Common Sense: The state of Trump

As much as I am in general agreement with President Trump’s policies, I have not always been in agreement with his style or tone. Frankly, on more than one occasion, I thought he was his own worst enemy. Thus, I was pleasantly surprised with the tone and style of his address to Congress last week.

The speech should provide broad strokes on direction and policy. The president should sound like a leader and have a tone that inspires confidence in the government. And a little old fashioned patriotism should be interwoven in the remarks. The president did all that last Tuesday. And the Democrats in choosing their responder – a former Kentucky governor who seemed a bit long in the tooth – did a poor job in making their case.

There was some unjustified criticism of the president for not supplying more details. That would be for a budget address and subsequent release of a budget. This speech will come at a later date.

The president was quite presidential, pleasing most segments of Americans. In fact, one barometer — the stock market, which in some ways is more telling than any poll – went up over 300 points the next day.

He also handled the sensitive topic of recognizing recently fallen hero William “Ryan” Owens and his wife Carryn in a respectful and dignified manner. The president is the commander in chief.

The raid in Yemen in which Ryan Owens died was on President Trump’s watch. All presidents consider the weight of sending men and women into battle to be the greatest responsibility they exercise as president.

The president’s acknowledgement of the great sacrifice Owens and his family made, in my opinion, in addition to comforting the family, reflected an appreciation and respect by Trump for his new role as the military’s leader.

The bottom line, in my view, is that President Trump hit all the right notes this past Tuesday in a style and tone that was perfectly presidential. He takes a lot of criticism on a daily basis. For this address, he deserves to be complimented.


I went to a Golden Gloves tournament sponsored by a number of organizations including the Daily News at St. John’s University Staten Island this past weekend. I have been to a few professional boxing matches over the years and I have watched boxing on TV since my father introduced me to the sport as a child, but this was my first Golden Gloves.

These matches involve older teens for the most part and are far less punishing as compared to professional matches, with full headgear being utilized, much more aggressive refereeing (the standing eight counts were liberally declared) and just three two-minute rounds per match.

Liam McCabe went with me and we caught up with Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis who is a boxing fan and Marko Kepi who works for Marty Golden and had a friend boxing that night (he won).

The sportsmanship of the competitors was apparent and the crowd was large and enthusiastic. I had a great time. I would recommend it to anyone who likes boxing but finds the pros to be too theatrical and/or staged.


I am not sure what is politically happening on Staten Island, but if you follow the social media of some of the people involved you might get the impression that an effort is being made to get former Congressmember Michael Grimm to do something political again.

Off and on, and more and more regularly, people are posting positive things about him and his successes, especially Sandy-related. I have not spoken to him in a long time, so I have no idea what this is about or even if it is about anything at all. I have no reason to believe that he is interested in returning to the public eye.

And for that matter, there are only City Council and the borough president spots open on Staten Island and I cannot see a former congressmember running for City Council. I guess they do run for borough president (i.e., Guy Molinari) but Jimmy Oddo is quite a popular borough president, it would seem to me from this side of the Narrows.

On the other hand, Grimm has been known to swing at windmills and hit them.

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