Betsy Kaplan | Connecticut Public Radio
WNPR

Betsy Kaplan

Senior Producer

Betsy started as an intern at WNPR in 2011 after earning a Master's Degree in American and Museum Studies from Trinity College. Prior to that, Betsy worked as an intensive care registered nurse in several Connecticut hospitals.

While taking time off from nursing to have fun with her three young daughters, she was elected to three terms on her town's Board of Education and worked at a local museum. 

She's produced shows for Where We Live and the Colin McEnroe Show, several of which have won local awards.

She is currently the senior producer for the Colin McEnroe Show

We took a chance that House Democrats were going to send the Article of Impeachment to the Senate this week. We were wrong. Instead, the House will transmit its Article of Impeachment charging former President Trump with "incitement of insurrection" to the Senate on Monday.

Why should the House wait any longer when more than a dozen Republican senators are trying to dismiss the impeachment trial before it begins, based on the disputed claim that it's unconstitutional to try an ex-president. And House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is already walking back his prior claim that Trump incited the riot at the Capitol.

The House will transmit its Article of Impeachment charging former President Trump with "incitement of insurrection" to the Senate on Monday.

Gregg Richards

Most of the Western world is organized by alphabetical order, which is so much more than the twenty-six letters that make up the alphabet. Alphabetical order is an organizing principle that allows us to save, order, and access thousands of years of humankind's most precious documents and ideas. Without it, we'd never know what came before us or how to pass on what's with us. It's ubiquitous, yet invisible in daily life.

Today, a conversation about how we order our world and why we do it. 

The Legacy Of COVID-19

Jan 19, 2021
Alyssa L. Miller / Creative Commons

Yale University's Dr. Nicholas Christakis explores what it means to live in a time of pandemic. He looks at historical epidemics and current medical and social research to help us understand the potential long-term impact COVID-19 will have on people and culture. 

Greek mythology holds that the arrows of plague Apollo shot down upon the Greeks led to great death and suffering. The plague that has brought death and pain over this past year was not brought by an angry god, but an infinitesimal virus that has wreaked global havoc and exposed the best and worst of human behavior. 

We spend an informative and insightful hour with Nicholas Christakis. 

Previously on Pardon Me (Another Damn Impeachment Show?): House Democrats voted to impeach President Trump on two Articles of Impeachment: "abuse of power" and "obstruction of Congress." He was later acquitted promptly after Senate Republicans voted against calling witnesses or admitting new evidence.

Now (less than 48 weeks later), on Season Two of Pardon Me: House Democrats, along with 10 Republicans, voted to impeach President Trump Wednesday on one Article of Impeachment: "incitement of insurrection." Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., promptly responded that there'll be no trial while he's Senate leader.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Previously on Pardon Me (Another Damn Impeachment Show?): House Democrats voted to impeach President Trump on two Articles of Impeachment: "abuse of power" and "obstruction of Congress." He was later acquitted promptly after Senate Republicans voted against calling witnesses or admitting new evidence.

Now (less than 48 weeks later), on Season Two of Pardon Me: House Democrats, along with 10 Republicans, voted to impeach President Trump Wednesday on one Article of Impeachment: "incitement of insurrection." Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., promptly responded that there'll be no trial while he's Senate leader.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Stephanie Clifford / Creative Commons

President Trump has gotten away with bad behavior since long before he was elected to the presidency. When faced with an election loss that he couldn't change, he instigated his followers to fight for him. They obeyed his command. He may not be able to get out of the consequences of the actions they took on his behalf. 

DonkeyHotey / Creative Commons

Beth Beverly / Diamond Tooth Taxidermy

When you think of taxidermy, you may imagine a trophy room in which mostly male hunters have mounted the heads of 12-point stags along wood-paneled walls. If so, your image would be incomplete.

Taxidermy has gone through many iterations since gentleman scientists turned to taxidermy to understand anatomy during the Enlightenment. Victorians added a touch of whimsy, decorating their homes with birds under glass and falling in love with Walter Potter's anthropomorphized cats.

The Battle For Butter

Dec 27, 2020
Creative Commons

We tend not to think much about that pat of butter we put on our morning toast, including how the store-bought sweet cream butter we're eating likely pales in comparison to the rich, nutty flavor of  the cultured butter not found in many stores.

Blogtrepreneur / Creative Commons

It could be months or years before the US government knows the full extent of last week's sophisticated cyberattack that targeted private tech and security companies and federal agencies like the Energy Department and National Nuclear Security Administration.

President Trump dismissed the significance of the attack, tweeting that "everything was under control." He refused to criticize Russia for the attack, claimed without evidence that it could be China, and contradicted Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's acknowledgement of Russian involvement. Yet, the President continues to fight the election results and has considered declaring martial law to overturn the election.  

Avis Charley / Avis Charley Art

Native Americans exerted their political power in the 2020 election. A record-breaking six Native-Americans were elected to Congress and Native American votes tipped the scales in Arizona - which went blue for only the second time in seventy years. And U.S. Representative Deb Haaland (D-NM) is on President-elect Biden's short list to be Secretary of the Interior. 

DonkeyHotey / Creative Commons

Each state's slate of electors will cast their votes for president and vice-president today. President Trump won't win today. Nor will he win in the final Congressional certification on January 6, despite talk among some Republican legislators about plans for some type of electoral coup during the final vote count. 

Jeremy Gaunt / Creative Commons

Are we on the verge of societal collapse? We tend to worry about the big explosive stuff like nuclear war, asteroids, and solar flares when we consider end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it scenarios. The reality is that most "fallen" civilizations gradually decline over many decades with a banality that can barely register. 

We often remember the decline of civilizations as the fault of poor leaders or natural disasters but it's more like death from a thousand cuts from conditions like inequality, corruption, and political dysfunction. That's (partly) what happened to the Roman Empire

Roger Cohen, a former columnist and current Paris bureau chief for The New York Times, longs for a return to decency - a moral shift away from a Trump Presidency characterized by retreat, self-obsession, and a lack of respect for truth or decency.

He welcomes the tenor he anticipates President-elect Biden will bring to the White House, but cautions against a return to the status quo. Too much has changed that still threatens liberalism and the Western alliance. 

David Valdez / Creative Commons

The Trump presidency has exposed many vulnerabilities in the laws and norms that govern presidential behavior. His brazen disrespect demands action to protect against a future president who might build on Trump's playbook. 

Mike Ensor / flickr creative commons

How we define what it means to be a hero depends a lot on the values shared by the group that's in power at any given time.

We're seeing it today in the push and pull over the statues of men whose values no longer reflect the values of a changing community. And time tends to wash away the nuance and complexity of heroes that stand as a symbol of a prior generation.

Yet, America loves its heroes, even if only for a time. But ​we have a way of using the language of "heroism" to sacrifice the very heroes we admire. Many of the essential workers we deemed heroes of the pandemic had to choose between their health and a paycheck. They didn't choose to be heroes. Some didn't want to be. Others were silenced or shamed for speaking out about unsafe conditions.

Mmmm Donuts

Dec 1, 2020
Gabriel Kronisch / Creative Commons

Almost everybody has a favorite donut - even if you don't eat a lot of donuts. It's not so much about the donut as it is about how donuts bring people together - to celebrate, to mourn, to share.

Donuts have been part of cultures around the world for more than a thousand years, first as a festival special-occasion food, later as an everyday treat.  Later still, as a "weapon" in World War I. They're in movies, music, and Twin Peaks.  In the words of Homer Simpson, "Mmmm donuts.

Bradley Gordon / Creative Commons

We are still living in two different realities. President Trump lost the election but still can't concede or admit it, and a high percentage of Republicans say they doubt the results -  even though courts have found no evidence to support their claims of fraud. 

Meanwhile, President-Elect Joe Biden is moving forward with his transition - including talking with foreign leaders, choosing Cabinet members, and planning his first 100 days in office. Can Biden unite us?

Wikipedia

We're almost three weeks past Election Day. Yet, President Trump and his evolving legal team continue to spew conspiracy theories intended to delegitimize the voting process, sow confusion, and delay the transition of power to incoming President-elect Joe Biden. 

Meanwhile, most Senate Republicans remain silent and Trump's most fervent supporters ignore our post-election reality in favor of conspiracy theories that run unchecked on platforms like Parler

Universal Studios Home Entertainment

A hard-boiled private eye, a glamorous blond, and a hapless drifter all sit at a bar on the seamy side of town. It's night, the streets are wet, the shadows are long. They each nurse a drink to the notes of a mournful saxophone and a lonely piano. Smoke from the cigarettes swirls in the darkness.

We all know classic noir when we see it and hear it and read it; yet, we don't really know how to define the dark plots that expose humanity in all its moral ambiguity and loneliness.

Jake Greenberg, U.S. Navy / Creative Commons

The number of people infected with SARS-CoV-2 is rising in almost every state. America averaged over 100,000 new cases every day over the last seven days and 1,000 deaths every day over the same period. The positivity rate is more than 50 percent in some states, straining hospital systems and front line staff. Have we normalized the pandemic to the point where we're no longer taking it seriously enough? 

The Flap Over Flags

Nov 12, 2020
WonderWhy / Creative Commons

On the surface, a flag is a piece of cloth with pretty colors and designs. That's the thing with flags. They're often judged on their aesthetics, but their power lies in how well their design captures the culture, religion, politics, and history of a place and its people. 

The Truth About Lies

Nov 10, 2020
Mike Roberts / Creative Commons

Laszlo Ratesic is a nineteen-year veteran of the Speculative Service. He lives in the Golden State, the only place left in what was once America. Laszlo's job is to bring the worst criminals to justice, those who tell lies. In his new novel, Ben Winters creates a world which might sound Eden-esque in our era of misinformation. 

Robert McNeely / Wikimedia Commons

The Trump campaign threatened legal challenges Wednesday, to force four states to stop counting ballots after Joe Biden's wins in the battleground states of Michigan and Wisconsin narrowed the President's path to reelection. How bad must an American president behave before a majority of voters repudiate him for his actions? 

Brad Greenlee / Creative Commons

The Colin McEnroe Show has an Election Day tradition of celebrating voters by inviting "citizen observers" from around the state to share their experience with voting. An ongoing pandemic and tensions stemming from a deeply divided electorate make this a year like no other.

Theresa Thompson / Creative Commons

Most of us are approaching Election Day with a mix of excitement, hope, and fear, as we live with surging numbers of coronavirus cases, threats of civil unrest, and uncertainty over when the election will be decided -- and who will get to decide. We want to hear from you.  Call us at 888-720-9677 or 888-720-WNPR to share your hopes and concerns about Election Day and for a post-election America.

Daniel Huizinga / Creative Commons

A lot of people are wondering if it's time to look at ">court packing," and other court reforms, to address judiciary dysfunction that we can see playing out during this election and in the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett. 

Donkey Hotey / Creative Commons

The Trump Administration continues to downplay the pandemic, Vice-President Mike Pence campaigns even as staff members in his inner circle test positive for SARS-CoV-2, and Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union," that the Administration is no longer going to control the pandemic.

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