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As The Push To Reopen Schools Intensifies, Miguel Cardona And Jill Biden Travel To Meriden

12 hours ago
Pool/New York Times

On his first day on the job as U.S. secretary of education, Meriden’s Miguel Cardona traveled back to his hometown to showcase for the nation, alongside first lady Jill Biden and the leader of one of the nation’s largest teachers unions, how the district where he spent his career opened its schools for students to learn in-person and full-time amid the pandemic.

The first people are brought in as the City of Hartford’s Department of Health and Human Services hosted a COVID-19 vaccine clinic for Hartford residents 75 and over at Dunkin’ Donuts Park in Hartford, Connecticut on February 06, 2021.
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

The pandemic has put public health in the spotlight across the world. But in the United States local public health departments have been chronically underfunded, and Connecticut is no exception.

This hour, we hear from a local health director about the challenges public health departments in Connecticut are facing, even as the state celebrates high vaccination rates compared with other states.

And, we look beyond the pandemic: what should the public health workforce of the future look like?

Phil Roeder / Creative Commons

The theme of election fraud ran through this weekend's CPAC convention. We talk about how "The Big Lie" is becoming a way for Republican leaders to rationalize the voter suppression measures making their way through state legislatures.

Connecticut Port Authority Investigated For Paying $500K 'Success Fee'

Feb 26, 2021
Courtesy: CT Port Authority

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong disclosed Thursday that his office is investigating the quasi-public Connecticut Port Authority and a more than $500,000 fee it paid to a consultant.

Updated at 12:45 p.m. ET

President Biden on Friday sought to turn the page on former President Donald Trump's "America First" ethos, declaring "America is back" and vowing to rebuild trust with European allies by working on challenges like arms control, COVID-19 and climate change.

Clemson / Creative Commons

The Senate voted to aquit Donald Trump Saturday after falling shy of the two-thirds majority required to convict him. Fifty-seven senators, including seven Republicans, voted to convict him for "incitement of insurrection" and 43 Republicans voted to acquit Trump for a variety of reasons. 

Reliving the January 6 insurrection during last week's Senate impeachment trial has left many of us sorting through a gamut of emotions along with a lack of closure on the last four years.

Ninian Reid / Fox News / Zuma Wire

As of Monday morning, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are still working out the details for the Senate impeachment trial scheduled to begin this Tuesday, February 9. Forty-five senators say it's not constitutional. Conservative lawyer Charles Cooper says it is. We talk to Connecticut U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal on impeachment, intelligence, and more. 

Paul Sableman / Creative Commons

Some say the press continues to portray the Republican Party as a "mainstream, center-right entity," long after their words and deeds reflect something more ominous. Is the media failing to convey the extreme behavior of the GOP out of fear they will be accused of liberal bias? It's not the first time the media has been accused of bias or been too slow to see something for what it is instead of what they want it to be.

Also this hour: Five members of former President Trump's impeachment team departed Saturday, a little over a week before the Senate trial is set to begin on February 9. On Sunday, Trump hired lawyers David Schoen and Bruce L. Castor Jr. to take over. Will they be ready by next week?

New Haven school busses
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

When COVID-19 first cut through Connecticut in the spring, municipalities faced a litany of unanticipated expenses. Buildings needed to be sanitized, masks and gloves bought and town halls rearranged to accommodate remote workers.

To help, the state reimbursed local towns and cities more than $14.5 million in federal funds for coronavirus expenses in the first half of 2020. But state leaders also denied or deemed ineligible about 10% of all requests. 

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.

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.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Connecticut student-athletes have gotten the OK to play again.

A board of control for the governing body of state public high school sports, the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, approved a return to play that’ll allow students to practice January 19 with games beginning February 8.

Brian Foley / Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection

Police plan to have a massive presence at a demonstration possibly taking place Sunday at the state Capitol in Hartford, anticipating it could be much larger than a typical protest there.

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 2:06 a.m. ET Wednesday

Democrats are hopeful about possibly taking total control of Washington after the Associated Press projected that the party had picked up one of two Georgia Senate seats early Wednesday morning.

The Senate runoff elections in Georgia on Tuesday were set to decide which party will hold the majority in the upper chamber, with Democrats already winning the presidency and holding a slim House majority.

DonkeyHotey / Creative Commons

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.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public

President-elect Joe Biden’s pick to lead the federal Department of Education -- Miguel Cardona -- has deep roots in Connecticut public schools.

Andrew E. Larsen / flickr creative commons

Kurt Andersen's last book, Fantasyland, looks at America's "centuries-old weakness for the untrue and irrational, and its spontaneous and dangerous flowering since the 1960s" and how it got us where we are today.

His new book, Evil Geniuses, is a kind of sequel, a companion. It's a parallel history, really, that looks more closely at "the quite deliberate reengineering of our economy and society since the 1960s."

This hour, public radio great Kurt Andersen on "the unmaking of America."

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. 

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. 

Rosa DeLauro Wins Caucus Fight For Appropriations Chair

Dec 3, 2020
At the 2016 Democratic National Convention, Rosa DeLauro shares a light moment with fellow House members Joe Courtney, left, and John Larson. Both helped work to elect her as Appropriations chair.
Mark Pazniokas / CTMirror.org

U.S. Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro, D-3rd District, was chosen on a 148-79 vote by the Democratic caucus Thursday to become chair of the House Appropriations Committee, one of the most influential posts on federal spending.

The overwhelming vote came after one of her two rivals, Marcy Kaptur of Ohio, withdrew and endorsed DeLauro, leaving the New Haven lawmaker in a two-way contest with Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida.

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. 

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