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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."

Updated at 11:01 a.m. ET

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is lying in repose at the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday and Thursday, a two-day event honoring a justice who was both a cultural and legal icon.

As Ginsburg's casket arrived at the high court, former law clerks lined the Supreme Court steps. Supreme Court police officers served as pallbearers. Then the justice's family, close friends and members of the court held a brief ceremony in the court's Great Hall.

Tyler Russell / Connecticut Public

Connecticut recently passed a police accountability bill after the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis. Though the bill is now law, legislative candidates who oppose it are using it as a political issue.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

Black Americans are more likely to be infected from COVID-19, be incarcerated, live in poverty, and/or be killed by the police than white Americans. It took a pandemic and the killing of George Floyd to crystallize those facts.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

In the wake of resistance to Black Lives Matter protests against racial injustice in cities like Portland, Oregon; Kenosha, Wisconsin; and others, we decided to take a look at race relations in the small towns and suburbs of Connecticut. What we found was disturbing. 

U.S. Census Bureau

The U.S. Census Bureau will end its counting efforts early later this month. But in many of Connecticut’s large cities, half or more of all residents did not fill out the self-reported survey.

Today, we talk about what’s at stake if Connecticut doesn’t get an accurate headcount.

Jerry Dougherty / Wikicommons

Have you ever heard of “philately?” Philately is the collection and study of postage stamps. Stamp collection dates back to the 19th century, as does the first United States Post Office Department, which is now just referred to as the United States Postal Service.

Vlad Povorny / Creative Commons

Officials in the Trump Administration last week videotaped both a naturalization ceremony held at the White House and an HUD official's interview with four New York City tenants on housing conditions. They then  played selected parts from each video at the Republican National Convention without the knowledge of the participants. 

The CDC updated testing guidelines last week to say that people who have been exposed to the virus but who don’t have symptoms or underlying risk factors, don't necessarily need to be tested. After public health officials complained that asymptomatic carriers are more likely to spread the virus, we learned that the recommendations came from the White House Coronavirus Task Force.  

Wisconsin Historical Society

America has long been attracted to charismatic demagogues who master the media of their time to tap into America’s insecurities. Long before Donald Trump descended a golden escalator in 2015 to announce he was running for president, anti-communist zealot Joseph McCarthy took America by storm.

Updated at 11:46 a.m. ET

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy defended his leadership of the Postal Service on Friday and sought to reassure senators that his agency would be able to deliver the nation's election mail "securely and on time," calling it a "sacred duty."

"There has been no changes in any policies with regard to the election mail for the 2020 election," he said.

Cindy Shebley / Creative Commons

The FDA on Saturday authorized emergency use of a rapid and inexpensive saliva test that could increase testing capacity. It’s quick, less expensive, and doesn't need the chemical reagents that are in short supply.

Updated at 7:38 p.m. ET

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his newly named running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris of California, made their first joint appearance Wednesday following Biden's announcement of the selection a day earlier.

Jernej Furman / Creative Commons

As of this weekend, the number of people in the U.S. infected with SARS-CoV-2 topped 5 million, just 16 days after passing the 4 million mark on July 23. This weekend's motorcycle rally in Sturgis, South Dakota, portends that those numbers will continue to rise. 

Three potential vaccines against the virus have entered phase III clinical trials, in which safety and effectiveness is tested on thousands of healthy people. 

This stage can take months or years depending on how quickly researchers can detect a difference between the two groups, but some doctors believe that we'll have a vaccine sooner than later. Are we expecting too much from a vaccine? And, what about the expanding group of people afraid to trust any vaccine developed at "warp speed?" 

Is it time for another lockdown to get things under control until a vaccine is ready?

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public

Some of the more controversial aspects of police reform that’ve been debated on the streets of Connecticut are now law.

The Burkhart Family / Doubleday

Native Americans have been getting forced off their land for a long time.  Although Thomas Jefferson promised they shall know the United States as only "friends and benefactors," he forced them from their ancestral home in 1804 after he signed the Louisiana Purchase.  

Updated at 6:35 p.m. ET

Are Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple "emperors of the online economy" that stifle competition and hurt consumers? Not surprisingly, the tech giants' chief executives told Congress: absolutely not. The concern that too much power is concentrated in too few companies is unfounded, they said Wednesday.

Insulin, Telehealth Bills Headed For Governor’s Desk

Jul 28, 2020
Senators gather to debate four bills during a special session on July 28.
Mark Pazniokas / CTMirror.org

The state Senate gave final approval Tuesday to a pair of health bills that would cap the soaring cost of insulin in Connecticut and extend changes to telemedicine through March 2021.

Updated 6:24 p.m. ET

John Lewis, the civil rights icon and late congressman from Georgia who represented Atlanta for more than three decades, is being honored during his final visit to the U.S. Capitol on Monday.

Elipongo / Creative Commons

Connecticut hospitals stopped reporting coronavirus cases to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Wednesday, part of a nationwide change the Trump administration says is needed to streamline the process and one critics say is an attempt to hide information and politicize the pandemic.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

Hartford’s city council voted down a resolution to suspend its police chief Monday night, the same day the mayor cited the chief for a crash in a city vehicle.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

The killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis six weeks ago became a catalyst for the current, massive nationwide movement calling for an end to systemic racism.

It’s also led communities to take a deeper look within, specifically racism as the root cause of poorer health care and health outcomes among Black residents. 

Bufi at de.Wikipedia / Creative Commons

Is it safe to say that we're not yet ready to kiss and make up with the banks whose reckless behavior led to the 2008 financial crisis? A little contrition would go a long way to helping us forgive and forget. That's not happening, at least not with Deutsche Bank, the preferred bank of Donald Trump and Jeffrey Epstein.

Brian A. Pounds / Hearst Connecticut Media

Bridgeport is once again facing a federal criminal investigation into its City Hall. Mayor Joe Ganim was reelected to run the city in 2015 after having spent seven years in prison for corruption while previously in office. 

Grace Murray Stephenson / Austin History Center

This year is the 155th annual Juneteenth Celebration, symbolically marking the freedom of Black people from slavery in this nation. But despite the long history of the day, many white Americans are hearing about it for the first time in the wake of George Floyd’s killing. Connecticut has recognized Juneteenth since 2003, but it is not yet an official state holiday. 

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Since the pandemic hit, carbon emissions have dropped globally. A study in “Nature Climate Change” found a 17 percent decrease in emissions by early April. In New England, data show that air pollution and energy consumption are down.

Jacquiline Rabe Thomas / Connecticut Mirror

Racial segregation is a modern-day problem that is perpetuated in New England through local zoning laws.

Connecticut Protesters Spotlight Police Shooting Of Latino Parolee

Jun 16, 2020
Pat Eaton Robb / Associated Press

Scattered among the banners reading “Black Lives Matter” and “No Justice, No Peace” at Connecticut rallies against police brutality have been signs calling for “Justice for Jay.”

Creative Commons

Social structures, in almost all cases, are defined by some form of hierarchy. Whether in academics, sports, religion, business, or politics, there's usually someone at the top and others whose goal it is to get there. But while it's easy to think that we've designed our world to be this way, the truth may be that we had no choice.

DOC Commissioner Rollin Cook Resigns

Jun 14, 2020
Rollin Cook
Andrius Banevicius / CT Department of Correction

Department of Correction Commissioner Rollin Cook has resigned from his post effective July 1, citing family obligations in Utah.

Cook announced his resignation in a heartfelt internal memo Friday.

Federal Decisions Unravel Parts Of Two COVID-19 Executive Branch Orders

Jun 9, 2020
Governor Ned Lamont
Cloe Poisson / CTMirror.org

Separate federal rulings this week have rolled back portions of two COVID-related executive branch orders: one suspending fingerprinting for gun permits and another restricting hospital visitation rights for families and friends of people with disabilities.

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