Monday, May 23, 2022

Lobster Or 'Porcupine?' Malloy In Hot Water In Maine


My latest column for CTNewsJunkie.com:

Should we be surprised that former Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy is alienating the good people of Maine with his arrogance and sharp elbows? In his post-gubernatorial gig as chancellor of the University of Maine system, Malloy stated making enemies right out of the starting blocks.

To wit:

Faculty at two of the system’s universities have passed resolutions of no-confidence in Malloy, while students at a third staged a 24-hour sit-in. These actions, which amount to a tsunami of bad news for Malloy, all happened within the span of three days this month but have been brewing almost from the start of Malloy’s tenure. The reasons for his troubles might seem rather simple but, as with all things Malloy, the reality is complicated.

Read more ...

Monday, May 9, 2022

Apropos of Nothing: 2022 Session Ends; Lawmakers Raise Their Pay; and Reax To SCOTUS Leak

My latest column for CTNewsJunkie.com:

There were lots of juicy morsels worthy of note in the 2020 legislative session but few were more upsetting than the structure of the raises lawmakers gave themselves.

To wit:

The problem I have is that the legislation, which would boost base pay of members from $28,000 to $40,000 next year, ties future pay increases to the Employment Cost Index to be adjusted every two years. 

That means future raises will, for all practical purposes, be automatic. That’s not exactly a profile in courage, dear lawmakers. If you feel you need a raise, then have the guts to vote for it.

Read more ...

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Musk Deletes Every Twitter Account but His

Monday, April 25, 2022

Unemployment Benefits For Striking Workers? No, It’s Not The Onion

My latest column for CTNewsJunkie.com:

Sometimes life imitates art or, in this case, it imitates some imaginary parody. To wit, the knuckle-headed idea of progressives in the state Senate to make striking workers eligible for unemployment benefits:

Is it possible to pull a muscle from shaking your head in disbelief? I’m about to find out because the state Senate has pulled a move that defies gravity, logic, and all good common sense ...

You could probably count on one hand the number of issues on which I agree with right-wing Republican Rep. Eric Berthel, but he correctly pointed out the cognitive dissonance of the bill’s misguided supporters.

"That is one of the tenets of being able to collect unemployment – you have to be ready to go back to work and they’re not because they’re on strike," Berthel told CTNewsJunkie's Hugh McQuaid.

Read more ...

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Amid Bad News About Connecticut's Media Landscape, There Is Hope

My latest column for CTNewsJunkie.com:

The news about the news is mostly terrible. To wit:

The main culprit appears to be the loss of classified advertising to cheap online sites such as CraigsList, which Forbes prophetically dubbed the "Newspaper Killer" more than 15 years ago ...

Since 2005, roughly 2,200 local print newspapers in the U.S. have shuttered – over one in five. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit us hard two years ago, 100 more closed as advertising revenues plummeted along with the business climate. Still hundreds more have become "ghost newspapers" – papers that appear to be functioning but in reality have tiny staffs, thin local coverage, no newsroom, and carry mostly shared regional news from outside the immediate area. The phenomenon has given rise to yet another depressing term: "news deserts."

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Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Stefanowski’s Dubious Dealings and Duff’s Privilege

My latest column for CTNewsJunkie.com:

Two events happened recently involving political figures in Connecticut. They're not apples to apples, to be sure. But they do show us how, in the words to F. Scott Fitzgerald, politicians — and wannabe politicians, in the case of Bob Stefanowski — "are different from you and me."

To wit:

Two prominent Connecticut political figures were the subject of embarrassing reports by journalists this week — one serious, the other less so, but still illustrative of the gulf between us and them ...

As you might expect, Democrats seized on the Salon piece and added it to the list of questionable moves Stefanowski has made in a business career that includes not only UBS, but a stint as chief executive of DFC Global, a predatory payday lender that has been barred from operating in the very state he wants to lead ...

At any rate, a Norwalk motorist had previously seen Bob Duff, the Senate majority leader, perform a variation on an option we all have. We can generally turn right on red if we come to a full stop and determine that it’s safe to do so. Duff makes a habit of performing the same feat when he wants to turn left.

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Sunday, March 6, 2022

Ben Sidran - Live At Montreux

Been looking for this for ages. Such a great band. I love Michael Brecker's solo here and Ben Sidran's description of the preparation before they took the stage at Montreux:

The rehearsals for this recording were brief. For example, before we went on stage, I asked Randy Brecker if he knew Benny Golson's "I Remember Clifford" in Eflat. That was the rehearsal. The result is as Miles Davis once said -- "I don't want you to play what you know; I want you to play what you don't know" -- surprising.


And here is audio of the same band doing a Beatle's classic. I believe the phenomenal drummer, Steve Jordan, was 19 at the time.