Heroin and heroic storytellers

Long after we knew that the war on drugs was an epic failure, data compiled by the Public Performance Safety Project of the non-partisan Pew Charitable Trusts cited unduly punitive state laws as the reason America incarcerates more citizens longer than any other nation. House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Tilley, D-Hopkinsville, led a crusade for … Continued

Heroin hardball

In a perfect Commonwealth, politics wouldn’t matter in the legislative quest to address the growing heroin epidemic. But politics mattered last year, when high hopes for anti-heroin legislation were dashed as Republican hopes of winning control of the House and Democratic fears of losing it complicated the process. This year, the governor’s mansion is at … Continued

Requiem for a King

Longtime Metro Council President Jim King didn’t just purport to love Louisville; he proved it by tirelessly toiling to improve our quality of life. Countless challenges kept him awake at night. While most of us slept, Jim puzzled over problems. He viewed politics as the art of the possible. Much to our benefit, he exhaustively … Continued

Hope for change

“Perhaps we cannot change the world, but I do not want the world to change me,” said Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor, Nobel Prize winner and author of 57 books. That is my mantra as we head into a new year of ominous challenges and exciting opportunities. My words and deeds shall also be informed … Continued

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