It’s a happy moment at CohenConnect.com. (Online definition of moment: “a very brief period of time.” The italics are mine.)
September’s blog numbers were high with more than a thousand views, despite the fact I only published four posts. (I know. I have to do better on that. And I can’t complain about the time, but each takes many hours to get — hopefully — just right!)
And near the end of the month, the blog got recognition and links on three more popular ones! Thanks to Congregation Rodeph Shalom in Philadelphia (Sept. 25); FTVLive.com’s Scott Jones (Sept. 27); and Laura Nachman (also Sept. 27).
Growing means there are stories some newer readers haven’t seen yet, and I just happen to have some follow-ups for those of you who are longtime readers.
â€˜Aâ€™ for Amazon from minimum wage workers
Amazon has been under fire for a lot of things, from low wages to working conditions, but the former is about to change.
This morning, the company announced itâ€™ll pay all of its U.S. employees a minimum of $15 an hour. That includes full-time, part-time, temporary and seasonal employees. (And like all subsidiaries, Whole Foods workers.) Thatâ€™s also more than double the federal minimum wage of $7.25.
Amazon claims the median salary for a full-time employee in the U.S. is $34,123, and not the $28,446 figure Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) claimed when he proposed a bill that
â€œwould impose a 100 percent tax on government benefits received by workers at companies with 500 or more employees. For example, if an Amazon employee receives $300 in food stamps, Amazon would be taxed $300.â€
Amazon stressed the lower number reflects its employees’ pay worldwide, not just here.
NPR reports Amazon has more than 250,000 employees, and expects to hire 100,000 more for the coming holiday season.
Amazon’s founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said,
â€œWe listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead.â€
Click here for details on pay and benefits from Amazon.
Thatâ€™s a win for Amazonâ€™s lowest-paid workers, but thereâ€™s a loss for Warner Wolf (not that he works at Amazon).
â€œLetâ€™s go to the verdict!â€
Iâ€™ve said many times I donâ€™t want to live in Florida and that was even when I lived there. I think the Sunshine State has nothing to offer except a short time to thaw out at the beach in the winter. Oh, and low taxes and some family.
And now, legendary New York sportscaster Warner Wolf lost his age discrimination lawsuit against Don Imus precisely he lives down there! I first brought you this story back on Feb. 18.
Wolf is best known as the sportscaster who popularized the phrase â€œLetâ€™s go to the videotape!â€
He claimed he was fired from shock jock Don Imusâ€™ radio show â€” which went off the air earlier this year â€” due to age discrimination.
According to yesterdayâ€™s New York Daily News,
â€œIn a ruling released last week, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice James dâ€™Auguste wrote that the 80-year-old Wolfâ€™s residence in the premier state for retirees means the suit fails on jurisdictional grounds.
â€œâ€˜Due to the fact that Wolf is a Florida resident that worked in Florida, he lacks any viable claimsâ€¦since the impact of any alleged discriminatory conduct would have been in Florida,â€™ dâ€™Auguste wrote.â€
The judge also noted Imus lives in Texas and at 78, heâ€™s in the same age category.
â€œImus once said it was time to put Wolf â€˜out to pastureâ€™ and â€˜shoot him with an elephant dart gun.â€™â€
Wolfâ€™s firing happened in 2016, months after he moved to Naples, Fla., and contributed to the show from there.
â€œWe tried it. It sucks,â€ Imus emailed shortly before Wolfâ€™s final appearance. â€œIf youâ€™re in the studio in New York â€¦ itâ€™s terrific. Anything else is not.â€
But Imus himself left the Big Apple a year earlier, in 2015, to live on a ranch in the Lone Star State! The rest of the crew worked out of New York.
That included controversial sportscaster Sid Rosenberg for the showâ€™s last year and a half.
As planned before the suit, the sun set on â€œImus in the Morningâ€ on March 29.
Wolfâ€™s lawyer says theyâ€™ll appeal.
From radio and TV, to your computer and smartphone.
Sunday was a big day and not just for football fans. This involves every single one of you who uses the Internet.
Last December, the Federal Communications Commission under President Trumpâ€™s appointed chairman Ajit Pai repealed many net neutrality rules passed in 2015 during the Obama administration. Those rules prohibited internet service providers (ISPs) from slowing down or blocking content, or charging for access to certain sites. Consider it Internet freedom and equal access. You pay for a month and should be able to use it as you like.
In January, 22 state attorneys general sued, claiming the FCCâ€™s decision was â€œarbitrary,â€ â€œcapriciousâ€ and â€œan abuse of discretion.â€
Finally, Sunday, California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed a bill to restore Obama-era open-Internet rules in the Golden State. According to Deadline, it â€œforbids Internet providers from blocking legal websites, intentionally slowing down Internet traffic or demanding fees for faster service.â€
But later Sunday, the Justice Department sued to prevent the law from taking effect. It argued broadband communications are interstate commerce and thatâ€™s regulated by the federal government, not the states.
The FCC wants to deregulate the industry and its repeal actually, specifically forbids states from passing their own net neutrality rules. Pai, a former Verizon lawyer (think Fios), claims net neutrality stifles investment and burdens ISPs with regulation.
The fedsâ€™ net neutrality rules are set to take effect in January for the rest of us.
Unfortunately, this post isnâ€™t ending as happily as it started.
Iâ€™ve watched and studied politics for decades, and written about it many times here. But lately, Iâ€™ve come to hate the subject. Any wonder why?
TV news anchor Howard Beale (played by Peter Finch) probably had a similar feeling in the 1976 movie Network.
We may even be at the point where he screamed,
â€œWe know things are bad â€” worse than bad. They’re crazy!â€
(Let me know in the comments section below.)
â€œI’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!â€
became so popular, it ranked number 19 on the American Film Instituteâ€™s list of the top 100 movie quotations in American cinema, released June 21, 2005, for the organizationâ€™s 100th anniversary. Network itself came in number 66 in the movie category. (The number 1 quote was Clark Gable as Rhett Butler saying
â€œFrankly, my dear, I don’t give a damnâ€
in Gone with the Wind. The number 1 movie was Citizen Kane.) Movie fans, click here for a complete look at all of the AFIâ€™s lists.
And thanks, Todd, for having me watch this years ago. New readers will come to learn Iâ€™m not the best with movies. Last month, I finally watched another 1976 movie classic, shot right across the street.
Rocky became the highest-grossing film of the year (spawning six sequels) and went on to win three Oscars, including Best Picture. As for the AFI, it’s movie number 78, number 2 in sports after Raging Bull (click here for genres) and quote number 80.
And the scene there last week, if you follow me on Twitter, or just look at the feed on right side of this page (below on mobile):
Now, what you can do (rather than sticking your head out the window in the rain):
The deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 6 midterm elections — just 35 days away — is a week from today (Oct. 9) in Pennsylvania, two weeks from today (Oct. 16) in New Jersey, next Saturday (Oct. 13) in Delaware, next Friday (Oct. 12) in New York, and next Thursday (Oct. 11) in Florida (and I meant what I said). That should cover most of you. (Click here if it doesn’t.) Make sure you’re registered, learn about your candidates, and take a moment to note Tuesday, Nov. 6, on your calendar right now. (You may even get a sticker!)
Again, please leave your comments in the section below, and don’t miss out. If you like what you read here, subscribe to CohenConnect.com with either your email address or WordPress account, and get a notice whenever I publish. I’m also available for writing/web contract work. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennycohen