for too long. In Katrisha Waldridge, Kelly May, Kyle Thompson and Leesa Unger, he’ll be working with commissioners who bring a nice blend of experience, energy and innovation to the city’s governing board.

One of the commission’s early important decisions will be a new city manager. As important as their choice will be their discipline to let him or her do the job of CEO at City Hall. Time and time again during the campaign, the eventual winners talked about their respect for a city manager form of government and a commitment to end the micromanagement that has caused a revolving door on the city manager’s office. We’re hopeful.

The Kentucky General Assembly will be back in town this month with an opportunity to accomplish much good for the state. We hope the strong Republican majorities in both chambers will focus squarely on the economic recovery and resist the urge to launch the 2023 gubernatorial race by nitpicking Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis. Historians will sort out his and other leaders’ missteps, but public opinion is solidly behind the young governor’s efforts to deal with a public health and economic crisis that is unmatched in modern America.

Republicans rightfully have their eye on reclaiming the Governor’s Mansion in a couple of years, but attempts to hamstring the governor’s executive authority during emergencies are a poor line of attack, in our view, and will do more to help Beshear’s 2023 reelection bid than harm it.

Online: https://www.state-journal.com/