Forward Five 11/30/20

Five Things to Know Today

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— Publisher’s Note —

Good morning! In this crazy year, I hope your Thanksgiving was as much as you wanted and needed as possible. Ours was good: good food, some time to rest, and some time to get up yet more leaves. (I’m up to 40 bags so far.)

Now we begin the countdown to multiple important dates: the various religious holy days, the secular holidays of Christmas and New Year’s, and the more-important-than-normal Inauguration Day of January 20th.

I’m working on a list of things for an article, but here is the short version: Trump and McConnell are trying to wreck as many things as possible before Biden gets in office, in order to kneecap Biden’s term from the beginning.

Most of this has consequences for just us Americans, but foreign policy actions have implications for the rest of the world. The assassination of Iran’s chief nuclear scientist is an example. Who did it? Was the U.S. involved? Is Trump planning something in that part of the world? And why has Jared Kushner traveled to Saudi Arabia over the weekend?

So, even as you finish up (or start! 


) your holiday shopping, stay in touch with what’s going on in the world. We’ll do what we can to help you.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for being an email subscriber. Your support keeps us going.

Bruce Maples, publisher
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Today’s Five Things to Know

Weekend COVID updates show continued surge

11/28 update — Kentucky doubled its number of covid-19 patients on ventilators in the past month

More COVID patients than ever are on ventilators in Kentucky hospitals, the number having doubled in the last month. But that was the only new record in the Saturday report, as testing was lower than normal due to the holiday. (Forward Kentucky)

11/29 update — Federal appeals panel says Beshear’s ban on in-person schooling can apply to religious schools

Gov. Andy Beshear’s ban on in-person schooling will remain in effect at all Kentucky schools while federal judges consider whether it can apply to religious schools that follow social-distancing and hygiene rules. (Forward Kentucky)

Religious schools closed, open, closed again to in-person instruction

As part of his orders trying to slow down the coronavirus surge in Kentucky, Governor Beshear ordered all schools, public and private, closed to in-person instruction. Some were ordered to have no in-person instruction through the end of the year, while others could resume in-person instruction on December 7 if their county was not in the red zone.

Danville Christian School filed suit to block the order, and was joined by a number of other schools. AG Daniel Cameron joined the suit, framing it as a religious liberty issue. Last week, a federal judge agreed, and issued an injunction to halt the implementation of the order. The governor’s administration appealed.

On Sunday, a three-judge panel from the federal Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals stayed the injunction temporarily, saying that the injunction should not have been issued because the plaintiffs (the schools) were likely to lose when their case was heard. So for now, the governor’s order is back in place.

Cameron said he was disappointed in the court’s decision, but was already “hard at work” preparing to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. That court just ruled that NY Governor Andrew Cuomo could not close religous schools in that state.

‘We didn’t win anywhere.’ After election shellacking, can KY Democrats save themselves?

Kentucky Democrats got shellacked in this month’s election. President Donald Trump won the state by 26 percentage points. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell won by 20 percentage points. Republicans now hold a 75-25 super majority in the Kentucky House of Representatives and a 30-8 super majority in the Kentucky Senate.

That is the challenge that awaits Colmon Elridge, the new chairman of the Kentucky Democratic Party. 
“The truth is, Republicans have cleaned our clock in ways we need to understand,” Elridge said. “And I think the sooner we can do that, the better we can turn the corner and begin to do the things that I hope and believe will lead us to success.” (Herald-Leader)

COVID in Appalachia: Misinformation is killing people

An NBC reporter interviewed frontline workers in hospitals in Appalachia about treating COVID patients in their area. Bottom line: Misinformation is resulting in unnecessary illness and death. (Forward Kentucky)

Lexington health department sues coffee shop for not following Beshear’s orders

The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department has filed a lawsuit against the owner of Brewed, a coffee shop that refused to follow Gov. Andy Beshear’s order to stop indoor dining. The lawsuit calls for a temporary injunction or a temporary restraining order to force the coffee shop to close its indoor dining and drinking options.

Brewed was ordered to shut down Tuesday after health department inspectors found customers dining inside. The shop also allowed patrons to violate the mask mandate, according to the health department. Owner Andrew Cooperrider repeatedly refused to comply as the health department tried to enforce restrictions. (Herald-Leader)

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

[new] Take “republic” out of “Republican” – The cornerstone of a “democratic” republic is the VOTE. But now, across the country, the group most responsible for making voting harder for millions of Americans is the Republican Party. (Commentary)

[new] *He’s grateful for the governor … and we are too. – Kirk Gillenwaters is counting Andy Beshear among his blessings this Thanksgiving. “Hundreds of Kentuckians are alive today because of the actions the governor has taken to fight COVID-19.” (Commentary)

[new] A national sense of shared sacrifice — then and now – In WW2, Americans were asked to make collective sacrifices for the greater good … and they did. But today, we selfishly flout individualism at the expense of the greater good. Even simple masking and social-distancing guidelines have been met with disdain. What happened to the descendants of the Greatest Generation? (Commentary)

[new] Think it’s a hoax? Planning a big Thanksgiving? Watch this. – If you are planning to ignore the guidelines and have everyone over for Thanksgiving, or you are one of those persons who refuses to wear a mask, watch this. And consider. (Commentary)

Biden announces first cabinet nominees – President-elect Joe Biden has announced his first six cabinet nominees, including a new position: Special Presidential Envoy for Climate. (News)

Ohio Valley economic outlook grim as COVID aid programs end – With hundreds of thousands across the Ohio Valley struggling to make ends meet, a suite of coronavirus aid packages — including rent and utility relief funding, eviction moratoriums, and expanded unemployment benefits — is set to expire at the end of December. (News)

*Selfish churches, selfish Christians – I told a friend of mine about the churches that were ignoring the governor and having in-person services. She said with a snort, “Way to hang together and take care of your fellow human beings. Really showing the love of Jesus to others, aren’t they?” I’d say she nailed it – except for needing stronger language. (Commentary)

Besieged in his bunker – Holed up in his quarters and protected by armed guards, the leader refuses to admit inevitable defeat. He inhabits a bizarre fantasy world, his mood swinging wildly between cold fury and deep despondency. Lickspittles rush to soothe the leader. The toadies coo their undying loyalty. They assure him that despite the seemingly insurmountable odds against him, he will persevere. (Commentary)

Image of Paul Weyrich, founder of ALEC, on voting and voters by DonkeyHotey [CC 2.0] via Flickr

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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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