The Forward Five – Monday, 12/14/20

Five Things to Know Today

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11 mins read
A container with insulated boxes of vaccine is rolled from a plane into UPS Worldport in Louisville. (photo provided by KY governor's office)

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— Publisher’s Note —

Good morning! Today, finally, maybe, the drama will be (almost) over. The normal process of concession and transition of the presidency has, like so much else, been trashed by Donald Trump and his minions. But today, when the Electoral College meets, we may finally see acceptance of the election by most people.

Some Republicans (a very few) are already signalling that today should be the end of it. McConnell hasn’t said anything, but the fact that no Kentucky Republicans joined the seditious Texas lawsuit is seen by some as an indication that he told them not to, because he knew the end was near.

The true end, of course, will be January 20th at noon. (If you want to know how long till then, we have a countdown widget on the home page.) But even that will not be the end-end; we’ll be dealing with Trump and Trumpism for a long time.

Will the Republican party continue to be the party of Trump? Will they continue to abandon their principles in order to stay on his good side? We shall see. But regardless, there has been real and lasting damage to our democracy and to our country. Rebuilding will take all of us – including conservatives.

::

On a different note – we had more readers become members over the weekend. We’ve now had 13 new members during this drive, which ends Wednesday. So, if you value what we do and want to see it keep going and even expand, become a member today and add your support to the mix. Just go to ForwardKY.com/Join to sign up.

Bruce Maples, publisher
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Today’s Five Things to Know


Weekend coronavirus updates


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

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. (Forward Kentucky)

12/13 update — First vaccinations expected Monday, but still a long rollout, so Beshear urges caution

As the first shipments of coronavirus vaccine arrived in Kentucky, Gov. Beshear again asked Kentuckians to “remain vigilant,” as it will still be months before the vaccines are widely available. (Forward Kentucky)


SCOTUS tosses ridiculous-but-dangerous Texas lawsuit

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. (Forward Kentucky)



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

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. (Forward Kentucky)


Oops – Google down

I use Google Drive to store a document with all the news items I’m following or considering including in the Forward Five – and all the Google services are down as I type this. So, I’m going to finish the FF by giving you the basic headlines. Sorry for the drop – technology is great when it works, and not so much when it doesn’t. 

🙃


Electoral College meets today

What is normally a pro-forma meeting is, this year, a significant moment. While there should NOT be any drama about this, the Trump attack on democracy has made this at least a little worrisome. Fortunately, there are certain rules and laws about “faithless electors” and how this is supposed to go. So, watch for news later today.


Vaccines arrive at UPS Worldport in Louisville

Louisville is part of history today, as the first shipments of coronavirus vaccines arrived there yesterday, to be re-packaged and shipped all over the country. This version of the vaccine has to be kept at a VERY cold temperature (-40 degrees Farenheit, I think), so part of the re-packaging and shipping involves large amounts of dry ice. We’ve got a story on the site, but other outlets have picture galleries that would be worth checking out.


Hate crime in Lexington

As the Chabad of the Bluegrass was preparing to light another candle on their menorah, a man in a car drive up yelling racial slurs and threatening to drive into the crowd, which included children. A member of the Chabad stepped in front of the children, and the man in the car grabbed his arm and dragged him down the street, then drove off. The dragged man was hospitalized, but before leaving for the hospital, insisted on staying to see the menorah lit.

Major and extensive hacking of U.S. systems

A Russian hacking team breached numerous government systems – the same group that hacked the DNC in 2016. The security breach has been ongoing for some months, but was just discovered. At this time, it is unknown what information they obtained or how widespread was the damage. Watch for more in the news.


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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] ‘Beginning of the end’: Kentucky receives first vaccine shipment – Sunday saw a major milestone in the fight against COVID-19, as the first shipment of vaccine arrived in Kentucky at the UPS Worldport. (News)

[new] The Donald Trump concession speech – From the Twitter account of Jimmy Fallon and the Tonight Show, here’s the concession speech we all deserve! Enjoy! (Satire, Video)

[new] TSOK – Conspiracy Theories and Our Society – Do you feel like we are swimming in conspiracy theories, on both sides of the aisle? Why are they happening? Join Dr. Jan Hillard on The State of Kentucky as we discuss his insights on conspiracy theories, the election, and our society. (Video)

🔥 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)

🔥 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. (News)

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)

“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)

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)

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)


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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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