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Member since: 2001
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Is Connecticut turning into Wisconsin?

from My Left Nutmeg...

Teachers Rally in Hartford, CT
At a rally on Tuesday in Hartford, CT organized by the Connecticut Education Association (CEA)

over 1,000 teachers showed support for legislative leaders challenging Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's proposed education reforms.

It's really unusual when a Speaker of the House stands up against a Governor. But then, he wants to get re-elected.

In 1978 over 200 BEA members got on buses to show their support for education. However, they were not going to a rally, they were going to jail for defying a judge's order. They were able to pave the way for collective bargaining for teachers with their civil disobedience.

Today, Gov. Dannel Malloy (D-CT) is trying to end collective bargaining, and he will stop at nothing in an attempt to takeover the state's public school system.



Teachers Rally At Capitol Still Unhappy With Malloy's Plan

About 1,000 teachers from across the state were bused to the Capitol Tuesday to express their displeasure with Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's education reform bill, which was modified in March by the legislature's Education Committee.

Many were still bitter about Malloy's opening day remarks about tenure when he said, "in today's system basically the only thing you have to do is show up for four years. Do that, and tenure is yours."

"It wasn't the best way to open a wide-ranging discussion on education reform," Jason Poppa, a teacher from Bridgeport, said. "But the remark is typical. Teachers are being vilified nationally."

And just like with Walker in WI, Malloy's approval ratings are taking a hit thanks to his education "reform" position.
From Jon Pelto's blog...

Malloy’s Job Approval Rating Drops 7 Percent in a Month http://jonathanpelto.com/2012/04/25/when-in-doubt-just-say-it-doesnt-matter/
With today’s Quinnipiac Poll reporting that only 37% of the voters approve of the way Governor Malloy is doing his job and only 38% approve of the way he is handling education policy, Roy Occhiogrosso, Malloy’s mouthpiece and spin-master, is absolutely right to say;

“We have tried to be consistent in not saying much about polls because…what’s there to say? Polls come and go, numbers go up and down. The Governor always does what he thinks is best for the state and the right thing to do.” – Occhiogrosso 4-25-12


...after what is probably close to $1 million in television and radio ads supporting the Governor’s “Education Reform” proposal, ads that repeatedly complimented him by name, it is pretty telling that his job performance rating has dropped 7 percent in the last 30 days (from 44% positive to 37% positive).

Furthermore, only 4 in 10 voters support his education plan.

His negative rating on both job performance and on his education policies are particularly high among women – who, as Occhiogrosso and every political observer knows – is the most significant voting bloc in electoral politics.


Just who is Gov. Malloy listening to on his education "reform" policy? Is he taking a tactic from the Republican Governor's playbook?
If he is, it's good to see it backfire on him, just as it is on the Rethugican Governors.

While the education issue and the bashing of the teacher's union is similar to what is happening in WI, CT still has a long way to go before it looks like CT. Although Gov. Malloy might personally be having his own WI moment. The Democratic controlled state Legislature is more likely to side with the teacher's unions. It will be interesting to see what happens to Malloy's education "reform" bill.

The Titanic goes down in about 20 minutes, 100 years ago...

Thoughts, comments?

Walker gets support of Milwaukee police and firefighter unions

Source: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Madison -- Two unions that were largely spared from Gov. Scott Walker's curbs on collective bargaining endorsed him Monday.

Walker is facing a recall this summer because of his successful plan to all but eliminate collective bargaining for most public workers. Walker's plan mostly left alone police officers and firefighters, and the unions representing Milwaukee cops and Milwaukee firefighters renewed their support for him Monday. The two were some of the only unions to endorse Walker when he initially ran in November 2010.

“Governor Walker has a strong record of supporting public safety with an unwavering commitment to first responders,” said a statement from Michael Crivello, president of the Milwaukee Police Association. “Today, we are proud to announce our support for Governor Walker’s reelection.”

The Walker campaign released a similar statement from Dave Seager, president of the Milwaukee Professional Firefighters Association.


Read more: http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/news/145814335.html

Weren't both the Firefighters and police officers marching with the teachers a year ago against Walker's attack on collective bargaining rights?

The endorsement of Walker by these 2 unions is another reason why unions are on the decline. The Rethugs know how to divide and conquer.

Was Geno Auriema playing psy-ops against the Irish before their Feb. 27 showdown with the Irish or

was he being a jerk or did he misunderstand what had happened after UCONN's semifinal loss in the National championships to ND last year?

The blog that started the controversy, Harford Courant's John Altavilla...

Becca Bruszewski--The Truth Lies In Between

I totally believe Becca Bruszewski’s contention, told to Curt Rallo of the South Bend Tribune on Tuesday, that she did not say or do the things she is accused of in relation to verbally dissing UConn after Notre Dame’s win over the Huskies at the Final Four last season.

I also totally believe UConn’s contention something was said that did not sit well with the team or the coaching staff, and because of it, there are some hard feelings among the Huskies.

In all matters such as this, the truth lies somewhere in between Sacramento and Storrs.

I think the most important piece of information in this entire matter was not what was said, or even who said it, but that Geno Auriemma felt it offensive enough to ask Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw about it at the Big East meetings in May, according to Rallo’s story.

Why would Geno unnecessarily confront McGraw, who he considers a friend and gifted coach, about something such as this if he felt it didn’t happen or didn’t actually hear it himself?

Geno can be spontaneous, and sometimes he says things he wishes he hadn’t, but I do not believe he would purposely antagonize her and her program. He probably just wanted an explanation. And if he got one, it may not have been what he was looking for because just last week on his CPTV television show he made reference to something that happened between the teams.

When a coach says something like that, on television, the media naturally follows the path.

Also, a sports information director in the Big East, with no axe to grind and no association with either school, admitted Monday hearing of the incident long before the blogs or Doris Burke’s mention of it on ESPN became public.

Also, a UConn player, when asked if the Bruszewski story was true, and who was in the locker room at the time and would have heard it, who I have a good relationship with, said she couldn’t remember. This is code for “none of your business.” Keeping in the family, folks.


The South Bend Tribune responds

Notre Dame womens basketball--Bruszewski denies report

What has been a classic and classy rivalry in college women's basketball has taken an ugly turn in the past week.

A blog by the Hartford Courant’s Connecticut women’s beat writer, John Altavilla, has helped heat things up.

Citing an unnamed UConn source, Altavilla reported that former Notre Dame player Becca Bruszewski opened the door to the Huskies’ locker room after the Irish beat UConn in the Final Four last April and yelled inside, “It must suck to be you.”

Altavilla’s blog was published prior to Monday’s showdown between No. 3 Notre Dame and No. 4 Connecticut, a game the Irish won, 72-59.

Earlier in the week, Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma took a shot at Notre Dame for its 120-44 victory against Pittsburgh earlier in the season, claiming the Irish were shooting 3’s late in the game, trying to run up the score.

According to Altavilla’s blog, Auriemma made a “cryptic reference’’ to the incident on his TV show earlier in the week.

Bruszewski, a senior last season who is now playing professional basketball in Finland, told The Tribune in a telephone interview on Tuesday that she did not open the Huskies’ locker room door and shout that at the UConn players.

“I’m getting called out for this,’’ she said in phone conversation Tuesday. “The fact that hurts the most, they’re saying that I barged into another team’s locker room. The fact that when I ran by, nobody but the UConn coaching staff was outside the door, with a security officer. I don’t know how they fabricated this. I don’t know where it came from. I’m going to deny it until it’s over with, because it’s not true.”

According to Bruszewski, she made comments to a teammate about the pain of losing with the Connecticut coaching staff within earshot, but that it was not intended as a slight to the Huskies.

“We celebrated with our team on the court and hugged a lot of people,” Bruszewski said of the aftermath of Notre Dame’s stunning victory over the favored Huskies in the Final Four in Indianapolis. “As we ran back through the tunnel, I was not by myself. I was with my team. I never stopped, I never talked to anyone from Connecticut, I never touched any doors. I never slowed down and walked. I never saw any UConn players, because they were all in their locker room.

“But outside the door was the entire coaching staff and their security, because at the Final Four, and even home games, everyone has security at their locker rooms. I did not make eye contact with them, I did not say anything to them. As I walked by, my words were, ‘Oh, man, that sucks. It could have been us.’ It was a realization that this great team, their season was over. Two days later, I realized that same sort of defeat.”

Bruszewski is fuming at the attack on her character.


Irish coach Muffet McGraw said Auriemma told her about the incident at the Big East meetings in May. His version coincided with the version in Altavilla’s blog, that Bruszewski opened the locker room door and yelled at the UConn players.

“When Geno told me about this in May, we hadn’t heard anything about it,” McGraw said. “I was appalled when I heard this. When we got back to campus, we met with our players and said, ‘Here’s what Geno said.’ They had no idea. They were appalled and thought that it couldn’t be. We talked to Becca and she denied it. She said that she never went in their locker room.”

Notre Dame women’s basketball sports information director Chris Masters said security was tight for the Final Four, and that NCAA representatives were stationed outside and inside of every locker room.

“There were NCAA observers right there,” Masters said. “If this happened, we would have gotten disciplined. There would have been a letter of reprimand. That never happened.”

McGraw wondered about the timing of the leak to the media by the unnamed UConn source, when her team was playing at Connecticut for Notre Dame’s first outright Big East crown.

“This may have been embellished,” McGraw said. “To come up now, a year later, (Auriemma) may have been trying to motivate his team. Something could have been said at some point, but Becca swears that she did not go in their locker room.

“I don’t want to turn it into a back-and-forth thing. It’s not worth it. Geno and I actually get along very well. I do feel like this year has been hard on him, I guess.”

My personal opinion is that this incident didn't hit the public airwaves before UCONN's January battle with ND in South Bend, so it's a non-factor that would only make the ND fans in South Bend more riled up if he used it then. I think Geno was playing psy-ops against ND hoping to distract them from their game plan as well as trying to motivate his team and riling up the UCONN fans in the game that decided the 2012 Big East Regular championships. It failed because Muffet said that she didn't read any pre-game news and I bet the ND players didn't either so that they would remain focused at defeating UCONN at home.

But Geno sure has angered the ND fans, whom I'm sure will give him the Bronx cheer when he visits South Bend next time.

Notre Dame MBB: Irish storm back in Philly


PHILADELPHIA - Pick a word to describe what transpired inside the Wells Fargo Center late Saturday and it likely still falls way short.





No words might be able to adequately describe what the Notre Dame
men’s basketball team did in an overtime victory against Villanova.
Down by as many as 20 points in the first half, in which it could do
little right, No. 23 Notre Dame did enough to force overtime, stay
patient with the plan and find a way to win 74-70.

“It is one of the most fun things I’ve ever been around,” said Irish
coach Mike Brey. “This group really believes, but I got on their
(backsides) at halftime and we really found a way.”

Pat Connaughton connected on seven 3-pointers for 21 points and Jack
Cooley added his fourth consecutive double-double with 18 points and
13 rebounds. It was his 10th of his career — all this season. Eric
Atkins added 17 points and five assists.

“Never a doubt,” Atkins said. “Never a doubt.”


I watched the 1st half in despair and thought the Irish lads had regressed to their bad habits. I guess I didn't have the faith that Eric Atkins had. But I'm so thrilled that the ND MBB team rebounded in the 2nd half and OT to win this game on the road. They are now still tied with Marquette for 2nd place in the Big East.
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