The Forward Five – Friday, 8/14/20

9 mins read

Five Things to Know Today

— Publisher’s Note —

Good morning! It appears that we are about to use parts of the state as giant petri dishes, in an experiment to see if doing in-person instruction is dangerous or not.

Evidence from other states would indicate that it poses risks, at the very least. And, there is also the worry that even if a child is asymptomatic, we don’t know what the long-term effects of the virus are. (Keep in mind that there are other viruses that live in the body for years before causing problems.)

The biggest problem I have with schools starting in-person classes right now is not the risk to the children and their families, although that is a big worry. Remember that those parents and their children have a choice about attending, especially in a school system doing some sort of hybrid model.

No, my main concern is for the teachers and staff, who do NOT have a choice. They either come to the school in-person, or they lose their job. And if a child shows up who has the virus, and the teacher or staff member gets it – well, sucks to be you.

As I said in a tweet yesterday, this decision just shows what your superintendent and school board really think of you.

Let us hope that there aren’t massive outbreaks. Let us hope people don’t get sick. Let us hope there aren’t unnecessary deaths.

But at this point, that’s all the teachers and staff have – hope. I don’t think that’s enough.


Wear your masks, social distance, do what it takes to keep yourself and those around you safe. Let’s try to get through this together. #TeamKentucky

Bruce Maples, publisher
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Today’s Five Things to Know

8/13 update – Beshear tries to jawbone uncooperative school districts into following his recommendation

Gov. Andy Beshear said the addition of 785 more cases likely won’t push the state into an exponential increase this week, similar to what the state was seeing just a few weeks ago. (Forward Kentucky)

Trump admits he’s blocking postal cash to stop mail-in votes

President Donald Trump frankly acknowledged Thursday that he’s starving the U.S. Postal Service of money in order to make it harder to process an expected surge of mail-in ballots, which he worries could cost him the election.

In an interview on Fox Business Network, Trump explicitly noted two funding provisions that Democrats are seeking in a relief package that has stalled on Capitol Hill. Without the additional money, he said, the Postal Service won’t have the resources to handle a flood of ballots from voters who are seeking to avoid polling places during the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump’s statements, including the false claim that Democrats are seeking universal mail-in voting, come as he is searching for a strategy to gain an advantage in his November matchup against Joe Biden. He’s pairing the tough Postal Service stance in congressional negotiations with an increasingly robust mail-in -voting legal fight in states that could decide the election. (Richmond Register)

KFTC runs ad in eastern KY calling on McConnell to take action

Kentuckians for the Commonwealth is running an ad in eleven eastern Kentucky newspapers, calling out Senator McConnell for his inaction on a number of critical issues facing east Kentuckians. Story includes copy of the ad. (Forward Kentucky)

Sen. Rand Paul’s COVID-19 solution? ‘Open every school,’ warn at-risk to avoid crowds

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul’s latest prescription for coping with COVID-19: Put kids in school and let young adults work and play while reserving masks and other restrictions for older, at-risk populations.

Paul said he’s opposed to keeping schools closed because kids are less likely to get the virus, and if they get COVID-19, he said he’d seen evidence that shows children don’t transmit the illness as much as other age groups.

“You know what I would do? I’d open every school, and I would wait and see if anybody gets sick,” Paul said in an interview with Libertarian economist Matt Kibbe that was shared Wednesday. “If you have a bunch of people get sick, you’ll test in that school. And guess what? You might have to close that school.” (Herald-Leader)

Birtherism 2.0 – the attack on Kamala Harris

It was just a matter of time before someone questioned whether Kamala Harris is eligible because her parents are immigrants. Teri Kanefield explains why it is just as bogus as Birtherism 1.0. (Forward Kentucky)

Recent Content on Forward Kentucky

[new] indicates item not in a Forward Five before

[new] Emilie Blanton talks back to school – On this week’s show, Emilie Blanton joined Robert to talk about starting school and her concerns about equity in the current situation. Also, they touched on other stories, including the plan for the election. (Podcast)

[new] Armed poll watchers: New Jersey’s cautionary tale ahead of the 2020 presidential election – In the history of voter suppression in the United States, Republican tactics in the 1981 New Jersey gubernatorial race are worth highlighting. Will they happen again in 2020? (News Analysis)

8/12 update — State reports record number of new coronavirus cases in one day – Gov. Beshear reported 1,163 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, the highest number yet in a single day – another reason, he said, to support his recommendation to delay in-person instruction until Sept. 28. (News)

Billboard: “KY Farm Bureau – Big on Discrimination” – Four advocacy groups have co-sponsored a billboard in Louisville calling out the Kentucky Farm Bureau for discriminatory policy positions in its policy handbook. (News)

Governor, secretary of state ‘close to agreement’ on election – No agreement yet between Democratic Gov. Beshear and Republican Secretary of State Adams on how to conduct the November general election, but both sides say they are not that far apart. (News)

Pari-mutuel wagering issue in front of Ky. Supreme Court Friday – The issue of whether instant racing or historical horse racing is legal in Kentucky, a dispute that’s been making its way up and down the court system for a decade, will be addressed again on Friday. (News)

A checklist for “the election Kentucky deserves,” as outlined by KFTC – Kentuckians for the Commonwealth has released a checklist for the upcoming election, laying out ways to “give Kentuckians the election we deserve – one that makes voting safe, convenient, secure and robust.” (News)

McConnell doesn’t care to hear message from Kentucky: ‘I’m scared to death of losing everything’ – Mitch McConnell is glad to hear from his donors – but is deaf when it comes to the cries of Kentuckians. The Washington Post interviewed people all across the state, and they all said “Where is Mitch when we need him?” (Commentary)

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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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