Showing posts from 2017

A New Left Majority Is Possible,... Maybe

Can a new left majority arise from the 2016 Presidential Election, the oligarch and alt-right takeover of our government, and the chaos of the Trump Administration? The country is in the midst of its most turbulent period since the Vietnam War, Watergate and the “rights” movements of the 1960s. This post is partly inspired by events from yesterday. Saturday afternoon, anti-Fascist protesters clashed in the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia , with Fascists – partly emboldened by the Trump presidency – who had organized a demonstration to protest the planned removal of a statue honoring the leader of the Confederate army, General Robert E. Lee. I was shocked by yesterday, and like most people in America and around the world, I am still in shock that Donald Trump was able to defeat Hillary Clinton to become the nation’s 45 th President. Trump is, without a doubt, the most unfit person to win the White House in modern times and is perhaps the least prepared leader the n

A Story About Lenny Keeping The Professor Honest

I'm always looking for interesting ways to talk about the many things that cross my mind about politics, economics, race, and class. So, I thought I would try my hand at using storytelling rather than a straight essay to share my thoughts. This is the first of many to come featuring Lenny, the Professor and their friends. _______________________ Lenny walked into my office and immediately extended his fist to give me some dap. Pretending he was looking around for a camera, he said, “You need to be careful professor. You know fist bumps got Michele and Barack in trouble. I know you have tenure, but that doesn’t mean they still can’t make a move against your black butt." “The fists bump,” I said, “is the universal black man greeting. You know if I did not give you any dap, you would spread rumors all over the Northend of Hartford that the Professor had sold out.” “Professor, I wouldn’t do you like that. I love you like a brother from another mother.” Lenny stepped ba

Connecticut Must Say No To Austerity: Make Corporatons And The Rich Pay Their Fair Share

More than nine years after the start of the 2007-09 Great Recession, the U.S. economy is not working for most Americans. The recovery in terms of GDP and job growth has been weak and uneven across the country. According to a new report by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), a major reason for the slow recovery is austerity, a series of economic policies that rely primarily on spending cuts and reducing the taxes of wealthy Americans and corporations to reduce deficits. Connecticut’s political leaders must resist calls for austerity measures to deal with our current revenue crisis. Slashing government spending and tax cuts for those who least need them will not make things better; austerity will only make things worse. What Connecticut needs is a more progressive tax system to solve its revenue crisis. Here in Connecticut, the recovery to the Great Recession has been anemic. The state is projected to have a more than $5 billion revenue shortfall over the next 2 years. This year

No Time To Go Backwards; Segregated Schools Are Not Acceptable.

Over 63 years ago, on May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court in a 9-0 decision, issued its landmark ruling, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas . The Justices declared that de jure racial segregation was a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The ruling overturned the High Court’s 1896 decision, Plessy v. Ferguson , which had legitimized racial segregation laws for public facilities, including public schools. Seven years after the case was filed at Hartford Superior Court, on July 9, 1996, the Connecticut Supreme Court, in a sharply divided 4-3 decision, ruled in Sheff v. O’Neill that racial and ethnic segregation and socioeconomic isolation in the Hartford public school system “demonstrates that the state has failed to fulfill its affirmative constitutional obligation to provide all of the state’s schoolchildren with a substantially equal educational opportunity.” Sheff , like Brown , is a landmark school desegr

When It Comes To Healthcare, Congressional Republicans And The President Believe It Should Be Survival Of The Fittest

Social Darwinism masquerading as health care reform is the only way to accurately describe the American Health Care Act being rushed through the Congress by House Republican leaders.   Because of the provisions in Obamacare and the expansion of Medicaid in 30 states, over 11.5 million Americans gained access to something they once couldn’t afford, healthcare. If Republicans succeed in moving this piece of legislation through the Congress, President Donald Trump will sign into law two bills that will cause millions of Americans to lose their healthcare coverage.   That outcome is exactly what many Republican lawmakers want to see happen.   Responding to a question about the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare, a first term Congressman, Rep. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., who spent three decades as physician and is a member of the GOP Doctors Caucus, said: "Just like Jesus said, 'The poor will always be with us,…' There is a group of people that just don't want health ca

Betsy Devos Comments about HBCU's Wipes Away the Past and Substitutes History with a Delusion

After meeting with presidents and chancellors of historically black colleges and universities at the White House, charter school advocate and Education Secretary Betsy Devos released an astonishing statement : A key priority for this administration is to help develop opportunities for communities that are often the most underserved. Rather than focus solely on funding, we must be willing to make the tangible, structural reforms that will allow students to reach their full potential. Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have done this since their founding. They started from the fact that there were too many students in America who did not have equal access to education. They saw that the system wasn't working, that there was an absence of opportunity, so they took it upon themselves to provide the solution. HBCUs are real pioneers when it comes to school choice. They are living proof that when more options are provided to students, they are afforded greater ac

A Confidence Man Named Donald J. Trump Occupies The White House

President Donald J. Trump is a confidence man. A con man is someone who swindles his victims by way of a confidence game. Confidence men gain their victims trust, playing on some of our most basic human weaknesses (and strengths), such as, kindness, opportunism, dishonesty, decency, arrogance, empathy, recklessness, gullibility, innocence, desperation, generosity, and greed. Trump has been hustling people for a long time. His ability to con people has rewarded him handsomely over the years and now has resulted in him becoming the 45th President of the United States. The foundational work for the confidence game started about 18 months before Election Day when Trump announced his candidacy. The scam “officially” hit its apogee, however, on Friday, January 20, 2016, when he was sworn in and gave one of the darkest speeches ever given by an incoming president. In his inaugural address, Trump invoked dark dystopian imagery that does not match reality . Although U.S. crime rates ar