Five Things to Know Today
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— Publisher’s Note —
Good morning! There’s a national story that you need to pay attention to, if you aren’t already: The ongoing saga of the US Postal Service.
Here’s a bullet list to catch you up:
- Congress passed a law some time ago telling the Postal Service it had to fund its pension system at a much higher rate. This placed a huge financial burden on the USPS that exists to this day.
- Trump appointed a mega-donor, Louis DeJoy, as Postmaster General. This political appointee instituted “cost saving measures” that have resulted in significant slowdowns in mail service. (Note that privatizing mail service has long been a goal of conservatives. Note also that DeJoy owns stock in companies that compete with the postal service.)
- The HEROES Act, passed by the House but ignored by McConnell, contained money to help the postal service deal with the influx of mail-in ballots for the fall election.
- A week ago, DeJoy fired or reassigned 23 regional postal service directors, and reorganized the USPS so that he is in much tighter control of it.
- The postal service has told states that they must pay 55 cents to mail ballots, rather than the normal bulk rate of 20 cents.
- And, there is a rumor that Trump is considering issuing an executive order to prohibit the postal service from handling ballots at all.
Obviously, the concern is that Trump and DeJoy are intentionally knee-capping the post office in order to affect the election. If people don’t get their ballots, or the ballots don’t make it back in time, that could have a major impact on the outcome.
So, stay tuned to this story. It’s not just about the election; in these days of the pandemic, people rely on the USPS for many things, including their medications. But the election is certainly one of the key worries.
As always – Wear your mask, wash your hands, and take care of yourself. We’re going to get through this, together. #TeamKentucky
Bruce Maples, publisher
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Five SIX Things to Know
Weekend coronavirus updates
8/9 update – Good and bad news; schools on agenda for Monday afternoon update
The good news is that Kentucky had fewer coronavirus cases in the reporting week that ended Sunday, Gov. Beshear said. The bad news is that the percentage of Kentuckians testing positive for the virus keeps rising. (Forward Kentucky)
‘Tough day’: New cases above 800 and positive-test rate over 6% – 8/8 update
After nearly two weeks of coronavirus case numbers on a rough plateau in Kentucky, they jumped to 801 Saturday, and perhaps more worrisome, the seven-day average of Kentuckians testing positive rose to 6.02 percent, from 5.57% the day before. (Forward Kentucky)
The Incompetent Fascist: Trump’s ‘executive orders’ do the wrong things, illegally
Here’s an analysis of the four Trump executive orders (only one of which is actually an executive order) and what they REALLY do – none of which is what we actually NEED. (Forward Kentucky)
Booker, Yarmuth issue statements endorsing McGrath
Both state Rep. Charles Booker and Congressman John Yarmuth issued statements on Friday endorsing Amy McGrath in her race against Senator Mitch McConnell. (Forward Kentucky)
Kentucky Supreme Court to hear dispute next month over Beshear’s COVID-19 executive orders
The Kentucky Supreme Court will hold a hearing on Sept. 17 on whether Gov. Andy Beshear’s emergency executive orders during the COVID-19 pandemic are valid — or, as a Boone Circuit judge ruled, they must be struck down. At stake are dozens of emergency orders ranging from limits on crowd sizes at events and classes at day care programs to a requirement for most Kentuckians to wear a mask in public.
The hearing date, announced Friday in an order by Chief Justice John D. Minton, follows legal challenges in Boone and Scott counties by parties seeking to overturn the orders by Beshear, a Democrat. The hearing date, announced Friday in an order by Chief Justice John D. Minton, follows legal challenges in Boone and Scott counties. (Courier-Journal)
KEA statement on reopening schools
The Kentucky Education Association issued a statement urging schools not to reopen to in-person classes until certain metrics are met, including the infection rate being below 4%. (Forward Kentucky)
State Board of Elections ignores open government laws with election “task force”
The State Board of Elections never even considered that the formation of a “work group” to make recommendations for the general election triggered the requirements of the open meetings and open records laws. (Forward Kentucky)
Recent Content on Forward Kentucky
[new] indicates item not in a Forward Five before
[new] Mitch gets a motorized message: pass the HEROES Act – The Kentucky State AFL-CIO and other groups have often protested in front of Sen. Mitch McConnell’s office in downtown Louisville. But this was the first time they did so with a 40-vehicle caravan, complete with mobile digital billboard. (News)
[new] Cuban community protest, Robert E. Lee statue in Murray, plus Bill Redwine interview – Stories this week: the reaction of the Cuban community to the Occupy NuLu protests, the Lee statue, the COVID-19 update, the state of the U.S. Senate race. Interview: Bill Redwine, Democratic candidate in the 99th District, Rocky Adkins’s old seat. (Podcast)
[new] If Congress doesn’t act, the size of the coming eviction wave is simply mind-blowing – Unless the federal government invests in eviction prevention, we are not only risking widespread eviction and homelessness, we are guaranteeing negative health outcomes, greater unemployment, educational decline, and long-term harm for renters, property owners, and communities. (News)
[new] ACLU settles social media lawsuit with governor’s office – After suing former governor Matt Bevin over his practice of blocking citizens from his social media accounts, the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky has reached a settlement with current governor Andy Beshear. (News)
Polls show McGrath way behind … or close – Two polling firms released polls of the KY Senate race between Amy McGrath and Senator Mitch McConnell, and one had to wonder if they were both polling the same race. (News)
KY Republican general counsel linked to Ohio political scandal – The general counsel for the Republican Party of Kentucky and the Kentucky House Republican Leadership has been linked to the political scandal engulfing the Ohio House of Representatives. (News)
McConnell worries about improving immunity – In the midst of a pandemic, you may be pleased to learn that our own Senator Mitch McConnell is extremely concerned with improving immunity across the nation. Immunity to the deadly virus? Uhm, no – ANOTHER kind of immunity. (Cartoon)
Josh Hicks endorsed by Vote Vets in KY-06 – Josh Hicks, Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress in the 6th District, has been endorsed by VoteVets, one of the largest veterans advocacy organizations in the country. (News)
Legislating evil – “He has repeatedly given money to corporations while undermining real help for poor Americans and low-wage workers. He blocks living wages, health care, and voting rights. Now he even wants to reduce unemployment assistance during a pandemic.” (Commentary)
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