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April 1, 2008

What a Week: The City's Weekly Zeitgeist Radar

-8Q: Why is the Kentucky General Assembly like playing mumblety peg with Helen Keller? A: Because it feels so good when it stops. The current session ends this week, with lawmakers taking a break until mid-April, when they return for the ceremonial toe-stabbing of the governor. With the current session winding down, the havoc-wreaking reached a fever pitch last week. The pro-cancer Senate refused to raise the cigarette tax, meaning Kentucky faces deep cuts in education and social services, and might require layoffs of state workers.  A final 2008-2010 budget is expected this week and, barring any last-minute compassion from the Senate, it’s going to be ugly. +5Q: What do blind squirrels have in common with the General Assembly? A: Both prove that if you grope around in the dark long enough, you’ll eventually find your nuts. The legislature momentarily located theirs and moved ahead with bills that would reform lending, require child booster seats, fight homelessness among former prisoners and impose stricter penalties on sexual predators. -6Q: What do blind jokes and Sens. David Williams and Dan Kelly have in common? A: Both are highly offensive and won’t go away. Williams and Kelly lead a Senate hell-bent on keeping Louisville from having anything shiny. The Senate steadfastly refused to raise any taxes, killed any hopes for casinos and let a “mega-project” proposal die, making tolls an unlikely source of revenue for bridges, at least for the nonce. The party poopers also killed a measure that would have brought regulation to predatory “payday” lenders. With friends like them, this town’s going to need an enema. World-classness: -9