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Chief Justice John Roberts scolded House managers and the President's counsel early Wednesday for using language beneath the dignity of the world's "greatest deliberative body." This, after Senator Susan Collins complained about "unsettling comments" she felt went against Senate rules of decorum.

Speaking of decorum, senators played with fidget spinners and did crossword puzzles while House managers made their case for impeachment. Enough of this pettifoggery!

Advocates Push To Curtail Solitary Confinement In Connecticut Prisons

Jan 23, 2020
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

It’s been 20 years, and James Tillman still hasn’t forgotten what it felt like the first time he trudged down the narrow, gray hallways into the bowels of Northern Correctional Institution.

“It was like walking into the circle of hell,” said the wrongfully convicted inmate-turned-activist. “The conditions are so terrible – worse than any animals could be subject to.”

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If your smartphone screen cracks, do you get it fixed or trade it in for the latest model? Repairing items can be less wasteful, but there are also growing legal challenges for people whose business is to repair technology from smartphones to tractors.

Connecticut Public

Benjamin Wittes and Susan Hennessey argue that President Trump has changed the function of the presidency from one of public service to one that serves his personal interests.

The President was impeached for withholding aid to Ukraine in exchange for a political investigation into his political rival and obstructing the House investigation into his behavior.

The President will likely be acquitted in the Senate. It may be up to voters in November to decide whether to ratify or reject Trump's vision of the presidency.

President Trump fretted this week that White House lawyer Pat Cippolone and personal lawyer Jay Sekulow lacked experience on television. So he added a few TV-ready lawyers to the mix, each with scripted roles to play.

This week, Lawfare's Benjamin Wittes and Susan Hennessey argue that President Trump has changed the presidency from one of public service to one that serves his personal interests. Will we ratify his vision or reject it? It may be up to voters to decide.

Also this hour: Slate's Stephen Metcalf thinks Trump is a hostage to 1979. Why else would he be obsessed with U.S. embassies and Jimmy Carter?

And singer/songwriter Lara Herscovitch proves music is the antidote to our troubled times.

This hour, we air an updated version of the most recent episode of our weekly impeachment show, Pardon Me, which normally airs Saturdays at noon.

Law professor Bruce Ackerman argues that President Trump's order to kill Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani is a far graver offense than his efforts to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden. Think about it: He's bragging about his decision to kill a high-ranking official of another country. Will Chief Justice John Roberts save us?

And that's the positive view on the show this week.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

The attorney for a Hartford woman recently released from immigration detention says she’s received notice that federal homeland security officials intend to appeal a recent decision in her client’s favor. 

Law professor Bruce Ackerman argues that President Trump's order to kill Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani is a far graver offense than his efforts to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden. Think about it: He's bragging about his decision to kill a high-ranking official of another country. Will Chief Justice John Roberts save us?

And that's the positive view on our show this week.

Sarah Kendzior studies autocratic governments. She thinks we'd be foolish to believe there are limits to what the Trump administration would do -- whether jailing witnesses and whistleblowers, threatening protesters, or using nuclear weapons.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

A lawsuit by families of victims of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School has the potential to significantly change what the world knows about how the gun industry thinks and operates. After years of delays, the lawsuit is moving forward, which may force the gun industry to make public what it considers private.

Last month, we launched a whole other show. It's a weekly show airing on Saturdays at noon and hitting your podcast feeds on Fridays most weeks hopefully. It's called Pardon Me (Another Damn Impeachment Show?). It's about all the latest trends and tech in the world of industrial welding. Wait, no. That's not right. It's about the impeachment, silly.

Professor Michael Gerhardt argues that the impeachment process is legitimate, despite efforts by President Trump and his defenders to deny it. It is the president's conduct that is not normal.

Gerhardt was one of four law professors summoned by the House Judiciary Committee in December, to share their legal expertise on whether President Trump's conduct met the legal threshold for impeachment. Three out of four of them believe it did.

Also this hour: State Department witness George Kent's bow tie and Rep. Jim Jordan's jacket have their own Twitter accounts. Nancy Pelosi's dagger-like gold pin turned heads on the day she opened up House debate on the president's impeachment. We talk about the fashion semiotics of impeachment.

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More than two dozen new state laws go into effect on Jan. 1, ranging from expanded health insurance coverage and paid leave to changes in court, property and DMV rules.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

At sixteen years of age, Reginald Dwayne Betts went to prison for carjacking. Decades later, Betts is a celebrated poet and graduate of Yale Law School. But, like many ex-offenders, the consequences of those teenage mistakes have followed him for years.

There's a good chance that President Trump knows that the stain of impeachment will be part of his legacy. And as damning details about the president's behavior trickle out, we're realizing how much we still don't know. This may explain why impeachment may be more popular than we realize.

There's actually some question whether President Trump has officially been impeached, it turns out.

In any case, on Wednesday, December 18, the U.S. House of Representatives passed two Articles of Impeachment charging the president with abuse of power and obstruction of congress.

On our third full episode, we talk to the founder of Politico about the huge difference a tiny bit of self-control would make to the Trump presidency and a Yale historian about what those crazy founders were thinking when they put impeachment in the Constitution in the first place.

Plus: Our first AccuFrankie report from the Target parking lot in New Britain, Conn., and a song performed live in our studios by Nekita Waller, "Big Al" Anderson, Jim Chapdelaine, and The Shinolas.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

The state has closed four investigations into the use of deadly force by a police officer, and in each case, prosecutors said the use of force was justified.

On Friday, December 13, the House Committee on the Judiciary voted 23 to 17 to send two Articles of Impeachment to the full House of Representatives for consideration.

On Episode 2 of Pardon Me, Yale Law School's Emily Bazelon joins us to look at the legal ins and outs of the articles, the House vote, and a future Senate trial; The New Yorker's Adam Gopnik tells us to "Stop Saying That Impeachment Is Political"; and our friends from Sea Tea Improv in Hartford stop by to perform a holiday-themed, Scrooge/Trump mashup sketch.

Blogtrepreneur / flickr creative commons

We had intended to run the debut episode of our new other show, Pardon Me (Another Damn Impeachment Show?), in our hour today. But then the Democrats unveiled two articles of impeachment against President Trump. And so suddenly airing a show from last weekend seemed like a bad idea.

So instead, we take to the airwaves with you as our only guest. Call in and let Colin know what you're thinking: 888-720-WNPR (888-720-9677).

Are you having trouble keeping up with the nonstop impeachment information coming your way? If you're starting to confuse Gordon Sondland with Rudy Giuliani, then you should start listening to Pardon Me (Another Damn Impeachment Show?), our weekly answer to your confusion. 

JJBers / Creative Commons

Anyone who’s spent time outdoors in Connecticut has probably come across a dam or two. The state is home to more than 4,000 dams, a dozen of which were spotlighted in a recent national dam safety investigation by The Associated Press.

This hour, we take an in-depth look at this investigation. What do its findings tell us about the integrity of the nation’s dam infrastructure? And how are states like Connecticut working to address dam safety? 

Lori Mack / Connecticut Public Radio

Chief State’s Attorney Kevin Kane says he will finalize his review this week of several incomplete reports on deadly police shootings. 

Pixabay

If your smartphone screen cracks, do you get it fixed or trade it in for the latest model? Repairing items can be less wasteful, but there are also growing legal challenges for people whose business is to repair technology from smartphones to tractors.

This hour, we talk about the “Right to Repair” movement. It's a debate that pits concerns about users’ ability to modify their own items against big companies’ concerns about intellectual property rights.

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

At sixteen years of age, Reginald Dwayne Betts went to prison for carjacking. Decades later, Betts is a celebrated poet and graduate of Yale Law School. But, like many ex-offenders, the consequences of those teenage mistakes have followed him for years.

Scazon / Creative Commons

Today, a two-part show. The first part is with an impeachment expert on the House inquiry into whether President Trump abused his power for personal gain. How much trouble is the president in?

miss_millions / flickr creative commons

"Hate" is the imprecise word we use to describe a group of ideas that have moved out of the shadows of American public life and into its center ring.

At the core of these movements sits one common idea: that all people are not equal.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

On January 31, 2018, Kristin and Mike Song's 15-year-old son Ethan Song, accidentally shot and killed himself at his friend's house. They were handling a gun they knew was kept in a bedroom closet. The gun was one of three guns owned by the friend's father. They were in a cardboard box inside a tupperware container that was hidden in a bedroom closet. The guns had locks but the keys and ammunition were in the same box. 

AP Photo / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

The number of Americans supporting the impeachment of President Donald Trump has leveled off, according to a recent poll from the Quinnipiac University poll.

nathanmac87 / Flickr Creative Commons

Cities and towns have laws to keep people from engaging in behavior that may disturb others, like sleeping on park benches, drinking in public, or just plain “loitering”.

What does it mean when just hanging out in a public space puts you in violation of these laws?

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

The Supreme Court begins a new session Monday. It will be the first full term since the more conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh replaced the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.

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A number of laws from the last legislative session went into effect Tuesday, including a tobacco ban for consumers under the age of 21.

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