Precious casualties of a cruel year

First, the bad news: the nation went markedly madder this year. The good news is that we’ve always recovered — even from draconian surges of madness and sadness. We seem to delight in recklessly pushing the limits of risk, then averting the cataclysm just shy of oblivion. Teenagers play chicken. Politicians play brinksmanship. Whatever the … Continued

Is income inequality intractable?

Two days before Thanksgiving, the Pope addressed the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. But he might as well have been speaking to the Congress about the United States. “We encounter a general impression of weariness and aging, of a Europe that is now ‘a grandmother,’ no longer fertile and vibrant,” he said. “The great ideas … Continued

Gratitude for beloved immortals

It’s been an unexpectedly cold and cruel year. Too suddenly and too soon, we lost legends of literature, poetry, stage and screen including Philip Seymour Hoffman, Maya Angelou, Robin Williams and Joan Rivers. A week ago, director Mike Nichols succumbed to a heart attack. Mercifully, these bigger-than-life luminaries survive through their masterpieces. What’s more, we … Continued

A pyrrhic victory

On election night, Mitch betrayed no lingering malice against Alison. Recycling phrases following Bruce Lunsford’s “spirited campaign” against him six years ago, he said, “She earned a lot of votes. And she earned my respect.” Then the master of political arson issued the ultimate understatement: “Because of the business we’re in, it also meant that … Continued

Ding-dong, the wicked Mitch

The final week is nigh. Election Day will arrive — if we survive all the lies. As inspirational as this abysmal campaign is, my imagination is too fried for simple-minded rhyming. Expectations couldn’t have been lower amid dismal predictions of a race to the bottom. Freighted by tons of money from undisclosed sources, the submarines … Continued

More reasons to ditch Mitch

With a straight face, Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell told KET’s statewide audience, “Secretary Grimes’ whole campaign has been designed to deceive people into thinking she’s someone she isn’t.” I had to laugh at the irony of the chameleon-aire seeking to soil his challenger with his own DNA during Monday night’s hourlong debate. It’s Mitch’s … Continued

State of hyper-piety

When state lawmakers return to Frankfort and the games reconvene in January, they will turn their backs on “God” in committee rooms. According to an amendment sponsored by Republican Sen. Albert Robinson Jr. of Laurel County and signed into law by the governor on April 10, “The Legislative Research Commission shall display the national motto … Continued

Chronicling Mconnell’s devolution

Hello Mitch: Don’t look now, but your second biography is out this week. Unlike the first, “Republican Leader” by John David Dyche, this one scores a direct hit, showing how while America and Kentucky lose, you keep winning. Your campaign predictably dismissed it. “We clearly have not been provided an advanced copy of the book … Continued

VA Plot Must Be Buried

My father didn’t get what he wanted. Gordon L. Shaw, Sr., an attorney and World War II veteran, wanted to be cremated. But when he died of a massive heart attack at age 50, his mother insisted that his body be buried. My devastated mother, intent on keeping peace in the family, reluctantly deferred to … Continued

JCPS Needs Its Diesel

Diesel smokes a cigar with psychiatric staff as breezily as she drives a fork deep into a dinner table to punctuate a point. They’re dealing with “dangerously sick people,” after all. So it comes as no surprise when we learn that Diesel is a dominatrix. In a hilariously PG-rated BDSM scene, Dr. Montague (Harvey Korman) … Continued