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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Photo by by leff is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Although Kentucky is a red state that President Donald Trump won by 30 percent in 2016, a political shocker came when, in 2019, Republican Gov. Matt Bevin was voted out of office, and centrist Democrat Andy Beshear (now Kentucky's governor) won the election. And now, another shocker has come in the form of Democrat Karen Berg winning a Kentucky State Senate seat that had been in GOP hands for 25 years.

Berg's win in the special election was decisive. In Kentucky's 26th Senate District —where Republican Sen. Ernie Harris announced his retirement — Berg defeated Republican Bill Ferko by 14 percent. Berg will remain in the seat until 2022, when she will have to seek reelection.


The Kentucky State Senate still has a strong GOP majority, but the victories of Beshear and now, Berg, are hopeful signs for Democrats in the Bluegrass State — where Democrat Amy McGrath is hoping to unseat Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in November. The centrist McGrath, a retired Marine fighter pilot, recently declared a narrow victory over the progressive Charles Booker in a Democratic senatorial primary. That primary turned out to be surprisingly close, and NPR reported that McGrath won by 3 percent.

Booker, who serves in the Kentucky House of Representatives, was endorsed by Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

McGrath knows that she will be fighting an uphill battle in the general election, given how Republican Kentucky has been and the fact that McConnell was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1984. But McGrath is ahead of of the Senate majority leader in terms of fundraising. On June 12, the Louisville Courier Journal reported that McGrath's campaign had raised a total of $41.1 million, while the Senate majority leader's reelection campaign had raised $32.8.

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Marchers at January 22 anti-vaccination demonstration in Washington, D.C>

Back when it was first gaining traction in the 1990s, the anti-vaccination movement was largely considered a far-left thing, attracting believers ranging from barter-fair hippies to New Age gurus and their followers to “holistic medicine” practitioners. And it largely remained that way … until 2020 and the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As this Sunday’s “Defeat the Mandates” march in Washington, D.C., however, showed us, there’s no longer anything even remotely left-wing about the movement. Populated with Proud Boys and “Patriot” militiamen, QAnoners and other Alex Jones-style conspiracists who blithely indulge in Holocaust relativism and other barely disguised antisemitism, and ex-hippies who now spout right-wing propaganda—many of them, including speakers, encouraging and threatening violence—the crowd at the National Mall manifested the reality that “anti-vaxxers” now constitute a full-fledged far-right movement, and a potentially violent one at that.

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