Obama, the laziest president, demonstrates the problem with politics

President Obama has been largely a “sidelines-quarterback.” His nickname of “No-Drama Obama” was earned by a full eight years of never getting out of first gear and assiduously refusing to exert and effort beyond the minimal. However, now it seems that he has suddenly come to life and is rushing to get some things put on his list of accomplishments. He came back from his latest vacation apparently with the intention to finally get some things done in his last few weeks. It seems as if he would like to be remembered for perhaps more than the president who has taken the most vacation time, spent the most on vacations (nearly $100 million), and logged more rounds of golf than any other president in history

American exceptionalism, the Founders’ wisdom, or how to ‘drain the swamp’

Mentioning “American Exceptionalism” in the wrong crowd could yield everything from “the vapors” to outright hostility. These stem from both a misunderstanding of the word “exceptional” and a lack of U.S. historical knowledge. Let me address both. Many folks think “exceptional” means “better than.” Not so. The first meaning in the 2016 edition of the American Heritage Dictionary is “uncommon,” synonyms for which include “rare” and “singular.”

Donald Trump and arguments from ignorance

Most people, even very young children, have an intuitive sense that proof of the existence of something is required before that “something” is acknowledged as true. Kids say “prove it.” Adults understand that the burden of proof is almost always on the party asserting the truth of something. For example, in our justice system the burden of proof is on the state (in a criminal action) and the plaintiff (in a civil action). A defendant does not have to prove his innocence; the state must prove his guilt–beyond a reasonable doubt. For some reason, however, this very simple concept seems to get lost in the political realm.

Larson’s tunnels and widening I-95 are wasteful pipe dreams

U.S. Rep. John Larson recently proposed a massive $10 billion project to drill through miles of shale, sandstone, and basalt under Hartford for two new highway tunnels without any traffic study showing it would reduce congestion. This is one of numerous frivolous proposals that would waste precious taxpayer dollars without meeting the 21st Century needs of hardworking families in Connecticut.

Trump’s flag-burning tweet ‘troubling’ for its First Amendment ignorance

The New England First Amendment Coalition is deeply troubled by President-Elect Donald Trump’s recent statement calling for the imprisonment or loss of citizenship of those who burn the American flag. While Trump’s comments may reflect the feelings of many citizens, they perpetuate a dangerous misunderstanding about the breadth of the First Amendment and the protection it provides all Americans.

DeLauro: To lead on infrastructure, Trump should look to public-private investment

“Our infrastructure is crumbling:” It is an expression we hear often in Washington —but what we do not hear as often are concrete plans to address our nation’s failing infrastructure. Both of this year’s presidential candidates agreed that we need to make substantial investments in rebuilding and expanding our infrastructure. In his acceptance speech, President-Elect Trump said: “We’re going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none. And we will put millions of our people to work as we rebuild it.”

Improve Connecticut’s public transportation system, not its highways

U.S. Rep. John Larson recently proposed the construction of underground highway tunnels into Hartford. Since there already are many road expansion proposals, we need to stop prioritizing road expansion and start prioritizing mass transit that reflects the needs of Connecticut residents in a 21st Century transportation system.

An open letter from Connecticut to President-elect Trump

Dear President Elect Donald J. Trump,

I wanted to congratulate you on your unprecedented victory. You have reminded the world that anything is possible as a citizen of the United States;
You’ve reminded us that being overconfident can be your worst enemy and quickest route to defeat;
You’ve reminded us that history repeats itself and pendulums swing both ways and absolutely will when pushed too far to one side or another…

Westport Dems: No place here for xenophobia, misogyny, and intolerance

Since Election Day, the Westport Democratic Town Committee has heard from many people in our community who are struggling to reconcile themselves to this [presidential] result and what it means for our nation. Tuesday night, a week after Election Day, we had a record turnout at our monthly meeting. People who had never attended a DTC meeting before came to express their fear, their anger, and their worry about the future. They spoke of sleepless nights, of difficult conversations with their children, and of feeling like foreigners in their own country.
In the past week, incidents of racial intimidation and hate speech have sharply risen all around the nation. Sadly, our town has not been immune.

Globalism delivers some painful American realities

With last Tuesday’s election of Donald Trump, a reversal of the current trends in globalization may be imminent. The answer is not to slam the door on trade or to ignore the existence of a problem, but rather to start talking honestly about it and the unforeseen side effects it is having on our country and economy.

The Electoral College is unconstitutional

If voting is a “right” after a citizen turns 18 years old, then counting a citizen’s vote as null because of the state in which they reside is the equivalent of no vote at all, and a direct infringement on the “right to vote.” For a single vote towards a person of their choice should count as one, not as none.

How Progressives can invest in future elections on Nov. 8

Voters are disheartened, with polls showing much dislike for both Trump and Clinton. But to paraphrase Michelle Obama, even as this presidential race has brought us “low,” we can still go “high” by effecting change beyond 2016. We have an opportunity to contribute to a more representative, democratic electoral future by considering other presidential candidates —“third parties”– who represent important populist issues neither Trump nor Clinton do.