Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 11:00 am
One line President Obama might have borrowed for his speech to the nation Tuesday night was a famous one from John F. Kennedy's inauguration address: "Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate."
Always admired as a fine turn of phrase, what meaning does this have in our own time?
Perhaps it might have helped Obama make the turn from indicting the Syrian regime's alleged use of chemical weapons to explaining why he backed off his own earlier threat of military retaliation against Syria.
But they should. Especially in cities like New Haven and Stamford where voters have a chance to pick their next mayor. In the Elm City, this is a "watershed" race. Those are the words of Paul Bass, editor of the New Haven Independent.
That's because longtime Mayor John DeStefano is finally not running for re-election. He's been the Mayor of New Haven for twenty years!
Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 1:14 pm
If ever a speech seemed to be President Obama's last, best chance to win public and congressional support for his plan to launch military strikes against Syria, it's his prime-time talk to the nation Tuesday.
With polls indicating that 60 percent of Americans oppose action against Syria for using sarin gas and congressional approval looking ever more like a long shot, Obama's speech is a high-stakes endeavor.
President Barack Obama has found some unlikely congressional support for his plan to intervene in the Syrian war. He’s got the backing of Republicans like House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Senator John McCain, and House Speaker John Boehner.
"This is something that the United States as a country needs to do," said Boehner. "I’m going to support the president’s call for action. I believe my colleagues should support this call for action.
President Obama is winning some Republican support for military action against Syria. But judging by response from Connecticut's congressional delegation, he won't have an easy time with members of his own party.
"The authorization document that the President has submitted to Congress is insufficiently limited in defining our objectives and strategy," Senator Richard Blumenthal told WNPR's Where We Live. He said the authorization the President is asking congress for is far too broad in its scope, and he wants more information on the long-term objectives.
"Our national security has to be one of the predominant factors that we consider," he said.
Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 11:25 am
The White House is working with congressional leaders to shape a resolution that authorizes the type of military action that would send a "clear message" to President Bashar Assad and cripple the Syrian leader's "capability to use chemical weapons not just now but in the future," President Obama said Tuesday.
Sitting with leaders from both major parties, the president also said he is confident lawmakers are "going to be able to come up with something that hits that mark."
Washington - Because Congress failed to act on a farm bill before its summer recess, Connecticut's dairy farmers lost their federal assistance over the weekend. Connecticut farmers received about $1.2 million last year in payments from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Milk Income Loss Program, or MILC, and much, much more during years when milk prices were lower.
Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 1:12 pm
The White House says President Obama will issue two new executive orders on guns — one to curb the import of military surplus weapons and another that closes a loophole allowing some felons to get around background checks.
The two actions — to be announced by Vice President Joe Biden at the swearing-in of Todd Jones, the new director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — will join 23 others that the president has issued in an effort to reduce gun violence.
They are part of a set of recommendations from the vice president unveiled in January.
Losia Nyankale, 29, didn't mean to make a career in the restaurant business. But after Nyankale was in college for two years, her mom lost her job as a schoolteacher and could no longer pay tuition. Then, Nyankale's temp jobs in bookkeeping dried up in the recession. So she went back to her standby — restaurant work.
"I did some kitchen work. The pantries or the salad station," she says. "I've also managed, supervised, wash[ed] dishes."
Robert Braddock is going to jail for 38 months for his role in the scandal surrounding the congressional campaign of Chris Donovan. The judge said the long sentence would send a message to others about corrupt political behavior. If nothing else, it seemed to send a message to Braddock himself, who told her: "You couldn't force me to work in politics ever again."
"If the judge really wanted to make it worse," Braddock said, "she could have sentenced me to work for another campaign."
Last week our culture panel, The Nose, tackled Bradley Manning's declaration that he is a woman named Chelsea. Many interesting points were made, but all three of my panelists favored the notion of everybody -- press included -- honoring Manning's request to refer to him from now on as said woman and as "she." In situations like that, I'll often lean the other way, just to make sure the issue really gets discussed. And in this case, I had substantive questions anyway.
There are now four United States Navy destroyers positioned in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea — each equipped to fire cruise missiles at targets up to 1,500 miles away.
In a speech yesterday, Secretary of State John Kerry called the use of chemical weapons on Syrian civilians “a moral obscenity,” signaling a toughening stance by the Obama administration on the Assad regime.
School is back in session in Connecticut, and we all know what that means. More school buses, which means more traffic, which might mean more time in a car. And that gives you more time to listen to WNPR on the radio. But while we have you online, check out some of the latest stories we've been keeping an eye on... This is The Wheelhouse Digest.
The Obama Administration is considering military strikes on Syria in response to the Assad regime's deadly poison gas attacks in Damascus last week.
While there is growing support for military intervention in Syria by members of Congress, Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy says he's against it. Rather, Murphy says the president should focus on a diplomatic way to deter the Assad regime from further attacks.
Rico Saccoccio is a junior at Fordham University in the Bronx. He's from a middle-class family in Connecticut and he spent the summer living at home with his parents, who cover about $15,000 a year in his college costs.
According to the U.S. government, Saccoccio is living in poverty. The $8,000 he earns doing odd jobs puts him well below the $11,945 poverty threshold for an individual. In fact, the U.S. Census Bureau recently reported that more than half of all college students who are living off campus and not at home are poor.
A big question since the massacre at Sandy Hook is how much, if any, information from the crime scene should be released to the public. That debate continues. The question at hand isn't should the state have passed a bipartisan, sweeping new law to exempt crime scene evidence from public disclosure. The question is should it have done so in secret, at the end of the legislative session, without public hearing.
Governor Dannel Malloy addressed a Hartford Courant story about the implementation of Keno, the lottery game that the legislature approved this past session. He said the lottery officials need to implement it in a "honest and transparent way."
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Wednesday that the lottery game known as Keno is still likely to open in the state and called on the quasi-public Connecticut Lottery Corporation to be open with the public and press about what their plans are in opening the games across the state.
The last person a struggling parent wants to see at his or her door is a worker from the state Department of Children and Families. Years of adversarial relationships with families have contributed to the troubled agency's reputation. In the last year, DCF has adopted a reform that turns the old way of doing things on its head.
Amy DeRosa is a 36 year old mom with two children. She's a pretty positive person despite life handing her one challenge after another.
Today, on our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse we have an all-star panel to pull apart the threads of our conversation yesterday with Governor Dannel Malloy about the 2014 race for governor, the state budget, and more.
We also talk about a big change coming at the top for NPR.
Though Gov. Dannel P. Malloy insists he hasn't decided whether to seek another term, the issue he will focus on - should he run - became clear during a Tuesday morning radio appearance: jobs and the Connecticut economy.
Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 12:45 pm
The CIA isn't exactly known for its openness. But for a spy agency, it's been a gusher of information over the past week when it comes to old controversies.
The CIA has now acknowledged its role in the 1953 coup that deposed Iran's left-leaning Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh. Few Iranians will be surprised. They have always believed Mosaddegh was ousted by U.S. and British interests, and those suspicions are a big part of Iran's mistrust of the West to this day.
Since Governor Dannel Malloy narrowly won the race for governor in 2010, Republicans have set their sights on 2014. We’re still more than 14 months away from the next election, but Republican candidates are already getting in line.
Today, Governor Malloy joins us in studio and we ask him about his re-election plans and those vying for his job. One of the big issues, if not the biggest issue, will be the state’s economy and unemployment rate. The latest numbers show 11,500 jobs were added in the state, BUT the unemployment rate ticked up to 8.1 percent.
Piper Kerman brought a suitcase of cash across international borders as the 20-year-old girlfriend of an international drug trafficker.
By the time she was 34, Piper outgrew her need for adventure, but not the crime that landed her in prison more than a decade later, despite that she was living a respectable life with a boyfriend, family, and artisanal soap business in New York City's West Village.