The Weekly Wrap for 12/5 to 12/12

19 mins read

All the content from Forward Kentucky for the week ending 12/12

— Special notes for this week —

  • Our two-week membership drive ends this Wednesday. Eleven people have said they value the work we do by becoming paying members. If you are not a paying member, would you support our work by becoming one? The Basic membership is just $3 a month, and gives you access to all our content (no paywall!). Just go to the Join page to sign up.
  • And, you can now give gift subscriptions to Forward Kentucky! These are the perfect gift for the political junkie in your life. Each gift subscription lasts one year, and gives the recipient full access to our site for that year. You can even set the date that the recipient gets the email telling them of the gift! Give a gift subscription to Forward Kentucky.

— Callouts —
Things on the site we want to be sure you see,
out of everything published this week.

  • 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. (Analysis)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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. (Video)

— Posts in Order —
★ Most-read    🔥 Most-shared

12/11 update — Positivity rate drops below 9%; hospital cases decline, but a record number are ventilated

News  ●  Kentucky Health News  ●  December 12, 2020

The percentage of Kentuckians testing positive for the novel coronavirus dropped for the eighth consecutive day, to 8.86%, a decline of 1.21 percentage points since the record of 10.07% set on Dec. 3.

The Donald Trump concession speech

Media  ●  Guest Author  ●  December 12, 2020

From the Twitter account of Jimmy Fallon and the Tonight Show, here’s the concession speech we all deserve! Enjoy!

Wonders never cease – no KY Repubs involved in ridiculous-but-dangerous Texas lawsuit

Commentary  ●  Bruce Maples  ●  December 12, 2020

Texas filed a lawsuit designed to install Trump as president. The attorneys general and representatives from other Republican states joined in. But our KY Repubs? They passed.

SCOTUS tosses ridiculous-but-dangerous Texas lawsuit

News  ●  Bruce Maples  ●  December 12, 2020

The Supreme Court shut down the Texas lawsuit that asked them to throw out election results, refusing to even hear the case, and saying Texas did not have standing to sue.

TSOK – Conspiracy Theories and Our Society

Media  ●  The State of Kentucky  ●  December 11, 2020

Do you feel like we are swimming in conspiracy theories, on both sides of the aisle? Why are they happening? Join Dr. Jan Hillard as we discuss his insights on conspiracy theories, the election, and our society.

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

News  ●  Kentucky Health News  ●  December 11, 2020

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.

KDP chair Colmon Elridge interview, and the messed-up bar exam

Media  ●  My Old Kentucky Podcast  ●  December 11, 2020

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.

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

News  ●  Kentucky Health News  ●  December 11, 2020

On the first anniversary of his governorship, which has largely been consumed by the pandemic, Gov. Andy Beshear was reflective, combative, and informative.

Call it what is it – an attempted coup

Commentary  ●  Daily Kos  ●  December 10, 2020

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.

“If you’ve never walked a picket line, you don’t understand shared sacrifice”

Commentary  ●  Berry Craig  ●  December 10, 2020

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.

Why shielding businesses from coronavirus liability is a bad idea

News  ●  The Conversation  ●  December 10, 2020

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.

As open enrollment deadline looms, advocates sound alarm on short-term plans

News  ●  Kentucky News Connection  ●  December 10, 2020

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.

Repubs share priorities for legislative session; Dems, governor spokesperson respond

News  ●  Forward Kentucky  ●  December 10, 2020

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.

12/9 update — Positive-test rate drops for 6th straight day

News  ●  Bruce Maples  ●  December 10, 2020

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 reflects on first year in office

News  ●  Kentucky Today  ●  December 10, 2020

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.

The virus infecting the Body Politic, and how to deal with it

Commentary  ●  Marshall Ward  ●  December 9, 2020

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?

★ Finally, a better electoral map

News  ●  Bruce Maples  ●  December 9, 2020

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.

🔥 Rep. Katie Porter calls out Mitch McConnell

Commentary  ●  Forward Kentucky  ●  December 9, 2020

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.

The very short and highly selective memory of the Trump supporter

Commentary  ●  Daily Kos  ●  December 9, 2020

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.

★ The level of crazy continues to rise

Commentary  ●  Bruce Maples  ●  December 9, 2020

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.

12/8 update — New cases keep slacking, but ICUs in three hospital regions are in ‘a very precarious situation,’ Beshear says

News  ●  Kentucky Health News  ●  December 9, 2020

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.

Marshall Co. native Carmack to head up McConnell’s staff

News  ●  Kentucky Today  ●  December 8, 2020

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Louisville) announced on Tuesday that he has named Terry Carmack as the next chief of staff of his personal office in Washington, D.C., effective next month.

Youth vote up significantly in 2020; young people of color pivotal

News  ●  Newswise  ●  December 8, 2020

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.

Municipal Equality Index — How did your city do?

News  ●  Forward Kentucky  ●  December 8, 2020

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?

Despite voting restoration, many Kentuckians among thousands in Ohio Valley still disenfranchised

News  ●  Ohio Valley Resource  ●  December 8, 2020

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.

An open letter to Governor Beshear and the legislative leaders

Commentary  ●  Bruce Maples  ●  December 8, 2020

It’s not just us

Publisher’s Blog  ●  Bruce Maples  ●  December 8, 2020

I’ve been worried lately about our readership numbers, which have fallen off a cliff since the election. The paywall? The holidays? Here’s how I figured out it wasn’t just us.

Kentuckians lost to ‘evil virus’ honored at the Capitol

News  ●  Kentucky Today  ●  December 8, 2020

A wreath-laying ceremony outside the state Capitol on Monday honored the 200,000 Kentuckians who have tested positive for COVID-19, and especially the more than 2,000 who have died.

12/7 update — Beshear says numbers show restrictions work, but awaits effect of Thanksgiving

News  ●  Kentucky Health News  ●  December 8, 2020

After announcing that last week set a record for coronavirus cases and COVID-19 deaths in Kentucky, Gov. Andy Beshear offered a bit of cautious hope that the rate of growth could be leveling off.

KDP staff unionized, but Exec Committee not part of process

News  ●  Forward Kentucky  ●  December 7, 2020

Multiple sources have told Forward Kentucky that when the staff of the Kentucky Democratic Party joined a union, the State Central Executive Committee was not involved at all during the process. The SCEC did not learn of the decision until after it had happened.

Let’s talk about McConnell and fixing democracy …

Media  ●  Guest Author  ●  December 7, 2020

Another solid video from Beau of the Fifth Column, on two ideas that would dramatically alter our democracy for the better.

Conspiracy and the 2020 presidential election — how do we end polarization?

News  ●  KY Forward  ●  December 7, 2020

The current wave of conspiracy theories about the presidential election reveal a deeper problem: the significant polarization in our country. How can we address this?

Beshear files defense of K-12 school closings with U.S. Supreme Court

News  ●  WFPL  ●  December 7, 2020

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.

12/6 update — Data suggest latest surge is slowing; half of state’s 200,000 total cases came in last month and a half

News  ●  Kentucky Health News  ●  December 7, 2020

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.

Beshear needs a new approach to get Kentuckians to heed warnings and follow rules to prevent spread of the virus

Commentary  ●  Al Cross  ●  December 6, 2020

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.

12/5 update — Worst week yet for coronavirus cases, and 23 more COVID-19 deaths

News  ●  Kentucky Health News  ●  December 6, 2020

Kentucky has had more new cases of the novel coronavirus this week than any other, Gov. Andy Beshear announced Saturday.

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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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