The Weekly Wrap

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All the content from Forward Kentucky for the week ending 12/19

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— Callouts —

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

  • Two important stories on open records bills – Two bills have been pre-filed for the upcoming General Assembly that would damage or even destroy our open records laws. Each gets its own analysis, with the latter including a strong statement from the Kentucky Press Association.
    • Sorry – you can’t even know their names. – The opening shot in what may be a long legislative assault on open government has been fired. (Analysis)
    • New bill would obliterate open records laws, create extreme level of state secrets – A new bill filed by Rep. John Blanton would “turn open records upside down,” with some experts calling it “an extraordinarily extreme state secrets bill.” (Analysis)
  • League of Women Voters fights for fair maps, releases examples – The Kentucky League of Women Voters is working to get the word out about the need to push for fair maps in the upcoming redistricting process. As part of that effort, the League released example maps based on 2010 census data. This story explains what makes a district “fairer,” and includes two of the example maps. (Backgrounder)

— Posts in Order —

★ Most-read   🔥  Most-shared

12-18 update — Governor finalizes school reopening rules; all pandemic metrics down for day

News  ●  Kentucky Health News  ●  December 19, 2020

As the novel coronavirus ebbed slightly in Kentucky, Gov. Beshear finalized rules for reopening schools, and made them only advisory for private schools, precluding a renewed battle in federal courts.

★  🔥 Labor mourns the loss of Robert and Connie Coleman

News  ●  Berry Craig  ●  December 18, 2020

COVID-19 has claimed the lives of Paducah’s longest-serving elected city official and his community-activist wife of 48 years.

Can Trump still steal the election? And why are Repubs still supporting him?

Media  ●  DemList  ●  December 18, 2020

The Electoral College has voted, and it’s over, right? Then what’s up with Congress counting votes on January 6? Could Trump still steal it then? Join us as we talk with lawyer and analyst Teri Kanefield about that date, as well as why Republicans are still supporting Trump.

Good riddance to the grifter-in-chief

Commentary  ●  Berry Craig  ●  December 18, 2020

Trump’s populism was as phony as his hair hue. The whole thing was a schtick, carefully calculated to mask what he really is: a liar and a cheap hustler of the I’ve-got-mine-screw-you persuasion.

12/17 update — Beshear announces most Covid-19 deaths yet in one day, 54; hospitalizations and ventilator use are also at all-time highs

News  ●  Kentucky Health News  ●  December 18, 2020

The state announced more deaths, by far, from COVID-19 on Thursday than any day in the pandemic: 54. The previous record of 37 was set Dec. 2.

 🔥 Rand Paul is angry: “If you solicit votes from typically non-voters, you might affect the outcome”

Commentary  ●  Daily Kos  ●  December 17, 2020

Rand Paul is angry because Georgia is sending voting information to registered voters, and – horrors! – people might actually VOTE. How un-democratic!

Vaccines arrive, the KY budget, and Angie Hatton interview

Media  ●  My Old Kentucky Podcast  ●  December 17, 2020

This week, Jazmin and Robert talk about the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic. Robert also went through a report by KY Policy about the one-year budget the legislature must pass, and Jazmin updated the policing and protests situation in Louisville. Then, they interview Democratic House Whip Angie Hatton, who talked about Democrats in Appalachia and the difficulties faced by Democrats running outside of urban areas.

U.S. Supreme Court, 7-2, allows Beshear’s ban on in-person schooling to apply to religious schools, at least for the time being

News  ●  Kentucky Health News  ●  December 17, 2020

The U.S. Supreme Court declined Thursday to reinstate a Kentucky federal judge’s order exempting religious schools from Gov. Beshear’s ban on in-person teaching, on grounds that the case was largely moot.

Ky. high court rules internet gambling site owes state $1.3B

News  ●  Kentucky Today  ●  December 17, 2020

On a narrow 4-3 decision, the Kentucky Supreme Court has held that operators of an internet gambling website owes the state nearly $1.3 billion.

★ New bill would obliterate open records laws, create extreme level of state secrets

News  ●  Forward Kentucky  ●  December 17, 2020

A new bill filed by Rep. John Blanton would “turn open records upside down,” with some experts calling it “an extraordinarily extreme state secrets bill.”

12/16 update — 7-day average of new cases drops again, but ICUs have more patients than ever

News  ●  Kentucky Health News  ●  December 17, 2020

As the seven-day average of new cases fell for the fifth day in a row, and a vaccine reached all the hospitals getting it in the first round, the human impact of the pandemic rages on.

 🔥The seditious (yes I said it) acts of the Republican Party

Commentary  ●  Marshall Ward  ●  December 17, 2020

When a group wants to overturn a legitimate election and take over the government, what do you call that? Sedition. Marshall Ward calls it out, and looks at what to do about it.

"The Gerry-Mander", the political cartoon that led to the coining of the term Gerrymander. The district depicted in the cartoon was created by the Massachusetts legislature to favor the incumbent Democratic-Republican party candidates of Governor Elbridge Gerry over the Federalists in 1812. (by Elkanah Tisdale (often falsely attributed to Gilbert Stuart) [public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

League of Women Voters fights for fair maps, releases examples

News  ●  Christina Conover  ●  December 17, 2020

The Kentucky League of Women Voters is working to get the word out about the need to push for fair maps in the upcoming redistricting process. As part of that effort, the League released example maps based on 2010 census data.

★ Proud Boys, take note of what happened to the hippies

Commentary  ●  Catherine Hill  ●  December 16, 2020

While the Proud Boys may fancy themselves as fearsome warriors for the cause of liberty, or owning the libs or whatever, they would be wise to heed the fate of the 1960’s hippies.

Sorry – you can’t even know their names.

News  ●  Amye Bensenhaver  ●  December 16, 2020

The opening shot in what may be a long legislative assault on open government has been fired.

12/15 update — ‘Snot and spit … spread infection,’ health chief says as he advises us to ‘hunker down’ during the holidays

News  ●  Kentucky Health News  ●  December 16, 2020

Coronavirus cases in Kentucky appear to have plateaued, but infection rates remain high, and the state’s top doctor said Tuesday it’s too dangerous to travel.

★ Pandemic at ‘dangerous stage’ in Kentucky and nation, Birx says

News  ●  Kentucky Today  ●  December 16, 2020

Dr. Deborah Birx, response coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, met with Gov. Beshear and legislative leaders to discuss the pandemic, the vaccine, and where things go from here.

🔥 No-knock warrants and the “Castle Doctrine”

Commentary  ●  Guest Author  ●  December 15, 2020

If someone pounded on your door and kicked it open in the dark of night, what would you do? In Kentucky, it is legal to use lethal force to defend your home. What does this mean for no-knock warrants?

Unemployment insurance is our most important economic stabilizer. It’s time to remove the roadblocks.

Policy  ●  KY Policy  ●  December 15, 2020

Unemployment benefits are our most important economic tool during a downturn or depression. And yet, Kentucky’s system faces numerous roadblocks. It’s time to remove them.

Work on successful lawsuit against changes in Medicaid earns Rich Seckel a Kentucky Healthy Policy Champion award

News  ●  Kentucky Health News  ●  December 15, 2020

The point man in a lawsuit that blocked changes to Kentucky’s Medicaid program has been honored for his work by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.

12/14 update — Good news: First vaccines given in Ky.; plan to re-open schools announced; cases drop last week

News  ●  Kentucky Health News  ●  December 15, 2020

Calling it a “heck of a week,” Gov. Beshear hailed the first coronavirus vaccinations, announced plans to resume in-person schooling, and said last week’s lower case numbers showed his aggressive measures work.

★ Fact Check: Fox News host Laura Ingraham falsely claims restrictions on eating out are not supported by science

News  ●  Newswise  ●  December 14, 2020

TV host Laura Ingraham wrongly claimed restrictions on eating out are not supported by science. The claim is inaccurate. There is evidence that restaurants and bars are among the most common places for the virus spread.

Should Louisville Metro keep secret the applicants for LMPD chief?

News  ●  Amye Bensenhaver  ●  December 14, 2020

Two important questions: CAN Louisville Metro withhold the list of applicants currently being considered for the position of LMPD’s new chief? Even more important – SHOULD it?

Adams presides over Kentucky’s 2020 Electoral College vote

News  ●  Forward Kentucky  ●  December 14, 2020

At noon today, Secretary of State Michael Adams presided over the meeting of Kentucky’s Presidential Electors, whose eight votes went to Donald Trump for President and Michael Pence for Vice President.

Will today be the day it is finally over?

Publisher’s Blog  ●  Bruce Maples  ●  December 14, 2020

The true end, of course, will be January 20th at noon. But even that will not be the end-end; we’ll be dealing with Trump and Trumpism for a long time.

‘Beginning of the end’: Kentucky receives first vaccine shipment

News  ●  Kentucky Today  ●  December 14, 2020

Sunday saw a major milestone in the fight against COVID-19, as the first shipment of vaccine arrived in Kentucky at the UPS Worldport.

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

News  ●  Kentucky Health News  ●  December 13, 2020

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.

Image by State Dept. for Public Health map, relabeled by Ky. Health 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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