The Forward Five – Friday, 12/11/20

Five Things to Know Today

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— Publisher’s Note —

Good morning! It’s not often that I put a commentary in the “Five Things” section of this newsletter. I prefer to keep that to news items. But there is a post on the site that I think is so important that I put it there today.

It’s entitled “Call it what is is – an attempted coup.” It is a summary of an article written by a sociologist at the University of North Carolina who is also a native of Turkey. As someone who has experience with actual coups, she has insights that most Americans probably don’t have.

And what she writes is detailed, thorough, and troubling.

Read the post. (Link below.) If you have time, read her entire article as well.

And let’s stop pussy-footing around about what is going on. It is not “the process playing out” or “Repubs being Repubs.” It is an attempted coup, an effort to seize control of the government through illegal means. Our democracy is under attack by one of the two major political parties, and the other major party needs to start calling it out.


One other small note this morning. We are a few days from ending our membership drive, and we’re still 9 memberships short of our goal. As one eagle-eyed reader pointed out, yesterday’s link to the Join page was broken. So, if you are ready to become a paying member and support our work, here is the CORRECT link:

Take care, stay safe, stay engaged. Share this newsletter with others if you think it is worth sharing. And as always, thank you for reading.

Bruce Maples, publisher
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Today’s Five Things to Know

12/10 update — Despite most new cases yet, and fuller hospitals, Beshear says pandemic trend remains better as he completes a year in office

On the first anniversary of his governorship, which has largely been consumed by the pandemic, Gov. Andy Beshear was reflective, combative, and informative: reflective about his first year in office, combative about the Republicans attacking him, and informative about vaccines. (Forward Kentucky)

McConnell torpedoes emerging bipartisan deal for pandemic relief, leaving Congress where it’s been for months: stuck

A bipartisan $900 billion COVID-19 aid package all but collapsed Thursday after McConnell said Republican senators won’t support aid to state and local governments. (Forward Kentucky)

Sen. Rand Paul delays defense bill vote over troop drawdowns

A Senate vote on a wide-ranging defense policy bill was delayed Thursday after Kentucky Republican Rand Paul objected to the measure, casting the next steps in doubt and raising the slim prospect of a government shutdown if a short-term spending bill caught up in the dispute is not approved by Friday.

Paul said on the Senate floor that he opposes provisions in the defense bill that would limit President Donald Trump’s ability to draw down U.S. troops from Afghanistan and Germany. His objections threatened another must-pass bill, a one-week spending measure that would keep the government open through Dec. 18. The House has passed the stopgap measure, but a government shutdown would occur if the Senate does not act on it by midnight Friday. (Kentucky Today)

Battleground states issue blistering rebukes to Texas’ lawsuit to invalidate millions of votes

Each of the four battleground states targeted by a Texas lawsuit seeking to overturn President Donald Trump’s election defeat issued blistering briefs at the Supreme Court on Thursday, with Pennsylvania officials going so far as to call the effort a “seditious abuse of the judicial process.”

The court filings from Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin come a day after Trump asked the Supreme Court to intervene in the lawsuit brought by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton seeking to invalidate millions of votes in their states. The lawsuit amounts to an unprecedented request for legal intervention in an election despite there being no evidence of widespread fraud.

“Texas’s effort to get this Court to pick the next President has no basis in law or fact. The Court should not abide this seditious abuse of the judicial process, and should send a clear and unmistakable signal that such abuse must never be replicated,” wrote Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro.

The Texas lawsuit, Shapiro said, rested on a “surreal alternate reality.” (WLKY)

Call it what is it – an attempted coup

The U.S. president is trying to steal the election, and, crucially, his party either tacitly approves or is pretending not to see it. This is a particularly dangerous combination, and makes it much more than just typical Trumpian bluster or norm shattering. We’re being tested, and we’re failing. (Forward Kentucky)

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TODAY 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.

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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] KDP chair Colmon Elridge interview, and the messed-up bar exam – This week Jazmin and Robert interviewed Colmon Elridge, the new chair of the Kentucky Democratic Party. Before the interview, they discussed issues around the Breonna Taylor case and COVID-19, as well as the very messed-up error in the Bar Exam scoring this year. (Podcast)

[new] “If you’ve never walked a picket line, you don’t understand shared sacrifice” – Bosses vote for anti-union politicians based on their economic self-interest. If more union members don’t vote on their livelihoods, the time will come when the union will be gone, and it will be low wages for everybody. (Commentary)

[new] Why shielding businesses from coronavirus liability is a bad idea – Congress may be close to a deal on another coronavirus bailout, but Republican demands for liability protections for businesses remain a major obstacle. My research suggests that fears of excessive litigation are unwarranted. (Policy)

[new] As open enrollment deadline looms, advocates sound alarm on short-term plans – Kentuckians without health insurance have until Dec. 15 to select a plan during open enrollment. Advocates urge consumers to be wary of short-term limited duration plans, which tend to be cheaper and typically last for three- to six-month intervals. (Backgrounder)

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. (News)

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. (Feature)

*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. (News)

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)

*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)

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)

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)

*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)

*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)

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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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