The Forward Five – Wednesday, 5/20/20

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10 mins read

Five Things to Know Today


Good morning! For me, today is sort of a microcosm of our times: first, I’m going to the drive-thru testing site to get checked for COVID-19, then I’m dropping off my application for an absentee ballot for the June 23 primary.

As I’ve shared many times before, the Greek word for “crisis” is also the word for “opportunity.” And even as this pandemic wreaks havoc around the world, it is causing both crisis and opportunity as it does so.

It is possible that our economy, built on increasing inequities and structural weaknesses, may crash and burn. Or, we may take this opportunity to rebuild it into something more just and sustainable.

It is possible that we could see even more voter suppression in this election, including even armed poll watchers. Or, we may learn that vote-by-mail actually works, and works well, and we move to that as a nation.

We have to acknowledge the possibility of crisis, and plan for it. But, we also need to push to take advantage of the opportunities in front of us. Let’s make sure we do both.

I’ll let you know how the testing goes, so you’ll know what to expect when you get tested yourself. Meanwhile, follow the guidelines, wash your hands, and wear your masks. It’s how we get through this, together. #TeamKentucky

Bruce Maples, publisher
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5/19 update:  Most one-day deaths, but trendline nearly flat; as reopenings loom, Beshear warns, ‘Let’s not screw it up’
Before and after he gave the day’s statistics, he gave Kentuckians the same advice he says his father, former Gov. Steve Beshear, often gave him at big moments: “Son, this is really important. Don’t screw it up.” (Story includes graph of cases with trendline, more on reopening) (Forward Kentucky)

(related) Planning a get-together? Here’s the guidance.
This Friday we can start having people over, and we need to do it safely. Use this guidance for your own event, and share it with others. (Forward Kentucky)


Unusual or not, preparations continue for June 23 primary
Despite it likely being the most unusual one in state history, preparations are on schedule for Kentucky’s June 23 primary election. The coronavirus has played a role, not only in when the election will take place, but the manner in how it will be conducted. (Forward Kentucky)


McConnell ad says McGrath is too liberal for KY
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has unleashed a TV ad aimed at cementing an image of his well-funded Democratic challenger in the minds of voters. The ad portrays Amy McGrath as too liberal for Kentucky on abortion and border security. And it plays up her support for the impeachment of President Donald Trump. McGrath’s campaign says the attack ad shows that McConnell is running scared. (West Kentucky Star)


Kentucky courts are reopening after COVID-19 shutdown — but with significant restrictions
After three months, Kentucky courtrooms are reopening for business — kind of. 

Kentucky Chief Justice John Minton Jr. announced Monday that courts may resume hearing all civil and criminal matters starting June 1. However, there are some restrictions, including most hearings being conducted remotely. (Courier-Journal)


Reparations for white people
The Right stays outraged over reparations to the descendants of slaves. The irony is, we already have a system of reparations — only it’s for white people. (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] Contract tracing and testing critical to “getting back” – 5/18 update – Gov. Beshear spent much of his update talking about testing for the virus and tracing the contacts of people who have it — and then their contacts — to keep the virus in check as the state begins to re-open its economy. (read)

[new] 🔥 We’re still getting an F on our census test. C’mon folks, do better! – Back in the dark ages when I was in school, you needed a 65% or better to pass. Based on that, Kentucky is still failing at the census. (Includes interactive map showing rate by county) (read and view)

🔥 “We only have one shot at this” – 5/15 update – Gov. Beshear reminded his listeners that we all now know what to do to prevent a second spike as we gradually reopen. Now, we have to do it. (read)

🔥 Unity water tower gets final design approval – It looks like the big Confederate flag on Interstate 24 east of Paducah is in for a challenge. The design for a racial unity mural to be placed on a neighboring water tower has been finalized. (read)

🔥 Kentucky garbage man hadn’t seen elderly woman’s trash can out, rightly felt something was amiss. – Jake Bland noticed that an elderly single woman hadn’t put out her trash for two weeks. He felt … he KNEW … that something just wasn’t right. So instead of just moving along without a second thought, he called his dispatcher, Bernice Arthur, and voiced his concerns. (read)

KY officials want probe of price-fixing cattle prices – Two of Kentucky’s Constitutional officers are banding together in asking for the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate possible anticompetitive practices in the beef packing sector. (read)

🔥 We have a debate! – After calls from various quarters for a final debate in the Dem campaign for U.S. Senate, all three major campaigns agreed to a June 1 appearance on KET. (read)

—Commentary—

Conservatives: “Let’s play COVID Roulette!” – I continue to be amazed at the people, primarily conservatives, who just ignore the random nature of the COVID-19 virus, and want all of us to join them in playing COVID Roulette. (read)

🔥 So, you’re willing to kill for the “economy.” – If you have a family member / friend / online troll who keeps yelling “FREEDOM! I don’t need a mask — I’m not a coward! This is government overreach! Its my life — if I want to take my chances and die that’s my right!” – then feel free to tell them “So, you’re willing to kill for the economy.” (read)

— Policy —

[new] Without child care, work and family are impossible – There is no such thing as the so-called work/family conflict. Good jobs – full-time, with benefits – and family, without help, are simply incompatible. (read)

— Cartoon —

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 —

[new] Kentucky’s contact tracing – the video – Here’s the video shared in Monday’s coronavirus press conference about Kentucky’s new contact tracing program. (watch)

[podcast] COVID lawsuits, Breonna Taylor killed by LMPD, and interview with Will Barnett – Discussion about state efforts on COVID, incl a rundown of all the lawsuits; the killing of Breonna Taylor by LMPD; and an Interview of Will Barnett. (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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