Five Things to Know Today
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— Publisher’s Note —
Good morning! Do you have the feeling that the days are just running together? Apparently I do, because I forgot to change the day of the week on yesterday’s Forward Five, and I had to check twice to make sure I had the right day and date for today’s version.
Part of this TheDaysAreAllRunningTogether problem is the pandemic: we’re stuck at home, repeating the daily routine, without vacations or even special events to break it up too much.
But note: This feeling is also caused by the Trump presidency, and the ongoing torrent of news and insults and chaos. And it is intentional.
Authoritarians use chaos and never-ending news to wear out their citizens. Eventually, the citizens give up caring about the news, or about the government, or about much of anything except just hunkering down and getting through. Weariness and cynicism become the order of the day.
How to fight this? The answer is a paradox: stay engaged, and take time off.
In On Tyranny (which you should read if you have not), Timothy Snyder says “Practice corporeal politics. Power wants your body softening in your chair and your emotions dissipating on the screen. Get outside. Put your body in unfamiliar places with unfamiliar people. Make new friends and march with them.”
We have to stay engaged, to keep fighting, to keep standing up. Becoming complacent is what the authoritarian wants.
But – we also have to recharge. Taking time to get outside, to read a book, to talk with friends, to turn off the electronics and to turn off our political brain – these are all ways we can recharge, ways we can regain the energy to keep fighting.
The key to both staying engaged and taking time off is to be intentional about both. Simply hunkering down and “existing” instead of actively living is not going to work.
So plan it out – What are you going to do today that makes a difference? And, what are you going to do to recharge?
Take care. Wear your mask. Vote, and get others to vote. We’re going to get through this, together.
Today’s Five Things to Know
10/27 update — Virus cases and hospitalizations accelerate, setting new records
Hospitalizations for COVID-19 are also accelerating, with 913 people hospitalized Tuesday, a new record, with 233 of them in intensive care and 115 of those on a ventilator. (Forward Kentucky)
Poll gives Beshear 66% approval for pandemic work, finds 60% support state law mandating masks
In a recent poll, Kentuckians gave Gov. Andy Beshear good grades for handling the coronavirus pandemic, and supported the idea of a state law to require wearing of masks in public. (Forward Kentucky)
Mitch McConnell: Confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett a ‘capstone’ to his judiciary work
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell described Monday’s confirmation of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett as a “capstone” to the relentless work he has done with President Donald Trump’s administration to transform the federal judiciary since 2017.
“I think it was the most consequential thing we’ve done in the last four years that will last the longest,” he told The Courier Journal on Tuesday. “We’ve done some other important things legislatively. But depending upon who wins future elections, those things … may or may not stand.”
Since 2017, the Republican-controlled Senate has confirmed 220 federal judges nominated by Trump. That includes three Supreme Court justices, 53 circuit court judges, 162 district court judges and two U.S. Court of International Trade judges.
“And I think last night was sort of a capstone to the whole project,” McConnell said of Barrett’s confirmation. (Courier-Journal)
Lawmakers discuss family leave for state workers, contract tracing, and CARES Act spending deadline
Lawmakers discussed proposed legislation on Tuesday that would give state employees 12-weeks paid family leave for the birth or adoption of a child, then heard from Mark Carter with an update on contract tracing. (Forward Kentucky)
Did you know these things about voting?
Do you know where the word “ticket” — a slate of candidates — comes from? Do you know what an “Australian ballot” is? Marshall Ward takes us on a journey through the decades of voting in the U.S., from drunken voting days to touch-screen machines. We guarantee you’ll learn something! (Forward Kentucky)
This Friday on “The State of Kentucky”
The election wraps up in a few days, with some expected winners and some upsets. Which seats will flip? What will be the biggest surprise? Join us as we break down the election with Trent Garrison, and see if you agree with our predictions!
Upcoming Events from the ForwardKY Calendar
VOTE FOR CLIMATE JUSTICE
8:00 am to noon – In-person rally – Info
INDIVISIBLE KY PHONEBANK
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm – Virtual action – Info
PHONE BANK WITH PLANNED PARENTHOOD ACTION KENTUCKY
5:30 pm – 7:30 pm – Virtual Action – Info
SAVE SCOTUS SATURDAY @ MCCONNELL’S OFFICE
3:00 pm – 4:30 pm – In-person Action in Lexington – Info
MARIA SOROLIS SOCIALLY-DISTANCED LITERATURE DROP
2:00 pm – In-person Campaigning in Louisville – Info
VOTE THE CHANGE: 2020 – CLARK WILLIAMS AND ADAM EDELEN
8:00 pm – 9:00 pm – Online Forum – Info
Recent Content on Forward Kentucky
[new] indicates item not in a Forward Five before
*indicates high # of reads, social media shares, or both
[new] Amy McGrath signs the “Ditch Mitch” Quilt – We recently finished the contest for the Ditch Mitch Quilt, but it wasn’t going to be complete unless we could get Amy McGrath’s signature on it as well. And we did! (News)
[new] Let’s talk about Mitch McConnell’s great fiction … – Dear Kentucky Republicans – Do you believe that McConnell and the Republicans care about the Constitution? Do you believe that McConnell and the Republicans care about you? Then watch this. (Video)
10/26 update — Recommendations for red-zone counties; health chief says infection risk has never been higher – As coronavirus cases escalate across Kentucky like never before, Gov. Beshear made new recommendations, not mandates, for high-infection counties, putting the responsibility for thwarting the virus squarely on communities. (News)
When it comes to voting — Know the rules. Know your rights. – Secretary of State Adams today announced guidance to protect voters from intimidation at the polls. “Voting is your sacred right. Don’t let anyone take it away – know your rights,” Adams said. (News)
Our democracy won’t survive 6 more years of McConnell – McConnell’s loyalties lie with his party, donors, lobbyists, and Trump – not Kentuckians nor Americans. Our fragile democracy can’t afford 6 more years of him. If McConnell and Trump win, may the American experiment rest in peace. (Commentary)
Send a Devil Dog to DC – I just heard somebody call the Kentucky Senate race “a dogfight.” If it is, it’s a Devil Dog against a lapdog. (Commentary)
Vance’s “Hillbilly Elegy” ignores the role of Big Business in Appalachian poverty – His explanation oversimplifies a long history of struggle, labor exploitation, and environmental destruction. Cast aside Vance’s apologia on behalf of big industry, and the real work can begin. (Commentary)
*What’s on the line if SCOTUS overturns Obamacare? Only the livelihoods and lives of Kentuckians – If the Supreme Court, likely including Amy Coney Barrett, rules in favor of dismantling the ACA, the imminent threats to millions of Kentuckians’ well-being and quality of life are clear. (Policy)
*Ball goes after Beshear; the KDP goes after Ball – State Treasurer Allison Ball has announced an investigation of Governor Beshear’s use of funds to fight the virus. The KY Democratic Party responds to Ball’s actions. (Commentary)
Why haven’t these candidates filed their financial reports? – Out of around 200 candidates running for the state legislature, how many would you guess have failed to file one or more of their campaign finance reports? How about over 30? (News)
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