Ari Shapiro

If you ask Trixie Mattel — the winner of RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars in 2018 — her success as a drag queen isn't worth as much as you might think. "Being one of the most famous drag queens in the world is still only about as much fame as going home first in The Voice in like, 2010," she jokes.

The public's view of President Trump's impeachment trial is limited. In an era of ubiquitous cameras, no photographs are allowed in the Senate chamber. The only video comes from a set of cameras operated by government employees that's used by the television networks. There aren't many camera angles.

To give the public a closer view, news outlets are employing a low-tech solution.

Music is a kind of family inheritance for Georgia Barnes. The stories she tells of her relatives usually come back to music or dancing some way or another. Her dad used to play in an electronic group called Leftfield.

"My bedroom was actually Leftfield's studio," she says. "It was keyboards, drum machines, wires, bits of percussion, microphones."

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As the U.S. Senate solemnly considers the fate of a president, Twitter has been somewhat less solemn, considering another question. Can you drink milk on the Senate floor?

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Twenty-four hours over three days - that's how long each side gets to make its case in the Senate impeachment trial.

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Shortly after noon on this cold and bright Tuesday in Washington, President Trump's impeachment trial began. First, some tradition and ceremony - Senate Chaplain Barry Black opened the trial with a prayer.

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People across China are remembering the life of Liang Jun, who is celebrated as the first Chinese woman to work as a tractor driver.

Recognized as a national folk hero, trailblazer and model socialist worker, Liang Jun was immortalized in the 1960s on China's 1 yuan banknote driving a tractor. She died this week at the age of 90.

Her story is typical of model workers in China, says Tina Mai Chen, a professor of Chinese history at the University of Manitoba. Chen interviewed Liang Jun in 1996.

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NANCY PELOSI: We are here today to cross a very important threshold in American history.

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That's Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and the threshold she's referring to is the impeachment trial of President Trump.

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U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper thought he would be spending the year 2020 focusing on China, also Russia. Instead, he is leading the military through a series of attacks on and from Iran.

In 2019, Kalim Patel became a Grammy-nominated producer. He worked with James Blake on Assume Form, which was nominated for best alternative music album. Now, he's releasing a full-length album of his own music as Khushi, a childhood nickname and a Hindi word for "happiness." His new album is called Strange Seasons, and he thought it might never come out.

Charlie Harding, a songwriter, and Nate Sloan, a musicologist, used to be snobby about pop music. Then, on a road trip, they heard "Call Me Maybe," Carly Rae Jepsen's 2012 earworm, and decided to lean into their backgrounds to try to understand the craft of the song.

"I think, by explaining some of these musical concepts, all the sudden I was able to hear the song in a way I wasn't able to beforehand," Harding says.

Sheila Morrison was in Canada when she fell into her third diabetic coma.

"My 90-year-old cousin thought we had a lunch date, and so she came with her daughter to pick me up," she says. "And I wouldn't answer the door."

Her visitors were able to get inside and called an ambulance when they found her. Morrison remained in the coma for about a week.

For the fifth year running, All Things Considered's annual musical gratitude chat is back. This Thanksgiving, NPR's Ari Shapiro speaks with four different artists, each guest having been named as a reason to be thankful by the previous artist.

Imagine people three drinks deep, trying to catch the bartender's attention for a beer or something stronger. The people behind the bar are shaking, stirring, pouring and finally, it's time.

Last call. The lights come up, the music goes down and people head out the door. It's a time of ritual for bar staff that patrons rarely get to see.

It's that ritual that intrigued author Brad Thomas Parsons and took him on a journey for his latest book. Parsons traveled around the United States to more than 80 bars, asking bartenders for their take on last call.

On the morning of Aug. 7, Tony McGee was driving to work in Morton, Miss., when he noticed something unusual happening at one of the local chicken processing plants.

McGee is superintendent of the county schools, and it was the second day of classes.

"There was some activity there with law enforcement that had the parking lot barricaded," he recalls. "I actually called one of our assistant superintendents because it's relatively close to the school."

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Can Dolly Parton heal America? That's the question posed by a new podcast from WNYC, Dolly Parton's America, hosted by Radiolab's Jad Abumrad. It's not as far-fetched as you might think.

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The story of Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman unfolds like a globe-trotting mystery over more than a year.

When the two associates of President Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, were arrested at an airport this month for campaign finance violations, it wasn't immediately clear how — or even if — those activities were related to the impeachment inquiry into Trump.

But even before their arrest by the FBI, the two Soviet-born men were among the people whom Congress wanted to interview.

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Every year, millions of people visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. It holds thousands of years of art history: Egyptian temples, Renaissance sculptures, iconic 20th century paintings.

Admittedly, it's a little much.

"For the public this is one of those great and magnificent spaces that can be hugely intimidating," says Christine Coulson, standing in the museum's great hall. "But for me this feels like home."

His soaring rhetoric has drawn comparisons to former President Barack Obama. He prides himself as the only Democratic presidential hopeful to live in an inner-city neighborhood. Reforming a criminal justice system plagued by racial disparities is central to his campaign.

Yet New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, one of two top-tier African American candidates in a crowded Democratic field, continues to struggle making inroads with black voters — something he addressed on Saturday in a wide-ranging interview with two voters that was moderated by NPR's Ari Shapiro.

Before he became a novelist and poet, and a professor and a MacArthur Fellow, Ben Lerner competed in debate.

He was a policy debater during high school in the 1990s in Topeka, Kan., and was also a national champion in extemporaneous speaking. Not coincidentally, the main character in his new novel, a high-school senior in Kansas named Adam Gordon, is very good at both of those disciplines.

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