The Forward Five – Friday, 10/9/20

14 mins read
Interview w/Amy McGrath, Fri 10/9 @ noon EDT.

Five Things to Know Today

— Publisher’s Note —

Good morning! Well, it finally happened. Members of a so-called “militia” were arrested for plotting to kidnap, and possibly execute, the governor.

No, not OUR governor – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, the governor of Michigan. The group had spent months surveilling both the governor’s mansion and her vacation home, and had even practiced setting off explosive devices to take down a bridge leading to the vacation home in order to isolate it further.

Fortunately, they were arrested before they could carry out their plans. Fortunately, there was someone in the group who was so concerned about where the plans were going that they contacted the FBI. Fortunately, there were no law enforcement officers harmed during the arrests, even though the plotters had specifically talked about killing police officers.

But, what if none of the “fortunately” events above were true? What if the group had succeeded in carrying out their plot? And, to bring it even closer to home, what if this was not about the governor of Michigan, but our own governor?

For too long, many people have looked on these groups as oddities – people you can ignore, or perhaps laugh at and make fun of, but not anyone you need to take seriously. Well, that approach passed a long time ago, and it’s time we paid attention.

The FBI has said for years that the primary threat to our national security was not terrorists from overseas, but domestic terrorists – specifically, right-wing and white-supremacist domestic terrorists. That message gets lost because this administration refuses to acknowledge it, and because many Republicans and even some Democrats actually endorse and stand with these groups.

These are not “militias” in any traditional sense of the word; they are terrorist cells. When they show up wearing camoflage and brandishing enough firepower to kill the entire General Assembly, it is not to celebrate their 2nd Amendment rights; it is to intimidate and threaten.

Donald Trump refuses to condemn them. Many of our elected officials refuse to condemn them. Many of US refuse to condemn them, or to call out those who stand with them.

The 2nd Amendment gives everyone the right to own a gun. It does not give anyone the right to form groups designed to overthrow the government, kidnap elected officials, intimidate lawmakers, or commit violence and terrorism.

Lawmakers and leaders, the ball is in your court. Either condemn these groups and the dog-whistles that encourage them, or we will know where you stand and who you stand with. And we will remember.

Bruce Maples, publisher
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Today’s Five Things to Know

10/8 update — Beshear says militia groups won’t intimidate him; seeks new-case decline to avoid more restrictions

Instead of the usual Fast Four at 4, yesterday’s update opened with the governor commenting on the plot by a so-called “militia group” to kidnap the Michigan governor. Gov. Beshear said his actions to fight the coronavirus pandemic would not be affected by such groups, and he called out both the groups and the elected officials who stand with them and speak at their rallies, including some in Kentucky. The presser continued with more normal items, including the COVID update. (Forward Kentucky)

Next Trump-Biden debate now uncertain as rival camps argue

The fate of final debates between President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden was thrown into uncertainty Thursday as the campaigns offered dueling proposals for moving forward with faceoffs that have been upended by the president’s coronavirus infection.

  • Nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates said next debate (Oct. 15) would be held virtually.
  • Trump says he won’t participate if it’s virtual. (“They can cut your mike off!”)
  • Biden campaign suggests delaying to Oct. 22, which is the date for the final debate.
  • Trump agrees to Oct. 22, but only if face to face. Also asks for third debate on Oct. 29
  • Biden campaign rejects Oct. 29 date.

At this point, nothing is clear about future debates. But, Biden is using the scheduled dates to hold town halls or other campaign events, in case President Trump doesn’t participate.

In 25th Amendment bid, Pelosi mulls Trump’s fitness to serve

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is questioning President Donald Trump’s fitness to serve, announcing legislation Thursday that would create a commission to allow Congress to intervene under the 25th Amendment to the Constitution and remove the president from executive duties. (Kentucky Today)

‘Sweet spot:’ 17.5 percent of KY voters request mail-in ballots as deadline nears

About 17.5 percent of registered voters in Kentucky had requested an absentee ballot a day before the deadline, according to Secretary of State Michael Adams. Friday, October 9, is the last day to request an absentee ballot. The online portal at will be available until 11:59 p.m. Adams said the number of absentee ballots requested is “right in the sweet spot.”

“That’s enough that we see that it’s working, that the word is getting out, that voters who have concerns were able to utilize this effectively, but it’s also not so many that it will overwhelm the system,” Adams said. (Herald-Leader)

Mitch McConnell: I haven’t visited White House recently because of lax coronavirus rules

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday said he hasn’t visited the White House in two months because of what he saw as lax coronavirus practices.

“My impression was their approach to how to handle this (pandemic) was different from mine and what I insisted we do in the Senate, which was to wear a mask and practice social distancing,” McConnell said during an appearance in Northern Kentucky. (Courier-Journal)

Bonus story

Charges dropped! — a photo gallery

On Tuesday, all the protesters who were charged with felony rioting had their arraignment hearing. Del Ramey was there from beginning to end, so you can see what happened through the lens of his camera. (Forward Kentucky)

TODAY on “The State of Kentucky”

Mitch McConnell has been our senator as long as some of us have been alive. Is this the year we can FINALLY help him retire? Join us for a conversation with Amy McGrath, as we talk about her campaign, her strategy, and what she is seeing as she flies (literally) around the state. Watch live or watch the recording later on Forward Kentucky!

YouTube link   ●   Facebook link

Ditch Mitch Quilt Drawing Update

Money raised so far: $750
Number of donors: 39
Days left to enter: 10

Enter here!

Remember, YOU can be the lucky winner of the Ditch Mitch Quilt! Read more about the quilt here, and donate here.

Upcoming Events from the ForwardKY Calendar

We post about upcoming events by campaigns and organizations if we know about them in time. Post your events here. View the full calendar here.

  • Today (10/9) – GLI Virtual Meeting w/ SOS Adams (info)
  • Today (10/9) – Take Back America Rally (info)
  • Saturday (10/10) – KFTC Fall Celebration Closing Session(info)
  • Sunday (10/11) – Dump Trump Rally (info)

Recent Content on Forward Kentucky

[new] indicates item not in a Forward Five before

[new] Provision made to allow blind to vote without assistance – The Secretary of State and the Board of Elections have a plan to allow voters who are blind or visually impaired to be able to vote by absentee ballot without assistance in this year’s general election. (News)

[new] MOKP – Keturah Herron and Kevin Glogower, plus grand jury tapes and COVID update – This week Jazmin and Robert speak with two really great guests: Keturah Herron of the ACLU, and Attorney Kevin Glogower (who is representing a member of the Breonna Taylor grand jury in a lawsuit). (Podcast)

[new] McConnell’s failures vs McGrath’s vision – A neighbor asked me what Democrats, including Amy McGrath, could do in Washington that would have any impact on Kentuckians. I promised I would return with the information they requested. Here it is. (Commentary)

[new] My thoughts on the VP debate – My wife and I sat up last night to watch the vice-presidential debate. You can read coverage of it all over the place, but I thought I’d share a few of my impressions of it. (PubBlog)

10/7 update — Fayette case backlog makes a record – Dr. Stack reminded Kentuckians that as cases go up, so do hospitalizations, noting that in late September the state had about 380 hospitalizations a day, but now it’s above 600 a day. (News)

McGrath in Mayfield: COVID test before debate, healthcare, and McConnell – Amy McGrath made a stop in Mayfield today, and Berry Craig was there and filed this story, including the fact that McGrath is challenging McConnell to take a COVID test before their debate. (News)

What sickness did to Trump … and to FDR – “Some people thought maybe becoming one of 7 million [COVID-19] positives would do it. It doesn’t appear to have had that impact on him.” (Commentary)

End to stimulus talks is a full-spectrum — and foreseeable — disaster – The important thing to understand is that this was McConnell’s plug to pull. He’s in charge now. And he’s not thinking about 2020; he’s working on 2022 and beyond. (Commentary)

If you mess up your absentee ballot, here’s the “cure process” – If you vote absentee, what happens if you make a mistake? We contacted the Board of Elections, and they laid it out for us. And, as the old saying goes, there’s good news and there’s bad news. (Explainer)

This is great — “Evita” remake in new Lincoln Project ad – One of the most famous songs from the musical Evita is “Don’t cry for me, Argentina.” Now the Lincoln Project has used it to make a new ad. Check it out. (Video)

The New Biden Rule (according to Mitch) – Senator McConnell keeps saying he is honoring “the Biden rule” when he rams through another SCOTUS justice right before the election. Turns out, he’s right – except it’s a NEW Biden rule that ol’ Mitch made up himself. (Cartoon)

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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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