the dangers of the crackberry

alg_malcolmsmith

My mother in law visited a few days ago. I love my mother in law. Love her. Great woman. Absolutely great.

But … addicted to her Blackberry.

It can be very frustrating. During car rides. During conversations. While we’re all eating at California Pizza Kitchen. She says there’s important business at hand, but how important can it really be? Weekend night, business closed, etc …

Hence, I was sorta thrilled to pick up today’s Daily News here in New York and read the headline: FIDDLED WITH BLACKBERRY AS SENATE BURNED.

The story, by Kenneth Lovett …

ALBANY – Blame it on the BlackBerry.

Upstate billionaire Thomas Golisano said he began plotting to overthrow Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith after the Democrat spent a whole meeting in late April reading e-mails.

“Of course I was upset, I thought that was very rude,” he said of the meeting in Smith’s office.

“When I travel 250 miles to make a case on how to save the state a lot of money … and the guy comes into his office and starts playing with his BlackBerry, I was miffed.”

Golisano, who spent millions helping Democrats take control of the Senate for the first time since 1965, said Smith and party leaders reneged on a promise of reform and engaged in a secretive budget process that resulted in $8 billion in new taxes and fees.

After the meeting, Golisano, who founded the Independence Party, asked political operative Steve Pigeon to see if he could work a deal with Republicans.

Golisano had a good relationship with Sen. George Maziarz (R-Erie), who introduced him to Deputy Minority Leader Tom Libous (R-Binghamton).

At the same time, Pigeon met with Democrat Pedro Espada, a longtime friend.

Espada had become increasingly frustrated with Smith’s leadership, calling him a “disaster,” and spoke to Maziarz and Libous about how bad things had become.

“When [Pigeon] became involved, it escalated,” Espada said.

Early last month, GOP Minority Leader Dean Skelos traveled to Rochester for weekend meetings with Golisano, Pigeon and Niagara County GOP Chairman Henry Wojtaszek.

Golisano was skeptical that Republicans, who ran the Senate for more than 40 years, would make reforms he wants, including an independent Senate budget office and term limits for leadership posts.

“He told him you had 40 years and didn’t make a difference,” Pigeon said of Golisano. “He said, give me a reason why it should be Frick over Frack.”

Skelos made a compelling argument that the Republicans learned their lesson, and talks intensified over the next five weeks.

Major obstacles had to be overcome, including whether a two-party coalition could work and how it would operate.

A final deal was reached in an Albany hotel suite last week, with Golisano chiming in by phone from Florida.

Libous said Republican lawmakers then met in a Albany apartment across the street from the governor’s mansion and planned their move over pizza and trail mix.

Libous was chosen to handle the floor procedures necessary for a leadership change.

“We’re gonna jump out of a plane without a parachute,” Libous told his colleagues. “And we’re gonna land on our feet.”

I hate Blackberries. The wife and I have held off on such devices, because:

A. They’re addictive.

B. They’re addictive.

C. They’re addictive.

They’re also offensive. I’m here—right here. Sitting in front of you. We’re eating dinner. Let’s talk. To me. Here. In front of you. Right. Now. Here I am. Put the phone down. Really, put it down.

Please.

1 thought on “the dangers of the crackberry”

  1. I have made this EXACT argument many times in recent years…. I’ve made time to be here with you — IN PERSON — and so I should be a priority. Here’s my paralell: When you’re on the phone and somebody “beeps in” on call waiting. Don’t we often rush back to the first person and apologize for the interruption? Why do we feel compelled to apologize there, but NOT when we’re in person and take cell calls or text or stare at blackberries?

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