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Focus Features

August 16 -- yesterday -- is kind of an oddly busy day in the history of popular culture. In 1954, the first issue of Sports Illustrated was published. In 1962, Pete Best was fired from The Beatles. In 1948, Babe Ruth died. In 1958, Madonna was born (and so she turned 60 yesterday). In 1977, Elvis Presley died. And yesterday, a new August 16th-shaped dot was added to the timeline of pop culture: the death of Aretha Franklin. The Queen of Soul was 76 years old.

And: The new Spike Lee joint, BlacKkKlansman, is set in 1970s Colorado Springs, Colo., and it tells a story that's about race relations in all of America right now, today. It's "a slapstick comedy, a blaxsploitation throwback, and an incendiary Molotov cocktail thrown into the foray of the modern multiplex," and it's being called Lee's "hardest-hitting work in decades."

David DesRoches / Connecticut Public Radio

Two self-funding millionaires Tuesday secured their spots at the top of the ballot in the November 6 election.

Ned Lamont, now the undisputed Democratic Party nominee for governor, trounced Joe Ganim in a race that was called by The Associated Press just 30 minutes after primary polls closed at 8 p.m.

Ryohei Noda / Creative Commons

Hannah Arendt's 576-page magnum opus, The Origins of Totalitarianism, is a densely-written book about the rise of anti-Semitism up to the outbreak of World War I. The book sold out on Amazon within one month of the 2016 election in which America elected Donald Trump as their next president. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR/Connecticut Public Radio

After months of candidate debates, interviews, and campaign ads, it’s time for Connecticut residents to cast their ballots in the state's primary elections.

This hour, we take a look at what we can -- and cannot -- expect at the polls this Primary Day. 

Mark Pazniokas / CTMirror.org

In this last week before the August 14 party primaries, the debates, and endorsements--not to mention those tree-killing mailers clogging our post office boxes--are coming fast and furious.

Here's a sample of the questions we're contemplating at this critical stage:

Ganim Benefits From Lamont's Fear Of Alienating Bridgeport

Aug 7, 2018
Ned Lamont addresses the camera, while Joe Ganim looks on.
Mark Pazniokas / CTMirror.org

Bridgeport Mayor Joseph P. Ganim was more aggressive Tuesday in questioning why Ned Lamont might be reluctant to support a convicted extortionist for governor than Lamont was in challenging Ganim’s fitness to lead Connecticut after seven years in prison for using his office to routinely shake down city contractors for bribes.

Alfred A. Knopf, Publisher

The Times of London has said that Martin Amis "is as talented a journalist as he is a novelist." His latest collection of essays and reportage covers 1994 through 2017, Travolta through Trump.

Amis joins us for the hour.

Paramount Pictures

Colin's quite fond of this little piece of trivia: Tom Cruise was five years older during the production of Mission: Impossible -- Fallout than Wilford Brimley was during the filming of Cocoon. And it seems we're all okay with Tom Cruise as a 56-year-old action star. Fallout's opening weekend was the biggest for a Mission: Impossible movie and the second-biggest of Cruise's career.

Fallout is the best-received movie in the M:I franchise too. If you had to pick the five best blockbusters of this decade, you could put together a totally reasonable list made just of Tom Cruise movies. (Here, look: Edge of Tomorrow, Jack Reacher, and the last three Mission: Impossibles. See?) In fact, at this point, if you like high-concept summer popcorn movies, but you don't like comic books/Star Wars/Star Trek/Harry Potter/etc.... what else even is there besides Tom Cruise movies anymore? Not much.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Before the present day and age, kneeling, for the most part, meant one of two things: reverence—you kneel as you pray. Or subservience, for example, Daenerys Targaryen, the mother of dragons is always getting people to “bend the knee.”

Chion Wolf / WNPR

After an eight-year stint as Trumbull's first selectman, Republican Tim Herbst is campaigning to move up the political ladder... to the office of the governor of Connecticut.

This hour, we sit down with the candidate. We ask about his decision to run and learn about the issues he would prioritize if elected to lead the state.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

George Packer wrote in The New Yorker this weekend that the only obstacle left to prevent President Trump's full consolidation of power is public opinion. We must vote.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Joe Ganim was once a rising Democratic star who was turning around Connecticut’s largest and most troubled city. But then the Bridgeport mayor was convicted of 16 counts of felony corruption in office and sentenced to seven years in federal prison.

Surprisingly, Ganim returned to Bridgeport and was elected mayor once again.

Now, he is asking voters to choose him as Connecticut’s next governor.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

What do Manny Santos, Rich DuPont, and Ruby Corby O’Neill have in common? Well, yes, they are Republicans… but more than that, they are all running for Connecticut’s 5th Congressional District seat.

This hour, we meet the candidates.

We learn about their backgrounds and talk about the issues central to their campaigns… and to the residents they hope to represent. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Mark Boughton is no stranger to Connecticut politics. He has been the mayor of Danbury since 2002, and also waded into the governor’s race the past two election cycles. This time, Boughton is coming into the race with the GOP party endorsement, though he’ll be on a crowded ballot with four other Republican hopefuls.  

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Employment and health care top the list of issues concerning Connecticut voters, according to a recent poll.

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