The Hanging Shad’s ‘Apropos of Nothing’

Some odds and ends from what’s going on in our world:

1. One can’t help but wonder that if former state Sen. Ernie Newton had the same high-priced, big-shot, nationally known attorney as John Rowland, would he have gotten any jail time at all? This is not to disparage Newton’s lawyer who did work on the case but the first time around Newton got five years for taking a $5,000 bribe (and six months this time). Rowland got one year in his first go-round for much more egregious crimes. He may however, get his comeuppance this week.

2. The General Assembly is once again considering whether mixed martial arts (MMA) should be legal. Let’s face it. It’s in the main stream now, even being shown on the FOX network. The two existing casinos in the state would certainly jump at the chance to host it. Something tells me that if the state could figure out how to get a piece of the action—a cut, say, of the gate—it would be more than happy to give MMA the go ahead.

3. New casinos in Connecticut is a dumb idea that hasn’t been thought through. See The Shad’s reasoning. Do we really want big game facilities in Danbury and Bridgeport, and a smaller one somewhere between Hartford and Springfield? Well, the people in the state responded with an emphatic, “NO.” The hyperbole in advancing the idea at a news conference was palpable. Let’s work on some real, positive economic development and not be seduced by a new revenue stream for the state. It’s just not worth it.

4. The Shad thinks the majority of Connecticut baseball fans will be disappointed. The Yankees are old, inured and lack any real firepower. The Bronx Bums are counting on players who make a ton of money with years left on their contracts (see C.C Sebathia, A-Rod and Mark Teixeira for starters) to perform above and beyond last year. Unlikely. The Red Sox, on the other hand, have a powerful lineup but need their questionable pitching to come through. I can’t wait for baseball.

5. The state’s largest pro-gun group has an interesting position on a bill in the state legislature. Ken Dixon, as he usually does, nails it.

6. Just how biased is FOX News? Well, its morning show, “Fox and Friends” sent out a tweet that linked former Attorney General Eric Holder’s comments about dismantling the Ferguson, Mo. police department with the shooting of two police officers in that town. I’m no fan of Holder’s but it’s pretty clear to any reasonable person that by “dismantling” he didn’t mean taking them out with sniper bullets.

7. Speaking of FOX News, Bill O’Reilly is getting pounded for his exaggerations on his past reporting. It doesn’t seem to phase him. He simply doubles down on attacking those who might criticize him. Clearly narcissistic behavior.

Your faithful Shad appeared on “The O’Reilly Factor” some years ago as the spokesman for a Manhattan nonprofit group (I was also friends with the producer who filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against him years ago). O’Reilly is as advertised—aloof, dismissive, clearly full of himself, a real tool. I noticed on the way into the studio that at the security desk there were pictures of people who might do harm to FOX personalities, a sort of “watch out for these people” area. Of course, O’Reilly’s section took up two full walls.