Wednesday, March 19, 2008

What a Week, 3/19

The House approved its version of the budget, restoring many of the cuts Governor 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% 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 Representative Harry Moberly about which leader was most disingenuous jagoff.

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.

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.

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 $1000, it might be time to hock that wedding ring.

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