Football excitement is back

Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy New Year!

Even the Bills’ loss to New England on Saturday can’t take away the luster of a very good football season in Buffalo. It’s been quite a ride, with one game to go against the New York Jets.

Ten and five with one to play in this year’s NFL is a pretty good mark. Only seven teams have a better record.  Nine teams have had middling results, within one game of playing just .500 football. Continue reading

On being the most conservative candidate in NY27

It’s interesting to watch all the posturing that is going on in New York’s 27th Congressional District as voters wait to elect a new member of the House of Representatives.  Oh, the excitement!

We are about to watch a congressional doubleheader: a special election and a primary election conducted concurrently for the same congressional seat, left vacant by convicted felon Chris Collins.  The special election will happen sometime in the next few weeks or months while the Republican (and Democratic?) primary will begin with petitioning in February and conclude on June 23rd. Continue reading

The Public Campaign Financing Commission issues its report

The rule in politics and government always is, if you have something to announce that does not look or smell too good, you drop it on Friday evening or around a holiday. That’s what was expected from the state Public Campaign Financing Commission which originally said that it would issue their report on the day before after Thanksgiving.  But that didn’t happen.  Nor was it released on Thanksgiving or on the weekend after.  It arrived, finally, late on Sunday, December first.

The Commission, composed of seven Democratic appointees and two Republicans, has recommended a system for the public financing of statewide and state legislative campaigns beginning with the 2024 elections, recommendations, it says, “which have the force of law.” Continue reading

Early starts for local 2020 elections; a county budget mix-up; Robin Schimminger

Wishing everyone a happy and peaceful thanksgiving! Try not to bring up politics at the dinner table.  Talk about other stuff.

With the United States now in a pattern where presidential politics start early and go on for what seems like forever, you would think that it would be easy to adapt to the same level of activity on the state and local level. But it still takes some getting used to.

The year 2019 saw the reinstitution of June primaries for state and local offices, something the state has not had for nearly five decades. June primaries mean petitioning starts in February, when there may be snow and ice on driveways and sidewalks and it gets dark in early evening – not ideal conditions for circulating petitions. Continue reading

The Godfather — Part IV

This month we can see the well-promoted film, The Irishman, on the big screen for a very limited run. That will be followed by the film’s availability on Netflix. Netflix’s teaser explains the movie like this: “Welcomed into a crime family, he followed orders, kept secrets — and swayed history. Martin Scorsese’s epic tale of power and loyalty.”

Movies like The Godfather and its sequels and GoodFellas have always drawn tremendous interest, and are often considered some of the great classics of Hollywood. The Irishman could also be a big hit. But why settle for something loosely “based on a true story,” when you have at your fingertips a real, compelling true story? Continue reading

An Inconvenient Ignorance

By Paul Fisk, Editor

This summer I had the privilege of spending a three-day weekend with Al Gore (and 1,200 of his closest friends) learning about climate change science, effects and solutions.  Mr. Gore’s organization, The Climate Reality Project, has trained over 20,000 “Volunteer Climate Reality Leaders” from 149 countries and territories in spreading the scientific truth about climate change and what we can and must do about it.  As an aging, retired public servant I have become increasingly troubled by the political and environmental legacy my generation is leaving our children and grandchildren.  So I have been increasingly active in organizations devoted to combating the twin existential threats to our democracy and our planet’s habitability posed by Trumpism and the climate crisis.  Paul Fisk

The steady news stream of ever-more mind boggling outrages and audacity by our President has largely displaced necessary discussion of what has been happening to the world’s climate. Only recently has increasing public concern been regularly featured in the mainstream media. Continue reading