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What should scare us about Trump's porn star scandal

It’s not the sex, it’s the secrecy. The Wall Street Journal reported last Friday that a lawyer for Donald Trump paid an adult-film actress $130,000 one month before the 2016 election in exchange for her silence about an alleged sexual…

icon Posted: 22 January 2018 [08:35 PM]

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Monday 01/22/2018
GRANDADDY'S SECRETS: Teaching can be a lesson in frustration
icon Posted: 22 January 2018 [08:34 PM]

Dear Granddaddy, my students are frustrating me. They’re very different today. Tim V. – veteran teacher. I hear you, Tim. I, too, am a concerned veteran teacher. I, too, have seen what looks like a changing student body over the…

OUR VIEW: Women deserve justice, equality and respect
icon Posted: 22 January 2018 [08:33 PM]

From London to Madrid, from California to Las Vegas, from Washington, D.C. to Hartford, women gathered this past weekend for the second annual Women’s March with the intent to shine a light on inequality for women in all aspects of…

Sunday 01/21/2018
Their View: Trump shares physical results; what about taxes?
icon Posted: 21 January 2018 [08:18 PM]

The president’s cholesterol level is 223. He weighs 239 pounds. He takes a cholesterol-lowering statin drug, and, though he is in decent health for someone his age, he should exercise more. These findings are unremarkable - except that they represent…

Friday 01/19/2018
OUR VIEW: Cyberbullying remains a concern for kids and adults
icon Posted: 19 January 2018 [09:48 PM]

It takes confidence and courage to stand up to bullies. Olivia Rajotte, from Bristol Central High School, and Madison Fostervold, from Bristol Eastern High School, are doing just that by bringing awareness to the issue. The pair recently addressed…

A look at why poor Americans' lives are growing shorter
icon Posted: 19 January 2018 [09:47 PM]

Life expectancy in the U.S. declined slightly in 2016, as it did in 2015, and - at least as important - the overall trends continue to mask increasing disparities across socioeconomic groups. Carol Graham of the Brookings Institution helps explain…

Can there be a charitable reading of 's---hole'?
icon Posted: 19 January 2018 [09:47 PM]

CAMDEN, S.C. - While recently perusing unread books gathering dust on my shelves, one tome caught my eye and, upon being loosed from the grip of neglect, fell open to a random page from which leapt the following sentence: “The…

The voters are President Donald Trump's biggest problem
icon Posted: 19 January 2018 [09:46 PM]

The Associated Press reports that Gallup shows President Trump “has averaged just a 39 percent approval rating since his inauguration. The previous low was held by Bill Clinton, whose first-year average stood 10 points higher than Trump’s, at 49 percent.”…

Is it possible for Trump to spark a kindness backlash?
icon Posted: 19 January 2018 [09:45 PM]

“The Trump administration’s action today is cruel,” Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., said. The new policy is “the latest salvo of the Trump administration’s war on health care,” according to a health-care advocacy group. “The pain is the point” of the…

A work requirement for Medicaid isn't 'cruel'
icon Posted: 19 January 2018 [09:42 PM]

WASHINGTON - If you are appalled by the chaos, division and meanness of the Trump presidency, if you are tired of the lies he and his apparatchiks tell, take heart. Most of your fellow Americans feel the same way. There…

Thursday 01/18/2018
High stakes for President Trump at the World Economic Forum
icon Posted: 18 January 2018 [07:45 PM]

President Donald Trump has had a ragged couple of weeks. Without reliving every sour note, let’s just say he hasn’t started the year with an inspirational vibe. His unforced, bizarre errors have overshadowed soaring consumer confidence, the potential benefits of…

It's time for United States to put Kim Jong Un on his heels
icon Posted: 18 January 2018 [07:44 PM]

President Donald Trump’s November decision to designate North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism - in response to legislation I introduced that passed in Congress last year - was more than just a symbolic move. The administration has not…

42 percent of Republicans believe negative stories are 'fake news'
icon Posted: 18 January 2018 [07:43 PM]

All those media-trust studies have a tendency toward the rote. Yes, we already knew that the public had little trust in the country’s journalistic organs. Yes, we knew that finding credible sources could be a harrowing pursuit for the public.…

A change for the worse
icon Posted: 18 January 2018 [07:42 PM]

Since the big Obamacare repeal-and-replace bills failed in the Senate, Congress and President Donald Trump have sought to undermine the law in subtler ways. First, Republican lawmakers repealed Obamacare’s individual mandate, a key element of the law’s design. Now the…

Wednesday 01/17/2018
OUR VIEW: The future is STEM
icon Posted: 17 January 2018 [09:59 PM]

Educators have been pushing for sometime the benefits of students concentrating on STEM classes. STEM, or Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, is a curriculum based on these disciplines with the idea that many of the jobs in the U.S. and…

The IRS is an overtaxed agency
icon Posted: 17 January 2018 [09:57 PM]

Hate the Internal Revenue Service? Worried that you won’t be able to fill out your returns correctly under the new tax law? Do not take it out on the poor IRS employee who could not answer your tax question, even…

Will Trump exhaust our democratic capacities?
icon Posted: 17 January 2018 [09:56 PM]

The Washington Post WASHINGTON - Political leaders in democracies have a few core obligations. They are charged with solving today’s problems and preparing their nations for the future. They are responsible for creating some sense of shared purpose and mutual…

Will our nation's endless wars fuel the next populist revolt?
icon Posted: 17 January 2018 [09:54 PM]

Will America’s endless wars without victory be the next source fueling popular revolt against the political establishment? In 2016, Washington pundits were shocked to discover the grim reality and anger of working people in “flyover country” that fueled the candidacies…

Tuesday 01/16/2018
OUR VIEW: Honoring King with tolerance and respect
icon Posted: 16 January 2018 [10:37 PM]

On Monday, people around the nation gathered to honor the work and legacy of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. Locally, New Britain and Bristol along with other communities in Central Connecticut held ceremonies and events to mark…

Our elections are in danger
icon Posted: 16 January 2018 [10:35 PM]

While the 2016 election may have left our country divided on many issues, it exposed one critical problem that should unite all Americans: Our democratic process is vulnerable to attacks by hostile foreign powers. As our intelligence community unanimously assessed,…

Perhaps it's time to bring on the political horse trading, Congress
icon Posted: 16 January 2018 [10:34 PM]

Earmarks are suddenly in vogue. The practice, which enabled members of Congress to direct appropriations to pet projects, was banned in 2011. President Donald Trump last week suggested it might be time to bring them back - and he might…

Central Connecticut has a rich history of philanthropy
icon Posted: 16 January 2018 [10:32 PM]

Since early childhood, most of us have been encouraged to think about helping others near and far; the following expressions have long been drummed into us: It is better to give than receive Do unto others as you would…

Monday 01/15/2018
Conveying Donald Trump's words is no easy task
icon Posted: 15 January 2018 [07:58 PM]

From Harry Truman’s “dumb son of a b----” assessment of General Douglas MacArthur to Dick Cheney’s rude suggestion about what Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., should do to himself, foul language from politicians skips across the aisle and leaps through…

When it comes to children; unplug but don't disconnect
icon Posted: 15 January 2018 [07:58 PM]

Two major shareholders of Apple have called on the company to take the lead in countering the harm that excessive screen time can do to children. Mounting evidence about the long-term physical and mental effects caused by overuse of the…

GRANDADDY'S SECRETS: School is not just about grades
icon Posted: 15 January 2018 [07:57 PM]

Dear Granddaddy, help. I’m stressed over my grades. Dakota B. – A really stressed out teen. Dakota, let me begin with Henry James, the father of modern psychology. He said that 90 percent of the worst things that have…

YOUR VIEW: City needs to face debt head on
icon Posted: 15 January 2018 [07:54 PM]

By At the City Council meeting on Wednesday, a representative from Mesirow Financial, the city’s debt advisor and a major advocate for the proposed $115 million debt restructuring, said the city’s current debt problems are no…

Friday 01/12/2018
OUR VIEW: Connecticut has a duty to maintain its infrastructure
icon Posted: 12 January 2018 [09:43 PM]

Gov. Dannel Malloy called a press conference Wednesday to announce he was halting state Department of Transportation projects indefinitely. The Democratic governor said he was postponing all roadwork until state lawmakers pass a bill to provide more money for…

Trump calls libel laws 'a sham and a disgrace,' pledges review
icon Posted: 12 January 2018 [09:32 PM]

On the campaign trail, then-candidate Donald Trump pledged to somehow “open up” American libel laws. “One of the things I’m going to do if I win . . . is I’m going to open up our libel laws so when…

Let's just call it insanity at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
icon Posted: 12 January 2018 [09:31 PM]

WASHINGTON - I’m almost beginning to feel sorry for him. Donald Trump, that is. Having previously posited that it’s wrong to make fun of the mentally deficient, I’m reluctant to further highlight recent revelations from author Michael Wolff, whose new…

Why is Florida excused from the new drilling plans?
icon Posted: 12 January 2018 [09:31 PM]

Cynicism has always been a part of politics, but rarely are politicians so brazen and self-serving as President Donald Trump and his interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, have been over the past week. First they announced a new offshore drilling…

Trump stumbles into the politics of charity
icon Posted: 12 January 2018 [09:28 PM]

WASHINGTON - There is a reason bipartisan government is so hard these days. It’s not because “both parties” are intransigent or because “both parties” have moved to the “extremes.” It’s because what were once widely seen as moderate, commonsense solutions…

What we know about where Oprah stands on policy issues
icon Posted: 12 January 2018 [09:27 PM]

Interest in media mogul Oprah Winfrey’s political career has not died down following her campaign-style speech at the Golden Globes on Sunday night. “For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dared speak their truth to…

Thursday 01/11/2018
Their View: Take a deal and then build the wall
icon Posted: 11 January 2018 [09:01 PM]

President Donald Trump says he is optimistic a deal can be struck to shield “dreamers,” the young undocumented immigrants whose lives he put in jeopardy by stripping them of work permits and deportation protection, beginning March 5. His price, and…

Wednesday 01/10/2018
Our View: DACA must continue
icon Posted: 10 January 2018 [08:09 PM]

A federal judge ordered the Trump administration to continue the DACA program on Tuesday. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was implemented by former President Barack Obama to protect undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. when…

Their View: U.N. budget cut is long overdue
icon Posted: 10 January 2018 [07:54 PM]

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review It was the shot heard ‘round Turtle Bay: the Trump administration’s announcement of America’s role in advancing more than $285 million in cuts in the United Nations’ 2018-19 operating budget. Noting the world body’s “inefficiency…

Tuesday 01/09/2018
OUR VIEW: There's still time to get a flu shot
icon Posted: 09 January 2018 [10:09 PM]

Connecticut joins 45 other states across the nation reporting widespread cases of the flu. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the U.S is experiencing a “moderately severe” flu season. But in states like California, Indiana,…

Sanders: It's on the GOP to avoid government shutdown
icon Posted: 09 January 2018 [10:03 PM]

I do not know why President Donald Trump and the Republican Party - which controls the White House, the Senate and the House -- are so willing to shut down the government. Maybe they think it will be good for…

Trump should kick out the alt-right, too
icon Posted: 09 January 2018 [10:01 PM]

President Donald Trump has kicked Stephen Bannon off the Trump train once and for all. Good for him. Now he should kick off a few more noxious passengers whom Bannon brought along - the racists and anti-Semites of the “alt-right”…

Monday 01/08/2018
Tax deductible or not, charities still need our help
icon Posted: 08 January 2018 [07:41 PM]

Tax reform signed into law by President Donald Trump just before Christmas may be detrimental to many charitable organizations, some analysts insist. It should not make an iota of difference in how we Americans respond to need. If you make…

Congress' failure to re-up CHIP is indefensible
icon Posted: 08 January 2018 [07:38 PM]

Disagreement in Congress is not necessarily a sign of dysfunction. But when both parties broadly agree that something should happen yet serially fail to follow through, the nation’s leaders look particularly inept. The example of the moment is the ongoing…

President Trump is right to bully America's enemies
icon Posted: 08 January 2018 [07:34 PM]

In recent years, anti-bullying campaigns have become standard fare in high school and college. Our society has decided, rightly, that bullies should no longer be tolerated because their hurtful attacks can lead to lifelong scars and even, in extreme cases,…

Oprah gives master class to 2020 hopefuls
icon Posted: 08 January 2018 [07:30 PM]

With her spine-tingling Golden Globes speech on Sunday night, Oprah Winfrey lit up the room and social media. Without mentioning President Trump or anything overtly political, she delivered an inspirational stemwinder: “What I know for sure is that speaking your…

Sunday 01/07/2018
Their View: 'Dreamers' are people, not bargaining chips
icon Posted: 07 January 2018 [10:18 PM]

After all of President Donald Trump’s bluster about his “great love” for “dreamers,” brought to this country as children through no fault of their own, it turns out he’s content to use them as leverage in a high-stakes game of…

Friday 01/05/2018
The market and the economy
icon Posted: 05 January 2018 [11:25 PM]

A Dow 25,000 was the stuff of fevered fantasy, difficult for the most enthusiastic fan of Donald Trump to imagine on the eve of his inauguration. The Dow was bumping “only” 18,500 on Election Day 2016. But here we are,…

Drive-by diplomacy on Pakistan
icon Posted: 05 January 2018 [11:25 PM]

With street protests raging in Iran and North Korea’s dictator appearing to offer a rare olive branch, President Donald Trump chose to dedicate his first tweet of 2018 to . . . Pakistan. “The United States has foolishly given Pakistan…

This is how Republicans will run Congress in 2018
icon Posted: 05 January 2018 [11:25 PM]

Republicans ended the first session of the 115th Congress with an enormous amount of leftover work. And that work might preoccupy them until March if they extend the Jan. 19 deadline for funding the government. But how will they…

Trump administration pushed for a change that could derail the census
icon Posted: 05 January 2018 [11:24 PM]

Perhaps no institution is more important to the functioning of American democracy than the census, the once-a-decade count of the U.S. population that determines congressional representation - and where billions in federal dollars will be spent. Yet both the GOP-led…

Remember when the GOP supported conservation?
icon Posted: 05 January 2018 [11:24 PM]

When President Richard Nixon asked my old boss at the Smithsonian Institution to loan me, then the institution’s head of environmental sciences, to the White House, I took on what may seem like an impossible task: write and help enact…

The reasons why my father shuns social media
icon Posted: 05 January 2018 [11:24 PM]

My father is behind the curve on social media, but I think he is onto something. You see, my father was born in 1933. He was a paperboy in the days when paperboys stood on city corners and shouted “Extra!”…

It's time for Sen. Mitch McConnell to implement the 'Reid Rule'
icon Posted: 05 January 2018 [11:23 PM]

How did the United States end up without an ambassador to the most important non-nuclear nation in the world - Germany - for almost an entire year? Even as Berlin and the entire country staggered from crisis to crisis in…