Jan 1


Monday Morning Read

Red state policies: Less freedom and shorter lifespans. Plus, the rent is too damn high in Buffalo.

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A recent op-ed in The New York Times contrasted policies in red and blue states. It noted that in states controlled by Republicans there is an ongoing assault on the rights of people to live their lives unencumbered by government. It noted the limitation GOP lawmakers have placed on everything from voting and abortion rights to what books are stocked on library shelves and curriculum taught in schools. And, of course, there’s the obsession with gay and transgender people.

Taken all together, you could say that Republicans are engaged in a comprehensive effort to limit the freedom of entire categories of people.

States controlled by Democrats are going in the opposite direction. Funny how they’re closer to libertarian principles than Republicans, who used to stand for smaller government. Not that Democrats are close to being libertarians.

Perhaps most concerning in The Times piece: GOP policies in some states are resulting in shorter lifespans for their constituents.

The Associated Press documented all the generous deals team owners wrestled this year from local and state governments and continue to push for. Most team owners, regardless of the deal, are using their new venues to anchor larger real estate development projects, Benzinga reported. I know I keep harping on this, but the more I read, the more apparent it is that building the new Bills stadium in Orchard Park as a stand-alone facility is a huge strategic mistake.

Buffalo is a lousy market for renters, according to a study published by The Buffalo News. We rank seventh from the bottom among 96 markets surveyed. Rents are going up faster here than most places and more than half of tenants are spending more than 50 percent of their income on rent.

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Gov. Kathy Hochul watered down an important transparency bill that would have required the public disclosure of the owners of limited liability corporations, The News reported. Reinvent Albany, the good government group, is particularly upset. This is the latest example of Hochul’s hostility toward the public’s right to know. When it comes to transparency, she is no better than former Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

A state commission charged with watchdogging New York’s prison system isn’t doing its job, New York Focus reports. The State Commission of Correction usually turns a blind eye to problems and abuses in even the worst cases.

Too many kids have poor reading skills. There are lots of reasons why, but they begin with parents not reading to their children at a young age. As The Reporters put it, education begins at birth, not kindergarten.

Bad times got worse for news outlets this year. As reported by the Poynter Institute, the pace of layoffs picked up and another 130 newspapers closed.

Time is up on 2023. Vox looks back in an entertaining video.

Investigative Post

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