If You Ask Me

The funniest president in U.S. history?

By now, we’ve all come to recognize that, in addition to his genius and humility, we have a president blessed with a world-class sense of humor. Witness the levity in his suggestion that those who didn’t stand and join in applauding him during his State of the Union address were  “treasonous.”


Donald Trump, we can all agree, is the wittiest president in the past century — with the possible exception of that devilishly funny Richard Nixon.

What does Putin have on Trump?

There was a lot of news about Donald Trump and Russia last week, none of it that “vindicates ‘Trump,’” despite the president’s tweeted insistence that this is the case.  Much of the news, in fact, only makes it more important than ever to find the answer of the most troubling question raised by the president’s conduct vis-à-vis Russia and its dictator:

What does Vladimir Putin have on Donald Trump?

Connecticut congressmen should learn to compromise

It was sad to see both Connecticut senators and three of its five House members vote against reopening the federal government last week.

Remembering Katharine Graham and Ben Bradlee

Last week, I had the rare experience of not only seeing a historical film whose principal players I had known, but also hearing the audience applaud the history they made as the movie ended.

The film is Stephen Spielberg’s  “The Post,” the story of the role The Washington Post and its publisher, Katharine Graham, and editor, Ben Bradlee, played in affirming the press freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment against a powerful opponent, the Nixon Administration.

Can the GOP fix the fine mess we’ve gotten into?

To paraphrase what Hardy often said to Laurel, “It’s a fine mess we’ve gotten us into.”

Credit for much of the messiness has to go to the Democratic Party, which has controlled the executive and legislative branches of state government for the past eight years. 

But some of the credit for the mess must be shared by the Republican Party, which controlled the governorship for 15 of the past 22 years and played nicely with the Democratic legislative majority in giving the mess its momentum. 

Could CT have a third-party governor?

Could Connecticut become the Land of Oz in 2018?  

That’s Oz as in R. Nelson “Oz” Griebel, the latest in a long line of candidates for governor.  Never heard of him? That’s no problem. We’ve never heard of most of the candidates for that open position and aren’t terribly excited about those we’ve heard of.

Trump now wants to use ‘alternative words’

Within days of Donald Trump’s inauguration, George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four” became the best-selling book in every category at Amazon.com.

This 67-year-old novel about a society manipulated by an authoritarian government had been selling well since the surprise election of Trump the previous November. This was also true of Sinclair Lewis’ tale of an American fascist president, “It Can’t Happen Here.”

Dems shun governorship

What do Joseph Courtney, James Himes, Elizabeth Esty, George Jepsen, Kevin Lembo, Nancy Wyman and Edward Kennedy, Jr. have in common?

Many office holders are growing too old on the job

Since at least the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt, who broke the unwritten law of two-term presidencies, there have been efforts to limit the time our elected leaders can serve.  

The 22nd amendment, passed and ratified soon after FDR’s death, made certain we would never have another three-or-four -term president, another Roosevelt, and we most assuredly have not—had another Roosevelt.  It can be argued the limitation has weakened the second terms of many presidents.

Lying and bigotry in the land of Donald Trump

Imagine someone distributing a photo of a child being thrown off a roof with the caption, “Jewish mob pushes teenage boy off roof and beats him to death” or another alleging, “Baptist destroys statue of Virgin Mary.”

You would reasonably conclude the distributor of this venom is a bigot.

So how would it be different if the word Muslim was substituted for the word Baptist or Jew? How would singling out members of the world’s second largest religion be any different?