This was a history-making day in the U.S. Supreme Court chamber, and that was evident from the tone of Pete Williams' voice when he walked us through his version of events for tonight. Justice Breyer provided the emotional high point of the court session during his 27-minute oral dissent -- more of a direct rebuke of the majority opinion and its authors. We'll look at the decision, the dissent and the impact of the court's action today.
Also tonight: the death -- one more time -- of the immigration compromise, and the rise of the people in the process. There was more bad news on the China front today, with a major export to this country stopped cold. The weather news is grim in Texas as Don Teague will again report, but there is good news for all bald eagles and all of us who revere them: Anne Thompson will report on their removal from the endangered list. We have a lot more planned, but I don't want to hand all of our plans over to our capable competition.
...IN ANOTHER TIME
Yesterday's power outage here in New York reminded me of one of my favorite LBJ stories. On the night of the famous New York blackout in 1965, Johnson was in his Lincoln convertible driving around his ranch in Texas. He parked in one of his favorite spots overlooking the Pedernales River, and was listening to the local AM radio station, a CBS affiliate. He heard first word of the blackout on the CBS radio hourly newscast. He called the White House using the radio telephone in his car, and no one in the West Wing knew anything about a blackout in New York. By listening to the radio and calling Washington from a scenic overlook at his ranch, the President of the United States broke the news to his own government that New York was in the dark. He promptly appointed his aid Joe Califano (later Health and Human Services Secretary and these days with Partnership for a Drug-Free America) to be his point man for updates from New York. The recorded phone conversations between the two men -- in the hours that follow -- indicate they investigated terrorism and sabotage as possible motives (FBI Agents physically inspected the power lines between the United States and Canada) before both were ruled out. In the end, it proves that you can learn a lot from your favorite local radio station.
The New York Times featured an article today on how more people are using Post-It Notes at home, but more notably had an error in a photo caption in the A Section: it indicated that Gordon Brown will now move his family into No. 10 Downing Street, with his elevation to Prime Minister. The gist of the caption: that he won't have to move far, since he's been living right next door at No. 11. In truth, the Blair family has been living at No. 11 all along, because the residence portion was more suitable for their children.
About today's featured Medal of Honor recipient: those who watch Ken Burns' new PBS World War II epic, "The War" when it airs this coming fall will get to know Walt Ehlers. He plays a central role in Burns' film, for his heroism on the Normandy beach on D-Day. He is as sweet a man as I've ever met. What Walter did not know during that ugly morning of combat was that his own brother had died not far from where Walter himself was fighting and leading his men through the withering German gunfire. Just another story in our collection of the 110 living recipients of the Medal.
We hope you can join us for tonight's broadcast, as always.