The Forward Five – Wednesday, 1/6/21

Five Things to Know Today

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— Publisher’s Note —

Good morning! There are moments in time that are like the fork in the road in the Frost poem, or like Caesar crossing the Rubicon. Sometimes, like the fork in the road, we don’t see their significance until long after the choice was made. Other times, like the Rubicon, we know that the decision is momentous.

We are living through some of those moments. Yesterday’s elections in Georgia was a historic choice: would we have more years of McConnell sabotaging the Senate and blocking bills, or would we have a chance to move the Biden agenda forward?

And, let’s not ignore the history being made as well. Raphael Warnock is the first Black senator elected from Georgia ever, and the first Black Democrat to represent any state from the Old South. Jon Ossoff is Georgia’s first-ever Jewish senator.

For a final historic moment, remember the civil rights giant John Lewis, and consider this: Rev. Warnock was John Lewis’s pastor. And Ossoff was an intern for John Lewis.

Assuming that both races are finally called for the Democrats, we will have a 50-50 Senate, which means VP Kamala Harris will be the tie-breaker, thus giving control of the chamber to the Democrats. McConnell will once again be Minority Leader, and Chuck Schumer will be Majority Leader. All the committees will have Democratic chairs. And Biden will have a chance at both moving his agenda forward, and getting his cabinet appointees and judge nominations heard and approved.

But as much as I would love to just sit and savor this moment for a while, we have another historic moment upon us today: the counting of electoral votes. Assuming that Congress follows the rules, there is no way that today can change the outcome of the election. Even so, some Republicans have guaranteed us a large amount of political theatre. Let us hope that in the end, we can celebrate the end of this process as well.

Keep washing those hands, wearing your mask, and staying safe. See you tomorrow morning.

Bruce Maples, publisher
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Today’s Five Things to Know

Democrats are on track to win both Georgia runoffs and retake the Senate

In an historic election with consequences that will reverberate for years, Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff are poised to flip two Republican-held Senate seats in Georgia and hand control of the chamber to Democrats for the first time since 2014. (Forward Kentucky)

Legislators file bills to limit Beshear’s powers, citing lack of consultation; one accuses him of falsifying data to scare people

On the first day of #KYGA21, legislators filed bills to limit the governor’s emergency powers, and some said Beshear was about to pay the price for not consulting with them about pandemic measures. (Forward Kentucky)

1/5 update — Positivity rate keeps going up, but Beshear says schools can safely open to in-person learning if they follow guidelines

Also, Beshear shared updates on vaccine allotments, and Mark Carter gave an update on contract tracing work. (Forward Kentucky)

Rally-goers (all 12 of them) leave signs outside Capitol threatening Gov. Beshear

A small anti-Beshear rally was held at the Kentucky capitol today, calling for Governor Beshear to be impeached. But at least one sign went further. (Forward Kentucky)

Patriot caravan’ protesting Trump’s election loss heads to Washington from Louisville

With President Donald Trump flags in tow, dozens of people gathered Tuesday morning by the Oxmoor Center in Louisville with plans to caravan to the nation’s capital to protest the results of the presidential election.

More than 50 cars departed from the parking lot of the Kohl’s store near the shopping center just before 9:30 a.m. to make the trip to Washington, D.C., to support Trump and his efforts to overturn his loss to President-elect Joe Biden in the November election. (Courier-Journal)

Other KYGA21 News and Stuph

Stories about the 2021 General Assembly that didn’t make the Five Things list.

KYGA21 Snippets — January 5 (Day 1)

The “KYGA21 Snippets” series are compilations of small news items, side notes, tweets, and other things that don’t need a full story on their own. (Forward Kentucky)

KYGA21 – Priority bills by chamber

In the Kentucky General Assembly, the majority party typically is given the first five bill slots to use for their top priorities for that session. Here are the top five bills as filed in each chamber. (Forward Kentucky)

Reps. Willner and DuPlessis file a bill creating training and background checks for bouncers

Exactly one year after a constituent of hers died following an altercation at Nowhere Bar in Louisville, state Rep. Lisa Willner filed legislation today that would require bouncers to meet minimum criteria before being hired. (Forward Kentucky)

Lawmakers required to wear masks during Kentucky legislative session

Republican leaders of the Kentucky General Assembly say they will require lawmakers to wear masks during this year’s legislative session amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Forward Kentucky)

Recent Content on Forward Kentucky

[new] indicates item not in a Forward Five before
🔥 indicates high # of reads, social media shares, or both

[New] Top 10 open govt stories — numbers #5 and #4 – We continue our series of the Top Ten open government stories of 2020 with numbers 5 and 4: law enforcement agencies and the General Assembly. (Commentary)

Repubs coming after Beshear’s emergency powers; Beshear responds – Legislative leaders made their comments in an hour-long show on KET, which was followed by a separate hour-long interview with Governor Beshear. (News)

1/4 update — Plans made to increase pace of vaccinations and who’s next in line to get it; meanwhile, cases and positive-test rates increase – Beshear and Dr. Stack said that people 60 and older, all essential workers, and those in the highest risk groups will be next in line to get the vaccine. Meanwhile, the latest pandemic numbers are high. (News)

The KY120 Rundown — KYGA21 preview with Rep. Angie Hatton and Rep. Cherlynn Stevenson – KY 120 United did a live Facebook interview with two Democratic state reps to talk about KYGA21. Watch the episode to be ready for the session, which kicks off on Tuesday! (Video)

Are our students being “brainwashed by leftists”? Or lied to by right-wing propagandists? – Trump has set up a “commission” to “fix” our history education. There’s nothing wrong with a commission to discuss how we teach and present the past. But when Trump calls for “patriotic education,” that’s nothing more than propaganda. (Commentary)

🔥 Poll shows strong support for Beshear. Repub leges? Not so much. – A recent poll shows continued strong overall support for Beshear, as well as for COVID actions. The same poll, however, showed a low level of approval for the Republicans running the state legislature. (News)

The virus didn’t defeat America. MAGA freedom did. – We have been the planet’s most egregious cautionary tale on what not to do, how not to navigate this crisis – on how patriotism can become nationalism and nationalism can become deadly to a nation. (Commentary)

🔥 When Trump leaves, will the GOP swear off Trumpism? – Think again, warns Bill Straub, a Kentucky Journalism Hall-of-Famer. “The Republican Party is the party of Donald Trump. It has transformed entirely from the Reagan profile to the Trump profile.” (Commentary)

🔥🔥 Steve Schmidt: “January 6th will be the beginning of the end of the GOP” – Steve Schmidt, the former Republican strategist and newly minted member of the Democratic Party, explains how the January 6th episode will spell doom for the Republican Party. (Commentary)

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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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