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— Publisher’s Note —
Good morning! Our membership drive is in its final week, and so far we have had eight new members sign up. That may not seem like a lot, but it’s a good start to the drive. My goal was to have twenty new members, so that is still doable. (And if you aren’t a paying member and want to become one, go here to sign up.)
On a less positive note, I am growing increasingly concerned at the refusal of almost all Republicans to acknowledge Joe Biden as the legitimately elected president of our country. I can (perhaps) understand if they hesitated to do so while there was some question about the voting. But now, it is becoming a serious threat to our democracy. If a large percentage of the country believes that elections cannot be trusted, it weakens the foundation of our entire system. Some Republicans, somewhere, have got to grow a spine and speak up.
Forty-four days. Let’s hope once Biden is actually sworn in, we can start figuring out how to come together again.
Stay safe, wear that mask, stay socially distant. Vaccines are coming, but until then, we have to stay as healthy as possible. And as my father used to say, “‘Preciate you.”
Bruce Maples, publisher
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Today’s Five Things to Know
Weekend coronavirus updates
12/5 update — Worst week yet for coronavirus cases, and 23 more COVID-19 deaths
Kentucky has had more new cases of the novel coronavirus this week than any other, Gov. Andy Beshear announced Saturday. (Forward Kentucky)
12/6 update — Data suggest latest surge is slowing; half of state’s 200,000 total cases came in last month and a half
Nine months to the day after Kentucky found its first case of the novel coronavirus, its total number of cases surpassed 200,000. That was the thrust of Gov. Beshear’s daily press release. What it didn’t say is that the last 100,000 cases were found in the past month and a half. (Forward Kentucky)
Beshear files defense of K-12 school closings with U.S. Supreme Court
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear has filed a defense of his decision to close all K-12 schools in the state to slow the spread of the coronavirus with the nation’s highest court. In the response filed with the U. S. Supreme Court on Friday, Beshear claimed that religious schools had not been singled out and, therefore, there’s no need for “this Court’s intervention.”
“The Executive Order at issue applies to all public and private elementary schools in the Commonwealth, ‘religious or otherwise,’” the brief read. “It does not prohibit religious worship; it does not treat religious schools more harshly than secular ones; and ‘there is no evidence that the challenged restrictions were ‘targeted’ or ‘gerrymandered’ to ensure an impact on religious groups.’” (Forward Kentucky)
KY Repubs in Congress won’t admit Biden won
The Washington Post polled every Republican in Congress on three questions:
- Who won the election?
- Do you support or oppose Donald Trump’s continuing efforts to claim victory?
- If Joe Biden wins a majority in the Electoral College, will you accept him as the legitimately elected president of the United States?
Here’s the result: Not one of our seven Congressional Republicans would even answer any of those questions.
Even worse – out of all 249 Republicans in the U.S. House and Senate, only a handful gave the logical and honorable answers to this poll. (Forward Kentucky)
Final tally shows Amy McGrath campaign spent more than $90 million in failed Senate bid
Democrat Amy McGrath fell more than 417,000 votes short of defeating Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell last month, though it wasn’t due to a lack of money. Her campaign spent nearly $91 million over the course of the race.
The first post-election finance report filed by McGrath’s campaign Thursday showed it raised $96.1 million and spent $90.8 million since launching the previous summer, reporting a leftover cash-on-hand balance of $3.7 million as of Nov. 23.
McConnell’s campaign raised more than $66 million and spent nearly $60 million, though he had more support than McGrath from outside super PAC ad buys and did not have a competitive primary.
McConnell received 57.8% of the vote to McGrath’s 38.2%, his second-largest margin of victory among his seven U.S. Senate race wins in Kentucky since 1984. (Courier-Journal)
National news to know
- Rudy Giuliani, the president’s lawyer and spokesperson, has tested positive for the coronavirus. There are worries that he has infected others as he has traveled across the country trying to overturn the election, including lawmakers in various states.
- Trump called Georgia governor Brian Kemp and pressured him to call a special session of the legislature to throw out the election and elect Trump-supporting electors. Kemp, a Republican, refused.
- Trump’s attacks on Republican official in Georgia are undermining the two Republican candidates in the Senate run-off races, as Georgia Republicans discuss boycotting the January 5 election to protest what they think is a stolen election.
- Numerous election officials across the country are reporting death threats in the wake of the election.
- Sources say Attorney General Bill Barr is considering resigning before Trump’s term ends.
- There is movement on a relief package in Congress, perhaps tied to the continuing resolution needed to keep the government open. The package, though, is much smaller than either of the two proposals House Democrats made earlier in the year. Negotiations continue.
- If you want to know how much time is left before Joe Biden is inaugurated, we have a countdown timer on the home page of the site.
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Recent Content on Forward Kentucky
[new] indicates item not in a Forward Five before
*indicates high # of reads, social media shares, or both
[new] Beshear needs a new approach to get Kentuckians to heed warnings and follow rules to prevent spread of the virus – It’s rare for a high-ranking official to seek advice publicly, but that’s exactly what Gov. Andy Beshear did Wednesday at his daily coronavirus briefing. So, here is some advice for the governor. (Commentary)
[new] KY way behind in unemployment payments – but so is everyone else – The federal standard for UI payments is that 87% of recipients should start getting payments within three weeks. In contrast, Kentucky is hitting the payments-sent-within-three-weeks mark with only 27% of applicants – but the rest of the country isn’t doing much better. (News)
[new] As the pandemic rages, the US (and Kentucky) could use a little bit more ‘samfundssind’ – In recent years, the English-speaking world has found two Danish concepts, “pyt” and “hygge,” useful for dealing with anxiety and stress. Now another Danish word – “samfundssind” – might help countries grapple with the pandemic. (Commentary)
*Repubs called out for not wearing masks at the Capitol – If you are a Republican, wearing a mask is optional, because this whole COVID thing is a hoax. Even after being asked to put one on, most Repubs at the meeting would not. The Democrats present have called them out for it. (News)
MOKP — COVID-19 court cases and other updates – This week, Jazmin runs down Daniel Cameron’s lawsuit against Andy Beshear’s COVID-19 restrictions and the religious arguments he has been making. Plus, criminal justice quick hits, and talk about some pieces of journalism they’ve been reading lately. (Podcast)
Beshear’s education group aims to help students ‘from cradle to career’ – Gov. Andy Beshear announced Thursday the formation of a multi-agency group to assist students as they transition through the state’s public education system. (News)
*The tsunami is coming – 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. (Feature)
*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)
Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash
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