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  • Stand Up and Be Counted

    On Tuesday, as we learned that former Vice President Joe Biden had selected Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate, I saw a Tweet from Ron Klain, Biden’s former chief of staff.  It was a picture of the moment the vice president asked Senator Harris to join him on the ticket.  The picture is pretty straight forward: the vice president is in profile, holding a smartphone to his computer while … Read More

  • From Theodore Roosevelt to Donald Trump: Exploring the Modern Presidency With Robert Dallek

    Air Dates: August 10-16, 2020 The history of the American presidency is full of accomplishments and compromises, successes and failures.  Robert Dallek argues that the giants from both parties in the last 120 years draw a sharp contrast with the characteristics of the Trump presidency.  Robert Dallek is the author of several bestselling presidential histories, including “Nixon and Kissinger: Partners in Power; An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917–1963,” and … Read More

  • Narratives of Illegitimacy

    American politics are awash with narratives of illegitimacy.  We’re not just questioning the judgment of our rivals, we’re questioning their loyalty, their commitment to the rule of law and the Constitution, as well as their patriotism.  In other words, we’re questioning whether our political opposites are, truly, American.  It’s difficult to imagine a more serious threat to the American experiment. The playbook is familiar at this point.  Republicans—including then-citizen Donald … Read More

  • The Reign Beauty Pageants in America With Hillary Levey Friedman

    Air Dates: August 3-9, 2020 Whether you love them or hate them, beauty pageants continue to play a significant role in American popular culture.  Hillary Levey Friedman argues that their evolution is wrapped up in the history of feminism in the United States.  Hilary Levey Friedman is a sociologist and expert on beauty pageants, childhood and parenting, competitive afterschool activities, and popular culture.  She is Visiting Assistant Professor of Education … Read More

  • Why I Laugh

    2020 has been the longest decade of my life.  It’s not even close.  The year that began with presidential impeachment, has, so far, brought us also a pandemic that continues to ravage the United States and the world, massive unemployment, the murder of George Floyd, protests for social justice, and violent confrontations in cities across the United States set against the backdrop of perhaps the most important U.S. election since … Read More

  • Pell Center to Debut Virtual Cybersecurity Training at IRS Nationwide Tax Forum

    Newport, RI—For the third-consecutive year, the Pell Center will provide cybersecurity awareness training for tax preparation professionals at the annual IRS Nationwide Tax Forum–this year, in an advanced virtual session on the most pressing cyber threats to both individual tax preparers as well as small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in the tax industry. The Pell Center’s presentations are made possible by a generous grant by the American Coalition for Taxpayer … Read More

  • Appreciating the Obituary with Mo Rocca

    Air Dates: July 27-August 2, 2020 There are some really great dead people.  Mo Rocca helps us remember them in part through his own appreciation of the obituary.  Humorist, journalist and actor Mo Rocca is best known for his off-beat news reports and satirical commentary.  He is a correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning, Rocca and the host of CBS’s series The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation.  The show features stories about some of … Read More

  • Irresponsible or Tyrannical?

    Every week, I try to share some insights from history, from my scholarship, or from my experience working in Washington.  I am mindful that it would be easy to look at my resume and dismiss me as a partisan.  And so I try to be careful about the language I use and the points I make.  The truth is that I’m actually a passionate moderate—if that’s not an oxymoron—who is … Read More

  • Public Health and Native Populations with Donald Warne

    Air Dates: July 20-26, 2020 The coronavirus pandemic has affected some communities worse than others—drawing into specific relief decades of data on health disparities.  Dr. Donald Warne warns that the impact has been particularly grave for Native Americans.  Donald Warne, MD, MPH is the Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion as well as the Director of the Indians Into Medicine (INMED) and Master of Public Health Programs, and Professor … Read More

  • A Matter of Trust

    In what would have been a shocking twist in any other administration, over the weekend, journalists began reporting that the White House was circulating talking points questioning the judgment and credibility of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.  President Trump, himself, told Fox News that Fauci, who had increasingly distanced himself publicly from the pandemic characterizations and recommendations of the president, “is … Read More