Issue March 18, 2008

What A Week: The City’s Weekly Zeitgeist Radar

+8
The House approved its version of the budget, restoring many of the cuts Gov. Beshear proposed. The new-math House version restores funding to universities, gives state workers and teachers a raise, includes funding for road construction, and avoids the most painful cuts in social services. The plan includes a 25-cent cigarette tax and a 6-percent sales tax on some services, whereas the Guv wants a 70-cent cigarette tax and deeper cuts. The discrepancy set off a polite debate between Beshear and Rep. Harry Moberly, D-Richmond, about which leader was the most disingenuous jagoff.

-5

If higher cigarette taxes make it easier for you to breathe, don’t get your hopes up. At the urging of Polluter-in-Chief George W. Bush, the EPA rejected its own scientists and set a pro-business, 75-parts-per-billion standard for ozone, which is a perpetual throat-tickler in Louisville.

+2
Judge John Heyburn rejected Louisville attorney Ted Gordon’s challenge to the Jefferson County Public Schools’ interim desegregation plan. Gordon, diversity’s hemorrhoid, claimed the plan uses a racial quota system and is therefore unconstitutional. The interim school-assignment plan will use geography to assign students, but doesn’t take into consideration any individual student’s race. Heyburn told Gordon to find a plaintiff and file a lawsuit if he wants to challenge the new plan, whereupon Gordon dashed off in pursuit of a passing ambulance.

-3
In economic news, oil prices continued to soar, gas rose to nearly $3.50 per gallon, and your mom threw away all your old baseball cards. Also, your Civic is fixin’ to blow a head gasket. With gold at $1,000, it might be time to hock that wedding ring.

WORLD-CLASSNESS: +2