The Forward Five – Thursday, 12/3/20

Five Things to Know Today

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— Publisher’s Note —

Good morning! You would think that the national news would calm down with the election over, but instead it is heating up. Pardons, investigations, a run-off election in Georgia — definitely a lot to keep track of.

Under it all, though, is the damage to our democracy being done by people who continue to say the election was “stolen,” even though anyone with expert knowledge or experience has said the election was clean. Our own Rand Paul is one who keeps raising these questions, and he is causing harm to our nation by doing so. Even after Joe Biden is sworn in, we are going to have much to do to repair our democracy and community.

Other notes: Thanks for the feedback on whether you like the longer “five things” format. All the feedback (so far) has been positive. If YOU have feedback, use the link below to send it. Our membership drive started well yesterday, with three new members. If YOU are not a member, but what we do is valuable to you, then please become a paying member. The Monthly Basic is just $3 a month, and if you purchase an annual membership you save a month. Go here to join. And finally, we posted a story from Daily Kos that you really should go read, and then share widely. (It’s the bonus story below.) Send it to that uncle who believes COVID is all a hoax, or to that neighbor who thinks it’s no worse than the flu. The story was written by an ER nurse and makes me want to wear three masks. All for this morning. Stay safe, stay sane, and count the days till January 20th. We ARE going to get through this, together.

Bruce Maples, publisher
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Today’s Five Things to Know

12/2 update — Deadliest day yet, with 37 reported dead

This week’s White House pandemic report praised Gov. Beshear’s orders to thwart the coronavirus, and said they will work “if compliance is high.” If there was ever a time for that, it would be now, Beshear said after reporting the state’s deadliest day from COVID-19 and a rapidly rising positive-test rate. Hospitalizations continue to be a concern (see the graph in the story). (Forward Kentucky)

Brett Kavanaugh asks Beshear to respond to Kentucky religious school lawsuit by Friday

Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh has asked Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear to respond by Friday afternoon to Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s request for the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on whether in-person classes at the state’s religious schools can continue. Kavanaugh is the justice who handles requests from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Cameron and Danville Christian Academy, a private K-12 school in Boyle County, are asking the Supreme Court to uphold U.S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove’s Nov. 25 ruling that said Beshear could not halt in-person classes at private, religious-based schools until early January.

On Sunday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit overturned Van Tatenhove’s ruling and upheld Beshear’s executive order, which requires private and public schools in Kentucky to hold only virtual classes until Jan. 4. (Courier-Journal)

Twitter flags Sen. Rand Paul for baseless speculation on voter fraud

There is no evidence of fraud in the November presidential election, and nothing supports claims of a rigged election. Even so, Sen. Rand Paul speculated on Twitter this week that fraud may have been why President Donald Trump lost in a few states.

Twitter flagged Paul’s tweet on Sunday with a disclaimer warning people who read it: “This claim about election fraud is disputed.” When Twitter added a disclaimer to Paul’s tweet, it also linked to a web page that explains voter fraud is rare in the U.S. (The social media giant flagged another tweet the senator sent out recently in which he also groundlessly speculated there may have been fraud in the election.) (Courier-Journal)

Republicans shooting themselves in the foot in Georgia

With control of the U.S. Senate hanging in the balance, Republicans in Georgia are engaged in an internal civil war between those who think the presidential election was rigged, and those who want the two Republican candidates to win. If both Repubs lose, the Democrats will control the Senate due to VP Harris’s tie-breaking vote.

President Trump’s continued insistence that there was election fraud in Georgia is causing his loyal followers to believe that the January 5th run-off election for the Senate is also pre-determined and rigged. “Why go vote if the outcome is already decided?” asked one Repub voter. In fact, there is a movement among some Republicans to boycott the election entirely, to “show” the state’s leaders that they have to take the claims seriously.

In addition, all of the elected Republicans in the state are coming under fire from their own voters, including Governor Kemp, the secretary of state, and all the election officials, as well as both Republican senators who are trying to win the run-off. In some cases, elected officials and even ordinary citizens who helped work the election have received death threats.

More ‘offensive’ KY law enforcement training material found.

Kentucky criminal justice trainers used a video featuring an “offensive” Nazi symbol as recently as September, state officials confirmed Monday.

Gov. Andy Beshear and the state Justice and Public Safety Cabinet on Monday confirmed the existence of a law enforcement training video that featured a white supremacy symbol. It was approved for training use in September.

The video was used by the Department of Criminal Justice Training, which provides instruction to every law enforcement agency in Kentucky, except for the Kentucky State Police and Lexington, Louisville and Bowling Green police departments. The video is the third recent example of heavily criticized police training content used by state agencies.

The video’s existence was initially reported by the Manual RedEye, the student newspaper at DuPont Manual High School in Louisville. The training video, titled “911 Response to the Drug Epidemic,” was an hour long. It featured a clip taken from another source. That clip included a “Black Sun” Nazi symbol, according to RedEye reporter Satchel Walton. (Herald-Leader)

Bonus story
The tsunami is coming (A day in the life of a hospital overrun with COVID patients, written by an ER nurse)

Like any tsunami, the wave started innocuously enough. Even disconcertingly calmly. Elective surgeries weren’t scheduled over the Thanksgiving holiday anyway, which meant the emergency department, for once, had a manageable caseload. (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] Abortion and Kentucky politicians – “We’ve been told repeatedly that Democrats can’t win because of ‘God, guns and abortion,’” said Nicole Erwin, communications manager for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Indiana and Kentucky. “We’ve got to change the narrative.” (Commentary)

[new] 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. (News)

*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. (News)

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)

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)

*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)

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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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