Delightful Grumps

Friday afternoon I spoke to the He-Man-Women-Haters Club, better known as M.A.L.E.S. (Male Active Lively Energetic Seniors). Think Grumpy Old Men with civics savvy.

These guys love Bridgeport and national politics. And several of them are blog readers. (The rest would read but for computer familiarity.) And they pay close attention to what posters write. “Hey,” said one member, “that Con Filardi is interesting.”

You think blog posters are blunt? Check out these guys, most of them in their seventies and eighties.

“What the hell are those guys doing in Washington larding up this bailout bill!”

“Why do those Bridgeport cops have to get so much overtime? I got shot at for $40 a month.” Think he was in the war?

Among the 25 guys in the Baldwin Center in Stratford, we had a mix of Republicans and Democrats. But these guys are classic, throwback fiscal conservatives. I asked them for a show of hands on Sarah Palin. How did she do against Joe Biden? Consensus: she did well. “Okay,” I asked, “will you vote for McCain because of her?”

“Who cares about the vice president. We vote for president!”

They wanted to know about Bridgeport, Bill Finch, Steelpointe, the budget, police overtime; with opinions a plenty.

“Joe Ganim got too much time. These guys in Washington do worse.”

M.A.L.E.S. was formed in 1976 to engage in “activities and programs attuned to the male psyche.” Two gents in the crowd Bob Dortenzio, former officer for the Bridgeport GOP and Pat Pallotto, former Sunday Post editor, I’ve known since my teens as a Post reporter.

Membership in the club is restricted to 55 or older so I have a few years yet, but if you want to join contact Dortenzio at 203-375-7543. Annual dues are $5. They meet the first and third Friday of the month. Johnny Fabs is the next scheduled speaker.

They’re also extremely active in volunteer and charitable work. Member Joe Minto is organizing a salute to veterans, in conjunction with the Greater Bridgeport Patriotic Association, November 7 at 6 p.m. at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church on Park Avenue. Tix for the buffet dinner are $25. Contact Joe at 203-372-2632.

Lardy Legislators

So what do you make of this bailout bill? Do ya think there’s enough slop in there for a pig party? Is it a necessary evil? What happened to the John McCain of 2000 that declared war against the iron triangle of money, lobbyists and legislation? He voted for it, as did Barack. It appears that Barack’s support is starting to harden. McCain’s gonna need a game changer. We may see an ultra-aggressive Republican at Tuesday night’s debate.



  1. P.S. there are rumors in Chicago political circles that the feds want to talk to Obama and like the Blagojeviches are refusing to meet with federal authorities. I guess they just have to “drag them in” or just indict them.

  2. “”My administration has a zero-tolerance policy on collecting back taxes. The same applies to rent owed by our cultural/tourist attractions. We realize their importance to the city as cultural and entertainment attractions, but they also must adhere to their rental agreements,” Finch said.”

    Sal … ???

  3. My brother who is a reader of this blog but doesn’t post was telling me Musto isn’t even running a campaign in the 22nd district in Bridgeport. Is that true??? Because I live in the 23rd.

  4. Let’s try to follow the logic here. Mayor Finch owes $25K in personal legal bills. So someone who owes the city a quarter of a million dollars ($246,323) agrees or volunteers to hold a fundraiser for the mayor. At some point the city takes out of this year’s revenue budget the $150K that is supposed to be received in the current budget year. And although the mayor claims that he is not treating the Bluefish any differently, for the record, he now claims that the city is owed money from Captain’s Cove and Beardsley Zoo there was no adjustment for the income that was expected from either the Captain’s Cove or the zoo so obviously the city was not planning on receiving the money from the Bluefish and the city did indeed treat the Bluefish differently.
    Now the numbers get a little fuzzy here, but it was reported that more than $80,000 was raised and the campaign ended up with a surplus of $46,000. And this money was given to a Political Action Committee in Essex? $46,000?
    The mayor could have given the surplus to the Connecticut Zoological Society, a 401C-3, if they are facing financial problems. This along with the money he gave the zoo from when he was double dipping mayor and state senator would make him a major benefactor but we don’t know if he ever actually did give that money.
    Or he could have given the money to ABCD which might have used it to fix up the Freeman houses. Or he could have given it to any other Bridgeport based non-profit. But no, he chose to give it to an Essex based PAC.
    And yet somehow the mayor wants us to believe he is doing everything possible to deal with the city’s financial problems. So sad.

  5. I didn’t know much about Himes, but I just read this article about him and Shays on taxes. He had four no responses, while Shays gave numbers for every question. I didn’t necessarily agree with them all, but this article looked bad for showing Himes as ready to take this seat or he’s just trying to straddle the fence. Not good.

    The four were:
    1. On raising the rate on income taxes “(Himes) declined to put forward a specific percentage.”
    2. On the capital gains tax “I’m not prepared to say exactly what the rate should be”
    3. “Himes said he does support exempting some estates from inheritance tax but was not prepared to specify a dollar amount or a rate.”
    4. “Himes said he hasn’t developed a specific corporate tax proposal.”

  6. THINGS I wish I’D LEARNED BEFORE I WAS 50: by Dave Barry

    1. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.

    2. If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved and never will achieve its full potential, that word would be “meetings.”

    3. There is a very fine line between “hobby” and “mental illness.”

    4. People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them.

    5. You should not confuse your career with your life.

    6. Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance.

    7. Never lick a steak knife.

    8. The most destructive force in the universe is gossip.

    9. You will never find anybody who can give you a clear and compelling reason why we observe daylight savings time.

    10. You should never say anything to a woman that even remotely suggests that you think she’s pregnant unless you can see an actual baby emerging from her at that moment.

    11. There comes a time when you should stop expecting other people to make a big deal about your birthday. That time is age eleven.

    12. The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we ALL believe that we are above average drivers.

    13. A person who is nice to you but rude to a waiter is not a nice person.
    (This is very important. Pay attention. It never fails.)

    14. Your friends love you anyway.

    15. Never be afraid to try something new. Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark. A large group of professionals built the Titanic.

    16. Men are like fine wine. They start out as grapes, and it’s up to the women to stomp the crap out of them until they turn into something acceptable to have dinner with.

    Dedicated to all M.A.L.E.S. living in metro Bridgeport.

  7. *** Wow, how do you find the time & energy to blog as much as you do on politics & anything in general? Example, out of #11 now, blogs on this segment, #5 belong to you, Joel! You really have a lot to say, I’ll give you that. ***

  8. Report from the field –

    I just spent the last hour making Obama calls to southern Ohio – an historically Republican part of the state. Guess what? The good people of southern Ohio don’t give a damn about Ayers, SDS or any of that McCain campaign drival. They’re worried about the economy and they’re voting for Obama.

  9. John from BR, I’m impressed by the amount of effort you seem to be devoting to this campaign even though, barring anything major, Obama has this locked up. Have you always gotten this involved or is this your first time?

  10. Chris Russo–Thank you. I’m actually not doing as much as I would like to be, but I am doing what I can.
    As far as my political involvement, I’m a bit of an old war horse. But this year is special and I’m very excited.

    BTW–Please don’t take an Obama victory for granted. The McCain campaign is desperate and things could get very ugly in the next few weeks as they start their mudslinging and character assassination. I think the American people are too worried about the economy to fall for that tactic this time around. But you never know, so we all have to keep working as hard as we can.

  11. John from Black Rock thank you for your service I said it once and I will say it again you are the best blogger on here.
    I want to give a report from the field, today was our last day working on the East End for Obama and Himes even though we are not affiliated with either of them … it’s called grass roots. What I found out today is Himes is going to have a big absentee ballot lead. Many residents have requested absentee ballots already. Now to the Musto race I have no clue what’s going on with that either, I can tell you this Russo has a base in this district. Musto needs to get his campaign rolling.

  12. Thank you donj, and thank you for all the good work you are doing. I need to get more involved with the Himes campaign–hopefully, this will be the week.

  13. Local Eyes, I really enjoyed reading your posting – good one. Welcome home John, that must have been so exciting for you to get involved in another state. I’m sure Obama is going to win, and we so need to get out everyone to vote. I watched the VP debate, not the whole thing, but enough to see Sarah winking and saying stupid things like doggone it over and over. She needs to go back to Alaska and stay there. How many polar bears are registered to vote?


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