Labor Day Means Summer Is Over; Political Season Has Begun

Keep the mute button ready

Good morning, hope you are having a nice Labor Day Weekend.

I'm sure the last thing you want to think about today, as you relish the last summer holiday, is politics. So we'll start with this.

Labor Day Facts

The first Labor Day parade was held in New York City on Sept. 5, 1882, and included some 10,000 marchers.

In 1894, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September a legal holiday.

In the late 1800s the average American worked a 12-hour day and seven-days a week.

The eight-hour work day was legally established in 1916.

It is no longer verboten to wear white after Labor Day, although wearing the "Full Cleveland" (matching white belt and shoes) is strictly forbidden at any time.

There are more than 155 million people over the age of 16 in the nation's workforce.

While the average work commute in the United States is 25.3 minutes, more than 3 million Americans commute more than 90 minutes (one way).

The football season traditionally kicks off on Labor Day weekend, unless you are a Red Sox fan, in which case it began about three months ago.

Back to Politics, Sorry

You are going to be bombarded with a lot of campaign blah-blah-blah between now and the first Tuesday in November. If you think the last month has been annoying, well, starting next week it will be all-mute-button-all-the-time.

Politicians think people don't start focusing on elections until after Labor Day. Really, someone should tell them that it's actually more like after Halloween.

The negative ads have already been running. We are now in the, define-your-opponent-before-he-defines-you stage. This is mostly accomplished through the airing of distortions and grainy black and white photos.

Tom Foley and Gov. Malloy held their first debate Wednesday. If you missed it, don't worry, everyone did. It wasn't televised. Why a debate would not be televised in this day and age is surprising. Perhaps they kept it off the air as a public service. If so, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Judging from the accounts of the debate I read, I would have to say my favorite parts were:

Malloy publicly apologizing to teachers for once saying all they have to do to get tenure is show up. "I should admit that was bad language," said Malloy. "I shouldn't have said it. I apologize for saying it."

As someone who had a lot of experience apologizing to teachers, I think this was a good move on Malloy's part. Being on the wrong side of a teacher can leave you sitting by yourself in an empty room for long periods of time.

My favorite Foley moment was when he accused Malloy of being an out-of-touch elitist. "You are hurting the citizens of our state with your policies," Foley said. "You live in a big mansion up there in Hartford. You've got a driver who drives you around."

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