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If You Ask Me

Sammy, we hardly know ye

One of the more intriguing sidelights of the special prosecutor’s first arrests in the Russian influence investigation was our introduction to Sam Clovis, the guy our other new acquaintance, George Papadopoulos, reported to.

What Trump foreign policy advisor Papadopoulos reported, of course, concerned his dealings with Russian officials to get dirt they allegedly had on Hillary Clinton.  

A Republican senator mourns the party’s lost honor

It was a time of fear and division, not unlike today.  North Korea was threatening war.  Russia had detonated its atomic bomb and China had fallen to the communists, lost, it was said, by President Truman and the Democrats.  The president was at odds with Congress and a Senate demagogue was feeding on all of this unease by lying his way to growing power and influence.

And some thoughtful Republicans were becoming disturbed at what was happening to their party.

Famous candidates you’ve never heard of

Connecticut will elect a new governor in a little more than a year and we already have a couple of dozen Democrats and Republicans in line, including one or two you may have heard of.

Licenses are safer than press freedom

Donald Trump isn’t the first president to threaten to go after the federal license of a news organization whose reporting he found unpleasant.

Richard Nixon did it too, but with a difference. Nixon knew how. 

We need gun registration, some bans and closed loopholes

What does a killer, firing hundreds of rounds a minute into a crowd of concertgoers, have to do with the need for “a militia necessary to the security of a free state?”

Or am I asking the question too soon? Are emotions are still too raw to make informed decisions about the ease with which mass murderers obtain and use their weapons of mass destruction?

Freedom for the thought that we hate

Maybe it’s time to remind ourselves that Americans have the constitutional right to do unpopular, even obnoxious things in public, like kneeling when the national anthem is played at a football game or screaming “lock her up” at a political rally. A little perspective may be in order. 

Yale to use two or three words where one will do

Amidst the turmoil of the fading summer of ‘17 — the hurricanes, a nuclear North Korea, racial and political divisions and the like — you may not have noticed that one of our great universities had quietly eliminated its freshmen and upperclassmen.

‘Whatabouts’ in the age of Putin and Trump

During the Cold War, Russians often responded to criticism of some Soviet policy or another by asking about a questionable or heinous practice of the critic’s nation, whether real or imagined, new or ancient.

For example, an American reporter’s question about Soviet slave labor camps in Siberia would be answered by a bureaucrat asking, “What about Negroes being lynched in Alabama?”

North and South: Winsted’s Union statue has Confederate brothers-in-zinc

There’s a statue on the Winsted Green, in East End Park, of a Civil War soldier who looks exactly like statues of Union soldiers in dozens of other northern towns. He also looks exactly like statues of Confederate soldiers guarding the town squares and courthouses in dozens of southern towns.

President Trump’s worst week, except for most of the others

After six months of telling literally hundreds of lies, our president decided to become the fact-checker-in-chief, but that hasn’t worked out too well either.

Maybe, as President Trump insists to this day, there were “many very fine people” among the Charlottesville torchlight paraders chanting Nazi slogans like “blood and soil” (blut und boden) and “Jews will not replace us.”