If You Ask Me

With Trump, there’s everything to fear

Franklin D. Roosevelt, the first president I can remember, raised the spirits of a nation with a quarter of its workers unemployed by telling it not to despair, that the only thing we had to fear was fear, itself. And now, the only thing we have to fear is a president who exploits our fears.  Our real fears and those he manufactures. 

Rascally Muslim disrupts a presidential convention

In the weeks leading up to the Republican convention — the 1904 convention we’re talking about, not this one — the brash New Yorker controlled a majority of the delegates, but he also knew that many of the party’s most influential leaders did not want to see him nominated. They never liked him very much; the party’s recently deceased money man, Mark Hanna, had often called him “that damned cowboy,” a reference to Theodore Roosevelt’s maverick ways.

Surprise pick for ‘best’ governor in 20 years

The way things are going in Connecticut, it’s beginning to look as if the best governor the state has had in the past 20 years will turn out to be — are you ready for this — John Rowland.

True, Rowland is currently facing his second term in the slammer, but compared with his successors, the nice Jodi Rell and the not-as-nice Dannel Malloy, he was pretty good before things took a bad turn and his crookedness overshadowed his accomplishments.

Banning assault weapons the old-fashioned way

Remember the Tommy gun? If you do, it’s probably from those old gangster movies with Humphrey Bogart and James Cagney mowing down rival gangsters and cops or G-Man J. Edgar Hoover posing menacingly with his very own Tommy gun.

Terrible tales from the Trump files

Did you hear the one about Donald Trump giving the Texas attorney general a big campaign contribution after the AG dropped a lawsuit against his Trump University? Or the Florida attorney general soliciting and receiving a $25,000 check from Trump before dropping a similar suit against Trump U in her Sunshine State? 

College students joining the book burners

I see Yale and other elite institutions have dropped the title “master” for those in charge of their residential colleges on the grounds the designation reminded students of the slave-master relationship of two centuries ago and thereby made some of them feel threatened and intimidated.

Fear of standing army inspired Second Amendment

Compared with some of the other murky passages in the Constitution, the Second Amendment seems clear enough: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be impinged.”

No one you would know on GOP’s congressional slate

As usual, the Connecticut Republican Party is offering a galaxy of fresh faces, also known as no one you’d know, to challenge the six Democrats who represent the state in the U.S. House and Senate, also known as the do nothing Congress.

As we sadly shuffle along to 2016’s Election Day

As the new musical, “Shuffle Along,” opens, a narrator explains we will be treated to the wonderful music and dancing of the original 1921 production and the story of the struggle to bring what would be the first all-black show to Broadway 95 years ago.

He adds that the 1921 storyline about an election battle between two dishonest politicians nobody likes has been dropped. The audience, picking up on the oh-so-contemporary reference, roars with laughter.

The best outsider who never became a U.S. president

On May 8, 1940, 76 years ago this Sunday, a Gallup poll revealed that gang-busting prosecutor Thomas E. Dewey continued to dominate a long list of Republican candidates for president and appeared to have the nomination all but won. Not bad for a 38-year-old whose only election had been in 1935 when he became Manhattan district attorney and proceeded to prosecute a bunch of notable crooks.