The Forward Five – Monday, 3/23/20

11 mins read

Five Things to Know Today

Good morning! Time to start another week of the “new normal” of dealing with the pandemic, while at the same time practicing good self-care and other-care.

One of the ways we do that is combine clear-eyed reality with some humor along the way. On those fronts, check out Rachel Maddow’s commentary on the danger of Trump’s lies, contrasted with the Herald-Leader story on Andy Beshear memes.

Speaking of Beshear, the latest summaries (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday)y are up on the site. It’s a good source of news for both his press conferences and other CV stories. And, we’ve got the “State of Kentucky” show from Friday with Mike Broihier and Dustin Pugel.

And finally, we posted a number of stories over the weekend that did not make the “top five” list, so be sure to check the list of latest ForwardKY stories in the yellow box toward the bottom.

Take care of yourselves. As Gov. Beshear says, we’re going to get through this.

Bruce Maples, publisher
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Non-essential retail businesses ordered closed; state has 103 confirmed cases; Rand Paul tests positive
All of the above, plus much more, is in the weekend updates from Governor Beshear via KY Health News. Scan the summaries to get caught up, and watch the videos of the press conferences if you have the time.

Note: We will have the list of closed vs open businesses up on the site in a bit. Check there for that update.

Mister Rogers? Superman? Kermit? Memes are an ode to Andy Beshear in coronavirus fight.
Kentuckians are showing some love to Gov. Andy Beshear by flooding social media with memes comparing him to the likes of Superman, Mister Rogers and Kermit the Frog.

Many of the memes lightheartedly point to Beshear and his afternoon news conferences as a comforting force in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

The phenomenon even has a Facebook group, “andy beshear memes for social distancing teens,” which was started Friday and by Saturday evening had more than 15,000 members. (Herald-Leader)

Maddow: Trump’s lies are irresponsible and dangerous
Her recommendation? Stop carrying him live; if you carry his live updates, you are helping to spread his misinformation, at a time we need straight talk and not happy talk. (Forward Kentucky)

Candidates, columnists, historians, and ACLU all agree: SB2 is a bad bill.
What do Booker, Broihier, McGrath, Gerth, Blackford, Clardy, AND the ACLU all agree on? SB 2, the voter ID bill, is a discriminatory, harmful bill. (Forward Kentucky)

McConnell, Rand Paul mum as Senate colleagues cash in on coronavirus warnings
The revelation that multiple U.S. senators being briefed on the coming coronavirus pandemic cashed out their investments before stocks tanked sparked a wave of outrage Friday — but so far Kentucky’s two high-profile senators have stayed above the fray.

Neither Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell nor Sen. Rand Paul has sold any stocks of late, according to the Senate’s financial disclosures website. (Courier-Journal)

KYGA20 Run-Down

Kentucky legislative leaders plan to tackle state budget Monday as COVID-19 spreads – Sticking to their plan to reach a legislative compromise this week on Kentucky’s next two-year spending plan, legislative leaders from the House and Senate expect to begin their work Monday. (Herald-Leader)

SB 1 would harm Kentucky kids, economy – After receiving a second reading on the House floor, Senate Bill 1 (SB 1) continues to advance in the House, despite the harms to Kentucky kids and our economy and the need to pass a budget with COVID-19 related provisions and adjourn the session.

SB 1 will voluntarily increase Kentucky’s coordination with federal immigration enforcement through both local law enforcement activities and the collection of data by a wide range of public agencies. While research shows that aggressive state and local enforcement policies do not promote public safety, they do have concerning implications for family well-being and for states’ economies. In addition to the downward pressure on immigrants’ income, economic activity and tax contributions that would immediately come from increased detention, deportation and the resulting climate of fear, aggressive enforcement would also weaken stability and well-being for children in immigrant families. Less family stability means lasting harmful impacts for children as well as Kentucky’s economy. (KY Policy)

Not all stories on Forward Kentucky make it to the top “Five Things” section of the Forward Five! Many stories only show up in the yellow section below, which is a running list of pretty much everything published. So, be sure to scan the lower section each day as well, so you don’t miss anything.

Did you miss any of these?

Featured Content on Forward Kentucky

([new] indicates new since last Forward Five; 🔥 indicates lots of reads)


[new] Senate budget has much less help for health departments – When presenting bills to help health departments, Rep. Rudy warned, “Our friends down the hallway will have a bite of this apple.” Now they have taken a big bite. (read)

[new] State Senate approves state budget that could take $1.13 billion from teacher pensions – The KY Senate passed a budget bill taking aim at school teachers in several ways, including dropping the pay increase and taking money from pensions. (read)

[new] Governor and AG agree: Public meetings can be live-streamed during COVID-19 crisis – Kentucky’s governor and attorney general have redefined how governments can hold public meetings during the ongoing COVID-19 state of emergency. (read)

🔥 Here’s what made the Trump admin take the coronavirus seriously – After reading a report from the Imperial College of Medicine, the Trump administration got much more serious about COVID-19. What is in that report? (read)


[new] Al Cross: Governor Andy Beshear is showing what he’s made of; it’s sterner stuff than you thought – In our federal republic, the primary responsibility for public health lies with the states, and Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear has clearly measured up. (read)

[new] 🔥 Kentucky vs. Tennessee on coronavirus may be the best example of ‘elections matter’ in years – Kentucky elected Andy Beshear. Tennessee elected Bill Lee. As the coronavirus crisis has unfolded, we see that whom you elect, and what they believe, actually matters. (read)

‘It all comes down to electability.’ – So while we “Feel the Bern” in our hearts, we’ve got “Joementum” in our noggins. “It all comes down to electability,” said another Kentuckian who likes what Sanders says but is backing Biden. “Bernie can’t get elected. Biden can, though Trump will be tough.” (read)


[new] SB 150 would cushion the blow for unemployed workers and our economy – As thousands lose jobs, unemployment benefits will be critical. Yet too many who lose jobs are not eligible for those benefits. SB 150 helps fix that. (read)

🔥 Trump’s right: Congress should give Americans $1,000 right now to fight the coronavirus recession – Direct payments are just what low-wage Americans suddenly without a paycheck need to endure the crisis, which could last many months. (read)


[new live show] SOK Show: Mike Broihier, Dustin Pugel – On this week’s “The State of Kentucky,” we welcome Mike Broihier, candidate for U.S. Senate. Then we talk with Dustin Pugel of KCEP about the state budgets, and what the GA should be doing about the coronavirus crisis. (watch)

[podcast] Coronavirus and Kentucky – Jazmin and Robert practice social distancing by recording from their individual homes while discussing Kentucky’s response to coronavirus and its impact on elections and the legislature. (listen)


Don’t means-test up front; instead, tax the wealthy later – Do the stimulus now, and take care of the means-testing by taxing the wealthy on the back-end. It’s faster, it’s easier, and it makes sense. (read)

🔥 The urgent items that brought everyone back to Frankfort – Since leadership insisted on bringing everyone back to Frankfort, I thought I’d see what urgent items were on the agenda for today. Here’s what I found. (read)

Posts with Most Social Media Shares in Past Fourteen Days

(🔥 indicates post with surge of recent shares)

The Forward 5 is published Monday to Friday by Forward Kentucky, an independent media organization focused on progressive news and issues in Kentucky, and is re-posted with permission. You can sign up for the email version of the newsletter on their website.

DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.

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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