The Forward Five – Friday, 1/15/21

Five Things to Know Today

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— Publisher’s Note —

Good morning! As the days progress since the insurrection attack on our nation’s Capitol, some things are becoming clear:

  • It was worse than was originally reported, as more and more details and videos are released.
  • It could have been MUCH worse even than it was, if not for Capitol Police getting lawmakers and staff to safe locations. Remember there were zipties, guns, and a gallows.
  • There are increasing indications that it was planned long in advance, that some of the leaders of it were paid, and that there were people inside the Capitol who knew about the plans and helped with the insurrection.

Think about that last sentence. There is a possibility that staffers, or even elected representatives or senators, were involved.

In other words, it was an inside job.

One representative saw groups of people being given “tours” of the Capitol the day before the attack – which would have been a normal sight, except tours have been shut down since March due to COVID. She was so alarmed at what looked to her like “reconnaissance” groups that she reported them to the Sergeant at Arms (who is responsible for security). She and others are now demanding an investigation.

And, more than one congressional office has reported that their “panic buttons” had been removed before the day of the attack.

There is much more here than I have space to lay out. It may be rumor, or it may be overblown. But consider if it is true. Consider if there was a plan to bring deadly force into the Capitol building, to attack our elected officials, and some of the other elected officials helped with the attack. We would absolutely be in unprecedented and dangerous waters.

Democrats are so interested in community and unity that they often try to ignore or gloss over wrong-doing by others. But now, many Democrats are furious, and are demanding accountability. (See Nick Anderson’s cartoon on the subject, below.) It is the Republicans who are calling for “unity” and “moving on.”

I, too, am one to try to avoid some fights, and to give grace to others as much as possible. But this is not the time for that. This is the time for truth-finding and truth-telling. This is the time for investigations, and charges, and convictions. This is the time to begin the hard work of restoring our democracy, and part of that work is saying “we don’t do these things in this country.”

More violence may be coming. (Let us pray not.) Be alert, be vigilant, and stay safe.

Bruce Maples, publisher
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TODAY on “The State of Kentucky”

It’s been a traumatic and historic time in our history. We talk with Congressman John Yarmuth and Dr. Josh Douglas about the attack on the Capitol, the vote to impeach, the strains on our democracy, and what comes next. Serious talk with serious people on serious subjects. Join us live at noon, or catch the recording on

YouTube link   ●   Facebook link

Today’s Five Things to Know

1/14 update — On a day with many COVID deaths, governor touts progress, optimism about rollout of coronavirus vaccines

As the specter of COVID-19 deaths grew larger, Gov. Andy Beshear announced progress on getting Kentuckians vaccinated to quell the pandemic, including a new statewide vaccination program with Kroger. Dr. Stack thanked people for the “outpouring of support” he and his family had received after the vandalism at his home. And, Beshear discussed the use of the National Guard to protect the Kentucky Capitol. (Forward Kentucky)

Ky. National Guard will be in DC, State Capitol on inauguration day

KY National Guard is sending 270 members to Washington for the Jan. 20 inauguration of President-Elect Joe Biden. In addition, the Guard will be assisting with security at the Kentucky Capitol. (Forward Kentucky)

Kentucky bill would make social media companies liable for ‘censoring’ users

Days after Twitter banned President Donald Trump from its platform for inciting a violent raid at the U.S. Capitol, two Kentucky state lawmakers have filed legislation to make companies liable for similar bans. Senate Bill 111, co-sponsored by Republican Sens. Robby Mills and Phillip Wheeler, would make a user entitled to damages if a social media platform deletes or “censors” religious or political posts.

Companies like Twitter and Facebook would also not be allowed to “shadowban” users, meaning to adjust algorithms to make others less likely to see questionable content. If sued, the bill says, platforms would be expressly prohibited from justifying their actions by claiming a user posted “hate speech.” In the bill, “hate speech” is defined as “a phrase concerning content that an individual finds offensive based on his or her personal moral code.” (Courier-Journal)

‘It’s time to start changing’: Kentucky senators propose bipartisan commission on race

A bipartisan group of Kentucky legislators says it’s time to start reducing longstanding racial disparities between white and minority residents. On Wednesday, 11 senators filed a bill to establish a commission on race that would analyze inequities across various sectors — including health, education and criminal justice — and offer solutions to improve opportunities for Black and brown Kentuckians. In interviews with The Courier Journal, two Republican co-sponsors of the legislation praised it as a much-needed step toward correcting racial inequities many members of the predominantly white body have long ignored.

But state Rep. Attica Scott, a Democrat from Louisville, criticized the commission, saying it’s nothing more than “performative politics.” “To me, this is disingenuous,” said Scott, who has filed several race-related bills during her career, none of which has ever reached a committee for discussion. “They’re not doing the work even to understand why this piece of legislation is unnecessary.” (Courier-Journal)

KY counties seek local control of tobacco marketing, sales

A dozen states, including Kentucky, have laws on the books preempting local tobacco ordinances. These bills in KYGA21 would restore local control over tobacco and vaping ordinances. (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] A medal for Presidential lickspittles and look-alikes – What if Trump, his time almost up, got busy and made the Presidential Medal of Freedom retroactive back into history? What kindred spirits might he choose? Here’s a Trumpian list. (Commentary)

[New] Kentucky PSC limits utility rate increase and protects rooftop solar – for now – Kentuckians for the Commonwealth and others have been pushing the Public Service Commission on a number of issues. On Wednesday, the PSC agreed with KFTC on a number of those issues. (News)

[New] Emerge announces most diverse class in program’s history – Emerge Kentucky is proud to announce its 12th class, a group of 27 women that hails from across the state and is the most diverse class in the program’s history, with over half being Black women and women of color. (Press Release)

[New] Holding our breath – Six days to inauguration; seven days to possibly convicting. Why go ahead with impeachment if he’s out? Here’s why. (PubBlog)

[New] Unity – Nick Anderson sees the current calls for “unity” very clearly. (Cartoon)

[New] Gov. Andy Beshear interview, and discussion with Bruce Maples on the legislative session – This week, out guest is Governor Beshear! Topics: his first year; deciding to run for office; his approach to COVID-19; the investigation into Breonna Taylor’s killing; and his relationship to the legislature. We also discussed KYGA21 with Bruce Maples, including the bills that have already passed, the budget, and the GOP’s impeachment committee. (Podcast)

🔥 Yarmuth statement on second impeachment of President Trump – Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3) released this statement regarding today’s House of Representatives vote to impeach President Donald J. Trump for the second time. (Press Release)

🔥 Goforth impeachment petition filed; more coming – An impeachment petition has been filed against state Rep. Robert Goforth (R-89), asking that he be impeached for “misdemeanors in office.” (News)

So much for the so-called “Law-and-Order, Back-the-Badge, Pro-Life” party – Republicans as the “law-and-order” party? The “back-the-badge” party? The “pro-life” party? Uhm, not so much. (Commentary)

🔥 14th Amendment also applies to state electeds. Do any KY legislators fit the requirements? – There’s a lot of buzz about using the 14th Amendment against both the insurrectionists and the persons who incited the attack. But did you know the 14th also applies to STATE legislators? (Commentary)

🔥 A moving reflection by Arnold Schwarzenegger on Wednesday’s events, the enablers, and our country – Kristallnacht. Brownshirts. Men who were ashamed of what they had done, and who they had become. And, what we have to do to get past Wednesday’s events. (Video)

🔥 Dear Speaker Osborne – You CHOSE to take up impeachment. But, we have an answer. – Speaker Osborne said he HAD to entertain the request for impeachment of the Governor by appointing a special committee. The truth is, he did not. But, if he’s going to take that position, let’s take him at his word! (Commentary)

🔥 An honest assessment of the Kentucky Democratic Party from the youngest person in leadership – Ariana Velasquez was elected to the KDP executive committee when she was 17 and in high school. Now, five years later, she shares some insights she has gained as to how to make KDP better. (Commentary)

Image by Nick Anderson

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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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