The Scramble | Connecticut Public Radio
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The Scramble

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Connecticut will reopen some businesses on May 20, as coronavirus-related hospitalizations continue to decrease.

This may be good news for business owners and unemployed workers, and for those looking for a glimmer of light at the end of a long tunnel.

It may be scary for people with greater risk for having severe illness from COVID-19 and front-line workers with greater exposure.

The bottom line is that we still don't fully understand this virus. And, not all of the 40 states set to reopen are prepared to scale up the testing, tracing, and isolating necessary to prevent a spike in the curve.

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We can observe how economic inequality in America plays out during this pandemic by watching who gets help and who gets ignored.

Two America's live side by side, often in the same community. Nowhere is it on display more than in Greenwich, Conn., where hedge fund managers in gilded mansions live across town from minimum wage workers in local service jobs.

The inequality on display today is the byproduct of decades of policy choices that benefit the wealthy.

Also this hour: We help you make sense of the sometimes conflicting news about COVID-19 with the host of the podcast This Week In Virology.

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It's hard to fathom the idea that more people have to die from COVID-19 before we come out on the other end of this pandemic. Is it time for political leaders of both parties to have an honest conversation about the moral trade-offs of this pandemic and how to balance them toward the public interest?

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

One can't help but wonder if the President understands that getting through this pandemic will not be a quick sprint. 

On Thursday, the Trump Administration announced guidelines for states to begin reopening the economy, with a goal to begin by May 1. On Friday, the President personally encouraged protesters in Michigan, Minnesota, and Virginia, to "liberate" their states from onerous social-distancing guidelines imposed by their Democratic governors.  On Saturday, protesters from other states joined the fray. 

NIH Clinical Center

Health experts have released multiple plans that all call for some version of the same thing. We need to conduct widespread testing, trace contacts of the infected, and quarantine those contacts BEFORE we can ease social distancing measures. 

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The pandemic is making us reflect on what we value as people and a country. We don't yet know how much COVID-19 will change life as we knew it before the pandemic. We do know that it must change. We're learning to respect each other's space. The internet is becoming a kinder place. And we shouldn't accept political leaders who can't lead.

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William Wetmore Story sculpted The Angel of Grief for his wife's grave after her death in 1894. He wrote that it was the only way he could express his feelings of utter abandonment. It was his last work before his own death one year later.

We may not readily identify grief in the gamut of emotions we're feeling during this pandemic. We haven't lost the kind of love expressed through William Story's sculpture, but loss is very much at the center of our new reality. We are collectively grieving the loss of a world that has changed forever.

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The Trump administration is pursuing policies they say are necessary to fight the spread of coronavirus -- even though Congress and the courts rejected these policies prior to the pandemic.

Last week, the president gave his administration the power to shut the southwestern border, implement a rule allowing federal workers to withhold their union dues, and deliver food boxes to rural areas after Congress complained about poor food quality. Most recently, he asked Congress to let judges indefinitely hold people without trial during an emergency.

How do we give President Trump the power to mobilize the resources of the federal government against coronavirus and protect against his abuse of that power?

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Sanders won big in Nevada. Biden won big in South Carolina. Steyer and Buttigieg are out, Bloomberg is in, and Warren and Klobuchar are pulling up the rear.

There will be 1,357 delegates from 14 states up for grabs on Super Tuesday. We try to make sense of it.

Phil Roeder / Creative Commons

Bernie Sanders won a decisive victory in last week's Nevada caucuses after effectively tying with Pete Buttigieg in the less diverse states of Iowa and New Hampshire. Is he the candidate that can beat President Trump? Or the one who will lead the Democratic Party down the road to ruin? It depends on who you talk to. 

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We like to open the phones and hear what's on your minds. We never know what you're going to say but we love that you call us to say it. 

We Take Your Calls

Dec 30, 2019
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During this 'perineum' week in-between Christmas and the New Year, we decided to take your calls. 

We got such a great mix of callers on today's all-call show (including a wonderful goat farmer) that we kept taking your calls all the way through a fire drill at our studio! 

GUEST: 

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Christianity Today, an evangelical Christian publication founded by Billy Graham in 1956, published an editorial Thursday by editor-in-chief Mark Galli, calling for President Trump to be removed from office. 

The White House

Voters in favor of Brexit handed British Prime Minister Boris Johnson an electoral victory on Thursday in a landslide not seen since Margaret Thatcher’s win in 1987. Conservatives won seats in British working-class districts that have been Labour strongholds for generations, giving Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party its biggest defeat since 1935. What can 2020 Democratic presidential candidates learn from this election? 

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).

rbeard113 / Creative Commons

Private weather companies are cropping up to produce weather and climate models that have historically been provided by the government. Private weather forecasting is a $7 billion industry that threatens the dominance of the National Weather Service and could lead to a tiered system of access.

Phil Roeder / Creative Commons

Defense Secretary Mark Esper demanded the resignation of Navy Secretary Richard Spencer on Sunday. Esper said he had lost confidence in Spencer. Esper's action follows Spencer publicly disagreeing with President Trump over the military's decision to demote one of three war criminals the president pardoned against military advice. What are the consequences of presidential interference in the military code of justice?

Yuichi Kosio / Creative Commons

Ralph Nader's niece died when Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 max 8 jet crashed in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, in March 2019.  Since that day, her family has been trying to prove that Boeing put profits before public safety when they failed to ground the plane when they recognized the danger it posed. 

Gage Skidmore / flickr creative commons

President Trump's former National Security Advisor John Bolton is a pretty interesting figure in the whole impeachment inquiry, right? On the one hand, he's a pretty high-level official who is said to have characterized the whole Ukraine affair as a "drug deal." On the other hand, he's so far refused to testify at the same time as he's making it clear he's got lots of relevant information. On the other other hand, 

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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?

Ryan Caron King / WNPR/Creative Commons

President Trump leaves chaos in his wake.

There is chaos in Syria. Turkish artillery fire is targeting the Kurdish-led militia that has been allied with U.S. Special Forces over the last five years in their war against ISIS. Syrians are fleeing their homes, ISIS prisoners are escaping from prisons no longer guarded by the Kurds, and the last U.S. troops pulled out on Sunday.

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.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

House Democrats are moving closer to initiating impeachment proceedings against President Trump after he confirmed that he discussed 2020 presidential candidate and political rival Joe Biden, with the Ukrainian president.

The possibility that the president may have subjugated the national interest for personal political gain is a "new chapter of lawlessness," according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Is this the tipping point for impeachment? What are the implications of seeking to impeach -- or not? 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR/Creative Commons

We want to hear your thoughts on what it's like to be "living in a Trump salad," on this all-call Monday. (Colin coined the term.)

First, there's #sharpiegate. Last week, President Trump unleashed on the media for reporting his error tweeting  a warning about Hurricane Dorian that included the state of Alabama. To prevent mass evacuation, the National Weather Service corrected his error. Alabama was not in danger. 

Liana_Kyle / Creative Commons

We've got no guests today. It's you and Colin and whatever is on your mind.

There's a lot we could talk about. There's the 2020 election, why President Trump isn't sure what a Category 5 hurricane is, whether gun control measures beyond the introduction of the death penalty will come from this weekend's shootings in Texas, both top seeds are out of the US Open, and why a Tennessee school wants to ban Harry Potter books. 

But we're interested in what you want to talk about. It could be very different. To some degree, this is an experiment to see if we're focusing on what's really important to you. 

Palm Beach County Sheriff's Department / Wikipedia

The FBI, the Justice Department's inspector general and the New York City medical examiner will investigate how billionaire and convicted sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in his jail cell at Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan early Saturday morning. 

Marc Nozell / Creative Commons

Marianne Williamson was Googled more than any other candidate after last week's Democratic debate. Voters liked her call for "some deep truth-telling" and a "politics that speaks to the heart." But to understand Williamson's words, we need to first understand A Course in Miracles, the almost 1,300 page spiritual text she has built a career on interpreting. 

Then-FBI Director Robert Mueller meeting with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in the White House.
Pete Souza / White House

Special Counsel Robert Mueller made crystal clear that he would not comment on the long-awaited Mueller Report beyond the carefully chosen words we could all find in his 448-page report. 

Jamie Smed Photography / Creative Commons

The two biggest earthquakes to hit California since 1994 rocked an area about 120 miles northeast of Los Angeles on Thursday and Friday. Seismologists say a big earthquake happens every 100 years in California. The last big one hit 160 years ago. Is California prepared for the big one? If not, what does that mean for them and the rest of us? They are the fifth biggest economy in the world.

Marc Nozell / Creative Commons

Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang wants to give everyone a Universal Basic Income to offset the effects of automation. The plan resonates across a broad spectrum of voters from his "Yang Gang" to the alt-right and it has catapulted him to a spot in this week's Democratic primary debate alongside frontrunners Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Kamala Harris. Who is this guy

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