The Forward Five – Wednesday, 12/2/20

Five Things to Know Today

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— Publisher’s Note —

Good morning! A couple of notes on this Wednesday morning:

  • What do you think of the expanded Forward Five? I am trying something with the Forward Five this morning: making the “five things” section longer. For some items, that means pulling more from the original story; for others, it means putting together a summary myself. I want to make this newsletter as valuable as I can, so more people subscribe AND so that we can eventually get people to sponsor it because of the quality. Let me know what you think by using the feedback link below.
  • Two-week membership drive starts today. As I have noted before, I am in the process of deciding the next steps for Forward Kentucky: stay the same, expand, or shut down. The financial projections are part of that decision. So, if you find what we do valuable but you are not a paying member (check your status at the bottom of the email), then please consider becoming one. If we gain new members during this time, then it shows me that what we are doing is important to people. You can go here to join.

All for now. Sorry for no FF yesterday; I got a new computer (yay!) and the data transfer from the old one took hours (boo). I’m up and running now on the new one, and it’s great.

Stay safe, and encourage others to do so too. Not too many days to a vaccine, and only 50 days until Trump is no longer president. 


Bruce Maples, publisher
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Today’s Five Things to Know

12/1 update — Worst coronavirus day yet: more than 4,000 new cases, 35 deaths, and other record measurements of misery

Gov. Andy Beshear announced record numbers for almost every metric the state uses to measure the coronavirus pandemic Tuesday, calling it “a terrible day.” Mark Carter noted that the state’s contact tracers have been so overwhelmed by cases that they have switched to mitigation (making sure people know they’re infected) instead of actually trying to trace all the contacts. And in the ongoing pushback against Beshear’s orders, a judge in Lexington ordered a local coffee shop to close after it said it would ignore the ban on inside dining. (Forward Kentucky)

Danville Christian, AG Cameron asks SCOTUS to intervene in dispute over in-person classes at religious schools (updated)

Less than a week after the Supreme Court lifted New York’s COVID-related limits on attendance at worship services, Danville Christian School and AG Cameron asked the Supreme Court to allow in-person classes at faith-based schools. Their basic argument is that Beshear’s order closing all schools, public and private, to in-person classes was unfair because he allowed other businesses to remain open. Justice Brett Kavanaugh handles emergency appeals from the Sixth Circuit, and he passed the request on to the full court with a deadline for deciding whether to hear the case set for this Friday. (Forward Kentucky)

Right-wing org sending thousands of emails to legislators, urging them to impeach Beshear

The American Family Association of Kentucky, a right-wing political organization, is using a web form to send thousands of emails to members of the Kentucky legislature, urging them to impeach Governor Andy Beshear when they convene in January. AFAKY is run by Frank Simon, a conservative activist noted for his anti-gay-rights work. We tested the petition site ourselves, and it is possible for one person to send multiple petitions. (Forward Kentucky)

Justice Department investigating potential presidential pardon bribery scheme, court records reveal

In a story that broke last night, CNN reported that the Justice Department is investigating a potential crime related to funneling money to the White House or related political committee in exchange for a presidential pardon, according to court records unsealed Tuesday in federal court.

The disclosure is in 20 pages of partially redacted documents made public by the DC District Court on Tuesday afternoon. The records show Chief Judge Beryl Howell’s review in August of a request from prosecutors to access documents obtained in a search as part of a bribery-for-pardon investigation.

The filings don’t reveal a timeline of the alleged scheme, or any names of people potentially involved, except that communications between people including at least one lawyer were seized from an office that was raided sometime before the end of this summer. (Note: Over 50 electronic devices were taken in that raid.) (CNNwith more detail at Daily Kos)

Barr says no widespread election fraud

Attorney General William Barr said Tuesday the Justice Department has not uncovered evidence of widespread voter fraud that would change the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. His comments in an interview with The Associated Press come despite President Donald Trump’s repeated baseless claims that the election was stolen, Trump’s effort to subvert the results of the 2020 presidential election and his refusal to concede his loss to President-Elect Joe Biden.

Barr said U.S. attorneys and FBI agents have been working to follow up specific complaints and information they’ve received, but they’ve uncovered no evidence that would change the outcome of the election. Barr was headed to the White House later for a previously scheduled meeting.

The comments are especially direct coming from Barr, who has been one of the president’s most ardent allies. Before the election, he had repeatedly raised the notion that mail-in voter fraud could be especially vulnerable to fraud during the coronavirus pandemic as Americans feared going to polls and instead chose to vote by mail. (Richmond Register)

Recent Content on Forward Kentucky

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

[new] AG uses open records decision to undermine COVID reporting to the state – A headline in the Herald-Leader reads: “Reporting someone to Kentucky’s COVID-19 tip line? Don’t count on anonymity.” Or perhaps you can. It depends on which open records decision issued by the AG you prefer. (Commentary)

[new] Beware the Medicare Coverage Helpline – “It sounds like a public service announcement from Medicare, but it’s not,” warns Kay Tillow of Kentuckians for Single Payer Health Care. “It’s a scam to sign up for the privatized, for-profit Medicare Advantage plans.” (News)

[new] Can Biden get Mitch to finally put country above party? – President-elect Joe Biden will take office in January at a time of profound political division. Does he have a secret weapon that will energize Americans to work together to solve our deep-seated problems? (Commentary)

[new] *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. (News)

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)

*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)

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)

*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)

Caricatures of Biden and McConnell by DonkeyHotey

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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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