Now a pair of historic votes among last night's many ballots measures. Voters in Colorado and Washington State passed initiatives legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. But as the governor of Colorado said last night, don't break out the Cheetos or Goldfish too quickly
NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports that the measures are in direct conflict with federal law.
Even during the heat of the campaign, a bipartisan group of eight senators was meeting to try to hash out a framework for deficit reduction to steer clear of that fiscal cliff. The so-called Gang of Eight - four Democrats and four Republicans - includes Senator Mark Warner, Democrat of Virginia, who joins me now. Welcome to the program.
SENATOR MARK WARNER: Thanks for having me, Melissa.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And Robert Siegel. The confetti has fallen in Chicago, where President Obama celebrated a decisive reelection win early this morning. Now comes the hard work of preparing for a second term. Before flying back to Washington this evening, Mr. Obama acknowledged some of the big issues ahead.
With most of the elections settled, the winners must now determine how they will deal with the impending "fiscal cliff" of spending cuts and tax increases that happen in two months. David Welna reports.
The number of states where gay marriage is legal will grow by at least two. On Tuesday, Maine and Maryland became the first states to approve same sex marriage by popular referendum. It brings the number of states where such unions are allowed to eight. In the state of Washington, the vote on a similar measure is still too close to call. In Minnesota, voters turned down an amendment to the state constitution that would have banned gay marriage.
Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 3:33 pm
A very good general election for Democrats got even better on Wednesday when they retained U.S. Senate seats in Montana and North Dakota, both of which had looked ripe for Republicans throughout much of the campaign.
Victories by Sen. Jon Tester of Montana and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, in contests so close that concessions from the losing Republican candidates didn't occur until Wednesday, helped Senate Democrats reach 54 seats in the next Congress. That was a net increase of one seat from their current majority.
Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 8:43 am
Poor Chris Stewart. The former Air Force pilot had just won a landslide victory in his first bid for Congress in Utah, but the crowd of Republicans listening to his acceptance speech at a Salt Lake City hotel kept pointing to the massive television screen behind him.
"Do you want me to stop?" Stewart asked. "You would rather listen to Gov. Romney than to me, wouldn't you?"
Some in the crowd shouted "Yes!" and the sound of Romney's concession speech filled the room.
OUT: California Democratic Rep. Pete Stark arrives at an Alameda County Democratic Lawyers Club endorsement meeting in Oakland, Calif., on Sept. 7. He lost his race Tuesday to a fellow Democrat.
Credit Alex Wong / Getty Images
OUT: Illinois Republican Rep. Joe Walsh (foreground), with Virginia Rep. Scott Rigell, speaks during a May news conference on Capitol Hill. Walsh, a Tea Party freshman, lost to Democrat Tammy Duckworth.
Credit Lynne Sladky / AP
OUT: Florida Republican Rep. Allen West, another Tea Party freshman, waves before a campaign rally for Mitt Romney last month in Port St. Lucie, Fla.
Credit Charlie Riedel / AP
OUT: Missouri Republican Rep. Todd Akin and his wife, Lulli, acknowledge supporters before Akin makes his concession speech to incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill on Tuesday in Chesterfield, Mo.
Credit Glen Stubbe / MCT/Landov
IN: Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann watches election results at a hotel in Bloomington, Minn., on Tuesday.
Credit Alex Wong / Getty Images
IN: New York Democratic Rep. Charles Rangel speaks during a news conference in Washington in June.
Credit Phelan M. Ebenhack / AP
IN: Florida Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson pumps up the crowd at a state Democratic Party rally in Orlando in 2010.
Credit J. Scott Applewhite / AP
IN: California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters smiles at her husband, Sidney Williams, during a House Ethics Committee hearing in September. Waters was cleared of charges that she steered a $12 million federal bailout to a bank where her husband owns stock.
Credit Charlie Riedel / AP
Missouri Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin and his wife, Lulli, acknowledge supporters before Akin makes his concession speech to Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill on Tuesday in Chesterfield, Mo.
Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 3:02 pm
Is civility about to stage a comeback in Washington? Some of the most controversial members of Congress have lost their seats.
Still, there appears to be little danger that vitriol is about to go out of style. A number of outspoken members are coming back, including at least one who had previously lost his seat.
Also, while there may be a net loss in the number of members who have attracted a great deal of media attention by making testy statements or ending up in ethics investigations, some who have been more moderate in temperament won't be coming back, either.
Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 2:16 pm
The much-hyped battle for the battleground states turned into more of a rout on Election Day, as President Obama swept through eight key states and looked on course to capture Florida.
Swing states — Ohio, Virginia, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nevada, Colorado, New Hampshire — viewed as tossups a day before the voting fell without much fight into the blue column. Only North Carolina went for Romney.
Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 2:44 pm
Shall we dance?
That's the key question for Congress now that another budget crisis is near. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev, today said he's ready to do a little two-stepping with Republicans to twirl away from the edge of the so-called fiscal cliff.
"It's better to dance than to fight," the former amateur boxer told reporters at a press conference. "Everything doesn't have to be a fight."
Originally published on Sun November 11, 2012 11:58 am
Hi! I'm back. I was once a banker and now I write for Dealbreaker and answer your questions about the financial world here. You can send questions to email@example.com with "ask a banker" in the subject line, or ask on Twitter (@planetmoney).
Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 12:16 pm
The balloons have fallen, the bunting's down, and President Obama has been re-elected.
That means Mitt Romney has been defeated — and with him, many election aspects that we presumed to be true. (You know what they say about presume — it makes a pres out of u and me.)
Maybe it's because we're sailing into a new and uncharted century. Maybe it's because of climate change or polar shift or Mayan calendrical mayhem. But the presidential election of 2012 provided a highly unusual, if not unique, set of circumstances.
President Obama was the headliner Tuesday night, but most members of Congress also faced elections. Democrats retained control of the Senate while Republicans held on to control of the House. Now both sides of the divided Congress face significant challenges addressing the nation's fiscal problems.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. The president scores four more years; a divided Congress remains, well, divided; and guess what? Florida is still counting. It's Wednesday and time for a post-election edition of the Political Junkie.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDINGS)
PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.
VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?
SENATOR BARRY GOLDWATER: Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.
Darrell Royal, who coached the University of Texas Longhorns to three national titles "and became the biggest college football icon in a state that worships the sport, has died at age 88," Austin's American-Statesman reports.
Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 1:39 pm
If you're a coffee drinker, chances are the cup of java you drank this morning was made from beans that were produced or harvested by women. Women's handprints can be found at every point in coffee production.
In fact, on family-owned coffee farms in Africa, about 70 percent of maintenance and harvesting work is done by women, according to an analysis by the International Trade Centre, but only rarely do women own the land or have financial control.
Now, we want to turn to the international arena. The race for the White House last night had people around the world glued to their TVs and radios and reaction is pouring in from political figures around the globe.
Here is a small sample of what we've been hearing, starting with a spokesperson for the Afghan Foreign Ministry.
JENAN MOUSSA: We look forward to advancing our existing strong, broad, multifaceted partnership with the United States.
CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL: (Foreign language spoken)
This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We're sure you know this by now, but just in case, President Obama won reelection and will serve a second term in office.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I believe we can seize this future together, because we are not as divided as our politics suggest. We are not cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are, and forever will be, the United States of America.
Host Michel Martin has been checking in with two former speechwriters throughout the election season to sort through the rhetoric, and find out what messages struck a chord with voters. She reviews campaign messaging, and Tuesday night's victory and concession speeches with former presidential speechwriters Mary Kate Cary and Paul Orzulak.
Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 11:14 am
What a difference $46 million in TV ad spending can make.
At least that was the consensus in the wee hours of the morning at the Yes on Proposition 37 party, held at a performance art space in San Francisco's Mission District, even before the final votes were tallied.
Outspent many times over, "we couldn't get up on the air," organizer Stacy Malkan told The Salt when it appeared the measure was going down. "You need a certain saturation to have an impact."