THE CAPITOL CONNECTION: Public perception of Cuomo improves

ANDREW CUOMO HAS BEEN AMAZING for many reasons. I truly appreciate the respect he has for WAMC/Northeast Public Radio. I have always believed in the Freudian concept that character is established at a very young age but I think that theory has been challenged by Andrew’s personal development. The three-term governor argues that he hasn’t changed at all; that he is the same guy he has always been. Maybe, but I keep meeting people who used to despise him. They considered him mean spirited and lacking a sense of humor. Interestingly, many of these same people who used to have a bad opinion of Andrew are now singing a different tune.

For one thing, he is smarter than they thought. They also talk about how funny he can be when they previously accused him of having no sense of humor. I interviewed his father for more years than I can remember and I see a lot of parallels between Mario and Andrew. They both have had their dark moments but since I have been interviewing him pretty much weekly, I have to tell you that I really like him. He has been kind and complimentary about my work and I always leave our sessions feeling great.

It hasn’t always been easy between the two of us. For his first two terms, he didn’t talk to me. Then, one day, there he was, and he has been coming back pretty much ever since. I try to ask him the tough questions and for the most part, he answers them. The last time we spoke I asked him who he was dating. I knew that he wasn’t going to be straight with me and he jokingly referred to a lady who wrote to me hoping to get an introduction to him. He described her attributes in some detail. If you are asking why Andrew’s social life is important to any of us, the answer is because it is. We are disgusted by Donald Trump’s treatment of women because we do judge our politicians on the basis of character. Read more…

THE CAPITOL CONNECTION: You’d want this guy in your corner

EVERYONE NEEDS A HERO and my hero is a man named Carmi Rapport. I love the guy. He is a valued member of the Board of Trustees of Northeast Public Radio, the public radio network that I head. If there is ever a problem, Carmi is the guy you want in your corner. He is reasonable to a fault. He never goes off half-cocked and because is a lawyer’s lawyer, he has the ability to keep his clients (I am not one) out of the kind of trouble that people can sometimes find themselves in. Every small town in America, like Hudson, New York and the surrounding Columbia County has The lawyer. Oh, there are others but anyone reading this knows exactly what I mean. For well over 50 years, Carmi was the go-to guy if you really needed help.

Here’s just one story that makes me wet around the eyes when I tell it (which is why I try not to tell it on the radio). I had another hero, a man named Aaron Mitrani. Aaron was a social worker who, for years, headed the Bronx House Emanuel Camps in Copake. When Aaron was dying, he called me and asked for a favor. Since I would have done anything for him, I set my mind to helping him. It seemed that as a social worker he didn’t have a lot of money, but he had a house in Ancram in Columbia County. The will Aaron wrote with his first wife left the house to the offspring in the family. Aaron had remarried and upon his death, his wife would have been left with virtually no resources. So Aaron asked me to figure out how his second wife could get the house. Of course, not being a lawyer or even that smart, I called the one guy who you go to, Carmi Rapport.

When I told Carmi what I needed, he said, “Of course,” and asked for Aaron’s address. When I told him, with some trepidation, that Aaron had very little money, Carmi said something like, “Shut up.” That’s why I cry. Read more…

THE CAPITOL CONNECTION: Feeling sorry for the president?

SO NOW DONALD TRUMP says that he may not be president for another term because people don’t like him. I’ve never understood what the man thinks he is doing. I know he is a lying, lying, lying liar so no matter what he says, I’m pretty sure that he is lying. “To what end?” you ask. I have always believed in the concept of the double triple, quadruple fake-out. This is not a man who will go quietly.

Maybe he is trying to get the people in this country to feel sorry for him. Nah, that’s not possible. How could anyone feel sorry for Donald Trump? The guy is responsible for so many people dying because he refused to acknowledge the seriousness of the Covid-19 pandemic and thus, we were totally unprepared. Instead, the most dangerous person in America suggested that we would only have 15 people who might get the disease. Today we lead the world in infections and deaths and he has abdicated all responsibility. As I have said on so many occasions, a kid who holds up a candy store can spend a lot of time in prison but Trump, who has the death of thousands of people on his hands, is immune. He can’t be indicted. He can’t be prosecuted. He knows that and acts accordingly. His friends are despots of the worst sort. The idea that we might feel sorry for him is out of the question. Read more…