The Forward Five – Monday, 1/18/21
Five Things to Know Today
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— Publisher’s Note —
Good morning! Here’s a screenshot from the top of the home page of Forward Kentucky:
Yes, this is the last Monday of the worst presidency in the history of our country. And yes, we’ve been counting it down for over a month.
Noon on Wednesday cannot come soon enough. Getting Biden/Harris in, and Trump/Pence out, is going to be a “whew, we made it” moment. But, as Churchill once said, this is only the end of the beginning. We still have much, much work left.
I could try to make a list of all the things on our national to-do list, but it would overwhelm this note and your inbox. Here’s just a few headings: COVID, economy, Justice Department, NATO, Russia.
But … we also have to include working on justice for all, anti-racism, pro-democracy, civic culture, and a whole host of national values we have too long ignored. And we have to try to rebuild a shared world of reality and truth, where we all operate from the same facts, even if we don’t agree on the meaning of those facts.
The Trump presidency has revealed not just the shaky foundation of our democracy, but also the rot and termites throughout. It’s time we admit we have these problems, and figure out how to solve them.
Two days. And then, years.
Let us get to it.
Today’s Five Things to Know
Sunday’s pandemic report was much like Saturday’s, with most metrics showing a decline but death rates setting more records, likely in part the results of cases that were part of surges during recent holiday periods. (Forward Kentucky)
Amid fears of ‘insider’ attack, FBI vetting Guard troops in DC
U.S. defense officials say they are worried about an insider attack or other threat from service members involved in securing President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, prompting the FBI to vet all of the 25,000 National Guard troops coming into Washington for the event. (NextStar)
Lots of police and media, but few demonstrators at Kentucky Capitol
State capitals nationwide boosted security Sunday after the FBI warned of armed protests planned in all 50 states. But the Capitol building in Frankfort was all quiet Sunday afternoon, with media and law enforcement vastly outnumbering a few people who tried to enter the grounds and were turned away.
The Capitol grounds were closed Sunday, with only police cars and military vehicles allowed near the building. Kentucky State Police Sgt. Billy Gregory said they were prepared for whatever may happen, but they weren’t aware of any specific plans and no permits have been given, but the Capitol grounds are closed and the National Guard and KSP are on standby. (WFPL)
Stivers says legislature could negotiate with Beshear on emergency bills
Senate President Robert Stivers said there could be negotiations instead of overrides on bills limiting governor’s powers – if Beshear is willing to discuss. But the governor still says “changing the rules in the midst of a worldwide health pandemic seems like a bad idea.” (Forward Kentucky)
Republican Party of Kentucky planning special meeting to call on McConnell to support Trump
Via BG Politics Twitter: Over 30 county chairs and vice-chairs throughout the state of Kentucky have called for an immediate meeting of the state party leadership. The special meeting called today is to consider a proposed resolution calling on Sen. Mitch McConnell to fully support Pres. Trump and condemn the superflous and divisive second impeachment of Pres. Trump.
The coalition of county party leaders feel the vacuum the lack of support from McConnell is causing a rift. (sic) “It is time for the Kentucky Republican Party to let our people know we stand with President Trump,” said Don Thrasher, Chair of the Republican Party of Nelson County. Going on to add “we are going to see a mass exodus if Sen. McConnell doesn’t act in the best interest of the state party.”
RPK Chair Mac Brown responded to Thrasher this morning to say they are working on the logistics to hold a special meeting as soon as possible. No meeting date has been set.
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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] Trump can issue secret pardons. Can Beshear do the same? – Legal experts seem to agree that Donald Trump can secretly pardon whomever he wants. Does Governor Andy Beshear have the same power? (Analysis)
[New] Is impeaching President Trump ‘pointless revenge’? Not if it sends a message to future presidents – The impeachment of President Trump is an indication that there is a need to mark out, through a definitive statement, what no president ought to do. It will also set the moral limits of the presidency – and, thereby, send a message to future presidents who might be tempted to follow in President Trump’s footsteps. (Commentary)
[New] Blood on his hands – Deaths from the terrorist attack. Deaths of children in cages. Deaths from COVID. And yet … Donald Trump says he takes no responsibility. (Cartoon)
[New] Honoring Dr. King – As we face the flood of darkness together in the coming days, hold out your light. Hurry — our time on Earth is short, but the blink of an eye. I know we can finish the work of Dr. King, together. We must if we are to survive this terrible hate. The choice lies within each of our hearts. (Commentary)
[New] How self-proclaimed ‘prophets’ from a growing Christian movement provided religious motivation for the Jan. 6 events at the US Capitol – A particular segment of white evangelicalism has played a unique role in providing a spiritual justification for the movement to overturn the election which resulted in the storming of the Capitol. (News)
[New] The Confederate battle flag, which rioters flew inside the US Capitol, has long been a symbol of white insurrection – Confederate soldiers never reached the Capitol during the Civil War. But the Confederate battle flag was flown by rioters in the U.S. Capitol building for the first time ever on Jan. 6. The flag’s prominence in the Capitol riot comes as no surprise to those who, like me, know its history: Since its debut during the Civil War, the Confederate battle flag has been flown regularly by white insurrectionists and reactionaries fighting against rising tides of newly won Black political power. (Backgrounder)
[New] Attack, Impeachment – Now What? – It’s been a traumatic and historic time in our history. On this week’s The State of Kentucky, we talk with Cong. John Yarmuth and Prof. Josh Douglas about the attack on the Capitol, the vote to impeach, the strains on our democracy, and what comes next. Watch the video recording of the show, or listen to the podcast version.
[New] KYGA20 open-records-exception-bill resurfaces in KYGA21 – Current law already allows for an exception to open records statutes to protect privacy concerns. HB 293 is a solution in search of a problem. (Policy)
[New] 🔥 Impeachment committee meetings must be fully transparent – After observing the first meeting of the impeachment committee, any lingering hope that the committee would adhere to the requirements of the Open Meetings Act vanished. (Commentary)
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 would restore local control over tobacco and vaping ordinances. (News)
🔥 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. (News)
Unity – Nick Anderson sees the current calls for “unity” very clearly. (Cartoon)
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)
🔥 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)
🔥 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)
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