Monday, March 21, 2011


3 Fables for our Times:

One. Turns out Senate President David Williams was right. Gov. Beshear called the special session too soon. In the past, he and other governors have not called such sessions unless an agreement was ready. The House had given indications such might be ready..but it wasn't. Result: a wasted week, at $64,000 a day cost to you and me. Let the leaders meet, pay them per diem in the future, but not call the full house into session (at all that cost) until both parties, and both chambers agree. And the Senate is still to be heard from.

Two. If you think the medicaid issue is contentious, wait til the legislature starts on remap, or redistricting the state into new congressional, state house and senate districts, required every ten years. The figures are in, and the secret games and jockeying have begun. The last time the Herald-Leader did a great map showing how compact districts could be achieved within federal court guidelines. Was it adopted? Do pigs fly?

One of our present Congressional districts looks like the historic salamander which gave rise to the term "gerrymandering" (for a Congressman named Gerry who drew his district like a salamander for his personal election benefit)..and there is a precinct in Lincoln County, near Lexington, which was placed in a far Western Kentucky district to provide a population balance. (How that survived a court test I don't know?) And much was done in secret last time, including changes in my own statehouse district.

All of us should insist the negotiations over new districts be done in public so we can comment on them to our representatives.

Even better, as many states do, a nonpartisan commission of academic specialists should draw up the districts, subject to an up-or-down vote in Frankfort..much the way military base closings are done in Congress.

Three. Nuclear power's time has NOT come to return in Kentucky. It's not just Japan; it's not just the huge cost; it's not just the challenge to coal; it's not just how badly the state handled our one and only state nuke site, Maxey Flats (low-level disposal only) or how badly the feds handled our nuke fuel plant in Paducah (and we are still learning how badly that was and how much contamination and cancer it spread to Kentuckians who were deliberately (!) kept in the dark), it's also that after more than 60 years we still do not have a method , or a place, to dispose of the waste.

Why would we add to that waste without knowing how and where to put it?

Don't we ever learn?

I'm just sayin'...

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