Thorns & Roses: The Worst, Best And Most Absurd (3/31)

Rose: Sick day… sick move

KY 120 United — the organic, public teacher-led movement that began three years ago — hasn’t gone away. In fact, it’s only grown stronger and, now, the group is unionizing as a Kentucky chapter of the American Federation of Teachers. KY 120 began overnight, when Republicans (cowardly) attempted to sneak teacher pension reform through the legislature as an amendment to a “sewer bill.” When word got out, hundreds (possibly thousands) of teachers across the Commonwealth called into school sick the next day, forcing more than 20 school districts to cancel school. In subsequent days, hundreds (ultimately thousands) of teachers used “sickout” days to rally at the Capitol in Frankfort against the Republicans’ effort to cheat the legislative process. The bill Republicans eventually passed was ultimately struck down by the Kentucky Supreme Court. What a fitting lesson for Republicans: Your failed efforts to pass pension reform without hearing from teachers now ensures that you’ll hear from teachers a lot more. 

Rose: UofL’s March Madness Run

Big beautiful rose to UofL basketball. The 2-seed Cards have had another great tournament showing. Now, if that sounds vague, it’s because they play 1-seed Stanford to go to the Final Four, and the game tips off as this paper is being printed. So, we want to wish them luck, and congratulate them on a hell of a run, so far. Hopefully we can congratulate you again, next week, on three wins and a national championship.

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Absurd: McConnell Suffering From Athazagoraphobia

Sen. Mitch McConnell — the most “powerful” Republican in the U.S. Senate — is begging for attention. First, McConnell wrote an op-ed in the Courier Journal last week, countering calls from House Budget Chairman John Yarmuth to end the Senate filibuster. Talk about Athazagoraphobia! (See *footnote for answer to joke…) Now, he’s taking on CJ columnist Joe Gerth! In this week’s op-ed — in which he continues to cling to the filibuster, his only tool to remain relevant — McConnell invokes Gerth, his column and the CJ more than a dozen times. It’s almost as though he’s desperate to find a new scarecrow to inflame his Trump-Republican base. Perhaps, after years of demonizing Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and AOC — those responsible for delivering $1,400 “Biden Bucks” to millions of Kentuckians and billions in state aid to the Commonwealth — people realize Mitch is just crying wolf… crying out for attention. Perhaps, Democrats and their “socialist” policies are actually pretty damn popular. ( *Athazagoraphobia: “The fear of being forgotten, ignored, or abandoned.”)

Rose: Make Democracy Easier 

The pandemic has been a substantial time of suffering, but hopefully there are things that we take from it that make our society better. One of those things should be expanded voting access, and, on Monday, the Kentucky General Assembly passed legislation that will make voting in the state easier moving forward. The bipartisan House Bill 574 will establish three days of early in-person voting, create an online portal for absentee requests, allow for secure drop boxes for absentee ballots, among other increased access measures and updated security guidelines. We need to move forward from the terrible suppression that’s plagued voting for years.

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