Congress must act to fix Connecticut’s crumbling railways

The $1.3 trillion omnibus spending package recently approved by President Donald Trump and Congress includes much-needed infrastructure funding that could help Connecticut rebuild its crumbling railways. But it is now up to the Appropriations Committees in both the Senate and the House to take the next step by prioritizing more federal funding for critical repairs and upgrades along Connecticut’s stretch of the Northeast Corridor rail system.

President Trump, Make America great again by uniting Palestine and Israel

Reliably unpredictable and defiantly unconventional, our President Donald Trump is known as a wily negotiator of real estate and trade deals, a creative manipulator of immigration and election laws as well as grandstander on domestic and foreign policy—tax cuts for the wealthy, reneging on international agreements and treaties (Paris Climate Accord, Iran Nuclear Deal). But now he’s outdone himself. He’s keeping his promise to make America great again by taking the first step to make Palestine/Israel one country again.

The National Popular Vote is not a ‘workaround’

In your May 5 article Connecticut commits to national popular vote for president, you write that the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact “essentially is a constitutional workaround, a way to undo a 200-year-old element of the Constitution without amending it.” It’s disappointing to see the CT Mirror repeat this canard that was used by state legislators opposed to electing the president the way they are elected: where every vote cast matters and the candidate who receives the most votes wins. The NPV Compact is not a “workaround” that undoes the Electoral College.

The goal in Korea should be peace and trade – not unification

Last week, the world witnessed a first tangible step toward a peaceful, prosperous Korean peninsula. On April 27, 2018, Kim Jong Un became the first North Korean leader to step foot in South Korea – where he was welcomed by South Korean President Moon Jae-in. A few days later, the South Korean government reported that Kim had promised to give up his nuclear arsenal under certain conditions.

A Supreme Court justice should be a Constitutional conservative

Kudos to Neil Gorsuch! Much has been written by the left and the right about Neil Gorsuch — from his nomination for an opening on the Supreme Court to his voting on cases brought to the highest court in the land. So far, he has been conducting himself like all justices should: keeping personal opinions to himself, and speaking for our founders with a literal interpretation of the Constitution by using the definitions of words as they were used at the time of our founding.

Congress must protect vital discount prescription drug program

For more than 376,000 Connecticut residents each year, their medical needs are provided by a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), a community health center which gives patients top-level primary, dental and behavioral health care at a fraction of the cost of an emergency room visit. This includes First Choice Health Centers in East Hartford, Manchester and Vernon, which serves more than 21,000 people annually, many of whom otherwise cannot afford regular access to medical care.

Universal background checks — Congress, what are you waiting for?

Universal background checks should be federal law at this juncture of our nation’s history. The fact that universal background checks are not mandated can reasonably be described as a failure of representative democracy. In the wake of the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School (Parkland, Fla.), it’s reasonable to ask – could a universal background check system have prevented the entire incident?

Facebook and the power to influence millions of voters

The recent testimony of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is being portrayed as the response of our political class to invasions of user privacy. But this is really about the political classes’ realization that Facebook has the power to organize voters and skew elections based on the preferences of Zuckerberg and his minions.

Feeling sorry for Hope Hicks? Don’t.

President Donald Trump’s former communications director, Hope Hicks, comes off pretty well when compared to the cabal of con men, cretins, tricksters and ne’er-do-wells that otherwise orbit the president. So it’s tempting for Trump’s critics to express a degree of sympathy for the former fashion model and native of Greenwich, Conn., whose reputation is for inner strength and quiet perseverance.

Weapons of war do not belong in citizens’ hands

I agree totally with Carol Rizzolo [Connecticut gun laws work, April 6]. Weapons of war do not belong in the hands of our citizenry. The mistaken notion that all who favor banning these weapons want a repeal of the Second Amendment is simply an emotional scare tactic.  Connecticut has made great progress in enacting gun safety legislation, but there remains much to do.  Our children deserve safety in their schools and we all deserve safe houses of worship, theaters,  concert venues  and streets.

Fighting for students, fighting with students

The tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has forced a national reckoning. The images of that fateful day continue to haunt me, and sweeping regulations on gun purchases and use are long overdue. But the shooting and its aftermath are about something more than guns. The past few weeks have reinforced one of my deepest beliefs, which inspired me to commit my life to public service in the first place: young people are the vanguard of progress.