WNPR

The Wheelhouse

Wednesdays 9:00 am and 7:00 pm

Connecticut's best journalists come out of the political trenches every Wednesday to join us on WNPR's weekly news roundtable, The Wheelhouse.

The Wheelhouse is a live, call-in show, so join us when we're on air at (860) 275-7266.

When we aren't on air, call us in the newsroom at (860) 275-7272.

The executive producer is Catie Talarski. The digital editor is Heather Brandon. The technical producer is Chion Wolf.

Jamelle Boule / Creative Commons

The inauguration is days away. Whether you're excited or not, the transfer of power from Barack Obama to Donald Trump is an historic event.  And an expensive event, at a price tag of more than $200 million. The Department of Homeland Security says they expect 900,000, including many protestors. While past Presidents like Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, and George W. Bush will be in attendance, more than fifty House Democrats say they will not attend

Pete Souza / White House

Last night night, President Obama delivered his farewell address to the nation. The speech was - let’s say, juxtaposed - with news that intelligence officials have briefed both Obama and President-Elect Donald Trump about reports that Russia had gathered “salacious” and compromising material about Trump. Although, it’s unclear what exactly counts as salacious anymore. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Wednesday is the start of Connecticut’s legislative session. Lawmakers reconvene, starting squarely at a massive state budget deficit, and a crisis in pension costs that Comptroller Kevin Lembo said will “crush us” unless something is done. 

Criminal Justice Reform: What's At Stake?

Dec 28, 2016
Neil Conway/flickr creative commons

The U.S. locks up more people than any other country in the world, with 2.3 million people behind bars. One-third of the U.S. population has a criminal record. 

jglazer75 / Creative Commons

The electoral college voted, and Donald Trump is still President-elect. But that big news paled in comparison to two terror attacks that posed direct threats to relations between European countries, Russia, Turkey and the conflict in Syria. 

Kevin Dooley / Creative Commons

The CIA released a report that Russia intervened in the election, findings that President-elect Donald Trump says are "ridiculous." It has many Americans wondering about the role of the electoral college. Could these electors actually vote to keep Trump out of the White House? The New York Times called that chance a “moonshot.” 

Ron Cogswell / Creative Commons

Ben Carson has a new role as head of Housing and Urban Development. Trump took a controversial call with Taiwan. On Twitter, the President-elect threatened companies who plan to move jobs overseas, and criticized the cost of the new Air Force One: "Cancel order!"

In the past week President-elect Donald Trump has tweeted about Cuba, and the recount funded by the Green Party. He tweeted eleven times about Hillary Clinton and voter fraud, including a controversial tweet in which he claimed that "millions of people voted illegally." Trump re-tweeted a 16-year-old who criticized coverage of CNN, and said people who burn the American flag should face consequences - "perhaps loss of citizenship or a year in jail!" 

jennie-o, creative commons

In his recent New Yorker commentary, Jelani Cobb writes about the defiance some states are feeling towards President-elect Trump and his policies. Democratic leaders in California and New York have released statements saying they'll protect their most vulnerable communities. 

Chuck Kennedy / White House

This week, the country is settling into the idea of what a Trump presidency might look like. The President-elect has dialed back his rhetoric on Obamacare and NATO. He's hired a transition team chock-full of family members, political insiders, and most controversially a person criticized from both the right and the left as "the modern face of racism." The new head of the EPA may well be a climate change denier. And he's taken phone calls with world leaders, including Putin

Jamelle Boule / Creative Commons

President-elect Trump. Sounds weird, doesn’t it.

Mara Lavitt / WNPR

Six days to the election and there's certainly a lot to cover. Nationally, the Anthony Weiner investigation has possibly uncovered some more email trouble for Hillary Clinton; and Donald Trump is trying to win over African American voters by promising to be their "greatest champion"

Chion Wolf / WNPR

We’ve been talking a lot about national politics lately on the Wheelhouse. But there’s a LOT happening here in Connecticut. 

Donald Trump is no longer laughing at Saturday Night Live, which is part of the media and the political establishment that he says have stacked the election against him. At a rally in Pennsylvania, he told his supporters to go to polling places on Election Day to make sure they're "on the up and up" -- which concerned civil rights groups and others citing illegal voter intimidation.  

DonkeyHotey, creative commons

An offensive and sexist conversation between Donald Trump and Hollywood interviewer Billy Bush has been the catalyst for an even deeper rift in the Republican party. House Speaker Paul Ryan has dropped his support for the GOP nominee, saying he'll instead focus on defending the party's majority in Congress

Elipongo / Creative Commons

Listen live on Wednesday at 9:00 am. The first vice presidential debate likely had a much smaller audience and far less excitement than the Trump-Clinton showdown. But this hour, we review some of the highlights. 

Mike Mozart / Creative Commons

The first presidential debate. A former Connecticut governor going back to prison. A special session for Sikorsky. A direct flight to Ireland. An African American history museum. 

J Colman / Creative Commons

There are some weeks in the news when it seems like everything that’s been roiling and boiling in America comes to a head - all at once. A bombing in New York city - with other devices left unexploded - and a suspect in custody. The incident has once again prompted fears among America’s Muslim community, worried about backlash. 

Mike McGuire, as seen on 14th Street NW, Washington, DC // Creative Commons

Since last week's Wheelhouse, we had one candidate learn where Aleppo is, we heard one candidate refer to a "basket of deplorables," and we learned the same candidates campaign had been hiding a pneumonia diagnosis.

It’s the 25th anniversary of Connecticut’s income tax. Opponents of that tax will tell you lots of reasons why it’s hurt the state. Proponents will tell you that it’s a necessary tool to pay for government services. But one reality has really taken hold over the last few years.

City of Hartford

Is the city if Hartford facing Bankruptcy? This hour, we explore that question, and the future of the vacant ballpark. 

Mark Nozell, Creative Commons

We’re gonna try really hard to not say one word. That word starts with a T, and rhymes with “thump.” 

Marcie Casas / Creative Commons

A state senator is being investigated in Connecticut. That doesn’t sound surprising actually. This time, it’s about adding constituents who contacted his office about constituent stuff to political fundraising lists. Even in Connecticut that’s a no-no! 

Jon S, Creative Commons

At Donald Trump's most recent rally, he made controversial remarks about Hillary Clinton and the Second Amendment that some are calling an "assassination threat." The Secret Service even tweeted that they're "aware of the comments." 

U.S. Army / Creative Commons

Just when you think you've seen and heard it all, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump gets into a public fight with Gold Star parents and their supporters. This hour, we take a closer look at that story with a panel of political experts and reporters. We also consider the impact of gender stereotyping in politics and discuss some of the other big headlines from this week's news. 

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