A ‘conspiracy’ for higher ratings — at Newtown’s expense

NBC’s newest multi-million-dollar anchor is about to give America – and Connecticut in particular – a lesson in journalistic ethics. It’s a fight that pits the network’s need for ratings and publicity against the pleas of Sandy Hook parents not to cause them more pain. This weekend, Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly plans to air an interview with conspiracy website author and radio host Alex Jones. In one of his more outlandish theories, Jones has called the monstrous shooting “a giant hoax.” No one died there, the theory goes. Instead, the government hired actors to pretend there was a shooting, in order to increase support for gun control, Jones claimed.

A renewed commitment to the state of Israel and the Jewish people

Last month in Washington, D.C., I had the opportunity to take part in the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the China and Israeli states, jointly hosted by both countries’ ambassadors to the United States. … While the purpose of the gathering was to celebrate Chinese and Israeli relations, it also underscored the unique and unbreakable bond between the United States and Israel.

Lawmakers, leave the Johnson Amendment alone

The Connecticut Council for Philanthropy (CCP) is an association of grantmakers committed to promoting and supporting effective philanthropy for the public good. On behalf of the Board of CCP, we are writing to express our strong opposition to federal legislation that would repeal the Johnson Amendment, thereby politicizing the charitable nonprofit and philanthropic community by repealing or weakening current federal tax law protections that prohibit 501(c)(3) organizations from endorsing, opposing, or contributing to political candidates.

Fair housing rule needs to be used everywhere, not weakened

Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule and fair housing policy are lifelines to low income families and people of color who have been crowded into low opportunity neighborhoods in cities like Hartford. AFFH is under attack from both the Trump administration and Congress. Dr. Ben Carson, the current Secretary of HUD, has gone on the record against AFFH, stating that it relies on a “tortured reading of the Fair Housing laws” to effect change. AFFH. We need HUD and the federal government to use these rules, not repeal them.

Look at the sunny side and go solar

What’s an American couple to do right after the winter of our discontent—not to mention despair and disbelief?
How about doing organizational work in your congressional district for the midterm elections in 2018? You bet! Perchance talk civilly to friends, neighbors and relatives —even strangers— about issues that you feel are important to your family, to your children and grandchildren (and theirs)? Amen, sisters and brothers.My wife and I are looking on the sunny side.

This is why I protest. This is why I must.

Last night my brother asked me why I was protesting, what was my goal. I answered, but my answer was incomplete. I said something about impeachment and then something about reversing the tide with the mid-term elections. What I should have said was that I can’t not do this. And here’s why:

GOP lust to defund Planned Parenthood could exact heavy price

With the election of a Republican president and control of the U.S. Congress by Republicans, you’d think Planned Parenthood is in trouble. Defunding the reproductive health organization has been for years a rallying cry among Republicans, especially Christian conservatives opposed to abortion. With the GOP now in power, it would seem the tide has finally turned. It hasn’t. In fact, Planned Parenthood has the advantage.

Join the movement: One person, one vote

Reform the Electoral College so the electoral vote reflects the nationwide popular vote for President. Many believe we are a democratic country, maybe even the top democracy in the world, but the United States was founded as a Constitutional Republic. And as of last month, The Democracy Index Report (issued annually by The Economist, Intelligence Unit) has demoted the U.S. to a “flawed democracy.” It’s time to reform the election system for president so that our votes here in Connecticut matter.

The DNC needs an Organizer in Chief, not a Fund-raiser in Chief

As chairperson of the Democratic National Committee, Keith Ellison will bring the reformational change to the DNC and ultimately to the Democratic Party that our party’s members demand and our nation’s voters deserve. With Ellison as chairperson of the DNC, the position will no longer serve as the failed model of Fundraiser in Chief, but instead, as Organizer in Chief harnessing the grassroots zeal which is now in full bloom across our country.

Conservative jurisprudence will stymie Trump’s immigration order

The day after the election of Donald Trump, I heard news reports around the state of panicked schoolchildren. These sons and daughters of undocumented immigrants believed mistakenly that with the rise of Trump came the imminent deportation of their parents. It was awful to hear. I felt a personal failing. We in the media are charged with informing the citizenry so the citizenry can chose the best leader. We failed at that, clearly, but we also failed to explain how government works. What these panicked youth did not understand is that the president is not a king.