News and Notes for Thursday Skip to content

News and Notes for Thursday

Eight stories and six tweets from Kentucky and U.S. politics.

Republican lawmakers promise a “school choice” amendment will come up in Kentucky’s legislative session

Conservative legislators have long pushed for “school choice” measures, like charter schools and scholarship tax credits, but a provision in the state constitution banning public education dollars from being spent on entities besides “common schools” has hamstrung their efforts.Now Republican leaders say they plan to amend the state’s fundamental document to allow such programs. (LPM News)

Lexington gets highest rating again in Kentucky for LGBTQ rights; near top in country

Lexington has received the highest score in the state for its policies regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality, according to a nonprofit group that ranks cities on LGBTQ policies. Lexington received a score of 114, one of the highest of the 506 cities ranked by the Human Rights Campaign. That puts Lexington in the top 2% of the country.

The annual Municipal Equality Index (MEI) review is based on how inclusive municipal laws, policies, and services are of LGBTQ communities. Lexington is fourth-best among rated municipalities in surrounding states including Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio, and Virginia Beach, Va. This is the third year in a row it received the top ranking in Kentucky. (Herald-Leader)

Moms for Liberty removes two Kentucky chapter leaders who posed with far-right Proud Boys

Moms for Liberty says it has removed two Kentucky chapter chairs from leadership positions after the women posed in photos with members of the far-right group the Proud Boys, one of several controversies that the conservative “parental rights” nonprofit has fended off in its rise to national prominence in public education. The two women, who had led local chapters in Boone and Campbell counties near the Ohio border, appeared in photos with several men dressed in yellow and black Proud Boys clothing at a Nov. 4 rally in Frankfort, the Kentucky capital. The photos, posted on Facebook by another attendee, show the women smiling in Moms for Liberty clothing, as one helps to hold up a flag that reads, “Appalachian Proud Boys Kentucky.” (Herald-Leader)

State Senator John Schickel announces retirement

On Tuesday, Senator John Schickel, R-Union, announced that he would not seek a fifth term in the General Assembly. Schickel, 69, has served 16 years in the state Senate and will serve the remainder of his term ending in December 2024.

“The Kentucky General Assembly, like the U.S. Congress, was founded to be a citizen legislature,” Schickel said. “Members of the House and Senate come from many professions, including law enforcement and corrections, like myself, and others are educators, attorneys, small business owners, and more. I have always thought citizen legislators should not make a career out of their service because I strongly believe in the founding principles of a government of the people and by the people.” (KLC City Limit)

Biden blasts Trump for ‘vermin’ comment, makes Nazi rhetoric comparison

President Joe Biden, while speaking with donors in San Francisco on Tuesday, said that his top 2024 rival, former President Donald Trump, has used rhetoric mirroring that of Nazis. “There’s a lot of reasons to be against Donald Trump,” Biden told donors, according to a pool report, “but damn he shouldn’t be president.”

During a campaign speech in New Hampshire over the weekend, Trump said: "We will root out the communists, Marxists, fascists and the radical left thugs that live like vermin within the confines of our country,” and warned that “the real threat is not from the radical right. The real threat is from the radical left, and it’s growing every day.”

The president said it was “language you heard in Nazi Germany in the 30s.” (The Messenger)

Senate fails to kill Biden student debt relief plan

U.S. Senate Republicans on Wednesday night failed to garner enough votes to block a new Biden administration rule on an income-driven repayment plan for federal student loans. The resolution did not pass, 49-50. Sen. Joe Manchin III of West Virginia was the sole Democrat who joined Republicans in backing the resolution. Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina did not vote.

Following the vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he was glad the resolution failed. “There are millions of students, poor, working class … who would have benefit from what the president has done,” Schumer said. (Kentucky Lantern)

Congress sends stopgap spending bill to Biden’s desk, averting shutdown for now

U.S. senators voted 87-11 to approve legislation Wednesday that would fund the government into next year, clearing the measure for President Joe Biden’s signature.

The stopgap spending bill, sometimes called a continuing resolution or CR, would fund part of the government until mid-January and the rest of the programs within the annual appropriations process through early February. But many hurdles likely remain before a final deal is reached on full-year spending.

Senate Appropriations Chair Patty Murray, a Washington state Democrat, said just before the bill passed that she’s already turned her attention to “what happens next.”

“Because avoiding a shutdown is so very far from mission accomplished,” Murray said. “We have a lot of work to do after the dust settles and before the next shutdown deadline comes up. Now is not the time to pat ourselves on the back.” (Kentucky Lantern)

Poll shows American support for Israel is cratering amid its violent siege

Support for Israel is cratering fast among the American public amid Israeli forces’ siege of Gaza, while a majority of Americans support the growing calls for a ceasefire, new polling reveals.

According to polling by Reuters/Ipsos released Wednesday, support for Israel among the U.S. public has dropped by nearly 10 percent in the past month. In a Reuters/Ipsos poll taken shortly after the current siege began last month, 41 percent said that the U.S. should back Israel in its attack. Now, in a two-day poll that ended Tuesday, less than a third of respondents, or just 32 percent, said the same. This drop was seen among both Democrats and Republicans.

Further, the poll found that 39 percent of Americans think that the U.S. “should be a neutral mediator,” a 12 percent increase in the number who think so since last month. The number who said that the U.S. should support Palestinians, however, remained the same as the last poll at just 4 percent, while 15 percent said the U.S. should not involve itself. (Truthout)

And from the X-verse ...

Note: We’ve added links to the tweet screenshots below so you can now click through to the original. Enjoy!

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