THE CAPITOL CONNECTION: Don’t defund new Law and Order

OKAY, WE ALL HAVE HEROES. I, for one, love Sam Waterston, who is reprising his role on Law and Order. He once told me not to despair because, “There is life after Law and Order.” He was wrong and this return of the program proves it. This is something you seldom see—a show coming back to life after having been pronounced dead. Every once in a while, there is something so good on television that it defies the generally poor quality of the genre. Law and Order is one such program. It is so good that you can watch the episodes over and over again. I know that I do and my bet is that you do, too.

Now 81-year old Waterston is reprising his role as the fighting DA, Jack McCoy. The way he appears on television is the way he is in real life. See, the thing about Sam is that he is a very decent fellow. I have had my chance to get know him and he is just who he seems to be. He’s interested in politics, not from the left or the right but from the middle. I once asked him in front of an audience which of his female assistant DA’s he found most attractive. He brought down the house by asking me what I was trying to do to him since his wife was in the audience.

Some wise guy put a sign up on my office door that reads “Jack McCoy for President.” When we last left Jack, he was running for a full term as DA. He was actually a great DA, unlike the schlemiel who is currently disgracing the job in Manhattan. Let there be no mistake—it is not easy to be a DA. We saw that in real time as two of the New York DA’s top assistants walked out on DA Alvin Bragg, who is not exactly distinguishing himself in his job. They had been working on the case involving Donald Trump a long time and their departure was a real slap in the face for the current DA who somehow got himself elected. Read more…

THE CAPITOL CONNECTION: Teacher’s bias taught him lesson

OUR TEACHERS ARE AMONG the most significant influences in our lives. Every one of us can point to an individual teacher who has been more important to us than anyone else, with the possible exception of our parents. I remember the good ones and the bad ones. I’m a teacher, myself. I taught college for a long, long time. Over the years, people have reached out to tell me what I meant to them. My wife, Roselle, now retired, taught in elementary school, in high school, in college and in graduate school. We can’t go anywhere without people coming up and thanking her.

Teachers have always had it hard. Now, however, they have it harder than ever. With Covid ravaging the land, they have to walk into a classroom and risk their own health. In the lower grades, before our children can be vaccinated, this is particularly dangerous. Teachers have families. They risk not only getting sick themselves but bringing the disease home. Some teachers just won’t take the risk, but most have done what they have to. Some students have not been vaccinated, maybe because their parents were so stupid that they drank the Kool-Aid and eschewed the shot. They become walking time bombs.

Teachers are not alone in facing risk. Bus drivers, health professionals and pharmacists likewise must face down Covid, but it is teachers who impart knowledge to us and who help mold our values. That’s what I’m thinking about as I write this. Read more…