VCU Libraries

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Civil Discourse Podcast

Companion to the podcast

Presidential Libraries Part 1: Two Folders (Aired 1/18/2022)

*Recorded in 2020* Professor Bill Newmann joins Aughie and Nia in the first two episodes of season 9 to discuss visiting presidential libraries. The first episode covers general research visits and what types of materials a researcher can find in the Presidential libraries.

Presidential Libraries Part 2: Boxes and Boxes (Aired 1/25/2022)

*Recorded in 2020* Professor Bill Newmann joins Aughie and Nia in the first two episodes of season 9 to discuss visiting presidential libraries. In the second episode, Dr. Newmann explains in detail how to get the most out of a visit to the presidential libraries.

In The News - SCOTUS and Vaccine Mandates (Aired 2/1/2022)

Nia and Aughie give a quick take on two recent vaccine mandate rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court. 

Vice Presidents, part 1 (Aired 2/1/2022)

Nia and Aughie discuss the office of Vice President of the United States. The first of two episodes discusses the evolution of the position.

Vice Presidents, part 2 (Aired 2/8/2022)

Aughie and Nia discuss the office of Vice President of the United States. The second of two episodes explores interesting tidbits about various vice presidents, and ends with some quotes from office holders on the importance of the position.

Robert Joseph Dole Memorial (Aired 2/15/2022)

Aughie and Nia commemorate the career of Robert J. (Bob) Dole, (July 22, 1923 - December 5, 2021). They discuss his personal physical battles and inner strength as well as his storied political career.

In The News - Russia And Ukraine Feb 18, 2022 (Aired 2/19/2022)

Dr. Judy Twigg joins Aughie and Nia to discuss the latest developments on the Russian/Ukrainian border. Dr. Twigg also gives us a primer on recent Russian history and the reasons for conflict between these nations.

What is the Serial Set? (Aired 2/22/2022)

Nia and Aughie extol the virtues of the United States Congressional Serial Set, especially its historical and political importance. They discuss the content of the set, and encourage listeners to explore these important American documents.

Waters of the United States (WOTUS) (Aired 3/1/2022)

Aughie and Nia explore the history of the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) and the Clean Water Act. They also discuss the complicated caselaw from SCOTUS regarding "navigable waters" and the changing presidential definitions of WOTUS.

Colorado River Compact (Aired 3/8/2022)

Nia and Aughie discuss the factors that brought about the creation of the Colorado River Compact. They also discuss the current issues and challenges facing the Law of the River.

Dissed Amendments (Aired 3/15/2022)

Aughie and Nia discuss the amendments that were tardy to be included or not included in the text of the U.S. Constitution. Of James Madison's 20 proposed amendments, only 12 went forward, and only 10 made it into the Bill of Rights. Aughie speaks in detail on 5 of the original 20 that were rejected by Congress initially. Aughie also discusses amendments that were rejected by the states.

In The News - Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson.

Aughie and Nia briefly discuss President Joe Biden's nominee to the Supreme Court, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson.

That is Not in the U.S. Constitution (Aired 3/22/2022)

​Nia and Aughie continue their discussion of the text of the U.S. Constitution. This episode focuses on rights that are (and are not) enumerated in the text. The original text has no enumerated right to vote, privacy, or a fair trial, among others.

HIPAA (Aired 3/29/2022)

Aughie and Nia have a discussion of the pros and cons of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). This Act is an excellent example of the law of unintended consequences, in both good and bad ways.

Presidential and Congressional Medals (Aired 4/5/2022)

Nia and Aughie explore some of the various military and civilian honors and awards that may be granted by the President or Congress. Some awards are given for very specific contributions while others are given for lifetime achievements or contributions deemed worthy by individual members of Congress.

Congressional Review Act (Aired 4/12/2022)

Aughie thwarts Nia's plan to use the Space Force to take over all the other agencies by explaining the Congressional Review Act. The act requires that agencies submit regulatory changes to Congress for review. Also, the plural of nemesis is nemeses.

Exxon Valdez and Deepwater Horizon Accountability (Aired 4/19/2022)

Nia and Aughie discuss the Exxon Valdez and Deepwater Horizon disasters in terms of accountability and settlements. They also explore the ideas around government accountability and conflict of interest between promoting industry and protecting the common good.

In The News - Oil Reserves (Aired 4/21/2022)

Nia and Aughie discuss the Strategic Petroleum Reserves of the United States, and criticisms of it from all sides of the political spectrum.

Independent State Legislature Doctrine (Aired 4/26/2022)

Aughie explains two clauses in the U.S. Constitution: Article II, Section 1 (the electors clause) and Article 1, Section 4 (the elections clause), Recent SCOTUS cases have called the meaning of "legislature" in these clauses into question.

Work Project Administration - Labor (Aired 5/3/2022)

Nia and Aughie discuss the Works Progress Administration (WPA) labor programs to provide jobs and income to men and women during the Great Depression. These jobs often involved physical labor building and maintaining infrastructure.

Works Progress Administration - Art (Aired 5/10/2022)

Aughie and Nia discuss the Works Progress Administration (WPA) programs  to provide work opportunities for artists, actors, musicians, and writers during the Great Depression. They also discuss some of the criticisms of the WPA programs,

In The News - SCOTUS Leaks

Aughie and Nia discuss the recent leak of an opinion out of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Tennessee Valley Authority (Aired 5/17/2022)

Nia and Aughie discuss the Tennessee Valley Authority, a federally-owned electric utility corporation. The TVA also focused on economic development of the middle Appalachia region.