The Forward Five – Wednesday, 5/13/20

11 mins read

Five Things to Know Today

Good morning! If you’ve read Forward Kentucky for a while, you know that I try to avoid the “hair on fire” approach to our work. (And as long as my hair is right now, that approach would turn into a conflagration for sure.)

However, there continue to be developments at all levels of government that seem to call for alarm, if not an all-out hair-on-fire approach. Most of these are in Washington and have to do with Trump and his administration (of course). But some are state and local, as well.

For example, on the national level there is the Supreme Court case about whether a president has to obey a subpoena. There is also the dropping of the Flynn case. And, there are the indications that the Trump administration may actually be planning on prosecuting the persons who carried out the Russia investigation.

At the local level, there is the Breonna Taylor case in Louisville, where an award-winning EMT was shot and killed by police in her own apartment, as they were looking for a drug dealer that had already been arrested earlier that night.

Some of these cases are new warning signals on the way to a national autocratic government. And others are recurring warning signals on the approach some law enforcement officers take to their work.

In all these stories, though, I struggle with finding the right approach. I want to shout about them from the rooftops, or use expressions in print that I don’t even use in my own home. Instead, I try to say calm and “professional” about them, when I’m not sure that actually does any good.

Sorry for the early morning ramble, but these news items and how to deal with them has been on my mind, and you get to hear my thoughts this morning. 😉 If you have any thoughts for me about this, or any feedback, feel free to hit the link below to send it.

And as always — Wash your hands 🧼, wear your mask 😷, and get tested. We’re going to get through this, together. #TeamKentucky

Bruce Maples, publisher
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Beshear decries ‘misinformation’ about virus, discusses schools for fall – 5/12 update
Also discusses protests and protesting safely; shares that another minor is in the hospital with pediatric inflammation syndrome. More details inside. (Forward Kentucky)

Rand Paul attacks Fauci, says canceling in-person school in fall would be ‘ridiculous’
Sen. Rand Paul tangled with the nation’s foremost COVID-19 public health expert during a Senate committee hearing Tuesday morning over sending kids back to school and reopening the economy.

Speaking during a meeting of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Paul said it is “ridiculous” to have a national strategy of not sending kids back to school in the fall and attacked Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Though Fauci said that children have lower mortality rates than adults and the elderly, he added that “I think we better be careful if we are not cavalier in thinking that children are completely immune to the deleterious effects” of COVID-19. (Courier-Journal)

Capitol protesters sue Beshear over ‘unconstitutional’ mass gathering prohibition
Four men who took to the Kentucky State Capitol to protest Gov. Andy Beshear’s coronavirus restrictions are now suing him, alleging the state has threatened enforcement action and tried to suppress the protests, violating their constitutional rights. 

Beshear spokeswoman Crystal Staley noted the plaintiffs attended the May 2 rally, at which speakers told the crowd to remove their masks and to not practice social distancing. “On each occasion they were able to rally even though their actions can spread the virus and harm those who did not participate,” she said. (Courier-Journal)

U.S. Forest Service accused of illegal logging in Kentucky
The U.S. Forest Service has marked and illegally sold thousands of trees in excess of its own plans for the Daniel Boone National Forest, according to a survey from the Kentucky Heartwood forest advocacy organization. (WFPL)

Fairness Campaign PAC issues candidate endorsements for June election
C-FAIR has issued their endorsements for the upcoming June election, which includes both primaries and special elections. (Forward Kentucky)

Did you miss any of these?

Featured Content on Forward Kentucky

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

— News —

[new] Ten-year-old on ventilator; first KY case of pediatric syndrome – 5/11 update – Also, Beshear urged Kentuckians to moderate their goings-about and wear masks, and pleaded with them to get tested for the virus. (read)

🔥 [new] KYians watch Trump … but trust Beshear – We learned in a recent survey that Andy Beshear has one of the highest approval ratings in the country when it comes to dealing with COVID. But, what else was in there? We take a look. (read)

🔥 At least one Frankfort church worshipped in person Sunday, but a reporter was denied entry – With a federal court order on its side, Faith Victory Church World Distribution Center opened its doors for a worship service Sunday morning. But the House of the Lord wasn’t open to everyone. Especially not to a “wolf in sheep’s clothing.” (read)

🔥 Dear “open it up” folks – take a look at Sweden – Many conservatives are in love with the idea of Sweden’s approach – no lockdown. Well, if nothing else, Sweden’s alternative response to the virus was … a good control group. And what we’re learning now is that failing to shut down hasn’t just led to more deaths, but—surprise surprise!—it also didn’t prevent its economy from tanking. In fact, Sweden is poised for more economic pain than its neighbors. (read)

Updates and summaries of recent anti-Beshear court cases – We have updates on two of the lawsuits we’ve been following. They are both Maryville Baptist Church related, one where the church and its pastor are the plaintiffs and one where three attendees are the plaintiffs and sued to block the mass gathering order AND the travel ban. (read)


🔥 Dear Kentuckians – Here are eight scenarios for life after COVID – In the fifth installment in the series, I lay out four bad and four good scenarios for life after the coronavirus pandemic. See which ones you agree with. (read)

🔥 A guide to vaccine wing-nuttery – The wing-nuts on the right have seized on the pandemic as a breeding ground for their, uhm, UNIQUE conspiracy theories. Here’s a guide to the latest. (read or listen)


Those COVID models? They’re tools, not destiny. – Each day we are deluged with new predictions of what lies ahead in the pandemic. So where do these models come from? And, how should we think about them? (read)

— Cartoon —

[new] Your post office in peril – In case you hadn’t heard, Republicans in Washington are threatening to abandon the Post Office, because it isn’t making as much money as they want it to. But never fear – there’s a new Postmaster General, and he’s definitely going to make things better. (view)

— Media —

🔥 What are Trump and the GOP really up to? – On this week’s The State of Kentucky we are joined by lawyer, author, and political analyst Teri Kanefield, who regularly publishes analysis of Trump and the GOP that is insightful, timely, and revealing. Is it all random, or is there a method to the madness? Join us to learn more! (watch)

[podcast] COVID-19 protests & lawsuits, budget shortfall, interview with Ryan Olexia – This week – the ongoing COVID-19 response, a major protest, two lawsuits, and the budget shortfall. Plus Ryan Olexia, the Dem candidate for Senate in Northern Kentucky. (listen)

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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