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— Publisher’s Note —
Good morning! The action has started in Washington (finally) on another relief bill. Unfortunately, it appears that McConnell, Trump, and the Republicans are working to keep it smaller than is needed, and their top priority is protecting business instead of helping workers and governments.
McConnell has repeatedly said that the bill has to include liability protections for all businesses. Until it does, he says, no relief bill will be voted on.
Various policy groups estimate that the amounts being discussed for state and local government relief are about 1/3 of what is needed.
And the unemployment boost included in earlier bills ends this week.
So, keep your eyes on the news out of Washington about this bill. It will have a huge impact on our ability to survive economically.
Bruce Maples, publisher
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Beshear limits private gatherings to 10 people, issues travel-and-quarantine advisory – 7/20 update
Trying to tame the surging coronavirus, Gov. Beshear limited private social gatherings to 10 people, and issued a travel advisory for states with high positive-test rates. (Forward Kentucky)
An emotional Andy Beshear denounces covert photos of son at baseball games being posted online
Gov. Andy Beshear on Monday angrily denounced people who he said had been “secretly and covertly” taking pictures of his son at baseball games and posting them online.
Speaking at his daily news conference, Beshear volunteered the information as he answered a question about why he pulled his son, Will, 11, from a baseball tournament Sunday because participants weren’t taking precautions against COVID-19, including requiring masks.
He said he believes the photos were meant to send a message. “I know when people try to post pictures of my kids, what they’re really trying to tell me is, we know where you are. We can get to you,” Beshear said. (Courier-Journal)
‘We need help.’ McGrath criticizes McConnell for federal COVID-19 response.
Former Marine Corps pilot Amy McGrath criticized the federal government’s coronavirus relief package Monday, saying it had “holes” and painting it as a bailout for big corporations as the number of COVID-19 cases surges in Kentucky.
“We need help,” McGrath said after speaking to the Madison County Democratic Women’s Club. “And it’s just unacceptable to just dole out billions, $500 billion for corporations to bail out Wall Street and then turn around and say to state and local governments — public schools, firefighters, teachers, social workers, the very fabric of our society — ‘well, you ought to go bankrupt.’” (Herald-Leader)
MSNBC anchor to Fischer: ‘What could be taking this long’ on Breonna Taylor resolution
As Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer continues to blame the lack of closure in the fatal Louisville Metro Police shooting of Breonna Taylor on the absence of body camera footage, one veteran cable news anchor wasn’t buying his reasoning.
Fischer appeared for an interview with journalist Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC midday Friday, in which the anchor repeatedly pushed the mayor on why he had not released more information on the case.
“Mr. Mayor, it’s been fourth months already,” Mitchell said. “In Minnesota, with George Floyd, the state attorney general stepped in and ordered the release of a lot of information. The community wants to know, needs to know, the family needs to know. What could be taking this long?” (Courier-Journal)
Ky.’s Medicaid receives nearly $1M settlement in fraud case
Kentucky’s Medicaid Program will receive $929,016 as part of a settlement regarding allegations of fraud against Universal Health Services Inc., a for-profit holding company, which directly or indirectly owns the assets or stock of inpatient and residential psychiatric and behavioral health facilities, and UHS of Delaware Inc., a subsidiary of UHS, which provides management services to UHS, Inc. and its subsidiaries, Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced Monday.
The settlement resolves allegations that during the period from Jan. 1, 2007, through Dec. 31, 2018, UHS and certain UHS entities submitted or caused to be submitted false claims for services provided to Medicaid beneficiaries. It resulted from eighteen whistleblower lawsuits. (Lane Report)
Did you miss any of these?
Featured Content on Forward Kentucky
([new] indicates new since last Forward Five; 🔥 indicates lots of reads)
— News —
‘Wake-up call’ – state reports 979 new cases – 7/19 update – Gov. Beshear reported nearly 1,000 new cases of the coronavirus on Sunday, “by far” the largest single-day total yet, and said he would take unspecified action as a result. (read)
‘The total and absolute idea of unconditional love’ – Judy Tuggle put out her American flag Saturday in honor of Congressman John Lewis. “I feel the weight of great grief at the passing of a moral giant,” said Tuggle, a Mayfield resident who will be 77 this week. (read)
As SCOKY keeps emergency orders in effect, state reports second largest daily case number – 7/17 update – The news that Gov. Beshear’s emergency orders will remain in effect, until the Supreme Court of Kentucky decides their fate, overshadowed his report of another near-record number of coronavirus cases. (read)
— Commentary —
[new] Betsy DeVos isn’t serious about reopening schools; here’s how we know. And what we should do anyway. – DeVos has yet to suggest any measures to open schools. Why? Because every dollar spent on schooling children is a dollar less for her corporate allies. But we know what to do. Here’s the list. (read)
[new] Al Cross: There’s no question Cameron’s timing was bad, but Beshear’s attitude is far from perfect – Attorney General Daniel Cameron has been widely panned for his attacks on Governor Beshear, but Al Cross says Beshear needs to remember “politics is also working with people.” (read)
Cameron has begun chipping away at our open records laws – We no longer labor under the delusion that Kentucky’s open records laws are safe in the hands of Attorney General Daniel Cameron. The sound you hear is the chipping away of your rights by our Attorney General. (read)
McGrath: Mitch is dead set on taking health coverage from Americans – I asked Bill Straub if he’d spied any chinks in Mitch McConnell’s armor as our senior senator saddles up to tilt with Amy McGrath. “Social Security and health care,” he replied. “A lot of Kentuckians depend on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.” (read)
Mitch McConnell is a failed leader – With great power comes great responsibility. Senator McConnell celebrates his power, but he has shirked his responsibilities. It is time for a change. Let’s Vote Him Away on November 3rd. (read)
— Policy —
Research on voting by mail says it’s safe – from fraud and disease – Voting by mail is rarely subject to fraud, does not give an advantage to one political party over another, and can in fact inspire public confidence in the voting process, if done properly. (read)
Contact tracing hampered by testing delays, unanswered phone calls — and lack of trust – Contact tracing may be our best hope to stop the spread of the coronavirus. But this time-tested method has been hobbled by testing delays, a lack of money and official support, and poor cooperation from the public. (read)
— Media —
[new photo gallery] Louisville Kids’ March – A Kids’ March was held on Friday, July 17, in Louisville as part of the ongoing racial justice and Breonna Taylor protests in that city. Del Ramey was there and captured these photos of the event. (view)
[new show] TSOK – Reports from the Front Lines – In this week’s The State of Kentucky, a CEO gives us updates from nurses and doctors, hospital managers, and his own high-tech firm, as they all deal with COVID-19 and its effects. (watch or listen)
[podcast] Protests in Daniel Cameron’s yard, new education commissioner, and interview with Cherlynn Stevenson – On the show: The two major stories of the year: COVID-19 (which is getting worse) and the ongoing protest movement. Also, the new education commissioner. Then, Cherlynn Stevenson joins us for the interview. (listen)
🔥 [photo gallery] “Heads Up, Phones Out!” – a rally for citizen journalists – We stand with citizen journalists! Here is a photo gallery from a rally supporting the live streamers who have been covering the protests in Louisville. (view)
Posts with Most Social Media Shares in Past Fourteen Days
(🔥 indicates post with surge of recent shares)
- Republicans propose eliminating speed limits, seat belts (683 shares)
- Millions of Americans are about to find out just how badly they’ve been screwed by Trump and the GOP (275 shares)
- Bipartisan legislation being drafted to restrict no-knock warrants (242 shares)
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