2020 election | Connecticut Public Radio
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2020 election

We had trouble mustering enthusiasm to wrap up our final episode of this second season of Pardon Me. Last week's roller coaster of a trial culminated in 43 senators choosing to acquit on a weak and deceptive defense -- despite a factual and painstaking accounting of how bad the breach was, how bad it might have been, and how Donald Trump incited it.

Donald Trump's legal team delivered their defense of the former president Friday. They followed a tightly argued and visceral presentation delivered by House managers that, some say, has made it easy for Republican senators to convict Trump. They likely won't.

We wondered if our show, recorded in part on Thursday, would omit important events that occurred thereafter. Given that many Republican senators have already decided to acquit, why would the defense feel the need to address the 144 constitutional lawyers who debunked their First Amendment argument, the 150 constitutional lawyers who say the impeachment of Trump is constitutional, or the people of this country?

We knew the ending before it even began.

Official Ballot Boxes outside West Hartford Town Hall.
Ali Oshinskie / Connecticut Public Radio

More than a third of Connecticut votes cast in the November 2020 election were by absentee ballot.  Will ballot drop boxes and mail-in options become permanent? Today, we talk with Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill about the future of voting in Connecticut.

And later: President Biden has been in office for less than a month. But he’s already setting records with his use of executive orders. We hear from a law professor about what this use of executive power means for the country.

Image of the Wikipedia logo on white background
Eukaryogurt / Wikimedia Commons

When you want to learn about an obscure topic, where do you turn? For many, it’s a free, online encyclopedia which now contains more than 55 million user-created articles. This hour, we talk about 20 years of Wikipedia.

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.

Dave Wurtzel / Connecticut Public

From living rooms and Zoom rooms, Connecticut watched as Joe Biden was sworn in Wednesday as America’s 46th president.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

Hosted by Lucy Nalpathanchil and John Henry Smith

Today Joe Biden became the forty-sixth president of the United States.  Will America heed President  Biden’s calls to end an 'uncivil war' in political debate that spilled over into violence at the capitol two weeks ago?

A vice presidential swearing-in also makes history. 

Now that Donald Trump has left Washington and been kicked off Twitter, what has changed and what remains the same?  

And how will Connecticut’s political parties be impacted by the change at the White House?

David Maiolo / Creative Commons

Inauguration Day is here. This hour, Connecticut’s 3rd District Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro joins us to talk about what this Inauguration Day is looking like, and how it has looked in years past. 

Updated at 10:00 p.m. ET

Joe Biden became the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday, having defeated Donald Trump in an acrimonious, divisive election last November.

Biden was sworn in alongside Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in an unusual inauguration ceremony, conducted amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis and heightened physical security risks.

Weeks After The Election, Secretary Of The State’s Efforts To Monitor Disinformation Campaigns Ended

Jan 19, 2021
A resident drops an absentee ballot on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020 at West Hartford Town Hall.
Yehyun Kim / CTMirror.org

In the immediate aftermath of the Nov. 3 election, an intelligence analyst named Hannah Glidden was working for the Connecticut Secretary of the State’s office under a novel contract. Her job was to flag any social media talk of voter fraud or disinformation about the election in Connecticut.

It didn’t take long to find some.

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.

Wikimedia Commons

Wednesday's insurrection by Trump supporters at the Capitol was the culmination of months of Trump perpetuating the lie that the election was stolen from him. The fire he built might have sputtered without oxygen from Republican colleagues and right-wing media intent on capitalizing on his lies.

House Democrats introduced an article of impeachment Monday. It charges President Trump with "inciting violence against the government of the United States," after House Republicans objected to a resolution calling on Vice President Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment. The House will consider the impeachment resolution on the floor if the vice president refuses to intervene "within 24 hours" or if the president refuses to resign.

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. 

matt / flickr creative commons

As our show starts today, the U.S. Congress will begin the process of officially tallying the Electoral College votes in the 2020 elections for president and vice president.

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris received 306 votes, President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence received 232 votes, and this should be a pretty pro forma exercise.

Should be. Instead, scores of congressional Republicans are expected to object to the certified votes from a number of swing states. The president thinks the vice president has the power to pick and choose which votes to count. The vice president reportedly disagrees. In any case, the objections are expected to gum up the works -- probably for hours.

Updated at 2:45 p.m. ET

For a vice president who has navigated service to a mercurial president with praise and public acts of loyalty, Vice President Pence faced the ultimate challenge on Wednesday as he presided over a joint session of Congress that will make official Joe Biden's election — and President Trump's loss.

President Donald Trump has been heard on tape asking Georgia’s election chief to overturn Joe Biden’s win in the state. Trump suggested in a telephone call Saturday that the official find enough votes to hand Trump the victory. That conversation was the latest step in what’s being called an unprecedented effort by a sitting American president to reverse the outcome of a free and fair election that he lost.

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. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The folks who do the actual casting of votes to the Electoral College in presidential elections are having something of a higher-profile moment now with President Trump and his team openly angling for them to vote for him in Michigan, Arizona, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania -- states where the popular vote went to Joe Biden.

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

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? 

Yale SOM

We’ve heard much rhetoric from politicians and the media about President Trump’s allegations of election fraud as he continues to refuse to concede to President-elect Joe Biden. One group we haven’t heard much from is our nation’s corporate chief executive officers. 

Updated on Friday at 6:20 p.m. ET

Although many Senate Republicans are still resisting recognition of President-elect Joe Biden's election win, they are signaling support for the former vice president to receive intelligence briefings as part of the transition process.

Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian / flickr creative commons

It's been eight days since Election Day. It's been four days since Joe Biden was projected to become President-elect Joe Biden.

But we've still got the secretary of state saying, "There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration." We've still got any number of lawsuits flailing their way through the courts in various states.

Are we really going to reject democratic elections to soothe Trump's ego?

Gage Skidmore / flickr creative commons

On most Mondays, we scramble around trying to put together a show reacting to the weekend's news.

But being that nothing much happened over this weekend, we decided just to take your calls this hour.

860-275-7266. Call in and talk to Colin about how you're feeling at the start of this new day, this new week -- this new era.

For Ned Lamont, It Was Joe Biden From Day One

Nov 8, 2020
Mark Pazniokas / CTMirror.org

OK, it’s an obvious choice today, perhaps a brilliant one. But the story of how Connecticut’s governor quietly committed to Joe Biden on the very first day of his 2020 presidential campaign 19 months ago is not one of political calculation, guile or acumen. It’s a Ned Lamont story.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

Even in a deep blue state like Connecticut, Saturday’s announcement of Joe Biden’s win in the U.S. presidential election was met with a mixture of caution, elation, disappointment and disapproval.

Two opposing camps of people outside the Capitol building in Hartford made that well known as they shouted at each other from opposite sides of Capitol Avenue -- President Donald Trump supporters in front of the gold-domed building and Biden supporters in front of the state Supreme Court. 

Democratic elected officials in Connecticut were among those quick to issue congratulations as Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were finally declared president- and vice president-elect by The Associated Press Saturday.

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