The Weekly Wrap

21 mins read

— Callouts —

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

  • Is what we do valuable to you? Then read this. – Is Forward Kentucky valuable to you? Do you rely on us for a objective news, as well as a progressive voice on issues facing Kentucky? Do you enjoy our writers, photographers, and cartoonists? Then read this article from our publisher. (Meta)
  • The GOP has lost its mind – and its soul – Part of the Republican party has become disconnected from reality. Another part has given up on the rule of law. And the rest of the party refuses to call them out on it. (Commentary)
  • PSA — Take the internet speed test. It’s important. – The folks in Frankfort want you to go take an internet speed test on their site. Why? So they can map which parts of the state need better internet, and begin working on it. Read this to learn more AND to go take it. (Action)

— Posts in Order —

 Most-read      🔥 Most-shared

KY House votes for plan requiring new teachers to work longer, pay more for retirement

Briefs  ●  Forward Kentucky  ●  February 6, 2021

The Kentucky House on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a Republican-backed bill that would change the teacher pension system for new hires, sending it to the Senate for consideration.

With leadership AWOL, future of Republican Party hangs in the balance

Commentary  ●  Bill Straub  ●  February 6, 2021

Reports about the impending death of the Republican Party are, as Twain once remarked about his own alleged demise, an exaggeration. But make no mistake, a reckoning is in the offing, the outcome of which will ultimately carry huge consequences.

Across the U.S., Republicans have already introduced over 100 voter suppression bills this year

Backgrounders  ●  Forward Kentucky  ●  February 6, 2021

Ari Berman reports on the GOP’s ongoing nationwide push to make voting more difficult — particularly for communities of color and other Democratic-leaning constituencies — and in some cases to empower state legislatures to overturn election results.

House impeachment committee dismisses two of three impeachment petitions against Gov. Beshear

News  ●  Kentucky Today  ●  February 6, 2021

The Kentucky House Impeachment Committee met behind closed doors for about three hours on Friday, then emerged to announce two of the three impeachment petitions filed against Gov. Andy Beshear have been dismissed.

2/5 update — Death trend at new high; new cases keep falling but average still high; positivity rate falls again

News  ●  Kentucky Health News  ●  February 6, 2021

Kentucky’s COVID-19 death trend reached a new high Friday, but the percentage of Kentuckians testing positive for the novel coronavirus dropped to a level not seen for five and a half weeks.

KYGA21 Calendar for 2/9

News  ●  Parker McGuffey  ●  February 6, 2021

Here is the published calendar for the General Assembly for Tuesday, February 9th.

Rep. Attica Scott making a point during her speech. (photo by Berry Craig)The performative politics of AG Cameron – an interview with Rep. Attica Scott

News  ●  Jada Csonka  ●  February 6, 2021

Rep. Attica Scott says that instead of “performative politics” by the AG and the legislature, we need real reform. It’s time for all the lawmakers, including Republicans, to step up and pass Breonna’s Law and the Maternal Care Act.

KY Repubs stand w/ QAnon supporter in House vote; chair of KDP responds

News  ●  Forward Kentucky  ●  February 5, 2021

All five Republican members of the U.S. House from Kentucky voted in support of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green in her fight to keep her committee assignments.

2/4 update — Four regional vaccine sites announced

News  ●  Kentucky Health News  ●  February 5, 2021

Working toward the day when there is enough vaccine supply for everyone, Kentucky is opening four more high-volume vaccination sites, bringing the state’s total to eight, with more in the works.

Overridden vetoes, impeachment hearings, and more

Media  ●  My Old Kentucky Podcast  ●  February 4, 2021

Jazmin and Robert discussed the legislature coming back into session and immediately overriding Andy Beshear’s vetoes, the impeachment committee’s meetings, a huge report on the Louisville Metro Police Department commissioned by Metro Louisville, and a COVID-19 update.

★  🔥 Why this year’s KDP reorganization is so important

Commentary  ●  Guest Author  ●  February 4, 2021

The KY Democratic Party is in the process of electing new leaders, from local to state levels. This member of the KDP Executive Committee explains why this is so critical this year.

2/3 update — Coronavirus metrics largely stable, but deaths still high

News  ●  Kentucky Health News  ●  February 4, 2021

As most of the metrics used to measure the coronavirus continued on a positive trend in the state, Kentuckians were encouraged to minimize their social contacts this Super Bowl weekend in order to thwart the virus.

🔥 Judge temporarily halts HB-1; Beshear issues statement

News  ●  Forward Kentucky  ●  February 4, 2021

After the legislature overrode his vetoes, Governor Beshear immediately filed a lawsuit asking for three of the bills to be overturned. On Wednesday, a judge issued an injunction blocking one of the three.

Bill advances that would raise the felony threshold for first time in over a decade

Press Release  ●  Forward Kentucky  ●  February 3, 2021

HB 126 advanced today out of the Judiciary Committee. The bill would raise KY’s felony threshold to something in line with other states. Included is a statement from KY Smart on Crime.

Biden is inheriting a wrecked economy, but Democrats have a record of avoiding recession and reducing unemployment

Policy  ●  The Conversation  ●  February 3, 2021

Historical data suggests that those who are concerned with the economy have reason to be fairly satisfied with the election results: The economy generally fares better under Democratic presidents.

The rainbow flag, symbol for gay rights (photo by Ludovic Bertron [CC BY 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons) Fighting for fairness in Kentucky

News  ●  Jada Csonka  ●  February 3, 2021

In the wake of executive orders across the country restoring LGBTQ rights, there is still an uphill battle being fought in Kentucky to ensure protections. We interview Chris Hartman on the outlook in our state this year.

Jewish lasers

Cartoon  ●  Guest Author  ●  February 3, 2021

Steve Greenberg imagines a conversation between Marjorie Taylor Greene and the “Camp Auschwitz” guy.

New lawsuit seeks to force Kentucky public schools to reopen during the pandemic

Briefs  ●  Forward Kentucky  ●  February 3, 2021

Via the C-J: Several Kentucky parents filed a lawsuit Tuesday that seeks to force public schools to halt any virtual instruction and reopen to in-person classes amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

2/2/ update — Legislature overrides vetoes of three bills limiting governor’s emergency powers; Beshear files lawsuit to nullify those new laws

News  ●  Kentucky Health News  ●  February 3, 2021

The Republican supermajority flexed its muscle and overrode Democratic Gov. Beshear’s vetoes of six bills, including three that limit emergency powers he says he needs to thwart the coronavirus pandemic.

🔥 Governor files lawsuit to stop bills limiting his ability to deal with COVID

News  ●  Forward Kentucky  ●  February 2, 2021

Immediately after the Kentucky General Assembly finished overriding all his vetoes, Governor Beshear filed a lawsuit to block the implementation of the bills limiting his ability to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

Coalition writes KY Senate with concerns about vaccine opt-out bill

News  ●  Forward Kentucky  ●  February 2, 2021

A coalition of 40 organizations from across Kentucky, including  a number of medical associations, sent a letter to KY senators opposing SB 8, a bill to make it easier to opt out of all vaccinations.

A scholar of American anti-Semitism explains the hate symbols present during the US Capitol riot

News  ●  The Conversation  ●  February 2, 2021

Some persons in the terrorist attack on the Capitol used anti-Semitic symbols, showing they hoped to trigger what is known as the “Great Revolution,” – a race war that would exterminate Jews.

🔥 House Dems Women’s Caucus files bills to improve health outcomes for new mothers, infants

Press Release  ●  Forward Kentucky  ●  February 2, 2021

Saying it is a moral imperative for Kentucky to improve health outcomes for new mothers and newborns alike, members of the House Democratic Women’s Caucus announced today a multi-pronged legislative plan they’re calling the Kentucky Maternal and Infant Health Project.

Activists call on new EPA to regulate Ohio River pollution

News  ●  Bruce Maples  ●  February 2, 2021

The Sierra Club is petitioning the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to create nutrient pollution standards for the Ohio River, on which five million residents rely for drinking water.

Petitioners file reply in support of Cameron impeachment

News  ●  Forward Kentucky  ●  February 2, 2021

The petitioners requesting impeachment of Attorney General Daniel Cameron have filed a response to the charges in his latest response, answering his attacks on the petitioners, the grand jurors, and the lawyers who filed the petition.

Sen. Mitch McConnell blasts GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene for her ‘loony lies’

Briefs  ●  Forward Kentucky  ●  February 2, 2021

Via the C-J: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell issued a sharp rebuke of Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, calling her views a “cancer for the Republican Party”

2/1 update — Leges tell Beshear they can talk after overriding vetoes; he says ‘See you in court’

News  ●  Kentucky Health News  ●  February 2, 2021

The dispute between Democratic Gov. Beshear and the Republican-controlled General Assembly over legislators’ efforts to limit his emergency powers during the pandemic is headed to court.

PSA – Volunteers needed to lobby on behalf of Breonna’s Law

Action  ●  Forward Kentucky  ●  February 2, 2021

Marine vet Sherman Neal is looking for a few good men or women.

Lawsuit: Court changed eviction hearings without telling tenants, then ruled against them

Briefs  ●  Forward Kentucky  ●  February 1, 2021

Via the C-J: District court changed the login for a virtual eviction meeting, then didn’t tell the defendants. Now the court is being sued.

Budget, gambling among issues for lawmakers in 2nd part of session

News  ●  Kentucky Today  ●  February 1, 2021

Lawmakers return to Frankfort on Tuesday, to begin the second part of the 2021 General Assembly with a state budget, gambling, and veto overrides among items to be addressed.

Commentary  ●  Bruce Maples  ●  February 1, 2021

Part of the Republican party has become disconnected from reality. Another part has given up on the rule of law. And the rest of the party refuses to call them out on it.

Will the GOP finally outlaw conversion torture in Kentucky? Will Christendom?

Commentary  ●  Berry Craig  ●  February 1, 2021

Will the GOP legislature finally outlaw the barbaric and widely-discredited practice of trying to change a person’s sexual orientation? How about Christians across the state?

From Know-Nothings to QAnon

Commentary  ●  Marshall Ward  ●  February 1, 2021

A major American political party embraces conspiracy theories and gains power, even though the theories are demonstrably false. Has it happened before? And what happened to that party?

★ Coalition sends letter to KYGA calling for higher tax rate on HHR slot machines

Policy  ●  Forward Kentucky  ●  February 1, 2021

Did you know that Kentucky taxes “historical horse racing” slot machines at MUCH LESS than other states? And that HHRs are experiencing explosive growth? It’s time to tax them at a fair rate.

★  AG files motion, impeachment petitioners file three

News  ●  Forward Kentucky  ●  February 1, 2021

Over the weekend, the legal team for AG Cameron filed a lengthy motion to dismiss the impeachment petition. This morning, the petitioners responded with three motions of their own.

Is what we do valuable to you? Then read this.

Meta  ●  Bruce Maples  ●  February 1, 2021

Is Forward Kentucky valuable to you? Do you rely on us for a objective news, as well as a progressive voice on issues facing Kentucky? Do you enjoy our writers, photographers, and cartoonists?

Brief — Which KY politicos might challenge Andy Beshear and Rand Paul?

Briefs  ●  Forward Kentucky  ●  February 1, 2021

With no elections in 2021, politicians are spending their time elbowing, jostling, and positioning themselves for potential candidacies in 2022 and beyond.

Young Kentuckians call on lawmakers to invest in kids

News  ●  Kentucky News Connection  ●  February 1, 2021

Young people and their advocates are participating in a weeklong series of virtual events urging Kentucky lawmakers to prioritize kids’ safety, health, education and economic well-being in this year’s legislative session.

Dear legislators — We need voting districts that make sense.

Commentary  ●  Guest Author  ●  February 1, 2021

We need better voting maps. If one looks at the current map for Congress, for example, it would not be beyond the pale to question what kind of idiocy prevailed that produced it.

🔥 Other states impeaching their govs – but KY’s looks further along

News  ●  Forward Kentucky  ●  February 1, 2021

Governors in at least four other states have had impeachment petitions filed against them. And yet, none of those seem to have gotten as far as Kentucky’s.

1/31 update — Sharp drop in hospital cases, every measure declines – but variants loom

News  ●  Kentucky Health News  ●  January 31, 2021

Every common measure of the pandemic in Kentucky declined Sunday, perhaps most notably the number of COVID-19 patients in Kentucky hospitals.

PSA — Take the internet speed test. It’s important.

News  ●  Forward Kentucky  ●  January 31, 2021

The folks in Frankfort want you to go take an internet speed test on their site. Why? So they can map which parts of the state need better internet, and begin working on it. Read this to learn more AND to go take it.

Need for LMPD transparency apparently doesn’t extend to open records

Commentary  ●  Amye Bensenhaver  ●  January 31, 2021

While everyone acknowledged the importance of transparency when the LMPD audit was released, there is not a single reference to the open records law, and LMPD’s flouting of it, anywhere in the 155-page report.

★ Why KY teachers should care who the Commerce secretary is

Commentary  ●  Ivonne Rovira  ●  January 31, 2021

Rhode Island governor Gina Raimondo has been tapped to be the new Commerce Secretary. Why should KY teachers care? Because of what she did to Rhode Island’s pension funds.

JCTA elections wrap up this week

News  ●  Forward Kentucky  ●  January 31, 2021

As one of the largest unions in the state, the elections for officers of the Jefferson County Teachers Association are always important. So, as a service to the JCTA members, here are the candidates for this year’s elections.

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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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