The Forward Five – Wednesday, 11/18/20

Five Things to Know Today

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12 mins read

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— Publisher’s Note —


Good morning! My wife introduced me some time ago to a great word: “liminal.” It means, according to my Oxford, “occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold.”

In terms of the election, our nation, and perhaps even the world, we are definitely in a liminal space.

We are between Election Day (or Election Season) and the inauguration on January 20. We are between the initial reports of vote counts and the final certification of those counts. And, we are watching the Trump administration implement some last-gasp destruction, even as the Biden administration starts gearing up to repair things.

Forward Kentucky is also in a liminal space. When we started in 2016, I said my goal was to stay committed to the work through the 2020 election. We’ve done that. So, now what? Expand? Contract? Stay the same? Stop completely? That discussion and that thinking are going on right now, and will continue through the end of the year, at least.

The one thing I know is that when you are in a liminal space, one of the best things you can do is “possess your soul in calmness.” Wait. Listen. Don’t try to push; allow the next door, the next step to come to you. It will, in time.

In the meantime, we’re going to “keep on keeping on,” as my father used to say. And if you find what we do valuable, one way you can show that is to become a member, if you aren’t already. Every membership helps us to imagine the future with confidence.

All for now. Do the things to stay safe, and keep reading Forward Kentucky.

Bruce Maples, publisher
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Today’s Five Things to Know

11/17 update — Tuesday is deadliest day for confirmed covid-19 deaths, with 33; new restrictions are coming

Gov. Beshear said he will impose new pandemic restrictions Wednesday. Meanwhile, cases are running so high that health departments are asking those who have tested positive for it to do their own contact tracing. (Forward Kentucky)


Dramatic night in Michigan: state won by Biden looks like it could suddenly flip to Trump

Joe Biden won Michigan by over 100,000 votes, so it would seem that state should be safely in the Biden column. However, even though Election Day was two weeks ago, the election isn’t really over until the vote counts are certified at the local and state level. And last night, that simple procedure suddenly took on amazing significance in Michigan.

Wayne County is the where Detroit is located. Joe Biden won that county by over 180,000 votes, thus giving him much of his margin in the state. The Wayne County Board of Canvassers, made up of two Republicans and two Democrats, is the local board that certifies the election results. And last night they deadlocked at 2-2, with the Republicans refusing to certify the results. One of the Republicans said she would certify all the votes outside of Detroit, which immediately resulted in objections for what looked to be clearly a racist stance.

If ALL of the Wayne County votes were thrown out, the state and its 16 electoral votes would go to Trump.

If the local board stayed deadlocked, the certification would go to the state board, which is also evenly divided. If the state board deadlocked, it was unclear whether the secretary of state or the legislature would be the next step. The legislature is controlled by Republicans, who would certainly award the state to Trump.

BUT – according to reporter Kathy Gray, after about three hours of voters “loudly calling out the board for trying to disenfranchise Detroit voters,” the board voted unanimously to certify the results. “Really frustrating thing is that the board was muted for about five minutes and came back on and basically said never mind, we changed our minds and certified the results. No explanation.”

So, take note – even after a clear win in an election, the win isn’t locked in until it is certified. And those certifications are happening all over the country, at all government levels. As Rachel Maddow would say, Watch this space.


‘Discipline, shrewdness, shamelessness’: Obama writes about Mitch McConnell in new memoir

Former President Barack Obama had quite a bit to say about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in his new memoir, especially concerning the Kentucky Republican’s  efforts to block his policy goals and McConnell’s resulting political gains.

“One of our biggest promises had been to end partisan bickering and focus on practical efforts to address citizen demands. Our problem, as Mitch McConnell had calculated from the start, was that so long as Republicans uniformly resisted our overtures and raised hell over even the most moderate of proposals, anything we did could be portrayed as partisan, controversial, radical — even illegitimate,” Obama wrote in “A Promised Land,” which was released Tuesday and is the first of his presidential memoirs. (Courier-Journal)


Another young conservative appointed to the federal bench in Western District of Kentucky

Donald Trump may have lost the presidential race, but that hasn’t stopped him and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell from continuing to push through more young, conservative federal judges.

By a 52-44 vote, the Senate on Tuesday confirmed Benjamin Beaton, whose law firm has described him as a “card-carrying member” of the Federalist Society, the conservative organization from which the president has drawn many judges. 

The vote was along party lines, according to University of Richmond law professor Carl Tobias, who follows judicial appointments. He said there was no discussion of the nomination but Democrats were angry that confirmations are continuing after Trump’s defeat. (Courier-Journal)


A record number of women will serve in the 117th Congress, including at least 51 women of color

In 2018, the nation elected 127 women – and 48 women of color – to the House and Senate. Next Jan. 3, at least 141 women, including 51 women of color, will be sworn in, with eight races involving women yet to be called. (Forward Kentucky)


Recent Content on Forward Kentucky

[new] indicates item not in a Forward Five before
*indicates high # of reads, social media shares, or both

[new] What happens to our democracy when a minority rules? – A political system that allows minority [party] rule to control the most powerful offices is not legitimate for long. Without majority rule, there can be no democracy. (Commentary)

[new] The remaining shreds of the COVID-19 safety net are dissolving, and McConnell refuses to act – With just two weeks’ worth of legislative working days left, the stakes couldn’t be higher right now, and many of the CARES Act provisions expire completely at the end of the year. McConnell doesn’t care. (Commentary)

11/16 update — Beshear says Ky. has “exponential growth” of virus cases, so he may impose new statewide restrictions on Wednesday – Gov. Beshear warned that Kentucky is having “exponential growth” in coronavirus cases, and said if the trend doesn’t change by Wednesday, he may impose further restrictions to slow the spread. (News)

A nurse talks about COVID denial – On Saturday, South Dakota nurse Jodi Doering had a night off and decided to tweet about what she was seeing in her state. The tweets were about COVID-19 patients who are literally dying from contracting the virus, but still do not believe that the virus is real, or that they have it. (Feature)

*Charges against Rep. Scott and others dropped; new KDP chair issues statement – State Rep. Attica Scott, her daughter Ashanti, Shameka Parrish-Wright, and 14 others went to court today on two misdemeanors each, only to learn that all charges had been dropped by County Attorney Mike O’Connell. (News)

Some thoughts on the move of an open-records veteran to KSP – An open-records veteran is going to KSP. Here are some thoughts on that, as well as the question: Is she going TO the KSP job, or getting away FROM the open records office under AG Cameron? (Commentary)

A nurse talks about COVID denial – On Saturday, South Dakota nurse Jodi Doering had a night off and decided to tweet about what she was seeing in her state. The tweets were about COVID-19 patients who are literally dying from contracting the virus, but still do not believe that the virus is real, or that they have it. (Feature)

*Candidate Owensby sued, files counter-suit – Dr. Alexandra Owensby, Democratic candidate for KY-06, has been sued for defamation, and has filed a counter-suit over the same issue. (News)

Colmon Elridge selected as new chair of Kentucky Democratic Party – Colmon Elridge was elected chair of the Kentucky Democratic Party on Saturday by the party’s State Central Executive Committee after being nominated to the position by Governor Andy Beshear. (News)

QAnon — a recycled conspiracy theory spreading through the GOP – According to QAanon, a secret cabal of powerful “Deep State” Democrats are kidnapping kids and using their blood for satanic rituals. “It’s warmed-over anti-Semitism,” according to Murray State University historian David Pizzo. (News)


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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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