Thorns & Roses: The Worst, Best And Most Absurd (5/19)

Thorn: Whatever Fits The Narrative 

U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie, the 4th District wildcard who is basically just a walking thorn for his antics — and usually just whatever exits his mouth — wrote a letter with his Texas pal Rep. Chip Roy about the Insurrection. They wrote that: “hyper-politicization of the events on January 6th may incentivize prosecutors to use overly aggressive tactics, overcharge, and abuse the power of the federal government in order to satisfy favored political groups.” In the letter they did vaguely denounce the worst of the actions, but let’s remember: in the days after Jan. 6, Massie talked to the media about being there, grabbing a gun and having to lock himself and his staffers in his office, plus the sad series of events that led to it. He was highly critical at the time. Now, he’s softening along party lines. You know what that seems like: hyper-politicization. 

Rose: Bourbon Is Bipartisan

A toast — and rose — to Democratic Congressman (and LEO founder) John Yarmuth and Republican Andy Barr for brokering a pause on a forthcoming tariff hike on European imports of Kentucky Bourbon. Since 2018, American whiskey exports to Europe have been taxed 25% — a casualty of the previous President’s ludicrous, dumb-ass trade war. On June 1, the tariff was set to double, rising to 50%. “As Louisville’s Congressman and the Founder and Co-Chair of the Congressional Bourbon Caucus,” Yarmuth said in a press release, “I’m pleased to see the agreement announced today to suspend this looming increase on EU tariffs that would have been disastrous for our Bourbon industry in Kentucky.” Hopefully, this pause turns into a complete repeal of the tariff, and the bourbon industry can resume sending Kentucky’s finest to Europe for free. Now, this won’t help you find any more Pappy Van Winkle, but the state could really use the business. 

Absurd: Rush To Grandstand

Several Metro Council members have introduced ordinances to reopen two Metro Parks to motor vehicle traffic. Last year, as part of the city’s emergency response to COVID-19, the city closed the roads in Iroquois and Cherokee parks in order to safely accommodate the influx of pedestrian traffic. This was an understandable, laudatory move, but it came at the expense of some who need physical assistance or special consideration to access the park. So, should the roads be reopened? A totally reasonable debate, and one that has been ongoing — responsibly — in recent weeks and months. Enter the Metro Council. After two public surveys, Louisville Parks and Recreation announced last week, “The Olmsted Parks Conservancy is gathering data regarding park usage in Cherokee and Iroquois parks pre and post COVID-19 which will take a couple of weeks. A decision on the future usage of the loops is expected to come by the end of the month.” Instead of waiting for the experts to weigh-in with data and analysis, several Metro Council members decided they couldn’t wait and filed ordinances this week. Is this to tie the Fischer Administration’s hands on a decision? Is this to steal the spotlight and take credit for the eventual outcome? Regardless, it doesn’t make sense. Then again, the Council rarely does.

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