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— Publisher’s Note —
Good morning! Just a few quick notes:
- The goal for our membership drive is 20 new members, and as of this morning we have exactly half that. Ten persons have become members in the past ten days. There is a week left in our push to get to 20, so if YOU have been thinking of becoming a paying member to support Forward Kentucky, now’s the time. Click this link to sign up!
- Also, we’re now offering gift subscriptions – the perfect gift for the political junkie in your life! You can give them a year of full access to all our content for just $33, which is a discount of one month. Go here to purchase your gift subscription.
- And finally, we’re getting ready to cover the General Assembly when it begins on January 5th. We will have our Bill Trackers back up, along with our Key Bill Tracker and other resources. We’ll do some stories and explainers about them at the end of this month.
Vaccines are coming, but in the meantime, do what you know to do, even in the holidays. It’s still true – we will get through this together.
Today’s Five Things to Know
12/9 update — Positive-test rate drops for 6th straight day
Gov. Andy Beshear took heart Wednesday that the positivity rate had dropped for the sixth straight day – even though it was 9.23%. And there was other good news. Beshear reported 3,481 new cases of the virus, which is 367 fewer than Tuesday and 670 fewer than last Tuesday, when the state set its record for single-day cases, 4,151. (Forward Kentucky)
Repubs share priorities for legislative session; Dems, governor spokesperson respond
The Republican leaders in the state Senate laid out their priorities for KYGA21, and chief among them is limiting Governor Beshear’s executive powers. Senate Dems and the governor’s spokesperson responded. We’ve got the list of Repub priorities in the story, and the responses. (Forward Kentucky)
Beshear reflects on first year in office
Despite the numerous issues caused by COVID-19 this year, which brought many plans to a screeching halt, Gov. Andy Beshear says his priorities remain the same as when he first took office on Dec. 10, 2019. (Forward Kentucky)
Rep. Katie Porter calls out Mitch McConnell
Rep. Katie Porter, she of the marker board and the truth-finding questions, recently posted a Twitter thread calling out our own Mitch McConnell for his refusal to pass a relief package during the pandemic. We thought it was worth sharing. (Forward Kentucky)
US government, dozens of states (including Kentucky) file antitrust lawsuit to break up Facebook
Federal regulators on Wednesday sued Facebook, seeking forced divestment of its Instagram and WhatsApp messaging services. In a separate case, 46 states and two districts accused the company of abusing its market power in social networking to crush smaller competitors.
The FTC said Facebook has engaged in a “a systematic strategy” to eliminate its competition, including by purchasing smaller up-and-coming rivals like Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014. James echoed that in her press conference, saying Facebook “used its monopoly power to crush smaller rivals and snuff out competition, all at the expense of everyday users.” (WHAS)
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This Friday on “The State of Kentucky”
Do you feel like we are swimming in conspiracy theories, on both sides of the aisle? Why are they happening? And, what impact can they have on the polarization in our country? Join Dr. Jan Hillard as we discuss his insights on conspiracy theories, the election, and our society.
Recent Content on Forward Kentucky
[new] indicates item not in a Forward Five before
*indicates high # of reads, social media shares, or both
[new] The virus infecting the Body Politic, and how to deal with it – Our American Body Politic has spent the past four years infected by a Trump virus — authoritarian populism — at least as powerful as COVID-19. Yet Trump’s infection of our Republic has an unintended benefit. He shone a light on the chronic pre-existing condition in our American Body Politic. How do we heal ourselves? (Commentary)
[new] Finally, a better electoral map – We all know the standard red/blue electoral map. Unfortunately, it is based on land area in a state, rather than that state’s actual electoral votes. Here’s a better map from Le Monde, that uses actual Electoral College votes. (Feature)
[new] The very short and highly selective memory of the Trump supporter – Trump supporters contend that he has been vilified more than any other president, using a “We remember” meme to make their case. It’s time to answer their meme with some memories from us on the left. (Commentary)
The level of crazy continues to rise – The level of crazy in the post-election world is becoming more and more worrisome. Election officials all over the country have received death threats. And through it all, our president continues to rile up his followers, and to cower elected Republicans into silence. (Commentary)
12/8 update — New cases keep slacking, but ICUs in three hospital regions are in ‘a very precarious situation,’ Beshear says – As new cases of the novel coronavirus kept declining, Gov. Andy Beshear assured Kentucky hospitals not among the 11 slated for the first round of vaccines that they would get some in the second week of distribution. (News)
Youth vote up significantly in 2020; young people of color pivotal – Presidential election turnout among young people ages 18-29 reached 52-55%, significantly higher than the 45-48% turnout of 2016 – and in fact, may have helped make Biden competitive in a number of swing states. (News)
Municipal Equality Index — How did your city do? – Every year, the Human Rights Campaign releases their Municipal Equality Index. It is a survey of municipalities that scores each one on various criteria. Eight cities in Kentucky were scored this year. How did they (we) do? (News)
Despite voting restoration, many Kentuckians among thousands in Ohio Valley still disenfranchised – The Sentencing Project data shows Kentucky still has nearly 200,000 disenfranchised people, even after Beshear’s executive order: almost 6% of adults are ineligible to vote. (News)
*An open letter to Governor Beshear and the legislative leaders – Each side says the other is wrong. Perhaps there are actions all can take that would show leadership and not politics. (Commentary)
*Let’s talk about McConnell and fixing democracy … – Another solid video from Beau of the Fifth Column, on two ideas that would dramatically alter our democracy for the better. Takes about six minutes to watch. (Video)
*KY Repubs in Congress won’t admit Biden won – The fear that Republicans, including our Kentucky seven, have of both Donald Trump and his cult followers is both amazing and disheartening. If they continue to refuse to accept the results, they will do even more serious damage to our democracy. (News)
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)
*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)
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