🎧 Empire State of Mind | On the Media | WNYC Studios

Listened to Empire State of Mind by Brooke GladstoneBrooke Gladstone from On the Media | WNYC Studios

Recently, a member of the Trump administration called Puerto Rico “that country,” obscuring once more the relationship between the island colony and the American mainland. In a special hour this week, On the Media examines the history of US imperialism — and why the familiar US map hides the true story of our country. Brooke spends the hour with Northwestern University historian Daniel Immerwahr, author of How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States.

A stunning 50 minutes of American History here! Folks who enjoyed John Biewen and Scene on Radio’s Seeing White series are sure to love some additional layers and texture that this view on our history brings.

I’d read it in my youth and knew of it more generally, but I didn’t know that Rudyard Kipling’s “White Man’s Burden” was written as advice to the United States about what to do in the Philippines where there was a long and bloody US war. Then the episode has a gut-punch of a quote I’d never heard from Mark Twain, who was friends with Kipling:

‘there must be two Americas. One that sets the captive free and one that takes a once captive’s new freedom away from him, picks a quarrel with him with nothing founded on and then kills him to get his land. For that second America,’ he proposed adding a few words to the Declaration of Independence, ‘governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed White men.’

If asked before today what the bloodiest war fought on US soil was, I’d have said “The Civil War” as I suspect that most would. Interestingly it turns out that it was the Japanese conquest of the Philippines during World War II that claimed 1.5 million people–or the equivalent of two civil wars. Why don’t most students know this fact? Likely because 1 million of that number were not white. They were Filipinos who were also considered U.S. nationals at the time.

Another surprising thing I hadn’t considered before, and mentioned here, is that a large portion of the “British Invasion” of music in the 1960’s–including that of The Beatles–can be likely be put down to the fact that there’s a major U.S. military base put into Liverpool just after World War II. The increased trade and exposure of local youth to American rock-and-roll music as well as instruments sourced from the base had a tremendous influence on the city and the music that would result.

These are just of a few of my favorite portions of this incredible show.

This episode is Part 2 of their series, “On American Expansion.” I can’t wait to hear the rest.

👓 Trump's pardon power doesn't come up in Supreme Court argument that could affect Mueller probe | CNBC

Read Trump's pardon power doesn't come up in Supreme Court argument that could affect Mueller probe by Tucker Higgins (CNBC)
The case concerns the so-called "dual sovereignty" exception to the Constitution's Double Jeopardy clause.

🎧 ‘The Daily’: A 30-Year Plan to Transform the Courts | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: A 30-Year Plan to Transform the Courts from New York Times

Republicans have created a pipeline of conservative lawyers to help carry out a sweeping reconfiguration of the federal judiciary.

🎧 ‘The Daily’: Brett Kavanaugh’s Change of Heart | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: Brett Kavanaugh’s Change of Heart from New York Times

President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee once made the case for impeaching a president. He now says that was a mistake.

There’s some interesting philosophical question here about whether a sitting president should be “distracted” by lawsuits. I can maybe see the case for knucklehead misdemeanors, but for higher level crimes like collusion with foreign countries or crimes that helped get them into office in the first place? Definitely not. If we have to err on the side of caution, then prosecute, prosecute, prosecute. The president is not above the law, they’re bound to execute on it and this doesn’t get them away from prosecuting themselves.

🎧 ‘The Daily’: Trump Picks Brett Kavanaugh | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: Trump Picks Brett Kavanaugh from New York Times

Given Judge Kavanaugh’s conservative record and the political math in the Senate, what happens now?

🎧 ‘The Daily’: Trump’s Supreme Court Finalists | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: Trump’s Supreme Court Finalists from New York Times

With the president expected to announce his choice to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, we look at the top candidates.

👓 In rare rebuke, Chief Justice Roberts slams Trump for comment about 'Obama judge' | NBC News

Read In rare rebuke, Chief Justice Roberts slams Trump for comment about 'Obama judge' (NBC News)
The president later responded on Twitter, defending his attacks on the Ninth Circuit for ruling against him in an asylum case.

👓 Opinion | Trump’s Appointment of the Acting Attorney General Is Unconstitutional | New York Times

Read Opinion | Trump’s Appointment of the Acting Attorney General Is Unconstitutional (nytimes.com)
The president is evading the requirement to seek the Senate’s advice and consent for the nation’s chief law enforcement officer and the person who will oversee the Mueller investigation.

🎧 “The Daily”: The Accusation Against Brett Kavanaugh | New York Times

Listened to "The Daily": The Accusation Against Brett Kavanaugh by Michael Barbaro from New York Times

The Supreme Court nominee faces sexual assault allegations that throw his confirmation, once seen as inevitable, into turmoil.

👓 Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Hospitalized After Falling, Fracturing 3 Ribs | NPR

Read Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Hospitalized After Falling, Fracturing 3 Ribs (NPR.org)
The 85-year-old justice fell in her office at the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday evening. She has been hospitalized for "observation and treatment."

After the last few days, this is the type of news that could give a person a heart attack. Democrats should have done far more to swing back the Senate.

👓 O’Connor, Rehnquist And A Supreme Marriage Proposal | NPR

Read O'Connor, Rehnquist And A Supreme Marriage Proposal (NPR)
Some personal secrets are so well-kept that even family and friends are oblivious. So it is with the story of the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist's marriage proposal to a Stanford Law School classmate in the early 1950s. When 19-year-old Sandra Day entered Stanford Law School in 1949, her frequent seatmate was 26-year-old Bill Rehnquist, attending Stanford on the GI Bill. The two shared their equally meticulous class notes and eventually were dating regularly. But by December of their second year, she broke up with him while somehow retaining what she called their "study buddy" relationship; she even entered the moot-court competition with Rehnquist, and the pair finished second.

🎧 The Daily: Why the A.C.L.U. Wants to Be More Like the N.R.A. | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: Why the A.C.L.U. Wants to Be More Like the N.R.A. from nytimes.com
We speak to Anthony Romero, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, about the group’s major shift in strategy following the election of President Trump.

👓 The Harvard Trial Doesn’t Matter | The Atlantic

Read The Harvard Trial Doesn’t Matter (The Atlantic)
The lawyers challenging the university are testing out their arguments to see which ones stick ahead of a potential appeal to the Supreme Court.

🎧 The Daily: A Supreme Court With Justice Kavanaugh | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: A Supreme Court With Justice Kavanaugh from nytimes.com
Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh takes his place on a Supreme Court whose reputation has suffered significant damage from the battle over his confirmation.

🎧 The Daily: What the F.B.I. Found (and Didn’t Find) | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: What the F.B.I. Found (and Didn’t Find) from nytimes.com
Republicans and Democrats clashed over the agency’s report on Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, mirroring a nation as divided as ever over the Supreme Court nominee.