FROM Norm Stamper
Race in America: the Issue that Won’t Go Away President Obama is in Dallas today to memorialize the deaths of five policemen, gunned down by a black sniper last week during an otherwise peaceful rally. He’s called the act “a hate crime”—and at the same time he’s supporting the goals of Black Lives Matter. We’ll hear from a black journalist who’s been to “The Heart of Whiteness,” and talk about police reform with a white cop who has three decades of service. What are the prospects for that “post-racial America” that’s been so much discussed—even though it’s never actually happened?
Escalation of Violence in Ferguson Missouri For more than 10 days, heavily armed officers in body armor and SWAT vehicles have clashed with protesters in Ferguson, Missouri. The use of military equipment against peaceful protesters backfired on local police, producing an escalation of violence. Members of Congress, including presidential prospect Rand Paul, are pointing fingers at the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security. Washington gives heavy weapons, riot gear and armored personnel carriers to police forces who aren’t trained to use them, even if they needed to. We’ll hear how long-term policies have led to unintended consequences.
Is America Suddenly Turning Blue? Measures to legalize recreational marijuana passed Tuesday in two states. For the first time in any election, voters in Washington State, Maine and Maryland approved same-sex marriage. In Minnesota, a constitutional ban was turned down. We look at the pace of change in some of America's traditional cultural norms.
Is America Suddenly Turning Blue? In Colorado and Washington states, it's not just medical marijuana any more. Recreational pot was legalized by the voters on Tuesday. In Washington State, Maine and Maryland on Tuesday, voters approved same-sex marriage -- the first time that's ever happened in any US election. In Minnesota, a constitutional ban was turned down, after 30 previous efforts to legalize same-sex marriage. Will the Obama Justice Department back away from enforcing federal laws against marijuana now that more and more voters have spoken? Will the US Supreme Court look at the election returns if it decides to rule on DOMA, the federal Defense of Marriage Act?
Has President Obama Declared War on Medical Marijuana? Federal law bans all marijuana but, in 16 states and Washington, DC , it's legal as medicine. As a candidate, Barack Obama said he would not "circumvent state law," and his administration discontinued the high-profile raids of the Bush years. But now those raids have resumed, and local officials implementing state laws are being threatened with federal prosecution. The crackdown has growers, distributors and patients accusing President Obama of breaking a campaign promise. But some law enforcement officers and two Governors think it’s time to change the drug’s federal classification.
The President and Medical Marijuana Federal law bans all marijuana but, in 16 states and Washington, DC, it's legal as medicine . As a candidate, Barack Obama said he would not "circumvent state law," and his administration discontinued the high-profile raids of the Bush years. But now those raids have resumed, and local officials implementing state laws are being threatened with federal prosecution. Has the President broken a campaign promise? Is medical marijuana a front for organized crime? Is it so widely used that the federal ban should go the way of alcohol prohibition?
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.