If You Ask Me

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.

Consider these six outsider presidents, including a good one

With the prospect of having a president who’s never been elected to anything looming menacingly over the land, we can take the slightest bit of comfort in knowing it’s happened before — six times — and one of the six even turned out to be a good president. The rest varied from not so good to terrible.

The last time the GOP courted disaster

With the party of Lincoln and Eisenhower and Reagan looking more and more like the party of Goldwater, recalling that chaotic time can be instructive.

It was 52 years ago, back in 1964, when the GOP establishment, then called the eastern liberal wing, last went into an election fearing that an ultraconservative standard bearer would be crushed by the voters.

And boy, was he.

GOP learned nothing from its analysis of 2012 defeat

“We need to campaign among Hispanics, black, Asian and gay Americans and demonstrate we care about them too,” said the Republican National Committee in its much-discussed “Growth and Opportunity Report.” Also known as the Republican autopsy, the report was issued after the defeat of Mitt Romney in 2013.

So, the autopsy should really be helping in 2016, right? Well, not quite.

CT GOP US senator still unlikely

It’s been 34 years since the Connecticut Republican Party last elected a Republican from Connecticut to the United States Senate; 60 years since it elected one it liked.

In fact, when Lowell Weicker decided to run for a third Senate term in 1982, party conservatives disliked him enough to get the brother of Reagan Vice President George H.W. Bush to challenge him.