Mar 19


Monday Morning Read

ChrissieCaBoom tries to explain herself. Terry Pegula gives Jerry Jones license to go after the wallets of Bills fans. And Ron DeSantis wants you to know that segregation had nothing to do with Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat.

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ChrissieCaBoom stopped dodging the media long enough last week to talk with Charlie Specht of The Buffalo News about her off-the-wall posts on Twitter – the ones she later deleted because she’s all about, well, “accountability,” in her words. The GOP candidate for Erie County executive didn’t exactly make a convincing case, saying at one point she was simply trying to game the platform’s algorithms. Yeah, right. Chrissy Casilio-Bluhm was responding to reporting from Investigative Post and Her endorsement by the county GOP is a gift to incumbent Mark Poloncarz, as her candidacy is DOA. Too bad, because Poloncarz deserves competition for his capitulation, along with Gov. Kathy Hochul, to Terry Pegula during negotiations on the new Bills stadium.

Jerry Jones is quite the scoundrel. I mean, besides owning the Dallas Cowboys. As a young man, he was part of a mob that tried to block a group of Black students from entering a Little Rock high school in 1957. Later in life, he kept someone on the Cowboy payroll who had upskirted his daughter. The Buffalo News now reports that a company he owns that specializes in generating revenue for pro sports franchises has sunk its claws into the Bills. This cannot be good news for fans.

Ken Kruly’s most-recent post on his Politics and Other Stuff is loaded with facts and insights, starting with the aforementioned race for county executive and the continuing fallout from the split between county Republicans and Conservatives.

New York Focus breaks down the battle lines on the state budget. The governor, Senate and Assembly differ in some ways in their spending priorities.

James Dolan, the owner of the New York Rangers and Knicks, is giving Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder a run for his money as the most odious team owner in professional sports. Dolan is using facial recognition technology to stop people he doesn’t like – i.e., lawyers in firms that have brought legal action against his businesses – from entering Madison Square Garden. (Which, by the way, is allowed to skip out on paying $43 million a year in property taxes.) The ban put him on the radar screen of the state liquor authority because they sell a lot of booze at MSG and the ban potentially runs afoul of state law. Dolan’s response: to sue the liquor authority and hire a private detective to tail the investigator working the case.

An op-ed piece in The New York Times makes the point that there’s a greater threat to democracy than disinformation: the collapse of local news.

One of the most striking aspects of the modern information environment, as many people have observed, is the almost total collapse of local and even regional news outlets. Where once every town or city of even minor consequence had a newspaper — with reporters who helped the community understand itself through their work — now there are large parts of the country that exist in news deserts, where there is little coverage of anything, from local government to local events.

I think that this decline has played an important role in undermining America’s democratic institutions, as well as the public’s faith in democracy. It’s not just that the collapse of local news has made it harder to hold any number of public officials accountable — contributing to general cynicism about the ability of government to do anything constructive — but that Americans increasingly lack the information they need to participate in the political process in their communities.

Another Times op-ed addresses the pending climate doom because we won’t quit fossil fuels. A smart read.

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Here’s one example, courtesy of The Times, of how Florida under Gov. Ron DeSantis is attempting to whitewash history. The Times examined changes in one school history textbook.

In the current lesson on Rosa Parks, segregation is clearly explained: “The law said African Americans had to give up their seats on the bus if a white person wanted to sit down.”

But in the initial version created for the textbook review, race is mentioned indirectly.

“She was told to move to a different seat because of the color of her skin,” the lesson said.

In the updated version, race is not mentioned at all.

“She was told to move to a different seat,” the lesson said, without an explanation of segregation.

Like I said, whitewashing. Literally and figuratively.

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Who expected this? vinyl records are now outselling CDs.

Or this? antenna TV is making a comeback of sorts.

Or this? a major junior hockey league in Canada is going to ban fighting.

One in five adults bets on sports.

This is cool: a collection of colorized photos from the Civil War.

Investigative Post

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