Monday, January 30, 2017

No Grand Pronouncements This Week

Just a few little notes to consider.
I have taken our state’s 2 major papers for years, both as a journalist and as a citizen.  I believe they are trying to do their best in trying times, but some things just don’t make sense to me.
For example. The comics are among the most often read parts of any paper, yet Sunday the Herald-Leader published NEXT Sunday’s comics!  How could this happen?  Surely someone there reads them, and should have spotted the error.
Now what? Does the H-L publish this past Sunday’s comics next week, or repeat them?
And how could the C-J have a full page color shot of Willis and the final UK-KU score, but NO story in the Lexington edition? The H-L had many and, presumably it is printed (at the C-J’s Louisville plant!) after the C-J’s own edition.
Ever since our local paper made its bargain with the Devil to give up local printing and go to Louisville, many stories (tho not as many as I had feared) have been delayed 24 hours into the next day’s edition.  (Even as that they often beat local tv newscasts on major stories, especially from certain “beats” such as courts, which our tv stations generally don’t cover.)
I have a great newspaper carrier, and he often leaves me a note that not enuff C-Js were delivered to Lexington so I don’t get one this day.
The C-J knows how many subscribers it has here..why would it not send enuff papers, or...why does it deliberately shortchange them?  90% of the time when I don’t get a paper, I can drive to the nearest vending machine or store and get one.
And why is it my clear  plastic wrappers let rain in, but the blue ones don’t seem to?  Why not use the blue wrappers all the time?
And why is the H-L threatening legal action if our city council passes a law forcing papers to be placed on our porches, out of snow and rain?  That’s the way it was for years and years. You’re all heart down there on Midland Avenue.
Finally, in the hopes of helping all of you who don’t understand the arguments about fake news and similar things, maybe this example will help:
Fact: the world is round.
Alternate fact: the world is flat.
I'm just sayin'...

Monday, January 23, 2017

Never Pick A Fight

With someone who buys ink by the barrel.
An old news maxim that you can’t win fighting “the media."
Trump hasn’t learned this yet, and may not, but let’s hope he and his press minions sober up.
Case in point: attendance at the inauguration.
Aerial photos and other evidence show conclusively his was far less than Obama’s but new White House press secretary Sean Spicer insisted the “truth” was out there, and The Donald  won.
Professional  journalists do NOT estimate crowds---ever. They get someone else, more qualified to do so and attribute the size to them. Most DC events are overseen by the National Park Service, and crowd estimates usually come from them...NOT individual reporters.
Spicer should know this...he may not be long for this world.
To the rest of you...viewers, listeners, readers, this advice:
Fasten your seatbelts, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride!!!
I'm just sayin'...

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

News In Short Takes

I think John Lewis is wrong about Trump being an “illegitimate” president. But if he thinks so, why doesn't he offer an amendment to eliminate the Electoral College, and elect people by popular vote...solely?
I agree with Mr. Trump that the Democratic National Committee had very weak controls, making Russian hacking, or whomever, easier. But that’s no excuse for the FBI failure to go directly to them when its suspicions were aroused. instead, it took weeks.
Finally, a convicted drug dealer in Lexington gets his due...found by a judge to be responsible for the death of a buyer...he got a life term. It’s still murder in my book.
Something’s fishy about the Horse Park decision not to bid the World Equestrian event in 2022. The last one brought money and jobs to this area---goals of the Bevin administration. The decision was supposedly based (I have my doubts) on the “discovery” of $12 million in deferred maintenance needs. As I have said before, fix it now, or pay more later on.
Kentucky has had over 10 years to comply with the federal Real ID law...both governors and legislatures have been remiss here...and now you and I may suffer...not being able to get on planes, or visit Fort Knox (where our gold is.) The guv supported this last year, then vetoes the bill he asked for, supposedly because his Tea Party supporters didn’t like it. And so the rest of us may have problems soon.
A major marijuana report was issued recently.  Yes, there are medical uses for it, as I have believed, and Yes, states that have recently made recreational use legal have experienced a rise in auto accidents. My major concern: does smoking it cause cancer?  In my opinion this is still in the category of “needs more research.”
And the really big news of the past week...on the world’s (and US’s) wealth inequity,  EIGHT people have more money as the poorest HALF of the world....and  the world’s biggest 10 corporations have combined revenues equal to that of  the 180 poorest countries combined. Can you blame people for thinking the deal is stacked against them???
I'm just sayin...

Monday, January 9, 2017

The More Things Change

Eight years ago, as the Obama administration was beginning, Kentucky senator Mitch vows all his cabinet appointments would be subject to strict scrutiny, all their ethics and financial statements would be required before hand...BUT...this week Mitch said such statements wouldnt be needed before hearings so the new Trump administration could get started early.
For years when Dems controlled the House in Frankfort, Republicans complained---correctly—the majority party wouldn’t give them floor time to debate, wouldn’t let them offer amendments to bills, and treated them shabbily.  This past week, with the GOP running the house, guess what?  Committee hearings on their bills were held without advance notice, floor debate was limited to 30 minutes, and Democratic amendments were not allowed.
After telling the media (and the people) “Jobs are our first priority”, up pops abortion restrictions big time and revamp of the UofL board, among the first acts.  Yes there were some measures that impacted jobs...right to work and prevailing wages...where it can be argued jobs might be depressed not added.
Gov. Bevin asked for, and got, swift passage of the right to work law...after arguing that not having this put Kentucky at a great disadvantage in competing with other states around us, all of whom have such a law.   How did we ever land Toyota???
Back in DC, two senators (of many in the GOP) who have long opposed adding to the national debt, Cruz & Rubio, joined 49 other GOPers urging raising the debt limit by a mere 9 TRILLION dollars. Why? They argued it was needed as a procedural step to eliminate Obama-care.  Priorities, priorities.
Stay tuned..and remember all this next election.
I'm just sayin'...

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Thoughts On Recent News Stories

1---Someone (?) tried to hack a small Vermont electric utility.
Thwarted without damage THIS time...but our entire power grid is vulnerable...AND...the power companies keep telling us their VOLUNTARY acts will keep us safe;without any federal rules or requirements.  This a major disaster waiting to happen.
2---Coal ash...that discard from mining and power plant operations...(remember the containment pond in Tennesse that collapsed holding this and killed some people?)
The Bevin administration wished to issue new orders calling for less rules here, and fewer inspections.  Both major papers editorilised against these proposals. The administration replied the media was “misleading us again." Enviro groups agreed with the media, so they  must be misleading us, too.
3---H-L story pointed out difficulties in tax code reform.
Kentucky takes in $10 billion in taxes each year...while failing to collect a possible $12 billion due to tax loopholes or exemptions.  Guess we will  make it up by volume. But then, each loophole has supporters, such as exemptions on horses sold at Keeneland. Boy, if there are any people who can afford to pay taxes here, it’s race horse buyers.
4---Coal mining reported one of the safest years ever last year.
BUT, the deaths did not factor in the low production, so maybe this good news isn’t so good after all.
5---Lexington has a new high school.
Frederick Douglass high...named for the  (not so long ago segregated school here.) The school board, after public comments made that decision...but also this week decided on the school’s mascot and colors.
Wouldn’t it have been much better to also get public comment, and maybe led the schools first students/staff make these decisions?
I'm just sayin'...